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The Devi Mahatmya describes an ‘inner’ pilgrimage

The Devi Mahatmyam describes an inner pilgrimage or tirtha yatra. This inner pilgrimage is graduated into three major phases, though there are other minor milestones within these three major phases. The beginning of each episode of the Chandi is like a vihara or halting place, where we rest and review the next part of the journey. Thus there are three major viharas in the inner pilgrimage where the spiritual aspirant reflects on his or her world-view, value system, strengths and weaknesses, and goals and strategies in life. Ideally there is a gradual transformation of outlook, attitude and constitution of one’s being, facilitated by the insights gleaned during the inner pilgrimage, with each of the three points being a landmark in the inner psychic topography. Thus the transformation of the aspirant is threefold in line with the three gunas and the challenges specific to each guna.