The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the story of prithu (continued) 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 Bhumi-khanda (section on the earth) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 29 - The Story of Pṛthu (continued)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Pṛthu said:

l-13a. If a very sinful one is killed, O you of sinful conduct, good people rich in merit live happily. Therefore one that is most sinful and of a wicked mind should be killed. Now you have suppressed all seeds by devouring them. Where will you go by being stable after having destroyed the beings? When a sinful one of a bad conduct is killed, the good live happily. Therefore sin should be destroyed; this is the truth; there is no doubt about it. That from which merit proceeds, should be carefully preserved. You have committed a great sin causing the destruction of the beings. He who for himself or for someone else kills one who torments the world, does not incur sin. O auspicious Earth, when many people become happy by a wicked one having been killed, there is neither a (major) sin nor a minor sin. There is no doubt that (i.e. certainly) I shall kill you. If, O Earth, for the good of this world (i.e. these beings), you do not act according to these meritorious and good words of (i.e. uttered by) me, I shall kill you with sharp arrows, if you are averse to my words. There is no doubt that I shall sustain, by means of my lustre and merit, the virtuous beings living in the three worlds. Accepting my meritorious rule, and obeying my order always rejuvenate these beings, O Earth. If, O you good one, you today obey this order of mine, then I shall be pleased with you, and will always protect you, and also other best kings (will protect you); there is no doubt about this.

13b-14a. That Earth, in the form of a cow, with her body adorned (i.e. covered) with arrows, said these (words) to the highly intelligent Pṛthu, Vena’s son, who was the support of righteousness:

The Earth said:

14b-18. O great king, I shall carry out your order, full of truth and merit, for the well-being of the beings; there is no doubt about it. O best king, enterprises and meritorious undertakings become successful by means of exertion and resourcefulness. O king of kings, find out a means by which you would be upright. Support all the subjects in such a way that you make all of them prosperous. Your stone-like (i.e. hard) and sharp arrows have stuck to my body. O king, you yourself extract them. They very much prick me. Make me (turned into) such (a shape) that the water would remain on me.

Sūta said:

19-24. Extracting those big and stone (-like arrows)of various forms with the end of his bow, he made the Earth even. Since then, O best brāhmaṇas, those stones grew in size. The son of king Vena, with pleased mind, having extracted his arrows from her body, made even the ditches and the caves with the strokes of his arrows. Thus, he, prospering with merit, made even the entire Earth. Having made her even, and having thought repeatedly, the noble one made Svāyambhuva Manu as the first calf. O best ones, during the Manu-periods that had passed, the Earth had become uneven; and there was no path anywhere, O best brāhmaṇas, even and uneven portions were naturally there.

25-32a. When the first period of Cākṣuṣa Manu arrived, and when the first creation came up, and when the surface of the Earth was uneven, the boundries of villages, cities, towns, countries, and fields that were seized (kṣetrapannānām?) were not noticed. There was no agriculture, no trade and no cow-keeping. No one told lies; there was neither greed nor jealousy. It is said that nobody ever entertained pride or committed sin. O best brāhmaṇa, when the Vaivasvata period came, the beings were born even before the birth of Vena’s son. All these beings desired to have an abode. All the beings, through their merit, lived at some places on the ground, or on a mountain, or on the banks of rivers, or in bowers, or at all sacred places, or on the sea-beaches. Fruits, roots and honey was their food. O best brāhmaṇas, (they got) their food with great difficulty.

32b-43. Having seen the misery of the beings, the king Pṛthu, Vena’s son, made Svāyambhuva Manu the calf. O you highly intelligent one, he used his own hand as the vessel. That Pṛthu, the tiger (i.e. the best) among men, then milked the Earth, (and) the milk (was) all the crops and all food ofa good quality. Those beings satisfied by means of that auspicious food, resembling nectar, all gods and others (like) the manes. Those beings lived happily by the favour of that son of Vena. O best brāhmaṇas, all the virtuous beings, after offering food first to gods, then to brāhmaṇas and especially to guests, enjoyed food. Some offered oblations in sacrifices, and pleased Viṣṇu only, the lord of gods with the same food. The deities also were satisfied (with the food). Rain sent by Viṣṇu showered. By virtue of that great auspicious trees sprang up. All kinds of crops (grew when) Pṛthu, Vena’s son, was the king. Due to that food even now all beings live. The sages also, coming together, milked this Earth. It was again milked by the very blessed sages and the truthful gods. Soma was the calf and the lord of gods himself was the milkman. Energy was the milk, resembling water, by which the gods live. All the beings live due to their truthfulness and merit. They follow truth and merit. (Thus) the Earth was milked by the sages.

44-49. Now I shall narrate how formerly the Earth was milked by the manes and who was made the calf. Making a silver pot and svadhā, with nectar, the milk, and making Yama the calf, Antaka (i.e. Yama) himself became the milkman. O best brāhmaṇas, then the snakes (Naga) and serpents (Sarpa) milked (the Earth) and (made) Takṣaka the calf. Taking a vessel made of gourd (they collected) the milk i.e. the poison (in it). The valorous Dhṛtarāṣṭra was the milkman for the snakes. O best brāhmaṇas, the matchless serpents and snakes live by that. O best brāhmaṇas, the snakes and the fearful serpents also live by that very poignant poison of a fierce nature. The fierce, huge-bodied and very powerful ones live by that only. They eat it, move with it; that is their power and valour.

50-59. O best brāhmaṇas, now I shall narrate to you as to how all the demons and the goblins milked the Earth, making, at that time, an iron-pot, and making the milk of the nature of illusion, useful for all purposes, resembling food and destroying all the enemies. The calf of the demons was that powerful Virocana. The priest was Dvimūrdhan, and the very mighty Madhu was the milkman. Due to that illusion, the very strong, very wise, huge-bodied and very lustrous and valorous demons thrive. That is their power; that is their manliness; the demons live by that. O best brāhmaṇas, even now they, of limited intellect, live with that illusion. That is their strength. In the same way the Yakṣas milked the good Earth, the support of all. O best brāhmaṇas, thus we have heard. Formerly the noble ones (milked the Earth) in the former kalpa (when) the milk was of the nature of obscurity (antardhānamayam?). The very intelligent Vaiśravaṇa was made the calf; and the milkman of her (i.e. the Earth) was the meritorious, wisest and best among the intelligent viz. Rajatanābha, father of the Yakṣa Maṇibhadra. He was omniscient; he knew all the ways of good conduct; he was the powerful son of the king of Yakṣas; he had eight arms, two heads, and had great lustre and had very great (i.e. severe) penance (to his credit). O best brāhmaṇas, the Yakṣas always stood by him.

60-82. This Earth was again milked by the very strong demons; in the same way she (was milked) by the eager goblins who had consumed water. A human skull—a vessel that came up from a dead body—and one made of iron (were the pots used by them). They of strong anger and valor wanted to enjoy (i.e. to have) good progeny. The very strong Rajatanābha was their milkman, the calf was (one) by name Sumālin, and blood was the milk. The demons, evil spirits, and powerful goblins, Yakṣas and fearful groups of ghosts live by that (milk). Gandharvas and the celestial nymphs, making the learned Citraratha the calf, milked the Earth again. They milked her (milk) full of the music of Gandharvas. O best brāhmaṇas, the very intelligent and most meritorious Gandharva, Suruci, was their milkman. The noble ones milked pure songs as the good milk at that time. The Gandharvas and others (i.e.) the celestial nymphs also live by that. The auspicious mountains also milked this Earth. They (obtained as milk) various gems and herbs like nectar. The noble Himalaya (mountain) was made the calf. Meru was the milkman, and the pot was made from a big rock. All the very powerful mountains grew (strong) by (drinking) that milk. The great auspicious trees like Kalpa (i.e. the desire-yielding)-, tree again milked (the Earth). They had brought the pot made of Palāśa tree with its sprouts cut off and burnt. At that time Śāla, of a flowery body milked (the Earth) and Plakṣa was the calf. This (Earth) the supporter of all and the giver of everything was also milked by Guhyakas, Cāraṇas, Siddhas and groups of the Vidyādharas. Whatever the worlds desired with (i.e. by employing) particular vessels and calves, all that she just gave to them, (and) like this (she also gave) them milk with a good mind. This Earth is the supporter, the creator; she is the greatest. She is a cow yielding all desires and is adorned with the auspicious ones. She is the eldest, she is the prop. She is the creation and the beings. She is purifying, she gives merit, she is virtuous, she causes all the crops to grow, she is the supporter and the origin of all the mobile and the immobile. This (Earth) is great fortune, is learning, and is always full of everything. She yields (i.e. satisfies) all desires; she is a cow yielding milk; she causes all seeds to grow. This (Earth), the supporter of all the human race, is the mother (i.e. the origin) of all righteous deeds. She is the light and the form of even the five elements. She was bounded by the ocean and was known as Medinī. The entire Earth was submerged with (i.e. in) the marrow (medas) of Madhu and Kaiṭabha. Therefore she is called Medini by the expounders of the Vedas. Then, O best ones, due to the arrival of Pṛthu, the wise son of Vena, she became his daughter, and is called Pṛthivī. O best brāhmaṇas, that king protected this Earth that is the support of villages and houses, and that is crowned with cities and towns, that has crops and mines, that is bulky and full of all crops, O brāhmaṇas. Thus this goddess Earth is full of all people; (her) prowess like this is mentioned in the Purāṇas.

83-91. The noble Pṛthu, Vena’s son, was noted for all (good) deeds. He was like Viṣṇu, like Brahmā (or) like the ancient Rudra. The three gods deserve to be saluted by the expounders of the Vedas led by gods. The best king who is the founder of the castes and the stages of life, and who supports all the worlds, deserves to be saluted by brāhmaṇas and sages. Also the first, valorous king Pṛthu, Vena’s son, deserves to be saluted by noble kings, and by those desiring to be kings. (Pṛthu) who has given livelihood to kings deserves to be saluted by warriors who desire (to master) archery and who always desire victory. O best brāhmaṇas, in this way I have narrated to you the particular vessels, the special properties of calves and of the milkmen in particular. I have also properly told you the speciality of the milk as desired by the king. O best brāhmaṇas, he, who listens to the account of Pṛthu, Vena’s son, which is blessed, which leads to glory and good health, which is meritorious and which destroys sins, has (the credit of) a daily bath in the Bhāgīrathī. He, with all his sins purified, goes to Viṣṇu’s world.

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