Durga is a Hindu Goddess who is depicted with eight arms. She is also known as Devi or Shakti. Durga is often represented by a conch shell. Durga’s name in Sanskrit means a fort. It is symbolic of protection.
Durga was created by Vishnu as a warrior goddess to protect her people from evil and to safeguard them. Durga was also created to fight the demon Mahishasur. Durga is usually represented with eight arms carrying eight different weapons to help her protect her followers from evil forces and vices.
Durga is pictured with three eyes which symbolize the earth, moon, and fire. Durga’s eight arms symbolize the fact that she protects everyone from all directions.
On the right side Durga holds:
Chakra – Durga’s upper right hand contains a chakra which symbolizes duty and righteousness
Sword – In her next right hand she holds a sword that symbolizes the destruction of vices.
Club – In the next hand down Durga holds a club symbolizing surrender and devotion.
Empty – Her lowest right hand is empty and held up facing her followers. This is a symbol of blessings and forgiveness.
On the left side Durga holds:
Conch – In Durga’s upper left hand is a conch which symbolizes happiness.
Bow and arrow – In the next hand down is a bow and arrow that symbolizes character and values.
Lotus Flower – In Durga’s next hand is a lotus flower that symbolizes detachment.
Trident – In Durga’s lowest right hand is a trident that symbolizes courage.
Usually, Durga is depicted riding on a tiger or lion wearing a red sari. These symbolize action, power, and protection.