The Padma Purana

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

This page describes restraints during the kartika vow which is chapter 94 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 ninety-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.

Chapter 94 - Restraints during the Kārtika Vow

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nārada said:

1-17. O king, listen fully to the restraints told for men observing the Kārtika vow, which (will) be told by me. The observer of the Kārtika vow should not at all eat any kind of flesh and meat, honey, jujube fruit and beans etc. The observer of the Kārtika vow should avoid corn (whose seeds have) two portions, sesamum oil, so also food polluted by tears, polluted by (bad) thoughts, polluted by (bad) words. The observer of the Kārtika vow should not accept others’ food, should not hate others, should not be an adulterer, should not accept gifts at a holy place. He who observes the vow in Kārtika should avoid the censure of the god of gods, brāhmaṇas, (his) preceptor, (another man) observing the vow, of women, kings, and great (men). The limb of an animal, meat, powder, jambīra among the fruits, flesh, masūrikā (a kind of pulse) among corns, and stale food, are said to be avoided. So also milk etc. other than that of a goat, a cow, a buffalo, āmiṣa, all liquids purchased by a brāhmaṇa, and rock salt. Gavya (i.e. milk, curds etc.) kept in a copper-vessel, water collected in a small pool, and food cooked for oneself is said to be ‘āmiṣa’ by the wise. The observer of the (Kārtika) vow should observe celibacy, should sleep on the ground, should eat from a plate made of leaves. He should eat during the fourth part of the day. He should always do this. On the Naraka Caturdaśī day the observer of the Kārtika vow should smear his body with oil. He should not smear his body with oil on any other day (than the Naraka Caturdaśī day). The observer of the Kārtika vow should avoid onions, garlic, pot-herb, mushroom, small red variety of garlic, lotus-stalk, radish, so also asafoetida. The observer of the vow (in honour) of Viṣṇu should avoid bottle-gourd, eggplant, pumpkin-gourd, and the fruit (of the plant) of bṛhatī, so also śleṣmātaka fruit and wood-apple. The observer of the Kārtika vow should not talk with a woman in her menses, a man of the lowest caste, a non-Aryan, a fallen person, an outcast, and those out of the fold of the Vedas and the (three) twice-born castes. The observer of the Kārtika vow should avoid the food seen by dogs and crows, food prepared by a woman who has recently delivered, and food cooked twice, and burnt food. He who avoids smearing his body with oil, (sleeping on) a bed, others’ food, eating from a bell-metal vessel in Kārtika, would be one who fully observes the vow. The observer of the vow should also observe the Kṛcchra vow etc. according to his capacity. (From the first day) he should avoid in order pumpkin gourd, egg-plant, root of bṛhatī, bilva-fruit, kaliṅga fruit, dhātrī, coconut, large-sized bottle-gourd, (species of cucumber called) paṭola, badarī fruit, bhūrja-fruit, vikataka-fruit, lotus-stalk and vikaṭa-fruit.

18-28. From the first day (onwards) these vegetables are to be avoided in the order (given here). Similarly, a householder should always avoid (eating) dhātri-fruit on Sunday. From among these also the man should avoid what pleases Viṣṇu. Having given that to a brāhmaṇa, the man should always eat. In the same way the observer of the vow should have restraints in Māgha also. He should keep awake and observe the rite as is told. Seeing the man observing the Kārtika vow as told (in the holy texts), Yama’s messengers run away like elephants tormented by a lion. This vow (in honour) of Viṣṇu is superior to a hundred sacrifices. The performer of a sacrifice goes to heaven; the observer of the Kārtika vow goes to Vaikuṇṭha. All the holy places giving enjoyments and salvation, that are there on the earth, remain in the house of the observer of the Kārtika-vow. A bad dream, or whatever bad deed is done through mind, speech and body, goes away that moment only on seeing the observer of the Kārtika vow. Like the servants of a king, Indra and others urged by Viṣṇu’s words protect the man who observes the Kārtika vow. Imps, ghosts, goblins etc. do not remain there where the observers of the Viṣṇu vow are always honoured. Even Brahmā, with his four mouths, would not be able to describe the religious merit of him who observes the Kārtika vow as told (in the holy texts). (If) a man observes, along with restraints, the vow in Kārtika, which is dear to Viṣṇu, which destroys all sins, which gives sons, wealth, grains and prosperity everywhere, (then) what is the use of visiting and paying homage to sacred places for him?

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