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...
2-20. Dharmarāj said :-- O Child! He who gives rice and food to the Brāhmaṇas in India, goes to the Śivaloka where he dwells with great respect for years equivalent to the measure of that food. This “Anna-dāna” (the giving of boiled rice and other eatables) is a great dān (charity) and this can be done not only to the Brāhmaṇas but to the other castes also, where similar results also follow. There is, or will be, no other charity superior to this charity of anna (rice, boiled it may be and other eatables). For here no distinction is made as to what caste will get it or not, nor the discrimination of time, when to give such a charity. O Child! Seats (Āsanas) given to the Devas and the Brāhmaṇas, carry the donor to the Viṣṇu Loka, where he dwells for Ayuta years with great respect and love. Giving excellent cows yielding milk to Brāhmaṇas take the donor to Viṣṇuloka, where he is glorified and remains for years equivalent to the number of pores in that cow or those cows. And if cows be given on a meritorious day, four times the merits accrue, and if given in a sacred place of pilgrimage, hundred times the result occurs; and if given in a tīrath, where Nārāyaṇa is worshipped, koṭi times the results accrue. He who gives with devotion, cows to the Brāhmaṇas in Bhārata, remains in the Candraloka for one Ayuta years and is glorified. He who gives a two-mouthed cow to a Brāhmaṇa, goes to Viṣṇuloka and remains there for as many years as there exist the numbers of hairs on the body of that cow and is glorified. A gift of a beautiful white umbrella to a Brāhmaṇa makes one go to Varuṇaloka for Ayuta years where he remains with great pleasure. Giving garments to the diseased Brāhmaṇas makes one fit to remain with glory in Vayuloka for one ayuta years. Giving to a Brāhmaṇa the Śālagrāma with garments makes one remain with glory in Vaikuṇṭha as long as there exist the Sun and Moon. Giving a beautiful bedding to a Brāhmaṇa, glorifies a man in the Candraloka as long as there exist the Sun and Moon. To give lights to the Devas and Brāhmaṇa glorifies a man in Agniloka (the region of Fire) for one Manvantara. To give elephants to the Brāhmaṇas in Bhārata, makes one sit in the same throne with Indra for his life period.
Giving horses to the Brāhmaṇas makes one remain in Varuṇaloka for fourteen Indra’s life periods. Giving a good palanquin to a Brāhmaṇa makes one remain in the Varuṇaloka for fourteen Indra’s life-periods. Giving a good site or a good orchard to a Brāhmaṇa leads one to the Vayuloka where he remains with glory for one Manvantara. Giving a white cāmara and fan to a Brāhmaṇa, leads the donor to the Vayuloka where he remains for one ayuta years. Giving grains and jewels make one long-lived and both the donors and receivers go certainly to Vaikuṇṭha.
21-40. He who always recites the name of Śrī Hari, lives for ever and Death goes far far away from him. The intelligent man that celebrates the Swinging Festival (Dol Jātrā) in the last quarter of the Full Moon night in this land of Bhārata, becomes liberated while living, enjoying pleasures in this world, goes in the end to Viṣṇuloka, where he remains for one hundred Manvantaras; there is no doubt in this. If the Swinging Festival be performed under the influence of the asterism Uttara Phālgunī then the fruits become doubled; this is the saying of Brahmā Himself. The performer lives to the end of a Kalpa. To give til (Sesamum) to a Brāhmaṇ, leads one to Śiva Loka, where one enjoys for a number of years equal to the number of til. Then one is born in a good yoni and becomes longlived and happy. To give a copper plate yields double the effect. To give in India a chaste wife with garments and ornaments to a Brāhmaṇ (and then to purchase her with an equivalent in gold) leads one to Candra Loka where one remains for fourteen Indra’s life periods and enjoys day and night the celestial Apsarās. Thence the donor goes to the Gandharba Loka for one ayuta years and day and night enjoys Urvaśī. Then he gets for thousand births chaste, fortunate, wealthy, gentle and sweet-speaking, beautiful wives. He who gives nice and delicious fruits to the Brāhmaṇas, remains with glory in the Indra Loka for a number of years equivalent to the fruits. He gets again a good Yoni (birth) and gets excellent sons. To give thousand trees while there are fruits on them, or nice fruits only to the Brāhmaṇas, makes one enjoy the Heavens for a long, long time and he then comes back to Bhārata. To give various things and good edifices with grains, etc., to the Brāhmaṇas leads one to the regions of the Devas where he remains for one hundred Manvantaras. Then he gets a very good birth and becomes the master of abundant wealth. He who gives with devotion to the Brāhmaṇas lands certainly goes for one hundred Manvantaras and remains there in glory for one hundred Manvantras; and, coming again to be born in good wombs, they become Kings. The earth does not leave him for hundred births. He becomes prosperous, wealthy and possesses many sons and becomes the lord of his subjects. He who gives a good village with pasture land and cows, dwells with glory in Vaikuṇṭha for one lakh manvantaras. Then he gets a good birth (becomes born in a high caste family) and obtains a lakh villages. The earth quits him not even if he be born a lakh times. (This is very bad then, to one who does not like to be born again).
41-60. He who gives a village inhabited by good and obedient subjects with ripe excellent grains, various tanks, trees and adorned with fruits and leaves dwells in Kailāṣa with great glory for ten lakh Indra’s life periods. Getting again born in a high family, he becomes Rāja Dhirāja in Bhārata and obtains Niyuta towns. There is no doubt in this. The earth quits him not, even if he be born ayuta times. Really he gets the highest prosperity in this earth. He who gives to a Brāhmaṇa one hundred towns and countries, inhabited by good or mediocre subjects, with wells, tanks, and various trees, remains with glory in Vaikuṇṭha for one koṭi manvantaras. Then he becomes born in this earth in a high caste family, becomes the Lord of Jambudvīpa and attains in this earth great prosperity like Indra. The earth quits him not even if he comes here Koṭi times; in reality he is a Mahātmā (a great soul man), Rājrājeśvara (the Lord of Kings) and lives upto the end of a Kalpa. He who gives his whole property to a Brāhmin, gets in the end four times that; there is no doubt in this. He who gives Jambu Dvīpa to an ascetic Brāhmaṇa, gets undoubtedly in the end one hundred times the fruit. If you give away Jambu Dvīpa, the whole earth; if you travel all the Tīrthas, if you perform all sorts of asceticisms, if you give shelter to all, if you make gifts of all sorts, know that you will have to come again to be reborn in this earth; but if you become a devotee of Mūla Prakriti, then be sure that you won’t have to come here and be reborn. The devotees of Mūla Prakriti go to Maṇi Dvīpa, the highest place of Śrī Bhuvaneśarī Devī and remain there and they see the fall of innumerable Brahmās. The worshippers of the Devī Mantra when they quit their mortal coils, assume divine appearances endowed with Bibhūtis (manifestations of powers) and free from birth, death and old age, assume the Sārūpya (the same form) of the Devī and remain in Her Service. They reside in Maṇidvīpa and see the part Pralayas. The Devas die, the Siddhas die, the whole universe vanishes; but the Devī Bhaktas never die and they remain free form birth, death, and old age. He who offers Tulasī leaf to Bhagavān Hari in the month of Kārtik resides for three yugas in the temple of Hari. Getting again a good birth, he acquires the devotion to Śrī Hari and becomes the Foremost of those who restrain their senses. He who bathes in the Ganges early before the rising of the Sun remains in enjoyment in the temple of Hari for sixty thousand yugas. Getting again a good birth, he gets the Viṣṇu Mantra, and, quitting his mortal coil, becomes united with the Feet of Śrī Hari.
61-77. He has not to come back from Vaikuṇṭha to this earth. He remains in Hari’s Service and gets the same form of Hari. He who bathes daily in the Ganges, becomes purified like the Sun and gets the result of performing the Horse-sacrifice at every step. The earth becomes purified by the dust of his feet and he enjoys in Vaikuṇṭha as long as the Sun and Moon exist. Then again he becomes born in a good and beautiful womb, and is liberated by acquiring the devotion to Hari. He becomes very energetic and the foremost of the ascetics, pure, religious, learned, and self-restrained. When the Sun comes midway between Pisces and Cancer and heats intensely the earth, the man who in Bhārata gives cool water to drink to the people, resides in happiness in Kailāśa for fourteen Indra’s life periods. Getting again a good birth here, he becomes beautiful, happy, devoted to Śiva, energetic and expert in the Vedas, and the Vedaṅgas. He who gives to a Brāhmaṇa the Śaktu (sattu). in the month of Vaiśākhe enjoys in the Śiva temple for as many years as there are number of particles in that quantity of sattu (powders in parched oat). He who performs the Kṛṣṇa Janmāṣṭamī vow in this Bhārata, is freed from the sins iñcurred in his hundred births; there is no doubt in this. The observer of the vow remains in great enjoyment in Vaikuṇṭha for fourteen Indra’s life periods, gets again a good birth here and acquires Hari Bhakti. He who performs the Śivarātri vow in this Bhārata Varṣa, resides with great joy in Śiva Loka for seven manvantaras. He who offers the Bel leaves to Śiva in Śivarātri time, resides with great joy in Śiva’s Abode for as many yugas as there are number of leaves. Getting again a good birth here, he acquires the devotion to Śiva and becomes learned, prosperous and possesses sons, subjects and lands. He who performs vow and worships Śaṅkara in the month of Caitra or Māgha and who, with a branch of a tree in hand, dances day and night for one month, or half a month, for ten days or for seven days, dwells in Śiva Loka for as many yugas as the number of days he dances. He who performs the vow of Śrī Rāma Navamī, lives in the abode of Viṣṇu for seven Manvantaras in great joy. Getting again a good birth, he becomes devoted to Śrī Rāma, the foremost of those who have self restraint and he becomes very wealthy.
78-87. He who performs the Sāradīyā Pūjā (the great Durgā Pūjā in the month of autumn) of the Mūla Prakriti with incense, lights, offerings of food, and animal sacrifices of buffaloes, goats, sheep, rhinoceros, frogs or other animals, together with dancing, music, and various other auspicious things, resides in the Śiva Loka for seven Manvantaras. Getting an excellent birth, and a pure understanding, he gets unbounded prosperity, sons and, no doubt, grandsons and he becomes a very powerful sovereign possessing many horses and elephants. There is no doubt in this. Again he who worships daily with devotion for a fortnight beginning from the eighth day of the bright fortnight the Mahā Devī Lakṣmī, remains in the region of Goloka for fourteen Indra’s life periods. Then, obtaining an excellent birth, he becomes a sovereign. He who in the full moon night in the month of Kārtik prepares a Rāsa maṇḍal with one hundred Gopas and Gopis and worships Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā in Śālagrāma or in images with sixteen varieties of offerings remains in Goloka for Brahmā’s life-time and coming again to Bhārata acquires an unflinching devotion to Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
88-99. And when this Bhakti becomes greatly intensified, ho gets initiated into Śrī Hari mantra and after quitting his mortal coil, he goes to the Goloka. Then he gets the Sārūpya (the same form) of Kṛṣṇa and becomes the chief Pāṛṣad (attendant of Kṛṣṇa) and, becoming free from old age, he has no fear, to fall again down to this earth. He who observes the Ekādaśī day, remains fasting and performing penances in the bright or dark eleventh day, remains in Vaikuṇṭha in great enjoyment and comfort. Then, again coming into this Bhārata he becomes a devotee of Hari. And when that Bhakti is intensified he becomes solely devoted to Hari and quitting his mortal coil, goes again to the Goloka and gets the Sārūpya of Kṛṣṇa and becomes His Pāṛṣada (attendant). Then, freed of old age and death, he does not fall. He who worships Indra in the month of Bhādra in the twelfth day of the white fortnight is worshipped in the regions of Indra for sixty thousand years. He who performs in Bhārata the worship of the Sun on Sunday Saṅkrānti (when the Sun goes from one sign to another) and the bright seventh Tithi, according to due rules and ceremonies and eats the food called Haviṣyānna (rice boiled in ghee), dwells in the Sūryaloka for fourteen Indra’s life periods. Then coming to Bhārata, he becomes free from all diseases and becomes prosperous. He who worships Sāvitrī on the fourteenth day of the black fortnight dwells in the region of Brahmā for seven Manvantaras with great eclāt and glory. Coming again to Bhārata he enjoys beauty, unequalled valour, long life, knowledge and prosperity. He who worships on the fifth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Māgha, with his senses controlled and full of devotion, the Devī Sarasvatī with sixteen articles of food, resides in Maṇi Dvīpa for one day and one night of Brahmā.
100-140. On getting re-birth, he becomes a poet and a learned man. He who daily gives with devotion for his whole life, cow and gold to a Brāhmaṇa dwells in Viṣṇu Loka for twice as many years as there are the numbers of hairs on the bodies of these cows and plays and jests with Viṣṇu and doing auspicious things he finds pleasure. In the end he comes again to this Bhārata and becomes the King of Kings. He becomes fortunate, prosperous, possesses many sons, becomes learned, full of knowledge and happy in every way. He who feeds a Brāhmaṇa here with sweetmeats goes to Viṣṇu Loka and enjoys there for as many years as there are hairs on the body of the Brāhmin. In the end he comes again to Bhārata and becomes happy, wealthy, learned, long lived, fortunate and very powerful. He who utters the name of Hari or gives the name (i.e., the mantra) of Hari to others, is worshipped in Viṣṇu loka for as many yugas as the number of times, the name or mantra was uttered. Coming again to Bhārata, he becomes happy and wealthy. And if such things be done in Nārāyaṇa Kṣettra, koṭi times the above results ensue. He who repeats the name of Hari koṭi times in Nārāyaṇa Kṣettra, becomes, no doubt, freed of all sins and liberated while living and he will not get rebirth. He lives always in Vaikuṇṭha. He gets the Sālokya (the same region of Viṣṇu), is not liable to fall, becomes a Bhakta of Viṣṇu. He who daily worships the earthen phallic symbol (after making it daily) for his whole life, goes to the Śiva Loka and dwells there, for as many years as there are the number of particles of earth. Getting rebirth he becomes the King of Kings. He who worships daily the Śālagrāma stone and eats the water (after bathing it) is glorified in Vaikuṇṭha for one hundred Brahmā’s lives and becomes born again. When he acquires the rare Hari Bhakti and quiting his mortal coil goes to Viṣṇu Loka, whence he is not to return. He who performs all the Tapasyās (asceticims) and observes all the vratas (vows), dwells in Vaikuṇṭha for fourteen Indra’s life peroids. Getting rebirth in Bhārata he becomes the King of Kings and then he becomes liberated. He is not to return any more. He who bathes in all the Tīrthas and makes a journey round the whole world, gets Nirvāṇa. He is not reborn. He who performs the Horse-Sacrifice in this holy land Bhārata enjoys half the Indraship for as many years as there are hairs on the body of the horse. He who performs a Rājasūya Sacrifice, gets four times the above result. Of all the sacrifices, the Devī Yajñā, or the Sacrifice before the Devī is the Best. O Fair One! Of old, Viṣṇu, Brahmā, Indra and when Tripurāsura was killed, Mahā Deva did such a sacrifice. O Beautiful One! This sacrifice before the Śakti is the highest and best of all the sacrifices. There is nothing like this in the three worlds. This Great Sacrifice was done of yore by Dakṣa when he collected abundant sacrificial materials of all sorts. And a quarrel ensued on this account between Dakṣa and Śaṅkara. The Brāhmins conducting the sacrifice cursed the Nandī and others. And Nandī cursed the Brāhmaṇas. Mahādeva, therefore, disallowed the going on of sacrifice and brought it to a dead stop. Of yore the Prajāpati Dakṣa did this Devī Yajñā; it was done also by Dharma, Kaśyapa; Ananta, Kardama, Svāyambhuva Manu, his son Priyavrata, Śiva, Sanat Kumāra, Kapila and Dhruva. The performance of this sacrifice brings fruits equal to performing thousands and thousands of Rājasūya sacrifices. Therefore there is no other sacrifice greater than this Devī Yajñā. One becomes surely endowed with a long life of one hundred years and is liberated while living. He becomes equal to Viṣṇu in knowledge, energy, strength, and asceticism. This is as true as anything. O Child! This Devī Yajñā is the best and highest of all the sacrifices as Viṣṇu is the highest amongst the Devas; Nārada, amongst the Vaiṣṇavas; the Vedas, amongst all the Śāstras; the Brāhmaṇas amongst all the castes; the Ganges amongst the sacred places of pilgrimages, Śiva amongst the Holy of Holies, the Ekādaśī vow amongst all the Vratas; Tulasī, amongst all the flowers; the Moon, amongst the asterisms; Garuḍa, amongst the birds; Prakriti, Rādhā, Sarasvatī and Earth amongst the females; the mind, amongst the quick-going and restless senses; Brahmā, amongst the Prajāpatis; Brahmā, amongst all the subjects; Vrindrāban, amongst all the forests; Bharat Varṣa, amongst all the Varṣas; Lakṣmī, amongst the prosperous; Sarasvatī, amongst the learned; Durgā, amongst the chaste; Radhikā, amongst the fortunate. If one hundred horse sacrifices are performed, Indrahood is sure to be obtained. It is by the influence of bathing in all the Tīrthas, performing all the sacrifices, observing all the Vratas, practising all the austerities, studying all the Vedas and circumambulating the whole earth, that this Highest Śakti’s service is obtained and this service of Śakti is the direct cause of Mukti (liberation). To worship the lotus-feet of the Devī is the best and highest, is stated in all the Purāṇas, in all the Vedas, and in all the Itihāsas. To sing the glories of Mūla Prakriti, to meditate on Her, to chant Her Name and attributes, to remember Her stotras, bow down before Her, to repeat Her Name, and to drink daily Her Pādodoka (water after washing Her feet) and the offerings already offered to Her, these are approved of by all; and everyone desires this. So worship, worship this Mūla Prakriti, Who is of the nature of Brahmā, and, lo! Who is again endowed with Māyā. O Child! Take your husband and live happily with him in your home. O Child! Thus I have described to you the fruition of the Karmas. This is auspicious to every human being, desired by all and approved of by all. The Real Knowledge springs from this. There is no doubt in this.
Here ends the Thirtieth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the conversation between Sāvitrī and Yama and on the fruition of Karmas in the Great Purāṇam Śrī Mad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharṣi Veda Vyāsa.