Durga Saptasati is known as a religious and most popular text in India. It describes the victory of the Goddess Durga over the demon Mahisasura. Durga Saptasatl or Devi Mahatmya or Saptasatl Candi is a part of the Markandeya Purana and contains 700 verses. A ritual reading of this text is part of Navaratri celebrations in honour of the Goddess. Devi Durga portrayed as Mahisasura Mardini, i.e. slayer of the buffalo demon is being worshipped by the devotees of Sakti in India and Abroad. In India, especially the people of Eastern India worship Her with great devotion and fervour.
Durga Saptasati has been translated into most of the Indian languages. There are a number of commentaries on this holy text. The most important and old commentaries on this text are Durga Pradipa, GuptavatI, Caturdhari, Santanavt, Nagojibhattt, Jagaccandra candrika and Damsoddhara. These famous commentaries are quite helpful to understand the original verses/texts of Durga Saptasati.
Dr. Narasingha Charan Panda, Associate Professor, V.V.B.I.S. & I.S., Panjab University, Sadhu Ashram, Hoshiarpur, has got a good experience of Research Methodology and editing of Sanskrit & Buddhist texts, Research Journals and articles by associating himself with various Research projects in different Institutions.
It is a matter of great pleasure that Dr. Panda has edited Durga Saptasati with its above seven commentaries along with the English translation in a proper way. The book is also equipped with a general Index, Sloka Index and Glossary. It will certainly create interest in both Indologists as well as general readers.
I congratulate Dr. Panda, a serious scholar, gifted with an unassuming nature, on this publication. I trust, Indology, especially Sanskrit Studies shall be further enriched by other works from his pen in future.
Lastly, I pay deep obeisance to the Divine Mother for Her kind Blessings, as taniyamsam pamsum tavacarana panke ruhabhavam
virinicih samcinnvan viracayati lokanavikalam
vahatyenam saurih kathamapi sahasrena sirasam
harah samksudyainam bhajati bhasitoddhulanavidhim
Puranas are known as the fifth Veda in Indian culture.
The aim of Puranas is to acquaint the general mass with the teachings and philosophy of the Veda which are to be adopted as the principle and thus achieve the goal of life. As Vedavyasa says itihasa puranabhyam vedam samupabrmhayet. So, for the complete study of the Veda, Puranas are indispensable Vedic study was confined to a limited intellectual group. But, the Puranas were open to all. Various Puranas provide us valuable information about the social religious and cultural life of ancient and medieval India. It is noteworthy that despite exaggerations, myths and legends, some of these works throw considerable light on the early political history of India.
The Eighteen Maha Puranas enunciates the meaning and the implication of vice and virtues in our life in various ways. They elaborately describe the aim of our life with a view to making our life more virtuous and fit to achieve the goal of four Purusarthas, i.e. dharma, artha, kama and moksa. Hence, the Puranas explain the real truth and value of life and thus serve the purpose of welfare of mankind in their own way.
The Puranas are a sort of encyclopedia endeavouring to deal with the histories of five independent subjects, viz creation and recreation of the universe, gods, reigns of fourteen Manus, and the kings of the solar race as Rama and others, and of the lunar race as Pandavas and others. Similarly, are mentioned the dynasties of the Nandas, Mauryas, Guptas and others. In no other country or civilization such gigantic attempt was ever made to threat of so many subjects in such single
Besides, the Puranas are a vast store house of authentic materials supplying themes or many works of classical San skrit, prose, poetry, and drama. They also contain useful geo graphical information and also mention different cult of worship, vratas and tirthas. In addition to these, Puranas also contain the knowledge of various branches of science, viz. Medical science, Astronomy, Botany, Chemistry, Vastu, and Architecture.
Among the Eighteen Maha Puranas, ten are termed as Saiva Puranas, four Brahma Puranas, two Sakta Puranas and four Vaisnava Puranas as mentioned in the Kedara Khanda of Skanda Purana. The Saiva, Bhavisya, Markandeya, Linga, Varaha, Skanda, Matsya, Kurma, Vamana, Brahamanda are the ten Saiva Puranas Visnu, Bhagavata, Naradiya and Garuda are four Vaisnava Puranas whereas Brahma and Padma describe the glory of lord Brahma and hence are called the Brahma Puranas.
The Markandeya Purana is one of the oldest Puranas. It is a very popular and most important work of the Indian. tradition. This Purana has 137 chapters. A study of the treatise reveals three stages of its developments. Chapters 1 to 44 are represented as narrated by four wise birds living Vindhya Mountain. Chapters 45 to 80 nominally a dialogue between Jaimini and Dharma birds, but in reality the interlocutors are Markandeya and his pupil Kraustuki who starts the real discussion on the Puranic content s. Chapters 81 to 93 constitute the Durga saptasati or Devi Mahatmya, popularly known as Candi or Durga Saptasati . Presently, Durga saptasati is well recognized as a separate sacred text like Bhagavad Gita and it is being Chanted everyday by a number Hindus, i.e. the worshippers of Devi Durga. In order to satisfy the Supreme Goddess Durga the devotees used to chant the sacred verses of this holy text.
It is known that Devi Durga is the Divine Supreme Power. She is the mother who creates the world and all creatures. Sakti is symbolized as a women or the mother. In the Mahanirvana Tantra , Sakti has been addressed as Kill, Tarini, Durga, Sodasi, Bhuvanesvan, Dhumavati, Bagala, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Annapurna, Vagdevi, Kamalalaya and Siva. In the Saundaryalahari , Sakti has been called Aruna, Parvati, Candi, Uma, Bhavani, Sati, Samaya, besides Janani, Matr, Devi and Amba. In the Lalita Sahasranama, Sakti has been named as Kali, Karali, Kalavati, Kamala and Kalidarpaghni. These names have occurred due to their various functions, qualities and forms.
Lord Siva is commonly said to be the male principle and Sakti is the female principle. As a matter of fact they are neither male nor female, nor are they neuter. The person, who worships the wisdom (jnana) aspect of reality commonly called the male principle, is a Saiva and he worships the power aspects, or the female principle, is called a Sakta. When Lord Siva is worshipped, his consort is also worshipped, as these two are inseparable. For the same reason when Sakti is worshipped, Siva is also worshipped. Sakti is an imminent principle of Siva. Without Sakti, Siva is inactive. Devoid of Sakti, Siva would be insentient (jada) and, consequently, as good as dead (sava). Siva knows Himself only through His Sakti. But Sakti also depends upon Siva for its functioning. Both are essentially dependent upon each other. Sakti is symbolically represented as the spouse of Siva and hence she is the immanent principle of Siva.
The forms of Sakti are numerious. A number of them are classed as the Mahavidyas or Vidyas and the Nityas. The Tantrasara quotes two lists of Mahavidyas from the Malinivijaya and the Mundamala Tantra, of which the following ones giving ten names are very popular in eastern India (1) Mahakali, (2) Tara, (3) Sodasi, (4) Bhuvanesvari, (5) Chinnamasta, (6) Bhairavi, (7) Dhumavati, (8) Bagalamukhi, (9) Matangi, (10) Kamala. These ten Mahavidyas or Sakti s are worshipped in their respective yantras. The yantras of these ten Mahavidyas are also are very famous in the Tantric rirtual.
Kavaca of the Goddess (Devi)
Argala of the goddess (Devi)
Kilaka of the Goddess (Devi)
Text, Commentary and Translation
Threee Secrets of the goddess (Rahasya Trayam)
Sanskrit Sloka Index
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