The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the account of trisprisha which is chapter 34 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 thirty-fourth 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.

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 34 - The Account of Trispṛśā

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nārada said:

1. O lord, especially narrate to me the vow called Trispṛśā, by hearing which people are free from the bondage of their acts (just) at (that) moment.

Mahādeva said:

2-12a. Listen to the great vow called Trispṛśā of the incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. It puts to an end all streams of sins. It destroys great unhappiness. It gives the desired objects to those who desire them, and gives salvation to those who have no desire. O brāhmaṇa, listen to that vow called Trispṛśā from me who am narrating it. Viṣṇu is directly worshipped in the Kali age by him who, O great sage, always narrates the (account of) Trispṛśā. All the sin would not come to an end by the repetition of the name of a deity accompanied with burnt offerings. (But) there is no doubt that it gets exhausted merely by uttering the name of Trispṛśā. O best brāhmaṇa, if Trispṛśā is not observed, salvation does not take place even by reading sacred texts, Purāṇas and other (works), (performing) sacrifices, (visits to) crores of sacred places, (observing) many multitudes of vows, worshipping deities. This date (tithi) sacred to Viṣṇu is noted by the god of gods for (securing) salvation. For brāhmaṇas, especially in the Kali age, the Sāṃkhya is difficult to understand; so also there is lack of control over the senses, and there is no stability of the mind. Trispṛśā gives salvation to those who are attached to sensual objects, who are without meditation and lack retentive memory. The Disc-holder (i.e. Viṣṇu) formerly narrated it to me and Brahmā. and to those who had bowed down (to him) in the Milky Ocean. I have granted salvation even to those, except the Sāṅkhyas, who, even though attached to sensual objects observe the Trispṛśā vow. Trispṛśā gives salvation to those who are attached to sensual pleasures.

12b-18. O great sage, it (i.e. the vow of Trispṛśā) has been observed even by many groups of sages. If Trispṛśā takes place in the bright half of Kārtika with the Moon or Mercury, it destroys crores of sins. The skull of Brahma fell on the ground just at that moment from the hand of the great lord (i.e. Śiva), possessing (the sin of) murder and observing a fast on that day. The goddess Gaṅgā was freed from the streams of crores of sins in the Kali age, due to the advice of Viṣṇu and fasting on the Trispṛśā day. O great sage, the sin of eight murders that formerly took place in the case of Bahuvīrya, was removed by means of Bhṛgu’s advice and fasting on Trispṛśā. O best brāhmaṇa, Śatāyudha had killed a brāhmaṇa in a forest. He was free from (the sin of) murder of the brāhmaṇa due to fasting on Trispṛśā. Due to the advice of Jīva, (the sin due to) the killing of Namuci (committed) by Indra vanished on account of fasting on Trispṛśā, O best among the principal sages.

19-23. O best brāhmaṇa, sins like the murder of a brāhmaṇa etc. perish by means of fasting on Trispṛśā. Then what can be said about other sins? O best brāhmaṇa, if (the vow of) Trispṛśā is not observed, then salvation is not possible at Gayā, at Kāśī, at Gomatī or near Kṛṣṇa. Eternal salvation takes place by dying at Prayāga or at Gomatī or near Kṛṣṇa, (so also) merely by bathing at Gomatī. By fasting on Trispṛśā salvation takes place even at home in the case of him who indulges in (objects of) senses and is full of sensual pleasures. Even for one who has turned away from sensual objects salvation is difficult according to the Sāṃkhya(-path). Therefore, O best brāhmaṇa, observe the Trispṛśā which gives salvation.

Nārada said:

24. O best god, what kind of vow is the great vow called Trispṛśā, which gives salvation to brāhmaṇas, and which you told me about now.

Mahādeva said:

25. O brāhmaṇa, formerly Viṣṇu told Jāhnavī (i.e. Gaṅgā) about (the vow of) Trispṛśā through compassion (for her) on the bank of Prācī Sarasvatī.

Jāhnavī said:

26-27. O Viṣṇu, in this Kali age many (people) possessing the streams of crores of sins like those of the murder of a brāhmaṇa, bathe in my water. Due to the blemishes of hundreds of sins of them, my body is made turbid. O god having Garuḍa as your banner, how will that sin of me go away?

Prācī Mādhava said:

28-35. I shall undoubtedly tell you. O daughter, do not weep. My place is the Śyāma Vaṭa; and Prācī Devī, daughter of Brahmā, flows in front of me. Looking at the chief goddess, every day bathe there. By that you will be purified. There is no doubt that I stay along with hundreds of holy places and gods there where there is Prācī, Brahmā’s daughter. My place is pure and dear (to me). It destroys (the sin of) crores of murders. Since you are dearer to me than my (own) life, I, being pleased, have given it to you. O Jāhnavī, by my order thousands of crores of holy places always remain in the water of Prācī Sarasvatī. O daughter, Brahmā’s daughter Prācī removes all sins on bathing once (only) in front of me (in her water). (She removes) sins due to the murder of a brāhmaṇa, drinking liquor, killing a cow or a śūdra woman, snatching the wealth of a brāhmaṇa, not honouring one’s mother and father, using a vehicle, deceiving one’s preceptor, or eating what is prohibited. O best river, bathe (there). You will be free from sins.

Jāhnavī said:

36. O lord of gods, I cannot come every day. O Viṣṇu, tell me now how (my) sins will perish.

Prācī Mādhava said:

37-40. O Jāhnavī, since you have risen from my feet, I shall tell you something else if you are unable to come (here) every day. You should observe (the vow of) the auspicious Trispṛśā, which is superior to (a bath in) Sarasvatī, which is superior to hundreds of crores of sacred places, which is superior to crores of sacrifices, which is superior to vows and gifts, which is superior to muttering (of hymns) and sacrifices, and which gives the four goals, which is superior to (the practices laid down in) the Sāṃkhya-Yoga (path). When it comes (i.e. falls) in a month, during either the bright or the dark half, it should be observed, O best river. When it is observed, one is free from a sin.

Jāhnavī said:

41-42. O god Viṣṇu, tell me how that Trispṛśā, about whose greatness of this kind you told me now, is. O lord, tell me if the day on which the three dates, viz. tenth, eleventh and twelfth combine would be the Trispṛśā day, or if it is different.

Kṛṣṇa said:

43-54. O goddess, that Trispṛśā which you mentioned is demonish. With care it is to be avoided as the husband who is without any livelihood (i.e. a job). It is said to be of the demons and destroys life and vigour. With care it should be avoided like a woman in her menses. My day especially in conjunction with the tenth day should be avoided like her who, having abandoned her own caste, has gone to lower castes. As ignorant people are polluted due to the contact with a woman in her menses, similarly my day in conjunction with the tenth is censurable for men. Trispṛśā, if properly fasted on, destroys (the sin) of a hundred murders. That day on which the three days viz. the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth fall, should be known as Trispṛśā and not one in conjunction with the tenth. A man, having gone through an expiation after having committed a fault, would be free. O divine river, I do not forgive the fault due to being pierced by the tenth. He who has observed the Ekādaśī-vow (on the day) mixed with the tenth has taken the halāhala poison or has taken poison. Thinking like this, he should not observe (a fast on) my day in conjunction with the tenth. The religious merit or the progeny of him (who does so) perishes. He would cause (the members of) his family to drop from heaven and takes (them) to (hells) like Raurava. Having purified one’s body, one should observe (the vow on) my day. The day when there is increase (in its duration) should be avoided except piercing of (i.e. being mixed with another day) and combined with Śravaṇa etc. The merit of those who fast on the Ekādaśī day perishes. This is especially so in the case of the increase in its duration and when a doubt has arisen. Dvādaśī(-fast) should be observed. It is dear to him.

Jāhnavī said:

55. O lord of the world, according to your words (i.e. as you have told me) I shall observe (the vow of) Trispṛśā. By your behest I shall be free from all sins.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa said:

56-57. Go (back) to your own place. You should never entertain fear. O goddess, O best river, sin shall never come to you. Those who, after having worshipped Mādhava, pay homage to the lord of the world, go to (i.e. obtain) the highest position.

Jāhnavī said:

58. O Brahman, tell me the manner (in which the vow is to be observed). I (shall) do it with everything (I have). I shall propitiate the lord of gods, Dāmodara, Anāmaya.

Prācī Mādhava said:

59-65a. O goddess, listen. I shall tell you the manner of (i.e. in which) Trispṛśā (should be observed), even by hearing which a man is freed from sins, O best river. According to the capacity of one’s wealth, a golden image of me (weighing) a pala, half of it, or half of the latter, should be fashioned. A pot of copper should be made and should be filled with sesamum-seeds. A white pitcher containing water and with five gems, should be wrapped with garlands of flowers, and made fragrant with the incense of agaru. Then after having bathed (the image of) Viṣṇu and having smeared (it with sandal) one should put (it in the vessel). Then with a pair of garments (the image) should be seated and the worship should be done with hymns and by reciting (passages from) the Purāṇas, so also with white, seasonal flowers and tender Tulasī-leaves. One should offer an umbrella along with sandals to Viṣṇu, so also pleasing articles of food and very many fruits. One should offer a new, strong sacred thread along with an upper garment.

65b-77. One should also cause to be given a beautiful, long and strong bamboo-staff. Having duly and devoutly worshipped the feet (of the image saying) ‘to Dāmodara’, its knees (saying) ‘to Mādhava’, its private part (saying) ‘to Kāmaprada’, its waist (saying) ‘to Vāmanamūrti’, its navel (saying) ‘to Padmanābha’, its belly (saying) ‘to Viśvayoni’, its heart (saying) ‘to Jñānagamya’, its throat (saying) ‘to Vaikuṇṭhagāmin’, its arms (saying) ‘to Sahasrabāhu’, its eyes (saying) ‘to Yogarūpin’, one should make a respectful offering. (Taking) a white coconut placed on a conch and wrapped with threads in both his hands, (he should say), “O Janārdana, if, by just being remembered you remove sins and bad dreams and evil omens seen by the mind, then, O god, protect me from the fear of hell due to fear and calamity, so also of this and the next world; accept (this) respectful offering. Salutation to you. O Dāmodara, always look favourably at me.” One should then offer incense, lamp and wave a light and should revolve a lotus over the head of Viṣṇu. Having performed this rite, one should then worship his own preceptor. One should give (the preceptor) gold, garments, and a dress with a turban, so also shoes, an umbrella, a ring and a water-pot, so also a meal, a tāmbūla, seven (kinds of) corn, and a gift. Having properly worshipped the preceptor, the lord of gods, one should keep awake (in honour) of Viṣṇu, with dance and music, according to the sacred precepts. At the close of the night one having duly made a respectful offering to the deity, and having performed the rites like bathing, one should eat along with brāhmaṇas.

Śiva said:

78-87. O brāhmaṇa, having heard this account of Trispṛśā which is wonderful and thrilling, one gets the religious merit due to bath in the Gaṅgā. By fasting on Trispṛśā one gets the fruit of thousands of Aśvamedha sacrifices and hundreds of Vājapeya sacrifices. Along with all the sides like that of one’s father, that of one’s mother, and that of one’s own one is freed, and one is honoured in the world of Viṣṇu. By fasting on Trispṛśā one gets the same religious merit as is obtained by (visiting) crores of holy places and crores of sacred places. O best brāhmaṇa, all those—brāhmaṇas, evil-minded kṣatriyas, vaiśyas or those born as śūdras, so also persons of other castes—come to (i.e. obtain) salvation after having left the earth. This is the king-hymn among the hymns as would be (the hymn of) twelve letters. Of vows (it is the chief) for him who has observed it. It was first observed by Brahmā, then was observed by royal sages. Then, O child, what can be said about others? Trispṛśā gives salvation. O brāhmaṇa, listen to the fruit of him (i.e. which he gets) who devoutly observes this Trispṛśā vow. He who observes the Trispṛśā (vow) gets that fruit which is obtained by bathing in Gaṅgā at Vārāṇasī for thousands of the periods of Manu. A man who observes the vow of Trispṛśā obtains that fruit obtained by means of bathing in Prācī and Yamunā for crores of years.

88-95. A man who observes the Trispṛśā vow gets that fruit which is obtained by (bathing during) crores of solar eclipses at Kurukṣetra, or by (giving) hundreds of bhāras of gold. By means of just one fast thousands of crores of sins and hundreds of (sins due to) murders are quickly reduced to ash. That vow of Trispṛśā gives salvation to those who have not got it. Hundreds of (persons committing) great sins desire salvation, O brāhmaṇic sage. Kṛṣṇa himself told (this vow) in front of (i.e. to) Pārāśarya. He who, even though bound by streams of sins, shows this Vaiṣṇava (Purāṇa) after writing it to a brāhmaṇa, obtains salvation. (This vow) is secured, O wise one, by means of religious merit (collected during) hundreds of ages of Manu. Trispṛśā is difficult to be secured by men. It is not easily had in the world. The fruit of the existence of those mean men, so also their life, who, having had (i.e. having known the day of) Trispṛśā, do not observe it, is fruitless. Those who have, after having (come to know the day of) Trispṛśā, observed it (even) once have overcome (being reduced to) the state of a goblin without Śrāddha or without sons.

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