Significance of Chandi
The glory of Durga is known from the ancient treatise of Markandeyo Purana. It is known as Devi Mahatmyam or Durga Saptasati and was written in 700 slokas. Devi Durga was generated and empowered by the unification process of all the power of the gods and destroyed the demons who had dislodged them from their divine abode.
Devi Chandi is also the image of the eternal mother who in her different forms killed various demons like Mahishasur, Shumbh & Nishumbh, Raktabeej, Chando, Mundo, Dhumrolochana and their army and saved the Devas from destruction. Chandi is Durga at her most terrifying image, there is nothing that can be victorious against it. It is said that these slokas are powerful Mantras against all evils.
Devi Mahatmaya or Durga Saptasati or the Chandi is divided into 13 Chapters and consists of 700 slokas or mantras. Recitation of these slokas is known as Chandi Path and has been recited and known to combat every kind of enmity and adversity, from ages forgotten. It has been used as the most powerful weapon by the Devas (gods) and mortals alike.
Another legend goes that Durga or Uma was the daughter of the Mountain King Giriraj Daksha who resided in the Himalayas. Uma, a devotee of Lord Shiva, vowed to marry him. However when Shiva came to ask her hand in marriage, Daksha refused as he did not approve of this bairagi (wanderer) groom. Though Uma did eventually marry him, Daksha did not allow her to go to her husband’s home after the wedding and even insulted Shiva subsequently after a yagna.
Ashamed and deeply hurt by her father’s behavior, Uma fasted to death. Besides himself with rage, Shiva lifted the body of Uma on his shoulders and danced the powerful Tandav (dance of fury) which threatened to destroy the universe. Lord Vishnu came to his rescue and with his sudarshan chakra (disc) chopped the body of Uma into pieces in order to slow Shiva down. Shiva was pacified as the last piece flew from his shoulder and Lord Vishnu gave Uma a new life as Parvati. Daksha relented and Uma was allowed to accompany her husband home.