Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 3 Chapter 13
THE THIRD BOOK
On the Devī Yajña by Śrī Viṣṇu
1-3. The King spoke:
O Grandfather! How did Viṣṇu, the Powerful, the Cause of the world, perform the Devī Yajña? Whose help did he receive and what priests with their knowledge of the Vedas did he engage, kindly tell all these to me in specific details.
I will very attentively hear first this Devī Yajña, performed by Viṣṇu; and then I will make arrangements to do that myself accordingly.
4. Vyāsa said:
O noble one! Hear in detail that very wonderful thing, how Viṣṇu celebrated the Devī Yajña according to the rules laid down in the Śāstras.
5. When Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Maheśa were each given powers by the Devī, the Goddess of the Universe, and when they parted, these three Devas became free from their womanhood, while they were coming back in their aerial cars and turned out men, as they were before.
6. These three Devas, found the great ocean before them. They brought out world from it; and built, in that world, dwelling abodes; and they themselves began to live in some of them.
7. That world became fixed, steady and the supporter of all beings when the Goddess imparted the power of fixture, steadiness, and the power of supporting to the world.
The earth, filled with marrow, then, became fixed and the great supporter by Her power.
8-10. O King! The name of this earth is Medinī, since it was made out of the marrow of the two Asuras Madhu and Kaiṭabha. This earth is named Dhara because it supports all; is named Pṛthvi because it is very capacious; and it is called Mahī because it is great, since it supports so many beings.
O King! The Ananta serpent is holding it on her thousand-hoods. To make the earth remain solid and compact, Brahmā built at places mountains. As iron nails in a log of wood, so these hills and mountains within this earth made it fixed. Therefore the Pundits call these mountains “Mahīdhara,” holder of the earth.
11. O King! Thus the golden Meru, the great mountain, many Yojanas wide, adorned with many golden mountain peaks was created.
12. Next Marīchi, Nārada, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Dakṣa, and Vaṣiṣṭha were created by Brahmā; these are the Brahmā’s mental sons (sons created by the sheer power of mind).
13. The son Kaśyapa was born to Marīchi and thirteen daughters were born of Dakṣa. From these daughters and out of the seed of Kaśyapa, various Devas and Daityas were born.
14. Then human beings, animals, serpents and many other classes were created. This is called the Kaśyapi Śrīṣṭi or the Kaśyapa’s creation.
15. Next Svāyambhava Manu sprang from the lower half of Brahmā; and the daughter named Śatarūpā came out of the left hand side of the Brahmā’s body.
16. The two sons Priyavrata and Uttānapāda were born of Manu in the womb of Śatarūpā and the three daughters, very beautiful and fair complexioned, were also born of him.
17. Creating then, the Bhagavān, the lotus born Brahmā built the beautiful Brahmā-loka, on the top of the Meru Mountain.
18. Then the Bhagavān Viṣṇu built the Vaikuṇṭha city on the top of all the lokas or worlds to dwell with his consort Lakṣmī.
19. Mahādeva, too, built the exceedingly beautiful Kailāśa and stayed there with his Bhūtas and played with them at his will.
20. The third Loka termed Heaven was built on the top of Meru, decorated with various precious gems and jewels and stones. It was fixed as the abode of Indra.
21-22. When the great ocean was churned, Pārijāta, the best of all the trees, the elephant Airāvata with four tusks, the Heavenly cow yielding the milk of all desires, the Uchchaiśravā horse and Apsarās, Rambhā and others, arose and were taken by Indra. These became the ornaments of Heaven.
23. The Moon and Dhanvantarī, the great physician also came out of the churning of the ocean. These surrounded with many other members began to shine, being situated above the Heavens.
24. O King! Thus the three varieties, human beings, Devas, and Tiryakas (birds, etc.) and their great subvarieties sprang up.
25. The four classes of Jīvas, Aṇḍaja (born from the eggs), Svedaja (born out of sweats), Udbhija (plants, etc.) and Jarāyujā (men, etc.) were created, being endowed with the fruits of their past auspicious or inauspicious Karmas, as the case may be.
26. Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Maheśa began to play and walk about at their leisure in their respective spheres, after they finished all their creations.
27. Thus the wheel of creation being started, the Great God Bhagavān Viṣṇu Achyuta remained in sport with Mahā Lakṣmī in His own sphere Vaikuṇṭha.
28. Then Bhagavān Viṣṇu, while sitting one day in Vaikuṇṭha, got in his mind the memory of that beautiful island, called Mani Dvīpa, adorned with precious stones, gems and jewels.
29-33. O King! In this Mani Dvīpa, the Bhagavān Viṣṇu got the vision of the Mahā Māyā and the auspicious mantra.
He now thought to celebrate a Yajña in honour of the Devī, when he recollected the highest Energy, the Great Goddess. He then went out of his abode and invited Brahmā, Mahēśvara, Kubera, Indra, Varuna, Fire, Yama, Vaṣiṣṭha, Kaśyapa, Dakṣa, Vāmadēva, Brihaspati and others and began to collect lots of materials necessary for the Devī sacrifice.
Selecting a site Sāttvic, beautiful, and possessing great spiritual powers, Viṣṇu erected, with the help of the great artists and engineers, a wide capacious sacrificial hall, and for the due celebration and fulfilment of it, appointed twenty seven priests; who pledged a solemn vow to complete it duly.
34. When the big altar and chiti (pile of wood for burning, stack of sacrificial bricks) were finished, the Brāhmaṇas began to recite slowly the Devī mantrams with their root mantrams.
Note: Chiti, lit pile of wood for burning, is perhaps the Mūlādhāra, the sacral plexus, where the fire called Kundalini is first kindled by processes of Yoga.
35-37. Then the profuse quantities of ghee were offered as oblations to the Sacred Fire. Thus when the Homa, (offering oblations of ghee to the fire) ceremony was finished elaborately and conforming to the rules of the Śāstras, the sweet and melodious Heavenly voice was heard in the air, addressing Viṣṇu Bhagavān, thus:
O Viṣṇu! Let You be the supreme amongst the gods; honour and worship shall be Thine first; and you would be the most powerful of the Devas. Indra together with Brahmā, and the other Devas, all will worship You.
38-39. O Achyuta! (O Infallible One!) Those men on the earth that will be devoted to you, will certainly be endowed with power and you shall be the bestower of boons and all their desires.
O Viṣṇu! you will be the Supreme of the Devas and you will be the God of the gods; you will be the first and foremost in all the sacrifices and you will be worshipped by the sacrificers.
40-41. People will worship you; and you will favour them with the boons. O best of the Puruṣas! When the Devas will be troubled by the Asuras, they will come and take refuge in Thee.
You will be the Protector of all, there is no doubt in this. In all the Puranas and all this vast Vedas, You will be first worshipped.
42. O Keśava! Wherever there will be decay and decline in religion, You will incarnate in your parts and preserve the religion.
43-44. O Mādhava! Avatāras, renowned in all the worlds, will come down on earth as Your part incarnations in all sorts of wombs, in due order, and will be respected by all the high souled personages. O Madhusūdana! Those Avatāras will be the best of all the Avatāras and will be famous all the Lokas, the worlds.
45. In all your Avatāras, you will get your attendants, the Śaktis (females) drawing their energies from My parts; and they will serve your purposes.
46-47. Vārāhī, Nārasimhī, etc., and various other Śaktis of auspicious appearances, endowed with various weapons and decked with all the ornaments will serve as your attendants; no doubt in this.
O Viṣṇu! Always with their help and under the influence of My favour, you will no doubt be quite competent to serve the purposes of the Devas.
48. You should respect and worship all those powers by all means and with very great attention; never show the slightest trace of pride to them; never do you thus insult them.
49. These Śaktis, capable of bestowing all the desires, will be worshipped in Pratimās (images of clay, etc.) in the whole of India.
50. O Deva of the Devas! The fame of all these Śaktis, as well as of You will be spread in the seven worlds and in the whole Universe.
51. O Hari! The human beings on this earth will constantly worship with selfish ends these powers and you, for the fructification of their desires.
52. Having various desires, men will, in your worship, present various offerings, recite the Veda mantrams, and repeat the names of you and the powers.
53. O Viṣṇu! You will be the God of the Immortals and your glory will be enhanced by the worship offered by the human beings in the world as well as in the heavens.
54. Vyāsa said:
O king! The heavenly voice, thus, bestowing boons on Viṣṇu, ceased. Viṣṇu Bhagavān became very glad to hear this.
55-58. Then Hari, the God of Gods, completed duly the sacrifice and dismissed the Devas and the Munis, the sons of Brahmā. Then ascending on Garuda, (His Vāhana), He went up to Vaikuṇṭha with his followers.
The Devas also went to their own respective places. The Munis also retired gladly to their own hermitages, all thunderstruck to see these things, conversing with each other about this sacrifice.
59. O king! All were filled with best devotion towards the Supreme Force, on hearing this clear beautiful, sonorous heavenly voice; then the Dvijas, the Munis, and Munindras began to worship with devotion, according to the Vedas, that Highest Force, the Supreme Goddess, giving all desired objects profusely in all the details.
Here ends the thirteenth chapter on the Devī Yajña by Śrī Viṣṇu in the third Adhyāya in Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam; the Mahā Purāṇam by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.