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 4 - The Story of Two Girls

[Note: this page corresponds to chapter 178 of the Book 6 (Uttarakhaṇḍa) of the translation of The Padmapurāṇa]

The lord said:

1. Now I shall tell (you) the greatness of the fourth (chapter) also. Listen (to it), due to which the two girls, giving up their condition as badari trees, went to heaven.

Lakṣmī said:

2-3. How did the two girls, giving up their state of being the badari trees, go to heaven? O god, who were they formerly? How did. they attain prominence? I desire to hear this. O lord, please tell it. Hearing this great story I am not satisfied.

The lord said:

4-22. On the bank of the Bhāgīrathī there was a city (named) Vārāṇasī. A saint named Bharata lived there in the temple of Viśveśvara. Always absorbed in the soul, he muttered the fourth chapter carefully. Due to that study, the good one was not overcome by couples (of opposite qualities). Some time, he, sporting, went out of the city. The ascetic saw gods who were nearby. Using one as a pillow and resting on the other with his foot, he took rest at the root of the two badari trees from which fruits fell. When the ascetic went from there, the couple of the badari trees became dry, leafless and branchless within five or six days. The two (trees) then were born somewhere in the house of brāhmaṇas. The pair, growing for seven years, (while) sporting saw an ascetic who had come from distant regions. Seizing his feet, they spoke words that were true and pleasant. “O sage, due to your favour only we two were liberated. Abandoning our condition as badari trees, we have obtained human birth.” The sage, thus addressed by them, having forgotten (what he had done) replied: “O girls, when, and for what reason, were you liberated by me? I do not know the cause of your being reduced to the condition of badari (trees). (Please) tell it.” The two girls told him the cause of their being the badari trees, and also of their liberation from that condition, difficult to give up. “On the bank of Godāvarī there is a holy place giving religious merit to men. It is known as Chinnapāpa and had reached great excellence. There (a man) named Satyatapas practised a very severe penance. In the severe summer he remained in the midst of blazing fires. In the rainy season his hair was continuously sprinkled with showers; in winter he remained in water having his body horripilated. The restrained one, always pure and practising penance in (every) season, deriving great joy, fixed his mind on the (highest) soul only. He bore great love for trees always bearing fruit and having thick shadows, and for beings free from jealousy. Even Brahmā himself everyday enquiring of him who was endowed with wisdom while aiming at the fruit of the penance, remained by his side. Due to lack of fear, that penance of him expressed in meditation upon Brahman who everyday approached him, increased. Then Indra, thinking that he was almost unseated from his prosperous position, and being afraid, put in a hundred obstacles. Calling us two, equal (to each other) from among the celestial nymphs, he ordered:

23-37. ‘Create an obstacle in the penance practised by this one who, displacing me from my position, desires to enjoy (my) kingdom.’ Having received this message, we two went from the presence of Indra to Godāvarī where the sage stayed. Along with slender-bodied women, sweet and indistinct music was commenced there with deep-sounding tabors and sweet-sounding lutes. We had large buttocks, stout and large breasts, lotus-like smiling faces, and a little curly hair, shoulders on which jewelled rings were seen, eyes bright like lotuses. Our waists were slim, we had round thighs, our steps were even. Following tunes, rhythm and time, we danced; we showed our full gait conforming to the emotion. When we two danced the circle of the quarters (i.e. all the quarters) roared after first mildly starting and then increasing (the sound). Then due to the speed of the movement of our bodies there was a fragrant and very cold breeze. With the ends of our upper garments slightly blown, we manifested our breasts. Our excessive movement intensified (the passion of) love. It produced anger in the sage whose mind was unchanged. Then throwing water with his hand, he angrily cursed us: ‘On the bank of Gaṅgā turn into badari-trees.’ (We), being polite (said to him): ‘Due to our being dependent, we acted badly. Pardon us for that behaviour.’ (Thus) the sage was later propitiated. Then he, of a pious mind, brought about (our) freedom from the curse. The sage (said): ‘It would last till the arrival of Bharata. You will be born among the mortals, and will have the recollection of former existences; on his having come near you, and on his remembering the fourth chapter (of the Gītā), you shall have acquittal.’ We salute you, not only because you freed us from the curse but also from this dreadful worldly existence.”

The lord said:

38. The sage thus addressed and honoured by them was pleased, and went as he had come. The two girls would always recite the fourth chapter.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: