by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291
This page describes the horse sacrifice ends which is chapter 68 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 sixty-eighth chapter of the Patala-Khanda (Section On The Nether World) 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.
1-6. Indra together with the gods tasting at the sacrifice the oblations cooked and seen by Rāmacandra, did not obtain satisfaction. Viṣṇu, Śiva, so also Brahmā having four faces, Varuṇa, Kubera and other gods tasted the oblations refined by Vasiṣṭha. The best brāhmaṇas also were as it were oppressed with hunger after taking the food. The treasure of pity (i.e. Rāma), having gratified all gods with the oblations, and being urged on by Vasiṣṭha, did what was necessary to be done according to the rules. The brāhmaṇas were pleased with the gifts; the great gods were pleased with the oblations. All being gratified on receiving their portions, went home. To the priests headed by the hotṛ (i.e. the priest reciting the prayers of the Ṛgveda at the sacrifice) he gave kingdoms in the four directions. Those brahmaṇas who were pleased, gave blessings to Rāma in an auspicious manner.
7-18. Then having offered the full oblation, Vasiṣṭha said to the good ladies: “You should felicitate the king who has completed the sacrifice.” Hearing those words, those ladies gladly scattered parched grains over Rāma who had vanquished Cupid by means of his handsomeness and was adorned with great gems. Surrounded by crores of kings going on foot, he went to the best river surrounded by groups of birds. As the lord of stars with his lustre going up and being surrounded by his wives, shines, in the same way Rāma surrounded by hosts of kings shone. Coming to know about that great festival, all people were hurrying and their eyes had become steady after seeing the face of the husband of Sītā. The people, seeing the lord of kings going with Sītā to the river and having desired since long to see (Rāma) were delighted. Many actors and singers, singing the bright glory (of Rāma), followed the lord of the earth saluted by the entire world. The female dancers, dancing there and disturbing the minds of their husbands, and sprinkling (water) over them with syringes, went to serve Rāma. Smearing the great king with turmeric and saffron and smearing one another, they obtained highest joy. They, with necklaces of pearls put on the pairs of their breasts and marked with earrings of gold, touching the pairs of their ears, went along the path crowded with men and women. They duly reached the river flooded with auspicious and holy water.
19-24. Having gone there, Rāma with Sītā followed by Vasiṣṭha and others entered the holy water. All the kings and the people entered after him. With lovely syringes they sprinkled the water purified by the dust of his feet and saluted by the entire world over one another. All with very red eyes enjoyed more than they expected. That righteous Rāma, having sported for a long time along with Sītā with the waves in the flood of that auspicious water, again went out (of the river). The king having put on a silken garment, having (worn) a crown and ear-rings, having excellent bracelets with the beauty of armlets, having the charm of a crore of Cupids, and being praised by best kings, shone. The noble-minded king, having fixed the sacrificial post adorned with excellent colours on the bank of the river, obtained the wonderful glory in the three worlds, which was not easily obtained by other kings.
25. Thus, along with the daughter of king Janaka he, performing three horse-sacrifices, obtained matchless fame in the three worlds very difficult to be obtained even by gods.
26-38. O dear one, I who was asked (by you), have described (to you) the good story of Rāma. I have described the sacrifice in detail. O brāhmaṇa, what do you ask again? He who, through devotion for Viṣṇu, hears the (description of) the good sacrifice of Rāma, would, after having crossed (i.e. overcome) the sin of killing a brāhmaṇa, obtain the eternal Brahman. A sonless man would obtain sons; a poor man would obtain wealth; a person suffering from a disease gets rid of it; one that is bound gets free from bondage. Hearing Rāma’s story even a wicked cāṇḍāla obtains the highest position. What to say of the best brāhmaṇa, solely intent on devotion! By remembering Rāma sinners would obtain the highest position, the highest heaven difficult to be obtained by gods like Indra. Those men who remember the best of the Raghus, are blessed. In a moment they, having crossed the mundane existence, go to inexhaustible happiness. Every letter (of the story of Rāma) is a wild fire burning the bamboo in the form of a brāhmaṇa’s murder. One should worship that teacher who makes one hear (i.e. recites to one) that. Having heard the story, one should give the reader along with his wife a couple of cows after having honoured him with garments, ornaments and food. O best brāhmaṇa, having fashioned charming, excellent, golden images of Rāma and Sītā shining with ear-rings and adorned with rings, they should be presented to a brāhmaṇa only. His deities and dead ancestors would then reach Viṣṇu’s heaven only. You formerly asked me about Rāma’s story. I told it to you. O brāhmaṇa, what else should I tell you, the intelligent one. Those who listen to this story, destroying the heap of (sins due to) brāhmaṇa-murders, go to the highest position, very difficult to be obtained by gods. There is no scope for doubt here that he who kills a cow or his son, or he who drinks liquor, or who violates his teacher’s bed (i.e. his wife), becomes purified in a moment.