I bow again and again to the Devi, who lives in all creatures in the form of Mother. In this creation, I am one, and I am many as well, in various forms
– Srimad Devi Bhagavatam 6:11
Tonight marks the start of Navratri, a celebration worshiping Mother Durga in her various forms. Many Hindu devotees embark on a nine night (nav meaning nine, rat meaning night) fast. They conclude the festival with a grand feast on the 10th day of Dassera. The 10th day celebrates the anniversary of Durga slaying Mahishasura, a demon that terrorized both Earth and the heavens.
This narrative is also a metaphor with a deeper spiritual meaning. During these nine nights Hindus appeal for spiritual wealth, knowledge, and strength in slaying their own mental Mahishasuras such as pride, ignorance, or attachment to trivial matters of the world. These internal demons battle to steer the mind and soul away from its Higher purpose.
Learn more about the feminine concept of God in Hinduism and Islam here: Shakti and Sakina