: , ) or Chandika
() is the supreme Goddess of Devi Mahatmya
(Sanskrit: Devīmāhātmyam, देवीमाहात्म्यम्) also known as Chandi
or Durga Sapthashati
. Chandi is described as the Supreme reality who is a combination of Mahakali
, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati. Later in the Murti Rahasya she is described as Maha Lakshmi with eighteen arms (Ashtadasa Bhuja Mahalakshmi
) bearing weapons.
or is the name by which the Supreme Goddessis referred to in Devi Mahatmya. According to Coburn, " is "theviolent and impetuous one". In the light of the primacy of thisdesignation of the goddess, it is striking that the word hasvirtually no earlier history in Sanskrit. There are no instances of itsoccurrence in the Vedic literature we have surveyed. The epics aresimilarly barren: neither the Ramayana nor the Mahabharata give evidenceof the epithet
, although in one of the hymns inserted in the latter and are applied to the deity they praised."
The reason for the absence of the name Chandi in any ancient Sanskrit work is because of the deity belonging to the non-Sanskrit or non-brahminical tradition of Hinduism, and originates in Bengal
as a non-aryan tribal deity, which is further explained below.
The designation of Chandi or Chandika is used twenty-nine times in the Devi Mahatmya, which is agreed by many scholars to have had originated in Bengal, the... Read More