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 17 - On the description of Sandhyā and other daily practices

1-5. Nārāyaṇa said :-- If one divides or separates the pādas while reciting or making Japam of the Gāyatrī, one is freed from the Brāhminicide, the sin of Brahmahatyā. But if one does so without breaking the pādas, i.e., repeats at one breath, then one iñcurs the sin of Brahmahatyā. Those Brāhmaṇas who do the Japam of the Gāyatrī without giving due pause to the pādas, suffer pains in hells with their heads downwards for one hundred Kalpas. O Gāyatrī! Thou art of one foot, of two feet, of three feet and of four feet. Thou art without foot, because Thou art not obtained. Salutation to Thy Fourth Foot beautiful and which is above the Trilokī (Rājas). This cannot obtain that.

Firstly, Gāyatrī is of three kinds :-- “Sampuṭā,”  “Ekomkārā,” and “Saḍomkārā.” There is also the Gāyatrī, with five Praṇavas, according to the Dharma Śāstras and Purāṇas.

There is something to be noted while muttering or making the japam of the Gāyatrī :-- Note how many lettered Gāyatrī you are going to repeat (make japam). When you have repeated one-eighth of that, repeat (make japam) the Turīya pāda of Gāyatrī (i.e., the fourth Pāda, the mantram parorajase Sāvadomā prāpat) etc., (see the daily practices, page 107) once and then complete repeating the Gāyatrī. If the Brāhmaṇa makes the Japam (the silent muttering) in the above way he gets himself united with Brahmā. Other modes of making the Japam do not bear any fruit. Om Gāyatryasye kapadī dvīpapī Tripadī catus pādasi nahi padyase namaste Tūryāya darśatāyapadāya paro Rajase Sābado mā prāpat. Gāyatrī is one-footed in the form of Trilokī, two-footed, the Trayī Vidyā from thy second foot; tripadī (all Prāṇas are thy third foot, catuṣpadi, as the Puruṣa apadi without any foot, Parorajase above the Rājas, the dust; asau-that; adah this not prāpat may obtain. The Yogis who are Ūrdharetās (hold Brahmā charyam, continence) are to make Japam of the Sampuṭā Gāyatrī (i.e., with Om). Gāyatrī with one praṇava and as well the Gāyatrī with six praṇavas. The householder Brahmacārī or those who want mokṣa are to make Japam of Gāyatrī with Om prefixed.

6. Those householders who affix Om to the Gāyatrī do not get the increase of their families.

7-8. The Turīya pāda (foot) of Gāyatrī is the mantra “Parorajase Sāvodomā prāpat.” (Brihad. up. v.14.7). Salutation to Thy beautiful Fourth Foot which is above the Trilokī (Rājas). This cannot obtain that. The presiding deity of this mantra is Brahmā. I am now speaking of the full Dhyānam (meditation) of this Brahmā so that the full fruit of the Japam (recitation) may be obtained. There is a full blown lotus in the heart; its form is like the Moon, Sun, and the Spark of Fire; i.e., of the nature of praṇava and nothing else. This is the seat of the inconceivable Brahmā. Think thus. Now on that seat is seated well the steady constant subtle Light, the essence of Akāśa, the everlasting existence, intelligence and bliss, the Brahmā. May He increase my happiness (see page 107 the daily practice of the Hindus by R. B. Sris Candra Basu, on the Invocation of the Gāyatrī).

Note :-- Aum! Gāyatryasyekapadī dvīpadī, tripadī, catuṣpadasi, nahi padyase namaste turyāya darś atāya padāya parorajase, sāvado māprāpat O Gāyatrī! Thou art of one foot (in the farm of Trilokī), of two feet (the Trayī vidyā from Thy second foot) of three feet all Prāṇa, etc., are Thy third foot and of four feet (as the Puruṣa). Thou art without foot because Thou art not obtained. Salutation to Thy beautiful fourth foot which is above the Trilokī (Rājas). This cannot obtain that.

9. Now I am speaking of the Mudrā of the Turīyā Gāyatrī :-- (1) Triśūla, (2) Yoni, (3) Surabhi, (4) Akṣamālā, (5) Liṅga, (6) Padma and (7) Mahāmudrā. These seven Mudrās are to be shewn.

10-14. What is Sandhyā, that is Gāyatrī; there is no difference whatsoever between the two. The two are one and the same. Both are of the nature of Existence, Intelligence and Bliss. The Brāhmaṇas would daily worship Her and bow down before Her with greatest devotion and reverence. After the Dhyānam, first worship Her with five upacāras or offerings.

Thus :--

Om lam prithivyātmane gandham, arpayāmi namo namaḥ.  Om Ham ākāśātmane puṣpam arpayāmi namo namaḥ.  Om ram Vahnyātmane dīpam arpayāmi namo namaḥ.  Aum vam amritātmane naivedyam arpayāmi namo namaḥ. Om yam ram lam vam ham puṣpāñjalim arpayāmi namo namaḥ. Thus worshipping with five upacāras, you must shew Mudrās to the Devī.

15-16. Then meditate on the Form of the Gāyatrī mentally and slowly repeat the Gāyatrī. Do not shake head, neck and while making japam, do not show your teeth. According to due rules repeat the Gāyatrī one hundred and eight times, or twenty-eight times. When unable, repeat ten times; not less than that.

17-20. Then raise the Gāyatrī placed before on the heart (seat) by the mantra “Gāyatrasyai kapadī Dvīpadī, etc., and then bid farewell to Her after bowing down to Her and repeating the mantra “Omuttame Śikhare Devī bhūmyām parvata mūrdhani Brāhmaṇa ebhyobhya anujñātā Gacca Devī yathāsukham” on the highest top of the mountain summit in earth (i.e., on the Meru mountain) dwells the goddess Gāyatrī. Being pleased with Thy worshippers go back, O Devī! to Thy abode as it pleaseth Thee.” (See page 110, The Daily Practices of the Hindus.)

The wise men never mutter nor recite the Gāyatrī mantra within the water. For the Maharṣis say that the Gāyatrī is fire-faced (agnimukhī).

After the farewell shew again the following mudrās :-- Surabhi Jñān, Sūrpa, Kūrma, Yoni, Padma, Liṅga and Nirvāna Mudrās.

Then address thus :-- “O Devī! O Thou who speakest pleasant to Kaśyapa! O Gāyatrī! Whatever syllables I have missed to utter in making Japam, whatever vowels and consonants are incorrectly pronounced, I ask Thy pardon for all my above faults.” O Nārada! Next one ought to give peace offerings to the Gāyatrī Devī.

21-33. The Ccanda of Gāyatrī Tarpaṇam (peace offerings to Gāyatrī) is Gāyatrī; the Ṛṣi is Viśvāmitra; Savitā is the Devatā; its application (Niyoga) is in the peace offerings.

“Om Bhūḥrigvedapuruṣam tarpayāmi.”

“Om Bhuvaḥ Yajurvedapuruṣam tarpayāmi.”

“Om Svah Sāmaveda puruṣam tarpayāmi.”

“Om Mahaḥ Atharvaveda puruṣam tarpayāmi.”

“Om Janaḥ Itihāsapurāṇa puruṣam tarpayāmi.”

“Om Tapaḥ Sarvāgama puruṣam tarpayāmi.”

“Om Satyam Satyaloka puruṣam tarpayāmi.”

“Om Bhūh bhūrloka puruṣam tarpayāmi.”

“Om Bhuvaḥ bhuvoloka puruṣam tarpayāmi.”

“Om Svaḥ svarloka puruṣam tarpayāmi.”

“Om Bhūh rekapadām Gāyatrīm tarpayāmi.”

“Om Bhuvo dvītīyapadām Gāyatrīm tarpayāmi.”

“Om Svastripadām Gāyatrim tarpayāmi.”

“Om Bhūrbhūvah Svaścatuspadām Gāyatrīm tarpayāmi.”

Pronouncing these, offer the Tarpaṇams. Next add the word Tarpayāmi to each of the following words “Ūṣasīm, Gāyatrīm, Sāvitrīm, Sarasvatim Vedamātaram, Prithvīm, Ajām, Kauśīkīm, Sāmkritīm, Savajitīm, etc.,” and offer Tarpaṇams. After the Tarpaṇam is over, offer the peace-chantings, (Śāntivāri) repeating the following mantras.

“Om Jāta vedase sunavāma romam, etc.”

“Om Mānastoka, etc.”

“Om Tryamvakam Yajāmahe, etc.”

“Om Tacchamyoh, etc.”

Then touch all the parts of your bodies, repeating the two mantra, “Om atodeva, etc.” And reciting the mantram “Svonā Prithivī,” bow down to the earth, after repeating one’s name, Gotra, etc.

34-45. O Nārada! Thus the rules of the morning Sandhyā are prescribed. Doing works so far, bid farewell to the above-mentioned Gāyatrī. Next finishing the Agnihotra Homa sacrifice, worship the five Devatās, Śivā, Śiva, Ganeśa, Sūrya and Viṣṇu. Worship by the Puruṣa Sūkta mantra, or by Hrīm mantra, or by Vyahriti mantra or by Śriscate Lakṣmīśca, etc., place Bhavanī in the centre; Viṣṇu in the north east corner, Śiva in the south-east corner; Ganeśa in the south-west corner, and the Sun in the north-west corner; and then worship them. While offering worship with the sixteen offerings, worship by repeating sixteen mantras. As there is no other act more merit-giving than the worship of the Devī, so the Devī should first of all be worshipped. Then worship in due order the five Devatās placed in five positions. As the worship of the Devī is the chief object, so in the three Sandhyās, the worship of the Sandhyā Devī is approved of by the Śrutis. Never worship Viṣṇu with rice; Ganeśa with Tulasī leaves; the Devī Durgā with Durba grass and Śiva with Ketakī flower.

The under-mentioned flowers are pleasing to the Devī :-- Mallikā, Jāti, Kuṭaja, Panasa, Palāsa, Vakula, Lodha, Karavīra, Śiṇśapa, Aparājitā, Bandhūka, Vaka, Madanta, Sindhuvāra, Palāśa, Durbhā, Śallakī, Mādhavī, Arka, Mandāra, Ketakī, Karṇikāra, Kadamba, Lotus, Champaka, Yūthikā, Ṭagara, etc.

46-47. Offer incenses Guggul, Dhūpa and the light of the Til oil and finish the worship. Then repeat the principal (male) mantra (make Japam). Thus finishing the work, study the Vedas in the second quarter of the next day; and in the third quarter of that day feed father, mother and other dependent relatives, with money earned by one’s own self according to the traditions of one’s family.

Here ends the Seventeenth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the description of Sandhyā and other daily practices in the Mahāpurāṇam Śrī Mad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharṣi Veda Vyāsa.

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