Durga Shuktam – வேத வழிபாடு – துர்கை – Durgashtami Special

Couple of years ago, I was keen to learn Vedic Chants. At 66, it was not the right age to start definitely; but “desires” do not respect age and I started learning to chant a few Shuktams thanks to my good friend Sri.Viswanatha Raju. Durga Shuktam was one of them. That efforts got stalled due to my travel abroad and getting stuck there due to the pandemic. However my efforts to understand the essence of these Vedic chants continue and hopefully I will make some progress.

There is an argument that goes on inside me that there should be no attempt to translate these Vedic Chants into any other language as it is impossible to get the exact equivalent and the consciousness behind the original words and syllables. There is also a counter that we must go ahead and do even at the risk of breaking tradition and purity of thoughts for the benefit of the “Vedic illiterates and ignorant persons” like me.

So here I am, with my maiden attempt at Durga Shuktam. Please feel free to criticise and offer your perspective on this experiment of mine.

Caution : The chanting is my maiden attempt. The chanting may not be as per the QR (quality requirement). Pl take it as a toddler’s walk and bear with me.

Chanting & Meaning in Tamil – Video Link

Link to the file with Tamil Meaning

Sanskrit Verses with English Transliterations

जातवेदसे सुनवाम सोममरातीयतो निदहाति वेदः ।
स नः पर्षदति दुर्गाणि विश्वा नावेव सिन्धुं दुरितात्यग्निः ॥१॥
Jaatavedase Sunavaama Somam-Araatiiyato Nidahaati Vedah |
Sa Nah Parssad-Ati Durgaanni Vishvaa Naave[a-I]va Sindhum Durita-Aty[i]-Agnih ||1||

तामग्निवर्णां तपसा ज्वलन्तीं वैरोचनीं कर्मफलेषु जुष्टाम् ।
दुर्गां देवीँशरणमहं प्रपद्ये सुतरसि तरसे नमः ॥२॥
Taam-Agni-Varnnaam Tapasaa Jvalantiim Vairocaniim Karma-Phalessu Jussttaam |
Durgaam Devii[ngu]m-Sharannam-Aham Prapadye Su-Tarasi Tarase Namah ||2||

अग्ने त्वं पारया नव्यो अस्मान् स्वस्तिभिरति दुर्गाणि विश्वा ।
पूश्च पृथ्वी बहुला न उर्वी भवा तोकाय तनयाय शंयोः ॥३॥
Agne Tvam Paarayaa Navyo Asmaan SvastibhirAti Durgaanni Vishvaa |
Puush-Ca Prthvii Bahulaa Na Urvii Bhavaa Tokaaya Tanayaaya Shamyoh ||3||

विश्वानि नो दुर्गहा जातवेदः सिन्धुं न नावा दुरितातिपर्षि ।
अग्ने अत्रिवन्मनसा गृणानोऽस्माकं बोध्यविता तनूनाम् ॥४॥
Vishvaani No Durga-Haa Jaatavedah Sindhum Na Naavaa Durita-Ati-Parssi |
Agne Atrivan-Manasaa Grnnaano-[A]smaakam Bodhy[i]-Avitaa Tanuunaam ||4||

पृतनाजितँसहमानमुग्रमग्निँ हुवेम परमात्सधस्थात् ।
स नः पर्षदति दुर्गाणि विश्वा क्षामद्देवो अति दुरितात्यग्निः ॥५॥
Prtanaa-[A]jita[ngu]m-Sahamaanam-Ugram-Agni Huvema Paramaat-Sadhasthaat |
Sa Nah Parssad-Ati Durgaanni Vishvaa Kssaamad-Devo Ati Durita-Aty[i]-Agnih ||5||

प्रत्नोषि कमीड्यो अध्वरेषु सनाच्च होता नव्यश्च सत्सि ।
स्वां चाग्ने तनुवं पिप्रयस्वास्मभ्यं च सौभगमायजस्व ॥६॥
Pratnossi Kam-Iiddyo Adhvaressu Sanaac-Ca Hotaa Navyash-Ca Satsi |
Svaam Ca-Agne Tanuvam Piprayasva-Asmabhyam Ca Saubhagam-Aayajasva ||6||

गोभिर्जुष्टमयुजो निषिक्तं तवेन्द्र विष्णोरनुसंचरेम ।
नाकस्य पृष्ठमभि संवसानो वैष्णवीं लोक इह मादयन्ताम् ॥७॥
Gobhir-Jussttam-Ayujo Nissiktam Tave[a-I]ndra Vissnnor-Anusamcarema |
Naakasya Prssttham-Abhi Samvasaano Vaissnnaviim Loka Iha Maadayantaam ||7||

ॐ कात्यायनाय विद्महे कन्याकुमारि धीमहि
तन्नो दुर्गिः प्रचोदयात् ॥
Kaatyaayanaaya Vidmahe Kanyaakumaari Dhiimahi
Tan-No Durgih Pracodayaat ||

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih

Meaning in English

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
1.1: To that Jataveda (one from whom the Vedas are born) we press out the Soma (i.e. Invoke Her ardently); (We invoke that Jataveda) Who consumes by Her Fire of Knowledge (Veda) all the Adversities (within and without) (And frees us from the bondage of the world),
1.2: May that Agni (Fire of Durga) carry us over this Ocean of the World which is full of Great Difficulties and beset with great Perils; like a Boat (carrying one over a very rough Sea),

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
2.1: To Her, Who is of the colour of Fire (Agni Varna) and blazing with Tapas (Tapasa Jwalantim); Who was born of that Fire (of Tapas) (Vairochinim), and Who is worshipped through Fruits of Actions (Karma Phalas) (offered to Her Fire as oblations),
2.2: To that Durga, to that Devi, I take Refuge (Sharanam Aham) by falling at Her Feet (Prapadye); (O Mother Durga, I Prostrate before You) Please ferry me mercifully (over this Ocean of the World full of great Difficulties and Perils),

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
3.1: O Agni (Fire of Durga), You Who are eulogized (for carrying one across this Samsara); Please ferry us (too), by carrying us (i.e. our Souls) over Your Auspicious Nature, and make us cross this World full of Great Difficulties (Samsara), …
3.2: … (and also spread Your Auspicious Nature over the) Land and Earth, (so that the Earth) becomes abundantly Fertile and Green (and we feel Your presence in external Nature); And fill us, (We who are) Your Children with Your Bliss (so that we feel Your presence internally),

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
4.1: O Jataveda (one from whom the Vedas are born), You remove (grave) difficulties in all the Worlds; Please carry us like a Boat in this very difficult Ocean of the World (Samsara),
4.2: O Agni (Fire of Durga), our Minds are invoking You (ardently) like sage Atri (who continuously chants the mantras), and our beings are (now) filled with Your Consciousness (by continuously invoking You),

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
5.1: (She is) the (Great) Fire Who is Invincible in Battle, and charges ahead in a Terrible manner conquering (the Enemies); We invoke Her together from the Highest Assembly (i.e. ardently invoke Her together with the greatest reverence),
5.2: May that Agni (Fire of Durga) carry us over this World full of Great Difficulties, by (charging ahead and) Burning to ashes the very difficult Enemies (within us) with Her Divine Fire,

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
6.1: You are lauded for spreading Bliss in the Sacrifice since ancient times (The Bliss resulting from killing the inner Enemies); You act as a Hota (Invoker of Bliss) by abiding as a New Maiden (Who is eternally young and free of decay) (in the Sacrificial Altar within the Hearts of the Devotees),
6.2: Your own Conscious Form, O Agni (Fire of Durga) is a source of Happiness (Bliss) for us, and a source of Welfare for our Sacrifice,

(We offer our oblations to the Fire of Durga to cross over this very difficult ocean of worldly existence)
7.1: With Senses (i.e. Mind and Heart) Pleased (by Your Blissful Presence) and becoming Unattached (to the external world), we are Infused with Your (Devotion), O the Highest One; May we Follow (i.e. Immerse ourselves in) Your All-Pervading (Blissful Consciousness) …
7.2: … within the Spiritual Sky (Chidakasha), and dwell here in this Vaishnavi Loka (World of Your All-Pervading Consciousness), being Intoxicated (by Your Blissful Nature),

Durga Gayatri:
1: Om, (Let our mind contemplate) on Devi Katyayani to know Her (Conscious Form); (And then) Meditate on that Kanyakumari deeply (Who is the Universal Mother),
2: May that (Fire of) Durga awaken (our Consciousness).

Om, (May there be) Peace, Peace, Peace (at the the three levels – Adidaivika, Adibhautika and Adhyatmika).

Meaning Courtesy:


Carnatic Musing 25 – Navarathri- Day 3 – Composition on Goddess Lalitha Tripurasundari


Harikesha Nallur Muthaiah Bhagavathar (1877-1945). Please refer https://karnatik.com/co1024.shtml for biography and compositions.

Audio Link


Meaning in English

Protect me Oh the daughter of the Himalayas, the golden hued lady, mother Ishwari. You are respected by Lakshmi & Saraswathi. You are omnipresent and sister of Rama (Vishnu). You hold the noose, the goad and the stick in your hand. You are the superior of the best. You protect your devotees, Oh the better half of Lord Siva. You live in the heart of myself (Hariheshanallur Muthaiah). You have a pleasing and delightful form of the goddess with immeasurable splendor.

Meaning in Tamil


இமயமலை மகளே பொன் அணங்கே அன்னை

ஈஸ்வரி அருள்மிகு லலிதே காத்திடுவாய் எமையே


அலைமகளும் கலைமகளும் போற்றும் பரிபூரணியே

ராஜ ராஜேஸ்வரியே ராமனின் சகோதரியே….இமயமலை


பாசக்கயிறுடன் அங்குசம் தண்டம் ஏந்தும் கரமுடை அன்னையே

உத்தமரில் உயர்ந்தவளே உன் பக்தரைக் காப்பவளே திகம்பரனின்

ஹரிகேசநல்லூர் உறை ஆனந்த ரூபியே அளவிலா ஒளி படைத்தவளே

Sanskrit Verses


हिमगिरि तनयॆ हॆमलतॆ अम्बा ईश्वरि श्री ललितॆ मामव


रमा वाणि सम्सॆवित सकलॆ राजराजेस्वरि राम सहॊदरि


पाशाकुशॆशु दण्डकरॆ अम्बा परात्परॆ निज भक्तपरॆ

आशाम्बर हरिकॆश विलासॆ आनन्द रूपॆ अमित प्रतापॆ

English Transliteration


himagiri tanayE hEmalatE ambA Ishvari shrI lalitE mAmava


ramA vANi samsEvita sakalE rAjarAjEshvari rAma sahOdari


pAshAnkushESu daNDakarE ambA parAtparE nija bhaktaparE

ASAmbara harikEsha vilAsE Ananda rUpE amita pratApE

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words


हिमगिरि – snow clad mountain (Himalayas)

तनयॆ – daughter

हॆमलतॆ – golden, slim woman

अम्बा – mother

ईश्वरि – Parvati, wife of Isha

श्री ललितॆ – Lalitha (woman)

मामव – protect me


रमा – Lakshmi

वाणि – Saraswathi

सम्सॆवित – serve

सकलॆ – whole/omnipresent

राजराजेस्वरि – Raja Rajeswari

राम – Lord Ram

सहॊदरि – Sister


पाशाकुशॆशु – noose, arrow

दण्डकरॆ – stick/mast, hand

अम्बा – mother

परात्परॆ – superior to the best

निज – ones own, innate, inborn

भक्तपरॆ- devotees, reach out

आशाम्बर- आशा अम्बर – directions, dress (like dikambara)

हरिकॆश – composer pen name

विलासॆ – resident

आनन्द – happy

रूपॆ – form

अमित – immeasurable

प्रतापॆ – splendour

Carnatic Musing 24 – Navarathri- Day 2 – Composition on Goddess Visalakshi


Muthuswamy Dikshitar. Pl refer http://musicinfoguide.blogspot.com/2007/08/muthuswami-dikshitar-1775-1835.html for biography and http://guru-guha.blogspot.com for his compositions

Audio Link


Meaning in English

O Goddess Annapurna!, the one with wide (large) eyes, Protect (me)! one whose glances are witness to the entire universe!

O one residing in the excellent (place called) Kuzhikkarai!, embodiment of the ‘Om’ mantra, one who wards of evils etc, queen of Shiva (who wears snakes as ornaments), ancient one, one who is resplendent along with Shiva, the great lord, the lord of the universe,

Oh one whose hands hold a gem-studded vessel filled with sweet rice pudding and a golden ladle,One very adept at protecting Manmatha and other devotees,one donning golden ornaments and garments, supreme one saluted by the lotus-seated Brahma and other gods, eminent one extolled by sages Tumburu and Narada,skillful one in conferring salvation which is beyond the triad, affectionate one to Guruguha (who shines as the three-word mantra)

Meaning in Tamil


அன்னபூரணி விசாலாஷி

அகில உலகமே சாட்சி – காத்திடும் உன்

கடைக்கண் பார்வை- அன்னபூரணி


குழிக்கரைவாசியே ஓம்காரப் பொருளே

வினைகளெல்லாம் களைபவளே

அரவணியோனின் இல்லாளே ஆதியே

பரம்பொருளின் சக்தி ஒளிமயமேஅன்னபூரணி


கரமதில் பாயாசம் கொள் மாணிக்ககலனும் தங்க அகப்பையுமேந்தி

காமன்தனை தேர்ச்சியுடன் காத்து தங்காபரண உடைகளணிந்து

கமலம் அமர் அயனும் பலர் வணங்க தும்புரு நாரத முனியோர் துதிக்க

மூவர் தரஇயலா முக்திநிலைப் பேரின்பம் நயமுடன்அளிக்கும்

முப்பதம்தனில் பொலிவுடனே, குருகுகனைப் பரிவுடனே பேணும்….

Sanskrit Verses


अन्न पूर्णे विशालाक्षि रक्ष

अखिल भुवन साक्षि कटाक्षि


उन्नत गर्त तीर विहारिणि

ओंकारिणि दुरितादि निवारिणि

(मध्यम काल साहित्यम्)

पन्नगाभरण राज्ञि पुराणि

परमेश्वर विश्वेश्वर भास्वरि


पायसान्न पूरित माणिक्य –

पात्र हेम दर्वी विधृत करे

कायजादि रक्षण निपुण-तरे

काञ्चन-मय भूषणाम्बर धरे

(मध्यम काल साहित्यम्)

तोयजासनादि सेवित परे

तुम्बुरु नारदादि नुत वरे

त्रयातीत मोक्ष प्रद चतुरे

त्रिपद शोभित गुरु गुह सादरे

variations –

अन्न पूर्णे विशालाक्षि रक्ष अखिल भुवन साक्षि कटाक्षि –

अन्न पूर्णे विशालाक्षि अखिल भुवन साक्षि कटाक्षि रक्ष

नारदादि नुत वरे – नारदादि नुत परे

English Transliteration


anna pUrNE viSAlAkshi raksha

akhila bhuvana sAkshi kaTAkshi


unnata garta tIra vihAriNi

OMkAriNi duritAdi nivAriNi

(madhyama kAla sAhityam)

pannagAbharaNa rAjni purANi

paramESvara viSvESvara bhAsvari


pAyasAnna pUrita mANikya –

pAtra hEma darvI vidhRta karE

kAyajAdi rakshaNa nipuNa-tarE

kAncana-maya bhUshaNAmbara dharE

(madhyama kAla sAhityam)

tOyajAsanAdi sEvita parE

tumburu nAradAdi nuta varE

trayAtIta mOksha prada caturE

tripada SObhita guru guha sAdarE

variations –

anna pUrNE viSAlAkshi raksha akhila bhuvana sAkshi kaTAkshi –

anna pUrNE viSAlAkshi akhila bhuvana sAkshi kaTAkshi raksha

nAradAdi nuta varE – nAradAdi nuta parE

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words


अन्न पूर्णे – Anna Poorani (plenty of food, fulfills food requirement)

विशाल-अक्षि – broad eyes

रक्ष – protect

अखिल – entire/whole

भुवन – earth

साक्षि – witness

कटाक्षि – looks with a side glance


उन्नत – great

गर्ततीर – गर्त -pit तीर – bank Here it means the place called குழிக்கரை

विहारिणि – moves around (here we mean residing

ओंकारिणि – Embodies OM mantra

दुरित-आदि निवारिणि – sin/evil etc ward off

पन्नग-आभरण – snake adorn – here it refers to Lord Siva

राज्ञि – Queen

पुराणि – Ancient one

परम-ईश्वर -absolute/highest Lord

विश्व-ईश्वर – universe Lord

भास्वरि – rich and colorful/shining – here it implies along with


पायस-अन्न. – milk rice pudding dish food – பாயாசம்

पूरित – filled

माणिक्य -पात्र – gem studded vessel

हेम – gold

दर्वी – laddle

विधृत – held

करे – in hand

कायज-आदि – ………and others

रक्षण – protect

निपुण-तरे – skillful/adept

काञ्चनमय – golden

भूषण-अम्बर – adorn – cloth

धरे. – wear

तोयज-आसन-आदि – lotus seated and others – brahma & others

सेवित परे- serving /praying

तुम्बुरु नारद-आदि – Saints Tumburu, Naradha and others

नुत वरे – worship

त्रय-अतीत – three – gone beyond

मोक्ष – salvation

प्रद – grant/confer

चतुरे – skillful

त्रि-पद – three word

शोभित – embellished

गुरु गुह – Guru Guha

सादरे – reverential

Carnatic Musing 23 – Navarathri – Day 1 – Composition on Goddess Raja Rajeshwari


Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer (1844-1893). Pl refer to https://sriramv.wordpress.com/2019/01/18/maha-vaidyanatha-sivan-a-life/ for the life history.

Audio Link

Bombay Jayshree and KJ Yesudashttps://www.dropbox.com/s/t0d1a4a7kv0r52a/Pahimam..Sri..Raja..Rajeswari…%28%20Yesudas.Bombay%20Jayashree%29-cT48qGK0ctk.mp3?dl=0

Meaning in English

Goddess Raja Rajeshwari, please protect me; oh compassionate one and wife of Sankara. You are the one who provides ultimate happiness. You ride on a lion. You are a river of kindness and the enchanting one. You are the one who destroyed the demons: Bhanda, Chanda, Munda and Mahisha. You are pleasing and pure. You nourishes “guhadaasa” (the composer). You have sweet voice and speech, oh slayer of enemies and granter of boons.

Meaning in Tamil


ரட்சிப்பாய் எனை அருள்மிகு ராஜ ராஜேஸ்வரி

கிருபாகரி சங்கரி …..ரட்சிப்பாய்


அளவிலா ஆனந்தம் அளிக்கும் சிம்ம வாகினியே

வற்றா ஆறாய் கருணை பொழியும் ஆனந்தியே


பண்ட சண்ட முண்டனை வதைத்து மகிடனை அழித்த

ரஞ்சனி, நிரஞ்சனியே ! பண்டிதன் குகதாசனைப் பேணிக்காக்கும்

இனிய குரல்வளம்மிகு அன்னையே பகைவருக்கு அச்சம் விளைத்து

அடியார்க்கு வரமளிக்கும் பூரணியே……ரட்சிப்பாய்

Sanskrit Verses


पाहिमां श्री राजराजेश्वरी क्र्पाकरि शङ्करी


एहि सुखं देहि सिंहवाहिनी दया प्रवाहिनी मोहिनी


पा प म रि स ध प प म म रि रि स रि स रि ग म पा सा रि ग

म पा ध प म प ध प नि स प नि स रि स रि ग म रि

सा सा ध प म रि सा रि ग म


भण्ड छण्ड मुण्ड खण्डानि महिश भनजनि रञ्जनी निरन्जनि

पण्डित श्री गुहदास पोशनि सुभाशिनि रिपु भीशणि वर भुशनि

English Transliteration


pAhimAm shrI rAjarAjEshvari krpAkari shankari


Ehi sukham dEhi simhavAhini dayA pravAhini mOhini

ciTTa swaram

pA pa ma ri sa dha pa pa ma ma ri ri sa ri sa ri ga ma pA sA ri ga

ma pA dha pa ma pa dha pa nI sa pa ni Sa Ri Sa Ri Ga Ma Ri

SA Sa dha pa ma rI sA ri ga ma


bhaNDa chaNDa muNDa khaNDani mahiSa bhanjani ranjani niranjani

paNDita shrI guhadAsa pOSaNi subhASiNi ripu bhISaNi vara bhUSaNI

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words


पाहि माम् – protect me

श्री राजराजेश्वरी – Sri Rajarajeswari (Wife if the emperor)

क्र्पाकरि – one who grants favor/compassion/pity

शङ्करी – Sankari (wife of Sankara)


एहि – unsurpassed (this is it) /ultimate

सुखं – delight/comfort

देहि – provide/bestows

सिंहवाहिनी – Having Lion as Her vehicle/mount

दया – compassion/pity

प्रवाहिनी – streaming/abound in streams /river

मोहिनी – enchanting/fascinating woman


भाण्ड – Demon Banda

चन्द – Demon Chanda

मुण्ड – Demon Munda

खण्डानि – destroy

महिस – Demon Mahisa in the form of a Buffalo

भनजनि – break/defeat/kill

रञ्जनी – pleasant/delightful

निरन्जनि – pure/spotless/Supreme Being

पण्डित – Learned

श्री गुहदास – Pen name of the composer Guruguha, serving

पोशनि – nourish/protect

सुभाशिनि – gentle speaking

रिपु – enemy

भीशणि – frightens

वर – blessings/boon/royal/grand

भुशनि – adorned/decorated

Navarathri – A nine night integration process

Navarathri Nostalgia

Typical Agraharam

Six decades ago, living in a rural area in a village agrahaaram (like the one shown above), as school going kids, we used to wait eagerly for the evenings in the month of October (Tamil month of “Purattaasi” புரட்டாசி) with a glee in our eyes, fun in the mind and hunger in the belly.

Yes; this is the month of Navarathri (nine nights) where we used to have a collection bag, go to each one of the houses in the community who had put up “kolu” (arrangement of Dolls in an odd number of steps) to look at the dolls display.


We collect “Sundal” ( a snack preparation of proteins in the form of steamed, fried nuts ) making sure to exchange notes on who has collected what variety and from which house and of course about the quality of the supply.


We also used to listen to some wonderful singing by girls and ladies in front of the “kolu” and getting presents. It was fun time for kids; but I guess some serious work for the elders.

The essence of Navarathri

My understanding of the Navarathri is more spiritual now than what I had six decades ago as a kid. Let me try to explain.

Every human being has consciousness (Lord Shiva) and energy (Goddess Shakti). Consciousness and Energy (Shiva and Shakti) are both definable yet inseparable. We can take the example of Sun & Heat for illustration. Within this energetic realm, there are three main forms of Shakti. The 3 Forms of Shakti are:

• Iccha Shakti – the energy of will or desire

• Jnana Shakti – the energy of knowledge

• Kriya Shakti – the energy of action

During Navarathri, the nine nights are used to identify, work with, purify, and ultimately integrate and strengthen these forms of Shakti within us.

The “Kolu” (Display of dolls)

Of course we need to convey this message to the young ones through a visual medium for easy learning. Hence the display of dolls called Kolu. Dolls are arranged in specific sequences on odd number of steps in a staircase style arrangement to depict the process and interplay of these energies that are continually cycling within us. The steps progressively take us through the stages of our evolution in our spiritual progress as a human being. At the base step, dolls depicting routine mundane activities can be seen. Progressively as we climb the stairs, we can see the dolls conveying our graduation in our consciousness level. The dolls focus on various gods, their actions, themes representing the historical events around the gods and the meaning they convey for leading our lives. The apex level step will have the ultimate integration of our consciousness (Shiva) with the energy (shakti) at the top most (apex) step in the form of two wooden dolls (called in Tamil as Marapaachi dolls). That sums up the learning through the visual medium.

Marapaachi Dolls

Navarathri – Women and the Music

Inviting, traditionally receiving and honoring girls, women and ladies, presenting them with gifts (as per the capacity of the host) and devotional singing in praise of the three goddesses representing the three energy forms is a tradition. This brings out the axiom that we should see every single woman as a manifestation of goddesses representing these three energy forms. This also brings out purity in our thoughts that without these three energy ingredients, we would become inert.

My participation in Navarathri 2020

Sitting in a country 8400 miles away from my place in this pandemic year, I decided to participate in the Navarathiri Celebrations by trying to understand the Sanskrit Compositions that are sung during this period. These compositions are in praise of the Goddesses identified as the principal form (roopa) of that type of energy viz, Durga, Lakshmi & Saraswathi ( for Icha, Kriya, Gnana ).

Starting from October 17 till October 26, there will be a blog a day; through each blog I will try to understand ten Sanskrit compositions and try to express it in my mother tongue. The first three will be on Goddess Durga, followed by Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswathi and culminating on the tenth day on Goddess Vijyambike, coinciding with Vijayadasami, the day that marks the culmination of the festivities with the idea that the nine night events have helped the good in us scoring victory over the evils that reside in us.

Enjoy the Navarathri celebrations along with me by visiting this blog daily, listen to the wonderful music compositions and help me improve my knowledge by critically commenting on my translation work. Thank you.

Durga Pancharathnam- Verse 5

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse

त्वं ब्रह्मपुच्छा विविधा मयूरी



मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ ५॥

English Transliteration

tvaṁ brahma pucchā vividhā mayūrī

brahma pratiṣṭhā asya upadiṣṭa gītā |

jñāna svarūpa ātma taya ākhilānāṁ

māṁ pāhi sarvēśvari mōkṣadātri || 5 ||

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

त्वं – you

ब्रह्म – supreme spirit

पुच्छा – tail

विविधा – various

मयूरी – Peacock

ब्रह्म – supreme spirit

प्रतिष्ठा- install/standing firmly

अस्य – of this

उपदिष्ठा – instructed/initiated

गीता – Bhagwad Gita

ज्ञान – knowledge

स्वरूप – quality/Nature

आत्म – soul

तय – protect

आखिलानां – entire/whole/universe

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ ५॥

Meaning in English

Hey Mayuri*, you are praised as the route to Brahmam,

You are the form of Brahamam established by the Bhagwad Gita too,

You are the wisdom personified, enact the sport of creation

And so please protect me, oh goddess of all and oh giver of salvation.

* Durga worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of a peacock. And hence she is addressed as Mayuri

Meaning in Tamil

பரம்பொருளை அறிய பாதை நீதானே பெண்மயிலே

பரம்பொருளே நீயென பகவத்கீதை உரைத்திடுதே

மெய்யறிவின் இயற்சக்தியாய் ஆன்மா பேணி, அகில

அண்டமதின் அன்னையே காத்தருள்வாய் முக்தி

Durga Pancharathnam – Verse 4

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse

देवात्मशब्देन शिवात्मभूता

यत्कूर्मवायव्यवचोविवृत्या ।

त्वं पाशविच्छेदकरी प्रसिद्धा

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ ४॥

English Transliteration

dēvā atma śabdēna śivā atma bhūtā

yat kūrma vāyavya vacō vivr̥tyā

tvaṁ pāśa vicchēdakarī prasiddhā

māṁ pāhi sarvēśvari mōkṣadātri || 4 ||

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

देव – God

आत्म – Soul

शब्देन – sound

शिव – Lord Siva

आत्म – Soul

भूता – being

यत् – that

कूर्म – one of the outer winds of the body

वायव्य – one of the inner winds – the air passage from heart to centre of the forehead

वचो – speech

विवृत्या – manifest

त्वं – you

पाश – chain

विच्छॆदकरि – विच्छे करि – seek for

प्रसिद्धा – famous/well known

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ ४॥

Meaning in English

Formed by Self-power of sound of Siva’s aatma, You are declared by sacred texts as the sound of Anahatha**, Which exists in Kurma and Vayavya*** as Shakthi. You are known as one cutting off worldly attachments (or the rope that drags you to death), And so please protect me, oh goddess of all and oh giver of salvation.

Note: From the heart to the middle of the eyebrows is said to be the region of Vayu. It is black in colour and shines with the letter ‘Ya’. Carrying the breath along the region of Vayu, one should contemplate on Isvara, the omniscient. The Yogi does not meet his death through Vayu.) ( Naga, Kurma, Krikara, Devadatta and Dhananjaya are the five sub-Pranas; Kurma performs the function of opening the eyes


**Anahata sabda – just before one enter Samadhi in yoga one can clearly hear Om inside which is not heard outside the physical body after this the person goes into Samadhi.

* **Vayavya Dharana

Meaning in Tamil

சிவான்மச்சக்கர ஒலி வழி உருவெடுத்த சுயசக்தியே

உள்மூச்சு வெளிமூச்சு வாக்கினிலும் உறை சக்தியே

பாசக்கயிற்றினை செயலாக்கும் பெயர் பெற்ற சக்தியே

அண்டமதின் அன்னையே காத்தருள்வாய் முக்தி

Durga Pancharathnam – Verse 3

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse

परास्य शक्तिः विविधैव श्रूयसे

श्वेताश्ववाक्योदितदेवि दुर्गे ।

स्वाभाविकी ज्ञानबलक्रिया ते

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ ३॥

English Transliteration

parāsya śaktiḥ vividhaiva śrūyasē

śvētāśvavākyōditadēvi durgē |

svābhāvikī jñānabalakriyā tē

māṁ pāhi sarvēśvari mōkṣadātri || 3 ||

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

परास्य – Absolute

शक्तिः – Shakti

विविधैव- several

श्रूयसे – heard/extolled

श्वेताश्व – white horses ? Here it refers to Swethavatara* Upanishad,

वाक्योदित- from the words

देवि दुर्गे । – devi Durga

स्वाभाविकी – innate, natural

ज्ञान – knowledge

बल – fruit

क्रिया – act/operation

ते –

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि

Meaning in English

You are His Shakthi called Para, which is spoken in different ways, You are the one who is being celebrated by Swethavatara* Upanishad, You are by your nature , the power force in all actions and wisdom, And so please protect me , oh goddess of all and oh giver of salvation. * This major Upanishad gives the basic teachings and concepts of Bhagwad Gita.

Meaning in Tamil

பலர் போற்றும் பரம் எனும் சக்தியே

உபநிடம் போற்றும் துர்கா தேவியே

உள்ளியல்பான உயர் அறிவுச்சக்தியே

அண்டமதின் அன்னையே காத்தருள்வாய் முக்தி

Durga Pancharathnam – Verse 2

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse

देवात्मशक्तिः श्रुतिवाक्यगीता

महर्षिलोकस्य पुरः प्रसन्ना ।

गुहा परं व्योम सतः प्रतिष्ठा

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ २॥

English Transliteration

dēvātmaśaktiḥ śrutivākyagītā

maharṣilōkasya puraḥ prasannā |

guhā paraṁ vyōma sataḥ pratiṣṭhā

māṁ pāhi sarvēśvari mōkṣadātri || 2 ||

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

देवात्म – divine nature

शक्ति – power

श्रुति – Veda

वाक्य – utter/saying

गीता – song

महर्षि – saints

लोकस्य – people

पुरः – inside place (heart)

प्रसन्ना – kind/delight

गुहा – (deep inside) heart

परं – absolute

व्योम – Sky/heaven/space

सतः truth

प्रतिष्ठा – rest/permanently reside

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ २॥

Meaning in English

You are the self power of the divine , sung about by the Vedas,

Delighted the hearts of great saints propitiating you ,

Who have established yourselves in their hearts as Truth,

And so please protect me, oh goddess of all and oh giver of salvation.

Meaning in Tamil

இறைமையின் உள்ளடக்கம் நான்மறைபோற்றும் நாயகி

உன்துதி பாடும் பேர்முனிகள் இதயம் மகிழ்விப்பவளே

உள்ளக்குகை வெளியில் உண்மையென உறைபவளே

அண்டமதின் அன்னையே காத்தருள்வாய் முக்தி

Durga Pancharathnam – Verse 1

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse

ते ध्यानयोगानुगता अपश्यन्

त्वामेव देवीं स्वगुणैर्निगूढाम् ।

त्वमेव शक्तिः परमेश्वरस्य

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ १॥

English Transliteration

tē dhyāna yōgānu anugatā apaśyan

tvām eva dēvīṁ svaguṇaihi nigūḍhām |

tvamēva śaktiḥ paramēśvarasya

māṁ pāhi sarva eshwari mōkṣadātri || 1 ||

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

ते – those

ध्यान – meditation

योग – contemplation/yoga

अनुगता – follow

अपश्यन् – not seeing

त्वं – you

एव – indeed

देवीं – goddess

स्व – of self

गुणै – virtues

निर्गूढाम् – concealed/hidden

त्वं – you

एव – only

शक्तिः – Shakti

परमेश्वरस्य – better half of Parameshwara

मां पाहि – protect me

सर्वेश्वरि – Universal Mother

मोक्षदात्रि – liberator

Meaning in English

Those, who follow meditation(dhyana) and contemplation (yoga), can’t see you; indeed the Goddess hidden in your own virtues. You are the energy behind Lord Parameshwara. Protect me oh Universal Mother, the liberator for salvation

Meaning in Tamil

தியானம் தவம் புரிவோர் காண இயலா

தன்நற் பண்பினில்மறை தேவி நீதானே

சடையோனின் சக்திவடிவம் நீதானே

அண்டமதின் அன்னையே காத்தருள்வாய் முக்தி