Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of arts and knowledge and also the daughter of Goddess Durga. It is not quite known whether she took part in the battle against Mahishasura, but this quartet [along with Ganesha, Lakshmi and Karthik] is always seen during Durga Puja.
In India, specially among practicising Hindus, if a person's foot comes into contact with anything that embodies the arts [pen, paper, a musical instrument and so on], he or she does an apologetic 'pranam'; touch the object with the right hand and lift the fingertips to own forehead while seeking blessings. This is owing to the belief that all these objects signify the abode of learning and knowledge, thus Goddess Saraswati herself.
According to another legend, however, Mahishasura was not always evil, on the contrary one of the greatest devotees. The gods and goddesses on the other hand, were engaged in a life of endless drunken revelry and the creators of the universe sought a way to teach them a lesson. The Creator then approached Mahishasura, who agreed to be incarnated as the buffalo demon and defeat the gods and goddesses, almost to the brink of complete decimation. On facing Durga, Mahishasura knew that his end was near, but he never back down and changed forms multiples times. He then attacked Durga to be defeated in each guise. Finally, on the tenth day he emerged from the buffalo form to that of a human form and had his chest pierced by the trident of Durga.
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