Two Asuras named Shumba and Nishumba defeated the Gods and drove them out of heaven again. The gods prayed to the Devi for help. Devi appeared as Parvati and out of Parvati’s physical sheath (kosha) emerged form of Devi Ambika. Because she came out of the kosha, she is also called Kaushiki. The Devi was very beautiful and resplendent with the brightness of a million moons.
When Chanda and Munda, the two chieftains of Shumbha and Nishumbha, saw the Devi they told their masters of her celestial divine beauty and they added that since Shumbha and Nishumbha owned everything that was beautiful and precious in all the three worlds, they should also possess Kaushiki. Thus persuaded, Shumbha and Nishumbha sent a messenger to Devi to get her consent to marry one of them. Devi was furious on hearing the proposal and replied: “I made a promise to myself to marry him who defeats me in battle. If either Shumbha or Nishumbha wishes to marry me he shall have to defeat me in battle.”
Hearing Devi’s reply, Shumbha and Nishumbha got very angry. They summoned one of their bravest chieftains called Dhumralochana and sent him to capture and bring Devi to them. Dumralochana took sixty thousand fighters with him and attacked Devi. However, Devi reduced him to ashes with a mere sigh of the sound ‘hum’. Thereupon his fighters attacked her with all kinds of weapons but Devi’s lion killed them all. Thus Dhumralochana and his army were destroyed.
Shumbha then sent Chanda and Munda to destroy the Devi. Chanda and Munda took with them an array of elephants, horses, chariots and foot soldiers. Devi became very angry, and out of her frowned forehead emerged Kali wearing a garland of skulls, armed with a sword and noose. Her eyes were red and her tongue was lolling out generating fear in the hearts of the demons.
She destroyed the army of Chanda and Munda in no time. Seeing their army destroyed, Chanda rushed at Kali with great ferocity and hurled all kinds of weapons such as spears and chakras. Kali could not be hurt. Kali subdued Chanda and Munda with her subtle paasha or noose of light and then slayed both of them.
Devi Ambika told Kali that since she killed Chanda and Munda in the battle, she will be known as Chamundi.
Meaning of the story:
“Shumbha” means doubting oneself and “Nishumbha” means doubting others. Combination of Shumbha and Nishumbha means doubting everything, doubting at every step. When the mind is clogged with doubts about one self or others, there is no mental peace. Doubts drain the life force energy and strangulate growth. Life cannot progress if we doubt everything. That is why these are called kings of the Asuras.
“Dhumralochana” – “Dhumra” means smoke and “lochana” means eyes – smoky eyes. Dhumralochana means one who has no clarity of perception. As we accumulate stresses we lose the clarity of perception. Saying “hmm” dissolves barriers in the mind. Breathing techniques, Sudarshan Kriya free us from stresses and allow us to see things as they are. Lion indicates valour. All imaginary problems (perceived with distorted vision) disappear just by showing a little valour. (Devi’s lion kills all fighters).
“Chanda” and “Munda” – Chanda means opposite head. Chanda will oppose anything you say. Chanda is one who cannot agree with anything. (Argumentative people) “Munda” does not have a head at all. He will not listen. Whatever you tell to him, it will all go in thin air. There is no reasoning at all. Wrong logic and perception prevails. The noose of light used by Devi represents wisdom. True knowledge purifies mind like fire along with establishing the mind in the light of the Self. True knowledge is irrefutable special logic (Vitarka). You can’t oppose or reason such knowledge. It simply uplifts.
Fifth Navadurga : Skandamata
On the fifth day of Navaratri we honour the Divine Mother in the form of Skandamata the fifth Navadurga. Skandamata is the mother of Skanda or Subramanya. She is depicted as riding a lion. She possesses four arms out of which two hold the lotus flowers. One of her hands is always in the boon-conferring gesture and with the other she holds her son Skanda in her lap. This signifies courage and compassion. Skanda is the skillful one. Often with skill arrogance comes. But here the skill is combined with a humility that nurtures innocence.
Salutations to Devi Skandamata !
या देवी सर्वभुतेषु तृष्णारूपेण संस्थिता ।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥१३॥
Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Trssnnaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||13||
13.1: To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Thirst,
13.2: Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, I bow down to her again and again.
या देवी सर्वभुतेषु क्षान्तिरूपेण संस्थिता ।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥१४॥
Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Kssaanti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||14||
14.1: To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Forbearance,
14.2: Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, I bow down to her again and again.
या देवी सर्वभुतेषु जातिरूपेण संस्थिता ।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥१५॥
Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Jaati-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||15||
15.1: To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Race,
15.2: Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, I bow down to her again and again.
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