The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Purification of Nagaras which is chapter 203 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 third chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 203 - Purification of Nāgaras

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Ānarta said:

1-4. Tell me, O Brāhmaṇa (twice-born one), how this Nāgara who comes for the sake of purification before the Nāgaras attains purity?

Viśvāmitra said.:

When the community has been set up at the instance of the Madhyastha, he (the stranger) should be asked: “Who is your father’s mother? Tell us who is her father? Of what Gotra is he? What is his Pravara as remembered (by you)?” After knowing his family along with the Gotra and Pravara, the mother of that mother should be enquired about. So also she who happened to be the mother of that person (i.e. the great-grandmother).

5. In the course of the purificatory rite, she should be found out and known by the Brāhmaṇas scrupulously.

6. The father, grandfather and great-grandfather—these three should also be ascertained scrupulously.

7-8. So also in the family of the grandmother these three Brāhmaṇas should be ascertained the maternal grandfather, his father and also his father should be ascertained. The mother, maternal grandmother and her mother also should be ascertained. The mother of the paternal grandmother should be ascrtained along with her husband.

9. After ascertaining the various branches of the family tree in due order, the root and the basis as though of a great banyan tree, should be entirely ascertained.

10. Benediction should be offered through Cātuścaraṇa Mantras (i.e. Mantras from all the Vedas) and the purity should be formally declared through a Sindūratilaka (the mark on the forehead with Vermilion powder).

11. Then, O excellent king, after clapping the hands thrice, this should be uttered by the Madhyastha before the person (a stranger offering himself for the purificatory rite). He deserves the status in common with the others now.

12. Thereafter, they all should go to the Agniśaraṇa (fire-sanctuary) and propitiate Hutāśana (Fire-god) uttering the Pañca Vaktra Mantra. Afterwards the Pūrṇāhuti is offered. The Brāhmaṇas are to be given monetary gifts and fed in accordance with one’s capacity.

13. When the Sinduratilaka is applied in the presence of Brahmā according to the utterance of the Brāhmaṇas, the Pitṛs will become contented, “Our family is now stabilized”.

14. A deterrent punishment should be meted out to that person whose purity in all the branches traced down to the root is not established. A punishment befitting a Brāhmaṇa should be meted out by the excellent Brāhmaṇas.

15. Purity is granted to him in such a way as to avoid his being otherwise. The Brāhmaṇa, who is established thus becomes thereafter one deserving Śrāddha.

16. If someone gets Śrāddha etc., performed through an impure Brāhmaṇa, all his sacred rites become futile like Homa performed in ash. Even if that person happens to be hailing from the Aṣṭakula (the eight families of established purity) it shall be so; what then if the person happens to be a very ordinary one.

17. Hence by all means the Nāgara Brāhmaṇa should be proved and ascertained for the sake of the purity of one’s own holy spot and family as well.

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