The Padma Purana

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

This page describes sinful brahmana becomes an attendant of virabhadra which is chapter 106 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 sixth 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 106 - A Sinful Brāhmaṇa Becomes an Attendant of Vīrabhadra

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Śucismitā said:

1. O great sage, the eating of the sacred ash is seen to prolong life. It is capable of giving a course of the other world.

Dadhīca said:

2-8. In this matter I shall tell you an old and well-known account of what happened between Yama and Citragupta. Formerly a dog wandered through hunger in Mithilā. In a hundredth previous existence he was a brāhmaṇa of sinful resolves. In his youth he was a very intelligent (man) who was endowed with the (knowledge) of Vedas and sacred texts. Having gone to Gaṅgā for bathing, he bathed (in Gaṅgā) and having worshipped his dead ancestors, gods and sages also, went to the city (called) Prāttalikā. He took shelter in a brāhmaṇa’s house. There was staying a daughter of a kṣatriya. She was young. Her lover was killed. She had lost her kingdom. She possessed wealth of six crores of niṣkas. At night, after moonlight, she came near the brāhmaṇa who was asleep and was handsome in all limbs, and seeing him said these words: “O brāhmaṇa, wherefrom have you come? To which country will you go?”

The brāhmaṇa said:

9. Stirring (out) at a wrong time would certainly create suspicion (in the minds) of all; so also the talk between us who are young in this private, mirthful chamber.

The kṣatriya woman said:

10-11. A talk in private (between a young man and a young woman) is not censurable when a tale is told, on a pilgrimage, at a sacred place, at the time of the devastation of the country etc., at the time of a famine, or when the village is on fire. You yourself first took shelter in my house. I am (just) staying in this house. (Therefore) nobody will have a suspicion in this matter.

The brāhmaṇa said:

12-17. I have to keep mum. Quickly go from my presence.

Thus addressed by the brāhmaṇa she thus thought to herself: ‘Somehow or other I should have union with him. I shall (now) weep so that he will come to console me. When he will come to console me, he will raise me up. Then I shall get up and have contact of his neck with my creeper-like arms (i.e. I shall throw my creeper-like arms round his neck); and as it were fainting, I shall touch his body with the pair of my breasts. Seeing me having lost consciousness, he, the best brāhmaṇa who would be seated, will put my body on his lap. I, as it were being unconscious, will throw off my garment, and as it were weeping (i.e. pretending to weep), shall show him that (private) part (of me) which is very lovely, which is free from hair, which has the shape of a ripe aśvattha-leaf, which is the very fragrant abode of Cupid.

18-22. Having, while rolling on his body, removed his garment, I shall make his mind perplexed and bring the brāhmaṇa under my control. His mind would not be (as perturbed) when (my private part) is not seen as it would be (perturbed) when it is seen. The mind is not so (much perturbed) in (i.e. due to) talk as it is by means of actual seeing (the private part). The mind is not (perturbed) like that in a mirthful talk as it is in (i.e. by means of) a dialogue. The mind is not so (much perturbed) by means of a touch as it is in (i.e. due to) a mirthful talk. (The mind is) not so (much perturbed) by touching the vulva as by seeing it. Whose mind does not become excited and whose semen does not trickle down on seeing a woman’s armpits, her pair of breasts and her vulva being touched (by herself)?’

Dadhīca said:

23-28. Thinking like this with (i.e. in) her mind, that kṣatriya woman went to her house; and having approached the door of her house, she wept gently. She wept for a long time. ‘Removing the grief of a woman, a child, an old man, a feeble person, a king, a meditating saint due to poison, fire, water or the fall of a stone etc. is recommended; they say it is like giving a well.’ Thinking like this that brāhmaṇa, the treasure of kindness, being pure and with his mind pleased, went near her, and then the brāhmaṇa said to her: “Enough of(i.e. desist from) this great grief going against (happiness in) this and the next world. This leads to the drying up of the body and harms the mind also. O you young woman, give up this grief. It is no use grieving. What is the cause of your wailing; what is it for which you are weeping?”

Dadhīca said:

29-35a. Thus addressed by that brāhmaṇa, she did not say anything. She fell on the ground as if she had fainted; and looked at him (and showed) as it were she did not see him. The brāhmaṇa, knowing the highest truth, made her get up. When he made her get up, she got up but again and again fell down. The brāhmaṇa sat down and again and again got her up who had repeatedly fallen down, put her on his lap, and wiped her eyes. Then as it were she had fainted, she removed her garment, and showed him her breasts, her private part, her arm-pits and eyes. Having hung to his neck with her arms, she touched the brāhmaṇa with her breasts. The moonlight was clear, and there were gentle breezes. Then the brāhmaṇa became engrossed in thinking: ‘This is not my work. It is proper for the father, the mother, the husband or the teacher. To me who am not enlightened, everything appears inauspicious.’

35b-40a. Then Cupid came there when the two were in private. Cupid, of a bad heart, struck the brāhmaṇa with sharp arrows. The brāhmaṇa, being afflicted due to the arrows of Cupid, became lustful, and thought: ‘This one, very beautiful in all limbs, appears to be lustful. Otherwise how can there be horripilation on her vulva? All that will be clear from the touch of her breasts.’ Thinking like this, the brāhmaṇa touched her breasts and vulva. She too, who feigned a swoon, had a smile on her face. She closely embraced the brāhmaṇa, and kissed his face. Then they were united even for a hundred years.

40b-42. When a hundred years had passed, the brāhmaṇa one day in the morning went to a river to bathe. She too went with the brāhmaṇa. He bathed there and listened to the Kaurma Purāṇa which destroys all sins and gives (i.e. produces) devotion to Śiva; and heard this verse uttered by the one who knew the Purāṇa.

43-45a. “He who kills a brāhmaṇa, he who drinks liquor, a thief, he who violates his teacher’s wife, becomes free from the sin by just listening to the Kaurrna Purāṇa.” Hearing this statement, the brāhmaṇa said to that brāhmaṇa well-versed in the Purāṇas: “The sins committed by me have no number (i.e. cannot be counted). Tell me that which would destroy the heap of all (my) sins.”

The brāhmaṇa well-versed in the Purāṇas said:

45b-47. Propitiate Śaṅkara, the god of gods, the lord of gods. O brāhmaṇa, by means of his worship all your (sin) will perish. Sin is said to be darkness. It perishes by means of the lamp of knowledge, or O brāhmaṇa, all sins perish due to the worship of him. Those who are bereft of knowledge and worship certainly fall into a hell.

Dadhīca said:

48-51a. Then the brāhmaṇa went to an excellent temple of Śiva. (There) he worshipped Śaṅkara with a thousand droṇa flowers. Then he went home and took food. Leaving the kṣatriya woman the brāhmaṇa went to the desired region. Having procured food to be eaten on days of fast, and having eaten it according to his capacity, he went to the temple of Śiva. Going there, he ate his meal with the ghee in the lamp outside the temple. Then he was under the sway of death, and went to Yama’s world.

Yama said:

51b-57. Certain sins formerly committed by you have perished. O brāhmaṇa, since you offered worship to Śaṅkara on one day, a thousand of your sins have perished. Of the sins that have remained, the fruit is a fall into hell, (and staying there) for two crores of years, and having the existence of a dog a hundred times. Due to stealing the ghee from the lamp of Śiva a man has to resort to (i.e. to live in) hell for a hundred very awful years. He turns into wood in the Kumbhīpāka hell, and repeatedly becoming ash for ten years, he then becomes an insect for another ten (years). Then for ten years he becomes the wick of a lamp. Sinking in and coming up from phlegm, impure feces, and pools of urine and semen, he eats phlegm, feces and dirt. Then when the residence in hell is over, he gets a hundred existences as a dog.

58-62. Hearing these words of Yama, the brāhmaṇa fell down. Then his dear wife became full of anxiety. In the meanwhile, Nārada came near her. She who was extremely afflicted, fell at the feet of Nārada. Having raised her, Nārada said to the pure one about her dead (husband): “O innocent one of large eyes, please go to your husband. O you of large eyes, your husband, abandoned by his kinsmen, is dead. O auspicious one, you should not weep. Enter fire (i.e. funeral pyre of your husband).”

The brāhmaṇa woman said:

O sage, tell me whether I should or should not go, so that the time for entering the fire should not elapse.

Nārada said:

63. That city is at a distance of a hundred yojanas from here. The brāhmaṇa (i.e. the body of your husband) will be burnt tomorrow.

Avyayā said:

64-69a. O sage, I deserve to go to the lord of my body, who is away.

Hearing her words, Nārada said to her: “You sit upon the handle of my lute. I shall go (there) in a moment.” Saying so, he made haste and went there—to the country and abode of the dead brāhmaṇa. The sage said to that Avyayā: “If you will go to (i.e. desire to enter) fire there, then do not weep. O daughter, if you have committed a sin like enjoying another man (than your husband) then make an expiation to purify that. On entering into the fire your minor sins will perish. Leaving (i.e. except) entering the fire I do not see any other (expiation) for women for the appeasement of all sins.”

Dadhīca said:

69b-70a. Impelled by Nārada’s words, she said: “O great sage, what have women to do at the time of entering fire?”

Nārada said:

70b-75a. They have to bathe, sanctify themselves, have to put on ornaments and apply unguents, have to apply sandal (-paste), have to put on flowers, have to have incense, turmeric and sacred rice grains. They have to wear an auspicious thread and apply red lac to their feet. They should give gifts according to their capacity, they should speak agreeable words, and should have a pleasing face. They should listen to (the sound of) many auspicious musical instruments and songs. When a sin of (the nature of) infidelity is committed, then, with reference to that old sin (i.e. sin committed previously), that is said to be an expiation for the appeasement of that sin. Then she should put on the ornaments and offer them to a brāhmaṇa. In the absence of (such) ornaments, she should not make (the brāhmaṇa) perform the (rite of) expiation. In no other way, and nowhere, can that sin perish.

Avyayā said:

75b-76a. I shall do all this; (but) I do not have turmeric. What are the ornaments? O brāhmaṇa, give all that to me.

Nārada said:

76b. There is no such article of the auspicious state of wifehood as is required.

Dadhīca said:

77-78a. Then in a moment he (i.e. Nārada) went to Śiva’s abode, Kailāsa. Seeing Girijā (i.e. Pārvatī) he saluted her and said to her: “O mother, give me turmeric, ornaments and an auspicious thread.”

Pārvatī said:

78b-79a. How should I give any ornament to a widow? If I give (her an ornament), widowhood is not possible.

Nārada said:

79b-80a. O mother, a woman is not a widow as long as her husband’s body remains (unburnt). Till the husband’s body is burnt, there is no impurity and the auspicious state of wifehood remains.

Pārvatī said:

80b-83. No other body (than mine) deserves to put on my ornaments and turmeric. When ornaments etc. are given by me, long life is prescribed. Whatever you have said would be given by (my maid) Jayantī.

Then he went to Jayantī and carried whatever was given by her. Then the sage gave turmeric to Avyayā who was being given a bath. Then the sage gave her fine garments and ornaments. He said to her: “Who will perform your funeral rites? Appoint him.”

Avyayā said:

84. O sage, you alone are the cause of (i.e. will perform) all rites in my case. You are my father. Perform every (rite); salutation to you, O best sage.

Dadhīca said;

85-90. Then having burnt (i.e. consigned to fire the body of) the brāhmaṇa, Nārada said to her: “O Avyayā, go, and enter the fire if you so desire.” Then the chaste lady decorated (herself), and having saluted Nārada after going round him three times keeping him to her right, dedicated her mind to Gaurī (i.e. Pārvatī). Desiring to please Pārvatī, she separately (i.e. one by one) touched her very fine auspicious thread, turmeric, so also sacred grains and flowers, garments, musk, sandal, golden comb, various fruits, from presents to her garments—gave all (these) to elderly married women. The chaste woman went three times round the fire which was, as it were, burning the sky with rows of flames, by keeping it to her right, and stood in front of it. Then with the palms of her hands folded and with a smiling face she said these words:

Avyayā said:

91-98. O regents of the quarters like Indra, O mother Earth, O Sun, O all gods like Dharma (i.e. Yama), hear my words: “If, from (the day of) marriage till today I have, day and night, devoutly served my husband by words, thought, and by acts, and if in the three states (of youth, adulthood and old age) I have not transgressed (in my duties to him), then truly grant me going with my husband.”

Saying so, she quickly dropped the flower from the tip of her hand (and) entered the blazing fire. Then she saw an aeroplane, which was excellent like the Sun and graced with the music of celestial nymphs. She got into the aeroplane and went to heaven with her husband. Then Yama, having honoured that chaste wife, said to her: “You will have (i.e. live in) heaven eternally; (now) no sin of you remains. In hell your sin was washed off (by staying there) for two crore years. There is no doubt about it. But (still) there is a sin. One is committed by eating the ghee of the lamp (kept in honour) of Śiva. There may not be a fall into hell, but will be hundred existences as a dog.”

Avyayā said:

99. How can there be (a fall into) hell for those who are purified by entering fire? The destruction of all sins would take place by entering into fire.

Yama said:

100-106. Formerly Śambhu had said that the sin of him who steals (the articles) ofŚiva, never perishes. Other sins may perish. Then he obtains the existence of a dog, which would be (continuing) for a hundred years after that.

Reaching the abode of Dadhīca he has entered the mouth of death. Near his wall there was the sacred ash that was consecrated. The dog fell into the sacred ash, died, and went to Yama. Yama honoured him, bowed down to him (and said): “You are the most meritorious sage. There is no proper place for you in my house. (Please) go out.” Then that dog, impelled by Yama, went out and remained there. Nārada saw him who remained there with tormentation; and he asked him: “Why do you, the bright one, remain here? O you of high intelligence, I know you to be a devotee of Śiva, who died remaining in the ash of (i.e. sacred to) Śiva. There is no residence in Yama’s world for them who are devotees of Śiva (but) who being sinful, cast their bodies. This is Śiva’s order given by Śiva.”

Dadhīca said:

107-112. Speaking thus to the dog, the sage went to Kailāsa. Having saluted Śiva (by prostrating himself) like a staff, he respectfully said to him: “O god, a certain dog (having come) from Yama’s city remains outside. He is dead in the sacred ash. Therefore, he deserves (residence in) your heaven.” Then Vīrabhadra, the chief among the attendants, being impelled by Śiva, brought that dog having a divine form and having saluted the feet of Śiva. Then he respectfully said to the god. The attendant of Śiva (i.e. Vīrabhadra) said to the god: “Make him an attendant (i.e. one of the attendants) of me.” Śiva said: “All right.” The attendant became one with a dog’s face (i.e. the dog became one of the attendants).

Dadhīca said:

O you Śucismitā, the importance of the sacred ash is matchless. O you of a good vow, what more than this do you wish to hear?

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