Durga Saptashati / Chandi Path Parayana Procedure

Devi Mahatmyam (Durga Saptashati or Chandi Path) is a powerful text dedicated to Goddess Shakti. The reading procedure of Devi Saptashati is given here in detail version. Many devotees are confused on how to recite this powerful text – on which day, which adhyaya (chapter) needs to be chanted..

There are two methods to start reading Devi Mahatmyam –

Trayangam – is a method in which we need to chant three prayers – Devi Kavacham, Argala Stotram and Devi Keelakam followed by Navakshari Mantram.
Navangam. – is a method for which nine prayers are recited prior of starting reading the book. Navangam stotrams are: Devi Nyasa, Devi Avahana, Devi Namani, Argala Stotram, Keelaka Stotram, Devi Hrudaya, Dhala, Devi Dhyana and Devi Kavacha.

As per the prescribed methods in ancient scriptures, Devi Mahatmya should be read in one sitting. After finishing the recital of Devi Mahatmya, one should chant the

Devi Suktam (slokas 7 to 36 of Chapter 8).

Devi Saptashati Parayana is done in 3 days & 7 days

Apart from one sitting recital, devotees read Devi mahatmya for three consecutive days:

Prathama Charitra or 1st Chapter on first day,

Madhyama Charitra (2, 3, 4 chapters) on 2nd day, and

Uttama Charitra (5-13 chapters) on third day.

Some devotees also read Devi Mahatmya in 7 days.

1st Chapter on first day,

2-3 chapters on 2nd day,

4th chapter on 3rd day,

5-8 chapters on 4th day,

9-10 chapters on 5th day,

11th chapter on 6th day and

12-13 chapters on 7th day.

Each chapter should be read in single sitting. Due to any reason, Parayana is stopped in between a chapter; the whole chapter should be read again. The order of reciting Durga Saptashati Parayana daily is: Trayanga Mantra, Devi Mahatmya text followed by Devi Suktam.

Many devotees read Durga Saptashati during Navratri Durga Puja 9/10 days.. Here is the procedure to read Devi Mahatmyam during Navratri

1st day: Chapter 1 (Madhu kaitabha samhaaram)

2nd day: Chapter 2, 3 and 4 (Mahishhasura samhaara)

3rd day: Chapter 5 and 6 (Dhuumralochana vadha)

4th day: Chapter 7 (Chanda Munda vadha)

5th day: Chapter 8 (Rakta biija samhaara)

6th day: Chapter 9 and 10 (Shumbha Nishumbha vadha)

7th day: Chapter 11 (Praise of Narayani)

8th day: Chapter 12 (Phalastuti – reciting merits or benefits)

9th day: Chapter 13 (Blessings to Suratha and the Merchant)

10th day: Chapter 14 (Aparadha Kshamaprarthana) on 10th day

You can also complete the recital on 9th day by chanting Devi Aparadha Kshama Prarthana Stotram on 9th day itself. You should read Siddha Kunjika Stotram after completing the recital of every chapter.

Another tradition chants it in the following procedure:

1. sapoddhara and utkilana

2. kavacham

3. argala stotra

4. kilakam

5. navakshari japam

6. vedoktamratri suktam

7. devl mahatmyam

8. navaksari japam

9. rgvedoktam devl suktam

10. kunjika stotram

11. ksama prarthana


Rashi and Profession


Govt. job, Police, Military Service, Fire Service, Sports, Engineeringindustry, Iron factory, boiler plant, brick chamber, pottery work, mining,surgeon, arm manufacturing, cooking, agriculture, trade union leader


Jewelry business, cattle shed, money lending, commission agent,financial institutions, handicrafts, fancy articles, scented materials, fivestar hotels, flower merchants, fruit juice shop, drama, cinema, music,poet, story writer, singer, treasury.


Information and broad casting, space dept., education dept. P & T,Telephone, book publishing , mathematics dept, accountants, auditors,law and order councilor, ambassador


Export and Import, shipping, transport dept., agriculture, grocery shop,medical shop, milk booth, vegetable shop, pearl merchant, hotelbusiness, distillery, mineral water selling,


Govt.Job, Politics, Administrator, Social Services, Charitableinstitutions, Engineering Industry


Auditing, Accounting, Business, Teacher, writer, retail shops


Jewelry shop, fancy shop, handicrafts, perfume shop, cloth merchant,money lending, commission agents, bank, Life insurance , law dept.,hotel business, bar and Restaurant, Dancing Hall, Beauty parlor,Music, Dance , Cinema


Iron Industries, Engineering Industry, Mining, Agriculture, ElectricityDept, Metal industry, Instrument Manufacturing, precision developmentorganization, raw materials, priest, astrology, mantra and tantra, occultpractices


Forest dept, saw mills, wood merchant, bank, law dept, temple,financial institutions, education dept, ordnance depot, military trainingdept, social service, charitable institutions.


Hotels, food products, manure and pesticide selling, oil merchant,mining, dealing with spare parts and old articles, hardware shop,leather business, building work, Granite stone and sand business,porters, coolies, drivers, shoe polishing, shoe makers.


Psychology, Astrology, Philosophy, Religion, Teaching, Research andDevelopment, Consultancy, Administration, Oil and Natural GasCompanies, Air Service, Space Dept., Defence service, Fire Service,Jail Dept., Bomb manufacturing, tourist guide, central excise dept,butcher shop, CBI Dept.


Education Dept, Religious Institutions, Medicine, Financial institution,Law Dept, External Affairs, Bank, Navy, shipping, temple worker, priest

Ratri Sukta

A hymn that readily dissolves all the popular notions of any conflict between the Vedas and the Tantras, that Ratri, invoked in the Vedas, is the very same as Kaali, who is recognized as being one and the same as the Supreme Absolute Brahman in the Tantras. The Rig Veda is accorded primacy among the four Vedas.  Ratri Suktam also known as Vanadurga Suktam is the 5th Chapter in Purva Bhaga of Devi Mahatmyam while Pauranika Ratri Suktam a selection of Devi Stuti from Chapter 1 of Devi Mahatmyam is chanted in lieu of Ratri Suktam.

RIG VEDA 10:127:1-8.

[om] raatree vyakhyadaayatee purutraa devyakshabhih |
vishvaa adhi shriyo‐dhita || 1 ||

raatree – referred to divine mother Ratri (same as the description of Kaali),

may you, who are the original primordial darkness, both the source and Final destination of all, omnipresent, controller of bondage and liberation alike, come forth to save us — may your presence, effulgent, right within us, be awakened now through spiritual realization. Auspicious protectress of all, you see and pervade your entire creation, reigning everywhere, over everything, in all your glory.

orvapraa amartyaa nivato devyudvatah
jyotishaaba adhate tamah (2)
Eternal divine mother, you fill the vast celestial regions, and the earth. May you dispel all the ignorance of our embodied souls through your divine effulgence, the light of Truth.

niru svasaaramaskritoshasam devyaayatee
apedu haasate tamah (3)
Divine Mother, you alone can bring forth the dawn of the highest liberating knowledge to dispel all the darkness of our ignorance.

saa no adya yasyaa vayam ni te yaamannavikshmahi
vrikshe na vasatim vayah (4)
May you compassionately give us refuge from your own as‐if‐endless movements, bringing us home instead to rest in you, just as at nigh me, a bird re‐enters its nest upon a tree.

ni graamaaso avikshata ni padvanto ni pakshinah
ni shyenaasashchidarthinah (5)
For all of humankind, for animals who traverse by foot, and for birds who fly in the air — even for the ambitious hawk — your rest, liberation, is the only true object, of our desperate search.

yaavayaa vrikyam vrikam yavaya stenamoormye
athaa nah sutaraa bhava (6)
Drive away the she‐wolves of confusion and the he‐wolves of egotism, the thieves — hunger, thirst, delusion, grief, decay, and death. Then, certainly, we will cross safely, to the other side.

upa maa pepisha amah krishnam vyaktamasthita
usha rineva yaataya (7)
Divine Mother, do not subject us anymore to this dark ignorance that has enveloped us. Please forgive our many debts, and come to us now instead as the dawning light.

upa te gaa ivaakaram vrineeshva duhitardivah
raatri stomam na jigyushe (8)
O Divine Mother Ratri (Kaali), expression of the heavens — you are the milk‐giving cow, the source of Illumination. Please accept this, our prayer to You — and grant us Victory!

TANTROKTAM RATRISUKTAM : Praise of the Goddess Night Revealed in the Tantra, from the Devi Mahatmyam of Markendeya Purana.

Om Viśveśvarīṃ jagadhātrīṃ sthitisamhārakārinīṃ
Nidrāṃ Bhagavatīṃ Viṣṇoratulāṃ tejasaḥ prabhuḥ (1)
I worship the Goddess controlling this universe, the support of this world, maintainer and destroyer. The beneficial sleep, the incomparable splendor and authority of Vishnu.

Tvaṃ Svāhā tvaṃ Svadhā tvaṃ hi vaṣaṭkāraḥ svarātmikā; Sudhā tvamakṣare nitye tridhā mātrātmikā sthitā (2)
O Devi, you are Svaha, Svadha, Vashatkar. The Svara are a form of yours only. You are the nectar giving life. You are present in the form of the three matras A, U and M of the indestructible syllable AUM.

Ardhamātrāsthitā nityā yānuccāryā viśeṣataḥ
Tvameva sandhyā sāvitrī tvaṃ devī jananī parā (3)
You are the unpronounceable half matra at the end of AUM. You are Sandhya, Savitri, O Devi, you are the original Mother.

Tvayai tadhāryate viśvaṃ tvayai tat sṛjyate jagat
Tvayaitat pālyate devi tvamatsyante ca sarvadā (4)
You are supporting this Universe, you create this World, you sustain this World. At the end of the Universe, you absorb everything in yourself.

Visṛṣṭau sṛṣṭi rūpā tvam sthiti rūpā ca pālane
Tathā saṃhṛti rūpānte jagato’sya jaganmaye (5)
At the time of generation of this World you are Srushti – the Creation, while the world continues to exist you are Sthiti – its stability, and at the time of Dissolution you are Samhriti – the Destroyer.

Mahāvidyā mahāmāyā mahāmedhā mahāsmṛtiḥ
Mahāmohā ca bhavatī Mahādevī Mahāsurī.(6)
You are the ultimate knowledge, illusion, intelligence, memory, ignorance, goddess and controller.

Prakṛtis tvaṃ ca sarvasya guṇa traya vibhāvinī
Kālarātrir Mahārātrir Moharātriśca dāruṇā (7)
You are the Prakriti – the Fundamental material – which creates the three Gunas – the properties. You are three kinds of Night – Time, the Fundamental and Ignorance.

Tvaṃ Śrīs tvam Īśvarī tvaṃ Hrīstvaṃ buddhir bodha lakṣaṇā
Lajjā puṣṭistathā tuṣṭis tvaṃ śāntiḥ kṣāntireva ca (8)
You are Shri – the Wealth, Ishvari – the controller, Hri – modesty, and intelligence in the form of perceptions. You are bashfulness, enrichment, satisfaction, peace and forgiveness.

Khaṅginī śūlinī ghorā gadinī cakriṇī tathā
Śaṅkhinī cāpinī bāṇa bhuśuṇḍī paridhāyudhā (9)
You have these different forms of representations.

Saumyā saumya tarā śeṣa saumyebhyastvati sundarī
Parāparāṇāṃ paramā tvameva Parameśvarī (10)
You are beauty and more beauty. You are most beautiful amongst all the Saumya things. You are Parameshvari, the Supreme Goddess, beyond the things near and far.

Yacca kiñcit kvacidvastu sadasadvākhilātmike
Tasya sarvasya yā śaktiḥ sā tvaṃ kiṃ stūyase tadā (11)
Om Omnipresent Devi, whatever things are really there or not there, and whatever is their ability, you are verily that. Under this condition, how can we prayer to you?

Yayā tvayā jagat sraṣṭā jagat pātyatti yo jagat
So-pi nidrā vaśaṃ nitaḥ kastvāṃ stotumiheśvaraḥ (12)
You have put to sleep even Vishnu, who creates, maintains and destroys this World, under that condition, who is able to pray to you.

Viṣṇuḥ śarira grahaṇa Mahamīśāna eva ca
Kāritāste yato’tastvāṃ kaḥ stotuṃ śaktimān bhavet (13)
You have given a body (or a form) to myself, Lord Vishnu and Lord Mahadeva, so who has the ability to pray to you?

Sā tvamitthaṃ prabhāvaiḥ svairudārair devi samstutā
Mohayaitau durādharṣā vasurau madhu kaiṭabhau (14)
O Devi, you are praised due to your beneficial abilities. Please put these Asuras, Madhu and Kaitabha, difficult to battle with, under your spell.

Pradbodhaṃ ca jagat svāmī nīyatā macyuto laghu
Bodhaśca kriya tāmasya hantu metau mahāsurau (15)
Please awaken Vishnu and inspire him to destroy these two mighty demons (representing name and form).

Om Namaś Chaṇḍikāyai. Om, I bow to the Goddess Chaṇḍikā.

|| shrI rAja rAjeshvarI aShTottara shata nAmAvaLi ||

Om shrI bhuvaneshvaryai namaH

Om rAjeshvaryai namaH

Om rAja rAjeshvaryai namaH

Om kAmeshvaryai namaH

Om bAlA tripura sundaryai namaH

Om sarvaishvaryai namaH

Om kalyANaishvaryai namaH

Om sarva saMkshobhinyai namaH

Om sarva loka sharIriNyai namaH

Om sougamdhikamiladveshatyai namaH *

Om mantriNyai namaH

Om mantra rUpiNyai namaH

Om prakRRityai namaH

Om vikRRityai namaH

Om AdityAyai namaH

Om soubhAgyavatyai namaH

Om padmAvatyai namaH

Om bhagavatyai namaH

Om shrImatyai namaH

Om satyavatyai namaH

Om priyakRRityai namaH

Om mAyAyai namaH

Om sarva maMgaLAyai namaH

Om sarva loka mohanAdhIshanyai namaH *

Om kimkarI bhUta gIrvANyai namaH *

Om parabrahma svarUpiNyai namaH

Om puraNA.agama rUpiNyai namaH

Om paMcha praNava rUpiNyai namaH

Om sarva graha rUpiNyai namaH

Om rakta gandha kastUrI vilepanyai namaH

Om nAyakyai namaH

Om sharaNyAyai namaH

Om nikhila vidyeshvaryai namaH

Om janeshvaryai namaH

Om bhUteshvaryai namaH

Om sarva sAkshiNyai namaH

Om kshema kAriNyai namaH

Om puNyAyai namaH

Om sarva rakshiNyai namaH

Om sakala dhAriNyai namaH

Om vishva kAriNyai namaH

Om sura muni deva nutAyai namaH

Om sarva lokArAdhyAyai namaH

Om padmasanAsInAyai namaH

Om yogIshvara mano dhyeyAyai namaH

Om chatur bhujAyai namaH

Om sarvArtha sAdhanAdIshAyai namaH

Om pUrvAyai namaH

Om nityAyai namaH

Om paramAnandAyai namaH

Om kalAyai namaH

Om anaghAyai namaH

Om vasundharAyai namaH

Om shubha pradAyai namaH

Om trikAla GYAna saMpannAyai namaH

Om pItAmbara dharAyai namaH

Om anantyai namaH

Om bhakta vatsalAyai namaH

Om pada padmAyai namaH *

Om jagat kAriNyai namaH

Om avyayAyai namaH

Om lIlA.amAnuSha vigrahAyai namaH

Om sarva mAyAyai namaH

Om mRRityu~njayAyai namaH

Om koTi sUrya sama prabhAyai namaH

Om pavitrAyai namaH

Om prANa dAyai namaH

Om vimalAyai namaH

Om mahA bhUShAyai namaH

Om sarva bhUta hita pradAyai namaH

Om padmAlayAyai namaH

Om sudhAyai namaH

Om svamgAyai namaH *

Om padma rAga kIrtanyai namaH *

Om sarva pApa vinAshinyai namaH

Om sakala saMpat pradAyinyai namaH

Om padma gandhinyai namaH

Om sarva vighnakesha dhvamsinyai namaH *

Om hema mAlinyai namaH

Om vishva mUrtyai namaH

Om agni kalpAyai namaH

Om puNDarIkAkshiNyai namaH

Om mahA shakyAyai namaH

Om budhAyai namaH

Om bhUteshvaryai namaH

Om adRRishyAyai namaH

Om shubhekshaNAyai namaH

Om sarva dharmiNyai namaH

Om prANAyai namaH

Om shreShTAyai namaH

Om shAntAyai namaH

Om tattyAyai namaH

Om sarva jananyai namaH

Om sarva loka vAsinyai namaH

Om kaivalya rekhAvalyai namaH *

Om bhakta poShaNa vinodinyai namaH

Om dAridrya nAshinyai namaH

Om sarvopadra vAriNyai namaH

Om saMvidAnanda laharyai namaH

Om chaturdashAnta koNasthAyai namaH

Om sarvAtmyai namaH

Om satya vAkyAyai namaH

Om nyAyAyai namaH

Om dhana dhAnya nidhyai namaH

Om kAya kRRityai namaH *

Om ananta jityai namaH *

Om sthirAyai namaH

|| iti shrI rAja rAjeshvarI aShTottara shata nAmAvaLi sampUrNam |


A kaala starts at 6 in the morning no matter what time the sun rises. The day is split into 16 kalas, 8 during the day and 8 at night. The kaalas last 1½ hours, which makes exactly 12 hours in each part of the day and night all year round and in every place. The first kaala starts with the day lord and continues around the kalachakra in a clockwise manner. So if the day is  Monday, the first kaala is ruled by Moon (6 to 7:30). The next kaala would be of Rahu from 7:30 to 9:00. I have made a chart to simplify this, but it can easily be calculated by remembering the order of the planets on the kalachakra. The best time to do a weekly puja to a planet are on the day of the sign lord at the kaala of the planet. So in your horoscope if you have chandra in mesha, the best time your Chandra Puja is On tuesday at Moon Kaala (1:30-3:00). If Jupiter is in Capricorn then weekly Guru puja/upaya can be done on Saturday at 1:30 to 3:00. The timing can even get more specific if the day and night signs are taken into account. If Venus is in the Mercury’s night sign, Gemini, then the Upaya is best done Wednesday night at 7:30 to 9pm. If Venus was in Virgo, Mercury’s day sign then it would be better to do the puja Wednesday morning at 7:30 to 9am. This can be followed in many cases except when the time is late in the night. For example, Mars in Sagittarius would have its best time on Thursday night at 3 to 4:30am.

Say you have to worship Surya devata on Shasti or Chaturdasi – these are auspicious because they are tithis ruled by its kalachakra opposite likewise worshipping the chandra on Panchami and Trayodashi is auspicious because these tithis are ruled by the chandra’s opposite, Guru.

Guru upaya is most powerful on a thursday, but again if that thursday falls on a dwitiya or a dashami its considered the best, especially when thursday falls on a dashami its called Sudasa vrata, which means the su (good) dasa (time period) begins and the dur (bad) dasa ends.

Worship of budha [mercury] is auspicious on ashtami and amavasya to destroy remove the evil effects of Rahu. When wednesday falls on an ashtami it is called Buddhastami. These days are used when a certain upaya like a single puja is advised to remove the ill effects of a planet.

Kavacha, Argala and Keelakam – An overview

The three – Kavacha, Argala and Keelakam are considered integral part of the Chandipaath. This is because the sadhana is designed along the guidelines of ShaktA tradition.

The core 700 verses of the main text can awaken Shakti in a very furious and volatile manner which can be too overwhelming or at times dangerous or raw for a seeker to handle. Hence the need for Kavacha – in order to protect against any disturbance. Another thing that every sincere seeker will face are interaction with various forces whose only aim of existence – their own peculiar dharma – is to break the sadhana at any cost. They can use weaknesses within and without the seeker to serve their own ends.

Then the Argala – bolt – asking for a particular form of intervention of that Shakti in the seeker’s life. Remember that our scriptures talk not only of Moksha but also Dharma, Artha and Kama. The untempered Shakti of the Chandipaath can be too daunting unless one has gone beyond ALL desires. But since most are yet to reach that stage, hence the Argala is a process of asking that Powerful and Divine Shakti to work in a specific manner
to help the seeker. Shakti – uncontrolled – is like a sword that can cut through anything and everything, good or bad. Dharma/adharma makes little difference. Hence the best Shaktiman is one who is in perfect detachment, at all times, unwavering steadiness of mind and chitta.

Then comes the Keelakam. This is a crucial part of the Tantric process. The seeker is trying to fix the energy of the mantras into a specific areas instead of letting it scatter. All these are necessary at the initial stages of awakening Shakti. Unless the Shakti is tied to a place, it will take a huge amount of time to build up to a reasonable strength. So that is why these three were/are considered crucial part of the Chandipaath.


मननात्‌ त्रायते इति मंत्र:  – The word mantra is derived from the root word “man” which means    to meditate – to bringing concentration to one’s mind and trayate means to protect.  The mantra, to explain in simple terms means – which protects the person that meditates.

Mantra doesn’t mean just a  collection of letters , a phrase or a word.  It is indeed a spiritual formula which when repeated silently in the mind has to capacity to transform consciousness and assists in   vanquishing of obstacles.  It means guhyabhashane – because it involves, invoking a deity for a specific cause, acquiring guhya artha , acquiring knowledge about homa and yagna etc.

The mantra is most effective when repeated silently in the mind you should not chant it out aloud.  It need not require any fixed time or place or any special equipments.  Repeat your mantra silently when ever you get a chance from your busy schedules.  The mantra can be recited when you are worried, nervous , resentful, it works to steady your mind and all these emotions that run against you will stop getting effective.  The key is to keep the mantra simple, chant silently and with concentration.

How to select a mantra effectively?

Take your time, select the mantra that appeals to you the most, different forms of Ganesha have different mantras.  Every one is attracted to a different forms of Ganesha, select the mantra of that form that appeals to you, if you don’t know the mantra even the name of that form of Ganesha will do.

Understanding a Mantra:

The akshara or the letters in a mantra constitute its body and the Om at its beginning, is the head of the mantra.  Every mantra has  principally been divided into  five parts.   These are

  •  Rishi   
  •  Chandas  
  • Devata
  •  Bija
  •  Sakti

and finally the most important is the sixth part called Kilaka, which means a wedge or a clue to a mystical puzzle. The Guru gives the kilak of the mantra.  When a Kilaka or the lock is present inside the mantra it prevents the mantra from opening up and fructifying.

When a sage creates a mantra along with a precondition that ‘without the pronunciation of a particular word prior to the mantra, the practice of the mantra will not be fruitful’, then the mere chanting of the mantra does not prove to be of any avail such a word is termed as a kilak of a mantra.  Only by destroying the relationship of that word with the mantra is called nishkilan or utkilan. However, only spiritually evolved persons can give guidance to this effect.

Mantras are classified into

1)  Dharma Mantra  – These develop a sense of life purpose along with skills, power and knowledge.

2)  Artha Mantra – Develop prosperity and helps in reaching our material goals

3)  Kama Mantra –  Helps in obtaining our desires, wishes, happiness

4) Moksha Mantra – Helps in obtaining liberation

5) Arogya Mantra – Helps in well being of the body and mind.   Counter diseases and promotes longevity

Mantras and guna

  • Satvika Guna – For moksha
  • Rajasika Guna – For achievement of wealth, career, goals,power
  • Tamasic Guna – For harming someone, for vashikarana.

Mantras may be male, female or neutral. Female mantras are called Vidyas  while solar and neuter forms are called mantras. Mantras are only such if they were first revealed by a rishi or seer. Only then do they have life, according to the tradition. A mantra can only work if it is received from a guru who has, herself or himself, received it in an unbroken line from its first rishi. There are, however, exceptions to this, according to some tantras which prescribe methods of purification for mantras received in dream. And, according to Mahachinachara, the Kali mantra does not rely on the very elaborate rules usually found in the Tantras.

The bija mantra Shreem is described as Vishnupriya – the beloved of Vishnu – that is Lakshmi, according to the Uddhara Kosha.  Sha means Maha Lakshmi, Ra means wealth, Ee is contentment.

The syllable Hrim is called the Maya bija. It is also Raudri, according to the Bhutadamara. The Uddhara Kosha describes it as the Para or supreme bija.  Ha means Siva, Ra is prakriti, Ee means Mahamaya. This is the beej mantra for Mahamaya.

The bija mantra Krim is described as the pitribhuvasini, that is the goddess who dwells in the ancestral or cremation ground, Kali. It is also the dravana and kledana bija.  Ka is Kali, Ra is Brahman, and Ee is Mahamaya.

Gam: This is the Ganesh beej. Ga means Ganesh and bindu is the dispeller of sorrow.

Hum with the long letter ‘u’ is called the Kurcha bija and is the mantra of the Mother worshiped by heroes (viras). The Bhutadamara also describes it as the mantra of Mahakala. Ha is Siva and U is Bhairava. Hum (with the short letter ‘u’) is called the Kavacha or armour bija. It is the bija of Chandabhairavi.

Aim is called Vagbhava bija and is the syllable of Sarasvati, according to the Bhutadamara.

Phat is the bija of the great fire at the end of time (Pralayagnirmahajvala).

Krom is called the Krodhisha bija. Svaha, otherwise known as Thah Thah, is Vahnijaya, representing the fire sacrifice.

Klim is the deluder of the three worlds bija, also known as Kama or Manmatha,  Kamabija. Ka means Kamadeva, the lord of desire; it also means Lord Krishna. La means Indra and Ee means contentment or satisfaction.

 The bija Hrum (with long letter ‘u’) is the single syllable mantra of Kalaratri, the great night of time. The same bija, but with a short letter ‘u’, is the mantra of Vaivasvata.  Haum: In this mantra, Ha is Shiva and Au is Sadashiva. The nada and bindu mean that which dispels sorrow. This is the beej mantra for worshipping Shiva.

Kshraum: This is the beej of Narasimha, a fierce half-man-half-lion incarnation of Vishnu. Ksha is Narasimha, Ra is Brahma, Au means with teeth pointing upwards.

Below is the Matrika Chakra. This, says Ram Kumar Rai in his excellent Encyclopaedia of Yoga, is to be drawn with saffron (kesara) for Shakti worship and with ashes (bhasma) for Shiva worship. It contains all the 51 matrikas and is used in the first of the ten rites to purify a mantra (samskara) after it has been received from a guru. On the petals of the yantra are the consonants while the vowels are in the eight spokes. In the centre is the syllable Hsauh while in the cardinal directions is the Bam bija and in the intermediate directions the Tham bija mantra.

Perhaps one of the clearest expositions of the tantrik view of mantra is given in Sir John Woodroffe’s collection of essays, Shakti and Shakta, chapter 24.

The supreme absolute (Parabrahman) exists in the human being (jivatma) as Shabda Brahman, the absolute as sound. Mantras are not prayers and the relationship of the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, whether consonants or vowels, he says, point to the appearance of devata (divinity) in different forms. An uttered mantra is the manifestation of a more subtle sound while mantras themselves are forms of Kundalini. Mantras may be male, female or neutral. Female mantras are called Vidyas.

“By Mantra the sought for (Sadhya) Devata appears, and by Siddhi therein is had vision of the three worlds. As the Mantra is in fact Devata, by practice thereof this is known. Not merely do the rhythmical vibrations of its sound regulate the unsteady vibrations of the sheaths of the worshipper, but therefrom the image of the Devata appears.” (op cit) Mantras are masculine (solar), feminine (lunar) or neuter. A female mantra is called a vidya, which means knowledge, while solar and neuter forms are called mantras. Mantras are only such if they were first revealed by a rishi or seer. Only then do they have life, according to the tradition. A mantra can only work if it is received from a guru who has, herself or himself, received it in an unbroken line from its first rishi. There are, however, exceptions to this, according to some tantras which prescribe methods of purification for mantras received in dream. And, according to Mahachinachara, the Kali  mantra does not rely on the very elaborate rules usually found in the Tantras.

In describing mantras, the different tantrik texts always give their origin or rishi as well as the metre to pronounce them. While a mantra is divinity in sound form, a yantra is the same in geometrical form and an image the devata in gross form. Refer also to the page on Tattvas on the relationship between the consonants and the 36 tattvas.

We all try our best to accomplish nitya puja, use special mantras and rituals in our upasana.   Every devata has a different sadhana procedure.  Many devotees follow the Shodashopchaar puja in which 16 articles are offered , while some don’t  count this in the procedure and instead just offer prayers to the upasana devata.   Instead of concentrating on the shodashapchaar puja, this article will concentrate on other aspects like for example

The asana used  in order to make the physical body free of ailments and gain divine powers. Basically a man acts as a bad conductor and does not allow energy of Mantra chanting from being earthed hence an appropriate asana has to be used. Deer skin, tiger skin, grass, silk, cotton and wool mats are best while torn, burnt, and used mats are prohibited but what is the effects of each material? Deer skin for gain of knowledge, tiger skin for spiritual progress & wealth, and wool for riddance from sorrows and poverty are prescribed in our shastras.  The direction to face also matters and changes as per different sadhana.  Each upasana has a different and specific direction.

Every Upasaka has to understand that each sadhana  has a specific asana like Padamasan, Sukhasan, Siddhasana etc.  The start of the puja [ day and time ] is very important and must be started on the auspicious day and one must be punctual of the time.

The start of the sadhana must be done using a shanka mudra.    Encircle your left thumb with the four fingers of your right hand. Touch the right thumb to the extended middle finger of your left hand. The two hands should look like a conch shell.


There are many types of vratas that a sadhak can take up.

  • Chanting the mantra for about 24000 times which means 27 malas for 9 days and 240 ahutis offered in yagna.
  • Chanting the mantra for about 1.25 lakh times which means 33 malas in 40 days and 1250 ahutis are offered in yagna.
  • Chanting the mantra for about 24 Lakh times which means 66 malas in 1 year and 1/10 ahutis are offered in yagna.

Further references:

Sir John Woodroffe’s collection of essays, Shakti and Shakta