Durga (दुर्गा) is a major Hindu goddess, worshipped as a principal aspect of the mother goddess Mahadevi. She is associated with protection, strength, motherhood, destruction, and wars. Goddess Ambika, also known as Durga Maa and Ambe Maa, is one of the Goddesses, who is worshipped and accepted by many religions in India. In West Bengal, Amba Mata is known as Durga Maa. She is also known as Amba Maa, Bahuchara Maa, Kalika Maa, Bhadrakali Maa, Maa Bhavani and many more names.
Maa Durga or Adi Parashakti or Maha Kali or Bhavani are the different names given to the same Divine Shakti. She is the consort of Shiv. Maa Durga represents Power or Shakti or Energy of the Universe. She is Prakriti or Mother Nature. She is depicted as female because in the natural world the female gives birth to her children and plays the role of a Mother. Maa Durga is Jagdamba or Mother of the whole universe. Shiv is the cosmos while Shakti is His Energy. She is the other half of Shiv, Ardhnareshwar. Maa Durga is depicted to have 8 or 10 arms, each hand carrying a weapon or sacred item. Her vaahan or vehicle is a Tiger or Lion. Tiger represents unlimited power while Lion represents beastly desires. Her riding on a lion depicts She has conquered all beastly desires. She is the force/ energy behind Kundalini, the dormant energy coiled like a serpent at the base of the spine of every human.
Maa Durga has 9 forms or avatars, known as NavDurga. She also has 10 other divine forms of Vidya or knowledge, known as Dus Mahavidyas. She in her Katyayani form (the 6th form in NavDurga) slayed the notorious and mighty buffalo demon Mahishasura. This earned her the famous epithet Mahishasura Mardini, meaning slayer of Mahishasura.