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Symbolism Of Durga Saptasati

Durga Saptasati is a sacred text of 700 verses in Hinduism and is noted for its symbolism. It is dedicated to Mother Goddess Shakti and it is recited by Goddess Durga devotees especially during the Navratri festival. The whole Durga Saptasati text is symbolic, rich with esoteric content, though minds that hold material existence in the physical plane as the sole reality, may regard them as mere mythological stories and thus miss the deep import. It stands for the fight between the daivi sampath (the divine qualities) and the asuri sampath (the anti-divine) that is being forever waged in the human mind. It is the perennial war between the Spirit, the natural heir to Infinity and Light, and the Usurper, the parent of division and darkness, with its seemingly unstoppable might.

Durga means one who is beyond the capacity of the instruments of knowledge. This sacred text chronicles the battle royal between Devi and the divine forces on the one hand and demons (rakshasas) on the other, and Her conquests over them and bestowal of enlightenment on pure and devout souls.

The demons that Devi vanquishes stand for rajas and tamas, ignorance colored by flamboyant insolence. The demon Raktabija stands for the human mind and like the mind which, if you cut off a thought new thoughts arise, so too every drop of the blood of Raktabija that falls on the ground gives rise to innumerable Raktabija. In short, Durga Saptasati symbolises the life of sādhana where the spiritual forces have to face inimical forces. But Devi Durga, the Divine Mother of Infinite compassion, bestows on seekers who laud and surrender to her, vijnana (supreme knowledge), and then ferries them across the ocean of bondage to the shore of eternal freedom.

(Source - Sri Chakra Puja article in The Mountain Path magazine 2019 October Issue)