The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the greatness of vrindavana which is chapter 82 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 eighty-second 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 82 - The Greatness of Vṛndāvana

Śiva said:

1-4. O Nārada, I shall now accurately tell the rite of initiation. Listen to it. Even without doing it a man would be freed just by listening to it. The wise one, realising that all this world from Brahmā is evanescent, having experienced the threefold misery like that of the mind, and due to all pleasures being transitory, putting them on the side of (i.e. looking upon them as) misery, and being free from them, and being detached should think about the means of the cessation of the worldly existence. He should be very much satisfied to obtain highest happiness.

5-8. The very intelligent one knowing the wickedness of men, being very much afflicted, should, O brāhmaṇa, seek refuge of me, the great one. A teacher is said to be calm, free from jealousy, devoted to Kṛṣṇa, having no other aim (than reaching Kṛṣṇa), having no other means, having virtue, free from lust and greed, knowing the truth in the interest in Śrīkṛṣṇa, the best among those who know prayers (addressed) to Kṛṣṇa, always resorting and attached to prayers of (i.e. addressed to) Kṛṣṇa, always pure, teaching good ways of life, always prescribing good practices, following the tradition, full of compassion and detached.

9-10. A disciple is said to be one who has mostly these qualities and who is desirous of serving his teacher’s feet, who is extremely devoted to his teacher, and who desires salvation. The actual service offered to him through love is said to be the salvation of the Vaiṣṇavite by the wise knowing the Vedas and the Vedāṅgas.

11-18. Having resorted to the feet of one’s teacher one should tell him one’s account. He (i.e. the teacher) removing doubts, repeatedly instructing him, should, with a very much delighted heart, teach the other one (i.e. the disciple) who has bowed down to his feet, who is calm and who desires to serve his feet. O brāhmaṇa, on the left and right shoulder-blades he should draw, with sandal or clay, a conch and a disc. In the same way he should then draw, according to the rules, the upright mark on the forehead etc. Then he (i.e. the teacher) should indicate (i.e. whisper) the two prayers into his right ear. Then in proper order and properly he should tell him the meaning of the prayers. He should carefully give him a name along with the word dāsa. Then the wise one should affectionately feed the devotees ofViṣṇu. He should also honour his honourable teacher with garments, ornaments etc. O great sage, he should give all his possessions to the teacher or half their number. The poor ones should even remain after throwing down their bodies (i.e. should throw down their own bodies) for the teacher. The wise one who is consecrated with these five sacred rites, shares the service of Kṛṣṇa; not otherwise even for crores of kalpas.

19-21. The former learned ones have described these to be the five sacred rites: marking (the body with mark of a conch etc.), the upright mark, the prayer, taking up a name and the fifth one is sacrifice. Marking is (done) with a conch, a disc etc.; the upright mark is said to have a hole; name is connected with the word dāsa; the prayers are two. Sacrifice is the worship of the teacher and a devotee of Viṣṇu. I have told you these five great sacred rites.

22-24. O Nārada, I shall now tell you the duties of those who have taken refuge (with Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu), resorting to which men will go to Viṣṇu’s abode in Kali (age). A wise one, having thus obtained the hymn from his teacher, and greatly devoted to his teacher, serving the teacher every day, would obtain his favour. Then he should learn the duties of the good, especially of those who have taken refuge (with Viṣṇu). He should always gratify the devotees of Viṣṇu looking upon them as his own desired deity.

25-27. As women due to being the objects of enjoyment by lustful persons get beating and reproach, in the same way the wise ones should get the respective things of the devotees of Viṣṇu. They should never worry about worldly things or things in the next world. The worldly things always come according to the deeds done in the former (existence). In the same way Kṛṣṇa will bring about the things in the next world. Therefore, men should always give up (making) effort for them.

28-32. All expedients should be given up and Kṛṣṇa should be worshipped thinking oneself to be Kṛṣṇa. As a woman devoted to her husband and loving him, is afflicted when the lover has gone on a journey for a long time, and as she, desiring his company only, would always think about his qualities and sings and listens to them (i.e. qualities), so he should think of the qualities and sports of Śrīkṛṣṇa. It should never be adopted as a means (to reaching Kṛṣṇa). As the woman (devoted to her husband) kisses, embraces, and drinks with the corner of her eye, her husband looking upon him as her lover who has come after travelling for a long time, in the same way a devotee should serve Hari with adoration.

33-37. He (should) never seek the refuge of anyone else; he should never have any other means. Because of his having no other means he would have no other aim (than Viṣṇu). He should not worship any other deity; should not bow to or remember any other deity. He should never see or sing about or censure (any other deity). He should not eat what is left over by another person. He should not wear what is given up by another person. He should avoid talking to or saluting those who are not devotees of Viṣṇu. He should cover his ears and go. If he has power he should punish (the person censuring these deities). O brāhmaṇa, I think that he, resorting to the course of a cātaka till the body falls, should concentrate on the meaning of the two (hymns).

38-46. As a cātaka, when thirsty, abandons a lake, a river, a sea etc. and either dies or appeals to a cloud, in the same way a man should think about the means. He should always solicit his desired deity, saying ‘You should be my recourse’. He should always remain in (i.e seek) the favour of his deity, those belonging to the deity, and especially of the teacher also; and should, avoid their disfavour. I who have sought their refuge once, will tell about their propitiousness. Thinking ‘these two will emancipate me’, he should have faith in them. “O lord(s), you who destroy the fear of him who has taken your refuge, are the saviour (of your devotee) from the worldly existence, and from friends, sons, home and family. Who I am, whatever I have in this and the next world, all that I have today dedicated to your feet. I am the abode of sins; I have given up the means; I have no (other) course; therefore, O lord, you alone are my recourse. O lover of Rādhikā, through my acts, mind and speech, I am yours. O Kṛṣṇa’s beloved, I belong to you. You two only are my refuge. O you heaps and mines of compassion, I have sought your shelter. Favour (me) by (giving) me, the wicked and sinful one, (the opportunity) of serving (you)”.

47-50a. Thus, muttering to himself these five verses, he, desiring their service, should quickly remain (thinking about Kṛṣṇa), O best sage. I have briefly described these external qualities. Now I shall describe the essential, internal quality of those who have sought refuge (with Kṛṣṇa). Having, with effort, resorted to the condition of the friend of Kṛṣṇa’s beloved, he should carefully serve both of them day and night. I have told (you) the hymn, the constituents of it and (about) those who are entitled to it.

50b-59. I have described their duties, the fruit of the hymn (accruing) to them. O Nārada you (should) also do it. You will obtain their servantship (dāsya). O brāhmaṇa, here there is never a doubt about the (consequent) loss of one’s authority (ego?). I have no doubt that Hari would grant his (servantship) to him who has but once sought his refuge, and who has appealed to him, saying, ‘I am yours’. Now I shall tell you a great, wonderful secret which formerly I had heard from lord Kṛṣṇa himself. O best sage, I have told you the secret course of conduct. This is more secret than a secret; it has to be guarded carefully. Formerly, muttering this gem of a hymn and pondering over god Nārāyaṇa, I lived on the top of Kailāsa in a dense forest. Then the lord was pleased and appeared before me. “Choose a boon”. When this was said (by him), I too opened my eyes and saw the god with his wife and seated upon Garuḍa. Having saluted the lord of Kamalā, the giver of boons, I said to him: “O ocean of compassion, O highest god, I desire to see with my eyes that form of yours which gives great joy, which is the abode of joy, which is eternal, which is embodied, which is superior to everything (else), which is qualityless, actionless, calm, and which the wise know as Brahman.”

60-64. Then, the glorious lord of Kamalā said to me who had sought his refuge: “Today you will see that form (of mine) which is desired in (i.e. by) your mind. Go to my Vṛndāvana, to the western bank of Yamunā.” Saying so, the lord of the world vanished along with his beloved. Then I also came to the auspicious bank of Yamunā. There I saw Kṛṣṇa, the lord of all gods, who had put on the dress of a cowherd, who was lovely, who was of the age of a boy, who had properly put his charming left hand on the shoulder of his beloved, who was laughing and making her laugh in the group of the cowherdesses, who was bright like a glossy cloud, who is the abode of auspicious qualities.

65-73a. Then, having laughed, Kṛṣṇa, speaking (sweetly) like nectar, said to me: “O Rudra, having known your desire, I have appeared before you, since you have today seen this uncommon form of mine, which is the embodiment of spotless love that is solidified and of goodness, intelligence and joy (i.e. Brahman), which is (at the same time) formless, qualityless, (all-)pervading, actionless, and higher than the highest. The groups of the Upaniṣads describe this faultless form of mine only. Because my qualities have not sprung from the constituents of Prakṛti, and because of their being endless, and because of their not being effected, they call me the qualityless lord. O Maheśvara (i.e. Śiva), because this form of mine is not visible to the physical eyes, all the Vedas describe me to be formless. The wise ones also know me to be Brahman, as a part of the supreme spirit, because of my (all-)prevading nature. As I am not the agent of the visible world, they (also) call me actionless; since my portions through power of Māyā perform creation etc., I do not myself perform creation etc., O Śiva. O Mahādeva, I am overcome with the love of these cowherdesses. I do not know any other act, even myself, O Nārada(?). Being influenced by her love, I always sport with her.

73b-79. Know this my beloved Rādhikā to be a great deity. Around her see her friends in hundreds and thousands. O Rudra, they are eternal as I having an eternal body. The cowherds, cows, cowherdesses and this my Vṛndāvana always (exist). All this is eternal, and full of the joy of intelligence. Know this called Ānandakanda (‘the root of delight’) to be my Vṛndāvana, merely by entering which a man would not again get into the worldly existence. The fool who, after having reached my grove, goes elsewhere, would be self-killer only. I have told the truth and the truth (only). I never leave Vṛndāvana and go anywhere else. With her I always live here only. O Rudra, I have thus told everything (I) had in mind. Tell me now, what else do you want to hear.”

80-88. O best sage, then I said to the god: “Tell me the means by which you would be obtaind like this.” Then the lord said to me: “O Rudra, you have spoken well. This is a very great secret, (and) it is to be guarded carefully. The man who has once sought our refuge, worships us, after giving up (other) means, as a cowherdess, comes to me, O lord of gods. He who has sought the refuge of the two of us, or only of my beloved, and serves us or her with unswerving devotion, comes to me. There is no doubt about it. O Maheśvara, he who has sought my refuge and of my beloved, undoubtedly comes to me. Thus I have told you. He who has but once sought (our) refuge and would say, ‘I am yours’, comes to me without any (other) means. There is no doubt about it. Therefore, with all efforts a man should seek the refuge of my beloved. O Rudra, having resorted to my beloved, you can impress me. I have told you this great secret. O Mahādeva, you have also to guard it carefully. You too, having resorted to this my beloved Rādhikā, and muttering this couple of hymns, always live in my abode.”

Śiva said:

89-91. Having thus spoken, and having taught the great hymn, and sacred rites into my right ear, Kṛṣṇa, the treasure of compassion, disappeared along with attendants there only when I was looking (at him). Since then I have been constantly here. I have fully told you all this. Now, O best brāhmaṇa, tell me what more you want to hear.

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