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Shakti Home -› Hindu Trinity -› The Destroyer -› Shakti
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[parvati - daughter of parvataraja]
In her second appearance Durga came to the world as Parvati, the daughter of Himalaya. As she was Satee, the daughter of Daksha married to Shiva in her previous birth, in the second life too she wanted to be the consort of Shiva. But after the sacrifice of his first wife Shiva had lost all interest in marriage. Parvati now realized that there was only one way of attracting his attention and winning his affection. She undertook ascetic rites and recited praying hymns for one thousand years to please god Shiva. Only then Shiva was convinced that Parvati was worthy of being accepted as a wife. The wedding of Shiva and Parvati is described in a very colorful manner in Puranic literature and so many songs have been composed how the marriage procession of Shiva is composed of beggars, mendicants and wanderers.

How Parvati came to have the name of Durga is an interesting narration. On one occasion the sage AGASTYA asked Kartikeya why Parvati, his mother was called Durga. Kartikeya replied that once there was a demon, named DURGA, the son of RURU. He with his austerities pleased Brahma and by his blessings became very powerful. He conquered the three worlds and even dethroned lNDRA, the king of gods. He abolished all religious ceremonies so that Brahmans were terrified and stopped reading Vedas. All the gods assembled and prayed to god Shiva to protect them from the tyranny of this demon. Shiva took pity on them and asked Parvati to go and destroy the evil demon. She calmed the gods and agreed to rescue them from the evil Durga. There was long and fierce battle. As soon as the giant came near with his evil followers Parvati assumed 1000 arms and also brought out a number of weapons out of her body.
[mahishamardinee - slayer of mahishasura]
She repelled every attack and in the end the demon assumed the shape of a fearful buffalo and with his horns cast trees, rocks and mountains on the goddess, who cut everything into pieces. The goddess Parvati pierced him with her trident and subdued him. The gods with this deliverance praised the goddess and honored PARVATI with the name of DURGA.

Another legend connected with Durga is that Mahishasura a king of the demons, at a certain period overcame all the gods and reduced them all to the state of incompetence. Indra together with all gods approached Shiva and Vishnu. These two great gods became very angry at the misdeeds of this demon and at the request of the suffering gods produced from their energy a goddess named Mahamaya or Durga. Streams of glory emanated from all gods and entered Mahamaya, who now resembled a mountain of fire and strength. This goddess killed the demon Mahishasura and delivered the gods from the distress. Hence she is also called as Mahisamardinee (Slayer of Mahisha).

According to Markendaya Purana the goddess Durga has assumed ten different forms in order to destroy two great demons, Shambhu and Nishambhu. It is said that at the close of the Tretayuga, these two giants by their austerities had obtained great powers. Being exalted above the gods they began to fight against them. They achieved many victories and gods were reduced to the deplorable state of helplessness. They solicited the help of Brahma and Vishnu, who referred them to go to Shiva. Shiva advised them to pray to Durga, who could be able to defeat the two demons. Finally when gods appealed to Durga for ending their troubles, she agreed.

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