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Significance Behind the 10-hands Iconography of Durga Maa
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Significance Behind the 10-hands Iconography of Durga Maa

Goddess Durga is revered as the mother of all Goddesses and is known for her fierce power, compassion, and protective nature. She is often depicted in a beautiful red saree, with a glorious crown, seated on a lion with multiple arms, each holding a different weapon or symbol, representing her multifaceted abilities and divine strength. 

But have you ever wondered exactly how many hands Goddess Durga has and what they signify? If yes, then this blog will help you understand and learn about the significance of the 10-armed iconography of Goddess Durga. 

The Significance of Durga’s Multiple Arms

The Significance of Durga’s Multiple Arms

In Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga’s numerous arms are not just an artistic choice but a powerful representation of her divine capabilities. Each arm signifies a different aspect of her strength and protective nature. They symbolize her readiness to fight against the evil and protect her devotees. Her multiple hands also signify that she is all-powerful and capable of performing multiple tasks simultaneously to maintain balance and harmony in the universe.

How Many Hands Does Durga Actually Have?

How Many Hands Does Durga Actually Have

Goddess Durga is typically depicted with ten arms, though in some representations she may have eight, eighteen, or even more. The ten-armed depiction is the most common and widely recognized, which symbolizes her complete control over the universe and the ten directions - north, south, east, west, northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest, above, and below.

Also Read -  108 Names of Goddess Durga | Ashtottara Shatanamavali of Goddess Durga

Significance of Each Hand of Goddess Durga

Each hand of Goddess Durga holds a specific object or is in a particular mudra (gesture), each carrying its own unique significance:

  • Trishul (Trident): Represents the three qualities of nature - creation, preservation, and destruction. It signifies that Durga has control over all these aspects.
  • Sudarshan Chakra (Discus): Symbolizes the eternal nature of the universe and the power of righteousness.
  • Lotus Flower: Represents wisdom and liberation. The lotus blooms even in muddy waters, symbolizing purity and spiritual awakening.
  • Sword: Signifies knowledge and the sharpness of intellect. It also represents the destruction of ignorance and evil.
  • Bow and Arrow: The bow and arrow together symbolize energy. By holding both in one hand, Durga shows her control over both potential and kinetic energy.
  • Thunderbolt (Vajra): Represents firmness of spirit and determination. Just as the thunderbolt can destroy anything it strikes, Durga’s resolve is unbreakable.
  • Conch Shell: Symbolizes the sound of creation and the primordial sound of the universe, ‘Om’. It also represents purity and auspiciousness.
  • Club (Gada): This signifies her strength and the power to destroy evil.
  • Shield: Represents protection. Durga is always ready to shield her devotees from harm.
  • Hand in Abhaya Mudra (Gesture of Fearlessness): This gesture assures her devotees of protection and fearlessness.

The Spiritual Significance of Durga’s Form

Significance of Each Hand of Goddess Durga

Goddess Durga’s multifaceted form is a reminder that the divine is always present in our lives, offering protection and guidance. Her many hands, each with its distinct weapon or symbol, represent her ability to take on various roles to protect the world from chaos and evil. This visual depiction inspires devotees to cultivate strength, wisdom, and fearlessness in their own lives, reminding them that Durga Mata is always there to support them.


Goddess Durga, with her many arms, stands as a powerful symbol of divine strength, protection, and compassion. Each hand and each weapon she holds carries profound symbolism, reminding us of her omnipotent nature and her tireless efforts to maintain cosmic balance. By understanding the significance of Durga’s multifaceted form, we can draw inspiration and strength to overcome our own challenges, knowing that we have the divine mother’s support and protection.

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