Navaratri spelled Navratri, Navarathri, Navratam, or Nauratam, is a nine nights Hindu festival, celebrated in the autumn every year. It is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian subcontinent. Theoretically, there are four seasonal Navaratri. However, in practice, it is the post-monsoon autumn festival called Sharada Navaratri, the most observed in the honor of the divine feminine Devi; the festival is celebrated in the bright half of the Hindu calendar month Ashvin, which falls in the Gregorian months of September and October. In the eastern and northeastern states of India, the Durga Puja is synonymous with Navaratri, wherein goddess Durga battles and emerges victorious over the buffalo demon to help restore Dharma. In the northern and western states, the festival is synonymous with "Rama Lila" and Dussehra that celebrates the battle and victory of god Rama over the demon king Ravana. In southern states, the victory of different goddesses, of Rama or Saraswati is celebrated.
In all cases, the common theme is the battle and victory of Good over Evil based on a regionally famous epic or legend such as the Ramayana or the Devi Mahatmya. Celebrations include stage decorations, recital of the legend, enacting of the story, chanting of the scriptures of Hinduism; the nine days are a major crop season cultural event, such as competitive design and staging of pandals, a family visit to these pandals and the public celebration of classical and folk dances of Hindu culture. On the final day, called the Vijayadashami or Dussehra, the statues are either immersed in a water body such as river and ocean, or alternatively the statue symbolizing the evil is burnt with fireworks marking evil's destruction; the festival starts the preparation for one of the most important and celebrated holidays, the festival of lights, celebrated twenty days after the Vijayadashami or Dussehra. The word Navaratri means ` nine nights' in nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. According to some Hindu texts such as the Shakta and Vaishnava Puranas, Navaratri theoretically falls twice or four times a year.
Of these, the Sharada Navaratri near autumn equinox is the most celebrated and the Vasanta Navaratri near spring equinox is next most significant to the culture of Indian subcontinent. In all cases, Navaratri falls in the bright half of the Hindu luni-solar months; the celebrations vary by region. Sharada Navaratri: the most celebrated of the four navaratris, named after sharada which means autumn, it is observed the lunar month of Ashvin. In many regions the festival falls after autumn harvest, in others during harvest. Vasanta Navaratri: the second most celebrated, named after vasanta which means spring, it is observed the lunar month of Chaitra. In many regions the festival falls after spring harvest, in others during harvest; the other two navratris are observed regionally or by individuals: Magha Navaratri: in Magha, winter season. The fifth day of this festival is independently observed as Vasant Panchami or Basant Panchami, the official start of spring in the Hindu tradition wherein goddess Saraswati is revered through arts, writing, kite flying.
In some regions, the Hindu god of love, Kama is revered. Ashada Navaratri: in Ashadha, start of the monsoon season; the Sharada Navaratri commences on the first day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashvini. The festival is celebrated for nine nights once every year during this month, which falls in the Gregorian months of September and October; the exact dates of the festival are determined according to the Hindu luni-solar calendar, sometimes the festival may be held for a day more or a day less depending on the adjustments for sun and moon movements and the leap year. The festivities extend beyond god Rama. Various other goddesses such as Saraswati and Lakshmi, gods such as Ganesha, Kartikeya and Krishna are regionally revered. For example, a notable pan-Hindu tradition during Navaratri is the adoration of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, learning and arts through Ayudha Puja. On this day, which falls on the ninth day of Navaratri after the Good has won over Evil through Durga or Rama and knowledge is celebrated.
Warriors thank and worship their weapons, offering prayers to Saraswati. Musicians upkeep their musical instruments and pray to them. Farmers, smiths, pottery makers and all sorts of trades people decorate and worship their equipment and tools of trade. Students express respect and seek their blessings; this tradition is strong in South India, but is observed elsewhere too. The festival is associated to the prominent battle that took place between Durga and demon Mahishasura and celebrates the victory of Good over Evil; these nine days are dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine Avatars. Each day is associated to an incarnation of the goddess: Known as Pratipada, this day is associated to Shailaputri, an incarnation of Parvati, it is in this form. Shailaputri is considered to be the direct incarnation of Mahakali; the color of the day is red, which depicts vigor. On Dwitiya, Goddess Brahmacharini, another incarnation of Parvati, is worshiped. In this form, Parvati became Sati
Baglamukhi or Bagala is one of the mahavidyas, a group of ten Tantrik deities in Hinduism. Devi Bagalamukhi smashes the devotee's delusions with her cudgel; the word Bagala is derived from the word Valga which, became Vagla and Bagla. The Devi has 108 different names. Bagalamukhi is known as Pitambari Maa in North India, the goddess associated with yellow color or golden colour. Bagalamukhi is one of the ten forms of the wise Devi, symbolising potent female primeval force; the main temple dedicated to BagalaMukhi or BagalaDevi can be found at Kamakhya Temple, Assam. Another interpretation translates her name as "Kalyani". In Kubjika Tantra there is a reference to yet another interpretation of the meaning of the name ‘Bagala’. In the initial chapter of the text there is a verse – ‘Bakare Baruni Devi Gakare Siddhida Smrita. Lakare Prithivi Chaiba Chaitanya Prakrirtita’ (‘Ba’, the first letter of the name – ‘Bagala’, means ‘Baruni’ or ‘She Who is filled with the intoxicating mood to vanguish the demon’.
‘Ga’, the second letter, means ‘She Who grants all kinds of divine powers or siddhis and successes to human beings’. ‘La’, the third letter, means ‘She Who is the foundation of all kinds of sustaining powers in the world like the earth and is Consciousness Herself’. Two descriptions of the goddess are found in various texts: the Dwi-Bhuja, the Chaturbhuja; the Dwi-Bhuja depiction is the more common, is described as the Soumya or milder form. She holds a club in her right hand with which she beats a demon, while pulling his tongue out with her left hand; this image is sometimes interpreted as an exhibition of stambhana, the power to stun or paralyse an enemy into silence. This is one of the boons. Other Mahavidya goddesses are said to represent similar powers useful for defeating enemies, to be invoked by their worshippers through various rituals. Bagalamukhi is called Pitambaradevi, Shatrubuddhivinashini and Brahmastra Roopini and she turns each thing into its opposite; the Tantrasara describes her iconography: Bagalamukhi sits in a golden throne in the midst of an ocean in an altar.
Her complexion is yellow. Clad in yellow clothes, she is adorned by a garland of yellow flowers and decked with yellow ornaments, she pulls the tongue of a demon by her left hand, while raising the right hand to strike him with a club. Another description says that she has a third eye. A yellow crescent moon adorns her forehead. Though depicted with a human head, the goddess is sometimes described to have a head of a crane and sometimes depicted ridding a crane. Sometimes, she is described associated with other birds: having a duck-head or a nose of a parrot. Kinsley translates Bagalamukhi as "she who has the face of a crane". Bagalamukhi is depicted with a crane-head or with cranes. Kinsley believes that the crane's behaviour of standing still to catch prey is reflective of the occult powers bestowed by the goddess. Another interpretation suggests. Like the bridle or bit – placed in the mouth – is used to direct a horse, Bagalamukhi gives the supernatural power of control over one's foes. In this context, Bagalamukhi is she "whose face has the power to control or conquer".
Another etymology suggests that valga means "to paralyze" and symbolizes the power of stambhana, "paralysis" that the goddess is said to grant. Bagalamukhi is known by the popular epithet Pitambara-devi or Pitambari, "she who wears yellow clothes"; the iconography and worship rituals refer to the yellow colour. In the Satya Yuga, a great storm started destroying Creation; the god Vishnu was disturbed and performed austerities to appease the goddess Tripurasundari on shore of Haridra Sarovar, the lake of turmeric. Pleased with Vishnu, the goddess appeared and brought forth her manifestation Bagalamukhi from the lake. Bagalamukhi calmed the storm. Another tale records that a demon named Madan acquired Vak-siddhi, by which whatever he said came true, he misused it to trouble humans and murder people. The gods beseeched Bagalamukhi; the goddess immobilized his power. Madan requested the goddess. Bagalamukhi is associated with the yellow colour, she dresses in yellow ornaments. Various texts describe her affinity to the colour.
Bagalamukhi is propitiated with yellow offerings by devotees dressed in yellow, seated on a yellow cloth. Yellow turmeric bead rosary are used in her japa of her names or mantra; the colour yellow is linked to the Sun, the earth and fire, signifying auspiciousness and purity. The yellow turmeic is associated with marriage. Bagalamukhi is praised as the giver of magical powers. In ‘Bagalamukhistotratram’, a part of ‘Rudrayamala’, there are hymns in praise of the powers of Goddess Bagalamukhi – “Vadi Mukati Rankati Kshitipatirvaishwanarah Sheetati Krodhi Samyati Durjanah Sujanati Khsipranugah Khanjati. Garvi Khanjati Sarvaviccha Jarati Tvanmantrinaamantritah Srinitye Baglamukhi Pratidinam Tubhyam Namah “(By the effect of Your Mantra good conversationalists become speechless; the anger of the angry person is removed.
Yoni, sometimes referred to as pindika, is an aniconic representation of goddess Shakti in Hinduism. It is shown with linga – its masculine counterpart. Together, they symbolize the merging of microcosmos and macrocosmos, the divine eternal process of creation and regeneration, the union of the feminine and the masculine that recreates all of existence; the yoni is conceptualized as nature's gateway of all births in the esoteric Kaula and Tantra practices, as well as the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions of Hinduism. Yoni is a Sanskrit word, interpreted to mean the womb, the female organs of generation, it connotes the female sexual organs such as "vagina", "vulva", "uterus", or alternatively to "origin, abode, or source" of anything in other contexts. For example, the Vedanta text Brahma Sutras metaphorically refers to the metaphysical concept Brahman as the "yoni of the universe"; the yoni with linga iconography is found in Shiva temples and archaeological sites of the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia, as well in sculptures such as the Lajja Gauri.
Yoni, states Monier Monier-Williams, appears in the Rigveda and other Vedic literature in the sense of feminine life-creating regenerative and reproductive organs, as well as in the sense of "source, fountain, place of birth, nest, fire pit of incubation". Other contextual meanings of the term include "race, family, fertility symbol, grain or seed", it is a spiritual metaphor and icon in Hinduism for the origin and the feminine regenerative powers in the nature of existence. The Brahma Sutras metaphorically calls the metaphysical concept Brahman as the "yoni of the universe", which Adi Shankara states in his commentaries means the material cause and "source of the universe". According to Indologists Constance Jones and James D. Ryan, the yoni symbolizes the female principle in all life forms as well as the "earth's seasonal and vegetative cycles", thus is an emblem of cosmological significance; the yoni is a metaphor for nature's gateway of all births in the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions of Hinduism, as well as the esoteric Kaula and Tantra sects.
Yoni together with the lingam is a symbol for its cyclic creation and dissolution. According to Corinne Dempsey – a professor of Religious Studies, yoni is an "aniconic form of the goddess" in Hinduism, the feminine principle Shakti; the yoni is sometimes referred to as pindika. The base on which the linga-yoni sit is called the pitha, but in some texts such as the Nisvasa tattva samhita and Mohacudottara, the term pitha generically refers to the base and the yoni; the reverence for yoni, state Jones and Ryan, is pre-Vedic. Figurines recovered from Zhob valley and dated to the 4th millennium BCE show pronounced breasts and yoni, these may have been fertility symbols used in prehistoric times that evolved into spiritual symbols. According to David Lemming, the yoni worship tradition dates to the pre-Vedic period, over the 4000 BCE to 1000 BCE period; the yoni has served as a divine symbol from ancient times, it may well be the oldest spiritual icon not only in India but across many ancient cultures.
Some in the orthodox Western cultures, states the Indologist Laura Amazzone, have treated the feminine sexual organs and sexuality in general as a taboo subject, but in Indic religions and other ancient cultures the yoni has long been accepted as profound cosmological and philosophical truth, of the feminine potential and power, one mysteriously interconnected with the natural periodic cycles of moon and existence. The yoni is considered to be an abstract representation of Shakti and Devi, the creative force that moves through the entire universe. In tantra, yoni is the origin of life; the colonial era archaeologists John Marshall and Ernest Mackay proposed that certain polished stones with holes found at Harappan sites may be evidence of yoni-linga worship in Indus Valley Civilization. Scholars such as Arthur Llewellyn Basham dispute whether such artifacts discovered at the archaeological sites of Indus Valley sites are yoni. For example and Ryan state that lingam/yoni shapes have been recovered from the archaeological sites at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, part of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
In contrast, Jane McIntosh states that truncated ring stones with holes were once considered as yonis. Discoveries at the Dholavira site, further studies, have proven that these were pillar components because the "truncated ring stones with holes" are integral architectural components of the pillars. However, states McIntosh, the use of these structures in architecture does not rule out their simultaneous religious significance as yoni. According to the Indologist Asko Parpola, "it is true that Marshall's and Mackay's hypotheses of linga and yoni worship by the Harappans has rested on rather slender grounds, that for instance the interpretation of the so-called ring-stones as yonis seems untenable", he quotes Dales 1984 paper, which states "with the single exception of the unidentified photography of a realistic phallic object in Marshall's report, there is no archaeological evidence to support claims of special sexually-oriented aspects of Harappan religion". However, adds Parpola, a re-examination at Indus Valley sites suggest that the Mackay's hypothesis cannot be ruled out because erotic and sexual scenes such as ithyphallic males, naked females, a human couple having intercourse and trefoil imprints have now been identified at the Harappan sites.
The "finely polished circular stand" found by Mackay may be yoni although it was found without the linga. The absence of linga, states Parpola, maybe; the term yoni and its der
Yoga is a group of physical and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophical traditions. There is a broad variety of yoga schools and goals in Hinduism and Jainism; the term "yoga" in the Western world denotes a modern form of Hatha yoga, consisting of the postures called asanas. The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions; the chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, varyingly credited to Upanishads. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali date from the first half of the 1st millennium CE, but only gained prominence in the West in the 20th century. Hatha yoga texts emerged around the 11th century with origins in tantra. Yoga gurus from India introduced yoga to the West, following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century with his adaptation of yoga tradition, excluding asanas. In the 1980s, a different form of modern yoga, with an increasing number of asanas and few other practices, became popular as a system of exercise across the Western world.
Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise. One of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism is called Yoga, which has its own epistemology and metaphysics, is related to Hindu Samkhya philosophy. Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of modern yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia and heart disease; the results of these studies have been inconclusive. On December 1, 2016, yoga was listed by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage; the Sanskrit noun योग yoga is derived from the root yuj "to attach, harness, yoke". The word yoga is cognate with English "yoke"; the spiritual sense of the word yoga first arises in Epic Sanskrit, in the second half of the 1st millennium BCE, is associated with the philosophical system presented in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, with the chief aim of "uniting" the human spirit with the Divine. The term kriyāyoga has a technical meaning in the Yoga Sutras, designating the "practical" aspects of the philosophy, i.e. the "union with the supreme" due to performance of duties in everyday life.
According to Pāṇini, the term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga or yuj samādhau. In the context of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the root yuj samādhau is considered by traditional commentators as the correct etymology. In accordance with Pāṇini, Vyasa who wrote the first commentary on the Yoga Sutras, states that yoga means samādhi. According to Dasgupta, the term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga or yuj samādhau. Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a yogi or yogini; the term yoga has been defined in various ways in the many different Indian philosophical and religious traditions. The ultimate goal of Yoga is moksha, although the exact definition of what form this takes depends on the philosophical or theological system with which it is conjugated. According to Jacobsen, Yoga has five principal meanings: a disciplined method for attaining a goal. According to David Gordon White, from the 5th century CE onward, the core principles of "yoga" were more or less in place, variations of these principles developed in various forms over time: a meditative means of discovering dysfunctional perception and cognition, as well as overcoming it for release from suffering, inner peace and salvation.
White clarifies that the last principle relates to legendary goals of "yogi practice", different from practical goals of "yoga practice," as they are viewed in South Asian thought and practice since the beginning of the Common Era, in the various Hindu and Jain philosophical schools. The origins of yoga are a matter of debate. There is no consensus on its chronology or specific origin other than that yoga developed in ancient India. Suggested origins are the Indus Valley Civilization and pre-Vedic Eastern states of India, the Vedic period (1500–5
The Vedas are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. Hindus consider the Vedas to be apauruṣeya, which means "not of a man, superhuman" and "impersonal, authorless". Vedas are called śruti literature, distinguishing them from other religious texts, which are called smṛti; the Veda, for orthodox Indian theologians, are considered revelations seen by ancient sages after intense meditation, texts that have been more preserved since ancient times. In the Hindu Epic the Mahabharata, the creation of Vedas is credited to Brahma; the Vedic hymns themselves assert that they were skillfully created by Rishis, after inspired creativity, just as a carpenter builds a chariot. According to tradition, Vyasa is the compiler of the Vedas, who arranged the four kinds of mantras into four Samhitas. There are four Vedas: the Yajurveda, the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda.
Each Veda has been subclassified into four major text types – the Samhitas, the Aranyakas, the Brahmanas, the Upanishads. Some scholars add a fifth category – the Upasanas; the various Indian philosophies and denominations have taken differing positions on the Vedas. Schools of Indian philosophy which cite the Vedas as their scriptural authority are classified as "orthodox". Other śramaṇa traditions, such as Lokayata, Ajivika and Jainism, which did not regard the Vedas as authorities, are referred to as "heterodox" or "non-orthodox" schools. Despite their differences, just like the texts of the śramaṇa traditions, the layers of texts in the Vedas discuss similar ideas and concepts; the Sanskrit word véda "knowledge, wisdom" is derived from the root vid- "to know". This is reconstructed as being derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *u̯eid-, meaning "see" or "know", cognate to Greek εἶδος "aspect", "form"; this is not to be confused is the homonymous 1st and 3rd person singular perfect tense véda, cognate to Greek οἶδα oida "I know".
Root cognates are English wit, etc.. Latin videō "I see", etc; the Sanskrit term veda as a common noun means "knowledge". The term in some contexts, such as hymn 10.93.11 of the Rigveda, means "obtaining or finding wealth, property", while in some others it means "a bunch of grass together" as in a broom or for ritual fire. A related word Vedena appears in hymn 8.19.5 of the Rigveda. It was translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith as "ritual lore", as "studying the Veda" by the 14th-century Indian scholar Sayana, as "bundle of grass" by Max Müller, as "with the Veda" by H. H. Wilson. Vedas are called Vaymoli in parts of South India. Marai means "hidden, a secret, mystery", but Tamil Naanmarai mentioned in Tholkappiam isn't Sanskrit Vedas. In some south Indian communities such as Iyengars, the word Veda includes the Tamil writings of the Alvar saints, such as Divya Prabandham, for example Tiruvaymoli; the Vedas are among the oldest sacred texts. The Samhitas date to 1700–1100 BCE, the "circum-Vedic" texts, as well as the redaction of the Samhitas, date to c.
1000–500 BCE, resulting in a Vedic period, spanning the mid 2nd to mid 1st millennium BCE, or the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age. The Vedic period reaches its peak only after the composition of the mantra texts, with the establishment of the various shakhas all over Northern India which annotated the mantra samhitas with Brahmana discussions of their meaning, reaches its end in the age of Buddha and Panini and the rise of the Mahajanapadas. Michael Witzel gives a time span of c. 1500 to c. 500–400 BCE. Witzel makes special reference to the Near Eastern Mitanni material of the 14th century BCE, the only epigraphic record of Indo-Aryan contemporary to the Rigvedic period, he gives 150 BCE as a terminus ante quem for all Vedic Sanskrit literature, 1200 BCE as terminus post quem for the Atharvaveda. Transmission of texts in the Vedic period was by oral tradition, preserved with precision with the help of elaborate mnemonic techniques. A literary tradition is traceable in post-Vedic times, after the rise of Buddhism in the Maurya period earliest in the Kanva recension of the Yajurveda about the 1st century BCE.
Witzel suggests the possibility of written Vedic texts towards the end of 1st millennium BCE. Some scholars such as Jack Goody state that "the Vedas are not the product of an oral society", basing this view by comparing inconsistencies in the transmitted versions of literature from various oral societies such as the Greek and other cultures noting that the Vedic literature is too consistent and vast to have been composed and transmitted orally across generations, without being written down. However, adds Goody, the Vedic texts involved both a written and oral tradition, calling it a "parallel products of a literate society". Due to the ephemeral nature of the manuscript material, surviving manuscripts surpass an age of a few hundred years; the Sampurnanand Sanskrit University has a Rigveda manuscript from the 14th century. The Vedas, Vedic rituals and its ancillary sciences called the Vedangas, were part of the curriculum at ancient universities such as at Ta
The Devi Bhagavata Purana known as the Shrimad Devi Bhagvatam and the Devi Bhagavatam, Śrīmad Bhāgavata Mahā Purāṇa is a Sanskrit text that belongs to the Purana-genre of Hindu literature. The text is considered a Mahapurana of India. According to some of the Hindus it is the factual Bhagavata Mahapurana; the text consists of twelve Skandha with 318 chapters. Along with Devi Mahatmya, it is one of the most important works in Shaktism, a tradition within Hinduism that reveres Devi or Shakti as the primordial creator of the universe and the Brahman, it celebrates the divine feminine as the origin of all existence, the creator, the preserver and the destroyer of everything, as well as the one who empowers spiritual liberation. While all major Puranas of Hinduism mention and revere the Goddess, this text centers around her as the primary divinity; the underlying philosophy of this text is Advaita Vedanta-style monism combined with devotional worship of Shakti. The Devi Bhagavata Purana has been variously dated.
A few scholars suggest an early date, such as Ramachandran who suggested that the text was composed before the 6th-century CE. However, this early date has not found wide support, most scholars to date it between the 9th and the 14th century. Rajendra Hazra suggests 11th or 12th century, while Lalye states that the text began taking form in the late centuries of the 1st millennium, was expanded over time, its first complete version existed in the 11th century. Tracy Pintchman dates the text to between 1000 and 1200 CE; the last ten chapters of the Book 7 consist of 507 verses, a part which has circulated as an independent handout just like the Bhagavad Gita of the Mahabharata circulates independently. The handout from Book 7 of this Purana is called Devi Gita; this handout may have been composed with the original text, or it might be a interpolation, states C Mackenzie Brown. He suggests that this portion of the text was composed by the 13th century and may be but before the 16th century; the Book 9 of the Devi Bhagavata Purana contains many verses that reference Yavanas.
These words may just refer to hill tribes, but the details contained in the description of Mlecchas within these verses, state some scholars such as Hazra, that the writer of these parts knew about Islam and its spread in India, leading scholars date these parts of the ninth book to 12th to 15th century compared to the older core of the ninth book. The Devi Bhagavata Purana is not the earliest Indian text that celebrates the divine feminine, the 6th-century Devi Mahatmya embedded in Markandeya Purana asserts the goddess to be supreme, multiple archaeological evidence in different parts of India such as Mathura and Bengal suggests that the concept of divine feminine was in existence by about the 2nd-century CE. Both Devi Mahatmya and Devi Bhagavata Purana have been influential texts of the Shakta tradition, asserting the supremacy of the female and making goddess a figure of devotional appeal; this text – along with all Puranas, all Vedas and the Mahabharata – is attributed to sage Veda Vyasa in the Hindu tradition.
The title of the text, Devi Bhagavata, is composed of two words, which together mean "devotee of the blessed Devi". The terms Devi and Deva are Sanskrit terms found in Vedic literature of 2nd millennium BCE, wherein Devi is feminine and Deva is masculine. Monier Williams translates it as "heavenly, terrestrial things of high excellence, shining ones". Etymologically, the cognates of Devi are Greek thea; the term Bhagavata means "devotee of the blessed one". The Devi-Bhagavata Purana consists of 12 skandhas with 318 adhyayas; the Hindu tradition and the text itself asserts. The actual text, in different versions, is close; the theosophy in the text, state Foulston and Abbott, is an encyclopedic mix of mythology and bhakti. This mythology, states C Mackenzie Brown, is of the same type found in other Puranas, about the perpetual cycle of conflict between the good and the evil, the gods and the demons; these legends build upon and extend the ancient Hindu mythology, such as those found in the Mahabharata.
However, this Purana's legends refocus the legends around the divine feminine, integrate a devotional theme to goddesses, the Devi is asserted in this text to be the eternal truth, the eternal source of all of universe, the eternal end of everything, the nirguna and the saguna, the supreme unchanging reality, the phenomenal changing reality, as well as the soul within each living being. The first book like other major Puranas, states Rocher, presents the outline, the structure of contents, describes how in the mythical Naimisha forest, the Devi-Bhagavata Purana was first recited among the sages, it asserts that all of Reality was nirguna. However, asserts the text, this nirguna Reality was a Bhagavati, she manifested herself as three Shaktis - Sattviki and Tamasi; the second book is short, mythological. It weaves in the characters well known in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, states Rocher, introduces in the key characters that appear in remaining books of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana; the third book begins the discussion of Devi and her bhakti, how the Devi created from herself the three Tridevi: Maha-saraswati to be the Shakti of Brahma, Maha-lakshmi to be the Shakti of Vishnu