(Last Updated on : 08/10/2018)
There are different images of Goddess Durga
. Amongst these, the icon of Mahisasura Mardini is one of the most popular images. From ancient time, the image of Mahisasura Mardini came to be accepted as the iconic model of the composite clay image in the annual autumnal Durga Puja
in West Bengal
The Eight Armed Mahisasura Mardini Deity
An iconography of Mahisasura Mardini represents the Goddess as having eight arms. The face of the Goddess has been mutilated and the form is shown as fighting vigorously with the demon partially issuing out of the decapitated trunk of a buffalo, in the alidha pose with her right and left legs planted firmly on the buffalo and the pedestal respectively, while the head of the lion is shown to the right pounding on the hind portion of the buffalo.
Attributes of Eight Armed Mahisasura Mardini Deity
If the eight arms of the Goddess are seen in a clockwise direction, then the arms carry disc, trident, arrow, sword, tarjani mudra, the tuft of the hair of the demon, shield and a bow. The entire iconography is known for its simple and elegant composition and carving. In fact it can be said that this particular iconography of the Goddess is very graceful.
The Ten Armed Mahisasura Mardini Deity
Besides the eight armed image of the Goddess, the most commonly worshipped image of the Goddess is the ten-armed deity. The iconography of the ten-armed deity is represented with elaborate jatamukuta and is shown as fighting vigorously with the demon in pratyalidha pose with the left and right legs placed on the decapitated buffalo and the lion respectively. The booted right leg of the demon is thrown at the mouth of the pouncing lion, while the other leg is still within the trunk of the buffalo.
The two-armed asura on the other hand is represented in a helpless situation where he opens the sword from the case and is in a pitiable state because of being attacked at the chest with the trident by the Goddess. The iconography of the Goddess also includes two miniature companions of the demons which are shown attacking the Goddess from either side. Mahisasura Mardini is shown elaborately decorated with the halo of flames surrounding her. Devi Durga is represented wearing a jatamukuta and her body is heavily ornamented. The asura who accompanies the Goddess is decorated with a crown and he is represented in such a position that he is just about to draw his sword. The entire panel is placed on a double petalled lotus on a nava ratna pedestal. Just like the previous iconography, this particular image of the Goddess includes a lion in a pouncing pose.
Attributes of Ten Armed Mahisasura Mardini Deity
Again in this particular image of the Goddess, if the ten arms of the deity are observed in the clockwise direction, it will be seen that the arms carry the following things like trisula, khetaka, arrow, chakra, khadga, aksamala, dhanu, anuska, parasu and the tenth hand of the Goddess bears a nagapasa.