Durga Worship

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Worship of Durga is not comdemned in Vaishnava texts:

It is the misconception among many vaishnavas who are institution minded that worship of Lord Shiva or Devi Durga is condemned and offensive and not as per vaisnava acharya’s teachings . What is actually condemned is the ” independent” worship of Lord Shiva and Devi and asking only for material pleasures. If one worships them with devotion and respect as an incarnation of Lord along with Lord Himself then there is no harm . Lord Shiva and Devi are famous for granting the required strength and clear all hurdles in the spiritual path of devotees. They will grant whatever is needed by devotees to attain Krishna . It should be noted that it is Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who started the Saradiya Durga Pooja mahotsava in Orissa 500 years ago . It is acknowledged by Orissa government as well. 

It is unfortunate that many brainwashed institution minded vaishnavas condemn the worship of Lord Shiva and Devi based on some scriptural statements which is very offensive and incomplete understanding . Ekanti bhakti to Radha Krishna is the highest of all spiritual aspirations and by mercy of Shiva and Devi one can attain that. If one condemn their worship or look down upon their devotees then this is not a vaishnava quality and such person will certainly fall pray to maya in form on women , name fame money or urge to make huge followers thus deviating from the original goal . One who has attained deep ekanti bhakti and strength to perform devotion to Radha Krishna shall not worship  Shiva and Durga directly but offer respect to them.

In many tantric tradition Jagatdhatri form of Durga is worshipped. So Durga is considered Vedic while Jagadhatri is considered Tantric.


 

Srila Jiva Goswami referred Devi Durga in his Brahma Samhita commentary as:

Sometimes Goddess Durga is also described as the supreme controller.   This is also correct because there is no difference between the potencies and Lord Krishna, the master of all potencies.   This is confirmed by the following words of the Gautamiya Tantra:

“Krishna is Durga. Durga is Krishna. One who sees that they are different will not become liberated from the cycle of repeated birth and death.”

Durga is the personal potency of Lord Krishna, and therefore she is Lord Krishna Himself. For this reason Durga should not be considered manifested from a portion of the Lord’s illusory potency Maya. This fact is confirmed by the following statement of the Nirukti:

“Even if one continually worships her, Durga is still difficult to understand.”

Durga is also described in Narada-pancaratra, in the following conversation of Sruti and Vidya:

“Durga is the supreme goddess. She is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. She is the transcendental potency of the Lord.

Simply by understanding her one immediately attains the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is not otherwise.

“She is identical with Gokula’s queen Shri Radha, who possesses a great treasure of love for Krishna. By her grace the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all living entities, is easily understood.”

“She is the potency of personified devotional service. She worships Her beloved Supreme Lord. Because She is understood only with great difficulty, the saintly devotees call her “durga” (difficult to understand). She is the personal potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and she is always filled with the nectar of love for Him.”

“From her is manifested the maha-maya potency, the controller of all conditioned souls, who covers them with illusion. By this maha-maya potency the residents of the entire world are bewildered into thinking themselves identical with their external material bodies.”

In the Sammohana Tantra, Durga herself declares:

“I am Durga. I possess all virtues. I am not different from Shri Radha, the eternal, supreme goddess of fortune.”


Devi Bhagavatam Canto 9 Chapter 2 states about Durga :

She bestows on Krishna’s devotees, the devotion towards Krishna , She is the Vaisnavî Sakti of the Vaisnavas.She gives final liberation to those that want such and gives happiness to those that want happiness.

 

 


Process to Worship Durga in satvik Bhava:


 

Durga Power Mantra:

Om Dum Durgayei Namaha.


 

 Navarna Mantra Jaap 

The most powerful and auspicious Durga mantra is Navarna Mantra .

“Om Aing Hreeng Kling Chamundaye Vicche”

ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं चामुण्डायै विच्चे

But chanting Durga mantra is not like Vaishnava mantras . There are some rules. One has to learn the viniyoga , Different nyasas , Dhayana etc to proceed with mantra chanting. One should chant in rudraksha mala and never in tulsi mala. One should learn the process before proceeding .

It is considered a tantrik mantra . However if chanted with pure intention and devotion to Durga with the aim of self purification then Maa Durga will clear all the difficult path to Radha Krishna. She will provide all necessary strength that a devotee needs .

In many forum people ask to start japa of this mantra after initiation to get its full effect. However it is not a mandatory process . Please refer to the below link for the process.

Navarna-Mantra-Sadhana in-Hindi-and-Sanskrit


Devi says in DURGA SAPTSHATI, “On occasions of sacrifice(mantra japa is  also sacrifice), POOJA, HOM and BIG FESTIVALS, my this CHARITA must be recited and listened to fully.[12.10] If a devotee does the aforesaid, whether devotee knows procedures [VIDHI] of POOJA or not, but offers sacrifice, POOJA and HOM to me, I WILL ACCEPT SUCH OFFERINGS HAPPILY.[12.11]”


 

Durga Saptasathi Paath

In Chandi sadhana parayana or the recital of the text is considered more important than the japa of any mantra. Though the navakshari mantra is chanted, it is chanted as an integral part of the recital of the text. Traditionally the entire text of thirteen chapters is recited in Sanskrit. There is an obligatory prelude (purvabhaga) as well as a postlude (uttara bhaga) to the central text of thirteen chapters. The navakshari mantra is also an integral part of Chandi parayanam. Traditionally recitation of the Chandi is a serious and complete sadhana in itself and requires initiation from a Guru.

Most people are content with chanting selected slokas of the text or chanting the Durga Saptashloki (seven verses) which contains the essence of Chandi, apart from a devout reading of the text  in a language that they are familiar with. Chanting selected slokas for specific results is a practice that is quite common.

DEVI MAHATMYAM – POORVA BHAGAM

1. Nyasam
2. Sankalpam
3. Shappoddhaara Mantram
4. Utkeelana Mantram
5. Kavacham
6. Argala
7. Keelakam
8. Ratri Sooktam (Vedoktam)
9. Ratri Sooktam (Tantroktam)
10. Devi Atharva Sheersham
11. Navarna Mantram
12. Devi Mahatmya Parayana Sankalpam

 

DEVI MAHATMYAM – 13 ADHYAAYAM

1. Madhukaitaba vadham
2. Mahishasurasainya vadham
3. Mahishasura vadham
4. Chakraadi stuti
5. Devi doota samvadam
6. Dhoomralochana vadham
7. Chandamunda vadham
8. Raktabeeja vadham
9. Nishubha vadham
10. Shumbha vadham
11. Naarayani Stuti
12. Phala Stuti
13. Varapradanam

The recitation of the entire text of 13 chapters can be done in several ways:

  • All 13 chapters continuously in one sitting
  • In a span of three days as given below Day 1 – Chapter 1 Day 2 – Chapters 2, 3, 4 Day 3 – Chapters 5 to 13
  •  In a span of nine days -One reading of the text in three days as above, followed by two more repetitions in the next six days thus completing three readings of the text in nine days
  • In a span of 7 days as given below Day 1 – Chapter 1 Day 2 – Chapters 2 & 3 Day 3 – Chapter 4 Day 4 – Chapters 5, 6, 7 & 8 Day 5 – Chapters 9 & 10 Day 6 – Chapter 11 Day 7 – Chapters 12 & 13
  •  If there is no time to read all thirteen, at least Madhyama Charitra (chapters 2, 3, 4) can be recited.

 

DEVI MAHATMYAM – UTTARA BHAGAM

1. Tantroktam Devi Suktam
2. Pradhanyakam Rahasyam
3. Vaiktikam Rahasyam
4. Moorti Rahasyam
5. Kshama Prarthana
6. Durga Sooktam (Rig Veda Samhita)
7. Upasamharah


Auspicious time:

Sri Sri Chandi should be read with firm faith, devotion and correct pronunciation. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday are auspicious week days for the reading of Sri Sri Chandi. The 8th day (Ashtami), 9th day (Navami) and 14th day (Chaturdasi) are the best lunar days for reciting the text. The nine days of Durga puja during Autumnal equinox (Sharad Navaratri) and Spring equinox (Vasanta Navaratri) are very auspicious times of the year. Those who cannot do regular parayana can read the Chandi at least on selected auspicious weekdays, lunar days or the Nine nights.


The benefits of reciting Devi Mahatmayam:

The greatness of the Devi Mahatmyam is extensively explained in several texts such as Rudra Yamala, Marichikalpa, Meru Tantra, Kataka Tantra, Chidambara Rahasya etc. The Devi Mahatmyam has the ability to grant the fruits as per the upasana. A sakama upasaka (one who does sadhana with a specific desire or goal in mind) achieves whatever he aspires for while a nishkama upasaka (one who does sadhana without any expectation or desire) achieves moksha, as revealed in the story. Suratha the king was bestowed with unmixed prosperity whereas the merchant Samadhi was conferred with divine knowledge according to their own aspirations. If Sri Candi is pleased, she confers on her devotees both earthly prosperity as well as supreme knowledge (sā yācitā ca vijñāna tuā ddhi prayacchati, DM, 12. 37). Matsya Purana prescribes recitation of Candi three times for cure from physical ailments, five times for relief from malefic planets; seven times for relief from impending disaster; nine times for ensuring peace; eleven times for winning royal favours; twelve times for overpowering foes; twenty five times for release from prison; thirty times for cure from


The three Gunas and the three Primal Goddesses Because the Chandi integrates three major narratives in its portrayal of the glory of the goddess, the Chandi naturally falls into three parts corresponding to the three gunas- sattva, rajas and tamas. Thus the entire text of thirteen chapters is grouped into three sections

comprising of three major episodes (caritras) each one describing the glory of one of the three different aspects of the Supreme Goddess, three Goddesses identified as Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. Although they are represented as three distinct images, they are virtually one and worship of one form is adored as the worship of the other forms. This holds true not only for the three Goddesses, but also for all other forms of the Goddess.

As already stated above the threefold transformation of the spiritual aspirant is presided over by three aspects of Shakti- Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Sarasvati- each presiding over a specific guna. These primal manifestations of Shakti should not be confused with Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati who are deities in their own right. The three primal manifestations – Mahakali (Tamas), Mahalakshmi (Rajas) and Mahasaraswati (Sattva)- are beyond the regular pantheon of gods and goddesses and represent the Primordial (Adi) Shakti in Her threefold manifestation through the corresponding gunas, unlike Parvati, Lakshmi and Saraswati who are the feminine counterparts of corresponding male trimurti  Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, in other traditions. Whilst each god has a sakti, the Devi Mahatmyam avoids characterizing such forms as being merely consorts, for the Goddess is Sakti, Power itself, beyond the realm of being a consort to anyone.

 

 


 

 

 

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