Durga Rising: How Goddess Durga Inspires Indian Women Leaders
By: Rachita Sharma, Managing Editor | Tuesday, 24 October 2023
Today we mark Dussehra which is a special day for Indians across the country. The auspicious day also marks the close of the revered Navratri festival. For some, Dussehra is celebrated as the day Demon God, Ravana was slayed by Lord Ram. For others, it is the day Goddess Durga bids adieu to her family and makes her way back to her husband.
For people living in Eastern India, the end of Navratri is a bitter sweet moment. After nine days of revelry and frolic, we bid farewell to our beloved Durga Ma.
As this day comes to a close, it is also the right time to reflect on what Goddess Durga symbolises and how we can imbibe her qualities in our own lives.
The fierce yet benevolent Goddess is especially a source of strength and inspiration to women across the country. Her attributes give us all a blueprint for how we must lead our lives to attain peace, success and happiness.
On this auspicious occasion, we asked women leaders from across India, what Goddess Durga means to them. Here is what they had to say.
Shruti Swaroop, Founder, EMBRACE Consultancy
Goddess Durga has for decades served as a timeless symbol of empowerment and strength for me. My father was a sincere follower of the Goddess with deep faith in HER. Over the years, I have found my strength, power and fearlessness from HER that encourages me to stand up for what is right and against injustice. In an era where gender equality and social justice are paramount, I feel inspired to achieve my goals and fight for what is right against all odds by HER presence.
The Goddess’ story resonates as a powerful narrative of winning over adversities and achieving what she wanted. HER multifaceted nature, depicted with multiple arms, signifies the need for adaptability and multitasking in our fast-paced lives. Durga's compassion offers a reminder of the importance of balance and empathy in a world often driven by competition. Seeking blessings from Goddess this festive season and always… Amio Durga ( I am Durga too)”
Kejal Shah, Co-Founder, BeBetta
“Goddess Durga serves as a powerful source of inspiration for women leaders like myself. Her strength, fearlessness, and determination remind me to face challenges with unwavering courage. Durga's multifaceted personality also encourages embracing versatility and adaptability in leadership. Her compassion and maternal instincts underscore the importance of empathy and nurturing within leadership roles. I aim to embody her resilience, balance, and ability to protect those in need while leading with compassion and fearlessness in my own life, drawing strength from this divine symbol of femininity and power.”
Alka Kapur, Principal, Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh
“In the glorious aura of Goddess Durga, I find not just an icon of divine femininity but a bastion of strength and resilience. As a woman leader, I perceive her as the epitome of empowerment, embodying the courage to face challenges with unwavering determination. Her multifaceted nature, with each of her ten arms symbolizing unique powers, reminds us that we, as women, possess boundless capabilities waiting to be unleashed.
Goddess Durga teaches me the art of balance – to be fierce yet compassionate, powerful yet nurturing. I aspire to emulate her fearlessness and unwavering focus, channelling her energy into my role as a leader. Just as she defeats the forces of darkness, I draw inspiration from her to conquer limitations and illuminate the path for those around me.
In her, I see not just a goddess but a guiding light urging me to embrace my true potential. May her courage echo in my endeavours, guiding me to foster a nurturing, inclusive environment at Modern Public School. Through her divine grace, I am empowered to lead with strength, compassion, and dignity, ensuring that every individual under my guidance thrives and reaches for the stars.”
Riddhi Bhagat, Founder of Binge on Baked
“Goddess Durga, a formidable symbol of strength and resilience, epitomises the very essence of womanhood to me. As a woman leader, her significance resonates profoundly in my journey. She embodies not just strength but the courage that fuels my determination. Like Durga, I draw upon my inner reservoirs of bravery to confront challenges, understanding that fearlessness is the key to overcoming adversity.
I seek to emulate her multifaceted personality, embracing the virtues that define her essence. Her courage instils in me the audacity to face unknown circumstances, while her independence reminds me of the importance of self-reliance. Durga’s empowerment through various weapons teaches me the power of defending oneself, highlighting the strength inherent in every woman. Moreover, her motherly love embodies the nurturing aspect of leadership, fostering an environment where growth and care coexist harmoniously.
Maa Durga symbolises the perfect balance between strength and compassion, urging women to find equilibrium. She reminds us of our divine femininity, inspiring us to embrace our unique qualities. With her blessings, I navigate the realms of leadership, armed with determination and the loving essence of motherhood. May her spirit guide my life journey, enabling me to empower others and champion the cause of women in every endeavour.”
These words from women leaders from across India resonate deep within the hearts and souls of women across the country. Let us draw inspiration from Goddess Durga and hope to embody her traits in the way we lead our lives.