The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the vow (vrata) called saubhagyashayana which is chapter 29 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 twenty-ninth 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 29 - The vow (vrata) called Saubhāgyaśayana

Pulastya said:

1. Similarly I shall tell you about another (vow) fulfilling all desires. Those who are well-versed in the Purāṇas know it to be Saubhāgya-śayana.

2. Formerly when worlds like Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ, Svaḥ and Mahaḥ were burnt, then the good fortune of all the beings became (concentrated) at one place.

3-5a. All that, having reached Vaikuṇṭha, remained in the chest of Viṣṇu. O king, then, when, after some time, at the time of creation again, the world was covered over with Ahaṃkāra, and was linked to Pradhāna and Puruṣa[1], and when the rivalry between Brahmā and Viṣṇu had increased, a terrible tawny flame of fire arose.

5b-7. Heated by the flame, the good fortune (of the beings) which had resorted to Viṣṇu’s chest, turned into a liquid (form), even before it reached the surface of the earth; and intelligent Dakṣa, Brahmā’s son, drank it which caused good form and handsomeness—when it was thrown up from the heaven.

8. (By drinking that) great power and lustre came to the great Dakṣa. The remaining, which fell on the earth, became (divided) into eight parts.

9-10. From them the seven herbs, causing good fortune, came up: sugarcane, the tālā tree, beans, rice, the product of the cow’s milk (i.e. curds), saffron and flowers, and the eighth one was salt. (This group of eight) is called the group of the eight things leading to good fortune.

11. From that which Brahmā’s son, well-versed in concentrated meditation, drank in olden times, a daughter sprang up. She is called Satī.

12-13. Since she excels the worlds in charm, she is also called Lalitā. The trident-holder (i.e. Śiva) married the goddess (who was the most) beautiful in all the three worlds, and who was full of auspiciousness in the three worlds, and who gave enjoyments and salvation (to people). What is it that a man or a woman does not get by worshipping her devoutly.

Bhīṣma said;

14. O sage, tell me in what way that Lalitā is to be propitiated. Tell me also its mode which would lead to the peace in the world.

Pulastya said:

15-16. Having reached the spring season (i.e. when the month of Caitra in the spring comes), he, who is dear to the people, should bathe with sesamum in the morning of the third day of the bright half (of Caitra). It is said that on that day that goddess of an excellent complexion was married by the universal soul (i.e. Śiva) to the accompaniment of sacred hymns (recited at the time) of marriage.

17. He should worship the lord of the universe along with her only on the third day (of Caitra) with fruits of various kinds, lamps and incense with offerings.

18. Having bathed (her) image with the five products of cow[3] and with water mixed with sandal, he should worship Gaurī with (the image of the god) having the crescent-moon on his head (i.e. god Śiva).

19. (While worshipping) the feet (of the images) of Śiva and Gaurī (he should say:) ‘Salutation to Pāṭalā’. Saying, ‘Salutation to Śiva and Jayā’ he should worship the ankles of both.

20. (Saying) ‘Salutation to Tryambaka and Bhavānī’ (he should worship) the two shanks of Rudra (and Lalitā). (Saying:) ‘Salutation to ‘Rudreśvara and Vijayā’ (he should worship) the knees (of the images).

21. (Saying) ‘Salutatiou to Harikeśa and to you, O giver of boons’ (he should worship) the thighs. (Saying) ‘Salutation to Rati’ he should worship the waist, and (saying) ‘Salutation to Śaṅkara’ he should worship Śaṅkara.

22-23. (Saying) ‘Salutation to Koṭavī[4] and the Trident-holder’ (he should worship) the two armpits and the Trident-holder respectively. (Saying) ‘Salution to you, Maṅgalā’, he should also worship Rudra and the breasts (of the image of Gaurī). In the same way he should worship Śiva (saying) ‘Salutation to Vedātman’ and should worship the throat (of Gaurī’s image saying) ‘Salutation to Rudrāṇī.’

24. He should worship Viśveśa (the lord of the universe, saying) ‘Salutation to Tripuraghna’. (Saying) ‘Salutation to Trilocana’ he should worship Hara, and should worship the arms (of Gaurī’s image, saying) ‘Salutation to you, O Kālānalapriyā’.

25. He should always worship the ornaments (of the image saying) ‘Salutation to Saubhāgyabhavana (i.e. the abode of good fortune)’. He should worship the mouth (of the image saying) ‘Salutation to Svāhā Svadhā’ and should worship Śūlin (i.e. the Trident-holder saying) ‘Salutation to Īśvara’.

26. (Saying) ‘Salutation to Aśokavanavāsinī’ he should worship (the image’s) lips, granting well-being. He should worship Hara (saying) ‘Salutation to Sthāṇu’. In the same way he should worship the face (of the image saying) ‘Salutation to you, O Candramukhapriya’.

27. (Saying) ‘Salutation to Ardhanārīśvara’, he should worship (Śiva, and should worship) the nose (of the image of Gaurī, saying) ‘Salutation to you, O you of white complexion.’ He should worship Lokeśa (the lord of the worlds saying) ‘Salutation to Ugra’, and should worship the eye-brows (of Gaurī’s image saying) ‘Salutation to you, O Lalitā’.

28. He should worship Purāhartā (saying) ‘Salutation to Śarva’, and should worship the (image’s hair saying:) ‘Salutation to Vasudevī’. (Saying) ‘Salutation to Śrīkaṇṭhanātha’, he should worship Śiva’s hair.

29-32a. Saying ‘Salutation to Bhīmarūpiṇī, of a terrible and fierce form, and to Sarvātman’, having duly worshipped Hara and the group of eight objects causing good fortune he should place them before him. (They are:) greasy beans, saffron, milk, cuminseeds, tāla, sugarcane, salt and gourd as the eighth. He should offer this group of eight ‘saubhāgya’ (to a brāhmaṇa), as it causes good fortune. Having thus presented all that in front of Śiva and Pārvatī, he should eat Śṛṅgāṭakas in Caitra, and should sleep on the (bare) ground, O you tamer of enemies.

32b-34a. Then again in the morning, having bathed and muttered sacred texts (and thus having become) pure, and having honoured a brāhmaṇa couple with flowers, clothes and ornaments, he should give a couple of golden images (of Śiva and Pārvatī) along with the eight auspicious things to a brāhmaṇa, (saying) ‘May Lalitā be pleased here (i.e. as a result of this vow) with me’.{GL_NOTE::}

34b. O king, he should always do like this on the third (day of every month) for a year.

35. Listen to the speciality (that lies) in eating (Śṛṅgāṭakas etc.) and in the sacred text used at the time of making an offering. In Caitra water (flowing from) a cow’s horns is recommended while in Vaiśākha cowdung is recommended.

36. Mandāra-flower is recommended in Jyeṣṭha, and bilva-leaf in Āṣāḍha. In Śrāvaṇa curds should be eaten and water flowing from darbhas should be drunk.

37. In the month of Āśvina milk should be drunk, and ghee mixed with coagulated milk should be eaten in Kārtika. He should drink cow-urine in Mārgaśīrṣa, and ghee in Pauṣa.

38-39. He should eat black sesamum in Māgha and the five products of cow in Phālguna; and at the time of making an offering he should say: ‘May Lalitā, Vijayā, Bhadrā, Bhavānī, Kumudā, Śivā, Vāsudevī and also Gaurī, Maṅgalā, Kamalā, Satī and Umā be pleased’.

40. Then in the twelfth month he should worship Kṛṣṇa on the twelfth day; similary he should worship Lakṣmī along with her husband there only (i.e. on the same day).

41. A wise man desiring his well-being in the next world should similarly worship Brahmā with his wife on the full-moon day.

42-43. Similarly desiring his well-being he should give the Saubhāgyāṣṭaka (i.e. the group of eight things leading to good fortune). (He should also offer) the flowers of mallikā (i.e. jasmine) and of aśoka, lotuses, kadamba flowers, blue lotuses, campaka flowers, flowers of kubjaka, karavira, bāṇa, and fresh lotuses. Sinduvāra flowers and (other) flowers are recommended in all the months.

44. The flowers of japā (i.e. the china roses), safflowers, flowers of mālatī, śatapatra and karavīra flowers when available are always recommended.

45-46a. Thus, for one year, a man or a woman or a maiden, having duly observed a fast at night and having devoutly worshipped Śiva for a year, should give a fully furnished bed at the end of the vow.

46b-47a. Having placed on the bed golden images of Umā and Maheśvara, and also (the image of) a bull with a cow he should offer it to a brāhmaṇa.

47b-48. A man, who, for one year on the twelfth day (of every month) worships Keśava with Mahālakṣmī, and Brahmā with Sāvitrī fulfils all desires that he thinks of.

49-50a. He, free from vanity of wealth and free from pride, should worship other couples (i.e. couples of images of other deities), according to his capacity, with garments, grains, ornaments and gifts of cows and other large quantities of valuables.

50b-51. He, who properly observes the vow of Saubhāgyaśayana, obtains all desired things and an eternal position. He should, while observing this vow, abandon eating one fruit each month.

52-53a. O king, he (then) gets success and fame. O king, he who makes gifts at the vow of Saubhāgya-śayana, is not separated from good fortune, good health, handsome form, garments, ornaments and decorations.

53b-55a. He, who observes the vow of Saubhāgya-śayana for twelve years, or for seven or eight years, is honoured in in Brahmā’s world. Then having reached the world of Viṣṇu and that of Śiva, and being honoured there he duly lives there for a couple of Kalpas.

55b-56a. O lord of men, a lady or a maiden who observes that vow, also, being graced by the favour of Lalitā, gets the same fruit.

56b-58. He too, who listens to (the account of the vow) or intends to observe it, becomes a Vidyādhara, and lives for a long time in heaven. This vow was formerly created (i.e. introduced) by Madana. It was observed by Śatadhanu and Nara, also by Pavana and Nandī. How then, O lord of people, is it not wonderful?’

Footnotes and references:


Ahaṃkāra, Pradhāna and Puruṣa are principles accepted by the Sāṃkhya school of philosophy. For a detailed description of these, see Chapter 2 above.


Pañcagavya—the five products of the cow taken collectively, viz. milk, curds, clarified butter or ghee, urine and cowdung.


Koṭavī—an epithet of the goddess Durgā (represented as naked).


The list given here slightly differs from the one given in 29.9; and the last word is not clear.

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