The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Bhartriyajna’s Decision which is chapter 202 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 two hundred second chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 202 - Bhartṛyajña’s Decision

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Viśvāmitra said:

1-3. O excellent one among men, all the excellent Brāhmaṇas heard those words and waited with heads bowed down in humility. Urged by curiosity they asked him:

“The excellent Brāhmaṇas should proclaim the decision about the person placed in the centre through the Vedic passages. They should eschew human words.

But why should the noble-souled Madhyaga clap the hands thrice? Do explain this entirely. Our curiosity is great.”

4. On hearing these words, Bhartṛyajña spoke to those excellent Brāhmaṇas:

“May this be heard. I shall tell you the reason thereof.

5. No utterance of the Nāgaras present in the Brahmaśālā as to whether it is auspicious or not can be untrue at any cost.

6. Hence it is through Vedic Savanas (Mantras) that the excellent Brāhmaṇas indicate the desirable and the undesirable, in the case of a person who seeks their decision.

7. So the Madhyastha (Referee) should put questions to the Brāhmaṇas frequently along with the occasion thereof until the decision is made.

8. If the utterance of those sitting in the Brahmaśālā goes in vain, their greatness perishes and that leads to anger.

9. Hostility is the result of anger and this hostility causes sin. For this reason, O Brāhmaṇas, the madhyastha is frequently questioned.

10-12. Thereby, the collective unanimity of those Brāhmaṇas is achieved. Out of the three claps of hands, that the Madhyastha makes, the first one dispels the Kāma (lust) of those who ask. Through the second he eliminates their anger and through the third he eliminates their covetousness. For this reason, O Brāhmaṇas, the three claps of hands are to be made.”

The Brāhmaṇas said:

13. An Ātharvaṇa (a person well-read in the Atharva Veda) Brāhmaṇa is proclaimed as the fourth one. How is he then considered Ādya (first, foremost) in the matter of this question put to Nāgaras?

Bhartṛyajña said:

14. O Brāhmaṇas, listen with great concentration. I shall explain why the Atharvā is mentioned by me as the first one in regard to this process of questioning.

15. Jealousy should not be entertained in this matter. It upsets one’s place. This has been reviewed by me for the purity of a person in a particular place.

16. In the three Vedas named Ṛk, Yajus and Sāman, the Yajñas including Agniṣṭoma have been dealt with. They are Pāratrikas (having their benefit in the other world). Ābhicārikas (Rites connected with black magic) that are Aihika (having their benefit in this world itself) are not dealt with in the first three Vedas.

17. Everything connected with Ābhicārika has been mentioned in the Atharvaveda by Brahmā the creator of the worlds, for the benefit of all the people.

18. For the accomplishment of (worldly) tasks Atharva Veda should be looked into at the outset. For this reason that Veda is considered Ādya (first). Though it is the fourth in the accepted order.

19. Thus, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, everything that I was asked has been explained. All the tasks connected with the Pṛcchā (Questioning) should be carried out as one complete task.

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