SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 7 CHAPTER 30

THE SEVENTH BOOK

Chapter XXX

On the birth of Gaurī, the seats of the Deity, and the distraction of Śiva

1-12. Vyāsa said:

O King! They went to the forest and fixed their seats on the slope of the Himalayan mountain and engaged themselves in repeating silently the seed Mantra of Mahā Māyā and thus practised their austerities.

O King! One hundred thousand years passed in the meditation on the Para Śaktī.

The Devī, pleased, became visible to them. Her form was three-eyed, and of the form of Existence, Intelligence and Bliss (Satchidānanda); She was filled with mercy.

In Her one hand there was the noose, in another hand, goad; in another hand there was the sign bidding her devotees discard all fear, and in the other hand She was ready to offer boons.

The good-natured Munis, seeing this Form of the World Mother began to praise Her:

“O Devī! Thou art existing separately in every gross body; we bow down to Thee. Thou art existing wholly (cosmically) in all the gross bodies; we bow down to Thee.

O Parameśvarī! Thou art existing separately in every subtle body; we bow down to Thee; Thou art existing universally in all the subtle bodies; we bow down to Thee,

Thou art existing separately in all the causal bodies wherein all the Linga Dehas (subtle bodies) are interwoven; we bow down to Thee. Thou art existing universally in all the causal bodies; we bow down to Thee.

Thou art of the nature of the unchangeable Brahmā, the receptacle of all the Jīvas and thus residest in all the bodies; so we bow down to Thee. Thou art of the nature of Ātman, the Goal of all the beings; we bow again and spin to Thee.”

Thus the pure-natured Dakṣa and the other Munis praised Her with voice, choked with feelings of intense devotion and bowed down to Her feet.

Then the Devī, pleased, spoke to them in a cuckoo voice:

“O Highly Fortunate Ones! I am ever ready to grant boons; so ask what you desire.”

O King! Hearing thus, they asked that Hari and Hara both regain their former natural states and were united respectively with their Śaktis, Lakṣmī and Gaurī.

Dakṣa again asked:

“O Devī! Let your birth be in my family. O Mother! I will, no doubt, consider myself as having then realised the fulfilment of my life.

So, O Parameśvarī! Speak by Thy own mouth how Thy worship, Japam, meditation will be conducted as well the various fit places where they would be performed.”

13-16. The Devī said:

“The insult shown towards my Śaktis has led to this calamitous state of Hari and Hara. So they should not repeat such crime.

Now, by My favour, they will regain their health and, of the two Śaktis, one will be born in your family and the other will take Her birth in the Kṣiroda Sagara, the ocean of milk.

Hari and Hara will get back their Śaktis, when I will send them the chief Mantra. The chief Mantra of Mine is the said Mantra of Māyā; this is always sweet to Me; so worship this Mantra and make Japam of this.

The Form that you are seeing in front of you, this is My Bhuvaneśvarī form (that of the Goddess of the Universe), or worship My Virāt (cosmic) form; or Satchidānanda form. The whole world is my place of worship; so you can meditate on Me and worship Me always and in all places. ”

17-23. Vyāsa said:

When the Bhuvaneśvarī Devī living in the Mani Dvīpa thus giving Her reply, went away, Dakṣa and other Munis all went to Brahmā and informed him with great earnestness of everything that happened.

O King! Thus Hari and Hara both became devoid of their haughtiness and got back their previous natures by the Grace of the Supreme Deity and were thus enabled to perform their functions as before.

Then, on a certain time, the Devī Bhagavatī, the Fiery Nature of the Para Śaktī, took Her birth in the house of the Prajāpati Dakṣa.

O King! Everywhere in the Trilokas, great festivities were held. All the Devas became glad and showered flowers. The Dundubhis of the Devas were played by the hands and made very grave sounds.

The pure-minded saints were gladdened; the Sun’s rays looked purer and cleaner; the rivers were elated with joy and began to flow in their channels.

When the World-auspicious Devī, the Destroyer of the birth and death of the Jīvas took Her birth, everything looked propitious. The wise Munis named Her “Sati” as She was of the nature of Para Brahmā and Truth Herself.

The Prajāpati Dakṣa handed over the Devī, who was before the Śaktī of Mahādeva, to that Deva of the Devas, Mahādeva. Due to the misfortune of Dakṣa, the daughter of Dakṣa burnt Herself in a blazing fire.

24-25. Janamejaya said:

“O Munis! You have made me now hear a very inauspicious word. How can such a great thing of the nature of the Highest Intelligence come to be burnt up in a fire!

The mere recollecting of Whose Name dispels the terrible danger of the burning up by the fire of Samsāra, how can She be burnt up by fire, I am extremely eager to hear; kindly describe that to me in detail.”

26-37. Vyāsa said:

O King! Hear. I am describing to you the ancient history of the burning of Sati. Once on a time, the famous Ṛiṣi Durvasa went to the bank of the river Jambu and saw the Devī there.

There he remained with his senses controlled and began to repeat silently the root Mantra of Māyā.

Then the Goddess of the Immortals, the Bhagavatī was pleased and gave the Muni a beautiful garland as Her Prasāda that was on Her neck, that emitted the sweet fragrance of Makaranda (juice of flowers; Jasmine) whereon the bees were about to cluster.

The Mahāṛṣi took it quickly and placed it on his head. He then hurriedly went to see the Mother to the place where Sati’s Father, the Prajāpati Dakṣa was staying and bowed down to the feet of the Sati.

The Prajāpati then asked him:

“O Lord! Whose extraordinary garland is this? How have you got this enchanting garland, rare to the mortals on this earth!”

The eloquent Mahāṛṣi Durvasa then spoke to him with tears of love flowing from his eyes:

 “O Prajāpati! I have got this beautiful garland that has no equal, as the Prasāda (favour) of the Devī.”

The Prajāpati asked that garland then from him.

He, too, thinking that there was nothing in the three worlds that cannot be given to the devotee of the Śaktī, gave that garland to the Prajāpati.

He took that on his head; then placed it on the nice bed that was prepared in the bed-room of the couple. Being excited by the sweet fragrant smell of that garland in the night, the Prajāpati engaged in a sexual intercourse!

O King! Due to that animal action, the bitter enmity arose in his mind towards Śankara and His Sati. He then began to abuse Śiva.

O King! For that offence, the Sati resolved to quit her body that was born of Dakṣa, to preserve the prestige of the Sanātana Darma of devotion to Her Husband and burnt Her body by the fire arising out of Yoga.

38. Janamejaya said:

“O Muni! What did Mahā Deva do, thus pained by the bereavement from His consort dearer than His life, when the Sati’s body was thus consumed.”

39-50. Vyāsa said:

O King! I am unable to describe what happened afterwards.

O King! Out of the fire of anger of Śiva, the Pralaya seemed to threaten the three worlds. Virabhadra came into existence with hosts of Bhadra Kālīs, ready to destroy the three worlds.

Brahmā and the other Devas took refuge to Śankara.

Though Mahādeva lost everything on Sati’s departure, He, the Ocean of Mercy, destroyed the sacrifice of Dakṣa, cut off his head and instead placed the head of a goat, brought him back to life and thus made the Gods free from all fears.

He, the Deva of the Devas, then became very much distressed and going to the place of sacrifice, began to weep in great sorrow.

He saw that the body of the Intelligent Sati was being burnt in the fire of the Chita. He cried aloud: Oh my Sati! Oh My Sati! And taking Her body on His neck, began to roam in different countries, like a mad man.

Seeing that, Brahmā and the other Devas became very anxious and Bhagavān Viṣṇu cut off the body to pieces by His arrows. Wherever the parts fell, Śankara remained there in so many different forms.

He then said to the Devas:

Whoever will worship, with deep devotion in these places, the Bhagavatī will have nothing left unattained. The Highest Mother will remain close to them there.

The persons that will make Puraścharaṇa (the repetition) of the Mantrams, especially the Māyā Bīja (the root Mantra of Māyā), their Mantrams will become, no doubt, fructified and become incarnate.

O King! Thus saying, the Mahādeva, being very much distressed for Sati’s departure, passed His time in those places, making Japam, Dhyānam and in Samādhi.

51-52. Janamejaya said:

Where, in what places the several parts of the Sati fell? What are the names of those Siddhapīṭhas? And what is their number?

Kindly describe these in detail, O Great Muni! No doubt I will highly consider myself blessed by hearing these words from your blessed mouth.

53-102. Vyāsa said:

O King! I will now describe those Pīthas (Sacred places), the mere hearing of which destroys all the sins of men. Hear. I will describe duly those places where the persons desiring to get lordly powers and to attain success ought to worship and meditate on the Devī.

O Mahārāja! The face of Gaurī fell in Kāśī; She is well known there by the name Viśālākṣī; that which fell in Naimiṣāraṇya became known by the name of Linga Dhāriṇī.

This Mahā Māyā is known in Prayāga (Allahabad) by the name of Lalitā Devī; in Gaṅdha Mādan, by the name of Kāmukī; in the southern Mānasa, by Kumudā; in the northern Mānasa, by Viśvakāmā, the Yielder of all desires;

in Gomanta, by Gomatī and in the mountain of Mandāra She became known by the name of Kāmachārinī. The Devī is known in Chaitraratha, by the name of Madotkatā; in Hastināpura, by Jayantī; in Kānyākubja by the name of Gaurī;

in the Malaya Mountain, by Rambhā; in the Ekāmrapīṭha, by Kīrtimatī, in Viśve, by the name of Viśveśvarī; in Puṣkara, by the name of Puruhūtā.

She is known as Sanmārga Dāyinī in the Kedāra Pīṭha; as Mandā, in the top of the Himalayas; and as Bhadrakarṇikā in Gokarṇa.

She is known as Bhavānī in Sthaneśvara, as Vilvapatrikā in Vilvake; as Mādhavi in Śrīśaila; as Bhadrā in Bhadreśvara. She is known as Jarā in Varāha Śaila; as Kamalā in Kamalālaya; as Rudrāṇī in Rudra Koṭī; as Kālī in Kālanjara;

She is known as Mahā Devī in Śālagrāma, as Jalapriyā in Śivalingam; as Kapilā in Mahālingam, as Mukuṭeśvarī in Mākoṭa. As Kumārī in Māyāpurī, as Lalitāmbikā in Santānā; as Mangalā in Gayā Kṣetra, as Vimalā in Puruṣottama.

As Utpalākṣī in Sahasrākṣa; as Mahotpalā in Hiraṇyākṣa; as Amoghākṣī in the Vipāśā river; as Pāṭalā in Pundra Vardhana. As Nārāyanī in Supārśva, as Rudra Sundarī in Trikūṭa; as Vipulā Devī in Vipulā;

as Kalyānī in Malayāchala. As Ekavīrā, in Sahyādri; as Chandrikā in Hariśchandra; as Ramaṇā in Rāma Tīrtha; as Mrigāvatī in the Yamuna. As Koṭivī in Koṭatīrtha; as Sugandhā in Mādhavavana;

as Trisandhyā in the Godāvarī; as Ratipriyā in Gangādvāra. As Śubhānandā in Śiva Kuṇdam, as Nandinī in Devīkātaṭa; as Rukmiṇī in Dvārāvatī; as Rādhā in Vrindāvana. As Devakī in Mathurā; as Parameśvarī in Pātāla; as Sītā in Chitrakūṭa; as Vindhyādhivāsinī in the Vindhya range.

O King! As Mahālakṣmī in the sacred place of Karavīra, as Umā Devī in Vinayaka; as Ārogyā in Vaidyānātha; as Maheśvarī in Mahākāla. As Abhayā in all the Uṣṇa Tīrthas, as Nitambā in the Vindhyā mountain;

as Māṇḍavī in Māṇḍavya; as Svāhā in Maheśvarīpūra. As Prachaṇḍā in Chhagalanḍa, as Chaṇḍikā in Amarakanṭaka; as Varārohā in Someśvara; as Puskarāvatī in Prabhāsa.

As Devamātā in Saraswatī; as Parāvārā in Samudrtaṭa; as Mahābhāgā in Mahālayā, as Pingaleśvarī in Payoṣṇī. As Simhikā in Kritaśaucha; as Atiśānkārī in Kārtika; as Lolā in Utpalāvartaka; as Subhadrā in Śoṇa Sangam.

As the Mother Lakṣmī in Siddhavana; as Anangā in Bhāratāśrama; as Viśvamukhī in Jālandhara; as Tārā in the Kiṣkindhya mountain. As Puṣṭī in Devadāru Vana; as Medhā in Kāśmīramaṇḍalam; as Bhīmā in Himādri;

as Tuṣṭī in Viśveśvara Kṣettra. As Śuddhī in Kapālamochana; as Mātā in Kāyāvarohaṇa; as Dharā in Śankhoddhāra; as Dhritī in Piṇḍāraka; as Kalā in Chandrabhāgā river; as Śivadhāriṇī in Achchoda; as Amritā in Venā; as Urvaśī in Vadarī.

As medicines in Uttarā Kuru; as Kuśodakā in Kuśadvīpa; as Manmathā in Hemakūṭa; as Satyavādinī in Kumudā. As Vandanīyā in Aśvattha; as Nidhi in the Vaiśravaṇālaya;

as Gāyatrī in the mouth of the Vedas; as Pārvatī near to Śiva. As Indrāṇī in the Devalokas; as Saraswatī in the face of Brahmā; as Prabhā (lustre) in the Solar disc; as Vaiṣṇavī with the Mātrikās.

She is celebrated as Aruṇdhatī amongst the Satīs, the chaste women and as Tilottamā in the midst of the Rāmās.

Again this Mahādevī of the nature of the Great Intelligence (Samvit) is always existent in the form of Śaktī named Brahmakalā in the hearts of all the embodied beings.

O Janamejaya! Thus I have mentioned to you the one hundred and eight Pīthas (sacred places or seats of the Deity) and as many Devīs. Thus are mentioned all the seats of the Devīs and along with that, the chief places in India (the world).

He who hears these excellent one hundred and eight names of the Devī as well as Her seats, gets himself freed from all sins and goes to the Loka of the Devī.

O Janamejaya! His heart gets purified and is rendered blessed, no doubt, who duly makes jātrā (pilgrimage) to all these seats of the Deity, performs Śrāddhas, offers peace-offerings to the Pitris and worships with the highest devotion the Goddess and asks frequently the pardon of the World Mother.

O King! After worship, one should feed the Brāhmaṇas, well dressed virgins (Kumārīs) and Vaṭukas with good eatables.

All the tribes whether they be Chāṇḍālas, know them all to be of the nature of the Devī and therefore they should be worshipped. Never one is to accept any donation or gifts (Pratigrahas) in these seats of the Devī.

The saintly persons should make Puraścharaṇams (repeat the names of their own deities, attended with burnt offerings, oblations, etc.) of their own Mantrams with all their might in all these places and should never be miserly in their expenses on this account.

He who starts to these sacred places, with devoted hearts filled with love, finds his Pitris in the higher and greater Brahmā Loka for one thousand Kalpas and he gets the highest knowledge, crosses the ocean of the world and becomes free.

Many a people have attained success by repeating these one hundred and eight names of the Deity.

Any place wherein are kept those names, embodied in a book, becomes free from such dangers as plague, cholera or any misapprehensions from planetary Deities and so forth.

Nothing remains to be attained by these persons who repeat these one hundred and eight names. That man, devoted to the Devī, certainly attains blessedness.

That saintly person becomes of the nature of the Devī. The Devas bow down and worship him when they behold him! What then need be said that the saints would worship him!

The Pitris become pleased and get their good ends when these one hundred and eight names are read with devotion. These places are, as it were Intelligence personified (Chinmaya) and places ready to yield freedom from bondage.

Therefore, O King! Intelligent men should take their shelter in these places. O King! Whatever secrets and other deeper secrets about the Great Goddess you asked to know from me, I described to you. What more do you want to hear. Say.

Here ends the Thirtieth Chapter of the Seventh Book on the birth of Gaurī, the seats of the Deity, and the distraction of Śiva in the Mahāpurāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.

Note: The number one hundred and eight is a holy number, got by taking the half of 216,000, the number of breaths inhaled by a child in the womb who promises to take the name of God at his every breath or by taking one-eighth of 864,000, the number of seconds in a day. The two zeros are then dropped. Thus the number signifies the one who fulfils one’s promise.