In this Chapter, we bow down again and again to Narayani. Nara means man, humanity; ayana means eyes. She is the Eyes of Humanity. She energizes Narayana, She is the exposer of consciousness.
We bow down to Divinity with all the energy of consciousness.
Verse 29 in this chapter is a very important mantra that you can make japa whenever some one is ill.
In Verse 39, we pray her to terminate disturbances in the three worlds: gross, subtle, and causal.
In verse 42, Vindhyachala is the Mountain of Knowledge, the mountain of one pointed existence from Bindu.
Whenever oppression arise from confused thoughts the Goddess shall manifest to destroy the foes.
Questions and Answers
1. Why does the poet switch the meter of the verse from 32 syllables to 44 in this chapter?
Anushtup (32 syllables) is the chanda (meter) of narration, it is used for narratives. Trishtup (44 syllables) is the meter of praise, it is used to express the song of devotion.
2. What is the relation between the heart and intelligence?
When we know in our heart, it is sincere and our response is svabhavic, as opposed to knowing in our mind.
Maa says when we have intelligence in our heart, it is medha.
3. In verse 6, if it is true that “All women in the world reflect your capacity entirely”, then why don’t we see this perfection in all women?
Shiva and Shakti revolve around each other mutually and reciprocally. You will inspire your Shiva to act like Shiva, and he will regard his wife as the Divine Mother. Her inspiration makes him divine and his understanding makes her divine.
4. What does it mean to become a refuge to others?
We do so in different ways. By being a good friend, by providing inspiration and knowledge, by doing sadhana. Receive the knowledge of the Chandi and pass it on either through your words or deeds.
5. In verse 29, is there a way to sense whether Mother is frustrating our desires because She is displeased, or if the difficulty is our tapasya and we have to push through it?
Obviously we have to push through. Her displeasure indicates inappropriate desire or that the right effort to fulfill the desire was not taken (effort is not pure).
6. Does a devotee remain quiet when he/she has sickness or is it good for he/she to be humble and ask Divine Mother for help with the infirmity after doing japa and chanting?
Never inappropriate to ask Mother for what you need. Please remove my infirmity so that I have no obstruction to my sadhana.
7. Here the 3 eyes of the Goddess are described as being in union – sun /moon and fire. I assume that sun moon would be shiva/shakti in union. Is the fire symbolic of divine passion or purification?
The Sun is the light of wisdom, the moon the light of devotion, and fire the light of meditation.
8. Historically, which came first: the Devi Gita or the Devi Mahatmyam?
Devi Mahatmyam is from the Markandeya Purana. The Devi Gita came from the Devi Bhagavatam, 900-1000 years later.
9. Verse 20-21 of chapter 7 says that Durga actually slayed the asuras Chanda and Munda. Kali did not actually slay them but only brought Durga the heads of these asuras. Is this true?
Yes, it is true. But Kali and Durga are the same. There is only one Goddess. One God.
10. Does the recitation of Kshama Prarthana reflect the style of self-deprecation?
No, it reflects humility. Self-deprecation: I beat myself and put myself down. Humility: I plead to Mother to make me better. I push myself down so that She can raise me up.
11. What is the significance of the Bee (Brahmari) in verse 53?
The bee knows exactly where to find the nectar. It goes to the flower and takes the nectar and nourishes other flowers and us.
Maa says be a bee, don’t be a fly. Flies move from one dirty place to another and are attracted to filth. Bees just go for the nectar and bring the nectar home and prepare the nourishment of honey.
12. Everyone is praising Mother with every action they perform. Can you explain this?
All energy is Her. So every action we perform is the manifestation of her energy. Some of us are praising her gloriously and some less. Thief wants to be perfect thief, sadhu the perfect sadhu. Every action is taking us to perfection, our definition of Dharma. One day we will realize what that ultimate perfection will look like and we will switch our energies to attain that perfection.
13. In verses 50-53 the Goddess assumes a terrible form, Bhimadevi, on the mountain of Himalaya. What does Bhima mean?
Bhima means terrible. Not in the sense of awful. Terrible in the sense of astonishing, mesmerizing, grand, gigantic, so hard to describe. Maa says She is the authority over all energies.
14. When is the 28th epoch of Vaivasvata Manu? Is it an actual time? Is it saying here that the same Shumbha and Nishumba will be reborn, so self deprecation and self conceit will keep coming back? If this has already happened is there a text about these stories?
It is more a manifestation of mind. As mind evolves we go through the predominant characteristic of the mind. Right now we are in the reign of the eighth Manu. Best to call them as paradigms of reality.
15. Why slay the agitated awareness?
People who resist the predominant attitude of the mind will have confusion of agitated awareness. In this manvantara, Our ultimate dharma is to become Savarni. When they resist, Mother will remove the confusions born of agitated awareness, because manifestations of nature are transient we have to unite with soul.
16. In verse 47, why does She have one hundred eyes?
She sees in all directions, at all times.
17. In verse 46, what is the meaning of “rain shall cease for hundred years?”
This is not a literal interpretation. When there is no further nourishment of devotion, She can’t take birth in the wombs of women. She can take birth only in the heart of devotees. If earth is devoid of devotion, even still, I will take birth in the hearts of devotees.
18. Does the birth in the house of Nandagopa refer to the birth of Krishna?
No. It refers to the birth of Mahamaya. She tells Kamsa that you stop your oppression or you will meet your demise.
19. Will the meaning of the Goddess become clear as we chant more?
Absolutely. The more we refine our desire to sit still, pronounce correctly, invite the Goddess into our lives. The more sincere our worship, the less likely that asuras can come through the city of nine gates.
20. Is it impossible to be in equilibrium when performing karma?
No. But very difficult. Our mind strays from our objective of being with the Goddess to the objective of doing karma. Thinking of how to perform, for whom, what are the results, am I doing the best, what will happen if I don’t perform, etc.
21. How do we nourish our family with vegetables from our body?
Its all about love. Love my family, love life. Reinforce these attitudes and you will nourish everyone around you.