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Chapter CXXXI - Rohini Astami Vratas etc

Brahma said:—O Brahman, the deities Śiva, Gauri, Ganesha, and Durvā should be worshipped with offerings of fruits and flowers under the auspicies of the eighth phase of the moon’s increase in the month of Bhādra. Offerings consisting of fruits and Vrihi seeds, should be made to the deities Śivā and Śambhu.

The presiding deity of the eighth phase of the moon, should be invoked as follows:—

“O thou, the eighth phase of the moon, who art begotten of the divine ambrosia and whom this bunch of grass represents in its primeval verdure and spreading roots (the symbols of perpetual life), dost thou enable me to realise all my desires.”

The performance of the Vrata under discussion is rewarded with the fruition of one’s all desires. By performing this Vrata and foregoing all cooked food during the day, a man is exonerated from the sin of killing a Brāhmana.

Rohini-Ashtami Vratam:—The God Hari should be worshipped, at mid-night, on the day of the eighth phase of the moon’s wane in the month of Bhādra. The Vratam, which consists in worshipping the deity, should be performed on the aforesaid day marked by the asterism Rohini, and even if the moon continues in her seventh phase for a few hours, that day. The performance of the Vratam absolves its performer from the sins of his three previous re-births. The votary should worship the gods lasting, and break his fast after the moon has entered her next phase and mansion.

The rite of ablation should be done unto the god by reciting the Mantra,

“Obeisance to Yoga, to the lord of Yoga, to the god of Yoga, and to Govinda,” (the stay of the universe).

The Mantra, which should be recited during the worship, runs as,

“Obeisance to sacrifice, to the lord and god of sacrifice, and to the one begotten of the merit of celebrating a religious sacrifice.”

The god should be laid down in bed by reciting the Mantra,

“Obeisance to the lord and god whose embodiment the universe is, and who is the main stay of the universe.”

The Moon-God with his consort Rohini should be worshipped on the sacrificial sand-cushion, and the deity should be addressed, on the occasion as,

“O thou, the universal spirit, that is in all, and runs through all, and determines all becoming and is the support of all.”

An Argha offering composed of fruits, flowers, sandalpaste, and water should be kept in a conchshell, and the votary should offer the same, on bent knees, to the Moon-God by reciting the Mantra, which runs as follows:—

“Accept this offering, with thy consort Rohini, O Moon, who came out of the primordial ocean of water and sprang from the eyes of Atri. ”

Similar Argha offerings consisting of fruits should be separately made to Śri, Vāsudeva, Nanda, Vala and Yashodā.

The god should be addressed as follows:—

“I make obeisance to the eternal spirit that shines in the sun. I bow down to the great Vāsudeva, the greatest self-conscious individuality, and who, though grand yet beyond all comprehension, had born as a dwarf on earth. Salutation unto the god Madhava (lit., the husband of beauty), who killed the demon Madhu, and who is also called Hrishikeśa, and whose abode is in the heart of faith that doubts not. Obeisance to the lotus-eyed one, to the great boar and Nrisinha manifestations, the slayers of demons. Salutations unto Dāmodara, Keśava, Padmanābha and to the one on the pinnacle of whose car sits the mighty Garuda. I make obeisance to Govinda, the seed of the universe, the supreme cause of all creation, continuance and dissolution. Salutation unto the eternal spirit, which the eye seeth not and which is absolute and irresistible and suffers no decay. I bow dow(?) down to Vishnu, the supreme lord of the three regions, who is without end or origin. I make obeisance to Nārāyana, the four-armed one, who is clad in a gold-coloured garment and wields a mace, discus, and a conchshell in his hands. Salutation unto Śridhara, Śripati, and Hari, on whose spacious breast there are curls of hair and on which hangs a garland of wild flowers. I make obeisance to him whom Vasudeva begot on his wife Devaki for the safety of the earth and Brāhmanās.”

After having addressed the god as above, the votary should pray as follows:—

“Take me across this ocean of existence, O Hari, absolve my sins, and succour me from the sea of grief and misery. He, who utters your name even once in life, he who calls Vishnu, the all-pervading one, even for a single moment, is rescued, howsoever great a sinner he may be. Deeper and deeper do I plunge in the ocean of misery and nescience. O lift me, lift me up, O lord! who else will run to my rescue! Salutation unto the self-origined Vāsudeva, to Krishna and to Govinda, who sees the good of the Brāhmanās and the universe. May the divine light fall on my soul, may I find bliss in this life, may my fame, wealth and possessions increase.”

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