The Padma Purana

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

This page describes dharmasharman’s account which is chapter 122 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 one hundred twenty-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.

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.

Chapter 122 - Dharmaśarman’s Account

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Viṣṇu said:

1-5. That righteous and very intelligent bird Kuñjala, having thus spoken to his sons, ceased speaking. He did not say anything to them. The best brāhmaṇa remaining under the bunyan tree said to that great parrot: “Who are you, explaining Dharma while remaining in the form of a bird? Are you a god, or a gandharva, or are you a vidyādhara? Due to whose curse did you obtain this very sinful birth in the form of a parrot? O parrot, due to what do you possess such knowledge which is beyond the reach of senses? Of what great religious merit or penance is it the fruit? O you very intelligent one, why are you staying here in this disguise? Tell me the origin: whether you are a siddha or a god.”

Kuñjala said:

6-12. Oh! you have secured divine faculties; I know you, your excellent family and your name. (I know) your learning, and the power of your penance. O brāhmaṇa, I shall tell you everything as to why you are roaming over the earth. O you of a good vow, welcome to you. Sitting on an auspicious seat, resort to the cool shade. The origin of Brahma is the Unmanifest one. From him Prajāpati was born. He the twice-born was Bhṛgu, endowed with virtues and a brāhmaṇa resembling Brahma. His (son) was Bhārgava, who knew the essential nature of Dharma. In his family, you, Cyavana, are (born and) are famous in the world. O brāhmaṇa, I am not a god, I am not a gandharva, nor again I am a vidyadhara. O brāhmaṇa, listen to what I am going to say. A best brāhmaṇa was born in the family of Kaśyapa. He knew the sum and substance of the Vedas and the Vedāṅgas. He explained all acts. He was well-known as a vidyādhara and was endowed with a (noble) family and character. O brāhmaṇa, he then shone (i.e. became famous) by his wealth, conduct and penance.

13. Three sons were born to that vidyādhara: Vasuśarman, Nāmaśarman and Dharmaśarman were the three (sons).

14. Of them I am the youngest, Dharmaśarman destitute of virtues. My brother Vasuśarman knew the meaning of the Vedas and sacred treatises.

15. He was well-endowed with conduct (i.e. was endowed with good conduct), and with excellences like learning. Nāmaśarman was very wise and like him (i.e. Vasuśarman) excelled in virtues.

16-17a. O you best one, listen, I alone was born a great fool. O brāhmaṇa, I never learnt the excellent purport of scriptures. Nor did I ever go to the excellent abode of a preceptor.

17b-18. Therefore, my father thought about me like this: The name of this son, viz. Dharmaśarman is meaningless. On the earth he is born neither as a learned one nor as a mine of virtues.’

19-24. Thinking like this, the pious one being very much afflicted, said to me: “O son, go to the preceptor’s house (and) obtain the import oflearning.” Having heard these good words of my father, (I said to him:) “O father, I shall not go to the preceptor’s house, which is very painful, where there is beating everyday, where there is knotting of the eyebrows etc. and where there is crying (daily); food is not seen there (even) by (doing) work; O best one, (please) listen. There is no sleep by day or at night; and there is no means of pleasure. Therefore, O father, it is full of grief. I shall not go to the preceptor’s house. I shall not learn, I am eager to play. O father, by your favour, I shall eat, sleep and play happily and vigilantly day and night with children.

Knowing me to be a fool the pious one, being extremely grieved, said to me:

Vidyādhara said:

25-26. O son, do not act rashly. Exert yourself for (getting) knowledge. By means of learning happiness, glory, matchless fame, knowledge, heaven and salvation are obtained. Therefore, obtain learning (i.e. be learned). Knowledge is a source of unhappiness in the beginning, but later it gives happiness.

27-31. Therefore, O son, acquire knowledge, go to the preceptor’s house.

I did not follow the words (of advice) of my father. Everyday I stayed here or there, and squandered money. O brāhmaṇa, people ridiculed and condemned me. I had then a sense of shame destroying life. O brāhmaṇa, I was ready to obtain knowledge. ‘Which preceptor should I request?’ With this thought I was anxious and full of grief and sorrow. ‘How shall I acquire learning? How shall I have virtues? How will heaven be possible for me? How shall I achieve salvation?’ O brāhmaṇa, thinking like this, I reached old age.

32-39. Some time, I being grieved, sat in a temple. Impelled by my good fortune, a siddha came (there). He was without refuge (i.e. alone); he had overcome his hunger; was always joyful and desireless; O brāhmaṇa, he resorted to solitude; he possessed deep abstract meditation and had controlled his senses. He had been completely absorbed in the highest Brahman, and possessed knowledge, meditation and concentration of mind. O brāhmaṇa, I resorted to him who was of the form of knowledge and very intelligent. With a pure heart, and with devotion, I, having bowed my head, saluted the illustrious one and stood before him. I had become miserable and also luckless. O brāhmaṇa, he asked me: “Why are you suffering? For what purpose are you experiencing misery like this?” O best brāhmaṇa, that learned meditating saint thus spoke to me. I, a great fool, told him all my former account; (and asked him). “How can one be omniscient? For this reason I am very unhappy. You are always my refuge.” The illustrious one told me the entire means of knowledge.

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