SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 7 CHAPTER 40

THE SEVENTH BOOK Chapter XL

The External Worship of the Devī

1-5. The Devī 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 of his brain in the head.

On this he should remember his Śrī Guru, very gracious looking, well decorated with ornaments, with His Consort Śaktī and bow down to Him and within Him he should meditate on the Kundalini Devī thus: -

"I take refuge unto that Highest Śaktī Kundalini, of the nature of the Supreme Consciousness, Who is manifest as Chaitanya while up-going to the Brahmārandhra

(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 Suṣumnā canal.

After meditating thus, he should meditate on the Blissful Form of Mine within the Kundalini Fire situated in the Mūlādhāra Lotus (coccygeal lotus).

Then he should rise up to go for the calls of nature, etc., and complete Sandhyā Bandanams and other duties.

The best of the Brāhmins, then, should for My satisfaction perform the Agnihotra Homa and sitting in his Āsana make Sankalpa (determination) to do My Puja (Worship).

6-10. Next he is to make Bhūtā Śuddhi (purification of elements of the body by respiratory attraction and replacement) and then the Mātrikā Nyāsa. Then he should arrange the letters of the root Mantra of Māyā and execute the Hrillekhā Mātrikā Nyāsa.

In this he is to place the letter "Ha" in the Mūlādhāra, the letter "Ra" in his heart and the vowel "Ī" in the middle of his brows and Hrīm on the top part of his head.

Finishing then all the other Nyāsas according to that Mantra, he should think within his body Dharma, Jñāna, Vairāgyam, and Prosperity as the four legs of the seat and Adharma, Ajñāna, Avairāgyam 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 Devī in the lotus of his heart blown by Prāṇāyāma, situated on the five seats of the Pretas. O Mountain! Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra, Sadāśiva and Īśvara are the five Pretas situated under My feet.

11. They are of the nature of earth, water, fire, air, and ether, the five elements and also of the nature of Jāgrat (waking), Svapna (dreaming) Śuṣupti (deep sleep state) Turīya (the fourth state) and Atīta Rūpa, the (the fifth state) excluding the 4 states, corresponding to the five states.

But I, who am of the nature of Brahmā, am over and above the five elements and the five states; therefore My Seat is always on 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 with the Astra mantra 'Phaṭ', 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 Chhoṭikā Mudra and bow down to his Guru.

Taking his permission, he should meditate on the outside seat, the beautiful divine form of his heart lotus and invoke the Deity outside and place Her on the seat by Prāṇa Pratisṭha and perform Āvāhana, and present to Her Arghya (an offer of green grass, rice, etc., made in worshipping a god), Pādya (water for washing legs and feet), Āchamana, 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 worship daily the attendant deities, one must worship them on Friday.

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

20. Next he should worship again the Bhuvaneśvarī Devī, 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 Sahasranāma (thousand names) stotra and the Devī Sūkta Mantra "Aham Rudrebhiḥ, etc.," and "Sarve vai Deva Devī mupatasthuḥ, etc.," the Devī Atharva Śiro Mantra and the Upaniṣads Mantra of Bhuvaneśvarī, 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 Parāyaṇā and in all the Purāṇas. 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 Brāhmaṇas, the young virgins well clothed, the boys and the public and the poor, thinking all of them to be so many forms of the Devī.

Than he should bow before the Devī that resides in his heart and finally by Samhāra Mudra take leave of the Deity invoked.

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

29.I am always reflected in this Mirror of Hrillekhā form; so anything offered in this Hrillekhā 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 Himavān! Nothing remains at any time unavailable to him who worships thus the Bhuvaneśvarī Devī. After quitting his body, he goes to the Mani Dvīpa, My Place. He gets the form of the Devī; and the Devas constantly bow down to him.

32-45. O Mahīdhara! Thus I have described to you the rules of worshipping the Great Devī; consider this in all the aspects and worship Me according to your Adhikāra (claim) and you will attain your Goal. There is no doubt in this.

O Best of mountains! This Śāstra Devī Gītā 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 Gita, 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 Devī Gita 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 Devī.

O Mountain! In the time of Śraddhā (solemn obsequies performed in honour of the manes of deceased ancestors) he gets the highest place of the Pitris who reads this Devī Gita before the Brāhmaṇas.

Vyāsa said: —

The Devī vanished there after describing all these. The Devas were glad and considered themselves blessed by the sight of the Devī.

O Janamejaya! The Haimavatī next took Her birth in the house of the Himālayā and was known by the name of Gaurī.

Śankara, the Deva of the Devas, married Her. Ṣaḍānana (Kārtika) was born of them. He killed the Tāḍakā Asura.

O King! In ancient times, when the ocean was churned, many gems were obtained. At that time the Devas chanted hymns to the Devī with a concentrated mind to reach Lakṣmī Devī.

To show favour to the Devas, Ramā Devī appeared from the ocean. The Devas gave Lakṣmī to Viṣṇu, the Lord of the Vaikuṇṭha. Viṣṇu was very glad at this.

O King! Thus I have described to you the Greatness of the Devī and the birth of Gaurī and Lakṣmī. 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 Gītā; 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 Devī in the Mahāpurāṇam, Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.

[The. Seventh Book Completed.]