Devisukta, Hymn to the Goddess (Rig Veda)

The Devisukta, or Hymn to the Goddess, is found in the Rg Veda (RV 10.125)the earliest of the four Vedas or sacred wisdom texts that form the scriptural foundation for modern Hinduism. It is traditionally recited with the Devi Mahatmyam, one of the most important texts of the vast Shakta canon, and is a companion to the beautiful Ratrisukta.

1. OM! I move through the deities of storm and light, through the deities of the heavens, through all the deities. I uphold the lords of day and night, the sovereign of the atmosphere, the God of fire (Agni) and the benevolent celestial guardians.

2. I bear the nectar of immortality. I support the Creator of living beings, the Protector of the universe, and the gracious Lord of prosperity. I bestow wealth on those who prepare the sacrifices and offer the oblations with an attentive mind.

3. I am the sovereign in whom all the auspicious deities are united. Shining with consciousness, I am foremost amongst those worthy of worship. The Gods diffuse me in every direction, my presence abiding in many places and revealed in manifold ways.

4. Through me alone all mortals live who see and breathe and hear what is said, not knowing that they abide in me. Hear me as I speak the truth to you.

5. I myself proclaim this, which is pleasing to Gods and humans alike. I make mighty whomever I wish, I make them devout and open their eyes to right understanding.

6. For the God who puts evil to flight, I draw the bow, that His arrow may strike down the hater of devotion; such is the fervor I stir within that person. Through heaven and earth I extend.

7. At the summit of creation, I bring forth the heavens. My creative power flows from amid the waters of the infinite ocean. Thence I spread through all the worlds and touch yonder heaven with my vastness.

8. I breathe forth like the wind, setting all the worlds in motion. So great have I become in my splendor, shining far beyond heaven and earth.

(poetic translation based on Devadatta Kali, In Praise of the Goddess: The Devimahatmya and Its Meaning)

Devi proclaims Herself to be the source (yoni) of all creation.

In this hymn, the Goddess expresses Her primary place as the source and power of all that exists in the vast universe, including the Gods themselves. She also asserts Her identity as the absolute One – all the Gods are but facets and expressions of Her ultimate divine presence.

She also expresses Her grace, affirming that She sustains not only the sadhaka – one who has accepted a guru with humility and sincerely practices with the goal of liberation – but also those who deny Her or are totally unaware of Her existence. For those who are truly devoted and committed to spiritual discipline, Devi says that She obliterates the obstacles to their progress and spiritual awakening.

Finally, Devi proclaims Herself to be the source (yoni) of all creation, the source of creative power itself, and reveals Herself as both immanent and transcendent, being-consciousness as well as manifested reality. Ultimately, Devi is all that is, both manifest and unmanifest, embracing and surpassing the limits of the limitless universe.