The Padma Purana

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

This page describes dont’s for a twice-born householder which is chapter 55 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 fifty-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.

Chapter 55 - Dont’s for a Twice-born Householder

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Vyāsa said:

1-8. (A man) should not harm any creature. He should never tell a lie. He should not speak what is not beneficial or what is not agreeable. He should never be a thief (i.e. should never steal). A creature that takes away (even a blade of) grass, or vegetable, or clay or even water, goes to hell. (Even) if he is poor, he should not accept (anything) from a king or a śūdra or from one who is fallen or from anyone else. A wise man should (always) avoid censured persons. He should not always be a suppliant; he should not implore the same person again. Doing this the suppliant takes away the life of the wicked one. He, especially an excellent twice-born, should not take away the wealth of deities; even in difficulties he should never snatch away the wealth of a brāhmaṇa. Poison is not called poison. The wealth of a brāhmaṇa is called poison. He should also carefully avoid (taking away) the wealth of deities. Prajāpati Manu has said that (taking) flowers, vegetables, water, wood, roots, fruits, grass which are not offered, is not stealing. A twice-born should take flowers in the act of worshipping deities. He should not always take them from one person only, and without his permission.

9-12. A wise man should openly take away grass, wood, fruits and flowers. This they say is (done for having) religious merit. Otherwise he would be fallen. O brāhmaṇas, a handful of sesamum-seeds, kidney-beans, barley etc. should be taken by those who are hungry while on journey, not otherwise for righteousness etc. This is the correctness of conduct. One should not practise a vow under the pretext of righteousness, after having committed a sin. A twice-born, covering his sins by means of a vow, and deceiving women and śūdras, is condemned after death and here (i.e. in this world) also by the teachers of the Veda. That vow which is fraudulently practised, goes to the demons.

13-21a. He who is not a brāhmaṇa ascetic, but goes about in the guise of a brāhmaṇa ascetic, would snatch the sin of that ascetic, and is born in an animal species. He who begs, has (illegitimate) intercourse with or company of or talks with (women), always falls. Therefore, he should carefully avoid this. He should not plot against deities and preceptors. Plotting against a preceptor is crores of crore times worse than plotting against gods. Scandal and atheism are a crore times worse than that. By means of cows, deities, brāhmaṇas, agriculture, service of a king, those families which are bereft of righteousness lose their status of (good) families. Families also lose their status of (good) families due to bad thoughts, omission of essential ceremonies, and by not studying the Veda, so also by offending a brāhmaṇa. A family quickly perishes due to falsehood, adultery, eating what is prohibited, and practising what is not enjoined for the family. The family also quickly perishes due to giving (presents) to brāhmaṇas who are not learned, to śūdras and to those who are bereft of the course of conduct that is enjoined. A man should not stay in a village chosen by irreligious people or full of diseases. He should not live in the kingdom of śūdras, or in one that is crowded by heretics.

21 b-25a. A twice-born should not live in any other country than the auspicious one between Himalaya and Vindhya and the eastern and the western seas. Or a twice-born should live where a black deer always moves naturally, or where auspicious and well-known rivers (flow), avoiding (the distance of) half a krośa from the bank of the river. Except at an auspicious place he should not stay, nor also near the village of śūdras. He should not stay with the fallen, cānḍālas, pulkasas, fools, the arrogant, and others taking abodes with (i.e. depending upon) their wives.

25b-27. These eleven are said to be the faults present in the mixture (of castes): (using) one (and the same) bed or seat, (sitting for taking food in the same) line, (eating from the same) pot, mixing (one another’s) food, performing sacrifice for or teaching (low caste people), intercourse or taking food along with (the low caste people), studying together as the tenth, and conducting a sacrifice along with them. Sin would pass on to men even by remaining in their proximity.

28-30a. Therefore with all efforts he should avoid (such) mixture. (The sin of) mixture does not take place in the case of those who, (though) sitting in the same line, do not touch one another and have made a demarcation (between themselves) with ashes. A line is separated by (these) six: fire, ashes, water, by making a mark, by means of a door or a pillar.

30b-35. He should not enter into fruitless enmity, so also discussion, or should not entertain wickedness; he should never report about a cow grazing in someone else’s field. He should not remain with a traducer; he should not use stinging words for anyone. A wise man should not tell another person about the sun's halo or the rainbow, the daily religious rite performed by another person, the moon or gold. He should not have hostility with many and with his relatives also. He should not do to others what is unpleasant to himself. He should not tell about the date (tithi) of a fortnight (pakṣa); he should not condemn the stars. The best twice-born should not talk to a woman in her menses or a person who is impure. He should not stop what is being given to deities and preceptors (and elders) and brāhmaṇas. He should not praise himself and he should avoid censuring others.

36-42a. He should carefully avoid censuring the Vedas and the deities. O best sages, no expiation for him is seen in the sacred texts, who censures gods, sages or Vedas. The man who would censure a preceptor, a deity, the Veda, a garment, a pillow is roasted in Raurava (hell) for a hundred crores of kalpas. He should keep mum when censure is going on; he should not give any reply. Covering his ears, he should go (away from that place) and should not see him (who censures). A wise man should avoid (discussing) the secrets of others, and also censuring others. He should never enter into a discussion with his own people. The best twice-born should not talk about the sin of sinners or the absence of it. The fault would be equal to the fault due to (not telling) the truth. He would be guilty due to falsehood. The tears of men maligned kill the sons and beasts of the maligner.

42b-75. The wise have observed atonement for killing a brāhmaṇa, drinking liquor, stealing, or cohabiting with one’s preceptor’s wife; but there is no atonement for the maligner. He should not, without any (proper) ground, see the sun or the moon while rising or setting, or (reflected) in water, or touched (i.e. screened) by clouds, or (appearing) in the middle (of the sky), or screened, or reflected in a mirror etc. He should never see a naked woman or man, urine or excretion, (or a man and woman) united in copulation. A wise man, while impure, should not see the planets like the sun and the moon. With his hands etc. not washed after having eaten food, or covering himself with a veil he should not talk to another person. He should not have contact with a dead body, nor should he see the face of his angry teacher. He should not see his reflection in oil or water, and his wife when she is taking food. He should not see an elephant free from chains, nor an intoxicated one. He should not eat with his wife, nor should he see her while she is eating, or sneezing, or yawning, or seated comfortably on a seat. A wise man should not see his form (i. e. reflection) in water; and should never cross or stand by the auspicious or inauspicious. He should not offer advice, a dish of rice and peas mixed, milk orcurds to a śūdra. A wise man should not give the remains of food, honey, ghee, and the hide of a black antelope and oblations. He should not also tell him a vow or rules of conduct. He should not be under the sway of anger, and should avoid hatred or passion. He should avoid greed, religious hypocrisy, wickedness, jealousy and censure, so also envy, pride, grief and infatuation. He should not inflict pain on anyone; but should beat his son or disciple. He should not serve inferior people, and should never have longing in his mind. He should not look down upon himself, and should carefully avoid low-spiritedness. A wise man should not disrespect a respectable person or himself through ignorance. He should not draw (lines) on the ground with his nails, nor should he sleep on (bare) ground. He should not talk about a river when in rivers, nor about mountains when he is (i.e. has climbed) on them. He should not abandon his co-traveller in an abode or at meals. He should not, being naked, plunge into water; so also he should not cross fire. He should not besmear his body with oil left after anointing his head. He should not play with serpentine weapons; he should not touch the apertures of, or the hair on the private parts of his body. He should not go with a person who is not respectable. He should not resort to wantonness in respect of his hands, feet, speech or eyes, also of the organs of generation or belly. He should not make a sound with the parts of his body or nails; he should not drink water from the cavity (made by joining his hands). He should never strike water with his feet or hands. He should not destroy roots and fruits with bricks. He should not learn the language of mlecchas; he should not drag the foot-stool. A wise man should not suddenly, and without any cause, split, crack, clip or write (with) nails or rub them together. He should not eat food (by keeping it) on his lap; he should not make any movement without any cause. He should not dance or sing or play upon musical instruments. He should not scratch his head with his hands joined. He should not please the deities with popular hymns or of the lord of speech (i.e. Bṛhaspati). He should not play with dice; he should no run; the should not urinate or excrete in water. He should not sleep without washing his hands etc. after having taken food; he should not always bathe naked. He should not recite while going, nor should he touch his own head. He should not cut off his nails and hair with his teeth; he should not wake up a sleeping person. He should not resort to the morning sunshine; he should avoid the smoke of a dead body (being burnt). He should not sleep in a deserted house; he should not take his own shoes. He should not spit without any cause; he should not cross a river with his arms (i.e. by swimming). He should not wash his feet with one (or the other) foot. A wise man should not warm his feet with one (or the other) foot. A wise man should not warm his feet in fire, nor should he wash in a bell-metal (vessel). He should not open wide (his eyes before) a deity, brāhmaṇas, or a cow, or wind, fire, a king or the sun and the moon. While impure, he should never sleep, or drink, or study, or bathe, or take food or go out. He should always avoid sleeping, studying, bathing, smearing the body with perfumes, taking food or walking at both the twilights or at midday. A twice-born who has not washed his hands etc. after taking food should not touch with his hand a cow or a brāhmaṇa or fire; should not move his feet or should not touch the image of a deity. While impure, he should not touch fire, should not wait upon the deities or communicate with sages. He should not plunge into very deep water; he should not run without a cause. He should not drink water raising (the water pot) with his left hand or by (touching the water pot) with his mouth.

76-94. He should not cross (water) without bathing in it; he should not emit his semen into water. He should not cross an impure (object), an uncovered (object), a worthy object, blood, poisons, or a stream. He should not copulate in water. He should not cut the grove round a sanctuary; he should not spit into water. He should never stand on bones, potsherds, hair, thorns, chaff of grain, charcoal, or dry cow-dung. A wise man should not cross fire; he should never put it down. A wise man should not stir it with his foot or blow it with a winnowing basket. He should not climb up a tree, or being impure, think about (it). He should not throw fire into (another) fire, and should not put it out with water. He should report the death of his friend to others. He should not use for selling (i.e. should not sell) what is not fit to be sold or what is spurious. A wise man, while impure, should not cause to burn brightly fire with the breath. He should not snatch the boundary line at an auspicious place, or a place of water. He should never break an appointment with a person that has come to him. He should not make beasts, tigers or birds fight among themselves. He should not trouble others by means of water, wind or heat. Causing (the preceptor) to do good things (for him), he should not later deceive his preceptor. For protection he should close tightly the doors of his house in the morning and evening. He should avoid using outside flowers, perfumes, taking food with his wife, or entry after fighting and disputing. A wise brāhmaṇa should not stand while eating, or talk or laugh. He should not touch his (sacred) fire with his own hand; he should not remain in water for a long time. He should not blow into fire with the wings (of a bird), nor with a winnowing basket or hand. He should kindle fire with the mouth. Fire was produced from the mouth. A wise man should not speak to another man’s wife, nor should act as a priest at the sacrifice of him who does not deserve to perform it. A twice-born should not move alone, (but) should avoid a crowd. Never should he go to a temple by not turning to the right. He should not squeeze his garments, nor should he sleep in a temple. He should not travel all alone or with unrighteous persons, or with persons suffering from diseases or, with śūdras or with a fallen person, or without shoes, so also without (taking) water (with him). On the road, a twice-born should never cross an animal or funeral pyre. He should not censure meditating saints, siddhas, so also those who practise vows and ascetics. A wise man should not deliberately cross the shadow of a temple, (the images of) deities, sacrificers, brāhmaṇas and also of a cow. He should not allow his own shadow to be crossed by the fallen etc. and the diseased. He should never stand on the ashes of charcoal or hair etc. He should avoid the dust from a broom or the water for bath, for washing garments or from an earthen pot. A twice-born should not eat prohibited eatables and should not drink prohibited drinks.

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