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Mahishasura Mardhini is the aggressive form of the divine Shakthi, the ultimate feminine power. She was the slayer of the demon Mahishasura. Once, Mahishasura, who had the face of a buffalo did severe penance towards Lord Brahma and got from him various boons, which made him almost invincible. The most important of those boons assured him that, if at all he was killed, that can only be by a woman. Thus, fully armed with many blessings and well protected by boons, he played havoc on the universe and also on heaven, committing unspeakable atrocities on human beings and the Devas. The Gods were helpless, as only a woman could pose any serious challenge to him and it was left to the divine feminine power, to intervene and put an end to his crimes. In order to save the world, the compassionate divine mother incarnated as Durga, fought a fierce battle with Mahishasura and his army of demons, and at last killed him, thus ridding the world of his cruelties. This destroyer of Mahisha came to be hailed as Mahishasura Mardhini.
The Mahishasura Mardhini sloka which starts with this stanza invokes the Goddess and it is believed that its chanting can bestow the devotees with all welfare.
Bhagavathi Bhagavatpadha pangajam, bramabuudha suraasura sevitamM
Suujana maanasa hamsa paristutam kamalayaamalayaa niprutam baje
Te upe(a)bi vandeham vingnesa kuladaivate
Nara naagaanana sthveko narasimha namostute
Hariguru padhapadmam suddha padmenuraagaat
Vigata parama baage sannidhaayatarena
Tatanu parikaromi preeyate bhakti baajaam
Bhagavati padha padme patya pushpaanjaleem te
Kenaite rasita kudho na nihoota sambaadhayor
Durmata kenaite tava paalita iti hidat prasne
Kimaachakmahe brhamaatya abhi sangita swavishaye
Yasyaa prasaadha preeta saa mahishaasura
Pratamaneech chintyaada vadyanime
Paadhu sreestu chadurbhuja kimuchahoor barhor mahow
Jaanbhujaan tat theshta dasa dhaahee kaarana gunaan
Pagaa satyam digpati danti samkaya bhujaprut sambus
Kaarmaya gunaaram vayambhuu swayam taamaika prabatye kimatavaa
Paadhum dasaashtow diyaa
Preetyaashtaadasa sammitesow yugapad dveebeshuu datumvaraan
Tradum vaa bhayatho pibarshi bhagavatyashta dasaithaan bhujaan
Yatvaashtaadasataa bhujaamstu piprudha kale sarasvatyube
Meelitvaika mihaanayo pratayitum saatvam rame
Rakshamaa srinrusimmam mahaaveeram runamuktaye
The above sloka is the starting stanzas of Mahishasuramardhini sloka. For chanting Mahishasuramardhini sloga, start with the above and then chant from “Ayigiri Nandhini”.
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