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
Every day we face confusion. We think ourselves to be this body and this mind and feel burdened by the difficulties of the world. We forget that we are Divine beings in a Divine world with a Divine purpose.
“Durgam” means confusion, and Durga is She Who Removes All Confusion. Divine Mother Durga is the Goddess who guides us beyond all confusion to a state of stillness and clarity, where we perceive Her infinite energy in all aspects of creation.
Her essence is Sat-Cit-Ananda, Truth-Consciousness-Bliss. She bestows the Way of Truth and Harmony, Satiation of Desires, Material Sustenance, and Liberation.
Great Goddess of the Chandi Path
The Chandi Path, also called the Durga Saptashati, or Seven Hundred Verses in Praise of Goddess Durga, is one of the most definitive texts of the Divine Mother. The 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 who, after having lost his entire kingdom, wanders to a sacred hermitage. Although the hermitage is full of beauty and peace, the king’s mind remains besieged with worry over the loss of his kingdom. Unable to control his mind, the king seeks the advice of the Rishi Medha, the Intellect of Love.
The Rishi tells him that it is Mother Durga who creates the universe, sustains the universe, and ultimately absorbs the universe back into Herself; everything is Her play. She is the Supreme Goddess, the Eternal Existence, the Great Measurement of Consciousness (Mahamaya).
She creates our attachment to the world of manifested existence, and She alone grants us liberation.
Benefits of Worship
“Whoever will meditate on you with full concentration will escape from the cycle of birth and death.” – Durga Chalisa, Durga Puja
Shree Maa explains that when we worship Mother Durga and repeat Her mantra, our egotism and attitude of possessiveness (“I” and “mine”) dissolve into the bliss of Divine Union. When we open to Durga’s Infinite grace, She can fill our worlds completely.
There are innumerable ways to worship Durga. One can perform puja, chant the Chandi Path, make japa of Her mantra, or sing songs in Her praise. The opportunities to worship Her are endless.
Worship and Celebrations at the Devi Mandir
Worship of Mother Durga is conducted daily at the Devi Mandir with the morning celebration of the Cosmic Puja and recitation of the Chandi Path.
Navaratri, the “nine night” festival in celebration of Durga, comes four times every year: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. The Fall and Spring celebrations are particularly sacred to worshipers of Divine Mother. During these times, according to their individual capacities, devotees fast, chant the Chandi, make puja, and sing of Durga’s glory from dawn until dusk. On the culmination of the eighth day there is a special puja, lots of singing and dancing, and a grand feast.
The Devi Mandir community also comes together every Sunday to chant the Chandi Path, which is broadcasted live via the Temple webcam.
- 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.