MAHISHASURAMARDHINI STHOTHRAM - ENGLISH COMMENTARIES
Copy rights reserved by the auther R. V. Venkiteswaran (Venky)
Original script in Malayalam, English translation by Nirmala Natrajan, J. Lakshmi, Sreekumar & R.V. Venkiteswaran
For every parent their child is special. Even a crow considers its young one as gold. Similarly, for the Supreme God (Parasakthi/Sivasakthi), this world is Her golden child. The world comprises all matter. In it are the movable, immovable and human beings. The human beings are further classified as ‘Devas’ (Gods), ‘Manithas’ (Human) and Asuras (Demons).
The Devas are those that follow the righteous path and act for overall good, while Human lives an ordinary materialistic life while the ‘Asuras’ tread the wrong path, committing violent and hurtful deeds. Dharma (Righteous) is undermined by Adharma. There are people who get trapped in this illusionary world and enjoy ‘adharma’. On the other hand, noble souls (Mahatmas) who sacrifice their own needs to protect ‘dharma’ are regarded as the Devas. Whichever of the above three categories one belongs to, when he/she makes a mistake he gets the right punishment, commiserate with the deed. This is Parasakthi’s dharma and the reason behind the various incarnations, names and forms taken by Her in running the universe.
Where there is a name, there is definitely a form and vice versa i.e. where there is a form there is a name. Upon deep reflection, we realize that Paramatma comes in various Jeevatma incarnations in the world to fulfil the duties of creation, preservation and withdrawal as per the need of the times. This secret is apparent if we take the instance of Kaali (and other motherly ‘bootha ganaas') emerging out of Parasakthi’s third eye.
An owner of a property has every right to sell or give it away without anyone’s permission. Similarly, since this world is Parasakthi’s property, she has every right to protect it, eliminating anyone who tries to destroy it. Due to this worldly dharma (natural practice) good and noble souls are protected and blessed with happiness while the bad ones are punished and have to endure fear and sorrow.
Paramatma, i.e.the Moola Prakriti (Primary force/energy) initially divided its total power, and made it take forms and names as various Gods and Goddesses. When all powers joined together and all the Gods became one. In thie concept the form of Parashakthi appeared before their eyes.
Sree Parvathi Devi (Consort of Lord Siva) is a complete representative of Parashakthi. Sree Badra Kaali (Destroying as well protecting force) emerged out of the third eye of Sree Parvathi Devi, destroyed all the demons who were causing havoc and destruction in the world, retrieved the kingdom of Indra which is heaven from demons and returned it to Indra (Lord of celestial world). This was indeed not an easy task and was only achieved after a horrific war causing death and destruction. The realized souls, with inner knowledge and foresight, had prophesized this war and its disastrous trail with the good intention that future generations should know and understand these facts. We have thus been given this golden opportunity to listen to and learn from these valuable epics.
Indra is the king of the Devas and Indra is also our mind. When we do good and get involved in pious work, we are blessed with happy and auspicious tidings which are compared to the happiness in ‘Deva Lokha’ or heaven. Being associated with good work and noble deeds us one feel we are in heaven, whilst those who contribute to the rise of evil by committing wicked deeds and hurting people are regarded as ‘Asuras’.
When the mind goes into wrong paths, getting addicted to doing evil things, the body, thoughts, words and deeds also follow suit, weakening the resolve and bringing forth various problems and sorrows as a result. We can consider this as the conquest of heaven by the Asuras.
At this point, only due to clarity of knowledge one can realize that ‘Eashwara’, through His spiritual powers and experiences, and with the blessings of ‘Eashwara Shakthi’ can purify his mind and constantly eradicate evil thoughts or ‘Asuras’, releasing the mind from these nasty powers, liberating himself to live in peace, contentment and piety. Indra’s lost heaven being retrieved and returned to him bears symbolic reference to this surprising fact. In other words mind is shifted from bad to good.
I believe the above explanation will be helpful to people who do not believe in God and for those who do not find our epics very convincing. Hopefully, this should help them to focus more on the true message of these epics as the heavy and difficult facts and truths that are stated in our ‘Dharmashastras’ are spoon-fed to the people through these stories and projected to the people to ensure the continuance of Dharma.
The results of all kinds of research conducted and publishsed by modern science are already mentioned in our ancient spiritual books which goes to show that the findings of modern science is nothing amazing or new to the ‘Mahatmas’ who have achieved the state of liberation or who have been elevated as realized souls.
Bhadrakaali along with other motherly angels, joined together and destroyed hundreds of asura leaders and thousands of their army men to protect the devotees and therein lies the message of ‘Mahishasura Mardini’. This event has been described by great souls in poetry form (easy to chant and remember!) and indelibly etched in our minds for its charming, poetic and rhythmic verse, joined together much like flowers in a garland (garland of divine verse) and named Devi Paata Mala. The noble souls chanted this daily and were elevated. One who recites this holy verse, fully understanding the meaning behind it is well into the process of cleansing his mind.
Sree Bhagavathi, though She took the form of Bhadrakali, is in reality a mother with a lot of compassion. Spirituality, devotion and the blessings of ‘Eashwara’ are equal to the purity of a mother’s heart. One can attain this state only through soul searching, meditation and ‘Sakshatkaram’ to attain a state of liberation.
The fruits of one’s actions are certain. The divine Mother who is omnipotent, Her presence everywhere in the Universe exudes the greatness of Her actions that are every-auspiciousness, Her places of residence, the nobility of Her family, Her scintillating jewellery that always adorns Her ‘Sthoola Shareeram / Physical body’ and other accessories She is fond of. Her divine form is worthy of praise and worship, and Her divine dramas ‘Vibuthi Vistara’ have been elaborately and brilliantly described in the Upanishads, Sree Devi Bhagavatham, Sreedevi Mahatmiyam, Lalitha Sobhanam and Devi Paata Mala. This glorious and magnificent epic ‘Mahishasuramardini’ has been shrunk into 61 potent lines, a gift of no mean value. A few words and lines in these verses may be interpreted in a different way, however they all convey the same meaning, essence and show similar intentions.
It is said that by adding more ghee in the ‘Adirasam/Appam’, a rice and treacle delicacy of South Indian sweet, it will preserve for a longer time while also adding to the flavour instead of destroying the sweet. It is not possible to do justice to Sreedevi’s glory in this piece of work, for there is no end to Her greatness. Within my limitations and with my knowledge of Sreedevi and with whatever I understood from my research, I have tried to explain and describe Her glories here. Initially this work was done in Malayalam and later translated, under my supervision, by my colleagues in Tamil and English. I submit this script at the lotus feet of Parasakthi and join you in giving Her my salutations.
Phala Shruthi / Merits of chanting –
1. Chanting these verses daily is ideal for removing illness; they are like medicine that pass through the ears for eliminating disease, erasing our sins and helps to raise ourselves spiritually, releasing us from the evils of the ‘Kali Yuga’ / Iron Age / Black Era.
2 Because of the experience of Sreedevi Gnanam / knowledge, one can identify the traces ‘vasanas’ of several previous births and can overcome those evils.
3 Helps to overcome the accumulated sins of previous births and to attain ‘Aatma Sakshatkaram’ / 'Realization of Soul' which is the State of liberation or bliss.
4 Gives faith and courage to people in times of trouble and joint prayers to the ‘Eashwara Shakthi' protects them from grave dangers.
5 If one tries to obtain another’s assets the divine powers intervene and restores it to the true owner. We learn this from these verses.
6 The ‘Eashwara Shakthi’ irrespective of caste or creed resides in everyone and it is up to each person to use it or waste it.
7 Gives courage, joy and the ecstatic state of 'Anubhuthi’ / 'Peak of joy'.
8 The nothingness that is ‘Paramatma’ allows us to pray and focus on the Paramatma as the compassionate Mother. These verses enable us to focus on this fact.
9 Helps us attain the knowledge of ‘Sastras’, release us from black magic / evil acts and to know and recognize the places where Parashakthi resides, and understand about Her accompanying Devis, enhances our inherent motherliness, to achieve Heart’s desires, to attain the state of liberation and to get rid of all the obstacles, achieving victory and getting promoted to higher planes of spirituality, to purify thought, word and deed, and to understanding the importance of helping others. The verses also strengthen the knowledge that God punishes the bad and rewards the good, protecting them at all times.
10 Long healthy life, abundance and pure love towards God can be achived.
STHOTHRAMAALA AND COMMENTARIES
1.1 IYE GIRI NANDINI NANDITHA MEDHINI VISWA VINODINI NANDA NUTHE
Iye – Mother/Divine Supreme Mother/Paramatma
Giri Nandini – Daughter of the king of the mountains (Parvatharaja Puthri)
Nanditha Medhini - Worthy of all prayers, also, Seetha Devi, daughter of Mother Earth, manifested in earth.
Viswa Vinodini – Supreme Player in the universe, Her playground, brings life
Praised by Nanda, Lord Krishna’s father (Ananda Puthri)
Nanda Nuthe - Daughter of Nandana (foster father of Lord Krishna).
The Divine Supreme mother of the Universe who is the starting point of all matter and energy is the deaughter of the mighty Himavan (King of mountains). She also manifested from Mother Earth as beloved Seetha Devi (Consort of Lord Sri Rama), worthy of worship for She is the sculptor of our bodies fille with life giving blood and muscle. She the decision maker and controller of the overall universe plays the part of creator, preserver and upholder of the cosmic order by displaying overwhelming compassion and showering Her devotees with grace and binding them together in kinship and love.
Residing in the peak of mountains Parvathi the daughter of Himavaan is also nurtured in the form of Nandhini, the divine cow-mother of the Devas who dispenses peace and bliss (Anandaswaroopini). She the Supreme player of the Universe is also called and the foster father of Lord Krishna, Nanda Gopan also praises the Mother who is the meditative centre of even Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.
The Divine Supreme Mother of the Universe who is the starting point of all matter and energy is the daughter of the mighty Himavan (King of Himalayas). She also manifested from mother earth as beloved Seetha, worthy of worship for She is the sculptor of our bodies filled with life giving blood & muscle. She the divine decision maker & controller of the overall uniersal plan plays the part of Creator, Preserver & Upholder of the cosmic order by displaying overwhelming compassion and showering Her devotees with grace and binding them together in kinship & love. The Divine Mother is also nurtured in the form of Nandini, the celestial cow mother of devas who dispenses peacepe bliss. Mother who is also adored as Surabhi resides in the Sri Chakram as Sarva-Aanandamaya Chakra-Swaroopini. She is also worshipped by Nanda Gopan the foster father of Lord Krishna. She also forms the meditative centre of Lord Shiva & Vishnu.
Thus having praised the traits of the Divine moter in the aforesaid manner the devotees prayed to Her to protect them and to grant victory & peace.
1.2 GIVIVARA VINDHYA SIRODHINI VASINI VISHNU VILASINI JISHNU NUTHE
Girivara Vindhya - Praised by the Vindhya mountain
Sirodhini Vasini – Resident of the peak of the awesome mountain range, the Vindhyas
Vishnu Vilasini – Possessing the universally acclaimed address of Lord Vishnu (and also worshipped by him)
Jishnu Nuthe – Worshipped and adorned by Indra (Jishnu is another name for Indra whose mother is Adithi)
Mother graces the Vindhya mountain by residing on its top. She is felicitated and worshipped by the lords of all hill and mountains, irrespective of their size. Parameswari honours and visibly marks Her presence admist learned scholars, great academicians and masters of the 64 arts of which She is the mistress – by illuminating their foreheads with radiance, thus acknowledging their achievements. Her favourite haunt is Mount Kailasa, the peak of all Chakras ( crown – chakra among 7 chakras in the human body ) where She enjoys dancing as Her devotee meditates, cooling them down and inciting in them limitless ecstasy. She is not only the sister of Lord Vishnu, but also takes on His form (as Vishnu Maya) to resurrect Dharma. Parasakthi, the Universal Mother is venerated by Devendra the King of Devas.
=== To be continued ====