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Consider the following words from Chapter 4 - On the hymn, worship and Kavaca of Sarasvatī Devī of devi baghavatham regarding Saraswathi kavacha

One is worship one’s spiritual Teacher (Guru Deva) according to due rites and ceremonies with clothings, ornaments, and sandalpaste and then fall down prostrate to him and then hold this Kavaca.

These lines are not present in my local language translated book.

My doubt is whether these lines are actually present in the original Sanskrit text?

Another doubt is that whether any person is eligible to perform the following Saraswathi kavcha

Brahmā said :-- “O Child! What you have asked about the Kavaca of Sarasvatī that is sweet to hear, ordained and worshipped by the Vedas, and the giver of all desired fruits, now hear of that. In the very beginning, the all-pervading Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of the Rāsa circle, mentioned this Kavaca to me in the holy Brindāvana forest in the abode Goloka at the time of Rāsa in Rāsa Mandala. This is very secret; it is full of holy unheard, wonderful Mantras. Reading this Kavaca and holding it (on one’s arm) Brihaspati has become foremost in matters of intelligence; by the force of this Kavaca Śukrācārya has got his ascendancy over the Daityas; the foremost Muni Vālmikī has become eloquent and skilled in language and has become Kavīndra and Svāyambhuva Manu; holding this Kavaca he has become honoured everywhere. Kaṇāda, Gotama, Kaṇva, Paṇini, Śakatāyana, Dakṣa, and Kātyāyana all have become great authors by virtue of this Kavaca; Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Veda Vyāsa made the classification of the Vedas and composed the eighteen Purāṇas. Śātātapa, Samvarta, Vaśiṣṭha, Parāsara and Yājñavalkya had become authors by holding and reading this Sarasvatī Kavaca. Ṛṣyaśriṅga, Bhāradvāja, Āstika, Devala, Jaigiṣavya, and Yāyāti all were honoured everywhere by virtue of this Kavaca. O Dvija! The Prajāpati Himself is the Ṛṣi of this Kavaca; Brihatī is its Caṇḍa; and Śāradā Ambikā is its presiding Deity. Its application (Viniyoga) is in the acquisition of spiritual knowlege, in the fruition of any desires or necessities, in composing poems or anywhere wheresoever success is required. May Śrīm Hrīm Sarasvatyai Svāhā protect fully my head; Śrīm Vāgdevatāyai Svāhā, my forehead; Om Hrīm Sarasvatyai Svāhā, my ears always; Om Śrīm Hrīm Bhagabatyai Sarasvatyai Svāhā always my eyes; Aim Hrīm Vāgvādinyai Svāhā, always my nose; Om Hrīm Vidyadhiṣṭhātrī Devyai Svāhā, my lips always; Om Śrīm Hrīm Brahmyai Svāhā my rows of teeth; Aim, this single letter protect my neck; Om Śrīm Hrīm my throat; Śrīm, my shoulders, Om Hrīm Vidyādhiṣṭhātrī Devyai Svāhā, always my chest; Om Hrīm Vidyadhisvarūpāyai Svāhā my navel; Om Hrīm Klīm Vāṇyai Svāhā my hands; Om Svarva vārnatmī Kāyai Svāhā my feet; and let Om Vāgadhisṭhātridevyai Svāhā protect all my body. Let Om Sarvakanṭhavāsinyai Svāhā protect my east; Let Om Svarvajibhāgra vāsinyai Svāhā, the South-east; Om Aim Hrīm Śrīm Klīm Sarasvatyai budhajananyai Svāhā, my South; Aim Hrīm Śrīm, this three lettered Mantra my South-west; Om Aim Jhibhagravāsinyai Svāhā, my West; Om Svarvam bikāyai Svāhā, my North west; Om Aim Śrīm Klīm Gadyavāsinyai Svāhā my North; Aim Sarvaśāstra vasinyai Svāhā, my North-east; Om Hrīm Sarvapujitayai Svāhā, my top; Hrīm Pustakavasinyai Svāhā my below and let Om Grantha vījasvarupāyai Svāhā protect all my sides. O Nārada! This Viśvajaya Kavaca of the nature of Brahmā and its embodied Mantra I have now spoken to you. I heard this before from the mouth of Dharma Deva in the Gaṇdhāmādana mountain. Now I speak this to you out of my great affection for you. But never divulge this to anybody. One is worship one’s spiritual Teacher (Guru Deva) according to due rites and ceremonies with clothings, ornaments, and sandalpaste and then fall down prostrate to him and then hold this Kavaca. Repeating this five lakhs of times, one gets success and becomes a Siddha. The holder of this Kavaca becomes intelligent like Brihaspati, eloquent, Kavīndras, and the conqueror of the three worlds, no sooner one becomes a Siddlha in this. In fact, he can conquer everything by virtue of this Kavaca. O Muni! Thus I have described to you this Kavaca according to Kāṇva Śākhā. Now I am speaking about the method of worship, Dhyāna and the praise of this Kavaca. Hear.

[62-91, Chapter 4 - On the hymn, worship and Kavaca of Sarasvatī Devī,Book 9, Devi baghavatham]

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Yes, the lines you quoted in your question are actually present in original Devi Bhagavata Purana. The passage is a translation of Shloka no. 88 -Chapter4 - Book 9. Below is the original Sanskrit shloka.

गुरुमभ्यर्च्य विधिवद्वस्त्रालङ्‌कारचन्दनैः ।
प्रणम्य दण्डवद्‍भूमौ कवचं धारयेत्सुधीः ॥ 88 ॥

One is worship one’s spiritual Teacher (Guru Deva) according to due rites and ceremonies with clothing, ornaments, and sandal paste and then fall down prostrate to him and then hold this Kavaca.


Whether any person is eligible to perform the following Saraswathi kavcha?

There are several posts present here on Hinduism SE about your doubt of eligibility of Upasana , chanting of mantras, the practice of Tantra etc. Here in the passage you quoted is related to Tantric as well as Vedic Upasana of Goddess Saraswati. This kavacha contains many tantric mantras like

Om Śrīm Hrīm Bhagabatyai Sarasvatyai Svāhā

Now let's see some of the answers from here.

In the below answer we can clearly see that twice-born persons who are not initiated by Guru are not entitled to practice mantra, tantra and worship of the deities. As mentioned in Gautamiya -Tantra.

dvijAtinAm anupanitAm svakarma-adhyanAdishu/yathA adhikaram nasti iha sandhyA-upAsanA-karmasu/tathA hi adikshitAnAm tu mantra-tantra-archanAdishu/na adhikaro'sti atah kuryAd AtmAnam shiva-sanskritam// (chapter 5).

Meaning: Just like twice-borns are not entitled to do sandhyavandana (with Gayatri mantra japa) and study of the scriptures, the people without diksha from Guru are not entitled to practice mantra, tantra and worship of the deities. Therefore one should get initiated.


Here is another answer from @Rickross mentioning the importance of initiation of mantra or mantra Diksha from guru

PAramparyAgamAmnAyam mantra AchArAdikam priye | Sarvam gurumukhAllabdham saphalam syAnna chAnyathA ||

Traditions, Agama, Amnaya, Mantras, conducts and other similar things, O Beloved one, are fruitful only if obtained from Guru's mouth and not otherwise.- KulArnava Tantram 11.46


Answer - So looking from above two examples, we can say that it is most advisable to get initiation of the tantric mantras mentioned in the passage of Devi Bhagavata Purana from a teacher before chanting them and to seek proper guidance from guru in practising them in order to make them fruitful. However, one can perform general puja of a deity as mentioned in the chapter with 16 upacharas and with devotional songs , arati etc. without chanting of mantras.

  • We are living in Kali yuga, Finding a true guru is difficult, who knows it may consume half of the person's life line in finding a guru. But the count to true guru is dangerously less to the population. By your answer are you concluding that, "not entitled to practice mantra, tantra and worship of the deities" If yes I am quiet sure that more that half of this world's population is in-eligible to chant mantras, worship a deity. In Kali yuga to my knowledge what God says is "Do whatever you want with love and I'll take you back home" – VISWESWARAN NAGASIVAM Oct 11 at 0:50
  • I request you to provide a logical explanation which matches to Kali Yuga. You just cannot tell he or she is ineligible to worship a diety just because he/she cannot find a Guru. – VISWESWARAN NAGASIVAM Oct 11 at 1:02
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    @VISWESWARANNAGASIVAM: Naama Japa is different from mantra Japa. Naama japa involves recitation of name of a deity, say rAma, fir certain number of times. It is like calling your parents . Even if you spell it wrongly, or forget to do for some days, etc, no harm will come to you . No initiation by a guru is required here. – srimannarayana k v Oct 11 at 1:03
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    @VISWESWARANNAGASIVAM: in mantra japa, you will be reciting bIjAksharas like hrIm. Here you require guidance. Basically recitation of bIjAksharas will activate certain nerve centres resulting in release of energy. If not properly done, the release of energy may not occur causing frustration in the reciter or may cause harm also, which is also not good. As energy from lower levels start climbing up, one tend become arrogant with power which is again harmful. So guidance of an accomplished Guru, will check this. – srimannarayana k v Oct 11 at 1:12
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    @srimannarayanakv - Thanks for the explanation.:- ) – SwiftPushkar Oct 11 at 6:47

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