The Padma Purana

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

This page describes sunitha’s story which is chapter 33 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-third 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.

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 sages said:

1. She (i.e. Sunīthā) was cursed by that Suśaṅkha, the noble son of a Gandharva. Due to his curse how did she become (i.e. what happened to her)? What deeds did she do?

2. O best brāhmaṇa, what kind of son did she obtain due to his curse? (Please) narrate to us in detail the account of Sunīthā also.

Sūta said:

3-14a. That Sunithā, of a slender waist, who was cursed by him, being tormented by grief, went to her father’s place. She disclosed her deeds to her father, Mṛtyu, the best among the truthful and the righteous ones. He spoke to Sunīthā, his daughter, who was cursed by that magnanimous one: “You committed a sin that destroys merit and lustre. O you noble one, why did you beat him, who was very tranquil? You did that which is contrary to (the ways of) all the world. Listen, what sin is committed by him who would kill him who is free from desire and wrath, who is very tranquil, who loves piety, who is fully engrossed in the path of penance, and is settled in the highest Brahman. His son is born wicked, and gets (i.e. accumulates) much sin. There is no doubt that he who beats a person who beats him and makes him cry who is crying, suffers for his sin (i.e. of the other person). He (alone) is tranquil, he (alone) is one who has conquered (i.e. controlled) his mind, who does not beat him (i.e. the person) who beats him. O you (my) daughter, he who has beaten an innocent person, would (thus) later beat, through delusion and in sin, even an innocent man(?). He, the sinner, who, without any reason, causes anxiety to an innocent man or would later beat an innocent man through delusion or some sin, obtains the sin produced in the body of the innocent one. If the innocent person would beat the wicked-hearted person that beats him rashly after suddenly getting up, the sin of the sinner goes to the innocent person.

l4b-19a. Therefore, one should not beat even a sinner. O (my) daughter, you have done, a very wicked deed. As you are today cursed by him, therefore practise meritorious deeds. Secure the company of the good, and behave (properly). O you (my) daughter, behave taking to profound abstract meditation and knowledge. The company of the good is greatly meritorious, and causes great bliss. O (my) daughter, note that merit, well-observed, of the company of the good. Highly intelligent sages, cleansed from within and without by touching, drinking and bathing in the water, obtain perfection. All these worlds—mobile and immobile—become pure (due to the company of the good).

19b-20. Water is calm, very cold, soft for the body, causing pleasure, clear, tasty, of a meritorious power, removing dirt; you should know that the saints are like that, and should wait upon them carefully.

21. As gold gives up its impurity by its contact with fire, similarly a man casts off his sin by the contact of the good.

22-24. The fire of truth would burn brightly only with the lustre of merit. A man whose lustre blazes with truth, who is very spotless due to knowledge and very hot due to meditation, cannot be touched by men born of sin. By the contact of the fire of truth, all (one’s) sin perishes. Therefore, you should, by all means, have contact with truth. Giving up your burden of sin, resort to merit in this way.”

Sūta said:

25-26. In this way that Sunīthā, who was distressed, was advised by her father. Having saluted her father’s feet, she went to a lonely forest. The devout one, giving up desire and anger and her childishness, and also abandoning tricks, malice and deceit, resorted to a secluded place.

27-28a. Her friends, endowed with grace, came there to sport. The large-eyed ones saw Sunīthā afflicted and meditating. Seeing her reflecting, they, full of anxiety, said to her:

28b-30. “O good one, full of anxiety why are you brooding? You, are causing anxiety and worry to us; tell us the cause (of your anxiety). Only one anxiety, entertained for piety (alone), is significant. The other kind of anxiety, viz. giving delight to the meditating sages in matters of piety is important. (I.e. the other kind of anxiety that is important is one which gives delight to the meditating sages in matters of piety.) (Any) other anxiety is worthless. One should not at all entertain it.

31-33. Anxiety withers the body; it destroys strength and lustre; it would destroy all happiness, and would show (i.e. bring about) loss of beauty. Anxiety would bring these, viz. thirst (i.e. desire), delusion and greed (to a person). Anxiety, when entertained, would produce sin day by day. Anxiety would show (i.e. bring about) bodily diseases, and would lead (one) to hell. Therefore, O beautiful one, behave by giving up anxiety.

34-35a. A man enjoys (or suffers) only what he has earned by means of his former deeds. A wise person should not mind them. Therefore give up your anxiety, and talk about happiness, unhappiness etc.”

35b. Hearing those words of them, Sunīthā spoke these words.

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