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Re: Vishnu-Parvathi controversy

From: Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian (
Date: Fri Nov 06 1998 - 17:53:39 PST

Mani Varadarajan wrote:
> With ref to the point raised (extract below) whether
> Vishnu and Parvathi are related,our Gurus say as
> follows:
> This is the result of a later merging of two distinct
> persons.As is known Krishna ordered Yogamaya to wrest
> Balarama's garbha from Devaki and place it in Rohini's
> womb;and also  herself to be born of Yashoda in time
> for exchange with Krishna.Later when Kamsa tried to
> dash her against a stone she rose up into the sky
> and mocked and warned him.This Yogamaya who was given
> the boon of being worhshipped thenceforth, was Durga.
> Since she was born of Yashoda and was also associated
> with Devaki she is considered Krishna's sister.

There is a Durga stotra found in the mahAbhArata in the yuddha parva.
Before the yuddha, Krishna asks Arjuna to pray to durgA. The stotra has
the following lines:

gopendrasyAnuje nanda-gopa kulodhbhave |

[ ... ]

skandamAtar-bhagavatI durge kAntAra-vAsinI|

gopendrasyAnuje = sister of the lord of gopas (= Krishna)
skanda mAtA = mother of skanda.

These lines are found in the southern recension and the stotra is
somewhat popular in the advaita circles, at least followers of the
Sringeri Mutt (to which my family belongs). But, Jan Gonda says "A
typical instance is the durgAstava, existing in many versions (MBh. 4,6
B)", Medieval Religious Literature in Sanskrit, Otto
Harrosowitz-Weisbaden, page 233. 

Also, refer footnote 12, page 233 "Cf, the Critical Edition, V, Poona
1936, p. 300", same book. I don't know if the lines I quoted are found
in the critical edition prepared by the Bhandarkar Oriental Research