The Bhagavad-gita Mahatmya

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 23,843 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

The English translation of the Bhagavad-gita Mahatmya, taken directly from the Padma Purana: one of the largest of the eighteen major puranas. The Gita-mahatmya praises the Bhagavadgita using a series of illustrative stories showing the spiritual value of latter. It contains eighteen chapters corresponding to the eighteen chapters of the actual Bha...

Chapter 2 - The Story of Devaśarman and Mitravat

[Note: this page corresponds to chapter 176 of the Book 6 (Uttarakhaṇḍa) of the translation of The Padmapurāṇa]

The lord said:

1-17. The excellent account of the first chapter has been narrated. O Lakṣmī, also listen to the importance of the other chapters. In the southern direction, in the city called Purandara, (a city) of the teachers of sacred texts, there lived a rich man, well-known as Devaśarman. He honoured guests; he was a learned person; he was proficient in the Vedas and (other) sacred texts; he offered hosts of sacrifices and was always dear to the ascetics. Offering oblations into fire, he pleased the gods for a long time. The religious-minded one did not obtain conclusive peace. Desiring beatitude, he everyday waited upon ascetics with truthful intentions, with not a few rites. When he was doing like this, and when a long time had elapsed, some Muktakarman formerly appeared on the earth. He had direct knowledge (of the supreme spirit); had no desire; had fixed his gaze on the tip of his nose; his mind was tranquil; he meditated on the highest Brahman; and was full of joy. The learned one, having held (i.e. touched) his feet with an humble mind, offered him reception due to a guest in the proper manner. Bowing to the ascetic, pleased with his pure disposition, he asked him about his final beatitude. The sage told him about a teacher, a goatherd, named Mitravat, (living) in the city named Saupura. He, having saluted his feet, went to the prosperous Saupura and saw a large forest in the region to its north. It was charming with the fragrance of many flowers tossed by the wind. It had filled the quarters with the sound of the humming of the intoxicated bees. In that forest on the bank of a river, he saw Mitravat with his eyes fixed and seated on a stone-slab. He was surrounded by animals which, though mutually hostile, had given up their natural hostility, in the garden, resplendent with slow breezes. He was as it were sprinkling nectar on the earth, with (his mind) full of pity and charming with the delight of destiny, when the herds of deer were peaceful. He, excited and with his mind pleased, and with his head slightly bent, politely approached him too and honoured him. Then the learned one, with his mind concentrated, remained by the side of Mitravat. He, being composed, asked him whose time of meditation was over.

Devaśarmann said:

18. I desire to know myself. So, regarding this desire, please teach me the means that has secured success.

The lord said:

19a. Having thought for a while, that Mitravat also spoke like this:

Mitravat said:

19b-38. O learned one, know an old account being narrated by me. On the bank of Godāvarī, there was a city named Pratiṣṭhāna. There was (a man) Durdama by name (born) in the family of the learned. There was king Vikrama, being served (by people); everyday he accepted gifts, and (thus) fed his belly. Binding him with the noose of Death, Death took him to Yama’s abode. Having experienced torments in all hells, he was born in a family of brāhmaṇas of a bad character. He was attended by learning (obtained) in the previous birth. He married a haughty girl from a mean family. In course of time, she abandoned childhood and entered youth. Her breasts were stout, buttocks fine, eyes perturbed with passion; she did not put up with her husband of a bad character; and loved other men as husbands. Desiring to earn her livelihood, she went out of the city. For a long time she was sexually united with a lustful man born as a cāṇḍāla. As a result of union with him she conceived, and a daughter was born. She was his wife only due to a former sinful attachment. The same, (getting) old, was born as a female imp. Due to bad company and attachment to bad women she became wicked-minded. Having an ardent desire for tasting blood she ate a diseased fowler. She roamed in the fearful forest, and was outcast by people, on seeing her. Having reached the world of the dead, the fowler became a tiger, due to the efficacy of the killing, after having stayed in fierce hells. She too, of a wicked mind, died in course of time. Having gone to dreadful hells, she was born as a female goat in my house. O learned one, I, not noticing a fearful tiger, as it were devouring everything, looked after her and others. Seeing him to have come, I, afraid of death, left the flock of the female goats, and ran (away) due to fear. The tiger, remembering former hostility came near. The female goat quickly went near him having plough-like fangs. She giving up her fear and abandoning her hostility, stood there unrestrained. The tiger too, free from hatred, was quiet. Seeing him like that, she started speaking: “O tiger, lift me up carefully and eat me as desired by you. You are not having this intention. How did you give up your hostile intention?” Hearing these words the tiger, free from hatred, then spoke these words: “At this place my hatred has gone (away); my hunger and thirst have passed (away). Therefore, 1 do not long for you who have stood by me.”

39-55. Thus addressed, she spoke again: “How did I become fearless? What do you know to be the cause of this? If (you know), please tell (it) to me”. The tiger, thus addressed (by her), again spoke to the female goat: “I do not know it”. Then they moved out to ask the great one who had gone ahead. The two having come to me, asked me who was much amazed. With the two I asked the lord of monkeys. The monkey, O brāhmaṇa, (on being) asked by me, respectfully said to him these words: “O goatherd, listen; about this I shall tell (you) an old account. See, this great abode was formerly in a forest. Here Druhiṇa had installed Śiva’s Phallus. An itntelligent (person), Sukarman by name, practising penance, worshipped Śiva honoured by gods after having brought wild flowers. Having bathed (the Phallus) with the river-water, he lived there just by that deed (of worshipping Śiva). After a long time a guest came to him. Having fetched fruits, he offered them to him. Being pleased with that hospitality, he said to Sukarman: “What is the root of the act, enjoying the fruit of which you are staying here? Why do you just desire to live in the way of servile imitation?” He, thus addressed by the sage who was mostly pleased, spoke in reply clear words, most beneficial to himself: “O learned one, I really know the fruit of this act. Śambhu is served merely for the desire of enjoyment. The fruit—the result—of this service of Śiva is that you will favour me, knowing my desire.” Having heard these true and pleasant words of him, the ascetic, being pleased, wrote the second chapter of the Gītā on the stone-slab and ordered the brāhmaṇa to recite and study it quickly: “Your desire will easily bear fruit everywhere.” The intelligent one, speaking like this, disappeared (even) when he was watching. He, being amazed, constantly remained (reciting the Gītā) by his order. Then, after a long time, wherever the devout one, of a pleased mind, went, the penance grove became quiet. There was no antagonism, no hunger, no thirst, no fear due to the penance of him, muttering the second chapter.

Mitravat said:

56-62. Thus addressed by him, and having heard a great story, I, allowed by the pleased one, went with the female goat and the tiger. Having gone to the stono-slab I saw the chapter that is written (there). One should recite it. By its revision only. he reached the excellent, concluding limit of penance. O good one, therefore, you should everyday recite that chapter. Due to. that your salvation will not be a remote occurrence.

Devaśarman was (thus) advised by Mitravat himself. Bowing down and honouring him, he went to the city of Purandara. Having met there in a temple certain wise man, he told him this account, and then recited this chapter. Taught by him, the pure-minded one carefully recited the second chapter and obtained the blameless, highest position. I have thus told you the account of the second chapter. Now listen, O Indirā, I shall tell you the importance of the third chapter.

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