SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 9 CHAPTER 41

THE NINTH BOOK

Chapter XLI

On the churning of the ocean and on the appearing of Lakṣmī

1-2. Nārāyaṇa said:

O Twice-born! Indra then remembered Hari and took Brihaspati, the Guru of the Devas, to the assembly of Brahmā, accompanied by the other Devas.

They soon reached the region of Brahmā and no sooner they saw Him, than Indra and the other Devas and Brihaspati all bowed down to Him.

3-25. Brihaspati, the Āchāryā of the Devas, then communicated all to Brahmā.

Hearing this, He smiled and spoke, addressing Indra:

O Indra! You have been born in My race; nay, you are My grandson; the Ārya Brihaspati is your Guru; you yourself are the ruler of the Devas and you are very wise and sagacious; the mother of your father is the powerful Dakṣa, a great Viṣṇu Bhakta.

How is it, then that when the three sides of the family are pure, one would turn out so haughty and arrogant!

Whose mother is so much devoted to her husband, whose father, mother’s father and mother’s brother are self-controlled and of pure Sattva Guṇa, he is not expected to be so very haughty!

Every man may be guilty to Hari for the three faults For some fault due to that of his father, or of his mother’s father, or of Guru, the Spiritual Teacher.

Bhagavān Nārāyaṇa, resides in this great holy temple of our this physical body controlling the hearts of all. At whatever moment, Śrī Nārāyaṇa quits this temple-body, at that moment this body becomes dead.

I myself am the mind; Śankara is the Knowledge, Viṣṇu is the vital breaths, Bhagavatī Durgā is the intelligence (Buddhi), sleep, etc., the powers of Prakriti; when these are being reflected on by the Ātman, Jīva is formed with a body for enjoyment called Bhoga Śarīrabhrit.

When a king departs, his attendants also follow him; so when this Ātman departs from this temple of body, his attendants mind, buddhi, etc., instantly depart from this body and follow the Ātman.

O Indra! We all are verily, the parts of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. I myself, Śiva, Ananta Deva, Viṣṇu, Dharma, Mahā Virāt, you all are His parts and entirely devoted to Him. And you have shown contempt for His flower.

Bhagavān Śankara, the Lord of the Bhūtas, worshipped the lotus-feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa with that flower. The Ṛiṣi Durvāsā gave you that flower. But you showed disrespect to it.

The flower, Parijāta, after being offered at the lotus-feet of Kṛṣṇa, should be placed on the head of an Immortal; His worship is to be done first; and it is the foremost amongst the Devas.

So you are now being afflicted by the inevitable course of Fate; Fate is the most powerful of all. Who can save that unlucky man against whom Fate has turned?

Seeing that you have rejected the flower offered to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Śrī Lakṣmī Devī has left you out of anger.

Now come with Me and with your family priest Brihaspati to Vaikuṇṭha and worship the Lord of Lakṣmī; then by His grace you may get back your Heavens.

Thus saying, Brahmā with Indra and all the other Devas, went to the Eternal Puruṣa, Bhagavān Nārāyaṇa and saw that He was full of Fire and Energy like one hundred Koṭi summer midday Suns, yet perfectly cool and calm.

He has no beginning, and no end, nor any middle. He is Infinite. The four-armed Pārisadas, Saraswatī, the four Vedas, and the Ganges, all were surrounding Him.

Seeing Him, Brahmā and the other Devas bowed down with devotion and began to chant hymns to Him with tears in their eyes.

Brahmā, then, informed Him of everything when all the Devas, dispossessed of their places, began to weep before Him.

Nārāyaṇa saw that the Devas were very afraid and much distressed. They had no jewel ornaments as before, no vehicles (Vāhanas), nor the Daiva splendour as before, not that brilliance; always fearful.

Then Nārāyaṇa, the Destroyer of fear, seeing the Devas in that state, addressed Brahmā and the other Devas:

O Brāhman! O Devas! Discard all fears. What fear can overcome you? I am here. I will give you again the immoveable prosperous Rāja Lakṣmī (the Lakṣmī of the kings).

26-47. But for the present, I give you some advice proper for this moment. Listen:

There are endless universes where exist innumerable persons. All of them are under Me. So know verily, that I am under them also.

My devotees regard Me as the Highest. They know no other than Me; they are fearless; so I do not remain in that house where My devotees are dissatisfied. I instantly leave that house with Lakṣmī.

Durvāsā Ṛiṣi is born in part of Śankara. He is highly devoted to Me. He is a pakkā Vaiṣṇava. He cursed you and, as a matter of fact, I and Lakṣmī instantly left your house.

Lakṣmī does not reside in that house where conch shells are not blown, where there are no Tulasī trees, where there is no worship of Śiva and Śivā, where the Brāhmaṇas are not fed.

O Brāhman! O Devas! Where I and My Bhaktas are blamed, Mahā Lakṣmī becomes greatly displeased. She instantly goes away out of that house.

Lakṣmī does not stay even for a moment in that house where the stupid person, without any devotion for me, takes his food on the Harivāsara Ekādaśī day (the eleventh day of the moon’s wane or increase) or on My anniversary birthday.

If anybody sells My name or his own daughter, where the guests are not served, Lakṣmī quits that house instantly and goes away.

If the son of an unchaste woman be a Brāhmaṇa, he and the husband of an unchaste woman are great sinners. If anybody goes to such a person’s house or eats the food of a Śūdra during a Śrāddha ceremony, Lakṣmī becomes very angry and vacates that house.

Being a Brāhmin, if one burns a Śūdrā’s corpse, one becomes very wretched and the vilest of the Brāhmins. Lakṣmī never stays for a moment more in that house.

Being a Brāhmin, if he be a Śūdrā’s cook and drives oxen, Lakṣmī fears to drink water there and quits his house.

Being a Brāhmin, if his heart be unholy, if he be cruel, envies others and blames persons, if he officiates as a priest for the Śūdra, Lakṣmī Devī never stays in his house.

The World-Mother never stays even for a moment in his house who eats at the house of one who marries an unmarried girl twelve years old in whom menstruation has commenced.

He who cuts grass by his nails, or writes on the ground with his nails, or from whose house a Brāhmaṇa guest goes back disappointed, Lakṣmī never stays in his house.

If any Brāhmaṇa eats food at the early sunrise, sleeps during the day or engages in a sexual intercourse during the day, Lakṣmī never stays in his house.

Lakṣmī slips away from that Brāhmaṇa who is devoid of Āchāra (rules of conduct), who accepts gifts from Śudras, from him who remains uninitiated in his Mantram.

The ignorant man who sleeps naked and with his feet wet, who laughs always, and always talks at random on disconnected subjects like a mad man, is forsaken at once by Lakṣmī.

Lakṣmī becomes angry and goes away from the house of that man who applies oil all over his body first and then touches the bodies of others and always makes some sounding noise on several parts of his body.

If any Brāhmaṇa forsakes observing vows, fasts, the Sandhyā ceremony, purity and devotion to Viṣṇu, Kamalā (Lakṣmī) does not remain in his house any longer.

If anybody blames always the Brāhmaṇas and shows his hatred always towards the Brāhmaṇas, if he does injury to the animals, and if he does not indulge in his heart anything of pity, kindness, Lakṣmī, the Mother of the Worlds, quits him.

O Lotus-born! But where Hari is worshipped and Hari’s Name is chanted, Lakṣmī, the Mother of all auspiciousness, remains there. Lakṣmī remains where the glories of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His Bhaktas are sung.

48-59. Lakṣmī always remains there with the greatest gladness where conch-shells are blown, where there are conch-shells, the Śālagrāma stone, the Tulasī leaves and the service and meditation of Lakṣmī are daily done.

Where the phallic emblem of Śiva is worshipped, and His glories sung, where Śrī Durgā is worshipped and Her glories are sung, Lakṣmī, the Dweller in the Lotus, remains there.

Where the Brāhmaṇas are honoured and they are gladly feasted, where all the Devas are worshiped; the chaste Lakṣmī, the Lotus-faced, remains there.

Thus saying to the Devas, the Lord of Lakṣmī said:

O Devī! Go without any delay to the Kṣīroda Ocean and incarnate there in part.

He then addressed Brahmā and said:

“O Lotus-born! You also better go there and churn the Kṣīroda Ocean; when Lakṣmī will arise, give her to the Devas.”

O Devarṣi! Thus saying, the Lord of Kamalā went to His inner compartment. On the other hand the Devas, after a long time, reached the shores of the Kṣīroda Ocean.

The Devas and the Daityas then made the Golden Mountain (the Śumeru) the churning rod, the Deva Kurma (the tortoise), the churning pot and Ananta Deva (the thousand headed serpent) the churning cord and began to churn the ocean.

While churning was going on, by and by arose Dhanvantarī Amrita (the nectar), the horse Uchchaiśravā, various other invaluable jewels that were desired, the elephant Airāvata and the beautiful eyed Lakṣmī.

Viṣṇupriyā, Śrī Lakṣmī Devī, no sooner She got up from the ocean, she, the chaste woman, presented on the neck of Nārāyaṇa, of beautiful appearance, the Lord of all, Who slept on the Kṣīroda ocean, the garland (indicative of accepting Him for her bridegroom).

Then Brahmā and Mahēśvara and the other Devas gladly worshipped Her and chanted hymns. At this time Lakṣmī Devī being pleased, cast a favourable glance towards the homes of the Devas, in order to free them from their curse.

Then, by the grace of Mahā Lakṣmī and by the granting of the boon by Brahmā, the Devas got back their own possessions from the hands of the Daityas.

O Nārada! Thus I have described to you the story of Lakṣmī Devī, the Essence of all Essences, and very pleasant to hear. Now what more do you want to hear? Say!

Here ends the Forty-first Chapter of the Ninth Book on the churning of the ocean and on the appearing of Lakṣmī in the Mahā Purāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.