by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291
This page describes vitasta, malada, manimanta, brahmavalaka etc. which is chapter 25 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 twenty-fifth 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.
1-3. O descendant of Bharata, a man after having reached Vitastā, and after having offered oblations to the manes and deities, gets the fruit of (having performed) a Vājapeya sacrifice. In Kāśmīra itself is the abode of Nāga and also of Takṣaka known as Vitastā and removing all sins. A man having bathed there would indeed obtain the fruit of (having performed) a Vājapeya sacrifice. Being free from all sins, he would go to the highest position.
4-6. Thence he should go to Malada which is well-known in the three worlds. At the time of the last evening prayer, O king, he should after having duly bathed offer an oblation of rice, barley and pulse boiled together to fire according to his capacity. The wise say that offerings made to the manes is inexhaustible. An offering of the oblation of rice, barley and pulse boiled together to Fire is superior to (the donation of) a thousand cows, or a hundred Rājasūya sacrifices or a thousand horse sacrifices.
7-8. Returning from there, O lord of kings, he should enter the abode of Rudra. Having gone to Mahādeva, he would obtain the fruit of a horse sacrifice. O king, a controlled and calm man having reached Maṇimanta and having stayed there for a night, would get the fruit of an Angiṣṭoma sacrifice.
9-11. Thence O best of kings, he should go to Devikā well-known in the world, where the progeny of brāhmaṇas is heard (to exist), O best of the Bharatas, and where Śiva’s abode is known in the three worlds. A man having bathed at Devikā and having worshipped Maheśvara and having offered presents (to deities) according to his capacity, gets the fruit of a sacrifice rich in all desired objects.
12-14. There is Rudra’s holy place called Kāmākhya liked by gods and sages. O descendant of Bharata, having bathed there a man quickly gets liberation. Then going to Yājana and also to Brahmavālaka and having bathed at Puṣpanyāsa, he would not be worried about death. The pious Devikā liked by gods and sages is said to be half a yojana wide and five yojanas in length.
15-17a. Then O righteous one, he should, according to the order, go to Dīrghasatra where gods like Brahmā, siddhas, great sages, getting initiated and controlled in vows, resort to a prolonged sacrificial session. O lord of kings, O you who control your enemies, by just going there a man obtains the fruit of Rājasūya and horse sacrifice.
17b-20a. Then restrained and with his diet controlled he should go to Vinaśana, where Sarasvatī concealed under the slope of Meru goes (i.e. flows). She is seen at Camasa, Śivodbheda and at Nāgodbheda. He would obtain the fruit of Agniṣṭoma sacrifice on bathing at Camasodbheda; a man having bathed at Śivodbheda would get the fruit of (having offered) a thousand cows. A man bathing at Nāgodbheda would obtain (i.e. go to) the world of Nāgas.
20b-24. Then O descendant of Bharata, O lord of kings, he should reach the excellent holy place Śaśayāna where Puṣkara is hidden in the form of a hare. They, O glorious one, O best of Bharatas, every year live there on the full moon day of Kārtika and bathe in Sarasvatī. O best among men, having bathed there he always shines like Śiva. O best among the Bharatas, he would obtain the fruit of (having offered) a thousand cows. O descendant of Kuru, having reached Kumārakoṭi and being controlled he engaged in worshipping gods, would bathe there. He obtains a myriad of cows and would liberate his own family.
25-31. Then being calm, O pious one, he should go to Rudrakoṭi, where, O great king, a crore sages were brought together. Overcome with rain they, desiring to see the god, (said:) “I shall see Śiva first, I shall see Śiva first.” Thus, O king, the sages started, O descendant of Bharata. Then, O king, the lord of the meditating saints, having resorted to deep meditation, created, for pacifying the distress of the pure sages, a crore Rudras who stood before the sages. They separately (i.e. each one of them) thought: ‘I have seen Śiva first.’ Mahādeva was pleased due to the great devotion of the sages of strong lustre and gave them a boon: “From today righteousness in you will increase.” O best among man, a man having bathed there at Rudrakoṭi and (thus being) pure, obtains (the fruit of) Aśvamedha and would liberate his family.
32-34. Thence, O lord of kings, he should go to the confluence well-known in the world. He should worship the very meritorious Viṣṇu on (the bank of) Sarasvatī where gods, like Brahmā, sages, siddhas and cāraṇas go on the fourteenth day of the bright half of Caitra. Having bathed there, O best of men, a man would obtain much gold. With his soul purified of all sins he goes to Śiva’s heaven. He would obtain the fruit of (having donated) a thousand cows if he dies there where the sacrificial sessions of the sages were accomplished.
Footnotes and references:
Caru: An oblation of rice, barley and pulse boiled for presentation to gods or manes.