Gupt Navratri: How A Lion Became The Vahana Of The Goddess

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Gupt Navratri is going on and this is the most auspicious time to worship Goddess Durga, a time when the goddess will fulfil all your wishes. Goddess Durga is worshipped in various avatars, she is worshipped as the incarnation of Parvati, she is worshipped as Mahakali, as Saraswati and in various other forms. It is said that as Sati she had wanted to marry Shiva and had performed hard meditations and penances to please him. Similarly, as Parvati, she tried hard to get him to marry her.

Why Lion Is The Consort Of Durga

While various days are dedicated to each form of the goddess, if you want to worship all the goddesses together, then Navratri is the best time. While we celebrate the Navratri with such great enthusiasm, ever wondered why the goddess, the feminine power, is always depicted with a chivalric lion?

How Lion Became A Vahana

Here is the reason why Goddess Durga is seen with the lion as her mount. The story goes back to the time when Goddess Durga was performing very hard penances to please Lord Shiva so that she could get married to him.

Years Passes But The Lion Still Waiting

Many years passed and the goddess did not even open her eyes until she heard Lord Shiva there. Once when the goddess was chanting the name of Shiva, a hungry lion passing by heard the voice and came to have her as his food. But, as it is said, the lion, instead of attacking the goddess, sat there peacefully, to wait until the goddess had completed her prayers. Such power the penance performed by the goddess had.

This way, it is said that the goddess went into meditation for years. It is believed that her penance to please Shiva lasted for thousands of years. And when the lord was finally pleased by her prayers, he accepted her as his wife. Goddess Parvati, thus, became the consort of Lord Shiva and the mother of Lord Kartikeya and Lord Ganesha.

When Lord Shiva had appeared before the goddess and promised to marry her, it is said that she opened her eyes and saw that a lion had been waiting for her; it had fallen asleep, tired of waiting for her. She woke the lion up and said, while waiting for her, the lion, unintentionally, was in a kind of penance.

Therefore, as a blessing, she declared that this lion would be her vahana and would be worshipped as her mount. Since then, the lion is known as the vahana of Shakti. It represents the power, the unconquered spirit and the immense determination that the goddess herself possesses as well as blesses her devotees with.

Lion As The Symbol Of Strength

A lion is considered as a symbol of strength, courage and leadership, the traits of the goddess herself. She along with the lion works to establish Dharma and kill the demons trying to disturb the peaceful cosmos.

The lion associated with the goddess symbolises fearlessness and victory. Worshipping the goddess during Navratri helps the devotees get all such qualities as a blessing from the goddess.

Goddess Parvati And Goddess Durga

It is said that since Goddess Parvati was dark in complexion, Lord Shiva made fun of her, which she did not like and once again sat in deep meditation. When even after a long time she did not return, Lord Shiva came there and blessed her to become fair.

Do Not These Mistakes During Gupt Navratri

With this blessing, the goddess got divided in two forms, one fair and the other dark. The dark Parvati was known as Mahakali and the fair Parvati was named as Gowri.

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