durga-largeMoon represents Ambikā who manifests as Durgā and all the śaktī of the various devatā. She is the bindu which gives life to every akṣara. If the akṣara represent the deva having the power to enlighten, their very existence and identity depends on the soma-rasa (milk of kindness) they receive from the Moon-mother. The bindu, by nature is simply red, like the blood. And like the blood of the mother, it creates every creature and gods as well. And yet the colour of the blood is the same for all although it carries the body-code (DNA?) to match the creature or the god to be created.

Tridevī Rūpa

The śaktī of the devatā manifests as mother, spouse and daughter – in that order. The Śiva Purāṇa teaches that for knowledge worship Sarasvatī and always help and feed young girls. These are the daughters of men and must be looked after and fed so that the society survives. They must be educated so that the society is civilized. They must be taught the mantras and dharma else when they become mothers, how can they teach their young ones. The Śiva Purāṇa continues that for wealth and prosperity always help and feed women. In this the most holy purāṇa is referring to middle aged ladies who are married and have the power from a blessing of Viṣṇu for sthiti – saṅsāra. They represent Lakṣmī devī and mere worship of Lakṣmī without helping middle age women is not as fruitful. The Śiva Purāṇa concludes that for true spiritual direction always seek blessings of old women. Older women represent Pārvatī and Ādi Śaṅkara sings गतिस्त्वं गतिस्त्वं त्वमेका भवानि (gatistvaṁ gatistvaṁ tvamekā bhavāni[1]) showing that without Pārvatī it’s impossible to reach Śiva. Without the bindu (dot), the nāda (crescent moon) cannot be found.

Pañcadaśī: Age of Śaktī

A simple way to calculate the age of the Moon is progressing at 4 years per tithi. For example, if the tithi is śukla pakṣa daśamī the tenth, age of śaktī = 4 × 10 = 40 years
Tripura Bhairavi Yantra
Let s examine the age of the Tridevī used in the Pañcadaśī mantra.

  1. Sarasvatī = क-ए-इ-ल-ह्रीं (k-e-i-l-hrīṁ) = 5 bīja = 5 tithi; Age of Sarasvatī = 5 × 4 = 20 years. Therefore, in the pañcadaśī mantra Sarasvatī is a child of 0-20 years. Just as Sarasvatī fled at the glance of Brahmā, so also young girls flee at the advances of young men.
  2. Lakṣmī = ह-स-क-ह-ल-ह्रीं (h-s-k-h-l-hrīṁ) = 6 bīja = 6 tithi; 6 × 4 = 24 years. In the pañcadaśī, Lakṣmī is a lady between 20 to 44 years. Lakṣmī is very happy in her marriage to Śrī Viṣṇu portraying the perfectly married couple. Young ladies relish the company of their youthful lovers and nourish a healthy conjugal relationship with their husband.
  3. Kālī = स-क-ल-ह्रीं (sa-ka-la-hrīṁ) = 4 bīja = 4 tithi; 4×4 = 16 years; In the pañcadaśī Kālī is visualised as an elderly lady in the age of 44 to 60 years. At this age bracket menopause gradually sets in and the hot flashes can be very fearsome. Just as Śiva tries to flee and Kālī blocks his way, so also many men experience a daunting time dealing with their spouse passing through menopause and fleeing seems to be a natural thing to do. The moon is full of sunlight and it’s burning like the Sun and not manifesting much of its own cool nature.

Ṣoḍaśī would be represented by the exact moment when a lady turns sixty years of age and celebrates her ṣaṣṭī-pūrti pūjā.

Tīrtha: Spiritual Contact

Let us understand kṛṣṇa pakṣa. After its glorious peak at pūrṇimā the moonlight starts to decline and we call this kṛṣṇa pakṣa. This decline continues till its death in kṛṣṇa pakṣa caturdaśī (K14) which is the 29th tithi. At this time Śaktī is between 112-116 years old (29×4=116). Amāvāsya represents its sojourn in the netherworlds where it is punished for its various sins and at this time śaktī is between 116-120 years (30×4=120).

The moment the Moon contacts the Sun at the ending moment of amāvāsya is like a momentary contact with God. Oh! What a divine moment to relish and this contact with the Sun cleanses many karmas by the forgiving burning glances of the Sun. The Moon turns a new leaf and passes through the first tithi śukla pratipada and rebirths in śukla dvitīya. Spiritual contact is all about these momentary contacts with different souls burning like the Sun with their tapas. It causes the mind of men to turn around and seek a better cleaner life. It gives the much needed rejuvenation.

Spiritual contact can be with men who embody these energy of the burning Sun and then these men are called ṛṣi or maharṣi as ‘all ṛṣi ride in the chariot of the sun god Sūrya’. These men are addressed as ‘Guru’ and a guru must possess this burning power and be able to burn the sins in the mind of others. Spiritual contact can also be with places like Kāśi (Varanasi) or Jagannāth Puri. Centuries of prayers at the holy shrines have caused these places to retain the burning power of the Sun that redeems many sins. The common word for both gurus and pilgrimages of such high spiritual power is ‘tīrtha’.

This article shows yet another major difference between jyotiṣa and astrology. Jyotiṣa is like astrology but way beyond.

[1] भवान्यष्टकम् (bhavānyaṣṭakam), Ādi Śaṅkara


  1. Nishigandha

    Just a correction the moon cleanses it’s many karma by forgiving burning glances of sun

  2. Very nice article! am too a devotee of maa Durga, During the festival of navarathri my mother and me visit Goddess Durga temple and light lemon lamps and offer prayers by chanting durga mantra with devotion.

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