The Padma Purana

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

This page describes yayati’s reluctance to part with the body which is chapter 72 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 seventy-second 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 72 - Yayāti’s Reluctance to Part with the Body

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Pippala said:

1-2. O you highly intelligent one, tell me in detail, what the king, the son of Nahuṣa said on hearing the words of Mātali. O wise one, this is an all-meritorious story which destroys sins. I desire to hear it. I am not at all being satisfied.

3. Yayāti, the best king, the greatest among those who practised piety, said to the messenger Mātali, Indra’s charioteer, who had come (to him):

Yayāti said:

4-7. O messenger, I shall not abandon my body. There is no doubt that I shall not go to heaven without (this) earthly body. Though you have thus narrated the great blemishes of the body, and though you have already described all its merits and demerits, yet I shall not abandon my body, and I shall not come to heaven. Going to Indra, the lord of gods, tell him like this: “O you very intelligent one, a man does not obtain perfection by means of the soul alone or with only the body. This is the mundane (existence).

8-14a. Body cannot remain without life (i.e. the soul), nor can the soul remain without the body. O Indra, they have friendship (i.e. they are mutual friends). I shall not destroy the body due to whose grace the soul obtains exclusive happiness and other pleasures according to his mind (i.e. as he desires).” O messenger of gods, knowing the enjoyments in heaven to be like this, I do not want them. O Mātali, due to blemishes painful and very sinful disease are (contracted). Old age is due to a defect. Observe my body endowed with religious merit and sixteen years old. Since my birth my body has gone to (i.e. lasted for) half a century. Still there is freshness of my body (still my body is fresh). (This) period (i.e. life) of me has passed excellently. As the body of a youth of sixteen years looks handsome, in the same way my body endowed with power and valour looks.

l4b-16. I do not have fatigue, I do not have failure, I do not have exhaustion; nor do I have (i.e. suffer from) diseases or old age. O Mātali, my body also thrives with enthusiasm for piety; for, in olden days, the medicine—the divine, great medicine, the elixir, all full of nectar is prepared for the destruction of sins and diseases. My body is purified by that; (therefore)it is free from blemishes.

17-24. O messenger, I am always doing (i.e. taking) the elixir, viz. the meditation on Viṣṇu and the excellent utterance of his name. By that all my diseases and blemishes like sins have been destroyed, when, in this worldly existence, there is the great (i.e. effective) medicine like the name of Kṛṣṇa (i.e. Viṣṇu). Human beings suffering from sinful disease die (since) the very foolish ones do not drink the elixir of the name of Krṣṇa (i.e. Viṣṇu). O Mātali, my body is healthy due to that meditation, knowledge, worship, truthfulness, and religious merit caused by giving gifts. Diseases and sufferings torment him whose accomplishment is sins. There is no doubt that beings die here (i.e. in this world) due to sufferings. Therefore men, resorting to merit and truthfulness, should perform religious acts. The body is made of the five elements, and is worn out by the veins and joints. As an ornament is (fashioned) by a goldsmith with borax, so a human being is put together. In it always shine a great fire, a moving humour of the body, which is (made) of a hundred pieces. O brāhmaṇa, he who joins (these pieces) is intelligent.

25-30a. O Pippala, all these pieces (of the body) of the nature of the five elements and worn out by a hundred joints, are held together by the divine name of Viṣṇu and good fortune. The body is like a metal. The body becomes new by offering worship to Viṣṇu, meditation and restraint, truthfulness and charity. O Mātali, listen, the blemishes of the body—the diseases—perish. There is external and internal purity, and there is no foul smell. Then, O charioteer, due to the grace of the disc-holder (i.e. Viṣṇu), (the body) would be pure. I shall not go to heaven. I shall fashion heaven here (only). I shall make the earth of the nature of heaven by means of (my) penance, devotion, my own religious acts, and the grace of the disc-holder. Realising this, you (may please) go and tell Indra.

Sukarman said:

30b-32. Then, that charioteer, having heard the words of the king and having congratulated him with blessing, took the king’s leave, and went (to heaven). He told everything to the noble Indra. Indra, having heard (the message) of the magnanimous Yayāti, thought as to how to bring Yayāti to heaven.

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