The Devi Mahatmya or the Durga Saptasati, also known as Chandi Path, is a great book in Hindu world. It is a compilation of 700 slokas or verses in which the whole universal facts are embedded. It is well versed text which has to be recited during Durga Navratri or Durga Puja. Durga Saptashati tells everything of this world and explains what man should do and what makes him to reach salvation.
The first sloka of the Durga Saptashati implies that the whole text is an explanation of the root of the Devi-Mantra, ie., —Hreem. Many commentaries are included in this sacred text that explain it either in a mystical way or in the ordinary manner. The Mantras of Durga Saptashati are recited carefully in a proper manner as the text is very sacred.
Durga Saptashati or Chandi Path consists of 3 sections which are further divided into 13 chapters. In the Chapter 1, the slaying of Madhu and Kaitabha is explained. It is described as Madhu Kaitabha Samharam or Madhu Kaitabha Vadha.
In the Chapter 2 of Durga Saptashati, the explanation of thrashing of the armies of Mahishasura is explained. In the chapter 3, Mahishasura Vadha (killing of Mahishasura) and the chapter 4 presents the Devi Stuti. Devi stuti is a compilation of slokas that praise the power, knowledge, wisdom and universal energy of Goddess Shakti.
Chapter 5 of Durga Saptashati explains the demolition of Shumbha and Nishumbha and the killing of Dhumralochana is explained in Chapter 6. The chapter 7 is about the destruction of Chanda and Munda. Chapters 8, 9 and 10 explain how Raktabija, Nishumba and Shumba were demolished respectively.
Chapter 11 of Durga Saptashati presents the Hymn to Narayani. Chapter 12 and 13 describe about the eulogy of the merits and the bestowing of boons to Suratha and Vaisya are explained respectively.
Brief details about the contents of Durga Saptashati or Chandi Path or Devi Mahatmyam
- Chapter 1 – The Killing of demons Madhu and Kaitabha
- Chapter 2 – Destruction of the Armies of Mahishasura
- Chapter 3 – The demolition of demon Mahishasura
- Chapter 4 – Shri Devi Stuti
- Chapter 5 – The slaying of demons Shumbha and Nishumbha.
- Chapter 6 – The destruction of demon Dhumralochana
- Chapter 7 – The killing of Chanda and Munda
- Chapter 8 – The demolition of Raktabija
- Chapter 9 – The destruction of Nishumbha
- Chapter 10 – The killing of Shumba
- Chapter 11 – Hymn to Narayani (Narayani Stuti)
- Chapter 12 – Eulogy or Tribute of the Merits
- Chapter 13 – The Bestowing of Boons to Suratha and Vaisya