THE NINTH SKANDHA
On the description of Prakriti
1. S’ri Nârâyana said :– This (Highest) Prakriti is recognised as five-fold. When She is engaged in the work of Creation, She appears as :– (1) Durgâ, the Mother of Ganes’a, (2) Râdhâ, (3) Laksmî, (4) Sarasvatî and (5) Sâvitrî.
2-3. Nârada replied :– O Thou, the best of Jñânins! Who is this Prakriti? (Whether She is of the nature of Intelligence or of matter?) Why did She manifest Herself and then again why did She reveal Herself in these five forms? And what are Her characteristics? Now Thou oughtest to describe the lives of all, the different modes of their worship, and the fruits that are accrued thereby. Please also inform me which Forms of them manifested themselves in which different places. Dost Thou please narrate to me all these.
4-18. Nârâyana said :– “O Child! Who is there in this world that can describe fully the characteristics of Prakriti! However I will describe to you that much which I heard from my own father, Dharma. Hear. The prefix “Pra” in the word Prakriti means exalted, superior, excellent; and the affix “Kriti” denotes creation. So the Goddess, the Devî Who is the most excellent in the work of creation is known as the Devî Prakriti. To come closer :– “Pra” signifies the Sattva Guna, the most exalted quality, “Kri” denotes the Rajo Guna and “Ti” denotes the Tamo Guna. (The Sattva Guna is considered as the Highest as it is perfectly clear and free from any impurities whatsoever; the Rajo Guna is considered intermediate as it has this defect :– that it spreads a veil over the reality of things, so as not to allow men to understand the True Reality, while the Tamo Guna is considered worst as it completely hides the Real Knowledge). So when this Intelligence of the nature of Brahmâ, beyond the three attributes, gets tingedwith the above three Gunas and becomes omnipotent, then She is superior (Pradhânâ) in the work of creation. Hence She is styled as Prakriti. O Child Nârada! The state just preceding that of creation is denoted by “Pra”; and “Kri” signifies creation. So the Great Devî that exists before creation is called Prakriti after creation. The Paramâtmâ by His Yoga (i.e., Mâyâ S’akti, the Holy Ghost) divided Himself into two parts; the right side of which was male and the left side was the female Prakriti.
(Note :– The Holy Ghost is the principle of Conception and Emanation, Creation). So the Prakriti is of the nature of Brahmâ. She is eternal. As the fire and its burning power are not different, so there is no separate distinction between Âtman and His S’akti, between Purusa and Prakriti. Therefore those that are foremost and the highest of the Yogis do not recognise any difference between a male and a female. All is Brâhman. He is everywhere as male and female forever. There is nothing in this world that can exist for a moment even without this Brâhman consisting of male and female. (i.e. they are Brâhman with Mâyâ manifested). Out of the Will of S’rî Krisna, to create the world Whose Will is all in all, came out at once the Mûlâ Prakriti, the Great Devî Îs’varî, (the Lady Controller of the Universe) Brahmâ with Mâyâ in a state of equilibrium). By Her command came out five Forms of Her, either for the purpose of creation or for bestowing Favour and Grace to the Bhaktas (devotees). Durgâ the Mother of Ganes’a, comes, as the first, the most auspicious, loved by S’iva. She is Nârâyanî, Visnu Mâyâ, and of the nature of Pûrna Brahmâ (the Supreme Brahmâ). This eternal, all auspicious Devî is the Presiding Deity of all the Devas and is, therefore, worshipped and praised by Brahmâ and the other Devas, Munis, and Manus. This Bhagavatî Durgâ Devî, (when She gets pleased) destroys all the sorrows, pains and troubles of the Bhaktas that have taken Her refuge, and gives them Dharma, everlasting name and fame, all auspicious things and bliss and all the happiness, nay, the Final Liberation! She is the Greatest Refugeof these Bhaktas that come to Her wholly for protection and are in great distress, whom She saves from all their dangers and calamities. In fact, know this Durgâ Devî as, verily, the Presiding Deity of the heart of Krisna and as His Highest S’akti, of the nature of the Holy Fire and the Holy Light. She is Omnipotent and resides always with Krisna, the Great God. She is worshipped by all the Siddha Purusas (those that have attained success); the (eighteen) Siddhis all go to Her and when pleased She gives whatever Siddhis success) that Her Bhaktas want.
19-40. This Great Devî is the intelligence, sleep, hunger, thirst, shadow, drowsiness, fatigue, kindness, memory, caste, forbearance, errors, peace, beauty, and consciousness, contentment, nourishment, prosperity, and fortitude. She is sung in the Vedas and in otherS’âstras as the Mahâ Mâyâ, of the nature of the Universe. In reality, She is the All-S’akti of the Universe and She is the S’akti of Krisna. All these qualities are also mentioned in the Vedas. What is mentioned here is a tithe merely, in comparison to that of the Vedas. She has infinite qualities. Now hear of other S’aktis. The second S’akti of the Paramâtman is named Padmâ (Laksmî). She is of the nature of S’uddha Sattva (Higher than Sattva Guna)and is Krisna’s Presiding Deity of all wealth and prosperity. This very beautiful Laksmi Devî is the complete master of the senses; She is of a very peaceful temper, of good mood and all-auspicious. She is free from greed, delusion, lust, anger, vanity and egoism. She is devoted to Her husband and to Her Bhaktas; Her words are very sweet and She is very dear to Her husband, indeed, the Life and Soul of Him. This Devî is residing in all the grains and vegetables and so She is the Source of Life of all the beings. She is residing in Vaikuntha as Mahâ Laksmî, chaste and always in the service of Her husband. She is the Heavenly Laksmî, residing in the Heavens and the royal Laksmî in palaces and the Griha Laksmî in the several families of several householders. O Nârada! All the lovely beauty that you see in all the living beings and all the things, it is She; She is the glory and fame of those that have done good and pious works and it is She that is the prowess of the powerful kings. She is the trade of merchants, the mercy of the saints, engaged in doing good to others and the seed of dissensions in those sinful and vicious persons as approved of in the Vedas. She is worshipped by all, reverenced by all. Now I will describe to you about the third S’akti of the Great God who is the Presiding Deity of knowledge, speech, intelligence, and learning. This third S’akti is named Sarasvatî. She is all the learning of this endless Universe and She resides as medhâ (intelligence) in the hearts of all the human beings; She is the power in composing poetry; She is the memory and She is the great wit, light, splendour and inventive genius. She gives the power to understand the real meaning of the various difficult Siddhânta works; She explains and makes us understand the difficult passages and She is the remover of all doubts and difficulties. She acts when we write books, when we argue and judge, when we sing songs of music; She is the time or measure in music; She holds balance and union in vocal and instrumental music. She is the Goddess of speech; She is the Presiding Deity in the knowledge of various subjects; in argumentations and disputations. In fact all the beings earn their livelihood by taking recourse to Her. She is peaceful and holds in Her hands Vînâ (lute) and books. Her nature is purely Sâttvic (S’uddha Sattva), modest and very loving to S’rî Hari. Her colour is white like ice-clad mountains, like that of the white sandal, like that of the Kunda flower, like that of the Moon, or white lotus. She always repeats the name of Paramâtmâ S’rî Krisna while She turns Her bead composed of jewels. Her nature is ascetic; She is the bestower of the fruits of the ascetism of the ascetics; She is the Siddhi and Vidyâ of all; She grants always success to all. Were She not here, the whole host of Brâhmins would always remain speechless like the dead cluster of persons. What is recited in the Vedas as the Third Devî is the Holy Word, The Third S’akti, Sarasvatî. Thus I have described Her. Now hear the glories of the other Devî in accordance with the Vedas. She is the mother of the four colours (castes), the origin of the (six) Vedâmgas (the limbs of the Vedas and all the Chhandas, the Seed of all the mantrams of Sandhyâ vandanam and the Root, the Seed of the Tantras; She Herself is versed in all the subjects. Herself an ascetic, She is the Tapas of the Brâhmins; She is the Tejas (Fire) and the caste of the Brâhmin caste and embodies in Herself all sorts of Samskâras (tendencies; inclinations); She is the Japam. Pure, known by the names of Sâvitrî and Gâyatrî, She resides always in the Brahmâ Loka (the Sphere of Brahmâ) and is such as all the sacred places of pilgrimages want Her touch for their purification.
41-47. Her colour is perfectly white like the pure crystal. She is purely S’uddha Sattva, of the nature of the Highest Bliss; She is eternal and superior to all. She is of the nature of Para Brahmâ and is the bestower of Moksa. She is the Fiery S’akti and the Presiding Deity of the Brahmâ Teja (the fiery spirit of Brahmâ, and the Brâhmanas). The whole world is purified by the touch of Whose Feet, this Sâvitrî Devî is the Fourth S’akti. O Child Nârada! Now I will describe to you about the Fifth S’akti, the Devî Râdhikâ. Hear. She is the Presiding Deity of the five Prânas; She Herself is the Life of all; dearer than life even to S’rî Krisna; and She is highly more beautiful and superior to all the other Prakriti Devîs. She dwells in everything; She is very proud of Her good fortune (Saubhâgyam); Her glory is infinite; and She is the wife, the left body, as it were, of S’rî Krisna and She is not in any way inferior to Him, either in quality or in the Tejas (Fiery Spirit) or in any other thing. She is higher than the Highest; the Essence of all, infinitely superior, the First of all, Eternal, of the nature of the Highest Bliss, fortunate, highly respected, and worshipped by all. She is, the Presiding Devî of the Râsa Lîlâ of S’rî Krisna. From Her has sprung the Râsa mandalam and She is the Grace and the Ornament of the Râsa mandalam (the dance in a circle in Râsa).
[Note :– Extracts from a paper on Creation as explained by Hon’ble Justice Sir G. Woodroffe. The lecturer commenced by pointing out that an examination of any doctrine of creation reveals two fundamental concepts: Those of Being (Kutastha) and Becoming (Bhava); Changelessness and Change; the one and Many. The Brahmân or Spirit in its own nature (Svarupa) is and never becomes. It is the evolutes derived from the Principle of Becoming (Mûlâ Prakriti) which constitute what is called Nature. The latter principle is essentially Movement. The world is displayed by consciousness (chit) in association with Mûlâ Prakriti in cosmic vibration (spandana). Recent Western hypotheses have made scientific “matter” into Mâyâ in the sense that it is but the varied appearances produced in our mind by vibration of and in the single substance ether. The doctrine of vibration (Spandana) is however in India an ancient inheritance. The whole world is born from the varied forms of the initial movement in Mûlâ Prakriti. The problem is how does such multiplicity exist without derogation to the essential unit of its efficient cause, the spirit? The lecturer then made a rapid survey of the Sânkhya philosophy on this point which assumes two real and independent principles of Being and Becoming which it calls Purusa and Prakriti and passed from this the easiest dualistic answer to the pure monism of S’ankara which asserted that there was but one Principle of Being, the Sadvastu and Mâyâ, whether considered as a S’akti of Îs’vara or as the product of such S’akti was Avastu or nothing. He then pointed out that the Tântrik doctrine with which he dealt occupied a middle position between those two points of view. S’iva in the Kulârnava Tantra says “Some desire Monism” (Advaitavâda), others Dualism (Dvaitavâda). Such, however, know not My Truth which is neither Monism nor Dualism (Dvaitâdvaitâ Vivarjita). Tantra is not Dvaitavâda for it does not recognise Prakriti as an independent unconscious principle (Achit). It differs from S’ankara’s Advaitavâda in holding that Prakriti as a conscious principle of Becoming, that is as S’akti, is not Avastu, though its displayed picture, the world is Mâyâ. It effects a synthesis of the S’ânkhya dualism by the conversion of the twin principles of Purusa and Prakriti into the unity which is the Ardhanârîs’vara S’iva S’akti. As regards other matters it adopts the notions of the Sânkhya such as the concepts of Mûlâ Prakriti with the three Gunas, vibration (spandana), evolution (Parinâma) of the Vikritis and
the order of emanation of the Tattvas. S’akti which effects this exists and is Herself never unconscious (Achit) though It has the power to make the Jîva think It is such. If this were understood one would not hear such nonsense as that the S’âktas (whose religion is one of the oldest in the world) worship material force or gross matter (Jada). The lecturer then shortly explained the nature of S’akti (S’akti Tattva), a term which derived from the root “S’ak” meant the Divine Power whereby the world was created, manifested and destroyed. In Tantra the power and the Lord who wields it (S’aktimân) are one and the same, S’iva and S’akti are one and the same, S’iva is Brahmân, S’akti is Brahmân. The first is the transcendent, the second the immanent aspect of the one Brahmân, Who is both S’iva and S’akti. The Mother creates (Kârya-Vibhâvinî). The Father wills what She does (Kârya- Vibhâvaka). From their union creation comes. S’akti is not like the diminutive female figure which is seen on the lap of some Indian images, to which is assigned the subordinate position which some persons consider a Hindu wife should occupy. She is not a handmaid of the Lord but the Lord Himself in Her aspect as Mother of the worlds. This S’akti is both Nirguna and Saguna that is Chit S’akti and Mâyâ S’akti. After this defining the nature of S’akti by which the world was created, the lecturer commenced an account of its manifestation as the universe, following in the main the S’âradâ Tilaka written in the eleventh century by Laksmanâchârya, the guru of the celebrated Kashmiran Tântrik, Abhinava Gupta. The following is a very abbreviated summary of this, the main portion of the paper. The lecturer first referred to theAghanâvasthâ state which was that Niskala S’iva and touching upon the question why S’iva became Sakala (associated with Kalâ) and creative explained the term Kalâ and the theory of Adristasristi taught by the Tantra as by other S’astras. The former is according to Sânkhya, Mûlâ Prakriti; according to Vedânta, Avidyâ and according to the S’iva Tantra, S’akti. The latter is the doctrine that the impulse to creation is proximately caused by the Karma of the Jîvas. It is the seed of Karma which contains the germ of cosmic will to life. When Karma becomes ripe, there arises the state called Îksana and other names indicative of creative desire and will. There then takes place a development which is peculiar to the Tantra called Sadris’a Parinâma, which is a kind of Vivartta. The development is only apparent for there is no real change in the Ânandamaya Kosa. S’akti which exists in Sakala S’iva in a purely potential state is said to issue from Him. This is the first kinetic aspect of S’akti in which Sattaguna is displayed. This is the Paramâkâsâvasthâ. Nâda (sound, word) then appears. S’akti becomes further kinetic through the enlivening of the Rajo Guna. This is the Aksarâvasthâ. Then under the influence of Tamas, Îsvara becomes Ghanibhûta and what is called the Parâvindu. This is the Avyaktâvasthâ. Thus the Supreme Vindu men call by different names, Mahâ Visnu, Brahmâ Purûsa, or Devî. It is compared to a grain of gram which under its sheath contains two seeds in undivided union. These are S’iva S’akti and their encircling sheath is Mâyâ. This Vindu unfolds and displays itself, in the threefold aspect of Vindu, Vîja, Nâda; or S’iva, S’akti, and S’iva S’akti; the three S’aktis of will, knowledge and action. This is the mysterious Kâma Kalâ which is the root of all Mantras. These seven :– Sakala, S’iva, S’akti, Nâda, Parâvindu, Vindu, Vîja, Nâda are all aspects of S’akti which are the seven divisions of the Mantra Om and constitute what is called the creation of Parâ sound in the Îs’vara creation. The lecturer having explained the nature of these S’aktis which formed part of the sound (S’abda), Sadrisa Parinâma, referred to the form or meaning (Artha) creation in the same development by the appearance of the six S’ivas from S’ambu to Brahmâ which were aggregate (Samasti) sound powers. It was he said, on the differentiation of the Parâvindu that there existed the completed causal S’abda which is the Hidden Word. The causal body or Parâ S’abda and Artha being complete, there then appeared the displayed word or S’abdârtha. This is a composite like the Greek Logos. The S’abda Brahmân or Brahmân as cause of S’abda is the Chaitanya in all beings. The S’abdârtha in the Vedantin Nâmarûpa or world of name and form of this S’abdârtha the subtle and gross bodies are constituted, the S’aktis of which are the Hiranyagarbha sound, called Madhyamâ and the Virât sound Vaikhârî. By S’abda is not meant merely physical sound which as a quality of atomic ether is evolved from Tâmasik Ahamkâra. The lecturer then pointed out that there had been Adrista Sristi up to the appearance of S’akti and Vivartta development up to the completion of the “word” or causal sound. Then there takes place real evolution (Parinâma) in which the Tattvas (or elements discovered as a result of psychological analysis of our worldly experience) are said to emanate according to the Sânkhya and not the Vedantic scheme, though there were some peculiarities in the Tantrik exposition which the lecturer noted. Finally Yogika Sristi was accepted in so far as it was the elements which in varied combinations made up the gross world. In conclusion the lecturer pointed out that Indian S’âstra was a mutually connected whole. Such peculiarities as existed in any particular S’âstra were due to a variety of standpoints or purpose in view. The main point in this connection to be remembered was that the Tantra was practical S’âdhanâ S’âstra. Whilst S’ankara dealt with the subject from the standpoint of Jñânakânda, the Tantra treated it from the point of view of worship (Upâsanâkânda) the Tantrik doctrine is compounded of various elements some of which it shared with other S’âstras, some of which are its own, the whole being set forth according to a method and terminology which is peculiar to itself.]
48-70. She is the Lady of the Râsa Lîlâ, the Foremost of the Jovial, humourous (witty) persons and dwells always in Râsa. Her abode is in Goloka and from Her have come out all the Gopîkâs. Râsa – the circular dance of Krisna and the cow-herdesses of Vrindâvana. Her nature is the Highest Bliss, the Highest Contentment, and Excessive Joy; She transcends the three Sattva, Rajo and Tamo Gunas and is Nirâkâra (without any particular form); but She dwells everywhere but unconnected with any. She is the soul of all. She is without any effort to do anything and void of Ahamkâra. She assumes forms only to show Her favour to Her Bhaktas. The intelligent learned men (Pundits) read Her Mahimâ (glories) in meditating on Her according to the Vedas. The chief of the Devas and the Munis could never see Her; Her clothings are fire-proof and She is decorated with many ornaments all over Her body. Her body looks as if the crores of moons have risen all at once; She is the Giver of Bhakti (devotion) towards Krisna, services towards Krisna; and She bestows all wealth and prosperity. In Varâha Kalpa, i.e., when the Varâha incarnation took place, She incarnated Herself as the daughter of one Gopa (cow-herd), named Vrisabhânu. And Earth was blessed by the touch of Her feet. She is such as Brahmâ and the other Devas could never perceive Her by any of their senses, yet everyone at Vrindâvan saw Her very easily. She is the Gem amongst women. And when She is seen on the breast of Krisna, it seems that lightnings flash in the blue mass of clouds in the sky. In days gone by, Brahmâ practised several austerities for sixty thousand years to purify Himself by seeing the nails of Her toe; but far from seeing that, He could not have that even in his dreams. At last He succeeded in seeing Her at Vrindâvana and became blessed. O Child Nârada! This is the fifth Prakriti and She is denominated as Râdhâ. Every female in every Universe is sprung from a part of S’rî Râdhâ or part of a part. O Nârada! Thus I have described to you the five Highest Prakritis, Durgâ and others. Now I am going to describe those that are parts of these Prakritis. Hear. The Ganges, Gangâ has sprung from the lotus feet of Visnu; Her form is fluid-like; She is eternal. And She is the veritable burning fire to burn away the sins of the sinners. She is sweet to touch in taking baths and in drinking; She gives final liberation to the Jîvas, and leads easily to the Goloka abode. She is the holiest amongst the places of pilgrimage and is the first of the running rivers. She is the rows of pearls in the clotted hairs of Mahâdeva’s head and She is the Tapasyâ (asceticism) incarnate of the Tapasvîs (ascetics) of the Bhârata Varsa. This Ganges purifies the three worlds and is the part of Mûlâ Prakriti; She shines like the Full Moon, is white like white lotus and like milk; She is pure S’uddha Sattva, clear, free from any Ahamkâra, chaste and beloved of Nârâyana. The Tulasî Devî is the consort of Visnu. She is the ornament of Nârâyana, and dwells always at the lotus feet of Nârâyana. By Her are performed all the acts of worship, all austerities, and all Sankalpas (resolves). She is the chief of all the flowers, holy and able to give merits (Punyam) to others. At Her sight and touch, Nirvâna can be obtained; and, were it not for Her, there could be no other fire in this Kali Yuga to burn the sins. She Herself is of the nature of Fire and at the touch of Whose lotus-feet, the earth is purified; all the Tîrthas desire to have Her sight and touch for purification and without Her all acts in this world become fruitless. She bestows Moksa (liberation) to those who want final liberation, grants all sorts of desires to several people, Who Herself is like a Kalpa Vriksa, Who is the Presiding Deity of all the trees in Bhârata and Who has come here to grant satisfaction to the ladies of Bhârata Varsa and She is considered very superior throughout all parts of India. This Tulasî Devî is the chief factor of Mûlâ Prakriti.
71-95. Then comes the Manasâ Devî, the daughter of Kas’yapa. She is the dear disciple of S’ankara and is therefore very learned in matters of S’âstras. She is the daughter of Ananta Deva, the Lord of Snakes and is very much respected by all the Nâgas. She Herself is very beautiful, the Lady of the Nâgas, the mother of the Nâgas and is carried by them. She is decorated with ornaments of the Snakes; She is respected by the Nâgendras and She sleeps on the bed of Snakes. She is Siddha Yoginî, the devotee of Visnu and always ready in the worship of Visnu; She is the Tapas and the bestower of the fruits of Tapas. Herself an ascetic, She spent three lakh years (according to the Deva measure) and has become the foremost of the ascetics in Bhâratvarsa. She is the Presiding Deity of all the mantras; Her whole body shines with Brahmâteja (the Holy Fire of Brahmâ). Herself of the nature of Brahmâ, She again meditates on Brahmân. She is sprung from a part of S’rî Krisna and the chaste wife of Jarat Kâru Muni, the mother of Âstika, the great Muni; She is the part of Mûlâ Prakriti. O Child Nârada! Now comes the S’asthî Devî, the Mother of Devasenâ. She is the most superior amongst the Gaurî and the sixteen Mâtrikâs. This chaste woman is the giver of sons and grandsons in the three worlds and the nurse, the foster mother of all. She is the sixth part of Mûlâ Prakriti and is hence known by the name of S’asthî. She lives near to every child as an aged Yoginî. Her worship is everywhere prevalent in the twelve months Vais’âkha, etc. When the child gets born, on the sixth day of Her worship is done in the lyingin- chamber and again on the 21st day (after twenty days have passed away) the most
auspicious worshipful ceremony of Her is performed. The Munis bow down to Her with reverence and want to visit Her daily. She protects all children always with a mother’s affectionate heart. This S’asthî Devî is again the part of Mûlâ Prakriti. Then appears the Devî Mangala Chandikâ. She goes from one house to another, on land or through water or in air, doing great good to them; She has come out of the face of the Prakriti Devî and is doing always all sorts of good to this world. Her name is Mangala Chandî because She is all auspicious at the time of creation and assumes very furious angry appearance at the time of destruction. So the Pundits say. On every Tuesday in all the worlds Her worship is done; and She, when pleased, gives to women sons, grandsons, wealth, prosperity, fame and good of all sorts and grants all desires. This Mangala Chandi is again the part of Mûlâ Prakriti. Now comes the lotus-eyed Mâhes’varî Kâlî who when angry can destroy all this universe in a moment, who sprang from the forehead of the Mûlâ Prakriti, Dûrgâ to slay the two demons S’umbha and Nis’umbha. She is the half-portion of Dûrgâ and qualified like Her, fiery and energetic. The beauty and splendour of whose body make one think as if the millions of suns have arisen simultaneously. Who is the foremost of all the S’aktis and is more powerful than any of them, Who grants success to all the persons, Who is superior to all and is of Yogic nature, Who is exceedingly devoted to Krisna and like Him fiery, well-qualified, and valorous, Whose body has become black by the constant meditation of S’rî Krisna, Who can destroy in one breath this whole Brahmânda, Who was engaged in fighting with the Daityas simply for sport and instruction to the people and Who, when pleased in worship can grant the four fruits Dharma, Artha, Kâma and Moksa. This Kâlî is also the part of Prakriti. The Devî Basundharâ (Earth) is again the part of Mûlâ Prakriti. Brahmâ and the other Devas, all the Muni mandalams (the spheres of Munis), fourteen Manus and all men sing hymns to Her. She is the support of all and filled with all sorts of grains. She is the source of all gems and jewels, She bears in Herwomb all the precious metals. All sorts of best things issue from Her. She is the Refuge of all. The subjects and kings worship Her always and chant hymns to Her. All the Jîvas live through Her and She bestows all sorts of wealth and prosperity. Without Her, all this, moving or non-moving, become void of any substratum. Where to rest on! 96-143. O Child Nârada! Now hear about them who are issued again from the parts of Mûlâ Prakriti as well as the names of their wives. I will now narrate duly. The Devî “Svâhâ” is the wife of Agni (Fire), and the whole Universe worships Her. Without her, the Devî can never take any oblations. Daksinâ and Diksâ are both the wives of Yajña (Sacrifice). They are honoured everywhere. So much so that without Daksinâ (the fees given at the end of the Sacrifice) no sacrificial ceremonies can be complete and fructifying. The Devî “Svadhâ” is the wife of the Pitris. All worship this Devî “Svadhâ” whether they are Munis, Manus, or men. If this mantra “Svadhâ” be not uttered while making an offering to the Pitris, all turn out useless. The Devî “Svasti” is the wife of the Vâyu Deva; She is honoured everywhere in the Universe. Without this “Svasti” Devî, no giving nor taking nor any action can be fructifying and useful. “Pustî” (nourishment) is the wife of Ganapatî. All in this world worship this Pustî Devî. Without this “Pusti”, women or men alike all become weaker and weaker. Tustî (satisfaction, contentment) is the wife of Ananta Deva. She is praised and worshipped everywhere in this world. Without Her no one anywhere in the world can be happy. “Sampattî” is the wife of Îsâna Deva. The Suras, the men all alike worship Her. Were it not for Her, all in this world would be oppressed with dire poverty. The Devî “Dhritî” is the wife of Kapila Deva. She is honoured equally in all places. Were it not for Her, all the people in this world would have become impatient. The “Satî” Devî is the wife of Satya Deva (Truth). She is endearing to the whole world. The liberated ones worship Her always. Were it not for the truth loving Satî, the whole world would have lost the treasure in friendship. “Dayâ” (Mercy) endearing to the whole world is the chaste wife of “Mohâ Deva”. She is liked by all. Were it not for Her, all the world would have become hopeless. The Devî “Pratisthâ” (fame, celebrity) is the wife of Punya Deva (merit).She gives merits to persons according as they worship Her. Were it not for Her, all the persons would remain dead while living. The Devî “Kîrti” (fame) is the wife of Sukarma (good works). Herself a Siddha (one who has acquired the result of one’s success), all the blessed people honour Her with great reverence. Were it not for Her, all the persons in this world would have been dead, devoid of any fame. Kriyâ (work-efforts, action, doing) is the wife of “Udyoga” (enthusiasm). All honour Her greatly. O Muni Nârâda! Were it not for Her, the whole people would be void of any rules and regulations. Falsehood is the wife of Adharma (unrighteousness). She is honoured greatly by all the cheats that are extant in this world. Were she not liked by them, then all the cheats would become extinct. She did not fall in the sight of anybody in the Satya Yuga. Her subtle form became visible in the Tretâ Yuga. When the Dvâpara Yuga came, She became half developed. And at last when the Kali Yuga has come, She is fully developed and there is no second to Her whether in bold confidence and shamelessness or in talking much and pervading everywhere. With her brother Deceitfulness, She roams from one house to another. Peace and modesty and shame are both the wives of good behaviour. Were they not existent, all in this world would have turned out deluded and mad. Intelligence, genius and fortitude, these three are the wives of Jñâna (knowledge). Had they not lived, every one would become stupid and insane. Mûrti is the wife of Dharma Devî. She is of the nature of Beauty to all and very charming. Were it not for Her, Paramâtmân would not get any resting place; and the whole universe would have become Nirâlamba (without anything to rest). This chaste Mûrti Devî is of the nature of splendour, loveliness and Laksmî. She is everywhere respected, worshipped and reverenced. “Sleep”, the Siddha Yoginî, is the wife of Rudra Deva, who is of the nature of Kâlâgni (the universal conflagration at the break-up of the world). All the Jîvas spend their nights with Her. The twilights, night and day are the wives of Kâla (Time). If they were not, the Creator even would not be able to reckon time. Hunger and thirst are the wives of Lobha (covetousness). They are thanked, respected and worshipped by the whole world. Had they not lived, the whole world would have merged ever in an ocean of anxieties. Splendour and burning capacity are the wives of Tejas (fire). Without these, the Lord of the world could never have created and established order in this universe. Death and old age are the daughters of the Kâla, and the dear wives of Jvarâ (the disease). Without these, all the creation would come to an end. The Tandrâ (drowsiness, lassitude) and Prîti (satisfaction) are the daughters of Nidrâ (sleep). And they are the dear wives of Sukha (pleasure). They are present everywhere in this world. O Best of Munis! S’raddhâ (faith) and Bhakti (devotion) are the wives of Vairâgyam (dispassion). For then all the persons can become liberated while living (Jîvanmuktas). Besides these there is Aditi, the Mother of the Gods, Surabhi, mother of cows; Diti, the mother of the Daityas; Kadru, the mother of the Nâgas (serpents); Vinatâ, the mother of Garuda, the prince of birds; and Danu, the mother of the Dânavas. All are very useful for the purpose of creation. But these all are parts of Mûlâ Prakriti. Now I will mention some of the other parts of Prakriti. Hear. Rohinî, the wife of the Moon, Sanjñâ, the wife of the Sun; S’atarûpâ, the wife of Manu; S’achî, the wife of Indra; Târâ, the wife of Brihaspati; Arundhatî, the wife of Vas’istha; Anasûyâ, the wife of Atri; Devahûtî, the wife of Kardama; Prasûti, the wife of Daksa; Menakâ, the mind born daughter of the Pitris and the mother of Ambikâ, Lopâmudrâ, Kuntî, the wife of Kuvera, the wife of Varuna, Bindhyâvalî, the wife of the King Bali; Damayantî, Yas’odâ, Devakî, Gândhârî, Draupadî, S’aivyâ, Satyavatî, the chaste and noble wife of Brisabhânu and the mother of Râdhâ; Mandidarî; Kaus’alyâ, Kauravî,; Subhadrâ; Revatî, Satyabhâmâ, Kâlindî, Laksmanâ; Jâmbavatî; Nâgnajiti, Mitrabindâ, Laksanâ, Rukminî, Sîtâ, the Laksmî incarnate; Kâlî, Yojana Gandhâ, the chaste mother of Vyâsa, Ûsâ, the daughter of Vâna, her companion Chitralekhâ; Prabhâvati, Bhânumatî, the Satî Mâyâvatî, Renukâ, the mother of Paras’urâma; Rohinî, the mother of Balarâma, Ekanandâ and the sister of S’rî Krisna, Satî Durgâ and many other ladies are the parts of Prakriti and all the female sex, everywhere in the Universe are all come from the parts of Prakriti. So to insult any woman is to insult the Prakriti. If one worships a chaste Brahmin woman, who has her husband and son living, with clothings, ornaments, and sandal paste, etc., one worships, as it were, Prakriti. If any Vipra worships a virgin girl, eight years old, with clothings, ornaments and sandal paste, know that he has worshipped the Prakriti Devî. The best, middling, and worst are all sprung from Prakriti. Those women that are sprung from Sattva Guna are all very good natured and chaste; those that are sprung from Rajo Guna are middling and very much attached to worldly enjoyments and do their selfish ends and those that are sprung from Tamo Guna are recognised as worst and belonging to the unknown families. They are very scurrilous, cheats, ruining their families, fond of their own free ways, quarrelsome and no seconds are found equal to them. Such women become prostitutes in this world and Apsarâs in the Heavens. The Hermaphrodites are parts of Prakriti but they are of the nature of Tamo Gunas.
144-159. Thus I have described to you the nature of Prakriti. So in this Punyabhûmi Bhârata Varsa, to worship the Devî is by all means desirable. In days past by, the King Suratha worshipped the Mûlâ Prakriti Durgâ, the Destructrix of all evils. Then again S’rî Râma Chandra worshipped Her when he wanted to kill Râvana. Since then Her worship is extant in the three worlds. She was first born as the honourable daughter of Daksa. She destroyed the whole hosts of Daityas and Dânavas. It was She who, hearing the abusive words uttered against Her husband at the Yajña by Daksa, Her father, gave up Her body and took up again Her birth. She took Her birth in the womb of Menakâ and got again Pas’upati as Her husband. And of the two sons, Kârtika and Ganes’a, born to Her, Kârtika was the Ansa (part) of Nârâyana and Ganapati was S’rî Krisna Himself, the Lord of Râdhâ. O Devarsi! After the two sons, Laksmî Devî came out of Durgâ. Mangala Râja, the King Mars first worshipped Her. Since then, all in the three worlds began to worship Her, whether they are Devas or men. The King As’vapati first worshipped Sâvitrî Devî; and since then the Devas, Munis, all began to worship Her. When the Devî Saravastî was born, the Bhagavân Brahmâ first worshipped Her; next the greatest Munis, Devas all began to worship Her. On the full moon night of the month of Kârtik, it was Bhagavân S’rî Krisna, The Highest Spirit, that worshipped, first of all, the Devî Râdhâ within the Râsa Mandalam, the enclosure, within which the Râsa Lîlâ was performed (the circular dance) in the region Goloka. Then under the command of S’rî Krisna, all the Gopas (cow-herds), Gopîs, all the boys, girls, Surabhî, the queen of the race of the cows, and the other cows worshipped Her. So since Her worship by the inhabitants of Goloka, by Brahmâ and the other Devas and the Munis, all began to worship ever S’rî Râdhâ with devotion and incense, light and various other offerings. On earth She was first worshipped by Suyajña, in the sacred field of Bhâratvarsa, under the direction of Bhagavân Mahâdeva. Subsequently, under the command of the Bhagavân S’rî Krisna, the Highest Spirit, the inhabitants of the three worlds began to worship Her. The Munis with great devotion, with incense, flowers and various other offerings worship always the Devî Râdhâ. O Child Nârada! Besides these, all the other Devîs that have issued from Prakriti Devî are all worshipped. So much so that in the villages, the village Deities, in the forests, the forest Deities and in the cities, the city Deities are worshipped. Thus I have described to you all according to the S’âstras the glorious lives of the Devî Prakriti and Her parts. What more do you want to hear?
Here ends the First Chapter on the Description of Prakriti in the Ninth Book of the S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.