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...
1-5. Janamejaya said :-- How did the Goddess Lakṣmī, the daughter of the ocean, come to be born as a mare, when cursed by the Bhagavān in His moment of anger, and what did Revanta do at that time? In what country was the Devī born as a mare and how did She pass Her time alone like one whose husband had gone abroad. O Muni! How long and in what forest unfrequented by persons did she pass her time, thus deprived of the companion of her husband and what did she do at that time? When was she reconciled with her husband Vāsudeva? and how did she get a son, when she lived in a state of separation from her husband. O best of Āryas! I am very curious to hear this excellent story. So describe this in full details to me.
6. Sūta said :-- O Ṛṣis! Thus questioned by Janamejaya, the Dvaipāyan Muni began to recite the story in its full details.
7-24. Vyāsa said :--O King! I will now describe to you the pleasing story of the Purāṇas in a clear distinct language; hear. Revanta, the son of the Sun, became terrified to see Vāsudeva, the Deva of the Devas cursing the Lakṣmī Devī and, after bowing down to Janārdan, the Lord of the world, went off. Seeing the anger of Viṣṇu, the Lord of the world, he went quickly to his father and informed him of the curse delivered by Nārāyaṇa to the Goddess Lakṣmī. And the Lakṣmī Devī, the lotus-eyed, thus cursed, got the permission of Nārāyaṇa and with a grieved heart bowed down to him and came down to the world of mortals. She took the form of a mare and went to the spot where the wife of the Sun (named Ccāyā) practised her asceticism in ancient times. The place was the confluence of the river Kālindi and the Tamasā, and decorated with lovely forests and trees situated north of the mountain named Suparṇākṣa, yielding all desires.
There she meditated with her whole heart the auspicious Mahādeva Śaṅkara, the Giver of all desires, thus :-- That Mahādeva is holding the Triśūla (the trident) on his arms; His forehead is adorned with beautiful cooling semi-Moon; He has five faces, each face having three eyes; His throat is coloured blue; He has ten arms; His body is white like camphor; He wears a tiger’s skin; His upper garment is of elephant’s skin; and snakes are his holy thread; He is holding the one-half of the body of Gaurī and his neck is adorned with garlands of human skulls. The Goddess Lakṣmī, the daughter of the ocean, assuming the form of a mare, thus practised severe asceticism in that place of pilgrimage. O King! With a feeling of intense dispassion (Vairāgyam) towards the worldly things, She spent the divine one thousand years in the meditation of Mahādeva, the God of the Gods. After that period, the Highest Lord Mahādeva, mounting on His bull, came there with His consort Pārvatī and appeared before the Lakṣmī Devī, perceptible by his eyes. Appearing thus with His host of His own persons, He then spoke to Lakṣmī, dear to Hari, now practising ascetism in the form of a mare, “O Auspicious One! You are the Mother of this whole Universe and your Husband is the Creator of these worlds and is capable to give all desires. Why are You, then, practising asceticism, when He is present? What is the cause of this? O Devī! Why are You praising hymns to me, instead of to Vāsudeva Śrī Hari, Who is capable to yield enjoyments and final liberation, and Who is the Preserver and the Lord of this world. O Devī! Work should be done according to the authority of the Vedas; it is stated in the Vedas that the husband is the lord of a woman; therefore it is never advisable to fix one’s mind entirely on another person. The eternal Dharma of women is to serve their husbands; whether the husband be a saint or a sinner, the woman, desirous of her welfare, should serve her husband in every way. O Daughter of the Ocean! Your husband Nārāyaṇa is fit to be served by all and He is capable to yield all desires. Why are you then worshipping Me, and leaving the Lord of the Goloka, the Deva of the Devas.”
25-32. Lakṣmī said :-- O Deva of the Devas! O Seat of Auspiciousness! I know that You are soon pleased with Your servant. My husband has cursed me. O Ocean of mercy! Kindly save me from this curse.
O Śambhu! When I informed my husband of my mental agonies, graciously and mercifully He then pointed out how I might be freed of this curse thus :-- “O Kamale! When Your son will be born, then You will be freed of this curse and will, no doubt, come back and live in this Heaven of Vaikuntha.” Thus spoken, I have come in this hermitage to make tapas and to worship Thee, knowing that Thou art the Bhagavān, the Lord of Bhavanī, the Lord of all and the Giver of all desires. O Lord of the Devas! How can I get a son without the intercourse of My husband? Though I am guiltless, my husband has forsaken me and is living in Vaikuṇṭha. O Maheśvara! Thou art doing good to all persons; and if Thou art pleased with me, then grant me a boon. O Lord! I know full well that there is no distinction between Him and Thee. O Lord of Girījā! This truth I have come to learn from my husband. O Hara! You are the same thing that He is and what is He is the same as You; there is not the least doubt in this. O Thou, full of auspiciousness! Recognising the Sameness without any distinction between Him and Thee,
33-36. Śaṅkara said :-- “O Devī, the daughter of the Ocean! Tell truly before me how you have been able to realise the identity between Him and Me. The Devas, Munis and the Maharṣis, versed in the Vedas, get their understandings baffled by wrong argumentations and never realise the identity without any difference between us. Almost everywhere you will perceive that many of my devotees blame me. Specially in this Kālī Yuga due to the influence of Time, this happens to a very great extent in many cases. O Auspicious One! Let that go! How have you come to know this matter, which is difficult even for the liberal-minded persons to comprehend. Know that this perception of the identity between me and Hari is very rare.”
37-38. Vyāsa said :-- O King! When Mahādeva asked thus with great pleasure, the Devī Kamalā, the darling of Hari, gladly replied the essence of the matter to Mahādeva.
39-43. Lakṣmī said :-- “O Deva of the Devas! One day Bhagavān Viṣṇu, seated in the Padmāsana posture, was immersed in deep meditation. I was very much astonished at this. When His meditation was over and when He was in a pleasant mood, I asked Him with great humility, O Deva of the Devas! I know that You are the Lord of the world and Master of this whole Universe; when Brahmā and the other Devas were united and churned the great ocean, I came out of the waters and looked all around to know who is the superior one whom I can select as my husband and then, thinking You as the superior to all the Devas, I accepted You as my husband. Now whose meditation You are doing again? A great doubt has thus occurred in my mind. O Lord! You are my most Beloved; now disclose to me your innermost desire and thought.”
44-49. Viṣṇu said :-- “O Beloved! Hear now, whom I am meditating. I am meditating in the lotus of My heart that Mahādeva Maheśvara, the Highest of all the Devas. Mahādeva, the Deva of the Devas, of indomitable prowess, sometimes meditates on Me and sometimes I meditate on the Lord of the Deva, Śaṅkara, the Destroyer of Tripurā. I am dear to Śiva as his life is dear to him and Śaṅkara is similarly dear to me. The hearts of us both are attached to each other in the most secret way possible; therefore there is not the least difference betwixt us both. O large-eyed One! Those men who being my devotees hate Śaṅkara, certainly go to hell. I speak this very truly unto you.” O Maheśvara! When I asked him this question when he was all alone, that Deva of the Devas, the Highest Viṣṇu thus said to me. Therefore I am meditating on You, knowing that You are His beloved. O Maheśa! Now find out means by which I can mix with My husband.
50-59. Vyāsa said :-- O King! Mahādeva, skilled in speech, hearing thus the words of Lakṣmī, consoled Her with sweet words and said :-- “O Beautiful! Be peaceful; I am pleased with Your tapasyā; soon You will come in contact with Your husband. There is not the least doubt in this. When I will send the Bhagavān, the Lord of the world, He will come before you in the shape of a horse, to satisfy your desires. I will send the Madhusūdana, the Deva of the Devas, in such a manner, as he will come in the form of a horse, passionately attached to you. O One of good eye brows! Thus you will get a son equivalent to Nārāyaṇa; and the son will be the King on this earth and will be undoubtedly worshipped by all. O fortunate One! After you get your son, you will go to Vaikuṇṭha with Nārāyaṇa and will reside there as His Beloved. Your son will be famed by the name of Ekavīra; and from him will propagate the Haihaya dynasty on the earth. O Kamale! You were blind by prosperity, and, becoming passionate, you forgot the Devī Parameśvarī, residing in your heart. Therefore you have experienced such a result. Therefore, to expiate that sin, take Her refuge by all means. O Devī! If your heart remained attached to the Highest Devī the blissful Bhagavatī, your heart would never have got attached to the Uccaiśravā horse.
Vyāsa said :-- O King! Thus granting boons to Lakṣmī Devī, He with his consort Umā vanished away in her presence.
60-62. Kamalā Devī, lovely in all respects, whose toe nails are always rubbed by the gems on the coronets of the Devas, began to meditate on the lotus-feet of Ambikā and in expectation of his beloved Hari, in the shape of a horse, praised and chanted hymns frequently to the Highest Goddess, in words choked with feelings of intense love.
Here ends the Eighteenth Chapter of the Sixth Book on the origin of the Haihaya Dynasty in the Mahāpurāṇam Śrī Mad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharṣi Veda Vyāsa.