The Devi Mahatmyam communicates to various ways and at various levels. On the face of it, the text is a chronicle of the battle between the Goddess and Her Divine Manifestations on one side and the demons (asuras) on the other, where each episode of The Devi Mahatmyam narrates a different battle that becomes increasingly complex as the story unfolds in each episode.
Like other sacred myths this battle too DOES NOT HAPPEN ON THE PHYSICAL EARTH PLANE. IT HAPPENS AT ANOTHER LEVEL OF REALITY, ON ANOTHER PLANE.
The significance of the story cannot be fully appreciated by those who hold the physical plane as the only reality. Truth and reality are not necessarily synonymous. Something does not have to be real at a physical level for it to be true. Moreover, there are various levels of truth.
All sacred myth has various levels of truth:
- First, the external cosmic level, that is often symbolic of an astronomical event or cosmic phenomenon.
- Second, is an inner-psychological level, that symbolises the play of various forces within the human mind.
- Third, is a transcendent level, that is indescribable in ordinary everyday language.
- Fourth, is a level that combines the previous three levels (External, internal, and transcendental) simultaneously into the paradoxical and varied nature of reality where no level is mutually exclusive, co-existing simultaneously as one single mysterious and paradoxical phenomenon.