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 107 - The Goal of the Virtuous

The sages said:

1-2. Alas! the great and terrible misery in the path of Yama has been recounted by you. O excellent one, the terrible hells and the entrances to the abode of Yama have also been recounted.

O brahman, is there any means whereby men can traverse the terrible path of Yama comfortably and go to Yama’s abode? Please tell us.

Vyāsa said:

3-4. I shall recount to you how righteous men traverse that path along with their wives and sons. Men of righteousness, who are engaged in non-violence, who are interested in serving the preceptors and elders, and who worship Devas and brahmins traverse that path from the mortal world.

5. Served by heavenly damsels they go the city of Dharmarāja travelling by different divine aerial chariots rendered splendid by diamonds and gold.

6. Those who devoutly give the brahmins gifts of various forms go comfortably along that great path.

7-8. Those who offer with great devotion to the brahmins well consecrated cooked rice, particularly to the brahmins well versed in the Vedas, go to the city of Dharmarāja by means of well adorned aerial chariots. They are assiduously served by excellent young women.

9. Those who speak truth, those who are devoid of impurities inwardly and outwardly, go to the abode of Yama by serial chariots. They resemble the immortal beings in lustre.

10-11. Those persons who are conversant with what is virtue and who make over sacred gifts of cows to good men who are poor and whose activities are befitting the poor go to the glorious city of Dharmarāja by means of aerial chariots having divine lustre and colour, and embellished with jewels. The gifts must be made to them with the idea that they are representatives of Viṣṇu. Such devotees are seized by groups of celestials.

12-13. Those who give away a pair of sandals, an umbrella, bed, seat, garments and ornaments, go to the divine city of Dharmarāja embellished and equipped with horses, chariots, elephants and golden or silver umbrellas.

14-15. Those who with devotion and pure mind, give the worthy brahmins water, sweetened with treacle as well as cooked rice, go to the abode of Yama, on golden vehicles of various kinds. In accordance with their desire they are again and again served by excellent women.

16-17. Those who give the brahmins well consecrated milk, ghee, curds, jaggery and honey assiduously and with purity, go to the abode of Yama by means of golden aerial chariots drawn by ruddy geese. They will be attended upon by Gandharvas with their instrumental music.

18. Those who give fruits and fragrant flowers go to the city of Dharma sitting on aerial chariots drawn by swans.

19-20. Those who are endowed with faith and give to the brahmins, well-versed in the Vedas, gingelly seeds, tiladhenu or ghṛtadhenu go by spotless vehicles resembling the lunar disc. Gandharvas sing songs in their praise in the city of Yama.

21-22. Those who build tanks, wells, lakes, ponds, big oblong tanks, lotus ponds and cold water reservoirs (for the general public) go by means of vehicles that have the lustre of golden moon and that are resonant with divine bells. They have great lustre and they are fanned with handmade palm-leaf fans.

23-26. Those people who have temples and shrines of wonderful features dazzling with jewels, charming and splendid go to the beautiful city of Dharmarāja full of various people by means of aerial chariots that have the speed of the wind. They are accompanied by the guardians of quarters.

Those who give water that constitutes the main sustenance of all living beings go to the city of Yama comfortably without the (inconvenience of) thirstiness by means of aerial chariots of great velocity.

Those who give charitable gifts of wooden sandals, vehicles, stools and seats to brahmins go along the path very comfortably.

27. Keeping their feet on excellent golden pedestals embellished with jewels they travel in aerial chariots beautified by the presence of heavenly nymphs.

28-29. Those men who grow wonderful parks with flowers and fruits thereby helping men go (along that great path) (after duly resting) in beautiful and cool shades of trees. They are well bedecked and attended upon by excellent women to the accompaniment of songs and instrumental music.

30. Those who make gifts of gold, silver, corals or pearls, travel in aerial chariots shining like furnished gold.

31-35. The donors of land gifts become brilliant. All their desires are fulfilled. They travel by means of extremely resonant aerial chariots shining like the rising sun.

Those who give an embellished virgin as gift, as worthy of being given to a brahmin, go to the abode of Yama in aerial chariots and surrounded by celestial virgins.

O excellent brahmins, those who are endowed with great devotion and give to the brahmins sweet scents, agallochum, camphor, flowers and incense go to the abode of Dharma by means of wonderful vehicles. They are well adorned. They emit sweet odour. The are well dressed and they are lustrous.

Those who make gifts of lamps go along the path by means of vehicles. They brighten the ten quarters. They are brilliant with vehicles resembling the sun. They shine like fires.

36. Those who make gifts of houses and residences go to the abode of Dharmarāja (making use of) rest houses embellished in gold and resembling the rising sun.

37. Those who make gifts of water pots, different types of vessels such as Kuṇḍikā, Karaka etc. go (along the path) by means of lordly elephants. They are honoured by celestial damsels loo.

38. Those who give to brahmins oil for applying over the feet or on the head, those who give water for bath and drink unto the brahmins, go to the abode of Yama by riding on horses.

39. Those who accord rest to brahmins who are travel-worn and emaciated go comfortably along the path in a vehicle drawn by ruddy geese.

40. He who greets and honours a brahmin offering him welcome and befitting seat goes along that path comfortably. He becomes excessively delighted.

41. He who salutes Hari saying “obeisance, O lord, favourably disposed to the brahmins” and he who salutes a cow saying “O dispeller of sins”, goes along that path comfortably.

42. Those who take meals after the guests have taken and those who are devoid of arrogance and untruthfulness, go along that path by means of vehicles drawn by Sārasas (waterfowls).

43. Those who take only a morsel of food (each day) and are devoid of obstinacy and arrogance go to the abode of Yama comfortably by means of aerial chariots drawn by swans.

44. Those who have conquered the sense-organs and sustain themselves on a single morsel of food once in four days, go to the city of Dharma in vehicles drawn by peacock.

45. Those who regularly do virtuous deeds and take food once in three days go to that region by means of vehicles and divine chariots fitted with elephants.

46. He who takes cooked rice once in six days, has conquered the sense-organs, and always maintains cleanliness, goes like the consort of Śacī seated on an elephant.

47. (He goes to) the beautiful city of Dharmarāja embellished with jewels, resonant with different notes and voices as well as the shouts of victory.

48. Those who observe fasts for a forthnight go to the city of Dharmarāja in vehicles drawn by tigers and attended by Devas and Āsuras.

49. Those who have conquered their sense-organs and observe fasts for a month go to the abode of Yama in vehicles as refulgent as the sun.

50. He who is steadfast in the observances of religious vows and undertakes the long journey of death with concentration goes to the abode of Yama in vehicles as lustrous as the sun. He is attended upon by Gandharvas.

51. He who sanctifies the body with the inner soul devoted to Viṣṇu goes to heaven in a chariot as refulgent as fire.

52. He who is devoted to Nārāyaṇa and enters fire goes to the abode of Yama in an aerial chariot refulgent like fire.

53. He who remembers Viṣṇu and casts off his vital airs without resorting to destructive weapons goes to the city of Dharma by means of a vehicle that has the refulgence of the sun.

54. He who enters water and casts off his vital airs, goes comfortably in a vehicle resembling the lunar disc.

55. The devotee of Viṣṇu who gives up his body to the vultures, goes to the abode of Yama in a splendid chariot made of gold.

56. He who meets death in a battle ensuing upon his attempt to resist the abduction of a woman or capture of cows goes along shining like the sun and attended upon by celestial girls.

57. Those devotees of Viṣṇu who have conquered their sense-organs and undertake pilgrimages to holy centres go along that terrible path by comfortable vehicles.

58. The excellent brahmins who worship, performing sacrifices wherein monetary gifts are generously distributed go comfortably by means of aerial chariots resembling molten gold.

59. Those who refrain from inflicting pain on others and those who sustain their servants, go comfortably in aerial chariots shining like gold.

60-61. Those who forgive all living beings, those who ensure freedom from fear to all living beings, those who are devoid of anger and delusion, those who have restrained their sense-organs and those who have no pride, go to the city of Yama by means of an aerial chariot as refulgent as the full moon. They have great lustre and are served by Devas and Gandharvas.

62. Those who worship Viṣṇu, Brahmā, the three-eyed lord Śiva and the sun with the same emotional fervour go there immediately with a pure mind.

63. Those who are devoted to truth, cleanliness and mercy and do not eat flesh go to the city of Dharmarāja comfortably.

64. There is nothing sweeter than meat among the foodstuffs, edibles etc. Hence no one shall eat meat, for happiness does not come from sweet things.

65. Formerly, Brahmā, the most excellent one among the knowers of the Vedas, said thus:—He who makes a gift of a thousand cows and he who abstains from eating meat—these two are on a par with each other.

66. O brahmins, the benefit resulting from the avoidance of meat-eating is the same as that of the pilgrimage to all holy centres and of the performance of all Yajñas.

67. Thus the virtuous ones engaged in charitable gifts and religious vows go comfortably in vehicles to the world of Yama, the lord who is the son of the sun.

68. On seeing those virtuous persons lord Yama will honour them by offering them greetings of welcome, seats and pleasing water for washing feet and materials of worship.

69-71. “O great souls, you are blessed. You have done what is conducive to the welfare of your souls; meritorious deeds have been done by you for the achievement of divine happiness. Get into this aerial chariot and go to heaven that is unparalleled and equipped with all desirable things. Rejoice with the divine ladies there. Enjoy all great pleasures there. At the end when merit gets exhausted and there still remain some evil deeds to be recompensed experience the result thereof here”.

72. Men who have magnificence of meritorious deeds find Dharmarāja very gentle, as though he is their father himself.

73. Hence virtue should be resorted to always. It yields the benefit of salvation. From virtue result wealth, love and liberation.

74. Virtue is our mother, father, and brother. Virtue is our lord and friend. Virtue is our master, friend, saviour, creator and nourisher.

75. From virtue one gets wealth; from wealth one realizes one’s desire and gets all sensual enjoyments. Virtue gives prosperity, and the greatest goal of heavenly pleasures results from virtue.

76. O brahmins, if one resorts to it, virtue saves one from great dangers. One shall undoubtedly attain divinity and brahminhood by means of virtue.

77. O excellent brahmins, when the previously accumulated demerit of men dwindles, their mind turns to virtue.

78. If, after thousands of births in the other species one attains the rare birth as a human being, but still one does not practice virtue, he is a deceived persons indeed.

79. The following should be known as persons devoid of virtue—Despicable persons, ugly ones, impoverished men, sick men, foolish ones and those who serve others.

80. Virtue has been practised previously by the following persons:—those who live long, the heroic ones, scholars, those who have wealth, those who are free from ailments and those who are beautiful and handsome.

81. O brahmins, those who are engaged in righteous activities attain the highest state. Those who resort to sin and evil are born as animals and low creatures.

82. Yama is not competent to harm those men who are devoted to lord Kṛṣṇa, the slayer of Naraka. He does not see them even in dreams.

83. Those who always bow to the lord who has neither birth nor death and who slays Daityas and Dānavas, do not see Yama.

84. Those who have sought refuge in Viṣṇu in their thoughts, words and deeds get the benefit of salvation. Yama is not able to harm them.

85. O brahmins, those people who continuously bow to Nārāyaṇa, the lord of worlds, do not go anywhere else other than the abode of Viṣṇu.

86. By bowing to Viṣṇu, (the devotees) do not see those emissaries, Yama, that city or that path. They never see hells.

87. Although those who are deluded may commit sins, still if they are devoted to Hari, the destroyer of sins, they do not go to hell.

88. Those who remember the lord even roguishly, go to the world of Viṣṇu, free from ailments, after casting off this mortal body.

89. He who is excessively angry with Hari but sometimes does mention or recite his name shall obtain liberation after his defects perish just as the king of Cedi (Śiśupāla) did.

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