The Brahma Purana

by G. P. Bhatt | 1955 | 243,464 words

This is the Brahma Purana in English (translation from Sanskrit), which is one of the eighteen Maha Puranas. The contents of this ancient Indian encyclopedic treatise include cosmology, genealogy (solar dynasty etc.), mythology, geology and Dharma (universal law of nature). The Brahma Purana is notable for its extenstive geological survey includin...

Chapter 58 - Rules of Worship and Mantras

Brahmā said:

1-2. After performing the rites of Tarpaṇa to Devas, Pitṛs and others and having performed the Ācamana rite silently, O Brahmins, the devotee shall draw the mystic diagram of a city on the shore of a great ocean. It should look very splendid with four corners and four gateways. The figure shall extend to a hand in size. In the middle of the city he should draw the mystic diagram of a lotus with eight petals and a pericarp.

3. After drawing the mystic diagram O brahmins, the devotee should worship Nārāyaṇa, the unborn lord by means of injunctions in regard to the eight syllabled Mantra.

4-6. I shall now mention the excellent means of cleaning the body. He should think of the (syllable A) in the heart along with a circular line. It should have three blazing tufts that burn and destroy sins. He shall think of the syllable Ra stationed in the middle of the lunar disc on the head. It should be white in colour, it should shower nectar and blood on the earth. After dispelling sins thus he is endowed with a divine body.

7. Then he should perform the Nyāsa rite with the eight-syllabled Mantra. He shall begin with the left foot and fix in due order.

8. The aspirant should perform the following rites with the basic Mantra viz. the five limbs belonging to lord Viṣṇu; the four groups or arrays and the purificatory rite of the hand also belong to the lord.

9-12. Each of the Varṇas (colours, syllables) should be fixed in the figures separately. He should fix the syllable Om as the white earth in the left foot, the syllable Na pertains to lord Śiva. It is dark-coloured and is stationed in the right foot. They call the syllable Mo Kāla (time, God of Death). The devotee should fix it in the left hip. The syllabic is the seed of everything. It is stationed in the right hip. They call the syllable Tejas (fire). It is stationed in the umbilical region, The syllable Ya pertains to the wind and it resorts to the left shoulder. The syllable Ṇā should be known as omnipresent. It is stationed in the right shoulder. The syllable Ya is stationed in the head. It is in this that all the worlds are established.

13. Om obeisance to Viṣṇu—thus the head. Om obeisance to Jvalana (the fiery blaze)—thus the tuft. Om obeisance to Viṣṇu—thus the coat of mail. Oṃ obeisance to Viṣṇu—thus the throbbing for the binding of quarters. Oṃ Hum phaṭ—thus the miraculous weapon. Oṃ Vāsudeva is white—in the head thus. Oṃ Am Saṅkarṣaṇa is red—in the forehead. Garuḍa is the fire, the luminary sun thus. Aṃ Pradyumna is yellow—in the neck. He is the wind and cloud. Oṃ Aṃ Aniruddha is black—in the heart. He is endowed with all power. Thus protected by four arrays the devotee shall start reciting Kavaca.

14-17. “Viṣṇu is stationed in front of me; Govinda in the right side; Madhusūdana in the left; Vaikuṇṭha above; Varāha on the surface of the Earth; Mādhava in intermediary spaces. My protection is afforded by Narasiṃha even as I move about or stay still, whatever I am awake or asleep. I am identical with Vāsudeva”. Thus the devotee will become identical with the lord. He shall start the holy rite. As in regard to the body so in regard to the lord he should join the principles (tattvas).

18-19. He should perform the rite of sprinkling with water with the mantra Oṃkāra and ending with Phaṭ, dispelling of calamities. The mantra is efficacious in warding off the evil effect of the malefic eye of the sun, moon and fire. He should fix Viṣṇu in the centre of the lotus between wind and ether.

20-21. He should think of Oṃkāra in the form of a luminary, in the heart. The eternal form of the luminary is seated in the pericarp. He should perform the Nyāsa of the eight-syllabled Mātrā in due order. The greatest worship is rendered to the lord by that Mantra analytically and synthetically.

22. He should perform the worship of eternal lord by the twelve-syllabled Mantra; thereafter he should fix it up in the pericarp, at the outside, after retaining it in the heart.

23. He should meditate upon the eternal lord with four arms and possessed of great strength. He should think upon the lord with lustre of a crore suns. He should invoke the lord after duly thinking about him in his mind.

24. (The invocation is as follows):—

May the Lord Nārāyaṇa, the bestower of boons come in front of me in the form of a Fish, Boar, Man-lion and a Dwarf. Om namo Nārāyaṇāya—thus is the mantra for invoking the lord (obeisance to Nārāyaṇa).

25. The establishment of the seat is as follows:—

At the extremity of foot-hills of the mountain Sumeru the seat is conceived of in the mystic lotus. “O Slayer of Madhu, stay here for the welfare of all animals. Oṃ namo Nārāyaṇāya (Obeisance to Nārāyaṇa)—thus the establishment of the seat”.

26. The Arghya is offered with the following mantra:—

“Oṃ obeisance to Lord Viṣṇu, Hṛṣīkeśa, the lord of Devas, of rulers of the three worlds. Om namo Nārāyaṇāya (obeissance to Nārāyaṇa), thus the Arghya.

27. Om the water offering for washing the feet. O Eternal Padmanābha, O Lord, the water is offered at your feet. O Viṣṇu, with eyes like the petals of a lotus, O Madhusūdana, please accept it. Oṃ namo Nārāyaṇāya (Obeisance to Nārāyaṇa)—thus the Pādya.

28. The holy offering is made as follows:—“O Great Lord, the best among the Puruṣas, the Madhuparka as prepared by Brahmā and other sages is devoutly offered unto you. Please accept it, “Om namo Nārāyaṇāya”—thus the Madhuparka.[1]

29. The water for ritualistic rinsing of the mouth is offered to you. The crystalline water of the Gaṅgā is auspicious and it dispels all sins. Accept this water for rinsing your mouth as devotedly offered by me.

30. The ablutionary rite is as under:—

“You are water, earth, fire, wind. O lord of the Universe, I am bathing you with water merely as a routine activity. Om namo Nārāyaṇāya” thus the ablution.

31. The two cloths are offered as follows:—

“O Lord, equipped with the principles, having the lustre and colour of sacrifice, O lord Keśava, two cloths having the lustre and colour of gold are offered to you. Oṃ namo Nārāyaṇāya”—thus the cloths.

32. The unguent is offered as follows:—

“O Keśava, I do not know your body nor your activities. The scent is offered by me. Let it be accepted to smear your body with. Oṃ namo Nārāyaṇāya”—thus the unguent.

33. The sacred thread is offered as follows:—“I dedicate the sacred thread wound into threefolds by the lotus-born deity through the Ṛk, Yajus and Sāman. It has the blessing of Sāvitrī. Oṃ namo Nārāyaṇāya”—thus the sacred thread.

34. Ornaments are offered as follows:—

“O Mādhava, equipped with divine gems, with the lustre like that of fire and the sun, may your body shine splendidly with ornaments. Oṃ namo Nārāyaṇāya”—thus the ornaments.

35-38. When worshipping, the words Oṃ namaḥ shall be used along with each of the syllables of the basic Mantra. Or the worship can be performed with the basic mantra alone.

“May this offering of incense be accepted. The divine juice of the plant rendered fragrant by the addition of scents, has been offered by me with great devotion.

Oṃ namo Nārāyaṇāya”—thus the incense is offered.

The light is offered as follows:—

The refulgence “as that of the sun and the moon, the bright-light of the lightning and fire—you alone are that, O Lord of luminaries; may this lamp be accepted. Oṃ namo Nārāyaṇāya”—thus the lamp.

The Naivedya is offered as follows:—

“The four varieties of cooked rice, equipped with six types of tastes O Keśava, this Naivedya (food offering) has been devoutly offered to you. Oṃ namo Nārāyaṇāya”—thus the Naivedya.

39-47. The devotee shall fix Vāsudeva in the petal in the East, Saṃkarṣaṇa in the South, Pradyumna in the West and Aniruddha in the North, Varāha in the South-East, Narasiṃha in the South-West, Madhva in the North-West and Trivikrama in the North-East.

Similarly, he should fix Garuḍa in front of the Lord of eight syllables; he shall fìx the discus at the left side and the couch at the right side. Similarly, he shall fix the great iron club on the right side, the mighty bow on the left. The two divine quivers on the right side and the sword to the left. After establishing Śrī to the right (i.e. the South) he should fix prosperity (puṣṭi) to the North. He should fix the garland of sylvan flowers, the scar Śrīvatsa and the jewel Kaustubha in front. He should fìx the weapons of the lord of Devas in the angular points. With the Tāntrika mantras he should fix Indra, Agni, Yama, Nairṛta, Varuṇa, Vāyu, Dhanada and Īśāna in the eight quarters and Ananta and Brahmā beneath and above and worship them.

Worshipping the lord of Devas thus, stationed in the mystic diagram, he shall obtain his cherished desires.

48. He who observes Janārdana who in accordance with this injunction is worshipped in the mystic diagram, shall enter the eternal Viṣṇu.

49. If Keśava is worshipped even for once in accordance with this injunction, the devotee will surmount birth, death and old age. He will attain the region of Viṣṇu.

50. An abode in the white Island (Śvetadvīpa) is allotted to the person who remembers Nārāyaṇa with devout attention.

51. His name with Oṃkāra at the beginning and Namaḥ at the end is called the Mantra of all Principles.

52-53. He should offer scents and fragrant flowers in accordance with this very injunction. For each one of syllables he shall offer flowers in due order. He shall show mystic gestures in the order of their occurrence. He should perform the rite of recitation of the bīja Mantra. There are eight mystic gestures viz—lotus, conch, Śrīvatsa, iron club, Garuḍa, discus, sword, and the bow Śārṅga. Repetition of the name may be for eight, twenty-eight or hundred and eight times. In accordance with his capacity, or desires entertained or the frequency mentioned, the devotee shall perform the rite of recitation with great concentration and attentively.

The ritualistic dismissal of the deity is as follows:—“O Purāṇa Puruṣottama, go, go to the greatest abode where Devas viz. Brahmā and others live joyfully. Om namo Nārāyaṇāya”, thus the dismissal.

Those who do not know this mode of worship of Hari may worship him by reciting the basic Mantra.

Footnotes and references:


Madhuparka: a mixture of honey, curd and butter offered to the guest or the bridegroom on the wedding ceremony.

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