(Last Updated on : 21/01/2011)
Chandi is a manifestation of Shakti
, who is the symbol of power. According to Markandeya Purana
the Goddess killed several demons such as Shumbha, Nishumbha, Chanda and Munda. The Goddess kills the demons by assuming the ferocious form of Chandi. But when the Goddess helps her adherents and save them from danger, she is known as Goddess Durga. In the aspect of goddess Durga
, Chandi killed the demon, Mahishasura.
Hindus worship Chandi under many names such as Devi Chandi, Mangal Chandi, Jay Chandi, OlaiChandi, KuluiChandi, ChelaiChandi. In the manifestation of JayChandi, the goddess eradicates the destructive desires. In this form she is two-handed, three-eyed, cream-colored and lotus -borne. In Markandeya Purana the description of different aspects of goddess Chandi is mentioned through seven hundred verses.
The medieval literature of ChandiMangal, which is still sung in the villages of West Bengal
, depicts the greatness of Durga as Aranyani Chandi. Here the Goddess is ascribed as fearless Mangalchandi who is the savior of the burdened people. Chandi's vehicle is an iguana. The women also worship Chandi as the goddess who bring domestic harmony and happiness. The married women worship Chandi. They observe a fast by eating only fruits every Tuesday in the month of Jaishtha and recite various slokas praising her.
The mention of Chandi is also obtained in the folklores. She is known as Ban Durga when she stands under a Sheoda tree and is called Devi Shashthi when she is associated with a Pakud tree. As the manifestation of Basanta Chandi she cures the patients of 'Basanta' or small pox. The devotees of Chandi tie strips of cloth to the branches of the tree in the name of the goddess Nekdai Chandi and pray for her blessings. At the time of Durga Puja people recite Chandi Slokas to get the blessings of Devi Chandi.
Human sacrifices are believed to have been formerly made to the goddess Chandi. The proper oblation to the goddess is said to be the blood drawn from the body of the worshipper. As per the holy texts, the oblation of blood is rendered pure and is said to be equal to ambrosia. Chandi is one of the principal female Bhiitas, who is worshipped by the hill tribes of Nagara Malnad. Chandi is described as the combination of the trinity of Mahakali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati. Chandi belongs to the non-Sanskrit or tradition of Hinduism. The origin of the Goddess Chandi is referred in the second chapter of Devi Mahatmya.
Some of the temples dedicated to Chandi are Chandi Devi Mandir, Haridwar
, Maha Laxmi Temple, Mumbai
, Vaishno Devi Mandir
, Jammu and Kashmir and many more.