The Ninth Skandha

Chapter I

On the description of Prakriti

1. S’ri Nârâyana said :– This (Highest) Prakriti is recognised as five-fold. When She is engaged in the work of Creation, She appears as :– (1) Durgâ, the Mother of Ganes’a, (2) Râdhâ, (3) Laksmî, (4) Sarasvatî and (5) Sâvitrî.

2-3. Nârada replied :– O Thou, the best of Jñânins! Who is this Prakriti? (Whether She is of the nature of Intelligence or of matter?) Why did She manifest Herself and then again why did She reveal Herself in these five forms? And what are Her characteristics? Now Thou oughtest to describe the lives of all, the different modes of their worship, and the fruits that are accrued thereby. Please also inform me which Forms of them manifested themselves in which different places. Dost Thou please narrate to me all these.

4-18. Nârâyana said :– “O Child! Who is there in this world that can describe fully the characteristics of Prakriti! However I will describe to you that much which I heard from my own father, Dharma. Hear. The prefix “Pra” in the word Prakriti means exalted, superior, excellent; and the affix “Kriti” denotes creation. So the Goddess, the Devî Who is the most excellent in the work of creation is known as the Devî Prakriti. To come closer :– “Pra” signifies the Sattva Guna, the most exalted quality, “Kri” denotes the Rajo Guna and “Ti” denotes the Tamo Guna. (The Sattva Guna is considered as the Highest as it is perfectly clear and free from any impurities whatsoever; the Rajo Guna is considered intermediate as it has this defect :– that it spreads a veil over the reality of things, so as not to allow men to understand the True Reality, while the Tamo Guna is considered worst as it completely hides the Real Knowledge).

So when this Intelligence of the nature of Brahmâ, beyond the three attributes, gets tinged with the above three Gunas and becomes omnipotent, then She is superior (Pradhânâ) in the work of creation. Hence She is styled as Prakriti.

O Child Nârada! The state just preceding that of creation is denoted by “Pra”; and “Kri” signifies creation. So the Great Devî that exists before creation is called Prakriti after creation. The Paramâtmâ by His Yoga (i.e., Mâyâ S’akti, the Holy Ghost) divided Himself into two parts; the right side of which was male and the left side was the female Prakriti.

(Note :– The Holy Ghost is the principle of Conception and Emanation, Creation). So the Prakriti is of the nature of Brahmâ. She is eternal. As the fire and its burning power are not different, so there is no separate distinction between Âtman and His S’akti, between Purusa and Prakriti. Therefore those that are foremost and the highest of the Yogis do not recognise any difference between a male and a female. All is Brâhman. He is everywhere as male and female forever. There is nothing in this world that can exist for a moment even without this Brâhman consisting of male and female. (i.e. they are Brâhman with Mâyâ manifested). Out of the Will of S’rî Krisna, to create the world Whose Will is all in all, came out at once the Mûlâ Prakriti, the Great Devî Îs’varî, (the Lady Controller of the Universe) Brahmâ with Mâyâ in a state of equilibrium). By Her command came out five Forms of Her, either for the purpose of creation or for bestowing Favour and Grace to the Bhaktas (devotees). Durgâ the Mother of Ganes’a, comes, as the first, the most auspicious, loved by S’iva. She is Nârâyanî, Visnu Mâyâ, and of the nature of Pûrna Brahmâ (the Supreme Brahmâ). This eternal, all auspicious Devî is the Presiding Deity of all the Devas and is, therefore, worshipped and praised by Brahmâ and the other Devas, Munis, and Manus. This Bhagavatî Durgâ Devî, (when She gets pleased) destroys all the sorrows, pains and troubles of the Bhaktas that have taken Her refuge, and gives them Dharma, everlasting name and fame, all auspicious things and bliss and all the happiness, nay, the Final Liberation! She is the Greatest Refugeof these Bhaktas that come to Her wholly for protection and are in great distress, whom She saves from all their dangers and calamities. In fact, know this Durgâ Devî as, verily, the Presiding Deity of the heart of Krisna and as His Highest S’akti, of the nature of the Holy Fire and the Holy Light. She is Omnipotent and resides always with Krisna, the Great God. She is worshipped by all the Siddha Purusas (those that have attained success); the (eighteen) Siddhis all go to Her and when pleased She gives whatever Siddhis (success) that Her Bhaktas want.

19-40. This Great Devî is the intelligence, sleep, hunger, thirst, shadow, drowsiness, fatigue, kindness, memory, caste, forbearance, errors, peace, beauty, and consciousness, contentment, nourishment, prosperity, and fortitude. She is sung in the Vedas and in other S’âstras as the Mahâ Mâyâ, of the nature of the Universe. In reality, She is the All-S’akti of the Universe and She is the S’akti of Krisna. All these qualities are also mentioned in the Vedas. What is mentioned here is a tithe merely, in comparison to that of the Vedas. She has infinite qualities. Now hear of other S’aktis. The second S’akti of the Paramâtman is named Padmâ (Laksmî). She is of the nature of S’uddha Sattva (Higher than Sattva Guna) and is Krisna’s Presiding Deity of all wealth and prosperity. This very beautiful Laksmi Devî is the complete master of the senses; She is of a very peaceful temper, of good mood and all-auspicious. She is free from greed, delusion, lust, anger, vanity and egoism. She is devoted to Her husband and to Her Bhaktas; Her words are very sweet and She is very dear to Her husband, indeed, the Life and Soul of Him. This Devî is residing in all the grains and vegetables and so She is the Source of Life of all the beings. She is residing in Vaikuntha as Mahâ Laksmî, chaste and always in the service of Her husband. She is the Heavenly Laksmî, residing in the Heavens and the royal Laksmî in palaces and the Griha Laksmî in the several families of several householders. O Nârada! All the lovely beauty that you see in all the living beings and all the things, it is She; She is the glory and fame of those that have done good and pious works and it is She that is the prowess of the powerful kings. She is the trade of merchants, the mercy of the saints, engaged in doing good to others and the seed of dissensions in those sinful and vicious persons as approved of in the Vedas. She is worshipped by all, reverenced by all. Now I will describe to you about the third S’akti of the Great God who is the Presiding Deity of knowledge, speech, intelligence, and learning. This third S’akti is named Sarasvatî. She is all the learning of this endless Universe and She resides as medhâ (intelligence) in the hearts of all the human beings; She is the power in composing poetry; She is the memory and She is the great wit, light, splendour and inventive genius. She gives the power to understand the real meaning of the various difficult Siddhânta works; She explains and makes us understand the difficult passages and She is the remover of all doubts and difficulties. She acts when we write books, when we argue and judge, when we sing songs of music; She is the time or measure in music; She holds balance and union in vocal and instrumental music. She is the Goddess of speech; She is the Presiding Deity in the knowledge of various subjects; in argumentations and disputations. In fact all the beings earn their livelihood by taking recourse to Her. She is peaceful and holds in Her hands Vînâ (lute) and books. Her nature is purely Sâttvic (S’uddha Sattva), modest and very loving to S’rî Hari. Her colour is white like ice-clad mountains, like that of the white sandal, like that of the Kunda flower, like that of the Moon, or white lotus. She always repeats the name of Paramâtmâ S’rî Krisna while She turns Her bead composed of jewels. Her nature is ascetic; She is the bestower of the fruits of the ascetism of the ascetics; She is the Siddhi and Vidyâ of all; She grants always success to all. Were She not here, the whole host of Brâhmins would always remain speechless like the dead cluster of persons. What is recited in the Vedas as the Third Devî is the Holy Word, The Third S’akti, Sarasvatî. Thus I have described Her. Now hear the glories of the other Devî in accordance with the Vedas. She is the mother of the four colours (castes), the origin of the (six) Vedâmgas (the limbs of the Vedas and all the Chhandas, the Seed of all the mantrams of Sandhyâ vandanam and the Root, the Seed of the Tantras; She Herself is versed in all the subjects. Herself an ascetic, She is the Tapas of the Brâhmins; She is the Tejas (Fire) and the caste of the Brâhmin caste and embodies in Herself all sorts of Samskâras (tendencies; inclinations); She is the Japam. Pure, known by the names of Sâvitrî and Gâyatrî, She resides always in the Brahmâ Loka (the Sphere of Brahmâ) and is such as all the sacred places of pilgrimages want Her touch for their purification.

41-47. Her colour is perfectly white like the pure crystal. She is purely S’uddha Sattva, of the nature of the Highest Bliss; She is eternal and superior to all. She is of the nature of Para Brahmâ and is the bestower of Moksa. She is the Fiery S’akti and the Presiding Deity of the Brahmâ Teja (the fiery spirit of Brahmâ, and the Brâhmanas). The whole world is purified by the touch of Whose Feet, this Sâvitrî Devî is the Fourth S’akti. O Child Nârada! Now I will describe to you about the Fifth S’akti, the Devî Râdhikâ. Hear. She is the Presiding Deity of the five Prânas; She Herself is the Life of all; dearer than life even to S’rî Krisna; and She is highly more beautiful and superior to all the other Prakriti Devîs. She dwells in everything; She is very proud of Her good fortune (Saubhâgyam); Her glory is infinite; and She is the wife, the left body, as it were, of S’rî Krisna and She is not in any way inferior to Him, either in quality or in the Tejas (Fiery Spirit) or in any other thing. She is higher than the Highest; the Essence of all, infinitely superior, the First of all, Eternal, of the nature of the Highest Bliss, fortunate, highly respected, and worshipped by all. She is, the Presiding Devî of the Râsa Lîlâ of S’rî Krisna. From Her has sprung the Râsa mandalam and She is the Grace and the Ornament of the Râsa mandalam (the dance in a circle in Râsa).

[Note :– Extracts from a paper on Creation as explained by Hon’ble Justice Sir G. Woodroffe.

The lecturer commenced by pointing out that an examination of any doctrine of creation reveals two fundamental concepts: Those of Being

(Kutastha) and Becoming (Bhava); Changelessness and Change; the one and Many. The Brahmân or Spirit in its own nature (Svarupa) is and never becomes. It is the evolutes derived from the Principle of Becoming (Mûlâ Prakriti) which constitute what is called Nature. The latter principle is essentially Movement. The world is displayed by consciousness (chit) in association with Mûlâ Prakriti in cosmic vibration (spandana). Recent Western hypotheses have made scientific “matter” into Mâyâ in the sense that it is but the varied appearances produced in our mind by vibration of and in the single substance ether. The doctrine of vibration (Spandana) is however in India an ancient inheritance. The whole world is born from the varied forms of the initial movement in Mûlâ Prakriti. The problem is how does such multiplicity exist without derogation to the essential unit of its efficient cause, the spirit? The lecturer then made a rapid survey of the Sânkhya philosophy on this point which assumes two real and independent principles of Being and Becoming which it calls Purusa and Prakriti and passed from this the easiest dualistic answer to the pure monism of S’ankara which asserted that there was but one Principle of Being, the Sadvastu and Mâyâ, whether considered as a S’akti of Îs’vara or as the product of such S’akti was Avastu or nothing. He then pointed out that the Tântrik doctrine with which he dealt occupied a middle position between those two points of view. S’iva in the Kulârnava Tantra says “Some desire Monism” (Advaitavâda), others Dualism (Dvaitavâda). Such, however, know not My Truth which is neither Monism nor Dualism (Dvaitâdvaitâ Vivarjita). Tantra is not Dvaitavâda for it does not recognise Prakriti as an independent unconscious principle (Achit). It differs from S’ankara’s Advaitavâda in holding that Prakriti as a conscious principle of Becoming, that is as S’akti, is not Avastu, though its displayed picture, the world is Mâyâ. It effects a synthesis of the S’ânkhya dualism by the conversion of the twin principles of Purusa and Prakriti into the unity which is the Ardhanârîs’vara S’iva S’akti.

As regards other matters it adopts the notions of the Sânkhya such as the concepts of Mûlâ Prakriti with the three Gunas, vibration (spandana), evolution (Parinâma) of the Vikritis and the order of emanation of the Tattvas. S’akti which effects this exists and is Herself never unconscious (Achit) though It has the power to make the Jîva think It is such. If this were understood one would not hear such nonsense as that the S’âktas (whose religion is one of the oldest in the world) worship material force or gross matter (Jada).

The lecturer then shortly explained the nature of S’akti (S’akti Tattva), a term which derived from the root “S’ak” meant the Divine Power whereby the world was created, manifested and destroyed. In Tantra the power and the Lord who wields it (S’aktimân) are one and the same, S’iva and S’akti are one and the same, S’iva is Brahmân, S’akti is Brahmân. The first is the transcendent, the second the immanent aspect of the one Brahmân, Who is both S’iva and S’akti. The Mother creates (Kârya-Vibhâvinî). The Father wills what She does (Kârya-Vibhâvaka). From their union creation comes. S’akti is not like the diminutive female figure which is seen on the lap of some Indian images, to which is assigned the subordinate position which some persons consider a Hindu wife should occupy. She is not a handmaid of the Lord but the Lord Himself in Her aspect as Mother of the worlds. This S’akti is both Nirguna and Saguna that is Chit S’akti and Mâyâ S’akti.

After this defining the nature of S’akti by which the world was created, the lecturer commenced an account of its manifestation as the universe, following in the main the S’âradâ Tilaka written in the eleventh century by Laksmanâchârya, the guru of the celebrated Kashmiran Tântrik, Abhinava Gupta. The following is a very abbreviated summary of this, the main portion of the paper. The lecturer first referred to the Aghanâvasthâ state which was that Niskala S’iva and touching upon the question why S’iva became Sakala (associated with Kalâ) and creative explained the term Kalâ and the theory of Adristasristi taught by the Tantra as by other S’astras. The former is according to Sânkhya, Mûlâ Prakriti; according to Vedânta, Avidyâ and according to the S’iva Tantra, S’akti. The latter is the doctrine that the impulse to creation is proximately caused by the Karma of the Jîvas. It is the seed of Karma which contains the germ of cosmic will to life. When Karma becomes ripe, there arises the state called Îksana and other names indicative of creative desire and will. There then takes place a development which is peculiar to the Tantra called Sadris’a Parinâma, which is a kind of Vivartta. The development is only apparent for there is no real change in the Ânandamaya Kosa. S’akti which exists in Sakala S’iva in a purely potential state is said to issue from Him. This is the first kinetic aspect of S’akti in which Sattaguna is displayed. This is the Paramâkâsâvasthâ. Nâda (sound, word) then appears. S’akti becomes further kinetic through the enlivening of the Rajo Guna. This is the Aksarâvasthâ. Then under the influence of Tamas, Îsvara becomes Ghanibhûta and what is called the Parâvindu. This is the Avyaktâvasthâ. Thus the Supreme Vindu men call by different names, Mahâ Visnu, Brahmâ Purûsa, or Devî. It is compared to a grain of gram which under its sheath contains two seeds in undivided union. These are S’iva S’akti and their encircling sheath is Mâyâ. This Vindu unfolds and displays itself, in the threefold aspect of Vindu, Vîja, Nâda; or S’iva, S’akti, and S’iva S’akti; the three S’aktis of will, knowledge and action. This is the mysterious Kâma Kalâ which is the root of all Mantras. These seven :– Sakala, S’iva, S’akti, Nâda, Parâvindu, Vindu, Vîja, Nâda are all aspects of S’akti which are the seven divisions of the Mantra Om and constitute what is called the creation of Parâ sound in the Îs’vara creation.

The lecturer having explained the nature of these S’aktis which formed part of the sound (S’abda), Sadrisa Parinâma, referred to the form or meaning (Artha) creation in the same development by the appearance of the six S’ivas from S’ambu to Brahmâ which were aggregate (Samasti) sound powers. It was he said, on the differentiation of the Parâvindu that there existed the completed causal S’abda which is the Hidden Word. The causal body or Parâ S’abda and Artha being complete, there then appeared the displayed word or S’abdârtha. This is a composite like the Greek Logos. The S’abda Brahmân or Brahmân as cause of S’abda is the Chaitanya in all beings. The S’abdârtha in the Vedantin Nâmarûpa or world of name and form of this S’abdârtha the subtle and gross bodies are constituted, the S’aktis of which are the Hiranyagarbha sound, called Madhyamâ and the Virât sound Vaikhârî. By S’abda is not meant merely physical sound which as a quality of atomic ether is evolved from Tâmasik Ahamkâra.

The lecturer then pointed out that there had been Adrista Sristi up to the appearance of S’akti and Vivartta development up to the completion of the “word” or causal sound. Then there takes place real evolution (Parinâma) in which the Tattvas (or elements discovered as a result of psychological analysis of our worldly experience) are said to emanate according to the Sânkhya and not the Vedantic scheme, though there were some peculiarities in the Tantrik exposition which the lecturer noted. Finally Yogika Sristi was accepted in so far as it was the elements which in varied combinations made up the gross world.

In conclusion the lecturer pointed out that Indian S’âstra was a mutually connected whole. Such peculiarities as existed in any particular S’âstra were due to a variety of standpoints or purpose in view. The main point in this connection to be remembered was that the Tantra was practical S’âdhanâ S’âstra. Whilst S’ankara dealt with the subject from the standpoint of Jñânakânda, the Tantra treated it from the point of view of worship (Upâsanâkânda) the Tantrik doctrine is compounded of various elements some of which it shared with other S’âstras, some of which are its own, the whole being set forth according to a method and terminology which is peculiar to itself.]

48-70. She is the Lady of the Râsa Lîlâ, the Foremost of the Jovial, humourous (witty) persons and dwells always in Râsa. Her abode is in Goloka and from Her have come out all the Gopîkâs. Râsa – the circular dance of Krisna and the cow-herdesses of Vrindâvana. Her nature is the Highest Bliss, the Highest Contentment, and Excessive Joy; She transcends the three Sattva, Rajo and Tamo Gunas and is Nirâkâra (without any particular form); but She dwells everywhere but unconnected with any. She is the soul of all. She is without any effort to do anything and void of Ahamkâra. She assumes forms only to show Her favour to Her Bhaktas. The intelligent learned men (Pundits) read Her Mahimâ (glories) in meditating on Her according to the Vedas. The chief of the Devas and the Munis could never see Her; Her clothings are fire-proof and She is decorated with many ornaments all over Her body. Her body looks as if the crores of moons have risen all at once; She is the Giver of Bhakti (devotion) towards Krisna, services towards Krisna; and She bestows all wealth and prosperity. In Varâha Kalpa, i.e., when the Varâha incarnation took place, She incarnated Herself as the daughter of one Gopa (cow-herd), named Vrisabhânu. And Earth was blessed by the touch of Her feet. She is such as Brahmâ and the other Devas could never perceive Her by any of their senses, yet everyone at Vrindâvan saw Her very easily. She is the Gem amongst women. And when She is seen on the breast of Krisna, it seems that lightnings flash in the blue mass of clouds in the sky. In days gone by, Brahmâ practised several austerities for sixty thousand years to purify Himself by seeing the nails of Her toe; but far from seeing that, He could not have that even in his dreams. At last He succeeded in seeing Her at Vrindâvana and became blessed. O Child Nârada! This is the fifth Prakriti and She is denominated as Râdhâ. Every female in every Universe is sprung from a part of S’rî Râdhâ or part of a part. O Nârada! Thus I have described to you the five Highest Prakritis, Durgâ and others. Now I am going to describe those that are parts of these Prakritis. Hear. The Ganges, Gangâ has sprung from the lotus feet of Visnu; Her form is fluid-like; She is eternal. And She is the veritable burning fire to burn away the sins of the sinners. She is sweet to touch in taking baths and in drinking; She gives final liberation to the Jîvas, and leads easily to the Goloka abode. She is the holiest amongst the places of pilgrimage and is the first of the running rivers. She is the rows of pearls in the clotted hairs of Mahâdeva’s head and She is the Tapasyâ (asceticism) incarnate of the Tapasvîs (ascetics) of the Bhârata Varsa. This Ganges purifies the three worlds and is the part of Mûlâ Prakriti; She shines like the Full Moon, is white like white lotus and like milk; She is pure S’uddha Sattva, clear, free from any Ahamkâra, chaste and beloved of Nârâyana. The Tulasî Devî is the consort of Visnu. She is the ornament of Nârâyana, and dwells always at the lotus feet of Nârâyana. By Her are performed all the acts of worship, all austerities, and all Sankalpas (resolves). She is the chief of all the flowers, holy and able to give merits (Punyam) to others. At Her sight and touch, Nirvâna can be obtained; and, were it not for Her, there could be no other fire in this Kali Yuga to burn the sins. She Herself is of the nature of Fire and at the touch of Whose lotus-feet, the earth is purified; all the Tîrthas desire to have Her sight and touch for purification and without Her all acts in this world become fruitless. She bestows Moksa (liberation) to those who want final liberation, grants all sorts of desires to several people, Who Herself is like a Kalpa Vriksa, Who is the Presiding Deity of all the trees in Bhârata and Who has come here to grant satisfaction to the ladies of Bhârata Varsa and She is considered very superior throughout all parts of India. This Tulasî Devî is the chief factor of Mûlâ Prakriti.

71-95. Then comes the Manasâ Devî, the daughter of Kas’yapa. She is the dear disciple of S’ankara and is therefore very learned in matters of S’âstras. She is the daughter of Ananta Deva, the Lord of Snakes and is very much respected by all the Nâgas. She Herself is very beautiful, the Lady of the Nâgas, the mother of the Nâgas and is carried by them. She is decorated with ornaments of the Snakes; She is respected by the Nâgendras and She sleeps on the bed of Snakes. She is Siddha Yoginî, the devotee of Visnu and always ready in the worship of Visnu; She is the Tapas and the bestower of the fruits of Tapas. Herself an ascetic, She spent three lakh years (according to the Deva measure) and has become the foremost of the ascetics in Bhâratvarsa. She is the Presiding Deity of all the mantras; Her whole body shines with Brahmâteja (the Holy Fire of Brahmâ). Herself of the nature of Brahmâ, She again meditates on Brahmân. She is sprung from a part of S’rî Krisna and the chaste wife of Jarat Kâru Muni, the mother of Âstika, the great Muni; She is the part of Mûlâ Prakriti. O Child Nârada! Now comes the S’asthî Devî, the Mother of Devasenâ. She is the most superior amongst the Gaurî and the sixteen Mâtrikâs. This chaste woman is the giver of sons and grandsons in the three worlds and the nurse, the foster mother of all. She is the sixth part of Mûlâ Prakriti and is hence known by the name of S’asthî. She lives near to every child as an aged Yoginî. Her worship is everywhere prevalent in the twelve months Vais’âkha, etc. When the child gets born, on the sixth day of Her worship is done in the lying-in-chamber and again on the 21st day (after twenty days have passed away) the most auspicious worshipful ceremony of Her is performed. The Munis bow down to Her with reverence and want to visit Her daily.

She protects all children always with a mother’s affectionate heart. This S’asthî Devî is again the part of Mûlâ Prakriti. Then appears the Devî Mangala Chandikâ. She goes from one house to another, on land or through water or in air, doing great good to them; She has come out of the face of the Prakriti Devî and is doing always all sorts of good to this world. Her name is Mangala Chandî because She is all auspicious at the time of creation and assumes very furious angry appearance at the time of destruction. So the Pundits say. On every Tuesday in all the worlds Her worship is done; and She, when pleased, gives to women sons, grandsons, wealth, prosperity, fame and good of all sorts and grants all desires. This Mangala Chandi is again the part of Mûlâ Prakriti. Now comes the lotus-eyed Mâhes’varî Kâlî who when angry can destroy all this universe in a moment, who sprang from the forehead of the Mûlâ Prakriti, Dûrgâ to slay the two demons S’umbha and Nis’umbha. She is the half-portion of Dûrgâ and qualified like Her, fiery and energetic. The beauty and splendour of whose body make one think as if the millions of suns have arisen simultaneously. Who is the foremost of all the S’aktis and is more powerful than any of them, Who grants success to all the persons, Who is superior to all and is of Yogic nature, Who is exceedingly devoted to Krisna and like Him fiery, well-qualified, and valorous, Whose body has become black by the constant meditation of S’rî Krisna, Who can destroy in one breath this whole Brahmânda, Who was engaged in fighting with the Daityas simply for sport and instruction to the people and Who, when pleased in worship can grant the four fruits Dharma, Artha, Kâma and Moksa. This Kâlî is also the part of Prakriti. The Devî Basundharâ (Earth) is again the part of Mûlâ Prakriti. Brahmâ and the other Devas, all the Muni mandalams (the spheres of Munis), fourteen Manus and all men sing hymns to Her. She is the support of all and filled with all sorts of grains. She is the source of all gems and jewels, She bears in Her womb all the precious metals. All sorts of best things issue from Her. She is the Refuge of all. The subjects and kings worship Her always and chant hymns to Her. All the Jîvas live through Her and She bestows all sorts of wealth and prosperity. Without Her, all this, moving or non-moving, become void of any substratum. Where to rest on!

96-143. O Child Nârada! Now hear about them who are issued again from the parts of Mûlâ Prakriti as well as the names of their wives. I will now narrate duly. The Devî “Svâhâ” is the wife of Agni (Fire), and the whole Universe worships Her. Without her, the Devî can never take any oblations. Daksinâ and Diksâ are both the wives of Yajña (Sacrifice). They are honoured everywhere. So much so that without Daksinâ (the fees given at the end of the Sacrifice) no sacrificial ceremonies can be complete and fructifying. The Devî “Svadhâ” is the wife of the Pitris. All worship this Devî “Svadhâ” whether they are Munis, Manus, or men. If this mantra “Svadhâ” be not uttered while making an offering to the Pitris, all turn out useless. The Devî “Svasti” is the wife of the Vâyu Deva; She is honoured everywhere in the Universe. Without this “Svasti” Devî, no giving nor taking nor any action can be fructifying and useful. “Pustî” (nourishment) is the wife of Ganapatî. All in this world worship this Pustî Devî. Without this “Pusti”, women or men alike all become weaker and weaker. Tustî (satisfaction, contentment) is the wife of Ananta Deva. She is praised and worshipped everywhere in this world. Without Her no one anywhere in the world can be happy. “Sampattî” is the wife of Îsâna Deva. The Suras, the men all alike worship Her. Were it not for Her, all in this world would be oppressed with dire poverty. The Devî “Dhritî” is the wife of Kapila Deva. She is honoured equally in all places. Were it not for Her, all the people in this world would have become impatient. The “Satî” Devî is the wife of Satya Deva (Truth). She is endearing to the whole world. The liberated ones worship Her always. Were it not for the truth loving Satî, the whole world would have lost the treasure in friendship. “Dayâ” (Mercy) endearing to the whole world is the chaste wife of “Mohâ Deva”. She is liked by all. Were it not for Her, all the world would have become hopeless. The Devî “Pratisthâ” (fame, celebrity) is the wife of Punya Deva (merit).She gives merits to persons according as they worship Her. Were it not for Her, all the persons would remain dead while living. The Devî “Kîrti” (fame) is the wife of Sukarma (good works). Herself a Siddha (one who has acquired the result of one’s success), all the blessed people honour Her with great reverence. Were it not for Her, all the persons in this world would have been dead, devoid of any fame. Kriyâ (work-efforts, action, doing) is the wife of “Udyoga” (enthusiasm). All honour Her greatly. O Muni Nârâda! Were it not for Her, the whole people would be void of any rules and regulations. Falsehood is the wife of Adharma (unrighteousness). She is honoured greatly by all the cheats that are extant in this world. Were she not liked by them, then all the cheats would become extinct. She did not fall in the sight of anybody in the Satya Yuga. Her subtle form became visible in the Tretâ Yuga. When the Dvâpara Yuga came, She became half developed. And at last when the Kali Yuga has come, She is fully developed and there is no second to Her whether in bold confidence and shamelessness or in talking much and pervading everywhere. With her brother Deceitfulness, She roams from one house to another. Peace and modesty and shame are both the wives of good behaviour. Were they not existent, all in this world would have turned out deluded and mad. Intelligence, genius and fortitude, these three are the wives of Jñâna (knowledge). Had they not lived, every one would become stupid and insane. Mûrti is the wife of Dharma Devî. She is of the nature of Beauty to all and very charming. Were it not for Her, Paramâtmân would not get any resting place; and the whole universe would have become Nirâlamba (without anything to rest). This chaste Mûrti Devî is of the nature of splendour, loveliness and Laksmî. She is everywhere respected, worshipped and reverenced. “Sleep”, the Siddha Yoginî, is the wife of Rudra Deva, who is of the nature of Kâlâgni (the universal conflagration at the break-up of the world). All the Jîvas spend their nights with Her. The twilights, night and day are the wives of Kâla (Time). If they were not, the Creator even would not be able to reckon time. Hunger and thirst are the wives of Lobha (covetousness). They are thanked, respected and worshipped by the whole world. Had they not lived, the whole world would have merged ever in an ocean of anxieties. Splendour and burning capacity are the wives of Tejas (fire). Without these, the Lord of the world could never have created and established order in this universe. Death and old age are the daughters of the Kâla, and the dear wives of Jvarâ (the disease). Without these, all the creation would come to an end. The Tandrâ (drowsiness, lassitude) and Prîti (satisfaction) are the daughters of Nidrâ (sleep). And they are the dear wives of Sukha (pleasure). They are present everywhere in this world. O Best of Munis! S’raddhâ (faith) and Bhakti (devotion) are the wives of Vairâgyam (dispassion). For then all the persons can become liberated while living (Jîvanmuktas). Besides these there is Aditi, the Mother of the Gods, Surabhi, mother of cows; Diti, the mother of the Daityas; Kadru, the mother of the Nâgas (serpents); Vinatâ, the mother of Garuda, the prince of birds; and Danu, the mother of the Dânavas. All are very useful for the purpose of creation. But these all are parts of Mûlâ Prakriti. Now I will mention some of the other parts of Prakriti. Hear. Rohinî, the wife of the Moon, Sanjñâ, the wife of the Sun; S’atarûpâ, the wife of Manu; S’achî, the wife of Indra; Târâ, the wife of Brihaspati; Arundhatî, the wife of Vas’istha; Anasûyâ, the wife of Atri; Devahûtî, the wife of Kardama; Prasûti, the wife of Daksa; Menakâ, the mind born daughter of the Pitris and the mother of Ambikâ, Lopâmudrâ, Kuntî, the wife of Kuvera, the wife of Varuna, Bindhyâvalî, the wife of the King Bali; Damayantî, Yas’odâ, Devakî, Gândhârî, Draupadî, S’aivyâ, Satyavatî, the chaste and noble wife of Brisabhânu and the mother of Râdhâ; Mandidarî; Kaus’alyâ, Kauravî,; Subhadrâ; Revatî, Satyabhâmâ, Kâlindî, Laksmanâ; Jâmbavatî; Nâgnajiti, Mitrabindâ, Laksanâ, Rukminî, Sîtâ, the Laksmî incarnate; Kâlî, Yojana Gandhâ, the chaste mother of Vyâsa, Ûsâ, the daughter of Vâna, her companion Chitralekhâ; Prabhâvati, Bhânumatî, the Satî Mâyâvatî, Renukâ, the mother of Paras’urâma; Rohinî, the mother of Balarâma, Ekanandâ and the sister of S’rî Krisna, Satî Durgâ and many other ladies are the parts of Prakriti and all the female sex, everywhere in the Universe are all come from the parts of Prakriti. So to insult any woman is to insult the Prakriti. If one worships a chaste Brahmin woman, who has her husband and son living, with clothings, ornaments, and sandal paste, etc., one worships, as it were, Prakriti. If any Vipra worships a virgin girl, eight years old, with clothings, ornaments and sandal paste, know that he has worshipped the Prakriti Devî. The best, middling, and worst are all sprung from Prakriti. Those women that are sprung from Sattva Guna are all very good natured and chaste; those that are sprung from Rajo Guna are middling and very much attached to worldly enjoyments and do their selfish ends and those that are sprung from Tamo Guna are recognised as worst and belonging to the unknown families. They are very scurrilous, cheats, ruining their families, fond of their own free ways, quarrelsome and no seconds are found equal to them. Such women become prostitutes in this world and Apsarâs in the Heavens. The Hermaphrodites are parts of Prakriti but they are of the nature of Tamo Gunas.

144-159. Thus I have described to you the nature of Prakriti. So in this Punyabhûmi Bhârata Varsa, to worship the Devî is by all means desirable. In days past by, the King Suratha worshipped the Mûlâ Prakriti Durgâ, the Destructrix of all evils. Then again S’rî Râma Chandra worshipped Her when he wanted to kill Râvana. Since then Her worship is extant in the three worlds. She was first born as the honourable daughter of Daksa. She destroyed the whole hosts of Daityas and Dânavas. It was She who, hearing the abusive words uttered against Her husband at the Yajña by Daksa, Her father, gave up Her body and took up again Her birth. She took Her birth in the womb of Menakâ and got again Pas’upati as Her husband. And of the two sons, Kârtika and Ganes’a, born to Her, Kârtika was the Ansa (part) of Nârâyana and Ganapati was S’rî Krisna Himself, the Lord of Râdhâ. O Devarsi! After the two sons, Laksmî Devî came out of Durgâ. Mangala Râja, the King Mars first worshipped Her. Since then, all in the three worlds began to worship Her, whether they are Devas or men. The King As’vapati first worshipped Sâvitrî Devî; and since then the Devas, Munis, all began to worship Her. When the Devî Saravastî was born, the Bhagavân Brahmâ first worshipped Her; next the greatest Munis, Devas all began to worship Her. On the full moon night of the month of Kârtik, it was Bhagavân S’rî Krisna, The Highest Spirit, that worshipped, first of all, the Devî Râdhâ within the Râsa Mandalam, the enclosure, within which the Râsa Lîlâ was performed (the circular dance) in the region Goloka. Then under the command of S’rî Krisna, all the Gopas (cow-herds), Gopîs, all the boys, girls, Surabhî, the queen of the race of the cows, and the other cows worshipped Her. So since Her worship by the inhabitants of Goloka, by Brahmâ and the other Devas and the Munis, all began to worship ever S’rî Râdhâ with devotion and incense, light and various other offerings. On earth She was first worshipped by Suyajña, in the sacred field of Bhâratvarsa, under the direction of Bhagavân Mahâdeva. Subsequently, under the command of the Bhagavân S’rî Krisna, the Highest Spirit, the inhabitants of the three worlds began to worship Her. The Munis with great devotion, with incense, flowers and various other offerings worship always the Devî Râdhâ. O Child Nârada! Besides these, all the other Devîs that have issued from Prakriti Devî are all worshipped. So much so that in the villages, the village Deities, in the forests, the forest Deities and in the cities, the city Deities are worshipped. Thus I have described to you all according to the S’âstras the glorious lives of the Devî Prakriti and Her parts. What more do you want to hear?

Here ends the First Chapter on the Description of Prakriti in the Ninth Book of the S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter II

On the origin of Prakriti and Purusa

1-4. Nârada said :– O Lord! I have heard all that you said in brief about the Prakriti Devî. Now describe in detail. Why the Mûlâ Prakriti Âdya S’akti (the Prime Force) was created at the beginning before the creation of this world of five elements. How did She, being of the nature of the three Gunas, come to be divided into five parts? I desire to hear all this in detail. Now kindly describe their auspicious births, methods of worship, their meditation, their stotras (praises), Kavachas (the mystic syllables considered as a preservation like armour), glory and power in detail.

5-26. Nârâyana spoke :– “O Devarsi! The Mûlâ Prakriti, of the nature of Mâyâ of Para Brahman is an eternal entity (the nabho mandal); Time (Kâla), the ten quarters, the Universe Egg, the Goloka and, lower than this, the Vaikuntha Dhâma all are eternal things. Âtman and Prakriti are in inseparable union with each other as Fire and its burning capacity, the Moon and her beauty, the lotus and its splendour, the Sun and his rays are inseparably united with each other. As the goldsmith cannot prepare golden ornaments without gold and as the potter cannot make earthen pots without earth, so the Âtman cannot do any work without the help of this omnipotent Prakriti. The letter “Sa” indicates “Ais’yaryam” prosperity, the divine powers; and “Kti”, denotes strength; and in as much as She is the bestower of the above two, the Mûlâ Prakriti is named “S’akti”. “Bhaga” is indicative of knowledge, prosperity, wealth, fame; and in as much as Mûlâ Prakriti has all these powers, She is also called “Bhagavatî”. And Âtman “is always in union with this Bhagavatî Who is all powers, so He is called “Bhagavân’. The Bhagavân is therefore sometimes with form; and sometimes He is without form. (Note :– When Prakriti becomes latent, God is without form; with Prakriti manifest, God is with form.) The Yogis always think of the Luminous Form of the Formless Bhagavân and declare Him to be all blissful Para Brahma, the God. Though He is invisible, the Witness of all, Omniscient, the Cause of all, the Giver of everything and of every form, yet the Vaisnavas do not say so. The Vaisnavas declare how can fire, strength and energy come when there is no fiery, strong, energetic Person behind it? Therefore He who shines in the centre of this fiery sphere is the Para Brahma; He is the Fiery Person; He is higher than the Highest. He is All Will; He is All Form, the Cause of all causes and His Form is Very Beautiful. He is Young; He looks very peaceful and loved by all. He is the Highest; and His Blue Body shines like new rain-clouds. His two eyes defy the beauty of the autumn lotuses in the mid-day; His exquisitely nice rows of teeth put all the series of pearls in the dark back-ground. The peacock’s feather is seen on His crown; the garland of Mâlatî flowers is suspended from His neck.; His nose is exceedingly beautiful; the sweet smile is always seen on His lips. There is no second like Him in showing favour to the Bhaktas. He wears yellow clothings, as if the burning fire is emanating all round; the flute is seen on both His hands, reaching His knees. His body is decorated all over with jewels. He is the Sole Refuge of this Universe; the Lord of all, omnipotent and omnipresent. No trace of deficiency can be seen in Him; He is Himself a Siddha (perfect) Purusa; and the foremost of all Siddha Purusas; bestows Siddhis to all. The Vaisnavas meditate always That Eternal S’rî Krisna, the Deva of the Devas. He takes away fully all the fears of birth, death, old age, and ills and sorrows. The age of Brahmâ is the twinkling of His eye. That Highest Self, the Para Brahma is denominated as Krisna. The word “Kris” denotes Bhakti to S’rî Krisna and the letter “na” signifies devotion to His service. So He is the Bestower of Bhakti and devotion to His service. Again “Kris” denotes all; everything; and “na” signifies the root. So He Who is the Root and Creator of all, is S’rî Krisna. When He desired, in the very beginning, to create this Universe, there was nothing then except S’rî Krisna; and at last, impelled by Kâla (His Own Creation), He became ready, in His part, to do the work of creation.

27-61. The Lord, who is All Will, willed and divided Himself into two parts, His Left part becoming female and His Right part becoming male. Then that Eternal One, Who is greatly loving, looked at the female, His left part, the Sole Receptacle to hold all the contents of love, very lovely to the eyes, and looking like the beautiful lotus. The loins of this woman defy the Moon; Her thighs put the plaintain trees quite in the background; Her breasts are mistaken for the beautiful Bel fruits; flowers are scattered as Her Hairs on the head; Her middle part is very slender, very beautiful to behold! Exceedingly lovely; appearance very calm; sweet smile reigning in Her lips; side long glances with Her; Her clothing is purified with fire; all over Her body decorated with gems. Her eyes, also, like the Chakora bird (Greek partridge) began to drink incessantly with joy the moon beams from the face of S’rî Krisna, defying, as it were, the ten millions of moons. On Her forehead there was the dot of vermillion (red-lead); over that, the dot of white sandal paste and over that was placed the musk. The fillets or braids of hair on Her head are slightly curved; this was decorated with Mâlatî garlands; on Her neck was suspended the necklace of gems and jewels and She is always very amorous towards Her husband. On looking at Her face, it seems that ten millions of moons have arisen at once; when She walks, Her gait puts (humiliates) those of ganders and elephants in the shade. O Muni! S’rî Krisna, the Lord of the Râsa Dance, and the Person of Taste in the Râsa sport, looked askance at Her for a while and then catching hold of Her by Her hand went to the Râsamandalam and began to play the Râsa sport (the amorous pastime). It seemed then the Lord of amorous pastimes had become incarnate there and had been enjoying the various pleasures of amorous passions and desires. So much, that Brahma’s one day passed away in that sport. The Father of the Universe, then becoming tired, impregnated in an auspicious moment in Her womb who was born of His left portion. The Prakriti Devî was also tired of the embraces of S’rî Krisna; so after the intercourse, she began to perspire and breathe frequently. Her perspiration turned into water and deluged the whole universe, with water; and Her breath turned into air and became the life of all beings. The female that sprung from the left side of Vâyu became his wife and out of their contact originated Prâna, Apâna, Samâna, Udâna and Vyâna, the five sons. These are the five vital Vâyus of all the beings. Besides these from the womb of the Vâyu’s wife came out Nâga and the other four lower Vâyus. The water that came out from perspiration, Varana Deva became the Presiding Deity of that; and the female, sprung out of the left side of Varuna Deva, became the wife of Varuna, called Varunânî. On the other hand, the S’akti, of the nature of knowledge of S’rî Krisna, remained pregnant for one hundred manvantaras. Her body became effulgent with Brahma-teja (the fire of Brahma). Krisna was Her life and She again was dearer to Krisna than his life even. She remained always with S’rî Krisna; so much so that She constantly rested on His breast. When one hundred manvantaras passed away, that Beautiful One gave birth to a Golden Egg. That egg was the repository of the whole universe. The Beloved of Krisna became very sorry to see the egg and out of anger, threw that within the water collected in the centre of the Universe. Seeing this, S’rî Krisna raised a great cry and immediately cursed Her duly and said :– “O Angry One! O Cruel One! When you have forsaken out of anger this son just born of you, I say then that you become from today bereft of any issue. Besides, let all those godly women that will spring out of your parts, they also be deprived of having any issue or sons and they will remain ever constant in their youth. O Muni! While S’rî Krisna was thus cursing, suddenly came out from the tongue of the beloved of Krisna, a beautiful daughter, of a white colour. Her clothings were all white, in her hands there were lute and book and all Her body was decorated with ornaments made of gems and jewels. She was the Presiding Deity of all the S’âstras. Some time later the Mûla Prakriti, the Beloved of Krisna divided into two parts. Out of Her left portion came Kamalâ and out of Her right portion came Râdhikâ. In the meantime S’rî Krisna divided Himself into two parts. From his right side appeared a form two-handed; and from the left side appeared a form four-handed. Then S’rî Krisna addressed the Goddess Speech, holding flute in Her hand, “O Devî! You follow this four-handed Person as his wife” and then spoke to Râdhâ :– “O Râdhe! You are a sensitive, proud lady; let you be My wife; so it will do you good”. S’rî Krisna also told Laksmî gladly to become the wife of the four-handed Nârâyana. Then Nârâyana, the Lord of the world, took both Laksmî and Sarasvatî to the abode Vaikuntha. O Muni! Both Laksmî and Sarasvatî became issueless, being born of Râdhâ. From the body of Nârâyana arose his attendants, all four-handed. They were all equal to Him in appearance, in qualifications; in spirit and in age. On the other hand, from the body of Kamalâ arose millions of female attendants all equal to Her in form and qualifications. Then arose innumerable Gopas (cow-herds) from the pores of S’rî Krisna. They were all equal to the Lord of Goloka in form, Gunas, power and age; they were all dear to Him as if they were His life.

62-88. From the pores of Râdhikâ came out the Gopa Kanyâs (cow-herdesses). They were all equal to Râdhâ and all were Her attendants and were sweet-speaking. Their bodies were all decorated with ornaments of jewels, and their youth was constant, they were all issueless as S’rî Krisna had cursed them thus. O Best of Brâhmanas! On the other hand, suddenly arose Durgâ, the Mâyâ of Visnu (The Highest Self) eternal and whose Deity was Krisna. (N. B. Durgâ was the Avatâra of Mûla Prakriti not the Avatâra of Râdhâ as Laksmî and Sarasvatî were.) She is Nârâyanî; She is Îs’ânî; She is the S’akti of all and She is the Presiding Deity of the intelligence of S’rî Krisna. From Her have come out many other Devîs; She is Mûla Prakriti and She is Îs’varî; no failings or insufficiencies are seen in Her. She is the Tejas (of the nature of Fire) and She is of the nature of the three Gunas. Her colour is bright like the molten gold; Her lustre looks as if ten millions of Suns have simultaneously arisen. She looks gracious always with sweet smile on Her lips, Her hands are one thousand in number. Various weapons are in all Her hands. The clothings of the three-eyed one are bright and purified by Fire. She is decorated with ornaments all of jewels. All the women who are the jewels are sprung from Her parts and parts of parts and by the power of Her Mâyâ, all the people of the world are enchanted. She bestows all the wealth that a householder wants; She bestows on Krisna’s devotees, the devotion towards Krisna; nay, She is the Vaisnavî S’akti of the Vaisnavas. She gives final liberation to those that want such and gives happiness to those that want happiness. She is the Laksmî of the Heavens; as well She is the Laksmî of every household. She is the Tapas of the ascetics, the beauty of the kingdoms of the kings, the burning power of fire, the brilliancy of the Sun, the tender beauty of the Moon, the lovely beauty of the lotus and the S’akti of S’rî Krisna the Highest Self. The Self, the world all are powerful by Her S’akti; without Her everything would be a dreary dead mass. O Nârada! She is the seed of this Tree of World; She is eternal; She is the Stay, She is Intelligence, fruits, hunger, thirst, mercy, sleep, drowsiness, forgiveness, fortitude, peace, bashfulness, nourishment, contentment and lustre. The Mûla Prakriti praising S’rî Krisna stood before Him. The Lord of Râdhikâ then gave Her a throne to sit. O Great Muni! At this moment sprang from the navel lotus the four-faced Brahmâ, with his wife Sâvitrî, an exceedingly beautiful woman. No sooner the four-faced Brahmâ, the foremost of the Jñânins, fond of asceticism and holding Kamandalu in His hand came into being than He began to praise S’rî Krisna by His four mouths. On the other hand the Devî Sâvitrî, with a beauty of one hundred moons, born with great ease, wearing apparel purified by fire and decorated with various ornaments praised Krisna, the One and Only Cause of the Universe and then took Her seat gladly with Her husband in the throne made of jewels. At that time Krisna divided Himself into two parts; His left side turned into the forn of Mahâdeva; and His right side turned into the Lord of Gopikâs (cow-herdesses). The colour and splendour of the body of Mahâdeva is pure white like white crystal; as if one hundred suns have arisen simultaneously. In His hands there are the trident (Tris’ul) and sharp-edged spear (Pattisa); He is wearing a tiger skin; on His head is matted hair (Jatâ) of a tawny hue like molten gold; His body was besmeared all over with ashes, smile reigning in His face and on His forehead, the semi-moon. He has no clothing on His loins; so He is called Digambara (the quarters of the Sky being His clothing); His neck is of a blue colour; the serpent being the ornaments on His body and on His right hand the nice bead of jewels well purified. Who is always repeating with His five faces the Eternal Light of Brahmâ, and Who has conquered Death by praising S’rî Krisna, Who is of the nature of Truth, the Highest Self, the God Incarnate, the material cause of all things and the All auspicious of all that is good and favourable, and the Destroyer of the fear of birth, death, old age, and disease and Who has been named Mrityunjaya (the conqueror of Death). This Mahâdeva took His seat on a throne made of jewels (diamonds, emeralds, etc.).

Here ends the Second Chapter of the Ninth Book on the origin of Prakriti and Purusa in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter III

On the origin of Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes’a and others

1-34. Nârâyana said:– “O Devarsi! The egg (born of Mûla Prakriti) that was floating in the waters for a period equal to the life period of Brahmâ, now in the fullness of time separated into two parts. Within that egg there was a powerful Child, lustrous like one thousand millions of suns. This child could not suck mother’s milk, as it was forsaken by Her. So being tired of hunger, the child for a moment cried repeatedly. The child that will become the Lord of countless Brahmândas (universes), now an orphan having no father nor mother began to look upwards from the waters. This boy came to be denominated afterwards by the name of Mahâ Virât, when he became gross and grosser. As there is nothing finer than radium so there is nothing grosser than Mahâ Virât. The power of this Mahâ Virât is one-sixteenth of that of S’ri Krisna, the Highest Self. But this boy, (born of the Prakriti Râdhâ) is the Sole Stay of all this Universe and he is denominated by the name “Mahâ-Visnu”. In his every pore countless universes are existing. So much so that even S’ri Krisna could not count them. If it were possible to count the number of dust particles, it is impossible to count the number of universes. So there are endless Brahmâs, Visnus, and Mahes’varas. In every Brahmânda, there is Brahmâ, Visnu, and Mahes’a. Each Brahmânda extends from Pâtâla to the Brahmâloka. The abode of Vaikuntha is higher than that (i. e. it is situated outside of Brahmânda), again the abode of Goloka is fifty koti yojanas (50 x 10 x 4 x 2 million miles) higher than Vaikuntha. This Goloka Dhâma is eternal and real as S’ri Krisna is eternal and real. This world composed of the seven islands is surrounded by the seven oceans. Forty-nine Upa Dvîpas (smaller islands adjacent to them) are existing here. Besides there are countless mountains and forests. Higher than this earth is the Brahmâloka with seven heavens and below this are the seven Pâtâlas. This is the bounding limit of Brahmânda. Just above this earth there is the Bhûrloka; above is Bhuvarloka; then Svarloka, then Janarloka, then Taparloka, then Satyaloka, and above that is Brahmâloka. The splendour of Brahmâloka is like that of molten gold. But all the substances whether outside or inside this Brahmâloka, are transient. When this Brahmânda (cosmos) dissolves, everything dissolves and is destroyed. All are temporary like bubbles of water. Only Goloka and Vaikuntha are eternal. In every pore of this Mahâ Virât is existing one Brahmânda (cosmos). What to speak of others when even Krisna cannot count the number of these Brahmândas. In every Brahmânda there is Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a. O Child Nârada! In every Brahmânda, the number of the gods is three kotis or 30 millions. Some of them are the Dikpatis (the Regents of the quarters); some are the Dikpâlas (the Rulers of the quarters), some are asterisms, and some planets. In the Bhûrloka, there are four Varnas (Brâhmins, etc.,) and in the Pâtâlas there are Nâgas. Thus the Universe exists composed of moveable and non-moveable things (This is Brahmânda Vivriti). O Nârada! Now the Virât Purusa began to look up to the skies again and again but He could not see anything within that egg except the void. Then distressed with hunger He cried out repeatedly and became merged in anxiety. Next moment getting back His consciousness, He began to think of Krisna, the Highest Person and saw there at once the eternal light of Brahmâ. He saw there His form as deep blue like new rain-cloud; with two hands, garment of a yellow colour, sweet smile on His face, flute in His hand and He seemed to be very anxious to show His Grace to Devotees. Looking at the Lord, His Father, the boy became glad and smiled. The Lord, the Bestower of boon granted him boons appropriate for that moment “O Child! Let you possess knowledge like Me; let your hunger and thirst vanish; let you be the holder of innumerable Brahmândas till the time of Pralaya (the universal dissolution). Be without any selfishness, be fearless and the bestower of boons to all. Let not old age, death, disease, sorrow nor any other ailings afflict thee. Thus saying He repeated thrice on his ear the six-lettered great Mantra “Om Krisnâya Svâhâ” worshipped by the Vedas with their Amgas, the Giver of desires and the destroyer of all troubles and calamities. O Brahmâ’s Son! Thus giving the mantra, S’ri Krisna arranged for his feeding thus:– In every universe, whatever offerings will be given to S’ri Krisna, one sixteenth of that will go to Nârâyana, the Lord of Vaikuntha and fifteen-sixteenth is to go to this boy, the Virât. S’ri Krisna did not allot any share for Himself. Himself transcending all the Gunas, and Full, He is always satisfied with Himself. What necessity is there for any further offerings? Whatever the people offer with devotion, the Lord of Laksmî, the Virât eats all these. Bhagavân S’ri Krisna giving thus to the Virât the boon and the Mantra said:– “O Child! Say what more you desire; I will give you that instantly. The Virât boy, hearing thus the words of S’ri Krisna, spoke:– “O Thou Omnipresent! I have got no desires whatsoever, save this that as long as I live, whether for a short time or for a long time, let me have pure Bhakti towards Thy lotus feet.

35-41. In this world he is Jîvanmukta (liberated whilst living) who is your Bhakta; and that bewildered fool is dead while living who is devoid of any Bhakti to Thee. What needs he to perform Japam, asceticism, sacrifice, worship, holding fasts and observances, going to sacred places of pilgrimages and other virtuous acts if he be without any bhakti to S’ri Krisna? Vain is his life who is devoid of any devotion to S’ri Krisna, under Whose Grace he has obtained his life and Whom he does not now pay homage and worship. He is endowed with Sakti as long as Âtma (Self) resides in his body; no sooner the Âtma departs from his body all the Saktis accompany him. O Great One! And thou art the Universal Âtman (soul) who transcends Prakriti, Who is All will, the Primeval Person and of the nature of the Highest Light. O Child! Thus saying, the Virât boy remained silent. S’ri Krisna then, spoke in sweet words:– “O Child! Let you remain as fresh as ever like Me. You will not have any fall even if innumerable Brahmâs pass away.

42-57. Let you divide yourself in parts and turn into smaller Virâts in every universe. Brahmâ will spring from your navel and will create the cosmos. From the forehead of that Brahmâ will spring eleven Rudras for the destruction of the creation. But they will all be parts of S’iva. The Rudra named Kâlâgni, of these eleven Rudras, will be the destroyer of all this Vis’vas (cosmos). Besides, from each of your sub-divisions, the Vis’nu will originate and that Bhagavân Visnu will be the Preserver of this Vis’vu world. I say that under my favour you will always be full of Bhakti towards Me and no sooner you meditate on Me, you will be able to see My lovely form. There is no doubt in this; and your Mother, Who resides in My breast, will not be difficult for you to see. Let you remain here in ease and comfort. I now go to Goloka. Saying thus S’ri Krisna, the Lord of the world disappeared. Going to His own abode He spoke instantly to Brahmâ and S’ankara, skilled in the works of creation and destruction:– “O Child Brahmâ! Go quickly and be born in parts from the navels of each of the smaller Virâts that will arise from the pores of the Great Virât. O Child Mahâdeva! Go and be born in parts from the forehead of each Brahmâ in every universe for the destruction of the creation; (but be careful that you not forget) and perform austerities for a long, long time. O son of the Creator Brahmâ! Thus saying, the Lord of the Universe remained silent. Brahmâ and S’iva, the auspicious, bowing to the Lord, went to their own duties. On the other hand, the great Virât that lay floating in the waters of the Brahmânda sphere, created from his every pore each smaller Virât. That youth Janârdan of the form of the Great Cosmos, wearing yellow garment of the bluish-green colour of the Durba grass, lay sleeping pervading everywhere. Brahmâ took his birth in His navel. He, then, after his birth, began to travel in that navel-lotus and in the stem of the lotus for one lakh yugas. But he could not find out the place whence the lotus or its stem had sprung up. O Nârada! Then your father became very anxious and came back to his former place and began to meditate on the lotus feet of S’ri Krisna. Then, in meditation, with his introspective eye, he first saw the small Virât, then the endless great Virât lying on the watery bed, in whose pores the universes are existing and then he saw the God S’ri Krisna in Goloka with Gopas and Gopis. He then began to praise the Lord of Goloka when He granted boons to your father, and he began to do the work of creation.

58-62. From the mind of your father, were born first S’anaka and other brothers and then from his forehead eleven Rudras sprang. Then from the left side of that small Virât lying on the bed of waters, the four-handed Visnu Bhagavân, the Preserver of the Universe, came. He went to S’vetadvîpa, where he remained. Then your father became engaged in creating this Universe, moveable and non-moveable, composed of three worlds, heaven, earth and Pâtâla, in the navel of that small Virât Purusa. O Nârada! Thus from the pores of that great Virât each universe has sprung and in every universe there is one small Virât, one Brahmâ, one Visnu and one S’iva and S’anaka and others. O Best of twice born! Thus I have described the glories of Krisna, that give exceeding pleasure and Moksa. Now say what more you want to hear?

Here ends the Third Chapter of the Ninth Book on the Origin of Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a and others in the Mahâ Purânam S’ri Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter IV

On the hymn, worship and Kavacha of Sarasvatî Devî

1-3. Nârada said :– By your Grace I have heard everything very sweet like nectar, of the origin of things. Now may I ask you which Devî of these five Prakritis has been worshipped by what Mantra? and by whom? How has each of them been praised? and by whom? How has the worship of their Mûrtis (form) become prevalent in this world? What are the Stotram (hymn of praise), the Dhyân (meditation) glory and life of these? Also what sort of boon do each of the Devîs grant? and to whom? Kindly describe all these in detail.

4-29. Nârâyana said :– O Child! Durgâ, the mother of Ganes’a, Râdhâ, Laksmî, Sarasvatî and Sâvitrî, these are the five Prakritis sprung directly from Mûla Prakriti. The methods of their worship, wonderful glorious acts, excellent stotrams, and their lives, inculcating good to all, and sweet like nectar are all widely written in the Vedas, Purânas, Tantras and other S’âstras. So there is no need to describe them here again. Now I am describing in detail the auspicious character of these that are sprung from the parts and Kalâs of the Prakriti. Hear attentively. Kâlî, Vasundharâ, Gangâ, Sasthî, Mangal Chandikâ, Tulasî, Manasâ, Nidrâ, Svadhâ, Svâhâ, and Daksinâ, these are the parts of Prakriti. By and by I will describe, briefly, the merit-giving characters and pleasant to hear. Along with these I will describe the Karmas of the Jîvas, and the great exalted lives of Durgâ and Râdhâ. I am now describing Sarasvatî’s character. Hear, O Muni! S’rî Krisna introduced first in this Bhârata, the worship of the Devî Sarasvatî, the holder of Vînâ in Her hands, under whose influence, the hearts of illiterate stupid persons become illumined with knowledge. The amorous Devî Sarasvatî sprang from the end of the lips of Râdhâ and so she desired to marry Krisna out of amorous feelings. S’ri Krisna, the controller of the hearts of all, knew it instantly and addressed the Mother of the people in true words proper to Her and beneficial to Her in the end. O Chaste One! The four-armed Nârâyana is born from My parts; He is young, of good features and endowed with all qualifications; so much so, he is like Me. He is a Knower of amorous sentiments of women and He fulfils those desires; what to speak of His beauty, ten millions of the God of love are playing in His body. O Beloved! And if you desire to marry and remain with Me, that will not be of any good to you. For Râdhâ is near to Me; She is more powerful than you. If a man be stronger than another, he can rescue one who takes his shelter; but if he be weaker, how can he then, himself weak, protect his dependant from others. Though I am the Lord of all, and rule all, yet I cannot control Râdhâ. For She is equal to me in power, in beauty, in qualifications, equal to Me in every respect. Again it is impossible for Me to quit Râdhâ for She is the presiding Deity of My life. Who can relinquish life? Though a son is very dear to his father, still it may be questioned, is he dearer than his father’s life? So, O Auspicious One! Go to the abode Vaikuntha; you will get your desires fulfilled there. You will get for your husband the Lord of Vaikuntha and you will live ever in peace and enjoy happiness. Though Laksmî is residing there yet like you she is not under the control of lust, anger, greed, delusion and vanity. She is also equal to you in beauty, qualities, and power. So you will live with her in great delight and Hari, the Lord of Vaikuntha, will treat both of you equally. Moreover, I say this in particular that in every universe, on the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Mâgha, every year, the day when the learning is commenced, a great festival will be held and men, Manus, Devas, and the Munis desirous of liberation, Vasus, Yogis, Nâgas, Siddhas, Gandarbhas, Râksasas, all will perform your worship with devotion in every Kalpa till the time of Mahâ Pralaya comes. All are required to be Jitendriya (having their senses under control) and Samyamî (concentrating his mind, and with a religious vow) and they will invoke Thee on a jar or on books and then meditate according to what is stated in the Kanva S’âkhâ of Yajurveda and then worship and sing hymns to Thee. Thy Kavacha (an armour; a mystical syllable ** considered as a preservative like armour) is written on the bark of the Bhûrja tree and then with eight kinds of scents mingled with it is placed within a golden nut or ring named Mâduli and then held on the neck or on the right arm. The learned should recite Thy Stotras during worship. Thus saying, the Puran Brahmâ S’rî Krisna Himself worshipped the Devî Sarasvatî. Since then, Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes’a, Ananta Deva, Dharma, Sanaka and other Munîndras, all the Devas, Munis, all the kings and all the human beings are worshipping the Devî Sarasvatî. O Nârada! Thus the worship of the Eternal Devî is made extant in the three worlds.

30-31. Nârada said :– O Chief of the Knowers of the Vedas! Now describe to me the methods of worship, Dhyân, Kavacham, hymns, theappropriate offerings of the Pûjâ flowers, sandalpaste and other good things necessary in these worships and which are so sweet to hear. I am ever very eager and anxious to hear these.

32-59. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! I am now stating the method of worship of the Devî Sarasvatî, the Mother of the Worlds, according to Kanva S’âkhâ of the Yajurveda. Hear. On the day previous to the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Mâgh or the day of commencement of education, the devotee should control his senses, concentrate his mind and take his bath. Then he is to perform his daily duties and install the jar (Ghata) with devotion and according to the Mantras of the Kanva S’âkhâ or the Tantra, as the case may be. He is to worship first on that Ghata (jar) Ganapati (Ganes’a), then meditate the Devî Sarasvatî as described below, invoke Her and again read the Dhyân and then worship with Sodas’opachâra (sixteen good articles offered in the worship). O Good One! Now I am speaking, according to my knowledge, about the offerings as ordained in the Vedas or Tantras. Hear. Fresh butter, curd, thickened milk, rice freed from the husk by frying, sweetmeats (Til Laddu) prepared of Til, sugar cane, sugarcane juice, nice Gud (molasses), honey, svastik, sugar, rice (not broken) out of white Dhân, chipitak of table rice (Âlo châl), white Modak, Harbisyânna prepared of boiled rice with clarified butter and salt, Pistaka of jaoâ or wheaten flour, Paramânna with ghee, nectar like sweetmeats, cocoanut, cocoanut water, Svastik Pistaka, Svastik and ripe plantain Pistaka, Kaseru (root), Mûlâ, ginger, ripe plantains, excellent Bel fruit, the jujube fruit, and other appropriate white purified fruits of the season and peculiar to the place are to be offered in the Poojâ. O Nârada! White flowers of good scent, white sandalpaste of good scent, new white clothes, nice conchshell, nice garlands of white flowers, nice white necklaces, and beautiful ornament are to be given to the Devî. I say now the Dhyânam sweet to hear, of the Devî Sarasvatî according to the Vedas, capable to remove errors! Hear. I hereby bow down to the Devî Sarasvatî, of a white colour, of a smiling countenance and exceedingly beautiful, the lustre of whose body overpowers that of the ten millions of Moons, whose garment is purified by fire, in whose hands there are Vînâ and books, who is decorated with new excellent ornaments of jewels and pearls and whom Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes’vara and the other Devas, Munis, Manus and men constantly worship. Thus meditating the Devî, the intelligent persons should offer all articles, after pronouncing the root Mantra. Then he is to hymn and hold Kavacha and make Sâstânga pranâms before the Devî. O Muni! Those whose Devî Sarasvatî is the presiding Deity, are not to be spoken of at all (i.e., they will naturally do all these things and with a greater fervour). Besides all should worship the Devî Sarasvatî on the day of commencement of education and every year on the S’ûkla Panchamî day of the month of Mâgh. The eight-lettered Mantra, as mentioned in the Vedas is the root Mantra of Sarasvatî. (Aim Klîm Sarasvatyai namah). Or the Mantra to which each worshipper is initiated is his Mûlmantra (not Mantra). Or uttering the Mantra “S’rîm Hrîm Sarasvatyai Svâhâ” one is to offer everything to the Devî Sarasvatî. This Mantra is the Kalpa Vriksa (i. e., the tree which yields all desires). Nârâyana, the ocean of mercy, gave in ancient times, this very Mantra to Vâlmikî in the holy land Bhârata Varsa on the banks of the Ganges; next Bhrîgu gave this Mantra on the occasion of solar eclipse to Maharsi Sukrâcharya on the Puskara Tîrtha; Mârîcha gave to Brihaspati on a lunar eclipse; Brahmâ gave to Bhrîgu in the Vadarikâ Âs’rama; Jaratkarâ gave to Âstika on the shore of the Ksiroda ocean; Bibhândaka gave this to the intelligent Risyasringa on the Sumeru mountain, S’iva gave this to Kanâda and Gotama, Sûrya gave to Yâjñavalkya and Kâtyâyana, Ananta Deva gave to Pânini, to the intelligent Bhâradvâja and to S’âkatâyana in Bali’s assembly in the Pâtâla. If this Mantra be repeated four lakhs of times, all men attain success. And when they become Siddhas with this Mantra, they become powerful like Brihaspati. In past times, the Creator Brahmâ gave a Kavacha named Vis’vajaya to Bhrîgu on the Gandhamâdana Mountain. I now speak of that. Hear.

60-61. Once on a time Bhrîgu asked Brahmâ the Lord of all, and adored by all, thus :– “O Brahmân! Thou art the foremost of those that know the Vedas; there is none equal to thee in matters regarding the knowledge of the Vedas (so much so that there is nothing that is not known to thee; for all these have sprung from thee). Now say about the Vis’vajaya Kavacha of the Devî Sarasvatî, that is excellent, without any faults and embodying in it all the properties of all the Mantras.”

62-91. Brahmâ said :– “O Child! What you have asked about the Kavacha of Sarasvatî that is sweet to hear, ordained and worshipped by the Vedas, and the giver of all desired fruits, now hear of that. In the very beginning, the all-pervading S’rî Krisna, the Lord of the Râsa circle, mentioned this Kavacha to me in the holy Brindâvana forest in the abode Goloka at the time of Râsa in Râsa Mandala. This is very secret; it is full of holy unheard, wonderful Mantras. Reading this Kavacha and holding it (on one’s arm) Brihaspati has become foremost in matters of intelligence; by the force of this Kavacha S’ukrâchârya has got his ascendancy over the Daityas; the foremost Muni Vâlmikî has become eloquent and skilled in language and has become Kavîndra and Svâyambhuva Manu; holding this Kavacha he has become honoured everywhere. Kanâda, Gotama, Kanva, Panini, S’akatâyana, Daksa, and Kâtyâyana all have become great authors by virtue of this Kavacha; Krisna Dvaipâyana Veda Vyâsa made the classification of the Vedas and composed the eighteen Purânas. S’âtâtapa, Samvarta, Vas’istha, Parâsara and Yâjñavalkya had become authors by holding and reading this Sarasvatî Kavacha. Risyas’ringa, Bhâradvâja, Âstika, Devala, Jaigisavya, and Yâyâti all were honoured everywhere by virtue of this Kavacha. O Dvija! The Prajâpati Himself is the Risi of this Kavacha; Brihatî is its Chhanda; and S’âradâ Ambikâ is its presiding Deity. Its application (Viniyoga) is in the acquisition of spiritual knowlege, in the fruition of any desires or necessities, in composing poems or anywhere wheresoever success is required. May S’rîm Hrîm Sarasvatyai Svâhâ protect fully my head; S’rîm Vâgdevatâyai Svâhâ, my forehead; Om Hrîm Sarasvatyai Svâhâ, my ears always; Om S’rîm Hrîm Bhagabatyai Sarasvatyai Svâhâ always my eyes; Aim Hrîm Vâgvâdinyai Svâhâ, always my nose; Om Hrîm Vidyadhisthâtrî Devyai Svâhâ, my lips always; Om S’rîm Hrîm Brahmyai Svâhâ my rows of teeth; Aim, this single letter protect my neck; Om S’rîm Hrîm my throat; S’rîm, my shoulders, Om Hrîm Vidyâdhisthâtrî Devyai Svâhâ, always my chest; Om Hrîm Vidyadhisvarûpâyai Svâhâ my navel; Om Hrîm Klîm Vânyai Svâhâ my hands; Om Svarva vârnatmî Kâyai Svâhâ my feet; and let Om Vâgadhisthâtridevyai Svâhâ protect all my body. Let Om Sarvakanthavâsinyai Svâhâ protect my east; Let Om Svarvajibhâgra vâsinyai Svâhâ, the South-east; Om Aim Hrîm S’rîm Klîm Sarasvatyai budhajananyai Svâhâ, my South; Aim Hrîm S’rîm, this three lettered Mantra my South-west; Om Aim Jhibhagravâsinyai Svâhâ, my West; Om Svarvam bikâyai Svâhâ, my North west; Om Aim S’rîm Klîm Gadyavâsinyai Svâhâ my North; Aim Sarvas’âstra vasinyai Svâhâ, my North-east; Om Hrîm Sarvapujitayai Svâhâ, my top; Hrîm Pustakavasinyai Svâhâ my below and let Om Grantha vîjasvarupâyai Svâhâ protect all my sides. O Nârada! This Vis’vajaya Kavacha of the nature of Brahmâ and its embodied Mantra I have now spoken to you. I heard this before from the mouth of Dharma Deva in the Gandhâmâdana mountain. Now I speak this to you out of my great affection for you. But never divulge this to anybody. One is worship one’s spiritual Teacher (Guru Deva) according to due rites and ceremonies with clothings, ornaments, and sandalpaste and then fall down prostrate to him and then hold this Kavacha. Repeating this five lakhs of times, one gets success and becomes a Siddha. The holder of this Kavacha becomes intelligent like Brihaspati, eloquent, Kavîndras, and the conqueror of the three worlds, no sooner one becomes a Siddlha in this. In fact, he can conquer everything by virtue of this Kavacha. O Muni! Thus I have described to you this Kavacha according to Kânva S’âkhâ. Now I am speaking about the method of worship, Dhyâna and the praise of this Kavacha. Hear.

Here ends the Fourth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the hymn, worship and Kavacha of Sarasvatî Devî in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter V

On Sarasvatî stotra by Yâjñavalkya

1-5 Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! I now describe the Stotra (hymn) of Sarasvatî Devî, yielding, all desires that Yâjñavalkya, the best of the Risis recited in days of yore to Her. The Muni Yajñavalkya forgot all the Vedas out of the curse of Guru and with a very sad heart went to the Sun, the great merit-giving place. There he practised austerities for a time when the Lolâkhya Sun became visible to him, when, being overpowered by great sorrow, he began to cry repeatedly; and then he sang hymns to him. Then Bhagavân Sûrya Deva became pleased and taught him all the Vedas with their Amgas (limbs) and said :– “O Child! Now sing hymns to Sarasvatî Devî that you get back your memory.” Thus saying, the Sun disappeared. The Muni Yâjñavalkya finished his bath and with his heart full of devotion began to sing hymns to the Vâg Devî, the Goddess of Speech.

6-32. Yâjñavalkya said :– “Mother! Have mercy on me. By Guru’s curse, my memory is lost; I am now void of learning and have become powerless; my sorrow knows no bounds. Give me knowledge, learning, memory, power to impart knowledge to disciples, power to compose books, and also good disciples endowed with genius and Pratibhâ (ready wit). So that in the council of good and learned men my intelligence and power of argument and judgment be fully known. Whatever I lost by my bad luck, let all that come back to my heart and be renewed as if the sprouts come again out of the heaps of ashes. O Mother! Thou art of the nature of Brahmâ, superior to all; Thou art of the nature of Light, Eternal; Thou art the presiding Deity of all the branches of learning. So I bow down again and again to Thee. O Mother! The letters Anusvâra, Visarga and Chandravindu that are affixed, Thou art those letters. So obeisance to Thee! O Mother! Thou art the exposition (Vyâkhyâ) of the S’âstras; Thou art the presiding Deity of all the expositions and annotations. Without Thee no mathematician can count anything. So Thou art the numbers to count time; Thou art the S’akti by which Siddhântas (definite conclusions) are arrived at; Thus Thou dost remove the errors of men. So again and again obeisance to Thee. O Mother! Thou art the S’akti, memory, knowledge, intelligence, Pratibhâ, and imagination (Kalpanâ). So I bow down again and again to Thee. Sanatkumâra fell into error and asked Brahmâ for solution. He became unable to solve the difficulties and remained speechless like a dumb person. Then S’rî Krisna, the Highest Self arriving there, said :– O Prajâpati! Better praise and sing hymns to the Goddess of speech; then your desires will be fulfilled. Then the four-faced Brahmâ advised by the Lord, praised the Devî Sarasvatî; and, by Her grace, arrived at a very nice Siddhânta (conclusion). One day the goddess Earth questioned one doubt of Her to Ananta Deva, when He being unable to answer, remained silent like a dumb person. At last He became afraid; and advised by Kas’yapa, praised Thee when He resolved the doubt and came to a definite conclusion. Veda Vyâsa once went to Vâlmîki and asked him about some Sûtras of the Purânas when the Muni Vâlmîki got confounded and remembered Thee, the Mother of the world. When by Thy Grace, the Light flashed within him and his error vanished. Thereby he became able to solve the question. Then Vyâsadeva, born of the parts of S’rî Krisna, heard about the Purâna Sûtras from Vâlmîki’s mouth and came to know about Thy glory. He then went to Puskara Tîrtha and became engaged in worshipping Thee, the Giver of Peace, for one hundred years. Then Thou didst become pleased and grant him the boon when he ascended to the rank of the Kavîndra (Indra amongst the poets). He then made the classification of the Vedas and composed the eighteen Purânas. When Sadâ S’iva was questioned on some spiritual knowledge by Mahendra, He thought of Thee for a moment and then answered. Once Indra asked Brihaspati, the Guru of the Devas, about S’abda S’âstra (Scriptures on sound). He became unable to give any answer. So he went to Puskara Tîrtha and worshipped Thee for a thousand years according to the Deva Measure and he became afterwards able to give instructions on S’abda S’âstra for one thousand divine years to Mahendra. O Sures’varî! Those Munis that give education to their disciples or those that commence their own studies remember Thee before they commence their works respectively. The Munîndras, Manus, men, Daityendras, and Immortals, Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a all worship Thee and Sing hymns to Thee. Visnu ultimately becomes inert when He goes on praising Thee by His thousand mouths. So Mahâ Deva becomes when he praises by His five mouths; and so Brahmâ by His four mouths. When great personages so desist, then what to speak of me, who is an ordinary mortal having one mouth only!” Thus saying, the Maharsi Yâjñavalkya, who had observed fasting, bowed down to the Devî Sarasvatî with great devotion and began to cry frequently. Then the Mahâmâyâ Sarasvatî, of the nature of Light could not hide Herself away. She became visible to him and said “O Child! You be good Kavîndra (Indra of the poets).” Granting him this boon, She went to Vaikuntha. He becomes a good poet, eloquent, and intelligent like Brihaspati who reads this stotra of Sarasvatî by Yâjñavalkya. Even if a great illiterate reads this Sarasvatî stotra for one year, he becomes easily a good Pundit, intelligent, and a good poet.

Here ends the Fifth Chapter of the Ninth Book on Sarasvatî stotra by Yâjñavalkya in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter VI

On the coming in this world of Laksmî, Gangâ and Sarasvatî

1-10. Nârâyana said :– “O Nârada! Sarasvatî lives always in Vaikuntha close to Nârada. One day a quarrel arose with Gangâ, and by Her curse, Sarasvatî came in parts as a river here in this Bhârata. She is reckoned in Bhârata as a great sanctifiying holy and merit-giving river. The good persons serve Her always, residing on Her banks. She is the Tapasyâ and the fruit thereof of the ascetics. She is like the burning fire to the sins of the sinners. Those that die in Bhârata on the Sarasvatî waters with their full consciousness, live for ever in Vaikuntha in the council of Hari. Those that bathe in the Sarasvatî waters, after committing sins, become easily freed of them and live for a long, long time in Visnu-Loka. If one bathes even once in the Sarasvatî waters, during Châturmâsya (a vow that lasts four months), in full moon time, in Aksyayâ or when the day ends, in Vyatîpâta Yoga, in the time of eclipse or on any other holy day or through any other concomitant cause or even without any faith and out of sheer disregard, one is able to go to Vaikuntha and get the nature of S’rî Hari. If one repeats the Sarasvatî Mantra, residing on the banks of the Sarasvatî, for one month, a great illiterate can become a great poet. There is no doubt in this. Once shaving one’s head, if one resides on the banks of the Sarasvatî, daily bathes in it, one will have not to meet with the pain of being again born in the womb. O Nârada! Thus I have described a little of the unbounded glories of Bhârata that give happiness and the fruits of all desires.”

11. Sûta said :– “O Saunaka! The Muni Nârada hearing thus, asked again at that very moment to solve his doubts. I am now speaking of that. Hear.”

12-15. Nârada said :– “O Lord! How did the Devî Sarasvatî quarrel with the Devî Gangâ and how did she by Her curse turn out in India, into a holy river in giving virtues. I am becoming more and more eager and impatient to hear about this critical incident. I do not find satiety in drinking your nectar-like words. Who finds satiety in getting his good weal? Why did Gangâ curse Sarasvatî, worshipped everywhere. Gangâ is also full of Sattva Gunas. She always bestows good and virtue to all. Both of them are fiery and it is pleasant to hear the cause of quarrels between those two. These are very rarely found in the Purânas. So you ought to describe that to me.”

16-21. Nârâyana said :– Hear, O Nârada! I will now describe that incident, the hearing of which removes all the sins. Laksmî, Sarasvatî and Gangâ, the three wives of Hari and all equally loved, remain always close to Hari. One day Gangâ cast side-long glances frequently towards Nârâyana and was eagerly looking at Him, with smile on Her lips. Seeing this, the Lord Nârâyana, startled and looked at Gangâ and smiled also. Laksmî saw that, but she did not take any offence. But Sarasvatî became very angry. Padmâ (Laksmî) who was of Sattva Guna, began to console in various ways the wrathful Sarasvatî; but she could not be appeased by any means. Rather Her face became red out of anger; she began to tremble out of her feelings (passion); Her lips quivered; and She began to speak to Her husband.

22-38. The husband that is good, religious, and well qualified looks on his all the wives equally; but it is just the opposite with him who is a cheat. O Gadâdhara! You are partial to Gangâ; and so is the case with Laksmî. I am the only one that is deprived of your love. It is, therefore, that Gangâ and Padmâ are in love with each other; for you love Padmâ. So why shall not Padmâ bear this contrary thing! I am only unfortunate. What use is there in holding my life? Her life is useless, who is deprived of her husband’s love. Those that declare you, of Sattva Gunas, ought not to be ever called Pundits. They are quite illiterate; they have not the least knowledge of the Vedas. They are quite impotent to understand the nature of your mind. O Nârada! Hearing Sarasvatî’s words and knowing that she had become very angry, Nârâyana thought for a moment and then went away from the Zenana outside. When Nârâyana had thus gone away, Sarasvatî became fearless and began to abuse Gangâ downright out of anger in an abusive language, hard to hear :– “O Shameless One! O Passionate One! What pride do you feel for your husband? Do you like to show that your husband loves you much? I will destroy your pride today. I will see today, it will be seen by others also, what your Hari can do for you?” Saying thus Sarasvatî rose up to catch hold of Gangâ by Her hairs violently. Padmâ intervened to stop this. Sarasvatî became very violent and cursed Laksmî :– “No doubt you will be turned into a tree and into a river. In as much as seeing this undue behaviour of Gangâ, you do not step forward to speak anything in this assembly, as if you are a tree or a river.” Padmâ did not become at all angry, even when she heard of the above curse. She became sorry and, holding the hands of Sarasvatî, remained silent. Then Gangâ became very angry; Her lips began to quiver frequently. Seeing the mad fiery nature of the red-eyed Sarasvatî, she told Laksmî :– “O Padme! Leave that wicked foul-mouthed woman. What will she do to me? She presides over speech and therefore likes always to remain with quarrels. Let Her shew Her force how far can she quarrel with me. She wants to test the strength of us. So leave Her. Let all know today our strength and prowess.”

39-44. Thus saying, Gangâ became ready to curse Sarasvatî and addressing Laksmî, said :– “O Dear Padme! As that woman has cursed you to become a river, so I too curse her, that she, too, be turned into a river and she would go to the abode of men, the sinners, to the world and take their heaps of sins.” Hearing this curse of Gangâ, Sarasvatî gave her curse, “You, too, will have to descend into the Bhurloka (the world) as a river, taking all the sins of the sinners.” O Nârada! While there was going on this quarrel, the four-armed omniscient Bhagavân Hari came up there accompanied by four attendants of His, all four-armed, and took Sarasvatî in His breast and began to speak all the previous mysteries. Then they came to know the cause of their quarrels and why they cursed one another and all became very sorry. At that time Bhagavân Hari told them one by one :–

45-67. O Laksmî! Let you be born in parts, without being born in any womb, in the world as the daughter in the house of the King Dharma-dhvaja. You will have to take the form of a tree there, out of this evil turn of fate. There S’ankhachûda, the Indra of the Asuras, born of my parts will marry you. After that you will come back here and be my wife as now. There is no doubt in this. You will be named Tulasî, the purifier of the three worlds, in Bhârata. O Beautiful One! Now go there quickly and be a river in your parts under the name Padmâvatî. O Gange! You will also have to take incarnation in Bhârata as a river, purifying all the worlds, to destroy the sins of the inhabitants of Bhârata. Bhagiratha will take you there after much entreating and worshipping you; and you will be famous by the name Bhagirathî, the most sanctifying river in the world. There, the Ocean born of my parts, and the King S’ântanu also born of my parts will be your husbands. O Bharatî! Let you go also and incarnate in part in Bhârata under the curse of Gangâ. O Good-natured One! Now go in full Amsas to Brahmâ and become His wife. Let Gangâ go also in Her fullness to S’iva. Let Padmâ remain with Me. Padmâ is of a peaceful nature, void of anger, devoted to Me and of a Sâttvika nature. Chaste, good-natured, fortunate, and religious woman like Padmâ are very rare. Those women that are born of the parts of Padmâ are all very religious and devoted to their husbands. They are peaceful and good-natured and worshipped in every universe. It is forbidden, nay, opposed to the Vedas, to keep three wives, three servants, three friends of different natures, at one place. They never conduce to any welfare. They are the fruitful sources of all jealousies and quarrels. Where, in any family females are powerful like men and males are submissive to females, the birth of the male is useless. At his every step, he meets with difficulties and bitter experiences. He ought to retire to the forest whose wife is foul-mouthed, of bad birth and fond of quarrels. The great forest is better for him than his house. That man does not get in his house any water for washing his feet, or any seat to sit on, or any fruit to eat, nothing whatsoever; but in the forest, all these are not unavailable. Rather to dwell amidst rapacious animals or to enter into fire than remain with a bad wife. O Fair One! Rather the pains of the disease or venom are bearable, but the words of a bad wife are hard to bear. Death is far better than that. Those that are under the control of their wives, know that they never get their peace of mind until they are laid on their funeral pyres. They never see the fruits of what they daily do. They have no fame anywhere, neither in this world nor in the next. Ultimately the fruit is this:– that they have to go to hell and remain there. His life is verily a heavy burden who is without any name or fame. Never it is for the least good that many co-wives remain at one place. When, by taking one wife only a man does not become happy, then imagine, how painful it becomes to have many wives. O Gange! Go to S’iva. O Sarasvatî! Go to Brahmâ. Let the good-natured Kamalâ, residing on the lotus remain with Me. He gets in this world happiness and Dharma and in the next Mukti whose wife is chaste and obedient. In fact he is Mukta, pure and happy whose wife is chaste; and he whose wife is foul-natured, is rendered impure unhappy and dead whilst he is living.

Here ends the Sixth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the coming in this world of Laksmî, Gangâ and Sarasvatî in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter VII

On the curses of Gangâ, Sarasvatî and Laksmî

1-2. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! Thus saying, the Lord of the World stopped. And Laksmî, Gangâ and Sarasvatî wept bitterly, embracing one another. All of them then looked to S’rî Krisna, and gave vent to their feelings one by one with tears in their eyes, and with their hearts throbbing with fears and sorrows.

3-4. Sarasvatî said :– “O Lord! What is now, the way out of this curse, so severe and paining since our births? How long can helpless women live, separated from their husbands? O Lord! I certainly say that I will sacrifice my body when I go to Bhârata, by taking recourse to yoga. The Mahâtmâs always protect all the persons without fail.”

5-6. Gangâ said :– “O Lord of the Universe! Why have I been abandoned by You. What fault have I committed? I will quit my body. And You will have to partake of the sin due to the killing of an innocent woman. He is surely to go to hell even if he be the Lord of all, who forsakes in this world an innocent wife.”

7-15. Padmâ said :– “O Lord! Thou art of the nature of Sattva Guna in fullness; what wonder, then, how Thou hast become angry! However let Thou be pleased now with Sarasvatî and Gangâ. Forgiveness is the best quality of a good husband. I am ready just now to go to Bhârata when Sarasvatî has cursed me. But tell me, how long I will have to stay there? After how many days I shall be able to see again Thy lotus-feet? The sinners will wash away their dirts of sins in my waters by their constant baths and ablutions? By what means shall I be freed again and get back to Thy lotus-feet. How long shall I have to remain in my part, the daughter of Dharma Dhvaja, at the expiry of which I will be able to see Thee again? How long shall I have to assume the form of Tulasî tree, the abode of Thine. O Thou, the Ocean of mercy! Say, when wilt Thou deliver me? And if Gangâ have to go to Bhârata, by the curse of Bhârata, when shall She be freed of the curse and sin and when shall She see back Thy feet? Again if Sarasvatî have to go to Bhârata out of Gangâ’s curse, when will that period of curse expire? How many days after shall She be able to come back to Thy feet? Now, be pleased to cancel Thy order for them to go to Brahmâ and S’iva respectively.” O Nârada! Thus speaking to Jagannâtha, the Devî Kamalâ bowed down at His feet and embracing them by Her own hairs of the bead, cried frequently.

16-37. Now the lotus-navelled Hari, always eager to shew favour to the devotees, smiled and with a gracious heart took up Padmâ on His breast and said :– “O Sures’varî! I will keep my own word, also I will act according as you like. O Lotus-eyed! Hear. How the two ends can be made to meet. Let Sarasvatî go in her one part to have the form of a river and in her one half part to Brahmâ and remain with me in Vaikuntha in Her full parts. Gangâ will have to go in one part to Bhârata – to purify the three worlds as she will be urged eagerly to do so by Bhagiratha. And She will remain in her one part in the matted hair of Chandra S’ekhara (the Mahâdeva with Moon on his forehead), obtained with a great difficulty, and so will remain there purer than her natural pure state. And let her remain with me in full parts. O Padme! O Lovely-eyed One! You are most innocent; so part of your part will go to Bhârata and be the Padmâvatî river and you will be the Tulasî tree. After the expiry of five thousand years of Kali Yuga, your curse will expire. Again you all will come to My abode. O Padme! Calamities are the causes of the happiness of the embodied beings. Without dangers no one can understand the true nature of happiness. The saint worshippers of My mantra who will perform their ablutions in your water will free you all of your curse by touch and sight. O Fair One! By the sight and touch (Darsan, Spars’an) of My bhaktas (devotees), all the sacred places of pilgrimages in the world will be purified. For uplifting and sanctifying the holy earth, My mantropâsakas, i.e., S’aivas, S’aktas, Gânapatyas, etc., that are devoted to Brahmâ all are residing in Bhârata. Where My Bhaktas reside and wash their feet, that place is undoubtedly reckoned as the holy places of pilgrimages. So much so that by the sight and touch of My devotees, the murderer of a woman, of a cow, of a Brâhmin, the treacherous and even the stealer of the wife of one’s Guru will be sanctified and liberated while living. Those who do not perform the vow of Ekâdas’î, who do not perform Sandhyâs, who are Nâstikas (atheists), the murderers, all are free of their sins by the sight and touch of My devotees. By the sight and touch of My devotees, those who live on their swords, pens, and the royal officials, the beggars in a village and the Brâhmanas who carry (deal in) bullocks are also freed of their sins. The traitors, the mischief makers of their friends, those who give false evidence, those that steal other’s trust properties, are also freed of their sins by the sight and touch of My devotees. Those who are foul-mouthed, bastards, the husbands and sons of unchaste women are all purified by the sight and touch of My Bhaktas. The Brâhmin cooks of S’ûdras, Brâhmins of an inferior order (who subsist upon the offerings made to the images which he attends), the village mendicants, those who are not initiated by their Gurus, these all are purified by the sight and touch of My devotees. O Fair One! The sins of those persons who do not maintain their fathers, mothers, brothers, wives, sons, daughters, sisters, the blind, friends, the families of the Gurus, the fathers-in-law, the mothers-in-law are also removed by the sight and touch of My devotees. Those that cut the As’vattha trees, that slander My devotees, and the Brâhmins that eat the food of S’ûdras, are also freed of their sins. Those who steal the Deva’s articles, the Brâhmana’s articles, those that sell lac, iron, and daughters, those who commit Mahâ Pâtakas (Brahmâhatyâ, Surâpânam, Steyam, Gurbanganâganah, Mahânti pâtakânyâhuh, tatsam-sargahseha Pañchamam) and those that burn the S’ûdrâ’s dead bodies, these also are freed of their respective sins by the sight and touch of My devotees.”

38-42. Mahâ Laksmî said :– “O Thou gracious to faithful attendants! What are the characteristics, the marks of those Bhaktas of Thine that Thou hast spoken of just now whose sight and touch destroy instantly the Mahâpâtakas (five great sins), that are destroyed after a long time by the water of the Tîrthas and the earthen and stone images of the Gods. The sins of the vilest of men, devoid of Hari bhakti, vain and egoistic, cheats, hvpocrites, slanderers of saints, vicious souls are destroyed by your Bhaktas, whose touch and ablations sanctify the sacred places of pilgrimages; by the touch of the dust and water of whose feet, the earth is purified; whom the Bhaktas of Bhârata always pray to see; and there is nothing higher than the meeting of those Bhaktas.” Sûta said :– “O Great Risi! Thus hearing the words of Mahâ Laksmî, the Lord smiled and began to speak about the secret things or the marks of the Bhaktas.”

43-54. O Laksmî! The marks of the Bhaktas are all mentioned very hiddenly in S’rutis and Purânas. These are very sanctifying; destructive of sins, giving happiness, devotion, and liberation. These are never to be described to deceitful persons; these are the essences and to be kept hidden. But you are very simple and like my life. I therefore speak to you. Hear. O Fair One! All the Vedas declare him to be holy and the best of men, in whose ears are pronounced from the mouth of a Guru, the Visnu mantra. At the very moment of his being born into this world, one hundred generations back of that person, whether they be at that time in heaven or hell, get instantaneous liberation and if any of them happen to be born then as Jîvas, they become liberated at once while living and finally get Visnupadam (the place of Visnu). That mortal is My Bhakta (devotee) who is full of devotion to Me, who always repeats My glories and acts according to My directions, who hears with all his heart My topics, and hearing which, whose mind dances with joy, whose voice gets choked and tears incessantly flow out from whose eyes, who loses his outward consciousness. Such a man is indeed, My Bhakta. My Bhaktas do not long for happiness or Mukti, or the four states Sâlokya, Sâyujya, Sâmîpya and Sârstî, nor the Brahmâhood, nor the Devahood (the state of immortality); they want only to do Sevâ (service) to Me and they are solely intent on doing this. Even in dreams they do not desire the Indraship, Manuship, the state of Brahmâ so very difficult to be had; nor do they want the enjoyment of kingdoms and heavens. My Bhaktas roam in Bhârata, eager to hear My glories, and always very glad to recite My sweet glorious deeds. The birth of such Bhaktas in Bhârata is very rare. They purify the world and go ultimately to My abode, the best of all Tîrthas (sacred places). Thus I have spoken O Padme! all that you wanted to hear. Now do as you like. Then Gangâ and others all went to obey the order of Srî Hari, Who went to His own abode.

Here ends the Seventh Chapter of the Ninth Book on the curses Gangâ, Sarasvatî, and Laksmî and the way to freedom thereof in the Mahâpurânam S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter VIII

On the greatness of Kali

1-110. Nârâyana said :– A part of Sarasvatî descended in this Bhârata Punya Bhûmi (land of merits), owing to the curse of Gangâ; and She remained in full in Visnu’s region, the abode of Vaikuntha. She is named Bhâratî, on account of Her coming to Bhârata; she is called Brâhmî because she is dear to Brahmâ; and She is called Vânî as She presides over Speech. Hari is seen everywhere, in tanks, in wells, in running streams (i.e., in Saras). Because He resides in Saras, therefore He is called Sarasvân. Vânî is the S’akti of that Sarasvân; therefore She is denominated Sarasvatî. The river Sarasvatî is a very sacred Tîrtha. She is the burning fire to the fuel of sins, of sinners. O Nârada! Through the curse of Sarasvatî, the Devî Gangâ also assumed the form of a river in part. She was brought down to this earth at the request of Bhagîratha. Hence she is called Bhâgirathî. While Gangâ was rushing down to the earth S’iva capable to bear the great rush of Her, held Her on His head at the request of the Mother Earth. Laksmî also, through the curse of Sarasvatî came in part of parts Bhârata as the river Padmâvatî. But She remained in full with Hari. Laksmî appeared also in Her other part as the well-known daughter Tulasî of the king Dharmadhvaja in India. Last of all, through Bhâratî’s curse and by the command of S’rî Hari, she turned into the Tulasî tree, purifying the whole world. Remaining for five thousand years of Kali, all them will quit their river appearances and go back to Hari. By the command of S’rî Hari, all the Tîrthas save Kâsî and Bindrâban will go along with them to Vaikuntha. Next at the expiry of the ten thousand years of Kali, S’âlagrâma S’ilâ (the stone piece worshipped as Nârâyana) S’iva, and S’iva S’akti and Purusottama Jagannâtha will leave the soil of Bhârata and go to their respective places, (i.e. the Mâhâtmyas of those will be extinct from Bhârata). There will then cease to be the saints of S’iva S’âkta, Gânapatya and Vaisnava sects, (eighteen) Purânas, the blowing of conch shells (auspicious signs), S’râddhas, Tarpanas, and all the rites and ceremonies dictated by the Vedas. The worship and glorification of the Gods, the recitation of their praises, their names will be extinct. The Vedas with their Amgas will no longer be heard of. All these will disappear with them. The assembly of the Sâdhus, the true Dharma, the four Vedas, the village Devas and Devîs, the Vratas (vows) the practising of the austerities, fasting, all will disappear. All will be addicted to the Vâmâchâra ritual (the left-hand ritual Tântrik form of worship; sarcastically used in the sense of drinking wine and eating flesh, etc.) They will speak falsehood and be deceitful. If anybody worships, his worship will be void of Tulasî leaves. Almost all will be deceitful, cruel, vain, egoistic, thievish and mischievous. Men will be at variance with one another; women will be at variance with one another; no fear will exist in marriage ties. Properties will be only of those that will make them (i. e. there will cease to be any inheritance from father to son and so forth ). Husbands will be obedient to their wives; unchaste women will be in every house. Wives will rebuke their husbands by incessant noisings and chidings. Wives will be the sole mistresses of houses and husbands will stand before them as servants with folded palms. Fathers-in-law and mothers-in-law will be their servants. The brothers of wives, and their friends will be the managers of the household affairs. But there will be no friendship with one’s own class fellows. The brothers and friends of the house owners (masters of the house) will appear quite strangers as if they are new-comers. Without the command of the house-wives, the masters of the houses will be unable to do anything. The divisions of caste (Brâhmanâ, Ksattriya, Vaisya, and S’ûdra) will entirely disappear. Far from practising Sandhyâ Bandanam and other daily practices, the Brâhmanas will cease to hold the holy threads even on their bodies. The four colour-classes will practise the doings of the Mlechchas, read the S’âstras of the Mlechchas and forsake their own S’âstras. The Brâhmins, Ksattriyas, and Vais’yas will become the slaves of S’ûdras, will become their cooks, runners and carriers of buffaloes. Every one will be devoid of truth. Earth will not yield any grains; trees will not yield any fruits and women will be issueless. The cows will not yield milk; even if there be a little milk, ghee will not come out of it. The affection between husband and wife will die out and the families will be devoid of truth. The King will not wield any power; the subjects will be over burdened with taxes. The ever flowing big rivers, the petty streams, the caves of mountains all will gradually have very little water in them. The Four Varnas will be devoid of Dharma and Punya (merit, virtue). One in a lakh may be virtuous. Afterwards that too will cease. Men, women, boys, all will be ugly and deformed. They will utter bad words and vile sounds. Some villages and towns will be completely deserted by men and will look terrible; at some others few cottages with few inhabitants will be seen. Villages and towns will be jungles and jungles will become filled with men. The inhabitants of the forests will become heavily taxed and disconsolate. The beds of rivers and lakes will become dry owing to want of rains and will be cultivated. The Kulînas of high families will become very low. The whole earth will be filled with liars, untruthful cheats and hypocrites. The lands, though cultivated well, will yield grains in name. Those who are well known as the millionaires, they will become poor and those who are devoted to the Devas will be atheists. The towns folk will have no trace of mercy; rather they will hate and envy their neighbours and turn out murderers of men. In the Kali age, males and females will be everywhere, of a dwarfish stature, diseased, shortlived, and of very little youthful virility. The hairs will turn out grey no sooner the people reach their sixteenth year. And they will be very old when they become twenty years old. The girls of eight years will have menstruation and will become pregnant. They will deliver every year. Old age will attack them when they become sixteen years old. Some women will have their husbands and children living. Otherwise almost all will be barren, childless. The four Varnas will sell their daughters. The paramours of the mothers, wives, son’s wives, daughters, and sisters will be the source of support to them all. No one will be able, without money, to collect the merits by repeating the name of Hari. Persons will make gifts for name and fame and ultimately will take back what they had made as gifts. If there be any gifts made by one’s own self or by one’s forefathers or for a Deva purpose or for Brâhmins or for the families of the Gurus, there will not be found wanting attempts to take back those gifts. Some will go to daughters, some to mothers-in-law, some to the wives of sons, some to sisters, some to mothers of co-wives, some will go to the brother’s wives. In every house, those who are unfit to be mixed will be mixed with, excepting one’s mother. In Kali Yuga who is whose wife? And who is whose husband? There will be no certainty; who is whose subject and what village is to whom? There will be no surety that such a property belongs to such and such a man. All will turn out to be liars, licentious, thieves, envious of other’s wives, and murderers of men. In the houses of the Brâhmins, Ksattriyas, and Vais’yas, the three higher castes, the current of sin will flow. They will live by selling lac, iron, and salts prohibited by the S’âstras. The Brâhmins will drive buffaloes, burn the dead bodies of the S’ûdras, eat the food of the S’ûdras and go to unchaste women. There will be no more faith existing in the five Risi Yajñas. Almost every Brâhmin will not observe the vows of Amâvasyâ Nis’ipâlana. The holy threads will be cast away and the Sandhyâ Bandanam and cleanliness and good practices will cease altogether. The unchaste women who deal in giving loans, etc., and live on interests and the procuresses during menstruation will cook in Brâhmin families. There will be no distinction of food, no distinction of wombs, no distinction of Âs’ramas, and no distinction of persons. All will turn out Mlechchas. O Nârada! Thus, when the Kali will have its full play, the whole world will be filled with Mlechchas, the trees will be one hand high and the men will be of the size of a thumb. Then the most powerful Bhagavân Nârâyana will incarnate in His part in the house of a Brâhmin named Visnujas’â as his son. Mounted on a long horse, holding a long sword He will make the world free of the Mlechchas in three nights. Then he will disappear from the face of the Earth and She will be without any sovereign and be filled with robbers. There will be incessant rain, for six nights and it will rain and rain and the whole earth will be deluged; no traces of men, houses, and trees. After this the Twelve Suns will rise simultaneously and by their rays the whole water will be dried up and the earth will become level. Thus the dreadful Kali will pass away when the Satya Yuga will come back, Tapasyâ and the true religion and Sattva Guna will prevail again. The Brâhmins will practise Tapasyâ, they will be devoted to Dharma and the Vedas. The women will be chaste and religious in every house. Again the wise and intelligent Ksattriyas devoted to the Brâhmanas will occupy the royal thrones and their might, devotion to Dharma and love for good deeds will increase. The Vais’yas will again go on with their trades and their devotion to their trade and the Brâhmins will be reestablished. The S’ûdras, too, will be again virtuous, and serve the Brâhmins. Again the Brâhmins, Ksattriyas, and Vais’yas and their families will have Bhakti towards the Devî, be initiated in Devî Mantras and all will meditate on the Devî. Again there will be spread the knowledge of the Vedas, the Smritis, and the Purânas, all will go to their wives in menstruation periods. No Adharma (unrighteousness) will exist and the Dharma will reign in full, with all the parts (Kalâs) complete. When the Tretâ Yuga comes, the Dharma will be three footed; when the Dvâpara Yuga will come; the Dharma will be two-footed and when Kali will begin, the Dharma will be one-footed, and when Kali will reign supreme, no Dharma will exist, even in name. (O Nârada! Now I will speak of time.) The seven days of the week, Sunday, &c., the sixteen tithis, Pratipada &c., the twelve months Vais’âkha &c., the six seasons Summer, &c., the two fortnights (dark and bright) and the two Ayanas (Northern and Southern) are rendered in vogue. One day consists of four Praharas, one night consists of four Praharas; a day and a night constitute one so-called day. Thirty such days make one month. In the computation of time, five kinds of years (Varsas) were already mentioned (in the 8th Skandha). As the Satya, Tretâ, Dvâpara and Kali roll on turn by turn, so the days, months and years also roll on in turn. One day, according to the Devas, is equal to one year, according to men; three hundred and sixty human Yugas equal to one Deva Yuga. Seventy-one Deva Yugas make one Manvantara. The life period of Indra, the Lord of S’achî, is one Manvantara. Twenty-eight Indras’ lives equal to one day of Hiranyagarbha (the golden wombed) Brahmâ. One hundred and eight such years equal to the life of one Brahmâ. When this Brahmâ dies, there is the Prâkrita Pralaya. The earth is not visible then. (The dissolution of Prakriti takes place.) The whole Brâhmanda is deluged by water; Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes’vara and the other wise Risis get diluted in Para Brahmâ whose substance is all truth and consciousness. That time, the Prakriti Devî, too, gets merged in Para Brahmâ. The fall of Brahmâ and the dissolution of Prakriti are called the Prâkrita Pralaya. The duration of this Pralaya is one Nimesa of the Para Brahmâ Mûla Prakriti united with Mâyâ. All the Brâhmandas (universes) are destroyed at this time. When this Nimesa expires, the creation begins again in due order. So one cannot count the endless numbers of times when this creation and dissolution work are going on. So who can tell how many kalpas had past away, or how many Kalpas will come, how many Brâhmandas were created or how many Brâhmandas will be created. Who will be able to count how many Brahmâs, how many Visnus or how many Mahes’varas there have been. But One and Only One Para Brahmâ Parames’vara (the Great God) is The Supreme Lord of these countless Brâhmandas. The Parames’vara of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss is the Highest Spirit of all. All others, Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes’vara the Great Virât, the Smaller Virât, all are His parts. This Brahmâ is Mûlâ Prakriti and from That has appeared S’rî Krisna, the Lord of his left half which is woman (Ardha Nârîs’vara). It is She that divided Herself into two forms; in Her one form, She resides as the two armed Krisna in the region of Goloka; and as the four-armed Nârâyana in Vaikuntha. All the things from Brahmâ, the Highest, to the mere grass the lowest, all are originated from Prakriti. And all the Prakriti-born things are transient. Thus the True, Eternal Para Brahmâ, beyond the three gunas, the Source of all creation, Whose substance is All-Will is the Only Substance beyond the region of Prakriti. He is without Upâdhis (conditions, as time, space, causation and attributes); He is without any form; and the forms that He assumes, they are for shewing His Grace to the devotees only. The Lotus-born Brahmâ is able by His Power of Knowledge to create the Brâhmanda. It is by His Grace that S’iva, the Lord of the yogis is named Mrityumjaya (the Conqueror of Death), the Destoyer of all, and the Knower of all Tattvas. By His Tapas, S’iva has realised Para Brahmâ and therefore has become the Lord of all, All-knowing, endowed with great Vibhûtis (lordly powers), the seer of all, omnipresent, the protector of all, the bestower of all prosperities. The devotion and service towards Para Brahmâ have alone made S’rî Visnu the Lord of all; and it is through the power of Para Brahmâ, that Mahâmâyâ Prakriti Devî has become omnipotent and the Goddess of all. Bhagavatî Durgâ has got His Grace by Her devotion and service to Him and has become Mûla Prakriti of the nature of Being, Consciousness and Bliss. And so has the Devî Sâvitrî, the Mother of the Vedas, become the presiding Deity of the Vedas and She is worshipped by the Brâhmanas and the Knowers of the Vedas. That She presides over all the branches of knowledge, is worshipped by all the learned assemblies and by the whole Universe is the result only of worshipping the Prakriti Devî. That Laksmî has become the bestower of all wealth and the presiding Deity of all the villages and the mistress of all, worshipped by all and the bestower of sons to all is also the result of worshipping Her. Thus it is through the worship of Prakriti that Durgâ, the Destroyer of all calamities and troubles has appeared from the left side of S’rî Krisna; and Râdhâ has become the presiding Deity of His Prâna (vital airs), and She is worshipped by all and possessed of all knowledge. It is by the worship of S’akti that Râdhikâ has so much excelled in love, has become the presiding Deity of the prâna of Krisna, has got love and respect, has been placed on His breast and is exceedingly beautiful. With the object of getting Krisna for her husband, She practised severe austerities for one thousand Deva years on the mountain S’atas’ringa in Bhârata to get the Mûla Prakriti’s Grace. And when the S’akti Mûla Prakriti became graciously pleased towards Her, S’rî Krisna seeing Râdhikâ increasing in beauty like the Crescent Moon took Her to His breast and out of tenderness wept and granted Her highest boons so very rare to others and said :– O Beautiful One! You better remain always in My breast and devoted to Me amongs all my wives; let you be superior to them all in good fortune, respect, love and glory. From today you are my greatest best wife. I will love you as the best amongst them all. O Dear! Always I will be submissive to you and fulfil what you say. Thus saying, S’rî Krisna selected her as his wife without any co-wives and made Her dear to His Heart. The other Devîs besides the five Prakritis, already mentioned, also derived superiorities by serving Mûla Prakriti. O Muni! What shall I say, everyone reaps the fruits as he practises Tapasyâ. Bhagavati Durgâ practised on the Himâlyâs tapasyâ for one thousand Deva years and meditated on the lotus-feet of Mûla Prakriti and so has come to be worshipped by all. The Devî Sarasvatî practised Tapasyâ for one lakh Deva years and is come to be respected by all. The Devî Laksmî practised Tapasyâ at Puskara for one hundred Divine Yugas and, by the Grace of Mûla Prakriti has become the bestower of wealth to all. The Devî Savitrî worshipped S’akti for sixty thousand divine years in the Malaya mountain and is respected and worshipped by all. O Bibhu! Brahmâ, Visnu, and Mahes’vara worshipped S’akti for one hundred Manvantaras and so have become the Preservers, etc., of this world. S’rî Krisna practised for ten Manvantaras terrible austerities and therefore obtained his position in the region of Goloka and is remaining there today in greatest bliss. Dharma Deva worshipped S’akti with devotion for ten Manvantaras and has become the lives of all, worshipped by all, and the receptacle of all. O Muni! Thus all, whether the Devîs, Devas, Munis, Kings, Brâhmanas, all have got their respect in this world by the worship of S’akti. O Devarsi! I have thus described to you all that I heard from the mouth of my Guru, in accordance with the rules of the Vedas. What more do you want to hear?

Here ends the Eighth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the Greatness of Kali in the Mahâ Purânam Srîmad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter IX

On the origin of the S’akti of the Earth

1-4. S’rî Nârada said :– In the twinkling of an eye of the Devî, the Pralaya takes place; and in that very time also the Brahmânda (cosmos) is dissolved, which is called the Pralaya of Prakriti. During this Pralaya, the Devî Vasundharâ (Earth) disappears; the whole world is deluged with water and all this appearance of five elements called Prapañcha vanishes in the body of Prakriti. Now where does Vasundharâ (Earth), thus vanished, reside? And how does She again appear at the beginning of the creation! What is the cause of her being so much blessed, honoured and capable to hold all and victorious. So tell about Her birth, the source of all welfare.

5-23. S’rî Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! So it is heard that the Earth appears at the very outset of the creation. Her appearance and disappearance so occur in all the Pralayas. (This earth) the manifestation of the great S’akti, sometimes becomes manifest in Her and sometimes remains latent in Her (the S’akti). It is all the will of that Great S’akti. Now hear the anecdote of appearance (birth) of the earth, the cause of all good, the source of destruction of all calamities, the destroyer of sin and the cause of furtherance of one’s religious merits. Some say that this earth has come out of the marrow of the Daityas, Madhu and Kaitabha; but that is not the fact. Hear now the real fact. Those two Daityas were greatly pleased with Visnu’s valour and prowess in the fight between them and Visnu; and they said :– “Kill us on that part of the earth which is not under water.” From their words it is evident that the earth was existent during their lifetime but she was not visible. After their death, the marrow came out after their bones. Now hear how the name “Medinî” came to be applied to the earth. She was taken out of the water, and the marrow came to be mixed with the earth. It is on account of this mixing that she is called Medinî, Now I will tell you what I heard before in Puskara, the sacred place of pilgrimage, from the mouth of Dharma Deva, about the origin of earth, approved by the S’rutis, consistent, and good. Hear. When the mind of Mahâ Virât, merged in water, expanded all over his body, it entered into every pore of his body. Next the Mahâprithvî or the Great Earth appeared at the time of Pañchî Karana (mixing of one-half of each of the elements with one-eighth of each of the other four elements). This Mahâprithvî was broken into pieces and placed in every pore. It is this differentiated earth that appears during creation and disappears during Pralaya. From this mind, concentrated in every pore of the body of Mahâ Virât, is born this earth, after a long interval. In every pore in the skin of this Virât Purusa there is one earth. She gets manifested and she disappears. This occurs again and again. When she appears, she floats on the water; and when she disappears, she gets merged in the water. There is this earth (world) in every universe; and along with her, there are mountains, forests, seven oceans, seven islands, Sumeru mountain, the Moon, the Sun and other planets, Brahmâloka, Visnuloka (the abode of Visnu) S’ivaloka and the regions of the other Devas, sacred places of pilgrimage, the holy land of Bhâratavarsa, the Kânchanî Bhûmi, seven heavens, seven Pâtâlas or nether regions, on the above Brahmâloka, and Dhruvaloka. This law holds good in every world in every universe. So every universe is the work of Mâyâ and thus it is transient. At the dissolution of Prakriti, Brahmâ falls. Again when creation takes place, the Mahâ Virât appears from S’rî Krisna, the Supreme Spirit. Eternal is this flow of creation, preservation and destruction; eternal is this flow of time, Kasthâ; eternal is this flow of Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a, etc. And eternal is this flow of Vasundharâ who is worshipped in the Vârâha Kalpa by the Suras, Munis, Vipras, Gandarbhas, etc. The S’ruti says that the Presiding Deity of this eternal earth is the wife of Visnu in His boar-form. Mangala (Mars) is the son of that earth and Mangala’s son is Ghates’a.

24-26. Nârada said :– In what form was the Earth worshipped by the Devas in Vârâha Kalpa. The Vârâhi, the receptacle of all things, moving and non-moving, how did she appear, by what method of Pañchî Karana, from the Mûlaprakriti? What is the method of her worship in this Bhûrloka and in the Heavens (Svarloka). Also tell me, O Lord! in detail, the auspicious birth of Mangala (Mars).

27-34. Nârâyana spoke :– In ancient days, in the Vârâha Kalpa, Varâha Deva (the boar incarnation) when entreated and praised by Brahmâ, killed the Daitya Hiranyâksa and rescued the earth from the nether regions Rasâtala. He then placed the earth on the waters where she floated as the lotus leaf floats on water. In the meantime Brahmâ began to fashion the wonderful creation on the surface of the earth. Bhagavân Hari, in His boar form and brilliant like ten million suns saw the beautiful and lovely appearance of the presiding deity of the earth, possessed of amorous sentiments. He then assumed a very beautiful form, fit for amorous embraces. They then held their sexual intercourse and it lasted day and night for one Deva year. The beautiful Earth, in the pleasant amorous plays, fainted away; for the intercourse of the lover with the beloved is exceedingly pleasant. And Visnu, too, at the same time was very much exhausted by the pleasant touch of the body of the Earth. He did not become conscious even how days and nights passed away. When full one year passed away, they got back their senses and the amorous man then left his hold of the loved. He assumed easily his former Boar form and worshipped Her as the incarnate of the Devî, with incense, lights, offerings of food, with vermilion (Sindur, red-powder), sandal-paste, garments, flowers and various other offerings of food, etc. He then said :–

35-37. O Auspicious One! Let Thou beest the receptacle of all things. All the Munis, Manus, Devas, Siddhas, and Dânavas, etc., will worship Thee with pleasure and willingness. On the day the Ambuvâchi ceremony closes, on the day when the house construction, i.e., the foundation is laid, on the day when the first entry is made into the newly built houses, when the digging of the well or tank commences, and on the day when tilling the ground commences, all will worship Thee. Those stupid fools that will not observe this, will certainly go to hell.

38-41 The Earth spoke :– “O Lord! By Thy command I will assume the form of Vârâhî (female boar) and support easily on my back this whole world of moving and non-moving things, but the following things, pearls, small shells, S’âlagrâm, (a black stone, usually round, found in the river Gandakî, and worshipped as a type of Visnu), the phallus or emblem of S’iva, the images of the goddesses, conch-shells, lamps (lights), the Yantras, gems, diamonds, the sacred upanayana threads, flowers, books, the Tulasî leaves, the bead (Japa mâlâ), the garland of flowers, gold, camphor, Gorochanâ (bright yellow pigment prepared from the urine or bile of a cow), Sandal, and the water after washing the S’âlagrâma stone, I will not be able to bear. I will be very much pained in case I were to bear these on Me.”

42-45. S’rî Bhagavân said :– “O Fair One! The fools that will place the above articles on Thy back will go to the Kâlasutra hell for one hundred divine years.” O Nârada! Thus saying, the Bhagavân Nârâyana remained silent. Now the Earth became pregnant and the powerful planet Mars was born. By the command of S’rî Hari, all began to meditate on Earth according to what is mentioned in Kânvas’âkhâ and began to praise Her. Offerings of food were given, uttering the root Mantra. Thus became extant all over the three worlds Her worship and praise.

46. Nârada said :– O Bhagavân! Very sacred is the meditation, hymn and the root Mantra of the Earth. I am very anxious to hear them. Kindly describe it in detail.

47-48. Nârâyana said :– The Earth was first worshipped by Varâha Deva; next She was worshipped by Brahmâ. Next She was worshipped by all the Munis, Devas, Manus and men. O Nârada! Now hear the Dhyân, praise and Mantra of the Devî Earth.

49-51. The Earth was first worshipped by Bhagavân Visnu with this root Mantra (mûl mantra) “On Hrîm S’rîm Klîm Vasundharâyai Svâhâ.” Next He said :– O Devî Earth! O Thou Smiling One! I worship Thee, who art worshipped by the three worlds, whose colour is white like white lotus, whose face is beautiful like the autumnal moon, who art the Store-house of all gems and jewels, and in whose womb all the precious stones and pearls are inbedded, and who has put on a raiment purified by fire. All then began to worship Her with this Mantra.

52-63. S’rî Nârâyana said :– Now hear the hymn sung before Her according to Kânva S’âkhâ :– O Thou, the Giver of Victory! Holder of water! Endowed with water, full of victory; Consort of the Boar Incarnation, Carrier of victory! Bestow victory on me. O Thou Auspicious One! The Store-house of all good, O Thou incarnate of all auspiciousness! Bestower of good, Thou, the Source of all good to bestow all sorts of welfare! Bestow all things that are good and auspicious to me in this world.

O Thou! The Receptacle of all, the Knower of all, all powerful, the Bestower of all desires, O Devî Earth! Give me the fruits that I desire.

O Thou! Who art all merits, Thou, the Seed of all religious merits, O Thou, the Eternal, the receptacle of all religious merits, the home of all religious persons, Thou bestowest merits to all.

O Thou! The Store-house of all grains, enriched with all sorts of corns, Thou bestowest harvests to all; Thou takest away all the grains in this world and again, Thou producest all corns of various kinds here. O Earth! Thou art all-in-all to the landlords, the Best Source of refuge and happiness. O Bestower of lands! Give me lands. The above hymn yields great religious merits. He becomes the sovereign of the whole earth for millions and millions of births who rising early in the morning reads this stotra. Men who read this acquire merits due to giving away lands as gifts. People become certainly freed of their sins, if they read this stotra, who take back the lands after making them as gifts, who dig earth on the day of Ambuvâchî, who dig wells without permission on another’s well, who steal other’s lands, who throw their semen on earth, who place lamps on the earth. Religious merits, equivalent to one hundred horse sacrifices accrue from reading this stotra. There is no doubt in this. This stotra of the great Devî is the source of all sorts of welfare and auspiciousness.

Here ends the Ninth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the origin of the S’akti of the earth in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter X

On the offences caused to the Earth and punishments thereof

1-3. Nârada said :– I am now desirous to hear about the merits acquired by making gifts of land, the demerits in stealing away lands, digging wells in other’s wells, in digging earth on the day of Ambuvâchî, in casting semen on earth, and in placing lamps and lights on the surface of the earth as well the sins when one acts wrongly in various other ways on the surface of the earth and the remedies thereof.

4-30. S’rî Nârâyana said :– If one makes a gift of land in this Bhârata of the measure of a Vitasti (a long span measured by the extended thumb and little finger) to a Brâhmana who performs Sandhyâ three times a day and is thus purified, one goes and remains in S’iva Loka (the abode of S’iva). If one gives away in charity a land full of corn to a Brâhmin, the giver goes and lives in Visnu Loka in the end for a period measured by the number of dust particles in the land. If one presents a village, a plot of land, or grains to a Brâhmin, both the giver and the receiver, become freed of their sins and go to the Devî Loka (the abode of the Devî). Even if one be present when a proposal for a gift of land is being made and says “This act is good,” one goes to Vaikuntha with one’s friends and relatives. He remains in the Kâlasutra hell as long as the Sun and Moon exist, who takes back or steals away the gift to a Brâhmin, offered by himself or by any other body. Even his sons, grandsons, etc., become destitute of lands, prosperity, sons, and wealth and remain in a dreadful hell named Raurava. If one cultivates the grazing land for the cows and reaps therefrom a harvest of grains, one remains for one hundred divine years in the Kumbhîpâka hell. If one cultivates any enclosure for cows or tanks and grows grains on them, one remains in the Asipatra hell for a period equivalent to fourteen Indra’s falls. One who bathes in another’s tank without taking off five handfuls of earth from it, goes to hell and one’s bath is quite ineffectual. If anybody, out of his amorous passion casts his semen privately on the suface of the ground, he will have to suffer the torments of hell for as many years as are the numbers of dust particles on that area. If anyone digs ground on the day of Ambuvâchî, one remains in hell for four Yugas. If, without the permission of the owner of a well or tank, a stupid man clears the old well or tank and digs the slushy earth from the bottom, his labour goes in vain. The merit goes to the real owner. And the man who laboured so much goes to Tapta Kunda Naraka for fourteen Indra’s life-periods. If any one takes out five handfuls of earth from another’s tank, when he goes to bathe in it, he dwells in Brahmâ Loka for a period of years amounting to the number of particles in those handfuls of earth. During one’s father’s or grandfather’s S’râdha ceremony, if one offers pinda without offering any food (pinda) to the owner of the soil, the S’râdha performer goes certainly to hell. If one places a light (Pradîpa) directly on the earth without any holding piece at the bottom, one becomes blind for seven births; and so if one places a conch-shell on the ground (S’ankha), one becomes attacked with leprosy in one’s next birth. If any body places pearls, gems, diamonds, gold and jewels, the five precious things on the ground he becomes blind, if one places the phallic emblem of S’iva, the image of S’ivâni, the S’âlagrâma stone on the ground, he remains for one hundred Manvantaras to be eaten by worms. Conchshells, Yantras (diagrams for S’akti worshippers), the water after washing S’ilas (stones) i. e., Charanâmrita, flowers, Tulasî leaves, if placed on the ground, lead him who places these, verily to hells. The beads, garlands of flowers, Gorochana (a bright yellow pigment prepared from the urine or bile of a cow), and camphor, when placed on the ground, lead him who places so to suffer the torments of hell. The sandal wood, Rudrâksa mâlâ, and the roots of Kus’a grass also, if placed on the ground, lead the doer to stay for one manvantara in the hell. Books, the sacred Upanayana threads, when placed on the ground make the doers unfit for Brâhmin birth; rather he is involved in a sin equivalent to the murder of a Brâhmin. The sacred Upanayana thread when knotted and rendered fit for holding, is worth being worshipped by all the castes. One ought to sprinkle the earth with curd, milk, etc., after one has completed one’s sacrifices. If one fails to do this, one will have to remain for seven births in a hot ground with great torment. If one digs the earth when there is an earth quake or when there is an eclipse, that sinner becomes also devoid of some of his limbs in his next birth. O Muni! This earth is named Bhûmi since She is the abode of all; she is named Kâs’yapî since she is the daughter of Kas’yapa; is named Vis’vambharâ, since she supports the Universe; She is named Ananta, since she is endlessly wide; and She is named Prithivî since she is the daughter of the King Prithu, or she is extensively wide.

Here ends the Tenth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the offences caused towards the surface of the earth and punishments thereof in hells – in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XI

On the origin of the Ganges

1-3. The Devarsi Nârada said :– O Thou, the foremost of the knowers of the Vedas! I have heard the excellent narration of Earth. Now I want to hear the anecdote of Gangâ. I heard, ere long, that Gangâ, of the nature of Visnu and appearing from the feet of Visnu, the Îs’varî of the Devas, appeared, due to the curse of Bhâratî, on Bhârata; why has she come to Bhârata; in which Yuga and asked by whom did she come to Bhârata? O Lord! Now describe to me this auspicious anecdote capable to destroy sins and yield religious merits.

4-38. Nârâyana said :– O Child! In ancient days there was born a prosperous Emperor King of Kings, in the Solar dynasty. He had two beautiful wives; one was named Vaidarbhî, and the other was named S’aivyâ. S’aivyâ delivered a very lovely son; his name was Asamanjâ. On the other hand, the queen Vaidarbhî desirous of getting a son, worshipped S’ankara, the Lord of Bhûtas who became pleased and granted her request; and Vaidarbhî became pregnant. After one hundred years of pregnancy she gave birth to one mass of flesh. Seeing this, the queen became very afflicted and taking refuge of Mahâdeva, began to cry loudly and very often. Bhagavân S’ankara, then, appeared there in a Brâhmin form and cut that mass of flesh into thousand pieces. Those thousand pieces turned out into thousand very powerful sons. Their bodies looked more brillant than the mid-day sun. But they were all burnt to ashes by the curse of Kapila Muni. And the King began to lament bitterly and he entered into the forest. Asamajâ practised tapasyâ to bring the Gangâ for one lakh years when he quitted his body in course of time. His son Ams’umân practised tapasyâ for one lakh years to bring Gangâ unto Bhârata and he, too, died. Then the son of Amsumân, the intelligent Bhagîratha, a great devotee of Visnu, free of old age and death and the store of many qualifications, practised tapasyâ for one lakh years to bring Gangâ on earth. At last he saw S’rî Krisna brilliant like ten millions of summer suns. He had two hands; there was a flute in his hand; be was full of youth in the dress of a cow-herd. A sight of His Gopâla Sundarî form, wearing a Sakhî’s dress, makes one think that He is ever ready to show grace on His devotees. He is Para Brahmâ, whose Substance is Will; be has no deficiencies. Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’vara and the other Devas and Munis, etc. all praise Him, who pervades everywhere. He is not concerned with anything; yet He is the Witness of all. He is beyond the three gunas, higher than Prakriti. A sweet smile is always in his face, which makes it the more lovely. There is none equal to him in showing Grace to the Bhaktas. His raiment is purified (uninflammable) by fire and he is decorated with gems, jewels and ornaments. The King Bhagîratha saw that unforeseen appearance, bowed down and began to praise over and over again. His whole body was filled with ecstasy. Then he clearly told what he wanted for the deliverance of his family. Bhagavân S’rî Krisna then, addressed Gangâ and said :– “O Sures’varî! Go quickly and appear in Bhârata, under the curse of Bhâratî. By My command go quickly and purify the sons of Sagara. They will all be purified by the touch of the air in contact with the Ganges and rise up in divine aerial cars, assuming forms like Mine and they will come to My abode. They will there remain always as My attendants and they will not be involved in the sins that they committed in their previous births. O Nârada! It is stated thus in the Vedas, that if the human souls, taking their births in Bhârata, commit sins for millions and millions of births, the sins will be completely destroyed if they touch once the air in contact with and carrying the particles of the Ganges. The sight of the Ganges and the touch of the Ganges water give religious merits ten times more than the touch with the air in contact with the Ganges water. People become freed of their sins then and there especially if they bathe in the Ganges. It is heard in the S’rutis that the bathing in the Ganges, if done according to rules, destroys all the sins, e.g., the murder of a Brâhmin, etc., acquired in one thousand millions of births done consciously or unconsciously. The merits that are acquired by the bathing in the Ganges on a day of religious merit, cannot be described even by the Vedas. Whatever is mentioned in the Âgamas is but a mere trifle. Even Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a cannot describe fully the merits of the bathing in the Ganges. O Brâhmin! Such is the glory of ordinary bathing. Now I will describe the effect of the Ganges bath done with a Sankalpa (resolve); hear. Ten times more the result is obtained when the Ganges bathing is done with a resolve (Sankalpa) than ordinary bath and if one bathes on the day when the sun passes from one sign to another (in the Zodiac), thirty times more religious merits accrue. On the new Moon (Amâvyas) day, the Ganges bath gives the merits as above mentioned; but when the Sun is in his Southern course (Daksinâyana) double the merits are obtained and when the sun is in his Northern course, ten times more religious merits are obtained. The Ganges bathing in the time of Châturmâsya, full Moon day, Aksayâ Navamî or Aksayâ trittîyâ yields merits that cannot be measured. And if on the above Parva (particular periods of the year on which certain ceremonies are commanded) days both bathing, and making over gifts are done, there is no limit to the religious merits acquired; hundred times more than ordinary bath, religious merits are obtained. Great religious merits accrue from the Ganges bath on Manvantarâ tithi, Yugâdyâ, S’uklâ seventh day of the month of Mâgha, Bhîsmâstamî day, As’okâstamî day, and S’rî Râma Navamî day. Again double the merits than those of the above arise from bathing in the Ganges during the Nandâ ceremony. The Gauges bath in the Das’aharâ tenth tithi gives merits equivalent to Yugâdyâ Snânam (bath). And if the bathing be done on Mahânandâ or in Mahâvârunî day, four times more religious merits accrue. Ten million times more religious merits accrue from the Ganges bathing on Mahâ Mahâ Vârunî day than ordinary bath. The Ganges bath in the Solar eclipse yields ten times more religious merits than in the Lunar eclipse. Again the Snânam in Ardhodaya Yoga yields hundred times more religious merits than that of the (solar) eclipse. Thus saying to Gangâ before Bhagîratha, the Lord of the Devas remained silent. The Devî Gangâ with her head bowed down with devotion, said :–

39-42. Gangâ said :– If I am after all, to go to Bhârata as Thou commandest and under the curse given previously by Bhâratî, then tell me how I would be freed of the sins that the sinners will cast on me. How long will I have to remain there? When, O Lord! Shall I be able to return to the Highest place of Visnu? O Thou, the Inner Self of all! O All Knowing! O Lord! Whatever else I desire, Thou knowest them all. So be pleased to instruct me on all these points.

43-69. Bhagavân S’rî Hari said :– O Sures’varî! I know all that you desire; when you will assume the liquid form, the Salt Ocean will be your husband. He is My part and you are of the nature of Laksmî; so the union of the lover with the love stricken in the world will turn out a happy and qualified one. Of all the rivers Sarasvatî and others in Bhârata, that go to mix with the ocean, you will be the best and highly fortunate of them all. From today you will have to remain in Bhârata for a period of five thousand years, under the curse of Bhâratî. You will be able to enjoy daily and always the pleasures with the Ocean. O Devî! As you are a clever lady, so He is also apt and expert. The inhabitants of Bhârata will praise Thee and worship Thee with great devotion by the stotra which Bhagîratha has composed. He will derive the fruit of one horse-sacrifice who will meditate on Thee as per Kânvas’âkhâ and worship, praise and bow down to Thee daily. Even if one utter “Gangâ,” “Gangâ,” though one is one hundred Yojanas away from the Ganges, one will be freed of all sins and go to Visnu-loka. Whatever sins will be cast in Thee by thousand sinners bathing in Thee will be destroyed by the touch of the devotees of Prakriti Devî. Even if thousands and thousands of sinners touch the dead bodies and bath in Thee, all those will be destroyed when the Devî Bhaktas,the worshippers of Bhuvanes’varî and Mâyâ Vîja, will come and touch Thee. O Auspicious One! Thou wilt wash away the sins of the sinners, by Thy stay in Bhârata with other best rivers Sarasvatî and others. That will be at once a sacred place of pilgrimage where Thy glories will be chanted. By the touch of the dust of Thine, the sinner will be at once purified and he will dwell in the Devî-loka (Mani Dvîpa) for as many years as will be the dust there. All Hail to the Devî Bhuvanes’varî! He who will leave his body on Thy lap with full consciousness and remembering My name, will certainly go to My abode and will remain, as My chief attendant for an infinite period. He will see countless Prâkritik Layas (dissolutions of the Universe). Unless a man has collected hordes of religious merits, be cannot die in the Ganges; and if he dies on the Ganges he goes to Vaikuntha as long as the Sun rises in this world. I get many bodies for him where he can enjoy the fruits of his Karma and I then give him My Svârûpya (Form resembling Mine) and make him My attendant. If any ignorant man, void of any Jñânam, quits his body by touching merely Thy water, I give him Sâlokya (place in My region) and make him My attendant. Even if one quits one’s body in a far off place, uttering Thy Name, I give him place in My region for one life time of Brahmâ. And if he remembers Thee with devotion, and quits his mortal coil at another place, I give him Sârûpya (Form resembling Mine) for a period of endless Prâkritik Layas. He instantly gets on an aerial car made of jewels and goes with My attendants to the region of Goloka and gets form like Me. Those that worship daily My Mantra, that pass their day eating the remnant of the food offered to Me, they need not have any distinction whether they die in Tîrath or not. They themselves can easily purify the three worlds. Getting on the excellent and best aerial car built of jewels, they go to the region of Goloka. O Chaste One! Even if the friends of My devotees, be born in animal births, they also will be purified by the devotion shown towards Me and getting on a jewelled aerial car will be able to go to Goloka, so diffcult of access. Wherever the Bhaktas may be, if they simply remember Me with devotion, they will become liberated while living by the power of My Bhakti. Thus saying to Gangâ, Bhagavân S’rî Hari addressed Bhagîratha :– O Child! Now worship Gangâ Devî with devotion and chant hymns to Her. The pure Bhagîrata meditated with devotion as per Kauthuma S’âkhâ and worshipped the Devî and praised Her repeatedly. Then Gangâ and Bhagîratha bowed down to S’rî Krisna and He disappeared at once from their sight.

70. The Devarsi Nârada said :– “O Thou the foremost of the Knowers of the Vedas! How, by what Kuthuma S’âkhâ, the noble King Bhagi-ratha meditated on the Devî Gangâ; what stotra did he recite and what was the method with which he worshipped the Ganges.

71-75. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! One should first take one’s bath, and putting on a clean washed clothing should perform one’s daily duties. Then one should control oneself and with devotion worship the six Devatâs Ganes’a, Sun, Fire, Visnu, S’iva and S’ivânî. Thus one becomes entitled to worship. First worship is to be given to Ganes’a for the destruction of obstacles; the Sun is to be next worshipped for health; Fire, for purification; Visnu is then worshipped for getting wealth and power; S’iva is worshipped for knowledge and S’ivânî is worshipped for Mukti. When these Devatâs are worshipped, one is entitled to worship the Deity. Otherwise contrary become the effects. Now I am saying what Dhyânam (meditation) did Bhagîratha practise towards the Devî Gangâ .

Here ends the Eleventh Chapter of the Ninth Book on the origin of the Ganges in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XII

On the origin of Gangâ

1-15. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! Now about the meditation (Dhyân) of the Devî Gangâ as per Kânva S’âkhâ, which destroys all the sins, O Gange! Of white colour like white lotuses! Thou destroyest all the sins of men. Thou hast appeared from the body of S’rî Krisna. Thou art powerful like Him. Thou art very chaste and pure. Thou hast worn the raiment, uninflammable and decorated all over with ornaments made of jewels. Thou art more brilliant than one hundred autumnal Moons. Thou art also well pleased with a smile on Thy lips. And Thou art always of steady youthful beauty (that never wanes). Thou art dear to Nârâyana, calm and of peaceful temper, and proud of being His with His fortune. Thou bearest the braid of hair, decked with garlands of Mâlatî flowers; Thy cheeks are anointed with sandal dots, with Sindûra bindu (dots of red powder, vermilion) and well adorned with various artistic lines made of musk. Thy garment and Thy beautiful lips are more red than the ripe Bimba fruit (the red fruit of a cucurbitaceous plant); Thy teeth vie as it were, with the rows of pearls. How lovely are Thy eyes! How delightsome is Thy side-long glance! How close are Thy breasts like Bel fruits! Thy loins are thicker and more solid then the plantain trees. How do Thy feet look beautiful, defying the beauty of the Sthalapadma (ground Lotus)!

How do the red sandals look lovely with Kunkuma and alaktak (red powder)! What a red tinge Thy feet have shewn with the honey of Pârijâta flower that is seen on the head of Indra. The Devas, the Siddhas, the Munis, offer always Arghyas (offerings of rice with Durba grass) at Thy feet; the ascetics bow down at Thy feet, and it seems as though so many lines of bees are on Thy lotus feet. O Mother! Thy lotus feet give liberation to those that want Mukti and enjoyment to those that want Bhukti (enjoyments). O Mother! Thou art the boon; Thou art the chief excellent; Thou grantest boons and Thou showest Thy favour to Thy devotees; Thou bestowest the Visnupadam (the place of Visnu); but Thou hast come from the feet of Visnu. Thus meditating on the Devî Gangâ flowing by three routes (in Heaven, earth and infernal regions), the bestower of good things one should offer to the Devî sixteen things :– Âsana, Pâdya, Arghya, water for bathing, ointment (anûlepana), Dhûpa (scents), Dîpa (lights), Naivedya (offerings of food), betel, cool water, clothings, ornaments garlands, sandal-paste, Âchamanîya (water for sipping), and beautiful beddings and worship Her with these. Then, with folded hands, one should perform stotra to Her and bow down to Her with devotion. Thus the worshipper gets the fruits of A’svamedha sacrifice.

16. Nârada said :– O Lord of the Devas! At present I am desirous to hear the sin-destroying and virtue-bestowing stotra (hymn) of Gangâ Devî, the Purifier of all those that are fallen from virtue, originated from the feet of Visnu, the Lord of world and the husband of Laksmî. Kindly narrate all these in detail.

17-41. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! Now I am narrating the stotra of Gangâ Devî, that destroys all sins and bestows all religious merit. Hear. I bow down to the Ganges who appeared from the body of S’rî Krisna, enchanted by the music of S’iva, and, who was bathed with the perspiration (water coming out of the body) of S’rî Râdhâ. I bow down to Gangâ Devî who first appeared in the circular dance (Râsa Mândalam) in the region of Goloka and who always remains with S’ankara. My obeisance to the Devî Gangâ who remains in the auspicious grand utsab of Râdhâ (Râsa Mândalam), crowded with Gopas and Gopîs, in the Full Moon night of the month of Kârtik. She is one koti yojanas wide and one lakh times one koti yojanas long in the region of Goloka. My Obeisance to Her! In Vaikuntha, Gangâ is sixty lakh yojanas in width and four times that in length. My Obeisance to Her! In Brahmâ-loka, Gangâ is thirty lakh yojanas wide and five times as long. I bow down to Her. In S’iva-loka, She is thirty lakh yojanas wide and four times that in length. I bow down to Her. In Dhruva-loka, She is one lakh yojanas wide and seven times as long. I bow down to Her. In Chandra-loka She is one lakh yojanas wide and five times as long. My obeisance to S’rî Gangâ Devî. I bow down to the Ganges who is sixty thousand yojanas wide in the Sûrya loka and ten times that in length. I bow down to Gangâ in Tapo-loka who is one lakh yojanas wide and five times that in length. My obeisance to Gangâ Devî in Janar-loka, who is one thousand yojanas wide and ten times that as long. I bow down to Gangâ in Mahar-loka who is ten lakh yojanas wide and five times that in length. My obeisance to Gangâ Devî in Kailâs’a who is one thousand yojanas wide and one hundred times as long. I bow down to Gangâ Devî who is known as Mandâkinî in Indra-loka, and who is one hundred yojanas wide and ten times than that in length. My obeisance to Gangâ Devî, known as Bhogavati in Pâtâla who is ten yojanas wide and five times as long. I bow down to Gangâ Devî, known as Alakanandâ in this earth, who is two miles wide, in some places more wide and in some places less wide. I bow down to Gangâ Devî who was of the colour of milk in Satya yuga, of the colour of Moon in Tretâ Yuga, of the colour of white sandal-paste in Dvâpara yuga. I bow down to S’rî Gangâ Devî who is as water in Kali yuga in this earth and as milk in Kali yuga in Heaven. O Child! By the touch of one molecule of the water of the Ganges, all the horrible sins incurred in ten million births, the murder of a Brâhmin and so forth, are burnt to ashes. Thus I have described in twenty-one verses the great stotra (human) of the sin-destroying and the virtue-increasing merits of Gangâ. He reaps the fruit of the A’svamedha sacrifice (Horse sacrifice), who daily sings this praise of Gangâ after worshipping Her with devotion. There is no doubt in this. The persons that are without any sons get sons hereby and those who have no wives get wives. The diseased get themselves free from their diseases, and the man who is under bondage, is liberated from that bondage. He who getting up early in the morning reads this stotra of Gangâ, becomes widely known even if he be not known at all and he becomes illumined with wisdom even if he be quite ignorant. Even if he sees a bad dream, he acquires the merit of bathing in the Ganges and of seeing good dreams.

42-44. S’rî Nârâyana spoke :– O Nârada! With this stotra (hymn) did Bhagîratha praise the Gangâ Devî. Who then went with him to the spot where the Sagara’s sons were burnt to ashes by the curse of Kapila. By the contact of the wind in touch with the particles of water of the Ganges, those sons of Sagara were instantly freed of their curses and they all repaired to Vaikuntha. She is named Bhâgirathî, because Bhagîratha brought Her to this earth. Thus I have described to you the story of the Ganges.

This anecdote is highly meritorious and the great step to liberation. What more do you now want to hear? Say.

45-46. Nârada said :– O Lord! How did Gangâ come to flow through the three worlds by three routes, and thus purify them? How was she carried and to which places? How did the people of those localities accord respect to Her? Kindly describe all these in detail.

47-79. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! On the Full Moon night of the month of Kârtik in the Râsa mândalam, at the great festivity in honour of Râdhâ, S’rî Krisna worshipped Râdhâ and remained there. Next Râdhâ, worshipped by S’rî Krisna, was worshipped by Brahmâ and the other Devas, by Saunaka and the other Risis, who also stopped there with much gladness. At this moment the Devî Sarasvatî, the Presiding Deity of the Science of Music began to sing lovely songs regarding Krisna, in tune with vocal and instrumental music. Brahmâ became glad and presented to Sarasvatî a necklace of jewels; Mahâ Deva gave her gems and jewels rare in this universe; Krisna presented the best Kaustubha jewel; Râdhikâ offered excellent invaluable necklace of jewels; Nârâyana presented to her the best and most excellent garland of jewels; Laksmî gave her invaluable golden earrings decked with gems; Visnu-Mâyâ Mûla Prakriti, Bhagvatî Durgâ, who is Nârâyanî, Îs’varî, Îs’ânî, presented Her devotion to Brahmâ, so very rare; Dharma gave her devotion to Dharma and high fame; Agni (fire) gave her excellent raiments purified by fire and Vâyu gave Her Nûpura (toe ornaments) made of gems and jewels. At this time, Mahes’vara, the Lord of Bhûtas (elements) began to sing, at the suggestion of Brahmâ, songs relating to S’rî Krisna’s grand Râsa festival. Hearing this, the Devas became very much enchanted and remained motionless like statues. With great difficulty, they regained their consciousness. Then they saw that there was no Râdhâ nor Krisna in this Râsa mândala; everything was deluged with water. The Gopas, Gopîs, Devas and Brâhmanas began to cry loudly. Brahmâ in his meditation then came to know that Râdhâ and Krisna both have assumed this liquid appearance for the deliverance of the people of the world. Brahmâ and others, all began to praise S’rî Krisna and said :– “O All prevading One! Now be pleased to show us Thy form and grant us our desired boons.” At that instant a sweet incorporeal voice was clearly heard by all, as coming from air above, that, “I am the Self of all, pervading all; and this my S’akti, Râdhâ, is also the Self of all, prevades all; so there is no separation of us from you all even for a moment. It is only to show our favour to the devotees that we assume special forms. For this reason only there is separation of us from you as regards this body! There is nothing else. Besides you have no necessity with our bodies. O Devas! Now if my Manus, men, Munis, Vaisnavas and you all, purified by Mantras desire very much to see My Form clearly, then I tell you to request Mahes’vara to carry out My word. O Brahmâ! O Creator! Better ask

Mahâdeva, the World Teacher, that He would better compose the beautiful Tantra S’âstra, in accordance with the limbs of the Vedas. And that the above S’âstra be full of Mantras, capable to yield desired fruits, Stotras (hymns) and Kavachas (protection mantras) and rules of due worship in proper order. And that also My Mantra, My Stotra, and My Kavacha be also given there in a hidden form. So that those people that are sinners might not understand their real meanings and thus turn out against Me. It may be that one in a thousand or in a hundred may worship My Mantra. And My Mantra worshippers, the saints, become purified and come to My Abode. If My S’âstra be not well made (i. e., if everyone be able to understand its meaning) and if everyone be able to go from Bhûrloka to Goloka, then Thy labour in this creation of the world will all be in vain. Therefore dost Thou better create different worlds according to the differences of Sâttvik, Râjasik, and Tamo Gunas; then some will be the inhabitants of this Bhûrloka, some will be the inhabitants of Dyuloka according to their Karmas. O Brâhman! If Mahâ Deva promises earnestly in this assembly of the Devas, I will then exhibit My True Form.” O Nârada! Thus speaking, the Eternal Purusa S’rî Krisna remained silent (i. e., the aerial incorporeal voice stopped). Hearing this, Brahmâ, the Creator of the world, gladly informed S’iva of this. When the Lord of Knowledge, the Foremost of the Jñânins, Bhûtanâtha heard the words of the Creator, He took the Ganges water in His hands and swore that “I will complete the Tantra S’astra, full of Râdhâ mantras and not opposed to the Vedas. If one touches the Ganges water and speaks lies, one remains in the terrible Kâlasutra hell for a period of one Brahmâ’s life time.” O Dvija! When Bhagavân S’ankara said this before the assembly of the Devas in the region of Goloka, S’rî Krisna appeared there with Râdhâ. The Devas became exceedingly glad to see Him. They praised Him, the Best Purusa and they were all filled with rapture and again engaged themselves in the grand Râsa Festival. Some time after, Mâhâ Deva lighted the Torch of Mukti, i.e., the Tantra S’âstra was published by Him, as promised. O Child! Thus I have disclosed to you this anecdote, so very secret, and hard to be attained. Thus S’rî Krisna Himself, is verily the liquid Gangâ sprung in the region of Goloka. This holy Gangâ, born of the bodies of Krisna and Râdhâ inseparable from each other, grants enjoyment, lordship and liberation. S’rî Krisna, the Highest Self, has placed Her in various places; so Gangâ is of the nature of S’rî Krisna and is everywhere, equally honoured everywhere in the Brahmânda (universe).

Here ends the Twelfth Chapter in the Ninth Book on the origin of Gangâ in the Mahâpurânam S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XIII

On the anecdote of Gangâ

1. Nârada said :– O Lord of the Devas! Kindly say in what Loka did Gangâ go after 5000 (five thousand) years of the Kali Yuga?

2-4. Nârâyana said :– The Bhâgîrathî Gangâ came down to Bhârata under the curse of Bhâratî; and when the term expired, She went back, by the Will of God, to the region of Vaikuntha. Also at the end of the period of their curses, Bhâratî and, Laksmî, too, left Bhârata and repaired to Nârâyana. Gangâ, Laksmî, and Sarasvatî, these three and Tulasî all these four are so very dear to S’rî Hari.

5-6. Nârada said :– How did Gangâ appear from the lotus feet of Visnu? Why did Brahmâ put Her in His Kamandalu? I have heard that Gangâ is the wife of S’iva; how then, came She to be the wife of Nârâyana? Kindly describe all these in detail to me.

7-8. Nârâyana said :– O Muni! In ancient times, in the region of Goloka, Gangâ assumed the liquid appearance. She was born of the bodies of Râdhâ and Krisna. So She is of the nature of both of them and their parts. Gangâ is the presiding deity of water. She is unequalled in Her beauty in this world. She is full of youth and adorned with all ornaments.

9-43. Her face was like the autumnal mid-day lotus and sweet smile was always reigning on Her lips; Her form was very beautiful; Her colour was as bright as melted gold and She looked brilliant like the Autumnal Moon. Eyes and mind get cool and become pleasant at Her beauty and radiance; She was of purely Suddha Sattva; Her loins were bulky and hard and She was covered with excellent clothings all over Her body. Her breasts were plump and prominent; they were raised, hard, and nicely round. Her eyes very fascinating, always casting sidelong glances. Her braids of hair situated a little oblique and the garland of Mâlatî flowers over it made Her look extremely handsome. The saudalpaste dot and the vermillion dot were seen on Her forehead. On Her cheeks the leaves of musk were drawn and Her lips were red like Bandhûka flowers and they looked enchanting. Her rows of teeth looked like rows of ripe pomegranates; the ends of Her cloth not inflammable by fire, worn in front in a knot round the waist. She sat by the side of Krisna, full of amorous desires, and abashed. She covered Her face with the end of Her cloth and was seeing, with a steadfast gaze the face of the Lord and She was drinking the nectar of His face with great gladness. Her lotus face bloomed and became gladdened at the expectation of a first amorous embrace. She fainted on seeing the Form of Her Lord and a thrill of joy passed all over Her body. In the meanwhile Râdhikâ came up there. Râdhâ was attended by thirty kotis of Gopîs. She looked brilliant like tens of millions of Moons. Seeing Gangâ by the side of S’rî Krisna, Her face and eyes became reddened with anger like a red lotus. Her colour was yellow like champaka and Her gait was like a maddened elephant. She was adorned with various invaluable ornaments made of jewels. Her pair of clothings were tied round Her waist. They were decked with invaluable jewels and not inflammable by fire (fire-proof). The Arghya offered by S’rî Krisna was on Her lotus-feet of the colour of a flowering shrub, Hibiscus mutabilis, and She was going slowly step by step. The Risis began to fan Her with white Châmaras no sooner She, descending from the excellent aeroplane decked with jewels, began to walk. Below the point where the parting of the hairs on the head is done, there was the dot of Sindura on Her forehead. It looked brilliant like a bright lamp flame. On both sides of this Sindurabindu, the dot of musk and the dot of Sandal-paste were seen. When She began to quiver with anger, Her braid, with Pârijâta garland round it began to tremble also. Her lips adorned with beautiful colours, began to quiver also. She took Her seat angrily on a jewel throne by the side of S’rî Krisna. Her attendants took their seats in their allotted positions. Seeing Râdhâ, S’rî Krisna got up at once from His seat with reverence and addressed Her, smiling and began to converse with Her in sweet words. The Gopîs, very much afraid and with their heads bent low, began to chant hymns to Her with devotion. S’rî Krisna also began to praise Her with stotras. At this moment Gangâ Devî got up and praised Her with various hymns and asked Her welfare with fear and with humble words. Out of fear, Her throat, lips and palate were parched up. She took refuge humbly at S’rî Krisna’s feet. S’rî Krisna then, took Gangâ Devî on His breast when She became calm and quiet. At this interval Sures’varî Gangâ looked at Râdhâ, seated on a throne, lovely and sweet, as if She was burning with Brahmâ Fire. Since the beginning of creation, She is the Sole Lady of innumerable Brahmâs and She is Eternal. At the first sight, She looked young as if of twelve years old. Nowhere in any Universe can be seen a lady so beautiful and so qualified. She was peaceful, calm and quiet, lovely, infinite and having no beginning nor end. She was auspicious, well endowed with all auspicious signs, prosperous, and having the good fortune of having a best husband. She was the foremost jewel amongst the ladies and appeared as if all the beauties were concentrated in Her. Râdhâ is the (left) half of S’rî Krisna’s body; whether in age or in strength or in beauty she was in every way perfectly equal to S’rî Krisna. Laksmî and the Lord of Laksmî both worship Râdhâ. The excellent brilliance of Srî Krisna was overpowered by the beauty of Râdhâ. Taking Her seat on the throne She began to chew betels offered by Her attendants (Sakhîs). She is the Mother of all the worlds; but no one is Her mother. She is fortunate, respected and proud. She is the Ruling Lady of S’rî Krisna’s Life and Soul and ever dearer to Him than His Prâna (vital breath). O Devarsi! Gangâ, the Governess of the Devas, looked at Her over and over again with a steadfast gaze; but Her eyes and mind were not at all satiated. At this moment, Râdhâ addressed smilingly to S’rî Krisna, the Lord of the world, humbly and in sweet words. O My Lord! Who is that Lady sitting by Thy side, looking askance, eager and with a smiling countenance. She is enchanted with Thy beauteous form and fainting away. Her whole body is excited with rapturous joy. Hiding Her face with cloth She is frequently looking at Thee. Thou also dost look on Her smilingly and with desires. What are all these? Even during My presence in this Goloka, all these bad practices are being rampant.

44-51. It is Thou that art doing all these bad things often and often! We are female sex; what shall we do? We are naturally, of a very pleasing temper, simple. I bore and forgave all these out of our love. O Licentious One! Take Thy Beloved and go away quickly from this Goloka. Otherwise these things will not bid fair to Thee. Firstly, one day I saw Thee, united with Virajâ Gopî, in Chandana (Sandal wood) forest. What to do? At the request of the S’akhîs, I did forgive Thee. Then, hearing My footsteps Thou didst fly away. Virajâ, out of shame, quitted Her body and assumed the form of a river. That is million Yojanas wide an four times as long. Even to this day that Virajâ is existing, testifying to Thy Glory (near Puri, Jagannâtha)! When I went back to My home Thou didst go to Virajâ again and cried aloud “O Viraje! O Viraje!” Hearing Your cry, Virajâ, the Siddha Yoginî arose from the waters, out of Her Yogic power, and when She showed Thee Her divine appearance decked with ornaments, Thou didst draw Her to Thy side and cast Thy seed in Her. It is owing to the casting of that seed in the womb of Virajâ that the seven oceans have come into existence!

52-107. Secondly, one day I saw Thee in actual intercourse with the Gopî named S’obhâ! Hearing My footsteps, Thou fled’st away that day also.

Out of shame S’obhâ quitted Her body and departed to the sphere of Moon (Chandra Mandal). The cooling effect of the Moon is due to this S’obhâ. When S’obhâ was thus distressed, Thou didst divide Her and put some parts to gems and jewels, part to gold, partly to excellent pearls and gems, partly on the face of women, partly to the bodies of Kings, partly to the leaves of trees, partly to flowers, partly to ripe fruits, partly to corns, partly to palaces and temples, partly to purified materials, partly to young and tender shoots and foliage, and partly to milk. Thirdly, I saw Thee united with Prabhâ Gopî in Brindâban. Thou fled’st away, hearing My footsteps. Out of shame, Prabhâ quitted Her body and departed to the Solar atmosphere. This Prabhâ (lustre) is fierce luminosity of the Solar atmosphere. Out of the pangs of separation Thou criedest and didst divide Prabhâ and didst put some parts in Fire, partly amidst the Yaksas, partly into lions, among men, partly amongst the Devas, partly in Vaisnavas, partly in serpents, partly in Brâhmanas, partly in Munis, partly in ascetics, and partly in fortunate and prosperous ladies. Thou hadst to weep then after Thou hadst thus divided Prabhâ, for Her separation and and fourthly I saw Thee in love union with the Gopî S’ânti in Râsa Mandalam. On the coming of the spring season, one day Thou with garlands of flowers on Thy neck and with Thy body besmeared with sandal paste and decked with ornaments, wast sleeping on a bed of flowers with S’ânti Gopî, decked with gems, in a temple made of gems and pearls and illumined by a lamp of jewels and Thou wast chewing the betel, given by Thy beloved. Hearing My sound Thou fled’st away. S’ânti Gopî, too, out of fear and shame quitted Her body and disappeared in Thee. Therefore S’ânti is reckoned as one of the noblest qualities. Out of the pain of separation, Thou didst divide the body of S’ânti and distributed partly to forests, partly to Brahmâ, partly to Me, partly to S’uddha Sattvâ Laksmî, partly to Thy Mantra worshippers, partly to My Mantra worshippers, partly to the ascetics, partly to Dharma, and partly to the religious persons. Fifthly, dost Thou remember that one day anointing all over Thy body fully with the sandal paste and good scent and with garlands on Thy neck, well dressed, decked with jewels, Thou wast sleeping with Ksamâ (forgiveness) Gopî in ease and happiness, on a nice bedding interspersed with flowers and well scented. Thou wert so much over-powered by sleep after fresh intercourse that when I went and disturbed, then Thou two didst get up from the sweet sleep. I took away Thy yellow robes, the beautiful Muralî (flute), garlands made of forest flowers, Kaustubha gems, and invaluable earrings of pearls and gems. I gave it back to Thee at the earnest request of the S’akhîs. Thy body turned black with sin and dire shame, Ksamâ then quitted Her body out of shame and went down to the earth. Therefore Ksamâ turned out to be the repository of best qualities. Out of affection to Her, Thou didst divide Her body and distributed them partly to Visnu, partly to the Vaisnavas, partly to Dharma, partly to the religious persons, partly to weak persons, partly to ascetics, partly to the Devas, and partly to the Pundits (literary persons). O Lord! Thus I have described Thy qualities as far as I know. What more dost thou want to hear? Thou hast many more qualities! But I am not aware of them. Having thus spoken, the red-lotus eyed Râdhâ began to rebuke Gangâ sitting by the side of S’rî Krisna with Her head bent low out of shame. At this time Gangâ, who was a Siddha Yoginî came to know all the mysteries, and instantly disappeared from the assembly in Her own water form.

The Siddha Yoginî Râdhâ came to know also, by Her Yogic power, the secrets of Gangâ and became ready to drink the whole water in one sip. Gangâ, knowing this intention of Râdhâ, by Her Yogic power, took refuge of Krisna and entered into His feet. Then Râdhâ began to look out for Gangâ everywhere :– First She searched in Goloka, then Vaikuntha, then Brahmâ-loka; then She searched all the Lokas one by one but no where did She find Gangâ. All the places in Goloka became void of of water; all turned out dried mud and all the aquatic animals died and fell to the ground. And Brahmâ, Visnu, S’iva, Ananta, Dharma, Indra, Moon, Sun, Manus, Munis, Siddhas, ascetics all became very thirsty and their throats became parched. They then went to Goloka, and bowed down with devotion to S’rî Krisna, Who was the Lord of all, beyond Prakriti, the Supreme, worthy to be worshipped, the Bestower of boons, the Best, and the Cause of boons; Who is the Lord of Gopas and Gopîs; Who is formless, without any desire, unattached, without refuge, attributeless, without any enthusiasm, changeless, and unstained; Who is All Will and who assumes forms to show favour to His devotees; Who is Sattva, the Lord of truth, the Witness and eternal Purusa and Who is the Highest, the Supreme Lord, the Best and Excellent, the Highest Self and the Supreme God. They began to hymn Him. All were filled with intense feelings with devotion; tears of love were flowing from their eyes and the bodies of all were filled with ecstasy, the hairs standing in ends. He was Para Brahmâ; His Substance was made of Transcendental Light, Who is the Cause of all Causes, who was seated in a wonderful throne, built of invaluable gems and jewels, who was being fanned by the Gopas with white chowries, who was seeing and hearing with great delight, and smiling countenance, the dancing and singing of the Gopîs, who was chewing the scented betel offered by Râdhâ and who was residing in. the heart of His dearest S’rî Râdhâ, who was the Perfect, all pervading, and the Lord of the Râsa Circle. The Manus, Munis, and the ascetics all bowed down to S’rî Krisna, no sooner they beheld Him. Joy and wonder at once caught hold of their hearts. They then looked at one another and gave over to Brahmâ the task of communicating their feelings. The four faced Brahmâ, with Visnu on His right and Vâma Deva on His left, gradually came in front of S’rî Krisna. Wherever He cast His glance in the Râsa Mandalam, He saw S’rî Krisna, full of the Highest Bliss, of the nature of the Highest Bliss, sitting. All have turned out Krisnas; their seats were all uniform; all were two armed and with flutes in their hands; on every one’s neck is the forest garland; peacock’s tail was on the top of everyone’s crest and Kaustubha jewels were on all their breasts. The Forms of all of them were very beautiful; very lovely and very peaceful. No difference at all between them whether in form, or in qualities, or in ornaments, or in radiance, in age, in lustre, in no respect no one was inferior to another. No one was imperfect; no one was deficient in lordliness. It was indeed very difficult to make out who was the master and who was the servant. Sometimes He is seen in His Teja form as the Great Light, and there is nothing else; sometimes there is that Clear Divine Form; sometimes He comes Formless; sometimes with form; and again sometimes both with and without form. Sometimes there is no Râdhâ; there is only Krisna; And sometimes again in every seat there is the Yugal Murti Râdhâ and Krisna combined. Sometimes Râdhâ assumes the form of Krisna. So the Creator Brahmâ could not make out whether S’rî Krisna was a female or a male. At last He meditated on S’rî Krisna in his heart-lotus and began to chant hymns to Him with devotion and prayed for forgiveness for his misdoings. When S’rî Krisna got pleased, the Creator, opening His eyes, saw S’rî Krisna on the breast of S’rî Râdhâ. There were His attendants on all the sides and the Gopîs all around. Seeing this, Brahmâ, Visnu, and Mahes’vara bowed down to Him and sang His praises.

108-113. S’rî Krisna, the Lord of Laksmî, the Omnipresent, Cause of all, the Lord of all, and the Internal Ruler of all, knew their intentions and, addressing them, separately said :– “O Brahmân! Is it all well with you? O Lord of Kamalâ! Come here. O Mahâdeva! Come here; let all be well to you. You all have come to me for Gangâ. Gangâ has taken refuge under My feet out of fear for Râdhâ. Seeing Gangâ by My side, Râdhâ wanted to drink Her up, However I will give over Gangâ to the hands of you all; but you will have to pray to Râdhâ, so that Gangâ becomes fearless of Her.” The lotus born Brahmâ smiled at S’rî Krisna’s words and began to sing hymns to Râdhâ, Who is fit to be worshipped by all. The Creator Brahmâ, the Compiler of the Four Vedas, the Four-faced One praised Râdhâ with His Four heads, bent low and addressed Her thus :–

114-125. Brahmâ said :– “O Râdhe! Gangâ, appeared from Thee and the Lord S’rî Krisna. Both of you were transformed before into the liquid forms in the Râsâ Mandalam, on hearing the music of S’ankara. And That Lquid Form is Gangâ. So She is born of Thee and S’rî Krisna. Hence She is like Thy daughter and to be loved as such. She will be initiated in Thy Mantra and She will worship Thee. The four armed Lord of Vaikuntha will be Her husband. And when She will appear in parts on earth, the Salt Ocean will be Her husband. O Mother! The Gangâ that dwells in Goloka, is dwelling everywhere. O Governess of the Devas! Thou art Her mother; and She is always Thy Self born daughter.” Hearing thus, the words of Brahmâ, Râdhâ gave Her assent towards the protection of Gangâ. And then Gangâ appeared from the toe-tip of S’rî Krisna. The liquid Gangâ, then, assumed Her own form and, getting up from water, was received with great honour by the Devas. Bhagavân Brahmâ took a little of that Ganges water in His Kamandalu and Bhagavân Mahâdeva kept some of it in His own head.

The lotus born Brahmâ, then, initiated Gangâ into the Râdhâ Mantra and gave Her instructions, Râdhâ Stotra (hymn of Râdhâ) according to the Sâma Veda, Râdhâ Kavacha (protection mantras), Râdhâ Dhyân (meditation on Râdhâ), method of worship of Râdhâ, and Râdhâ’s purascharana. Gangâ worshipped Râdhâ according to those instructions and went to Vaikuntha. O Muni! Laksmî, Sarasvatî, Gangâ, and the world purifying Tulasî, these four became the wives of Nârâyana. Krisna, then, smiled and explained to Brahmâ the history of Time, hardly to be comprehended by others. He then spoke :– “O Brahmâ! O Visnu! O Mahes’vara! Now you better take Gangâ and I will now tell you what a change has been effected by this time. Hear.

126-136. You, the three Devas, the other Devas, Munis, Manus, Siddhas, and other Mahâtmâs that are present here, are living now. For this region of Goloka is not affected by Kâla (Time). Now the Kalpa is going to expire. So in the other regions than Goloka and Vaikuntha, the Brahmâs, etc., that were existing in all other Universes, have all now dissolved in My Body. O Lotus-born! Save Goloka and Vaikuntha, all are now under water, the pre-state of earth. Better go and create your own Brahmândas and Gangâ will go to that newly created Brahmânda. I will also create other worlds and the Brahmâs thereof. Now you all better go with the Devas and do your own works respectively. You have waited here for a long interval. As many Brahmâs that have fallen all appear again.” Thus saying S’rî Krisna, the Lord of Râdhâ went to His Inner Chamber. The Devas also instantly retired from that spot and engaged themselves earnestly in the creation work. Gangâ remained as before till then in the region of Goloka, Vaikuntha, S’ivaloka, Brahmâ-loka, and in other places, by the command of S’rî Krisna. She is named Visnupadî, because She appeared from the feet of Visnu. Thus I have described to you this pleasant, essential story of Gangâ, leading to liberation. What more do you now want to hear? Say.

Here ends the Thirteenth Chapter on the anecdote of Gangâ in the Ninth Book in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XIV

On the story of Gangâ becoming the wife of Nârâyana

1-2. Nârada said :– O Lord! Gangâ, Laksmî, Sarasvatî, and the world purifying Tulasî, these four, are dearest to Nârâyana. Out of these, Gangâ went from the region of Goloka to Vaikuntha. So I have heard. But how did She come to be the wife of Nârâyana. I have not heard. Kindly describe this.

3. Nârâyana said :– Brahmâ came from Goloka to the region of Vaikuntha accompanied by Gangâ.

4-23. Brahmâ said to Nârâyana :– O Lord! Gangâ, born of the bodies of Râdhâ and Krisna, full of youth, modest, extraordinarily beautiful, of pure Suddha Sattva, and void of anger and egoism, does not like to marry anyone save Thee as She is born of Thee. But Râdhâ is of a very proud nature and very wrathful. She was even ready to drink up Gangâ. But Gangâ at once and intelligently took refuge into the feet of S’rî Krisna. So the whole Goloka became void of water. Seeing this, I have come here to know in particular the whole history of the case. Then S’rî Krisna, the Knower and the Ruler of the hearts of all, came to know my heart and instantly caused Gangâ to issue from His toe and handed Her over to me. I bowed down to S’rî Krisna and now I have come with Gangâ to Thee. Now Thou dost marry the Sures’varî Gangâ according to the Gândharva rule of marriage. As Thou art a Deva of taste and humorous in the assembly of the Devas, so Gangâ is. As Thou art a gem amongst the males, so She is the gem amongst the females. And the union of a humorous man with a humorous woman is exceedingly pleasant. Now marry this Lady who has come of Her own accord to Thee. S’rî Mahâ Laksmî becomes annoyed with one who does not marry a woman who has come spontaneously. There is no doubt in this. The wise men do never insult the Prakriti. All the Purusas (males) are born of Prakriti and all the females are parts of Prakriti. So Prakriti and Purusa are both inseparable and verily one and the same. So these two should never insult each other. (If Thou sayest that Gangâ is attached to Krisna; how canst Thou marry Her. The reply is) As S’rî Krisna is beyond the attributes and beyond Prakriti, so Thou art also above Prakriti. The one-half of S’rî Krisna is two-armed; the other half of S’rî Krisna is four-armed. Râdhâ has appeared from the left side of S’rî Krisna. He Himself is the right half and Padmâ is His left-half. As there is no difference between Râdhâ and Kamalâ so there is no difference between S’rî Krisna and Thee. Therefore as Gangâ is born of Thy body, she wants to marry Thee. As Prakriti and Purusa are really one and the same without any difference, so the males and females are one. Thus speaking to Nârâyana, Brahmâ handed Gangâ over to Nârâyana and went away. Nârâyana, then, married Gangâ smeared with sandal paste and flowers, according to the rules of the Gandarbha marriage. The Lord of Laksmî then spent his time happily in enjoyment with Gangâ. Gangâ had to go to the earth (under the Bhârati’s curse) and afterwards returned to Vaikuntha. As Gangâ appeared from the feet of Visnu, She is denominated Visnupadî. Gangâ Devî was very much overpowered with enjoyment in Her first intercourse with Nârâyana; so much so that She remained motionless. Thus Gangâ spent the days happily with Nârâyana. Sarasvatî’s jealousy towards Gangâ did not disappear, though She was advised by Laksmî Devî not to do so. Sarasvatî cherished incessantly the feeling of jealousy towards Gangâ. But Gangâ had not the least feeling of jealousy towards Sarasvatî.

At last, one day, when vexed too much, Gangâ became angry and cursed Sarasvatî to take Her birth in Bhârata. So Laksmî, Sarasvatî and Gangâ were the wives of Nârâyana. Lastly Tulasî became the wife of Nârâyana. So the number of wives of Nârâyana amounted to four.

Here ends the Fourteenth Chapter in the Ninth Book on the story of Gangâ becoming the wife of Nârâyana in the Mahâpuranam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XV

On the anecdote of Tulasî

1-6. Nârada said :– O Bhagavân! How came the pure chaste Tulasî to be the wife of Nârâyana? Where was Her birth place? And what was She in Her previous birth? What family did She belong to? Whose daughter was She? And what austerities did She practise, that She got Nârâyana for Her husband, Who is above Prakriti, not liable to change without any effort, the Universal Self, Para Brahmâ and the Highest God; Who is the Lord of all, omniscient, the Cause of all, the Receptacle of all, Omnipresent, and the Preserver of all. And how did Tulasî, the chief Devî of Nârâyana, turn out into a tree? Herself quite innocent, how She was attacked by the fierce Asura? O Remover of all doubts! My mind, plain and simple, has become restless. I am eager to hear all this. So kindly cut asunder all my doubts.

7-40. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! The Manu Daksa Sâvarni was very religious, devoted to Visnu, of wide renown, of a great name, and born with Visnu’s parts. Daksa Sâvarni’s son Brahmâ Sâvarni was also very religious, devoted to Visnu and of a pure S’uddha Sattva Guna. Brahmâ Sâvarni’s son, Dharma Sâvarni was devoted to Visnu and He was the master of his senses. Dharma Sâvarni’s sons Rudra Sâvarni was also a man of restraint and very devoted. Rudra Sâvarni’s son was Deva Sâvarni, devoted to Visnu. Deva Sâvarni’s son was Indra Sâvarni. He was a great Bhakta of Visnu. His son was Vrisadhvaja. But He was a fanatic S’aiva (devoted to S’iva). At his house S’iva Himself remained for three Yugas according to the Deva measure. So much so that Bhagavân Bhûtanâtha loved him more than His own son. Vrisadhvaja did not recognise Nârâyana, nor Laksmî nor Sarasvatî nor another body. He discarded the worship of all the Devas. He worshipped S’ankara only. The greatly exciting Laksmî Puja (worship of Mahâ Laksmî) in the month of Bhâdra and S’rî Pañchamî Puja in the month of Mâgha, which are approved of by the Vedas, Vrisadhvaja put an entire stop to these and the Sarasvatî Puja. At this the Sun became angry with the King Vrisadhvaja, the discarder of the holy thread, the hater of Visnu, and cursed Him thus :– “O King! As you are purely devoted to S’iva and S’iva alone, and as you do not recognise any other Devas, I say within no time, you will be deprived of all your wealth and prosperity.” S’ankara, hearing this curse, became very angry and taking His trident, ran after the Sun. The Sun, becoming afraid, accompanied His father Kas’yapa and took refuge of Brahmâ. Bhagavân S’ankara went to the Brahmâ Loka, with trident in His hands. Brahmâ became afraid of Mahâdeva and took Sun to the region of Vaikuntha. Out of terror, the throats of Brahmâ, Kas’yapa, and Sun became parched and dry and they all went afraid for refuge to Nârâyana, the Lord of all. They all bowed down to Him and praised Him frequently and finally informed Him of the cause of their coming and why they were so much afraid. Nârâyana showed them mercy and granted them “Abhaya” (no fear). O You! Who are afraid, take rest. What cause of fear there can be to you, when I am here!

Whoever remembers Me, wherever he may be, involved in danger or fear, I go there with the Sudars’an disc in My hand and save him. O Devas! I am always the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of this universe. In the form of Visnu, I am the Preserver; in the form of Brahmâ, I am the Creator; and in the form of Mahes’a, I am the Destroyer. I am S’iva; I am you; and I am the Sûrya, composed of the three qualities. It is I who assumes many forms and preserves the universe. Better go to your respective places. What fear can ye suspect? I say, all your fears due to S’ankara, are verily removed from this day. Bhagavân S’ankara, the Lord of all, is the Lord of the Sâdhus. He always hears the words of His Bhaktas; and He is kind to them. He is their Self. Both the Sun and S’iva are dearer to Me than My life. No one is more energetic than S’ankara and the Sun. Mahâdeva can easily create ten million Suns and ten million Brahmâs. There is nothing impossible with S’ûlapâni. Having no consciousness of any outer thing, immersed, day and night, in meditating on Me with His whole heart concentrated, He is repeating with devotion My Mantra from His five faces and He always sings My glories. I am also thinking, day and night, of His welfare. Whoever worships Me in whichever way, I also favour him similarly. Bhagavân Mahâ Deva is of the nature of S’iva, all auspiciousness; He is the presiding deity of S’iva, that is, liberation. It is because liberation is obtained from Him, He is called S’iva. O dear Nârada! While Nârâyana was thus speaking, the trident bolder Mahâdeva, with his eyes red like reddened lotuses, mounting on His bull, came up there and getting down from His Bull, humbly bowed down with devotion to the Lord of Laksmî, peaceful and higher than the highest. Nârâyana was then seated on His throne, decked with jewel ornaments. There was a crown on His crest; two earrings were hanging from His ears; the disc was in His hand, forest flower’s garlands on His neck; of the colour of fresh blue rain cloud; His form exceedingly beautiful. The four-armed attendants were fanning Him with their four hands; His body smeared all over with sandal-paste and He is wearing the yellow garment. That Bhagavân, distressed with the thought of welfare for His Bhaktas, the Highest Self was sitting on a jewel throne and chewing the betel offered by Padmâ and with smiling countenance, seeing and hearing the dancing and singing of the Vidyâdharîs. When Mahâdeva bowed down to Nârâyana, Brahmâ also bowed down to Mahâdeva. The Sun, too, surprised, bowed down to Mahâdeva with devotion. Kas’yapa, too, bowed and with great bhakti, began to praise Mahâdeva. On the other hand, S’ankara praised Nârâyana and took His seat on the throne. The attendants of Nârâyana began to fan Mahâdeva with white chowries. Then Visnu addressed Him with sweet nectar like voice and said :– “O Mahes’vara! What brings Thee here? Hast Thou been angry?”

41-45. Mahâdeva said : — “O Visnu! The King Vrisadhavaja is My great devotee; he is dearer to Me than My life. The Sun has cursed him and so I am angry. Out of the affection for a son I am ready to kill Sûrya. Sûrya took Brahmâ’s refuge and now he and Brahmâ have taken Thy refuge. And Those who being distressed take Thy refuge, either in mind or in word, become entirely safe and free from danger. They conquer death and old age. What to speak of them, then, of those who come personally to Thee and take Thy refuge. The remembrance of Hari takes away all dangers. All good comes to them. O Lord of the world! Now tell me what becomes of My stupid Bhakta who has become devoid of fortune and prosperity by the curse of Sûrya.”

46-51. Visnu said :– “O S’ankara! Twenty-one yugas elapsed within this one-half Ghatikâ, by the coincidence of Fate (Daiva). Now go quickly to Thy abode. Through the unavoidable coincidence of the cruel Fate, Vrisadhvaja died. His son Rathadhvaja, too, died. Rathadhvaja had two noble sons Dharmadhvaja and Kus’adhvaja. Both of them are great Vaisnavas; but, through Sûrya’s curse, they have become luckless. Their kingdoms are lost; they have become destitute of all property, prosperity and they are now engaged in worshipping Mahâ Laksmî. Mahâ Laksmî will be born in parts of their two wives. Then again, by the grace of Laksmî, Dharmadhvaja and Kus’adhvaja will be prosperous and become great Kings. O S’ambhu Your worshipper Vrisadhvaja is dead. Therefore Thou dost go back to Thy place. O Brahmâ, O Sun! O Kas’yapa! You all also better go to your places respectively.” O Nârada! Thus saying, Bhagavân Visnu went with His wife to the inner rooms. The Devas also went gladly to their own places respectively. And Mahâdeva, too, Who is always quite full within Himself, departed quickly to perform His Tapas.

Here ends the Fifteenth Chapter on the question of anecdote of Tulasî in the Ninth Book in the Mahâpuranam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XVI

On the incarnation of Mahâ Laksmî in the house of Kus’adhvaja

1-30. S’rî Nârâyana said :– O Muni! Dharmadhvaja and Kus’adhvaja practised severe tapasyâs and worshipped Laksmî. They then got separately their desired boons. By the boon of Mahâ Laksmî, they became again the rulers of the earth. They acquired great religious merits and they also had their children. The wife of Kus’adhvaja was named Mâlâvatî. After a long time, the chaste wife delivered one daughter, born of the parts of Kamalâ. The daughter, on being born, became full of wisdom. On being born, the baby began to sing clearly the Vedic mantrams from the lying-in-chamber. Therefore She was named Vedavatî by the Pundits. She bathed after her birth and became ready to go to the forest to practise severe tapas. Everyone then, tried earnestly to dissuade her, devoted to Nârâyana, from the enterprise. But she did not listen to anybody. She went to Puskara and practised hard tapasyâ for one Manvantara. Yet her body did not get lean a bit; rather she grew more plumpy and fatter. By degrees her youth began to show signs in her body; one day she heard an incorporeal voice from the air above, “O Fair One! In your next birth S’rî Hari, adored by Brahmâ and other gods, will be your husband.” Hearing this, her joy knew no bounds. She went to the solitary caves in the Gandhamâdan mountain to practise tapas again. When a long time passed away in this tapasyâ, one day the irresistible Râvana came there as guest. No sooner Vedavatî saw the guest, then she gave him, out of devotion to the guest, water to wash feet, delicious fruits, and cool water for his drink. The villain accept the hospitality and sitting there, began to ask :– “O Auspicious One! Who are you?” Seeing the fair smiling lady, with beautiful teeth, her face blooming like the autumnal lotus, of heavy loins, and of full breast, that villain became passionate. He lost entirely all consciousness and became ready to make violence on Her. Seeing this, the chaste Vedavatî, became angry and out of her tapas influence, astounded him and made him insensible to move. He remained motionless like an inanimate body. He could not move his hands nor feet nor could he speak. That wicked fellow then mentally recited praises to her. And the praise of the Higher S’akti can never go futile. She became pleased and granted him religious merits in the next world. But she also pronounced this curse :– “That when you have touch my body out of passion, then you will be ruined with your whole family for my sake. Now see my power.” O Nârada! Thus saying to Râvana, Vedavatî left her body by her yogic power. Then Râvana took her body and delivered it to the Ganges and he then returned to his own home. But Râvana thought over the matter repeatedly and exclaimed, “What wonder have I seen! Oh! What a miracle this lady has wrought!” Râvana thus lamented. This Vedavatî, of pure character, took her birth afterwards as Sîtâ, the daughter of

Janaka. For the sake of this Sîtâ, Râvana was ruined with his whole family. By the religious merits of her previous birth, the ascetic lady got Bhagavân Hari S’rî Râma Chandra, the Fullest of the Full, for her husband and remained for a long time in great enjoyment with the Lord of the world; a thing very difficult to be attained! Though she was a Jâtismarâ (one who knows all about her past lives), she did not feel any pain due to her practising severe austerities in her previous birth; for when the pains end in success, the pains are not then felt at all. Sîtâ, in Her fresh youth enjoyed various pleasures in the company of her husband, handsome, peaceful, humorous and witty, the chief of the Devas, loved by the female sex, well-qualified, and just what she desired. But the all-powerful Time is irresistible; the truthful Râmachandra, the scion of the Raghu’s family, had to keep up the promise made by his father and so he had to go to the forest, ordained by Time. He remained with Sîtâ and Laksmana near the sea. Once the God Fire appeared to Him in the form of a Brâhmana. Fire, in a Brâhmin-form, saw Râma Chandra morose and became himself mortified. Then the Truthful Fire addressed the truthful Râmachandra :– “O Bhagavân Râmachandra! I now speak to you how time is now coming to you. Now has come the time when your Sîtâ will be stolen.

31-48. The course of Destiny is irresistible; none else is more powerful than Time, Fate. So give over your Sîtâ, the World Mother to me and keep with you this Chhâyâ Sîtâ (the shadow Sîtâ; the false Sîtâ). When the time of Sîtâ’s ordeal by fire will take place I will give Her back to you. The Devas united have sent me to you. I am not really a Brâhmin; but I am Agni Deva (eater of oblations).” Râmachandra heard Fire and gave his assent. But his heart shattered. He did not speak of this to Laksmana. By the yogic power Agni (Fire) created a Mâyâ Sîtâ. This Mâyâ Sîtâ, O Nârada, was perfectly equal to the real Sîtâ. Fire, then, handed this Mâyâ Sîtâ to the hands of Râmachandra. Hûtâsana (fire) took the real Sîtâ and said, “Never divulge this to any other body” and went away. What to speak of divulging the secret to any other body, Laksmana even could not know it. By this time Râma saw one deer, made of all gold. To bring that deer carefully to her, Sîtâ sent Râmachandra with great eagerness. Putting Sîtâ under Laksmana’s care, in that forest, Râma went himself immediately and pierced the deer by one arrow. That Mâyâ mrîga (the deer created by magic powers) on being pierced, cried out “Ha Laksmana!” and seeing Hari before him and remembering the name of Hari, quitted his life. The deer body then vanished; and a divine body made its appearance in its stead. This new body mounting on an aerial car made of jewels, ascended to Vaikuntha. That Mâyik (magic) deer was in its previous birth, a servant, of the two gate-keepers of Vaikuntha; but, for the sake of some emergency, he had to take up this Râkhsasa birth. He again became the servant of two door-keepers of Vaikuntha. On the other hand Sîtâ Devî, hearing the cry “Ha Laksmana!” became very distressed and sent Laksmana in search of Râma. No sooner did Laksmana get out of the hermitage, the irresistible Râvana took away Sîtâ gladly to the city of Lanka (Ceylon). Now Râmachandra, seeing Laksmana on the way in the forest, became merged in the ocean of sorrows and without losing any time came hurriedly to the hermitage where he could not find Sîtâ. Instantly he fell unconscious, on the ground; and, after a long time, when he regained his consciousness, he lamented and wandered here and there in search of Her. After some days on the banks of the river Godâvarî, getting the information of Sîtâ, he built a bridge across the ocean with the help of His monkey armies. Then he entered with his army into Lanka and slew Râvana with arrows with all his friends. When Sîtâ’s ordeal by fire came, Agni (Fire) handed over the real Sîtâ to Râmachandra. The Shadow Sîtâ then humbly addressed Agni and Râma Chandra, “O Lord! What am I to do now? Settle my case.”

49-53. Agni and Râmachandra both of them then said to Chhâyâ Sîtâ :– “O Devî! Go to Puskara and practise tapasyâ there; that place is the giver of religious merits and then you will be the Svarga Laksmî (Laksmî of Heaven).” Hearing this, the Chhâyâ Sîtâ went and practised tapasyâ for the three divine lakh years and became Mahâ Laksmî. This Svarga Laksmî appeared at one time from the sacrificial Kunda (pit). She was known as the daughter of Drupada and became the wife of the five Pândavas. She was Veda Vatî, the daughter of Kus’adhvaja in the Satya Yuga; Sîtâ, the wife of Râma and the daughter of Janaka in Tretâ Yuga; and Draupadî, the daughter of Drupada, in the Dvâpara Yuga. As she existed in the Satya, Tretâ, and Dvâpara Yugas, the Three Yugas, hence She is Trihâyanî.

54. Nârada said :– “O Chief of Munis! O Remover of doubts! Why had Draupadî five husbands? A great doubt has arisen in my mind on this point. Remove my doubt.”

55-63. Nârâyana said :– O Devarsi! When, in the city of Lanka, the real Sîtâ came before Râma, then Chhâyâ Sîtâ, full of youth and beauty, became very anxious. Agni Deva and Râmachandra both toldHer to go to Puskara and worship S’amkara. While this Chhâyâ Sîtâ was practising austerities in Puskara, She became very anxious to get a good husband and asked from MahâDeva the boon “Grant me a husband” and repeated it five times. S’iva, the chief among the humorous, witty persons, hearing this, said, “O Dear! You will get five husbands” and thus granted her the boon. Therefore She became the dearest wife of the five Pândavas. Now hear other facts. When the war at Lanka was over, S’rî Râmachandra got his own dear wife Sîtâ, and installing Vibhîsana on the throne of Lanka, returned to Ayodhyâ. He ruled for eleven thousand years in Bhârata and finally went to Vaikuntha with his all his subjects. Vedavatî, the incarnation in part of Laksmî dissolved in the body of Kamalâ. Thus I have described to you the pure anecdote of Vedavatî. Hearing this destroys sins and increases virtue. The four Vedas reigned incarnate, in their true forms, on the lips of Vedavatî; hence She was named Vedavatî. Thus I have told you the anecdote of the daughter of Kus’adhvaja. Now hear the story of Tulasî, the daughter of Dharmadhvaja.

Here ends the Sixteenth Chapter in the Ninth Book on the incarnation of Mahâ Laksmî in the house of Kus’adhvaja in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XVII

On the anecdote of Tulasî

1-19. S’rî Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! The wife of Dharmadhvaja was Mâdhavî. Going to the Gandhamâdan mountain, She began to enjoy, with great gladness, the pleasures with the king Dharmadhvaja. The bed was prepared, strewn with flowers and scented with sandal-paste. She smeared all over her body with sandal-paste. The flowers and cool breeze in contact with the sweet scent of sandal-paste began to cool the bodies. Mâdhavî was the jewel amongst women. Her whole body was very elegant. Besides it was adorned all over with jewel ornaments. As she was humorous, so the king was very expert in that respect. It seemed as if the Creator created especially for Dharmadhvaja, the humorous lady Mâdhavî expert in amorous affairs. Both of them were skilled in amorous sports. So no one did like to desist from amorous enjoyments. One hundred divine years passed in this way, day and night passed unnoticed. The king then got back his consciousness and desisted from his amorous embraces. But the lustful woman did not find herself satisfied. However, by the Deva’s influence, she became pregnant and conceived for one hundred years. In the womb there was the incarnation of Laksmî; and the body’s lustre increased day by day. Then, on an auspicious day, on an auspicious moment, auspicious Yoga, auspicious Lagna, auspicious Amsa, and on an auspicious combination of planetary rulers and their houses, she delivered on the full moon night of the month of Kârtik one beautiful daughter, the incarnation in part of Laksmî. The face of the baby looked like the autumnal moon; Her two eyes resembled autumnal lotuses and her upper and lower lips looked beautiful like ripe Bimba fruits. The daughter began, no sooner it was born, to look on all sides of the lying-in-room. The palm and lower part of feet were red. The navel was deep and below that there were three wrinkles. Her loins were circular. Her body was hot in the winter and cold in the summer and pleasant to touch. Her hairs on the head were hanging like the roots of the fig tree. Her colour was bright like Champaka; She was a jewel amongst women. Men and women cannot compare her beauty. The holy wise men named Her Tulasî. As soon as she was born, she looked of the female sex, full in every way. Though prevented repeatedly by all, She went to the forest of Badarî for practising Tapasyâ. There she practised hard Tapasyâ for one lakh divine years. Her main object was to get Nârâyana for her husband. In summer she practise Panchatapâ (surrounded by fire on four sides and on the top); in the winter she remained in water and in the rainy season she remained in the open air and endured the showers of the rain, twenty thousand years. She passed away thus in eating fruits and water. For thirty thousand years she subsisted only on the leaves of trees. When the forty thousandth year came, she subsisted only on air and her body became thinner and thinner day by day. Then for ten thousand years afterwards she left eating anything whatsoever and without any aim, stood on only one leg. At this time the lotus-born Brahmâ, seeing this, appeared there to grant her boons. On seeing Him, Tulasî immediately bowed down to Brahmâ, the Four-faced One riding on His vehicle, the Swan. [Note: — The vehicle theory of the Devas came from Egypt. The Devas were without vehicles at first and were faced half-beasts. Then they were rendered men and their vehicles were fancied as beasts. The face of the Dûrgâ Devî was thought of as that of a tiger.

20. He then addressed her and said :– “O Tulasî! Ask a boon that you like. Whether it be devotion to Hari, servantship to Hari, freedom from old age or freedom from death, I will grant that to you.”

21-27. Tulasî said :– “Father! I now say you my mind. Hear. What is the use of hiding away my views out of fear or shame to One who knows everything reigning in One’s Heart. I am Tulasî Gopî (cowherdess); I used to dwell before in the Goloka. I was a dear she-servant of Radhikâ, the beloved of Krisna. I was also born of Her in part, Her Sakhis (female attendants) used to love me. Once in Râsa Mandalam I was enjoyed by Govinda; but I was not satiated and while I was lying down in an unconscious state, Râdhâ, the Governess-in-chief of the Râsa circle, came there and saw me in that state. She rebuked Gobinda and, out of anger, cursed me :– ‘Go at once and be born as a human being.’ At this Govinda spoke to me :– ‘If you go and practise Tapas in Bhârata, Brahmâ will get pleased and He will grant you boon. When you will get Nârâyana, the Four-armed, born of Me in part as your husband.’ O Father! Thus speaking, S’rî Krisna disappeared out of sight. Out of Râdhâ’s fear, I quitted my body and am now born in this world. Now grant me this boon that I get the peaceful, lovely, beautiful Nara for my husband.”

28-37. Brahmâ said :– “O Child Tulasî! The Gopa (cowherd) Sudâmâ was born of S’rî Krisna’s body. At the present time he is very energetic, He too, under the curse of Râdhâ, has come and taken his birth amongst the Dânavas. He is named S’ankha Chûda. No one is equal to him in strength. In Goloka, when he saw you before, he was overpowered with passion for you. Only out of Râdhâ’s influence, he could not embrace you. That Sudâmâ is Jâtismara (knows all about his previous births); and you, too, are Jâti Smarâ. There is nothing unknown to you. O Beautiful One! You will now be his wife. Afterwards you will get Nârâyana, the Beautiful and Lovely for your husband. Thus under the curse of Nârâyana, you will be transformed into the world purifying Tulasî tree. You will be the foremost amongst the flowers and will be dearer to Nârâyana than His life. No one’s worship will be complete without Thee as leaf. You will remain as a tree in Bindrâban and you will be widely known as Vrindâbanî. The Gopas and Gopis will worship Mâdhava with Your leaves. Being the Presiding Deity of the Tulasî tree, you will always enjoy the company of Krisna, the best of the Gopas.” O Nârada! Thus bearing Brahmâ’s words, the Devî Tulasî became very glad. Smile appeared in her face. She then bowed down to the Creator and said :–

38-40. “O Father! I speak now truly to Thee that I am not as devoted to the four-armed Nârâyana as I am devoted to S’yâma Sundara, the two-armed. For my intercourse with Govinda S’rî Krisna was suddenly interrupted and my desire was not gratified. It is because of S’rî Govinda’s words that I prayed for the four-armed. Now it appears certain that by Thy grace I will get again my Govinda, very hard to be attained. But, O Father! Do this that I be not afraid of Râdhâ.”

41-48. Brahmâ said :– “O Child! I now give you the sixteen lettered Râdhâ mantra to you. By Her Grace you will be dear to Râdhâ as Her life. Râdhikâ will not be able to know anything of your secret dealings. O Fortunate! You will be dear to Govinda like Râdhâ.” Thus saying, Brahmâ, the Creator of the world, gave her the sixteen lettered Râdhâ mantra, stotra, Kavacha and mode of worship and puras’charana and He blessed her. Tulasî, then, engaged herself in worshipping Râdhâ, as directed. By the boon of Brahmâ, Tulasî attained Siddhi (success) like Laksmî. Out of the power of the Siddha mantra, She got her desired boon. She became fortunate in getting various pleasures, hard to be attained in this world. Her mind became quiet. All the toils of Tapasyâ disappeared. When one gets the fruit of one’s labour, all the troubles then transform to happiness. She then finished her food and drink and slept on a beautiful bed strewn with flowers and scented with sandal paste.

Here ends the Seventeenth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the anecdote of Tulasî in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XVIII

On the union of S’ankhachûda with Tulasî

1-26. Nârâyana said :– Thus highly pleased, Tulasî went to sleep with a gladdened-heart. She, the daughter of Vrisadhvaja, was then in her blooming youth and while asleep, the Cupid, the God of five arrows, shot at her five arrows (by which one gets enchanted and swooned). Though the Devî was smeared with sandal paste and She slept on a bed strewn with flowers, her body was felt as if being burnt. Out of joy, the hairs stood on their ends all over her body; her eyes were reddened and her body began to quiver. Sometimes She felt uneasiness, sometimes dryness; sometimes She got faint; sometimes drowsiness and sometimes again pleasantness; sometimes she became conscious, sometimes sorrowful. Sometimes she got up from her bed; sometimes she sat; and sometimes she fell again to sleep. The flower-bed, strewn with sandal-paste, appeared to her full of thorns; nice delicious fruits and cold water appeared to her like poison. Her house appeared to her like a hole in a ground and her fine garments seemed to her like fire. The mark of Sindûra on her forehead appeared, as it were, a boil, a sore. She began to see in her dreams that one beautiful, well clothed, humorous, young man with smile in his lips, appeared to her. His body was besmeared with sandal-paste and decked with excellent jewels; garlands of forest flowers were suspending from his neck. Coming there, he was drinking the honey of her lotus face. He was speaking on love themes and on various other sweet topics. As if he was embracing amorously and enjoying the pleasures of intercourse. After the intercourse he was going away; again he was coming near.

The lady was addressing him, “O Darling! O Lord of my heart! Where do you go. Come close.” Again when she became conscious, she began to lament bitterly. Thus on entering in her youth, the Devî Tulasî began to live in the hermitage of Badari (Plum fruit, it may signify womb. Those who visit Badari are not to enter again in any womb). On the other hand the great Yogi S’ankhachûda obtained the Krisna Mantra from Maharsi Jaigîsavya and got siddhi (success) in Puskara Tîrtha (sacred place of pilgrimage where one crosses the world). Holding on his neck the Kavacha named Sarvamangalamaya and obtaining the boon from Brahmâ as he desired, he arrived at Badari, by Brahmâ’s command. The signs of the blooming youth had just begun to be visible in the body of S’ankhachûda as if the God of Love incarnated in his body; his colour resembled that of white Champakas and all his body was decked with jewelled ornaments. His face resembled the autumnal full moon; his eyes were extended like the lotus leaves. The beautiful form was seen to sit in an excellent aerial car, made of pearls and jewels. Two jewel earrings, nice and elegant, suspended upto his cheek; his neck was adorned with Pârijâta flower garlands; and his body was smeared with Kumkum and scented sandal-paste. O Nârada! Seeing S’ankhachûda coming near to her, Tulasî covered her face by her clothing and she, with a smiling countenance, cast repeatedly sidelong glances at him and bent her head low abashed in the expectation of a fresh intercourse. How beautiful was that clear face of her! It put down the autumnal moon in the background. The invaluable jewelled ornament were on her toes. Her braid of hair was surrounded by sweet scented Mâlatî garlands. The invaluable jewelled wonderful earrings like the shape of a shark were hanging up to her cheek. Extraordinarily beautiful necklaces were seen being suspended to the middle of her breasts and added to the beauty thereof; on her arms and hand were jewelled bangles and conch ornaments; jewelled armlets and on fingers; excellent jewelled rings were seen. O Muni! Seeing that lovely beautiful chaste woman of good nature, S’ankhachûda came to her and taking his seat addressed her as follows :–

27. “O Proud One! O Auspicious One! Who are you? Whose daughter are you? You look fortunate and blessed among women. I am your silent slave. Talk with me.”

28-30. That beautiful eyed Tulasî, full of love, replied to S’ankhachûda with smiling countenance and face bent low :– “I am the daughter of the great king Vrisadhvaja. I have come to this forest for tapasyâ and am engaged in this. Who are you? What business have you to talk with me? You can go away wherever you like. I have heard in the S’âstras that persons born of a noble family never speak with ladies of a respectable family in privacy.

31-71. Only those that are lewd, void of any knowledge in the Dharma S’âstras, void of the Vedic knowledge and who are not Kulînas, like to speak with women in privacy. And those woman, too, that look externally beautiful but very passionate and the Death of males, who are sweet tongued but filled with venom in their hearts, those who are sweet externally but like a sword internally, those that are always bent in achieving their own selfish ends and those that become obedient to their husbands for their own selfish ends otherwise behaving as they like, those that are filled inside with dirty things and outside looking pleasant in their faces and eyes, whose characters are pronounced as defiled, what intelligent, learned and noble-minded man can trust them? Those women do not discriminate who are their friends or who are their enemies; they want always new persons. Whenever they see a man well dressed, they want to satisfy their own passions. And they pretend with great care that they are very chaste. They are the vessels of passion; they always attract the minds of others and they are very enthusiastic in satisfying their own lust. They verbally shew that they want other men to go away but at hearts, feelings for intercourse remain preponderant; whenever they see their paramours in private, they laugh and become very glad but externally their shame, knows no bounds. When they do not have their intercourses with their paramours, they become self-conceited; their bodies burn with anger and they begin to quarrel. When their passions are satisfied fully, they become glad and when there is a deficiency in that, they become sorrowful. For the sake of good and sweet food and cold drinks, they want beautiful young persons, qualified and humorous. They consider witty young persons clever in holding intercourses, more dearly than their sons. And if that beloved one becomes incapable or aged, then he is considered as an enemy. Quarrels and anger then ensue. They devour these men as serpents eat rats. They are boldness personified and they are the source of all evils and vices. Even Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a remain deluded before them. They cannot find out any clue of their minds. They are the greatest obstacle in the path of tapasyâ and the closed doors for liberation. Devotion to Hari cannot reach those women. They are the repositories of Mâyâ and they hold men fast by iron chains in this word. They are like magicians and false like dreams. They enchant others by external beauty; their lower parts are very ugly and filled with excrements, faeces, of foul scent and very unholy and smeared with blood. The Creator Bhagavân has created them as such, the Mâyâ to the Mâyâvis and the venom to those who want liberation, and as invisible to those that want to have them.” Thus saying Tulasî stopped. O Nârada! S’ankhachûda, then smilingly addressed her as follows :– “O Devî! What you have spoken is not wholly false; partly it is true and partly it is false. Now hear. The Creator has created this all-enchanting female form into two parts. One is praiseworthy and the other is not. He has created Laksmî, Sarasvatî, Durgâ, Sâvitrî and Râdhâ and others as the primary causes of creation; so there are the prime creations: Those women that are born of their parts, are auspicious, glorious and much praiseworthy. S’atarûpâ, Devahûtî, Svadhâ, Svâhâ, Daksinâ Chhâyâvatî, Rohinî, Varunânî, S’achî, the wife of Kuvera, Diti, Aditi, Lopâmudrâ, Anasûyâ, Kautabhî (Kotarî), Tulasî, Ahalyâ, Arundhatî, Menâ, Tarâ, Mandodarî, Damayantî, Vedavatî, Gangâ, Manasâ, Pusti, Tusti, Smriti, Medhâ, Kâlikâ, Vasundharâ, Sasthî, Mangalachandî, Mûrti, wife of Dharma. Svasti, S’raddhâ; S’ânti, Kânti, Ksânti, Nidrâ, Tandrâ, Ksudhâ, Pipâsâ, Sandhyâ, Râtri, Divâ, Sampatti, Dhriti, Kîrtî, Krîyâ, S’obhâ, Prabhâ, S’ivâ, and other women born of the Prime Prakritis, all are excellent in every Yuga. The prostitutes of the heavens are also born of the above women in their parts and parts of parts. They are not praiseworthy in the universe; they are all regarded as unchaste women. Those women that are of Sâttva Gunas are all excellent and endowed with influence. In the universe they are good, chaste and praiseworthy. This is not false. The Pandits declare them excellent. Those that are of Râjo Gunas, and Tâmo Gunas are not so praiseworthy. Those women that are of Râjo Gunas are known as middling. They are always fond of enjoyments, yield to them, and always ready to achieve their own ends. These women are generally insincere, delusive, and outside the pale of religious duties. Therefore they are generally unchaste. The Pandits consider them as middling. Those women that are of Tâmo Gunas are considered as worst. Those born of noble families, can never speak with other wives in a private place or when they are alone. By Brahmâ’s command I have come to you. O Fair One! I will marry you now according to the Gandharba method. My name is S’ankhachûda. The Devas fly away from me out of terror. Before I was the intimate S’akhâ (friend) of S’rî Hari, by the name of Sudâmâ. Now, by Râdhikâ’s curse I am born in the family of the Dânavas. I was a Pârisad (attendant) of S’rî Krisna and the chief of the eight Gopas. Now, by Râdhikâ’s curse I am born as S’ankhachûda, the Indra of the Dânavas. By S’rî Krisna’s grace and by His mantra, I am Jâtismarâ (know of my past births). You, too, are Jâtismarâ Tulasî. S’rî Krisna enjoyed you before. By Râdhikâ’s anger, you are now born in Bhârata. I was very eager to enjoy you then; out of Râdhikâ’s fear I could not.”

72-87. Thus saying, S’ankhachûda stopped. Then Tulasî gladly and smilingly replied :– “Such persons (like you) are famous in this world; good women desire such husbands. Really, I am now defeated by you in argument. The man who is conquered by woman is very impure and blamed by the community. The Pitri Lokas, the Deva Lokas, and the Gandharba Loka, too, look upon men, overpowered by women, as mean, despicable. Even father, mother, brother, etc., hate them mentally. It is said in the Vedas that the impurities during birth and death are expiated by a ten days observances for the Brâhmanas, by twelve days observances for the Ksattriyas, by fifteen days observances for the Vais’yas and by one month’s observances for the S’ûdras and other low castes. But the impurity of the man who is conquered by women cannot be expiated by any other means except (his dead body) being burned in the funeral pyre. The Pitris never accept willingly the pindas and offerings of water (Tarpanas) offered by the women-conquered men. So much so that the Devas even hesitate to accept flowers, water, etc., offered by them on their names. Those whose hearts are entirely subdued by men, do not acquire any fruits from their knowledge, Tapasyâ, Japam, fire sacrifices, worship, learning and fame. I tested you to ascertain your strength in learning. It is highly advisable to choose one’s husband by examining his merits and defects. Sin equivalent to the murder of a Brâhmin is committed if one gives in marriage one’s daughter to one void of all qualifications, to an old man, to one who is ignorant, to a poor, illiterate, diseased, ugly, very angry, very harsh, lame, devoid of limbs, deaf, dumb, inanimate like, and who is impotent. If one gives in marriage a daughter to a young man of good character, learned, well qualified and of a peaceful temper, one acquires the fruits of performing ten horse sacrifices. If one nourishes a daughter and sells her out of greed for money, one falls to the Kumbhîpâka hell. That sinner drinks the urine and eats the excrements of that daughter, remaining in that hell. For a period equal to the fourteen Indra’s life-periods they are bitten by worms and crows. At the expiry of this period, they will have to be born in this world of men as diseased persons. In their human births they will have to earn their livelihood by selling flesh and carrying flesh.”

88-100. Thus saying, when Tulasî stopped, Brahmâ appeared on the scene and addressed S’ankachûda :– O S’ankhachûda! Why are you spending uselessly your time in vain talks with Tulasî? Marry her soon by the Gandharba method. As you are a gem amongst males, so She is a gem amongst females. It is a very happy union between a humorous lover and a humorous beloved. O King! Who despises the great happiness when it is at one’s hand! He who forsakes the pleasure is worse than a beast in this world. O Tulasî! And what for are you testing the nobly qualified person who is the tormentor of the Devas, Asuras and Dânavas. O Child! As Laksmî Devî is of Nârâyana, as Râdhikâ is of Krisna; as is My Sâvîtrî, as Bhava’s is Bhavânî, as Boar’s is Earth, as Yajña’s is Daksînâ, Atri’s Anasûyâ, Gautama’s Ahalyâ, Moon’s Rohinî, Brihaspati’s Târâ, Manu’s S’atarûpâ, Kandarpa’s Rati, Kas’yapa’s Aditi, Vas’istha’s Arundhatî, Karddama’s Devahûti, Fire’s Svâhâ, Indra’s S’achî, Ganes’a’s Pusti, Skanda’s Devasenâ, and Dharma’s Mûrti, so let you be the dear wife of S’ankhachûda. Let you remain with S’ankhachûda, beautiful as he is, for a long time, and enjoy with him in various places as you like. When S’ankhachûda will quit his mortal frame, you would go to Goloka and enjoy easily with the two-armed S’rî Krisna, and in Vaikuntha with the four-armed Krisna and with great gladness.

Here ends the Eighteenth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the union of S’ankhachûda with Tulasî in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XIX

On the going of the Devas to Vaikuntha after Tulasî’s marriage with S’ankhachûda

1. Nârada said :– “O Bhâgavân! Wonderful is the story that has been now recited by you. My ears are not satisfied. So tell me what happened afterwards.”

2-94. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! The Creator Brahmâ, blessing them, departed to His own abode. The Dânava married Tulasî under the Gandharba method. The celestial drums sounded and the flowers were showered. In the beautiful lovely house the Dânavendra, remained in perfect enjoyment. Tulasî, too, being busy with fresh intercourses, became almost mad after them. The chaste Tulasî and S’ankhachûda both became deeply immersed in the ocean of bliss in their sexual union and began to enjoy sixty-four sorts of amorous sports. In the S’âstras on love affairs, all the connections of limbs with limbs that are described, as the lover and the loved desire, they both enjoyed those with perfect freedom and pleasure. The place was solitary; to add to it, the scenery was grand and lovely; so nothing remained untasted of the several tastes of amorous pleasures. On the banks of the river, in flower-gardens, they slept on the flower beds smeared with sandal-paste, and enjoyed the amorous pleasures. Both were adorned with jewel ornaments; both were skilled in amorous practices; so no one desisted. The chaste Tulasî out of her nimbleness due to young age, easily stole into the heart of her husband. S’ankhachûda, too, a great expert in knowing other’s amorous sentiments, attracted the heart of Tulasî. Tulasî obliterated the sandal marks from the breast of the King and the sign of tilak from his nose. The King also wiped away the dot of Sindur and Alakâ (vermillion) marks from Tulasî’s forehead and put marks of nails on her round plump breasts. Tulasî also hurt the King’s left side by her bracelets. Then the King bit the lips of Tulasî. Thus each one embraced the other, kissed each other and each one began to champoo the thighs, legs, etc. When both of them thus spent their time in amorous sports, they got up and began to dress themselves as they desired. Tulasî smeared S’ankhachûda’s nose with red sandal-paste mixed with kumkum (saffron), smeared his body with sweet-scented sandal-paste, offered sweet-scented betels in his mouth, made him put on celestial garments (fireproof; brought from Fire) put unto his neck the wonderful garland of Pârijâta flowers, destructive of disease and old age, invaluable jewel rings on his hand and offering him excellent gems, rare in the three worlds, said :– “O Lord! I am your maidservant” and uttering this repeatedly bowed down to the feet of her husband with devotion. She then got up and with smiling countenance began to look on his face with a steadfast gaze. The king S’ankhachûda then attracted his dear Tulasî to his breast and took off the veil fully from her face and began to look on that, next moment he kissed on her cheek and lips and gave her a pair of garments brought from the Varuna’s house, a necklace of jewels, hard to get in the three worlds, the tinklets of Svâhâ, the wife of Agni, the Keyura (armlets) of the Sun’s wife Chhâyâ, the two earrings of Rohinî, the wife of the Moon, the finger rings of Rati, the wife of Kâmadeva, and the wonderfully beautiful conch, given by Vis’va Karmâ, excellent bedding studded with pearls and jewels and various ornaments; and when he gave her all these things, he smiled. The king then put garlands on Tulasî’s braid of hair, nicely variegated Alakâs on her cheek, three crescent lines of sweet-scented sandal paste within the Alakâs, dots of saffron all around that, the brilliant Sindura mark looking like a flame, and red Âltâ on the feet and toes; he then placed those feet on his breast and utterred repeatedly :– “I am your servant” and then held her on his breast. They then left the hermitage, in that state and began to travel in various places. In the Malaya mountain, in mountains after mountains, in solitary flower gardens, in the mountain caves, in beautiful sea-beaches, on the banks of the Puspabhadrâ river, cool with watery breeze, in various rivers and riversides, in Vispandana forest echoed with sweet songs of the birds of the vernal season. They then went from Vispandana forest to the Surasana forest, from the Surasana, forest to the Nandana forest, from the Nandana forest to the nice Chandana forests, from Chandana forest to Champaka, Ketakî; Mâdhavî Kunda, Mâlatî, and Kumuda and lotus forests; thence they went to the forest of desire gratifying trees (Kalpavriksa forest,) and Pârijâta trees. They then went to the solitary place Kânchan, thence to the Kânchî (forest) they then went to the Kîñjalaka forest, thence to the Kânchanâkar (the gold mine), thence to Kanchuka and various other forests echoed with the sweet sounds of cuckoos. There, on beds strewn with flowers and scented with sandal paste they both enjoyed each other to their hearts content and with great pleasure. But none of them, whether S’ankhachûda or Tulasî, got quenched with their thirst. Rather their passions were inflamed like the fire on which clarified butter is poured (in sacrifices). The King of the Dânavas, then, brought Tulasî to his own kingdom and, there, in his own beautiful garden house, he incessantly enjoyed her. Thus the powerful king of the Dânavas passed away one Manvantara in the enjoyment of his kingdom. He spread his sway over the Devatâs, Asuras, Dânavas, Gandharbas, Kinnaras, and Râksasas. The Devas, dispossessed of their realms, wandered everywhere like beggars. At last they united in a body and went to the Brahmâ’s assembly and there they began to cry and then related the whole history how the Dânava S’ankhachûda oppressed them. Hearing all this, Brahmâ took them to S’ankara and informed Him of the whole history of the case. When Mahâdeva heard all this, He took them all to the highest place, Vaikuntha devoid of old age and death. Going towards the first entrance of Nârâyana’s abode, they saw the gate-keepers watching the gate, taking their seats on jewel thrones. They all looked brilliant, clothed with the yellow garments, adorned with jewel ornaments, garlanded with forest flowers, all of S’yâma Sundara (dark blue, very beautiful) bodies. They were four-armed, holding on their hands, conch, mace, discus and lotus; sweet smile was on their faces and eyes beautiful like lotus leaves. On Brahmâ asking them for entrance to the assembly, they nodded their assent. He, then, accompanied by the Devas, passed one by one, sixteen gates and at last came before Nârâyana. On reaching there, He saw that the assembly was completely filled with Devarsis, and four-armed Nârâyanlike Pârisadas (attendants), decked with Kaustubba jewels. The sight of the Sabhâ (assembly) makes one think that the Moon has just arisen, shedding effulgent rays all round. By the will of S’rî Hari, excellent diamonds, invaluable gems and necklaces of gems and jewels were placed at various places. At other places rows of pearls were shedding their splendour and brilliance like the garlands of gems and jewels. At others, the mirrors were placed in a circle; and at various other places, the endless wonderful artistic picture lines were drawn. Again at other places the jewels called Padmarâgas were artistically arranged as if the lotuses were there spreading their lustrous beauty all around. At many other places rows of steps were made of wonderful Syamantak jewels. All around the assembly, there were the excellent pillars, built of Indranîlam jewels. Over those pillars, sandal leaves strung on strings from to pillar to pillar, were suspended. Golden jars, all brimful with water were located at various places. All around, the garlands of Pârijâta flowers were seen. The hall was decorated with sweet scented sandal trees, red like saffron and musk. Sweet scents were being emitted all round. The Vidyadhâris were dancing at places. The assembly hall measured one thousand Yojanas. Countless servants were engaged all over on various works. Brahmâ, S’ankara, and the other Gods saw there S’rî Hari seated in the centre on an invaluable jewel throne, as a Moon looks surrounded by stars. There were the crown on His head, the ear-rings on His ears; garlands made of wild flowers were on his neck and His body was smeared all over with sandal paste and He was holding Kelipadma (a sort of lotus) in His hand. He was seeing, with a smiling countenance, the dancing and music before Him. He was full of peace, the Lord of Sarasvatî. Laksmî was holding gently His lotus feet and He was chewing the sweet scented betel offered by Her. Gangâ also was fanning Him devotedly with a white Châmara and the others were singing hymns to Him with their heads bent low with devotion. Brahmâ and the other Gods all bowed down to Him; their bodies were all filled with Pulaka (excessive joy causing hair stand on end); tears flowed from their eyes and their voices were choked out of emotion. The creator Brahmâ, then, with clasped hands informed Him, with head bowed down, of the whole history of S’ankhachûda. Hearing this, the omniscient Hari, knowing the minds of all, smiled and spoke to Brahmâ all the interesting secrets :– O Lotus born! I know all about S’ankhachûda. He was in his previous birth My great devotee, an energetic Gopa. Now I speak to you the ancient history of Goloka; hear. This story about Goloka is sin destroying and highly meritorious. S’ankhachûda, in his previous birth was the Gopa Sudâmâ, My chief Pârisad (attendant). He has now become a Dânava on account of the dire curse pronounced by S’rî Râdhâ. One day when I went from My abode, accompanied by Virajâ Gopî, to the Râsa Mandala, My beloved Râdhâ, hearing this news from a maid servant, came up at once with Her whole host of Sakhîs wrathful, to the Râsa Mandalam (ball dance in Goloka) and, not being able to see Me, saw Virajâ turned into a river, She thought that I had disappeared. So She went back to Her own abode with Her Sakhîs. But when I returned to the house with Sudâmâ, Râdhâ rebuked Me very much. I remained silent. But Sudâmâ could not bear and he rebuked Râdhâ in My presence, a thing quite intolerable to Her dignity! On hearing this rebuke, Râdhâ’s eyes became red with anger and She immediately ordered Her Sakhîs to drive him away. Sudâmâ began to tremble with fear. Immediately on Her command lakhs and lakhs of Sakhîs got up immediately and drove that hot irresistible Sudâmâ away. Sudâmâ repeated his chafings and roarings. On hearing these, She cursed him :– “You better be born in the womb of a Dânavî.” Hearing the terrible curse, Sudâmâ bowed down to Me and went away crying; then Râdhâ, who was all-mercy, became melted with mercy. And She prevented him repeatedly, not to go away. Râdhâ wept and told him, “O Child! Wait. Where are you going? No more you will have to go; return.” Thus saying She became very distressed. The Gopas and Gopîs also began to weep. I then explained to them, “In about half a moment Sudâmâ will come back, fulfilling the conditions of the curse. O Sudâmâ! Come here when the curse expires.” Then he appeased Râdhâ also. “Know that one moment (Ksan) in Goloka is equal to one Manvantara on earth. The Yogi S’ankhachûda, expert in Mâyâ and very powerful will soon return from the earth. Take this My weapon S’ûla and go early to Bhârata. S’iva will slay the Dânava by this S’ûlâstra. The Dânava holds always on his neck My auspicious Kavacha and will therefore become the conqueror of the universe. No one will he able to kill him as long as be holds the above Kavacha. So, first of all, I will go to him in the form of a Brâhmana and ask from him the Kavacha. O Creator! Thou also didst give him the boon that his death would occur when the chastity of of his wife would be destroyed. I will go and hold intercourse with his wife. Then his death will occur without fail. His wife after her death will come and become My dearest wife. Thus saying, Nârâyana gave over to Mahâdeva the S’ûlâstra. Then He went gladly to His inner compartments. On the other hand, Brahmâ and Rudra and the other Devas incarnated themselves in Bhârata.

Here ends the Nineteenth Chapter on the going of the Devas to Vaikuntha after Tulasî’s marriage with S’ankhachûda in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XX

On the war preparations of S’ankhachûda with the Devas

1-21. Nârâyana said :– Brahmâ, then putting S’iva to the task of killing S’ankhachûda went to His own abode. The other Devas returned to their homes. Here under the beautiful Bata tree, on the banks of the river Chandrabhâgâ, Mahâdeva pitched His big tent and encamped Himself to get the victory of the Devas. He then sent Chitraratha, the Lord of the Gandharbhas, as a messenger to S’ankhachûda, the Lord of the Dânavas. By the command of Mahâdeva, Chitraratha went to the city of the king of Daityas, more beautiful than Indra’s place and more wealthy than the mansion of Kuvera. The city was five yojanas wide and twice as much in length. It was built of crystals of pearls and jewels. There were roadways on all sides. There were seven trenches, hard to be crossed, one after another, encircling the city. The city was built of countless rubies and gems, brilliant like flames. There were hundreds of roadways and markets and stalls, in the wonderful Vedis (raised platforms) built of jewels. All around were splendid palatial buildings of traders and merchantmen, filled with various articles. There were hundreds and kotis of beautiful buildings, adorned with various ornaments and built of variegated red stones looking like Sindûras. Thus he went on and saw, in the middle, the building of S’ankhachûda, circular like the lunar sphere. Four ditches all filled with fiery flames, encircled one after another, his house. So the enemies could not in any way cross them; but the friend could easily go there. On the top were seen turrets built of jewels, rising high to the heavens. The gate-keepers were watching the twelve gates. In the centre were situated lakhs and lakhs of excellent jewel built houses. In every room there were jewelled steps and staircases and the pillars were all built of gems and jewels, and pearls. Puspadanta (Chitraratha) saw all this and then went to the first gate and saw one terrible person, copper coloured, with tawny eyes, sitting with a trident in his hand and with a smiling countenance. He told he had come as a messenger and got his entrance. Thus Chitraratha went one afer another to all the entries, not being prohibited at all though he told that he had come as a messenger on war service. The Gandharbha reached one after another, the last door and said :– “O Door keeper! Go quickly and inform the Lord of the Dânavas all about the impending war.” When the messenger had spoken thus, the gate-keeper allowed him to go inside. Going inside, the Gandarbha saw S’ankhachûda, of excellent form, seated in the middle of the royal assembly, on a golden throne. One servant was holding on the king’s head an umbrella, decked with divine excellent gems, the inner rod of the umbrella being made up of jewels, and decorated with expanded artificial flowers made of gems. The attendants were fanning him with beautiful white châmaras; he was nicely dressed, beautiful and lovely and adorned with jewel ornaments. He was nicely garlanded, and wore fine celestial garments. Three Koti Dânavas were surrounding him; and seven Koti Dânavas, all armed, were walking to and fro.

22-53. Puspadanta was thunderstruck when he saw thus the Dânava and he addressed him thus :– O King! I am a servant of S’iva; My name is Puspadanta; hear what S’iva has commanded me to tell you. You better now give back, to the Devas, the rights that they had before. The Devas went to S’rî Hari and had taken His refuge. S’rî Hari gave over to S’iva one S’ûla weapon and asked the Devas to depart. At present, the three eyed Deva is residing under the shade of a Bata tree on the banks of the Puspabhadrâ river. He told me to speak this to you, “Either give over to the Devas their rights, or fight with me. Please reply and I will speak to Him accordingly.” S’ankhachûda, hearing the messenger’s words laughed and said, “Tomorrow morning I will start, ready for war. Better go away today.” The messenger went back to S’iva and replied to Him accordingly. In the meantime the following personages joined S’iva and remained seated on excellent aerial cars, built of jewels and gems. The following were the persons :– Skanda, Vîrabhadra, Nandî, Mahâkâla, Subhadraka, Vis’âlâksa, Bâna, Pingalâksa, Vikampana, Virûpa, Vikriti, Manibhadra, Vâskâla, Kapilâksa, Dîrgha Dangstra, Vikata, Tâmralochana, Kâlâkantha, Balîbhadra, Kâlajîhba, Kutîchara, Balonmatta, Ranas’lâghî, Durjaya, Durgama, (these eight Bhairavas), eleven Rudras, eight Vasus, Indra, the twelve Âdityas, fire, moon, Vis’vakarmâ, the two As’vins, Kuvera, Yama, Jayanta, Nala Kûbara, Vâyu, Varuna, Budha, Mangala, Dharma, S’anî, Is’âna, the powerful Kâmadeva. Ugradamstrâ, Ugrachandâ, Kotarâ, Kaitabhî, and the eight armed terrible Devî Bhadrakâlî. Kâlî wore the bloody red clothings and She smeared red sandal paste all over Her body. Dancing, laughing; singing songs in tune, very jolly, She bids Her devotees discard all fear, and terrifies the enemies. Her lip is terrible, lolling, and extends to one Yojana. On Her eight arms She holds conch, disc, mace, lotus, axe, skin, bow and arrows. She was holding in Her hands, the bowl shaped human skull; that was very deep and one Yojana wide. Her trident reached up to the Heavens; Her weapon called S’akti (dart) extended to one Yojana. Besides there were Mudgara (mace), Musala (club), Vajra (thunderbolt), Kheta (club), brilliant Phalaka (shield), the Vaisnava weapon, the Varuna weapon, the Âgneyâstra (the fire weapon), Nâgapâs’a (the noose of serpents), the Nârâyanâstra, the Gandharva’s weapons, the Brahmâ’s weapons, the Gadudâstram, the Pârjanayâstram, the Pâs’upatâstram, the Jrimbhañâstram, the Pârvatâstram, the Mahes’varâstram, the Vâyavyâstram, and the Sanmohanam rod and various other infallible divine weapons. Besides hundreds of other divine weapons were with Her. Three Kotis of Yoginîs and three Kotis and a half of terrible Dâkinîs were attending Bhadrakâlî. Bhûtas, (demons) Pretas, Pis’âchas, Kusmândas, Brahma Râksasas, Râkhsasas, Vetâlas, Yaksas and Kinnaras also were there in countless numbers. At this time Kârtikeya came there and bowed down to his father Mahâdeva. He asked him to take his seat on His left side an asked him to help. Then the army remained there in military array. On the other hand, when S’iva’s messenger departed, S’ankhachûda went to the zenana and informed Tulasî of the news of an impending war. No sooner She heard than her throat and lips and palate became dried. She then with a sorrowful heart spoke in sweet words :– “O my Lord! O my Friend! O the Ruler of My life! Wait for a moment and take your seat on My heart. Instil life in Me for a moment. Satisfy My desire of human birth. Let me behold you fully so that my eyes be satisfled. My breath is now very agitated. I saw by the end of the night one bad dream. Therefore I feel an internal burning.” Thus at the words of Tulasî, the king S’ankhachûda finished his meals and began to address her, in good and true words, beneficent to her :– “O My Lady! It is Kâla (the time that brings out these various combinations by which the Karmic fruit is enjoyed; it is Kâla that awards auspicious and inauspicious things; the Kâla is the Sole Master to impart pain, fear, and good and bad things.

54-84. Trees grow up in time; their branches, etc., come out in time; flowers appear in time and fruits come out in time. Fruits are ripen in time and after giving the fruits, they die out also in time. O Fair One! The universe comes into existence in time and dies away in time. The Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer of the universe, are creating, preserving and destroying the worlds with the help of time. Time guides them in every way. But the Highest Prakriti is the God of Brahmâ, Visnu, and Mahes’a (i.e., the Creatrix of Time). This Highest Prakriti, the Highest God is creating, preserving and destroying this universe. She makes the Time dance. By Her mere Will, She has converted Her inseparable Prakriti into Mâyâ and is thus creating all things, moving and unmoving. She is the Ruler of all; the Form of all, and She is the Highest God. By Her is being done this creation of persons by persons, this preservation of persons by persons, and this destruction of persons by persons. So you better now take refuge of the Highest Lord. Know it is by Her command the wind is blowing, by Her command the Sun is giving heat in due time, by Her command Indra is showering rains; by Her command, Death is striding over the beings; by Her command fire is burning all things and by Her command the cooling Moon is revolving. She is the Death of death, the Time of time, Yama of yama (the God of death), the Fire of fire and the Destroyer of the destroyer. So take Her refuge. You cannot find and fix who is whose friend in the world; so pray to Her, the Highest God, Who is the Friend of All. Oh! Who am I? And who are you either? The Creator is the combiner of us two and so He will dissociate us two by our Karma. When difficulty arises, the ignorant fools become overwhelmed with sorrow; but the intelligent Pundits do not get at all deluded or become distressed. By the Wheel of Time, the beings are led sometimes into happiness; sometimes into pain. You will certainly get Nârâyana for your husband; for which you practised Tapas before, in the hermitage of Vadari (the source of the Ganges, the feet of Visnu). I pleased Brahmâ by my Tapasyâ and have, by his boon, got you as my wife. But the object for which you did your Tapasyâ, that you may get Hari as your husband; will certainly be fulfilled. You will get Gobinda in Vrindâbana and in the region of Goloka. I will also go there when I forsake this, my Demon body. Now I am talking with you here; afterwards we will meet again in the region of Goloka. By the curse of Râdhikâ, I have come to this Bhârata, hard to be attained. You, too, will quit this body and, assuming the divine form will go to S’rî Hari. So, O Beloved! You need not be sorry.” O Muni! Thus these conversations took them the whole day and led them to the evening time. The king of the demons, S’ankhachûda then slept with Tulasî on a nicely decorated bed, strewn with flowers, and smeared with sandal paste, in the Ratna Mandir (temple built of jewels.) This jewel temple was adorned with various wealth and riches. The jewel lamps were lighted. S’ankhachûda passed the night with his wife in various sports. The thin bellied Tulasî was weeping with a very sorrowful heart, without having taken any food. The king, who knew the reality of existence, took her to his breast and appeased her in various ways. What religious instructions he had received in Bhândîra forest from S’rî Krisna, those Tattvas, capable to destroy all sorrows and delusions, he now spoke carefully to Tulasî. Then Tulasî’s joy knew no bounds. She then began to consider, everything as transient and began to play with a gladdened heart. Both became drowned in the ocean of bliss; and the bodies of both of them were filled with joy and the hairs stood on their ends. Both of them, then, desirous to have amorous sports, joined themselves and became like Ardhanâris’vara and so one body. As Tulasî considered S’ankhachûda, to be her lord, so the Dânava King considered Tulasî the darling of his life. They became senseless with pleasureable feelings arising out of their amorous intercourses. Next moment they regained their tenaciousness and both began to converse on amorous matters. Thus both spent their time sometimes in sweet conversations, sometimes laughing and joking, sometimes maddened with amorous sentiments. As S’ankhachûda was clever in amorous affairs, so Tulasî was very expert. So none felt satiated with love affairs and no one was defeated by the other.

Here ends the Twentieth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the war preparations of S’ankhachûda with the Devas in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXI

On the meeting of Mahâdeva and S’ankhachûda for an encounter in conflict

1-33. S’rî Nârâyana spoke :– Then the Dânava, the devotee of S’rî Krisna, got up from his flower strewn bed, meditating on S’rî Krisna, early in the morning time, at the Brahmâ Muhûrta. Quitting his night dress, he took his bath in pure water and put on a fresh washed clothing. He then put the bright Tilak mark on his forehead and, performing the daily necessary worship, he worshipped his Ista devatâ (The Deity doing good to him). He then saw the auspicious things such as curd, ghee, honey, fried rice, etc., and distributed as usual, to the Brâhmanas the best jewels, pearls, clothing and gold. Then for his marching to turn out auspicious, he gave at the feet of his Guru Deva priceless gems, jewels, pearls, diamonds, etc., and finally he gave to the poor Brâhmins with great gladness, elephants, horses, wealth, thousands of stores, two lakhs of cities and one hundred kotis of villages. He then gave over to his son, the charge of his kingdom and of his wife, and all the dominions, wealth, property, all the servants and maid servants, all the stores and conveyances. He dressed himself for the war and took up bows and arrows and arrow cases. By the command of the King, the armies began to gather. Three lakhs of horses, one lakh elephants, one ayuta chariots, three Kotis of bowmen, three Kotis armoured soldiers and three Kotis of trident holders got themselves ready. Then the King counted his forces and appointed one Commander-in-Chief, (Mahâratha), skilled in arts of warfare, over the whole army. Thus the generals were apppointed over the three lakh Aksauhinî forces and their provisions were collected by three hundred Aksauhinî men. He, then, thinking of S’rî Hari, started for war, accompanied by his vast army. (Note :– One Aksauhinî consists of a large army consisting of 21,870 chariots, as many elephants, 65,610 horses, and 109,350 foot). He then mounted on a chariot built of excellent jewels and, headed by his Guru and all his other elders, went to S’ankara. O Nârada! Bhagavân Mahâdeva was at that time, staying on the banks of Puspabhadra. That place was Sidhâs’rama (the hermitage where the yogic successes had been obtained and can easily be acquired in future for the Siddhas as well a Siddha Ksettra.) It was the place where the Muni Kapila practised Tapasyâ, in the holy land of Bhârata. It was bounded on the east by the western ocean, on the west by the Malaya mountain, on the south, by the S’rî S’aila mountain and on the north by the Gandha Mâdana Mountain. It was five yojanas wide and one hundred times as long. This auspicious river in Bhârata yields great religious merits and is always full of clear, sparkling running water. She is the favourite wife of the Salt Ocean and She is very blessed. Issuing from S’arâvatî Himâlayâs, She drops into the ocean. Keeping the river Gomatî (Goomti) by her left; She falls into the west ocean. S’ankhachûda, arriving there, saw Mahâdeva under a Peepul tree near its root with a smiling countenance, like one Koti Suns seated in a yogic posture. His colour was white like a pure crystal; as if the Fire of Brahmâ was emitting from every pore of His body (burning with Brahmâ-Teja); He was wearing the tiger skin and, holding the trident and axe. He dispels the fear of death of His Bhaktas; His face is quite calm. He, the Lord of Gaurî, is the Giver of the fruits of Tapasyâ and of all sons of wealth and prosperity. The smiling face of Âs’utosa (one who is pleased quickly) is always thinking of the welfare of the Bhaktas; He is the Lord of the Universe, the Seed of the universe, the All-form (all-pervading), and the Progenitor of the universe. He is omnipresent, All pervading, the Best in this universe, the Destroyer of this universe, the Cause of all causes, and the Saviour from the hells. He is the Awakener and Bestower of Knowledge, the Seed of all knowledges, and He Himself is of the nature of Knowledge and Bliss. Seeing that Eternal Purusa, the King of the Dânavas at once descended from his chariot and bowed down with devotion to Him and to Bhadra Kâlî on His left and and to Kârtikeya on his front. The other attendants did the same. S’ankara, Bhadra Kâlî and Skanda all blessed him. Nandis’vara and others got up from their seats on seeing the Dânava King and began to talk with each other on that subject. The King addressed S’iva and sat by Him. Bhagavân Mahâdeva, the Tranquil Self, then, spoke to him, thus :– O King! Brahmâ, the knower of Dharma and the Creator of the world, is the Father of Dharrna, The religious Marîchi, a devotee of Visnu, is the son of Brahmâ. The religious Prajâpati Kas’yapa is also the Brahmâ’s son. Daksa gladly gave over to Kas’yapa in marriage, his thirteen daughters. Danu, fortunate and chaste, is also one of them.

34-64. Danu had forty sons, all spirited and known as Dânavas. The powerful Viprachitti was the prominent amongst them. Viprachitti’s son was Dambha, self controlled and very much devoted to Visnu. So much so that for one lakh years he recited the Visnu mantra at Puskara. His Guru (spiritual teacher) was S’ukrâchârya; and, by his advice, he recited the mantra of S’rî Krisna, the Highest Self. He got you as his son, devoted to Krisna. In your former birth, you were the chief attendant Gopa (cow-herd) of Krisna. You were very religious. Now, by Râdhikâ’s curse, you are born in Bhârata, as the Lord of the Dânavas, powerful, heroic, valorous, and chivalrous. All the things from Brahmâ down to a blade of grass, the Vaisnavas regard as very trifling; even if they get Sâlokya, Sârsti, Sâyujya and Sâmîpya of Hari, they do not care a straw for that. Without serving Hari, they do not accept those things, even if those are thrust on them. Even Brahmâhood and immortality, the Vaisnavas count for nothing. They want to serve Hari (Sevâ-bhâva). Indrahood, Manuhood, they do not care. You, too, are a real Krisna Bhakta. So what do you care for those things that belong to the Devas, that are something like false to you. Give back to the Devas their kingdoms thus and please Me. Let the Devas remain in their own places and let you enjoy your kingdom happily. No need now for further quarrels. Think that you all belong to the same Kas’yapa’s family. The sins that are incurred, for example, the murder of a Brâhmin, etc., are not even one-sixteenth of the sins incurred by hostilities amongst the relatives. If, O King! You think that by giving away to the Devas their possessions, your property will be diminished, then think that no one’s days pass ever in one and the same condition. Whenever Prakriti is dissolved, Brahmâ also vanishes. Again He appears by the Will of God. This occurs always. True, that knowledge is increased by true Tapasyâ; but memory fails then. This is certain. He who is the creator of this world, does his work of creation gradually by the help of his Knowledge-power (Jñâna-S’akti). In the Satya Yuga, Dharma reigns in full; in the Tretâ Yuga, one quarter is diminished; again in the Dvâpara only one-half remains. And in the Kâlî Yuga, only one quarter remains. Thus Dharma gets increase and decrease. At the end of the Kâlî, the Dharma will be seen very feeble as the phase of the Moon is seen very thin on the Dark Moon night. See, again, the Sun is very powerful in summer; not so in winter. At midday the Sun is very hot; it does not remain so in the morning and evening. The Sun rises at one time; then he is considered as young at another time he becomes very powerful and at another time he goes down. Again in times of distress (i.e., during the cloudy days) the Sun gets entirely obscured. When the Moon is devoured by Râhu (in the Lunar Eclipse), the Moon quivers. Again when the Moon becomes liberated (i.e., when the eclipse passes away) She becomes bright again. In the Full-Moon night She becomes full but She does not remain so always. In the Dark fortnight She wanes every day. In the bright fortnight She waxes every day. In the bright fortnight, the Moon becomes healthy and prosperous and in the dark fortnight, the Moon becomes thinner and thinner as if attacked with consumption. In the time of eclipse She becomes pale and in the cloudy weather, She is obscured. Thus the Moon also becomes powerful at one time and weak and pale at another time. Vali now resides in Pâtâla, having lost all his fortunes; but, at some other time, he will become Devendra (the Lord of the Devas). This earth becomes at one time covered with grains and the resting-place of all beings; and, at another time, She becomes immersed under water. This universe appears at one time and disappears at another. Everything, moving or non-moving, sometimes appears and again, at another time, disappears. Only Brahmâ, the Highest Self, remains the same. By His grace, I have got the name Mrityunjaya (the Conqueror of Death). I, too, am witnessing many Prakritik dissolutions, I witnessed repeatedly many dissolutions and will in future, witness many dissolutions. The Paramâtman becomes of the nature of Prakriti. Again it is He that is the Purusa (male principle). He is the Self; He is the individual soul (Jîva). He thus assumes various forms. And, again, Lo! He is beyond all forms! He who always repeats His Name and sings His Glory, can conquer, at some occasion, death. He is not to come under the sway of this birth, death, disease, old age and fear. He has made Brahmâ the Creator, Visnu the Preserver and Me the Destroyer. By His Will, we are possessed of those influences and powers. O King! Having deputed Kâla, Agni and Rudra, to do the destruction work, I Myself repeat only His name and sing His glory, day and night, incessantly. My name is, on that account, Mrityunjaya. By His Knowledge Power, I am fearless. Death flies away fast from Me as serpents fly away at the sight of Garûda, the Vinatâ;s son. O Nârada! Thus saying, S’ambhu, the Lord of all, the Progenitor of all, remained silent. Hearing the above words of S’ambhu, the King thanked Mahâdeva again and again and spoke in sweet humble words.

65-74. S’ankhachûda said :– The words spoken by Thee are quite true. Still I am speaking a few words. Kindly hear. Thou hast spoken just now that very great sins are incurred by kindred hostilities. How is it, then, that He robbed Vali of his whole possessions and sent him down into Pâtâla? Gadâdhara Visnu could not recover Vali’s glory. But I have done that. Why did the Devas kill Hiranyâksa and Hiranyâkas’ipu, S’umbha and the other Dânavas? In by gone days, we laboured hard when the nectar was obtained out of the churning of the ocean; but the best fruit was reaped by the Devas only. However, all these point that this universe is but the mere sporting ground of Paramâtman, Who has become of the nature of Prakriti (the polarities of the one and the same current to produce electric effects). Whomsoever He grants glory and fortune, he only gets that. The quarrel of the Devas and the Dânavas is eternal. Victory and defeat come to both the parties alternately. So it is not proper for Thee to come here in this hostility. For Thou art the God, of the nature of the Highest Self. Before Thee, we both are equal. So it is a matter of shame, no doubt, for Thee to stand up against us in favour of the gods. The glory and fame that will result to Thee, if Thou art victorious, will not be so much as it will be if we get the victory. On the contrary the inglory and infamy that will result to Thee if Thou dost get dire defeat will be inconceivably much more than what would come to us if we are defeated. (For we are low and Thou art Great.)

75-79. Mahâdeva laughed very much when he heard the Dânava’s words and replied :– O King! You are descended from the Brâhmin family. So what shame shall I incur if I get defeat in this fighting against you. In former days, the fight took place between Madhu and Kaitabha; again between Hiranya Kas’ipu and Hiranyâksa and S’rî Hari. I also fought with the Asura Tripurâ. Again the serious fight took place also between S’umbha and the other Daityas and the Highest Prakriti Devî, the Ruler of all, and the Progenitrix of all and the Destructrix of all. And, then, you were the Pârisada attendant of S’rî Krisna, the Highest Self.

Note :– S’rî Krisna is the Eternal Purusa beyond the Gunas. He creates Prakriti. All the creation is effected by Him. He is the Master of all the S’aktis. These S’aktis come from Him and go into Him. S’rî Krisna plays with these S’aktis, these lines of Forces, very powerful and terrible, indeed, that go to create, preserve and destroy the whole universe. These Lines of Forces have their three properties :– (1) Origin; (2) direction and (3) magnitude. And finally they come back to their origin. This makes one Kalpa, one Life, one Moment, one in the Full One. The Gunas come out of these S’aktis, these Lines of Forces. S’rî Krisna is the Great Reservoir, the Great Centre of Forces, Powerful, Lovely and Terrible. All the events as described here, appear in the intermediate stages when the Fourth Dimension passes into the Third Dimension, etc. The Fourth Dimension does not at once turn out into the Third Dimension but it takes place by degrees. This explains our dreams, visions, etc., which, if seen when the mind is pure, turn out to be true.

80-82. So the Daityas, that were killed before, cannot be compared with you. Then why shall I feel shame in fighting against you? I am sent here by S’rî Hari for saving the Devas. So either give back to the Devas their possessions, or fight with Me. No need in speaking thus quite useless talks. O Nârada! Thus speaking, Bhagavân S’ankara remained silent. S’ankhachûda got up at once with his ministers.

Chapter XXII

On the fight between the Devas and S’ankhachûda

1-75. S’rî Nârâyana spoke :– Then the King of the Dânavas, very powerful, bowed down to Mahâdeva and ascended on the chariot with his ministers. Mahâdeva gave orders to His army to be ready at once. So S’ankhachûda did. Terrible fight then ensued between Mahendra and Vrisaparvâ, Bhâskara and Viprachitti, Nis’âkara and Dambha, between Kâla and Kâles’vara, between Fire and Gokarna, Kuvera and Kâlakeya, between Vis’vakarmâ and Mâyâ, between Mrityu and Bhayamkar, between Yama and Samhâra, between Varuna and Vikamka, between Budha and Dhritapristha, between S’ani and Raktâksa, Jayanta and Ratnasâra, between the Vasus and Varchasas, between the two As’vin Kumâras and Dîptimân, between Nalakûbara and Dhûmra, between Dharma and Dhurandhara, between Mangala and Usâksa, Bhânu and S’ovâkara, between Kandarpa and Pîthara, between the eleven Âdityas and Godhâmukha, Chûrna and Khadgadhvaja, Kañchîmukha and Pinda, Dhûmra and Nandî, between Vis’va and Palâs’a, between the eleven Rudras and the eleven Bhayamkaras, between Ugrachandâ and the other Mahâmârîs and Nandîs’vara and the other Dânavas. The battlefield, then, assumed a grim aspect, as if the time of Dissolution had come. Bhagavân Mahâdeva sat under the Vata (peepul) tree with Kârtikeya and Bhadrakâlî. S’ankhachûda, decked with his jewel ornaments, sat on the jewel throne, surrounded by kotis and kotis of Dânavas. The S’ankara’s army got defeated at the hands of the Dânavas. The Devas, with cuts and wounds on their bodies, fled from the battlefield, terrified. Kârtikeya gave words “Don’t fear” to the Devas and excited them. Only Skanda resisted the Dânava forces. In one moment he slew one hundred Aksauhinî Dânava forces. The lotus eyed Kâlî also engaged in killing the Asuras. She became very angry and no sooner did She slay the Asura forces, than She began to drink their blood. She easily slew with Her one hand and at every time put into Her mouth ten lakhs, and hundred lakhs and Kotis and Kotis of elephants. Thousands and thousands of headless bodies (Kavandhas) came to be witnessed in the field. The bodies of the Dânavas were all cut and wounded by the arrows of Kârtikeya. They were all terrified and fled away. Only Vrisaparvâ, Viprachitti, Dambha, and Vikamkanah remained fighting with Skanda with an heroic valour. Mahâmârî, too, did not shew his back and he fought out vigorously. By and by they all became very much confused and distressed; but they did not turn their backs. Seeing this terrible fight of Skanda, the Devas began to shower flowers. The killing of the Dânavas looked like a Prakritik Dissolution. S’ankhachûda, then, began to shoot arrows from his chariot.

The shooting of arrows by the king seemed as if rains were being poured in by the clouds. Everything became pitch dark. Fires only were seen emitting their golden tongues. The Devas, Nandîs’vara and others, fled away, terrified. Only Kârtikeya remained in the battlefield. Then S’ankhachûda began to throw terribly showers and showers of mountains, snakes, stones, and trees. So much so, that Kârtikeya was covered by them as the Sun becomes obscured by fog. The Demon King cut off the weighty quiver and the pedestal of Skanda and broke His chariot. By the divine weapons of the Dânava, the peacock (the vehicle) of Kârtikeya became exhausted. Kârtikeya threw one S’akti (weapon) on the breast of the Dânava; but before it fell, the Dânava cut off that, lustrous like the Sun and, in return, darted his S’akti. By that stroke, Kârtikeya became stunned for a moment; but he immediately regained his consciousness. He then took up the quiver that Bhagavân Visnu gave him before and many other weapons; and ascending on another chariot, built of jewels, began to fight out violently and valiantly. Getting angry, he resisted all those showers of snakes, mountains and trees by his divine weapons. He resisted fire by his watery (Pâryannya) weapon. Then He cut off easily S’ankhachûda’s chariot, bow, armour, charioteer, and his bright crown and he threw on his breast one blazing S’akti of white colour. The Dânavendra fell unconscious; but, at the next moment, he regained his consciousness quickly, mounted on another chariot and took a fresh quiver. The Dânava was the foremost in his magic powers. He, by his power of Mâyâ, made a shower of arrows so much so that Kârtikeya became completely covered by that multitude of arrows. Then the Dânava took one invincible S’akti, lustrous like one hundred Suns. It seemed that flames of fire were licking high as if the Dissolution Time had come aright. Inflamed by anger, the Dânava threw that S’akti on Kârtikeya. It seemed, then, that a burning mass of fire fell on him. The powerful Kârtikeya became senseless. Bhadrakâlî immediately took Him on Her lap and carried him before S’iva. S’iva easily restored him to his life by his knowledge-power and gave him the indomitable strength. He then got up in full vigour. Bhadrakâlî went to the field to see the Kârtikeya’s forces. Nandîs’vara and other heroes, the Devas, Gandharbas, Yaksas, Râksasas and Kinnaras followed Her. Hundreds of war drums were sounded and hundreds of persons carried Madhu (wine). Going to the battle-ground, She gave a war-cry. The Dânava forces got fainted by that cry. Bhadrakâlî shouted aloud inauspicious peals after peals of laughter. Then She drank Madhu and danced in the battlefield. Ugra Damstrâ, Ugrachandâ, Kotavî, the Yoginîs, Dâkinîs, and the Devas all drank Madhu (wine). Seeing Kâlî in the battlefield, S’ankhachûda came up again and imparted the spirit of Fearlessness to the Daityas, trembling with fear. Bhadrakâlî projected, then, the Fire weapon, flaming like the Great Dissolution Fire; but the king quickly put out that by the Watery weapon. Kâlî then projected the very violent and wonderful Varunâstra. The Dânava cut off that easily with Gandharbâstra. Kâlî then threw the flame-like Mahes’varâstra. The king made it futile by the Vaisnavâstra. Then the Devî purifying the Nârâyanâstra with the mantra, threw it on the king. At this the king instantly alighted from his chariot and bowed down to it. The Nârâyanâstra rose high up like the Dissolution Fire. S’ankhachûda fell prostrate on the ground with devotion. The Devî threw, then, the Brahmâstra, purifying it with Mantra. But it was rendered futile by the Dânava’s Brahmâstra. The Devî again shot the divine weapons purifying them with mantras; but they also were nullified by the divine weapons of the Dânava. Then Bhadrakâlî threw one S’akti extending to one Yojana. The Daitya cut it to pieces by his divine weapon. The Devî, then, being very much enraged, became ready to throw Pâs’upata Âstra, when the Incorporeal Voice was heard from the Heavens, prohibiting Her, and saying, “O Devî! The high-souled Dânava would not be killed by the Pâs’upata weapon. For Brahmâ granted him this boon that until the Visnu’s Kavacha will remain on his neck and until his wife’s chastity be not violated, old age and death will not be able to touch him.” Hearing this Celestial Voice, the Devî at once desisted. But She, out of hunger, devoured hundreds and lakhs of Dânavas. The terrible Devî Kâlî, then, went with great speed to devour S’ankhachûda but the Dânava resisted Her by his sharp divine weapons. The Devî then threw on him a powerful axe, lustrous like a summer Sun; but the Dânava cut it to pieces by his divine weapon. The Devî seeing this, became very angry and proceeded to devour him; but the Dânava King, the Lord of all Siddhis, expanded his body. At this, Kâlî became violently angry and assuming a terrific appearance, went quickly and with the blow of one fist, broke his chariot and dropped down the charioteer. Then she hurled on the Asura one S’ûla weapon, blazing like a Pralaya Fire. S’ankhachûda easily held that by his left hand. The Devî became angry and struck the Dânava with Her fist; the Daitya’s head reeled, and, rolling, he fell unconscious for a moment. Next moment regaining his consciousness he got up. But he did not fight hand to hand with the Devî. Rather he bowed down to Her. The weapons that the Devî threw afterwards were partly cut down by the Dânava and partly taken up by him and absorbed in him and thus rendered futile. Then Bhadrakâlî caught bold of the Dânava and whirling him round and round threw him aloft. Then the powerful S’ankhachûda fell down on the ground from high with great force; he immediately

got up and bowed down to Her. He then gladly ascended on his beautiful chariot, built of excellent jewels. He did not feel any fatigue with the war and went on fighting. Then the Devî Bhadrakâlî, feeling hungry began to drink the blood of the Dânavas and ate the fat and flesh. She came before Mahâdeva and described to Him the whole history of the warfare from beginning to end. Hearing the killing of the Dânavas, Mahâdeva began to laugh. She went on saying, “The Dânavas that get out of my mouth while I was chewing them, are the only ones that are living. This number will be about one lakh. And when I took up the Pâs’upata weapon to kill the Dânava, the Incorporeal Celestial Voice spoke :– He is invulnerable by you. But the very powerful Dânava did no more fling any weapon on Me. He simply cut to pieces those that I threw on him.”

Here ends the Twenty-Second Chapter in the Ninth Book on the fight between the Devas and S’ankhachûda in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Next: Chapter 23rd Chapter in the Ninth Book on the meeting of Mahâdeva and S’ankhachûda for an encounter in conflict in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXII

On the fight between the Devas and S’ankhachûda

1-75. S’rî Nârâyana spoke :– Then the King of the Dânavas, very powerful, bowed down to Mahâdeva and ascended on the chariot with his ministers. Mahâdeva gave orders to His army to be ready at once. So S’ankhachûda did. Terrible fight then ensued between Mahendra and Vrisaparvâ, Bhâskara and Viprachitti, Nis’âkara and Dambha, between Kâla and Kâles’vara, between Fire and Gokarna, Kuvera and Kâlakeya, between Vis’vakarmâ and Mâyâ, between Mrityu and Bhayamkar, between Yama and Samhâra, between Varuna and Vikamka, between Budha and Dhritapristha, between S’ani and Raktâksa, Jayanta and Ratnasâra, between the Vasus and Varchasas, between the two As’vin Kumâras and Dîptimân, between Nalakûbara and Dhûmra, between Dharma and Dhurandhara, between Mangala and Usâksa, Bhânu and S’ovâkara, between Kandarpa and Pîthara, between the eleven Âdityas and Godhâmukha, Chûrna and Khadgadhvaja, Kañchîmukha and Pinda, Dhûmra and Nandî, between Vis’va and Palâs’a, between the eleven Rudras and the eleven Bhayamkaras, between Ugrachandâ and the other Mahâmârîs and Nandîs’vara and the other Dânavas. The battlefield, then, assumed a grim aspect, as if the time of Dissolution had come. Bhagavân Mahâdeva sat under the Vata (peepul) tree with Kârtikeya and Bhadrakâlî. S’ankhachûda, decked with his jewel ornaments, sat on the jewel throne, surrounded by kotis and kotis of Dânavas. The S’ankara’s army got defeated at the hands of the Dânavas. The Devas, with cuts and wounds on their bodies, fled from the battlefield, terrified. Kârtikeya gave words “Don’t fear” to the Devas and excited them. Only Skanda resisted the Dânava forces. In one moment he slew one hundred Aksauhinî Dânava forces. The lotus eyed Kâlî also engaged in killing the Asuras. She became very angry and no sooner did She slay the Asura forces, than She began to drink their blood. She easily slew with Her one hand and at every time put into Her mouth ten lakhs, and hundred lakhs and Kotis and Kotis of elephants. Thousands and thousands of headless bodies (Kavandhas) came to be witnessed in the field. The bodies of the Dânavas were all cut and wounded by the arrows of Kârtikeya. They were all terrified and fled away. Only Vrisaparvâ, Viprachitti, Dambha, and Vikamkanah remained fighting with Skanda with an heroic valour. Mahâmârî, too, did not shew his back and he fought out vigorously. By and by they all became very much confused and distressed; but they did not turn their backs. Seeing this terrible fight of Skanda, the Devas began to shower flowers. The killing of the Dânavas looked like a Prakritik Dissolution. S’ankhachûda, then, began to shoot arrows from his chariot.

The shooting of arrows by the king seemed as if rains were being poured in by the clouds. Everything became pitch dark. Fires only were seen emitting their golden tongues. The Devas, Nandîs’vara and others, fled away, terrified. Only Kârtikeya remained in the battlefield. Then S’ankhachûda began to throw terribly showers and showers of mountains, snakes, stones, and trees. So much so, that Kârtikeya was covered by them as the Sun becomes obscured by fog. The Demon King cut off the weighty quiver and the pedestal of Skanda and broke His chariot. By the divine weapons of the Dânava, the peacock (the vehicle) of Kârtikeya became exhausted. Kârtikeya threw one S’akti (weapon) on the breast of the Dânava; but before it fell, the Dânava cut off that, lustrous like the Sun and, in return, darted his S’akti. By that stroke, Kârtikeya became stunned for a moment; but he immediately regained his consciousness. He then took up the quiver that Bhagavân Visnu gave him before and many other weapons; and ascending on another chariot, built of jewels, began to fight out violently and valiantly. Getting angry, he resisted all those showers of snakes, mountains and trees by his divine weapons. He resisted fire by his watery (Pâryannya) weapon. Then He cut off easily S’ankhachûda’s chariot, bow, armour, charioteer, and his bright crown and he threw on his breast one blazing S’akti of white colour. The Dânavendra fell unconscious; but, at the next moment, he regained his consciousness quickly, mounted on another chariot and took a fresh quiver. The Dânava was the foremost in his magic powers. He, by his power of Mâyâ, made a shower of arrows so much so that Kârtikeya became completely covered by that multitude of arrows. Then the Dânava took one invincible S’akti, lustrous like one hundred Suns. It seemed that flames of fire were licking high as if the Dissolution Time had come aright. Inflamed by anger, the Dânava threw that S’akti on Kârtikeya. It seemed, then, that a burning mass of fire fell on him. The powerful Kârtikeya became senseless. Bhadrakâlî immediately took Him on Her lap and carried him before S’iva. S’iva easily restored him to his life by his knowledge-power and gave him the indomitable strength. He then got up in full vigour. Bhadrakâlî went to the field to see the Kârtikeya’s forces. Nandîs’vara and other heroes, the Devas, Gandharbas, Yaksas, Râksasas and Kinnaras followed Her. Hundreds of war drums were sounded and hundreds of persons carried Madhu (wine). Going to the battle-ground, She gave a war-cry. The Dânava forces got fainted by that cry. Bhadrakâlî shouted aloud inauspicious peals after peals of laughter. Then She drank Madhu and danced in the battlefield. Ugra Damstrâ, Ugrachandâ, Kotavî, the Yoginîs, Dâkinîs, and the Devas all drank Madhu (wine). Seeing Kâlî in the battlefield, S’ankhachûda came up again and imparted the spirit of Fearlessness to the Daityas, trembling with fear. Bhadrakâlî projected, then, the Fire weapon, flaming like the Great Dissolution Fire; but the king quickly put out that by the Watery weapon. Kâlî then projected the very violent and wonderful Varunâstra. The Dânava cut off that easily with Gandharbâstra. Kâlî then threw the flame-like Mahes’varâstra. The king made it futile by the Vaisnavâstra. Then the Devî purifying the Nârâyanâstra with the mantra, threw it on the king. At this the king instantly alighted from his chariot and bowed down to it. The Nârâyanâstra rose high up like the Dissolution Fire. S’ankhachûda fell prostrate on the ground with devotion. The Devî threw, then, the Brahmâstra, purifying it with Mantra. But it was rendered futile by the Dânava’s Brahmâstra. The Devî again shot the divine weapons purifying them with mantras; but they also were nullified by the divine weapons of the Dânava. Then Bhadrakâlî threw one S’akti extending to one Yojana. The Daitya cut it to pieces by his divine weapon. The Devî, then, being very much enraged, became ready to throw Pâs’upata Âstra, when the Incorporeal Voice was heard from the Heavens, prohibiting Her, and saying, “O Devî! The high-souled Dânava would not be killed by the Pâs’upata weapon. For Brahmâ granted him this boon that until the Visnu’s Kavacha will remain on his neck and until his wife’s chastity be not violated, old age and death will not be able to touch him.” Hearing this Celestial Voice, the Devî at once desisted. But She, out of hunger, devoured hundreds and lakhs of Dânavas. The terrible Devî Kâlî, then, went with great speed to devour S’ankhachûda but the Dânava resisted Her by his sharp divine weapons. The Devî then threw on him a powerful axe, lustrous like a summer Sun; but the Dânava cut it to pieces by his divine weapon. The Devî seeing this, became very angry and proceeded to devour him; but the Dânava King, the Lord of all Siddhis, expanded his body. At this, Kâlî became violently angry and assuming a terrific appearance, went quickly and with the blow of one fist, broke his chariot and dropped down the charioteer. Then she hurled on the Asura one S’ûla weapon, blazing like a Pralaya Fire. S’ankhachûda easily held that by his left hand. The Devî became angry and struck the Dânava with Her fist; the Daitya’s head reeled, and, rolling, he fell unconscious for a moment. Next moment regaining his consciousness he got up. But he did not fight hand to hand with the Devî. Rather he bowed down to Her. The weapons that the Devî threw afterwards were partly cut down by the Dânava and partly taken up by him and absorbed in him and thus rendered futile. Then Bhadrakâlî caught bold of the Dânava and whirling him round and round threw him aloft. Then the powerful S’ankhachûda fell down on the ground from high with great force; he immediately got up and bowed down to Her. He then gladly ascended on his beautiful chariot, built of excellent jewels. He did not feel any fatigue with the war and went on fighting. Then the Devî Bhadrakâlî, feeling hungry began to drink the blood of the Dânavas and ate the fat and flesh. She came before Mahâdeva and described to Him the whole history of the warfare from beginning to end. Hearing the killing of the Dânavas, Mahâdeva began to laugh. She went on saying, “The Dânavas that get out of my mouth while I was chewing them, are the only ones that are living. This number will be about one lakh. And when I took up the Pâs’upata weapon to kill the Dânava, the Incorporeal Celestial Voice spoke :– He is invulnerable by you. But the very powerful Dânava did no more fling any weapon on Me. He simply cut to pieces those that I threw on him.”

Here ends the Twenty-Second Chapter in the Ninth Book on the fight between the Devas and S’ankhachûda in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXIII

On the killing of S’ankhachûda

1-6. Nârâyana said : — S’iva, versed in the knowledge of the Higher Reality, hearing all this, went himself with His whole host to the battle. Seeing Him, S’ankhachûda alighted from his chariot and fell prostrate before him. With great force he got up and, quickly putting on his armour he took up his huge and heavy bow case. Then a great fight ensued between S’iva and S’ankhachûda for full one hundred years but there was no defeat nor victory on either side. The result was stalemate. Both of them, Bhagavân and the Dânava quitted their weapons. S’ankhachûda, remained on his chariot and Mahâdeva role on His Bull. Hundreds and hundreds of Dânavas were slain. But extraordinarily endowed with divine power, S’ambhu restored to life all those of His party that were slain.

7-30. In the meanwhile, an aged Brâhmana, very distressed in his appearance, came to the battlefield and asked S’ankhachûda, the King of Dânavas :– “O King! Grant me what I beg of you; you give away in charity all sorts of wealth and riches; give me also what I desire; give me, a Brâhmin, something also. I am a quiet peaceable aged Brâhmin, very very thirsty. Make your Promise first and then I will speak to you what I desire.” (Note :– The Brâhmins only are fit for receiving frauds and cheatings.)

The King S’ankhachûda, with a gracious countenance and pleasing eyes swore before him that He would give him what he would desire. Then the Brâhmin spoke to the King with great affection and Mâyâ :– “I am desirous of your Kavacha (amulet).” The King, then, gave him the Kavacha (the amulet, mantra written on a Bhurja bark and located in a golden cup). Bhagavân Hari (in the form of that Brâhmin) took that Kavacha and, assuming the form of S’ankhachûda came to Tulasî. Coming there, He made His Mâyâ (magic) manifest and held sexual intercourse with her. At this time Mahâdeva took up the Hari’s trident-aiming at the king of the Dânavas. The trident looked like the Mid-day Sun of summer, flaming like a Pralaya fire. It looked irresistible and invincible as if quite powerful to kill the enemies. In brilliance it equalled the Sudars’an Chakra (disc) and it was the chief of all the weapons. No other body than S’iva and Kes’ava could wield such a weapon. And everybody feared that but S’iva and Kes’ava. In length it was one thousand Dhanus and in width it was one hundred hands. It seemed lively, of the nature of Brahmâ, eternal and not capable to be noticed, whence and how it proceeded. The weapon could destroy, by its own free Lîlâ (Will) all the worlds. When S’iva held it aloft and aiming at S’ankhachûda, He hurled it on him, the King of the Demons quitted his bows and arrows and with mind collected in a yoga posture, began to meditate on the lotus-feet of S’rî Krisna with great devotion. At that moment, the trident, whirling round fell on S’ankhachûda and easily burnt him and his chariot to ashes. He, then assuming the form of a two-armed Gopa, full of youth, divine, ornamented with jewels, holding flute, mounted on a Divine Chariot, surrounded by kotis and kotis of Gopas who came there from the region of Goloka, whose bodies were built up of excellent jewels, and S’ankhachûda then went up to the Heavens (Goloka, where S’rî Brindâbana is located in the middle). He went to Vrindâban, full of Râsas (sentiments) and bowed down at the lotus feet of Râdhâ Krisna with devotion. Both of them were filled with love when they saw Sudâmâ, and, with a gracious countenance and joyful eyes, they took him on their laps. On the other hand the S’ûla weapon came with force and gladness back again to Krisna. The bones of S’ankhachûda, O Narada! were transformed into conch-shells. These conch-shells are always considered very sacred and auspicious in the worship of the Devas. The water in the conch-shell is also very holy and pleasing to the Devas. What more than this, that the water in the conch-shell is as holy as the water of any Tîrtha. This water can be offered to all the Gods but not to S’iva. Wherever the conch-shell is blown, there Laksmî abides with great pleasure. If bathing be done with conch-shell water, it is equivalent to taking bath in all the Tîrthas. Bhagavân Hari resides direct in the conch-shell. Where S’ankha is placed, there Hari resides. Laksmî also resides there and all inauspicious things fly away from there. Where the females and S’ûdras blow the S’ankhas, Laksmî then gets vexed and, out of terror, She goes away to other places. O Nârada! Mahâdeva, after killing the Dânava, went to His own abode. When He gladly went away on His Vehicle, on the Bull’s back, with His whole host, all the other Devas went to their respective places with great gladness. Celestial drums were sounded in the Heavens. The Gandharbas and the Kinnaras began to sing songs. And showers of flowers were strewn on S’iva’s head. All the Munis and Devas and their chiefs began to chant hymns to Him.

Here ends the Twenty-Third Chapter of the Ninth Book on the killing of S’ankhachûda in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXIV

On the glory of Tulasî

1. Nârada said :– How did Nârâyana impregnate Tulasî? Kindly describe all that in detail.

2-11. Nârâyana said :– For accomplishing the ends of the Devas, Bhagavân Hari assumed the Vaisnavî Mâyâ, took the Kavacha from S’ankhachûda and assuming his form, went to the house of Tulasî. Dundubhis (celestial drums) were sounded at Her door, shouts of victory were proclaimed and Tulasî was informed. The chaste Tulasî, hearing that sound very gladly looked out on the royal road from the window. Then for auspicious observances, She offered riches to the Brâhmins; then She gave wealth to the panegyrists (or bards attached to the courts of princes), to the beggars, and the other chanters of hymns. That time Bhagavân Nârâyana alighted from His chariot and went to the house of the Devî Tulasî, built of invaluable gems, looking exceedingly artistic and beautiful. Seeing her dear husband before her, She became very glad and washed his feet and shed tears of joy and bowed down to Him. Then She, impelled by love, made him take his seat on the beautiful jewel throne and giving him sweet scented betels with camphor, began to say :– “Today my life has been crowned with success. For I am seeing again my lord returned from the battle.” Then she cast smiling glances askance at him and with her body filled with rapturous joy lovingly asked him the news of the war in sweet words :–

12-13. O Thou, the Ocean of mercy! Now tell me of your heroic valour, how you have come out victorious in war with Mahâdeva who destroys countless universes. Hearing Tulasî’s word, the Lord of Laksmî, in the guise of S’ankhachûda, spoke these nectar-like words with a smiling countenance.

14-17. O Dear! Full one Samvatsara the war lasted betwixt us. All the Daityas were killed. Then Brahmâ Himself came and mediated. Peace, then, was brought about and by the command of Brahmâ, I gave over to the Devas their rights. When I returned to my home, S’iva went back to His S’ivaloka. Thus saying, Hari, the Lord of the world, slept and then engaged in sexual intercourse with her. But the chaste Tulasî, finding this time her experience quite different from what She used to enjoy before, argued all the time within herself and at last questioned him :–

18-22. Who are you? O Magician! By spreading your magic, you have enjoyed me. As you have taken my chastity, I will curse you. Bhagavân Nârâyana, hearing Tulasî’s words and being afraid of the curse, assumed His real beautiful figure. The Devî then saw the Eternal Lord of the Devas before her. He was of a deep blue colour like fresh rain-clouds and with eyes like autumnal lotuses and with playful Lîlâs equivalent to tens and tens of millions of Love personified and adorned with jewels and ornaments. His face was smiling and gracious; and he wore his yellow-coloured robe. The love-stricken Tulasî, seeing That Lovely Form of Vâsudeva, immediately fell senseless; and at the next moment, regaining consciousness, she began to speak.

23-27. O Lord! Thou art like a stone. Thou hast no mercy. By hypocrisy Thou hast destroyed my chastity, my virtue and for that reason didst kill my husband. O Lord! Thou had no mercy; Thy heart is like a stone. So Let Thee be turned into a stone. Those who declare Thee as a saint, are no doubt mistaken. Why didst Thou for the sake of others, kill without any fault, another Bhakta of Thine. Thus speaking, Tulasî overpowered with grief and sorrow, cried aloud and repeatedly gave vent to lamentations. Seeing her thus very distressed, Nârâyana, the Ocean of Mercy, spoke to her to cheer her up according to the rules of Dharma.

28-102. O Honoured One! For a long time you performed tapasyâ in this Bhârata, to get Me. S’ankhachûda, too, performed tapasyâ for a long time to get you. By that tapas, S’ankhachûda got you as wife. Now it is highly incumbent to award you also with the fruit that you asked for. Therefore I have done this. Now quit your this terestrial body and assume a Divine Body and marry Me. O Râme! Be like Laksmî. This body of yours will be known by the name of Gandakî, a very virtuous, pure and pellucid stream in this holy land of Bhârata. Your hairs will be turned into sacred trees and as they will be born of you, you will be known by the name of Tulasî. All the three worlds will perform their Pûjâs with the leaves and flowers of this Tulasî. Therefore, O Fair-faced One! This Tulasî will be reckoned as the chief amongst all flowers and leaves. In Heavens, earth, and the nether regions, and before Me, O Fair One, you will reign as the chief amongst trees and flowers. In the region of Goloka, on the banks of the river Virajâ, in the Râsa circle (the celestial ball dance,) where all amorous sentiments are played in Vrindârana forest, in Bhândîra forest, in Champaka forest, in the beautiful Chandana (Sandal Forests and in the groves of Mâdhavî, Ketakî, Kunda, Mallikâ, and Mâlatî, in the sacred places you will live and bestow the highest religious merits. All the Tîrthas will reside at the bottom of the Tulasî tree and so religious merits will accrue to all. O Fair-faced One! There I and all the Devas will wait in expectation of the falling of a Tulasî leaf. Anybody who will be initiated and installed with the Tulasî leaves water, will get all the fruits of being initiated in all the sacrifices. Whatever pleasure Hari gets when thousands and thousands of jars filled with water are offered to him, the same pleasure He will get when one Tulasî leaf will be offered to Him. Whatever fruits are acquired by giving Ayuta cows as presents, those will be also acquired by giving Tulasî leaves. Especially if one gives Tulasî leaves in the month of Kârtik, one gets the fruits same as above mentioned. If one drinks or gets the Tulasî leaf water at the momentous Time of Death, one becomes freed of all sins and is worshipped in the Visnu Loka. He who drinks daily the Tulasî leaf water certainly gets the fruit of one lakh horse sacrifices. He who plucks or culls the Tulasî leaf by his own hand and holding it on his body, quits his life in a Tîrath, goes to Visnu Loka. Whoever holds in his neck the garland made up of Tulasî wood, gets certainly the fruit of horse sacrifices at every step. He who does not keep his word, holding the Tulasî leaf in his hand, goes to the Kâlasûtra Hell as long as the Sun and Moon last. He who gives false evidence in the presence of the Tulasî leaf, goes to the Kumbhîpâka Hell for the life-periods of fourteen Indras. He who drinks or gets a bit of the Tulasî leaf water at the time of death, certainly goes to Vaikuntha, ascending on a car made up of jewels. Those who pluck or cull the Tulasî leaves in the Full Moon night, on the twelfth lunar day, on the passing of the sun from one sign to another, the mid-day, or on the twilights, on the night, while applying oil on their bodies, on the impurity periods, and while putting on night dresses, verily eat off the Nârâyana’s head. O Chaste One! The Tulasî leaf kept in the night, is considered sacred. It is considered good in S’râddha, vow ceremony, in the making over of any gift, in the installation of any image or in worshipping any Deva. Again, the Tulasî leaf fallen on the ground or fallen in water or offered to Visnu, if washed out can be used in holy and other purposes. Thus, O Good One! You will remain as tree in this earth and will remain in Goloka as the Presiding Deity thereof and will enjoy daily the sport with Krisna. And also you will be the Presiding Deity of the river Gandakî and thus bestow religious merits in Bhârata; you will be the wife of the Salt Ocean, which is My part. You are very chaste; in Vaikuntha you will enjoy me as Râma lives with Me. And as for Me, I will be turned into stone by your curse; I will remain in India close to the bank of the river Gandakî. Millions and millions of insects with their sharp teeth will make rings, (the convolutions in the S’âlagrâma or sacred stones), on the cavities of the mountains there, representing Me. Of these stones, those that have one door (entrance hole), four convolutions, adorned by the garland of wild flowers (having a mark like this) and which look like fresh rain-cloud, are called Laksmî Nârâyana Mûrtis (forms). And those that have one door, four convolutions and look like fresh rain-clouds but no garlands are called Laksmî Jânardana Chakras (discus). Those that have two doors, four convolutions, and decked with mark like cow’s hoof and void of the garland mark are called Raghunâtha chakras. Those that are very small in size, with two Chakras and look like fresh rain clouds and void of the garland marks are named Vâmana Chakras. Those that that are very small in size, with two Chakras and the garland mark added, know then to be the S’rîdhara Chakras. These always bring in prosperity to the household. Those that are big, circular, void of garland mark, with two circular Chakras, are known as Dâmodara forms. Those that are mediocre in size, with two Chakras and marked as if struck by an arrow, having marks of arrows and bow-cases are known as Rana-Râmas. Those that are middling, with seven Chakras, having marks of an umbrella and ornaments, are called Râjarâjes’varas. They bestow the royal Laksmî to persons. Those that have twice seven chakras, and are big, looking like fresh rain-clouds are named Anantas. They bestow four fold fruits (Dharma, wealth, desire and liberation). Those that are in their forms like a ring, with two chakras, beautiful, looking like rain-clouds, having cow-hoof marks and of mediocre size are named Madhusûdanas. Those that have one Chakra are called Sudars’anas. Those that have their Chakras hidden are called Gadâdharas. Those that have two Chakras, looking horse-faced, are known as Hayagrîvas. O Chaste One! Those that have their mouths very wide and extended, with two Chakras, and very terrible, are known as Narasimhas. They excite Vairâgyas to all who serve them. Those that have two Chakras, mouths extended and with garland marks (elliptical marks) are called Laksmî Nrisinghas. They always bless the householders who worship them. Those that have two Chakras near their doors (faces), that look even and beautiful, and with marks manifested are known as Vâsudevas. They yield all sorts of fruits. Those that have their Chakras fine and their forms like fresh rain-clouds and have many fine hole marks within their wide gaping facets are called Pradyumnas. They yield happiness to every householder. Those that have their faces of two Chakras stuck together and their backs capacious, are known as Sankarsanas. They always bring in happiness to the householders. Those that look yellow, round and very beautiful are Anirudhas. The sages say, they give happiness to the householder. Where there is the S’âlagrâma stone there exists S’rî Hari Himself; and where there is Hari, Laksmî and all the Tîrthas dwell there. Worshipping S’âlagrâm S’ilâ, destroys the Brahmahatyâ (killing a Brâhmin) and any other sin whatsoever. In worshipping the S’âlagrâma stone looking like an umbrella, kingdoms are obtained; in worshipping circular S’ilâs, great prosperity is obtained; in worshipping cart-shaped stones, miseries arise; and in worshipping stones, whose ends look like spears (S’ûlas), death inevitably follows. Those whose facets are distorted, bring in poverty; and yellow stones bring in various evils and afflictions. Those whose Chakras look broken, bring in diseases; and those whose Chakras are rent asunder bring in death certainly. Observing vows, making gifts, installing images, doing S’râddhas, worshipping the Devas, all these become highly exalted, if done before the S’âlagrâma S’ilâ. One acquires the merits of bathing in all the Tîrthas and in being initiated in all the sacrifices, if one worships the Sâlagrâma S’ilâ. What more than this, that the merits acquired by all the sacrifices, all the Tîrthas, all vows, all austerities and reading all the Vedas are all acquired by duly worshipping by the holy S’âlagrâma S’ilâ. He who performs his Abhis’eka ceremony always with S’âlagrâma water (being sprinkled with S’âlagrâma water at the initiation and Installation ceremonies), acquires the religious merits of performing all sorts of gifts and circumambulating the whole earth. All the Devas are, no doubt, pleased with him who thus worships daily the S’âlagrâma. What more than this, that all the Tîrthas want to have his touch. He becomes a Jîvanmukta (liberated while living) and becomes very holy; ultimately he goes to the region of S’rî Hari and remains in Hari’s service there and dwells with him for countless Prakritic dissolutions. Every sin, like Brahmâ Hatyâ, flies away from him as serpents do at the sight of Garuda. The Devî Vasundharâ (the Earth) becomes purified by the touch of the dust of his feat. At his birth, all his predecessors (a lakh in number), are saved. He who gets the S’âlagrâma S’ilâ water during the time of his death, he is freed of all his sins and goes to the Visnu Loka and gets Nirvâna; he becomes freed entirely from the effects of Karma and he gets, no doubt, dissolved and diluted for ever in (the feet of) Visnu. He who tells lies, holding S’âlagrâma in his hands, goes to the Kumbhîpâka Hell for the life-period of Brahmâ. If one does not keep his word, uttered with the S’âlagrâma stone in his hand, one goes to the Asipatra Hell for one lakh manvantaras. He who worships the S’âlagrâma stone without offering Tulasî leaves on it or separates the Tulasî leaves from the stone, will have to suffer separation from his wife in his next birth. So if one does not offer the Tulasî leaves in the conchshell, for seven births he remains without his wife and he becomes diseased. He who preserves the S’âlagrâma stone, the Tulasî and the conchshell, in one place, becomes very learned and becomes dear to Nârâyana. Look! He who casts his semen once in his wife, suffers intense pain, no doubt, at each other’s separation. So you become dear to S’ankhachûda for one Manvantara. Now, what wonder! That you will suffer pain, at his bereavement. O Nârada! Thus saying, S’rî Hari desisted. Tulasî quitted her mortal coil and assumed a divine form, began to remain in the breast of S’rî Hari like S’rî Laksmî Devî. Hari also went with her to Vaikuntha. Thus Laksmî, Sarasvatî, Gangâ, and Tulasî, all the four came so very dear to Hari and are recognised as Îs’varîs. On the other hand, the mortal coil of Tulasî, no sooner quitted by Tulasî, became transformed into the river Gandakî. Bhagavân Hari, too, became also converted into a holy mountain, on the banks thereof, yielding religious merits to the people. The insects cut and fashion many pieces out of that mountain. Of them, those that fall into the river, yield fruits undoubtedly. And those pieces that fall on the ground become yellow coloured; they are not at all fit for worship. O Nârada! Thus I have spoken to you everything. What more do you want to hear now? Say.

Here ends the Twenty-fourth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the glory of Tulasî in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXV

On the method of worship of Tulasî Devî

1-2. Nârada said :– When the Devî Tulasî has been made so dear to Nârâyana and thus an object for worship, then describe Her worship and Stotra (the hymn of Tulasî) now. O Muni! By whom was She first worshipped? By whom were Her glories first sung? And how did She become therefore an object of worship? Speak out all these to me.

3. Sûta said :– Hearing these words of Nârada, Nârâyana, laughing, began to describe this very holy and sin-destroying account of Tulasî.

4-15. Nârâyana said :– Bhagavân Hari duly worshipped Tulasî, and began to enjoy her with Laksmî; He raised Tulasî to the rank of Laksmî and thus made her fortunate and glorious Laksmî and Gangâ allowed and bore this new union of Nârâyana and Tulasî. But Sarasvatî could not endure this high position of Tulasî owing to Her anger. She became self-conceited and beat Tulasî on some quarrel before Hari. Tulasî became abashed and insulted and vanished off. Being the Îs’varî of all the Siddhis, the Devî, the Self-manifest and the Giver of the Siddhiyoga to the Jñânins, Tulasî, Oh! what a wonder, became angry and turned out as invisible to S’rî Hari even.

Not seeing Tulasî, Hari appeased Sarasvatî and getting Her permission went to the Tulasî forest. Going there and taking a bath in due accord, and with due rites, worshipped with His whole heart the chaste Tulasî and then began to meditate on Her with devotion. O Nârada! He gets certainly all siddhis who worships Tulasî duly with the ten lettered mantra :– “S’rîm Hrîm Klîm Aim Vrindâvanyai Svâhâ,” the King of mantras, yielding fruits and all gratifications like the Kalpa Tree. O Nârada! At the time of worship, the lamp of ghee, was lighted and dhûp, sindûra, sandal, offerings of food, flowers, etc., were offered to Her. Thus hymned by Hari, Tulasî came out of the tree, pleased. And She gladly took refuge at His lotus feet. Visnu, then, granted her boon that, “You will be worshipped by all; I will keep you in My breast and in My head and the Devas also will hold you on their heads.” And He then took her to His own abode.

16. Nârada said :– “O Highly Fortunate One! What is Tulasî’s dhyân, stotra and method of worship? Kindly describe all these.”

17. Nârâyana said :– When Tulasî vanished, Hari became very much agitated at her bereavement and went to Vrindâvana and began to praise her.

18-44. The Bhagavân said :– The Tulasî trees collect in multitudinous groups; hence the Pundits call it Vrindâ. I praise that dear Tulasî. Of old, She appeared in the Vrindâvana forest and therefore known as Vrindâvanî. I worship that fortunate and glorious One. She is worshipped always in innumerable universes and is, therefore, known as Vis’vapûjitâ (worshipped by all). I worship that Vis’vapûjitâ. By whose contact, those countless universes are always rendered pure and holy; and therefore She is called Vis’vapâvani (purifying the whole universe). I am suffering from her bereavement, I remember the Devî. Without Tulasî, the Devas do not get pleased, though other flowers be heaped on them; therefore She is considered as the essence of all the flowers. Now I am in sorrow and trouble and I am very eager to see her, who is of the nature of purity incarnate. The whole universe gets delighted when the Bhaktas receive her; hence She is called Nandinî; so may She be pleased with me. There is nothing in the universe that can be compared to Her; hence She is called Tulasî; I take refuge of that clear Tulasî. That chaste dear one is the life of Krisna, hence She is known as Krisnajîvanî. Now may She save my life. O Nârada! Thus praising, Ramâpatî remained there. The chaste Tulasî then came to His sight and bowed down to His lotus feet; when She becoming sensitive out of the insult, began to weep. Bhagavân Visnu, seeing that sensitive dear one, immediately took her to His breast. Taking, then, Sarasvatî’s permission, He took her to His own home and brought about, first of all, the agreement between her and Sarasvatî. Then He granted her the boon, “You will be worshipped by all, respected by all, and honoured by all; and all will carry you on their heads.” I will also worship, respect and honour you and keep you on My head. Receiving this boon from Visnu, the Devî Tulasî became very glad.

Sarasvatî then attracted her to her side, made her sit close to her. Laksmî and Gangâ both with smiling faces attracted her and made her enter into the house. O Nârada! Whosoever worships her with her eight names Vrindâ, Vrindâvanî, Vis’vapûjitâ, Vis’vapâvanî, Tulasî, Puspasârâ, Nandanî and Krisna Jîvanî and their meanings and sings this hymn of eight verses duly, acquires the merit of performing As’vamedha Yajña (horse sacrifice). Specially, on the Full Moon night of the month of Kârtik, the auspicious birth ceremony of Tulasî is performed. Of old Visnu worshipped her at that time. Whoever worships with devotion on that Full Moon combination, the universe purifying Tulasî, becomes freed of all sins and goes up to the Visnu Loka. Offerings of Tulasî leaves to Visnu in the month of Kârtik bring merits equal to those in giving away Ayuta Cows. Hearing this stotra at that period gives sons to the sonless persons, wives to the wifeless persons and friends to friendless persons. On hearing this stotra, the diseased become free of their diseases, the persons in bondage become free, the terrified become fearless, and the sinners are freed of their sins. O Nârada! Thus it has been mentioned how to chant stotra to her. Now hear her dhyân and method of worship. In the Vedas, in the Kânva S’âkhâ branch, the method of worship is given. You know that one is to meditate on the Tulasî plant, without any invocation (âvâhana) and then worship her with devotion, presenting all sorts of offerings as required to her. Now hear Her Dhyânam. Of all the flowers, Tulasî (the holy basil) is the best, very holy, and captivating the mind. It is a flame burning away all the fuel of sins committed by man. In the Vedas it is stated that this plant is called Tulasî, because there can be made no comparison with Her amongst all the flowers. She is the holiest of them all. She is placed on the heads of all and desired by all and gives holiness to the universe. She gives Jîvanmukti, mukti and devotion to S’rî Hari. I worship Her. Thus meditating on Her and worshipping Her according to due rites, one is to bow down to Her. O Nârada! I have described to you the full history of S’rî Tulasî Devî. What more do yo want to hear now, say.

Here ends the Twenty-fifth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the method of worship of Tulasî Devî in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXVI

On the narration of Sâvitrî

1-2. Nârada said :– I have heard the anecdote of Tulasî. Now describe in detail the history of Sâvitrî. Sâvitrî is considered as the Mother of the Vedas. Why was She born, in days gone by? By whom was She first worshipped and subsequently also?

3-4. Nârâyana said :– O Muni! She was first worshipped by Brahmâ. Next the Vedas worshipped her. Subsequently the learned men worshipped her. Next the King As’vapati worshipped Her in India. Next the four Varnas (castes) worshipped Her.

5. Nârada said :– O Brâhman! Who is that As’vapati? What for did he worship? When the Devî Sâvitrî became adorable by all, by which persons was She first worshipped and by which persons subsequently?

6-14. Nârâyana said :– O Muni! The King As’vapati reigned in Bhadrades’a, rendering his enemies powerless and making his friends painless. He had a queen very religious; her name was Mâlatî; She was like a second Laksmî. She was barren; and desirous of an issue, She under the instruction of Vas’istha, duly worshipped Sâvitrî with devotion. But She did not receive any vision nor any command; therefore She returned home with a grievous heart. Seeing her sorry, the king consoled her with good words and himself accompanied her to Puskara with a view to perform Tapas to Sâvitrî with devotion and, being self-controlled, practised tapasyâ for one hundred years. Still he could not see Sâvitrî, but voice came to him. An incorporeal, celestial voice reached his ears :– “Perform Japam (repeat) ten lakhs of Gâyatrî Mantram.” At this moment Parâsara came up there. The king bowed down to him. The Muni said :– O King! One japa of Gâyatrî, destroys the days sins. Ten Japams of Gâyatrî destroy day and night’s sins.

15-40. One hundred Gâyatrî Japams destroy one month’s sins. One thousand Japams destroy one year’s sins. One lakh Gâyatrî Japams destroy the sins of the present birth and ten lakh Gâyatrî Japams destroy the sins of other births. One hundred lakhs of Japams destroy the sins of all the births. If ten times that (i.e., 1,000 lakhs) be done, then liberation is obtained. (Now the method, how to make Japam). Make the palm of the (right) hand like a snake’s hood; see that the fingers are all close, no holes are seen; and make the ends of the fingers bend downwards; then being calm and quiet and with one’s face eastward, practise Japam. Then count from the middle of the ring (name-less) finger and go on counting right-handed (with the hands of the watch) till you come to the bottom of the index finger. This is the rule of counting by the hand. O King! The rosary is to be of the seed of white lotus or of the crystals; it should be consecrated and purified. Japam is to be done then in a sacred Tîrtha or in a temple. Becoming self-controlled one should place the rosary on a banyan leaf or on a lotus leaf and smear it with cowdung; wash it, uttering Gâyatrî Mantra and over it perform one hundred times Gâyatrî Japam intently in accordance with the rules. Or wash it with Pañchagavya, milk, curds, clarified butter, cow urine and cowdung, and then consecrate it well. Then wash it with the Ganges water and perform best the consecrations. O Râjarsi! Then perform ten lakhs of Japam in due order. Thus the sins of your three births will be destroyed and then you will see the Devî Sâvitrî. O King! Do this Japam, being pure, everyday in the morning, mid-day, and in the evening. If one be impure and devoid of Sandhyâ, one has no right to do any action; and even if one performs an action, one does not get any fruit thereby. He who does not do the morning Sandhyâ and the evening Sandhyâ, is driven away from all the Brâhminic Karmas and he becomes like S’ûdras. He who does Sandhyâ three times throughout his life, becomes like the Sun by his lustre and brilliance of tapas. What more than this, the earth is always purified by the dust of his feet. The Dvîja who does his Sandhyâ Bandanam and remains pure, becomes energetic and liberated while living. By his contact all the Tîrthas become purified. All sins vanish away from him as snakes fly away at the sight of Garuda. The Dvîja who becomes void of Sandhyâ three times a day, the Devas do not accept his worship nor the Pitris accept his Pindas. He who has no Bhakti towards the Mûla Prakriti, who does not worship the specific seed Mantra of Mâyâ and who does not hold festivities in honour of Mûla Prakriti, know him verily to be an Ajagara snake without poison. Devoid of the Visnu mantra, devoid of the three Sandhyâs and devoid of the fasting on the Ekâdas’i Tithi (the eleventh clay of the fortnight), the Brâhmin becomes a snake devoid of poison. The vile Brâhmin who does not like to take the offerings dedicated to Hari and who does the washerman’s work and eats the food of S’ûdra and drives the buffaloes, becomes a snake devoid of poison. The Brâhmin who burns the dead bodies of the S’ûdras, becomes like the man who is the husband of an unmarried girl. The Brâhmin also who becomes a cook of a S’ûdra, becomes a snake void of poison. The Brâhmin who accepts the gifts of a S’ûdra, who performs the sacrifice of a S’ûdra, who lives as clerks and warriors becomes like a snake void of poison. The Brâhmin who sells his daughter, who sells the name of Hari or eats the food of a woman who is without husband and son, as well as of one who has just bathed after her menstruation period, becomes like a serpent void of poison. The Brâhmin who takes the profession of pimps and pampers and lives on the interest, is also like a serpent void of poison. The Brâhmin who sleeps even when the Sun has risen, eats fish, and does not worship the Devî is also like a poisonless serpent. Thus stating all the rules of worship in order, the best of the Munis told him the Dhyânam, etc., of the Devî Sâvitrî, what he wanted. Then he informed the King of all the mantras and went to his own Âs’rama. The king, then worshipped accordingly and saw the Devî Sâvitrî and got boons.

41-43. Nârada said :– What is the Sâvitrî’s Dhyân, what are the modes of her worship, what is stotra, mantra, that Parâs’ara gave to the King before he went away? And how did the King worship and what boon did he get? This great mystery, grand and well renowned in the S’rutis, about Sâvitrî, I am desirous to hear in brief on all the points.

44-78. Nârâyana said :– On the thirteenth day (the trayodas’i tithi) of the black fortnight in the month Jyaistha or on any other holy period, the fourteenth day (the chaturdas’i tithi) this vow is to be observed with great care and devotion. Fourteen fruits and fourteen plates with offerings of food on them, flowers and incense are to be offered and this vow is to be observed for fourteen years consecutively. Garments, holy threads and other articles are also offered and after the Vrata is over, the Brâhmins are to be fed. The lucky pot (mangal ghat) is to be located duly according to the rules of worship with branches and fruits. Ganes’a, Agni, Visnu, S’iva and S’ivâ are to be worshipped duly.

In that ghat Sâvitrî is to be next invoked and worshipped. Now hear the Dhyânam of Sâvitrî, as stated in the Mâdhyan Dina Sakhâ, as well the stotra, the modes of worship, and the Mantra, the giver of all desires. I meditate and adore that Sâvitrî, the Mother of the Vedas, of the nature of Pranava (Om), whose colour is like the burnished gold, who is burning with Brahmâ teja (the fire of Brahmâ), effulgent with thousands and thousands of rays of the midday summer Sun, who is of a smiling countenance adorned with jewels and ornaments, wearing celestial garment (purified and uninflammable by fire), and ready to grant blessings to Her Bhaktas; who is the bestower of happiness and liberation, who is peaceful and the consort of the Creator of the world, who is all wealth and the giver of all riches and prosperity, who is the Presiding Deity of the Vedas and who is the Vedas incarnate, I meditate on Thee. Thus reciting the Dhyânam, mantra and meditating on Her, one is to offer Naivedyas (offerings of food) to Her and then place one’s fingers on one’s head; one is to meditate again, and then invoke the Devî within the pot. One should next present fourteen things, uttering proper mantras according to the Vedas. Then one must perform special pûjâ and chant hymns to the Devî and worship Her. The fourteen articles of worship are as under :–

(1) Seat (Âsan); (2) water for washing feet (Pâdya), (3) offering of rice and Durba grass (Arghya), (4) water for bath (Snânîya), (6) anointment with sandalpaste and other scents (Anulepana), (7) incense (Dhûpa), (8) Lights (Dipa), (9) offerings of food (Naivedya), (10) Betels (Tambûl), (11) Cool water, (12) garments, (13) ornaments, (14) garlands, scents, offering of water to sip, and beautiful bedding. While offering these articles, one is to utter the mantras, this beautiful wooden or golden seat, giving spiritual merits is being offered by me to Thee. This water from the Tîrthas, this holy water for washing Thy feet, pleasant, highly meritorious, pure, and as an embodiment of Pûjâ is being offered by me to Thee. This holy Arghya with Durba grass and flowers and the pure water in the conch-shell is being offered by me to Thee (as a work of initial worship). This sweet scented oil and water being offered by me to Thee with devotion for Thy bathing purposes. Kindly accept these. O Mother! This sweet-scented water Divine-like, highly pure and prepared of Kunkuma and other scented things I offer to Thee. O Parames’varî! This all-auspicious, all good and highly meritorious, this beautiful Dhûpa, kindly take, O World Mother! This is very pleasant and sweet scented; therefore I offer this to Thee. O Mother! This light, manifesting all this Universe and the seed, as it were, to destroy the Darkness is being offered by me to Thee. O Devî! Kindly accept this delicious offering of food, highly meritorious, appeasing hunger, pleasant, nourishing end pleasure giving. This betel is scented with camphor, etc., nice, nourishing, and pleasure-giving; this is being offered by me to Thee. This water is nice and cool, appeasing the thirst and the Life of the World. So kindly accept this. O Devî! Kindly accept this silken garment as well as the garment made of Kârpâsa Cotton, beautifying the body and enhancing the beauty. Kindly accept these golden ornaments decked with jewels, highly meritorious, joyous, beauteous and prosperous. Kindly accept these fruits yielding fruits of desires, obtained from various trees and of various kinds. Please have this garland, all auspicious and all good, made of various flowers, beauteous and generating happiness. O Devî! Kindly accept this sweet scent, highly pleasing and meritorious. Please take this Sindûra, the best of the ornaments, beautifying the forehead, highly excellent and beautiful. Kindly accept this holy and meritorious threads an purefied by the Vedic mantrams and made of highly holy threads and knitted with highly pure knots. Uttering thus, offer the above articles that are to be offered to the Devî, every time the specific seed mantra being uttered. Then the intelligent devotee should recite the stotras and subsequently of the Daksinâs (presents) with devotion to the Brâhmanas. The Radical or the Specific Seed Mantra mantra is the eight lettered mantra Srîm Hrîm Klîm Svâitrai Svâhâ; So the sages know. The Stotra, as stated in the Mâdhyandîna S’âkhâ, gives fruits of all desires. I am now speaking to you of that mantra, the Life of the Brâhmanas. Listen attentively. O Nârada! Sâvitrî was given to Brahmâ, in the ancient times of old in the region of Goloka by Krisna; but Sâvitrî did not come to Brahmâ loka with Brahmâ. Then by the command of Krisna, Brahmâ praised the mother of the Vedas. And when She got pleased, She accepted Brahmâ as Her husband.

79-87. Brahmâ said :– Thou art the everlasting existence intelligence and bliss; Thou art Mûlaprakriti; thou art Hiranya Garbha; Thou didst get pleased, O Fair one! Thou art of the nature of fire and Energy; Thou art the Highest; Thou art the Highest Bliss, and the caste of the twice-born. Dost thou get appeased, O Fair One! Thou art eternal, dear to the Eternal; thou art of the nature of the Everlasting Bliss. O Devî, O Thou, the all auspicious One! O Fair One! Beest thou satisfied. Thou art the form of all (omnipresent)! Thou art the essence of all mantras of the Brâhmanas, higher than the highest! Thou art the bestower of happiness and the liberator O Devî, O Fair One! Beest thou appeased. Thou art like the burning flame to the fuel of sins of the Brâhmanas! O Thou, the Bestower of Brahmâ teja (the light of Brahmâ) O Devî! O Fair One! Beest appeased. By Thy mere remembrance, all the sins to me by body, mind and speech are burnt to ashes. Thus saying, the Creator of the world reached the assembly there. Then Sâvitrî came to the Brahmaloka with Brahmâ. The King As’vapati chanted this stotra to Sâvitrî and saw Her and got from Her the desired boons. Whosoever recites this highly sacred king of Stotras after Sandhyâ Bandanam, quickly acquires the fruits of studying the Vedas.

Here ends the Twenty Sixth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the narration of Sâvitrî in S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXVII

On the birth, etc., of Sâvitrî

1-2. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! After having chanted the above hymn to the Goddess Sâvitrî and worshipped Her in accordance with due rites and ceremonies, the king As’vapati saw the Devî, effulgent like the lustre of thousand suns. She then smilingly told the king, as a mother to her son, whilst all the quarters were illumined with the lustre of Her body :–

3-14. Sâvitrî said :– “O King! I know your desire. Certainly I will give what you and your wife long for. Your chaste wife is anxious for a daughter, while you want a son. So, one after another, the desires of both of you will be fulfilled.” Thus saying, the Devî went to the Brahma Loka. The King also returned to his house. First a daughter was born to him. As the daughter was born, as if a second Laksmî was born after worshipping Sâvitrî, the King kept her name as Sâvitrî. As time rolled on, the daughter grew, day by day, like the phases of bright fortnight moon, into youth and beauty. There was a son of Dyumat Sena, named Satyavâna, always truthful, good natured and endowed with various other qualifications. The daughter chose him for her bridegroom. The King betrothed her with jewels and ornaments, to Satyavâna, who gladly took her home. After one year expired, the truthful vigorous Satyavâna gladly went out, by his father’s command, to collect fruits and fuel. The chaste Sâvitrî, too, followed him. Unfortunately Satyavâna fell down from a tree and died. Yama, the God of Death, saw his soul as a Purusa of the size of one’s thumb and took it and went away. The chaste Sâvitrî began to follow Him. The high souled Yama, the Foremost of the Sadhus, seeing Sâvitrî following Him, addressed her sweetly :– O Sâvitrî! Whither are you going in your this mortal coil? If you like to follow after all, then quit your this body.

15-25. The mortal man, with his transient coil of these five elements, is not able to go to My Abode. O Chaste One! The death time of your husband arrived; therefore Satyavâna is going to My Abode to reap the fruits of his Karma. Every living animal is born by his Karma. He dies again through his life long Karma. It is his Karma alone that ordains pleasure, pain, fear, sorrows, etc. By Karma, this embodied soul here becomes Indra; by Karma he can become a Brahmâ’s son. What more than this that Jîva, by his Karma, can be in Hari’s service and be free from birth and death! By one’s own Karma all sorts of Siddhis and immortality can be obtained; the four blessed regions as Visnu’s Sâlokya, etc., also can be obtained by Karma. What more than this that by Karma, a being becomes divine, human, or a King, or S’iva or Ganes’a! The state of Munîndra, asceticism, Ksattriyahood, Vais’yahood, Mlechhahood, moving things, stones, Râksasahood, Kinnaras, Kingship, becoming trees, beasts, forest animals, inferior animals, worms, Daityas, Dânavas, Asuras, all are fashioned and wrought by Karma and Karma alone. O Nârada! Thus speaking, Yama remained silent.

Here ends the Twenty-seventh Chapter of the Ninth Book on the birth, etc., of Sâvitrî in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXVIII

On the story of Sâvitrî

1-4. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! Hearing the words of Yama, the chaste intelligent Sâvitrî, replied with great devotion :– “O Dharmarâjan! What is Karma? Why and how is its origin? What is the cause of Karma? Who is the embodied soul (bound by Karma)? What is this body? And who is it that does Karma? What is Jñâna? What is Buddhi? What is this Prâna of this embodied Jîva? What are the Indriyas? And what are their characteristics? And what are the Devatâs thereof? Who is it that enjoys and who is it that makes one enjoy? What is this enjoyment (Bhoga)? And what is the means of escape from it? And what is the nature of that State when one escapes from enjoyment? What is the nature of Jîvatmâ? And what of Paramâtmâ? O Deva! Speak all these in detail to me.”

5-21. Dharma said :– Karma is of two kinds: good and bad. The Karma that is stated in the Vedas as leading to Dharma is good; all other actions are bad. The God’s service, without any selfish ends (Sankalpa) and without the hope of any fruits thereof (ahaitukî), is of such a nature as to root out all the Karmas and gives rise to the highest devotion to God. A man who is such a Bhakta of Brahmâ becomes liberated, so the S’rutis say. Who then does the Karma and who is it that enjoys? (i.e., no such body). To such a Bhakta to Brahmâ, there is no birth, death, old age, disease, sorrow nor any fear. O Chaste One! Bhakti is two-fold. This is stated by all in the S’rutis. The one leads to Nirvâna and the other leads to the nature of Hari. The Vaisnavas want the Bhakti to Hari, i.e., the Saguna Bhakti. The other Yogis and the best knowers of Brahmâ want the Nirguna Bhakti. He who is the Seed of Karma, and the Bestower for ever the fruits of Karma, Who is the Karma Incarnate and the Mûla Prakriti, is the Bhagavân; He is the Highest Self. He is the Material Cause of Karma. Know this body to be by nature liable to dissolve and die. Earth, air, âkâs’a, water, and fire; these are the threads, as it were, of the work of creation of Brahmâ, Who is of the nature of Being. “Dehî” or The Embodied Soul is the Doer of Karma, the Kartâ; he is the enjoyer; and Âtmâ (self) is the prompter, the stimulator within to do the Karma and enjoy the fruits thereof. The experiencing of pleasures and pains and the varieties thereof is known as Bhoga (enjoyment). Liberation, Mukti is the escape therefrom.

The knowledge by which Âtmâ (sat) and Mâyâ (Asat) are discriminated is called Jñânam (Brahmâ Jñânam). The knowledge is considered as the root discriminator of various objects of enjoyments (i.e., by which the various objects are at once recognised as different from Âtmân). By Buddhi is meant the right seeing of things, (as certain) and is considered as the seed of Jñânam. By Prâna is known as the different Vâyus in the body. And this Prâna is the strength of the embodied. Mind is the chief, the best, of the senses, it is a part of Îs’vara; its characteristic is its doubtful uncertain state. It impels to all actions, irresistible. It is inascertainable, invisible; it obstructs the Jñâna. The senses are seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting. These are the several limbs, as it were, of the embodied and the impellers to all actions. They are both enemies and friends as they give pain (when attached to worldly objects) and happiness (when attached to virtuous objects) both. The Sun, Vâyu, Earth, Brahmâ and others are their Devatâs. The Jîva is the holder, the sustainer of Prâna, body, etc. The Paramâtmâ, the Highest Self, is the Best of all, Omnipresent, transcending the the Gunas, and beyond Prakriti. He is the Cause of all causes and He is the Brahmâ Itself. O Chaste One! I have replied, according to the S’âstras to all your questions. These are Jñânas of the Jñânins. O Child! Now go back to your house at pleasure.

22-30. Sâvitrî said :– Whither shall I go, leaving my Husband and Thee, the Ocean of Knowledge? Please oughtest to answer the queries that I now put to Thee. What wombs do the Jîvas get in response to which Karmas? What Karmas lead to the Heavens? And what Karmas lead to various hells? Which Karmas lead to Mukti? And which Karmas give Bhakti? What Karmas make one Yogi and what Karmas inflict diseases? Which Karmas make one’s life long? or short? Which Karmas again make one happy? And what Karmas make one miserable? Which Karmas make one deformed in one’s limbs, one-eyed, blind, deaf, lame or idiotic? Which Karmas again make one mad? Make one very much avaricious or of a stealing habit? What Karmas make one possess Siddhis? Or make one earn the four Lokas Sâlokya, etc.? What Karmas make one a Brâhmin or an ascetic? Or make one go to Heaven or Vaikuntha? What Karmas enable one to go to Goloka, the par excellence and free from all diseases? How many are the hells? What are their names and how do they appear? How long will one have to remain in each hell? and what Karmas lead to what diseases? O Deva, now tell me about these that I have asked to you and oblige.

Here ends the Twenty-Eighth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the story of Sâvitrî in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXIX

On the anecdote of Sâvitrî, on gifts and on the effects of Karmas

1. Nârâyana said :– Yama got thunderstruck at these queries of Sâvitrî. He then began to describe, with a smiling countenance, the fruition of the several works of the Jîvas.

2-8. He said :– “O Child! You are now a daughter only twelve years old. But you speak of wisdom like the Highest Jñânins and Yogis, Sanaka and others. O Child! By virtue of the boon granted by Sâvitrî, you have become incarnate of Her in part. The King As’vapati got you before by performing severe penances. As Laksmî is dear and fortunate with regard to Visnu, as Mahâdevi is to Mahâdeva, Aditi to Kas’yapa, Ahalyâ to Gautama, so you are to Satyavâna in respect of affection and good-luck and other best qualities. As S’achî is to Mahendra, as Rohinî is to Moon, as Rati is to Kâma, as Svâhâ is to Fire, as Svadhâ is to the Pitris, as Sanjñâ is to the Sun, as Varunânî is to Varuna, as Daksinâ is to Yajñâ, as Earth is to Varâha, as Devasenâ is to Kârtika, so you are fortunate and blessed with respect to Satyavâna. O Sâvitrî! I myself grant you this boon of my own accord. Now ask other boons. O highly fortunate One! I will fulfil all your desires.”

9-12. Sâvitrî said :– “O Noble One! Let there be one hundred sons of mine by Satyavâna. This is the boon that I want. Let there be one hundred sons of my Father as well; let my Father-in-law get back his (lost) eyesight and may he get back his lost kingdom. This is another boon that I want. Thou art the Lord of the world. So grant me this boon, too, that I may have this my very body for a lakh years when I may go to Vaikuntha with Satyavâna. Now I am eager to hear the various fruitions of Karmas of several Jîvas. Kindly narrate them and oblige.”

13-70. Dharma said :– You are very chaste. So what you have thought will verily come to pass. Now I describe the fruition of Karmas of the Jîvas. Listen. Excepting this holy land of Bhârata, nowhere do the people enjoy wholly the fruition of their two-fold Karmas, good and bad. It is only the Suras, Daityas, Dânavas, Gandharvas, Râksasas, and men that do Karmas. The beasts and the other Jîvas do not do Karmas. The special Jîvas, e.g., men, etc., experience the fruition of their Karmas in Heavens, hells and in all the other Yonis (wombs). Specially, as the Jîvas roam in all the different Yonis, they enjoy their Karmas, good or bad, as the case may be, carved in their previous births. The good works get fructified in Heavens; and the bad works lead the Jîvas to hells. This Karma can be got rid of by Bhakti. This Bhakti is of two kinds :– (1) Nirgunâ of the nature of Nirvâna; and (2) towards Prakriti, of the astute of Brahmâ, and with Mâyâ inherent. Diseases come as the result of bad and ignorant actions and healthiness comes from good and certain scientific Karmas. Similar are the remarks for short and long lives for happiness and pain. By bad works, one becomes blind or deformed in body. So by doing excellent Karmas, one acquires Siddhis, etc.. These are spoken generally. I will now speak in detail; listen. This is very secret even in Purânas and Smritis. In this Bhâratavarsa men are the best of all the various classes of beings. The Brâhmans are the best of men and are best in all Kinds of Karmas. They are responsible, too, for their actions. O Chaste One! Of the Brâhmins, again, those that are attached to the Brâhmanas are the best. The Brâhmanas are of two kinds as they are Sakâma (with desires) or Niskâma (without desires). The Niskâmî Brâhmanas are superior to the Sakâmî Brâhmanas. For the Sakâmîs are to enjoy the fruits of their Karmas, while the Niskâmî Brâhmanas are perfectly free from any such disturbances (they have not to come back to this field of Karma). The Niskâma Bhakta after they quit their bodies, go to a place free from sickness or disease, pure and perfect. From there they do not come back. The Niskâma Bhaktas assuming the divine forms go to the Goloka and worship the Highest God, the Highest Self, the two-armed Krisna. The Sakâmî Vaisnavas go to Vaikuntha; but they come back in Bhârata and get into the wombs of the twice-born. By degrees they also become Niskâma when they certainly acquire pure undefiled Bhakti. The Brâhmanas and Vaisnavas that are Sakâmîs in all the births, never get that pure undefiled intellect and never get the devotion to Visnu. The Brâhmanas, living in the Tîrthas (sacred places of pilgrimages) and attached to Tapas go to Brahmaloka (the region of Brahmâ); they again come down to Bhârata. Those that are devotedly attached to their own Dharma (religion) and reside in places other than Tîrthas, go to Satyaloka and again come to Bhârata. The Brâhmanas, following their own Dharma and devoted to the Sun go to the world of the Sun and again come to Bhârata. And those who are devoted to Mûla Prakriti and devoted to Niskâma Dharma go to Mani Dvîpa and have not to come back from thither. The Bhaktas of S’iva, S’akti, and Gane’sa, and attached to their own Dharmas respectively go to the S’iva Loka and return from thence. Those Brâhmanas that worship the other Devas and attached to their own Dharmas go to those regions of theirs respectively and again come to Bhârata. Attached to their own Dharmas, the Niskâmî Bhaktas of Hari go by their Bhakti step by step to the region of S’rî Hari. Those that are not attached to their own Dharmas and do not worship the Devas and always bent on doing things as they like without any regard to their Âchâras go certainly to hells. No doubt in this. The Brâhmanas and the other three Varnas, attached to their own Dharmas all enjoy the fruits of their good works. But those who do not do their Svadharma, go verily down into hells. They do not came to Bhârata for their rebirth, they enjoy their fruits of Karmas in hells! Therefore the four Varnas ought to follow their own Dharmas of the Brâhmanas, they are to remain attached to their own Dharmas and give their daughters in marriage to the similarly qualified Brâhmanas. They then go to the Chandraloka (the region of the Moon). There they remain for the life periods of the fourteen Indras. And if the girl be given, with ornaments, the results obtained would be twice. If the girl be given with a desire in view, then that world is obtained; but if the girl be given without any desire but to fulfil the God’s will and God’s satisfaction only, then one would not have to go to that world. They go to Visnu Loka, bereft of the fruits of all Karmas. Those that give to the Brâhmanas pasture ground and cattle, silver, gold, garment, fruits and water, go to the Chandraloka and live there for one Manvantara. They live long in those regions by virtue of that merit. Again those that give gold, cows, copper, etc., to the holy Brâhmanas, go to the Sûrya Loka (the region of the Sun) and live there for one Ayuta years (10,000 years), free from diseases, etc., for a long time. Those that give lands and lots of wealth to the Brâhmins, go to the Visnu Loka and to the beautiful S’veta Dvîpa (one of the eighteen minor divisions of the known continents). And there they live as long as the Sun and Moon exist. O Muni! The meritorious persons live long in that wide region. Note :– S’veta Dvîpa may mean Vaikuntha, where Visnu resides. Those who give with devotion dwelling places to the Brâhmanas, go to the happy Visnu Loka. And there, in that great Visnu Loka, they live for years equal to the number of molecules, in that house. He who offers a dwelling house in honour of any Deva, goes to the region of that Deva and remains there for a number of years equivalent to the number of particles in that house. The lotus-born Brahmâ said that if one offers a royal palace, one obtains a result four times and if one offers a country, one gets the result one hundred times that; again if one offers an excellent country, twice as much merit one acquires. One who dedicates a tank for the expiation of all one’s sins, one lives in Janar Loka (one of the pious regions) for a period equivalent to the number of particles therein). If any man offers a Vâpî (a well) in preference to other gifts, one gets ten fold fruits thereby. If one offers seven Vâpîs, one acquires the fruits of offering one tank. A Vâpî is one which is four thousand Dhanus long and which is as much wide or less (Note :– Dhanu equals a measure of four hastas). If offered to a good bridegroom, then the giving of a daughter in marriage is equivalent to a dedication of ten Vâpîs. And if the girl be offered with ornaments, twice the merits accrue. The same merit accrues in clearing the bed of the mud of a pond as in digging it. So for the Vâpî (well). O Chaste One! He who plants an As’vattha tree and dedicates it to a godly purpose, lives for one Ayuta years in Tapar Loka. O Sâvitrî! He who dedicates a flower garden for the acquirement of all sorts of good, lives for one Ayuta years in Dhruva Loka.

O Chaste One! He who gives a Vîmâna (any sort of excellent carriage) in honour of Visnu, in this Hindoosthân, lives for one Manvantara in Visnuloka. And if one gives a Vîmâna of variegated colours and workmanship, four times the result accrues. And one who gives a palanquin, acquires half the fruits. Again if anybody gives, out of devotion, a swinging temple (the Dol Mandir) to Bhagavân S’rî Hari, lives for one hundred Manvantras, in the region of Visnu. O Chaste One! He who makes a gift of a royal road, decorated with palatial buildings on either side, lives with great honour and love in that Indraloka for one Ayuta years. Equal results follow whether the above things are offered to the Gods or to the Brâhmanas. He enjoys that which he gives. No giving, no enjoying. After enjoying the heavenly pleasures, etc., the virtuous person takes birth in Bhârata as a Brâhmin or in other good families, in due order, and ultimately in the Brâhmana families. The virtuous Brâhmana, after he has enjoyed the heavenly pleasures, takes his birth again in Bhârata in Brâhmana, Ksattriya or in Vais’ya families. A Ksattriya or a Vais’ya can never obtain Brâhmanahood, even if he performs asceticism for one Koti Kalpas. This is stated in the S’rutis. Without enjoying the fruits, no Karma can be exhausted even in one hundred Koti Kalpas. So the fruits of the Karmas must be enjoyed, whether they be auspicious or inauspicious. By the help of seeing the Devas and seeing the Tîrthas again and again, purity is acquired. O Sâvitrî! So now I have told you something. What more d o you want to hear? Say.

Here ends the Twenty-Ninth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the anecdote of Sâvitrî on the fruits of making gifts and on the effects of Karmas in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXX

On the conversation between Sâvitrî and Yama and on the fruition of Karmas

1. Sâvitrî said :– “O Dharmarâjan! Kindly tell me in detail about those works that lead the meritorious persons to the Heavens and various other spheres.”

2-20. Dharmarâj said :– O Child! He who gives rice and food to the Brâhmanas in India, goes to the S’ivaloka where he dwells with great respect for years equivalent to the measure of that food. This “Anna-dâna” (the giving of boiled rice and other eatables) is a great dân (charity) and this can be done not only to the Brâhmanas but to the other castes also, where similar results also follow. There is, or will be, no other charity superior to this charity of anna (rice, boiled it may be and other eatables). For here no distinction is made as to what caste will get it or not, nor the discrimination of time, when to give such a charity. O Child! Seats (Âsanas) given to the Devas and the Brâhmanas, carry the donor to the Visnu Loka, where he dwells for Ayuta years with great respect and love. Giving excellent cows yielding milk to Brâhmanas take the donor to Visnuloka, where he is glorified and remains for years equivalent to the number of pores in that cow or those cows. And if cows be given on a meritorious day, four times the merits accrue, and if given in a sacred place of pilgrimage, hundred times the result occurs; and if given in a tîrath, where Nârâyana is worshipped, koti times the results accrue. He who gives with devotion, cows to the Brâhmanas in Bhârata, remains in the Chandraloka for one Ayuta years and is glorified. He who gives a two-mouthed cow to a Brâhmana, goes to Visnuloka and remains there for as many years as there exist the numbers of hairs on the body of that cow and is glorified. A gift of a beautiful white umbrella to a Brâhmana makes one go to Varunaloka for Ayuta years where he remains with great pleasure. Giving garments to the diseased Brâhmanas makes one fit to remain with glory in Vayuloka for one ayuta years. Giving to a Brâhmana the S’âlagrâma with garments makes one remain with glory in Vaikuntha as long as there exist the Sun and Moon. Giving a beautiful bedding to a Brâhmana, glorifies a man in the Chandraloka as long as there exist the Sun and Moon. To give lights to the Devas and Brâhmana glorifies a man in Agniloka (the region of Fire) for one Manvantara. To give elephants to the Brâhmanas in Bhârata, makes one sit in the same throne with Indra for his life period.

Giving horses to the Brâhmanas makes one remain in Varunaloka for fourteen Indra’s life periods. Giving a good palanquin to a Brâhmana makes one remain in the Varunaloka for fourteen Indra’s life-periods. Giving a good site or a good orchard to a Brâhmana leads one to the Vayuloka where he remains with glory for one Manvantara. Giving a white châmara and fan to a Brâhmana, leads the donor to the Vayuloka where he remains for one ayuta years. Giving grains and jewels make one long-lived and both the donors and receivers go certainly to Vaikuntha.

21-40. He who always recites the name of S’rî Hari, lives for ever and Death goes far far away from him. The intelligent man that celebrates the Swinging Festival (Dol Jâtrâ) in the last quarter of the Full Moon night in this land of Bhârata, becomes liberated while living, enjoying pleasures in this world, goes in the end to Visnuloka, where he remains for one hundred Manvantaras; there is no doubt in this. If the Swinging Festival be performed under the influence of the asterism Uttara Phâlgunî then the fruits become doubled; this is the saying of Brahmâ Himself. The performer lives to the end of a Kalpa. To give til (Sesamum) to a Brâhman, leads one to S’iva Loka, where one enjoys for a number of years equal to the number of til. Then one is born in a good yoni and becomes longlived and happy. To give a copper plate yields double the effect. To give in India a chaste wife with garments and ornaments to a Brâhman (and then to purchase her with an equivalent in gold) leads one to Chandra Loka where one remains for fourteen Indra’s life periods and enjoys day and night the celestial Apsarâs. Thence the donor goes to the Gandharba Loka for one ayuta years and day and night enjoys Urvas’î. Then he gets for thousand births chaste, fortunate, wealthy, gentle and sweet-speaking, beautiful wives. He who gives nice and delicious fruits to the Brâhmanas, remains with glory in the Indra Loka for a number of years equivalent to the fruits. He gets again a good Yoni (birth) and gets excellent sons. To give thousand trees while there are fruits on them, or nice fruits only to the Brâhmanas, makes one enjoy the Heavens for a long, long time and he then comes back to Bhârata. To give various things and good edifices with grains, etc., to the Brâhmanas leads one to the regions of the Devas where he remains for one hundred Manvantaras. Then he gets a very good birth and becomes the master of abundant wealth. He who gives with devotion to the Brâhmanas lands certainly goes for one hundred Manvantaras and remains there in glory for one hundred Manvantras; and, coming again to be born in good wombs, they become Kings. The earth does not leave him for hundred births. He becomes prosperous, wealthy and possesses many sons and becomes the lord of his subjects. He who gives a good village with pasture land and cows, dwells with glory in Vaikuntha for one lakh manvantaras. Then he gets a good birth (becomes born in a high caste family) and obtains a lakh villages. The earth quits him not even if he be born a lakh times. (This is very bad then, to one who does not like to be born again).

41-60. He who gives a village inhabited by good and obedient subjects with ripe excellent grains, various tanks, trees and adorned with fruits and leaves dwells in Kailâsa with great glory for ten lakh Indra’s life periods. Getting again born in a high family, he becomes Râja Dhirâja in Bhârata and obtains Niyuta towns. There is no doubt in this. The earth quits him not, even if he be born ayuta times. Really he gets the highest prosperity in this earth. He who gives to a Brâhmana one hundred towns and countries, inhabited by good or mediocre subjects, with wells, tanks, and various trees, remains with glory in Vaikuntha for one koti manvantaras. Then he becomes born in this earth in a high caste family, becomes the Lord of Jambudvîpa and attains in this earth great prosperity like Indra. The earth quits him not even if he comes here Koti times; in reality he is a Mahâtmâ (a great soul man), Râjrâjes’vara (the Lord of Kings) and lives upto the end of a Kalpa. He who gives his whole property to a Brâhmin, gets in the end four times that; there is no doubt in this. He who gives Jambu Dvîpa to an ascetic Brâhmana, gets undoubtedly in the end one hundred times the fruit. If you give away Jambu Dvîpa, the whole earth; if you travel all the Tîrthas, if you perform all sorts of asceticisms, if you give shelter to all, if you make gifts of all sorts, know that you will have to come again to be reborn in this earth; but if you become a devotee of Mûla Prakriti, then be sure that you won’t have to come here and be reborn. The devotees of Mûla Prakriti go to Mani Dvîpa, the highest place of S’rî Bhuvanes’arî Devî and remain there and they see the fall of innumerable Brahmâs. The worshippers of the Devî Mantra when they quit their mortal coils, assume divine appearances endowed with Bibhûtis (manifestations of powers) and free from birth, death and old age, assume the Sârûpya (the same form) of the Devî and remain in Her Service. They reside in Manidvîpa and see the part Pralayas. The Devas die, the Siddhas die, the whole universe vanishes; but the Devî Bhaktas never die and they remain free form birth, death, and old age. He who offers Tulasî leaf to Bhagavân Hari in the month of Kârtik resides for three yugas in the temple of Hari. Getting again a good birth, he acquires the devotion to S’rî Hari and becomes the Foremost of those who restrain their senses. He who bathes in the Ganges early before the rising of the Sun remains in enjoyment in the temple of Hari for sixty thousand yugas. Getting again a good birth, he gets the Visnu Mantra, and, quitting his mortal coil, becomes united with the Feet of S’rî Hari.

61-77. He has not to come back from Vaikuntha to this earth. He remains in Hari’s Service and gets the same form of Hari. He who bathes daily in the Ganges, becomes purified like the Sun and gets the result of performing the Horse-sacrifice at every step. The earth becomes purified by the dust of his feet and he enjoys in Vaikuntha as long as the Sun and Moon exist. Then again he becomes born in a good and beautiful womb, and is liberated by acquiring the devotion to Hari. He becomes very energetic and the foremost of the ascetics, pure, religious, learned, and self-restrained. When the Sun comes midway between Pisces and Cancer and heats intensely the earth, the man who in Bhârata gives cool water to drink to the people, resides in happiness in Kailâs’a for fourteen Indra’s life periods. Getting again a good birth here, he becomes beautiful, happy, devoted to S’iva, energetic and expert in the Vedas, and the Vedangas. He who gives to a Brâhmana the S’aktu (sattu). in the month of Vais’âkhe enjoys in the S’iva temple for as many years as there are number of particles in that quantity of sattu (powders in parched oat). He who performs the Krisna Janmâstamî vow in this Bhârata, is freed from the sins incurred in his hundred births; there is no doubt in this. The observer of the vow remains in great enjoyment in Vaikuntha for fourteen Indra’s life periods, gets again a good birth here and acquires Hari Bhakti. He who performs the S’ivarâtri vow in this Bhârata Varsa, resides with great joy in S’iva Loka for seven manvantaras. He who offers the Bel leaves to S’iva in S’ivarâtri time, resides with great joy in S’iva’s Abode for as many yugas as there are number of leaves. Getting again a good birth here, he acquires the devotion to S’iva and becomes learned, prosperous and possesses sons, subjects and lands. He who performs vow and worships S’ankara in the month of Chaitra or Mâgha and who, with a branch of a tree in hand, dances day and night for one month, or half a month, for ten days or for seven days, dwells in S’iva Loka for as many yugas as the number of days he dances. He who performs the vow of S’rî Râma Navamî, lives in the abode of Visnu for seven Manvantaras in great joy. Getting again a good birth, he becomes devoted to S’rî Râma, the foremost of those who have self restraint and he becomes very wealthy.

78-87. He who performs the Sâradîyâ Pûjâ (the great Durgâ Pûjâ in the month of autumn) of the Mûla Prakriti with incense, lights, offerings of food, and animal sacrifices of buffaloes, goats, sheep, rhinoceros, frogs or other animals, together with dancing, music, and various other auspicious things, resides in the S’iva Loka for seven Manvantaras. Getting an excellent birth, and a pure understanding, he gets unbounded prosperity, sons and, no doubt, grandsons and he becomes a very powerful sovereign possessing many horses and elephants. There is no doubt in this. Again he who worships daily with devotion for a fortnight beginning from the eighth day of the bright fortnight the Mahâ Devî Laksmî, remains in the region of Goloka for fourteen Indra’s life periods. Then, obtaining an excellent birth, he becomes a sovereign. He who in the full moon night in the month of Kârtik prepares a Râsa mandal with one hundred Gopas and Gopis and worships S’rî Krisna and Râdhâ in S’âlagrâma or in images with sixteen varieties of offerings remains in Goloka for Brahmâ’s life-time and coming again to Bhârata acquires an unflinching devotion to S’rî Krisna.

88-99. And when this Bhakti becomes greatly intensified, ho gets initiated into S’rî Hari mantra and after quitting his mortal coil, he goes to the Goloka. Then he gets the Sârûpya (the same form) of Krisna and becomes the chief Pârisad (attendant of Krisna) and, becoming free from old age, he has no fear, to fall again down to this earth. He who observes the Ekâdas’î day, remains fasting and performing penances in the bright or dark eleventh day, remains in Vaikuntha in great enjoyment and comfort. Then, again coming into this Bhârata he becomes a devotee of Hari. And when that Bhakti is intensified he becomes solely devoted to Hari and quitting his mortal coil, goes again to the Goloka and gets the Sârûpya of Krisna and becomes His Pârisada (attendant). Then, freed of old age and death, he does not fall. He who worships Indra in the month of Bhâdra in the twelfth day of the white fortnight is worshipped in the regions of Indra for sixty thousand years. He who performs in Bhârata the worship of the Sun on Sunday Sankrânti (when the Sun goes from one sign to another) and the bright seventh Tithi, according to due rules and ceremonies and eats the food called Havisyânna (rice boiled in ghee), dwells in the Sûryaloka for fourteen Indra’s life periods. Then coming to Bhârata, he becomes free from all diseases and becomes prosperous. He who worships Sâvitrî on the fourteenth day of the black fortnight dwells in the region of Brahmâ for seven Manvantaras with great eclât and glory. Coming again to Bhârata he enjoys beauty, unequalled valour, long life, knowledge and prosperity. He who worships on the fifth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Mâgha, with his senses controlled and full of devotion, the Devî Sarasvatî with sixteen articles of food, resides in Mani Dvîpa for one day and one night of Brahmâ.

100-140. On getting re-birth, he becomes a poet and a learned man. He who daily gives with devotion for his whole life, cow and gold to a Brâhmana dwells in Visnu Loka for twice as many years as there are the numbers of hairs on the bodies of these cows and plays and jests with Visnu and doing auspicious things he finds pleasure. In the end he comes again to this Bhârata and becomes the King of Kings. He becomes fortunate, prosperous, possesses many sons, becomes learned, full of knowledge and happy in every way. He who feeds a Brâhmana here with sweetmeats goes to Visnu Loka and enjoys there for as many years as there are hairs on the body of the Brâhmin. In the end he comes again to Bhârata and becomes happy, wealthy, learned, long lived, fortunate and very powerful. He who utters the name of Hari or gives the name (i.e., the mantra) of Hari to others, is worshipped in Visnu loka for as many yugas as the number of times, the name or mantra was uttered. Coming again to Bhârata, he becomes happy and wealthy. And if such things be done in Nârâyana Ksettra, koti times the above results ensue. He who repeats the name of Hari koti times in Nârâyana Ksettra, becomes, no doubt, freed of all sins and liberated while living and he will not get rebirth. He lives always in Vaikuntha. He gets the Sâlokya (the same region of Visnu), is not liable to fall, becomes a Bhakta of Visnu. He who daily worships the earthen phallic symbol (after making it daily) for his whole life, goes to the S’iva Loka and dwells there, for as many years as there are the number of particles of earth. Getting rebirth he becomes the King of Kings. He who worships daily the S’âlagrâma stone and eats the water (after bathing it) is glorified in Vaikuntha for one hundred Brahmâ’s lives and becomes born again. When he acquires the rare Hari Bhakti and quiting his mortal coil goes to Visnu Loka, whence he is not to return. He who performs all the Tapasyâs (asceticims) and observes all the vratas (vows), dwells in Vaikuntha for fourteen Indra’s life peroids. Getting rebirth in Bhârata he becomes the King of Kings and then he becomes liberated. He is not to return any more. He who bathes in all the Tîrthas and makes a journey round the whole world, gets Nirvâna. He is not reborn. He who performs the Horse-Sacrifice in this holy land Bhârata enjoys half the Indraship for as many years as there are hairs on the body of the horse. He who performs a Râjasûya Sacrifice, gets four times the above result. Of all the sacrifices, the Devî Yajñâ, or the Sacrifice before the Devî is the Best. O Fair One! Of old, Visnu, Brahmâ, Indra and when Tripurâsura was killed, Mahâ Deva did such a sacrifice. O Beautiful One! This sacrifice before the S’akti is the highest and best of all the sacrifices. There is nothing like this in the three worlds. This Great Sacrifice was done of yore by Daksa when he collected abundant sacrificial materials of all sorts. And a quarrel ensued on this account between Daksa and S’ankara. The Brâhmins conducting the sacrifice cursed the Nandî and others. And Nandî cursed the Brâhmanas. Mahâdeva, therefore, disallowed the going on of sacrifice and brought it to a dead stop. Of yore the Prajâpati Daksa did this Devî Yajñâ; it was done also by Dharma, Kas’yapa; Ananta, Kardama, Svâyambhuva Manu, his son Priyavrata, S’iva, Sanat Kumâra, Kapila and Dhruva. The performance of this sacrifice brings fruits equal to performing thousands and thousands of Râjasûya sacrifices. Therefore there is no other sacrifice greater than this Devî Yajñâ. One becomes surely endowed with a long life of one hundred years and is liberated while living. He becomes equal to Visnu in knowledge, energy, strength, and asceticism. This is as true as anything. O Child! This Devî Yajñâ is the best and highest of all the sacrifices as Visnu is the highest amongst the Devas; Nârada, amongst the Vaisnavas; the Vedas, amongst all the S’âstras; the Brâhmanas amongst all the castes; the Ganges amongst the sacred places of pilgrimages, S’iva amongst the Holy of Holies, the Ekâdas’î vow amongst all the Vratas; Tulasî, amongst all the flowers; the Moon, amongst the asterisms; Garuda, amongst the birds; Prakriti, Râdhâ, Sarasvatî and Earth amongst the females; the mind, amongst the quick-going and restless senses; Brahmâ, amongst the Prajâpatis; Brahmâ, amongst all the subjects; Vrindrâban, amongst all the forests; Bharat Varsa, amongst all the Varsas; Laksmî, amongst the prosperous; Sarasvatî, amongst the learned; Durgâ, amongst the chaste; Radhikâ, amongst the fortunate. If one hundred horse sacrifices are performed, Indrahood is sure to be obtained. It is by the influence of bathing in all the Tîrthas, performing all the sacrifices, observing all the Vratas, practising all the austerities, studying all the Vedas and circumambulating the whole earth, that this Highest S’akti’s service is obtained and this service of S’akti is the direct cause of Mukti (liberation). To worship the lotus-feet of the Devî is the best and highest, is stated in all the Purânas, in all the Vedas, and in all the Itihâsas. To sing the glories of Mûla Prakriti, to meditate on Her, to chant Her Name and attributes, to remember Her stotras, bow down before Her, to repeat Her Name, and to drink daily Her Pâdodoka (water after washing Her feet) and the offerings already offered to Her, these are approved of by all; and everyone desires this. So worship, worship this Mûla Prakriti, Who is of the nature of Brahmâ, and, lo! Who is again endowed with Mâyâ. O Child! Take your husband and live happily with him in your home. O Child! Thus I have described to you the fruition of the Karmas. This is auspicious to every human being, desired by all and approved of by all. The Real Knowledge springs from this. There is no doubt in this.

Here ends the Thirtieth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the conversation between Sâvitrî and Yama and on the fruition of Karmas in the Great Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXXI

On the Yama’s giving S’akti Mantra to Sâvitrî

1-2. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! Hearing thus the supreme nature of Mûla Prakriti from Dharmarâja Yama, the two eyes of Sâvitrî were filled with tears of joy and her whole body was filled with a thrill of rapture, joy and ecstacy. She again addressed Yama :– “O Dharmarâja! To sing the glories of Mûla Prakriti is the only means of saving all. This takes away the old age and death of both the speaker and the hearer.

3-12. This is the Supreme Place of the Dânavas, the Siddhas, the ascetics. This is the Yoga of the Yogins and this is studying the Vedas of the Vaidiks. Nothing can compare even to one sixteenth of the sixteenth parts of the (full) merits of those who are in S’akti’s Service; call it Mukti, immortality, or attaining endless Siddhis, nothing can come to it. O Thou, the foremost of the Knowers of the Vedas! I have heard by and by everything from Thee. Now describe to me how to worship Mûla Prakriti and what are the ends of karmas, auspicious and inauspicious.” Thus saying, the chaste Sâvitrî bowed down her head and began to praise Yama in stotras according to the Vedas. She said :– “O Dharmarâjan! The Sun practised of yore very hard austerities at Puskara and worshipped Dharma. On this, Dharma Himself became born of Sûrya as his son. And Thou art that son of Sûrya, the incarnation of Dharma. So I bow down to Thee. Thou art the Witness of all the Jîvas; Thou seest them equally; hence Thy name is Samana. I bow down to Thee. Sometimes Thou by Thy own will takest away the lives of beings. Hence Thy name is Kritânta. Obeisance to Thee! Thou holdest the rod to distribute justice and pronounce sentence on them and to destroy the sins of the Jîvas; hence Thy name is Dandadhara; so I bow down to Thee. (Note :– Any Jîva, in course of his travelling towards Mukti, can expect to pass through the stage Yamaship; and if he pleases, he can become a Yama.) At all times Thou destroyest the universe. None can resist Thee. Hence Thou art named Kâla; so obeisance to Thee! Thou art an ascetic, devoted to Brahmâ, self-controlled, and the distributor of the fruits of Karmas to the Jîvas; Thou restrainest Thy senses. Hence Thou art called Yama. Therefore I bow down to Thee.

13-17. Thou art delighted with Thy Own Self; Thou art omniscient; Thou art the Tormentor of the sinners and the Friend of the Virtuous. Hence Thy name is Punya Mitra; so I bow down to Thee. Thou art born as a part of Brahmâ; the fire of Brahmâ is shining through Thy body. Thou dost meditate on Para Brahmâ, Thou art the Lord. Obeisance to Thee!” O Muni! Thus praising Yama, She bowed down at the feet of Him. Yama gave her the mantra of Mûla Prakriti. How to worship Her and He began to recite the fruition of good Karmas. O Nârada! He who recites these eight hymns to Yama early in the morning, getting up from his bed, is freed of the fear of death. Rather he becomes freed of all his sins. So much so, that even if he be a veritable awful sinner and if he recites daily with devotion this Yamâstakam, Yama purifies him thoroughly.

Here ends the Thirty-first Chapter of the Ninth Book on the Yama’s giving S’akti Mantra to Sâvitrî in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Next: Chapter 32

Chapter XXXII

On the enumeration of various hells for sinners

1-28. Nârâyana said :– Then, initiating her with the Great Seed, the Âdi Radical Mantra of the Mahâ S’akti, S’rî Bhuvanes’varî in accordance with due rules, the son of Sûrya began to recite the various effects of various Karmas, auspicious and inauspicious. Never do the persons go to hell when they perform good Karmas; it is only the bad works that lead men to hells. The different Purânas narrate various heavens. The Jîvas go to those places as the effects of their various good Karmas. The good Karmas do not lead men to hells; but the bad Karmas do lead them veritably to various hideous hells. In different S’âstras, different hell-pits are ascertained. Different works lead men to different hells. O Child! Those hell-pits are very wide, deep, painful and tormenting, very horrible and ugly. Of these, eighty six pits or Kundas are prominent. Many other Kundas exist. Now listen to the names of the Kundas mentioned in the Vedas. Their names are :– Vahni Kunda, Tapta Kunda, Ksâra Kunda, Bhayânaka Kunda, Vit Kunda, Mûtra Kunda, S’lesma Kunda, Gara Kunda, Dûsikâ Kunda, Vasâ Kunda, S’ukra Kunda, S’onita Kunda, As’rû Kunda, Gâtramala Kunda, Karnamala Kunda, Majjâ Kunda, Mâmsa Kunda, impassable Nakra Kunda, Loma Kunda, Kes’a Kunda, impassable Asthi Kunda, Tâmra Kunda, the exceedingly hot and painful Lauha Kunda (the pit of molten iron), Charma Kunda, the hot Surâ Kunda, sharp Thorny Kunda, Visa Kunda, the hot Taila Kunda, very heavy Astra Kunda, Krimi Kunda, Pûya Kunda, terrible Sarpa Kunda, Mas’aka Kunda, Dams’a Kunda, dreadful Garala Kunda, Vajra Damstra Vris’chika Kunda, S’ara Kunda, Sûla Kunda, awful Khadga Kunda, Gola Kunda, Nakra Kunda, sorrowful Kâka Kunda, Manthâna Kunda, Vîja Kunda, painful Vajra Kunda, hot Pâts’âna Kunda, sharp Pâs’âna Kunda, Lâlâ Kunda, Masî Kunda, Chakra Kunda, Vakra Kunda, very terrible Kurma Kunda, Jvâlâ Kunda, Bhasma Kunda, Dagdha Kunda, and others. Besides these, there are the Taptasûchî, Asipatra, Ksuradhâra, Sûchîmukha, Gokhâmûkha, Kûmbhîpâka, Kâlasûtra, Matsyoda, Krimi, Kantuka, Pâms’ubhojya, Pâs’avesta, Sûlaprota, Prakampana, Ulkâmakha, Andhakûpa, Vedhana, Tâdana, Jâlarandhra, Dehachûrna, Dalana, S’osana, Kasa, S’ûrpa, Jvâlâmûkha, Dhûmândha, Nâgavestana and various others. O Savitri! The Kundas give much pain and torment greatly the sinners; they are under the constant watch of innumerable servants. They hold rods in their hands; some of them have nooses; others hold clubs, S’aktis, awful scimitars; they are fierce fanatics, maddened with vanity. All are filled with Tamogunas, merciless, irresistible, energetic, fearless and tawny-eyed (like copper). Some of them are Yogis; some are Siddhas, they assume various forms. When the sinners are about to die, they see these servants of Yama. But those who do their own duties, who are S’âktas, Sauras, or Gânapatyas or those who are virtuous Siddha Yogis, they never see the servants of Yama. Those who are engaged in their own Dharmas, who are possessed of wisdom, who are endowed with knowledge, who are mentally strong, who are untouched by fear, who are endowed with the feelings of the Devas, and those who are real Vaisnavas, they never see these servants of Yama. O Chaste One! Thus I have enumerated to you the Kundas. Now hear who live in the Kundas.

Here ends the Thirty-second Chapter of the Ninth Book on the enumeration of various hells for sinners in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXXIII

On the description of the destinies of different sinners in different hells

1-19. Dharmarâjan said :– Those that are in Hari’s service, pure, the Siddhas in Yoga (those that have attained success in Yoga), the performers of Vratas (vows), the chaste, the ascetics, the Brahmachâris never go to hells. There is no doubt in this. Those persons that are proud of their strong positions and who use very harsh burning words to their friends, they go to Vahni Kunda and live there for as many years as there are hairs on his body; next they attain animal births for three births and get themselves scorched under the strong heat of the Sun. He goes to the Tapta Kunda hell who does not entertain any Brâhman guest with any eatables who comes to his house hungry and thirsty. He lives there for as many years as there are hairs on his body and he has to sleep on a bed of fire, very tormenting. Then he will have to be born for seven births as birds. If anybody washes any clothing with any salt on Sunday, or on the day of Samkrânti (when the Sun enters another sign), or on any new-moon day or on any S’râddha day (when funeral ceremonies are performed), he will have to go to the Ksâra Kunda hell where he remains for as many years as there are threads in that clothing and finally he becomes born for seven births as a veritable washerman. The wretch that abuses Mûla Prakriti, the Vedas, the S’âstras, Purânas, Brahmâ, Visnu, S’iva and the other Devas, Gaurî, Laksmî, Sarasvatî and the other Devîs, goes to the hell named Bhayânaka Narakakunda. There is no other hell more tormenting than this. The sinners live here for many Kalpas and ultimately become serpents. There is no sin greater than the abuse of the Devî. There is no expiation for it. So one ought never to abuse the Devî. If one discontinues the allowances given by oneself or other persons to the Devas or Brâhmanas, one goes to Visthâ Kunda and has to eat the faeces there for sixty thousand years and finally to be born in Bhârata as worms in faeces the same number of years. If any person without the owner’s permission digs another’s tank dried of water, or makes water in the water of any tank, he goes to Mûtra Kunda and drinks urine for as many years as there are the particles in that tank. Then he becomes born in this Bhârata its an ox for one hundred years. If any person eats good things himself without giving any portion thereof to the member of his family, he goes to S’lesma Kunda where he eats phlegm, for full one hundred years. Then he becomes born as Preta (disembodied spirits) in this Bhârata for hundred years and drinks phlegm, urine and pus; then he becomes pure. He who does not support his father, mother, spiritual teacher, wife, sons, daughters and the helpless persons, goes to Gara Kunda where he eats poison for full one hundred years. Finally he becomes born and wanders as Bhûtas (disembodied spirits). Then he becomes pure.

20-50. He who becomes angry and shrinks his eyes at the sight of a guest who has come to his house offends the Devas or Pitris, who do not accept the water offered to them by that villain. On the contrary, he earns all the sins of Brahmahatyâ (murder of a Brâhmin and so forth) and finally goes to Dûsikâkunda where he remains for one hundred years and eats polluted things. Then wandering as Bhûtas for one hundred years he becomes purified. If anybody makes a gift of any article to a Brâhmin and then again gives that article to a different man, he goes to Vasâ Kunda where he eats marrows for one hundred years. Then he has to roam about in India for seven births as a Krikalâsa (lizard) and finally he becomes born as a very poor man with a very short life. If any woman or any man makes another of a different sex eat semen, out of passion, he goes to S’ukra Kunda where he drinks semen for one hundred years. Then he crawls about as worms for one hundred years. And then he gets purified. If anybody beats a Brâhmana who is a family preceptor and causes his blood to come out, he will have to go to Rakta Kunda where he has to drink blood for one hundred years. Finally he has to roam about for seven births in India as tigers; then he becomes pure by degrees. If anybody mocks and laughs at any devotee of Krisna who sings with rapt consciousness and sheds tears of joy, he will have to go to As’ru Kunda where he drinks tears for one hundred years. Then he has to roam as Chândâla for three births and then he becomes pure. He who always cheats his friends, lives for one hundred years in Gâtramala Kunda. Then roaming about for three births as an ass and for three births as a fox concurrently, he becomes purified. Out of vanity, if anybody jests at a deaf person, he goes to Karnamalakunda where he eats for one hundred years the wax of the ear. Next he comes to the earth as a deaf and very poor man for seven births, when at last he gets purified. If anybody commits murder out of greed to support his family, he goes to the hell Majjâkunda where he eats marrow for one lakh years. Next he becomes a fish for seven births, for seven births he becomes a mosquito, for three births he becomes a boar, for seven births he becomes a cock, deer and other animals concurrently; at last he gets purified. If any stupid person sells the daughter whom he has supported, out of greed for money, he goes to Mânsakunda and lives there for as many years as there are hairs on her body. The Yama’s servants beat him with their clubs. His head becomes overloaded with the burden of the flesh; and, out of hunger, he licks the blood coming out of his head. Next that sinner comes to Bhârata and for sixty years becomes a worm in any daughter’s faeces, for seven births he becomes a hunter; for three births, a boar; for seven births, cock; for seven births, frog; for seven births, leech; and for seven births, crow; when he gets purified. One who shaves on the day of observing vows, fasting and funeral ceremony day, becomes impure and unfit to do any action, and, in the end, he goes to the Nakha Kunda where he receives blows of clubs and eats nails for one hundred Deva years. If anybody worships, out of carelessness, the earthen S’iva phallic symbol with any hairs on it, he goes to the hell Kes’a Kunda where he remains for as many years as there are particles in that hair; then he gets to the yoni (womb) a Yâvanânî (a Mlechcha woman) out of Hara’s wrath. After one hundred years he becomes freed from that and then he becomes a Râksasa; there is no doubt in this. He who does not offer Pindas to the Visnupâda in honour of his Pitris at Gayâ goes to the hell Asthikunda where he remains for as many years as there are dirts on his body. Then he becomes a man; but for seven births he becomes lame and poor. Then he gets purified. The stupid man who commits outrage and violence on his pregnant wife, resides for one hundred years in the hot Tâmra Kunda (where coppers are in a molten condition). He who takes the food of a childless widow and the same of any woman that has just bathed after menstruation goes for one hundred years to the hot Lauha Kunda (where iron is in a molten condition). For seven births he becomes then a crow and for seven births he becomes born of a washerwoman, full of sores and boils, and poor. Then he gets purified.

51-61. If one touches the things of the Devas after touching skins or impure hides, one remains in the Charma Kunda for full one hundred years. If any Brâhmin eats a S’ûdra’s food, requested by him, he lives for one hundred years in the hot Surâ Kunda. Then for seven births he performs, the funeral rites for a S’ûdra; at last he becomes pure. If any foul-mouthed person uses always harsh and filthy language to his master, he will have to go to Tîksna Kantaka Kunda where he eats thorns. Besides, the Yama’s servants give severe beatings to him with their clubs. For seven births he will have to become horses when he gets purified. If any man ministers poison to another and so takes away his life, he will have to remain for endless years in Visakunda, where he will have to eat poison. Then he will have to pass for one hundred years as a murderer Bhilla, full of sores and boils, and for seven births he will have to be a leper when at last he gets purified. Being born in this holy land Bhâratavarsa, if any man strikes a cow with a rod or any driver does so whether by himself or by his servant, he will have to dwell certainly in the hot Lauha Kunda for four yugas. He will have to pass as many years as a cow as there are hairs on that cow when ultimately he gets purified. If anybody strikes any other body with a red-hot iron dart (Kunta weapon), he will have to dwell in the Kunta Kunda for ayuta years. Then he will have to remain for one birth in a good womb, with a diseased constitution, when ultimately he will be purified.

62-85. If any Brâhmin villain eats, out of greed, any flesh (not sacrificed before the goddess) or anything not offered to Hari, he will have to remain in the Krimi Kunda where he eats those things for as many years as there are hairs on his body. Then he will have to pass for three births as Mlechchas when ultimately he becomes born in a Brâhmin family. If any Brâhmin performs the S’râdh of a S’ûdra, eats the food pertaining to a S’râdh of a S’ûdra or burns the dead body of a S’ûdra, he will have to dwell certainly in Pûya Kunda, where, being beaten by the rod of Yama, he eats the pus, etc., for as many years as there are hairs on his body. Then he becomes reborn in this Bhârata as one greatly diseased, poor, deaf and dumb and ultimately he will have to roam for seven births as a S’ûdra. He who kills a black serpent on whose hood there is the lotus mark, lives in Sarpa Kunda for as many years as there are hairs on his body and he is bitten by serpents there and beaten by the servants of Yama and eats the excrescences of snakes and finally becomes born as a serpent. Then he becomes a man shortlived and having the cuticaneous disease and ringworm. And his death also comes out of snake-bite. He who kills mosquitoes and other small fanged-animals, that earn their substance rightly and pass so their lives, goes to Dams’a mas’a Kunda where he is eaten by mosquitoes and other fanged-creatures and lives there without food and crying, weeping, for as many years as the numbers of lives destroyed. Besides the Yama’s servants tie his hands and feet and beat him. Then he becomes born as flies when ultimately he becomes purified. He who beats and chastises any man not fit to be chastised and beaten and as well as a Brâhmana, goes to Vajra Damstra Kunda, full of worms, and lives there day and night for as many years as there are the number of hairs on the chastised person. When he is bitten by the worms and beaten by Yama’s servants, he cries sometimes, weeps sometimes, and becomes very miserable. Next he is reborn as a crow for seven births when ultimately he gets purified. If any foolish king punishes and gives trouble to his subjects out of greed of money, he goes to Vrischika Kunda where he lives for as many years as there are hairs on the bodies of his subjects. There is no doubt in this. Finally he becomes born in this Bhârata as a scorpion; then a man diseased and defective in limbs, when ultimately he becomes freed of his sins. If any Brâhmin carries or raises weapons, washes the clothes of others who do not perform Sandhyâs and abandons his devotion to Hari, he lives in Sarâdi Kunda for as many years as there are hairs on his body; he is, then, pierced by arrows. Finally he becomes purified. If any king maddened by his own folly and fault, shuts his subjects in a dark cell and kills them, then he will have to go to a dreadful dark hell filled with worms having fanged teeth and covered with dirt. This hell is named Gola Kunda. He lives there bitten by insects for as many years as there are hairs on the bodies of his subjects. Finally he becomes a slave of those subjects, when he gets purified.

86-103. If anybody kills the sharks and crocodiles, etc., that rise out of the water spontaneously, he will have to remain, then, in Nakra Kunda for as many years as there are thorns or edged points on those animals. Then he will have to be born as crocodiles, etc., for some time, when he will be purified. If any man, overpowered with lust, sees another’s wife’s uncovered breast, loins, and face, he will have to remain in Kâka Kunda for as many years as there are hairs in his own body. Here the crows take out his eyes. Finally for three births he gets himself burned by Fire when he becomes pure. He who steals in India the gold of the Devas and the Brâhmanas, dwells certainly in Manthâna Kunda for as many years as there are hairs on his body. My servants give him good beatings, and cudgellings; his eyes are covered by Manthâna Danda insects (or animals) and he eats their dirty faeces. Then he is reborn as a man but for three births he becomes blind and for seven births he becomes very poor, cruel, and a sinful goldsmith and then he is born a Svarnavanik (Sonâr bene). O Fair One! He who steals in India copper or iron, silver or gold, dwells in Vîja Kunda for as many years as there are hairs on his body. There the Vîjas (a kind of insect) cover his eyes and he eats the excrescences of those insects. My messengers torment him. Finally he gets purified. If anybody steals in India any Devatâ or the articles of a Devatâ, he dwells in Vajra Kunda for as many years as there are hairs on his body. There his body gets burnt up. My messengers torment him and he a cries and weeps and remains without any food. Then he gets purified. If anybody steals the metal gold or silver, cows, or garments of any Deva or a Brâhmana, certainly he dwells in hot Pâsâna Kunda for as many years as there are hairs on his body. Next for three births he becomes a tortoise and all sorts of white birds. Finally for three births he becomes a leper and for one birth be becomes a man with white marks on his body. Next for seven births he becomes diseased with a severe colic pain and bad blood and lives short. Then he gets purified. If anybody steals brass or Kâmsya properties of any Deva or a Brâhmana, he will have to remain in the sharp Pâsâna Kunda for as many years as there are hairs on his body. Next he becomes born in Bhârata for seven births as horses; and ultimately his both the testicles get enlarged and he gets diseases in his legs when he gets purified. If anybody verily eats the food of an adulterate woman or lives on her alms, he will have to go to the Lâlâ Kunda for as many years as there are hairs on his body. My messengers torment him there and he eats the saliva and thus lives miserably. Then he gets eye diseases and colic; when ultimately he gets purified.

104-126. If any Brâhmana lives on writing only or on the service of Mlechchas, he lives in Masi Kunda very painfully, eating ink, tormented by My messengers for as many years as there are hairs on his body. Then he becomes a black animal for three births and for another three births he becomes a black goat. Then he becomes a Tâl tree when he gets purified. If anybody steals a Deva’s or a Brâhmana’s grains, or any other good materials, betel, Âsan (seat) or bedding, he lives in Chûrna Kunda for one hundred years, tormented by My Dûtas (messengers). Next for three births he gets himself born as a goat, cock, and monkey. Finally he becomes born as a man with the heart disease, without any issue, poor, and short lived. When, at last, he gets purified. If anybody steals any Brâhmin’s property and thereby does chakra pûjâ (the famous chakra circle worship in Tantra), or prepares a potter’s wheel or any other wheels, he will have to go to Chakra Kunda and remain there for one hundred years, tormented by My messengers. Then he will be born for three births as an oilman suffering from very severe diseases when he will ultimately be poor, without any issue and diseased. Finally he gets purified. If anybody casts a sinful eye on any Brâhmana or on cows, he will have to remain in Vakra Kunda for one hundred Yugas. Next for three births he becomes a cat, for three births he becomes a vulture; for three births he becomes a boar; for three births he becomes a peacock; for seven births he becomes a man deformed and defective in limbs, his wife being dead, without any issue. Finally he becomes purified. If any person born in a Brâhmin family eats the flesh of a tortoise that is prohibited, he lives in Kûrma Kunda, for one hundred years, eaten by tortoises. Then he becomes for three births a tortoise; for three births, a boar; for three births a cat; for three births, a peacock; till at last he gets purified. If anybody steals clarified butter or oil of any Devas or a Brâhmana he will have to go to Jvâlâ Kunda or Bhasma Kunda. That sinner remains in oil for one hundred years and gets soaked through and through. Then for seven births he becomes a fish and a mouse when he gets purified. If anybody, born here in this holy land Bhârata steals sweet scented oil of a Deva or of a Brâhmana, the powdered myrobalan or any other scent, he goes to Dagdha Kunda where he lives, burnt day and night for as many years as there are hairs on his body. For seven births he becomes born emitting a nasty smell, for three births he becomes musk (mriga-nâbhi); for seven births, as a Manthâna insect. Then he becomes born as a man. If, out of envy, a powerful man appropriates to his purpose another’s ancestral property by cheating, by using force, he goes to the hot Sûchî Kunda, being tormented there like a Jîva dropped in the midst of a very hot oil tank, full of boiling oil. His body is, then, being burnt up severely as the result of his own Karma; the wonder being that his body never gets completely destroyed nor reduced to ashes. For seven manvantaras he lives there without any food. My messengers give him good beatings and cudgellings and chastise him; he cries aloud. Next he gets himself born as worms of faeces for sixty thousand years. When he becomes born as a pauper without owning any land. Thus that villain, getting a fresh lease of human birth, begins again to do fresh good acts.

Here ends the Thirty-third Chapter of the Ninth Book on the description of the destinies of different sinners in different hells in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXXIV

On the description of the various hells

1-28. Dharma Râja Yama said :– O Fair One! If, in this Bhârata, any murderer, merciless and fierce, kills any man, out of greed for money, he goes and miserably dwells in the Asipattra hell for fourteen Indra’s life periods. And if that murderer kills a Brâhmana, he lives in that hell for one hundred manvantaras. While in hell, his body becomes fiercely cut and wounded by the swords. There My messengers chastise him and beat him and he cries aloud and passes his time without any food. Then he becomes born for one hundred years as a Manthâna insect, for hundred births as a boar, for seven births as a cock; for seven births as a fox, for seven births as a tiger; for three births, as a wolf; for seven births, as a frog; then as a buffalo when he becomes freed of his sins of murders. If anybody sets fire to a city or a village, he will have to live in Ksuradhâra Kunda for three yugas with his body severed. Then he becomes a Preta (disembodied spirit) and travels over the whole earth, being burnt up with fire. For seven births he eats unclean and unholy food and spends his time as a pigeon. Then for seven births he becomes diseased with a severe colic pain, for seven births as a leper; when ultimately he gets a pure human body. If anybody whispers in one’s ear another’s calumny and thus glorifies himself and abuses and vilifies the Devas and Brâhmanas, he goes and remains in Sûchî Kunda for three Yugas, and he is pierced there by needles. Then he becomes a scorpion for seven births, a serpent for seven births, and an insect (Bhasma Kîta) for seven births; then he gets a diseased human body when, at last, he becomes purified. If anybody breaks into another’s house and steals away all the household articles, cows, goats or buffaloes, he goes to Gokâ Mukha Kunda where faeces are like cow’s hoofs, there, beaten by My servants, for three Yugas. (Gokâ is Goksura, hoof of a cow). Then, for seven births, he becomes a diseased cow; for three births, a sheep; for three births, a goat; and finally he becomes a man. But in this man-birth he is born first as diseased, poor, deprived of wife and friends, and a repenting person; when ultimately he is freed of his sin. If anybody steals any ordinary thing, he goes to Nakra Mukha Kunda and lives there for three years, greatly tormented by My messengers. Next for seven births, he becomes a diseased ox. Then he attains a very diseased man-birth, and ultimately he is freed of his sins. Such are the horrible results. If anybody kills a cow, elephant, horse, or cuts a tree, he goes to Gaja Dams’a Kunda for three yugas. There he is punished by My messengers freely by the teeth of elephants. Then he attains three elephants’ births, three horse-births; then he becomes born as a cow and ultimately he is born a Mlechcha when he becomes pure. If anybody obstructs any thirsty cow from drinking water, he goes to Krimi Kunda and Gomukha Kunda filled with hot water and lives there for one manvantara. Next when he attains a human birth he owns not any cattle nor any wealth; rather he is born as a man, very much diseased, in low castes, for seven births when he becomes freed. If anybody, being born in Bhârata, kills cows, Brâhmins, women, beggars, causes abortions or goes to those not fit to be gone into, he lives in the Kumbhîpâka hell for fourteen Indra’s life periods. There be is pulverised always by My messengers. He is made to fall sometimes in fire, sometimes over thorns, sometimes in hot oil, sometimes in hot water, sometimes in molten iron or copper. That great sinner gets thousand vulture births, hundred boar births, seven crow births and seven serpent births. He then becomes worms of faeces for sixty thousand years. Thus travelling frequently in ox births he at last becomes born as a very poor leper.

29-31. Sâvitrî said :– “O Bhagavân! What is, according to the S’âstras, Brahmahattyâ (murdering a Brâhmin) and Gohatyâ (killing a cow)? Who are called Agamyâs (women unfit to be approached)? Who are designated as void of Sandhyâ (daily worship of the twice born castes)? Who can be called uninitiated? Who are said to take Pratigrahas (gifts) in a Tîrath? What are the characteristics of a real Grâmayâjî (village priests), Devala, (Brâhmana of an inferior order who subsists upon the offerings made to the images which he attends), the cook of a S’ûdra, of one who is infatuated (Pramatta) and the Vrisalîpati (one who has married an unmarried girl twelve years old in whom menstruation has commenced; a barren woman). Kindly describe all these to me.”

32-91. Dharmarâjan said :– O Fair Sâvitrî! If anybody makes a distinction between Krisna and His Image or between any Deva and his image, between S’iva and His phallic emblem, between the Sun and the stone Sûrya Kânta (a precious stone of a bright and glittering colour) between Ganes’a and Durgâ, he is said to be guilty of the sin Brahmahattyâ. If anybody makes any difference (superiority or inferiority) between his own Ista Deva (his Deity), his Spiritual Teacher, his natural father, and mother, is certainly involved in the sin of Brahmahattyâ. He who shews any difference (superiority or inferiority) between the devotees of Visnu and those of other Devas, is said to commit Brahmahattyâ. He who makes any difference in matters of respect between the waters of the feet of any Brâhmana and those of S’âlagrâma stone, is said to commit Brahmahattyâ. The difference between the offerings to Hari and Hara leads to Brahmahattyâ. He who shews any difference between Krisna, Who is verily the God of gods, the Cause of all causes, the Origin of all, Who is worshipped by all the Devas, Who is the Self of all, Who is attributeless and without a second yet Who by His Magic powers assumes many forms and who is Is’âna, is said to commit, indeed, the Brahmahattyâ. If any Vaisnava (a devotee of Visnu) abuses and envies a S’akta (a devotee of S’akti), he commits Brahmahattyâ. He who does not worship, according to the Vedas, the Pitris and the Devas or prohibits others in doing so, commits Brahmahattyâ. He who abuses Hrisikes’a, Who is the Highest of the Holy things, Who is Knowledge and Bliss and Who is Eternal, Who is the only God to be served by the Devas and Vaisnavas, and those Who are worshippers of His Mantra, and those who do not worship themselves are said to commit Brahmahattyâ. He who abuses and vilifies Mûlaprakriti Mahâ Devî, Who is of the nature of Causal Brahmâ (Kârana Brahmâ), Who is All Power and the Mother of all, Who is worshipped by all and who is of the nature of all the Devas and the Cause of all Causes, Who is Âdyâ S’akti Bhagavatî, is said to commit Brahmahattyâ. He who does not observe the Holy S’rî Krisna Janmâstami, S’rî Râma Navamî, S’ivarâtri, the Ekâdas’î happening on Sunday, and five other holy Pârvanas (festivals), commits Brahmahattyâ; is considered more sinful than a Chândâla. He who in this land of Bhârata, digs earth on the day of Ambuvâchî or makes water, etc., in the waters of the tanks, is involved in the sin of Brahmahattyâ. He who does not support his spiritual teacher, mother, father, chaste wife, son and daughter, though they are faultless, commits Brahmahattyâ. He whose marriage does not take place during his whole life-time, who does not see the face of his son, who does not cherish devotion to Hari, who eats things unoffered to S’rî Hari, who never worshipped throughout his life Visnu or an earthen symbol of S’iva, verily commits Brahmahattyâ. O Fair One! Now I will recite the characteristics, according to the S’âstras, of Gohattyâ (killing a cow). Listen. If anybody does not prohibit one, seeing one to beat a cow, or if he goes between a cow and a Brâhmin, he is involved in the sin of Gohattyâ. If any illiterate Brâhman, carrying an ox, daily beats with a stick, the cows, certainly he commits the Gohattyâ. If anybody gives the remains of another’s meal to a cow to eat, or feeds a Brâhmin who carries, rather moves or drives, cows and oxen; or eats himself the food of such a Brâhmin driver, he commits Gohattyâ. Those who do sacrifices of the husband of a barren woman (Vrisalî) or eat his food, commit sin equal to one hundred Gohattyâs; there is no doubt in this. Those who touch fire with their feet, beat the cows or enter the temple bathing but not washing their feet, commit Gohattyâ. Those who eat without washing their feet or those who sleep with their feet wetted with water and those who eat just after the Sun has risen, commit Gohattyâ. Those who eat the food of women without husbands or sons or the food of pimps and pampers or those who do not perform their Sandhyâs thrice, commit Gohattyâ. If any woman makes any difference between her husband and the Devatâ, or chastises and uses harsh words to her husband, she commits Gohattyâ. If anybody destroys cow’s pasture land, tanks, or land for forts and cultivates there grains, he commits Gohattyâ. He who does not do Prâyas’chitta (expiation, atonement) for the expiation of the sin of Gohattyâ done by his son (for fear of his son’s life), commits the sin himself. If any trouble arises in the state or from the Devas, and if any master does not protect then his own cows, rather torments them, he is said to commit Gohattyâ. If any Jîva oversteps the image of a Deva, fire, water, offerings to a god, flowers, or food, he commits the great sin Brahmahattyâ. When a guest comes, if the master of the house always says, “there is nothing, nothing with me; no, no,” and if he be a liar, cheat and an abuser of the Devas, he commits the above sin. O fair One! Whoever seeing his spiritual teacher, and a Brâhman, does not bow down and make respectful obeisance to them, commits Gohattyâ. If any Brâhmin, out of sheer anger, does not utter blessings to a man who bows down or does not impart knowledge to a student, he commits Gohattyâ. O Fair One! Thus I have described to you the characteristics, approved by S’âstras, of cow-killing (Gohattyâ) and murdering a Brâhmin (Brahmahattyâ). Now hear which women are (Agamyâs) not fit to be approached and those which are fit to be approached (Gamyâs). One’s own wife is fit to be approached (Gamyâ) and all other women are Agamyâs, so the Pundits, versed in the Vedas, declare. This is a general remark; now hear everything in particular. O Chaste One! The Brâhmin wives of S’ûdras or the S’ûdra wives of Brâhmanas are Atyâgamyâs (very unfit to be approached) and blameable both in the Vedas and in the society. A S’ûdra going to a Brâhmanî woman commits one hundred Brahmahattyâs; so a Brâhmana woman going to a S’ûdra goes to the Kumbhîpâka hell. As a S’ûdra should avoid a Brahmâni, so a Brâhmana should avoid a S’ûdra woman. A Brâhmana going to a S’ûdra woman is recognised a Brisalipati (one who has married an unmarried girl twelve years old in whom menstruation has commenced). So much so that that Brâhmana is considered an outcast and the vilest of the Chândâlas. The offerings of Pindas by him are considered as faeces and water offered by him is considered as urine. Nowhere whether in the Devaloka or in the Pitriloka, his offered Pindas and water are accepted. Whatever religious merits he has acquired by worshipping the Devas, and practising austerities for Koti births, he loses all at once by the greed of enjoying the S’ûdra woman. There is no doubt in this. A Brâhmin, if he drinks wine, is considered as the husband of a Vrisalî, eating faeces. And if he be a Vaisnava, a devotee of Visnu, his body must be branded with the marks of a Taptamudrâ (hot seal); and if he be a S’aiva, his body is to be branded with the Tapta S’ûla (hot trident). The wife of a spiritual teacher, the wife of a king, step-mother, daughter, son’s wife, mother-in-law, sister of the same father and mother, the wife of one’s brother (of the same father and mother), the wife of a maternal uncle, the father’s mother, mother’s mother, the mother’s sister, sisters, the brother’s daughter, the female disciple, the disciple’s wife, the wife of the sister’s son, the wife of the brother’s son, these all are mentioned by Brahmâ as Atyâgamyâs (very unfit to be approached). The people are hereby warned. If anybody, overpowered by passion, goes to these Atyâgamyâ women, he becomes the vilest of men. The Vedas consider him as if going to his mother and he commits one hundred Brahmahattyâ sins. These have no right to do any actions. They are not to be touched by any. They are blamed in the Vedas, in the society everywhere. Ultimately they go to the dreadful Kumbhîpâka hells. O Fair One! He who performs Sandhyâs wrongly or reads it wrongly or does not perform at all the three Sandhyâs daily, is called as void of Sandhyâ. He is said to remain uninitiated who does not, out of sheer vanity, receive any Mantra, whether he be a Vaisnavite, S’aivite, or a Sun worshipper or the Ganes’a worshipper. Where there is the running stream of the Ganges, lands on either side, four hands in width, are said to be the womb of the Ganges (Gangâ Garbha) Bhagavân Nârâyana incessantly dwells there. This is called the Nârâyana (Ksetra). One goes to Visnupada who dies in such a place. Vârânasî (Benares), Vadarî, the Confluence of the Ganges with the ocean (Ganga-Sâgara), Puskara, Hari Hara Ksettra (in Behar near Châprâ), Prabhâsa, Kâmarûpa, Hardwar, Kedâra, Mâtripura, the banks of the river Sarasvatî, the holy land Bindrâban, Godâvarî, Kaus’ikî, Trivenî (Allahabad), and the Himâlayâs are all famous places of pilgrimages. Those who willingly accept gifts in these sacred places are said to be Tîrthapratigrâhîs (the acceptors of the gifts in the Tîrtha). These Tîrthaprathigrâhîs go in the end to Kumbhîpâka hell. The Brâhmana who acts as priest to the S’ûdras is called S’ûdrayâjî; the village priests are called Grâmayâjîs. Those who subsist on the offerings made to the gods are called Devalas. The cooks of the S’ûdras are called Sûpakâras. Those who are void of Sandhyâ Bandanams are called Pramattas (mad). O Bhadre! These are the marks of the Vrisalîpatis that I have (now) enumerated. These are the Great Sinners (Mahâ Pâtakas). They go ultimately to the Kumbhîpâka hell. O Fair One! I now state by and by the other Kundas (hells) when other people go. Listen.

Here ends the Thirty fourth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the description of the various hells in the Mahâ Purânam S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXXV

On the description of the various hells for the various sinners

1-44. Dharmarâjan said :– O Chaste One! Without serving the Gods, the Karma ties can never be severed. The pure acts are the seeds of purities and the impure acts lead to impure seeds. If any Brâhmana goes to any unchaste woman and eats her food, he will have to go ultimately to the Kâlasûtra hell. There he lives for one hundred years when ultimately he gets a human birth when he passes his times as a diseased man and ultimately he gets purified. Those women who are addicted to their (one) husbands only are called Pativratâs. Those addicted to two persons are named Kulatâs; to three, are called Dharsinîs; to four, called Pums’chalîs; to five, six persons, called Ves’yâs; to seven, eight, nine persons are called Pungîs; and to more than these, are called Mahâves’yâs. The Mahâves’yâs are unfit to be touched by all the classes. If any Brâhmana goes to Kulatâ, Dharsinî, Pums’chalî, Pungî, Ves’yâ and Mahâves’yâs, he will have to go to the Matsyoda Kunda. Those who go to Kulatâs remain there for one hundred years; those who go to Dharsinîs, remain for four hundred years, those who go to Pums’chalîs for six hundred years; those who go to Ves’yâs, for eight hundred years; those who go to Pungîs, remain for one thousand years and those who go to Mahâves’yâs remain in the Matsyoda Kunda for ten thousand years. My messengers chastise and beat and torment them very severely. And when their terms expire, the Kulatâ-goers become Tittiris (a bird), the Dharsinî-goers become crows, the Pums’chalî-mongers become cuckoos, the Ves’yâ haunters become wolves; the Pungî-goers become for seven births boars. If any ignorant person eats food during the lunar and solar eclipses, he goes to Aruntuda Kunda for as many years as there are particles in that food. He then becomes born diseased with Gulma (a chronic enlargement of spleen) having no ears nor teeth, and after passing his time so, he becomes freed of his previous sin. If anybody makes a promise to give his daughter to one but he gives actually to a different person, he goes to Pâms’u Kunda where he eats ashes for one hundred years. Again if anybody sells his daughter, he sleeps on a bed of arrows in Pams’uvesta Kunda for one hundred years, chastised and beaten by My messengers. If any Brâhmana does not worship with devotion the phallic emblem of S’iva, he goes to the dreadful S’ûlaprota Kunda for that heinous sin. He remains there for one hundred years; then he becomes a quadruped animal for seven births and again he becomes born a Devala Brâhmin for seven births when he becomes freed. If any Brâhmana defeats another Brâhmana in a bad useless argument and trifles him and makes him tremble, he goes to the Prakampana Kunda for as many years as there are hairs on his body. If any woman, being very furious with anger, chastises and uses harsh words to her husband, she goes to Ulkâmukha Kunda for as many years as there are hairs on his body. My servants put fiery meteors or torches in her mouth and beat on her head. At the end of the term, she becomes a human being but she has to bear the torments of widowhood for seven births. Then she is again born as diseased; when at last she gets herself freed. The Brâhmana woman, enjoyed by a S’ûdra, goes to the terrible dark Andhakûpa hell, where she remains, day and night, immersed in the impure water and eats that for fourteen Indra’s life periods. Her pains are unbounded and My messengers beat her severely and incessantly.

At the expiry of the term in that hell, she becomes a female crow for thousand births, a female boar for one hundred births, a female fox for one hundred births, a hen for one hundred years, a female pigeon for seven births, and a female monkey for seven births. Then she becomes a Chândâlî in this Bhârata, enjoyed by all. Then she becomes an unchaste woman with the pthisis disease, a washerwoman, and then an oilwoman with leprosy when she becomes freed. O Fair One! The Ves’yâs live in the Vedhana, and Jalarandhra hells; the Pungîs live in the Dandatâdana hell; the Kulatâs live in the Dehachûrna hells; the Svairinîs live in the Dalana hells; the Dharsinîs live in S’osana hells. Their pains know no bounds at all those places. My messengers always beat and chastise them and they eat always the urine and faeces for one Manvantara. Then, at the expiry of their hell period, they become worms of faeces for one lakh years when they become freed. If a Brâhmana goes to another Brâhmana’s wife, if a Ksattriya, Vais’ya and S’ûdra do so, they go to the Kasâya hell. There they drink the hot Kasâya water for twelve years when they become purified. The lotus-born Brahmâ has said that the wives of Brâhmins, Ksattriyas, etc., live in hells like Brâhmins, Ksattriyas, etc., and they then get freed. If a Ksattriya or a Vais’ya goes to a Brâhmin’s wife, he is involved in the sin of his going to his mother and goes and lives in the S’ûrpa hell. There the worms of the size of a S’ûrpa bite that Ksattriya, that Vais’ya and that Brâhmana’s wife. My messengers chastise them and they have to eat the hot urine. Thus they suffer pains for fourteen Indra’s life periods. When they become boars for seven births and goats for seven births, when at last they are freed. Now if anybody makes a false promise or swears falsely, taking the Tûlasî leaf in his hands, if anybody makes a false promise, taking the Ganges water, S’âlagrâma stone, or any other images of God in his hand; if anybody swears falsely, placing his right palm on the palm of another; if anybody swears falsely, being in a temple or touching a Brâhmana or a cow; if anybody acts against his friends or others, if he be treacherous or if he gives a false evidence; then all these persons go to Jvâlâ Mukha hell, and remain there for fourteen Indra’s life periods, chastised and beaten by My messengers and feeling pain as if one’s body is being burnt by red hot coal. One who gives a false evidence, with the Tûlasî (holy basil) in his hand becomes a Chândâla for seven births; one who makes a false promise with the Ganges water in his hand, becomes a Mlechcha for five births; one who swears falsely while touching the S’âlagrâma stone, becomes a worm of the faeces for seven births; one who swears falsely, touching the image of the God, becomes a worm in a Brâhmin’s house for seven births; one who gives a false evidence touching with the right hand, becomes a serpent for seven births; then he becomes born as a Brâhmin, void of the knowledge of the Vedas, when he becomes freed. One who speaks falsely, while in a temple, is born as a Devala for seven births.

45-59. If one swears falsely, touching a Brâhmana, one becomes a tiger. Then he becomes dumb for three births, then for three births he becomes deaf, without wife, without friends, and his family becomes extinct. Then he becomes pure. Those that rebel against their friends, become mongoose; the treacherous persons become rhinoceroses; the hypocrite and treacherous persons become tigers and those who give false evidences become frogs. So much so, that their seven generations above and seven generations below go to hell. If any Brâhmana does not perform his daily duties (Nitya Karma), he is reckoned as Jada (an inert matter). He has no faith in the Vedas. Rather he laughs at the Vedic customs. He does not observe vows and fastings; he blames others who give good advices. Such persons live in Dhûmrândhakâra hell where they eat dark smoke only. Then he roams about as an aquatic animal for one hundred births successively. Then he becomes born as various fishes when he is freed. If anybody jests at the wealth of a Deva or a Brâhmana, then he with his ten generations above and below becomes fallen and he himself goes to the Dhûmrândhakâra hell, terribly dark and filled with smoke. There his pains know no bounds and he lives there for four hundred years, eating smoke only. Then he becomes a mouse for seven births, and he becomes various birds and worms, various trees and various animals when ultimately he gets a human birth. If a Brâhmin earns his livelihood by being an astrologer or if he be a physician and lives thereby or if he sells lac, iron, or oil, etc., he goes to the Nâgavstana Kunda hell where he lives for as many years as there are hairs on his body, tied up by snakes. Then he becomes born as various birds; ultimately he gets a human birth and becomes an astrologer for seven births and a physician for seven births. Then for sometime he becomes a cowherd (milkman), for sometimes a blacksmith; for sometimes a painter, when he becomes freed of his sin. O Chaste One! Thus I have described to you all the famous Kundas or hells. Besides there are innumerable small Kundas. The sinners go there and suffer the fruits of their own Karmas and travel through various wombs. O Fair One! What more do you now want to hear ? Say.

Here ends the Thirty-Fifth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the description of the various hells for the various sinners in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXXVI

On the destruction of the fear of the Yama of those who are the worshippers of the Five Devatâs

1-7. Sâvitrî said :– “O Dharmarâjan! O Highly Fortunate One! O Thou! Expert in the Vedas and the Amgas thereof! Now kindly describe that which is the essence of the various Purânas and Itihâsas, which is the quintessence, which is dear to all, approved of by all, which is the seed by which the Karmic ties are cut asunder, which is high, noble and happy is this life. Kindly describe the above by which man can acquire all his desires, and what is the only source of all the good and auspicious things. All by knowing which man has not to face any dangers or troubles, nor has he to go to the dreadful hells that thou hast severally just now described and that by which men can be freed of those various wombs. Kindly now describe all these. O Bhagavan! What is the size of the several kundas or hells that Thou hast just now enumerated? How do the sinners dwell there? When a man departs, his body is reduced to ashes. Then of what sort is that other body by which the sinners enjoy the effects of their Karmas and why do not those bodies get destroyed when they suffer so much pains for so long a time? What sort of body is that? Kindly describe all these to me.”

8-33. Nârâyana spoke :– Hearing the questions put forward by Sâvitrî, Dharmarâja remembered S’rî Hari and began to speak on subject that sever the bonds of Karma :– O Child! O One of good vows! In the four Vedas, in all the books on Dharma, (Smritis) in all the Samhitâs, all the Itihâsas, all the Purânas, in the Nârada Pañcharâtram, in the other Dharma S’âstras and in the Vedângas, it is definitely stated that the worship of the Pañcha Devatâs (the five Devatâs) S’iva, S’akti Visnu, Ganes’a, and Sûrya is the best, the highest, the destroyer of the old age, disease, death, evils and sorrows, the most auspicious and leading to the highest bliss. In fact, the worship of these Pañcha Devatâs is the source of acquiring all the Siddhis (the success) and saves one from going to the hells. From their worship springs the Bhaktic Tree and then and then only the Root of the Tree of all Karmic bonds is severed for ever and ever. This is the step to Mukti (final liberation) and is the indestructible state. By this one can get Sâlokya, Sârsti, Sârûpya, and Sâmîpya, the different state of beatitudes in which the soul (1) resides in the same world with the Deity, (2) possesses the same station, condition, or rank, or equality with the Supreme Being in power and all the Divine attributes (the last of the four grades of Mukti), (3) possesses the sameness of form or gets assimilated to the Deity or (4) gets intimately united, identified or absorbed into the Deity. O Auspicious One! The worshipper of these five Devatâs has never to see any of the hells, watched by My messengers. Those who are devoid of the devotion to the Devî see My abode; but those who go to the Tîrthas of Hari, who hold Harivâsaras (festivities on the days of Hari) who bow down at the feet of Hari and worship Hari, never come to My abode named Samyamana. Those Brâhmanas that are purified by their performing the three Sandhyâs and by the following the pure Âchâras (customs and observances), those that find no pleasure until they worship the Devî, those that are attached to their own Dharmas and their own Âchâras, never come to My abode.

My terrible messengers, seeing the devotees of S’iva, run away out of terror as snakes run away terrified by Garuda. I also order My messengers with nooses in their hands never to go to them. My messengers go mostly to other persons than the servants of Hari. No sooner do My Messengers see the worshippers of the Krisna Mantra, than they run away as snakes get terrified at the sight of Garuda. Chitragupta, too, one of the beings in Yama’s world, recording the vices and virtues of mankind, strike off the names of the Devî worshippers, out of fear and prepare Madhuparka, etc., for them (a mixture of honey; respectful offering made to a guest or to the bridegroom on his arrival at the door of the father of the bride). They rise higher than the Brahmâ Lokas and go to the Devî’s abode, i.e., to Manidvîpa. Those that are the worshippers of the S’akti Mantra and are highly fortunate, whose contact removes the sins of others, they deliver the thousand generations (from the downward course). As bundles and bundles of dry grasses become burnt to ashes, no sooner they are thrown into fire, so the delusion at once becomes itself deluded at the sight of the forms of those devotees. At their sight, lust, anger, greed, disease, sorrow, old age, death, fear, Kâla (time that takes away the life of persons), the good and bad karmas, pleasures and enjoyments drop off to a great distance. O Fair One! Now I have described to you the states of those persons that are not under the control of Kâla, good and bad karmas, pleasures and enjoyments, etc., and those that do not suffer those pains. Now I am speaking of this visible body. Listen. Earth, water, fire, air, and ether are the five Mahâ Bhûtas (the great elements); these are the seeds of this visible body of the person and are the chief factors in the work of creation. The body that is made up of earth and other elements is transient and artificial, i.e., that body becomes burnt to ashes. Within this visible body, bound, is there a Purusa of the size of a thumb; that is called the Jîva Purusa; the subtle Jîva assumes those subtle bodies for enjoying the effects of karmas. In My world, that subtle body is not burnt by the burning fire. If that subtle body be immersed in water, if that be beaten incessantly or if it be struck by a weapon or pierced by a sharp thorn, that body is not destroyed. That body is not burnt nor broken by the burning hot and molten material, by the red hot iron, by hot stones by embracing a hot image or by falling into a burning cauldron. That body has to suffer incessant pains. O Fair One! Thus I have dwelt on the subject of the several bodies and the causes thereof according to the S’âstras. Now I will describe to you the characters of all the other Kundas. Listen.

Here ends the Thirty-sixth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the destruction of the fear of the Yama of those who are the worshippers of the Five Devatâs, in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXXVII

On the eighty-six Kundas and their characteristics

1-60. Dharmarâja said :– All the Kundas (hells) are circular in form like the Full Moon. Of these, the Vahnikunda has the fire lit at its bottom, by the help of various kinds of stones. This Kunda will not be destroyed till Mahâpralaya comes. Here the sinners are tormented severely. It looks like a blazing coke. The flames are rising from it one hundred hands high. In circumference those flames are two miles. This is named Vahnikunda. It is full of sinners crying loudly. It is constantly watched by My messengers who are chastising and punishing the sinners. Next comes the Tapta Kunda. It is filled with hot water and full of rapacious animals. The sinners there are severely beaten by My messengers and they are always crying out very loudly, which is being echoed and re-echoed all around terribly. It extends for one mile. This Kunda is filled with hot salt water and the abode of many crows. Then there is the Bhayânaka Kunda. It extends for two miles and it is filled with sinners. They are being punished by My messengers and they are incessantly crying, “Save us, save us.”

Next comes the Visthâ Kunda. It is filled with faeces and excrements where the sinners are moving without any food and with their palate and throats dry. Its size is two miles and it is very bad and ugly with foetid and nasty smell. It is always filled with sinners, who are being chastised by My Dûtas (messengers) and eat those faeces and excrements. The worms therein are constantly biting and stinging them and they are crying, “deliver us, deliver us.” Then comes the hot Mûttra Kunda. It is filled with the hot urine and the worms thereof. The great sinners always dwell here. It measures four miles; and it is quite dark. My Dûtas always beat them and their throats, lips, palates are all dry. Then comes the S’lesma Kunda. It is filled with phlegm and the insects thereof. The sinners dwell in phlegm and eat that phlegm. Then comes the Gara Kunda. It is filled with (factitious) poison. It measures one mile. The sinners eat this poison and dwell here. The worms thereof bite them. They tremble at the chastisement of My Dûtas and cry aloud. My messengers look like serpents, with teeth like thunderbolt and they are very furious and fierce, with their throats dry and their words very harsh. Then comes Dûsikâ Kunda. It is filled with the rheum and dirt of the eyes and it measures one mile. Innumerable worms are born therein. Numberless sinners live there, and as they move, the insects immediately bite and sting them. Next comes the Vasâ Kunda. It is filled with the serum or marrow of the flesh and it measures one-half mile. The sinners dwell there, chastised and punished by My messengers. Then comes the S’ukra Kunda. It measures two miles in diameter. The insects, born in the semen, bite the sinners, and they move on and on. Then comes the Rakta Kunda, with very offensive, foetid smell. It is deep like a well and filled with blood. The sinners dwell here, drinking blood. The insects therein are always biting them. Then follows the As’ru Kunda. It measures in size one fourth the measure of the well (above-mentioned). It is always filled with hot tears of the eyes; and many sinners are seen there living weeping and crying and being bitten by the snakes. Then there is the Gâtra Mala Kunda. The sinners are chastised and punished there by My messengers and being bitten by the insects thereof, they eat the dirts of the body and dwell there. Then comes the Karna Mala Kunda. The sinners eat the wax of the ear and fill the place. The insects always bite them and they are crying aloud. It measures one fourth the measure of a Vâpî. Then comes the Majjâ Kunda. It is filled with fat and marrow, emitting foetid offensive odour. It measures one fourth the measure of a Vâpî. The great sinners always dwell there. Then comes the Mâmsa Kunda. This is filled with the greasy flesh. It measures (one-fourth) that of a Vâpî. Those who sell their daughters dwell here. My messengers always chastise and punish them and horrible insects bite and sting them and they cry, out of fear and agony, “Save us, save us,” and eat at times that flesh. Then come in succession the four Kundas Nakha, Loma and others. They also measure each one-fourth that of a Vâpî. The sinners dwell there, always chastised by My messengers. Next comes the very hot Tâmra Kunda. Burning cokes exist on the top of very hot coppers. There are lakhs and lakhs of very hot copper figures in that Kunda. The sinners, being compelled by My messengers, are made to embrace each of these hot copper figures and they cry loudly and live there. It measures four miles. Then come the burning Angâra Kunda and the hot Lauha Dhâra Kunda. Here the sinners are made to embrace the hot iron figures and, feeling themselves burnt, cry out of fear and agony. Whenever My messengers punish them, they immediately cry out, “Save us, save us.” It measures eight miles; and it is pitch dark and very awful. This is named the hot Lauha Kunda. Then come the Charma Kunda and Surâ Kunda. The sinners, beaten by My men, eat the skin and drink the hot urine and dwell there. Then comes the S’âlmalî Kunda; it is overspread with thorns and thorny trees, causing intense pain. It measures two miles. Millions and millions of great sinners are made by My men to fall from the tops of those trees down below where their bodies get pierced by very sharp thorns, six feet long; and thus they dwell there, beaten by My men. Out of thirst, their palates get dried up; and they cry out repeatedly, “Water, water.” Out of fear, they get very anxious and then their heads get broken by the clubs brought down on them by My men. So they move there like the beings burnt in very hot oil. Then comes the Visoda Kunda. It measures two miles in diameter and is filled with the poison of the serpent called Taksakas. My men punish the sinners and they drink the poison thereof and dwell there. Then comes the hot Taila Kunda. There are no insects here. Only the great sinners dwell. All around burning coals are flaring and when My men beat the sinners, they run hither and thither. It is filled with horrible intense darkness and it is exceedingly painful. It looks dreadful and measures two miles. Then comes the Kunta Kunda. Sharp pointed iron weapons like tridents are placed in order all round. The sinners, pierced by those weapons, are seen encircling the Kunda. It measures one-half mile. Beaten by My men, their throats and lips get dried up. Then comes the Krimi Kunda. It is filled with terrible worms and insects, snake-like with sharp teeth, of the size of a S’anku (a Sâl tree) deformed and hideous looking; and it is filled with pitch darkness, terrible to look at. Beaten by My men, the great sinners dwell there. Then comes the Pûya Kunda. It measures eight miles in diameter (or in circumference?). The sinners dwell and eat the pus thereof and, are beaten by My men. Then comes the Sarpa Kunda. Millions and millions of snakes of the length of a Tâl tree are existing there. These serpents encircle the sinners and as they bite them, My men also beat them at the same time. So there arises a general hue and cry, “Save us, save us; we are done for.” Then come in order the Dams’a Kunda, Mas’aka Kunda, and the Garala Kunda. These are filled with gad-flies, mosquitoes, and poison respectively. Each of them measures one mile. The sinners’ hands and feet are tied up. So when the gad-flies and mosquitoes fiercely sting them, and My men violently beat them simultaneously, they raise a loud uproar and are made to move on, in their tied states by My persons. Their bodies get thoroughly reddened and covered with blood by the stinging of the flies, etc. Then come the Vajra Kunda and the Vris’chika Kunda filled respectively with Vajra insects and the scorpions. Each of them measures one-half that of the Vâpî. The sinners that dwell there, are incessantly bitten by insects (Vajras and scorpions). Then come in order the S’ara Kunda, S’ûla Kunda, and the Khadga Kundas. They are filled respectively with arrows, spikes, and scimitars. Each of them measures one half that of the Vâpî. The sinners are pierced by arrows, etc., and become covered over with blood and dwell there. Then comes the Gola Kunda. It is filled with boiling hot water and it is pitch dark. The sinners live there, bitten by the insects. This Kunda measures half that of the Vâpî. The insects bite them and My men beat them so their fear knows no bounds; everyone of them is weeping and crying loudly. This Kunda is filled with hideously offensive smells. So the pains of the sinners are infinite. The Nakra Kunda comes next. It measures half the Vâpî, is filled with millions and millions of crocodiles living in water. The horrible looking deformed sinners live there. The Kâka Kunda then follows. The sinners here are being bitten by hundreds of deformed crows eating faeces, urines and phlegm. Then come the Manthâna Kunda and Vîja Kunda. These are filled respectively with insects called Manthâna and Vîja. Each of them measures one hundred Dhanus (one Dhanu – four hastas). Those insects are stinging the sinners and they cry out very loudly. Then follows the Vajra Kunda. It measures one hundred Dhanus. Many insects with their teeth as hard as thunderbolt live there and bite the sinners who cry out loudly. It is pitch dark. Then comes the hot Pâsâna Kunda. It measures twice that of the Vâpî. It is so built of hot stones as it resembles a burning mass of coal. The sinners become restless with the heat and turn round and round in the middle. Then comes the Pâsâna Kunda and the Lâlâ Kunda. The Pâsâna Kunda is made up of the sharp pointed stones, having sharp edges. Innumerable sinners dwell there. Many red beings live in the Lâlâ Kunda. Then comes the Mapî Kunda. Its size is one hundred Dhanus and its depth is two miles. It is made up of hot stones, each measuring the Anjana mountain. The sinners, beaten and driven by My persons, move on and on in the middle. Then comes the Chûrna Kunda. It measures two miles (in circumference) and is filled with (seven) chûrnas (powders). The sinners, driven and beaten by My men, go on, restless hither and thither and eat the powders and get themselves burnt. Then comes the Chakra Kunda. Here a potter’s wheel with sixteen sharp-edged spokes is constantly whirling round and round; the sinners are being crushed by this wheel.

61-80. Then comes the Vakra Kunda. Its depth is eight miles. lt is fashioned very much curved; and with and sharp slope it has gone down. It is built on the plan of a mountain cave, filled with hot water and it is enveloped with deep dense darkness. The aquatic animals there are biting the sinners, who got very much restless and are crying out very loudly. Then comes the Kûrma Kunda. Here millions and millions of tortoises in the water awfully distorted, are biting the sinners. Then comes the Jvâlâ Kunda. It is built of fierce fiery flames. It measures two miles in circumference. The sinners here are always in great difficulty, with intense pain and crying out loudly. Next follows the Bhasma Kunda. It measures two miles. The sinners get themselves well burnt in hot ashes and live there, eating the ashes. It is filled with hot stones and hot irons. The sinners here are always being burnt in hot irons and hot stones and their throats and palates are being parched up. Then comes the Dagdha Kunda. It is deep and horrible. It measures two miles in circumference. My messengers threaten always the sinners there. Then comes the Sûchî Kunda. It is filled with salt water. Waves are always rising there. It is filled with various aquatic animals making all sorts of noises. It measures eight miles in circumference and it is deep and dark. The sinners here cannot see each other and are bitten by the animals. Pained very much, they cry out loudly. Then comes the Asipattra Kunda. On the top surface of the Kunda there is a very big Tâl tree very high. The edges of the leaves of this tree are sharp like the edge of a sword. One mile below this Tâl tree is situated the Kunda. The sharp-edged Tâl leaves, then, fall on the bodies of the sinners from the height of a mile and they get cut and wounded; blood comes out of them and the sinners, in great pain, cry out “save, save.” It is very deep, very dark and filled with Rakta Kîta a kind of blood like insects. This is the horrible Asipatra Kunda. Next comes the Ksura Dhâra Kunda, measuring one hundred Dhanus (one Dhanu – four hastas). It is filled with keen-edged weapons, as sharp as nice razors. The blood of the sinners is flowing here profusely. Then comes the Sûchî Mukha Kunda, filled with sharp weapons of the form of long needles. It measures fifty Dhanus. The sinners get pierced by them end are constantly emitting blood. Their intense pain knows no bounds. Then comes the Gokâmukha Kunda; inhabited by a sort of insect, called Gokâ. They look like mouths; hence they are named Gokâmukha. It is deep like a well and it measures twenty Dhanus. The great sinners suffer an intense amount of pain there. They have got to keep their mouths always downwards as the Gokâ insects always bite and sting them. Then comes the Nakra Kunda. It resembles like the mouth of a crocodile and measures sixteen Dhanus. It is deep like a well and numbers of sinners dwell there. Then comes the Gaja Dams’a Kunda. It measures one hundred Dhanus. Next comes the Gomukha Kunda. It measures thirty Dhanus and resembles the mouth of a cow. It gives incessant pains and troubles to the sinners.

81-101. Then comes the Kumbhîpâka Kunda. It is like a wheel resembling that of this Kâlachakra, very horrible; and it is rotating incessantly. It looks like a water-jar, measuring eight miles, and it is quite dark. Its depth is one lakh Purusas of the height of 100,000 persons. There are many other Kundas, Tapta Taila Kunda and Tapta Taila Tâmra Kunda, etc., within it. This Kunda is filled with almost unconscious great sinners and insects. They beat each other and cry out loudly. My messengers also threaten them with clubs and Musalas. So at times they fall dizzy-headed, at times they get unconscious, and sometimes they get up and cry. O Fair One! The numbers of sinners here equal to four times that of all the other sinners in all the other Kundas. They know no death, however much you beat them. Their lives persist. For the body is built up for sufferance, it is indestructible. This Kumbhîpâka Kunda is the chief of all the Kundas. This Kunda where the sinners are tied to a thread built by Kâla, where My men lift the sinners on high at one time, and sink them down below at another time, where the sinners becoming suffocated for a long time, get unconscious, where their sufferings know no bounds, where it is filled with boiling oil, is named the Kâlasutra Kunda. Then comes the Matsyoda Kunda, hollow like a well. It is filled with boiling water and it measures twenty-four Dhanus. Next comes the Abatoda Kunda. It measures one hundred Dhanus. The sinners get their bodies burned and chastised by My persons, live there. No sooner they drop into the water of this Kunda, then they are attacked with all sorts of diseases. Then comes the Krimikantuka Kunda. The sinners are bitten by the Krimi Kantuka insects and cry out loudly, creating a general consternation and live there. Its another name is Aruntuda Kunda. Next comes the Pâms’u Kunda. It measures one hundred Dhanus. It is overspread with burning rice husks. The sinners eat those hot husks and live there. Then comes the Pas’avestana Kunda. It measures two miles. No sooner the sinners fall in this Kunda than they are twined round by this rope or Pâs’a. Hence its name. Then comes the Sûlaprota Kunda. It measures twenty Dhanus. No sooner the sinners fall here than they are encircled with the Sûlâstra (darts). Then comes the Prakampana Kunda. It measures one mile. It is filled with ice-cold water. The sinners, going there, shiver at once. Next follows the Ulka Kunda. It measures twenty Dhanus. It is filled with burning to ashes and meteors. My messengers thrust the torches and meteors into the mouths of the sinners living there. Next comes the Andha-Kûpa Kunda. It is pitch-dark, shaped like a well, circular and very horrible. The sinners beat each other and eat the insects thereof. Their bodies are burnt with hot water; they cannot see anything on account of dire darkness.

102-118. The Kunda where the sinners are pierced by various weapons is known as the Vedhana Kunda. It measures twenty Dhanus. Then comes the Dandatâdana Kunda. It measures sixteen Dhanus. The sinners dwell here, threatened by My messengers. Then comes the Jâlarandhra Kunda. Here the sinners live encompassed by a great net as fishes, etc., are tied in a net. Next comes the Dehachûrna Kunda. It is quite dark and its depth is that of the height of one koti persons; its circumference is twenty Dhanus. The sinners, here, encompassed by iron chains are made to fall below where their bodies are reduced to powders and they are inert and almost unconscious. The Kunda where the sinners are crushed and threatened by My messengers is known as the Dalana Kunda; it measures sixteen Dhanus in circumference. Next comes the S’osana Kunda. It is deep up to the height of one hundred persons and it is very dark. It measures thirty Dhanus. On falling on the hot sand, the throats and palates of sinners get dried up. Their pain knows no bounds. Hence it is called the S’osana Kunda. Then comes the Kasa Kunda. It measures one hundred Dhanus. It is filled with the juices of skins and its smell is very offensive. The sinners eat those astringent waters and live there. Then comes S’ûrpa Kunda. It measures twelve Dhanus and is extended like a winnowing basket. It is filled with hot iron dust and many sinners live there, eating those foetid iron dusts. Next comes the Jvâlâmukha Kunda. It is filled with red hot sand. From the (bottom) centre rises a flame, over-spreading the mouth of the Kunda. It measures twenty Dhanus. The sinners are burnt here by the flame and live awfully; they get fainted no sooner they are dropped in this Kunda. Then comes the Dhumrândha Kunda. It is dark, quite filled with smoke. Within that the hot bricks are placed. The sinners get suffocated with smoke; and their eye-sight becomes also obstructed. It measures one hundred Dhanus. Then comes the Nâgabestana Kunda. It is encircled and filled with the serpents. No sooner the sinners are let fall there, than they are surrounded by the snakes. O Sâvitrî! Thus I have spoken to you about the eighty-six Kundas and their characteristics. Now what more do you want to hear? Say.

Here ends the Thirty-seventh Chapter of the Ninth Book on the eighty-six Kundas and their characteristics in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXXVIII

On the glories of the Devî and on the nature of Bhakti

1-6. Sâvitrî said :– “O Lord! Give me the devotion to the Devî to that Âdyâ S’akti Bhagavatî Mahâ Mâye, Parames’varî Mâyî that is the Essence of all essences, the Door of final liberation to the human beings, and the Cause of delivering them from hells, that is the Root of all the Dharmas that lead to Mukti, that destroys all the inauspiciousness, that takes away the fear of all the Karmas, and that takes away always all the sins committed before. O Thou, the Foremost amongst the knowers of the Vedas! How many kinds of Muktis are there in this world? What is the True Bhakti? What are its characteristics? What is to be done by which the enjoyment of the karmas done can be desisted and nullified? O Bhagavân! The woman kind has been created by the Creator as devoid of any Tattvajñâna or true knowledge; now tell me something about this True Knowledge. All the charities, sacrifices, bathing in the sacred places of pilgrimages, observing vows and austerities cannot be compared with one sixteenth of imparting knowledge to those who are ignorant (of true knowledge). Mother is hundred times superior to father; this is certain; but the Spiritual Teacher, the Giver of True Knowledge, is hundred times more to be reverenced and worshipped than the mother. O Lord!”

7-79. Dharmarâja said :– O Child! What boons you desired of Me before, I granted them all to you. Now I grant this boon to you that, “Let the devotion towards the S’akti now arise in your mind.” O Auspicious One! You want to hear the reciting of the Glories of S’rî Devî; by this, both he who puts forward the question and he who hears the answer, all their families are delivered. When the S’esa Nâga Ananta Deva with His thousand mouths is unable to recite the glories of the Devî, when Mahâdeva cannot describe with His five mouths, when the Creator Brahmâ is incapable to recite Her glories with His four mouths, when Visnu, the Omniscient, falls back, when Kârtîkeya with His six mouths cannot sufficiently describe, when Ganes’a, the Guru of the Gurus of the great yogis is incapable, when the Pundits, the knowers of the four Vedas, the Essence of all the S’âstras, cannot know even a bit of Her, when Sarasvatî becomes inert in going to describe Her glories; when Sanatkumara, Dharma, Sanâtana, Sananda, Sanaka, Kapila, Sûrya and other sons of the Creator have fallen back, when the other Siddhas, Yogîndras, Munîndras are quite incapable to glorify the deeds of Prakriti Devî, then how can I recite fully the Glories of Her? Whose lotus-feet Brahmâ,

Visnu, S’iva and others meditate; and lo! when it becomes difficult for Her devotees even to think of Her, then what wonder is there that She will be so very rare to others! Brahmâ, skilled in the knowledge of the Vedas knows more of Her than what other ordinary persons know so little of Her auspicious Glories. More than Brahmâ, Ganes’a, the Guru of the Jñânins, knows; again S’ambhu, the Omniscient, knows the best of all. For, in ancient times, the knowledge of the Prakriti Devî was given to Him by Krisna, the Highest Spirit in a solitary place in the Râsa Mandalam in the region of Goloka. Mahâdeva, again, gave it to Dharma in the S’ivaloka; Dharma again gave the Prakriti Mantra to My father. My father became successful (Siddha) in the worship of Prakriti Devî when he practised austerities. Of old, the Devas wanted to offer to me the Government of the Yama Loka; but as I was very much dispassionate towards the world, I became unwilling and became ready to perform austerities. Then my Father told the Glories of Prakriti Devî. Now I describe to you what I heard from my Father and what is stated in the Vedas, though very difficult to comprehend. Listen carefully. O Fair Faced One! As the eternal space does not know its own extent, so Prakriti Devî Herself knows not Her own Glories; then what can be said of any other person on this! She is the Self of all, endowed with all powers and lordship, the Cause of all causes, the Lord of all, the Origin of all and the Preserver of all; She is Eternal, always with Her Cosmic Body, full of everlasting bliss, without any special form, unrestrained, having no fear, without any disease and decay, unattached, the Witness of all, the Refuge of all, and Higher than the Highest; She is with Mâyâ and She is Mûla Prakriti; the objects created by Her being known as the Prakriti creation; Who remains as Prakriti and Purusa inseparable from each other as Agni and Her burning force; the Mahâ Mâyâ, of the nature of everlasting existence, intelligence and bliss. Though formless, She assumes forms for the gratification of the desires of Her Bhaktas. She created first the beautiful form of Gopâla Sundarî, i.e., the form of S’rî Krisna very lovely and beautiful, captivating the mind. His body is blue like the fresh rain cloud; He is young and dressed like that of a cow herd. Millions of Kandarpas (the Love deity) are, as it were, playing in his body. His eyes vie with the midday lotus of the autumn. The beauty of His face throws under shade the millions and millions of the Full Moon. His body is decorated with invaluable ornaments decked with jewels. Sweet smile reigns ever in His lips; it is adorned moreover with His yellow coloured invaluable robe. He is Parama Brahmâ. His whole body is burning with the Brahmâ Teja, the Fire of Brahmâ.

His Body is Fiery. He is lovely, sweet to look at, of a peaceful temper, the Lord of Râdhâ and He is Infinite. (Note :– The Universe; as we see, is unreal like what we see in the kaleidoscope; various apparent pictures of an endless variety of beautiful colours and forms.) He is sitting on a jewel throne in the Râsa Mandalam, and is incessantly looked upon by the smiling lovely Gopîs at one and the same time. He is two-armed. A garland made of wild flowers is hanging from His neck. He is playing on His flute. His breast is resplendent with Kaustubha gem that He always wears. His body is anointed with Kunkuma (saffron), aguru (the fragrant and cooling paste of the Aguru wood), musk, and sandal-paste. The garland of beautiful Champaka and Mâlatî flowers is hanging from His neck. On His head, the beautiful crest is being seen, a little obliquely situated in the form of the beautiful Moon. Thus the Bhaktas, filled with Bhaktis, meditate on Him. O Child! It is through His fear that the Creator is doing His work of creation of this Universe; and is recording the Prârabdha fruits of their Karmas. It is through His fear that Visnu is awarding the fruits of Tapas and preserving the Universe. By His command the Kâlagni Rudra Deva is destroying all. By Whose favour S’iva has become Mrityumjaya, the Conqueror of Death and the Foremost of the Jñânins; knowing whom S’iva has become Himself endowed with knowledge and the Lord of the knowers of knowledge, full of the Highest Bliss, devotion and dispassion. Through Whose fear the wind becomes the foremost of runners and carries things, the Sun gives heat, Indra gives rain, Yama destroys, Agni burns, and Water cools all the things. By Whose command the Regents of the (ten) quarters of the sky are watching and preserving nice orders; through Whose fear the planets are describing their several orbits. Through Whose fear, trees flower and yield fruits; By Whose command the Kâla destroys all. By Whose command all the beings whether on land or in water are quitting their lives in time; until the proper time comes no man does not die even if he be pierced whether in battle or in danger. By Whose command the wind supports the water; the water supports the tortoise; the tortoise supports the Ananta and the Ananta supports the earth; the earth supports the oceans, mountain and all the jewels. The earth is of the nature of forgiveness, i.e., endures all. For this reason all things, moving and non-moving, rest on Her and again melt away in Her. Seventy-one Divine Yugas constitute one Indra’s life period. Twenty-eight Indra’s life periods constitute Brahmâ’s one day and one night. Thus thirty days constitute Brahmâ’s one month; so two months constitute one Ritu (season); six Ritus make one year. Thus one hundred years constitute Brahmâ’s life. When Brahmâ dies, S’rî Hari’s eye closes. That is the Prâkritik Pralaya. At this time, everything, moving and non-moving, from the Deva loka to Bhûr loka (earth) dies. The Creator Brahmâ gets dissolved in the navel of S’rî Krisna. The four-armed Visnu, of Vaikuntha, sleeps on Ksîra Samudra, the ocean of milk, i.e., He dissolves on the left side of S’rî Krisna, the Highest Spirit. All the other S’aktis (forces) dissolve in Mûla Prakriti, the Mâyâ of Visnu. The Mûla Prakriti Durgâ, the Presiding Deity of Buddhi (reason) dissolves in the Buddhi of Krisna. Skanda, the part of Nârâyana, dissolves in His breast. Gane’sa, the foremost of the Devas, born in part of Krisna, dissolves in the arm of S’rî Krisna. And those who are born in parts of Padmâ, dissolve in Her body and Padmâ dissolves in the body of Râdhâ. All the cow-herdesses and all the bodies of the Devas dissolve in Râdhâ’s body. But Râdhâ, the Presiding Deity of the Prâna of S’rî Krisna, dissolves in the Prâna of S’rî Krisna. Sâvitrî, the four Vedas and all the S’âstras dissolve in Sarasvatî; and Sarasvatî gets dissolved in the tongue of S’rî Krisna, the Highest Self. The Gopâs in the region of Goloka dissolve in the pores of His skin; the Prâna Vâyu of all dissolve in His Prâna Vâyu; the fire dissolves in the fire in His belly; water dissolves in the tip of His tongue, and the Vaisnavas, (devotees of Visnu), drinking the nectar of Bhakti, the Essence of all essences, dissolve in His lotus-feet. All smaller Virâts dissolve in the Great Virât and the Great Virât dissolves in the Body of S’rî Krisna. O Child! He is Krisna, on the pores of Whose skin are situated endless Universes; at the closing of Whose eyes, the Prâkritic Pralaya comes and on the opening of Whose eyes, the creation takes place. The closing and opening of the eyes takes the same time. Brahmâ’s creation lasts one hundred years and the Pralaya lasts one hundred years. O One of good vows! There is no counting how many Brahmâs or how many creations and dissolutions have taken place. As one cannot count the number of dusts, so one cannot count the creations and dissolutions. This is the Great Unspeakable Wonder! Again on Whose closing of the eyes the Pralaya takes place and on whose opening of the eyes the creation takes place, out of the will of God, That Krisna dissolves at the time of Pralaya in Prakriti. This Highest S’akti, the Mûla Prakriti is the Only One without a second; it is the only one Nirguna and the Highest Purusa. It is considered as “Sat” existing, by the Seers of the Vedas. Such a thing as Mûla Prakriti is the unchanged state (Mukti). During the Pralaya, this only One Mûla Prakriti appears as Jñâna S’akti or the Knowledge Force. Who can in this universe recite Her glories? Mukti is of four kinds.

(1) Sâlokya, (2) Sârûpya, (3) Sâmîpya and (4) Nirvâna. So it is stated in the Vedas. Out of them Bhakti towards the Deva is the highest; so much so that the Deva Bhakti is superior to Mukti. Mukti gives Sâlokya, Sârûpya, Sâmîpya, and Nirvâna. But the Bhaktas do not want anything. They want service of the Lord. They do not want anything else. The state of becoming S’iva, of becoming an Amara or an immortal, becoming a Brahmâ, the birth, death, disease, old age, fear, sorrow, or wealth, or assuming a divine form, or Nirvâna or Moksa all are looked on alike by the Bhaktas with disregard and contempt. Because Mukti is without any service while Bhakti increases this service. Thus I have told you the difference between Bhakti and Mukti. Now hear about the cutting off of the fruits of the past Karmas. O Chaste one! This service of the Highest Lord severs the ties of Karmas (past acts). This service is really the True Knowledge. So, O Child! I have now told you the Real Truth, leading to auspicious results. Now you can go freely as you desire. Thus saying to Sâvitrî, Yama, the son of Sûrya, gave life back to her husband and blessing her, became ready to go to His own abode. Seeing Dharmarâja ready to go away, Sâvitrî became sorry to have the bereavement of a good company, bowed down at His feet and began to cry. Yama, the Ocean of Mercy, hearing the crying of Sâvitrî began to weep and told the following words :–

80-96. Dharma said :– O Child! You enjoy in this holy Bhârata happiness for one lakh years and you will in the end go to the Devîloka or Mani Dvîpa. Now go back to your house and observe for fourteen years the vow called Sâvitrî-vrata for the mukti of women. This Vrata is to he observed on the fourteenth day of the white fortnight in the month of Jyaistha. Then observe the Mahâ-Laksmî Vrata. Its proper time is the eighth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Bhâdra. For sixteen years consecutively without any break this vow is to be observed. The woman who practises with devotion this vow, goes to the abode of Mûla Prakriti. You would worship on every Tuesday in every month the Devî Mangala Chandikâ, the giver of all good; on the eighth day in the bright fortnight you should worship Devî Sâsthî (i.e., Devasenâ); you should worship Manasâ Devî, the giver of all siddhis, on the Samkranti day (when the Sun enters another sign) in every year; you should worship Râdhâ, the Central Figure of Râsa, more than the Prâna of Krisna on every Full Moon night in the month of Kârtik and you should observe fasting on the eighth day in the bright fortnight and worship the Visnu Mâyâ Bhagavatî Devî, the Destructrix of all difficulties and dangers.

(Note :– The Râsa is the playing out of the Vedantic saying of Brahmâ as “Raso vai Sah.” He is of the nature of Râsa, the most sweet and lovely Divine Principle which unites the Rasika and the Rasikâ.) The chaste woman having husband and sons who worships the World Mother Mûla Prakriti, whether in Yantra, or in Mantra or in image, enjoys all pleasures in this world; and, in the end, goes to the Devîloka or Mani Dvîpa. O Child! The worshipper Sâdhaka (one who is in one’s way to success) must worship all the manifestations of the Devî, day and night. At all times one must worship the omnipresent Durgâ, the Highest Îsvarî. There is no other way to attain blessedness than this. Thus saying, Dharmarâja went to His own abode. Sâvitrî, too, with her husband Satyavân went to her home. Both Sâvitrî and Satyavân, when they reached home, narrated all their stories to their friends and acquaintances. In time, by the blessing of Yama, Sâvitrî’s father got sons and father-in-law recovered his eye-sight and kingdom and Sâvitrî Herself got sons. For one lakh years, Sâvitrî enjoyed pleasures in this holy land of Bhârata, and ultimately went with her husband to the Devîloka. Sâvitrî is the Presiding Deity of the Sûryamandalam, the solar orb. The Sun is the central Para Brahmâ. The Gâyatrî Mantra, the Presiding Devî, proves the existence of the highest Brahmâ in the centre of the Sun. Therefore She is called Sâvitrî. Or Her name is Sâvitrî because all the Vedas have come out of Her. Thus I have narrated the excellent anecdote of Sâvitrî, and the fruitions of the Karmas of the several Jîvas. Now what more do you want to hear? Say.

Here ends the Thirty-eighth Chapter in the Ninth Book on the glories of the Devî and on the nature of Bhakti in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XXXIX

On the story of Mahâ Laksmî

1-3 Nârada said :– “O Lord! I have heard in the discourse on Sâvitrî and Yama about the Formless Devî Mûla Prakriti and the glories of Sâvitrî, all true and leading to the endless good. Now I want to hear the story of the Devî Laksmî. O Thou, the Chief of the knowers of the Vedas! What is the nature of Laksmî? By whom was She first worshipped? and by what Mantra? Kindly describe Her glories to me.”

4-33. Nârâyana said :– Of old, in the beginning of the Prâkritik Creation, from the left side of Krisna, the Supreme Spirit, appeared in the Râsamandalam (the Figure Dance) a Devî. She looked exceedingly handsome, of a dark blue colour, of spacious hips, of thin waist, and with high breast, looking twelve years old, of steady youth, of a colour of white Champaka flower and very lovely. The beauty of Her face throws under shade millions and millions of autumnal full moons. Before Her wide expanded eyes, the midday lotus of the autumnal season becomes highly ashamed. By the Will of God, this Devî suddenly divided Herself into two parts. The two looked equal in every respect; whether in beauty, qualities, age, loveliness, colour, body, spirit, dress, ornaments, smile, glance, love, or humanity, they were perfectly equal.

Now she who appeared from the right side is named Râdhâ and she who came from the left side is named Mahâ Laksmî. Râdhâ wanted first the two armed S’rî Krisna, Who was Higher than the highest; then Mahâ Laksmî wanted Him. Râdhâ came out of the right side and wanted first Krisna; so Krisna, too, divided himself at once into two parts. From His right side came out the two-armed and from his left side came out the four-armed. The two-armed person first made over to Mahâ Laksmî the four armed One; then the two armed Person Himself took Râdhâ. Laksmî looks on the whole universe with a cooling eye; hence She is named Laksmî and as She is great, She is called Mahâ Laksmî. And for that reason the Lord of Râdhâ is two-armed and the Lord of Laksmî is four-armed. Râdhâ is pure Aprâ kritic S’uddha Sattva (of the nature of pure Sattva Guna, the illuminating attribute) and surrounded by the Gopas and Gopîs. The four-armed Purusa, on the other hand, took Laksmî (Padmâ) to Vaikuntha. The two-armed person is Krisna; and the four-armed is Nârâyana. They are equal in all respects. Mahâ Laksmî became many by Her Yogic powers (i.e., She remained in full in Vaikuntha and assumed many forms in parts). Mahâ Laksmî of Vaikuntha is full, of pure Sattva Guna, and endowed with all sorts of wealth and prosperity. She is the crest of woman-kind as far as loving one’s husbands is concerned. She is the Svarga Laksmî in the Heavens; the Nâga Laksmî of the serpents, the Nâgas, in the nether regions; the Râja Laksmî of the kings and the Household Laksmî of the householders. She resides in the houses of house-holders as prosperity and the most auspicious of all good things. She is the progenetrix, She is the Surabhi of cows and She is the Daksinâ (the sacrificial fee) in sacrifices. She is the daughter of the milk ocean and she is Padminî, the beauty of the spheres of the Moon and the Sun. She is the lustre and beauty of the ornaments, gems, fruits, water, kings, queens, heavenly women, of all the houses, grains, clothings, cleansed places, images, auspicious jars, pearls, jewels, crest of jewels, garlands, diamonds, milk, sandal, beautiful twigs, fresh rain cloud, or of all other colours. She was first worhipped in Vaikuntha by Nârâyana. Next She was worshipped by Brahmâ and then by S’ankara with devotion. She was worshipped by Visnu in the Kshirode Samudra. Then she was worshipped by Svâyambhuva Manu, then by Indras amongst men, then by Munis, Risis, good householders, by the Gandharbas, in the Gandharbaloka; by the Nâgas in the Nâgaloka. She was worshipped with devotion by Brahmâ for one fortnight commencing from the bright eighth day in the month of Bhâdra and ending on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the three-worlds. She was worshipped by Visnu, with devotion in the three worlds on the meritorious Tuesday in the months of Pausa, Chaitra, and Bhâdra. Manu, also, worshipped Her on the Pausa Sankrânti (the last day of the month of Pausa when the Sun enters another sign) and on the auspicious Tuesday in the month of Mâgha. Thus the worship of Mahâ Laksmî is made prevalent in the three worlds. She was worshipped by Indra, the Lord of the Devas and by Mangala (Mars) on Tuesday. She was then worshipped by Kedâra, Nîla, Subala, Dhruva, Uttânapada, S’akra, Bali, Kas’yapa, Daksa, Kardama, Sûrya, Priyavrata, Chandra, Vâyu, Kuvera, Varuna, Yama, Hutâsana and others. Thus Her worship extended by and by to all the places. She is the Presiding Deity of all wealth; so She is the wealth of all.

Here ends the Thirty-ninth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the story of Mahâ Laksmî in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XL

On the birth of Laksmî in the discourse of Nârada and Nârâyana

1-2. Nârada said :– “O Lord! How did the eternal Devî Mahâ Laksmî the dweller in Vaikuntha, the beloved of Nârâyana, the Presiding Deity of Vaikuntha, come down to the earth and how She, became the daughter of the ocean? By whom was She first praised? Kindly describe all these in detail to me and oblige.”

3-10. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! In ancient days when on Durvâsâ’s curse, Indra was dispossesed of his kingdom, all the Devas came down to earth. Laksmî, too, getting angry, quitted the Heavens, out of pain and sorrow and went to Vaikuntha and took the shelter of Nârâyana. The Devas, then, went to Brahmâ with their hearts full of sorrow and, taking Him from there, they all went to Nârâyana in Vaikuntha. Going there they all took refuge of the Lord of Vaikuntha. They were very much distressed and their throats, palate and lips were quite dry. At that time Laksmî, the wealth and prosperity of all, came down on earth by the command of Nârâyana and became born in part as the daughter of the ocean. The Devas, then with the Daityas churned the Ksîroda Ocean and, out of that, Mahâ Laksmî appeared. Visnu looked on Her. Her joy knew no bounds. She smiling, granted boons to the Devas and then offered a garland of flowers on the neck of Nârâyana (as a symbol of marriage celebrated). O Nârada! the Devas, on the other hand, got back their kingdoms from the Asuras. They then worshipped and chanted hymns to Mahâ Laksmî and since then they became free from further dangers and troubles.

11-12. Nârada said :– “O Bhagavân! Durvâsâ was the best of the Munis; he was attached to Brahmâ and had spiritual knowledge. Why did he curse Indra? What offence had he committed? How did the Devas and Daityas churn the ocean? How, and by what hymns Laksmî became pleased and appeared before Indra? What passed on between them. Say all this, O Lord.”

13-25. Nârâyana said :– In ancient days, Indra the Lord of the three worlds, intoxicated with wine and becoming lustful and shameless, began to enjoy Rambhâ in a lonely grove. After having enjoyed her, he became attracted to her; his mind being wholly drawn to her, he remained there in that forest, his mind becoming very passionate. Indra then saw the Muni Durvâsâ on his way from Vaikuntha to Kailâs’a burning with the fire of Brahmâ. From the body of the Risi, emitted, as it were, the rays of the thousand midday Suns. On his head was the golden matted hair. On his breast there was the hoary holy thread; he wore torn clothes; on his hands there was the Danda and Kamandalu; on his forehead there was the bright Tilaka in the form of the Crescent Moon. (Tilaka – a sectarian mark on the forehead made with coloured earth or sandalpaste.)

One hundred thousand disciples, thoroughly-versed in the Vedas and the Vedângas, were attending him. The intoxicated Purandara, seeing him, bowed down to him and he began to chant with devotion hymns to his disciples also. They were very glad. The Risi with his disciples then blessed Indra and gave him one Pârijâta flower.

When the Muni was returning from the region of Vaikuntha, Visnu, gave him that beautiful Pârijâta flower. Old age, death, disease, sorrows, etc., all are removed by the influence of the flower; and the final liberation is also attained. The Devendra was intoxicated with his wealth; so taking the flower given by the Risi, he threw it on the head of the elephant Airârata. No sooner the elephant touched the flower, than he became suddenly like Visnu, as it were, in beauty, form, qualities, fire and age. The elephant, then, forsook Indra and entered into a dense forest. The Lord of the Devas could, in no way, get him under his control. On the other hand, the Muni Durvâsâ seeing that Mahendra had thus dishonoured the flower, became inflamed with rage and cursed him saying, “O Indra! You are so mad with wealth that you have dishonoured me. The flower that I gave you so lovingly, you have thrown that, out of vanity, on the elephant’s head!

26-46. No sooner one gets the food, water, fruits that had been offered to Visnu, one should eat that at once. Otherwise one incurs the sin of Brahmahattyâ. If anybody forsakes the things offered to Visnu, that he has got perchance, he becomes destitute of wealth, prosperity, intelligence, and his kingdom. And if he eats the food already offered to Visnu with devotion, he then elevates his hundred families passed before him and he himself becomes liberated while living. If anybody daily eats Visnu’s Naivedyam (food offered to Visnu) and bow down before Him or worships Hari with devotion and chants hymns to Him, he becomes like Visnu in energy and wealth. By mere touch with the air round about his body, the places of pilgrimage become all purified. O You Stupid! The earth becomes purified by the contact of the dust of the feet of such a one devoted to Visnu. If anybody eats the food unoffered to Hari and flesh that is not offered to any Deity; if he eats the food of any unchaste woman, any woman without husband and sons, the food offered at any S’ûdra’s Srâdh (funeral) ceremony, the food offered by a Brâhmana, who is a priest to the S’ûdras in honour of a S’iva Lingam, the food of a Brahmân priest who subsists on the presents of a temple, the food of one who sells his daughter, the food of one who subsists on dealing with womb concerns, the leavings of others, the stale food left after all others had eaten, the food of the husband of an unmarried girl (twelve years old in whom menstruation has commenced), the driver of oxen, the food of one uninitiated in one’s Istamantram, of one who burns a corpse, of a Brâhmin who goes to one not fit for going, the food of a rebel against friends, of one who is faithless, treacherous, who gives false evidence, the food of a Brâhmin who accepts offerings in a sacred place of pilgrimage, all his sins (incurred in the ways above-mentioned) will be removed if he eats the prasâdam of Visnu, i.e., the food offered to Visnu. Even if a Chândâla be attached to the service of Visnu, he sanctifies his millions of persons born in his family before him. And the man who is devoid of the devotion to Hari is not able even to save himself. If anybody takes unknowingly the remains of an offering (such as flowers) made to Visnu, he will certainly be freed from all the sins incurred in his seven births. And if he does this knowingly and with intense devotion, he will certainly be freed of all sorts of sins incurred in his Koti births. So, O Indra! I am a devotee of S’rî Hari. And when you have cast away the Pârijâta to flower offered by me on the elephant’s head, then I say unto you that the Mahâ Laksmî will leave you and She will go back to Nârâyana. I am highly devoted to Nârâyana; so I do not fear anybody, I fear neither the Creator, nor Kâla, the Destroyer, nor old age, nor death; what to speak of other petty persons! I do not fear your father Prajâpati Kas’yapa nor do I fear your family priest Brihaspati. Now he, on whose head there lies the flower Pârijâta offered by me, verily he should be worshipped by all means.” Hearing these words of Durvâsâ, Indra became bewildered with fear, and being greatly distressed and holding the feet of Muni, cried out loudly. He said :– “The curse is now well inflicted on me; and it has caused my delusion to vanish. Now I do not want back my Râja Laksmî from you; instruct me on knowledge. This wealth is the source of all coils; it is the cause of the veil to all knowledge, it hides the final liberation and it is a great obstacle on the way to get the highest devotion.”

47-67. The Muni said :–“This birth, death, old age, disease, and afflictions, all come from wealth and the manipulation of great power. Being blind by the darkness of wealth, he does not see the road to Mukti. The stupid man that is intoxicated with wealth is like the one that is intoxicated with wine. Surrounded by many friends, he is surrounded by the unbreakable bondage. The man that is intoxicated with wealth, blind with property and overwhelmed with these things has no thought for the real knowledge. He who is Râjasik, is very much addicted to passions and desires; he never sees the path to Sattvaguna. The man that is blind with sense-objects is of two kinds, firstly, Râjasik and secondly Tâmasik. He who has no knowledge of the S’âstras is Tâmasik and he who has the knowledge of the S’âstras is Râjasik. O Child of the Devas! Two paths are mentioned in the S’âstras; one is Pravritti, going towards the sense objects and the other is Nivritti, going away from them. The Jîvas first follow the path of Pravritti, the path that is painful, gladly and of their own accord like a mad man. As bees, blind with the desire of getting honey, go to the lotus bud and get themselves entangled there, so the Jîvas, the embodied souls, desirous first of getting enjoyments come to this very painful circle of births and deaths, this worldly life, which in the end is realised as vapid and the only cause of old age, death, and sorrow and get themselves enchained there. For many births he travels gladly in various wombs, ordained by his own Karmas, till at last by the favour of gods, he comes in contact with the saints. Thus one out of a thousand or out of a hundred finds means to cross this terrible ocean of world. When the saintly persons kindle the lamp of knowledge and show the way to Mukti, then the Jîva makes an attempt to sever this bondage to the world. After many births, many austerities and many fastings, he then finds safely the way to Mukti, leading to the highest happiness. O Indra! What you asked me, I thus heard from my Guru.” O Nârada! hearing the words of the Muni Durvâsâ Indra became dispassionate towards the Samsâra. Day by day his feeling of dispassion increased. One day, when he returned to his own home from the hermitage of the Muni, he saw the Heavens overspread by the Daityas and it had become terrible. At some places outrage and oppression knew no bounds; some places were devoid of friends; at some places, some persons had lost their fathers, mothers, wives, relations; so no rest and repose could be found. Thus, seeing the Heavens in the hands of the enemies, Indra went out in quest of Brihaspati, the family preceptor of the Devas. Seeking to and fro Indra ultimately went to the banks of the Mandâkinî and saw that the Guru Deva had bathed in the waters of the Mandâkinî and sitting with his face turned towards the East towards the Sun, was meditating on Para Brahmâ, Who has His faces turned everywhere. Tears were flowing from his eyes and the hairs of the body stood erect with delight. He was elderly in knowledge; the spiritual Teacher of all, religious, served by all great men; he was held as most dear to all the friends. Those who are Jñânins regard him as their Guru. He was the eldest of all his brothers; he was considered as very unpopular to the enemies of the Devas. Seeing the family priest Brihaspati merged in that state of meditation, Indra waited there. When after one Prahara (three hours), the Guru Deva got up, Indra bowed down to his feet and began to weep and cry out repeatedly. Then he informed his Guru about his curse from a Brâhmin, his acquiring the true knowledge as so very rare, and the wretched state of Amarâvatî, wrought by the enemies.

68-92. O Best of Brâhmanas! Hearing thus the words of the disciple, the intelligent speaker Brihaspati spoke with his eyes reddened out of anger. “O Lord of the Devas! I have heard everything that you said; do not cry; have patience; hear attentively what I say. The wise politicians of good behaviour, with moral precepts, never lose their heads and get themselves distressed in times of danger. Nothing is everlasting; whether property or adversity; all are transient; they only give troubles. All are under one’s own Karma; one is master of one’s own Karma. What had been done in previous births, so one will have to reap the fruits afterwards. (Therefore property or adversity, all are due to one’s own Karma.) This happens to all persons eternally, births after births. Pain and happiness are like the ring of a rolling wheel. So what pain is there? It is already stated that one’s own Karma must be enjoyed in this Holy Bhârata. The man enjoys the effects of his own Karmas, auspicious or inauspicious. Never the Karma gets exhausted in one hundred Koti Kalpas, without their effects being enjoyed. The Karma, whether auspicious or inauspicious must be enjoyed. Thus it is stated in the Vedas and as well by S’rî Krisna, the Supreme Spirit. Bhagavân S’rî Krisna addressed Brahmâ, the lotus-born, in the Sâma Veda Sâkhâ that all persons acquire their births, whether, in Bhârata or in any other country, according to the Karma that he had done. The course of a Brâhmana comes though this Karma; and the blessings of a Brâhmana come again by this Karma. By Karma one gets great wealth and prosperity and by Karma again one gets poverty. You may take one hundred Koti births; the fruit of Karma must follow you. O Indra! The fruit of Karma follows one like one’s shadow. Without enjoyment, that can never die. The effects of Karma become increased or decreased according to time, place, and the person concerned. As you will give away anything to persons, of different natures, in different times and in different places, your merit acquired will also vary accordingly. Gifts made on certain special days bring in Koti times the fruits (merits, punyam) or infinite times or even more than that. Again gifts, similar in nature, made in similar paces yield punyam the same, in character also. Gifts made in different countries yield punyams, Koti times, infinite times, or even more than that. But similar things given to similar persons yield similar punyams. As the grains vary in their natures as the fields differ, so gifts made to different persons yield different grades of punyas infinitely superior or infinitely inferior as the case may be.

Giving things to a Brâhmana on any ordinary day yields simple punya only. But if the gift be made to a Brahmân on an Amavasyâ day (new moon day) or on a Sankrânti day (the day when the Sun enters another’s sign) then hundred times more punyam is acquired. Again charities made on the Châturmâsya period (the vow that lasts for four months in the rainy season) or on the full moon day, yield infinite punyams. So charities made on the occasion of the lunar eclipses yield Koti times the result and if made on the occasion of the solar eclipse yield ten times more punyams. Charities made on Aksayaya Tritîyâ or the Navamî day yield infinite and endless results. So charities on other holy days yield religious merits higher than those made on ordinary days. As charities made on holy days yield religious merits, so bathing, reciting mantrams, and other holy acts yield meritorious results. As superior results are obtained by pious acts; inferior results are obtained by impious acts. As an earthen potter makes pots, jars, etc., out of the earth with the help of rod, wheel, earthen cups or plates and motion, so the Creator awards respective fruits to different persons, by the help of this thread (continuity) of Karma. Therefore if you want to have cessation of this fruition of Karma, then worship Nârâyana, by whose command all these things of Nature are created. He is the Creator of even Brahmâ, the Creator, the Preserver of Visnu, the Preserver, the Destroyer of S’iva, the Destroyer and the Kâla (the great Time) of Kâla (the Time). S’ankara has said :– He who remembers Madhusûdana (a name of Visnu) in great troubles, his dangers cease and happiness begins.” O Nârada! The wise Brihaspati thus advised Indra and then embraced him and gave him his hearty blessings and good wishes.

Here ends the Fortieth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the birth of Laksmî in the discourse of Nârada and Nârâyana in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XLI

On the churning of the ocean and on the appearing of Laksmî

1-2. Nârâyana said :– O Twice-born! Indra then remembered Hari and took Brihaspati, the Guru of the Devas, to the assembly of Brahmâ, accompanied by the other Devas. They soon reached the region of Brahmâ and no sooner they saw Him, than Indra and the other Devas and Bihaspati all bowed down to Him.

3-25. Brihaspati, the Âchârya of the Devas, then communicated all to Brahmâ. Hearing this, He smiled and spoke, addressing Indra :– O Indra! You have been born in My race; nay, you are My grandson; the Ârya Brihaspati is your Guru; you yourself are the ruler of the Devas and you are very wise and sagacious; the mother of your father is the powerful Daksa, a great Visnu Bhakta. How is it, then that when the three sides of the family are pure, one would turn out so haughty and arrogant! Whose mother is so much devoted to her husband, whose father, mother’s father and mother’s brother are self-controlled and of pure Sattva Guna, he is not expected to be so very haughty! Every man may be guilty to Hari for the three faults :– For some fault due to that of his father, or of his mother’s father, or of Guru, the Spiritual Teacher. Bhagavân Nârâyana, resides in this great holy temple of our this physical body controlling the hearts of all. At whatever moment, S’rî Nârâyana quits this temple-body, at that moment this body becomes dead. I myself am the mind; S’ankara is the Knowledge, Visnu is the vital breaths, Bhagavatî Durgâ is the intelligence (Buddhi), sleep, etc., the powers of Prakriti; when these are being reflected on by the Âtman, Jîva is formed with a body for enjoyment called Bhoga S’arîrabhrit. When a king departs, his attendants also follow him; so when this Âtman departs from this temple of body, his attendants mind, buddhi, etc., instantly depart from this body and follow the Âtman. O Indra! We all, are verily, the parts of S’rî Krisna. I myself, S’iva, Ananta Deva, Visnu, Dharma, Mahâ Virât, you all are His parts and entirely devoted to Him. And you have shown contempt for His flower. Bhagavân S’ankara, the Lord of the Bhûtas, worshipped the lotus-feet of S’rî Krisna with that flower. The Risi Durvâsâ gave you that flower. But you showed disrespect to it. The flower, Pârijâta, after being offered at the lotus-feet of Krisna, should be placed on the head of an Immortal; His worship is to be done first; and it is the foremost amongst the Devas. So you are now being afflicted by the inevitable course of Fate; Fate is the most powerful of all. Who can save that unlucky man against whom Fate has turned? Seeing that you have rejected the flower offered to S’rî Krisna, S’rî Laksmî Devî has left you out of anger. Now come with Me and with your family priest Brihaspati to Vaikuntha and worship the Lord of Laksmî; then by His grace you may get back your Heavens. Thus saying, Brahmâ with Indra and all the other Devas, went to the Eternal Purusa, Bhagavân Nârâyana and saw that He was full of Fire and Energy like one hundred koti summer midday Suns, yet perfectly cool and calm. He has no beginning, and no end, nor any middle. He is Infinite. The four-armed Pârisadas, Sarasvatî, the four Vedas, and the Ganges, all were surrounding Him. Seeing Him, Brahmâ and the other Devas bowed down with devotion and began to chant hymns to Him with tears in their eyes. Brahmâ, then, informed Him of everything when all the Devas, dispossessed of their places, began to weep before Him. Nârâyana saw that the Devas were very afraid and much distressed. They had no jewel ornaments as before, no vehicles (Vâhanas), nor the Daivic splendour as before, not that brillance; always fearful. Then Nârâyana, the Destroyer of fear, seeing the Devas in that state, addressed Brahmâ and the other Devas :– O Brâhman! O Devas! Discard all fears. What fear can overcome you? I am here. I will give you again the immoveable prosperous Râjya Laksmî (the Laksmî of the kings).

26-47. But for the present, I give you some advice proper for this moment. Listen. There are endless universes where exist innumerable persons. All of them are under Me. So know verily, that I am under them also. My devotees regard Me as the Highest. They know no other than Me; they are fearless; so I do not remain in that house where My devotees are dissatisfied. I instantly quit that house with Laksmî. Durvâsâ Risi is born in part of S’ankara. He is highly devoted to Me. He is a pakkâ Vaisnava. He cursed you and, as a matter of fact, I and Laksmî instantly left your house.

Laksmî does not reside in that house where conch shells are not blown, where there are no Tulasî trees, where there is no worship of S’iva and S’ivâ, where the Brâhmanas are not fed. O Brâhman! O Devas! Where I and My Bhaktas are blamed, Mahâ Laksmî becomes greatly displeased. She instantly goes away out of that house. Laksmî does not stay even for a moment in that house where the stupid person, without any devotion for me, takes his food on the Harivâsara Ekâdas’î day (the eleventh day of the moon’s wane or increase) or on My anniversary birthday. If anybody sells My name or his own daughter, where the guests are not served, Laksmî quits that house instantly and goes away.

(Note :– That Guru is the Real Guru, who, being capable, imparts the name of God to worthy persons without taking any fee at all.)

If the son of an unchaste woman be a Brâhmana, he and the husband of an unchaste woman are great sinners. If anybody goes to such a person’s house or eats the food of a S’ûdra during a Srâddha ceremony, Laksmî becomes very angry and vacates that house. Being a Brâhmin, if one burns a S’ûdra’s corpse, one becomes very wretched and the vilest of the Brâhmins. Laksmî never stays for a moment more in that house. Being a Brâhmin, if he be a S’ûdra’s cook and drives oxen, Laksmî fears to drink water there and quits his house. Being a Brâhmin, if his heart be unholy, if he be cruel, envies others and blames persons, if he officiates as a priest for the S’ûdra, Laksmî Devî never stays in his house. The World-Mother never stays even for a moment in his house who eats at the house of one who marries an unmarried girl twelve years old in whom menstruation has commenced. He who cuts grass by his nails, or writes on the ground with his nails, or from whose house a Brâhmana guest goes back disappointed, Laksmî never stays in his house. If any Brâhmana eats food at the early sunrise, sleeps during the day or engages in a sexual intercourse during the day, Laksmî never stays in his house. Laksmî slips away from that Brâhmana who is devoid of Âchâra (rules of conduct), who accepts gifts from S’ûdras, from him who remains uninitiated in his Mantram. The ignorant man who sleeps naked and with his feet wet, who laughs always, and always talks at random on disconnected subjects like a mad man, is forsaken at once by Laksmî. Laksmî becomes angry and goes away from the house of that man who applies oil all over his body first and then touches the bodies of others and always makes some sounding noise on several parts of his body. If any Brâhmana forsakes observing vows, fastings, the Sandhyâ ceremony, purity and devotion to Visnu, Kamalâ (Laksmî) does not remain in his house any longer. If anybody blames always the Brâhmanas and shews his hatred always towards the Brâhmanas, if he does injury to the animals, and if he does not indulge in his heart anything of pity, kindness, Laksmî, the Mother of the Worlds, quits him. O Lotus-born! But where Hari is worshipped and Hari’s Name is chanted, Laksmî, the Mother of all auspiciousness, remains there. Laksmî remains where the glories of S’rî Krisna and His Bhaktas are sung.

48-59. Laksmî always remains there with the greatest gladness where conch-shells are blown, where there are conchsells, the S’âlagrâma stone, the Tulasî leaves and the service and meditation of Laksmî are daily done.

Where the phallic emblem of S’iva is worshipped, and His glories sung, where S’rî Durgâ is worshipped and Her glories are sung, Laksmî, the Dweller in the Lotus, remains there. Where the Brâhmanas are honoured and they are gladly feasted, where all the Devas are worshiped; the chaste Laksmî, the Lotus-faced, remains there. Thus saying to the Devas, the Lord of Laksmî said :– O Devî! Go without any any delay to the Ksiroda Ocean and incarnate there in part. He then addressed Brahmâ and said :– “O Lotus-born! You also better go there and churn the Ksiroda Ocean; when Laksmî will arise, give her to the Devas.” O Devarsi! Thus saying, the Lord Kamalâ went to His inner compartment. On the other hand the Devas, after a long time, reached the shores of the Ksiroda Ocean. The Devas and the Daityas then made the Golden Mountain (the Sumeru) the churning rod, the Deva Kurma (the tortoise), the churning pot and Ananta Deva (the thousand headed serpent) the churning cord and began to churn the ocean. While churning was going on, by and by arose Dhanvantarî, Amrita (the nectar), the horse Uchchaihs’ravâ, various other invaluable jewels that were desired, the elephant Airâvata and the beautiful eyed Laksmî. Visnupriyâ, S’rî Laksmî Devî, no sooner She got up from the ocean, she, the chaste woman, presented on the neck of Nârâyana, of beautiful appearance, the Lord of all, Who slept on the Ksiroda ocean the garland (indicative of accepting Him for her bridegroom). Then Brahmâ and Mahes’vara and the other Devas gladly worshipped Her and chanted hymns. At this time Laksmî Devî being pleased, cast a favourable glance towards the homes of the Devas, in order to free them from their curse. Then, by the grace of Mahâ Laksmî and by the granting of the boon by Brahmâ, the Devas got back their own possessions from the hands of the Daityas. O Nârada! Thus I have described to you the story of Laksmî Devî, the Essence of all Essences, and very pleasant to hear. Now what more do you want to hear? Say.

Here ends the Forty-first Chapter of the Ninth Book on the churning of the ocean and on the appearing of Laksmî in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XLII

On the Dhyânam and Stotra of Mahâ Laksmî

1-50. Nârada said :– O Bhagavân! I have heard about the glories of Hari, about the Tattvajñânam (the True Knowledge) and the story of Laksmî. Now tell me Her Dhyânam (meditation) and Stotram (recitation of hymns) of Her. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! Indra then, bathed first in the Tîrath (holy place) and, wearing a cleansed cloth, installed, first of all, an earthen jar (ghata) on the beach of the Ksiroda Ocean. Then he worshipped with devotion Ganes’a, Sûrya, Fire, Visnu, S’iva, and S’ivâ, the six deities with scents and flowers. Next Indra invoked Mahâ Laksmî, of the nature of the highest powers and greatest prosperity, and began to worship Her as Brahmâ, who was acting as an officiating priest in the presence of the Munis, Brâhmanas, Brihaspati, Hari and the other Devas, had dictated him. He first smeared one Pârijâta flower with sandal paste and reciting the meditation mantra of Mahâ Laksmî offered it to Her feet. The meditation mantra that was recited by Devendra, was what Bhagavân Hari first gave to Brahmâ. I am now telling you that. Listen.

“O Mother! Thou residest on the thousand-petalled lotus. The beauty of Thy face excels the beauty of koti autumnal Full Moons. Thou art shining with Thy own splendour. Thou art very beautiful and lovely; Thy colour is like the burnished gold; Thou art with form, chaste, ornamented all over with jewel ornaments; Thou art wearing the yellow cloth and look! What beauty is coming out of it! Always a sweet smile reigns on Thy lips. Thy beauty is constant; Thou art the bestower of prosperity to all. O Mahâ Laksmî! I meditate on Thee.” Thus meditating on Her endowed with various attributes with this mantra, Indra worshipped devotedly with sixteen upachâras (articles offered). Every upachâra (article) was offered with the repetition of mantra. All the things were very excellent, right and commendable. “O Mahâ Laksmî! Vis’vakarmâ has made this invaluable Âsan (a carpet seat) wonderfully decked with jewels; I am offering this Âsan to Thee. Accept. O Thou residing in the Lotus! This holy Ganges water is considered with great regard and desired by all. This is like the fire to burn the fuel in the shape of the sins of the sinners. O Thou! The Dweller in the Lotus! This Dûrbha grass, flowers, this Arghya (offering) of the Ganges water perfumed with sandalpaste, I am offering to Thee. Accept. O Beloved of Hari! This sweet scented flower oil and this sweet scented Âmalaki fruit lead to the beauty of the body; therefore I present this to Thee. Accept. O Devî! I am presenting this cloth made of silk to Thee; Accept. O Devî! This excellent ornament made of gold and jewels, which increases the beauty, I am presenting to Thee. Accept. O Beloved of Krisna! I am presenting this sweet scented holy Dhûpa prepared from various herbs and plants, exquisitely nice and the root of all beauty, to Thee. Accept. This sweet scented pleasant sandalpaste I offer to Thee, O Devî! Accept. O Ruler of the Devas! I present this pleasing holy Dîpa (lights) which is the eye of this world and by which all the darkness is vanished; accept. O Devî! I present to Thee these very delicious offerings of fruits, etc., very juicy and of various kinds. Accept. O Deves’î! This Anna (food) is Brahmâ and the chief means to preserve the life of living beings. By this the nourishment of the body and the mental satisfaction are effected. Therefore I am presenting this food to Thee. Accept. O Mahâ Laksmî! I am presenting this most delicious Paramânna, which is prepared out of rice, milk and sugar, to Thee. Accept. O Devî! I am presenting this most delicious and pleasant svastika prepared of sugar and clarified butter to Thee; accept. O Beloved of Achyuta! I am presenting to Thee various beautiful Pakkânnas, ripe delicious fruits and clarified butter out of cow’s milk; accept. O Devî! The sugarcane juice, when heated, yields a syrup which again heated yields very delicious and nice thing called Gur. I am presenting this Gur to Thee; accept. O Devî! I am presenting to Thee the sweetmeats prepared out of the flour of Yava and and wheat and Gur and clarified butter; accept. I am presenting with devotion the offering made of Svastika and the flour of other grains; accept. O Kamale! I am presenting to Thee this fan and white châmara, which blows cool air and is very pleasant when this body gets hot; accept. O Devî! I am presenting this betel scented with camphor by which the inertness of the tongue is removed; accept. O Devî! I am presenting this scented cool water, which will allay the thirst and which is known as the life of this world; accept. O Devî! I am presenting this cloth made of cotton and silk that increases the beauty and splendour of the body. Accept. O Devî! I am presenting to Thee, the ornaments made of gold and jewels which are the source of beauty and loveliness. Accept. O Devî! I am presenting to Thee these pure garlands of flowers which blossom in different seasons, which look very beautiful and which give satisfaction to the Devas and to the kings. Accept. O Devî! I am presenting to Thee this nice scent, this very holy thing to Thee by which both the body and mind become pure, which is most auspicious and which is prepared of many fragrant herbs and plants; accept. O Beloved of the God Krisna! I am presenting this Âchamanîya water to Thee for rinsing the mouth, pure and holy, and brought from holy places of pilgrimages; accept. O Devî! I am presenting to Thee, this bed made of excellent gems and jewels and flowers, sandalpaste, clothings and ornaments; accept. O Devî! I am presenting to Thee all those things that are extraordinary, very rare in this earth and fit to be enjoyed by the Devas and worthy of their ornaments; accept.” O Devarsi! Uttering those mantras, the Devendra offered those articles, with intense devotion according to the rules. He, then, made Japam of the Mûla Mantra (the Radical Seed Mantra) ten lakhs of times. Thus his Mantra revealed the Deity thereof and thus came to a successful issue. The lotus born Brahmâ gave this Mantra “S’rîm Hrîm Klîm Aim Kamalâvâsinyai Svâhâ” to the Devendra. This is like a Kalpavriksa (the tree in Indra’s garden yielding whatever may be desired). This Vaidik mantra is the chief of the mantras. The word “Svâhâ” is at the end of the mantra. By virtue of this Mantra, Kuvera got his highest prosperity. By the power of this Mantra, the King-Emperor Daksa Sâvarni Manu and Mangala became the lords of the earth with seven islands. Priyavrata, Uttânapâda, and Kedârarâja all these became Siddhas (were fructified with success) and became King-Emperors. O Nârada! When Indra attained success in this Mantra, there appeared before him Mahâ Laksmî, seated in the celestial car, decked with excellent gems and jewels. The Great Halo, coming out of Her body made manifest the earth with seven islands. Her colour was white like the white champaka flower and Her whole body was decked with ornaments. Her face was always gracious and cheerful with sweet smiles. She was ever ready to shew Her kindness to the Bhaktas. On Her neck there was a garland of jewels and gems, bright as ten million Moons. O Devarsi! No sooner did Indra see that World Mother Mahâ Laksmî, of a peaceful appearance, than his body was filled with joy and the hairs of the body stood on ends. His eyes were filled with tears; and, with folded palms, he began to recite stotras to Her, the Vaidik stotras, yielding all desires, that was communicated to him by Brahmâ.

51-75. Indra said :– “O Thou, the Dweller in the lotus! O Nârâyanî! O Dear to Krisna! O Padmâsane! O Mahâ Laksmî! Obeisance to Thee! O Padmadaleksane! O Padmanibhânane! O Padmâsane! O Padme! O Vaisnavî! Obeisance to Thee! Thou art the wealth of all; Thou art worshipped by all; Thou bestowest to all the bliss and devotion to S’rî Hari. I bow down to Thee. O Devî! Thou always dwellest on the breast of Krisna and exercisest Thy powers over Him. Thou art the beauty of the Moon; Thou takest Thy seat on the beautiful Jewel Lotus. Obeisance to Thee! O Devî! Thou art the Presiding Deity of the riches; Thou art the Great Devî; Thou increasest always Thy gifts and Thou art the bestower of increments. So I bow down to Thee. O Devî! Thou art the Mahâ Laksmî of Vaikuntha, the Laksmî of the Ksiroda Ocean; Thou art Indra’s Heavenly Laksmî; Thou art the Râja Laksmî of the Kings; Thou art the Griha Laksmî of the householders; Thou art the household Deity of them; Thou art the Surabhî, born of the Ocean; Thou art the Daksinâ, the wife of the Sacrifices; Thou art Aditi, the Mother of the Devas; Thou art the Kamalâ, always dwelling in the Lotus; Thou art the Svâhâ, in the offerings with clarified butter in the sacrificial ceremonies; Thou art the Svadhâ Mantra in the Kâvyas (an offering of food to deceased ancestors). So obeisance to Thee! O Mother Thou art of the nature of Visnu; Thou art the Earth that supports all; Thou art of pure S’uddha Sattva and Thou art devoted to Nârâyana. Thou art void of anger, jealousy. Rather Thou grantest boons to all. Thou art the auspicious Sâradâ; Thou grantest the Highest Reality and the devotional service to Hari. Without Thee all the worlds are quite stale, to no purpose like ashes, always dead while existing. Thou art the Chief Mother, the Chief Friend of all; Thou art the source of Dharma, Artha, Kâma and Moksa! As a mother nourishes her infants with the milk of her breasts, so Thou nourishest all as their mother! A child that sucks the milk might be saved by the Daiva (Fate), when deprived of its mother; but men can never be saved, if they be bereft of Thee! O Mother! Thou art always gracious. Please be gracious unto me. O Eternal One! My possessions are now in the hands of the enemies. Be kind enough to restore my kingdoms to me from my enemies’ hands. O Beloved of Hari! Since Thou hast forsaken me, I am wandering abroad, friendless, like a beggar, deprived of all prosperities. O Devî! Give me Jñânam, Dharma, my desired fortune, power, influence and my possessions.” O Nârada! Indra and all the other Devas bowed down frequently to Mahâ Laksmî with their eyes filled with tears. Brahmâ, S’ankara, Ananta Deva, Dharma and Kes’ava all asked pardon again and again from Mahâ Laksmî. Laksmî then granted boons to the Devas and before the assembly gladly gave the garland of flowers on the neck of Ke’sava. The Devas, satisfied, went back to their own places. The Devî, Laksmî, too, becoming very glad went to S’rî Hari sleeping in the Ksiroda Ocean. Brahmâ and Mahes’vara, both became very glad and, blessing the Devas, went respectively to their own abodes. Whoever recites this holy Stotra three times a day, becomes the King Emperor and gets prosperity and wealth like the God Kuvera. Siddhi (success) comes to him who recites this stotra five lakhs of times. If anybody reads regularly and always this Siddha Stotra for one month, he becomes very happy and he turns out a Râjarâjendra.

Here ends the Forty-second Chapter of the Ninth Book on the Dhyânam and Stotra of Mahâ Laksmî in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XLIII

On the history of Svâhâ

1-4. Nârada said :– “O Risi Nârâyana! O Highly Fortunate One! O Lord! Thou art equal to Nârâyana whether in beauty or in qualities, or in fame or in energy or in everything. Thou art equal to Nârâyana. Thou art the foremost of the Jñânins; there cannot be found a second like Thee as a Siddha Yogî, the ascetics and the Munis. And Thou art the crest of the knowers of the Vedas. I have heard the wonderful anecdote of Mahâ Laksmî that Thou hast told me. Now tell me any other thing that is unknown, very good in everyway, in accordance with Dharma, in the Vedas, and that which is not as yet written in the Purânas.”

5-6. Nârâyana said :– “There are many wonderful hidden anecdotes that are not published as yet in the Purânas. What you have heard is very small in fact. Please mention to me what you like to hear, what you think as best amongst them and I will describe that to you.”

7-8. Nârada said :– “When clarified butter is poured as libations in all the sacrificial ceremonies to the gods, Svâhâ is to be uttered everywhere as excellent, and commendable; so Svadhâ is to be repeated in the offerings when the oblations are offered to the Pitris, the deceased ancestors. Then, again, Daksinâ (the sacrificial fee) is always to be paid as right and excellent. So, O Knower of the Vedas! I like to hear the accounts of Svadhâ, and Daksinâ and their merits. Please now tell me about them.”

9. Sûta said :– “Hearing the words of Nârada, Nârâyana Risi smiled and began to speak the very ancient words of the Purânas.”

10-11. Nârâyana said :– Before the creation, the Devas assembled in the beautiful Brahmâ’s Council to decide on their food question.

They all brought to the notice of Brahmâ the scarcity about their food. Brahmâ promised to remove their food difficulties and began to chant hymns to Hari.

12. Nârada said :– “O Lord! Bhagavân Nârâyana Himself incarnated in part as Sacrifice. Are not the Devas satisfied when the Brâhmanas pour oblations of ghee to the Devas in those sacrifices?”

13-17. Nârâyana said :– O Muni! The Devas, in fact, did not get the offerings of the clarified butters that were poured in with devotion in sacrificial acts by the Brâhmanas and Ksattriyas. So they were very much depressed and went again to the council of Brahmâ and informed Him that they could not get any food for themselves. On hearing this, Brahmâ at once meditated and took refuge of S’rî Krisna; Krisna advised them to worship Mûla Prakriti. Brahmâ then, by the command of S’rî Krisna, began to meditate on Prakriti, worship Her and chant hymns to Her. Then from the part of Prakriti, an all-powerful Devî appeared. She was very beautiful, Shyâmâ (of a blue colour) and very lovely. This Devî was Svâhâ. She looked always gracious with smile in Her face; it seemed that She was always ready to show favour towards the Bhaktas. She appeared before Brahmâ and said :– “O Lotus born! Want any boon you desire.”

18-22. Hearing Her words, the Creator spoke reverentially :– “O Devî! Let Thou be the burning power of Fire; without Thee Fire would not be able to burn anything. At the conclusion of any Mantra, whoever taking Thy name, will pour oblations in the Fire to the Gods, will cause those oblations to go to the Gods and reach them. And then they will be very glad. O Mother! Let Thou be the wealth of Fire, the beauty and housewife of Fire; let Thou be incessantly worshipped in the regions of the Gods and amongst men and other beings.” Hearing these words of Brahmâ, Svâhâ Devî became very sad and expressed Her own intentions :– “I will get Krisna as my husband; let me perform Tapasyâ as long as it takes. This is my object. All other things are false as dreams.

23-28. I always meditate with devotion on the lotus-feet of S’rî Krisna, serving Which You have become the Creator of this world, S’ambhu has become the Conqueror of death, Ananta Deva is supporting this universe, Dharma is the Witness of the virtuous, Ganes’a is getting, first of all, the first worship. Prakriti Devî has become the adorable of all and the Munis and the Risis respected by all.” O Child! Having spoken thus to the Lotus-born, Padmâ, with Her lotus-face, meditating incessantly on the Lotus-Feet of S’rî Krisna, free from any disease, started to perform tapasyâ for attaining Him. She, first of all, stood on one leg and practised austerities for one lakh years. Then She saw the Highest Purusa S’rî Krisna, Who is beyond Prakriti and Her attributes. The beautiful amorous Svâhâ, seeing the Lovely Form of the Lord of Love, fainted.

29-43. The omniscient Bhagavân Krisna knowing Her intentions, took Her to His lap, reduced very much in body by long continued Tapasyâ, and He said :– “O Devî! Thou shalt be My wife in the next Varâha Kalpa. Then Thou wilt be the daughter of Nagnajit and wilt be known by the name of Nâgnajitî. O Beloved! At present let Thou be the Energy of Fire and be His wife. By My boon Thou wilt be worshipped by all. Fire will make Thee the Lady of His house and take the utmost care of Thee. Thou wilt be able to enjoy easily with Him.” O Nârada! Thus saying to Svâhâ, Bhagavân disappeared. On the other hand, Fire came in there by the command of Brahmâ, with a doubtful mind and began to meditate on Her, the World Mother as per Sâma Veda and worshipped Her. He then pleased and married Her with mantrams, etc. For one hundred divine years they enjoyed each other. In a very solitary place while they were enjoying each other, Svâhâ Devî felt pregnant. For full twelve divine years She retained Her pregnancy. Then She delivered gradually three sons Daksinâgni, Gârhyapatyâgnî, and Âhavanîyâgni. The Risis, Munis, Brâhmanas, Ksattriyas poured oblations of clarified butter pronouncing the terminal mantra “Svahâ.” He who pronounces this excellent terminal Mantra “Svâhâ” gets immediate success in his actions. Then all the mantras without “Svâhâ” in the end became impotent as snakes become when void of poison, the Brâhmanas when they are devoid of the knowledge of the Vedas, the wife when she does not serve her husband, the men when they turn illiterate and the trees, when void of fruits and branches. O Child! The Brâhmanas then became satisfied. The Devas began to receive the oblations. With the “Svâhâ” mantra everything turned out fruitful. Thus I have described to you the anecdote of “’Svâhâ.” One who hears this essential anecdote gets his happiness enhanced and the Moksa in his hands. What more do you want to hear ? Say.

44. Nârada said :– I like to hear how Fire worshipped Svâhâ and recited stotras (hymns of praise) to Her. Kindly tell me the method of worship, the Dhyânam and Stotra.

45-49. Nârâyana said :– O Best of Brâhmanas! I now tell you the meditation (Dhyânam) as per Sâma Veda, the method of worship and stotra. Listen attentively. At the commencement of any sacrificial ceremony, one should first of all worship whether on the S’âlagrâma stone or in an earthen jar (ghata), the Devî Svâhâ and then commence the ceremony with the expectation of getting the desired fruit. The following is the Dhyânam (meditation) of Svâhâ Devî :– O Devî Svâhâ! Thou art embodied of the Mantras; Thou art the success of the Mantras; Thou art Thyself a Siddhâ; Thou givest success and the the fruits of actions to men; Thou dost good to all. Thus meditating, one should offer Pâdya (water for washing the feet), etc., uttering the basic Mantra; success then comes to him. Now hear about the Radical Seed Mantra. The said mantra (Mûla mantra) is this :– “Om Hrîm S’rîm Vahnijâyâyai Devyai Svâhâ.” If the Devî be worshipped with this Mantra, all the desires come to a successful issue.

50-54. Fire recited the following stotra :– “Thou art Svâhâ, Thou art the Beloved of Fire, Thou art the wife of Fire; Thou pleasest all; Thou art the S’akti, Thou art the action, Thou art the bestower of Kâla (time); Thou dost digest the food; Thou art the Dhruvâ; Thou art the resort of men; Thou art the burning power; Thou canst burn everything, Thou art the essence of this world; Thou art the deliverer from the terrible world; Thou art the life of the gods and Thou nourishest the Gods.” O Nârada! He who reads with devotion these sixteen names, gets success both in this world as well as in the next. None of his works become deficient in any way; rather all the works are performed successfully and with a successful issue. Reading this stotra, one who has no wife, gets wife. So much so that the man who recites the stotra gets for his wife equal to Rambhâ, the heavenly nymph, and passes his time in greatest bliss.

Here ends the Forty-third Chapter of the Ninth Book on the history of Svâhâ in S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XLIV

On the story of Svadhâ Devî in the discourse between Nârada and Nârâyana

1-18. Nârâyana said said :– O Nârada! I will tell you now the excellent anecdote of Svadhâ, pleasing to the Pitris and enhancing the fruits of the S’râdh ceremony when foods are offered to the Pitris. Listen. Before the creation, the Creator created seven Pitris. Four out of them are with forms and the other three are of the nature of Teja (light).

Note :– Kavyavâhoanalah Somo Yamaschaivâryamâ tathâ, Agnisvâttâh Barhisadah Somapâ Pitri Devatâh. These seven Pitris are according to the other Purânas. Seeing the beautiful and lovely forms of the Pitris, He made arrangements for their food in the form of S’râddhas and Tarpanas, etc. (funeral ceremony and peace-offerings), etc. (S’râdh, solemn obsequies performed in honour of the manes of deceased ancestors.)

Taking bath, performing S’râdh ceremony upto Tarpanam (peace-offerings), worshipping the Devas and doing Sandhyâ thrice a day; these are the daily duties of the Brâhmanas. If any Brâhmana does not perform daily the Trisandhyâs, S’râddha, Tarpanam, worship and the reciting of the Vedas, he becomes devoid of fire like a snake without any poison. He who does not perform the devotional service of the Devî, who eats food not offered to S’rî Hari, who remains impure till death, is not entitled to do any karma whatsoever. Thus, introducing the S’râddhas, etc., for the Pitris, Brahmâ went to His own abode. The Brâhmanas went on doing the S’râddhas for the Pitris, but the Pitris could not enjoy them and so they remained without food and were not satisfied. They all, being hungry and sad, went to the Council of Brahmâ and informed Him everything from beginning to end. Brahmâ then created out of His mind one daughter very beautiful, full of youth and having a face lovely, as if equal to one hundred moons. That woman was best in all respects whether in form, beauty, qualities or in learning. Her colour was white like the white Champaka flower and her body was adorned all over with jewel ornaments. This form was very pure, ready to grant boons, auspicious and the part of Prakriti. Her face was beaming with smiles; her teeth were very beautiful and her body showed signs of Laksmî (i.e., of wealth and prosperity). Her name was Svadhâ. Her lotus-feet were situated on one hundred lotuses. She was the wife of the Pitris. Her face resembled that of a lotus and Her eyes looked like water lilies. She was born of the lotus born Brahmâ. The Grand-father Brahmâ made over that daughter of the nature of Tusti (Contentment) to the hands of the Pitris and they were satisfied. Brahmâ advised the Brâhmanas privately that whenever they would offer anything to the Pitris, they should offer duly with the mantra Svadhâ pronounced at the end. Since then the Brâhmanas are offering everything to the Pitris, with the Mantra Svadhâ uttered in the end. Svâhâ is laudable, when offerings are presented to the Gods and Svadhâ is commendable when offerings are made to the Pitris. But in both the cases, Daksinâ is essential. Without Daksinâ (sacrificial fee), all sacrifices are useless and worthless. The Pitris, Devatâs, Brâhmanas, the Munis, the Manus worshipped the peaceful Svadhâ and chanted hymns to Her with great love. The Devas, Pitris, Brâhmanas, all were pleased and felt their ends achieved when they got the boon from Svadhâ Devî. Thus I have told you everything about Svadhâ. It is pleasing to all. What more do you want to hear? Say. I will answer all your questions.

19. Nârada said :– “O Thou, the Best of the knowers of the Vedas! O Muni Sattama! I want now to hear the method of worship, the meditation and the hymns of Svadhâ Devî. Kindly tell me all about this.”

20-27. Nârâyana said :– You know everything about the all-auspicious Dhyân, Stotra, as stated in the Vedas; then why do you ask me again? However I will speak out this for the enhancement of knowledge. On the thirteenth day of the Dark Fortnight in autumn when the Maghâ asterism is with the Moon and on the S’râddha day. One should worship with care Svadhâ Devî; then one should perform S’râddha. If, out of vanity, a Brâhmin performs S’râdh without first worshipping Svadhâ Devî then he will never get the fruits of Tarpanam or S’râdh. “O Devî Svadhe! Thou art the mind-born daughter of Brahmâ, always young and worshipped by the Pitris. Thou bestowest the fruits of S’râddh. So I meditate on Thee.” Thus meditating, the Brâhmin is to pronounce the motto (mûla mantra) and offer the Pâdyam, etc., on the S’âlagrâma stone or on the auspicious earthen jar. This is the ruling of the Vedas. The motto is “Om Hrîm, S’rîm, Klîm, Svadhâ Devyai Svâhâ.” She should be worshipped with this Mantra. After reciting hymns to the Devî, one is to bow down to the Svadhâ Devî. O Son of Brahmâ! O Best of Munis! O Skilled in hearing! I now describe the stotra which Brahmâ composed at the beginning for the bestowal of the desired fruits to mankind. Listen.

Nârâyana said :– The instant the Mantra Svadhâ is pronounced, men get at once the fruits of bathing in the holy places of pilgrimages. No trace of sin exists in him at that time; rather the religious merits of performing the Vâjapeya sacrifice accrue to him.

28-36. “Svadhâ,” “Svadhâ,” “Svadhâ,” thrice this word if one calls to mind, one gets the fruits of S’râdh, Tarpanam, and Bali (offering sacrifices). So much so, if one hears with devotion during the S’râdh time the recitation of the hymn to Svadhâ, one gets, no doubt, the fruit of S’râdh. If one recites the Svadhâ mantra thrice every time in the morning, midday and evening, every day, one gets an obedient, chaste wife begetting sons. The following is the hymn (Stotra) to Svadhâ :– “O Devî Svadhe! Thou art dear to the Pitris as their vital breaths and thou art the lives of the Brâhmanas. Thou art the Presiding Deity of the S’râdh ceremonies and bestowest the fruits thereof. O Thou of good vows! Thou art eternal, true, and of the nature of religious merits. Thou appearest in creation and disappearest in dissolution. And this appearing and disappearing go on forever. Thou art Om, thou art Svasti, Thou art Namas Kâra (salutation); Thou art Svadhâ, Thou art Daksinâ, Thou art the various works as designated in the Vedas. These the Lord of the world has created for the success of actions.” No sooner Brahmâ, seated in His assembly in the Brahmâ Loka, reciting this stotra remained silent, than Svadhâ Devî appeared there all at once. When Brahmâ handed over the lotus-faced Svadhâ Devî over to the hands of the Pitris, and they gladly took Her to their own abodes. He who hears with devotion and attention this stotra of Svadhâ, gets all sorts of rich fruits that are desired and the fruits of bathing in all the Tîrthas.

Here ends the Forty-fourth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the story of Svadhâ Devî in the discourse between Nârada and Nârâyana in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XLV

On the anecdote of Daksinâ

1-63. Nârâyana said :– The excellent, most sweet stories of Svâhâ and Svadhâ are told; now I will tell you the story of Daksinâ; hear attentively. In early days, in the region of Goloka, there was a good-natured Gopî named Sus’îlâ, beautiful, Râdhâ’s companion and very dear to S’rî Hari. She was fortunate, respected, beautiful, lovely, prosperous, with good teeth, learned, well qualified and of exquisitely handsome form. Her whole body was tender and lovely like Kalâvatî (one versed in 64 arts; moon). She was beautiful and her eyes were like water lilies. Her hips were good and spacious; Her breasts were full; she was Shyâmâ (a kind of women having colour like melted gold; body being hot in cold and cool in summer; of youthful beauty); as well She was of the Nyagrodha class of women (an excellent woman. Stanau Sukathinau Yasyâ Nitambe cha Vis’âlatâ. Madhye Ksînâ bhavedyâ Sânyagrodha parimandalâ). Always a smile sweetened Her face; and that looked always gracious. Her whole body was covered with jewel ornaments. Her colour was white like the white champakas. Her lips were red like the Bimba fruits; Her eyes were like those of a deer. Sus’îlâ was very clever in amorous sciences. Her gait was like a swan. She was specially versed in what is called Prema Bhakti (love towards God). So She was the dearest lady of S’rî Krisna. And She was of intense emotional feelings. She knows all the sentiments of love; she was witty, humorous, and ardent for the love of S’rî Krisna, the Lord of the Râsa circle. She sat by the left side of S’rî Krisna in the presence of Râdhâ. S’rî Krisna, then cast His glance on Râdhâ, the Chief of the Gopîs and hung down His head through fear. Râdhâ’s face turned red; the two eyes looked like red lilies; all Her bodies began to quiver out of anger and Her lips began to shake. Seeing that state of Râdhâ, Bhagavân S’rî Krisna disappeared, fearing that a quarrel might ensue. Sus’îlâ and other Gopîs seeing that the peaceful Krisna of Sattvâ Guna and of lovely form had disappeared, began to tremble with fear. Then one lakh Koti Gopîs seeing Krisna absent and Râdhâ angry, became very much afraid and bowing their heads down with devotion and with folded palms began to say frequently, “Râdhe! Protect us, protect us,” and they took shelter at Her feet. O Nârada! Three lakh Gopas also including Sudâmâ and others took shelter at the lotus feet of S’rî Râdhâ out of fear. Seeing, then, Krisna absent and Her companion Sus’îlâ running away, Râdhâ cursed her thus :– “If Sus’îlâ comes again to this Goloka, she will be reduced to ashes.” Thus cursing Her companion Sus’îlâ out of anger, Râdhâ, the Darling of the Deva of the Devas, and the Lady of the Râsa circle went to the Râsa circle and called on Krisna, the Lord of the same. Not being able to find out S’rî Krisna, a minute appeared a yuga to Her and she began to say :– “O Lord of Prânas! O Dearer than My life! O Presiding Deity of my life! O Krisna! My life seems to depart from Thy absence! Come quickly and show Thyself to me. O Lord! It is through the favour of one’s husband that the pride of women gets increased day by day. Women’s safeguards of happiness are their husbands. Therefore women, who are helpless creatures, ought always to serve their husbands according to Dharma. The husband is the wife’s friend, presiding deity and the sole refuge and the chief wealth. It is through husbands that women derive their pleasures, enjoyments, Dharma, happiness, peace and contentment. If husbands are respected, wives are respected and if husbands are dishonoured, women are dishonoured too. The husband is the highest thing to a woman. He is the highest friend. There is no better friend than him. The husband is called Bhartâ because he supports his wife; he is called Pati, because he preserves her; he is called S’vâmî, because he is the master of her body; he is called Kântâ because he bestows the desired things to her; he is called Bandhu, because he increases her happiness; he is called Priya, because he gives pleasure to her; he is called Is’a, because he bestows prosperity on her; he is called Prânes’vara, because he is the lord of her Prâna; and he is called Ramana, because he gives enjoyment to her. There is no other thing dearer than husband. The son is born of the husband; hence the son is so dear. The husband is dearer to a family woman than one hundred sons. Those who are born in impure families, cannot know what substance a husband is made up of. Taking Baths in all the Tîrthas, giving Daksinâs in all the Yajñas (sacrifice), circumambulating round the whole earth, performing all austerities, observing all vows, making all great gifts, holy fastings, all that are dictated in the S’âstras, serving the Guru, the Brâhmanas and the Devas all cannot compare to even one sixteenth part with serving faithfully the feet of the husband. The husband is the highest; higher than the Spiritual Teacher (Guru), higher than the Brâhmanas, higher than all the Devas. As to man, the Spiritual Teacher who imparts the Spiritual Knowledge is the Best and Supreme, so to the women their husbands are the best of all. Oh! I am not able to realise the glory of my Dearest, by Whose favour I am the Sole Ruler of one lakh Koti Gopîs, one lakh Koti Gopas, innumerable Brâhmandas, and all the things thereof, and all the lokas (regions) from Bhu (earth) to Goloka. Oh! The womanly nature is insurmountable.” Thus saying, Râdhikâ began to meditate with devotion on S’rî Krisna. Tears began to flow incessantly from Her eyes. She exclaimed, “O Lord! O Lord! O Ramana! Shew Thyself to me. I am very much weak and distressed from Thy bereavement.” Now the Daksinâ Devî, driven out from Goloka; practised Tapasyâ for a long time when She entered into the body of Kamalâ. The Devas, on the other hand, performed a very difficult Yajña; but they could not derive any fruit therefrom. So they went to Brahmâ, becoming very sad. Hearing them, Brahmâ meditated on Visnu for a long time with devotion. At last Visnu gave Him a reply. Visnu got out of the body of Mahâ Laksmî a Martya Laksmî (Laksmî of the earth) and gave Her Daksinâ to Brahmâ.Then with a view to yield to the Devas the as a fruits of their Karmas, Brahmâ made over to the Yajña Deva (the Deva presiding the sacrifice) the Devî Daksinâ, offered by Nârâyana. Yajña Deva, then, worshipped Her duly and recited hymns to Her with great joy. Her colour was like melted gold; her lustre equalled koti Moons; very lovely, beautiful, fascinating; face resembling water lilies, of a gentle body; with eyes like Padmâ Palâsa, born of the body of Laksmî, worshipped by Brahmâ, wearing celestial silken garments, her lips resembling like Bimba fruits, chaste, handsome; her braid of hair surrounded by Mâlatî garlands; with a sweet smiling face, ornamented with jewel ornaments, well dressed, bathed, enchanting the minds of the Munis, below the hair of her forehead the dot of musk and Sindûra scented with sandalpaste, of spacious hips, with full breasts, smitten by the arrows of Kâma Deva (the God of Love). Such was the Daksinâ Devî. Seeing Her, the Yajña Deva fainted. At last he married her according to due rites and ceremonies. Taking her to a solitary place, he enjoyed her for full divine one hundred years with great joy like Laksmî Nârâyana. Gradually then Daksinâ became pregnant. She remained so for twelve divine years. Then she duly delivered a nice son as the fruit of Karma. When any Karma becomes complete, this son delivers the fruits of that Karma. Yajña Deva with His wife Daksinâ and the above named Karmaphala, the bestower of the fruits of actions, gives the desired fruits to all their sacrificial acts and Karmas. So the Pundits, the knowers of the Vedas, say. Really he, henceforth, began to give fruits to all the persons of their acts, with his wife Daksinâ and son, the bestower of the fruits of the actions. The Devas were all satisfied at this and went away respectively to their own abodes. Therefore, the man who performs Karmas, generally known as Karma Kartas, should pay the Daksinâ (the Sacrificial fee) and so he completes at once his actions. It is stated in the Vedas, that no sooner the Karma Karta pays the Daksinâ, than he obtains the fruits of his Karmas at once. In case the Karma Karta, after he has completed his acts, does not pay either through bad luck or through ignorance, any Daksinâ to the Brâhmanas, its amount is doubled if a Muhûrta passes away and if one night elapses, its amount is increased, to one hundred times. If three nights pass away, and the Daksinâ not paid, the amount last brought forward, is increased again to hundred times; if a week passes, the last amount is doubled, and if one month passes away, the Daksinâ is multiplied to one lakh times. If one year passes away, that is increased to ten millions of times and the Karma, also, bears no fruit. Such a Karma Karta is known as taking away unfairly a Brâhmana’s property and is regarded as impure. He has no right to any further actions. For that sin, he becomes a pauper and diseased. Laksmî Devî goes away from his house, leaves him, cursing him severely. So much so that the Pitris do not accept the S’râdh, Tarpanam offered by that wretched fellow. So the Devas do not accept his worship, nor the Fire accepts the oblations poured by him. If the person that performs sacrifices does not pay the sacrificial fee that he resolves to pay and he who accepts the offer does not demand the sum, both of them go to hell. But if the performer of the sacrifices does not pay when the priests demand the fee, then the Yajamâna (the performer of the sacrifices) only falls down to hell as the jar, severed from the rope, falls down. The Yajamâna (pupil) is denominated as a Brahmâsvapahârî (one who robs a Brâhmana’s property); he goes ultimately to the Kumbhîpâka hell. There he remains for one lakh years punished and threatened by Yama’s messengers. He is then reborn as a Chândâla, poor and diseased. So much so that his seven generations above and his seven generations below go to hell.

64-65. O Nârada! Thus I have narrated to you the story of Daksinâ. What more do you want to hear? Say. Nârada said :– “O Best of Munis! Who bears the fruits of that Karma where no Daksinâ is paid. Describe the method of worship that was offered to Daksinâ by Yajña Deva.” Nârâyana said :– Where do you find the fruit of any sacrifice without Daksinâ? (i.e., nowhere.) That Karma only gets fruits where Daksinâs are paid. And the fruits of the acts void of any Daksinâ, Bali who lives in the Pâtâla only enjoys; and no one else.

66-71. For, in olden times, it was ordained by Vâmana Deva that those fruits would go to the king Vali. All those that pertain to S’râdh not sanctioned by the Vedas, the charities made without any regard or faith, the worship offered by a Brâhmin who is the husband of a Vrisala (an unmarried girl twelve years in whom menstruation has commenced), the fruits of sacrifices done by an impure Brâhmana (a Brâhmana who fails in his duties), the worship offered by impure persons, and the acts of a man devoid of any devotion to his Guru, all these are reserved for the king Bali. He enjoys the fruits of all these. O Child! I am now telling you the Dhyân Stotra, and the method of worship as per Kanva S’âkhâ of Daksinâ Devî. Hear. When Yajña Deva, in ancient times got Daksinâ, skillful in action, he was very much fascinated by her appearance and being love-stricken, began to praise her :– “O Beautiful One! You were before the chief of the Gopîs in Goloka. You were like Râdhâ; you were Her companion; and you were loved by Srî Râdhâ, the beloved of S’rî Krisna.

72-97. In the Râsa circle, on the Full Moon night in the month of Kârtik, in the great festival of Râdhâ, you appeared from the right shoulder of Laksmî; hence you were named Daksinâ. O Beautiful One! You were of good nature before; hence your name was Sus’îlâ. Next you turned due to Râdhâ’s curse, into Daksinâ. It is to my great good luck that you were dislodged from Goloka and have come here. O highly fortunate One! Now have mercy on me and accept me as your husband. O Devî! You give to all the doers of actions, the fruits of their works. Without you, their Karmas bear no fruit. So much so, if you be not present in their action the works never shine forth in brilliant glory. Without Thee, neither Brahmâ, nor Visnu nor Mahes’a nor the Regents of the quarters, the ten Dikpâlas, can award the fruits of actions. Brahmâ is the incarnate of Karma. Mahes’vara is the incarnate of the fruits of Karmas; and I Visnu myself is the incarnate of Yajñas. But Thou art the Essence of all. Thou art the Parâ Prakriti, without any attributes, the Parâ Brahmâ incarnate, the bestower of the fruits of action. Bhagavân S’rî Krisna cannot award the fruits of actions without Thee. O Beloved! In every birth let Thou be my S’akti. O Thou with excellent face! Without Thee, I am unable to finish well any Karma.” O Nârada! Thus praising Daksinâ Devî, Yajña Deva stood before Her. She, born from the shoulder of Laksmî, became pleased with His Stotra and accepted Him for Her bridegroom. If anybody recites this Daksinâ stotra during sacrifice, he gets all the results thereof.

If anybody recites this stotra in the Râjasûya sacrifice, Vâjapaya, Gomedha (cow sacrifice) Naramedha (man sacrifice), As’vamedha (horse sacrifice), Lângala Sacrifice, Visnu Yajña tending to increase one’s fame, in the act of giving over wealth or pieces of lands, digging tanks or wells, or giving fruits, in Gaja medha (elephant sacrifice), in Loha Yajña (iron sacrifice), Svarna Yajña (gold sacrifice), Ratna Yajña (making over jewels in sacrifices), Tâmra Yajña (copper), S’iva Yajña, Rudra Yajña, S’akra Yajña, Bandhuka Yajña, Varuna Yajña (for rains), Kandaka Yajña, for crushing the enemies, S’uchi Yajña, Dharma Yajña, Pâpa mochana Yajña, Brahmânî Karma Yajña, the auspicious Prakriti Yâga, sacrifices, his work is achieved then without any hitch or obstacle. There is no doubt in this. The stotra, thus, is mentioned now; hear about the Dhyânam and the method of worship. First of all, one should worship in the S’âlagrâma stone, or in an earthen jar (Ghata) Daksinâ Devî. The Dhyânam runs thus :– “O Daksinâ! Thou art sprung from the right shoulder of Laksmî; Thou art a part of Kamalâ; Thou art clever (Daksa) in all the actions and Thou bestowest the fruits of all the actions. Thou art the S’akti of Visnu, Thou art revered, worshipped. Thou bestowest all that is auspicious; Thou art purity; Thou bestowest purity, Thou art good natured. So I meditate on Thee.” Thus meditating, the intelligent one should worship Daksinâ with the principal mantra. Then with the Vedic Mantras, pâdyas, etc. (offerings of various sorts) are to be offered. Now the mantra as stated in the Vedas, runs thus :– “Om S’rîm Klîm Hrîm Daksinâyai Svâhâ.” With this mantra, all the offerings, such as pâdyas, arghyas, etc., are to be given, and one should worship, as per rules, Daksinâ Devî with devotion. O Nârada! Thus I have stated to you the anecdote of Daksinâ. Happiness, pleasure, and the fruits of all karmas are obtained by this. Being engaged in sacrificial acts, in this Bhâratavarsa, if one hears attentively this Dhyânam of Daksinâ, his sacrifice becomes defectless. So much so that the man who has got no sons gets undoubtedly good and qualified sons; if he has no wife, he gets a best wife, good natured, beautiful, of slender waist, capable to give many sons, sweet speaking, humble, chaste, pure, and Kulîna; if he be void of learning, he gets learning; if he be poor he gets wealth; if he be without any land, he gets land and if he has no attendants, he gets attendants. If a man hears for one month this stotra of Daksinâ Devî, he gets over all difficulties and dangers, bereavements from friends, troubles, inprisonments, and all other calamities.

Here ends the Forty-fifth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the anecdote of Daksinâ in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XLVI

On the anecdote of Sasthî Devî

1. Nârada said :– “O Thou, the foremost of the Knowers of the Vedas! I have heard from you the anecdotes of many Devîs. Now I want to hear the lives of other Devîs also. Kindly describe.”

2. Nârâyana said :– “O Best of the Brâhmanas! The lives and glorious deeds of all the Devîs are described separately. Now say, which lives you want to hear.”

3. Nârada said :–“O Lord! Sasthî, Mangalâ Chandî, and Manasâ, are the parts of Prakriti. Now I want to hear the lives of them.”

4-22. Nârâyana said :– O Child! The sixth part of Prakriti is named as Sasthî. The Devî Sasthî is the Presiding Deity of infants and children; She is the Mâyâ of Visnu and She bestows sons to all. She is one of the sixteen Mâtrikâs. She is known by the name of Devasenâ. She performs Vratas (vows); She is the chaste and dearest wife of Skanda. She decides on the longevity of children and is always engaged in their preservation. So much so, that this Siddha Yoginî always keeps the children on her side.

O Best of Brâhmanas! I will now talk about the method of worshipping this Devî and the history about Her bestowing children that I heard from Dharma Deva. Hear. Svâyambhuva Manu had one son Priyavrata. He was a great Yogîndra and remained in practising austerities. So he was not inclined to have any wife. At last by the effort and request of Brahmâ, he got himself married. But many days passed, and he could not see the face of a son. Then Maharsi Kas’yapa became his priest in the Putresti Sacrifice (to get a son); and when the sacrifice was over, he gave the sacrificial offering called charu to his wife Mâlinî. On eating the charu, the queen Mâlinî become pregnant. For twelve Deva years she held the womb. After twelve years she delivered a full developed son, of a golden colour; but the son was lifeless and his two eyeballs were upset. At this, the friends’ wives became very sorry and began to weep. The mother of the child became so very sorrowful that she became senseless. O Muni! The King himself took the son on his breast and went to the burning ground. There with his child on his breast he began to cry aloud. Rather he got himself ready to quit his own life than leave the son from away his breast. At this time he saw in the space overhead an aerial car, white as crystal, made of excellent jewels, coming towards him. The car was shining with its own lustre, encircled with woven silken cloth, which added to its beauty. Innumerable garlands of variegated colours gave it a very nice and charming appearance. On that car was seated a Siddha Yoginî, very beautiful, of a lovely appearance of a colour like that of white champakas, always youthful, smiling, adorned with jewel ornaments, ever gracious to show favour to the devotees. On seeing Her, the King Priyavrata placed the child from his breast on the ground and began to worship Her and chant hymns to Her with great love and devotion. And he then asked that peaceful lady, the wife of Skanda, Who was shining like a summer sun :– “O Beautiful! Who art Thou? Whose wife art Thou and whose daughter art Thou? From Thy appearance it seems that Thou art fortunate and respected amongst the female sex.”

23-24. O Nârada! In ancient times, when the Daityas dispossessed the Devas of their positions, this Lady was elected as a general and got victory for the Devas; hence She was named Devasenâ. Hearing the words of the King Priyavrata, Devasenâ, who fought for the Devas and was all good to the whole world, said :–

25-42. O King! I am the mind-born daughter of Brahmâ. My name is Devasenâ. The Creator before created Me out of His mind and made Me over to the hands of Skanda. Amongst the Mâtrikâs, I am known as Sasthî, the wife of Skanda. I am the sixth part of Prakriti; hence I am named Sasthî. I give sons to those who have no sons, wives to those who have no wives, wealth to the poor, and I give works to those who are workers (karmîs.)

Happiness, pain, fear, sorrow, joy, good, and wealth and adversity all are the fruits of Karmas. As the result of one’s Karmas, people get lots of sons and it is due to the result of one’s Karma again that people are denuded of all the issues of their family. As the result of Karma, the people get dead sons; and as the result of Karma the people get long lives. All enjoy the fruits of their Karmas, whether they be well qualified, or deformed or whether they have many wives, or whether they have no wife, whether they be beautiful, religious, diseased, it is all through Karmas, Karmas. Disease comes out of their Karmas. Again they get cured by their Karmas. So, O King! It is stated in the Vedas that Karma is the most powerful of all. Thus saying, Devasenâ took the dead child on her lap; and, by the wisdom, early made the child alive. The King saw the child, of a golden colour got back his life and began to smile. Thus bidding goodbye to the King, Devasenâ took the child and became ready to depart. At this the King’s palate and throat got dry and he began again to chant hymns to Her. The Devî Sasthî became pleased at the stotra made by the King. The Devî then addressed the King and said :– “O King! All that is stated in the Vedas, is made up of Karmas. You are the son of Svâyambhuva Manu, and the Lord of the three worlds. You better promulgate My worship in the three worlds and you yourself worship Me. Then I will give you your beautiful son, the lotus of your family. Your son, born in part of Nârâyana, will be famous by the name of Suvrata. He will be well-qualified, a great literary man, able to remember his conditions in his former lives, the best of Yogis, performer of one hundred Yajñas, the best of all, bowed down by the Ksattriyas, strong as one lakh powerful elephants, wealthy, fortunate, pure, favourite of literary persons, learned and bestower of the fruits of the ascetics, renowned and bestower of wealth and prosperity to the three worlds.” Thus saying Devasenâ gave the the child to the king. When the king promised that he would promulgate Her worship, the Devî granted him boons and went up to the Heavens.

43-57. The king, too, becoming very glad and surrounded by his ministers, returned to his own abode and informed all about the son. The ladies of the house, become highly delighted when they heard everything. On the occasion of the son’s getting back his life, the king performed everywhere auspicious ceremonies. The worship of Sasthî Devî commenced. Wealth was bestowed to the Brâhmins. Since then, on every sixth day of the bright fortnight in every month, great festivals in honour of Sasthî Devî began to be celebrated. Since then, throughout the kingdom, on every sixth day after the birth of a child in the lying-in-chamber, Sasthî Devî began to be worshipped. On the twenty-first day, the auspicious moment, at the ceremony of giving rice to a child for the first time, when sixth months old, and on all other auspicious ceremonies of the children, Sasthî Devî’s worship was made extant and the king himself performed those worships with great care and according to due rules. Now I will tell you about the Dhyânam and method of worship and stotra as I heard from Dharma Deva, and as stated in Kauthuma S’âkhâ. Hear. He has said :– In a S’âlagrâma stone, in a jar, on the root of a Bata tree, or drawing the figure on the floor of the rooms, or making an image of Sasthî Devî, the sixth part of Prakriti and installing it, one should worship the Devî. The Dhyânam is this :– “O Devasenâ Thou art the bestower of good sons, the giver of good luck; Thou art mercy and kindness and the progenitor of the world; Thy colour is bright like that of the white Champaka flowers. Thou art decked with jewel ornaments. Thou art pure, and the highest and best Devî. Obeisance to Thee! I meditate on Thee.” Thus meditating, the worshipper should place flower on his own head. Then again meditating and uttering the principal mantra one is to offer the Pâdya (water for washing feet), Arghya, Âchamanîya, scents, flowers, dhûp, lights, offerings of food and best roots and fruits and one should worship thus with various things Sasthî Devî. “Om Hrîm Sasthî Devyai Svaha” is the principal Mantra of Sasthî Devî. This great Mantra of eight letters a man should repeat as his strength allows. After the Japam, the worshipper should chant hymns with devotion and undivided attention and then bow down. The Stotra (hymn) of Sasthî Devî as per Sâma Veda is very beautiful and son-bestowing.The lotus-born Brahmâ has said :– If one repeats (makes Japam) this eight lettered mantra one lakh of times, one gets certainly a good son. O Best of Munis! Now I am going to say the auspicious stotra of Sasthî Devî as composed by Priyavrata. Hear.

58-73. One’s desires are fulfilled when one reads this very secret stotra. Thus the King Priyavrata said :– “O Devî, Devasenâ! I bow down to Thee. O Great Devî! Obeisance to Thee! Thou art the bestower of Siddhis; Thou art peaceful; obeisance to Thee! Thou art the bestower of good; Thou art Devasenâ; Thou art Sasthî Devî, I bow down to Thee! Thou grantest boons to persons; Thou bestowest sons and wealth to men. So obeisance to Thee! Thou givest happiness and moksa; Thou art Sasthî Devî; I bow down to Thee. Thou thyself art Siddha; so I bow down to Thee. O Sasthî Devî! Thou art the sixth part of this creation; Thou art Siddha Yoginî, so I bow down to Thee. Thou art the essence, Thou art Sâradâ; Thou art the Highest Devî. So I bow down again and again to Thee. Thou art the Presiding Deity Sasthî Devî of the children; I bow down to Thee. Thou grantest good; Thou Thyself art good and Thou bestowest the fruits of all Karmas. O Thou O Sasthî Devî! Thou shewest thy form to thy devotees; I bow down to Thee! Thou art S’uddha Sattva and respected by all the persons in all their actions. Thou art the wife of Skanda. All worship Thee. O Sasthî Devî! Thou hadst saved the Devas. So obeisance to Thee O Sasthî Devî! Thou hast no envy, no anger; so obeisance to Thee. O Sures’varî! Give me wealth, give me dear things, give me sons. Give me respect from all persons; give me victory; slay my enemies. O Mahesvarî! Give me Dharma; give me name and fame; I bow down again again to Sasthî Devî. O Sasthî Devî! worshipped reverentially by all! Give me lands, give me subjects, give me learning; have welfare for me; I bow down again and again to Sasthî Devî.” O Nârada! Thus praising the Devî, Priyavrata got a son, renowned and ruling over a great kingdom through the favour of Sasthî Devî. If any man that has no son, hears this stotra of Sasthî Devî for one year with undivided attention, he gets easily an excellent son, having a long life. If one worships for one year with devotion this Devasenâ and hears this stotra, even the most barren woman becomes freed from all her sins and gets a son. Through the grace of Sasthî Devî, that son becomes a hero, well qualified, literate, renowned and long-lived. If any woman who bears only a single child or delivers dead children hears with devotion for one year this stotra, she gets easily, through the Devî’s grace, a good son. If the father and mother both hear with devotion, this story during the period of their child’s illness, then the child becomes cured by the Grace of the Devî.

Here ends the Forty-sixth chapter of the Ninth Book on the anecdote of Sasthî Devî in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XLVII

On Manasâ’s story

1-25 Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! I have now narrated the anecdote of Sasthî as stated in the Vedas. Now hear the anecdote of Mangala Chandî, approved of by the Vedas and respected by the literary persons. The Chandî, that is very skilled in all auspicious works and who is the most auspicious of all good things, is Mangal Chandîkâ. Or the Chandî who is an object of worship of Mangala (Mars), the son of earth and the bestower of desires is Mangala Chandîkâ. Or the Chandî who is an object of worship of Mangala of the family of Manu who was the ruler of the whole world composed of seven islands and the bestower of all desires is Mangala Chandî. Or it may be that the Mûla Prakriti, the Governess, the Ever Gracious Durgâ assumed the form of Mangala Chandî and has become the Ista Devatâ of women. When there was the fight with Tripurâsura, this Mangala Chandî, higher than the highest was first worshipped by Mahâdeva, stimulated by Visnu, on a critical moment. O Brâhmin! While the fighting was going on, a Daitya threw out of anger one car on Mahâdeva and as that car was about to fall on Him, Brahmâ and Visnu gave a good advice when Mahâdeva began to praise Durgâ Devî at once. Durgâ Devî that time assuming the form of Mangala Chandî appeared and said “no fear no fear” Bhagavân Visnu will be Thy Carrier buffalo. I will be also Thy S’akti in the action and Hari, full of Mâyâ, will also help Thee. Thou better slayest the enemy that dispossessed the Devas. O Child! Thus saying, the Devî Mangala Chandî disappeared and She became the S’akti of Mahâ Deva. Then with the help of the weapon given by Visnu, the Lord of Umâ killed the Asura. When the Daitya fell, the Devas and Risis began to chant hymns to Mahâdeva with devotion and with their heads bent low. From the sky, a shower of flowers fell instantaneously on Mahâ Deva’s head. Brahmâ and Visnu became glad and gave their best wishes to Him. Then ordered by Brahmâ and Visnu, S’ankara bathed joyously. Then He began to worship with devotion the Devî Mangala Chandî with pâdya, Arghya, Âchamanîya and various clothings. Flowers, sandal paste, various goats, sheep, buffaloes, bisons, birds, garments, ornaments, garlands, Pâyasa (a preparation of rice, ghee, milk and sugar), Pistaka, honey, wine, and various fruits were offered in the worship. Dancing, music, with instruments and the chanting of Her name and other festivals commenced. Reciting the Dhyân as in Mâdhyandina, Mahâdeva offered everything, pronouncing the principal Radical Mantra, “Om Hrîm S’rîm Klîm Sarvapujye Devî Mangala Chandîke Hum Phat Svâhâ” is the twenty-one lettered Mantra of Mangala Chandî. During worship, the Kalpa Vriksa, the tree yielding all desires, must be worshipped. O Nârada! By repeating the Mantra ten lakhs of times, the Mantra Siddhi (success in realising the Deity inherent in the Mantra) comes. Now I am saying about the Dhyânam of Mangal Chandî as stated in the Vedas and as approved by all. Listen. “O Devî Mangala Chandîke! Thou art sixteen years old; Thou art ever youthful; Thy lips are like Bimba fruits, Thou art of good teeth and pure. Thy face looks like autumnal lotus; Thy colour is like white champakas; Thy eyes resemble blue lilies; Thou art the Preserver of the world and thou bestowest all sorts of prosperity. Thou art the Light in this dark ocean of the world. So I meditate on Thee.” This is the Dhyânam. Now hear the stotra, which Mahâdeva recited before Her.

26-37. Mahâdeva said :– Protect me, Protect me, O Mother! O Devî Mangal Chandîke! Thou, the Destroyer of difficulties! Thou givest joy and good. Thou art clever in giving delight and fortune. Thou the bestower of all bliss and prosperity! Thou, the auspicious, Thou art Mangala Chandîkâ. Thou art Mangalâ, worthy of all good, Thou art the auspicious of all auspicious; Thou bestowest good to the good persons. Thou art worthy to be worshipped on Tuesday (the Mangala day); Thou art the Deity, desired by all. The King Mangala, born of Manu family always worships Thee. Thou, the presiding Devî of Mangala; Thou art the repository of all the good that are in this world. Thou, the Bestower of the auspicious Moksa. Thou, the best of all; Thou, the respository of all good; Thou makest one cross all the Karmas; the people worship Thee on every Tuesday; Thou bestowest abundance of Bliss to all. Thus praising Mangala Chandîkâ with this stotra, and worshipping on every Tuesday, S’ambhu departed. The Devî Sarva Mangalâ was first worshipped by Mahâdeva. Next she was worsh ipped by the planet Mars; then by the King Mangala; then on every Tuesday by the ladies of every household. Fifthly she was worshipped by all men, desirous of their welfare. So in every universe Mangal Chandîkâ, first worshipped by Mahâdeva, came to be worshipped by all. Next she came to be worshipped everywhere, by the Devas, Munis, Mânavas, Manus. O Muni! He who hears with undivided attention this stotra of the Devî Mangala Chandîkâ, finds no evils anywhere. Rather all good comes to him. Day after day he gets sons and grandsons and so his prosperity gets increased, yea, verily increased!

38-58. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! Thus I narrated to you the stories of Sasthî and Mangala Chandîkâ, according to the Vedas. Now hear the story of Manasâ that I heard from the mouth of Dharama Deva.

Manasâ is the mind-born daughter of Maharsi Kas’yapa; hence she is named Manasâ; or it may be She who plays with the mind is Manasâ. Or it may be She who meditates on God with her mind and gets rapture in Her meditation of God is named Manasâ. She finds pleasure in Her Own Self, the great devotee of Visnu, a Siddha Yoginî. For three Yugas She worshipped S’rî Krisna and then She became a Siddha Yoginî. S’rî Krisna, the Lord of the Gopîs, seeing the body of Manasâ lean and thin due to austerities, or seeing her worn out like the Muni Jarat Kâru called her by the name of Jarat Kâru. Hence Her name has come also to be Jarat Kâru. Krisna, the Ocean of Mercy, gave her out of kindness, Her desired boon; She worshipped Him and S’rî Krisna also worshipped Her. Devî Manasâ is known in the Heavens, in the abode of the Nâgas (serpents), in earth, in Brahmâloka, in all the worlds as of very fair colour, beautiful and charming. She is named Jagad Gaurî as she is of a very fair colour in the world. Her other name is S’aivî and she is the disciple of S’iva. She is named Vaisnavî as she is greatly devoted to Visnu. She saved the Nâgas in the Snake Sacrifice performed by Pariksit, she is named Nages’varî and Nâga Bhaginî and She is capable to destroy the effects of poison. She is called Visahari. She got the Siddha yoga from Mahâdeva; hence She is named Siddha Yoginî; She got from Him the great knowledge, so she is called Mahâ Jñanayutâ, and as she got Mritasamjîvanî (making alive the dead) she is known by the name of Mritasanjîvanî. As the great ascetic is the mother of the great Muni Âstîk, she is known in the world as Âstîka mâtâ. As She is the dear wife of the great high-souled Yogi Muni Jarat Kâru, worshipped by all, she is called as Jarat Kârupriya, Jaratkâru, Jagadgaurî, Manasâ, Siddha Yoginî, Vaisnavî, Nâga Bhaginî, S’aivi, Nages’varî, Jaratkârupriyâ, Âstikamâtâ, Visahari, and Mahâ Jñanayutâ; these are the twelve names of Manasâ, worshipped everywhere in the Universe. He who recites these twelve names while worshipping Manasâ Devî, he or any of his family has no fear of snakes. If there be any fear of snakes in one’s bed, if the house be infested with snakes or if one goes to a place difficult for fear of snakes or if one’s body be encircled with snakes, all the fears are dispelled, if one reads this stotra of Manasâ. There is no doubt in this. The snakes run away out of fear from the sight of him who daily recites the Manasâ stotra. Ten lakhs of times repeating the Manasâ mantra give one man success in the stotra. He can easily drink poison who attains success in this stotra. The snakes become his ornaments; they carry him even on their backs. He who is a great Siddha can sit on a seat of snakes and can sleep on a bed of snakes. In the end he sports day and night with Visnu.

Here ends the Forty-seventh Chapter of the Ninth Book on Manasâ’s story in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

THE NINTH BOOK

Chapter XLVIII

On the anecdote of Manasâ

1-30. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! I will now speak of the Dhyânam and the method of worship of S’rî Devî Manasâ, as stated in the Sâma Veda. Hear. “I meditate on the Devî Manasâ, Whose colour is fair like that of the white champaka flower, whose body is decked all over with jewel ornaments, whose clothing is purified by fire, whose sacred thread is the Nâgas (serpent), who is full of wisdom, who is the foremost of great Jñanins, who is the Presiding deity of the Siddhas, Who Herself is a Siddha and who bestows Siddhis to all.” O Muni! Thus meditating on Her, one should present Her, flowers, scents, ornaments, offerings of food and various other articles, pronouncing the principal Seed Mantra. O Nârada! The twelve lettered Siddha Mantra, to be mentioned below, yields to the Bhaktas their desires like the Kalpa Tree. Now the Radical mantra as stated in the Vedas is “Om Hrîm S’rîm Klîm Aim Manasâ Devyai Svâhâ.” Repetition of this, five lakhs of times, yields success to one who repeats. He who attains success in this mantra gets unbounded name and fame in this world. Poison becomes nectar to him and he himself becomes famous like Dhanvantari. O Nârada! If anybody bathes on any Samkrânti day (when the sun enters from one sign to another) and going to a private room (hidden room), invokes the Devî

Manasâ Îs’ânâ and worships Her with devotion, or makes sacrifices of animals before the Devî on the fifth day of the fortnight, he becomes certainly wealthy, endowed with sons and name and fame. Thus I have described to you the method of worship of Manasâ Devî. Now hear the anecdote of the Devî as I heard from Dharma. In olden days, men became greatly terrified on earth from snakes and took refuge of Kas’yapa, the supreme amongst the Munis. The Maharsi Kas’yapa became very afraid. He then with Brahmâ, and by His command composed a mantra following the principal motto of the Vedas. While composing this mantra, he intensely thought of the Devî, the Presiding Deity of that Mantra, through the power of his Tapasyâ and through the mental power, the Devî Manasâ appeared and was named so, as She was produced from the sheer influence of mind. On being born, the girl went to the abode of S’ankara in Kailâs’a and began to worship Him and chant hymns to Him with devotion. For one thousand Divine years, the daughter of Kas’yapa served Mahâdeva when He became pleased. He gave her the Great Knowledge, made Her recite the Sâma Veda and bestowed to her the eight-lettered Krisna mantra which is like the Kalpa Tree. S’rîm Hrîm Klîm Krisnâya Namah was the eight lettered Mantra. She got from Him the Kavacha (amulet) auspicious to the three worlds, the method of worship and all the rules of Purascharana (repetition of the name of a deity attended with burnt offerings, oblations, etc.) and went by His command to perform in Puskara very hard austerities. There she worshipped Krisna for the three Yugas. S’rî Krisna then appeared before Her. On seeing Krisna, immediately the girl, worn out by austerities, worshipped Him, and she was also worshipped by S’rî Krisna. Krisna granted her the boon, “Let you be worshipped throughout the world” and departed. O Nârada! She was thus first worshipped by the Supreme Spirit, the Devî Krisna; secondly by S’ankara; thirdly by the Maharsi Kas’yapa and the Devas. Then she was worshipped by the Munis, Manus, Nâgas, and men; and She became widely renowned in the three worlds. Kas’yapa gave Her over to the hands of Jaratkâru Muni. At the request of the Brâhmin Kas’yapa, the Muni Jarat Kâru married Her. After the marriage, one day, being tired with his long work of Tapasyâ, Jarat Kâru laid his head on the hip and loins of his married wife and fell fast asleep. Gradually the evening came in. The sun set. Then Manasâ thought, “If my husband fails to perform the Sandhyâ, the daily duty of the Brâhmanas, he would be involved in the sin of Brahmahatyâ. It is definitely stated in the S’âstras, that if any Brâhmana does not perform his Sandhyâ in the morning and in the evening, he becomes wholly impure and the sins

Brahmahattyâ and other crimes come down on his head.” Arguing thus, these thoughts in her mind, as commanded by the Vedas, at last she awakened her husband, who then got up from his sleep.

31-60. The Muni Jarat Kâru said :– “O Chaste One! I was sleeping happily. Why have you thus interrupted my sleep? All his vows turn out useless who injures her husband. Her tapas, fastings, gifts, and other meritorious works all come to vain who do things unpleasant to her husband. If she worships her husband, she is said to have worshipped S’rî Krisna. For the sake of fulfilling the vows of the chaste women, Hari himself becomes their husbands. All sorts of charities, gifts, all sacrifices, fastings, practising all the virtues, keeping to truth, worshipping all the Devas, nothing can turn out equal to even one-sixteenth part of serving one’s husband. She ultimately goes with her husband to the region of Vaikuntha, who serves her husband in this holy land Bhârata. She comes certainly of a bad family who does unpleasant acts to her husband or who uses unpleasant words to her husband. She goes to the Kumbhîpâka hell as long as the Sun and Moon last and then she becomes born as a Chandâlî, without husband and son.” Speaking thus, Jarat Kâru, the best of the Munis, became angry and his lips began to tremble. Seeing this, the best Manasâ, shivering with fear, addressed her husband :–

I have broken your sleep and awakened you, fearing you might miss your time of Sandhyâ. I have committed an offence. Punish me as you think. I know that a man goes to the Kâlasûtra hell as long as the Sun and Moon last in this world, who throws an obstacle when any man eats, sleeps or enjoys with the opposite sex. O Nârada! Thus saying, the Devî Manasâ fell down at the feet of her husband and cried again and again. On the other hand, knowing the Muni angry, and ready to curse her, the Sun came there with Sandhyâ Devî. And He humbly spoke to him with fear :– “O Bhagavân! Seeing Me going to set, and fearing that you may miss Dharma, your chaste wife has awakened you. O Brâhmin! Now I am also under your refuge; forgive me. O Bhagavân! You should not curse Me. The more so, a Brâhmana’s heart is as tender as the fresh butter. The anger of a Brâhman lasts only half the twinkling of an eye (Ksan). When a Brâhmana becomes angry, he can burn all this world and can make a new creation. So who can possess an influence like a Brâhmana. A Brâhmin is a part of Brahmâ; he is shining day and night with the Tejas of Brahmâ. A Brâhmana meditates always on the Eternal Light of Brahmâ.” O Nârada! Hearing the words of the Sun, the Brâhmin became satisfied and blessed Him. The Sun also went to His own place, thus blessed daily. To keep his promise, the Brâhmin Jaratkâru quitted Manasâ. She became very sorry and began to cry aloud with pain and anguish. Being very much distressed by the then danger, she remembered Her Îsta Deva, Mahâdeva, Brahmâ, Hari and Her father Maharsi Kas’yapa. On the very instant when Manasâ remembered S’rî Krisna, the Lord of the Gopis, Mahâdeva, Brahmâ and Maharsi Kas’yapa appeared there. Then seeing his own desired Deity S’rî Krisna, superior to Prakriti, beyond the attributes, Jaratkâru began to praise Him and bowed down to Him repeatedly. Then bowing down to Mahâdeva, Brahmâ and Kas’yapa, he enquired why they had come there. Brahmâ, then, instantly bowed down at the lotus feet of Hrisîkes’a and spoke in befitting words at that time if the Brâhmin Jaratkâru leaves at all his legal wife, devoted to her own Dharma, he should first of all have a son born of her to fulfil his Dharma. O Muni! Any man can quit his wife, after he has impregnated her and got a son. But if without having a son, he leaves his wife, then all his merits are lost as all water leaks out of a sieve or a strainer. O Nârada! Hearing thus the words of Brahmâ, the Muni Jaratkâru by his Yogic power recited a Mantra and touching the navel of Manasâ spoke to her :– “O Manasâ! A son will be born in your womb self-controlled, religious, and best of the Brâhmanas.

61-77. That son will be fiery, energetic, renowned, well-qualified the foremost of the Knowers of the Vedas, a great Jñânin and the best of the Yogis. That son is a true son, indeed, who uplifts his family who is religious and devoted to Hari. At his birth all the Pitris dance with great joy. And the wife is a true wife who is devoted to her husband, good-natured and sweet-speaking and she is religious, she is the mother of sons, she is the woman of the family and she is the preserver of the family. He is the true friend, indeed, the giver of one’s desired fruits, who imparts devotion to Hari. That father is a true father who shows the way to devotion to Hari. And She is the True Mother, through whom this entering into wombs ceases for ever, yea, for ever! That sister is the true kind sister from whom the fear of Death vanishes. That Guru is the Guru who gives the Visnu Mantra and the true devotion to Visnu. That Guru is the real bestower of knowledge who gives the Jñânam by which S’rî Krisna is meditated in whom this whole universe, moving and non-moving from the Brahmâ down to a blade of grass, is appearing and disappearing. There is no doubt in this. What knowledge can be superior to that of S’rî Krisna. The knowledge derived from the Vedas, or from the sacrifices or from any other source is not superior to the service to S’rî Krisna. The devotion and knowledge of S’rî Hari is the Essence of all knowledge; all else is vain and mockery. It is through this Real Knowledge; that this bondage from this world is severed. But the Guru who does not impart this devotion and knowledge of S’rî Hari is not the real Guru; rather he is an enemy that leads one to bondage. Verily he kills his disciple when he does not free him. He can never be called a Guru, father or friend who does not free his disciple from the pains in the various wombs and from the pains of death. Verily he can never be called a friend who does not show the way to the Undecaying S’rî Krisna, the Source of the Highest Bliss. So, O Chaste One! You better worship that Undecaying Para Brahmâ S’rî Krisna, Who is beyond the attributes. O Beloved! I have left you out of a pretence; please excuse me for this. The chaste women are always forgiving; never they become angry because they are born of Sattvagunas. Now I go to Puskara for Tapasyâ; you better go wherever you like. Those who have no desire have their minds always attached to the lotus feet of S’rî Krisna.” O Nârada! Hearing the words of Jaratkâru, the Devî Manasâ became very much distressed and bewildered with great sorrow. Tears began to flow from her eyes. She then humbly spoke to her dearest husband :– “O Lord! I have not committed any such offence, as you leave me altogether when I have thus broken your sleep.

78-115. However kindly show Thyself to me when I will recollect you. The bereavement of one’s friend is painful; more than that is the bereavement of a son. Again one’s husband is dearer than one hundred sons; so the bereavement of one’s husband is the heaviest of all. To women, the husband is the most beloved of all earthly things; hence he is called Priya, i.e., dear. As the heart of one who has only one son is attached to that son, as the heart of a Vaisnava is attached to S’rî Hari; as the mind of one-eyed man to his one eye, as the mind of the thirsty is attached to water, as the mind of the hungry is attached to food, as the mind of the passionate is attached to lust, as the mind of a thief is attached to the properties of others, as the mind of a lewd man to his prostitute, as the mind of the learned is attached to the S’âstras, as the mind of a trader is attached to his trade, so the minds of chaste women are attached to their husbands.” Thus saying, Manasâ fell down at the feet of her husband. Jaratkâru, the ocean of mercy, then, took her for a moment on his lap and drenched her body with tears from his eyes. The Devî Manasâ, too, distressed at the bereavement of her husband also drenched the lap of the Muni with tears from her eyes. Some time after, the true knowledge arose in them and they both became free from fear. Jaratkâru then enlightened his wife and asked her to meditate on the lotus feet of S’rî Krisna the Supreme Spirit repeatedly; thus saying he went away for his Tapasyâ. Manasâ, distressed with sorrow, went to his Îsta Deva Mahâdeva on Kailâs’a. The auspicious S’iva and Pârvatî both consoled her with knowledge and advice. Some days after, on an auspicious they and on an auspicious moment she gave birth to a son born in part of Nârâyana, and as the Guru of the Yogis and as the Preceptor of the Jñânins. When the child was in mother’s womb, he heard the highest knowledge from the mouth of Mahâdeva; therefore he was born as a Yogîndra and the Spiritual Teacher of the Jñânins. On his birth, Bhagavân S’ankara performed his natal ceremonies and performed various auspicious ceremonies. The Brâhmanas chanted the Vedas for the welfare of the child; various wealth and jewels and Kirîtas and invaluable gems were distributed by S’ankara to the Brâhmanas; and Pârvatî gave one lakh cows and various jewels to others. After some days, Mahâdeva taught him the four Vedas with their Angas (six limbs) and gave him, at last, the Mrityumjaya Mantra. As in Manasâ’s mind there reigned the devotion to her husband, the devotion to her Îsta Deva and Guru, the child’s name was kept Âstika.

Âstika then got the Mahâ Mantra from S’ankara and by his command went to Puskara to worship Visnu, the Supreme Spirit. There he practised tapasyâ for three lakh divine years. And then he returned to Kailâs’a, to bow down to the great Yogi and the Lord S’ankara, Then, bowing down to S’ankara, he remained there for some time when Manasâ with her son Âstika went to the hermitage of Kas’yapa, her father. Seeing Manasâ with son, the Maharsi’s gladness knew no bounds. He fed innumerable Brâhmanas for the welfare of the child, and distributed lakhs and lakhs of jewels. The joy of Aditi and Diti (the wives of Kas’yapa) knew no bounds; Manasâ remained there for a long, long time with his son. O Child! Hear now an anecdote on this. One day due to a bad Karma, a Brâhmana cursed the king Pariksit, the son of Abhimanyu; one Risi’s son named S’ringî, sipping the water of the river Kaus’ikî cursed thus :– “When a week expires, the snake Taksaka will bite you, and you will be burnt with the poison of that snake Taksaka.” Hearing this, the King Pariksit, to preserve his life, went to a place, solitary where wind even can have no access and he lived there. When the week was over, Dhanvantari saw, while he was going on the road, the snake Taksaka who was also going to bite the king. A conversation and a great friendship arose between them; Taksaka gave him voluntarily a gem; and Dhanvantari, getting it, became pleased and went back gladly to his house. The king Pariksit was lying on his bed-stead when Taksaka bit the king. The king died soon and went to the next world. The king Janamejaya then performed the funeral obsequies of his father and commenced afterwards the Sarpa Yajñâ (a sacrifice where the snakes are the victims). In that sacrifice, innumerable snakes gave up their lives by the Brahmâ Teja (the fire of the Brâhmins). At this, Taksaka became terrified and took refuge of Indra. The Brâhmins, then, in a body, became, ready to burn Taksaka along with Indra, when, Indra and the other Devas went to Manasâ. Mahendra, bewildered with fear, began to chant hymns to Manasâ. Manasâ called his own son Âstika who then went to the sacrificial assembly of the king Janamejaya and begged that the lives of Indra and Taksaka be spared. The king, then, at the command of the Brâhmanas, granted their lives. The king, then, completed his sacrifice and gladly gave the Daksinâs to the Brâhmins. The Brâhmanas, Munis, and Devas collected and went to Manasâ and worshipped Her separately and chanted hymns to Her. Indra went there with the various articles and He worshipped Manasâ with devotion and with great love and care; and He chanted hymns to Her. Then bowing down before Her, and under the instructions of Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a, offered her sixteen articles, sacrifices and various other good and pleasant things. O Nârada! Thus worshipping Her, they all went to their respective places. Thus I have told you the anecdote of Manasâ. What more do you want to hear. Say.

Nârada said :– “O Lord! How did Indra praise Her and what was the method of His worshipping Her; I want to hear all this.”

116-124. Nârâyana said :– Indra first took his bath; and, performing Âchamana and becoming pure, He put on a fresh and clean clothing and placed Manasâ Devî on a jewel throne. Then reciting the Vedic mantras he made Her perform Her bath by the water of the Mandâkinî, the celestial river Ganges, poured from a jewel jar and then He made Her put on the beautiful clothing, uninflammable by fire. Then He caused sandalpaste to be applied to Her body all over with devotion and offered water for washing Her feet and Arghya, an offering of grass and flowers and rice, etc., as a token of preliminary worship. First of all the six Devatâs Ganes’a, Sun, Fire, Visnu, S’iva, and S’ivâ were worshipped. Then with the ten lettered mantra, “Om Hrîm S’rîm Manasâ Devyai Svâhâ” offered all the offerings to Her. Stimulated by the God Visnu, Indra worshipped with great joy the Devî with sixteen articles so very rare to any other person. Drums and instruments were sounded. From the celestial heavens, a shower of flowers was thrown on the head of Manasâ. Then, at the advice of Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a, the Devas and the Brâhmanas, Indra, with tears in his eyes, began to chant hymns to Manasâ, when his whole body was thrilled with joy and hairs stood on their ends.

125-145. Indra said :– “O Devî Manase! Thou standest the highest amongst the chaste women. Therefore I want to chant hymns to

Thee. Thou art higher than the highest. Thou art most supreme. What I now praise Thee? Chanting hymns is characterised by the description of one’s nature; so it is said in the Vedas. But, O Prakriti! I am unable to ascertain and describe Thy qualities. Thou art of the nature of S’uddha Sattva (higher than the pure sattva unmixed with any other Gunas); Thou art free from anger and malice. The Muni Jaratkâru could not forsake Thee; therefore it was that he prayed for Thy separation before. O Chaste One! I have now worshipped Thee. Thou art an object of worship as my mother Aditi is. Thou art my sister full of mercy; Thou art the mother full of forgiveness. O Sures’varî! It is through Thee that my wife, sons and my life are saved. I am worshipping Thee. Let Thy love be increased. O World-Mother! Thou art eternal; though Thy worship is extant everywhere in the universe; yet I worship Thee to have it extended further and further. O Mother! Those who worship Thee with devotion on the Sankrânti day of the month of Âsûdha, or on the Nâga Pañchamî day, or on the Sankrânti day of every month or on every day, they get their sons and grandsons, wealth and grains increased and become themselves famous, well gratified, learned and renowned. If anybody does not worship Thee out of ignorance, rather if he censures Thee, he will be bereft of Laksmî and he will be always afraid of snakes. Thou art the Griha Laksmî of all the householders and the Râja Laksmî of Vaikuntha. Bhagavân Jarat Kâru, the great Muni, born in part of Nârâyana, is Thy husband. Father Kas’yapa has created Thee mentally by his power of Tapas and fire to preserve us; Thou art his mental creation; hence thy name is Manasâ. Thou Thyself hast become Siddha Yoginî in this world by thy mental power; hence thou art widely known as Manasâ Devî in this world and worshipped by all. The Devas always worship Thee mentally with devotion; hence the Pundits call Thee by the name of Manasâ. O Devî! Thou always servest Truth, hence Thou art of the nature of Truth. He certainly gets Thee who always thinks of Thee verily as of the nature of truth.” O Nârada! Thus praising his sister Manasâ and receiving from her the desired boon, Indra went back, dressed in his own proper dress, to his own abode. The Devî Manasâ, then, honored and worshipped everywhere, and thus worshipped by her brother, long lived in Her father’s house, with Her son.

One day Surabhi (the heavenly cow) came from the Goloka and bathed Manasâ with milk and worshipped Her with great devotion and revealed to Her all the Tattva Jñânas, to be kept very secret. (This is now made the current story wherever any Lingam suddenly becomes visible.) O Nârada! Thus worshipped by the Devas and Surabhi, the Devî Manasâ went to the Heavenly regions. O Muni! One gets no fear from snakes who recites this holy Stotra composed by Indra and worships Manasâ; his family descendants are freed from the fear due to snakes. If anybody becomes Siddha in this Stotra, poison becomes nectar to him. Reciting the stotra five lakhs of times makes a man Siddha in this Stotra. So much so that he can sleep on a bed of snakes and he can ride on snakes.

Here ends the Forty-eighth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the anecdote of Manasâ in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter XLIX

On the anecdote of Surabhi

1. Nârada said :– “O Bhagavân! Who was that Surabhi, who came down from the region of Goloka. I want to hear Her life. Kindly describe.”

2-23. Nârâyana spoke :– “O Devarsi! The Devî Surabhi sprang in the Goloka. She was the first in the creation of cows; and, from Her, all the other cows have come. She is the Presiding Deity of the cows. I will now speak Her history from the very beginning. Hear. Before, She appeared in the holy Vrindâban. One day the Lord of Râdhâ, surrounded by the Gopîs, was going gladly with Râdhâ to the Holy Vrindâvan. There he began to enjoy in a solitary place with great pleasure. He is All Will and suddenly a desire arose in His mind that He would drink milk. Then He created easily the Devî Surabhi, full of milk, with Her calf, from His own left side. The calf of Surabhi is nothing else but Her wish personified. Seeing Surabhi, S’rîdâma milked Her in a new earthen jar. The milk is more sweet than even the nectar and it prevents birth and death! The Lord of the Gopîs drank the milk. What milk dropped out of the jar, created a big tank! The tank measured one hundred Yojanas in length and in breadth and is known in Goloka by the name of Ksîrasâgara. The Gopîkas and Râdhâ play therein. At the will of S’rî Krisna, Whose Nature is All Will, that tank become full of excellent gems and jewels. Then, from every pore of Surabhi, there appeared suddenly one lakh koti Kâmadhenus (cows who yields according to one’s desires). So much so that every Gopa who used to live there in Goloka had one Kâmadhenu and each house had one such. Their calves again became so many that no limit can be put to them. Thus, by degrees, the whole universe was filled with cows. This is the origin of the Cow Creation. O Nârada! Surabhi was first worshipped by Bhagavân S’rî Krisna. Therefore She is so much honoured everywhere. On the day next the Divâlî night (new moon in the month of October), Surabhi was worshipped by the command of S’rî Krisna. This is heard from the mouth of Dharma Deva. O Child! Now hear the Dhyânam, Stotra, and the method of worship of Surabhi as mentioned in the Vedas. I will now speak on this. “Om Surabhyai namah,” is the principal six-lettered mantra of Surabhi. If anybody repeats this mantra one lakh times, he becomes Siddha in this mantra. This is like Kalpa Vriksa (a tree yielding all desires) to the devotees. The Dhyânam of Surabhi is mentioned in the Yajur Vedas. Success, prosperity, increase and freedom come as the result of worshipping Surabhi. The Dhyânam runs as follows :– “O Devî Surabhi! Thou art Laksmî, Thou art best, Thou art Râdhâ; Thou art the chief companion of S’rî Râdhâ, Thou art the first and the source of the cow-creation, Thou art holy and Thou sanctifiest the persons; Thou fufillest the desires of the devotees and Thou purifiest the whole universe. Therefore I meditate on Thee.” Reciting this Dhyânam, the Brâhmanas worship the Devî Surabhi in jars, on the heads of cows, or on the pegs where cows are fastened or on S’âlagrâma stone or in water or in fire. O Muni! He who worships with devotion on the next day morning after Divâlî night, becomes also worshipped in this world. Once a day in the Vârâhakalpa Surabhi did not yield milk, by the influence of Visnu Mâyâ. The Devas became very anxious. Then they went to the Brahmaloka and began to praise Brahmâ. At His advice, Indra began to chant hymns (Stotra) to Surabhi :–

24-33. The Devendra said :– “O World-Mother! O Devî! O Mahâ Devî! O Surabhi! Thou art the source of the cow creation. Obeisance to Thee! Thou art the dear companion of Râdhâ; Thou art the part of Kamalâ; Thou art dear to S’rî Krisna; Thou art the mother of cows, I bow down to Thee. Thou art like the Kalpa Vriksa (a tree yielding all desires), Thou art the Chief of all; Thou yieldest milk, wealth and prosperity and increase thereof. So I bow down to Thee. Thou art auspicious, Thou art good, Thou bestowest cows. Obeisance to Thee! Thou givest fame, name and Dharma. So I bow down to Thee.” O Nârada! Thus hearing the praise sung by Indra, the eternal Surabhi, the originator of the world, became very glad and appeared in the Brahmaloka. Granting boon to Mahendra, so very rare to others and desired by him, Subrabhi went to the Goloka. The Devas, also, went back to their own abodes. The whole world was now full of milk; clarified butter came out of the milk; and from clarified butter sacrifices began to be performed and the Devas were fed and they became pleased. O Child! He who recites this holy Stotra of Surabhi with devotion, gets cows, other wealth, name, fame and sons. The reciting of this Stotra qualifies one as if he had bathed in all the sacred places of pilgrimages and he had acquired the fruits of all the sacrifices. Enjoying happiness in this world, be goes in the end to the Temple of S’rî Krisna. There living long in the service of Krisna, he becomes able to be a son of Brahmâ.

Here ends the Forty-ninth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the anecdote of Surabhi in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Chapter L

On the Glory of S’akti

1-4. Nârada said :– “O Bhagavân! I have heard all the anecdotes of Prakriti, as according to the S’âstras, that lead to the freedom from birth and death in this world. Now I want to hear the very secret history of S’rî Râdhâ and Durgâ as described in the Vedas. Though you have told me about their glories, yet I am not satisfied. Verily, where is he whose heart does not melt away on hearing the glories of both of them! This world is originated from their parts and is being controlled by them. The devotion towards them frees one easily from the bonds of Samsâra (rounds of birth and death). O Muni! Kindly describe now about them.”

5-44. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! I am now describing the characters of Râdhâ and Durgâ, as described in the Vedas; listen. I did not describe to anybody this Secret which is the Essence of all essences and Higher than the highest. This is to be kept very secret. Hearing this, one ought not to divulge it to any other body. Râdhâ presides over the Prâna and Durgâ presides over the Buddhi. From these two, the Mûlaprakriti has originated this world. These two S’aktis guide the whole world. From the Mahâvirât to the small insect, all, moving or non-moving, are under the Mûlaprakriti. One must satisfy them. Unless these two be satisfied, Mukti cannot be obtained.

Therefore one ought to serve Mûla Prakriti for Her satisfaction. Now of the two in Mûla Prakriti, I will describe fully the Râdhâ Mantra. Listen. Brahmâ, Visnu, and others always worship this mantra. The principal mantra is “S’rî Râdhâyai Svâhâ.” By this six lettered mantra Dharma and other fruits all are obtained with ease. If to this six lettered Mûla mantra Hrîm be added, it yields gems and jewels as desired. So much so, if thousand koti mouths and one hundred koti tongues are obtained, the glory of this mantra cannot be described. When the incorporeal voice of Mûla Prakriti was heard in the Heavens, this mantra was obtained, first by Krisna in the Râsa Mandalam in the region of Goloka where all love sentiments are played. (The Vedas declare him as Raso vai Sah). From Krisna, Visnu got the Mantra; from Visnu, Brahmâ got; from Brahmâ

Virât got, from Virât, Dharma, and from Dharma I have got this Mantra. Repeating that Mantra, I am known by the name of Risi. Brahmâ and the other Devas meditate always on the Mûla Prakriti with greatest joy and ecstasy. Without the worship of Râdhâ, never can the worship of S’rî Krisna be done. So men, devoted to Visnu, should first of all worship Râdhâ by all means. Râdhâ is the Presiding Deity of the Prâna of S’rî Krisna. Hence S’rî Krisna is so much subject to Râdhâ. The Lady of the Râsa Mandalam remains always close to Him. Without Her S’rî Krisna could not live even for a moment. The name Râdhâ is derived from “Râdhnoti” or fulfills all desires. Hence Mûla Prakriti is termed Râdhâ. I am the Risi of all the mantras but the Durgâ Mantra mentioned in this Ninth Skandha. Gâyatrî is the chhanda (mantra) of those mantras and Râdhikâ is the Devatâ of them. Really, Nârâyana is the Risi of all the mantras; Gâyatrî is the chhanda; Prânava (om) is the Vîja (seed) and Bhuvanes’varî (the Directrix of the world) is the S’akti. First of all the principal mantra is to be repeated six times; then meditation of the great Devî Râdhikâ, the S’akti of the Risis is to be done, as mentioned in the Sâma Veda. The meditation of Râdhâ is as follows :– O Devî Radhike! Thy colour is like white Champaka flower; Thy face is like the autumnal Full Moon; Thy body shines with the splendour of ten million moons, Thy eyes look beautiful like autumnal lotus; Thy lips are red like Bimba fruits, Thy loins are very heavy and decked with the girdle (Kânchî) ornament; Thy face is always gracious with sweet smiles; Thy breasts defy the frontal globe of an elephant. Thou art ever youthful as if twelve years old; Thy body is adorned all over with ornaments! Thou art the waves of the ocean of S’ringâra (love sentiments.) Thou art ever ready to show Thy grace to the devotees; on Thy braid of hair garlands of Mallikâ and Mâlatî are shining; Thy body is like a creeping plant, very gentle and tender; Thou art seated in the middle of Râsa Mandalam as the Chief Directrix; Thy one hand is ready to grant boons and another hand expresses “Have no fear.” Thou art of a peaceful appearance; Thou art ever youthful; Thou art seated on a jewel throne; Thou art the foremost guide of the Gopîkâs; Thou art dearer to Krisna than even His life; O Parame’svarî! The Vedas reveal Thy nature. Meditating thus, one is to bathe the Devî on a S’âlagrâma stone, jar, yantra or the eight petalled lotus and then worship Her duly. First the Devî is to be invoked; then Pâdya and Âsana, etc., are to be offered, the principal Mantra being pronounced at every time an offering is given. After giving water for washing both the feet, Arghya is to be placed on the head and Âchamanîyam water to be offered three times on the face. Madhuparka (an oblation of honey, milk etc.) and a cow giving a good quantity of milk are next to be offered. Then the yantra is to be thought of as the bathing place where the Devî is to be bathed. Then Her body is to be wiped and a fresh cloth given for putting on. Sandalpaste and various other ornaments are next to be given. Various garlands of flowers with Tulasî Manjari (flower stalks) Pârijâta flower and Satapatra etc., then, are to be offered. Then within the eight petals, the family members of the Devî are to be thought of; worship is next to be offered in the right hand direction (with the hands of the watch). First of all, Mâlâvatî on the petal in front of (on the east) the Devî, then Mâdhavî on the southeast corner, then Ratnamâlâ on the south, Sus’îlâ on the south-west, Sas’ikalâ on the west, Pârijâta on the north-west, Parâvatî on the north and the benefactious Sundarî on the north-east corner are to be worshipped in order. Outside this, Brâhmî and the other Mâtrikâs are to be worshipped and on the Bhûpûras (the entrances of the yantra,) the Regents of the quarters, the Dikpâlas and the weapons of the Devî, thunderbolt, etc., are to be worshipped . Then all the attendant Deities of the Devî are to be worshipped with scents and various other articles. Thus finishing the worship, one should chant the Stotra (hymns) named Sahasra-nâma (thousand names) Stotra with care and devotion. O Nârada! The intelligent man who worships thus the Râses’varî Devî Râdhâ, becomes like Visnu and goes to the Goloka.

He who performs the birthday anniversary of S’rî Râdhâ on the Full-Moon day of the month of Kârtik, gets the blessings of S’rî Râdhâ who remains near to him. For some reason Râdhâ, the dweller in Goloka was born in Brindâban as the daughter of Vrisavânu. However, according to the number of letters of the mantras that are mentioned in this chapter, Purascharana is to be made and Homa, one-tenth of Purascharana, is to be then performed. The Homa is to be done with ghee, honey, and milk; the three sweet things mixed with Til and with devotion.

45. Nârada said :– “O Bhagavân; Now describe the Stotra (hymn) Mantra by which the Devî is pleased.”

46-100. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! Now I am saying the Râdhâ Stotra. Listen. O Thou, the Highest Deity, the Dweller in Râsa Mandalam! I bow down to Thee; O Thou, the Chief Directrix of the Râsa Mandalam; O Thou dearer to Krisna than His life even, I bow down to Thee. O Thou, the Mother of the three Lokas! O Thou the Ocean of mercy! Be pleased. Brahmâ, Visnu and the other Devas bow down before Thy lotus feet. Thou art Sarasvatî; Thou art Savitrî; Thou art S’ankarî; I bow down to Thee; Thou art Gangâ; Thou art Padmâvatî; Thou art Sasthî; Thou art Mangalâ Chandikâ; Thou art Manasâ; Thou art Tulasî; Thou art Durgâ; Thou art Bhagavatî; Thou art Laksmî; Thou art all, I bow down to Thee. Thou art the Mûla Prakriti; Thou art the Ocean of mercy. Obeisance to Thee! Be merciful to us and save us from this ocean of Samsâra (round of birth and death). O Nârada! Anybody who remembers Râdhâ and reads this Stotra three times a day does not feel the want of anything in this world. He will ultimately go to Goloka and remain in the Râsa Mandalam. O Child This great secret ought never to be given out to any. Now I am telling you the method of worship of the Durgâ Devî. Hear. When any one remembers Durgâ in this world, all his difficulties and troubles are removed. It is not seen that anybody does not remember Durgâ. She is the object of worship of all. She is the Mother of all and the Wonderful S’akti of Mahâdeva. She is the Presiding Deity of the intellect (Buddhi) of all and She controls the hearts of all and She removes the great difficulties and dangers of all. Therefore She is named Durgâ in the world. She is worshipped by all, whether a S’aiva or a Vaisnava. She is the Mûla Prakriti and from Her the creation, preservation and destruction of the universe proceed. O Nârada! Now I am saying the principal nine lettered Durgâ Mantra, the best of all the Mantras. “Aim Hrîm Klîm Châmundâyai Vichche” is the nine lettered Vîja mantra of S’rî Durgâ; it is like a Kalpa Vriksa yielding all desires. One should worship this mantra by all means. Brahmâ, Visnu, and Mahes’a are the Risis of this mantra; Gâyatrî, Usnik and Anusthubha are the chhandas; Mahâkâlî, Mahâ Laksmî and Sarasvatî are the Devatâs; Rakta Dantikâ, Durgâ, and Bhrâmarî are the Vîjas. Nandâ, Sâkambharî, and Bhîmâ are the S’aktis and Dharma (Virtue), Artha (wealth) and Kâma (desires), are the places of application (Viniyoga). Assign the head to the Risi of the mantra (Nyâsa); assign the chhandas to the mouth and assign the Devatâ to the heart. Then assign the S’akti to the right breast for the success and assign the Vîja to the left breast.

Then perform the Sadamga Nyâsa as follows :– Aim Hridayâya namah, Hrîm S’irase Svâhâ, Klîm S’ikhâyâm Vasat, Châmundâyai Kavachâya Hum, Vichche Netrâbhyâm Vausat, “Aim Hrîm Klîm Châmundâyai Vichche” Karatalaprisihâbhyâm Phat. Next say touching the corresponding parts of the body :– “Aim namah S’ikhâyâm, Hrîm Namah” on the right eye; “Klîm Namah” on the left eye, “Châm Namah” on the right ear, “Mum namah” on the left ear, ndam Namah” on the nostrils; “Vim Namah” on the face; “Chchem Namah” on the anus and finally “Aim Hrîm Klîm Châmundâyai Vichche” on the whole body. Then do the meditation (dhyân) thus :– “O Châmunde! Thou art holding in Thy ten hands ten weapons, viz., Khadga (axe), Chakra (disc), Gadâ (club), Vâna (arrows), Châpa (bow), Parigha, Sûla (spear), Bhûs’undî Kapâla, and Khadga. Thou art Mahâ Kâlî; Thou art three-eyed; Thou art decked with various ornaments. Thou shinest like Lilânjan (a kind of black pigment). Thou hast ten faces and ten feet. The Lotus born Brahmâ chanted hymns to Thee for the destruction of Madhu Kaitabha; I bow down to Thee.” Thus one should meditate on Mahâ Kâlî, of the nature of Kâmavîja (the source whence will comes). Then the Dhyânam of Mahâ Laksmî runs as follows :– O Mahâ Laksmî, the destroyer of Mahisâsura! Thou holdest the garland of Aksa (a kind of seed), Paras’u (a kind of axe), Gadâ (club), Isu (arrows), Kulis’a (the thunderbolt) Padmâ (Lotus), Dhanu (bow), Kundikâ (a student’s waterpot), Kamandalu, Danda (rod for punishment), S’akti (a kind of weapon), Asi (sword), Charma (shield) Padmâ (a kind of waterlily), Ghantâ (bell,) S’urâpâtra (a pot to hold liquor), S’ûla (pickaxe), Pâs’a (noose) and Sudarsana (a kind of weapon). Thy colour is of the Rising Sun. Thou art seated on the red Lotus. Thou art of the nature Mâyâvîja (the source whence female energy comes). So Obeisance to Thee! (The Vîja and the Devî are one and identical). Next comes the Dhyânam of Mahâ Sarasvatî as follows :– O Mahâ Sarasvatî! Thou holdest bell, pickaxe, plough (Hala), Conch shell, Musala (a kind of club), Sudars’ana, bow and arrows. Thy colour is like Kunda flower; Thou art the destroyer of S’umbha and the other Daityas; Thou art of the nature of Vânîvîja (the source whence knowledge, speech comes). Thy body is filled with everlasting existence, intelligence and bliss. Obeisance to Thee! O Nârada! Now I am going to say on the Yantra of Mahâ Sarasvatî. Listen. First draw a triangle. Draw inside the triangle eight petalled lotus having twenty-four leaves. Within this draw the house. Then on the Yantra thus drawn, or in the S’âlagrâma stone, or in the jar, or in image, or in the Vânalingam, or on the Sun, one should worship the Devî with oneness of heart. Then worship the Pîtha, the deities seated also on the dais, i.e., Jayâ, Vîjayâ, Ajitâ, Aghorâ, Mangalâ and other Pîtha S’aktis. Then worship the attendant deities called Âvarana Pûjâ :– Brahmâ with Sarasvatî on the east, Nârâyana with Laksmî on the Nairirit corner, S’ankara with Pârvatî on the Vâyu corner, the Lion on the north of the Devî, and Mahâsura on the left side of the Devî; finally worship Mahisa (buffalo). Next worship Nandajâ, Raktadantâ, S’akambharî, S’ivâ, Durgâ, Bhîmâ, and Bhrâmarî. Then on the eight petals worship Brahmâ, Mahes’varî, Kaumârî, Vaisnavî, Vârâhî, Nâra Simhî, Aindrî, and Châmundâ. Next commencing from the leaf in front of the Devî, worship on the twenty four leaves Visnu Mâyâ, Chetanâ, Buddhi, Nidrâ (sleep), hunger, shadow, S’akti, thirst, peace, species (Jâti), modesty, faith, fame, Laksmî (wealth), fortitude, Vriti, S’ruti, memory, mercy, Tusti, Pusti (nourishment), Bhrânti (error) and other Mâtrikâs. Next on the corners of the Bhûpura (gates of the Yantra), Ganes’a Ksettrapâlas, Vatuka and Yoginîs are to be worshipped. Then on the outside of that Indra and the other Devas furnished with weapons are to be worshipped as per the aforesaid rules. For the satisfaction of the World-Mother various nice offerings and articles like those given by the royal personages are to be presented to the Mother; then the mantra is to be repeated, understanding its exoteric and esoteric meanings. Then Saptas’ati stitra (Chandî pâtha) is to be repeated before the Devî. There is no other stotra like this in the three worlds. Thus Durgâ, the Deity of the Devas, is to be appeased every day. He who does this gets within his easy reach Dharma, Artha, Kâma, and Moksa, the four main objects of human pursuits (virtue, wealth, enjoyment and final beatitude). O Nârada! Thus I have described to you the method of worship of the Devî Durgâ. People get by this what they want. Hari, Brahmâ, and all the Devas, Manus, Munis, the Yogîs full of knowledge, the Âs’ramîs, and Laksmî and the other Devas all meditate on S’ivânî. One’s birth is attained with success at the remembrance of Durgâ. The fourteen Manus have got their Manuship and the Devas their own rights by meditating on the lotus feet of Durgâ. O Nârada! Thus I have described to you the very hidden histories of the Five Prakritis and their parts. Then, verily, the four objects of human pursuits Dharma, Artha, Kâma and Moksa are obtained by hearing this. He who has no sons gets sons, who has no learning gets learning and whoever wants anything gets that if he hears this. The Devî Jagaddhâtrî becomes certainly pleased with him who reads with his mind concentrated on this for nine nights before the Devî. The Devî becomes obedient to him who daily reads one chapter of this Ninth Skandha and the reader also does what is acceptable to the Devî. To ascertain before-hand what effects, merits or demerits, would accrue from reading this Bhâgavata, it is necessary by examining through the hands of a virgin girl or a Brâhmin child, the auspicious or inauspicious signs. First make a Sankalpa (resolve) and worship the book. Then bow down again and again to the Devî Durgâ. Then bring there a virgin girl, bathed well and worship her duly and have a golden pencil fixed duly in her hand and placed in the middle on the body. Then calculate the auspicious or inauspicious effects, as the case may be, from the curves made by that pencil. So the effects of reading this Bhâgavata would be. If the virgin girl be indifferent in fixing the pencil within the area drawn, know the result of reading the Bhâgavata would be similar. There is no doubt in this.

Here ends the Fiftieth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the Glory of S’akti in the Mahâpurânam S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

Here ends the Ninth Book.

Published on April 6, 2010 at 3:24 am  Comments Off on The Ninth Skandha  
%d bloggers like this: