The Padma Purana

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

This page describes jabali recommends phallus worship to the brahmana ikshvaku which is chapter 109 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 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.

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 109 - Jābāli Recommends Phallus Worship to the Brāhmaṇa Ikṣvāku

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Śambhu said:

1-5a. In this regard I shall tell you a story which destroys sins and hearing which the pious one (i.e. Ikṣvāku) obtained excellent devotion. (There was) the best brāhmaṇa, Ikṣvāku by name. He was very learned, very intelligent, proficient in many sacred precepts and well-versed in the science of ethics. He did not perform a sacrifice; he did not give (in charity); he did not worship deities. He did not teach the Vedas, nor did he explain the sacred texts; so also (he did not teach) the Purāṇas, history, the sacred texts or the Vedas. With difficulty he could (get food to) cat and proceeded only with the embellishment of his body. The life (of the span) of a lakh of years of that brāhmaṇa of that type passed.

5b-10. In the next (span of a) lakh, at night on the third day of the fifth month in (i.e. of) a year he heard this Purāṇa (text): “He, who has not given in charity the wealth earned by him, is certainly roasted for those many years in hell, (for the wealth) being enjoyed day-by-day would become (i.e. becomes) depleted. Then having gone through a thousand existences of insects etc., he then is (born) as a poor man suffering from diseases, having no relatives, having a wicked wife and many children. Every day he lives by begging and supplicating. He leads his life by asking for broken seeds (not capable of growing), or the life among servants (of a man) having no ears, no eyes and with dirt falling (from his body).”

11-13. Having heard the Purāṇa (text) like this, that Ikṣvāku became extremely afflicted. The mean brāhmaṇa repeatedly thought in his mind (like) this: ‘Even Durgā, having flowers and beauty is void of fruit due to her having a buffalo. In the same way, knowledge without the Purāṇas would not show the (right) path. A man, (even) after studying many sacred texts, and Vedas with (all) their expanse, does not get proper knowledge unless he has studied the Purāṇas.’

Śambhu said:

14. When he was thinking like this he met with an untimely death. He then went to Yama’s world, and was (thus) addressed by Yama.

Yama said:

15-19. You are having many sins. You have not secured great religious merit by teaching the Vedas. Sin (alone) is known to you. Therefore, O brāhmaṇa, you will remain in hell for a crore of years. You have a very short span of life. Go back to your former body (i.e. existence). O brāhmaṇa, do religious deeds that are beneficial like giving in charity, worshipping the deities, and repeating hymns; so also teach (Vedas) along with their limbs (i.e. the Vedāṅgas), and apply sacred ash. Worship God Viśveśvara, the god of gods and the lord of Umā. Merely by his perseverance you will not go to my world, O sinner, every day listen to a little (i.e. small portion of) Purāṇa with respect. Then merely by listening to it, you will not see (i.e. experience) the pangs inflicted by Yama (i.e. me).

20-22. Hearing the words of Yama, the brāhmaṇa went back to (i.e. took up) his own (i.e. former) body. Then that brāhmaṇa made efforts to worship the lord. He went to the sage Jābāli, the worshipper of Śiva, who was endowed with penance and self-study, who discussed the sacred texts and the codes of law, who knew the truth about the Purāṇas, who was surrounded by a lakh of disciples, whose entire body had become loose due to old age, who had mastered the Vedas and the Vedāṅgas.

23-36. Desiring to see him he (i.e. Ikṣvāku) went to the Mandara (mountain) which had beautiful caves, which was crowded with many blossoming creepers full of various kinds of birds, which possesed flowers of all seasons, which was adorned with various fragrances, whose big caves were full of the songs (sung) by kinnara couples, the trees in which were resorted to by many beautiful, charming women, the lovely ones, suspending themselves from them, which was resounding with the (hummings of) bees made to rouse them who had slept due to the fatigue caused by love-sports, in which the cuckoos also cooed very much, indeed to unite the separated (lovers), which was crowded with hosts of various sages, where calm (i.e. undisturbed) deer were moving, which was crowded with the bevies of the celestial nymphs, which was resorted to by the groups of gandharvas, the interior of the forest of which was full of the songs produced from the mouths of many siddhas, which was full of lovely fruits, and which had many temples, which was thronged with hundreds of palaces, which had many houses, which was adorned with fierce and angry lords of attendants that had faces like those of lions, like those of elephants, like those of wolves, or having different or strange faces, (or) that had half faces, (or) had half-curved faces, (or) had faces like those of the female deer, (or that) had the faces like those of the creatures like the ruru deer, or like those of alligators, bears and monkeys, that had faces like those of tigers, scorpions, bears, camels, dogs and donkeys, that had faces like those of all the beings, that had faces like creepers, like trees, curved like rocks and (made) of iron, that had superior bodies, faulty bodies, that had matted hair, that had tufts of hair on their heads, or that were clean-shaved, that had faces like those of birds, that had twelve faces, that had three-figured faces, that had faces like bells, that had faces, ears, or feet like winnowing baskets, that had face like bells or like flutes or like small bells, that had iron-faces like whatever (i.e. all) things in the world; (it was adorned with) certain (attendants) that had put down the charm and beauty of Cupid with their tender faces, that resembled a crore of suns, and that had lustre like those of a crore of moons, that had many colours, that had all (kinds of) faces, that had all forms and four faces, that hand two faces, five faces, three faces or even six faces, that had one or many faces, that were tranquil and were always happy.

37-44a. The mountain Mandara was resorted to by (beings) that were affluent with many enjoyments, and that resembled Rati and Cupid, that had faces like those of Lakṣmī and Viṣṇu, and had bodies like those of Uma (i.e. Pārvatī) and Śiva. It was also resorted to by others having various forms. There the cows were the Vedas, having the calves in the form of Mīmāṃsā; Dharma and others were bodily (present); Purāṇas (presented themselves) with (i.e. in) deeds; there were all the Codes of Law and (all) Histories; there were Vedas embodied; they stayed on the Mandara (mountain); the mountain destroyed sins. In its midst (i.e. on it, there was) a very auspicious and extremely beautiful city. It was decorated with wells, lakes, groves and hundreds of palaces. It had seven ramparts, trenches, and jewelled upper stories. It had nine town-gates, and beautiful houses. Its lustre is matchless, and it is without heat and cold. In it is an auspicious seat, beautified with the feet of Vedas.

44b-48a. The very beautiful foot-stool is prepared with all the Upaniṣads. To the two auspicious feet are (attached) Purāṇas and Vedas for auspiciousness. A great meditating saint is seated there. His figure is (fair) like cow’s milk. His charming face has a gentle smile on it. The lord’s age is sixteen years. On his chest he has a rosary made of gems and rudrākṣa. He having the lustre of a karṇikāra (flower) wears a sacred thread. The god has (put on) good, jewelled ear-rings. He has put on a crown and golden garments. He has (put on) many ornaments, and has applied sandal of various kinds.

48b-54. On his left lap Pārvatī is seated, and he is looking at her face. The god embraces with his left arm the innocent, young goddess of a beautiful face adorned with fresh youth, decorated, beautiful in all limbs, and having a golden lotus, and raises her face with his right hand. With his left hand the god touches her head, and puts a mark (on it) with his right hand. With the fan of Oṃkāra Bhakti (i.e. Devotion) fans the gods. The charming Pūjā (i.e. worship) gives a garland with (i.e. of) flowers to the god. Jñapti (i.e. Cognition) and Virakti (i.e. Detachment)—the two ladies—hold the chowries in the form of abstract meditation. Samādhi (i.e. profound Meditation) works for him and Dhāraṇā (i.e. steady Abstraction of mind) is his wife. Checks and Restraints are said to be his servants. Prāṇāyāma (i.e. Suspending the breath) is his family-priest, and Pratyāhāra (i.e. Withdrawing the senses) is the holder of (the staff of) gold. Dhyāna (i.e. Meditation) is the superintendent of his wealth, so also Satya (i.e. Truth) is the general of his army. From Brahmā. to an insect all are the animals and Śiva is their lord.

55-62a. Dharma is the guardian of the animals, and Adharma (i.e. Unrighteousness) is a thief. They (i.e. the animals) are bound by the noose of illusion. Death at Kāśī is the liberator; and women of various sorts (serve) the god of gods, the lord of Umā (i.e. Pārvatī). A crore of beings would remember (i.e. remember) the lord of Umā who is like this. Having obtained desired pleasures they are honoured in Śiva’s heaven. Brahmā, Viṣṇu, great Indra are the door-keepers of his city. The two goddesses Lakṣmī and Sarasvatī are appointed to worship the threshold etc. on the ground. Gods and celestial women are the servants of the god of gods. All gods are the servants of the noble one. Ikṣvāku saw such a great mountain. Having saluted the sage Jābāli, he said these words: “O sage, I desire to go to the mountain. Are you capable of doing this (i.e. taking me there) or not? Formerly the wise Yama told me about the short (span of) my life. He told me (that I would stay in) many hells. How can there be absolution (for me)?”

Jābāli said:

62b-66a. By means of my divine eye I too knew all this about you. O brāhmaṇa, your life is (i.e. you will live) for ten (more) days. Though a learned man, you did not practise acts of piety. Due to lack of repeated practice, you have not practised penance. Due to the time being short you (have) not (practised) abstract meditation. You have not given gifts due to absence of wealth. You did not go through worship due to lack of capacity. You did not perform sacrifices. You did not do acts of pious liberality. (Therefore) you, having no life (i.e. having a short life), have no religious merit (to your credit). Due to (your) going against the time you did not resort to teaching or to holy places. So, to destroy that sin, no expiation is laid down; so also no religious practice leading to salvatation is laid down. (Hence,) O sage, stay (here) or go (back).

Ikṣvāku said:

66b-69a. O brāhmaṇa, by means of the religious practice which is performed after taking a pledge throughout life, the destruction of sins definitely takes place. Tell me about those religious practices by means of which my sin will perish; so also (tell me) due to which religious merit I shall go to heaven. O brāhmaṇa sage, be the refuge of me who am extremely afraid of hell. They say that looking after him who has sought one’s refuge, is the fruit of all religious practices.

Jābāli said:

69b-70. It is true that within a short time religious merit like that cannot be obtained. As long as falsehood has not ceased, it is possible to speak like that in dreams. There is a secret. It is not spoken (out) to anyone.

Ikṣvāku said:

71a. O sage, protect me who have sought your refuge. My time will pass out.

Jābāli said:

71b-75a. O brāhmaṇa, the secret enjoined by the sacred texts is greater (i.e. more valuable) than my life. (It is) the worship of Śiva’s Phallus. It was practised by Brahma and others. It destroys all sins. It destroys all calamities. It gives enjoyments and salvation. Therefore, perform the worship of Śiva. O sage, one should not violate the auspicious worship of the Phallus of Śiva. He who would disturb Śiva’s worship has cut off my head. It is preferable to be thrown on a spike, to be dragged to hell, to give up one’s life, but never violation of (Śiva’s) worship.

75b-83a. It is better to fall into fire, to bow down the head, to eat one’s own feces, but not the violation of Śiva’s worship. The food of him, the mean man, who eats without worshipping the lord, or if he enjoys or eats without uttering Śiva’s name, is said to be of sins of the form of food. The crores of the great sins of him who has in his words (i.e. on his tongue) the auspicious name Śiva are quickly reduced to ash. The man who goes round (the Phallus of) Śiva (keeping it to) the right and salutes him, would get the same religious merit which one would get by going round the earth. Having gone round (the Phallus) three times and saluted five times, and having again gone round (it) and saluted (it), one would be free from sins. He who would make or cause to make (the sound of) musical instruments in Śiva’s temple, is endowed with great power and is born as one who resorts to the Vedas. He who would make the three-eyed god, the god of gods, hear the Purāṇas (i.e. would recite Purāṇas before him), would, being free from all sins and being blessed, live in Śiva’s city. The god always speaks to him sweet words with regard.

Jābāli said:

83b-90. This excellent worship of Śiva has been told (to you) in brief. O brāhmaṇa, you are short-lived (i.e. the span of your life is short). Perform the worship of Śiva. Thrice, twice or even once (a day), for a watch, perform Śiva’s worship. Resorting to the stage of a recluse, resorting to a recluse, worship Śiva with the flowers of a recluse in the morning. A man should worship Śiva with coconut, lotuses, saugandhikas, nīpa-flowers, japā-flowers, punnāgas, karavīras, pāṭalas, tulasī, arkas, aparājitā, apamārgas, rudrajātadamana, with all these and with fruits and bilva leaves and dhūrtakas, droṇa-flowers, abundant śirīṣa flowers, dūrvū, korakas, nandyāvartas, sacred rice grains or mixed with sesamum only, or with other (materials of worship) according to his capacity. The worship of Śiva is also (done) with karṇikāra flowers and a golden dūrvā.

91-98a. He should not worship Śiva with buds or campaka flowers, except the lotus. All lotuses, leaves and sacred grains, darbhas and flowers should be kept separately from the silver and golden (flowers etc.). O king, cake cooked in oil would not be said to be stale. That which is with fruits and with acid and sour substances or with cumin-seeds should be sprinkled with water. (All) that, viz. roots, fruits, vegetables etc. sprinkled with water is not said to be stale. All that water, viz. water of a great river, water (flowing) from a mountain, or water in the form of a pool (i.e. in a pool), or well-water, or the water that would be (available) from a tank, a lake, well is holy water. It would not be stale. Water should not be procured at night. He should procure it by day. Water with sand (i.e. from a sandy place) should also be taken; for it is not stale. Knowing like this, you offer a worship to Śiva’s Phallus.

Śambhu said:

98b-100. That Ikṣvāku dear to brāhmaṇas (or to whom brāhmṇas were dear), thus addressed by the sage, became engrossed in Śiva’s worship (and) remained (in doing the worship) for eight days. When the ninth day arrived, he performed (Śiva’s) worship in the morning. When the time of his death came, he, having performed Śiva’s worship, offered his life as a present to the great lord (Śiva).

101-109a. Knowing him to be dead, Yama’s messengers who took (the dead) to Yama’s world came (there) and made efforts (to take him). Śiva’s messengers, like Vahnimukha, also came there. Among them there was a dispute: ‘This is mine, this is mine.’ Then, a messenger of Yama, with a noose in his hand hurt a messenger of Śiva. Then Vahnimukha got angry, and becoming of (i.e. turning himself into) a great body, seized a hundred messengers of Yama with one hand and squeezing their heads with another, cut them off like young grass. Then killing the messengers and taking Ikṣvāku (with him) he went (to Vīrabhadra). He presented him to the intelligent Vīrabhadra. He too (presented) him to Śiva. Then the great god said to him: “Every day for eight days, you offered a worship. Formerly you had censured me saying ‘Śiva’s Phallus is (just) the tip of a penis.’ Therefore, you will be one with a penis-like mouth. On its tip there will be a round hole. You will be without a tongue, a nose etc. (But) because of your having uttered my name formerly, you will be a speaker (also).” Due to the words of the lord he became like that in a moment.

Śambhu said:

109b-112. He who will every day listen to this excellent old account, will, being free from the bond of sins, become Śiva’s devotee. He would go to Śiva’s place and would also be a speaker. He who tells this story, would be like Śiva. Formerly a king named Adhīra, having told this story, went, though he had committed a sin, to heaven with his wife.

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