Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 4 Chapter 25



Chapter XXV

On the Devī’s Highest Supremacy

1. The King said:

O Best of Munis! Hearing these sorrows of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the part incarnate of Viṣṇu Bhagavān, I am in doubt on your utterances.

2. Behold! Bhagavān Vāsudeva is the part incarnate of Nārāyaṇa; how could the Asura Śambara steal away His son from the lying-in-chamber!

3. The beautiful Dvārakā city is specially well-guarded; the lying-in-chamber is again within the centre of that; under these circumstances, how was it that the Daitya could enter there and steal away the child!

4. O Son of Satyavatī! How was it that Vāsudeva could not know that! This appears very strange to me!

5. O Brāhmaṇa! Please explain to me why was that child stolen away from the lying-in- chamber, though Śrī Kṛṣṇa was staying there at the city; and how was it that he was not able to know this beforehand!

6. Vyāsa said:

O King! The Māyā called Śāmbhavī (Pārvatī’s) is the cause; it fascinates and deludes the minds of human beings. Thus it is known to us. Who is there in this world that is not deluded by this Māyā?

7. The Jīvas, no sooner they are born as human beings, are immediately overcome with human qualities; the Deva or Asura qualities or their natures do not then visibly exist.

8-9. O King! Hunger, thirst, sleep, fear, lassitude, delusion, sorrow, doubt, pleasure, egoism, old age, disease, death, non-knowledge, knowledge, displeasure, envy, jealousy, pride and weariness; all these human qualities are seen to exist in human embodiments.

10-11. Behold! The night wanderer Rākṣasa Mārīcha assumed, by his Māyā, the form of a golden deer and came before Śrī Rāmachandra; and Rāmachandra was not the least aware of it.

Then the stealing away of Sītā, the death of Jatāyu, Rāma’s going to the forest on the very day of his installation to the throne of Ayodhyā; the death of his father due to his bereavement, all these Śrī Rāmachandra did not know a bit beforehand.

12. When Rāvaṇa stole away Jānakī and carried her by force Rāma did not know this before or after that event had happened. He wandered from forest to forest in search of Her, like a quite ignorant man.

13. Afterwards He killed Bali, the son of Indra and with the help of the monkeys, erected a bridge across the ocean, and, crossing it, went to Lanka.

14. He sent the chief monkeys to all the quarters in search of Sītā and had to undergo all the troubles of deadly battles in the great battlefield.

15. The most powerful Raghunandana was tied down by Nāgapāśa (snakes) and was afterwards freed from it by Garuda.

16. Then, being furiously enraged, the great Rāghava slew Kumbhakarṇa, Nikumbha, Megha Nada and Rāvaṇa.

17. The Janārdana Rāmachandra was not aware of the innocence of Sītā; and therefore He made her take an oath about the purity of Her character and even made Her undergo an ordeal of fire.

18. Afterwards Rāmachandra, the son of Daśaratha, had to banish his dear blameless Sītā on the mere ground of bad name, imputed to her by some ignorant person and that he would be thus blamed by the public.

19. He did not know that Kuśī and Lava were His two sons, born in the forest. Afterwards when the Muni Vālmīki told him, He came to know of them.

20. Behold also Rāmachandra could not know about the departure of Sītā to Pātāla; getting angry once He was about to kill his brother Lakṣmaṇa even.

21. Rāma, the slayer of the Rākṣasa Khara did not know that Kala Puruṣa was coming to him. He, incarnating in the human body, did acts all becoming to a man. Similarly Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the descendant of Yadu, taking human birth did acts all like a man. What more discussion can there be in this?

22. Lo! From the very outset He fled, out of fear of Kamsa, to Gokula; afterwards he fled out of fear of Jārāsandha to the Dwārkā city.

23. Knowing all the rites and ceremonies of the Sanātana Dharma (the Eternal Religion) He stole away Rukmiṇī who was chosen as bride elect by Śiśupāla. This act was very unreligious of Him.

24. Śambara Daitya stole away his newly born child and Kṛṣṇa lamented for this. Afterwards on coming to know of the real state of things from the Goddess Bhagavatī, He was very glad. Therefore it can be easily seen from all these circumstances that He had to yield to pleasures and to undergo remorse like ordinary human beings.

25. Again, under the orders of his wife Satyabhāmā, He had to go to Heaven to bring the Pārijāta tree and He had to fight with Indra. This shows clearly that He was under the subjection of His wife.

26. In that battle Hari with disc in hand defeated Indra; the Lord of the Devas, took away the Kalpa tree and retained the prestige of His respected wife (whom He had offended).

27. Again Satyabhāmā tied down Hari against a tree and presented Him as a gift to Nārada; afterwards she, the passionate woman, freed Kṛṣṇa on paying an equivalent of gold coins.

28-29. On seeing Rukmiṇī’s many sons, Pradyumna and others, all qualified with diverse qualifications, His wife Jāmbavatī prayed to Śrī Kṛṣṇa with humility, so that she may have also many beautiful sons. For her sake, Kṛṣṇa firmly resolved to practise tapasyā and went to the place where the great devotee of Śiva, Upamanyu, was staying.

30. Hari desiring to have sons engaged Upamanyu as His spiritual guide and obtained from him the Mantram called Pāśupata Mantra and became a Dundee (holder of a staff) and shaved His head.

31-32. In the first month He subsisted on fruits only and meditated on Śiva and repeated silently the Śiva mantra. Thus He practised very severe austerities.

In the second month He subsisted on water only and stood on only one leg. In the third month he lived on air only and stood on the end of His great toe.

33-36. Thus time passed away. In the sixth month the God Rudra, holding Moon on His forehead, was pleased with His asceticism and devotion and appeared before Him on that spot.

The God Mahā Deva came on a bull; He was attended by Brahmā and Viṣṇu, Indra and the other Devas, Yakṣas and Gandharvas and addressed thus:

“O high minded Kṛṣṇa of Yadu’s descent; I am pleased with Your severe asceticism; now ask Your desired boon; I will grant it just now. I fulfil all the desires of all my devotees; what desire, then, there can be that is not fulfilled, when I am seen by the devotees!”

37-38. Vyāsa said:

The son of Devakī was very glad to see the God Śankara and fell prostrate at His feet. Then that eternal supreme God of the Devas began to recite hymns in praise of Him in a tone as deep as the rumbling of a cloud.

39. Kṛṣṇa said:

O Deva of the Devas! O Lord of the world! You alone destroy the misfortunes and sorrows of all the beings. O Destroyer of Asuras! You are the Cause and Creator of this universe. I salute Thee.

40. O One having a blue throat! I bow down to Thee! O Holder of trident! I again and again salute Thee! O Lord of Parvati! You destroyed Dakṣa’s sacrifice. I salute Thee.

41. I am blessed by Thy sight and think myself as having discharged all my duties and satisfied. O Virtuous One! My human birth is crowned with success by saluting Thy feet.

42. O Lord of everything! O three-eyed! I am tied down to this world by my attachment towards my wives; now I take refuge unto Thee to free me from these bonds.

43. O Destroyer of sorrows! I am very much troubled on attaining this human birth; O Bhāva! I am afraid of this world; and hence I take refuge unto Thee; now save me.

44-45. O Destroyer of cupidity! I experienced a good deal of troubles in the womb; next out of fear to Kamsa I had to go to Gokula where I suffered much pains; there I had to obey the orders of cow-herds; there I had to attend as Nanda’s cow-herd, the pasturing of his cows and was constantly suffocated with the awful dust thrown up by the cows; I had to wander constantly in the wild forests of Vrindāvan.

46. O Omnipresent One! I had to leave my dear ancestral place, the city of Mathurā, a rare place to be found anywhere else, out of the great fear of Kala Yavana, the king of the Mlechchas and had to go to Dvārakā city.

47-48. O Lord! In order to preserve the cause of religion, I had to hand over the best prosperous kingdom to Ugrasena, due to the curse of Yayāti. My elders made him the king of the Yādavas; following their examples, I gave him the kingdom and am now serving him always like his servant.

49. O Śambhu! The householder’s life is exceedingly troublesome; it makes one subject to one’s wife and go against his religion. There we are always dependent on others; and no word is heard or dreamt even, how to free oneself from those bondages of the world. Oh! What an irony of Fate.

50. O Destroyer of cupid! My wife Jāmbavatī, on seeing the sons of my wife Rukmiṇī has urged me to practise this Tapasyā so that she might get excellent sons born to her also.

51. O Lord of the Devas! O Lord of the world! I am engaged in this asceticism with the desire to get sons; O Deva! I feel shame in asking you for the sons!

52. You are the lover of your devotees; You give eternal freedom; You are the Lord of all the Devas. By worshipping and satisfying You, who is so fool as to ask for this trivial and transient thing!

53. O Omnipresent One! O Śambhu! O Lord of the world! Knowing You as the giver of salvation, I, still deluded by Māyā, ask from You, being requested by my wife, this happiness that sons be born to me of my wife.

54-55. O Śankara! This world and its concerns are the abode of all sorrows; it is the cause that brings in all sorts of pains and troubles, and it is transient and will go to destruction. I know all these; still my mind does not desist from it.

56. Vyāsa said O great and powerful king! The God of Gods, Mahā Deva, thus praised and adored by Govinda, the Destroyer of enemies, replied You will get many sons.

57. You will get sixteen thousand one hundred wives and no doubt you will get ten sons of each of them. These sons will be very powerful and valorous.

58-60. The good-looking Śankara saying these words remained silent; then Śrī Kṛṣṇa bowed down at the feet of Girijā, the wife of Śankara. Then the Goddess Pārvatī addressed repeatedly to Vāsudeva and said:

O mighty armed! O Kṛṣṇa! O best of human beings! You will be the typical exemplary householder; (all people will try to follow you). When one hundred years will pass away, your race will be extinct, due to the curse of the Brāhmaṇa and Gāndhāri.

61. Your sons and the other Yādavas will lose their senses on drinking liquor; they will kill each other in the battle field and thus will be extirpated.

Note: Here Viṣṇis and Andhkas are meant.

62. Then you and your elder brother Balabhadra (Balarāma) will give up your bodies and will ascend to the Heavens; O Mighty Person! Do not grieve in matters that cannot be avoided.

63. You should know that there can be no remedy to what will inevitably come to pass; therefore no one is to grieve for them; this is all along my view.

64. O Madhusūdana! After Your death, due to the curse of Aṣṭāvakra Muni, your wives will be forcibly stolen away by indomitable robbers. There is no doubt in this.

65. Vyāsa said:

When Devī Parvati thus spoke, Śambhu, with the other gods disappeared; Kṛṣṇa too, bowed down to Upamanyu and went back to the city Dvārakā.

66-67. Therefore, O King! Though Brahmā and the other Devas are heard to be the lords of the world, still they are all being tossed hither and thither by the waves of the ocean of Māyā. They are all like wooden dolls subject to Māyā.

68. As their previous karmas, so their several manifestations in the field of action, by the Great Māyā, the incarnate of Para Brahmā.

69. She has no differences nor any want of mercy; That Goddess of the universe is always leading the Jīvas towards the Eternal Freedom (freedom from Māyā).

70. Had She not created this world, moving and unmoving and if She had not remained there as the Controller of the Jīvas in the shape of unshakeable consciousness the Kūṭasthya Chaitanya, this whole world would have become devoid of any consciousness, like an insentient substance and would have dissolved in the Tāmasī Māyā (sheer darkness). There is no doubt in this.

71. Therefore that Goddess of the Universe has, through Her mercy, created all these worlds and Jīvas, and resting incarnate in each Jīva, is directing each and every of them according to his karmic merits and demerits.

72. Therefore it is a matter not to be doubted that Brahmā and the other gods are all under this Māyā; the Suras and Asuras are subject to Her.

73. Therefore, O king! Know this as certain that the Great Goddess moves and enjoys freely according to Her will; She is not dependent on anybody. Therefore it is the duty of everyone to serve and worship, with whole head and heart, that Devī.

74. In these three worlds there is nothing higher or more excellent than Her. Therefore this birth cannot be crowned with success in any other way than remembering that Highest Force, the Para Śaktī and Her place.

75-77. One should always think, without any difference, that Eternal World Mother, thus:

 “Let me not be born in that family which has not that Supreme Goddess for its presiding Deity; I am that Goddess Bhagavatī and no other; I am Brahmā, untouched by sorrows.”

One should hear first from the mouth of one’s Spiritual Guide; next by hearing Vedānta and other religious scriptures, one should first form an idea of that Bhagavatī; and then if one daily meditates on That Goddess, the Highest Self incarnate with one minded devotion, one will get, within a short period, the Eternal Freedom; else there is not the least chance, even if one performs lots of innumerable good works of becoming free.

78. Śvetāśvatara and other pure hearted Riṣis obtained this freedom from the bondages of Māyā by meditating, in their hearts, this Highest Self and nothing else.

79. Brahmā, Viṣṇu and the other Devas, Gauri, Lakṣmī and other goddesses, all worship This Supreme Goddess, of Satchidānanda Para Brahmāṇī.

80. O pure-hearted king! I answered all that you asked me, terrified with the fears of this world; what more do you want to hear?

81-82. O king! I have described this wonderful Purāṇa narrative, destructive of sins, productive of virtue.

He who daily listens to this Bhāgavatam equal alike to Veda, becomes freed from all sorts of sins and goes to the region of the Highest Goddess and passes his time in the midst of the Highest Glory. There is no doubt in this.

83. Sūta said:

“O Riṣis! This Sri Mad Bhāgavatam, called otherwise the Fifth Purāṇam was recited, in detail, in days of yore by Vyāsa. Whatsoever I heard from him, I have now told exactly the same to you. ”

Here ends the 25th Chapter in the Fourth Skandha of Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam, the Mahā Purāṇam, of 18,000verses, by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa on the Devī’s Highest Supremacy.

Note: The best mantra is the whole hearted devotion to one’s Guru, and devotion and surrender of one’s Self to the Supreme Mother, doing works without attachment to the fruits thereof. This will lead to dispassion and Renunciation. To one who is faithful in this, all the other mantras will be duly revealed and all his desires will be found to be true and fulfilled.

Here ends as well as the Fourth Skandha.