Durga Puja offers us, in dramatic form and by means of religious ceremonial a philosophy of the spiritual life, teaching many things, including the awakening of man upon earth from animalism to a life of purity and honor. Goddess Durga's images is a perfect reflection of the eternal Power that pervades all living beings and all things on Earth. It is beautiful dramatic expression of the belief in the ultimate victory of Good over Evil and the great human aspiration for union with God.
This is in deep correspondence with human life itself and the world we live in, which are themselves but allegories and symbols. The struggle, external or internal, is part of everything that surrounds us. But this struggle is not for survival. It's a life-and-death struggle. Literally, for the average person, and figurative for the mystic. Because this is the universal truth that mystical death must precede mystical rebirth. This is the death to one's lower self.
Gilgamesh, legendary King of the city of Uruk fighting against the BullMany cultures and religions, both current and past, tell us this story. According the St Paul "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live "(Rom 8:13), or the sufi saying "die before you die."
He who desires to rise to the heights of his own being must first crush his own lower nature and inclinations. Through this blessed battle, older versions of "I" may very well die.
Heracles and Cretan BullThe message of this battle is that we need to tame the demanding self-centered beast within us and bring the power to good use. This process asks to bring the higher and lower consciousness in perfect balance, knowing that control is always in your hands, and purity in your heart. However, it has nothing to do with the confidence a person has when filled of one's own strength. Rather, it depicts the confidence of those whose blessed individuals strength is founded in God.
During the battle with the Shakti herself, (which is impossible by definition, because everything is shakti) the inertia and negativity of the soul become increasingly transmuted and superseded by the positive energy and activity of the Spirit. Like in the Yantra when the upper triangles gradually assumes preponderance over the triangle with a vertex down, signifying that the seeker becomes a more spiritually conscious being.
This battle is actually about Divine union. Divine Shakti's energy overcomes severity and uses mercy to become strong and enduring. This is called a gentle strength. Strength of having the inner-qualities of love, patience and power. And joy. When our pains of division are made up for by the joys of reunification.