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WHAT IS THE ESSENCE & THE POWERFUL READING ( PATH) PROCEDURE OF DURGA SAPTASHATI? MANTRA-10


THE ESSENCE OF DURGA SAPTASHATI;-

09 FACTS;-

1-The Devi Mahatmya or Durga Saptashati is a unique book in the world. It is the base and root of the Shakta tradition. Its reading is believed to give whatever one wants. A powerful reservoir of mantras from the beginning to the end, every verse of this text is a dynamic force.

2-The Devi Mahatmaya describes how Devi assumes many aspects, according to the tasks to be performed by her, sometimes sweet and tender, and at others terrible and devouring. Devi is the deluding (mislead)power which binds man to the relentlessly moving wheel of samsara; she deludes even the wisest of men.

3-Yet she is the one who bestows liberation on the devotee who pleases her. For the sake of the continuance of her divine play, she as avidya-maya, has veiled the truth from us and bound us to samsara. When she is propitiated(pacify )through the practice of sincere devotion and self-surrender, she as vidya-maya, removes the veil and enables us to perceive the truth.

3-The Saptashati refers to her as Mahavidya, Mahamaya, Mahamedha, Mahasmriti, Mahamoha, Mahadevi and Maheshwari. She is Parabrahma-Mahishi, the queen and sovereign of all existence. Her compassion takes the form of aspiration in the aspirant, sadhana in the sadhaka, siddhi in the siddha. She is the truth behind thought, willing, feeling, understanding, action, name and form. It says (11:6):

''Mother, all arts and sciences, all branches of knowledge, are your modifications, all women in the world are your manifestations. You alone pervade the entire creation''.

4-The conception of the Infinite as Mother is not a meaningless one. The Riga Veda bears testimony to the fact that even in ancient times there existed the belief that the supreme ruler is the all-compassionate Mother. The conception of divinity as Devi, Durga or Sri, is not merely a theory but a practical way of life.

5-The mother is the personality that appeals most to the human heart, whereas the father is perceived as a hard taskmaster. Even a subtle philosopher cannot dispense with the conception of Shakti, for he is essentially an embodiment of power, and has love for power. The highest intelligence and the most speculative metaphysics is only a manifestation of jnana shakti and is not outside the range of Shaktaism.

6-The Durgasaptashati is well accepted religious text of Hindu religion. Durgasaptashati is full of religious mystery with blessed story of goddess Bhagavati. The devotees motivated by desire and desireless both recite this book with great reverence and attain their desired goal.

7-The first verse of the text implies that the whole book is an explanation of the root of the Devi mantra, Hreem. There are many commentaries on the text which explain it either in a mystical or a literal way. In whichever way one chooses to see it, the mantras of the Saptashati will have a positive effect on the one who chants it with devotion and faith.

8-It is believed that whatever sankalpa the Saptashati is read with, will be fulfilled. Since Shakti is the basis for all iccha (desire), jnana (knowledge) and kriya (action), one cannot stay out of the realm of Shakti. An individual is but Shakti, and hence one can have everything through the worship of Shakti.

9-The Saptashati may be read daily and can be completed in seven days in the following manner of division of chapters. Day One: first chapter. Day Two: second and third. Day Three: fourth. Day Four: fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. Day Five: ninth and tenth. Day Six: eleventh. Day Seven: twelfth and thirteenth. This is the traditional rule. The reading should be in the following order:

1. Devi Suktam

2. Devi Kavacham

3. Argala Stotram

4. Keelakam

5. Ratri Suktam

6. Devi Mahatmya

7. Kshama Prarthana

1-DEVI SUKTAM:-

The eight verses of the Devi Suktam were composed by Vak, daughter of Maharshi Ambharin, and are from the Rig Veda (10th mandala, 10th anuvaka, 125th sukta). These shlokas express the truth realized by Vak, who identifies herself as Brahma Shakti, and expresses herself as eleven Rudras, eight Vasus, twelve Adityas and all the devas who are sustained by her and she is the source, substratum and support of the whole world.

2-DEVI KAVACHAM;-

Consisting of 61 verses, Devi Kavacham is in Markandeya Purana. This kavacham (armour) protects the reader in all parts of the body, in all places and in all difficulties. Every part of the body is mentioned and Devi, in different forms, is being worshipped.

3-ARGALA STOTRAM;-

Here, Rishi Markandeya tells his disciples in twenty-seven inspiring couplets about the greatness of Devi. She has been described in all aspects and names and at the end of each shloka, prayer is offered to Devi for material prosperity, physical fitness, fame and victory.

4-KEELAKAM;-

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

5-RATRI SUKTAM:-

The eight shlokas here have been taken from the Rig Veda (10th mandala, 10th anuvaka, 127th sukta). Devi is described as the all-pervading Supreme Lord of the universe appearing in Omkara. Ratri means ‘she who fulfils our prayers’.

6-DEVI MAHATMYA;-

The text is divided into three parts:

1. Prathama (first)

2. Madhyama (middle)

3. Uttara (final)

The first chapter describes the glory of Maha Kali, the second, third and the fourth chapters glorify Maha Lakshmi, and the last nine chapters from the fifth to the thirteenth glorify Maha Saraswati.

7-KSHAMA PRARTHANA;-

It is the concluding prayer to Devi seeking pardon for any errors that may have been committed during the paath or otherwise.

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR READING ( PATH) PROCEDURE OF DURGA SAPTASHATI;-

04 FACTS;-

In the morning, after taking a bath and finishing one’s daily worship or other rituals, one should sit on an asana facing North or East and try to evoke a state of concentration and devotion.

2-The paath (reading) is most effective when done with firm faith, devotion and correct pronunciation. During the time of reading, one should try not to talk, sleep, sneeze, yawn or spit, but read with complete concentration on Devi in the form which appeals to one.

3-One should not stop in the middle of a chapter. It is good to place the book on a stand, preferably a copper plate. At the beginning and end of each chapter, bells may be rung. Before starting the paath, affirm the purpose for which you are performing it – make a resolve, sankalpa, and perform worship of Devi.

4-Navaratri is an ideal period for the paath of Durga Saptashati; however, in the other months, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday are considered auspicious days of the week for beginning the reading. The ideal days of the lunar calendar are ashtami (eighth day of the moon), navami (ninth day of the moon) and chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the moon).If you can find an Ashtami that falls on

Tuesday or a Navami/Chaturdasi that falls on a Saturday, they are

particularly auspicious.

POPULAR PROCEDURE OF DURGA SAPTASHATI;-

The book contains is it the procedure of reciting it along with Kavacha, Argal, Kilaka, Vaidika and Tantrika Ratrisukta, Devyatharvashirsha, Navarna Vidhi, original text, Durgashtottaranamastotra, Sri Durgamanasa worship, all the three Rahasyas (secrets), prayer of pardon (Kshama Prarthna), Siddhikunzikastotra and waving light before the idol..

PATH ONE;-

06 FACTS;-

There are two methods to start reading Devi Mahatmym – Trayangam and Navangam..

A-TRAYANGAM;-

It is a method in which we need to chant three prayers – Devi Kavacham, Argala Stotram and Devi Keelakam followed by Navakshari Mantram.

B-NAVANGAM;-

Navangam is a method for which nine prayers are recited prior of starting reading the book. Navangam stotrams are: Devi Nyasa, Devi Avahana, Devi Namani, Argala Stotram, Keelaka Stotram, Devi Hrudaya, Dhala, Devi Dhyana and Devi Kavacha.

1-Parayana Krama or the Patha Vidhi is the traditional way in which Brahamanas read the Durga Saptashati .Those who are not in a state to follow the prescribed methods of reading may do it according to their convenience. There is no hard and fast rule. Devi Mata will hear your prayers in which ever form you pray to her.

2-Devi Mahatmya is a story but each of its slokas is considered as mantras. There are two methods of how to start reading Devi Mahatmya. The first one is called Tryangam and consists of reading three prayers viz Devi Kavacham, Devi argalam and Devi keelakam followed by meditation and chanting of the Navakshari manthra ,viz,;-

“Om Iym hreem kleem Chamandayai, viche namaha.”

3-This manthra is of very great power.The other is Navangam, where nine prayers are recited before starting reading of the book. They are chanting of 1. Nyasa, 2. Avahana, 3. Namani, 4. Argala, 5. Keelaga, 6. Hrudhaya, 7. Dhala, 8. Dhyana and 9. Kavacha.

4-It is recommended that the entire Devi Mahatmya should be read in one sitting. After completion of the reading it is necessary to chant the Devi Suktham consisting of the slokas seven to 36 of chapter 8, is to be chanted. If the Guru has taught the navakshari manthra, then it should also be meditated up on.

5-People who cannot do this should read the Prathama charithra consisting of the first chapter on the first day, the Madhyama Charithra consisting of the next three chapters on the next day and the remaining Uthama Charitha consisting of the next 9 chapters on the third day.

6-Another method of completing the full reading by seven days viz one chapter on the first day, next two chapters on the second day, next one chapter on the third day, next four chapters on the fourth day, next two chapters on the fifth day, next one chapter on the sixth day and last two chapters on the seventh day.

It is important to know that daily the parayana should start with the trayanga manthras, text of Devi Mahatmya followed by the chanting of Devi Suktham.

NOTE;-

As per the prescribed methods in ancient scriptures, Devi Mahatmya should be read in one sitting. After finishing the recital of Devi Mahatmya, one should chant the Devi Suktam (slokas 7 to 36 of Chapter 8).

PATH TWO;-

Devi Saptashati Parayana in 3 days & 7 days

1-Apart from one sitting recital, devotees read Devi mahatmya for three consecutive days: Prathama Charitra or 1st Chapter on first day, Madhyama Charitra (2, 3, 4 chapters) on 2nd day, and Uttama Charitra (5-13 chapters) on third day.

2-Some devotees also read Devi Mahatmya in 7 days. They chant 1st Chapter on first day, 2-3 chapters on 2nd day, 4th chapter on 3rd day, 5-8 chapters on 4th day, 9-10 chapters on 5th day, 11th chapter on 6th day and 12-13 chapters on 7th day.

3-Each chapter should be read in single sitting. Due to any reason, Parayana is stopped in between a chapter; the whole chapter should be read again.

4-The order of reciting Durga Saptashati Parayana daily is: Trayanga Mantra, Devi Mahatmya text followed by Devi Suktam.

PATH THREE;-

Many devotees read Durga Saptashati during Navratri Durga Puja 9/10 days.. Here is the procedure to read Devi Mahatmyam during Navratri

1st day: Chapter 1 (Madhu kaitabha samhaaram)

2nd day: Chapter 2, 3 and 4 (Mahishhasura samhaara)

3rd day: Chapter 5 and 6 (Dhuumralochana vadha)

4th day: Chapter 7 (Chanda Munda vadha)

5th day: Chapter 8 (Rakta biija samhaara)

6th day: Chapter 9 and 10 (Shumbha Nishumbha vadh

7th day: Chapter 11 (Praise of Narayani)

8th day: Chapter 12 (Phalastuti – reciting merits or benefits)

9th day: Chapter 13 (Blessings to Suratha and the Merchant)

10th day: Chapter 14 (Aparadha Kshamaprarthana) on 10th day

You can also complete the recital on 9th day by chanting Devi Aparadha Kshama Prarthana Stotram on 9th day itself.

NOTE;-Do not forget to recite Siddha Kunjika Stotram .You should read Siddha Kunjika Stotram after completing the recital of every chapter.

THE MOST POWERFUL READING ( PATH) PROCEDURE OF DURGA SAPTASHATI ;-

PATH FOUR;-

There are nine parts(NAWDHA BHAKTI) of this method;-

1-SANKALPA

2-GURU NAMAN;-

3-DHYANA

4-KULDEVI/ISHTDEVI MANTRA

5-PLANET/ZODIAC MANTRA;-THREE TIMES

6-DEVI MAHATMYA;- ONE TO NINE TIMES

7-SIDDHA KUNJIKA STOTRA

8-KSHAMA PRARTHANA

9-AARTI

DESCRIPTION OF NINE MODES;-

1-SANKALPA ;-

Name of sadhak,Name of father/husband ,place & aim of worship

2-GURU NAMAN;-

OM SRI GURUVE NAMAHA=REPEAT THREE TIMES

3-DHYANA;-

Sworoop dhyana of mata/shlokas given in Durga Saptashati. Close your eyes and try to concentrate on Goddess and try to see her picture in your mind. Then start reading the Sapthasathi.

4-KULDEVI/ISHTA DEVI MANTRA;-

REPEAT THREE TIMES

5-PLANET/ZODIAC MANTRA;-

REPEAT THREE TIMES..according to your Lagna or Rashi.

6-DEVI MAHATMYA;-

ONE PATH SHOULD BE REPEATED THREE TO NINE TIMES.You can select First Chapter (Madhu kaitabha samhaaram)Or Third Chapter (Mahishhasura samhaara)Or Seventh Chapter (Chanda Munda vadha).These three Chapters belong to Prathama (first) Madhyama (middle) &Uttara (final)part of Durga SaptaShati, respectively.

7-SIDDHA KUNJIKA STOTRA ;-

REPEAT ONE TIME;Siddha Kunjika Stotram alone provides all the benefits of Durga SaptaShati .

8-KSHAMA PRARTHANA;-

Given in Durga Saptashati

9-AARTI;-

Given in Durga Saptashati

NOTE;-There is a choice for sadhak to pick one path /Chapter upto next Navratri.In case of dissatisfaction,after one Navratri;sadhak can pick second

one or third one upto next Navratri.At the time of Navratri;Homa of that chapter with Siddha Kunjika Stotram is essential.Homa should be according to the numbers of chapters ,i.e.1/10 of chapters.

THE KEY POINT;-

There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading in the same direction, so it doesnt matter which path you take.The best thing is reciting everyday ;

whether it is Navratri or not. Fasting is just the way of showing respect towards the Goddess on Navratri. But, once you take a sankalpam, don't break it. Pick what you can Realistically do and do not break the practice once

you start it for the duration of time intended originally.you should recite Durga SaptaShati with the basic principles of Hinduism on cleanliness and with profound love and respect for Divine Mother.

......SHIVOHAM...