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Durga Kavach In Hindi
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The Devi Mahatmya or Devi Mahatmyam is a Hindu religious text describing the Goddess as the supreme power and the creator of the universe. It is part of the Markandeya Purana and is estimated to have been composed in Sanskrit between 400 and 600 CE.
Devi Mahatmyam is also known as Durgā Saptashatī (दुर्गासप्तशती) . The text contains 700 verses divided into 13 chapters. Along with Devi-Bhagavata Purana and Shakta Upanishads as the Devi Upanishad, this is one of the most important texts in the tradition of shaktism (goddess) in Hinduism.
The Devi Mahatmyam describes a historic battle between good and evil, where the Devi manifesting as the goddess Durga leads the forces of good against the demon Mahishasura – the goddess is very angry and ruthless, and the forces of good the prevail. In peaceful and prosperous times, the text states, the Devi manifests himself as Lakshmi, promoting wealth creation and happiness. The verses of this story also describe a philosophical foundation in which the ultimate reality (Brahman in Hinduism) is feminine. The text is one of the earliest extant complete manuscripts of Hindu traditions which describes the respect and worship of the feminine aspect of God. The Devi Mahatmya is often classified in some Hindu traditions as being as important as the Bhagavad Gita.
The Devi Mahatmya has been particularly popular in the eastern states of India, such as West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Goa as well as Nepal. It is recited during the Navratri celebrations, the Durga Puja festival, and at Durga temples across India.
The Devi Mahatmya, says C. Mackenzie Brown, is both the culmination of centuries of Indian ideas about the divine feminine, as well as a foundation for literature and spirituality centered on feminine transcendence in the centuries that followed.
One of the earliest proofs of reverence for the feminine aspect of God appears in chapter 10.125 of the Rig Veda, also called Devīsūkta.
Hymns to the goddesses are found in the ancient Hindu epic Mahabharata, especially in the Harivamsa section added later (100 to 300 CE). Archaeological and textual evidence imply, says Thomas Coburn, that the goddess had become as much a part of Hindu tradition as God, by the third or fourth century.
Devi Mahatmya’s text is a devotional text, and its purpose, says Thomas Coburn, is not to analyze divine forms or abstract ideas, but to praise. This he accomplishes with a philosophical foundation, where the female is the primary creator; it is also the Tridevi as a secondary creator, support and destroyer. She is presented, through a language of praise, as that which dwells in all creatures, as the soul, as the power to know, the power to want and the power to act. It is the consciousness of all living beings, it is intelligence, it is matter and it is all that is form or emotion.
The text includes hymns to the saguna (manifest, embodied) form of the Goddess, as well as the nirguna (unmanifest, abstract) form of her. The saguna hymns appear in chapters 1, 4 and 11 of the Devi Mahatmya, while chapter 5 praises the nirguna concept of the goddess. The saguna forms of her, the text asserts, are Mahakali (destroyer, Tamasic, mother’s desire principle), Mahalakshmi (upholding, mother’s principle of evolution, Sattvic) and Mahasaraswati (creator, principle of action of the mother, Rajasvic), who as a collective are called Tridevi. The nirguna concept (Avyakrita, transcendent) is also called Maha-lakshmi. This structure is not accidental, but incorporates the idea of Samkhya philosophy of three Gunas which is central in Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita.
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