Shiva as Guru

Devi Gita, Song Of The Mother Goddess

Translated by Swami Vijnanananda

The following text is a partial reproduction of Srimad Devi Bhagavatam from Chapters 31 to 41 translated by Swami Vijnanananda. It deals with important aspects of Tantric philosophy and concepts including how the goddess needs to be worshipped.


  1. Chapter31.The Birth of Pârvatî in the House of Himâlayâs
  2. Chapter 32: On Self-realization, Spoken by the World Mother
  3. Chapter 33: The Goddess displays her Cosmic Form
  4. Chapter 34: On Knowledge and Final Emancipation
  5. Chapter 35: On the Yoga and Mantra Siddhi
  6. Chapter 36: On the HighestKnowledge of Brahma
  7. Chapter 37: On Bhakti Yoga
  8. Chapter 38: The Vow and the Sacred Places of the Devi
  9. Chapter 39: The Worship of the World Mother
  10. Chapter 40: The External Worship of the Devi

CHAPTER 31 scrollup

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 Devi's glorious deeds.

3-43. Vyasa 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 Devi. 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 Sati'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 Devi. At this time, the three worlds, with their objects, moving and unmoving, 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 BrahmaPrajâpati, 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 Devi. 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 Devi; some began to repeat Her names constantly; some began to repeat the Devi Sûkta. Thus some devoted themselves to repeating names; others to repeating mantrams. Again some wore engaged in performing severe (painful) Chândrâyana and other Vratas. Some wore doing Antarayâgas (inner sacrifices); some wore doing Prânâgnihotra Yâgas; whereas others engaged themselves in Nyâsâdi, etc. Again some began to worship the Highest S'aktî, the Goddess of the Universe, without any sleep or rest, by the seed mantra of Maya. O King!

Thus many years of the Devas passed away. When the ninth Tithî came in the month of Chaitra on Friday, the Highest Light of the Supreme Force suddontly 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 hermophrodite. 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 arouud. 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 blooning Ketakî 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 crescaut 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 Mallikâ and Mâlatî flowers; Her forehead was pasted with Kâsmîra 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 Dârima 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 Enchantreas 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 Devi and the Maha Devi, 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 Devi, 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 Devi! 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 Sati, 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; we 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 Devi! 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 Devi, 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. Brahmahas given him boon that he will be killed by the S'iva's son. O Mahes'varî! Sati, 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 Devi, 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 shown 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. Vyasa 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 Devi Bhagavatam of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyasa.

CHAPTER 32 scroll up

On Self-realization, Spoken by the World Mother

1-50. The Devi said:--"Hear, ye Immortals! My words with attention, that I am now going to speak to you, hearing which will enable the Jîvas 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 Âtman 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 Maya. This Maya is not existent, nor non-existent, nor can it be called both. This unspeakable substance Maya always exists (till the final emancipation or Moksa).

Maya can be destroyed by Brahmna Jñâna; so it can not be called existent, again if Maya does not exist, the practical world catinot exist. So it cannot be called non-existent. Of course it cannot be called both, for it would involve contradictions. This Maya (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 Jîvas dissolve in deep sleep (S'usupti), so at the time of Pralaya or the General Dissolution, the Karmas of the Jîvas, the Jîvas and Time all become merged, in one uniform mass in this great Maya. United with My S'aktî, I am the Cause of this world; this S'aktî has this defect that it has the power of hiding Me, its Originator.

I am Nirguna. And when I am united with my S'aktî, Maya, 1 become Saguns, the Great Cause of this world. This Maya is divided into two, Vidyâ and Avidyâ. Avidyâ Maya hides Me; whereas Vidyâ Maya does not. Avidyâ creates whereas Vidyâ Maya liberates.

Maya united with Chaitanya (Intelligence), i. e., Chidâbhâsa is the efficient cause of this Universe; whereas Maya reduced to and united with five original elements is the material Cause of the Universe. Some call this Maya tapas; some call Her inert, material; some call Her knowledge; some call Her Maya, Pradhâna, Prakriti, Ajâ (unborn) and sonic others call Her S'aktî. The S'aiva authors call Her Vimars'a and the other Vedântists call Her Avidyâ; in short, this Maya is in the heads of all the Pundits. This Maya is called various in the Nigamas.

That which is seen is inert; for this reason Maya 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 Anavasthâ 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 ntelligence, Jñâna, is also not, felt; there in 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'âstras declare that Samvit (Intelligence) is Eternal and it is Blissful the fountain of all love. Never the Jîvas 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 Jñâna is not the Dharma (the natural quality) of Âtman but it is of the very nature of Âtman. If Jñâna ware the Dharma of Âtman, then Jñâna would have been material; so Jñâna is immaterial. If (for argument's sake) Jñâna be denominated as material, that cannot be. For Jñâna is of the nature of Intelligence and Âtman 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 Âtman is always of the nature of Jñâna and happiness; Its nature is Truth; It is always Full, unattached and void of duality. This Âtman again, united with Maya, composed of desires and Karmas, wants to create, due to the want of discrimination, the twenty-four tattvas, according to the previous Samskâras (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 Avyâkrita (unmodified), Avyakta (unmanifested)

Maya S'abala (divided into various parts) and so forth. In all the S'âstras, it is stated to be the Cause of all causes, the Primeval Tattva and Sachchidlinanda Vigraba. Where all the Karmas are solidified and where Ichchâ S'aktî, (will), Jñâna S'aktî (intelligence) and Kriyâ S'aktî (action) all are melted in one, that is called the Mantra Hrîm, that is the first Tattva. From this comes out Âkâsa, having the property of sound, thence Vâyu (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 Âkâsa; 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 allpervading, Sûtra (string or thread) arose. This Sûtrâtman (soul) is called the "Linga Deha," comprising within itself all the Prânas; this is the subtle body of the Paramâtman. And what is said in the previous lines as Avyakta or Unmainfested and in which the Seed of the World is involved and whence the Linga Deha has sprung, that is called the Causal body (Kârana body) of the Paramâtman. The five original elements (Apañchikrita called the five Tan Mâtrâs) being created, next by the Pañchîkarana process, the gross elements are created. The process is now being stated:--O Girijâ! 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 (Virât) body is formed and this is called the Gross Body of the God.

Jñânendriyas (the organs of knowledge) arise from Sattva Gunas of each of these five elements. Again the Sattva Gunas of each of the Jñânendriyas united become the Antah Karanâni. 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 Ahamkâra. From the Rajo Guna of each of the five elements arises Vâk (speech), Pâni (hands) Pâda (feet), Pâyu (Anus) and Upastha (organs of generation). Again their Rajo parts united give rise to the five Prânas (Prâna, Apâna, Samâna, Udâna and Vyâna) the Prâna Vayu resides in the heart; Apâna Vayu in the Arms; Samâna Vayu resides in the Navel; Udâna Vayu rasides in the Throat; and the Vyâna Vâyu resides, pervading all over the body. My subtle body (Linga Deha) arises from the union of the five

Jñânendriyas, 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 Satbva) Maya and the other is the impure Maya or Avidyâ united with the Gunas. By Maya is meant She, who, without concealing Her refugees, protects them. When the Supreme Self is reflected on this S'uddha Sattva, Maya, He is called Îs'vara. This Saddha Maya does not conceal Brahma, its receptacle; therefore She knows the All-pervading Brahma and She is omniscient, omnipotent, the Lady of all and confors favours and blessings on all. When the Supreme Self is reflected on the Impure Maya or Avidyâ, He is called Jîva. This Avidyâ conceals Brahma, Whose nature is Happiness; therefore this Jîva is the source of all miseries. Both Îs'vara and Jîva have, by the influence of Vidyâ and Avidyâ three bodies and three names. When the Jîva lives in his causal body, he is named Prâjna; when he lives in subtle body he is known as Taijasa; while he has the gross body, he is called Vis'va. So when Îs'vara is in His causal body, he is denominated Îs'a; when He is in His subtle body, he is known as Sûtra; and when He is in His groqs body, He is known as Virât.

The Jîva glories in having three (as above-mentioned) kinds of differentiated bodies and Îs'vara glories in having three (as above-mentioned) kinds of cosmic bodies. Thus Îs'vara is the Lord of all and though He feels Himself always happy and satisfied, yet to favour the Jîvas and to give them liberation (Moksa) He has created various sorts of worldly things for their Bhogas (enjoyments). This Îs'vara creates all the Universe, impelled by My Brahma S'aktî. I am of the nature of Brahma; and Îs'vara in conceived in Me as a snake is imagined in a rope. Therefore Îs'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 Mahâpurânam S'rî Mad Devi Bhagavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyasa.

CHAPTER 33 scrollup

The Goddess displays her Cosmic Form

1-19. The Devi said:--"O Girirâja! This whole universe, moving and unmoving, is created by My Maya S'aktî. This Maya 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 Maya, Vidyâ; but viewed really from the point of Brahman, there is no such thing as Maya; 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 Avidyâ, Karma, and various Samskâras) and enter first as Prâna (vital breath) within it in the form of Chidâbhâsa. 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 Âkâs'â is denominated variously Ghatâkâs'a (Âkâs'â in the air), Patâkâs'a (Âkâs'â in cloth or picture), so I too appear variously by acknowledging this Prâna in various places due to Avidyâ 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 Âtman 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 Jîvas and many Îs'varas due to the varieties in Avidyâ and Vidyâ. Really it is Maya that differentiates into men, beasts and various other Jîvas; and it is Maya that differentiates into Brahma, Visnu and other Îs'varas. As the one pervading sky (Âkâs'a) is called Mahâkâs'a Ghatâkas'a (being enclosed by jars), so the One All pervading Paramâtmâ is called Paramâtmâ, Jîvâtmâ (being enclosed within Jîvas).

As the Jîvas are conceived many by Maya, not in reality; so Îs'varas also are conceived many by Maya; not in essence. O Mountain! This Avidyâ and nothing else, is the cause of the difference in Jîvas, 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 Sâttvik, Râjasik and Tâmasik desires), Maya also appears various. And their differences are the causes of different Îs'varas, Brahma, Visnu and others. O Mountain! This whole world is interwoven in Me; It is I that am the Îs'vara that resides in causal bodies; I am the "Sutrâtman, Hiranyagarbha that resides in subtle bodies and it is I that am the Virât, residing in the gross bodies. I am Brahmâ, Visnu, and Mahes'vara; I am the Brâhmâ, Vaisnavi and Raudrî S'aktis. I am the Sun, I am the Moon, I am the Stars; I am beast, birds, Chandâlas 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 Îs'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 Himâlayâs said:--"O Devi! If Thou art merciful on me, I desire, then, to see Thy Virât 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. Vyasa said:--"O King! Hearing the words of Girirâja, Visnu and all the other Devas gladly seconded him. Then the Devi, 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 Virât 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 S'atyaloka; 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 Brahmais 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; Maya 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 Prajâpati 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 Vijnâna S'âkti (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 (Virâta) 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 Brâhmanas and Ksattriyas are become the food cf that Awful Deity. Thousands of heads, eyes and feet were seen in that form. Crores of Suns, crores of lightnings 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 Devi, our Mother and Preserver." this ides vanished away at once from their minds.

At this moment the Vedas that were on the four sides of the Devi, removed the swoon of the Devas and made them conscious. The Immortals got, then, the excellant Vedas; and, having patience, began to praise and chant hymns in words choked with feelings and with tears flowing 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 Devi! 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 Vedântas. Obeisance to Thee, of the form of Hrîm! 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 Devi, the Cosmic Deity, the Self in all whence have sprung all the Devas, Sâdhyas, the beasts, birds, and men! We bow down again and again to the Great Form, Mâhâ Maya, the Self of all, whence have-sprung the vital breath Prana, Apâna, 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 Prânas, 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 Virât Form, the Great Self, the Mahâ Maya, whence have originated the sacrifices, the sacrifical post (to which the victim about to be immolated is bound) and Daksinâs (the sacrificial fees) and the Rik, the Yajus, and the Sâma Vedas. O Mother! O Mahâ Maya! 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 Devi! Be kind enough to withhold this Extraordinary Terrific Form of Thine, and sbew us Thy Beautiful Lovely Form.

54-56. Vyasa 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 Thirhy-third Chapter of the Seventh Book on the Devi's Virât Rûpa in the Mahâ Parânam, Sri Mad Devi Bhagavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyasa.

CHAPTER 34 scrollup

On Knowledge and Final Emancipation

1-22, The Deyî said:--"O Devas! You are not at all worthy to see this My Wonderful Cosmic Form. Where are Yet and where is this My Form! But it it my affection towards the Bhaktas that I have shewn to You all this greah 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 Sâdhanas 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 Maya (Illusions). He it is that under the various Upâdhis of an actor and enjoyer performs various functions leading to theDharma (righteousness) and the Adharma (unrighteouss). 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 in like a regular clockwork machine; it has no beginning and it goes on working to an endless period. Ignorance or Avidyâ is the Cause of this Samsâra. 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 Jâva, when he becomes liberated, while living . And Vidyâ 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 Avidyâ can be destroyed by doing works. The works are entirely futile. The Jîvas 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 Jñânam (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 declate that the "final liberation comes from Knowledge" so one ought to acquire Jñânam. If both these be collectively followed, then works become beneficial and helping to Jñânam. (Therefore the Jîvas 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 Jñânam and the knots are knit more by Karma. So how can they he reconciled? They are so very diametrically opposite. Darkness and light cannot be brought together, so Jñânam 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), Titiksâ (the power to endure heat and cold and other dualities), Vairâgyam (Dispassion), Sattva Sambhava (the birth of pure Sattva Guna in one's own heart) take place.

After those, the Karmas cease for that man. Then one ought to take Sannyâsa 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 Nididhyâsanam (hearing, thinking and deeply realising) the Vedânta sayings. He should constantly ponder over the meanings of the Mahâvâkyam "Tat Tyam asi." "Tat Tyam Asi" means Thou art That; it asserts the identity of the Supreme Self (Brahma) and Embodied Self (Jîvâtmâ). When this identity is realised, fearlessness comes and he then gets My nature.

First of all, he should try to realise (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 is "Jîva" 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 Bhâgalaksmanâ and Tyâgalaksmanâ. [N. B.-- Bhâgalaksmanâ--kind of Laksmanâ or secondary use of a word by which it partly loses and partly retains its primary meaning also called Jahadajahallaksanâ. Tyâga Laksmanâ--a secondary use of a word by which it loses partly it@ primary meaning.

23-40. The Supreme Self is Brahma--Consciousness, endowed with the omniscience, etc., and.the Embodied Self is Limited Jîva Consciousness, etc.) Leaving aside their both the adjuncts, we take the Consciousness, when both of them are inidentical and we come to Brahma, without a second. The example is now quoted to illustrate what is called Bhâga laksanâ and Tyâgalaksanâ. "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 th Panchîkrita gross elements. It is the receptacle of enjoying the fruits of its Karma and liable to disease and old age. This body is all Maya; therefore it has certainly no real existence. O Lord. of Mountains! Know this to be the gross Upâdhi (limitation) of My real Self. The five Jñanendriyas (organs of senses), five Karmendriyas (working organs), the Prâna Vâyus, mind and Buddhi (rational intellect), in all, these seventeen go to form the subtle body, Sûksma Deha. So the Pundits say.

This body of the Supreme Self is caused by the Apanchîkrita five original elements. Through this body, pain and pleasure are felt in the heart. This is the second Upâdhi of the Âtman. The Ajñâna or Primeval Ignoranee, without beginning and indescribable, is the third body of the Âtman. Know this also to be my third Upâdhi. When all these Upâdhis subside, only the Supreme Self, the Brahman remains. Within these three gross and subtle bodies, the five sheaths, Annamava, Prânamaya, Vijñânamaya, and Ânandamaya 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 Vedânta 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 Âtman, subtler than the subtlest, and greater than the greatest, resides within the cave (the Buddhi) of the Jîvas. 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 Âtman 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 Âtman united with mind and organs of senses enjoys the objects. He who is non-discriminating, unmindful, and always impure, does not realise his Âtman; rather he is bound in this world. He who is discriminating, mindful, and always pure reaches the Goal, realises the Highest Self; and he is not fallen again from That. That man becomes able to cross the Ocean of Samsâra 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 realising one's own self by one's Self (pure heart).

41-44. When by the constant practise, as mentioned above, one's heart is fit for Samâdhi (being absorbed in the Spirit), just before that, he should understand the meanings of the separate letters in the seed Mantra of MahâMaya. The letter "Ha" means gross body and the letter "Ra" means subtle body and the letter "Î" means the causal body; the ###; (dot over the semicircle) is the fourth "Turîya" state of Mine. Thus meditating on the separate dillerentiated states, the intelligent man should meditate on the aforesaid three Vîjas in the Cosmic body also and he should then try to establish the identity between the two. Before enteriing into Samâdhi, after very carefully thinking the above, one should close cne's eyes and meditate on Me, the Supreme Diety of the Universe, the Luminous and Self-Ellulgent Brahmâ.

45-50. O Chief of Mountains! Putting a stop to all worldly desires, free from jealousy and other evils, he should (by constant practise of Prânâyâma) make equal according to the rules of Prânâyâma, the Prâna (the inhaled breath) and Apâna (the exhaled breath) Vâyûs and with an unfeigned devotion get the gross body (Vais'vânara) 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 Susumnâ cave). After that He should dissolve the Taijasa, "Ra" into the Causal body "Î". He should then dissolve the Causal body, the Prâjña "Î" into the Turîya state Hrîm. Then he should go into a region where there is no speech or the thing spoken, which is absolutely free from dualities, that Akhanda Sachchidânanda 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 indentity between the Jîva and Brahma and see Me and get My Nature. O Lord of Mountains! Thus the firmly resolved intelligent man, by the practise 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 Mahâ Purânam, S'rî Mad Devi Bhagavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyasa.

CHAPTER 35 scrollup

On the Yoga and Mantra Siddhi

1. Himâlayâ said:--"O Mahes'varî! Now tell me the Yoga with all its Amgas (limbs) giving the knowledge of the Supreme Consciousness so that, I may realise my Self, when I practise according to those instruetions.

2-10. S'ri Devi said:--"The Yoga does not exist in the Heavens; nor does it exist on earth or in the nether regions (Pâtâla). Those who are skilled in the Yogas say that the realisation of the identity between the Jivâtma and the Paramâtmâ 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 practising the accompaniments to Yoga. Yama, Niyama, Âsana, Prânâyâma, Pratyâhâra, Dhâranâ, Dhyâna, and Samâdhi, these are the eight limbs of Yoga.

Yama includes Ahimsâ (non-injuring; non- killing); truthfulness; Asteyam (non-stealing by mind or deed) Brahmacharya (continence); Dayâ (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) Tapasyâ (austerities and penances); (2) contentment; (3) Âstikya (faith in the God and the Vedas, Devas, Dharma and Adharma) (4) Charity (in good causes); worship of God; hearing the Siddhântas (established sayings) of the Yedas; Hrî or modesty (not to do any irreligious or blameable acts); S'raddhâ (faith to go do good works that are sanctioned); (9) Japam (uttering silently the mantrams, Gâyatrîs or sayings of Purânas) and (10) Homam (offering oblations daily to the Sacred Fire).

There are five kinds of Asanas (Postures) that are commendable: Padmâsan, Svastikâsan, Bhadrâsan, Vajrâsan and Vîrâsan. Padmâsan consists in crossing the legs and placing the fact 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 Svastikâsan. Bhadrâsan 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. Vajrâsan (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. Vîrasan 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 Idâ (the left nostril) so long as we count "Om" sixteen, retaining it in the Susumnâ so long as we count "Om" sixty-four times and then exhaling it slowly by the Pingalâ nâdi (the right nostril) as long as we count "Om" thirty-two times. (The first process is called Pûraka, the second is called Kumbhaka, and the third is called Rechaka). This is called one Prânâyâma by those versed in the Yogas. Thus one should go on again and again with his Prânâyâma. 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.

Prânâyâma is of two kinds:--Sagarbha and Vigarbha. It is called Sagarbha when Prânâyâma is performed with repeating the Ista Mantra and Japam and meditation. It is called Vigarbha Prânâyâma when "Om" is simply counted and no other Mantram. When this Prânâyâma 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 Prânâyâma. (Therefore one who practises Prânâyâma ought to continue it till he becomes able to rise in the air).

21-30. Now comes Pratyâhâra. The senses travel spontaneously towards their objects, as if they are without anyone tos check. To curb them perforce and to make them turn backwards from those objects is called "Pratyâhâra," To hold the Prâna Vâyu 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 "Dhâranâ."

Concentrate the mind on the consciousness inside and then meditate the Ista Devatâ within the Jîvâtmâ. This is the Dhyâna.

Samâdhi is identifying always the Jîvâtmâ and Paramâtmâ. Thus the sages say,(Samâdhi is of two kinds (1) Samprajñâta, 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 Sachchidânanda Brahma and his heart remains, there, that is called Samprajnâta Samâdhi; and when those three vanish away and the one Brahma remains, it is called Asamprajnâta Samâdhi). Thus I have described to you the Yoga with its eight limbs. O Mountain!

This body composed of the five elements, and with Jîva 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 nâdis 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 Susumnâ, 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 Dhustûra flower). On the left of this Susumnâ is the Idâ Nâdî, white and looking like Moon; this Nâdî is of the nature of Force, nectar-like. On the right side of the Susumnâ is the Pingalâ Nâdî of the nature of a male; it represents the Sun. The Susumnâ comprises the nature of the all the Tejas (fires) and it represents Fire.

31-41. The inmost of Susumnâ is Vichtrâ or Chitrinî Bhûlingam nâdî (of the form of a cobweb) in the middle of which resides the Ichchâ (will), Jñâna (knowledge) and Kriyâ (action) S'aktîs, and resplendent like the Millions of Suns. Above Him is situated Hrîm, the Maya Vîja Harâtmâ with "Ha" and Chandravindu repesenting the Sound (Nâda). Above this is the Flame, Kula Kundalinî (the Serpent Fire) of a red colour, and as it were, intoxicated. Outside Her is the Âdhâra 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 hexâgonal space (Pîtham). This is called the Mûlâdhâra for it is the base and it supparts all the six lotuses. Above it is the Svâdhisthâna 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 "Svâdhisthân 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 da, dha, na, 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 "Anâhata" Padma with the twelve petals representing, the twelve letters Ka, Kha, Gha, m###, (cha), (chha), (Ja), (Jha,) Îya, ta, and tha. In the middle is Bânalingam, resplendent like the Sun. This lotus emits the soutid S'abda Brabma, without being struck; therefore it is called the Anâhata Lotus. This is the source of joy. Here dwalls Rudra, the Highest Person."

42-43. Above it is situated the Vis'uddha Chakra of the sixteen petals, comprising the sixteen letters a, â, i, î, u, û, ri, ri, li, lri, e, ai, o, ar, am, ah. This is of a smoky colour, highly lustrous, and is situated in the throat. The Jîvâtmâ sees the Paramâtmâ (the Highest Self) here and it is purified; hence it is called Vis'uddha. This wonderful lotus is termed Âkâs'a.

44-45. Above that is situated betwixt the eyebrows the excedingly beautiful Ajñâ Chakra with two petals comprising the two letters "Ha," and Ksa. 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 Ajñâ Chakra.

46.47. Above that is the Kailâs'a Chakra; over it is the Rodhinî Chikra. O One of good vows! Thus I have described to you all about the Âdhâra Chakras. The prominent Yogis say that above that again, is the Vindu Sthân, 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 bear what is the next thing to do. First by the "Pûraka", Prânâyâma, fix the mind on the Mulâdhâra Lotus. Then contract and arouse the Kula Kundalinî S'aktî there, between the anus and the genital organs, by that Vâyu.

49. Pieme, then, the Lingams (the lustrous Svayambhu Âdi Lingam) in the several Chakras above-mentioned and transfer along with it the heart united with the S'akti to the Sahasrâra (the Thousand petalled Lotus). Then meditate the S'aktî united with S'ambhu there.

50-51. There is produced in the Vindu Chakra, out of the intercourse of S'iva and S'aktî, a kind of nectar-juice, resembling a sort of red-dye (lac). With that Nectar of Joy, the wise Yogis make the Maya S'aktî, 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'aktî down again on tho Mûlâdhâra 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 Samsâra, 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 Vâyu (Pavana Dhârana Yoga).

55. Now hear from Me the Dhârânâ 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 Jîva 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 Sâdhaka 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 practise 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 infalliable means to realise Brahma. As the jar in a dark room is visible by a lamp, so this Jîvâtmâ, surrounded by Maya is visible by means of Mantra to the Paramâtmâ (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 Gura; else millions of S'âstras 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 Mahâ Purânam S'ri Mad Devi Bhagavatam of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyasa.

Chapter 36 scroll up

On the Highest Knowledge of Brahma

1-4. S'ri Devi said:--"O Himâlayâs! Thus making one's own self attached to the Yoga by the above-mentioned process and sitting on a Yoga posture, one should mediate on My Brahma Nature with an unfeigned devotion. (How the knowledge of that Formless Existence and Imperishable Brahmaki 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 Brahmâ. (Brahmais the highest of all Jîvas, higher than Brahmameans higher than all creatures. The word Vijñâna denotes Brahmaas we find in the following speech of Brahmain the Bhâgavat Purâna) "I, the Wisdom Energy (Vijñâna-S'akti) was born from the navel of this Being resting on the Waters and possessed of the Infinite Powers."

Visnu is called "Prana," becauge he is the leader of all (Prâna-netri). He is called Vâk, 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 Jîvas.

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 Dhyâna 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 Dhyâna of Brahman have been taught. This is the method of Brahma-upâsanâ.

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 Âtman. Leave off all other words (as well as the worship of other deities). This (Âtman) is the refuge of the Immortals.

"He is the bridge of the Immortal"--the words Amrita or Immortal means Mukta Jîvas. In the Vedânta Sûtra I, 32, 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 (nâdis) are fastened, as the spokes to the nave of a chariot; He is this (Âtman) 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 Prâjña in the dreamless state. Meditate on the Âtman as Om (full of all auspicious qualities and who is the chief aim of the Vedas), in order to acquire the knowledga of the Paramâtman, Who is beyond the Prakriti and the S'ri Tattva. Your welfare consists in such knowledge.

Note.--This shows that Brahman is the Antaryâmin Purusa. He resides in the heart where all the 72,000 Nâdis 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 idreaming stews as Vis'va and Taijasa; while He manifests as One in the state of Susupti or Dreamless sleep as Prâjñâ. 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 Âtman 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 Âtman, when manifesting Himself as the Blissful and Immortal, is seen by the wise through the purity of the heart.

11. The fetters of the Jîvas are cut assander, 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 Jîva.) [Note.--Visnu is Parâvare, because Parâ or High Beings like Ramâ; Brahmâs, etc., are Avara or inferior in His comparsion.)

[Note.--This shows the result of Divine Wisdom in the last verse. The Avidyâ covers both Îs'varâ and Jîva. It prevents Îs'vara being, seen by Jîva, and Jîva, seeing Îs'vara. It is a direct bondage of Jîva and a metaphorical fetter of Îs'vara. Avidyâ is the name given to Prakriti in Her active state. When Her three qualities Sattiva, Rajas and Tamas, are actively manifest. Destruction of Avidyâ means putting these Gunas in their latent state. There is a great difference between the destruction of the Avidyâ--fetters as taught in this verse, and the unloosening of them as previously described in this verse! There Avidyâ still remained, for it was merely a Paroksa or intellectual apprehension of Truth. Here Avidyâ itself is destroyed by Aparoksa or Intuitive Knowledge of Brahman.

The bonds are five:--The lowest is the Avidyâ bond, then the Lingadeha bond, then the Pramâchchâdaka Prakriti bond, the Kâma bond, and the Karma bond. When all these bonds are destroyed, then the Jñânî goes by the Path of Light to the Sântâmka Loka. Before proceeding further all have to salute the S'is'u-mâra--the Dweller on the threshhold--the hub of the Universe.

The Sis'umâra 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 Ursâ Minor. For a fuller description of it, see Bhagam Purâna Book 5, Chapter 23. Here it is a mystical reference to a Being of an exalted order, which every Jñânî passes by, in his way beyond this Universe. It way 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 Sis'umAra, is saluted by all knowers of Brahma, on their way to the Supreme God.

12. The Brahman (called Sis'umâram) free from all passions and parts (manifesto 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 Âtmân know. [Note.--"He is in the Centre of the Cosmic (as Sis'umâra, 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 Sis'umara and in the second as Gâyattrî." [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'umâra and secondly, as teaching how to meditate on Nârâyana 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 gieater 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.,) than 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 Nâdir. 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 (pûrnâm). 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 Himâlayâs! Know that I am he and he is I. Know that I am seen there where My Jñânî resides.

18. Neither I dwell in any sacred place of pilgrimage, nor do I live in Kailâsa nor in Vaikuntha nor in any other place. I dwell in the heart lotus of My Jñânî.

19. The blessed man who worships once My Jñânî, 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 Jñâna. Nothing now remains to be further described.

21. This Brahma Vidyâ (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'âstras 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 Vidyâ.

23. Verily, he is God himself, who advises this Brahma Vidyâ; 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 Siddhântas (decided couclusimis) of the S'âstras, it is stated that the Guru who imparts the knowledge of Brahman is the best and the most honourable. 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 ungratefal and he is not saved.

28. O Best of Mountains! It is very difficult to acquire Brahma. Jñâna. Hear a story. A Muni named Dadhyam of Atharvana family went to Indra and prayed to him to give Brahma Jñâna. Indra said: "I would give you Brahma-Jñâna, but if you impart it to any other body, I would sever your head." Dadhyarna agreed to this and Indra gave him the Brahma-Jñâna. After a few days, the two As'vins came to the Muni and prayed for Brahma Vidyâ, The Muni said:--"If I give you the Brahma-Vidyi, 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-Vidyâ. 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-Vidyâ.

Here ends theThirty-sixth Chapter of the Seventh Book on the Highest Knowledge of Brahma in the Mahapurânam, S'rî Mad Devi Bhagavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyasa.

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On Bhakti Yoga

1. The Himâlayâs said:--"O Mother! Now describe your Bhaki Yoga, by which ordinary men who have no dispassion get the knowledge of Brahma easily.

2-10. The Devi said:--"O Chief of Mountains! There are three paths, widely known, leading to the final liberation (Moksa). These are Karma Yoga, Jñâna 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 Tâmasî who worships Me, to pain others, being filled with vanity and jealousy and anger. That Bhakti is Râjâsic, 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 Sâttvikî when anybody worships Me to purify his sins, and offers to Me the result of all his Karmas, thinking that Jîva and Îs'vara are separate and knoxing that this action of his is authorized in the Vedas and therefore must be observed. This Sâttvikî 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 Parâ Bhakti (the Supreme Bhakti or the Highest unselfish Love.)

11-20. Now hear attentively about the Parâ 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 Sâmîpya, Sârsti, Sâyujya, and Sâlokya 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 he 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 Bhagavatî." He considers all the Jîvas as Myself and loves Me as he loves himself. He does not make any difference between the Jîvas 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 Chândâlas and all the Jîvas. He who becomes filled with devotion to Me whenever he sees My place, My devotees, and hears the Sâstras, 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 Parâ Prema Bhakti is like the maddening rush of a river to the Ocean; thence in the shape of vapour to the highest; Himâlayân 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 Mothee 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 Utsabs 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 Prârabdha (done in his previoas 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 Parâ Bhakti or the Highest Devotion. Here the predominent idea is the idea of the Devi 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 Parâ Bhakti or All Love. The sages call the limiting stage of this devotion and dispassion as Jñâna (knowledge). When this Jñâna arises, Bhakti and dispassion get their ends satisfied. Yea! He goes then to the Mani Dvîpa, when his Ahamkâra does not crop up by his Prârabdba Karma, though he did not fail to give up his life in devotion. O Mountain! That man enjoys there all the objects of enjoymerits, though unwilling and at the end of the period, gets the knowledge of My Consciousness. By that he attains the Final Liberation for ever. Withqut this Jñâna, the Final Liberation is impossible.

31-33. He realises Para Brahma who gets in this body of his the above Jñâna of the Pratyak Âtmâ in his heart; when his Prâna leaves his body, he does not get re-birth. The S'ruti says:--"He, who knows Brahma, becomes Brahma." In the logic of Kantha, Châmîkara, (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 recoginises the gold on his neck.

34-37. O Best of Mountains! This My consciousness is different from the perceived pots, etc., and unperceived Maya. The image of this Paramâtmâ is seen in bodies other than the Âtmâ as the image falls in a mirror; as the image falls in water, so this Paramâtmâ is seen in the Pitrilokas. As the shadow and light are quite distinct, so in My Manidvîpa, 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 Jñâna, though he had his Vaîrâgyam. Then he takes his birth in the family of a pure prosperous family and practising again his Yoya habits, gets My Consciousness.

38-45. O King of Mountains! This Jñâna arises after many births it does not come in one birth; so one should try one's best to get this Jñâna. If, attaining this rare human birth, one does not attain this Jñâna, know that a great calamity has befallen to him. For this human birth is very hard to attain; and then the birth in a Brâhmin family is rarer; moreover amongst the Brâhmins, 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 Jñâna, So one should try one's best to acquire the Jñâna. Then, at every moment, he gets the fruits of the As'vamedha sacrifice. There is no doubt in this. As ghee (clarified batter) resides potentially in milk, so the Vijñâna 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 Jñâna; so the Vedânta 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 Mahâ Purânaman, S'ri Mad Devi Bhagavatam, of 18,000 Verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyasa.

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The Vow and the Sacred Places of the Devi

1-2. The Himâlayâs said:--"O 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 utsabs that are pleasing to Thee, and by performing which, men become blessed and get themselves satisfied.

3-10. The Devi 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 utsabs. 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 utsabs. 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 Kolhâpura in the southern country. Here the Devi Laksmi always dwells. The second place is Mâtripura in the Sahyâdrî mountain; here the Devi Renukâ dwells. The third place is Tulajâpur; next is the place Saptas'ringa, the great places of Hingulâ and Jvâlâ Mukhî. Then the great places of Sâkambharî, Bhrâmâri, S'rîraktadantikâ and Dûrgâ. The best of all places is that of Vindhyâchala Vâsinî, the great places of Annapurnâ and the excellent Kânchipur (Conjiverum). Next come the placesof Bhîmâ Devi, Vimalâ Devi, S'rî Chandralâ Devi of Karnât, andthe place of Kaus'ikî. Then the great placeof Nîlâmbâ on the top of the Nîlâparvata, the place of Jâmbûnades'varî, and the beautiful S'rînagara.

11-20. The great place of S'rî Guhya Kâlî, well established in Nepal, and that of S'rî Mînâksî Devi established in Chîdamvaram. The great place named Vedâranya where the Sundarî Devi is residing; then the place named Ekâmvaram, and the place Bhuvanes'vara near Purusottama where I always dwell as Parâ S'akti Bhuvanes'varî. The famous place of Mahâlasâ, known in the south by the name Mallâri; the place of Yoges'varî Varât, and the widely known place of Nîla S'arasvatî in China. The excellent place of Bagalâ in Baidyanâth, the supreme place Manidvîpa of S'rîmatî Bhuvanes'varî where I always reside. The Yonimandala Kâmâkhyâ, the place of S'rimatî Tripurâ Bhariavî, the excellent of all the places in this earth, where the Devi Mahâ Maya always dwells. There is no other place better than this on the earth. Here the Devi 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 Devi; there is no better place than this Kâmâkhyâ Yonimaindala. Puskara, the sacred place, is the seat of Gâyatrî; the place of Chandikâ in Amares'a: and the excellent place of Puskareksinî in Frabhâsa. The place of Linga-dhârinî Devi in Naimisâranya, and the place of Purubutâ in Puskarâksa; Rati dwells in Âsâdhî.

21-30. Dandinî Parames'vari dwells in Chandamundî. Bhûti dwells in Bhârabhûti; and Nakule S'varî dwells in Nâkula. Chandrikâ dwells in Haris'chandra; S'ânkari in S'rîgiri; Tris'ûlâ in Japes'vara; and Suksmâ in Âmrâta Kes'vara. S'ânkarî dwells in Ujjain, S'arvânî in the place Madhyamâ, and Mârga Dâyini dwells in the holy Ksetra Kedâra. The celebrated Bhairavî dwells in the place named Bhairava; Mangalâ in Gayâ Ksettra; Sthânupriyâ in Kuruksetra; and Svâyambhuvî Devi dwells in Nâkula; Ugrâ dwells in Kankhal; Vis'vesâ dwells in Vimales'vara, Mahânandâ in Attahâsa and Mahântakâ in Mahendra. Bhimes'varî dwells in Bhîma; the Bhavânî S'ankarî dwells in Vastrâpadma; and Rudrânî in Ardha Kotî. Vis'alâksî dwells in Avimukta; Mahâbhâgâ dwells in Mahâlaya; Bhadrakarnî in Gokarna; and Bhadrâ resides in Bhadrakarnak; Utpalâksî dwells in Suvarnâksa; Sthânvîs'â in Sthânu; Kamalâ in Kamalâlayâ; Chandâ in Chhagalandaka, situated in the south near the seacoast. Trisandhyâ dwells in Kurundala; Mukutes'varî in Mâkota; S'ândakî in Mandales'a; Kâlî in Kâlanjara; Dhvani in S'ankukarna; Sthûlâ in Sthûlakes'vara; and Parames'varî Hrillekhâ dwells in the heart lotuses of the Jñanins.

31-34. The places mentioned above are all dearest to the Devi. First the merits of these places are to be heard; next the Devi is to be worshipped by the rites and ceremonies according to these rules. Or, O Mountain! All the holy places of pilgrimages exist in Kâs'î. The Devi always dwells there. Persons, devoted to the Devi, see these places and if they make Japam and meditate on the lotus-feet of the Devi, they will certainly be freed from the bondi of Samsâra; 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'râddha, before the Brahmins, these holy names of the Devi, his Pitris will be purified of their sins in the Mahâkâs'a by the Mahâ Prâna 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 Tritîyâkhys Vrata (vow), Rasakalyânî Vrata, and Ârdrânandakara Vrata, these three Vratas are to be observed in the Tritîyâ (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, Mahâ Deva placed the Devi in the evening on an Âsana; 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 Devi, the Giver of all auspicious things. Especially in every fortnight, if the Devi be worshipped, She gets extremely pleased.

41. O Best of Mountains! The Monday vow is very agreeable to Me; the worship of the Devi should be done and then in the night one must take one's food,

42-43. The two nine nights vow called Navarâtra 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 othar Nitya Naimittik vows, free from any pride and jealousy. He certainly gets the Sâjujya Mukti with Me.

44-46. O Nagarâja! The Holy (Dol) festival in the month of Chait on tha 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 Paurnamâsî in the month of Âsâdha; the Jâgaranotsava in the Paurnamâsî in the month of Kârtik, the Ratha Jâtrâ in the 3rd of the white fortnight in Âsâdha; the Damanotsava in Chaitra. And my dear festivals in the month of S'râvana and various other festivals.

47-49. In all these festivals one should feast well with gladness all My devotees, and the Kumâris (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 overy 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 Devi in the Mahâ Purânam S'rî Mad Devi Bhagavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyasa.

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The Worship of the World Mother

1. The Himâlayâs said:--"O Devi! 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 Devi 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 fai th. My worship in of two kinds:--External and internal. The external worship is again twofold: one is Vaidik, and the other is Tântrik. 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 Tântrik-Mantram worship; according to the Tântrik 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 intelligenees of all the Jîvas, 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 Jñâna 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 Jñâna. 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 Dharmâbhâsa (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 Smritii and Purânas, 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'âstra 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 Brâhmana 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 Sâkambharî, Râma, 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 Brâhmins 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'âstras that are extant, as contrary to the S'rutis and Smritis, are all Tâmasa S'âstras, Mahâdeva has framed these Vâma, Kâpâlak, Kaulaks, Bhairava and such like S'astras for fascinating the people; else he has no object in framing thein. Those Brânmans that were burnt up by the curses of Daksa, S'ukra, Dadhîchi and were banished from the path of the Vedas, it is for delivering them, step by step that Mahâdeva has framed the five Âgamas, S'aiva, Vaisnava, S'aura, S'âtta and Gânapatya S'âstras.

31-37. In those Tantra S'âstras, 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 Brâhmins are not Adhikâris to those Tântric texts that are contradictory to the Vedas. Those persons that have no claim to the Vedas can be Adhikâris to these latter texts. Therefore the Vaidik Brâhmanas should resort to the Vedas with all the care possible and make the Para Brahma ot the nature of Jñâna manifest within them. The Sanynsins, Vânaprasthas, householders and Brâhmachâris 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 Virât (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 practising Yoga with Me. There is no doubt in this. O Nagendra! Thus I have described in brief the methods and practises of the Vaidik Pûjâ; now I will tell you the Tântrikî Pûjâ; hear attentively.

38-47, On an image, or clean plot of ground, or on the Sun or the Moon, in water, in Vâna 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 Devi, 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 entitlad 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 Maya. 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 devotiou and free from any Sankalaps 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 Devi Bhagavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses, by Mahrsi Veda Vyasa.

CHAPTER 40. scrollup

The External Worship of the Devi

1-5. The Devi 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'rî 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 Kundalinî Devi thus --"I take refuge unto that Highest S'akti Kundalinî, of the nature of the Supreme Consciousness, Who is manifestm Chaityana 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 Susumnâ canal. After meditating thus, he should meditate on the Blissful Form of Mine within the Kundalinî Fire stuatea in the Mulâdhâra Lotus (coccygeal lotus). Then he should rise up to go for the calls of nature, etc., and complete Sandhyâ, Bandanams and other duties. The best of the Brâhmins, then, should for My satisfaction perform the Agnihotra Homa and sitting in his Âsana make Sankalap (determination) to do My Pûjâ (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 Bhûta S'uddhi (purification of elements of the body by respiratory attraction and replacement) and then the Mâtrikâ Nyasa, Then he should arrange the letters of the root Mantra of Maya and execute the Hrîllekhâ Mâtrikâ Nyâsa. In this he is to place the letter "Ha" in the Mulâdhâra, the letter "Ra" in his heart and the vowel "î" in the middle of his brows aud, Hrîm on the top part of his head. Finishing then all the other Nyâsas according to that Mantra, he should think within his body Dharma, Jñâna, Vairâgyam, and Prosperity as the four legs of the seat and Adharma, Ajñâna, Avairâgyam 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 Devi in the lotus of his heart blewn by Prânâyâma, situated on the five seats of the Pretas. O Mountain! Brahmâ, Visnu, Rudra, Sadâs'iva and Îs'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 Jâgrat (waking), Svapna (dreaming) Susupti (deep sleep state) Turiyâ (the fourth state) and Atîta Rûpa, 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 or. 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 vith 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 Chbotikâ Mudrâ and bow down to his Guru. Taking his permission, he should meditate on the outside seat, the beauiful divine form of his heart lotus and invoke the Deity outside and place Her on the seat by Prâna Pratisthâ and perforn Âvâhana, and present to Her Arghya (an offer of green grass, rice, etc., made in worshipping a god), Pâdya (water for washing legs and feet), Âchaman, 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 wurship daily the attendant deities, one wust worship them on Friday.

19. Of the attendant deities, one must meditate the principal deity of the nature of Prabhâ (illumination) and think that by Her rays the three worlds are pervaded.

20. Next he should worship again the Bhuvaues'vari Devi, 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 Sahasranâma (thousand names) stotra and the Devi Sûkta Mantra "Aham Rudrebhih, etc.," and "Sarve vai Devâ Devi mupatasthuh etc.," the Devi Atharva S'iro Mantra and the Upanisads' Mantra of Bhuvanes'varî, 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 Pârâyana and in all the Purânas. 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 Brâhmanas, tha young virgins well clothed, the boys and the public and the poor, thinking all of them to be so many forms of the Devi. Than he should bow before the Devi that resides in his heart and finally by Samhâra Mudrâ take leave of the Deity invoked.

28. O One of good vows! The Hrîllekhâ Mantra (Hrîm) is the chief of all mântrams; so My worship and all other actions ought to be performed with this Hrîllekhâ Mantram.

29. I am always reflected in this Mirror of Hrîllekhâ form; so anything offered in this Hrîllekhâ 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 Bhuvanes'varî Devi. After quitting his body, he goes to theMani Dvîpa, My Place. He gets the form of the Devi; and the Devas constantly bow down to him.

82-45. O Mahîdhara! Thus I have described to you the rules of worshipping the Great Devi; consider this in all the aspects and worship Me according to your Adhikâra (claim) and you will attain your Goal. There is no doubt in this. O Best of mountains! This S'âstra Devigita 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 Gîtâ, 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 Devi Gîtâ 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 Devi. O Mountain! In the time of S'râddha (solemn obsequies performed in honour of the manes of deceased ancestors) he gets the highest place of the Pitris who reads this Devi Gîtâ before the Brâhmanas.

Vyasa said:--The Devi vanished there after describing all these. The Devas were glad and considered themselves blessed by the sight of the Devi. O Janamejaya! The Haimavatî next took Her birth in the house of the Himâlayâ and was known by the name of Gaurî. S'ânkara, the Deva of the Devas, marricd Her. Sadânana (Kâtrtika) was born of them. He killed the Tâdakâ Asura. O King! In ancient times, when the ocean was churned, many gems were obtained. At that time the Devas chanted hymns to the Devi with a concentrated mind to get Laksmî Devi. To show favour to the Devas, Ramâ Devi 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 Devi and the birth of Gaurî and Laksmî. 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 Gîtâ; 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 Devi in the Mahapurinsm, S'rî Mad Devi Bhagavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyasa.

[The Seventh Book Completed.]

Source: The Devi Gita (Song of the Goddess) Excerpt from the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam translated by Swami Vijnanananda (Hari Prasanna Chatterji) [1921]

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Aum Namah Shivayah!