A spiritual mentor we'd like to celebrate in honor of Earth Day and Mother's Day is the Indian Goddess Durga is a force for our time!
In Sanskrit (the oldest known language), Durga means "a fort" or "a place that is difficult to overrun," an apt metaphor for this deity's protective superpowers that eliminate suffering.
Durga is considered the protective mother of the universe by the Hindu. She is one of the faith's most revered deities, a protector of all that is good and harmonious in the world. Sitting astride a lion or tiger, the multi-limbed Durga battles the forces of evil in the world.
We commemorate her here in our delicate sterling or bronze necklace that features a lovely primitive Durga relic from India.
Befitting her role as mother protector, Durga is multi-limbed so that she may always be ready to battle evil from any direction. In most depictions, she has between eight and 18 arms and holds a symbolic object in each hand.
Durga carries a variety of weapons and other items to fight against evil. On our lovely little pendant, she carries a sword which symbolizes knowledge and freedom from doubt with its sharpness and shine. In her other hand, the trident is a symbol of three qualities: inactivity, activity and nonactivity - all of which she uses to alleviate physical, mental and spiritual suffering.
She also is also often depicted with a lotus flower, which in Sanskrit is called Pankaj, meaning "born of mud" to remind the faithful to stay true to their spiritual quest amid the worldly mud of lust and greed.
A conch shell, symbolizing the mystic word Om, which indicates her holding on to God in the form of sound.
A discus that spins around the index finger of the Goddess, signifying that the world should submit to the will of Durga and is at her command. This weapon is intended to destroy evil and promote righteousness.
She is frequently depicted standing atop or riding a tiger or lion. This represents her power, will and determination. Her brave pose, called Abhay Mudra, means "freedom from fear". These amulets are worn in India as aspirational reminders to be righteous and courageous.
India has 22 recognized languages (although there are more than 1900 "mother tongues") among the country's 29 states and territories. Consequently, gods and goddesses exist in various forms (or avatars). Collectively these deities represent and personify attributes of the one true Supreme Being and Universe (truth & reality). India's religious tolerance is reflected in their diversity of worship based on family tradition, community and regional practices.