The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the sinner vidhrita goes to shiva’s abode which is chapter 111 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 eleventh 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 111 - The Sinner Vidhṛta Goes to Śiva’s Abode

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Śrī Rāma said:

1-2. O preceptor, tell me the importance of the name of the great lord, the importance of worship, of salutation, so also the greatness of sight, the importance of giving water, so also the importance of offering incense, so also of lamp and sandal, O best one.

Śambhu said:

3-8. It is not possible (to describe) in detail the importance of each of the names. I shall tell (it) to you in brief. O Rāma, listen carefully. Formerly in the Tretā age, there was a powerful king by name Vidhṛta. When his father died, he, even though a child, was consecrated (as the king) on the kingdom. He kept near him all those of his age. He did not like those who were old and learned. He liked the young men who were wicked, who did acts which ought not to be done, who were adept in bringing beautiful women (to the king) and were skilled in acts of stealing. He liked those who were engaged in buffoonery, and who were skilled in dancing. Those who knew the charms of subjugation, also those who knew (the use of) herbs, who were given to singing and dancing, who were rogues, and who knew gambling, were dear to him. That king deserted those who did what his father liked.

9-14. Having had consultations with those wicked ones, he did his acts. He joined these and other wicked (men). Depending upon the words of these (wicked men), he abandoned the advice of the wise. Those who put their fists on the chests and who howled, who knew the essential things about the characteristics of the pudendum muliebre (i.e. the private parts of women), and who were proficient in the technique of sexual enjoyment, were dear to him. That kingdom then became bereft of political wisdom. As elephants, horses, chariots, camels, goats, cows, buffaloes etc. were taken away from here and there, all of them perished. At that time no gems other than the land were seen in that city. He (i.e. Vidhṛta) being vanquished by another king, fled. Having gone to a great forest, he made a mountain the inaccessible place (for his enemies). There, with a few followers, he resorted to the way of life of a thief.

15-21. Having, at various places, shown to thieves and cheats by disposition gold, garments, corn etc. and gems, sandal etc., he made them bind (the possessors) in order to take away their wealth. When he did not get food, he prepared food with the flesh of cows and buffaloes. If he did not get food, he got prepared the meal with the flesh of horses and human beings. Such was his conduct, bereft of offering the prayers (thrice a day) etc. He had only one minister, a demon by name Surāpa. He always ordered him, ‘bring, strike,’ He, the abode of cruelty and surrounded by a thousand men, thus followed the opinion of the demon and seized men coming from many countries. Having come to know about the women liked by him, he abducted them. Having enjoyed them for some time, he ate their flesh. Thus killing men and women he ruled unbearably.

22-28. The mean man thus ruled for a thousand years. Then his body became loose due to old age, and he was deformed due to folds (on his body). The place was without any living being all around (as far as the area of) ten yojanas. Then the day of the death of the noble king(?) came. When the time of his death came, all his followers remained by him, surrounding him who had bathed and lay on the ground. The minister Surāpa said “Order me as to what is to be done.” Then the king, weak like that, (almost) dead, was afflicted. His life had become weak below the navel. (So) he uttered (these) words with difficulty: “O lord of demons, for all the time you strike, take away forcibly, snatch away.” Saying so, he died. The messengers of Yama came (there). Intent on beating (him) they tried to tie him in a wonderful way. Their bonds and nooses were reduced to powder. Also their weapons and staffs were pounded just by the touch of his body. Such wonder took place.

29-34. Then Death himself came there and bound him with his noose. Seeing even the noose of Death cut off, Mṛtyu thought: ‘I have seen the death of all mortals but nowhere like this’. When Death was thinking like this, the brave Jvālāvaktra holding a dart and being ordered by Vīrabhadra, suddenly came there. Then seeing Jvālāvaktra, Death quickly ran (away). Seeing that Death running away, Jvālāmukha, (i.e. Jvālāvaktra), the brave one, (said to him): “O thief, stop, stop. Where are you going? A thief gets freed from his sin only on his being put to the gallows.” Speaking thus to Death, he pierced by his dart (the body of) Death. Making the dart pass through his shoulder, and having tied his messengers with a rope, and with their feet tied in chains, he took them and went to the king. Putting him into an excellent aeroplane, well-decorated with songs and musical instruments, he approached Vīra(bhadra). He reported everything to him.

35-41a. Vīrabhadra too, reported all that to Śiva whose form was unlimited, who was being served by many hosts of sages and gods led by Brahmā and Viṣṇu, and who was accompanied by Pārvatī. After saluting Śiva he also reported to him about Mṛtyu on the spike. The powerful Vīrabhadra, the universal soul, remained silent. Seeing Agnyānana (i.e. Jvālāvaktra), Śiva reproached him (and said to him): “O attendant, how did you do this rash act? How are you not afraid of Death, the superior Yama? Tell me all that truly.” Having saluted him, that Vahnimukha (i.e. Jvālāvaktra) who was very angry, seeing Death, danced with joy and said: “(This) Death has just committed a theft. Therefore, I put him on the spike.” Śiva too got Death freed and made all his messengers sound.

4lb-45. Seeing Death Śiva said: “My name remains with them at the time of their death. I give my heaven only to those who have (i.e. utter) my name with some letters fewer or more. It is true, he uttered the word Prahara (i.e. ‘strike’). They say that the word Hara (i.e. Śiva) having just the word Pra added to it, gives (i.e. leads to) the (highest) position. Salute these in the vicinity who are muttering (my name) and tell my words to Yama. Those who offer salutation, have restrain, narrate (the glory of Śiva), wait upon (Śiva), resort to his service, become his servants, recite the sacred texts, recite the hymn (in honour of Śiva) of five letters, or recite the Śatarudriya hymn, are not to be considered (by you). He, who (utters) my name, he who wears rudrākṣa (rosary), he who applies sacred ash, he who explains the Purāṇas before me, even if he has (committed) all sins, I rule over him. It is not at all the authority of Yama (to punish them).

46-53. Also those men who, though they have (committed) sins, though they are cheats, though they have used others’ garments and have enjoyed others’ wives, are intent upon dying at Vārāṇasī, or who die on Śrīśaila, are not to be considered (by Yama). Even lice, gad-flies, bugs, beasts etc., insects and ants, serpents, scorpions, pigs, that die at Kāśī, reach Śaṅkara. O Death, having saluted him who uttering his name, would meditate in the temple of his heart upon Śiva who has three eyes, who is Virūpākṣa (i.e. has an uneven number of eyes), whose eyes are the triad (of the Vedas), who has the moon, the sun and fire as his eyes, get away by my order.” Having heard what was said by Śiva, Death praised Śaṅkara: “Salutation to you, the lord of deities; salutation to you, the form of gods; salutation to you, the omniscient one; salutation to you, the lord of animals.” Then god Mahādeva (i.e. Śiva) said to Death: “Choose a boon. I am pleased with this eulogy.” Death (then) asked for a boon: “O lord, O Śaṃkara, protect me, a sinner belonging to you.” Saying “All right” the lord said to Death: “O child, you (can) go.” He too went to Yama’s world, and told the entire (account) to Yama.

Śambhu said:

54. He who would every day listen to this auspicious, excellent account, is freed from all sins, and goes near Śaṅkara.

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