THE NINTH BOOK
On the history of Svâhâ
1-4. Nârada said :-- O Risi Nârâyana! O Highly Fortunate One! O Lord! Thou art equal to Nârâyana whether in beauty or in qualities, or in fame or in energy or in everything. Thou art equal to Nârâyana. Thou art the foremost of the Jñânins; there cannot be found a second like Thee as a Siddha Yogî, the ascetics and the Munis. And Thou art the crest of the knowers of the Vedas. I have heard the wonderful anecdote of Mahâ Laksmî that Thou hast told me. Now tell me any other thing that is unknown, very good in everyway, in accordance with Dharma, in the Vedas, and that which is not as yet written in the Purânas.
5-6. Nârâyana said :-- There are many wonderful hidden anecdotes that are not published as yet in the Purânas. What you have heard is very small 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. Nârada said :-- When clarified butter is poured as libations in all the sacrificial ceremonies to the gods, Svâhâ is to be uttered everywhere as excellent, and commendable; so Svadhâ is to be repeated in the offerings when the oblations are offered to the Pitris, the deceased ancestors. Then, again, Daksinâ (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 Svadhâ, and Daksinâ and their merits. Please now tell me about them.
9. Sûta said :-- Hearing the words of Nârada, Nârâyana Risi smiled and began to speak the very ancient words of the Purânas.
10-11. Nârâyana said :-- Before the creation, the Devas assembled in the beautiful Brahmâs Council to decide on their food question.
They all brought to the notice of Brahmâ the scarcity about their food. Brahmâ promised to remove their food difficulties and began to chant hymns to Hari.
12. Nârada said :-- O Lord! Bhagavân Nârâyana Himself incarnated in part as Sacrifice. Are not the Devas satisfied when the Brâhmanas pour oblations of ghee to the Devas in those sacrifices?
13-17. Nârâyana 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 Brâhmanas and Ksattriyas. So they were very much depressed and went again to the council of Brahmâ and informed Him that they could not get any food for themselves. On hearing this, Brahmâ at once meditated and took refuge of Srî Krisna; Krisna advised them to worship Mûla Prakriti. Brahmâ then, by the command of Srî Krisna, began to meditate on Prakriti, worship Her and chant hymns to Her. Then from the part of Prakriti, an all-powerful Devî appeared. She was very beautiful, Shyâmâ (of a blue colour) and very lovely. This Devî was Svâhâ. 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 Brahmâ and said :-- O Lotus born! Want any boon you desire.
18-22. Hearing Her words, the Creator spoke reverentially :-- O Devî! 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 Brahmâ, Svâhâ Devî became very sad and expressed Her own intentions :-- I will get Krisna as my husband; let me perform Tapasyâ 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 Srî Krisna, serving Which You have become the Creator of this world, Sambhu has become the Conqueror of death, Ananta Deva is supporting this universe, Dharma is the Witness of the virtuous, Ganesa is getting, first of all, the first worship. Prakriti Devî has become the adorable of all and the Munis and the Risis respected by all. O Child! Having spoken thus to the Lotus-born, Padmâ, with Her lotus-face, meditating incessantly on the Lotus-Feet of Srî Krisna, free from any disease, started to perform
tapasyâ for attaining Him. She, first of all, stood on one leg and practised austerities for one lakh years. Then She saw the Highest Purusa Srî Krisna, Who is beyond Prakriti and Her attributes. The beautiful amorous Svâhâ, seeing the Lovely Form of the Lord of Love, fainted.
29-43. The omniscient Bhagavân Krisna knowing Her intentions, took Her to His lap, reduced very much in body by long continued Tapasyâ, and He said :-- O Devî! Thou shalt be My wife in the next Varâha Kalpa. Then Thou wilt be the daughter of Nagnajit and wilt be known by the name of Nâgnajitî. 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 Nârada! Thus saying to Svâhâ, Bhagavân disappeared. On the other hand, Fire came in there by the command of Brahmâ, with a doubtful mind and began to meditate on Her, the World Mother as per Sâma 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, Svâhâ Devî felt pregnant. For full twelve divine years She retained Her pregnancy. Then She delivered gradually three sons Daksinâgni, Gârhyapatyâgnî, and Âhavanîyâgni. The Risis, Munis, Brâhmanas, Ksattriyas poured oblations of clarified butter pronouncing the terminal mantra Svahâ. He who pronounces this excellent terminal Mantra Svâhâ gets immediate success in his actions. Then all the mantras without Svâhâ in the end became impotent as snakes become when void of poison, the Brâhmanas 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 Brâhmanas then became satisfied. The Devas began to receive the oblations. With the Svâhâ mantra everything turned out fruitful. Thus I have described to you the anecdote of 'Svâhâ. One who hears this essential anecdote gets his happiness enhanced and the Moksa in his hands. What more do you want to hear ? Say.
44. Nârada said :-- I like to hear how Fire worshipped Svâhâ and recited stotras (hymns of praise) to Her. Kindly tell me the method of worship, the Dhyânam and Stotra.
45-49. Nârâyana said :-- O Best of Brâhmanas! I now tell you the meditation (Dhyânam) as per Sâma 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 Sâlagrâma stone or in an earthen jar (ghata), the Devî Svâhâ and then commence the
ceremony with the expectation of getting the desired fruit. The following is the Dhyânam (meditation) of Svâhâ Devî :-- O Devî Svâhâ! Thou art embodied of the Mantras; Thou art the success of the Mantras; Thou art Thyself a Siddhâ; Thou givest success and the the fruits of actions to men; Thou dost good to all. Thus meditating, one should offer Pâdya (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 (Mûla mantra) is this :-- Om Hrîm Srîm Vahnijâyâyai Devyai Svâhâ. If the Devî be worshipped with this Mantra, all the desires come to a successful issue.
50-54. Fire recited the following stotra :-- Thou art Svâhâ, Thou art the Beloved of Fire, Thou art the wife of Fire; Thou pleasest all; Thou art the Sakti, Thou art the action, Thou art the bestower of Kâla (time); Thou dost digest the food; Thou art the Dhruvâ; 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 Nârada! 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 Rambhâ, the heavenly nymph, and passes his time in greatest bliss.
Here ends the Forty-third Chapter of the Ninth Book on the history of Svâhâ in Srî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the Mahâ Purânam, of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.