SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 9 CHAPTER 29

THE NINTH BOOK

Chapter XXIX

The story about Sāvitrī, gifts and the effects of Karmas

1. Nārāyaṇa said:

Yama got thunderstruck at these queries of Sāvitrī. He then began to describe, with a smiling countenance, the fruition of the several works of the Jīvas.

2-8. He said:

“O Child! You are now a daughter only twelve years old. But you speak of wisdom like the Highest Jñānins and Yogis, Sanaka and others.

O Child! By virtue of the boon granted by Sāvitrī, you have become incarnation of Her part. The King Aśwapatī got you before by performing severe penances.

As Lakṣmī is dear and fortunate with regard to Viṣṇu, as Mahādevī is to Mahādeva, Aditi to Kaśyapa, Ahalyā to Gautama, so you are to Satyavāna in respect of affection and good-luck and other best qualities.

As Śachi is to Mahendra, as Rohiṇī is to Moon, as Rati is to Kāma, as Svāhā is to Fire, as Svadhā is to the Pitris, as Sanjñā is to the Sun, as Varuṇānī is to Varuṇa, as Dakṣiṇā is to Yajña, as Earth is to Varaha, as Devasenā is to Kārtika, so you are fortunate and blessed with respect to Satyavāna.

O Sāvitrī! I myself grant you this boon of my own accord. Now ask other boons. O highly fortunate One! I will fulfil all your desires.”

9-12. Sāvitrī said:

“O Noble One! Let there be one hundred sons of mine by Satyavāna. This is the boon that I want.

Let there be one hundred sons of my Father as well; let my Father-in-law get back his (lost) eyesight and may he get back his lost kingdom. This is another boon that I want.

Thou art the Lord of the world. So grant me this boon, too, that I may have this my very body for a lakh years when I may go to Vaikuṇṭha with Satyavāna.

Now I am eager to hear the various fruitions of Karmas of several Jīvas. Kindly narrate them and oblige.”

13-70. Dharma said:

You are very chaste. So what you have thought will verily come to pass. Now I describe the fruition of Karmas of the Jīvas. Listen:

Except this holy land of Bhārata, nowhere do the people enjoy wholly the fruition of their two-fold Karmas, good and bad.

It is only the Suras, Daityas, Dānavas, Gandharvas, Rākṣasas, and men that do Karmas. The beasts and the other Jīvas do not do Karmas. The special Jīvas, e.g., men, etc., experience the fruition of their Karmas in Heavens, hells and in all the other Yonis (wombs).

Especially, as the Jīvas roam in all the different Yonis, they enjoy their Karmas, good or bad, as the case may be, carved in their previous births. The good works get fructified in Heavens; and the bad works lead the Jīvas to hells.

You can Liberate yourself from this Karma by Bhakti. This Bhakti is of two kinds:

(1) Nirguṇā of the nature of Nirvana; and

(2) towards Prakriti, of the astute of Brahmā, and with Māyā inherent.

Diseases come as the result of bad and ignorant actions and healthiness comes from good and certain scientific Karmas. Similar are the remarks for short and long lives for happiness and pain.

By bad works, one becomes blind or deformed in body. So by doing excellent Karmas, one acquires Siddhis, etc. These are spoken generally. I will now speak in detail; listen. This is very secret even in Purāṇas and Smriti.

In this Bhāratvarṣa men are the best of all the various classes of beings. The Brāhmaṇs are the best of men and are best in all Kinds of Karmas. They are responsible, too, for their actions.

O Chaste One! Of the Brāhmins, again, those that are attached to the Brāhmaṇas are the best.

The Brāhmaṇas are of two kinds as they are:

1. Sakāma (with desires) or

2. Niṣkāma (without desires).

The Niṣkāmī Brāhmaṇas are superior to the Sakāmī Brāhmaṇas. Because Sakāmīs are to enjoy the fruits of their Karmas, while the Niṣkāmī Brāhmaṇas are perfectly free from any such disturbances (they have not to come back to this field of Karma).

The Niṣkāma Bhakta after they quit their bodies, go to a place free from sickness or disease, pure and perfect. From there they do not come back.

The Niṣkāma Bhaktas assuming the divine forms go to the Goloka and worship the Highest God, the Highest Self, the two-armed Kṛṣṇa.

The Sakāmī Vaiṣṇavas go to Vaikuṇṭha; but they come back in Bhārata and get into the wombs of the twice-born. Gradually they also become Niskāma when they certainly acquire pure undefiled Bhakti.

The Brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas that are Sakāmīs in all births never get that pure undefiled intellect and never get the devotion to Viṣṇu.

The Brāhmaṇas, living in the Tīrthas (sacred places of pilgrimages) and attached to Tapas go to Brahmāloka (the region of Brahmā); they again come down to Bhārata.

Those that are devotedly attached to their own Dharma (religion) and reside in places other than Tīrthas go to Satyaloka and again come to Bhārata.

The Brāhmaṇas, following their own Dharma and devoted to the Sun go to the world of the Sun and again come to Bhārata.

And those who are devoted to Mūlā Prakriti and devoted to Niṣkāma Dharma go to Mani Dvīpa and have not to come back from thither.

The Bhaktas of Śiva, Śaktī, and Ganeśa, and attached to their own Dharmas respectively go to the Śiva Loka and return from thence.

Those Brāhmaṇas that worship the other Devas and attached to their own Dharmas go to those regions of theirs respectively and again come to Bhārata.

Attached to their own Dharmas, the Niṣkāmī Bhaktas of Hari go according to their Bhakti step by step to the region of Śrī Hari.

Those that are not attached to their own Dharmas and do not worship the Devas and always bent on doing things as they like without any regard to their Āchāras go certainly to hells. No doubt in this.

The Brāhmaṇas and the other three Varṇas, attached to their own Dharmas all enjoy the fruits of their good works.

But those who do not do their Svadharma go verily down into hells. They do not come to Bhārata for their rebirth; they enjoy their fruits of Karmas in hells!

Therefore the four Varṇas ought to follow their own Dharmas of the Brāhmaṇas, they are to remain attached to their own Dharmas and give their daughters in marriage to the similarly qualified Brāhmaṇas.

They then go to the Chandraloka (the region of the Moon). There they remain for the life periods of the fourteen Indras.

And if the girl be given, with ornaments, the results obtained would be twice. If the girl be given with a desire in view, then that world is obtained;

but if the girl be given without any desire but to fulfil the God’s will and God’s satisfaction only, then one would not have to go to that world. They go to Viṣṇu Loka, bereft of the fruits of all Karmas.

Those who give to the Brāhmaṇas pasture ground and cattle, silver, gold, garment, fruits and water, go to the Chandraloka and live there for one Manvantara. They live long in those regions by virtue of that merit.

Again those that give gold, cows, copper, etc., to the holy Brāhmaṇas, go to the Sūrya Loka (the region of the Sun) and live there for one Ayuta years (10,000 years), free from diseases, etc., for a long time.

Those that give lands and lots of wealth to the Brāhmins, go to the Viṣṇu Loka and to the beautiful Śveta Dvīpa (one of the eighteen minor divisions of the known continents). And there they live as long as the Sun and Moon exist.

O Muni! The meritorious persons live long in that wide region.

Note: Śveta Dvīpa may mean Vaikuṇṭha, where Viṣṇu resides.

Those who give with devotion dwelling places to the Brāhmaṇas, go to the happy Viṣṇu Loka. And there, in that great Viṣṇu Loka, they live for years equal to the number of molecules, in that house.

He who offers a dwelling house in honour of any Deva, goes to the region of that Deva and remains there for a number of years equivalent to the number of particles in that house.

The lotus-born Brahmā said that if one offers a royal palace, one obtains a result four times and if one offers a country, one gets the result one hundred times that; again if one offers an excellent country, twice as much merit one acquires.

One who dedicates a tank for the expiation of all one’s sins, one lives in Janar Loka (one of the pious regions) for a period equivalent to the number of particles therein).

If any man offers a Vapī (a well) in preference to other gifts, one gets tenfold fruits thereby. If one offers seven Vāpīs, one acquires the fruits of offering one tank. A Vapī is one which is four thousand Dhanus long and which is as much wide or less.

If offered to a good bridegroom, then the giving of a daughter in marriage is equivalent to a dedication of ten Vāpīs. And if the girl be offered with ornaments, twice the merits accrue.

The same merit accrues in clearing the bed of the mud of a pond as in digging it for the Vapī (well).

O Chaste One! He who plants an Aśvattha tree and dedicates it to a godly purpose, lives for one Ayuta years in Tapar Loka.

O Sāvitrī! He who dedicates a flower garden for the acquirement of all sorts of good, lives for one Ayuta years in Dhruva Loka.

O Chaste One! He who gives a Vimāna (any sort of excellent carriage) in honour of Viṣṇu, in this Hindustan, lives for one Manvantara in Viṣṇuloka.

And if one gives a Vimāna of variegated colours and workmanship, four times the result accrues. And one who gives a palanquin, acquires half the fruits.

Again if anybody gives, out of devotion, a swinging temple (the Dol Mandir) to Bhagavān Śrī Hari, he lives for one hundred Manvantaras, in the region of Viṣṇu.

O Chaste One! He who makes a gift of a royal road, decorated with palatial buildings on either side, lives with great honour and love in that Indraloka for one Ayuta years.

Equal results follow whether the above things are offered to the Gods or to the Brāhmaṇas. He enjoys that which he gives. No giving, no enjoying.

After enjoying the heavenly pleasures, etc., the virtuous person takes birth in Bhārata as a Brāhmin or in other good families in due order and ultimately in the Brāhmaṇa families.

The virtuous Brāhmaṇa, after he has enjoyed the heavenly pleasures, takes his birth again in Bhārata in Brāhmaṇa, Kṣattriya or in Vaiśya families.

A Kṣattriya or a Vaiśya can never obtain Brāhminhood, even if he performs asceticism for one Koṭi Kalpas. This is stated in the Śrutis.

Without enjoying the fruits, no Karma can be exhausted even in one hundred Koṭi Kalpas. So the fruits of the Karmas must be enjoyed, whether they be auspicious or inauspicious. By the help of seeing the Devas and seeing the Tīrthas again and again, purity is acquired.

O Sāvitrī! So now I have told you something. What more do you want to hear? Say!

Here ends the Twenty-Ninth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the anecdote of Sāvitrī on the fruits of making gifts and on the effects of Karmas in Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.