|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
[A Summary of Devi Mahatmyam]
Translated by P. R. Ramachander
[Devi Mahatmyam (please refer to my translation) tells you about how Goddess Parvathi killed various asuras so that, the devas did not suffer. This mellifluous song written in colloquial Tamil spoken by iyers neatly summarizes Devi Mahatmyam. Of course there are slight differences with the original text (see my translation at: www.celextel.org/stotras/devi/devimahatmyam.html). This prayer used to be recited by ladies in Brahmin homes (especially those of Palakkad iyers) daily. There is a reference to Seshadri Swamigal in the third prayer song. This saint was living in 18th century. There is a reference to Lord of Thiruvayaru. So this must have composed by some one belonging to some place near Thiruvayaru.]
Prayer to God
I clap and dance Lord of Thiruvayaru,
I clap and dance God Pranatharthi hara
I clap and dance, victory to her who increases Dharma
We would sing clapping.
1-3. I dare to narrate that greatness of the Goddess as told by Markandeya, the son of Mrukandu to sage Jaya when he was doing the yaga(fire sacrifice) which was told before by sage Vyasa to king Pareekshith and which was again told by Sage Sootha to the sage Saunaka and others. I would be telling the greatness of the Devi as much as I Know. I have saluted Seshadri Swamigal so that there are no typographical errors in what I write.
4. With the happy victory due to the words of Goddess Saraswathi and God Ganesa that they have given me luck, I dare relate the greatness of the Goddess of all.
The story of Suradha and Samadhi
5. There was a king called Suradha who was ruling the entire world. He used to examine the Dharma in every action and was ruling as per the tenets of our Shastra.
6. Due to jealousy, one enemy king drove him out and with great sorrow, king Suradha was wandering in the forest.
7. One Vaisya called Samadhi due to the enmity with his sons was not able to tolerate the problems also came to the forest.
8-11. When the King greeted the Vaisya, he told, "I was insulted by my wife and children. And unable to bear that I have come to this forest where people do penance." The king was filled with surprise on hearing his words and told him, "I will now tell the news about me." One enemy king came and fought with me and won over me. I lost not only my country but my wife and children. I also lost all my relatives and have come to the forest.
12-16. Talking like this they say a sage called Sumedhas and saluted him and asked him, " Why did sorrow come to us when we are still having a stable mind? Please tell us, Oh personification of wisdom." Sumedhas addressing the king told, "In all the fourteen different castes from the lowest to the highest, to the 84 different sort of animals from fly and ant, in all of them there is the feeling of I and me" and complete sense of ego. When one is full of pride he would say that he, himself is God. Even Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma cannot remove this state of stupor created by illusion and ignorance, for all the fourteen worlds are under the illusion of the Mother goddess. This is because of the strength of illusion created by the mother of the universe."
17. When the king replied, "I do not understand who that Goddess is", then the sage Sumedhas started telling him about the power of the Goddess.
The story of Madhu and Kaidaba
18. Once Lord Vishnu was sleeping on the ocean of milk on the bed of Adhi Sesha. From his ears were born two asuras called Madhu and Kaidaba.
19. As soon as they woke up they started doing fist fight with Lord Brahma, Being scared Lord Brahma saluted Lord Vishnu.
20-21. At that time Lord Vishnu was in deep sleep and was not aware of these happenings. Lord Brahma prayed to the Goddess of sleep, "Oh Mother I came to Lord Vishnu due to great fear of the asuras. Oh Mohini, Oh mother of the Universe, Please come out of Lord Maha Vishnu", and narrated the greatness of the Goddess.
22. Then the Goddess came out of the body of Lord Vishnu and appeared before Lord Brahma and gave all the boons that he asked for and then disappeared.
23-24. MahaVishnu came before Lord Brahmas and asked him why he has come and then Brahma told, "When you were in yogic sleep, from your ears two very mischievous asuras called Madhu and Kaidaba were born. Please kill them."
25. He said that I would kill them and sent back Lord Brahma and those very bad Madhu and Kaidaba started war with Lord Vishnu.
26-28. In spite of very long time war with the asuras when Lord Vishnu was not able to win over them, he told them with joy, "I would give you any boon that I can." As soon as he told this., the Asuras with great anger and pride told him, "instead we would give you any boon that you want." Lord Vishnu then asked them, "I should be able to kill both of you."
29. Realizing that Lord Vishnu has cheated them and deciding that they should not tell anything to him, they told Lord Vishnu who had the holy wheel.
30. "Please kill us in places without water and without earth" and lord Vishnu killed them both after placing both of them on his lap.
31. The bodies of those asuras are now standing as our earth. Even Lord Brahma who had four heads cannot describe the greatness of Goddess Rajarajeswari.
The story of Mahishasura.
32-33. There was an asura called Mahishasura who did great penance and got very many boons. When he started troubling all the people in the world, the devas and sages went to Mount Kailasa and told it to Lord Shiva. Standing before him they sang the praises of the Goddess.
34. The goddess who was present in the faces of all devas, came out of all their faces and joined in to one form.
35. They all saluted her and also each of them gave their weapons to her. When they gave the weapons with devotion, The goddess held them all in her eighteen hands.
36. She climbed on the Lion steed and went to fight the war. Mahishasura and the goddess fought a very fierce angry war.
37. For several years Mahishasura fought with her fearlessly. Due to his magical powers he assumed several forms and fought with her.
38. The Goddess assumed the form of Kali and cut of his head and killed him when he assumed the form of a buffalo.
39. The Goddess Kamakshi became very happy with Kali for doing that and gave her a name as Mahishasura Mardhini (The slayer of Mahishasura)
40. Salutations to our great Goddess,
Who killed Mahishasura and salutations,
To her who removed all our worries.
41. Oh Goddess who is the Lord of the universe,
Oh Mother of the universe, our salutations,
Oh mother who protects all those,
Who surrender to you, our salutations.
42. Oh Goddess Parvathi with a form of Om,
Oh divine Goddess, our salutations to you,
Oh Goddess of the pure and pretty form,
Oh Goddess Shivakama Valli, our salutations.
43. Oh Kalyani who is personification of wisdom,
Oh Goddess Narayani, our salutations to you,
Oh Goddess who has a peaceful form,
Oh Shiva Shankari, our salutations to you.
44. Hearing these prayers from the devas, that great goddess became overjoyed and the Goddess of the Vedas asked them, "please ask for any boons that you want."
45. They asked her, "please protect us from all dangers and come and save us whenever we need." The Goddess gave this boon and disappeared.
The story of Shumbha and Nishmubha
46. After that, and after some time, two very cruel Asuras were born. I will tell you how the mother of the universe killed those asuras.
47. Two very bad valorous asuras called Shumbha and Nishmubha were born. In the youth they did great penance and got all the boons that they wanted.
48. They drove away Devas along with Indra and Brahma and ruled all the worlds and made all of them shiver.
49. Those devas who were greatly sacred, assumed that it was very bad time for them and took various different forms and stayed in different parts of the earth.
50. For 41 quartet of four Yugas, the devas lived without their kingdom and seeing no possibility of getting over the problems, they went to the land of Vishnu.
51-52. "Oh devas, you have come here shivering but I cannot do anything about it" said Lord Vishnu. He along with Brahma, Indra and other devas went to the Down hills of Mount Maha Meru. There all of them got confused as to what they should do to solve this problem.
53. One intelligent deva while thinking, suddenly remembered that long time ago the Goddess has told them that "whenever you get in to trouble pray me."
54. The other devas nodded their head and all of them together started praying Goddess Rajarajeswari by singing her praise.
55. Salutations to the primeval Saraswathi,
Who is also the mother of all universe.
Salutation to her who wears illusion,
Who is Lakshmi and who is the greatest goddess.
56. Oh Parvathi who occupies the half part,
Of the body of our God, salutations.
Salutations to the mother of universe,
With a request to save us all.
57. When all the devas praised her thus, she appeared before them and gave them her hand of protection saying, "Please do not be afraid."
58. The Goddess went to the Himalaya mountain and took a form of an unmarried lass with cuckoo like voice and words like the honey collected from tree branches.
59. She walked like a swan and she had hands which give protection and eye brows similar to the bow of God of love.
60. She had shining teeth like the pearls which have been threaded and joined, She had lips like coral, she had a brooch on her head, she wore a shining dollar on her forehead.
61. The anklets that she was wearing was making tinkling sound, and the chain like ornament which she wore on her legs simply lisped like a child. With all this she sat in a golden swing and looked like billions of suns.
62. When she caught hold of the golden chain and started singing to herself accompanied by dancing. Two asuras called Chanda and Munda who came to the forest happened to see her.
63-65. They came near the Goddess and told her, "we would like tell you something. Have you not heard about the greatness of our kings. They are the two called Shumbha and Nishmubha and they are ruling over all the three worlds. Though you are very pretty you do not seem to enjoy wealth and luck. You have a wonderful form which is without any use. As you are alone. You come and join our kings immediately."
66-68. When the asuras told her to come to their king she told them, " You know that woman's brain is not stable, for without realizing the consequences I have done some foolish thing. I had taken an oath, that any one who wishes to marry me would become my loving husband only if he defeats me in war. Please tell this your king" and send them away. Chanda and Munda ran to their place and went near Shumbha and Nishmubha.
70. They told him, "Though you have all the top gems in this world, you need to have one more lady gem to your collection. A suitable gem who is a pretty lass is on the Himalaya mountains. She does not have any men with her and lives alone with her friends."
71. As son as the kings heard this from Chanda and Munda they became happy and called their minister named Sugreeva near them.
72. They told him that, "Tell about our greatness to her and tell her words that she will like, convince her and bring her here."
73. Hearing this Sugreeva became very happy, came near the Goddess slowly and started telling the news to her.
74-76. They told, "Did the one who came earlier tell about the greatness and wealth of our king. They are called Shumbha and Nishumba and are ruling all the three worlds. Though you are pretty, you are not enjoying wealth and life. Why are you staying alone in spite of your being extremely pretty? You are very suitable pair for our king. So come with us immediately. Come immediately." Then the great goddess told them.
77-78. "I have taken an oath. I am telling the truth that any one who fights with me and wins me can make me his wife. Tell your kings that she sent me back" and send them back. Sugreeva got very angry and went back to asura Shumbha and narrated what she told him.
79-80. Shumbasura heard this with anger and called Dhoomralochana and when he came near him told, "Tell her with diplomacy or with scare and then tell her about our greatness and if she does not hear all this, punish her and bring her here". Dhoomralochana heard this and went near the Goddess happily.
81. He told her, "Hey Lady, why this egoism to you If you do not come and join our king, I would punish you."
82. He shouted her some orders and came near her to pull her and the mother told "Hum" and he was burnt in to ashes.
83-84. Hearing about death of Dhoomralochana from the messengers who rushed and told him, He became very angry at his minister's death. His eyes turned red and he called Chanda and Munda near him and told them, "Go and kill her and come back." Chanda and Munda rushed and started fighting with the Goddess.
85. Seeing them the Goddess out of her anger created Goddess Kali. And Goddess Kali cut the heads of Chanda and Munda and placed them near her legs.
86. Sankari talked happily with Kali and gave her the name of Chamundi. All the devas came and showered the Goddess with flowers.
87. Hearing that Chanda and Munda were also dead, the asura hissed like a serpent and he ordered all his army to march against the Goddess immediately.
88. The eighty four thousand army were gathered in a second and he called the very strong Raktha Bheeja and sent him also on front of them.
89-91. All the innate strength of devas, then joined together and became the seven mothers, Narayani, Narasimhi, Vaishnavi, Maha devi, Brahmani, Koumari, Kali and Chamundi and the seven ladies became friends of the Goddess and when they started fighting against Raktha bheeja, whenever his blood fell down on earth, from every drop that fell, a new Raktha Bheeja started rising from it.
92. As per the order of the mother The Goddess Kali with great frenzy killed Raktha Bheeja and completely sucked all the blood from him.
93-94. That Goddess Kali swallowed all the remaining Raktha Bheeja's. Hearing about the death of Raktha Bheeja, the very cruel Nishumba became very angry and took an oath before this elder brother, "I would kill her." And then fought with the Goddess and went on fighting without getting defeated.
95. He went on sending thousands of arrows and without fear continued fighting. That Goddess Sridevi fought with him directly and just like a play killed him.
96. Hearing about his younger brother's death, Shumbha asura with undoubted anger came and stood before the Goddess and told.
97-101. "Do you know how to fight? You have deceived all of us. You who were alone earlier are standing with seven people now. You came as a fire to my very large army that cannot be counted. You were the traitor for my army whose prowess cannot be doubted. You are a traitor now and have deceived me. You just now told two different statements. You send word earlier that you were standing alone and now you are defeating us along with several others. After seeing your pretty body, would I be able to fight with you. You send every body away and ask Kali to do wrestling against me."
102. Hearing the words, she called all her friends and hugged them together and all of them disappeared in to her.
103-105. She told him, "There is no two here. You can now fight with Kali." Hearing the words of the mother, he wilted as if an arrow had struck him and Shumbha asura and Kali went on fighting without getting defeated. He rose in to the sky like a ball which has been hit and they continued fighting there without getting tired. Shumbha asura and Kali then did wresting.
106-107. All the devas with great fervor were singing her prayers, Kali became angry and thinking how long shall we continue this fight killed Shumbha asura. She was then called as Durga devi by the mother Goddess And the devas showered flower petals on Durga Devi when she killed that asura,
108-110. Then all of them joined together and started praising the universal mother.
"Our salutations to the Goddess Durga,
Who killed the asuras Shumbha and Nishumba.
Our salutations to her who drove away our sorrow,
And who gave back our country to us.
Our salutations to the Goddess Durga,
Who killed the asuras Chanda and Munda.
Our Salutations to the Bhadra Kali,
Who killed the terrible asura called Raktha Bheeja?"
Seeing that the devas had praised her and saluted her the Goddess became very happy.
Description of the effect of praising Goddess and worshipping her.
111. She told them, "You would not get in to any dangers and those who read this with love will not be attacked by ghosts and devils and they will never suffer due to parting with their sons."
112. Those who have devotion to the divine Goddess will never suffer poverty and she would give them very long life. She would give them wealth of children.
113. If Brahmins hear this, their knowledge of Vedas will improve. If Kshatriyas here this, they would rule over the country with victory.
114. If Vaisyas here this, they would get great profit in their business. If Shudras hear this they would get victory in their farming ventures.
115. If this read with devotion by women they would live as Sumangalis (woman with her husband) for a long time. If this is read by unmarried girls they would get a good husband.
116. If using this they worship during Navarathri then they would get the grace of Goddess Rajarajeswari. If they do this worship in the five seasons, they would attain the world of the Goddess.
117-118. To those people who worship with this daily, I would give them the boons that they wish. To those who worship on Tuesdays and Fridays I would give them all the boons that they ask.
119-121. I would fulfill all the wishes that you have in mind. "And as soon as the devas heard that they would be given what they asked." Please save us without any dangers at any time. When they asked this, the Goddess of the earth told "After a long time very cruel asuras would give you lot of trouble, I would be born then as Krishna in the palace of Nanda Gopa and protect you. I would become Bharatha Mata and would look after all the country." After consoling the devas thus the Goddess disappeared.
The King Suradha and the Vaisya Samadhi getting results from the worship they did.
122-124. The king and the Vaisya became happy on hearing the greatness of the mother and as per the orders of the sage to do penance addressing the mother came near the Chaiya mountain. Then the king and the Samadhi controlled all their senses as well as their breath, and went on doing penance for a very long time. Becoming very happy with their penance the goddess came before them.
125. When the Goddess asked the king as to what boon he wants, he asked her to bless him with the possession of all the countries that he owned earlier.
126. The mother told the king, "You will get your country and later get sixty thousand countries when you become Manu."
127. After giving the boon to the king, the Goddess asked Samadhi to ask a boon from her. "I want to merge with you and it will be sufficient if I have your grace", He told.
128. She told, "Let it happen that way. You would realize good and attain salvation". After telling this she disappeared.
129. The king as per the mercy of the Goddess ruled over his country and Samadhi joined the hermitage of Sumedhas and attained wisdom.
130-131. Those who read this fifth chapter of the book Devi Bhagwatha Where the greatness of the Goddess and how she killed the asuras has been narrated is told, and those who tell the greatness of the Goddess and pray her with love, would attain the lotus feet of the Goddess.
(Song wishing good)
Mangalam Jaya Mangalam Jaya Mahadevikku,
Mangalam Lalitha deviyudan maha kalikku mangalam,
Mangalam, victorious Mangalam, Victory to the great goddess,
Mangalam to the Goddess Lalitha and the great Kali.
1.. Sangu chakram kayil tharitha, chakra nadhaikku,
SAngayilla asuralai kondra Chamundi devikku (Mangalam…)
To the lady with the holy wheel who caries the conch and the wheel,
To the Goddess Chamundi who without doubt killed innumerable asuras.
2, Dushta asuralai jayitha durga devikku,
Sishtasrkalana devarai katha Rakthambalukku (Mangalam ....)
To the Goddess Durga who won over the very evil asuras,
To the Rakthambal* who protected the good devas
*Mother of blood
3. Ishta deivamaam engalai rakshikkum-yama swaroopikku,
Kashtam neengi karunai pozhiyum Kamakshi devikku (Mangalam .....)
To our pet God who has the form of god of death and protects us,
To the goddess Kamakshi who removes our troubles and rains mercy
4. Ashta boga bagyam alikkum AadhiShakthikku,
Dushta Bandasuranai Vadaitha sri Lalithaikku (Mangalam ....)
To The primeval power which blesses with eight type of pleasures and wealth,
To The Goddess Lalitha who killed the evil Bandasura
5. Sakala deva swaroopiyana Shakthi Gowrikku,
Akila lokathai paripalithidum Amba devikku (Mangalam .... )
To the Goodess Gowri who is the personification of all gods,
To the mother Goddess who looks after well, this entire earth
6. Vazhga devi namam Vazhga maraigal vazhgave,
Vazhga manidar Vazhga, Aavinam Valamiyagave
Long live the name of the Goddess. long live the Vedas,
Long live human beings, Long live the cows with their wealth
7. Bhaktharkku arul pozhiyum Sree, Para devi vazhgave,
Athyantha bhakthiyudane padikkum anbar vazhgave
Long live the great goddess Lakshmi who blesses her devotees,
Let those love ones who read this with great love live long.