Saturday, 1 April 2017

Ambika & Kalika and the Aparajita Stuti!

Two demons, named Shumbha and Nishumbha, dispossessed the gods, stripped them of their powers and appropriated their wealth and privilege. Deprived of their lordships and sovereignties, expelled by the two mighty asuras, the gods thought of the invincible Devi and her boon to save them from the worst. The Gods from all the three worlds gathered at the foot of Himalayas, eulogized the Devi with the ‘Aparajita Stuti’ and called upon her to save them once again.

Aparajita-stuti has are more than twenty shlokas beginning with ‘Ya devi sarva bhuteshu’, indicating that the Devi is all-pervading as consciousness, power, intellect, memory, sleep, delusion, desire, activity, prosperity, forgiveness, faith, beauty and so on. This beautiful hymn is a powerful combination of meditation, affirmation and chants in itself.

While the Gods where singing praises of the divine mother, Devi Parvati appeared and enquired, “Who is she that is being praised here?” Soon, from her own body emerged the divinely beautiful & radiant ‘Ambika’ Devi and said, ‘These troubled Gods are calling out to me to save them from the wrath of Shumbh – Nishumbha.’ When Ambika was born & took form, Parvati began to darken with anger for the demons. This form was named ‘Kalika’, who began to reside in the jungles of Himalaya, while Ambika lived in the mountains.
One day, Chanda & Munda, messengers of Demons Shumbha – Nishumbha saw the charming form of Ambika and rushed to the Demon kings to inform them about this beauty residing on the Himalayas, who was unlike any they had ever seen. Since, Shumbha-Nishumbha owned everything precious in the three worlds, this auspicious lady, a jewel amongst women, had to be possessed by them too. Shumbha & Nishumbha were lured by their description of the lady & sent Sugriva, their messenger with a proposal to wed either of them. Sugriva went to the Devi, and described the glamor, riches & power of the demons to her. The Devi refused to marry anyone who could not win over her in war & challenged the demons to fight her if they wanted to marry her.
Hearing the words of the Devi, the indignant messenger hastened back and related them in detail to the king of the demons. The enraged demons, called upon their chieftain, Dhumralochana, & ordered him to fight the Devi and drag her to their courts. With the orders of his masters, Dhumralochana, set forth with an army of sixty thousand demons to win the Devi in battle. But in no time the mighty demon was reduced to ashes by a mere heave of her breath. Seeing Dhumralochana turn to ashes, the enraged army of demons attacked the Devi, but very soon the entire army was destroyed by the enraged and noble lion that bore the Goddess as her vehicle.
Hearing that the demon Dhumralochana was slain by the Goddess and that the entire army was destroyed by the lion, Shumbha, was furious and he commanded Chanda-Munda to go with large forces, and drag the Devi by her hair bring her to him. At the command of the demon king, Chanda & Munda marched with their armies to win over the Devi & slay her army. When Ambika saw the fourfold army approaching, she was furious & from the fierce frown from her forehead, emerged Kalika, armed with a sword and a noose, holding a skull topped staff & a garland of skulls around her neck.
Kalika devoured, crushed & pounded the army of the enemy within no time. The enraged Chanda attacked Devi Kali with arrows & Munda hurled thousands of discuses at the Goddess, but all in vain. Devi Kali, in her fiercest form, mounted the great lion rushed towards Chanda, seized him by his hair and severed his head with her sword. Munda met with the same fate next.
The proud Kalika presented the slain heads of Chanda – Munda to Ambika, after this battle of the great sacrifice and the auspicious Ambika, said to Kali, “As you have brought me both Chanda and Munda, O Devi, you shall now be famed in the world as Devi Chamunda!”

Dhumralochana means ‘one of smoky vision’, denoting distorted perception. The death of Dhumralochana is symbolic of how false knowledge arising from distorted perception disappears instantaneously in the presence of the Self (Devi) just as darkness cannot exist in the presence of light.
Chanda represents an argumentative person, one who opposes everything. Munda, on the other hand, has no reasoning at all. With Chanda and Munda, wrong logic and perception prevail. The noose of light with which Kali killed the demons represents wisdom. . Death at the hands of Kali is symbolic of transformation. Once transformed by the fiery power of Kali they cease to be asuras. True knowledge has irrefutable special logic. You can't oppose or reason. It simply uplifts you.

No comments:

Post a Comment