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...
1-19. Vyāsa said :-- O King! Thus I have described the glory of the Devī. Now I will narrate, as far as I can, the excellent lives of the kings of the the Solar and the Lunar dynasties respectively. They all attained their excellent glories, simply because they were favoured by the Grace of the Highest Śakti; they were all the great devotees of the Supreme Deity. All their prowess, bravery, prosperity and all their glory, know that those all were derived from the mere parts of the Parā Śakti. O King! Those Kings and others as well were able to out off the Tree of this World by the Axe of their Knowledge, simply because they were the devotees of the Parā Śakti. So with all the care possible, the Lady of the Universe is to be worshipped and served. Men should avoid worshipping any other gods, as people avoid the husk to get the grain inside. O King! By churning the ocean of the Vedas, I have got the jewel as the lotus-feet of the Parā Śakti; and I think that I have discharged all my duties and think myself satisfied and successful. Brahmā, Viṣṇu Rudra, and Iśvara are the four feet and Sadā Śiva is the plank overhead; thus these five form the seat on which the Devī is seated. There is no other deity superior to Her. To show this (to the ordinary ignorant people) the Mahā Devī has taken this seat composed of the five Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra, Iśvara and Sadā Śiva. Superior to these five, what is stated in the Vedas as Vyaktam and in which all this Universe is sewn, as it were, crosswise and lengthwise, lying in and through, that is Bhuvaneśvarī, the Goddess of the Universe.
[Note: Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra, Iśvara and Sadā Śiva are the Regents or the presiding Deities of earth, water, fire, air and Ākāśa]. No man can be free unless he until the Goddess. When men will be able to encircle the Ākāśa, of the fourth dimension, as if it were an antelope skin, then they will be able to root out the miseries of the world, without knowing the nature of the Devī (i.e., impossible).
Thus the Śvetāśvataropaniṣada says :-- “Those that were engaged in meditation, Dhyāna Yoga, they saw the Devī covered by the Guṇas Sāttva, Rājas and Tāmas and the forces incarnate respectively of the several Devas.” So to make the human birth a success, first avoid all companies, be it out of shame, or fear, or devotion, or out of love; then bring the mind and keep it steady in your heart and then be devoted to Her and consider Her as the Supreme. This is the Vedānta Dindima (the declaration of the Vedānta). Whoever takes the name of the Devī, either in sleeping, going or resting or in any other condition, he is certainly freed from the bondage of the world, no doubt. O King! So worship the Māheśvarī with all the care that you can. Go on step by step; first worship Her Virāṭ Rūpa (cosmic form); then Sūkṣma Rūpa (subtle form) and then her Antaryāmī Rūpa (inner form, ruling within). Thus when your heart is purified, worship the Parā Śakti, of the nature of Brahmā, beyond this Māyā, this Prapañca Ullāsa, of the nature of Existence,
Intelligence and Bliss. When the Chitta (heart) melts in Parā Śakti, then comes the real Ārādhanā (the real worship). So dilute your heart in Her. O King! Thus I have described to you the sanctifying deeds of the extremely devoted kings of the Parā Śakti, who were noble minded and religious. One who will hear this will acquire fame, dharma, intelligence, good end, and merits that have no equal. Now what else do you like to hear?
20-22. Janamejaya said :-- “O Bhagavān! In olden times, the World mother Parā Śakti handed over Gaurī to Hara, Lakṣmī to Hari, and Sarasvatī to Brahmā, born of the lotus from the navel of Hari. Now I hear that Gaurī is the daughter of Himālayā as well of Dakṣa; and Mahā Lakṣmī is the daughter of the Kṣiroda ocean (ocean of milk). They were all originated from the Prime Devī; how, then, Gaurī and Lakṣmī came to be the daughters of others? O great Muni! This is next to impossible; so my doubt arises. O Bhagavān! You are quite competent to cut off all my doubts; so by your axe of knowledge, cut off my present doubt.”
23-44. Veda Vyāsa said :-- O King! Hear. I am telling you this wonderful secret. You are greatly devoted to the Devī; so nothing there can be that I cannot disclose to you. Since the time the Great Mother gave over to Hara, Hari and Brahmā, Gaurī, Lakṣmī and and Sarasvatī, respectively, these three Devas, Hara, etc. were performing their tasks, preserving, etc. O King! Once on a time, certain Dānavas, named Halāhalas were born. In time, they became very powerful and in a short time conquered the three worlds. What more than this, that they being elated with the boon granted to them by Brahmā, took their forces and invested the Mount Kailāśa and the Vaikuṇṭha regions!
Seeing this, Mahā Deva and Viṣṇu both made preparations for war. A terrible fight ensued between both the parties. For sixty thousand years the battle lasted incessantly but the result was stalemate. Gradually there was a great cry of consternation in the two parties. When Śiva and Viṣṇu with great effort destroyed the Dānavas. O King! Śiva and Viṣṇu then returned to their own houses and began to brag of their powers before their own Śaktis Gaurī and Lakṣmī; whereas the Demons were killed on account of the Śaktis of Gaurī and Lakṣmī. Seeing them boast, Gaurī and Lakṣmī laughed not sincerely whereon the two gods were very much angry. They under the magic spell of the Prime Māyā insulted them and even used offensive languages. Gaurī and Lakṣmī quitted them and disappeared. A great uproar then arose in the worlds.
Both Hari and Hara became lustreless due to their insulting the two Śaktis. They become powerless and unconscious and turned out mad. Seeing this Brahmā became very anxious. Hari and Hara are the two chief Deities; how then these two have become unable to perform the actions of the world! What is the cause? Why this calamity has sprung up out of season? Will there be a Pralaya (a general dissolution) of the world out of some offence, when no actions are being done! I know nothing about this. So how can I find a remedy! Being thus very distressed, he began to meditate with his eyes closed in the fourth dimensional space in the heart. O King! The Lotus born Brahmā then found out by his meditation that this calamity was brought about by the great wrath of the Parā Śakti. He then tried to find out the remedy until Hari and Hara did not regain the former natural position. Brahmā began by his own Śakti to carry on the functions of them both, viz., that of preservation and destruction for some time. The religious-minded Prajāpati quickly called his son Manu and Sanaka, etc.
, the Ṛṣis, for bringing peace on the two great Gods! When they came to him, the great ascetic four-faced Brahmā told them :-- “I am now busy with many more works; so I am unable carry on my tapasyā? By the wrath of the Highest Force, Hari and Hara have become somewhat distracted; so for the satisfaction of the Parā Śakti I am performing the three functions, i.e., those of Creation, Preservation and Destruction. So you both practise this hard tapasyā with the greatest devotion and bring about Her satisfaction. O sons! Do such as Hari and Hara gain their former states and then be united with their own Śaktis respectively. Your fame will increase thereby, no doubt. Rather that family where the two Śaktis will take their birth, will purify the whole world and that man himself will be crowned with success.”
45. Vyāsa said :-- O King! The pure-hearted Dakṣa and other mind-born sons of Brahmā, hearing the words of the Grandsire expressed their desire to worship the Parā Śakti and went to the forest.
Here ends the Twenty-ninth Chapter of the Seventh Book on birth of the Bhagavatī in the house of Dakṣa in the Mahāpurāṇam Śrī Mad Devī Bhāgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharṣi Veda Vyāsa.