Durga Puja 2019: Here's What the Weapons of 10-armed Goddess Signify
Kolkata: A priest offers Maha Ashtami "Sandhi Puja" at a Puja pandal during the ongoing Durga Puja festival, in Kolkata, Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018. Image for representation. (Image: PTI)
Durga Puja the festival which is celebrated with much grandeur and pomp in West Bengal and other parts of eastern India is here. The 6-day festivity begins on September 3 and Kolkata is all decked up with pandals where idols of ten-armed-goddess is placed and worshipped. The goddess is worshipped as a daughter in West Bengal, she is adorned with jewellery beautiful traditional sarees, is offered with symptoms bhog and on dussehra married women apply vermilion on the forehead parting of Goddess Durga and feed her with sweets before the idol is taken for immersion.
In northern and western India, the Goddess is worshipped as Shere Wali Maa, as she sits on her mount, the lion.
Goddess Durga has ten arms and each arm carries different weapon. Here are the weapons that Goddess Durga carries in her arms and their significance.
Trident or trishul: Goddess Durga holds a trident or trishul, three-headed sharp weapon, which is said to symbolise the three qualities humankind is made of - tamas, rajas and sattva. The Goddess uses this triedent to kill the demon-king Mahishasura.
Discus or Sudarshan Chakra: Often Lord Vishnu is seen with Discus or Sudarshan chakra. The gift from Lord Vishnu to Goddess Durgs symbolises the centre of creation.
Thunderbolt or vajra: Gifted by Lord Indra, thunderbolt or vajra symbolises firmness of character, determination, and supreme power.
Conch: One of the hands of Goddess Durga has conch, which is the symbol of the primordial sound of creation - Aum.
Sword: The weapon sword symbolises intellect and wisdom.
Bow and arrows: The combination of bow and arrow is that of potential and kinetic powers that symbolises energy.
Spear: Gifted by Agni, spear symbolises auspiciousness. It also signifies pure, fiery power.
Lotus: Often Lord Brahma, creator of universe, is seen with lotus that represents wisdom and liberation through knowledge. Goddess Durga has lotus in one of her ten arms.
Club or axe: The weapon sympolises the power of Vishwakarma and have the power to destroy as well as create. Representations of Goddess Durga alternate between these two weapons.
Snake: Some representations of Goddess Durga show her one hand without any weapon and the goddess is seen blessing or holding trishul, the tenth hand actually is supposed to be holding a snake. Snake as a weapon symbolises consciousness and the masculine energy of Lord Shiva.