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Song of the Goddess, The

The Devi Gita: Spiritual Counsel of the Great Goddess

C. Mackenzie Brown

Publication Year: 2002

The Devi Gita, literally the “Song of the Goddess,” is an Eastern spiritual classic that appeared around the fifteenth century C.E. C. Mackenzie Brown provides a reader-friendly English translation of this sacred text taken from his well-regarded previous book The Devi Gita: The Song of the Goddess, A Translation, Annotation, and Commentary. Here the translation is presented uninterrupted, without the scholarly annotations of the original version, and in its entirety for the pleasure of all readers who wish to encounter this treasure from the world’s sacred literature. Often neglected, the Devi Gita deserves to be better known for its presentations of one of the great Hindu visions of the divine conceived in feminine terms. The work depicts the universe as created, pervaded, and protected by a supremely powerful, all-knowing, and wholly compassionate divine female. It also describes the various spiritual paths leading to realization of unity with the Goddess. The author of the Devi Gita intended for the work to supplant the famous teachings of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita (the “Song of the Lord”) from a goddess-inspired perspective.

Published by: State University of New York Press

The Song of the Goddess: The Devi Gita: Spiritual Counsel of the Great Goddess

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A Note on the Text

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pp. 10-11

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pp. 1-34

The Devi Gita, or Song of the Goddess, presents a grand vision of the universe created, pervaded, and protected by a supremely powerful, all-knowing, and wholly compassionate divine female. She is Maha- Devi, the Great Goddess, wielding all power (Shakti) in the universe...

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Translator’s Note

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pp. 35-40

In preparing this translation, I have consulted a number of editions of the Devi Gita, some published as parts of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana and others printed as separate and independent texts. I finally chose the Venkatesvara edition (Bombay, n.d.) of the Devi-Bhagavata Purana, the current vulgate, for my base text...

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1. The Appearance of the Great Goddess before the Mountain King Himalaya and the Gods

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pp. 41-52

Janamejaya spoke: 1.1. You said earlier that the supreme lustrous power manifested itself on the crest of Himalaya, the Mountain Lord. This you mentioned only in passing. Now explain it to me in full detail...

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2. The Goddess as the Supreme Cause of Creation

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pp. 53-60

The Goddess spoke: 2.1. May all the gods attend to what I have to say. By merely hearing these words of mine, one attains my essential nature. 2.2. I alone existed in the beginning; there was nothing else at all, O Mountain King...

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3. The Goddess Reveals Her Cosmic Body (The Viraj)

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pp. 61-70

The Goddess spoke: 3.1. I imagine into being the whole world, moving and unmoving, through the power of my Maya, Yet that same Maya is not separate from me; this is the highest truth. 3.2. From the practical point of view, Maya is regarded as self-evident...

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4. Instruction in the Yoga of Knowledge

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pp. 71-78

The Goddess spoke: 4.1. How distant you are, so humble, from this form of mine, so magnificent! Yet out of affection for my devotees, I have displayed such a form. 4.2. Not by study of the Vedas, nor by yoga, charity, austerity, or sacrifice...

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5. Instruction in the Eight-Limbed/ Serpentine Yoga

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pp. 79-88

Himalaya spoke: 5.1. O Great Queen, describe that yoga with all its limbs which bestows supreme understanding, So that by practicing it, I may become fit to see the truth. The Goddess spoke: 5.2. The goal of yoga is not found in the heavens, nor on earth, nor in the underworld, But in the union of the individual soul and the supreme Self; thus do skilled adepts define yoga...

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6. The Goal of the Yogas: Knowledge of Brahman

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pp. 89-94

The Goddess spoke: 6.1. Cultivating the yogas just described, one should meditate on me as the true form of Brahman With sincere devotion, assuming the proper posture, O King. 6.2. It is manifest, well-fixed, pervading the hearts of beings, indeed; it is the great foundation. Thereupon all that moves, breathes, and blinks is established...

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7. Instruction in the Yoga of Devotion

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pp. 95-102

Himalaya spoke: 7.1. Describe the path of devotion that focuses on you, O Mother. By such devotion, supreme knowledge easily Develops in the ordinary person filled with passions...

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8. Further Instruction in the Yoga of Devotion: The Sacred Sites, Rites, and Festivals of the Goddess

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pp. 103-110

Himalaya spoke: 8.1. O Ruler of the Gods, what sacred dwelling places here on earth should one see? Which ones are preeminent, purifying, and most pleasing to the Goddess? 8.2. What rites provide satisfaction, and also what festivals?...

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9. Vedic and Internal Forms of Goddess Worship

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pp. 111-118

Himalaya spoke: 9.1. O Goddess of the Gods, Great Ruler, Ocean of Compassion, Mother, Proclaim now in detail the proper manner of your worship. The Goddess spoke: 9.2. I shall explain the manner of worship, O King, that pleases the Mother...

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10. The Tantric Form of Goddess Worship and the Disappearance of the Great Goddess

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pp. 119-126

The Goddess spoke: 10.1. Rising at dawn, one should call to mind the radiant lotus on the top of the head, Shining like camphor. On that lotus one should recollect the form of one’s own blessed guru, 10.2. Kindly disposed, adorned with shining ornaments, conjoined with his consort...


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pp. 127-146

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 147-148

E-ISBN-13: 9780791488515
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791453933
Print-ISBN-10: 0791453936

Page Count: 148
Publication Year: 2002