|Goddess Durga, 19th century lithograph from Bengal.|
The Hindu goddess, Shri Durga, is worshipped at this time of year, especially in Bengal, to celebrate Her victory over evil forces.
The ancient Persian goddess, Anahita, has many similarities to Shri Durga: both were originally warrior goddesses (although in the case of Anahita, later becoming more associated with water and the fertility of the earth), both are virgin goddesses, and both have a lion vehicle.
The Egyptian lion-headed warrior goddess Sekhmet is also similar. She was seen as a fierce protector of the Pharaohs. Her name means 'power' or 'might', and one of her epithets was "One before whom evil trembles".
|Depiction of a lion-riding Iranic Goddess from the Kama River Valley in what is now Russia|
|Four-armed goddess, seated on a lion, from ancient Chorasmia, an Iranian civilisation in western Central Asia|