Thursday, 1 January 1970

Chapter four (Sakradi Stuti)

Om prostrations to Chandika

Snowy-complexioned, who destroys foes with fiery glance, whose forehead is adorned by a crescent moon, holding a conch-shell, discus, sword and trident in Her four hands, three-eyed, seated on a lion, illuminating the three worlds with Her sheen, worshipped by Devas, served by Siddhas, I meditate upon that Jay Durga.

Om prostrations to Chandika

The sage said:

When that most valiant but wicked Mahishasura and the army of that foe of the Devas were destroyed by  Devi, Indra and the hosts of Devas uttered their words of praise, their necks and shoulders reverently bent, and bodies rendered beautiful with devotion and exultation. 1-2

“To that Ambika who is worthy of worship by all Devas and sages and pervades this world by Her power and who is the embodiment of the entire powers of all the hosts of Devas, we prostrate in devotion. MaySshe grant us auspicious things! 3

May Chandika, whose incomparable magnanimity and exploits Vishnu, Brahma and Hara are unable to describe, bestow Her mind on protecting the entire world and on destroying the fear of evil. 4

Oh Devi, prostrations to thee, who are yourself good fortune in the dwellings of the virtuous, and ill-fortune in those of the vicious, intelligence in the hearts of the learned, faith in the hearts of the good, and modesty in the hearts of the high-born. May you protect the universe! 5

Oh Devi, how can we describe your inconceivable form, or your abundant surpassing valour that destroys the Asuras, or your wonderful feats displayed in battles among all the hosts of Devas, Asuras and others? 6

You are progenitrix of all the worlds! Though you are Trigunatmika you are flawless! You are incomprehensible even to Vishnu, Shiva and others! You are the refuge of all! From Brahma to a lowly insect, entire world is born of your portion! You are verily The Supreme, Primordial Prakriti, untransformed and bereft of six defects. 7

Oh Devi, you are Svaha at whose utterance the whole assemblage of Devas attains satisfaction in all the Yajnas. You are the Svadha which gives satisfaction to the Pitris. Therefore you are chanted as Svaha and Svadha in Yajnas by people. 8

Oh Devi, you are Bhagavati, Brahma Vidya which is the cause of Moksha, and great inconceivable penance. You are cultivated by sages desiring liberation, whose senses are well restrained, who are devoted to Reality, and have shed all the blemishes. 9

You are the personification of Shabda Brahman. You are the repository of the very pure Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, and Sama Veda Mantras! You are Bhagavati embodying the three Vedas. And you are the sustenance whereby life is maintained. You are the supreme destroyer of the pain of all the worlds. 10

Oh Devi, you are the Intellect (Kalika), by which the essence of all scriptures is comprehended. You are Durga, the boat that redeems men across the ocean of materialism, devoid of attachments. You are Sri Vidya who has invariably enlightened the heart of Vishnu. You are indeed Parvati who has stolen the heart of Great Lord Shiva. 11

Gently smiling, pure, resembling the full moon’s orb, beautiful like the splendour of excellent gold was your face! Yet it was very strange that, being swayed by anger, Mahishasura suddenly struck your face when he saw it. 12

Far strange it is that after seeing your wrathful face, Oh Devi, terrible with its frowns and red in hue like the rising moon, that Mahishasura did not die out of fear! For, who can live after beholding the enraged Destroyer? 13

Oh Devi, be appeased. You are Supreme. If enraged, you forthwith destroy the hosts of Asuras for the welfare of the world. This was known the very moment when the extensive forces of Mahishasura were brought to their end. 14

You who are always bounteous, with whom you are well pleased, those fortunate ones are indeed the object of esteem in the country, theirs are riches, theirs are glories, and their acts of righteousness perish not; they are indeed blessed and possessed of devoted children, servants and wives. 15

By your grace, Oh Devi, the blessed individual does daily all righteous deeds with utmost care and thereby attains to heaven. Are you not, therefore Oh Devi, the bestower of fruits in all the three worlds? 16

When remembered in perils, you bestow fearlessness. When remembered in happiness, you bestow a mind still further pious. Which Goddess but you, Oh Dispeller of poverty, pain and fear, has such mercy? 17

‘The world attains happiness by the death of these Asuras and though they have committed heinous sins, let them reach heaven by meeting death eventually at the battle’- thinking thus, that you, Oh Devi, certainly destroy our enemies. 18

You could have reduced Asuras to ashes by your mere fiery glance. But you direct your weapons against them so that even the inimical ones, purified by the missiles, may attain the higher worlds. Such is your mercy towards them. 19

If the Asuras had not become blind by the sheen of your sword and trident, it is because they saw also your face resembling the moon, soothing to eyes. 20

Oh Devi, your nature is to subdue the conduct of the wicked; your ethereal beauty is inconceivable for others; your valour destroys those who have robbed the Devas of their prowess, and you have thus manifested your compassion even towards the enemies. 21

Your prowess is incomparable. Where can one find this beauty, most charming, yet striking fear in enemies? Compassion in heart and cruelty in battle are seen, Oh Devi, bestower of boons, only in you in all the three worlds! 22

Through the destruction of the enemies all these three worlds have been saved by you. Having killed them in the battle-front, you have led even those hosts of enemies to heaven, and you have dispelled our fear from the frenzied enemies of Devas. Prostration to you! 23

Oh Devi, protect us with your trident. Oh Ambike, protect us with your sword, protect us by the sound of your bell and by the twang of your bow-string. 24

Oh Chandike, guard us in the east, west, north and south by the brandishing of your trident. Oh Shakti of Lord Shiva! 25

Protect us and the earth with those benevolent forms of yours moving about in the three worlds, as also with your exclusive formidable forms. 26

Oh Ambike, protect us on every side with your sword, trident and club and whatever other weapons your delicate hands like lotus buds have touched.” 27 
The sage said: 28

Thus that Jagadhatri was praised by Devas, worshipped with celestial flowers that blossomed in Nandana and with perfumes and unguents; and with devotion all of them offered Her – heavenly incense. Benignly serene in countenance she spoke to all obeisant Devas. 29
The Devi said: 30

“Choose all of you, oh Devas, choicest boons.” 31
Devas said: 32

“Since our enemy, that Mahishasura, has been slain by you, oh Bhagavati,  everything has been accomplished, and nothing remains to be done. 33-34
And if a boon is to be granted to us by you, Oh Shakti of Mahesvara, whenever we think of you again, destroy our direct calamities. 35

Oh Mother of spotless countenance, and whatever mortal shall praise you with these hymns, may you, who have become gracious towards us, be also for his increase in this wealth, wife, and other fortunes together with riches, prosperity and life, O Ambike! 36
The sage said: 37

Oh King, being thus propitiated by Devas for the sake of the world and for their own sake, Bhadrakali said, “Be it so” and vanished even as they watched. 38-39

Thus have I narrated, oh King, how Devi who desires the good of all the three worlds manifested Herself in the years of yore from the brilliance of all Devas. 40

And again how, as a benefactress of Devas, She manifested from Gauri (Parvati) for the slaying of wicked Asuras Sumbha and Nisumbha, and for the protection of worlds, listen as I relate it. I shall tell it to you as it happened. 41-42
Thus ends the fourth chapter dealing with the hymn to Devi sung by Indra and other Devas of Devi Mahatmyah in Markandeya Purana during the reign of Savarni Manu.
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