Primordial creator, the primal energy and the universal mother, source of life and fertility, she is venerated as the Mother Goddess of cosmic dimensions in Devi Mahatmyam, a part of the Markandeya Purana It is also called Durga Saptasati, popularly known as Chandi, recited during Durga Puja festivities Eagerly awaited every autumn, Durga Puja is both a festival of joy and an occasion for contemplation and introspection The hymns of Devi Mahatmyam recited everyday are spiritually elevating and.inspiring. Interspersed with flashes of visionary insights into the essence of divinity, the hymns narrate not only the cosmic crisis, advent of the Devi, her protracted battles with demons and the final restoration of cosmic order but also her promise to return in the event of any further persecution, if invoked At one stage she is addressed as the Intellect by which the essence of all scriptures can be comprehended and the boat which takes one across the difficult ocean of worldly existence, relieved of.the shackles of all attachment. The iconographic representation of the multi-armed Devi, holding numerous weapons, almost effortlessly subjugating the fierce Mahishasura, the buffalo-demon has an abiding symbolic significance The calm poise and the serene countenance with which she dispatches the grimacing demon points to the need for equanimity in the face of heavy odds without being caught in a stressed situation It resonates with Krishna's message in the Bhagavad Gita of the need to bed equipoised in all circumstances The.buffalo-demon and his antics -- which failed to save him despite repeatedly changing his form and shape -- is an allegorical representation of the persistent and pernicious passions within us which refuse to go away. For instance, the lust of a person gives way to anger when thwarted by a superior force Just as cosmic balance is restored after the demons are felled our inner equilibrium has to be achieved by eliminating base passions, however tough the taskThe joyous four-day puja makes us forget our worries At the same time, we are prompted to realize the more serious side of our existence as we become Mother-conscious and are reminded of the Divinity guiding our destiny which alone can show us the path to.self-realisation. It is a search for inner tranquility vis-à-vis all the external forms of enjoyment The invocation of the Goddess by devotees at the dawn of 'Mahalaya' sets the moodThe Devi is portrayed as the supreme knowledge, the beacon light for attaining moksha or liberation and also as nescience, the cause of eternal bondage The apparent contradictions indicate her complex persona and the divine potential within us calling for discriminatory power to separate the two opposing forces in order to realise.our true Self. The Mahadevi is also called Mahashuri, for embodying the qualities of both the divine super power and the demonic force The dyad concept, though seemingly perplexing, is understandable because she has been created by the combined latent luminosity of all the great gods with a challenging mission to overpower unruly demonsThe ferocious Raktabeeja demon who could immediately regenerate himself from every drop of his blood that falls on earth causes havoc everywhere The Devi drinks the blood.before it reaches the ground to ensure his end.