by Frederick Eden Pargiter | 1904 | 247,181 words | ISBN-10: 8171102237
This page relates “the devi-mahatmya (concluded)” which forms the 93rd chapter of the English translation of the Markandeya-purana: an ancient Sanskrit text dealing with Indian history, philosophy and traditions. It consists of 137 parts narrated by sage (rishi) Markandeya: a well-known character in the ancient Puranas. Chapter 93 is included the section known as “conversation between Markandeya and Kraustuki”.
After hearing this poem, king Suratha and the vaiśya practised austerities and worshipped the goddess.—Caṇḍikā appeared to them and gave the king the boon that he should be Manu Sāvarṇi in a future life, and bestowed knowledge on the vaiśya.
The ṛṣi spoke:
I have now related to thee, O king, this sublime poem the Devī-māhātmya. Such majestic power has the goddess, by whom this world is upheld. Moreover knowledge is conferred by her who is the adorable Viṣṇu’s Illusive power. By her thou and this vaiśya and other men of discrimination, and celebrated men are bewitched; and others shall become bewitched. Go unto her, the supreme queen, as to a place of refuge, O great king. She indeed, when propitiated by men, bestows enjoyment, Svarga and final emancipation from existence.
Having heard this his speech, king Suratha fell prostrate before the illustrious ṛṣi who performed severe penances, and being down-cast by his excessive regard for self and by the deprivation of his kingdom, went forthwith to perform austerities; and the vaiśya, O great muni, in order to get a vision of Ambā, took up his station on a sand-bank in a river; and the vaiśya practised austerities, muttering the sublime hymn to the goddess. They both made an earthen image of the goddess on that sand-bank, and paid worship to it with flowers, incense, fire and libations of water. Abstaining from food, restricting their food, concentrating their minds on her, keeping their thoughts composed, they both offered the bali offering also sprinkled with blood drawn from their own limbs. When they continued with subdued souls to propitiate her thus for three years, Caṇḍikā, who upholds the world, well-pleased spoke in visible shape.
The goddess spoke:
What thou dost solicit, O king, and thou O rejoicer of thy family, receive ye all that from me; well-pleased I bestow it.
Then the king chose a kingdom that should not perish in another life, and in this life his own kingdom wherein the power of his enemies should be destroyed by force. Then the vaiśya also, whose mind was down-cast, chose knowledge,— to be wise, knowing ‘what is mine,’ and ‘what I am,’— knowledge that causes the downfall of worldly attachments.
The goddess spoke:
O king, thou shalt obtain thine own kingdom in a very few days, after slaying thine enemies; it shall be steadfast for thee there; and when dead thou shalt gain another life from the god “Vivasvat, and shalt be a Manu on earth, by name Sāvarṇika. And O excellent vaiśya, I bestow on thee the boon which thou hast besought of me; knowledge shall be thine unto full perfection.
Having thus given them both the boon that each desired, the goddess vanished forthwith, while extolled by them both in faith.
Having thus gained the boon from the goddess, Suratha the noble kṣattriya shall obtain a new birth through the Sun, and shall be the Manu Sāvarṇi.