The Padma Purana

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

This page describes fruit of worship by justly procured, stolen and impaired material which is chapter 117 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 seventeenth 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 117 - Fruit of Worship by Justly Procured, Stolen and Impaired Material

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:

1-10. Rāmacandra, of a pleased mind, ate along with the best sages, Viṣṇu, the monkeys and the bears at the hermitage of Bhāradvāja. The sky was covered with clouds; breezes were blowing gently; in that forest, there was somewhere the excellent house of Sudeva. It had eight pillars; it was fashioned with golden strips; it was (decked) with gems and pearls; it had silver pitchers in it; it was made fragrant with sandal, camphor, musk and saffron; it had multitudes of mire and was covered with pieces.[1] Moonlight did not reach the walls in its middle part, and also they could not be seen by the sun (i.e. the sun’s rays also did not reach them), The entire floor in the house was sprinkled with excellent juice of flowers. The entire (portion on) the north was without a construction of a wall (i.e. without a wall). On every pillar there were pictures; its courtyard, measuring a hundred cubits had natural parts and was fashioned with crystal. There was a desire-yielding tree in the courtyard, and it covered a larger part of the courtyard by means of its shadow. There was a dense grove of plantain trees forming the entire hedge. With the grove of the plantain trees there was the hedge of ketaki grove. It was full of the cries of peacocks, and bees were sweetly humming in it. It had the cooing of pigeons and was graced with many parks. It was thronged with hundreds of mansions; it was resounding with the notes of intoxicated cuckoos. It had many trees which were graced with big gems hanging from their branches.

11-17. The quarters were filled with the sound of the songs of the female kinnaris. It was pleasing due to many gardens. (Nearby) there was the excellent bank of Gautamī. The abode of Bhāradvāja was auspicious and was having many excellences. It was full of many male and female servants (respectively) resembling Cupid and (his spouse) Rati. The auspicious abode of Bhāradvāja was full of various implements. Inside it was a whitewashed mansion, and there were eight orchards inside it. In the midst of them there was an extremely beautiful house. It was beautified with the palace-like abode of the great god on (all) the four sides. Each temple had graceful nocturnal instrumental music. It was just fashioned for the excellent heavenly women to rest (in it). Rāma moving out of the house of Bhāradvāja went accompanied by all to the great house in the middle of the forest. He entered it, the interior of which was covered with blankets; it had also separate seats (covered) with cloth; at the centre there was a throne; it had many seats for the sages.

18-21. Near the incomparable seat of the public reader of Purāṇas were the excellent seats for the king, the monkeys and the bears. Having seated the public reader of Purāṇas in the east, and then Vasiṣṭha and the best men, as well as Viṣṇu and the kings, he took a low seat. The sky was covered with clouds; the quarters were bright; the earth, with the seeds sown, was having good flowers. The courtyard was neither hot nor cold, had santāna flowers, and was fragrant with dama flowers. Looking at Śambhu, Rāma said (these) words: “(Please) tell (us) the story of Śaṅkara. O best sage, I who am hearing the excellent account of the great lord, which destroys a stream of sins, am not satisfied. Tell me what the great lord, surrounded by the host of gods, did in Gautama’s hermitage.”

Śiva said:

22-23. The son of Vāyu, seated with a great lute, asked Śiva; “Tell (me) what the fruit would be by worshipping the lord with materials brought (after) they are procured justly. (Tell me also) what fruit would accrue if they are offered after stealing, and when materials that are collected are impaired. O lord, tell me (about these) one by one. Give the answers (to these) questions quickly. What is the use of the story, O Śambhu?”

24-27a. Then the lord said to the monkey: “I shall tell everything to you. Listen attentively. That Gautama, having worshipped the unborn Sadāśiva with (materials) procured justly, obtained this splendour. Formerly a brāhmaṇa named Ākatha, Maṅkaṇa’s son, obtained as his chaste (wife) Suśobhanā. He was poor, full of pity, and without parents. He ate (every) sixth day. When, after having fasted for five days, he proceeded to eat, (just then) an ascetic came (there). The ascetic spoke sweet (words) to Ākatha: ‘I who have fasted for a month, stand (here) after having come to you to eat. I shall eat if you have (food). O sage, I do not have a desire to eat in another’s house.’”

Ākatha said:

27b-29. O best brahmaṇa [brāhmaṇa?], I do not eat for five days. On the sixth day my (turn to eat) food has come. Then I have to think what ought to be done. Come, I shall today wash your feet.

Then the meditating saint said, ‘Yes,’ and with his both feet being washed, desired to eat the food. He ate that food brought with ghee after it was cooked on the piece of a leaf of plantain tree. It was well furnished with wild articles; it (was) respectfully (served). Nothing was left of the food.

30-33. The ascetic Ākatha, seeing the sage to be pleased, was (himself) pleased along with his wife. The ascetic, having eaten, left. That Ākatha also, with his mind pleased, muttered (a hymn). With his wife he followed the way of the life of pigeons. The sage, with his wife, became ready for the expansion of his austerities. Having put the lord of Umā in Śiva’s Phallus on a seat, he worshipped him accompanied by his attendants. After putting the Phallus when he saw, he observed an unknown brāhmaṇa of an emaciated figure. The lord was naked, without feet, squint-eyed, a cripple with a withered arm, without ears. He recited Sāmans; he was well-versed in many sacred texts. He saw him who had come to his house.

34-36. Then Ākatha said (these) words to his wife Suśobhanā: “This brāhmaṇa of a loathsome dress is coming. Half the food should be given to him. Preserve half the food. When this day also passes, then, I think, on the sixth day you will not live for want of food. Tell me what you think?”

That Śobhanā said:

37. The (span of) life is written on the forehead. Nobody dies in between.

Ākatha said:

38-43a. Vīrabhadra had cut off the head of Sacrifice(?) of a fixed (span of) life and of a perpetual character, then what to say of human beings of a sinful nature? So if, avoiding (to give) him (food) you eat it, then I shall give him (my) food. I shall do according as you wish.

The wife said: “How shall I eat when you have not eaten? Have I formerly eaten (like this)? Listen to this another (thing). Food is the life of beings. This is actually seen by all living beings (i.e. men). Therefore, she who gives food is said to be the giver of life. Beings are produced from food; and since they grow (because of food), there is not greater gift than that of food. The gift of food is highly fruitful. The life of him who does not give to a being a drop of water sticking to the end of a shaking leaf of Aśvattha, is useless. Piety alone helps (a man) in the next world. Neither the wife nor the relatives.

43b-45a. The wife, the parents, the sons are helpful as long as a man’s life lasts (i.e. as long as he is alive. They are) not (real) kinsmen. Wealth, youth, friends (of a man live) here only. He, best of those practising piety, enjoys piety here and in the next world. What about us?”

Having heard these words of his wife, Ākatha, the treasure of kindness, gave, without any apprehension, the excellent food to him (i.e. that ascetic).

45b-50. ‘This is god Śiva, of many acts, who has come (here)’. Deciding like this, he washed his body—destroying sins—his feet up to his knees, his shanks and ankles below them. Then he made the brāhmaṇa sip water. Then Ākatha brought that brahmaṇa with crippled feet to his courtyard. He lifted him, of crippled feet, and made him sit on a seat offered to him. Ākatha, having worshipped the sage, fed him. In the meanwhile, some mad man came to the house. He took the man with the crippled feet and took him out of the house. He also burnt their house, and beat up the couple.

51-54a. The brāhmaṇa Ākatha who was beaten, quickly entered the burning house to take (out the representation) of the god. Then the best brāhmaṇa took (the representation of) the god whose worship was burnt, and coming out saw the heat on his face. Despising the worship that was (thus) burnt, and seeing (the representation of the god) with a burnt body, the pious one said to his wife: “Certainly my entire body should be rendered like that (i.e. should be burnt) as the worship of the great lord (is burnt).”

The crippled one said:

54b-55. Your worship done even afterwards will be fruitful, as when other materials are burnt, people give the material like those (as were burnt). In the same way, when (the materials of) worship are burnt, worship should be done like that (i.e. with fresh materials).

Ākatha said:

56-59a. O brāhmaṇa, nothing beneficial takes place by means of the worship which is done with stolen materials. So also, O brāhmaṇa, Śiva’s worship done with materials unjustly procured, does not give auspicious (things).

Saying so, Ākatha quickly started to burn his body. Then the mad man took the burnt Phallus and vanished in a moment. Then the crippled one having become Hara (i.e. Śiva) warded off Ākatha: “O brāhmaṇa, why are you dejected? I am the giver of boons. Ask for a boon.” Ākatha also asked for a very steady devotion for the feet of the lord.

Sūta said:

59b-61. Hearing this account, Rāma, surrounded by sages, was pleased. He saluted Bhāradvāja, and solicited his order to leave. Then the sage Bhāradvāja, being pleased, and having saluted Śambhu, the best sage Vasiṣṭha, Viṣṇu and the hosts of sages, dismissed them. They also went after saluting (Gautama).

The (sages) in the Naimiṣa (forest) said:

62. What did Rāma, of great lustre, along with all sages, -do? So also (what did) that Śambhu of great glory (do?)

Sūta said:

63-67a. Rāma, desiring to perform the monthly śrāddha of Kauśalyā on the next day, invited excellent brāhmaṇas almost like sages. Rāma, who was singly devoted, (also) invited Śambhu who knew the entire truth, Nārada, Romaśa, Bhṛgu and Viśvāmitra. He slept on a comfortable bed on the ground. When the next morning came, he, having bathed in the morning according to the proper rites, got prepared by cooks pure food, vegetables etc. He (got) prepared various agreeable foods (dishes) to be sucked and chewed; so also thirty-six (other) dishes fit to be eaten like cakes.

67b-71a. He (got) prepared sweetened milk of six kinds, and two hundred cooked vegetables. He kept ready three hundred varieties of uncooked and mixed (articles); so also kāla vegetables, and various (kinds of) fruits. So also Rāma got ready roots and bulbs and bark-garments. With his brothers and family priest he went to the river; and having bathed in the water of Sarayū, having offered oblations into the fire, and speaking words of welcome to the guests the king worshipped the deities. Having restrained his breath, and having decided upon the object he gave them the invitation.

71b-76. Rāma invited Romaśa, Nārada at the all-god sacrifice. He invited Śambhu, Bhṛgu and Kauśika at (the rite in honour of) divine mothers. Then having prepared a circle and having properly worshipped, he washed the feet (of the sages) with water given by Sītā. Having made those brāhmaṇas sip water he was about to go home. (At that time) a guest came (there). He was old. His figure was deformed. He was slim. His limbs were trembling. Similarly his feet and head were shaking. His (loose) skin was hanging. He was troubled by the excess of asthma. His cheeks had rheum of the eyes clinging to them. His beard was smeared with saliva. He said to king Rama: “I am the only brāhmaṇa that remains (unfed). Give food also to me who am old and weak.”

77-80. Rāma too, hearing his words, said (these) words to Lakṣmaṇa: “You wash his feet. I shall worship the brāhmaṇa”. The guest also spoke (these) words to Rāma who was absorbed (in the ritual): “I desire (to have) food (only) if you wash my feet. Do you insult me because (you think these) brāhmaṇas are superior to me? You do not know the method of performing a śrāddha as is practised by the great sages. If you insult me, then all brāhmaṇas are insulted. The śrāddha (would) be harmed and you will go to hell.”

81-88. Then Rāma himself washed the feet of the brāhmaṇa; and having made the brāhmaṇa sip water he took him into the house. Then Rāma having sipped water, himself gave him a seat. When the brāhmaṇas were seated on their seats, he controlled his breath, and having obtained (their) consent to the performance of his rite, he would throw (i.e. he threw) water with sesamum seeds, with (the accompaniment of) the hymn Apahata at the region of the door. Then he should throw it at the place where the vessels for the dead ancestors are kept, with (the utterance of the hymn) Udīratām. Then he should throw the water with the sacred rice grains with (i.e. by reciting) the Gāyatrī (hymn) at the place where vessels for the gods are placed. Then having sprinkled the entire (food) that is cooked, he should utter this hymn. Then having thought of the place of śrāddha as Gayā, and having reflected upon Viṣṇu, so also having meditated upon the Vasus and (his) dead ancestors. he should proceed with the śrāddha Then he should offer worship to all gods with grains of barley or rice. Then he should take along with sacred rice grains, two darbhas with their roots and tips joined. Touching the ground with his right knee, he should offer water into the hands of the brāhmaṇas. Then, he who offers the śrāddha, should offer a seat with (the utterance of these words) Purūravārdravāṇām devānām idamāsanam, and should request them.

89-97a. Then having made a respectful offering on the tips of the darbhas at the north, he should turn the pot making it lie with the face on the knot of the darbhas. Then he should make the vessel lie with its face upwards, and should sprinkle it with water and golden ornaments. He should put water into the pot in which the pavitra (darbhas) have been put, with (the hymn) Śam no devyā. He should also (recite the hymn in honour) of all gods as long as the rite enjoined by the rules goes on. He should put barley-grains into the pot to the accompaniment of the hymn Yavosi dhānyarājo vā. Then he should offer water-pots mixed with honey (i.e. in which honey is placed) and with sandal and flowers. Then the respectful offering should be made with the utterance of the words: ‘0 brāhmaṇa, this is a respectful offering to you’. Then he should ask (the brāhmaṇas): ‘May I invoke the gods’. Then saying Viśvedevāḥ; he should put the darbhas on the head of the brāhmaṇa. He should then mutter: ‘The Viśvedevas listen. May they come (here).’ Then having come and being seated, he should take the pot with the darbbas. Then having thrown the water from the main vessel on his right foot, he should put the water from the pot on the right hand of the brāhmaṇa in front of the pavitraka, to the accompaniment of the hymn Yādivyā. Then saying: ‘This respectful offering to you’ and collecting the water of the respectful offering in a pot, he should put that vessel containing the water used for the respectful offering somewhere.

97b-102a. Then having put water on their hands, he should worship them with barley-grains. Requesting them: ‘Worship, propitiate’, he, the giver of the water, having worshipped from the foot to the head, and repeating the hymn Gandhadvāreṇa, he should, likewise, worship the dead ancestors, with his sacred thread hanging down from his right shoulder. Then having invested a brāhmaṇa with a sacred thread, and with the darbhas with the sesamum seeds, he should, with his left knee put on the ground, offer him a seat. Then facing the south he should ask them about the appropriate moment. Then he should put the pot in the darbhas with their tips in the southern direction, in such a way that it lies on its face. Then having been tied with three darbhas he should make it lie with its face upwards.

102b-105a. Then having sprinkled (water) into the pots with two darbhas and sesamum seeds, he should put water to the accompaniment of the hymn Śam no devyā, and should put the sesamum seeds, uttering (the hymn) Tilosi. Then having offered sandal and flowers, he asks them: ‘Are you satisfied with the respectful offering?’ When they give the answer: ‘The respectful offering (is satisfactory)’ he should invoke his dead ancestors. Then, he should stand, and holding in his hand the respectful offering made of sesamum seeds, flowers and darbhas, he should offer the water of the respectful offering with the (utterance of the) hymn: Uśantastvā.

105b-106a. Then after that he should worship them, and should, as before, put the sacred thread so as to hang from his right shoulder. He should use a golden pot for (offerings to be made to) gods after having washed it.

106b-110a. He should use a silver pot for (oblations to be offered to) the dead ancestors, or as is available. In its absence a pot made of bell metal, not obtained from anyone else, is excellent. In its absence vessels made of palāśa leaves would be (used). But not a mediocre one. So also vessels made of leaves of plantain trees, mango trees, jambū leaves, punnāga leaves, parāka leaves, leaves of campā, madhūka, kuṭaja, so also leaves of mātuluṅga should be given by men at a śrāddha. Having brought the food in a ladle and ghee in hands, he should ask the brāhmaṇa about the spreading of the food after wearing the sacred thread over his right shoulder and under the left arm-pit. (He should say to the brāhmaṇa:)

110b-112a. ‘I shall put (the oblation) into fire’. The reply (would be:) ‘Do so.’ Then having spread it out he should wear the sacred thread (in the usual way) and having sprinkled (water) should collect it. Saying Somāya pitṛmate svadhā namaste he should offer (oblation) to Soma. (He should also say:) Yamāya pitṛmate svadhā namaḥ.

112b-115a. Then he should offer the second oblation and then having scattered sacred rice grains (he should say:) Agnaye kavyavāhanāya svadhā namaḥ. Then having offered oblation, and wearing the sacred thread over the right shoulder, he should surround the brāhmaṇas and go. Then he should repeatedly drop it into the vessels meant for the dead ancestors. Then he should wash the vessel meant for the piṇḍas and the ladle. Then he should arrange the vessels.

115b-116a. Then to the right side of the vessels he should offer food. He (i.e. Rāma) gave all (kinds of) food, edible vegetables.

116b-117. Then a very old guest, looking here and there, said to the calm Rāma: “Quickly salute me. I am hungry. I shall eat with your (i.e. after you) order.”

118-12la. Rāma spoke (these) words: “O sage, wait for a moment. I shall now quickly salute the deities and the dead ancestors.” Saying so Rāma offered the food in the vessels. He put the darbhas on the pavitraka meant for gods in such a way that their tips faced east and north, and those darbhas on the pavitraka (i.e. the two darbhas placed on the ground) meant for the dead ancestors in such a way that their tips faced west and south. They offer food and darbhas, barley grains and sesamum seeds looking upon them as ‘the earth’.

121b-125. He should first offer that, saying Ye devāḥ, to the gods, which is touched by the thumb of the brāhmaṇa to the accompaniment of these words: Idam Viṣṇuḥ. Then he should offer it to the dead ancestors and then to the guest. Then saying Devatābhyo he should offer the prayer repeated before and after eating. Having muttered the Gāyatri(-hymn) three times, and with his sacred thread over his left shoulder and under the right arm-pit, he should face the east; then wearing the sacred thread over his right shoulder and under the left arm-pit he should say, ‘Hereafter (please) eat madhutraya’. When the brāhmaṇas have eaten, he should repeat a hymn that kills the demons, and should cause the food and (other) eatables to be served. I shall (now) tell in brief what great wonder that brāhmaṇa who was the guest, performed.

126-132a. With one mouthful he swallowed the entire (food) that was there in the pots; and said (to Rāma): “Give me that much food which would be enough for oblations to the vital airs. Why are you engaged in (performing) the śrāddha rite, if you are unable to give this much? O Rāma, if you are unable to give (food) to me alone, then why are you intent upon giving to many (brāhmaṇas)? Deeds done rashly are not (properly) accomplished. All (the varieties of food) prepared by you are not enough even for making an offering to my vital airs. Tell me how you will give food to me and also to these (brāhmaṇas).” The hero Rāma said to him: “You eat according to your pleasure.” Saying so, Rāma observed that very wonderful deed of him. Then calling Śambhu, he said: “You spread out (i.e. serve the food). I think that you are my father and Śivā, Pārvatī is my mother. I think Bhavānī is Annapūrṇā and the highest goddess.”

132b-142. That Pārvatī said (these) words: “I shall give him sufficient (food).” Then Umā (i.e. Pārvatī) brought a bell-metal-vessel full of boiled rice and adorned. With (i.e. in) a golden ladle she brought fragrant and bright boiled rice. “Let this be inexhaustible for him”, saying so she gladly gave once (only) the boiled rice on the right hand of the brāhmaṇa. He, with his head trembling, looked up. He had his hand stretched out. “Taking the boiled rice in the hand, give it to me. Is it sweet and well-cooked?” Śambhu’s wife (i.e. Pārvatī) said to him: ‘Eat from your hand, then (only) I shall give.” Then the brāhmaṇa again ate the food that was (placed) on his hand. Knowing that was inexhaustible, he stretched out the other hand. The goddess put the boiled rice on that hand. The chaste one gave the cooked, inexhaustible food to other brāhmaṇas (also). Then that brāhmaṇa, having seen that inexhaustible boiled rice on both his hands, stretched out another (i.e. a third) hand; and he said: “Give me excellent food, with soup and ghee.” Then that goddess Śivā, dear to Śambhu, gave the inexhaustible (boiled rice) to him. Whatever the chaste lady gave was all inexhaustible. (But) again and again another (i.e. a new) hand was produced. Thus having produced a thousand hands he stopped. The brāhmaṇa said to her: “Give me a mouthful of water. O good lady, you have satisfied me. Neither Rāma nor Sītā has satisfied me.”

Śambhu said:

143. Now Rāma has given you; Sītā has given you; I too have given you. What full (food) should be given to you hereafter. Tell that to me.

The brāhmaṇa said:

144-147. I am satisfied. More should not be given to me. As he knew that there was food on his hand, it somehow did not fall down. Seated (there) he thought a long time: ‘How is it that I have (but) one hand? This is prepared for my enjoyment, and not for any other act of mine. Therefore, all this of another’s activity will be empty.’ Determining like this with his mind, the guest besmeared his body with (the food). That wonder took place when all gods were watching. Knowing that the brāhmaṇas were pleased, Rāma who knew the highest truth and who had a ladle in his hand, duly asked them: “Are you satisfied?’

148-153. The excellent brāhmaṇas (said:) “We are satisfied.” He should, having scattered the food to the accompaniment of hymns, and facing the south, place the piṇḍa near the vessel. There only he should give mouthful (of water) to the brāhmaṇas. They threw their mouthfuls into the vessels of leaves in which remnants (of the food) were kept. Those brāhmaṇas entered the house without the guest. The guest said: “O king, I shall sip the water outside (only). O Rāma, I cannot get up. Give me your hand.” Then Rārna gave his hand. (But) the best brāhmaṇa did not get up. Then Hanūmat also gave him his strong hand. Then taking the best brāhmaṇa with his other hand, the lord of the monkeys dragged him. The brāhmaṇa said with a loud cry:

The brāhmaṇa said:

154-160. Oh, clearly my hand is being cut off. Lift me by holding at any other (place) than that.

Then he (i.e. Hanūmat) covered (i.e. tied) his back up to his head with his tail, and forcibly ran over the ground. But the brāhmaṇa did not move. Then the brave monkey, cutting the ground with his feet, put both his feet on his head. The house became shattered; (and) all the brāhmaṇas stood outside. Then that Hanūmat came out along with that old brāhmaṇa. He put that old brāhmaṇa on a seat. Bringing water for the brāhmaṇa in an earthern pot, Jāmbavat said (to him): “O brāhmaṇa, you should take clean water along with the pot. Sītā would wash the body, and Lakṣmaṇa will give (i.e. pour) water.” Then Jāmbavat told Rāma all that the brāhmaṇa had said. Rāma ordered his younger brother and his wife to wash (the body of) the brāhmaṇa. Then Lakṣmaṇa brought water to wash the brāhmaṇa’s body.

161-165. Then the king washed his entire body as he would wash an image. Then by Rama’s advice the two (i.e. Lakṣmaṇa and Sītā) did just like that. Then the guest threw his mouthful on the face of Sītā. She, having ornaments (on her person) was covered with water. Then that chaste lady cleaned the brāhmaṇa’s face full of phlegm and saliva. Again she washed, and his nose gave out phlegm. Then having made the brāhmaṇa sip water, Lakṣmaṇa said to him, “Get up”. The brāhmaṇa said: “It is not possible.” Then Hanūmat also came (there). The guest said to him: “I, a brāhmaṇa guest, am troubled by Hanūmat. Some time back while lifting me, the monkey dropped me down.”

166-170. Then Jāmbavat said to him: “My body is soft like the down. I shall hold you. O brāhmaṇa, you will not have any harm.” Saying so, Jāmbavat lifted the brāhmaṇa after supporting him with both his arms. Bringing him to the verge of the place occupied by the brāhmaṇas, he put down the sage. Then Rāma went round the best brāhmaṇas keeping them to his right. Blessed by the excellent brāhmaṇas he gave them tāmbūla and saluting, along with his brothers their feet, said: “O Sītā, you have not washed the feet of this guest. There is dirt at the couple of shanks of him. His face also is full of dirt. Wash his face properly. The brāhmaṇa cannot stand dirt.”

Sītā said:

171a. It was properly washed. (The dirt) has again come out.

Rāma said:

171b-174. Again wash off the dirt. Otherwise it would be my fault.

Then Sītā, having done like that, remained silent. That brāhmaṇa, highly enraged, said to Rāma and Sītā: “O best king, Sītā should support my feet, you should support my hands, and let Bharata fan me. Let Lakṣmaṇa dress the multitude of (i.e. my profuse) hair. Let Śatrughna remove (i.e. cleanse) the phlegm on my body with his own garment.”

Sūta said:

175-182a. Then they did all that in the case of the guest as was told by him. The brāhmaṇas, men, monkeys and demons were amazed. Goddess Pārvatī and Śambhu looked at him with the knitting of their eyebrows (i.e. with frowns). Then the guest and Śambhu spoke mentally. The guest holding a conch, a disc, a mace, wearing a yellow garment, with his entire body adorned and very bright, was pleased. That Śambhu who had three eyes, who resembled pure crystal, who was adorned with all ornaments, who was (bright) like a crore of suns, who had put on a crown, who was the treasure of compassion, and who was formerly propitiated, became pleased. Sadāsiva holding the hand of the disc-holder (i.e. Viṣṇu) got up. Rāma who was very righteous, and whose body was horripilated, and whose eyes were full of joy, fell (i.e. prostrated) on the ground like a staff. His brothers, lying on the ground like staffs, saluted him (i.e. Śiva). Śiva, having raised Rāma, embraced him, smelt his head and spoke sweet words to Rāma having lotus-like eyes.

Śiva said:

182b-183a. I am pleased, ask for a boon which is difficult to be had even by Brahmā and others. I have nothing to receive from you. You ask for a boon. Do not delay.

Śrī Rāma said:

183b-187a. O lord of the worlds, I have nothing to ask for. Now I have (in my possession) the kingdom of the earth. Heaven is secured through (one’s) deeds. I have devotion through seeing your feet. I am enjoying good health, (as) you see. That Sītā (my wife) is the best among women. I have subjugated all kings. My subjects are endowed with righteousness. O you imperishable one, due to your arrival I am glad. Yet I shall ask for something. Let my devotion for you be stable. So also, O god, O lord, stay in my house for three years in this form and expounding all duties.

Śiva said:

187b-192. Let it be so, O Rāma. Everything will be possible for you.

Then the disc-holder (i.e. Viṣṇu) said to the lotus-eyed Rama: “O noble one, ask for the boon that you desire. I am pleased with you.” Śrī Rāma said (these) words: “I have nothing to be solicited. Whatever I wanted to have, I have had it from Śambhu. All else has (already) been said. Yet, O Viṣṇu, I ask for one (thing). Always be pleased (with me).” Then Viṣṇu said to Sītā: “I am now pleased with you. Ask for a boon. I shall grant it.” Then Sītā said (these) words: “Before (some) time my husband has asked for a boon. I have no other boon (to seek from you). If you willingly grant (one), then let my mind (always) turn away from another man (than my husband). O brāhmaṇa, O lord, my salutation to you.”

193-197. Then all the sages saluted the two excellent deities. He then said to Rāma: “(Now), eat along with your brothers. With the goddess (Pārvatī) I shall stay in your charming, secluded mansion. Let Viṣṇu who does all things, and who is accompanied by the daughter of the ocean (i.e. Lakṣmī), stay in one mansion, O Rāma, for he is very greedy.” Then the revered sage Vasiṣtha sat in front of the two in a clean, great house, rich with seats and containing many vessels. Other sages and kings also sat according to their (seniority in) ages. Then king Rāma, along with his brothers, made them sit on a soft, even seat.

198-205a. Rāma, comforting his servants led by Hanūmat, said: “You should stand round about. I shall eat afterwards.

(This will not be) in a different manner.” Then they all gave them respectful offerings one by one. All those who were Rāma’s attendants, also ate (food). Giving them tāmbūla etc. (Rāma) fed the chief monkeys and others. Then the lotus-eyed Rāma, after they all had eaten (food), gave food to the helpless, the blind, the poor so also to the beasts, birds and animals, and started offering the sandhyā (prayer). Then the king offered his sandhyā (prayer) and muttered (the hymns), and having saluted them occupied the throne. That Rāma, the descendent of Raghu, being waited upon by the citizens and inhabitants of the country, shone, when in the assembly, as god (Indra), the lord of Śacī, surrounded by all gods. He executed all the work of (the administration of) the kingdom along with his brothers; (then) Rāma, (calling) each one by his name gave leave to all. He also dismissed his brothers and other monkeys.

205b-207. Then the very lustrous Vasiṣṭha said (these) words to Rāma: “O Rāma, do not forget the duty that you have to perform in the morning. The venerable lord of Ambikā, the lord of the worlds, Śambhu is seated there. The glorious one should be diligently remembered and saluted.” Saying, “All right”, the king (i.e. Rāma) saluted his preceptor, and gave him leave; and thinking of the lord of lords, he resorted to his wife.

The sages said:

208. O preceptor, tell us what Rāma, the best among the intelligent, did after having got up in the morning. We have a curiosity to listen to it.

Sūta said:

209. Then seeing Śambhu, Rāma said to him: “(Please) narrate the tale of Śaṅkara. O best sage, I am not (fully) satisfied with (the account of) the greatness of Śiva, which destroys the stream of sins, (though) I have been hearing it.”

Śambhu said:

210-217. Now I shall tell you the reply given by the lord to the remaining question. Those who wait upon the deity with materials procured unjustly, become deformed, as (for example) a demon, named Rūpaka, propitiated Śaṅkara with wealth earned unjustly. He made a bell to please the lord by (sp ending) that wealth only. His son was known as Sampāti. He worshipped Śaṅkara with wealth earned unjustly. Both of them died one day. They went to Śiva’s heaven. Vīrabhadra spoke to them: “O Rūpaka, you offered worship with wealth that was unjustly earned; you also made a bell etc. Due to that conduct you will be deformed and will be (born as) a thief. Clearly due to not listening to the uttarance of Śiva’s name, his ears would perish due to the sound (of the name) and he would not see (the lord). By this much, O lord, you have properly offered the worship. Therefore, you will have properly offered the worship. Therefore, you will have devotion”. Thus Vīrabhadra directed the attendant named Anaśana, wandering somewhere. The two, who were reduced to that state, stayed in Śiva’s heaven.

Śambhu said:

218-223. I shall now tell (you) the story about the impaired materials of worship which the great lord told Hanūmat: O Rāma, listen to the account of each of the goblin-attendants of Śiva. I shall also tell you (about) the ripening of act ions.

Śiva who was asked by Hanūmat to narrate (the account of) the attendants with impaired bodies said: “Listen to what is s aid about him who is a knower, and who will knowingly offer impaired materials to the lord: He has perspiration on his entire body; for all the time he has perspiration on his body; his garments are wet due to perspiration; his body has a small stream brought about by perspiration; drops of perspiration fall from the tip of his nose. He is seen to be unfit for touch. Formerly, he, while perspiring, propitiated the lord. I shall tell you a historical account about this:

224-230a. There was a brāhmaṇa peasant named Cekitāna. Everyday he had agricultural produce after having bathed in the morning. When the time of mid-day came, the brāhmaṇa muttered (a hymn). He then said to his wife: ‘Quickly bring me food.’ With the food she brought, he who always perspired and who was tormented by the sun, speedily worshipped Śiva with sandal, flowers, sacred rice grains full of (his) perspiration. When the evening came, he, with his body washed and looking very handsome, worshipped the lord of gods with means (i.e. materials) available in the season. The very intelligent one died and went to Śiva’s heaven. Vīrabhadra also said to him: ‘Be Śiva’s attendant (named) Svedila. Formerly you worshipped Śambhu with materials touched by your perspiration. You were always full of perspiration. Therefore, you become the attendant (called) Svedila.’”

Śambhu said:

230b-231. O Rāma, thus ordered by Vīra (i.e. Vīrabhadra) he became an attendant. O noble one, see this Ghaṇṭāmukha. He was a vaiśya named Vibhāvasu in his former existence. He was pious. He was a great donor. Everyday he fed brāhmaṇas. He practised religious rites. In the morning he saluted and worshipped Śiva with flowers. He smeared a small (portion of the ground) with cowdung; and having worshipped the lord and offered him a lotus etc. he sounded his impaired bell.

Rāma said:

232. How (i.e. due to what) was his bell impaired?

Śambhu said:

233-236. Formerly there was a stout (person) known as Soma. His son, called Manda, was ten years old. He had put kulmāṣa grains cooked in fire into a bell, O king; and he had eaten them. Therefore, it had become impaired. Trying to seize that vaiśya he said these (words). The vaiśya himself cleaned (other) materials but (not) the bell. Due to his using it (without cleaning it) he contracted sin, and so became the attendant Ghaṇṭāmukha.

Rāma said:

237. When the materials of worship were purified, it was also purified. Then how could it cause sin? It is properly said that the purifier of materials is for purifying the materials(?).

Śambhu said:

238. In the ordinary parlance there will be none who will not be devoted to you. He will go to Śiva’s place. The narrator also would be like that.

Sūta said:

239-242. He who narrates this story, will be like him on the earth. This most secret (account) would give the knowledge about Śiva. O brāhmaṇas, I have told you this great (account) helping (you) to lead an auspicious life. He who listens to it devoutly, is honoured in Śiva’s heaven. To the reader of the Purāṇa one should give a garment, a cow, golden ornaments, fertile land according to one’s capacity. He who recites or listens to this dialogue between Śiva and Rāghava destroying the entire stream of sins, goes to the highest place.

Footnotes and references:


?????? śakaloparisaṃvṛta“”—this half of verse 4 is obscure.

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