The Padma Purana

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

This page describes do’s and don’t’s for a devotee of vishnu which is chapter 79 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 seventy-ninth 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.

Chapter 79 - Do’s and Don’t’s for a Devotee of Viṣṇu

The lord said:

1-2. Not only in the house (but everywhere) the worship of Hari should be done everyday on the Śālagrāma, a gem, a mystical diagram or images. In one region of Gaṇḍakī there is a great place of Śālagrāma (i.e. where Śālagrāma stones are found). May the stone found there protect. This is the case.

3-5a. By the touch of the Śālagrāma stone, the destruction of sins committed during crores of existences takes place. Then (what can be said) about Viṣṇu’s worship there? It is the cause of (being in) the vicinity of Hari. One would obtain the fruit of worshipping a hundred liṅgas. If one would obtain a black stone (i.e. Śālagrāma) having a mark of a cow’s foot, as a result of religious merit of many existences, then (the mission of) one’s life is accomplished.

5b-11. First one should examine a glossy, excellent, black stone. One that is slightly black is said to be mediocre. A mixed one always gives a mixed fruit. As the fire always present in wood is manifested by friction, in the same way the (all-)pervading Hari is felt in a Śālagrāma. He who everyday would worship twelve Śālagrāma stones from Dvāravatī, is honoured in Vaikuṇṭha. (If) a man observes an aperture on the Śālagrāma stone, his dead ancestors live contentedly in heaven till the end of the world. There is the residence in the form of Vaikuṇṭha, where there is the Dvāravatī stone. A man dying (here) goes to the city ofViṣṇu. That sacred place spreads over three yojanas. Everything (like) muttering, worship, sacrifice (performed there) would be crore-fold meritorious. Over the area of one krośa, whatever is desired (is obtained). There is no doubt about this, since, even an insect dying here goes to Vaikuṇṭha.

12-15. The man who fixes a price on the Śālagrāma stone, so also who sells it, and he who gives consent (to the deal), so also he who sanctions its examination—all these go to hell till the sun (shines in the sky) and till deluge. Therefore, O respectable lady, one should avoid the purchase and sale of the (Śālāgrama with a) disc. There is no doubt that salvation takes place there where there is the uni on of the deity in Śālagrāma and. the one born in. Dvārakā. The one produced in Dvarakā, endowed with a disc, marked with many discs of the shape of a stone having a round seat, is of the form of Brahman and unstained.

16-21a. Salutation to (you) of the form of Oṃkāra and of the form of constant joy; O glorious Śālagrama, favour me, (your) devotee, who desires your grace and is stricken by death. Hereafter I shall gladly tell you the manner (in which) the dot (or mark is put), hearing which all men would obtain assimilation to Viṣṇu. (A man) should have Keśava (i.e. take Keśava to be present) in the forehead, Śrī Puruṣottama in the neck, god Nārāyaṇa in the navel, Vaikuṇṭha (i.e. Viṣṇu) in the heart, Dāmodara in the left side, and Trivikrama in the right, Hṛṣīkeśa in the head, and Padmanābha at the back, Yamunā and Gaṅgā in the ears, and Kṛṣṇa and Hari in the arms. (These) twelve deities are said to be pleased in their respective places.

2lb-25. When a dot (i.e. a mark) is put he should recite these names. He, with all his sins purified, goes to Viṣṇu’s heaven. He, even though he is a cāṇḍāla, on whose forehead an upright line is seen, is of a pure heart, and deserves to be honoured. There is no doubt about it. One should not look at a man on whose forehead an upright mark is not seen; (and) on seeing him one should look at the Sun. On seeing or touching a brāhmaṇa on whose forehead a mark with three lines or an upright mark is not seen, one should bathe with one’s clothes on. One should put a mark of the form of Viṣṇu’s foot, keeping, space between (the toes).

26. On the head of that mean brāhmaṇa who would not put an upright mark, there is always the foot of a dog (placed on it). There is no doubt about this.

27-29. One should know that a very auspicious upright mark starting from the nose and ending with the hair, and having a hole (i.e. space) in between, is the temple of Viṣṇu. One should know that Brahmā has settled on the left side, Sadāśiva on the right, and Viṣṇu in the middle. Therefore, one should not besmear (i.e. cover) the middle (part). The glorious one who, after looking into a mirror or into water puts the upright mark, goes to the highest position.

30-33a. Fire, Water, the Vedas, and the Moon and the Sun, so also Wind, always remain in the right ear of a brāhmaṇa. Gaṅgā also remains in the right ear, and Fire in the nose. By touching both (these), one is purified at that moment only. Having put water in a conch and having mixed it with Tulasī, one should give it to the noble devotees of Viṣṇu, drink it, and salute (them) with the head (bent down). One should drink it and sprinkle one’s body, one’s son, friend and wife with it.

33b-36a. The water (flowing) from Viṣṇu’s feet, when drunk, destroys sins (committed) in crores of existences. The sin becomes eightfold on dropping (even) a drop on the ground. He who, holding a conch full of water in his hand, praises (the deity) and goes round (it), always holds the water, has obtained the fruit of his existence. He in whose house there is neither a conch nor a bell with the (form of the) eagle on it before (the image of) Vāsudeva, is not a follower of the lord (i.e. Viṣṇu) in the Kali age.

36b-45. (Going) to the lord’s temple in vehicles, or with sandals on, or drinking spirituous liquor there, not (offering) service in the festivals of the deity, not saluting before (the image of) him, or saluting the lord with the remains of food on the hands etc. not washed, or when impure, saluting the lord with (only) one hand, or spreading the feet before him towards the south, or enjoying a bed before him, or lying (in front of him), or eating, or telling lies, or talking loudly, or talking to one another, crying and quarrelling, curbing or favouring, talking cruelly to women, c overing with one garment (only), censuring or praising others, speaking obscene words, breaking wind, behaving badly with an inferior because of having power, eating without (first) offering (the food) to the deity, not offering (to the deity) fruits etc. produced during the season, giving the remains after use of a seasoned article etc., eating (food) after making it distinctly visible, censuring and praising others, keeping mum before the preceptor (i.e. not talking to him), praising himself, censuring deities—these are said to be thirty-two offences against Viṣṇu: “O Madhusūdana, day and night I commit thousands of offences. Thinking me to be yours, foregive me.”

46-47. Uttering this prayer he should salute (the deity prostrating) on the ground like a staff. Hari always forgives thousands of offences. Similarly the brāhmaṇas should eat in the evening and in the morning whatever food is left over by Viṣṇu’s devotee. (Such a person) is freed from the sins committed during the day.

48-57a. Uttering me (i.e. my i.e. Śiva’s name) and thinking ‘food is Brahmā, and sauce is Viṣṇu’, he who eats (food) is never covered by the faults of the food. A man who is a devotee of Viṣṇu should not eat a round bottle-gourd, masura-beans with their skin on, the white nut of the palmyra tree, egg-plant; (similarly) a man who is Viṣṇu’s devotee should not eat on the leaves of a bunyan tree, aśvattha or arka tree, or a kovidāra or kadamba. In (the month of) Śrāvaṇa he should avoid vegetables; he should forgo curd in Bhadrapada. In the month of Āśvina he should avoid milk and should give up (eating) flesh in Kārtika. (He should) also (avoid) burnt food, citron, and whatever is not offered to Viṣṇu, so also common citron, vegetables and visible salt. If by chance he would eat (any one of these), he should remember his (i.e. Viṣṇu’s) name. Haimantika (a kind of rice), grains anointed with sugar, mudga sesamum, barley, kalāpaka (a kind of grass), kaṅgu, wild rice, vegetable, Enhydra hingcha, kāla vegetable, vāstūka (a kind of vegetable), radish other than red, rock-salt and ocean-salt, curd and ghee obtained from a cow, milk from which water is not taken out, jack-fruit, green vegetable, Piper longum, cumin-seeds, so also oranges and tamarind, plantain, lavali (a kind of creeper), Dhātrī, jaggery from any other object than sugarcane, that (food) which is not cooked in oil—the sages describe these as food for offering.

57b-59a. One should know even him who has flowers along with Tulasī-leaves etc., to be Viṣṇu. This is the truth (and) truth (only). There is no doubt about it. By planting Dhātri-tree a man would be equal to Viṣṇu. One should know that the area round about it to the extent of three hundred cubits is Kurukṣetra.

59b-65. Having put round his neck a garland made with (pieces of) Tulasī-wood having the shape of rudrākṣa, a man should start the worship (of Viṣṇu). Similarly, the worshipper of Viṣṇu should carefully wear round his neck a garland of amalakas, or a good garland of lotuses, or that of kadamba-flowers; he should also put on his head flowers taken off after being offered (to Viṣṇu) and Tulasī-mālā. He should mark his body with flowers Taken off after being offered and sandal, with (the accompaniment of) his epithets. He should put (the mark of) a mace on his forehead, and (the marks of) a bow and an arrow. On the chest (he should put the mark of) the Nandaka (sword), and (the marks of) a conch and a disc on both the arms. If a brāhmaṇa endowed with (the marks) of a conch and a disc dies on the cremation ground, he certainly gets the same (highest) position which is said (to be obtained by dying) at Prayāga. He who being devoted to Viṣṇu, puts a Tulasī-leaf on his head, performs all his deeds, obtains an inexhaustible fruit.

66-68. The rites performed in honour of the dead ancestors and deities by one decorated with Tulasī-garlands, become a crore-fold meritorious. The sin of that man who devoutly wears a garland made of Tulasī-wood, after offering it to Keśava (i.e. Viṣṇu), perishes. Having worshipped (Viṣṇu) with water for washing the feet etc. he should utter this prayer: “Salutation to that Tulasī which, when seen, destroys the multitude of all sins; which, when touched, purifies the body; which, when saluted, removes diseases; which, when sprinkled, frightens Yama; which, when planted, bestows the vicinity of lord Kṛṣṇa; (and) when placed at his feet, gives the fruit (in the form) of salvation.

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