The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes The Yajna of Brahma: The Third Day which is chapter 184 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the one hundred eighty-fourth chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 184 - The Yajña of Brahmā: The Third Day

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:

1-2. The advent of the third day was on the thirteenth lunar day, O excellent Brāhmaṇas. All the Ṛtviks became engaged in their respective duties in connection with the Yajña rite beginning with Prātassavana. Then the great Yajña of Pitāmaha began, rich in all good qualities and desirable components.

3-5. The one word uttered by the Brāhmaṇas and heard theṛe was “dīyatām dīyatām” (Let this be given). The second word uttered and heard was “bhujyatām bhujyatām” (Let this be eaten). In that excellent Yajña of Pitāmaha no third word was heard. If anyone wished for anything, say gold or jewel, he undoubtedly got it, nay four times as much as he desired. Splendid mountains of cooked sweet food were seen heaped up there.

6. There were great rivers of ghee and milk (for eating) and heaps of coins for distribution were also seen.

In the meantime, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, a wise philosopher also came there.

7. He was one who could know the past, present, and future always. He bowed down to Brahmā and squātted in front of him.

8. In between the various rites of all those Brāhmaṇas, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, he narrated everything that had happened ever since childhood.

9. The minds of all those Ṛtviks were overcome with fancy and curiosity. With their eyes beaming with wonder, they asked the philosopher:

10. “They (probably) recollected the fact that they had forgotten (or omitted) some of their duties and the innumerable censurable things uttered by them (unwittingly).”

11-14. Then they asked the philosopher once again: “O Brāhmaṇa, how did you attain this extraordinary wisdom?

Oh! Wonderful is your knowledge. Oh! Wonderful is your wisdom. Such a thing as this has neither been seen nor heard by us. Who is your preceptor? Tell us. We are very curious.

O excellent Brāhmaṇa, such a thing as is seen by you has not been heard by us. O Brāhmaṇa, has Brahmā himself enlightened you?

Were you instructed by Hara who was pleased? Or by the Discus-bearing Lord? It is patent that such clear perception can never be had by one enlightened by anyone else.”

The guest said:

15. These six are my preceptors: Piṅgalā (a queen), a Kurara (sparrow-like) bird, a serpent, a Sāraṅga (black bee) in the forest, an arrow-maker and a virgin.[1]

16. I acquired wisdom by observing the activities of these:

The Brāhmaṇas said:

17. O highly esteemed one, tell us, how these became your preceptors. What sort of activities of these was observed by you?

18. In which land and which area were you born? Tell us. What is your name? What is your Gotra? Say everything in detail.

The guest said:

19. In this city, there were four Brāhmaṇas who had been banished, viz. Śunaḥśepa, Śākreya, Bauddha and Dānta the fourth one.

20. Among them Dānta was remembered as enlightened and quiescent. He was well-known as hailing from Chāndoga Gotra. He was a master of the Vedas and Vedāṅgas.

21. He was born in the Nāgara community. He was in the state of advanced age. I am his eldest son, very dear to his heart, clearer than his own life.

22. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, when I entered the prime of youth, my dear father passed away.

23. In the meantime, O Brāhmaṇas, I (met) Sutapas, the King of Ānarta. I was employed as his Kañcukin (chamber-lain) by him.

24. He saw me quiescent and having control over the sense-organs. Hence, the noble-minded one trusted me. There was a queen named Piṅgalā in his palace (Antaḥpura).

25. She was utterly unlucky, being denied conjugal felicity though richly endowed with beauty. Moreover, there were hundreds of other wives in his palace.

26. All of them used to become excessively agitated and excited at nightfall. They used to gather together exquisite scents, incense and flowers.

27. The choicest of fragrant unguents were brought forward; other women gathered diverse kinds of flowers and fine fabrics.

28. This excitement goes on till the time of going to bed. They exhibited great enthusiasm in love-play and experienced horripilation.

29. They used to vie with one another. One thinks “he” will certainly summon her to sleep. Another thinks the same about herself.

30. They used to exhibit rivalry and jealousy, fight with one another and make adverse comments. Ultimately, one among them proceeds to the chamber of the king.

31. Those left behind experience chagrin; they have sighs in their excess of sorrow and finally go to bed. In utter discomfiture, they never got even a wink of sleep.

32. Their eyes became filled with tears and they were excessively afflicted by the god of Love.

33. Āśā (eager expectation) is the greatest of misery. Absence of the same is the height of happiness. Making Āśā disappointed, Piṅgalā used to sleep soundly.

34. She never indulged in coquettish make-up. She never exhibited rivalry. Hence, she never became distressed. Piṅgalā did sleep soundly.

35. This excellent behaviour of the lady was closely observed by me and all Āśās (longings and expectations) were eschewed by me. So I too have a happy and sound sleep.

36. The gastric fire of those who sleep soundly gets ignited well. Thereby their food-intake becomes very nutritious.

37. This has, therefore, become the cause of the enhancement of my radiance. Therefore, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, Piṅgalā has become my preceptor (preceptress).

38. Those who are entangled within the noose of Āśā, men who are thus afflicted, never lie down at night brooding over the non-acquisition of the same.

39. Their abdominal fire never gets ignited thereafter. Nor do they have any appetite at all. Nor is their food-intake conducive to the enhancement of radiance.

40. There is a limit to everything except to yearning or craving.

41. As there is the fulfilment of desires in man so these go on increasing like fire through the addition of Havis offerings.

42. Just as the horn of a Ruru deer goes on rising up as its body develops, so also desires of men get enhanced as their effort for the same increases.

43. O highly esteemed ones, after realizing this, a discerning person should be doing that during the day whereby he can sleep soundly during the night.

Footnotes and references:


Compare BhP XI. 7-14—The same Gurus are repeated here. In BhP. Dattātreya narrates this.

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: