On the description of the worlds
1-4. Janamejaya asked :– “O Lord! I have heard all that you have described about the sweet nectar-like characters of the Kings of the Solar and the Lunar dynasties. Now kindly describe the real Tattva of the Virât Form of the Great Devî and how She was worshipped in every Manvantara by the Regent of that Manvantara and the Kings thereof. In what part of the year and in which place, under what circumstances and in what form and with what Mantras was the Devî worshipped? I am very anxious to hear all this. O Guru! In fact describe the gross forms of the Âdyâ S’akti, the Devî Bhagavatî by concentrating attention to Which, I can have the power to understand the subtle forms of the Devî and I can get the highest good in this world.”
5-7. Vyâsa said :– O King! Now hear. I am describing to you in detail about the worship of the Devî Bhagavatî that leads to the welfare of the Whole World; the hearing of which or the practice of which enables one to get the highest good. In days of yore, the Devarsi Nârada asked Nârâyana about this very point; I will now tell you what the Bhagavân, the Promulgator of the Yoga Tattva, advised Nârada. Once on a time the all powerful Devarsi Nârada entitled with all the Yogic powers, and born from the body of Brahmâ was travelling all over this earth and came to the hermitage of the Risi Nârâyana. Resting a while, and the troubles of the journey over, he bowed down to the Yogi Nârâyana and asked Him what you ask me now. Nârada said :– O Deva Deva Mahâdeva! O Thou, the Ancient Purusa, the Excellent One!
8-9. O Omniscient ! O Thou, the Holder of the Universe! O Thou Who art the repository of the good qualities and Who art praised by all!
10-12. O Deva! Now tell me what is the ultimate cause of this Universe: whence has this Universe its origin? And how does it rest? To whom does it take refuge? Where does it dissolve in the time of Pralaya? Where do all the Karmas of these beings go to? And what Object is that whose knowledge destroys forever the Mâyâ, the Cause of all this Moha (illusion)? Whose worship, what Japam, and Whose meditation in the lotus of heart are to he made, by which, O Deva! the knowledge of Paramâtman rises in the heart, as the darkness of the night vanishes by the rising of the Sun.
13. O Deva! Kindly reply to these my questions in such a clear manner as the ignorant people in this Samsâra can understand and get themselves across this ocean of Samsâra.
14-15. Vyâsa said :– Thus asked by the Devarsi, the ancient Nârâyana, the Best of the Munis, the great Yogi gladly spoke :– O Devarsi! Hear I will now speak to you all the Tattvas of this world, knowing which the mortal never falls into the illusion of this world.
16. O Child! The original cause of this Universe is the Devî Mahâ Mâyâ (the image of the Supreme Chaitanya Para Brahmâ); this is the opinion of the Risis, the Devas, Gandharvas, and other intelligent persons.
17-23. It is written in the Vedas and other S’âstras that the Devî Bhagavatî, worshipped by all in the Universe, creates, preserves and destroys the Universe by the influence of Her three Gunas. I now describe to you the nature of the Devî, worshipped by the Siddhas, Gandharbas and Risis, the mere remembering of Whom destroys all sins, and gives final liberation Moksa (and Dharma, Artha, and Kama also). The powerful Svâyambhuva Manu, the First, the husband of S’atarûpâ, the prosperous and the Ruler of all the Manvantaras worshipped the sinless Prajâpati Brahmâ, his Father with due devotion and satisfied Him when the Grandsire of the Lokas, the Hiranyagarbha spoke to his son :– The excellent worship of the Devî should be done by you. By Her Grace, O Son, your work of creating worlds will be successful. Thus spoken by Brahmâ, the Bibhu Svâyambhuva Manu, the Virât incarnate, worshipped the World Mother with great austerities. And with his concentrated devotion, he satisfied the Devî Deves’î and began to chant hymns to Her, the First-born, the Mâyâ, the S’akti of all, and the Cause of all causes.
24-36. Manu said :– Thou art Brahmâ, the ocean of the Vedas, Krisna, the abode of Laksmî, Purandara. I bow down again and again to Thee, the Deves’î, the Cause of Mâyâ, the Cause of this Universe. Thou holdest s’ankha (the conchshell), chakra, gadâ, etc., in Thy hands and Thou residest in the heart of Nârâyana; Thou art the Vedas incarnate, the World Mother, the Auspicious One, bowed down by all the Devas, and the Knower of the Three Vedas. O Thou, endowed with all powers and glory! O Mahâmâye! Mahâbhâge! Mahodaye! (the Self-manifested). Thou residest as the better half of Mahâ Deva, and Thou dost all what are dear to Him. Thou art the most beloved of Nanda, the Cow-herd (in the form of Mahâ Mâyâ, the daughter who concealed Krisna and slipped from the hands of Kamsa and got up in the air and remained as Vindhyâvâsinî; also in the form of S’rî Krisna). Thou gavest much pleasure and wert the cause of all the festivities; Thou takest away the fear due to plague, etc.; Thou art worshipped by the Devas. O Thou, the auspicious Bhagavatî! Thou art the welfare of all incarnate; Thou fructifiest the desires of all to success! Thou art the One to Whom all take refuge and Thou removest their all the dangers; O Thou the three-eyed! Gaurî! Nârâyanî! Obeisance to Thee. I bow down to that ocean of all brightness and splendour, without beginning or end, the One Consciousness, wherein this endless Universe rises and remains interwoven therein. I bow down to the Devî, whose Gracious Glance enables Brahmâ, Visnu, and Mahes’vara to do their respective works of creating, preserving, and destroying the Universe. O Devî! Thou art the Only One, whom all can bow, since the lotus-born Brahmâ, terrified by the horrible Daityas, was freed by Thy prowess only. O Bhagavatî! Thou art modesty, fame, memory, lustre; Thou art Laksmî, Girijâ, the daughter of Himâlayâ, Thou art Satî, the Daksa’s daughter; Thou art the Sâvitrî the Mother of the Vedas, Thou art the intelligence of all and Thou art the cause of fearlessness. So I now engage myself reciting Thy Japam, Thy hymns and Thy worship. I meditate on Thee and see Thy form within my heart and hear Thy praises. Be graciously pleased on me, O Devî! It is by Thy Grace that Brahmâ is the Revealer of the Four Vedas, Visnu is the Lord of Laksmî, Indra is the Lord of the Devas and of the three worlds; Varuna is the Lord of waters, Kuvera is the Lord of wealth, Yama is the Lord of the dead, Nairrita is the Lord of the Râksasas, and Soma is the Lord of the water element and praised by the three worlds. Therefore, O Auspicious World Mother! I bow down again and again to Thee.
37-45. Nârâyana said :– O Child! When Svayambhuva Manu, the son of Brahmâ, chanted thus the hymns to the Âdyâ S’akti Bhagavatî Nârâyanî, She became pleased and spoke to him thus :– The Devî said :– “O King, the Brahmâ’s son! I am pleased with your devoted worship and hymns; so ask boon from Me that you desire.” Manu said :– “O Devî! If Thou art graciously pleased, grant that my creation be finished without any hitch.” The Devî said :– “O King of Kings! By My blessing, your work of creation will be completed without any obstruction. And by your punya (merits) they will no doubt multiply on and on. He who reads with devotion this hymn (stotra) composed by you, will get sons, fame and beauty in the world and, in the end, he will be entitled to get the Highest Place. The people will have powers unopposed by anybody, will get wealth and grains, will get victory everywhere and happiness; and his enemies will be ruined.” Nârâyana said :– “O Child! The Devî Bhagavatî Âdyâ S’akti granted thus the desired boon to Svâyambhuva Manu and vanished away at once from his sight.” Then the powerful Manu, obtaining thus the boon, spoke to his father :– O Father! Now give me a solitary place where I can worship the Devî with sacrifices and do my work of creating a good number of people.
46-48. Hearing thus the words of the son, the Prajâpati, the Lord thought over the matter for a long time :– “How this work would be done? Alas! I have spent an endless time in this work of creation; but as yet nothing has been done. For the Earth, the receptacle of all the Jivâs is submerged in water and has gone down to the Rasâtala. What is to be done now? There is only one hope and that is this :– If the Bhagavân, the Primeval Person, under Whose Command I am engaged in this work of creation, helps me in this work of mine, no doubt it will be accomplished then and then only.”
Here ends the First Chapter of the Eighth Book on the description of the worlds in the Mahâpurânam, S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
Next: Chapter 2
On the uplifting of the Earth by the Sacrificial Boar
1-10. Nârâyana said :– O Child! When you have got your senses controlled and have overcome lust, anger, etc., and other enemies, then you are certainly entitled to hear this secret. While Brahmâ was discussing on this subject with Marîchi and the other Brahmârsis and with Svâyambhuva Manu, suddenly there came out of the nose of the meditative Brahmâ, one young boar (the child of a boar) of the dimension of one finger only. That little boar, that was just in the air, soon became, while they were looking at it, enlarged to a very big elephant, in an instant; a very strange sight, indeed! Seeing this, the Kumâras Sanaka, etc., Marîchi and the other Seven Risis, and the Creator Brahmâ were struck with wonder and Brahmâ began to discuss thus :– Oh! This young boar has come out suddenly of My nose; though it is a very small one, it is certainly, come under a disguise and it has all made us merge in an ocean of wonder. Is this something Divine, of a Sâttvic quality under the guise of this boar? It was of the size of a thumb and it is now like the Himâlayâ Mountain? Oh! Is this the Bhagavân, the Yajña Purusa? While they were thus discussing, the Bhagavân, in the shape of the boar, began to make loud sounds, like the rolling of the mountain clouds at the time of the Pralaya resounding all the quarters. At this Brahmâ and all the Risis assembled there became very glad. Hearing the ghurghura noise of the Boar, their troubles ended and the people of Janarloka, Taparloka, Satyaloka and all the Devas being very much gladdened began to chant sweet hymns with Chhandas of Rik, Yajus, Sâma and Atharva Vedas, to that Âdi Purusa, the Bhagavân, from all sides.
11-20. Hearing their praises, the Bhagavân Hari graciously looked on them and immediately merged Himself in the ocean. The ocean was very much agitated with the fierce striking of the hairs of the Boar, when He entered into the waters, and spoke thus :– “O Deva ! O Thou, the destroyer of the afflictions of your refuges! Protect me.” Hearing the words of the ocean, the God Hari tore asunder all the aquatic animals and went down beneath the waters. Searching violently hither and thither, He knew the earth by her smell. At once the Bhagavân Hari, the Lord of all, went to Her and rescued the earth by raising Her up on his big teeth, the Earth that was the abode of all the beings. When the Bhagavân, the Lord of all the sacrifices, came up with the Earth on the top of His teeth, He looked beautiful like the elephant of a quarter taking out by the root and holding a thousand petalled lotus upon his tusks. When the Bhagavân rescued thus the Earth, raising Her up on His tusks, Brahmâ and Indra, the Lord of the Devas, the powerful Manu began praise to Him with sweet words :– Brahmâ said :– O Lotus-eyed! O Bhagavân! Thou art victorious everywhere; O Thou, the Destroyer of the sufferings of the Bhaktas! Thou hast, by Thy own prowess, humiliated the Heaven, the abode of the gods upto Satyaloka! Thou, the Giver all the desires! O Deva! This earth shines so beautiful on Thy teeth as the thousand petalled lotus, taken up by the root by a mad elephant, shines on his two tusks. O Bhagavân! This Form, i. e., that of Thy sacrificial Boar, with earth on Thee looks so very beautiful as the lotus looks beautiful on the tusks of an elephant.
21-22. O Lord! We bow down to Thee, the Creator and the Destroyer of everything; Thou assumest many forms for the purpose of destroying the Dânavas; Thou dost do many acts that redound to Thy Glory, We bow down to Thee, to Thy Front and to Thy Back. (Really thou hast no front nor back. Thou art everywhere.) Thou art the Upholder of all the Celestials and the Immortals! Thy eyes shine equally everywhere.
23-25. O Deva! By Thy power I am brought up and engaged in the work of creation and by Thy order I create in every Kalpa this Universe and destroy it. O Lord of Immortals! In the ancient times the Devas united churned the vast ocean by Thy help and got according to their merits their due shares. O Hari! Indra, the Lord of the Devas is enjoying the vast kingdom of Heaven, the Trilokas, by Thy Will and appointment. All the Devas worship him.
26-27. So the God of Fire has got his burning power and is residing in the bellies of the Devas, the Asuras, men and all other beings and penetrating their bellies, is satisfying all. Yama, the King of Dharma, by Thy appointment, is the Lord of the southern quarters, is presiding over the Pitris and being the witness of all the actions of the Jivâs, is awarding duly to them the fruits thereof.
28-33. Nairrita, the Lord of the Raksasas, the witness of all the actions of all the beings, by Thy commandment, is the destroyer of all the obstacles of the devotees that take refuge unto thee, though he is a Yaksa. The Varuna Deva, by Thy order, has become duly the Lord of the waters, and the Regent of the Loka (Dikpâla). The Vâyu, the Life of all, the carrier of the smell, has become by Thy order Lokâpâla and the Guru of the universe. Kuvera, obedient to Thy order, has become the Lord of the Yaksas and the Kinnaras and is holding a respectful position like other Lokapâlas. Îs’âna, Who is the destroyer of all the Jîvas, has got his Lordship over a quarter by Thy order and is being praised by all the Rudras, the Devas, Gandharbas, Yaksas, Kinnaras, the men and all the beings. O Bhagavân! We bow down to Thee, the Lord of the Universe; the innumerable Devas that are seen are merely the small fractions of Thy powers.
34-38. Narayana said :– “O Child Nârada! When Brahmâ, the Creator and the Grandsire of the Lokas, praised thus the Âdi Purusa Bhagavân, He cast a side long glance at them, offering His Grace. When the Bhagavân, the Sacrificial Boar, was coming up with earth, rescued and placed on his teeth, the awful Hiranyaksa, the chief of the Daityas came before Him and obstructed His passage when He killed him by one violent stroke of his club. He was besmeared all over his body with the blood of the Daitya; and thus He came up from the Rasâtala and placed the earth on the waters. He then went away to His Vaikuntha abode.
O Child Nârada! He who hears or reads devotedly this glorious deed of the Bhagavân and the deliverance of the Earth, will certainly be freed of all his sins and goes to the highest holiest place of Visnu, the Lord of all. There is no doubt in this.”
Here ends the Second Chapter of the Eighth Book on the uplifting of the Earth by the Sacrificial Boar in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the description of the family of Manu
1-23. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! When the Bhagavân went away to Vaikuntha, establishing the Earth in due position and equilibrium, Brahmâ spoke thus to his son :– “O Powerful Son of mine, O Svâyamhhuva! The best of those that are filled with Teja (energy) and Tapas! Now go on with your work of creation, as you think proper, on this earth, the Upholdress of all the Jîvas. And worship the Purusa, the Lord of Sacrifices, according to the division of place and time, and with all the necessary materials of various kinds, high and low, and those that will be useful in performing your sacrifices. Do Dharma according to the S’âstras, and according to the Varna(the different castes) and Âsrama (Brahmâcharya, etc.); thus by gradually going on step by step in the path of Yoga, your progeny will be multiplied. Beget lovely sons and daughters, of good fame, culture, modesty and ornamented with various other good qualifications, like yourself; then marry your daughters when they will come to the marriageable age, to proper persons of good qualifications and then fix your mind thoroughly on the Excellent Purusa that is the very Best. O Child! Now go and serve the Bhagavân with devotion as I have advised you; and you will certainly attain that which is difficult to be worshipped and obtained. Advising thus his son Svâyambhuva Manu, and starting him in his work; of creation, the Lotus-born, the Lord of all the subjects, Brahmâ went away to His own abode. When Brahmâ went away, having ordered his son to create progeny and subjects, Manu, took that seriously in his heart and began to do that work. In due time, he had two powerful sons named Priyavrata and Uttânapâda and three lovely beautiful daughters endowed with various good qualities. Hear the names of the three daughters. The first daughter, the purifier of the world, was named Âkûti; the second was named Devahûti and the third was Prasûti. The first daughter Âkûti was married to the Maharsi Ruchi; the second was married to the Prajapati Karddama; and the third was married to the Prajapati Daksa. And know that all the beings in this world had their origin from this last daughter. Now hear the progeny of these three daughters and the Maharsis respectively :– By Maharsi Ruchi was born one son named Yajña, in the womb of Âkûti; he is the part of the Bhagavân Âdi Purusa Visnu; by Maharsi Karddama, in the womb of Devahûti was born the Bhagavân Kapila Deva, the famous author of the S’ânkhya S’âstra; and in the womb of Prasûti, by the Prajâpati Daksa were born some daughters only; know that the Devas, men, beasts and birds were all created by this Prajâpati Daksa. These offsprings were the first promulgators in the work of creation. In the Svâyambhuva Manvantara, the powerful Bhagavân Yajña, by the help of the Deva named Yâma, saved his mother’s Father Manu from the attacks of the Raksasas; and the great Lord of the Yogis, the Bhagavân Kapila, remained for a while in his Âsrama and gave spiritual instructions to his mother Devahûti, by which Avidyâ could be at once destroyed, and disclosed his S’ânkhya S’âstra, the great work on the Spiritual Philosophy and the special Dhyâna Yoga in all its details and finally went for Samâdhi to the Âsrama of Pulaha where the great Deva Sâmkhyâ chârya lives up to today. Oh! I bow down to the great Yogâchârya, the Bhagavân Kapila Deva, the Fructifier of all desires, the more remembrance of Whose Name makes easily the Yogi realise the meaning of the Sâmkhya Jñâna. The sins are immediately destroyed of those that hear or read the holy anecdote of the progeny of the daughters of Manu. O Child! Now I describe to you the progeny of the sons of Svâyambhuva Manu. Hear attentively. The hearing of which will enable one to enter into the highest place. Now is being described the history about the progeny of those who formed those Dvipas (islands) Varsas(countries) and oceans for the welfare and happiness of all the creation and for the use of them. Hear.
Here ends the Third Chapter of the Eighth Book on the description of the family of Manu in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the narration of the family of Priyavrata
1-28. The Risi Nârâyana said :– The eldest son of Svâyambhuva, Priyavrata served always his father and was very truthful. He married the daughter of the Prajâpati Vis’va Karmâ, the exceedingly lovely and beautiful Barhismatî, resembling like him, adorned with modesty, good nature and various other qualifications. He begat ten sons, very spiritual and well qualified and one daughter named Ûrjasvatî. This daughter was the youngest of all. The names of the ten sons are respectively :– (1) Âgnîdhra, (2) Idhmajibha, (3) Jajñabâhu, (4) Mahâvîra, (5) Rukmas’ukra (Hiranyaretâ), (6) Ghritapristha, (7) Savana, (8) Medhâtithi, (9) Vîtihotra and (10) Kavi. The name “Agni” was attached to each of the above names. Out of these ten, the three sons named Kavi, Savana, and Mahâvîra were indifferent and dispassionate to the world. In due time, these became extremely free from all desires and they were proficient in Âtmavidyâ (Self-Knowledge). They were all Ûrdharetâ (of perpetual chastity; who has subdued all their passions) and took gladly to the Paramahamsa Dharma. Priyavrata had by his other wife three sons, named Uttama, Tâmasa, and Raivata. These were all widely known; each of them in due time became endowed with great prowess and splendour and became the Lord of one Manvatara. Priyavrata, the son of Svâyambhuva, the King-Emperor enjoyed with his sons and relations, this earth for eleven Arvuda years; the wonder was this, that he lived so long and there was seen no decay in his strength as regards his body or his senses. Once on an occasion, the King observed that when the sun appeared on the horizon and got up, one part of the earth was illumined and the remaining part was enveloped in darkness. Seeing this discrepancy, he thought over for a long time and exclaimed, “What! Will the Darkness be seen in my kingdom, while I am reigning? This can never be. I will stop this by my Yogic powers.” Thus thinking, the King Priyavrata mounted on a luminous chariot, as big as the Sun, to illumine the whole world and circumambulated round the earth seven times. Whatever portion of the earth was trodden by the wheel on each occasion, became an ocean. Thus the seven oceans had their origins. And the portion of the earth, that was included within the ruts, became the seven islands (Dvîpas). 0 Child! Now hear about the seven Dvîpas and the seven Oceans :– The first is the Jambu Dvîpa; the second is Plaksa, the third is S’almalî; the fourth is the Kus’a Dvîpa; the fifth is Krauncha; the sixth is the S’aka Dvîpa; and the seventh is the Puskara Dvîpa. The second Dvîpa Plaksa is twice the first Jambu Dvîpa and so on; each succeeding Dvîpa is twice as large as its previous one. Now hear the names of the oceans. The first ocean is named Ksâroda (the salt water ocean); the second is Iksurasa (the sugarcane ocean); the third is Surâ (the wine ocean), the fourth is Ghritoda (the clarified butter ocean) the fifth is Ksîroda (the ocean of milk); the sixth is Dadhi Manda (the ocean of curds); and the seventh is that of the ordinary water. The Jambu Dvîpa is surrounded by Ksîra Samudra. The King Priyavrata made his son Âgnîdhra, the lord of this Dvîpa. He gave to his Idhmajibha, the Plaksa Dvîpa surrounded by Iksu Sâgara; so he gave to Jajñabâhu the S’âlmalî Dvîpa surrounded by Surâ Sâgara and he gave the lordship of Kus’a Dvîpa to Hiranyaretâ. Then he gave to his powerful son Ghritapristha the Krauncha Dvîpa surrounded by Ksîra Samudra and to his son Medhâtithi the S’âka Dvîpa surrounded by Dadhimanda Sâgara. Finally he gave to his Vîtihotra, the Puskara Dvîpa surrounded by the ordinary water. Thus distributing duly amongst his sons, the separate divisions of the earth, he married his daughter, the youngest Ûrjasvatî to the Bhagavân Us’anâ. In the womb of Ûrjasvatî the Bhagavân S’ukrâchârya had his famous daughter Devayânî. O Child! Thus giving the charge of each Dvîpa to each of his sons and marrying his daughters to the worthy hands, he took to Viveka (discrimination) and adopted the path of Yoga.
Here ends the Fourth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the narration of the family of Priyavrata in the Mahâ Purânam, S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
Next: Chapter 5
THE EIGHTH BOOK
On the description of the receptacle of beings and on the mountains and on the origin of rivers
1-31. S’rî Nârâyana said :– O Child Nârada! Now hear in detail about the divisions of the earth into the Dvîpas and the Varsas as marked out by the Devas. In brief, I describe about them; no one can speak about this in details. First, the Jambu Dvîpa is one lâkh Yoyanas in its dimensions. This Jambu Dvîpa is round like a lotus. There are nine Varsas in it and excepting the Bhadrâs’va and Ketumâla, each is nine thousand Yoyanas in its dimensions (i.e., in its diameter or circumference?) and there are eight very lofty mountains, in those Varsas, forming their boundaries. Of the Varsas, the two Varsas that are situated in the North and South, are of the size of a bow (segmental); and the four others are elongated in their size. The centre of all these Varsas is named Îlâvrita Varsa and its size is rectangular. In the centre of this Îlâvarsa is situated the golden Sumeru Mountain, the King of all the mountains, one lakh Yoyanas high. It forms the pericarp of the lotus earth. The top of this mountain is thirty Yoyanas wide. O Child! The sixteen thousand Yoyanas of this mountain is under the ground and the eighty four Yoyanas are visible outside. In the north of this Îlâvarsa are the three mountains the Nîlagiri, the S’vetagiri and the S’ringavau, forming the boundaries respectively of the three Varsas named Ramyaka, Hiranmaya and Kuru respectively. These run along from the east and gradually extend at their base and towards the salt ocean (Lavana Samudra).
These three mountains, that form the boundaries, are each two thousand Yoyanas wide. The length of each from the east towards north is less by one-tenth (1/10) of the above dimensions. Many rivers take their source and flow from them. On the south of Îlâvarsa three beautiful mountain ranges, named Nisadha, Hemakûta, and Himâlayâs, are situated, extending from the east. They are each one Ayuta Yoyanas high. These three mountains form the boundaries again of Kimpurusa and Bhârata Varsa.
To the west of Îlâvrita is situated the mountain called Mâlyavân and to the east are situated the mountains Gandhamâdan, Nîla, and Nisadha, the centres of the highest sublime grandeur and beauty. The length and breadth of these the boundary (limiting) mountains are each two thousand Yoyanas. Then the mountains Mandara, Supârs’vak, and Kumuda and others are situated in the Ketumâla and Bhadrâs’va Varsas; but these all are reckoned as the Pâda Parvatas (mountains at the foot) of the Sumeru mountain. The height and breadth of each of these is one Ayuta Yoyanas. These form the pillars, as it were, of Meru on the four sides. On these mountains, the mangoe, the jack, plantain, and the fig trees and various others are situated, four hundred (400) Yoyanas wide and eleven hundred (1,100) Yoyanas high; they seem to extend to the Heavens and form, as it were, the flagstaffs on the top. The roots, bases of these trees as well as their branches are wonderfully equally thick and extend to enormous distances. On those mountain tops are situated again, the four very capacious lakes. Of these, one lake is all milk; the other lake is all honey; the third lake is all sugarcane juice and the fourth lake is all sweet water. There are, then, again the four very lovely gardens named Nandana, Chaitrarath, Vaibhrâjaka, and Sarvatobhadra, very lovely, enchanting and pleasing to the delicate female sex and where the Devas enjoy the wealth and prosperity and their other Yogic powers. Here the Devas live always with numerous hordes of women and have their free amorous, dealings with them, to their heart’s contents and they hear the sweet songs sung by the Gandharbas and Kinnaras, the Upa Devatâs about their own glorious deeds. On the top of the Mandara mountain, there are the Heavenly mangoe trees eleven hundred Yoyanas high; the sweet delicious nectarlike mangoe fruits, very soft and each of the size as the summit of a mountain, fall to the ground; and out of their juices of a colour of the rising sun, a great river named Arunodâ takes her origin. Here the Devas always worship the great Devî Bhagavatî named Arunâ, the Destructrix of all sins, the Grantrix of all desires, and the Bestower of all fearlessness with various offerings and with the lovely water of this Arunodâ river, with great devotion. O Child! In ancient days, the King of the Daityas worshipped always this Mahâ Mâyâ Arunâ Devî (and obtained immense wealth and prosperity). He who worships Her becomes cured of all diseases, gets his health and other happiness by Her grace. Therefore She is named Âdyâ, Mâyâ, Atulâ, Anantâ, Pustî, Îs’varamâlinî, the Destroyer of the wicked and the Giver of lustre and beauty and thus remembered on this capacious earth. The river Jâmbûnada has come out, as a result of Her worship, containing divine gold.
Here ends the Fifth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the description of the receptacle of beings and on the mountains and on the origin of rivers in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the rivers and the mountains Sumeru and others
1-32. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! This Arunodâ river that I mentioned to you rises from the Mandara mountain and flows by the east of Ilâvarsa. The Pavana Deva (the God of wind) takes up the nice smell from the bodies of the wives of the Yaksas and Gandharbas, etc., and the attendants of the Devî Bhavânî and keeps the surroundings of the earth there filled with nice smell for ten Yoyanas around. Again the rose-apples with their nuts, of the size of an elephant, fall down upon the earth from the high peaks of the mountain Mandara and break into pieces; the sweet scented juices flow down as a river. This is called the Jambû river and this flows by the south of Ilâvarsa. The Devî Bhagavatî there is pleased with the Juice of that rose-apple (Jambû) and is known by the name of Jambâdinî. The Devas, Nâgas, and Risis all always worship with great devotion, the lotus-feet of the merciful Devî, wishing the welfare of all the Jîvas. The mere remembering of the name of the Devî destroys all the disease, and all the sins of the sinner. Therefore the Devas always worship and chant the names of the Devî, the Remover of all obstacles. She is installed on both the banks of the Jambû river. If men recite Her names Kokilâksî, Karunâ, Kâmapûjîtâ, Kathoravigrahâ, Devapûjyâ, Dhanyâ, Gavastinî and worship, so they get their welfare both in this world and in the next. With the juice of the Jambû fruit aided by the combination of the wind and the rays of the Sun, is created the gold. Out of this are made the ornaments for the wives of the Immortals and the Vidyâdharas. This gold, created by the Daiva, is known by the name of the Jâmbûnada gold. The love-stricken Devas make their crowns, waist bands and armlets out of this gold for their sweet-hearts. There is a big Kadamba tree on the mountain Supars’va; the five streams of honey called Madhu Dhârâ get out from its cavities and running by the west of Ilãvrita Varsa, flow over the land. The Devas drink its waters; and their mouths become filled with the sweet fragrance. The air carries this sweet fragrant smell to a distance of even one hundred Yoyanas. The Dhâres’varî Mahâ Devî dwells there, the Fulfiller of the desires of the Bhaktas, highly energetic, of the nature of Kâla (the Time, the Destroyer), and having large face (Mahânanâ), faces everywhere, worshipped by the Devas and is the presiding Deity of the woods and forests all around. The Devî, the Lady of the Devas, is to be worshipped by the names “Karâla Dehâ,” “Kâlâmgî”, “Kâmakotipravartinî”. The great Banyan tree named S’atabala is situated on the top of the Kumud mountain. From its trunk many big rivers take their origin. These rivers possess such influences as to give to the holy persons there, the milk, curd, honey, clarified butter, raw sugar, rice, clothing, ornaments, seats, and beddings, etc., whatever they desire. Therefore these rivers are called Kâmadugh. They come gradually down the earth and flow by the north of Ilâvarsa. The Bhagavatî Mînâksi dwell there and is worshipped by the Suras and the Asuras alike. That Deity clothed blue, of fearful countenance, and ornamented with hairs of blue colour, always fulfil the desires of the Devas dwelling in the Heavens. Those that worship Her, remember Her or praise Her by the names Atimânyâ, Atipûjyâ, Mattamâtanga Gâminî, Madanonmâdinî, Mânapriyâ, Mânapriyatarâ, Mârabegadharâ, Marapûjitâ, Mâramâdinî, Mayûravaras’obhâdhyâ, S’ikhivâhanagarbhabhû, etc., are honoured by the Deity Mînalochanâ Ekângarûpinî and the Parames’vara and get all sorts of happiness. Those drink the clear waters of these rivers become free from old age or decay, worry, perspiration, bad smell, from any disease, or premature death. They do not suffer anything from error, from cold, heat, or rains, or from any paleness in their colour. They enjoy extreme happiness as long as they live and no dangers come to them. O Child! Now hear the names of the other twenty mountains that encircle the Golden Sumeru mountain at its base, as if they were the filaments round the pericarp of a flower. The first is Kuranga; they come in order Kuraga, Kus’umbha, Vikankata, Trikûta, S’is’ira, Patanga, Ruchaka, Nisadha, S’itîvâsa, Kapila, S’amkha, Vaidûrya, Chârudhi, Hamsa, Risabha, Naga, Kâlanjara and lastly Nârada. The central one is the twentieth.
Here ends the Sixth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the rivers and the mountains Sumeru and others in the Mahâpuranam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the Ganges and the Varsas
1-37. Nârâyana said :– Jathara and Devakûta are the two mountains situated on the east of Sumeru; their dimensions towards the north are eighteen thousand Yoyanas wide and two thousand Yoyanas high. On the west of Meru, are situated the two famous lofty mountains Pavamâna and Pâriyâtra; their length and height are well known. On the south of Meru are situated the two lofty mountains Kailâsa and Karavira. On the north, again, of the Sumeru mountain, are situated the mountains S’ringagiri and Makaragiri. Thus the golden Sumeru mountain, shines like the Sun, surrounded by these eight mountains. In the centre of the Sumeru, there is a Divine city built of the Creator Brahmâ, ten thousand Yoyanas in dimensions. The learned sages that know everything from the highest to the lowest, describe that as square in dimensions and all made of gold. On the top of the Sumeru, are situated the world known eight golden cities, subservient to the Brahmapurî, for the eight Lokapâlas. The Lords of the four directions, east, west, north and south and of the four corners, north-east, north-west, south-west, south-east, occupy these. The dimensions of each of these eight cities are two thousand Yoyanas and a half. In fact, there are nine cities there including the Brahmapurî. Now hear the names of these nine cities in due order. The First is Manovatî, the second is Amarâvatî, the third is Tejovatî, next come in order Samyamanî, Krisnânganâ, S’raddhâvatî, Gandhavatî, and Mahodayâ, the ninth is Yas’ovatî. The Lords of the Purîs are Brahmâ, Indra, Fire and the other Dikpâlas in due order. When Visnu Bhagavân assumed the Tri Vikrama Form in His Dwarf Incarnation and went at the sacrifice, to get back the Kingdom of the Heavens from the demon Vali, there was created one hole or cavity over this Brahmânda Katâha (skull) by the nails of the toes of that foot that went up towards his left; and through that cavity, the famous river Bhagavatî Gangâ flowed on the top of those heavenly Kingdoms, the clear waters of which are ever ready to destroy the sins of the whole people. For this reason, She is known in the three Lokas as the Visnupadî manifested. This took place long long ago, many thousand Yugas ago, a period difficult to determine. The Ganges fell first on the top of the Indra’s Heavens, near the place called Visnudhâma, known in the three worlds. Here the pure-souled Dhruva, the son of Uttânapâda, observed within his heart the lotus-feet of Srî Visnu Bhagavân and exists still there taking refuge on that immoveable position. There the high-souled Seven Risis, knowing the highest purifying influence of the Ganges, circumambulate the river, wishing for the welfare of all the Lokas. This is the great place where one gets success, and final liberation, the success-giving place of the ascetics and where the Munis with clots of hairs on their heads daily take their dip in the Ganges with the greatest pleasure and admiration. The Ganges flows thence from the Dhruva Mandala, the abode of Visnu, in Kotis and Kotis of Divine Channels, interspersed with many Vimânas or carriages, deluges the Chandra Mandala (the Moon Sphere), comes gradually to the Brahmâ Loka. Here She is divided into the four channels, Sîtâ, Alakanandâ, Bhadrâ, and Chaturbhadrâ and irrigating many countries, mountains, and forests ultimately falls in the oceans. The Sîtâ, the famous Dhârâ, purifying all, while falling down from the Brahmâloka, passes round the mountains that form as it were the filaments of the flower-like Sumeru mountain, and falls on the top of the Gandhamâdana range. Thence She, worshipped by the Devas, irrigates the Bhadras’vavarsa and falls eastward into the salt ocean. The second Dhârâ (stream), named Chaksu, getting out of the Malyavân range, gradually gains strength and assumes great force and flows by Ketumâlavarsa to the western ocean. The third Dhârâ (stream), the very pure Alakananda, getting out of the Brahmâ Loka, passes through the Girikûta mountain and other forests, falls to Hemakûta; next She flows through the Bhârata Varsa and meets with the southern ocean. No words can describe the glory and the purifying effect of this river; suffice it to say that those who march out to bathe in this river get at each of their steps, the fruits of doing the great sacrifices, Râjasûya and As’vamedha, etc. The fourth Dhârâ of the Trailokyapavanî Ganga Devi, named Bhadrâ, falling from the mountain S’ringavân, become swift and capacious, flows by the Northern Kuru country and satisfying the people there flows down into the ocean. Many other rivers, getting out from the mountains, Meru, Mandara and others, flow through the various Varsas or continents, but of all the Varsas, continents, this Bhârata Varsa is called the Karma Ksettra (or the field of actions). The other eight Varsas, though on earth, give the pleasures of the Heavens. The reason for this is that when the period of the persons’ enjoyments in the Heavens cease, they come and take their birth in the one or other of these eight Varsas. The people here live for ten thousand years; their body is hard like thunderbolt and all are endowed with powers of Ayuta elephants. No one is satisfied with a little of the pleasures of sexes; so all men live happily with their wives, etc. It is not that the males alone are so happy; the females also are full of youth throughout their lives and become pregnant, when they are less than one year old. In short, the inhabitants of the Varsas enjoy for ever as the persons of Tretâ Yuga do.
Hear ends the Seventh Chapter of the Eighth Book on the story of the Ganges and the continents in Srî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the description of Ilâvrita
1-11. Nârâyana said :– In those Varsas, Visnu and the other Devas used to worship always the Great Devî with Japam and meditation and to chant hymns to Her. The forests there are ornamented with all sorts of fruits, flowers and leaves, in all the seasons. In those excellent forests, and on the mountains, in those Varsas and on the clear waters interspersed with full blewn lotuses and S’ârasas (cranes) and in those countries where varieties of mountain trees are standing and where varieties of birds frequent and echo all around, the people play in waters and engage themselves with a great many pleasant occupations; and the beautiful women, as well, roam there with the knitting of their eyebrows. The people there enjoy as they like, surrounded by young women; Nârâyana, the Âdipurusa Bhagavân Himself, worships the Devî there, to shew his extreme grace to all the inhabitants of the Navavarsa. The people also worship the Deity. By worshipping the Devî only, the Bhagavân remains there in Samâdhi, surrounded with Aniruddha and his other Vyûhachatustaya (the four forms). But in Ilâvrita Varsa, the Bhagavân Rudra, originated from the eye-brows of Brahmâ, resides only with women. No other person can enter there; for the Bhâvanî, the S’akti of Rudra has cursed that any male entering there would be transformed into a female. The Lord of Bhavanî, surrounded by innumerable women, remains here engaged in the worship of the unmanifested unborn Bhagavân Samkarsana. For the good of humanity, with intense meditation, He worships His Own Turîya Form of the nature of Tamas, thus :–
12-19. S’rî Bhagavâna said :– “Obeisance to Thee! the Bhagavân, the Great Purusa, endowed with all the qualities (the principal six Ais’varyas or prosperities), the Ananta (the Infinite) and to the Unmanifested! We worship Thee, Whose lotus feet are the refuge of all. Thou art the great storehouse of all the superhuman powers and the divine faculties of omnipotence, etc. Thou art always present to the Bhaktas. Thou art creating all these beings. Thou givest Moksa to the Bhaktas and destroyest their attachment to the world and Thou bindest Thy non-devotees in bondage to this world. Thou art the Lord. We worship Thee. We are entirely under the control of the passions, anger, etc., and our minds are always attached to the senses; but though Thou art always looking at this world for its creation, etc., Thy mind is not a bit attached to it. So who will not turn to Thee, desirous to conquer his self. Thou art appearing by Thy Mâyâ as one whose sight is ignorant; Thou lookest dreadful with Thy eyes reddened with the drink of Madhu (wine). By the touch of Thy feet, the mental faculties are very much enchanted; hence the women folk of the Nâgas cannot in any way worship Thee, out of bashfulness. The Risis say that though Thou art the Only One to create, preserve and destroy, yet Thou art quite unconcerned with them. Thou art Infinite and Thou hast innumerable heads. This vast universe is like the mustard seed resting somewhere on one of these heads, which Thou canst not feel even. The Mahat Tattva is Thy body manifested first. It is built of Sattva, Raja and Tamo Gunas. Brahmâ has come out of this and I again have sprung from this Brahmâ and am nurtured by the Sattva and the other Gunas and with the help of the Teja, created these elements and the senses. These Mahat Tattvas and we all are controlled by Thy Extraordinary Form. Thou hast kept us in our respective places by Thy Kriyâ S’akti as birds are kept duly by the strings through them. Mahat Tattva, Ahamkâra, and the Devas, elements and the senses, before mentioned all united create this Universe by Thy Grace. Thy creation is very big and grand; for this reason the gross thinkers, deluded by Thy power, never understand it. This Mâyâ is the only means to get the Samsâra Nivritti, Moksa, the real Goal of man: and this Mâyâ, again involves them in the Karma entanglements, very hard to get through. Coming in and going out, both of these are Thy forms; so we bow down to Thee.
20-23. Nârâyana said :– Thus the Bhagavân Rudra, with His Own persons in Ilâvrita Varsa used to worship the Devî and the Sankarsana, the Controller of all the Lokas. The son of Dharma, well known by the name of Bhadras’rava and all the persons born of his family and his attendants, worship thus the Devî. This form is well known to all by the name of Hayagrîva and worshipped thus. All the persons there worship Him with the intense meditation and Samâdhi and realise Him thoroughly. Then they praise Him, according to due customs and get the thorough Siddhis (success in getting extraordinary powers).
24-29. The Bhadras’ravâs said :– Obeisance to Thee, the Bhagavân, the Incarnate of Virtue, and to Him who destroys completely the desires, attachments, etc., to worldly objects! Ho! How wonderful are the feats of the Bhagavân! Death always destroys all, but people, seeing this, seem not to see this. Seeing that the son meets with death, the father desires to live long not for a virtuous purpose but for sense enjoyments, what is called Vikarma. Those who are skilled in Jñâna and Vijñâna say that this Universe that is seen is very transient. Moreover those Pundits who are endowed with much Jñâna, see vividly the transitoriness of this Universe. Still, O Unborn One! When practically they come to deal with this, they all become overpowered with the influence of Mâyâ. So Thy Pastime (Lîla) is wonderfully variegated. (Instead of spending our time uselessly in discussing on S’âstras) we bow down to Thee, and Thee alone. Thou art the Self-manifest Chaitanya. Thou are not the object to be covered by Mâyâ. Thou dost not do anything in the sort of creation, etc. Thou remainest simply as the Witness thereof. Sill the Vedas declare that Thou createst, preservest and destroyest the Universe. It is quite reasonable and nothing to be wondered at. Thou art the Âtman of all. When the Pralaya (the time of great dissolution) comes, the Vedas were stolen by the Daityas and taken to the nether regions, the Rasâtala. Thou, in the form of Hayagrîva (Horse-faced), rescued the Vedas and gave them to the Grandsire Brahmâ who was very eager to get them back and understand their meanings. Thou art the true Sankalap (resolve); we bow down to Thee. Thus the Bhadras’ravâs praise the Haiyagrîva form of Hari and sing the glorious deeds of Him. He who reads these narratives of the Mahâ Purusa (the high-souled personage) or he who makes others hear these things, both of them, quitting their sinful bodies, go to the Devî Loka.
Here ends the Eighth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the description of Ilâvrîta in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the narration of the division of the continents
1-2. Nârâyana said :– In Harivarsa, the Bhagavân Hari is shining splendid as a Yogi in the form of Narasimha. The Mahâ Bhâgavat (most devoted) Prahlâda, who knows the attributes of God worships and chants hymns with his whole hearted devotion, seeing that beautiful form, gladdening to all the people.
3-11. Prahlâda spoke :– I bow down to Thee, the Bhagavân Nrisingha Deva. Thou art the Light of all Lights. Thy big teeth are like thunderbolts. Let Thee manifest in Thy most terrible form. Let Thee destroy the desires of the people to do Karma and let Thou devour the great Ignorance (Ajñâna) the Moha (delusion) of the people. Thou art the receptacle of the Sattva, Raja and Tamo Gunas. Let myself be always free from any fear by Thy Grace. “Om Khraum!” Let this whole world rest completely in peace and happiness. Let the cheats quit their guiles and be pure and simple. Let all the people quit completely their animosities towards each other and think of their welfare. Let all the people be free from making injuries to others and be peaceful; and let them have their control over their passions. Let our mind be completely free from desires and rest entirely and devotedly to Thy lotus-feet. Let us not be attached to sons, wives, wealth, house or to any other worldly objects. If there be any attachment, let it be to the objects dear to the Bhagavân. He who barely sustains his body and soul and controls himself completely, success is very near to him; not so to the persons that are attached to the senses. The dirt of the mind, that is not washed away by bathing in the Ganges or by taking recourse to the Tîrthas, etc., is removed by the company of the devotees to the God and by their influence, hearing, thinking, and meditating on the attributes of the Bhagavân. So who is there that does not serve the Bhagavân! He who has got Niskâma Bhakti (devotion without regard to any fruits thereof) to the Bhagavân, to him come always the Devatâ, Dharma and Jñâna and other higher qualities. But he who indulges in various mental phantasms, without any Bhakti to the Bhagavân, he follows the worldly happiness that is certainly to be hated and never he gets Vairâgyan and other higher qualities. As water is life to the fish, so the Bhagavân Hari is the self of all embodied beings and so He is to be specially prayed for. So if a high-souled person be attached to household happiness, without thinking of God, then his greatness dwindles into a trifling insignificance like the ordinary pleasures of man and woman when they are full of youth. So leave, at once, the home that is the source of Birth and Death and leave Trisnâ (thirst, desire), clinging to life, low-spiritedness, name, and fame, egoism, shame, fear, poverty and loss of one’s honour and worship the Lotus-Feet of the Bhagavân Nrisingha Deva and be entirely fearless. Thus Prahlâda, the Lord of the Daityas, daily worships devotedly the Bhagavân Nrisingha, resplendent in his lotus heart, the death blow, the lion to all the elephant sins. In the Ketumâla Varsa, the Bhagavân Nârâyana is reigning in the form of the Kâma Deva, the God of Love. The people there always worship Him. The daughter of Ocean, the Indirâ Devî, who confers honour and glory to the Mahatmas, is the presiding Deity of the Varsa. She always worships the Kama Deva with the following verses :–
12-18. The Laksmî Devî spoke :– “Om, Hrâm, Hrîm, Hrûm, Om namo Bhagavate Hrisikesâya! Thou art the Bhagavân of the nature of Om. Thou are the Director, the Lord of the senses: Thy Âtman is the Highest and the Receptacle of all the good things. All the Karma Vrittis, all the Jñâna Vrittis, and effort and resolution and other faculties of the mind, act in their respective channels by Thy looking and by their being constantly practised in Thee. And the elements over which they get their masteries are subservient to Thy Laws. The mind and the other eleven Indriyas, and touch, taste and other five senses are but Thy parts. All the rites and ceremonies observed in the Vedas are found in Thee. Thou art the infinite store of all the foodings of the Jîvas. From Thee flows the Paramânanda, the Highest Bliss. Thou art All, Thou art the Substance, Purity incarnate; Thou art the Energy, the Strength manifest in all. Thou art the Finish of all the happiness and Thou art the Only One Substance, that can be desired by the people. So obeisance to Thee! This Thy Lordship is not dependent on any other body. The women that know Thee, the Lord of all and worship other bodies for their husbands, those husbands can never save them, their lives, their wealth, progeny or other dear things as those are controlled by Kâla (Time) and Karma. So they cannot be termed husbands at all; Thou art the Real Husband; and no other. For Thou art naturally fearless and Thou protectest in every way the persons that become afraid. Thou art the Lord of all wealth; so no other is superior to Thee. How can then, they be independent whose happiness depends on others! The lady that desires to worship Thy lotus feet only and becomes subservient to no others, she attains all the desires. Again the lady who, desiring other desires than to get Thee, does not worship Thy lotus-feet, Thou fulfillest the desires of her too. But, O Bhagavân! When the period of enjoyment of these things ceases and when the objects of these enjoyments are destroyed, then she repents much due to the loss of those things. Brahmâ, Mahâdeva, the Suras and the Asuras practise hard Tapasyâs to get me, impelled by their desires to attain the objects of sense enjoyments; but he only really gets me who worships and takes refuge of Thy lotus feet only, for my heart is entirely attached to Thee. So, O Achyuta! Kindly shew Thy Grace and put, on my head, Thy lotus palm, praised by the universal people that Thou placest on Thy Bhaktas. O Bhagavân! That Thou takest me in Thy Bosom is a sign of Thy Grace. No one can fathom the deeds of Thee, the Only Controller of all. Thus the Prajâpati and the Lords of that Varsa, worship the Bhagavân, the Friend of all, with a view to attain their respective desires and Siddhis. In Ramyak Varsa, the Matsya form of the Bhagavân is set up and consecrated. The Suras and the Asuras worship Him. The highly intelligent Manu always chant hymns to that Excellent Form thus :– “Obeisance to Him who is the Life of all, the Essence and Strength of all, to that Great Fish Form, the Body Incarnate of Sattva Guna, who is of the nature of Om and Bliss.”
19-23. Thou art the Lord of all the Lokapâlas and of the form of the Vedas. Thou art within and without all this universe, moving and non-moving; still all the beings are unable to see Thy form. As the people bring under their control the wooden dolls, so Thou controllest the universe by the rules and prohibitions under the names of the Brâhmanas, etc. Thou art the God. The Lokapâlas, being overcome by the fever of jealousy and pride, become quite unable, either individually or collectively, to quit their jealousies and to protect the tripeds, quadrupeds, reptiles and snakes; so Thou art the God. Thou hadst upheld this earth along with me and with the medicinal plants and creepers; and Thou shewedest the highest luminous light in the great ocean, at the time of Pralaya, tossed with surging waves and didst roam there. Thou art the Self of all the beings in the universe. So we bow down to Thee. Thus the Manu, the best of the mortal beings, used to praise the Bhagavân, who took His incarnation in the shape of the Fish, the Remover of all doubts. Manu, the foremost of the Bhâgavatas (the devotees) is reigning there in the service of the Fish Incarnation of the Bhagavân, with intense meditation and expurging all sins and with great devotion.
Here ends the Ninth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the narration of the division of the continents in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the description of Bhuvanakosa
1-7. Nârâyana said :– In Hiranmaya Varsa, the Bhagavân is remaining in the form of Kurma, the Tortoise, as the Lord of Yoga. He is thus praised and worshipped by Aryamâ, the Ruler of the Pitris. Aryamâ said :– Om namo Bhagavate Akûpârâya; (King of tortoises, sustaining the world) Obeisance to Thee, the Lord of all prosperities, in the form of Tortoise (Kurma); Thou art built of Sattva Guna Incarnate; no one can make out where Thou dost dwell; Thou art not encompassed by Time; (Thou art in the Present, Past and Future); so obeisance to Thee. Thou dost pervade all things; we bow down to Thee. All are established in Thee; so obeisance to Thee. By Thy extraordinary Mâyâ (power) Thou hast made manifest this universe that is seen. This is Thy Form. It is by no means distinct from Thee. This Thy Form is seen in so many forms. So the true reality being not known like the mirage, these cannot be counted really speaking, what is Thy form, no one can definitely say. The beings generated by heat and moisture (said of insects and worms), those that are born of eggs, from wombs and the plants and other moving, non-moving beings, the Devas, Risis, Pitris, Bhûtas, and these senses; the sky, the heavens, earth, mountains, rivers, oceans, islands, planets, and stars all these art Thou and Thou alone. Thy name, form, and appearance, are as varied; and their numbers cannot be counted. Still, Kapila and others have determined their numbers, by the knowledge of which Thou canst become visible to the Eye of Knowledge. Thy form and nature are determined by these Sânkhyas ascertained by Kapila. So we bow down to Thee. Thus Aryamâ, and the other rulers of the Varsa all united sing, praise, and worship the Bhagavân Kurma Deva, the Controller of all and the Generator of all. All Hail to Thee! The Bhagavân Yajña Purusa is manifest in Uttara Kuru Mandala in the form of Âdi Varâha. The Earth Herself worships Him always. The Goddess Earth praises Hari, the Yajña Varâha, the Destroyer of the Daityas and worships duly that Deva, with Her heart lotus, naturally devoted, rendered more devoted by Her attachment to the Lord.
8-13. The Goddess Earth spoke :– “Om Namo Bhagavate Mantratattva Lingâya Yajña Kratave” I bow down to the Bhagavân, the Great Boar; Thou art Om; Thy real form and nature can be known by only the Mantra and Tattva. Thou art Yajña and Kratu (sacrifice) incarnate; therefore all the great sacrifices are Thy limbs. Thou art the Three Yugas (there being no Yajña in the Satya Yuga); Thou art that which is left as Pure, after doing Karma (so as to be fit for performing Yajñas). So obeisance to Thee. The sages, versed in Jñâna and Vijñâna say that Thou art hidden in the body and in the senses as fire is hidden in the wood. So they, ardent to see Thee, seek for Thee with a discriminative and dispassionate mind, judging Karmas and their fruits; and then Thy Nature is revealed, I bow down to Thee, Thy Form can be ascertained by the cause and effect of the Karmas and other Gunas of Mâyâ, sense objects, senses, actions, Devas, body, time, Ahamkâra and others. I bow down to Thee, Those can see thus Thy form, whose mind is firmly established in Thee, by their discrimination and Yama, Niyama, etc., and who have abandoned all sorts of fickleness and changeability of their tempers. So obeisance to Thee. As iron goes attracted towards the magnet, so Mâyâ dances before Thee with Her Gunas and Her works in the way of the creation, preservation and destruction of this universe; but Thou art totally indifferent to it. For the sake of the Jîvas (embodied souls), desire comes to Thee, though Thou art not quite willing! Thou art the Witness of the Jîvas and their Adrista (the Fate). I bow down to Thee. The Yajña Varâha, the Cause of this universe, has lifted me up from the Rasâtala and placing me on His big tusks, has come out from the Pralaya, the great ocean, after overpowering in battle His enemy, the powerful Daitya, like an elephant, I bow down to that Controller of all, to Thee. In the Kimpurusa Varsa, the Bhagavân Âdi Purusa (the Prime Man), the Self-manifest, and the Lord of all, is residing in the form of Râma, the son of Das’aratha and the Joy of the heart of Sîtâ Devî.
14-18. S’rî Hanumâna thus spoke:– “Om namo Bhagavate Uttama Slokaya” I bow down to the Bhagavân, who art sung by the excellent verses, purifying all. I bow down to Thee, the incarnate of modesty, good temper, vow and good signs; Thy mind is always under control; Thou dost imitate, as Thy nature is good, the actions of all persons; obeisance to Thee. Thou art the Supreme Place to award praise. Obeisance to Thee. Thou art Brahmanya Deva (in the creation of the universe), the high souled Person Mahâpurusa. Thou gettest the First Share, above all the persons! Thou art the One Tattva and That Alone, as established in the Vedânta. The holy realisation is the only guide to it. This Tattva dominates over all the Gunas. It can never be an object. Only by pure intellect, It can be realised. There is no name, no form of It. It is always beyond the pale of Ahamkâra. I take refuge to this Tattva, the most Peaceful, with my body and mind. Thy incarnation in human shape in this world is not simply for killing Râvana but for giving instructions to the mortals. The contact with woman and the suffering thereof are very difficult to avoid; to give this lesson also He took this incarnation, He Who is merged in enjoying the Supreme Bliss of His Own Nature and He Who is the Lord of all, how can He suffer miseries in the bereavement of Sîtâ. He is the best friend and the very Âtman of those who have conquered their minds and senses. Especially He is the receptacle of all the qualities and is in enjoyment of other divine extraordinary powers. So He is not attached to the worldly objects. How can the delusion due to His wife come and darken Him? and why will He send Laksmana in exile? He is the Mahat Tattva and the Parama Purusa; so good birth, beauty, intelligence, oratory or good form, nothing can please Him. Bhakti (devotion) can only attract Him. If that be not the case, then why will He, the elder of Laksmana, the Bhagavân, the son of Das’aratha make friendship with us, the wanderers of the forest and who are by nature, not the receptacles of any beauty, etc. So everyone, be he a Sura or Asura, man, or not man, should worship the Hari manifest in Râma, in the human body with all his heart. He is so good that if anybody worships Him even to a very small extent, He always considers it to be much; what more can be said than this that He took all the inhabitants of Kos’ala to Heaven!
19-20. Nârâyana said :– Thus Hanumân, the best of monkeys, sings the praises and worships duly in Kimpurusa Varsa, the lotus-eyed Râma, truthful, and determined in his vows. He who hears this wonderful description of Râma, is freed of all his sins and goes with his body pure to the abode of Râma.
Here ends the Tenth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the description of Bhuvanakosa in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the description of the continents and of Bhâratavarsa
1. Nârâyana said :– In this Bhâratavarsa (India) I am present, as the First of all, in the shape of the Man, at present existing before you. Let you praise Me incessantly thus:-
2-28. Nârada said :– Thou art the Bhagavân. Obeisance to Thee. Thou art completely free from attachment and envy and Thou art the incarnate of Dharma, Jñâna and Vairâgyam (Dispassion). No trace of Ahamkara (egoism) is in Thee. Obeisance to Thee. Thou hast nothing of wealth; Thou art the foremost of the family of Risis; Thou art Nara Nârâyana. Thou art the Parama Hamsa (the highest class of ascetics and renouncers of the world). Thou art the Highest Guru; Thou art happy with Thyself and the Leader of all; I bow down to Thee. Thou art the Lord of all, yet not mixed in the work of creation, etc. Though Thou residest in every embodied being, yet no hunger and thirst can press Thee; though Thou art the Witness, yet Thy sight is not at all disturbed by the proximity. Thou art not at all connected and no desires can come to Thee; Thou art the Witness. So I bow down to Thee. This path of Yoga had come out of Thee and it is established in Thee. The Bhagavân Hiranyagarbha has given instructions on the cleverness in Yoga, thus :– That leaving aside the egoism of this body, the seat of all evils, the people at last will take resort to the path of Bhakti and set their minds on Thee, Who art beyond the pale of the three Gunas. If, like the ignorant persons very much attached to this world as well as the next, the wise pass their time in the thoughts of their sons, wives, and riches and ultimately become very much pained on the destruction of this ugly body, persons, versed in Jñâna and Vijñâna be afraid in the end of their separation fron the body, then their study of the S’âstras and all their labours become labours merely, without any effect. When such a thing occurs to the learned, then O Thou, the Subduer of the knowledge of senses! Thou Thyself givest us instructions that we may easily think of Thee. Then this terrible clinging to this ugly body that Thy Mâyâ brings about and which it is very difficult to discard by other means, will leave us quickly. Nârada, the seer of all, well qualified with the knowledge of all the Tattvas, the foremost of the Munis, thus worships it and praises Nârâyana Who is unaffected by any of the Ûpâdhis and who corresponds to Nitya and Leelâ (both Permanent and the Pastime-making). O Devarsi! I now describe to you the rivers and mountains in Bhâratvarsa. Hear attentively. Malaya, Mangalaprastha, Mainâka, Chitrakûta, Risabha, Kûtaka, Kolla, Sahya, Devagiri, Risyamûka, S’ris’aila, Vyankata, Mahendra, Vâridhâra, Vindhya, S’uktimân, Riksa, Pâriyâtra, Drona, Chitrakûta, Gobardhana, Raivataka, Kakubha, Nîla, Gaurmukha, Indrakîla, Kâmagiri and many other mountains, that cannot be numbered. Great merits accrue on seeing these mountains. Hundreds and thousands of rivers issue from these mountains. Drinking their waters, bathing in them and visiting them and singing their praises completely destroy the sins of mind, word and body. The names of the rivers are :– Tâmraparnî, Chandravas’â, Kritamâlâ, Vatodakâ, Vaihâyasî, Kâverî, Venâ, Payasvini, Tungabhadrâ, Krisnavenâ, S’arkarâ, Vartakâ, Godâvarî, Bhîmarathî, Nirbindhyâ, Payosnikâ, Tâpî, Revâ, Surasâ, Narmadâ, Sarasvatî, Charmanvatî, and the Indus, Andha, and Sone, Risikulyâ, Trisâmâ, Vedasmriti, Mahânadî, Kaus’ikî, Yamunâ, Mandâkini, Drisadvatî, Gomatî, Sarayû, Oghavatî, Saptavatî, Susamâ, S’atadru, Chandrabhâgâ, Marudbridhâ, Vitastâ, Asiknî and Vis’vâ and many other rivers. Those persons that take their births in this Varsa enjoy the (Divya) Divine, human, and the lower enjoyments, as the effects of their Karmas, in accordance with their Sâttvik, Râjasik, and Tâmasik qualities. All the inhabitants of this Varsa take their Sannyâsa, Vânaprasthas, etc., in accordance with the rules of their Varnas (castes) respectively and enjoy beatitudes as dictated (in their S’âstras). The Vedavâdis (the propounders of the Vedas), the Risis, and the Devas declare that this Varsa is superior to all the other Varsas as the Grace of God is easily obtained here. They say: Oh! What an amount of good works, the inhabitants of Bhârata Varsa did in their previous lives, that by their influence, the Bhagavân Hari has become pleased with them without their having any Sâdhanâs (good Yogic practices). Therefore we also desire to have our births there, for there if we be born amidst the persons there, we would be able serve Hari, Mukunda in every way. What will severe austerities, gifts, sacrifices, and practising vows avail us? Even if we go to Heaven, what benefit we will derive there? Then we would never be able to bring our mind to the lotus-feet of the Bhagavân Nârâyana. Our tastes for sense enjoyments would increase and we would be wholly deprived of Bhagavân. Far better it is to be born in this Bhârata Varsa as short-lived persons, than to acquire other places where one can live up to the period of Kalpa and then be reborn. For the intelligent people of Bhârata, getting this mortal coil can within a short period devote themselves to the Bhagavân Hari and be free from rebirth. That place is never to be visited and served, even if that be Svarga Loka where the nectar-like ocean of the sayings of Vaikuntha are not heard; where there are no assemblages of saints who take refuge of the Lotus feet of Bhagavân; where the great sacrifices and festivities of the Bhagavân Visnu are not celebrated. Those persons, that do not try for Moksa, when they get human births and when they possess Jñâna, Kriyâ (methods of doing sacrifices and other works for the help of Jñâna) and Dravya (materials for those sacrifices), are certainly like beasts and get themselves repeatedly entanged into bondages. The people of Bhârata Varsa offer oblations to Indra and other deities, invoking their names separately, with proper rules (Vidhis), mantras, and purodâsas (a sacrificial oblation made of ground rice and offered in Kapâlas or vessels); but the All sufficient Bhagavân Hari, the Giver of blessings accepts those very gladly.
True that He grants unto the people what they ask from Him; but He hardly gives anybody the Paramârtha, the Highest Goal. The reason being that the people ask again and again after receiving what they had asked. So He gives of Himself His own lotus-feet to those who, having abandoned all their desires, worship Him and Him only with the idea of love. (1) Thus :– We are living very happily in the Heavens as the fruit of the Istâpûrta that we performed fully; yet we want that we may also be born in Bhârata Varsa with our memory all renewed with the thought of the Bhagavân Hari. The Bhagavân residing in this Bhâratvarsa, awards the highest welfare to its inhabitants.
29-32. Nârâyana said :– O Devarsi! Thus the Devas of the Heavens, the Siddhas, the Highest Risis, sing the excellent merits of this Bhâratavarsa. There are the eight Upadvîpas of this Jambudvîpa :– When the sons of the King Sagara were searching for the footprints of the stolen horse (for As’vamedha sacrifice), they found these Upadvîpas; so it is definitely stated. The names of out and made these are :– Svarnaprastha, Chandras’ukra, Âvartana, Ramânaka, Mandaropâkhya, Harina, Pânchajanya, and Ceylon. The length and breadth of Jambudvîpa have been described; now the other six Dvîpas, Plaksa and others will be described. Hear.
Here ends the Eleventh Chapter of the Eighth Book on the description of the continents and of Bhâratavarsa in the Mahâpurânam, S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
Next: Chapter 12
On the narration of Plaksa, S’âlmala and Kus’a Dvîpas
1-37. Nârâyana said :– The Jambudvîpa has been described, how it is and what is its width. It is surrounded on all sides by the salt ocean. As Meru is surrounded by Jambudvîpa, so the salt ocean is surrounded by Plaksadvîpa, twice its size. As the ditch is surrounded by gardens, so the salt ocean is surrounded by gardens. As the Jambu tree exists in Jambudvîpa, so the Plaksa tree exists in the Plaksa Dvîpa and of the same size. The name Plaksa Dvîpa is derived from the name of this Plaksa tree. This tree is of a golden colour. Fire exists at its bottom with form incarnate. This is, named Saptajihva. The Ruler of this island is Idhmajihva, the son of Priyavrata. He divided his island into the seven Varsas and distributed them, to each of his seven sons and he himself took refuge of the path of Yoga, so much liked by the Knowers of Self and he got the Bhagavân Vâsudeva. The names of those seven Dvîpas are :– S’iva, Yavas, Subhadra, Sânti, Ksema, Amrita, and Abhaya. Seven rivers and seven mountains exist respectively in the seven islands. The rivers are :– Arunâ, Nrimnâ, Angirasî, Sâvitrî, Suprabhâtikâ, Ritambharâ, and Satyambharâ. The names of the mountains are Manikûta, Vajrakûta, Indrasena, Jyotismâna, Suparna, Hiranyasthîva, and Meghamâla. The seeing and drinking the waters of these rivers take away all sins and all darkness due to ignorance. The four castes live here, Hamsa, Patanga, Ûrdhâyana, and Satyânga, corresponding to the four castes Brâhmana, etc. The inhabitants of this Plaksa Dvîpa live for one thousand years and all are of variegated wonderful appearances. They follow the customs and usages dictated by the Vedas and worship the God Sun for the attainment of Heaven. The mantra by which the worship is done is this :– We take refuge unto that Sun, Who is the Body Manifest of the Ancient Person Visnu and Who is the Ordainer of Satya (Truth), Ritâ (Straight forwardness), Brahmâ, Amrita (Immortality) and Mrityu (Death); O Nârada! All the persons here live long, of vigorous senses, energetic, powerful, intelligent, enthusiasts, and valorous; everyone gets extraordinary powers of themselves. Next to this Plaksa Dvîpa is the Ikshu Ocean. This Iksu Sâgara surrounds the Plaksa Dvîpa. Next comes S’almala Dvîpa. It is twice as large as Plaksa. This Dvîpa is surrounded by Surâsâgara (the ocean of wine). There is a tree named S’almalî in this island, which is as large as the Plaksa tree. The high-souled Garuda resides on that tree, Yajñavâhu is the Ruler of this place. He was born of Priyavrata; he divided his Varsa into the seven parts and distributed each of them to his seven sons respectively. Now hear the names of these Varsas :– Surochana, Saumanasya, Ramana, Deva Varsa, Pâribhadra, Âpyâyana, and Vijñâta. Seven mountains and seven rivers exist there respectively. The names of the mountains are :– Sarasa, S’atas’ringa, Vâma Deva, Kandaka, Kumuda, Puspavarsa, and Sahasra-S’ruti. Now hear the names of the rivers. Anumati, Sinîbâlî, Sarasvatî, Kûhu, Rajanî, Nandâ, and Râkâ; these are the seven rivers. The people are divided into the four castes :– S’rutadhara, Vîryadhara, Vasundhara, Isundhara. These correspond to the Brâhmanas, etc. They worship the Bhagavân Moon, the Controller of all and the Creator of all the Vedas. They offer food duly in the black and white fortnight to their Pitris. The mantra for their worship is :– “Let Soma, the King of all, be pleased.” O Nârada! Next to Surâsâgara is Kus’advîpa, surrounded by Ghritasâgara (the ocean of clarified butter). Its dimensions are twice as large. Here are blades of Kus’a grass, of a very resplendent colour. The name of the Dvîpa is from this Kus’astamba. This bundle of Kus’a, illumines all the quarters with their gentle rays. The Ruler of the Dvîpa is Hiranyaretâ, the son of Priyavrata. He divided the Dvîpa into seven parts and distributed each of them to each of his seven sons respectively. The names of the seven sons are :– Vasu, Vasudâna, Dhridharuchi, Nâbhigupta, Stutyavrata, Vivikta, and Bhâmadevaka. There are seven mountains forming the seven boundaries and so are the seven rivers. Hear the names of these. The names of the mountains are :– Chakra, Chatuhs’ringa, Kapila, Chitre Devânîka, Kûta, Ûrdharomâ and Dravina. The names of the rivers are :– Rasakulyâ, Madhukulyâ, Mitravindâ, S’rutavindâ, Devagarbhâ, Ghritâchyut, and Mantramalikâ. The inhabitants of the Kus’advîpa drink the waters of these rivers. There are the four castes here Kus’ala, Kovida, Abhiyukta, and Kulaka corresponding to the Brâhmanas, etc. They are all powerful like Indra and the other chief Devas; and all of them are omniscient. They worship the Fire God and perform various good works in honour of Him. Their mantra is this :– O Fire! Thou carriest the oblations direct to Para Brahmâ. In the sacrifices of the Devas, Thou worshippest that Personal God and offerest to Him whatever are given in oblations, mentioning the respective limbs of His Body. Thus the inhabitants of that Dvîpa worship the Fire God.
Here ends the Twelfth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the narration of Plaksa, S’âlmala, and Kus’a Dvîpas in the Mahâpurânam, S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the description of the remaining Dvîpas
1. Nârada said :– Thou, the Knower of everything! Describe about the remaining Dvîpas, knowing which we will be highly delighted.
2-36. Nârâyana spoke thus :– The very vast Ghrita Sâgara (the ocean of clarified butter) is encircling the Kus’a Dvîpa. Next to it is the Krauncha Dvîpa. It is twice as large as Kus’a. The Ksîra Sâgara (the ocean of milk) is surrounding this Dvîpa. The Krauncha mountain is standing here. The name of this Dvîpa is derived from this mountain. In days gone by, the highly intelligent Kârtikeya burst this mountain by his own prowess. This Dvîpa is washed by the Ksîra Sâgara; and Varuna is its Regent. The son of Priyavrata, Ghritapristha, respected by all and whose prosperity knows no end, is the Lord of this Dvîpa. He divided this Dvîpa into the seven parts and distributed them to his sons and named the Varsas after the names of his sons. He made his sons the rulers of those places and he himself took the refuge of the Bhagavân Nârâyana The names of the seven Varsas are respectively :– Âma, Madhuruha, Meghapristha, Sudhâmaka, Bhrâjistha, Lohitârna, and Vanaspati. O Nârada! The seven mountains and the rivers there are very celebrated throughout the worlds. The names of the mountains are :– S’ûkla, Vardhamâna, Bhojana, Upavarhana, Nanda, Nandana, and Sarvatobhadra. The names of the rivers are :– Abhayâ, Amritaughâ, Âryakâ, Tîrthavatî, Vrittirûpavatî, S’uklâ, and Pavitravatikâ. The inhabitants there drink the highly pure water of these rivers. The people there are divided into four colours Purusa, Risabha, Dravina, and Vedaka and they worship the Bhagavân Varuna, of the form of water. Then they become very discriminative, and, with great devotion, and holding full within their folded palms the water, repeat the following mantra :– “O Water! Thou art the essence Vîrya of the Person Bhagavâna and Thou sanctifiest the Bhûrloka, Bhuvarloka, and Svarloka. Thou destroyest the sins of all. We all are touching it; purify our bodies.” After finishing their mantrams, they sing various hymns to Varuna. Next to the Ksiroda Sâgara, is the S’aka Dvîpa, thirty two lakh yoyanas wide, surrounded by the Dadhi Sâgara (the ocean of curds), of similar dimensions. Here the most excellent tree named the S’aka tree exists. O Nârada! The Dvîpa is named so after the tree. Medhâtithi, the son of Priyavrata is the Lord of this Dvîpa. He divided this land into the seven Varsas and distributed each to his seven sons respectively; and ultimately he took refuge to the path of Yoga. The names of the seven Varsas are Purojava, Manojava, Pavamânaka, Dhûmrânîka, Chitrarepha, Bahurûpa, and Vis’vadhrik. In these Varsas there are seven mountains, one in each Varsa, as forming their boundaries; and there are seven rivers also. The names of the mountains are :– Îs’ana, Ûrus’ringa, Valabhadra, S’ata Kes’ara, Sahasra-srotaka, Devapâla, and Mahâsana; the names of the rivers are :– Anaghâ, Âyurdâ, Ubhayaspristi, Aparâjitâ, Pañchapadî, and Sahasras’ruti and Nijadhriti. These seven rivers are all very big and resplendent with lustre. The people are divided into four classes :– Varsas, Satyavrata, Kratuvrata, Dânavrata, and Anuvrata. They all take the Prânayâma exercise and thereby bring the Râjas, and Tamo Guna under their subjection and they worship Hari, of the nature of Prâna Vayu, Higher than the Highest. Their mantra is this :– “He has entered into all the living beings and nourishes them by the Prâna and other faculties; He is the Internal Ruler of all and the Supreme Controller; this Universe is under His control; let Him protect and nourish us.” O Nârada! Next to this Dadhi Sâgara is Puskara Dvîpa; it is twice as large as S’âka Dvîpa. It is surrounded by the Dudha Sâgar (the ocean of milk) all twice as large. The leaves of Puskara tree that shines in the Puskara Dvîpa, are fiery like golden flames; they are as clean and pure. Crores and crores of leaves, golden in colour ornament this Tree. Vâsudeva, the Guru of all the Lokas, has created this Puskara Dvîpa as the seat of Paramesthî Brahmâ, possessed of six extraordinary powers, for the purpose of creation. There is one mountain in this Dvîpa; it is divided into two parts, named Arvâchîna and Parâchîna. These form the boundaries of the two Varsas. The mountain is one Ayuta Yoyana high and one Ayuta Yoyana wide. There are four cities on the four sides. Indra and the three other Lokapâlas are the lords of these cities. The Sun God comes out from their top and circumambulating Meru, goes there again. The whole year is his Chakram, circle of circuit; His path is Uttrâyanam and Daksinâyanam. Vîtihotra, the son of Priyavrata is the lord of this island. He distributed the two Varsas amongst his two sons, Ramana and Dhâtakî. They rule over the two Varsas named also after them. Like the inhabitants of the above Varsas, the people also get powers of themselves and worship devotedly the God seated on the lotus and follow such path of the Yoga as leads them to the Brahmâ Sâlokyâ, etc. The mantra runs thus :– “We bow down to that One God, without a Second, of the nature of Peace, Who is the Fruit of all the Karmas, Who is the seat of illumination of Brahmâ, Who is established in Unity, and Who is worshipped by all the Lokas.”
Here ends the Thirteenth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the description of the remaining Dvîpas in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the description of the Lokâloka space
1-29. Nârâyana said :– Next to the ocean of pure water, is the mountain, called Lokâloka. It marks the sphere between the two countries Loka and Aloka. O Devarsi! There is a land, all of pure gold (beyond this ocean of pure water) for a space equal to the distance between Mânasottara and Meru. This land is like a mirror; there are no beings here; the reason is, any substance placed on it would at once be converted into gold and nothing can be obtained out of it. O Nârada! No living beings can live there and therefore it is named Lokâloka. This is established always between the Loka and Aloka. The God himself has made this as the boundary of the three Lokas. The rays of the Sun, the Polar Star and all the planets are confined to this sphere; rather passing through its middle, the luminaries shed their lustre on the three Lokas. O Nârada! This great mountain is so lofty and capacious that the rays of the luminaries can never go out of it. The learned men say, that the size, form, and indications of this mountain are such as this is the one-fourth of five hundred times the size of the earth on its summit. The self-born Brahmâ has placed very big elephants on all sides of it. Heartheir names. These are Risabha, Puspachûda, Vâmana, and Aparâjita. These four elephants are said to hold all the Lokas in their respective positions. The Bhagavân Hari gives strength to these elephants and to Indra and others who are reckoned to be His Vibhûtis (powers). He manifesting His S’uddha Sattva and super-extraordinary powers, and united with Animâ, Laghimâ, etc., the eight Siddhis, is reigning there surrounded by His Pâris’adas Visvaksena and others. He is the one God of all; He is without a second. For the welfare of all, He is holding Sudars’ana and His various other weapons; and the powers of His arms are great. He is His own Cause and at all times He pervades all in and through. He is Eternal. This Universe is upheld by His extraordinary power Mâyâ for its preservation. He remains in this form till the end of a Kalpa. The inner width described above, determines the width of Âloka. For it is situated outside the above Loka. Beyond the mountain Lokâloka, is said to lie the pure path leading to Yoges’vara within the egg-shaped ellipsoid formed by the Heaven and Earth. The inner dimension of this ellipsoid is twenty five Koti Yoyanas. When this egg becomes unconscious (lifeless), the Sun enters within it in the form of Vairâja. Hence the Sun is called Mârtanda. He is Hiranyagarbha, when He is born from this Golden Egg. It is this Sun that ordains the quarters, Âkâs’a, Heaven and Earth, etc., in their proper spheres and divisions. This Sun is the Âtmâ of Svarga and Moksa, hell and other lower regions, of the Devas, men, birds, reptiles, trees and all other living beings; and He is the Presiding Deity of their sight. O Nârada! Its width is Pañchâs’at Koti Yoyanas and its height or depth is twenty-five Koti Yoyanas. If as the two halves of a gram are of the same size, so the Earth and Heaven are of equal size. The space enclosed between them is called Antarîksa; the Sun God, the foremost of the planets, being situated in the middle, gives light and illumines and heats the three Lokas. He goes by the path of Uttarâyana and therefore His motion becomes slow (His motion becomes Mandagati). The Sun then getting up higher prolongs the day time. Similarly when the Sun follows the path of Daksinâyana, He gets S’îghra-gati and not going up so high, shortens the day time. Again when He comes at the Equator, He maintains an even position and the day and night become equal. When the Sun is in the signs Aries (Mesa) and Libra (Tulâ), then the day and night become equal. When the Sun traverses the five signs Taurus, Gemini, etc., the day becomes longer and when the Sun traverses the five signs Scorpio and others, the day becomes shorter and the night becomes longer.
Here ends the Fourteenth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the description of the Lokâloka space in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the motion of the Sun
1-45. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! I will now describe the motion of the Sun. Hear. It is of three kinds; S’îghra (perihelionic), Manda (Aphelionic), and even. O Surasattama! Every planet has three positions. The name of the Madhyagati position is Jâradgava, the name of the northern position is Airâvata; and the name of the southern position is Vais’vânara. The asterisms As’vinî Krittikâ and Bharanî are known by the term Nâgavîthî. Rohinî, Ârdrâ, and Mrigas’irâ are named Gaja Vîthî; Pusyâ, As’lesâ, and Punarvasu are named Airavatîvîthî. The three Vîthîs, above-mentioned are called Uttara Mârga. Purvaphalgunî, Uttara Phalgunî and Maghâ are named A’rsabhî Vîthî. Hastâ, Chitrâ and Svâtî are called Govîthî; Jyesthâ, Vis’âkhâ and Anurâdhâ are named Jâradgavî Vîthî. These three Vîthîs are named Madhyamâ Mârga. Mûlâ, Purbâsâdhâ, Uttarâsâdhâ are termed Ajavîthî S’ravanâ, Dhanisthâ and S’atabhisâ are termed Mriga Vîthî. Uttara bhâdrapada, Purvabhâdrapada, and Revatî are called Vais’vânarîvîthî. These three Vîthîs (paths) are called Daksinamârga. During the Uttarâyana time, as the Dhruva attracts the rope of air from both the sides of the Yuga, orbit (or axis), the chariot of the Sun ascends, (i.e., is drawn up by the rope). Thus when the Sun enters within the sphere, the motion of the chariot becomes slower and the day is lengthened and the night is shortened. O Sura Sattama! Know this to be the course of the path of the Sun.
When the cord draws towards the south, the Chariot descends and as the Sun then comes out of the sphere, the motion becomes quick. The day shortens and the night is lengthened. Again when the cord is neither tightened nor is it slackened, rather its motion is exactly mid-way, the Sun also remains in a medium position and his Chariot enters within a sphere of equilibrium and the day and night become equal. When the cord of air, in a state of equilibrium is attracted by the Polar Star, then it is that the Sun and the Solar system revolves; and when the Polar Star slackens its attraction over the cord of air, the Sun coming out of the middle sphere, revolves; and the Solar system also revolves. On the east of Meru is established the city of Indra and the Devas dwell there. It is called therefore Devadhânikâ. On the south of the Meru, is the famous city of Yama, the God of Death, named Samyamanî. On the west of Meru, is the great city of Varuna, named Nimnochanî. On the north of Meru is the city of the Moon, named Vibhâvarî. O Nârada! The Brahmavâdîs say that the Sun first rises in the city of Indra. At noon the Sun goes to Samyamanî; at evening the Sun goes to Nimnochanî and He is said to set. In the night the Sun remains in Vibhâvarî. O Muni! The going of the Sun round Meru is the cause of all the beings getting themselves engaged in their respective duties. The inhabitants of the Meru see the Sun always in the central position. The Sun moves on, eastwards towards the stars, keeping the Meru to his left; but if the Zodiac be taken into account, it would appear that the Meru is left towards the south of the Sun. The rising and the setting of the Sun are always considered in front of Him. O Devarsi! Every point, every quarter, every person, seeing the Sun says that the Sun has risen there; again where he becomes invisible, He is considered to set there. The Sun always exists; so there is no rising nor setting for Him. It is His appearance and disappearance that make men say that the Sun rises or sets. When the Sun is in the Indra’s city, He illumines the three cities, those of Indra, Yama, and the Moon and illumines the north-east and east-west corners. So when He rests in the city of Fire, he illumines north-east, east-west, and south-west, the three corners, and at the same time the cities of Indra and Yama; and so on for the other cities and corners.
O Nârada! The Mont Meru is situated towards the north of all the Dvîpas and Varsas. So whenever any person sees the Sun rise he calls that side “east.” But Meru exists towards the left of the Sun; so it is said. If the Sun travels in 15 (fifteen) Ghatikâs, the distance from Indrapurî to Yamapurî, He is said to travel within that time a distance equal to 2¼ Kotis, 12½ lakhs and 25000 Yojanas (22695000 Yojanas). The thousand-eyed and thousand rayed Sun God is the Manifester of Time. He travels in the aforesaid way the cities of Varuna, Chandra and Indra respectively. He is the diadem of the Svarloka; and the Zodiac is his Âtman. He travels thus, to mark off time to all persons. O Nârada! The Moon and the other planets and stars rise and set in the aforesaid manner. Thus the powerful chariot of the Sun travels in a Muhûrta 142,00000 Yojanas. By the force of Pravaha Vâyu (air), the Sun God, the Incarnate of the Vedas travels round the cities, the Zodiac, in one Samvatsara (year). The wheel of the Sun’s Chariot is one year; twelve months are the spokes; three Châturmâsyas are the nave and the six seasons are the outer ring or circumference of the wheel. The learned men call this chariot as the Samvatsara (one year). The axis or axle points to the Meru on one side and to Mânasottara mountain on the other. The end or circumference of the wheel marks off other divisions of the time as Kalâ, Kâsthâ, Muhûrta, Yâma, Parahara, day and night, and fortnights. The wheel is fixed on the nave. The Sun goes on this wheel, like an oilman’s on his oil-machine, round and round the Mânasottara mountain. The eastern side of the wheel is on that axis and the other part is fixed on the Pole Star. The dimension of the first axis is (15750000 Yoyanas). The second axis measures one-fourth of the above (3937500 Yoyanas). It resembles the axis of an oil-machine. The upper side of that is considered to belong to the Sun. The seat of the Sun on his chariot measures 36 Lakh Yoyanas wide. The Yuga measures in length one fourth of the above dimensions, that of his seat. The Chariot is is moved by seven horses, consisting of the seven Chhandas, Gâyatrî, etc., driven by Aruna. The horses carry the Sun for the happiness of all. Though the charioteer sits in front of the Sun, his face is turned towards the west. He does his work as a charioteer in that state. Sixty thousand Vâlakhilya Risis, of the size of a thumb, chant the sweet Vedic hymns before Him. Other Risis, Apsarâs, Uragas, Grâmanîs, Râksasas, and all the Devas, each divided in groups of seven, worship every month that highly lustrous Sun-god. The earth measures 90152000 Kros’a Yuga Yoyanas (1 Krosa – ¼ Yoyana). The Sun passes over this distance in a moment. He does not take rest in his this work even for a day; no, not even for a moment.
Here ends the Fifteenth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the motion of the Sun in the Mahâpurânam, S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the motion of the planets
S’rî Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! Now hear the wonderful movements of the planets and their positions. The auspicious and inauspicious events of the mankind, are due to the different movements of these planets. As in a potter’s wheel going round and round, the motion of the insects crawling on the wheel, appears in a contrary direction, so the motion of the Sun and other planets moving on the Zodiac composed of the Râsîs (12 constellations) which again always moves round the Meru as an axle, appears different. Their motion from one star to another and from one constellation to another appears so likewise. These two motions therefore are not contradictory but are consistent; so it is settled everywhere by the learned Pundits (as being subservient to the Zodiac). O Nârada! He, Who is the Origin of all, Who is the Âdi Purusa, from Whom all these have sprung, Who is endowed with six extraordinary powers, in Whom all this Prapañcha, this material world composed of the five elements remains, that Nârâyana, roaming about, has divided the Trayî Âtmâ into twelve parts for the perfect happiness of all and for Karma S’uddhis (the purification of Karma, acts). The sages furnished with Jñân and Vijñâna have thus argued on the point, following the path as laid out in the Vedas. The Sûrya Nârâyana, moving on in the six seasons, spring, etc., has established, cold, heat, etc., as the Dharma of the seasons, duly for the fructification of the Karmas of the individual beings. Those persons that worship this Âdipurusa, with devotion, according to the knowledge of the Vedas the customs and usages of Varna (castes) and Âs’rama (Brahmacharya, etc.), and with various performances of Yogas, get their fruits respectively according to their desires. This Sun is the Âtman of all the Lokas and resting on the Zodiac between the Heavens and the Earth, enjoys the twelve months in the twelve constellations, Aries, etc. These months are the limbs of the year. Two fortnights make one month. The 21 asterisms go to form one month according to the Solar measure, of the day and night.
The period that the Sun takes to travel over the two constellations is called Ritu or the Season (i.e., two months). The Scientists say that this season is the limb of one Samvatsara. The path that the Sun describes within the three seasons or half the year in the Zodiac is called one Ayanam. The time taken by the Sun with earth and heavens to make a circuit of the Zodiac is called one Vatsara or year. This year is reckoned into five divisions as :– Samvatsara, Parivatsara, Idâvatsara, Anuvatsara, and Idvatsara. These are functioned by the S’îghra, Manda, and uniform motions of the Sun. So the Munis say. Thus far the motion of the Sun has been described. Now hear that of the Moon. The Moon is situated one lakh Yoyanas higher than the Sun and shares with the motion of the Sun for one year; and She enjoys as well every month with the Sun in the shape of the dark and bright fortnights. The Moon, the Lord of Night and of the medicinal plants also enjoys the day and night by the help of one constellation or 2¼ Naksattras. Thus, by Her S’îghragati, the Moon enjoys the Naksattras. During the bright fortnight, the Moon becomes more and more visible and gives pleasure to the Immortals by Her increasing phases; and, during the dark fortnight by Her waning phases, She delights the Pitris. She performs revolution in the day and night by Her both the phases of the bright and dark fortnights. Thus She becomes the Life and Soul of all the living beings. The Moon, endowed with the highest prosperity, travels one Naksattra in thirty Muhûrtas. She is Full and the Soul without any beginning. She fructifies the desires (Sankalpas) and resolves of all; hence She is called Manomaya. She is the Lord of all the medicinal plants (Osadhis); hence She is called Annamaya. She is filled with nectar; hence She is called the Abode of Immortality and She gives Nirvâna (the final liberation) to all. Hence She is called Sudhâkara. She nourishes and satisfies the Devas, Pitris, men, reptiles and trees; hence She is called “Sarvamaya.” By Her influence the asterisms travel over the three lakh Yoyanas. The God Himself has made the Naksattra Abhijit to revolve round the Meru, along with the other Naksattras in the Zodiac; so this is reckoned as the twenty-eighth Naksattra. The planet Venus (S’ukra) is situated above the Moon two lakh Yoyanas high. He sometimes goes before the Sun, sometimes behind and sometimes along with Him. He is very powerful. His motion is of three kinds :– (1) S’îghra, (2) Manda, and (3) uniform. He is generally favourable to all the persons and does for them many auspicious things. So it is stated in the S’âstras. O Muni! S’ukra, the illustrious scion of Bhrigu, removes the obstacles to the rains. Next to S’ukra, the planet Mercury (Budha) is situated two lakh Yoyanas high. Like S’ukra, he, too, goes sometimes in front sometimes behind and sometimes along with the Sun. And his motion too, is of three kinds :– S’îghra, Manda, and uniform. When Mercury the Son of Moon, is away from the Sun, then Ativâta (strong winds, hurricanes), Abhrapâta (the falling of meteors from the clouds) and draught and other fears arise. The planet Mars, the son of the Earth is situated two lakh Yoyanas higher. Within three fortnights (45 days) he travels one Râs’î. This occurs when his motion is not retrograde. This Mars causes all sorts of mischief, evils, and miseries to mankind. The planet Jupiter is situated two lakh Yoyanas higher. He passes through one Râs’î in one year. When his motion is not retrograde, he is always in favour with the Brahmâ Vâdis. Next to Brihaspati, come the planet Saturn, the son of the Sun, two lakh Yoyanas higher. He takes thirty months to pass over one Râs’î. This planet causes all sorts of unrest and miseries to all. Therefore He is called a Manda Graha (a malefic planet). Next to it, is situated the Saptarsi mandala, the Great Bear, eleven lakh Yoyanas higher up. O Muni! The seven planets always do special favours to all. These circumambulate the Visnupada, the Polar Star.
Here ends the Sixteenth Chapter in the Eighth Book on the motion of the planets in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the Dhruva Mandalam
1-29. Nârâyana said :– Beyond the Saptarsi mandalam (the Great Bear), thirteen lakh Yojanas higher is situated, the Visnu’s Paramam Padam (the highest place of Visnu). The Great Bhâgavat (devotee of God), the most respectful, S’rîmân Dhruva, the son of Uttânapâda, is established there with Indra, Agni, Kas’yapa and Dharma and the Naksattras. The visitors pay to him always their respects. He is the patron of those who live till the end of a Kalpa. He is engaged in serving the lotus-feet of the Bhagavân. He has been made by God Himself the pillar round whom all the planets, stars, and the luminary bodies are revolving always and with great force in the Zodiac and in the celestial Heavens. The Devas also worship him. He, resplendent in his own glory, illumines and manifests all. As beasts tied to yoke go on tilling, so the planets and stars, fixed on the Zodiac, go quickly round and round this Dhruva, the Pole Star; some nearer, some further distant in spheres, propelled by Vâyu. As the hawks hover round the sky, so the above-mentioned planets, go completely round and round under their own Karmas and controlled by the Vâyu in the sky. Thus all the luminaries do not fall to the ground, as they are kept up in their respective positions by the favour of the union of Prakriti and Purusa. Some say that this Jyotischakra, the celestial Heavens (the Zodiac) is S’is’umâra. It is kept duly in its position for the purpose of holding things up by the power of the Bhagavân. Hence it does not fall. It is resting with its body coiled round and with its head lower down. O Muni! Dhruva, the son of Uttânapâda is staying at the tail end. And, in addition to him, also at the tail rests Brahmâ, the Sinless Prajâpati, worshipped by the Gods, Agni, Indra and Dharma. Thus the creation is at the tail and the Saptarsimandal is staying at his waist. Thus the celestial wheel (Jyotischakra) is resting with his coils turned in a right-hand direction. On his right side are found the Uttarâyana Naksattras, fourteen in number from Abhijit to Punarvasu and on his left side are found the other fourteen Daksinâyanam Naksattras from Pusyâ to Uttarâsâdhâ. O Son of Brahmâ! Thus the Naksattras form the coil-shaped body of the S’is’umâra, the Zodiac; half the Naksattras on the one side and the other half Naksattras on the other. His back is on the Heavenly Ganges named Ajavîthî. Punarvasu and Pusyâ form the right and left side of the loins; Ârdrâ and As’les’â form the right and left feet (westward); Abhijit and Uttarâsâdha form the right and left nostrils. O Devarsi! S’ravanâ and Pûrvâsâdhâ form the right and left eyes respectively; so say the persons that form the Kalpanâs (fancies). Dhanisthâ and Mûlâ form his right and left ears; Maghâ, etc., the eight Daksinâyanam Naksattras form the bones on the left side. O Muni! Mrigasîrsa, the Uttarâyana Naksattras form the bones on his right side, S’atabhisâ and Jyesthâ form the right and left shoulders. Agasti (the Canopus) forms the upper jaw and Yama, the lower jaw. The planet Mars forms his face; Saturn forms his organ of generation; Brihaspati forms the hump on the shoulders; the Sun, the Lord of the planets, forms his breast; Nârâyana remains in the heart; and the Moon is in his mind. (Note :– S’is’umâra is also the constellation Dolphinus and is sometimes meant for the polar star.) O Nârada! The two As’vins form the nipples on his breast; Us’anâ forms his navel; the Mercury is his Prâna and Apâna; Râhu is his neck and Ketu is all over his body and the stars are reigning all over the hairs of his body. This Zodiac is the body composed of the Devas of that All Pervading Bhagavân. So every intelligent person should daily meditate this S’is’umâra in the Sandhyâ time, with perfect purity and keeping himself Mauna (silent), and with his whole heart. Then he should repeat the following mantras and get up and say :– “Thou art the Substratum of all the luminaries, we bow down to Thee; Thou createst and destroyest all. Thou art the Lord of all the celestials. Thou art the Âdipurusa, the foremost of all the Purusas; we meditate fully on Thee. The planets, Naksattras, and the stars are Thy body. The Daiva is established in Thee alone. Thou destroyest the sins of those that compose the Mantras. The sins are completely destroyed for the time being of him who bows down or remembers Thee in the morning, afternoon and evening.”
Here ends the Seventeenth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the Dhruva Mandalam in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the narrative of Râhu Mandalam
1-9. Nârâyana said :– O Devarsi! The Sphere of Râhu (the ascending node) is situated one Ayuta Yoyanas below the Sun. Râhu, the son of Simhikâ is moving there like a Naksattra. This Râhu swallows up both the Sun and the Moon and He has got immortality and capability to travel in the sky. The Sun’s rays go up to one Ayuta Yoyanas. The Asura Râhu thus covers his rays. So the sphere of the Moon extends upto the twelve thousand Yoyanas. Râhu covers the field of the thirteen thousand Yoyanas. So he covers both the Sun and the Moon. Desire to take the vengeance of the previous enmity, he covers them during the time of Parva (the festivals). This planet wants to cover them from a distance. Hearing this, the Bhagavân Visnu hurls His Sudars’an Chakra against Râhu. This Chakra (disc) is encircled with the fiery flames and is very terrible. When all the quarters were filled with its violent flames, Râhu became instantly alarmed and fled away from the distance. O Devarsi! This is known as the eclipse known amongst the mortals. Below the sphere of Râhu, there are the other pure Lokas situated. O Sattama! The Siddhas, Châranas, and Vidyâdharas live in those Lokas. Their dimensions are one Ayuta Yoyanas.
10. O Devarsi! Below them live the Yaksas, Râksasas, Pis’âchas, Pretas and Bhûtas with their excellent Vihâras (residences).
11-34. The learned people call this Antarîksa. It extends upto where the wind blows violently and where the clouds appear. O Best of the twice-born! Below this Antarîksa is this earth, measuring one hundred Yoyanas. All the articles and things of the earth are found here; birds herons, cranes and ducks all fly over the earth. The earth extends upto this. Now is described the configuration of the earth. O Devarsi! At the lower part of this earth there are seven places (caves or nether regions). Their diameter is one Ayuta Yoyanas. In all the seasons, all sorts of enjoyments can be had at these places. The first is Atala; the second is Vitala. Next come in order :– Sutala, Talâtala, Mahâtala. Rasâtala, and lastly (the seventh) the Pâtâla. O Vipra! Thus the seven holes or regions are reckoned. These are termed the Vila-Svargas and they yield the happinesses, greater than those of the Heavens. These are all filled with lovely amorous enjoyments, prosperity and happiness. They are crowded with gardens and Vihâras (the places of enjoyments). And these Vihâras are all decorated tastefully so as to furnish special tastes of enjoyments. The powerful Daityas, Dânavas, and Snakes enjoy here great happiness incessantly, united lovingly with their sons, wives and friends. The householders also pass their time in ease and enjoyments, surrounded by their friends and attendants. They are all Mâyâvis (Magicians) and their resolves are not thwarted; they are more than God in this respect and they are filled with desires. They all live with joy and in enjoyments and they find pleasure in all the seasons. Mâyâ, the Lord of Mâyâ had built separate cities, as he liked, in those nether regions. Besides he has created thousands of dwelling-houses, palaces, and town-gates, studded with gems and jewels.
The assembly halls, Chatvaras, and Chaityas are elaborately decorated and rare even to the Suras. The Nâgas and Asuras live in those houses with their consorts; doves and pigeons and female Mayinâ birds are hovering there. In those places many plots marked out artificially and excellent rows of palatial buildings of the Lords of those Vivaras adorn there. Very big gardens also exist there. All these cheer the minds; and, to add to their beauty, many places of fruits and flowers are close by, fit for the comfort and enjoyments of the ladies. The tanks and pools of water are crowded with various birds; the lakes are filled with clear waters and the Pâthîna fishes abound there. The aquatic animals move in the waters, violently agitating them. Various kinds of lotuses, Kumud, Utpala, Kahlâra, blue lotus, red lotus, are fully blown in these lakes or reservoirs of water. The gardens there are all overcrowded with the Vihâras of the inhabitants there and echoed with the sweet melodious music, pleasing to the senses. For there, these places seem to vie with the Heavens. No fear is there, whether during the day or during the night. The gems on the crest of snakes constantly illumine the environments and there is no darkness there at any time. The food there is prepared with the divine medicines and they drink and bathe with these medicinal plants; so no disease attacks them. Old age, fever, indigestion, paleness, sweats, bad smells, or loss of energy or any other source of trouble cannot trouble them. The people are always happy and good. Only they fear the Teja of the Bhagavân and His Sudars’an disc; and they fear nothing else. When the Teja of the Bhagavân enters, the women’s abortions take place.
Here ends the Eighteenth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the narrative of Râhu Mandalam in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the narrative of the Atala, etc.
1-32. Nârâyana said :– O Vipra! In the first beautiful region Atala, the exceedingly haughty son of the Dânava Mâyâ, named Bala, is living. He has created the ninety-six Mâyâs. All the requisites of the inhabitants are obtained by them. The other Mâyâvis know one or two of these. None of them are capable to know all, as they are exceedingly difficult to be carried out. When this powerful Bala yawned, the three classes of women were produced, fascinating to all the Lokas. They were named Pums’chalî (or unchaste woman) Svairinî, (an adultress) and Kâminî (a lovely women). When any man, beautiful and lovely to them, enters into their Atala region, they, with the help of the Hâtaka sentiment (of love), generate in him, while in solitude, the power to enjoy (copulate) and with their sweet smiles and amorous lovely looks and with great caution embrace him thoroughly and begin to converse with him and with amorous gestures and postures, and thus please him well. When the people enjoy this Hâtakarasa, they think often and often, that they themselves have become gods, they have become Siddhas and powerful like Ayuta elephants; being blind with vanity and finding them endowed with powers and prosperity, they think themselves so repeatedly and constantly. O Nârada! Thus the position in Atala has been described. Now hear, the description of the second region Vitala. Vitala is situated below the earth. There the Bhagavân Bhava, worshipped by all the Devas, has assumed the name of Hâtakes’vara and is staying there coupled with Bhavânî, surrounded by His attendants specially for the increase of the creation of Brahmâ. The river Hâtaki flows there and has Her origin from the essences (Semen virile) of them both. Fire, augmented by the help of the wind, begins to drink it. When the Fire leaves that, making a Phutkâra noise (i.e., blowing out air through the mouth), the gold, named Hâtaka, is created. This gold is very much liked by the Daityas. The Daitya women use this gold always for their ornaments. Below Vitala is Sutala. It is reckoned as of some special importance. O Muni! The highly meritorious Bali, the son of Virochana lives here. The Bhagavân Vâsudeva, brought down this Bali into Sutala, for the welfare of Indra. He assumed the body of Trivikrama and gave to Bali all the wealth of the three Lokas, all the Laksmî went to him and installed him in the position of the Lord of the Daityas. What more can be said than this, that what prosperity, wealth and riches that Indra could not obtain, that S’rî Laksmî Devî Herself has followed Bali. Bali, as the Lord of Sutala, has become entirely fearless, remains here upto this day and is worshipping Vâsudeva. O Nârada! It is said by the high-minded persons that when Vâsudeva Himself, the Controller of all, appeared as a beggar, Bali gave him land, and, therefore, on account of making gift to a good person, he acquired so much prosperity. But this cannot be reasonable. For, it is not at all reasonable to cast the effects of making this gift on Nârâyana, O Nârada! Who is Self-manifest by His own Extraordinary Glory and Who is Himself filled with all Ais’varya (prosperity) and Who can bestow the Highest Goal of life and other requirements of men. This Nârâyana is the Deva of the Devas; if anybody takes His name, when in the greatest distress, he gets himself immediately freed from the Gunas, the cause of bondage due to his Karma. All persons perform many Yogas and follow the paths advised by the Sâmkhya method, with their minds directed to the All-Controller Bhagavân, to abandon all sorts of troubles and miseries. O Nârada! Know that the Bhagavân does not shew us His Favour when he gives us greatest wealth and prosperity. For the wealth and riches are the offspring of Mâyâ and the source of all worries, miseries and mental troubles; and one is liable to forget the Bhagavân when one gets such a wealth. The Bhagavân is pervading all this universe and is full of wisdom; and He is seeing always all the ways and means; He took away, in the way of begging, rather cheated all that Bali had, leaving only his body; and at last, finding no other means, fastened him by the Varuna Pâs’a (noose), threw him in the middle of the mountain cleft (cave) and then has stationed Himself at his door as a Door-keeper. Once, out of his extreme devotion, Bali did not care at all for his difficulties, troubles, or miseries. Rather he gave out that Indra, whose minister is Brihaspati had acted very foolishly. For when the Bhagavân becomes very graciously pleased, he wanted from Him ordinary wealth. But what will the wealth of the Trilokas avail? It is a quite insignificant thing. Surely, He is an illiterate and stupid brute who, for mere wealth, leaves the Bhagavân, Who is the Fountain of all Good Wishes to the Humanity. My grandfather Prahlâda, who was highly fortunate, who was devoted to the God and who was always ready to do good to others, he did not ask for any other thing than the servantship of God (the Dâsya Bhâva). When his powerful father died, the Bhagavân wanted to give him unbounded wealth; but the Bhâgavata (devoted) Prahlâda did not want that. None of us, who are marked with so many deficiencies can know the nature of the Bhagavân Vâsudeva, Whose omnipotence cannot be compared and all these manifested worlds are but His Upâdhis (adjuncts, limitations). O Devarsi! Thus Bali, the Lord of Daityas, the highly respected and renowned in all the Lokas, is reigning in Sutala. Hari Himself is his Door-keeper. Once the King Râvana, the source of torment to all the people, went out to conquer the whole world; and when he entered Sutala, that Hari, ever ready to show Grace to His devoted, threw him at a distance of one Ayuta Yoyanas by the toe of His foot. Thus by the grace of the Devadeva Vâsudeva, Bali is reigning in Sutala, and enjoying all sorts of pleasures, without any equal anywhere.
Here ends the Nineteenth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the narrative of the Atala, etc., the Pâtâlas in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the narrative of the Talâtala
1-37. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! The cave lower down than Sutala is Talâtala! The Lord of Tripura, (the three cities) the great Mâyâ Dânava is the Ruler of this region. Mahes’vara, the Doer of good to the three Bhuvanas, burnt his three cities; but at last, being pleased with his devotion, He rescued him. Thus Mâyâ, by the favour of that God, has regained his own kingdom and the enjoyments thereof. This Mâyâ Dânava is the Teacher (Âchârya) of the Mâyâvi sect and the cult thereof; and he is skilled in various Mâyâs or all sorts of the magic powers. All the fierce demons, of cruel temper, worship him for their prosperities in their various enterprises. Next to this Talâtala is the most renowned Mahâtala. The sons of Kadru, the very angry Snakes, live here. They are many headed. O Vipra! I now mention to you the names of the famous amongst them :– Kuhaka, Taksaka, Susena, and Kâliya. These all have very wide hoods and they all are very strong; they all are of cruel temper. Their kinsmen also are so. They are always afraid of Garuda, the King of birds. Surrounded with their sons, wives, friends and acquaintances, they live happily, well skilled in various sports and pleasures. Lower down this Mahâtala is Rasâtala. The Daityas, Dânavas and Pani Asuras live here. Besides these, there live the Nivâta Kavachas of the Hiranyapura city and the Asuras named Kâleyas, the enemies of the Devas. These all are naturally very energetic and brave; their powers are baffled by the Tejas of the Bhagavân and they live like snakes in this region. The other Asuras that were driven and were afraid of the Mantras, uttered by Saramâ, the messenger of Indra, live here too. O Nârada! Lower down is Pâtâla, where live Vâsuki, the Chief of the snakes, and others named S’ankha, Kulika, S’veta, Dhananjaya, Mahâs’ankha, Dhritarâstra, S’ankhachûda, Kamvala, As’vatara, and Devopadattaka, all very angry, of wide hoods, and virulently poisonous. Some of these have five heads, some seven hoods, some ten; some hundred, some others have thousand heads, while some others have on their crests exceedingly luminous jewels. By their rays, they dispel the darkness of the nether regions; but they are awfully prone to anger. At the bottom of this Pâtâla, and at a distance of the thirty Yoyanas; the Portion of Bhagavân in the shape of the infinite Darkness is reigning there. O Devarsi! All the Devas worship this Form. The devotees call Him by the name of Sanakarsana, as He is the manifested emblem of “Aham” and the common ground where the Seer and the Seen blend into one. He is the thousand-headed Controller of all, moving and non-moving; He is of infinite forms; He is S’esa; this whole universe is being held as a mustard bean on His head; He is of the Nature Intelligence and Bliss and He is Self-manifest. When he wants to destroy all this during the Pralaya, the very powerful Sankarsana Rudra, well arrayed with the eleven Vyûhas, military (squadrons) arrangements, springs up from Him. From His Central Eyebrow, looking wide with His Three Eyes and raising His Trident, resplendent with three flames. All the (prominent) principal snakes, ruling over many others, come to Him during the nights filled with devotion and surrounded with Bhaktas (devotees) and bow down to Him with their heads bent low and look at each other’s faces, enlightened with the lights from the jewels shining with clear lustre, on the nails of the red toes of His Lotus-Feet. At that time their faces become brilliant with the rays emitting from the jewels on the top of their very gay encircled hoods; and their cheeks look beautiful and shining. The daughters of the Nâga Râja also do like this; when very beautiful rays come out of their perfectly excellent bodies. Their arms are wide extended; they look very clear and they are beautifully white. They use always Sandalpaste, Aguru and Kâsmîri unguents. Being overpowered by the amorous passion, due to their contact with those scented things, they look at Him with bashful glances and sweet smiles and expect Âsiss (benedictions) from Him. And then His eyes roll maddened with love and express signs of kindness and mercy. The Bhagavân Ananta Deva is of boundless strength; His attributes are infinite; He is the ocean of infinite qualities. He is the Âdi Deva, of a very good nature and His Nature is highly luminous. He has abandoned anger and envy and He wants the welfare of all. All the Devas worship Him and He is the repository of all Sâttvic qualities.
The Devas, Siddhas, Asuras, Uragas, Vidyâdharas, Gandharbas, and Munis always meditate on Him. On account of His constant Mada Râga the enthusiasm and intoxication, His sight appears intoxicated and His eyes look perturbed with emotions. He is always pleasing to those who surround him and to the Devas by His sweet nectar-like words.
The Vaijayantî garland hangs from His neck; it never wanes and it is always decorated with the fresh and clear Tulasî leaves. The maddened bees make their humming noises incessantly and thus add to the beauty. He is the Deva of the Devas and He wears a blue coloured cloth and He is ornamented with only one earring. He (the God Visnu) Undecaying and Immutable; resting His fleshy arms on the Halakakuda (the lofty portion of the plough), He is upholding the golden girdle as the elephant Airâvata of Indra upholds the golden girdle. O Nârada! The devotees describe Him as the Source of this Leelâ of the Universe and the Controller of the Devas.
Here ends the Twentieth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the narrative of the Talâtala in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the narrative of hells
1-9. Nârâyana said :– O Devarsi! Sanâtana, the son of Brahmâ, recites thus in the assembly of the Devas, the glories of the Bhagavân Ananta Deva, and worships Him, thus :– How can one of ordinary sight and understanding grasp the real nature of Brahmâ, Whose mere Glance enables the Prakriti work Her Gunas in the Creation, Preservation and Destruction of this Universe! Him Whose nature has no beginning nor end; Who though One, has created all this Prapañcha (the universe of five elements) as a covering to the Âtman (the True Self). He has made the Sat and Asat, out of his infinite compassion, this universe, full of cause and effect, visible in His One and only one S’uddha Sattva nature where even the very powerful lion is imitating his Leelâ (Pastime), void of all defects, to bring under His control the minds of His own kinsmen. (Note :– This Ananta Deva is the Ruling Principle in the Fourth Dimensional Space.) To Whom else, then, the persons, desirous of Moksa, will take refuge, the mere hearing or reciting Whose Name, in a fallen or a distressed condition, or merely in jest, takes away instantly all the sins! He is upholding the earth with the mountains, oceans, rivers and all the beings as if an atom on his thousand heads. He is infinite. His power knows no decrease in any time. No one can describe his actions even if one had thousand tongues to speak. He is of an infinite strength, of the endless high qualities and of unlimited understanding. Thus staying at the bottom of the earth, the Bhagavân Ananta Deva is upholding with ease this earth for her protection, unaided and independent. O Muni! The people get the fruits of their actions and desires as they want and as they have followed the paths laid down in the S’âstras and become accordingly kings, men, deer or birds or other creatures in other states. O Nârada! This I have described, as you questioned me before, the various and dissimilar fruits of various actions, done according to the dictates of the Dharma and the S’âstras.
10. Nârada said :– “O Bhagavân! Kindly describe to me now why has the Bhagavân created so many diversities, when the Karmas, done by the Jîvas, are the same.”
11-28. Nârayana said :– O Nârada! So many different states arise because the S’raddhâs of the doers are so very different. The fruits differ because the S’raddhâs vary, some being Sâttvik, some Râjasik and some Tâmasik. If the S’raddhâ be Sâttvik, happiness comes always; if it be Râjasik, incessant pain and misery is the result; if it be Tâmasik, misery comes and the loss of the knowledge of good or bad is the result. Thus the fruits differ as the S’raddhâ varies. O Best of Dvîjas! Thousands and thousands of states occur to a man as the result of their Karmas, done under the influence of the beginningless Avidyâ (Nescience). O Dvîjottama! I will now deal in detail with their varieties; hear. Behind this Triloki, below this earth and over the Atala, the Pitris named Agnisvâttas and other forefathers live. Those Pitris stay there, and, practising deep Samâdhis, they offer always, to their best blessings to their own Gotra (families) respectively. There Yama, the God of the Pitris gives punishment to the dead brought there by His messengers according to their Karmas and faults. By the command of the Bhagavân, the Yama, surrounded by his own Ganas (persons), judges and does full justice according to the Karmas that they had done and the sins they had committed. He sends always those of his messengers who obey his order and know the Tattva of Dharma, and who are posted to their respective duties to carry out what He commands. The writers of the S’âstras describe twenty-one Narakas or hells; others say there are twenty-eight hells. Now hear their names :– Tâmisra, Andha Tâmisra, Raurava, Mahâraurava, Kumbhîpâka, Kâlasûtra, Asipatrakânana, S’ûkaramukha, Andhakûpa, Krimibhojana, Taptamûrti, Samdams’a, Vajrakantaka, S’âlmalî, Vaitaranî, Pûyoda, Prânarodha, Vis’asana, Lâlâbhaksa, Sârameyâdana, Avîchi, Apahpâna, Ksârakardama, Raksogana, Sambhoja, S’ûlaprota, Dandas’ûka, Avatârodha, Paryâvartanaka, and Sûchimukha. These are the twenty-eight Narakas or hells. (N.B. These are 29).
These hells are very tormenting. O Son of Brahmâ! The embodied beings (jîvas) suffer these according to their own Karmas respectively.
Here ends the Twenty-first Chapter of the Eighth Book on the narrative of hells in the Mahâ Purânam, S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the narrative of the sins leading to hells
1. Nârada said :– “O Everlasting One! O Muni! Now describe the various actions that lead to these tormenting hells. I like to hear about them in detail.”
2-52. Nârâyana said :– O Devarsi! He who steals other’s sons, wives, and riches, the wicked fellow is taken to Yama by His messengers. Tied down hard and fast by the terrible messengers of Yama, by the Kâla rope (rope of time), he is taken to the Tâmisra hell, the place of many torments. There the Yama’s attendants punish him, beat him and threaten him; and he becomes stupefied, and feels himself very weak, distressed and ultimately faints. He who deceives another’s husband and enjoys his wives; the Yama’s servants drag him down to Andha Tâmisra hell. There he suffers any amount of pain and suffering. He loses instantly his eyesight and his brain gets upset. His state resembles that of a tree when its trunk is broken. For this reason the ancient sages called this Andha Tâmisra. He who being subject to “My” and “Mine” quarrels with others and being very much attached, maintains his family, leaves his families here and goes with his bad tendencies to the Raurava hell, very horrible to all. The animals whom he injured and killed before in this world, assume the form of Ruru animal and torment him in the next. For this reason, the intelligent knowers of Purâna, call this Raurava. The ancients say, that Ruru is more cruel and ferocious than snakes. These animals live in that hell; hence it is termed Mahâraurava. He who torments others, goes to this hell and these Rurus, the flesh-eaters, spring on his body and bite and eat his flesh. He who cooks other animals and birds, that cruel and ferocious, thus deluded, is cooked in return on the hot oil in the Kumbhîpâka hell by the Yama Dûtas for thousand years. He who quarrels with his Pitris and the Brâhmanas, is taken by the Yama Dûtas to the Kâlasûtra hell and there be burnt by the fire and Sun. There that hellish person, being troubled very much, inside and outside by hunger and thirst, sometimes sits, sometimes sleeps, sometimes walks, and sometimes runs hither and thither. O Devarsi! He who transgresses the path of the Vedas in times other than those of calamity and danger and follows other paths even to a trifling distance, that sinner is taken by Yamadûtas to Asipatra Kânana and there whipped severely. Not being able to bear that, he runs wildly to and fro and is pierced by the sharpedged Asi leaves on both his sides. His whole body being cut asunder, he cries “Oh! I am killed!”and faints away. Then feeling himself pained very much, he tumbles down at every step. Thus the sinner suffers for violating the path of the Vedas. The King or that royal personage who gives orders of punishment, not approved by Dharma, and hurts or punishes the body of a Brâhmana, the Yama’s servants throw him down into the S’ûkaramukha Hell and grind down his body with great force as a sugarcane is ground down. He then cries aloud bitterly, he gets fainted and becomes stupefied. He is crushed by them and suffers all sorts of pains and miseries. Again he who knows the feelings of others when they are tormented, pains those insects who live on other’s blood as bugs, etc., and who does not realise other’s pains, goes, as a punishment for that fault to the Andhakûpa Hell. There he is pained by the beasts, birds, deers, reptiles, mosquitoes, bugs, louses, flies and Dandas’ûkas and various other cruel animals. There he lives in his ugly body and roams like a beast. The man who, getting even a trifling wealth and food-stuff, does not perform the five Mahâ Yajñâs and gives not a share of that to the Devas and feeds his own belly with that like a crow, is taken by the ferocious Yamadûtas to the worst Krimibhojana Naraka for his sinful deeds. This hell is one lakh Yoyanas wide and is the reservoir of worms. It causes terror to the inhabitants of the hell. That sinner assumes the form of an insect and is eaten up on return by the insects and thus passes his time there. When a man does not give any share to the Atithis or the guests and does not offer oblations to the Fire and eats his food, he, too, goes to the above hell. When a man in times other than that of great danger and distress, follows the livelihood of a thief and robs gold and jewels forcibly of a Brâhmin or any other person, he is taken to this hell and the Yama’s servants pierce and cut off his skin by a fiery hot iron cutter. When a man goes for an illicit cohabitation to one who is not fit to be approached and when a woman goes similarly to an unapproachable man, both of them are taken, being whipped, to this hell by the servants of Yama! Where the man is obliged to embrace a fiery hot iron figure of woman and vice versa. When a man goes to all sorts of wombs for unnatural crimes, he is taken to Vajra Kantaka Naraka and placed on the top of an iron S’almalî wood. When a King or any royal personage, subject to the Pâsanda Dharma (i.e., the unrighteous path) breaks the boundary of a law, he for that sin goes to Vaitaranî, the ditch round that hell. There the aquatic animals eat his body all around. O Nârada! Yet neither his life nor his body parts with him. He is thrown, for his Karma, into the rivers filled with faeces, urine, puss, blood, hairs, bones, nails, flesh, marrow, fat, etc., and he becomes very much troubled. Those who are the husbands of Vrisalîs (girls under twelve years of age, who have attained menstruation; or the barren women), void of any S’aucha (cleanliness) or shame and without any Âchâra Vyavahâra (the following of one’s natural customs and rites) and those who follow Pas’vâchâra (like beasts), they meet with a very hard fate and are thrown into this hell filled with faeces, urine, cough, blood and other impurities and when they feel hungry, are forced to eat the above things. When those persons that are twice born, maintain dogs and asses, etc., and when they are addicted to hunting, and kill daily, for nothing, beasts, birds and deer, those evildoers are specially watched by the servants of Yama and when they retire, they tear them asunder by shooting bows at them. He who kills animals, engaged vainly in a sacrifice and addicted to haughty tempers and habits, is thrown into this hell by the Yama’s servants and whipped very severely. The twice-born that copulates blindly with a savarnâ wife, is taken by the Yama’s messengers into the hell filled with semen and he is made to drink that. Those who are addicted to robbery, who put fire to other’s houses, who make others drink poison, those that are treacherous, and who destroy the interest of the villagers and other persons, those kings or the royal personages are taken after their death by the Yamadûtas to the Sârameyâdana hell. There seven hundred and twenty dogs, very wonderful to behold, come furiously and with great force and energy, over them and feed on them. O Nârada! This hell is denominated as Sârameyâdana Naraka and it is very horrible. Now I will describe to you the other hells Avîchi and others.
Here ends the Twenty-second Chapter of the Eighth Book on the narrative of the sins leading to hells in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the description of the remaining hells
1-31. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! When persons, impelled by sinful motives, always speak false at the time of giving evidence or at the time of taking or giving money, they, after their death, go to the terrible hell, named Avîchi. There, from the summit of a mountain, one hundred Yojanas high they are dropped at once down below with their heads inverted down. Here the solid ground looks like water and appears like waves. Therefore it is called Avîchi, resembling like Avîchi waves. Here if the sinner’s body be cut to small pieces, still he does not die; rather he gets a new body when his body is all cut to pieces. O Son of Brahmâ! When a man, be he a Brâhmin, Ksattriya, or a Vais’ya, drinks the Soma (wine) or due to inadvertence drinks wine, he is thrown into this hell. O Muni! The Yama’s servants make him drink the molten iron. When a vile person being maddened by the pride of his self-learning, birth, austerities or Vârna and Âs’rama, does not pay his respect duly to his superiors, he is thrown into the Ksârakardama hell with his head downwards. He suffers a tremendous pain there. When a man or woman out of delusion, performs the human sacrifices (where men are immolated as victims), he or she has to eat the human flesh here. Those that killed before all sorts of beasts, come after their death into this abode of Yama, all united and like butchers, cut each other’s flesh by pickaxes, etc., and drink their blood and dance and sing repeatedly. They do, in fact, what the terrible Râksasas do. When persons meet with the innocent persons, wishing to live in villages or forests and raise their confidence by various such means and make them attached and finally pierce them by pointed S’ûlas (trident) or pointed swords and kill them as if they were ordinary play things, they are taken after their death by the Yama dûtas and thrown into S’ûlâdi Naraka (pierced by S’ûlas). They are pierced there by S’ûlas and become overpowered by hunger and thirst. Herons and cranes, with their sharp beaks hunt after them to and fro. Thus tormented, they remember all their sins done in their previous lives. Those who follow stray paths and trouble the other beings as the serpents do, they fall into the Dandas’ûka hell. Here worms with five faces and seven faces come from all sides and eat them as a fierce serpent devours a mouse. Those who confine persons in dark holes, a dark room or a dark cave they are taken by the Death servants with their arms uplifted and confined to similar dark caves, filled with poison, fire and smoke. When a Brâhmin householder, seeing a guest coming to his house in a reasonable (proper) time, casts a furious sinful glance at him as if to burn him, the Death’s attendants, the herons with thunderbolt like beaks, the crows and the Vatas and other birds and very fierce vultures all come and forcibly take out the eyes of that person who committed the aforesaid sins. When person elated with vanity of his riches become too haughty and doubt over their Gurus and when their hearts and faces wither withal away, as it were, with the thoughts of their income and expenditure, and being always unhappy, hoard up money always like the Brahmâ Pis’âchas, the Death’s officers take them for these Karmas to Sûchimukha Narakas and pierce all over his body with pins, as a tailor does with his cloth. O Devarsi! True, sinful persons thus suffer hundred thousand hells. All these are very painful and tormenting. Out of these the abovenamed twenty hells give the greatest sufferings. O Devarsi! The sinners suffer various pains in hells and virtuous persons go to the several spheres where all sorts of happinesses and pleasures reign. O Maharsi! I have described to you many forms of practising one’s Sva Dharma; yet know this verily that the worship of the Devî’s Gross Form and of Her Virât Form is the Chief Dharma of all the persons. By worshipping the Devî, the persons have not to go to the hells. In fact, when the Devî Bhagavatî is worshipped, She Herself arranges for crossing the person to the other shore of this ocean of transmigration of existence.
Here ends the Twenty-third Chapter of the Eighth Book on the description of the remaining hells in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the worship of the Devî
1-2. Nârada said :– “O Bhagavân! Of what sort is the Dharma, i.e., the worship of the Devî? In what way shall we worship Her, so that She gives us the Highest Place? What are the methods and forms of Her Worship? Where and when shall we worship Her! So that the Durgâ Devî saves us from the above mentioned hells.”
3-20. Nârâyana said :– O Devarsi! You are the foremost of the Knowers of Truth. I will therefore tell you how the Devî gets pleased and how Her worship is conducted according to the Dharma. Hear attentively. O Nârada! I will also describe the nature of Sva Dharma. Hear that also. When one worships, with due rites and ceremonies, the Devî in this beginningless world, She Herself removes all the terrible dangers and difficulties. Hear the rules how the people worship the Devî. When the Pratîpat Tithi (the first day after the Full or New Moon) comes, one should worship the Devî with a present of rice, etc., with ghee (clarified butter) and give that to the Brâhmins. Then one becomes completely free from any disease. On the second day (Dvîtiyâ Tithi), one must serve the Mother of the Universe with sugar and give that to the Brâhmins; he then becomes long-lived. On the third (tithi) on commencing with the Poojâ, the worshipper must give milk to the Devî and give that to a best Brâhmin; he is then freed from all his troubles and ailings. On the fourth (tithi) the worshipper is to offer a cake of flour to the Devî and then give that to a Brâhmin; no obstacles come to that man. On the fifth tithi, the worshipper is to offer plantains to the Devî and then to give that to the Brâhmins; he thus becomes intelligent. On the sixth tithi, the worshipper gives honey to the Devî and then that to a Brâhmin; he gets thus the beauty of his body. On the seventh tithi, the Brâhmin gives to the Devî the Naivedya (an offering of rice, etc.) with Gur (sugarcandy) and then that to the Brâhmins; he then becomes freed from his mental sorrows. On the eighth day, if one gives cocoanut, one is freed of one’s remorse, etc.; on the ninth, if anybody gives fried rice (Lâj), he will have his happiness increased both in this world and in the next. O Muni! If on the tenth tithi, one offers to the Devî black Til (sesamum) and then to the Brâhmin, he becomes free from the fear of death. If, on the eleventh tithi, (ekâdas’î) one gives the curd to the Devî and then to the Brâhmin, one becomes a great favourite of the Devî. If on the twelfth day, one offers to the Devî and to the Brâhmin the Chipitaka rice or grain (well parched and flattened) one becomes a favourite of the Devî. If, on the thirteenth day one gives to the Bhagavatî grains and then that to a Brâhmin, one gets progeny. If, on the fourteenth day, one gives to the Devî the flour of fried barley or other grains (S’aktu) and then that to a Brâhmin, one becomes a favourite of S’iva. If on the Full Moon day, one offers to the Devî Pâyasa and then that to a Brâhmin, then one’s Pitris are uplifted to the higher regions.
21-42. O Muni! On the above tithis, if one forms daily Homas, as stated in the Pûjâ Chapter, the Devî becomes very pleased. The articles corresponding to the tithi as mentioned above destroy all the evils and inauspicious omens.
On Sunday, it is a rule to give an offering of Pâyasam (a food prepared of rice, milk, and sugar). On Monday, the milk; on Tuesday, the nice plantains; on Wednesday, the fresh butter; on Thursday, the gud or sugarcandy, Friday, the white sugar, and on Saturday, it is a rule to give the clarified butter of cow’s milk. Now hear what should be offered on the Naksattras. The following are the Naivedyas given to each of the Naksattras, in due order, from As’vinî :– Clarified butter (ghee), sesamum (Til), sugar, curd, milk, Kilâtak (Mâlâi, milk), Dadhikûrchi (Mâlâi Curd), Modaka (a kind of sweetmeat, a confection) Phenikâ, Ghrita Mandaka, a sort of sweet meat of wheaten flour and gur, Vatapattra, Ghritapura (Ghior), Vataka, Kharjura juice (of the datepalm), a sort of sweet meat of Gur and gram, honey, S’ûrana, Gur Prithuka, grapes, datepalms, Chârakâs, Apûpa, Navanîta (fresh butter), mudga, modaka, and Mâtulinga. Now hear what are given in the Viskambha and the other Yogas. The World Mother becomes very much pleased when one offers to Her the following things :– Gur, honey, ghee, milk, curd, Takra, apûpa, fresh butter, Karkatî, Kusmânda, Modaka, Panasa, plantain, Jambu (rose-apple), mangoe, sesamum, oranges, Dâdima, (pomegranate) Vadarî (Jujube) the Dhâtrî (Âmalaki) fruit, Pâyasa, Prithuka, gram, cocoanut, Jambîra. Kaseru, and S’ûrana. The auspicious events occur when these are offered. The intelligent persons have thus decided to give the above on Viskambha and the other Yogas. Now hear :– I will describe the things that are offered on the respective Karanas :– Kamsâra, Mandaka, Phenî, Modaka, Vatapattraka, Ladduka, Ghritapûra, Til (Sesamun), curd, ghee, and honey. These are to be offered devotedly to the Devî on the respective Karanas. Now I will describe to you the other offerings very pleasing to the Devî. Hear. O Nârada! Hear it with great attention and love. On the third tithi of the bright fortnight, in the month of Chaitra, one is to worship duly the Madhûka tree and offer Pañcha Khâdya (the five sorts of food). So hear what articles are to be offered according to the rules that are laid down on the third day of the white fortnight of the other months. The Gur, in the month of Vais’âkh; the honey, in Jyaistha; the fresh butter, in Âsâdha; the curd, in S’râvana; the S’arkarâ, in Bhâdra; the Pâyas’a, in Âs’vin; the pure milk, in Kârtik; the Phenî, in Agrahâyana; the Dadhi Kûrchîkâ in Pausa; the clarified butter of cow’s milk, in Mâgha, and the cocoanut offerings, in the month of Phâlguna. Thus with these twelve sorts of offerings, one is to worship the Devî in the twelve months respectively.
43-69. One should worship the Devî in the Madhûka tree with these names :– Mangalâ, Vaisnavî, Mâyâ, Kâla-râtri, Duratyayâ, Mahâmâyâ, Mâtangî, Kâlî, Kamalavâsinî, S’ivâ, Sahasracharanâ, and Sarva mangalarûpinî (One name for each of the 12 months). Finally, to bring the vow to a good issue and to have one’s desires fulfilled with greater success, one is to sing stotras (hymns) to the Mâhes’varî, the Controller of all the gods, in that Madhûka tree, thus :– Thou art lotus-eyed; obeisance to Thee! Thou art Jagaddhâtrî, the Upholdress of the Universe, I bow down to Thee; Thou art Mahes’varî, Mahâ Devî, and Mahâmangalarûpinî (Thou art the great Devî, and Thou dost great good to all). Thou destroyest the sins, Thou givest Moksa or final liberation. Thou art Parames’varî, Thou art the World Mother and Thou art of the nature of the Highest Brahmâ. Thou art Madadâtrî (the giver of Mada, the Supreme Felicity and rapture or excessive delight), Thou art maddened with Mada the (Excessive Joy); Thou canst be reached when Thou art given proper veneration; Thou art the the Most High. Thou art Intelligent; Thou art meditated upon by the Munis; and Thou dwellest in the Sun. Thou art the Lord of the several Lokas (worlds); Thou art endowed with the Highest Knowledge; and Thou art of the colour of water at the time of Pralaya (the Universal Dissolution). Thou art worshipped by the Gods and the Asuras for the destruction of the Great Moha. So Great Victory to Thee! Thou art the Rescuer of one from the abode of Death; Thou art worshipped by Yama, Thou art the elder of Yama, Thou art the Controller of Yama and Thou art worshipped by all. Obeisance to Thee! Thou art impartial; Thou controllest all; Thou art perfectly unattached; Thou destroyest the people’s worldly attachments; Thou art The One to whom all look for the fructification of their desires; and Thou art the Compassion Incarnate. Thou art, worshipped by the names :– Kankâla Krûra, Kâmâksî; Mînaksî Marma bhedinî, Mâdhûryarûpas’âlinî; and Thou art worshipped with the Pranava Om prefixed to all the Stotras and the Mantras. Thou art of the nature of the Seed Mâyâ (mâyâvîja); Thou canst be realised by repeating the mantra and Thou canst be pleased by the deep concentration (Nididyâsana) on Thee. Thou canst be reached by all men through their minds and Thou dost things that are pleasing to the Mahâ Deva. Thou dwellest in the trees As’vattha, Vata (Peepul tree), Neem, Mangoe, Kapittha (wood apple tree), and the tree Kul (Jujube) trees. Thou art the Palms (Jack) tree, Thou art Arka, Karîra and Ksîra trees. Thou residest in Dugdha vallî (the milky juice of plants); Thou art the Compassion Incarnate; and fit to shew mercy. Thou art sincerity and kindness and Thou art the Consort of the Omniscient. So Victory to Thee! O Nârada! After the worship, if one performs the stotra above described, to the Devî, the worshipper derives all sorts of Punyams (merits). He who reads daily the Stotra, pleasing to the Devî, becomes freed of all sorts of diseases, pain and freed of his fear of passions, so hard to conquer! What more than this that he who wants money, gets money; who wants Dharma, gets Dharma; he who wants Kâma, gets his Kâma (objects of desires); and he who wants Moksa, gets Moksa. The Devî is the Awarder of the Chatur Varga fourfold fruits.
If this Stotra be read, the Brâhmin becomes Vedavit, the knower of the Vedas; the Ksattriya gets the victory; the Vais’ya gets wealth and the S’ûdra gets happiness. If this Stotra be read with devotion and attention, the Pitris get undying satisfaction, lasting till Pralaya (the time of universal dissolution). Thus I have described to you the method of worshipping the Devî. The Devas consider it with great attention. He gets the Devî Loka, who performs the worship of the Devî, as above described, with devotion. O Brâhmana! When the Devî is thus worshipped, all the desires are fulfilled; all sins are destroyed; and, in the end, one’s mind becomes pure and the worshipper is respected and worshipped everywhere. O Son of Brahmâ! His fear of going into hell is destroyed by the Grace of the Devî; even in dreams, he does not fear anything. By the Grace of Mahâ Mâyâ, his sons and his grandsons, riches and grains multiply and multiply. He becomes a great and steadfast devotee of the Devî; there is no doubt in this. Now I have described to you completely the rules of worship of the Devî. When one performs this, one becomes freed of the Narakas; and all sorts of good things come to him. O Muni! The Madhûka worship and the monthly worship have been described also. He who performs this Madhûka worship fully, never meets with any disease or obstacles. Now I will describe to you the other five aspects of the Great Devî of the nature of Prakriti. Her Name, Form and Origin give pleasure to all the worlds. O Muni! Now hear this Prakriti Pañchaka, its narrative and the greatness thereof. Know that this is as curious as it gives liberation.
Here ends the Twenty-fourth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the worship of the Devî in the Mahâ Purânam, S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
The Eighth Book completed