The Garuda Purana

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...

Chapter CVIII - Synopsis of rules of conduct

Suta (Lomaharshana) said:—Now I shall discourse on the Science of Ethics and Expediency, a perusal whereof may benefit kings and commons alike, and enable them to secure Jong lives, and good names on earth, and exalted stations in heaven after death. A man wishing success in life, shall make it a point not to mix in vulgar companies, but to associate only with the best and the most virtuous in the land. Company of the wicked or of the inequitous is neither good in this life nor in the one to come. A man should shun even any oral discourse with the wicked, avoid their presence and company, be on his guard against picking up a quarrel with his trusted friends, or against mixing with those who serve his enemies or are in friendly terms with them.

Even a learned man comes to grief by teaching a bad pupil, or by maintaining a bad wife. An evil company is but the high road to depravity. The very presence of an illiterate Brahmana or of of a dastardly Kshatriya, or of a lazy Vaishya, or of a literate Shudra should be shunned from a distance. One should make a compact with one’s enemies, or a breach with his friends at the right moment. Wise men bide their time out of motives of expediency and with a full, regard to the cause and effect of their each act of conduct. It is Time that rears up all created beings. It is Time that brings about their dissolution. It is Time which sits up fully awake when all else is asleep. Hence Time is unconquerable, and suffers no slightness of his authority. It is Time that makes the semen flow in to its natural repository, and evolve itself in the shape of a fœtus in the womb. Time is the principal factor in the evolution of the universe, and it is. Time that will bring about its final dissolution. Invisible is the fight of time, which becomes manifest at one place by the occurrence of gross phenomena, while in another it is too subtile to be detected.

The following synopsis of the rules of conduct was narrated by Vrihaspati to Indra, the lord of the celestials, whereby the latter acquired omniscience and was enabled to recover the kingdom of heaven from the hands of the demons. It is incumbent on the Brahmanas and the Rajarshis to worship the gods, to propitiate the Brahmanas and to celebrate Horse-Sacrifice for the atonement of sins of the most aggravated nature. A man by making an alliance with the good, as well as by discussing commendable topics with the learned and making friendship with the greedless, cannot possibly come to any grief. Incest or jesting with another’s wife, taking of another’s goods, and residence in another’s house should be avoided. A well-meaning alien (enemy) is a friend and a hostile friend is an alien. A disease which originates in the body is an enemy, but a herb which grows in the forest (and outside of the body) is a friend. He who maintains a person is a father to him. He in whom confidence is reposed is a friend and the country which provides one’s means of livelihood is one’s true country. A servant who does the commands of his master, is a true servant, a seed which sprouts is a true seed; a child that lives is a true child, and a wife who speaks sweet is a true wife. He who has virtue is truly alive. He who has piety lives but in the true sense of the term. Futile is the life of him who is bereft of piety and commendable attributes. She who speaks sweetly to her husband and is a clever manager of household affairs, is a true wife. She who is one in spirit with her lord and devotes her whole self to his happiness, is a true wife. He whose wife decorates her person with sandal paste and perfumes her body after her daily ablution, talks little and agreeably, partakes small quantites of food, is ever fond of him and is constantly engaged in doing acts of piety and virtue with a view to bring happiness and prosperity in the house, and is ever ready to yield to the procreative desires of her lord, is not a man, but the lord of heaven.

A scolding wife, wild, querulous and argumentative, is but the blight of life (lit.:—old age itself). A wife, attached to another and fond of staying in an other man’s house, and who is not ashamed of her own depravity, is but the curse of life. A wife who appreciates and honours the good qualities in her lord and lives in loving submission to his wishes, is satisfied with the little she gets, is alone entitled to be called a beloved. An unchaste wife, an insincere friend, an argumentative servant, and a residence in a snake-infested chamber, are but the preludes to death. Walk not in the path of the wicked, but sit in the assembly of the pious and the godly. Suffer not the transitory character of all mundane things to be absent for a moment from your mind, and be perpetually engaged in doing what is good and commendable. A woman who is deadlier than the fangs of a serpent, or one that is blood-eyed, black and fierce as a tigress, or is possessed of a cow-like tongue and becomes foul-mouthed in rage, or is eccentric in her habits, apathetic and fond of staying in an otherman’s house, should not be courted by a wise man for matrimonial alliance He who lives in a snake-infested chamber, or whose disease has run into an incurable type, as well as the one who has passed through the three bodily stages of infancy, youth and old age, is undoubtedly in the grasp of Death. Where is the man who can retain his mental equilibrium under the circumstance?

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