Devi Bhagvatam-FIRST BOOK – CHAPTERS VI to X

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Chapter X

On Siva’s granting boons

1-37. The Risis said :– “O Suta ! You told before, that Vyasa Deva, unrivalled spirit, composed all the Puranas and taught them to his own Suka Deva; but how did Vyasadeva, who was incessantly engaged in tapasya, procreate Suka? Describe to us in detail what you heard direct from Krisna Dvaipayana Vyasa”. Suta said :– “O Risis ! Hear how Suka Deva, the best of the Munis and the foremost of the Yogis, was born of Vyasa Deva, the Satyavati’s son.

On the very beautiful summit of Mount Meru, Vyasa, the son of Satyavati, firmly determined, practised very severe austerities for the attainment of a son. Having heard from Narada, he, the great ascetic, repeated the one syllabled mantra of Vak and worshipped the Highest Mahamaya with the object of getting a son. He asked, Let a son be born to me as pure andas spirited and powerful as fire, air, earth, and AkaSa. He thought over in his mind that the man possessed of Sakti is worshipped in this world and the man devoid of Sakti is censured here, and thus came to the conclusion that Sakti is therefore worshipped every where; and,therefore,worshipped Bhagavan MaheSvara coupled with the auspicious Adya Sakti and spent away one hundred years without any food. He began his tapasya on that mountain summit which was ornamented with the garden of Karnikar, where all the Devas play, andwhere live the Munis highly ascetic, the Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Marut, the two ASvins, and the other mindful Risis, the knowers of Brahma and where the Kinnaras always resound the air with their songs of music, etc.; such a place Vyasa Deva preferred for his tapasya.”

The whole universe was pervaded with the spirit of asceticism of the intelligent Parasara’s son Vyasa Deva; and the hairs of his head were clotted and looked tawny, of the colour of flames. Seeing the fire of his asceticism, Indra, the lord of Sachi became exceedingly terrified. Bhagavan Rudra, seeing Indra thus afraid, fatigued and morose, asked him :– “O Indra, why do you look so fear-stricken to-day? O Lord of the Devas ! What is the cause of your grief? Never show your jealousy and anger to the ascetics; for the mindful ascetics always practise severe asceticism with a noble object and worship Me, knowing Me to be possessed of the all powerful Sakti; they never want ill of any body”. When Bhagavan Rudra said this, Indra asked him :– “What is his object?” At this Sankara said :– For the attainment of a son, Prasara’s son is practising so severe austerities; now one-hundred years is being completed; I will go to him, and give him to-day the auspicious boon of a son. Thus speaking to Indra, Bhagavan Rudra, the Guru of the world, went to Vyasa Deva and, with merciful eyes, said :– “O sinless Vasavi’s son ! Get up; I grant to you the boon, that you will get a sonvery fiery, luminous and spirited like the five elements fire, air, earth, water and AkaSa, the supreme Jñani, the store of all auspicious qualities, of great renown, beloved to all, ornamented with all Sattvik qualities, truthful and valorous.

Hearing these sweet words of Bhagavan Sulapani Maharsi Krisna Dvaipayana bowed down to Him and went back to his own hermitage. Tired with the labour of penance for many years, he wanted to kindle fire by rubbing two fuels (Arani) with each other. While doing this the high souled man suddenly began to think strongly in his mind about procreating a son. He thought :– “Will it be that my son will be born as this fire is produced by the friction of the two churning sticks? I have not got the wife, which the Pundits designate a “Putrarani”, the youthful wife endowed with beauty, born of a noble family, the chaste one I have not got with me. But the wife, though chaste and fit to beget a son, is undoubtedly a chain to both the legs so how can I get such a one for my wife? This is known to all that a chaste wife, though clever in doing all household duties, beautiful and giving happiness to one’s desires, is yet

always a sort of bondage. What more than this, that the ever Bhagavan MaheSvara is always under the bondage of woman. How, then, knowing and hearing all these I can accept this difficult householder’s life? While he was thinking thus, the extraordinarily beautiful Apsara Ghritachi fell to his sight close to him in the celestial air.

Though Vyasa Deva was a Brahmachari (holding in control the secret power of generation) of a very high order, yet seeing suddenly the agile Apsara (a celestial nymph) coming close to him and looking askance at him, he became soon smitten with the arrows of cupid and feeling himself distressed, began to think what shall I do in this critical moment.

Unbearable amorous feelings now have come over me; now if I take this celestial nymph, knowing that Dharma is everywhere looking, and woman has come to take away my precious fire of spirit acquired by my tapasya, then I will be laughed at by the high souled ascetic Munis who will think that I have lost my senses altogether. Alas ! Why I who have practised for one hundred years the most terrible ascetism, have become so powerless by the mere sight of this Apsara ! The Pundits declare the household life as the source of getting son, one’s heart’s desire and the source of all happiness; so much so that it leads all the virtuous souls to the pleasures of Heaven, and ordains Moksa (liberation) to those who are Jñanins; and if I get such unrivalled happiness from this householder’s life, I can have this Deva Kanya (the celestial nymph) though blameable. But again that happiness will not occur to me through her; there is no doubt in this. So how can I take her. I heard from Narada how, in ancient days, a king name Pururava fell under the clutches of UrvaSi and ultimately felt great pain, being defeated by her.

Thus ends the tenth chapter on Siva’s granting boon in the Mahapurana Srimad Devi Bhagavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyas.