The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the vasudeva hymn which is chapter 98 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-eighth 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.

Sūta said:

1-7. When the glorious Vijvala uttered these auspicious words, Kuñjala, the best among speakers, told him the auspicious hymn. The hymn in honour of Hari (i.e. Viṣṇu) is recited after meditating upon and saluting Hṛṣīkeśa, who destroys all sufferings and gives entire religious merit. The hymn is called (the hymn in honour of) Vāsudeva; it gives all virtue; it is the gate to salvation; it is possessed of happiness; it gives peace; it enhances nourishment; it gives all desired objects; it gives knowledge and increases knowledge. (Kuñjala) manifested to Vijvala the hymn of Vāsudeva. (The hymn) is called Vāsudeva (-hymn); it is boundless and increases nourishment. Vijvala, the best among birds, having learned it from his father, started to go there (and) asked (the permission of) his father. The religious minded (Kuñjala) said to his son Vijvala who had decided to go, who. had mastered knowledge and who was intent upon obliging (others).

Kuñjala said:

8-9. O son, listen, since I know the great sin of the king, go from here and recite it when Subāhu is overhearing. The more he will hear the excellent hymn the more he will be full of (i.e. he will have) knowledge of Vāsudeva, due to his (i.e. Vāsudeva’s) grace. Undoubtedly I have spoken very well.

10-12. Taking leave of his father, Vijvala of a quick pace, flew and then reached the auspicious Ānanda-forest. Resorting to the shade of a tree, he, full of joy, sat (there). Having (formerly) seen the king who had come in an aeroplane (he thought to himself:) ‘When will king Subāhu come with his wife? When shall I free him from the sin by means of this hymn?’

13-14. Just then the aeroplane reached there adorned with a number of small bells, filled with the sound of bells accompanied by lute and flute, full of the sound of gandharvas and having celestial nymphs, rich in all desired objects but without food and water.

15-19. King Subāhu was seated in that plane with his wife. With his wife Sutārkṣyā, he got down from the aeroplane. When he took a sharp weapon and cut off the dead body, Vijvala called out to him: “O best among men, O you resembling gods, you are doing this act which (even) cruel men cannot do. O distinguished man, what is this adverse fate! Tell me the entire reason why you have commenced this evil, rash act, always condemned in the world and opposed to the Vedic practice.”

20-24. Having heard these words of the noble Vijvala, the great king said (these) words to his wife: “O dear one, I, of evil acts, have been eating this for a hundred years. Nobody ever spoke like this as he is talking. O dear one, the heart of me who am being thus oppressed by hunger (has become) eager, and gone out; (now) there is peace in (my) heart. O you of a charming smile, when I have heard his words putting an end to my grief, great joy abides in my heart. Who is he? Can he be a gandharva or Indra? The words of sages would come true, since the sage formerly had said (like this).”

25-28a. Having heard these words of her dear (husband), the wife, who was devoted to her husband, then said to the king: “O Lord, you have spoken the truth. This is the greatest wonder. As you have (an idea) in your mind so do I have in my mind. Who is this who having taken up the form of a bird, asks (you) like a benefactor?” Having heard these words of his wife, the lord of the earth, joining the palms of his hands, said (these) words:

Subāhu said:

28b-31a. O you very intelligent lord, welcome to you who have taken up the form of a bird. Along with my wife I am, with (i.e. bowing) my head, saluting both your lotus-like feet. Let us have religious merit through your grace. Who are you that are in the form a bird, talking such good (words)? O best one, (the fruit of) whatever good or bad deed is done by the former body (in a former existence) is enjoyed here only.

31b-33a. Then he told him his account. He heard it (i.e. it was) as it was told by his father Kuñjala. “Tell me the account of you who are talking to me.” Then the best bird said these words to Subāhu:

Vijvala said:

33b-36a. My father, Kuñjala by name, was born in the species of parrots. Among his sons, I am the third, Vijvala by name. O you of great arms, I am not a god, not a gandharva, nor am I a siddha. Everyday I am observing (your) very terrible deed. O great king, tell me now how long you will (continue to) do this deed full of violence?

Subāhu said:

36b-38a. When I shall hear the hymn called Vāsudeva-hymn which was formerly recited by the brāhmaṇas, then, O good man, I shall find my own course (to salvation). The sage, of a controlled mind, has said that then I shall be undoubtedly free from my sin.

Vijvala said:

38b-39. For you I asked my father. O best one, listen. I shall tell you the eternal (truth) that he told me: Om, of this hymn called Vāsudeva-hymn, Nārada is (the author); anuṣṭup is the metre. Oṃkāra is the (presiding) deity. I employ (myself) in repeating the prayers for the destruction of all sins and for accomplishing the four goals (of human life). The hymn is: “Om Namo Bhagavate Vāsudevāya (My salutation to the holy Vāsudeva).

40-51. I salute Praṇava (i.e. the sacred syllable ‘Om’) that is purifying, very meritorious, that knows the Vedas, that is the abode of the Vedas, the support of learning, and of existence. I salute the highest Praṇava, which is without an abode, which has no form, which is very bright and very glorious, which is qualityless (yet) connected with qualities. I salute (the Praṇava) that is very lovely, very energetic, that destroys great delusion, that fills all the world, and is beyond qualities. He coming into existence, shines everywhere, and increases prosperity. I salute Śiva (or auspicious) Praṇava that is fearless and connected with mendicants. I salute Praṇava that is the singer of Gāyatrī and Sāman, the song and the one to whom songs are dear; and that enjoys the singing of gandharvas. I salute that Oṃkāra, that is the thought, that is of the form of the Vedas, that remains in the sacrifice and that is affectionate towards the devotees, and that is the origin of the entire world. I salute that Praṇava (in the form of) Hari, which, manifesting itself in the form of a boat, is the emancipator of all beings drowning in the ocean of the worldly existence. I salute that auspicious Praṇava (or Praṇava in the form of Śiva), which, living in many ways in the same form in all the worlds, is the abode in the form of salvation. I salute (that Praṇava) which is subtle (nay), subtler, pure, qualityless, the principal quality, which is free from unrefined states, and which is the abode of the Vedas (or of which Vedas are the abode). I salute that Oṃkāra which is always free from the losses of gods and demons and (is full of) contentment; and which is being meditated upon by gods and meditating saints. I salute Praṇava, the lord, which is (all-)pervading, which is omniscient, which is the highest pure knowledge, which is Śiva (or pure), which has auspicious qualities, and which is tranquil. I salute (that Praṇava), having entered whose illusion, gods and demons like Brahmā, do not find the very pure gate of salvation.

52-78. (My) salutation to that very lustrous, pure, Vāsudeva, the bulb of joy, of pure intelligence, and the lord of the demigods. I always seek the refuge of the lord, who is shining with the Pāñcajanya (conch), with the Sudarśana (disc) lustrous like the sun and with (his) mace and lotus. I seek the refuge of that Vāsudeva who is concealed by the Vedas, who is possessed of qualities and is the support of qualities and of the movable and the immovable, whose lustre is like that of fire and the sun. I seek the refuge of that Vāsudeva, the receptacle of hunger, pure and handsome, shining with joy and respect, reaching whom all the worlds (like those of) gods, live. I seek the refuge of that Vāsudeva, bright and lustrous like the sun, who destroys with his own rays masses of darkness, who is always the object of worship. I seek the refuge of that Vāsudeva, who shines everywhere (and) causes drying up with his sunlike lustres and gives water, and who is the internal air of living beings. I seek the refuge of that Vāsudeva, who, the god of gods, sustains, according to his will, all worlds and all kins, and acts like a boat in helping (beings) to cross (the ocean of the mundane existence). I seek the refuge of that Vāsudeva, who, full of the worlds, is always present (in bodies) of the mobile and the immobile, and digests (food) with the mouth of Svāhā, and is the cause of the host of gods. I seek the refuge of that Vāsudeva, the pleasant one and the giver of qualities in the world, who with all very good saps, nourishes, with pure lustre, foods. That (Vāsudeva), the cause of destruction, the refuge of all, full of everything and complete is present everywhere. He enjoys the objects of sense without the organs of sense. I seek the refuge of that Vāsudeva. He then -sustains, with his own form, the mobile and immobile worlds—his own forms. He is utterly perfect, full of knowledge and very pure. I seek the refuge of that Vāsudeva. I seek the shelter of that Vāsudeva—the destroyer of the demons, the root (cause) of the -destruction of misery, the tranquil, the highest, the huge one, full of power, reaching whom the gods become humble. I seek the refuge of that Vāsudeva (who is) happiness, the limit of happiness, the giver of happiness, the lord of gods, the ocean of knowledge, the protector of sages, the chief of gods, the prop of truth, and practising the virtue of truth. I seek the refuge of that Vāsudeva (who is) of the form of the sacrificial requisites, who is of the nature of the highest truth, (who is) endowed with the cosmic power, the lord of Lakṣmī, (who is) fierce (yet) auspicious, (who) alone (is) knowledge, and (who is) the abode of the worlds. His bed is in the ocean. He sleeps on the huge hood of snake (i.e. Śeṣa). I everyday salute the holy couple of the lotus-like feet of that Vāsudeva. The two feet of the holy Vāsudeva are full of merit, confer happiness, are always being attended upon by the holy places, and they remove sins. I always salute the lotus-like feet of the holy Vāsudeva which resemble large red lotuses, have the good marks of lotuses, are fit for conquest, and are adorned with the prints of anklets. I always salute the holy feet of the holy Vāsudeva, which are always devoutly praised by gods, good siddhas, sages and lords of serpents. I seek the refuge of that Vāsudeva, by bathing in the water of whose feet, sages, being purified and freed from sins and well-pleased, obtain salvation. There are always (present) holy places like the Ganges where the water (flowing) from the feet of Viṣṇu remains. Those with their bodies (stained) by fierce sins, sprinkled with the water (flowing) from Viṣṇu’s feet, go to (i.e. obtain) salvation. I always salute the two feet of that highest lord only. Men obtain the fruit of the holy Vājapeya (sacrifice) on having properly eaten the offering of eatables (done in honour) of the noble (Viṣṇu), the holder of the great disc; and they become endowed with all (desired) objects. I seek the refuge of that Vāsudeva, Nārāyaṇa, the destroyer of hells, free from illusion, perfect and knowing (i.e. appreciating) virtues, by meditating upon whom men obtain a good course (i.e. salvation). With devotion I salute the good, excellent, sanctifying couple of the feet of him (i.e. Viṣṇu) who is saluted by hosts of sages, siddhas and bards, who is always worshipped by gods, who is the chief, first lord i.e. Brahmā in bringing about the creation of the universe, and who is the affectionate emancipator of him who has fallen into the great ocean of the worldly existence. I salute the extremely purifying couple of the lotus-like feet of the holy Vāmana (i.e. Viṣṇu) that removed, with the auspicious glances, the sin of Bali, and who was seen singing the Sāmans in the sacrificial hall by hosts of gods and who, the only lord of the three worlds and eager to sing Sāmanas (was seen) by the groups of gods. I salute that lord Vāmana, shining in the group of brāhmaṇas at the head of the satrifice [sacrifice?], adorned with Brahmanic glory, full of rays with bright divine lustre resembling a sapphire, and imploring for the good of gods, that good son of Vairocana (as:) ‘Give me (the land covered by my) three steps.’ I praise the matchless stride of the lord, the holder of the good disc, to see which (stride) in the orb of the sun, which covered the heaven in the interval between the setting of the moon and the sun, the groups of sages reached heaven, and became merged into his body—the big sheath of the universe.”

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: