The Padma Purana

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

This page describes month-wise rites prescribed for a vishnu devotee which is chapter 80 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 eightieth 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.

Chapter 80 - Month-wise Rites Prescribed for a Viṣṇu Devotee

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Pārvatī said:

1-2a. Then, how does (a man) survive, when the terrible Kali age, full of the alligators in the form of objects of senses, and having the distress in the form of a son, a wife and wealth, has arrived, O lord? O great god, O treasure of kindness, tell the remedy for it.

The lord said:

2b-8. Kali does not harass them who always utter the name of Hari and Hari only, or the auspicious (utterance) ‘Hare Rāma, Hare Kṛṣṇa’ or ‘Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa’. Doing (his) deeds one after another, a man should remember (Viṣṇu’s) epithets. He repeatedly says, ‘Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa’. He should also use your name and my name with inversion. He too would be free from sin as fire (goes away) from a heap of cotton. He who mutters my auspicious name with your name as ‘Victory to the First One’, or preceded by the word ‘Śrī’, is freed from the worldly existence. He should remember it by day, at night, in the evening-at all times. He, remembering Rāma day and night, sees Kṛṣṇa with his eyes. He being pure or impure, just by remembering always and at all times, (Viṣṇu’s) name, is, just at that moment, freed from the worldly existence.

9-12. (Uttering) the name removes the sin of even him who is having many offences. In the Kali age a sacrifice, a vow, penance or charity is not complete in all parts. This couple—bath in Gaṅgā and Viṣṇu’s name—is free from evil. O auspicious lady, horrible thousand sins connected with killing. (sin due to) cohabiting with crores of wives of preceptors, thefts and other (sins) do not take place due to the name ‘Govinda’ dear to Hari. He who is impure or pure or who is reduced to every condition, who remembers (Viṣṇu) of lotuslike eyes, is pure from within and without.

13-20a. By remembering his name or by reflecting on his feet he should start worshipping him by fashioning his image with gold, silver, flour or of the shape of a garland. marked with his feet. He bears (the mark of) a disc at the root of his right thumb. He causes the end of the worldly existence of the man who bows there. Acyuta (i.e. Viṣṇu) bears a very beautiful mark of a lotus at the root of the middle finger, which attracts the bees in the form of the hearts of those who meditate (upon Viṣṇu). Below the lotus he bears (the mark of) a flag, which is the victory-flag of all calamities. At the root of the small finger is the mark (like a diamond-pin) that breaks (i.e. destroys) the stream of the sins of a devotee. In the side is a goad, the cause of joy in the devotee’s heart. At the joint of the thumb he bears (the mark of) a barley-corn which is full of pleasures and riches. At the root (of the thumb) there is (the mark of) a mace breaking the mountain of sins of all men. The unborn lord also bears marks like lotuses etc. on the right (foot) to illumine all knowledge. The treasure of kindness would stand on the left foot and has (these marks).

20b-40a. Therefore, he who would always listen to or narrate the greatness of Govinda, which is charming due to the relish of joy, is fully free. There is no doubt about it. I shall (now) tell the rites (to be performed) in (different) months, which give delight to Viṣṇu. In Jyeṣṭha, one, being pure, should carefully bathe Śrī Viṣṇu. On the full-moon day (when this is done), daily sins, sins committed during the fortnight, the month, the season and the year, so also thousands (of sins like) killing a brāhmaṇa, those committed knowingly or unknowingly, (sins like) stealing gold, drinking liquor, violating the teacher’s bed (i.e. wife), so also thousands of crores of minor sins—all these perish. One should sprinkle (the idol of) Acyuta on (its) head with water from a pitcher to the accompaniment of the hymn (called) Puruṣasūkta or (the group called) Pāvamānī hymns. (Or one should sprinkle the idol) with coconut water, or water from the tāla fruit, or fragrant water with gems put into it or water offered with flowers. Having propitiated (Viṣṇu) with the five articles of worship, according to (one’s) expanse of wealth, one should offer the musical instrument viz. bell, saying, ‘Gham, salutation to Ghaṇṭā’. ‘I am fallen into the heat of sins put along the great path’. ‘Protect me, a sinner—falling into the ocean of the terrible mundane existence’. A learned brāhmaṇa, pure and wise, who does like this, is freed from all sins, and he goes to Viṣṇu’s heaven. One should celebrate the great festival of (Viṣṇu’s going to) sleep on the eleventh day of the bright half of Āṣāḍha. In Āṣāḍha one should take out (Viṣṇu’s) chariot (in procession). In Śrāvaṇa one should perform the ceremony called Śrāvaṇa-vidhi (performed on the full-moon day). He should be intent on a fast on (Viṣṇu’s) birthday in Bḥādrapada. In the month of Āśvina, one should perform the ceremony of (Viṣṇu’s) turning to another side. One should (also) perform (the ceremony of) Śrī Hari’s getting up. Otherwise he will be a traitor to Viṣṇu. In the auspicious Āśvina month one should worship the golden or silver (idol of) Mahāmāyā of the form of Viṣṇu, without making an oblation. A religious-minded worshipper of Viṣṇu should not indulge in killing or hating (anyone). In the months of Kārtika and Pauṣa one should perform (deeds of) religious merit according to his desire. One should also offer a lamp (kept) on a high place to Dāmodara. The lamp should be of the size of four fingers and should have seven wicks. At the end of the fortnight one should arrange an auspicious row of lamps. In the bright half of Mārgaśīrṣa, on the sixth day, one should, with (i.e. having put on) white garments, worship the lord of the world, particularly Brahmā. In Pauṣa one should sprinkle (water over the idol) with flowers. One should avoid loose sandal(-paste). On the Saṃkrānti day and in the month of Māgha one should make an offering of food made from fragrant rice to Viṣṇu, and should recite this prayer. One should also feed brāhmaṇas residing in the city of the god of gods. One should (also) honour Viṣṇu’s devotees and brāhmaṇas looking upon them as the lord. When one devotee is fed, a crore of them are fed. Merely by feeding brāhmaṇas a deficient (deed) certainly becomes complete.

40b-45a. On the fifth day in the bright fortnight one should bathe (the idol of) Keśava, worship it duly with fruits and powders, along with young leaves of mango trees, and with fine, fragrant garments. The house should be (rendered) charming, should be bright and illumined with lights. It should have grapes, sugarcanes, plantain-trees, jambīra, nāgaraṅga, nut-trees, coconuts, dhātrī, jackfruits, and green vegetables. (It should be decorated) with portions of other trees, with flowers of all seasons, with other various fruits and flowers, with canopies, with abundant flowers and pitchers full of water, with branches and twigs of mango-trees and with umbrellas and chowries.

45b-57a. The festival of the swing is laid down after remembering (Kṛṣṇa) with the words ‘Victory to Kṛṣṇa’ and after going round (the idol)—especially in the Kali age (it is celebrated) on the fourteenth day in Phālguna (at the time) called Yāma. Or one should devoutly and duly worship (the idol) with four kinds of powders of figs on the full-moon day on the first day at a time called sandhi. One should please the highest lord with white and red (articles), white and yellow (articles), and (articles) mixed with camphor etc.; so also with (articles) having lovely colour and form due to the colour of turmeric. Or one should please the highest lord with (articles) having other colours and forms. One should start (the festival) on the eleventh day and finish it on the fifth day. The swing-festival is laid down (to last for) five days or three days. Men, seeing Kṛṣṇa facing the south and swinging, get free from heaps of sins. There is no doubt about it. A man should, in the month of Caitra, put the deity rising from (i.e. present in) Śālagrāma, in a pot containing water or in a golden, silver, copper or earthen vessel and should worship him while (the idol) is in water. Or, O magnanimous one, he should worship his image. His religious merit cannot be measured. Having planted the damana (tree), he should offer (the leaves of) it to Śrī Viṣṇu. He should offer it in Vaiśākha or Śrāvaṇa or Bhādrapada. While offering damana etc. he should do so in the foremost sheltered place; otherwise it is fruitless. On the third day of Vaiśākha he should get fashioned (the idol of Viṣṇu) especially in water or in a circle or in a pavilion in a big grove. Day by day he should nourish it well with fragrant sandal. With care as he can bestow, he should do it, which gives nourishment.

57b-66. They recognise these things to be Viṣṇu’s Gandhāṣṭaka ‘eight fragrances’—sandal, agaru (a kind of sandal), hrībera, black saffron, rocanā (a kind of yellow pigment), jaṭāmāṃsī (a kind of black pigment), murā. With these particular (articles) he should smear the body (i.e. the idol) of Viṣṇu. Rubbed Tulasī-wood with camphor and agaru or used with filaments of flowers is called haricandana. The men who, at the time of pilgrimage, see Kṛṣṇa (i.e. his idol) with devotion, are not reborn even after hundreds of crores of kalpas, (so also those) who put (i.e. bathe the idol with) water mixed with fragrant articles. Or having gone to Vṛndāvana, having put in the midst of flowers (the idol of) the lord of the world, and having decorated (it), he should make a worthy devotee of Viṣṇu enjoy (all) that fully. He should pluck a coconut or the seed-vessel of a lotus and offer it (to the deity), so also jujube fruit, bread-fruit, after removing the cover. He should also cause to be offered food mixed with curd, after dipping it into ghee. He should also cause to be offered cooked flour, cake with ghee, so also ripe fruit with oil mixed with sesamum (-seeds). He should give whatever is dear to himself. Having offered (an article) he should never take it back; especially that which is intended for Viṣṇu and given to his devotees.

67-69. O Maheśvarī, O Pārvatī, I have told you something in brief. You should protect it like your own vulva. When there is this section (giving) instruction in the class of sacred texts describing the form and virtues of Śrīkṛṣṇa, enough of other texts. When the (devotee’s) mind is (fixed) on the necklace of love (for him), interest (in him), devotion (to him) and his sports and names, what is the use of beautiful women? With heart worship that lord of the children in Vraja, the ground of Vṛndāvana, water of Yamunā; a body smeared with dust of the lotus-like feet of the lord of the world (is better than one smeared with) agaru, sandal etc. which are indeed vain.

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