by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Procedure of the Worship of Brahma which is chapter 107 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 seventh chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
1. Henceforth I shall succinctly describe to you the procedure for the worship of Brahmā as a boy. I shall mention different types of adoration.
2. I shall tell you the procedure of chariot procession, the (serial) order of eulogies, Mantras as well as different types of devotion, viz. physical, oral and mental.
3. Further, it may be Laukikī (Mundane), Vaidikī (Vedic) and Ādhyātmikī (spiritual).
4. Recitation of Vedic Mantras, prostrating oneself while bowing, performance of rites in the sacred fire, Śrāddha ceremonies, Japa and repetition of Āraṇyaka passages—This is called Vācikī (verbal) Bhakti.
5-6. The Kāyikī (physical) Bhakti includes the following: Restraints of the mind and the sense-organs through the regulations of Vratas, fasts etc., observance of Kṛcchra, Sāntapana, Cāndrāyaṇa and other expiatory rites, and of auspicious Vratas as explained in the Scriptural Texts and similar fasts. Thus Bhakti in the case of Brāhmaṇas is of three kinds.
7-10. The worship of Brahmā of the worldly kind is called Laukikī Bhakti. The following articles are made use of therein: cow’s ghee, milk, curds, honey, sugarcane juice, water from excellent Kuśa grass, sweet scents, garlands, various subsidiary articles of worship, incense from Guggala and ghee, black Aguru of sweet scent, gold ornaments, jewels, wreaths of various sorts, Nyāsa (ritualistic touching of the limbs), Parisara (circumambulation), flags, banners, prayers in chorus, dances, songs, musical instruments, offerings of all kinds of articles, foodstuffs, cooked rice, beverages etc.
11. The sacred rite performed with Vedic Mantras, Havis etc. is remembered as Vaidikī (Vedic type) Bhakti.
12-13. Various sacred rites are performed with Brahmā in view. Those rites constitute what is called Vaidikā Bhakti: Agnihotra rite is performed on New-Moon day and Full-Moon day. The holy Havis is consumed. Monetary gifts are offered. Puroḍāśa is offered in sacrificial rites such as Iṣṭi and Dhṛti. Soma juice is drunk as a sacrificial rite. Ṛk., Yajus and Sāma Mantras are used in Japa. The Saṃhitā texts are studied and recited.
14-16. A person who is called Brahmabhakta (devotee of Brahmā) is like this: He is always engaged in Prāṇāyāma (restraint of breath). He meditates with full control over the sense-organs. He eats what is obtained by way of alms. He observes Vratas. He withdraws his sense-organs from everything (with the aim of sublimating his desires). Prajeśvara (i.e. Lord of the Subjects, Brahmā) is retained by him in his heart. Brahmā is meditated upon as seated in the pericarp of the lotus of the heart, red in colour and having excellent eyes. The devotee visualizes Brahmā with excellent waist and seat and beaming face. The Lord has four arms granting boons and fearlessness (freedom from fear). Such is the devotee of Brahmā.
17. O goddess, listen to the procedure and injunction regarding the residents of the holy spot.
18. They are free from the sense of Mamatva (my-ness, possession). They are not egoistic. They have no close attachments (with anything). They do not accept gifts. They have no love for the usual four aims of life (Puruṣārthas). They view (regard) equally a lump of clay, a stone and a piece of gold.
19. By means of their three-fold activity (verbal, mental and physical) they grant freedom from fear to all living beings. They perform Prāṇāyāma always. They are devoted to the meditation of the Supreme Absolute.
20. They are engaged in the performance of Japa always. They remain always pure. They are engaged in the pious activities of ascetics. They are conversant with the procedures of Sāṃkhya and Yoga. They get all their doubts cleared by persons well-versed in the Dharma Śāstras.
21-22. Those Brāhmaṇas residing in holy spots are always engaged in the worship of Brahmā. I shall explain how Pitāmaha in the form of a boy, should be worshipped by them. O my beloved, listen attentively. After taking holy bath in the Tīrtha free from impurities, he should wear white clothes and remain pure and clean. Fully equipping himself with the requisites for adoration and offerings he should worship Brahmā.
23. At the outset, he has to bathe the deity in accordance with the injunctions, by means of Pañcāmṛtarasa (may be Pañca Gavya) and water. He has to take cow’s urine, dung, milk, curds and ghee. Then water with Kuśa blades.
24. He takes Gomūtra (cow’s urine) uttering the Gāyatrī Mantra. He takes cow-dung uttering the Vedic text beginning with gandhadvārā. He takes cow’s milk uttering the Mantra beginning with apyāvasva. He takes up curds with the Mantra beginning with dadhikrāvṇa.
25. He takes Ājya (ghee) uttering the Mantra beginning with tejośi śukram He takes the Kuśa water uttering the Mantra beginning with devasya tvā. He should then bathe the deity uttering the Mantra beginning with āpo hiṣṭhā.
26. The devotee thus bathes the deity with the five milk products from a Kapilā (tawny-coloured) cow further sanctified by the Mantras. This is remembered as Brahmasnāna.
27. By bathing Surajyeṣṭha (the senior-most god i.e. Brahmā) one undoubtedly reduces to ash all the sins incurred in the course of thousands of crores of years.
28. After duly bathing thus, the deity Brahmā in the form of a boy, the Brāhmaṇa then bathes the deity further with water mixed with camphor and agallochum.
29. After doing this the devotee should worship the Lord through the Gāyatrī Nyāsa (ritualistic touching of the limbs while uttering the syllables of the Gāyatrī Mantra). A wise man should perform the Nyāsa with Praṇava (all over the body) beginning with the head and ending with the sole of the foot.
30. The Nyāsa of Takāra (the syllable tat) is on the head, that of ‘sa’ syllable is in the region of the face, that of ‘vi’ is in the region of the throat and that of ‘tu’ (that is tur) is in the joints of the limbs.
31. The Nyāsa of syllable ‘va’ is in the centre of the heart and of the syllable ‘re’ at the two sides. The Nyāsa of syllable ‘ni’ is in the right side of belly and that of ‘ya’ in the left one (‘nya’ split into ‘ni’ and ‘ya’).
32. The Nyāsa of syllable ‘bha’ (i.e. bhar) should be in the navel of the waist and of ‘go’ in the two sides (in the Jaṅghā—calf muscles). After the Nyāsa of ‘de’ on the two knees that of the syllable ‘va’ is to be on the lotus-like feet.
33. After the ritualistic touch of the two thumbs with the syllable ‘sye’ that of the chest shall be made with syllable ‘dhi’. The Nyāsa of syllable ‘ma’ is at the root of the knee and of the syllable ‘hi’ is on the private parts.
34. The Nyāsa of syllable ‘dhi’ is on the heart and that of ‘yo’ is in the lower lips. A wise devotee should perform the Nyāsa of the other syllable ‘yo’ on the upper lip.
35. The Nyāsa of the syllable ‘na’ (i.e. naḥ) is at the tip of the nose and that of ‘pra’ is on the eye. The Nyāsa of syllable ‘co’ is in the middle of the eyebrows and of the syllable ‘da’ is on Prāṇa (life breath).
36. O goddess of Suras, the Nyāsa of the syllable ‘ya’ is on the forehead. O beloved, after the Nyāsa on his own body, the devotee shall make the Nyāsa on the deity too.
37-38. After making the deity full with all the offerings, the devotee reviews it completely. After supplementing the holy articles mixed with saffron, Agaru, camphor and sandal by means of scented water, the devotee sprinkles all those articles uttering Gāyatrī (beginning with Oṃ) and Praṇava. Thereafter he should begin the adoration.
40. Fumigation should be done with excellent incense of black Agaru as well as excellent lamps with ghee. Thereafter the devotee should offer the Naivedya of different kinds in due order.
41. The Naivedya should consist of Khaṇḍa, Laḍḍuka, Śrīveṣṭa, Kāṃsāra, Aśoka Pallava (sprouts and shoots of Aśoka), Svastika (Marathi—Saṅkarapāli), Ullipikā, Dugdhā, Tila-veṣṭa as well as Kilāṭikā.
43. A wise man should worship Jñāna (knowledge), Vairāgya (disinterestedness), Aiśvarya (or authority) and Dharma (piety), O goddess, in the quarters and the intervening spaces between them beginning with north-east and proceeding in due order.
45-46. The Mantra for the Nyāsa on the heart is the Ṛk beginning with āpo hi ṣṭhā. The Mantra beginning with ṛtam satyam is said to be the Mantra for the Nyāsa of Śikhā (tuft of hair). The Mantra for the Nyāsa on the eyes is that beginning with udutyam. The Mantra beginning with citram devānām is well-known in all the worlds. It is pointed out that the Kavaca (protective Mantra) is uttering the Mantra brahmaṃs te chādayāmi.
48. The devotee should worship all the others beginning with Ṛgveda by means of Praṇava. Gāyatrī is the greatest Mantra, it is the mother of the Vedas. It is Vibhāvarī (excellent due to its splendour).
49. He who observes fast on the Pañcadaśī (fifteenth day, Full-Moon or New-Moon day) and worships Brahmā by means of the principles underlying the syllables of the Gāyatrī attains the greatest position (Mokṣa).
51. As a mere sight of Brahmā in the form of a boy gives the fruit of a horse-sacrifice, a sensible learned man will not worship him.
53. It is he who is the father of all the Devas. He is the grandfather of all the living beings. Hence he should be worshipped by all the Brāhmaṇas residing in the holy spot.
54. He alone is the Lord of the Bhuvana (universe). He is in the form of Rudra. He is multi-formed. He who observes fast on the Full-Moon day and duly worships Brahmā, the Lord of the worlds, shall get the fruit of a horse sacrifice.
55. The Rathayātrā (religious procession or a Car festival) of the Lord in the month of Kārttika is glorified. A man who devoutly performs it, attains Sālokya Mukti i.e. residence in the same world as that of Brahmā.
56-57. O goddess of Devas, a king who wishes to be a Parantapa (destroyer of enemies) should take the Four-faced Lord clad in deer-hide and accompanied by Sāvitrī all through the city. It shall be on the Full-Moon day. Many kinds of musical instruments should be played. After taking the deity round the entire city, he shall be installed.
58. At the outset a Brāhmaṇa belonging to the Śāṇḍilya Gotra should be honoured. Then the Brāhmaṇas should be fed. Then the Lord is to be placed on a chariot (car) to the accompaniment of music played on different musical instruments.
59. In front of the Ratha (chariot) the son of Śāṇḍilī should be worshipped in accordance with the injunctions. The Brāhmaṇas should be made to recite the Mantras and the auspicious ceremony of Puṇyāha (-vācana) is to be performed.
60. The Lord (deity) is to be placed on the chariot. The devotees then keep awake by seeing various kinds of visual scenes of dramatic performance and listening to profound sounds of the Vedic chant.
61. A Śūdra who wishes for welfare should not ride the chariot. O my beloved wife and goddess, particularly a man of no pious nature abstains from riding it. In fact excepting a Bhojaka (Brāhmaṇa of Bhoja clan—MW) no one gets into the chariot.
62. O my beloved, the devotee should place Sāvitrī on the right side of Brahmā. The Bhojaka should be seated on the left side. A lotus is to be placed in front.
63. Thus, a wise devotee makes the chariot go round the city to the accompaniment of sounds of conchs and musical instruments, O goddess. After performing the Nīrājana rite (waving lights before an idol) the deity is placed on its own original place.
64. He who devoutly conducts this religious procession, he who views it and he who pulls the car, shall go to the region of Brahmā.
65. He who holds a lamp there at the back of the car of Brahmā, obtains the great fruit of a horse-sacrifice at every step.
66. O great goddess, a king who does not make arrangements for the car festival of Brahmā is cooked in Raurava hell for an endless period of time.
67. Hence by all means, with a keen desire for the welfare of the nation, a king himself should make special arrangements for the chariot festival.
68. A wise king should duly feed Brāhmaṇas on the first lunar day and honour them with unwashed clothes (fresh from the loom), sweet scents, garlands and unguents.
69. He who lights lamps in the sacred chamber of Brahmā on the New-Moon day in the month of Kārttika, shall go to the highest region.
70. During all festivals, especially on all occasions, Brāhmaṇas should worship Brahmā, the preceptor of all the worlds.
71. Those Brāhmaṇas should possess perfect faith and celebrations should be befitting their duties. The deity should be honoured with divine offerings and services according to one’s means and affluence.
73. I shall now mention his (Brahmā’s) one hundred eight names by reciting and handing over of which to others, one will derive the fruit of ten thousand Yajñas.
74. By reciting this prayer, one obtains that fruit which accrues by perfect articulation of a hundred thousand Gāyatrī Japas.
75. This is the most excellent of all eulogies. It has divine esoteric significance. It is destructive of all sins. It should not be imparted to evil-minded persons indulging in censuring others.
76. It should be given to a noble-souled Brāhmaṇa having perfect acquaintance with the Vedic texts.
Formerly this excellent eulogy of Brahmā was enquired about by Viṣṇu:
77. “O Pitāmaha, O Lord of Devas, how are you to be meditated upon and in which holy spot? Do tell this to me. You are indeed the most excellent one of the omniscient ones.”
103. O Madhusūdana, my presence all through the three twilights is only in that place where these one hundred eight names are recited.
105. O Kṛṣṇa, he who always eulogizes me at Prabhāsa by means of these names, goes to my region called Vijaya and rejoices there for endless years.
106. By reciting my prayer, all the sins, mental, verbal and physical, get destroyed.
107. By reciting my prayer one obtains that fruit which is attained by men through offerings of flowers and incense, propitiation of Brāhmaṇas and by steady meditation.
108. The sins of Brāhmaṇa-slaughter etc. committed in this world knowingly or unknowingly, do perish in a moment.
109. This eulogy of mine is liked by me. He who listens to it or recites it shall be rid of all sins. He will obtain intensely desired things.
110. O Kṛṣṇa, I shall tell you another secret thing. Listen to it with attention.
112. If the constellation Rohiṇī coincides with that lunar day, that is the meritorious Mahākārttika day inaccessible even to Devas.
113. If the constellation Kṛttikā coincides with the Kārttikī lunar day or Saturday, Sunday or Thursday and the devotee views Brahmā in the form of a boy, he attains the fruit of a horse-sacrifice.
115. During that Yoga a man must view Brahmā in the form of a boy at Prabhāsa. Even if he is defiled by crores of sins he does not see the world of Yama.
116. In this manner, the prayer was recounted to Hari by Brahmā. The greatness of Brahmā as a deity has been explained by me to you.
117. If it is listened to, it destroys all sins of men. It facilitates the acquisition of all objectives. Gift of a plot of land should be made there by those who desire the fruit of the (complete) pilgrimage.
118. O goddess, there itself a water-pot, a white cloth and sixteen great gifts should be made to Brahmā in the form of a boy.
Footnotes and references:
Verses 29-36 express belief in the protective power of every syllable of the Gāyatrī Mantra.
These are varieties of sweet dishes.
According to Viṣṇu Purāṇa. the Vidyās are as follows: Six Aṅgas, four Vedas, Mīmāṃsā, Nyāya, Dharma Śāstra and Purāṇas.
Ramnagar in Rohil Khanda (Uttar Pradesh)
Kanchi in Tamil Nadu
V.L. Uddiyana (Orissa)
If Mallikarjuna, Mod. Śrīśaila.
Mod. Kosam, a village.