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 CXXXIII - Asokastami Vratas etc

Brahma said:—He, who eats eight buds of Ashoka flowers on the eighth day of the moon’s increase in the month of Chaitra marked by the asterism Punarvasu, suffers no bereavement in life. The Mantra, which should be recited on the occasion, is as follows I bereaved and miserable, eat thee, O Ashoka, who art a favourite with the God Hara. Dost thou make me griefless in life. Thus the process of performing Ashokashtami is described.”

Brahma said:—The ninth day of the moon’s increase, marked by the asterism Uttarashada, is called Mahanavami. A gift or a ceremonial ablution made under the auspices of this astral combination bears immortal fruits. The Goddess Durga worshipped on that day grants infinite piety to her votary. The Gods shankara and others worshipped her on that day and acquired infinite piety. A king wishing victory over his royal adversaries, should practise an Ajachita Vrata from the previous sixth day of the moon’s increase, and close it on the abovesaid day with rites of Japa and Homa, and by feasting the unmarried virgins. The worship should be conducted by reciting the “Durga, Durga, Rakshini Svaha” (Oh, Durga, Durga, obeisance to Durga, the protectress) Mantra. The rites of Hridinyasa etc., should be performed by appending the terms “Namah, Svaha, Vasat, Hum, Vaushat and Fat” to the principal Vija-Mantra. The Puja should be concluded by performing the “Angushtha-Kanishtha Nyasa.” A new wooden temple should be constructed, and a golden or silver image of the Goddess Durga should be worshipped therein, on the eighth day of the moon’s increase. As an alternative, the Goddess should be invoked and worshipped at the head of a spear, or at a sword-blade, or in a book, picture or a mystic diagram. The Goddess should be contemplated as respectively holding a human skull, a dagger, a bell, a mirror, a Tarjani, a bow, a banner, a small drum, and a noose in her left hands, and a spear, a club, a trident, a thunderbolt, a sword, a mace, an arrow, a discus and a rod in her right. The goddess should be worshipped fully equipped as described before. The different manifestations of the Goddess, such as, Ugrachanda, Prachanda, Chandogra, Chandavati, Chandarupa and Atichandika should be as well worshipped on the occasion. Of these Ugrachanda is coloured like yellow pigment. Prachanda is coloured like rosy dawn; Chandogra is sable; Chanda-nayika is blue; Chandarupi, yellow; and Atichandika, grey. Each of these divinities should be contemplated as standing sidewise on a lion, with her left leg elevated and thurst out. A furious centaur (half man, half buffalo) should be contemplated as charging the deity, who has got a sword in one hand and has caught hold of the hair of the centaur in the other. The Mantra, which consists of ten letters (Dashakshari) and is sacred to the Goddess, should be mentally recited by the votary; after which the trident of the Goddess should be worshipped. The votary should observe a fast on the eighth day of the moon’s increase after having worshipped the Goddess in an image, or in a divine sandal, or in water. A bull buffalo, five years old, should be sacrificed at the close of the night, and the blood of the offering should be offered by duly reciting the “Kali, Kali” Mantra. The blood should be dedicated to Putana in the south-west; to the sin demoness in the northwest; to Chandika, in the north-east and to Vidarika, in the south-east; quarter of the heaven.

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