|18 Worship of Swaha, Swadha, Dakshina, Shashthi, Mangala Chandi and Manasa|
At the time of Srishti, Devas approached Brahma to formalise an arrangement of their food. As Brahma requested Vishnu, the latter materialised an ‘Amsha’ in the form of ‘Yagna’and which ever ‘havishyas’ (oblations) were made to Agni by Brahma were transferred to Devas. But the offerings made by Brahmanas, Kshatriyas etc. never reached to Devas. As Brahma requested Shri Krishna to sort out the problem, the latter desired Mula Prakriti to release one of her ‘Kalas’ or features and Prakriti materialised the Dahika Shakti of Agni in the form of Swaha Devi. Brahma suggested Swaha Devi to marry Agni Deva, but she was reluctant to do so as her intense desire was to wed Shri Krishna and none else; she performed severe Tapasya and Shri Krishna advised her to marry Agni Deva for the time being and wait till the end of Varaha Kalpa when she would be be reborn as Devi Nagnajiti, the daughter of King Nagnajit. As advised, Swaha Devi married Agni and gave birth to three famous sons named ‘Dakshinaagni’, ‘Garhapatyagni’ and ‘Ahavaneeyaagni.’ Meanwhile, Rishis, Munis, Brahmanas, Kshatriyas etc. came to practise the pronounciation of Swaha Mantra and lasting arrangement of food for Devas had been made eversince. In fact, those ‘havishyas’ / ‘Ahutis’ made to Agni without the Swaha Mantra is like a snake without poison, a Brahmana without the knowledge of Veda, a woman who has to devotion to her husband, a person without ‘Vidya’(education) and a tree which does not bear fruits. Worship of Swaha Devi thus continued with the Mula Mantra: Om Hreem Shreem Vahnijaayai Devyai Swaha and formal puja with Shodashopachaaraas or the Sixteen Services The Sixteen Sacred names of Swaha Devi are as follows: Swaha, Aadyaa, Prakrutyamsha, Mantratantranga Rupini, Mantraphaladaatri, Jagaddhaatri, Sati, Siddhiswarupa, Siddha, Sadaa Nrunaam Siddhidaa, Hutaashaadaahikaa Shakti, Hutaashaa Praanaa-dhika Rupini, Samsaara saararupa, Ghora samsaara taarini, Deva jeevana rupa and Devaposhana kaarini. Recital of these names would bestow Siddhis; the persons concerned are also shielded against Anga heenata, Bharyaa heenata and Putra heenata (physical disablity, dearth of wife or deficiency of progeny respectively).
Swadha Devi is an enricher of ‘Pitru Trupti’ and ‘Shraddhaas’. At the time of Srishti, Brahma created seven Pitaras (Kardama, Pulaha, Kulah, Bhrigu, Bharadwaja, Marichi and Angira) and their descendants of whom four were ‘Murtimaans’ (with Form) and three in the form of ‘Tejas’.The daily duties of Brahmanas include Trikaala Sandhya, Shraaddha, Tarpana, Balivaishwa Deva, and Veda Pathana. Also ‘Tarpanaanta Snaana, Shraddha paryanta Pujana and Trikaala Sandhyaanta Ahnika Karma are the duties as prescribed by ‘Shrutis’.Brahma stipulated ‘Shraddha Vidhana’/ procedure including the material to be used etc. but the food oblations to Pitrus by Brahmanas never reached them properly and the Pitras complained to Brahma and as in the case of Swaha Devi, Mula Prakriti manifested from one of her Amshas another Devi Swadha like white Champaka with the features of Vidya, Guna, Buddhi and Shuddhi or Knowledge, Characteristics, Temperament and Purity respectively similar to Lakshmi Devi. Brahma declared Swadha Devi as the wife of Pitras, just as Swaha Devi in the case of Agni. In respect of ‘Vastu daana’and offerings to Devatas at Yagnas / Homas through Agni Deva, the Mantra suffix Swaha is to be recited, offerings to Pitras are to be suffixed with the Mantra viz. Swadhaana. Here again, offerings to Pitras by way of Tarpanas and Shraddhaas are invalid without the suffix Mantra viz. Swadhaana. Swadhaa Swadhaa Swadheytyevam Trisandhyam yah pathennarah, Priyaam vineetaam sa labhet Saddhvi putrah gunaanvitam, Pitruunaam Pranatulyaa twam Dwija jeevana rupini, Shradhhadhishthaatru Devi cha Shraddhaadeenaam phalapradaa/ (Those who recite the Sacred name of ‘Swadha, Swadha, Swadha’ at the time of Trikaala Sandhya would be bestowed with a loving and loyal wife as also well behaved children. Devi! You are the ‘Prana Tulya’ to Pitaras and the ‘Jeevana Swarupa’ of Brahmanas, being the ‘Adhishthaatri’of ‘Shraaddhas’; it is through your kindness that Shraddhas and Tarpanas become successful. You provide ‘Tushti’ (satisfaction) to Pitras, Preeti (fulfilment) to Dwijas and ‘Abhivruddhi’ to ‘Grihastis’or house-holders). Maharshi Narayana further advised Sage Narada about the Mula Mantra of Swadha Devi viz. Om Hreem Shreem Kleem Swadhaa Devyai Swahaa. After invoking the Devi with the Mantra, Brahmanas perform Puja, Stuti and prostration to seek the blessings of Pitru Devas.
Maharshi Narayana narrated to Narada about the background of Gopika Susheela of Rasamandali of Goloka. She was deeply desirous of Shri Krishna and Devi Radha was annoyed and asked Susheela to leave Goloka. Almost instantly Shri Krishna disappeared and Devi Radha was confused and prayed to him saying that despite her being with him for long, she could not overcome the temperament of a woman. As though he pardoned Devi Radha, Shri Krishna re-appeared at Goloka. Meanwhile, Devi Susheela assumed the name of Dakshina Devi and performed harsh Tapasya to Shri Hari and the latter blessed her and handed her over to Brahma who in turn declared her as the wife of Yagna Deva. ‘Phala’ was the son of Dakshina and Yagna. Besides Yagnas, any Sacred Karya-be it a Vrata, a Mangala charya, a devotional task of any description needs to be rewarded as Dakshina to Brahmanas concerned immediately; other wise the Punya Karma is stated to be a futile exercise and gets registered as an enrty into the stomach of ‘Bali’! Dakshina Devi is stated to have materialised from the right shoulder of Devi Lakshmi as an important ‘Kala’ (feature) and is a formaliser and the fulfilling agent of any Punya Karya! Worship to Dakshina Devi by way of Dhyana by the Mula Mantra - Om Shreem Kleem Hreem Dakshinayai Swaha-followed by Padya, Arghya, Naivedya etc. would grant Vidya to Vidyaheen, Dhan to Dhanaheen, Bhumi to Bhumiheen, Bharya to Bharyaheen, Putra to Putraheen etc. Those who face difficulties, dangers and complexities would be freed by reciting the Mula Mantra for a month and the beneficial results would be sure to folllow.
Shashthi Devi is a Matrika Devi called Devasena, the consort of Kartika and is also known as ‘Balada’ and ‘Vishnu Maya’. Her natural characteristic is to provide shield to children by way of security, development, intelligence, good health, happiness and long-life. King Priyavrata, the illustrious son of Swayambhu Manu by deftly divided the World into Sapta Dwipas performed a tough Yagna to secure a son. When his wife got pregnant, the King was delighted and anxiously awaited the birth of a son, but alas his wife delivered a still child. The King took the dead child to the cremation ground, cremated him and desired to take away his life too. All of a sudden, there was a flood of light and a Devi appeared who said that she was Shashthi, the wife of Kartikeya also called Devasena, the Manasa Kanya of Brahma Deva and a Matrika born out of the sixth Amsha of Prakriti Devi. She revived the dead boy to life and commanded him that he should perform worship to her as also popularise her puja among his subjects, that his revived son would be named Suvrata who would perform hundred Ashwamedha Yagnas, and that he would become a Supreme Monarch. King Priyavrata declared Shashthi Puja on the sixth day of every new child, besides observing Shukla Shasthi of every month for her worship. Besides, the twenty first day after each child’s birth would be the day of Nama Karan and again on the day of ‘Annaprashan’too, there would be celebrations in the name of the Devi who indeed was the provider of security and good health to the new-borns throught out their childhood. Devi Shashthi’s worshipped was popularised in each household with the Mula Mantra japa viz. Om Hreem Shashthi Devavyai swaha and formal Puja with Stotra, dhupa, deepa, Naivedya etc. Devi Shashti’s constant puja provides excellent health and Vidya to all the growing children. Also those who have no children would be blessed with good offspring who again are granted growth, health and happiness.
Mangala Chandi literally denotes competent and capable Provider of Auspiciousness. In the Manu Vamsha (Lineage), there was a famous Emperor named Mangala who ruled Sapta Dwipas (Seven Islands). He always prayed to Mangala Chandi of Mula Prakriti’s manifestation of Durga, who was an ‘Ishta Devata’ of women-folk. Mangala Chandi too was of the Amsha of Bhumi who was the mother of Mangala Graha. When Shankara encountered a problem with Tripurasura who felled the aeroplane by which the former was travelling, Bhagavati Durga assured Shankara that Vishnu would take the form of ‘Vrishabha’ (bull) and with her grace would kill Tripurasura. Then Shankara out of gratitude worshipped Durga Devi in the form of Mangala Chandi with the Mula Mantra Om Hreem Shreem Kleem Sarva pujyai Devi Mangala Chandikey Aim Kruum Phat Swaha and worshipped her with Dhyana, Padya, Arghya, Achamana, Vastra, Pushpa, Chandana, Naivedya, Bali, Alamkara, Maala, Pishtaka, Madhu, Sudha and a variety of fruits. Parama Shiva also complemented Mangala Chandi with the Stotra saying: ‘Bhagavati Mangala Chandi! You are destroyer of evils and difficulties providing a full shield and protection to all the Bhaktas. You are the Mangala Daksha, Shubha Mangala Chandika, Mangala, Mangalaarha and Sarva Mangala Mangalya! You are the Mangala Devi of Mangalas and the Epitome of Mangala or Proptiousness. Do grant us of everything that is positive and auspicious! May my prayers in Tuesdays be fruitful and rewarding!’
Mansa Devi is famed Deity who has been the constant fulfiller of genuine wishes of her devotees was the mind-born daughter of Kashyapa Muni. She is addressed by several epithets as ‘Vaishnavi Devi’as the Meditator for Three Yugas and when Parameshwara appeared before her he called her ‘Jaratkaaru’ seeing her torn vastra and emaciated body ; he also blessed her that she would be woshipped as a Deity in Swarga, Brahmaloka, Bhumandala and Paataala; as she was of extreme ‘Goura Varna’ with extraordinary beauty and grace, she came to be called ‘Gagadgouri’; as she was trained in the discipline of devotion by Parama Shiva, she is ‘Shaivi’; since she was the unique devotee of Bhagavan Vishnu, she has been called ‘Vaishnavi’; as she rescued innumerable snakes in the Sarpa Yagna performed by King Janamejaya of Padanvas of Maha Bharata as a retribution against a snake called Daksha killed his father Parikshit, she came to be called ‘Nageswari’ and ‘Nagabhagini’; as she was a destroyer of ‘Visha’(Poison), she came to be named as ‘Vishahaari’; as she secured Yoga Siddhi from Shiva Deva, she is called’Siddha Yogini’; as Shiva bestowed ‘Mrita Sanjeevani Vidya’ or the Mantra Vidhana of reviving the Dead, she got the description of ‘Maha Jnaana Yukta’; she is also called ‘Jaratkaaru Priya’ or the beloved wife of Jaratkaaru Muni and also as ‘Astika Maata’ or mother of Sage Astika. (Jaratkaarur Jagadgouri Manasaa Siddha Yogini, Vaishnavi Naagabhagini Shaivi Nageswari tathaa/ Jaratkaarupriya Astika Maataa Vishaharoticha, MahaaJnaana yuktaa chaiva saa Devi Vishwa -pujitaa/ Dwaadashaitaani nammani pujakaaley tu yah pathet, Tasya Nagabhayam naasti tasya Vamshodbhavasya cha/) If a person is afraid of snakes, or resides in a place where serpents move about or are infested with snakes, recital of the above Stanza would instantly run away from that Place; those who recite the Stotra ten lakh times would attain Naga Siddhi and would become immune from snake bites and his / hers body would be poison-proof . That person could even play with snakes and hang them around their necks! They would also attain Siddhis like Nagasana and Naga Talpa. Mansa Devi’s Mula Mantra is Om Hreem Shreem Kleem Aim Manasa Devyai Swaha/ A devotee who performs worship to her with this Mantra followed by the sixteen services of Dhyana, Pushpa, Gandha, Naivedya etc. especially on Ashadha Sankranti Panchami day -Naga Pachami day- would certainly become Dhanavaan, Putravaan and Kirtimaan.
An incident related to Sadhvi Manasa was that her husband Sage Jaratkaru was resting on her lap one evening and she had to disturb him since it was time to perform Sandhyo -pasana; the Muni cursed her to give birth in a Chandala family but when she gave the reason of disturbing him was known, he tried to curse Surya who said that he had to do his daily duty. When Manasa cried, he lightened the curse that she could meet him any time and blessed that an excellent son of Brahma Gyan, Tapaswi and Vishnu Bhakta would be born; by the grace of Shri Krishna, the Manasa- Jaratkaru were able to meet as and when desired and they gave birth toAstika. Eventually, Deity Surabhi, the Divine Mother of the Vamsa of Cows appeared and bestowed her milk to Manasa and by her grace she attained Swarga Loka!
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