The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the merit of listening to or reciting this purana which is chapter 125 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-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 125 - The Merit of Listening to or Reciting This Purāna

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:

1-4a. Having well received the order of Vena that very religious prince, Pṛthu, collected all auspicious necessaries (for the sacrifice). Having invited all brāhmaṇas born in various countries, king Vena performed a horse-sacrifice. He gave various kinds of gifts to brāhmaṇas. The lord of the earth physically went to Viṣṇu’s heaven. The religious-minded one eternally lives with Viṣṇu.

4b-12a. I have thus told you the entire account of that king, which terminates all sins and destroys all misery. That religious-minded king Pṛthu ruled the earth. The best king milked the earth with the three worlds. He pleased his subjects with virtuous and religious deeds. I have narrated to you the entire Bhūmikhaṇḍa. The first is the Sṛṣṭikhaṇḍa and the second is Bhūmikhaṇḍa. I shall again tell you the greatness of Bhūmikhaṇḍa. The sin of the best man who (just) listens to one verse of this Khaṇḍa everyday, perishes. O best: brāhmaṇas, listen to the religious merit of him who, the wise one, listens devoutly to a chapter (of this Khaṇḍa). He gets that fruit which is obtained by a gift of a thousand cows to brāhmaṇas on an auspicious parvan-day; and Viṣṇu is pleased with him. A man who everyday reads this Padma Purāṇa, will not meet with difficulties in the Kali Age.

Vyāsa said:

12b-13a. O you lotus-born one, why is it that very terrible dangers do not come to the meritorious man who listens to the Padma Purāṇa?

Brahmā said:

13b-28. That fruit, O dear one, which is said to be the fruit of a horse-sacrifice, is seen in (the recital of or listening to) the Padma Purāṇa. That auspicious sacrifice, viz. the horse-sacrifice does not at all exist in the Kali Age. That which is (the Padma) Purāṇa is indeed equal to the horse-sacrifice. Sinful men sticking on sinful ways do not enjoy that meritorious fruit of the horse-sacrifice which gives salvation. O best brāhmaṇa, in the Kali Age, men do not enjoy the merit of this meritorious Purāṇa called Padma like the merit of the horse-sacrifice. In the Kali Age sinful men have to go to the ocean of hell. Why will they (then) listen to the meritorious (Purāṇa), accomplishing the four goals (of human life). He, who has listened to this Purāṇa called Padma, has acquired the entire means of the four goals (of human life). Therefore, sacrifices like the horse-sacrifice have disappeared in the Kali Age, O highly intelligent one. They have, with the Vedas, Vedāṅgas and their notes, gone to heaven. Great faith is produced (even) before in a pious man to listen (to the Padma Purāṇa) who, being endowed with goodness, having faith, and devoted to the lord, desires to listen to it with his sons and wife. No great danger would come to a man who listens (to it). But faithlessness is first produced in the reciter and the listener (who are impious). O best brāhmaṇa, even greed is produced in the listener. Great and terrible delusion caused by god Viṣṇu always ruins the listener. Polluters and revilers and sinners are coming up everyday. O Vyāsa, the good-minded one should realise: ‘Oh! A danger appears to have come up to me’, (and) he should perform a sacrifice. With great sacred prayers (in honour) of Viṣṇu and hymns (addressed to) Viṣṇu, which give great merit, with the hymn ‘Viṣṇorarāṭa (from the Viṣṇu-sūkta), with the hymn ‘Sahasrasīrṣā (from the Puruṣasūkta), with the good hymn ‘Indam Viṣṇu’, with the hymn ‘Ā Brahma’, with the hymn sacred to Śiva—he should thus perform a sacrifice. So also with the Bṛhat Sāman hymn and with the hymn of twelve letters (viz. Oṃ namo Bhagavate Vāsudevāya). He should perform the sacrifice with the hymn sacred to the particular deity to whom the sacrifice is offered.

29-35a. He should perform the sacrifice with more than eight sesamum seeds, (ladles of) ghee, and sacred wood-sticks of the palāśa (tree). O brāhmaṇa, he should also install the (representations of) planets and worship them. There (i.e. in the sacrifice) he should worship (Gaṇeśa) the destroyer of calamities, and Śāradā—the chief goddess. He should also worship Jātaveda, Mahāmāyā Caṇḍikā, and the lord of the soil with sesamum seeds, rice and ghee and with the hymns (in honour) of those (deities). He should perform the sacrifice in this way. He should give presents to brāhmaṇas. He should give a gift along with a cow according to his capacity. Then calamities disappear and the Purāṇa would accomplish perfection. I shall tell you about the calamity of (i.e. which befalls) him who does not do like this: A disease giving great pain is produced in his body; grief due to (the death of) his wife or son takes place; so also his wealth is lost; undoubtedly he suffers from many severe diseases. He in whose house there is no wealth (to be given to brāhmaṇas) should observe a fast.

35b-41a. When Ekādaśī arrives properly, he should worship Viṣṇu with a devout mind in the sixteen ways of doing homage to a deity. According to his wealth he should then feed the brāhmaṇas. Then having offered it with a solemn vow and offerings to Viṣṇu, he should take food with relatives, sons and wife. Then he will attain perfection. Those who are devoted to Dharma should listen to the entire text of the Purāṇa. By (doing) that the four goals (of human life) are accomplished, not otherwise. Listen, O brāhmaṇa; in the Kṛta Age sinless men listened to the Purāṇa called Brahma, which consisted of one lakh and twenty-five thousand verses.

41b-49. When the Tretā Age arrived, men listened to the entire Purāṇa called Pādma, the number of verses in which was half a lakh and two thousand. Enjoying the fruit of the four goals, they would again reach Viṣṇu. O brāhmaṇa, in the Dvāpara Age, the text called Padma is said to have twentytwo thousand verses narrated by Brahmā, the highest soul. In the Kali Age, men, devoted to Viṣṇu, will read the text called Padma, consisting of twelve thousand verses only. In all these four texts there is the same import and there is the same sentiment; the remaining (portion) is simply the expansion of the account. The twelve thousand (verses) will disappear, O best one, and, when Kali Age has arrived, the first (text) will again appear. Having listened to the Bhūmikhaṇḍa, a man is free from all sins, is free from all sorrows and gets rid of all diseases. Giving up all other (activities) like the muttering of the names (of a deity), giving gifts, and (studying) sacred texts, a man should carefully listen to (the Purāṇa) called Padma. The first is Sṛṣṭikhaṇḍa, the second is Bhūmikhaṇḍa, the third is Svargakhaṇḍa, the fourth Pātāla, the fifth is Uttarakhaṇḍa, destroying all sins.

50. One who devoutly listens to the five Khaṇḍas in the serial order, obtains the fruit of the gift of a thousand cows.

51. O brāhmaṇas, with great luck, the five Khaṇḍas, are obtained (by a man). They are said to give salvation. This is true, (quite) true. There is no doubt about this.

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