The Padma Purana

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

This page describes suta romaharshana agrees to narrate padma purana which is chapter 1 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 first chapter of the Svarga-khanda (section on the heavens) 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 1 - Sūta Romaharṣaṇa Agrees to Narrate Padma Purāṇa

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

1. Om, salutation to (Gaṇeśa) the remover of obstacles. Salutation to the glorious one. I salute the lotus-like feet of Govinda (i.e. Viṣṇu), which are always saluted by Indirā (i.e. Lakṣmī), which are called ‘the best’, which are fixed in the hearts of people, and which are the only, absolutely excellent abode of the great people.

2-6. Once all the sages resembling blazing fire, all the sages living on the Himalaya mountain and masters of the Vedas, knowing(events) of (all) the three times (viz. past, present and future), magnanimous ones, resorting to (i.e. doing) many meritorious (acts), those who lived on the Mahendra mountain, the Vindhya mountain, in the Arbuda forest, in the Puṣkara forest, on the Śrīśaila mountain, in Kurukṣetra, in Dharmāraṇya, in Daṇḍakāraṇya. Jambumārga, in Satya(-loka)—these and many other spotless sages came along with their disciples, as they were eager to see Śaunaka.

7-8a. The ascetics, having duly worshipped Śaunaka, and being well-honoured by him, sat, in due order, on beautiful seats meant for holy sages and offered by Śaunaka.

8b-12a. They told one another stories about Kṛṣṇa. At the end of (the narration of) the stories by the sages of pure hearts, there came the very bright, very lustrous Sūta, Vyāsa’s disciple, named Romaharṣaṇa, and well-versed in the Purāṇas. He duly saluted them; they also honoured him. The great, glorious sages, the ascetics, like Śaunaka, asked Romaharṣaṇa, Sūta, Vyāsa’s disciple, who was properly and comfortably seated:

The sages said:

12b-15. O very intelligent Romaharṣaṇa of a good vow and well-versed in the legends of the past, formerly we have heard from you stories from the Purāṇas. Now we, who are delighted, are engaged in (narrating) the story of Viṣṇu, since the devotion to Hari is the greatest Dharma of all men. (Please) narrate (to us) again the Purāṇa connected with the account of Viṣṇu. Any other story about Viṣṇu, O Śuta, is said to be like a crematory. That is a sacred text which in itself remains in the form of Viṣṇu’s story.

16-18. Tell us the name of holy places giving merit. Wherefrom has this mobile and immobile world sprung? By whom is it looked after? In which (object) is it dissolved? Which places of pilgrimage are meritorious? Which mountains are venerable? Which rivers are very meritorious, auspicious and remover of the sins of men? O distinguished one, tell us all this in the proper order.

Sūta said:

19-21. Well, well, glorious ones, you have asked well, O ascetics. Having saluted that (Vedavyāsa) I shall narrate to you the very meritorious Purāṇa called Padma. I always salute that Vedavyāsa, Parāśara’s son, who is the greatest man, who is the only source to be known by all, who is the support of learning, who gives great knowledge, who is to be known by the Vedas and the Upaniṣads, who is always tranquil, who is the object of his own intellect, who is great due to pure lustre, whose glory has spread. My salutation to that revered Vyāsa of unlimited lustre, by whose grace I shall narrate this story about Nārāyaṇa.

22-24. I shall narrate the very meritorious Purāṇa called Padma which contains fifty-five thousand verses and has six khaṇḍas (i.e. sections). There (i.e. in that Purāṇa) the first one is the Ādikhaṇḍa. Then comes the Bhūmikhaṇḍa. After that is Brahmakhaṇḍa. Then follows the Pātāla Khaṇḍa. The next one is known as Kriyākhaṇḍa, and the last one is Uttarakhaṇḍa. This is the great, wonderful lotus, of which the world is full.

25. It is based on the account of that (lotus); therefore the wise call it ‘Padma’. This Purāṇa is spotless and excellent, (describing) the greatness of Viṣṇu.

26-31. (It is the Purāṇa) which, formerly, Viṣṇu, the god of gods, narrated to Brahmā, which Brahmā told to Nārada, and which Nārada narrated to my preceptor. Vyāsa taught me, very dear to him, all the Purāṇas with (treatises on) history, and collections (of verses). I shall narrate to you that Purrāṇa, very difficult to obtain, hearing which a man is free from such sins as killing a brāhmaṇa. He who listens to it gets (the merit of) having bathed at all the holy places. It gives salvation just by listening to it with great faith and devotion. Even if a person listens to it without faith and devotion, he gets a heap of merit. Therefore make all efforts to make the Padma Purāṇa the (honourable) guest of your ears (i.e. make all efforts to listen to Padma Purāṇa). In (i.e. from) it I shall narrate the Ādikhaṇḍa which destroys all sins. The sages, who are here, should, along with their disciples, listen to it.

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