Durga Saptashati: Chandi Path, Devi Mahatmyam

The Devi Mahatmya, Durga Saptasati or Chandi Path, is a great book in Hindu world. It is a compilation of 700 slokas or verses in which the whole universal facts are embedded. It is well versed text which has to be recited during Durga Navratri or Durga Puja.

Durga Saptashati tells everything of this world and explains what man should do and what makes him to reach salvation.

The first sloka of the Durga Saptashati implies that the whole text is an explanation of the root of the Devi-Mantra, ie., —Hreem. Many commentaries are included in this sacred text that explain it either in a mystical way or in the ordinary manner. The Mantras of Durga Saptashati are recited carefully in a proper manner as the text is very sacred.

Durga Saptashati or Chandi Path consists of 3 sections which are further divided into 13 chapters. In the Chapter 1, the slaying of Madhu and Kaitabha is explained. It is described as Madhu Kaitabha Samharam or Madhu Kaitabha Vadha.

In the Chapter 2 of Durga Saptashati, the explanation of thrashing of the armies of Mahishasura is explained. In the chapter 3, Mahishasura Vadha (killing of Mahishasura) and the chapter 4 presents the Devi Stuti. Devi stuti is a compilation of slokas that praise the power, knowledge, wisdom and universal energy of Goddess Shakti.

Chapter 5 of Durga Saptashati explains the demolition of Shumbha and Nishumbha and the killing of Dhumralochana is explained in Chapter 6. The chapter 7 is about the destruction of Chanda and Munda. Chapters 8, 9 and 10 explain how Raktabija, Nishumba and Shumba were demolished respectively.

Chapter 11 of Durga Saptashati presents the Hymn to Narayani. Chapter 12 and 13 describe about the eulogy of the merits and the bestowing of boons to Suratha and Vaisya are explained respectively.

Brief details about the contents of Durga Saptashati or Chandi Path or Devi Mahatmyam

Section 1

  • Chapter 1 – The Killing of demons Madhu and Kaitabha

Section 2

  • Chapter 2 – Destruction of the Armies of Mahishasura
  • Chapter 3 – The demolition of demon Mahishasura
  • Chapter 4 – Shri Devi Stuti

Section 3

  • Chapter 5 – The slaying of demons Shumbha and Nishumbha.
  • Chapter 6 – The destruction of demon Dhumralochana
  • Chapter 7 – The killing of Chanda and Munda
  • Chapter 8 – The demolition of Raktabija
  • Chapter 9 – The destruction of Nishumbha
  • Chapter 10 – The killing of Shumba
  • Chapter 11 – Hymn to Narayani (Narayani Stuti)
  • Chapter 12 – Eulogy or Tribute of the Merits
  • Chapter 13 – The Bestowing of Boons to Suratha and Vaisya

You can download Chandi Path MP3 or Durga Saptashati in MP3 format here.

You may also like to read:

Navratri stotras – Stotras, prayers, mantras, chants to chant during Durga Navaratri

Durga Puja significance – Durga Puja legend

Navadurga Puja – Pooja to 9 aspects of Goddess Durga

Saptamatrika and Ashtamatrika Puja during Durga Navratri

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  1. You are at Vedic Scriptures Library >> Vidya Gita
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    Vidya Gita

    VIDYA GITA – From Tripura Rahasya

    Dattatreya teaches to Parasurama

    1-20. “I shall now relate to you an ancient sacred story. On one
    occasion very long ago there was a very distinguished gathering of
    holy saints collected in the abode of Brahma, the Creator, when a very
    subtle and sublime disputation took place. Among those
    present were Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatsujata, Vasistha,
    Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrigu, Atri, Angiras,
    Pracheta, Narada, Chyavana, Vamadeva, Visvamitra, Gautama, Suka,
    Parasara, Vyasa, Kanva, Kasyapa, Daksha, Sumanta,
    Sanka, Likhita, Devala and other celestial and royal sages. Each one
    of them spoke of his own system with courage and conviction
    and maintained that it was better than all the rest. But they could
    reach no conclusion and so asked Brahma: ‘Lord! We are sages
    who know all about the world and beyond, but each one’s way of life
    differs from that of the others because the dispositions of our
    minds differ. Some of us are always in Nirvikalpa Samadhi, some
    engaged in philosophical discussions, some sunk in devotion,
    some have taken to work, and others seem exactly like men of the
    world. Which is the best among us? Please tell us. We cannot
    decide ourselves because each thinks that his way is the best.’

    “Thus requested, Brahma seeing their perplexity answered: ‘Best of
    saints! I also would like to know. There is Parameswara who is
    the All-knower. Let us go and ask him.’ Collecting Vishnu on their
    way, they went to Siva. There the leader of the deputation,
    Brahma, asked Siva about the matter. Having heard Brahma, Siva divined
    the mind of Brahma and understood that the rishis were
    wanting in confidence and so that any words of his would be useless.
    He then said to them, ‘Hear me, Rishis! Neither do I clearly
    see which is the method. Let us meditate on the Goddess – Her Majesty
    Unconditioned Knowledge – we shall then be able to
    understand even the subtlest of truths by Her Grace.’ On hearing these
    words of Siva, all of them, including Siva, Vishnu and
    Brahma, meditated on Her Divine Majesty, the Transcendental
    Consciousness pervading the three states of life (waking, dream and
    sleep). Thus invoked, She manifested in Her glory as the
    Transcendental Voice in the expanse of pure consciousness.

    “They heard the Voice speak like thunder from the skies, ‘Speak out
    your minds, O Rishis! Be quick, the desires of my devotees will
    always be fulfilled immediately.’

    21-28. “Hearing the Voice, the exalted rishis prostrated and Brahma
    and the others praised the Goddess – namely Absolute
    Consciousness pervading the three states of life.

    “Salutations to Thee! the Greatest! the Best! the Most Auspicious! the
    Absolute Knowledge! the Consciousness of the three states!
    the Creatrix! the Protectress! the Dissolver in the Self! the Supreme
    One transcending all! Salutations again!

    “There was no time when Thou wert not, because Thou art unborn! Thou
    art ever fresh and hence Thou never growest old. Thou art
    all; the essence of all, the knower of all, the delighter of all. Thou
    art not all. Thou art nowhere, with no core in Thee, unaware of
    anything, and delighting no one.

    “O Supreme Being! Salutations to Thee, over and over again, before and
    behind, above and below, on all sides and everywhere.

    “Kindly tell us of Thy relative form and Thy transcendental state, Thy
    prowess, and Thy identity with jnana. What is the proper and
    perfect means for attaining Thee, the nature and the result of such
    attainment? What is the utmost finality of accomplishment,
    beyond which there remains nothing to be accomplished? Who is the best
    among the accomplished sages? Salutations again to
    Thee!

    29. “Thus besought, the Goddess of ultimate knowledge began with great
    kindness to explain it clearly to the sages:

    30. “Listen, sages! I shall categorically explain to you all that you
    ask. I shall give you the nectar drawn out as the essence from the
    unending accumulation of sacred literature.

    31-40. “I am the abstract intelligence wherefrom the cosmos
    originates, whereon it flourishes, and wherein it resolves, like the
    images in a mirror. The ignorant know me as the gross universe,
    whereas the wise feel me as their own pure being eternally glowing
    as ‘I-I’ within. This realisation is possible only in the deep
    stillness of thought-free consciousness similar to that of the deep
    sea free
    from waves. The most earnest of devotees worship me spontaneously and
    with the greatest sincerity which is due to their love of
    me. Although they know that I am their own non-dual Self, yet the
    habit of loving devotion which is deep-rooted in them makes them
    conceive their own Self as ME and worship ME as the life-current
    pervading their bodies, senses and mind without which nothing
    could exist and which forms the sole purport of the holy scriptures.
    Such is my Transcendental State.

    “My concrete form is the eternal couple – the Supreme Lord and Energy
    – always in undivided union and abiding as the eternal
    consciousness pervading the three phenomenal states of waking, dream
    and sleep, and reclining on the cot whose four legs are
    Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Protector), Siva (the Destroyer) and
    Isvara (Disappearance) and whose surface is Sadasiva
    (Grace) which is contained in the mansion known as ‘fulfilment of
    purpose’ enclosed by the garden of ‘Kadamba’ trees in the jewel
    island situated in the wide ocean of nectar surrounding the cosmos and
    extending beyond.

    ‘Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Isvara, Sadasiva, Ganesa, Skanda, the gods of
    the eight quarters, their energies of her gods, celestials,
    serpents and other superhuman beings all manifestations of myself.
    However, people do not know ME because their intellect is
    shrouded in ignorance.

    41. “I grant boons to those who worship ME. There is no one besides ME
    worthy of worship or capable of fulfilling all desires.

    Commentary. – All deities who receive worship and all conceptions of
    God are My manifestations, because I am pure intelligence
    which cannot under any circumstances be transcended.

    42. “The fruits of worship are put forth by Me according to the mode
    of worship and the nature of individual desires. I am indivisible
    and interminable.

    43. “Being non-dual and abstract intelligence I spontaneously manifest
    even as the smallest detail in the universe and as the
    universe.

    44. “Though I manifest in diverse ways, I still remain unblemished
    because absoluteness is My being. This is My chief power, which
    is somewhat hard fully to understand.

    45. “Therefore, O Rishis! consider this with the keenest of intellect.
    Though I am the abode of all and immanent in all I remain pure.
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    Vidya Gita

    46-49. “Although I am not involved in any manner and am always free, I
    wield My power – called Maya; become covered with
    ignorance, appear full of desires, seek their fulfilment, grow
    restless, project favourable and unfavourable environments, am born
    and
    reborn as individuals, until growing wiser I seek a teacher and sage,
    learn the truth from him, put it in practice and finally become
    absolved. All this goes on in My pure, uncontaminated, ever free
    absolute intelligence. This manifestation of the ignorant and the
    free, and of others, is called My creation which is however, without
    any accessories – My power is too vast to be described. I shall
    tell you something of it in brief. It is that the cosmos is only the
    obverse of the many details in them leading up to different results.

    50. “Knowledge relating to me is complex but it can be dealt with
    under the two categories; dual and non-dual, of which the former
    relates to worship and the latter to realisation. On account of their
    intricacies, there are many details in them leading up to different
    results.

    51. “Dual knowledge is manifold because it depends on the concept of
    duality and manifests as worship, prayer, incantation,
    meditation, etc., etc.. all of which are due to nothing more than
    mental imagery.

    52-53. “Even so, they are efficacious in contradistinction to
    day-dreams, for, the law of nature provides for it. There are degrees
    in
    the efficacy of the methods, of which the most important concerns the
    aspect mentioned before (see above the concrete form of
    Devi). The ultimate goal of all is certainly non-dual realisation.

    Commentary. – Mental imagery cannot put forth tangible results either
    directly or in successive stages. But the one relating to God
    differs from ordinary day-dreams in that it purifies and strengthens
    the mind in order to make it fit to realise the Self. Again the most
    efficacious among the concepts of God is the one already mentioned,
    namely, the eternal couple. Although it will not directly remove
    ignorance yet it will help its removal for the resurrection of the man
    as a full blown jnani.

    54. “Worship of Abstract Intelligence in a concrete form is not only
    useful but essential for non-dual realisation. For how can one be
    made fit for it, without Her benediction.

    55. “Non-dual realisation is the same as pure Intelligence absolutely
    void of objective knowledge. Such realisation nullifies all
    objective knowledge revealing it in all its nakedness to be as
    harmless as a picture of a pouncing tiger or of an enraged serpent.

    56. “When the mind has completely resolved into the Self, that state
    is called Nirvikalpa Samadhi (the undifferentiated peaceful
    state). After waking up from it, the person is overpowered by the
    memory of his experience as the one, undivided, infinite, pure Self
    and he knows ‘I am That’ as opposed to the puerile I-thought of the
    ignorant. That is Supreme Knowledge (Vijnana or Pratyabhijna
    jnana).

    Note. – The advanced state of meditation is Savikalpa Samadhi, where
    the person is aware that he has turned away from objectivity
    towards subjectivity and feels his proximity to the state of
    Self-Realisation. When he actually sinks within the Self, there is no
    knowledge apart from the simple awareness of blissful existence. This
    is Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Waking up, he sees the world just as
    any other man does but his outlook has become different. He is now
    able to know his pure Self and no longer confounds himself
    with the ego. That is the acme of Realisation.

    57. “Theoretical knowledge consists in differentiating between the
    Self and the non-Self through a study of the Scriptures, or the
    teachings of a Master, or by one’s own deliberation.

    58-62. “Supreme wisdom is that which puts an end to the sense of
    non-Self once for all. Non-dual realisation admits nothing
    unknown or unknowable and pervades everything in entirety so that it
    cannot in any way be transcended, (e.g., a mirror and the
    images). When that is accomplished, the intellect becomes quite clear
    because all doubts have been destroyed; (doubts are usually
    with regard to creation, the identity of the Self and their mutual
    relationship) and then the predispositions of the mind (e.g., lust,
    greed, anger, etc.) are destroyed though any remnants of these that
    may remain are as harmless as a fangless viper.

    63. “The fruit of Self-realisation is the end of all misery here and
    hereafter and absolute fearlessness. That is called Emancipation.

    Note. – There is an end of misery in sleep; but the potentiality of
    misery is not ended. Realisation destroys the cause of misery and
    sets the man free for ever.

    64-65. “Fear implies the existence of something apart from oneself.
    Can the sense of duality persist after non-dual Realisation, or
    can there be darkness after sun-rise?

    “O Rishis! There will be no fear in the absence of duality. On the
    other hand, fear will not cease so long as there is the sense of
    duality.

    66. “What is perceived in the world as being apart from the Self is
    also clearly seen to be perishable. What is perishable must
    certainly involve fear of loss.

    67. “Union implies separation; so also acquisition implies loss.

    68-70. “If emancipation be external to the Self, it implies fear of
    loss, and is therefore not worth aspiring to. On the other hand,
    moksha is fearlessnes and not external to the Self.

    “When the knower, knowledge and the known merge into unity that state
    is totally free from fear and hence moksha results.

    “Jnaana (Supreme Wisdom) is the state devoid of thoughts, will and
    desire, and is unimpeded by ignorance.

    71. “It is certainly the primal state of the knower, but remains
    unrecognised for want of acquaintance with it. The Guru and sastras
    alone can make the individual acquainted with the Self.

    72-77. “The Self is abstract intelligence free from thought. The
    knower, knowledge and the known are not real as different entities.
    When differentiation among them is destroyed, their true nature is
    evident in the resulting non-dual consciousness, which is also the
    state of emancipation.

    “There is in fact no differentiation among the knower, etc. The
    differences are simply conventions retained for the smooth working of
    earthly life. Emancipation is eternal and, therefore, here and now, it
    is nothing to be acquired. The Self manifests as the knower,
    knowledge and the known; the cycle of births and deaths endures with
    all the apparent reality of a mountain so long as this
    manifestation lasts. As soon as the manifestation is realised to
    consist of the Self alone without any admixture of non-self, the cycle
    of births and deaths comes to a standstill, and is broken down to
    fragments like clouds dispersed by strong winds.

    78. “Thus you find that earnestness is the only requisite for
    emancipation. No other requisite is needed if the longing for
    emancipation is intense and unwavering.

    79. “What is the use of hundreds of efforts in the absence of a real
    and unswerving desire for emancipation? That is the sole
    requisite and nothing else.

    80-81. “Intense devotion signifies mental abstraction as the devotee
    loses himself in the desired object. In this particular instance, it
    will mean emancipation itself. For such unwavering devotion must
    certainly succeed and success is only a question of time – which
    may be days, months, years, or even the next birth, according as the
    predispositions are light or dense.

    82-83. “The intellect is ordinarily befouled by evil propensities and
    so nothing good flourishes there. Consequently, the people are
    boiled in the seething cauldron of births and deaths. Of these evil
    propensities, the first is want of faith in the revelations made by
    the
    Guru and in the sastras; the second is addiction to desires; and the
    third is dullness (i.e., inability to understand the revealed truth).
    This is a brief statement of them.

    84-85. “Of these, want of faith is betrayed by one’s doubts regarding
    the truth of the statements and by failure to understand them.
    The doubt arises whether there is moksha; and later misunderstanding
    leads to its denial. These two are sure obstacles to any
    sincere efforts being made for realisation.

    86. “All obstacles are set at nought by a determined belief in the
    contrary; that is to say – determined belief regarding the existence
    of moksha will destroy both uncertainty and misunderstanding.

    “But the question arises how this determined belief will be possible
    when faith is wanting. Therefore cut at its root. What is its root?

    87-88. “Want of faith has its root in unfavourable logic. Give it up
    and take to approved logic as found in holy books and expounded
    by a Guru. Then enlightenment becomes possible and faith results. Thus
    ends the first evil propensity.

    Vidya Gita

    89-95. “The second propensity, namely desire, prevents the intellect
    from following the right pursuit. For, the mind engrossed in
    desire, cannot engage in a spiritual pursuit. The abstraction of a
    lover is well known to all; he can hear or see nothing in front of
    him.
    Anything said in his hearing is as good as not said. Desire must
    therefore be first overcome before aspiring for spiritual attainment.
    That can be done only by dispassion. The propensity is manifold, being
    the forms of love, anger, greed, pride, jealousy, etc. The
    worst of them is pursuit of pleasure which, if destroyed destroys all
    else. Pleasure may be subtle or gross. Neither of these must be
    indulged in, even in thought. As soon as the thought of pleasure
    arises, it must be dismissed by the will-power developed by
    dispassion.

    96-99. “In this way, the second evil propensity is overcome. The
    third, known as dullness resulting from innumerable wicked actions
    in preceding births, is the worst of the series and hardest to
    overcome by one’s own efforts. Concentration of mind and
    understanding of truth are not possible when dullness prevails.

    “There is no remedy for it other than worship of the Goddess of the
    Self (adoration, prayer, meditation, etc.). I remove the devotee’s
    dullness according to his worship, quickly, or gradually, or in the
    succeeding birth.

    100-102. “He who unreservedly surrenders himself to Me with devotion,
    is endowed with all the requisites necessary for
    Self-Realisation. He who worships Me, easily overcomes all obstacles
    to Self-Realisation. On the other hand, he, who being stuck
    up, does not take refuge in Me – the pure intelligence manipulating
    the person – is repeatedly upset by difficulties so that his
    success is very doubtful.

    103-104. “Therefore, O Rishis! the chief requisite is one-pointed
    devotion to God. The devotee is the best of aspirants. The one
    devoted to abstract consciousness excels every other seeker.
    Consummation lies in the discernment of the Self as distinguished
    from the non-Self.

    105-112. “The Self is at present confounded with the body, etc., such
    confusion must cease and awareness of the Self must result
    as opposed to nescience in sleep.

    “The Self is experienced even now; but it is not discerned rightly,
    for it is identified with the body, etc., there is therefore endless
    suffering. The Self is not hidden indeed; it is always gleaming out as
    ‘I’, but this ‘I’, is mistaken for the body, owing to ignorance. On
    this ignorance ceasing, the ‘I’ is ascertained to be the true
    consciousness alone; and that sets all doubts at rest. This and
    nothing
    else has been ascertained by the sages to be finality. Thaumaturgic
    powers such as flying in space, etc., are all fragmentary and
    not worth a particle of Self-Realisation. For this is the unbroken and
    immortal bliss of the Self in which all else is included.

    “Thaumaturgic powers are also hindrance to Self-Realisation. Of what
    use are they? They are but simple acrobatic tricks. The
    Creator’s status appears to a Self-realised man to be only a trifle.
    What use are these powers, unless for wasting one’s time?

    113. “There is no accomplishment equal to Self-Realisation which is
    alone capable of ending all misery because it is the state of
    eternal Bliss.

    114. “Self-Realisation differs from all accomplishments in that the
    fear of death is destroyed once for all.

    115. Realisation differs according to the antecedent practice and,
    commensurate with the degree of purity of mind, may be perfect,
    middling or dull.

    Note. – Realisation of the Self and eternal inherence as unbroken
    ‘I-I’ in all surroundings are the practices and the fruit.

    116-119. “You have seen great pandits well versed in the Vedas and
    capable of chanting them quite correctly amidst any amount of
    distractions. They are the best. Those who are capable businessmen,
    repeat the Vedas quite correctly when they engage in
    chanting them without other distractions. These are the middle class.

    “Whereas others are constantly chanting them and do it well. Such are
    of the lowest order among pandits. Similarly there are
    distinctions among the sages also.

    120-121. “Some sages abide as the Self even while engaged in complex
    duties, such as ruling a kingdom (e.g., King Janaka);
    others can do so in intervals of work; still others can do so by
    constant practice alone. They are respectively of the highest, the
    middle and the lowest order. Of these, the highest order represents
    the utmost limit of realisation.

    122. “Unbroken supreme awareness even in dream is the mark of the highest order.

    123. “The Person who is not involuntarily made the tool of his mental
    predispositions but who invokes them at his will, is of the
    highest order.

    124. “He who abides in the Self as ‘I, I,’ as spontaneously and
    continuously as the ignorant man does in the body, is again of the
    highest order.

    125. “He who, though engaged in work, does not look upon anything as
    non-self, is a perfect sage.

    126. “He who even while doing his work remains as in a sleep is a perfect sage.

    127. “Thus the best among the sages are never out of samadhi, be they
    working or idle.

    128-133. “He who is from his own experience capable of appreciating
    the states of other jnanis including the best among them, is
    certainly a perfect sage. He who is not influenced by happiness or
    misery, by pleasure or pain, by desires, doubts or fear, is a
    perfect sage. He who realises pleasure, pain and every other
    phenomenon to be in and of the Self, is a perfect sage. He who feels
    himself pervading all – be they ignorant or emancipated – is a perfect
    sage. He who knowing the trammels of bondage, does not seek
    release from them and remains in peace, is a perfect sage.

    “The perfect among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely
    no difference between us.

    134. ‘I have now told you all these in answer to your questions. You
    need no longer be perplexed with doubts.

    135. “Having said so, Transcendental Intelligence became silent.

    “Then all the Rishis saluted Siva and the other Gods and returned to
    their own abodes.

    “I have now told you the sacred Gita of pure knowledge, which destroys
    all sins and purifies the mind. This Gita is the best among
    Gitas because it has proceeded from Abstract Intelligence Herself and
    it leads one to emancipation on being attentively heard and
    cogitated upon.

    “This Gita is the raft to save one from sinking in the ocean of
    samsara (cycle of births and deaths), and so it must be read or
    repeated every day with love and care.”

    Thus ends the chapter of Vidya Gita in Tripura Rahasya.

  2. Tomorrow -Today-Yesterday …….Family-States-Country-World are one Maa Durga History —-Jaya jaya haa Maishasuramardini Tramyaka Padmini Sainyasuta