The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the importance of bathing in kartika 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 Uttara-Khanda (Concluding Section) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 117 - The Importance of Bathing in Kārtika

Sūta said:

1. Hearing all these words of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, that noble Satyā, daughter of Satrājit, then said:

Satyā said:

2. O lord, I have not heard the greatness of Kārtika in detail. How is Kārtika (said to be) the best of all months?

Śrī Kṛṣṇa said:

3. You have well asked with respect about the vow of Kārtika. It was formerly told to Śaunaka by very noble Sūta.

Sūta said:

4. Listen, I shall give the auspicious answer to this question. Formerly the lord told it to Kārtikeya who had asked about it.

Kārtikeya said:

5-15. O lord, I, a devotee of Viṣṇu, have heard many secrets of Viṣṇu told by you. Men have come to the ocean of mundane existence, covered with large waves of unhappiness. Carefully tell (some story) for their emancipation. So also, O you best among speakers, tell about the rite of Kārtika and the bath (in it), by which men will cross over the ocean of unhappiness, O father. Tell me about the greatness of illumination, of offering mango-sprouts, O you of a good vow, and the greatness of gopīcandana and Tulasī, O lord. Tell me also about the greatness of jasmine flowers; so also of lotuses; so also tell about the greatness of dhātrī-fruits and damanaka. O lord, tell about the greatness of ketakī-flowers; so also of the offering of eatables, the greatness of a holy place, and the fruit of the bath in Māgha. O best god, tell about the fruit of eating from palāśa-leaves, the fruit of waving the light by setting right the wick of another’s lamp, O Śiva. (Tell me about) the greatness of the holy place (called) Puṣkara, so also of Śūkara, O lord; so also the greatnecs of Śālagrāma, and the arrangement of the Svastika (symbol). Tell me also about the fruit of gifts, avoiding others’ food, the fruit of the fast for a month, and of giving away a couch. O you of a good vow, (tell me) about the greatness of Dīpāvalī, and of the Prabodhinī (Ekādaśī); so also tell me in detail the importance of the five days from the eleventh to the fifteenth of the bright half of the month of Kārtika.

The lord said:

16-21. O child, you have asked well for emancipating the people. I shall undoubtedly tell it. There is no other Viṣṇu devotee like you. O child, there is no doubt that I am emancipated by a good son (like) you. You always have a firm devotion to Viṣṇu. The best brāhmaṇa who gives (i.e. tells) the Vaiṣṇava practice to people gets the religious merit obtained by giving the earth with the ocean. That is not equal even to a croreth part of (the merit got from the vow of) Kārtika. On one side are all gifts, gifts of cows, all sacrifices with presents, the residence at Puṣkara, Kurukṣetra, Himālaya, the residence at the holy place of Mathurā, at Vārāṇasī, at Śūkara, and on the other side is Kārtika always dear to Viṣṇu, O child.

Sūta said:

22. Speaking like this, O best sage, Śiva again spoke these words: “I shall tell you in great detail the importance of bathing (daily) in (the month of) Kārtika”.

The lord said:

23-32. The Kṛta age is said to be of brāhmaṇas, the Tretā age is said to be that of kṣatriyas, Dvāpara is said to be of vaiśyas and Kali is said to be of Śūdras. O child, people show slackness in taking a bath in the Kali age. Yet I shall tell you about the bath in Kārtika and Māgha. A man whose hands, feet, speech, mind are controlled, and who has knowledge, penance and fame (to his credit) enjoys the fruit of(the visits to) a holy place. These five—one having no faith, a sinful person, an atheist, one with a split mind, and a disputant—do not enjoy the fruit of (the visit to) a holy place. That brāhmaṇa who, getting up in the morning, would always bathe in a holy place, is free from all sins, and obtains (i.e. goes to) the highest Brahman. O Kārtikeya, those who know about a bath, have said that a bath is of four kinds: Vāyavya, Vāruṇa, Divya and Brāhmya. A bath in the evening is Vāyavya; a bath in a sea etc. is Vāruṇa; a bath with hymns recited by brāhmaṇas is Brāhmya; and a divine bath is the one bright with the water (directly falling) from the clouds. Of all the baths Vāruṇa is the best. A brāhmaṇa, a kṣatriya, a vaiśya should take a bath with the (recital of) hymns. O Kārtikeya, a śūdra, so also women, should bathe silently. A girl, a young women, an old woman, a man, a woman, a eunuch are free from all sins due to a bath (everyday) in Kārtika and Māgha. Having bathed in Kārtika, they obtain the desired fruit.

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