Mother, this is our only prayer; may no one in all the worlds experience pain or sorrow. Save us from our (inner) enemies. SAPTA SLOKI DURGA. fxäxÇ ixÜáxá . 22 నవం Durga Sapta Sloki Lyrics in Telugu PDF. % File name: aracer.mobi % Location: doc\_devii. % Language: Sanskrit. % Subject. Durga Sapta Sloki In Sanskrit / Hindi: Source 1: aracer.mobi | PDF Link| Text Link Source 2: aracer.mobi | PDF Link| Text Link.
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DURGA SAPTA SLOKI. Translation - PDF. Sanskrit. अथ दुर्गासप्तश्लोकी . शिव उवाच |. देवी त्वं भक्तसुलभे सर्वकार्यविधायिनी |. Shri Durga Sapta Shloki. Om Jnaaninaamapi chetaamsi Devi Bhagavati hi sa, Baladaakrushya mohaaya Maha Maya prayacchati/ (Bhagavati Maha Maya!. NA Please send corrections to [email protected] % Proofread by: Kapila. aracer.mobi Durga Sapta Sloki Lyrics in Malayalam PDF % File name: durga7.
There are three gunas satvam, rajas, and tamas and they are the product of Prakriti. The battles described in the Devi Mahatmyam all allegorical tales about our conquest of these three gunas. As mentioned earlier, there are three stages the killing of Madhu. These represent our conquest of tamas, rajas, and satvam. We generally think that satvam is good, but it is also one of the gunas. That too needs to be conquered. In chapter 14, verse 6, Krishna says that satvam also binds us to this body by producing pleasant and happy experiences Sukha sangena badhnaati jnaana sangena caanagha and with experiences based on jnaanam spiritual knowledge.
In verse 20 of chapter 14, Krishna states clearly that we the dehee, ones with a body, the deham must overcome all three gunas which we experience due to our bodies guNaan etaan ateetya treen dehee dehasamudbhavaan. And Arjuna immediately asks how one can conquer all these three gunas. So, satva guna also has to be conquered. But, before we can get to this level, we have to first rid ourselves of the most elementary problems that we have, which is represented by the conquest of tamas.
Before we engage ourselves in any spiritual activity, we first like to take a nice bath and put on some nice clothes. Taking a bath is to get rid of the dirt, the ma-la in our body. Then we feel clean and ready. But this is just external cleanliness, the cleaning up of the indriyas the biggest of all sensory organs, biology teaches us is the skin.
But, we also have to cleanse all the other indriyas, eyes what we see , ears what we hear , tongue what we say, eat, etc. The two demons described in the story, Madhu and KaiThabha are produced from the dirt in the ears of Vishnu Vishnu karna malOdbhootau, chapter 1, verse 68 of DM. And, what do they do? They attack Lord Brahma who is seated on the top of the lotus that springs from the navel of Mahavishnu.
The two demons thus represent the basest of all our gunas, kama and krodha. And, like Madhu and KaiThabha, kama and krodha attack our better qualities and destroy us. Brahma is the embodiment of Sattava guna in this tale.
The two lower gunas, tamas and rajas, thus go on the attack and want to kill the satvam that is also present within us. The conquest of these baser gunas is the first step before Satva can rise and dominant us. Then in the last stage, we can worry about how to overcome even satva. The ears are also symbolic here.
All of our knowledge is actually acquired through the hearing process. Even when we see a video clip nowadays, it is always accompanied with an audio. When we learn from our teachers, as children, we do so by listening, through our ears.
In the old days, students learned the Vedas by the process Page 36 of Hence, the Vedas are also known as shruti, which means that which has been heard.
In the nine form of developing bhakti from the Prahalada story in Srimad Bhagavatam , the first listed is ShravaNam, which means hearing. The full sloka is given below. Likewise, Devi Mahatmyam DM begins with the story of the demons that are produced from the dirt in the ear of Mahavishnu. BTW, if there is dirt in your ears, what we call earwax, it is difficult to hear.
I know it since it affects the performance of my hearing aids and sometimes I dont realize it that I am unable to hear because of the earwax that must be cleaned too! The demons Madhu and KaiThabha are thus preventing us from engaging in the first of the steps in our spiritual journey. It is through the hearing process through spiritual discourses from qualified teachers that we are purified. Madhu also means sweet, or honey. KaiThaba also means an insect, like the honeybee.
The honeybee stings and we are afraid of the stings of such bees. The honey and the honeybee go together. The more the honey we try to collect through worldly possessions that please us , the more the danger of the stings in that quest.
Thus, we have to kill both the honeybee and also the desired for the honey itself. These two demons are therefore symbolic of these two enemies, as also mentioned by Krishna in chapter 3, verse He tells Arjuna, Kama and Krodha are the two great enemies.
Know them to be here, Kama esha, Krodha esha,.. The triumph over Madhu and KaiThabha is thus the triumph over our tamas and rajas. Higher forms of tamas become rajas and higher forms of rajas become satva. So, there is no strict compartmentalization.
The gradation of demons that we must kill blend smoothly. But, the first step, as described in DM is this conquest of tamas. Mahavishnu killed them and so is called MadhukaiThabhaari. Sometimes, we only use Page 37 of Madhusoodana to describe the killing of the demon Madhu, things that are pleasing to us but which are really not good like eating too much which leads to obesity and diseases associated with gaining weight etc. The Vishnu Sahasranaamam has the name Madhusoodana verse 8.
Also, MadhukaiThabareh appears in the third verse of the Venkatesa Suprabhatam, see below. Maatas-samasta Jagataam MadhukaiThabhareh Vaksho-vihaariNi Manohara-divya-moorteh l Shreeswamini shritajana priyadaana sheele Shree Venkatesa dayite tava suprabhatam ll 3 ll Here MadhukaiThabhareh means of MadhukaiThabhari, the possessice case, signifying belonging to. After waking up Lord Venkateswara with the first two verses, Kausalya suprajaa Raam and UttishTotishTha Govinda, the devotee then also is addressing the Goddess Mahalakshmi who is residing in His vaksha sthalam.
Following the killing of Madhu and KaiThabha and the recitation of the short hymn Medhaasi Devi viditaakhila shastra-saara.. This is a more sophisticated demon than Madhu and KaiThabha. We will discuss this in the next email.
Laxmanan October 17, Conquest of Rajoguna: Killing of Mahishaasura Dear All: We have discussed the inner meaning of the killing of Mahishaasura in the earlier emails. As noted earlier, Prakriti, of which we are a part of, endows us with three gunas qualities or characteristics: Then in chapter 16, which is called the Daivaasura Sampad Vibhaga yoga chapter, Krishna starts with a description of the Daivee or Divine qualities in verses 1 to 3.
The rest of chapter 14 is about asura demoniac sampad. They too the demons too are blessed with certain sampad, or opulence, but which is used in an abusive manner.
Among the sampad is Ahankaram highly inflated ego , balam great strength darpa pride and arrogance , kaamam desires or lust or obssessions , krodha anger, transforming into fury and rage. Victory over demoniac tendencies means victory over these demoniac qualities. These demons do not reside in just Hiranyakashyapu, Ravana, or Mahishaasura, or Kamsa.
These reside within all of us in the form of these qualities. In chapter 2 verses 62 to 64 and chapter 3 verses 37 to 43 Krishna has provided a clear description of how succumbing to anger will lead to the total destruction of a person.
Kaamam or lust, most of us can control. The large majority of us know what is wrong about lustful tendencies. But anger krodha and ego ahankaram are much more difficult to control and lead to destruction of both ourselves and our relationships loss of friends and even family not to mention difficulties in the workplace where we spend the majority of our days.
They can also lead to harmful relations even in places like temples and spiritual groups like our Gita and Navararthri groups that we associate with. The sampad of Mahishaasura is described in Devi Mahatmyam by his 16 generals and the millions and billions of his warriors who are ready to wage war with Devee. Several of these generals are mentioned by name: Mahishaasura was surrounded by all these generals and each fought furiously with Devee as described vividly verses 45 to 62 so much so that even after their heads were chopped off, and their arms and legs were cut off, they continued to dance around Page 39 of Such a state is called kambandha.
There is a demon with the same name also in Ramayana and after he was killed he got Moksha and he pointed Raama the way to Sugreeva and thus a resolution of Raamas troubles Kambandha-baahu cedana Raam in Raama naamaavali.
The last two generals to be vanquished are named Durdara and Durmukha mentioned in Mahishaasura mardini stotram. Durdara means irresistible. What is irresistible? Our desires, our kama, we cannot resist them.
Durmukha means one with a bad mouth, foul mouth, one who speaks using harsh and ill language. What is the cause of this? Anger, krodha. When we are angry we say things that are hurtful and that we regret later. The names chosen for these two demon generals, who are the last to die, are thus symbolic of how difficult it is to overcome the sway of these demoniac tendencies. Then finally Devee battles Mahishaasura directly. He unfolds his fury in many ways which is symbolic of how Rajoguna manifests itself in its lower, or vile, form.
He does not stand still in one place and fight. He is constantly moving about and tossing around on the battlefield. He keeps changing his form. He unleashes his anger at Devee and Her forces in eight different ways: He pounds the earth with his hooves khura kshepa in the buffalo form. Some he hits with his muzzle tunDa prahaara.
He lashes others with his tail laangoola taaDanam , tears others with his horns shrugaabhayaam vidaaritaan , crushes some by his mere speed vegena , others by his mere bellowing sounds naadena , and by spinning around bhramareNa and by the blasts of his breath nishvashasena.
He used all these powers to destroy Devees forces. This is how the extreme Rajoguna manifests in those with demoniac tendencies and torments those who are good with Divine or daiva qualities.
The eight-fold fury of Mahishaasura is also compared to the eight ways in which we engage ourselves when we lust see the commentary that follows. The killing of Mahishaasura represents the ultimate triumph by Devee against this lower form of Rajas. The Devee Herself displays Rajas anger. She is furious but Her anger is being used to curb evil. She is even described as drinking wine and mocks at Mahishaasura when She decides it is time to put an end to him.
She says, You fool, wait till I finish My drink and I shall kill you. Then She jumps off Her lion and tramples him with Her foot, until the real form of Mahishaasura emerges from within the buffalo form. Only then is he killed by Devees spear and his head cut off with Her Page 40 of In other words, evil must be completely uprooted for the real triumph of good.
Even in the Kalki avatara still to come such killing of evil forces is prophesized in the Puranas. The Lord will then ride a horse with His sword being used for destruction of all evil forces. Laxmanan Oct 19, I have copied and pasted below the entire commentary by Dr.
Satya Prakash Choudhary, a disciple of Swami Sachchidananda click here Esoteric meaning of the battle between the gods and the demons First let us examine the theme of the battles between the gods and the demons as revealed in the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads and Adi Shankaras commentary.
The word Sanskrit word for gods is devah, which denotes light or the function of illumining. Commenting on the verse devsur ha vai yatra sayetire Chandogya Upanishad, 1.
The demons or asuras who are opposed to the gods, stand for tendencies that are opposite to the illumining functions, and are of the nature of darkness. Thus the war between the gods and the demons actually refers to the perpetual conflict between the forces of light and darkness, between righteous and unrighteous urges. Thus there are two opposing psychic forces within all of us. The roots of these two types of urges are traced to the Sanchita karmas of innumerable lives.
While we experience only Prarabdha karmas allotted for a particular lifetime, the Sanchita karmas indirectly influence us as our samskaras. Esoterically speaking the gods symbolise the positive samskaras of innumerable lifetimes resulting from all the righteous karmas that are oriented towards the Supreme Self, while the demons symbolise the negative samskaras of innumerable lifetimes resulting from all the unrighteous karmas that are contrary and in conducive to our orientation to the Supreme Self.
Thus interpreting the battles between the gods and demons on these lines is in order wherever references to the battles between the gods and the demons occur in the Vedas and the Puranas. The righteous and unrighteous samskaras have also been referred to as daiva sampada divine wealth or divine tendencies and asura sampada demoniac wealth or demoniac tendencies in the Bhagavad Gita in the sixteenth chapter titled daivasura sampdvibhaga yogah.
Here Divine tendencies have been referred to as Divine wealth Page 41 of Elaborating this idea further the Bhagavad Gita declares that the Divine are deemed for liberation or Self-realization and the demoniac for bondage.
Returning back to Mahishasuras myth, the Devi Mahatmyam tells us that long back when Mahishasura was the lord of asuras and Indra the lord of devas, there was a war between the devas and asuras for a full hundred years. Now that we know who the gods and demons are, it is not difficult to understand why the span of the war is for hundred years. This is the approximate upper limit of human life span. Thus the conflict between the righteous and unrighteous samskaras goes on as long as we are alive.
And in that war, as the Devi Mahatmyam tells us, the army of the gods is vanquished by the mighty demons and Mahisasura becomes the lord of heaven. Now what does this mean? As already stated the gods are the presiding deities for various indriyas and their functionsSurya over eyes, Indra hands, Agni over speech, Vayu over skin, Chandra over the mind, Yama over anus, Varuna over tongue and so on.
The gods stand for the respective indriya vrttis. All these senses and their functions are hijacked by Rajo-guna serving the purpose of nourishing asuric tendencies. This is the meaning of Mahishasura assuming lordship over all jurisdictions of the gods.
Under the influence of Rajo-guna all psychological and sensory functions are focused only on the gross and the material, having lost the original orientation to the Supreme Being. The task, therefore, is to once again reclaim the original state.
But this can be achieved only by uniting together all the powers of the gods and orienting them back to the Supreme Being. This is exactly what happens in the story. The vanquished gods collectively surrendering to the Devi The gods first approach Brahma who leads them to Vishnu and Shiva. There is a significance in the gods first approaching Brahma. As per Hindu mythology Brahma was born from a lotus that grew at Lord Vishnus navel.
Here Vishnu signifies Consciousness while the lotus signifies flowering or blossoming of Consciousness.
Brahma being born from the nabhikamala navel chakra of Vishnu is clearly a Puranic allusion to Kundalini and the Chakras. The nabhi is the vedic equivalent to what is known as known as the Manipura chakra in the tantric system.
Below the manipura chakra is asura kshetra field of demoniac consciousness , while daiva kshetra field of divine consciousness starts from manipura.
Thus the very awareness of the conflict between the righteous and unrighteous samskaras and the need to overcome asuric samskaras, starts with the manipura. Now that spiritual awareness has started blossoming it will lead to the coming together of all the spiritual samskaras, the coming together of the powers of the gods. Brahma leads the gods to Vishnu and Shiva. Vishnu and Shiva too symbolise specific psychological functions like the other gods.
In the symbolism of Devi Mahatmyam, the Devi is obviously the Supreme Being or Supreme Self, whereas Vishnu and Shiva symbolise prana shakti and gnana shakti respectively. What happens when all the powers of all the gods come together? As the Devi Mahatmyam reveals, all the radiance from all the gods coalesced into the auspicious form of the Goddess. Page 42 of The tejas that emerges from the gods is not their creation but the Devis natural indwelling presence.
Thus what coalesces into the Devis auspicious form is actually Her own power. The gods do not relinquish their power or weapons, even as their varied powers reunite in the Devi. This is a sublime philosophical abstraction of simultaneous divine immanence and transcendence.
Now that the collective power of the gods is united against Mahishasura and his armies, the gods can be assured of their inevitable victory. Mahishasura and his Generals- Rajo-guna and its Asura sampada Mahishasura symbolises the powerful combination of human competence and beastly nature.
As already stated he stands for Rajo-guna. While Kaitabha is also rajas, he comes as a twin of Madhu tamas , at the level of origination. Unlike Kaitabha who is of the nature of rajas, Mahishasura is the epitome of Rajo-guna. He has sixteen asuras who lead various battalions of armies. They stand for various demoniac traits or tendencies and are Mahishasuras assets or wealth. Together they are all asura sampada or demoniac wealth or assets see the chapter on Daiva sampada and Asura sampada for more.
If Mahishasura has to be subdued his generals have to be eliminated first, his demoniac wealth has to be destroyed first. But the asura armies vastly outnumber the gods. Commenting on the Brhadaranyaka Upanishads 1, 3 account of a similar conflict between the gods and the demons Adi Shankara tells us that the gods are always less in number while the demons are more. So what to do? There is only one way out- absolute surrender to the Supreme Goddess.
Nothing less than total surrender will bail them out of their difficulty. And this is precisely what the gods do. As already stated if Mahishasura has to be subdued his generals have to be eliminated first, his demoniac wealth has to be destroyed first.
Hence the Goddess and her lion start destroying these asuras one by one. While each of the sixteen asura generals and their esoteric significance is important in its own way, two among them deserve special mentionDurdhara and Durmukha who fight till the last.
Only after Durdhara and Durmukha are destroyed can the Goddess finally fight the asura lord Mahishasura. Such is their negative significance for spiritual life.
If Mahishasura is Rajas, Durdhara and Durmukha are desire and anger. As the Bhagavad Gita 3. In fact most often anger is related to desire. When the fulfilment of desire Kama is frustrated by an obstacle, frustration turns into anger Krodha. Desire itself is rooted in Rajas and aggravates it further. In fact Durdhara literally means irresistible while Durmukha means ugly or hideous or bad faced. True enough it is very difficult to resist desire, while anger transforms the most beautiful face into a hideous one!
Durmukha can also mean bad-mouthed or abusive which too denotes anger Desire is by nature insatiable and is the most important of the six inner enemies arishadvargas along with its comrade- Anger Krodha. Since Rajas begets desire and anger, they are the last to go before Rajas. That is why they fight till the last. Once desire is eliminated, Sattva guna Divine forces of Light can easily prevail over Rajo guna. Page 43 of However do not underestimate Mahishasura Rajo-guna and his army. Rajo guna Mahishasura and its associated vrttis Mahishasuras armies wield great power over the psyche.
They are the result of the impressions of innumerable lifetimes and choices made in those lives, choices that have become embedded in our psyche as stubborn psychological traits. To make matters worse most of us waste away this precious life without any conscious awareness of what is happening within. As the Bhagavad Gita 7. And rare is such a great soul. Most of us carry on with our deluded lives without realising that life is not just about relationships, money, power and material pursuits.
For the majority spiritual life is only an extension of the deep-rooted material approach. Even those who are interested have only a shallow interest, quite often it being a mere coping mechanism for the stress of daily living. For some spirituality is a pursuit that they reserve for their old age, for their retired lives.
Compelled by our asuric tendencies we waste the best time of our lives pursuing purely material goals, wasting away our greatest potential, postponing it continually. It is only a few wise ones who awaken to the truth that the Supreme Being is all that is, that have a conscious awareness of the war between the gods and the demons. Bringing this inner conflict into conscious awareness, the serious practitioner surrenders completely to the Supreme Goddess just as the gods did in the Devi Mahatmyam.
Progressively the gods are reinstated in their rightful place by the replacement of asuric wealth with divine wealth. This needs the grace of Mahalakshmi who can bestow daiva sampada or divine wealth to Her devotee. The practitioner who is endowed with divine wealth is now fit for attaining liberation. Even if one does not attain liberation in this birth, the samskaras and the merit acquired during this lifetime are carried in a potential form into the next lives when they shall bear fruit automatically.
However for those who are unwavering from the goal the accumulation of divine wealth shall set them free in this very life. Spiritual victory is in sight. Mahishasuras eightfold fury Returning back to Mahishasuras myth, seeing his armies destroyed by the Devi an enraged Mahishasura starts terrifying the Devis hosts.
And how does Mahishasura destroy the Devis forces- in eight ways. These eight ways are the purely negative expression of rajas. Hitting some by muzzle, trampling some by the hooves, lashing at some with his tail, tearing others with his horns, by sheer speed, by bellowing, by wheeling, and by the blast of his breath, Mahishasura destroyed the Devis forces.
This eightfold unleashing of Mahishasuras rajas is comparable to eightfold maithuna or eightfold sexual union, which a Brahmachari is strictly advised to avoid. Here a word on Brahmacharya is in order. Brahmacharya means to move, learn and live in the Way of Brahman or higher Awareness.
Conducting oneself in higher awareness is not just about sexual continence, not just about controlling sexual desire but about also about gaining mastery over all the indriyas. Among other things it is also about bringing the indriyas under effortless control. Thus one of the goals of Brahmacharya is reaching a state where one is not troubled by the indriyas anymore. However this state of freedom from the indriyas comes effortlessly only after intense practice or abhyasa.
Till one Page 44 of Hence initially we are advised to avoid eightfold indulgence of the indriyas. The eight ways of sensual indulgence: Smaranam thinking of it , Kirtanam talking of it , Keli playing around , Prekshanam seeing , Guhya-bhashanam talking in secrecy , Sankalpa wishing for , Adhyavasaya determination towards , Kriyanishpatti actual accomplishment.
These are the eight ways in which Rajas destroys the divine forces before one can even gauge its destructive influence.
That is why the unleashing of Mahishasuras rajas too has eightfold fury. After destroying the Devis forces by his eightfold rajas, Mahishasura rushes forward to slay her lion. The Goddess Ambika becomes enraged at this. The lion as the sadhaka who has taken to the path of dharma The lion is none other than the sadhaka who has taken to the path of dharma. It is none other than the practitioner, the jiva, you and me. Since the devotee has already surrendered to the Goddess and is on the path of dharma, the Mother will protect him as her own child.
Now starts the real fight between the Devi and the lord of the asuras. To meet the challenge the Goddess heightens Her own rajas. However unlike Mahishasuras destructive and egoistic rage Her anger is divine or righteous anger that counters demoniac or unrighteous anger. Initially the practitioner counters lower order material rajas through higher order spiritual rajas.
One has to remove a thorn with the help of another thorn, as the adage goes. We come across instances of the lions fury too, in both the second and third episodes though more elaborately in the third episode. This is the sadhakas spiritualized higher order rajas or sattvic rajas which counters the destructive influence of material lower order rajas of the asuras.
The two faces of rajas is an interesting theme that the Devi Mahatmyam portrays time and again through powerful metaphors. Mahishasura changing his form many times before finally being beheaded During the combat Mahishasura changes his form many times, undergoing a series of metamorphosis.
This is the very nature of desire, of rajas. We think that we have rooted out a particular psychological compulsion only to discover that it still existent albeit in a different form.
We move from one addiction to another, from one compulsive behaviour to another, as long as the original inner emotional issue is not resolved. The Devis weapons appear ineffectual as long as Mahishasura keeps changing forms. She triumphs over him only when he emerges in his original form, as She pins him down under her foot.
Only then does She behead him finally with Her sword, destroying the deadly combination of human competence and beastly nature. Mahishasuras episode reveals that through active struggle, through divine rajas, we can overcome enslavement to the indriyas, and live righteously in harmony with the world. It also reveals to us the two faces of rajas and the two kinds of wealth that we may seek in our lives. One is divine while the other is demoniac. Those who seek demoniac wealth take to the purely negative and demoniac expression of rajas and are deemed to be bound further and to suffer in the quagmire of perpetual desire, while those who take to a positive expression of rajas seek divine wealth and are eventually deemed for liberation from suffering of all kinds.
Conquest of Satva-guna: Killing of Shumbha and Nishumbha Dear All: I have consulted the following sources to prepare this brief discussion of the esotetric significance of Devi Mahatmyam stories. Devi Mahatmyam click here 3. As we have discussed in the earlier emails, Prakriti, to which we all belong to, endows us with the three qualities: The three major episodes of Devi Mahatmyam DM refer to the conquest of all these three gunas.
The killing of Madhu and KaiThabha represents the conquest of Tamoguna mode of ignorance. The killing of Mahishaasuraa represents the conquest of Rajoguna mode of passion.
The last step, described in this concluding email of this series, is the killing of Shumbha and Nishumbha, which represents the conquest of Satva guna mode of goodness. Why do we have to conquer Satvaguna? Isnt that what we are all trying to develop? Actually, Krishna teaches us in the Gita, especially in chapter 14, verse 6, that even Satvaguna is an obstacle in the Ultimate path to liberation or moksha.
Krishna says, O sinless one anagha, which is addressed to Arjuna , satvam binds by producing attachment to happy pursuits sukha sangena badhnaati and to the pursuit of knowledge jnana sangena ca. Chapter 14 ends with the need to overcome all three gunas.
Only one has overcome all the three gunas can attain any conception of the Absolute Brahman sa guNaan etaan ateetyaitaan Brahmabhooyaaya kalpate verse According to the commentaries on the DM, the killing of Shumbha and Nishumbha actually represents this conquest of Satvaguna.
In the initial stages, it is good to develop satvam. In the Madhu-KaiThabha story, Lord Brahma, whom these two demons are trying to kill actually represents Satvaguna and the two demons represent tamoguna Madhu and rajoguna KaiThabha.
Mahishaasura and also the other asuras like Raktabeeja one of the generals of Shumbha and Nishumbha represent Rajoguna. The triumph over Shumbha and Nishumbha is over a demon of a slightly different type.
If we recall the story, it begins with all the celestials visiting the Himalayas to pray to Devee. They were being tormented by Shumbha and Nishumbha who had vanquished them all. They had lost all their powers. Devee had promised to come to their rescue in times of calamities. All that was required was to remember Her. So, the devas pray to Devee and in chapter 5, we encounter the hymn, each of sloka ending with Namas tasyai namas tasyai namas tasyai namo namah.
After Devee is pleased and appears, and is ready to battle the two demons, all the devas offer Her their best weapons aayudhas and mounts vaahanaas for Her to proceed to the battle. They see the extremely beautiful form of Devee and go to Shumbha and Nishumbha and instigate them to take Her as their wife. After all they have conquered all the wealth and jewels in the whole world, why not this streeratnam too jewel among women?
Deluded and instigated in this way, the two send the same a messenger, named Sugreeva nothing to do with the Sugreeva of Ramayana and ask Her to come willing and choose to become the wife of either Shumbha or Nishumbha. This is an interesting demand unseen in any other scripture. This is what happens as one progresses in the so-called pursuit of jnaanam, or knowledge. Instead of developing humility, one tends to become arrogant and develop false notions of superiority.
Shumbha and Nishumbha represent what is known as the notions of I and Mine. The I is ego or ahankaram and mine, or ma-matvam, is possessiveness the sense of deep attachment and possession of all things and people like wife, husband, Page 47 of Anything that is attractive must be possessed and controlled and subdued. This is what these two demons represents. CaNDa represents fieriness or intensity, a strong passion towards seeking and possessing.
MuNDa means a shaved head and usually represents an ascetic, or a person who has given up everything. Sometimes one withdraws from worldly life for the wrong reasons such as disappointments in life being forsaken from loved ones, for example. If such a person is of a nonviolent nature, they will live an ascetic life but it is not true withdrawal. There is still the hankering over the past. The story of the King Suratha and the merchant Samadhi, where Devi Mahatmyam begins, is a good example.
Such manifestations ill-developed of Satva guna also have to be overcome. The general Raktabeeja is another example of extreme Rajoguna. Each drop of blood shed by this demon turns into a literally army of demons like him.
This symbolizes the endless multiplication of desires. These are the types of generals surrounding these two Shumbha and Nishumbha. Devee has to employ special tricks to overcome Raktabeeja. She literally rolls out Her tongue and covers the whole earth so that no drop of blood will fall on the ground and then She drinks all of the blood of Raktabeeja.
While this might seem like a horrifying description of warfare and even extreme cruelty by Devee in Her killing of these demons, these are actually symbolic of how the grace and compassion of the Supreme Being here Devee works. As long as we have tried to develop the quality of Satvam, the Devee will help overcome the lower forms of Satvam and take us to the higher level. Even Bhakti, or devotion, according to the sage Narada is of three kinds: In the taamasic mode of bhakti, one actually seeks to destroy ones enemies using the Supreme Devee.
One tries to use the Supreme only to destroy ones sins click here and here. Going beyond, one has to learn to Serve the Lord or Devee. The commentaries mentioned above also compared Satva guna to a glass wall. One can see what is beyond the glass wall but we still cannot reach it.
The glass wall is still an obstacle. Satva guna acts in the same way. It helps us see or perceive the Supreme but we still cannot reach. Krishna says in chapter 7, verse 19, that even a jnanee one Page 48 of It is a very rare devotee who really understands Vaasudeva is everything Vaasudevah sarvam iti sa mahaatmaa suburlabhah.
And, so it is with this killing of Shumbha and Nishumbha.
When Devee finally kills Shumbha representing the I, or Ahankara, Nishumbha is killed first, representing the Mine, or ma-matvam it is not done on the ground. The two fight in the sky, or midair. That is where he can be killed. All the devas watch with wonder at this battle in midair. Not only that. No weapons are used in this final battle. Devee fights Shumbha one-on-one, in intimate physical contact.
This actually represents the Ultimate victory of the sadhaka, the devotee, who is very compassionately taught how to kill the ahankara itself. The conquest of ahankara is actually the last step before attaining Moksha, or liberation. We also receive the same message from Shukaacarya in the Srimad Bhagavatam, in Canto 12, chapter 5. The merging with the Supreme is compared to the breaking up of a pot. What is within an empty pot? We think of it as empty. But it is empty space, the same as what is outside the pot the vast space outside the pot.
The clay of which the pot is made up of acts as the boundary between the outside and the inside. This body and our gunas act in the same way. They separate us from the Supreme. When the pot is broken the space within the pot merges seamlessly with the space outside the pot. Hence, it is that the final battle with Shumbha could NOT be conducted on the ground. It is conducted in space, in midair. Laxmanan October 22, For convenience, I have copied and pasted, in what follows here, the full text of the discussion of the killing of Shumbha and Nishumbha, provided by Satya Prakash Choudhary.
Please also see the discussion by Swami Krishnananda. The following is extracted entirely from the second of links above click here http: Killing of Shumbha and Nishumbha: Third Episode By the time we come to the third episode the demons are more complex and subtler. This time the chief demons are Sumbha Asmita: Mine, the attachment to things that the false self clings to who along with their generals Canda pra-vrtti or extraverted psychic energy , Munda ni-vritti or introverted psychic energy , Dhumralochana distorted perception and Raktabija citta vrttis or incessant compulsive thought processes , are a formidable force to reckon with.
Overcoming these subtler demons requires a luminous, benevolent and beautiful manifestation, one that can enlighten and liberate. This is the manifestation as Maha Sarasvati predominated by Sattva. This myth too has a familiar beginning. Two demons, named Shumbha and Nishumbha, have dispossessed the gods, stripped them of their powers and appropriated their wealth and privilege.
Then the gods go to mount Himalaya and extol the Unvanquished Aparajita Devi recalling Her assurance that She would intervene whenever remembered in times of misfortune. Synchronistically Parvati devi comes there at the same time to bathe in the waters of Ganga and enquires innocently as to whom the gods are extolling.
An auspicious form of the Goddess, Kaushiki, emanates from the selfsame Parvati and answers that the hymn is addressed to her. Parvati becomes dark and is henceforth known as Kalika or Kali. She will play major role in the future course of events along with the auspicious form of Ambika. Thus the Goddess has two forms- one auspicious and the other terrible. Parvatis two forms remind us of Shiva who too has a terrible form as Rudra apart from his usual auspicious form.
This twofold complementary nature of Divinity as both the auspicious and the terrible highlights the play of light and dark. Both are aspects of the Supreme Being. There are two other interesting phenomenon at work here. First is the phenomenon of Synchronicity. Parvati seems to come there by coincidence. Though seemingly a coincidence her arrival then and there is very meaningful.
Meaningful coincidences are what Synchronicity is about. Synchronicity is behind not only oracular prognostication but also how prayers work.
At times Divine intervention can be direct, displaying a seemingly causal relation to prayers and mantras. At other times Divine intervention occurs in a non-causal synchronistic manner. Either ways prayers work. Most importantly we are connected to everything else around us. Our minds and lives are not separate from the minds and lives of others in the universe. There is underlying indivisible holistic unity.
Secondly Parvatis innocent query suggests that she is not aware of what is happening, at least consciously. But surely, as an embodiment of the Supreme Goddess, wouldnt She be consciously aware? Though not conscious, the emanation of Kaushiki who answers Parvati is Her own Shakti, a projection of Her own unconscious powers.
At an individual conscious level we have limited powers, limited by embodiment in a mind-body that constrain the otherwise unbounded and limitless reservoir of all powers. At an unconscious level we are potentially connected to the collective. There is oneness and abundant potential at this level. Page 50 of But in our normal waking state of consciousness we are largely unaware of our unbounded potential and our connection to the collective.
In other states of consciousness such as dream, deep sleep and meditation we are better connected to this level. One may argue that this particular context in the Devi Mahatmyam involves the Goddess not a human being. However remember that everything about the gods and demons has relevance for us, for what happens in our own psyche. But this is at the transcendental level. At the relative and phenomenal level, where there is awareness of ones own individual personality or ego, even Her manifestations follow the same law, the same order that is seen in the rest of the universe.
The various emanations of the Goddess combine both the transcendental and phenomenal levels of truth to varying degrees. It may not be inappropriate to suggest that while ultimately at the transcendental level She is the Supreme Self or Brahman, in her manifestations as other goddesses She is also the Transcendental in the Phenomenal. This is the uniqueness of the Shakta world-view.
Sri Ramakrishna describes how the relative or phenomenal emerges from the absolute or transcendental and falls back into it. Brahman may be compared to an infinite ocean, without beginning or end. Just as, some portions of the ocean freeze into ice through intense cold, and formless water appears to have form, so through intense love or faith of the devotee, Brahman appears to take on form and personality.
But the form melts away again as the sun of Knowledge rises. Then the universe also disappears, and there is nothing but Brahman. The beautiful and auspicious Kaushiki form of the Goddess is all Sattva. Unlike the slayer of Mahishasura who is the collective embodiment of the divine anger or divine rajas of all the gods, Kaushiki is a Sattvic manifestation.
This time the demons are even more sophisticated. Action, contemplation and knowledge are the three stages through which we have to pierce through the veil of Prakriti or three Gunas. Madhu-Kaitabha are the mala dirt or waste from Vishnus ears and thereby predominantly represent Tamas.
Mahishasura and his generals represent Rajo-guna. But Shumbha-Nishumbha and their generals represent the limitation of buddhi, which is another name for sattva. The word sattva also denotes the mind apart from the guna of sattva. It is easy to understand why one has to overcome tamas and rajas as it is accepted that they are manasika doshas. But why is there a need to transcend even Sattva, one might ask. As described in the commentary on the first episode, the three gunas are part of the same cosmic process of manifestation, they are part of the same veiling power of Prakrti or Maha Maya.
Together they form the three strands that bind us to ignorance. Since Sattva is potentially akin to a burnt rope, since it brings knowledge, initially the ascendancy of sattva is preferred over tamas and rajas. A rope that will sooner or later be burnt cannot bind us for long.
But till it is fully burnt even this rope can be binding. We will examine this further using another analogy- that of a lantern.
But first let us understand Shumbha and Nishumbha. The root word bha in the names of Shumbha and Nishumbha means light. However their light is not real like the light from the sun. It is merely reflected light. Just as Sun represents the self and light in astrological language, Moon represents the mind and reflected light.
Sattva is another name for the mind. Buddhi is the highest function of the mind. However buddhi is not the same as the Self or Atman. Shumbha is none other than Asmita sense of Page 51 of I or Me , the pseudo-self that identifies the self with non-self whereas Nisumbha represents Mamata sense of Mine , or the attachment to things that the false self clings to through identification with other objects.
Nishumbha is the brother of Shumbha. One follows the other closely. Where there is this sense of I automatically there will be a sense of mine as an extension of the false sense of selfhood. That is why Shumbha and Nishumbha are inseparable brothers. Patanjali Yogasutra, 2. Darsanasakti denotes the power of observing, which is none other than Buddhi or intellect. Ekatmata means identifying as one. In other words Asmita is the ignorance or mistake of identifying Buddhi as Purusha or Atman.
In other words misidentification of the mind as the Self gives rise to a false sense of self. This false sense of self is Asmita. Although it may seem that buddhi and purusha are identical, in reality they are not. This can be illustrated using the analogy of a lantern. If the Self is the wick or the source of light, buddhi is the glass chimney. From a distance though it appears as if the glass chimney is the source of the light, close observation will reveal the burning wick as the true source of light.
Likewise a yogi whose consciousness is functioning beyond the manomaya kosha, knows that the mind is not identical with the Self as his consciousness has awakened to the level of the vignanamaya kosha. Buddhi is the instrument of intelligence that discerns, questions, reasons, determines and wills. Though buddhi is the highest faculty of the human mind and possesses the potential power of divine revelation, it is still a limited manifestation of consciousness.
Buddhi is also an evolute of Prakrti and thus cannot be identical to Purusha or Consciousness. The mind when viewed through the distorting lens of Avidya or ignorance, becomes the basis for a false sense of identity. This pseudo selfhood is Asmita. The basis for asmita is a false notion that buddhi is identical to the Atman.
Since sattvic intellect can reflect the light of Consciousness clearly, it also poses the danger of an aspirant falsely thinking that he has attained the Atman, that he is Self-realized. A sattvic and refined intellect is undoubtedly very important for reflective thinking and discernment. However that is not the end of the path. Such a sattvic buddhi is of tremendous value in overcoming the tyranny of tamas and rajas.
So in the earlier stages sattva is glorified. That which was desirable in the earlier stages in the past is detrimental in the present. Now even Sattva is an obstacle.
If tamas can be compared to a brick wall and rajas to stormy winds that toss about the mind in a tempest, sattva is like a glass wall. One can see through a glass wall, but cannot walk through. What we see through the glass wall helps us in inferring the presence of the light on the other side.
But to reach or merge with the source of the light one has to eventually overcome the glass wall too. This is where buddhi too fails. Moreover the false sense of selfhood at this stage can lead to subtler demons such as pride of knowledge, false pride in having attained the self, false sense of immortality, all arising from knowledge that is not truly ultimate. One starts taking pride in ones sadhana.
In the place of pride in material riches, pride in spiritual riches starts swelling the ego. Earlier the pride was grosser, easily detectable and thereby easier to accept.
Spiritual pride is subtler, not easily detected and hard to accept. In a way the aspirant at this stage has some achievements to his credit compared to others who are still struggling with grosser issues related to tamas or rajas. However as long as the klesas continue to afflict an individual suffering is a definite possibility.
Asmita along with Page 52 of Total freedom from suffering is not possible as long as there is this sense of I and mine which becomes the focal point for all citta vrttis. The tyranny of Shumbha and Nishumbha is subtler compared to the tyrrany of Mahishasura.
Moreover Mahishasura did not seek the hand of the Devi, did not talk of marrying the Goddess. He just rushed to war compulsively, compelled by his fiery rajas. But Shumbha and Nishumbha being more advanced asuras, having some light in their nature, at least in so far as their ability to show at least reflected light, mistake that they are equal to the Goddess or even superior. That is why they confidently court a marriage proposal.
But first how do they come to know of the Goddess? Through Chanda and Munda. What do these two asuras denote? Chanda means fierce or passionate while Munda denotes a shaved head. Generally a shaved head is symbolic of vairagya or withdrawal. Vairagya can be true dispassion or it can also be sensitive withdrawal due to a bad experience.
In the latter case it is not genuine vairagya but only withdrawal due to hurt, a negative reaction to an unpleasant experience. Here Munda being an asura, denotes reactive withdrawal from things that have been a source of suffering, not genuine vairagya. Chanda denotes passionate pursuit while Munda denotes sensitive introverted withdrawal.
Here two specific behaviours have been selected to represent pra-vrtti and ni-vrtti, the two patterns of psychological and behavioural functioning.
These two are the most common patterns of behaviour. One is hot pursuit of whatever is deemed attractive to the senses while the other is a sensitive withdrawal from those that hurt from past experience. These are the two principle movements of Asmita the false sense of identity. One movement is outward exertion pra-vrtti while the other is inward withdrawal ni-vrtti. Asmita reacts to external objects be it people or material things in one of these two manners.
If my past experience or impression of the person or object is pleasant I pursue passionately. If it was unpleasant or hurtful I withdraw due to hurt, or in extreme cases I may develop intense dislike or hatred for the person or object.
Thus pursuit and withdrawal are actually behavioural expressions or reactionary patterns to citta vrttis that trigger these two movements. Our responses to things or people fit into either of these patterns to varying degrees depending on the object in front of us.
Extraversion and Introversion are psychological tendencies that are neither positive nor negative whereas the symbolism of Canda and Munda is related more to raga infatuation or attachment and dvesha aversion or dislike , which are among the five afflicting kleshas in Yoga psychology. It is Canda and Munda who see the Devi first and carry this news to Shumbha.
They tell Shumbha about the beautiful goddess whose radiance illuminates the Himalayas. They flatter Shumbha with an account of his riches and powers, all stolen from the gods. Playing upon Shumbhas vanity, they suggest that he who is all-wealthy and all-powerful surely must also possess this jewel among women. There is a misconception that pravrtti should be eschewed.
At this level of sadhana we realise that nothing is good or bad in itself. Even those that are deemed negative can be transformed to serve us positively.
This is the Shakta approach. One must rise by that which one falls as tantra affirms. Canda and Munda are asuric as long as they serve Asmita, the false self. But it is the selfsame Canda and Munda, the two movements of vrttis that initially turn our attention to the Devi the Supreme Self.
Likewise the same nivrtti that repels us from things that can cause suffering can bring true detachment or dispassion or genuine vairagya. As long as pravrtti and nivrtti serve the false self Shumbha , they manifest as Raga infatuation and Dvesha aversion , as Canda and Munda the two asuras.
As already stated it is PravrttiPage 53 of Please tell me the trick of achieving result for these actions in Kali age. Goddess said: Oh god, please hear what I say, which is the one fulfilling all desires in Kali age.
Due to my love for you, I am telling you this prayer to Mother Goddess. Salutations to Bhagavati Devi, the famous Mahamaya the Great Enchantress , who is personification of all riches.
Oh Durga Devi, whoever meditates on You with devotion removes any sorrow and fear. Oh Goddess who is there that can destroy poverty, sorrow and fear in this world except you who has a heart full of mercy to your devotees.
Oh Goddess, who is the giver of all good things, who is peaceful, who is the giver of all wealth, who is the giver of refuge, who has three eyes and who is the Shining One. Salutations to You, Narayani!
Oh Goddess, who takes care of those who surrender to You and those who are suffering, who removes all sufferings from the entire world. Salutations to you, Narayani!