Worship of Devi [ Jan 2002 ]

devi_bhakta
Well-composed, one should worship Goddess ...
With reverent gesture, humble, sunk deeply within one's self,
And bowing in obeisance to Queen Chandika* for a long time:
One should become filled with Her.
- Vaikritika Rahasya, 35-36

* A name for Goddess's highest, all-encompassing form.

Aum Maatangyai Namahe

Yeshe O
Hello:
Where do practitioners find texts like this in english to study and apply? I have seen many quotes and texts mentioned, but is there a place to order on line? or is there a particular publisher? Is there a specific "one" from where one starts a study? Have read a few Gitas and found them a blessing.

Devi_bhakta
Namaskar Yeshe O!

I'm really glad to hear you liked that passage. "Vaikritika Rahasya" is Sanskrit for "The Secret of Subsequent Modifications" -- which refers to the unfolding of the primordial Divine Feminine (Shakti) as She multiplies into various recognizable Goddess forms.

This composition is the second of three "Rahasyas" traditionally recited after one has finished chanting the Devi Mahatmyam (DM).

In English translation, it can be found in Thomas Coburn's "Encountering the Goddess" (1991, State University of New York Press), a very literal English translation of DM and discussion of its context. Coburn is a first-rate scholar, but a bum poet -- so that passage I posted is actually my own work, more or less -- based on Coburn, some low-level knowledge of Sanskrit, and a sense of when English sounds good and when it doesn't.

Unfortunately, there's no one place where you can find these texts. There are several versions of DM in English of varying quality and reliability. We've archived some worthwhile texts in the Book List file in the Club Briefcase. I'll eventually be transferring that information into a database in our Yahoo! Group, so that it will be easily accessible by all members and constantly updated with new recommendations. Just one of many big improvements on the horizon!

You ask, "Is there a specific 'one' from where one starts a study?" I would say DM is the most elemental, significant and beautiful Devi scripture. In past posts I've referred to it as the "Bible" of Shaktism, and I stand by that. Fortunately, it is much shorter than the Bible, and can be read in an hour, or (preferably) chanted in maybe two. Chanting twice a week -- on Tuesday and Friday nights, for reasons of tradition and textual recommendations -- is not at all a bad way to "start a study."

Please drop me a note if you need help locating any particular text you're seeking.

Aum Maatangyai Namahe



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