The Padma Purana

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

This page describes deeds which lead to heaven which is chapter 95 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 ninety-fifth 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 95 - Deeds Which Lead to Heaven

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Subāhu said:

1. O best brāhmaṇa, now explain to me the merits of heaven. O greatest brāhmaṇa, I shall do all this naturally.

Jaimini said:

2-13a. There (i.e. in heaven) are various divine, meritorious, charming pleasure-gardens, full of all objects of desire and beautiful with trees satisfying all desires. (There are) everywhere aeroplanes attended by bevies of celestial nymphs. They are variegated; they move according to the desire (of the occupant); they are controlled (by the occupant). Their colour is like that of the young sun, and they have windows (decked) with pearls. They are white like the moon’s orb, and have golden beds and seats. In them meritorious men, richly endowed with all objects of desires, and free from all griefs move as on earth. Non-believers do not go there. Those who have not conquered their senses do not (go there). Wicked, cruel, ungrateful and proud (people) do not (go) there. Men that are truthful, that remain in penance, that are brave, kind, forgiving, that perform sacrifices, and are given to giving gifts go there. There nobody suffers from a disease, old age; nobody meets with death; nobody suffers from cold or heat. Nobody has hunger, thirst or exhaustion. O king, there are many merits like these and others of heaven. Now listen to the defects that are there. The entire fruit of an auspicious deed is enjoyed there only. The great defect that is said to be (present) there is that much (activity) is not done (i.e. undertaken by the residents). Also there is dissatisfaction on seeing the bright glory of others. There is a sudden fall of them whose mind is full of happiness. The fruit of that deed which is done here is enjoyed there. O king, this is known to be the land of deeds and that the land of fruits.

Subāhu said:

13b-14a. O brāhmaṇa, you have narrated these great defects of heaven. Tell (me) about the worlds that are faultless and eternal.

Jaimini said:

14b-19. O king, there are defects right from the residence of Brahmā. Therefore the wise do not desire to obtain (i.e. to go to) heaven. Above the residence of Brahmā is the highest place of Viṣṇu. They know it to be an auspicious eternal light and as the highest Brahman. Foolish men, who are full of sensual desires, who are attacked (i.e. overcome) by religious hypocrisy, delusion, fear, treachery, anger and greed, do not go there. Good people who do not have the sense of mineness and egotism. who are free from the pairs of the opposite qualities (like pleasure and pain), whose senses are controlled, and who are engaged in profound meditation, go there. I have told you all this that you have asked me about.

Having thus heard the merits of heaven, Subāhu, the lord of the earth, asked the noble Jaimini, the best among speakers:

Subāhu said:

20-23a. O sage, I shall not go to heaven; I do not also desire (to go there). I shall not do that act by which there is a fall. O noble one, charity alone is (everything). Certainly when shall I not give? A man falls from it (i.e. heaven) because of (giving) gifts and desire for (their) fruits.

Having said so, that religious-minded Subāhu, the lord of the earth, (again spoke): “By means of profound meditation I shall worship that lord of gods (i.e. Viṣṇu), dear to Lakṣmī. I shall go to Viṣṇu’s heaven which is free from tormentation and destruction.”

Jaimini said:

23b-30a. O king, you have spoken the truth, which is full of all bliss. Kings are virtuous and they worship with great sacrifices. O prince, in sacrifices all (kinds of) gifts are given. In the sacrifices, they first give food, garments, tāmbūla, gold, and also give the gift of land and cows. Those best men go to Viṣṇu’s world by means of good sacrifices. Kings are satisfied by (giving) gifts and are pleased. The noble devout ones always perform sacrifices, after having asked for good (i.e. sumptuous) alms and (after) having come to their own places. O king, (then) it (i.e. the food) is divided into parts for (distributing it) as alms. These (men) with penance as their wealth, O you very intelligent one, give one part to a brāhmaṇa, and one to those who are very near. Due to the gift of that food men enjoy (its) fruit. Free from hunger and thirst, they go to Viṣṇu’s world.

30b-32. Therefore, O best king, you (should) also give the wealth earned justly. Having acquired knowledge from (having given) gifts, one will obtain perfection from (that) knowledge. That man who would listen to this meritorious and excellent account, will obtain all objects and all his sin melts away. Free from all sins, he goes to Viṣṇu’s heaven.

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