by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1908 | 245,256 words | ISBN-13: 9788183150736
The English translation of the Garuda Purana: contents include a creation theory, description of vratas (religious observances), sacred holidays, sacred places dedicated to the sun, but also prayers from the Tantrika ritual, addressed to the sun, to Shiva, and to Vishnu. The Garuda Purana also contains treatises on astrology, palmistry, and preci...
Suta said:—Having again’ requested by Kraunchaki the holy sage Markandeya resumed the thread of the narrative and related as follows:—“The holy sage of Brahmanic extraction being thus agitated by the words of his departed Manes, roamed over the whole earth in quest of a bride. But a bride he could not secure anywhere. The words of his fathers’ spirits were burning like living fire in his heart. So he easily fell in that mood in which a man often holds colloquy with himself and began to discourse as follows:—
Then having indulged in a similar strain of thought for a considerable time, the high-souled one resolved to realise his end by practising penance, and accordingly began to propitiate the lotus-origined Brahma with his austerities.
For a hundred years thereafter, the magnanimous sage practised austere penances in that forest, and meditated upon the self of his tutelary deity in perfect mastery over senses. Then Brahma, the progenitor of the different worlds with their inmates, manifested himself in his presence and asked him to name his wished-for, boon as he had been highly pleased with his penances. The holy sage laid himself prostrate at the feet of that appeased divinity and told the progenitor of the universe his intended course of action according to the directions of his departed Manes.
“You shall be honored as a patriarch in the world. You shall be the progenitor of a mighty race of offsprings. O Brahman, it shall be your portion in this life to celebrate many a religious sacrifice and to rule the country in all the glory of a patriarchal sovereign, and then your penitential labours will be crowned with success. Be united with a handsome damsel in holy wedlock as your Manes had enjoined you to be. Worship and propitiate the spirits of your departed forefathers, and marry in fulfilment of their pleasant command. Your fathers, perfectly appeased, would grant you the fruition of all your desires. What is it that is not in the gift of one’s departed Manes? Fathers, duly propitiated, bless their descendants with wives and children.”
Markandeya said:—Having heard these words of the divine Brahma, the eldest offspring of the Phenomenal Evolution, the holy sage offered libations of water to his departed Manes at the open and spacious foreshore of a river, and with his head bent down in devotion, and in a spirit, earnest, humble and contrite) he propitiated them With a hymn which runs as follows:—
Ruchi said:—With deep and unbounded devotion I make obeisance to the spirits of my fathers who sit beside the gods, and whom even the heaven-borns worship and propitiate with the Svadha-ending Mantras in the course of a Shraddha ceremony. I make obeisance to the Pitris, whom even the great sages who are seekers after both salvation and earthly enjoyment, adore in heaven and propitiate with rites of purely mental Shraddha worship. I make obeisance to the Pitris, whom the Siddhas propitiate in heaven with offerings of celestial produce in the course of a Shraddha ceremony. I make obeisance to the Pitris, whom the Gujhyakas worship in heaven, with their whole soul merged in the contemplation of the former with a view to acquire infinite beatitude, and unparalleled and most exulted divine privileges. I make obeisance to the Pitris, who are worshipped in this mortal globe with the offerings of a Shraddha ceremony and who, when properly propitiated, bless its performer with a long line of sons and grandsons. I make obeisance to the Pitris, who are worshipped even by the twice-born ones in this world with a view to obtain their wished-for boons and who confer on their votaries the glories of an illustrious patriarch. I make obeisance to the Pitris, who are worshipped by the forest-dwellers of regulated diet, with fruits and flowers—the simple, though godly, offerings of the forest tress, sanctified with the occult energy of their well-practised Yoga. I make obeisance to the Pitris, who are worshipped and propitiated with the sacred energy of their Samadhi Yoga by Brahmanas exercising a perfect control over their senses, and the propulsions of whose minds have become one with the principles of virtue. I make obeisance to the Pitris, who are worshipped by crowned heads and potentates with various victuals of costly manufacture and who, when duly propitiated, bless their votaries with blessings which take effect both in this world and the next. I make obeisance to the Pitris whom the Vaishyas (members of the trading caste) who are always mindful of their own work, worship with flowers, incense-sticks, boiled rice and water. I make obeisance to the Pitris, who are worshipped even by the Shudras and are known as the Sukalinas. I make obeisance to the Pitris whom the great demons worship in the nether worlds, foregoing the pleasures of wine, bestial food, boisterousness and animalism. I make obeisance to the Pitris whom the various serpents worship in the nether world with a variety of costly oblations for the fruition of their heart-felt objects. I make obeisance to the Pitris whom the snakes worship with the gift of their incantations, etc.
I make obeisance to the Pitris who dwell in my presence, or on earth, or in the welkin, and to those who ramble in the glorious fields of heaven, adored by the lord of the Celestials. May they deign to accept the offerings which I have made at this place. I make obeisance to the Pitris, who live in heaven as embodied beings, and who form the highest object of thought and contemplation, and whose satisfaction is the summum bonum of human existence, and whom the adepts in Yoga worship in a pure and unspotted heart for exemption from pain and miseries of successive re-births.
I make obeisance to the Pitris who dwell as embodied beings in heaven, living upon the libations of clarified butter cast in the course of a Shraddha ceremony in the accompaniment of the Svadha Mantras, and who are capable of granting all wished-for boons to their votaries; crown with success all ceremonial rites undertaken for the fruition of any definite object; and are the liberators from all undesirable situations. May my fathers in heaven be propitiated in the present Shraddha ceremony, May my Pitris, who grant all sorts of boons to persons soliciting them, and in whose gifts are the sovereignty of heaven, horses, elephants, cars, gem-studded dwellings and other paraphernalia of riches, be pleased with the present Shraddha ceremony celebrated for their satisfaction. May the spirits of my departed forefathers, who float in the moon-beam and ride on the white rays of solar light, be pleased with the present ceremony, and may they thrive on the offerings of flowers, perfumes, etc., offered in the course hereof. May the souls of my departed ancestors, who take delight in a well-kindled sacrificial fire blazing with the libations of clarified butter, and who, by temporarily residing in the bodies of the Brahmanas invited on the occasion, partake of what is offered to them in the course of a Shraddha ceremony, be pleased with the offerings of boiled rice and libations of water offered to them in the present ceremony. May the Pitris whom the gods worship with the flesh of a rhinoceros and the offerings of black sesamum of celestial origin, and whom the holy sages propitiate with dishes of cooked and prepared pot-herbs, known as the Kala Shaka, be pleased with the present ceremony undertaken for their propitiation. In the present ceremony I invoke the presence of the revered souls of my departed ancestors, who are extremely fond of obsequious cakes, in order they might receive the offerings of boiled rice, and perfumes, and libations of water to be offered to them at its close. May my departed Manes, who receive our loving homage every day and are worshipped every month on the occasion of an Ashtaka ceremony and at the close of each year under the auspicies of a Vriddhi Shraddha, be pleased with the present ceremony. May the departed Manes of the Brahmanas, who shine with the cool and mellow lustre of the moon-beam, and the departed Manes of the Kshatriyas, who shine with the dazzling effulgence of the noon-day-sun, and the departed Manes of the Vaishyas whose complexions are as the colour of molten gold, and the departed Manes of the Shudras whose complexions are deep blue, combinedly grace the present ceremony with their august presence, and be pleased with the offerings of flowers, perfumes, and edibles, etc., and the sweet exhalations of clarified butter cast in the sacrificial fire. Perpetually do I make obeisance to the Pitris. May the Pitris, who partake of the obsequious cakes just after they had been eaten by the gods, and who, when duly appeased, confer prosperity upon their votaries, be pleased with the present ceremony. I make obeisance to them. May the Pitris, the mighty members of the celestial hierarchy, and revered by the gods; destroy the demons, and the monsters and the evil spirits and all other baneful visitations in the universe. I make obeisance to the Pitris.
May the different clans of the Pitris, such as the Agni-svattas, the Vahrishadas, the drinkers of clarified butter, and the drinkers of the expressed juice of the Soma-plant, be propitiated in the present Shraddha ceremony. I have propitiated the souls of my departed forefathers. May the members of the Agni-Svatta clan of the Pitris, guard my person in the east. May the members of the Vahrishada clan of that celestial order, protect me in the south. May the drinkers of sacrificial clarified butter, protect me in the west, and the drinkers of the expressed juice of the Divine Soma-plant, defend me in the east. May the Petris perpetually guard me against the malignant influences of ghosts, demons, monsters, and Pishachas.
The nine clans of Pitris are named as the Vishvas, the Vishvabhugs, the Aradhyas, the Dharmas, the Dhanyas, the Shubhananas, the Bhutidas, the Bhutikrids, and the Bhutis. The six other clans of the same celestial order, are known as the Kalyanas, the Kalyadas, the Kartas, the Kalyatarashrayas, and the Kalyatahetu. The seven other clans of the same divine order, are called the Varas, the Varenyas, the Varadas, the Tushtidas, the Pushtidas, the Vishvapatas, and the Dhatas. The five clans of the same order, are named as the Mahan, the Mahtmas, the Mahitas, the Mahimavanas and the Mahavalas. The four remaining clans of the same order, are called the Sukhadas, the Dhanadas, the Dharmadas, and the Bhutidas, thus making thirty-one clanships in all, who guard the different approaches of the heaven, and are distributed all over the universe for the good of its inmates. May all of them be pleased with the present ceremony, duly inaugurated for their propitiation.
Markandeya said:—While Ruchi was thus devoutly hymnising his departed Manes, a vast column of light suddenly shot across the heaven, and, behold, the universe stood entranced, wrapped in that mystic glow. Ruchi looked up and beheld that glorious phenomenon in mute wonder, and began to recite the following hymn on bent down knees.
Ruchi said:—Ever do I make obeisance to the Pitris, who are resplendent and disembodied spirits, endued with the faculty of spiritual vision, and always absorbed in the contemplation of the supreme Brahma. I make obeisance to the Pitris, who are the leaders of such celestial potentates as Indra, etc., and direct such holy sages as Daksha, Marichi, etc., who constitute the holy fraternity of the seven sages, in the path of truth and light, and who confer all boons upon their suppliants. I make obeisance to the Pitris who are the leaders of such mighty law-givers as Manu, etc., and who direct the sun and the moon in their path of heavenly duty. I make obeisance to the Pitris, who control the movements of the wind, guide the stars and planets in their orbits and sojourns, uphold the welkin, make the fire burn with its natural heat and glare, and fill in the earth and heaven and the space lying between them. With blended palms, I make obeisancce to Prajapati, to Kashyapa, to Soma, to Varuna, to the lord of all religious sacrifices. I make obeisance to the seven clans of the Pitris, who dwell in the seven regions or worlds. I make obeisance to the self-begotten Brahma whose vision is the light of Yoga (divine communion). I make obeisance to the Soma-drinking Pitris who are possessed of astral bodies. I make obeisance to the Moon God and the father of the universe. I make obeisance to the fiery-bodied Pitris, as well as to those whose persons are composed of the cooling principle in the universe. The two fundamental principles (fiery and cooling) run through all objects, and hence either they are fiery (heat making) or cooling (watery, albuminous) in their potencies. With a controlled heart I make obeisance to all the Yogins and the Pitris, who form the illuminating principle of light, and manifestly shine in the sun, in the moon and fire, and who are the models of creation and are identical with the Self of Supreme Brahma. May the Pitris who live upon the sweet exhalations of clarified butter cast in the sacrificial fire in the accompaniment of the Svadha Mantras, be pleased with the performance of the present ceremony.
Markandeya said:—Having been thus propitiated by Ruchi, the best of the holy sages appeared to him in quick succession, illumining the ten quarters of heaven with the effulgence of their own spiritual bodies, and decked with the same sandal pastes and garlands of flowers which he had offered to them in the course of that Shraddha ceremony.
Then Ruchi, having again made obeisance to them, addressed them for the second time as follows:—
“With blended palms I make obeisance to each of you, O you Pitris!”
Whereupon the Pitris, appeased by his devotion and humility, asked him to name his boon, to which Ruchi, with his head hung down in deep humility, replied as follows:—
“I have been directed by the god Brahma to beget children and propagate my species. Accordingly most fervently do I pray for a noble and fruitful wife of celestial origin.”
The Fathers replied:—
“O you, the best of the holy sages, this very day you shall be united with an extremely handsome wife. By her you shall have a son, O Ruchi, who would be named Rauchya after your honoured self, and who would rule the universe as a patriach and law-giver. He shall be the fore-runner of a mighty race of kings, high-souled and victorious, who would govern the whole Earth. You in your old age, would retire from the world, decked with the full glory of a pious and revered patriarch, and shall attain your penitential success and salvation. Blessed is the man who recites the aforesaid hymn for our satisfaction, for he will be blest with sons, and a long life of progeny, and all the creature comforts in this life. A suppliant for health, longevity and the blessings of fatherhood, shall do will to propitiate us with a recitation of the aforesaid hymn. A recitation of the hymn at the close of a Shraddha ceremony and before an assembly of Brahmanas sitting down at their meals, would bear immortal fruits through our intercession. Verily does its recitation make a Shraddha ceremony, endearing to us, even if it is not attended by Brahmanas well-versed in the Vedas (Shrotriyas), or is any way vitiated as to its precedure, or is celebrated with ill-gotten gain, or is attended by men who should not be invited on such an occasion, or performed at an improper place or time, or out of a spirit of bravado. The satisfaction which we derive from a Shraddha ceremony, in the course of which the hymn is recited, lasts us, O child, for a continuous period of twelve years. A single recitation of the hymn in the forepart of winter (Hemanta) gives us a satisfaction which lasts for twelve years. A single recitation of the hymn in winter gives us a satisfaction which continues for twice as many number (twenty-four) of years. The aforesaid hymn, recited in the course of a Shraddha ceremony performed in spring, furnishes us with a sense of repletion which lasts for a continuous period of sixteen years.
O Ruchi, a Shraddha ceremony, otherwise vitiated, or made defective as to its procedure, may be remedied by a single recitation of the hymn under discussion. O Ruchi, infinite is the pleasure which we derive from a recitation of the hymn during the rainy season. The satisfaction which we derive from a recitation of the hymn in autumn, lasts us for fifteen years. We grace a Shraddha ceremony with our presence in the event of its being performed in a room in which the hymn stands transcribed. Therefore, O you of mighty heritage, you shall recite the hymn before an assembly of Brahmanas invited on the occasion of a Shraddha ceremony and seated at their meals, whereby you would ensure infinite and eternal satisfaction to us, your departed Manes.”