Book 8: Chapter 8
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 8: Chapter 8: Verses 1-17
Sri Suka resumed: On the poison having been drunk by Lord Siva (who bears the emblem of a bull) the aforesaid gods and demons, full of joy, churned the ocean (of milk) with (redoubled) vigour; and from the said act of churning came forth the cow of plenty (the store-house of milk, ghee and so on, the principal substances fit for being offered as oblation into the sacred fire). Seers who were exponents of the Vedas (and engaged in sacrificial performances) took that cow (the source of milk etc., fit for being poured as oblations into the sacred fire) for (obtaining) sacred material (milk, ghee and so on) to be used in sacrificial performances capable of taking (the sacrificer) to the path of gods (leading to Brahmaloka and so on), O king ! Next sprang forth the (celebrated) horse, Uccaihtrava by name, which was white as the moon. Bali longed for (took) it and not Indra because of the admonition given by the Lord. Then issued forth the (moon-white) king of elephants, Airavata by name, which by its four tusks (resembling the four peaks of a mountain) obscured the splendour of Kailasa (the white mountain forming the abode) of Lord Siva. Next rose from the ocean (of milk) a jewel of the ruby type, bearing the name of Kaustubha. Sri Hari (Himself) longed for (took) that gem as an adornment for His breast. Then appeared (the tree known by the name of) Parijata, the ornament of the celestial world, which incessantly gratifies petitioners with the objects sought for, even as you (Pariksit) do it on earth.
Then came forth the Apsaras (celestial nymphs) adorned with gold necklaces and clad in excellent robes, who delight the denizens of heaven with their charming gait and playful glances. Then, again, appeared Goddess Rama (Laksmi), who is Affluence personified and is devoted to the Lord, and who illumined the quarters with Her splendour like (a streak of) lightning flashing against the crystalline mountain-range called Sudama. All including gods, demons and men conceived a longing for Her, their mind overpowered (through astonishment) by the glory of Her comeliness, nobility, (young) age and (fair) complexion. The great lndra (the lord of paradise) brought for Her a most wonderful throne, while the principal rivers (Gangs and so on) in their personal form brought sacred water (for Her ablutions) in jars of gold.
(Mother) Earth gave (Her) all (kinds of) herbs required for Her ablutions. The cows yielded to Her their five sacred products (viz., milk, curds, ghee, excrement and urine); and Spring yielded (Her) the produce of the two vernal months (in the shape of flowers and fruits appropriate to that season). Rsis (seers) laid down the procedure of Her ablutions according to the scriptural ordinance. Gandharvas (celestial musicians) sang auspicious songs and their wives (too) danced and sang. (Spirits presiding over) clouds sounded with great force clay tomtoms, tabors, drums, double drums and clarionets, that produced a tumultuous fanfare-as well as conchs, flutes and lutes. Then the elephants guarding the (four) quarters bathed Goddess Sri, who held a lotus in one of Her hands and was an embodiment of virtue, with (gold) jars full of water to the accompaniment of hymns chanted by Brahmanas. (The god presiding over) the ocean offered Her two pieces of yellow silk (one for being wrapped round Her loins and lower body and the other round Her upper limbs). Varuna (the god of water) gave Her a garland called Vaijayanti, accompanied by black bees drunk with the honey of its flowers. Viswakarma, a lord of created beings, offered Her wonderful ornaments; Saraswati (the goddess presiding over speech and learning), a necklace of pearls; Brahma (the birthless creator), a lotus; and Nagas (serpent-demons) a pair of ear-rings. Holding in one of Her hands a wreath of lotuses with (a swarm of) black bees humming about it, and wearing a most charming face with a bashful smile playing on it and (brilliant) ear-rings hanging against Her lovely cheek, Goddess Sri, who (in the form of a golden streak) had (already) taken Her (permanent) abode in the auspicious bosom of Sri Hari, moved about (in search of a match of Her choice).
- ↑ Here it should be noted, as a learned and saintly commentator points out, that ad those present in that assembly coveted Goddess Laksmi only because they knew that, She being the deity presiding over fortune, Her grace would make them masters of fortune. Otherwise they were all great devotees, as is evident from the fact that they all offered presents to Her as a token of reverence and homage (vide verses 10 to 16).