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...
1-2. Janamejaya said :-- "O Muni! You told before that "the Highest Light took Her birth on the top of the Himālayās." Now describe to me in detail about this Highest Light. What intelligent man can desist from hearing these nectar-like words about the Śakti? The danger of death may come even to the Devas that drink nectars but no such danger can possibly come to those that drink the nectar of the Devī’s glorious deeds.
3-43. Vyāsa said :-- "O King! You are blessed; you have attained what you are to attain in this life; you are taught by the high-souled men; you are fortunate since you are so sincerely devoted to the Devī.
O King! Hear the ancient history :--Wherever the Deva of the Devas, the Maheśvara rested while He was wandering all over the world in a distracted state, carrying the Satī’s body that as burnt by fire, He spent his time there with his senses controlled, in Samādhi, forgetting all his knowledge of Samsāra in deep meditation of the form of the Devī. At this time, the three worlds, with their objects, moving and immoving, with their oceans, mountains and islands became void of prosperity and power. The hearts of all the embodied beings became dried up, without any trace of joy; they were all burdened with anxious thoughts and remained indifferent. All were merged in the ocean of sorrows and became diseased. Planets retrograded and the Devas had their states reversed. The Kings were attacked with a series of ills and misfortunes. Ādhibhantik and Ādhidaivik (from material causes and from divine interference). At this time a great Asura, named Tāraka, became unconquerable owing to his receiving a boon from Brahmā. Being intoxicated by his power and heroism, he conquered the three worlds and became the sovereign ruler.The Brahmā Prajāpati, gave him boon to this effect that the legitimate son of Śiva would be able to kill him. And as at that time Śiva had no son, the great Asura, elated with joy, became infatuated and carried off all victories. All the Devas were banished from their places by his oppression; they remained always anxious owing to the want felt by them of a son of Śiva. "Śāṅkara has now no wife; how can He then have a son! We are very unfortunate; how can our work be accomplished? Thus oppressed with thoughts, all the Devas went to Vaikuṇṭha and informed the Bhāgavaṇ Viṣṇu of all that had happened, in privacy.
The Bhāgavan Viṣṇu began to tell them the means, thus :-- "O Devas! Why are you all so anxious when the Auspicious Goddess of the Universe, the Dweller in the Maṇi Dvīpa, the Yielder of all desires like a Kalpa Vrikṣa is always wakeful for you. It is due to your faults that She is showing Her indifference; it is meant to teach us (not for our destruction but to show Her Infinite mercy). When a mother nourishes and frightens and reprimands a son, it is not that she has became merciless; so the World Mother, the Controller of the Universe, will never be merciless to you as regards your qualifications and defects. A son commits offence at every step who can bear that in these three worlds except the mother! So soon take refuge to the Highest Mother, the Goddess of the universe, with the sincerest devotion. She will certainly take action and help your cause. Thus ordering the Devas, Viṣṇu with His consort Lakṣmī and the other Devas quickly went out to worship the Devī. Going to the Himālayās, they soon engaged themselves in doing the Puraścaraṇa Karma (act of repeating the names of the Deity, attended with burnt oblations and offerings, etc.). O King! Those who were well versed with the performance of sacrifice to the Mother, began their sacrificial ceremonies and all began to hold vows, viz, Tritiyādi Vratāṇī. Some were engaged in incessantly meditating on the Devī; some began to repeat Her names constantly; some began to repeat the Devī Sūkta. Thus some devoted themselves to repeating names; others to repeating mantrams. Again some wore engaged in performing severe (painful) Cāndrāyaṇa and other Vratas. Some were doing Antarayāgas (inner sacrifices); some wore doing Prānāgnihotra Yāgas; whereas others engaged themselves in Nyāsādi, etc. Again some began to worship the Highest Śaktī, the Goddess of the Universe, without any sleep or rest, by the seed mantra of Māyā. O King! Thus many years of the Devas passed away. When the ninth Tithī came in the month of Caitra on Friday, the Highest Light of the Supreme Force suddenly appeared in front of them. That Light was equal to Koṭi lightnings, of a red colour, and cool like the Koṭi Moons. Again the lustre was like the Koṭi Suns. The four Vedas personified, were chanting hymns all round Her. That mass of fire was above, below, on all sides, in the middle; nowhere it was obstructed. It had no beginning, nor end. It was of the form of a female with hands and feet and all the limbs. The appearance was not that of a male nor that of an hermophrodite. The Devas, dazzled by the brilliant lustre, first closed their eyes; but at the next moment, holding patience when they opened again their eyes, they found the Highest Light manifesting in the form of an exceedingly beautiful Divine Woman. Her youth was just blooming and Her rising breasts, plump and prominent, vying as it were, with a lotus bud, added to the beauty all around. Bracelets were on Her hands; armlets on Her four arms; necklace on Her neck; and the garland made of invaluable gems and jewels spread very bright lustre all arouud. Lovely ornaments on Her waist making tinkling sounds and beautiful anklets were on Her feet. The hairs of Her head, flowing between Her ears and cheek sparkled bright like the large black bees shining on the flower leaves of the blooming Ketakī flower. Her loins were nicely shaped and exquisitely lovely and the hairs on Her navel gave additional beauty. Her exquisitely lively lotus mouth rendered more lustrous and beautiful by the shining golden ear-ornaments, was filled with betel leaves mixed with camphor, etc.; on Her forehead there was the half crescaut moon; Her eye-brows were extended and Her eyes looked bright and beautifully splendid like the red lotus; Her nose was elevated and Her lips very sweet. Her teeth were very beautiful like the opening buds of Kunda flowers; from Her neck was suspended a necklace of pearls; on Her head was the brilliant crown decked with diamonds and jewels; on Her ears, earrings were suspended like the lines on the Moon; Her hairs were ornamented with Mallikā and Mālatī flowers; Her forehead was pasted with Kāṣmīra Kuṅkuma drops; and Her three eyes gave unparallelled lustre to Her face. On Her one hand there was the noose and on Her other hand there was the goad; her two other hands made signs granting boons and dispelling fears; Her body shed lustre like the flowers of a Dārima tree. Her wearing is a red coloured cloth. All these added great beauty. Thus the Devas saw before them the Mother Goddess, the Incarnate of unpretended mercy, with a face ready to offer Her Grace, the Mother of the Whole Universe, the Enchantress of all, sweet-smiling, saluted by all the Devas, yielding all desires, and wearing a dress, indicative of all lovely feelings. The Devas bowed at once they saw Her; but they could not speak with their voice as it was choked with tears. Then holding their patience, with much difficulty, they began to praise and chant hymns to the World Mother with their eyes filled with tears of love and devotion and with their heads bent low.
44-54. The Devas said :-- We bow down to Thee, the Devī and the Mahā Devī, always obeisance to Thee! Thou art the Prakṛti, and the Auspicious One; we always salute to Thee. O Mother! Thou art of a fiery colour (residing as a Red Flame in the heart of a Yogī) and burning with Asceticism and Wisdom (shedding lustre all around). Thou art specially shining everywhere as the Pure Caitanya; worshipped by the Devas and all the Jīvas) for the rewards of their actions; We take refuge to Thee, the Durgā, the Devī, we bow down to Thee, that can well make others cross the ocean of Samsāra; so that Thou helpest us in crossing this terrible ocean of world. Mother! The Devas have created the words (i.e., the words conveying ideas are uttered by the five Vāyus, Prāṇa, etc., which are called the Devas) which are of the nature of Viśvarūpa, pervading everywhere, like the Kāma Dhenu (the Heavenly Cow yielding all desires, riches, honor, food, etc.), and by which the brutes (the gods) become egotistical, O Mother! Thou art that language to us; so Thou fulfillest our desires when we praise and chant hymns to Thee. O Devī! Thou art the Night of Destruction at the end of the world; Thou art worshipped by Brahmā; Thou art the Lakṣmi, the Śakti of Viṣṇu; Thou art the Mother of Skanda; the Śaktī of Śiva; Thou art the Śaktī Sarasvatī of Brahmā. Thou art Aditi, the Mother of the gods and Thou art Satī, the daughter of Dakṣa. Thus Thou art purifying the worlds in various forms and giving peace to all. We bow down to Thee. We know Thee to be the great Mahā Lakṣmī; we meditate on Thee as of the nature of all the Śaktis as Bhaghavatī. O Mother! Illumine us so that we can meditate and know Thee. O Devī! Obeisance to Thee, the Virāṭ! Obeisance to Thee, the Sūtrātmā, the Hiraṇyagarbha; obeisance to Thee, the transformed into sixteen Vikritis (or transformations). Obeisance to Thee, of the nature of Brahma. We bow down with great devotion to Thee, the Goddess of the Universe, the Creatrix of Māyic Avidyā (the Nescience) under whose influence this world is mistaken as the rope as a garland is mistaken for a rope and again that mistake is corrected by whose Vidyā.
We bow down to Thee who art indicated by both the letters Tat and Tvam in the sentence Tat Tvamasi (Thou art That), Tat indicating the Chit (Intelligence) of the nature of oneness and Tvam indicating the nature of Akhaṇḍa Brahma (beyond the Annamaya, Prāṇamaya, Manomaya, Vijñānamaya and the Ānandamaya--the five Kośas, the Witness of the three states of wakefulness, dream, and deep sleep states) and indicating Thee. O Mother! Thou art of the nature of Praṇava Om; Thou art Hrīm; Thou art of the nature of various Mantras and Thou art merciful; we bow down again and again to Thy lotus Feet. When the Devas thus praised the Devī, the In-dweller of the Maṇi Dvīpa, the Bhagavatī spoke to them in a sweet cuckoo voice.
55. O Devas! What for have you come here? What do you want? I am always the Tree, yielding all desires to my Bhaktas; and I am ready to grant boons to them.
56-57. You are my devotees; why do you care, when I am on your side? I will rescue you from the ocean of troubles, O Devas! Know this as My true resolve. O King! Hearing these words of deep love, the Devas became very glad and gave out all their causes of troubles.
58-65. O Parameśvarī! Thou art omniscient and witness of all these worlds. What is there in the three worlds that is not known to Thee! O Auspicious Mother! The Demon Tāraka is giving us troubles day and night. Brahmā has given him boon that he will be killed by the Śiva’s son. O Maheśvarī! Satī, the wife of Śiva has cast aside Her body. It is known to Thee. What will the ignorant low people inform the one, Who is Omniscient? O Mother! We have described in brief all what we had to say. What more shall we say? Thou knowest all our other troubles and causes of sorrows. Bless us so that our devotion remains unflinched at Thy lotus feet; this is our earnest prayer. That Thou takest the body to have a son of Śiva is our fervent prayer to Thee.
Hearing the Dava’s words, Parameśvarī, with a graceful countenance, spoke to them, thus :-- "My Śaktī will incarnate as Gaurī in the house of Himālayās; She will be the wife of Śiva and will beget a son that will destroy Tāraka De
mon and will serve your purpose. And your devotion will remain steadfast at My Lotus feet. Himālayās, too, is worshipping Me with his wholehearted devotion; so to take birth in his house is to my greatest liking; know this.
66-73. Vyāsa said :-- "O King! Hearing the kind words of the Devī, the King of mountains was filled with love; and, with voice choked with feelings and with tears in his eyes spoke to the Goddess of the world, the Queen. of the three worlds. Thou hast raised me much higher, that Thou dost me so great a favour; otherwise where am I inert, and unmoving and where art Thou, of the nature of Existence, Intelligence and Bliss! It manifests the Greatness of Thy Glory. O Sinless One! My becoming the father of Thee indicates nothing less than the merits earned by me for doing, countless Aśvamedha sacrifices or for my endless Samādhi. Oh! What a favour hast Thou shewn towards me! Henceforth my unparalleled fame will be spread throughout the whole Universe of five original elements that "The Upholder of the Universe, the World Mother has become the daughter of this Himālayās! This man is blessed and fortunate!" Who can be so fortunate, virtuous and merited as he whose daughter She has become, Whose belly contains millions of Brahmāṇḍas! I cannot describe what pre-eminent heavens are intended for my Pitris, my family predecessors, wherein virtuous persons like myself are born. O Mother! O Parameśvarī! Now describe to me Thy Real Self as exemplified in all the Vedāntas; and also Jñāna with Bhakti approved by the Vedas in the same way that Thou hast shown already this favour to me, so that by That Knowledge I will be able to realise Thy Self.
74. Vyāsa said :-- "O King! Thus hearing the praise of Himālayas, the Goddess of the Universe, with a graceful look, began to speak the very secret essences of the Śrutis.
Here ends the Thirty-first Chapter of the Seventh Book on the birth of Pārvatī in the House of Himālayās in the Mahāpurāṇam Śri Mad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses, by Maharṣi Veda Vyāsa.