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Subtle Significance of Durga Sapthasathi

This is a short profile of the secret of Chandi Sapthasathi. It would be


useful for the devotees who do regular parayana of Chandi.

CHANDI SAPTHASATHI RAHASYA

The Devi Mahatmyam or Sri Chandi Sapthasathi, which forms the core text in
Markandeya Purana which is revered by most of the Shaktas or Worshippers of
Divine Mother as Durga. Essentially Sri Chandi reflects on 3 cycles. It is an
allegory. It represents the evolution of spiritual aspirant towards the self
realization, an internal struggle for the communion with his Soul, the Mother
Divine. During this process of perfection, he encounters several barriers and
bottlenecks in the form of his Vasanas (mental tendencies) that come his way and
make the path obscure and quite difficult. Falling prey to these pleasures, he
gets snared and entangled in the phenomenal and mundane existence. He gets
tired, dejected and depressed. And during this hard times, that Mother comes in
the form of Guru and imparts the supreme knowledge and makes him aware of his
divine self, and infuses him with revitalized energy, stays beside him in his
hardships, holds his hand in the tortuous, thorny
path and makes him realize his true Self which is non-different from Her.

The three charitas of this Chandi Sapthasathi represent the gross, subtle,
causal bodies or the physical, mental and psychic bodies of the individual
aspirant who accompany him till he reaches the supreme goal.

The Chandika Parameshwari, who is non different from Supreme Brahman, is also
the Maha Maya / Adya Sakti/ Agni / Vaak that manifests itself in 3 forms as 3
Vyahritis. They are Bhu, Bhuvah and Suvah which represent Prathama, Madhyama
and Uttama Charitras respectively. Agni, Vaayu and Surya are the deities that
represent these 3 cycles. The Chandi Sapthasathi, otherwise called “The Battle
of Life” is a chronicle of the battles fought between the Devi and the Divine
Forces on one side and Asuric, Anti-Divine Forces on the other. It is a great
sadhana shastra. On the poetic side of it, it has all the nava (9) rasas with
wonderful characters. The poet uses certain phrases to infuse fear and
reverence for the Divine Power like “Chandika Chandavikrama”, “Durga
Durgartinasini”, “Kali Karaalavadana”, “Humkarenaiva Bhasma”, “Utthaya cha
Mahasim Hum Devim Chandamadhavath” etc. These words and vibrations have
terrific impact on the person who chants the sapthasathi.
Chandi denotes the sovereign queen of the supreme Brahman. The word is
derived from the root ‘Chad’ means anger, which actually denote a sense of
extra-ordinary quality not limited by any standard or measure; “whom even the
Gods fear when he gets angry in battles”, “through the fear of him the wind
blows, the sun rises, Indra, Agni, Death hasten their courses”. So, the
command of this Sovereign Queen instills fear in all the Gods and makes them
perform their respective duties. It is in this sense that the root ‘Cad’ is
used. Hence, the sruti says “Mahat Bhayam Vajramudyatam..”. Here “Vajra” denotes
Brahma.

The word “Sapthasati” denotes the parable of 7 satis or matrikas. The Prathama
Charitra extols 1) Kali 2) Tara 3) Chinnamasta 4) Sumukhi 5) Bhuvaneshwari 6)
Bala 7) Kubja respectively. The Madhyama Charitra extols 1) Lakshmi 2) Lalitha
3) Kali 4) Durga 5) Gayatri 6) Arundhati 7) Saraswati respectively. The Uttama
Charitra extols 1) Brahmi 2) Maheshwari 3) Kaumari 4) Vaishnavi 5) Varahi 6)
Mahendri 7) Chamunda respectively.

If we take these 21 devi as a whole in samasti rupa, 1) Nanda 2) Satakshi 3)


Sakambari 4) Bhima 5) Rakthadantika 6) Durga 7) Brahamari Devis are euologized
respectively. These 7 samasti devis are called Saptha-Sathis.

THE MURTHI RAHASYA OF CHANDI

MULAPRAKRITI / CHANDI

This Chandi is the Mula Prakriti having 4 hands with weapons 1) Matulinga
fruit (a kind of sweet lime with seeds inside) 2) Gada (Mace) 3) Khetaka
(shield) 4) Pana / Madhu Patra. She wear a crown having Naga, Linga and Yoni
over it. Matulinga denotes that she is karma phala pradatri, Gada denotes her
Kriya rupa Vikshepa Sakti, Khetaka denotes Jnana sakti and Pana Patra denotes
her Turiya Vritti. She is also called “Maha Lakshmi” (not the 18-handed
Mahalakshmi of Madhyama Charita). Linga is Purusha, Yoni is Prakrit and Naga
denotes the Time (Kala). This implies that she is beyond Prakrit, Purusha and
Time. She is the Parasakti that transcends the 3 dimensions. This is the
Avyakta Swarupa of Brahma which is without any Nama, Rupa. This Chandi is the
Upaasya Devata of the entire Sapthasathi. This is the Samasti Rupa of Mahakali
of Prathama Charita, Mahalakshmi of Madhyama Charita and Mahasaraswathi of
Uttama Charita.
The Dhyana sloka for this Mula Prakriti / Chandi is :

“Sarvaadhyaam Agunaam Alakshya Vapusham Vyaapyakhilam Samsthithaam


Lakshyaam Cha Trigunaatmikaam Kanakaabham Hemaadibhushaanvitaam
Bijapura Gade Cha Khetaka Suraapaatre Karaih Bhibhratim
Yonim Lingamahim cha murdhni dadhatim Chandim Bhaje Chinamayeem”

MAHAKALI

When, this Avyakta Brahma rupa Mahalakshmi which is Triguna (of three
qualities in saamya avastha) decides to become many ie, “Bahusyaam Prajayeya..”,
then comes her Tamo Guna Pradhana form of Maha Kali with 4 arms. She has 4 arms
holding 1) Khadga (sword) 2) Pana Patra 3) Severed Head 4) Shield. The dhyana
sloka is “Sa bhinnanjana sankaasa damstramkita varaanana, vishala lochana naari
babhuva tanumandhyama, khadga paatra sirah khetaih alamkrita chaturbhuja,
kabandhahaaram sirasa bhibhrana hi sirah srajam”

This 4-armed Mahakali is the source of origin of the 10-armed Mahakali which
is the presiding deity of prathama charitra.

The functions of the 10-handed Mahakali (Presiding Deity of Prathama Charitra)

1) To delude the devatas 2) To help Mahakala at the time of Pralaya 3) To


Dissolve Brahma at the time of Mahapralaya 4) To create Hunger 5) To create
Thirst 6) To create Sleep 7) To create Desire 8) To perform Dushta Sikshana 9)
To make the Mahavishnu sleep at the time of Mahapralaya before the start of new
creation 10) Not letting the devatas to know her true Nature

MAHASARASWATHI

Now, from the above mentioned 4-armed Mahalakshmi, with Sattva Guna Pradhana,
4-armed Mahasaraswathi came forth. She holds 1) Aksha Mala 2) Ankusa 3) Vina 4)
Pushtaka in her 4 arms. The dhyana sloka is “Akshamaala Amkusa Dhara Vina
Pushtakadharini….”.

This 4-armed Sattva Guna Pradhana Mahasaraswathi is the source of origin the
8-handed Mahasaraswathi which is presiding deity for the Uttama Charita.
It is to be noted that the devata Kausiki mentioned in 5th chapter of Uttama
Charita is called Kalika. From this “Kalika” shakti, “Kali” shakti originated.
This “Kali” in 7th chapter, kills the two demons Chanda and Munda.

So, Mahakali, Kalika and Kali all three are different aspects. Mahakali is the
presiding deity of Prathama charita; Kalika is the Kausiki Devi that manifested
from Parvathi and Kali, which gets manifested from the anger of Kausiki (Kalika)
does the chanda-munda samhara.

The functions of the 8-handed Mahasaraswathi (Presiding Deity of Uttama


Charitra)

As per the Tantra, there are 8 bondages / chains which bind the soul. These 8
bondages arise from Asmita (I-ness) and Mamakara (Possessiveness). These
bondages are 1) Ghrina (Hate) 2) Lajja (Shame) 3) Bhaya (Fear) 4) Shankaa
(Doubt) 5) Jugupsaa (Reproach) 6) Kula Abhimana (Caste) 7) Jaati (Creed) 8)
Sheela (Modesty). Any consciousness which is bound by these 8 bondages is called
Jiva and the Consciousness that is free from all these chains is called Sadasiva
(Universal consciousness). The Chapter 8 of Sapthasathi describes allegorically
these 8 types of bondages. They are given below:

1) Hatred is depicted by Asura Udayudha 2) Shame is depicted by Asura Kambu 3)


Fear is depicted by Asura Kotivirya 4) Doubt is depicted by Asura Dhaumra 5)
Reproach is depicted by Kalaka 6) Caste is depicted by Asura Dauhadri 7) Creed
is depicted by the Asura Kalkeya 8) Modesty is depicted by the Asura Maurya.

These 8 types of demons are under the control of Shumbha and Nishumbha that
are Asmitha (I-ness) and Mamakara (Possessiveness).

Mahasaraswathi severs these 8 pasas / bondages with the help of her 8 aspects
of Vidya Vrittis of Ashta (8) Matrikas and grants the swa-swarupa jnana. She
manifests these 8 vidya vrittis, each vidya vritti severing each of the Pasa /
bondage. Thus, her 8 hands and the weapons she holds are meant to sever the 8
bondages. Her 8 vidya murtis or 8 matrikas are:
1) Brahmi 2) Maheshwari 3) Kaumari 4) Vaishnavi 5) Varahi 6) Narasimhi 7)
Indrani 8) Chamunda
Unless, these 8 bonds are severed, the sense of I-ness and My-ness that are
Shumbha and Nishumbha (these qualities are the two sides of same coin and hence
they are brothers) would be conquered, which is a barrier to become Siva
Swarupa.

MAHALAKSHMI

Now, it is to be noted that this 4-armed Mahalakshmi herself with her own Rajo
Guna remains as Mahalakshmi. The 18-handed Mahalakshmi of Madhyama Charita which
is the Rajo Guna Swarupa contains in her both the aspects of Tamogunaatmika
Mahakali of 10 hands and Sattvagunaatmika Mahasaraswathi of 8 hands.

The Functions of 18-handed Mahalakshmi (Presiding Deity of Madhyama Charitra)

The 18 hands of the Mahalakshmi denotes the 18 manifestations of


Manifestations in the form of 1) Buddhi 2) Nidra 3) Kshudha 4) Chaaya 5) Sakthi
6) Trishna 7) Kshanti 8) Jaati 9) Lajja 10) Shanti 11) Sraddha 12) Kaanti 13)
Lakshmi 14) Vritti 15) Smriti 16) Daya 17) Tushti 18) Bhranti respectively.
These 18 manifestations are the 18 chitta vrittis of the Jiva. The detailed
reference of these manifestations are reflected in 5th chapter of Uttama
Charita. (Pl. refer the Aparajita Stuthi)

PRAKRITI – ITS NATURE AND MANIFESTATION

The Nirvikalpa Chaitanya (Undifferentiated Consciousness) has in it an aspect


which is indivisible with it which is called the Maya. This Chaitanya is called
Purusha and the Maya is called Prakriti. The divine pair Purusha-Prakriti is of
absolute existence which is anaadi (without begin and end). Now, before delving
into the intricacies of Sapthasathi, it is important for us to know the
Prakriti, per se, its Gunas (Nature) and its 3 manifestations.

The concept of Prakriti is most fundamental to understand the central theme of


Devi Sapthasathi. It is called the Cosmic Energy. It is this Prakriti which is
the reflection of Supreme Consciousness called Purusha or Brahman, divides
itself into 3 Cosmic Forces called SATTVA (Efflulgence / Luminence), RAJAS
(Distraction / Throb) and TAMAS (Inertia / Stability).
When the Purusha alongwith his inherent Prakriti is said to have willed many
to become manifold (Bahusyaam Prajayeya…..), there was gradual intensification
of the density of the will, as a result, a throb or disturbance is created in
the harmonious state of Prakriti-Purusha. This ‘First Throb’ is Rajo Guna of
Prakriti. This throb / Rajo Guna reverts back the Purusha to know his ‘OWN
SELF’ which is His Cognizance / Prakriti. Along with the First Throb, which is
of Rajo Guna Swarupa, two more throbs also emanate from this Prakriti-Purusha
Pair. This second throb is Prakasa / Luminence / Effulgence. This is Sattva
Guna. It is with this Prakasa or Luminence that Purusha knows his own Prakriti
which is also his “I-Ness” or “Aham-Sphurana”. Now, the third throb is of the
form of “Sthiti / Nirodha” or Sustenance. This is Tamo Guna. This third throb
holds both the first throb which is Kriya rupa Rajo Guna and the second throb
which is Prakasa (Illumination). Having known
its Own Self, the Purusha stays in his own State holding Prakasa and Kriya.
This is the Tamo Maya Avastha of Purusha.

So, Prakriti = Prakasa (Sattva) + Kriya (Rajas) + Sthiti (Tamas).

Pantanjali Yoga Sutra says that “Prakasa Kriya Sthiti Silam Bhutendriyatmakam
Bhogaapavargartham Drishyam” ie., entire Cosmos is the manifestation of these
three Gunas. These 3 Gunas are ever-changing in different permutations and
combinations and reflect as Jagat.

Where there is more Kriya (Rajo Guna) and less Prakasa (Sattva Guna), that
state is Dukha-maya (Sorrow/Pain). Where, there is more Prakasa (Sattva Guna)
and less Kriya (Rajo Guna), that state is Sukha (Pleasure). Where there is
neither Prakasa and Kriya, this State is Moha (Delusion). This is Tamo Maya
Avastha. The entire Jagat is the combination of these Pleasure, Pain and
Delusion, which is the divine sport or leela of Prakriti.

Now, this Tri-Gunaatmaka Prakriti (Prakriti manifested in 3 Gunas) of two


types 1) Para Prakriti 2) Apara Prakriti. The same Prakriti shines as Para
Prakriti in Ishwara-bhava, and 2) as Apara Prakriti when in Jiva-bhava. In
other words, the Bahirmukha Vikasa (Outward Journey towards the Object) of Jiva
is Apara Prakriti and Antarmukha Vikasa (Inward Journey towards the Subject) of
the Jiva to become Ishwara is called Para Prakriti. The order of Para Prakriti
is Tamas, Rajas and Sattva Rupas respectively and that of Apara Prakriti is
Sattva, Rajas and Tamas respectively.
Prakasa / Illumination is the Antarmukha vikasa and Aprakasa / Darkness is the
Bahirmukha vikasa of Sattva Guna.

Vairagya / Kriya is the Antarmukha Vikasa and Nishkriya / Krodha is the


Bahirmukha Vikasa of Rajo Guna.

Nirodha / Sthiti / Sustenance that holds both Prakasa and Vairagya is the
Antarmukha Vikasa and Moha / Delusion is the Bahirmukha Vikasa of Tamo Guna.

Now, the Devi Mahatmyam having the 3 charitas ie., Prathama, Madhyama and
Uttama Charitas represent these three aspects of Prakasa, Vairagya and Nirodha
of Prakriti. These 3 charitas or cycles embark upon the spiritual journey of
Jiva to become Siva. The Prathama, Madhyama and Uttama Charitas represent the
cutting asunder the knots of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra respectively.

PRATHAMA CHARITA (SATTVA GUNA OF JIVA – PRAKASA)

It represents the PRAKASA of Sattva Guna. And hence, samputikarana with Vak /
Saraswatha Bija (AIM) is performed. The presiding deity of this Prathama
Charita is Mahakali, which is the Tamasika Sakti of Iswara. Para Prakriti
manifests as Tamo Guna in Ishwara and Apara Prakriti manifests as Sattva Guna
for the Jiva. The Prathama Charitra is the symbolic representation of Brahma
Granthi Bedhana where Agaami Karma of the Jiva is reduced to ashes.

The Allegory in Prathama Charita and its Secret

Dissolution is also called Kalpantha or end of one cycle. During the period
of Dissolution and Creation, there is a gap in the cycle. During this period,
cosmos gets dissolved in the seed form. This is called Ekaarnavikrita. Rig
Veda mentions two terms during the process of creation. One is Samudra and the
other is Arnava. Samudra is Effect of Karya and the Arnava is Cause or Karana.
The Cosmos, which is the Effect, get dissolved in the Great Cause. This Seed of
Cosmos is in the Brahma, which is also called the Mind. During that moment,
nothing exists except Pure Consciousness. This Pure Consciousness or Suddha
Chaitanya is in communion with All-pervasive Chit Shakti. This Suddha Chaitanya
along with his all-pervasive chit shakti is called Praana (sruti says “that
which holds and bears the entire cosmos is praana”. This all-pervasive
consciousness along with his Yoga Maya rupa Chit Shakti rests on the Seed of the
Cosmos.
This Seed of Cosmos is the Seeds of Karma
Phalas or the Fruits of the Action of the Jiva. These Fruits or the Seed become
the Cause for the Creation of Cosmos or Individual which is the Effect.

At this point, from this all-pervasive chidakasa swarupa, arise two


tendencies. They arise from the mala or dirt of Vishnu’s sruti / ears. Mala
denotes the Avarana dosha or the veil. Karna denotes the Akasa (Sabda which is
perceived through Karna is the Tanmaatra of Akasha. They are Madhu and Kaitabha.

Now who are these demons? [Kitavadbhavateeti Kitabha, tasya bhava iti
Kaitabha; tat Madhu]. Madhu is sweet which is Vishishta Ananda Swarupa and
Kaitabha is a worm-like manifestation in myriads. The are myriads in number but
seem to be one in organism. Bahu Bhaveechha ie., may I become many. The
tendency to experience many things (Kaitabha) with unbroken, uninterrupted
pleasure (Madhu).

During the dissolution, Brahma, the Manas (Samkalpas) which is the Srushti
Shakti, is united and one with Vishnu, the Chidakasa. When these two tendencies
arise, the Mind or the Manas becomes activated and thinks for creation of Cosmos
in the form of “Bahusyaam Prajayeya…” ie., “May I become Many” under the
influence of Madhu and Kaitabha. And hence, they are the enemies of Brahma, the
Mind, as it has separated the blissful union of Manas with Prana / Chidakasa /
Chit Sakti. These tendencies “May I become Many” and “Sense of Enjoyment in
becoming Many” that are Kaitabha and Madhu try to kill the Brahma ie., try to
overpower and control the Mind. Then, the Mind / Brahma seeks the refuge of
Mahamaya.

Thus, the Brahma extols the Mahamaya and pleads to withdraw Her Veil in the
form of Madhu and Kaitabha. These are the Asuri qualities of Divine Mother which
She alone is capable of removing. Hence, Vishnu waking up implies that the
Prana is alert and ready for the churn of divine and demoniac tendencies.
Vishnu becomes Hari and takes away all the tendencies from the Mind.

The Vysthi Manas (Conditioned Mind of an Individual as a Microcosm) is the


Brahma Tattva in the Jiva and Vyasthi Chaitanya which is the Praana (Vital
Energy) is the Vishnu Tattva in the Jiva.

When, the Individual transcends the 3 gunas (Tamas, Rajas, Sattva) and abide
in Vishuddha Sattva Guna at Vigyanamaya Kosha, the Mind and its tendencies
(Brahma in Jiva) are merged in the Praana – the Vyasthi Chaitanya (Vishnu in
Jiva).
The Vyasthi Chaitanya (the Praana) in communion with Individual
Consciousness (Yogamaya) rests on Samskaras (Anantha – The Serpent). In this
state of consciousness, the world which used to exist as a separate entity
(external object) is reflected in the Buddhi (Intellect) of the Jiva. The Jiva
perceives this world as the expanse of his own Intellect, his cognizance. The
allegory “Sarvam Apomayam Jagat” is the symbolic representation of this
phenomenon. When poised in such a state at Vigyanamaya Kosha, the two
tendencies in the form of Madhu and Kaitabha arise from his Consciousness.
When, these two tendencies 1) To experience the Pleasure (Madhu) 2) To
experience the Pleasure by becoming Many (Kaitabha) crop up from his
Consciousness
and Mind (Brahma) is let loose from the Vital Energy (Vishnu) in the Jiva.
These two tendencies are the root cause (Karana) for the re-birth, which is the
effect (Karya). And hence, they are Agaami Karma Bijas. The Jiva annihilating
his two tendencies with his Vital Energy (Praana – Vishnu) merges with Tamo-rupa
Para Prakriti. The First Cycle establishes “CHIT” state of Brahma which is
Sat-Chit-Ananda Swarupa. This “CHIT” is of the form of Illumination and hence,
AIM is the Bija for this Cycle.

This is just a beginning for the spiritual aspirant. The spiritual aspirant
has a long way to go till he merges in Absolute. Sruti says “Atma Vaare
Drshtavyah, Srotavyah, Mantavyah, Nidhidhyasitvyah…”). The Flash of Divine
Consciousness in his Intellect is the first step towards the Journey. The
nature of the Consciousness has to be logically analysed with the help of
scriptures and at each and every step one has to do comparative analysis between
what has been said in the scriptures with his own experience. Has to be
reflected upon, meditated and prepare oneself for final union with the Divine.
These 3 cycles are the 3 phases of the spiritual aspirant that pave the way for
Jiva-Brahma-Aikya.

Annihilating the two tendencies desire to be many which is Bahu-bhava Iccha


(Kaitabha) and sense of seeking pleasure by becoming manifold which is Bahutva
Ananda (Madhu) in the 1st cycle, enters into the 2nd cycle which is Madhyama
Charita.
MADHYAMA CHARITA (RAJO GUNA OF JIVA – KRIYA AND VAIRAGYA)

It represents the KRIYA of Rajo Guna. Tthe Kriya is the Vigorous Activity
which is of Rajo Guna Swarupa. And hence, samputikarana with Maya Bija (HRIM)
is performed. The presiding deity of this Madhyama Charita is Mahalakshmi,
which is the Rajasika Sakti of Iswara. Para Prakriti manifests as Rajo Guna in
Ishwara and Apara Prakriti manifests as Rajo Guna in the form of Vairagya
(Dispassion and Detachment) for the Jiva. The Madhyama Charitra is the
symbolic representation of Vishnu Granthi Bedhana where Sanchita Karma of the
Jiva is reduced to ashes.

With the elimination of the tendency to experience the pleasure in manifold


that are Madhu and Kaitabha in Prathama Charita (1st Phase of the Spiritual
Journey), there are still some remnants of this manifold expression, the
metaphysical aspects of attachments and self-regarding impulse which is the
external manifestation of Rajo Guna in the form of Mahishasura. The Jiva enters
into the 2nd Cycle which is the realm of Internal Manifestation of Rajo Guna
with Para Vairagya. At this point, there is a constant tug-of-war between his
antarmukha vikasa of Rajo Guna (Para Vairagya) and Bahirmukha Vikasa of Rajo
Guna (Krodha in the form of Mahishasura). Uproots his external manifestation of
Rajo Guna (Mahishasura) with detachment and self-analysis (Antarmukha Vikasa of
Rajo Guna). At the end of this 2nd phase, the aspirant starts enquiring of
about his own true self. The process of self-enquiry ie., the nature of “I”
starts here.

The Allegory in Madhyama Charita and its Secret

There is a constant tug-of-war between Gods and Demons and in the process; the
portfolios of the Gods are hijacked by demons. The introvert senses that are
turned towards the source of individual are Gods and the extrovert senses that
are turned towards the objects external of individual are Demons ie., Antarmukha
Vikasa of Indriyas are Devatas and Bahirmukha Vikasa of the Indriyas are Asuras.
In Madhyama Charita, Antarmukha Vikasa of Rajo Guna is Vairagya, Sama, Dama,
Titiksha, Uparati etc. which is lead by Vairagya (Indra). The Bahirmukha Vikasa
of Rajo Guna is Kama, Krodha, Lobha,… lead by Krodha (Mahishasura).
The demons Chikshura, Chamara, Udagra, Karaala, Uddhata, Bashkala, Tamra,
Ugraasya, Ugravirya, Mahahanu, Bidala, Durdhara, Durmukha, Asiloma are the
manifestations of Vikshepa, Avarana, Darpa, Dambha, Bhoga Lalasa, Lobha, Moha,
Krodha, Sarira Bala, Abhimana, Dosha Drishti, Akshama, Nishturata, Dvesha
respectively.

The Para Prakriti manifests as Rajasika Sakti as Mahalakshmi and Apara


Prakriti manifests as Antarmukha Vikasa of Rajo Guna in the Jiva as Para
Vairagya. Jiva in this state of Antarmukha Vikasa of Rajo Guna annihilates the
Bahirvikasa of Rajo Guna in the form of Mahishasura. This act of annihilation
requires more force and violent activity to remove from one’s continuum. And
hence, there should be a collected and concentrated effort of Mind (Brahma),
Praana – Vital Force (Vishnu) and Jnana (Siva). This effort collectively
manifests one’s latent Divine Consciousness (Durga). The Human Consciousness
adhering to the path of righteousness is the Dharma. This Dharma is the Lion.
The Divine Consciousness (Durga) alighted on Dharma (Lion) conquers the impulse
of Rajo Guna. This elimination of Mahishasura (the Bahirmukha Vikasa of Rajo
Guna) paves the way for Antarmukha Vikasa of the Jiva which is Para Vairagya.
Here, at this point, the Self-Enquiry starts. The Jiva
begins to enquire his true self. Thus, the Jiva merges with Rajo Rupa Para
Prakriti. This Charita establishes the “SAT” aspect of Chit-Sat-Ananda rupa
Brahman. SAT denotes the all-pervading Existence Absolute. And hence, HRIM is
the Bija for this Cycle.

UTTAMA CHARITA (TAMO GUNA OF JIVA – STHITI / NIRODHA)

It represents the Sthithi / Nirodha or Sustenance that holds both Prakasa of


Sattva Guna and Kriya of Rajo Guna. The Antarmukha Vikasa of Tamo Guna is to
hold back in itself and sustain Prakasa / Illumination of Sattva Guna and Kriya
/ Para Vairagya of Rajo Guna. The Bahirmukha Vikasa is the Moha / Delusion.
The Para Prakriti manifests as Sattvika Murti as Mahasaraswathi and Apara
Prakriti manifests as Antarmukha Vikasa of Tamo Guna in Jiva. This phase
establishes the “ANANDA” swarupa of Brahman and hence samputikarana of “KLIM” is
done.
A very subtle form of attachment, the desire to perpetuate as Monad, to
continue one’s Individual as an INDIVIDUAL SELF that exists as EGO, “I” and
“MY” that are “Aham” and “Idam”.

Armed with the weapon of “Self-Enquiry, the aspirant enters into the 3rd
Cycle. Annihilates the delusion of his wrong identification of his Intellect
with Divine Consciousness. This wrong identification is due to his smoky or
blurred vision represented by Dhumralochana. Uproots Pravritti and Nivritti
rupa Chanda & Munda. Pravritti is the act of reverting back the mind towards
the source and Nivritti is tendency to get rid of the “I-ness” that shines in
Intellect. Then proceeds to sever 8 bondages / chains (Ashta Paasaas) that bind
the Jiva to the Maya. These bondages are Ghrina (Hate), Lajja (Shame), Bhaya
(Fear), Shankaa (Doubt), Jugupsaa (Reproach), Kula Abhimana (Caste), Jaati
(Creed), Sheela (Modesty). They are represented by the Asuras Udyudha, Kambu,
Kotivirya, Dhaumra, Kalaka, Daurhruda, Maurya, Kalakeya respectively. Any
consciousness which is bound by these 8 bondages is called Jiva. When these
demons are uprooted, there is still last trace of Jivatva (the
Dvaita Bhava that I am Jiva) left out which is Rakthabija. This is the
“Conditioned Individual Ego” which gets manifested again and again. And hence,
it has to be sucked in by a powerful strong, violent and ferocious force of
Consciousness – the Kali. When this Jiva Ahamkara - Ego is uprooted, all the
tendencies related to Jiva (the Individual) are dissolved. The Jiva becomes
Ishwara. But remember, this is not the final goal of the Individual. This is
not the final merger in the Brahman. In Ishwara too, there is a trace of Maya
in the form of two tendencies ie., Asmitha (Aham or I-ness) and Mamatha (My-ness
in the form of Idam or This). The tendency that the “entire Universe is created
by Me and I am the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of this Universe” is the
“Aham” of Ishwara. This is represented by demon Shumba. And another tendency
that “this (Idam) entire creation is Mine” is Mamatha. This is represented by
demon Nishumbha. During the last crusade,
Nishumbha (Mamatha) is killed. And what remains is the Shumbha – the Asmitha.
The “I-ness” of Ishwara which is called Mahamaya. When this last trace of “I”
in Ishwara is dissolved which is Shumbha, the Gates of Heaven are thrown open to
Jiva. And lo, the Jiva merges in Brahman – the Supreme Consciousness which is
of the form of Knowledge, Existence, Bliss Absolute. The spiritual journey stops
here with the end of 3rd cycle – the Uttama Charita. This is really most
sublime, most superior and unmatched and hence “Uttama” charita.
The Allegory in Uttama Charita and its Secret

Emanation of Kausika / Chandika / Kalika

Emanation of Kausiki represents the manifestation of of Shuddha Chaitanya


Swarupini (the Supreme Consciousness) which is called “Chandika”. This Kausikis
is also called “Kalika”. This is the Supreme Brahman in Feminine Form. From
this form, the “Kali” is manifested for slaying the demons Dhumralochana, Chanda
and Munda.

Dhumralochana

Dhumralochana is the representative of “Smoky Vision” which is Bhraanti /


Avidya. The false identification of one’s self in the Intellect (Buddhi) is the
act of the Dhumralochana. In Vigyana Maya Kosa, the Self of the Individual is
reflected in Buddhi. The individual gets carried away by the wrong notion of
this phenomenon to be the “Self-Realization”.

Chanda & Munda

Chanda and Munda denote the Pravritti and Nivritti of the Jiva. The Pravritti
and Nivritti does not convey the ordinary meaning of extrovertness and
introvertness. Pravritti is the act of reverting back the Mind from Objective &
External Pleasures and turning towards the Supreme Consciousness which arising
after the commencement of Self-Enquiry. Chanda denotes this Aggressive
Phenomenon of this Activity. Nivritti is the tendency to get rid of the Self in
the form of “I-Ness” that shines in the Intellect. This tendency is Munda.

It is with the help of this Introvert Mind by turning away from objectives
pleasures (Pravritti) and with the tendency to get rid of “I-ness” in Vigyana
Maya Kosa (Nivritti), this “I-ness” or “Aham-Sphurana” gets illumined in
Intellect. The sadhaka under the influence of these Pravritti, Nivritti and
Bhranti, falsely identifies the “I” in Intellect to be his Swa-Swarupa. The
army of Pravritti are Ashtanga Yoga. Nivritti has not army which is the method
of Negation ie., “Neti-Neti”. In a nutshell, Abhayasa (Practice of Yoga) and
Vairagya (Dispassion) are the Pravritti and Nivritti for the Nirodha (holding
back the prakasa and kriya).
The Kali, a ray of Supreme Consciousness, thus manifested from Kausiki /
Kalika / Chandika slays the Smoky Vision (Dhumralochana), Pravritti (Chanda) and
Nivritti (Munda).
Emanation of 8 (Ashta) Matrikas and slaying of 8 Demons

Though, the Bhranti, Abhyasa and Vairagya drops down, the subtle forms of
ashta kleshas (8 forms of bondages) still cling to the Karana Deha (causal
body). Without annihilation of these 8 bondages, there are traces of
“Conditional Ego” in the Jiva that is the bottleneck for his merger with
Ishwara. These ashta kleshas or 8 bonds / fetters that bind the Jiva in the
phenomenal existence or samsara are :
1) Ghrina (Hate), 2) Lajja (Shame), 3) Bhaya (Fear), 4) Shankaa (Doubt), 5)
Jugupsaa (Reproach), 6) Kula Abhimana (Caste), 7) Jaati (Creed), 8) Sheela
(Modesty). They are represented by the Asuras Udyudha, Kambu, Kotivirya,
Dhaumra, Kalaka, Daurhruda, Maurya, Kalakeya respectively. Any consciousness
which is bound by these 8 bondages is called Jiva.

These 8 types of demons are under the control of Shumbha and Nishumbha that
are Asmitha (I-ness) and Mamakara (Possessiveness).

Mahasaraswathi severs these 8 pasas / bondages with the help of her 8 aspects
of Vidya Vrittis of Ashta (8) Matrikas and grants the swa-swarupa jnana. She
manifests these 8 vidya vrittis, each vidya vritti severing each of the Pasa /
bondage. Thus, her 8 hands and the weapons she holds are meant to sever the 8
bondages. Her 8 vidya murtis or 8 matrikas are:
1) Brahmi 2) Maheshwari 3) Kaumari 4) Vaishnavi 5) Varahi 6) Narasimhi 7)
Indrani 8) Chamunda

Unless, these 8 bonds are severed, the sense of I-ness and My-ness that are
Shumbha and Nishumbha (these qualities are the two sides of same coin and hence
they are brothers) would be conquered, which is a barrier to become Ishwara.

Rakthabija Samhara
When these 8 demons are uprooted, there is still last trace of Jivatva (the
Dvaita Bhava that I am Jiva) left out which is Rakthabija. This is the
“Conditioned Individual Ego” which gets manifested again and again. And hence,
it has to be sucked in by a powerful strong, violent and ferocious force of
Consciousness – the Kali. When this Jiva Ahamkara - Ego is uprooted, all the
tendencies related to Jiva (the Individual) are dissolved. The Jiva becomes
Ishwara.

The Bhaava that “I am Jiva” is the Rakthabija. The jiva bhava or the
Conditioned Individual Ego is the Rakthabija. From the subtle see of this Ego,
again manifests the gross form of Ego – the Jivatva or Dvaita Bhava. The Jivatva
or Individual Ego surface up when the Sadhaka reflects on “Aham Brahma Asmi” and
“Ayam Atma Brahma”. This jivatva stands as barrier for his Brahmi Sthiti and
surfaces up again and again. To uproot this tendency, with the aspect of
powerful supreme consciousness, the sadhaka should put his full force of Faith,
Experience, Logic, Shastra Jnana and Kripa. These are the symbolic
representation of Chamunda’s 5 weapons Shula, Vajra, Bana, Asi, Rushti. These 5
weapons have to be used as a single shot on the Ego.

1) Faith in “Jivo Brahma Eva Naa Parah”


2) Experience of Atma (Self) in Intellect (Buddhi)
3) Logic = Atma-Anatma Vichara and Drik-Drishya Vivechana
4 Sastra = The brahma vichara propounded by Vedas and constant comparison with
one’s experience and that of sastraic injunctions
5) Kripa : The Grace of Mother and Prapatti

The grace of Mother is symbolically described as Chamunda devouring the


Rakthabija and sucking the blood.

As soon as, the Jiva bhava rupa Rakthabija is slayed, Jiva does not remain as
Jiva but as is reflected in “I” of Ishwara. The Jiva becomes Ishwara.

Shumbha And Nishumbha

Now, from Madhu, Kaitabha till Rakthabija, all the demons are the tendencies
of Jiva. With the death of Rakthabija, the Individual Conditioned Consciousness
(the Jivatva of Sadhaka) is merged in Universal Ego of Ishwara.
In Ishwara also, there exists two tendencies or samskaras in the form of
Asmitha and Mamatha. Asmitha is “Aham” or “I-ness” and Mamatha is “My-ness” in
the form of “Idam”. The tendency that “I am Omnipotent & Omnipresent” is the
“Aham” which is Shumbha and the tendency that “I encompass this entire universe
which is Mine” is the “Mamatha” which is represented by Nishumbha. These two
are the Avidya Vrittis of Ishwara.

Unless these two tendencies are eliminated, complete merging in the Supreme
Consciousness which is Brahman is not possible for the Jiva.

The last fight between the demon and the Devi removes the last veil in the
form of Nishumbha. And thus, the journey of the Sadhaka ends here and he
completely merges in ANANDA SWARUPA CHANDI.

THE CHANDI NAVAKSHARI MANTRA AND ITS INTERPRETATION

The Nine-lettered Mantra (AIM HIM KLIM CHAAMUNDAI VICCHE) is the sound body of
Chandika Parameshwari composed of 9 Durgas (Nava Durga Rupini). The Devi
Atharvasirsa Upanishad proclaims this mantra and extols this as giver of highest
delight (“Mahad Ananda dayakah”). The great shakta Bhaskararaya Makhi says that
this mantra gives final liberation “Brahma Sayujya Pradah”.

AIM : The Bija of Mahakali


HRIM : The Bija of Mahalakshmi
KLIM : The Bija of Mahasaraswathi

Though the Kali bija is KLIM, here it is given as AIM. Though the Lakshmi
bija is SRIM, here it is given as HRIM; Though the Saraswathi bija is AIM, it is
given here as KLIM. So, as per the 3 Charitas / Cycles in Sapthasathi, it should
have been KLIM, SRIM, AIM. But it is not so.

Because these Bijas are of Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. Whereas, the deities
of 3 Charitas are Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Maharaswathi that are entirely
different aspects as I mentioned above in introducing murthi rahasya.

Mahakali is Prakasa Swarupa which is an aspect of Sattva Guna. Therefore, AIM


bija stands for Prakasa (Illumination). This is “Chit” aspect of Brahman.

Mahalakshmi is Kriya Swarupa which is an aspect of Rajo Guna. Therefore, HRIM


bija stands for Kriya. This is “Sat” aspect of Brahman.
Mahasaraswathi is Sthiti / Nirodha / Ananda Rupa that holds back both Prakasa
and Kriya which is an aspect of Tamo Guna. Therefore, KLIM bija stands for
Nirodha. This is “Ananda” aspect of Brahman.

1st Interpretation of Navakshari

CHAAMUNDA is the Cosmic Power of Brahman which is Para Shakti. “Chamati –


atthi, sarvam charaacharam iti Chamuh” ie., All the principles of creation at
the time of dissolution is Chamuh. “daati (laati)” is the act of devouring or
swallowing. So, Chaamunda is the Supreme Cosmic Power that devours the entire
creation at the time of dissolution.

VICCHE denotes the act of Salutation. So, the 1st interpretation is :

“Salutations to the all devouring cosmic power Chaamunda that is the samasti
rupa (integrated form) of Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswathi”

2nd Interpretation of Navakshari

“Vit Chinoti iti Vicche” ie., bestower of supreme knowledge (Vit). This would
become:

“Prostrations to Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswathi Swarupa Chamunda – the


bestower of Supreme Knowledge (Brahma Jnana)”

3rd Interpretation of Navakshari


CHAAMUNDA stands of Brahma Vidya.
VICCHE is VIT+CHA+E. VIT stands for Chit aspect of Brahman; CHA stands for
Sat aspect of Brahman and E stands for Ananda aspect of Brahman. So, this would
become:

“May we meditate on Chit rupa Mahakali; Sat rupa Mahalakshmi; Ananda rupa
Mahasaraswathi in our heart for Brahma Vidya”.
4th Interpretation of Navakshari

AIM, HRIM, KLIM = Brahma (Brahma Vachaka or Supreme Consciousness);


CHA = Jiva is (Jiva vachaka – Individual Consciousness)
AMUNDA = Non-different (Abheda swarupa)
AI = Thus, we know to be
VICCHE = Advaita Jnanaprade; Chit Sat Ananda Rupini

This means:

“May we know the Chit Sat Ananda rupa Brahma who is Chandi to be non-different
from Jiva”

The “Tat Tvam Asi” mahaavaakya is indicated here. The Navakshari when chanted
with this bhavana grants the sadhaka the final union with Brahman – the
Knowledge, Existence and Bliss Absolute.

Interpretation of Chandi Navakshari by Sri T.V.Kapali Sastry – a disciple of


Sri Aurobindo and Ganapati Muni

If all the vowels and consonants in the Mantra are counted, it will be 24 and
so, some scholars claim that Navakshari is the Gayatri of Chandi. There is
7-fold division in the mantra. It is : 1) AIM 2) HRIM 3) KLIM 4) CHAMUNDAYAI
5) VIT 6) CA 7) E.

Chamundayai is in the dative case while the six others are in the vocative
case. AIM is the Vakbija, the seed-sound of Mahasaraswati, knowledge that is
consciousness, CHIT and corresponds to VIT (Annamaya Kosha) in the lower triple
(Anna, Praana, Manas). Similarly, HRIM is the Mayabija, the seed-sound of
Mahalakshmi, the all-pervasive existence SAT and corresponds to CA (Praanamaya
Kosha) in the lower triple. KLIM is kamabija, the seed-sound of Mahakali, all
consuming delight, Ananda, and corresponds to E (Manomaya Kosha) in the lower
triple.
There are 7 psychological principles that represent 7 planes of consciousness
in the Individual. They are 1) Anna 2) Prana 3) Manas 4) Vigyana 5) Ananda 6)
Chit 7) Sat. Here, Chit, Sat, Ananda represent the Higher Triple State and
Anna, Prana, Manas represent the Lower Triple State of Individual.

Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati represent the higher triple state of


God-head with its Chit, Sat, Ananda Swarupa gets involved in creation of lower
triple worlds ie., physical, vital and mental (Anna, Praana, Manas) through
Vigyana (Gnosis). This Gnosis or Vigyana is represented by CHAAMUNDA. The
lower triple in turn has to evolve into the higher triple through Chaamunda.
Thus, in the Mantra, AIM HRIM KLIM and Vicce represent the Higher Triple and
Lower Triple Worlds respectively while the CHAMUNDAYAI denotes the world of
Vigyana, Gnosis, the plane of Light (Mahas). The mantra is an invocation to
the Supreme Goddess in the form of Truth-Consciousness-Bliss, made by the being
circumscribed by the lower triple of physical, vital and mental states. The
prayer is made so that the being is freed by the grace of Chaamunda from his
present triple state of distortion to reach the true state of
Truth-Consciousness-Bliss.

Each letter in the Mantra has to be contemplated in a definite colour. AIM


has a moonlike lusture, HRIM has the effulgence of sun, KLIM blazes like fire,
CA has the shine of pure gold, MUN is deep red in colour, DA is deep blue
dispelling the distress, YAI is black destroying the foes and enemies, VI is
white in colour and CCE has a smoky colour.