The Devi Mahatmyam is also known as the Durgā Saptashatī or Śata Chandī. It is part of a larger text called the Markandeya-Purana. However, out of all of the texts in the Markandeya-Purana, the Devi Mahatmya has the most commentaries and is mostly viewed on its own as opposed to with the full text. The term Devi Mahatmya translates to “Greatness of the Goddess”. The text contains 700 verses arranged into 13 chapters. It is a Hindu philosophical text describing the Goddess as the supreme power and creator of the universe.
The Devi Mahatmya presents a deeply symbolic and rich mythological story of the battle between good and evil, where the feminine power, or Devi, manifests as goddess Durga leading the forces of good against the demon Mahishasura.
In peaceful prosperous times, states the text, the Devi manifests as Lakshmi, empowering creation and happiness.
The verses of the Devi Mahatmya preeminently outline a philosophical foundation wherein the ultimate reality is a feminine power. The text is one of the earliest extant complete manuscripts from the Hindu traditions which describes reverence and worship of the feminine aspect of the divine.
The Devi Mahatmyam is often ranked in some Hindu traditions to be as important as the Bhagavad Gita.
|In Praise of the Goddess: The Devimahatmya and Its Meaning||
English translation and …