The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes chopping-off of brahma’s head by rudra which is chapter 14 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the fourteenth chapter of the Srishti-khanda (section on creation) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 14 - Chopping-off of Brahmā’s head by Rudra

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Bhīṣma said:

1-2. Tell me how Arjuna, the killer of the brave enemies, was born from Tripuruṣa; how again, Karṇa, the son of an unmarried woman is known as born from a charioteer; how enmity sprang up between the two. I have a great curiosity; so please tell me that.

Pulastya said:

3-4. Formerly when his face was rent, Brahma, overpowered by great anger, took up the perspiration produced on his forehead and struck it on the ground; from that perspiration a brave hero having rings, arrows and a great bow and having a thousand armours was born and he said: “What shall I do?”

5. Pointing, with vigour, to Rudra, Brahmā said to him: “Kill this wicked-minded one so that he will not be born again.”

6. Hearing the words of Brahmā and raising the bow from behind Maheśa, he with arrows in his hand and having very angry eyes started (to kill him).

7-8. Seeing that very terrible man, Rudra being frightened speedily went away from there and reached Viṣṇu’s hermitage. “O Viṣṇu, killer of enemies, save me from this man; this terrible sinner of the form of a Mleccha is created by Brahma. O lord of the world, act in such a manner that he, an angry man, would not kill me.”

9-11. Lord Viṣṇu, invisible to all beings (yet himself) seeing everything and possessed of magical powers having deluded that man, concealed Virūpākṣa (i.e. Rudra) who had come there. God Viṣṇu saw him who had bent himself (before Viṣṇu) on the ground.

Viṣṇu said to him:

O Rudra, you are my grandson, tell me which desire of you I should fulfil?

12. Seeing god Viṣṇu and blazing exceedingly with lustre and pointing to his (begging) skull, he said, “Give me alms”.

13. Seeing Rudra with the skull in his hand Viṣṇu thought: ‘Now who else (but you) would be proper for giving alms to?’

14. Thinking ‘this one is proper’ he offered him his right arm. Śiva cut it with his sharp trident.

15. Then from the lord’s arm a stream of blood like liquified gold produced from a flame of fire started (to flow).

16. It fell out of the skull, and Śambhu begged it; it was straight, strong and touched the sky with speed.

17. From Viṣṇu’s arm it flowed for a thousand years and was fifty-five Yojanas long and its expanse was ten Yojanas.

18. The lord, the beggar, received the alms for such (a long) period. It was given (i.e. put) by Nārāyaṇa into an excellent (begging) skull.

19. Then Nārāyaṇa said these words to that great Śambhu (i.e. Rudra):

20-21. “Is the pot filled or not?” Then the great lord, hearing Viṣṇu’s words resembling the thundering of clouds, having eyes like the moon and the sun and adorned with the (crescent) moon on his head, fixing (all his) three eyes on the skull, and reaching it said to Janārdana: “The skull is full.”

22-24. Hearing those words of Śiva, Viṣṇu withdrew the stream. When Hari was observing, the lord (i. e. Rudra) churned (stirred) that blood with his finger and his glances for a thousand divine years. When the blood was (thus) churned (stirred), it gradually became first a mass, then a bubble and after that a man with a crown (on his head), with a bow, having bull-like (i.e. strong) shoulders, with two quivers tied to his back, with a finger-protector, appearing like fire, in the skull.

25. Seeing him lord Viṣṇu said these words to Rudra:

26-27. “O Bhava, who is this man (Nara) that has sprung

up in the skull?” Hearing (these) words of Viṣṇu, Śiva said to him: “O Lord, listen; this is the man named Nara, best among those who know (the use of) great missiles. You called him Nara, so he will be (called) Nara.

28-30. Both Nara and Nārāyaṇa will be famous in the Yuga and in battles, in deeds helping gods and in the protection of people. This Nara, therefore, will be the friend of Nārāyaṇa. This one of great lustre will help you in killing the demons; he will be a sage in testing knowledge and a conquerer in the world. This is the fifth head of Brahmā, with a superior lustre.

31-33. Born from the combination of the three lustres that rose from the blazing lustre of Brahmā and the glance that I cast, he will conquer the enemy in battle. He will be terrible to those who cannot be killed by Indra and (other) gods and also to the others who will be invincible to Indra and (other) gods.”

Saying so, Śambhu then stood still and Hari too stood wondering.

34-37. The (man) remaining in the skull praised Śiva and Viṣṇu. The hero, of generous mind, joining his palms together and raising them to his head said to them: “What should I do?” Saying so he remained bent (i.e. humble) before them. The glorious Hara said to him: “With his own lustre Brahmā has created a man with a bow in his hand. You kill him”. Śaṅkara, speaking thus, holding the man’s both hands which were joined like that in satisfaction, and lifting up the man, who was praising him, from the skull said these words again:

38-39. “This is the terrible man about whom I told you, he has been put to sleep. Awaken him quickly.” Saying so Hara disappeared. Then in the presence of Nārāyaṇa, the mighty one struck by the left foot by Nara, got up.

40-41. Then between the two born of (Brahmā’s) perspiration and (Viṣṇu’s) blood, took place a great battle in which the sound of the extended bow spread (everywhere) and the entire earth resounded with the sound (of the battle).

The one born of (Viṣṇu’s) blood (i.e. Nara) took off the armour of the one born of perspiration.

42-43. O king, a couple of divine years passed when the two thus met in battle and fought. Seeing the two-handed one born of (Viṣṇu’s) blood and the one born of (Brahmā’s) perspiration thus encountering (each other) Viṣṇu after having thought, went to the great abode of Brahmā.

44-46. Madhusūdana (i.e. Viṣṇu) spoke, in alarm, these words to Brahma: “O Brahman, the one born of (your) perspiration was today hurled down by the one born of (my) blood.”

On hearing this Brahmā who (became) distressed said to Madhusūdana:

“O Hari, let this my man live (again) in this existence.”

Viṣṇu being pleased said: “It shall be so.”

47. Going to their battlefield and warding them off he said to both of them: “In the intervening period between the Kali and Dvāpara yugas, in your next birth there will be (a war); when the great war will take place I shall bring both of you together (to fight).”

48. Viṣṇu having called the lord of planets and the lord of gods told them: “By my command these two good men are to be protected by you.

49. O sun (having a thousand rays), this one born of the perspiration (of Brahmā) is to be descended on the earth as your portion at the end of the Dvāpara (yuga) for the success of gods.

50. In the family of the Yadus there will be born very mighty Śūra.

51. His glorious daughter Pṛthā, incomparable in beauty on the earth will be born for the success of gods; and Durvāsas will grant her a boon and a group of spells:

52. ‘Whatever god she (i.e. you) would invoke with that spell by the favour of that god, O venerable lady, you will obtain a son’.

53. O Sun, she during her menses seeing you rising will long for you; when she is (thus) afflicted with anxiety you should enjoy her.

54. In her i.e. Kuntī’s womb he will be (conceived and) born as the son ofan unmarried woman for the success of gods, O lord.”

55. The Sun, the heap of lustre Saying “All right” spoke (further): “On the maiden I shall generate a son who will be proud ofhis power.

56. And all people will address him by the name Karṇa. O Viṣṇu, due to my favour in the world there will be nothing with him, of a pure soul, that will not be given to brāhmaṇas, O Keśava.

57. By your direction I shall generate him of such a prowess.”

58. Having thus addressed the magnanimous god Nārāyaṇa, the destroyer of demons, the Sun disappeared there only.

59. When the Sun-god, the robber of clouds, diappeared (Viṣṇu) with his mind pleased said to Indra also:

60. “O Indra, this Nara sprung up from (my) blood due to my favour and who is a portion of me should be placed by you on the earth at the end of Dvāpara.

61. O magnanimous one, when the illustrious Pāṇḍu will obtain Pṛthā as his wife and so also Mādrī he will go to a forest.

62. A deer will give him a curse when he will be in the forest; with aversion produced by that he will go to Śataśṛṅga.

63. Desiring sons to be born on his wife (by another) he will say (so) to her. Then Kuntī unwilling (to do so) will say to her husband (i.e. Pāṇḍu):

64. ‘O King, I do not at all desire sons (begotten) by a mortal. O King, I desire sons from the deities by their favour.’

65. O Śakra then you should present Nara to Kuntī who would beseech you. O Lord of Śacī, do so by my direction.”

66-72. Then the unhappy lord of gods said (these) words to Viṣṇu: “When this period of Manu passes, then in the twenty-fourth Yuga you, descending (i.e. being born) as Rāma in Raghu’s family, in Daśaratha’s house for killing Rāvaṇa and for causing peace to the gods, (while) wandering in the forest for Sītā, desiring the good of Sun’s son, (will have) killed my son, named Vālin, the chief of the monkeys. Being, tormented by this grief, I shall not accept that son viz. Nara.” To Indra, the lord of gods, who did not accept Nara and telling some other reason, Viṣṇu spoke for taking down the burden of the earth: “O Lord, I shall take an incarnation in the mortal world for destroying Sun’s son and for your son’s success. I shall also act as (Arjuna’s) charioteer and bring about the destruction of the Kuru-family.”

73. Then with these words of Viṣṇu, Śakra accepting Nara, was pleased. Being delighted he (said): “May your words come true.” God Viṣṇu himself, granting the boon thus and sending (Indra) and having gone to Brahmā, the lotus-eyed one (i.e. Viṣṇu) again said to him:

74-85. “You have created the three worlds (consisting of) the movable and immovable. O lord, we two shall help you in the execution of (your) job. O lord, you do not realize that you are destroying (the world) after having yourself created it. Desiring to kill this Śambhu, you have done the censurable deed. Due to your anger for god (Śiva) you created the man. To absolve you of this sin undertake great expiation. O god, accepting the three fires offer an oblation to Agni, either at a sacred place or in a sacred region or forest. O Pitāmaha, perform, with your wife, a sacrifice under our protection. O lord of the worlds, all gods, so also Ādityas and Rudras will obey your command as you are our lord. One is the Gārhapatya fire, second is the Dakṣiṇāgni and the third is the Āhavanīya. Prepare these in three fire-vessels. Worship yourself in a circle, me in a bow-like figure and god Hara in a quadrangle by means of (the recitation of) the Ṛks, Yajus and Sāmans. Having generated fires by means of penance and obtaining great affluence, you will put out the fires after having offered oblations into them for one thousand divine years. Nothing is said to be more sacred than offering oblations to fire in this world. Brāhmaṇas are purified on the earth by well-offered oblation to fire.

These are indicated by the brāhmaṇas to be the paths leading to the world of gods. A brāhmaṇa householder should always maintain a fire. The status of a householder can never be obtained by a brāhmaṇa without (maintaining) a fire.”

Bhīṣma said:

86. Was that archer, named Nara, who sprang up from the skull, born from Mādhava or due to his own deeds? Or was he deliberately created by Rudra?

87. O brāhmaṇa, Brahmā, the Hiraṇyagarbha, sprang up from an egg. How is it that that fifth face came up?

88. Rajas (a cosmic quality—the cause of activity) is never seen in Sattva (quality of goodness), nor Sattva in Rajas. How did Brahmā (always) remaining in Sattva have excess (of Rajas) by which he with his mind deluded, sent the man to kill Hara?

Pulastya said:

89. Maheśvara (i.e. Śiva) and Hari both these remained on the good path.

90. For the two magnanimous ones, nothing that is either unaccomplished or accomplished, is unknown. The fifth face of the great Brahmā had come up.

91. So, growing with Rajas Brahmā became deluded. He thought that he had fashioned the creation (i.e. the world) with his lustre.

92. ‘There is no other god than I, who set forth the creation including gods, Gandharvas, beasts, birds and deer.’

93. And the five-faced Brahmā was thus deluded. His face facing the east was the originator of Ṛgveda.

94. His second face set forth Yajurveda. The third one was the originator of Sāmaveda and fourth of Atharvaveda.

95. With the fifth face looking upwards he studies the Vedas with limbs (i.e. the Vedāṅgas) and sub-limbs (i.e. the supplementary works to the Vedāṅgas), history, secret sciences and compilations (of laws).

96. By the lustre of that face of wonderful brilliance all demons and gods lost their brilliance like lamps at sunrise.

97. The perplexed ones being disgusted remained in their own cities. One neither cared for another nor offended others with his might.

98. All the frightened gods were unable to approach or to see or to go near that great lord Brahmā.

99. Dimmed in lustre they regarded themselves as overpowered. All they pondered over their own good—the good of gods.

100a. ‘We, who have lost our lustre by his brilliance will resort to Śiva.’

Gods said:

100b. Salutation to you, O lord of all beings, great god, we repeatedly salute you.

101. O you source of the world, O you highest Brahman, you are eternal. You are, along with Viṣṇu, the support and the cause of all the worlds.

102. He, being thus praised by gods, sages, forefathers and demons, remaining hidden, said: “O gods, ask for your desired object.”

Gods said:

103. O god, appearing in person, give us as much as is desired by us. Have pity on us and give us a boon also.

104. Whatever great valour, lustre, power we had—all that has been eclipsed by Brahma with his fifth face.

105. All lustres have perished. O great lord, act in such a way that everything becomes as before.

106. Then Śiva, with his face pleased and saluted even by gods, went there where Brahma was with his mind deluded by the pride of his Rajas quality.

107. (Gods) praising the lord of gods and surrounding him approached him. Brahma enveloped in (i.e. overpowered by) the Rajas quality did not recognise Rudra who had come to him.

108. At that time the soul of all, the creator of the universe and the illuminator of everything was seen to please the world with his lustre (like that) of crores of suns.

109. Then Rudra, approaching Brahmā, the Almighty, seated (there) with the entire group of gods (said):

110. “O god, with great lustre your face shines more!” Saying so Śiva laughed loudly.

111. As a man cuts off the interior of a plantain tree with his nails, Śiva cut off Brahmā’s fifth head with the nail of the left thumb.

112. That head that was cut off then remained in the hand of Śiva, like another moon remaining in the midst of planets.

113. Maheśvara danced with the head held up in his hand like the Kailāsa mountain with the sun on its peak.

114. When the head was chopped off, the gods being pleased, praised Vṛṣabhadhvaja Kapardin (i.e. Śiva), the god of gods, with various hymns of praise.

Gods said:

115. Salutation forever to the holder of the skull, to the destroyer of great death, to him who is endowed with splendour and knowledge and is the giver of all portions (of enjoyment).

116. Salutation to him who is the flash of joy, and who is full of all gods. You are the destroyer in the Kali (age), hence you are known to be Mahākāla.

117. You destroy the afflictions of (your) devotees; you are called Duḥkhānta (i.e. one who puts an end to all miseries). As you quickly bring about the welfare of (your) devotees you are called Śaṅkara.

118. O god, since you hold (Brahmā’s) head that is cut off and the skull, you are therefore Kapālin. Favour us as you are praised by us.

119. Thus praised, Śaṅkara with his mind pleased, sent the gods to their respective abodes and remained there full of joy.

120-121. Knowing the mind of Brahmā and the birth of Vīra, Śiva, throwing off the head at the words (i.e. request) of the people, having put his joined palms on his head and having saluted Brahmā praised him for appeasing his anger and to know the Brahman, the greatest storehouse of lustre with expressions, hymns, secret (chants) and texts from Ṛg(veda), Yajur (veda) and Sāma (veda) thus:

Rudra said:

122-123. Salutation to you, O infinite one, and the supreme spirit of the highest one; you are the origin of wonderful things; you are an inexhaustible treasure of lustres. Due to your success you are the soul of all. You are the author of the creation, O you of great lustre.

124. Salutation to you, O you having one face turned upwards, of the nature of goodness, of the form of the earth, O you lying in water, born of water and having your abode in water.

125. O you born of water, having eyes like blooming leaves; victory to you O grandsire, O god, O lord; you formerly created me for the creation.

126. O you who always took oblations made into the sacrifice, O you the lord of the constituents of sacrifice, salutation to you, O you the interior of gold, of lotus, of gods, O you lord of beings.

127. O you born of lotus, you are the sacrifice, the Vaṣaṭkāra (the exclamation Vaṣaṭ used on making an oblation to a deity) and the Svadhā (oblation offered to the pitṛs). O lord, I cut off the head at the direction of gods.

128. I am humiliated with the murder of a brāhmaṇa; O lord of the world, protect me.

Thus addressed by the god of gods, Brahmā said (these) words:

Brahma said:

129. God Nārāyaṇa, (our) friend, will purify you. You should praise that virtuous one; the self-mighty one is venerable to me.

130. Indeed you were thought of by that god Viṣṇu, so as devotion in you was produced, and a desire to praise me sprang up in you.

131. You are Kapāli for having cut off the head. You are the author of the Soma doctrine. O you of great lustre, you have emancipated a hundred crores of brāhmaṇas.

132. You should perform the vow (of expiation) for killing a brāhmaṇa; there is no other course. The sinful, cruel murderers ofbrāhmaṇas who are sinners, should not be talked to.

133. Sacrificers, doing wrong acts, should never be talked to. If they see one, one should look at the sun (to be free from the sin).

134. O Rudra, if they touch one’s body, one should, with one’s garments on, enter water. Thus one obtained purity as formerly observed by the wise.

135. Such as you are, you are the murderer of a brāhmaṇa; observe a vow for (getting) purity. On your having observed a vow you will obtain many boons.

136. Having spoken thus Brahma went away. Rudra did not understand that. He then meditated on Viṣṇu himself.

137. Trilocana (i.e. Rudra), the god of gods, bowing, saluting, with the eight parts of the body, touching the ground, praised (Viṣṇu), the eternal god, giver of boons, accompanied by Lakṣmī and the holder of the conch, disc and mace.

Rudra said:

138-139. I mentally recall Viṣṇu Nārāyaṇa who is immortal through continuous series, who is old, who has infinite power, who is eternal, is the most distinguished person, is matchless, is greater than the greatest, the first-born and very powerful and is the chief among those whose intellect is inscrutable and profound.

140. I salute god Hari, the controller, the greatest abode, the supreme place, that highest and distinguished resort, the highest lord and the huge being.

141. I (shall) praise Nārāyaṇa, of a pure nature, (who) created this high and low and the subtle. (I praise him who) being always present (everywhere) is the highest person, calm and prominent. Let him be my refuge.

142-143. I (shall) always praise Viṣṇu Nārāyaṇa, free from impurity, old, greater than the greatest, having no end, ancient, chief among the prudent, given to courage, forgiveness and peace, the lord of the earth, auspicious, of great prowess, having a thousand heads and many feet and innumerable hands, having the moon and the sun as his eyes, of the nature of the mobile and the immobile, lying in the ocean.

144. I (shall) praise Nārāyaṇa, the supreme one, the highest lord, greater than the greatest, who cannot be approached (even) by gods, living in the three creations, having three principles, absorbed in three and having three eyes.

145-146. I salute the immeasurable Nārāyaṇa white in the Kṛta (yuga), red in the Dvāpara (yuga) and black in the Kali (yuga); I salute him who from his very mouth, created the Brāhmaṇas. (I salute him who created) the Kṣatriyas from his arms, (created) the Vaiśyas from his two thighs and the Śūdras from the tips of his feet. I salute him having the universe as his body, profoundly learned and infinite.

147. I salute the lotus-eyed (Viṣṇu) of a subtle form, of a great form, having learning as his form and formless (also) and the armour of all gods.

148. I salute that lord of gods (viz. Viṣṇu) of a thousand heads, thousand eyes, of great arms, that great god remaining after having pervaded the (entire) world.

149. I salute god Viṣṇu, the protector, the refuge, the conquerer, the ancient one, resembling a dark-blue cloud and having the Śārṅga bow in his hand.

150. I salute the omnipresent, pure, eternal, ancient Hari, of the form of the sky, free from existence and non-existence.

151. O Acyuta, I see here nothing except you. I see all this mobile and immobile (world) as full of you.

152. When that Parameṣṭhin (i.e. Rudra) was thus speaking, he, the eternal and the highest one appeared before him in person.

153. He, having the disc in his hand and Garuḍa as his seat, rose like the sun illuminating a mountain. The ancient one said, “I, the giver of boons, have come. Ask for a boon.”

154. After having thus praised (Viṣṇu) the best Rudra said: “O lord of gods, let me be extremely pure. I do not see anything better than you that will remove this sin.

155. The body of mine tortured by the murder of a brāhmaṇa has become dark. My body is stinking with the odour of a dead body and my ornaments are of iron.

156-157a. O Janārdana, (tell me) how my form will not remain like this. Tell me, O Acyuta, O great god, what I should do so that I shall have my old body by your favour.”

Viṣṇu said:

157b. A brāhmaṇa’s murder is very cruel and highly painful.

158. One should not even mentally think of such a sin. You have expressed such devotion because of the words of gods.

159-160. O you of mighty arms, now do what Brahma

has told you. Rub with ashes all your limbs, (rub ashes) on your body thrice (a day). Wear bones on your crest, on your ears and hand. By doing this, O Rudra, you will have no pain.

161. Having thus instructed (Rudra), the lord, accompanied by Lakṣmī, vanished there only. Rudra did not know it.

162-165. The lord of gods with the skull in his hand and tortured by a brāhmaṇa’s murder wandering over this earth (and visiting) {the mountains viz.) the Himālaya, Maināka with Meru, Kailāsa, Kala, Vindhya, and the great mountain Nīla, (and places like) Kāñcī, Kāśī, Tāmralipta, Magadhā, Āvilā, so also the regions like Vatsagulma, Gokarṇa, North Kuru, Bhadrāśva, Ketumāla and Hairaṇyaka, Kāmarūpa, Prabhāsa and the mountain Mahendra, did not get refuge (anywhere).

166. Always seeing the skull in his hand, he, overcome with shame, shook his hands many times and was again and again distracted.

167. When (even) after he shook his hands, the skull did not fall off, it came to his mind: ‘I shall observe this vow.

168. Brāhmaṇas will always follow my path only’. Thinking thus for a long time the god wandered over the earth.

169-171. Having reached Puṣkara, he entered the best forest, full of many trees and creepers and with the sounds of many beasts, which was perfumed with the fragrance of abundant flowers of trees, the land of which was as it were decorated intentionally with flowers put (on the ground), (which was full of) many perfumes and juices and other ripe and raw fruits. He, greeted by the fragrance of flowers of the grove of trees, entered it.

172-173. ‘Brahma will grant a boon to me who will propitiate him here. Due to the favour of Brahmā I have come to know about this Puṣkara (forest), which destroys sins, pacifies evils, and increases nourishment, affluence and power.’

174. When that Rudra of infinite lustre was thus thinking, there came Brahmā, the lotus-born. The lord having raised Rudra who had bowed down said to him:

175-177. “By the observance of a divine vow you have, with a strong desire to see me, propitiated me with devotion; for by remaining in a vow only men can see deities. I shall therefore grant an excellent boon according to (your) desire. Since, to accomplish your desires you have observed this vow mentally, physically and with speech and with your mind pleased, tell me which boon, desired by you, I should grant.”

Rudra said:

178-183a. This in itself is a very adequate boon that I could see you, O you venerable to the (entire) world. O creator of the world, my salutation to you. O god, you are seen by means of a penance to be had by a great sacrifice performed over a long time and causing (even) death. O Almighty lord, this skull did not fall off my hand. Since I observed this vow of a Kāpālika (i.e. a wandering sage holding the skull and eating and drinking out from it) my bearing causes shame to the sages and is contemptible. This great vow (undertaken) by me who sought refuge with you is fulfilled. Now tell me. Say in which auspicious region I should throw this (skull), by (doing) which I shall be pure (in the eyes) of the sages of purified souls.

Brahmā said:

183b-184. Avimukta is an ancient place of (i.e. sacred to) the lord; there you will find the sacred place for dropping the skull (which will be called) Kapālamocana. You and I dwell there. So also Viṣṇu will be there.

185. By seeing you there, even those who are great sinners will obtain enjoyments in my abode.

186. Between the two rivers, dear to gods, viz. Varaṇā and Asī, there will be a region where no killing will ever occur.

187-188. lt will be the best sacred place and the best place of pilgrimage (in) your (honour). Those men who, before the fall of their bodies, resort to this sacred place, will, being immortal, and having no fear from anywhere reach heaven along the path of Brahman. I have given you this sacred place measuring five Krośas.

189. O Rudra, when the Gaṅgā will flow through the sacred place, to the lord of rivers (i.e. the ocean), then that will be a great holy city.

190. The holy Gaṅgā faces (i.e. flows towards) the north and the Sarasvatī the east. The river Jāhnavī (Gaṅgā) flows for two Yojanas towards the north.

191. There all gods with me and Indra have arrived or will come. Leave the skull there.

192. Those who, going there, please their forefathers by offering piṇḍas and Śrāddhas, obtain in the heaven, an eternal region.

193. A man having bathed at the great sacred place in Vārāṇasī, is released. Merely by going there he is free from sins committed during seven existences.

194. That holy place is said to be the best of all holy places.

195-197. Those beings, who, bowing to you, die there, obtaining Rudra (i.e. your status), rejoice with you. O Rudra, whatever a person with a controlled mind offers there, gives him, of a pure soul, a great fruit. Those men, who perform there the rite of destroying their bodies (i.e. ending their life), reach Rudra’s world and always being happy rejoice there.

198. Worship, a muttered prayer, a sacrifice performed there lead to heaven, the giver of eternal fruit to one whose heart is full of devotion. A man offering a lamp there would be a man of intellectual vision.

199-200. One who leaves there, after marking it, a bull that is uncrippled, young, mild and having good features goes to the highest place; there is no doubt that with his forefathers he obtains salvation. What is the use of prolixity? Whatever act is done here by men with a view to (obtaining) religious merit would give (them) an eternal fruit.

201. That, which is the cause of heaven and salvation, is regarded as a sacred place on the earth.

202. By means of a bath, a prayer or a sacrifice (performed there) it (the Tīrtha) becomes the means of an everlasting fruit.

203-204. Those devotees, absorbed in Rudra, who go to sacred place Vārāṇasī and die there, should be regarded as Vasus, Pitṛs, Rudras and grand-fathers and great-grand-fathers and Ādityas—so says the Vedic text. O sinless one, I have described a threefold rite for offering piṇḍas.

205. Men who come here should always offer piṇḍas. Their sons should also respectfully offer piṇḍas there.

206. Such good sons give joy to their forefathers. I have told you about the sacred place, which, by the very sight of it, gives final release.

207. By bathing here one is free from the bondage of birth. Rudra, I have given you this sacred place viz. Avimukta. Being free from (the sin of) a brāhmaṇa’s murder live there with your wife.

Rudra said:

208. I shall stay with Viṣṇu in the sacred places which are on the earth; this is the boon I have chosen, as you told me (to choose).

209. I am the great god; you should always propitiate me.

210. I too with my mind pleased, shall grant you a boon. And I shall grant boons to Viṣṇu also as desired by him in his mind.

211. I am the giver to, and I am to be implored by, all the gods and sages of pure souls; and none else.

Brahmā said:

212. O Rudra, I shall carry out your auspicious command. Nārāyaṇa also, will undoubtedly follow your advice.

213. Thus dismissing Rudra, Brahmā disappeared there only. Mahādeva having gone to Vārāṇasī, encamped there.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: