The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the contents of the section in brief which is chapter 1 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 first chapter of the Uttara-Khanda (Concluding Section) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 1 - The Contents of the Section in Brief

1-2. Om, salutation to Śrī Viṣṇu. Om salutation to Śrī Vedavyāsa.

Om, having saluted Nārāyaṇa, so also Nara, the best among men, and goddess Sarasvatī and Vyāsa, one should narrate the (god’s) glory. Salutation to the preceptor who opened the eyes of one who is blind due to the darkness of ignorance with the pencil of the collyrium of knowledge.

The sages said:

3-4. O best among the learned, we have heard the Pātālakhaṇḍa full of various accounts and giving great joy, which you narrated (to us). Now we desire to hear what remains (i.e. the remaining portion) of the Padma (Purāṇa), and which augments devotion to the lord. O preceptor, please narrate it.

Sūta said:

5-7a. O sages, listen, all of you, to what Śaṅkara told Nārada who asked him, and which is the knowledge that destroys sins. Once Nārada, dear to the lord, while roaming over the worlds went to Mandara mountain to ask Śambhu some secret. There he saluted the lord of Umā who was seated. Directed by Śiva’s order, he sat on a seat in front of the lord. He asked the god the same as you, the best ones, have asked.

Nārada said:

7b-8. O lord, O god of gods, O lord of Pārvatī, O preceptor of the world, tell me that by which the knowledge about the truth of lord can be had.

Śiva said:

9-15. O Nārada, listen to the Purāṇa which I shall tell you, which is like the Vedas and hearing which a man is free from all sins. There is no doubt about it. First there is the glory of Uttara. Then there is the story of the Parvata (Mountain). Then there is the narration of Haridvāra; then there is the account of (Gaṅgā) rising from Viṣṇu’s feet. I shall also describe the holy place of Prayāga, so also the (holy place called) Aśvamedhika. I shall tell (you) about the greatness of Tulasī; so also (I shall describe) the conch, the disc, the mace etc. Then there is the account of Dvārakā. (Then there are) the rules about a great festival. (So also) there is the description of the religious merit obtained from (bathing in) a lake, so also (from bathing in) a reservoir of water, a well, or a cistern; (there is the description of the views of) the Gāṇapatya, of the holy texts of the Vaiṣṇavas; (then) there is (the description) of the greatness of repairs (of old temples etc.); of visiting Gaṅgā; of the greatness of Sābhramatī; so also of the banks (of rivers etc.), of the duties of women and śūdras and of what (course) should be followed by those who are forsaken.

16-19. In the dialogue between Umā and Maheśa The Thousand Names of Viṣṇu are told. That was brought from Kailāsa by Nārada, the brāhmaṇa. It should be recited with a concentrated mind to the people, brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and especially to women and śūdras. It is holy; it is pure; it increases (the span of) life; it should be especially recited; (thereby a man) would obtain intimate union with Viṣṇu. That hymn containing the thousand names of Viṣṇu is known in the world to be purifying. It (i.e. the Uttarakhaṇḍa) will tell about the places of the twenty-four images.

20-24a. I shall tell about their parents and their interior. I shall also tell you about their family, their Vedas, their deeds; so also about their wives, as I see these from my knowledge. (I shall tell you) about the importance of the twenty-four Ekādaśī days and Dvādaśī days. (I shall narrate to you) the greatness of Godāvarī; so also about putting on (one’s person) the conch and the disc. Brāhmaṇas especially should put these on with a rite. O sage, I shall describe to you the importance of Yamunā, so also of Gaṇḍikā. I shall undoubtedly tell you about the greatness of Vetravatī. (I shall tell you) about the religious merit due to (a visit to) the holy place called Gilli. I shall describe to you the Śilā Kṣetra which is great.

24b-28. All that I shall describe in the Khaṇḍa called Uttara. (I shall narrate to you) the greatness of Arbudeśvara and the holy places etc. that are there. (I shall similarly tell you about) the importance of Sarasvatī and the holy place called Siddhakṣetra. (I shall tell you about) the rise of Padmanābha and the wearing of Tulasī(-leaves etc.). (I shall tell you about) the greatness of gopīcandana, and about the worship of the throne. (I shall describe to you) the greatness of Nirañjana (i.e. Śiva); so also about the vision of knowledge; so also about offering of lights there, and especially of incense. (I shall tell you about) the importance ofKārtika and also that of Māgha. I shall tell you about the greatness of all vows (performed) duly.

29-33a. O Nārada, I shall tell you about (the holy place of) Jagannātha, the best one, seeing whom men are freed from the sin of the murder of a brāhmaṇa etc. (Please) listen; whatever is performed and experienced there gives (i.e. leads one to) the other world. (Even) brāhmaṇas, well-versed in the Vedas eat there; then what to say about other people, O you of a good vow! Here there are twenty-five serpents and various female dancers also. On seeing Jagannātha (the sins due to murders such as) the murder of a brāhmaṇa, the murder of a child or that of a cow, all perish. A being (just while) uttering (the name) Jagannātha is free from great sins.

33b-36. I shall tell you about Viṣṇu’s worship with flowers, and its importance also. I shall tell you all that—the description of the mountains; so also the description of countries; so also the supreme greatness of worshipping the cow etc.; so also about the worship of the siddhas; (I shall also tell you about) the religious merit which is obtained when boiled rice is given (to brāhmaṇas). (I shall tell you about) the gift of the interior of a Kadalī; the gift of a tree. After that (I shall tell you about) the gift of a horse; the gift of an elephant; so also about the supreme importance of muttering (a hymn); so also about the knowledge of hymns and initiation; about the characteristics of a preceptor.

37-43. In (the Uttarakhaṇḍa) the characteristics of a disciple, as the public readers of the Purāṇas know them, are also told. (So also it contains) the importance of the water (flowing) from the feet (of the superiors), and (the information about) śrāddha etc. offered to the dead ancestors; (it also contains information about) the gift to the manes on the days (fixed for making offerings to them); so also the rite of giving sapphires. (It also contains information about) the lunar and solar eclipses and (about) what gifts should be (given on these days). (It tells about) the importance of the gift of a Śālagrāma (stone); so also of flowers and sandal; about the time of the tenth, eleventh and twelfth (days) and about the days sacred to Viṣṇu. (It contains information about) their greatness and the names of Rudra etc. (It also gives the information about) the greatness of Mathura, and (about) Kurukṣetra etc. (It also contains) the account of the construction of the bridge (over the sea); so also (the account) of Śrī Rāmeśvara. (It also contains the information about) the greatness of Tryambaka, and (about) the fruit of (staying at) Pañcavaṭī. O best brāhmaṇa, listen to the importance of the Daṇḍaka forest. (It tells about) the greatness of the Daṇḍaka forest and about the cause of the birth of Nṛsiṃha. (It tells about) the greatness of the Gītā; so also of the Bhāgavata, so also the importance of Kālindī (i.e. Yamunā), and the description of Indraprastha.

44-50. (It contains) the life of Rukmāṅgada and (tells about) the greatness of a devotee of Viṣṇu. O best brāhmaṇa, listen; if a devotee of Viṣṇu is fed but once, the man who feeds him gets that fruit which he would obtain by giving the entire earth along with ocean. The sāttvika are endowed with goodness; the rājasa are said to be lustful. The tāmasa are described to be vicious. The characteristics of the devotees of Viṣṇu are also described (in it). O Nārada, I shall tell you about the greatness, as described, of the brāhmaṇas who are devotees of Viṣṇu and who are intent upon practising the way of life as told in the Vedas. O best sage, then I shall tell you about the sin of those who, through greed for wealth, are engaged in censuring Viṣṇu. (I shall tell) you the account of Jvālāmukhī, and (about the importance of) seeing the Himālaya. I shall describe to you the region where Brahmā was born. I shell tell you about the origin of kāyasthas; so also the account of Gayā. (I shall describe to you) the nature of Gadādhara and (give you) the description of (the river at Gaya called) Phalgu.

51-56a. In the Padma (Purāṇa), the importance of these is seen (and) is also heard (from it). (It also contains) the nature of great knowledge, and the glory of Kalki. (It contains the description of) Rāmagayā and Pretaśilā. I shall tell you the account of Brahmā and Śilā; so also the account of Brahmā’s origin, and of the bunyan tree called Akṣaya. Great religious merit (accrues) by (performing) a śrāddha there. I shall tell (you) all about that. (I shall tell you about) the worship of Śiva done by the noble Viṣṇu. Even now Mahārudra mutters (the names of) Anāmaya (i.e. Viṣṇu). After that, O Nārada, I shall describe to you the greatness of the ocean; so also the religious merit due to the offering of sesamum seeds and also due to (the offering of) barley-grains; so also (the religious merit) due to the offering of water mixed with Tulasī leaves and due to. the (worship of) deity.

56b-59a. I shall tell you about its greatness as Brahmā told it to me. (I shall describe to you) the greatness of the sound of the conch and religious merit of its innumerable (varieties). (I shall tell you about) the greatness of Sunday, and of abstract meditation on him called Viṣṇu. (I shall tell you) the importance of Vaidhṛta and also of Vyatīpāta (i.e. a great calamity). O Nārada, I shall tell you all this, as has been told.

59b-64. Uttarakhaṇḍa tells about the gift of food, the gift of garments, the gift of land, so also (of) a bull, about the greatness of Janmāṣṭamī, the importance of the Matsya (Purāṇa), the importance of the Kūrma (Purāṇa) and so also of the Vārāha (Purāṇa). I shall also tell (you) the importance of the gifts of cows etc. After that I shall describe to you the greatness of the devotees like Prahlāda, who are well-known on the earth. Listen, O best divine sage. O best divine sage, (it contains) the importance of keeping awake (during certain nights); so also of the gift of lamps; so also (it tells about) the fruit of the separate worship (offered) during different watches. (It contains) the account of Paraśurāma; so also (of) the murder of Reṇukā; so also (of) the gift of land made to brāhmaṇas and whatever Rāma did.

65-66a. I shall describe fully the religious merit due to (the stay in) Rāma’s hermitage. I shall tell you the account of Narmada, and that of the religious merit and the worship; so also (I shall tell you about) the gift of (the texts of) the Vedas and the Purāṇas and the form of the (various) stages of life.

66b-70. (I shall tell you about) the religious merit due to the gift of gold and that of the world; (about) the gift of the Padma Purāṇa and the nature of (its) Khaṇḍas. The first is Sṛṣṭikhaṇḍa; the second is Bhūmikhaṇḍa. The third is Svargakhaṇḍa and the fourth is called Pātāla. The fifth is called Uttara. These are the Khaṇḍas in order. The noble Vyāsa composed this Padma Purāṇa for the well-being of the people and for the welfare of brāhmaṇas. It creates religious merit in śūdras, and removes acute poverty. It gives salvation and happiness and quickly brings about inexhaustible good fortune. O Nārada, having listened to it, a man should give gifts according to the rite (told therein).

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