Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 9 Chapter 5



Chapter V

On Saraswatī stotra by Yājñyavalkya

1-5 Nārāyaṇa said:

O Nārada! I now describe the Stotra (hymn) of Saraswatī Devī, yielding, all desires that Yājñyavalkya, the best of the Riṣis recited in days of yore to Her.

The Muni Yājñyavalkya forgot all the Vedas out of the curse of Guru and with a very sad heart went to the Sun, the great merit-giving place.

There he practised austerities for a time when the Lolākhya Sun became visible to him, when, being overpowered by great sorrow, he began to cry repeatedly; and then he sang hymns to him.

Then Bhagavān Sūrya Deva became pleased and taught him all the Vedas with their Amgas (limbs) and said:

“O Child! Now sing hymns to Saraswatī Devī that you get back your memory.”

Thus saying, the Sun disappeared.

The Muni Yājñyavalkya finished his bath and with his heart full of devotion began to sing hymns to the Vāk Devī, the Goddess of Speech.

6-32. Yājñyavalkya said:

“Mother! Have mercy on me. By Guru's curse, my memory is lost; I am now void of learning and have become powerless; my sorrow knows no bounds.

Give me knowledge, learning, memory, power to impart knowledge to disciples, power to compose books, and also good disciples endowed with genius and Pratibhā (ready wit).

So that in the council of good and learned men my intelligence and power of argument and judgment be fully known. Whatever I lost by my bad luck, let all that come back to my heart and be renewed as if the sprouts come again out of the heaps of ashes.

O Mother! Thou art of the nature of Brahmā, superior to all; Thou art of the nature of Light, Eternal; Thou art the presiding Deity of all the branches of learning. So I bow down again and again to Thee.

O Mother! The letters Anusvāra, Viṣarga and Chandravindu that are affixed, Thou art those letters. So obeisance to Thee!

O Mother! Thou art the exposition (Vyākhyā) of the Śāstras; Thou art the presiding Deity of all the expositions and annotations. Without Thee no mathematician can count anything.

So Thou art the numbers to count time; Thou art the Śaktī by which Siddhāntas (definite conclusions) are arrived at; Thus Thou dost remove the errors of men. So again and again obeisance to Thee.

O Mother! Thou art the Śaktī, memory, knowledge, intelligence, Pratibhā, and imagination (Kalpanā). So I bow down again and again to Thee.

Sanatkumāra fell into error and asked Brahmā for solution. He became unable to solve the difficulties and remained speechless like a dumb person. Then Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Highest Self arriving there, said:

O Prajāpati! Better praise and sing hymns to the Goddess of speech; then your desires will be fulfilled. Then the four-faced Brahmā advised by the Lord, praised the Devī Saraswatī; and, by Her grace, arrived at a very nice Siddhāṅta (conclusion).

One day the goddess Earth questioned one doubt of Her to Ananta Deva, when He being unable to answer, remained silent like a dumb person.

At last He became afraid; and advised by Kaśyapa, praised Thee when He resolved the doubt and came to a definite conclusion.

Veda Vyāsa once went to Vālmīki and asked him about some Sūtras of the Purāṇas when the Muni Vālmīki got confounded and remembered Thee, the Mother of the world. When by Thy Grace, the Light flashed within him and his error vanished. Thereby he became able to solve the question.

Then Vyāsadeva, born of the parts of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, heard about the Purāṇa Sūtras from Vālmīki’s mouth and came to know about Thy glory.

He then went to Puṣkara Tīrtha and became engaged in worshipping Thee, the Giver of Peace, for one hundred years.

Then Thou didst become pleased and grant him the boon when he ascended to the rank of the Kavīndra (Indra amongst the poets). He then made the classification of the Vedas and composed the eighteen Purāṇas.

When Sadā Śiva was questioned on some spiritual knowledge by Mahendra, He thought of Thee for a moment and then answered.

Once Indra asked Brihaspati, the Guru of the Devas, about Śabda Śāstra (Scriptures on sound). He became unable to give any answer.

So he went to Puṣkara Tīrtha and worshipped Thee for a thousand years according to the Deva Measure and he became afterwards able to give instructions on Śabda Śāstra for one thousand divine years to Mahendra.

O Sureśvarī! Those Munis that give education to their disciples or those that commence their own studies remember Thee before they commence their works respectively.

The Munindras, Manus, men, Daiṭyendras, and Immortals, Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśa all worship Thee and Sing hymns to Thee.

Viṣṇu ultimately becomes inert when He goes on praising Thee by His thousand mouths. So Mahā Deva becomes when he praises by His five mouths; and so Brahmā by His four mouths.

When great personages so desist, then what to speak of me, who is an ordinary mortal having one mouth only!”

Thus saying, the Mahāṛṣi Yājñyavalkya, who had observed fasting, bowed down to the Devī Saraswatī with great devotion and began to cry frequently.

Then the Mahāmāyā Saraswatī, of the nature of Light could not hide Herself away. She became visible to him and said:

“O Child! You be good Kavīndra (Indra of the poets).”

Granting him this boon, She went to Vaikuṇṭha.

He becomes a good poet, eloquent, and intelligent like Brihaspati who reads this stotra of Saraswatī by Yājñyavalkya. Even if a great illiterate reads this Saraswatī stotra for one year, he becomes easily a good Pundit, intelligent, and a good poet.

Here ends the Fifth Chapter of the Ninth Book on Saraswatī stotra by Yājñyavalkya in Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.