1-50. The Devî said:–“Hear, ye Immortals! My words with attention, that I am now going to speak to you, hearing which will enable the Jîvas to realise My Essence. Before the creation, I, only I, existed; nothing else was existent then. My Real Self is known by the names Chit, Sambit (Intelligence), Para Brahma and others. My Âtman is beyond mind, beyond thought, beyond any name or mark, without any parallel, and beyond birth, death or any other change or transformation. My Self has one inherent power called Mâyâ. This Mâyâ is not existent, nor non-existent, nor can it be called both. This unspeakable substance Mâyâ always exists (till the final emancipation or Moksa).
Mâyâ can be destroyed by Brahmna Jñâna; so it cannot be called existent, again if Mâyâ does not exist, the practical world cannot exist. So it cannot be called non-existent. Of course it cannot be called both, for it would involve contradictions. This Mâyâ (without beginning but with end at the time of Moksa) naturally arises as heat comes out of fire, as the rays come out of the Sun and as the cooling rays come out of the Moon. Just as all the Karmas of the Jîvas dissolve in deep sleep (S’usupti), so at the time of Pralaya or the General Dissolution, the Karmas of the Jîvas, the Jîvas and Time all become merged, in one uniform mass in this great Mâyâ. United with My S’aktî, I am the Cause of this world; this S’aktî has this defect that it has the power of hiding Me, its Originator.
I am Nirguna. And when I am united with my S’aktî, Mâyâ, I become Saguns, the Great Cause of this world. This Mâyâ is divided into two, Vidyâ and Avidyâ. Avidyâ Mâyâ hides Me; whereas Vidyâ Mâyâ does not. Avidyâ creates whereas Vidyâ Mâyâ liberates.
Mâyâ united with Chaitanya (Intelligence), i. e., Chidâbhâsa is the efficient cause of this Universe; whereas Mâyâ reduced to and united with five original elements is the material Cause of the Universe. Some call this Mâyâ tapas; some call Her inert, material; some call Her knowledge; some call Her Mâyâ, Pradhâna, Prakriti, Ajâ (unborn) and some others call Her S’aktî. The S’aiva authors call Her Vimars’a and the other Vedântists call Her Avidyâ; in short, this Mâyâ is in the heads of all the Pundits. This Mâyâ is called various in the Nigamas.
That which is seen is inert; for this reason Mâyâ is Jada (inert) and as the knowledge it conveys is destroyed, it is false. Chaitanya (Intelligence) is not seen; if It were seen, it would have been Jada. Chaitanya is self-luminous; not illumined by any other source. Were It so, Its Enlightener would have to be illumined by some other. thing and so the fallacy of Anavasthâ creeps in (an endless series of causes and effects). Again one thing cannot be the actor and the thing, acted upon (being contrary to each other); so Chaitanya cannot be illumined by itself. So It is Self-luminous; and it illumines Sun, Moon, etc., as a lamp is self-luminous and illumines other objects. So, O Mountain! This My Intelligence is established as eternal and everlasting. The waking, dreaming and deep sleep states do not remain constant but the sense of “I” remains the same, whether in waking, dreaming or deep sleep state; its anomaly is never felt. (The Bauddhas say that) The sense of intelligence, Jñâna, is also not, felt; there in the absence of it; so what is existent is also temporarily existent. But (it can then be argued that) then the Witness by which that absence is sensed, that Intelligence, in the shape of the Witness, is eternal. So the Pundits of all the reasonable S’âstras declare that Sambit (Intelligence) is Eternal and it is Blissful as the fountain of all love. Never the Jîvas or embodied souls feel “I am not”; but “I am” this feeling is deeply established in the soul as Love. Thus it is clearly evident that I am quite Separate from anything else which are all false. Also I am one continuous (no interval or separation existing within Me). Again Jñâna is not the Dharma (the natural quality) of Âtman but it is of the very nature of Âtman. If Jñâna were the Dharma of Âtman, then Jñâna would have been material; so Jñâna is immaterial. If (for argument’s sake) Jñâna be denominated as material, that cannot be. For Jñâna is of the nature of Intelligence and Âtman is of the the nature of Intelligence. Intelligence is not the attribute of being Dharma. Here the thing Chit is not different from its quality (Chit). So Âtman is always of the nature of Jñâna and happiness; Its nature is Truth; It is always Full, unattached and void of duality. This Âtman again, united with Mâyâ, composed of desires and Karmas, wants to create, due to the want of discrimination, the twenty-four tattvas, according to the previous Samskâras (tendencies), time and Karma. O Mountain! The re-awakening after Pralaya Susupti is not done with Buddhi (for then Buddhi is not at all manifested). So this creation is said to be effected without any Buddhi (proper intelligence). O Chief of the Immovables! The Tattva (Reality) that I have spoken to you is most excellent and it is my Extraordinary Form merely. In the Vedas it is known as Avyâkrita (unmodified), Avyakta (unmanifested)
Mâyâ S’abala (divided into various parts) and so forth. In all S’âstras, it is stated to be the Cause of all causes, the Primeval Tattva and Sachchidlinanda Vigraba. Where all the Karmas are solidified and where Ichchâ S’aktî, (will), Jñâna S’aktî (intelligence) and Kriyâ S’aktî (action) all are melted in one, that is called the Mantra Hrîm, that is the first Tattva. From this comes out Âkâsa, having the property of sound, thence Vâyu (air) with “touch” property; then fire with form, then water having “Rasa” property; and lastly the earth having the quality “smell.” The Pundits say that the “sound” is the only quality of Âkâsa; air has two qualities viz., sound and touch, fire has three qualities sound, touch, form; water has four qualities sound, touch, form, taste; and the earth has five qualities sound, touch, form, taste and smell, Out of these five original elements, the allpervading, Sûtra (string or thread) arose. This Sûtrâtman (soul) is called the “Linga Deha,” comprising within itself all the Prânas; this is the subtle body of the Paramâtman. And what is said in the previous lines as Avyakta or Unmainfested and in which the Seed of the World is involved and whence the Linga Deha has sprung, that is called the Causal body (Kârana body) of the Paramâtman. The five original elements (Apañchikrita called the five Tan Mâtrâs) being created, next by the Pañchîkarana process, the gross elements are created. The process is now being stated:–O Girijâ! Each of the five original elements is divided into two parts; one part of each of which is subdivided into four parts. This fourth part of each is united with the half of four other elements different from it and thus each gross element is formed. By these five gross elements, the Cosmic (Virât) body is formed and this is called the Gross Body of the God. Jñânendriyas (the organs of knowledge) arise from Sattva Gunas of each of these five elements. Again the Sattva Gunas of each of the Jñânendriyas united become the Antah Karanâni. This Antah karana is of four kinds, according as its functions vary. When it is engaged in forming Sankalpas, resolves, and Vikalpas (doubts) it is called “mind.” When it is free from doubts and when it arrives at the decisive conclusion, it is called “Chitta”; and when it rests simply on itself in the shape of the feeling “I”, it is called Ahamkâra. From the Rajo Guna of each of the five elements arises Vâk (speech), Pâni (hands) Pâda (feet), Pâyu (Anus) and Upastha (organs of generation). Again their Rajo parts united give rise to the five Prânas (Prâna, Apâna, Samâna, Udâna and Vyâna) the Prâna Vayu resides in the heart; Apâna Vayu in the Arms; Samâna Vayu resides in the Navel; Udâna Vayu rasides in the Throat; and the Vyâna Vâyu resides, pervading all over the body. My subtle body (Linga Deha) arises from the union of the five Jñânendriyas, the five Karmendriyas (organs of action), the five Pranas and the mind and Buddhi, these seventeen elements. And the Prakriti that resides there is divided into two parts; one is pure (Suddha Sattwa) Mâyâ and the other is the impure Mâyâ or Avidyâ united with the Gunas. By Mâyâ is meant She, who, without concealing Her refugees, protects them. When the Supreme Self is reflected on this S’uddha Sattva, Mâyâ, He is called Îs’vara. This Saddha Mâyâ does not conceal Brahma, its receptacle; therefore She knows the All-pervading Brahma and She is omniscient, omnipotent, the Lady of all and confers favours and blessings on all. When the Supreme Self is reflected on the Impure Mâyâ or Avidyâ, He is called Jîva. This Avidyâ conceals Brahma, Whose nature is Happiness; therefore this Jîva is the source of all miseries. Both Îs’vara and Jîva have, by the influence of Vidyâ and Avidyâ three bodies and three names. When the Jîva lives in his causal body, he is named Prâjna; when he lives in subtle body he is known as Taijasa; while he has the gross body, he is called Vis’va. So when Îs’vara is in His causal body, he is denominated Îs’a; when He is in His subtle body, he is known as Sûtra; and when He is in His gross body, He is known as Virât.
The Jîva glorifies in having three (as above-mentioned) kinds of differentiated bodies and Îs’vara glorifies in having three (as above-mentioned) kinds of cosmic bodies. Thus Îs’vara is the Lord of all and though He feels Himself always happy and satisfied, yet to favour the Jîvas and to give them liberation (Moksa) He has created various sorts of worldly things for their Bhogas (enjoyments). This Îs’vara creates all the Universes, impelled by My Brahma S’aktî. I am of the nature of Brahma; and Îs’vara in conceived in Me as a snake is imagined in a rope. Therefore Îs’vara has to remain dependent on My S’akti.
Here ends the Thirty-second Chapter of the Seventh Book on Self-realization, spoken by the World Mother in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.