Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 9 Chapter 43
THE NINTH BOOK
The history of Svāhā
1-4. Nārada said:
“O Ṛiṣi Nārāyaṇa! O Highly Fortunate One! O Lord! Thou art equal to Nārāyaṇa whether in beauty or in qualities, or in fame or in energy or in everything. Thou art equal to Nārāyaṇa.
Thou art the foremost of the Jñānins; there cannot be found a second like Thee as a Siddha Yogi, the ascetics and the Munis. And Thou art the crest of the knowers of the Vedas.
I have heard the wonderful history of Mahā Lakṣmī that Thou hast told me. Now tell me any other thing that is unknown, very good in every way, in accordance with Dharma, in the Vedas, and that which is not as yet written in the Purāṇas.”
5-6. Nārāyaṇa said:
“There are many wonderful hidden stories that are not published as yet in the Purāṇas. What you have heard is very small part in fact.
Please mention to me what you like to hear, what you think as best amongst them and I will describe that to you.”
7-8. Nārada said:
“When clarified butter is poured as libations in all the sacrificial ceremonies to the gods, Svāhā is to be uttered everywhere as excellent, and commendable; so Svadhā is to be repeated in the offerings when the oblations are offered to the Pitris, the deceased ancestors.
Then, again, Dakṣiṇā (the sacrificial fee) is always to be paid as right and excellent.
So, O Knower of the Vedas! I like to hear the accounts of Svadhā, and Dakṣiṇā and their merits. Please now tell me about them.”
9. Sūta said:
“Hearing the words of Nārada, Nārāyaṇa Ṛiṣi smiled and began to speak the very ancient words of the Purāṇas.”
10-11. Nārāyaṇa said:
Before the creation, the Devas assembled in the beautiful Brahmā’s Council to decide on their food question. They all brought to the notice of Brahmā the scarcity about their food.
Brahmā promised to remove their food difficulties and began to chant hymns to Hari.
12. Nārada said:
“O Lord! Bhagavān Nārāyaṇa Himself incarnated in part as Sacrifice. Are not the Devas satisfied when the Brāhmaṇas pour oblations of ghee to the Devas in those sacrifices?”
13-17. Nārāyaṇa said:
O Muni! The Devas, in fact, did not get the offerings of the clarified butters that were poured in with devotion in sacrificial acts by the Brāhmaṇas and Kṣattriyas.
So they were very much depressed and went again to the council of Brahmā and informed Him that they could not get any food for themselves.
On hearing this, Brahmā at once meditated and took refuge of Śrī Kṛṣṇa; Kṛṣṇa advised them to worship Mūlā Prakriti.
Brahmā then, by the command of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, began to meditate on Prakriti, worship Her and chant hymns to Her. Then from the part of Prakriti, an all- powerful Devī appeared. She was very beautiful, Śyāma (of a blue colour) and very lovely.
This Devī was Svāhā. She looked always gracious with smile in Her face; it seemed that She was always ready to show favour towards the Bhaktas.
She appeared before Brahmā and said:
“O Lotus born! Wish for any boon you desire.”
18-22. Hearing Her words, the Creator spoke reverentially:
“O Devī! Let Thou be the burning power of Fire; without Thee Fire would not be able to burn anything. At the conclusion of any Mantra, whoever taking Thy name, will pour oblations in the Fire to the Gods, will cause those oblations to go to the Gods and reach them. And then they will be very glad.
O Mother! Let Thou be the wealth of Fire, the beauty and housewife of Fire; let Thou be incessantly worshipped in the regions of the Gods and amongst men and other beings.”
Hearing these words of Brahmā, Svāhā Devī became very sad and expressed Her own intentions:
“I will get Kṛṣṇa as my husband; let me perform Tapasyā as long as it takes. This is my object. All other things are false as dreams.
23-28.I always meditate with devotion on the lotus-feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, serving Which You have become the Creator of this world, Śambhu has become the Conqueror of death, Ananta Deva is supporting this universe, Dharma is the Witness of the virtuous, Gaṇeśa is getting, first of all, the first worship.
Prakriti Devī has become the adorable of all and the Munis and the Riṣis respected by all.”
O Child! Having spoken thus to the Lotus-born, Padma, with Her lotus-face, meditating incessantly on the Lotus-Feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, free from any disease, started to perform tapasyā for attaining Him.
She, first of all, stood on one leg and practised austerities for one lakh years. Then She saw the Highest Puruṣa Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Who is beyond Prakriti and Her attributes. The beautiful amorous Svāhā, seeing the Lovely Form of the Lord of Love, fainted.
29-43. The omniscient Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa knowing Her intentions, took Her to His lap, reduced very much in body by long continued Tapasyā, and He said:
“O Devī! Thou shalt be My wife in the next Varāha Kalpa. Then Thou wilt be the daughter of Nāgnajitī and wilt be known by the name of Nāgnajitī.
O Beloved! At present let Thou be the Energy of Fire and be His wife. By My boon Thou wilt be worshipped by all. Fire will make Thee the Lady of His house and take the utmost care of Thee. Thou wilt be able to enjoy easily with Him.”
O Nārada! Thus saying to Svāhā, Bhagavān disappeared.
On the other hand, Fire came in there by the command of Brahmā, with a doubtful mind and began to meditate on Her, the World Mother as per Sāma Veda and worshipped Her. He then pleased and married Her with mantrams, etc.
For one hundred divine years they enjoyed each other. In a very solitary place while they were enjoying each other, Svāhā Devī felt pregnant.
For full twelve divine years She retained Her pregnancy. Then She delivered gradually three sons Dakṣiṇāgni, Gārhyapatyāgnī, and Āhavanīyāgni.
The Riṣis, Munis, Brāhmaṇas, Kṣattriyas poured oblations of clarified butter pronouncing the terminal mantra “Svāhā.”
He who pronounces this excellent terminal Mantra “Svāhā” gets immediate success in his actions. Then all the mantras without “Svāhā” in the end became impotent as snakes become when void of poison, the Brāhmaṇas when they are devoid of the knowledge of the Vedas, the wife when she does not serve her husband, the men when they turn illiterate and the trees, when void of fruits and branches.
O Child! The Brāhmaṇas then became satisfied. The Devas began to receive the oblations. With the “Svāhā” mantra everything turned out fruitful.
Thus I have described to you the story of “'Svāhā.” One who hears this essential story gets his happiness enhanced and the Mokṣa in his hands. What more do you want to hear? Say!
44. Nārada said:
I like to hear how Fire worshipped Svāhā and recited stotras (hymns of praise) to Her. Kindly tell me the method of worship, the Dhyānam and Stotra.
45-49. Nārāyaṇa said:
O Best of Brāhmaṇas! I now tell you the meditation (Dhyānam) as per Sāma Veda, the method of worship and stotra. Listen attentively:
At the commencement of any sacrificial ceremony, one should first of all worship whether on the Śālagrāma stone or in an earthen jar (Ghaṭa), the Devī Svāhā and then commence the ceremony with the expectation of getting the desired fruit.
The following is the Dhyānam (meditation) of Svāhā Devī:
O Devī Svāhā! Thou art embodied of the Mantras; Thou art the success of the Mantras; Thou art Thyself a Siddha; Thou givest success and the fruits of actions to men; Thou dost good to all.
Thus meditating, one should offer Pādya (water for washing the feet), etc., uttering the basic Mantra; success then comes to him.
Now hear about the Radical Seed Mantra. The said mantra (Mūlā mantra) is this:
“Om Hrīm Śrīm Vahnijāyāyai Devyai Svāhā.”
If the Devī be worshipped with this Mantra, all the desires come to a successful issue.
50-54. Fire recited the following stotra:
“Thou art Svāhā, Thou art the Beloved of Fire, Thou art the wife of Fire; Thou pleasest all; Thou art the Śaktī, Thou art the action, Thou art the bestower of Kāla (time);
Thou dost digest the food; Thou art the Dhruva; Thou art the resort of men; Thou art the burning power; Thou canst burn everything, Thou art the essence of this world;
Thou art the deliverer from the terrible world; Thou art the life of the gods and Thou nourishest the Gods.”
O Nārada! He who reads with devotion these sixteen names, gets success both in this world as well as in the next. None of his works become deficient in any way; rather all the works are performed successfully and with a successful issue.
Reading this stotra, one who has no wife, gets wife. So much so that the man who recites the stotra gets for his wife equal to Rambhā, the heavenly nymph, and passes his time in greatest bliss.
Here ends the Forty-third Chapter of the Ninth Book on the history of Svāhā in Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam, the Mahā Purāṇam, of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.