SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 5 CHAPTER 35
THE FIFTH BOOK
On the receiving of the boons by the King Suratha and the Vaiśya Samādhi
1-12. Vyāsa said:
O King! Hearing thus the Riṣi’s words, the king Suratha and Vaiśya, who were very distressed in their minds, became very much comforted and bowed down to the Muni with great humility and modesty.
Their eyes expressed their gladness and their hearts were filled with loving devotion.
Both of them, then, clever in speaking and of calm and quiet temper, began to address him with their folded hands:
O Bhagavān! We were passing our days in a very humble and distressed spot; we are today purified by your good words, just as the country was rendered pure by Bhagīratha when he brought down the river Ganges here.
The saints, adorned with purely good qualities, are incessantly engaged in doing good to others and how the people can be made happy.
O Intelligent One! Surely we have come to this auspicious Āśrama owing to our past good deeds (in previous births) and all our miseries are therefore brought to their ends today.
There are good many persons that roam in this world for their selfish ends; very few there exist like you who are always ready to do good to others.
O Muni! True that I am very much distressed but this Vaiśya is more distressed than me. Both of us, very much afflicted by the miseries of the world, have come gladly to your Āśrama and are relieved of our bodily sufferings by your sight; and now, hearing your words, we are relieved also of our mental pain and sufferings.
O Brāhmaṇa! We are very much blessed and our objects have been gained by your nectar-like words;
O Thou, the Ocean of mercy! You have purified us, out of your unbounded mercy. We are quite tired of this world; knowing this, do you lead us beyond this world by holding our hands and by initiating us with Mantrams.
O Best of Munis! We will first of all practise a very hard Tapasyā (asceticism) and worship Bhagavatī, the Awarder of happiness; then, seeing Her, we will go to our respective abodes.
Now we expect the nine-lettered Mantram of the Devī from your mouth and practising the Navarātra varam we will fast and meditate on the Mantram.
[Note The nine-lettered Mantram is “Om Mahiṣamardinyai Svāhā.”
Instead of Om, any of the following may be used Hrīm, Klīm, Aim, Strīm, or Hūm mentioned in Sāradā Tilaka, Nārāyanī Tantra, or in Viśvasāra Tantra (see page 125 of Tantra Sāra).]
13-30. Vyāsa said:
O King! When the king and Vaiśya prayed thus to the Muni Sumedhā, the best of the Munis, gave them the auspicious Mantram with its seed (Bīja) and as well what is to be meditated (Dhyān).
On getting the Mantram (with Ṛiṣi, Chhanda, seed Śakti, and Devatā) duly, they welcomed the Muni and with his permission went to the holy bank of a river.
Both of them were of delicate frames and both of them were fully determined; they went to a very solitary place and selected their place and took their seats there.
There they spent one month in repeating silently the Mantram and in chanting the three glorious deeds of Chaṇḍi.
In this short period of one month, they became very much attached to the lotus-feet of Bhavāni and their minds were also much pacified.
They attended to no other business; only they used to go to the Muni once a day and bowing down before him they returned to their own seats of Kuśa grass and gave themselves up to the meditation of the Devī and always repeated silently their Mantrams.
O King! One year thus passed away; they then abstained from taking fruits and subsisted on the leaves of trees. Thus engaged in meditation and asceticism they passed away another year sustaining themselves with dry leaves only.
O King! When the two years thus passed, they got in their dreams the beautiful vision of the Goddess Bhagavatī.
They were very much delighted to see in their dreams the Ambikā Devī in red robes and decorated with various ornaments.
They practised tapasyā in the third year with water as their only food. Thus when they found that, after practising the tapas for three years, they could not see face to face the Devī they became very anxious to see the Devī and thought thus:
“When we have not been so fortunate as to see the Devī, Who art the Bestower of peace and happiness to the human beings, we will then leave our bodies, in deep distress and sorrow!”
Thus thinking, the King prepared a beautiful triangular Kunda (pit), firm and of one hand measure.
Lighting a fire in that pit, the King began to cut off slices of flesh from his own body and offered them as oblations to the fire.
The Vaiśya, too, then did the same.
O King! Both of them were very much excited and began to offer their blood as oblation to the Devī. The Devī Bhagavatī, then, seeing them thus grieved, and that their hearts were overflown with devotion towards Her, appeared direct before them and said thus:
31-32. O King! You are my favourite devotees; I am pleased with your Tapasyā; now ask whatever you desire; I will grant you that boon.
Then She spoke to the Vaiśya:
“O Highly Fortunate One! I am pleased; ask without any delay any boon; I will grant that just now.”
33-52. Vyāsa said:
O King! Hearing thus the words of the Devī, the king Suratha was very much delighted and said thus:
“O Devī! Grant me this boon that I be able today to conquer my enemies with my own power and that I may regain my kingdom. ”
The Devī then spoke to him thus:
“O King! Go to your own abode; your enemies are now enfeebled and will certainly be defeated.
(Note The Devī has now withdrawn Her own power from the enemies with which they were filled before. This is the result of the real sacrifice to the Devī.)
O Fortunate One! Your ministers will all come and prostrate themselves before your feet and will be obedient to you; you can now go back to your city and govern your subjects happily.
O King! Thus reign for Ajuta years (10,000 years) over your widely extended dominion; then, when you quit your body, you will again be born from Sūrya, and be known widely as Sāvarṇi Manu.”
O King! The pure-natured Vaiśya said with folded hands:
“O Devī! I have nothing to do with house, sons, nor wealth.
O Mother! The house, wealth and sons, all these are so many sources of bondage to this world and are very transitory like dreams.
Therefore give me knowledge so that my ties to this world be cut asunder.
Persons who are devoid of knowledge, those fools are merged in this ocean of world. The wise never prefer this Samsāra; therefore they can cross this world.
O King! Hearing this, the Mahāmāyā said to the Vaiśya, that stood in front of Her thus:
“O Vaiśya! No doubt you will acquire knowledge.”
Thus granting boons to them, the Devī then and there disappeared.
After the Devī had disappeared, the King bowed down to the Muni, mounted on his horse and expressed a desire to go back to his kingdom.
Just at that time all his ministers and subjects came humbly before him, bowed down to him and standing before him with folded hands, said:
“O King! Your enemies all had acted very sinfully; hence they were all slain in battle; you be pleased now to remain in your city, free from any enemy and govern your subjects.”
The King, hearing thus, bowed down to the Muni and with his permission, started towards his kingdom, surrounded by his ministers.
On regaining his own kingdom, wife, relatives and kinsmen he began to enjoy the sea-girt earth.
On the other hand, the Vaiśya became illumined with the Spiritual Knowledge and all his connections and attachments being completely severed, became free from all bondages.
He became liberated in his lifetime and travelled always from one place of pilgrimage to another and passed away his time in singing the glorious deeds of the Devī.
O King! Thus I have described to you the most wonderful character of the Devī, what fruits were obtained by the King and the Vaiśya on their worshipping Her, how the Daityas were killed by Her and about Her auspicious appearances on this earth.
Oh! Such is the glory of the Devī, leading to fearlessness amongst Her devotees. The mortal who hears constantly this excellent pure narrative of the Devī Bhagavatī, gets truly all the best and wonderful pleasures of this world.
No doubt anybody who hears this wonderful incident, will obtain knowledge, liberation, fame, happiness and purity.
The essence of all religions lies in this narration; therefore it leads, above all, to Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Mokṣa (religion, wealth, desire and liberation). It grants all desires to human beings.
53-54. Sūta said:
O Riṣis! The Mahāṛṣi Vyāsa, the son of Satyavatī, versed in all the departments of knowledge, asked by the King Janamejaya, narrated to him this divine Samhitā.
The character of Chaṇḍikā, the killing of the Daitya Śumbha, were thus narrated by the merciful Muni Veda Vyāsa.
O Munis! I, too, have described to you the main points of this Purāṇa. Here ends the Fifth Book.
Here ends the Thirty-fifth Chapter of the Fifth Book on the receiving of the boons by the King Suratha and the Vaiśya Samadhi in the Devī Bhāgavatam, the Mahā Purāṇam, of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.
The Fifth Book Completed.