On the birth of Gaurî, the seats of the Deity, and the distraction of S’iva
1-12. Vyâsa said :–O King! They went to the forest and fixed their seats on the slope of the Himâlayân mountain and engaged themselves in repeating silently the seed Mantra of Mahâ Mâyâ and thus practised their austerities. O King! One hundred thousand years passed in the meditation of the Parâ S’akti. The Devî, pleased, became visible to them. Her form was three-eyed, and of the form of Existence, Intelligence and Bliss (Sachhidânanda); She was filled with mercy. In Her one hand there was the noose, in another hand, goad; in another hand there was the sign bidding her devotees discard all fear, and in the other hand She was ready to offer boons. The good-natured Munis, seeing this Form of the World Mother began to praise Her. “O Devî! Thou art existing separately in every gross body; we bow down to Thee. Thou art existing wholly (cosmically) in all the gross bodies; we bow down to Thee. O Parames’varî! Thou art existing separately in every subtle body; we bow down to Thee; Thou art existing universally in all the subtle bodies; we bow down to Thee, Thou art existing separately in all the causal bodies wherein all the Linga Dehas (subtle bodies) are interwoven; we bow down to Thee. Thou art existing universally in all the causal bodies; we bow down to Thee. Thou art of the nature of the unchangeable Brahmâ, the receptacle of all the Jîvas and thus residest in all the bodies; so we bow down to Thee. Thou art of the nature of Âtman, the Goal of all the beings; we bow again and spin to Thee.” Thus the pure-natured Daksa and the other Munis praised Her with voice, choked with feelings of intense devotion and bowed down to Her feet. Then the Devî, pleased, spoke to them in a cuckoo voice. “O Highly Fortunate Ones! I am ever ready to grant boons; so ask what you desire.” O King! Hearing thus, they asked that Hari and Hara both regain their former natural states and be united respectively with their S’aktis, Laksmî and Gaurî. Daksa again asked :– “O Devî! Let your birth be in my family. O Mother! I will, no doubt, consider myself as having then realised the fulfilment of my life. So, O Parames’varî! Speak by Thy own mouth how Thy worship, Japam, meditation will be conducted as well the various fit places where they would be performed.”
13-16. The Devî said :– “The insult shown towards my S’aktis has led to this calamitous state of Hari and Hara. So they should not repeat such crime. Now, by My favour, they will regain their health and, of the two S’aktis, one will be born in your family and the other will take Her birth in the Ksiroda Sâgara, the ocean of milk. Hari and Hara will get back their S’aktis, when I will send them the chief Mantra. The chief Mantra of Mine is the said Mantra of Mâyâ; this is always sweet to Me; so worship this Mantra and make Japam of this. The Form that you are seeing before you, this is My Bhuvanes’varî form (that of the Goddess of the Universe), or worship My Virât (cosmic) form; or Sachchidânanda form. The whole world is my place of worship; so you can meditate on Me and worship Me always and in all places.”
17-23. Vyâsa said :– When the Bhuvanes’varî Devî living in the Mani Dvîpa thus giving Her reply, went away, Daksa and other Munis all went to Brahmâ and informed him with great earnestness of everything that happened. O King! Thus Hari and Hara both became devoid of their haughtiness and got back their previous natures by the Grace of the Supreme Deity and were thus enabled to perform their functions as before. Then, on a certain time, the Devî Bhagavatî, the Fiery Nature of the Parâ S’akti, took Her birth in the house of the Prajâpati Daksa. O King! Everywhere in the Trilokas, great festivities were held. All the Devas became glad and showered flowers. The Dundubhis of the Devas were sounded by the hands and made very grave sounds. The pure-minded saints were gladdened; the Sun’s rays looked purer and cleaner; the rivers were elated with joy and began to flow in their channels. When the World-auspicious Devî, the Destroyer of the birth and death of the Jîvas took Her birth, everything looked propitious. The wise Munis named Her “Satî” as She was of the nature of Parâ Brahmâ and Truth Herself. The Prajâpati Daksa handed over the Devî, who was before the S’akti of Mahâdeva, to that Deva of the Devas, Mahâdeva. Due to the misfortune of Daksa, the daughter of Daksa burnt Herself in a blazing fire.
24-25. Janamejaya said :– “O Munis! You have made me now hear a very inauspicious word. How can such a great thing of the nature of the Highest Intelligence come to be burnt up in a fire! The mere recollecting of Whose Name dispels the terrible danger of the burning up by the fire of Samsâra, how can She be burnt up by fire, I am extremely eager to hear; kindly describe that to me in detail.”
26-37. Vyâsa said :– O King! Hear. I am describing to you the ancient history of the burning of Satî. Once on a time, the famous Risi Durvâsâ went to the bank of the river Jambû and saw the Devî there. There he remained with his senses controlled and began to repeat silently the root Mantra of Mâyâ. Then the Goddess of the Immortals, the Bhagavatî was pleased and gave the Muni a beautiful garland as Her Prasâda that was on Her neck, that emitted the sweet fragrance of Makaranda (juice of flowers; Jasamine). Whereon the bees were about to cluster. The Maharsi took it quickly and placed it on his head. He then hurriedly went to see the Mother to the place where Satî’s Father, the Prajâpati Daksa was staying and bowed down to the feet of the Satî. The Prajâpati then asked him :– “O Lord! Whose extraordinary garland is this? How have you got this enchanting garland, rare to the mortals on this earth!” The eloquent Maharsi Durvâsâ then spoke to him with tears of love flowing from his eyes :– “O Prajâpati! I have got this beautiful garland that has no equal, as the Prasâda (favour) of the Devî.” The Prajâpati asked that garland then from him. He, too, thinking that there was nothing in the three worlds that cannot be given to the devotee of the S’akti, gave that garland to the Prajâpati. He took that on his head; then placed it on the nice bed that was prepared in the bed-room of the couple. Being excited by the sweet fragrant smell of that garland in the night, the Prajâpati engaged in a sexual intercourse! O King! Due to that animal action, the bitter enmity arose in his mind towards S’ankara and His Satî. He then began to abuse S’iva. O King! For that offence, the Satî resolved to quit her body that was born of Daksa, to preserve the prestige of the Sanâtan Darma of devotion to Her Husband and burnt Her body by the fire arising out of Yoga.
38. Janamejaya said :– “O Muni! What did Mahâ Deva do, thus pained by the bereavement from His consort dearer than His life, when the Satî’s body was thus consumed.”
39-50. Vyâsa said :– O King! I am unable to describe what happened afterwards. O King! Out of the fire of anger of S’iva, the Pralaya seemed to threaten the three worlds. Vîrabhadra came into existence with hosts of Bhadra Kâlîs, ready to destroy the three worlds. Brahmâ and the other Devas took refuge to S’ankara. Though Mahâdeva lost everything on Satî’s departure, He, the Ocean of Mercy, destroyed the sacrifice of Daksa, cut off his head and instead placed the head of a goat, brought him back to life and thus made the Gods free from all fears. He, the Deva of the Devas, then became very much distressed and going to the place of sacrifice, began to weep in great sorrow. He saw that the body of the Intelligent Satî was being burnt in the fire of the Chitâ. He cried aloud :– Oh my Satî! Oh My Satî! And taking Her body on His neck, began to roam in different countries, like a mad man. Seeing that, Brahmâ and the other Devas became very anxious and Bhagavân Visnu cut off the body to pieces by His arrows. Wherever the parts fell, S’ankara remained there in so many different forms. He then said to the Devas :– Whoever will worship, with deep devotion in these places, the Bhagavatî, will have nothing left unattained. The Highest Mother will remain close to them there. The persons that will make Puras’charana (the repetition) of the Mantrams, especially the Mâyâ Vîja (the root Mantra of Mâyâ), their Mantrams will become, no doubt, fructified and become incarnate. O King! Thus saying, the Mahâdeva, being very much distressed for Satî’s departure, passed His time in those places, making Japam, Dhyânam and taking to Samâdhi.
51-52. Janamejaya said :– Where, in what places the several parts of the Satî fell? What are the names of those Siddhapîthas? And what is their number? Kindly describe these in detail, O Great Muni! No doubt I will highly consider myself blessed by hearing these words from your blessed mouth.
53-102. Vyâsa said :– O King! I will now describe those Pîthas (Sacred places), the mere hearing of which destroys all the sins of men. Hear. I describe duly those places where the persons desiring to get lordly powers and to attain success ought to worship and meditate on the Devî. O Mahârâja! The face of Gaurî fell in Kâs’î; She is well known there by the name Vis’âlâksî; that which fell in Naimisâranya became known by the name of Linga Dhârinî. This Mahâ Mâyâ is known in Prayâg (Allahabad) by the name of Lalitâ Devî; in Gandha Mâdan, by the name of Kâmukî; in the southern Mânasa, by Kumudâ; in the northern Mânasa, by Visvakâmâ, the Yielder of all desires; in Gomanta, by Gomatî and in the mountain of Mandara, She became known by the name of Kâmachârinî. The Devî is known in Chaitraratha, by the name of of Madotkatâ; in Hastinâpura, by Jayantî; in Kânyakubja by the name of Gaurî; in the Malaya Mountain, by Rambhâ; in the Ekâmrapîtha, by Kîrtimatî, in Vis’ve, by the name of Vis’ves’varî; in Puskara, by the name of Puruhûtâ. She is known as Sanmârga Dâyinî in the Kedâra Pîtha; as Mandâ, in the top of the Himâlayâs; and as Bhadrakarnikâ in Gokarna. She is known as Bhavânî in Sthanes’vara, as Vilvapatrikâ in Vilvake; as Mâdhavi in S’rîs’aila; as Bhadrâ in Bhadres’vara. She is known as Jarâ in Varâha S’aila; as Kamalâ in Kamalâlaya; as Rudranî in Rudra Kotî; as Kâlî in Kâlanjara; She is known as Mahâ Devî in S’âlagrâma, as Jalapriyâ in S’ivalingam; as Kapilâ in Mahâlingam, as Mukutes’varî in Mâkota. As Kumarî in Mâyâpurî, as Lalitâmbikâ in Santânâ; as Mangalâ in Gayâ Ksetra, as Vimalâ in Purusottama. As Utpalâksî in Sahasrâksa; as Mahotpalâ in Hiranyâksa; as Amoghâksî in the Vipâsâ river; as Pâtalâ in Pundra Vardhana. As Nârâyanî in Supârs’va, as Rudra Sundarî in Trikûta; as Vipulâ Devî in Vipulâ; as Kalyânî in Malayâchala. As Ekavîrâ, in Sahyâdri; as Chandrikâ in Haris’chandra; as Ramanâ in Râma Tîrtha; as Mrigâvatî in the Yamunâ. As Kotivî in Kotatîrtha; as Sugandhâ in Mâdhavavana; as Trisandhyâ in the Godâvarî; as Ratipriyâ in Gangâdvâra. As S’ubhânandâ in S’iva Kundam, as Nandinî in Devîkâtata; as Rukminî in Dvâravatî; as Râdhâ in Brindâvana. As Devakî in Mathurâ; as Parames’varî in Pâtâla; as Sîtâ in Chitrakuta; as Vindhyâdhivâsinî in the Vindhyâ range. O King! As Mahâlaksmî in the sacred place of Karavîra, as Umâ Devî in Vinâyaka; as Ârogyâ in Vaidyânâtha; as Mahes’varî in Mahâkâla, as Abhayâ in all the Usna tîrthas, as Nitambâ in the Vindhyâ mountain; as Mândavî in Mândavya; as Svâhâ in Mâhes’varîpûra. As Prachandâ in Chhagalanda, as Chandikâ in Amarakantaka; as Varârohâ in Somes’vara; as Puskarâvatî in Prabhâsa. As Devamâtâ in Sarasvatî; as Parâvârâ in Samudrtata; as Mahâbhâgâ in Mahâlayâ, as Pingales’varî in Payosnî. As Simhikâ in Kritas’aucha; as Atis’ânkârî in Kârtika; as Lolâ in Utpalâvartaka; as Subhadrâ in S’ona Sangam. As the Mother Laksmî in Siddhavana; as Anangâ in Bhâratâs’rama; as Vis’vamukhî in Jâlandhara; as Târâ in the Kiskindhya mountain. As Pustî in Devadâru Vana; as Medhâ in Kâs’mîramandalam; as Bhîmâ in Himâdri; as Tustîi in Vis’ves’vara Ksetra. As S’uddhî in Kapâlamochana; as Mâtâ in Kâyâvarohana; as Dharâ in S’ankhoddhâra; as Dhritî in Pindâraka; as Kalâ in Chandrabhâgâ river; as S’ivadhârinî in Achchoda; as Amritâ in Venâ; as Urvas’î in Vadarî. As medicines in Uttara Kuru; as Kus’odakâ in Kus’advîpa; as Manmathâ in Hemakûta; as Satyavâdinî in Kumuda. As Vandanîyâ in As’vattha; as Nidhi in the Vais’ravanâlaya; as Gâyatrî in the mouth of the Vedas; as Pârvatî near to S’iva. As Indrâni in the Devalokas; as Sarasvatî in the face of Brahmâ; as Prabhâ (lustre) in the Solar disc; as Vaisnavî with the Mâtrikâs. She is celebrated as Arundhatî amongst the Satîs, the chaste women and as Tilottamâ in the midst of the Râmâs. Again this Mahâdevî of the nature of the Great Intelligence (Samvid) is always existent in the form of S’akti named Brahmakalâ in the hearts of all the embodied beings. O Janamejaya! Thus I have mentioned to you the one hundred and eight pîthas (sacred places or seats of the Deity) and as many Devîs. Thus are mentioned all the seats of the Devîs and along with that, the chief places in India (the world). He who hears these excellent one hundred and eight names of the Devî as well as Her seats, gets himself freed from all sins and goes to the Loka of the Devî. O Janamejaya! His heart gets purified and is rendered blessed, no doubt, who duly makes jâtrâ (sojourn) to all these seats of the Deity, performs S’râddhas, offers peace-offerings to the Pitris and worships with the highest devotion the Goddess and asks frequently the pardon of the World Mother. O King! After worship, one should feed the Brâhmanas, well dressed virgins (Kumârîs) and Vatukas with good eatables. All the tribes whether they be Chândâlas, know them all to be of the nature of the Devî and therefore they should be worshipped. Never one is to accept any donation or gifts (Pratigrahas) in these seats of the Devî. The saintly persons should make Purascharanas (repeat the names of their own deities, attended with burnt offerings, oblations, etc.) of their own Mantrams with all their might in all these places and should never be miserly in their expenses on this account. He who starts to these sacred places, with devoted hearts filled with love, finds his Pitris in the higher and greater Brahmâ Loka for one thousand Kalpas and he gets the highest knowledge, crosses the ocean of the world and becomes free. Many a people have attained success by repeating these one hundred and eight names of the Deity. Any place wherein are kept those names, embodied in a book, becomes free from such dangers as plague, cholera or any misapprehensions from planetary Deities and so forth. Nothing remains to be attained by these persons who repeat these one hundred and eight names. That man, devoted to the Devî, certainly attains blessedness. That saintly person becomes of the nature of the Devî. The Devas bow down and worship him when they behold him! What then need be said that the saints would worship him! The Pitris become pleased and get their good ends when these one hundred and eight names are read with devotion. These places are, as it were, Intelligence personified (Chinmaya) and places ready to yield freedom from bondage. Therefore, O King! Intelligent men should take their shelter in these places. O King! Whatever secrets and other deeper secrets about the Great Goddess you asked to know from me, I described to you. What more do you want to hear. Say.
Here ends the Thirtieth Chapter of the Seventh Book on the birth of Gaurî, the seats of the Deity, and the distraction of S’iva in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
Note :– The number one hundred and eight is a holy number, got by taking the half of 216,000, the number of breaths inhaled by a child in the womb who promises to take the name of God at his every breath or by taking one-eighth of 864,000, the number of seconds in a day. The two zeros are then dropped. Thus the number signifies the one who fulfils one’s promise.