Chanting of the Devi Kavacham is an integral part of Navaratri. Listed in that divine chant from the Devi Mahātmyam or Durga Sapthashati are the nine facets of Devi. There is a beautiful connection between the Nava Durga forms and the Kundalini Chakras in our bodies. Below are the nine forms along with their esoteric meaning:
Mother Sati immolated herself in a ceremony organized by her father, Prajapati Daksha. The entire world, including Lord Shiva, was devastated by that occurrence. Lord Shiva’s son was destined to kill the troublesome Taraka-Asura. Now, with his wife gone, Lord Shiva was listless.
Saddened by this occurrence, the Devas and the King of Himalaya eulogized the Divine Mother. Pleased by their penance, the Divine Mother appeared as Parvati, the daughter of the Himalayan King Himavan and Queen Mainavati. Thus, Devi became Shailaputri, the daughter of the mountains.
She’s the daughter (putrī) of King Himavan and Queen Mainavati, who ruled over a mountainous (śaila) region.
- For a Commoner: This form glorifies our childhood days.
- Associated Chakra: Mūlādhāra / Root
- For Sadhaka: This stage cleanses our limiting tendencies, typically formed during childhood.
To fulfill her call to marry Lord Shiva, Devi went away to the caves of the Himalayan region. There she performed severe austerities with the sole purpose of unification with her Lord.
To marry Shiva, Devi observed Brahmacharya, the practice of pristine conduct. Hence, she is known as Brahmachāriṇī.
- For a commoner: Working on our personality and maintaining discipline helps us succeed. This form reminds the youth of this necessity.
- Associated Chakra: Svādhiṣṭhāna / Sacral
- For Sadhaka: Brahmacharya is a state of mind and body where one follows good conduct. Discipline is key to regulating our physical and emotional urges associated with this stage of progress.
Parvati had obtained Shiva’s consent for their marriage. Yet, the wedding stalled because her mother fainted at the mere sight of the groom, Shiva — an unkempt hermit from the jungle.
Devi requested Shiva to appear in his princely form: Chandrasekhara, one whose countenance glows softly like the moon. To encourage her beloved, Devi also dressed herself up.
Devi adorned herself as a bride with a bell (ghaṇṭā) shaped moon (chandra) on her forehead.
- For a commoner: This form denotes marriage and the associated challenges, which demand courage.
- Associated Chakra: Maṇipūra / Solar Plexus
- For Sadhaka: This stage involves eliminating fears and exhibiting courage while handling challenges. The resultant inner strength brings serenity.
To Be Continued…
You can read the Next Part here: Nava Durga – Part 2
Images: In-Sine at DeviantArt