In this chapter, we recite the Phala Sruti – what will happen if we study and sing the Chandi.
Rishis and Munis get their siddhis (attainments) from tapasya.
Gods get their siddhis from drinking the nectar of devotion.
Asuras get their siddhis from wearing stones and amulets.
So if you have any adverse planetary influence, sit down and do tapasya, and you will get the attainments of rishis and munis.
In order to listen to it once and really listen, really intuitively grok the essence of the Chandi, we need to prepare ourselves. Some once asked Shree Maa, “Swami Vivekananda was touched by Sri Ramakrishna and he got enlightened by a single touch. Will you touch me like that?” Maa said, “Certainly, but first you become Swami Vivekananda.”
Questions and Answers:
1. In verse 20, what are offerings of animalistic nature?
Some people like to slay an animal. I like to slay my animalistic nature, my pashu bhava. The selfish guy within me is the one whom I want to sacrifice. That is the purpose of this Chandi.
2. We are told to recite or listen with concentration and full devotion. In verse 11 we are told that it doesn’t matter whether or not we understand it. Is it possible to really have full concentration without understanding?
Yes. When we are beginning it is enough to be able to pronounce even a single line. The more we study, the more we understand, and the easier it is to focus on the story of what is happening to me, the story of our personal transformation. Self-conceit and self-deprecation in us makes us follow our day dreams. The purpose of concentration is to focus on the scripture to the exclusion of these day dreams
3. In verses 20-22, other than the consideration of time, why do we recite a shortened version of the Chandi Path? Will the benefits still be the same?
The benefits are not exactly the same. The longer we sit, the more we benefit.
4. With all the benefits the Goddess showers upon the devotee, please tell us why it is NOT okay to ask Her for material benefits.
It’s certainly OK to ask her for material benefits. But when she grants you the wish, you will come back and ask her for something else. We want something permanent. The only thing permanent is devotion. If I am devoted, I love what I am doing, wherever I am at, and whomever I am with. If she gives me that devotion, everything else will come. Asking for material benefits is like going to a billionaire and asking him, “Hey buddy, can I have a dime for a cup of coffee?”
5. Is the way Mother removes all obstacles, afflictions, and other bad things, by our chanting the Chandi because through this practice we come into alignment with Her and by knowing our true nature none of these things can be of any consequence to us?
Yes, very true. When we are aligned with her, of what consequence are robbers, lions, tigers, etc?
6. The chapter mentions ghosts and inimical forces. In the Chandi you have translated Asuras as Thoughts. Do negative and inimical beings (other than our thoughts) actually exist?
Yes, they do. They are in my thoughts. These are incorporeal spirits that are perplexing us and exist in our minds. Whether they have external existence as well is of no consequence to us. They represent the conflicts and confusions that are making obstacles in our paths.
7. In verse 8, what are spiritual and physical confusions?
We have physical obstacles, limitations. For example, I have a pain in my leg and I have a confusion: should I sit or not sit in the asana. I have spiritual confusions: what is my dharma in this circumstances, a debate between two conflicting ideals of perfection. That’s a Dharma sankat.