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 8 - Bhāvaśarman’s Story

[Note: this page corresponds to chapter 182 of the Book 6 (Uttarakhaṇḍa) of the translation of The Padmapurāṇa]

Śiva said:

1-6. O Pārvatī, listen. I shall tell you the greatness of the eighth chapter, by merely listening to which you will get great joy. A city named Āmardaka is well-known in the southern country. There was a brāhmaṇa named Bhāvaśarman, the husband of a courtesan. He, very fierce, ate flesh, drank liquor, stole the wealth of the good, dallied with others’ wives, had a strong desire for hunting, carried out his strong desire. Drinking the nectar-like juice of tālī-fruitup to his throat (i.e. excessively), he was very much troubled by indigestion. The sinful one died (in due course) of time, and became a great tāla tree. A couple turned into brāhmaṇa-ghosts, lived there resorting to its shadow, dense and very cold.

The goddess said:

7. Tell me, O god, what was their caste? What was their nature? What was their profession? Due to what deed were they turned into brāhmaṇa-ghosts?

Śiva said:

8-17. There was a brāhmaṇa, Kuśīvala by name, who knew the essential nature of the Vedas and Vedāṅgas, who was proficient in all holy texts, and whose conduct was good. His wife, named Kumati, was of a wicked mind. He along with his wife, was very greedy and accepted great gifts like a buffalo, a Kālapuruṣa(?), horses etc., day after day; (but) he did not give (even) a chowrie to brāhmaṇas. As time passed, the two evil spirits, of the form of brāhmaṇa-ghosts, with their bodies oppressed by hunger and thirst, roamed over this earth. They then rested after having come to the root of the palm tree. “How will this great agony of ours go away? When will there be freedom from this stock of brāhmaṇa-ghosts?” Thus asked by the brāhmaṇa female, the brāhmaṇa (male) spoke (to her): “How can we be free from this calamity without instruction in the knowledge of the supreme spirit, metaphysical consideration, and the knowledge of the manner in which a deed is done.”

The wife said:

O best man, what is that Brahman; what is metaphysics? What is an act?[1]

Listen to the wonder that took place, when his wife spoke this much. That tree listening to half a verse from the eighth chapter gave up its form of the palm-tree and became an excellent brāhmaṇa. With his mind suddenly shaken by knowledge, he was free from the garb of sins. The couple became free due to that greatness (of the Gītā).

18-25. When these words luckily went out of his mouth, then from the atmosphere an aeroplane appeared, which had small bells tinkling, which was auspicious, which was adorned with faces resembling the orb of the moon, of celestial damsels, which was crowded with bees hovering round the lotuses in the form of the faces of the celestial nymphs, which was adorned with chowries white like the foam on the shore of the Milky Ocean being churned, and charming like the ripples of Gaṅga, lovely with the singing gandharvas, and with hundreds of young divine damsels dancing. The couple got into the divine aeroplane and went to heaven. The entire occurrence of this place was amazing. Then the wise one wrote this half verse carefully. He went to the city named Vārāṇasī, giving salvation, seeking to propitiate Viṣṇu, god of gods. The generous-minded one started to practise a great penance there. In the meanwhile, (Lakṣmī) the daughter of the Milky Ocean, after joining her hands, asked Viṣṇu, the lord of the world, and the god of gods: “How is it that you are wakeful after having abandoned sleep? Tell me”.

The lord said:

26-28. An intelligent brāhmaṇa named Bhāvaśarman, full of a flood of devotion, is seriously practising penance on the bank of Gaṅgā at Kāśī. With his senses controlled, he is muttering half the verse from the eighth chapter of the Gītā. O goddess, due to that penance I am very much pleased. Thinking for a long time desiring to give a fruit like (i.e. suitable to) his penance, I am now wakeful (like this).

Pārvatī said:

29. O lord, if Viṣṇu, though pleased, became thoughtful, what fruit did Bhāvaśarman, the devotee of Viṣṇu, get?

Śrī Mahādeva said:

30-32. Then that best brāhmaṇa, Bhāvaśarman, having received the grace of (Viṣṇu) the enemy of Mura, got endless happiness. Those born in his family who had formerly experienced torture, also obtained the (highest) position due to his acts. O you fawn-eyed one, I have told a little about the greatness of the eighth chapter. It should be always noted.

Footnotes and references:


CP. BG VIII. 1a: “kiṃ tadbrahma kimadhyātmaṃ kiṃ karmaṃ puruṣottam |”.

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