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 5 - The Story of Piṅgala and his wife Aruṇā

[Note: this page corresponds to chapter 179 of the Book 6 (Uttarakhaṇḍa) of the translation of The Padmapurāṇa]

The lord said:

1-17a. O goddess, I shall now narrate in brief the importance of the fifth chapter, respected by the world. O dear one, listen attentively. There was a brāhmaṇa named Piṅgala, born in the city of Purukutsa in the Bhadra country. He was born in a pure family of brāhmaṇas, expounders of the Vedas. Having abandoned (the study of) holy texts proper for his family and the Vedas, he took to instrumental music, song, dance etc. and played upon a tabor etc. Having exerted himself in (mastering) singing, dancing and instrumental music, he obtained great fame and entered the king’s house. (Thus) formerly he stayed with the king. He approached others’ wives and enjoyed them with an undivided mind. Then he, puffed up with pride and unrestrained, always told him in private the weak points of others. His wife was Aruṇā by name, who was born in a mean family. She moving with a lover and looking for (paramours), took him to be a hindrance, and in her house at night she killed him by cutting off his head and buried him in the ground. Deprived of his life, he went to Yama’s abode. Having lived in invincible hells, he was born as a vulture in a solitary forest. She too, casting her body due to fistula of the pudendum went to dreadful hells, and was born as a female parrot in that forest. The vulture remembering his former enmity, tore her wandering here and there with a desire to take grains, with his sharp talons. Then the vulture ran after the female parrot falling into a human skull, and he too was killed by bird-catchers. His wife (i.e. the female parrot) died there in the water in the human skull. The very cruel vulture having gone there, got drowned into that only. The two, taken by Yama’s servants, went to the world of the manes. The two, entertaining fear, remembered the wicked deeds formerly done by them. Then Yama noticed their censurable deeds, and suddenly also noticed their great auspicious deed in bathing in it (i.e. in the human skull) and dying. Then he permitted the two to go to their desired world; though their minds were unassailable, they were amazed at remembering their own sins.

17b-24. Approaching and bowing they said to Yama: “We have collected censurable sins before. (Then) what is the cause for our (going to the) desired worlds? (Please) tell it to us.” Thus addressed by them, Yama then spoke these words to them: “On the bank of Gaṅgā there lived an excellent brāhmaṇa Baṭu by name. He was alone, without the feeling of mineness, tranquil, free from attachment and jealousy. He always repeated the fifth chapter of the Gītā. With his soul purified due to that religious merit, he, though a sinner, realised the eternal Brahman on hearing it after he cast his body. His soul, whose body was purified by the Gītā, was purified. Having reached that water in his skull, you two became pure. Therefore, you go to the worlds desired by you who are purified by the fifth chapter of the Gītā.” Thus advised by him, the impartial one, they got into a divine car and went to the position of Viṣṇu.

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