Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 9 Chapter 19
THE NINTH BOOK
On the going of the Devas to Vaikuṇṭha after Tulasī’s marriage with Śankhachūḍa
1. Nārada said:
“O Bhagavān! Wonderful is the story that has been now recited by you. My ears are not satisfied. So tell me what happened afterwards.”
2-94. Nārāyaṇa said:
O Nārada! The Creator Brahmā, blessing them, departed to His own abode. The Dānava married Tulasī according to the Gandharva method. The celestial drums sounded and the flowers were showered.
In the beautiful lovely house the Dānavendra, remained in perfect enjoyment. Tulasī, too, being busy with fresh intercourses, became almost mad after them.
The chaste Tulasī and Śankhachūḍa both became deeply immersed in the ocean of bliss in their sexual union and began to enjoy sixty-four sorts of amorous sports.
In the Śāstras on love affairs, all the connections of limbs with limbs that are described, as the lover and the loved desire, they both enjoyed those with perfect freedom and pleasure.
The place was solitary; to add to it, the scenery was grand and lovely; so nothing remained untasted of the several tastes of amorous pleasures.
On the banks of the river, in flower-gardens, they slept on the flower beds smeared with sandal-paste, and enjoyed the amorous pleasures. Both were adorned with jewel ornaments; both were skilled in amorous practices; so no one desisted.
The chaste Tulasī out of her nimbleness due to young age, easily stole into the heart of her husband. Śankhachūḍa, too, a great expert in knowing other’s amorous sentiments, attracted the heart of Tulasī.
Tulasī obliterated the sandal marks from the breast of the King and the sign of Tilak from his nose. The King also wiped away the dot of Sindur and Alakā (vermillion) marks from Tulasī’s forehead and put marks of nails on her round plump breasts. Tulasī also hurt the King’s left side by her bracelets. Then the King bit the lips of Tulasī.
Thus each one embraced the other, kissed each other and each one began to shampoo the thighs, legs, etc.
When both of them thus spent their time in amorous sports, they got up and began to dress themselves as they desired.
Tulasī smeared Śankhachūḍa’s nose with red sandal-paste mixed with Kumkum (saffron), smeared his body with sweet-scented sandal-paste, offered sweet-scented betel in his mouth,
made him put on celestial garments (fireproof; brought from Fire) put unto his neck the wonderful garland of Parijāta flowers, protecting to disease and old age, invaluable jewel rings on his hand and offering him excellent gems, rare in the three worlds, said:
“O Lord! I am your maidservant”
and uttering this repeatedly bowed down to the feet of her husband with devotion. She then got up and with smiling countenance began to look on his face with a steadfast gaze.
The king Śankhachūḍa then attracted his dear Tulasī to his breast and took off the veil fully from her face and began to look on that,
next moment he kissed on her cheek and lips and gave her a pair of garments brought from the Varuṇa’s house, a necklace of jewels, hard to get in the three worlds,
the tinklets of Svāhā, the wife of Agni, the Keyura (armlets) of the Sun’s wife Chhāyā, the two earrings of Rohiṇī, the wife of the Moon,
the finger rings of Rati, the wife of Kāmadeva, and the wonderfully beautiful conch, given by Viśvakarma, excellent bedding studded with pearls and jewels and various ornaments; and when he gave her all these things, he smiled.
The king then put garlands on Tulasī’s braid of hair, nicely variegated Alakās on her cheek, three crescent lines of sweet-scented sandal paste within the Alakās, dots of saffron all around that,
the brilliant Sindūra mark looking like a flame, and red Alta on the feet and toes; he then placed those feet on his breast and uttered repeatedly:
“I am your servant” and then held her on his breast.
They then left the hermitage, in that state and began to travel in various places. In the Malaya mountain, in mountains after mountains, in solitary flower gardens,
in the mountain caves, in beautiful sea-beaches, on the banks of the Puṣpabhadrā river, cool with watery breeze, in various rivers and riversides, in Viṣpandana forest echoed with sweet songs of the birds of the vernal season.
They then went from Viṣpandana forest to the Surasana forest, from the Surasana, forest to the Nandana forest, from the Nandana forest to the nice Chandana forests,
from Chandana forest to Champaka, Ketaki; Mādhavi Kuṇḍa, Mālatī, and Kumuda and lotus forests; thence they went to the forest of desire gratifying trees (Kalpavrikṣa forest,) and Pārijāta trees.
They then went to the solitary place Kānchan, thence to the Kānchī (forest) they then went to the Kīñjalaka forest, thence to the Kānchanākar (the gold mine), thence to Kanchuka and various other forests echoed with the sweet sounds of cuckoos.
There, on beds strewn with flowers and scented with sandal paste they both enjoyed each other to their hearts content and with great pleasure.
But none of them, whether Śankhachūḍa or Tulasī, got quenched with their thirst. Rather their passions were inflamed like the fire on which clarified butter is poured (in sacrifices).
The King of the Dānavas, then, brought Tulasī to his own kingdom and, there, in his own beautiful garden house, he incessantly enjoyed her.
Thus the powerful king of the Dānavas passed away one Manvantara in the enjoyment of his kingdom. He spread his sway over the Devatās, Asuras, Dānavas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras, and Rākṣasas.
The Devas, dispossessed of their realms, wandered everywhere like beggars. At last they united in a body and went to the Brahmā’s assembly and there they began to cry and then related the whole history how the Dānava Śankhachūḍa oppressed them.
Hearing all this, Brahmā took them to Śankara and informed Him of the whole history of the case. When Mahādeva heard all this, He took them all to the highest place, Vaikuṇṭha devoid of old age and death.
Going towards the first entrance of Nārāyaṇa’s abode, they saw the gate-keepers watching the gate, taking their seats on jewel thrones.
They all looked brilliant, clothed with the yellow garments, adorned with jewel ornaments, garlanded with forest flowers, all of Śyāma Sundara (dark blue, very beautiful) bodies.
They were four-armed, holding on their hands, conch, mace, discus and lotus; sweet smile was on their faces and eyes beautiful like lotus leaves.
On Brahmā asking them for entrance to the assembly, they nodded their assent. He, then, accompanied by the Devas passed one by one sixteen gates and at last came before Nārāyaṇa.
On reaching there, He saw that the assembly was completely filled with Devarṣis, and four-armed Nārāyaṇa- like Pārisadas (attendants), decked with Kaustubha jewels.
The sight of the Sabhā (assembly) makes one think that the Moon has just arisen, shedding effulgent rays all round.
By the will of Śrī Hari, excellent diamonds, invaluable gems and necklaces of gems and jewels were placed at various places. At other places rows of pearls were shedding their splendour and brilliance like the garlands of gems and jewels.
At others, the mirrors were placed in a circle; and at various other places, the endless wonderful artistic picture lines were drawn.
Again at other places the jewels called Padmarāgas were artistically arranged as if the lotuses were there spreading their lustrous beauty all around. At many other places rows of steps were made of wonderful Syamantak jewels.
All around the assembly, there were the excellent pillars, built of Indranīlamaṇi jewels. Over those pillars, sandal leaves strung on strings from to pillar to pillar, were suspended.
Golden jars, all brimful with water were located at various places. All around the garlands of Parijāta flowers were seen. The hall was decorated with sweet scented sandal trees, red like saffron and musk. Sweet scents were being emitted all round. The Vidyādhāris were dancing at places.
The assembly hall measured one thousand Yojanas. Countless servants were engaged all over on various works. Brahmā, Śankara, and the other Gods saw there Śrī Hari seated in the centre on an invaluable jewel throne, as a Moon looks surrounded by stars.
There were the crown on His head, the ear-rings on His ears; garlands made of wild flowers were on his neck and His body was smeared all over with sandal paste and He was holding Kelipadma (a sort of lotus) in His hand.
He was seeing with a smiling countenance the dancing and music before Him. He was full of peace, the Lord of Saraswatī. Lakṣmī was holding gently His lotus feet and He was chewing the sweet scented betel offered by Her.
Gangā also was fanning Him devotedly with a white Chāmara and the others were singing hymns to Him with their heads bent low with devotion.
Brahmā and the other Gods all bowed down to Him; their bodies were all filled with Pulaka (excessive joy causing hair stand on end); tears flowed from their eyes and their voices were choked out of emotion.
The creator Brahmā, then, with clasped hands informed Him, with head bowed down, of the whole history of Śankhachūḍa.
Hearing this, the omniscient Hari, knowing the minds of all, smiled and spoke to Brahmā all the interesting secrets:
O Lotus born! I know all about Śankhachūḍa. He was in his previous birth My great devotee, an energetic Gopa. Now I speak to you the ancient history of Goloka; hear. This story about Goloka is sin destroying and highly meritorious.
Śankhachūḍa, in his previous birth was the Gopa Sudāmā, My chief Pārisada (attendant). He has now become a Dānava on account of the dire curse pronounced by Śrī Rādhā.
One day when I went from My abode, accompanied by Virajā Gopī, to the Rāsa Mandala, My beloved Rādhā, hearing this news from a maid servant, came up at once with Her whole host of Sakhīs wrathful, to the Rāsa Maṇḍalam (ball dance in Goloka) and, not being able to see Me, saw Virajā turned into a river, She thought that I had disappeared.
So She went back to Her own abode with Her Sakhīs. But when I returned to the house with Sudāmā, Rādhā rebuked Me very much. I remained silent. But Sudāmā could not bear and he rebuked Rādhā in My presence, a thing quite intolerable to Her dignity!
On hearing this rebuke, Rādha’s eyes became red with anger and She immediately ordered Her Sakhīs to drive him away. Sudāmā began to tremble with fear.
Immediately on Her command lakhs and lakhs of Sakhīs got up immediately and drove that hot irresistible Sudāmā away. Sudāmā repeated his chafing and roaring.
On hearing these, She cursed him:
“You better be born in the womb of a Dānavī.”
Hearing the terrible curse, Sudāmā bowed down to Me and went away crying; then Rādhā, who was all-mercy, became melted with mercy. And She prevented him repeatedly, not to go away.
Rādhā wept and told him:
“O Child! Wait. Where are you going? No more you will have to go; return.”
Thus saying She became very distressed. The Gopas and Gopis also began to weep.
I then explained to them:
“In about half a moment Sudāmā will come back, fulfilling the conditions of the curse. O Sudāmā! Come here when the curse expires.”
Then he appeased Rādhā also.
“Know that one moment (Kṣaṃ) in Goloka is equal to one Manvantara on earth. The Yogi Śankhachūḍa, expert in Māyā and very powerful will soon return from the earth.
Take this My weapon Śūla and go early to Bhārata. Śiva will slay the Dānava by this Śūlāstra.
The Dānava holds always on his neck My auspicious Kavācha and will therefore become the conqueror of the universe. No one will be able to kill him as long as he holds the above Kavācha. So, first of all, I will go to him in the form of a Brāhmaṇa and ask from him the Kavācha.
O Creator! Thou also didst give him the boon that his death would occur when the chastity of his wife would be destroyed. I will go and hold intercourse with his wife. Then his death will occur without fail. His wife after her death will come and become My dearest wife.
Thus saying, Nārāyaṇa gave over to Mahādeva the Śūlāstra. Then He went gladly to His inner compartments.
On the other hand, Brahmā and Rudra and the other Devas incarnated themselves in Bhārata.
Here ends the Nineteenth Chapter on the going of the Devas to Vaikuṇṭha after Tulasī’s marriage with Śankhachūḍa in the Mahāpurāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.