The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the gift of brahmanda which is chapter 34 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 thirty-fourth 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 34 - The gift of Brahmāṇḍa

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Bhīṣma said:

1. Please tell me when revered Brahmā, the creator of the worlds, commenced to perform a sacrifice with the requisites.

2. Who were the priests that he employed at the sacrifice? What sacrificial fees did the great-souled one pay them?

3. (Please) tell me as it happened, as it took place; there is a great curiosity in me to know about the sacrifice of (i.e. performed by) Brahmā.

Pulastya said:

4. I have already told you that he having created the (ten) lords ofcreated beings said to Svāyambhuva Manu, “Fashion the creation”.

5. He himself, having gone to Puṣkara, and having collected the minute details about the sacrifice, and having brought the materials, lived in the fire-chamber.

6. (At the sacrifice) Gandharvas continually sang (songs) and the hosts of celestial nymphs danced. (There were) the four performing priests, viz. Brahmā, Udgātṛ, Hotṛ and Adhvaryu.

7. He himself also appointed three attendants to each of them. (The first group consisted of) Brahmā[1], Brahmaṇācchaṃsī[2], Potṛ[3] and Agnīdhra[4].

8. This group of four was metaphysics, all lores and Vedic lore (combined). The second group consisted of Udgātṛ, Pratyudgātṛ, Pratihartṛ and Subrahmaṇya.

9-10. This second group of four belonged to (i.e. was led by) Udgātṛ[5]. The third group consisted of Hotṛ[6], Maitrāvaruṇa[7], Acchāvāka[8]and Grāva[9]. The fourth group consisted of: Adhvaryu[10], Pratiṣṭhātṛ[11], Neṣṭṛ[12] and Unnetṛ.[13]

11. O you son of Śantanu, this is said to be the fourth group. Those who have pondered over the Vedas have recommended these sixteen priests.

12. The self-born one has created three hundred and sixty sacrifices. They (the authorities) say that these brāhmaṇas are always (employed) at these sacrifices.

13. Some also desire (i.e. recommend) a superintending priest, a group of three sāmans and the Adhvaryu also. He made Nārada the Brahmā-priest; he appointed Gautama as the Brahmaṇācchaṃsī-priest;

14. He (appointed) Devagarbha as the Potṛ-priest and Devala as the Agnīdhra-priest. Aṅgiras was the Udgātṛ-priest and Pulaha the Pratyudgātṛ-priest.

15. Nārāyaṇa was the Pratihartṛ-priest and Atri was said to be the Subrahmaṇya-priest. In that sacrifice Bhṛgu was the Hotṛ-priest, Vasiṣṭha the Maitrāvaruṇa-priest.

16. Kratu was the Acchāvāka-priest and Cyavana was the Grāva-priest. Pulastya (i.e. I) was the Adhvaryu-priest and Śibi was the Pratiṣṭhātṛ-priest.

17. There (i.e. at the sacrifice) Bṛhaspati was the Neṣṭṛ-priest and Śāṃśapāyana was the Unnetṛ-priest. Dharma was the Sadasya-priest; he was assisted by his sons and grandsons.

18-20. Others that were appointed as Sāma-singers and Adhvaryus were Bharadvāja, Śamīka, Purukutsa, Yugandhara, Enaka, Tīrṇaka, Keśa and Kutapa, also Garga and Vedaśiras. Similarly Kaṇva and others, and also Mārkaṇḍa and Gaṇḍi were present there with their sons, grandsons, disciples and relatives. They carefully worked there day and night.

21. (Thus) when one Manu-period passed (i.e. at the end of one full Manu-period) the ablution at the (completion of the) sacrifice took place. As the fee the (region of the) eastern direction was given to Brahmā and (the region of) the southern direction was given to Hotṛ.

22. The (region of) the west was given to Adhvaryu, and (the region of) the north to Udgātṛ. Brahmā gave all the worlds as the (sacrificial) fee to them.

23. For the successful accomplishment of the sacrifice a hundred cows should be given to a wise man. Eight (cows) should be given to the performing priests or more than forty also (may be given).

24. Gift of twenty-four cows is recommended for those of the second rank. Also sixteen auspicious cows should be given to the priests of the third rank.

25. Similarly other twelve cows etc. should be caused to be given to Agnīdhras etc. The same number of villages, maids and small cattle (should be given).

26. At the bathing at the completion of a sacrifice a feast to one thousand (brāhmaṇas) should be given. The self-born has said that the sacrificer should give all his wealth (to brāhmaṇas).

27. Gift according to the desire of the sacrificer is recommended to the Adhvaryus and the superintending priests. Brahmā called Viṣṇu and said to him gladly:

28. “O you of good vow, having propitiated Sāvitri, bring her here. That (goddess) of an auspicious face, will not be angry on seeing you (i.e. when she will see you).

29. You, using pleasing, courteous and especially logical speech, always speak sweetly. Your tongue oozes nectar.

30. No one who would not do what you tell is (to be) seen in the world. Going with Gandharvas, bring my beloved (here).

31. The good lady, propitiated by you, will certainly come. You should not delay. O Mādhava, go quickly. Do not tarry.

32. Auspicious Lakṣmī should go before you to Sāvitrī’s residence. Follow her path, and pacify my beloved.

33. O goddess (Lakṣmī), Sāvitrī does not desire to do anything all alone, which is not liked by you. O beautiful lady, she always behaves (by) seeing your face (i.e. as you desire).

34. Such and many other sweet words should be spoken to the goddess, so that she would be soon pleased.”

35. When Viṣṇu was addressed like this by Brahmā, the creator of the worlds, he quickly went to that place where Sāvitrī remained.

36. (When she saw) even from a distance Viṣṇu coming with his wife, she quickly got up, and was saluted by Viṣṇu.

37. “My salutation to you, O chief goddess; my salutation to you, O wife of Brahmā, for every person gets absolved of sin (only) after he salutes you.

38. You are loyal to your husband; you are illustrious. You are in the heart of Brahmā. Thinking of you day and night, he desires your favour.

39. You (may) even ask this your dear good friend Lakṣmī, the daughter of Bhṛgu. O you of beautiful eyes, if (you feel), trust these words.”

40-42. Speaking thus, Śauri (i.e. Viṣṇu) then touched with both his hands the two feet of Sāvitrī saying: “Pardon me, O goddess, salutation to you, O you venerable to the world and the mother of the world.” Withdrawing her feet, the goddess holding with her hand the hands of Viṣṇu, said to him: “O Acyuta, I have forgiven everything. O son, this Lakṣmī will always live in your heart.

43. She will never have attachment for anyone else but you. This one, born of Bhṛgu’s wife, is your good-vowed wife.

44. By the effort of gods and demons she was again born of the ocean. She would incarnate where you, the revered one, would (take birth).

45. In godhead (i.e. when she is born as a goddess), she has a divine body, and (when born) as a human being she has a human form. With you as her companion, she has been practising the vow of matrimonial relation for a long time.

46. O lord, tell me what I have to do in this matter.”

Viṣṇu said:

The end of the sacrifice has come. I have been sent to your vicinity (i.e. to you, by Brahmā).

47. (He told me:) “Bring Sāvitrī quickly; she would bathe with me.” (Therefore) O goddess, come on quickly. Go there happily.

48. Going there, see your husband followed by all gods.

Lakṣmī said:

O noble lady, get up quickly, go where the grandsire is.

49. I shall not go without you. I have touched (i.e. I am touching) your feet.

Getting up, the generous one held her hand in (i.e. with) her right hand.

50. The grandsire (i.e.) god (Brahmā) seeing that Sāvitrī was getting late, said these words to Mahādeva, who was near him:

51. “O you destroyer of the demons, go with this Pārvatī. Let Gaurī go before you, and O Śaṅkara, you go after her.

52-53. Having advised her, bring her (here). Act in such a way that she comes quickly.” That couple viz. Pārvatī and Śiva, thus addressed and instructed (by Brahmā), went and spoke to Brahmā’s beloved (i.e. Sāvitrī): “O you loyal wife, you have to do a lot of work there.

54. O you of a charming face, ask this beautiful Pārvatī, the daughter of the (Himālaya) Mountain or this Lakṣmī of broad eyes or this Indrāṇī.

55. Or, O goddess, ask them whom you trust. Salutation to you.” She gave a blessing to the trident-holder, the god of gods:

56. “O Śaṅkara, O you handsome one in the three worlds, Gaurī will remain on (i.e. occupy) half of your body. O god, you will look graceful on account of her.

57-58. O killer of enemies, the entire world is enjoying happiness due to you.” Gaurī held the left hand, and Lakṣmī the right hand of Sāvitrī, the beloved of Brahmā, who was speaking thus. Saluting that goddess, Śaṅkara said these words:

59. “Come on, come, O illustrious one, go to that place, O you beautiful lady, where your husband is (waiting). For women husband is the highest resort.

60. Due to (this) great persistence (of us) please show-regard (for us), and go. O goddess, this Lakṣmī and this Pārvatī are standing before you.

61. By (honouring) the words of these two and of us two (i.e. of Viṣṇu and Śiva), O you of a charming face (please come). O you beloved of Brahmā, the sacrifice is not being performed to insult you.

62. Requested by us, O goddess, please go there gladly.”

Gaurī spoke:

O goddess, you yourself always say that I am dear to you.

63. Lakṣmī also has held your right hand; I too have held (your left hand). O you illustrious one, come to that place where your husband is (waiting).

64-65. Then keeping her between themselves the two (i.e. Lakṣmī and Pārvatī) took her. Viṣṇu, Rudra and other gods like Śakra led them, and also Gandharvas, celestial nymphs and the three worlds with the mobile and the immobile. That goddess Sāvitri, Brahmā’s beloved, came there (i.e. to the place of the sacrifice).

66. Seeing Sāvitrī, of a beautiful face, the grandsire of all the worlds with Gāyatrī, said these words to her:

67. “This goddess (Gāyatrī) is (your) servant; and I am obedient to you. O you beautiful lady, order what I should do for you.”

68. When that goddess was thus addressed by the self-born god Brahmā himself, she, with her face hung down through bashfulness, did not say anything.

69. Directed by Brahmā, goddess Gāyatrī fell at (her) feet. (She said:) “O goddess, I have offended you; (please) pardon me; my salutation to you.”

70. Having firmly and respectfully embraced her at the throat, she consoled Gāyatrī (thus) pressed (i.e. embraced by her): “This my husband is honourable.

71. You should obey his words (i.e. command). A husband is the master of the life of women. Formerly, at the time of creation revered Brahmā has said:

72. ‘For women no separate sacrifice or vow or fast (is enjoined). A woman should do, without censure, whatever her husband tells her.

73. She, who censures or scandalizes her husband or sister or wails, goes to hell.

74. That woman, who observes the vow (involving a) fast even while her husband is alive cuts off her husband’s life, and desires (i.e. goes to) hell after death.’

75. O you good lady, realising this, you should not do anything not liked by your husband. You should never resort to right side of his body.

76. (For) in all deeds (i.e. rites he has performed) I have resorted to his right side. O you good lady, you should come (and resort) to his left side, and Nārada and Puṣkara will be by his side.

77. There are other places for Brahmā (i.e. Brahmā resides at other places) and (there are) his temples also. I, looking beautiful, (shall) obtain them, till the creation is fashioned.

78. There is no doubt that you and I should stay by the side of Brahmā at Puṣkara. You should resort to his left side.

79. With (i.e. following) this advice stay happily with me.”

Gāyatrī said:

Following your advice, I shall do so.

80. I shall obey your order only. You are my friend (and are) like my life (to me). O goddess, I am younger to you; please always protect me.

81. Then Brahmā, the god of gods, after having bathed at Puṣkara with Viṣṇu, granted boons to all gods.

82. He made Indra the lord of gods; the Sun the lord of luminaries; similarly (he made) the Moon the lord of the stars; and Varuṇa the lord of liquids.

83. (He made) Dakṣa the lord of Prajāpatis, and (made) the Ocean the lord of rivers. (He made) Kubera the lord of wealth and demons.

84. (He made) the trident-holder (i.e. Śiva) the lord of all beings and attendants. (He made) Manu the lord of human beings and Garuḍa the lord of birds.

85-86. (He made) Vasiṣṭha the lord of sages and the Sun the lord of planets. Granting all these (positions), the grandsire, the lord of lords, respectfully said to Viṣṇu and Śaṅkara: “At all sacred places on the earth, you will be most adored.

87a. No sacred place will have religious merit in your absence.

87b-88a. That sacred place where the Phallus or image is seen is auspicious, and gives all the fruit.

88b-89a. Where can there be a fear of disease to those men, who worship you with me being prominent, with gifts?

89b-90a. Listen to the fruit that will be obtained in those countries where your festivals like your worship etc., and also rites in your honour will take place.

90b-91. There will be no mental pains, no bodily pains, no calamities, no fear of hunger, no separation from one’s dear ones, and no contact with those that are not desired (i.e. liked); there will be no eye-disease, no pain of veins, no pain due to (excess of) bilious humour, no fistula.

92-94a. There will be no fear of employment of magical spells for malevolent purpose, no cholera. There will be prosperity though not longed for; there will be proper and excellent thoughts. There will be absence of disease everywhere, and the wealth in the form of beings will be long-lived. There will be no untimely death and the cows will not yield small (quantities of) milk. The trees will not have fruits out of season, and there will not be the slightest fear of portents.”

94b. Hearing this, Viṣṇu, then engaged himself in praising (i.e. began to praise) Brahmā.

Viṣṇu said:

95-96. My salutation to Ananta (i.e. the endless one), to Viśuddhacetas (i.e. of a pure heart), to Svarūparūpa (i.e. of a lovely form), to Sahasrabāhu (i.e. having a thousand arms), to Visuddhakarman (i.e. of pure deeds), to Samastaviśvārtihara (i.e. he who removes all the sufferings of the entire universe), to Śambhu, to Samastasūryānilatigmatejasa (i.e. having scorching lustre of all the suns and fires); my salutation to Vidyāvitata (i.e. spread out with knowledge), to Cakrin (i.e. having a disc); I ever salute Samastadhīsthānakṛt (who abides in every mind).

97. I always salute you, O Anādideva (i.e. beginningless god), O Acyutaśekharaprabhu (i.e. he, who, being the lord, is at the top of all gods like Viṣṇu), O Bhāvyudbhava-bhūtapati (i.e. the lord of the future, present and past objects), O Maheśvara (i.e. great lord). I always salute you, O Mahatpati (i.e. mighty lord), O Sarvapati (i.e. lord of all), O Jagatpati (i.e. the lord of the worlds), O Bhuvanapati (i.e. lord of the world).

98-99. O Yajñeśa (i.e. lord of the sacrifices), O Nārāyaṇa, O Viṣṇu (i.e. victorious), O Śaṅkara, O Kṣitīśa (i.e. lord of the earth), O Viśveśvara (i.e. lord of everything), O Viśvalocana (i.e. seeing everything), O Śaśāṅkasūryācyuta-vīraviśvamūrti (i.e. from whom all forms like the moon, the sun, Viṣṇu, the heroes proceeded), O Amṛtāmūrta (i.e. of an immortal form), O Avyaya (i.e. the immutable one), O Jvalahutāśārciniruddhamaṇḍala-pradeśa (i.e. who has confined the global region to the flames of blazing fire), O Nārāyaṇa, O Viśvatomukha (i.e. having faces on all sides), O Samastadevārtihara (i.e. remover of the afflictions of all gods), O Amṛta (i.e. the immortal one), O Avyaya (i.e. the immutable one), O lord, protect me who am seeking your refuge.

100. O supreme lord, I see many faces of you; my salutation to you who are the ancient asylum of sacrifice; my salutation to Brahmā, the lord and the origin of the worlds; my salutation to you, the great grandsire.

101. Why are you, the lord of great gods, at times served by many beings purified by all that knowledge after having wandered in the cycle of the mundane existence? I salute you.

102. One who knows you to be superior to Prakṛti, is the greatest among those who know (everything). You deserve to be known very much among the virtuous ones. Your form is extensive and (at the same time) subtle.

103. How is it that you have a good speed and you do good deeds, even though you have no organs like (that of) speech, hands and feet? How are you, who, in spite of your senses being placed in the mundane existence, are the best god, to be known?

104. Incorporeal things are not had (i.e. known) from corporeal objects; but your highest form is known as having four faces by the sacrificers having pure thought like gods, and cutting off the (bonds of the) mundane existence.

105. Since, O you who take wonderful forms, even the gods and others do not know your form, O mighty one, a man should propitiate the old and the foremost god seated on the lotus-seat during the lord’s incaration.

106. Even a man with a pure heart does not know the truth about you and the origin of (you) the creator of the universe. How then can I know you the ancient (god), the first (one) and pure with penance?

107. The lotus-seated one is known as the father (i.e. the creator); that this (i.e. he) is conceived to be so is again and again known from the Purāṇa. O lord, a man having no penance to his credit does (i.e. can) not know you, the mighty one.

108. O god, those fools, without (i.e. not knowing) the Vedas, divide their thoughts (i.e. apply their mind) and desire to make known you who (in fact) should be made known by excellent (gods) like us.

109. Even though they are generous-hearted, they have no knowledge and after many existences having discriminating mind due to the (study of) Vedas and intent upon Brahmā, a man does not get the birth of a man or of the lord of gods or Gandharvas; he would be Śiva (i.e. get final beatitude).

110. You, being very subtle, are not of the form of Viṣṇu; you are gross (also); you are the master of realisation. O god, though gross, you are subtle. You are easy to be obtained. Those who do deeds outside you (i.e. prohibited by you) fall into hell.

111. A man with his original nature expanded is released by the original elements like the moon, the sun, the fire, the wind and the earth possessing their respective forms, when you, the wonderful one, remain in your original form.

112. O endless one, accept this praise of me, (who am) especially your devotee, who am endowed with concentration, who have a pure heart and who mentally follow your true state.

113. O revered one, my salutation to you, who always live in my heart. O ancient lord, I always salute you. Thus, O you knowing every condition, I have expressly praised you.

114. We (entertain) fear due to our moving in the cycle of worldly existence. Please protect us.

Brahmā said:

115. O Keśava, you are omniscient, there is no doubt. You are a heap of intellect (i.e. you are very intelligent). You will always be the first to be adored by gods.

116. After Nārāyaṇa (i.e. Viṣṇu), Rudra, bending down, praised with devotion, Viriñci (i.e. Brahmā) born from the lotus:

117. “(My) salutation to you, O Kamalapatrākṣa (i.e. having eyes like lotus-leaves); (my) salutation to you, O Padmajanman (i.e. born from a lotus); (my) salutation to you, O Surāsuraguru (i.e. best among gods and demons), O Kārin (i.e. creator), O Paramātman (i.e. highest soul).

118. O Sarvadeveśa (i.e. lord of all gods), (my) salutation to you; O Mohanāśana (destroyer of delusion), (my) salutation (to you) who remain in Viṣṇu’s navel (and) who are born in a lotus-seat.

119. (My) salutation to you, O Vidrumaraktāṅga (i.e. whose body resembles coral), who look handsome with (tender) hands like foliage. I have sought your refuge; protect me from moving (in this cycle) of worldly existence.

120-121. O you grandsire, formerly having seen a full-blown lotus, resembling the shape of a dark cloud, and of red colour, and with leaves and filaments, and having many leaves, and spotless and not known before, you sat in it and brought forth this creation.

122. Leaving (i.e. without) you there is no protection from any other (source); my salutation to you, O adorable to the world. I am scorched by the curse of Sāvitrī. My genital organ has fallen on the ground.

123. Appease me now. Protect me along with my life. May Brahma protect my feet. May Kamalāsana protect my shanks.

124. May Viriñci protect my waist. May Sṛṣṭikṛt (i.e. the creator) protect my organ of generation. May Padmanibha (i.e. one resembling a lotus) protect my navel. May Caturānana (i.e. one with four faces) protect my belly.

125. May Viśvasṛk (i.e. the creator of the universe) protect my chest. May Padmaja (i.e. born from the lotus) protect my heart. My Sāvitrīpati (i.e. the husband of Sāvitrī) protect my throat. May Hṛṣīkeśa protect my mouth.

126-127a. May Padmavarṇa (i.e. whose complexion is likea lotus) protect my eyes. May Paramātmā (i.e. the highest soul) protect my head.” Thus having assigned the different parts of the body to deity, viz. Brahmā (while uttering) the epithets of the lord, Śaṅkara, who brings about the well-being, said: “Salutation to you, O Brahmā, O revered one”, and ceased.

127b-128a. Then Brahmā, who was pleased, said these words to Śiva: “Which desire of you should I fulfil today? Ask me for whatever you desire.”

Rudra said:

128b-130. O lord, if you are pleased with me, and if you (will) grant me boons, then tell me one thing, O lord: In which place do you reside? In which places do the brāhmaṇas always see (i.e. find) you? By which name does that place shine on the surface of the earth? O lord of all, tell that to me who am devoted to you.

Brahmā said:

131. I reside as (i.e. I am called) Suraśreṣṭha (i.e. best of gods) at Puṣkara. (I am called) Caturmukha (i.e. having four faces). (I am called) Devagarbha (i.e. containing all gods) at Kānyakubja. (I am called) Pitāmaha (i.e. grandsire) at Bhṛgukakṣa.

132. (I am called) Sṛṣṭikartā (i.e. the creator) at Kāverī. (I am called) Bṛhaspati at Nandipurī. (I am called) Padmajanma (i.e. born from the lotus) at Prabhāsa. (I am called) Surapriya (i.e. dear to gods) at Vānarī.

133. (I am called) Ṛgvedī at Dvāravatī. (I am called) Bhuvanādhipa (i.e. the lord of the worlds) at Vaidiśa. (I am called) Puṇḍarīkākṣa (i.e. having lotus-like eyes) at Pauṇḍraka. (I am called) Piṅgākṣa (i.e. having tawny eyes) at Hastināpura.

134. I am called Vijaya at Jayantī. (I am called) Jayanta at Puṣkarāvata. I am Padmahasta (i.e. having lotus-hands) at Ugra. (I am) Tamonuda (i.e. remover of darkness) at Tamonandī.

135. (I amcalled) Jayānandin at Ahichanna. (lam called) Janapriya (i.e. dear to people) at the city of Kāñcī. (Iam called) Brahmā at Pāṭalīputra. I am called Muni at Ṛṣikuṇḍa.

136. (I am called) Mukunda at Mahitāra. (I am called) Śubhākāra (i.e. of an auspicious form) at Kāmarūpa. (I am called) Śivapriya at Vārāṇasī.

137. Similarly (I am called) Viṣṇu at Mallikākṣa; and Bhārgava at Mahendra. I am called Sthavirākāra (i.e. of an ancient form) at Gonarda. (I am called) Pitāmaha (i.e. grand-sire) at Ujjayinī.

138. (I am called) Mahābodhi at Kauśāmbī. (I am called) Rāghava at Ayodhyā. (I am called) Munīndra (i.e. the best sage) at Citrakūṭa. (I am called) Varāha on the Vindhya mountain.

139. (I am called) Parameṣṭhin at Gaṅgādvāra. (I am called) Śaṅkara on the Himālaya (mountain). (I am called) Srucāhasta (i.e. having a wooden ladle in his hand) at Devikā, and Sruvahasta (i.e. having a sacrificial ladle in his hand) at Caturvaṭa.

140. (I am called) Padmapāṇi (i.e. having a lotus in his hand) at Vṛndāvana; and (I am called) Kuśahasta (having the darbha grass in his band) at Naimiṣa. (I am called) Gopīndra (i.e. lord of the cowherdesses) at Goplakṣa; and (I am called) Sacandra (having the moon) at the bank of Yamunā.

141. (I am called) Padmatanu at (the bank of) the Bhāgīrathī. (I am called) Jalānanda at Jalandhara. (I called) Madrākṣa in Koṅkaṇa. (I am called) Kanakapriya (i.e. to whom gold is dear) at Kāmpilya.

142. (I am called) Annadātā (i.e.giver of food) at Veṅkaṭa and Śambhu at Kratusthala. I am Pulastya in Lanka and Haṃsavāhana (i.e. having swans as his carriers) in Kāśmīra.

143. I am (called) Vasiṣṭha at Arbuda. I am (called) Nārada at Utpalāvata. I am (called) Śrutidātā (i.e. the giver of scriptures) at Melaka. I am (called) Yādasāmpati (i.e. the 10rd of the aquatic animals) at Prapāta.

144. I am Sāmaveda at a sacrifice. I am (called) Madhurapriya at Madhura. I am Yajñabhoktṛ (i.e. enjoyer of sacrifices) at Aṃkoṭa. (I am called) Surapriya (i.e. dear to the gods) at Brahmavāda.

145. (I am called) Nārāyaṇa in Gomanta and Dvijapriya (i.e. dear to brāhmaṇas) at Māyāpurī. (I am called) Durādharṣa (i.e. unassailable) at Ṛṣiveda and Suramardana at Devā.

146. (I am called) Mahārūpa at Vijayā, and Svarūpa at Rāṣṭravardhana. (I am called) Rasapriya at Śākambharī.

147. I am called Gopāla at Piṇḍāraka. I am called Aṅgavardhana at Śaṃkhoddhāra. (I am called) Prajādhyakṣa (i.e. lord of the beings) at Kadambaka. (I am called) Devādhyakṣa (i.e. lord of gods) at Samasthala.

148. (I am called) Gaṅgādhara at Bhadrapīṭha. (I am called) Ja1aśāpī at Arbuda. I am Tripurādhīśa (i.e. lord of the three cities) at Tryambaka and Trilocana (i.e. having three eyes) at Śrīparvata.

149. (I am called) Mahādeva at Padmapura and Vaidhasa at Kāpāla. (I am called) Śauri at Śṛṅgiverapura, and Cakrapāṇika at Naimiṣa.

150. (I am called) Virūpākṣa (i.e. of deformed eyes) at Daṇḍapurī, and Gautama at Dhūtapātaka. (I am called) Haṃsanātha at Mā1yavān, and Dvijendra at Valika.

151. (I am called) Devanātha at Indrapurī, and Purandara at Dyūtapā. (I am called) Haṃsavāha at Lambā, and Garuḍapriya (i.e. dear to Garuḍa) at Caṇḍā.

152. (I am called) Mahāyajña at Mahodaya; and Padmavarṇa at Siddhismara. (I am called) Padmabodhana at Vibhā.

153. (I am called) Liṅga in Devadāruvana. (I am called) Vināyaka at Mahāpatti. (I am called) Tryambaka at Mātṛkāsthāna. (I am called) Kulādhipa at Alakā.

154. (I am called) Gonarda at Trikūṭa; and similarly Vāsuki in Pātāla. (I am called) Padmādhyakṣa at Kedāra, and Suratapriya (i.e. playful) at Kūṣmāṇḍa.

155. (I am called) Śubhāṅga at Kuṇḍavāpi and Takṣaka at Sāraṇī. (I am called) Pāpahā at Akṣoṭa and Sudarśana at Ambikā.

156. (I am called) Mahāvīra at Varadā and Durganāśana (i.e. destroyer of difficulties) at Kāntāra. (I am called) Ananta at Parṇāṭa, and Divākara at Prakāśa.

157. (I am called) Padmanābha at Virājā and Svarudra at Vṛkasthala. Also (I am called) Mārkaṇḍa at Vaṭaka and Mṛgaketana at Vāhinī.

158-159a. (I am called) Padmagṛha at Padmāvatī and Padmaketana at Gagana. I have (thus) narrated to you one hundred and eight places, where, O destroyer of Tripura, I am present for all the three times when Sandhyā is offered (i.e. I am always present).

159b-160a. A devout man, who sees (i.e. visits) even one of these (places), reaches Brahmā’s place and enjoys for many years.

160b-161a. All that sin, committed mentally or in speech or with the body, perishes. No doubt should be raised in this matter.

l61b-162a. A man who, after visiting these, sees me (there), enjoys salvation, and remains where I stay.

162b-163a. The highest god is immediately reached by him by means of offering flowers, incense, and gratifying the brāhmaṇas, and also by means of concentrated meditation.

163b-164a. The fruit of his religious merit is superior, and in the end he gets the fruit (in the form) of salvation. He instantly reaches Brahmā’s world and stays there.

164b-165. He, with great penance (to his credit), would become a god among those belonging to Brahmā[14]; and all his sins committed intentionally or unintentionally like a brāhmaṇa’s murder perish at that moment only.

166-167. He, who, in this world has become poor or is deprived of his kingdom, goes to these places and sees me (i.e. visits temples built in reverence to me) with concentration, and having offered worship (to me) and having bathed, makes, offering (of Śrāddha) to the manes and offers piṇḍas (to them) is quickly freed from grief.

168-169a. He would become a sovereign emperor. There is no doubt about this. Kingdoms, good fortune, wealth, grains, excellent women of various kinds are his (i.e. are got by him) who has undertaken a pilgrimage to Puṣkara.

169b-170. He who executes or gets executed this pilgrimage or hears about it, becomes free from all sins; also a man, who knows he had a union with a woman with whom union is forbidden (becomes free from that sin).

171. A man who has missed the Vedic rites for many years would obtain the purity due to recitation of the Vedas, by undertaking this pilgrimage just once.

172. O Śaṅkara, what is the use of talking much in this matter? By it (i.e. by visiting Puṣkara) that which is unobtainable is obtained and the sin too perishes.

173-1 74. It is equal to the fruit of all sacrifices; it gives the fruit of (a visit to) all sacred places; all Vedas are accomplished by him who has offered Sandhyā at Puṣkara and waited upon Sāvitrī with water of Puṣkara offered by his wife.

175-176. Having brought that auspicious water in an excellent clay-pitcher[15] he should offer Sandhyā in the evening with concentration and with controlled breath. O Hara, today hear from me, what religious merit accrues to a man on having offered that (Sandhyā).

177. By (doing) that Sandhyā is well-worshipped (i.e. well-offered) for twelve years (i.e. doing it is as good as offering Sandhyā for twelve years). By bathing there one gets the fruit of an aśvamedha (-sacrifice), and by making offerings there the religious merit is ten-fold.

178-179. The fruit of fasting too is endless, O sinless one. One who offers food to a couple in front of Sāvitrī, feeds me by that. There is no doubt about it. He who offers food to a second couple, feeds Keśava.

180. He (i.e. Keśava), the granter of boons, accompanied by Lakṣmī, gives him boons. (O Śaṅkara) there is no doubt that you, with Umā, are fed when he feeds a third couple.

181-182a. And in the family of that woman, who devoutly offers food to maidens, an unfortunate barren woman is never born. Also a woman giving birth only to girls or one who is not dear to her husband (is never born in her family).

182b-183. Therefore, O Bhīṣma, men desiring (anything) either in the next or in this world should always give (food) that is not bitter and that is free from oil.

184. Food that is sour or salt should never be eaten by women. The food should be of five types and should be well-dressed (i.e. should have all the tastes).

185-186a. Cakes well-fried in ghee and (accompanied) with profuse milk (should be eaten)and śikhariṇī (i.e. a dish of curds and sugar with spices) with curds and milk should be drunk. It gives delight to men and is very much liked by women.

186b-187a. Wealth, grains, men and hundreds of women and also breads and cakes are had by (eating) it.

187b-188a. (In the family) there is no fever, there is no tormentation, no grief, no separation. He emancipates twenty-one generations of his family.

188b-190a. The family of her who gives a fried cake, becomes full of relatives, sons and innumerable maids and servants. The entire family of him, who offers a baked cake, prospers with sons and grandsons for a long time.

190b-19la. The daughters of those young women who give śikhariṇī have sons, and their family is full of brothers.

191b-192. Her family with all desired things accomplished, is delighted by offering sweetmeats. This is what the creator has said. O Śiva, the same food is recommended for young girls eight years old.

193. O Śiva, she who gives food to a thousand persons, is fortunate, pious, has sons, and is endowed with wealth and prosperity, for existence after existence (i.e. many existences).

194-196. Sweetened cakes also are meritorious. One should cause to give food mixing it with Khandari made from corn obtainable in autumn and with grape-juice as the (ingredient), and mixed with jaggery-pieces. One should also give drinks and articles of food to brāhmaṇa women; in the same way (one should give) woollen garments and garments fit for (being worn) in the rainy season and whichever drinks are suitable.

197. One should worship (women) according to the proper procedure by giving them money and bodices. One should besmear their bodies with saffron and adorn them with wreaths and garlands.

198. One should give (them) shoes for their feet, and also a coconut; should give them collyrium (to be put into) their eyes and place red lead on their heads.

199. Having given them jaggery and tasty, soft fruits desired by them and vessels into their hands, one should salute them and dismiss them.

200. After that one should eat along with one’s relatives and children; or rather there is no accomplishment (without all this). One should give gifts (and) vessels at a sacred place.

20la. (One should say:) ‘I shall make offerings on going home; O god, being pleased, favour me.’

20lb-202. In the same way, after having come (back) to one’s own residence, one should duly offer a śrāddha to the manes with tbe offering of piṇḍas. The manes become pleased with him (and remain so) for the (entire) day of Brahmā.

203. The religious merit obtained by those who give gifts at their residence is eight times more than that obtained by giving at a sacred place. And the low ones do not see the Śrāddha performed by brāhmaṇas (at the residence).

204. A śrāddha performed in honour of the manes secretly in a (well-) guarded house is desirable. If it is struck (i.e. spoilt) by the sight of a mean person it does not reach the manes.

205. Therefore one should, with all care, get performed a śrāddha secretly. It is said to satisfy the manes. This is told by the self-born himself.

206. That rite which involves greater devotion to Gaurī (and so is superior), is said to be a familiar rite. The mental one is (called) Rājasī and gives fame to people.

207. One who desires one’s own good should always give secret gifts (i.e. give gifts secretly). If cooked food is given on the earth it is seen by people.

208-209a. If it is seen being given it never leads to anybody’s satisfaction. If one brāhmaṇa is fed in the house a crore of brāhmaṇas are fed (i.e. feeding one brāhmaṇa in the house amounts to feeding a crore of brāhmaṇas). There is no doubt about this. The statement made in the Purāṇas is true.

209b. One should never test a brāhmaṇa at a sacred place.

210-211. Manu has said that a brāhmaṇa who comes with a desire for food should be fed. The sages have recommended an offering of piṇḍas with (i.e. made of) flour of barley first fried and then ground, and with cakes of wheaten flour or with milk or with oil cakes or nuts of iṅgudi tree. Men with devotion should always make offerings with oil (and) oil cakes.

212. Men should perform a śrāddha there without offering and invocation. Vultures or crows do not take away offerings made to manes of the deceased ancestors on being seen.

213. That is called a śrāddha offered at a sacred place and it satisfies the manes. It should be performed with great care. The cause for it is devotion alone.

214. The manes are pleased with devotion; and (when) pleased, they direct (i.e. fulfil) desires. They satisfy desires for sons, grandsons, wealth, grains and other desires as mentally entertained.

215-216. The grandsire, being propitiated with devotion (is) pleased (and) gives (desired objects) to men. Men, after having reached the sacred place, should always perform a śrāddha at a proper or improper time. They should bathe (there) and offer oblations to the manes. They should also offer piṇḍas, since it is very dear to the manes.

217. The manes, full of great hope, and desiring (oblation of) water, observe the man born in their family, who has come to the sacred place.

218. (Therefore) men should not delay (the offering), nor cause an impediment. They will always have (a) continuous (line of) descendants.

219. Manes give sons. They desire the prosperity (of their descendants) and śrāddha. Therefore, they never cut off the line of descendants.

220-221. For this reason (only), formerly the self-born one has himself recommended śrāddha, which brāhmaṇas devoted to their manes should perform at a sacred place or in their houses on Saṃkrānti (i.e. passage of the sun from one zodiacal sign into another), on an eclipse (-day), on the equinoctial and solstitial points or when the star on which a person is born is suppressed.[16]

222-223. Formerly Svāyambhuva declared these to be the occasions of a śrāddha. When a śrāddha is performed, there is no bodily harm to a person; all bad deeds done by the son go away; and also there is no harm from the planets (turning evil) or thieves or kings.

224. (The effects of) all evil deeds perish, and (the son) obtains (i.e. goes to) a happy condition. There is no doubt about this; since (these) are the words of Prajāpati (himself).

225. The three Puṣkaras are said (to be meritorious) during the Kṛta age, Naimiṣa is said (to be meritorious) during the Tretā age, Kurukṣetra is said to be so during the Dvāpara age and one should resort to Gaṅgā during the Kali age.

226-227a. Residence at Puṣkara is difficult to be had; penance at Puṣkara is not easily had. (The effects of) sins committed elsewhere are diminished at Puṣkara; but the (effects of) sin committed at (this) sacred place are not removed at any other place.

227b-229a. O Bharata, who, with the palms of his hands joined, remembers Puṣkaras in the evening and in the morning, has (indeed) bathed at all the sacred places. Having bathed at Puṣkara in the evening and in the morning (i.e. one who has bathed at Puṣkara in the evening and in the morning), obtains (the fruit of) all sacrifices, and goes to the world of Brahmā.

229b-230. He who continuously stays at Puṣkara for twelve years, twelve days, a month or half a month would reach the highest station. Brahmā’s world stands above all the (other) worlds.

231-232a. He who desires to go to Puṣkara should resort to it. He who bathes in Puṣkara with other people or singly, gets the fruit (of the bath which is) a crore times more.

232b-233a. The fruit which a man obtains by duly performing rites at different sacred places is obtained by one by merely looking at Puṣkara.

233b-234a. On the surface of the earth there are ten thousand crores of sacred places. O you descendant of Kuru, they are (said to be) in the vicinity of Puṣkara (i.e. are present at Puṣkara).

234b-236. There is no doubt that those who die at Puṣkara will go to Brahmā’s world for as long as the mountains and the oceans stand (on the earth). The effect of all the evil deeds done (by a man) during thousands of existence, and from birth to death (during this existence) is completely burnt after having bathed in Puṣkara. Puṣkara is a sacred place to which access is not easy. It destroys all sins.

237. O king, now hear from me about the sacrifice in honour of the god of gods, which destroys the five sins and which gives Brahmanic power, sons and wealth.

238-239a. Wealth, full (span of) life, sons and happiness instantly come to that man who is oppressed with poverty, diseases, leprosy etc., who has no wealth or no son (if he visits Puṣkara).

239b-243. He, who sees the image of Brahmā, the highest god, the unborn one, conceived by prayers, along with (those) of the regents of quarters drawn in a circle, duly worshipped with Navanābha; or he, who worships (the image of) Brahmā in the month of Kārtika, especially on the full moon day, or duly worships (the image) on all full moon days, or he, who, O you of mighty arms, O king, sees (the image of the) mighty god worshipped by his preceptor on a Saṅkrānti-day or (a day auspicious due to the position) of the moon or the sun, gets satisfaction instantly and his sins are destroyed. O lord of men, he is honoured by gods here (i.e. in this world).

244. For one year, the preceptor should test the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya and vaiśya devotees by birth and rites like those of purification etc.

245-246. Knowing him to be suitable he should understand him accurately. They (i.e. the devotees) too, being devout, should, for one year, be attached to the preceptor as (they would be) to Viṣṇu; and then at the end of the year they should propitiate the preceptor.

247-249a. ‘Instruct us, O revered sir, in such a way that we would cross the ocean of worldly existence by means of your favour, meditation on the highest Brahman, worship of Viriñci (i.e. Brahmā), muttering prayers to the thousand-headed (god i.e. Viṣṇu), Maṇḍala brāhmaṇa and by means of meditation; we especially long for the prosperity of the Vedas; (please) favour (us)’.

249b-252. The intelligent preceptor who is thus requested by them at that time should duly worship Brahmā and Viṣṇu first. On the fourteenth day (of the lunar fortnight) of (the month of) Kārtika they (i.e. devotees) with their eyes blindfolded should be made to sleep (?). Then they, having got up before sunrise and taking the posture known as padmāsana,[17] and meditating upon the main image of the preceptor in the Sahasrāra[18] with a white garment and a sacred thread, and white flowers and cloth, and with white sandal (applied over the body) should go out (of the village) to a river and perform the daily routine carefully.

253-254. The preceptor should give them a toothbrush made from the Kṣīra-tree; going to a river flowing seawards they should chew it; or having gone to some other tank, or even in the house (itself), they should chew it consecrated with the prayer addressed to the highest lord.

255. Having consecrated it seven times with the sacred prayer ‘Āpohiṣṭhā’, and with ‘Devasya tvā’, and ‘Āyuñjānā...’ he should put it in his hand.

256-257a. Washing it with the prayer ‘Irāvatyā...’ he should put it into the mouth, and chewing it, should throw it away and note if it has fallen in front, behind him, or in an intermediate direction.

257b-259. When it falls in front, the deity is obtained (i.e. reached), and the prayers are fruitful. When the toothbrush falls behind, all the gods turn their faces away. When it has fallen in the northern direction, success may or may not be had. If it has fallen in the southern direction the teacher would die. There is no doubt about it. Seeing the inauspicious (omen) he should sleep on the (bare) ground near the lord of lords.

260. The wise ones, seeing dreams, should tell them before (i.e. to) the teacher. Then the great teacher should note the auspicious and inauspicious (omens).

261. The preceptor, having bathed on the full-moon day should go to a temple and draw a circle on the ground prepared (for that purpose).

262-263. Having duly marked the ground with various signs, he should draw there a lotus with sixteen or nine or eight petals. The wise (preceptor) should show it to the disciples. He should carefully cover their eyes with a white piece of cloth.

264-265a. He should bring in the disciples with flowers in their hands, in an alphabetical order. When the wise one would fashion the Navanābha circle with colours, he should worship Indra preceded (i.e. accompanied) by Indrāṇī in the east.

265b. The king should, like that, also worship Agni along with the regents of the quarters.

266. He should worship Yama in the southern direction, and Nirṛti in the south-east direction, and Varuṇa in the western direction and Vāyu in the north-west direction.

267. Keeping (the image of) Kubera in the northern direction he should place (the image of) Rudra in the north-east direction. He should put the water-pot in the east and the wooden ladle in the south.

268. He should place (the image of) Brahman in the west and the sacrificial ladle in the north. He should place the ascetic’s seat in the south-east and the wooden sandals in the south-west.

269. He should put the yogapaṭṭa[19] and a small pitcher[20] in north-east direction. Viṣṇu should be worshipped in the east and Śaṅkara in the south.

270. God Ravi (i.e. the image of the Sun) should be worshipped in the west, and the sages in the north. Brahmā himself should be put in the centre and Sāvitrī to his south.

271-273a. (The image of) lotus-eyed Gāyatrī should be placed in the north. Having placed Ṛgveda in the east and Yajurveda in the south, and also Sāmaveda in the west and Atharvaveda in the north, he should put Itihāsa-Purāṇas, metrics, astronomy, Dharma-śāstras and other (lores) in the eastern and other directions.

273b-274. Having worshipped Bala (rāma) on the eastern petal, he should worship Pradyumna on the southern petal, Aniruddha on the western petal and Vāsudeva (i.e. Kṛṣṇa) on the northern one. He should worship Vāmadeva on the eastern (petal) and Śiva on the southern one.

275. He should place Īśāna (i.e. Viṣṇu) on the western petal and the supreme spirit (i.e. Brahman) on the northern petal. Aghora (i.e. one of Śiva’s forms) should be worshipped on all sides. This is the worship (to be offered to the deities) in the circle.

276. He should worship Bhāskara in the east, Divākara in the south, Prabhākara in the west and the lord of planets in the north.

277-278. Having thus worshipped Brahmā, the highest lord, according to the proper procedure and having duly placed eight pitchers in the circle in various directions, he should keep the ninth pitcher—the one intended for Brahmā in the centre. He (i.e. the preceptor) should bathe him, who desires salvation, with (the water poured from) the Brahmā-pitcher.

279. O king, he should bathe him, who desires wealth, with (the water poured from) the pitcher meant for Viṣṇu. He should bathe him, who desires kingdom, with (the water poured from) the pitcher sacred to Indra.

280. He should bathe him, who desires wealth and valour, with the water (poured from) the pitcher intended for Agni. He should bathe a man desiring victory over (i.e. to overcome) death with (water poured from) the pitcher sacred to Yama.

281. Bath with water from the pitcher sacred to Nirṛti, is laid down for the destruction of the wicked. He should bathe a man with (the water poured from) the pitcher sacred to Varuṇa, for the quick destruction of sins.

282. He should bathe a man, who desires health, with (water from) the pitcher placed in the north-west direction (and sacred to Vāyu). Bath with (water from the pitcher) sacred to Kubera is laid down for him who desires wealth.

283-284a. Bath with (water from) the pitcher sacred to Rudra is (laid down) for him who desires knowledge. These are the pitchers (sacred to) the regents of quarters. A man who bathes with water from each of these pitchers becomes free from all faults and instantly becomes a king like Brahmā.

284b-285a. Or he should duly worship the regents of all the quarters one by one with water from the pitchers by uttering the names of everyone of them.

285b-287a. Having thus worshipped the deities—the regents of the quarters—he, with a pleased mind, bring in the disciples with their eyes blind-folded, after having tested them. Burning (the sins of) them with (the power of) Agni with sustained breath, he should shake them (i.e. make them alert) with Vāyu, and making them corpulent with Soma, he should then make them hear (i.e. tell them) the usual practices.

287b-288. A man should not censure brāhmaṇas, gods, Viṣṇu and Brahmā, and also Indra, Āditya, Agni and regents of quarters and planets; also his preceptor, a brāhmaṇa, or a superior sage who has been formerly initiated.

289-290. Having thus made him hear (i.e. having thus told him) the usual practices, he should make him perform a sacrifice. ‘Om, (my) salutation to revered Brahman of all forms. Hum, Phaṭ, Svāhā’. With (this) sacred text of sixteen letters he should make offerings into the blazing fire. He should offer into this fire all offerings made at the time of the rite of conception etc.

291. The initiated one (performing the sacrifice) should, at the end of the sacrifice (and) in the vicinity of the god of gods, cause the sacrificial fee to be given to the teacher to the accompaniment of the three Vyāhṛtis[21] (i.e. the mystic utterances).

292. The wise one should cause to give (i.e. offer) elephants, horses, vehicles and carts, gold, grains etc. to the preceptor. O king, to the middle preceptor (i.e. the preceptor second in order) he should give mediocre ones (i.e. the elephants etc. of the second grade).

293-294a. To the next one he should give a couple (of cows etc.) along with gold. It is not possible to describe the religious merit produced when this is done even for hundreds of years (i.e. even if the description continues for hundreds of years).

294b-296a. He who, being initiated first, listens to the Padma (Purāṇa), has muttered all the Vedas, the Purāṇas, all the sacred texts in totality, at the holy place of Puṣkara, or at Prayāga or Sindhusāgara, or Devahrada, or Kurukṣetra or particularly at Vārāṇasī.

296b-298a. He, having seen (i.e. who sees) the grandsire residing at Puṣkara, gets the fruit that is equal to hundred times the fruit obtained by those who mutter sacred texts on (days of) equinoctial points and eclipses. If he entertains many desires (they are satisfied) if he, having been initiated, worships (the deity) and listens to the Purāṇa.

298b-300. O king, even gods, having practised penance, meditate and say: ‘When shall I get birth (i.e. when shall I be born) in Bhārata? When shall we be initiated and listen to the Padma (Purāṇa)? When shall we, having put the Padma of the sixteen essences on our bodies, go to the highest place, having gone to which, there will be no rebirth?’

301-302. The gods speak like this and think (like this). O king, (they also say:) ‘When shall we see the sacrifice of Brahmā on the full moon day of Kārtika?’ O you best of the Kurus, I have thus told you the sacred precept of the gods, Gandharvas and Yakṣas, for it is always excellent.

303. The scriptures say that he who knows it correctly, he who sees the circle (in which the pitchers are placed), and he who would listen to this (account). all they are freed (from the mundane existence).

304-305a. Hereafter I shall tell you this excellent secret, with (the help of) which men can have wealth, steadiness, satisfaction and nourishment; and with (the help of) which, O king, all the planets become agreeable.

305b-306. Selecting first, a Sunday with the Hasta (constellation in union with the Moon), he should thereafter devoutly pass seven such Sundays eating once a day. When thus the seventh Sunday is over (i.e. on the seventh Sunday)he should feed brāhmaṇas.

307-308a. A man should fashion with care a golden image of the Sun, should cover it with a pair of red garments, and should place in a copper vessel the umbrella and wooden sandals and shoes to be presented (to a brāhmaṇa).

308b-309a. Having bathed it with clarified butter he should cause it to be given to a brāhmaṇa with full form (i.e. not having a deformed body), and especially to a brāhmaṇa, well-versed in (the performance of) rites.

309b-310a. If this is done, its fruit is excellent health, and also wealth, prosperity and the acquisition of everything. Such is the rite as described in the Purāṇas.

310b. It is not inconsistent, and gives peace and satisfaction to men.

311. Similarly a wise man should select a Monday when Citrā is (in union with the Moon); he, eating (only) at night, should carefully pass eight Mondays (in this way).

312. On every Monday wise brāhmaṇas should be fed (by him). When the ninth Monday is over (i.e. on the ninth Monday) he should feed brāhmaṇas.

313. He should give them pairs of garments, and should also cause (the image of) Soma, placed in a pot of bell metal full with milk, to be given.

314. Similarly an umbrella, two wooden sandals with shoes should be given to a brāhmaṇa, especially to one of a perfect body (i.e. whose body is not deformed).

315. He should similarly worship Aṅgāraka (i.e. Mars) on (the union of) Svāti (with the Moon) and pass eight Tuesdays by eating only at night till (on the last Tuesday) brāhmaṇas are fed.

316. He should cause to give golden image of Mars placed in a copper-vessel to a brāhmaṇa having a complete (i.e. not deformed) body.

317. A wise man should pass seven days in the order of the constellations by eating only at night, and on the eighth should cause to give golden horses (to a brāhmaṇa).

318. He should perform the fire-rites (i.e. the sacrifices) according to the procedure as seen (in the religious texts). O king, listen to what would happen when this is done.

319-320. All unfavourable planets become agreeable; all diseases vanish and deities are pleased. The serpents, and manes that are satisfied (by him) do not act against him. The wicked dreams of those who listen to or recite (the text), vanish.

321-322a. If Bhauma (i.e. Mars), the son of Ravi (i.e. Saturn), Bhāskara (i.e. the Sun), and Ketu stand atop and are terrible and cause trouble, they become auspicious when this is just done.

322b-323a. O king, all the planets become favourable to him and grant him peace who, full of devotion, always observes this (vow); not otherwise.

323b-324. He should place (the image of) Śanaiścara (i.e. Saturn), Rāhu and Ketu in an iron pot. He should get (the images of) these fashioned with iron and should cause them to be given to brāhmaṇas; and to please these (brāhmaṇas) a pair of black garments should be given.

325-326. Those who desire peace, wealth and victory should give golden (images of) cows. At the culmination of the vow the golden images of these planets should be given by those who desire peace. O king, at the end of the vow food should be served to brāhmaṇas. Similarly gifts according to one’s capacity should also be given to please (i.e. pacify) the planets.

327-328. O lord of kings, he would fulfil all his desires with little effort. One should seek knowledge from Śaṅkara, and (good) health from Bhāskara (i.e. the Sun). One should desire wealth from Hutāśana (i.e. Fire), and position from Janārdana (i.e. Viṣṇu). One should seek Vedic (i.e. sacred knowledge), giving peace to all beings, from the grandsire.

Bhīṣma said:

329. The sacrifice which you described as giving great fruit to the sacrificers, cannot be obtained (i.e. performed) by others due to the short span of life.

330. O best of the sages, tell me about the auspicious vow, practised with little effort by observing fasts during a year, and giving a great fruit.

Pulastya said:

331. O great king, for this reason only, king Śveta of great fame, very much oppressed with hunger, put a question to Vasiṣṭha.

332. In the country named Ilāvṛta there was a very powerful king named Śveta. He conquered the entire earth with the seven islands and cities.

333-334a. Vasiṣṭha, the son of Brahmā, was his family-priest. That best king, who was greatly religious, having (i.e. who had) conquered (the earth), once said these words to Vasiṣṭha, the best among those who muttered the sacred prayers.

Śveta said:

334b-336. O revered sir, I strongly desire to perform a thousand horse-sacrifices, and to give gold and gems to brāhmaṇas. O preceptor, I do not wish to give the gift of food on the earth. It is no use giving food, O master, when I gave gold as a gift; I never gave food as a gift taking it to be a nonentity (i.e. of no avail).

337-338a. That king Śveta, of great fame, gave red garments, ornaments, villages and cities to brāhmaṇas; but that king never gave food and water (to brāhmaṇas).

338b-339. Then, O best bing, that king having performed many horse-sacrifices went to heaven conquered (i.e. obtained) by religious merit after having practised penance (for three arbudas (i.e. three hundred million years). Adorned with all ornaments he lived in the world of Brahman.

340-341. The celestial nymphs danced there and the Siddha-women sang (songs). Both Tumburu and Nārada, who were very intelligent, always arrived there and sang (there). Sages, with penance (to their credit), praised him, who had performed many sacrifices, with prayers from the Vedas.

342. The body of the great-souled king, who was endowed with such grandeur, was oppressed with hunger, and particularly with thirst.

343. That best king oppressed by that (strong) hunger, left heaven in an aeroplane, and came to the mountain Ṛkṣa.

344. He came to that great forest where formerly his body was burnt. There the king took the bones (of his body) and remained licking them.

345-346a. The king again got into his aeroplane and went to heaven. After a long time the king, of a praiseworthy vow, was seen licking his own bones (i.e. the bones of his body in the former existence) by his family-priest Vasiṣṭha.

346b-347. He said to the king: “O lord of kings, O king, why are you eating (i.e. licking) your own bones?” King Śveta thus addressed by the great sage Vasiṣṭha, said these words to the sage:

348. “O revered sir, I am oppressed with thirst and hunger. O best sage, formerly I never gave food (to anyone); therefore hunger is excessively oppressing me.”

349. Thus addressed by the king, the great sage Vasiṣṭha, best among sages, again said these words to the king:

350-352a. “O lord of kings, what can I do for you especially (when you are so) hungry? A thing that is not given to anyone does not serve a person. A man gets enjoyments by giving gems and gold (to others). By giving food he shines with all desires (i.e. all his desires are fulfilled); (but) O king, you did not give that (i.e. food) taking it to be little (i.e. insignificant).”

Śveta said:

352b-353a. O preceptor, tell me how that which is not given is compensated. By your favour (i.e. favour me and) tell me who am asking you, O Vasiṣṭha.

Vasiṣṭha said:

353b-354. There is a cause for this about which there is no doubt. O best among men, listen to it as it is being told by me to you. In the former Kalpa there was a king known as Vinītāśva.

355-356. That king commenced to perform an excellent horse-sacrifice. At the end of the sacrifice he gave cows and horses to the best brāhmaṇas as asked by them; but he did not give them food looking upon it as insignificant; as you (regarded gift of food unimportant). Then after a long time he expired on the bank of Gaṅgā,

357. That king Vinītāśva became a sovereign emperor in Māyāpurī. O lord, like you he too went to heaven.

358. O king, he too, oppressed with hunger like you came in a bright aeroplane resembling the sun in colour, to the Nīla mountain on the bank of the river Gaṅgā on the earth.

359-361 a. There, on the bank of Jāhnavī, he saw his own body and his priest by name Brāhmaṇa, performing a sacrifice. O king, seeing him, he too again asked him the reason for his hunger. The priest said to him:

36lb-363a. “O best person, O king, quickly give a cow made of sesamum, and a cow made of ghee, and also of water, an (actual) cow and a liquid one, by (giving) which you will be free from thirst and hunger, and will enjoy in heaven as long as the sun and the moon shine (in the sky).”

363b-364a. Thus addressed, the king again asked him this (question): “Tell me the conditions (i.e. the attributes) of the cow of sesamum. I will fashion one accordingly and give it.”

364b-365. The priest said (in reply): “O king, listen to the sacred injunction about the cow of sesamum: The cow should be fashioned out of sesamum measuring sixteen āḍhakas[22], and the calf (should be fashioned) out of sesamum measuring four (āḍhakas). The feet (of the cow) should be of sugarcanes and the bright teeth of flowers.

366. The nose should be made of sandal and the tongue should be made of jaggery. For the tail a garland should be used, and the cow should have a bell as her ornament.

367. He should fashion the cow like this; she should have golden horns, silver hoofs and udders of bronze like the cow as told previously[23].

368-369. O king, having fashioned her like this, he should quickly cause it to be given to a brāhmaṇa, after having sanctified it with sacred texts. He should cause the auspicious cow, remaining (i.e. placed) on a black deer-hide, covered with clothes, tied with a thread, (adorned) with five gems, endowed with all herbs, to be given (to a brāhmaṇa).

370-371. (He should pray to the cow as:) ‘O sesamum cow, let me instantly have food, drink and all (kinds of) liquids. O you, who are presented to a brāhmaṇa, satisfy our desires. I am, O goddess, taking (to) you with devotion, especially for (the good of) my family. Satisfy all my desires. Salutation to you, O sesamum-cow.’

372. O best king, the sesamum-cow presented with this procedure, satisfies all desires. There is no doubt about this.

373. The cow of water is fashioned with pitchers only (i.e. pitchers are filed with water). When she is duly presented, she instantly satisfies all desires.

374. Similarly if a hundred cows are given following the rule (of the vow) of the full-moon day, Sāvitrī would satisfy all one’s desires here (i.e. in this world) as well as in heaven.

375. Similarly the cow made of ghee presented like this according to the proper procedure by the wise men, satisfies all desires and would give lustre.

376. Similarly, O king, the cow of liquids given in the month of Kārtika, would satisfy all one’s desires and would always give good position.

377. I have told you in brief this very extensive (account). It is described by Brahmā, the doer of all actions, to give unending fruit.

378-379. O best king, if a person is oppressed with thirst or hunger he should give this gift in Kārtika. Give first, O king, O lord, the ‘Egg of Brahman’, full of everything, having beings and gems and herbs, also full of gods, demons and Yakṣas.

380-381. Fashioning all this (and the egg covered) with silver all round, endowed with gems and (forms of) the Sun and the Moon, a devout man should cause it to be given to his preceptor-priest on the twelfth day in (i.e. of) Kārtika or on the fifteenth day of Kārtika only, and not in any other way.

382. O king, all beings that lie within the ‘Egg of Brahman’ are (i.e. must be said to be) given by him. I have told you (this) in brief.

383. O king, all that fruit of the performance of sacrifices, accomplished with excellent gifts, which is obtained by a sacrificer, is obtained by the gift of a portion of the ‘Egg’, especially (i.e. more so) by the gift of the (entire) ‘Egg of Brahman.’

384. A man, who again gives this (form of the) entire “Egg of Brahman”, has (i.e. should be said to have) muttered prayers, offered oblations, given gifts and narrated (the account).”

The king said:

385-386. O innocent brāhmaṇa, one would be obtaining salvation by performing the rite of the gift of the ‘Egg of Brahman.’ Tell me about the time, region and the sacred place for it (i.e. tell me when and where it should be performed); (so that) by doing it I shall get all the fruit, and shall soon get rid of this contemptible condition.

Vasiṣṭha said:

387. O king, having heard this, the brāhmaṇa priest got fashioned the Egg of Brahman out of gold and all (other) metals.

388-390. He fashioned that lotus (-seat) of Brahman with a thousand niṣkas. In it (he placed the image of) Brahmā adorned with rubies, Sāvitrī, Gāyatrī, sages and ascetics. In front of (the image of) Brahmā he put the golden images of all sons of Brahmā like Nārada and all gods like Indra. There should also be the image of the eternal lord in the form of the boar along with Lakṣmī.

391-394. For his decoration he should use green emeralds. The wise one should adorn it with the gems called gomeda[24]. The (form of) Moon should be decorated with pearls and (that of) the Sun with diamonds. He should also cause golden (forms) of planets to be given. (If silver is used) its quantity should be seven times that of gold; similarly the quantity of copper should be seven times that of silver. The quantity of bronze that may be used should be seven times that of copper. The quantity of tin (if used for forming the images) should be seven times that of bronze. O king, the quantity of lead should be seven times that of tin, and the quantity of iron should be seven times that of lead.

395-396. In accordance with this number he should get fashioned by skilled artisans seven islands, seven seas and seven principal mountains[25]. He should get fashioned the trees and beings with silver; and he should get fashioned the forests and beasts with gold.

397. The wise ones should duly get fashioned trees, plants, thickets, grass, leaves and creepers and should present them at a holy place.

398-399a. At the time of the lunar or the solar eclipse he should present these things at these sacred places: Kurukṣetra, Gayā, Prayāga, Amarakaṇṭaka, Dvāravatī, Prabhāsa, Gaṅgādvāra and Puṣkara.

399b-400. O lord of kings, all this should be given on all the openings of days, during the summer and the winter solstice. It is very meritorious on days of portents and especially on equinoctial points. He should entertain no doubt about this.

401-403a. Appointing a brāhmaṇa who is handsome and endowed with five qualities as the chief of the fire-chamber, and having honoured him with his wife, and making him the chief priest, and in the same way, having invited other brāhmaṇas with twenty-four qualities, along with their wives, he should give them rings and ear-rings.

403b-404. Having honoured them thus and having placed himself before them, and having again and again saluted with the eight parts of his body touching the ground, he, with the palms of his hands joined in obeisance, (should praise the brāhmaṇas) with the family-priest in the fore (i.e. headed by the family-priest with these words:)

405-407. ‘O brāhmaṇas, being pleased you should favour (me) with a friendly attitude, and a kind disposition. I have again been more purified. Due to your devotion the grandsire himself is pleased. May Janārdana be pleased with (this) gift of Brahmāṇḍa. And also, O best brāhmaṇas, may the Pināka-holding god and Śakra, the lord of gods, be pleased by (my) meditation on them.’

408-409. Having thus praised the brāhmaṇas, who had mastered the Vedas, the king in a moment, duly presented the Brahmāṇḍa to his preceptor. Then with all his desires satisfied the king went to heaven.

410. That priest shared that (Brahmāṇḍa) with (the other) brāhmaṇas (i.e.) he too gave (portions of) it to other brāhmaṇas, O king. There should not be only one recipient of Brahmāṇḍa or the gift of land.

411-412. If only one man receives it he commits a sin—brāhmaṇacide—there is no doubt about it. This is witnessed by all. One should proclaim and give. Those also who see (the gift) being given are purified. Merely by seeing it, they are liberated. There is no doubt about this.

413-414. (On the day) which is called Bhīmadvādaśī, he should make (offerings of) gold, water and deer-hide. Let them (i.e. people) see these. When seen by them they easily get the fruit of the rite, and get (i.e. go to) the same world as the performer (of the rite). O king, cows should always be saluted with this sacred prayer:

415. ‘(My) repeated salutation to the prosperous cows that have descended from Surabhi. (My) repeated salutation to the pure daughters of Brahman.’

416-41 7a. One would obtain the fruit of the gift of cows (merely) by remembering this sacred prayer. Therefore, O king, you too will obtain the fruit of the gift of cows, especially on the full-moon day of Kārtika, at the excellent holy place, viz. Puṣkara.

417b-418. Whatever sin is of (i.e. committed by) a woman or a man, all that (sin) completely perishes by merely having a bath at Puṣkara. O descendant of Bharata, whichever sacred places there are on the earth right from the sea, they go to (i.e. merge into) Puṣkara, especially on the full-moon day of Kārtika.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Brahmā—One of the four priests employed at a Soma-sacrifice.

[2]:

Brahmaṇācchaṃsī—A brāhmaṇa in the second stage (between brāhmaṇa-mātra i.e. a brāhmaṇa only by birth and śrotriya).

[3]:

Potṛ—One of the sixteen officiating priests at a sacrifice; assistant of the priest called Brahman.

[4]:

Agnīdhra—The priest who kindles fire.

[5]:

Udgātṛ—One of the four chief priests at a sacrifice; he chants the hymns of the Sāmaveda. Pratyudgātā, Pratihartā and Subrahmaṇya are his three assistants.

[6]:

Hotṛ—A sacrificial priest, especially one who recites the prayers of the Ṛgveda at a sacrifice.

[7]:

Maitrāvaruṇa—One of the sixteen officiating priests at a sacrifice.

[8]:

Acchāvāka—The invoker or inviter; a priest who is employed at Soma-sacrifices and is a co-ordinator of Hotṛ.

[9]:

Grāvastut—One of the sixteen priests called after the hymn (Ṛgveda X.94) addressed to the Soma stones.

[10]:

Adhvaryu: One of the priests at a sacrifice. His duties are: to measure the ground, to build the altar, to prepare the sacrificial vessels, to fetch wood and water, to light the fire, to bring the animal and immolate it. While engaged in these duties he repeated hymns from the Yajurveda.

[11]:

Pratiṣṭhātṛ—Adhvaryu’s assistant.

[12]:

Neṣṭṛ—One of the chief officiating priests at a Soma-sacrifice; he leads forward the wife of the sacrificer and prepares Surā.

[13]:

Unnetṛ—The priest who pours Soma into the receptacles.

[14]:

Vairāja=belonging to Brahman.

[15]:

Bhṛṅgāra is a pitcher of a particular type.

[16]:

Viṣuva—The first point of Aries or Libra into which the sun enters at the vernal or autumnal equinox.

Ayana—Equinoctial and solstitial points.

Janmarkṣa—The star under which a person is born.

[17]:

Padmāsana—A particular posture in religious meditation in which the left foot is placed at the root of the thigh and the right foot on the left thigh.

[18]:

Sahasrāra—One of the mystic centres of spiritual energy, located on the top of the brain and like a thousand-petalled lotus in shape according to the teachers of Kuṇḍalini Yoga and Tantra.

[19]:

Yogapaṭṭa—A cloth thrown over the back and knee of an ascetic during abstract meditation.

[20]:

Galantikā—A small water-jar with a hole in the bottom from which the water drops upon the object of worship.

[21]:

Vyāhṛti—The mystic utterances. They are three, viz. Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ and Svaḥ as mentioned here, or seven. They are preceded by the utterance of ‘Om’.

[22]:

Āḍhaka—A measure of grains, the fourth of a droṇa.

[23]:

Pūrvadhenuvidhānataḥ... (see Chapter 21 above).

[24]:

Gomeda—A gem brought from the Himalayas and Indus, described as of four different colours: white, pale-yellow, red and dark-blue.

[25]:

Kulaparvata—These principal mountains are seven in number. Their names are: Mahendra, Malaya, Sahya, Śukitmat, Ṛkṣa, Vindhya and Pāriyātra.

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