Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Candrasharma included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Candraśarmā

A great sinner, who killed his preceptor. The Padma Purāṇa relates the story of four sinners named Vidura, Candraśarman, Vedaśarman and Vañjula, who shed their sin by bathing in the Gaṅgā. The sins committed by the four were respectively Brahmahatyā (killing of brahmin), Guruhatyā (killing of the preceptor), Agamyāgamana (having sexual contact with women like the wife of guru which is debarred) and Govadha (killing of cow) respectively. The leader of the above four sinners was one Vidura of the Pāñcāla deśa. He was begging in the streets without the tuft of hair, the sacred thread and tilaka (mark of sandal paste etc. on the forehead). He went from house to house begging for alms crying thus: "Here is come the man (himself) who committed Brahmahatyā. Please give alms to the brahmin-killer who is a drunkard also." During his begging tour he visited all the tīrthas also, yet brahmahatyā stuck on to him.

While this sinner Vidura, his heart rent with sorrow and remorse, was sitting under a tree, a Māgadha brahmin called Candraśarman happened to come there. This brahmin had committed the sin of guruhatyā (killing the preceptor). He told Vidura:—"While residing with the guru, blinded by desire, I killed the guru, and am now burning myself in the fire of repentance."

While they were engaged thus in conversation a third person, called Vedaśarman also came there in an absolutely tired condition. He told Vidura and Candraśarman that his relatives and others had cast him out as he once did the sin of agamyāgamana, and by the time he had finished telling his story a Vaiśya called Vañjula came there. Besides drinking liquor he had committed govadha (killing of cow) also. Though these four sinners assembled at the same place, they only talked, but did not touch one another, take food together, rest on the same seat or lie on the same bedsheet.

According to the advice of a Siddha (an evolved soul) the four sinners dived in the holy waters of Gaṅgā and came out redeemed of their sins. (Padma Purāṇa, Chapter 91).

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