I'm very fond of reading stotrams.So,what i do is download the stotram of my choice in devanagari sanskrit and then write it down in personal copybooks in transliterated english.This method suits me.In this way i have accumulated,over the years, many copybooks comprised of my handwritten stotrams.

Now , on this page ,we find many rules ,regarding what constitutes a proper recitation of Devi Mahatyam .Few are given below.One among them says that one is not supposed to read it from a text that is in his own hand writing.

Geethi, seegri, sirakhambhi, hyakurvano vinasyathi, Thatho jnathwaiva sampannamidham prabhyathe budhai,

Those who sing it, those who read it fast, those who read with shaking of their head, those who read from the text in their own handwriting, those who read without understanding the import and those who read in a very feeble tone, do not get the benefit of reading a work. It has also been told that any book, which has less than one thousand slokas should be recited from memory to get full benefit. Those who cannot should keep the book on a stand so that it does not rest on the ground.

I can guess that the above sloka is from the Markandeya Purana itself but my question is whether the above prohibition regarding reading stotrams from hand written manuscripts is generally applicable or applicable only in the case of Chandi Patha?

  • Do you know where that verse is in Markandeya Purana?...
    – Tezz
    Oct 26, 2016 at 17:53
  • @Tezz No i don't know.My guess is that the verse and other given instructions are from the Markandeya Purana which contains the Devi Mahatyam.But i'm not sure.
    – Rickross
    Oct 27, 2016 at 5:48
  • You can write an answer with those references if you wish @Proxy
    – Rickross
    Jun 12, 2022 at 7:02

1 Answer 1


The 35th verse of Chapter 14, of the Varahi Tantra dedicated to Chandi-Patha (=Durga Saptashati = Devi Mahatmyam) is somewhat similar to the verse in the question. The verse describes the six characteristics of a bad recitation. (Caution: self translated)

गीती शीघ्री शिरःकंपी यथा लिखितपाठनम् । अनर्थज्ञोऽल्पबुद्धिं च षडेते पाठकाधमा ॥ ३५॥

Singing, reading quickly, shaking one's head, reading as it is written, ignorance of meaning and reading with low voice.

But it seems that the prohibition is only for the Chandi Patha.

न स्वयं लिखितं तच्च कृतिना लिखितं भवेत्‌॥ २५॥ आब्रह्मणेन लिखितं तत्सर्वं विफल भवेत्। नस्‍वयं च कृतं स्तोत्रमन्यमपि कृतं न च॥२६॥

There is no benifit in reading the stotra (referring to the hymn) from his own handwritten copy or a copy written by a non-Brahmina.

How generally can they be applied to other chants is unknown, thus at least currently the rules are to be considered restricted to Devi Mahatmyam. This gets more clear in presence of the Durgopasana kalpa Drum,

न स्वयं लिखितं स्तोत्रं नाब्राह्मणलिपिं पठेत॥३०१॥ न च स्वयंकृतं स्तोत्रं तथाऽन्येन च यत्कृतम् ॥

one should not read stotras written by non-Brahmina or when they are self written. There is no stotra composed by oneself or by anyone else.

One is allowed to recite stotras without a text when,

अथ पुस्तकं वीना पाठनिर्णयः ॥ पुस्तके वाचनं शस्तं सहस्रादधिकं यदि । ततो न्यूनस्य तु भवेद् वाचनं पुस्तकं विना ॥ २९३ ॥

If there are less than a thousand verses, he can do it without a need of text. A text would be preferred when they are more than thousand.

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