Hindu Gods and Goddesses
Tales of Nine Incarnations of Durga
At the end of the Eon, when Vishnu had fallen into Yogic sleep stretched out
on Sheshnag and the world was nothing but one vast ocean, two dreadful
demons called Madhu and Kaitabha arose from his ear wax, bent on killing
Brahma. Sitting on the lotus that had grown from Vishnu's navel, Brahma
Prajapati saw the two fierce Asuras appear while Janardana lay fast asleep.
Single-minded in concentration and with a steadfast heart he praised the
meditative sleep that lay upon Hari's eyes in order to awaken him.
"I exalt you, blessed Sleep of Vishnu of matchless splendor, mistress of the
universe, mother of the world who both preserves and destroys …Armed with
sword, spear, mace and discus, carrying conch, bow and arrows, bludgeon and
bhusundi, you are kind, gentler than all the gentle, utterly beautiful,
supreme among both high and low; you are the goddess supernal! You are the
energy of every substance, no matter what, no matter where, existent or
nonexistent. Who am I to praise you-you who poured forth the world. If the
god who sustains and consumes the world has been mastered by Sleep, who is
left here to praise you? Since Visnu, Isana and I myself have been made by
you to take bodily form, how can I offer you praise. In truth, you are
celebrated for your exalted glory! Now bring the lord of creation Acyuta
quickly back to consciousness, so he may destroy those two dangerous demons,
Madhu and Kaitabha!"
The dark goddess, thus praised by the creator, in order to arouse Visnu so
that he might kill the two demons, came forth from his eyes, mouth,
nostrils, arms, heart and chest, and stood before Brahma, whose origin is
hidden. Released by Sleep, Janardana rose from his resting place on the
ocean and saw the two evil-natured demons Madhu and Kaitabha, heroic and
valorous, eyes red with rage, filled with eagerness to kill Brahma.
Springing up, lord Hari battled against the two of them for 5,000 years with
only his bare arms for weapons…
The lord, bearing conch, discuss and mace, killed those two demons by
splitting open their heads with his discus. And in this manner was born the
goddess, praised by Brahma himself.
The goddess was worshipped by Brahma as Mahamaya and Mahakali.
The goddess, who killed the Buffalo demon Mahishasur, was known Mahalakshmi.
Tormented by the Buffalo demon, the beings had lost their kingdoms and the
gods were deprived of their abodes. They were all being chased by the evil
souled demons, they reached lord Vishnu to seek shelter.. for the complete
story of how the goddess emerged from the combined tejas (energies) of al
the gods, please refer to page No. 40 in the Origin of the Goddess.
Once upon a time, demons known as Shumbh and Nishumbh, defeated mortals and
immortals in a long fierce battle. When the immortals noticed they could not
win, they ran away from the battle and worshipped lord Vishnu, who was
pleased by their hymns. To defend them lord Vishnu produced a flame from his
divine body. The flame then took the shape of a beautiful woman called
Mahasarswati. Enchanted by her divine beauty, the demons sent their sargeant.
Surgriva to her, with a message of marriage. Mahasarswati accepted their
proposal with a condition if they could win her in the battle field. Shumbh
and Nishumbha sent their General Dumraaksha to bring her forcibly, who was
slaughtered by the goodess.
A good number of his army-men were also killed by the goddess. After that, a
demon called 'Rak-tabeej' was sent to bring the goddess forcibly, so that
the commanders could marry her. 'Raktabeej' fought a fierce battle. He had
been gifted with a boon by which his blood-drops falling on the earth were
converted to the new demons instantly. The goddess then produced two
yoginies-i.e. mates-these were called Ajay and Vijay. They drank the blood
of the demon ion the battle field the earth, when the goddess beheaded the
demon. In the end, Shumbh and Nishumbh were also killed by the goddess.
The famous epic 'Bhagwata Purana' depicts the story of goddess Yogmaya as
In Dwapra Age, king Kansa ruled over Mathura and the adjoing states, Some
astrologers of the reign, forecast his end at the hands of the 8th son born
to his own real sister Devaki, who was already wedded to king Vasudev.
Therefore, Kansa imprisoned Vasudev & Devaki, and snatched away their each
offspring to kill them mercilessly. Devaki became pregnant for the 8th time
now. She was confined ti tge jail under strict supervision of the guards.
Outside, it was raining torrentially that night when Devaki delivered her
8th son Krishna. At the same time goddess 'yogmaya' was born to Ma Yashoda,
in the town of Gokula. It was through the powers of yogmaya that all guards
of Mathura-Jail became drowsy and King exchanged his son secretly with the
instant born daughter of Yashoda, in Gokula. He came back to Devaki in the
jails and placed Yogmaya there. Kansa entered in the morning and snatched
the daughter from his sister's hands, tried to fly away in the skies &
assumed the shape of a goddess. There was a loud broadcast "O' King you can
not escape your death! Devaki's 8th son is growing in Gokula".
The same goddess Yogmaya helped Lored Krishna in killing Kansa, Charmera,
Putna and other mighty demons. The goddess is supposed to live with Lord
Krishna in the forms of Yogvidya and Mahavidya.
Chandika or Chamunda
Two mightly demons Chanda and Munda were killed by the goddess Kali, in the
very past ages. Both the demons were so powerful that gods were also
terrified by them, what to say of the human beings. Goddess Ambika, in her
greates fury, issuedforth from between her eyebrows-Kali, with protruding
fangs, carrying a sword and a noose, with a mottle skull topped staff,
adorned with the necklace of human skulls, covered with tiger skin. Her
mouth gaping wide, her lolling tongue terrifying, her eyes red and sunken.
She filled the whole of space with her howling. Such was the shape of
Kali-The black one, who killed the mighty demon Chanda and Munda and
rescured the world from their terrors. When she brought the heads of the two
demons grabbing in her hand and appoached goddess Ambika. She was pleased
with her and told - "Since you have captured Chandra and Munda and have
brought them to me, O goddess, you will be known as Chamunda".
In such a way, then does the divine goddess, although eternal, take birth
again and again to protect the creation. This world is deluded by her; it is
begotten by her; it is she who give knowledge when prayed to and prosperity
when pleased. By Mahakali is this entire egg of Brahma pervaded, lord of
men. At the awful time of dissolution she takes on the form of Mahamari, the
great destuctress of the world. She is also its unborn source, eternal, she
sustains creatures in homes in times of prosperity. In times of disaster she
appears as Misfortune for their annihilation. When the goodess is praised
and worshiped with flowers, incense, perfume and other gifts she give
wealth, sons, a mind set upon Dharma, and happiness to all mankind.