The Universal Mother, Narada as a woman, has lots of sex, kids
The Universal Mother, Narada as a woman, has lots of sex, kids
Jul 15 2007, 05:52 PM
I have many times in speaking, described taking birth as being like waking up in a flowing river. Obviously it had been flowing before I woke up in it. You don’t generally hear that as an example but I recently remembered where I must have gotten it from. This is from Devi Bhagavata Purana, which I studied in the 80’s and this part is about Visnu turning Narada into a woman after causing him to enter a tank of water. A little long for here but very interesting by comparative study.
Devi Bhagavata, Book 6. Chapters 28-31
1-11. Narada said : O Thou whose only wealth consists in asceticism! I am now describing to you all those good stories; hear attentively. O Muni! This Maya and Her Power are incomprehensible even by those who are the foremost amongst the Yogins. This whole Universe, moving and non-moving, from Brahma to the blade of grass, is enchanted by that Unborn and Incomprehensible Maya; therefore no one can escape from the hands of that Maya. One day I wanted to see Hari, of wonderful deeds, and went out with lute in my hand from Satyaloka, to the lovely Sveta Dvipa (the residence of Visnu) singing the beautiful Sama hymns in tune with the seven Svaras. I saw there Gadadhara, the Deva of the Devas, with four arms holding disc in one of his hands. He resembled a newly-formed rain-cloud of Syama colour. He was illumined with the lustre of the Kaustubha jewel in his breast. He was wearing an yellow apparel. His head was beautified with a lustrous crown. Thus the Bhagavan Narayana was playing in amorous movements with the daughter of the ocean, fully capable to give one delight and enjoyment. Seeing me, the lovely Devi Kamala, dear to Vasudeva, full of youth and beauty, decorated with ornaments, endowed with all auspicious signs, superior to all the women, went away at once (to another room) from the presence of Janardana. The breast of Laksmi Devi was becoming visible even through the cloth thrown over it; therefore she went hurriedly to the inner compartment. Seeing this I asked Janardana, the Deva of the Devas, the Lord of the worlds, and holding a garland of forest grown flowers thus : “O Bhagavan! O Slayer of Mura! O Padmanabha! Why has Kamala Devi, the Mother of all the Lokas, on seeing me coming here, gone out of Your presence. O Lord of the worlds! I am not a rogue nor a cheat; I have conquered my passions and am become an ascetic; I have conquered even Maya. Therefore O Deva! What is the cause of the departure of the Kamala Devi from here? Kindly explain this to me.”
Narada said : O Dvaipayana! Hearing my words, expressive of my pride, Janardana smiled and spoke to me in words sweet like the sound of a lute : “O Narada! The rule in such cases is this : The wife of any man whatsoever ought not to stay before any other male outsider than her husband. O Narada! It is very hard to conquer Maya; even those, who by Pranayama have conquered their Prana Vayu, their organs of senses and their food, even those Samkhya Yogins and the Devas are not able to conquer Maya. The words that you have just now uttered that you have conquered Maya are not fit to come out of your mouth; for by your knowledge of music, it seems that you are enchanted with the sounds of the music. Brahma, I, Siva, and the other Munis, none of us has been able as yet to conquer that Unborn Maya; how, then, can it be possible that you or any other man can conquer that Maya! Any embodied being, be he a Deva, a human being, or a bird, no one is able to conquer that Maya Unborn. Whoever is endowed with the three Gunas, be he a knower of the Vedas, or a Yogin, or conqueror of his passions, or all knowing, is not able to conquer Maya. The Great Time (Kala) though formless, is one form of Maya and fashions this universe. All the Jivas are subservient to this Kala, be he a good literary person, or of a mediocre nature, or an illiterate brute. This Kala sometimes makes even a religious man that knows Dharma confounded and deluded; so you know the nature of Maya is very incomprehensible and Her ways mysterious.” (Note: This Kala is of the fourth dimension, time and space.)
O Dvaipayana! Thus saying, Visnu stopped. I was greatly astonished and asked that Eternal Vasudeva, the Deva of the Devas, the Lord of the World, “O Lord of Rama! What is the form of Maya? How is She? What is the measure of Her strength? Where She resides? Whose substratum is She? Kindly tell these to me. O Preserver of the Universe! I am greatly desirous to see Maya; Shew Her to me quickly. O Lord of Rama! I am very eager to know Maya. Be graciously pleased to describe tome the glory of Maya.”
Visnu said : Maya resides everywhere throughout this whole Universe; Her nature consists of the three Gunas; She is the substratum of all; She is omniscient, and acknowledged by all; invisible, and of diverse forms. O Narada! If you want to see Maya, then come quickly and mount with me on Garuda; we both will go elsewhere and I will shew you that Maya, invincible by those who have not conquered themselves. O Son of Brahma! Don’t be depressed when you see Maya. Thus saying, Janardana Hari remembered Garuda and instantly he came to Hari. Janardana mounted on him and gladly made me also get up on his back and took me with Him. In a moment Garuda, went, at his command, with the speed of wind to the forest where the Bhagavan desired to go. Mounting on Garuda we passed and saw on our way beautiful forests, nice lakes, rivers, towns, villages, huts of cultivators, towns close to the mountains, huts for cow-keepers in cowsheds, the beautiful hermitages of the Munis, lovely hills, tanks and lakes beautified with big lotuses, flocks of ewes, packs of wild boars, etc., till, at last, we came to a place close to Kanauj. I saw there a beautiful divine tank; nice lotuses blossomed there, spreading their sweet fragrance all around; the bees were making lovely humming noise and ravishing away the minds of men; various flowers, lilies, etc., were beautifying the place; Geese, Karandavas, and Chakravakas and other acquatic fowls were playing with their cackling noise, the water was very sweet like milk; the tank was defying, as it were the ocean. Seeing such a wonderful tank, the Bhagavan told me : “O Narada! See, how beautiful is this deep tank with its clear waters, and adorned all over with lotuses! The sweet voiced flamingoes are roaming on the lake making lovely sounds!
We will bathe in this tank and then go to the city Kanauj. Thus saying, He made me descend quickly from Garuda and He himself also got down. Then the Bhagavan smilingly caught hold of my fore-finger and repeatedly praising the glory of the tank took me to its bank. We rested a while on the cool umbrageous beautiful bank when Sri Bhagavan said : “O Muni! Better bathe you first in this tank; next I will bathe in this very holy pool of water. O Narada! Look! Look! How clear crystal-like is the water of this pool like the heart of a saint; see how it smells also fragrantly in contact with the lotuses on it.” When the Bhagavan spoke thus to me; I kept my lute and deer skin aside and gladly went to the edge of the tank. Washing then my hands and feet I tied my hair lock and, taking Kusa grass, I performed my Achaman and, purifying myself, began to bathe myself in that tank. While I was bathing, Hari was looking at me; by the time I took a dip, I saw that I quitted my male form and got a beautiful female form. Hari took away, then, my deer skin and lute and mounting on Garuda went away in a moment to His own residence. Getting the female form and decorated with excellent ornaments, my memory of my previous male form vanished at once; I forgot all about my famous lute and forgot also Jagannatha, the Deva of the Devas. I then came out of the tank in that enchanting woman form, saw the pool of water filled with clear limpid water and adorned with lotuses. Seeing that, I began to think : “What is this?” and I became very much astonished. While I was thus meditating in my woman form, a king, named Taladhvaja, came there, all on a sudden, on a chariot, accompanied by numerous elephants and horses. The King looked like a second Cupid; he was decorated with various ornaments on his various limbs; he was just entering into his youth and he looked very enchanting. The King saw me at once and looking at me decked with divine ornaments and my moon-like face, was greatly astonished and asked me : “O Kalyani! Who are you? Are you the daughter of a man or of a Naga (serpent) or of a Gandharva or of a Deva? I see you are now in your youth; why are you alone here? O Lovely-eyed! Has any fortunate person married you? Or are you still unmarried? Speak all these truly to me. O Fair-haired One! What are you looking at in this tank? O One enchanting, as it were, like the Cupid! What is your desire? Say, O Slanting-eyed! My mind is ravished to hear your cuckoo-like voice. O One of thin waist! Choose me as your husband and enjoy various excellent things as you like.”
Narada said : O Dvaipayana! When the King Taladhvaja asked me thus, I thought over earnestly and said thus : “I do not know whose daughter I am; nor do I know quite certainly where are my father and mother; one man placed me here on this tank and has gone away, whither I do not know. O King! I am now an helpless orphan; what shall I do now? Where to go? What to do by which I can have my welfare? I am all the while thinking on these. O King! The Destiny is powerful; I have not the least control over it; you know Dharma and you are a King. Do now as you like. O King! Do nourish me; I have no father, no mother, nor any acquaintances and friends; there is no place for me also to stand on; therefore I am now your dependent.” When I spoke thus, the King looked at my face and became love-stricken for me; he then told his attendants to bring an excellent rectangular and spacious palanquin to be carried on four men’s shoulders, gilt and adorned with jewels and pearls, where soft sheets were spread inside and covered all over with silken cloths. Instantly the servants went away and brought for me a beautiful palanquin. I got on it to serve the best wishes of the King. The King also gladly took me home. In an auspicious day and in an auspicious moment he married me in accordance with due rites and ceremonies in the presence of the Holy Fire.
I became dearer to him than even his own life and the King, with great fondness, kept my name as Saubhagya Sundari.
The King then began to sport with me amorously according to the rules of the Kama Sastra in various ways and with great enjoyments and pleasures. He then left all his kingly duties and state affairs and he began to remain day and night with me deeply immersed in amorous sports; so much his mind was merged in me in these plays that he could not notice the long time that passed away in the interval. He used to drink the Varuni wine and, forsaking all the state affairs, began to enjoy me in nice gardens, beautiful lakes, lovely palaces, beautified houses, excellent mountains and enviable forests and became completely subservient to me. O Dvaipayana! Being incessantly engaged with the King in amorous sports and remaining obedient to him, my previous body, male ideas, or the birth of Muni, nothing whatsoever came in my memory. I remained always attached to him, being obedient to him with a view to be happy and I constantly thought over “that this King is very much attached to me, I am his dearest wife to all others; always he thinks of me, I am his chief consort, capable to give him enjoyment.” My mind became entirely his and I completely forgot the eternal Brahmajñan and the knowledge of the Dharma Sastras.
O Muni! Thus engaged in various amorous sports, twelve years passed away as if a moment and I could not perceive that. Then I became pregnant; and the King became very glad and performed all the ceremonies pertaining to my impregnation and holding of the child in my womb. In order to satisfy me, the King used to ask me always what things I liked; I used to be very much abashed; seeing this, the King used to be still more glad. Ten months thus passed away and in an auspicious Lagna and when the asterism was favourably strong, I gave birth to a son; the King became very glad and great festivities were held on the birth ceremony of the child. O Dvaipayana! When the period of the birth-impurity was over, the King saw the face of the child and was greatly delighted; I then became the dearest wife of the King. Two years after again I became impregnated; the second auspicious son was born. The King gave the name Sudhanva to the second son and on the authority of the Brahmins, kept the name of the eldest son as Viravarma. Thus I gave birth to twelve sons, in due course of time, to the King’s great liking; and I was engaged in rearing up those children and thus I remained enchanted. Again in due course, I gave birth to eight sons; thus my household was filled with happiness. The King performed the marriage ceremonies of all those children duly and befittingly; and our family became very large with sons and their wives.
Then I had some grandsons and they increased my attachment and the consequent delusion with their all sorts of playful sports. Sometimes I felt happy and prosperous and sometimes I felt pain and sorrow when my sons fell ill. Then my body and mind became very much troubled with sorrows. Again the quarrels amongst my sons and my daughters-in-law, brought terrible pain and remorse in my mind. O Best of Munis! Thus I was greatly immersed in the terrible ocean of these imaginary thoughts, sometimes happy and sometimes painful, and I forgot my previous knowledge and the knowledge of the Sastras. I was merged in the thought of myself being a woman and lost myself entirely in doing the household affairs. I began to think “that I have so many daughters-in-law; so many powerful sons of mine are playing together in my house; Oh! I am fortunate and full of merits amongst women” and thus my egoistic pride increased. Not for a moment even occurred the thought that I had been Narada; the Bhagavan had deceived me by His Maya. O Krishna Dvaipayana! I was deluded by Maya and passed away my time in the thought “that I am the king’s wife, chaste and of good conduct following good Achara; I have so many sons and grandsons; I am blessed in this Samsara and that I am so happy and prosperous.”
One powerful king of a distant country turned out an inveterate enemy of my husband and came to the city of Kanauj to fight with my husband, accompanied by chariots, and elephants and the fourfold army. That enemy besieged the city with his army; my sons and grandsons went out and fought valiantly with him but owing to the great Destiny, the enemies killed all my sons. The King retreated and returned to his palace. Next I heard that powerful King killed all my sons and grandsons and had gone back to his country with his army. I then hurriedly went to the battlefield, crying loudly. O Long-lived One! Seeing my sons and grandsons lying on the ground, in that horrible and distressed state, I became merged in the ocean of sorrows and lamented and wept loudly and wildly, “O my Sons! Where have you gone leaving me thus? Alas! The pernicious Fate is very dominant, and very painsgiving and indomitable. It has killed me today.”
By this time, the Bhagavan Madhusudana came to me there in the garb of a beautiful aged Brahmin. His dress was sacred and lovely; it seemed he was versed in the Vedas. Seeing me weeping distressedly in the battlefield he said : “O Devi! O cuckoo-voiced One! It seems you are the mistress of a prosperous house and you have got husband and sons! O thin-bodied One! Why are you thus lamenting and feeling yourself distressed! All this is simply illusion caused by Moha; think; who are you? whose sons are these? Now think of your best hereafter; Don’t weep, get up and be comfortable, O Good-eyed one!
O Devi! To show respect to your sons, etc., gone to the other worlds, offer them water and Til. The friends of the deceased ought to take their bath in a place of pilgrimage; never they should bathe in their houses. Know this as ordained by Dharma.
Narada said : O Dvaipayan! When the old Brahmin thus addressed me, I and the King and other friends got up. The Bhagavan Madhusudana causing this creation, in the form of a Brahmana, led the way and I followed him quickly to that sacred place of pilgrimage. The Visnu Bhagavan, the Lord Janardana Hari, in the form of a Brahmin, kindly took me to the tank named Pumtirtha (male tirtha) and said : “O One going like an elephant! Better take your bath in this tank; forego your sorrows that are of no use; now the time has arrived to offer water to your sons. Better think that you had millions of sons born to you in your previous births and for that your millions of sons and daughters lost their lives; you had millions of fathers, husbands, and brothers and you lost them again; O Devi! Now tell me for whom you will now grieve? All these, then, are merely mental phenomena; this world is full of delusion, false like a mirage and dream-like; the embodied souls, simply get pains and sorrows and nothing else.” Narada said : On hearing his words, I went to bathe in that Pumtirtha, as ordered by him. Taking a dip, I found that, in an instant, I became a man; the Bhagavan Hari, in his own proper form, was standing on the edge with a lute in his hand. O Brahmin! When getting out of the water, I came to the bank and saw the lotus-eyed Krisna, pure consciousness then flashed in my heart. Then I thought “that I am Narada; I have come to this place and being deluded by the Maya of Hari, I got the female form.” When I was thinking thus, Hari exclaimed, “O Narada! Get up; what are you doing, standing in the water?” I was astonished; and, recollecting my feminine nature, very severe indeed, began to think why I was again transformed into a male form.
Narada said : O Best of Munis! The King was greatly astonished to see me dip in the tank in a female figure and get up from the tank in a male figure and thought, “Where is my dearest wife? And how is this Narada Muni suddenly come here!” The King, not seeing his wife, lamented very much and cried frequently, “O my dear Wife! Where have you gone, leaving me here thus. Without you, O One of spacious hips! My life, palace and kingdom, all, are quite useless. O Lotus-eyed one! What shall I do? O Smiling One! Why is not my life getting out of my body, suffering thus from thy separation? Without you, my sentiment of love has left me for ever. O Large-eyed One! Now I am lamenting for you. O Dear! Better give me your sweet reply; the love that you expressed at our first union, where has it gone now? O One with good eyebrows! Are you sunk in the water and have you given up your life? Or are you devoured by fishes or crocodiles? Or are you carried away by Varuna, the Deva of the waters, to my great misfortune? O One of beautiful limbs! You are blessed, as you have gone away with your sons; O sweet-speaking One! Your affection for them was not artificial. Is it right for you to go up to the Heavens, attached by affection for your sons, leaving me your distressed husband alone, thus weeping for your separation? O Dear! I have lost both, you and my sons; yet death is not carrying me away; O! How hard is my lot! What to do? Where to go? Rama is not now in this world. He knew what was the pain caused by the separation from one’s dearest wife. Oh! The cruel Fate has ordained very unwisely with great inconsistency the periods of parting from one another at different periods; when their minds and all other things are exactly the same in all circumstances of pleasure and pain. The practice of Sati (burning with one’s deceased husband), as ordained by the Munis, is certainly for the good of the chaste women; but it would have been good no doubt, were there such practices allowed for the men to burn themselves with their deceased wives.” Bhagavan Hari then spoke to the lamenting King in reasonable words and consoled him thus : “O King! Why are you thus troubling yourself with pain and sorrow? Where has gone your dearest wife? Have you not heard anything of Sastras? or have you not taken any shelter of any wise man!
Who was your wife? Who are you? Of what nature was your union and disunion and where did it take place? The union of wives and sons in this Samsara is momentary like the meetings of persons on boats, while crossing a river. O King! Now go home, there is no use in your weeping thus in vain; the union and disunion of men are always under the control of Fate, the Daiva; therefore the wise should not lament for them. O King! Your union with the woman took place here; and now you have lost that beautiful, thin-bodied, large-eyed woman here also. Her father and mother you have not seen; you have got her like what is heard in the story of the crow and the Tal fruit; as you got her wonderfully, so you have lost her wonderfully. O King! Do not grieve; Time cannot be ruled over; go home and enjoy yourself subservient to Time. That beautiful woman has gone away in the manner she came to you; you ought to do your stately affairs in the way as you used to do before as the ruler of all. O King! Consider that if you weep day and night, that women will never return; why then are you giving vent to your sorrows in vain? Go now and have recourse to the path of the Yoga and thus while away your time. The enjoyable things come in course of time and they go away again in due course; therefore in this world of no gain whatsoever, the wise should never lament. Continuous pleasure or continuous pain does not always take place; pleasure and pain are never steady; they rotate always like a rotary instrument. Therefore, O King! Make your mind calm and quiet and rule happily your kingdom; or make over the charge of the kingdom to your sons and retire to the forest. This human body is seldom obtained; it is frail; therefore getting that body it is advisable to practise the realisation of the Supreme. O King! This organ of generation and this tongue reside also with the beasts, the peculiarity of human body is that knowledge can be realised in it; not in any other inferior births. Therefore leave your home, leave your sorrows for your wife; all this is the Maya of Bhagavan; by Her the world is deluded.”
Narada said : Bhagavan Hari speaking thus, the King bowed down to Him, the Deva of the Devas and finishing the bathing duties returned to his home. He then became possessed of dispassion and discrimination and making over the charge of his kingdom to his grandsons retired to the forest and realised the Supreme Knowledge. When the King went away, the Bhagavan began to laugh and laugh, seeing me again and again. I then told him, “O Deva! You have deceived me. I now come to know how great is the power of Maya. O Janardana! Now I remember all that I did in my feminine form. Tell me, O Hari! O Deva of the Devas! How I lost my previous consciousness, when I got down into the tank and bathed in it. O Lord of the world! Why was I enchanted, when I got the female form and when I got the King as my husband like Sachi’s getting Indra. The same mind I had; the old Jivatma was there and the previous subtle body was there; how, then, I lost their memories? O Lord! Give out the cause of it and clear my doubts; a great doubt has arisen in my mind. Many enjoyments I had in my female form, drinking liquor and other prohibited things I tasted; O Slayer of Madhu! What is the cause of all these? I could not know then that I was Narada, as I now recognise clearly what I was in and what I did in my female form. Say the Why of all these things.”
Visnu said : “Know, O Intelligent Narada! That all this is merely the Pastime of Maya. There are many states going on in the bodies of all the living beings. The embodied beings have got their waking, dream, deep sleep and Turiya (beyond all the three above-mentioned) states; then why you doubt that when there is another body, there would be also the change in the states? When a man sleeps, he knows not anything, he does not hear anything; but when he gets awake, he again comes to know everything completely. The Chitta gets itself moved by sleep; then mind gets different states by dreams and there arises a variety of feelings. A mad elephant is coming to kill me, and I am not able to fly away. What to do? Where to go? There is no place where I can quickly go; thus, in dreams, there arise different mental states. Sometimes we see in dreams that our departed grandfathers are come in our houses. I am seeing them, talking with them and I am dining with them. Whatever pain and pleasure are felt in dreams, when they awake, they know of what happened in their dreams and can also describe in details, recollecting what had then happened. O Narada! Know the power of Maya incomprehensible as the things seen in dreams cannot be certainly known that all those are false. O Muni! Neither I, nor Sambhu, nor Brahma can measure the power wielded by Maya and Her three Gunas, very hard to fathom. How, then, can any ordinary mortal know them! Therefore, O Narada! None is able to fathom the Maya. This world, moving and non-moving, is fashioned out of the triple Gunas of the Maya; nothing whatsoever can exist without them. The predominant Guna in Me is Sattva; but Rajas and Tamas exist in me; being the Lord of this world, I cannot override the three Gunas. So your father, Brahma, is predominant in Rajo Guna; but Sattva and Tamas never leave Him, Our Maha Deva is predominant in Tamo Guna, but Sattva and Rajo are always with him. Therefore, no being can exist as separate from the three Gunas; this point I have settled in Sruti. Therefore, O Lord of the Munis! Quit this endless Moha for the world, caused by Maya, and very hard to get over and worship Bhagavati, Who is of the nature of Brahman. O Intelligent One! Now you have seen the power of Maya; and you have enjoyed many things produced by Maya and you have realised the extremely wonderful nature of Her. Then why do you ask me further on this point?”
O Muni! When my Father learnt the cause of my cares, he smiled and spoke to me in sweet words : “O Child! The Devas, the high-souled Munis, the wise ascetics and the Yogis subsisting on air only are not able to conquer this Maya. O Narada! The power of Maya is so very great that I, Visnu and Sambhu, the Lord of Uma, none are able to know Her power. That Mahamaya is creating, preserving and dissolving this world by Time, Karma, and Nature and other efficient causes. O Child! Know Her to be inconceivable and unapproachable. O Intelligent One! Do not be sorry nor should you be surprised about Maya’s great strength, for we all are deluded by Her.
O Dvaipayan! Thus advised by my Father, my wonder disappeared. I then asked permission of my Father Padma Yoni (Lotus-born) and went out on tour round the sacred places of pilgrimages and on my way, seeing by and by the chief Tirthas, I have now come here. Therefore, O Muni! Dost thou relinquish your sorrows for the extinction of the Kuru’s family and remain here and pass your time in great joy and happiness. One must bear the fruits of one’s Karma, good or bad; knowing this fully roam at your will wherever you like.
Vyasa said : O King! Maharsi Narada thus kindling knowledge in me, went away; I also thought over his words. On the banks of the river Sarasvati, I composed this Devi Bhagavat to pass away my time during the excellent period of Sarasvata Kalpa. This Puranam is excellent; it is composed on the authority of the the Vedas; all doubts are removed by it; many nice events are narrated here. Therefore, O King! Not the least doubt should be entertained. As a magician makes the wooden dolls dance in his hands at his will, so this world-enchanting Maya is making this world, moving and non-moving, dance from Brahma down to the blades of grass and all human beings. O King! Know Maya’s triple Gunas to be the cause of this mind consisting of five organs of senses, that follows the Chitta (mind, buddhi and Ahamkara). Actions arise from the causes thereof; there is no doubt in this; what doubt, then, there can arise that all these creatures of different temperaments will come out of the different Gunas of Maya. Peaceful, terrible and stupid become the persons in contact with the Mayic Gunas. How, then, can they exist, bereft of them? As the cloth cannot exist without threads, so the embodied beings cannot exist in the world without the triple Gunas of Maya. There is no doubt in this. As a pot cannot be made without clay, so these bodies, Devas, human or birds, cannot be created without the Gunas. Brahma, Visnu and Siva, too, are possessed of those three Gunas and therefore they become sometimes happy and satisfied, sometimes unhappy and dissatisfied and sometimes they become sad and remorseful as they are then under the influence of one Guna or the other. Brahma happens at times to be full of wisdom and knowledge, his temper peaceful, sweet and pleasant and his soul rapt in Samadhi, when he becomes possessed of Sattva Guna; again when he is void of Sattva and filled with Rajo Guna, His temper becomes unpleasant and his appearance gets dark and awful everywhere; and when he becomes grossly Tamasic, He becomes sorrowful and bereft entirely of intelligence.
Visnu, when resting in Sattva, becomes peaceful, sweet-tempered, and full of knowledge; when Rajo Guna preponderates in Him, He becomes void of sweetness and becomes awful to all the beings. Rudra becomes, too, peaceful and pleasant under the Sattva Guna, awful and void of sweetness under the Rajo Guna, and becomes sad and stupid under the Tamo Guna. O King! When Brahma, Visnu, Mahesvara and the solar and lunar Kings, the fourteen lords of Manvantaras, Manu and others are under the control of the mayic Gunas, what to speak of other ordinary mortals, men and the other Jivas. The whole world is under the control of Maya; the Devas, men and all other beings. None should doubt on this point. All the embodied beings labour under the directions of Maya; never can they work independently. This Maya is again always residing in the Highest Essence, the Samvit or the Universal Pure Consciousness. Thus Maya is dependent on the Highest Goddess, Who is of the nature of Samvit, and, stimulated by Her, resides in the hearts of all the Jivas. Therefore one ought to meditate, worship and bow down before the Bhagavati, the Creatrix of Maya and Who is of the nature of Samvit, Pure Existence, Intelligence and Bliss. Thus She becomes gracious and merciful and liberates the Jivas, giving them Her realisation and drawing together Her own Maya away from them. This whole cosmos is nothing but Maya and the Consciousness (Samvit) of the nature of Brahman is the Lord of Maya. For this reason that Beautiful One in the triple worlds, the Devi Bhagavati is known by the name Bhuvanesvari, the Great Lady of the worlds.
O King! If the Jivas can fix their hearts on that Samvit, then Maya, born of the real and unreal, is quite unable to do any harm to them. No other Deva than the BhuvaneSvari, of the nature of pure existence, intelligence and bliss is able to remove this Maya. O King! Darkness cannot destroy darkness; the Sun, Moon, Lightning or Fire can destroy it. Therefore it is highly incumbent on us to worship the Lady of Maya, the Samvit, the Mother with a cheerful heart to remove the Maya and Her Gunas. O King! END
If you wonder what caused me to study this book, it was because of one statement Prabhupada made in his Bhagavatam introduction, about one Bopadeva concerning Bhagavatam’s author. Not something most would notice and I have never heard the subject discussed. Of course this is primarily a Shakta scripture, which I think Tapati might like.
ETA: white space to assist with readability
This post has been edited by Tapati: Jul 15 2007, 10:42 PM
Jul 18 2007, 08:15 PM
This statement is found in the Foreword section of The Srimad Devi Bhagawatam
Translated by Swami Vijnanananda [1921-22]
“What is Srimad Bhagavat is to the Vaisnavas, the Devi Bhagavatam is to the Saktas. The question of the priority of the two Bhagavatas has been often discussed more in the spirit of partisans rather than that of sober scholars. We reserve our opinion on the subject till the publication of the complete translation of this work.
This translation has been inscribed to the sacred memory of my friend the late Rai Bahadur Sris Chandra Vidyarnava who induced me to undertake the translation of this work. He had thoroughly read the two Bhagavatas and it was his opinion that the priority of composition belonged to the Devi Bhagavatam. The other Bhagavat, according to him, is a modern compilation attributed to Bopadeva – the author of Mugdhabodha Vyakaranam.”
So even though the Devi Bhagavatam is nowhere mentioned in the lists of Puranas within the 18 major Puranas that I know of, it claims preeminence among all Puranas, and each chapter ends with a similar statement as in:
“Here ends the Twenty-eighth Chapter of the Sixth Book on Narada’s getting the feminine form in the Mahapuranam Srimad Devi Bhagavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyasa.
Although I apparently didn’t read about Bopadeva in Prabhupada’s Bhagavatam intro (but I not going to discount that memory until I have read through the intro from at least three different versions I have) he did remark on the Bopadeva claim at leats twice:
From 8-24-76 Hyderbad conversation
Prabhupada: Find out that verse when he says, “I have heard it from my father.” Parinisthito ’pi nairgunya. The verse begins parinisthito ’pi nairgunya.
Harikesa: Idam bhagavatam nama? Idam bhagavatam...
Prabhupada: No no, before that. Parinisthito ’pi. The word begins with parinisthito. Idam bhagavatam nama. No?
idam bhagavatam nama
pitur dvaipayanad aham
Prabhupada: Ah, yes.
Harikesa: “At the end of the Dvapara-yuga, I studied this great supplement of Vedic literature of the name Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is equal to all the Vedas, from my father, Srila Dvaipayana Vyasadeva.”
Prabhupada: That’s right. And these rascals say Bopadeva. The speaker of Bhagavatam, he says that “I learned it from my father.” His father is Vyasadeva. And these rascals say Bopadeva. Just see. And they are posted in big post. With such nonsense knowledge, they are posted in big post. He does not know who is the author of Bhagavata. Here it is distinctly said, “I learned it from my father.” So his father is Vyasadeva. You take this verse. If anyone says... So Sukadeva Gosvami is the speaker of Bhagavata, he’s admitting that “I’ve learned it from my father.” And where the Bopadeva comes? Is that right?
Devotees: Yes, right.
Devotee: I was trying, that if I began to oppose him then he would not take the book.
Prabhupada: No, no. Scholarly. Just present that here is the... Sukadeva Gosvami is the speaker of Bhagavatam. He says “I learned it from my father.” And who is his father? Bopadeva or Vyasadeva? This is going on. That is finished. (indistinct)
From Bhagavatam lecture on 1.7.8, Vindavana 9-7-76
sa samhitam bhagavatim
sukam adhyapayam asa
“The great sage Vyasadeva, after compiling the Srimad-Bhagavatam and revising it, taught it to his own son, Sri Sukadeva Gosvami, who was already engaged in self-realization.”
sa samhitam bhagavatim
sukam adhyapayam asa
So this samhita... Samhita means Vedic literature. There are many rascals, they say that “Bhagavata was not written by Vyasadeva, it was written by some Bopadeva.” They say like that. Mayavadis, the Nirisvaravadi. Because although Nirisvaravadi, or Mayavadi leader Saìkaracarya, he wrote comments on Bhagavad-gita, but he could not touch Srimad-Bhagavatam, because in the Srimad-Bhagavatam the things are so nicely set up, krtvanukramya, that it is not possible by the Mayavadis to prove that God is impersonal. They cannot do it. Nowadays they are doing, reading Bhagavatam in their own way, but that does not appeal to any sane man. Sometimes I have seen a big Mayavadi is explaining one verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam, that “Because you are God, therefore if you are pleased, then God is pleased.” This is their philosophy. “You do not require to please God separately. So if you are pleased by drinking wine, then God is pleased.”
I have personally examined it only for it’s content, not comparing it to anything else, and I simply do not see how the Saktas could reasonably make the claim challenging the authorship of Bhagavat Purana, attributing it to Bopadeva. Each should be examined for their unique content. The Sakta consciousness exists and Devi consciousness is well represented in their ‘scripture’. I don’t know how it is harmonized with the Vaishnava viewpoint.
Jul 27 2007, 03:22 PM
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Arjuna also changes into a woman to visit the gopi's. Padma Purana, Patala Khanda, 74:55-82:
The goddess Tripura said: "O Arjuna, in order to bathe enter this (lake) which is auspicious, has extensive water, has the shape of a thousand-petalled lotus with a bud in the centre, four waterfalls and four streams, and is full of a multitude of wonders. On entering into its interior, you will notice a special property. To the south of it is this lake. There is drunk honey and spirituous liquor distilled from the madhuka tree, after which the stream (flowing) from Malaya (mountain) is named. This park is full of flowers, where, in the spring season, Krsna celebrates the vernal festival in honour of Cupid, heaped with vernal flowers; where they, day and night, praise the incarnation of Krsna, by whose mere recollection the sprout of love would be (rising) in the heart of an ascetic. Then, having bathed in this lake, and having gone to the bank of the eastern lake, and having bathed in its water, accomplish your desire (i.e. desired object)."
61b-74a. Then having heard the words, when Arjuna plunged into the water of the lake, which was tinged with the pollen dropped from white lotuses, lotuses opening on moonrise, (other) lotuses and red and blue lotuses, and which was agreeably perfumed with honey-drops, which was shaken by the notes of corpulent swans, whose four banks were decked with jewels, which had ripples due to gentle breezes, she vanished just there. The charmingly smiling one got up and on seeing around, was confused. He instantly saw himself (to be turned into) a wonderful, excellent lady, who had a slim, fair, charming body like the rays of pure gold, whose age was that of a sparkling youth, whose face resembled the autumnal moon, whose hair was very dark, curly, glossy and shining with jewels, whose curls of hair on the plate (-like forehead) were brightened up due to the rays from the mark of red lead, who had vanquished Cupid's bow due to the knittings of the creeper-like eyebrows being manifest, whose wagtail-like eyes were dark like clouds and sportive, whose round cheeks were sparkling due to the bright lustre of the jewelled ear-rings, whose wonderful creeper-like arms were delicate like lotus-stalks, whose sprout-like hands took away all the beauty of autumnal lotuses, who had put on a waist-band made of gold and arranged cleverly, whose hips were shining with jingling girdles, whose beautiful place of hips was covered with a shining garment, whose lotus-like feet were very charming due to the jingling jewelled anklets, who possessed the skill in the various arts of love being manifested, who was endowed with all (good) characteristics, who was adorned with all ornaments. Due to the illusion of (i.e. created by) the lover of the cowherdesses he forgot whatever belonged to his former body; and after that, being very much astonished, stood there, not knowing what to do.
74b-80. In the meanwhile, there was heard a sudden, grave voice in the sky, saying: "O beautiful lady, go along this (path) only to the eastern lake. Having bathed in its water, accomplish the (object of your) desire. O you of an excellent complexion, there are your friends. Do not sink. They will, there only, accomplish (for you your) desired choice." Hearing these divine words, she went to the eastern lake which had many wonderful streams and which was crowded with various birds, which shone with quivering white lotuses, white lotuses opening at moonrise, (ordinary) lotuses and blue lotuses that were quivering, and with rubies, which had a good bank of (i.e. decked with) lotuses, whose four banks were adorned with various lovely arbours of creepers and trees having abundant flowers. Having bathed (there), she stood for a moment. Then she heard in her ear (i.e. with her ears) the tinkling of small bells tinged with the (sound of) jingling girdles and sweet anklets.
81-88. Then (she saw) a bevy of young damsels that had wonderful youth, who had put on wonderful ornaments, whose figures and speech were wonderful, whose bodies were wonderful, who were unique, whose amorous actions were the same and wonderful, whose conversation was interesting, whose laughter and beholding were agreeable, whose beauty was sweet and wonderful, who possessed all sweetness, whose charm of understanding had reached the extreme, who were wonderfully beautiful...etc.
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