Durga Saptashati or Devi Mahatmya or Devi Mahatmyam is a Hindu religious sacred text describing the victory of the Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura.
According to Hindu mythology, Mahishasura was a combination of both an Asura and a buffalo (Mahisha). Mahishasura intended to annihilate all the Devas since they were the arch-enemies of Asuras (demons).
As part of the Markandeya Purana, it is one of the Puranas or secondary Hindu scriptures. This ancient text was composed in Sanskrit during 400-600 CE, with authorship attributed to the sage Rishi Markandeya, from the Hindu tradition. The literally meaning is „Glory of the Goddess”.
This ancient text is called Saptasati because it contains 700 shlokas (sapta means seven, shata means 100 verses). This count includes one-line sentences which are not strictly verses. The entire text is considered as one single sacred mantra.
There is another opinion that the name should be Saptasati as it deals with the story of 7 Satis (saints) or „pious persons”.
The 7 mothers are Varahi, Brahmi, Maheswari, Indraṇi, Kaumari, Vaisṇavi, and Camunḍa.
Durga Saptashati meaning:
The significance of this sacred text has been explained in many Puranic and Tantric texts, such as: Gataka Tantra, Katyayani Tantra, Krodha Tantra, Marisa Kalpam, Meru Tantram (protection sacred mantra), Rudra Yamala, and Chidambara Rahasya.
A number of researchers of Shaktism appreciate the seminal role of it in the development of the Shakta tradition.
This text has been called the Testament of Shakta philosophy. It is the base and root of Shakta doctrine (which is the cult of Goddess Shakti). It appears as the center of the great Shakti tradition. This holy is treated in the cultic context as if it were a Vedic hymn or verse with sage, meter, pradhnadevata and viniyoga.
You can read the text here.
Image source – Wikipedia