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...
1-4. Nārada said :-- O Lord! I have heard all that you said in brief about the Prakṛti Devī. Now describe in detail. Why the Mūlā Prakṛti Ādya Śakti (the Prime Force) was created at the beginning before the creation of this world of five elements. How did She, being of the nature of the three Guṇas, come to be divided into five parts? I desire to hear all this in detail. Now kindly describe their auspicious births, methods of worship, their meditation, their stotras (praises), Kavacas (the mystic syllables considered as a preservation like armour), glory and power in detail.
5-26. Nārāyana spoke :-- “O Devarṣi! The Mūlā Prakṛti, of the nature of Māyā of Para Brahman is an eternal entity (the nabho maṇḍal); Time (Kāla), the ten quarters, the Universe Egg, the Goloka and, lower than this, the Vaikuṇṭha Dhāma all are eternal things. Ātman and Prakṛti are in inseparable union with each other as Fire and its burning capacity, the Moon and her beauty, the lotus and its splendour, the Sun and his rays are inseparably united with each other. As the goldsmith cannot prepare golden ornaments without gold and as the potter cannot make earthen pots without earth, so the Ātman cannot do any work without the help of this omnipotent Prakṛti. The letter “Sa” indicates “Aiśyaryam” prosperity, the divine powers; and “Kti”, denotes strength; and in as much as She is the bestower of the above two, the Mūlā Prakṛti is named “Śakti”. “Bhaga” is indicative of knowledge, prosperity, wealth, fame; and in as much as Mūlā Prakṛti has all these powers, She is also called “Bhagavatī”. And Ātman “is always in union with this Bhagavatī Who is all powers, so He is called “Bhagavān’. The Bhagavān is therefore sometimes with form; and sometimes He is without form.
(Note :-- When Prakṛti becomes latent, God is without form; with Prakriti manifest, God is with form.) The Yogis always think of the Luminous Form of the Formless Bhagavān and declare Him to be all blissful Para Brahma, the God. Though He is invisible, the Witness of all, Omniscient, the Cause of all, the Giver of everything and of every form, yet the Vaiṣṇavas do not say so. The Vaiṣṇavas declare how can fire, strength and energy come when there is no fiery, strong, energetic Person behind it? Therefore He who shines in the centre of this fiery sphere is the Para Brahma; He is the Fiery Person; He is higher than the Highest. He is All Will; He is All Form, the Cause of all causes and His Form is Very Beautiful. He is Young; He looks very peaceful and loved by all. He is the Highest; and His Blue Body shines like new rain-clouds. His two eyes defy the beauty of the autumn lotuses in the mid-day; His exquisitely nice rows of teeth put all the series of pearls in the dark back-ground. The peacock’s feather is seen on His crown; the garland of Mālatī flowers is suspended from His neck.; His nose is exceedingly beautiful; the sweet smile is always seen on His lips. There is no second like Him in showing favour to the Bhaktas. He wears yellow clothings, as if the burning fire is emanating all round; the flute is seen on both His hands, reaching His knees. His body is decorated all over with jewels. He is the Sole Refuge of this Universe; the Lord of all, omnipotent and omnipresent. No trace of deficiency can be seen in Him; He is Himself a Siddha (perfect) Puruṣa; and the foremost of all Siddha Puruṣas; bestows Siddhis to all. The Vaiṣṇavas meditate always That Eternal Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Deva of the Devas. He takes away fully all the fears of birth, death, old age, and ills and sorrows. The age of Brahmā is the twinkling of His eye. That Highest Self, the Para Brahma is denominated as Kṛṣṇa. The word “Kṛṣ” denotes Bhakti to Śrī Kṛṣṇa and the letter “ṇa” signifies devotion to His service. So He is the Bestower of Bhakti and devotion to His service. Again “Kṛṣ” denotes all; everything; and
“ṇa” signifies the root. So He Who is the Root and Creator of all, is Śrī Kṛṣṇa. When He desired, in the very beginning, to create this Universe, there was nothing then except Śrī Kṛṣṇa; and at last, impelled by Kāla (His Own Creation), He became ready, in His part, to do the work of creation.
27-61. The Lord, who is All Will, willed and divided Himself into two parts, His Left part becoming female and His Right part becoming male. Then that Eternal One, Who is greatly loving, looked at the female, His left part, the Sole Receptacle to hold all the contents of love, very lovely to the eyes, and looking like the beautiful lotus. The loins of this woman defy the Moon; Her thighs put the plaintain trees quite in the background; Her breasts are mistaken for the beautiful Bel fruits; flowers are scattered as Her Hairs on the head; Her middle part is very slender, very beautiful to behold! Exceedingly lovely; appearance very calm; sweet smile reigning in Her lips; side long glances with Her; Her clothing is purified with fire; all over Her body decorated with gems. Her eyes, also, like the Chakora bird (Greek partridge) began to drink incessantly with joy the moon beams from the face of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, defying, as it were, the ten millions of moons. On Her forehead there was the dot of vermillion (red-lead); over that, the dot of white sandal paste and over that was placed the musk. The fillets or braids of hair on Her head are slightly curved; this was decorated with Mālatī garlands; on Her neck was suspended the necklace of gems and jewels and She is always very amorous towards Her husband. On looking at Her face, it seems that ten millions of moons have arisen at once; when She walks, Her gait puts (humiliates) those of ganders and elephants in the shade. O Muni! Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of the Rāsa Dance, and the Person of Taste in the Rāsa sport, looked askance at Her for a while and then catching hold of Her by Her hand went to the Rāsamaṇḍalam and began to play the Rāsa sport (the amorous pastime). It seemed then the Lord of amorous pastimes had become incarnate there and had been enjoying the various pleasures of amorous passions and desires. So much, that Brahma’s one day passed away in that sport. The Father of the Universe, then becoming tired, impregnated in an auspicious moment in Her womb who was born of His left portion. The Prakṛti Devī was also tired of the embraces of Śrī Kṛṣṇa; so after the intercourse, she began to perspire and breathe frequently. Her perspiration turned into water and deluged the whole universe, with water; and Her breath turned into air and became the life of all beings. The female that sprung from the left side of Vāyu became his wife and out of their contact originated Prāṇa, Apāna,
Samāna, Udāna and Vyāna, the five sons. These are the five vital Vāyus of all the beings. Besides these from the womb of the Vāyu’s wife came out Nāga and the other four lower Vāyus. The water that came out from perspiration, Varaṇa Deva became the Presiding Deity of that; and the female, sprung out of the left side of Varuṇa Deva, became the wife of Varuṇa, called Varuṇānī. On the other hand, the Śakti, of the nature of knowledge of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, remained pregnant for one hundred manvantaras. Her body became effulgent with Brahma-teja (the fire of Brahma). Kṛṣṇa was Her life and She again was dearer to Kṛṣṇa than his life even. She remained always with Śrī Krisna; so much so that She constantly rested on His breast. When one hundred manvantaras passed away, that Beautiful One gave birth to a Golden Egg. That egg was the repository of the whole universe. The Beloved of Kṛṣṇa became very sorry to see the egg and out of anger, threw that within the water collected in the centre of the Universe.
Seeing this, Śrī Kṛṣṇa raised a great cry and immediately cursed Her duly and said :-- “O Angry One! O Cruel One! When you have forsaken out of anger this son just born of you, I say then that you become from today bereft of any issue. Besides, let all those godly women that will spring out of your parts, they also be deprived of having any issue or sons and they will remain ever constant in their youth. O Muni! While Śrī Kṛṣṇa was thus cursing, suddenly came out from the tongue of the beloved of Kṛṣṇa, a beautiful daughter, of a white colour. Her clothings were all white, in her hands there were lute and book and all Her body was decorated with ornaments made of gems and jewels. She was the Presiding Deity of all the Śāstras. Some time later the Mūla Prakṛti, the Beloved of Kṛṣṇa divided into two parts. Out of Her left portion came Kamalā and out of Her right portion came Rādhikā. In the meantime Śrī Kṛṣṇa divided Himself into two parts. From his right side appeared a form two-handed; and from the left side appeared a form four-handed.
Then Śrī Krisna addressed the Goddess Speech, holding flute in Her hand, “O Devī! You follow this four-handed Person as his wife” and then spoke to Rādhā :-- “O Rādhe! You are a sensitive, proud lady; let you be My wife; so it will do you good”. Śrī Kṛṣṇa also told Lakṣmī gladly to become the wife of the four-handed Nārāyana. Then Nārāyana, the Lord of the world, took both Lakṣmī and Sarasvatī to the abode Vaikuṇṭha. O Muni! Both Lakṣmī and Sarasvatī became issueless, being born of Rādhā. From the body of Nārāyaṇa arose his attendants, all four-handed. They were all equal to Him in appearance, in qualifications; in spirit and in age. On the other hand, from the body of Kamalā arose millions of female attendants all equal to Her in form and qualifications. Then
62-88. From the pores of Rādhikā came out the Gopa Kanyās (cow-herdesses). They were all equal to Rādhā and all were Her attendants and were sweet-speaking. Their bodies were all decorated with ornaments of jewels, and their youth was constant, they were all issueless as Śrī Kṛṣṇa had cursed them thus. O Best of Brāhmaṇas! On the other hand, suddenly arose Durgā, the Māyā of Viṣṇu (The Highest Self) eternal and whose Deity was Kṛṣṇa. (N. B. Durgā was the Avatāra of Mūla Prakṛti not the Avatāra of Rādhā as Lakṣmī and Sarasvatī were.) She is Nārāyanī; She is Īśānī; She is the Śakti of all and She is the Presiding Deity of the intelligence of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. From Her have come out many other Devīs; She is Mūla Prakṛti and She is Īśvarī; no failings or insufficiencies are seen in Her. She is the Tejas (of the nature of Fire) and She is of the nature of the three Guṇas. Her colour is bright like the molten gold; Her lustre looks as if ten millions of Suns have simultaneously arisen. She looks gracious always with sweet smile on Her lips, Her hands are one thousand in number. Various weapons are in all Her hands. The clothings of the three-eyed one are bright and purified by Fire. She is decorated with ornaments all of jewels. All the women who are the jewels are sprung from Her parts and parts of parts and by the power of Her Māyā, all the people of the world are enchanted. She bestows all the wealth that a householder wants; She bestows on Kṛṣṇa’s devotees, the devotion towards Kṛṣṇa; nay, She is the Vaiṣṇavī Śakti of the Vaiṣṇavas. She gives final liberation to those that want such and gives happiness to those that want happiness. She is the Laksmī of the Heavens; as well She is the Laksmī of every household. She is the Tapas of the ascetics, the beauty of the kingdoms of the kings, the burning power of fire, the brilliancy of the Sun, the tender beauty of the Moon, the lovely beauty of the lotus and the Śakti of Śrī Kṛṣṇa the Highest Self. The Self, the world all are powerful by Her Śakti; without Her everything would be a dreary dead mass. O Nārada! She is the seed of this Tree of World; She is eternal; She is the Stay, She is Intelligence, fruits, hunger, thirst, mercy, sleep, drowsiness, forgiveness, fortitude, peace, bashfulness, nourishment, contentment and lustre. The Mūla Prakṛti praising Śrī Kṛṣṇa stood before Him. The Lord of Rādhikā then gave Her a throne to sit. O Great Muni! At this moment sprang from the navel lotus the four-faced Brahmā, with his wife Sāvitrī, an exceedingly beautiful woman. No sooner the four-faced Brahmā, the foremost of the Jñānins, fond of asceticism and holding Kamanḍalu in His hand came into being than He began to praise Śrī Kṛṣṇa by His four mouths. On the other hand the Devī Sāvitrī, with a beauty of one hundred moons, born with great ease, wearing apparel purified by fire and decorated with various ornaments praised Kṛṣṇa, the One and Only Cause of the Universe and then took Her seat gladly with Her husband in the throne made of jewels. At that time Kṛṣṇa divided Himself into two parts; His left side turned into the forn of Mahādeva; and His right side turned into the Lord of Gopikās (cow-herdesses). The colour and splendour of the body of Mahādeva is pure white like white crystal; as if one hundred suns have arisen simultaneously. In His hands there are the trident (Triśul) and sharp-edged spear (Pattiṣa); He is wearing a tiger skin; on His head is matted hair (Jaṭā) of a tawny hue like molten gold; His body was besmeared all over with ashes, smile reigning in His face and on His forehead, the semi-moon. He has no clothing on His loins; so He is called Digambara (the quarters of the Sky being His clothing); His neck is of a blue colour; the serpent being the ornaments on His body and on His right hand the nice bead of jewels well purified. Who is always repeating with His five faces the Eternal Light of Brahmā, and Who has conquered Death by praising Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Who is of the nature of Truth, the Highest Self, the God Incarnate, the material cause of all things and the All auspicious of all that is good and favourable, and the Destroyer of the fear of birth, death, old age, and disease and Who has been named Mrityuñjaya (the conqueror of Death). This Mahādeva took His seat on a throne made of jewels (diamonds, emeralds, etc.).
Here ends the Second Chapter of the Ninth Book on the origin of Prakṛti and Puruṣa in the Mahāpurāṇam Śrī Mad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharṣi Veda Vyāsa.