Durga and the Demon Mahisha (updated)

August 27, 2017

Mysore (officially renamed as ‘Mysuru’) is the third most populous and third largest city in the state of Karnataka, India.  It is a popular destination for Ashtanga Yoga practitioners who flock to attend the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute where he taught until his death in 2009. Students now study under the guidance of his grandson, R Sharath Jois and his daughter R Saraswati Jois.


The name Mysore is an anglicised version of Mahishūru, which means the abode of Mahisha. Mahisha refers to Mahisha-asura, a mythological demon who according to Hindu mythology was killed by the Goddess Durga.



The Story

The demon king Mahisha would make preparations for war to expand his kingdom. Empowered by a gift from god that no man could kill him, Mahisha's power and might was unparalleled. He ruled all over the earth for many years. However Mahisha did not just conquer kingdoms, he destroyed them. People feared him but did not know what to do to escape. Anyone who stood up against Mahisha was mercilessly killed.