Dhyanam to Durga
In the Dhyanam to Durga, the twelfth sloka, Chanda appears to be translated both as passion and as fear, as in “The Terrible Slayer of Passion” and “She Who Tears Apart Fear,” respectively. How are these descriptions related?
Passion, fear, desire – these are all inseparably connected. Whatever we are passionate about, we desire. When we desire, there is a fear that our desire will not be fulfilled. They all work together.
Can you explain the significance of the nine Durgas? Do they represent the divine process that our Selves go through as we approach God? Do they represent a cycle through which we spiral through again and again on our eternal journey?
They are a process, and they are a cycle. But they are also the Goddesses who take us along the path. There is actually a Goddess who has become embodied as Inspiration. We can feel Her blessings every time we get excited about something. These definitions will continue to expand as we move deeper and deeper into the experience.
The Vishnu incarnations Varaha and Narasimha are similar to the names of Shakti, Varahi and Narasimhi. Are they one and the same relating to the stories of Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashyap respectively? How do they relate?
They are male and female counterparts of the avatars. They work in much the same way.
I have no Guru at present and I am performing both the Durga and Shiva pujas. As far as mantras go, since Durga is a primary focus for me, should I continue to use Her mantra?
Yes, Durga’s mantra is extremely pure and extremely powerful. Use Her mantra for meditation and worship. She will make you into a disciple, and then you will know who your Guru is.
Can we recite Lalita Sahasranama before the altar of Durga?
Absolutely. There is no scripture that the Gods and Goddesses do not like to hear!
Worship of Tara
I would like to modify the Beginner Durga Puja to pray to Tara Devi. Can you please tell me the Gayatri Mantra and Pranam for Tara Ma? Also, is there any stotram that I can chant in her praise? Thank you.
Tara Gayatri: Om Tarave vidmahe, mahaugrave dhimahi, Tanno Tarah prachodayat.
Pranam : Om Treem Tarave namah.
Stotram : You can use any Kali stotram, or any generic Devi stotram