The primordial female energy, the invisible Shakti (power) that is the basis of all our actions, armed with the power of all the gods, becomes the great Goddess Durga. The slayer of Mahishaur- Mahishasurmardini and the mother of the universe, Jagadamba, Devi Durga is the female element at the peak of its beauty and ferocity. In the terms of Hindu esoteric philosophy, Maa Durga among many things is Mahamaya- the great illusion that makes the Srishti (creation) possible, and she is Para-Shakti, the primeval female energy that protects the creation.
She rules over our senses and makes us see the invisible while leaving what is evident, unseen. It is her divine, endless play that fills colors in her creation. And when there is unevenness in her Srishti, she employs weapons of destruction and annihilates the source of that instability. Maa Durga, thus, is the Maya-Shakti, the singular source of illusion and its destruction.
This ethereal larger-than-life brass idol of goddess Durga has the most well-known and powerful form of the mother-goddess as its subject. Maa Durga is shown in the act of slaying the buffalo demon, Mahishasur. This Roopa (form) of the great mother is an eternal reminder of her potencies that are beyond the perception of the divine beings. Dashabhujadharini- ten-armed Maa has her Naaga-Paasha (snake serving as a noose) tightened around Mahishasur, who lays distraught at her feet. His previously used body of a buffalolies under Devi’s feet, from which Mahishasur is trying to escape. His end is nearing- the Simha (lion) of Maa Durga has his claw voraciously tearing the skin of the demon’s leg, while he roars fiercely at him. With a magnificent mane and naturalistic presentation, the lion embodies the wrath and might of his rider- Mahadevi, the great goddess.
Though her form is clearly that of a warrior, Maa Durga’s countenance carries the tranquillity of a mother and an ascetic. Her exquisite large eyes instill a divine calm in our hearts. Even while being at the center of a battlefield, Devi does not seek pleasure in violence. Her wrath is righteous, it is for the protection of her children, and is released not through her expressions but through her ayudhas (weapons). Her appearance other than her weapons and the lion underneath her circles us back to her role as the Enchantress of the Universe- “Bhuvana Mohini”, the Maha Maya in whom resides the beauty of the cosmos. On her head is a magnificent and distinctive-looking tiara crown whose embellishments curve around Devi’s flawless face. Her hair which Maa ties in the most exquisite buns while adorning herself for Shiva is open, and the tresses fall beautifully on her torso, reaching her rounded breasts that are covered with breast ornaments embellished with a striking floral pattern. Goddess Durga is wearing a sari in the dhoti style, which is covered with a gold waistband and its end-piece is used to create an awe-inspiring cape that falls on her posterior, forming a striking background for her presence in this brass idol.
Presenting a scene full of vigor and movement in a material such as brass is not an easy task, but the artist has done full justice to the subject he chose. From every angle, it seems the subjects are about to move, that the trident of the goddess is about to pierce the heart of the demon and at any moment, we will hear the lion of the Simhavahini (rider of the lion) roar.
Maa Durga Brass Statue: