External and Internal Ways of Worship

In the context of performing worship to Devi Bhagavti, two principal approaches were mentioned, the external and internal.The former kind is two fold again ie. Vedik and Tantrik. The Dharmik route is as per Vedic precepts and meditating Devi Bhagavati with ‘Karma’ or Sacrifice with ‘Jnana’ (Knowledge) and ‘Bhakti’ or devotion. Maha Deva Himself created Tamasic Sastras like Vama, Kapalik, Koulak, Bhairava and so on. He also created five ‘Agamas’ viz. Shaiva, Vaishnava, Saurava, Sattva and Ganapathiya. The ‘Varnashrama’ method is followed according to the precribed principles and worship Maha Devi acordingly. Another route in external worship way, is to follow the routine of waking up in the early hours of pre-dawn, pray to Maha Devi in the form of Kundalini Fire situated at Mooladhara travelling upto Sushumana Nadi, after morning ablutions and ‘Sandhyavandana’ as also ‘Agni Homa’, settle down after ‘Asana’, ‘Sankalp’, ‘Bhutha Sudhhi’ (purification of body elements through respiratory control) and perform ‘Matrika Nyasa’. The ‘Nyasa’ is to be executed by arranging the seed Mantra of Hrilleka- ‘HRIM’ by arranging the word ‘Ha’ in ‘Mooladhara’, ‘Ra’ in the heart, ‘I’ in the middle of the eyebrows and finally the full word ‘Hrim’ at the top of the head. The ‘Nyasas’ over, one should set up the four principles of Dharma (Virtue), ‘Jnana’ (wisdom), ‘Vairagyam’ (detachment) and ‘Vaibhogam’ (Prosperity) in the four directions of East, South, West and North and retain the image in the Centre of Maha Devi as seated on ‘Pancha Prethas’ viz. Brhama, Vishnu, Rudra, Sadasiva and Maheswara underneath. Maha Devi’s seat is over and above the ‘Pancha Bhutas’ (Five Elements viz. Earth, Water, Effulgence, Air and Sky) and ‘Pancha Avasthas’ or Five States of Existence, viz. ‘Jagriti’ (awakenness), ‘Swapna’ (Dreaming), ‘Sushupti’ (Deep Sleep), ‘Turiya’ (Happiness), ‘Ateetha rupa’ (the status of Bliss). One should meditate with concentration by way of ‘Japam’ (recitation of Devi’s names), ‘Argham’ Offer water with ; sprinkling water with ‘Astra Mantram Phut’ for purifying the worship material as also the self, execute ‘prana prathishtha’(instal Life), ‘Avahana’ (Invocation), ‘Arghyam’ (Offering Water), ‘Deepam’ (lighting of oil-soaked cottom wicks), Pushpam (offering flowers), ‘Naivedam’ (offering elaborate eats) and various other Services to Maha Devi especially ‘Kshamarpana’, finally distribution of ‘Prasad’.

Having described the worship methodologies of Worship, Devi blessed Himavata with Her ‘Avatar’ as Parvati to be born to him and be married to Lord Shankara and the Holy Couple would beget Lord Subrahmanya or ‘Shadanana’ who was destined by Devi to exterminate the most ferocious demon of the times and re-establish ‘Dharma’ once again.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

Kamakoti.org presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at [email protected]