By Dr Manish Pandit
There are a few who ask (especially if they come from a non Shakta background) as to how the Devi can give liberation (Moksha is a more accurate term. This is referred to later in the verse as Mokshartthi). Some questions of this sort were asked on the following article which I wrote a few years ago based on the experience of Totapuri.
Verse 9 of Chapter 4 is the effective Shabda Pramana from Durga Saptashati which explains what Totapuri was to find out. Here is the verse.
या मुक्तिहेतुरविचिन्त्यमहाव्रता त्वं अभ्यस्यसे सुनियतेन्द्रियतत्त्वसारैः । मोक्षार्थिभिर्मुनिभिरस्तसमस्तदोषै- र्विद्यासि सा भगवती परमा हि देवि ॥ ९॥
The verse says that “या मुक्तिहेतुर” that is to say that the Devi is Herself the cause of both Mukti/Moksha and also the impossible penance (tapascharya) and mortification (which causes the sadhaka to shine) ……. मुक्तिहेतुरविचिन्त्यमहाव्रता (Maha vrata which is impossible to understand let alone perform) and Rishis/munis try and meditate on such an image as Her for She Herself is the supreme Vidya/knowledge… (Vidyasi Si sa Bhagawati Parama hi Devi)
Here the reference to Aविचिन्त्यमहाव्रता त्वं अभ्यस्यसे is interesting. This signifies a “Maha Vrata” which is not something which can be thought about by the normal mind. Here we can translate Maha Vrata as some sort of impossible sadhana… a Tapascharya of some great (Maha) variety… even an austerity if you like, indeed something which causes the faults to drop away. (See below also)
By this meditation do the great seers also rid themselves of their faults/impurities … Samasta Doshaiyr… but ultimately the verse implies that the Tapascharya (Aविचिन्त्यमहाव्रता ) is due to the Devi Herself and not the sadhaka on his own.
This above is some of the summary probably of the import of what the great Totapuri realised on his own after his own experience in Dakshineshwar…. The Devi Kalika is the Maha Karan and foundation of the Universe.