7/12/11

Goddess of the Week: Durga

Dancer of Sri Devi Nrithyalaya depicting Durga...Image via WikipediaElizabeth needs a goddess to help in a crisis. She and her daughter both tested positive for Lyme disease and now her husband has lost his job. She needs Durga, the Indian warrior goddess of female energy and power, who is a symbol of resilience and courage in the face of chaos and hardship.

Even gods face hardship. Once, a demon--Mahishasura--unleashed terror on earth and in heaven. Even the gods couldn't defeat him. Outraged, they combined their divine energy, and a new goddess came into being: Durga. Durga loved the gods, and because she loved them, she decided to save them.

Durga, decided to challenge Mahishasura, but Mahishasura was all, "Phhh, that's just some girl. What can she do to me?" So he just totally laid down in a hammock, relaxed and opened up a snack pack of cardamom farmers.

Durga laughed at his overconfidence, and an earthquake threw him off his hammock and onto the dusty ground. That got Mahishasura's attention. He was all, "You talking to me?"

She said, "Bring it on."

So this epic battle began. He turned into a buffalo. She cut him down with her sword. He changed into a elephant. She sliced off his trunk. He transformed into a lion, a man, anything he could think of. But, always, Durga, whacked him into a million pieces. So he tried being a buffalo once more, and this time he didn't even finish his transformation before she cut his head off destroying him for good.

Durga reminds us that in the face of chaos and terror, all we can do is try to cut through the demons in our path. Durga won not because she was bigger than the Mahishasura, not because she was stronger. She won because she loved the gods enough to care what happened to them. That love and compassion gave her the energy to be courageous and resilient in the face of a constantly changing and unpredictable threat.

The fact is, we all face Mahishasura. We are constantly battered by unpredictable forces beyond our control. They ravage our bodies, our hearts, our souls. They threaten our livelihoods and the safety and well being of the people we love. We may escape them from time to time, but, especially as we get older and as we share more and more of our hearts with others, they always find us. They always will. The best we can do is to be like Durga: to face the challenges in our lives with courage, resilience, compassion and love. Add to that faith, hope, and maybe a sense of humor, and--at the very--least you'll be able to keep your sword sharp. So, you know, demons beware.

Channel this goddess: when life has become turbulent, when feeling overwhelmed, when demons try and eat you for lunch; when you need to sharpen your inner resources.

Need a goddess? I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining why you need or want a goddess. Then check back in a week or two and see what I found you. It's fun! It's free! Come on, you know you want to!

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14 comments:

claire said...

What an absolutely beautiful post, Margaret. Fascinating, and such an interesting story.
I happen to love Durga (even though I could not have told her story as you did). We have a terracota of Durga riding the tiger by our front-door (a souvenir from our years in India).
I will sleep even more soundly now.
Thank you.

Daisy said...

Elizabeth, along with Durga, you also have friends here who are cheering for our side in the struggle. Keeping you in thought and prayer, and sending a wee hug.

Barbara and Daisy

Jess said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this for Elizabeth. I will make sure she knows it's up for her to read! Durga is one of my personal favorites, and she is perfect for Elizabeth and Paige!

Joanne said...

Now if Durga could just whack those dreaded Lyme ticks into a million pieces! I hope Elizabeth and her daughter feel getter soon.

altadenahiker said...

I just love it when you open that 19th century leather doctor's bag, poke around, then let a goddess fly. I really do.

Shanna said...

I'm with Hiker here. Your genius is so right on. So is your ability to tell a story and make it current. And you have the heart of a true healer.

Petrea Burchard said...

Each goddess you share, even though she's for a specific person, has things to teach us all. At least, I need this one this week.

Shell Sherree said...

My best to Elizabeth and her family. I suspect you've given her a tremendous lift, Margaret.

Susan Campisi said...

I started out laughing and ended fighting back tears. You have such a gift. I hope Elizabeth will be strengthened by Durga. And I hope she doesn't mind sharing. Like Petrea, I could use Durga this week too.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Can't we just kill Mashishasura and be done with it? Having family illness and job loss hit at once seems to much for anyone to take on board. I wish you heaps of strength and hope Elizabeth.

And to Margaret; this should be the first chapter in your (some day) book. Who doesn't want Durga in their pocket

Desiree said...

"snack pack of cardamon farmers"
brilliant. Margaret--so many skills in this pithy post--writing and psychological.

Star said...

...thank you...

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Wow, this is great! I know you already know this, but I love these posts. They are inspirational, unique and hopeful.

Patrizzi Intergarlictica said...

and you seem so innocent on the face...


Remarkable Margaret.