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Significance of the chant, Ya Devi by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The Art of Living

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The Art of Living Navratri 2017

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Thousands of years ago, a young lady is believed to have started dancing in ecstasy after a single realization that changed her life forever: that her life originated from the infinite Consciousness that is formless and present in every form. What emerged was a spontaneous expression of this ecstasy in praise of that Consciousness which we today know as 'Ya Devi Sarva Bhutessu'.

Sage Vak, the composer, has captured every part of human existence and attributed it to the Mother Divine. This chant, which originates in the Rig Veda, has become a part of the daily Navratri prayers and sadhana. Simple and profound.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has shared the essence of this chant:
  • Omnipresent: Devi is present as consciousness in everyone. There is no place where the Devi is not present.
  • In all forms: Nature and its distortions are all forms of the Devi. Beauty, peace are all forms of the Devi. Even if you get angry, that too is the Devi. If you fight, that too is the Devi.
  • Ancient & new: Every moment is alive with consciousness. Our consciousness is 'Nith nutan' ancient and new at the same time. Objects are either old or new, but in nature you will find the old and the new existing together. The sun is old and new too. A river has fresh water flowing in it, every moment but yet is very old. In the same way, the human life is very ancient but it is new at the same time. Your mind is the same.

Ya Devi Sarva Bhutessu

Lyrics and Meaning of the chant

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Vishnumaayeti Shabditaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Called Vishnumaya,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Chetanety-Abhidhiiyate |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Reflected as Consciousness,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Buddhi-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Intelligence,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Nidra-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Sleep,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Kssudhaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Hunger,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Chaayaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Shadow (of Higher Self),
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Shakti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Power,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Trshnnaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Thirst,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Kshaanti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Forbearance,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Jaati-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Genus (Original Cause of Everything),
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Lajjaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Modesty,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Shaanti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Peace,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Shraddhaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Faith,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devii Sarva-Bhutessu Kaanti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Loveliness and Beauty,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Lakshmii-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Good Fortune,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Vrtti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Activity,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Smrti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Memory,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Dayaa-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Kindness,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Tushtti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Contentment,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Maatr-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Mother,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Yaa Devi Sarva-Bhutessu Bhraanti-Ruupenna Samsthitaa |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

To that Devi Who in All Beings is Abiding in the Form of Delusion,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.

Indriyaannaam-Adhisstthaatrii Bhutaanaam Ca-Akhilessu |
Yaa Bhuutessu Satatam Tasyai Vyaapti-Devyai Namo Namah ||

(Salutations) To that Devi Who Governs the Faculty of Senses of Beings in All the Worlds,
Salutations to Her Who is the Devi Who Always Pervades all Beings.

Citi-Ruupenna Yaa Krtsnam-Etad-Vyaapya Sthitaa Jagat |
Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namas-Tasyai Namo Namah ||

(Salutations to Her) Who in the Form of Consciousness Pervades This Universe and Abides in It,
Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations to Her, Salutations again and again.