'Shri Durga Saptashati' is a practical training manual. Actually, it is a way to find out the cosmic reality. Just think! how many of us bear a significance in the cosmic-reality? Throughout our lives we pursue such transient and petty desires that we ourselves can't remember them even after a few hours, or a few days, not to speak in the context of the history of civilization, or the evolution of man, or the origin of the universe.
Each and every form in this universe is subject to evolution and devolution, between the two intermediate positions birth and death. The vegetation rises from the soil and returns to it. All living creatures born to existence, ultimately decompose and mingle with the dust of the earth. The waves of sea rise and fall; even the sun sets at the end of the day. We see animals taking birth and dying. Knowing fully well that man after man dies, even then our minds wander in the attachment of ego, as though we were immortals. What is this delusion of ego, this ignorance of attachment? Certainly, it is not a cosmic reality. We adorn our bodies as though they will never subject to decay. We cling to relationships with people and worldly-objects, as though they are the only substance of our very existence. A new desire taking birth with every perception; and we watch it grow helplessly, until it becomes an obsession.
Look at the day to day life, its goals and aspirations. Most of us have no vision of the future. We are caught in the paradox of working to survive and surviving to work. This is a delusion, which has possessed us, as an attachment to satisfy our ego.
In the Durga-Saptashati Mother shows us how to get out of this bondage. Daily reciting these verses, we offer to Mother all our troubles, afflictions, all manner of thoughts and preturbations (even the very Ego itself). Give them all to Her; She will cut them down, one by one, purify them with the vibration of its verses and hymns, until one becomes of the intuitive vision, who only desires the highest-wisdom to remove the attachments of ego. The continuous recitation of this book is designed to accomplish this goal.
Every character mentioned in this book is within us: the good forces which impel us to realize our divinity, as well as the bad forces which incline to diminish that perception. We all have good-spirit at times and evil spirit at some another. In the Durga Saptashati, the gods symbolize the forces of clear perception, and their opponents (the demons) must be those who represent self-centered, egotistical thoughts.
In 'The Durga Saptashati' one may find so many manifestations of the Mother Goddess. The functions are different with corresponding poises, in the same way, as electrical-energy is manifested in different appliances in different ways. Electrical-energy gives light through a fluorocent tube or LED bulb, heat through a heater, motions through a motor, cooling in a freezer, movement of vehicles through an engine and so on. Similarly the powers of the Goddess Mother are manifested in various deities as goddess in so many ways.
Therefore, worship the Mother in all her manifestations. She is the creative aspect of the absolute. She is symbolized as cosmic-energy. She is the cosmic reality, because energy is the physical ultimate of all forms of matter and also the sustaining force of the soul. Energy and life are inseperable. The five elements and their combinations are the external-forms of the Mother. Intelligence, discrimination, psychic-power, thoughts of wisdom, divinity and will are the internal manifestations of the goddess. Humanity is her visible form. Service of humanity is, therefore, the worship of the Divine-Mother. Feel that She is the working force behind you. Enchanting of Shri Durga Saptashati is therefore the explanation of the entire process of spiritual performance in all aspects; the ultimate cosmic-reality.
May She destroy all dark and hostile forces that disturb the peace of the world ! May She remove all sorts of epidemics and famine from the earth. May She transmute the demoniac forces to the divine-energy. May She annihilate the evil-tendencies of lust, anger, pride, hypocrisy, greed etc. in human-beings, which represent the demons-Madhu, Kaitabh, Mahishasur, Shumbha and Nishumbha.
"The Durga-Saptashati" is a part of an old-scripture, known as Markandeya-Purana, comprising thirteen chapters and consists of 700 verses. Hence it is called Saptashati. The name literally means seven hundred verses on Goddess Durga. Three aspects of the Divine Mother have been depicted in this book
Mahakali (Chapter I)
Mahalakshmi (Chapters II to IV)
Mahasaraswati (Chapters V to XIII)
On each of the above deities, meditations have been added with english translation. The whole of the book is recited on sacred occasions, especially during Durga-pooja (Navratri). Also the traditional-recitations have been included, those should be enchanted in the begining and after the completion (asking for the forgiveness for omissions and wrong-reading) and prayers in the end.
A Summary has been given, following each chapter, with a lucid running translation in English, to understand the text more easily.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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