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Known as the mother of the universe, Goddess Durga is the female manifestation of the powers of many gods united. When a demon appeared on earth, who had the boon of safety from male power, gods created a female goddess for his destruction. Since the demon was called Mahishasura, the goddess came to be known as Mahishasura Mardini (the one who killed Mahishasura) after killing him. The powerful Goddess Durga blesses her devotees with power as well as knowledge, wealth, health and more in every form that they worship her.
There have been many great devotees of the goddess. With their utter dedication, they came to be known throughout the world. Some of whom are listed below. Take a look.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
Ramakrishna was the teacher of Swami Vivekananda. He was such a staunch devotee of the goddess that once he requested the goddess to appear before him. He decided to chop off his head in case she didn't appear. He performed an aggressive dance before the goddess and in the end, when she did not appear, he picked up the sword to cut his head. However, just then the goddess appeared and blessed him. Ramakrishna went into a deep samadhi for many days after this. His teachings have been compiled in the book called 'Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna'.
One of the most influential persons in the field of spirituality, Adi Shankaracharya was the one who revived Hinduism in the 8th century and was a great propagator of Advaita Vedanta. He even authored the book 'Saundarya Lahiri' along with Pushpadanta. It is a book in praise of Goddess Parvati. People believe he even went to Kailash Parvat and worshipped Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati there.
Born in Bengal, he was a contemporary of Ramakrishna. He was a devotee of Goddess Mahakali. He never believed in rituals and expressed his love through other modes such as composing and singing songs etc. Prahlad Chandra Brahmachari was another such mystic who was a renown devotee of Goddess Durga.
Dhyanu Bhagat was a devotee of Jwala Ji, another form of Goddess Durga, worshipped in the Shakti Peeth in Himachal Pradesh. His faith was tested by the then King Akbar. After this, the king also tested the powers of the goddess. When he realised that the goddess existed, he not only just apologised but also travelled on foot to this holy temple.
Vimalananda was a devotee of Goddess Durga but followed the tantrik path for worshipping her. Though he preferred to maintain privacy and avoided coming before people in the open, his teachings have been jotted down by a disciple named Robert Svaboda who named the book 'Aghora' which is a trilogy.
Swami Vivekananda worshipped Goddess Mahakali. It is said that he even saw her when he went to a secluded place for meditation. Once when he visited the Kheer Bhavani temple and was despaired to see the dilapidated state of the temple, he wanted to do something about it. However, it is said that the goddess appeared before him and explained that since the goddess is the protector of people and it is not the people who protect her, he need not worry much about the state of the temple.
He was the one who made the Kriya Yoga popular. It is said that seeking the darshan of the goddess, he visited the Dakshineswar temple of the goddess and offered prayers to her. Impressed by his devotion, the goddess even appeared before him and gave blessings.
Being a Shakta poet, he wrote many poems in praise of the goddess and these poems were often also sung by Ramakrishna. Another such devotee poet of the goddess was Kamalakant Bhattacharya whose poems were also sung by Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.