Reciting the Durga Saptshati is the most appropriate and beneficial of the ways to offer prayers to Goddess Durga and earn her benevolence. The origin and the character of goddess Durga is well documented and explained in the Markandeya Puran , under the chapter , Devi Mahaatmaye .it is also believed and mentioned in the Bhuvneshwari Samhita [compilation of the goddess mother] , that as the Vedas are considered infinite [with no beginning or end] so is the Durga Saptshati .
In the Durga Saptshati the character of Goddess Durga is well elaborated and explained in the form of 700 shlokas [ verses].it has 13 chapters and can broadly be divided in to the three major characteristics of the goddess.- the first character [compiled in the first chapter]; The mid-character [in the second, third and fourth chapters]and lastly the pristine character [compiled in the chapters fifth, up to the thirteenth i.e. last chapter].It is believed the that the first character depicts the MAHAKAALI [goddess of destruction and destroyer of evil] character or incarnate of the goddess ; the mid-character deals with the Goddess LAKSHMI [goddess of wealth /prosperity]incarnate or character and the third best incarnate is dedicated to Goddess SARAWATI [Goddess of the mind / learning].Prayers dedicated to Goddess Mahakaali are composed in a single chapter ; prayers dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi are compiled in three chapters and those dedicated to Goddess Saraswati are compiled in nine chapters.
The Durga Saptshati also includes 90 means of MAARAN [death / slaying/killing], 90 means and ways of MOHAN [attraction], 200 ways of UCCHATAN [pronunciation and casting of spells],60 different ways of VASHIKARAN [hypnotism / mersmerisation],200 of STAMBHAN[stunning / enchant] and 60 ways of VIDVESSHNA [inculcating oppression and hatred] this way it is a draft of 700 shlokas [verses] and 700 ways/means/experimentations [prayog] .
The Durga Saptshati elucidates the story of King Surath who lost all his wealth ,kingdom ,his army, his followers and all what he owned, due to the evil designs of his enemies and cunning ministers .The Saptshati also tells us about Samadhi, a businessman ,whose wicked wife and son drove him out of the house to usurp his wealth ; but the common factor between both these tales is that despite all hardships and betrayals , their dedication towards their families and fellow men never weathered. They were always prime in his mind. Both King Surath and Samadhi were the disciples of Sage MEGH.
After listening to the recitation of the Durga Saptshati from their mentor /guru , Sage Megh ,both ,King Surath and the Samadhi the businessman, performed penance and meditated upon Goddess Durga and as a result of her benevolence they both regained all what they had lost. It is believed and said that whosoever recites the Durga Saptshati with a pure heart ,he /she will definitely achieve what he/she desires .It is further believed that reciting the Durga Saptshati, a 100 times can endow a person with all the Siddhis [ecclesiastical learning s].
Sage Megh first recited this unique compilation of the Durga Saptshati to King Surath and Samadhi. After this it was Sage Markandeya, son of Sage Mrakund, who recited this compilation to sage Bhaaguri. Pakshigan, son of Drona recited this pious compilation to Maharishi Gemini, who was a disciple of Rishi Ved Vyas.Then for the benefit of mankind, this was converted into a story form, by Rishi Ved Vyas and made a serial part of the Markandeya Puran.
In the Markandeya Puran, Lord Bramha has enumerated and explained multiple, rare, pristine and not so difficult remedies for the holistic benefit of man and mankind, by offerings prayers to the goddess and seeking her benevolence. The recitation of the Durga Saptshati is one way for achieving all, what one desires ; it encompasses the four natural facets of life - Faith [dharma],Facts [arth],Desire [Kaam] and Freedom from rebirth [Moksha].The thirteen chapters of the Durga Saptshati cover the varied aspects of human needs and desires.
* The First Chapter :- The contents give relief from stress and worries and helps in overcoming the fear of the known / unknown enemies .Its recitation also helps in destroying the enemies.
* The Second Chapter :- The recitation of this chapter helps in removing obstacles and despite a more powerful enemy the victor shall be the devotee of Goddess Durga / reciter of the Durga Saptshati.
* The Third Chapter :- Assures victory in battles and legal matters; also defeats the enemies.
* The Fourth Chapter :- It endows the devotee with a beautiful wife, wealth and the strength to continue his /her devotion towards the goddess.
* The Fifth Chapter :- It inculcates the faith and feeling of devotion in a person. It also rids a person from the fear of the unnatural spirits , nightmares and other evil designs which he may be subjected to out of malice.
* The Sixth Chapter :- It frees a person of all obstacles in life and paves a smooth way for progress and prosperity. * The Seventh Chapter :- It fulfills the one, heartfelt desire and all that a person desires.
* The Eight Chapter :- Not only it begets wealth but also enhances the charisma and magnetism of the personality. * The Ninth Chapter :- One regains what he/she has lost; also is endowed with wealth and prosperity.
* The Tenth Chapter :- It helps in finding those who are lost [kidnapped / fled away or taken away].It also blesses the devotee with strength and grants a child to the childless.
* The Eleventh Chapter :- It helps progress in business, drives away worries and gives overall peace and happiness.
* The Twelfth Chapter :- It gives the devotee a place of respect and fame in the society, rids him/her of diseases and fearlessness. * The Thirteenth Chapter :- It enhances the devotion towards the Goddess and fulfills all desires and wants of the devotee.
Till a person is alive he shall experience ups and downs in his lifetime. His needs and desires are unlimited and the easiest path is the path shown by the recitation of the Durga Saptshati. It is because of this that during the festival of NAVRATRAS [Nine nights] it is tradition to recite the 13 chapters of the Durga Saptshati. If a person is unable to complete all the chapters in a day everyday he can break up in combinations of one, two one, four, two and one and two chapters in the seven days. If a person is unable to recite the Durga Saptshati completely, he should recite the Devi Kavach [The armor of the goddess] , ARGALASTROT , KEELKAM and end it with the Devi Sooktam
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