Thank you sweet Sianna, for your contribution to The Shakti School and Healthy Happy Sexy - Here is Sianna Sherman's take on the mythic story of Durga - Fierce Mother Goddess of Love
The Story of Durga
Once upon a time long ago, and not so long ago, because its happening right now, there was an evil demon named Mahisha, who often took the form of a bull. Day and night, for years and years, he did his acetic yogic practices with a strong ekagrata - one pointed focus, with the hopes that one day Lord Shiva would appear and grant him his wishes. After many years, finally Lord Shiva took notice and came to Mahisha.
“Okay,” Shiva said, “Your practices have been very steady - now what is it that you want?”
“Well,” said Mahisha, “I want to be invincible to all beings.”
“Fine, you shall have your wish,” Shiva replied, “but there has to be one caveat. You have to make yourself vulnerable to at least one class of beings.”
“Well, that's easy,” said Mahisha. “Let me vulnerable to the class of beings called woman.” A woman would never be able to touch me.
This was the first mistake Mahisha made.
Now, with his new super-powers, Mahisha goes about becoming this great lord of the Universe, and he begins to plunder and terrorize everything and everyone. Soon the world falls into total darkness and destruction.
Amidst the chaos and misery, the gods and goddesses decide to get together to see if they can come up with a plan for dealing with this demon who is taking over the world and wreaking havoc.
The gods decide to gather together the three most powerful gods of all -Brahma, Vishnua and Shiva. These three gods come together to create the Triadic heart, and then all the gods and goddesses stand around them in a great community circle. The three most powerful gods begin to focus very intensely, creating a beam of light out of their 3rd-eye, blasting this laser beam of light right out into the center of the circle where they converge. From this ignited center comes an opening and from the opening appears a form. The form is the most lustrous, shining, brilliant thing the world has ever seen. It is the Goddess Durga riding fiercely, mounted upon her great Lion.
With a start, she rides off the base of the great mountain, her four priestesses attendants by her side. Everyone is shocked, expecting her to rush to fight off the evil Mahisha.
“I’m going to my cave now,” she says. “For now I must do my own practices first. Let no one disturb me.”
Once in her cave, she begins her practice by chanting the name of her beloved Shiva, over and over again. “Nama Shivaya, Nama Shivaya, Nama Shivaya.”
Her practice is completely motivated from the feeling of love itself, and she chants to Shiva out of deep and pure love. As she is chanting, the mountains begin to blaze and and goodness and wholeness is again restored to the Universe.
But as the mountain begins to blaze, Mahisha begins to take notice.
“Who is this who dares to make the world a shining, glimmering place? I have plunged the world into darkness and I want it to stay that way!
And with that, Mahisha, in a rage, begins to shape shift. First he becomes a beggar, because he knows whoever has set the mountain ablaze must be very powerful. As he approaches Durga, he looks at her and says, “Oh, I am just a poor beggar asking for some alms, Great Goddess.”
But it is too late for him, because the very moment he sees her, he falls desperate to possess her as his own.
“Great Goddess, I will give you everything. I am the lord of the Universe, you have to be mine.”
Durga smiles knowingly and replies, “No, I am only for the one for who is pure of Heart. My practice, Mahisha, comes from a place of Love. Your practices come from a love for power. I want nothing to do with you!”
So she casts him away, leaving him utterly infuriated. Mahisha runs off in a rage, casting the world deeper into darkness.
The gods and goddesses come to Durga and say, “What is happening? Why do you play with this demon and let him run amuck when you are so powerful and you could easily just slay him in a fraction of a second?”
To which Durga replies, “Do not worry, for surely this great Demon Mahisha rushes against his dharma even faster than a moth rushing towards a flame. He himself will be the cause of his own demise.”
It is at this point that the great battle emerges. Mahisha arrives at Durga’s doorstep and takes the form of the Demon Bull - which represents our most stubborn, habitual patterns. The patterns that do not serve us.
But Durga can meet him in whatever way he shape-shifts. He shape-shifts into a lion, and a blue striped tiger, and a great elephant, and she just keeps meeting him and meeting him and meeting him. And then, he takes the shape of a man but he’s still a bull. And right at that juncture where he is half a man and half a bull - she slays him and she puts the soft underside of her foot on the side of his head and subdues the demon and the world is restored to total order.