Meditative Mantra for Brahmacharini
May the supreme Brahmacharini Durga, who holds a mala and kamandalu in her lotus hands, and whose nature is to attain Sachchidanandamaya Brahmaswarupa the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss, absolute, be propitious on me. She is the one who is Maa Parvati before marriage as a Yogini and tapsvini.
Brahmacharini is the second phase of nine Durgas. Here Brahma means penance. So, Brahmacharini is one who practices penance. It is said – Veda, Tattva and Tapa are synonyms for Brahma. The form of Brahmacharini is tremendously effulgent and extremely majestic. She holds a mala in her right hand and Kamandalu in her left.
In her previous birth when she was incarnated as the daughter of Himalaya, then influenced by the instructions of Narada, she practiced terrible penances in order to obtain Lord Siva as her divine consort. Due to her unearthly penances she was termed as Brahmacharini. She spent one thousand years, only on fruits and beet-roots. One hundred years she spent only by eating leafy vegetables. For a sufficient period of time observing complete fast she suffered torments of nature like torrential rains and scorching sun and biting cold, under the open sky. After such a difficult routine she lived only on dry Bilva leaves fallen on the ground for three thousand years. This kept her engrossed for twenty-four hours in worshipping Lord Siva. After that she gave up eating even these dry leaves. For several thousand years she went on without any food and water. Because she gave up eating dry Bilva leaves, so she was known as Aparna as one of her names.
After the rigorous penance for several thousand years her body became extremely lean and thin. She was reduced to a skeleton only. Watching her pitiable condition her mother Mena was very much concerned. In order to divert her attention from the rigorous penance she exclaimed-'U' 'Ma' meaning 'O' No, no, not'. Since then the Goddess Brahmacharini became known as Uma.
Her penance, intense and long lasting as it was, caused great disturbance in all the three worlds. The whole universe was shaken. The gods, the Rishis, the Siddhas, the Munis all eulogized her penance as an unprecedented virtuous action. Ultimately, Brahma through an oracle, addressed her and said to her in a very pleasant manner: O Goddess, so far nobody has ever practiced such an austere penance. Only you could have done it. This wonderful deed is being praised in all the four quarters. Your desire will be fulfilled. You will decidedly get Lord Shiva as your divine consort. Now stop your penance and go home. Your father will be coming shortly to take you back.
This second aspect of Brahmacharini Durga is capable of providing unending benefit. By worshipping her the person inculcates penance, renouncing, dispassion, ethical conduct and restraint in himself. Even in the most critical periods of struggle the mind remains unshaken and he does not deviate from the path of duty. By the grace of Mother Brahmacharini he gets success and victory always and everywhere. On the second day of Durgapuja it is the Brahmacharini aspect of mother Goddess Durga that is worshipped. This way the mind of the striving person moves upward and is established in the Swadhisthana Chakra. The Yogi, who attains the state where his mind stays in this Chakra attains the devotion and blessings of the Brahmacharini.
From Shree Peetha Nilaya, Trishulini writes:
Dear all: I would like to share with those of you who cannot be here in Springen that Guruji told us not to eat during Navaratri the following food: no meat, no onion, no garlic, no salt (except Himalya Salt), no aubergines (I think they are called eggplants?).
We had a wonderful first night (until after 1 o'clock), worshipping the Divine Mother in Her aspect of Shailaputri. Tonight, (Saturday), will be Brahmacharini's night.