Sanskrit: दुर्गा, Durgā
“Om. With loose flowing tresses, poised with equanimity, with the radiant half moon upon her head, her three eyes are shining like the full moon.” – Durga Puja
We live with the confusion that we believe ourselves to be this body and attached to every thought of this mind, and we feel burdened by the difficulties of the world. We forget that, in actuality, we are Divine beings in a Divine world, and that we have a Divine purpose.
Durga is “She Who Removes All Confusion,” or the “Durgam” from our lives. Mother Durga is the Goddess who guides us beyond all confusion to the place of stillness and clarity. There we can perceive Durga’s infinite energy in all aspects of creation.
Durga’s essence is Sat- Cit- Ananda (Truth, Consciousness, Bliss). She bestows the way of Truth and Harmony, material Sustenance, the satiation of all Desires, and Liberation, otherwise known as Self-Realization.
Great Goddess of the Chandi Path
The Chandi Path, or the Seven Hundred Verses in Praise of Durga, is one of the most definitive texts of the Divine Mother. This scripture has many verses that reveal how we can understand and relate to the Goddess.
In the story of the Chandi, there is a king named Good Thoughts, who has lost his entire kingdom. He flees, and while wandering through the forest, comes to the sacred hermitage of the great Rishi named the Intellect of Love. Even in this hermitage of great beauty and peace, the king’s mind remains full of worry over the loss of his kingdom. Because of this, the king seeks advice from the great Rishi.
The Rishi tells the king about the Goddess Durga. He says that it is She who creates and sustains the universe, and ultimately will absorb the universe back into Herself. Everything is Her play for She is the Supreme Goddess, the Eternal Existence, and the Great Measurement of Consciousness (Mahamaya).
Mother Durga creates our attachment to the world of manifested existence, and it is She alone, who grants us liberation from this attachment.
Benefits of Worship
“Whoever will meditate on you with full concentration will escape from the cycle of birth and death.” From the Durga Chalisa.
Shree Maa explains that when we worship Mother Durga, and repeat Her mantra, our egotism and its attachments (the “I” and the “mine”) will dissolve into the bliss of Divine Union. When we open to Durga’s infinite grace, She will fill our world completely.
There are innumerable ways that we can worship Mother Durga. We can perform puja, we can chant the Chandi Path, we can make japa of Her mantra, and we can sing in Her praise. The opportunities to worship Her are endless.
Worship and Celebrations at the Devi Mandir
Navaratri, the Nine Night festival in celebration of Durga comes four times a year – one in each season. (The Fall and Winter celebrations are particularly sacred to the worshipers of Divine Mother.) During these celebrations devotees chant the Chandi, make puja, and sing of Durga’s glory from dawn till dusk. Some will fast during this time. On the culmination of the eighth day there is a special puja with lots of singing and dancing, and a grand feast.
- Beginner Durga Puja by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. This is also available as an audio recording with Shree Maa reciting the mantras.
- Chandi Path by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. This is also available as an iPad App, and an audio recording.
- Cosmic Puja by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. This is also available as an iPad App and an audio recording.
- Tune into to the podcast and video classes in other parts of this website, which pronounce and explain the mantras of these texts.