Online Encyclopedia

DURGA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V08, Page 704 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DURGA, or DEvl (Sanskrit for inaccessible), in Hindu mythology, the wife of Siva (q.v.) and daughter of Himavat (the Himalayas). She has many names and many characters. As Durga (so named from having slain the demon Durga) she is warlike and ferocious, and to her in this form are offered bloody sacrifices, and such ceremonies as the Durgapuja and Churrukpuga are held in her honour (see KALI). The chief festival in Bengal—sometimes termed the Christmas of Bengal—celebrates the goddess's birth in the sixth Hindu month (parts of September and October). Durga is pictured, in spite of her fierce nature, with a gentle face. She has ten arms, holding each a weapon, while her attendant lions and giants are grouped on each side.
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