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 CXXVII - Bhaimi Ekadasi and Dvadasi Vratam

Brahma said:—The renowned Bhimasena of yore fasted on the day of the eleventh phase of the moon’s increase (Ekadashi) marked by the Asterism Hasta, in the month of Magha; and behold, he was instantly exonerated from his obligations to the Pitris in consequence. Accordingly the Vrata is called Bhaimi Ekadashi. This Bhaimi Dvadashi is renowned for the fact of its increasing the piety of men. He, who observes a fast on this Ekadashi and breaks it on the following day, acquires merit in the eyes of heaven. One should fast on that Ekadashi in the month of Magha even if it be not marked by the above-named asterism, and even by so-doing One would be freed from the sins of a Brahmana-slaughter. This Ekadashi Vrata destroys all sins as surely as a bad son brings ruin on his family, a false wife brings death and disgrace to her husband; a false minister brings confusion to his king, and a pious act dispels the gloom of iniquity. As knowledge dispels nescience, as purity removes the impurity of the heart; as truth conquers untruth; and reverence, irreverence; so this Vrata annihilates all kinds of sin. As surely as cold removes heat, as profligacy destroys a stored up treasure, asbragging of it destroys the merit of a gift, as worldliness destroys penance, the Ekadashi Vrata destroys all sin. As surely as a son is ruined without good education, cattle are destroyed by straying far from the folds, as a peaceful temperament is ruffled by anger, and as expenditures without income destroy one’s wealth, so the Ekadashi Vrata destroys all kinds of sin. As surely as a motive destroys the merit of an act, as knowledge destroys nescience, this Vrata destroys all kinds of sin. The sin, which is attached to the acts of Brahmana-slaughter, wine-drinking gold-stealing and defiling the bed of a preceptor, when simultaneously done, are absolved by performing the Ekadashi Vrata in its true spirit. The dreadful astral combination, known as the Tripushkara Yoga, can annihilate the progeny and relations of the man, who dies under its influence, but cannot destroy his sins, which may be expiated by performing the Ekadashi Vrata.

Neither the holy shrines of Kuru-Kshotra, Prabhasa and Naimisha, nor the sacred rivers, the Ganges, the Yamuna, the Kalindi and the Sarasvati, can rank equal in merit with the Ekadashi Vrata. Neither the practice of charity and philanthropy, nor meditation and burnt offerings can vie with the Vrata under discussion, in respect of merit and sanctity. The merit of an Ekadashi Vrata weighed in balance with that of making a gift of the whole world, immensely outweighs the latter. This Bhaimi Ekadashi is by far the most sacred of all the other sacred Ekadashis in the year.

A golden image of the Varaha manifestation of the god should be worshipped inside a copper vessel placed on the top of the sacrificial pitcher. The image should be covered with a clean sheet of white linen, and worshipped with the offerings of lighted lamps of gold, and a variety of costly viands.

The lower extremities of the image should be worshipped by reciting the Mantram,

“Om, obeisance to Varaha”

its lips, by reciting the one which reads as

“Om, obeisance to Krodhakritiits navel, by reciting the Mantram,

“Om, obeisance to the deep-voiced one”

its chest, by reading the Mantram,

“Om, obeisance to shrivatsadhari;”

its arms, by reciting the Mantram,

“Om, obeisance to the thousandheaded one;”

its neck, by reciting the Mantram,

“Om, obeisance to the lord of all”

its face, by reciting the Mantram,

“Om, obeisance to the soul of the universe”

its fore-headed, by reciting the Mantram,

“Om, obeisance to the Universal Master,”

and its hair, by reciting the Mantram, which reads as,

“Om, beisancp to the hundred-mouthed deity.”

Having thus duly worshipped the god, the votary should pass the night in a holy vigil, and hear the glorious exploits of his Varaha manifestation on earth from the Puranam, which deals with them. Gifts should be made to the beggars and the Brahmanas, the next morning; and wearing apparels containing bits of gold should be given to the Brahmanas in special. After that, the votary should break his fast and take only a few morsels of food instead of eating too much. He, who practises the Vrata in the afore-said manner, suffers not the pangs of re-births, and is exonerated from the three-fold obligations which a man incurs at his birth. The performance of the Vrata grants the merit of performing all other vows, and makes the performer, the happy possessor of all his wished-for objects.

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