Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 3 Chapter 6
THE THIRD BOOK
On the description of the Devī’s Vibhūtis (powers)
1-10. Brahmā said: When I thus asked with great humility, the Devī Bhagavatī, the Prime Śaktī, She addressed me thus in the following sweet words:
There is oneness always between me and the Puruṣa; there is difference whatsoever at any time between me and the Puruṣa (Male, the Supreme Self). Who am I, that is Puruṣa; who is Puruṣa that I am. The difference between force and the receptacle of force is due to error. He who knows the subtle difference between us two, is certainly intelligent; he is freed from this bondage of Samsāra; there is no doubt about it.
The One Secondless Eternal ever-lasting Brahmā substance becomes dual at the time of creation. As a lamp, though one, becomes two by virtue of adjuncts; as a face, though one, becomes two, as reflected in a mirror; as one man becomes double by his shadow, we become reflected into many, by virtue of different Antah Kāraṇas (mind, buddhi, and ahaṁkāra) created by Māyā.
The necessity of creation, again and again, after the Prakriti Pralayas is due to the fructification of those Karmas of the Jīvas, whose fruits were not enjoyed before the Pralayas; so when creation again commences, the above said differences are found to appear;
Brahmā is the material cause of these changes; without Brahmā as the basis, the existence of Māyā is simply impossible. It is therefore that in Māyā and Māyā's action, Brahmā is interwoven. For this reason as many differences are found in Māyā, so many differences exist in Brahmā.
The Māyā and Brahmā appear as two and hence all the differences, visible and invisible, have come forth. Only during creation are these differences conceived. When everything melts away, i.e., there comes the Pralaya or general dissolution, then, I am not female, I am not male, nor I am hermaphrodite. I then remain as Brahmā with Māyā latent in it.
During the time of creation I am Śrī (wealth), Buddhi (intellect), Dhriti, (fortitude). Smriti (recollection), Śraddhā (faith), Medhā (intelligence), Dayā (mercy), Lajjā (modesty), Kshudhā (hunger), Trishnā (thirst), Kshamā (forgiveness), Akshamā (non-forgiving), Kānti (lustre), Śānti (peace), Pipāsā (thirst), Nidrā (sleep) Tandrā (drowsiness), Jarā (old age), Ajarā (non old-age), Vidyā (knowledge), Avidyā (non-knowledge), Sprihā (desires), Vānchhā (desires), Śaktī (force), Aśakti (non-force), Vasā (fat), Majjā (marrow), Tvak (skin), Driṣṭi (sight), Satyāsatya Vākya (true and untrue words) and it is I that become Parā, Madhyamā, Paśyanti, etc., the innumerable Nāḍis (tubular organs of the body, e. g., arteries, veins, intestines, blood vessels, pulses, etc.); there are three koti and a half Nāḍis (35 millions of Nāḍis).
11-13. O Brahmā! See what substance is there in this Samsāra, that is separate from Me? And what can you imagine with which I am not connected? So know this as certain that I am these all forms.
O Creator! Say, is there any such thing, where you will not see my above mentioned positive form? So, in this creation, I am one, and I am many as well, in various forms. Know this as certain that it is I, that assuming the names of all the various Devas, exist in so many forms of Śaktis. It is I that manifest power and wield strength.
14-27. O Brahmā! I am Gaurī, Brāhmī, Raudrī, Vārāhī, Vaiṣṇavī, Śiva, Vāruṇī, Kauverī, Nāra Sinhī, and Vāsavī Śaktis. I enter in every substance, in everything of the nature of effect.
Making that Puruṣa the instrument, I do all the actions (rather Puruṣa is the efficient cause, the immediate agent). I am the coolness in water, the heat in fire, the lustre in the Sun, the cooling rays in the Moon; and thus I manifest my strength.
O Brahmā! Verily, I tell you this as certain that this universe becomes motionless, if it be abandoned by Me. If I leave Śankara, he will not be able to kill the Daityas.
A very weak man is declared to be as without any strength; he is not said to be without Rudra, or without Viṣṇu, nobody says like this; everyone says, he is without strength, without Śaktī.
Those who get fallen, tumbled, afraid, quiet, or under one's enemies are called powerless; no one says that this man is Rudraless and so forth. So the creation that you perform, know Śaktī, power to be the cause thereof.
When you will be endowed with that Śaktī, you will be able to create this whole Universe. Hari, Rudra, Indra, Agni, Chandra, Sūrya, Yama, Viśvakarma, Varuṇa Pavana, and other Devas all are able to do their karmas, when they are united respectively with their Śaktis.
This Earth, when united with Śaktī, remains fixed and becomes capable to hold all the Jīvas and beings. And if this Earth be devoid of force, She cannot hold an atom even.
Thus Ananta, Kurma and all the other elephants of the eight points of the compass, become able to do their respective works, only by My help (when united with Me, the Force).
O Lotus born! If I wish I can drink all the fire and waters today and I can hold wind in check. I do whatever I wish. If I say that I am creating this world then the inconsistency arises thus:
“When I am everything, then I am being eternal, all this universe, made up of Prapancha, becomes eternal.” (Whereas this universe is not eternal in the sense that it is changing.) If it were said that this universe is different from Me, then My saying that I am everything becomes inconsistent.
Thinking thus, do not plunge yourself in the doubt as to the reality and origin and separateness of the non-eternal universe. For what is unreal, how can that come into existence?
The unreal substances can never come into existence; as the child of a barren woman, the flowers in the sky are simply absurd. What is real can only be born. In discussing about origin, birth, etc., the appearance and disappearance of real things is called their birth and dissolution.
In the cold of earth there exists the previous existence of the jar and this is the cause of the appearance of the jar; the disappearance of the jar exists in the jar; hence this disappearance is the cause of the destruction of the jar. Thus the appearance and disappearance of the causal eternal things are called the Origin and Pralaya.
Similarly in discussing on the causal nature, there does not arise an inconsistency in My being everything.
28-48. So there is nothing to fear. In discussing about the reality of effects, this is to be conceived, that today there does not exist here the earth in the form of jar, if it is destroyed, where it has gone?
The conclusion is that the earth in the form of jar exists in atoms. O Brahmā! All substances eternal, existing for a moment only, the void, and the substances of the nature, real and unreal both, all are due to a cause. Ahaṁkāra is born first among them.
Thus substances are of seven kinds: Mahat, etc. O Unborn One! Mahattattva first arises from Prakriti; from Mahattattva springs Ahaṁkāra; and from Ahaṁkāra arises other substances. Thus, in this order, you go on creating this Universe.
O Brahmā! Now you better go to your respective places, and after creating the Universe, remain there and perform your respective functions ordained by Prārabdha.
Take this beautiful great Śaktī Mahā Saraswati, full of Rajoguṇa, and of a smiling nature. This Śaktī, wearing white clothes, adorned with divine ornaments and sitting on Varāsana, will always be your playmate. This beautiful woman will always be your boon companion; consider Her as My Vibhuti (manifestation of power), and so most worshipful. Never show any sort of disrespect towards Her. Take Her and go immediately to Satyaloka; and from the seed of Mahattattva, create the fourfold beings from these. The subtle bodies (Liṅga Śarīra) and Karmas are remaining mixed up with each other. Separate them, as before, duly, in due time.
Now go on as before and according to Kāla (time), Karma, and Svabhāva (nature), join them with their respective attributes (sounds and other qualities); in other words bestow fruits according to their Guṇas and Karmas (Prārabdhas), and to the time when these fruits are due.
Viṣṇu is prominent in Sattva Guṇa and hence superior to You. So You should always respect and worship Him. Whenever any difficulty will come to you, Viṣṇu will come down on earth to fulfil your ends.
Janārdana Viṣṇu will sometimes be born in the wombs of birds and animals, be sometimes in the wombs of men and destroy the Dānavas.
The highly powerful Mahā Deva, too, will help you. Now create the Devas and enjoy as you like. The Brāhmaṇas, Kṣattriyas, and Vaiśyas will worship you, with devotion, in various sacrifices, endowed with due sacrificial fees. All the Devas will be always satisfied when my name “Svāhā” will be uttered in the sacrificial oblations and ceremonies.
Śiva, the incarnate of Tamo Guṇa will be revered and worshipped by all persons in every sacrifice. When the Devas will be frightened by the Daityas, then Vārāhī, Vaiṣṇavī, Gauri, Nara Simhī, Śachi, Śiva and My other Śaktis will take excellent bodies and destroy your fear.
So, O Lotus-born! Be at your ease and do work. You utter and repeat my nine-lettered mantra with Vīja and Dhyāna and do your work.
O highly intelligent one! This nine-lettered mantra is the best of all the mantras. You are to keep this mantra, within your heart, for the accomplishment of all your ends.
Thus saying to me, Bhagavatī smiled and began to say to Viṣṇu:
O Viṣṇu! Take this beautiful Mahā Lakṣmī and go. She will always reside within your breast; there is no doubt in this. This all auspicious giving Śaktī I give to you for your enjoyment.
You should always show respect to Her; never show hatred or contempt. For the good of the world, I unite thus Lakṣmī and Nārāyaṇa. For your sustenance I create Yajña. You three will act together in harmony unanimously.
You, Brahmā and Śiva are my three Devas, born of my Guṇas. You three will undoubtedly be respected and worshipped by the world.
The stupid man who will find any difference between you three, will go to hell; there is no doubt in this.
He who is Hari, is Śiva; He who Śiva is Hari; to make difference between these will lead one to hell. So Brahmā is one and the same with Śiva and Viṣṇu; there no manner of doubt in this.
O Viṣṇu! But there are other differences in their Guṇas; I will tell this; listen:
as far as meditation of the Supreme Self is concerned you will have Sattva Guṇa predominant within you; and Rajo Guṇa and Tamo Guṇa will be secondary. In various other pursuits and Vikāras (changes) better have Rajo Guṇa with Lakṣmī and always enjoy Her.
49-85. O Lord of Rāma! I give you Vākvīja, Kāmavīja, and Māyāvīja that will lead you to the highest end. Take this Mantra and repeat it and enjoy as you like.
O Viṣṇu! By this, the danger of death, caused Kāla, will never come to you. When the creation of this Universe will be completely done I will then destroy this whole thing, moving and non-moving. You all will then be dissolved in Me. You should add praṇava this mantra with Kāmavīja leading to Mokṣa and repeat it always with auspicious motives.
O Puruṣottama! Build your Vaikuṇṭhapurī; live there and think of this My Eternal Form and enjoy as you like.
Saying thus to Vasudeva, that Higher Prakriti Devī who is all of the three Guṇas and yet transcending them, began to address Mahā Deva, the Deva of the Devas, in sweet words, thus:
O Śankara! Accept this beautiful Mahā Kālī Gaurī, build a new Kailāśa city and live there happily. Your primary Guṇas will be Tamas; Sattva and Rajas will be your secondary Guṇas. Have recourse to Rajo and Tamo Guṇas while you slay the Asuras and thus wander.
O sinless Śankara! Have recourse to peaceful Sattva Guṇa, when you reflect on the Supreme Self and practise austerities. You all are for creating, preserving and destroying the Universe and you are all of the three Guṇas. There is no such thing in this world as are devoid of these three Guṇas.
Everything, that is visible, is endowed with the three Guṇas, and whatever will be or was before cannot exist without them. Only the Supreme Self is without these Guṇas; but He is not visible. O Śankara! I am the Para Prakriti; at times I appear with Guṇas; and at others I remain without any Guṇas.
O Śambhu! I am always of the causal nature; never I am of the nature of effect. When I am causal, I am with Guṇas; and when I am before the Highest Puruṣa, I am, then, without any Guṇas on account of my remaining in the state of equilibrium (Sāmyā vasthā).
Mahattattva, Ahaṁkāra, and sound, touch, etc., all the Guṇas perform the work of Samsāra, day and night, each preceding one being the cause and each subsequent one being the effect; never do they cease in their activities.
From the Reality (Sat vastu) springs Ahaṁkāra (Avyakta); therefore I am of the nature of causality; again Ahaṁkāra is embodied with the three Guṇas, and so the Pundits call it as an effect of mine.
From Ahaṁkāra arises Mahattattva; this is denominated as Buddhi. So Mahattattva is the effect and Ahaṁkāra is its cause.
From Mahattattva arises again another Ahaṁkāra; from this second Ahaṁkāra arise the five Tanmātras or the subtle elements.
From these five Tanmātras, the five gross elements arise after a process called Panchīkaraṇa.
From the Sāttvic part of the five Tanmātras, arise the five organs of perception; from their Rājasic part, the five organs of action come; from their Panchīkaraṇa, came the five gross elements; from the Sāttvic portion of all the five elements comes mind.
Thus sixteen things come into existence. These organs of perception, etc., and other effects together with the Mahā bhūtas form one Gaṇa, composed of the sixteen categories.
The original Puruṣa is the Supreme Self; He is neither cause nor is He any effect.
O Śambhu! At the beginning of the creation, all the above things are born in the way already indicated. Thus I have described to you, in brief; about the creation.
O Devas! Now get up in your aeroplane and go to your respective places and fulfil your respective duties. Whenever you get into any dire distress, then remember Me; I will appear before you.
O Devas! You should remember always the Eternal Supreme Self and Me. When you will remember us both, all your actions, will, no doubt, be crowned with success.
Bhagavatī Durgā gave us Śaktis, full of Divine beauty and lustre; She gave Mahā Lakṣmī to Viṣṇu, Mahā Kālī to Śiva, and Mahā Saraswati to me and bade good bye to us. Thus given farewell to by the Devī, we three went to another place and were born as males.
We thought of the very wonderful nature and influence of the Devī and we got upon our divine aeroplane. When we ascended, we saw there was no Manidvīpa, there was no Devī, there was no ocean of nectar, nothing whatsoever. Save our aeroplane, we did not see anything. We then got into our wide aeroplane and reached there where Viṣṇu killed the two indomitable Daityas, in the great ocean, where I was born from the lotus.
Thus ends the Sixth Chapter of the Third Skandha on the description of the Devī's Vibhūtis (powers) in the Mahāpurāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.