Art of Living Stories, Art of Living Wisdom.

After Chanda and Munda were slain, Shumbha sent his most powerful Asura Raktabija along with a huge army to attack the Devi and her army of all the shaktis (energies). A ferocious war broke out. Maa Kali with her spear and skull-topped staff killed thousands of Asuras. Seeing the Asuras being killed ruthlessly by the Devi and her shaktis, Raktabija strode forward to fight in wrath.

Raktabija had received a boon that whenever a drop of blood from his body will drop on the surface of the earth, immediately there would arise innumerable Asuras, equal in form and power to him. Elated with this boon, Raktabija entered into the battlefield with great force in order to kill Kali and Ambika Devi. The Devi struck Raktabija with different weapons and soon there were thousands of Raktabijas in the battlefield with similar forms and weapons. Then Ambika Devi said to the Kali, “O Kali, open your mouth quickly, and no sooner I strike Raktabîja with weapons, you would drink off the blood as fast as it runs out of his body. O large-eyed One! You would drink off all the jets of blood in such a way that not a drop of it escapes and falls on the ground.” Then Kali, hearing thus the Devî’s words, began to drink the jets of blood coming out of the body of Raktabija. Devi Ambika began to cut the Demon’s body into pieces and Kali, went on devouring them. All forms of Rakatabija;s and finally Raktabija himself was destroyed. When the dreadful Raktabija was thus slain in the battle, the other Asuras fled away trembling with fear. Then the final fierce battle between the Asura Kings and Devi started. Soon Devi cut off the heads of first Nishumbha and then Shumbha with her axe. The glory of the Gods was thus restored.

Meaning of the story:

Raktabija represents the deep impressions (seeds of past action or karma) inside our consciousness which we carry since birth. When the past karma gives any fruit it becomes reason for still many more future karmas. Our karmas are also related to karmas of others around us. Thus the forest of karma is immeasurable. Lord Krishna has said, ‘Gahana Karmano Gatih’ (Unfathomable are the ways of Karma). We are never a master of our own life because of these deep impressions inside which govern our life at a very subtle level. True freedom is freedom from all these impressions. Maa Kali is said to be the ruler of time and death. Time is ‘Now’ and death is ‘Completion’…..Realizing each moment is complete in itself.

Drinking of each drop of Raktabija’s blood by Maa Kali signifies total awareness in action. When there is uninterrupted awareness in action (karma) such action (karma) becomes free from any residual impressions. This is being in the present moment. This is being 100%. The energy (Shakti) that arises with the practice of Pranayama, Meditation, Sudarshan Kriya etc. helps us in erasing all the past impressions. With regular practice of these techniques awareness level increases, vacillations of mind in past & future reduce and mind stays more and more in present moment.

‘Shumbha’ is doubting oneself and ‘Nishumbha’ is doubting others. Doubts arise when the life force energy (Prana Shakti) inside is low. Look at small children. They do not doubt anything because they are full of energy and enthusiasm. Negative forces come up only due to lack of Shakti. When you are full of energy and enthusiasm none of these Asuras (demons) can come near you. ‘Shumbha’ and ‘Nishumbha’ were killed only after killing of ‘Raktabija’. Doubts about self and others can be totally eliminated only when one realizes one’s true nature. Only when all past impressions have been annihilated, one can realize the Self.

This battle is also called ‘Maha Yagna’ because it is the great purifier. Since time immemorial this ‘Maha Yagna’ of Devi is going on!

May Maa Ambika bless all of us with victory in this Maha Yagna!

Sixth Navadurga : Devi Katyayini

On the sixth day of Navaratri, Devi Kathyayini is honoured and worshipped. Kathyayini represents the nurturing aspect of the Divine Mother. She embodies the values of sharing and caring. Young girls pray to Devi Kathyayini for good husbands. Marriage comes with a sense of security, commitment, togetherness, team spirit and belongingness. She signifies the finer qualities of being in a relationship. The ultimate relationship is the union with the Self.

Salutations to Devi Katyayani!

katyayini

 

यादेवीसर्वभुतेषु लज्जारूपेण संस्थिता  

नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः १६


Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Lajjaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||16||

1: To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Modesty,
16.2: Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again

 

यादेवीसर्वभुतेषु शान्तिरूपेण संस्थिता  

नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः १७

Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Shaanti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||17||

1: To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Peace,
17.2: Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

 

या देवी सर्वभुतेषु श्रद्धारूपेण संस्थिता  
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥१८॥

Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Shraddhaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||18||

18.1: To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Faith (in Higher Self),
18.2: Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again

Also Read :

SIGNIFICANCE OF NAVARATRI 

DEVI MAHATMYA 

DEVI MAHATMYA – STORY OF MADHU KAITABH

DEVI MAHATMYA – STORY OF MAHISHASURA

DEVI MAHATMYA – STORY OF SHUMBA NISHUMBA – PART 1

 

Jai Gurudev

Sanjay Sabnis

Art of Living Stories, Art of Living Wisdom.

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 !

Skandamata Maa

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.

Also read :

SIGNIFICANCE OF NAVARATRI 

DEVI MAHATMYA 

DEVI MAHATMYA – STORY OF MADHU KAITABH

DEVI MAHATMYA – STORY OF MAHISHASURA

Jai Gurudev

Sanjay Sabnis

Art of Living Stories, Art of Living Wisdom.

Mahishasura was born out of the union of the Asura (demon) king Rambha and a buffalo. When Mahishasura became the king of Asuras, he fought a great war with the Devas (Gods). The army of the Devas got defeated. The defeated Devas headed by Brahma, went to Shiva and Vishnu. The Devas described to them their plight. Hearing this, there issued forth a great light from the face of Vishnu, Shiva as well as Bramha. From the bodies of Indra and other Devas also sprang forth a great light. Then that unique light combined to become the female form of Devi. The Devi was riding on a fierce lion.

The Devi then gave out a loud roar. By her unending, terrible roar the entire sky was filled, and there was great reverberation. Mahishasura rushed towards that roar, surrounded by innumerable Asuras. He saw the Devi pervading all the three worlds with her lustre. The Devi then killed hundreds of Asuras with her trident, club, showers of spears, swords and the like, and threw down others who were stupefied by the noise of her bell. Seeing his army thus being destroyed, Mahishasura pounced upon the troops of the Devi with his own buffalo form. He rushed to slay the lion of the Devi. This enraged the Devi. She flung her noose over him and bound him. Thus bound in the great battle, Mahishasura quit his buffalo form. Then he suddenly became a lion. As Devi cut off the head of this lion, he took the appearance of a man with a sword. Devi with her arrows chopped off the man together with his sword and shield. Then he became a big elephant. The elephant tugged at Devi’s great lion with his trunk, but as he was dragging, Devi cut off his trunk with her sword. The great Asura then resumed his buffalo form and shook all the three worlds. Mahishasura, roaring intoxicated with his strength and valour, hurled mountains against Devi with his horns. And the Devi with showers of arrows pulverized those mountains. She then jumped and landed herself on that great Asura, pressing him on the neck with her foot, she struck him in the heart with her spear. The great Asura was thus finally slain by the Devi. With the death of Mahishasura, the whole Asura army perished and the Devas regained their lost glory.

 

Maa Durga killing mahishasura

 

Meaning of Mahishasura story:

The buffalo is a symbol of ignorance (animal tendencies). When ignorance starts reigning then one becomes inert, insensitive and dull. Mahishasura never comes alone; he comes along with his army of Asuras. Similarly ignorance is also accompanied by inertia, delusion, arrogance, misery, sadness, depression, fear, insecurity and all other negative tendencies. All good qualities (Gods) get defeated in front of ignorance. Only by awakening of spiritual energy (Devi Maa) can one overcome this demon of ignorance. Spiritual energy gets awakened when each and every part of our consciousness comes together with a single pointed focus (all Devas contributing their energies).

Devi Maa has to fight a fierce battle to slay the demon of ignorance. When the Devi slays the ignorance in one form, ignorance transforms itself into another form. Ignorance cannot be eliminated with simple knowledge. When we remove ignorance in one form with some knowledge, other form of ignorance will arise. Just like knowledge; ignorance also is limitless and infinite.

Ma Durga then jumps up on the Asura and presses the neck of the Asura with her feet and then pierces his heart with her spear. This signifies opening up first of the “Vishuddhi Chakra” (throat center) and then the “Anahat Chakra” (Heart center). With the opening of Vishuddhi chakra, gratefulness dawns in life. With opening of Anahat chakra, unconditional love arises. Ignorance simply dissolves in front of unconditional love and wisdom dawns. When wisdom dawns all other negative tendencies (army of Mahishasura) get destroyed. Thus, by the grace of Maa Durga, the Devas get back their lost kingdom of heaven.

May Maa Durga bless everyone with such unconditional love and gratefulness!

Fourth Navadurga : Kushmanda

On the fourth day of Navaratri, Mother Divine is worshipped in the form of Kushmanda Devi, the fourth Navadurga. The name Kushmanda is made of three words – “Ku + Ushma + Amnda = Kushmanda”. Here “Ku” is “Little”, “Ushma” is “Warmth or Energy” and “Anda” is “Egg”, meaning the one who creates the universe as “Little Cosmic Egg” with the energy of Her divine smile, is called “Kushmanda”. Maa Kushmanda is also named as “Adi Shakti”.

Kushmanda” also means pumpkin. A pumpkin has so many seeds and each seed contains the potential for so many more pumpkins. This is representative of the creative power and its eternal nature. The whole Creation is like a pumpkin. As Kushmanda, the Devi contains the entire Creation within her. She is the Devi who can give you the highest “prana” energy. It is her splendour that pervades every plant and creature of this universe.

Salutations to Maa Kushmanda!

 

kushmanda_navadurga_the_nine_forms_of_goddess_durga_wk91

 

या देवी सर्वभुतेषु क्षुधारूपेण संस्थिता  
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥१०॥

Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Kssudhaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||10||

10.1: To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Hunger,
10.2: Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, I bow down to her again and again.

 

या देवी सर्वभुतेषु छायारूपेण संस्थिता  

नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥११॥

Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Chaayaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||11||

11.1: To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Shadow (of Higher Self) (Jivatma as a Shadow of Paramatma),
11.2: Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, I bow down to her again and again.

 

या देवी सर्वभुतेषु शक्तिरूपेण संस्थिता  
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥१२॥

Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Shakti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||12||

12.1: To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Power,
12.2: Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, I bow down to her again and again.

Also Read:

SIGNIFICANCE OF NAVARATRI 

DEVI MAHATMYA 

DEVI MAHATMYA – STORY OF MADHU KAITABH

 

Jai Gurudev

Sanjay Sabnis