The Devi Bhagavata Purana

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...

Chapter 1 - On the description of Prakṛti

1. Śri Nārāyaṇa said :-- This (Highest) Prakṛti is recognised as five-fold.

When She is engaged in the work of Creation, She appears as :-- (1) Durgā, the Mother of Gaṇeśa,  (2) Rādhā, (3) Laksmī, (4) Sarasvatī and (5) Sāvitrī.

2-3. Nārada replied :-- O Thou, the best of Jñānins! Who is this Prakṛti? (Whether She is of the nature of Intelligence or of matter?) Why did She manifest Herself and then again why did She reveal Herself in these five forms? And what are Her characteristics? Now Thou oughtest to describe the lives of all, the different modes of their worship, and the fruits that are accrued thereby. Please also inform me which Forms of them manifested themselves in which different places. Dost Thou please narrate to me all these.

4-18. Nārāyana said :-- “O Child! Who is there in this world that can describe fully the characteristics of Prakṛti! However I will describe to you that much which I heard from my own father, Dharma. Hear. The prefix “Pra” in the word Prakṛti means exalted, superior, excellent; and the affix “Kṛti” denotes creation. So the Goddess, the Devī Who is the most excellent in the work of creation is known as the Devī Prakṛti.

To come closer :-- “Pra” signifies the Sattva Guṇa, the most exalted quality, “Kṛ” denotes the Rajo Guṇa and “Ti” denotes the Tamo Guṇa.

(The Sattva Guṇa is considered as the Highest as it is perfectly clear and free from any impurities whatsoever; the Rajo Guṇa is considered intermediate as it has this defect :-- that it spreads a veil over the reality of things, so as not to allow men to understand the True Reality, while the Tamo Guṇa is considered worst as it completely hides the Real Knowledge).

So when this Intelligence of the nature of Brahmā, beyond the three attributes, gets tinged with the above three Guṇas and becomes omnipotent, then She is superior (Pradhānā) in the work of creation. Hence She is styled as Prakṛti.

O Child Nārada! The state just preceding that of creation is denoted by “Pra”; and “Kṛ” signifies creation. So the Great Devī that exists before creation is called Prakṛti after creation. The Paramātmā by His Yoga (i.e., Māyā Śakti, the Holy Ghost) divided Himself into two parts; the right side of which was male and the left side was the female Prakṛti.

(Note :-- The Holy Ghost is the principle of Conception and Emanation, Creation). So the Prakṛti is of the nature of Brahmā. She is eternal. As the fire and its burning power are not different, so there is no separate distinction between Ātman and His Śakti, between Puruṣa and Prakṛti. Therefore those that are foremost and the highest of the Yogis do not recognise any difference between a male and a female. All is Brāhman. He is everywhere as male and female forever. There is nothing in this world that can exist for a moment even without this Brāhman consisting of male and female. (i.e. they are Brāhman with Māyā manifested). Out of the Will of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, to create the world Whose Will is all in all, came out at once the Mūlā Prakṛti, the Great Devī Īśvarī, (the Lady Controller of the Universe) Brahmā with Māyā in a state of equilibrium). By Her command came out five Forms of Her, either for the purpose of creation or for bestowing Favour and Grace to the Bhaktas (devotees). Durgā the Mother of Gaṇeśa, comes, as the first, the most auspicious, loved by Śiva. She is Nārāyaṇī, Viṣṇu Māyā, and of the nature of Pūrṇa Brahmā (the Supreme Brahmā). This eternal, all auspicious Devī is the Presiding Deity of all the Devas and is, therefore, worshipped and praised by Brahmā and the other Devas, Munis, and Manus. This Bhagavatī Durgā Devī, (when She gets pleased) destroys all the sorrows, pains and troubles of the Bhaktas that have taken Her refuge, and gives them Dharma, everlasting name and fame, all auspicious things and bliss and all the happiness, nay, the Final Liberation! She is the Greatest Refugeof these Bhaktas that come to Her wholly for protection and are in great distress, whom She saves from all their dangers and calamities. In fact, know this Durgā Devī as, verily, the Presiding Deity of the heart of Kṛṣṇa and as His Highest Śakti, of the nature of the Holy Fire and the Holy Light. She is Omnipotent and resides always with Kṛṣṇa, the Great God. She is worshipped by all the Siddha Puruṣas (those that have attained success); the (eighteen) Siddhis all go to Her and when pleased She gives whatever Siddhis (success) that Her Bhaktas want.

19-40. This Great Devī is the intelligence, sleep, hunger, thirst, shadow, drowsiness, fatigue, kindness, memory, caste, forbearance, errors, peace, beauty, and consciousness, contentment, nourishment, prosperity, and fortitude. She is sung in the Vedas and in other Śāstras as the Mahā Māyā, of the nature of the Universe. In reality, She is the All-Śakti of the Universe and She is the Śakti of Kṛṣṇa. All these qualities are also mentioned in the Vedas. What is mentioned here is a tithe merely, in comparison to that of the Vedas. She has infinite qualities. Now hear of other Śaktis. The second Śakti of the Paramātman is named Padmā (Lakṣmī). She is of the nature of Śuddha Sattva (Higher than Sattva Guṇa) and is Kṛṣṇa’s Presiding Deity of all wealth and prosperity. This very beautiful Lakṣmi Devī is the complete master of the senses; She is of a very peaceful temper, of good mood and all-auspicious. She is free from greed, delusion, lust, anger, vanity and egoism. She is devoted to Her husband and to Her Bhaktas; Her words are very sweet and She is very dear to Her husband, indeed, the Life and Soul of Him. This Devī is residing in all the grains and vegetables and so She is the Source of Life of all the beings. She is residing in Vaikunṭha as Mahā Laksmī, chaste and always in the service of Her husband. She is the Heavenly Lakṣmī, residing in the Heavens and the royal Lakṣmī in palaces and the Griha Lakṣmī in the several families of several householders. O Nārada! All the lovely beauty that you see in all the living beings and all the things, it is She; She is the glory and fame of those that have done good and pious works and it is She that is the prowess of the powerful kings. She is the trade of merchants, the mercy of the saints, engaged in doing good to others and the seed of dissensions in those sinful and vicious persons as approved of in the Vedas. She is worshipped by all, reverenced by all. Now I will describe to you about the third Śakti of the Great God who is the Presiding Deity of knowledge, speech, intelligence, and learning. This third Śakti is named Sarasvatī. She is all the learning of this endless Universe and She resides as medhā (intelligence) in the hearts of all the human beings; She is the power in composing poetry; She is the memory and She is the great wit, light, splendour and inventive genius. She gives the power to understand the real meaning of the various difficult Siddhānta works; She explains and makes us understand the difficult passages and She is the remover of all doubts and difficulties. She acts when we write books, when we argue and judge, when we sing songs of music; She is the time or measure in music; She holds balance and union in vocal and instrumental music. She is the Goddess of speech; She is the Presiding Deity in the knowledge of various subjects; in argumentations and disputations. In fact all the beings earn their livelihood by taking recourse to Her. She is peaceful and holds in Her hands Vīṇā (lute) and books. Her nature is purely Sāttvic (Śuddha Sattva), modest and very loving to Śrī Hari. Her colour is white like ice-clad mountains, like that of the white sandal, like that of the Kunda flower, like that of the Moon, or white lotus. She always repeats the name of Paramātmā Śrī Kṛṣṇa while She turns Her bead composed of jewels. Her nature is ascetic; She is the bestower of the fruits of the ascetism of the ascetics; She is the Siddhi and Vidyā of all; She grants always success to all. Were She not here, the whole host of Brāhmins would always remain speechless like the dead cluster of persons. What is recited in the Vedas as the Third Devī is the Holy Word, The Third Śakti, Sarasvatī. Thus I have described Her. Now hear the glories of the other Devī in accordance with the Vedas. She is the mother of the four colours (castes), the origin of the (six) Vedāmgas (the limbs of the Vedas and all the Chandas, the Seed of all the mantrams of Sandhyā vandanam and the Root, the Seed of the Tantras; She Herself is versed in all the subjects. Herself an ascetic, She is the Tapas of the Brāhmins; She is the Tejas (Fire) and the caste of the Brāhmin caste and embodies in Herself all sorts of Samskāras (tendencies; inclinations); She is the Japam. Pure, known by the names of Sāvitrī and Gāyatrī, She resides always in the Brahmā Loka (the Sphere of Brahmā) and is such as all the sacred places of pilgrimages want Her touch for their purification.

41-47. Her colour is perfectly white like the pure crystal. She is purely Śuddha Sattva, of the nature of the Highest Bliss; She is eternal and superior to all. She is of the nature of Para Brahmā and is the bestower of Mokṣa. She is the Fiery Śakti and the Presiding Deity of the Brahmā Teja (the fiery spirit of Brahmā, and the Brāhmaṇas). The whole world is purified by the touch of Whose Feet, this Sāvitrī Devī is the Fourth Śakti. O Child Nārada! Now I will describe to you about the Fifth Śakti, the Devī Rādhikā. Hear. She is the Presiding Deity of the five Prāṇas; She Herself is the Life of all; dearer than life even to Śrī Kṛṣṇa; and She is highly more beautiful and superior to all the other Prakṛti Devīs. She dwells in everything; She is very proud of Her good fortune (Saubhāgyam); Her glory is infinite; and She is the wife, the left body, as it were, of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and She is not in any way inferior to Him, either in quality or in the Tejas (Fiery Spirit) or in any other thing. She is higher than the Highest; the Essence of all, infinitely superior, the First of all, Eternal, of the nature of the Highest Bliss, fortunate, highly respected, and worshipped by all. She is, the Presiding Devī of the Rāsa Līlā of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. From Her has sprung the Rāsa maṇḍalam and She is the Grace and the Ornament of the Rāsa maṇḍalam (the dance in a circle in Rāsa).

[Note :-- Extracts from a paper on Creation as explained by Hon’ble Justice Sir G. Woodroffe.

The lecturer commenced by pointing out that an examination of any doctrine of creation reveals two fundamental concepts: Those of Being

(Kuṭastha) and Becoming (Bhava); Changelessness and Change; the one and Many. The Brahmān or Spirit in its own nature (Svarupa) is and never becomes. It is the evolutes derived from the Principle of Becoming (Mūlā Prakṛti) which constitute what is called Nature. The latter principle is essentially Movement. The world is displayed by consciousness (chit) in association with Mūlā Prakṛti in cosmic vibration (spandana). Recent Western hypotheses have made scientific “matter” into Māyā in the sense that it is but the varied appearances produced in our mind by vibration of and in the single substance ether. The doctrine of vibration (Spandana) is however in India an ancient inheritance. The whole world is born from the varied forms of the initial movement in Mūlā Prakṛti. The problem is how does such multiplicity exist without derogation to the essential unit of its efficient cause, the spirit? The lecturer then made a rapid survey of the Sāṅkhya philosophy on this point which assumes two real and independent principles of Being and Becoming which it calls Puruṣa and Prakṛti and passed from this the easiest dualistic answer to the pure monism of Śaṅkara which asserted that there was but one Principle of Being, the Sadvastu and Māyā, whether considered as a Śakti of Īśvara or as the product of such Śakti was Avastu or nothing. He then pointed out that the Tāntrik doctrine with which he dealt occupied a middle position between those two points of view. Śiva in the Kulārnava Tantra says “Some desire Monism” (Advaitavāda), others Dualism (Dvaitavāda). Such, however, know not My Truth which is neither Monism nor Dualism (Dvaitādvaitā Vivarjita). Tantra is not Dvaitavāda for it does not recognise Prakṛti as an independent unconscious principle (Achit). It differs from Śaṅkara’s Advaitavāda in holding that Prakṛti as a conscious principle of Becoming, that is as Śakti, is not Avastu, though its displayed picture, the world is Māyā. It effects a synthesis of the Śāṅkhya dualism by the conversion of the twin principles of Puruṣa and Prakṛti into the unity which is the Ardhanārīśvara Śiva Śakti.

As regards other matters it adopts the notions of the Sāṅkhya such as the concepts of Mūlā Prakṛti with the three Guṇas, vibration (spandana), evolution (Parināma) of the Vikritis and the order of emanation of the Tattvas. Śakti which effects this exists and is Herself never unconscious (Achit) though It has the power to make the Jīva think It is such. If this were understood one would not hear such nonsense as that the Śāktas (whose religion is one of the oldest in the world) worship material force or gross matter (Jaḍa).

The lecturer then shortly explained the nature of Śakti (Śakti Tattva), a term which derived from the root “Śak” meant the Divine Power whereby the world was created, manifested and destroyed. In Tantra the power and the Lord who wields it (Śaktimān) are one and the same, Śiva and Śakti are one and the same, Śiva is Brahmān, Śakti is Brahmān. The first is the transcendent, the second the immanent aspect of the one Brahmān, Who is both Śiva and Śakti. The Mother creates (Kārya-Vibhāvinī). The Father wills what She does (Kārya-Vibhāvaka). From their union creation comes. Śakti is not like the diminutive female figure which is seen on the lap of some Indian images, to which is assigned the subordinate position which some persons consider a Hindu wife should occupy. She is not a handmaid of the Lord but the Lord Himself in Her aspect as Mother of the worlds. This Śakti is both Nirguṇa and Saguṇa that is Chit Śakti and Māyā Śakti.

After this defining the nature of Śakti by which the world was created, the lecturer commenced an account of its manifestation as the universe, following in the main the Śāradā Tilaka written in the eleventh century by Laksmanācārya, the guru of the celebrated Kashmiran Tāntrik, Abhinava Gupta. The following is a very abbreviated summary of this, the main portion of the paper. The lecturer first referred to the Aghanāvasthā state which was that Niṣkala Śiva and touching upon the question why Śiva became Sakala (associated with Kalā) and creative explained the term Kalā and the theory of Adṛṣṭasṛṣṭi taught by the Tantra as by other Śastras. The former is according to Sāṅkhya, Mūlā Prakṛti; according to Vedānta, Avidyā and according to the Śiva Tantra, Śakti. The latter is the doctrine that the impulse to creation is proximately caused by the Karma of the Jīvas. It is the seed of Karma which contains the germ of cosmic will to life. When Karma becomes ripe, there arises the state called Īkṣaṇa and other names indicative of creative desire and will. There then takes place a development which is peculiar to the Tantra called Sadriśa Pariṇāma, which is a kind of Vivartta. The development is only apparent for there is no real change in the Ānandamaya Koṣa. Śakti which exists in Sakala Śiva in a purely potential state is said to issue from Him. This is the first kinetic aspect of Śakti in which Sattaguṇa is displayed. This is the Paramākāṣāvasthā. Nāda (sound, word) then appears. Śakti becomes further kinetic through the enlivening of the Rajo Guṇa. This is the Aksarāvasthā. Then under the influence of Tamas, Īṣvara becomes Ghanibhūta and what is called the Parāvindu. This is the Avyaktāvasthā. Thus the Supreme Vindu men call by different names, Mahā Viṣṇu, Brahmā Purūṣa, or Devī. It is compared to a grain of gram which under its sheath contains two seeds in undivided union. These are Śiva Śakti and their encircling sheath is Māyā. This Vindu unfolds and displays itself, in the threefold aspect of Vindu, Vīja, Nāda; or Śiva, Śakti, and Śiva Śakti; the three Śaktis of will, knowledge and action. This is the mysterious Kāma Kalā which is the root of all Mantras.

These seven :-- Sakala, Śiva, Śakti, Nāda, Parāvindu, Vindu, Vīja, Nāda are all aspects of Śakti which are the seven divisions of the Mantra Om and constitute what is called the creation of Parā sound in the Īśvara creation.

The lecturer having explained the nature of these Śaktis which formed part of the sound (Śabda), Sadṛṣa Parināma, referred to the form or meaning (Artha) creation in the same development by the appearance of the six Śivas from Śambu to Brahmā which were aggregate (Samaṣṭi) sound powers. It was he said, on the differentiation of the Parāvindu that there existed the completed causal Śabda which is the Hidden Word. The causal body or Parā Śabda and Artha being complete, there then appeared the displayed word or Śabdārtha. This is a composite like the Greek Logos. The Śabda Brahmān or Brahmān as cause of Śabda is the Caitanya in all beings. The Śabdārtha in the Vedantin Nāmarūpa or world of name and form of this Śabdārtha the subtle and gross bodies are constituted, the Śaktis of which are the Hiraṇyagarbha sound, called Madhyamā and the Virāṭ sound Vaikhārī. By Śabda is not meant merely physical sound which as a quality of atomic ether is evolved from Tāmasik Ahamkāra.

The lecturer then pointed out that there had been Adṛṣṭa Sṛṣṭi up to the appearance of Śakti and Vivartta development up to the completion of the “word” or causal sound. Then there takes place real evolution (Pariṇāma) in which the Tattvas (or elements discovered as a result of psychological analysis of our worldly experience) are said to emanate according to the Sāṅkhya and not the Vedantic scheme, though there were some peculiarities in the Tantrik exposition which the lecturer noted. Finally Yogika Sṛṣṭi was accepted in so far as it was the elements which in varied combinations made up the gross world.

In conclusion the lecturer pointed out that Indian Śāstra was a mutually connected whole. Such peculiarities as existed in any particular Śāstra were due to a variety of standpoints or purpose in view. The main point in this connection to be remembered was that the Tantra was practical Śādhanā Śāstra. Whilst Śaṅkara dealt with the subject from the standpoint of Jñānakānḍa, the Tantra treated it from the point of view of worship (Upāsanākānḍa) the Tantrik doctrine is compounded of various elements some of which it shared with other Śāstras, some of which are its own, the whole being set forth according to a method and terminology which is peculiar to itself.]

48-70. She is the Lady of the Rāsa Līlā, the Foremost of the Jovial, humourous (witty) persons and dwells always in Rāsa. Her abode is in Goloka and from Her have come out all the Gopīkās. Rāsa – the circular dance of Kṛṣṇa and the cow-herdesses of Vrindāvana. Her nature is the Highest Bliss, the Highest Contentment, and Excessive Joy; She transcends the three Sattva, Rajo and Tamo Guṇas and is Nirākāra (without any particular form); but She dwells everywhere but unconnected with any. She is the soul of all. She is without any effort to do anything and void of Ahamkāra. She assumes forms only to show Her favour to Her Bhaktas. The intelligent learned men (Pundits) read Her Mahimā (glories) in meditating on Her according to the Vedas. The chief of the Devas and the Munis could never see Her; Her clothings are fire-proof and She is decorated with many ornaments all over Her body. Her body looks as if the crores of moons have risen all at once; She is the Giver of Bhakti (devotion) towards Kṛṣṇa, services towards Kṛṣṇa; and She bestows all wealth and prosperity. In Varāha Kalpa, i.e., when the Varāha incarnation took place, She incarnated Herself as the daughter of one Gopa (cow-herd), named Vrisabhānu. And Earth was blessed by the touch of Her feet. She is such as Brahmā and the other Devas could never perceive Her by any of their senses, yet everyone at Vrindāvan saw Her very easily. She is the Gem amongst women. And when She is seen on the breast of Kṛṣṇa, it seems that lightnings flash in the blue mass of clouds in the sky. In days gone by, Brahmā practised several austerities for sixty thousand years to purify Himself by seeing the nails of Her toe; but far from seeing that, He could not have that even in his dreams. At last He succeeded in seeing Her at Vrindāvana and became blessed. O Child Nārada! This is the fifth Prakṛti and She is denominated as Rādhā. Every female in every Universe is sprung from a part of Śrī Rādhā or part of a part. O Nārada! Thus I have described to you the five Highest Prakritis, Durgā and others. Now I am going to describe those that are parts of these Prakṛtis. Hear. The Ganges, Gaṅgā has sprung from the lotus feet of Viṣṇu; Her form is fluid-like; She is eternal. And She is the veritable burning fire to burn away the sins of the sinners. She is sweet to touch in taking baths and in drinking; She gives final liberation to the Jīvas, and leads easily to the Goloka abode. She is the holiest amongst the places of pilgrimage and is the first of the running rivers. She is the rows of pearls in the clotted hairs of Mahādeva’s head and She is the Tapasyā (asceticism) incarnate of the Tapasvīs (ascetics) of the Bhārata Varṣa. This Ganges purifies the three worlds and is the part of Mūlā Prakṛti; She shines like the Full Moon, is white like white lotus and like milk; She is pure Śuddha Sattva, clear, free from any Ahamkāra, chaste and beloved of Nārāyana. The Tulasī Devī is the consort of Viṣṇu. She is the ornament of Nārāyaṇa, and dwells always at the lotus feet of Nārāyana. By Her are performed all the acts of worship, all austerities, and all Saṅkalpas (resolves). She is the chief of all the flowers, holy and able to give merits (Puṇyam) to others. At Her sight and touch, Nirvāṇa can be obtained; and, were it not for Her, there could be no other fire in this Kali Yuga to burn the sins. She Herself is of the nature of Fire and at the touch of Whose lotus-feet, the earth is purified; all the Tīrthas desire to have Her sight and touch for purification and without Her all acts in this world become fruitless. She bestows Mokṣa (liberation) to those who want final liberation, grants all sorts of desires to several people, Who Herself is like a Kalpa Vrikṣa, Who is the Presiding Deity of all the trees in Bhārata and Who has come here to grant satisfaction to the ladies of Bhārata Varṣa and She is considered very superior throughout all parts of India. This Tulasī Devī is the chief factor of Mūlā Prakṛti.

71-95. Then comes the Manasā Devī, the daughter of Kaśyapa. She is the dear disciple of Śaṅkara and is therefore very learned in matters of Śāstras. She is the daughter of Ananta Deva, the Lord of Snakes and is very much respected by all the Nāgas. She Herself is very beautiful, the Lady of the Nāgas, the mother of the Nāgas and is carried by them. She is decorated with ornaments of the Snakes; She is respected by the Nāgendras and She sleeps on the bed of Snakes. She is Siddha Yoginī, the devotee of Viṣṇu and always ready in the worship of Viṣṇu; She is the Tapas and the bestower of the fruits of Tapas. Herself an ascetic, She spent three lakh years (according to the Deva measure) and has become the foremost of the ascetics in Bhāratvarsa. She is the Presiding Deity of all the mantras; Her whole body shines with Brahmāteja (the Holy Fire of Brahmā). Herself of the nature of Brahmā, She again meditates on Brahmān. She is sprung from a part of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and the chaste wife of Jarat Kāru Muni, the mother of Āstika, the great Muni; She is the part of Mūlā Prakṛti. O Child Nārada! Now comes the Śaṣṭhī Devī, the Mother of Devasenā. She is the most superior amongst the Gaurī and the sixteen Mātrikās. This chaste woman is the giver of sons and grandsons in the three worlds and the nurse, the foster mother of all. She is the sixth part of Mūlā Prakṛti and is hence known by the name of Śaṣṭhī. She lives near to every child as an aged Yoginī. Her worship is everywhere prevalent in the twelve months Vaiśākha, etc. When the child gets born, on the sixth day of Her worship is done in the lying-in-chamber and again on the 21st day (after twenty days have passed away) the most auspicious worshipful ceremony of Her is performed. The Munis bow down to Her with reverence and want to visit Her daily.

She protects all children always with a mother’s affectionate heart. This Śaṣṭhī Devī is again the part of Mūlā Prakṛti. Then appears the Devī Mangala Caṇḍikā. She goes from one house to another, on land or through water or in air, doing great good to them; She has come out of the face of the Prakṛti Devī and is doing always all sorts of good to this world. Her name is Mangala Caṇḍī because She is all auspicious at the time of creation and assumes very furious angry appearance at the time of destruction. So the Pundits say. On every Tuesday in all the worlds Her worship is done; and She, when pleased, gives to women sons, grandsons, wealth, prosperity, fame and good of all sorts and grants all desires. This Mangala Caṇḍi is again the part of Mūlā Prakṛti. Now comes the lotus-eyed Māheśvarī Kālī who when angry can destroy all this universe in a moment, who sprang from the forehead of the Mūlā Prakṛti, Dūrgā to slay the two demons Śumbha and Niśumbha. She is the half-portion of Dūrgā and qualified like Her, fiery and energetic. The beauty and splendour of whose body make one think as if the millions of suns have arisen simultaneously. Who is the foremost of all the Śaktis and is more powerful than any of them, Who grants success to all the persons, Who is superior to all and is of Yogic nature, Who is exceedingly devoted to Kṛṣṇa and like Him fiery, well-qualified, and valorous, Whose body has become black by the constant meditation of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Who can destroy in one breath this whole Brahmāṇḍa, Who was engaged in fighting with the Daityas simply for sport and instruction to the people and Who, when pleased in worship can grant the four fruits Dharma, Artha, Kāma and Mokṣa. This Kālī is also the part of Prakṛti. The Devī Basundharā (Earth) is again the part of Mūlā Prakṛti. Brahmā and the other Devas, all the Muni maṇḍalams (the spheres of Munis), fourteen Manus and all men sing hymns to Her. She is the support of all and filled with all sorts of grains. She is the source of all gems and jewels, She bears in Her womb all the precious metals. All sorts of best things issue from Her. She is the Refuge of all. The subjects and kings worship Her always and chant hymns to Her. All the Jīvas live through Her and She bestows all sorts of wealth and prosperity. Without Her, all this, moving or non-moving, become void of any substratum. Where to rest on!

96-143. O Child Nārada! Now hear about them who are issued again from the parts of Mūlā Prakṛti as well as the names of their wives. I will now narrate duly. The Devī “Svāhā” is the wife of Agni (Fire), and the whole Universe worships Her. Without her, the Devī can never take any oblations. Dakṣiṇā and Diksā are both the wives of Yajña (Sacrifice). They are honoured everywhere. So much so that without Dakṣiṇā (the fees given at the end of the Sacrifice) no sacrificial ceremonies can be complete and fructifying. The Devī “Svadhā” is the wife of the Pitris. All worship this Devī “Svadhā” whether they are Munis, Manus, or men. If this mantra “Svadhā” be not uttered while making an offering to the Pitris, all turn out useless. The Devī “Svasti” is the wife of the Vāyu Deva; She is honoured everywhere in the Universe. Without this “Svasti” Devī, no giving nor taking nor any action can be fructifying and useful. “Puṣṭī”  (nourishment) is the wife of Gaṇapatī. All in this world worship this Puṣṭī Devī. Without this “Puṣṭi”, women or men alike all become weaker and weaker. Tuṣṭī (satisfaction, contentment) is the wife of Ananta Deva. She is praised and worshipped everywhere in this world. Without Her no one anywhere in the world can be happy. “Sampattī” is the wife of Īsāna Deva. The Suras, the men all alike worship Her. Were it not for Her, all in this world would be oppressed with dire poverty. The Devī “Dhritī” is the wife of Kapila Deva. She is honoured equally in all places. Were it not for Her, all the people in this world would have become impatient. The “Satī” Devī is the wife of Satya Deva (Truth). She is endearing to the whole world. The liberated ones worship Her always. Were it not for the truth loving Satī, the whole world would have lost the treasure in friendship. “Dayā” (Mercy) endearing to the whole world is the chaste wife of “Mohā Deva”. She is liked by all. Were it not for Her, all the world would have become hopeless. The Devī “Pratiṣṭhā” (fame, celebrity) is the wife of Puṇya Deva (merit).She gives merits to persons according as they worship Her. Were it not for Her, all the persons would remain dead while living. The Devī “Kīrti” (fame) is the wife of Sukarma (good works). Herself a Siddha (one who has acquired the result of one’s success), all the blessed people honour Her with great reverence. Were it not for Her, all the persons in this world would have been dead, devoid of any fame. Kriyā (work-efforts, action, doing) is the wife of “Udyoga” (enthusiasm). All honour Her greatly. O Muni Nārāda! Were it not for Her, the whole people would be void of any rules and regulations. Falsehood is the wife of Adharma (unrighteousness). She is honoured greatly by all the cheats that are extant in this world. Were she not liked by them, then all the cheats would become extinct. She did not fall in the sight of anybody in the Satya Yuga. Her subtle form became visible in the Tretā Yuga. When the Dvāpara Yuga came, She became half developed. And at last when the Kali Yuga has come, She is fully developed and there is no second to Her whether in bold confidence and shamelessness or in talking much and pervading everywhere. With her brother Deceitfulness, She roams from one house to another. Peace and modesty and shame are both the wives of good behaviour. Were they not existent, all in this world would have turned out deluded and mad. Intelligence, genius and fortitude, these three are the wives of Jñāna (knowledge). Had they not lived, every one would become stupid and insane. Mūrti is the wife of Dharma Devī. She is of the nature of Beauty to all and very charming. Were it not for Her, Paramātmān would not get any resting place; and the whole universe would have become Nirālamba (without anything to rest). This chaste Mūrti Devī is of the nature of splendour, loveliness and Lakṣmī. She is everywhere respected, worshipped and reverenced. “Sleep”, the Siddha Yoginī, is the wife of Rudra Deva, who is of the nature of Kālāgni (the universal conflagration at the break-up of the world). All the Jīvas spend their nights with Her. The twilights, night and day are the wives of Kāla (Time). If they were not, the Creator even would not be able to reckon time. Hunger and thirst are the wives of Lobha (covetousness). They are thanked, respected and worshipped by the whole world. Had they not lived, the whole world would have merged ever in an ocean of anxieties. Splendour and burning capacity are the wives of Tejas (fire). Without these, the Lord of the world could never have created and established order in this universe. Death and old age are the daughters of the Kāla, and the dear wives of Jvarā (the disease). Without these, all the creation would come to an end. The Tandrā (drowsiness, lassitude) and Prīti (satisfaction) are the daughters of Nidrā (sleep). And they are the dear wives of Sukha (pleasure). They are present everywhere in this world. O Best of Munis! Śraddhā (faith) and Bhakti (devotion) are the wives of Vairāgyam (dispassion). For then all the persons can become liberated while living (Jīvanmuktas). Besides these there is Aditi, the Mother of the Gods, Surabhi, mother of cows; Diti, the mother of the Daityas; Kadru, the mother of the Nāgas (serpents); Vinatā, the mother of Garuḍa, the prince of birds; and Danu, the mother of the Dānavas. All are very useful for the purpose of creation. But these all are parts of Mūlā Prakṛti. Now I will mention some of the other parts of Prakṛti. Hear. Rohiṇī, the wife of the Moon, Sañjñā, the wife of the Sun; Śatarūpā, the wife of Manu; Śacī, the wife of Indra; Tārā, the wife of Brihaspati; Arundhatī, the wife of Vaśiṣṭha; Anasūyā, the wife of Atri; Devahūtī, the wife of Kardama; Prasūti, the wife of Dakṣa; Menakā, the mind born daughter of the Pitris and the mother of Ambikā, Lopāmudrā, Kuntī, the wife of Kuvera, the wife of Varuṇa, Bindhyāvalī, the wife of the King Bali; Damayantī, Yaśodā, Devakī, Gāndhārī, Draupadī, Śaivyā, Satyavatī, the chaste and noble wife of Bṛṣabhānu and the mother of Rādhā; Mandidarī; Kauśalyā, Kauravī,; Subhadrā; Revatī, Satyabhāmā, Kālindī, Laksmanā; Jāmbavatī; Nāgnajiti, Mitrabindā,

Lakṣaṇā, Rukmiṇī, Sītā, the Laksmī incarnate; Kālī, Yojana Gandhā, the chaste mother of Vyāsa, Ūṣā, the daughter of Vāṇa, her companion Citralekhā; Prabhāvati, Bhānumatī, the Satī Māyāvatī, Reṇukā, the mother of Paraśurāma; Rohiṇī, the mother of Balarāma, Ekanandā and the sister of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Satī Durgā and many other ladies are the parts of Prakṛti and all the female sex, everywhere in the Universe are all come from the parts of Prakṛti. So to insult any woman is to insult the Prakṛti. If one worships a chaste Brahmiṇ woman, who has her husband and son living, with clothings, ornaments, and sandal paste, etc., one worships, as it were, Prakṛti. If any Vipra worships a virgin girl, eight years old, with clothings, ornaments and sandal paste, know that he has worshipped the Prakṛti Devī. The best, middling, and worst are all sprung from Prakṛti. Those women that are sprung from Sattva Guṇa are all very good natured and chaste; those that are sprung from Rajo Guṇa are middling and very much attached to worldly enjoyments and do their selfish ends and those that are sprung from Tamo Guṇa are recognised as worst and belonging to the unknown families. They are very scurrilous, cheats, ruining their families, fond of their own free ways, quarrelsome and no seconds are found equal to them. Such women become prostitutes in this world and Apsarās in the Heavens. The Hermaphrodites are parts of Prakṛti but they are of the nature of Tamo Guṇas.

144-159. Thus I have described to you the nature of Prakṛti. So in this Punyabhūmi Bhārata Varṣa, to worship the Devī is by all means desirable. In days past by, the King Suratha worshipped the Mūlā Prakṛti Durgā, the Destructrix of all evils. Then again Śrī Rāma Candra worshipped Her when he wanted to kill Rāvaṇa. Since then Her worship is extant in the three worlds. She was first born as the honourable daughter of Dakṣa. She destroyed the whole hosts of Daityas and Dānavas. It was She who, hearing the abusive words uttered against Her husband at the Yajña by Dakṣa, Her father, gave up Her body and took up again Her birth. She took Her birth in the womb of Menakā and got again Paśupati as Her husband. And of the two sons, Kārtika and Gaṇeśa, born to Her, Kārtika was the Aṇsa (part) of Nārāyana and Gaṇapati was Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, the Lord of Rādhā. O Devarṣi! After the two sons, Laksmī Devī came out of Durgā. Mangala Rāja, the King Mars first worshipped Her. Since then, all in the three worlds began to worship Her, whether they are Devas or men. The King Aśvapati first worshipped Sāvitrī Devī; and since then the Devas, Munis, all began to worship Her. When the Devī Saravastī was born, the Bhagavān Brahmā first worshipped Her; next the greatest Munis, Devas all began to worship Her. On the full moon night of the month of Kārtik, it was Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa, The Highest Spirit, that worshipped, first of all, the Devī Rādhā within the Rāsa Mandalam, the enclosure, within which the Rāsa Līlā was performed (the circular dance) in the region Goloka. Then under the command of Śrī Krisna, all the Gopas (cow-herds), Gopīs, all the boys, girls, Surabhī, the queen of the race of the cows, and the other cows worshipped Her. So since Her worship by the inhabitants of Goloka, by Brahmā and the other Devas and the Munis, all began to worship ever Śrī Rādhā with devotion and incense, light and various other offerings. On earth She was first worshipped by Suyajña, in the sacred field of Bhāratvarṣa, under the direction of Bhagavān Mahādeva. Subsequently, under the command of the Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Highest Spirit, the inhabitants of the three worlds began to worship Her. The Munis with great devotion, with incense, flowers and various other offerings worship always the Devī Rādhā. O Child Nārada! Besides these, all the other Devīs that have issued from Prakṛti Devī are all worshipped. So much so that in the villages, the village Deities, in the forests, the forest Deities and in the cities, the city Deities are worshipped. Thus I have described to you all according to the Śāstras the glorious lives of the Devī Prakṛti and Her parts. What more do you want to hear?

Here ends the First Chapter on the Description of Prakriti in the Ninth Book of the Śrī Mad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharṣi Veda Vyāsa.


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