When Goddess Durga comes out from Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva & other goddesses, where was Goddess Parvati then? I am asking this question because Parvati was an avatar of Goddess Adi Parashakti and Durga too.

Does the later appearance of Durga mean she was an avatar of Parvati?

  • Please read Durga Saptashati in full for clarity. Oct 21, 2015 at 15:17

5 Answers 5


From the texts it appears that there is a deep connection between Parvati and Durga and generally we believe that the former has emerged from the latter. However Devi Bhagwat Puran Chapter 28 of Book 7 gives the account of Parvati transforming into Shatakshi and then Shakambhari who was renamed Durga after she killed the demon Durgam:

There, Goddess Parvati went to Himalayas where Gods were praying to her. Gods informed her about the drought condition over the earth. Seeing the dreadful condition of the earth, she created innumerable eyes within Her body and became visible. That Upholder of the Universe, showed Her form and began to shed waters from Her eyes. For nine nights continuously, the heavy rains poured down out of the waters flowing from Her eyes. Seeing the misery of all the people, out of pity, She showered incessantly tears from Her eyes; and all the people and medicines were satisfied. What more than this, out of those tears, the rivers began to flow. The Gods that remained hidden in the mountain caves, now came out. Then the sages, united with the Gods, began to praise and sing hymns to the Goddess. Then, Shatakshi Devi transformed her appearance into a wonderful form, her eight hands held foods like grains, cereals, vegetables, greens, fruits, meat and other herbs, she wore a beautiful garment, this new form of Goddess is known as Shakambhari. Goddess Parvati transformed her appearance. Now she looked ferocious in her new appearance. She was well equipped with all sorts of lethal weapons and was mounted on a lion. She thundered loudly and challenged Durgamasur.

69-73. The Devas said :-- “O Auspicious One! Thou art the only Cause of this Illusion of this world, presenting an unreal appearance. So Thou art the Lady of all the beings. So, Obeisance to Thee, the S’âkambharî! Hundred-eyed! O Auspicious One! Thou art sung in all the Upanisadas; The Destroyer of the Durgama Asura! We bow down to Thee, the Lord of Mâyâ, the Dweller in the five sheaths Anna, Rasa, etc. We meditate upon Thee, the Lady of the universe, as demonstrated by Pranava Aum, whom the chief Munis meditate with their Nirvikalpa hearts. Thou art the Mother of the endless crores of universe! Thou assumest the Divine Bodies at times for our welfare! Thou art the Mother of Brahmâ, Visnu and others; we bow down to Thee with all our heart.

74-80. Vyâsa said :-- O King! Thus when Brahmâ, Visnu, Hara and the other Devas praised and chanted various hymns to the Devî and worshipped Her with various excellent articles, She became instantly pleased. Then the Devî, graciously pleased, handed over the Vedas to the Brâhmanas. At last, She, the Cuckoo-voiced, made a special address to them. “These Vedas are the excellent parts of My body. So preserve these with your greatest care. The more so, when you all have seen with your own eyes what a great calamity befell on you when these Vedas went away out of your hands! You should all worship and serve Me (the Controller of the Space) always; there is no other thing higher than this that I can advise you for your welfare. Read always these My excellent glorious deeds. I will be pleased thereby and will destroy all your bad calamities and misfortunes. My name is Durgâ, because I have killed this demon Durgama; so he, who will take My name Durgâ and S’atâksî, he will be able to unveil my Mâyâ and walk freely. No use in telling more than this that I tell you now, O Devas, the Essence of all essences :-- Both the Suras and the Asuras would always serve Me and Me, alone.”

So going by this account, Durga is Parvati returning to her original form rather than an incarnation.


Yes and that's why Bhagavati DurgA is mentioned at many places, in the Devi BhAgavata PurAna, as Ganesha's mother. And we know that Goddess PArvati is the mother of Ganesha.

By Her command came out five Forms of Her, either for the purpose of creation or for bestowing Favour and Grace to the Bhaktas (devotees). Durgâ the Mother of Ganes’a, comes, as the first, the most auspicious, loved by S’iva. She is Nârâyanî, Visnu Mâyâ, and of the nature of Pûrna Brahmâ (the Supreme Brahmâ). This eternal, all auspicious Devî is the Presiding Deity of all the Devas and is, therefore, worshipped and praised by Brahmâ and the other Devas, Munis, and Manus. This Bhagavatî Durgâ Devî, (when She gets pleased) destroys all the sorrows, pains and troubles of the Bhaktas that have taken Her refuge, and gives them Dharma, everlasting name and fame, all auspicious things and bliss and all the happiness,

From the PurAna's Book 9, Chapter 1.


Durga was the Form of Maa Shakti(Parvati) and when mahisasur had got boon that only that woman can kill him who has powers of Tridev so bramha vishnu mahesh provided Parvati all their powers Than parvati transform into durga and killed mahisasur and came back to her normal form Parvati

  • 2
    Hello and welcome to Hinduism SE. You should cite sources
    – Vedantism
    Feb 15, 2018 at 3:14

Yes, this is the truth that Goddess Durga was an avatar of Lord Shiva's wife Goddess Parvati.

When Mahishasura was torturing many people, Lord Shiva told Parvati that she is the one who can kill Mahishasura. Then she took blessings from Shiva. After that Goddess Parvati manifested herself as her avatar Durga from Brahma,Vishnu and Shiva. When Mahishasura had defeated Indra and became the king of heaven,the Gods went to meet Shiva and Vishnu with Brahma. Mahishasura was torturing the people,sages and children. When Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu heard about the incident, they had become very angry. Then Brahma,Vishnu, Shiva and other Gods have created a Goddess from their anger. That was Goddess Durga the avatar of Parvati. Then all Gods had given their all weapons and powers to Durga. Parvati's father King Himavan had given Durga a powerful lion. Then Goddess Durga told Mahishasura to fight with her. Then the battle between Goddess Durga and Mahishasura begins. Durga had defeated all armies of Mahishasura with her powers and weapons. Mahishasura took a form of elephant and Durga had beheaded the elephant with Lord Vishnu's weapon Sudarshan Chakra. Then Mahishasura again took an animal form and that was a buffalo. Then Durga's lion had killed the buffalo. Then Durga fought with Mahishasura and defeated him. And then Durga had put the trident of Lord Shiva in Mahishasura's chest. Then Mahishasura had died. Then all Gods and Goddesses were so happy.
After that Durga was transformed back into her normal form Goddesses Parvati.

  • 2
    you should cite sources.
    – Bhavin
    Nov 4, 2015 at 6:18

Short answer : NO

Long answer It is a common misconception outside the Shâkta circle that Bhagavatî Durgâ is a manifestation of Pârvatî Devî, the wife of Bhagavâna Shankara.

Brahmā said:— O Brahmin, best of my sons, listen attentively to what I did when the lord Viṣṇu went away. I began a continuous laudatory prayer of the Goddess Durgā, the beloved of Śiva, the creator of the universe, of the nature of Vidyā and Avidyā and identical with the pure supreme Brahman.[Shiva Purâna:2:2:11:2-3]

O celestial sage, on being thus lauded Caṇḍikā, the mystic slumber, appeared before me.[Shiva Purâna:2:211:6]

O sage, seeing her who was Śiva’s Energy herself, directly in front of me, my lofty shoulders bent down with devotion and I eulogised her after due obeisance.[Shiva Purâna:2:2:11:9]

Brahmā said:— O Goddess, be pleased with me and listen. O omniscient Goddess, I speak out my mind only since you have commanded me thus. O Goddess of devas, Śiva the Yogin, who is your husband and who as Rudra manifested Himself formerly through my forehead has now occupied Kailāsa. The lord of Goblins is performing penance all alone. Since He does not desire a wife He is without a wife. He is free from mental aberrations. O Satī, fascinate Him lest He should cast His glance on another lady. Excepting you none will be able to capture His mind. Hence, you alone should fascinate Śiva through your beauty. O Śivā, being born as Dakṣa’s daughter you should become Rudra’s wife. Just as assuming the physical form of Lakṣmī you delight Viṣṇu, so act similarly to Rudra for the benefit of the universe.[Shiva Purâna:2:2:11:20-25]

Now the identity of the one who is mentioned by the names of Durgâ, Chandikâ, Shivâ is described

A form that goes everywhere, that has all forms, that sees all, that is the cause of all, that should be respected by all, that is at the beginning of all, that bestows everything, and that sanctifies everything should be created (So it wished) and hence created that form of Īśvara of pure nature. The original Being without a second, with neither beginning nor end, that illuminates everything, that is in the form of Cit (pure knowledge), that which is termed Supreme Brahman, the all-pervasive and undecaying, vanished, The manifest form of the formless Being is Sadāśiva. Scholars of the ancient and succeeding ages have sung of it as Īśvara. Īśvara though alone, then created the physical form of Śakti from his body. This Śakti did not affect his body in any way. This Śakti is called by various names. Pradhāna, Prakṛti, Māyā, Guṇavatī, Parā, the mother of Buddhi Tattva (The cosmic Intelligence), Vikṛtivarjitā (without modification). That Śakti is Ambikā, Prakṛti and the goddess of all. She is the prime cause and the mother of the three deities. She has eight arms. Her face wears a peculiar splendour, the splendour of a thousand moons. Thousands of stars perpetually sparkle round her face. She is bedecked in various ornaments. She has various weapons. She is capable of various movements. Her eyes beam like a full blown lotus. She has a brilliance which could hardly be conceived. She is the generating cause of all. She sprang up singly as Māyā. In her union she manifested in various forms.[Shiva Purâna:2:1:6:16-24]

The first primordial Śakti of Śiva the great Brahman, who is called Umā, is the great mother of the three worlds. Her two incarnations—Satī and Haimavatī, have been heard, O intelligent Sūta. Please mention her other incarnations too.[Shiva Purâna:5:45:3-4]

The following verses spoken by Shrî Sûta after this within the same chapter describes the killing of Madhu-Kaitabha under the influence of Mahâkâlî. The following chapters then recount the killing of Mahishâsura & Shumbha-Nishumbha. From this & other verses quoted above, it is clear that Bhagavatî Durgâ is NOT a manifestation of Pârvatî Devî.

It is seen that some people are quoting from the Devîbhâgavata Purâna to justify their errored notion.

Vyāsa said :-- O King! Hearing thus,Śaṅkara smiled a little and spoke charming words to the Lotus-born in the following manner :-- O Bibhu! It is You that gave before this boon to Mahiṣa; and therefore it is you that have wrought this mischief. The Dānava(Mahishâsura) has become so strong a hero that he has caused terror to all the Devas even. Now where can we get such a noble woman who becomes able to kill that Dānava, elated with pride. My wife nor your wife ought to go to battle; even if they, the good ladies go, how will they be able to fight? The fortunate wife of Indra, too, is not expert in the art of warfare; where else there is another lady who can kill this demon, blinded with pride. I, therefore, propose this; let us all go today to Viṣṇu and, praising him with hymns, engage him quickly to this cause of the gods. Viṣṇu is foremost amongst the intelligent; therefore it is highly advisable to execute all actions after duly consulting with him. He, by dint of his high intelligence, will find out means and effect our purpose.[Devîbhâgavata Purâna:5:7:48-55]

The emboldened words clearly show that Bhagavatî Durgâ isn't a manifestation of the wife of Bhagavâna Shankara like Bhadrakâlî, the slayer of Dârukâsura mentioned in Linga Purâna. If She had been so, then why Bhagavâna Shankara isn't addressed by names like 'Lord/Beloved of Durgâ/Chandikâ/Kâtyayanî' etc ?

The counterargument which is forwarded is : Then why is Bhagavatî Durgâ is addressed by the names of 'Pârvatî', 'Beloved of Shiva', 'Spouse of Bhava' etc ? The answer lies in the same logic by which names that are specifically used to address Bhagavâna Krishna(like Govinda & Vâsudeva) are also used to address Bhagavâna Vishnu.

One can argue that Bhagavatî Kaushikî emerged out out of the skin of Pârvatî Devî to validate their argument but I would like to tell them:- Both Shiva Purâna & Vishnu Purâna agree that Bhagavâna Kâlâgnirudra manifested out of an angry Prajâpati Brahmâ's forehead but still He is regarded as an expansion of Bhagavâna Shankara not of Paramesthi Brahmâ.

All this arguments justifies the fact that Bhagavatî Durgâ & Devî Pârvatî are the manifestations of Âdyâshakti Mahâmâyâ.

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