Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 9 Chapter 14
THE NINTH BOOK
On the story how Gangā became the wife of Nārāyaṇa
1-2. Nārada said:
O Lord! Gangā, Lakṣmī, Saraswatī, and the world purifying Tulasī, these four, are dearest to Nārāyaṇa. Out of these, Gangā went from the region of Goloka to Vaikuṇṭha. So I have heard.
But how did She come to be the wife of Nārāyaṇa. I have not heard. Kindly describe this.
3. Nārāyaṇa said:
Brahmā came from Goloka to the region of Vaikuṇṭha accompanied by Gangā.
4-23. Brahmā said to Nārāyaṇa:
O Lord! Gangā, born of the bodies of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, full of youth, modest, extraordinarily beautiful, of pure Śuddhā Sattva, and void of anger and egoism, does not like to marry anyone except Thee as She is born of Thee.
But Rādhā is of a very proud nature and very wrathful. She was even ready to drink up Gangā. But Gangā at once and intelligently took refuge into the feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. So the whole Goloka became void of water.
Seeing this, I have come here to know in particular the whole history of the case.
Then Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Knower and the Ruler of the hearts of all, came to know my heart and instantly caused Gangā to issue from His toe and handed Her over to me.
I bowed down to Śrī Kṛṣṇa and now I have come with Gangā to Thee. Now Thou dost marry the Sureśvarī Gangā according to the Gandharva rule of marriage.
As Thou art a Deva of taste and humorous in the assembly of the Devas, so Gangā is. As Thou art a gem amongst the males, so She is the gem amongst the females. And the union of a humorous man with a humorous woman is exceedingly pleasant.
Now marry this Lady who has come of Her own accord to Thee. Śrī Mahā Lakṣmī becomes annoyed with one who does not marry a woman who has come spontaneously. There is no doubt in this.
The wise men do never insult the Prakriti. All the Puruṣas (males) are born of Prakriti and all the females are parts of Prakriti. So Prakriti and Puruṣa are both inseparable and verily one and the same. So these two should never insult each other.
(If Thou sayest that Gangā is attached to Kṛṣṇa; how canst Thou marry Her. The reply is) As Śrī Kṛṣṇa is beyond the attributes and beyond Prakriti, so Thou art also above Prakriti.
The one-half of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is two-armed; the other half of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is four-armed. Rādhā has appeared from the left side of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He Himself is the right half and Padma is His left-half.
As there is no difference between Rādhā and Kamalā so there is no difference between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Thee. Therefore as Gangā is born of Thy body, she wants to marry Thee.
As Prakriti and Puruṣa are really one and the same without any difference, so the males and females are one.
Thus speaking to Nārāyaṇa, Brahmā handed Gangā over to Nārāyaṇa and went away.
Nārāyaṇa, then, married Gangā smeared with sandal paste and flowers, according to the rules of the Gandharva marriage. The Lord of Lakṣmī then spent his time happily in enjoyment with Gangā.
Gangā had to go to the earth (under the Bhāratī’s curse) and afterwards returned to Vaikuṇṭha.
As Gangā appeared from the feet of Viṣṇu, She is denominated Viṣṇupādī. Gangā Devī was very much overpowered with enjoyment in Her first intercourse with Nārāyaṇa; so much so that She remained motionless. Thus Gangā spent the days happily with Nārāyaṇa.
Saraswatī’s jealousy towards Gangā did not disappear, though She was advised by Lakṣmī Devī not to do so. Saraswatī cherished incessantly the feeling of jealousy towards Gangā. But Gangā had not the least feeling of jealousy towards Saraswatī.
At last, one day, when vexed too much, Gangā became angry and cursed Saraswatī to take Her birth in Bhārata. So Lakṣmī, Saraswatī and Gangā were the wives of Nārāyaṇa. Lastly Tulasī became the wife of Nārāyaṇa.
So the number of wives of Nārāyaṇa amounted to four.
Here ends the Fourteenth Chapter in the Ninth Book on the story of Gangā becoming the wife of Nārāyaṇa in the Mahāpurāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.