Aparajita Stuti by Geetanjali

Aparajita stuti is a part of a popular religious text of Sanatana Dharma – Durga Saptashati also known as Devi Mayatmya, which in turn is part of an ancient text called Markandeya Purana, a collection of prayers and mythological tales written by Sage Markandeya.

As a text Durga Saptashati essentially tells the story of the Primordial Mother, Maa Adishakti (the energy that created this universe). When demonic forces overrun the kingdom of earth and start threatening the virtuous, Mother comes to their rescue. Abandoning her gentle and benevolent form, She dons her fierce ferocious mantle and sets out to vanquish evil.

A Sanskrit text of extraordinary poetic beauty, the Durga Saptashati is recited by Hindu Devotees in its entirety during Navratri – a nine-day festival celebrating the glory of Mother, twice a year.

On a daily basis though the entire text is too long to read. Thus they pick some of the prayers from its preamble to recite instead. Saptashloki Durga, Devi Kavacham, Argala Stotram and Aparajita Stuti. What sets the current text apart is its universality and its repetitive verse which is easy to memorize.

The various facets of Devi that are mentioned in this prayer are found all around us in everyday interactions with the material world. Not just in humans, but in nature and in other living beings, we can see the manifestation of Mother if we peek through the prism provided by this prayer.

The core of the prayer consists of 21 verses that have the same basic structure, each one varying only by a single word that speaks of a different facet of Mother. The most popular among them is the Shakti Roop and recited often by itself.

या देवी सर्वभूतेषु शक्तिरूपेण संस्थिता ।

नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥

Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhuteshu Shakti-Ruupena Samsthitaa |

Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

The Goddess who is present in the form of Energy in all beings, we bow to her, bow to her, bow to her, bow to her.

Another aspect of the prayer that intrigues many is that each of the 21 facets of the Goddess extolled here are all feminine in nature and spelled by 2 and ½ letters each. The apparent reason for that is to fit them within the meter of the verse, but the vibe of each is entirely different. And yet when chanted in quick succession they come together in an intrinsic manner.

On a more personal note, I don’t always recite the entire prayer. Depending on what my feelings and needs are on a particular day, I pick one of the names for the Goddess and chant that one verse repeatedly, invoking it within me. For example if I am having trouble sleeping, I invoke the Nidra form of Mother; if i’ve been agitated and want some peace, I invoke Shanti on that day.

I have found these verses a source of hope and psychological support in my times of dire need. With this book I hope to impress upon the universal nature of the Stuti and bring it to more people within and beyond the Hindu community.


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