Bharat Mata and Durga
In Maharashtra, Durga is better known as Bhavani, who inspired Chhatrapati Shivaji to fight oppression. In the song Vande Mataram composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Mother India is identified with the Mother Goddess, Durga. The Devi Mahatmyam enunciates our vision of God as mother. She is conceived as Shakti, or energy, and the whole universe is the expression of that Shakti. Having created this world from within herself, she preserves it and finally reabsorbs it at the time of final dissolution. This spiritual truth is sustained by the philosophy that chit shakti, the energy of consciousness, is the ultimate reality behind the universe and that it is masculine-feminine, Brahmn-Maya, Shiva-Shakti and Impersonal-Personal. The masculine aspect is its quiescent state while the feminine form is the active one.
Shiv-Shakti represents the unity of eternity and time. She is Mahavidya and Mahamaya (supreme knowledge and illusion), and Mahamedha and Mahasmriti (great intellect and sharp memory). Durga is the primordial source of everything and manifests all the three gunas, sattva (truth, tranquillity), rajas (passion, restlessness) and tamas (darkness, ignorance). She is the terrible night of periodic cosmic dissolution and the great night of final dissolution.
Durga is prakriti, which is twofold: apara prakriti, or ordinary nature, which is subject to change, and para-prakriti, or higher nature, which sustains the universe.