THE TWELFTH SKANDHA
On the description of Gâyatrî
1-7. Nârada said :– O Deva! The rules of Sadâchâra (right ways of living) and the all-sindestroying unequalled Glories of the Devî Bhagavatî have been described by Thee. And I, too, have heard the nectar of the Glories of the Devî from Thy lotus mouth. The Chândrâyana and other Vratas; described by Thee, are very difficult to practise. So they are impracticable with the ordinary persons. Therefore, O Lord! Kindly describe those actions which can easily be carried out by common persons, at the same time, the Devî’s Grace and Siddhis can be obtained by those practices. Again what thou hast described about the Gâyatrî in connection with Sadâchâra kindly say which are the chief and foremost as well as those that are more meritorious. O Best of the Munis! Thou hast told that there are the twenty-four syllables in the Gâyatrî. Kindly describe now their Risis, Chhandas, Devatâs and other things that should be known regarding them and thus satisfy my longings.
8-27. S’rî Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! The twice-born would have done what they ought to do if they be engaged in repeating their Gâyatrî only, whether they be able or not able to practise the Chândrâyana and the other vratas. Whichever Brâhmin repeats the Gâyatrî three thousand times and offers Arghya to the Sun in the three Sandhyâ times, the Devas worship him; what to speak of other ordinary persons! Whether he practises Nyâsa or not, if anybody sincerely repeats the Gâyatrî Devî, Whose Nature is Existence, Intelligence, and Bliss and meditates on Her, even if he attains siddhi in one syllable even, then as a result of that, he can vie with the best of the Brâhmanas, the Moon, and the Sun; nay, with Brahmâ, Visnu, and Mahes’vara even! O Nârada! Now I will tell in due order the Risis, Chhandas, and the Devatâs of the twenty-four syllables of the Gâyatrî. The Risis, in due order, are (1) Vâma Deva, (2) Attri, (3) Vas’istha, (4) S’ukra, (5) Kanva, (6) Parâs’ara, (7) the very fiery Vis’vamitra, (8) Kapila, (9) S’aunaka, (10) Yâjñavalkya, (11) Bharadvâja, (12) the ascetic Jamadagni, (13) Gautama, (14) Mudgala, (15) Vedavyâsa, (16) Lomas’a, (17) Agastya, (18) Kaus’ika, (19) Vatsya, (20) Pulastya, (21) Mânduka, (22) the ascetic in chief Durvâsâ, (23) Nârada and (24) Kas’yapa.
Now about the chhandas :– (1) Gâyatrî, (2) Usnik, (3) Anustup, (4) Brihatî, (5) Pankti, (6) Trisnup, (7) Jagatî, (8) Atijagatî, (9) S’akkarî, (10) Ati S’akkarî, (11) Dhriti, (12) Ati Dhriti, (13) Virât, (14) Prastârapankti, (15) Kriti, (16) Prâkriti, (17) Âkriti, (18) Vikriti, (19) Samkriti, (20) Aksarapankti, (21) Bhuh, (22) Bhuvah, (23) Svah and (24) Jyotismatî. The Devatâs of the several letters in due order, are :– (1) Agni, (2) Prajâpati, (3) Soma, (4) Îs’âna, (5) Savitâ, (6) Âditya, (7) Brihaspati, (8) Maitrâvaruna, (9) Bhagadeva, (10) Aryamâ, (11) Ganes’a, (12) Tvastrâ, (13) Pûsâ, (14) Indrâgnî, (l5) Vâyu, (16) Vâmadeva, (17) Maitrâ varunî (18) Vis’vadeva, (19) Mâtrikâ, (20) Visnu, (21) Vasu, (22) Rudra Deva, (23) Kuvera, and (24) the twin As’vinî Kumâras. O Nârada! Thus I have described to you about the the Devatâs of the twenty-four syllables. The hearing of this destroys all sins and yields the full results of repeating the mantra Gâyatrî. (Note :– The Devatâs, mentioned in the Gâyatrî Brahmâ Kalpa are different from those mentioned here.)
Here ends the first Chapter of the Twelfth Book on the description of Gâyatrî in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.