(Song of the Goddess)
Excerpt from the Srimad Devî BhagavatamTranslated by Swami
Vijnanananda (Hari Prasanna Chatterji)
The Devi Gita is part of the Srimad Devî Bhagavatam written by the great Veda Vyasa . It describes an incarnation of the Devi and she herself describes her nature, and how she wants to be worshipped, particularly with Yogic practices, meditation and rituals.
The Birth of Pârvatî in the House of Himâlayâs
1-2. Janamejaya said–“O Muni! You told before that “the Highest Light took Her birth on the top of the Himilayas.” Now describe to me in detail about this Highest liight. What intelligent man
can desist from hearing these nectar-like words about the S’akti? The danger of death may come even to the Davas that drink nectars but no such danger can possibly come to those that drink the nectar of the Devî’s glorious deeds.3-43. Vyâsa 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 Devî. 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 Satî’s body that as burnt by fire, He spent his time there with his senses controlled, in Samâdhi, forgetting all his knowledge of Samsâra in deep meditation of the form of the Devî. 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. Âdhibhantik and Âdhidaivik (from material causes and from divine interference). At this time a great Asura, named Târaka, became unconquerable owing to his receiving a boon from Brahmâ. Being intoxicated by his power and heroism, he conquered the three worlds and became the sovereign ruler.The Brahmâ Prajâpati, 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’ânkara 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 Bhâgavan Visnu of all that had happened, in privacy. The Bhâgavan 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 Dvîpa, 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 Laksmî and the other Devas quickly went out to worship the Devî. Going to the Himâlayâs, 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, Tritiyâdi Vratânî. Some were engaged in incessantly meditating on the Devî; some began to repeat Her names constantly; some began to repeat the Devî Sûkta.
44-54. The Devas said:–We bow down to Thee, the Devî and the Maha Devî, always obeisance to Thee! Thqu 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 Yogî) 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 Jîvas) for the rewards of their actions; We take refuge to Thee, the Durgâ, the Devî, we bow down to Thee, that can well make others cross the ocoan of Samsâra; 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 Vâyus, Prâna, etc., which are called the Devas) which are of the nature of Vis’varûpu, pervading everywhere, like the Kâma 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 eba at hymns to Thee. O Devî! Thou art the Night of Destruction at the end of the world; Thou art worshipped by Brahmâ; Thou art the Laksmi, the S’akti of Visnu; Thou art the Mother of Skanda the S’aktî of S’iva; Thou art the S’aktî Sarasvatî of Brahmâ. Thou art Aditi, the Mother of the gods and Thou art Satî, 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 Mahâ Laksmî; wa meditate on Thee as of the nature of all the S’aktis as Bhaghavatî. O Mother! Illumine us so that we can meditate and know Thee. O Devî! Obeisance to Thee, the Virât! Obeisance to Thee, the Sûtrâtmâ, the Hiranyagarbha; obeisance to Thee, the transformed into sixteen Vikritis (or transformations). Obeisance to Thee, of the natara of Brahma. We bow down with great devotion to Thee, the Goddess of the Universe, the Creatrix of Mâyic Avidyâ (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 Vidyâ.
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, Prânamaya, Manomaya, Vijnânamaya and the Ânandamaya–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 Hrîm; 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 Devî, the In-dweller of the Mani Dvîpa, the Bhagavatî 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’varâ! 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 Târaka is giving us troubles day and night. Brahmâ has given him boon that he will be killed by the S’iva’s son. O Mahes’varî! Satî, 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 uufliuohed 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 Dava’s words, Parames’varî, with a graceful countenance, spoke to them, thus:–“My S’aktî will incarnate as Gaurî in the house of Himâlayâs; She will be the wife of S’iva and will beget a son that will destroy Târaka Damon and will serve your purpose. And your devotion will remain steadfast at My Lotus feet. Himâlayâs, too, is worshipping Me with his wholehearted devotion; so to take birth in his house is to my greatest liking; know this.
66-73. Vylsa said:–“O King! Hearing the kind words of the Devî, 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 muoh 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 Samâdhi. Oh! What a favour hast Thou shewn towards me! Henceforth my unparalleled fame will be sprerd throughout the whole Universe of five original elements that “The Upholder of the Universe, the World Mother has become the daughter of this Himâlayâs! 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 Brahmândas! 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’varâ! Now describe to me Thy Real Self as exemplified in all the Vedântas; and also Jñâna with Bhakti approved by the Vedas in the same way that Thou hast shown already this favour to me, so that by That Know ledge I will be able to realise Thy Self.
74. Vyâsa said:–“O King! Thus hearing the praise of HimAlayas, 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 Pârvatî in the House of Himâlayâs in the Mahâpurânam S’ri Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.