The Mother Divine
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THE FRUITS OF MA DURGA'S NAME (DURGA NAMER FOL) extract from 'CHOKHER JOLE MAYER PUJA' [Worshipping the Mother with Tears]
Translated into English by: Joyaditta Brahmachari


Haricharan was popularly known as Durgadas by the village folk. But there was a reason behind it as well. His Gurudev, while giving him Deeksha told him, "Baba, chant the name of Ma Durga (do japa) all the time."


Durga!! Durga!! Durga!!! This Durganaam is the param mantra, whosoever chants this gets liberation. Haricharan started to chant the holy name of Durga from the moment he came to know this. He used to get up by chanting DurgaDurga, keep chanting DurgaDurga he used to take bath, sit for the puja and then go out to sell shankha (conch shell bangles).

Haricharan was a shankhari by caste and he used to subsist by selling the bangles but the name of Ma Durga never left his lips. In this way some people used to call him Durgadas in front of him and Durgapagol at his back. Haricharan was ever indifferent to that and keep on chanting. He used to sell Shankha the whole day chanting DurgaDurga and come back home tired and used to go to bed chanting DurgaDurga. It so happened that he started chanting DurgaDurga even in his sleep.

Looking at his condition, the neighbours who were (like all of us) deluded in kaminikanchana, decided that he has gone mad, otherwise why would any sane person keep chanting DurgaDurga all thru the day? When a person chants the name of DurgaDurga in sickness, sorrow, happiness and distress with a smile, that person just has to be mad. The elders of the village changed Haricharan's name to Durgadas and the youngsters composed a poem after him:

(Durgapagol chants DurgaDurga and sells shankha, and Durga herself walks behind him)

On hearing this, Haricharan used to get excited. He used to turn back and see if really Ma Durga is following him. And the youngsters used to clap their hands and make fun of him and hurl abuses at him. He used to forgive them and take to the road with his bag of bangles, chanting DurgaDurga. Eventually his original name was dropped and people knew him as Durgadas only. Thus days, months and years went by and Durgadas kept to chanting DurgaDurga.


The sun is ablaze in the summer of Boishakh. Durgadas, as usual chanting DurgaDurga, with his bag of shankhas, came to across a field after crossing the limits of Tarinipur village. There is a pond at one side of the field. Durgadas was about to cross that pond when a he heard a voice calling him, "O Boy! O Boy! Will you give me shankhas?" Durgadas has never heard such a beautiful voice before.

He turned back and saw a girl standing ankle-deep in the pond and cleaning her feet. He stood there, transfixed. He has been to many royal households, but has never seen a beautiful woman as her. He smiled at her and said, "Why not Ma?"

He sat under a banyan tree close by. The girl walked up to him slowly. On seeing her resplendent beauty, he thought if the saying that Ma Durga walks behind him has ultimately come to the fore. Whether she is a girl or a woman, he could not ascertain. She looked like a girl at times and a woman at the other. The girl laughed and came close to Durgadas and said," Give me some nice shankhasna, boy!"

Durgadas searched and picked out the best of the shankhas and started putting them into the wrists of the woman. He felt a hitherto unknown feeling, the moment he touched her hand, his body began to tremble! He controlled himself by chanting DurgaDurga. On hearing him chanting DurgaDurga, she asked "Tell me! O Boy! Why are you chanting DurgaDurga like this? And what happens if you do so?"

Durgadas couldn't speak! After sometime he managed to say, "My Guru has told me to chant, O Ma! That's why I do it!"
She asked "So have you seen Her?"
He said' "Na Ma! Have I done such punya to see Her?"
She said, "Why! All this chanting does not grant Her Darshan? Then what's the point?"
He said, "Ma! I am an illiterate person. I don't know all this. If calling Her name would yield her darshan, I would see her one day for sure."
Shankha fitting was completed. Then she said, "Oh no! Look o boy! I haven't got any money to pay you!! Take back these shankhas!"

Durgadas is no longer himself!!! How can he do that? Married woman, a roopa of Ma Bhagavati herself!! " I wouldn't be able to remove the Shankhas from your wrists! I don't want any price for that!" and he started to pack his bags.

She said, "That's not done! Why should I get shankhas from you for free? Don't go away just now. Do one thing. Go inside this village. My father's name is Umapada Bhattacharya. Ask for the shankhas price to him. Tell him that his daughter has worn the Shankhas from you. If he says that he doesn't have any daughters, don't listen to him at all. Tell him that there is a coin in a sindoor box at the feet of the DurgaMoorti in his Puja room. Tell him that I have instructed to give that to you. Now hurry!! Don't delay!!

Durgadas got up and started walking towards the village.


The days just don't seem to pass for Umapada Bhattacharya. The shopkeeper has given enough credit even though he knows that financially he is very unsound. The good neighbours still lend money to him, even when they know that he can never repay them. But things were not this bad from the beginning. In fact it was fantastic sometime back.

What was the moment when Umapada took deeksha, his life, both spiritually and materially took a new turn. He established DurgaPratima in his house and stated carrying out puja, path, naam, japa, dhyan and atmavichar and spent his time such. His chaste wife, Annapoorna, took part in full vigour and set an example of a true sahadharmini. Their son,Shivaram too used to join them by clapping hands, dancing and chanting DurgaDurga much to the delight of his parents.

Thus their thirst for material benefits started to reduce. This body is the temple of God, so whatever minimum is required to keep it running, they used to have and keep the rest for serving the guests.

He used to wake up before the Brahma-muhurtaeveryday and go for bath chanting DurgaDurga. Finishing the PratahSandhya, he used to go for plucking the flowers, after which the he used to complete Geeta and Chandi path, then the puja, homa, Ma's bhoganivedan used to take place. After that he used to keep vaishyadevavali and go-grash and wait for the guests to come. After serving the guests, he used to take prasadam and then study and discuss Devi Bhagavata, MahaBhagavata, Devi Puran, Devyupanishad etc.

At the relevant hour of the evening he used to offer Sandhyaarati and sheetal and the sit for japa. After long hours of Japa, he used to be exhilarated and then used to do atmavichara to complete the puja. He used to serve the guests, if any, after that and then partake some prasadam himself. He used to get up again at midnight, when the whole world would be asleep, he used to invoke the Divine Mother in his heart and wait for Her to come. Thus he used to spend his life.

4. - I

Umapada's wife, Annapoorna was really Ma Annapoorna. She used to carry out all the chores of the household by chanting DurgaDurga. Household work, serving her husband, serving the deities and service to the guests was all that she used to live with but the tongue would always chant DurgaDurga. Umapada had inherited the post of the family priest for a couple of households. Since there was no need of a priest apart from Upanayan and marriage, the services to this household was all but non-existent. Even then, he never tried another vocation to earn something extra.

With indifference towards other vocation, poverty started to arrive at their doorsteps and show its effects. There were loans in the market, but then too, whenever poverty reminded of itself, Umapada used to hum:


(If you think of the lotus feet of Shankari, do you think you would get sampad (material resources)? Her feet destroys the material attachment, otherwise how come Shiva lives in the cremation ground?)

By singing this couplet over and over he used to get content. He used to sense a response in his heart, an assurance to be fearless "!!!!! MA BHOI!!!!", he use to hear and keep chanting DurgaDurga.

He used to have a doubt in his mind that used to rear its head time and again- the darshan of a devata happens either in the bhava or through charmachakshu (eyes). Is it possible for a being of Kaliyuga to have darshan of a devatawth these eyes? He could never come to a conclusion to this. Jayadeva, in his GeetaGovinda had mentioned "DehiPada-pallabamudaram" and Umapada knew about that. To prove his point to a geeta-bhakta Brahman that "ToshangNityabhijuktanamYougakshemamVahamyaham" God took the form of a human, such a thing was also not unknown to him. TulasidasMaharajji got darshan of Shree Ramachandra, multiple times, he has read such in the biography of Tulasidas. It's not that he has not heard about Ma helping SadhakRamprasad in mending his fence, but still the doubt lingered in his mind.

Eventually when the loans reach a huge proportion, he declared- No! No more credits, no more begging to anyone. If Ma give we shall eat, if she does not we shall not have anything. Why should I take from others and damage them? Let me see what Ma has arranged. If life goes, so be it, but I shall not ask anything to anyone apart from Ma. He completed the sandhi puja rituals, but there is nothing to be offered as bhoga. It's well past the mid-day, he is immersed in meditation, Shivaram is crying out of hunger and Annapoorna is continuously chanting DurgaDurga.

Right at that moment there was someone shouting from outside "OShivaraam!! Come out for once please!!" Shivaram got up and went out, wiping his tears, came back with a vessel containing some mangoes and four sweets. He said, "Ma! A Brahmin came by and gave these mangoes and sweets!" Annapoorna knew all too well who it who gave these was! With eyes welled with tears, she took all those things and placed them in from of Ma. Umapada came out of mediation after a short while. He saw that the arrangement of Ma's Bhoga has been made and asked "No one knows about by poverty! So has Ma come in the form of a human! Let's see!" (cont...)

4. - II

He offered the Bhoga to Ma and told Annapoorna that Ma has sent the food for Shivaram and that they would fast for the day. So it happened. The day and the night of the Brahmin couple was spent by chanting DurgaDurga. The next day, someone sent a tumbler full of milk for Shivaram, that was given as Ma's bhoga and then give to the boy. The couple fasted for that day too. The puja for the third day got over as well. The sun went past the mid heavens, Shivaram was crying profusely of hunger. Nothing could make him stop. Umapada went up to Ma's murti and stared at her face asking, "Ma! Are you there?" He could see a faint line of smile in her lips. Right at that point in time, he could hear someone at the door, "Is Bhattacharya Moshai home? Please come out. We are your guests!" Umapada came out of the house and saw three sanyasis waiting for him. He invited them to his drawing room, ever so respectfully and them made them sit and started fanning them with a handfan. After sometime the chief among them spoke, "We have not had anything since last night. We are very hungry. Please arrange something to eat for us.

Sky fell on Umapada's head- What will I do now?!!!! There is absolutely nothing in the house!!!! What will happen now Annapoorna!!!! (cont...)

4. - III

Annapoorna started weeping, still chanting DurgaDurga. Umapada ran towards Ma like a madman and cried out in despair, "Ma, the guests might leave and go!! O Ma Vipadatarini!! O Ma Mahabhayanashini!! Ma Durga!! Protect Me!!!!" Right at this point in time his attention was drawn to a stotram written by him on the wall from the MundamalaTantra:


"Durga Durga Durga!!!! Ma! I do not want to be Neelakantha! Please relieve me of this responsibility today! If my son dies, I shall not have any remorse, but if the guests leave, it would be the worst thing ever!! Help me ma!!

The guests shouted from the drawing room, "Why is there a delay? Shall we go elsewhere? Umapada started speaking like a madman, "The guests will leave my house?! How can I let it happen?! Should I ask for help?! But I have promised to Ma that I would not beg to anyone! What should I do?! The guests spoke again, "We are very thirsty! Please bring us some water!" Annapoorna stared to roll on the floor, crying, "It'sSaravanasha!!! The guests will leave now!!! Ma!! MA GO!!!"
Umapada now spoke, "Annapoorna!! Go to the store room and search every nook and cranny and see if you could find any sweet! We have some water here; let me take these to our guests!" Annapoorna complied. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a cat jumped over the pot of water and knocked it to the ground! Now not even a drop of water is left in the house!!! "No!! No!!! I would not see the guests leaving!!! I shall take my own life before such a thing happens!!! "Saying so, he took the khadaga from Ma's hand and prepared to commit suicide!!!

Right at this juncture, Durgadas arrived at Umapada's door, "BhattacharyaMoshai!!! O Bhattacharya Moshai!!!!What are you doing? Please come out for a moment." Umapada dropped his khadaga. "Who is this now?" he thought, "Let's see what's more in store?" He came out of his room chanting Ma Ma. On seeing him the guests asked, "Why are you delaying?" He answered with folded hands and in a desperate voice, "Please wait for a little more!"

Durgadas, on seeing Umapada spoke, "Your daughter has taken Shankha from me, please foot the bill."

4. - IV

Umapada was in a state of shock, "What are you saying?"
Durgadas repeated, "I said, you daughter has worn shankhas from me, please foot the bill!"
Umapada said, "What are you saying? I don't have any daughter!"
Durgadas smiled and said, "She told me that you would say such a thing! She also told me not to heed you!"
Umapada asked, "Where did you see my daughter?"
Durgadas said, "At the pond near the field."
Umapadaasked again, "What is this new affair! So how does she look?!"
Durgadas said, "Durgapratima!! I have never seen someone so beautiful! Oh yes, she said to ask you to give me the coin kept in the sindoor box at the foot of your Duga Ma."

Umapada ran towards the Ma, found that really a sindoor box was lying at the foot of the murti and really there is coin in that box!!!! He took that coin. Lo and behold!! There is another coin in that box!! He took that as well only to find another one!!! What is happening? How can coins come in an empty box! His pals became full of coins!! Is this some kind of hypnosis? Umapada looked up to the beautiful face of Ma and said, "O the daughter of magicians!! What kind of magic is this?!!!"

4. - V

Right at this point in time there was another loud announcement at his door. "Is Bhattacharya Mahashaya home?" He replied from the inside, "Who is it?" the person replied, "Thezamindars of the village have sent food for Ma's bhoga. " Umapada came out and saw, rice, dal, oil, salt, vegetables, mangoes, sweets etc, enough for feeding ten to twelve people laid there. By seeing all this, all he could say was, "Karunamayee!!!" and started weeping. He then pulled himself together and wanted to inform the guests that he would begin the preparation of their lunch immediately. He went inside the drawing room but could see no one there!

Sarvanash!!! Have the guests left?!! Durgadas was standing at the doorway. He rushed to him and asked him, "Baba! Where have the sanyasis gone?!"Durgadas replied, "No one came out of that room! No one has gone out of your house!" Umapada said, "The house does not have a second exit! Have I been hallucinating the whole day?! Am I dreaming while I am awake?! Ma Ma!! What mystery is this?! DurgaDurgaDurga!!! Ma! What kind of a test is this?!! Ma, as you put me in a predicament; it is you who takes me out of it as well!!!

4. - VI

He offered the mangoes and sweets to the Devi and gave the prasad to Durgadas and Shivaram. He had the charanamrita for himself. After Durgadas was fed, Umapada gave him the money and asked, "Baba! Where did you meet my daughter?! Take me to that place right now!!" Durgadas was in a state of shock too. He did see the guests in the room but could not figure out where they vanished! But keeping those thoughts aside, both of them ran towards the pond.
Umapada asked, "Where did you see her, Baba!" Durgadas replied," Right here! At the pond's shore!" No one was to be seen! "O Ma! After destroying an atheist's atheism, where have you hid yourself!! Show yourself unto me once!!! Come once Ma!!! You have so much mercy Ma, I couldn't fathom, Ma!!!" Umapada, like a child was uttering Ma Ma and weeping profusely!!!!

Durgadas, at last could understand who was the one who had worn shankha from him. He understood the whole chain of events now!! He too started crying profusely!!!" Ma I got you and yet I lost you!!!!!!!" He repeated this over and over again and beat his chest!!! "O Ma!!! You came so close to me yet I couldnot recognize you!!!! O Ma!!! Give us your darshan just this once Ma!!!! Prove to the world just once that I am telling the truth that you indeed have worn shankha from me!!!!

Slowly, from the dark waters of the pond, came out a pair of hands, red like sindoor and soft like the softest of creams (noni)!!!

"There She is!!!!! There She is!!!! There is Ma!!!!" Both of them cried out together and became unconscious.
Jai Ma Jai Guru!