Widely known and revered as Devimahatmyam (Glory of Divine Mother) this cosmic hymn is presented to the world in dialogue form between Markandeya and Kroshtuki in the Markandeya Puranam. Though the great work was not authored by the Maharshi himself, it has simply originated from time immemorial and has been handed down over thousands of generations as is the case with Vedas.
"Yado vedo dhynadhirhi thadath sapthashathi smrutha"
says Bhuvaneswari Samhitha.
Sapthasathi has its main theme centered around The Supreme Shakthi and elaborates on the worship of the Divine Mother who created even the Gods and Goddesses. As propounded by the Tantra "Sakthi is the origin and source of all, nothing is there, if She is not there."
Lord Siva is able to perform His role only because He is combined with Shakthi.
"Shivashakthya yukto yadibhavathi shaktaha prabhavithum."
Such is the greatness of Amba, the Lokamatha that Adi Sankara in the opening verse of Sowndarya Lahari says that one needs to have a lot of merit accumulated to worship Her.
"Twam prnanthum stothram va katham akruthapunya prabhavithi."
The Scipture Sapthasathy offers 700 valuable slokas divided into 3 episodes covering 13 chapters dealing with 4 incarnations of mother
"Maheswari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmy, Mahasaraswathy expressed as Kriyashakti Icchashakti Ghnyanashakti"
etc. Chandipath is recognised as a jewel of sruthis and a great Sadhana Sasthra, which has to be recited with great devotion and discipline in the method our tradition has prescribed.
"Yatha ashwamedha krathushu devanam cha yatha hari
Sthavanamapi sarvesham thathasapthashathistavaha"
Fulfilment of Sahasra Chandi Maha Yagam accordingly calls for such recitations for 1000 times to be followed by Prayoga Homam thereafter.
To achieve this, 100 Rithviks (Learned Vedic Priests) recite the script in the following manner, as laid down by the authorities on the subject. 1st day chanting once, 2nd day chanting twice, 3rd day chanting thrice, 4th day chanting 4 times and 5th day chanting only for Homam/Havan totaling to 1,100 times.
Sahasrachandi is performed to invoke the potential force of Shakthi to promote tranquility, happiness and general welfare in the society, warding off calamities of all kinds. In fact Mother assures us of Her power in the text itself.
"Aykayvaham jagathyathra dwitiya kamapara"
I alone am there in the universe, who is the second person other than me?"
Naturally, for anything and everything the universe is dependent on Her and seeks Her blessings even when they are devoid of desires.
"Janani jagatham swalpe kamepyayam thvayilambatay
Purabhithabaley madhye kamepyam thvayilambatay
Bhahulakaruney shreshtey kamepyam thvayilambatay
Bhagavathiparey veethey kamepyam thvayilambatay"
When she is worshipped and propitiated she resides in the house of Her devotees as Lakshmy, the presiding deity of prosperity.
"Lakshmi Vridhi Pradha Grihe"
, as the script says,
"Yadadi vitham puthramascha mathim dharmagathim shubham."
propitiated the devotee receives enough wealth, good progeny, dharmic intellect and a very auspicious life here and hereafter.