She is the Goddess of Autumn and Harvest. Some of the innumerable names of Durga are Amba, Ambika or Ambika Devi. She is variously addressed as Amra, Kusmandini, or Simvahini. In her mula-mantra she is addressed as Amra-Kusmandini. Mother Ambika belongs to the Shakti cult. In Brahmanical mythology, Ambika is generally the name of Parvathi, consort of Siva. In the
Amarakosa, Goddess Ambika has three meanings; the name of Parvathi, the Mother Goddess Devi, and the mother of Dattatreya. In the Rigveda the sense of ‘mother’ is expressed by Amba or Ambitama. Also in the Rigvedic age, Goddess Ambika was
the Mother Goddess.
RUDRA: The name Rudra is used as a name for Shiva in the Rig Veda. In Rig Veda 2.33, he is described as the ‘Father of the Rudras’ the group of storm gods. The Rudram is also one of the most sacred hymns of Hinduism found both in the Rig and Yajur Vedas and invoking Shiva as the epithet for Indra, Mitra and Agni. The Panchakshara and Mrityunjaya Mantra mantras are found in the the Sri Rudram. Rudra represents the fierce aspects of Siva.
Goddess Ambika is described both as the sister or consort of Rudra in the
Vajasabeyi Samhita III:58. In the Taittiriya Brahmana 220.127.116.11, Verse 18.104.22.168
also speaks of the same relationship of brother and sister between Ambika and
Rudra and a sister showing no mercy towards the wicked. The commentator of this
Brahmana, the sage Mahidhara, states that Ambika assumes the form of autumn. She
kills the enemies by way of creating diseases during this season. She creates
comforts for her devotes so that they are not affected in this duration.
Mahidhara states that the terrible forms of Ambika and Rudra, are pacified
by sacrifices and offering of oblations. It implies that Durga is most active
during the autumnal season, destroying evil. Her worship, done at this time,
will naturally be propitious. In any case, the popular belief is that Durga is
easily pleased by the devotee's call, and she is ready to protect us always. So
to worship her is our greatest good fortune. Let's worship her to our heart's
DEPICTION: The central essence of the Goddess is her smile, a
benign face and motherliness. Common depiction represents Mother with two or
four hands. Some mantras describe Her complexion as the red colour of
vermillion. She has three eyes referred to as ‘Triyambake’. The left eye
represents desire-moon, the right eye, action-sun and the central eye,
desire-fire. Her crown is jewelled with diamonds and rubies. The crescent adorns
the crown. In one hand Mother holds a vessel full of gems and lotus in the
other. Her right hand is the varada pose with a pomegranate in her palm.
In her standing position she is on a jar of gems. Otherwise Mother is
seated on her vahana, the lion or a tiger with eight arms, holding a lotus and a
fillet. She also holds, the conch to symbolise the Pranava, bows and arrows,
thunderbolt, the sudharshana chakra, sword and Trishul.These represent eight
quadrants in Hinduism suggesting that she protects from all directions. Her
multi-arms are weaponed. The tiger symbolises mastery over the three gunas.
There are depictions showing Mother in a padmasana, seated on a lotus pedestal.
At times Mother has a child on her lap. Some art shows Mother decorated with
ornmanets and a tastefully decorated sirshachakra. She wears a pointed
JAINISM: In the Jain tradition Ambika is revered as Shri
Ambika Devi. She is also portrayed as Yaksi. Yaksis are dedicated mythical
attendant deities or protector goddesses. The Uddamershvara Tantra contains a
list of thirty-six yakshinis. Yakshis in ancient literature are known as sylvan
deities. Ambika-yakshi’s association with a tree is natural and should not be
surprising. However, none of the other yakhis are shown sitting or standing
under a tree. This could be the conception of Mother Goddess and the Brahmanical
deity Durga in prakriti or nature. Also Mother Goddess in Brahmanical rites are
invoked with Amra-pallavas meaning the tender leaves of a mango tree. Amra means
In Jain tradition, Mother in her yakshi role is known as Sasana
Devi. Here she takes several names such as Ambai or Amra Kushmandi with eight
arms. Jains worshiped Mother as the female principle representing fertility and
one who gives protection from demons. She is depicted as gold complexioned
sitting on a lion or in lalitasana on cushion and four arms. She carries a mango
and mango tree branch called amra-lumbi. She is said to have 2 children,
Priyankara and Shubankara, both sons.
SIVA PARVATHI: After the death of
Shiva's first love Sati, He isolated himself into a dark cave buried amongst the
snow covered peaks of the Himalayas. He rejected the world outside so distraught
was he by the loss of Sati, his first true love. The Lord’s absence was made use
by Taraka. He drove out the devas and gods from the heavens. The gods needed a
warrior god to regain the celestial realm. Lord Brahma, who was approached for
help proclaims that only Shiva can father such a warrior. But he was immersed in
isolation and meditation.
Lord Shiva was all Bliss as he immersed in
meditation. He was oblivious to the problems of the gods. As he performed tapas,
meditations that produce great heat and energy, his mind was filled with great
knowledge and his body became resplendent with energy. This was not going to be
of any use to fight Taraka. Brahma approaches Mother Parvathi. The story of
Parvathy going into severe penance as Aparna and Kama being burnt down to ashes
is only too well known. Parvathi wins the Lord’s heart. After the marriage,
Parvati moves to Mount Kailash, the residence of Shiva.
Shiva becomes a family man. But as Yogeshvara his hermit ways were not
abandoned. His meditation continued as he immersed himself in spiritual dreams.
He did abandon house-hold chores and responsibilities. While this angered
Parvathi, Mother was a great balancer. She came to terms with his unconventional
ways and make peace. The consequent marital bliss between Shakti and Shiva
ensured harmony between Matter and Spirit and brought stability and peace to the
planet Earth. Parvati thus became Goddess Ambika Goddess of the Household, of
marriage, motherhood and family. To them Lord Skanda, the Warrior God was
DEVI MAHATMYA: Goddess Parvati is referred by different names
like Amba, Gauri, Lalita, Kali Uma, Durga, Ambika, Haimavati etc. Amba and
Ambika refer her to be divine mother of all, Lalita represents her charming
beauty while Durga, the goddess beyond reach and Kali, Goddess of Destruction
are considered her most fierce and powerful forms.
In the battle to
kill the demon Raktabija, Goddess Ambika or Durga led the Eight Matrikas in
battle. The other Matrikas are Narashmi, Vaishnavi, Kumari, Maheshvari, Brahmi.
(bottom row, from left) Varahi, Aindri, Chamunda or Kali. Generally, Mother
Ambika is seen as Shakti power. She is simply Durga existing eternally and
abiding in her own sweet nature. She inhabits the hearts and minds of her
devotees. She shapes, nurtures and dissolves names and forms. Mother is also the
spiritual energy that creates the balance uniting man and God. Ambika is divine
force of Shakti.
MANTRA IN SUKLA YAJURVEDA: Ambe Ambalike Ambitame na
ma nayati kasena; sasatyalvakah subhadrikam Kumpilavasinim.
STHUTHI is a Tamil prayer to mother Goddess
Oh Kamakshi of Kanchi,
Oh Meenakshi of Madurai,
Oh Visalakshi of Kasi,
Oh mother of mercy,
this is the time, show mercy on me.
Your grace should always be there ,
please come Oh, mother,
You have to give me gold and other wealth , please
You would ask me why and satisfy my hunger because you are my
Why is it that my face blooms like a flower when I see your
I saw in your divine hands the greatness to shower
Please come everywhere, for you are my soul , the goddess of
Please remove my sorrow , for I would give you poems in epic
Please give me stable fame without stops, Why the hesitation
I saw you in the greenness of crops , Oh the greatest
Your grace in all living beings is truth ,
Oh greatest power of
the world, I surrender to you.
Om Mata Durgayeh Namaha, On Namah
Parvathe Pathayeh, Har Har Mahadeva.