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Thread: Devi Mahatmyam

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    Devi Mahatmyam

    Sharad Navarathri started today. I have just finished my Puja.

    On this occasion , I thought I should post on Devi Mahatmyam. The following post was written 10 years back.

    I will be posting on Devi Mahatmyam on all the nine days. Facets of the bible of the Sakthas.

    Devi Mahatmyam is also called Durga Sapthasathi. It is called Sri Sri Chandi in Bengal. It is part of Markendeya purana.

    MAA CHANDI is the central figure in the epic. Chandi or Chandika has been defined by the St. Petersburg dictionary as "the violent and impetuous one". Chandika is a derivative from the adjective Chandi- "fierce, passionate".This epithet is applied to the Goddess a total of twenty-nine times (maximum for any epithet) in the Devi Mahatmyam. Again this epithetis not used in the first Charithra dealing with Madhu Kaitabha.

    In light of this primacy of this designation of the Goddess, it is striking that the word Chandika hasvirtually no earlier history in Sanskrit. Neither the Vedas nor the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana refer to MAA by this name.

    In all the Devi Mahaatmyam books the mantra "Nava Avarna Mantra" is given and the procedure for reciting the Mantra. This mantra is also known as Navakshari or Chandi Navakshari as it contains nine syllables. We call it just The CHANDI. During my travels all over India, I have found that this is the best-known mantra. All over North India you get photographs, calendars and Yantras with this Mantra inscribed.

    MAA CHANDI is worshipped all over India. But in most of the places there are three Murthis or Pindas representing MAHAA KALI, MAHAA LAKSHMI, and MAHAA SARASWATHI. Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu and Mahaa Lakshmi temple in Mumbai (Bombay) are representatives of this.

    MAA CHANDI in my opinion was worshipped extensively long time back in Tamil Nadu. The first time I heard the epithet was when my mother called my rebellious sister Chandi. She also used epithets like Kaali and Bhadra Kali. The term Chandi is used in Tamil to mean "irrepressible ". This describes the quality of MAA CHANDI. So I think that MAA CHANDI must have been well known in Tamil Nadu for the term to come into the language. But now though there is no old temple for Chandi, people perform Chandi Homam at the drop of a hat. Most of the homams or havan are conducted by collecting donations from the public. There are variations like Dasa Chandi and Sahashra Chandi. The homam is done either with the recitation of Devi Mahatmyam and Navakshari mantra (more common) or Moola mantra homam (only recitation of Navakshari). A few Upasakas do it at home also.

    Jai MAA !!!
    யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர்.

    நச்சினார்க்கினியன்.
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    Last edited by tbs; 28-09-2011 at 01:24 AM.
    asato maa sadh gamayaa, tamaso maa jyotir
    gamayaa, mrityor maa amritham gamayaaa..
    om shanti, om shanti, om shanti...upanishad
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    My mother used to sing during the nine days of gulu, another Bhajan which was about 'chanda munda' 'Raktbijan' and then 'mahishasuran'. I do not know the words and none of my family members remember it. I would be happy if you can point me in the right direction. I think it was in Tamil and not Sanskrit.
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    Dear Prasad,

    This is for you..From Devi Mahatmyam

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    Surprisingly the one name by which MAA is never called in Devi Mahatmyam is Lalitha. Maa Lalitha Tripurasundari vanquished Bandasura. That is a separate Upa-Purana. My grand mother used to recite Lalithambal Shobanam during Navaratri.

    Again the people of North India have changed Simha Vahini into a rider of Tiger, Because they use the term Simha for both Lion and Tiger in Hindi and associated languages. Devi is not described in any of the scriptures as riding a Tiger. Even in Vaishno Devi the Big Murthi in front of the cave shows her only on a Lion.

    This Navaratri is not celebrated in North India. They celebrate Vasantha Navaratri.

    Jai MAA !!!
    யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர்.

    நச்சினார்க்கினியன்.
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    Dear sir,

    you wrote:
    This Navaratri is not celebrated in North India. They celebrate Vasantha Navaratri.
    Really? When you say North of India..can you please specify which states you mean sir?
    Cos I find this suprising as I know its celebrated by North Indians.

    In fact as far as I know in North India they celebrate 3 types of Navaratri..

    1)Vasant Navaratri
    2)Ashada/Gupta Navaratri
    3)Sharad Navaratri


    Never seen my mums relatives from Punjab miss any of this three.
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    In hindustani the words are Sher for lion and Bagh for tiger.
    Shimha is a Sanskrit IMO.
    Thanks reneka.
    But I have been looking for that music that my mother used to recite.
    Nachi,
    I see Reneka beat me, with the correction.
    Last edited by prasad1; 28-09-2011 at 04:25 PM.
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    All major temples like Vaishno Devi celebrate only Vasantha Navaratri. If you are in Delhi now you would not see any celeberation where as during Vasntha Navaratri the whole city goes gay.

    There are five Navarathris. Not three. Some have even six. Sakthas celebrate all of them. I will write about them later.

    Prasad

    Simha is also in Hindi. Yes there is the term Bagh. have you ever heard anyone referring to MAA as Bagh Vahini?
    யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர்.

    நச்சினார்க்கினியன்.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nacchinarkiniyan View Post
    All major temples like Vaishno Devi celebrate only Vasantha Navaratri. If you are in Delhi now you would not see any celeberation where as during Vasntha Navaratri the whole city goes gay.

    There are five Navarathris. Not three. Some have even six. Sakthas celebrate all of them. I will write about them later.

    Prasad

    Simha is also in Hindi. Yes there is the term Bagh. have you ever heard anyone referring to MAA as Bagh Vahini?
    Thanks..the other 2 Navaratris dont seem to be well known but nevertheless its worth a mention.I first heard of the 5 Navaratris when I was in Puttaparthi once and a lecture was given during Navaratri.

    the other 2 are Pausha Navaratri and Magha Navaratri.
    Last edited by renuka; 28-09-2011 at 09:24 AM.
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    In North India they celebrate Ram Lila during Sharad Navaratri.
    யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர்.

    நச்சினார்க்கினியன்.
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