These seven verses are from the Devi Mahatmyam, an important 5th century scripture taken from the Markandeya Purana that invokes the power of Goddess in her form as the Great Goddess (Mahādevī) by chronicling Her triumph over evil. These verses, taken from various chapters, hold the essence of the entire scripture and may be recited together as a short hymn to the Goddess as a means of cultivating pure devotion.
Every time someone comes to our site, they are saying “Jai MAA!” simply by typing in the URL. The blessing repeats itself again and again. But what does it mean? Continue reading »
Supreme reality is beyond dualisms of this/that, good/bad, existence/non-existence. We can experience Maa even in suffering and difficulty, and this is one of the messages of the Chandi as well as Tantra.
“When offerings are made in worship, with or without proper knowledge, I will receive them gladly, and also the fire offerings made in a similar way.”
– Devi Mahatmyam 12.11
In this verse from the twelfth chapter of Devi Mahatmyam (also Chandi Path or simply the Chandi), the Goddess tells us that She accepts all worship, regardless of whether it is performed with proper knowledge. What is proper knowledge? The “right” mantras, the “right” procedures, the “right” pronunciation, the “right” gestures, the “right” understanding. There is another kind of “right” understanding, which is quite personal and flows from pure devotion.
The Devisukta, or Hymn to the Goddess, is found in the Rg Veda (RV 10.125), the earliest of the four Vedas or sacred wisdom texts that form the scriptural foundation for modern Hinduism. It is traditionally recited with the Devi Mahatmyam, one of the most important texts of the vast Shakta canon, and is a companion to the beautiful Ratrisukta.
The Ratrisukta is a beautiful poem in praise of the Vedic Goddess Ratri, the Goddess of the Night. The hymn itself is indicative of the culture of the Vedic people, reflecting some of the dangerous realities of village and agrarian life. It is a request for protection and peace, a very practical sort of prayer. In later philosophical development, Ratri is Maya, the power that creates the world and also plunges it into spiritual darkness. Ratri is also the symbol of our embodied human state. She may also be seen as an early whisper of the imagery of Kali, with her luminous darkness and protective ferocity.