The celebration of one of the grandest festivals of the country Durga Puja is round the corner. The devotees of the Hindu Goddess Durga are all excited in the preparation of the festival while taking the precaution due to Covid-19.
Durga Puja is celebrated for days varying from 6 to 10 days in different parts of the country. The festival is also celebrated as Navratri (nine nights) in most of Northern India. Even with the variation of the festival, it is celebrated with splendour around the country, especially in West Bengal.
Goddess Durga is known to be the most powerful deity as she has been bestowed with united powers of many Gods to eliminate all the demons on earth. The ten arms of the Goddess signify the protection of her devotees from all directions, which are the eight corners and from the sky and the earth.
In fact, the great powers of the goddess are depicted with her ten hands holding different weapons of various significance. The symbols and meanings of the weapons are as follows:
1. Trishul (Trident): The Trishul, which is gifted by Lord Shiva, has three sharp edges that symbolise the three qualities – Tanmas (serenity, inactivity and lethargic tendency), satva (salvation, positivity and purity) and rajas (peace, hyperactivity and desires).
The balance of all three qualities must be perfect in order to attain peace and salvation. When the trident pierces the demons to death, the compassion of Mother Durga will perceive all the qualities to defeat and emerge as victorious.
2. Conch: The sound of the conch shell symbolizes the purest and sacred sound called ‘Om’ from which the entire creation of the universe emerged. It was gifted by Lord Varuna.
3. Sudarshan Chakra or Discuss: The Chakra is a gift from Lord Vishnu which symbolises that the world is controlled by Durga, who is the centre of the creation and the universe revolves around her. It also symbolises righteousness or dharma as it spins on the index finger of the goddess. This weapon is used to destroy all evil and protect the righteous ones.
4. Lotus: The lotus is the symbol of Lord Brahma which represents wisdom. The half bloom lotus also symbolises the awakening of spiritual consciousness in the minds even in the darkest times as also the lotus grows in the mud.
5. Bow and Arrow: The bow and arrow are gifted by Lord Vayu and Lord Surya which symbolise energies. The bow represents potential energy whereas the arrow stands for kinetic energy. It also symbolises that Goddess Durga is the one that controls all the source of energy in the universe.
6. Thunderbolt: Lord Indra’s gift symbolises firmness of spirit, determination, and supreme power. Goddess Durga empowers her devotee with unshaken confidence and will.
7. Sword: The Sword gifted by Lord Ganesh symbolises knowledge and intellect. It represents the sharpness of intellect and the shining power of the sword represents knowledge.
8. Spear: The spear symbolizes auspiciousness which is gifted by Lord Agni. It also represents pure, fiery power. This symbolises the quality possessed to know the difference between what is wrong and what is right and to act accordingly.
9. Axe: Goddess Durga received an axe and an armour from Lord Vishwakarma which signifies no fear of consequences when fighting evil.
10. Snake: The snake of Lord Shiva symbolises consciousness and masculine energy. It also represents the change from the lower state of consciousness to the higher state with an urge to experience new things.