The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the celebration of dipavali which is chapter 122 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 twenty-second 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 122 - The Celebration of Dīpāvalī

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Kārtikeya said:

1-2. O lord, now tell me in particular the fruit of Dīpāvalī. Why is it celebrated? What would be its deity? O lord, tell me what should be and should not be given during the festival. What (kind of) exultation is indicated during it? What sport is mentioned?

Sūta said:

3. Hearing these words of Kārtikeya, the lord who had burnt up Cupid, said, ‘Well’ and laughed and said these words, O Brāhmaṇas.

Śrī Śiva said:

4-20. O Kārtikeya, on the thirteenth day of the dark half of Kārtika, a man should offer a light to Yama outside (his house). Thereby untimely death is avoided. “May the Sun’s son, with Death having a noose in his hand and with his wife, be pleased due to this offering of the light” Those who are scared of sins, should necessarily bathe at moon-rise on the fourteenth day of the dark half of Kārtika. He, being careful, should bathe early in the morning on the fourteenth day pierced (i.e. mixed) with the previous day of the dark half of Kārtika. Lakṣmī (resides) in oil and Gaṅgā in water. He who would bathe in the morning on Caturdaśī in Dīpāvalī does not see Yama’s world. To destroy (i.e. to avoid) hell, he should whirl (round himself) apāmārga, tumbī, prapunnāṭa, vāhvala (twigs) while bathing. “O Apāmārga, being with a clod of furrowed land and with thorn and leaf, remove my sin, when repeatedly whirled.” He should whirl over his head apāmārga and prapunnāṭa. Then with (i.e. by reciting) Yama’s names, he should offer libations of water. “Salutation to Yama, Dharmarāja, Mṛtyu, Antaka, Vaivasvata, Kāla and Sarvabhūtakṣaya (Destroyer of all beings), Audumbara, Dadhna, Nīla, Parameṣṭhin, Vṛkodara, Citra, Citragupta.” Having worshipped the deities, he (i.e. the king) should offer a light to Naraka. Then at the break of night he should offer pleasing lights at the temples of Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Śiva etc., and especially at apartments on the tops of the houses, sanctuaries, assembly halls, rivers. ramparts, gardens, wells, streets, pleasure-groves near houses, stables and abodes of elephants also. O Kārtikeya, having, like this, bathed in the morning on the new-moon day, and having devoutly worshipped and saluted deities and dead ancestors, and having offered the pārvaṇa śrāddha with curd, ghee, milk etc., he should feed brāhmaṇas with various kinds of food, and apologise to them. Then, O dear one, in the afternoon the king should gratify the citizens. Having chitchatted with them, honoured them he should converse with them. O Kārtikeya, for one year love is generated among those who talk. Before Viṣṇu has got up, he should awaken Lakṣmī through the women.

21-32. When a man has awakened Lakṣmī at the time of her getting up through a good woman, for one year Lakṣmī does not leave him. The haters of gods (i.e. the demons) scared of Viṣṇu obtained fearlessness from the brāhmaṇas, after knowing (that Viṣṇu) was asleep in the Milky Ocean, and Lakṣmī had resorted to the lotus. “You are the lustre, Śrī Ravi (i.e. the Sun), the Moon, the Lightning, the Golden Star; the lustre occurring in the lustre of the lamp is the lustre of all the lustres. That Lakṣmī that lives on the earth, in the cowpen on the auspicious day of Dīpāvalī in Kārtika, may grant me a boon.” Śiva and Bhavānī took to playing with dice as a sport. Lakṣmī, propitiated by Bhavānī remained in the form of a cow. Formerly Pārvatī vanquished Śiva in the game of dice, and sent him away naked. So this Śiva is unhappy. Gaurī always remains happy. He who gets victory first (passes) the year happily. When the night passes like this, and people have their eyes half-closed, Alakṣmī is driven out of the courtyard of the house by the joyful city-women by means of sounding the musical instruments and drums. In the case of a defeat (in the game of dice) opposite will be the case. On the first day, when the sun has risen, Govardhana should be worshipped in the morning and one should play the game of dice at night. Then cows should be decorated; and they should not be used to carry (loads etc.) or should not be milked. “O Govardhana, O support of the earth, O protector of Gokula, O you who were lifted by the hand of Viṣṇu, give (us) crores of cows. That Lakṣmī who remains in the form of the cow of the regents of the quarter, and that carries ghee for the sacrifice, may remove my sin. May cows stand before me. May cows be behind me. May cows be in my heart. I live among cows.” Thus worship of Govardhana (should be done).

33-42. Having pleased with sincere devotion deities and good men, he should please others by giving food and (should please) the learned men by offering (i.e. speaking gentle) words. (He should please) the inmates of the harem by (giving them) garments, tāmbūlas, lights, flowers, camphor, saffron, food and eatables of superior and inferior quality. The king should please the chief of the village with gifts and vassals with wealth, and the hosts of foot soldiers good neck-ornaments and bracelets. The king should also please his ministers and his own people separately. Then having properly gratified wrestlers and actors, so also the bulls and large oxen fighting with one another and other soldiers and foot soldiers who are well-adorned being seated on a raised seat, he should see the actors, dancers and bards, and should cause to fight and roar the cows and buffaloes etc. which (he possesses). By means of sounding words (of calls) and responses he makes the cows attract their calves. Then, O Kārtikeya, he should put up a divine arch over the path in the eastern direction in the afternoon, tied to a pillar of the fort or a tree; (it should be made) of kuśa (grass) and should have many hanging strings of flowers. Observing many horses and elephants, he should take them and bulls with cows, so also he-buffaloes and she-buffaloes furious with bells to the base of the arch. Through the best brāhmaṇas who have offered a sacrifice, he should put up the arch. Then, he, of a good vow, should make obeisance by (reciting) this hymn:

43-57. “O mārgapāli, salutation to you who give happiness to all the world.” O Kārtikeya, at the base of the mārgapāli cows and great bulls go. Kings, princes and especially brāhmaṇas on crossing the mārgapāli, become free from disease and happy. Having done all this, at night he should actually worship Bali, the lord of demons, in a circle made on the ground. Having drawn, with five colours, (the picture of) Bali, the lord of demons, complete with all ornaments, accompanied by Vindhyāvali, surrounded by the demons Kūṣmāṇḍa, Maya, Jambhāru, Madhu, and with his entire face delighted, and with a crown and bright earrings, and again (drawing the picture of) the lord of demons with two arms in a small or big chamber in his own house, he should then worship it. The lord of kings, who, being pleased and with his ministers and priests, and with his mother, brothers, and kinsmen, worships (the demon-lord) with lotuses, red lotuses, flowers, white lotuses and blue lotuses, with sandal, flowers, offerings of eatables with milk, jaggery and sweetened milk, with liquor, flesh, wine, things eaten by licking or by sucking, (other) eatables and offerings, and by (reciting) this hymn, gets happiness during that year: “O king Bali, O lord, O son of Virocana, salutation to you. O future Indra, O enemy of gods, accept this worship.” Having thus offered the worship and keeping awake at night, he should make (others) keep awake at night with actors, dancers, singers, and make people place (the image of) king Bali with white rice inside the house on a couch, and should worship him with fruits and flowers. O Kārtikeya, everything there should be done with reference to Bali. The sages, the seers of truth say that all those (objects) that are inexhaustible (come to him). Whatever small or big gift is made here, all that would be inexhaustible, auspicious, and would please Viṣṇu. May all the untractable practices of those men who do not worship you, Bali, at night, come to you.

58-69. O child, Viṣṇu himself, being pleased, has granted this great festival to Bali who had obliged the demons. O Kārtikeya, since then (this festival of) Kaumudī has commenced (for) ever. It melts all troubles and destroys all difficulties. It removes the grief of people, it fulfils desires, and brings about wealth, nourishment and happiness. The word ‘ku’ stands for the earth, the word ‘muda’ stands for joy. Due to the root (meaning) of the two (words coming together) the festival is said to be (i.e. called) Kaumudī, since the people mutually rejoice (during it) on the earth. They are glad and pleased, are happy, so it is called Kaumudī. O son, since during it red lotuses are offered to Bali by kings for (removing) their sins, therefore it is called Kaumudī. To the king who every year gives the earth, (clean) like a mirror, for a day and night to the king of demons, how can there be fear from diseases? He has plenty of corn, happiness, health, excellent wealth. All people are free from diseases and free from all calamities. So, to spread devotion on the earth, the Kaumudī (festival) is celebrated. O Kārtikeya, he who lives with a (particular) feeling during it (i.e. the festival) passes the year with that feeling of joy, sorrow etc. If he weaps, the year makes him weep; if he is delighted, the year is delightful. If he enjoys (the festival) he enjoys the year; if he is happy, the year will be happy. Therefore, good men should joyfully celebrate Kaumudī. This day in Kārtika is said to be sacred to Viṣṇu and demons.

70-73. Of the families of the intelligent ones, having happiness due to (giving) gifts and enjoyments, who celebrate the light festival pleasing all, and who worship Bali, the entire year giving the lord(?), passes happily. O Skanda, these dates beginning with the second are well known. For four months and then in the rainy season they cause well-being. The first is in the month of Śrāvaṇa; the second is in the month of Bhādrapada; the third is in Āśvina; the fourth would be (i.e. fall) in Kārtika. Kaluṣā falls in the month of Śrāvaṇa, Amalā in Bhādrapada, Pretasaṃcārā in Āśvina, and Yāmyakāmyatā in Kārtika.

Kārtikeya said:

74. Why is the one (in Śrāvaṇa) called Kaluṣā? Why is the one (in Bhādrapada) said to be Nirmalā? Why is the one (in Āśvina called Pretasaṃcārā? And why is the fourth called Yāmyā?

Sūta said:

75. Hearing these words of Kārtikeya, the Bull-bannered lord, the cause of the beings, laughed, and spoke (these) gentle words.

Maheśa said:

76-88. Formerly when Vṛtra was killed and Indra obtained the kingdom, a horse sacrifice was commenced to remove the sin of the brāhmaṇa’s murder. Indra angrily killed the brāhmaṇa (Vṛtra) with his thunderbolt. The (sin of the) killing was thrown down on the earth in six ways: in a tree, in water, on the land, in a woman, in one who causes abortion, and in fire after dividing it in due order. Due to hearing about that sin, with the day previous to the second, a woman, a tree, a river, the land, fire, and one who procures an abortion are polluted. For this reason it is called Kaluṣā. Formerly the earth merged into the blood of Madhu and Kaiṭabha. Therefore (to the measure of) eight fingers she is impure. The menstrual flow of women is impure. All the rivers in the rainy season are impure. Fire (going) up is impure due to soot. Trees are impure due to exudation. Those that cause an abortion are impure due to contact. Filth moves on this day. Therefore, she is said to be Kaluṣā. There are the wicked atheists who censure the good practices of gods and sages. The second one is pure from the filth of their words. Therefore, it is Nirmalā. The Sāṃkhyas, Tārkikas (i.e. logicians) teach and study the sacred texts on days forbidden for study. On the second (i.e. Amalā) day the Śruti-followers are purified from the filth of their words and bad words. Therefore it (is called) Nirmalā. O child, the three worlds would be purified due to the birth of Kṛṣṇa in Śrāvaṇa. The wise ones have indicated it as Nirmalā. The Pretasaṃcārā is (so called) because of movements of the dead ancestors, grandsires like the Agniṣvāttas, the Barhiṣads, the Ājyapas, and the Somapas also. The dead ancestors are called departed spirits. They move on that (day). They are worshipped with Svadhā hymns by their sons, and the sons of their sons and daughters. They, moving departed spirits, leave after being gratified by means of śrāddhas, gifts and sacrifices. The spirits are seen to move on the earth on the Mahālaya.

89-103. Therefore, O Kārtikeya, it is called Pretasaṃcārā, Since, O Kārtikeya, on this day worship is offered to Yama by men, therefore, it is called Yāmyakā. I have told the truth and the truth (only). Those best men who listen to the importance of Kārtika, certainly get the religious merit due to the (daily) bath in Kārtika. A man, having bathed on the Bhānujā on the second day of Kārtika, should worship Yama in the morning. (Thereby) he does not see Yama. O Śaunka, formerly, on the second day of the bright half of Kārtika, Yama was fed and honoured by Yamunā in her house. On the second day a great gift (is given). Denizens of hell are gratified. They, separated (i.e. freed) from sins, are free from all bondage. They all, being praised, remain pleased as they like. This great festival, giving pleasure to Yama’s region, takes place for them. Therefore, this Yamadvitīyā is well known in the three worlds, and so the wise should not eat at home (on this day). They should affectionately take a nourishing meal at their sister’s hand; gifts should duly be given to sisters. Then along with the gift of golden ornaments and garments and honouring (their sister) they should eat from the hand of their sister of whole blood. The meal from the sister’s hand should be taken on all (these days). It is nourishing. Yama is gratified on the second day of bright half of Kārtika. Yama is mounted upon the seat (i.e. back) of a he-buffalo. The lord holds a staff and a mallet. He is surrounded by his jubilant servants. Obeisance to him of the nature of Yāmyā. For those who have pleased their sisters whose husbands are alive, with gifts of garments etc. there is no quarrel (with anyone), nor any fear from their enemy during the year. O sinless one, O my son, I have told you the entire account along with its secret. It is blessed, gives success, increases the (span of) life, and is the means of righteous acts and enjoyments. Since on this day god Yamarāja was well-fed by Yamunā with a sister’s affection (for her brother), therefore he who, on this day, eats from the hand of his sister, gets wealth and excellent riches.

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