From Rigpa Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Durga (Skt. Durgā; Tib. དཀའ་བཟློག་མ་, Wyl. dka' bzlog ma, or also Tib. བགྲོད་དཀའ་བ་, Wyl. bgrod dka' ba) — a popular goddess in the Indian pantheon. Her name can be glossed as "the inaccessible" or "the invincible", and Monier Williams translates the name as "difficult of access or approach", "impassable" or "unattainable".

In some Tibetan texts related to Kurukulla she is Umadevi, the consort of Mahadeva.

The Dungkar Great Tibetan Dictionary says:

Durga is a synonym for Umadevi. The name Durga (Kadokma) is given since Umadevi always tries to release (dok) the god Shiva from his wish to practice austerities (ka).[1]

To explain this, it is said in Indian mythology that first there was the void or energy which transformed into the goddess Durga. She gave birth to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Then Durga wanted to get married to one of them to create this universe, but all of them refused since she was their mother. However, they told her that if she would take another form in another life then they could marry. Thus she took birth, yet it is said she was not able to find Shiva in just one lifetime but that it took several lifetimes. In the meantime, Shiva was practicing austerities alone for thousands of years. Finally Durga took birth as the daughter of a king and performed many practices to obtain Shiva as her husband. She was then known as Umadevi and through her devotion managed to seduce Shiva (and so release him from his austerities).


  1. Wyl. dka' bzlog ma/ 'di lha mo u ma'i ming gi mngon brjod de/lha dbang phyug dka' thub la gnas par 'dod pa na lha mo u mas rtag tu bzlog par byed pa'i cha nas btags