SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 9 CHAPTER 9

THE NINTH BOOK

Chapter IX

On the origin of the Śaktī of the Earth

1-4. Śrī Nārada said:

In the twinkling of an eye of the Devī, the Pralaya takes place; and in the same timespan also the Brahmāṇḍa (cosmos) is dissolved, which is called the Pralaya of Prakriti.

During this Pralaya, the Devī Vasundharā (Earth) disappears; the whole world is deluged with water and all this appearance of five elements called Prapañcha vanishes in the body of Prakriti.

Now where does Vasundharā (Earth), thus vanished, reside? And how does She again appear at the beginning of the creation! What is the cause of her being so much blessed, honoured and capable to hold all and victorious.

So tell about Her birth, the source of all welfare.

5-23. Śrī Nārāyaṇa said:

O Nārada! So it is heard that the Earth appears at the very outset of the creation. Her appearance and disappearance so occur in all the Pralayas.

(This earth) the manifestation of the great Śaktī, sometimes becomes manifest in Her and sometimes remains latent in Her (the Śaktī). It is all the will of that Great Śaktī.

Now hear the story of appearance (birth) of the earth, the cause of all good, the source of destruction of all calamities, the destroyer of sin and the cause of furtherance of one's religious merits.

Some say that this earth has raised out of the marrow of the Daityas, Madhu and Kaiṭabha; but that is not the fact. Hear now the real fact:

Those two Daityas were greatly pleased with Viṣṇu's valour and prowess in the fight between them and Viṣṇu; and they said:

“Kill us on that part of the earth which is not under water.”

From their words it is evident that the earth was existent during their lifetime but she was not visible. After their death, the marrow came out after their bones.

Now hear how the name “Medinī” came to be applied to the earth. She was taken out of the water, and the marrow came to be mixed with the earth. It is due to this mixing that she is called Medinī.

Now I will tell you what I heard before in Puṣkara, the sacred place of pilgrimage, from the mouth of Dharma Deva, about the origin of earth, approved by the Śrutis, consistent, and good. Hear:

When the mind of Mahā Virāt, merged in water, expanded all over his body, it entered into every pore of his body.

Next the Mahāprithvī or the Great Earth appeared at the time of Pañchī Karaṇa (mixing of one-half of each of the elements with one-eighth of each of the other four elements).

This Mahāprithvī was broken into pieces and placed in every pore. It is this differentiated earth that appears during creation and disappears during Pralaya.

From this mind, concentrated in every pore of the body of Mahā Virāt, is born this earth, after a long interval. In every pore in the skin of this Virāt Puruṣa there is one earth.

She gets manifested and she disappears. This occurs again and again. When she appears, she floats on the water; and when she disappears, she gets merged in the water.

There is this earth (world) in every universe; and along with her, there are mountains, forests, seven oceans, seven islands, Śumeru mountain, the Moon, the Sun and other planets,

Brahmāloka, Viṣṇuloka (the abode of Viṣṇu) Śivaloka and the regions of the other Devas, sacred places of pilgrimage, the holy land of Bhāratvarṣa, the Kānchanī Bhūmi, seven heavens, seven Pātālas or nether regions, on the above Brahmāloka, and Dhruvaloka.

This law is appropriate in every world in every universe. So every universe is the work of Māyā and thus it is transient. At the dissolution of Prakriti, Brahmā falls. Again when creation takes place, the Mahā Virāt appears from Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Spirit.

Eternal is this flow of creation, preservation and destruction; eternal is this flow of time, Kāṣṭhā; eternal is this flow of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśa, etc. And eternal is this flow of Vasundharā who is worshipped in the Vārāha Kalpa by the Suras, Munis, Vipras, Gandharvas, etc.

The Śruti says that the Presiding Deity of this eternal earth is the wife of Viṣṇu in His boar- form. Mangalā (Mars) is the son of that earth and Mangala's son is Ghaṭeśa.

24-26. Nārada said:

In what form was the Earth worshipped by the Devas in Vārāha Kalpa? The Vārāhī, the receptacle of all things, moving and non-moving, how did she appear, by what method of Pañchī Kāraṇa, from the Mūlā Prakriti? What is the method of her worship in this Bhūrloka and in the Heavens (Svarloka).

Also tell me, O Lord! in detail, the auspicious birth of Mangala (Mars).

27-34. Nārāyaṇa spoke:

In ancient days, in the Vārāha Kalpa, Vārāha Deva (the boar incarnation) when entreated and praised by Brahmā, killed the Daitya Hiraṇyākṣa and rescued the earth from the nether regions Rasātala.

He then placed the earth on the waters where she floated as the lotus leaf floats on water. In the meantime Brahmā began to fashion the wonderful creation on the surface of the earth.

Bhagavān Hari, in His boar form and brilliant like ten million suns saw the beautiful and lovely appearance of the presiding deity of the earth, possessed of amorous sentiments.

He then assumed a very beautiful form, fit for amorous embraces. They then held their sexual intercourse and it lasted day and night for one Deva year.

The beautiful Earth, in the pleasant amorous plays, fainted away; for the intercourse of the lover with the beloved is exceedingly pleasant.

And Viṣṇu, too, at the same time was very much exhausted by the pleasant touch of the body of the Earth. He did not become conscious even how days and nights passed away.

When full one year passed away, they got back their senses and the amorous man then left his hold of the loved.

He assumed easily his former Boar form and worshipped Her as the incarnate of the Devī, with incense, lights, offerings of food, with vermilion (Sindur, red-powder), sandal-paste, garments, flowers and various other offerings of food, etc.

He then said:

35-37. O Auspicious One! Let Thou being the receptacle of all things. All the Munis, Manus, Devas, Siddhas, and Dānavas, etc., will worship Thee with pleasure and willingness.

On the day the Ambuvāchi ceremony closes, on the day when the house construction, i.e., the foundation is laid, on the day when the first entry is made into the newly built houses, when the digging of the well or tank commences, and on the day when tilling the ground commences, all will worship Thee.

Those stupid fools that will not observe this, will certainly go to hell.

38-41 The Earth spoke:

“O Lord! By Thy command I will assume the form of Vārāhī (female boar) and support easily on my back this whole world of moving and non-moving things,

but the following things, pearls, small shells, Śālagrāma, (a black stone, usually round, found in the river Ganḍakī, and worshipped as a type of Viṣṇu), the phallus or emblem of Śiva,

the images of the goddesses, conch-shells, lamps (lights), the Yantras, gems, diamonds, the sacred Upanayana threads, flowers, books, the Tulasī leaves, the bead (Japa mala),

the garland of flowers, gold, camphor, Gorochanā (bright yellow pigment prepared from the urine or bile of a cow), Sandal, and the water after washing the Śālagrāma stone,

I will not be able to bear. I will be very much pained in case I had to carry these on Me.”

42-45. Śrī Bhagavān said:

“O Fair One! The fools that will place the above articles on Thy back will go to the Kālasūtra hell for one hundred divine years.”

O Nārada! Thus saying, the Bhagavān Nārāyaṇa remained silent. Now the Earth became pregnant and the powerful planet Mars was born.

By the command of Śrī Hari, all began to meditate on Earth according to what is mentioned in Kāṇvaśākhā and began to praise Her. Offerings of food were given, uttering the root Mantra. Thus became extant all over the three worlds Her worship and praise.

46. Nārada said:

O Bhagavān! Very sacred is the meditation, hymn and the root Mantra of the Earth. I am very anxious to hear them. Kindly describe it in detail.

47-48. Nārāyaṇa said:

The Earth was first worshipped by Vārāha Deva; next She was worshipped by Brahmā. Next She was worshipped by all the Munis, Devas, Manus and men.

O Nārada! Now hear the Dhyāna, praise and Mantra of the Devī Earth.

49-51. The Earth was first worshipped by Bhagavān Viṣṇu with this root Mantra (Mūlā mantra): “Om Hrīm Śrīm Klīm Vasundharāyai Svāhā.”

Next He said:

O Devī Earth! O Thou Smiling One! I worship Thee, who art worshipped by the three worlds, whose colour is white like white lotus, whose face is beautiful like the autumnal moon, who art the Store-house of all gems and jewels, and in whose womb all the precious stones and pearls are imbedded, and who has put on a raiment purified by fire.

All then began to worship Her with this Mantra.

52-63. Śrī Nārāyaṇa said:

Now hear the hymn sung before Her according to Kāṇva Śākhā:

O Thou, the Giver of Victory! Holder of water! Endowed with water, full of victory; Consort of the Boar Incarnation, Carrier of victory! Bestow victory on me.

O Thou Auspicious One! The Store-house of all good, O Thou incarnate of all auspiciousness! Bestower of good, Thou, the Source of all good to bestow all sorts of welfare! Bestow all things that are good and auspicious to me in this world.

O Thou! The Receptacle of all, the Knower of all, all powerful, the Bestower of all desires, O Devī Earth! Give me the fruits that I desire.

O Thou! Who art all merits, Thou, the Seed of all religious merits, O Thou, the Eternal, the receptacle of all religious merits, the home of all religious persons, Thou bestowest merits to all.

O Thou! The Store-house of all grains, enriched with all sorts of corns, Thou bestowest harvests to all; Thou takest away all the grains in this world and again, Thou producest all corns of various kinds here.

O Earth! Thou art all-in-all to the landlords, the Best Source of refuge and happiness. O Bestower of lands! Give me lands.

The above hymn yields great religious merits. He becomes the sovereign of the whole earth for millions and millions of births who rising early in the morning reads this stotra.

Men who read this acquire merits due to giving away lands as gifts. People become certainly freed of their sins, if they read this stotra, those who take back the lands after making them as gifts,

who dig earth on the day of Ambuvāchi, who dig wells without permission on another's well, who steal other's lands, who throw their semen on earth, who place lamps on the earth.

Religious merits, equivalent to one hundred horse sacrifices accrue from reading this stotra. There is no doubt in this. This stotra of the great Devī is the source of all sorts of welfare and auspiciousness.

Here ends the Ninth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the origin of the Śaktī of the earth in Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.