The Devi Bhagavata Purana (Sanskrit: ? ?, Dev? Bh?gavatapura), also known as the Devi Bhagavatam, Bhagavata Purana, Srimad Bhagavatam and Srimad Devi Bhagavatam is a Sanskrit text and one of the eighteen major Puranas of Hinduism.The text is considered a Mahapurana for Devi worshippers.
The purana consists of twelve cantos (sections) with 318 chapters. Along with Devi Mahatmya, it is one of the most important works in Shaktism, a tradition within Hinduism that reveres Devi or Shakti (Goddess) as the primordial creator of the universe and the Brahman (ultimate truth and reality). It celebrates the divine feminine as the origin of all existence, the creator, the preserver and the destroyer of everything, as well as the one who empowers spiritual liberation. While all major Puranas of Hinduism mention and revere the Goddess, this text centers around her as the primary divinity. The underlying philosophy of this text is Advaita Vedanta-style monism combined with devotional worship of Shakti (feminine power).It is believed that this was spoken by Vyasa to King Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit.
The title of the text, Srimad Devi Bhagavata, is composed of two words, which together mean "devotees of the blessed Devi".
The Srimad Devi Bhagavata Mahapurana has been variously dated. A few scholars suggest an early date, such as Ramachandran who suggested that the text was composed before the 6th-century CE. However, this early date has not found wide support, and most scholars to date it between the 9th and the 14th century. Rajendra Hazra suggests 11th or 12th century, while Lalye states that the text began taking form in the late centuries of the 1st millennium, was expanded over time, and its first complete version existed in the 11th century. Tracy Pintchman dates the text to between 1000 and 1200 CE.
The last ten chapters (31 to 40) of the seventh canto consist of 507 verses, a part which has often circulated as an independent handout just like the Bhagavad Gita of the Mahabharata circulates independently. The handout from Book 7 of this Purana is called Devi Gita. This handout may have been composed with the original text, or it might be a later interpolation, states C Mackenzie Brown. He suggests that this portion of the text was probably composed by the 13th century and may be later but before the 16th century.
The ninth canto of the Srimad Devi Bhagavata Mahapurana contains many verses that reference Mlecchas (barbarians) and Yavanas (foreigners). These words may just refer to hill tribes, but the details contained in the description of Mlecchas within these verses, state some scholars such as Hazra, that the writer of these parts knew about Islam and its spread in India, leading scholars date these parts of the ninth book to 12th to 15th century compared to the older core of the ninth book.
The Devi Bhagavata Mahapurana is not the earliest Indian text that celebrates the divine feminine, the 6th-century Devi Mahatmya embedded in Markandeya Purana asserts the goddess to be supreme, and multiple archaeological evidence in different parts of India such as Mathura and Bengal suggests that the concept of divine feminine was in existence by about the 2nd-century CE. Both Devi Mahatmya and Devi Bhagavata Purana have been very influential texts of the Shakta tradition, asserting the supremacy of the female and making goddess a figure of devotional (bhakti) appeal.
This table shows the Notable incarnations of Devi mentioned in purana.
|Bhuvaneshvari||Third Mahavidya form of Devi, queen of Manidvipa||--|
|Durga||Goddess protection, strength, motherhood, destruction and wars||5, 7, 9|
|Kali||Goddess of time and death||5, 9|
|Lakshmi||Consort of Vishnu, Goddess of wealth and purity||1, 3, 9|
|Saraswati||Consort of Brahma, Goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom, and learning||3, 5, 9|
|Radha||Consort of Krishna who resides in Goloka||9|
|Savitri||Personified form of Gayatri Mantra and mother of Vedas||9|
|Shakambhari||The one who nourished mankind with fruits and vegetables.||7|
This table shows the devotees of the Goddess according to the purana.
|Ila / Sadyumana||The king was named Sadyumana and later became the mother of the Budha||1|
|Anuha||The son of Vibhraja; He married the daughter Shuka named Kirti.||1|
|Pratipa||Father of Shantanu and grandfather of Bhishma||2|
|Kunti||Mother of Pandavas and wife of king Pandu||2|
|Suta||Son of Lomaharshana and a disciple of Vyasa||--|
|Vasudeva||Father of Krishna, Balarama, and Subhadra; The king of the Vrishnis and a Yadava prince.||2|
The theosophy in the text, state Foulston and Abbott, is an encyclopedic mix of ancient history, metaphysics and bhakti. This history, states C Mackenzie Brown, is of the same type found in other Puranas, about the perpetual cycle of conflict between the good and the evil, the gods and the demons. These legends build upon and extend the ancient Hindu history, such as those found in the Mahabharata. However, this Purana's legends refocus the legends around the divine feminine, integrate a devotional theme to goddesses, and the Devi is asserted in this text to be the eternal truth, the eternal source of all of universe, the eternal end of everything, the nirguna (without form) and the saguna (with form), the supreme unchanging reality (Purusha), the phenomenal changing reality (Prakriti), as well as the soul within each living being.
From Swami Vijnanananda translation:
Suta said: "O Rsis! In days of yore, from the Lotus Face of the Devi Bhagavati came out Srimad Bhagavatam in the form of half a Sloka, as the decided conclusion of the Vedas. About what She gave instructions to Vishnu, sleeping on a leaf of a Banyan tree, that same thing, the seed of the Srimad Bhagavata, Brahma Himself expanded into one hundred Koti slokas. Then, Veda Vyasa, in order to teach his own son Shuka Deva, condensed them into eighteen thousand slokas, in Twelve Books and named it Srimad Devi Bhagavatam, the present volume. That voluminous book comprising one hundred koti slokas compiled by Brahma is still extant in the deva loka-- Srimad Devi Bhagavatam Twelfth Canto, Chapter 14, Verses 1:4
The Purana Srimad Bhagavata (Devi Bhagavata) is excellent and holy; eighteen thousand pure Slokas are contained in it. Bhagavan Krishna-Dwaipayana has divided this Purana into twelve auspicious Skandhas (Books) and three hundred and eighteen chapters.-- Srimad Devi Bhagavatam First Canto, Chapter 2, Verses 11:12
O Suta! Fie to the nectar even! as the drinking of nectar is quite useless in giving Mukti. But hearing the Bhagavata gives instantaneous Mukti from this Samsara or round of birth and death.-- Srimad Devi Bhagavatam First Canto, Chapter 1, Verse 21
From J. L. Shastri'a translation:
Where the stories of the goddess Durga are mentioned, it is said to be Bhagavata Purana as well as Devi Purana.-- Shiva Purana Uma Samhita, Chapter 43, verse 76
There are two Bhagavatas in Hindu puranic literature. One is Vishnu Bhagavata and other is Devi Bhagavata. There are some doubts between genuine of these two puranas, as an example in Shiva Purana Mentioned Srimad Devi Bhagavatam as fifth Mahapurana called Srimad Bhagavatam. Also in Devi Bhagavatam itself called Srimad Bhagavata Purana.
As a Sattvic Shakta Purana the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam has five characteristics.
From Swami Vijnanananda translation:
Thus, the Mahatma Veda Vyasa has divided this Bhagavata Purana into so many Skandhas and into so many chapters; and that the number of verses is eighteen thousand is already stated. That is denominated as Purana which contains the following five characteristics: (1) Sarga (creation of the universe), (2) Pratisarga (secondary creation), (3) Vamsa (dynasties), (4) Manvantaras, (5) Vamsa nuchararita (the description of Manus and other kings).-- Srimad Devi Bhagavatam First Canto, Chapter 2, Verse 17:18
Srimad Devi Bhagavatam consists of 12 cantos with 318 chapters. Although the number of original Sanskrit shlokas is stated to be 18,000 by the Devi Bhagavata itself. The actual text, in different versions, is close.
|Srimad Devi Bhagavatam Chapters and Verses|
|Swami Vijnanananda Translation|
Consisting of 20 chapters, The first book (skandha) like other major Puranas, states Rocher, presents the outline, the structure of contents, and describes how in the mythical Naimisha forest, the Devi-Bhagavata Purana was first recited among the sages. It also asserts that all of Reality was initially nirguna (without form, shape or attributes; in other words, there was nothingness except Truth). However, asserts the text, this nirguna Reality was a Bhagavati (woman), and she manifested herself as three Shaktis - Sattviki (truth, creative action), Rajasi (passion, aimless action) and Tamasi (delusion, destructive action). Its also include:
SDB 01.02.03 original Sanskrit:
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O Brahmins! I bow down to the gentle lotus feet, known in the three Lokas, of the Devi Bhagavati, praised by Brahma and the other devas Vishnu, Mahesha and others, meditated always by the Munindras and which the Yogis contemplate as their source of liberation. Today I will devotedly describe, in detail and in plain language, that Purana which is the best of all the Puranas, which gives prosperity and contains all the sentiments (rasas) that a human being can conceive, the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam.-- Srimad Devi Bhagavatam Canto 01, Chapter 02, Verse 03
Fifteen chapter in 1st canto Supreme Devi revels her true identity to god Vishnu lying on a banyan leaf. its also mentioned that half stanza which revealed by supreme goddess is the seed of Bhagavata Purana.
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All this that is seen is I Myself; there is existent nothing other that is eternal-- Srimad Devi Bhagavatam, Canto 01, Chapter 15
Consisting of 12 chapters, This canto is short, and historical. It weaves in the characters well known in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, states Rocher, and introduces in the key characters that appear in remaining books of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana.Its also include:
Consisting of 30 chapters,This canto mentioned the Glory of Devi Bhuvaneshvari and her worship, At the Beginning of the universe Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva see Goddess reside in Manidvipa and praise her and also weaves in legends from the well known epic the Ramayana.
SDB 03.03.52 original Sanskrit:
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Devi is inconceivable to those who are of dull intellect; only the Yogis can see her by their Yogic powers. She is eternal (Brahman) and also noneternal (Maya). She is the will power of the Supreme Self. She is the first Creator of this world.-- Srimad Devi Bhagavatam Canto 03, Chapter 03, Verse 52
Consisting of 25 chapters, this fourth canto presents more legends, including those of interaction between avatars of Hari, Krishna and Shiva, Kashyapa birth as Vasudeva, but also introduces tantric themes and presents yoga meditation.
Consisting of 31 chapters, The sixth book continue these legends, states Rocher, with half of the chapters focussed on the greatness of Goddess, how male gods are befuddled by problems, how they run to her for help, and how she solves them because she is enlightened knowledge. The text presents the feminine to whom all masculine deities are subordinate and dependent on. Its also include Indra killing of Vritra.
Consisting of 40 chapters, The seventh canto of the Srimad Devi-Bhagavatam shifts towards more philosophy, asserting its version of the essence of the Vedas. This book contains the philosophical text called Devi Gita, or the "Song of the Goddess". The Goddess explains she is the Brahman that created the world, asserting the Advaita premise that spiritual liberation occurs when one fully comprehends the identity of one's soul and the Brahman. This knowledge, asserts the Goddess, comes from detaching self from the world and meditating on one's own soul.Chapter 28 of the seventh book contain the story of Durgamasur and his annihilation by goddess Sivaa (Parvati) in her form of Shakambhari.
This canto, states Rocher, also includes sections on festivals related to Devi, pilgrimage information and ways to remember her. Her relationship with Shiva and the birth of Skanda is also briefly mentioned in the 7th book. The last ten chapters (31 to 40) of the canto 7 is the famous and philosophical Devi Gita, which often circulates in the Hindu tradition as a separate text.
Consisting of 24 chapters, The eighth book of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana incorporates one of the five requirements of Puranic-genre of Hindu texts, that is a theory of the geography of the earth, planets and stars, the motion of sun and moon, as well as explanation of time and the Hindu calendar. Its include:
The largest canto is the 9th skandha Consisting of 50 chapters, which is very similar in structure and content of the Prakriti-kanda of the Brahmavaivarta Purana. Both are goddesses-focused, and discuss her theology, but have one difference. The Prakriti-kanda of the Brahmavaivarta Purana also includes many verses which praise Vishnu using various names (incarnations), which re-appear in the 9th book of the Devi Bhagavata Purana with Vishnu names substituted with Devi names (incarnations). Its also Mentioned Krishna as the male form of goddess.
SDB 09.38.29:31 original Sanskrit:
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Though formless, She assumes forms for the gratification of the desires of Her Bhaktas. She created first the beautiful form of Gopala Sundari (Krisna) very lovely and beautiful, captivating the mind. His body is blue like the fresh rain cloud. He is young and dressed like that of a cowherd-- Canto 09, Chapter 38, Verses 29:31
Consisting of 13 chapters, This Canto of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana is one of the shortest, and integrates manavantaras, another structural requirement for this text to be a major Purana, but wherein the Devi is worshiped in every cosmic time cycle, because she is the greatest, she kills the evil and she nurtures the good.Chapter 13 of the tenth book describes the glory of goddess Bhramri that how in the past she killed the demon Arunasura.
Consisting of 24 chapters, This canto of the text discusses Sadachara (virtues) and Dharma to self as an individual, as belonging to a Grama (village, community) and to a Desha (country). The text praises Sruti and asserts it to be the authoritative source, adding that Smriti and Puranas are also sources for guidance. This section is notable for adding that Tantra is also a source of guidance, but only if it does not conflict with the Vedas. Verses in the 11th books also describe sources for Rudraksha as Japa beads, the value of Tripundra mark on the forehead, five styles of Sandhyas (reflection, meditation) and five types of Yajnas.
The last and 12th canto of the Devi-Bhagavatam Consisting of 14 chapters, Its describes the Goddess as the mother of the Vedas, she as the Adya Shakti (primal, primordial power), and the essence of the Gayatri mantra. The verses map every syllable of the Gayatri mantra to 1008 names of reverence in the Hindu tradition. These names span a spectrum of historic sages, deities, musical meters, mudras and the glories of the goddesses. Also in Chapter 10 to Chapter 12 Describe the supreme abode of Devi called Manidvipa which is above Vaikuntha and Goloka.
SDB 12.10.03:04 original Sanskrit:
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In the very beginning, the Devi Mula Prakriti Bhagavati built this place for Her residence, superior to Kailaska, Vaikunta and Goloka. Verily no other place in this universe can stand before it. Hence it is called Manidvipa or Sarvaloka as superior to all the Lokas-- Canto 12, Chapter 10, Verses 03:04
The Devi Gita, like the Bhagavad Gita, is a condensed philosophical treatise. It presents the divine female as a powerful and compassionate creator, pervader and protector of the universe. She is, states Brown, presented in the opening chapter of the Devi Gita as the benign and beautiful world-mother, called Bhuvaneshvari (literally, ruler of the universe, and the word is feminine). Thereafter, theological and philosophical teachings become the focus of the text, covering chapters 2 to 10 of the Devi Gita (or, chapters 32 to 40 of this Purana's Book 7). Some of the verses of Devi Gita are almost identical to the Devi Upanishad.
The soul and the Goddess
[My sacred syllable ] transcends,[note 1]
the distinction of name and named,
beyond all dualities.
It is whole,
infinite being, consciousness and bliss.
One should meditate on that reality,
within the flaming light of consciousness.
Fixing the mind upon me,
as the Goddess transcending all space and time,
One quickly merges with me by realizing,
the oneness of the soul and Brahman.
--Devi Gita, Transl: Lynn Foulston, Stuart Abbott
Devibhagavata Purana, Book 7
The Devi Gita frequently explains Shakta ideas by quoting from the Bhagavad Gita. The Devi is described by the text as a "universal, cosmic energy" resident within each individual, weaving in the terminology of Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy. It is suffused with Advaita Vedanta ideas, wherein nonduality is emphasized, all dualities are declared as incorrect, and interconnected oneness of all living being's soul with Brahman is held as the liberating knowledge. However, adds Tracy Pintchman, Devi Gita incorporates Tantric ideas giving the Devi a form and motherly character rather than the gender-neutral concept of Adi Shankara's Advaita Vedanta.
Supreme Goddess describes her gross form in Devi Gita as follows:
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Brahma, Vishnu, Rudhra, Ishvara and Sadashiva: these are the five great disembodied spirits, who are situated at the base of my feet.-- Devi Gita (Swami Saty?nanda Saraswati), Chapter 12, Verse 10
The Bhakti theology of the Devi Gita part of this Purana may have been influenced by the Bhagavad Gita, and with Vaishnava concepts of loving devotion to Krishna found in the Bhagavata Purana. All these texts highlight different types of devotion in a Samkhya philosophy framework. Tamasic Bhakti is one, asserts the text, where the devotee prays because he is full of anger, seeks to harm others, induce pain or jealousy to others. Rajasic Bhakti is one where the devotee prays not to harm others, but to gain personal advantage, fame or wealth. Sattvic Bhakti is the type where the devotee seeks neither advantage nor harm to others but prays to purify himself, renounce any sins and surrender to the ideas embodied as Goddess to liberate himself.
The Devi Bhagavata Purana adds Para Bhakti (Sanskrit) in Devi Gita as the highest level of devotion, states McDaniel, where the devotee seeks neither boon nor liberation but weeps when he remembers her because he loves the Goddess, when he feels her presence everywhere and sees the Goddess in all living beings, he is intoxicated by her ideas and presence.
SDB 07.37.11:12 original Sanskrit:
SDB 07.37.13:14 original Sanskrit:
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Disciples of Swami Vijnanananda translation:
Now hear attentively about the Para Bhakti that I am now describing to you. He who hears always My Glories and recites My Name and Whose mind dwells always, like the incessant flow of oil, in Me who is the receptacle of all auspicious qualities and Gunas.-- Canto 07, Chapter 37, Verse 11:12
But he has not the least trace of any desire to get the fruits of his Karma; yea he does not want Samipya, Sarsti, Sayujya, and Salokya and other forms of liberations! He becomes filled with devotion for Me alone worships Me only; knows nothing higher than to serve Me and he does not want final liberation even.-- Canto 07, Chapter 37, Verse 13:14
There are several separate translations of Devi Gita.
Devi Bhagavatam mentioned number of Vedic mantras connected with observance. In eleventh canto describes certain rites, also Devi is identified with Yajurveda and Rudra. In the ninth canto mentioned various phase powers of Devi. Dhyana stotras of Lakshmi and Svaha are adopted from Samaveda. Use of Rudrakshas mentioned in ninth canto is supported by the Sruti.
Devi Bhagavatam adopted some of passages in Upanishad. In seventh canto in purana Devi describe her own form these verses are identical with some verses of Devi Upanishad. Also in fourth canto some famous expressions of Taittiriya Upanishad are used to describe the nature of Devi. The four states of consciousness described in the Mandukya Upanishad, are mentioned in 30th chapter of sixth canto.
Main article: Samkhya
Devi Bhagavatam belong to the Shaktadavaitavada tradition (syncretism of Samkhya and Advaita Vedanta. literally, the path of nondualistic Shakti). The duality of Prakriti and Purusha in Samkhya is not accepted by Devi Bhagavatam. In the text prakriti is identified with Parashakti. She is also called Mulaprakriti. The text maintains that the Gunas are of mixing nature and when they pair together they condition each other. This is an adaptation from the Samkhya theory.
The verses and ideas in the Devi-Bhagavata Purana, state Foulston and Abbott, are built on the foundation of the Upanishads wherein the nonduality and oneness of Brahman and Atman (soul) are synthesized. The text makes references to the philosophy and metaphors used in the Advaita Vedanta tradition of Adi Shankara. However, those ideas are reformulated and centered around the Goddess in the Devi Bhagavata Purana, states C Mackenzie Brown, as well as other scholars. In Devi Bhagavata text, states Tracy Pintchman, the Devi is not only Brahman-Atman (soul, interconnected oneness), she is also the always-changing empirical reality (Maya).
SDB 01.18.41 original Sanskrit:
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Jiva is Brahman; I am that Brahman and nothing else; there is nothing to be discussed here. It is owing to the dualities that monism appears not clear and differences between Jiva and Brahman arise.-- Canto 01, Chapter 18, Verse 41
The Goddess, in Devi Bhagavata Purana, is both the source of self-bondage through Avidya (ignorance) and the source of self-liberation through Vidya (knowledge), state Foulston and Abbott. She is identical to the Vedic metaphysical reality concept of Brahman, the supreme power, the ruler of the universe, the hero, the hidden energy, the power, the bliss innate in everything, according to the text. The Devi, states Kinsley, is identified by this Purana to be all matter, mother earth, the cosmos, all of nature including the primordial. The Goddess is presented, states Brown, as "the womb of the universe", who observes the actions of her children, nurtures them to discover and realize their true nature, forgive when they make mistakes, be fearsomely terrible to the wicked that threaten her children, and be friend of all souls.
Cynthia Humes compares the depiction of Goddess in the 6th-century Hindu text Devi Mahatmya, with that in this later Devi-Bhagavata Purana text. Both revere the feminine, states Humes, but there are some important differences. Nowhere does the Devi Mahatmya state anything negative about women, and it is explicit in asserting that "all women are portions of the Goddess". By contrast, states Hume, the portrayal of women in Devi-Bhagavata Purana is more complex. It includes verses critical of the feminine, with the text stating that behavior of woman can be "reckless, foolish, cruel, deceitful" and the like. The Devi Bhagavata also praises women and describes their behavior can be "heroic, gentle, tenacious, strong" and the like.
The Devi-Bhagavata Purana is an important and historic Shakta Bhakti text, states June McDaniel.
The Devi Bhagavata Purana has been translated into different languages.
purana word completes.
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