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Chandi - Cuttack, Orissa, India
Sanskrit transleeterationCaṇḍī
Mantraॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं चामुण्डायै विच्चे
oṁ aiṁ hrīṁ klīṁ cāmuṇḍāyai vicce

Chandi (Sanskrit: चण्डी, Caṇḍī) or Chandika or Ran-Chandi (Caṇḍīka) is the supreme Goddess o Devi Mahatmya (Sanskrit: Devīmāhātmyam, देवीमाहात्म्यम्) kent as Chamunda or Durga an aw as mentioned in Durga Saptashati.

Etymologie[eedit | eedit soorce]

Caṇḍī or Caṇḍīika is the name bi which the Supreme Goddess is referred tae in Devi Mahatmya. Accordin tae Coburn, "Caṇḍīika is "the violent an impetuous ane". In the licht o the primacy o this designation o the goddess, it is strikin that the wird Caṇḍīka haes virtually nae earlier history in Sanskrit. Thare are nae instances o its occurrence in the Vedic leeteratur we hae surveyed. The epics are similarly barren: neither the Ramayana nor the Mahabharata gie evidence o the epithet, awtho in ane o the hymns insertit in the latter Caṇḍa an Caṇḍī are applee'd tae the deity thay praised."[1]

The designation o Chandi or Chandika is used twenty-nine times in the Devi Mahatmya, which is agreed bi mony scholars tae hae haed oreeginatit in Bengal, the primar seat o the Shakta or Goddess tradeetion an tantric sadhana syne auncient times. It is the maist common epithet uised for the Goddess. In Devi Mahatmya, Chandi, Chandika, Ambika an Durga hae been uised synonymously.[2]

Goddess Chandi is associatit wi the 9 lettered Navakshari Mantra. It is cried Navarna Mantra or Navavarna Mantra an aw. It is ane o the principal mantras in Shakti Worship apairt frae the Sri Vidhya Mantras. It customar tae chant this mantra when chantin the Devi Mahatmya.

Legends[eedit | eedit soorce]

The oreegin o the goddess is gien in the seicont chapter o Devi Mahatmya. Thare are various mair stories regardin the incarnation o Devi Chandi .

She is considered as Kaatyayini (Durga) itsel, who haed killed Mahishasura as well as Shumbha Nishumbha [1] Archived 2012-09-03 at the Wayback Machine "The great Goddess wis born frae the energies o the male divinities when the gods became impotent in the lang-drawn-oot battle wi the asuras. Aw the energies o the Gods became unitit an became supernova, throwin oot flames in aw directions. Then that unique licht, pervadin the Three Worlds wi its lustre, combined intae ane, an became a female form."

"The Devi projectit an owerwhelmin omnipotence. The three-eyed goddess wis adorned wi the crescent muin. Her multiple airms held auspicious weapons an emblems, jewels an ornaments, garments an utensils, garlands an rosaries o beads, aw affered bi the gods. Wi her gowden bouk blazin wi the splendour o a thoosan suns, seatit on her lion vehicle, Chandi is ane o the maist spectacular o aw personifications o Cosmic energy." [3]

In ither scriptures, Chandi is portrayed as "assistin" Kali in her battle wi demon Raktabija. While Kali drank Raktabija's bluid, which creatit new demons frae his awn bluid on fawin on the grund; Chandi wad destroy the airmies o demons creatit frae his bluid an feenally killed Raktabija hissel.[4] In Skanda Purana, this story is retauld an anither story o Chandi killin demons Chanda an Manda is addit.[5]

Accordin tae Markandeya Purana, when Indra an the ither gods war praying tae Goddess Mahasaraswati, tae gie them relief frae the atrocities o Demons Shumbha an Nishumbha, Goddess Parvati (Maha Gauri) happened tae hear thair prayers. Oot o curiosity, She asked them that whom are thay addressing tae in thair prayers. Frae the body o the Goddess, a female came intae existence an that wis Devi Chandika. Chandika wis an aa addressed as Ambika. Her actual name is believed tae be Chandraghanta, ane o the nine forms o Durga i.e. ane o the Navdurgas. She haes a third ee, throu the eyebrows o which, Goddess Chamunda haed manifested tae kill demons Chand an Mund; an later, the great demon Rakthbeej too, wis killed bi Kali. Chandika haed slain demons Dumralochan, Shumbha an Nishumbha.
Accordin tae Matsya Purana an as shawn in ane o the best kent Indian TV serials Om Namah Shivaya[2], Goddess Parvati haed done penance tae please Lord Brahma. And as a reward for the penance, She requested for the recovery o her fair complexion, as She haed acome dark bi Shiva's magic. Brahma gae the desired boon an the darkness o the Goddess got separated frae her an teuk the form o anither Goddess. That Goddess wis considered as the dochter o Parvati an as she haed taken birth frae the Kaushik (dark cell) o her mither, she wis named Kaushiki [3]. Kaushiki haed incarnated for the killin o the demons Shumbha an Nishumbha, who haed got a boon that thay wad be killed bi anjanmi (unborn) girl. And as Kaushiki haed nae taken ony biological birth frae her mither, She wis the Ajanma girl accordin tae the boon; an an aa she haed supernatural powers, bein the dochter o Goddess Shakti i.e. Parvati. Parvati, bein a concerned mither, teuk pairt in the war against the demons. Henceforth, Parvati incarnated as Chandika, Chamunda an Kalika tae kill the demons Dumralochan, Chanda & Munda an Rakthbeej respectively. Thir demons war sent bi Shumbha an Nishumbha, who war finally killed bi Kaushiki in her divine form.
It is believit that the extremely white skined bonnie goddess Kaushiki came intae existence frae Maha Gauri Parvati an aw. Due tae this, Parvati turned dark. Goddesses Lakshmi an Saraswati appeared thare an bestoued thair pouers tae Parvati. Hence, Parvati got transformit intae Goddess Chandika, who firstly killed the demons that creatit havoc aw ower the yird. Then, She assisted Kaushiki in the war against Shumbh-Nishumbh. Chandika confrontit the demons Chand an Mund sent bi Shumbh an Nisumbh, during which Goddess Chamunda manefisted frae the eyebrous o her third ee, who killed Chand an Mund. Later, Chandika killed Nishumbh an then while battlin the great demon Rakthbeej, Chandika transformit in Mahakali tae kill the demon bi drinkin his bluid. Hence, Chandika is considered as Parvati, Kali an Chamunda an is considered as the mither o Kaushiki an aw.

Chandi Homa (Havan)[eedit | eedit soorce]

Chandi Homa is ane o the maist popular Homas in Hindu releegion. It is performit athort Indie durin various festivals, especially durin the Navaratri. Chandi Homa is performit bi recitin verses frae the Durga Sapthasathi an afferin oblations intae the sacrificial fire. It coud be accompaniet bi the Navakshari Mantra an aw. Kumari Puja, Suvasini Puja form a pairt o the ritual an aw.

Iconografie[eedit | eedit soorce]

A Burmese portrayal o Chandi (Sandi Dewi).
An Indie iconografie in benevolent form o Chandi kent as Durga an aw.

The dhyana sloka precedin the Middle episode o Devi Mahatmya the iconographic details are gien. The Goddess is describit as aichteen airmit bearin string o beads, battle axe, mace, arrae, thunnerbolt, lotus, bow, watter-pot, cudgel, lance, swuird, shield, conch, bell, wine-cup, trident, noose an the discus (sudarsana). She haes a complexion o coral an is seatit on a lotus.[6]

In some temples the images o Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi, an Maha Saraswati are kept separately. The Goddess is portrayed as fower airmit in mony temples.

Temples[eedit | eedit soorce]

Temples devotit tae Chandi are locatit in mony places includin the follaein:

Chandi Devi Mandir,Haridwar

In fowklear o Bengal[eedit | eedit soorce]

Chandi is one of the most popular folk deities in Bengal, an a nummer o poems an leeterar componitions in Bengali cried Chandi Mangala Kavyas wur written frae 13t century tae early 19t century. Thir haed the effect o mergin the local fowk an tribal goddesses wi mainstream Hinduism. The Mangal kavyas aften associate Chandi wi goddess Kali or Kalika.[8] an recognise her as a consort o Shiva an mither o Ganesha an Kartikeya, which are characteristics o goddesses lik Parvati an Durga.[9] The concept of Chandi as the supreme Goddess underwent a change an aw. The worship of the goddess became heterogeneous in nature.

Chandi is associated with good fortune as well as disaster. Her auspicious forms like Mangal Chandi, Sankat Mangal Chandi, Rana Chandi bestow joy, riches, childer, guid huntin an victory in battles while ither forms lik Olai Chandi cur diseases lik cholera, plague an cattle diseases.[10]

Thir are amaist aw village an tribal goddesses wi the name o the veelage or tribe bein addit ontae the name Chandi. The most important o thir goddesses is Mangol Chandi who is worshippit in the entire state an in Assam an aw. Here the wird "Mangol" means auspicious or benign.[11]

Notes[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Coburn, Thomas B., Devī Māhātmya. p. 95
  2. Coburn, Thomas B., Devī Māhātmya.
  3. Mookerjee, Ajit, Kali, The Feminine Force, p 49
  4. Wilkins p.255-7
  5. Wilkins p.260
  6. Sankaranarayanan. S., Devi Mahatmyam, P 148.
  7. Chandi Devi Archived 2006-05-05 at the Wayback Machine Haridwar.
  8. McDaniel(2004) p.21
  9. McDaniel(2004) pp. 149-150
  10. McDaniel(2002) pp. 9-11
  11. Manna, Sibendu, Mother Goddess, Chaṇḍī, pp. 100-110

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Coburn, Thomas B., "Devī Māhātmya, The Crystallization of the Goddess Tradition", South Asia Beuks, 2002. (ISBN 81-208-0557-7)
  • Manna, Sibendu, Mother Goddess, Chaṇḍī, Punthi Pustak, Calcutta, Indie, 1993. (ISBN 81-85094-60-8)
  • Mookerjee, Ajit, Kali, The Feminine Force, Destiny Beuks, Rochester, Vermont, 1988, (ISBN 0-89281-212-5)
  • Sankaranarayanan, S., Glory o the Divine Mother (Devī Māhātmyam), Nesma Beuks, Indie, 2001. (ISBN 81-87936-00-2)
  • McDaniel, Juin, Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls: Popular Goddess Worship in West , Published 2004, Oxford Varsity Press - US, 368 pages, ISBN 0-19-516790-2
  • McDaniel, Juin, Making Virtuous Daughters and Wives: An Introduction to Women's Brata Rituals in Benegal Folk Religion, Published 2002, SUNY Press, 144 pages, ISBN 0-7914-5565-3
  • Wilkins, William Joseph, Hindu Mythology, Vedic and Puranic, Published 2004, Kessinger Publishing, 428 pages, ISBN 0-7661-8881-7 (First edition: Published 1882; Thacker, Spink & co.)