A Most Touching Tribute to Devi

Durga Devi
Durga Devi (Image credit: shivaom)

This unconventional tribute to Devi, Shakti or the Mother Goddess is likely to bring a tear to your eye. It is a collection of verses from the popular ancient Sri Argala Stotram, rendered by famous Bhakti singer and musician Krishna Das.

About the Sri Argala Stotram

The Sri Argala Stotram was composed by Rishi Markandey for Goddess Durga, praising her in her aspect as the giver of form, victory, fame and as protector against enemies. As with most devotional songs and chants, there is an inner (spiritual) and outer (worldly) meaning to the words. In the inner meaning, the Goddess is invoked to lend her Shakti or energy to provide spiritual victory or liberation.

The Sri Argala Stotram is to be chanted/recited before the Devi Mahatmyam (Glory of the Goddess) of which it is a part. The Devi Mahatmyam forms part of the Markandeya Purana text and contains 700 shlokas (verses) and 13 chapters describing the Goddess as the Supreme power and Creator of the universe.

The Goddess is repeatedly invoked to:

Ruupam Dehi, Jayam Dehi, Yasho Dehi, Dvisho Jahi

O Devi, please grant me (spiritual) beauty, please grant me (spiritual) victory, please grant me (spiritual) glory and please destroy my (inner) enemies.(1)

 

About Krishna Das

Krishna Das began his journey in devotional music in 1994 when he started leading chants at the Jivamukti Yoga Centre in New York.  His unique and compelling style of music that is hugely popular the world over, is a fusion of Eastern ‘kirtan‘ style with Western rhythms and harmonics. He has composed and sung several immensely popular bhajans to Krishna, Devi, Shiva and other revered beings in the Hindu tradition. Read more about him here.

About the Sri Argala Stotram, Krishna Das says:

“As usual with all these types of prayers, they can be interpreted in the microcosm (Inner reality) or macrocosm, (outside world.) When I was younger I always looked down at asking the Divine for outer things. But as I grow older I see that it is important to have a healthy inner AND outer life. When I lived in India and didn’t have more than some books and an ektara to my name secretly felt somehow superior to people who were engrossed in and, I thought, “lost” in the world. Now I see how immature I was. In those days I was waiting for the moment to come when “BOOM”, Maharaj-ji [Neem Karoli baba] would ZAP me and I would go to God knows where! Maybe some other planet! But now that I am still here on earth I realize the importance of having the things you need to live a good life and be a good human being… one who cares for others and can share ones life and path with others. As Maharaj-ji said, “You can’t talk to a hungry person about God. Feed them first.”So one isn’t really asking the Goddess for worldly “stuff”.

To find the words of the Stotram along with the meanings, see Krishna Das’ website or see below.

Om Namaś Chaṇḍikāyai
Om, I bow to the Goddess Chaṇḍikā

Jayanti Maṅgalā Kālī Bhadrakālī Kapālinī
Durgā Kṣamā Śivā Dhātrī Svāhā Svadhā namo’stute
She Who Conquers Over All. All-Auspicious, the remover of Darkness, the Excellent One Beyond Time, the bearer of the Skulls of Impure thought the reliever of difficulties, loving forgiveness, supporter of the Universe, you are the One who truly receives the offerings made to the Gods and the Ancestors. I bow to you.

Jaya tvaṁ Devi chāmuṇḍe jaya bhūtārti-hāriṇi
Jaya sarvagate Devi kāla-rātrī namo’stu te
Victory to you, Oh Goddess. You are the Supreme Conqueror and the slayer of passion and anger! You relieve the troubles of all existence! Oh Goddess who pervades everything. You are the One who destroys all darkness and negativity and always does good for us. I bow to you.

Madhu-Kaiṭabha-vidrāvi vidhātṛ varade namaḥ
Rūpaṃ dehi jayaṃ dehi yaśo dehi dviṣo jahi*
To you who defeated the negative qualities (demons) of “Too Little” and “Too Much”, Giver of the blessings of the creativity, I bow to you.
Grant us your form (Liberation), Grant us victory, Grant us welfare, remove all hostility (negativity).
* this phrase repeats throughout the prayer

Mahiṣāsura-nirṇāśi bhaktānāṁ sukhade namaḥ
To you who caused the destruction of the Demon of “Great Ego”, Giver of happiness to devotees. I bow to you.

Śumbhasyaiva niśumbhasya Dhūmrākṣasya ca mardini
Slayer of the Demons Shumbha (self-conceit), Nishumbha (self-deprecation) and Dhumalocana (ignorance).

Natebhyaḥ sarvadā bhaktya Caṇḍike duritāpahe
O Chandike! For those who bow to you with devotion, you remove all distress

Dehi saubhāgyam-ārogyaṃ dehi me paramaṃ sukham
Grant good fortune, freedom from disease, grant us supreme happiness

Vidhehi Devi kalyāṇaṁ vidhehi paramāṃ śriyaṃ
Oh Goddess, grant us liberation and supreme prosperity

Himācala-sutā-nāthasaṁstute Parameśvari
Oh Supreme Goddess, the Lord of the Daughter of the Himalayas (Shiva) always sings your praise

Indrāni-pati-sadbhāvapūjite Parameśvari
You who are worshipped by the husband of Indrani (Indra) with devotion

Devi pracaṇḍa-dordaṇḍadaitya-darpa-vināśini
With your great staff you have destroyed the demons of egotism and thought

Patnīṁ manoramāṁ dehi manovṛttā-nusāriṇīm
Tārinīṁ durga-saṁsāra Sāgarasya kulodhbhavām
Oh Goddess, grant me a wife who will lead the family across this terrible ocean of life and death

I wanna know what Love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what Love is
I know (that) you can show me

Source: http://krishnadas.com/lyrics/sri-argala-stotram-selected-verses-show-me-love/

(1) Source: http://greenmesg.org/mantras_slokas/devi_durga-argala_stotram.php

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