Devi Bhagavata Purana

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The Devi Bhagavata Purana (Sanskrit: देवी भागवतपुराणम्, devī bhāgavatapurāṇam), also known as the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam, Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavata Purana or simply Devi Bhagavatam, is one of the eighteen Mahapuranas of Hinduism.[1][2] Composed in Sanskrit by Veda Vyasa, the text is considered as a major purana for Devi worshippers. It promotes bhakti (devotion) towards Mahadevi, integrating themes from the Shaktadvaitavada tradition (syncretism of Samkhya and Advaita Vedanta. literally, the path of nondualistic Shakti).

Devi Bhagavata Purana
Verses18, 000
Old script of Devi Bhagavata Purana
Stone sculpture of Devi Durga, Indian Museum, Kolkata

The purana consists of twelve cantos (sections) with 318 chapters.[3] Along with Devi Mahatmya, it is one of the most important works in Shaktism, a tradition within Hinduism that reveres Devi or Shakti (Goddess) as the primordial creator of the universe and the Brahman (ultimate truth and reality).[4][5][6] It celebrates the divine feminine as the origin of all existence, the creator, the preserver and the destroyer of everything, as well as the one who empowers spiritual liberation.[1][7] While all major Puranas of Hinduism mention and revere the Goddess, this text centers around her as the primary divinity.[8][9] The underlying philosophy of this text is Advaita Vedanta-style monism combined with devotional worship of Shakti (feminine power).[10][11][12]It is believed that this was spoken by Vyasa to King Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit.

Nomenclature Edit

The title of the text, Srimad Devi Bhagavata, is composed of two words, which together mean "devotees of the blessed Devi".

  • 'Srimad' (or 'Srimat', Sanskrit श्रीमत्) means 'radiant', 'holy', 'splendid', or 'glorious', and is an honorific religious title.
    • 'Sri' (or 'Shri' or 'Shree', Sanskrit श्री) means 'Prosperity'. Goddess Lakshmi and Tripura Sundari are referred to as 'Sri'.
  • 'Devi' (Sanskrit: देवी) is the Sanskrit word for 'goddess'; the masculine form is deva. The terms Devi and Deva are Sanskrit terms found in Vedic literature of 2nd millennium BCE, wherein Devi is feminine and Deva is masculine.[13] Monier Williams translates it as "heavenly, divine, terrestrial things of high excellence, exalted, shining ones".[14]
  • Bhagavata' (or 'Bhagavatam' or 'Bhagavat, Sanskrit भागवत) means "devotee of the blessed Devi."[15] In devi Bhagavata purana God or Bhagavan connotation as the supreme goddess.
  • 'Purana' (Sanskrit पराण) means 'ancient' or 'old' (or 'old traditional history').[16] It also means 'complete' and 'completing'[16] in the sense that a Purana 'completes the Vedas'.[17]
    • 'Maha' (Sanskrit महत) means 'great', 'large', or 'vast'.

History Edit

This Purana lists Saraswati (above) as the creative aspect of the supreme Goddess, the Shakti of Brahma.[18]

The Srimad Devi Bhagavata Mahapurana has been variously dated.[19] A few scholars suggest an early date, such as Ramachandran who suggested that the text was composed before the 6th-century CE.[19] However, this early date has not found wide support, and most scholars to date it between the 9th and the 14th century.[19][20] Rajendra Hazra suggests 11th or 12th century, while Lalye states that the text began taking form in the late centuries of the 1st millennium, was expanded over time, and its first complete version existed in the 11th century.[19][21] Tracy Pintchman dates the text to between 1000 and 1200 CE.[22]

The last ten chapters (31 to 40) of the seventh canto consist of 507 verses, a part which has often circulated as an independent handout just like the Bhagavad Gita of the Mahabharata circulates independently.[23] The handout from Book 7 of this Purana is called Devi Gita.[24] This handout may have been composed with the original text, or it might be a later interpolation, states C Mackenzie Brown.[24] He suggests that this portion of the text was probably composed by the 13th century and may be later but before the 16th century.[24]

The ninth canto of the Srimad Devi Bhagavata Mahapurana contains many verses that reference Mlecchas (barbarians) and Yavanas (foreigners).[25] These words may just refer to hill tribes, but the details contained in the description of Mlecchas within these verses, state some scholars such as Hazra, that the writer of these parts knew about Islam and its spread in India, leading scholars date these parts of the ninth book to 12th to 15th century compared to the older core of the ninth book.[25]

The Devi Bhagavata Mahapurana is not the earliest Indian text that celebrates the divine feminine, the 6th-century Devi Mahatmya embedded in Markandeya Purana asserts the goddess to be supreme,[26][27] and multiple archaeological evidence in different parts of India such as Mathura and Bengal suggests that the concept of divine feminine was in existence by about the 2nd-century CE.[28][23] Both Devi Mahatmya and Devi Bhagavata Purana have been very influential texts of the Shakta tradition, asserting the supremacy of the female and making goddess a figure of devotional (bhakti) appeal.[29]

This text – along with all Puranas, all Vedas and the Mahabharata – is attributed to sage Veda Vyasa in the Hindu tradition.[citation needed]

Characters Edit

Avatars of Devi Edit

This table shows the Notable incarnations of Devi mentioned in purana.

Avatar (Incarnation) Description Canto
Bhuvaneshvari Third Mahavidya form of Devi, queen of Manidvipa 3
Durga Goddess of protection, strength, motherhood, destruction and wars 5, 7, 9
Parvati The Goddess of love and fertility, who resides upon Kailasa. -- 5,7,9
Kali Goddess of time and destruction 5, 9
Lakshmi Consort of Vishnu, Goddess of wealth and purity 1, 3, 9
Saraswati Consort of Brahma, Goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom, and learning 3, 5, 9
Radha Consort of Krishna, Goddess of love, compassion and devotion, Queen of Goloka 9
Savitri Personified form of Gayatri Mantra and mother of Vedas 9
Shakambhari The one who nourished mankind with fruits and vegetables. 7
Bhramari The Goddess of bees 10
Tulasi Personification of the Tulasi plant 9
Manasa Goddess of Serpents 9

Notable devotees Edit

This table shows the devotees of the Goddess according to the purana.

Name Description Canto
Ila / Sadyumana The king was named Sadyumana and later became the mother of the Budha 1
Anuha The son of Vibhraja; He married the daughter of Shuka named Kirti. 1
Pratipa Father of Shantanu and grandfather of Bhishma 2
Kunti Mother of Pandavas and wife of king Pandu 2
Suta Son of Lomaharshana and a disciple of Vyasa --
Vasudeva Father of Krishna, Balarama, and Subhadra; The king of the Vrishnis and a Yadava prince. 2

Content and Structure Edit

The theosophy in the text, state Foulston and Abbott, is an encyclopedic mix of ancient history, metaphysics and bhakti.[30] This history, states C Mackenzie Brown, is of the same type found in other Puranas, about the perpetual cycle of conflict between the good and the evil, the gods and the demons.[31] These legends build upon and extend the ancient Hindu history, such as those found in the Mahabharata.[32] However, this Purana's legends refocus the legends around the divine feminine, integrate a devotional theme to goddesses, and the Devi is asserted in this text to be the eternal truth, the eternal source of all of universe, the eternal end of everything, the nirguna (without form) and the saguna (with form), the supreme unchanging reality (Purusha), the phenomenal changing reality (Prakriti), as well as the soul within each living being.[32][33][34]

Stated authorship and purpose Edit


From Swami Vijnanananda translation:

Suta said: “O Rsis! In days of yore, from the Lotus Face of the Devi Bhagavati came out Srimad Bhagavatam in the form of half a Sloka, as the decided conclusion of the Vedas. About what She gave instructions to Vishnu, sleeping on a leaf of a Banyan tree, that same thing, the seed of the Srimad Bhagavata, Brahma Himself expanded into one hundred Koti slokas. Then, Veda Vyasa, in order to teach his own son Shuka Deva, condensed them into eighteen thousand slokas, in Twelve Books and named it Srimad Devi Bhagavatam, the present volume. That voluminous book comprising one hundred koti slokas compiled by Brahma is still extant in the deva loka

— Srimad Devi Bhagavatam Twelfth Canto, Chapter 14, Verses 1:4

The Purana Srimad Bhagavata (Devi Bhagavata) is excellent and holy; eighteen thousand pure Slokas are contained in it. Bhagavan Krishna-Dwaipayana has divided this Purana into twelve auspicious Skandhas (Books) and three hundred and eighteen chapters.

— Srimad Devi Bhagavatam First Canto, Chapter 2, Verses 11:12

O Suta! Fie to the nectar even! as the drinking of nectar is quite useless in giving Mukti. But hearing the Bhagavata gives instantaneous Mukti from this Samsara or round of birth and death.

— Srimad Devi Bhagavatam First Canto, Chapter 1, Verse 21

Puranic characteristics Edit

As a Mahapurana Edit

There are two Bhagavatas in Hindu puranic literature. One is Vishnu Bhagavata and other is Devi Bhagavata. There are some doubts between genuine of these two puranas, as an example in Uma Samhita of Shiva Purana Mentioned Srimad Devi Bhagavatam as fifth Mahapurana called Srimad Bhagavatam.[35] Also in Devi Bhagavatam itself called Srimad Bhagavata Purana.

From J. L. Shastri'a translation:

Where the stories of the goddess Durga are mentioned, it is said to be Bhagavata Purana as well as Devi Purana.

— Shiva Purana Uma Samhita, Chapter 43, verse 76

As per Ashtadash Puran Darpan by Jwala Prasad, Devi Bhagavatam narrates prakriti aspect and its complied by Vyasa.[36]

As mentioned in the Matsya Purana, the Bhagavata Purana is contain 18,000 slokas and begins with the Gayatri and glorifies the Sarasvata Kalpa.[37] Vyasa mentions in Devi Bhagavatam that it was composed in Sarasvata Kalpa.

From Swami Vijnanananda translation:

On the banks of the river Sarasvati, I composed this Bhagavata to pass away my time during the excellent period of Sarasvata Kalpa.

— Srimad Devi Bhagavatam, Sixth Canto, Chapter 31, verse 27

Five characteristics Edit

As a Sattvic Shakta Purana the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam has five characteristics.

From Swami Vijnanananda translation:

Thus, the Mahatma Veda Vyasa has divided this Bhagavata Purana into so many Skandhas and into so many chapters; and that the number of verses is eighteen thousand is already stated. That is denominated as Purana which contains the following five characteristics: (1) Sarga (creation of the universe), (2) Pratisarga (secondary creation), (3) Vamsa (dynasties), (4) Manvantaras, (5) Vamsa nuchararita (the description of Manus and other kings).

— Srimad Devi Bhagavatam First Canto, Chapter 2, Verse 17:18

Shlokas / Verses Edit

Srimad Devi Bhagavatam consists of 12 cantos with 318 chapters.[3] Although the number of original Sanskrit shlokas is stated to be 18,000 by the Devi Bhagavata itself.[38] The actual text, in different versions, is close.[24]

Srimad Devi Bhagavatam Chapters and Verses
Swami Vijnanananda Translation
Canto Chapters Verses
1 20 1,185
2 12 723
3 30 1,746
4 25 1,426
5 35 2,086
6 31 1,885
7 40 2,251
8 24 793
9 50 3,563
10 13 508
11 24 1,239
12 14 964
Total 318 18,369
Difference (Sanskrit) +369

Cantos Edit

First Canto Edit

One aspect of the Goddess in the Devi Bhagavata Purana. The text describes many.[39][40]

Consisting of 20 chapters, The first book (skandha) like other major Puranas, states Rocher, presents the outline, the structure of contents, and describes how in the mythical Naimisha forest, the Devi-Bhagavata Purana was first recited among the sages.[3] It also asserts that all of Reality was initially nirguna (without form, shape or attributes; in other words, there was nothingness except Truth).[3] However, asserts the text, this nirguna Reality was a Bhagavati (woman), and she manifested herself as three Shaktis - Sattviki (truth, creative action), Rajasi (passion, aimless action) and Tamasi (delusion, destructive action).[3] Its also include:

  • Details about the Purana
  • Devi Killing Madhu and Kaitabha
  • Suta narrate the story of Hayagriva
  • The penance of Vyasa, and boon granted by Lord Shiva
  • The story of King Sudyumna being turned into a woman and her prayers to the Goddess and the Goddess granting her a place at Her Lotus Feet
  • Birth of Shukadeva and visit to Mithila to meet King Janaka.

SDB 01.02.03 original Sanskrit:

नतवा ततपदपङकज सललित मकतिपरद योगिना
बरहमादयरपि सवित सततिपरयय मनीनदरः सदा ।
वकषयामयदय सविसतर बहरस शरीमतपराणाततम
भकतया सरवरसालय भगवतीनामना परसिदध दविजाः ॥

O Brahmins! I bow down to the gentle lotus feet, known in the three Lokas, of the Devi Bhagavati, praised by Brahma and the other devas Vishnu, Mahesha and others, meditated always by the Munindras and which the Yogis contemplate as their source of liberation. Today I will devotedly describe, in detail and in plain language, that Purana which is the best of all the Puranas, which gives prosperity and contains all the sentiments (rasas) that a human being can conceive, the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam.

— Srimad Devi Bhagavatam Canto 01, Chapter 02, Verse 03

Fifteen chapter in 1st canto Supreme Devi reveals her true identity to god Vishnu lying on a banyan leaf. its also mentioned that half stanza which revealed by supreme goddess is the seed of Bhagavata Purana.

सरव खलविदमवाह नानयदसति सनातनम ॥

All this that is seen is I Myself; there is existent nothing other that is eternal

— Srimad Devi Bhagavatam, Canto 01, Chapter 15

Second Canto Edit

Consisting of 12 chapters, This canto is short, and historical.[3] It weaves in the characters well known in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, states Rocher, and introduces in the key characters that appear in remaining books of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana.[41]Its also include:

Third Canto Edit

Consisting of 30 chapters,This canto mentioned the Glory of Devi Bhuvaneshvari and her worship, At the Beginning of the universe Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva see Goddess reside in Manidvipa and praise her and also weaves in legends from the well known epic the Ramayana.[41]

  • Description about the secondary creation
  • Trimurti going towards the heavens on the celestial car
  • Fight between Yudhâjit and Vîrasena
  • Details about Navaratri festival and Rama's performing the Navarâtra ceremony

SDB 03.03.52 original Sanskrit:

दतयाऽलपधिया दवी योगगमया दराशया ।
इचछा परातमनः काम नितयानितयसवरपिणी ॥

Devi is inconceivable to those who are of dull intellect; only the Yogis can see her by their Yogic powers. She is eternal (Brahman) and also noneternal (Maya). She is the will power of the Supreme Self. She is the first Creator of this world.

— Srimad Devi Bhagavatam Canto 03, Chapter 03, Verse 52

SDB 03.30.35 original Sanskrit:

तां ज्ञात्वा मुच्यते जन्तुर्जन्मसंसारबन्धनात् ।
सा विद्या परमा ज्ञेया वेदाद्या वेदकारिणी ॥

She is the Supreme Knowledge, existing before the Vedas, and the Originator of the Vedas. The individual souls, knowing Her Nature, become able to free themselves from the bondages of the World.

— Srimad Devi Bhagavatam Canto 03, Chapter 30, Verse 35

Fourth Canto Edit

Consisting of 25 chapters, this fourth canto presents more legends, including those of interaction between avatars of Hari, Krishna and Shiva, Kashyapa birth as Vasudeva, but also introduces tantric themes and presents yoga meditation.[41]

  • The questions put by Janamejaya regarding Krishna's incarnation
  • Details about Nara and Narayana
  • The fight between the Risis and Prahlada
  • Description about several avatars of Vishnu
  • Explain about Devi's Highest Supremacy

SDB 04.02.04:05 original Sanskrit:

अनादिनिधना जीवाः कर्मबीजसमुद्भवाः
नानायोनिषु जायंते म्रियते च पुनः पुनः ।
कर्मणा रहितो देहपयोगो न कदाचन ॥

It was the seed of Karma whence the Jivas (the individual embodied souls) arose with neither any beginning nor any end. Those Jivas go on often and often incarnating in numberless varieties of wombs and then go to dissolution. When this Karma ceases, the Jivas then are never to have any more connection with any other body.

— Srimad Devi Bhagavatam Canto 04, Chapter 02, Verse 04:05

Fifth Canto Edit

Bhuvaneshwari temple in Mysore Palace. Bhuvaneshwari is the supreme Goddess in Book 7 of this Purana.[42]

Consisting of 35 chapters, The Canto mentioned glory devi (Devi Mahatmya), Fight between Goddess Durga and Mahishasura, Killing Sumbha and Nisumbha and other demons.

  • Story of Mahishasura and the origin of goddess Mahalakshmi
  • The conquest of the Heavens by Shumba - Nishumbha and Birth of Devi Kaushiki

Sixth Canto Edit

Consisting of 31 chapters, The sixth book continue these legends, states Rocher, with half of the chapters focussed on the greatness of Goddess, how male gods are befuddled by problems, how they run to her for help, and how she solves them because she is enlightened knowledge.[43][44] The text presents the feminine to whom all masculine deities are subordinate and dependent on.[45] Its also include Indra killing of Vritra.

Seventh Canto Edit

Goddess Parvati

Consisting of 40 chapters, The seventh canto of the Srimad Devi-Bhagavatam shifts towards more philosophy, asserting its version of the essence of the Vedas.[46] This book contains the philosophical text called Devi Gita, or the "Song of the Goddess".[46][47] The Goddess explains she is the Brahman that created the world, asserting the Advaita premise that spiritual liberation occurs when one fully comprehends the identity of one's soul and the Brahman.[46][48] This knowledge, asserts the Goddess, comes from detaching self from the world and meditating on one's own soul.[46][33]Chapter 28 of the seventh book contain the story of Durgamasur and his annihilation by goddess Sivaa (Parvati) in her form of Shakambhari.

Festivals and culture Edit

This canto, states Rocher, also includes sections on festivals related to Devi, pilgrimage information and ways to remember her.[46] Her relationship with Shiva and the birth of Skanda is also briefly mentioned in the 7th book.[46] The last ten chapters (31 to 40) of the canto 7 is the famous and philosophical Devi Gita, which often circulates in the Hindu tradition as a separate text.[23]

Eighth Canto Edit

Consisting of 24 chapters, The eighth book of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana incorporates one of the five requirements of Puranic-genre of Hindu texts, that is a theory of the geography of the earth, planets and stars, the motion of sun and moon, as well as explanation of time and the Hindu calendar.[49] Its include:

  • In the beginning of creation Manu (Hinduism) praise Devi and Lord taking Varaha avatar
  • Divisions of Bhu Mandala with Seven islands
  • Various avatars of Vishnu worship in Jambudvīpa
  • Description of the movement of the Moon and other planets.
  • Narada worship and praises Lord Ananta
  • Description about nether worlds and different hells

Ninth Canto Edit

The largest canto is the 9th skandha Consisting of 50 chapters, which is very similar in structure and content of the Prakriti-kanda of the Brahmavaivarta Purana.[50][51] Both are goddesses-focused, and discuss her theology, but have one difference.[50] The Prakriti-kanda of the Brahmavaivarta Purana also includes many verses which praise Vishnu using various names (incarnations), which re-appear in the 9th book of the Devi Bhagavata Purana with Vishnu names substituted with Devi names (incarnations).[50] Its also Mentioned Krishna as the male form of goddess.

  • Description of five forms of Devi Prakriti
  • Manifestation of Shri Krishna and Description of First creation (Sarga)
  • Birth of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva
  • Lakshmi, Saraswati and Ganga (goddess), mutually curse each other and descend them on Bharatavarsha.
  • Description of the period of Kali Yuga.
  • Story of Devi Tulsi
  • Significance and attributes of Bhagavati Bhuvaneshvari
  • Goddess Mahalakshmi manifests from ocean of Milk
  • Description of mantras and songs of praise to Devi Radha and goddess Durga.

SDB 09.38.29:31 original Sanskrit:

रप विभरतयरपा च भकतानगरहहतव ॥
गोपालसनदरीरप परथम सा ससरज ह ।
अतीव कमनीय च सनदर समनोहरम ॥
नवीननीरदशयाम किशोर गोपवषकम ।
कदरपकोटिलावणय लीलाधाम मनोहरम ॥

Though formless, She assumes forms for the gratification of the desires of Her Bhaktas. She created first the beautiful form of Gopala Sundari (Krisna) very lovely and beautiful, captivating the mind. His body is blue like the fresh rain cloud. He is young and dressed like that of a cowherd

— Canto 09, Chapter 38, Verses 29:31

Tenth Canto Edit

Consisting of 13 chapters, This Canto of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana is one of the shortest, and integrates manavantaras, another structural requirement for this text to be a major Purana, but wherein the Devi is worshiped in every cosmic time cycle, because she is the greatest, she kills the evil and she nurtures the good.[50][52]Chapter 13 of the tenth book describes the glory of goddess Bhramri that how in the past she killed the demon Arunasura.

  • The creation Swayambhu Manu and Description of other Manus.
  • Narada describes the greatness of Vindhya who tries to stop the path of Sun God.
Devi Bhuvaneshwari

Eleventh Canto Edit

Consisting of 24 chapters, This canto of the text discusses Sadachara (virtues) and Dharma to self as an individual, as belonging to a Grama (village, community) and to a Desha (country).[50] The text praises Sruti and asserts it to be the authoritative source, adding that Smriti and Puranas are also sources for guidance.[50] This section is notable for adding that Tantra is also a source of guidance, but only if it does not conflict with the Vedas.[50] Verses in the 11th books also describe sources for Rudraksha as Japa beads, the value of Tripundra mark on the forehead, five styles of Sandhyas (reflection, meditation) and five types of Yajnas.[50]

Twelfth Canto Edit

The last and 12th canto of the Devi-Bhagavatam Consisting of 14 chapters, Its describes the Goddess as the mother of the Vedas, she as the Adya Shakti (primal, primordial power), and the essence of the Gayatri mantra.[53] The verses map every syllable of the Gayatri mantra to 1008 names of reverence in the Hindu tradition.[53] These names span a spectrum of historic sages, deities, musical meters, mudras and the glories of the goddesses.[53] Also in Chapter 10 to Chapter 12 Describe the supreme abode of Devi called Manidvipa which is above Vaikuntha and Goloka.

SDB 12.10.03:04 original Sanskrit:

सरवदो निजवासारथ परकतया मलभतया ।
कलासादधिको लोको वकणठादपि चोततमः ॥
गोलोकादपि सरवसमातसरवलोकोऽधिकः समतः ।
नततसम तरिलोकया त सनदर विदयत कवचित ॥

In the very beginning, the Devi Mula Prakriti Bhagavati built this place for Her residence, superior to Kailaska, Vaikunta and Goloka. Verily no other place in this universe can stand before it. Hence it is called Manidvipa or Sarvaloka as superior to all the Lokas

— Canto 12, Chapter 10, Verses 03:04

SDB 12.13.27:28 original Sanskrit

मूलप्रकृतिरेवैषा यत्र तु प्रतिपाद्यते ।
समं तेन पुराणं स्यात्कथमन्यन्नृपोत्तम ॥
पाठे वेदसमं पुण्यं यस्य स्याज्जनमेजय ।
पठितव्यं प्रयत्नेन तदेव विबुधोत्तमैः ॥

In fact, this Purana is the Essence of all the Puranas. How can the other Puranas be compared with this, wherein is established the Devi Mula Prakriti? Reading this Purana from the beginning to the end yields the result of reading the Vedas. So the wise persons should try their best to study it always.

— Canto 12, Chapter 13, Verses 27:28

Devi Gita Edit

Main articles: Devi Gita

The Devi Gita, like the Bhagavad Gita, is a condensed philosophical treatise.[54] It presents the divine female as a powerful and compassionate creator, pervader and protector of the universe.[55] She is, states Brown, presented in the opening chapter of the Devi Gita as the benign and beautiful world-mother, called Bhuvaneshvari (literally, ruler of the universe, and the word is feminine).[42][54] Thereafter, theological and philosophical teachings become the focus of the text, covering chapters 2 to 10 of the Devi Gita (or, chapters 32 to 40 of this Purana's Book 7).[55] Some of the verses of Devi Gita are almost identical to the Devi Upanishad.[56]

The soul and the Goddess

[My sacred syllable हरीम] transcends,[note 1]
the distinction of name and named,
beyond all dualities.
It is whole,
infinite being, consciousness and bliss.
One should meditate on that reality,
within the flaming light of consciousness.
Fixing the mind upon me,
as the Goddess transcending all space and time,
One quickly merges with me by realizing,
the oneness of the soul and Brahman.

Devi Gita, Transl: Lynn Foulston, Stuart Abbott
Devibhagavata Purana, Book 7[59]

The Devi Gita frequently explains Shakta ideas by quoting from the Bhagavad Gita.[55] The Devi is described by the text as a "universal, cosmic energy" resident within each individual, weaving in the terminology of Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy.[55] It is suffused with Advaita Vedanta ideas, wherein nonduality is emphasized, all dualities are declared as incorrect, and interconnected oneness of all living being's soul with Brahman is held as the liberating knowledge.[60][61][62] However, adds Tracy Pintchman, Devi Gita incorporates Tantric ideas giving the Devi a form and motherly character rather than the gender-neutral concept of Adi Shankara's Advaita Vedanta.[63]

Supreme Goddess describes her gross form in Devi Gita as follows:

वरहमा विषणशच रदशच ¦
टशच ईशवरशच सदाशिवः ।
एत पञचमहापरताः पादमल मम सथिताः ॥

Brahma, Vishnu, Rudhra, Ishvara and Sadashiva: these are the five great disembodied spirits, who are situated at the base of my feet.

— Devi Gita (Swami Satyānanda Saraswati), Chapter 12, Verse 10[64]

The Bhakti theology of the Devi Gita part of this Purana may have been influenced by the Bhagavad Gita, and with Vaishnava concepts of loving devotion to Krishna found in the Bhagavata Purana. All these texts highlight different types of devotion in a Samkhya philosophy framework.[65][66] Tamasic Bhakti is one, asserts the text, where the devotee prays because he is full of anger, seeks to harm others, induce pain or jealousy to others.[66] Rajasic Bhakti is one where the devotee prays not to harm others, but to gain personal advantage, fame or wealth.[65] Sattvic Bhakti is the type where the devotee seeks neither advantage nor harm to others but prays to purify himself, renounce any sins and surrender to the ideas embodied as Goddess to liberate himself.

SDB 07.37.11:12 original Sanskrit:

अधना पराभकति त परोचयमाना निबोध म ।
मदगणशरवण नितय मम नापानकीरतनम ॥
कलयाणगणरतनानामाकराया मयि सथिरम ।
चतसो वरतन चव तलधारासम सदा ॥

SDB 07.37.13:14 original Sanskrit:

हतसत ततर को वापि न कदाचिदधबदपि ।
सामीपयसाषटिसायजयसालोकयाना न चषणा ॥
मतसवातोऽधिक किचिननव जानाति करहिचित ।
सवयसवकताभावातततर मोकष न वाछति ॥

Disciples of Swami Vijnanananda translation:

Now hear attentively about the Para Bhakti that I am now describing to you. He who hears always My Glories and recites My Name and Whose mind dwells always, like the incessant flow of oil, in Me who is the receptacle of all auspicious qualities and Gunas.

— Canto 07, Chapter 37, Verse 11:12[67]

But he has not the least trace of any desire to get the fruits of his Karma; yea he does not want Samipya, Sarsti, Sayujya, and Salokya and other forms of liberations! He becomes filled with devotion for Me alone worships Me only; knows nothing higher than to serve Me and he does not want final liberation even.

— Canto 07, Chapter 37, Verse 13:14

Translations Edit

There are several separate translations of Devi Gita.

  • Devi Gita - The Song of The Goddess translated by C. Mackenzie Brown
  • Devi Gita translated by swami Satyananda Saraswati[68]
  • Sri Devi Gita translated by Ramamurthy Natarajan[69]

Philosophy Edit

Vedic Literature Edit

Devi Bhagavatam mentioned number of Vedic mantras connected with observance. In eleventh canto describes certain rites, also Devi is identified with Yajurveda and Rudra. In the ninth canto mentioned various phase powers of Devi. Dhyana stotras of Lakshmi and Svaha are adopted from Samaveda. Use of Rudrakshas mentioned in ninth canto is supported by the Sruti.[70]

Upanishad Edit

Devi Bhagavatam adopted some of passages in Upanishad. In seventh canto in purana Devi describe her own form these verses are identical with some verses of Devi Upanishad. Also in fourth canto some famous expressions of Taittiriya Upanishad are used to describe the nature of Devi. The four states of consciousness described in the Mandukya Upanishad, are mentioned in 30th chapter of sixth canto.

Samkhya Edit

Devi Bhagavatam belong to the Shaktadvaitavada tradition (syncretism of Samkhya and Advaita Vedanta. literally, the path of nondualistic Shakti). The duality of Prakriti and Purusha in Samkhya is not accepted by Devi Bhagavatam. In the text prakriti is identified with Parashakti. She is also called Mulaprakriti. The text maintains that the Gunas are of mixing nature and when they pair together they condition each other. This is an adaptation from the Samkhya theory.

Bhakti Edit

Main articles: Bhakti and Bhakti yoga

The Devi Bhagavata Purana adds Para Bhakti (Sanskrit: दवी) in Devi Gita as the highest level of devotion, states McDaniel, where the devotee seeks neither boon nor liberation but weeps when he remembers her because he loves the Goddess, when he feels her presence everywhere and sees the Goddess in all living beings, he is intoxicated by her ideas and presence.[65][66]

From Swami Vijnanananda translation:

Now hear attentively about the Para Bhakti that I am now describing to you. He who hears always My Glories and recites My Name and whose mind dwells always, like the incessant flow of oil, in Me who is the receptacle of all auspicious qualities and Gunas. But he has not the least trace of any desire to get the fruits of his Karma; yea he does not want Samipya, Sarshti, Sayujya, and Salokya and other forms of liberations! He becomes filled with devotion for Me alone, worships Me only; knows nothing higher than to serve Me and he does not want final liberation even. He does not like to forsake this idea of Sevya (to be served) and Sevaka (servant who serves). He always meditates on Me with a constant vigilance and actuated by a feeling of Supreme Devotion; he does not think himself separate from Me but rather thinks him self ‘that I am the Bhagavati.' Не considers all the Jivas as Myself and loves Me as he loves himself. He does not make any difference between the Jivas and myself as he finds the same with anybody as he has abandoned all ideas about separateness; he bows down, and worships the Chandalas and all the Jivas.

— Srimad Devi Bhagavatam Seventh Canto, Chapter 37, Verses 11:18

Reception Edit

The verses and ideas in the Devi-Bhagavata Purana, state Foulston and Abbott, are built on the foundation of the Upanishads wherein the nonduality and oneness of Brahman and Atman (soul) are synthesized.[71][46] The text makes references to the philosophy and metaphors used in the Advaita Vedanta tradition of Adi Shankara. However, those ideas are reformulated and centered around the Goddess in the Devi Bhagavata Purana, states C Mackenzie Brown, as well as other scholars.[30][48] In Devi Bhagavata text, states Tracy Pintchman, the Devi is not only Brahman-Atman (soul, interconnected oneness), she is also the always-changing empirical reality (Maya).[72]

SDB 01.18.41 original Sanskrit:

जीवो बरहम सदवाह नातर कारया विचारणा ।
भदबदधिसत ससार वरतमाना परवरतत ॥42 ॥

Jiva is Brahman; I am that Brahman and nothing else; there is nothing to be discussed here. It is owing to the dualities that monism appears not clear and differences between Jiva and Brahman arise.

— Canto 01, Chapter 18, Verse 41

The Goddess, in Devi Bhagavata Purana, is both the source of self-bondage through Avidya (ignorance) and the source of self-liberation through Vidya (knowledge), state Foulston and Abbott.[30] She is identical to the Vedic metaphysical reality concept of Brahman, the supreme power, the ruler of the universe, the hero, the hidden energy, the power, the bliss innate in everything, according to the text.[71][73][74] The Devi, states Kinsley, is identified by this Purana to be all matter, mother earth, the cosmos, all of nature including the primordial.[75] The Goddess is presented, states Brown, as "the womb of the universe", who observes the actions of her children, nurtures them to discover and realize their true nature, forgive when they make mistakes, be fearsomely terrible to the wicked that threaten her children, and be friend of all souls.[76]

Cynthia Humes compares the depiction of Goddess in the 6th-century Hindu text Devi Mahatmya, with that in this later Devi-Bhagavata Purana text.[77] Both revere the feminine, states Humes, but there are some important differences.[77] Nowhere does the Devi Mahatmya state anything negative about women, and it is explicit in asserting that "all women are portions of the Goddess".[78] By contrast, states Humes, the portrayal of women in Devi-Bhagavata Purana is more complex.[78] It includes verses critical of the feminine, with the text stating that behavior of woman can be "reckless, foolish, cruel, deceitful" and the like. The Devi Bhagavata also praises women and describes their behavior can be "heroic, gentle, tenacious, strong" and the like.[78]

The Devi-Bhagavata Purana is an important and historic Shakta Bhakti text, states June McDaniel.[65]

Commentaries and translations Edit

Commentaries Edit

  • Studies in Devi Bhagavata - P.G. Layle
  • Srimad Devi Bhagavatam with the Tika of Nilakantha
  • Discourses on the Devi Bhagavatam - Pt Vidur Prasad Dahal
  • The Triumph of the Goddess : The Canonical Models and Theological Visions of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana[79]

Translations Edit

The Devi Bhagavata Purana has been translated into different languages.

Telugu Edit

  • Mulugu Papayaradhya, an 18th-century Telugu poet, is regarded as the first poet to translate the Devi Bhagavata Purana into Telugu.[80]
  • Tirupati Venkata Kavulu also translated this purana into Telugu language in 1896 entitled Devi Bhagavatamu. They have divided the purana into 6 skandas and themselves published it in 1920.[81]
  • Dasu Sriramulu (1846 -1908) a scholar, composer, poet, Avadhani, orator, proficient in astrology and dramaturgy, translator, founder of a music school, nationalist and social reformer and author of kavyalu, Satakas, plays, musical and dance compositions in Telugu. He translated many satakams and plays from Sanskrit into Telugu. He translated Sri Devi Bhagavatham, which was first published in 1907.[82]
  • Sri Devi Bhagavatham by Acharya Bethavolu Ramabrahmam in 2005[83]
  • Sri Devi Bhagavatam translated by Smt. S Rukminamma[84]

Kannada Edit

  • Edatore Chandrashekhara Sastry has translated the entire Devi Bhagavatam to Kannada with Sanskrit Text. This was published in 11 volumes at Mysore. (Jayachamarajendra Grantha Ratna Mala - 5)
  • Sri Devi Bhagavata by Pavana Sutha[85]

Malayalam Edit

  • Srimad Devi Bhagavatam translated by Varavoor Shamu Menon and Dr. N. P Unni[86]
  • Shrimad Devi Bhagavata published by Aarshasri Publications Co

Hindi Edit

  • Devi Bhagavatam published by Gita Press[87]
  • Shri Mad Devi Bhagwat Mahapuran by Laxmi prakashan[88]
  • Shrimad Devi Bhagavata Purana in Simple Hindi Language by Gita Press
  • A Synopsis of Devi Bhagawat by Gita Press
  • Srimad Devi Bhagawat Mahapurana by Shivjeet Singh[88]

Gujarati Edit

  • શરીમદ દવી ભાગવત: Shrimad Devi Bhagavata Purana by Harendra Shukla[87]

Bengali Edit

  • Devi Bhagavatam by Navabharat Publishers, Kolkata

Nepali Edit

  • Srimad Devi Bhagawat Mahapuran (Nepali) translated by Gaurishankar Vasistha (SRI DURGA SAHITYA BHANDAR, VARANASI)[87]

Tamil Edit

  • Devi Bhagavatam - Karthikeyan by Giri Trading Agency private limited
  • Sri Devi Bhagavatha 3 parts translated by Durgadoss S.K.Swami and Prema Pirasuram
  • Shrimad Devi Bhagavata Purana in Tamil (Set of 2 Volumes) by Vidya Venkataraman
  • Sri Devi Bhagavatham by Acharya Bethavolu Ramabrahmam - V.G.S Publishers

English Edit

  • Swami Vijnanananda translated the Devi Bhagavatam to English with Sanskrit Text.
  • Srimad Devi Bhagavatam (2 Volumes) by C. P. Balachandran Nair
  • Ramesh Menon translated condensed English version of The Devi Bhagavatam in 2010[89]
  • Srimad Devibhagavata Puranam (Sanskrit Text with English Translation in Two Volumes) by Bahadur Sris Chandra
  • Sampoorna Devi Bhagavatham by Sadguru Vaddiparti Padmakar

German Edit

  • Shrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam: Mutter Natur in Aktion by Michael Stibane[90]

Russian Edit

  • Девибхагавата-Пурана. В 6 томах (Devi Bhagavata Purana) - Клуб Касталия (Kastalia Club)

In Popular Culture Edit

See also Edit

Notes Edit

  1. ^ हरीम is pronounced as hrīm, it is a tantric mantra beej, and it identifies a "Shakti".[57][58]

References Edit

  1. ^ a b Dalal 2014, p. 117.
  2. ^ "The Devi Bhagavatam: The First Book: Chapter 1". Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Rocher 1986, p. 168.
  4. ^ C Mackenzie Brown 1990, pp. 44–45, 129, 247-248 with notes 57-60.
  5. ^ John Stratton Hawley & Donna Marie Wulff 1998, pp. 6–14.
  6. ^ Tracy Pintchman 2015, pp. 183–188.
  7. ^ David Kinsley 1988, pp. 133–139.
  8. ^ Alf Hiltebeitel & Kathleen M. Erndl 2000, pp. 24–36, 48 (RS Sherma).
  9. ^ K P Gietz 1992, p. 330 with note 1809, 497 with note 2764.
  10. ^ Tracy Pintchman 2015, pp. 128–132.
  11. ^ June McDaniel 2004, pp. 89–91, 159–161.
  12. ^ C Mackenzie Brown 1990, pp. 142–144.
  13. ^ Klostermaier 2010, p. 496.
  14. ^ Klostermaier 2010, p. 101-102, 492.
  15. ^ Lochtefeld 2002, p. 94.
  16. ^ a b "Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit: 'purana'". Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  17. ^ Parmeshwaranand, Swami (2001). Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Puranas. Sarup & Sons. pp. 222. ISBN 978-81-7625-226-3. purana word completes.
  18. ^ C Mackenzie Brown 1990, pp. 49, 130, 134, 139.
  19. ^ a b c d Rocher 1986, p. 172.
  20. ^ Alf Hiltebeitel & Kathleen M. Erndl 2000, p. 139, Quote: (...) portrayals of the Goddess in the later Devi Bhagavata (c. ninth century CE) bear crucial differences from those of the Goddess in the Devi Mahatmya..
  21. ^ P. G. Lalye (1973). Studies in Devī Bhāgavata. Popular Prakashan. pp. 101–105.
  22. ^ Tracy Pintchman 2015, p. 128.
  23. ^ a b c Cheever Mackenzie Brown 1998, pp. 1–4.
  24. ^ a b c d Cheever Mackenzie Brown 1998, p. 4.
  25. ^ a b C Mackenzie Brown 1990, p. 166.
  26. ^ Collins 1988, p. 36.
  27. ^ Rocher 1986, pp. 191–192.
  28. ^ John Stratton Hawley & Donna Marie Wulff 1998, p. 2, 9-10, 26 with note 2.
  29. ^ Philip Lutgendorf 2003, pp. 251–252.
  30. ^ a b c Lynn Foulston & Stuart Abbott 2009, p. 75.
  31. ^ Cheever Mackenzie Brown 1998, pp. 5–6.
  32. ^ a b Cheever Mackenzie Brown 1998, p. 6-10.
  33. ^ a b Tracy Pintchman 2015, pp. 131–138.
  34. ^ Alf Hiltebeitel & Kathleen M. Erndl 2000, pp. 24–31.
  35. ^ Winternitz, Moriz (1996). A History of Indian Literature, Volume 1. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 555. ISBN 9788120802643.
  36. ^ Prasad, Jwala. Ashtadash Puran Darpan (in Hindi). Khemraj Prakashan.
  37. ^ Basu, B. D. Ed. (1916). The Matsya Puranam. The Panini office, Bhuvaneswari ashrama.
  38. ^ Lynn Foulston & Stuart Abbott 2009, p. 73.
  39. ^ Rocher 1986, pp. 168–172.
  40. ^ Tracy Pintchman 2015, pp. 183–184.
  41. ^ a b c Rocher 1986, p. 169.
  42. ^ a b Tracy Pintchman 2014, p. 26-28.
  43. ^ Rocher 1986, pp. 169–170.
  44. ^ C Mackenzie Brown 1990, pp. 201–216.
  45. ^ Lynn Foulston & Stuart Abbott 2009, pp. 73–74.
  46. ^ a b c d e f g Rocher 1986, p. 170.
  47. ^ Cheever Mackenzie Brown 1998, p. 1-2, 85-98.
  48. ^ a b Cheever Mackenzie Brown 1998, p. 12-17.
  49. ^ Rocher 1986, pp. 170–171.
  50. ^ a b c d e f g h Rocher 1986, p. 171.
  51. ^ C Mackenzie Brown 1990, p. 160.
  52. ^ C Mackenzie Brown 1990, pp. 133–134.
  53. ^ a b c Rocher 1986, pp. 171–172.
  54. ^ a b C Mackenzie Brown 1990, pp. 179–198.
  55. ^ a b c d Cheever Mackenzie Brown 1998, pp. 1–3.
  56. ^ Cheever Mackenzie Brown 1998, pp. 25–26, 77 with note 26.
  57. ^ Antonio Rigopoulos (1998). Dattatreya: The Immortal Guru, Yogin, and Avatara: A Study of the Transformative and Inclusive Character of a Multi-faceted Hindu Deity. State University of New York Press. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-7914-3696-7.
  58. ^ Douglas Renfrew Brooks (1992). Auspicious Wisdom: The Texts and Traditions of Srividya Sakta Tantrism in South India. State University of New York Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-7914-1145-2.
  59. ^ Lynn Foulston & Stuart Abbott 2009, pp. 74–75.
  60. ^ Cheever Mackenzie Brown 1998, pp. 1–3, 12–17.
  61. ^ Tracy Pintchman 2015, pp. 9, 34, 89–90, 131–138.
  62. ^ Lynn Foulston & Stuart Abbott 2009, pp. 15–16.
  63. ^ Tracy Pintchman 2014, p. 9-10.
  64. ^ Devi Gita. Motilal Banarsidass Publisher. 1996. p. 224. ISBN 9781877795138.
  65. ^ a b c d June McDaniel 2004, pp. 158–161.
  66. ^ a b c Cheever Mackenzie Brown 1998, pp. 23–25.
  67. ^ "On Bhakti Yoga [Chapter 37]". 16 May 2013.
  68. ^ Saraswati, Satyananda (2018). Devi Gita. Temple of the Divine Mother, Incorporated. p. 274. ISBN 9781877795565.
  69. ^ Natarajan, Ramamurthy (2020). Śrī Devī Gīta: Sri Devi Gita. India ISBN Agency. p. 186. ISBN 9789382237723.
  70. ^ Layle, P.G (1973). Studies in Devi Bhagavata. Popular Prakashan. pp. 38–39. ISBN 978-8171540693.
  71. ^ a b Lynn Foulston & Stuart Abbott 2009, pp. 75–76.
  72. ^ Tracy Pintchman 2014, p. 29-30.
  73. ^ Tracy Pintchman 2015, pp. 128, 131–138.
  74. ^ David Kinsley 1997, pp. 131–134.
  75. ^ David Kinsley 1988, pp. 179–180.
  76. ^ C Mackenzie Brown 1990, pp. 129–130.
  77. ^ a b Alf Hiltebeitel & Kathleen M. Erndl 2000, pp. 139-140 (Cynthia Humes).
  78. ^ a b c Alf Hiltebeitel & Kathleen M. Erndl 2000, pp. 139-142 (Cynthia Humes).
  79. ^ Brown, C. Mackenzie (1990). The Triumph of the Goddess. SUNY Press. p. 327. ISBN 9780791403648.
  80. ^ Purāṇam. All-India Kasiraja Trust. 1962. p. 401.
  81. ^ Tirupati Venkata Kavulu (1920). Devi Bhagavatamu (in Telugu). Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  82. ^ Krishnamoorthy, Dasu (6 May 1996). "A multi-faceted genius". The Andhra Pradesh Times.
  83. ^ ramabrahmam, Bethavolu (2005). Sri Devi Bhagavatam. VGS Publishers.
  84. ^ Rukminamma (2008). Sri Devi Bhagavatam. Victory Publishers.
  85. ^ Prakashan, Laxmi (2018). Shri Mad Devi Bhagwat Mahapuran. Laxmi Prakashan. p. 488.
  86. ^ Shamu Menon, Varavoor (2015). Srimad Devi Bhagavatam. PRASANTHI PUBLISHERS. ISBN 978-8189823443.
  87. ^ a b c Shukla, Harendra. શરીમદ દવી ભાગવત. Shree Harihar Pustakalay Surat. p. 984. ISBN 9789385955785.
  88. ^ a b Singh, Shivjeet (2012). Srimad Devi Bhagawat Mahapurana. SHREE THAKUR PRASAD PUSTAK BHANDAR. p. 576.
  89. ^ Menon, Ramesh (2010). Devi: The Devi Bhagavatam Retold. Rupa & Co. p. 514. ISBN 9788129115546.
  90. ^ Stibane, Michael (2020). Shrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam: Mutter Natur in Aktion. Alfa-Veda Verlag. ISBN 978-3945004456.

Bibliography Edit

External links Edit