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 62 - Holy Ablution in Propitiation of Kṛṣṇa

The sages said:

1. O lotus-born one, when does the holy dip of Kṛṣṇa take place? By what means and in accordance with what precepts? Mention this, O excellent one among the knowers of precepts.

Brahmā said:

2. O sages, even as I recount, listen to the rules of holy ablution (in propitiation) of Kṛṣṇa, Rāma and Subhadrā. It is meritorious and destroyer of all sins.

3. O brahmins if, in the month of Jyeṣṭha the constellation Mārgaśiras coincides with the full moon, that is the auspicious time for the ablution of Hari.

4. There is a pure well devoid of impurities. It is full of sacred water reservoirs. O brahmins, the sacred river Bhogavatī becomes visible there at that time.

5-10. Hence, from that well, the devotee should draw water in golden vessels on the full-moon day, for the ablution of Kṛṣṇa, Rāma and Subhadrā. O brahmins, the devotee, should make a raised rostrum for the ablution of Rāma and Kṛṣṇa. The rostrum should look splendid and well decorated with flags. It should be firm as well as comfortable to walk upon. It should be beautified with flowers and nice pieces of clothes. It should be spacious and fumigated with incenses. It should be enclosed with white clothes and decorated with pearl necklaces dangling down. To the accompaniment of musical instruments and auspicious shouts of victory the idols of Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma and Subhadrā should be installed on the platform.

O brahmins, men and women, brahmins, Kṣatriyas, Vaiśyas, Śūdras and people of other castes, householders, religious students newly wed, ascetics and celibate students should pour water over Kṛṣṇa and the ploughshare-armed Balarāma stationed on the platform.

11. O excellent brahmins, all the holy sacred waters mentioned above bathe the deities separately with their waters moved with flowers.

12-14. Loud sounds are then heard from drums of various kinds such as Paṭaha, Bherī, Muraja and Mṛdaṅga, from conches Kāhalas, cymbals, gongs, bells and various musical instruments. Women raise auspicious shouts along with the charming sounds raised by sages in the form of prayers, shouts of victory and sounds of flutes and lutes. The tumult raised there resembles the sound of rumbling sea.

15-16. The sages raise the chanting sound of Vedic Mantras and hymns from holy scriptures accompanied by Sāman songs. At the time of ablution, excellent devas eulogise them with great joy along with ascetics, householders old as well as those newly initiated religious students.

17-18. Rāma and Keśava are fanned with chowries with their handles studded with precious stones by dark-complexioned courtesans bending under the weight of their breasts. They are clad in yellow or red cloths and stoop down by the weight of garlands. They wear jewel-studded divine ear-rings with golden branches.

19-20. Ādityas, Vasus, Rudras, Sādhyas, Viśvedevas, Maruts, guardians of quarters and many others eulogise Puruṣottama. They are surrounded by Yakṣas, Vidyādharas, Siddhas, Kinnaras and Apsaras all occupying the firmament. There are Devas, Gandharvas and Cāraṇas also:—

21. “Obeisance to you, O Lord of the chiefs of Devas, O ancient Puruṣottama, O lord, the cause of creation, sustenance and annihilation, O lord of the world, O lord of the Universe.

22. Devoutly we bow to the lord holding the three worlds, who is favourably disposed to the brahmins, who is the cause of liberation and who bestows all desired benefits.

23. O excellent sages, Devas eulogised Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma of great strength and Subhadrā and remained in the sky itself.

24. Together with Gandharvas they sang auspicious songs while the celestial damsels danced, the divine musical instruments were played and the cool gentle winds blew.

25. The clouds gathered in the sky, showered water and strewed flowers. The sages, Siddhas and Cāraṇas shouted cries of victory.

26. (So also) Lord Indra and other Devas, sages, Pitṛs, Prajāpatis, Nāgas and those others who resided in heaven.

27-45. Thereafter, Deva took the materials of ablution duly inspired by the recitation of Mantra together with other auspicious requisites. Indra, Viṣṇu of great strength, sun, moon, Dhātā, Vidhātā, Anila (Wind God), Anala (fire God), Pūṣan. Bhaga, Aryaman, Tvaṣṭṛ, Aṃśumān and Vivasvat accompanied by his consorts, Mitra, Varuṇa, the lord surrounded by Rudras, Vasus, Ādityas, the two Aśvins, Viśvedevas, Maruts and Sādhyas along with the forefathers, were present there. There were Gandharvas, Apsaras, Yakṣas, the Rākṣasas, Nāgas, celestial sages, excellent brahminical sages, Vaikhānasas, Vālakhilyas who subsisted on winds and who drink lunar rays. Bhṛgus, Aṅgiras, the pious ascetics, Vidyādharas, holy persons of Yogic achievement surrounded them. Pitāmaha, Pulastya, Pulaha of great penance, Aṅgiras, Kaśyapa, Atri, Marīci, Bhṛgu, Kratu, Hara, Pracetas, Manu, Dakṣa, seasons, planets, luminaries, rivers in their embodied form, immortal Devas, ocean, eddies, different Tīrthas, Earth, heaven, quarters, trees, Aditi the mother of Devas, the wives of heaven-dwellers such as Hrī, Śrī, Svāhā, Sarasvatī, Umā, Śacī, Sinivāli, Anumati, Kuhu, Rākā, Dhiṣaṇā and others, mountains Himavān, Vindhya and Meru of numerous peaks, Airāvata with his followers. Kāla, Kāṣṭhās, fortnights, month, seasons, day, night, Uccaiśśravas most excellent of horses, Vāmana, Airāvata king of elephants, Aruṇa, Garuḍa, the trees along with the medicinal herbs, lord Dharma assembled together. Kāla, Mṛtyu, Yama and the servants of Yama, groups of Devas who have not been already mentioned because of their numerosity came for bathing the lord, from different quarters. O brahmins, the heaven-dwellers came upon the vessel which contained auspicious articles for ablution. The vessels of gold, O brahmins contained divine articles of requisites as well as holy and divine waters of the river Sarasvatī. Devas stationed in the firmament, bathed Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma with the water vessels mixed along with flowers.

46. So also the aerial chariots of Devas moved about in the sky. In these divine chariots they could go wherever they were pleased to go. The cars were of different type high and low. Some of them were stationary.

47, They were of wonderful workmanship with divine jewels studded in them. They were resorted to by Apsaras rendered beautiful by flags. Their charm was enhanced by songs and musical instruments.

48, They, O excellent sages, all these bathed Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma and Subhadrā and eulogised them with great joy.

49, Be victorious, be victorious, protector of the world. O saviour of devotees, be victorious, be victorious, one favourably disposed to one who bows down, be victorious, be victorious. O refuge of living beings, be victorious, be victorious. O primordial lord, O cause of many, be victorious, be victorious O destroyer of Asuras, be victorious, be victorious, be victorious. O most excellent one among the gods, be victorious, be victorious. O deity lying down in the ocean, be victorious, be victorious. O foremost one among the Yogins, be victorious be victorious. O deity with the sun for the eye, be victorious, be victorious. O king of Devas, be victorious, be victorious. O enemy of Kaiṭabha, be victorious, be victorious. O excellent one (eulogized in) the Vedas, be victorious, be victorious. O deity in the form of a tortoise, be victorious, be victorious O excellent deity in the form of sacrifice, be victorious, be victorious. O deity with the umbilical lotus, be victorious. O deity who move about on the mountains, be victorious, be victorious O Yogaśāyin (one who sleep the Yogic slumber), be victorious, be victorious, be victorious. O holder of velocity, be victorious, be victorious, O Viśvamūrti (deity of Universal form), be victorious, be victorious. O holder of discus, be victorious, be victorious. O lord of living beings, be victorious, be victorious. O upholder of the earth, be victorious, be victorious. O Śeṣaśāyin (one lying on the serpent Śeṣa), be victorious, be victorious. O yellow-robed one, be victorious be victorious. O Somakānta (one as lovely as the moon), be victorious, be victorious. O Yogavas (one residing in the Yogic power), be victorious, be victorious, O Dahanavaktra (one whose mouth emits fire), be victorious, be victorious. O abode of piety, be victorious be victorious O storehouse of good qualities, be victorious, be victorious. O abode of glory, be victorious, be victorius. O deity going about on the Vehicle Garuḍa, be victorious, be victorious. O abode of happiness, be victorious, be victorious. O banner of virtue, be victorious, be victorious. O abode of the earth, be victorious, be victorious. O Gahana Caritra (One whose conduct is abstruse); be victorious, be victorious. O Yogigamya (one who can be realised by Yogins), be victorious, be victorious, be victorious. O deity comprehensible through Vedas; be victorious, be victorious. O deity spreading calmness and peace, be victorious, be victorious. O cause of nourishment, be victorious, be victorious, O Jñānamūrti (one whose form is perfect knowledge), be victorious, be victorious. O mine of fortune, be victorious, be victorious. O Bhāvavedya (one who can be understood only through emotional fervour), be victorious, be victorious. O (deity) that causes salvation; be victorious, be victorious. O deity with a physical body devoid of imparities, be victorious, be victorious. O abode of all living beings, be victorious, be victorious. O cause of sacrifices, be victorious, be victorious. O deity devoid of attributes, be victorious, be victorious. O Mokṣakara (Liberator), be victorious, be victorious. Bhūśaraṇya-refuge of the Earth, be victorious, be victorious. O refulgent one, be victorious, be victorious. O refuge of the worlds, be victorious, be victorious. O lotus-eyed one, be victorious, be victorious. O cause of creation, be victorious, be victorious. O deity endowed with Yoga, be victorious, be victorious. O deity whose body is dark-coloured like the Atasī flower, be victorious, be victorious. O Samudrāviṣṭadeva (one whose body has entered the ocean), be victorious, be victorious. O deity acting as the bee in regard to Lakṣmī who is the lotus, be victorious, be victorious. O deity under the control of the devotee, be victorious, be victorious. O lover of the worlds, be victorious, be victorious. O extremely quiescent one, be victorious, be victorious. O greatest deity of essence, be victorious, be victorious, O holder of discus, be victorious, be victorious. O deity accompanied by those who enjoy, be victorious, be victorious. O blue-robed one (i.e. Balarāma), be victorious, be victorious. O bringer of peace, be victorious, be victorious. O liberator, be victorious, be victorious. O dispeller of sins, be victorious, be victorious. O Kṛṣṇa, lord of the universe, be victorious, be victorious. O younger brother of Saṃkarṣaṇa, be victorious, be victorious, O lotus-eyed one, be victorious, be victorious, O bestower of desired benefits, be victorious, be victorious. O deity whose chest is covered with garlands, be victorious, be victorious. O wielder of discus and ironclub, be victorious, be victorious. O lover of Lakṣmī (whose abode is the lotus) be victorious, be victorious, O Viṣṇu, obeisance be to you.

Brahmā said:

50-51. Thus Indra and other Devas were delighted in their minds after eulogising thus. Siddhas, Cāraṇas and others who reside in heaven and the sages Vālakhilyas loved to Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma and Subhadrā. O excellent sages, after bowing to them they stationed themselves in the firmament.

52-53. After visiting, eulogising and bowing to Kṛṣṇa, Rāma and Subhadrā, the heaven-dwellers went to their respective abodes. The aerial chariots of Devas moved about in the sky. Some were lofty. Some were low. Some could go as they pleased. Some were stationary.

54. The aerial chariots were of wonderful workmanship with divine jewels inlaid. They were resorted by the celestial maidens. They were beautified with flags and banners while musical instruments and songs enhanced their charm.

55. The devotees who visit Puruṣottama, Balabhadra and and Subhadrā on that occasion go to the eternal region (whence there is no return to the earth).

56. By seeing Puruṣottama seated on the platform accompanied by Subhadrā and Balarāma the devotees go to the abode of Viṣṇu which is devoid of ailments.

57. O excellent sages, the man who performs auspicious rites and visits the Lord seated on the couch accompanied by Balarāma and Subhadrā obtains the benefit which is equal to the benefit of charitable gift of a hundred tawny cows at the holy centre Puṣkara.

58. By visiting Lord Kṛṣṇa seated on the couch a man obtains the benefit which is equal to the benefit of charitable gift of a hundred virgins.

59. By visiting lord Kṛṣṇa seated on the couch a man obtains the benefit which is equal to the benefit of charitable gift of a hundred pieces of gold coins.

60. By visiting lord Kṛṣṇa seated on the couch a man obtains the benefit which is equal to the charitable gift of a thousand cows.

61. By visiting lord Kṛṣṇa seated on the couch a man obtains the benefit which is equal to the getting of land as prescribed in the Śāstras.

62. By visiting Lord Kṛṣṇa seated on the couch a man obtains the benefit equal to the gifts of cooked rice and due hospitality to guests along with Arghya.

63. By visiting Lord Kṛṣṇa seated on the couch a man obtains the benefits which is equal to that of performing Vṛṣotsarga.[1]

64. By visiting lord Kṛṣṇa seated on the couch a man obtains the benefit which is equal to the gift of water in summer or in any other season.

65. By visiting lord Kṛṣṇa seated on the couch a man obtains the benefit which is equal to the gift of Tiladhenu.[2]

66. By visiting Lord Kṛṣṇa seated on the couch a man obtains the benefit which is equal to the gift of elephants, horses and chariots.

67. By visiting lord Kṛṣṇa seated on the couch a man obtains the benefit which is equal to the gift of a cow with its horns plaited with gold.

68. By visiting Lord Kṛṣṇa seated on the couch a man obtains the benefit which is equal to the charitable gift of a water and cow.

69. By visiting lord Kṛṣṇa seated on the couch a man obtains the benefit which is equal to the gift of ghee and a cow.

70. By visiting lord Kṛṣṇa seated on the couch a man obtains the benefit which is equal to that of performing Cāndrāyaṇa[3] according to sacred injunctions.

71. By visiting lord Kṛṣṇa seated on the couch a man obtains the benefit which is equal to that of monthly observance of facts as laid down in the Śāstras.

72-77. Of what avail is much talk? O excellent brahmins, the greatness of that lord is as follows. By visiting Kṛṣṇa accompanied by Balarāma and seated on the couch as well as Subhadrā, the man who performs an auspicious rite obtains the benefit which is glorified as the result of holy rites and charitable gifts in all the holy centres. Hence, O excellent sages, the man or woman must see Puruṣottama. Thereby he or she obtains the benefit of holy dip in all the holy centres.

With the water that remains after the ablution rite of Kṛṣṇa the devotee must bathe and sprinkle himself.

A barren lady, a lady whose child is dead, a lady in a wretched state or afflicted by evil planets, those who are seized by Rākṣasas, Bhūtas and Piśācas, those who are afflicted by ailments should be sprinkled with water that remains after the rite of ablution. They then attain their cherished desires.

78. She who seeks sons obtains sons; she who seeks happiness attains happiness. She who is afflicted by ailments is liberated from ailments. She who seeks riches obtains riches.

79. All those sacred waters on the face of the earth do not merit even a sixteenth part of the water that remains after the rite of ablution.

80. Hence, O brahmins, one shall sprinkle one’s limbs with the water that remains after the rite of ablution of Kṛṣṇa has been performed. It is the bestower of all desires.

81. Those who visit Kṛṣṇa whose ablution is performed and who proceed ahead facing the south are liberated from the sins of brahmin slaughter and other major or minor sins.

82. By visiting Kṛṣṇa proceeding ahead facing the South, a man obtains that benefit which is mentioned in scriptures as the result of three circumambulations of the earth.

83. By visiting Kṛṣṇa proceeding ahead facing the South a man obtains the benefit which is derivable from the pilgrimage all over the earth.

84. By visiting Kṛṣṇa facing the South, a man obtains the benefit which is derivable from visiting Nara and Nārāyaṇa[4] in the penance grove Badarī.

85. By visiting Kṛṣṇa facing the south a man obtains the benefit which results from the holy dip and charitable gift at Gaṅgādvāra[5] and Kurukṣetra.

86. By visiting Kṛṣṇa facing the south a man obtains the benefit which is equal to the benefit of (the holy dip) in Prayāga on the Mahāmāghī day i.e. (full moon day in the month of Māgha).

87. By visiting Kṛṣṇa facing the south a man obtains the benefit which is equal to the ablution and charitable gifts in Śālagrāma on the Mahācaitrī day (i.e. full moon day in the month of Citrā).

88. By visiting Kṛṣṇa facing the south a man obtains that benefit which is equal to the benefit of Mahākārttikī (i.e. full moon day in the month of Kārttika) at Puṣkara.

89. By visiting Kṛṣṇa facing the south a man obtains the benefit which is derivable from the holy dip and charitable gift at the confluence of Gaṅgā and the ocean.

90. By visiting Kṛṣṇa facing the south a man obtains the benefit which is the result of holy bath accompanied by charitable gifts in Kurukṣetra at the time of solar eclipse.

91-92. By visiting Kṛṣṇa facing the south a man obtains the benefit of the holy bath and the charitable gifts at the holy centres on the Gaṅgā, Yamunā, Sarasvatī and also on the banks of holy lakes etc.

93-94. By visiting Kṛṣṇa facing the south a man obtains the benefit that is usually obtained by holy dips and charitable gifts during the eclipse of the sun in the holy centres such as Puṣkara, Gayā, Amarakaṇṭaka, Naimiṣa and other holy shrines.

95-97. Of what avail is much talk? Of what avail is the repeated talk? By visiting Kṛṣṇa facing the south along with Subhadrā and Balarāma a man or a women obtains the benefits mentioned in the Vedas, scriptures, Purāṇas, Bharata and Dharmaśāstras (Ethical texts) by the learned men as the benefit of meritorious deeds.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Vṛṣotsarga: letting loose a bull or a bull and four heifers as a meritorious deed, especially on the occasion of a Śrāddha in honour of deceased ancestors.

[2]:

Tiladhenu—a cow presented to a Brahmin.

[3]:

Cāndrāyaṇa: This is a fast prescribed in the Dharmaśāstra, to called because it is regulated by the moon, the food being diminished everyday by one mouthful for the dark fortnight and increased in like manner during the white fortnight.

[4]:

Nara-Nārāyaṇa: two hermits who had spent many thousands of years in Badaryāśrama doing penance. Arjuna was the rebirth of Nara and Śrīkṛṣṇa was the rebirth of Nārāyaṇa.

[5]:

Gaṅgādvāra—Haridvāra or Haradvāra, identifiable with the place where the river Ganges falls from the Himālayas.

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