The Markandeya Purana

by Frederick Eden Pargiter | 1904 | 247,181 words | ISBN-10: 8171102237

This page relates “the benefits to be obtained from the voluntary sraddhas” which forms the 33rd chapter of the English translation of the Markandeya-purana: an ancient Sanskrit text dealing with Indian history, philosophy and traditions. It consists of 137 parts narrated by sage (rishi) Markandeya: a well-known character in the ancient Puranas. Chapter 33 is included the section known as “conversation between Sumati (Jada) and his father”.

Canto XXXIII - The benefits to be obtained from the Voluntary Śrāddhas


Madālasā explains the benefits to be obtained from performing the śrāddha voluntarily with a view to the benefits—on the various days of the lunar fortnight—and when the moon is in the different asterisms.

Madālasā spoke:

The first day of the lunar fortnight, if the śrāddha be performed on it, is auspicious for the acquisition of wealth; the second bestows men; and the third seeks for boons; the fourth destroys enemies; in the fifth a man acquires fortune; in the sixth he may become worthy of worship: in the seventh he acquires chieftainship; in the eighth the highest prosperity; in the ninth he gains women; in the tenth perfect gratification of his wishes. So let him, assiduous in the ceremonies, gain all the Vedas in the eleventh. And in the twelfth the worshipper of the pitṛs gains continual victories, offspring, mental vigour, cattle, prosperity, independence and perfect nourishment. The man of intense faith, who performs the śrāddha on the thirteenth day, gains length of life and sovereignty undoubtedly. Since one is successful in śrāddhas by means of choice food, he, whose ancestors died or were slain with weapons in their youth, should, if he wishes for their pleasure, perform the ceremony on the fourteenth day. The pure man, who performs the śrāddha diligently on the night of the new moon, obtains all his wishes and attains Svarga everlastingly.

By worshipping the pitṛs when the moon is in the asterism Kṛttikā, a man obtains Svarga. A man who wishes for offspring may obtain it when the moon is in the asterism Rohiṇī; and he may gain vigour when she is in the Saumya signs of the Zodiac;[2] and he may obtain valour when she is in the asterism Ārdrā; and lands and other possessions when she is in Punarvasu; and nourishment by always worshipping when she is in Puṣya; and noble sons when she is in Aśleṣā; and pre-eminence among his relations when she is in Maghā; and good fortune when she is in Phalgunī.[3] And the man of liberal disposition obtains offspring when she is in Uttarā Phalgunī. A man who offers śrāddhas when she is in Hasta verily attains excellence. And so a man of goodly form may obtain offspring when she is in C’itra. Svati bestows success in trade; Viśākhā gives philoprogenitiveness. Men who perform the śrāddha when the moon is in Anuradha attain imperial rule; and when she is in Jyeṣṭha lordship; and when she is Mūla perfect health. Acquisition of fame comes from performing the śrāddha when she is in Āṣāḍhā; and freedom from grief in Uttarā Āṣāḍhā. And one gains bright worlds hy •performing it when she is in Śravaṇa; and immense wealth when she is in Dhaniṣṭhā. One may acquire intimate knowledge of the Vedas when she is in Abhijit; and success in medicine when she is in Śata-bhiṣaj; goats and sheep hy performing the ceremony in Bhādra; and amorous dalliance in the latter part of Bhādra. And one who performs the śrāddha when she is in Revatī acquires the baser metals; and when she is in Aśvinī horses; and when she is in Bharaṇī full length of life.

Hence a man who is skilled in true knowledge should perform the voluntary śrāddhas at these seasons.

Footnotes and references:


Kāmya Śrāddha.


They are Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, and Capricornus.


For phalgunī read phalgunī.

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