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Calling upon the Goddess Durga to Be Rescued from Burdens and Sins – an Excerpt from the Mahabharata

In the ancient Hindu text the Mahabharata, the following is said about calling out to the goddess Durga for help in times of distress and sin:

“[The goddess Durga is] always decked in celestial garlands and attired in celestial robes, — who is armed with sword and shield, and always rescues the worshipper sunk in sin, like a cow in the mire, who in the hours of distress calls upon that eternal giver of blessings for relieving him of their burdens.”1

The Goddess Durga slaying asuras (demons) which are symbolic of the various negative inner states within us.2 Image by Dswaroop100 – Own work, (CC BY-SA 3.0,) via Wikimedia

The goddess Durga is symbolic of the higher feminine spiritual part within ourselves that is referenced in many ancient cultures and traditions around the world.3

She is described as being a powerful protector and warrior who is able to destroy evil and misery by removing the causes of sin within us — like anger, fear, jealousy, anxiety, stress, and so on.4 ,5

In order to remove these “burdens” as they are referred to here, when you observe a negative thought or emotion within, you can pray to your own individual mother goddess (higher feminine spiritual aspect within) to ask her to remove them.

  1. Kisari Mohan Ganguli (Trans.), The Mahabharata, c. 1883-1896 

  2. Belsebuub and Angela Pritchard, The Path of the Spiritual Sun: A Guide to the Solstices and Equinoxes (Mystical Life Publications, 2016), 100 

  3. The higher feminine spiritual part within an individual has been depicted in many cultures and traditions such as Durga and Kali in Hinduism, the Virgin Mary in Christianity, the Aztec Goddess Coatlicue, the Sumerian goddess Inanna, the Greek goddess Hecate and many others. Belsebuub and Angela Pritchard, The Path of the Spiritual Sun: A Guide to the Solstices and Equinoxes (Mystical Life Publications, 2016), 104-105  

  4. Belsebuub and Angela Pritchard, The Path of the Spiritual Sun: A Guide to the Solstices and Equinoxes (Mystical Life Publications, 2016), 100 

  5. Dr. Satya Prakash Choudhary, The Glory of the Goddess – Devi Mahatmyam, 4-5  


  • It is nothing short of miraculous I think that we can have an actual connection with this Goddess mentioned in such an ancient text and that she can actually help us remove our negativity. I’ve seen that it really does happen.

    For me the key word in this excerpt today is ‘always’ – “always rescues the worshipper sunk in sin…” She is faithful and will always help us, even when it seems like nothing is happening and I’m asking in vain. It’s for me to have the faith in her. She is probably so eager to help us and is only waiting to be asked.

    • I know, it’s amazing to think about. It’s hard and a bit overwhelming to understand the love she has for us. But it’s wonderfully comforting to know she is there to help, always, like you said.

  • I remember when I first learned about the practice of removing the negative states within me, I was so surprised how simple the practice was that it seemed somehow unimaginable that it can work. I was eager to see if it will work and after some time I noticed the difference which brought a lot of relief in my own way of being. As Karim says I also feel the force of the work that she is doing but only when I am conscious of that process within myself.

  • I remember being a little skeptical when I first heard about the potential of praying to my personal Divine Mother to reduce certain negative inner states. But after trying the practice over a period of time, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it did indeed produce some significant changes in my way of living and gradually brought freedom from lower emotions that I’d struggled with for many years.

  • Apart from the more accumulative effect that can be noticed over time by carrying out this practice. And also aside from the feeling that can be had at the end of a meditation practice for example, like described here. Today I noticed when I had a good momentum with this practice that I could, ever so subtly, feel it at work in the moment I was asking for it. Again, subtle is the word. But through it I could sense a bit of that force of the Divine Mother, of Durga, at work. This felt very special in a way. Sometimes this also almost spontaneously invites a visualisation relevant to how it feels at the time. Most often though I cannot really sense it, but that doesn’t mean something is not happening behind the scenes in our…. how to describe it— hidden inner world.

    For me with time the more I’ve applied it in my life the more natural and ‘obviously-the-right-thing-to-do’ it has become. Dreams and symbols in it can also start to show us that there is something going on. For me it’s been the combined insights that have showed me that something is really going on.

    Wonderful quote. That’s definitely how it can feel when going up against very overwhelming ego states.

    • Thank you, Karim, for sharing that. It was very inspiring to me to read. There have been a few times when I’ve felt very close to my Divine Mother and her help felt even more powerful than normal. I could really feel her working to remove those negative thoughts and feelings from me. But it’s a relationship I have to make sure to honor and not slip away from. Sometimes I get so distracted that I forget to spend time with her and observe myself.

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