SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 8 CHAPTER 24
THE EIGHTH BOOK
On the worship of the Devī
1-2. Nārada said:
“O Bhagavān! Of what sort is the Dharma, i.e., the worship of the Devī? In what way shall we worship Her, so that She gives us the Highest Place?
What are the methods and forms of Her Worship? Where and when shall we worship Her, so that the Durgā Devī saves us from the above mentioned hells?”
3-20. Nārāyaṇa said:
O Devarṣi! You are the foremost of the Knowers of Truth. I will therefore tell you how the Devī gets pleased and how Her worship is conducted according to the Dharma. Hear attentively.
O Nārada! I will also describe the nature of Sva Dharma. Hear that also.
When one worships, with due rites and ceremonies, the Devī in this beginningless world, She Herself removes all the terrible dangers and difficulties. Hear the rules how the people worship the Devī.
When the Pratīpat Tithi (the first day after the Full or New Moon) comes, one should worship the Devī with a present of rice, etc., with ghee (clarified butter) and give that to the Brāhmins. Then one becomes completely free from any disease.
On the second day (Dvītiyā Tithi), one must serve the Mother of the Universe with sugar and give that to the Brahmins; he then becomes long-lived.
On the third (tithi) on commencing with the Puja, the worshipper must give milk to the Devī and give that to a best Brahmin; he is then freed from all his troubles and ailings.
On the fourth (tithi) the worshipper is to offer a cake of flour to the Devī and then give that to a Brahmin; no obstacles come to that man.
On the fifth tithi, the worshipper is to offer plantains to the Devī and then to give that to the Brahmins; he thus becomes intelligent.
On the sixth tithi, the worshipper gives honey to the Devī and then that to a Brahmin; he gets thus the beauty of his body.
On the seventh tithi, the Brāhmin gives to the Devī the Naivedya (an offering of rice, etc.) with Guṛ (sugar-candy) and then that to the Brāhmins; he then becomes freed from his mental sorrows.
On the eighth day, if one gives cocoanut, one is freed of one’s remorse, etc.;
on the ninth, if anybody gives fried rice (Lāj), he will have his happiness increased both in this world and in the next.
O Muni! If on the tenth tithi, one offers to the Devī black Til (sesame) and then to the Brāhmin, he becomes free from the fear of death.
If, on the eleventh tithi, (Ekādaśī) one gives the curd to the Devī and then to the Brāhmin, one becomes a great favourite of the Devī.
If on the twelfth day, one offers to the Devī and to the Brāhmin the Chipiṭaka rice or grain (well parched and flattened) one becomes a favourite of the Devī.
If, on the thirteenth day one gives to the Bhagavatī grains and then that to a Brāhmin, one gets progeny.
If, on the fourteenth day, one gives to the Devī the flour of fried barley or other grains (Śaktu) and then that to a Brāhmin, one becomes a favourite of Śiva.
If on the Full Moon day, one offers to the Devī Pāyasa and then that to a Brāhmin, then one’s Pitris are uplifted to the higher regions.
21-42. O Muni! On the above tithis, if one forms daily Homas, as stated in the Puja Chapter, the Devī becomes very pleased. The articles corresponding to the tithi as mentioned above destroy all the evils and inauspicious omens.
On Sunday, it is a rule to give an offering of Pāyasam (a food prepared of rice, milk, and sugar). On Monday, the milk; on Tuesday, the nice plantains; on Wednesday, the fresh butter; on Thursday, the Guṛ or sugar-candy, Friday, the white sugar, and on Saturday, it is a rule to give the clarified butter of cow’s milk.
Now hear what should be offered on the Nakṣattras. The following are the Naivedyas given to each of the Nakṣattras, in due order, from Aśvinī:
Clarified butter (ghee), sesame (Til), sugar, curd, milk, Kilāṭak (Mālāi, milk), Dadhikūrchi (Mālāi Curd), Modaka (a kind of sweetmeat, a confection) Pheṇikā, Ghrita Maṇḍaka, a sort of sweet meat of wheaten flour and Guṛ, Vaṭapattra, Ghritapura (Ghior), Vaṭaka, Kharjura juice (of the date palm), a sort of sweet meat of Guṛ and gram, honey, Śūraṇa, Guṛ Prithuka, grapes, date palms, Chārakās, Apūpa, Navanīta (fresh butter), mudga, Modaka, and Mātulinga.
Now hear what are given in the Viṣkambha and the other Yogas. The World Mother becomes very much pleased when one offers Her the following things:
Guṛ, honey, ghee, milk, curd, Takra, Apūpa, fresh butter, Karkaṭī, Kuṣmāṇḍa, Modaka, Panasa, plantain, Jambu (rose-apple), mango, sesame, oranges, Dāḍima, (pomegranate) Vadarī (Jujube) the Dhātrī (Āmalakī) fruit, Pāyasa, Prithuka, gram, cocoanut, Jambīra, Kaseru and Śūraṇa.
The auspicious events occur when these are offered. The intelligent persons have thus decided to give the above on Viṣkambha and the other Yogas.
Now hear I will describe the things that are offered on the respective Karaṇas:
Kamsāra, Maṇḍaka, Phenī, Modaka, Vaṭapattraka, Ladduka, Ghritapūra, Til (Sesame), curd, ghee, and honey. These are to be offered devotedly to the Devī on the respective Karaṇas.
Now I will describe to you the other offerings very pleasing to the Devī. Hear.
O Nārada! Hear it with great attention and love. On the third tithi of the bright fortnight, in the month of Chaitra, one is to worship duly the Madhūka tree and offer Pañcha Khādya (the five sorts of food).
So hear what articles are to be offered according to the rules that are laid down on the third day of the white fortnight of the other months:
The Guṛ, in the month of Vaiśākh; the honey, in Jyaiṣṭha; the fresh butter, in Āṣāḍha; the curd, in Śrāvaṇa; the Śarkarā, in Bhadra; the Pāyasa, in Āśvīn; the pure milk, in Kārtik; the Phenī, in Agrahāyana; the Dadhi Kūrchīkā in Pauṣa; the clarified butter of cow’s milk, in Maghā, and the cocoanut offerings, in the month of Phālguna.
Thus with these twelve sorts of offerings, one is to worship the Devī in the twelve months respectively.
43-69. One should worship the Devī in the Madhūka tree with these names:
Mangalā, Vaiṣṇavī, Māyā, Kālarātri, Duratyayā, Mahāmāyā, Mātangī, Kālī, Kamalāvāsinī, Śiva, Sahasracharaṇā, and Sarva Mangalarūpiṇī (One name for each of the 12 months).
Finally, to bring the vow to a good issue and to have one’s desires fulfilled with greater success, one is to sing stotras (hymns) to the Maheśvarī, the Controller of all the gods, in that Madhūka tree, thus:
Thou art lotus-eyed; obeisance to Thee! Thou art Jagaddhātrī, the Upholdress of the Universe, I bow down to Thee; Thou art Maheśvarī, Mahā Devī, and Mahā Mangalarūpiṇī (Thou art the great Devī, and Thou dost great good to all).
Thou destroyest the sins, Thou givest Mokṣa or final liberation. Thou art Parameśvarī, Thou art the World Mother and Thou art of the nature of the Highest Brahmā.
Thou art Madadātrī (the giver of Mada, the Supreme Bliss and rapture or excessive delight), Thou art maddened with Mada the (Excessive Joy);
Thou canst be reached when Thou art given proper veneration; Thou art the Most High. Thou art Intelligent; Thou art meditated upon by the Munis; and Thou dwellest in the Sun.
Thou art the Lord of the several Lokas (worlds); Thou art endowed with the Highest Knowledge; and Thou art of the colour of water at the time of Pralaya (the Universal Dissolution).
Thou art worshipped by the Gods and the Asuras for the destruction of the Great Moha. So Great Victory to Thee!
Thou art the Rescuer of one from the abode of Death; Thou art worshipped by Yama, Thou art the elder of Yama, Thou art the Controller of Yama and Thou art worshipped by all.
Obeisance to Thee! Thou art impartial; Thou controllest all; Thou art perfectly unattached; Thou destroyest the people’s worldly attachments; Thou art The One to whom all look for the fructification of their desires; and Thou art the Compassion Incarnate.
Thou art, worshipped by the names Kaṇkāla Krūra, Kāmākṣī; Mīnākṣī Marma bhedinī, Mādhūryarūpaśālinī; and Thou art worshipped with the Praṇava Om prefixed to all the Stotras and the Mantras.
Thou art of the nature of the Seed Māyā (Māyābīja); Thou canst be realised by repeating the mantra and Thou canst be pleased by the deep concentration (Nididyāsana) on Thee.
Thou canst be reached by all men through their minds and Thou dost things that are pleasing to the Mahā Deva.
Thou dwellest in the trees Aśvattha, Vaṭa (Peepul tree), Neem, Mango, Kapittha (wild apple tree), and the tree Kul (Jujube) trees. Thou art the Palms (Jack) tree, Thou art Arka, Karīra and Kṣīra trees.
Thou residest in Dugdha vallī (the milky juice of plants); Thou art the Compassion Incarnate; and fit to show mercy. Thou art sincerity and kindness and Thou art the Consort of the Omniscient. So Victory to Thee!
O Nārada! After the worship, if one performs the stotra above described, to the Devī, the worshipper derives all sorts of Puṇyams (merits).
He who reads daily the Stotra, pleasing to the Devī, becomes freed of all sorts of diseases, pain and freed of his fear of passions, so hard to conquer!
What more than this that he who wants money, gets money; who wants Dharma, gets Dharma; he who wants Kama, gets his Kāma (objects of desires); and he who wants Mokṣa, gets Mokṣa. The Devī is the Awarder of the Chatur Varga fourfold fruits.
If this Stotra be read, the Brāhmin becomes Vedavit, the knower of the Vedas; the Kṣattriya gets the victory; the Vaiṣya gets wealth and the Śūdra gets happiness.
If this Stotra be read with devotion and attention, the Pitris get undying satisfaction, lasting till Pralaya (the time of universal dissolution).
Thus I have described to you the method of worshipping the Devī. The Devas consider it with great attention. He gets the Devī Loka, who performs the worship of the Devī, as above described, with devotion.
O Brāhmaṇa! When the Devī is thus worshipped, all the desires are fulfilled; all sins are destroyed; and, in the end, one’s mind becomes pure and the worshipper is respected and worshipped everywhere.
O Son of Brahmā! His fear of going into hell is destroyed by the Grace of the Devī; even in dreams, he does not fear anything. By the Grace of Mahā Māyā, his sons and his grandsons, riches and grains multiply and multiply. He becomes a great and steadfast devotee of the Devī; there is no doubt in this.
Now I have described to you completely the rules of worship of the Devī. When one performs this, one becomes freed of the Narakas; and all sorts of good things come to him.
O Muni! The Madhūka worship and the monthly worship have been described also. He who performs this Madhūka worship fully, never meets with any disease or obstacles.
Now I will describe to you the other five aspects of the Great Devī of the nature of Prākriti, Her Name, Form and Origin give pleasure to all the worlds.
O Muni! Now hear this Prākriti Pañchaka, its narrative and the greatness thereof. Know that this is as curious as it gives liberation.
Here ends the Twenty-fourth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the worship of the Devī in the Mahā Purāṇam, Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.
[The Eighth Book completed.]