From its March 8th edition, the episodes of Amrita TV’s Sandya Deepam will feature philosophical interpretations of the sacred slokas of Devi Mahatmyam, a magnificent discourse in Sanskrit, narrating the epic tale of Mahadevi, the Mother Goddess.
The tantric expert L.Gireeshan will offer insights into the significance of the divine text, its hidden messages and mystic symbolism, in the Jyothirgamaya segment of Sandhya Deepam which is telecast everyday of the week at 6.30pm.
Devi Mahatmyam takes the place of Lalitha Sahasranamam, another ancient text lauding the glory of the Divine Mother and enumerating the thousand names of Lalithambika, which had been telecast for 1114 continuous episodes of Sandhya Deepam.
A part of Markandeya Purana, Devi Mahatmyam is a compilation of 700 verses in chaste Sanskrit, believed to have been composed 1500 years ago by Ved Vyas and translated into Malayalam by Mahakavi Ezhthachan.
Said to have been narrated by Sage Markandeya to Sage Baghuni, Devi Mahatmyam chronicles the martial exploits of the Adi Sakthi – how she overcame Madhu and Kaidabha in her tamasic form, Goddess Durga; killed the demon Mahishasura in her rajashic character as Goddess Lekshmi and slew the Asura brothers Shumbha and Nishumba in her Sathivic avatar, Goddess Saraswathi. Devi Mahatmyam’s distinction lies in the fact that it is the only text which depicts the Goddess in all her three primal manifestations, each presiding over a specific guna- Maha Kali, Maha Lekshmi and Maha Saraswathi.
The mere possession of the text Devi Mahatmyam , literally the Glory of the Goddess, is said to be propitious to the owner, helping him to hold evil spirits at bay. Kalluru Namboothiri who was ordered by Sakthan Thampuran to enter the inner sanctum of the Kodungaloor Devi Ksethra in the dead of the night to retrieve a ring he had lost, armed himself with a copy of Devi Mahatmyam to muster up enough courage. It is widely accepted that those who recite the holy hymns or mantras or even hear it being chanted are sure of having their wishes fulfilled. Repeated readings will yield greater benefits: perusing it 3 times will wipe away the effects of evil spells, 11 times will subjugate the fear of death, 18 times will endow one with occult powers etc.
The sublime grandeur of its verses is not just a scriptural account of the Goddess’ triumph over her demonic foes, but an eulogy in praise of the majestic power of female divinity identified with the Life Force itself.