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Chapter XVIII


On the Greatness of the Devî Pûjâ


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1. Nârada spoke :-- “O Bhagavân! I am now very eager to hear the special Pûjâ of S’rî Devî. The people get their desires fulfilled if they worship Her.”


2-23. Nârâyana said :-- O Devarsi! I shall now specially speak to you how the World Mother Bhagavatî is worshipped; by worshipping Whom one easily gets objects of enjoyments, liberation and the destruction of all evils. Controlling one’s speech and making Âchaman, one must make one’s sankalpa and perform Bhûtas’uddhi, Mâtrikânyâsa, sadanganyâsa, placing conchshell and doing other necessary acts. Offering the ordinary Arghya, one should give special Arghya and with the mantra “Astrâya Phat” sprinkle over all the articles brought for worship. Taking the Guru’s permission, he is to go on with his Pûjâ. First worship the pîtha or seat whereon the Devî would be placed; then perform dhyân (meditation of the Devî). Then with great devotion, offer to the Deva, the seats (Âsana) and other articles of worship; then perform the bath of the Devî by the water of the Panchâmrita (the five nectars). If anybody performs the bath ceremony of S’rî Devî with one hundred jars of sugarcane juice, he will not have to incur any future birth.


He who performs this bath, and recites the Veda Mantras, with mango juice or sugarcane juice gets for ever Laksmî ever and ever and Sarasvatî bound at his doors. He who gets this sacred bath of the Devî with grape juice, along with his relatives and acquaintences dwells in the Devî-loka for as many years as there are atoms in the juice. He who bathes the Devî with the Vedic mantras, and with water scented with camphor, the fragrant aloe wood (aguru), saffron, and musk, becomes freed at once of the sins acquired in his hundred births. He who bathes the Devî with jars of milk, lives in the ocean of milk (ksîra samudra) for one Kalpa. So he who does this bathing ceremony with jars of curd, becomes the lord of Dadhikunda (the reservoir of curd). He who performs the Snânams of the Devî with honey, ghee and sugar becomes the lord of these things. He who bathes the Devî with one thousand jars, becomes happy in this world as in the next. Note :-- Make the liquid current flow pure in your body is the esoteric meaning of the bath. If you give Her a pair of silken clothes, you will go to the Vâyu-Loka. If you give Her


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the jewel ornaments, you will become the Lord of gems and jewels. (Make your mind like the gem.) If anybody gives saffron, sandalpaste, musk, Sindûra and Âlaktak (red things), he will go to the Heavens and become there the Indra, the Lord of the Devas, in the next birth. Various flowers ought to be offered in S’rî Bhagavatî’s worship; or the flowers of the season offered to the Devî will lead the devotee to Kailâs’a. The devotee that offers the beautiful Bel leaves to the Devî never experiences anywhere pains and difficulties. The devotee who writes the Vîja mantra of Mâyâ “Hrîm Bhuvanes’varyai Namah” with red sandalpaste thrice on the tri-leaves of the Vilva tree leaf and offers this to the lotus feet of the Devî, becomes Manu by the merit of this virtuous act! The devotee becomes the Lord of the whole universe who worships the Devî Bhagavatî with ten millions of entire Vilva leaves, fresh, green and spotless.


24-40. If any devotee worships with ten millions of entire fresh green Kunda flowers, with eight scents, he gets surely the Prajâpatihood. The worship of the Devî with ten millions of Mallikâ and Mâlatî flowers besmeared with eight scents makes a man the four faced (Brahmâ); and one hundred millions of such flowers will make the devotee a Visnu. In days of yore, Visnu worshipped the Devî in the aforesaid way and so got His Visnuhood. If any devotee worships the Devî with one hundred Kotis of Mallikâ or Mâlatî flowers, the man becomes certainly Sutrâtmâ Hiranyagarbha. In ancient days Hiranyagarbha worshipped thus the Devî with great devotion and so he became Hiranyagarbha! (These Hiranyagarbha, Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a were mere ordinary men before. See the Brihadâranyaka Upanisada). Note :-- The eight scents refer to Jatâ mamsî Kapiyutâ S’aktergandhâs takam! So will be the results if Javâ, Vandhûka and Dâdimî flowers be offered in the worship. Various other beautiful flowers can be offered duly to the Devî by the devotee. The merits accruing from such offers are not known even to the God Îs’vara. The flowers that spring in their proper seasons are to be offered every year to the Devî, repeating Her thousand names enumerated in the Twelfth Book or in the Kûrma Purâna. If the above worship be offered to the Devî, then that man, whether he be a sinner or a great sinner, will be freed from all the sins and after leaving his mortal coil, he will get, no doubt, the lotus feet of the S’rî Devî Bhagavatî. Offer Dhûpa made of black Aguru, camphor, sandalpaste, red sandalpaste, Sihlaka and Guggula, saturated with ghee in such a way as the whole room of S’rî Bhagavatî scents with pure


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fragrant smell. The Devî Bhagavatî becomes pleased with this and offers the lordship of the three Lokas to the devotee. The devotee, who offers daily the light of camphor to the Devî, goes to the Sûrya Loka. There is no doubt in this. With one’s whole heart, one should give one hundred or one thousand lights to the Devî. The devotee should offer heaps of food consisting of six Râsas, the plates and dishes for chewing, sucking, licking and drinking, that is, all kinds of food solid, and liquid, mountain-like high. Always give food on golden flat plates and cups and various delicious sweet juicy nice heavenly fruits, nicely arranged on trays, cups and saucers. When S’rî Mahâdevî Bhuvane’svarî gets pleased, the whole universe gets pleased. For the whole Universe is all Devî; as a rope is mistaken for a snake, so this Mahâdevî is mistaken for the universe.


41-59. Offer a jar of drinking Ganges water, cool and nice, scented with camphor to the Devî; then offer betels with camphor, cardamum, cloves, and various delicious scents. These all are to be offered with great devotion so that the Devî may be pleased. Next have music with lovely mridangas, flutes, murajas, Dhahkâs and dundubhis and so please Her. The Veda mantras are to be recited, the Purânas are to be read and the hymns to be chanted. With whole head and heart offer to the Devî the umbrella and châmara, the two kingly offerings. Then circumambulate round Her and prostrate before Her and ask Her kindness and pray to Her to forgive all faults and shortcomings. The Devî is pleased with anybody who remembers Her even once! What wonder then that She will be pleased with all these offerings! The Mother is naturally merciful to her child. When She is loved with devotion, then She becomes very merciful. There is nothing strange here! On this point I will recite to you the history of Vrihadratha Râjarsi. Hearing which gives rise to Bhakti and Love.


Once in a certain region in the Himâlayâs there lived a bird called Chakravâk. It flew over many countries and went once to Kâs’îdhâm. As a fruit of his Prârabdha Karma, that bird, desirous to find some rice beans, voluntarily went like an orphan round about the temple of S’rî Annapûrnâ Devî. There circumambulating round the Devî Bhagavatî the bird left the city Kâs’î, that grants liberation and flew away to another country. In time the bird left his body and went to Heavens. There he assumed a heavenly form of a youth and began to enjoy various pleasures. Thus he enjoyed for two Kalpas. Then he got back to the earth and took his birth as the best in the Ksattriya family. He became celebrated as the king Vrihadratha in


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this world. That King was truthful, controlled his senses, and practised S’amyama and deep concentration and knew everything of the past, the present and the future. He conquered all the enemies and performed various sacrifices and became the Emperor of the sea-girt earth and acquired the very rare faculty in the knowledge of everything of his previous births. The Munis came to know of this from various rumours and came to the King. The King Vrihadratha duly entertained those guests. The Munis took their seats and asked :-- “O King! We hear that all the events of previous births are vividly reflected in your memory. On this point great doubts have come upon us. Kindly describe in detail. By what Punyam (merits) you have come to know all about previous births and the knowledge of the past, the present and the future. We have come to you to know how you got this wonderful supersensual knowledge. Kindly say to us sincerely everything about this and oblige.”


60-71. Nârâyana said :-- O Brâhman! The very religious King Vrihadratha heard them and began to speak out all the secret causes for his knowledge of the past, the present and the future, thus :-- O Munis! Hear how I acquired this knowledge. In my previous birth I was a very low bird chakravâk. Once, out of my ignorance, I circumambulated round the temple of the Devî Bhagavatî Annapurnâ at Kâs’î. And, as the result of that, I lived in the Heavens for a period of two Kalpas and I have got this birth and I have got the knowledge of the past, the present and the future. O You of good vows! Who can ascertain what amount of merits accrues from remembering the Feet of the World-Mother. Remembering Her glories, I always shed tears of joy. Those who do not worship the adorable Deity Jagadambâ are the Great Sinners and they are treacherous. Fie on their births! The worship of S’iva or Visnu is not eternal. Only the Jagadambâ’s worship is eternal. Thus it is stated in the S’rutis. What more shall I speak on this worship of the World-Mother, which is void of the best trace of any doubt. Everyone ought to serve devotedly the lotus feet of the Devî Bhagavatî. There is no other act more glorious in this world than serving the feet of Jagadambâ. It is highly necessary to serve the Highest Deity, whether in Her Saguna or in Her Nirguna aspect. (Eat the sugarcandy, holding it in any way. It makes no difference.) Nârâyana said :-- Hearing the aforesaid words of the virtuous Râjarsi Vrihadratha, the Munis went back to their respective abodes. Such is the power of the Devî Jagadambikâ! So who can question about the certainty of the high merits arising from the Jagadambikâ’s worship and who will not reply, when so questioned? Their births are really fruitful who possess faith in the Devî worship;


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but of those who have no such faith, there is some wrong mixture, no doubt; in their births.


Here ends the Eighteenth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the Greatness of the Devî Pûjâ, in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.


Next: Chapter 19