The story of devi durga:

For every Bengali, the Durga Puja festival is special. The energy with which it is celebrated is something one has to see to visualize the festival saga. It marks the victory of good over evil, with warrior-goddess on a lion demolishing the buffalo demon (Mahishasur). The Durga Puja, is a symbol of spiritual power, spiritual enlightment where new resolutions are made. Importantly, she is considered to be a manifestation of Adi Shakti.

Devi Bhagavatam: Vishnu Bhagavata and Devi Bhagavata. Vishnu Bhagavata tells the stories of the incarnations and facts of Lord Vishnu’s life. The Devi Bhagavata tells the virtues of Bagavati, also known as ParaSakti, (Devi). Both these have exactly eighteen thousand hymns, arranged in twelve divisions. The total number of chapters in Vishnu Bhagavata is 335. The Devi Bhagavata consists of 318 chapters.

The Devi Bhagavata as we have it now, is in the form of a narration by a Rishi named Suta to other Rishis led by sage Shaunaka.

It is usually divided into nine sections, each to be chanted on one day of a three day long worship. The first day’s portion contains the story of the birth of Shuka, the story of Hayagreeva, the slaying of the Asura twins Madhu and Kaitaba, the life history of Shuka, and the story of the Kuru dynasty.

An Asura named Rambha was the King of the Asuras his son Mahisha became the King of the Asuras after his reign.

Mahishasura dedicated his time to tough penance, for the creator of all creatures, Lord Brahma. At last the Lord was happy and came in front of the demon and told that he is happy with his prayers and want to bless him and asked for his desire, The Asura asked for becoming immortal.

The Lord Brahma said that all creation must have an end so its difficult to make this desire true. Mahisasur asked that he wanted to die in the hand of any Women and not any men in the Universe.
Brahma granted the boon and disappeared. Mahisha invaded all power and became the overlord of the entire earth. Once he conquered the earth he made plans to invade heaven.

The assembled Asuras welcomed this pronouncement with shouts of joy. At the dawn of the next day, Mahisha performed a great Yagna (sacrifice), honored his perceptor Shukra, sought his blessings and ordered his army to march towards the heavens. He also sent an emissary ahead of the army, to issue a formal declaration of war to the Devas.

Feared with the terror of Mahisasur all Devas went to seek help of Lord Brahma and prayed him to help them against the Asuras. Lord Brahma said,that he had given him boon that he has nothing to fear from anyone, except a woman.

Accordingly, the Devas and Lord Brahma went to the abode of Shiva and prayed to the Lord to protect Indra and his kinsmen against the marauding Asuras. Lord Sankara (Shiva) then suggested that the help of Lord Vishnu should also be taken. Accordingly, all of them went to Vaikunta and secured Lord Vishnu’s help.

Severe defeat was there for the devas. No weapon of the devas could ever touch Mahisasur due to the boon of Brahma. The invincible army of Mahisha entered Amravathi kingdom of Indra. The Asura conquered the heavan and the Devas fled from heaven and spent many years wandering in the mountains and forests.

At long last, unable to bear their misfortune any longer, they approached Lord Brahma and prayed him to suggest a way for them to regain the kingdom.

But what woman is there who will be able to kill this evil demon was the question for all the Devas.

Vishnu smiled and decided that by all the power of Devas a woman be created. This lady shall be the death of Mahishasura.

As Vishnu said this, a dazzling pillar of light emerged from the face of Brahma and shone in the sky. It was red like a flawless sapphire and was bright like the sun. Next, from the body of Lord Sankara, a silver colored flame emerged and joined that from Brahma. Vishnu also contributed his power to this group.

Similarly, Kubera, Yama, Agni and the other Devas, sent their power to join this bundle of light and energy. The collection had grown so bright that not even the Trinity could gaze at it without shielding their eyes. As all were watching, a beautiful woman was born the light.

Born of the best part of all the Gods, she is known as Mahalakshmi. Of unsurpassed beauty, she is three-colored, three-natured and had eighteen arms. She is eternal. She is the protector of the Gods. Though she appears in many forms, her true form is one and is beyond sensory perception.

Her face was created by the grace of Lord Shiva. Her eyes were an aspect of Agni. Vayu’s power created her ears. Her nose was created by Kubera’s grace. Her teeth were from Brahma’s power. Her lower lips were created by Surya’s lusture. Her upper lips were from Kartikeya’s (Skanda) grace. Her arms and shoulders possessed the power of Vishnu. Her fingers were created from the power of the Vasus. Her hips were created by Indra’s lusture. Her thighs and knees were from Varuna’s lusture. Her backside was of the earth.

Vishnu said, “Let us all give all our attributes and our special weapons to this great lady. Let us arm her suitably for battle. Let her be endowed with our strength, to slay the evil Asura.”

The King of the Ocean-of-Milk gave her clothes of red silk, and a necklace made of diamonds, and a crown jewel that shone like a thousand suns to the Devi. Vishwakarma gave her ear drops, shoulder ornaments and bracelets. Tvashta gave her jewels known as Nuparas which were decked with thousands of priceless gems. The King of the oceans gave her many necklaces and rings. Varuna gave her a garland of ever-blooming Lotus flowers and a garland known as Vaijayanti. Himavan gave her many priceless gems and a lion for her mount.

Now that she was decorated the queen of Gods, it was time to arm her battle. Vishnu gave her a discus, the clone of his famed Sudarsana-Chakra. Lord Sankara gave her a trident, the spitting image of his own. Varuna gave her a conch to blow and strike terror in the hearts of her enemies. Agni gave her a powerful weapon known as Sathagni, capable of slaying the Asuras by the thousands. Vayu gave her a quiver that will never run dry, and a matching bow.

Indra gave her his all-powerful Vajra (or an image of it). He also gave her the bell that belonged to his elephant Iyravata. Yama gave her a powerful Staff, made from his famed Kala-Thanda. Brahma gave her a Kamandal (water-vessel) filled with the water from the sacred Ganga. Varuna gave her his noose. Vishwakarma gave her an axe. Kubera gave her a cup filled with wine. Tvashta gave her Kaumodaki, the divine mace. He also gave her an armor that can withstand any missiles. Surya gave her his blinding rays.

All the Devas said, “Salutations O Mother. Salutations to you, O Bagavathi, we salute you. O Vaishnavi we salute you. You are the heaven, you are the earth, you are the eternal principle, you are the great eternal truth. We salute you. We salute her who is free from the cycle of life and death. Mother, save us from the ravages of the evil demon, that powerful Asura, Mahisha. He cannot be slain by anyone other than you. Have mercy on your pitiable plight. Kill him and restore us to our legitimate place in the heavens. You are our only hope!”

The Devi smiled and said, “O Devas. Have no fear. He has swelled with pride due to the boon from Brahma, but his end is near. I shall march on his capital and utterly destroy him and his demonic forces.”

With these words, the Devi mounted the lion and marched towards Amravathi, the capital city of Indra, where Mahisha had currently established his court. She let out a terrible roar that far surpassed that of her beast as she approached the city.

A fierce battle was fought and Mahisasur was killed and Devi restored peace on Earth and Heaven.