THE TWELFTH BOOK
On the recitation of the fruits of this Purânam
1-17. Sûta said :-- O Risis! In days of yore, from the Lotus Face of the Devî Bhâgavata came out Srî Mad Bhâgavatam in the form of half a Sloka, as the decided conclusion of the Vedas. About what She gave instructions to Visnu, sleeping on a leaf of a Banyan tree, that same thing, the seed of the Srî Mad Bhâgavata, Brahmâ Himself expanded into
one hundred Koti slokas. Then, Veda Vyâsa, in order to teach his own son Suka Deva, condensed them into eighteen thousand slokas, in Twelve Books and named it Srî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, the present volume. That voluminous book comprising one hundred Koti slokas compiled by Brahmâ are still extant in the Deva loka. There is no Purâna like the Devî Bhâgavatam, so merit-giving, holy and capable to destroy all the sins. The reading of every line yields the fruits of performing many Asvamedha sacrifices. Human beings addicted to worldly affairs will get the merit of giving lands to the Brâhmanas and they will enjoy also all the pleasures of the world and in the end will go to the region of the Devî, if they can hear, after they have fasted and controlled their passions, the recitation of this Purânam from the mouth of a Paurânik Brâhmana, who has been worshipped and given clothings and ornaments and is considered as a second Veda Vyâsa. Or, if anybody writes the whole of the Devî Bhâgavatam with his own hand or gets it written by a writer from the beginning to the end and gives to a Paurânik Brâhmin the book placed in a box of the form of a lion made up of gold and a cow yielding milk with her calf with gold as his sacrificial fee; or if he feeds as many Brâhmanas as there are the number of chapters of the Devî Bhâgavatam and worship as many Kumârîs (virgin girls) with saffron, sandalpaste and ornaments and feeds them with Pâysânna, he gets the merits of giving lands and enjoys all the pleasures of the world and goes in the end to the region of the Devî. He has no want of anything who daily hears with rapt devotion this Devî Bhâgavatam. One who has no wealth gets abundance of wealth, those who are students get knowledge, one who has no sons, gets sons if one hears this Devî Bhâgavatam with true devotion. A barren woman, or one who bears still-born children or whose offsprings never live long or who bears only a single child, gets all her defects removed, if she hears this Devî Bhâgavatam with a steadfast devotion. The house where this Purâna is worshipped, Laksmî and Sarasvatî dwell there, leaving their animosities towards each other. By the influence of this Devî Bhâgavatam the Dâkinîs, Vetâlas, Râksasas, and other ghosts cannot cast a glance even on its devotee. If anybody gets fever and if the Srî Devî Bhâgavatam be read touching him with a concentrated attention, all the complaints disappear. By reading this Bhâgavatam, one hundred times even more difficult than the severe disease pthisis is cured.
18-20. If after performing the Sandhyâ, one reads only one chapter of this Bhâgavatam with a collected mind, he soon acquires the Real Knowledge. O Muni Saunaka! While going to read this Bhâgavatam, first examine omens and then read. I have spoken already on this subject. If during the Sâradîya Pûjâ (the autumnal Durgâ Pûjâ), at the
Navarâtra period, one reads with devotion this Bhâgavatam, the Devî Bhagavatî becomes greatly pleased and awards him results more than his desires.
21-31. During the Navarâtri period all can read well this book for the satisfaction of his Îsta Deva (his own deity) whether he be a Vaisnava, Saiva, Saura, Gânapatya or a Sâkta. All can read this for the satisfaction of Laksmî, Umâ and other Saktis. The Vaidik Brâhmanas are to recite this daily for the satisfaction of the Devî Gâyatrî. This Purânam is not contradictory to any sectarian belief. The reason of this being that to whatever deity he pays his worship, he must worship some Sakti or other, this is stated everywhere. So for the satisfaction of ones own Sakti, all can read this, without contradicting each other. Never any woman nor any Sûdra, is to read this herself or himself, even out of ignorance; rather they should hear this from the mouth of a Brâhmana. This is the rule of the Sâstras. (The vibrations and the consequent results would be truer then.) O Risis! What more to say on this book than this, that this Purânam is the most excellent of all and yields great merits. It is the essence of the Vedas. This I tell you with great certainty. There is not the least doubt in this. Reading or hearing this yields results equivalent to reading or hearing the Vedas. I now bow to the Devî of the nature of Hrîm and established by Gâyatrî, of the nature of Everlasting Existence, Intelligence and Bliss, Who stimulates our activities to the understanding of various subjects. Thus hearing the excellent words of Sûta, the great Paurânik, all the Munis of Naimisâranya worshipped him specially and as the result of hearing this Purânam glady became the servants of the Lotus Feet of the Devî and they attained the Highest Rest. The Munis expressed their humility and gratitude to Sûta frequently and bowed down to him again and again. And they said :-- O Sûta! It is you that have saved us from this ocean of world. Thus (the great Bhâgavata) Sûta, the bee drinking the honey of the Lotus Feet of the Devî, recited before the assemblage of the best of the Munis this Purânam from the beginning to the end, the Secret of all the Nigamas and full of the Glories of the Devî Bhagavatî. After this the Risis bowed down to him and he blessed and honoured them.
Then he went away to his desired place. Here the Devî Bhâgavatam ends and is fully completed.
Here ends the Fourteenth Chapter of the Twelfth Book on the recitation of the fruits of this Purânam in the Mahâ Purânam Srî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
Here ends as well the Full Treatise, Srî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam.
Om. Om. Om. Om Tat Sat. Om Hari Om.