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New on Display : 8 new out-line drawings of Durga on display, Pahari School; End of 18th century A.D.
September 21, 2017

This festive season L.D. Museum and N.C. Mehta Gallery, invites you to view 8 new out-line drawings of Durga on display, Pahari School; End of 18th century A.D.

Devi or the female goddess in Indian texts, widely referred to as Shakti, is a very unique phenomenon in Indian culture and Hindu religion. Majority of religions subscribe to the view that the god is masculine, whereas according to Hinduism the God is the creator of the universe and also the 'life factor among the living beings'. This creator God can be entirely male, or entirely female (creatrix) and of course also male and female in unison. Worship of the female element and its personification as Mother Goddess are the earliest spiritual leanings during the dawn of human civilization. So also is the phenomenon in the Indian subcontinent as well during the emerging phase of Hindu religion. From goddess of fertility, agriculture, protector from diseases, the seers and philosophers conceptualised eventually a larger and more profound notion, of the feminine power. The feminine power also gives happiness and wealth (Lakshmi), knowledge (Sarasvati) and while protecting the universe, transforming herself into all powerful monster in order to annihilate the malignant monsters.

Let us hear the hymn (stuti) compiled by Markandeya which is recited by the Rishis in praise of the Devi after she killed the Mahishasura Demon: "It is in your nature to destroy the evil beings. Your bravery is for annihilating such enemies. It is difficult to compare your courage with any similar power. Your beauty is pleasing as well as the cause of instilling fear among the enemy. Your consciousness contains mercy as well as cruelty which is not known anywhere else. By destroying the enemy, you protect the three worlds."

The Gods also joined the prayers: "Devi, we appeal to you to protect us from all the directions with your weapons. At those moments when we remember you, please remove our difficulties. Be kind to the people who pray to you, shower on them knowledge, fame and wealth."

We also quote the prayer Markandeya compiled before narrating the story of how Devi destroyed the demons Shumbha and Nishumba: "We bow to you, Devi, you are known as Vishnu maya among living beings. You are residing among the living beings as the sleep, the hunger, the shadow form, the energy, the desires, the kindness, the sense of shame, the peacefulness, the faith, kanti, beauty. You live within the living beings as Lakshmi, dhriti, vritti (temperament), smriti (memory), compassion, sense of justice, satisfaction, Pushti, maternal love. You are the controller of human indriyas (sense organs)."

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Nr. Gujarat University, Navarangpura
Ahmedabad - 380009 Gujarat, INDIA
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