by N. Gangadharan | 1954 | 360,691 words | ISBN-10: 8120803590 | ISBN-13: 9788120803596
This page describes Mode of making a pilgrimage to Gaya (continued) which is chapter 116 of the English translation of the Agni Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas dealing with all topics concerning ancient Indian culture, tradition and sciences. Containing roughly 15,000 Sanskrit metrical verses, subjects contained in the Agni-Purana include cosmology, philosophy, architecture, iconography, economics, diplomacy, pilgrimage guides, ancient geography, gemology, ayurveda, etc.
The Fire-god said:
I. One should do sandhyā (twilight worship) after bathing in (the river) Mahānadī with (the recitation of) gāyatrī (mantra). The ancestral rite and offer of balls (of rice) in the morning preceded by (the recitation of) gāyatrī (mantra) yields undiminishing (fruits).
2. Having bathed in the noon (as the sun remains up) and having worshipped with songs and (playing of) musical instruments, the (evening) twilight worship is done there itself in front of the sun and the offer of balls (of rice) is made.
3. (Similarly) one should (offer) at the place of Agastya. One, who has come out after having entered the yonidvāra (the fissure in the hill), does not enter the yoni (the womb) again and will be liberated from the cycles of birth and death.
7. After the worship of the cow, one who does the ancestral rite and offers balls (of rice) at (the river) Vaitariṇī, elevates twenty-one generations. Then one should offer balls (of rice) at Krauñcapāda.
8-11. (The pilgrim) should then offer balls (of rice) at Viśālā and Niścirā on the third day. One who bathes in the Ṛṇamokṣa and Pāpamokṣa and with the sacred ash at the Bhasmakuṇḍa gets free from sin. One should then worship lord Janārdana (uttering as follows): “I have placed this ball (of rice) on your hand. O Janārdana! When I die let this remain without decay.” (Lord) Janārdana himself (remains) at Gayā in the form of forefathers. Having worshipped that lotus-eyed lord one gets liberated from three debts. After having worshipped (lord) Mārkaṇḍeyeśvara, one should worship (lord) Gṛdhreśvara.
14. (The following words should be recited on these occasions): “May all (my) fore-fathers and relatives who are still in the form of pretas (the dead people still in the state of a spirit) in the heavens, sky or earth get released from that state by my offer of piṇḍas.”
16. (The pilgrim) should pay obeisance to (lord) Vasiṣṭheśa and offer piṇḍa in front of that (deity). He should then offer piṇḍa at Gayānābhi, Suṣumṇā and Mahākoṭi.
17. (Piṇḍa should be offered) in front of (lord Gadādhara), at Muṇḍapṛṣṭha and in the presence of the goddess. The Muṇḍapṛṣṭha together with the guardian deities should be worshipped first.
18. By doing such worship, one will not have fear and the effects of disease and poison will be destroyed. One who worships (lord) Brahmā conveys his family to the region of Bralunā.
19. One who worships Subhadrā (sister of lord Kṛṣṇa), Balabhadra (brother of lord Kṛṣṇa) and Puruṣottama (here refers to lord Kṛṣṇa), gets all his desires fulfilled, elevates his family and attains heaven.
22-24. One who worships the twelve Ādityas (suns), Firegod, Revanta and Indra, gets free from diseases etc. and attains heaven. One who worships Kapardi, Vināyaka and (lord) Kārttikeya (Subrahmaṇya nourished the six Kṛttikās) gets his desire accomplished without any impediment. One would get everything by worshipping the eight mysterious liṅgas—Somanātha, Kāleśa, Kedāra, Prapitāmaha, Siddheśvara, Rudreśa, Rāmeśa and Brahmakeśvara.
28. The stone slab is of the form of celestials and it is hence meritorious. There is no place in Gayā where there is no sacred spot.
29-32. That person in whose name a piṇḍa is offered, is conveyed to (the region of) Brahmā eternally. After having paid obeisance to Phalgvīśa, Phalgucaṇḍī and Aṅgārakeśvara, one should perform the ancestral rite at the place of Mataṅga and Bharatāśrama. So also one should offer food at Haṃsatīrtha, Koṭitīrtha and Pāṇḍuśilā. There, at the Agnidhārā, and at Madhusravas, piṇḍa should be offered. One should offer piṇḍa at the forest of Dhenukā and worship the cow at Dhenupada. One who offers piṇḍa in the Sarasvatī (river) redeems all the forefathers.
34. After having done circumambulation of Gayā and having worshipped the brahmins at Gayā, offer of food or anything else becomes undecaying.
35-42. The lord Ādigadādhara should be glorified and prayed to as follows: “I pray to the conferer of yoga, (lord) Gadādhara, the resident of Gayā, who redeems the fore-fathers for the sake of dharma (righteousness), artha (prosperity) kāma (pleasure) and mokṣa (redemption). I salute that true brahman, who is devoid of a body, organs, mind, intellect, life-force and ego who is always pure, and who is endowed with intellect. I always salute the lord who is bliss, without a second form, who is worshipped by the celestials and demons, and who is surrounded by gods and goddesses. I pay obeisance to the destroyer of the sinful propensities of the Kali period, the person wearing the garland of wild flowers, the protector of all the worlds, the one bent on the redemption of the family, the one divided himself into the manifest and unmanifest. I worship that destroyer of frightful sins and one who remains as the permanent essence. O lord! Gadādhara! I have come to Gayā in order to do the ancestral rite. You be the witness for me here today. Let me be free from three kinds of debts. May the gods Brahmā, Īśāna and others be the witness for me. I have come to Gayā and have redeemed my forefathers. Whoever reads (about) the greatness of Gayā at the time of (doing) the ancestral rite, attains the region of Brahmā. The ancestral rite done to the forefathers becomes undecaying and it confers the region of Brahmā.
Footnotes and references:
They are due to the sages, gods and manes.