Durgā - the one difficult to be gained. Understanding the inner significance of the 32 names of Ma Durgā is necessary for holding her in thought and meditation while reciting them.
The Thirty-two names of Mother Durgā
Mother Durgā is the goddess of wisdom, protection and glory. She blesses the devotees with the wisdom of Maheshvari and the protective strength of the Mahakali. Difficult to understand her ways and attain her Grace. Thus she is called Durgā - the one difficult to be gained.
In this short write up the thirty-two names of Mother Durgā are explained with their etymological meanings. Understanding the inner significance of these names is necessary for holding her in thought and meditation while reciting the names.
Before attempting to comprehend the 32 names of the all-encompassing Mother Goddess we must understand the word ‘durga’. It refers to that which is difficult (duh) to attain or reach (ga). Without practicing selfless bhakti, cleanliness, routine and ritual it is not possible to have the Grace of the goddess. It also means that all that is necessary to to be practiced in order to receive her Grace is also difficult to do durgama.
And now we understand through the 32 names below that just anyone cannot be blessed with boons and blessings by Mother Durgā. They must be earned with tapas. Only a true sādhaka with pure heart and mind can earn her blessing and darshan. She is the terrific destroyer of all that is evil in the physical and other worlds. Let’s learn the meaning of the thirty-names with their inner significances.
The divine mother who is invincible and unassailable. The goddess whose blessings can be received with much rigorous sādhanā.
The one who brings an end to anything that brings painful difficulties to us.
The one who dispels all ‘āpadā’ that is danger and problems; the mother Goddess who is the dispeller of adversities. She gives absolute protection to her sincere devotees and saves them from all known or unknown dangers.
The one who cleaves off all kinds of physical and spiritual challenges obstructing the path of her true devotees.
The one who gets all difficult things accomplished for her sādhaka.
She, who destroys the ‘durga’ or forts that confine us mentally or metaphorically and liberates us from all bondages and limitations.
The magnanimous one who delivers her sādhaka from all formidable difficulties.
The one who destroys all terrible components troubling her devotees.
The one who dispels all durgama-s or difficulties, miseries, afflictions, sufferings etc.
The one who imparts the jñāna or knowledge which is not easily attainable.
The one who, like a terrible forest fire, destroys the world of the divisive forces.
The one whose domain is not easy to enter.
The one who brings to the fore, all that is unknown and is hidden and difficult to attain. The mother who illuminates our mind and senses by bringing forth concealed knowledge.
She who is embodiment of the self that cannot be realised easily, like atma-jñāna. She is ātma-jñāna herself.
The one who gives guidance and who handholds her devotees in the difficult path he treads.
She herself is the knowledge difficult to attain. She is the most subtle, most sublime knowledge. She is the source of all vidya and art forms.
She is the one whose support is not easy to receive. It must be earned with strict and devotional austerity.
The one who is the source and foundation of all knowledge that is unattainable. She who is the bearer and dispenser of the highest, supreme and sacred knowledge.
(bhaas means to appear/shine). The one who appears in dhyana (meditation).
We cannot manifest the Mother Goddess through ordinary meditation. Only those who can perform intense dhyana along with purity of thought and action can earn the blessing of the Divine Mother appearing in and illuminating in meditation.
(moh means delusion) When the Divine Mother used maya and moh on the demon Mahishasur, he could not comprehend what hit him. He was confused, disoriented and destroyed.
Durgamoha is the one who is unfathomable and incomprehensible. She is enigmatic. Only a saadhak with complete awareness can do so.
She is the one who can make the unattainable, attainable.
She, the one who holds in her artha, the meaning the purpose of all that one finds incomprehensible.
All adverse forces that can destroy one at an individual or collective level can be destroyed by her. She who is the annihilator of asuric (negative) and adverse forces which are unassailable.
She who is the bearer of the most powerful weapons which cannot be handled by others.
She, whose form is complex and indiscernible.
(durgama = difficult). She who is the epitome of all difficulties as she has power to bring them under control.
The one who is not easily attainable or understood.
She who is the ruler, the controller, the master, the ishwari - of all difficult situations. She rules over all impossible situations and has the power to keep them under control or destroy them completely.
(bheema = terrible) She, the one who is terrifying to all those who create complications and obstacles.
(bhama = shining) She who shines or appears when there are obstacles (as her devotees need her then).
She who illuminates and radiates as she annihilates negative forces.
She is the one who slices and slashes all obstacles and hindrances and shatters them.
दुर्गा दुर्गार्तिशमनी दुर्गापद्विनिवारिणी ।
दुर्गमच्छेदिनी दुर्गसाधिनी दुर्गनाशिनी ॥
दुर्गतोद्धारिणी दुर्गानिहन्त्री दुर्गमापहा ।
दुर्गमा दुर्गमालोका दुर्गमात्मस्वरूपिणी।
दुर्गमार्गप्रदा दुर्गमविद्या दुर्गमाश्रिता ॥
दुर्गमज्ञानसंस्थाना दुर्गमध्यानभासिनी ।
दुर्गमोहा दुर्गमगा दुर्गमार्थस्वरूपिणी ॥
दुर्गभीमा दुर्गभामा दुर्गभा दुर्गदारिणी ।
नामावलिमिमां यस्तु दुर्गाया मम मानवः॥
पठेत् सर्वभयान्मुक्तो भविष्यति न संशयः ॥
durgā durgārtiśamanī durgāpadvinivāriṇī .
durgamacchedinī durgasādhinī durganāśinī ..
durgatoddhāriṇī durgānihantrī durgamāpahā .
durgamā durgamālokā durgamātmasvarūpiṇī.
durgamārgapradā durgamavidyā durgamāśritā ..
durgamajñānasaṃsthānā durgamadhyānabhāsinī .
durgamohā durgamagā durgamārthasvarūpiṇī ..
durgabhīmā durgabhāmā durgabhā durgadāriṇī .
nāmāvalimimāṃ yastu durgāyā mama mānavaḥ..
paṭhet sarvabhayānmukto bhaviṣyati na saṃśayaḥ ..
Please check the following link for the sadhana of the above 32 names of the Divine Mother.