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Devi Upanishad

Devi Upanishad
Translated by Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier
Published by The Theosophical Publishing House, Chennai

Om! Gods! With ears let us hear what is good;
Adorable ones! With eyes let us see what is good.
With steady limbs, with bodies, praising,
Let us enjoy the life allotted by the gods.
May Indra, of wide renown, grant us well-being;
May Pusan, and all-gods, grant us well-being.
May Tarksya, of unhampered movement, grant us well-being.
May Brihaspati grant us well-being.
Om! Peace! Peace! Peace!

1. All the gods waited upon the Goddess (and asked): 'Great Goddess, who art Thou?'

2. She replied: I am essentially Brahman. From Me (has proceeded) the world comprising Prakriti and Purusha, the void and the Plenum. I am (all forms of) bliss and non-bliss. Knowledge and ignorance are Myself. Brahman and non-Brahman are to be known - says the scripture of the Atharvans.

3. I am the five elements as also what is different from them. I am the entire world. I am the Veda as well as what is different from it. I am the unborn; I am the born. Below and above and around am I.

4. I move with Rudras and Vasus, with Adityas and Visvedevas.
Mitra and Varuna, Indra and Agni, I support, and the two Asvins.

5. I uphold Soma, Tvastir, Pusan and Bhaga,
The wide-stepping Vishnu, Brahma, Prajapati.

6. To the zealous sacrificer offering oblation
And pressing the Soma-juice do I grant wealth;
I am the state, the Bringer of Wealth;
Above it all, place I its protector.

7. Whoso knows my essence in the water of the inner sea,
Attains he the Goddess's abode.

8. Those gods said:
Salutation to the Goddess, the great Goddess!
To Siva, the auspicious, salutation, for ever more.
To blessed Prakriti, salutation!
Ever to Her we bow.

9. Refuge I seek in Her who is the colour of fire,
Burning with ascetic ardour, Goddess resplendent,
Delighting in actions' fruits; O Thou, hard to reach,
Dispel Thy gloom.

10. The gods engendered divine Speech;
Her, beasts of all forms speak;
The cow that yields sweet fruits and vigour -
To us may lauded Speech appear.

11. To holy Siva, to Daksha's daughter,
To Aditi and Sarasvati,
To Skanda's Mother, Vishnu's Power,
To Night of death by Brahma lauded,
We render obeisance.

12. Know we Great Lakshmi,
Goddess of good Fortune;
On all fulfillment do we meditate.
May the Goddess inspire us!

13. Through You, Dakshayani, was Aditi born;
She is your daughter; after her were born
The gods auspicious,
Friends of deathlessness.

14. Love, womb, love's part, the bearer of the thunderbolt
The cave, ha-sa, the wind, the cloud, Indra;
Again the cave, sa-ka-la with Maya -
So runs the full primeval science begetting all.

15. This is the power of Self, enchanting all, armed with the noose, the hook, the bow and the arrow. This is the great and holy Science.

16. Who knows thus tides over grief.

17. Divine Mother! Salutation to you; protect us in all possible ways.

18. She, here, is the eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras, the twelve Adityas, She is the all-gods, (those) who drink Soma and (those) who do not; she is the goblins, the demons, the evil beings, the ghosts; she also, beings super-human, the semi-divine. She is Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. She is Prajapati, Indra and Manu. She is the planets, stars and luminous spheres. She is the divisions of time, and the form of primeval Time. I salute Her ever:

19. Goddess who banishes distress
Grants pleasure and deliverance alike,
Infinite, victorious, pure,
Siva, Refuge, the Giver of good.

20. Seed all-powerful of the Goddess' mantra,
Is sky, conjoined with 'i' and fire,
With crescent moon adorned.

21. On the single-syllable mantra
Meditate the pure-hearted sages,
Supremely blissful;
Of wisdom the various oceans.

22. Fashioned by speech; born of Brahman; the sixth
With face equipped; the sun; the left ear where
The point is; the eighth and the third conjoint.

23. The air, with Narayana united,
And with the lip; voice, the nine-lettered;
The letter, shall delight the lofty ones.

24. Seated in the lotus-heart,
Resplendent as the morning sun,
Goddess, bearing noose and hook,
With gesture granting boons, dissolving fears;
Tender, three-eyed, red-robed, granting devotees
Their hearts' desires,
Thee I adore.

25. I bow to Thee, Goddess,
Thou dispeller of gravest fears,
Vanquisher of obstacles;
Thou wearer of great Mercy's form.

26. Brahma and others know not Her essence; so is she called the Unknowable. She has no end; so is she called the Endless. She is not grasped and so is she called the Incomprehensible. Her birth is not known and so is she called the Unborn. She alone is present everywhere, and so is she called the One. She alone wears all forms, and so is she called the Many. For these reasons is she called the Unknowable, the Endless, the Incomprehensible, the Unknown, the One and the Many.

27. The Goddess is the source of all mantras:
Of all the words the knowledge is Her form.
Her conscious Form transcends all cognition;
She is the witness of all emptiness.

28. Beyond Her is nothing; renowned is She
As unapproachable; feared of life,
I bow to the inaccessible One,
Bulwark against all sins; the Pilot who
Steers me across the sea of worldly life.

29. He who studies this Atharva Upanishad gains the fruit of repeating five (other) Atharva Upanishads; he who, having mastered this Atharva Upanishad, persists in worship.

30. Of this vidya ten million chants
Are less than the worship's fruit.
Eight and hundred recitations thereof
Make but this rite's inauguration.

31. Who reads it but ten times,
Is released at once from sins;
Through the grace of the Goddess great,
Tides he over obstacles great.

32. Reading it in the morning one destroys the sins of the night; reading it in the evening one destroys the sins committed by day. Thus, reading both in the evening and morning, the sinner becomes sinless. Reading it midnight, too, the fourth 'junction', there results perfection of speech. Its recitation before a new image brings to it the presence of the deity. Its recitation at the time of consecration (of an image) makes it a centre of energy. Reciting it on Tuesday under the asterism Ashvini, in the presence of the great Goddess, one overcomes fell death - one who knows thus. This is the secret.

Om! Gods! With ears let us hear what is good;
Adorable ones! With eyes let us see what is good.
With steady limbs, with bodies, praising,
Let us enjoy the life allotted by the gods.
May Indra, of wide renown, grant us well-being;
May Pusan, and all-gods, grant us well-being.
May Tarksya, of unhampered movement, grant us well-being.
May Brihaspati grant us well-being.
Om! Peace! Peace! Peace!

Here ends the Devi Upanishad, included in the Atharva-Veda.

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