(Last Updated on : 14/01/2011)
Goddesses of India are huge in number and are worshipped in all parts of India among the Hindu people. India has the largest population of the Hindus who worship male and female deities. Goddesses of India are those female deities who have gained prominence and are widely worshipped with great splendor and piety. The Hindu goddesses have got place in the ancient Hindu scriptures like Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and Rig Veda.
is a form of Devi, the supreme goddess, having ten arms and each arm has a separate weapon and seated on a lion or a tiger. Durga in Sanskrit means fort or a palace, which is well protected and is inaccessible. Durga is the manifestation of the power that helps in preserving the moral order and virtue in the creation. She is like the mother who protects and nurtures her child or mankind, by destroying the evil forces of jalopy, selfishness, anger, ego and creating a peaceful environment for her child to live in. She is also known as Parvati
, Ambika, and Goddess Kali. Shown having ten hands she delivered the devas from the hands of Mahishasura
the Demon. Durga is also known as Ambey Mata in the northern parts of India. Navaratri
is celebrated all over the country celebrating her valor and prowess that helped Lord Rama
to release his bride from his captivity.
Another important goddess of Hindus is the Goddess Kali who is the divine mother seen in a more violent form. She sent her `Shakti` to bestow peace to the gods after freeing them from demons called Shumbh and Nishumbh. Kali is the first of the ten Mahavidyas, acquiring the name Adya- the goddess, or the first born. She is the goddess of time and death, which is `Kala`, when lord Shiva
and Gauri is united that destructive form is known as Mahakali or Mahakala. Kali is also the Kundalini energy that frees one from the fear of death.
is the goddess of knowledge, music and all other creative forms. She is the goddess of speech, repository of Lord Brahma
`s creative intelligence and Mother of the Vedas
. Saraswati`s `vahana` is the Swan, which is noted for its extraordinary capabilities for separating water out of milk, symbolizing the power to differentiate between the good and the bad.
, the deity of wealth and prosperity is worshipped in all parts of India for prosperity and wealth. She is one of the extremely important goddesses of India and Hindu religion. She is Lord Vishnu
`s consort, and they jointly fulfill the acts of perseverance and maintenance. Lakshmi took various forms and accompanied Vishnu in his incarnations or avatars. She is seen seated on a lotus, often seen holding the amrita kalasham or the pot of ambrosia and bilva fruit.
Apart from these major goddesses of Hinduism
, there are some other goddesses who are worshipped by the followers of Hinduism. Goddess Bhuvaneshwari is the primary force, which demonstrates herself as the phenomenal world. She dwells in the `hearth chakra` and being a queen she looks for the welfare of her subjects. She is one of the ten Mahavidyas, who represent some divine incarnation or representation of the Divine Mother. Worship of the Bhubaneshwari brings change in the emotions as well as in body chemistry.
Goddess Aditi is the great Hindu goddess, one among the greatest goddesses of India, who known as the woman clothed with the Sun. She is the Sun Goddess, Mother of all the lights of Heaven who gave birth to the twelve zodiacal spirits. The daughter of the Mountain and the better half of Shiva is goddess Parvati is another goddess of India. She forms a part of Shiva for which He is called `Ardhanaarishwar`. She is the Kali in her unmarried state, who is known by the names of Maya, Sati and so on. She is described as beautiful and magnificent in her disposition.
Moreover, Mahalakshmi is one of the Divine shades of Shakti. She is the Lokmata, the Provider of Health, wealth and happiness. Devi Lakshmi is Haripriya, being the consort of Hari or Vishnu or Vasudeva, residing at Vishnu`s celestial abode, Vaikuntha. She is the Kamala, who ascended from the milk ocean, seated on the marvelous Lotus Flower or Padma, during the Churning of the milk-ocean for the Pot of Ambrosia or the Amrit Kumbh. She is thus the Jaladhija. She had been the companion of Vishnu, even in his Avtar forms.
The goddesses of India are numerous and have a great importance in the religious life. They are center of all Shaktis and seem to be enhancing the power of the Indian gods. The Hindu goddesses are not only worshipped in temples but annually worshipped in Mandapas which has become a major attraction for all. These religious festivals have become a part of the regular celebrations of the people as a means of relief from a mundane life. The goddesses are worshipped with great devotion and reverence as they are said to be the creators of the world, the conferrers of health, wealth and prosperity to the human beings.