THE NINTH BOOK
On the hymn, worship and Kavacha of Sarasvatî Devî
1-3. Nârada said :-- By your Grace I have heard everything very sweet like nectar, of the origin of things. Now may I ask you which Devî of these five Prakritis has been worshipped by what Mantra? and by whom? How has each of them been praised? and by whom? How has the worship of their Mûrtis (form) become prevalent in this world? What are the Stotram (hymn of praise), the Dhyân (meditation) glory and life of these? Also what sort of boon do each of the Devîs grant? and to whom? Kindly describe all these in detail.
4-29. Nârâyana said :-- O Child! Durgâ, the mother of Ganes'a, Râdhâ, Laksmî, Sarasvatî and Sâvitrî, these are the five Prakritis sprung directly from Mûla Prakriti. The methods of their worship, wonderful glorious acts, excellent stotrams, and their lives, inculcating good to all, and sweet like nectar are all widely written in the Vedas, Purânas, Tantras and other S'âstras. So there is no need to describe them here again. Now I am describing in detail the auspicious character of these that are sprung from the parts and Kalâs of the Prakriti. Hear attentively. Kâlî, Vasundharâ, Gangâ, Sasthî, Mangal Chandikâ, Tulasî, Manasâ, Nidrâ, Svadhâ, Svâhâ, and Daksinâ, these are the parts of Prakriti. By and by I will describe, briefly, the merit-giving characters and pleasant to hear. Along with these I will describe the Karmas of the Jîvas, and the great exalted lives of Durgâ and Râdhâ. I am now describing Sarasvatî's character. Hear, O Muni! S'rî Krisna introduced first in this Bhârata, the worship of the Devî Sarasvatî, the holder of Vînâ in Her hands, under whose influence, the hearts of illiterate stupid persons become illumined with knowledge. The amorous Devî Sarasvatî sprang from the end of the lips of Râdhâ and so she desired to marry Krisna out of amorous feelings. S'ri Krisna, the controller of the hearts of all, knew it instantly and addressed the Mother of the people in true words proper to Her and beneficial to Her in the end. O Chaste One! The four-armed Nârâyana is born from My parts; He is young, of good
features and endowed with all qualifications; so much so, he is like Me. He is a Knower of amorous sentiments of women and He fulfils those desires; what to speak of His beauty, ten millions of the God of love are playing in His body. O Beloved! And if you desire to marry and remain with Me, that will not be of any good to you. For Râdhâ is near to Me; She is more powerful than you. If a man be stronger than another, he can rescue one who takes his shelter; but if he be weaker, how can he then, himself weak, protect his dependant from others. Though I am the Lord of all, and rule all, yet I cannot control Râdhâ. For She is equal to me in power, in beauty, in qualifications, equal to Me in every respect. Again it is impossible for Me to quit Râdhâ for She is the presiding Deity of My life. Who can relinquish life? Though a son is very dear to his father, still it may be questioned, is he dearer than his father's life? So, O Auspicious One! Go to the abode Vaikuntha; you will get your desires fulfilled there. You will get for your husband the Lord of Vaikuntha and you will live ever in peace and enjoy happiness. Though Laksmî is residing there yet like you she is not under the control of lust, anger, greed, delusion and vanity. She is also equal to you in beauty, qualities, and power. So you will live with her in great delight and Hari, the Lord of Vaikuntha, will treat both of you equally. Moreover, I say this in particular that in every universe, on the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Mâgha, every year, the day when the learning is commenced, a great festival will be held and men, Manus, Devas, and the Munis desirous of liberation, Vasus, Yogis, Nâgas, Siddhas, Gandarbhas, Râksasas, all will perform your worship with devotion in every Kalpa till the time of Mahâ Pralaya comes. All are required to be Jitendriya (having their senses under control) and Samyamî (concentrating his mind, and with a religious vow) and they will invoke Thee on a jar or on books and then meditate according to what is stated in the Kanva S'âkhâ of Yajurveda and then worship and sing hymns to Thee. Thy Kavacha (an armour; a mystical syllable ** considered as a preservative like armour) is written on the bark of the Bhûrja tree and then with eight kinds of scents mingled with it is placed within a golden nut or ring named Mâduli and then held on the neck or on the right arm. The learned should recite Thy Stotras during worship. Thus saying, the Puran Brahmâ S'rî Krisna Himself worshipped the Devî Sarasvatî. Since then, Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes'a, Ananta Deva, Dharma, Sanaka and other Munîndras, all the Devas, Munis, all the kings and all the human beings are worshipping the Devî Sarasvatî. O Nârada! Thus the worship of the Eternal Devî is made extant in the three worlds.
30-31. Nârada said :-- O Chief of the Knowers of the Vedas! Now describe to me the methods of worship, Dhyân, Kavacham, hymns, the
appropriate offerings of the Pûjâ flowers, sandalpaste and other good things necessary in these worships and which are so sweet to hear. I am ever very eager and anxious to hear these.
32-59. Nârâyana said :-- O Nârada! I am now stating the method of worship of the Devî Sarasvatî, the Mother of the Worlds, according to Kanva S'âkhâ of the Yajurveda. Hear. On the day previous to the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Mâgh or the day of commencement of education, the devotee should control his senses, concentrate his mind and take his bath. Then he is to perform his daily duties and install the jar (Ghata) with devotion and according to the Mantras of the Kanva S'âkhâ or the Tantra, as the case may be. He is to worship first on that Ghata (jar) Ganapati (Ganes'a), then meditate the Devî Sarasvatî as described below, invoke Her and again read the Dhyân and then worship with Sodas'opachâra (sixteen good articles offered in the worship). O Good One! Now I am speaking, according to my knowledge, about the offerings as ordained in the Vedas or Tantras. Hear. Fresh butter, curd, thickened milk, rice freed from the husk by frying, sweetmeats (Til Laddu) prepared of Til, sugar cane, sugarcane juice, nice Gud (molasses), honey, svastik, sugar, rice (not broken) out of white Dhân, chipitak of table rice (Âlo châl), white Modak, Harbisyânna prepared of boiled rice with clarified butter and salt, Pistaka of jaoâ or wheaten flour, Paramânna with ghee, nectar like sweetmeats, cocoanut, cocoanut water, Svastik Pistaka, Svastik and ripe plantain Pistaka, Kaseru (root), Mûlâ, ginger, ripe plantains, excellent Bel fruit, the jujube fruit, and other appropriate white purified fruits of the season and peculiar to the place are to be offered in the Poojâ. O Nârada! White flowers of good scent, white sandalpaste of good scent, new white clothes, nice conchshell, nice garlands of white flowers, nice white necklaces, and beautiful ornament are to be given to the Devî. I say now the Dhyânam sweet to hear, of the Devî Sarasvatî according to the Vedas, capable to remove errors! Hear. I hereby bow down to the Devî Sarasvatî, of a white colour, of a smiling countenance and exceedingly beautiful, the lustre of whose body overpowers that of the ten millions of Moons, whose garment is purified by fire, in whose hands there are Vînâ and books, who is decorated with new excellent ornaments of jewels and pearls and whom Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes'vara and the other Devas, Munis, Manus and men constantly worship. Thus meditating the Devî, the intelligent persons should offer all articles, after pronouncing the root Mantra. Then he is to hymn and hold Kavacha and make Sâstânga pranâms before the Devî. O Muni! Those whose Devî Sarasvatî is the presiding Deity, are not to be spoken of at all (i.e., they
will naturally do all these things and with a greater fervour). Besides all should worship the Devî Sarasvatî on the day of commencement of education and every year on the S'ûkla Panchamî day of the month of Mâgh. The eight-lettered Mantra, as mentioned in the Vedas is the root Mantra of Sarasvatî. (Aim Klîm Sarasvatyai namah). Or the Mantra to which each worshipper is initiated is his Mûlmantra (not Mantra). Or uttering the Mantra S'rîm Hrîm Sarasvatyai Svâhâ one is to offer everything to the Devî Sarasvatî. This Mantra is the Kalpa Vriksa (i. e., the tree which yields all desires). Nârâyana, the ocean of mercy, gave in ancient times, this very Mantra to Vâlmikî in the holy land Bhârata Varsa on the banks of the Ganges; next Bhrîgu gave this Mantra on the occasion of solar eclipse to Maharsi Sukrâcharya on the Puskara Tîrtha; Mârîcha gave to Brihaspati on a lunar eclipse; Brahmâ gave to Bhrîgu in the Vadarikâ Âs'rama; Jaratkarâ gave to Âstika on the shore of the Ksiroda ocean; Bibhândaka gave this to the intelligent Risyasringa on the Sumeru mountain, S'iva gave this to Kanâda and Gotama, Sûrya gave to Yâjñavalkya and Kâtyâyana, Ananta Deva gave to Pânini, to the intelligent Bhâradvâja and to S'âkatâyana in Bali's assembly in the Pâtâla. If this Mantra be repeated four lakhs of times, all men attain success. And when they become Siddhas with this Mantra, they become powerful like Brihaspati. In past times, the Creator Brahmâ gave a Kavacha named Vis'vajaya to Bhrîgu on the Gandhamâdana Mountain. I now speak of that. Hear.
60-61. Once on a time Bhrîgu asked Brahmâ the Lord of all, and adored by all, thus :-- O Brahmân! Thou art the foremost of those that know the Vedas; there is none equal to thee in matters regarding the knowledge of the Vedas (so much so that there is nothing that is not known to thee; for all these have sprung from thee). Now say about the Vis'vajaya Kavacha of the Devî Sarasvatî, that is excellent, without any faults and embodying in it all the properties of all the Mantras.
62-91. Brahmâ said :-- O Child! What you have asked about the Kavacha of Sarasvatî that is sweet to hear, ordained and worshipped by the Vedas, and the giver of all desired fruits, now hear of that. In the very beginning, the all-pervading S'rî Krisna, the Lord of the Râsa circle, mentioned this Kavacha to me in the holy Brindâvana forest in the abode Goloka at the time of Râsa in Râsa Mandala. This is very secret; it is full of holy unheard, wonderful Mantras. Reading this Kavacha and holding it (on one's arm) Brihaspati has become foremost in matters of intelligence; by the force of this Kavacha S'ukrâchârya
has got his ascendancy over the Daityas; the foremost Muni Vâlmikî has become eloquent and skilled in language and has become Kavîndra and Svâyambhuva Manu; holding this Kavacha he has become honoured everywhere. Kanâda, Gotama, Kanva, Panini, S'akatâyana, Daksa, and Kâtyâyana all have become great authors by virtue of this Kavacha; Krisna Dvaipâyana Veda Vyâsa made the classification of the Vedas and composed the eighteen Purânas. S'âtâtapa, Samvarta, Vas'istha, Parâsara and Yâjñavalkya had become authors by holding and reading this Sarasvatî Kavacha. Risyas'ringa, Bhâradvâja, Âstika, Devala, Jaigisavya, and Yâyâti all were honoured everywhere by virtue of this Kavacha. O Dvija! The Prajâpati Himself is the Risi of this Kavacha; Brihatî is its Chhanda; and S'âradâ Ambikâ is its presiding Deity. Its application (Viniyoga) is in the acquisition of spiritual knowlege, in the fruition of any desires or necessities, in composing poems or anywhere wheresoever success is required. May S'rîm Hrîm Sarasvatyai Svâhâ protect fully my head; Srîm Vâgdevatâyai Svâhâ, my forehead; Om Hrîm Sarasvatyai Svâhâ, my ears always; Om Srîm Hrîm Bhagabatyai Sarasvatyai Svâhâ always my eyes; Aim Hrîm Vâgvâdinyai Svâhâ, always my nose; Om Hrîm Vidyadhisthâtrî Devyai Svâhâ, my lips always; Om Srîm Hrîm Brahmyai Svâhâ my rows of teeth; Aim, this single letter protect my neck; Om Srîm Hrîm my throat; S'rîm, my shoulders, Om Hrîm Vidyâdhisthâtrî Devyai Svâhâ, always my chest; Om Hrîm Vidyadhisvarûpâyai Svâhâ my navel; Om Hrîm Klîm Vânyai Svâhâ my hands; Om Svarva vârnatmî Kâyai Svâhâ my feet; and let Om Vâgadhisthâtridevyai Svâhâ protect all my body. Let Om Sarvakanthavâsinyai Svâhâ protect my east; Let Om Svarvajibhâgra vâsinyai Svâhâ, the South-east; Om Aim Hrîm Srîm Klîm Sarasvatyai budhajananyai Svâhâ, my South; Aim Hrîm Srîm, this three lettered Mantra my South-west; Om Aim Jhibhagravâsinyai Svâhâ, my West; Om Svarvam bikâyai Svâhâ, my North west; Om Aim Srîm Klîm Gadyavâsinyai Svâhâ my North; Aim Sarvas'âstra vasinyai Svâhâ, my North-east; Om Hrîm Sarvapujitayai Svâhâ, my top; Hrîm Pustakavasinyai Svâhâ my below and let Om Grantha vîjasvarupâyai Svâhâ protect all my sides. O Nârada! This Vis'vajaya Kavacha of the nature of Brahmâ and its embodied Mantra I have now spoken to you. I heard this before from the mouth of Dharma Deva in the Gandhâmâdana mountain. Now I speak this to you out of my great affection for you. But never divulge this to anybody. One is worship one's spiritual Teacher (Guru Deva) according to due rites and ceremonies with clothings, ornaments, and sandalpaste and then fall down prostrate to him and then hold this Kavacha. Repeating this
five lakhs of times, one gets success and becomes a Siddha. The holder of this Kavacha becomes intelligent like Brihaspati, eloquent, Kavîndras, and the conqueror of the three worlds, no sooner one becomes a Siddlha in this. In fact, he can conquer everything by virtue of this Kavacha. O Muni! Thus I have described to you this Kavacha according to Kânva S'âkhâ. Now I am speaking about the method of worship, Dhyâna and the praise of this Kavacha. Hear.
Here ends the Fourth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the hymn, worship and Kavacha of Sarasvatî Devî in S'rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.