Monday, March 30, 2020

Devi Mahatmya - 4

Devi Mahatmya - Markandeya Purana, tr. by Bibek Debroy

Ch 3 << Chapter 4 (Ch 81 in the book) >> Ch 5

ith Mahishasura dead, the gods now praised the goddess. Everything in the world had been created through her powers, the gods, including Brahma, Hari, and Hara, lacked the powers to describe her powers. She was Shri for those who did good and Alakshmi to those who were evil. Such was her form and her powers that they, the gods, could not describe them. She was the hymns of the Rig Veda and Sama Veda, and the reservoir of beautiful songs of the Sama Veda.She was Durga, she was Shri, she was Gouri. Her vanquishing Mahishasura was proof that those who angered her were destroyed. Those who pleased her were blessed with prosperity. Her form, which created fear in the enemy, couldn't be compared with anything. All the gods said they bowed before her. Addressing her as Ambika, Chandi, Ishvari, the gods entreated her to save them with her weapons, to save them in all directions, in all the three worlds.

Pleased with the gods' praise and worship, the goddess said that she had accomplished what they had asked her to, and that no other difficult task remained for her to accomplish. The gods agreed with Maheshvari, but prayed that if there were trouble again and the gods prayed to her, she would manifest herself again. Bhadrakali agreed, and vanished.

It thus came to pass that the goddess had to manifest herself again, from Gouri's body, for slaying the asuras Shumbha and Nishumbha.

Reference: Markandeya Purana, translated by Bibek Debroy. Published by Penguin, 2019. The Devi Mahatmya is covered in chapters 78-90 of the Markandeya Purana.

© 2020, Abhinav Agarwal (अभिनव अग्रवाल). All rights reserved.