Devi Mahatmyam

Definition - What does Devi Mahatmyam mean?

"Devi Mahatmyam," also known as "Durga Saptashati" or "Candi Pathais," is an ancient Hindu text depicting Goddess as the supreme being, absolute power and creator of the universe. It is considered one of the crucial texts of the Hindu tradition of Shaktism.

The name of this text comes from the Sanskrit, devi, meaning "goddess," and mahatmya, meaning "magnanimity" or "majesty." It consists of 13 chapters with 700 verses, each invoking a different goddess. The first chapter describes Goddess as shakti, the universal form of Devi. The second depicts the warrior goddess, Durga; and the last describes Kali, the dark form of shakti, and the goddess of preservation and destruction.

Yogapedia explains Devi Mahatmyam

"Devi Mahatmyam" was written between 400 - 600 C.E. and is a part of the "Markandeya Purana," which is one of the 18 main puranas. It describes Goddess and her fight against evil, the demon, Mahishasura, and other demons. It is usually chanted during Navaratri, the nine-night celebration of Durga every autumn.

In yoga, it is believed that the fight of the goddess is actually the battle of the mind. Demons represent hurtful thoughts and feelings, such as greed, anger, jealousy, selfishness, criticism and so on. These thoughts may be harmful for an individual and their surroundings. Japa, yoga and meditation are used to invoke the Divine and to eliminate these elements of the mind.

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