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It is that time of the year when a number of festivals stay lined up one after the other. Especially these ten days of the Ashvin month are more colourful and filled with enthusiasm as the festival of Navratri is celebrated with vigour all over the country. On the tenth day, another significant festival, 'Durga Puja' is also observed. While Durga Puja is observed for five days, the last day is the most significant and is known as Vijayadasami.
The festival is celebrated in remembrance of how Goddess Durga emerged victorious in a battle with the demons. It is said that the battle continued for nine nights and ten days. Hence, it is a festival of victory of good over evil.
Durga Puja is celebrated across six days, with each day holding a certain significance. The first day is when Maa Durga is said to ascend on the earth with her four children Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartikeya and Ganesha. Colourful idols of the gods are worshipped with great grandeur. On the last day, the idol is immersed signifying Durga's return to her husband.
Maa Durga is a powerful Goddess who fights evil. We might have seen a lot of pictures of Goddess Durga and her many avatars. The most popular pictures depict her with ten hands, each carrying a weapon.
Here are the details as to which are the ten weapons carried by Maa Durga and what they signify.
1) The Trishul
The trishul (trident) holds a lot of significance in Hinduism. Gifted to Maa Durga by Lord Shiva, it signifies three qualities - Sattva (inactivity), Rajas (activity), Tamas (non-activity). Goddess Durga has the power to control all the three qualities in the devotees. She uses the trident to slay the demons.
2) Bow And Arrow
The bow and arrow signifies two kinds of energies - potential and kinetic. Maa Durga holds both these things in one hand, which signifies that she is controlling all the energies of the world. It was gifted to her by the Lords Vayu and Surya.
3) The Conch Shell
This is the symbol of the sacred sound ‘Om'. It is said that it was the sound produced when the universe was first created. It has the power to destroy all the negative energies in the surroundings. The conch was gifted to Goddess Durga by Lord Varuna.
4) The Lotus
The half-bloomed lotus in Maa Durga's hand signifies humility. It teaches us to stay truthful to our spiritual quest without giving in to worldly pleasures. It symbolises liberation through knowledge and wisdom. It was given to her by Lord Brahma.
5) The Thunderbolt
It teaches us to stay completely focused while destroying our enemies - just like a thunderbolt. Maa Durga tells us to face any challenge without losing confidence. It was gifted to her by Lord Indra.
6) The Sudarshan Chakra
The beautiful discus which spins around Maa Durga's index finger signifies that the entire world is at her command. It symbolises the time. She mercilessly uses this to destroy evil and lets good prevail all over the world. It was gifted to her by Lord Vishnu.
7) The Sword
Maa Durga is also seen carrying a sword in her hand, which signifies the quest of knowledge that cuts through darkness and shines. Lord Kala gifted her this weapon.
8) An Axe
Maa Durga received an axe and an armour from Lord Vishvakarma. It signifies no fear of consequences when fighting the evil.
9) A Kamandalu
Given to Maa Durga by Lord Brahma, it represents amrita (water) the elixir of life. It signifies that Maa Durga is the elixir of all life on earth.
10) The Spear
Lord Agni gave her a spear. It was the weapon primarily used to defeat Mahishasura. It signifies the hidden power of humans to overcome all obstacles in life.