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Worship of Sri Durga Devi in Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition

Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!

 

It is a misconception among many Gaudiya Vaishnavas that worship of Lord Shiva or Devi Durga is prohibited and offensive and not as per our Guru varga teachings . What is actually condemned is the  “independent” worship of Lord Shiva and Devi thinking of them as the Supreme Divinity and asking only for material pleasures.

If one worships them with devotion and respect as an expansion of Lord’s energy along with Lord Himself then there is no harm. Lord Shiva and Devi are famous for granting the required strength and clear all hurdles in the spiritual path of devotees. They will grant whatever is needed by devotees to attain Sri Radha Krishna’s service. As a matter of fact, it is Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who started the Saradiya Durga Pooja mahotsava in Orissa 500 years ago. This is acknowledged by Orissa government as well. 

Ekanti bhakti to Radha Krishna is the highest of all spiritual aspirations and by mercy of Shiv and Shivaa one can attain that. If one condemns their worship or looks down upon their devotees then this is not a Vaishnava quality and such person will certainly fall prey to Maya thus deviating from the original goal . One who has attained deep ekanti bhakti and strength to perform devotion to Radha Krishna shall not worship Shiva and Durga directly but offer respect to them.

Srila Jiva Goswami referred to Devi Durga in his Brahma Samhita commentary as: “Sometimes Goddess Durga is also described as the Supreme Controller. This is also correct because there is no difference between the powers and Lord Krishna, the master of all powers.  

This is confirmed by the following words of the Gautamiya Tantra:
“Krishna is Durga. Durga is Krishna. One who sees that they are different will not become liberated from the cycle of repeated birth and death.”

Durga Yogamaya is the personal potency of Lord Krishna, and therefore she is Lord Krishna Himself. For this reason Durga should not be considered manifested from a portion of the Lord’s illusory potency Maya. This fact is confirmed by the following statement of the Nirukti: “Even if one continually worships her, Durga is still difficult to understand.” 

Durga is also described in Narada-pancaratra, in the following conversation of Sruti and Vidya:
“Durga is the supreme goddess. She is an expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. She is the transcendental potency of the Lord. Simply by understanding her one immediately attains the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is not otherwise.”

“She is identical with Gokula’s queen Shri Radha, who possesses a great treasure of love for Krishna. By her grace the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all living entities, is easily understood.”

“She is the potency of personified devotional service. She worships Her beloved Supreme Lord. Because She is understood only with great difficulty, the saintly devotees call her “durga” (difficult to understand). She is the personal internal potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and she is always filled with the nectar of love for Him.”

“From her is manifested the Maha-Maya potency, the controller of all conditioned souls, who covers them with illusion. By this Maha-Maya potency the residents of the entire world are bewildered into thinking themselves identical with their external material bodies.”

In the Sammohana Tantra, Durga herself declares:
“I am Durga. I possess all virtues. I am not different from Shri Radha, the eternal, supreme goddess of fortune.”

Devi Bhagavatam Canto 9 Chapter 2 states about Durga :
She bestows on Krishna’s devotees, pure devotion towards Krishna , She is the Vaisnavî Sakti of the Vaisnavas. She gives final liberation to those that want such and gives happiness to those that want happiness.

 Navarna Mantra Jaap 

The most powerful and auspicious Durga mantra is Navarna Mantra .
“Om Aing Hreeng Kling Chamundaye Vicche”


ॐ ऐं ह्रीं क्लीं चामु
ण्डायै विच्चे

But chanting Durga mantra is not like Vaishnava mantras . There are some rules. One has to learn the viniyoga, Different nyasas , Dhayana etc to proceed with mantra chanting. One should chant in rudraksha mala and never in tulsi mala. One should learn the process before proceeding.

It is considered a tantrik mantra . However if chanted with pure intention and devotion to Durga with the aim of self purification then Maa Durga will clear all the difficult path to Radha Krishna. She will provide all necessary strength that a devotee need.

 

 

Jai Gurudev !

Jai Jai Sri Radhey !!