Mahishasura was born out of the union of the Asura (demon) king Rambha and a buffalo. When Mahishasura became the king of Asuras, he fought a great war with the Devas (Gods). The army of the Devas got defeated. The defeated Devas headed by Brahma, went to Shiva and Vishnu. The Devas described to them their plight. Hearing this, there issued forth a great light from the face of Vishnu, Shiva as well as Bramha. From the bodies of Indra and other Devas also sprang forth a great light. Then that unique light combined to become the female form of Devi. The Devi was riding on a fierce lion.
The Devi then gave out a loud roar. By her unending, terrible roar the entire sky was filled, and there was great reverberation. Mahishasura rushed towards that roar, surrounded by innumerable Asuras. He saw the Devi pervading all the three worlds with her lustre. The Devi then killed hundreds of Asuras with her trident, club, showers of spears, swords and the like, and threw down others who were stupefied by the noise of her bell. Seeing his army thus being destroyed, Mahishasura pounced upon the troops of the Devi with his own buffalo form. He rushed to slay the lion of the Devi. This enraged the Devi. She flung her noose over him and bound him. Thus bound in the great battle, Mahishasura quit his buffalo form. Then he suddenly became a lion. As Devi cut off the head of this lion, he took the appearance of a man with a sword. Devi with her arrows chopped off the man together with his sword and shield. Then he became a big elephant. The elephant tugged at Devi’s great lion with his trunk, but as he was dragging, Devi cut off his trunk with her sword. The great Asura then resumed his buffalo form and shook all the three worlds. Mahishasura, roaring intoxicated with his strength and valour, hurled mountains against Devi with his horns. And the Devi with showers of arrows pulverized those mountains. She then jumped and landed herself on that great Asura, pressing him on the neck with her foot, she struck him in the heart with her spear. The great Asura was thus finally slain by the Devi. With the death of Mahishasura, the whole Asura army perished and the Devas regained their lost glory.
Meaning of Mahishasura story:
The buffalo is a symbol of ignorance (animal tendencies). When ignorance starts reigning then one becomes inert, insensitive and dull. Mahishasura never comes alone; he comes along with his army of Asuras. Similarly ignorance is also accompanied by inertia, delusion, arrogance, misery, sadness, depression, fear, insecurity and all other negative tendencies. All good qualities (Gods) get defeated in front of ignorance. Only by awakening of spiritual energy (Devi Maa) can one overcome this demon of ignorance. Spiritual energy gets awakened when each and every part of our consciousness comes together with a single pointed focus (all Devas contributing their energies).
Devi Maa has to fight a fierce battle to slay the demon of ignorance. When the Devi slays the ignorance in one form, ignorance transforms itself into another form. Ignorance cannot be eliminated with simple knowledge. When we remove ignorance in one form with some knowledge, other form of ignorance will arise. Just like knowledge; ignorance also is limitless and infinite.
Ma Durga then jumps up on the Asura and presses the neck of the Asura with her feet and then pierces his heart with her spear. This signifies opening up first of the “Vishuddhi Chakra” (throat center) and then the “Anahat Chakra” (Heart center). With the opening of Vishuddhi chakra, gratefulness dawns in life. With opening of Anahat chakra, unconditional love arises. Ignorance simply dissolves in front of unconditional love and wisdom dawns. When wisdom dawns all other negative tendencies (army of Mahishasura) get destroyed. Thus, by the grace of Maa Durga, the Devas get back their lost kingdom of heaven.
May Maa Durga bless everyone with such unconditional love and gratefulness!
Fourth Navadurga : Kushmanda
On the fourth day of Navaratri, Mother Divine is worshipped in the form of Kushmanda Devi, the fourth Navadurga. The name Kushmanda is made of three words – “Ku + Ushma + Amnda = Kushmanda”. Here “Ku” is “Little”, “Ushma” is “Warmth or Energy” and “Anda” is “Egg”, meaning the one who creates the universe as “Little Cosmic Egg” with the energy of Her divine smile, is called “Kushmanda”. Maa Kushmanda is also named as “Adi Shakti”.
“Kushmanda” also means pumpkin. A pumpkin has so many seeds and each seed contains the potential for so many more pumpkins. This is representative of the creative power and its eternal nature. The whole Creation is like a pumpkin. As Kushmanda, the Devi contains the entire Creation within her. She is the Devi who can give you the highest “prana” energy. It is her splendour that pervades every plant and creature of this universe.
Salutations to Maa Kushmanda!
या देवी सर्वभुतेषु क्षुधारूपेण संस्थिता ।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥१०॥
Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Kssudhaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||10||
10.1: To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Hunger,
10.2: Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, I bow down to her again and again.
या देवी सर्वभुतेषु छायारूपेण संस्थिता ।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥११॥
Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Chaayaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||11||
11.1: To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Shadow (of Higher Self) (Jivatma as a Shadow of Paramatma),
11.2: Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, I bow down to her again and again.
या देवी सर्वभुतेषु शक्तिरूपेण संस्थिता ।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥१२॥
Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Shakti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||12||
12.1: To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Power,
12.2: Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, I bow down to her again and again.