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Hindu God: Devi

Devi Durga is a Hindu concept of the Ultimate Shakti or Mahashakti

Background and History

  • Hinduism is an ancient religion from India. Hinduism believes in a variety of gods, many of which are often in contention with one another for power over regions of the universe. Each 'God' has different physical features and different powers and tasks to perform which are explained in the mythologies of India. Many of the Hindu gods date back several thousand years while others, which are said to be manifestations of other gods or newly created gods entirely, are more modern. Devi is one of these Hindu 'Gods'.
  • Devi refers to the Great Goddess of Hinduism. She is worshiped as the primary and sometimes only god or goddess in Hinduism, depending on which text a devotee is referring to. In the famous book called the Devi-Mahatmya, composed during the medieval period of Indian history, Devi is conceived of as being the goddess as the supreme female power in the cosmos. As such, the book describes Devi, sometimes called Mahadevi (‘Great Goddess’) to refer to her importance, as subsuming all other Hindu goddesses.
  • This means that, in fact, all female goddesses in Hinduism, ranging from local deities that are only known and worshiped in individual villages to the well- known cosmic goddesses that inhabit thousands of tales within the volumes pertaining to the Hindu pantheon. This powerful concept, that all goddesses are in fact just emanations of one supreme Goddess, developed from the need of Hindus to consolidate their beliefs into easy-to-describe concepts in order to compete with other powerful religions such as Buddhism.
  • Such concepts were created in order to directly compete with religions that believed in a singular God or all-pervasive ordering principle, such as Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, or even other forms of Mahayana Buddhism. During this same period, other Hindus consolidated many gods into one but used Vishnu or Krishna instead of Devi as the lead member of the Hindu pantheon.
  • The concept of a goddess in India may be as old as the Indus Valley civilization, which dates back nearly four thousand years ago. Many goddess-esque statues were found during excavations, some of which contain physical characteristics shared by later goddesses in their representations, like Devi herself.

Devi Durga is a Hindu concept of the Ultimate Shakti or Mahashakti.