The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes The Efficacy of Bali’s Sacrifice which is chapter 17 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 seventeenth chapter of the Vastrapatha-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 17 - The Efficacy of Bali’s Sacrifice

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

The King said:

1-2a. Through your favour I have heard this lovely narration. Having seen Nārāyaṇa, Śakra in the temple on the mountain, what did the best of sages do? Tell it to me in detail.

2bc. Tell me about the trouble caused by illusion arising from the unsteady worldly existence. O Lord, remove my thirst by the flow of the nectar-like water of tales.

Sārasvata said:

3-4. Then this Nārada knew that the god was cursed by the Brāhmaṇa, Bhṛgu, formerly. “This will not change. Think of the future, O god, of the present (also). This Viṣṇu, becoming Vāmana, will go to that city.

5. “Then he will chastise Bali. This is dear to me. How can this great (danger) stop without war?

6. “Wars among gods and demons, among demons, Gandharvas, goblins, so also among reptiles and birds—all have been kept off.

7. “To harm my destiny there is no dissension due to belonging to a rival wife. The Lord of gods was formerly warded off by Guru (our preceptor). What should I do (now)?

8. “This Guru is venerable to me. Therefore I do not curse hiim. Then an attempt at war will not succeed. What shall I do?

9. “Due to some coincidence a human effort does not succeed. Yet a wise man should try to secure the object of human exertion. At times fate succeeds even without manly effort.’

10. “These words that are uttered, are in vain, since success is due to effort. I shall go and speak to Bali so that he will wage a war.

11-12a. “If he does not listen to (my) words, I shall certainly curse him.” Speaking like this that Nārada speedily went to Bali’s residence. In a moment he reached a palace resembling a mountain, with seven stories and very bright, in the sky, with his disciples.

12b. Above it Viśvakarman constructed a divine hall.

13. In it there was a divine throne, and Bali was seated on it, O King. He was surrounded by all demons, engaged in discussions, jokes.

14. (He was surrounded by) calm sages, Brāhmaṇas, so also by Uśanas himself; he was surrounded by sons, friends, wife in the divine hall.

15-16. That Lord of the demons was fanned with chowries held in the hands of celestial ladies, he was extolled by bards. (At this time) the chiefs of demons and fiends, all desiring war, arrogant with pride consulted one another.

17. Getting up again and again they were bold with the gods. “The three worlds, belonging to us, have now gone.

18-19. “Will a lucky person accept war without the intellect (i.e. wise guidance) of Śukra? If the king of the Daityas forms friendship with the Lord of gods, why does Bali not ask for the ever-intoxicated Airāvata? Why does Divākara (the Sun) not give the smart horse?

20. “As long as the greedy Lord of wealth (Kubera) is not overpowered on the battlefield, he will not give the wealth which is collected by the gods.

21. “The ocean will not show the heap of wealth from the bottom of the earth, as long as it is not churned by us by throwing Mandāra (into it).

22. “As the drops of nectar are serially enjoyed by the gods, why, in the same way, the Moon does not give them (to the gods)?

23. “As the wind, cold due to the heavenly flow, and fragrant with lotus-filaments, slowly blows in Heaven, why does it not blow in Bali’s residence?

24. “Clouds, raised by Indra’s bow, release water on the earth; and again, raised up by Bali’s sword, go to Heaven from the earth.

25. “On the surface of our earth, Yama kills people. This is not the case (either) in Heaven (or) in the Nether world. See the (relation between) the effect and the cause.

26. “Citragupta himself writes on our foreheads (the span of) life, means of living, number of sons, and happiness. Similar is not the case with the gods.

27. “Now the seasons, the rainy season, the cold season, the hot season, exist on the earth. They do not exist either in the Heaven, or in the Nether world. Getting frightened they move (only) on the earth.

28. “You, the gods and demons, have risen from the same energy, and are sisters’ sons. We remain on the earth. Who has, and why has he, made the gods above (i.e. superior to) us?

29. “When the ocean was churned, the Lord of demons was cheated by gods. On one side were all gods, and on the other was Bali.

30-31. “When the gems were produced they were distributed according as the destiny of one (was fixed). Taking elephants, horse, desiring-yielding tree etc., so also the Moon, herd of cows and elephants, nectar, we were instigated to drink (wine) (by gods). By this you reeled, (but) being too much proud, did not notice it.

32. “The nectar that remained after (a part of it) was drunk, was held in the Satyaloka (the uppermost of the seven worlds) by the gods. Oh! the gods are extremely crooked. Why was not the remnant given (to us)?

33. “We, looking upon wine as nectar, were deprived of nectar. Sesamum oil was looked upon as sweet dish; ghee was rarely (enjoyed).

34. “It is not possible to count the vicious acts of Viṣṇu. Yet I shall tell what they, delighted and satisfied, did.

35-37. “They created, at (the time of) the churning of nectar, the goddess enchanting the three worlds. She was fair-skinned; she was beautiful, had beautiful eyebrows, had stout and raised breasts; she had beautiful hair; her face was (beautiful) like the Moon; her eyes were wide up to the ears; on the middle part of her body (i.e. on her belly) the young lady had three folds; (she was so thin that) she could be held even by the fist. Her feet were like white lotuses growing on the ground. Like a creeper with branches she was adorned with arms. She had all ornaments; she had all (good) signs.

38. “She had formerly come up before nectar, and belonged certainly to him who had (got) her. The one, to whom the lady of charming eyes belonged, had the three words in his possession.

39. “She lured all gods, demons, fiends. Giving up the churning (of the ocean), all exerted to hold her.

40. “There was (just) one woman, (but) there were many gods, demons and fiends. A great dispute broke up as to what would happen in this case.

41-42. “Viṣṇu, having come there, warded off all (by) holding their arms. ‘Oh! Why do you quarrel for the sake of this (gem of a lady)? (Our) effort for obtaining nectar will perish (if we quarel [quarrel?]) for the sake of a lady.’ Having made a sign again thought of her.

43-44. “Viṣṇu, taking up a divine form, having put on a garland, decorated with a sylvan garland, with his body brightened with Kaustubha, holding a conch, a disc, a mace, and giving an auspicious garland in her hand, stood before her, and raising his hand, he, Han, said (these) words to all:

45. “Let all form a circle; let all remain in their seats. Let Lakṣmī, having observed (all) according to her desire, offer the marriage-garland.

46. “He, who, being very lustful, disturbs the self-choice marriage, should be killed by all coming together, as one who covets another’s wife.

47. “Let the offence of the murder of a woman be said to be committed by him who has committed the sin of molesting another’s wife. Anyone else who does likewise will have the same sin. Let it be said.’

48. “Knowing Hari to be ordinary, and saying, ‘all right’ it was done like that. You will really have him as your husband who is dear to you from among gods, demons, fiends, Gandharvas, serpents, and goblins.

49. “He formerly attracted her; she was first attracted by him by casting a glance (at her). He made an observation by his eyes - that is the first allurement for women.

50a. “It is exactly so’—this is said by one by putting one’s hand on one’s ear.

50b-51a. “A woman troubled by the arrows of Cupid chooses him only, whom she holds in her heart. There is no doubt about this.

51b-52a. “When, formerly, in a quarrel that had come up, all (the demons) had seized her to keep Hari away from her, she did not leave him at all.

52b. “You alone are my husband. Leave me, go away’.

53. “Leaving her away, Viṣṇu then entered the circle of gods. Then all, leaving me (i.e. Lakṣmī) went to their respective places.

54. “Vijayā first told all gods in due order. She reflected and having thought left him.

55. “Śiva, the three-eyed God, neutral, calm, the husband of Gaurī, dd [did?] not see any other (woman, but) was always engaged in meditation.

56. “When her friend said to her, ‘This is the Grandsire’, she saluted him and went away. Observing silence, she did not look (at him).

57. “Leave Āditya, an army, arranged in the form of a lotus-flower; (so also leave) Fire, of the nature of burning. The Wind bīows (i.e. is not steady). She went away since, (she said): ‘Varuṇa is my father’.

58. “I do not like Devendra as he is attracted to Paulomī’s face.

59. “Yama, the son of Vivasvān, who commits murders, binds (beings), cuts (them) off, creates cleaving, punishes, drags, does not have a mild form.

60-63. “Seeing the very fierce gods, demons, Gandharvas, fiends, serpents, goblins, she moves from that place. She saw Puruṣottama (i.e. Viṣṇu). By turning her face, the eyes of which were drawn upto the ears (i.e. in a staring manner), she looked at him who was having excessive charm, delightful, attractive as desired, marked with sweat caused by horripilation, who was looked at angrily by the best gods, demons, fiends, the lady (Lakṣmī) chose the charming bridegroom, and herself offered the (marriage-) garland to him.

64. “Seeing that divine movement, the demons said to one another: ‘See the division of (made by) gods. All of them have gone to Heaven.

65. “We are at (i.e. driven to the bottom of) the Nether world. Human beings are (left) on the surface of the earth. Gods can go to (i.e. move in) the three worlds, (but) we cannot go to Heaven.

66-67. “Let the men viz. Kṣatriyas rule over the earth, leaving the Nether world, if the earth is to be protected by those born of the demons and goblins, it is not fair. What is the use of prolixity? Bali is the king in (i.e. of) the three worlds.

68-72. “Having divided the gems, let the kingdom be (divided) equally.’ When they were talking confidently like this, they saw Nārada who was coming from the sky, who was as it were another Sun, who had held a book that was about a war in his hand, holding the divine staff, had put on the skin of black antelope, was calm, held an umbrella, a lute, a water-pot, an excellent girdle with three knots, tied with muñja grass, who had the form of a Brāhmaṇa, was calm, was adorned with divine Rudrākṣas, had put on a garland with a thread and knots of the former Kalpa (age), whose mind was anxious to know as to what talk full of the pride due to the ego of birth, was today going on between Brahmā and Śiva, who were angry.

73-74a. “Seeing Nārada coming, all stood amazed. ‘O Lord, favour me; come to my house, to whose house you have come. I am blessed; I have secured religious merit.’

74b-75. “Thus addressed by Bali, the Brāhmaṇa (Nārada) entered the dwelling of the demon (Bali). The Brāhmaṇa was worshipped by offering him a seat, water to wash feet with, and a respectful offering.

76. “All gods and demons, together entered (Bali’s residence). Bali was accompanied by Śukra. Bali said to Nārada: ‘This is my kingdom; this is my wife; these are my sons. I am Bali. Say with whom you have business. Charity is my first vow’.

Nārada said:

77. Those Brāhmaṇas who are pleased by devotion are deities on the earth. Those who are worshipped (according to the capacity of the worshipper), and yet ask (for more), are mean.

78. I, who was worshipped by you, am glad. I have nothing to do with riches. So also I am pleased with your kingdom, sacrifices, gifts and vows.

79. O Bali, I see that the gods have done some wrong to you. The King of gods (Indra), though being worshipped by us is not pleased.

80. All the gods do not tolerate your kingdom on the earth. He (Indra) became troublesome to me in your war with the gods.

81. He, the Kṣatriya, who, clad in armour, takes his army to the lands of the enemy, is victorious, and his kingdom gains strength.

82. I have learnt that his kingdom is destroyed. Realising this, do quickly what is proper.

Bali said:

83. O eminent one, tell me the virtues due to which a king rules over his kingdom. Tell me also about him who is worthy, as a gift is to be given to a worthy recipient.

Nārada said:

84. A king endowed with thirty-six merits rules over the kingdom. He obtains the fmit of the kingdom. Listen. I shall (tell) about it (i.e. how he obtains it).

85. Not being harsh he should do his duties; he should give up friendship with an athiest [atheist?]. Without being wicked he should try to attain riches; he should, without being arrogant indulge in sexual enjoyments.

86. Without being mean, he should speak (what is) pleasing. Being brave, he should not brag. He should be an unrestrained giver; he should be bold; he should not be cruel.

87. He should not join the vulgar; he should not fight with his kinsmen. He should not employ spies against the faithful; he should do acts without harassment.

88. In calamities he should not talk about wealth. He should tell his own virtues (to others). He should not take (anything) from the noble. He should not take shelter with a bad man.

89. He should not inflict punishment without (proper) scrutiny. He should not disclose counsel. He should not give to the greedy; he should trust the wrong-doers.

90. With his relatives he should well protect his wife. He should also protect another kind King. He should not indulge in sex with women too much; he should eat pure (food), and not harmful.

91. Keeping nothing secret, he should respect the respectable. He should serve his preceptor without deceit. He should not worship a deity deceitfully. He should desire glory that is not mean.

92. He should serve his master lovingly. He should be diligent, and know the (importance of) time. He should always speak mild words; favouring a person, he should not spurn him.

93. He should not strike a Brāhmaṇa; while striking his enemies he should not spare them. He should not be suddenly angry. He should not be soft to the harmful.

94-95. In this way you should rule the kingdom for a long time if you desire welfare in this world. Penance, self-study, charity, visits to holy places, and (residence in) hermitages do not deserve even the sixteenth fraction of self-realisation by means of deep and abstract meditation. Being dejected with the worldly existence you should honour a Brāhmaṇa.

96. You should perform various sacrifices; you should meditate upon Nārāyaṇa Hari. I, who have incidentally come here, will go to the Raivataka mountain.

97. There is Lord Viṣṇu; so also (there is) the river purifying the three worlds. There is also the Śiva tree, having many flowers and fruits. Going there I shall observe the vow dear to Viṣṇu.

Bali said:

98. What is this Raivataka? What is the vow dear to Viṣṇu? What trees are called Śivā? How is it (i.e. How is the vow observed)? Tell me that.

Nārada said:

99. O Lord of demons, formerly, at the beginning of the Yuga (age of the world), the mountains were made to have wings. Thinking over (this phenomenon), Brahmā again made them steady.

100. (The mountains) Meru, Mandāra, Kailāśa, that used to fly and fall accidentally, were (made) steady by (just) a command.

101-102. Those (mountains) that did not stop though so warded off were made steady by Indra. On the south peak of Meru there is that mountain Kumuda. It is divine, has wings, is golden and covered with divine trees. On it is Vaiṣṇavī city made by Viṣṇu.

103. In its midst there is a divine dwelling in which Lakṣmī always stays. On the peak of Mem is a beautiful city in which there is a charming house.

104. In it dwells God Bhava, where Bhavānī also stays. Maheśvara’s hall is charming, golden and decorated with jewels.

105. There is Lord Viṣṇu, surrounded by gods like Brahmā. Viṣṇu always goes into it (i.e. the hall) to see God Maheśvara.

106. Since it is all over decorated with golden lotuses, gods that had come there named it Kumuda.

107. Once Lord Rudra came īo that mountain to see on that peak the city protected by Viṣṇu.

108. Seeing Hara to have come to (his) house, he was honoured by Hari. Gaurī was honoured by Lakṣmī. She, being delighted, remained there.

109. Seated on the same seat, the two (Hara and Hari) consulted each other. Hara, knowing the cause, told all that to Hari.

110. “You should situate this city on Mandāra, the excellent mountain. You should not ask me the reason (for doing so). There certainly will be (some reason).

111-112. “Hara alone knows it, and (none) else. ‘Thus’, ‘Like that’—speaking like this, they remained (there). That Mountain, Kumuda, also, seeing Rudra accompanied by (Hari), himself came there. ‘Oh! I am blessed; I must have done (acts of) religious merit, for to my house you have come.’

113. The best Mountain was addressed by the two: ‘What boon should we give to you?’ Thus addressed, the stupid Mountain asked for a boon from the two.

114. “It will not be futile for it will produce a result in future. You two should stay there where I stay.

115. “Coming near me, you should stay (near me) for a day of Brahmā.” Saying “All right” both Hari and Hara, went (back) along with their wives.

116. O Kumuda, listen to what happened at the creation of the fifth Manu who was formerly known as Raivata.

117. O illustrious one, there was a well-known sage Ṛtavāk. A son was born to the magnanimous one, who was sonless, from Revatī.

118. He performed all his rites like the ceremony performed at the birth of a child; so also rites like the thread ceremony, (but) O King, he turned to be characterless.

119. From the time he was born, the sage suffered from a chronic disease, difficult to be cured.

120. His mother too, affected by leprosy, suffered from great pain. The sage became anxious, and was worried (thinking) “What is this (that has befallen me)?”

121. A foolish, dull son, especially one that goes astray, causes agony to the father. It is more painful than (any other) pain.

122. To be sonless is preferable to having a bad son, for human beings. (A bad) son does not oblige the kind-hearted (relatives). Nor does he satisfy his forefathers.

123. A good son everyday enters the hearts of his parents. (But) fie upon the life of that (bad son) doing bad deeds, since they cause pain to the parents!

124. Blessed are those sons who would be liked by all people. They oblige others, are calm and engaged in good deeds.

125. The state of a bad son of one who is born, is never contented, is always joyless, and full of grief and lamentation. It begets miserable state for the friendly ones, and joy for the hostile! Having a bad son of a being, neither leads to Hell nor to Heaven.

126. It produces miserable state among the kind-hearted (relatives) and joy among the enemies. A bad son indeed produces untimely old age in the parents.

Nārada said:

127. Then the sage whose mental condition was thus being perturbed by acts of the extremely wicked son, asked the old Garga.

Ṛtavāk said:

128. Formerly, I, of a good vow, studied the Vedas properly. Having finished the studies I married with proper rites.

129. Those rites—performed according to the scriptures and Smṛtis—along wih the wife, were performed properly after having restrained desire of sensual enjoyments.

130. He was given birth for having a son in the absence of a son. O you learned one, tell me whether due to his own sin or that of his mother or me he has become a pain.

Garga said:

131. O best sage, this your son is born at the end of Revatī (constellation). So he is causing pain to you since he was born in your bad period.

132. This is not your fault, nor of his mother or the family. There is another cause of the bad character which has occurred at the end of the Revatī (constellation).

133. A fearful impediment is said (to take place) between Revatī and Aśvinī, between Aśleṣā and Maghā, and Jyeṣṭha and Mūla.

134. Those who are born in the impediments, whether, a man, a woman or a horse, do not remain in the house for a long time, or if they stay they are fearful.

Thus addressed by Garga, the wrathful sage became very much angry.

Ṛtavāk said:

135-136. Since my only son is born at the end of Revatī, does Revatī not know—“The Brāhmaṇa (i.e. Ṛtavāk) will curse me?” Let, therefore, the bright Revatī fall from the sky.

Nārada said:

137. When he uttered words like this, the constellation Revatī fell down, in the presence of all people with their minds full of wonder.

138. Due to the prowess of the will of the Lord, Revatī fell on the top of the mountain, - the Revatī constellation fell all around on the mountain Kumuda.

139-140. The mountain reached the Surāṣṭra country, and fell on an auspicious ground. The great mountain Ujjayanta, the son of Himālaya, formed friendship mutually with Kumuda. “I shall certainly stay wherever you will stay.”

141. Thinking so, and taking the water of Gaṅgā along with that of Yamunā, and the auspicious Sarasvatī, he came there to sprinkle him.

142. They stayed with each other till the time of universal destruction. Due to that fall the mountain Kumuda was known as Raivataka.

143-144. O Lord of the earth, the mountain Kumuda is charming in the entire world. The mountain Kumuda is golden, and again after the fall of Revatī, it has turned similar to a lotus in the outer complexion. O King, in the middle it is of Meru’s colour; the best mountain is golden.

145. Then Raivataka Mountain produced a daughter, with the complexion of Revatī, and having face like Revatī.

146. A royal sage Pramuñca saw that excellent lady following his father. He named her Revatī.

147. That excellent lady was known everywhere as Revatī. The place was full of all lustre, and was the resort of the water of all holy places.

148. It was joined with streams of Gaṅgā; so also of Yamunā. In the ditches there remained the Sārasvata water.

149. (There is) the well known Revatī-kuṇḍa, where Revatī was born. By remembering it, seeing it, bathing there, all the sins perish.

150. The girl was brought up by that magnanimous Pramuñca. On that Raivataka mountain she attained puberty.

151. Seeing her endowed with youth the sage Pramuñca thought in loneliness: “Who will be her husband?”

152. Repeatedly invoking Fire, the preceptor, the best Brāhmaṇa asked him: “Favour me, tell me who her husband will be.”

153. “There is none other in the family who is worthy of her; what shall I do?” Fire, rising from the pool of fire, said:

154-155. “O Brāhmaṇa, listen to my words as to who will be her husband. Born in the family of Priyavrata (‘one to whom vows are dear’), very strong and brave, the son of Vikrama, born from the womb of Kālindī, King Durdama will be her husband.”

156. In the meantime arrived that great King Durdama, on the mountain; he desired to kill a deer, he did not see the sage in the house. “O beloved, where has my father gone? Come on, tell me the truth.”

Nārada said:

157. He remaining in the fire-chamber only heard the dear words. ‘In my house who is addressing as ‘dear one’?’

158-160. The sage saw the magnanimous King Durdama. The sage was delighted to see Durdama, and said to Gautama, his modest disciple, to bring water to wash the feet with. ‘(First thing) is: this King, this my son-in-law, has come after a long time. My daughter is worthy of him.’ Then the King thought about (the arrival of) the son-in-law.

161-162. By the order of the Brāhmaṇa, the King silently accepted the respectful offering. The Brāhmaṇa, the great sage, spoke to the best King, who was praised: “O King, is there happiness in the city, treasure, army, friend, servants, ministers and subjects; so also are you, in whom everything is settled, happy?

163. “Is your wife, who stays at this place, all right? Tell me also about the happiness of others who stay in your residence.”

The King said:

164. Through your favour there is absolutely no unhappiness in my kingdom. O sage, I have a curiosity: Who is my wife here?

Pramuñca said:

165. Your excellent wife is Revatī. Do you not recognize her? How have you forgotten her who is the most beautiful in the three worlds?

The King said:

166-167. I recognize Subhadrā, Śāntapāpā, so also Kāverī’s daughter, Kadambā the younger sister of Sūra’s son, who (i.e. Kadamabā) has excellent progeny. (But) I do not at all know where my wife Revatī is.

The sage said:

168. The one referred to as ‘dear one’ now, is Revatī, your beloved. O best King, therefore the statement will not be otherwise (i.e. untrue)”.

The King said:

169. There is no fault in the purpose. Pardon me for my words. They went (slipped) out of my mouth. I do not know (how), O best Brāhmaṇa.

The sage said:

170. I know that there is no fault in the purpose. Do that. Fire told (me) that today you will be my son-in-law.

171. Hearing these words the king looked upon Revatī as his wife. The sage also became ready to celebrate the marriage according to the rites. The daughter said to the father: “O father, listen to what I say.

172. “If, O father, you desire to marry me to (the future) husband of mine, then let the Revatī constellation do me favour and bring about that marriage.”

The sage said:

173. When there occurs the auspicious conjunction of the Moon, O good one, the Revatī constellations does not remain in the sky. There are also other constellations, O you of fine eyebrows, that are favourable for marriage.

The daughter said:

174. I think without him the time is defective. How would the marriage of someone like me take place at a defective time?

Pramuñca said:

175-176. A well-known ascetic Ṛtavāk became angry with Revatī. The angry one felled down the constellation. I have promised him a wife - you know it. If you do not desire the marriage, then calamity has approached us.

The daughter said:

177. Why did that sage Ṛtavāk himself heat this (constellation)? I have nothing to do as my father. Am I the daughter of a nominal Brāhmaṇa?

The sage said:

178. You are not the daughter of a nominal Brāhmaṇa. There is no greater ascetic than I. You are my daughter; you are to be given (in marriage). I do not dare to do anything else.

The daughter said:

179. If my father is an ascetic, then why by planting the constellation again in the sky my marriage is not celebrated?

The sage said:

180. Let it be so. Welfare to you, O good one, be affectionate. For you I shall plant the Revatī constellation on the lunar track.

181. Then, by the power of his penance the great sage, the best Brāhmaṇa, put the Revatī constellation, as it was before, with the Moon. Having accomplished the marriage of his daughter he said to his son-in-law:

182. “O King, tell me what I should give as dowry. I shall give it even though difficult to obtain (since) I have great penance (to my credit).”

The King said:

183. O sage, I am born in the family of Svāyambhuya Manu. Through your grace I solicit a son who is the chief of the Age of Manu.

The sage said:

184. There will be a king of great strength and valour. Revatī, bathing in the pool Revatī, will give birth to a son.

185. Having done so, the king left, and she gave birth to a son. He was named Raivata; he became a king, Manu.

186. At that time he proclaimed on the Raivataka mountain: “The sons of those women who bathe on this Raivataka mountain, will be very powerful, will live long and will be free from grief and poverty.”

Nārada said:

187. When this was said, the mountain became long and fell down. The two gods Hari and Śaṅkara were remembered along with their wives.

188. The moment they were remembered, they arrived, since they were formerly tied by him. ‘It is decided that you will stay where I am’

189. Therefore the (two) gods Viṣṇu and Hara stayed on that best mountain - charming mountain Raivataka, in the water of the river Svarṇarekhā. Revatī propitiated God Hari. He said to her.

190. “By the order of the Brāhmaṇa, you will have conjunction with the Moon in the sky. I am pleased. Ask for something else - a boon cherished in your mind.”

Revatī said:

191-192. O God, you should always stay on the Raivataka mountain. The people who bathe where I bathed, would dwell in Viṣṇu’s city.

The four-armed Dāmodara, saying “Let it be so”, remained on the Raivataka mountain. Rudra himself also stayed there.

193-194. All rivers like Gaṅgā remained with Viṣṇu. When the tree came up when the Milky Ocean was being churned, it was called Āmardakī since it came up at the time of conflict between the gods and demons. O King, on this tree, Lakṣmī always stayed in her father’s house.

195. The tree is called ‘Śivalakṣmī’ and is resorted to by best gods; by gods like Brahmā and others, it is said to belong to Viṣṇu.

196-197. All, thinking together, formerly left this tree on the Raivataka (mountain). The sons and grandsons of those who go on a pilgrimage of this tree, on Viṣṇu’s day, so also in the bright half of Phālguna on the Ekādaśī day, O best king, become very meritorious. Abode in Viṣṇu’s city is secured by them (i.e. the pilgrims).

Bali said:

198. How is this vow of Viṣṇu, dear to him, to be observed? Tell me in what way keeping awake at night it is to be carried out?

Nārada said:

199-200. In the bright half of Phālguna, on the eleventh day, having observed a fast, one should bathe in a river, in a lake or a well or even at home, and then having gone up a mountain or in a forest, or where Śiva can be reached, one should worship her with auspicious flowers; men should keep awake at night.

201. One should go round (the deity) a hundred and eight times. Men should go round the mountain, and (then) eat a fruit.

202. They should fill a water-pot with water, and keep it along with a plate. They should prepare food to be eaten during days of fast, and should light a lamp according to the rule.

203. They should thus keep awake while taking delight in listening to a tale. They are freed from the sins of body incurred in the Kali (age).

204. All those (i.e. such) men are respected in Hari’s abode at the fall of their bodies.

Sārasvata said:

205. Speaking like this to the demon, Nārada went to the Raivataka mountain. The King of demons pondered over: “What should be done by me now? O best gods, I do not like a war with the gods.”

The ministers said:

206-207. The Kṣatriyas, who remain at home do not much deserve pardon. They (the enemies) will look upon them as weak, since they will themselves come (to fight). Therefore, along with the Lord of gods, we ourselves, getting together, shall proceed.

208-209a. Hearing ths [this?], he first beat a large drum for fighting the war of gods. Taking an army the demons proceeded to the Meru mountain, where the city of the Lord of gods was from old times.

209b. Knowing the army (of the demons) coming up the Meru mountain

210. the army of gods started by the order of the King of gods. On the eastern side of the mountain Meru the war between the two (armies) took place.

211. When the entire army of gods got mixed with that of the demons, a war between the two appeared like the final deluge.

212. The Lord of gods arrived after mounting upon Airāvata. The Lord of the demons (arrived) after getting into a chariot. Others also came there to fight.

213. Since gods enjoyed sacrifices, therefore they did not desire war. Seeing Bali, Airāvata did not move on.

214-215. In the war he, being surrounded by the quarter-elephants, turned away. With that arm, with which he expressed a desire, he warded off all gods. Being (thus) warded off they went turning away their faces. What would the Lord of gods do?

216. The thunderbolt did not work. Though released from the arm it did not go (to the target).

217. Thus many wars took place among them. The very powerful demons could not be killed by the gods, in the war.

218-219. The gods desired to be powerful. They were enlightened by Guru. (The demons) were warded off by Śukra, saying, “All gods are immortal.” Knowing that the fifth incarnation of Hari (i.e. Viṣṇu) is Vāmana, the Lord of gods (i.e. Indra) being very much glad, ruled in Amarāvatī.

220. The Lord of demons danced in the war; he reveled them at home. The demons moved to the Nether world; men ruled.

221. Then all groups of gods held consultations with (other) gods. The demon rules the two worlds. The Lord of gods governs the Heaven.

222. Let him be pardoned. Till Vāmana goes to the Raivata mountain, the gods, though conquered by demons, should observe silence.

223. Since the time Vāmana was born on the surface of the earth, ill omens for the demons have come up.

224. A female jackal enters the city at night and cries discordantly. Crows, crying aloud, move in the city day and night.

225. Black, fearful serpents powerful with poison creep in the houses. Over the city fly herons, vultures, cranes, that are confused.

226. Foetuses are born with their faces turned away among women, cows or female deer. Neither ghee nor milk exists; there is no oil in the sesamum seed(s).

227-228. In the tribe the rustics always fight among themselves. Kālī, of a fearful face, with long hair, of deformed eyes, unknown, and weeping goes to (every) house in the city. It is not known who this ascetic, is, and why she is besmeared with ashes.

229. In front of, a naked ascetic, observing the vow of silence goes from house to house, and gives out the ‘hum’ sound, formidable like that of a drum.

230. Clouds, untimely furious, release profuse water. Foetuses appear full of wounds; mountains thunder profusely.

231-232. Earthquakes came about, and the quarters also burnt. The entire group of dogs gathered, and raising their faces, always barked at night. An owl cried, “The end of Bali’s kingdom has come about” and in the sky Ketu had risen at night.

233. Piercing into the orb of the sun seemed to be made by wedges. The moon did not shine in the sky full of headless trunks.

234. That (type of) piercing of Rohiṇī took place which had taken place at the time of the passing over of the Age. Good people counted the constellations by day.

235. Obstacle was produced in case of land, women, cows, female deer. The horses neighed all of a sudden; the elephants were not intoxicated.

236. On the destruction of the kingdom, the policy pondered over by the ministers was violated. The fire to which an offering of ghee was made by Brāhmaṇas, did not bum.

237. Powerful wind, that had shaken the trees with storm, blew. Flags burnt at sanctuaries; the sky became greyish.

238. These and many other portents took place in Bali’s house when Vāmana was born after Nārada’s arrival.

239-240. At other place terrific happening like seeing a dream by day took place. When the demons are bound they are fallen and are reduced to misery. Seeing the omens of the army he did not proceed like this Bali always remained at home and reigned.

241. In his body there was no pleasure; there was a breaking of a limb or headache. He was attacked with fever; he did not sleep happily; he did not drink (drinks). People did not digest what was eaten by them. All were troubled.

242. Seeing the world inverted, Bali, with his mind perplexed, and being grieved, consulted Brāhmaṇas.

243. The demon (i.e. Bali) having brought Śukra, his preceptor, and having made him sit in the court, and full of great devotion asked him about his well-being: “All this is topsy turvy; so tell me (what should be done).

244. “O Preceptor, all this appears topsy turvy, as told by Nārada. So please tell me if what Nārada told me will come true. Along with the Brāhmaṇas tell me about the observances to remove the effects of a portent.”

Śukra said:

245. For cessation of (the evil effects of) the portent perform a sacrifice where the whole of your possession is to be given as a present to a Brāhmaṇa. Perform a sacrifice lasting for twelve years along with the Brāhmaṇas and Kṣatriyas.

246. Brāhmaṇas, so also the sages, the celibates, so also those who stay far away should come for the great sacrifice.

247. A pavilion for the sacrifice should be put up in the eastern direction of the city. O King, give gifts according to the liking of those (who ask for them). Saying, “I shall do so”, he became ready for the sacrifice.

248. He brought all Brāhmaṇas skilled in performing a sacrifice; he made them to get initiated into the sacrifice where everything was given as a gift.

249. “Here (i.e. in this sacrifice), I, when solicited, shall give everything to a Brāhmaṇa. When solicited, I shall give my body, sons, friends, wife.

250. “I have decided that in the sacrifice I should constantly give gifts to Brāhmaṇas; I would not cease (giving gifts) even though warded off. If I shall not give (gifts) even though I am solicited, then my sacrifice is futile.

251. “Putting up a divine pavilion, extending over many yojanas, gifts, meals and coverings will be given away.”

252. From the sky the Seven Sages came (down) to the surface of the earth. All the Brāhmaṇas that live on the earth have come from (various) directions.

253. Taking with them various kinds of wealth Kṣatriyas have arrived; they announced themselves when the sacrifice was begun.

254-255. Actors, dancers and suppliants have come (even) from the sea. The loud noise of songs and musical instruments, mixed with the sound of (the recitation of) the Vedas, deafened the three worlds. There were no words like “Do not give”, or “Give a little”.

256. He, who asked for whatever object, was given that. There was also no Brāhmaṇa who asked for much.

257-258. Brāhmaṇas did not ask for food and coverings, gold, jewels or silver (objects), so also horses and elephants. They did not accept houses, cows, land, villages. Satisfied with Bali’s kingdom what would they do with wealth?

259. Thus proceeded the great sacrifice where everything was given as a gift.

260. They danced, sang, recited (hymns); others praised the sacrifice in which large gifts were given. Brahmā, Indra, Rudra, the Planets, the Sun, the Moon, were propitiated with offerings and sacred hymns.

261. Some glorified Bali; some the preceptor; some the sacrificial priest reciting the hymns from the Ṛgveda at the sacrifice; some praised the attendants. Not only of Brahmā or of Indra (?obscure) if such a sacrifice is performed he will go to Dhruva. Having given his kingdom to best Brāhmaṇas he will certainly go to the Nether world.

262. The submarine fires uttered such words, the demons heard them, and said: “What is this?” Together they, getting in front of Bali, tell it (to him). Bali, being pleased, gave them what they asked for.

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