THE NINTH BOOK
On the narration of Sâvitrî
1-2. Nârada said :-- I have heard the anecdote of Tulasî. Now describe in detail the history of Sâvitrî. Sâvitrî is considered as the Mother of the Vedas. Why was She born, in days gone by? By whom was She first worshipped and subsequently also?
3-4. Nârâyana said :-- O Muni! She was first worshipped by Brahmâ. Next the Vedas worshipped her. Subsequently the learned men worshipped her. Next the King Asvapati worshipped Her in India. Next the four Varnas (castes) worshipped Her.
5. Nârada said :-- O Brâhman! Who is that Asvapati? What for did he worship? When the Devî Sâvitrî became adorable by all, by which persons was She first worshipped and by which persons subsequently?
6-14. Nârâyana said :-- O Muni! The King Asvapati reigned in Bhadradesa, rendering his enemies powerless and making his friends painless. He had a queen very religious; her name was Mâlatî; She was like a second Laksmî. She was barren; and desirous of an issue, She under the instruction of Vasistha, duly worshipped Sâvitrî with devotion. But She did not receive any vision nor any command; therefore She returned home with a grievous heart. Seeing her sorry, the king consoled her with good words and himself accompanied her to Puskara with a view to perform Tapas to Sâvitrî with devotion and, being self-controlled, practised tapasyâ for one hundred years. Still he could not see Sâvitrî, but voice came to him. An incorporeal, celestial voice reached his ears :-- Perform Japam (repeat) ten lakhs of Gâyatrî Mantram. At this moment Parâsara came up there. The king bowed down to him. The Muni said :-- O King! One japa of Gâyatrî, destroys the days sins. Ten Japams of Gâyatrî destroy day and nights sins.
15-40. One hundred Gâyatrî Japams destroy one months sins. One thousand Japams destroy one years sins. One lakh Gâyatrî Japams destroy the sins of the present birth and ten lakh Gâyatrî Japams destroy the sins of other births. One hundred lakhs of Japams destroy the sins of all the births. If ten times that (i.e., 1,000 lakhs) be done, then liberation is obtained. (Now the method, how to make Japam). Make the palm of the (right) hand like a snakes hood; see that the fingers are all close, no holes are seen; and make the ends of the fingers bend downwards; then being calm and quiet and with ones face eastward, practise Japam. Then count from the middle of the ring (name-less) finger and go on counting right-handed (with the hands of the watch) till you come to the bottom of the index finger. This is the rule of counting by the hand. O King! The rosary is to be of the seed of white lotus or of the crystals; it should be consecrated and purified. Japam is to be done then in a sacred Tîrtha or in a temple. Becoming self-controlled one should place the rosary on a banyan leaf or on a lotus leaf and smear it with cowdung; wash it, uttering Gâyatrî Mantra and over it perform one hundred times Gâyatrî Japam intently in accordance with
the rules. Or wash it with Pañchagavya, milk, curds, clarified butter, cow urine and cowdung, and then consecrate it well. Then wash it with the Ganges water and perform best the consecrations. O Râjarsi! Then perform ten lakhs of Japam in due order. Thus the sins of your three births will be destroyed and then you will see the Devî Sâvitrî. O King! Do this Japam, being pure, everyday in the morning, mid-day, and in the evening. If one be impure and devoid of Sandhyâ, one has no right to do any action; and even if one performs an action, one does not get any fruit thereby. He who does not do the morning Sandhyâ and the evening Sandhyâ, is driven away from all the Brâhminic Karmas and he becomes like Sûdras. He who does Sandhyâ three times throughout his life, becomes like the Sun by his lustre and brilliance of tapas. What more than this, the earth is always purified by the dust of his feet. The Dvîja who does his Sandhyâ Bandanam and remains pure, becomes energetic and liberated while living. By his contact all the Tîrthas become purified. All sins vanish away from him as snakes fly away at the sight of Garuda. The Dvîja who becomes void of Sandhyâ three times a day, the Devas do not accept his worship nor the Pitris accept his Pindas. He who has no Bhakti towards the Mûla Prakriti, who does not worship the specific seed Mantra of Mâyâ and who does not hold festivities in honour of Mûla Prakriti, know him verily to be an Ajagara snake without poison. Devoid of the Visnu mantra, devoid of the three Sandhyâs and devoid of the fasting on the Ekâdasi Tithi (the eleventh clay of the fortnight), the Brâhmin becomes a snake devoid of poison. The vile Brâhmin who does not like to take the offerings dedicated to Hari and who does the washermans work and eats the food of Sûdra and drives the buffaloes, becomes a snake devoid of poison. The Brâhmin who burns the dead bodies of the Sûdras, becomes like the man who is the husband of an unmarried girl. The Brâhmin also who becomes a cook of a Sûdra, becomes a snake void of poison. The Brâhmin who accepts the gifts of a Sûdra, who performs the sacrifice of a Sûdra, who lives as clerks and warriors becomes like a snake void of poison. The Brâhmin who sells his daughter, who sells the name of Hari or eats the food of a woman who is without husband and son, as well as of one who has just bathed after her menstruation period, becomes like a serpent void of poison. The Brâhmin who takes the profession of pimps and pampers and lives on the interest, is also like a serpent void of poison. The Brâhmin who sleeps even when the Sun has risen, eats fish, and does not worship the Devî is also like a poisonless serpent. Thus stating all the rules of worship in order, the best of the Munis told him the Dhyânam, etc., of the Devî
Sâvitrî, what he wanted. Then he informed the King of all the mantras and went to his own Âsrama. The king, then worshipped accordingly and saw the Devî Sâvitrî and got boons.
41-43. Nârada said :-- What is the Sâvitrîs Dhyân, what are the modes of her worship, what is stotra, mantra, that Parâsara gave to the King before he went away? And how did the King worship and what boon did he get? This great mystery, grand and well renowned in the Srutis, about Sâvitrî, I am desirous to hear in brief on all the points.
44-78. Nârâyana said :-- On the thirteenth day (the trayodasi tithi) of the black fortnight in the month Jyaistha or on any other holy period, the fourteenth day (the chaturdasi tithi) this vow is to be observed with great care and devotion. Fourteen fruits and fourteen plates with offerings of food on them, flowers and incense are to be offered and this vow is to be observed for fourteen years consecutively. Garments, holy threads and other articles are also offered and after the Vrata is over, the Brâhmins are to be fed. The lucky pot (mangal ghat) is to be located duly according to the rules of worship with branches and fruits. Ganesa, Agni, Visnu, Siva and Sivâ are to be worshipped duly.
In that ghat Sâvitrî is to be next invoked and worshipped. Now hear the Dhyânam of Sâvitrî, as stated in the Mâdhyan Dina Sakhâ, as well the stotra, the modes of worship, and the Mantra, the giver of all desires. I meditate and adore that Sâvitrî, the Mother of the Vedas, of the nature of Pranava (Om), whose colour is like the burnished gold, who is burning with Brahmâ teja (the fire of Brahmâ), effulgent with thousands and thousands of rays of the midday summer Sun, who is of a smiling countenance adorned with jewels and ornaments, wearing celestial garment (purified and uninflammable by fire), and ready to grant blessings to Her Bhaktas; who is the bestower of happiness and liberation, who is peaceful and the consort of the Creator of the world, who is all wealth and the giver of all riches and prosperity, who is the Presiding Deity of the Vedas and who is the Vedas incarnate, I meditate on Thee. Thus reciting the Dhyânam, mantra and meditating on Her, one is to offer Naivedyas (offerings of food) to Her and then place ones fingers on ones head; one is to meditate again, and then invoke the Devî within the pot. One should next present fourteen things, uttering proper mantras according to the Vedas. Then one must perform special pûjâ and chant hymns to the Devî and worship Her. The fourteen articles of worship are as under :--
(1) Seat (Âsan); (2) water for washing feet (Pâdya), (3) offering of rice and Durba grass (Arghya), (4) water for bath (Snânîya), (6) anointment with sandalpaste and other scents (Anulepana), (7) incense (Dhûpa), (8) Lights (Dipa), (9) offerings of food (Naivedya), (10) Betels (Tambûl), (11) Cool water, (12) garments, (13) ornaments, (14) garlands, scents, offering of water to sip, and beautiful bedding. While offering these articles, one is to utter the mantras, this beautiful wooden or golden seat, giving spiritual merits is being offered by me to Thee. This water from the Tîrthas, this holy water for washing Thy feet, pleasant, highly meritorious, pure, and as an embodiment of Pûjâ is being offered by me to Thee. This holy Arghya with Durba grass and flowers and the pure water in the conch-shell is being offered by me to Thee (as a work of initial worship). This sweet scented oil and water being offered by me to Thee with devotion for Thy bathing purposes. Kindly accept these. O Mother! This sweet-scented water Divine-like, highly pure and prepared of Kunkuma and other scented things I offer to Thee. O Paramesvarî! This all-auspicious, all good and highly meritorious, this beautiful Dhûpa, kindly take, O World Mother! This is very pleasant and sweet scented; therefore I offer this to Thee. O Mother! This light, manifesting all this Universe and the seed, as it were, to destroy the Darkness is being offered by me to Thee. O Devî! Kindly accept this delicious offering of food, highly meritorious, appeasing hunger, pleasant, nourishing end pleasure giving. This betel is scented with camphor, etc., nice, nourishing, and pleasure-giving; this is being offered by me to Thee. This water is nice and cool, appeasing the thirst and the Life of the World. So kindly accept this. O Devî! Kindly accept this silken garment as well as the garment made of Kârpâsa Cotton, beautifying the body and enhancing the beauty. Kindly accept these golden ornaments decked with jewels, highly meritorious, joyous, beauteous and prosperous. Kindly accept these fruits yielding fruits of desires, obtained from various trees and of various kinds. Please have this garland, all auspicious and all good, made of various flowers, beauteous and generating happiness. O Devî! Kindly accept this sweet scent, highly pleasing and meritorious. Please take this Sindûra, the best of the ornaments, beautifying the forehead, highly excellent and beautiful. Kindly accept this holy and meritorious threads an purefied by the Vedic mantrams and made of highly holy threads and knitted with highly pure knots. Uttering thus, offer the above articles that are to be offered to the Devî, every time the specific seed mantra being uttered. Then the intelligent devotee should recite the stotras and subsequently of the Daksinâs (presents) with devotion to the Brâhmanas. The Radical or the Specific Seed Mantra mantra is the eight lettered mantra Srîm Hrîm Klîm Svâitrai Svâhâ; So the sages know. The Stotra, as stated in the Mâdhyandîna
S'âkhâ, gives fruits of all desires. I am now speaking to you of that mantra, the Life of the Brâhmanas. Listen attentively. O Nârada! Sâvitrî was given to Brahmâ, in the ancient times of old in the region of Goloka by Krisna; but Sâvitrî did not come to Brahmâ loka with Brahmâ. Then by the command of Krisna, Brahmâ praised the mother of the Vedas. And when She got pleased, She accepted Brahmâ as Her husband.
79-87. Brahmâ said :-- Thou art the everlasting existence intelligence and bliss; Thou art Mûlaprakriti; thou art Hiranya Garbha; Thou didst get pleased, O Fair one! Thou art of the nature of fire and Energy; Thou art the Highest; Thou art the Highest Bliss, and the caste of the twice-born. Dost thou get appeased, O Fair One! Thou art eternal, dear to the Eternal; thou art of the nature of the Everlasting Bliss. O Devî, O Thou, the all auspicious One! O Fair One! Beest thou satisfied. Thou art the form of all (omnipresent)! Thou art the essence of all mantras of the Brâhmanas, higher than the highest! Thou art the bestower of happiness and the liberator O Devî, O Fair One! Beest thou appeased. Thou art like the burning flame to the fuel of sins of the Brâhmanas! O Thou, the Bestower of Brahmâ teja (the light of Brahmâ) O Devî! O Fair One! Beest appeased. By Thy mere remembrance, all the sins to me by body, mind and speech are burnt to ashes. Thus saying, the Creator of the world reached the assembly there. Then Sâvitrî came to the Brahmaloka with Brahmâ. The King Asvapati chanted this stotra to Sâvitrî and saw Her and got from Her the desired boons. Whosoever recites this highly sacred king of Stotras after Sandhyâ Bandanam, quickly acquires the fruits of studying the Vedas.
Here ends the Twenty Sixth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the narration of Sâvitrî in Srîmad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.