by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291
This page describes amalaki ekadashi which is chapter 45 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 forty-fifth 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.
2-4. O son of Dharma (i.e. Yudhiṣṭhira), O illustrious one, listen. I shall tell you about that (Ekādaśī) which the glorious Vasiṣṭha explained to Māndhātṛ, when he (i.e. Vasiṣṭha) was asked by Māndhātṛ. This is, O king, especially said to be the speciality of Phālguna. The Āmalakī-vow is auspicious and gives (i.e. takes one) to Viṣṇu’s world. A man should go to the root of Āmalakī (tree), and should keep awake there (during the night). Having kept awake there for that night, he would obtain the fruit of (giving) a thousand cows.
5-6. O best brāhmaṇa, when did this Āmalakī spring up? Tell all this to me. I have great curiosity (to hear about it). Why is it (said to be) pure? Why is it (said to be) the destroyer of sins? Due to what would a man obtain the fruit of (giving) a thousand cows by keeping awake on it?
7-17a. O glorious one, I shall tell (you) how it came about on the earth. The great tree of Āmalakī destroys all (kinds of) sins. When formerly (all this) was just an ocean only (i.e. when the earth was inundated in water), when the immovable and the movable had perished, when hosts of gods and demons had disappeared, and serpents and fiends had perished, then the lord of the gods, the highest soul, the ancient one went to Brahman, his highest and immutable position. Then from the spittle of Brahmā, keeping awake, a drop lustrous like the moon was produced, and it fell down on the earth. From that drop was produced the great Āmalakī tree, having many branches and twigs bent due to the burden of fruits. It was declared as the first shoot among all the trees. Then, after it Brahmā created all these beings—the revered God created gods, demons, gandharvas, yakṣas, fiends, serpents and so also the spotless great sages. Those gods came there, where Dhātrī (the Āmalaka tree) dear to Viṣṇu, stood, and O glorious one, seeing it they were very much amazed. They stood there thinking, ‘We do not know this tree.’ When they were thinking like this, a heavenly voice said to them: “This excellent tree is Āmalakī, said to belong to Viṣṇu. Merely by remembering it a man would get the fruit of (giving) a cow. By touching it one’s religious merit is doubled, and by wearing it it is tripled.
17b-21. Therefore, making all efforts, a man should always resort to Āmalakī. It is said to remove all sins, to belong to Viṣṇu and to destroy sins. At its root lives Viṣṇu; and the grandsire (i.e. Brahmā) stays above it; and in its trunk the highest lord, the revered Rudra lives. All the sages (live) in its branches, and the deities (live) in its twigs. The gods remain in its leaves, and the Maruts in its flowers. All the lords of the created beings are similarly settled in its fruits. I have declared this Dhātrī to be full of all gods. Therefore, it is most adorable for those who are greatly devoted to Viṣṇu.”
The sages said:
22. We do not know who you are. Due to what have you become the cause? Tell us the truth—whether you are a god or someone else.
23-27a. Seeing the amazed wise men (the voice said:) “I am that ancient Viṣṇu, who is the creator of all beings and all worlds.” Having heard those words of the god of gods, Brahmā’s sons then began praising the god who was beginningless and endless. “Obeisance to the Being, the self-born one, the soul, the supreme soul. Repeated and constant salutations to the unfalling one, to the endless one (i.e. Viṣṇu). Repeated salutations to Dāmodara, to the omniscient one, to the lord of sacrifices.” Thus praised there by the sages, lord Viṣṇu was pleased. He said to the sages: “What desired (objects) should I give you?”
The sages said:
27b-29. O venerable one, if you are pleased, then with a desire for our good, tell us (about) some vow which gives the fruit of heaven and salvation, which gives wealth, grains, religious merit, and pleasing oneself, which requires little exertion, which gives many fruits and which is the best vow among vows, having observed which one is honoured in Viṣṇu’s world.
30-32. When in the bright half of Phālguna, the Dvādaśī comes with Puṣya (i.e. the eighth lunar mansion appearing in the sky), it would be very auspicious and would destroy great sins. O best brāhmaṇas, listen to the special (vow) to be observed on that day. Having gone to Āmalakī, one should keep awake there. One would be free from all sins and would obtain the fruit of giving a thousand cows. O brāhmaṇas, I have told you about this vow, the best of all vows. Having worshipped Viṣṇu (residing) in it, one is not dropped from Viṣṇu’s world.
The sages said:
33-40. Tell us about the manner of (the observance of) this vow. How would it be perfect? What are the hymns, what are the salutations, and what are the deities that are declared? How is a gift (given)? How is a bath (taken)? What is said to be the manner of worship? So also tell us accurately the hymn for offering respectful offering and worship.
O best brāhmaṇas, listen to the manner (of the observance) of this vow. Having remained without food on the Ekādaśī day and the next day, he should, after cleaning his teeth, utter the words, “O lotus-eyed one, O you unfallen one, I shall (now) eat. Be my refuge.” He should not talk with the fallen, the thieves, so also the heretics, so also with men of bad conduct, with those who have violated the iimits (of good conduct), and who have outraged their preceptors’ wives. Then the wise man, restrained and composed, should duly bathe in the afternoon, in a river, or a tank or a lake or at home. First, he should apply clay (to his body) and then should bathe. “O you earth, who are trodden by horses, chariots and by Viṣṇu, O you earth, remove my sin, and the wicked deed that I have done.”
41-48. This is the hymn (to be recited at the time) of (applying) the clay (to the body). “O water, you are the life of all beings and protector of their bodies. Salutation to the lord of the species that are generated by sweat and that sprout as plants. Let this bath of me be (as it were) I have bathed at all holy places, deep lakes, streams, in rivers and reservoirs.” This is the hymn to be recited at the time of bathing. Having got fashioned the golden(image of) the sage Jāmadagnya (i.e. Paraśurāma) of the weight of a māṣaka of gold, or half of it, he should come home and perform the sacrifice for the worship. Then with all the requisites he should go to the Āmalakī (tree). Then having (thus) gone to the Āmalakī (tree), and having cleaned (the region) all round (it), he should place there a jar having no scratch, to the accompaniment of hymns, having five gems (attached to it). made fragrant with divine perfumes, with an umbrella and a pair of sandals, and smeared with white sandal, with a wreath and a garland attached to its neck, incensed with all (kinds) of incenses; he should make it charming by kindling a series of lamps all around; upon it he should place a pot full of divine parched grains. On the pot he should place (the image of) the very lustrous Jāmadagnya.
49-52. (Worshipping) the feet (of the image, (he should say “Salutation to Viśoka;” (worshipping) its knees (he should say) “(Salutation to) Viśvarūpin.” (Worshipping) its thighs (he should say) “(Salutation to) Ugra.” (Worshipping) its waist (he should say) “(Salutation to) Dāmodara.” (Worshipping) its belly (he should say) “(Salutation to) Padmanābha.” (Worshipping its chest he should say) “(Salutation to) Śrīvatsadhārin.” (Worshipping) its left arm, (he should say) “Salutation to Cakrin.” (Worshipping) its right arm (he should say) “Salutation to Gadin.” (Worshipping) its neck (he should say) “Salutation to Vaikuṇṭha.” (Worshipping) its mouth (he should say) “Salutation to Yajñamukha”. (Worshipping) its nose (he should say) “Salutation to Viśokanidhi.” (Worshipping) its eyes (he should say) “Salutation to Vāsudeva.” (Worshipping) its forehead (he should say) “Salutation to Vāmana.” (Worshipping) its eyebrows (he should say) “Salutation to Rāma.” He should worship its head saying “Salutation to the Sarvātman.”
53-54. This is the hymn to be recited at the time of worshipping (the deity). Then to the superior god of gods he should, with a devoted mind, offer a respectful offering with a white fruit. Then, with a devoted mind he should keep awake by means of dances, songs, musical instruments, religious tales and eulogies.
55-63. He should similarly pass the entire night by means of (listening to, reciting) accounts about Viṣṇu. Then by (repeating) Viṣṇu’s names, he should go round the Dhātrī (tree). (The repetition of the names should be done for) one hundred and eight or twenty-eight times. Then, in the morning, having waved a light (in front of the image) of Viṣṇu, and having honoured a brāhmaṇa, he should offer all that to him (saying) “In the Jāmadagnya ghaṭa there are a couple of garments and two sandals. May Keśava, in the form of Jāmadagnya, be pleased with me.” Then he should touch and go round the Āmalakī (tree). Having then bathed duly, he should feed brāhmaṇas. Then surrounded by (i.e. along with the members of) his fraternity he should eat. I shall tell you about the entire religious merit (obtained) by doing like this. There is no doubt that he gets the fruit which is had at all the holy places, by means of all (kinds of) gifts, and which is greater than (that of) all sacrifices. I have thus narrated to you in full the vow that is the best of (all) vows.
Saying so, the lord of gods vanished there only. All the sages also did all that completely. In the same way, O lord of kings, (please) observe this vow which is hard to practise and which frees (one from) all sins.
Footnotes and references:
It should be Yudhiṣṭhira.