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Jaskaran Singh
04 October 2013, 12:47 AM
Praṇām,

I was going over the 11th adhyāya of the Durgā-saptaśatī/Caṇḍī-pāṭh (it is almost Navarātri, after all :D), and I came across the following verse and was wondering what others thought of it.

विद्यासु शास्त्रेषु विवेकदीपेष्वाद्येषु वाक्येषु च का त्वदन्या।
ममत्वगर्तेऽतिमहान्धकारे विभ्रामयत्येतदतीव विश्वम्॥३१॥

vidyāsu śāstreṣu vivekadīpeṣvādyeṣu vākyeṣu ca kā tvadanyā।
mamatvagarte'timahāndhakāre vibhrāmayatyetadatīva viśvam॥31॥

"Whom (kā tvat, lit. which one) other than (anyā) you [is in] the forms of knowledge (vidyāsu), religious scriptures (śāstreṣu), primordial (ādyeṣu) lamps (dīpeṣu) of discernment (viveka), and (ca) [all forms of] speech (vākyeṣu)? [You cause] everything (viśvam) [to] fiercely (atīva, lit. exceedingly) move about (vibhrāmayatya) in this (etat) hole (garte) of great (mahā) darkness (ahāndhakāre) and attachment (mamatva)."

Clearly, that "hole of darkness and attachment" is referring to saṃsāra (after all, Devī is referred to as mahāmāyā for a reason). :D So the second pāda is pretty much self-explanatory.

Regarding the first pāda, from a Vaiṣṇava viewpoint, puruṣa-prakṛti (i.e. Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa) cannot be separated, and since [from a Vaiṣṇava perspective] the entire universe is brought into existence by Śrī Lakṣmī as part of Śrī Viṣṇu's līlā ["prakṛtiśca pratijñā dṛṣṭāntānuparodhāt" - Brahmā-sūtram 1-4-23], the Vedas could be considered as speaking of no other than Śrī Lakṣmī (as at a deeper level, she is no different than Śrī Viṣṇu).

However, I am wondering what a Shākta perspective of first pāda would be [as the Durgā-saptaśatī is, after all, a primarily Shākta text]. While I'm somewhat familiar with the bhakti-based aspects of Shāktism (e.g. the stories of the daśa-mahāvidyāḥ, the death of Śumbha and Niśumbha, etc.), I'm not very well versed in Shākta philosophy (the only "philosophical" Shākta text I've read is the prapañcasāra-tantra), so I'm interested in hearing some of the secondary meanings y'all could derive from the aforementioned mantra. ;)

Jaya Durgā Mātā

Jaskaran Singh
09 October 2013, 03:49 PM
So I take it no one has any views on the aforementioned śloka, am I right? :confused:
Oh well...