by Swami Vijñanananda | 1921 | 545,801 words | ISBN-10: 8121505917 | ISBN-13: 9788121505918
The English translation of the Devi Bhagavata Purana. This Sanskrit work describes the Devi (Divine), the Goddess, as the foundation of the world and as identical with Brahman, the Supreme Being. The Devi Bhagavata Purana is one of the most important works in Shaktism, a branch of Hinduism focusing on the veneration of the divine feminine, along w...
1-26. Sūta said :-- Seeing the two Dānavas very powerful, Brahmā, the knower of all the Śāstras, thought of the means Sāma, Dāna, Bheda, Danḍa (conciliation, gifts, bribe, or sowing dissensions and war or punishment); which of these four he should apply.
He thought thus :-- “I do not know their strength and it is not advisable to enter into war without knowing their strength. Again if I offer praises to them puffed up with pride, it will be simply displaying my own weakness; and when they will come to know this, only one of them will be sufficient to kill me and this they will do certainly. To offer bribes is not also advisable; and how can I sow dissensions. Therefore it is best that I should rouse the four armed Janārdana Viṣṇu, who is very powerful, from his sleep on the thousand headed Ananta serpent. He will remove my difficulties”.
Thus thinking in his mind, Bhagavān Brahmā, the lotus-born remained in the tubular stalk of the lotus from Viṣṇu’s navel and thence took refuge mentally of Viṣṇu, the remover of difficulties and began to chant auspicious hymns composed of various metres to Jagannāth Nārāyana, involved in deep Yoganidrā (meditative sleep).
He said :-- “O Refuge of the poor! O Hari! O Viṣṇu! O Vāmana! O Mādhava, Thou art the Lord of the universe and omnipresent. O Hrisikeśa! Thou removest all the difficulties of Thy devotees; therefore leave your Yoganidrā and get up. O Vāsudeva! O Lord of the Universe! Thou residest within the hearts of all and knowest their desires.
O Thou, holder of the disc and club! Thou always destroyest the enemies of Thy devotees; O Omniscient One! Thou art the Lord of all the Lokas and all-powerful; no one can know what is Thy form; O Lord of the Devas! Thou art the destroyer of all pains and sufferings! So get up and protect me. O Protector of the Universe! nothing is concealed from Thy eyes! Every one becomes pure by hearing and chanting Thy name. Thou art Nirākāra (without any form); yet Thou createst, preservest and destroyest the Universe. O Cause of the world! O Supporter of all! Thou art shining as king of kings over all and yet Thou dost not understand that the two Dānavas, puffed up with pride have become ready to kill me. If thou dost neglect me, seeing me very much distressed and under your protection then Thy name as Preserver will become quite useless. Thus praised, when Viṣṇu did not get up, Brahmā thought that "Bhagavān Viṣṇu is now surely under the influence of sleep of the Primal Force Ādyā Śakti and is not therefore getting up; what am I to do now, thus distressed! These two Dānavas, elated with pride are ready to kill me; now what am I to do and where shall I go? I don’t find any body who can protect me any where.” Thus thinking, Brahmā came to the conclusion and decided to chant hymns to Yoga Nidrā Herself with one pointed heart. Discussing in his mind, He thought that that Ādyā Śakti (the Prime Force) which kept Bhagavān Viṣṇu, senseless and motionless would alone be able to save him. As a dead man cannot hear any sound so Hari, merged in deep sleep, knows not anything. When I have praised Him so much and when He has not awakened, then it is certain that sleep is not under Hari, but Hari is under sleep, and he who is under another becomes his slave; so this Yoga Nidrā is now exercising Her control over Hari. Again she, too, who brought Hari under control, that daughter of the Krsīra (milk) ocean is now under the control of Yoga Nidrā; so it seems that that Bhagavatī Mahāmāyā has brought the whole Universe under Her control.
Whether it be Myself, or Viṣṇu or Śambhu, or Sāvitrī or Ramā or Umā, all are under Her control; there is nothing to be doubted here? What to speak of other high souled persons! Now I will chant hymns to Yoga Nidrā, under whose influence Bhagavān Hari even is lying, under deep sleep, inert like an ordinary man. When the eternal Vāsudeva Janārdana will be dispossessed by Her, He will no doubt fight with the Dānavas.
Thus deciding, Bhagavān Brahmā, seated on the tubular stalk of the lotus, began to chant hymns to Yoga Nidrā, residing on the body of Viṣṇu, thus :--
27-32. Brahmā said :-- “O Devī! I have come to understand on the authority of all the words of the Vedas, that Thou art the only One Cause of this Universal Brahmānda. The more so when Thou hast brought the best Puruṣa Viṣṇu, endowed with discrimination above all beings, under the control of sleep, then the above remark is self-evident.
O Thou, the Player in the minds of all beings! O Mother! I am extremely ignorant of the knowledge of Thy nature; when Bhagavān Hari is sleeping inert by Thy power, then who is there amongst Koṭis and Koṭis of wise men, who can understand completely the Pastime, Leelā, full of Māyā of Thine, who art beyond the Guṇas. The Sāṅkhya philosophers say (that the Puruṣa (the male aspect of Śakti)
is the pure, conscious being and that Thou art the Prakriti, without any consciousness, material inert, Creatrix of the universe; but, O Mother! art Thou really inert like that? Never like that; had it been like that, how is it that Thou hast made Bhagavān Hari, the receptable of the world quite unconscious like this? O Bhavāni! Thou, being beyond the Guṇas art displaying like a dramatic performance these various dramatic plays by the conjunction with the three Guṇas. It is Thy three qualities, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas that the Munis meditate every day in the morning mid-day, and evening, the three Sandhyās; but no one is aware of Thy ways of doings. O Devī! Thou art of the nature of the judgment and understanding giving rise to knowledge of all the beings in the Universe; Thou art always the Śri (wealth and prosperity) giving pleasures to the Devas. O Mother! Thou art reigning in all as Kīrti (fame), mati (intellect), Dhriti (fortitude). Kānti (beauty) Śraddhā (faith) and Rati (enjoyment). O Mother! Now I am put to great difficulties and therefore I have got eye witness of Thy nature; no need of further reasoning and discussing about it.
27-50. I have now known that verily, verily Thou art the only Mother of all the worlds as Thou hast brought Hari under the influence of sleep. O Devī! Now when it is evident that all the worlds, etc., have come from Thee, then the Vedas have also come from Thee; what doubt is there? So the Vedas, too, do not know fully Thy nature; for the effect can never know its cause. So, it is very true that Thou art incomprehensible of the Vedas, O Mother! When I, Hari, Hara and the other Devas and my son Nārada and other Munis have not able to realise Thy nature fully, then who else can be so intelligent in this world that will realise all Thy nature? So Thy glory is beyond the speech of all beings. O Devī! If, in the place of sacrifice, the ritualists, the knowers of the Vedas, do not utter Thy name Svāhā, then the Devas, participators of the offerings in Yajña, do not get their share, however hundreds of oblations be offered; so Thou art also the giver of sustenance allowances to the Devas. O Bhagavatī! In previous Kalpas, Thou hadst saved me terrified from the fear of the Dānavas. O Devī Varade! now, too, I am terrified at the sight of the terrible forms of Madhu and Kaiṭabha and take Thy refuge. O high-minded one! Now I thoroughly see that by Thee, by Thy power Yoganidrā the whole body of Bhagavān Viṣṇu is senseless; but how is it that Thou dost not realise my sufferings. So, either dost Thou leave possession of this Ādi-Deva, or destroy Thyself these two Danavendras -- lost do either of the two as Thou likest. O Devī! Those that do not know Thy extraordinary powers, those stupid ones meditate Hari, Hara, etc. But, O Mother! By Thy grace, I realise to-day, as eye-witness, that Viṣṇu even is to-day lying unconscious in deep sleep, totally senseless of anything
outside by Thy force. O Bhagavatī! Now, when Kamalā, the daughter of Sindhu is unable to rouse Her husband Hari, by her effort, or rather Thou hast made Her, too, perforce, sleep unconsciously, it seems she is without any effort and does not know anything of what is going on outside. O Devī! Verily those are blessed who worship Thy lotus feet with their whole heart full of devotion and without any hope of getting rewards, abandoning the worship of other Devas and knowing Thee as the Creatrix of the whole world and the giver of all desires. Alas! now the intelligence, beauty, fame, and all good qualities have forsaken Hari and fled away to some unknown quarters. O Bhagavatī! Thou art really adorable in the three worlds for, by Thy power of Yoganidrā, Hari has been kept in prison, as it were, in this way. O Mother! Thou art the Śakti of all this universe and endowed with all prowess and energy; all other things are Thy creation. As a dramatic player, though one, plays in the theatre, assuming many forms, so Thou, too, being one, playest always in this charming theatre of world, created by Thy Guṇas, in various forms.
O Mother! Thou, in the beginning of the Yugas, dost manifest first the Viṣṇu form and givest him the pure Sattrik Sakti, free from any obscuration and thereby madest Him preserve the Universe; and now it is Thyself that hast kept Him thus unconscious; therefore, it is an undoubted fact that Thou art doing whatever Thou willest, O Bhagavatī! I am now in danger; if it be Thy desire not to kill me, then dost break the silence, look on me and show Thy mercy. O Bhavāni! If it be not Thy desire to kill me, then why hast Thou created these two Dānavas, my death incarnate; or is it that Thou wantedest to put me to ridicule. I have come to know of Thy wonderful acts; Thou createst this whole Universe, and Thyself remaining aloof, playest always and in the time of Pralaya resolvest everything again into Thee. Therefore, O Bhavāni, what wonder is there, that Thou wouldst want to kill me in this way? But, O Mother! I won’t feel any pain if Thou willingly killest me but this is to my great dishonour that being given power over these beings, I would then be made an object to be killed by the Daityas; this, indeed, is hard to me. So, O Thou Leelāmayī like a sportive girl! get up! O Devī! assumest the wonderful form Thyself and killest me or the two Daityas, as Thou willest; or rouse Hari who will then kill the Daityas. All these are in Thy hands.”
Sūta said :-- Thus praised by Brahmā, the Nidrā Devī (the goddess of sleep), of the nature of Tamo Gunas, quitted the body of Bhagavān Hari and stood by him. When thus left completely by the Devī Yoga Nidrā, of unequalled brilliance and splendour, for the destruction of Madhu Kaiṭabha, Viṣṇu began to move his body and at this Brahmā became very glad.