Song of the Goddess
Excerpt from The Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam. Translated by Swami Vijńanananda.
THE SEVENTH BOOK
On the Birth of Pārvatī in the House of Himālayās
1-2. Janamejaya said :-- "O Muni! You told before that "the Highest Light took Her birth on the top of the Himālayās." Now describe to me in detail about this Highest Light. What intelligent man can desist from hearing these nectar-like words about the S'akti? The danger of death may come even to the Devas that drink nectars but no such danger can possibly come to those that drink the nectar of the Devī's glorious deeds.
3-43. Vyāsa said :-- "O King! You are blessed; you have attained what you are to attain in this life; you are taught by the high-souled men; you are fortunate since you are so sincerely devoted to the Devī. O King! Hear the ancient history :--Wherever the Deva of the Devas, the Mahes'vara rested while He was wandering all over the world in a distracted state, carrying the Satī's body that as burnt by fire, He spent his time there with his senses controlled, in Samādhi, forgetting all his knowledge of Samsāra in deep meditation of the form of the Devī. At this time, the three worlds, with their objects, moving and immoving, with their oceans, mountains and islands became void of prosperity and power. The hearts of all the embodied beings became dried up, without any trace of joy; they were all burdened with anxious thoughts and remained indifferent. All were merged in the ocean of sorrows and became diseased. Planets retrograded and the Devas had their states reversed. The Kings were attacked with a series of ills and misfortunes. Ādhibhantik and Ādhidaivik (from material causes and from divine interference). At this time a great Asura, named Tāraka, became unconquerable owing to his receiving a boon from Brahmā. Being intoxicated by his power and heroism, he conquered the three worlds and became the sovereign ruler.The Brahmā Prajāpati, gave him boon to this effect that the legitimate son of S'iva would be able to kill him. And as at that time S'iva had no son, the great Asura, elated with joy, became infatuated and carried off all victories. All the Devas were banished from their places by his oppression; they remained always anxious owing to the want felt by them of a son of S'iva. "S'ānkara has now no wife; how can He then have a son! We are very unfortunate; how can our work be accomplished? Thus oppressed with thoughts, all the Devas went to Vaikuntha and informed the Bhāgavan Visnu of all that had happened, in privacy. The Bhāgavan Visnu began to tell them the means, thus :-- "O Devas! Why are you all so anxious when the Auspicious Goddess of the Universe, the Dweller in the Mani Dvīpa, the Yielder of all desires like a Kalpa Vriksa is always wakeful for you. It is due to your faults that She is showing Her indifference; it is meant to teach us (not for our destruction but to show Her Infinite mercy). When a mother nourishes and frightens and reprimands a son, it is not that she has became merciless; so the World Mother, the Controller of the Universe, will never be merciless to you as regards your qualifications and defects. A son commits offence at every step who can bear that in these three worlds except the mother! So soon take refuge to the Highest Mother, the Goddess of the universe, with the sincerest devotion. She will certainly take action and help your cause. Thus ordering the Devas, Visnu with His consort Laksmī and the other Devas quickly went out to worship the Devī. Going to the Himālayās, they soon engaged themselves in doing the Puras'charana Karma (act of repeating the names of the Deity, attended with burnt oblations and offerings, etc.). O King! Those who were well versed with the performance of sacrifice to the Mother, began their sacrificial ceremonies and all began to hold vows, viz, Tritiyādi Vratānī. Some were engaged in incessantly meditating on the Devī; some began to repeat Her names constantly; some began to repeat the Devī Sūkta. Thus some devoted themselves to repeating names; others to repeating mantrams. Again some were engaged in performing severe (painful) Chāndrāyana and other Vratas. Some were doing Antarayāgas (inner sacrifices); some were doing Prānāgnihotra Yāgas; whereas others engaged themselves in Nyāsādi, etc. Again some began to worship the Highest S'aktī, the Goddess of the Universe, without any sleep or rest, by the seed mantra of Māyā. O King! Thus many years of the Devas passed away. When the ninth Tithī came in the month of Chaitra on Friday, the Highest Light of the Supreme Force suddenly appeared in front of them. That Light was equal to Koti lightnings, of a red colour, and cool like the Koti Moons. Again the lustre was like the Koti Suns. The four Vedas personified, were chanting hymns all round Her. That mass of fire was above, below, on all sides, in the middle; nowhere it was obstructed. It had no beginning, nor end. It was of the form of a female with hands and feet and all the limbs. The appearance was not that of a male nor that of an hermaphrodite. The Devas, dazzled by the brilliant lustre, first closed their eyes; but at the next moment, holding patience when they opened again their eyes, they found the Highest Light manifesting in the form of an exceedingly beautiful Divine Woman. Her youth was just blooming and Her rising breasts, plump and prominent, vying as it were, with a lotus bud, added to the beauty all around. Bracelets were on Her hands; armlets on Her four arms; necklace on Her neck; and the garland made of invaluable gems and jewels spread very bright lustre all around. Lovely ornaments on Her waist making tinkling sounds and beautiful anklets were on Her feet. The hairs of Her head, flowing between Her ears and cheek sparkled bright like the large black bees shining on the flower leaves of the blooming Ketakī flower. Her loins were nicely shaped and exquisitely lovely and the hairs on Her navel gave additional beauty. Her exquisitely lively lotus mouth rendered more lustrous and beautiful by the shining golden ear-ornaments, was filled with betel leaves mixed with camphor, etc.; on Her forehead there was the half crescent moon; Her eye-brows were extended and Her eyes looked bright and beautifully splendid like the red lotus; Her nose was elevated and Her lips very sweet. Her teeth were very beautiful like the opening buds of Kunda flowers; from Her neck was suspended a necklace of pearls; on Her head was the brilliant crown decked with diamonds and jewels; on Her ears, earrings were suspended like the lines on the Moon; Her hairs were ornamented with Mallikā and Mālatī flowers; Her forehead was pasted with Kāsmīra Kunkuma drops; and Her three eyes gave unparallelled lustre to Her face. On Her one hand there was the noose and on Her other hand there was the goad; her two other hands made signs granting boons and dispelling fears; Her body shed lustre like the flowers of a Dārima tree. Her wearing is a red coloured cloth. All these added great beauty. Thus the Devas saw before them the Mother Goddess, the Incarnate of unpretended mercy, with a face ready to offer Her Grace, the Mother of the Whole Universe, the Enchantress of all, sweet-smiling, saluted by all the Devas, yielding all desires, and wearing a dress, indicative of all lovely feelings. The Devas bowed at once they saw Her; but they could not speak with their voice as it was choked with tears. Then holding their patience, with much difficulty, they began to praise and chant hymns to the World Mother with their eyes filled with tears of love and devotion and with their heads bent low.
44-54. The Devas said :-- We bow down to Thee, the Devī and the Mahā Devī, always obeisance to Thee! Thou art the Prakriti, and the Auspicious One; we always salute to Thee. O Mother! Thou art of a fiery colour (residing as a Red Flame in the heart of a Yogī) and burning with Asceticism and Wisdom (shedding lustre all around). Thou art specially shining everywhere as the Pure Chaitanya; worshipped by the Devas and all the Jīvas for the rewards of their actions; We take refuge to Thee, the Durgā, the Devī, we bow down to Thee, that can well make others cross the ocean of Samsāra; so that Thou helpest us in crossing this terrible ocean of world. Mother! The Devas have created the words (i.e., the words conveying ideas are uttered by the five Vāyus, Prāna, etc., which are called the Devas) which are of the nature of Vis'varūpa, pervading everywhere, like the Kāma Dhenu (the Heavenly Cow yielding all desires, riches, honor, food, etc.), and by which the brutes (the gods) become egotistical. O Mother! Thou art that language to us; so Thou fulfillest our desires when we praise and chant hymns to Thee. O Devī! Thou art the Night of Destruction at the end of the world; Thou art worshipped by Brahmā; Thou art the Laksmi, the S'akti of Visnu; Thou art the Mother of Skanda; the S'aktī of S'iva; Thou art the S'aktī Sarasvatī of Brahmā. Thou art Aditi, the Mother of the gods and Thou art Satī, the daughter of Daksa. Thus Thou art purifying the worlds in various forms and giving peace to all. We bow down to Thee. We know Thee to be the great Mahā Laksmī; we meditate on Thee as of the nature of all the S'aktis as Bhaghavatī. O Mother! Illumine us so that we can meditate and know Thee. O Devī! Obeisance to Thee, the Virāt! Obeisance to Thee, the Sūtrātmā, the Hiranyagarbha; obeisance to Thee, the transformed into sixteen Vikritis (or transformations). Obeisance to Thee, of the nature of Brahma. We bow down with great devotion to Thee, the Goddess of the Universe, the Creatrix of Māyic Avidyā (the Nescience) under whose influence this world is mistaken as the rope as a garland is mistaken for a rope and again that mistake is corrected by whose Vidyā.
We bow down to Thee who art indicated by both the letters Tat and Tvam in the sentence Tat Tvamasi (Thou art That), Tat indicating the Chit (Intelligence) of the nature of oneness and Tvam indicating the nature of Akhanda Brahma (beyond the Annamaya, Prānamaya, Manomaya, Vijnānamaya and the Ānandamaya--the five Kos'as, the Witness of the three states of wakefulness, dream, and deep sleep states) and indicating Thee. O Mother! Thou art of the nature of Pranava Om; Thou art Hrīm; Thou art of the nature of various Mantras and Thou art merciful; we bow down again and again to Thy lotus Feet. When the Devas thus praised the Devī, the In-dweller of the Mani Dvīpa, the Bhagavatī spoke to them in a sweet cuckoo voice.
55. O Devas! What for have you come here? What do you want? I am always the Tree, yielding all desires to my Bhaktas; and I am ready to grant boons to them.
56-57. You are my devotees; why do you care, when I am on your side? I will rescue you from the ocean of troubles, O Devas! Know this as My true resolve. O King! Hearing these words of deep love, the Devas became very glad and gave out all their causes of troubles.
58-65. O Parames'varī! Thou art omniscient and witness of all these worlds. What is there in the three worlds that is not known to Thee! O Auspicious Mother! The Demon Tāraka is giving us troubles day and night. Brahmā has given him boon that he will be killed by the S'iva's son. O Mahes'varī! Satī, the wife of S'iva has cast aside Her body. It is known to Thee. What will the ignorant low people inform the one, Who is Omniscient? O Mother! We have described in brief all what we had to say. What more shall we say? Thou knowest all our other troubles and causes of sorrows. Bless us so that our devotion remains unflinched at Thy lotus feet; this is our earnest prayer. That Thou takest the body to have a son of S'iva is our fervent prayer to Thee. Hearing the Deva's words, Parames'varī, with a graceful countenance, spoke to them, thus :-- "My S'aktī will incarnate as Gaurī in the house of Himālayās; She will be the wife of S'iva and will beget a son that will destroy Tāraka Demon and will serve your purpose. And your devotion will remain steadfast at My Lotus feet. Himālayās, too, is worshipping Me with his wholehearted devotion; so to take birth in his house is to my greatest liking; know this.
66-73. Vyāsa said :-- "O King! Hearing the kind words of the Devī, the King of mountains was filled with love; and, with voice choked with feelings and with tears in his eyes spoke to the Goddess of the world, the Queen of the three worlds. Thou hast raised me much higher, that Thou dost me so great a favour; otherwise where am I inert, and unmoving and where art Thou, of the nature of Existence, Intelligence and Bliss! It manifests the Greatness of Thy Glory. O Sinless One! My becoming the father of Thee indicates nothing less than the merits earned by me for doing countless As'vamedha sacrifices or for my endless Samādhi. Oh! What a favour hast Thou shewn towards me! Henceforth my unparalleled fame will be spread throughout the whole Universe of five original elements that "The Upholder of the Universe, the World Mother has become the daughter of this Himālayās! This man is blessed and fortunate!" Who can be so fortunate, virtuous and merited as he whose daughter She has become, Whose belly contains millions of Brahmāndas! I cannot describe what pre-eminent heavens are intended for my Pitris, my family predecessors, wherein virtuous persons like myself are born. O Mother! O Parames'varī! Now describe to me Thy Real Self as exemplified in all the Vedāntas; and also Jńāna with Bhakti approved by the Vedas in the same way that Thou hast shown already this favour to me, so that by That Knowledge I will be able to realise Thy Self.
74. Vyāsa said :-- "O King! Thus hearing the praise of Himālayas, the Goddess of the Universe, with a graceful look, began to speak the very secret essences of the S'rutis.
Here ends the Thirty-first Chapter of the Seventh Book on the birth of Pārvatī in the House of Himālayās in the Mahāpurānam S'ri Mad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses, by Maharishi Veda Vyāsa.
On Self-realization, Spoken by the World Mother
1-50. The Devī said :-- "Hear, Ye Immortals! My words with attention, that I am now going to speak to you, hearing which will enable the Jīvas to realise My Essence. Before the creation, I, only I, existed; nothing else was existent then. My Real Self is known by the names Chit, Sambit (Intelligence), Para Brahma and others. My Ātman is beyond mind, beyond thought, beyond any name or mark, without any parallel, and beyond birth, death or any other change or transformation. My Self has one inherent power called Māyā. This Māyā is not existent, nor non-existent, nor can it be called both. This unspeakable substance Māyā always exists (till the final emancipation or Moksa).
Māyā can be destroyed by Brahma Jńāna; so it can not be called existent, again if Māyā does not exist, the practical world cannot exist. So it cannot be called non-existent. Of course it cannot be called both, for it would involve contradictions. This Māyā (without beginning but with end at the time of Moksa) naturally arises as heat comes out of fire, as the rays come out of the Sun and as the cooling rays come out of the Moon. Just as all the Karmas of the Jīvas dissolve in deep sleep (S'usupti), so at the time of Pralaya or the General Dissolution, the Karmas of the Jīvas, the Jīvas and Time all become merged, in one uniform mass in this great Māyā. United with My S'aktī, I am the Cause of this world; this S'aktī has this defect that it has the power of hiding Me, its Originator.
I am Nirguna. And when I am united with my S'aktī, Māyā, I become Saguna, the Great Cause of this world. This Māyā is divided into two, Vidyā and Avidyā. Avidyā Māyā hides Me; whereas Vidyā Māyā does not. Avidyā creates whereas Vidyā Māyā liberates.
Māyā united with Chaitanya (Intelligence), i.e., Chidābhāsa is the efficient cause of this Universe; whereas Māyā reduced to and united with five original elements is the material Cause of the Universe. Some call this Māyā tapas; some call Her inert, material; some call Her knowledge; some call Her Māyā, Pradhāna, Prakriti, Ajā (unborn) and some others call Her S'aktī. The S'aiva authors call Her Vimars'a and the other Vedāntists call Her Avidyā; in short, this Māyā is in the heads of all the Pundits. This Māyā is called various in the Nigamas. That which is seen is inert; for this reason Māyā is Jada (inert) and as the knowledge it conveys is destroyed, it is false. Chaitanya (Intelligence) is not seen; if It were seen, it would have been Jada. Chaitanya is self-luminous; not illumined by any other source. Were It so, Its Enlightener would have to be illumined by some other thing and so the fallacy of Anavasthā creeps in (an endless series of causes and effects). Again one thing cannot be the actor and the thing acted upon (being contrary to each other); so Chaitanya cannot be illumined by itself. So It is Self-luminous; and it illumines Sun, Moon, etc., as a lamp is self-luminous and illumines other objects. So, O Mountain! This My Intelligence is established as eternal and everlasting. The waking, dreaming and deep sleep states do not remain constant but the sense of "I" remains the same, whether in waking, dreaming or deep sleep state; its anomaly is never felt. (The Bauddhas say that) The sense of intelligence, Jńāna, is also not felt; there is the absence of it; so what is existent is also temporarily existent. But (it can then be argued that) then the Witness by which that absence is sensed, that Intelligence, in the shape of the Witness, is eternal. So the Pundits of all the reasonable S'āstras declare that Samvit (Intelligence) is Eternal and it is Blissful the fountain of all love. Never the Jīvas or embodied souls feel "I am not"; but "I am" this feeling is deeply established in the soul as Love. Thus it is clearly evident that I am quite separate from anything else which are all false. Also I am one continuous (no interval or separation existing within Me). Again Jńāna is not the Dharma (the natural quality) of Ātman but it is of the very nature of Ātman. If Jńāna were the Dharma of Ātman, then Jńāna would have been material; so Jńāna is immaterial. If (for argument's sake) Jńāna be denominated as material, that cannot be. For Jńāna is of the nature of Intelligence and Ātman is of the the nature of Intelligence. Intelligence has not the attribute of being Dharma. Here the thing Chit is not different from its quality (Chit). So Ātman is always of the nature of Jńāna and happiness; Its nature is Truth; It is always Full, unattached and void of duality. This Ātman again, united with Māyā, composed of desires and Karmas, wants to create, due to the want of discrimination, the twenty-four tattvas, according to the previous Samskāras (tendencies), time and Karma. O Mountain! The re-awakening after Pralaya Susupti is not done with Buddhi (for then Buddhi is not at all manifested). So this creation is said to be effected without any Buddhi (proper intelligence). O Chief of the Immovables! The Tattva (Reality) that I have spoken to you is most excellent and it is my Extraordinary Form merely. In the Vedas it is known as Avyākrita (unmodified), Avyakta (unmanifested) Māyā S'abala (divided into various parts) and so forth. In all the S'āstras, it is stated to be the Cause of all causes, the Primeval Tattva and Sachchidānanda Vigraha. Where all the Karmas are solidified and where Ichchā S'aktī (will), Jńāna S'aktī (intelligence) and Kriyā S'aktī (action) all are melted in one, that is called the Mantra Hrīm, that is the first Tattva. From this comes out Ākāsa, having the property of sound, thence Vāyu (air) with "touch" property; then fire with form, then water having "Rasa" property; and lastly the earth having the quality "smell". The Pundits say that the "sound" is the only quality of Ākāsa; air has two qualities viz., sound and touch, fire has three qualities sound, touch, form; water has four qualities sound, touch, form, taste; and the earth has five qualities sound, touch, form, taste and smell. Out of these five original elements, the all-pervading, Sūtra (string or thread) arose. This Sūtrātman (soul) is called the "Linga Deha", comprising within itself all the Prānas; this is the subtle body of the Paramātman. And what is said in the previous lines as Avyakta or Unmanifested and in which the Seed of the World is involved and whence the Linga Deha has sprung, that is called the Causal body (Kārana body) of the Paramātman. The five original elements (Apańchikrita called the five Tan Mātrās) being created, next by the Pańchīkarana process, the gross elements are created. The process is now being stated :-- O Girijā! Each of the five original elements is divided into two parts; one part of each of which is subdivided into four parts. This fourth part of each is united with the half of four other elements different from it and thus each gross element is formed. By these five gross elements, the Cosmic (Virāt) body is formed and this is called the Gross Body of the God. Jńānendriyas (the organs of knowledge) arise from Sattva Gunas of each of these five elements. Again the Sattva Gunas of each of the Jńānendriyas united become the Antah Karanāni. This Antah Karana is of four kinds, according as its functions vary. When it is engaged in forming Sankalpas, resolves, and Vikalpas (doubts) it is called "mind". When it is free from doubts and when it arrives at the decisive conclusion, it is called "Chitta"; and when it rests simply on itself in the shape of the feeling "I", it is called Ahamkāra. From the Rajo Guna of each of the five elements arises Vāk (speech), Pāni (hands) Pāda (feet), Pāyu (Anus) and Upastha (organs of generation). Again their Rajo parts united give rise to the five Prānas (Prāna, Apāna, Samāna, Udāna and Vyāna) the Prāna Vayu resides in the heart; Apāna Vayu in the Arms; Samāna Vayu resides in the Navel; Udāna Vayu resides in the Throat; and the Vyāna Vāyu resides, pervading all over the body. My subtle body (Linga Deha) arises from the union of the five Jńānendriyas, the five Karmendriyas (organs of action), the five Pranas and the mind and Buddhi, these seventeen elements. And the Prakriti that resides there is divided into two parts; one is pure (Suddha Sattva) Māyā and the other is the impure Māyā or Avidyā united with the Gunas. By Māyā is meant She, who, without concealing Her refugees, protects them. When the Supreme Self is reflected on this S'uddha Sattva, Māyā, He is called Īs'vara. This Suddha Māyā does not conceal Brahma, its receptacle; therefore She knows the All-pervading Brahma and She is omniscient, omnipotent, the Lady of all and confers favors and blessings on all. When the Supreme Self is reflected on the Impure Māyā or Avidyā, He is called Jīva. This Avidyā conceals Brahma, Whose nature is Happiness; therefore this Jīva is the source of all miseries. Both Īs'vara and Jīva have, by the influence of Vidyā and Avidyā three bodies and three names. When the Jīva lives in his causal body, he is named Prājńa; when he lives in subtle body he is known as Taijasa; while he has the gross body, he is called Vis'va. So when Īs'vara is in His causal body, he is denominated Īs'a; when He is in His subtle body, he is known as Sūtra; and when He is in His gross body, He is known as Virāt.
The Jīva glories in having three (as above-mentioned) kinds of differentiated bodies and Īs'vara glories in having three (as above-mentioned) kinds of cosmic bodies. Thus Īs'vara is the Lord of all and though He feels Himself always happy and satisfied, yet to favour the Jīvas and to give them liberation (Moksa) He has created various sorts of worldly things for their Bhogas (enjoyments). This Īs'vara creates all the Universe, impelled by My Brahma S'aktī. I am of the nature of Brahma; and Īs'vara is conceived in Me as a snake is imagined in a rope. Therefore Īs'vara has to remain dependent on My S'akti.
Here ends the Thirty-second Chapter of the Seventh Book on Self-realization, spoken by the World Mother in the Mahāpurānam S'rī Mad Devī Bhāgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyāsa.
On the Devīs Virat Rūpa
1-19. The Devī said :-- "O Girirāja! This whole universe, moving and unmoving, is created by My Māyā S'aktī. This Māyā is conceived in Me. It is not, in reality, different or separate from Me. So I am the only Chit, Intelligence. There is no other intelligence than Me. Viewed practically, it is known variously as Māyā, Vidyā; but viewed really from the point of Brahman, there is no such thing as Māyā; only one Brahman exists, I am that Brahma, of the nature of Intelligence.
I create this whole world on this Unchangeable Eternal (Mountain-like) Brahma, (composed of Avidyā, Karma, and various Samskāras) and enter first as Prāna (vital breath) within it in the form of Chidābhāsa.
O Mountain! Unless I enter as Breath, how can this birth and death and leaving and retaking bodies after bodies be accounted for! As one great Ākās'ā is denominated variously Ghatākās'a (Ākās'ā in the air), Patākās'a (Ākās'ā in cloth or picture), so I too appear variously by acknowledging this Prāna in various places due to Avidyā and various Antahkaranas. As the Sun's rays are never defiled when they illumine various objects on earth, so I, too, am not defiled in entering thus into various high and low Antahkaranas (hearts). The ignorant people attach Buddhi and other things of activity on Me and say that Ātman is the Doer; the intelligent people do not say that. I remain as the Witness in the hearts of all men, not as the Doer.
O Achalendra! There are many Jīvas and many Īs'varas due to the varieties in Avidyā and Vidyā. Really it is Māyā that differentiates into men, beasts and various other Jīvas; and it is Māyā that differentiates into Brahma, Visnu and other Īs'varas. As the one pervading sky (Ākās'a) is called Mahākās'a Ghatākas'a (being enclosed by jars), so the One All-pervading Paramātmā is called Paramātmā Jīvātmā (being enclosed within Jīvas). As the Jīvas are conceived many by Māyā, not in reality; so Īs'varas also are conceived many by Māyā; not in essence.
O Mountain! This Avidyā and nothing else, is the cause of the difference in Jīvas, by creating differences in their bodies, indriyas (organs) and minds. Again, due to the varieties in the three Gunas and their wants (due to the differences between Sāttvik, Rājasik and Tāmasik desires), Māyā also appears various. And their differences are the causes of different Īs'varas, Brahma, Visnu and others.
O Mountain! This whole world is interwoven in Me; It is I that am the Īs'vara that resides in causal bodies; I am the Sutrātman, Hiranyagarbha that resides in subtle bodies and it is I that am the Virāt, residing in the gross bodies. I am Brahmā, Visnu, and Mahes'vara; I am the Brāhmi, Vaisnavi and Raudrī S'aktis. I am the Sun, I am the Moon, I am the Stars; I am beast, birds, Chandālas and I am the Thief, I am the cruel hunter; I am the virtuous high-souled persons and I am the female, male, and hermaphrodite. There is no doubt in this.
O Mountain! Wherever there is anything, seen or heard, I always exist there, within and without, There is nothing moving or unmoving, that can exist without Me. If there be such, that is like the son of a barren woman. Just as one rope is mistaken for a snake or a garland, so I am the One Brahma and appears as Īs'vara, etc. There is no doubt in this. This world cannot appear without a substratum. And That Substratum is My Existence. There can be nothing else.
20. The Himālayās said :-- "O Devī! If Thou art merciful on me, I desire, then, to see Thy Virāt form in the Fourth Dimensional Space.
This sight is developed when the mind resides in the heart centre or in the centre of the eye-brows. A proper teacher is necessary.
21-41. Vyāsa said :-- "O King! Hearing the words of Girirāja, Visnu and all the other Devas gladly seconded him. Then the Devī, the Goddess of the Universe, knowing the desires of the Devas, showed Her Own Form that fulfils the desires of the Bhaktas, that is auspicious and that is like the Kalpa Vriksa towards the Bhaktas. They saw Her Highest Virāt Form. The Satyaloka is situated on the topmost part and is Her head; the Sun and Moon are Her eyes; the quarters, Her ears; the Vedas are Her words; the Universe is Her heart; the earth is Her loins; the Bhuvarloka is Her navel; the asterisms are Her Thighs; the Maharloka is Her neck; the Janarloka is Her Face; the Taparloka is Her head, situated below the Satyaloka; Indra and the Devas and the Svarloka is Her arms; the sound is the organ of Her ears; the As'vin twins, Her nose; the smell is the organ of smell; the fire is within Her face; day and night are like Her two wings. The four-faced Brahmā is Her eyebrows; water is Her palate; the juice thereof is Her organ of taste; Yama, the God of Death, is Her large teeth; the affection is Her small teeth; Māyā is Her smile; the creation of Universe is Her sidelooks; modesty is Her upper lip; covetousness is Her lower lip; unrighteousness is Her back. The Prajāpati is Her organ of generation; the oceans are Her bowels; the mountains are Her bones; the rivers are Her veins; and the trees are the hairs of Her body. O King! Youth, virginity, and old age are Her best gaits, positions or ways (courses) paths, the clouds are Her handsome hairs; the two twilights are Her clothings; the Moon is the mind of the Mother of the Universe; Hari is Her Vijnāna S'ākti (the knowledge power); and Rudra is Her all-destroying power. The horses and other animals are Her loins; the lower regions Atala, etc., are Her lower regions from Her hip to Her feet. The Devas began to behold Her this Cosmic (Virāta) appearance with eyes, wide awake, with wonder. Thousands of fiery rays emitted from Her form; She began to lick the whole universe with Her lips; the two rows of teeth began to make horrible sounds; fires came out from Her eyes; various weapons were seen in Her hands; and the Brāhmanas and Ksattriyas are become the food of that Awful Deity. Thousands of heads, eyes and feet were seen in that form. Crores of Suns, crores of lightings flashes, mingled there. Horrible, Awful, That appearance looked terrific to the eyes, heart and mind. The Devas thus beheld and began to utter cries of horror and consternation; their hearts trembled and they were caught with immoveable senselessness. "Here is the Devī, our Mother and Preserver." This idea vanished away at once from their minds.
At this moment the Vedas that were on the four sides of the Devī, removed the swoon of the Devas and made them conscious. The Immortals got, then, the excellent Vedas; and, having patience, began to praise and chant hymns in words choked with feelings and with tears flowing from their eyes.
42-53. The Devas said :-- "O Mother! Forgive our faults. Protect us, the miserable, that are born of Thee. O Protectress of the Devas! Withhold Thy anger; we are very much terrified at the sight of Thy this form. "O Devī! We are inferior immortals; what prayers can we offer to Thee! Thou Thyself canst not measure Thy powers; how then can we, who are born later, know of Thy greatness! Obeisance to Thee, the Lady of the Universe! Obeisance to Thee of the nature of the Pranava Om; Thou art the One that is proved in all the Vedāntas. Obeisance to Thee, of the form of Hrīm! Obeisance to Thee, the Self of all, whence has originated the Fire, the Sun, and the Moon and whence have sprung all the medicinal plants. Obeisance to the Devī, the Cosmic Deity, the Self in all whence have sprung all the Devas, Sādhyas, the beasts, birds, and men! We bow down again and again to the Great Form, Māhā Māyā, the Self of all, whence have sprung the vital breath Prana, Apāna, grains and wheats, and Who is the source of asceticism, faith, truth, continence and the rules what to do and what not to do under the present circumstances. The seven Prānas, the seven Lokas, the seven Flames, the seven Samidhs, the seven Oblations to Fire, have sprung from Thee! Obeisance to Thee, the Great Self in all! Obeisance to the Universal form of the Deity of the Universe whence have sprung all the oceans, all the mountains, all the rivers, all the medicinal plants and all the Rasas (the tastes of all things). We bow down to that Virāt Form, the Great Self, the Mahā Māyā, whence have originated the sacrifices, the sacrifical post (to which the victim about to be immolated is bound) and Daksinās (the sacrificial fees) and the Rik, the Yajus, and the Sāma Vedas. O Mother! O Mahā Māyā! We bow down to Thy front, to Thy back, to Thy both the sides, to Thy top, to Thy bottom and on all sides of Thee. O Devī! Be kind enough to withhold this Extraordinary Terrific Form of Thine, and shew us Thy Beautiful Lovely Form.
54-56. Vyāsa said :-- "O King! The World Mother, the Ocean of mercy, seeing the Devas terrified, withheld Her Fearful Cosmic Form and showed Her very beautiful appearance, pleasing to the whole world. Her body became soft and gentle. In one hand She held the noose, and in another She held the goad. The two other hands made signs to dispel all their fears and ready to grant the boons. Her eyes emitted rays of kindness; Her face was adorned with beautiful smiles. The Devas became glad at this and bowed down to Her in a peaceful mind and then spoke with great joy.
Here ends the Thirty-third Chapter of the Seventh Book on the Devī's Virāt Rūpa in the Mahā Parānam, Sri Mad Devī Bhāgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyāsa.
On the Knowledge and Final Emancipation
1-22. The Devī said :-- "O Devas! You are not at all worthy to see this My Wonderful Cosmic Form. Where are Ye! and where is this My Form! But it is my affection towards the Bhaktas that I have shown to you all this great form of mine. Nobody can see this form without My Grace; the study of the Vedas, the Yoga, the gift, the Sacrifice, the austerities or any other Sādhanas are quite incompetent to make this form visible to anybody. O King of mountains! Now hear the real instructions. The Great Self is the only Supreme Thing in this world of Māyā (Illusions). He it is that under the various Upādhis of an actor and enjoyer performs various functions leading to the Dharma (righteousness) and the Adharma (unrighteous). Then he goes into various wombs and enjoys pleasure or pain according to his Karma. Then again owing to the tendencies pertaining to these births he becomes engaged in various functions and gets again various bodies and enjoys varieties of pleasures and pains. O Best of Mountains! There is no cessation of these births and deaths; it is like a regular clockwork machine; it has no beginning and it goes on working to an endless period. Ignorance or Avidyā is the Cause of this Samsāra. Desire comes out of this and action flows thence. So men ought to try their best to get rid of this Ignorance. O King of Mountains! What more to say than this that the Goal of life is attained when this Ignorance is destroyed. The highest goal is attained by a Jīva, when he becomes liberated, while living . And Vidyā is the only thing that is able and skilful in destroying this Ignorance. (As darkness cannot dispel darkness, so) the Karma done out of Ignorance is Ignorance itself; and such a work cannot destroy Ignorance. So it is not proper to expect that this Avidyā can be destroyed by doing works. The works are entirely futile. The Jīvas want again and again the sensual enjoyments out of this Karma. Attachment arises out of this desire; discrepancies creep in and out of this ignorant attachment great calamities befall when such faults or discrepancies are committed. So every sane man ought to make his best effort to get this Jńānam (knowledge). And as it is also enjoined in the S'rutis that one ought to do actions (and try to live one hundred years) so it is advisable to do works also. Again the S'rutis declare that the "final liberation comes from Knowledge" so one ought to acquire Jńānam. If both these be collectively followed, then works become beneficial and helping to Jńānam. (Therefore the Jīvas should take up both of these) Others say that this is impossible owing to their contradictory natures. The knots of heart are let loose by Jńānam and the knots are knit more by Karma. So how can they be reconciled? They are so very diametrically opposite. Darkness and light cannot be brought together, so Jńānam and Karma cannot be brought together. Therefore one ought to do all the Karmas as best as one can, as enjoined in the Vedas, until one gets Chittas'uddhi (the purification of one's heart and mind). Karmas are to be done until S'ama (the control of the inner organs of senses), Dama (the control of the outer organs of senses), Titiksā (the power to endure heat and cold and other dualities), Vairāgyam (Dispassion), Sattva Sambhava (the birth of pure Sattva Guna in one's own heart) take place. After these, the Karmas cease for that man. Then one ought to take Sannyāsa from a Guru (Spiritual Teacher) who has got his senses under control, who is versed in the S'rutis, attached to Brahma (practising the Yogic union with Brahma). He should approach to him with an unfeigned Bhakti. He should day and night, without any laziness, do S'ravanam, Mananam, and Nididhyāsanam (hearing, thinking and deeply realizing) the Vedānta sayings. He should constantly ponder over the meanings of the Mahāvākyam "Tat Tvam Asi." "Tat Tvam Asi" means Thou art That; it asserts the identity of the Supreme Self (Brahma) and Embodied Self (Jīvātmā). When this identity is realized, fearlessness comes and he then gets My nature. First of all, he should try to realize (by reasoning) the idea conveyed by that sentence. By the word "Tat" is meant Myself, of the nature of Brahman; and by the word "Tvam" is meant "Jīva" embodied self and the word "Asi" indicates, no doubt, the identity of these two. The two words "Tat" and "Tvam" cannot be apparently identified, as they seem to convey contradictory meanings ("Tat" implying omniscience, omnipresence, and other universal qualities and "Tvam" implying non-omniscience and other qualities of a limited nature). So to establish the identity between the two, one ought to adopt Bhāgalaksanā and Tyāgalaksanā. [N. B.Bhāgalaksanā -- kind of Laksanā or secondary use of a word by which it partly loses and partly retains its primary meaning also called Jahadajahallaksanā. Tyāga Laksanā -- a secondary use of a word by which it loses partly its primary meaning.]
23-40. The Supreme Self is Brahma -- Consciousness, endowed with the omniscience, etc., and the Embodied Self is Limited Jīva Consciousness, etc. Leaving aside their both the adjuncts, we take the Consciousness, when both of them are identical and we come to Brahma, without a second. The example is now quoted to illustrate what is called Bhāgalaksanā and Tyāgalaksanā. "This is that Devadatta" means Devadatta seen before and Devadatta seen now means one and the same person, if we leave aside the time past and the time present take the body of Devadatta only. This gross body arises from the Panchīkrita gross elements. It is the receptacle of enjoying the fruits of its Karma and liable to disease and old age. This body is all Māyā; therefore it has certainly no real existence. O Lord of Mountains! Know this to be the gross Upādhi (limitation) of My real Self. The five Jńanendriyas (organs of senses), five Karmendriyas (working organs), the Prāna Vāyus, mind and Buddhi (rational intellect), in all, these seventeen go to form the subtle body, Sūksma Deha. So the Pundits say. This body of the Supreme Self is caused by the Apanchīkrita five original elements. Through this body, pain and pleasure are felt in the heart. This is the second Upādhi of the Ātman. The Ajńāna or Primeval Ignorance, without beginning and indescribable, is the third body of the Ātman. Know this also to be my third Upādhi. When all these Upādhis subside, only the Supreme Self, the Brahman remains. Within these three gross and subtle bodies, the five sheaths, Annamaya, Prānamaya, Manomaya, Vijńānamaya, and Ānandamaya always exist. When these are renounced, Brahmapuchcha is obtained. That is Brahma and My Nature, too. This is the Goal of "Not this, Not this" the Vedānta words. This Self is not born nor It dies. It does not live also, being born. (But it remains constant, though It is not born). This Self is unborn, eternal, everlasting, ancient. It is not killed, when the body is killed. If one wants to kill it or thinks It as slain, both of them do not know; this does not kill nor is it killed. This Ātman, subtler than the subtlest, and greater than the greatest, resides within the cave (the Buddhi) of the Jīvas. He whose heart is purified and who is free from Sankalpa and Vikalpa (doubt and mental phenomena), knows It and Its glory and is free from sorrows and troubles. Know this Ātman and Buddhi as the charioteer, this body as the chariot, and the mind as the reins. The senses and their organs are the horses and the objects of enjoyments are their aims. The sages declare that the Ātman united with mind and organs of senses enjoys the objects. He who is non-discriminating, unmindful, and always impure, does not realize his Ātman; rather he is bound in this world. He who is discriminating, mindful, and always pure reaches the Goal, realizes the Highest Self; and he is not fallen again from That. That man becomes able to cross the Ocean of Samsāra and gets My Highest Abode, of the nature of everlasting Existence, Intelligence and Bliss, whose charioteer is Discrimination, and who keeps his senses under control by keeping tight the reins of his mind. Thus one should always meditate intensely on Me to realise the nature of Self by S'ravanam (hearing), Mananam thinking and realizing one's own self by one's Self (pure heart).
41-44. When by the constant practice, as mentioned above, one's heart is fit for Samādhi (being absorbed in the Spirit), just before that, he should understand the meanings of the separate letters in the seed Mantra of Mahāmāyā. The letter "Ha" means gross body and the letter "Ra" means subtle body and the letter "Ī" means the causal body; the "M" (dot over the semicircle) is the fourth "Turīya" state of Mine. Thus meditating on the separate differentiated states, the intelligent man should meditate on the aforesaid three Vījas in the Cosmic body also and he should then try to establish the identity between the two. Before entering into Samādhi, after very carefully thinking the above, one should close one's eyes and meditate on Me, the Supreme Deity of the Universe, the Luminous and Self-Effulgent Brahmā.
45-50. O Chief of Mountains! Putting a stop to all worldly desires, free from jealousy and other evils, he should (by constant practice of Prānāyāma) make equal according to the rules of Prānāyāma, the Prāna (the inhaled breath) and Apāna (the exhaled breath) Vāyūs and with an unfeigned devotion get the gross body (Vais'vānara) indicated by the letter "Ha" dissolved in the subtle body Taijasa. The Taijasa body, the letter "Ra" is in a cave where there is no noise (in the Susumnā cave). After that he should dissolve the Taijasa, "Ra" into the Causal body "Ī". He should then dissolve the Causal body, the Prājńa "Ī" into the Turīya state Hrīm. Then he should go into a region where there is no speech or the thing spoken, which is absolutely free from dualities, that Akhanda Sachchidānanda and meditate on that Highest Self in the midst of the Fiery Flame of Consciousness. O King of Mountains! Thus men by the meditation mentioned above, should realise the identity between the Jīva and Brahma and see Me and get My Nature. O Lord of Mountains! Thus the firmly resolved intelligent man, by the practice of this Yoga sees and realises the nature of My Highest Self and destroys immediately the Ignorance and all the actions thereof.
Here ends the Thirty-fourth Chapter of the Seventh Book on the Knowledge, Final Emancipation in the Mahā Purānam, S'rī Mad Devī Bhāgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyāsa.
On the Yoga and Mantra Siddhi
1. Himālayā said :-- "O Mahes'varī! Now tell me the Yoga with all its Amgas (limbs) giving the knowledge of the Supreme Consciousness so that, I may realize my Self, when I practice according to those instructions.
2-10. S'rī Devī said :-- "The Yoga does not exist in the Heavens; nor does it exist on earth or in the nether regions (Pātāla). Those who are skilled in the Yogas say that the realization of the identity between the Jivātma and the Paramātmā is "Yoga". O Sinless One! The enemies to this Yoga are six; and they are lust, anger, greed, ignorance, vanity and jealousy. The Yogis attain the Yoga when they become able to destroy these six enemies by practicing the accompaniments to Yoga. Yama, Niyama, Āsana, Prānāyāma, Pratyāhāra, Dhāranā, Dhyāna, and Samādhi, these are the eight limbs of Yoga. Yama includes Ahimsā (non-injuring; non- killing); truthfulness; Asteyam (non-stealing by mind or deed); Brahmacharya (continence); Dayā (mercy to all beings); Uprightness; forgiveness, steadiness; eating frugally, restrictedly and cleanliness (external and internal). These are ten in number. Niyama includes also ten qualities :-- (1) Tapasyā (austerities and penances); (2) contentment; (3) Āstikya (faith in the God and the Vedas, Devas, Dharma and Adharma); (4) Charity (in good causes); worship of God; hearing the Siddhāntas (established sayings) of the Vedas; Hrī or modesty (not to do any irreligious or blameable acts); S'raddhā (faith to go do good works that are sanctioned); (9) Japam (uttering silently the mantrams, Gāyatrīs or sayings of Purānas) and (10) Homam (offering oblations daily to the Sacred Fire). There are five kinds of Asanas (Postures) that are commendable: Padmāsan, Svastikāsan, Bhadrāsan, Vajrāsan and Vīrāsan. Padmāsan consists in crossing the legs and placing the feet on the opposite thighs (the right foot on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh) and catching by the right hand brought round the back, the toes of the right foot and catching by the left hand brought round the back the toes of the left foot; sitting then straight and with ease. This is recommended by the Yogis (and by this one can raise oneself in the air).
N. B. -- The hands, according to some, need not be carried round the back; both the hands are crossed and placed similarly on the thighs.
11-20. Place the soles of the feet completely under the thighs, keep the body straight, and sit at ease. This is called the Svastikāsan. Bhadrāsan consists in placing well the two heels on the two sides of the two nerves of the testicle, near the anus and catching by the two hands the two heels at the lower part of the testicles and then sitting at ease. This is very much liked by the Yogis. Vajrāsan (diamond seat) consists in placing the feet on the two thighs respectively and placing the fingers below the thighs with the hands also there, and then sitting at ease. Vīrasan consists in sitting cross on the hams in placing the right foot under the right thigh and the left foot under the left thigh and sitting at ease with body straight.
Taking in the breath by the Idā (the left nostril) so long as we count "Om" sixteen times, retaining it in the Susumnā so long as we count "Om" sixty-four times and then exhaling it slowly by the Pingalā nādi (the right nostril) as long as we count "Om" thirty-two times. (The first process is called Pūraka, the second is called Kumbhaka, and the third is called Rechaka). This is called one Prānāyāma by those versed in the Yogas. Thus one should go on again and again with his Prānāyāma. At the very beginning, try with the number twelve, i.e., as we count "Om" twelve times and then increase the number gradually to sixteen and so on. Prānāyāma is of two kinds :-- Sagarbha and Vigarbha. It is called Sagarbha when Prānāyāma is performed with repeating the Ista Mantra and Japam and meditation. It is called Vigarbha Prānāyāma when "Om" is simply counted and no other Mantram. When this Prānāyāma is practised repeatedly, perspiration comes first when it is called of the lowest order; when the body begins to tremble, it is called middling; and when one rises up in the air, leaving the ground, it is called the best Prānāyāma. (Therefore one who practices Prānāyāma ought to continue it till he becomes able to rise in the air).
21-30. Now comes Pratyāhāra. The senses travel spontaneously towards their objects, as if they are without anyone to check. To curb them perforce and to make them turn backwards from those objects is called "Pratyāhāra". To hold the Prāna Vāyu on toes, heels, knees, thighs, sacrum - genital organs, navel, heart, neck - throat, the soft palate, nose, between the eyebrows, and on the top of the head, at these twelve places respectively is called the "Dhāranā". Concentrate the mind on the consciousness inside and then meditate the Ista Devatā within the Jīvātmā. This is the Dhyāna. Samādhi is identifying always the Jīvātmā and Paramātmā. Thus the sages say. (Samādhi is of two kinds (1) Samprajńāta, or Savikalpak and (2) Nirvikalpak. When the ideas the Knower, Knowledge and the Thing Known, remain separate in the consciousness and yet the mind feels the one Akhanda Sachchidānanda Brahma and his heart remains, there, that is called Samprajńāta Samādhi; and when those three vanish away and the one Brahma remains, it is called Asamprajńāta Samādhi). Thus I have described to you the Yoga with its eight limbs. O Mountain! This body composed of the five elements, and with Jīva endowed with the essence of the Sun, the Moon, and the Fire and Brahma in it as one and the same, is denominated by the term "Vis'va". There are the 350,000 nādis in this body of man; of these, the principal are ten. Out of the ten again, the three are most prominent. The foremost and first of these three is Susumnā, of the nature of the Moon, Sun, and Fire, situated in the centre of the spinal cord (it extends from the sacral plexus below to the Brahmaradhra in the head at the top where it looks like a blown Dhustūra flower). On the left of this Susumnā is the Idā Nādī, white and looking like Moon; this Nādī is of the nature of Force, nectar-like. On the right side of the Susumnā is the Pingalā Nādī of the nature of a male; it represents the Sun. The Susumnā comprises the nature of the all the Tejas (fires) and it represents Fire.
31-41. The inmost of Susumnā is Vichtrā or Chitrinī Bhūlingam nādī (of the form of a cobweb) in the middle of which resides the Ichchā (will), Jńāna (knowledge) and Kriyā (action) S'aktīs, and resplendent like the Millions of Suns. Above Him is situated Hrīm, the Māyā Vīja Harātmā with "Ha" and Chandrabindu representing the Sound (Nāda). Above this is the Flame, Kula Kundalinī (the Serpent Fire) of a red colour, and as it were, intoxicated. Outside Her is the Ādhāra Lotus of a yellow colour having a dimension of four digits and comprising the four letters "va", "s'a", "sa", and "sa". The Yogis meditate on this. In its centre is the hexagonal space (Pītham). This is called the Mūlādhāra for it is the base and it supports all the six lotuses. Above it is the Svādhisthāna Chakra, fiery and emitting lustre like diamond and with six petals representing the six letters "ba", "bha", "ma", "ya", "ra", "la". The word "Sva" means "Param Lingam" (superior Male Symbol). Therefore the sages call this "Svādhisthān Chakram". Above it is situated the "Manipura Chakram" of the colour of lightning in clouds and very fiery; it comprises the ten Petals, comprising the 10 letters ḍa ḍha, ṇa, ta, tha, da, dha, na, pa, pha. The lotus resembles a full blown pearl; hence it is "Manipadma". Visnu dwells here. Meditation here leads to the sight of Visnu. Above it is "Anāhata" Padma with the twelve petals representing, the twelve letters ka, kha, ga, gha, ṅa, ca, cha, ja, jha, ńa, ṭa, ṭha. In the middle is Bānalingam, resplendent like the Sun. This lotus emits the sound S'abda Brahman, without being struck; therefore it is called the Anāhata Lotus. This is the source of joy. Here dwells Rudra, the Highest Person.
42-43. Above it is situated the Vis'uddha Chakra of the sixteen petals, comprising the sixteen letters a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, ṛ, ṝ, ḷ, ḹ, e, ai, o, au, aṃ, aḥ. This is of a smoky colour, highly lustrous, and is situated in the throat. The Jīvātmā sees the Paramātmā (the Highest Self) here and it is purified; hence it is called Vis'uddha. This wonderful lotus is termed Ākās'a.
44-45. Above that is situated betwixt the eyebrows the exceedingly beautiful Ajńā Chakra with two petals comprising the two letters "ha", and "kṣa". The Self resides in this lotus. When persons are stationed here, they can see everything and know of the present, past and future. There one gets the commands from the Highest Deity (e. g. now this is for you to do and so on); therefore it is called the Ajńā Chakra.
46-47. Above that is the Kailās'a Chakra; over it is the Rodhinī Chikra. O One of good vows! Thus I have described to you all about the Ādhāra Chakras. The prominent Yogis say that above that again, is the Bindu Sthān, the seat of the Supreme Deity with thousand petals. O Best of Mountains! Thus I declare the best of the paths leading to Yoga.
48. Now hear what is the next thing to do. First by the "Pūraka", Prānāyāma, fix the mind on the Mulādhāra Lotus. Then contract and arouse the Kula Kundalinī S'aktī there, between the anus and the genital organs, by that Vāyu.
49. Pierce, then, the Lingams (the lustrous Svayambhu Ādi Lingam) in the several Chakras above-mentioned and transfer along with it the heart united with the S'akti to the Sahasrāra (the Thousand petalled Lotus). Then meditate the S'aktī united with S'ambhu there.
50-51. There is produced in the Bindu Chakra, out of the intercourse of S'iva and S'aktī, a kind of nectar-juice, resembling a sort of red-dye (lac). With that Nectar of Joy, the wise Yogis make the Māyā S'aktī, yielding successes in Yoga, drink; then pleasing all the Devas in the six Chakras with the offerings of that Nectar, the Yogi brings the S'aktī down again on the Mūlādhāra Lotus.
52. Thus by daily practising this, all the above mantras will no doubt, be made to come to complete success.
53-54. And one will be free from this Samsāra, filled with old age and death, etc. O Lord of Mountains! I am the World Mother; My devotee will get all My qualities; there is no doubt in this. O Child! I have thus described to you the excellent Yoga, holding the Vāyu (Pavana Dhārana Yoga).
55. Now hear from Me the Dhārānā Yoga. To fix thoroughly one's heart on the Supremely Lustrous Force of Mine, pervading all the quarters, countries, and all time leads soon to the union of the Jīva and the Brahma.
56-58. If one does not quickly do this, owing to impurities of heart, then the Yogi ought to adopt what is called the "Avayava Yoga". O Chief of Mountains! The Sādhaka should fix his heart on my gentle hands, feet and other limbs one by one and try to conquer each of these places. Thereby his heart would be purified. Then he should fix that purified heart on My Whole Body.
59-62. The practiser must practise with Japam and Homam the Mantram till his mind be not dissolved in Me, My Consciousness. By the practice of meditating on the Mantra, the thing to be known (Brahma) is transformed into knowledge. Know this as certain, that the Mantra is futile without Yoga and the Yoga is futile without the Mantra. The Mantra and the Yoga are the two infallible means to realise Brahma. As the jar in a dark room is visible by a lamp, so this Jīvātmā, surrounded by Māyā is visible by means of Mantra to the Paramātmā (the Highest Self). O Best of Mountains! Thus I have described to you the Yogas with their Angas (limbs). You should receive instructions about them from the mouth of a Guru; else millions of S'āstras will never be able to give you a true realisation of the meanings of the yogas.
Here ends the Thirty-fifth Chapter of the Seventh Book on the Yoga and the Mantra Siddhi in the Mahā Purānam S'ri Mad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyāsa.
On the Highest Knowledge of Brahma
1-4. S'ri Devī said :-- "O Himālayās! Thus making one's own self attached to the Yoga by the above-mentioned process and sitting on a Yoga posture, one should meditate on My Brahma Nature with an unfeigned devotion. (How the knowledge of that Formless Existence and Imperishable Brahman arises, now hear.) He is manifest, near, yea, even moving in the hearts of all beings. He is the well-known Highest Goal. Know that all this whatever, waking, dreaming, or sleeping, which moves, breathes or blinks, is founded on Him. He is higher than Being and Non-being: higher than the Wisdom, He is the Best Object of adoration for all creatures. He is brilliant, smaller than the smallest and in Him the worlds are founded and the Rulers thereof. He is the Imperishable Brahman. He is the Creator (Life), the Revealer of Sacred Knowledge (speech) and Omniscient (or the Cosmic Mind). This is the Truth. He is immortal, O Saumya! Know that He is the target to be hit.
Note. -- The words "higher than wisdom" mean higher than Brahmā. (Brahmā is the highest of all Jīvas, higher than Brahmā means higher than all creatures. The word Vijńāna denotes Brahmā as we find in the following speech of Brahmā in the Bhāgavat Purāna) "I, the Wisdom Energy (Vijńāna-S'akti) was born from the navel of this Being resting on the Waters and possessed of the Infinite Powers".
Visnu is called "Prana", because he is the leader of all (Prāna-netri). He is called Vāk, because He is the Teacher of all; Visnu is called Manas because He is the adviser of all (Mantri). He is the Controller of all the Jīvas.
The third verse lays down that Brahman is to be meditated upon or that the Manana should be performed; as the second verse teaches that Dhyāna or concentration also is necessary.
5-6. Take hold of the Mystic Name as the bow, and know that the Brahman is the aim to be hit. Put on this the great weapon (Om), the arrow (of the mind) sharpened by meditation. Withdraw thyself from all objects, and with the mind absorbed in the idea of Brahman, hit the aim; for know, O Saumya! That Imperishable alone to be the Mark. The Great name"Om" is the bow, the mind is the arrow, and the Brahman is said to be the mark. It is to be hit by a man whose thoughts are concentrated, for then he enters the target.
Note. -- Thus S'ravana, Manana, and Dhyāna of Brahman have been taught. This is the method of Brahma-upāsanā.
7. In Him are woven the heavens, and the interspaces, and mingle also with the senses. Know Him to be the one Support of all, the Ātman. Leave off all other words (as well as the worship of other deities). This (Ātman) is the refuge of the Immortals.
"He is the bridge of the Immortal"--the words Amrita or Immortal means Mukta Jīvas. In the Vedānta Sūtra I, 3-2, it has been taught that the Lord is the refuge of the Muktas. So also that "He is the Highest Goal of the Muktas".
8-9. In Him the life-webs (nādis) are fastened, as the spokes to the nave of a chariot; He is this (Ātman) that pervades the heart, and by his own free will manifests Himself in diverse ways (as Visva, Taijasa, etc., in waking, sleeping, etc., states); and also as One as Prājńa in the dreamless state. Meditate on the Ātman as Om (full of all auspicious qualities and who is the chief aim of the Vedas), in order to acquire the knowledge of the Paramātman, Who is beyond the Prakriti and the S'ri Tattva. Your welfare consists in such knowledge.
Note. -- This shows that Brahman is the Antaryāmin Purusa. He resides in the heart where all the 72,000 Nādis meet, as the spokes meet in the navel of the wheel. He moves within the organs, not for His own pleasure, but to give life and energy to them all. The Om with all its attributes must be constantly meditated upon. He manifests Himself in manifold ways in the waking and dreaming stews as Vis'va and Taijasa; while He manifests as One in the state of Susupti or Dreamless sleep as Prājńā. He is beyond darkness; He has no mortal body. Meditate on such Visnu in the heart in order to get the Supreme Brahman, with the help of the Mantra Om. The result of such meditation is that there is the welfare of yours--all evils will cease, and you will get the bliss of the manifestation of the Divinity--your Real Self within your Heart.
10. He who is All-Wise, and All-Knowing, whose Greatness is thus manifested in the worlds, is to be meditated upon as the Ātman residing in the Ether, in the Fourth Dimensional Space, in the shining city of Brahman (the Heart). He is the Controller of the mind and the Guide of the senses and the body. He abides in the dense body, controlling the heart. He, the Ātman, when manifesting Himself as the Blissful and Immortal, is seen by the wise through the purity of the heart.
11. The fetters of the Jīvas are cut asunder, the ties of Linga-dehas and Prakriti are removed (the effects of all) his works perish, when He is seen who is Supremely High (or when the Supremely High looks at the Jīva.) [Note.--Visnu is Parāvare, because Parā or High Beings like Ramā; Brahmās, etc., are Avara or inferior in His comparison.]
[Note. -- This shows the result of Divine Wisdom in the last verse. The Avidyā covers both Īs'varā and Jīva. It prevents Īs'vara being, seen by Jīva, and Jīva, seeing Īs'vara. It is a direct bondage of Jīva and a metaphorical fetter of Īs'vara. Avidyā is the name given to Prakriti in Her active state. When Her three qualities Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, are actively manifest. Destruction of Avidyā means putting these Gunas in their latent state. There is a great difference between the destruction of the Avidyā--fetters as taught in this verse, and the unloosening of them as previously described in this verse! There Avidyā still remained, for it was merely a Paroksa or intellectual apprehension of Truth. Here Avidyā itself is destroyed by Aparoksa or Intuitive Knowledge of Brahman.
The bonds are five :-- The lowest is the Avidyā bond, then the Lingadeha bond, then the Pramāchchādaka Prakriti bond, the Kāma bond, and the Karma bond. When all these bonds are destroyed, then the Jńānī goes by the Path of Light to the Sāntāmka Loka. Before proceeding further all have to salute the S'is'u-māra--the Dweller on the threshhold--the hub of the Universe.
The S'is'umāra literally means the Infant Killer and means the porpoise and is the name of a constellation, in the north, near the Pole. It corresponds perhaps with the Draco or the Ursā Minor. For a fuller description of it, see Bhagavatam Purāna Book 5, Chapter 23. Here it is a mystical reference to a Being of an exalted order, which every Jńānī passes by, in his way beyond this Universe. It may correspond with the ring-pass-not of the 'Secret Doctrine'! It is the name of Hari, also, as we find the following verse "The Supreme Hari, the Support of infinity of worlds and who is called S'is'umāra, is saluted by all knowers of Brahma, on their way to the Supreme God.]
12. The Brahman (called S'is'umāram) free from all passions and parts (manifests in the external world) in the highest Golden Sheath (the Cosmic Egg). That is pure, that is the highest of Lights, it is that which the knowers of Ātmān know. [Note. -- "He is in the Centre of the Cosmic (as S'is'umāra, the Light of all Cosmic Suns). He is even in the centre of our Sun and illumining all planets."]
In the first respect He is meditated upon as S'is'umara and in the second as Gāyatrī.
[Note.--In man, the Brahman manifests in the heart or the Auric Egg, called the city of Brahman. In the Universe, He manifests Himself in the Cosmic Egg, called the "Golden Sheath." These are the two places where Brahman may be meditated upon.
This verse has been explained in two different ways: First, as applying to S'is'umāra and secondly, as teaching how to meditate on Nārāyana in the Sun. The "Golden Sheath" would then mean the Solar sphere. The Supremely High Brahman resides in the excellent Golden Sheath. He is Pure and Without parts.]
13. The Sun does not shine there in His Presence nor the Moon and the Stars (for His Light is greater than theirs, they appear as if dark in that Effulgence, like the candle-light in the Sun. Nor do these lightnings, and much less this fire shine there. When He shines, everything shines after Him; by His Light all this becomes manifest.
Him the Sun does not illumine nor the moon and the stars. Nor do these lightnings; much less this Fire illumines Him. When He illumines all (the Sun, etc.) then they shine after (Him with His light). This whole Universe reveals His Light (is His Light and its Light is His).
Note.--The Sun, etc., do not illumine Him, i.e., cannot make Him manifest.
14. The Eternally Free is verily this Brahman only. He is in the West, in the North and the South, in the Zenith and the Nadir. The Brahman alone is; it is He who pervades all directions. This Brahman alone is it who pervades. This Brahman alone is the Full (that exists in all time the Eternity). This Brahman is the Best:--
This (idam) Brahman is alone the Vis'vam or Infinity or Full (pūrnām). This alone is the Best, the Highest of all. As the word "idam" is used several times in this verse, it qualifies the word Brahman and not "vis'vam".
[Note.--The Brahman was taught to be meditated upon fully in the Heart and the Hiranmaya Kos'a. But lest one should mistake that He is thus limited in those two places, one is to infer that they are selected as the best.]
15-16. The man who realises thus is satisfied and has all that he wants to do and is considered as the best. He becomes Brahman and his Self is pleased and he neither wants anything nor becomes sorry. O King! Fear comes from the idea of a second; where there is no second, fear does not exist. No danger then arises for him to be separated from Me. Nor I also get separated from him.
17. O Himālayās! Know that I am he and he is I. Know that I am seen there where My Jńānī resides.
18. Neither I dwell in any sacred place of pilgrimage, nor do I live in Kailāsa nor in Vaikuntha nor in any other place. I dwell in the heart lotus of My Jńānī.
19. The blessed man who worships once My Jńānī, gets Koti times the fruit of worshipping Me. His family is rendered pure and his mother becomes blessed. He whose heart is diluted in the all-pervading Brahma Consciousness, purifies this whole world. There is no doubt in this.
20. O Best of Mountains! I have now told everything that you asked about Brahma Jńāna. Nothing now remains to be further described.
21. This Brahma Vidyā (science of the knowledge of Brahma) is to be imparted to the eldest son, who is devoted and of good character and to him who is endowed with the good qualities as enumerated in the S'āstras and not to be given to any other person.
22. He who is fully devoted to his Ista Deva and who is equally devoted to his Guru, to him the high-minded persons should declare the Brahma Vidyā.
23. Verily, he is God himself, who advises this Brahma Vidyā; no one is able to repay the debts due to him.
24. He who gives birth to a man in Brahma, is, no doubt, superior to the ordinary father; for the birth that a father gives is destroyed; but the birth in Brahma that is given by the Guru is never destroyed.
25. So the S'ruti says :-- Never do harm to the Guru who imparts the knowledge of Brahma.
26. In all the Siddhāntas (decided conclusions) of the S'āstras, it is stated that the Guru who imparts the knowledge of Brahman is the best and the most honorable. If S'iva, becomes angry, the Guru can save; but when the Guru becomes angry, S'ankara cannot save. So the Guru should be served with the utmost care.
27. So the Guru must be served with all the cares that are possible by body, mind, and word one should always please Him. Otherwise he becomes ungrateful and he is not saved.
28. O Best of Mountains! It is very difficult to acquire Brahma Jńāna. Hear a story. A Muni named Dadhyam of Atharvana family went to Indra and prayed to him to give Brahma Jńāna. Indra said: "I would give you Brahma-Jńāna, but if you impart it to any other body, I would sever your head". Dadhyarna agreed to this and Indra gave him the Brahma-Jńāna. After a few days, the two As'vins came to the Muni and prayed for Brahma Vidyā, The Muni said :-- "If I give you the Brahma-Vidya, Indra, will cut off my head". Hearing this the two As'vins said :-- "We will cut your head and keep it elsewhere and we will attach the head of a horse to your body. Instruct us with the mouth of this horse and when Indra will cut off your this mouth, we will replace your former head". When they said so, the Muni gave them the Brahma-Vidyā. Indra cut off his head by his thunderbolt. When the horse-head of the Muni was cut off, the two physicians of the Devas replaced his original head. This is widely known in all the Vedas.
O Chief of Mountains! He becomes blessed who gets this the Brahma-Vidyā.
Here ends theThirty-sixth Chapter of the Seventh Book on the Highest Knowledge of Brahma in the Mahapurānam, S'rī Mad Devī Bhāgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyāsa.
On Bhakti Yoga
1. The Himālayās said :-- "O Mother! Now describe your Bhakti Yoga, by which ordinary men who have no dispassion get the knowledge of Brahma easily.
2-10. The Devī said:--"O Chief of Mountains! There are three paths, widely known, leading to the final liberation (Moksa). These are Karma Yoga, Jńāna Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. Of these three, Bhakti Yoga is the easiest in all respects; people can do it very well without incurring any suffering to the body, and bringing the mind to a perfect concentration. This Bhakti (devotion) again is of three kinds as the Gunas are three. His Bhakti is Tāmasī who worships Me, to pain others, being filled with vanity and jealousy and anger. That Bhakti is Rājāsic, when one worships Me for one's own welfare and does not intend to do harm to others. He has got some desire or end in view, some fame or to attain some objects of enjoyments and ignorantly, and thinking himself different from Me, worships Me with greatest devotion. Again that Bhakti is Sāttvikī when anybody worships Me to purify his sins, and offers to Me the result of all his Karmas, thinking that Jīva and Īs'vara are separate and knowing that this action of his is authorized in the Vedas and therefore must be observed. This Sāttvikī Bhakti is different from the Supreme Bhakti as the worshippers think Me separate; but it leads to the Supreme Bhakti. The other two Bhaktis do not lead to Parā Bhakti (the Supreme Bhakti or the Highest unselfish Love).
11-20. Now hear attentively about the Parā Bhakti that I am now describing to you. He who hears always My Glories and recites My Name and whose mind dwells always, like the incessant flow of oil, in Me Who is the receptacle of all auspicious qualities and Gunas. But he has not the least trace of any desire to get the fruits of his Karma; yea he does not want Sāmīpya, Sārsti, Sāyujya, and Sālokya and other forms of liberations! He becomes filled with devotion for Me alone, worships Me only; knows nothing higher than to serve Me and he does not want final liberation even. He does not like to forsake this idea of Sevya (to be served) and Sevaka (servant who serves). He always meditates on Me with constant vigilance and actuated by a feeling of Supreme Devotion; he does not think himself separate from Me but rather thinks himself "that I am the Bhagavatī". He considers all the Jīvas as Myself and loves Me as he loves himself. He does not make any difference between the Jīvas and myself as he finds the same Chaitanya everywhere and mainfested in all. He does not quarrel with anybody as he has abandoned all ideas about separateness; he bows down, and worships the Chāndālas and all the Jīvas. He who becomes filled with devotion to Me whenever he sees My place, My devotees, and hears the Sāstras, describing My deeds, and whenever he meditates on My Mantras, he becomes filled with the highest love and his hairs stand on their ends out of love to Me and tears of love flow incessantly from both his eyes; he recites My name and My deeds in a voice, choked with feelings of love for Me.
[N. B.--The Parā Prema Bhakti is like the maddening rush of a river to the Ocean; thence in the shape of vapour to the highest; Himālayān Mountain peaks to be congealed into snow where various plays of bright colours take place.]
21-30. O Lord of the mountains! He worships Me with intense feeling as the Mother of this Universe and the Cause of all causes. He performs the daily and occasional duties and all My vows and sacrifices without showing any miserly feeling in his expenditure of money. He naturally longs to perform My festivities and to visit places where My Utsavs are held. He sings My name loudly and dances, being intoxicated with My love, and has no idea of egoism and is devoid of his body-idea, thinking that the body is not his. He thinks that whatever is Prārabdha (done in his previous lives) must come to pass and therefore does not become agitated as to the preservation of his body and soul. This sort of Bhakti is called the Parā Bhakti or the Highest Devotion. Here the predominant idea is the idea of the Devī and no other idea takes its place. O Mountain! He gets immediately dissolved in My Nature of Consciousness whose heart is really filled with such Parā Bhakti or All Love. The sages call the limiting stage of this devotion and dispassion as Jńāna (knowledge). When this Jńāna arises, Bhakti and dispassion get their ends satisfied. Yea! He goes then to the Mani Dvīpa, when his Ahamkāra does not crop up by his Prārabdba Karma, though he did not fail to give up his life in devotion. O Mountain! That man enjoys there all the objects of enjoyments, though unwilling and at the end of the period, gets the knowledge of My Consciousness. By that he attains the Final Liberation for ever. Without this Jńāna, the Final Liberation is impossible.
31-33. He realizes Para Brahma who gets in this body of his the above Jńāna of the Pratyak Ātmā in his heart; when his Prāna leaves his body, he does not get re-birth. The S'ruti says :-- "He, who knows Brahma, becomes Brahma". In the logic of Kantha-Chāmīkara (gold on the neck)*, the ignorance vanishes. When this ignorance is destroyed by knowledge, he attains all his knowledge the object to be attained, when he recognizes the gold on his neck.
* While a bracelet in hand does not need a mirror to be seen, a necklace around the neck definitely needs outside help to be admired and appreciated. We forget that we have it around our neck, or simply do not remember its beauty. We cannot see our necklace around the neck; someone or something has to point it out.
34-37. O Best of Mountains! This My consciousness is different from the perceived pots, etc., and unperceived Māyā. The image of this Paramātmā is seen in bodies other than the Ātmā as the image falls in a mirror; as the image falls in water, so this Paramātmā is seen in the Pitrilokas. As the shadow and light are quite distinct, so in My Manidvīpa, the knowledge of oneness without a second arises. That man resides in the Brahma Loka for the period of a Kalpa who leaves his body without attaining Jńāna, though he had his Vaīrāgyam. Then he takes his birth in the family of a pure prosperous family and practising again his Yoga habits, gets My Consciousness.
38-45. O King of Mountains! This Jńāna arises after many births it does not come in one birth; so one should try one's best to get this Jńāna. If, attaining this rare human birth, one does not attain this Jńāna, know that a great calamity has befallen to him. For this human birth is very hard to attain; and then the birth in a Brāhmin family is rarer; moreover amongst the Brāhmins, the knowledge of the Veda (the Consciousness) is exceedingly rare. The attaining of the six qualities (which are considered as six wealth), restraint of passions, etc.; the success in Yoga and the acquisition of a pure real Guru, all these are very hard to be attained in this life. O Mountain! The maturity and the activities of the organs of the senses, and the purification of the body according to the Vedic rites are all very difficult to attain. Know this again that to get a desire for final liberation is acquired by the merits acquired in many births. That man's birth is entirely futile, who attaining all the above qualifications does not try his best to attain this Jńāna. So one should try one's best to acquire the Jńāna. Then, at every moment, he gets the fruits of the As'vamedha sacrifice. There is no doubt in this. As ghee (clarified butter) resides potentially in milk, so the Vijńāna Brahma resides in every body. So make the mind the churning rod and always churn with it. Then, by slow degrees, the knowledge of Brahma will be attained.
Man attains blessedness when he gets this Jńāna; so the Vedānta says. Thus I have described to you in brief, O King of Mountains! all that you wanted to hear. Now what more do you want?
Here ends the Thirty-seventh Chapter of the Seventh Book on the glories of Bhakti in the Mahā Purānam, S'ri Mad Devī Bhāgavatam, of 18,000 Verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyāsa.
The Vows and the Sacred Places of the Devi
1-2. The Himālayās said :-- "O Devī! Describe the places on this earth that are prominent, sacred, and worth visiting and which Thou likest best. O Mother! Also sanctify us by describing the vows and utsavs that are pleasing to Thee, and by performing which, men become blessed and get themselves satisfied.
3-10. The Devī spoke :-- "O Himavan! All the places that are on this earth are all Mine and all should be visited. And every moment is fit for taking vows and utsavs. For I am of the nature pervading every moment; so whatever actions are performed at any moment are all equal to taking My vows and utsavs. O King of Mountains! Still I am now telling something out of My affection to My Bhaktas. Hear. There is a great place of pilgrimage named Kolhāpura in the southern country. Here the Devī Laksmi always dwells. The second place is Mātripura in the Sahyādrī mountain; here the Devī Renukā dwells. The third place is Tulajāpur; next is the place Saptas'ringa, the great places of Hingulā and Jvālā Mukhī. Then the great places of Sākambharī, Bhrāmāri, S'rīraktadantikā and Dūrgā. The best of all places is that of Vindhyāchala Vāsinī, the great places of Annapurnā and the excellent Kānchipur (Conjiverum). Next come the places of Bhīmā Devī, Vimalā Devī, S'rī Chandralā Devī of Karnāt, and the place of Kaus'ikī. Then the great place of Nīlāmbā on the top of the Nīlāparvata, the place of Jāmbūnades'varī, and the beautiful S'rīnagara.
11-20. The great place of S'rī Guhya Kālī, well established in Nepal, and that of S'rī Mīnāksī Devī established in Chīdamvaram. The great place named Vedāranya where the Sundarī Devī is residing; then the place named Ekāmvaram, and the place Bhubanes'vara near Purusottama where I always dwell as Parā S'akti Bhubanes'varī. The famous place of Mahālasā, known in the south by the name Mallāri; the place of Yoges'varī Varāt, and the widely known place of Nīla S'arasvatī in China. The excellent place of Bagalā in Baidyanāth, the supreme place Manidvīpa of S'rīmatī Bhubanes'varī where I always reside. The Yonimandala Kāmākhyā, the place of S'rimatī Tripurā Bhairavī, the excellent of all the places in this earth, where the Devī Mahā Māyā always dwells. There is no other place better than this on the earth. Here the Devī becomes every month in Her course of menstruation and where the virtuous men are seen. Here all the Devas remain in the form of mountains and where on the mountains the excellent Devas inhabit. The sages say: That all the places there are of the nature of the Devī; there is no better place than this Kāmākhyā Yonimandala. Puskara, the sacred place, is the seat of Gāyatrī; the place of Chandikā in Amares'a; and the excellent place of Puskareksinī in Frabhāsa. The place of Linga-dhārinī Devī in Naimisāranya, and the place of Purubutā in Puskarāksa; Rati dwells in Āsādhī.
21-30. Dandinī Parames'vari dwells in Chandamundī. Bhūti dwells in Bhārabhūti; and Nakule S'varī dwells in Nākula. Chandrikā dwells in Haris'chandra; S'ānkari in S'rīgiri; Tris'ūlā in Japes'vara; and Suksmā in Āmrāta Kes'vara. S'ānkarī dwells in Ujjain, S'arvānī in the place Madhyamā, and Mārga Dāyini dwells in the holy Ksetra Kedāra. The celebrated Bhairavī dwells in the place named Bhairava; Mangalā in Gayā Ksetra; Sthānupriyā in Kuruksetra; and Svāyambhuvī Devī dwells in Nākula; Ugrā dwells in Kankhal; Vis'vesā dwells in Vimales'vara, Mahānandā in Attahāsa and Mahāntakā in Mahendra. Bhimes'varī dwells in Bhīma; the Bhavānī S'ankarī dwells in Vastrāpadma; and Rudrānī in Ardha Kotī. Vis'alāksī dwells in Avimukta; Mahābhāgā dwells in Mahālaya; Bhadrakarnī in Gokarna; and Bhadrā resides in Bhadrakarnak; Utpalāksī dwells in Suvarnāksa; Sthānvīs'ā in Sthānu; Kamalā in Kamalālayā; Chandā in Chhagalandaka, situated in the south near the sea coast. Trisandhyā dwells in Kurundala; Mukutes'varī in Mākota; S'āndakī in Mandales'a; Kālī in Kālanjara; Dhvani in S'ankukarna; Sthūlā in Sthūlakes'vara; and Parames'varī Hrillekhā dwells in the heart lotuses of the Jńanins.
31-34. The places mentioned above are all dearest to the Devī. First the merits of these places are to be heard; next the Devī is to be worshipped by the rites and ceremonies according to these rules. Or, O Mountain! All the holy places of pilgrimages exist in Kās'ī. The Devī always dwells there. Persons, devoted to the Devī, see these places and if they make Japam and meditate on the lotus-feet of the Devī, they will certainly be freed from the bonds of Samsāra; there is no doubt in this. If anybody, getting up in the morning, recite the names of these places, all his sins would instantly be burnt away.
35-40. And if one reads, in the time of S'rāddha, before the Brahmins, these holy names of the Devī, his Pitris will be purified of their sins in the Mahākās'a by the Mahā Prāna and will get their highest goal. O One of good vows! I will now describe to you the vows that are to be carefully observed by men and women; hear. Ananta Tritīyākhya Vrata (vow), Rasakalyānī Vrata, and Ārdrānandakara Vrata, these three Vratas are to be observed in the Tritīyā (third) tithi. The next come the Friday vow, the Krisna Chaturdas'i vows, the Tuesday vow, and the evening twilight vow. In this twilight vow, Mahā Deva placed the Devī in the evening on an Āsana; and He, along with the other Devas, began to dance before Her. Fasting is enjoined in this vow; and then in the evening one must worship the Devī, the Giver of all auspicious things. Especially in every fortnight, if the Devī be worshipped, She gets extremely pleased.
41. O Best of Mountains! The Monday vow is very agreeable to Me; the worship of the Devī should be done and then in the night one must take one's food.
42-43. The two nine nights vow called Navarātra are to be observed, one in the autumn and the other in the spring season. These are very dear to Me. He is certainly My devotee and very dear who for My satisfaction performs these and the other Nitya Naimittik vows, free from any pride and jealousy. He certainly gets the Sājujya Mukti with Me.
44-46. O Nagarāja! The Holy (Dol) festival in the month of Chait on the third day of the white fortnight is very pleasing to Me and should be observed by all. My devotees perform the S'ayanotsava in the Paurnāmāsī in the month of Āsādha; the Jāgaranotsava in the Paurnamāsī in the month of Kārtik, the Ratha Jātrā in the 3rd of the white fortnight in Āsādha; the Damanotsava in Chaitra. And my dear festivals in the month of S'rāvana and various other festivals.
47-49. In all these festivals one should feast well with gladness all My devotees, and the Kumāris (virgins), well clothed and dressed, and the boys, thinking them all to be of My very nature. No miserliness is to be entertained and I should be worshipped with flowers, etc. He is blessed and attains his goal and is dear to Me who carefully and devotedly observes every year all these festivals. O Nagendra! Thus I have described to you in brief all the vows that are pleasing to Me. These instructions are not to be given who is not a disciple nor to one who is not My devotee.
Here ends the Thirty-eighth Chapter of the Seventh Book on the vows and the sacred places of the Devī in the Mahā Purānam S'rī Mad Devī Bhāgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyāsa.
The Worship of the World Mother
1. The Himālayās said :-- "O Devī! O Mahes'vari! O Thou, the Ocean of Mercy! O World-Mother! Now describe in detail how Thy worship is conducted, the rules and ceremonials thereof.
2-20. The Devī said :-- "O King of Mountains! I now describe to you the rites and ceremonies and the methods of My worship that are pleasing to Me. Hear it attentively and with faith. My worship is of two kinds :-- External and internal. The external worship is again twofold: one is Vaidik, and the other is Tāntrik. The Vaidik worship is also of two kinds according to the differences in My forms. Those who are initiated in the Vedic Mantrams worship according to the Vedic rites and ceremonies and those who are initiated in the Tāntrik-Mantram worship according to the Tāntrik rites. That stupid man is entirely ruined and goes to Hell who knowing the secrets of worship, act contrary to them. First I will describe to you the Vaidik worship; hear. The highest Form of Mine that you saw before, with innumerable heads, innumerable eyes, innumerable feet, and the Illuminer of the intelligences of all the Jīvas, endowed with all powers, Higher than the Highest, Very Grand, worship That, bow down to That and meditate on That. O Nagendra! This is the first form of worship that I describe to you. With your senses controlled, peaceful, with a well concentrated mind, void of egoism and vanity, and devoted to That, perform sacrifices to That, take refuge of That, see That within the temple of your mind, and always recite Her name and meditate on that. Take hold of Me, and My ideas with one pointed loving devotion and please Me with the performance of sacrifices, austerities and gifts. By My Grace, you will no doubt be able to get the Final Liberation. Whoever is entirely attached to Me, thinking Me as the Highest, is the foremost amongst the Bhaktas. I promise that I will certainly deliver him from this ocean of the world. O King of mountains! Meditation with Karma and Jńāna with Bhakti will lead one to Me. Only the work alone will fail to get one to Me. O Himavan! From Dharma arises Bhakti and from Bhakti arises the Highest Jńāna. What are said in the S'ruti and Smriti S'astras the Maharsis take that as the Dharma; and what are written in other S'astras, they take them to be Dharmābhāsa (the Shadow or reflection of Dharma). Out of My omniscient and omnipotent Nature, the Vedas have come. Owing to the want of Ignorance in Me, the Vedas can never be invalidated. The Smritis are formed out of the meaning of the Vedas; so the Smriti and Purānas, formed, by Manu and the other Risis, are authoritative. In some places it is hinted that there other S'astras than the Vedas, taking the Tantras indirectly into account. Although the matters relating to the Dharmas are mentioned therein, but as they are apparently contrary to the S'rutis, the Tantras are not accepted by the Vaidik Pundits. The other S'āstra makers are marked with their ignorance; so their sayings cannot be authoritative. Therefore he must resort entirely to the Vedas who want the final liberation. As the king's order is never disobeyed amongst his subjects, so the S'ruti, the Command of Mine, the Lord of all, can never be abandoned by men.
21-30. To preserve My Commandments, I have created the Brāhmana and the Ksattriya castes. My secrets are all embodied in the S'rutis. For that reason, the words of the S'rutis are no doubt to be known and observed by the sages. O Mountain! When the Dharma (righteousness) declines and the Adharma (unrighteousness) reigns supreme, I then manifest Myself in the world as Sākambharī, Rāma, Krisna and others. Therefore, the Devas, the preservers of the Vedas, and the Daityas, the destroyers of the Vedas are classified. Whoever does not practise according to the Vedas I have created many hells for their lessons. When the sinners hear of those hells, they get extremely terrified. The king should banish those stupid persons from his kingdom and the Brāhmins should not talk with them nor take them in their own lines nor when partaking of food, those who forsake the Vaidic Dharma and go for shelter to another Dharma. The S'āstras that are extant, as contrary to the S'rutis and Smritis, are all Tāmasa S'āstras, Mahādeva has framed these Vāma, Kāpālak, Kaulaks, Bhairava and such like S'astras for fascinating the people; else he has no object in framing them. Those Brāhmans that were burnt up by the curses of Daksa, S'ukra, Dadhīchi and were banished from the path of the Vedas, it is for delivering them, step by step that Mahādeva has framed the five Āgamas, S'aiva, Vaisnava, S'aura, S'ātta and Gānapatya S'āstras.
31-37. In those Tantra S'āstras, there are some passages in conformity with the Vedas and there are other passages contradictory to the Vedas. If the Vaidik persons resort to passages in conformity with the Veda, then there cannot arise any fault in them. The Brāhmins are not Adhikāris to those Tāntric texts that are contradictory to the Vedas. Those persons that have no claim to the Vedas can be Adhikāris to these latter texts. Therefore the Vaidik Brāhmanas should resort to the Vedas with all the care possible and make the Para Brahma of the nature of Jńāna manifest within them. The Sannyasins, Vānaprasthas, householders and Brāhmachāris should give up all their desires and take refuge in Me; free from egoism and vanity, kind to all creatures, their hearts wholly given to Me and engaged in speaking out My places with enrapt devotion. They always worship My Virāt (Cosmic) form, immersed in the Yoga called Ais'varya Yoga (Cosmic Yoga dealing with the glories, prosperity of god). Illumine the understanding with the Sun of My Consciousness, and I destroy the Darkness of Ignorance of those persons that are always engaged in practicing Yoga with Me. There is no doubt in this. O Nagendra! Thus I have described in brief the methods and practices of the Vaidik Pūjā; now I will tell you the Tāntrikī Pūjā; hear attentively.
38-47. On an image, or clean plot of ground, or on the Sun or the Moon, in water, in Vāna Linga, in Yantra or on a cloth or in the lotus of heart, one is to meditate and worship the Blissful, Higher than the Highest, the Devī, Who creates this universe with the three Gunas Sattva, Raja and Tama, Who is filled with the juice of mercy, Who is blooming in youth, Whose colour is red like the rising Sun, Whose beauty overtops to the full, Whose all the limbs are exquisitely beautiful, Who is the sentiment of Love Incarnate, Who feels very much for the mental pain of Her Bhaktas, on Who being pleased, manifests Herself before the Bhaktas, on Whose forehead, the segment of the Moon shines incessantly, and Whose four hands hold goad, noose and the signs of fearlessness and to grant boons. Until one is entitled to the internal worship, one should worship the external; never he is to abandon it. Worship is internal when ones heart gets diluted in Para Brahma, of the nature of the Universal Consciousness, O Mountain! Know My Consciousness (Samvit) to be My Highest Nature without any limitations. Therefore it is highly incumbent to attach one's hearts, free from other adjuncts, constantly to this Samvit. And what is more than this Samvit is this illusive world full of Māyā. So to get rid of this world one is to constantly meditate on Me, the Witness of all, the Self of all, with a heart full of devotion and free from any Sankalpas or desires.
O Best of Mountains! Now I will describe to you in detail the external form of worship. Hear attentively.
Here ends the Thirty-ninth Chapter of tho Seventh Book on the worship of the World Mother in S'ri Mad Devī Bhāgavatam, the Mahā Purānam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyāsa.
The External Worship of the Devī
1-5. The Devī said:--Getting up from the bed early in the morning, one is to meditate on the thousand petalled lotus, bright, of the colour of camphor, in the top part his brain on the head. On this he should remember his S'rī Guru, very gracious looking, well decorated with ornaments, with His Consort S'akti and bow down to Him and within Him he should meditate the Kundalinī Devī thus --"I take refuge unto that Highest S'akti Kundalinī, of the nature of the Supreme Consciousness, Who is manifest as Chaitanya while up-going to the Brahmarandhra (the aperture supposed to be at the crown of the head, through which the soul takes its flight at death) and Who is of the nature of nectar while returning back in the Susumnā canal. After meditating thus, he should meditate on the Blissful Form of Mine within the Kundalinī Fire situated in the Mulādhāra Lotus (coccygeal lotus). Then he should rise up to go for the calls of nature, etc., and complete Sandhyā Vandanams and other duties. The best of the Brāhmins, then, should for My satisfaction perform the Agnihotra Homa and sitting in his Āsana make Sankalap (determination) to do My Pūjā (Worship).
N. B.--The brain has three divisions, the lower, the middle and the higher, or top-most part which is very pure.
6-10. Next he is to make Bhūta S'uddhi (purification of elements of the body by respiratory attraction and replacement) and then the Mātrikā Nyāsa. Then he should arrange the letters of the root Mantra of Māyā and execute the Hrīllekhā Mātrikā Nyāsa. In this he is to place the letter "Ha" in the Mulādhāra, the letter "Ra" in his heart and the vowel "ī" in the middle of his brows and, Hrīm on the top part of his head. Finishing then all the other Nyāsas according to that Mantra, he should think within his body Dharma, Jńāna, Vairāgyam, and Prosperity as the four legs of the seat and Adharma, Ajńāna, Avairāgyam and non-prosperity, these four as the body of the seat on the four quarters East, South, West and North. Then he should meditate on the Great Devī in the lotus of his heart blown by Prānāyāma, situated on the five seats of the Pretas. O Mountain! Brahmā, Visnu, Rudra, Sadās'iva and Īs'vara are the five Pretas situated under My feet.
11. These are of the nature of earth, water, fire, air, and ether, the five elements and also of the nature of Jāgrat (waking), Svapna (dreaming) Susupti (deep sleep state) Turiyā (the fourth state) and Atīta Rūpa, the (the fifth state) excluding the 4 states, corresponding to the five states. But I, who am of the nature of Brahma, am over and above the five elements and the five states; therefore My Seat is always on the top of these five forces.
12. Meditating on Me thus and worshipping Me with his mind concentrated, he is next to make Japam (reciting My name slowly). After Japam he is to make over the fruits of Japam to Me. He should then place the Arghya for the external worship.
13. Then the worshipper is to sprinkle with the Astra mantra 'Phat', all the articles of worship that are placed in front of him and purify them.
14-18. He should close the ten quarters with the Chhotikā Mudrā and bow down to his Guru. Taking his permission, he should meditate on the outside seat, the beautiful divine form of his heart lotus and invoke the Deity outside and place Her on the seat by Prāna Pratisthā and perform Āvāhana, and present to Her Arghya (an offer of green grass, rice, etc., made in worshipping a god), Pādya (water for washing legs and feet), Āchaman, water for bath, a couple of clothes, all sorts of ornaments, or scents, flowers and the necessary articles with due devotion and he should worship the attendant deities of the Yantra. If one be unable to worship daily the attendant deities, one must worship them on Friday.
19. Of the attendant deities, one must meditate the principal deity of the nature of Prabhā (illumination) and think that by Her rays the three worlds are pervaded.
20. Next he should worship again the Bhubanes'vari Devī, the Chief Deity along with other attendant deities with scent, good smelling flowers; and Naivedya and various other tasteful dishes.
21-22. He should then recite the Sahasranāma (thousand names) stotra and the Devī Sūkta Mantra "Aham Rudrebhih, etc.", and "Sarve vai Devā Devī mupatasthuh, etc.", the Devī Atharva S'irsha Mantra and the Upanis'adsMantra of Bhubanes'varī, the famous mantras, repeatedly and thus bring My satisfaction.
23-24. With hearts filled with love and with hairs standing on their ends all should satisfy Me frequently with tears of love flowing from their eyes and with voice choked with feelings and with dancing music and singing and with his whole body filled with joy.
25. My glory is well established in the Veda Pārāyana and in all the Purānas. So for My satisfaction, one should offer daily to Me one's everything with one's body and recite the readings from the Vedas.
26-27. Next, after completing the Homa offerings, he should feed the Brāhmanas, the young virgins well clothed, the boys and the public and the poor, thinking all of them to be so many forms of the Devī. Than he should bow before the Devī that resides in his heart and finally by Samhāra Mudrā take leave of the Deity invoked.
28. O One of good vows! The Hrīllekhā Mantra (Hrīm) is the chief of all mantrams; so My worship and all other actions ought to be performed with this Hrīllekhā Mantram.
29. I am always reflected in this Mirror of Hrīllekhā form; so anything offered in this Hrīllekhā Mantra of Mine is offered as it were with all the Mantras. Then one should worship the Guru with ornaments, etc., and think oneself blessed.
30-31. O Himavan! Nothing remains at any time unavailable to him who worships thus the Bhubanes'varī Devī. After quitting his body, he goes to the Mani Dvīpa, My Place. He gets the form of the Devī; and the Devas constantly bow down to him.
32-45. O Mahīdhara! Thus I have described to you the rules of worshipping the Great Devī; consider this in all the aspects and worship Me according to your Adhikāra (claim) and you will attain your Goal. There is no doubt in this. O Best of mountains! This S'āstra Devigītā you are not to tell to those who are not the devotees, to those who are enemies, and to those who are cunning. If one gives out this secret of Gītā, it is like taking off the covering from the breast of the mother; so carefully keep it secret and think that this is very necessary. This Devī Gītā ought to be given to a disciple, a Bhakta, the eldest son, and to one who is good natured, and well dressed and devoted to the Devī. O Mountain! In the time of S'rāddha (solemn obsequies performed in honour of the manes of deceased ancestors) he gets the highest place of the Pitris who reads this Devī Gītā before the Brāhmanas.
Vyāsa said:-- The Devī vanished there after describing all these. The Devas were glad and considered themselves blessed by the sight of the Devī. O Janamejaya! The Haimavatī next took Her birth in the house of the Himālayā and was known by the name of Gaurī. S'ānkara, the Deva of the Devas, marricd Her. Sadānana (Kārtika) was born of them. He killed the Tādakā Asura. O King! In ancient times, when the ocean was churned, many gems were obtained. At that time the Devas chanted hymns to the Devī with a concentrated mind to get Laksmī Devī. To show favour to the Devas, Ramā Devī got out of the ocean. The Devas gave Laksmi to Visnu, the Lord of the Vaikuntha. Visnu was very glad at this. O King! Thus I have described to you the Greatness of the Devī and the birth of Gaurī and Laksmī. One's desires are all fulfilled when one hears this. O King! This secret I have described to you. Take care not to divulge it to any other body. This is the secret of the Gītā; so carefully conceal it. O One of pure heart! I have told to you this Divine and Sin-destroying narration, that you asked. What more do you want to hear? Say.
Here ends the Fortieth Chapter of the Seventh Book on the External Worship of the Devī in the Mahāpurānam, S'rī Mad Devī Bhāgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyāsa.