Chapter XXIV

On the worship of the Devî

1-2. Nârada said :– “O Bhagavân! Of what sort is the Dharma, i.e., the worship of the Devî? In what way shall we worship Her, so that She gives us the Highest Place? What are the methods and forms of Her Worship? Where and when shall we worship Her! So that the Durgâ Devî saves us from the above mentioned hells.”

3-20. Nârâyana said :– O Devarsi! You are the foremost of the Knowers of Truth. I will therefore tell you how the Devî gets pleased and how Her worship is conducted according to the Dharma. Hear attentively. O Nârada! I will also describe the nature of Sva Dharma. Hear that also. When one worships, with due rites and ceremonies, the Devî in this beginningless world, She Herself removes all the terrible dangers and difficulties. Hear the rules how the people worship the Devî. 

When the Pratîpat Tithi (the first day after the Full or New Moon) comes, one should worship the Devî with a present of rice, etc., with ghee (clarified butter) and give that to the Brâhmins. Then one becomes completely free from any disease. On the second day (Dvîtiyâ Tithi), one must serve the Mother of the Universe with sugar and give that to the Brâhmins; he then becomes long-lived. On the third (tithi) on commencing with the Poojâ, the worshipper must give milk to the Devî and give that to a best Brâhmin; he is then freed from all his troubles and ailings. On the fourth (tithi) the worshipper is to offer a cake of flour to the Devî and then give that to a Brâhmin; no obstacles come to that man. On the fifth tithi, the worshipper is to offer plantains to the Devî and then to give that to the Brâhmins; he thus becomes intelligent. On the sixth tithi, the worshipper gives honey to the Devî and then that to a Brâhmin; he gets thus the beauty of his body. On the seventh tithi, the Brâhmin gives to the Devî the Naivedya (an offering of rice, etc.) with Gur (sugarcandy) and then that to the Brâhmins; he then becomes freed from his mental sorrows. On the eighth day, if one gives cocoanut, one is freed of one’s remorse, etc.; on the ninth, if anybody gives fried rice (Lâj), he will have his happiness increased both in this world and in the next. O Muni! If on the tenth tithi, one offers to the Devî black Til (sesamum) and then to the Brâhmin, he becomes free from the fear of death. If, on the eleventh tithi, (ekâdas’î) one gives the curd to the Devî and then to the Brâhmin, one becomes a great favourite of the Devî. If on the twelfth day, one offers to the Devî and to the Brâhmin the Chipitaka rice or grain (well parched and flattened) one becomes a favourite of the Devî. If, on the thirteenth day one gives to the Bhagavatî grains and then that to a Brâhmin, one gets progeny. If, on the fourteenth day, one gives to the Devî the flour of fried barley or other grains (S’aktu) and  then that to a Brâhmin, one becomes a favourite of S’iva. If on the Full Moon day, one offers to the Devî Pâyasa and then that to a Brâhmin, then one’s Pitris are uplifted to the higher regions.

21-42. O Muni! On the above tithis, if one forms daily Homas, as stated in the Pûjâ Chapter, the Devî becomes very pleased. The articles corresponding to the tithi as mentioned above destroy all the evils and inauspicious omens. On Sunday, it is a rule to give an offering of Pâyasam (a food prepared of rice, milk, and sugar). On Monday, the milk; on Tuesday, the nice plantains; on Wednesday, the fresh butter; on Thursday, the gud or sugarcandy, Friday, the white sugar, and on Saturday, it is a rule to give the clarified butter of cow’s milk. Now hear what should be offered on the Naksattras. The following are the Naivedyas given to each of the Naksattras, in due order, from As’vinî :– Clarified butter (ghee), sesamum (Til), sugar, curd, milk, Kilâtak (Mâlâi, milk), Dadhikûrchi (Mâlâi Curd), Modaka (a kind of sweetmeat, a confection) Phenikâ, Ghrita Mandaka, a sort of sweet meat of wheaten flour and gur, Vatapattra, Ghritapura (Ghior), Vataka, Kharjura juice (of the datepalm), a sort of sweet meat of Gur and gram, honey, S’ûrana, Gur Prithuka, grapes, datepalms, Chârakâs, Apûpa, Navanîta (fresh butter), mudga, modaka, and Mâtulinga. Now hear what are given in the Viskambha and the other Yogas. The World Mother becomes very much pleased when one offers to Her the following things :– Gur, honey, ghee, milk, curd, Takra, apûpa, fresh butter, Karkatî, Kusmânda, Modaka, Panasa, plantain, Jambu (rose-apple), mangoe, sesamum, oranges, Dâdima, (pomegranate) Vadarî (Jujube) the Dhâtrî (Âmalaki) fruit, Pâyasa, Prithuka, gram, cocoanut, Jambîra. Kaseru, and S’ûrana. The auspicious events occur when these are offered. The intelligent persons have thus decided to give the above on Viskambha and the other Yogas. Now hear :– I will describe the things that are offered on the respective Karanas :– Kamsâra, Mandaka, Phenî, Modaka, Vatapattraka, Ladduka, Ghritapûra, Til (Sesamun), curd, ghee, and honey. These are to be offered devotedly to the Devî on the respective Karanas. Now I will describe to you the other offerings very pleasing to the Devî. Hear. O Nârada! Hear it with great attention and love. On the third tithi of the bright fortnight, in the month of Chaitra, one is to worship duly the Madhûka tree and offer Pañcha Khâdya (the five sorts of food). So hear what articles are to be offered according to the rules that are laid down on the third day of the white fortnight of the other months. The Gur, in the month of Vais’âkh; the honey, in Jyaistha; the fresh butter, in Âsâdha; the curd, in S’râvana; the S’arkarâ, in Bhâdra; the Pâyas’a, in Âs’vin; the pure milk, in Kârtik; the Phenî, in Agrahâyana; the Dadhi Kûrchîkâ in Pausa; the clarified butter of cow’s milk, in Mâgha, and the cocoanut offerings, in the month of Phâlguna. Thus with these twelve sorts of offerings, one is to worship the Devî in the twelve months respectively.

43-69. One should worship the Devî in the Madhûka tree with these names :– Mangalâ, Vaisnavî, Mâyâ, Kâla-râtri, Duratyayâ, Mahâmâyâ, Mâtangî, Kâlî, Kamalavâsinî, S’ivâ, Sahasracharanâ, and Sarva mangalarûpinî (One name for each of the 12 months). Finally, to bring the vow to a good issue and to have one’s desires fulfilled with greater success, one is to sing stotras (hymns) to the Mâhes’varî, the Controller of all the gods, in that Madhûka tree, thus :– Thou art lotus-eyed; obeisance to Thee! Thou art Jagaddhâtrî, the Upholdress of the Universe, I bow down to Thee; Thou art Mahes’varî, Mahâ Devî, and Mahâmangalarûpinî (Thou art the great Devî, and Thou dost great good to all). Thou destroyest the sins, Thou givest Moksa or final liberation. Thou art Parames’varî, Thou art the World Mother and Thou art of the nature of the Highest Brahmâ. Thou art Madadâtrî (the giver of Mada, the Supreme Felicity and rapture or excessive delight), Thou art maddened with Mada the (Excessive Joy); Thou canst be reached when Thou art given proper veneration; Thou art the the Most High. Thou art Intelligent; Thou art meditated upon by the Munis; and Thou dwellest in the Sun. Thou art the Lord of the several Lokas (worlds); Thou art endowed with the Highest Knowledge; and Thou art of the colour of water at the time of Pralaya (the Universal Dissolution). Thou art worshipped by the Gods and the Asuras for the destruction of the Great Moha. So Great Victory to Thee! Thou art the Rescuer of one from the abode of Death; Thou art worshipped by Yama, Thou art the elder of Yama, Thou art the Controller of Yama and Thou art worshipped by all. Obeisance to Thee! Thou art impartial; Thou controllest all; Thou art perfectly unattached; Thou destroyest the people’s worldly attachments; Thou art The One to whom all look for the fructification of their desires; and Thou art the Compassion Incarnate. Thou art, worshipped by the names :– Kankâla Krûra, Kâmâksî; Mînaksî Marma bhedinî, Mâdhûryarûpas’âlinî; and Thou art worshipped with the Pranava Om prefixed to all the Stotras and the Mantras. Thou art of the nature of the Seed Mâyâ (mâyâvîja); Thou canst be realised by repeating the mantra and Thou canst be pleased by the deep concentration (Nididyâsana) on Thee. Thou canst be reached by all men through their minds and Thou dost things that are pleasing to the Mahâ Deva. Thou dwellest in the trees As’vattha, Vata (Peepul tree), Neem, Mangoe, Kapittha (wood apple tree), and the tree Kul (Jujube) trees. Thou art the Palms (Jack) tree, Thou art Arka, Karîra and Ksîra trees. Thou residest in Dugdha vallî (the milky juice of plants); Thou art the Compassion Incarnate; and fit to shew mercy. Thou art sincerity and kindness and Thou art the Consort of the Omniscient. So Victory to Thee! O Nârada! After the worship, if one performs the stotra above described, to the Devî, the worshipper derives all sorts of Punyams (merits). He who reads daily the Stotra, pleasing to the Devî, becomes freed of all sorts of diseases, pain and freed of his fear of passions, so hard to conquer! What more than this that he who wants money, gets money; who wants Dharma, gets Dharma; he who wants Kâma, gets his Kâma (objects of desires); and he who wants Moksa, gets Moksa. The Devî is the Awarder of the Chatur Varga fourfold fruits. If this Stotra be read, the Brâhmin becomes Vedavit, the knower of the Vedas; the Ksattriya gets the victory; the Vais’ya gets wealth and the S’ûdra gets happiness. If this Stotra be read with devotion and attention, the Pitris get undying satisfaction, lasting till Pralaya (the time of universal dissolution). Thus I have described to you the method of worshipping the Devî. The Devas consider it with great attention. He gets the Devî Loka, who performs the worship of the Devî, as above described, with devotion. O Brâhmana! When the Devî is thus worshipped, all the desires are fulfilled; all sins are destroyed; and, in the end, one’s mind becomes pure and the worshipper is respected and worshipped everywhere. O Son of Brahmâ! His fear of going into hell is destroyed by the Grace of the Devî; even in dreams, he does not fear anything. By the Grace of Mahâ Mâyâ, his sons and his grandsons, riches and grains multiply and multiply. He becomes a great and steadfast devotee of the Devî; there is no doubt in this. Now I have described to you completely the rules of worship of the Devî.When one performs this, one becomes freed of the Narakas; and all sorts of good things come to him. O Muni! The Madhûka worship and the monthly worship have been described also. He who performs this Madhûka worship fully, never meets with any disease or obstacles. Now I will describe to you the other five aspects of the Great Devî of the nature of Prakriti. Her Name, Form and Origin give pleasure to all the worlds. O Muni! Now hear this Prakriti Pañchaka, its narrative and the greatness thereof. Know that this is as curious as it gives liberation.

Here ends the Twenty-fourth Chapter of the Eighth Book on the worship of the Devî in the Mahâ Purânam, S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.

This Ends the Eighth Skandha.

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