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[Adapted from "Tantra of the Great Liberation: Mahaa Nirvaan Tantra". by Arthur Avalon]
The Devee is the great Shakti. She is Maayaa which produces the Sansaar. As the Lord of Maayaa, she is Mahaa Maayaa [Mahaa Maayaa without Maayaa is Nir-Gun and with Maayaa she is Sa-Gun].
Devee is A-Vidyaa (nescience) because she binds and is Vidyaa (knowledge) because she liberates and destroys the Sansaar. She is Prakriti [Brahm Vaivart Puraan, Ch 1, Prakriti Khand; and Naarad Puraan] and as Aadya Shakti (Primordial Power) also. Devee is Vaachak Shakti, and the Vaachya Shakti. Shakti or Devee is thus the Brahm revealed in Its mother aspect (Shree Maataa), as Creator and Nourisher of the worlds.
[p xxviii] The Devee as Par-Brahm is beyond all form and Gun. The forms of the Mother of the Universe are threefold – First the Supreme (Par) form about which none knows; the second one is her Subtle (Sookshm) form which consists of Mantra. But as he mind cannot settle itself upon the formless , She appears as the subject of contemplation in Her third or gross (Sthool) or physical form described as in Devee Stotra of the Puraan and Tantra.
Devee who is Prakriti, is the source of Brahmaa, Vishnu and Maheshwar (as such she is called Tripuraa) having both male and female forms. But in Her female forms that She is chiefly contemplated. For though existing in all things, in a peculiar sense female beings are parts of her.
[Ling Puraan and Brahm Vaivart Puraan also after describing Arundhatee, Anasooyaa, and Shachee to be each the manifestation of Devee, conclude, "All things indicated by words in the feminine gender are manifestations of Devee."]
As the Mahaadevee, she exists in all forms as Saraswatee, Lakshmee, Gaayatree, Durgaa, Tripur-Sundaree, Ann-Poornaa and all the Devee who are Avataar of the Brahm.
Devee as Satee, Umaa, Paarvatee and Gauree are the consorts of Shiv. It was Satee prior to Daskh’s Yagya that the Devee manifested herself to Shiv in the 10 celebrated forms known as the Dash Mahaavidyaa referred to in the text as Kaalee, Bagalaa, Chinna-mastaa, Bhuvaneshwaree, Maatanginee, Shodashee, Dhoomaavatee, Tripuraa-Sundaree, Taaraa and Bhairavee.
When at the Daksh’s Yagya, Satee yielded up her life in shame and sorrow at the treatment accorded by her father to her husband, Shiv Jee took away her body and ever bearing it with him, remained wholly distraught and spent with grief. To save the world from the forces of the evil which arose and grew with the withdrawal of his Divine control; Vishnu with His Chakra cut the dead body of Satee which Shiv bore into 51 (this number is variously given as 50, 51, and 52) fragments which fell to Earth at the places thereafter known as the 51 Mahaa Peeth Sthaan where Devee with her Bhairav is worshipped under different names.
(p xxx) Besides of the forms of the Devee in the Brahmaand, there is her
subtle form called Kundalinee in the body. These are but some only of
her endless forms. She is seen as one and as many as it were but one
Moon reflected in countless waters. She exists too in all animals and
inorganic things since the Universe with all its beauties is, as the
Devee Puraan says but a part of her. She is with reverence made the
object of that worship which leads to liberation.
Atharv Ved says the Devtaa (Gods) could not understand the quintessential of Shree Durgaa therefore all the Devtaa submitted before Devee and asked: “O Mahaa Devee! Who you are and what are you?”
Durgaa Maa said: "I am Absolute Brahm. It is because of Me that Purush and Prakriti have evolved forth, which is void and non-void. I am bliss and non-bliss. I am physical as well as transcendental understanding. I am both Brahm and what is not Brahm. I am of the five cosmic elements and different from that five elements of Earth-Water-Fire-Air-Space. I am the whole Universe. I am the Ved and Agam. I am Vidyaa (knowledge) and Avidya (ignorance). I alone abide in the Rudra-Shiv incarnation and the eight Vasu. I move in the Twelve Aaditya and the Vishwe Dev I raise all the Mitra -Varun-Indra - Agni and Ashvinee Kumaar. I hold Som-Twashtaa, Pooshaa and Bhag. The Three Potentials - Brahmaa Vishnu and Maheshwar function because of my will alone. I hold the Som and Havi for the Yajamaan, who makes the Anushthaan for Hom (Poojaa or Archanaa) Sankeertana (Naam Smaran). I am Eeshwaree - the Supreme Sovereign of this whole existence. I have created the whole space. This is all, what Ved stand for."
a thought in the Atharv Ved saying, it is concluded that Devee is the
Supreme Mother. She is All that is to be seen, visualized and understood.
She is the primal cause of this universal flux. Durgaa is revered with
Bhakti, with Poojaa and Archanaa and through the specific Anushthaan. A
fine exposition of Shree Durgaa is seen in the Maarkandeya Puraan, Devee
Bhaagvat and the Tantra Shaastra. To conclude, Durgaa is the beauty of
Vishnu, creativity of Brahmaa and the Taandav of Rudra.
Names of Devee
Durgaa : the Endless One, Anant and everlasting, Nitya.
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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/03
Updated on 03/31/13