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Salutations to the Divine Mother, Durga, who exists in all beings in the form of intelligence, mercy,beauty, who is the consort of Lord Shiva, who creates, sustains and destroys the universe. The Durga Puja is celebrated in various parts of India and Bangladesh in different styles. But the one basic aim of this celebration is to propitiate Shakti, the Goddess in Her aspect as Power, to bestow upon man all wealth, auspiciousness, prosperity, knowledge (both sacred and secular), and all other potent powers. Whatever is the particular or special request that everyone may put before the Goddess, whatever boon may be asked of her, and the one thing behind all these is propitiation, worship and linking oneself with her. There is no other aim. This is being affected consciously or unconsciously. Everyone is blessed with her loving mercy and is protected by her.
Durga Puja is the greatest Hindu festival in which God is adored as Mother. Hinduism is the only religion in the world which has emphasised to such an extent the motherhood of God. One's relationship with one's mother is the dearest and the sweetest of all human relations. Hence, it is proper to look upon God as mother.
Durga represents the Divine Mother. She is the energy aspect of the Lord. Without Durga, Shiva has no expression and without Shiva, Durga has no existence. Shiva is the soul of Durga; Durga is identical with Shiva. Lord Shiva is only the silent witness. He is motionless, absolutely changeless. He is not affected by the cosmic play. It is Durga who does everything.
Shakti is the omnipotent power of the Lord, or the Cosmic Energy. The Divine Mother is represented as having ten different weapons in her hands. She sits on a lion. She keeps up the play of the Lord through the three attributes of Nature, namely, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. Knowledge, peace, lust, anger, greed, egoism and pride, are all her forms.
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