Brihat Samhita

by N. Chidambaram Iyer | 1884 | 135,584 words | ISBN-13: 9788171104215

This page describes the worship of the stellar deity (rupasatra) which is the one hundred fifth Chapter of the English translation of the Brihat-samhita. This work, written by Varahamihira in the 6th century, is classified as jyotisha literature, also known as Indian astronomy. It contains however, also content regarding astrology, palmistry, agriculture, gardening, perfumes, medicines and various other encyclopedic topics.

Chapter 105 - On the worship of the stellar deity (rūpasatra)

1. The asterism of Mūla forms the feet of the Nakṣatra Puruṣa. The asterisms of Rohiṇī and Aśvinī form his shanks; those of Pūrvāṣāḍha and Uttarāṣāḍha form his thighs and those of Pūrvaphālguni and Uttaraphālguni form the privity.

2. The asterism of Kṛttikā forms the lip of the Nakṣatra Puruṣa. Those of Pūrvabādrapada and Uttarabhādrapada form his sides; that of Revatī forms his abdomen; and that of Anurādhā forms his breast.

3. The asterism of Dhaniṣṭhā forms the back of the Nakṣatrapuruṣa. The asterism of Viśākhā forms his arms; that of Hasta forms his hands; that of Punarvasu his fingers and that of Āśleṣā his finger nails.

4. The asterism of Jyeṣṭhā forms the neck of the Nakṣatrapuruṣa; that of Śravaṇa forms his ears; that of Puṣya his face; that of Svāti his teeth; that of Śatabhiṣaj his smiles; that of Maghā his nose and that of Mṛgaśīrṣa his eyes.

5. The asterism of Citrā forms the forehead of the Nakṣatrapuruṣa; that of Bharaṇī forms his head and that of Ārdrā his hairs. Thus have been described the features of the Nakṣatrapuruṣa.

6. A person shall worship Viṣṇu and the Nakṣatrapuruṣa on the 8th lunar day of the dark half of the month of Caitra when the Moon passes through the asterism of Mūla and shall fast that day.

7. At the close of the fasting, the person shall give away to a Brāhmin astronomer a vessel filled with ghee together with gold, gems and clothes to the extent of his power.

8. A person, who desires a bright and beautiful appearance, shall feed Brāhmaṇas with rice mixed with milk, ghee and sugar and shall fast on days when the Moon passes through the several asterisms representing the features of the Nakṣatrapuruṣa beginning from the feet and he shall then worship both Viṣṇu and the Nakṣatrapuruṣa.

9. A person who fasts and worships as stated above will have long arms, broad and firm breast, a moon-like face, white beautiful teeth, the gait of an elephant, eyes long like the leaves of the lotus and appearance calculated to attract the eyes of women and a body as fine as that of Cupid.

10. A woman who fasts and worships as prescribed above will have a face as bright and spotless as the summer Sun, eyes as soft and large as the petals of the lotus, beautiful teeth, fine ears, and hair as black as the bee.

11. Her voice will be sweet as that of the cuckoo, her lips will be red, her feet and hands will be as soft and bright as the lotus, her waist will be thin and bent with the weight of her bosoms and her navel turning from left to right.

12. Her thighs will be like the plantain; her buttocks will be beautiful, the cavities in the loins above her hip will be fine and her toes will be close.

13. A person who observes the Nakṣatrapuruṣa vṛta (ceremony) will, after his death, become a star and along with the innumerable stars of brilliant lustre, live to the end of Brahmā’s day (432,000,000 years after which occurs the dissolution of the Universe). At the beginning of the next kalpa, the person will first be born a famous emperor and in his next birth, he will be born either a king or a rich man or a Brāhmaṇa.

14-15. The twelve months beginning from Mārgaśīrṣa (November and December) are respectively sacred to Keśava, Nārāyaṇa, Mādhava, Govinda, Viṣṇu, Madhusūdana, Trivikrama, Vāmana, Śrīdhara, Hṛṣīkeśa, Padmanābha and Dāmodara.

16. A person who, having fasted previously, worships lord Keśava on Dvādaśī days singing the twelve names mentioned above will be freed from the trammels of re-birth and will obtain salvation.