Who is the killer of Mahishasura? Is it Durga or Lakshmi? My confusion arises after finding out that Lakshmi killed Mahishsura in the Devi Mahatmaya.
Goddess Mahalakshmi is the presiding Goddess of the middle episode. Here she is depicted as Devi in her universal form as Shakti. The world was under attack by Mahishasura the most evil demon in the world, who took many different forms, including that of a buffalo. The male Gods, fearing total annihilation endowed Durga with their powers. The Goddess is described as eighteen- armed bearing string of beads, battle axe, maze, arrow, thunderbolt, lotus, bow, water-pot, cudgel, lance, sword, shield, conch, bell, wine-cup, trident, noose and the discus sudarsana. She has a complexion of coral and is seated on a lotus. She is known as Ashta Dasa Bhuja Mahalakshmi. Riding a lion into battle, she slew the buffalo by cutting off its head and then she destroyed the spirit of the demon as it emerged from the buffalo’s severed neck. It is through this act that order was established in the world”.
I also found out about this.
MahaSaraswati is the first incarnation of Goddess Adi Para Shakti. She represents the Sattva Guna and is the shakti(consort) of Lord Brahma. She is the goddess of wisdom, creation, and learning. She is the source of all of the arts. It is she who slew Sumbha and Nisumbha, who are symbols of ignorance. She was created from the body of Mother Parvati and is the embodiment of her hard work, spirituality and devotion. She is also known as Ambika Devi as per Durga Saptashati. She wears yellow clothes when she takes form. When she is without form, she becomes the Primordial Sound.
What is this? In Devi Mahatmaya, Lakshmi is Durga (killer of Mahisasur) and Saraswati is Ambika(killer of Shumb and Nishumbh). Kali, or Parvati is merely helps Vishnu kill Madhu and Kathiba (she doesn't actually participate in the slaying). Normally however, Parvati is Durga (killer of Mahisasur) and Saraswati is Ambika (killer of Shumb and Nishumbh) while the other two hardly kill anybody.
Please clear my doubts.
Firstly,I used the Wiki link in the question because I could not find any other texts that describe Lakshmi killing Mahishasura(apart from the text in the Devi Mahatmaya).However,I have found another Shakta text,the Devi Bhagvata Purana,which sates that it is Lakshmi,and not Durga,who killed Mahishasura:
33-46. Vyâsa said :– On Visnu, the Lord of the Devas, saying thus, came out spontaneously, at once, of the face of Brahmâ, the brilliant fiery energy, very difficult to conceive. That energy looked red like gems and pearls, hot, at the same time, a little cool, having a beautiful form, and encircled by a halo of light. O King! The high-souled Hari and Hara, of mighty valor, were astonished to see this Fire, emitted from Brahmâ. Next came out of the body of S’ankara, His fiery spirit, quite in abundance and very wonderful to behold; it was silvery white, terrible, unbearable, and incapable of being seen even with difficulty. It extended like a mountain and looked horrible as if the incarnation of the Tamo Guna like another Tamo Guna (S’iva is the incarnation of Tamo Guna that destroys everything). It was very surprising to the Devas and very fearful to the Daityas. Next a dazzling light of blue colour emanated from the body of Visnu. The light that came out of the body of Indra was hardly bearable, of a beautiful variegated colour, and comprised in itself the three qualities. Thus masses of lights came out respectively from Kuvera, Yama, Fire and Varuna. The other Devas, too, gave their shares of fiery lights, very lustrous and splendid. Then these all united into a great Mass of Fire and Light. Like another Himalayan mountain shone full their lustrous Divine light; Visnu and the other Devas were all extremely surprised to see this. While the Devas were thus looking steadfastly on that Fire, an exquisitely handsome Lady was born out of it, causing excitement and wonder to all. This Lady was Mahâ Laksmî; composed of the three qualities of the three colours, beautiful, and fascinating to the universe. Her face was white, eyes were black, her lips were red and the palms of her hands were copper-red. She was adorned with divine ornaments. The Goddess was now manifest with eighteen hands, though She had a thousand hands (in Her unmanifested state). Now She became manifest out of the mass of fire, for the destruction of the Asuras.
47-52. Janamejaya said :– O Best of the Munis! O Krisna! You are highly fortunate and you are all-knowing. Kindly describe, in detail the birth of Her body. O Deva! Please say whether the energies of all the gods united into one or remained separate? Whether Her body and Her limbs were all luminous. Was it that Her face, nose, eyes, etc., and all other parts of Her body were created out of the different fires respectively or whether was it that those limbs were fashioned when the different fires blended into one huge mass? Describe, in detail, the origin of the body and the several limbs thereof; also inform me the limbs that were produced out of the corresponding Deva’s fiery part; as well tell me the several ornaments and several weapons given by the several Devas respectively. I am very desirous to hear all these from your lotus-like mouth. O Brahmân! Hearing from your lotus-like mouth the life and doings of Mahâ Laksmî, the sweet juice as they are, I am as yet not satiated (and am desirous to hear more).
Secondly,I changed the question from "Who is Mahishasura Mardini?" to "Is Mahishasura Mardini Lakshmi or Durga?" to avoid confusion as to waht I am asking for.