Mahisha threatened to throw the cosmic order off balance, polluting the earth and sea. The goddess Durga came to defeat him, and in his arrogance sent her a marriage proposal. The goddess replied, “I will only marry he that defeats me in battle.”
Their battle shook mountains and oceans. Mahisha transformed first into a lion, and then an elephant. Armed with Shiva’s trident and Vishnu’s discus, Durga smashed Mahisha’s horns, sheared his lion’s mane and slashed the elephant trunk. She kicked him with her holy feet, and drove the trident into his heart, killing him.
Small image of Durga killing the Buffalo-Demon Mahisha (Durgā Mahiṣāsuramardini). The ten-armed goddess rides proudly on her lion and tranfixes Mahisha with ther trident as he emerges from the decapitated buffalo carcass. Made of gilded silver and brass