Durga vs. Parvati
Difference Between Durga And Parvati
Durga, in the Hindu religion, is either one of the consorts of Shiva (Siva) or one of the forms of Devi, the chief consort of Shiva and the mother goddess and creative spirit of Hinduism. Shiva is one of the two principal gods of contemporary Hinduism, the other being Vishnu (Visnu). Durga is militant and noted for her power. Although well-disposed toward humankind, she is fierce in her treatment of the forces of evil. She can be contrasted in appearance with Kali, her counterpart: Kali is represented as grotesque, whereas Durga is depicted as a woman of celestial beauty.
Durga’s principal feats in Hindu legend have to do with the slaying of demons during her descents to earth in various incarnations, or avatars. She was created from the flames of rage that leapt from the gods’ mouths after they had been driven out of the celestial kingdom by Mahisa, a buffalo demon. The gods each gave Durga a weapon of combat—Vishnu a discus, Shiva a trident, and Surya a flaming dart—and Durga went to the Vindhya mountains, where she met and killed Mahisa after a violent struggle.
In iconography, Durga is represented wearing a crown and numerous jewels, with a weapon in each of her many arms. She steps down upon the body of a vanquished demon from her steed, a lion, who tears at the demon’s body with its claws. As with Kali, the chief center for contemporary worship of Durga is in Bengal. Durga is celebrated at the Durgapuja, a great festival held during the fall.
Parvati, spouse of the god Shiva and dominant in the Hindu female pantheon under her diverse names and forms, such as Sati, Uma, Durga, and Kali. The origins of the cult may be traced to the Harappan civilization (about 2500–1700 B.C.), where the mother-goddess in two distinct forms, benevolent and malevolent, was worshiped as a household deity. This fertility goddess also was the protector of human beings, especially of children, from epidemic diseases. In later developments the Devi cult has benevolent and malevolent aspects as Jagadamba (Mother of the World) and as Kali (the Black One), who wears a garland of skulls.
The earliest mention of Parvati in Hindu religious literature occurs in one of the Upanishads. In later, Puranic works she is called the daughter of the Himalaya. The story of the marriage of Shiya and Parvati is celebrated in numerous sculptural representations in temples of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu states. This theme is also used by the great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa in his epic Kumarasambhava. The union of Shiva and Parvati resulted in the birth of their son Kumara (Skanda), who vanquished the demon Taraka. Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and wealth, was the second son of Parvati and Shiva.
In her aspects of Durga/Kali, Parvati is a fierce goddess, often the patron deity of warriors. Worship of Kali is popular in Bengal, and her festival in October–November each year is celebrated with immense enthusiasm. Finally, Parvati is also regarded as the shakti (female energy) of Shiva and figures prominently in the esoteric Tantric cults.