To gain noble virtues, all evil tendencies in the mind must be destroyed. This destruction is represented by Goddess Durga. Durga is Durgati Harini” – She removes our evil tendencies. This is why She is called Mahishasura Mardini, the destroyer of Mahisasura (demon), mahisha meaning ‘buffalo.’ Isn’t there a buffalo in our minds as well?
The buffalo stands for tamoguna, the quality of laziness, darkness, ignorance, and inertia. We have all these qualities and they crop up from time to time. Although we may have a lot of energy and potential inside us, we prefer to do nothing – just like the buffalo that loves only to lie in pools of water.
In the Puranic story, Durga Devi’s killing of the Mahisha demon is symbolically the destruction of the tamoguna with us that is very difficult to destroy.
In the Durga Devi Havana (sacrifice) – Durga Puja – we invoke that divine power within us to destroy our animalistic tendencies.
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