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 CIX - Advice on thrift and economy in the Nitisara

Lomaharshana said:—Money should be saved for the time of distress, and a wife should be protected even at the sacrifice of a stored up treasure. A man should defend his own self even at the cost of his wealth and wife. It is prudent to sacrifice a individual for the protection of a family. The safety of an village should be purchased with the loss of a family, while that of a country should not be regarded too dear even at the sacrifice of a single village, it being imperatively obligatory on a person to save his own self even at the loss of the whole world. It is better to live in hell than to reside in a house of infamy. Extinction of the effects of his own misdeeds in life, sets free a condemned spirit from its doleful confines, whereas a person who has once resorted to a house of ill fame, can never be properly reclaimed. A wise man does not move one step by letting go his sure and former foot-hold. An old situation of trust and tested safety should not be given up without well ascertaining the nature of a new one. A man should renounce a country whose inhabitants walk in the path of inequity, give up his residence in a house found to be infested with dangers, avoid all connections with a niggardly prince, and forego the company of deceitful friends. Of what good is the gold which is in the greedy gripe of a miser? Of what worth is the knowledge which is wedded to a low cunning nature? What does mere personal beauty avail a person whose mind is not adorned with ennobling attributes? And what is the good of one’s having a friend who forsakes one in days of adversity.

From unforeseen quarters friends gather round a man in power and prosperity. Even the very kins of one, out of office and fortune, turn their back as enemies in one’s adversity. Friendship is tested in distress; valour, in battle; a wife, on the loss of fortune; and an agreeable guest in time of famine or scarcity. Birds forsake a tree whose fruits are gone. Herons visit not the shores of a dried pool. Courtesans smile not on (forswear the company of) a person whose purse is exhausted, nor Ministers flock round a king, bereft of his sovereignity. On the withered flowers the bees sit not with their melodious hummings, nor do herds of deer roam about in the forest which a wood fire has consumed. One person endears another simply out of motives of self-seeking. Is there any love for love’s sake an earth?

The greedy are taken by gain, the proud by a show of humility, fools, by pleasing themes, and the wise by truth. The gods, the good and the Brahmans, are pleased with the exhibition of genuine goodness, the vulgar, with food and drink, and the erudite, with learned discourses. The good should be won over with marks of respect. The crafty should be won by creating a breach in their ranks, the low by making trifling gifts or concessions in their favour, and one's rivals by exhibiting equal prowess. An intelligent man shall enter into the good graces of persons he shall have to deal with through an accurate judgment of their likes and dislikes, and thus speedily win them over to his cause or side.

No confidence should be reposed in (the freaks of) rivers, horned cattle, clawed beasts, women, persons of royal blood and arm-bearing individuals (fully equipped soldiers etc.,) A prudent man should never give any publicity to any insult he might have suffered, to any deception that might have been practised upon him, to any heart-ache of his own, nor to an instance of female infidelity in his house. Movements in a low or wicked company, a long separation from her husband, excessive and indulgent fondling, and a residence in another’s house are the factors which excite a wife to break her plighted faith. Who is he who can boast of a spotless pedigree? Where is the man who has never been assailed by any malady? Who is he whom danger doth not beset in life? Who can be sure of the perpetual favours of fickle fate? Who is he whom opulence filleth not with pride? Who is he, who standeth above all probability of danger? Where is the man who is impervious to female charms? Who is he whom a king doth love in his heart? Who is he whom Time doth not sway? Who is he whom begging doth not lower? Who is he who being netted with the guiles of the crafty, has come off unscathed? Perpetually in distress is the man who has no friends or relations of his own, nor endowed with a sharp intellectual faculty and incapable of putting a success to better advantage. Wherefore should a wise man engage in a pursuit, success in which does not bring in any profit, and failure whereof is fraught with dangerous results. Quit the country where you can find neither friends nor pleasures, nor in which is there any knowledge to be gained.

Acquire that wealth which kings or thieves can neither extort nor steal and which follows a person even beyond the grave. Your successors, after your demise, shall inherit and divide among themselves the wealth which has cost you lifelong and killing toils to acquire.

The soul only enjoys the fruits of the sins and inequities involved in the acquisition of wealth which, again, forms the portion of others who come next. A miser, earning and hoarding up gold without knowing its proper use, is like a mouse which steals from other men’s granaries, and is only troubled with the care of defending his ill-gotten gain. A miser, naked, wretched and lamenting the loss of his fortune by striking his hand against his forehead, shows but the evil effects of not making any gift (proper use of money). A miser, continually crying for fresh hoards, and stretching out his palms in greed, demonstrates but the plight in which a. non-giver would stand in his next birth. May you never be in such a predicament. Money hoarded up by a miser simply for the pleasure of hoarding, without being spent in the celebration of a hundred Horse-Sacrifices, or in relieving the want of the wise and the erudite, ultimately finds its way into the coffers of thieves and king’s courts. The wealth accumulated by a miser, never comes to the use of the Brahmanas, nor to that of his own relations; is never spent for any religious purpose, nor in purchasing his personal comforts, but is consumed by fire, thieves, and law-courts.

May that wealth which is acquired by vicious ways, or by excessive toil, or by bowing down to one’s enemies, be never yours.

Non-cultivation thereof, is a blow to one’s learning; a shabby dress is a blow to a woman; eating after digestion is a blow to a disease; and cleverness is a blow to one’s enemies. Death is the penalty for theft, a separate bed is the punishment for a wife, a cold greeting is the punishment for deceitful friends, and non-invitation is the punishment for Brahmanas. Rogues, artisans, servants, badmen, drums, and women, are softened and set right by beating. They do not deserve good behaviour. A mission is the true test for the efficiency of one’s servants; adversity, for the sincerity of one’s friends; and loss of fortune is the proper occasion to test the fondness of one’s wife. A woman takes twice as much food, is four times as much cunning, six times as much resourceful, and eight times as much armorous, as a man. Sleep cannot be conquered by sleeping. A woman knows no satisfaction in sexual matters. Fire cannot be conquered with logs of wood, nor thirst, with wines. Amorous fancies in women, are roused up by a meat diet and emulsive fares, by good apparels, flowers, perfumes and wine. Verily do I say unto you, O Shaunaka, that even an ascetic Brahmacharin, becomes fascinated [at such a sight], and the sexual organ of a woman, is moistened at the sight of a handsome and well-dressed youth, even if he happen to be connected with her in the relationship of a father, a brother, or a son. A woman as well as a river, let alone, is sure to take the downward course. A woman, under the circumstance, brings down the honour of her family, while a river tumbles down her banks. A free woman, or an unchecked stream of water, is sportive in her course. Fire is never satisfied with fuels; nor an ocean is satisfied with receiving rivers. Death knows no satiety; and a woman knows no gratification in matters sexual. A man knows no satiety in discoursing with good and sincere talkers; pleasure never palls; and a man knows no satisfaction as regards the increased duration of his life and increased number of his progeny. A king knows no gratification in the acquisition of wealth, nor is an ocean satisfied with the increase of its tributaries. A learned man knows no content in discoursing, nor the eyes suffer any satiety with their feasts of royal sight (sight of the king).

Those excellent men, who live by plying any honest trade, and rest contented with money honestly earned and obtained, are true to their own wives and pass their time in intellectual pursuits, practise hospitality to all comers (corners?), and are the lords of their own senses, attain liberation even in their own homes. Residence in a brick-built house of one’s own, in the company of a beautiful and loving wife, bedecked with ornaments, and in elysian felicity, should be ascribed to the dynamics of good deeds done in one’s prior birth. A woman baffles the best wisdom of the wise. She is incorrigible and simply incomprehensible, being incapable of being won with flattery, jewels or frankness, or of being cowed down to submission with threats of violence, and sets at naught the injunctions of the shastras. Little by little a man should acquire learning. Little by little a mountain should be climbed. Little by little desires should be gratified, and virtues acquired. These five things should be gradually performed.

Eternal are the effects of divine worship and contemplation. Through all eternity runs the merit of the gift to a Brahmana. Eternal is the happiness which a good friend and a good education confer on a person. Pitiable, indeed, are they who have got no education in their childhood, and fail to secure any wealth and wives in their youth. They may be likened unto the beasts that roam about in the world in the guise of human beings. A student of the Shastras, shall not constantly indulge in thoughts of eating, but travel even to a distant clime for his study with the speed of the celestial Garuda (the bird of conveyance of the divine Vishnu). Like the lotus in winter, those who have not studied out of playful tendencies in their infancy, and have defiled their souls with the follies of youth, shall be withered up in their old age, overwhelmed with griefs and cares.

Disquisitions on Religion and Godhead are as old as the human race, yet the shrutis could not come to an agreement anent those subjects. There is not a Rishi but propounds a theory of his own. True religion lies hid in a cave. The path of the masters is the true path in life.

The latent, or hidden workings of a man’s mind, should be gathered and ascertained from his mien, demeanour, and the contortions of his face and eyes. A wise man can catch the significance even of an unarticulated speech. The function of the intellect is to read the language of demeanours, etc. Even a beast can understand the meaning of an articulated speech. Do not horses, elephants, etc., execute the biddings of their drivers? Tumbled out of a fortune, one should start on a pilgrimage to a distant shrine. Deviation from the path of truth leads to Raurava (a hell of that name), deprived of the privilege of trance (occult sight). One should bide his time with truth and patience. Austed of his kingdom, a king should go out on a hunting excursion in the forest.

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