I love to explore the Divine Feminine and write about Goddesses. For a list of those, click on the link: Goddesses. In order to become more balanced within ourselves and, through that, to bring greater balance and harmony to the world around us, we must find greater balance between the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves that each one of us possesses, regardless of physical gender or any other ways of self-identification.
In this Goddess Meditation, we travel to India, home of a thousand deities and millions of people. Nevertheless, the polytheistic main religion in the country, Hinduism, has a few main characters that everyone knows, often by different names, besides the many local deities. Today, we look at the Goddess Durga, Mother Goddess, Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and fierce warrior. Durga is a powerhouse of creative energy and anything but a walkover. In fact, she is the ruler of Life and Death.
Goddess Durga is one of the main Hindu Goddesses and a fierce aspect of Shakti, the Divine Feminine energy. The name Durga is related to durg, meaning fortress, something difficult to access, attain or pass. Her name is derived from dur, meaning difficult, and gam, meaning pass, go through. Thus Durga means beyond reach. Her name’s meaning is commonly translated as impassable, inaccessible, invincible, unassailable.
Durga is commonly depicted riding on a Lion or Tiger. She has ten arms that hold different weapons and rides into battle, slaying an evil demon king the gods could not vanquish, according to mythology. Durga is a fierce and uncompromising Goddess who knows of her powers and is not afraid to use them.
In Hindu religion, she possesses 108 different names, one of which is the first name I gave my youngest daughter, Tarini, which means star, Mother Goddess and saviour. Durga possesses the powers of creation. She is the essence that dwells in all of creation. What humans ordinarily call evil is in terms of energy chaos and disconnection from source. This means stagnation, lack mentality, all the way to petty jealousy and even violence.
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Durga is the essence of all. She is the one who created the heavens and the earth. The Rig Veda, the oldest Hindu text, originally written in Sanskrit, which is related to Latin, tells the hymn of Devi, an aspect of Durga. Here an excerpt:
“I created Earth and Heaven and reside as their Inner Controller.
On the world's summit, I bring forth sky the Father: my home is in the waters, in the ocean as Mother.
Thence I pervade all existing creatures, as their Inner Supreme Self, and manifest them with my body.
I created all worlds at my will, without any higher being, and permeate and dwell within them.
The eternal and infinite consciousness is I, it is my greatness dwelling in everything.”
– Devi Sukta, Rigveda 10.125.3 – 10.125.8
The meaning of this is very clear. Durga is the feminine personification of Divine life force energy of which all is made. She is the creative imagination that gives form to the energy in thoughts, feelings and physical reality, thus arranging energy in-formation. She is the life-giving, the changing and all-pervading essence of All That Is. And as she dwells in each creature, as their essence, we can conclude that we are all-powerful creators ourselves.
In my children’s book How Picasso Makes You A Genius. I explain the concept of what energy is, how it works and how we can use it to consciously create at will in an easy and fun way for children. At the end of each chapter are questions that make you think or laugh. Joy is one of the highest energies, love and peace being the other two, although really, they are, ultimately, all the same.
Children, as well as adults, learn best when it feels light and fun, so that is how I teach my children, making them laugh while I impart knowledge and wisdom. So in the book, we change from Picasso’s studio to the racetrack, time-travel to cavemen and Ancient Rome and go to the kitchen to bake a cake. Sounds confusing? Trust me when I say, it all comes together in the end and makes perfect sense.
The life-giving principle of the Divine Feminine is part of each of us, of every living thing and once we are aware of and embrace this power, we can overcome all evil, meaning, chaos, limiting beliefs and blockages that stop us from expressing our Divine essence freely and creating consciously the lives that we want. At the same time, the destroyer in Durga can easily and effortlessly kill all that is not of the highest good. Thus, we are reminded that we can kill all that no longer serves us, i.e. remove it from our lives.
One of my absolute favourite devotional songs of any tradition is Jai Uttal’s version of the Durga Mantra “Durga Pahimam.” Watch it on video here:
Another mix of this is a wonderful hiphop version by Jai Uttal, Jahnagga Baba, Surya Devi, Son of Satya, Kalki, & Riishii G7: