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Books > Hindu > Devi Mahatmya (With Sanskrit Text)
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Devi Mahatmya (With Sanskrit Text)
Devi Mahatmya (With Sanskrit Text)
Description
GENERAL RULES FOR READING SRI SRI CHANDI
In the morning after think bath and finishing one's daily Puja (Sadhya etc.), one should sit on a clean and pure Asana (seat) facing North or East with mind concentrated and full of Bhakti (devotion). Sri Sri Chandi should be read with firm faith, devotion and correct pronunciation. During the time of reading, one should not stop in the middle of a chapter and the book should be placed on a stand, preferably a copper plate. At the beginning and end of each chapter bells are to be rung. Before reading, it is necessary to do the Sankalpa and Sri Devi Puja. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday are specially auspicious in a week for the reading of Sri Sri Chandi. Devi Tithis are Asthmi, Navami and Chaturdasi. The reading should be in the following order:-

1.Devi Suktam, 2. Kavacham, 3. Argala Stotra, 4. Keelakam, 5. Ratri Suktam, 6. Devi Mahatmya, 7. Phala Sruti and 8. Kshama Prarthana.

Sri Sri Chandi is divided into three parts:-

1. Prathama (first). 2. Madhyama (middle) and 3. Uttara (final).

The first chapter contains the glory of Maha Kaali, the 2nd , 3rd and the 4th chapter glorify Sri Maha Lakshmi, and the last nine chapter from the 5th to the 13th, glorify Sri Maha Sarasvati. He who reads Sri Sri Chandi with faith and devotion attains health, wealth, long and salvation.

1. Devi Suktam (According to Rig Veda)
The 8 Slokas composed by Vak, the daughter of Maharshi Ampharin, are from the Rig Veda, 10th Mandala, 10th Anuvaka, 125th Sukta. These Slokas express the truth realized by Vak, who identifies herself as Brahma Sakti, and expresses herself as 11 Rudras, 8 Vasus, 12 Adityas and all the Devas,- Indra, Agni and Asvini Kumaras- who are sustained by Her and she is the source, substratum and support of the whole world. She is verily Brahmasvarupini.

2. Devi Kavacham
The Devi Kavacham consisting of 61 Slokas is in Markandeya Puranam. This Kavacham (armour) protects the reader in all parts of his body, in all places and all difficulties. Every part of the body is mentioned and Devi, in all different forms, is prayed to for happiness, wealth, health, power and prosperity.

3. Argala Stotra
Here Rishi Markandeya is telling his disciples in 27 inspiring couplets on the greatness of Devi. She has been described in all aspects and names and at the end of each Sloka, prayer is offered to Devi for material prosperity, physical fitness, fame and victory.

4. Keelakam
Here also Rishi Markandeya tells his disciples in 16 Slokas the ways and means of removing obstacles faced by devotees while reading Devi Mahatmya. Reading of Keelakam brings blessing of Devi and spiritual harmony and peace of mind and success in all pursuits.

5. Ratri Suktam
Ratri Suktam (8 Slokas) has been taken from Rig Veda. 10th Mandala, 10th Anuvaka, 127th Sukta, which shows that Devi was worshipped from time immemorial. Devi is described as the all-pervading Supreme Lord of the Universe appearing in Omkara. Ratri means She who fulfils our prayers.

INTRODUCTION
The Devi Mahatmya or the Durga Saptasati is a unique book in this word. It is the base and the root of the religion of the Saktas. It is a Kamadhenu for one and all; it gives whatever man wants. It gives Bhakti in this world and Mukti afterward. It is a powerful reservoir Mantras from the beginning to the end. Every verse of this text is a dynamic force which acts powerfully in overhauling the nature of man.

The first verse of the text implies that the whole book is an explanation of the root of the Devi-Mantra, viz., "Hreem". There are many commentaries on this text which explain it either in a mystical way or in ordinary manner. Whatever be the case, the Mantra of the Saptasati are not to be neglected by one who wishes to lead a good and peaceful life in this world

The conception of the Infinite as Mother is not an altogether meaningless one. The Rigveda bears testimony to the fact that even in such ancient times, there was the persistent belief that the Ruler is the All-compassionate Mother. Further, Mother is the personality appeals most to the human heart, not so much the Father who is considered a hard task-master. Moreover the conception of the Divinity as Devi, Durga or Sri, is not merely a theory but a practical way of life. It is a particular view which cannot be set aside. It is as important as any school of religious belief, and is one of the most important reigning branches of Hindu religions-Vaishnavism, Saivism and Saktaism. Even a subtle philosopher cannot dispense with the conception of Sakti, for he is essentially an embodiment of power, and he has love for power. The highest Intelligence and the most speculative metaphysics is only a manifestation of Jnana-Sakti and is not outside the range of Saktaism. Let us therefore adore and worship the Glorious Mother for the purpose of attaining Wisdom or Self-realisation!

The Saptasati may be read daily so as to be completed in seven days in the following manner of division of chapter: 1, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1 2,- first; second and third; fourth; fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth; ninth and tenth; eleventh; twelfth and thirteenth. This is the traditional rule. The Saptasati may be read with any motive in the mind, and that shell be fulfilled. Read it for any purpose in life, and that you shall have. Read it for the sake of Spiritual Knowledge, and you will be blessed with it Since Sakti is the basis for all Ichcha (Desire), Jnana (Knowledge) and Kriya (Action), man cannot fall outside the realm or the kingdom of Sakti. The whole man is but Sakti, and hence he shall have everything through worship of Sakti.

May the blessings of Devi Durga be upon you all! May She bless you all with s spiritual illumination and Self-realisation!

THE INDIAN CONCEPT OF THE DIVINE MOTHER
Since the dawn of civilisation, when the primitive man lived in a matriarchal society, the worship of the Divine Mother came into practice. Later on, as civilisation progressed, the matriarchal pattern gradually faded out, and the father became the head of the family unit, where ha was treated as the man in authority and to whom every one looked for guidance and approval. Consequently there was a change in the concept of God as such; the Fatherhood of God was established. But Mother-worship persisted simultaneously, since this concept was psychologically more appealing to the devotee, the Mother being nearest in filial affection to the childe. Subsequently, a sympathetic harmony between the Motherhood and Fatherhood of God was developed by the Hindu religion; the people worshipped Sita and Rama, or Radha and Krishna, together.

The concept of the human mind is based on relative experience. Subjective and idealism, therefore, in its initial stages, takes the aid of objective and relative analogies. God is neither limited to abstract or concrete concept. But it is easier to establish a conscious relationship with the Providence in terms of benevolent fatherhood or affectionate, kindly motherhood than by the concept of an unfathomable void. God is devoid of qualities, in reality, but a relative superimposition of the positive ideals of goodness and virtue is essential for self-culture and spiritual progress of the aspirant.

Mother is very kind to her child. You are more free with your mother than with anybody else. It is the mother who protects you, nourishes you, consoles you cheers you and nurses you. She is your first preceptor. She sacrifices her all for the sake of her children. In the spiritual field also, the aspirant has very intimate relationship with the Divine Mother.

The Upasana or the worship of the Universal Mother leads to the attainment of the knowledge of the self. The Yaksha Prasna in Kenopanishad supports this view. Approach Her with an open heart. Lay bare your mind with frankness and humility. Let your thoughts be pure and sublime. Become as simple as a child. Pulverise your individual entity, the egoistic nature, cunningness, selfishness and crookedness. Make a total unreserved, ungrudging self-surrender to Her . Chant Her Mantra. Worship Her with faith and unflinching devotion.

Durga Puja or Navaratri is the most suitable occasion for doing intense Sadhana. These nine days are very sacred to Mother. Plunge yourself in Her worship. It is an occasion symbolising the victory of the higher, divine forces over the lower, negative qualities that find their expression in injustice, oppression, aggrandisement, greed, selfishness, hatred and a host of other undivine forces that add to the suffering of man.

Worship the Mother in all Her manifestations. She is the creative aspect of the Absolute. She is symbolised as Cosmic Energy. Energy is the physical ultimate of all forms of matter and the sustaining force of the Spirit. Energy and Spirit are inseparable. They are essentially one. The five elements and their combinations are the external manifestations of the Mother. Intelligence, discrimination, psychic power and will are Her internal manifestations. Humanity is Her visible form. Service of humanity is, therefore, the worship of the Divine Mother.

Feel that the Mother sees through your eyes, hears through ears, and works through your hands. Feel that the body, mind, Prana, intellect and all their functions are Her manifestations. The one, universal life throbs in the heart of all. How can there be any room for hatred and selfishness, when by hating another you are but denying your own self. Drive deep this consciousness within your heart. Always meditate and practise this ideal of divine oneness.

Mother's grace is boundless. Her mercy is illimitable. Her knowledge is infinite. Her power is immeasurable. Her glory is ineffable. Her splendour `is indescribable. She gives you Bhukti (material prosperity) and Mukti (liberation) also. She is pleased with a little purity of heart. The sacred Durga Puja is approaching Do not lose this glorious opportunity. Make a definite and sincere attempt to obtain the grace of the Mother. She will transform your entire life, and bless you with the milk of divine wisdom, spiritual insight and Kaivalya.

The Worship of the Divine Mother
Devi is synonymous with Sakti or the Divine Power that manifests, sustains and transforms the universe as the one unifying force of Existence. In fact, worship of Devi is not sectarian; it does not belong to any cult. By Devi or Sakti we mean the presupposition of all forms of existential power, the power of knowledge, of omniscience. These power are the glorious attributes of God-you may call Him Vishnu or Siva or as you like. In other words, Sakti is the very possibility of the Absolute's appearing as many, of God's causing this universe. Sakti and Sakta are one; the power and the one who possesses the power cannot be separated; God and Sakti are like fire and heat of fire.

Devi-worship or Sakti-worship is therefore worship of God's glory, of God's greatness and supremacy. It is adoration of the Almighty. It is unfortunate that Devi is misunderstood as a blood-thirsty Hindu-Goddess. No , Devi is not the property of the Hindu alone. Devi does not belong to any religion. Devi is the conscious power of the Deva. Let this never be forgotten. The words Devi, Sakti etc. and the ideas of the different forms connected with these names are concessions given to the limitations of human knowledge, human comprehension. Bhagavan Sri Krishna says in the Gita, 'This is only My lower nature Sakti; beyond this is my higher nature, the Original Sakti, the life-principle which sustains this entire universe'. The Upanishad says, "The Para Sakti, the Supreme Power of this God, is heard of in various ways; this Power is the natural of God manifesting as knowledge, strength and activity." Truly speaking all beings of the universe are Sakti worshippers, for there is none who does not love and long for power in some form of other. Physicists and scientist have Proved now that everything is pure imperishable energy. This energy is only a form of Divine-Sakti which exists in every from of existence.

Since Sakti cannot be worshipped in its essential nature, it is worshipped as conceived of in its manifestations viz., creation, preservation and destruction. Sakti, in relation to these three functions, is Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Kaali. These, as is evident, are not three distinct Devis, but the one formless Devi worshipped in three different forms. Durga Puja or Navaratri is the festive occasion of the 'nine-days worship of Maha-Kaali, Maha-Lakshmi and Maha-Sarasvati,' the Divinity of the Universe adored in three ways.

Sarasvati is cosmic Intelligence, cosmic Consciousness, cosmic knowledge. Worship of Sarasvati is necessary for Buddhi-Suddhi, Viveka-Vichara-Sakti, Jnana, self-illumination. Lakshmi does not mean more material wealth like gold, cattle etc. All kinds of prosperity, glory, magnificence, joy, exaltation, greatness, come under the grace of Goddess Lakshmi. Sri Appaya Dikshitar calls even final Liberation as 'Moksha-Samrajya Lakshmi'. Hence worship of Lakshmi means the worship of Divinity, the power that dissolves multiplicity in unity. The worship of Devi is therefore the explanation of the entire process of spiritual Sadhana in all aspects.

During Durga Puja or Navaratri observe strict Anushtana and purify your inner spiritual nature. This is the most auspicious time in the year for Mother-Worship. Read Saptasati or Devi Mahatmya and Lalita Sahasranama. Do Japa of the Mantra of Devi. Perform formal worship with purity, sincerity and absolute devotion. Cry for the Darshan of Mother Devi. The Divine Mother will bless you with the knowledge, the peace and the joy know no end. May the Divine Mother Durga establish righteousness or Dhrma in the World! May She destroy all dark hostile forces that disturb the peace of the world! May She bring supreme peace, prosperity and undying bliss to all Her children of this world! May She transmute theAsuras or the demons or people with diabolical tendencies, into Sattvic men! May She annihilate the Asuric tendencies, such as lust, anger, pride, hypocrisy, etc. in human beings, which represent Madhu Kaitabha, Mahisha, Sumbha and Nisumbha!

May She give the milk of divine wisdom to Her children and lift them up to the magnanimous heights of divine splendour and glory, the imperishable state of Kaivalya and eternal sunshine!

SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA
Born on the 8th September, 1887, in the illustrious family of Sage Appayya Dikshitar and several other renowned saints and savants, Sri Swami Sivananda had a natural flair for a life devoted to the study and practice of Vedanta. Added to this was an inborn eagerness to serve all and an innate feeling of unity with all mankind.

His passion for service drew him to the medical career; and soon he gravitated to where he thought that his service was most needed. Malaya claimed him. He had earlier been editing a health journal and wrote extensively on health problems. He discovered of that people needed right knowledge most of all; dissemination of that knowledge he espoused as his own mission.

It was divine dispensation and the blessing of God upon mankind that the doctor of body and mind renounced his career and took to a life renunciation to qualify for ministering to the soul of man. He settled down at Rishikesh in 1924, practiced intense austerities and shone as a great Yogi, saint, sage and Jivanmukta.

In 1932 Swami Sivananda started the Sivanandashram. In 1936 was born The Divine Life Society. In 1948 the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy was organised. Dissemination of spiritual knowledge and training of people in Yoga and Vedanta were their aim and object. In 1950 Swamiji undertook a lightning tour of India and Ceylon. In 1953Swamiji is convened a 'World Parliament of Religions'. Swamiji is the author of over 300 volumes and has disciples all over the world, belonging to all nationalities, religions and creeds. To read Swamiji's works is to drink at the Fountain of Wisdom supreme. On 14th July, 1963 Swamiji entered Mahasamadhi.

Back of book

THE DEVI MAHATMYA

The "Devi Mahatmya " or the Durga Saptasati is a unique book. It is the base and the root of the religion of the Saktas. It is a powerful reservoir of Mantras. Every verse of this text is a dynamic force which acts powerfully in averhauling the nature of man.

The concept of the Infinite as Mother is an age-old one. The Rig-Veda bears testimony to the fact that, even in such ancient times, there was the persistent belief that the Ruler of the Universe is the all-compassionate Mother. Further, Mother appeals most to the human heart, not so much the Father who is considered a hard taskmaster.

The Divine Mother is worshipped as Saraswati, Lakshmi and Durga or Kali in relation to three functions of creation, preservation and destruction. These are, in fact, not three distinct Devis, but the one formless Devi worshipped in three different forms. The Durga Puja or Navaratri is the festive occasion of the nine-day worship of Maha-Kali, Maha-Lakshmi and Maha-Saraswati, the Divinity of the Universe adored in three ways.

Devi Mahatmya (With Sanskrit Text)

Item Code:
IDK759
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2006
ISBN:
8170521033
Size:
8.5" X 5.4"
Pages:
160
Price:
$12.50   Shipping Free
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GENERAL RULES FOR READING SRI SRI CHANDI
In the morning after think bath and finishing one's daily Puja (Sadhya etc.), one should sit on a clean and pure Asana (seat) facing North or East with mind concentrated and full of Bhakti (devotion). Sri Sri Chandi should be read with firm faith, devotion and correct pronunciation. During the time of reading, one should not stop in the middle of a chapter and the book should be placed on a stand, preferably a copper plate. At the beginning and end of each chapter bells are to be rung. Before reading, it is necessary to do the Sankalpa and Sri Devi Puja. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday are specially auspicious in a week for the reading of Sri Sri Chandi. Devi Tithis are Asthmi, Navami and Chaturdasi. The reading should be in the following order:-

1.Devi Suktam, 2. Kavacham, 3. Argala Stotra, 4. Keelakam, 5. Ratri Suktam, 6. Devi Mahatmya, 7. Phala Sruti and 8. Kshama Prarthana.

Sri Sri Chandi is divided into three parts:-

1. Prathama (first). 2. Madhyama (middle) and 3. Uttara (final).

The first chapter contains the glory of Maha Kaali, the 2nd , 3rd and the 4th chapter glorify Sri Maha Lakshmi, and the last nine chapter from the 5th to the 13th, glorify Sri Maha Sarasvati. He who reads Sri Sri Chandi with faith and devotion attains health, wealth, long and salvation.

1. Devi Suktam (According to Rig Veda)
The 8 Slokas composed by Vak, the daughter of Maharshi Ampharin, are from the Rig Veda, 10th Mandala, 10th Anuvaka, 125th Sukta. These Slokas express the truth realized by Vak, who identifies herself as Brahma Sakti, and expresses herself as 11 Rudras, 8 Vasus, 12 Adityas and all the Devas,- Indra, Agni and Asvini Kumaras- who are sustained by Her and she is the source, substratum and support of the whole world. She is verily Brahmasvarupini.

2. Devi Kavacham
The Devi Kavacham consisting of 61 Slokas is in Markandeya Puranam. This Kavacham (armour) protects the reader in all parts of his body, in all places and all difficulties. Every part of the body is mentioned and Devi, in all different forms, is prayed to for happiness, wealth, health, power and prosperity.

3. Argala Stotra
Here Rishi Markandeya is telling his disciples in 27 inspiring couplets on the greatness of Devi. She has been described in all aspects and names and at the end of each Sloka, prayer is offered to Devi for material prosperity, physical fitness, fame and victory.

4. Keelakam
Here also Rishi Markandeya tells his disciples in 16 Slokas the ways and means of removing obstacles faced by devotees while reading Devi Mahatmya. Reading of Keelakam brings blessing of Devi and spiritual harmony and peace of mind and success in all pursuits.

5. Ratri Suktam
Ratri Suktam (8 Slokas) has been taken from Rig Veda. 10th Mandala, 10th Anuvaka, 127th Sukta, which shows that Devi was worshipped from time immemorial. Devi is described as the all-pervading Supreme Lord of the Universe appearing in Omkara. Ratri means She who fulfils our prayers.

INTRODUCTION
The Devi Mahatmya or the Durga Saptasati is a unique book in this word. It is the base and the root of the religion of the Saktas. It is a Kamadhenu for one and all; it gives whatever man wants. It gives Bhakti in this world and Mukti afterward. It is a powerful reservoir Mantras from the beginning to the end. Every verse of this text is a dynamic force which acts powerfully in overhauling the nature of man.

The first verse of the text implies that the whole book is an explanation of the root of the Devi-Mantra, viz., "Hreem". There are many commentaries on this text which explain it either in a mystical way or in ordinary manner. Whatever be the case, the Mantra of the Saptasati are not to be neglected by one who wishes to lead a good and peaceful life in this world

The conception of the Infinite as Mother is not an altogether meaningless one. The Rigveda bears testimony to the fact that even in such ancient times, there was the persistent belief that the Ruler is the All-compassionate Mother. Further, Mother is the personality appeals most to the human heart, not so much the Father who is considered a hard task-master. Moreover the conception of the Divinity as Devi, Durga or Sri, is not merely a theory but a practical way of life. It is a particular view which cannot be set aside. It is as important as any school of religious belief, and is one of the most important reigning branches of Hindu religions-Vaishnavism, Saivism and Saktaism. Even a subtle philosopher cannot dispense with the conception of Sakti, for he is essentially an embodiment of power, and he has love for power. The highest Intelligence and the most speculative metaphysics is only a manifestation of Jnana-Sakti and is not outside the range of Saktaism. Let us therefore adore and worship the Glorious Mother for the purpose of attaining Wisdom or Self-realisation!

The Saptasati may be read daily so as to be completed in seven days in the following manner of division of chapter: 1, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1 2,- first; second and third; fourth; fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth; ninth and tenth; eleventh; twelfth and thirteenth. This is the traditional rule. The Saptasati may be read with any motive in the mind, and that shell be fulfilled. Read it for any purpose in life, and that you shall have. Read it for the sake of Spiritual Knowledge, and you will be blessed with it Since Sakti is the basis for all Ichcha (Desire), Jnana (Knowledge) and Kriya (Action), man cannot fall outside the realm or the kingdom of Sakti. The whole man is but Sakti, and hence he shall have everything through worship of Sakti.

May the blessings of Devi Durga be upon you all! May She bless you all with s spiritual illumination and Self-realisation!

THE INDIAN CONCEPT OF THE DIVINE MOTHER
Since the dawn of civilisation, when the primitive man lived in a matriarchal society, the worship of the Divine Mother came into practice. Later on, as civilisation progressed, the matriarchal pattern gradually faded out, and the father became the head of the family unit, where ha was treated as the man in authority and to whom every one looked for guidance and approval. Consequently there was a change in the concept of God as such; the Fatherhood of God was established. But Mother-worship persisted simultaneously, since this concept was psychologically more appealing to the devotee, the Mother being nearest in filial affection to the childe. Subsequently, a sympathetic harmony between the Motherhood and Fatherhood of God was developed by the Hindu religion; the people worshipped Sita and Rama, or Radha and Krishna, together.

The concept of the human mind is based on relative experience. Subjective and idealism, therefore, in its initial stages, takes the aid of objective and relative analogies. God is neither limited to abstract or concrete concept. But it is easier to establish a conscious relationship with the Providence in terms of benevolent fatherhood or affectionate, kindly motherhood than by the concept of an unfathomable void. God is devoid of qualities, in reality, but a relative superimposition of the positive ideals of goodness and virtue is essential for self-culture and spiritual progress of the aspirant.

Mother is very kind to her child. You are more free with your mother than with anybody else. It is the mother who protects you, nourishes you, consoles you cheers you and nurses you. She is your first preceptor. She sacrifices her all for the sake of her children. In the spiritual field also, the aspirant has very intimate relationship with the Divine Mother.

The Upasana or the worship of the Universal Mother leads to the attainment of the knowledge of the self. The Yaksha Prasna in Kenopanishad supports this view. Approach Her with an open heart. Lay bare your mind with frankness and humility. Let your thoughts be pure and sublime. Become as simple as a child. Pulverise your individual entity, the egoistic nature, cunningness, selfishness and crookedness. Make a total unreserved, ungrudging self-surrender to Her . Chant Her Mantra. Worship Her with faith and unflinching devotion.

Durga Puja or Navaratri is the most suitable occasion for doing intense Sadhana. These nine days are very sacred to Mother. Plunge yourself in Her worship. It is an occasion symbolising the victory of the higher, divine forces over the lower, negative qualities that find their expression in injustice, oppression, aggrandisement, greed, selfishness, hatred and a host of other undivine forces that add to the suffering of man.

Worship the Mother in all Her manifestations. She is the creative aspect of the Absolute. She is symbolised as Cosmic Energy. Energy is the physical ultimate of all forms of matter and the sustaining force of the Spirit. Energy and Spirit are inseparable. They are essentially one. The five elements and their combinations are the external manifestations of the Mother. Intelligence, discrimination, psychic power and will are Her internal manifestations. Humanity is Her visible form. Service of humanity is, therefore, the worship of the Divine Mother.

Feel that the Mother sees through your eyes, hears through ears, and works through your hands. Feel that the body, mind, Prana, intellect and all their functions are Her manifestations. The one, universal life throbs in the heart of all. How can there be any room for hatred and selfishness, when by hating another you are but denying your own self. Drive deep this consciousness within your heart. Always meditate and practise this ideal of divine oneness.

Mother's grace is boundless. Her mercy is illimitable. Her knowledge is infinite. Her power is immeasurable. Her glory is ineffable. Her splendour `is indescribable. She gives you Bhukti (material prosperity) and Mukti (liberation) also. She is pleased with a little purity of heart. The sacred Durga Puja is approaching Do not lose this glorious opportunity. Make a definite and sincere attempt to obtain the grace of the Mother. She will transform your entire life, and bless you with the milk of divine wisdom, spiritual insight and Kaivalya.

The Worship of the Divine Mother
Devi is synonymous with Sakti or the Divine Power that manifests, sustains and transforms the universe as the one unifying force of Existence. In fact, worship of Devi is not sectarian; it does not belong to any cult. By Devi or Sakti we mean the presupposition of all forms of existential power, the power of knowledge, of omniscience. These power are the glorious attributes of God-you may call Him Vishnu or Siva or as you like. In other words, Sakti is the very possibility of the Absolute's appearing as many, of God's causing this universe. Sakti and Sakta are one; the power and the one who possesses the power cannot be separated; God and Sakti are like fire and heat of fire.

Devi-worship or Sakti-worship is therefore worship of God's glory, of God's greatness and supremacy. It is adoration of the Almighty. It is unfortunate that Devi is misunderstood as a blood-thirsty Hindu-Goddess. No , Devi is not the property of the Hindu alone. Devi does not belong to any religion. Devi is the conscious power of the Deva. Let this never be forgotten. The words Devi, Sakti etc. and the ideas of the different forms connected with these names are concessions given to the limitations of human knowledge, human comprehension. Bhagavan Sri Krishna says in the Gita, 'This is only My lower nature Sakti; beyond this is my higher nature, the Original Sakti, the life-principle which sustains this entire universe'. The Upanishad says, "The Para Sakti, the Supreme Power of this God, is heard of in various ways; this Power is the natural of God manifesting as knowledge, strength and activity." Truly speaking all beings of the universe are Sakti worshippers, for there is none who does not love and long for power in some form of other. Physicists and scientist have Proved now that everything is pure imperishable energy. This energy is only a form of Divine-Sakti which exists in every from of existence.

Since Sakti cannot be worshipped in its essential nature, it is worshipped as conceived of in its manifestations viz., creation, preservation and destruction. Sakti, in relation to these three functions, is Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Kaali. These, as is evident, are not three distinct Devis, but the one formless Devi worshipped in three different forms. Durga Puja or Navaratri is the festive occasion of the 'nine-days worship of Maha-Kaali, Maha-Lakshmi and Maha-Sarasvati,' the Divinity of the Universe adored in three ways.

Sarasvati is cosmic Intelligence, cosmic Consciousness, cosmic knowledge. Worship of Sarasvati is necessary for Buddhi-Suddhi, Viveka-Vichara-Sakti, Jnana, self-illumination. Lakshmi does not mean more material wealth like gold, cattle etc. All kinds of prosperity, glory, magnificence, joy, exaltation, greatness, come under the grace of Goddess Lakshmi. Sri Appaya Dikshitar calls even final Liberation as 'Moksha-Samrajya Lakshmi'. Hence worship of Lakshmi means the worship of Divinity, the power that dissolves multiplicity in unity. The worship of Devi is therefore the explanation of the entire process of spiritual Sadhana in all aspects.

During Durga Puja or Navaratri observe strict Anushtana and purify your inner spiritual nature. This is the most auspicious time in the year for Mother-Worship. Read Saptasati or Devi Mahatmya and Lalita Sahasranama. Do Japa of the Mantra of Devi. Perform formal worship with purity, sincerity and absolute devotion. Cry for the Darshan of Mother Devi. The Divine Mother will bless you with the knowledge, the peace and the joy know no end. May the Divine Mother Durga establish righteousness or Dhrma in the World! May She destroy all dark hostile forces that disturb the peace of the world! May She bring supreme peace, prosperity and undying bliss to all Her children of this world! May She transmute theAsuras or the demons or people with diabolical tendencies, into Sattvic men! May She annihilate the Asuric tendencies, such as lust, anger, pride, hypocrisy, etc. in human beings, which represent Madhu Kaitabha, Mahisha, Sumbha and Nisumbha!

May She give the milk of divine wisdom to Her children and lift them up to the magnanimous heights of divine splendour and glory, the imperishable state of Kaivalya and eternal sunshine!

SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA
Born on the 8th September, 1887, in the illustrious family of Sage Appayya Dikshitar and several other renowned saints and savants, Sri Swami Sivananda had a natural flair for a life devoted to the study and practice of Vedanta. Added to this was an inborn eagerness to serve all and an innate feeling of unity with all mankind.

His passion for service drew him to the medical career; and soon he gravitated to where he thought that his service was most needed. Malaya claimed him. He had earlier been editing a health journal and wrote extensively on health problems. He discovered of that people needed right knowledge most of all; dissemination of that knowledge he espoused as his own mission.

It was divine dispensation and the blessing of God upon mankind that the doctor of body and mind renounced his career and took to a life renunciation to qualify for ministering to the soul of man. He settled down at Rishikesh in 1924, practiced intense austerities and shone as a great Yogi, saint, sage and Jivanmukta.

In 1932 Swami Sivananda started the Sivanandashram. In 1936 was born The Divine Life Society. In 1948 the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy was organised. Dissemination of spiritual knowledge and training of people in Yoga and Vedanta were their aim and object. In 1950 Swamiji undertook a lightning tour of India and Ceylon. In 1953Swamiji is convened a 'World Parliament of Religions'. Swamiji is the author of over 300 volumes and has disciples all over the world, belonging to all nationalities, religions and creeds. To read Swamiji's works is to drink at the Fountain of Wisdom supreme. On 14th July, 1963 Swamiji entered Mahasamadhi.

Back of book

THE DEVI MAHATMYA

The "Devi Mahatmya " or the Durga Saptasati is a unique book. It is the base and the root of the religion of the Saktas. It is a powerful reservoir of Mantras. Every verse of this text is a dynamic force which acts powerfully in averhauling the nature of man.

The concept of the Infinite as Mother is an age-old one. The Rig-Veda bears testimony to the fact that, even in such ancient times, there was the persistent belief that the Ruler of the Universe is the all-compassionate Mother. Further, Mother appeals most to the human heart, not so much the Father who is considered a hard taskmaster.

The Divine Mother is worshipped as Saraswati, Lakshmi and Durga or Kali in relation to three functions of creation, preservation and destruction. These are, in fact, not three distinct Devis, but the one formless Devi worshipped in three different forms. The Durga Puja or Navaratri is the festive occasion of the nine-day worship of Maha-Kali, Maha-Lakshmi and Maha-Saraswati, the Divinity of the Universe adored in three ways.

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