Rules to chant Devi kavacham : In a recent class I taught, students were asked to write down a set of rules to chant Devi Kavacham. The session quickly descended into a spontaneous discussion as the students jotted down their own ideas and recommended rules.
As with many holy texts, the focus is on the interaction between the human being and the tutelary deities. And perhaps that’s what makes this particular text special.
This particular text has a lot to say about God, but it also gives us insight into the interaction between divine souls and the human soul. Many students, when asked to explain the spirit-body interaction in terms of chant, usually reply that they see it as the divine soul feeding the divine body. But it doesn’t quite work that way.
What this text actually means is that the divine body is one of the bodies or planes that the gods have chosen to visit and interact with us on a daily basis. They are not the same as our bodies; in fact, they are often significantly different from them.
Instead of thinking of the tutelary deities as directly intervening with the soul, we should think of them as providing the necessary facilities for the soul to experience life in its best possible way – and in this text we get a vivid example of how the tutelary gods can create such a context for us. The God of Kundalini, for example, will take the soul out of its earthly form and lead it through an incredibly intense process of transformation.
We don’t know the details of the Kundalini process in this text; for all we know, they may have been unclear to the author. However, the bottom line is that the tutelary god will transform the human soul by bringing it deep into the feminine, creative side of the divine. The soul will then be free to unleash its creativity through special tantric practices.
This transformation, this heightened state of consciousness, is not the result of the tutelary deity giving the divine child drugs. Rather, the tutelary god is able to do this by providing the human being with the space and time to deal with the spiritual complexities that need to be dealt with.
Kundalini practice provides such space and time for these tantric practices to unfold; when the student is ready to come out of her ordinary state of consciousness and into the deeper realms of her subconscious mind, the tutelary god will be right there, ready to assist her with the special spiritual practices. The divine child will then be ready to venture forth and explore the realm of the divine, where the Tutelary God dwells.
After the transformation has occurred, the student is ready to receive a series of instructions that teach her how to turn Kundalini energy into tantra power. Some students who have been immersed in Kundalini for many years report that the real point of the chant is to direct her Kundalini energy toward a particular tantra path.
Others, however, report a surprising diversity of approaches to chanting, depending on the type of tantra paths being practiced. Some students, when asked to chant Devi Kavacham, are able to focus the energies of Kundalini in ways that include the ongoing transmission of energy between goddesses and male deities.
Other students, when asked to chant Devi Kavacham, have to use a very specific mantra to direct the Kundalini energy in certain directions. Some students, for example, are using the Hare Ksheer as a power-tantra mantra to direct their energy toward their guru, while others use their goddess name to focus the energy in other directions.
Based on the above description, the unique thing about Devi Kavacham is that it encourages students to be open to receiving instructions on both specific tantra paths and less conventional tantra practices. There is nothing sacred about the processes that follow chant – they are a natural extension of the practices involved in actual tantra – but there is much power in the fact that there is no sacredness to begin with.