The Padma Purana

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

This page describes king mahiratha gives part of his merit to the sufferers in hell which is chapter 102 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 one hundred 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.

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 102 - King Mahīratha Gives Part of His Merit to the Sufferers in Hell

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Yama said:

1-4. O brāhmaṇa, then the king, the ocean of compassion, afflicted by their grief, spoke politely to Viṣṇu’s messengers: “The good ones look upon the protection of the frightened one as the fruit of affluence, nobility of birth and meritorious deeds. If I have some religious merit (to my credit) then, by means of that let these beings, free from their sins, go to heaven. I shall live in their place.” Having heard these words of the truthful king, they, thinking of his truthfulness and generosity, said these words to the king:

The messengers said:

5-11. O king, due to this your kind deed and your words, your religious merit, especially the accumulated one, has increased. They know that a bath, gift, muttering, sacrifice, penance, worship of deities etc. which is done in the month of Vaiśākha, gives an inexhaustible fruit. A sacrificer or a donor plays in heaven with the gods in ponds having golden lotuses and at the root of the desire-yielding tree. Being sung by the bevy of divine young beautiful damsels he is delighted. By giving water and food a man obtains the auspicious heaven of Varuṇa. One who gives a cow easily liberates seven (members) of his family. By giving a horse a man goes to the Sun’s heaven. A man who imparts knowledge goes to Brahmā’s heaven. Similarly by giving gold a man goes to the abode of gods. In the same way, one who gives his daughter (in marriage) goes to Viṣṇu’s world. A man who bathes in the month of Vaisākha, gives gifts after worshipping Viṣṇu, obtains all his desired objects and reaches an immutable place.

12-14. On one side are penance, gifts and rites like sacrifices and extraction of Soma juice, and on the other is the great month of Vaisākha observed properly. O king, the good deed which you formerly did even on one day of the month of Vaiśākha is more than all gifts. O king, O treasure of compassion, give, through pity, your religious merit of a day to the afflicted ones being roasted in the hell.

15-20. There is no virtue like compassion. There is no penance like compassion. There is no gift like compassion. There is no friend like compassion. A man who gives his religious merit (to others) always gets religious merit a lakh times (more); especially due to pity your religious merit would increase. A man who removes the affliction of afflicted beings, is alone blessed in the world; he should be known as born from a portion of Viṣṇu. Give duly, repeating thrice, the religious merit of your bath, gifts etc.—destroying all sins—which you did on the full-moon day of Vaiśākha, to these, by keeping lord Viṣṇu as the witness; by that they would obtain heaven. Śibi, the ocean of fame, gave formerly, through kindness, his flesh for (saving the life of) a pigeon, and the ocean of compassion shines in the heaven.

21. The royal sage Dadhīci also gave the collection of his bones, and obtained glory, the moonlight to the three worlds, and inexhaustible heaven.

22-32. The royal sage Sahasrajit abandoned his dear life for a brāhmaṇa, and he of a great fame went to the best heavens. We think that a man does not get that happiness even in salvation which he gets by offering complete satisfaction to an afflicted being. O king, O wise one, due to this deed you have, employing your courage, become the foremost among donors in the tales (about donors). Seeing (i.e. knowing) your intention, your religious merit, pity and your very firm gift, we also, speaking meritorious things, have made an effort to speak. O king, if you like, then without delay, give your religious merit, burning their torment and affliction, to these.

Thus addressed, the kind one, making the mace-holder (Viṣṇu) the witness, duly gave, repeating thrice, his religious merit to them. All those beings, free from the torments inflicted by Yama, got into an excellent aeroplane, and being delighted and saluting, praising and looking at him, went to heaven, when he gave them the religious merit that he had earned on a day of the month of Vaiśākha. Having accepted the religious merit given by the king, which was earned (just) on a day of the month of Vaiśākha, all of them, freed from hell, got into an aeroplane and went to heaven. This is the wonder. Strange is the host of beings on the earth, and strange in many ways is the devotion arisen in them. In the same way, the path of action is strange; (and) the heap of its powers is strange. He who is being praised by groups of sages, who has got more religious merit due to that particular act, who is being saluted by the attendants of the lord of the world, went to that highest place that cannot be obtained by meditating saints.

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