by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291
This page describes shiva answers kartikeya’s queries which is chapter 118 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 eighteenth 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.
The lord said:
2-15. Kārtika is Viṣṇu’s month and the best of all months. In the Kali age all the thirty-three gods come together in this month. In the very prosperous month of Kārtika men will give to a brāhmaṇa a cow, gold, silver, land, residence, cows with full devotion, O you of a good vow. Of all gifts the gift of a daughter is the best. Men will duly give their daughter to a brāhmaṇa of the Atri-family. They (will) live in Vaikuṇṭha as long as the fourteen Indras (rule). When small hair appears (on the private parts), Soma enjoys a daughter. When she attains puberty, gandharvas (enjoy her); and when the breasts appear (prominent), Fire (enjoys her). A man should marry his daughter as long as she has not attained puberty. Wise men recommend a girl’s marriage when she is eight years old. She should be duly given to a brāhmaṇa who is well-versed in sacred learning, possesses moral virtue, has actually studied the Vedas, and has observed celibacy. This is said to be the rule regarding a daughter to be given (in marriage). He is honoured in Rudra’s heaven for as many thousand years as the number of hair on the daughter’s body. (The gift of) a thousand cows is equal to that of ten bulls. (The gift of) a vehicle is equal to that of ten bulls. (The gift of) a horse is equal to that of ten vehicles. The gift of an elephant is superior to the gift of thousands of horses. The gift of gold is equal to the gift of thousands of elephants. Giving knowledge is equal to the gift of thousands of bhāras of gold. The gift of (a piece of) land is a crore-fold superior to giving knowledge. The gift of cows is superior to thousands of gifts of land. Giving food is superior to thousands of gifts of cows. All this immobile and mobile world has food as its support. Therefore, O Kārtikeya, one should with an effort (i.e. should make an effort to) give (gifts) in Kārtika. (These) three are equal gifts, and have equal fruits—a cow fulfilling all desires, earth (i.e. land) and Sarasvatī (i.e. knowledge).
16. O great god, please tell me other (religious) practices doing which one having got rid of all (one’s) sins, would be a god.
17. O you treasures of penance, what is the use of praising it in many ways? Thus asked Śiva again commenced speaking:
The lord said:
18-46. He who, observing restraints, avoids others’ food in Kārtika, gets the fruit of the Cāndrāyaṇa (vow). The man who, noticing that Kārtika has arrived, would avoid others’ food day by day, obtains the fruit of the Kṛcchra vow. A man should avoid oil in Kārtika; a man should avoid honey in Kārtika; one should avoid (the use of) bell-metal in Kārtika; and one should especially avoid food prepared for a group. By eating flesh (but) once (in Kārtika) he obtains (i.e. goes to) a demonish stock and is cooked in feces for sixty thousand years. Freed from that the sinner is born as a village-pig eating feces. When foods (generally) indulged in are restricted in Kārtika (by a man), he surely obtains Viṣṇu’s form and a position giving salvation. There is no (other) month like Kārtika and no deity superior to Viṣṇu. There is no (other) sacred knowledge like the Vedas; there is no (other) holy place like Gaṅgā; there is no (other) practice like (that of) truth; there is no (other) age like the Kṛta (age). There is no (other) satisfaction like that of the tongue; there is no (other) pleasure like that due to giving gifts. There is no (other) friend like righteousness; there is no (other) luminary like the eyes. He who would spend (Kārtika), the month dear to Viṣṇu, without (observing) a vow, should be known to have fallen from duty and he is born in low stocks. Kārtika is the best month, always dear to Viṣṇu’s devotees. A holy river flowing into the sea is difficult to be had for a bath by those given to bathing (everyday). An unmarried girl belonging to a noble family and of good character is difficult to be found. A couple of human beings (of an amiable nature) is difficult to be found. In the world a (good) mother and especially a (good) father are difficult to be found. Honour to the good is rare. A virtuous son is rare. Residence at Dvārakā is difficult to be accomplished. Kṛṣṇa’s sight is difficult to be had. A bath in Gomatī is had with difficulty. The Kārtika vow is difficult to be had. O child, the fruit that a man gets by giving (pieces of) land to brāhmaṇas at (the time of) lunar and solar eclipses is had by one who sleeps on the (bare) ground. He should feed a brāhmaṇa couple and should honour them with unguents. Blankets, gems, various garments, mattresses filled with cotton should be given along with bed-sheets. Give a pair of sandals or an umbrella in the purifying (month of) Kārtika. He who everyday eats from leaves in Kārtika, does not meet with a calamity as long as the fourteen Indras are ruling. He gets the fruit of all his desires, and would get the fruit of (visiting) all holy places. By eating from palāśa leaves a man does not see (i.e. have) a residence in hell, since this palāśa is actually known to be Brahmā granting all desired objects. O Kārtikeya, in Kārtika (a man) should avoid the middle (palāśa) leaf. In the three leaves (of palāśa), Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva (reside). He should avoid the divine leaf, (since) Brahmā is excellent Viṣṇu (obscure). By eating from the remaining leaves he obtains all religious merit. O best sage, by eating from the middle leaf (of palāśa) and by drinking the milk of a tawny cow a man would go to hell. A śūdra who ignorantly drinks the milk of a tawny cow, is purified by giving a cow to a brāhmaṇa in Kārtika. Giving sesamum, bathing in a river, always seeing the good, eating from palāśa leaves in Kārtika give salvation. He who observes silence, eats from palāśa leaves, bathes with (river-) water, always forgives, sleeps on the (bare) ground in Kārtika would destroy sin earned during (many) ages, O Kārtikeya, one who keeps awake before Viṣṇu at dawn in Kārtika, would obtain the fruit of (giving) a thousand cows. The fruit which men get by offering food in pitṛpakṣa (i.e. dark half of Bhādrapada), and by offering water in Jyeṣṭha and Āṣāḍha, is obtained by them in lighting others’ lamps. By lighting another’s lamp and by serving Viṣṇu’s devotees in Kārtika a man gets the fruit of Rājasūya and horse sacrifices. He who does not bathe in a river, does not (tell) tale(s) of Viṣṇu, does not see Viṣṇu's devotees in Kārtika would lose the religious merit (collected during) ten years. O best sage, (the religious merit of) that wise man who would remember Puṣkara through (physical) act, mentally, or through speech, would be a lakh of crore times more.
47-60. Prayāga in the month of Māgha, Puṣkara in Kārtika, so also Avantī in Vaiśākha-month would destroy sin earned during ages. O Kārtikeya, those men are blessed especially in the Kali age, who by all means serve Viṣṇu everyday. (For him,) O sage, what is the use of having offered many piṇḍas by means of (offering) srāddhas [śrāddhas?] etc.? There is no doubt that he has emancipated his dead ancestors from hell. Those who for (i.e. in honour of) their dead ancestors give a bath with milk etc. to Viṣṇu, go to heaven and live there with gods for a crore of kalpas. O best brāhmaṇa, Lakṣmī does not stay for crores of existences in the houses of them who have not worshipped the lotus-eyed Kṛṣṇa (i.e. Viṣṇu) in Kārtika. Those who have not worshipped Viṣṇu with black or white lotuses are stung, snatched, have perished and have fallen into the cave of Kali. He who (even) with one lotus worships the. chief of gods, the lord of Lakṣmī, destroys sins (collected during) a myriad thousands of years. The lord of gods, saluted and worshipped with (just) one lotus would forgive seven hundred thousands of sins. O best sage, he who would worship Viṣṇu in Kārtika with a lakh of Tulasī-leaves would obtain a pearl on (i.e. for) every leaf as the fruit. Viṣṇu, O (my) son, is pleased for crores of thousands of kalpas with whatever is done (i.e. offered) after being mixed with (i.e. having) the fragrance of Tulasī. O Kārtikeya, Kali does not touch him who carries in his mouth, on his head or body a Tulasī (leaf) taken down from (the image of) Viṣṇu (after it was offered to him). O Kārtikeya, he who would sprinkle his body with the offerings like flowers after taking them down from (the image of) Kṛṣṇa, becomes free from all diseases and sins also. O (my) son, undoubtedly the sins of him perish, and diseases of him come to an end, whose body touches (i.e. is smeared) with the remaining of the (burnt) charcoal etc. (offered) to Viṣṇu. The water in a conch, devotion to Viṣṇu, the remains of offerings like flowers, water (flowing from) the feet (of the image of Viṣṇu), sandal, the remains of incense remove (the sin of) the murder of a brāhmaṇa.