The Agni Purana

by N. Gangadharan | 1954 | 360,691 words | ISBN-10: 8120803590 | ISBN-13: 9788120803596

This page describes Mode of practising the vow of fasting for stipulated months which is chapter 204 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.

Chapter 204 - Mode of practising the vow of fasting for stipulated months

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Fire-god said:

1-2. I shall describe the vow (known as) fasting for a month [i.e., māsa-upavāsa-vrata], that is the most excellent among (the vows). After having done the sacrifice relating to (lord) Viṣṇu and got the command of the preceptor and knowing one’s own strength with (the practice of) kṛcchra etc., O Sage! a forester or an ascetic or a woman or a widow should fast for a month.

3-5. One should undertake to observe this vow for thirty-two days after having fasted on the eleventh day of the dark fortnight of (the month of) āśvina (October-November). “O lord Viṣṇu! Commencing from this day until you get up (from sleep) I shall worship you without taking food for thirty days. O Viṣṇu! (this vow would be) till you get up in the (months of) āśvina and kārttika. Let not my vow be incomplete if I happen to die in the middle.”.

6-9. (Lord Viṣṇu should be worshipped thrice with fragrant flowers after bathing thrice. The person practising the vow should repeat the songs of lord Viṣṇu and contemplate (on him). He should avoid vain discussion and should avoid desire for wealth. He should not touch someone who is not practising the vow. He should not enter into conversation with those addicted to vices. He should dwell in temple for thirty days. The observer of the vow should worship the brahmins on the twelfth day and feed them. After completing vow and paying fees, he should break the fast. One would get enjoyment and emancipation for thirteen kalpas (a kalpa is equal to 432 million years) by practising thus.

10-12. He should do the sacrifice relating to Viṣṇu and worship thirteen brahmins. He should give them as many pairs of clothes, vessels, seats, umbrellas, metal rings, pairs of sandals, upper cloth and sacred threads. All these things should also be given to another brahmin being permitted by them. After having worshipped golden lord Viṣṇu on the bed, he should worship his own form with clothes and other things.

13-15. Then he should tell brahmins, “O Brahmins! I am going to the world ofViṣṇu being freed from all sins by the grace of lord Viṣṇu. I becoming lord Viṣṇu himself”. (The brahmins should say), “O One with divine wisdom! You go to the faultless place of lord Viṣṇu by this vehicle and remain there spotless bearing the form of lord Viṣṇu”. Then that bed should be offered to the preceptor. One who practises thus would elevate hundreds of his family and take them to the world of Viṣṇu.

16-18. That country in which there is a person observing fast for a month, would become spotless. What to speak about the family in which there is one who fasts for a month! Seeing the person practising a vow fallen into a swoon, one should make him drink milk and clarified butter. These things would not nullify the vow. The ghee is allowed by the brahmins, and milk, water, roots are beneficial remedies (administered) by the preceptors. Lord Viṣṇu is the maker of all remedies. Hence he will make the vow complete.

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