The Goddess Durga is the mother of the universe and believed to be the power behind the work of creation, preservation, and destruction of the world. Since time immemorial she has been worshipped as the supreme power of the Supreme Being and has been mentioned in many scriptures. Her nine forms are Skundmata, Kusumanda, Shailaputri, Kaalratri, Brahmacharini, Maha Gauri, Katyayani, Chandraghanta and Siddhidatri. Goddess Durga is depicted as having eight or ten hands. These represent eight quadrants or ten directions in Hinduism. This suggests that she protects the devotees from all directions. Her vehicle, the lion represents power, will and determination. Mother Durga riding the lion symbolizes her mastery over all these qualities. This suggests to the devotee that one has to possess all these qualities to get over the demon of ego.
Hindus believe that goddess Durga protects her devotees from the evils of the world and at the same time removes their miseries.