Goddess Mahadurga, one of the magnificent forms of the supreme Shakti, represents the compassion of the divine Mother, the creator and protector of the universe.
 
Mahadurga is traditionally depicted as a benevolent warrior, embodying the power to destroy all forms of destructive egoism, such as pride, arrogance, greed, and anger. In her compassion, she wields the sword of wisdom that enables the awakening of Kundalini, the sacred energy that lies within each human being.

The name Durga means “invincible,” “impassable,” and “unassailable.” It is derived from the Sanskrit word “durg,” which translates as “fortress” or “something difficult to defeat or pass.” Mahadurga is most frequently portrayed as a beautiful goddess astride a tiger or lion. In her eight arms, she carries weapons—a sword, a discus, a trident, a bow and arrows—to destroy that which threatens the balance of the universe. For those following a spiritual path, Durga’s weapons can be seen as the tools of self-discipline and self-effort required to transform the ego, empowered by the grace of the divine Shakti. While her form appears fierce, her face is serene, indicating her stance as compassionate protector.

In India, Mahadurga is honored and celebrated with a puja on the first three nights of Navaratri, the “nine-night” festival in honor of supreme Shakti. This puja is a joyous celebration of Mahadurga’s victory over the forces of ignorance.

One way we can honor and worship Mahadurga is by chanting the namasankirtana Kali Durge. When we chant with the understanding that Mahadurga is an aspect of supreme Shakti, we can connect with her presence, invincible strength, and compassionate protection and with the conviction of our very own nature as the supreme Self.

Cnanting Kali Durge with Gurumayi Chidvilasananda
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