The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the birth of lauhitya which is chapter 55 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 fifty-fifth 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.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

The lord said:

1-2. I shall tell you another (account) of a man overpowered by the passion of love. Formerly on the bank of Bhāgīrathī, there lived a brāhmaṇa, an ascetic of the highest order, who instructed thousands of brāhmaṇas, who gave peace (of mind to others), who was ekadaṇḍadhara,[1] and like a tortoise living on the earth.

3. When he was sitting all alone in a secluded temple, he suddenly came across a young beautiful woman going to another’s house from her husband’s house in the evening.

4-6. Seeing her, the great brāhmaṇa, being afflicted with fear caused by the passion of love, put her in the interior of his house (i.e. the temple) and passed the night. Having made the bolt (of the door) tight, she did not at all allow him to come from (i.e. through) the door. He, who was (reduced to) such (a condition), remained in meditation, and thinking about that beautiful woman, lamented.

7-8a. Thinking ‘what business have I at the door?’, he said to her: “O dear one, allow me to come in (i.e. entrance. If you do so), your husband will be under your thumb, and, O dear one, he will be dear to you.”

8b-9a. Then she said to that old brāhmaṇa, who was lustful, “O father, these words are unbecoming to you. O lord, (please) do not utter them.”

9b-10a. Then the illustrious (brāhmaṇa) said: “I have ample wealth. O auspicious lady, I shall give it to you. (Please) open the door.”

10b-11a. Again she said to the brāhmaṇa: “You are my spiritual father. Do not approach me, who am your daughter; and also do not approach another man’s wife, O you pious one.”

11b-12a. Thinking well in his mind, he proceeded to go into the house through a hole after having opened it with his hands.

12b-13a. While he was (thus) going (into the house), his head entered (and got stuck up) into a very narrow passage. It would not come out (i.e. he could not take it out), and then he died.

13b-14. At the dawn the guards and servants[2] came (there). Seeing that wonderful dead body (i.e. dead body causing wonder), they, being amazed, said to her: “O beautiful woman tell us how his death has come about.”

15a. Having told (them) the account she came to the desired region.

15b-16a. Such is the power of the passion of love. It is difficult to resist for all beings—gods, demons or men.

16b-18a. The grandsire of all the worlds, after seeing Amoghā, ejaculated. From that is said to be the rise of Lauhitya. It purifies all people. It is full of all sacred places; resorting to which a man goes to the healthy world of Brahmā.

The brāhmaṇa said:

18b-19a. How did Brahmā have (this) infatuation? Who is that beautiful lady Amoghā? I also desire to know correctly about the rise of the best sacred place.

The lord said:

19b-20. There was a well-known sage, Śantanu by name, who was honoured by gods and whose lustre was like that of the lotus-born one (i.e. Brahmā). (His) beautiful and youthful (wife) was known as Amoghā.

21. Once Brahmā went to her house to meet her husband (Śantanu). At that time, the best sage (i.e. Śantanu) had gone to the forest for (collecting) flowers etc.

22. Having seen the best of gods, she (i.e. Amoghā) gave him a respectful offering and water for washing his feet and things like that. Having saluted him (from) a distance, she entered the house.

23. Seeing that woman of a spotless body, the Creator was overpowered with the passion of love. The Creator, having composed himself, thought about her who was before him.

24. The semen of the supreme soul, Brahmā, fell on the bedstead. Then Brahmā, being afflicted and distressed, quickly left.

25. Then the sage came home, and saw (Brahmā’s) semen on the seat. He asked the beautiful woman (his wife): “Who had come here?”

26-27a. Then Amoghā said (i.e. replied) to him: “O lord, Brahmā had come here. To (allow him to) wait for you I had given this seat. By means of penance you can know the reason (why his) semen (was deposited) here.”

27b-29a. Then that brāhmaṇa understood it by means of meditation. “O good woman, please preserve by my order the very important semen of Brahmā. A son, who alone will purify all the worlds, will be born (to you). Our desire which is all auspicious will (now) be fulfilled.”

29b-30a. Then the chaste, illustrious woman, obeying his order, drank, for the birth of a son, the semen of Brahmā, the supreme soul.

30b-32. A terrible foetus throbbing like an eddy, was produced. She could not at all bear it; so she then spoke to Śantanu: “O lord, I am not now able to bear the foetus. O you, who know the dharma, what should I do now? Even my life has become unsteady. O illustrious one, tell me where I shall (i.e. should) drop the foetus.”

33-34. Obeying the husband’s order, she dropped the foetus at Yugandhara. (There) water (arose), which had all piety settled in it. In it a pure man, with a crown and with his body covered over with a blue garment and a necklace of jewels, (stood) difficult to look at like the constellation of stars.

35. Then hosts of gods scattered (i.e. threw) a shower of flowers from heaven. (This sacred place) that came up was known as the king of all sacred places.

36-37. Then was born, the well known (Paraśu-)Rāma in Bhṛgu’s family. Having killed the kṣatriyas, who had come to fight (with me) with their armies and vehicles, and who had killed my ancestors, and who were afraid (of me), I was fully covered with mud. A terrible (sin) like that of killing a brāhmaṇa had come up in my house (i.e. family).

38-41. My axe, full of mud, though washed, did not become clean. Then there was (heard) a voice in the sky: “Rāma, do what I say. All the sins committed by you will perish at that sacred place where your axe will be clean. O you, who cut off the pride (of the kṣatriyas), stay there for the well-being of all people. Quickly go to all very big (i.e. important) sacred places. Know that sacred place among the places (to be great) at which your axe will be clean. That (sacred place) is said to be a giver of salvation.”

42-43. Hearing that (Paraśurāma), the son of Jamadagni, went to (various) sacred places. (He went to) Gaṅgā, the white Sarasvatī, Kāverī, to Śarayū. (He) also (went to) Godāvarī, Yamunā, Kadrū and Vasudā, and also to auspicious Gaurī, the giver of merit, who had formerly settled there.

44-46. The axe of him, the wise one, who was going like wind (visiting various sacred places), (though) washed in all sacred places, did not become clean. That (incarnation of) Viṣṇu went to an inaccessible mountain-cave, a great forest, a mountain, and to the sacred place (on) the inaccessible mountain-peak. By (doing) that his axe did not become clean. Rāma (i.e. Paraśurāma), the conqueror of enemies, then became dejected.

47. The hero was very much worried. (The divine voice) again spoke to him in the same way:

48. “O lord of gods, there is a sacred place in a cave in the eastern direction.”

49. The best among men, having heard that, went and saw the holy pool, to the south, where (i.e. in the water of which) there was an eddy, which was bright and which removed sins. (His) axe became clean merely by the touch ofits water.

50. Then Rāma (i.e. Paraśurāma) with great joy bathed (there). Pure thought was produced (in the mind) of him whose mind was pure and who was sinless.

51-53a. That Rāma (i.e. Paraśurāma), having lived (there) for a long time and having propitiated it, speedily reached the city from (i.e. after leaving) that mountain. Making it famous, he then went to the sea. It is said that this best sacred place has been fashioned by the grandsire himself, and that it gives happiness, is pure all round, and gives (i.e. shows) the path to salvation.

53b-54. Know thus that the power of the passion of love is irresistible and unbearable. The greatest (i.e. worst) sin is produced from the passion of love, and the greatest virtue is produced from an act of piety. That Lauhitya, was the son born from Virañci (i.e. Brahmā).

55-57. He was born on the wife of Śantanu i.e. from the womb of Amoghā. Brahmā overcame his passion of love; so also due to the absence of jealousy of Śantanu and the chastity of her (i.e. of Amoghā), it became the excellent sacred place. He, who everyday recites this auspicious and meritorious account, or would listen to it with joy, goes to the path of salvation.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Ekadaṇḍadhara—It is a class of ascetics or beggars. They are also called Haṃsa.

[2]:

Kaṅkirāḥ—seems to be a misprint for Kiṅkarāḥ.

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