Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 6 Chapter 31



Chapter XXXI

On the glory of Māyā

18-22. O Muni! When my Father learnt the cause of my cares, he smiled and spoke to me in sweet words:

“O Child! The Devas, the high-souled Munis, the wise ascetics and the Yogis subsisting on air only are not able to conquer this Māyā. O Nārada! The power of Māyā is so very great that I, Viṣṇu and Śambhu, the Lord of Umā, none are able to know Her power.

That Mahāmāyā is creating, preserving and dissolving this world by Time, Karma, and Nature and other efficient causes.

O Child! Know Her to be inconceivable and unapproachable. O Intelligent One! Do not be sorry nor should you be surprised about Māyā’s great strength, for we all are deluded by Her.

23-25. O Dvaipāyana! Thus advised by my Father, my wonder disappeared.

I then asked permission of my Father Padma Yoni (Lotus-born) and went out on tour round the sacred places of pilgrimages and on my way, seeing by and by the chief Tīrthas, I have now come here.

Therefore, O Muni! Dost thou relinquish your sorrows for the extinction of the Kuru’s family and remain here and pass your time in great joy and happiness.

One must bear the fruits of one’s Karma, good or bad; knowing this fully roam at your will wherever you like.

26-40. Vyāsa said:

O King! Mahāṛṣi Nārada thus kindling knowledge in me, went away; I also thought over his words. On the banks of the river Saraswati, I composed this Devī Bhāgavat to pass away my time during the excellent period of Sarasvata Kalpa.

This Purāṇam is excellent; it is composed on the authority of the Vedas; all doubts are removed by it; many nice events are narrated here.

Therefore, O King! Not the least doubt should be entertained. As a magician makes the wooden dolls dance in his hands at his will, so this world-enchanting Māyā is making this world, moving and non-moving, dance from Brahmā down to the blades of grass and all human beings.

O King! Know Māyā’s triple Guṇas to be the cause of this mind consisting of five organs of senses, that follows the Chitta (mind, buddhi and Ahaṁkāra).

Actions arise from the causes thereof; there is no doubt in this; what doubt, then, there can arise that all these creatures of different temperaments will come out of the different Guṇas of Māyā. Peaceful, terrible and stupid become the persons in contact with the Mayic Guṇas. How, then, can they exist, bereft of them?

As the cloth cannot exist without threads, so the embodied beings cannot exist in the world without the triple Guṇas of Māyā. There is no doubt in this.

As a pot cannot be made without clay, so these bodies, Devas, human or birds, cannot be created without the Guṇas.

Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva, too, are possessed of those three Guṇas and therefore they become sometimes happy and satisfied, sometimes unhappy and dissatisfied and sometimes they become sad and remorseful as they are then under the influence of one Guṇa or the other.

Brahmā happens at times to be full of wisdom and knowledge, his temper peaceful, sweet and pleasant and his soul rapt in Samādhi, when he becomes possessed of Sattva Guṇa;

again when he is void of Sattva and filled with Rajo Guṇa, His temper becomes unpleasant and his appearance gets dark and awful everywhere;

and when he becomes grossly Tāmasic, He becomes sorrowful and bereft entirely of intelligence.

41-51. Viṣṇu, when resting in Sattva, becomes peaceful, sweet-tempered, and full of knowledge; when Rajo Guṇa preponderates in Him, He becomes void of sweetness and becomes awful to all the beings.

Rudra becomes, too, peaceful and pleasant under the Sattva Guṇa, awful and void of sweetness under the Rajo Guṇa, and becomes sad and stupid under the Tamo Guṇa.

O King! When Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Mahēśvara and the solar and lunar Kings, the fourteen lords of Manvantaras, Manu and others are under the control of the māyic Guṇas, what to speak of other ordinary mortals, men and the other Jīvas.

The whole world is under the control of Māyā; the Devas, men and all other beings. None should doubt on this point. All the embodied beings labour under the directions of Māyā; never can they work independently.

This Māyā is again always residing in the Highest Essence, the Samvit or the Universal Pure Consciousness.

Thus Māyā is dependent on the Highest Goddess, Who is of the nature of Samvit, and, stimulated by Her, resides in the hearts of all the Jīvas.

Therefore one ought to meditate, worship and bow down before the Bhagavatī, the Creatrix of Māyā and Who is of the nature of Samvit, Pure Existence, Intelligence and Bliss.

Thus She becomes gracious and merciful and liberates the Jīvas, giving them Her realisation and drawing together Her own Māyā away from them.

This whole cosmos is nothing but Māyā and the Consciousness (Samvit) of the nature of Brāhman is the Lord of Māyā.

For this reason that Beautiful One in the triple worlds, the Devī Bhagavatī is known by the name Bhuvaneśvarī, the Great Lady of the worlds.

52-60. O King! If the Jīvas can fix their hearts on that Samvit, then Māyā, born of the real and unreal, is quite unable to do any harm to them. No other Deva than the Bhuvaneśvarī, of the nature of pure existence, intelligence and bliss is able to remove this Māyā.

O King! Darkness cannot destroy darkness; the Sun, Moon, Lightning or Fire cannot destroy it.

Therefore it is highly incumbent on us to worship the Lady of Māyā, the Samvit, the Mother with a cheerful heart to remove the Māyā and Her Guṇas.

O King! Now I have narrated to you all the events concerning the killing of Vritrāsura that you asked. What more do you want to hear now.

O One devoted to vows! I have now described the first half of that Purāṇa, which describes in detail the glory of Śrī Devī Bhagavatī.

This Purāṇa, the secret of this Mother of the whole Universe, is not to be disclosed indiscriminately to anybody.

Those that are peaceful, self-restrained, devoted, and possessed of Bhakti to the Devī, the disciples that are devoted to their Gurus and the eldest son, those are the fit recipients thereof.

Whoever reads or hears with greatest devotion this Mahāpurāṇam, equivalent to the Vedas, fraught with sound proofs and the essence of all talks, becomes, in this world, possessed of great wealth, becomes wise and passes his time in the greatest happiness. There is no doubt in this.

Here ends the Thirty-first Chapter on the Sixth Book on the glory of Māyā in the Mahāpurāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.

[The Sixth Book Finished.]