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. Himālayā said :-- "O Maheśvarī! Now tell me the Yoga with all its Amgas (limbs) giving the knowledge of the Supreme Consciousness so that, I may realise my Self, when I practise according to those instructions.
2-10. Śrī Devī said :-- "The Yoga does not exist in the Heavens; nor does it exist on earth or in the nether regions (Pātāla). Those who are skilled in the Yogas say that the realisation of the identity between the Jivātma and the Paramātmā is "Yoga." O Sinless One! The enemies to this Yoga are six; and they are lust, anger, greed, ignorance, vanity and jealousy. The Yogis attain the Yoga when they become able to destroy these six enemies by practising the accompaniments to Yoga. Yama, Niyama, Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Pratyāhāra, Dhāraṇā, Dhyāna, and Samādhi, these are the eight limbs of Yoga. Yama includes Ahimsā (non-injuring; non- killing); truthfulness; Asteyam (non-stealing by mind or deed); Brahmacarya (continence); Dayā (mercy to all beings); Uprightness; forgiveness, steadiness; eating frugally, restrictedly and cleanliness (external and internal). These are ten in number.
Niyama includes also ten qualities :-- (1) Tapasyā (austerities and penances); (2) contentment; (3) Āstikya (faith in the God and the Vedas, Devas, Dharma and Adharma); (4) Charity (in good causes); worship of God; hearing the Siddhāntas (established sayings) of the Vedas; Hrī or modesty (not to do any irreligious or blameable acts); Śraddhā (faith to go do good works that are sanctioned); (9) Japam (uttering silently the mantrams, Gāyatrīs or sayings of Purānas) and (10) Homam (offering oblations daily to the Sacred Fire). There are five kinds of Asanas (Postures) that are commendable: Padmāsan, Svastikāsan, Bhadrāsan, Vajrāsan and Vīrāsan. Padmāsan consists in crossing the legs and placing the feet on the opposite thighs (the right foot on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh) and catching by the right hand brought round the back, the toes of the right foot and catching by the left hand brought round the back the toes of the left foot; sitting then straight and with ease. This is recommended by the Yogis (and by this one can raise oneself in the air).
N. B. -- The hands, according to some, need not be carried round the back; both the hands are crossed and placed similarly on the thighs.
11-20. Place the soles of the feet completely under the thighs, keep the body straight, and sit at ease. This is called the Svastikāsan. Bhadrāsan consists in placing well the two heels on the two sides of the two nerves of the testicle, near the anus and catching by the two hands the two heels at the lower part of the testicles and then sitting at ease. This is very much liked by the Yogis. Vajrāsan (diamond seat) consists in placing the feet on the two thighs respectively and placing the fingers below the thighs with the hands also there, and then sitting at ease. Vīrasan consists in sitting cross on the hams in placing the right foot under the right thigh and the left foot under the left thigh and sitting at ease with body straight.
Taking in the breath by the Iḍā (the left nostril) so long as we count "Om" sixteen, retaining it in the Suṣumnā so long as we count "Om" sixty-four times and then exhaling it slowly by the Piṅgalā nāḍi (the right nostril) as long as we count "Om" thirty-two times. (The first process is called Pūraka, the second is called Kumbhaka, and the third is called Rechaka). This is called one Prāṇāyāma by those versed in the Yogas. Thus one should go on again and again with his Prāṇāyāma. At the very beginning, try with the number twelve, i. e., as we count "Om" twelve times and then increase the number gradually to sixteen and so on.
Prāṇāyāma is of two kinds :-- Sagarbha and Vigarbha. It is called Sagarbha when Prāṇāyāma is performed with repeating the Iṣṭa Mantra and Japam and meditation. It is called Vigarbha Prāṇāyāma when "Om" is simply counted and no other Mantram. When this Prāṇāyāma is practised repeatedly, perspiration comes first when it is called of the lowest order; when the body begins to tremble, it is called middling; and when one rises up in the air, leaving the ground, it is called the best Prāṇāyāma. (Therefore one who practises Prāṇāyāma ought to continue it till he becomes able to rise in the air).
21-30. Now comes Pratyāhāra. The senses travel spontaneously towards their objects, as if they are without anyone to check. To curb them perforce and to make them turn backwards from those objects is called "Pratyāhāra," To hold the Prāna Vāyu on toes, heels, knees, thighs, sacrum genital organs, navel, heart, neck, throat, the soft palate, nose, between the eyebrows, and on the top of the head, at these twelve places respectively is called the "Dhāraṇā." Concentrate the mind on the consciousness inside and then meditate the Iṣṭa Devatā within the Jīvātmā. This is the Dhyāna. Samādhi is identifying always the Jīvātmā and Paramātmā. Thus the sages say. (Samādhi is of two kinds (1) Samprajñāta, or Savikalpak and (2) Nirvikalpak. When the ideas the Knower, Knowledge and the Thing Known, rernain separate in the consciousness and yet the mind feels the one Akhanḍa Saccidānanda Brahma and his heart remains, there, that is called Samprajñāta Samādhi; and when those three vanish away and the one Brahma remains, it is called Asamprajñāta Samādhi). Thus I have described to you the Yoga with its eight limbs. O Mountain! This body composed of the five elements, and with Jīva endowed with the essence of the Sun, the Moon, and the Fire and Brahma in it as one and the same, is denominated by the term "Viśva." There are the 350,000 nāḍis in this body of man; of these, the principal are ten. Out of the ten again, the three are most prominent. The foremost and first of these three is Susumnā, of the nature of the Moon, Sun, and Fire, situated in the centre of the spinal cord (it extends from the sacral plexus below to the Brahmaradhra in the head at the top where it looks like a blown Dhustūra flower). On the left of this Suṣumnā is the Iḍā Nāḍī, white and looking like Moon; this Nāḍī is of the nature of Force, nectar-like. On the right side of the Suṣumnā is the Piṅgalā Nāḍī of the nature of a male; it represents the Sun. The Suṣumnā comprises the nature of the all the Tejas (fires) and it represents Fire.
31-41. The inmost of Suṣumnā is Victrā or Citriṇī Bhūliṅgam nāḍī (of the form of a cobweb) in the middle of which resides the Iccā (will), Jñāna (knowledge) and Kriyā (action) Śaktīs, and resplendent like the Millions of Suns. Above Him is situated Hrīm, the Māyā Vīja Harātmā with "Ha" and Candravindu repesenting the Sound (Nāda). Above this is the Flame, Kula Kuṇdalinī (the Serpent Fire) of a red colour, and as it were, intoxicated. Outside Her is the Ādhāra Lotus of a yellow colour having a dimension of four digits and Comprising the four letters "va", "śa", "ṣa", and "sa". The Yogis meditate on this. In its centre is the hexagonal space (Pīṭham). This is called the Mūlādhāra for it is the base and it supports all the six lotuses. Above it is the Svādhiṣṭhāna Cakra, fiery and emitting lustre like diamond and with six petals representing the six letters "ba", "bha", "ma", "ya", "ra", "la". The word "Sva" means "Param Liṅgam" (superior Male Symbol). Therefore the sages call this "Svādhiṣṭhān Cakram. Above it is situated the "Maṇipura Cakram" of the colour of lightning in clouds and very fiery; it comprises the ten Petals, comprising the 10 letters ḍa, ḍha, ṇa, ta, ṭha, ḍa, ḍha, ṇa, pa, pha. The lotus resembles a full blown pearl; hence it is "Maṇipadma." Viṣṇu dwells here. Meditation here leads to the sight of Viṣṇu, Above it is "Anāhata" Padma with the twelve petals representing, the twelve letters Ka, Kha, Gha, m###, (ca), (ca), (Ja), (Jha,) Īya, ṭa, and ṭha. In the middle is Bānaliṅgam, resplendent like the Sun. This lotus emits the sound Śabda Brabma, without being struck; therefore it is called the Anāhata Lotus. This is the source of joy. Here dwalls Rudra, the Highest Person."
42-43. Above it is situated the Viśuddha Cakra of the sixteen petals, comprising the sixteen letters a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, ri, ṛ, li, lri, e, ai, o, ar, am, aḥ. This is of a smoky colour, highly lustrous, and is situated in the throat. The Jīvātmā sees the Paramātmā (the Highest Self) here and it is purified; hence it is called Viśuddha. This wonderful lotus is termed Ākāśa.
44-45. Above that is situated betwixt the eyebrows the exceedingly beautiful Ajñā Cakra with two petals comprising the two letters "Ha," and Kṣa. The Self resides in this lotus. When persons are stationed here, they can see everything and know of the present, past and future. There one gets the commands from the Highest Deity (e. g. now this is for you to do and so on); therefore it is called the Ajñā Cakra.
46-47. Above that is the Kailāśa Cakra; over it is the Rodhiṇī Chikra. O One of good vows! Thus I have described to you all about the Ādhāra Cakras. The prominent Yogis say that above that again, is the Vindu Sthān, the seat of the Supreme Deity with thousand petals. O Best of Mountains! Thus I declare the best of the paths leading to Yoga.
48. Now hear what is the next thing to do. First by the "Pūraka", Prāṇāyāma, fix the mind on the Mulādhāra Lotus. Then contract and arouse the Kula Kuṇḍalinī Śaktī there, between the anus and the genital organs, by that Vāyu.
49. Pierce, then, the Liṅgams (the lustrous Svayambhu Ādi Liṅgam) in the several Cakras above-mentioned and transfer along with it the heart united with the Śakti to the Sahasrāra (the Thousand petalled Lotus). Then meditate the Śaktī united with Śambhu there.
50-51. There is produced in the Vindu Cakra, out of the intercourse of Śiva and Śaktī, a kind of nectar-juice, resembling a sort of red-dye (lac). With that Nectar of Joy, the wise Yogis make the Māyā Śaktī, yielding successes in Yoga, drink; then pleasing all the Devas in the six Cakras with the offerings of that Nectar, the Yogi brings the Śaktī down again on the Mūlādhāra Lotus.
53-54. And one will be free from this Samsāra, filled with old age and death, etc. O Lord of Mountains! I am the World Mother; My devotee will get all My qualities; there is no doubt in this. O Child! I have thus described to you the excellent Yoga, holding the Vāyu (Pavana Dhāraṇa Yoga).
55. Now hear from Me the Dhārāṇā Yoga. To fix thoroughly one’s heart on the Supremely Lustrous Force of Mine, pervading all the quarters, countries, and all time leads soon to the union of the Jīva and the Brahma.
56-58. If one does not quickly do this, owing to impurities of heart, then the Yogi ought to adopt what is called the "Avayava Yoga." O Chief of Mountains! The Sādhaka should fix his heart on my gentle hands, feet and other limbs one by one and try to conquer each of these places. Thereby his heart would be purified. Then he should fix that purified heart on My Whole Body.
59-62. The practiser must practise with Japam and Homam the Mantram till his mind be not dissolved in Me, My Consciousness. By the practice of meditating on the Mantra, the thing to be known (Brahma) is transformed into knowledge. Know this as certain, that the Mantra is futile without Yoga and the Yoga is futile without the Mantra. The Mantra and the Yoga are the two infallible means to realise Brahma. As the jar in a dark room is visible by a lamp, so this Jīvātmā, surrounded by Māyā is visible by means of Mantra to the Paramātmā (the Highest Self). O Best of Mountains! Thus I have described to you the Yogas with their Aṅgas (limbs). You should receive instructions about them from the mouth of a Guru; else millions of Śāstras will never be able to give you a true realisation of the meanings of the yogas.
Here ends the Thirty-fifth Chapter of the Seventh Book on the Yoga and the Mantra Siddhi in the Mahā Purāṇam Śri Mad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses, by Maharṣi Veda Vyāsa.