Devi Durga – The Vedic Mother Goddess
Devi Durga is usually considered as a Puranic Goddess. But many theologists and Hindu devotees do not think so. They think Her as a Vedic Goddess. They also think that She is the female form of Param Brahma.
According to them, the forms of Devi Durga, the Mother Goddess, are mentioned in the Devi Suktam and Ratri Suktam of the Rig Veda. I also think so. I would like to present the hymns( Devi Suktam and Ratri Suktam) in favour of it in this article.
Ratri Suktam (8 Slokas) occurs in the Rig Veda, 10th Mandala, 10th Anuvaka, 127th hymn.The seer of this Ratri Suktam is Kushika, Ratri (Kalika) is the deity and the meter of the hymn is Gayatri. It is recited at the beginning of Devi Mahatmyam. Ratri Suktam is a praise of Mother Goddess. It is a description of the power of Mother Goddess and what She can do for Her devotees. She is able to give us everything we desire for. She can remove the obstacles, our enemies, makes us free from all negativities and thus makes our life happy, peaceful and prosperous.
om raatree vyakhya daayatee purutraa devyakshabih
vishvaa adhi shriyo-dhita (i)
Translation: Om. All pervading Goddess of the world, Ratri, manifests everywhere. She has adorned Herself in a splendoured form, that bestows the fruits of the deeds of Jivatmas.
orvapraa amartyaa nivato devyudvatah
jyotishaa baadhate tamah (ii)
Translation: The immortal Goddess, Ratri, has pervaded from upper to lower regions of the world. Darkness is repelled by Her divine Light.
niru svasaara maskritoshasam devyaa yatee
apedu haasate tamah (iii)
Translation: On the arrival of Ratri the light of Her sister, Usha is driven away. But she (Usha) will appear appear again.
saa no adya yasyaa vayam ni te yaamanna vikshmahi
vrikshe na vasatim vayah (iv)
Translation: On Her arrival we go to our abodes as the birds enters their nests. May such Night be beneficial to us.
ni graamaaso avikshata ni padvanto ni pakshinah
ni shyenaa sashchidarthinah (v)
Translation: The rustic people, the animals that walk on legs, or the Shyena birds(birds of prey), all have returned to their abodes.
yaavayaa vrikyam vrikam yavaya stena moormye
athaa nah sutaraa bhava (vi)
Translation: O Goddess, drive away the she-wolf, the wolf and the thief. Allow us to go beyond you (and let there be Usha).
upa maa pepishattamah krishnam vyaktamasthita
usha rineva yaataya (vii)
Translation: The extremely black-coloured darkness has come near me. O Usha, remove this darkness (with your light).
upa te gaa ivaakaram vrimeeshva duhitardivah
raatri stomam na jigyushe (viii)
Translation: O Goddess, this hymn is recited to please you. O Ratri, may this hymn be victorious.
Devi Suktam (8 Slokas) occurs in the Rig Veda,10th Mandala, 10th Anuvaka, 125th hymn. It is recited at the end of Devi Mahatmyam (Markendeya Purana). The meter of the hymn (except the second verse) is Trishtup. The meter of the second verse is Gayatri. The seer of the Devi Suktam is sage Vaak, the daughter of Sage Ambharin.
om aham rudrebhirvasubhiscaramyahamadityairuta visvadevaih
aham mitravaruhobha bibharmyahamindragni ahamasvinobha (i)
Translation: The Rudras, the Vasus, the Adityas and the Vishvadevas are only my diverse maifestations; Both Mitra and Varuṇa, Agni and Indra, and the two Asvins are present in me.
aham somamahanasam bibharmyaham tvastaramuta pusanam bhagam
aham dadhami dravinam havidmate sapravye ye yajamanaya sunvate (ii)
Translation: The foe-destroying Somadeva, Tvasta, Pusa and Bhaga are present in me; I bestow wealth upon my devotees who offer the oblation (havis) in the sacrificial fire for the gods.
aham raṣtri sangamani vasunam cikitusi prathama yajniyanam
tam ma deva vyadadhuh purutra bhuri̍sthatram bhuryyavesayantim(iii)
Translation: I am the sovereign queen of the whole universe, the giver of wealth. Knowing Brahma, I am the first among those for whom Yajna is performed. I am worshipped in many places or in all parts of the universe.
maya so annamatti yo vipasyati yah praniti ya im srnotyuktam
amantavomanta upaksiyanti srudhi srutam sraddhivam te vadami(iv)
Translation: Everyone’s food, sight, hearing, living and whatever is said are possible only through my strength. He who does not know me, becomes poor, inferior and weak. O dear one! listen to me, I am telling you about the absolute thing that is gained by respect and devotion.
ahameva svayamidam vadami justam devebhiruta manusebhih
yam kamaye tam tamugram krnomi tam brahmanam tamrsim tam sumedham(v)
Translation: I have explained this absolute knowledge of the Supreme Brahman which is revered both by men and gods. If I like someone (for his devotion towards me), I make him the greatest, the most intelligent as a sage, and as a self-realised soul.
aham rudraya dhanuratanomi brahmadvise sarave hanta va u ।
aham janaya samadam krnomyaham dyavaprthivi avivesa(vi)
Translation: In order to kill the Brahma-hating persons, I am the one who bend the bow of Rudra to fasten string at its ends. I fight the enemies of the righteous and defeat them.I am known as Antaryamini (Omniscient) in the Heaven and earth.
aham suve pitaramasya murdhan mama yonirapsvantaḥ samudre
tato viti̍sthe bhuvananu visvotamum dyam varsmanopa sprsami(vii)
Translation: I give birth to the heaven on the surface of this earth. My creativity (power) is within the cosmic Ocean and waters, where all beings appear and disappear. I pervade through all beings and I have always touched the worlds with my own Maya.
ahameva vata iva pravamya-rabhamana bhuvanani visva
paro divapara ena pṛthivyai-tavati mahina sambabhuva(viii)
Translation: As the wind blows by itself, I do all the work of Panchabhuta independently. I exist idifferently beyond the space and time.