by N. Gangadharan | 1954 | 360,691 words | ISBN-10: 8120803590 | ISBN-13: 9788120803596
This page describes the mode of worship of goddess Lakshmi and others which is chapter 308 of the English translation of the Agni Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas dealing with all topics concerning ancient Indian culture, tradition and sciences. Containing roughly 15,000 Sanskrit metrical verses, subjects contained in the Agni-Purana include cosmology, philosophy, architecture, iconography, economics, diplomacy, pilgrimage guides, ancient geography, gemology, ayurveda, etc.
[Full title: On the mode of worship of goddess Lakṣmī and others that confer immense benefits]
1. (The mantras) “chest, together with fire, beautiful woman, Daṇḍī, Śrīḥ (goddess of fortune)” gives all prosperity. Obeisance! O! greatest fortune! O! great prosperity! O! One having a lustre as the powerful lightning! Obeisance to the goddess of prosperity! O! Victorious! O! Mighty one! Bind (2)! Obeisance! Hūṃ! One having a big body! One holding the lotus in the hand! Hūṃ phaṭ! Obeisance to Śrī! To Śrī, phaṭ, obeisance to Śrī! To Śrī, the conferer of prosperity! Obeisance! Oblations śrī-phaṭ!
2. The constituent parts of this (mantra) are said to be nine. One should resort to one of these. It would confer prosperity if repeated three lakh or one lakh times with rosary beads or lotus (seeds).
3-4. One would get wealth by worshipping Śrī in the temple of Śrī or Viṣṇu. One has to do oblation with rice soaked in clarified butter in the fire (kindled with) khādira (twigs). (By this) the king would be under one’s control. One will have more and more growth and prosperity. Bathing done with mustard would destroy the (evil propensities of) planets.
5-9a. Oblations done with the bilva (leave) (with the repetition of) Śrī (mantra), would increase one’s wealth. Then one has to contemplate the mansion of Indra having four doors in his heart. One should contemplate (the energy) Balākā, short and black sporting (and guarding) at the eastern entrance with the two hands held upwards holding white lotus flowers, (the energy) Vanamālinī of white (complexion) at the southern entrance with the hands held upwards holding red lotus flowers, Vibhīṣikā, the messenger of Śrī, having green (complexion), at the western entrance, with Her two hands lifted upwards holding white lotus (flower). Śāṅkarī (should be contemplated) at the northern entrance.
9b-14a. One should contemplate Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha in the lotus petals carrying conch, disc and mace. They are of the colours of collyrium, milk, saffron and gold and wear good dress. One should contemplate the elephants such as Guggulu, Kuruṇṭaka, Damaka and Salila (having) the colour of silver, in the different directions such as south-east etc. in the petals. (These elephants should be imagined as) bearing golden pots. Śrī should be contemplated in the pericarp as having four arms, two of which are raised upwards and hold lotus. (She is also conceived as having the following characteristics): golden coloured conferring protection and boons with the right and left hands respectively, besmeared with white sandal, wearing a silvery garland and carrying the weapon. One would get all (his desires) by contemplating as above and worshiping Her together with Her attendants.
14b-15a. (The worshipper of Śrī) should not wear the droṇa and lotus flowers and the leaf of the bilva tree on the head. So also salt and embelic myrobalan are prohibited on the eighth and twelfth days (of the lunar fortnight) in order.
15b-16. Taking (only) sweet porridge one should repeat the śrīsūkta and anoint (goddess) Śrī with (the repetition of) that (hymn). One has to contemplate mentally as doing the rites beginning with the invocation and ending with the dismissal and worship Śrī. One would gain prosperity by doing oblations separately with (the twigs of) bilva, clarified butter, lotus and sweet porridge.
17-24. “Poison, buffalo, the destructive fire at the end of the world, Rudra, the effulgence, the two bakas.” “Oṃ hrīṃ the slayer of the great buffalo-demon! Ṭhaṃ! Ṭhaḥ!” (is) the principal mantra (of Durgā, a form of the consort of Śiva). “Obeisance to the lioness (that killed) the buffalo (demon). O! Enemy of the (buffalo) demon! Make (the enemy) whirl round (2)! Hūṃ, phaṭ, ṭha ṭhaṃ! Make the buffalo (demon) neigh (2)! Hūṃ slay the buffalo (2)! O! Goddess! Hūṃ! The slayer of the buffalo (demon)! Phaṭ!” This is said to be the Durgāhṛdaya (the heart of Durgā). Together with its accessories it is capable of accomplishing all the things. One should worship that goddess and the seat in the middle of the accessories thus: Oṃ hrīṃ! O! Durgā! Durgā! Protector! and oblations”. Obeisance to Durgā! Obeisance to Varavarṇī, Āryā, Kanakaprabhā, Kṛttikā, Abhayapradā, Kanyakā and Surūpā (excellent complexion, noble, golden-coloured, offering protection, virgin and having good form respectively). These forms (of the goddess) should be worshipped on the leaves with the principal syllables in due order. (One should also worship the weapons) disc, conch, mace, sword, bow and arrow. One should worship this (goddess) Durgā, the tranquil one in the world, on the eighth day (of the lunar fortnight). This association with Durgā would increase longevity, prosperity, favour of master and victory. Oblation and sesamum with (the repetition of) the Īśāna mantra after the worship (of Durgā) would enable one to gain control. (Oblation made) with lotuses would ensure victory. One desirous of appeasement (should do oblation) with dūrvā (grass). One will gain strength (by performing oblation) with (the twigs of) Palāśa. Death, dissension etc. would be caused (by offering oblation) with the wings of the crow. This mantra would remove all the difficulties such as evil influences due to malignant planets, evil incantations and fear etc. “Oṃ! O! Durgā! Protector! Oblations!” This (mantra) together with the accessories of the victorious Durgā is said to be able to protect. One should contemplate the goddess as black, having three eyes, four arms, bearing the conch, disc, lotus, spike, sword and trident and as having a wrathful form. One would gain victory in battle. One (who wants to have) victory of sword etc. should worship Her. “Oṃ obeisance to the Goddess having a garland of flames, surrounded by flocks of female eagles move! Oblations to the protector!” One should repeat this mantra for (gaining victory in) battle. The combatant would conquer his enemies.
Footnotes and references:
Designation of the hymn hirṇyavarṇāṃ hariṇīṃ ‘RVkh. 5.87.1a.