Chandi Saptha Sathi -3
Maharishi Medhas continued “Listen, O king. If you want to recite Chandi Saptha Sathi, certain procedures need to be followed. While reciting the verses, it should be read cautiously and very slowly, pronouncing each words correctly. It should not be recited very loudly and only you should be able to hear what you recite. The one who is unaware of the rules of chanting Chandi Saptha Sathi when recite the Mantras incorrectly, they would be harming themselves as the words are imbibed with mystic mantras.
However the other form of Saptha Sathi, i.e Chandi Homa is performed by pundits reciting mantras in a structured manner with proper pronunciation and Swara (dimension or frequencies of musical pitch) for the benefit of the raw seeker or performed by Sadhanathviks (those who perform Sadhanas to attain certain siddies) for different spiritual and psychic purposes.
Before commencing recital, you need to perform certain preliminary religious ceremonies or rituals. Sit on a clean floor or in a well cleaned area and perform rituals such as Asana, Pranayama, Sankalpa and then begin reciting Navakshari mantra in the form of Japa. The Navakshari mantra is most powerful Durga mantra. Recital of this mantra would eliminate hurdles caused by external forces from tantra, planetary and other spheres. Constantly chanting this mantra destroys surrounding visible and invisible enemies. This mantra is chanted specially during Navratri period.
At the same time, if anyone recited the slokas in Devi Mahatma directly as if a book was read (without structured Swaras or proper pronunciation), then they would get only mental satisfaction and not achieve the benefit desired. When it is read casually the mystic power imbibed in each of the words would not get activated to give the desired result. If one desired to be freed of illusion, one has to take initiation or Diksha from a good guru and then only begin to recite it in the structured manner as prescribed.
During the episode of Chithambara Rahasyam, Lord Shiva told his consort Goddess Parvathi that he would reveal the greatness of Chandi Saptha Sathi. He said “The recital would alleviate poverty and the seeker freed of illusion and delusion. (Here the word poverty denotes not worldly wealth but refers to wisdom). The embodiment of pure intelligence called Tripura has three forms. Goddess Durga took the form of Goddess Kali to destroy the monster and demonic forces to bless the celestial. She herself manifested as Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswathi over period of time. Chandika is a form of Goddess Durga. She is the most auspicious Goddess and the one who bestow auspiciousness upon all of the world. She is pure and holy and protects those who surrender to her. She is also called the Mother of the three worlds” Lord Shiva went on explaining the divine powers of Sakthi and benefits derived when she was worshiped”. (A small clarification is needed here as the divine play comes into the picture here. Even though Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi are omnipresent and knower of everything, still on account of certain pre-determined divine play destined, even the divines lose their divine powers for short moment till certain acts are completed. Hence here Lord Shiva remained stripped of his divine powers in respect of knowledge on the topic discussed and spoke to Goddess Parvathi in an innocent manner explaining the greatness of Goddess Durga and Chandi Saptha Sathi – Santhipriya).
Goddess Parameswari put up beautiful smile with chuckle when Lord Shiva finished his discourse. Irked by her subdued smile when the Lord asked reason for her chuckle, Goddess Parameswari replied to him casually “My Lord, when you had narrated the story of my own manifestations and my incarnate Goddess Durga who came out only from me, as if a puzzle was unknotted, what else could I do except to chuckle?” A bit embarrassed Lord Shiva lost himself and laughed uncontrollably sharing the joy of the Goddess*. When the entire universe watched the joyous moments of Lord Shiva and Goddess Sakthi, they too rejoiced and enjoyed the divine drama forgetting all their miseries and sufferings”.
Maharishi Medhas continued “Look King, do you now realize that the entire universe rejoiced along with the Lord and his consort only because of the greatness of Saptha Sathi ? That is why I advice you, oh, King, surrender unconditionally at the holy feet of goddess Durga and continue to worship her. At appropriate time she would grace you to get back all that you have lost along with worldly pleasures besides taking you in the path of salvation”. He then initiated Diksha for recital of Chandi Saptha Sathi and explained the first few steps to be followed before reciting the main text.
“Kavacha (Shield) : The core text in 700 verses of Saptha Sathi could awaken Shakthi ferociously which could endanger the raw seeker as they would have to inter act with various celestial called Mathru Devathas, some of whom may try to break the Sadhana as they have their own existence or dharma, but remained war force of Devi. They would attempt to exploit the weaknesses in the seeker by disturbing his health and family. Therefore chanting Kavacha helps to keep those inimical forces at bay. The chant acts like a shield protecting the warrior in war front. By chanting this mantra you would be inviting several Mathru devathas seeking their intervention to protect the external and internal organs in his body, control his prana called breath, family members and wealth besides congenital diseases of many sorts. Therefore the first mantra is to seek protection from all obstacles from many spheres and is called ‘Kavacha Mantra’. The Maharishi then preached them the mantra and explained the next procedure.
Argala:- Maharishi Medhas then explained the next mantra to be recited which acts like a bolt which keeps the shield (Kavach mantra) attached firmly with the seeker. Argala is the next prayer seeking the intervention of Shakthi which is like a sword which can cut through any and everything, no matter what they are. Thus her intervention of Sakthi would help the seeker to destroy the obstacles and other disturbances mainly desires, wavering mind, and attachments to worldly desires that may obstruct further path when the seeker had attempted to do something successfully in the daunting task he had taken ( here the task refers to recital of Chandi Saptha Sathi). Through chant of this mantra the seeker shall be asking the Sakthi who is like a sharp sword, which can cut through anything, to help him work in a specific manner to reach his goal. That is why Maharishi Medhas cautioned that Devi Mahatmyam should not be recited (parayan) unless the the Kavacha, Argala, Keelaga and Navakshari Mantras are chanted to get the path cleared to move forward.
………to be continued