Being Women

The Doshobhuja: Significance Of The 10 Weapons Of The Ten-armed Goddess

The ten weapons in each of the arms of Goddess Durga have a special significance.

The story behind Doshobhuja

As the story goes, the Gods in heaven were terrorised by the buffalo demon, Mahishasura. They were unable to fight the evil demon and had to do something to defeat him.

Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, and the other Gods, who were otherwise powerless to overcome him, combined their powers to create Doshobhuja – Ma Durga. Riding on a lion, holding ten weapons in her ten hands, she portrays a menacing image of the evil in the world.

The ten weapons were gifted to her by different Gods to fight and defeat evil.

The many avatars of a modern woman

In the modern era, a woman is no less than a Doshobhuja. As the Bengali saying goes, she is adept in everything “juto selai theke chandipath” (from mending shoes to reading sacred scripts dedicated to God). She is equipped to perform the numerous tasks in her day-to-day life with perfection like

  • Taking care of the house
  • Cooking and cleaning
  • Raising the child
  • Completing office assignments
  • Sewing and knitting

The list continues…..

These avatars of a modern woman can be easily compared to the ten weapons that the Doshobhuja has. Let us see how those ten weapons, their power and their significance have a bearing in our lives

1. Trishul

The Trishul was given by Shiva.

The three sharp points of the weapon symbolise ‘trigun’ or the three properties of a human being—Sattva, Raja, and Tama—waking, dreaming, and sleeping. During the battle with Mahishasura, Ma Durga used the Trishul to end his life.

The compassion and kindness of a woman help her overcome all three properties and emerge victorious in every walk of life.

2. Sudarshan Chakra

Lord Vishnu gifted the Goddess with the Sudarshan Chakra, symbolising the cycle of life.

It is also a representation of how Ma Durga’s energy sets the universe in motion.

In our lives, it symbolises righteousness, loyalty, love, and devotion to our near and dear ones.

3. Lotus

The Lotus of Lord Brahma represents knowledge and the awakening of our spiritual consciousness through knowledge.

The lotus is also a symbol of how, even while growing in the mud, we need to grow our minds spiritually and bloom into beautiful flowers.

4. Bow and Arrow

Pawandev and Suryadev gave a bow and arrow to the Goddess.

In scientific terms, the bow and arrow symbolise the potential and kinetic energies existing in the universe.

The weapon set is a symbol of the great potential of ‘nari shakti’ which, when used properly, can be used to make the world a better place.

5. Sword

Lord Ganesh gifted a sword to Ma Durga. T

The sharp sword is a representation of justice over negativity.

The sharpness of wisdom and knowledge shines brightly like a sword and dispels all negativity.

6. Vajra

Lord Indra entrusted the Goddess with Vajra or the thunderbolt.

This represents the self-confidence and willpower that we embody in our lives to overcome any obstacles we are faced with.

7. Snake

Ma Durga got the snake from Lord Shiva. The snake symbolises consciousness.

In our lives, we should always be in pursuit of seeking higher consciousness. This helps us awaken our minds and bodies to the realities of life, adding to the blissfulness of our life’s journey.

8. Axe

The chief architect of the universe, Lord Vishwakarma, gifted Ma Durga with the axe.

It has the supreme power to both destroy and create.

The axe symbolises that we should be unafraid of the consequences and fight the evil in our lives with fearlessness.

9. Spear

Lord Agni, the God of Fire, gifted the spear to Ma Durga.

The flaming fire of the spear helps us to understand the differences between good and evil and imbibe the goodness around us.

10. Conch

Lord Varuna entrusted his conch to the goddess.

The sound ‘aum’ made by the conch symbolises everything in the universe—its creation and everything within it. It also represents the steadfastness of purpose, resolution, and power.

Let us usher the spirit of these weapons into our lives to let the good win over the evil!


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