The Markandeya Purana

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

This page relates “the story of ruci (continued)” which forms the 96th 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 96 is included the section known as “conversation between Markandeya and Kraustuki”.

Canto XCVI - The Story of Ruci (continued)

Perturbed by his forefathers’ admonition Ruci offered worship to Brahmā, and Brahmā promised he should gain his desire with the Pitṛs’ helpRuci poured forth therefore a long hymn and, prayer to the Pitṛs.

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke:

The brāhman ṛṣi Ruci, being greatly agitated in mind at that his forefathers’ counsel, wandered about the earth, desirous to find a maiden. Failing to obtain a maiden he, illuminated by the fire of his forefathers’ counsel, fell into deep thought, while his mind was exceedingly agitated—“What can I do? Where am I going? How am I to take a wife? May that come to pass quickly, which will effect my forefathers’ advancement!” While the high-souled muni pondered thus, a thought occurred to him —“I will propitiate lotus-born Brahmā with austerities.” Thereupon he performed austerities to Brahmā for a hundred celestial years, and for the purpose of propitiating him engaged then in the utmost self-mortification. Brahmā the forefather of the worlds thereupon showed himself and said to him—” I am pleased, declare thy earnest wish.” He fell prostrate then before Brahmā, who is the origin of the World, and declared what he wished earnestly to do according to the counsel of his forefathers. And Brahmā hearing his earnest wish spoke to the brāhman Ruci.

Brahmā spoke:

Thou shalt be a Prajāpati; thou shalt create human folk. After creating human folk, O brāhman, and begetting sons and performing ceremonies, thou shalt then, after thy dominion shall be taken away, attain perfect felicity. Being such, do thou take a wife as enjoined by thy forefathers; and after reflecting on this desire, perform worship to the Pitṛs; those Pitṛs indeed being gratified shall bestow on thee the wife and sons desired. When satisfied what may thy ancestors not bestow?

Mārkaṇḍeya spoke!:

The ṛṣi[1] on hearing this speech from Brahmā, whose birth is inscrutable, performed worship to the Pitṛs on a distant sand-bank in a river, and also gratified the Pitṛs, O brāhman, with these praises, respectfully, with single mind, subduing his body, and bending his neck in faith.

Ruci spoke:

I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs who dwell as presiding deities in the śrāddha; and whom even the gods verily delight with invocations concluding with the word svadhā at the śrāddha. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, whom maharshis, who desire to obtain enjoyment and final emancipation from existence, delight with mental śrāddhas and with faith in Svarga. I pay reverence Unto the Pitṛs, Whom the Siddhas delight with all kinds of incomparable heavenly offerings at the śrāddhas in Svarga. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, whom the Guhyakas also, who earnestly desire boundless sublime prosperity because they are absorbed therein,[2] honour with faith. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, who are always honoured by mortals on the earth, and who grant unto men to attain unto the desired worlds by means of faith at the śrāddhas. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, who are always honoured by brāhmans on the earth, and who grant generative power for the obtaining of what they earnestly desire and long for. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, whom indeed forest-dwelling ascetics, who are restrained in their diet and whose stains have been washed away by austerities, delight with śrāddhas performed in the forests. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, whom brāhmans, who practise the vow of perpetual celibate studentship and who have subdued their souls, delight with intense meditation continually. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, whom as being bestowers of benefits in the three worlds princes delight with śrāddhas and all kinds of food-oblations according to precept. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, whom vaiśyas, who take pleasure in their own occupations, honour with flowers, incense, food and water continually on the earth. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, whom as famed by the name Sukālin[3] śūdras also in faith always delight with śrāddhas in this world. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, whom as feeding on the svadhā great Asuras, who have forsaken deceit and arrogance, always delight with śrāddhas in Pātāla. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, whom Nāgas, who wish to obtain their desires, honour with śrāddhas and all kinds of enjoyments according to precept in Rasātala. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, whom the Serpents,[4] who possess spells, enjoyments and good fortune, always delight there indeed with śrāddhas according to precept. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, who dwell visibly both in the world of the gods and in the atmosphere, and who are worthy of worship by gods and other beings on the face of the earth. May they receive my offering. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, who have become united with the Supreme Soul, who yet in bodily form dwell verily in a heavenly car, and to whom as effecting deliverance from affliction the noblest yogins offer sacrifice with minds cleansed from defilement. I pay reverence unto the Pitṛs, who also in bodily form in heaven feed on the svadhā for the purpose of bestowing desirable benefits, and who are powerful to bestow all desired objects and who grant deliverance to those who have no engrossing interests. May all the Pitṛs be delighted herein, who signify desires to those who wish for them, namely, godhead, Indra’s status, or what is more than this, and also sons, cattle, might and houses of their very own! May the Pitṛs, who always dwell in the moon’s rays, in the sun’s orb and in a white heavenly car, be delighted herein with food and water, with perfumes and other odours; may they obtain nourishment herefrom! And may the Pitṛs, who have satisfaction from the clarified butter in the oblation to Agni, who dwelling in the bodies of brāh-mans feed on the same, and who reach intense delight by the offering of the piṇḍa, be satisfied herein with food and water! May they, who have been greatly pleased by the chief maharshis with rhinoceros-flesh and with dark sesamum seeds, which attract the minds of celestial beings and are much desired by the gods, and with the herb Ocimum sanctum, reach intense delight herein! And may all poems which are exceedingly coveted be for them, who are honoured by the Immortals! May they then be present here at the flowers, perfumes, food and enjoyments which I have procured! May they, my forefathers,[5] who receive honour day by day, who should be worshipped on earth at the end of the month and on the eighth day, and who should be worshipped at the end of the year and at its beginning,[6] obtain satisfaction herein! May they, who as being luminous as the full moon[7] are worthy of worship from brāhmans, and who as having the hue of the rising sun are worthy of worship from kṣatṭriyas, and who as bestowers of gold are worthy of worship from vaiśyas, and who as resembling the indigo plant[8] are worthy of worship from śūdra folk, may they all reach delight with my offering of flowers, perfumes, incense, food, water and other gifts and with the fire-oblation also! Before them, the Pitṛs, I am ever prostrate. May they, who eat of the food-oblations, those splendid sacrifices, which have been previously offered to the gods for the sake of exceeding delight, and who when delighted become creators of welfare for us, be delighted herein! I am prostrate before them. May they, who expel† Rākṣasas, goblins and fierce Asuras, yea, what is unpropitious to people, and who are the most ancient of gods, and who are worthy of worship by the lord of the Immortals, be delighted herein! I am prostrate before them. May the Agniṣvātta[9] Pitṛs, the Barhiṣad[10] Pitṛs, the Ājyapa[11] Pitṛs and the Somapā[12] Pitṛs attain delight in this śrāddha! I have delighted the Pitṛs. May the bands of Agniṣvātta Pitṛs protect the eastern region for me! And may the Pitṛs who are known as Barhiṣads protect the southern region! May the Ājyapa Pitṛs likewise protect the western region, and the Somapā Pitṛs the northern region from Rākṣasas, goblins and Piśācas, and indeed from harm inflicted by Asuras! And may their ruler Tama safeguard me everywhere! The Viśva, Viśvabhuj, Ārādhya, Dharma, Dhanva, Śubhānana, Bhūtida, Bhūtikṛt and Bhūti are nine classes which exist among the Pitṛs. The Kalyāṇa, Kalyatākartṛ, Kalya, Kalyatarāśraya, Kalyatāhetu and Anagha—these six, they are known as classes of Pitṛs also. The Vara, Vareṇya, Varada, Puṣṭida and Tuṣṭida, Viśvapātṛ and Dhātṛ—these seven indeed are also classes. The Mahat, Mahātman, Mahita, Mahimāvat and Mahābala—these five moreover are classes of Pitṛs, being destroyers of sin. Sukhada, and Dhanada also, Dharmada and Bhūtida[13] besides—such also is likewise called a four-fold class of Pitṛs. There are thus thirty-one classes of Pitṛs, who pervade the entire world. Delighted with me, may they be satisfied and ever grant me what is beneficial.

Footnotes and references:


For ṛṣer read ṛṣir?


Tan-maya-tvena; referring to wealth, because they are the attendants of Kuvera the god of wealth, and guardians of his treasures?


A class of Pitṛs regarded as the especial Pitṛs of Śūdras.




Or, “The Pitṛs.”


Abhyudaye; or “the rising of the sun”?




Nīlī-nībhāḥ. This is obscure.


The spirits of those who on earth neglected the sacrificial fire. See Manu III. 195 and 199.


See Manu III. 196 and 199.


Those who were the sons of Pulastya and the ancestors of the vaiśya order. See Manu III. 198.


Those especially who were the progenitors of the brāhmans. See Manu III. 197 and 198.


This word occurs twice, in verses 44 and 47. The Bombay edition reads the same. It seems to follow the Calcutta edition rather closely after the Devī-māhātmya.

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