Vana Durga photo and Dhyana Mantra Meaning

There are three Dhyanas for this form of Vana Durga Devi, let us explore the Satvika Dhyana.

SauvarNaambuja madhyagaam – The one who is stationed in the middle of the golden lotus; Generally the deity is meditated on in the centre of Samvitkamala or heart lotus. As per Yogataravali and other works,
a purified heart, illuminated by the Samskara called ‘Diksha’ is the golden lotus.

trinayanAM – The one with three eyes;

SaudAminIsannibhAM – the one who resembles the lightening; It may be taken to mean directly that Amba is as bright as the lightening. However, this refers to her Sukshmatara Swarupa i.e. the most subtle form which is Kundalini. This is all the more appropriate in this verse which is a Dhyana Shloka of Sri Vanadurga because this mantra is one of the very few Vidyas which address the Kundalini directly some others being Srividya, Tripura Bhairavi etc. Even the Sruti has said, ‘nIvAra shUkavattanvI’.
shaMkhaM chakra varAbhayAni dadhatiM – The one who holds in her hands the conch or Shamkha, discus or Chakra, Vara i.e. the gesture of granting boons and Abhaya – the gesture of granting protection from all fears. So, Amba is depicted as having four hands; she holds the Shankha and Chakra in the two upper hands and the Vara and Abhaya mudras in her lower two hands.

indoH kalAM bibhratiM – one who wears a crescent moon (on her crown) – This is for the sake of decoration. Since amba is Vishwarupini, the very universe is her form. The nakshatras form the jewels of her crown, and the crescent moon forms the decoration adorning her crown. Also, as explained by Lakshmidhara and other commentaries on Saundaryalahari, the attributes Trinayana and Chandrakala  – represent her SArUpyatva or rUpasAmya – the quality of oneness of sameness of form with Shiva. This is one of the six major Samyas. So, Devi is here actually Shiva-shakti in one.
graiveyA~NgadahArakuNDaladharAM – The one who is adorned with necklace (the pattern of which resembles the chain around the elephant’s neck),Hara or chain, bracelets and anklets, earrings etc.

aakhaNDalaadhyaiH stutAM – The one who is worshiped by Brahma and other deities.

dhyAyedvindhyanivAsinIM – Meditate on the devi who resides on the Vindhya mountains; It is well known that Vindyachal is one of the most important abodes of Amba. She herself confirms this in Devi Bhagavata and Saptashati also.
shashimukhiim – the one whose face is bright and beautiful like the moon; The moon here represents the complete disc having the sixteen Kalas. Thus, Amba is complete with Shodasha Kalas.

paarshwasthapa~nchAnanAm – Having the five-faced lord Sadashiva by her side. Among the five Durgas, Mula Durga, Jwala Durga, Shulini Durga, Ati Durga and Vana Durga are respectively having the pancha

Brahmas as their consorts (As per Vanadurga Kalpa). So, Vanadurga’s consort is depicted as Sadashiva. As per other Tantras, it is Aranyaka Ishwara or Kirateshwara, the lord in the form of a hunter. When Bhagavan assumed the form of a hunter to test Arjuna, Amba accompanied him as Vana Durga. Devi has three forms with different number of hands and weapons based on Rajas, Satva and Tamas. The

Dhyana Bhedas may be learnt from Sharada Tilaka or Vanadurga Kalpa.

The mind is a jungle which is filled with wild animals called lust, anger, greed, jealousy, attachment, ego, all due to Avidya. The great hunter Sadashiva, with his power or Shakti called Vana Durga, who is none but Brahma Vidya, destroys the animals of Avidya. This is the significance of her form. The significance of her mantra, which is the direct invocation of Kundalini, has to be learnt by a Sampradayavit Guru only.
Many thanks to the great devotee who helped us to translate the sloka.

This is one of the Dhyana slokas of the powerful Navakshari or Navarna Mantra on Goddess Durga. The mantra has to be initiated by a Guru. This mantra forms the basis for the Devi Mahatmyam or Durga Saptashati.

Vana Durga at Tirupoonthurithi Shiva temple, near Tiruvaiyaru, Thanjavur, South India

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