Durga and her various faces
As per modern historians and geologists, the world as we know today was one big landmass called the ‘Pangea’ many thousand years ago. If one reads the creation story in various cultures, they talk about a flood, and a saviour. So then, does it mean that all of us—geographies and cultures irrespective—have common roots, a common origin, and are governed by the same energy?
Another name for goddess Durga is Isha. It is also the name given to the evening prayer in Islam. The name also finds a mention in the Hebrew language, as the first woman on earth. In the biblical account of Adam and Eve, Adam is addressed as Ish (another name for Shiva) and Eve as Isha. The first words the Torah quotes Adam as saying appear right after his wife was created. He gives her a name, but also mentions a connection between his name and hers: Then the man said, ‘This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one shall be called woman (isha) for from man (ish) she was taken’ (Bereshit 2:23).
Goddess Durga as depicted in the Vedic texts and as revealed to certain sadhaks at Dhyan Ashram rides a lion. She is known to be the fiercest of warriors, the warmest of mothers and the most passionate lover. This iconography matches with the description of goddesses Al-Lat and Innana from pre-Islamic Arabia and among the triple goddesses worshipped in pre-Islamic Arabia and ancient Sumeria. Al-Lat was among the triple goddesses worshipped in Arabia before 500 AD, and is often seen riding a lion.
Innana was the Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, justice, and political power—once again depicted with a lion. She was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians under the name Ishtar. Cannanites worshipped her as Quetesh or Asherah of the triple goddesses Qudshu-Astarte-Anat.
Religions are a way of life, the reader will be surprised if I say the last religion to come was Hinduism, the first Jewism. Before this it was Sanatan Dharma, the worship of one formless god. The world over, let’s get that stage and stop conversion by luring people of different faiths by money, jobs or wives. There is a dire need to bring people of all faiths on a single platform and move together and root out all evil.
The writer is the spiritual head of Dhyan Foundation.