What is Durga Tantra?

Symbolism in the story of Durga

Durga's story is about the eternal cyclical repetition of the entire life process. It is also a story about animal nature, that when left unrecognized and unattended, under stressful conditions, animal impulses break through in random fashion. Durga brings order to this chaos by slaying what is not the Truth and leaving the arena afterwards as she did this for the good of all and not for her own ego.

Birth of Durga

The Great Mother Goddess Durga was born from the energies of the male divinities when they lost the long drawn-out battle with the demons (asuras). All the energies of the gods united and became supernova, throwing out flames in all directions. Then that unique light, pervading the Three Worlds with its luster, combined into one, and became a female form and thus Durga was born.

The Story

Durga fought and won the battle against the demons, slaying even the Great Demon Mahisasura, depicted as a mighty buffalo demon which symbolizes among other things, the elemental powers of brutish ignorance and whose exaggerated ego-sense was destroying the balance of the universe, and whose sole purpose was to dominate and control. She then left the battlefield after the victory over aggression. This disappearance of Durga after her deed was done, expresses one of the deepest truths of the action of the feminine in the cosmic drama, the action of the feminine being without retentive, ego-seeking ambition.

What she looked like

She had overwhelming omnipotence, three-eyes and was adorned with the crescent moon. Her multiple arms held weapons and emblems, jewels and ornaments, garments and utensils, garlands and rosaries of beads, all offered by the gods. She is depicted seated on a lion or tiger and is one of the most spectacular of all personifications of Cosmic Energy.

The mighty buffalo demon

The mighty buffalo demon symbolizes among other things, the elemental powers of brutish ignorance and whose exaggerated ego-sense was destroying the balance of the universe, and whose sole purpose was to dominate and control.

The disappearance of Durga

The disappearance of Durga after the battle expresses one of the deepest truths of the action of the feminine in the cosmic drama: it is without retentive, ego-seeking ambition.

The battles

The battles with the demons and particularly the final battle with the great buffalo demon that Durga fought symbolize the universal war between knowledge and ignorance, truth and falsehood, the oppressor and the oppressed and about confrontations between demon and Goddess, male and female, son and mother, lover and beloved, equal combatants, victim and sacrificer, hero and deliverer. It is symbolic of the dynamics of the laws of opposites and reflects the human perception of opposites and polarities in life. On the battle stage protagonist and antagonist each take on the looks and qualities of the other until the disguise of each is penetrated and the demon and the Goddess are reduced to their true nature: in the last analysis they are alike. There are no oppositions, no polarities, only a Oneness in an eternal cycle of Cosmic activity.

Male-Female Oppositions

The myth is about the potential for aggression inherent in the male-female oppositions. Both demon and goddess become what the other is, both behave like ferocious animals and one never knows what will happen in the next instant, as the constant alternations from the bestial to the divine representing justice and power or evil and danger; and each contributes to the orgiastic disorder necessary for recreation. The myth thus transcends the male-female alternative or opposites, signifying psychic totality or simply Oneness.

The Nature of Durga

Durga is a fearless warrior againstall that is not the Truth. She represents the power of the unconscious and the pull downward and backward into the protective womb and is able to draw the mighty unconquerable demon into a mutual dance of desire and dread ending in him being beheaded. Durga is also known as: The Unattainable meaning beyond reach" being one-in-herself, and "belonging-to-no-man". This means, her divine power does not depend on her relation to a husband- god and her actions are not dependent on his needs, qualities and attitudes. She bears her identity through her own right. Virgin Goddess meaning she has virginal autonomy. Her birth was not the result of the will of the gods, all her incarnations are the result of her will to be in the world for the benefit of mankind and she chooses when and how to become active in the play of the Goddess in the world.

Our constant strugle

The paradise which Durga restores on earth is temporary, as the battle between Truth or the order of things and chaos or untruth re-occurs time and time again. This represents our constant struggle in the human experience of life. It is a constant struggle between the male and female energies, and all the other polarities we perceive in life: right and wrong, good and bad, light and dark, pain and joy, love and hate etc.

Non dualism

Time and time again, we need to restore this paradise, until we finally are able to perceive and experience the Oneness of All that is inherent in our spiritual nature. The polarities are understood as one, without one we cannot perceive the other. When we reach the state of all dualism having melted away we understand Oneness. We understand without the other we are not ourselves. We exist together as one. I am in you and you are in me, as it is with day and night, hot and cold etc. Restoring paradise. The paradise which Durga restores on earth is however temporary, and the battle between Truth or the order of things and chaos or untruth re-occurs time and time again. This represents our constant struggle in the human experience of life. It is constant struggle between the male and female genders and all the other polarities we perceive in life- right and wrong, good and bad, light and dark, pain and joy, love and hate etc. And it represents restoring paradise, Bliss time and time again until we finally are able to perceive and experience the Oneness of All that is inherent in our spiritual nature.

Durga worship today

Today Durga symbolizes the divine power hat delivers us from the evil and brings peace and prosperity into our lives. The worship of Durga takes on an intimate form. She not placed on a pedestal and worshiped from afar, but is welcomed into the hearts and homes in an annual four day ritual as a daughter and member of the family.

Durga Tantra

Durga Tantra is a combination of methods and incorporates methods from various therapy methods with tantric arts. It is experiential in nature, there is no dogma, no belief system that requires embracing. On the contrary, it is based on what modern science (biology and physics) teaches us about ourselves and our universe and life in general.

Healing the inner male and the inner female

Healing the inner male and inner female energy, enabling them to work successfully together is the basis for Durga Tantra. In order to bring them together, it is necessary to understand the polarities of male energy and female energy. Once we understand and embrace the differences, we learn to respect the same and ultimately to recognise that both are in each and every one of us. Without the other, we cannot be a male or a female. We know this biologically, but we need to embrace this emotionally and spiritually, in a non-judgemental way. When we are able to do this, we return to our power.

Overcoming ego

This means, recognising and overcoming all that separates us from Truth. We start with the perceived polarities and slowly bring them together. Bringing the Sacred Masculine and Sacred Feminine in each one of us together is the starting point. The ultimate path is the uniting of male and female energy in such a way, that it becomes possible to restore order, to restore and manifest Truth. There are no oppositions, no polarities, only a Oneness in an eternal cycle of Cosmic activity.

Ma Anand Leandra
17th March 2007