6:36 PMPosted by gopalakrishna
Sri Devi Bhagavatam
On what is to be thought of in the morning
1-13. Nârada said :– O Bhagavân! O Thou, the Eternal One! O Nârâyana! O Lord of the past and the future! Thou art the Creator and the Lord of all the beings that lived in the past and that will come into existence in the future. Thou hast described to me the highly wonderful and excellent anecdote of the Exalted Devî. How She did assume the forms of Mahâkâlî, Mahâ Laksmî, Mahâ Sarasvatî and Bhrâmarî, for the fulfilment of the Devas’ purposes and how the Devas got back their possessions by the Grace of the Devî. All you have described. O Lord! Now I want to hear the rules of Sadâchâra (right way of living), the due observance of which by the devotees pleases the World-Mother. Kindly describe them.
Nârâyana said :– O Knower of Truth! Now I am telling you those rules of the right way of living, which rightly observed, always please Bhagavatî. Listen first, I will talk of the Brâhmins, how their welfare is secured, what the Brâhmanas ought to do on getting up early in the morning from their bed. From the sunrise to the sunset the Brâhmanas should do all the daily and occasional duties (Nitya and Naimittik Karmas) and they are to perform the optional works for some particular object such as Puttresti Yajña and other good works (not acts of black magic as killing, causing pain and inconveniences to others, etc.). It is the Self alone and not the Father, Mother, etc., nor any other body that, helps us on our way to that happiness in the next world. Father, Mother, wife, sons and others are helps merely to our happiness in this world. None of them are helpful to us in bettering our states in the next world.
Deliverance of one’s Self depends verily on his own Self. Therefore one should always earn and store dharma (religion) and observe always there the right conduct to help one in the next world. If Dharma be on our side, this endless sea of troubles can be safely crossed. The rules of right living as ordained by Manu in S’rutis and Manu Smritis are the principal Dharmas. The Brâhmanas should always be observant to their Dharma as ordained in the S’âstras, S’ruti and Smriti. Follow the right conduct and then you will get life, posterity and increase of happiness easily here and hereafter. By right conduct, food is obtained and sins are easily destroyed; the right conduct is the auspicious principal Dharma of men. Persons of right living enjoy happiness in this world as well as in the next. Those, who are veiled in darkness by Ignorance and thus wildly enchanted, can verily see their way to Mukti if they follow the Great Light revealed to them by Dharma and the right conduct. It is by Sadâchâra, that superiority is attained. Men of right conduct always do good deeds. From good deeds, knowledge comes. This is the advice of Manu.
14-24. Right way of living is the best of all the Dharmas and is great Tapasyâ (asceticism). The knowledge comes from this Right Living. Everything is attained thereby. He who is devoid of Sadâchâra, is like a S’ûdra, even if he comes of a Brâhmin family. There is no distinction whatsoever betwen him and a S’ûdra. Right conduct is of two kinds :– (1) as dictated by the S’âstras, (2) as dictated by the popular custom (Laukika). Both these methods should be observed by him who wants welfare for his Self. He is not to forsake one of them. O Muni! The village Dharma, the Dharma of one’s own caste, the Dharma of one’s own family and the Dharma of one’s own country all should be observed by men. Never, never he is to do anything otherwise. With great loving devotion that is to be preserved. Men who practise wrong ways of living, are censured by the public; they always suffer from diseases. Avoid wealth and desires that have no Dharma in them. Why? If in the name of dharma, painful acts (e. g. killing animals in sacrifices) are to be committed, those are blamed by the people; so never commit them. Avoid them by all means. Nârada said :– “O Muni! The S’âstras are not one, they are many and they lay down different rules and contradictory opinions, How then Dharma is to be followed? And according what Dharma S’âstra?” Nârâyana said :– S’ruti and Smriti are the two eyes of God; the Purânam is His Heart. Whatever is stated in S’ruti, the Smriti and the Purânams is Dharma; whatever else is written in other S’âstras is not Dharma. Where you will find differences between S’ruti, Smriti and Purânas, accept the words of the S’rutis as final proofs. Wherever Smriti disagrees with the Purânas, know the Smritis more authoritative.
And where differences will crop up in the S’rutis themselves, know that Dharma, too, is of two kinds. And where the differences will crop up in the Smritis themselves, consider, then, that different things are aimed at. In some Purânas, the Dharma of the Tantras is duly described; but of these, which go against the Vedas, they are not to be accepted any means.
25-37. Tantra is accepted as the authoritative proof then and then only when it contradicts not the Vedas. Whatever goes clearly against the Vedas can in no way be accepted as a proof. In matters concerning Dharma, the Vedas is the Sole Proof. Therefore that which is not against the Vedas can be taken as proof; otherwise not. Whoever acts Dharma according to other proofs than what is ordained in the Vedas, goes to the hell in the abode of Yama to get his lesson. So the Dharma that is by all means to be accepted as such, is what is stated in the Vedas. The Smritis, the Purânas, or the Tantra S’âstras can be taken also as authoritative when they are not conflicting to Vedas. Any other S’âstras can be taken as authoritative when it is fundamentally coincident with the Vedas. Else it can never be accepted.
Those who do injury to others even by the blade of a Kus’a grass used as a weapon, go to hell with their heads downwards and their feet upwards. Those that follow their own sweet free will, that take up any sort of dress (e. g. Bauddhas), those that follow the philosophical doctrines called Pâs’upatas, and the other hermits and saints and persons that take up other vows contrary to the religions of the Vedas, for example, the Vaikhânasa followers, those who brand their bodies by the hot Mudrâs, at the places of pilgrimages, e. g. Dvârkâ, etc., they go to hell with their bodies scorched by red hot brands (Tapta Mudrâs). So persons should act according to the excellent religions commanded by the Vedas. Everyday he should get up from his bed early in the morning and think thus :– “What good acts have I done, what have I given as charities? Or what I advised others to do charities what greater sins (Mahâpâtakas) and what smaller sins have I committed?” At the last quarter of the night he should think of Para Brahmâ. He should place his right leg on his left thigh and his left on his right thigh crosswise keeping his head straight up and touching the breast with his chin, and closing his eyes, he should sit steadily so that the upper teeth should not touch the lower jaw.
He should join his tongue with his palate and he should sit quiet, restraining his senses. He should be S’uddha Sattva. His seat should not be very low. First of all he should practice Prânâyâma twice or thrice; and within his heart he should meditate the Self of the shape of the Holy Flame or the Holy Light. (Om Mani Padma Hum.)
38-49. He should fix his heart for a certain time to that Luminous Self whose Eyes are everywhere. So the intelligent man should practise Dhâranâ. Prânâyâma is of six kinds :– (1) Sadhûma (when the breaths are not steady), (2) Nirdhûma(better than the Sadhûma),
(3) Sagarbha (when united with one’s mantra), (4) Agarbha (when the practice is without the thought of any mantra), (5) Salaksya (when the heart is fixed on one’s Deity) and (6) Alaksya (when the heart is not fixed on one’s Deity). No yoga can be compared with Prânâyâma. This is equal to itself. Nothing can be its equal. This Prânâyâma is of three kinds, called Rechaka, Pûraka and Kumbhaka. The Prânâyâma consists of three letters, A, U, M, i. e. of the nature of “Om”. Or, in other words the letter A, of the Pranava Om indicates Pûraka, the letter “U” denotes Kumhhaka and the letter “M” denotes Rechaka. By the Îdâ Nâdi (by the left nostril) inhale as long as you count “A” (Visnu) thirty-two times; then withold breath, i.e., do Kumbhaka as long as you count “U” (S’iva) sixtyfour times and by the Pingalâ Nâdi (the right nostril) do the Rechaka, i.e., exhale the breath as long as you count “M” (Brahmâ) for sixteen times. O Muni! Thus I have spoken to you of the Sadhûma Prânâyâma. After doing the Prânâyâma as stated above, pierce the Six Chakras (i. e., plexuses) (called Sathakra bheda) and carry the Kula Kundalinî to the Brahmâ Randhra, the brain aperture, or to the thousand petalled lotus in the head and meditate in the heart the Self like a Steady Flame. (The Nâdis are not those which are known to the Vaidya or the Medical S’âstras. The latter are the gross physical nerves, The Nâdis here are the Yoga Nâdis, the subtle channels (Vivaras) along which the Prânik currents flow. Now the process of piercing the six Chakras (or nerve centres or centres of moving Prânik forces) is being described. Within this body, the six nerve centres called Padmas (Lotuses) exist. They are respectively situated at the (1) Mûlâdhâra (half way between Anus and Linga Mûla), called the Sacral Plexus; (2) Linga Mûla (the root of the genital organs); called postatic plexus; (this is also called Svâdhisthâna) (3) Navel, the Solar Plexus (4) Heart, the cardiac Plexus, (5) Throat (6) Forehead, between the eye brows there; the lotus in the forehead, called the cavernous plexus (Âjnâ Chakra) has two petals; in these two petals, the two letters “Ham” “Ksam” exist in the right hand direction (with the bands of the watch; going round from left to right keeping the right side towards one circumambulated as as a mark of respect). I bow down to these which are the two-lettered Brahmâ. The lotus that exists in the throat laryngeal or pharyngeal plexus has sixteen petals (vis’uddhâ chakra); in these are in due order in right hand direction the sixteen letters (vowels) a, â, i, î, u, û, ri, rî, lri, lrî, e, ai, o, au, am, ah; I bow down to these which are the sixteen lettered Brahmâ. The lotus that exists in the heart, the cardiac plexus (anâhata chakra), has twelve petals; wherein are the twelve letters k, kh, g, gh, n, ch, chh, j, jh, ñ, t, th; I bow to to these twelve lettered Brahmâ. The Solar plexus forms the Great Junction of the Right and Left sympathetic chains Îdâ and Pingalâ with the Cerebro spinal Axis. The lotus that exists in the navel, called the Solar Plexus, or Epigastric plexus (Manipura Chakra) has ten petals wherein are the ten letters d, dh, n, t, th, d, dh, n, p, ph, counting in the right hand direction (that is clockwise) (and the action of this clock is vertical in the plane of the spinal cord; also it may be horizontal). The lotus that exists at the root of the genital organ, the genital plexus or postatic plexus has six petals. The petals are the configurations made by the position of Nâdis at any particular centre. Svâdhisthâna chakra or Svayambhu Linga, wherein are situated the six letters, b, bh, m, y, r, l; I bow down to this six-lettered Brahmâ. (These are the Laya Centres). The lotus that exists in the Mûlâdhâra, called the sacral or sacrococcygeal plexus has four petals, wherein are the four letters v, s’, s, s. I bow down to these four-lettered Brahmâ. In the above six nerve centres or Laya Centres, or lotuses, all the letters are situated in the right hand direction (clockwise). (Note :– All the nerves of the body combine themselves in these six nerve centres or Laya Centres. Each of these centres is spheroidal and is of the Fourth Dimension. At each centre many transitions take place, many visions take place, many forces are perceived and wonderful varieties of knowledge are experienced. These are called the Laya Centres. For many things vanish into non-existence and many new Tattvas are experienced.) Thus meditating on the Six Chakras or plexuses, meditate on the Kula Kundalinî, the Serpent Fire. She resides on the four petalled lotus (Centre of S’akti) called Mûlâdhâra Chakra (Coccygeal plexus); She is of Rajo Guna; She is of a blood red colour, and She is expressed by the mantra “Hrîm,” which is the Mâyâvîja; she is subtle as the thread of the fibrous stock of the water lily. The Sun is Her face; Fire is Her breasts; he attains Jîvan mukti (liberation while living) within whose heart such a Kula Kundalinî arises and awakens even once. Thus meditating on Kula Kundalinî, one should pray to Her :– Her sitting, coming, going, remaining, the thought on Her, the realisation of Her and chanting hymns to Her, etc., all are Mine, Who is of the nature of all in all; I am that Bhagavatî; O Bhagavatî! All my acts are Thy worship; I am the Devî; I am Brahmâ, I am free from sorrow. I am of the nature of Everlasting Existence, Intelligence and Bliss. Thus one should meditate of one’s own-self. I take refuge of that Kula Kundalinî, who appears like lightning and who holds the current thereof, when going to Brahmârandhra, in the brain, who appears like nectar when coming back from the brain to the Mûlâdhâra and who travels in the Susumnâ Nâdi in the spinal cord. Then one is to meditate on one’s own Guru, who is thought of as one with God, as seated in one’s brain and then worship Him mentally. Then the Sâdhaka, controlling himself is to recite the following Mantra “The Guru is Brahmâ, the Guru is Visnu, it is the Guru again that is the Deva Mahes’vara; it is Guru that is Para Brahmâ. I bow down to that S’rî Guru.”
Here ends the First Chapter of the Eleventh Book on what is to be thought of in the morning in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa.
On cleansing the several parts of the body
1-42. Nârâyana said :– Even if a man studies the Vedas with six Amgas (limbs of the Vedas), he cannot be pure if he be devoid of the principle of right living (Sadâchâra) and if he does not practise it. All that is in vain. As soon as the two wings of the young ones of birds appear they leave their nests, so the chhandas (the Vedas) leave such a man devoid of Sadâchâra at the time of his death. The intelligent man should get up from his bed at the Brâhma muhûrta and should observe all the principles of Sadâchâra. In the last quarter of night, he should practise in reciting and studying the Vedas. Then for some time he should meditate on his Ista Deva (his Presiding Deity). The Yogi should meditate on Brahmâ according to the method stated before. O Nârada! If meditation be done as above, the identity of Jîva and Brahmâ is at once realised and the man becomes liberated while living. After the fifty-fifth Danda from the preceding sunrise, i.e., 2 hours before the sunrise comes the Usâkâla; after the fifty seventh Danda comes the Arunodayakâla; after fifty eighth Danda comes the morning time; then the Sun rises. On should get up from one’s bed in the morning time. He should go then to a distance where an arrow shot at one stretch goes. There in the south-west corner he is to void his urines and faeces. Then the man, if he be a Brahmachârî, should place his holy thread on his right ear and the householder should suspend it on his neck only. That is, the Brahmachârî, in the first stage of of his life should place the holy thread over his right ear; the householder and the Vânaprasthîs should suspend the holy thread from the neck towards the back and then void their faeces, etc. He is to tie a piece of cloth round his head; and spread earth or leaves on the place where he will evacuate himself. He is not to talk then nor spit nor inhale hard. One is not to evacuate oneself in cultivated lands, that have been tilled, in water, over the burning pyre, on the mountain, in the broken and ruined temples, on the ant-hills, on places covered with grass, on road side, or on holes where living beings exist. One ought not to do the same also while walking. One ought to keep silence during both the twilights, while one is passing urine or voiding one’s faeces, or while one is holding sexual intercourse, or before the presence of one’s Guru, during the time of sacrifice, or while making gifts, or while doing Brahmâ Yajña. One ought to pray before evacuating, thus :– “O Devas! O Risis! O Pis’âchas! O Uragas! O Râksasas! You all who might be existing here unseen by me, are requested to leave this place. I am going to ease myself here duly.” Never one is to void oneself while one looks at Vâyu (wind), Agni (fire), a Brâhmana, the Sun, water or cow. At the day time one is to turn one’s face northward and at the night time southward, while easing oneself and then one is to cover the faeces, etc., with stones, pebbles, leaves or grass, etc. Then he is to hold his genital organ with his hand and go to a river or any other watery place; he is to fill his vessel with water then and go to some other place.
The Brâhmana is to use the white earth, the Ksattriya is to take the red earth, the Vais’ya is to use the yellow earth and the S’ûdra is to apply the black earth and with that he is to cleanse himself. The earth under water, the earth of any temple, the earth of an anthill, the earth of a mouse hole, and the remnant of the earth used by another body for washing are not to be used for cleansing purposes. The earth for cleansing faeces is twice as much as that used in case of urine clearance; in the cleansing after sexual intercourse thrice as much. In urine cleansing the earth is to be applied in the organ of generation once, thrice in the hand. And in dirt clearing, twice in the organ of generation, five times in anus, ten times in the left hand and seven times in both the hands. Then apply earth four times first in the left feet and then on the right feet. The house holder should clean thus; the Brahmachâri is to do twice and the Yatis four times. At every time the quantity of wet earth that is to be taken is to be of the size of an Âmalakî fruit; never it is to be less than that. This is for the clearance in the day time. Half of these can be used in the night time. For the invalids, one-fourth the above measurements; for the passers-by, one-eighth the above dimensions are to be observed. In case of women, S’ûdras, and incapable children, clearings are to be done till then when the offensive smell vanishes. No numbers are to be observed. Bhagavân Manu says for all the Varnas the clearing is to be done till then when the offensive smell vanishes. The clearing is to be performed by the left hand. The right hand is never to be used. Below the navel, the left hand is to be used; and above the navel the right hand is to be used for clearing. The wise man should never hold his water pot while evacuating himself. If by mistake he catches hold of his waterpot, he will have to perform the penance (prâyaschitta). If, out of vanity or sloth, clearing be not done, for three nights, one is to fast, drinking water only, and then to repeat the Gâyatrî Mantra and thus be purified. In every matter, in view of the place, time and materials, one’s ability and power are to be considered and steps are to be taken accordingly. Knowing all this, one should clear oneself according to rule. Never be lazy here. After evacuating oneself of faeces, one is to rinse one’s mouth twelve times; and after passing urine and clearing, one is to rinse four times. Never less than that is to be done. The water after rinsing is to be thrown away slowly downwards on one’s left. Next performing Âchaman one is to wash one’s teeth. He is to take a tiny piece, twelve Ângulas (fingers) long (about one foot) from a tree which is thorny and gummy. The cleansing twig (for teeth) is thick like one’s little finger. He is to chew the one end of it to form a tooth brush. Karanja, Udumbara (figtree), Mango, Kadamba, Lodha, Champaka and Vadarî trees are used for cleansing teeth. While cleansing teeth, one is to recite the following mantra :– “O Tree! Wherein resides the Deity Moon for giving food to the beings and for killing the enemies! Let Him wash my mouth to increase my fame and honour! O Tree! Dost Thou please give me long life, power, fame, energy, beauty, sons, cattle, wealth, intellect, and the knowledge of Brahmâ.” If the cleansing twig be not available and if there be any prohibition to brush one’s teeth that day, (say, Pratipad day, Amâvas, Sasthi and Navamî), take mouthfuls of water, gargle twelve times and thus cleanse the teeth. If one brushes one’s teeth with a twig on the new moon day, the first, sixth, ninth and eleventh day after the Full or New Moon or on Sunday, one eats the Sun (is it were, by making Him lose his fire), makes his family line extinct and brings his seven generations down into the hell. Next he should wash his feet and sip pure clean water thrice, touch his lips twice with his thumb, and then clear the nostrils by his thumb and fore finger. Then he is to touch his eyes and ears with his thumb and ring finger, touch his navel with his thumb and little finger, touch his breast with his palm and touch his head with all his fingers.
Here ends the Second Chapter of the Eleventh Book on cleansing the several parts of the body in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the glories of the Rudrâksa beads
1-21. S’rî Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! There are the six kinds of Âchamana :– (1) S’uddha, (2) Smârta, (3) Paurânik, (4) Vaidik, (5) Tântrik and(6) S’rauta. The act of cleaning after evacuating oneself of urine and faeces is known as S’uddha S’aucha. After cleaning, the Âchaman, that is performed according to rules, is named as Smârta and Paurânik. In places where the Brahmâ Yajña is performed, the Vaidik and S’rauta Âchamanas are done. And where acts, e.g., the knowledge of warfare are being executed, the Tântrik Âchaman is done. Then he is to remember the Gâyatrî Mantra with Pranava (Om) and fasten the lock of hair on the crown of his head, thus controlling all the hindrances (Bighna Bandhanam). Sipping again, he is to touch his heart, two arms, and his two shoulders. After sneezing, spitting, touching the lower lip with teeth, accidentally telling a lie, and talking with a very sinful man, he is to touch his right ear (where the several Devas reside). On the right ear of the Brâhmanas reside Fire, Water, the Vedas, the Moon, the Sun, and the Vâyu (wind). Then one is to go to a river or any other reservoir of water, and there to perform one’s morning ablutions and to cleanse his body thoroughly. For the body is always unclean and dirty and various diets are being excreted out of the nine holes (doors) in the body. The morning bath removes all these impurities. Therefore the morning bath is essentially necessary. The sins that arise from going to those who are not fit for such purposes, from accepting gifts from impure persons or from the practice of any other secret vices all are removed by the morning ablutions. Without this bath, no acts bear any fruit. Therefore everyday, this morning bath is very necessary. Taking the Kus’a grass in hand, one is to perform one’s bath and Sandhyâ. If for seven days, the morning ablutions are not taken, and if for three days, the Sandhyâs are not performed, if for twelve days, the daily Homas be not performed, the Brâhmanas become S’ûdras. The time for making the Homa in the morning is very little; therefore lest ablutions be done fully which would take a long time and hence the time for the Homa might elapse, the morning bath should be performed quickly. After the bath the Prânâyâma is to be done. Then the full effects of bath are attained. There is nothing holier in this world or in the next than reciting the Gâyatrî. It saves the singer who sings the Gâyatrî; hence it is called Gâyatrî. During the time of Prânâyâma, one must control one’s Prâna and Apâna Vâyus, i.e., make them equal. The Brâhmin, knowing the Vedas and devoted to his Dharma, must practise Prânâyâma three times with the repetition of Gâyatrî and Pranava and the three Vyârhitis (Om Bhu, Om Bhuvar, Om Svah).
While practising, the muttering of Gâyatrî is to be done three times. In Prânâyâma, the Vaidik mantra is to be repeated, never a Laukika Mantra is to be uttered. At the time of Prânâyâma, if anybody’s mind be not fixed, even for a short while, like a mustard seed on the apex of a cow-horn, he cannot save even one hundred-and one persons in his father’s or in his mother’s line. Prânâyâma is called Sagarbha when performed with the repetition of some mantra; it is called Agarbha when it is done simply with mere meditation, without repeating any mantra. After the bathing, the Tarpanam with its accompaniments, is to he done; i.e., the peace offerings are made with reference to the Devas, the Risis, and the Pitris (whereby we invoke the blessings from the subtle planes where the highsouled persons dwell). After this, a clean pair of clothes is to be worn and then he should get up and come out of the water. The next things preparatory to practise Japam are to wear the Tilaka marks of ashes and to put on the Rudrâksa beads. He who holds thirty-two Rudrâksa beads on his neck, forty on his head, six on each ear (12 on two ears), twenty four beads on two hands (twelve on each hand) thirty-two beads on two arms (sixteen on each), one bead on each eye and one bead on the hair on the crown, and one hundred and eight beads on the breast, (251 in all) becomes himself Mahâ Deva. One is expected to use them as such. O Muni! You can use the Rudrâksas after tieing, stringing together with gold or silver always on your S’ikhâ, the tuft of hair on the head or on your ears. On the holy thread, on the hands, on the neck, or on the belly (abdomen) one can keep the Rudrâksa after one has repeated sincerely and with devotion the five lettered mantra of S’iva, or one has repeated the Prânâva (Om). Holding the Rudrâksa implies that the man has realised the knowledge of S’iva Tattva. O Brahmân! The Rudrâksa bead that is placed on the tuft or on the crown hair represents the Târa tattva, i.e., Om Kâra; the Rudrâksa beads that are held on the two ears are to be thought of as Deva and Devî, (S’iva and S’ivâ).
22-37. The one hundred and eight Rudrâksa beads on the sacrificial thread are considered as the one hundred and eight Vedas (signifying the Full Knowledge, as sixteen digits of the Moon completed; on the arms, are considered as the Dik (quarters); on the neck, are considered as the Devî Sarasvatî and Agni (fire). The Rudrâksa beads ought to be taken by men of all colours and castes. The Brâhmanas, Ksattriyas and Vais’yas should hold them after purifying them with Mantras, i.e., knowingly; whereas the S’ûdras can take them without any such purification by the Mantras, i.e., unknowingly. By holding or putting on the Rudrâksa beads, persons become the Rudras incarnate in flesh and body. There is no doubt in this. By this all the sins arising from seeing, hearing, remembering, smelling, eating prohibited things, talking incoherently, doing prohibited things, etc., are entirely removed with the Rudrâksa beads on the body; whatever acts, eating, drinking, smelling, etc., are done, are, as it were, done by Rudra Deva Himself. O Great Muni! He who feels shame in holding and putting on the Rudrâksa beads, can never be freed from this Samsâra even after the Koti births. He who blames another person holding Rudrâksa beads has defects in his birth (is a bastard). There is no doubt in this. It is by holding on Rudrâksa that Brahmâ has remained steady in His Brahmâhood untainted and the Munis have been true to their resolves. So there is no act better and higher than holding the Rudrâksa beads. He who gives clothing and food to a person holding Rudrâksa beads with devotion is freed of all sins and goes to the S’iva Loka. He who feasts gladly any holder of such beads at the time of S’râdh, goes undoubtedly to the Pitri Loka. He who washes the feet of a holder of Rudrâksa and drinks that water, is freed of all sins and resides with honour in the S’iva Loka. If a Brâhmana holds with devotion the Rudrâksa beads with a necklace and gold, he attains the Rudrahood. O Intelligent One! Wherever whoever holds with or without faith and devotion the Rudrâksa beads with or without any mantra, is freed of all sins and is entitled to the Tattvajñâna. I am unable to describe fully the greatness of the Rudrâksa beads. In fact, all should by all means hold the Rudrâksa beads on their bodies.
Note :– The number one hundred and eight (108) signifies the One Hundred and Eight Vedas, the Brahmân, the Source of all Wisdom and Joy.
Here ends the Third Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the glories of the Rudrâksa beads in the Mahâ Puranam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the greatness of the Rudrâksam
1-11. Nârada said :– O Sinless one! The greatness of the Rudrâksa seed that you have described is verily such. Now I ask why is this Rudrâksam so much entitled to worship by the people. Please speak clearly on this point. Nârâyana spoke :– O Child! This is the very question that was asked once by Kârtika, the sixfaced One, to Bhagavân Rudra, dwelling in Kailâs’a. What He replied, I say now. Listen. Rudra Deva spoke :– O Child Sadânana. I will dwell briefly on the secret cause of the greatness of the Rudrâksa seed. Hear. In days of yore, there was a Daitya called Tripurâ who could not be conquered by any body. Brahmâ, Visnu and the other Devas were defeated by him. They then came to Me and requested Me to kill the Asura. At their request, I called in my mind the Divine Great weapon, named Aghora, beautiful and terrible and containing the strength of all the Devas, to kill him. It was inconceivable and it was blazing with fire.
For full divine one thousand years I remained awake with eyelids wide open in thinking of the Aghora weapon, the destroyer of all obstacles, whereby the killing of Tripurâsura might be effected and the troubles of the Devas be removed. Not for a moment my eyelids dropped. There by my eyes were affected and drops of water came out of my eyes. Note here. How enemies are to be killed. It requires great thought, great concentration, great yoga and great powers. O Mahâsena! From those drops of water coming out of my eyes, the great tree of Rudrâksam did spring for the welfare of all. This Rudrâksa seed is of thirty-eight varieties. From My Sûrya Netra, i.e., My right eye, symbolizing the Sun, twelve yellow coloured (Pingala colour) varieties have come; and from my left eye representing the Moon, the Soma Netra, sixteen varieties of white colour and from my third eye on the top, representing Fire, i.e., the Agni Netra, ten varieties of black colour have come out. Of these the white Rudrâksams are Brâhmins and they are used by the Brâhmanas; the red coloured ones are the Ksattriyas and should be used by the Ksattriyas and the black ones are S’ûdras and should be used by the Vaisyas and the S’ûdras.
12-19. One faced Rudrâksa seed is the S’iva Himself, made manifest and rendered vivid; even the sin incurred in killing a Brâhmana is destroyed thereby. Two faced or two headed Rudrâksam is like the Deva and the Devî. Two sorts of sins are destroyed thereby. The three faced Rudrâksam is like fire; the sin incurred in killing a woman is destroyed in a moment. The four faced Rudrâksa seed is like Brahmâ and removes the sin of killing persons. The five faced Rudrâksam is verily an image of Rudra; all sorts of sins, e.g., eating prohibited food, going to the ungoables, etc., are destroyed thereby. The six faced Rudrâksam is Kârtikeya. It is to be worn on the right hand. One becomes freed of the Brahmâhatyâ sin. There is no manner of doubt in this. The seven faced Rudrâksam is named Ananga. Holding this frees one from the sin of stealing gold, etc., O Mahâsena! The eight faced Rudrâksa is Vinâyaka. Holding this frees one from the sin of holding an illicit contact with a woman of a bad family and with the wife of one’s Guru, etc., and other sins as well. It enables one to acquire heaps of food, cotton, and gold; and in the end the Highest Place is attained.
20-35. The fruit of holding the eight faced Rudrâksa seed has been said. Now I will talk of the nine-faced Rudrâksam. It is verily the Bhairava made manifest. On the left hand it should be worn. By this, the people get both Bhoga (enjoyment) and Moksa (liberation) and they become powerful like Me and get themselves freed at once, without the least delay, of the sins incurred by committing thousands of abortions, hundreds of Brahmâhattyâs (killing the Brâhmanas). Holding the ten-faced Rudrâksa is verily wearing Janârdana, the Deva of the Devas. The holding of which pacifies the evils caused by planets, Pis’âchas, Vetâlas, Brahmâ Râksasas, and Pannagas. The eleven-faced Rudrâksam is like the Eleven Rudras. The fruits, the efficacy of which I now describe. Hear. The fruits obtained through the performance of one thousand horse sacrifices, one hundred Vâjapeya sacrifices, and making gifts of one hundred thousand cows are obtained thereby.
If one wears the twelve-headed Rudrâksam on one’s ear, the Âdityas get satisfied. The fruits of performing Gomedha and As’vamedha sacrifices are obtained thereby. No fear comes from burned buffaloes, armed enemies and wolves and tigers and other murderous animals. Also the several diseases of the body never come to him. The holder of the twelve-faced Rudrâksa seed feels always happy and he is the master of some kingdoms He becomes freed of the sins incurred in killing elephants, horses, deer, cats, snakes, mice, frogs, asses, foxes and various other animals.
O Child! The thirteen faced Rudrâksam is very rare; if anybody gets it, he becomes like Kârti Keya and gets all desires fulfilled; and the eight siddhis are under his grasp. He learns how to make gold, silver and other metals; he attains all sorts of enjoyments. There is no manner of doubt in this. O Sadânana! If anybody holds the thirteen faced Rudrâksam, he becomes freed from the sins incurred in killing mother, father and brothers.
O Son! If one holds on one’s head the fourteen faced Rudrâksam always, one becomes like S’iva. O Muni! What more shall I speak to you! The Devas pay their respects to one holding the fourteen faced Rudrâksas and he in the end attains the Highest Goal, the state of S’iva. His body becomes verily the body of S’iva.
36-40. The Devas always worship the Rudrâksa seed; the highest goal is attained by wearing the Rudrâksam. The Brâhmanas should hold on their heads at least one Rudrâksam with devotion. A rosary of twenty-six Rudrâksams is to be made and tied on the head. Similarly a rosary of fifty seeds is to be worn and suspended on the breast; sixteen each on each of the two arms; twenty-four Rudrâksams to be worn on the wrists, twelve on each. O Sadânana! If a rosary be made of one hundred and eight, fifty or twenty-seven Rudrâksams and if japam be done with that, immeasurable merits are obtained. If anybody wears a rosary of one hundred and eight seeds, he gets at every momentthe fruit of performing the As’vamedha sacrifices and uplifts his twenty-one generations and finally he resides in the S’iva Loka.
Here ends the Fourth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the Greatness of the Rudrâksam in the Mahâpuranam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the Rudrâksam rosaries
1-14. Îs’vara said :– O Kârtikeya! Now I will speak how to count the Japam (repetition of the mantra) with the rosary. Hear. The face of Rudrâksam is Brahmâ; the upper summit point is S’iva and the tail end of Rudrâksam is Visnu. The Rudrâksam has two-fold powers :– It can give Bhoga (Enjoyment) as well as Moksa (Liberation). Then string or tie together, like a cow’s tail, and like the snake’s coiling a body, twenty-five five faced Rudrâksa seeds, thorny and of red, white, mixed colours bored through and through. The rosary is to taper as a cow’s tail tapers down. In stringing the beads into a rosary, it should be seen that the flat face of one Rudrâksam is in front of the flat face of another Rudrâksam; so the tail, the pointed end of one, must come in front of the tail or the narrower end of another. The Meru or the topmost bead of the string must have its face turned upwards and the knot should be given over that. The rosary, thus strung, yields success of the Mantra (mantra-siddhi). When the rosary is strung, it is to be bathed with clear and scented water and afterwards with the Pañchagavya (cow-dung, cow urine, curd, milk, and ghee); then wash it with clear water and sanctify it with the condensed electrical charge of the Mantra. Then recite the Mantra of S’iva (Six limbed), with “Hûm” added and collect the rosaries. Then repeat over them the Mantra “Sadyojâta, etc.”, and sprinkle water over it one hundred and eight times. Then utter the principal mantra and place them on a holy ground and perform Nyâsa over it, i.e., think that the Great Cause S’iva and the World-Mother Bhagavatî have come on them. Thus make the Samskâra of the rosary (i.e., purify it) and you will find then that your desired end will be attained successfully. Worship the rosary with the Mantra of that Devata for which it is intended. One is to wear the Rudrâksa rosary on one’s head, neck or ear and controlling oneself, one should make japam with the rosary. On the neck, head, breast, or the ears or on the arms, the rosary should he held with the greatest devotion. What is the use in saying about it so often? It is highly meritorious and commendable to hold always the Rudrâksam. Especially on such occasions as taking baths, making gifts, making japams, performing the Homas,or sacrifices to Visve Devas, in performing the Poojâs of the Devas,in making Prâyaschittams (penances), in the time of S’râdh and in the time of initiation, it is highly necessary to hold Rudrâksam. A Brâhmin is sure to go to hell if he performs any Vaidik act without wearing any Rudrâksam. Note :– It would be offering an insult to S’iva!
15-29. It is advisable to use the true Rudrâksam with gold and jewel, on the head, neck or on one’s hand. Never use the Rudrâksam worn by another. Use Rudrâksam always with devotion; never use it while you are impure. Even the grass that grows with the air in contact with the Rudrâksa tree, goes verily to a holy region for ever. Jâbâla Muni says in the S’ruti :– lf a man wearing Rudrâksam commits a sin, he gets deliverance from that sin. Even if animals hold Rudrâksam, they become S’iva; what of men! The devotees of S’rî Rudra should always use at least one Rudrâksa on the head. Those great devotees, who with Rudrâksam on take the name of the Highest Self S’ambhu, get themselves freed of all sorts of sins and pains. Those who are ornamented with Rudrâksam are the best devotees. It is highly incumbent on those who want their welfare to wear Rudrâksam. Those who hold Rudrâksam on their ears, crown hair, neck, hands, and breast, get Brahmâ, Visnu, and Mahes’vara under them as their Vibhûtis (manifestations, powers). The Devas and all those Risis that started the Gotra, the Âdipurusas (the first chief men in several families), held with reverence the Rudrâksams. All the other Munis, that descended from their families, the ardent followers of S’rauta Dharma, the pure souled, held the Rudrâksams. It may be, that many might not like at first to hold this Rudrâksam, the visible giver of liberation and so well written in the Vedas; but after many births, out of the Grace of Mahâdeva many become eager to take the Rudrâksams. The Munis that are the Jâbâla Sâkhîs are famous in expounding the inestimable greatness of Rudrâksams.
The effect of holding Rudrâksams is well known in the three worlds. Punyam (great merit) arises from the mere sight of Rudrâksams; ten million times that merit arises by its touch; and by wearing it, one hundred Koti times the fruit arises and if one makes Japam every day, then one lakh koti times the punyam arises. There is no manner of questionings in this.
30-36. He who holds in his hand, breast, neck, ears, head, the Rudrâksams, becomes an image of Rudra. There is no manner of doubt in this. By holding Rudrâksams, men become invulnerable of all the beings, become respected, like Mahâ Deva, by the Devas and Asuras and they roam on the earth like Rudra. Even if a man be addicted to evil deeds and commits all sorts of sins, he becomes respected by all, on holding Rudrâksams. By this men are freed of the sin of taking Uchhista and of all the other sins. Even if you suspend a Rudrâksam rosary on the neck of a dog and if that dog dies in that state, he gets liberation! Then what to speak of others! By holding Rudrâksams, men even if they be devoid of Japam and Dhyânam, become freed of all sins and attain the highest state. Even if one holds merely one Rudrâksa seed purified and surcharged with Mantra S’akti, he uplifts his twentyone generations, gets to Heaven and resides there with respect. I am speaking now further of the Greatness of Rudrâksam.
Here ends the Fifth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the Rudrâksam rosaries in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the greatness of Rudrâksams
1-21. Îs’vara said :– O Kârtikeya! Kus’agranthi, Jîvapattrî and other rosaries cannot compare to one-sixteenth part of the Rudrâksa rosary. As Visnu is the best of all the Purusas, the Gangâ is the best of all the rivers, Kas’yapa, amongst the Munis, Uchchaihsravâ amongst the horses, Mahâ Deva amongst the Devas, Bhagavatî amongst the Devîs, so the Rudrâksam rosary is the best of all the rosaries. All the fruits that occur by reading the stotras and holding all the Vratas, are obtained by wearing the Rudrâksam bead. At the time of making the Aksaya gift, the Rudrâksam bead is capable of giving high merits. The merit that accrues by giving Rudrâksam to a peaceful devotee of S’iva, cannot be expressed in words. If anybody gives food to a man holding the Rudrâksam rosary, his twenty one generations are uplifted and he ultimately becomes able to live in the Rudrâ Loka. He who does not apply ashes on his forehead and who does not hold Rudrâksam and is averse to the worship of S’iva is inferior to a chândâla. If Rudrâksam be placed on the head then the flesh-eaters, drunkards, and the associates with the vicious become freed of their sins. Whatever fruits are obtained by performing various sacrifices, asceticism and the study of the Vedas are easily attained by simply holding the Rudrâksam rosary. Whatever merits are obtained by reading the four Vedas and all the Purânas and bathing in all the Tîrthas and the results that are obtained by immense practice in learning all are obtained by wearing Rudrâksam. If at the time of death, one wears Rudrâksam and dies, one attains Rudrahood. One has not to take again one’s birth. If anybody dies by holding Rudrâksam on his neck or on his two arms, he uplifts his twenty-one generations and lives in the Rudra Loka. Be he a Brâhman or a Chândâla, be he with qualities or without qualities, if he applies ashes to his body and holds Rudrâksam he surely attains S’ivahood. Be he pure or impure; whether he eats uneatables or be he a Mlechha or a Chândâla or a Great Sinner, any body if he holds Rudrâksam is surely equal to Rudra. There is no doubt in this.
If any body holds Rudrâksam on his head he gets Koti times the fruit; on his ears, ten Koti times the fruit, on his neck, one hundred Koti times the fruit; on his holy thread, ayuta times the fruit; on his arm, one lâkh Koti times the fruit and if one wears Rudrâksam on one’s wrist, one attains Moksa. Whatever acts, mentioned in the Vedas be performed with Rudrâksam on, the fruits obtained are unbounded. Even if a man be without any Bhakti and if he wears on his neck the Rudrâksa rosary though he does always vicious acts, he becomes freed of the bondage of this world. Even if a man does not hold Rudrâksa but if he be always full of devotion towards the Rudrâksam, he attains the fruit that is got by wearing the Rudrâksam and he attains the S’iva Loka and is honoured like S’iva. As in the country of Kîkata, an ass which used to carry Rudrâksam seed got S’ivahood after his death, so any man, whether he be a Jñani (wise) or Ajnâni (unwise), gets S’ivahood if he holds Rudrâksam. There is no doubt in this.
22-28. Skanda said :– “O God! How is it that in the country of Kîkata (Bihar), an ass had to carry Rudrâksa; who gave him the Rudrâksams! And what for did he hold that?”
Bhagavân Îs’vara said :– O Son! Now hear the history of the case. In the Bindhya mountain one ass used to carry the load of Rudrâksam of a traveller. Once the ass felt tired and became unable to carry the load and fell down on the road and died. After his death the ass came to Me by My Grace, becoming Mahes’vara with trident in his hand and with three eyes. O Kârtikeya! As many faces as there are in the Rudrâksam, for so many thousand Yugas the holder resides with honour in the S’iva Loka. One should declare the greatness of Rudrâksam to one’s own disciple; never to disclose its glories to one who is not a disciple nor a devotee of Rudrâksam nor to him who is an illiterate brute. Be he a Bhakta or not a Bhakta, be be low or very low, if he holds Rudrâksam then he is freed from all sins. No equal can be to the merit of him who holds the Rudrâksams.
29-39. The Munis, the Seers of truth, describe this holding on of Rudrâksam as a very great vow. He who makes a vow to hold one thousand Rudrâksams, becomes like Rudra; the Devas bow down before him. If thousand Rudrâksams be not obtained, one should hold at least sixteen Rudrâksams on each arm, one Rudrâksam on the crown hair; on the two hands, twelve on each; thirty-two on the neck; forty on the head; six on each ear and one hundred and eight Rudrâksams on the breast; and then he becomes entitled to worship like Rudra. If any body holds Rudrâksam together with pearls, Prabâla, crystal, silver, gold and gem (lapis lazuli), he becomes a manifestation of S’iva. If a body, through laziness even, holds Rudrâksam, the sin cannot touch him as darkness cannot come near light. If any body makes japam of a mantram with a Rudrâksa rosary, he gets unbounded results. Such a merit giving Rudrâksam, if one such Rudrâksam be not found in any one’s body, his life becomes useless, like a man who is void of Tripundrak (three curved horizontal marks made on the forehead by the worshippers of S’iva). If any body simply washes his head all over with Rudrâksam on, he gets the fruit of bathing in the Ganges. There is no doubt in this. One faced Rudrâksam, the five faced, eleven faced and fourteen faced Rudrâksams are highly meritorious and entitled to worship by all. The Rudrâksam is S’ankara made manifest; so it is always worshipped with devotion. The greatness of Rudrâksam is such as it can make a king out of a poor man. On this point, I will tell you an excellent Purânic anecdote.
40-49. There was a Brâhmin, named Girinâtha in the country of Kosala. He was proficient in the Vedas and Vedâmgas, religious and very rich. He used to perform sacrifices. He had a beautiful son named Gunanidhi. The son gradually entered into his youth and looked beautiful like Kandarpa, the God of Love. While he was studying at his Guru Sudhisana’s house, he, by his beauty and youth captivated the mind of his Guru’s wife named Muktâvalî. The Guru’s wife became so much enchanted by his extraordinary beauty that she, being unable to control herself, mixed with him and for some time remained with him in secret enjoyment. Then feeling inconveniences, due to the fear of. his Guru, to enjoy her freely, used poison to the Guru, killed him and then he began to live freely with her. Next when his father, mother came to know about this, he put to death instantly his father and mother, administering poison to them. He became addicted to various pleasures and his wealth was exhausted gradually. He began to steal in Brâhmans’ houses and became addicted very much to drinking. His relatives outcasted him from the society for his bad behaviour and banished him outside the town. He then went into a dense forest with Muktâvalî; and he began to kill the Brâhmins for their wealth. Thus a long time passed away; when at last he fell into the jaws of death.
50-54. Then to take him to the region of Death, thousands of the Yama’s messengers came; at the same time the S’iva’s messengers came from S’iva Loka. O Kârtikeya! A quarrel then ensued between both the parties of Yama and S’iva. The Yama’s messengers then said :– “O Servers of S’ambhu! What are the merits of this man that you have come to take him? First speak to us of his merits.” S’iva’s messengers spoke :– “Fifteen feet below the ground where this man died, there exists the Rudrâksam. O Yama’s messengers! By the influence of that Rudrâksam, all his sins are destroyed; and we have come to take him to S’iva.” Then the Brâhmin Gunanidhi assumed a divine form and, getting on an aerial car went with S’iva’s messengers before S’iva. O One of good vows! Thus I have described briefly to you the greatness of Rudrâksam. This is capable to remove all sorts of sins and yield great merits.
Here ends the Sixth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the Greatness of Rudrâksams in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the greatness of one faced, etc., Rudrâksam
1-4. S’rî Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! When Girîs’a thus explained to Kârtikeya the greatness of Rudrâksam, he became satisfied. Now I have spoken to you of the glories of the Rudrâksams as far as I know. Now, as to our subject of right way of acting, I will now speak on other things that ought to be known. Listen. The seeing of Rudrâksam brings in a lakh times of Punyam and koti times the merit arises from touching that; holding it brings in koti times merit; again if one makes the japam of a Mantra with that Rudrâksam, one obtains merit one hundred lakh koti times and one thousand lakh koti times the merit. The merit in holding the Rudrâksam is far superior to that in holding Bhadrâksam. The Rudrâksam seed that is of the size of an Âmalakî is the best; which is the of the size of a plum, is middling; and which is of the size of a gram is the worst.
this is my word and promise. The Rudrâksam tree is of four kinds :– Brâhmana, Ksattriya, Vais’ya, and S’ûdra. The white colour is Brâhmana; the red colour is Ksattriya; the yellow colour is Vais’ya and the black coloured Rudrâksam seed is S’ûdra. The Brâhmanas are to use the white coloured Rudrâksams; the Ksattriyas, the red coloured ones, the Vais’yas, the yellow coloured ones; and the S’ûdras, the black ones. Those Rudrâksa seeds that are nicely circular, smooth, hard, and whose thorns or points are distinctly visible, are the best. Those that are pierced by insects, broken in parts, whose thorns are not clearly visible, with swells and holes and those that are coated over, these six varieties of Rudrâksams are faulty. Those Rudrâksams that have their holes by nature running through and through are best; and those that base their holes pierced by men are middling. The Rudrâksa seeds that are all of uniform shape, bright, hard, and beautifully circular should be strung together by a silken thread. How to test the Rudrâksa seed? As gold is tested by a touch stone; so the Rudrâksam is tested by drawing lines on it; those on which the lines are most uniform, bright and beautiful are the best and they should be worn by the S’aivas. One should hold one Rudrâksam on the crown hair, thirty on the head, thirty six on the neck; sixteen on each arm, twelve on each wrist, fifty on the shoulders, one hundred and eight Rudrâksams in the place of the sacrificial thread; and the devotee should have two or three rounds on the neck. On the earrings, on the crown of the head, the head, on bracelets, on armlets, on necklace, on the ornament worn on the loins one should hold Rudrâksam always, whether one sleeps or eats. Holding three hundred Rudrâksams is the lowest; holding five hundred is middling; holding one thousand Rudrâksams is the best; so one ought to wear one thousand Rudrâksams. At the time of taking Rudrâksam, on one’s head, one should utter the Mantra of Îsâna; the mantra of Tat Purusa while holding on one’s ears; Aghora mantra on one’s forehead and heart; and the vîja of Aghora mantra, i.e., “hasau” while holding on one’s hands. One should wear the rosary of fifty Rudrâksa seeds, suspended up to the belly, uttering the Vâmadeva mantra, i.e., Sadyojâtâdi, etc., the five Brahmâ mantras, and the six-limbed S’iva mantra. One is to string every Rudrâksa seed, uttering the root mantra and then hold it. One-faced Rudrâksa reveals Paratattva (the highest Tattva); when worn, the knowledge of the highest Tattva arises; the Brahmâ is seen then. The two-faced Rudrâksam is Ardhanârîs’vara, the Lord of the other half which represents women (in the same person); if worn, Ardhanârîsvara S’iva is always pleased with that man who holds it. The three-faced Rudrâksam is Fire made manifest; it destroys in a moment the sin of killing a woman.
The three-faced Rudrâksam is the three Agnis, Daksinâgni, Gârhapatya, and Âhavaniya; Bhagavân Agni is always pleased with that man who wears the three-faced Rudrâksam. The four-faced Rudrâksam is Brahmâ Himself. The wearer gets his prosperity enhanced, his diseases destroyed, the divine knowledge springs in him and his heart is always pleased. The five-faced Rudrâksam is the five faced S’iva Himself; Mahâdeva gets pleased with him who holds it. The Presiding Deity of the six faced Rudrâksam is Kârtikeya. Some Pundits take Ganapati to be the Presiding Deity of the six-faced Rudrâksam. The presiding Deity of the seven-faced Rudrâksam is the seven Mâtrikâs, the Sun and the seven Risis. By putting on this, the prosperity is increased, health and the pure knowledge are established. It should be put on when one becomes pure. The Presiding Deity of the eight-faced Rudrâksam is Brâhmî, the eight Mâtrikâs. By holding this, the eight Vasus are pleased and the river Ganges is also pleased. The putting on of this makes the Jîvas truthful and pleasant-minded. The Devatâ of the nine-faced Rudrâksam is Yama; holding this puts off the fears of Death. The Devatâ of the eleven-faced Rudrâksam is ten quarters, the ten quarters are pleased with him who wears the ten-faced Rudrâksam. The Devata of the eleven mouthed Rudrâksam is the eleven Rudrâs and Indra. Holding this enhances happiness. The twelve-faced Rudrâksam is Visnu made manifest; its Devatâs are the twelve Âdityas; the devotees of S’iva should hold this. The thirteen-faced Rudrâksam, if worn, enables one to secure one’s desires; he does nowhere experience failures. The Kâma Deva becomes pleased with him who wears this. The fourteen-faced Rudrâksam destroys all diseases and gives eternal health. While holding this, one ought not to take wine, flesh, onion, garlic, Sajñâ fruit, Châltâ fruit and the flesh of the boar which eats excrements, etc. During the Lunar and Solar eclipses, during the Uttarâyana S’amkrânti or the Daksinâyana S’amkrânti, during the full Moon or the New Moon day, if Rudrâksam be worn, one becomes instantly freed of all one’s sins.
Here ends the Seventh Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the greatness of one faced, etc., Rudrâksam in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa.
On Bhûta S’uddhi
1-21. Nârâyana said :– O Great Muni! Now I shall tell you the rules of Bhûta S’uddhi, i.e., the purification of the elements of the body (by respiratory attraction and replacement, etc.). Firstly, think of the Highest Deity Kundalinî (the Serpent Fire) as rising up in the hollow canal Susumnâ in the Spinal Cord from the Mulâdhâra (the sacral plexus) to the Brahmârandhra (the aperture supposed to be at the crown of the head). Next, the devotee is to meditate on the Mantra “Hamsa” and consider his Jîvâtmâ (the embodied soul) united with Para Brahmâ. Then think from leg to the knees in the form of a square Yantra (diagram as furnished with Vajra thunderbolt, represented by 63 lines at the four corners); consider this square as the earth, of a golden colour and represented by the letter “Lam,” representing the Seed Mantra of earth. Next from the knee to the navel consider the semi-moon and at its two ends consider that the two Lotuses are situated. Consider this as the circle of water, of white colour, represented by the letter “Vam” the Seed Mantra of water. Then again from the navel to the heart consider it as of a triangular form and the Svastik mark at its three angles and think it as of fire and represented by the letter “Ram” its root Mantra, of red colour. Next from the heart to the centre of the eyebrows, consider as marked with six dots, with the Seed Mantra “Yam” of a smoke-coloured colour (dark-red) and of a circular appearance and consider it as air. Then again from the centre of the eyebrows to the crown of the head consider as Âkâs’a Mandalam (a region of ether) beautiful and clear and with “Ham” as its vîja letter. Thus thinking consider firstly the earthy principle originated from watery principle, dissolved in water. Then think water as dissolved in fire, its cause; fire dissolved in air, its cause; and air dissolved in Âkâs’a ether, its cause; then consider Âkâs’a dissolved in its cause Ahamkâra, egoism; then again Ahamkâra dissolved in the Great Principle (Mahâttatva); and Mahâttatva again in its cause Prakriti and consider Prakriti again diluted in its cause, the Supreme Self. Then consider your ownself as the Highest Knowledge and only that. Think, then, of the Pâpa Purusa, the Sinful Man in your body. The size of this Man is that of a thumb and it is situated in the left abdomen. The head of him is represented by Brahmahatyâ (murdering a Brâhman); his area as stealing gold; his heart as drinking wine; his loins as going to the wife of his Guru, his legs as mixing with people who go to their Guru’s wives, and his toes as representing other sins and venial offences. The Sinful Man holds axes and shield in his hands; he is always angry, with his head bent down and his appearance is very horrible. Inhale air through the left nostril thinking of “Vam” the Root Mantra of air and make Kumbhaka, i.e., fill the whole body with that air, and hold it inside, purifying the sinful man; then repeating “Ram,” the seed Mantra of fire, think the sinful man with his own body burnt down to ashes. Then exhale outside through the right nostril those ashes of the Sinful Man. Next consider the ashes due to the burning of the Sinful Man, as rolled and turned into a round ball with the nectar seed of the Moon. Think steadily this ball as transformed into a golden egg by the Seed Mantra “Lam” of the earth. Repeat then, “Ham” the seed Mantra of Âkâs’a and think yourself as an ideal being; pure and clear, and shape thus your body and the several limbs.
Create, then, fresh in an inverse order from the Brahmâ the elements Âkâs’a, air, fire, water, earth and locate them in their respective positions. Then by the Mantra “Soham” separate the Jîvâtmâ from the Paramâtmâ and locate the Jîvâtmâ in the heart. Think also that the Kundalinî has come to the Sacral Plexus, after locating the Jîvâtmâ, turned into nectar by contact with the Highest Self, in the heart. Next meditate on the vital force, the Prâna S’akti, thus located as follows :– There is a red lotus on a wide boat in a vast ocean of a red colour; on this lotus is seated the Prâna S’akti. She has six hands holding, in due order, the trident, the arrows made of sugarcane, noose, goad, five arrows and a skull filled with blood. She is three-eyed. Her high breasts are decorated; the colour of Her body is like the Rising Sun. May She grant us happiness. Thus meditating on the Prâna S’akti, Who is of the nature of the Highest Self, one ought to apply ashes on his body in order to attain success in all actions. Great merit arises from the application of ashes (besmearing ashes) on the body. I will now dwell on this subject in detail. Listen. This point of holding ashes on to the body is particularly proved in the Vedas and Smritis.
Here ends the Eighth Chapter in the Eleventh Book on Bhûta S’uddhi (purification of elements in the body) in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the rules of S’irovrata
1-43. S’rî Nârâyana said :– The Brâhmanas that will perform duly the S’irovrata, to be described in the following, are the only ones who will attain very easily the highest knowledge, destroying all Avidyâ or Ignorance. So much so that the rules of right living and right conduct as ordained in the S’rutis and Smritis are not necessary to be observed by those who duly and devotedly perform the S’irovrata (i.e., vow of the head; i.e., vow to apply ashes on the forehead). O Learned One! It is through this S’irovrata that Brahmâ and the other Devas have been able to get their Brahmâhood and the Devahood. The ancient sages glorified highly this S’irovrata. Brahmâ, Visnu, Rudra and the other Devas all performed this S’irovrata. O Wise One! Those that performed duly this S’irovrata, all became sinless though they were sinful in every way. Its name is S’irovrata, inasmuch as it is mentioned in the first part of the Atharva Veda. Only this vrata (vow) is called S’irovrata; no other thing is denominated by this name. By no other merit can this be acquired. O Muni! Different names are assigned to this vrata in different S’âkhâs; in fact, they are all one and the same.
N. B. — Pâsupata vrata, S’ivavrata, etc., are the different names assigned to it. In all the S’âkhâs, the One Substance, Intelligence solidified named S’iva and the knowledge thereof is mentioned. This is “S’irovrata.” He who does not perform this S’irovrata, is irreligious and he is banished from all religious acts, though he is well-qualified in all branches of learning. There is no manner of doubt in this. This S’irovrata is like the blazing fire in destroying wholly the forest of sins. All knowledge fleshes before him who performs this S’irovrata. The Atharva S’ruti expounds the subtle and particularly incomprehensible things; this S’ruti declares the above S’irovrata as daily to be done; so it is one of the daily observances. “Fire is ashes,” “water is ashes,” “earth is ashes,” “air is ashes,” “ether or Âkâs’a is ashes,” “all this manifest Universe is ashes.” These six mantras stated in the Atharva Veda are to be recited; after this, ashes are to be besmeared all over the body. This is named the S’irovrata. The devotee is to put on these ashes named S’irovrata during his Sandhyopâsanâ (practising Sandhyâ thrice a day); so long as the Brahmâ Vidyâ (the knowledge of Brahmâ) does not arise in him. One is to make a Sankalpa (resolve) of twelve years before one starts with this Vrata. In cases of incapability, a period of one year or six months, or three months or at least twelve days are to be adopted. That Guru is considered very cruel and his knowledge will come to an end who hesitates and does not impart the knowledge of the Vedas and other things to him who is purified by observing this S’irovrata. Know him certainly as a very merciful Guru who illumines the heart by Brahmâ Vidyâ just as God is very merciful and compassionate to all the living beings. One who performs one’s own Dharmas for many births, acquires particular faith in this S’irovrata; others can have no faith in this. Rather he gets animosity for this vrata, because of the abundance of ignorance in him. So one ought never to advise on spiritual knowledge to an enemy who has no faith, rather who has hatred for any such thing. Those only that are purified by the observance of S’irovrata are entitled to Brahmâ Vidyâ; and none others. So the Vedas command :– Those are to be advised on Brahmâ Vidyâ who have performed S’irovrata. Even the animal becomes freed of his animalism, as a result of this vrata; no sin occurs in killing that animal; this is the decision of the Vedânta. It has been repeatedly uttered by Jâvâla Risi that the Dharma of the Brâhmanas is to put on the Tripundra (three curved lines of ashes on the forehead). The householders are instructed to put on this Tripundra by repeating the mantra “triyamvaka”’ with Om prefixed. Those that are in the stage of the Bhiksus (Sannyâsis, etc.,) are to put on this Tripundra uttering thrice the mantra “Om Hasah.” Such is regularly stated in Jâvâla S’ruti. The house holders and the Vânaprasthis (foresters) are to put on this Tripundra, uttering Triyamvaka mantra purified with “Haum” the pranava of S’iva prefixed.
Those that are the Brahmâchâris are to use daily this Tripundra uttering the mantra “Medhâvî,” etc. The Brâhmanas are to apply the ashes in three curved lines on the forehead. The God S’iva is always hidden under the cover of ashes; so the S’aivas, the devotees of S’iva are to use the Tripundra. The Brâhmanas are to use daily this Tripundra. Brahmâ is the Prime Brâhmin. When He used Tripundra on His forehead, what need to tell, then, that every Brâhman ought always to use it! Never fail, out of error, to besmear your body with the ashes as prescribed in the Vedas and worship the S’iva Lingam. The Sannyâsins are to apply Tripundra on their forehead, arms, chest, uttering the Triyamvaka mantra with Om prefixed and also the five lettered mantra of S’iva “Om Namah S’ivâya.” The Brahmâchâris should use Tripundra of ashes, obtained from their own fire, uttering the mantra “Triyâyusam Jamadagneh,” etc., or the mantra “Medhâvî”, etc. The S’ûdras in the service of the Brâhmins are to use the ashes with devotion, with the mantra “Namah S’ivâya.” The other ordinary persons can use the Tripundra without any mantra. To besmear the body all over with ashes and to put on the Tripundra is the essence of all Dharma; therefore this should be used always. The ashes from the Agnihotra Sacrifice or from Virajâgni (Virajâ fire) are to be carefully placed on a clean and pure basin. Cleansing hands and feet, one is to sip (perform Âchamana) twice, and then, taking the ashes in the hand, utter the five Brahmâ mantras “Sadyoyâtam prapadyâmi,” etc., and perform short Prânâyâma thrice; he is, then, to utter the seven mantras “Fire is ashes,” “water is ashes,” “earth is ashes” “Teja is ashes,” “wind is ashes,” “ether is ashes,” “All this whatsoever is ashes” and purify and impregnate the ashes with the mantra by blowing out air through the mouth. Then one is to think of Mahâ Deva, repeating the mantra “Om Apojyoti,” etc., and apply dry ashes of white colour all over the body and become sinless. After this he is to meditate on the Mahâ Visnu, the Lord of the universe and on the Lord of the waters and repeat again the mantras “Fire is ashes” and mix water with the ashes. He is, then, to think of S’iva and apply ashes on his forehead. He is to think of the ashes as S’iva Himself and then, with mantras appropriate to his own Âs’rama (stages of life) use the Tripundra on his forehead, chest and shoulders.
By the middle finger and ringfinger he is to draw the two lines of the ashes from the left to the right and by his thumb draw a third line of ashes from the right to the left. These Tripundras are to be used in the morning, midday and in the evening.
Here ends the Ninth chapter of the Eleventh Book on the rules of S’irovrata in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the subject of Gauna Bhasma
1-33. Nârâyana said :– O Knower of Brahmâ! O Nârada! The ashes prepared from ordinary fire are secondary (Gauna). The greatness of this secondary ashes is to be considered by no means trifling; this also destroys the darkest ignorance and reveals the highest knowledge. It is of various kinds. Amongst the secondary ashes, that prepared from Virajâgni is the best; it is equivalent to that obtained from Agnihotra Yajña and it is as glorious. The ashes obtained from the marriage sacrificial fire, that obtained from the burning of the Samidh fuel, what is obtained from the conflagration of fire are known as the secondary ashes. The Brahmânas, Ksattriyas and Vais’yas should use the ashes from the Agnihotra and the Virajâ Fire. For the householders, the ashes from the marriage sacrificial fire are good. For the Brahmâcharis, the ashes from the Samid fuel are good and for the S’ûdras the fire of the cooking place of the Veda knowing Brahmânas is good. For the other persons, the ashes obtained from the conflagration of fire are good. Now I will talk of the origin of the ashes obtained from the Virajâ fire. The chief season of the Virajâ fire sacrifice is the Full-moon night with Chitrâ asterism with the Moon. If this does not take place, the sacrifice may be performed at other seasons; and it should be remembered that the fit place is where one adopts as one’s dwelling place. The auspicious field, garden or forest is also commendable for the above sacrifice. On the Trayodas’î Tithi, the thirteenth night preceding the full-moon night, one is to complete one’s bathing and Sandhyâ; then one is to worship one’s Guru and bow down before Him. Then, receiving his permission, the sacrificer is to put on pure clothing and perform the special Pûjâ. Then with his white sacrificial thread, white garlands, and white sandal paste one is to sit on the Kus’a seat with sacrificial (Kus’a) grass in one’s hands. With his face towards the east or north he is to perform Prânâyâma thrice.
Then he is to meditate on S’iva and Bhagavatî and get mentally their permissions. “O Deva Bhagavân! O Mother Bhagavatî! I will perform this vow for my life-time.” Thus making the resolve, he should start with this sacrifice. But this is to be known that this Vrata can be performed for twelve years, for six years, for three years, for one year, for six months, for twelve days, for six days, for three days, even at least for one day. But in every case, he must take mentally the permission of the Deva and the Devî. Now, to perform the Virajâ Homa, one is to light the fire according to one’s Grihya Sûtras and then perform Homa with ghee, Samidh (fuel) or with charu (an oblation of rice, milk, and sugar boiled together). Then on the fourteenth lunar day (Chaturdas’î) one is to pray “Let the tattvas (principles) in me be purified” and then perform the Homa ceremony with Samidh, etc., as above-mentioned. Now recollecting that “My principles in my body are purified,” he is to offer oblations to the fire. In other words, uttering “Priththitattvas me sudhyatâm jyotiraham virajâ vipâpmâ bhûyâsam Svâhâ” one is to offer oblations to the Fire. Thus uttering the five element (Mahâbhutas), five tanmâtrâs, five Karmendriyas (organs of action), five Jñânendriyas (organs of perception), five Prânas, seven dhâtus Tvak, etc., mind, buddhi (intellect), Ahamkâra (egoism), Sattva, Raja, Tamah gunas, Prakriti, Purusa, Râga, Vidyâ, Kalâ (arts etc,) Daiva (Fate), Kâla (time), Mâyâ S’uddhavidyâ, Mahes’vara, Sadâ S’iva, S’akti S’ivatattva, etc., respectively by its own name, one is to offer oblations to the fire by the five-lettered Virajâ Mantra; then the sacrificer will become pure. Then form a round ball of fresh cowdung and purifying it by Mantram place it on fire and carefully watch it. On that day, the devotee is to take Havisyânna (a sacred food of boiled rice with ghee). On the morning of the Chaturdas’î, he is to perform his daily duties as above and then to perform Homa on that fire; uttering the five lettered Mantra. He is not to take any food the rest of the time. On the next day, that is, on the full-moon day, after performing the morning duties, he is to do the Homa ceremony, uttering the Five lettered Mantra and then take leave of the Fire (invoked for worship). He is, then, to raise up the ashes. Then the devotee is to keep Jatâ (matted hair) or to shave clean his head or to keep only one lock of hair on the crown of the head. He is to take his bath, then; and if he can, then he should be naked or put on a red coloured cloth, hide, or one piece of rag or bark; he is to take a staff and a belt. Washing his hands and feet and sipping twice he by his two hands, is to pulverise the ashes and, uttering the six Atharvan Mantras, “Fire is ashes” and so forth, apply ashes from his head to foot. Then, as before, he is to apply ashes, gradually to his arms, etc., and all over the body uttering the Pranava of S’iva, “Vam, Vam.” He is to put on the Triyâyusa Tripundra on his forehead. After he has done this, the Jîva (the embodied self) becomes S’iva (the Free Self) and he should behave himself like S’iva. O Nârada! Thus, at the three Sandhyâ-periods; he is to do like this. This Pâs’upata vrata is the source of enjoyment as well as liberation and as well as of the cessation of all brutal desires. By the performance of this vrata the devotee is to free himself gradually of his animal feelings and then to worship Bhagavân Sada S’iva in the form of a phallic symbol. The above bath ashes is highly meritorious and it is the source of all happiness. By holding the ashes, one’s longevity is prolonged, one gets even great bodily strength, becomes healthy and his beauty increases and he gets nourishment. This using of ashes is for the preservation of one’s own self; it is the source of one’s good and of all sorts of happiness and prosperity. Those who use ashes (Bhas’ma) are free from the danger of plague and other epidemic diseases; this bhasma is of three sorts as it leads to the attainment of peace, nourishment, or to the fufilment of all desires.
Here ends the Tenth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the subject Gauna Bhasma (secondary ashes) in the Mahâpurânam S’rîmad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the description of the greatness of the three kinds of Bhasmas
Nârada asked :– O Bhagavân! How is the above Bhasma of three kinds? I am eager to hear this. Kindly describe this to me. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! I am now talking of the three kinds of ashes; hearing this even destroys one’s sins and brings in good fame. When a cow evacuates her dung, just as the cow dung leaves her and is far from reaching the ground, one should catch it with one’s hand and this cow-dung burnt with “Sadyojâtâdi,” i.e., Brahmâ Mantra, becomes ashes which are called “S’ântika Bhasma,” i.e., ashes producing peace. Before the cowdung is about to reach the ground, the devotee should take it with his hand and uttering the six lettered Mantra, he is to burn the cowdung. The ashes from this are called Paustik Bhasma, i.e., ashes leading to nourishment.
If the cowdung be burned with the Mantra “Haum,” the ashes of this are called “Kâmada Bhasma,” i.e., ashes leading to the granting of desires. O Nârada! On the full moon day, new moon day or on the eighth lunar day, a man is to get up from his bed early in the morning and be pure and go the cow enclosure. He is to salute the cows and take the cowdung, uttering the Mantra Haum. If he be a Brâhmin, he is to collect the white cow dung; if he be a Ksattriya, he would take the red cow dung; a Vais’ya, yellow cow dung and if he be a S’ûdra, he would take the black cow dung. Then by the mantra “Namah” he is to form that into a ball and cover it with the husk of rice or some other grain and dry it in a sacred place, repeating the mantra “Haum.” Bring fire from a forest or from the house of a Veda-knowing Brâhmin and reduce the cowdung to ashes by this mantra, uttering the mantra Haum. Next take out the ashes carefully from the fire place (Agni Kunda) and place it in a new jar or pot, again remembering the mantra “Haum”. Mix with the ashes the Ketakî dust, the Pâtala flower dust, the root of the fragrant grass called khas khas, saffron and other sweet scented things with the mantra “Satyojâtam prapadyâmi,” etc. First perform the water bath, then the bath of the ashes. In case one cannot have the water bath, one is to have the ash bath. Washing the hands, feet and head with the mantra “Is’ânah Sarvavidyânâm,” etc., and uttering “Tatpurusa” one is to besmear one’s face with ashes and by the mantra “Aghora” apply ashes on one’s chest; with the mantra Vâmadeva. He is to use ashes on his navel; and with the mantra “Sadyo Jâta,” etc., all over his body; he is to quit his former cloth and put on another fresh cloth. Wash your hands and feet and sip (do Âchaman). It will serve the purpose if one simply uses Tripundrak and if one does not besmear the whole body with ashes. Before the midday one is to use Bhasma with water; but after the midday with dry ashes one is to draw the Tripundra lines of ashes with the forefinger, middlefinger and ringfinger. The head, forehead, ears, neck, heart, and the arms are the places whereon the Tripundras are used. On the head the ashes are applied with five fingers and with the mantra “Haum”; on the forehead, the Tripundra is applied with mantra Svâhâ by the forefinger, mindlefinger and ringfinger; on the right ear, it is applied with “Sadyojâta” mantra; on the left ear, with “Vamadeva” Mantra; on the neck with Aghora mantra by the middlefinger; on the chest with “Namah” mantra by the forefing middlefinger and ringfinger; on the right arm with vasat mantra by the three fingers; on the left arm with “Ham” mantra by the three fingers; and on the navel, the ashes are to be applied with the mantra Îs’ânah sarva devânâm by the middlefinger. The first line in every Tripundra is Brahmâ; the second line is Visnu; and the third, the topmost line is Mahâ Deva. The line of ashes that is marked by one finger is Îs’vara. The head is the place of Brahmâ; the forehead is the site of Îs’vara; the two ears are the seats of the two As’vins and the neck is where Ganes’a resides. The Ksattriyas, Vais’yas, and S’ûdras are to use Tripundras without any mantra; they are also not to use the ashes on the whole of the body. The lowest classes (e.g. the chândâlas, etc.,) and the uninitiated persons are to use the Tripundraks without any mantra.
Here ends the Eleventh Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the description of the greatness of the three kinds of Bhasmas in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahârsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the greatness in holding the Tripundra and Bhasma
1-20. S’rî Nârâyana said :– O Devarsi Nârada! Hear now the great secret and the fruits of besmearing one’s body with ashes, yieding all desires. The pure cowdung of the Kapila (brown) cow is to be taken up by the hand before it reaches the ground. It should not be like mire, i.e., not like a liquid; it should not be also very hard nor should it emit a bad stench. And in case if the cowdung that has already fallen on the earth, has to be taken, it should be scraped off from the top and bottom; make it into a ball and then burn it in a pure fire, repeating the principal mantra. Take the ash and tie it in a piece of cloth and keep it in a pot. The pot in which the ashes are to be kept should be nice and good, hard, clean and sprinkled over for purification. Uttering the principal mantra, one is to keep the ashes in the pot. The pot may be of metal, wood, earth, or cloth; or it can be kept in any other nice pot. The ashes can be kept in a silken bag where the mohurs are kept. In going to a distant land, the devotee can take the ashes himself or kept with his accompanying servant. When it is to be given to somebody, it is to be given with both the hands; never with one hand. Never keep it in an unholy place. Never apply feet to the ashes, nor throw it in an ordinary place nor ever cross it by your legs. Use always the ashes after purifying it with mantra. These rules of holding the Bhasma are according to the Smritis. By holding Bhasma in this way, the devotee becomes, no doubt, like S’iva. The ashes, that the Vaidik devotees of S’iva prepare are to be taken with devotion. All can ask for that. But the ashes that the followers of the Tantra cult prepare, are taken by the Tântriks only; it is prohibited to the Vaidiks. The S’ûdras, Kâpâlikas, and other heretics (e.g., Jains, Buddhists) can use the Tripundras. Never do they conceive in their minds that they would not take the Tripundra. The holding on of Bhasma (ashes) is according to the Vedas. Therefore one who does not apply it falls down. The Brâhmanas must use the Tripundras, repeating the mantra; and they are to besmear their whole body with ashes; if they don’t do so, they are surely fallen. He can never expect to get liberation even after koti births who does not besmear his body with ashes devotedly and who does not hold the Tripundras. O Nârada! The vile man who does not hold Bhasma duly, know the birth of that man as futile as is the birth of a hog. Consider that body as a burning ground which does not bear the Tripundra marks. The virtuous man should not cast a glance at him even. Fie on that forehead which does not carry the Tripundra! Fie on that village which has not a single temple of S’iva! Fie on that birth which is void of the worship of S’iva! Fie on that knowledge which is void of the knowledge of S’iva. Know them to be the slanderers of S’iva who mock at Tripundra. Those that put on the Tripundras, bear S’iva in their forehead. The Brâhmin who is Niragnik (without the holy fire) is not nice in every way. So if the worship of S’iva be not done with any Tripundra is not praiseworthy, even it be attended with abundance of other offerings. Those who do not besmear their bodies with ashes or who do not use the Tripundras, get their previous good deeds converted into bad ones.
21-42. Unless the Tripundra mark is taken up according to the S’âstras, the Vaidik Karmas (works) or those performed according to the Smritis prove injurious; the good works whatsoever done by any man count for nothing; the holy words heard seem as if unheard and the study of the Vedas counted as if not studied. The study of the Vedas, Sacrifices, Charities, asceticisms, vows and fastings of that man, who does not use the Tripundra, all become fruitless. Without using Bhasma (ashes) if one wants liberation, then that desire is equivalent to live after taking poison. There is no doubt in this. The Creator has not made the forehead vertically high nor round; but he has made it slightly slanting and curved fit to have the Tripundra. Making thus the forehead, the Creator wants, as it were, to inform everyone that every one ought to use Tripundra marks; the curved lines also are made visible for this purpose. Still the igorant illiterate man does not put up the Tripundra. Unless the Brâhmanas use the curved Tripundras, their meditation won’t be successful; they will not have liberation, knowledge, nor their asceticism would bear any fruit. As the S’ûdras have no right in the study of the Vedas, so the Brâhmans have not any right to perform the worship of S’iva, etc., unless they use the Tripundras. First of all, facing eastward, and washing hands and feet, he ought to make a resolve and then he takes a bath of the ashes mentally, controlling his breath. Then taking the ashes of the Agnihotra sacrifice he is to put some ashes on his own head, uttering “Îs’âna” mantra. Then he is to recite the Purusa S’ûkta Mantra and apply ashes on his face; with the Aghora mantra on his chest; with the Vâmadeva mantra, on his anus; with Sadyojâta mantra on his legs; and with the mantra Om, he is to besmear his whole body with ashes. This is called the bath of fire by the Munis. So bring all the actions to a successful issue one is to take first of all this bath of fire. Washing his hands, then, he is to make Âchaman duly; and, according to the above-mentioned rules, he is to apply ashes on his forehead, heart, and all round the neck with the five mantras above-mentioned; or with each mantra he is to apply the Tripundras. Thus all works are fructified and he gets the right to do all the Vaidik actions. The S’ûdras, even, are not to use the ashes touched by the lowest classes. All the actions ordained by the S’âstras are to be done after being besmeared with ashes of the Agnihotra sacrifice; otherwise no action will bear any fruit. All his truth, purity, Japam, offering, oblations to the sacrifice, bathing in the holy place of pilgrimage, and worshipping the gods become useless, who does not hold Tripundra. No fear of disease, sins, famine, or robbers comes to the Brâhmins who use Tripundra and rosary of Rudrâksa and thus remain always pure. In the end, they get the Nirvâna liberation. During the time of Srâddhas (solemn obsequies performed in honour of the manes of deceased ancestors) the Brâhmins purify the rows where persons are fed; so much so that the Devas glorify them. One must use the Tripundra marks before one performs any Srâddha, Japam sacrifice, offering oblations or worshipping the Visvedevâs; then one gets deliverance from the jaws of death. O Nârada! I am now speaking further of the greatness in holding the Bhasma; listen.
Here ends the Twelfth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the greatness in holding the Tripundra and Bhasma in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the greatness of Bhasma
1-20. Nârâyana said :– O Best of Munis! What shall I describe to you the effects of using the Bhasma! Only applying the ashes takes away the Mahâpâtakas (great sins) as well as other minor sins of the devotee. I speak this truly, very truly unto you. Now hear the fruits of using simply the ashes. By using Bhasma, the knowledge of Brahmâ comes to the Yatis; the desires of enjoyments are eradicated; the improvement is felt in all the virtuous actions of the householders and the studies of the Vedas and other S’âstras of the Brahmachâris get their increase. The S’ûdras get merits in using Bhasmas and the sins of others are destroyed. To besmear the body with ashes and to apply the curved Tripundras is the source of good to all beings. The S’ruti says so. That this implies the performance of sacrifices by all, is also asserted in the S’rutis. To apply ashes to the whole of the body and to use Tripundra is common to all the religions; it has nothing, in principle, contradictory to others. So the S’ruti says. This Tripundra and the besmearing with ashes is the special mark of the devotees of S’iva; this again is asserted in the S’ruti. This Bhasma and the Tripundra are the special marks by which one is characterised; it is said so in the Vaidik S’ruti. S’iva, Visnu, Brahmâ, Indra, Hiranyagarbha, and their Avataras, Varuna and the whole host of the Devas all gladly used this Tripundra and ashes. Durgâ, Laksmî, and Sarasvatî, etc., all the wives of the gods daily anoint their bodies with ashes and use the Tripundras. So even the Yaksas, Râksasas, Gandharbhas, Sidhas, Vidyâdharas, and the Munis have applied Bhasma and Tripundra. This holding on of ashes is not prohibited to anybody; the Brâhmanas, Ksattriyas, Vais’yas, S’ûdras, mixed castes, and the vile classes all can use this Bhasma and Tripundra. O Nârada! In my opinion they only are the Sadhus (saints) who use this Tripundra and besmear their bodies with ashes. In seducing this Lady Mukti (liberation is personified here as a lady) one is to have this gem of S’iva Lingam, the five lettered Mantra Namah S’ivâyâ as the loving principle, and holding on the ashes as the charming medicine (as in seducing any ordinary woman, gems, jewels and ornaments, love and charming medicines are necessary). O Nârada! Know the place where the person, who has besmeared the holy with ashes and who has used Tripundra takes his food as where S’ankara and S’ankarî have taken their food together. Even if anybody himself not using the Bhasma, follows another who has used the Bhasma, he will be soon honoured in the society even if he be a sinner. What more than this, if anybody himself not using the ashes, praises another who uses the Bhasma, he is freed from all his sins and gets soon honour and respect in the society. All the studies of the Vedas come to him though he has not studied the Vedas, all the fruits of hearing the S’rutis and the Purânas come to him, though he has not heard them, all the fruits of practised Dharma come to him though he has not practised any, if he always uses this Tripundra on his forehead and gives food to a beggar who uses Tripundra on his forehead. Even in courtries as Bihar (Kîkata, etc., that have got a bad name) if there be a single man in the whole country whose body is besmeared with ashes and who uses this Tripundra, that is considered then as Kâs’î (Benares city). Anybody, of a bad or of a good character, be he a Yogi or a sinner, using Bhasma, is worshipped like my son, Brahmâ. O Nârada! Even if an hypocrite uses Bhasma, he will have a good future, which cannot be attained even by performing hundreds of sacrifices. If anybody uses Bhasma daily either through good companion or through neglect, he will be entitled, like me, to the highest worship. O Nârada! Brahmâ, Visnu, Mahes’vara, Pârvatî, Laksmî, Sarasvatî and all the other Devas become satisfied with simply holding on this Bhasma. The merits that are obtained by using only the Tripundra, cannot be obtained by gifts, sacrifices, severe austerities, and going to sacred places of pilgrimages. They cannot give one-sixteenth part of the result that accrues from holding the Tripundra. As a King recognises a person as his own, whom he has given some object of recognition, so Bhagavân S’ankara knows the man who uses Tripundras as His own person. They that hold Tripundras with devotion can have Bholâ Nâtha under their control; no distinction is made here between the Brâhmanas and Chândâlas. Even if anybody be fallen from the state of observing all the Âchâras or rules of conduct proper to his Âs’rama and if he be faulty in not attending to all his duties, he will be Mukta (freed) if he has used even once this Bhasma Tripundra. Never bother yourself with the caste or the family of the holder of the Tripundras. Only see whether the sign Tripundra exists in his forehead. If so, consider him entitled to respect. O Nârada! There is no mantra higher than this S’iva Mantra; there is no Deity higher than S’iva; there is no worship of greater merit-giving powers than the worship of S’iva; so there is no Tîrtha superior to this Bhasma. This Bhasma is not an ordinary thing; it is the excellent energy (semen virile) of fire of the nature of Rudra. All sorts of troubles vanish, all sorts of sins are destroyed by this Bhasma. The country where the lowest castes reside with their bodies besmeared with ashes, is inhabited always by Bhagavân S’ankara, Bhagavatî Umâ, the Pramathas (the attendants of S’iva) and by all the Tîrthas. Bhagavân S’ankara, first of all, held this Bhasma as an ornament to his body by purifying it first with “Sadyo Jâta,” etc., the five mantras. Therefore if anybody uses the Bhasma Tripundra according to rules on his forehead, the writings written at the time of his birth by Vidhâtâ Brahmâ will all be cancelled, if they had been bad. There is no doubt in this.
Here ends the Thirteenth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the greatness of Bhasma in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devi Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the greatness in holding the Bibhûti
1-17. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! Whatever is given as charities to any man besmeared with the holy ashes, takes away instantly all the sins of the donor. The S’rutis, Smritis, and all the Purânas declare the greatness of this Bhasma. So the twice-born must accept this. Whoever holds this Tripundra, of this holy ashes at the three Sandhyâ times, is freed from all his sins and goes to the region of S’iva. The Yogi who takes a bath of ashes throughout his body during the three Sandhyâs, gets his Yoga developed soon. By this bath of ashes, many generations are lifted up. O Nârada! This ash bath is many times superior to the water bath. To take once a bath of ashes secures to one all the merits acquired by bathing in all the sacred places of pilgrimages. There is no doubt in this. By this bath of ashes, all the Mahâpâtakas (great heinous sins) and other minor sins as well are instantly destroyed as heaps of wood are brought down to ashes in a moment by the fire. No bath is holier than this one. This is first mentioned by S’iva and He took Himself this bath. Since then this bath of ashes has been taken with great care by Brahmâ and the other Devas and the Munis for their own good in all the virtuous actions. This bath of ashes is termed the bath of fire. So he who applies ashes on his head, gets the state of Rudra while he is in this body of five elements. Those who are delighted to see persons with this ashes on their bodies are respected by the Devas, Asuras, and Munis. He who honours and gets up on seeing a man besmeared with ashes is respected even by Indra, the Lord of Heavens. Even if anybody eats any uneatables, then the sin incurred thereby won’t touch him, if his body be then besmeared with ashes. He who first takes a water bath and then an ash-bath, be he a Brahmachârî or an house-holder or an anchorite (Vânaprasthî) is freed of all sins and gets in the end the highest state. Specially for the Yatis (ascetics), this ash bath is very necessary. This ash bath is superior to the water bath. For the bonds of Nature, this pleasure and pain, are cut asunder by this ash bath. The Munis know this Prakriti as moist and wet; and therefore Prakriti binds men. If anybody desires to cut asunder this bondage of the body, he will find no other remedy for this in the three worlds than this Holy Bath of ashes.
18-43. In ancient days the ashes were first offered to the Devî gladly by the Devas for their protection, their good and purification, when they first saw the ashes. Therefore anybody who takes this bath of fire, gets all his sins destroyed and he goes to S’iva Loka. He who daily uses this ashes has not to suffer from the oppression of the Râksasas, Pis’âchas, Pûtanâs and the other Bhûtas or from disease, leprosy, the chronic enlargement of spleen, all sorts of fistulae, from eighty sorts of rheumatism, sixty four kinds of bilious diseases, twenty two varieties of phlegmatic diseases and from tigers, thieves, and other vicious planetary influences. Rather he gets the power to suppress all these as a lion kills easily a mad elephant. Anybody who first mixes the ashes with pure cold water and then besmears his body with that and puts on the Tripundras, attains soon the Highest Brahmâ. He who holds the Tripundra of ashes becomes sinless and goes to the Brahmâ loka. He can even wipe off the ordnances of the fate on his forehead to go to the jaws of Death, if he uses, according to the S’âstras, the Tripundras on his forehead. If the ashes be used on the neck, then the sin, incurred through the neck, is completely destroyed. If the ashes be used on the neck, then the sin incurred by the neck, in eating uneatable things is entirely destroyed. If the ashes be held on the arms, then the sin incurred by the arms is destroyed. If it be held on the breast, the sin done mentally is destroyed. If it be held on the navel, the sin incurred by the generative organ is destroyed. If it be held on the anus, then the sin incurred by the anus is destroyed. And if it be held on the sides, then the sin incurred in embracing other’s wives is destroyed. So, know fully, to use ashes is highly commendable. Everywhere three curved lines of ashes are to be used. Know these three lines as Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a; Daksinâgni, Gârhapatya fire and Âhavanîva fire; the Sâttva, Râjas and Tâmas qualities, Heaven, earth and Pâtâla (nether regions). If the wise Brâhmin holds properly the ashes his Mahâpâtakas are destroyed. He is not involved in any sin. Rather he, without any questionings, gets his liberation. All the sins, in the body besmeared with ashes, are burnt down by the ashes, which is of the nature of fire, into ashes. He is called Bhasmanistha (a devotee of Bhasma, i.e., ashes) who takes a bath of ashes, who besmears his body with ashes, who use the Tripundras of ashes, who sleeps in ashes. He is called also Âtmanistha, a devotee of Âtman (Self). At the approach of such a man, the Demons, Pis’âchas, and very serious diseases run away to a distance. There is no doubt in this. In as much as these ashes reveal the knowledge of Brahmâ, it is called Bhasita from Bhasma, to shine; because it eats up the sins, it is called Bhasma; because it increases the eight supernatural powers Animâ, etc., it is called Bhûti; because it protects the man who uses it, it is called “Raksâ.” As the sins are all destroyed by the mere remembrance of Bhagavân Rudra, so seeing the person using the Tripundra, the demons, bad spirits and other vicious hosts of spirits fly away quickly, trembling with fear. As a fire burns a great forest by its own strength, so this bath of ashes burns the sins of those who are incessantly addicted to sins. Even if at the time of death one takes a bath of ashes, though he has committed an inordinate amount of vices, all his sins are soon destroyed. By this bath of ashes, the Self is purified, the anger is destroyed; the senses are calmed down. The man who uses even once this Bhasma comes to Me; he has not to take any more births in future. On Monday Amâvasyâ (also on the full moon day) if one sees the S’iva Lingam, with his body besmeared all over with ashes, one’s sins will all be destroyed. (All the sins are not seen; hence the tithi is called Amâvas.) If people use Bhasma daily, all their desires will be fructified whether they want longevity, or prosperity or Mukti. The Tripundra that represents Brahmâ, Visnu and S’iva is very sacred. Seeing the man with Tripundra on, the fierce Râksasas or mischievous creatures flee to a distance. There is no doubt in this. After doing the S’aucha (necessary cleanliness) and other necessary things, one bathes in pure cold water and besmears his body with ashes from head to foot. By taking the water bath only, the outward unclean things are destroyed. But the ash bath not only cleanses the outer external uncleanliness but cleanses also all the internal uncleanliness. So even if one does not take the water bath, one ought to take this ash bath. There is to be no manner of doubt in this.
44-47. All the religious actions performed without this ash bath seem as if no actions are done at all. This ash bath is stated in the Vedas. Its another name is the Fire Bath. By this ash bath both outside and inside are purified. So a man who uses ashes gets the entire fruit of worshipping S’iva. By the water Bath only the outside dirt is removed; but by this bath of ashes, outside dirts and inside dirts, both are fully removed. If this water bath be taken many times daily, still without an ash bath, one’s heart is not purified. What more shall I speak of the greatness of ashes, the Vedas only appreciate its glories rightly! Yea, very rightly!
48-50. Or Mahâ Deva, the Gem of all the Devas, knows the greatness of this Bhasma. Those who perform rites and works prescribed by the Vedas, without taking this bath of ashes, do not get even a tithe of the fruits of their works done. Only that man will be entitled to the entire fruits of the Vedas who perform this bath of ashes duly. This is the opinion of the Vedas. This bath of ashes purifies more the things that are already pure; thus the S’ruti says. That wretch who does not take the bath of ashes as aforesaid is a Great Sinner. There is no doubt in this. By this bath greater interminable merits accrue than what is obtained by innumerable baths taken by the Brâhmanas on the Vârunî momentous occasion. So take this bath carefully in the morning, midday and evening. This bath of ashes is ordained in the Vedas. So know those who are against this bath mentioned in the Vedas, are verily fallen! After evacuating oneself of one’s urine and faeces, one ought to take this bath of ashes. Otherwise men will not be purified. Even if one performs duly the water bath and if one does not take this bath of ashes, that man will not be purified. So he cannot get any right to do any religious actions. After evacuating one’s abdomen of the outgoing air, after yawning, after holding sexual intercourses, after spitting and sneezing, and after easing oneself of phlegm, one ought to take this bath of ashes. O Nârada! Thus I have described to you here the greatness of S’rî Bhasma. I am again telling you more of it specially. Listen attentively.
Here ends the Fourteenth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the greatness in holding the Bibhûti (ashes) in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the rules of using the Tripundra and Ûrdhapundra marks
1-10. Nârâyana said :– Only the twice born are to take this Tripundra on the forehead and the other parts of the body after carefully purifying the ashes by the mantra Agniriti Bhasma, etc. The Brâhmans, Ksattriyas, and Vais’yas are known as the twiceborn, (the Dvîjas). So the Dvîjas ought to take daily this Tripundra with great care. O Brâhmana! Those who are purified with the ceremony of the holy thread, are called the Dvîjas. For these the taking of Tripundra as per S’ruti is very necessary. Without taking this Vibhûti, any good work done is as it were not done. There is no doubt in this. Even the japam of Gâyatrî is not well performed if this Bhasma be not used. O Best of Munis! The Gâyatrî is the most important and the chief thing of the Brâhmanhood. But that is not advised if the Tripundra be not taken. O Munis! As long as the ashes born of Agni are not applied on the forehead, one is not entitled to be initiated in the Gâyatrî Mantra. O Brâhman! Unless ashes be applied on the forehead, no one will recognise you as a Brâhmana. For this reason I take this holding of the merit-giving Tripundra as the cause of the Brâhmanhood. I speak this verily unto you, that he is recognised as a Brâhmana and literary on whose forehead there is seen the white ashes purified by the mantra. He is entitled to the state of a Brâhmana who is naturally very eager to collect the ashes as he collects the invaluable gems and jewels.
11-20. Those who are not naturally eager to collect the Bhasma as they are naturally eager to collect gems and jewel, are to be known as Chândâlas in some of their previous births. Those who are not naturally joyous in holding Tripundra, were verily Chândâlas in their previous births; this I tell you truly very truly.
Those who eat roots and fruits without holding ashes go to the terrible hells. He who worships S’iva without having Bibhûti on his forehead, that wretch is a S’iva hater and goes to hell after his death. He who does not hold Bibhûti is not entitled to any religious act.
Without taking Bibhûti, if you make a gift of Tulâ Purusa made of gold, you won’t get any fruits. Rather you will have to go to hell!
As the Brâhmanas are not to perform their Sandhyâs without their holy threads, so without this Bibhûti, one ought not also to perform one’s Sandhyâ.
If at times a man by chance has no holy thread, he can do his Sandhyâ by muttering the Gâyatrî or by fasting. But there is no such rule in holding Bhasma.
If one performs Sandhyâ, without having any Bibhûti, he is liable to incur a sin; as without holding this Bhasma, no right can come to him to perform his Sandhyâ.
As a man of a lowest caste acts contrary and incurs a sin if he hears the Veda mantra, so a twice-born incurs a sin if he performs Sandhyâ without having his Tripundra. The twiceborn must therefore collect his thoughts with his heart intent on this Tripundra whether it be according to S’rauta or Smârta method; or in absence thereof the Laukika Bhasma. Of whatsoever sort is the Bhasma, it is always pure. In the Sandhyâ and other actions of worship, the twiceborn ought to be very careful and punctilious in using this Bhasma.
21-31. No sin can enter into the body of one besmeared with ashes. For this reason, the Brâhmanas ought always to use ashes with great care. One is to hold the Tripundra, six Angulas high or greater by the fore, middle and ring fingers of the right hand. If anybody uses Tripundra, shining and brilliant, and extending from eye to eye, he becomes, no doubt, a Rudra. The ring-finger is the letter “A,” the middle finger is “U” and the forefinger is “M”; so the Tripundra marks drawn by the above three fingers is of the nature of the three gunas. The Tripundra should be drawn by the middle, fore, and ring fingers in a reverse way (from the left of the forehead to its right). I will now tell you an anecdote, very ancient. Listen. Once Durvâsâ, the head of the ascetics, with his body besmeared with ashes and with Rudrâksam, all over, on his body went to the region of the Pitris, uttering loudly, “O S’ankara, of the Form of All! O S’iva! O Mother Jagadambe, the Source of all auspiciousness!” The Pitris Kavya-Vâlâs, etc., (Kavya Vâlanalah Somah Yamah schaivâryamâ Tathâ, Agnisvâttvâ, Varhisadah, Somapâh Pitri Devatâh) got up, received him heartily and gave him seats and shewed him great honours and respect and held many pure conversations with the Muni. During their talk, the sinners of the Kumbhîpâka hell were crying, “Oh! Alas! We are killed, we are being killed. Oh! We are being burnt!” some others cried, “Oh! Oh! We are cut down.” Thus various cries and lamentations reached their ears.
32-40. Hearing their piteous cries, Durvâsâ, the prince of the Risis, asked with a grievous heart the Pitris, “Who are those crying?” The Pitris replied :– There is a city close to our place called “Samyamanî Purî” of the King Yama where the sinners are punished. Yama gives punishment to the sinners there. O Sinless One! In that city the King Yama lives with his terrible black-coloured messengers, the personifications of Kâla (the Destruction). For the punishment of the sinners, eighty-six hells exist there. The place is being guarded always by the horrible messengers of Yama. Out of those hells, the hell named Kumbhîpâka is very big and that is the chief of the hells. The ailings and torments of the sinners in the Kumbhîpâka hell cannot be described in hundred years. O Muni! The S’iva-haters, the Visnu-haters, the Devî-haters are made to fall to this Kunda. Those who find fault with the Vedas, and blame the Sun, Ganes’a and tyrannise the Brâhmanas fall down to this hell. Those who blame their mothers, fathers, Gurus, elder brothers, the Smritis and Purânas and those as well who take the Tapta Mudrâs (hot marks on their bodies) and Tapta S’ûlas (i.e., those who being S’aivas act as they like) those who blame the religion (Dharma) go down to that hell.
41-50. We hear constantly their loud piteous cries, very painful to hear; hearing which naturally gives rise to feelings of indifference (Vairâgyam). Hearing the above words of the Pitris, Durvâsâ, the prince of the Munis, went to the hell to see the sinners. O Muni! Going there, the Muni bent his head downwards and saw the sinners when, instantly the sinners began to enjoy pleasures more than those who enjoy in the Heavens. The sinners became exceedingly glad. Some began to sing, some began to dance, some began to laugh; some sinners began to play one with one another in great ecstasy. The musical instruments Mridanga, Muraja, lute, Dhakkâ, Dundubhis, etc., resounded with sweet sonorous tones (in accordance with five resonants). The sweet fragrant smell of the flowers of Vâsanti creepers spread all round. Durvâsâ Muni became surprised to see all this. The messengers of Yama were startled and immediately went to their King Yama and said :– “O Lord! Our King! A wondrous event occurred lately. The sinners in the Kumbhîpâka hell are now enjoying pleasures more than those in the Heavens. O Bibhu! How can this take place! We cannot make out the cause of this. O Deva! We all have become terrified and have come to you.” Hearing the words of the messengers, Dharmarâja, mounting on his great buffalo, came there instantly and seeing the state of the sinners sent news immediately to the Heavens.
51-60. Hearing the news Indra came there with all the Devas, Brahmâ came there from His Brahmaloka; and Nârâyana came there from Vaikuntha. Hearing this, the regents of the quarters, the Dikpâlas came there with all their attendants from their respective abodes. They all came there to the Kumbhîpâka hell and saw that all the beings there are enjoying greater pleasures than those in the Heavens. They all were astonished to see this; and they could not make out why this had happened. “What a wonder is this! This Kunda has been built for the punishment of the sinners. When such a pleasure is now being felt here, the people won’t fear anything henceforth to commit sins. Why is this order of the Vedas created by God reversed? Why has God undone His own doing? What a wonder is this! Now a great miracle is before our sight.” Thus speaking, they remained at a fix. They could not make out the cause of this. In the meanwhile Bhagavân Nârâyana after consulting with the other Devas went with some Devas to the abode of S’ankara in Kailâs’a. They saw there that S’rî Bhagavân S’ankara (with crescent of the Moon on His forehead) was playing there attended always by the Pramathas and adorned with various ornaments like a youth, sixteen years old. His parts of the body were very beautiful as if the mine of loveliness. He was conversing on various delightful subjects with His consort Pârvatî and pleasing Her mind. The four Vedas were there personified. Seeing Him, Nârâyana bowed down and informed him clearly of all the wonderful events. He said :–
61-75. “O Deva! What is the cause of all this? We cannot make out anything! O Lord! Thou art omniscient. Thou knowest everything. So kindly mention how is this brought about!” Hearing Visnu’s words. Bhagavân S’ankara spoke graciously in sweet words, grave as the rumbling of a rain-cloud :– “O Visnu! Hear the cause of this. What wonder is there? This is all due to the greatness of Bhasma (ashes)! What cannot be brought about by Bhasma! The great S’aiva Durvâsâ went to see the Kumbhîpâka hell, besmearing his whole body with Bhasma and looked downwards while he was looking at the sinners. At that time, accidentally a particle of Bhasma from his forehead was blown by air to the bodies of the sinners in the hell. Thereby they were freed of their sins and they got so much pleasure! Such is the greatness of Bhasma! Henceforth the Kumbhîpâka will no more be a hell. It will be a Tîrtha (holy place of pilgrimage) of the residents of the Pitrilokas. Whoever will bathe there will be very happy. There is no doubt in this. Its name will be henceforth the Pitri Tîrtha.
O Sattama! My Lingam and the form of Bhagavatî ought to be placed there. The inhabitants of the Pitri Loka would worship them. This will be the best of all the Tîrthas extant in the three Lokas. And if the Pitris’varî there be worshipped, know that the worship of the Trilokî is done. Nârâyana said :– Hearing thus the words of S’ankara, the Deva of the Devas, He thanked Him and, taking His permission came to the Devas and informed them of everything what S’ankara had said. Hearing this, the Devas nodded their heads and said, “Sadhu (well, very well)” and began to glorify the greatness of Bhasma. O Tormenter of the enemies! Hari, Brahmâ and the other Devas began to eulogise the glories of ashes. The Pitris became very glad to get a new Tîrtha. The Devas planted a S’iva Lingam and the form of the Devî on the banks of the new Tîrtha, and began to worship them regularly day by day. The sinners that were there suffering, all ascended on the celestial chariot and got up to Kailâs’a. Even today they are all dwelling in Kailâs’a and are known by the name of the Bhadras. The hell Kumbhîpâka came to be built afterwards in another place.
76-84. Since that day the Devas did not allow any other devotee of S’iva to go to the newly created hell Kumbhîpâka. Thus I have described to you the excellent greatness of the Bhasma. O Muni! What more can there be than the glories of the Bhasma! O Best of Munis! Now I am telling you of the usage of Ûrdhapundra (the vertical marks) according to the proper province of the devotees. Listen. I will now speak what I have ascertained from the study of the Vaisnava S’âstras, the measure of Ûrdhapundra, according to the Anguli measurements, the colour, mantra, Devatâ and the fruits thereof. Hear. The earth required is to be seen red from the crests of hills, the banks of the rivers, the place of S’iva (S’iva Ksettram), the ocean beaches, the ant-hill, or from the roots of the Tulasî plants. The earth is not to be had from any other places. The black coloured earth brings in peace, the red-colour earth brings in powers to bring another to one’s control; the yellow-coloured earth increases prosperity and the white-coloured earth gives Dharma (religion). If the Ûrdhapundra be drawn by the thumb, nourishment is obtained; if it be drawn by the middle finger, longevity is increased; if it be drawn by nameless or ring finger, food is obtained and if it be drawn by the fore finger, liberation is attained. So the Ûrdhapundras ought to be drawn by these fingers, only be careful to see that the nails do not touch at the time of making the mark. The shape of the Ûrdhapundra (the vertical mark or sign on the fore-head) is like a flame or like the opening bud of a lotus, or like the leaf of a bamboo, or like a fish, or like a tortoise or like a conch-shell.
85-95. The Ûrdhapundra, ten Angulis high is the super best; nine Angulis high, is best; eight Angulis high, is good; the middling Ûrdhapundra is of three kinds as it is of seven Angulas, six Angulas, or five Angulas. The lowest Ûrdhapundra is again of three kinds as it is four Angulas, three Angulas or two Angulas high. On the Ûrdhapundra of the forehead, you must meditate Kes’ava, on the belly you must think of Nârâyana; on the heart, you must meditate on Mâdhava; and on the neck, you must meditate on Govinda. So on the right side of the belly, you must meditate on Madhûsûdana; on the roots of the ears, on Trivikrama; on the left belly, on Vâmana; on the arms, on S’rîdhara; on the ears, Hrisîkes’a; on the back, Padmanâbha; on the shoulders Dâmodara; and on the head Brahmarandhra you must meditate on Vâsudeva. Thus the twelve names are to be meditated. In the morning or in the evening time when you are going to make the Pûjâ or Homa, you are to take duly, single-in-intent, the above names and make the marks of Ûrdhapundras. Any man, with Ûrdhapundra on his head, is always pure, whether he be impure, or of unrighteous conduct or whether he commits a sin mentally. Wherever he dies, he comes to My Abode even if he be of a Chândâla caste. My devotees ( Vîra Vaisnavas or Mahâvîra Vaisnavas) who know My Nature must keep an empty space between the two lines of Ûrdhapundra of the form of the Visnupada (the feet of Visnu) and those who are my best devotees are to use nice Ûrdhapundras, made of turmeric powder, of the size of a spear (S’ûla), of the form of the feet of Visnu (Visnu padah).
96. The ordinary Vaisnavas are to use with Bhakti, the Ûrdhapundras without any empty space, but the form of it is to be like a flame, the blossom of a lily or like a bamboo leaf.
97-110. Those who are Vaisnavas in name only can use Ûrdhapundra of both the kinds, with or without any empty space. They incur no sin if they use one without an empty space. But those who are My good devotees, incur sin if they do not keep an empty space between the two vertical lines (in the Ûrdhapundra three vertical lines are used). The Vaisnavas who use excellent vertical rod like Ûrdhapundras keeping an empty space in the middle and uttering the mantra “Kesvâya Namah” build My Temple there. In the beautiful middle space of Ûrdhapundra, the Undecaying Visnu is playing with Laksmî. That wretch, the twice-born who uses Ûrdhapundra without any empty apace kills Visnu and Laksmî, seated there. The stupid who uses Ûrdhapundra without a vacant space goes successively to twenty-one hells. The Ûrdhapundra should be of the size of a clear straight rod, lotus, flame, a fish with sharp straight edges and with vacant spaces between them. O Great Muni! The Brâhmana should always use the Tripundra like the lock of hair on the crown of his head and like his Sacrificial thread; otherwise all his actions will be fruitless. Therefore in all ceremonies and actions the Brâhmanas ought to use Ûrdhapundras of the form of a trident, a circle or of a square form. The Brâhmana who knows the Vedas is never to use the semi-moonlike mark (Tilak) on his bead. The man who is of the Brâhmin caste and follows the path of the Vedas should not even by mistake use any other mark than those above-mentioned. Other sorts of pundras (marks) that are mentioned in other Vaisnava S’âstras for the attainment of fame, beauty, etc., the Veda-knowing Brâhmanas should not use them. The Vaidik Brâhmanas should not use even in error any other Tilaks than the curved Tripundras If, out of delusion, the man, following the path of the Vedas, uses other sorts of Tripundras, he would certainly go down to hell.
111-118. The Veda-knowing Brâhmanas would certainly go down to hell if they use other sorts of Tripundras on their bodies. Only the Tilakas, prescribed in the Vedas ought to be used by those who are devoted to the Vedas. Those who do not observe the duties of the Vedas would use Tilaks approved of by other S’âstras. Those should use marks approved of by the Vedas whose Deity is that of the Vedas. Those who follow the Tantra S’âstras different from the Vedas, should use marks approved of by the Tantras.
Mahâ Deva is the Veda’s Deity and, ready to deliver from the bondages of the world, He has prescribed the Tilakas prescribed in the Vedas for the benefit of the devotees. The marks prescribed by Visnu, also a Deity of the Vedas, are also those of the Vedas. His other Avataras also use marks approved of by the Vedas. The Tripundras and the besmearing of the body with ashes are according to the Vedas. In the Tantra S’âstra different from the Vedas, there is the usage of Tripundra and other marks. But they are not to be used by the Vaidiks. No never.
Those who follow the path of the Vedas should use the curved Tripundras and Bhasma on their foreheads according to the rules prescribed in the Vedas.
He who has obtained the highest state of Nârâyana, i.e., who has realised My Nature, ought to use always on their foreheads S’ûla marks scented with fragrant sandal paste.
Here ends the Fifteenth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the rules of using the Tripundra and Ûrdhapundra marks in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the description of Sandhyâ Upâsânâ
1-24. Nârâyana said :– Now I am speaking of the very holy Sandhyopâsanâ method of Sandhyâ worship of Gâyatrî, the Presiding Deity of the morning, midday and evening, and of the twice-born. Listen. The greatness of using Bhasma has been described in detail. No further need be stated on the subject. I shall talk, first of all, of the morning Sandhyâ. The morning Sandhyâ is to be done early in the morning while the stars are visible. When the Sun is in the meridian, the midday Sandhyâ is to be performed; and while the Sun is visibly going down, the evening Sandhyâ is to be recited over. Now again, the distinctions are made in the above three Sandhyâs :– The morning Sandhyâ with stars seen is the best; with stars disappeared, middling; and with the Sun risen above the horizon, inferior. So the evening Sandhyâ, again, is of three kinds :– best, middling, and inferior. When the Sun is visibly disappearing, the evening Sandhyâ is the best; when the Sun has gone down the horizon, it is middling and when the stars are visible, it is inferior. The Brâhmanas are the root of the Tree, the Sandhyâ Vandanam; the Vedas are the branches; the religious actions are the leaves. Therefore its root should be carefully preserved. If the root be cut, no branches or leaves of the tree will remain. That Brâhmana who knows not his Sandhyâ or who does not perform the Sandhyâs is a living S’ûdra. That Brâhmana after his death verily becomes a dog. Therefore the Sandhyâs must be observed every day. Otherwise no right comes at all to do any action. At the sunrise and the sunset the time for Sandhyâ is two Dandas (48 minutes) and if Sandhyâ be not done or rather neglected in the interval, the Prâyas’chitta (penance) is to he paid duly (performed duly). If the proper time for Sandhyâ expires, one more offering of Arghya is to be made in addition to the three Arghayas daily made or the Gâyatrî is to be repeated one hundred and eight times before the Sandhyâ is commenced. In whichever time any action ought to be done, worship, first of all, the Sandhyâ Devî, the Presiding Deity of that time and do the actions proper to that time afterwards. The Sandhyâ performed in dwelling houses is ordinary; the Sandhyâ done in enclosures of cows is middling and on the banks of the rivers is good and the Sandhyâ performed before the Devî’s temple or the Devî’s seat is very excellent. The Sandhyopâsanâ ought to be done before the Devî, because that is the worship of the very Devî. The three Sandhyâs done before the Devî give infinitely excellent fruits. There is no other work of the Brâhmanas better than this Sandhyâ. One can rather avoid worshipping S’iva or Visnu; because that is not daily done as obligatory; but the Sandhyopâsanâ ought to be done daily. The Gâyatrî of the Great Devî is the Essence of all the mantras in the Vedas. In the Veda S’âstras, the worship of Gâyatrî is most definitely pronounced. Brahmâ and the other Devas meditate in the Sandhyâ times on this Devî Gâyatrî and make a japam of that. The Vedas always make japams of Her. For this reason the Gâyatrî has been mentioned as the object of worship by the Vedas. The Brâhmanas are called S’âktas inasmuch as they worship the Primal S’akti (Force) Gâyatrî, the Mother of the Vedas. They are not S’aivas nor Vaisnavas.
Firstly make the ordinary Âchaman three times, and, while inhaling, drink a little of the water of Âchaman, repeating “Om Kes’avâya Svâhâ, Om Nârâyanâya Svâhâ, Om Mâdhavâya Svâhâ.” Then wash your two hands, repeating “Om Gobindâya Namah, Om Visnave Namah.” Then by the root of the thumb rub the lips repeating “Om Madhû sûdanâya Namah, Om Trivikramâya Namah.” So rub the mouth, repeating “Om Vâmamâya Namah, Om S’rîdharâya Namah.” Then sprinkle water on the left hand, saying “Om Hrisîkes’âya Namah.” Sprinkle water on the legs, saying “Om Padmanâbhâya Namah.” Sprinkle water on the head, saying “Om Dâmodarâya Namah.” Touch the mouth with the three fingers of the right hand, saying “Om Samkarsanâya Namah.” Touch the nostrils with the thumb and forefinger saying “Om Vâsudevâya Namah, Om Pradyumnâya Namah.” Touch the eyes with the thumb and ring-finger, saying “Om Aniruddhâya Namah, Om Purusottamâya Namah.” Touch the ears with the thumb and ringfinger saying “Om Adhoksajâya Namah, Om Nârasimhâya Namah.” Touch the navel with the thumb and little finger saying “Om Achyutâya Namah.” Touch the breast with the palm, saying “Om Janârdanâya Namah.” Touch the head saying “Om Upendrâya Namah.” Touch the roots of the two arms saying “Om Haraye Namah, Om Krisnâya Namah.”
25-50. While sipping the Âchaman water on the right hand, touch the right hand with your left hand; otherwise; the water does not become pure. While doing Âchaman, make the palm and the fingers all united and close, of the form of a Gokarna (the ear of a cow) and spreading the thumb and the little finger, drink the water of the measure of a pea. If a greater or less quantity be sipped, then that would amount to drinking liquor. Then thinking of the Pranava, make the Prânâyâma, and repeat mentally the Gâyatrî with her head and the Turîya pâda, i.e., Âpojyotih rasomritam Brahmâ Bhurbhuvah svarom. Inhale the air by the left nostril (Pûrak), close both the nostrils (Kumbhak) and exhale the air, by the right nostril (Rechak). Thus Prânâyâma is effected. While doing Pûrak, Kumbhak and Rechak repeat the Gâyatrî every time; hold the right nostril with the right thumb and hold the left nostril with the ringfinger and little finger (i.e., don’t use forefinger and middle finger).
The Yogis who have controlled their minds say that Prânâyâma is effected by the three processes Pûraka, Kûmbhaka and Rechaka. The external air is inhaled in Pûraka; air is not exhaled nor inhaled (it is retained inside) in Kûmbhaka; and air is exhaled in Rechaka. While doing Pûraka, meditate on the navel, the four-armed high-souled Visnu, of the blue colour (Syâma) like the blue lotus. While doing Kûmbhaka, meditate in the heart lotus the four-faced grandsire Brahmâ Prajâpati, the Creator seated on the lotus and while doing Rechaka meditate, on the fore-head, on the white sin-destroying S’ankara, pure as crystal. In Pûraka, the union with Visnu is obtained; in Kûmbhaka, the knowledge of Brahmâ is attained and in Rechaka, the highest position of Îs’vara (S’iva) is attained. This is the method of Âchaman according to the Purânas. Now I am speaking of the all sin destroying Vaidik Âchaman. Listen. Reciting the Gâyatrî mantra “Om Bhurbhuvah,” sip a little water; this is the Vaidik Âchaman after repeating the seven great Vyâhritis Om Bhuh; Om Bhuvah, Om Svah, Om Mahah, Om Janah, Om Tapah, Om Satyam, repeat Gâyatrî and the head of the Gâyatrî Âpojyoti Rasomritam Brahmâ Bhurbhuvah svarom and practise Prânâyâma three times. Hereby all sins are destroyed and all virtues spring. Now another sort of Prânâyâma Mudrâ is described :– The Vânaprasthîs and Grihasthas would do Prânâyâma with five fingers, holding the tip of the nose; the Brahmâchâris and Yatis would do Prânâyâma with the thumbs, little finger, and ring finger (avoiding middle and fore). Now I am speaking of the Âghamasana Mârjana mantra. Listen. The Mantra of this Mârjana is “Âpohisthâ Mayobhuvah, etc.” There are three mantras in this. There are three Pâdas in every mantra, prefix Om to every pâda (thus nine times Om is to be prefixed); at the end of every pâda sprinkle water on the head with the sacrificial thread and the Kus’a grass. Or at the end of every mantra do so. By the above Mârjana (cleaning) the sins of one hundred years are instantly destroyed. Then making Âchaman (taking a sip of water to rinse the mouth before worship), repeat the three Mantras “Om Sûryas’cha mâ manyus’cha, etc.” By this act, the mental sins are destroyed. As mârjana is done with Pranava, Vyârhitis, and Gâyatrî, so make Mârjana by the three mantras ‘‘Âpohisthâ, etc.” Make your right palm of the shape of a cow’s ear; take water in it and carry it before your nose and think thus :– “There is a terrible sinful person in my left abdomen, his colour is dark black and he is horrible looking.” Recite, then, the mantras “Om ritamcha satyamchâbhîdhyât, etc.” and “Drupâdâdiva Mumuchâna, etc.” and bring that Sinful Person through your right nostril to the water in the palm. Don’t look at that water; throw it away on a bit of stone to your left. And think that you are now sinless. Next, rising from the seat, keep your two feet horizontal and with the fingers save forefinger and thumb, take a palmful of water and with your face towards the Sun, recite the Gâyatrî three times and offer water to the Sun three times. Thus, O Muni! The method of offering the Arghyas has been mentioned to you.
51-80. Then circumambulate, repeating the Sûrya Mantra. The one thing to be noted in offering Arghyas is this :– Offer once in the midday, and three times in the morning and three times in the evening. While offering the Arghya in the morning, bend yourself a little low; in offering the arghya in the midday, stand up; and while offering the arghya in the evening, it can be done while sitting. Now I will tell you why the Arghya is offered to the Sun. Hear. Thirty Koti Râksasas known as the Mandehas, always roam on the path of the Sun (the mental Sun also). They are great heroes, treacherous and ferocious. They always try to devour the Sun, while they assume terrible forms. For this reason the Devas and the Risis combined offer the water with their folded hands to the Sun, while they perform the great Sandhyâ Upâsanâ. The water thus offered, becomes transformed into the thunderbolt and burns the heads of the cruel demons (and throws them on the island Mandehâruna) Therefore the Brâhmanas daily do their Sandhyopâsana. Infinite merits accrue from this Sandhyâ Upâsanâ. O Nârada! Now I am speaking to you of the Mantras pertaining to the Arghya. No sooner they are pronounced the full effects of performing the Sandhyâs are obtained. I am That Sun; I am That Light; I am That Âtman (Self); I am S’iva; I am the Light of Âtman; I am clear and transparently white; I am of the nature of all energy; and I am of the nature of Râsa (the sweetness, all the sweet sentiments). O Devî! O Gâyatrî! O Thou! Who art of the nature of Brahmâ! Let Thee come and preside in my heart to grant me success in this Japa Karma. O Devî! O Gâyatrî! Entering into my heart, go out again with this water. But Thou wouldst have to come again. Sit thus on a pure seat and with a single intent repeat the Gâyatrî, the Mother of the Vedas. O Muni! In this Sandhyopâsanâ, the Khhecharî Mudrâ ought to be done after practising the Prânâyâma. Hear now the meaning of the Khhechâri Mudrâ. When the soul of a being leaves the objects of senses, it roams in the Âkâs’a, i.e., it becomes aimless when the tongue also goes to the Âkâs’a and roams there; and then the sight is fixed between the eyebrows; this is called the Khhechâri Mudrâ. There is no Âsana (seat) equal to Siddhâsana and there is no Vâyu (air) equal to the Khumbaka Vâya (suspension of air in the body).
O Nârada! There is no Mudrâ equal to the Khhechâri Mudrâ. One is to pronounce Pranava in Pluta (protracted) accents like the sound of a bell and, suspending his breath, sit quiet motionless in Sthirâsana without any Ahamkâra (egoism). O Nârada! I am now talking of Siddhâsana and its characteristic qualities. Hear. Keep one heel below the root of the genital and the other heel below the scrotum; keep the whole body and breast straight and motionless; withdraw the senses from their objects and look at the point, the pituitary body, between the eyebrows. This posture is called the Siddhâsan and is pleasant to the yogis. After taking this seat, invoke the Gâyatrî. “O Mother of the Vedas! O Gâyatrî! Thou art the Devî granting boons to the Bhaktas. Thou art of the nature of Brahmâ. Be gracious unto Me. O Devî! Whoever worships Thee in the day gets his day sins destroyed and in the night, night sins destroyed. O Thou! Who art all the letters of the alphabet! O Devî! O Sandhye! O Thou who art of the nature of Vidyâ! O Sarasvatî! O Ajaye! O Thou immortal! Free from disease and decay. O Mother! Who art all the Devas! I bow down to Thee.” Invoke the Devî again by the mantra “Ojosi, etc ,” and then pray :– “O Mother! Let my japam and other acts in Thy worship be fulfilled with success by Thy Grace.” Next for the freedom of the curse of Gâyatrî, do the things properly. Brahmâ gave a curse to Gâyatrî; Vis’vâmitra gave a curse to Her and Vas’istha also cursed Her. These are the three curses; they are removed in due order by recollecting Brahmâ, Vis’vâmitra and Vas’istha. Before doing Nyâsa, one ought to collect oneself and remember the Highest Self; think in the lotus of the heart that Purusa (Person) who is Truth; who is all this Universe, who is the Highest Self and who is All knowledge and who cannot be comprehended by words. Now I am speaking of the Amganyâsa of Sandhyâ; Hear. First utter Om and then utter the mantra.
Touch the two legs, saying “Om Bhuhpâdâbhyâm namah”
Touch the knees, saying “Om Bhuva Jânubhyâm namah”
Touch the hip, saying “Om Svah Katibhyâm namah”
Touch the navel, saying “Om Maharnâbhyai namah”
Touch the heart, saying “Om Janah Hridayâya namah”
Touch the throat, saying “Om Tapah Kanthâya namah”
Touch the forehead, saying “Om Satyam Lalâtâya namah”
Thus perform the Vyârhiti nyâsa.
Next perform the Karâmganyâsa thus :– Om Tat savituh ramgusthâbhyâm namah (referring to the thumb); Om Varenyam Tarjanîbhyâm namah (referring to the forefinger); Om bhargo devasya madhyamâ bhyâm namah (referring to the middle finger); Om Dhîmahi anâmikâbhyâm namah (referring to the ringfinger); Om dhîyo yonah, Kanisthâbyâm namah (referring to the little finger); Om prachodayât kara tal pristhâbhyâm namah (referring to the upper part and lower part of the palm and all over the body).
81-106. Now I am speaking of the Amganyâsa. Hear. Om tat savitur Brahmâ tmane hridayâya namah (referring to the heart.)
Om Varenyam Visnvâ tmane S’irase namah (referring to the head); Om bhargo devasya Rudrâtmane S’ikhâyai namah (referring to the crown of the head); Om dhîmahi S’aktyâtmane Kavachâya namah (referring to the Kavacha); Om dhîyoyonah Kâlâtmane netratrayâya namah (referring to the three eyes); Om prachodayât sarvâtmane astrâya namah (referring to the Astra or armour, protecting the body). Now I am speaking of the Varnanyâsa. O Great Muni! Hear. This Varnanyâsa is performed by the letters in the Gâyatrî mantra. If anybody does this, he becomes freed of sins.
“Om Tat namah” on the two toes; (touching them).
“Om Sa namah” on the two heels; (touching them).
“Om Vi namah” on the legs;
“Om Tu namah” on the two knees;
“Om Va namah” on the two thighs;
“Om re namah” on the anus;
“Om ni namah” on the generative organ;
“Om ya namah” on the hip;
“Om bha namah” on the navel;
“Om Rgo namah on the heart;
“Om De namah” on the breasts;
“Om va namah” on the heart;
“Om sya namah” on the throat;
“Om dhî namah” on the mouth;
“Om ma namah” on the palate;
“Om hi namah” on the tip of the nose;
“Om dhi namah” on the two eyes;
“Om yo namah” on the space between the eye-brows;
“Om yo namah” on the forehead;
“Om nah namah” to the east;
“Om pra namah” to the south;
“Om cho namah” on the west;
“Om da namah” on the north;
“Om yâ namah” on the head;
“Om ta namah” on the whole body from head to foot.
Some Jâpakas (those who do the Japam) do not approve of the above nyâsa. Thus the Nyâsa is to be done. Then meditate on the Gâyatrî or the World-Mother. The beauty of the body of the Gâyatrî Devî is like that of the full blown Javâ flower. She is seated on the big red lotus on the back of the Hansa (Flamingo); She is holding the red coloured garland on Her neck and anointed with red coloured unguent. She has four faces; every face has two eyes. On her four hands are a wreath of flowers, a sacrificial ladle, a bead, and a Kamandalu. She is blazing with all sorts of ornaments. From the Devî Gâyatrî has originated first the Rig veda. Brahmâ worships the virgin Gâyatrî; on the idea of S’rî Parames’varî Gâyatrî has four feet. The Rig Veda is one; the Yajurveda is the second, the Sâmaveda is the third and the Atharva veda is the fourth foot. The Gâyatrî has eight bellies; the east side is the one; the south is the second; the west is the third; the north is the fourth; the zenith is the fifth; the nadir is the sixth; the intermediate space is the seventh and all the corners are the eighth belly. Gâyatrî has seven S’iras (heads); Vyâkaranam (Grammar) is one; S’iksâ is the second (that Amga of the Veda, the science which teaches the proper pronunciation of words and laws of euphony); Kalpa is the third (the Vedânga which lays down the ritual and prescribes rules for ceremonial and sacrificial acts); Nirukta is the fourth (the Vedânga that contains glossarial explanation of obscure words, especially those occurring in the Vedas); Jyotish or astronomy is the fifth; Itahâsa (history) and Purânas is the sixth head; and Upanisadas is the seventh head. Agni (fire) is the mouth of Gâyatrî; Rudra is the S’ikhâ (the chief part); Her gotra (lineage) is Sâmkhyâyana; Visnu is the heart of Gâyatrî and Brahmâ is the armour of Gâyatrî. Think of this Mahes’varî Gâyatrî in the middle of the Solar Orb. Meditating on the Gâyatrî Devî as above, the devotee should shew the following twenty-four Mudrâs (signs by the fingers, etc., in religious worship) for the satisfaction of the Devî :– (1) Sanmukh; (2) Sampût; (3) Vitata (4) Vistrita; (5) Dvîmukha; (6) Trimukha; (7) Chaturmukha; (8) Panchamukha; (9) Sanmukha; (10) Adhomukha; (11) Vyâpaka; (12) Anjali; (13) S’akata (14) Yamapâs’a; (15) fingers intertwined end to end; (16) Vilamba (17) Mustika; (18) Matsya; (19) Kûrma; (20) Varâha; (21) Simhâkrânta; (22) Mahâkrânta; (23) Mudgara; (24) Pallava. Next make japam once only of one hundred syllabled Gâyatrî. Thus twenty-four syllabled Sâvitrî, “Jâtavedase sunavâma, etc.,” forty-four syllabled mantra; and the thirty two syllabled mantra, “Tryamvakam Jajâmahe, etc.” These three mantras united make up one hundred lettered Gâyatrî. (The full context of the last Mantra is this :– Om Haum Om yum sah – Trayamvakam yajâmahe Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam. Urbhârukamiva bandhanân mrityo mûksiya ma mritât Bhur Bhhuvah. Svarom Yum Svah Bhurbhuvah Svarom Haum.) Next make japam of Bhurbhuvah Svah, twenty four lettered Gâyatrî with Om. O Nârada! The Brâhmanas are to perform daily the Sandhyo pâsânâ repeating Gâyatrî, completely adopting the rules above prescribed and then he will be able to enjoy completely pleasures, happiness and bliss.
Here ends the Sixteenth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the description of Sandhyâ Upâsânâ in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgvatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the description of Sandhyâ and other daily practices
1-5. Nârâyana said :– If one divides or separates the pâdas while reciting or making Japam of the Gâyatrî, one is freed from the Brâhminicide, the sin of Brahmahatyâ. But if one does so without breaking the pâdas, i.e., repeats at one breath, then one incurs the sin of Brahmahatyâ. Those Brâhmanas who do the Japam of the Gâyatrî without giving due pause to the pâdas, suffer pains in hells with their heads downwards for one hundred Kalpas. O Gâyatrî! Thou art of one foot, of two feet, of three feet and of four feet. Thou art without foot, because Thou art not obtained. Salutation to Thy Fourth Foot beautiful and which is above the Trilokî (Râjas). This cannot obtain that. Firstly, Gâyatrî is of three kinds :– “Samputâ,” “Ekomkârâ,” and “Sadomkârâ.” There is also the Gâyatrî, with five Pranavas, according to the Dharma S’âstras and Purânas. There is something to be noted while muttering or making the japam of the Gâyatrî :– Note how many lettered Gâyatrî you are going to repeat (make japam). When you have repeated one-eighth of that, repeat (make japam) the Turîya pâda of Gâyatrî (i.e., the fourth Pâda, the mantram parorajase Sâvadomâ prâpat) etc., (see the daily practices, page 107) once and then complete repeating the Gâyatrî. If the Brâhmana makes the Japam (the silent muttering) in the above way he gets himself united with Brahmâ. Other modes of making the Japam do not bear any fruit. Om Gâyatryasye kapadî dvîpapî Tripadî chatus pâdasi nahi padyase namaste Tûryâya dars’atâyapadâya paro Rajase Sâbado mâ prâpat. Gâyatrî is one-footed in the form of Trilokî, two-footed, the Trayî Vidyâ from thy second foot; tripadî (all Prânas are thy third foot, chatuspadi, as the Purusa apadi without any foot, Parorajase above the Râjas, the dust; asau-that; adah this not prâpat may obtain. The Yogis who are Ûrdharetâs (hold Brahmâ charyam, continence) are to make Japam of the Samputâ Gâyatrî (i.e., with Om). Gâyatrî with one pranava and as well the Gâyatrî with six pranavas. The householder Brahmachârî or those who want moksa are to make Japam of Gâyatrî with Om prefixed.
6. Those householders who affix Om to the Gâyatrî do not get the increase of their families.
7-8. The Turîya pâda (foot) of Gâyatrî is the mantra “Parorajase Sâvodomâ prâpat.” (Brihad. up. v.14.7). Salutation to Thy beautiful Fourth Foot which is above the Trilokî (Râjas). This cannot obtain that. The presiding deity of this mantra is Brahmâ. I am now speaking of the full Dhyânam (meditation) of this Brahmâ so that the full fruit of the Japam (recitation) may be obtained. There is a full blown lotus in the heart; its form is like the Moon, Sun, and the Spark of Fire; i.e., of the nature of pranava and nothing else. This is the seat of the inconceivable Brahmâ. Think thus. Now on that seat is seated well the steady constant subtle Light, the essence of Akâs’a, the everlasting existence, intelligence and bliss, the Brahmâ. May He increase my happiness (see page 107 the daily practice of the Hindus by R. B. Sris Chandra Basu, on the Invocation of the Gâyatrî).
Note :– Aum! Gâyatryasyekapadî dvîpadî, tripadî, chatuspadasi, nahi padyase namaste turyâya dars’ atâya padâya parorajase, sâvado mâprâpat O Gâyatrî! Thou art of one foot (in the farm of Trilokî), of two feet (the Trayî vidyâ from Thy second foot) of three feet all Prâna, etc., are Thy third foot and of four feet (as the Purusa). Thou art without foot because Thou art not obtained. Salutation to Thy beautiful fourth foot which is above the Trilokî (Râjas). This cannot obtain that.
9. Now I am speaking of the Mudrâ of the Turîyâ Gâyatrî :– (1) Tris’ûla, (2) Yoni, (3) Surabhi, (4) Aksamâlâ, (5) Linga, (6) Padma and (7) Mahâmudrâ. These seven Mudrâs are to be shewn.
10-14. What is Sandhyâ, that is Gâyatrî; there is no difference whatsoever between the two. The two are one and the same. Both are of the nature of Existence, Intelligence and Bliss. The Brâhmanas would daily worship Her and bow down before Her with greatest devotion and reverence. After the Dhyânam, first worship Her with five upachâras or offerings. Thus :–
Om lam prithivyâtmane gandham, arpayâmi namo namah. Om Ham âkâs’âtmane puspam arpayâmi namo namah. Om ram Vahnyâtmane dîpam arpayâmi namo namah. Aum vam amritâtmane naivedyam arpayâmi namo namah. Om yam ram lam vam ham puspânjalim arpayâmi namo namah. Thus worshipping with five upachâras, you must shew Mudrâs to the Devî.
15-16. Then meditate on the Form of the Gâyatrî mentally and slowly repeat the Gâyatrî. Do not shake head, neck and while making japam, do not show your teeth. According to due rules repeat the Gâyatrî one hundred and eight times, or twenty-eight times. When unable, repeat ten times; not less than that.
17-20. Then raise the Gâyatrî placed before on the heart (seat) by the mantra “Gâyatrasyai kapadî Dvîpadî, etc., and then bid farewell to Her after bowing down to Her and repeating the mantra “Omuttame S’ikhare Devî bhûmyâm parvata mûrdhani Brâhmana ebhyobhya anujñâtâ Gachcha Devî yathâsukham” on the highest top of the mountain summit in earth (i.e., on the Meru mountain) dwells the goddess Gâyatrî. Being pleased with Thy worshippers go back, O Devî! to Thy abode as it pleaseth Thee.” (See page 110, The Daily Practices of the Hindus.)
The wise men never mutter nor recite the Gâyatrî mantra within the water. For the Maharsis say that the Gâyatrî is fire-faced (agnimukhî). After the farewell shew again the following mudrâs :– Surabhi Jñân, Sûrpa, Kûrma, Yoni, Padma, Linga and Nirvâna Mudrâs.
Then address thus :– “O Devî! O Thou who speakest pleasant to Kas’yapa! O Gâyatrî! Whatever syllables I have missed to utter in making Japam, whatever vowels and consonants are incorrectly pronounced, I ask Thy pardon for all my above faults.” O Nârada! Next one ought to give peace offerings to the Gâyatrî Devî.
21-33. The Chchhanda of Gâyatrî Tarpanam (peace offerings to Gâyatrî) is Gâyatrî; the Risi is Vis’vâmitra; Savitâ is the Devatâ; its application (Niyoga) is in the peace offerings.
“Om Bhûhrigvedapurusam tarpayâmi.”
“Om Bhuvah Yajurvedapurusam tarpayâmi.”
“Om Svah Sâmaveda purusam tarpayâmi.”
“Om Mahah Atharvaveda purusam tarpayâmi.”
“Om Janah Itihâsapurâna purusam tarpayâmi.”
“Om Tapah Sarvâgama purusam tarpayâmi.”
“Om Satyam Satyaloka purusam tarpayâmi.”
“Om Bhûh bhûrloka purusam tarpayâmi.”
“Om Bhuvah bhuvoloka purusam tarpayâmi.”
“Om Svah svarloka purusam tarpayâmi.”
“Om Bhûh rekapadâm Gâyatrîm tarpayâmi.”
“Om Bhuvo dvîtîyapadâm Gâyatrîm tarpayâmi.”
“Om Svastripadâm Gâyatrim tarpayâmi.”
“Om Bhûrbhûvah Svas’chatuspadâm Gâyatrîm tarpayâmi.”
Pronouncing these, offer the Tarpanams. Next add the word Tarpayâmi to each of the following words “Ûsasîm, Gâyatrîm, Sâvitrîm, Sarasvatim Vedamâtaram, Prithvîm, Ajâm, Kaus’îkîm, Sâmkritîm, Savajitîm, etc.,” and offer Tarpanams. After the Tarpanam is over, offer the peace-chantings, (S’ântivâri) repeating the following mantras.
“Om Jâta vedase sunavâma romam, etc.”
“Om Mânastoka, etc.”
“Om Tryamvakam Yajâmahe, etc.”
“Om Tachchhamyoh, etc.”
Then touch all the parts of your bodies, repeating the two mantra, “Om atodeva, etc.” And reciting the mantram “Svonâ Prithivî,” bow down to the earth, after repeating one’s name, Gotra, etc.
34-45. O Nârada! Thus the rules of the morning Sandhyâ are prescribed. Doing works so far, bid farewell to the above-mentioned Gâyatrî. Next finishing the Agnihotra Homa sacrifice, worship the five Devatâs, S’ivâ, S’iva, Ganes’a, Sûrya and Visnu. Worship by the Purusa Sûkta mantra, or by Hrîm mantra, or by Vyahriti mantra or by S’rischate Laksmîs’cha, etc., place Bhavanî in the centre; Visnu in the north east corner, S’iva in the south-east corner; Ganes’a in the south-west corner, and the Sun in the north-west corner; and then worship them. While offering worship with the sixteen offerings, worship by repeating sixteen mantras. As there is no other act more merit-giving than the worship of the Devî, so the Devî should first of all be worshipped. Then worship in due order the five Devatâs placed in five positions. As the worship of the Devî is the chief object, so in the three Sandhyâs, the worship of the Sandhyâ Devî is approved of by the S’rutis. Never worship Visnu with rice; Ganes’a with Tulasî leaves; the Devî Durgâ with Durba grass and S’iva with Ketakî flower. The under-mentioned flowers are pleasing to the Devî :– Mallikâ, Jâti, Kutaja, Panasa, Palâsa, Vakula, Lodha, Karavîra, S’ins’apa, Aparâjitâ, Bandhûka, Vaka, Madanta, Sindhuvâra, Palâs’a, Durbhâ, S’allakî, Mâdhavî, Arka, Mandâra, Ketakî, Karnikâra, Kadamba, Lotus, Champaka, Yûthikâ, Tagara, etc.
46-47. Offer incenses Guggul, Dhûpa and the light of the Til oil and finish the worship. Then repeat the principal (male) mantra (make Japam). Thus finishing the work, study the Vedas in the second quarter of the next day; and in the third quarter of that day feed father, mother and other dependent relatives, with money earned by one’s own self according to the traditions of one’s family.
Here ends the Seventeenth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the description of Sandhyâ and other daily practices in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa
On the Greatness of the Devî Pûjâ
1. Nârada spoke :– “O Bhagavân! I am now very eager to hear the special Pûjâ of S’rî Devî. The people get their desires fulfilled if they worship Her.”
2-23. Nârâyana said :– O Devarsi! I shall now specially speak to you how the World Mother Bhagavatî is worshipped; by worshipping Whom one easily gets objects of enjoyments, liberation and the destruction of all evils. Controlling one’s speech and making Âchaman, one must make one’s sankalpa and perform Bhûtas’uddhi, Mâtrikânyâsa, sadanganyâsa, placing conchshell and doing other necessary acts. Offering the ordinary Arghya, one should give special Arghya and with the mantra “Astrâya Phat” sprinkle over all the articles brought for worship. Taking the Guru’s permission, he is to go on with his Pûjâ. First worship the pîtha or seat whereon the Devî would be placed; then perform dhyân (meditation of the Devî). Then with great devotion, offer to the Deva, the seats (Âsana) and other articles of worship; then perform the bath of the Devî by the water of the Panchâmrita (the five nectars). If anybody performs the bath ceremony of S’rî Devî with one hundred jars of sugarcane juice, he will not have to incur any future birth.
He who performs this bath, and recites the Veda Mantras, with mango juice or sugarcane juice gets for ever Laksmî ever and ever and Sarasvatî bound at his doors. He who gets this sacred bath of the Devî with grape juice, along with his relatives and acquaintences dwells in the Devî-loka for as many years as there are atoms in the juice. He who bathes the Devî with the Vedic mantras, and with water scented with camphor, the fragrant aloe wood (aguru), saffron, and musk, becomes freed at once of the sins acquired in his hundred births. He who bathes the Devî with jars of milk, lives in the ocean of milk (ksîra samudra) for one Kalpa. So he who does this bathing ceremony with jars of curd, becomes the lord of Dadhikunda (the reservoir of curd). He who performs the Snânams of the Devî with honey, ghee and sugar becomes the lord of these things. He who bathes the Devî with one thousand jars, becomes happy in this world as in the next. Note :– Make the liquid current flow pure in your body is the esoteric meaning of the bath. If you give Her a pair of silken clothes, you will go to the Vâyu-Loka. If you give Her the jewel ornaments, you will become the Lord of gems and jewels. (Make your mind like the gem.) If anybody gives saffron, sandalpaste, musk, Sindûra and Âlaktak (red things), he will go to the Heavens and become there the Indra, the Lord of the Devas, in the next birth. Various flowers ought to be offered in S’rî Bhagavatî’s worship; or the flowers of the season offered to the Devî will lead the devotee to Kailâs’a. The devotee that offers the beautiful Bel leaves to the Devî never experiences anywhere pains and difficulties. The devotee who writes the Vîja mantra of Mâyâ “Hrîm Bhuvanes’varyai Namah” with red sandalpaste thrice on the tri-leaves of the Vilva tree leaf and offers this to the lotus feet of the Devî, becomes Manu by the merit of this virtuous act! The devotee becomes the Lord of the whole universe who worships the Devî Bhagavatî with ten millions of entire Vilva leaves, fresh, green and spotless.
24-40. If any devotee worships with ten millions of entire fresh green Kunda flowers, with eight scents, he gets surely the Prajâpatihood. The worship of the Devî with ten millions of Mallikâ and Mâlatî flowers besmeared with eight scents makes a man the four faced (Brahmâ); and one hundred millions of such flowers will make the devotee a Visnu. In days of yore, Visnu worshipped the Devî in the aforesaid way and so got His Visnuhood. If any devotee worships the Devî with one hundred Kotis of Mallikâ or Mâlatî flowers, the man becomes certainly Sutrâtmâ Hiranyagarbha. In ancient days Hiranyagarbha worshipped thus the Devî with great devotion and so he became Hiranyagarbha! (These Hiranyagarbha, Brahmâ, Visnu and Mahes’a were mere ordinary men before. See the Brihadâranyaka Upanisada). Note :– The eight scents refer to Jatâ mamsî Kapiyutâ S’aktergandhâs takam! So will be the results if Javâ, Vandhûka and Dâdimî flowers be offered in the worship. Various other beautiful flowers can be offered duly to the Devî by the devotee. The merits accruing from such offers are not known even to the God Îs’vara. The flowers that spring in their proper seasons are to be offered every year to the Devî, repeating Her thousand names enumerated in the Twelfth Book or in the Kûrma Purâna. If the above worship be offered to the Devî, then that man, whether he be a sinner or a great sinner, will be freed from all the sins and after leaving his mortal coil, he will get, no doubt, the lotus feet of the S’rî Devî Bhagavatî. Offer Dhûpa made of black Aguru, camphor, sandalpaste, red sandalpaste, Sihlaka and Guggula, saturated with ghee in such a way as the whole room of S’rî Bhagavatî scents with pure fragrant smell. The Devî Bhagavatî becomes pleased with this and offers the lordship of the three Lokas to the devotee. The devotee, who offers daily the light of camphor to the Devî, goes to the Sûrya Loka. There is no doubt in this. With one’s whole heart, one should give one hundred or one thousand lights to the Devî. The devotee should offer heaps of food consisting of six Râsas, the plates and dishes for chewing, sucking, licking and drinking, that is, all kinds of food solid, and liquid, mountain-like high. Always give food on golden flat plates and cups and various delicious sweet juicy nice heavenly fruits, nicely arranged on trays, cups and saucers. When S’rî Mahâdevî Bhuvane’svarî gets pleased, the whole universe gets pleased. For the whole Universe is all Devî; as a rope is mistaken for a snake, so this Mahâdevî is mistaken for the universe.
41-59. Offer a jar of drinking Ganges water, cool and nice, scented with camphor to the Devî; then offer betels with camphor, cardamum, cloves, and various delicious scents. These all are to be offered with great devotion so that the Devî may be pleased. Next have music with lovely mridangas, flutes, murajas, Dhahkâs and dundubhis and so please Her. The Veda mantras are to be recited, the Purânas are to be read and the hymns to be chanted. With whole head and heart offer to the Devî the umbrella and châmara, the two kingly offerings. Then circumambulate round Her and prostrate before Her and ask Her kindness and pray to Her to forgive all faults and shortcomings. The Devî is pleased with anybody who remembers Her even once! What wonder then that She will be pleased with all these offerings! The Mother is naturally merciful to her child. When She is loved with devotion, then She becomes very merciful. There is nothing strange here! On this point I will recite to you the history of Vrihadratha Râjarsi. Hearing which gives rise to Bhakti and Love.
Once in a certain region in the Himâlayâs there lived a bird called Chakravâk. It flew over many countries and went once to Kâs’îdhâm. As a fruit of his Prârabdha Karma, that bird, desirous to find some rice beans, voluntarily went like an orphan round about the temple of S’rî Annapûrnâ Devî. There circumambulating round the Devî Bhagavatî the bird left the city Kâs’î, that grants liberation and flew away to another country. In time the bird left his body and went to Heavens. There he assumed a heavenly form of a youth and began to enjoy various pleasures. Thus he enjoyed for two Kalpas. Then he got back to the earth and took his birth as the best in the Ksattriya family. He became celebrated as the king Vrihadratha in this world. That King was truthful, controlled his senses, and practised S’amyama and deep concentration and knew everything of the past, the present and the future. He conquered all the enemies and performed various sacrifices and became the Emperor of the sea-girt earth and acquired the very rare faculty in the knowledge of everything of his previous births. The Munis came to know of this from various rumours and came to the King. The King Vrihadratha duly entertained those guests. The Munis took their seats and asked :– “O King! We hear that all the events of previous births are vividly reflected in your memory. On this point great doubts have come upon us. Kindly describe in detail. By what Punyam (merits) you have come to know all about previous births and the knowledge of the past, the present and the future. We have come to you to know how you got this wonderful supersensual knowledge. Kindly say to us sincerely everything about this and oblige.”
60-71. Nârâyana said :– O Brâhman! The very religious King Vrihadratha heard them and began to speak out all the secret causes for his knowledge of the past, the present and the future, thus :– O Munis! Hear how I acquired this knowledge. In my previous birth I was a very low bird chakravâk. Once, out of my ignorance, I circumambulated round the temple of the Devî Bhagavatî Annapurnâ at Kâs’î. And, as the result of that, I lived in the Heavens for a period of two Kalpas and I have got this birth and I have got the knowledge of the past, the present and the future. O You of good vows! Who can ascertain what amount of merits accrues from remembering the Feet of the World-Mother. Remembering Her glories, I always shed tears of joy. Those who do not worship the adorable Deity Jagadambâ are the Great Sinners and they are treacherous. Fie on their births! The worship of S’iva or Visnu is not eternal. Only the Jagadambâ’s worship is eternal. Thus it is stated in the S’rutis. What more shall I speak on this worship of the World-Mother, which is void of the best trace of any doubt. Everyone ought to serve devotedly the lotus feet of the Devî Bhagavatî. There is no other act more glorious in this world than serving the feet of Jagadambâ. It is highly necessary to serve the Highest Deity, whether in Her Saguna or in Her Nirguna aspect. (Eat the sugarcandy, holding it in any way. It makes no difference.) Nârâyana said :– Hearing the aforesaid words of the virtuous Râjarsi Vrihadratha, the Munis went back to their respective abodes. Such is the power of the Devî Jagadambikâ! So who can question about the certainty of the high merits arising from the Jagadambikâ’s worship and who will not reply, when so questioned? Their births are really fruitful who possess faith in the Devî worship; but of those who have no such faith, there is some wrong mixture, no doubt; in their births.
Here ends the Eighteenth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the Greatness of the Devî Pûjâ, in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the midday Sandhyâ
1-24. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! Now I am speaking of the auspicious midday Sandhyâ, the practice of which leads to the wonderfully excellent results. Listen. Here the Âchamana and other things are similar to those of the morning Sandhyâ. Only in meditation (Dhyânam) there is some difference. I will now speak of that. The name of the midday Gâyatrî is Sâvitrî. She is ever a youthful maiden, of white colour, three-eyed; She holds in Her one hand a rosary, in Her other hand a trident and with Her two other hands She makes signs to Her Bhaktas to dispel fear and to grant boons. Riding on the bull, She recites the Yayur Vedas; She is the Rudra S’akti with Tâmo gunas and She resides in Brahmaloka, She daily traverses in the path of the Sun. She is Mâyâ Devî, beginningless; I bow down to Her. After meditating on the Âdyâ Devî Bhagavatî perform Âchamanas and other things as in the morning Sandhyâ. Now, about the offering of Arghya (an offer of green grass, rice, etc., made in worshipping a God or Brâhman). Collect flowers for Arghya; in the absence of flowers, the Bael leaves and water will serve the purpose. Facing the Sun, and looking upwards, offer the Arghya to the Sun upwards. Then perform other acts as in the morning Sandhyâ. In midday, some offer Arghya to the Sun, only with the recitation of the Gâyatrî mantra. But that is not approved of by the tradition and community; there is the likelihood of the whole work being thwarted or rendered fruitless. For, in the morning and evening Sandhyâs, the Râksashas named the Mandehâs become ready to devour the Sun. This is stated in the S’rutis. Therefore the midday offering of the Arghya is not for the destruction of the Daityas but for the satisfaction of the Devî; so with the mantra “Âkrisnena, etc.,” the offering of Arghya can be effected; and the reciting of the infallible Gâyatrî mantra is only to create disturbance in the shape of thwarting the action. So in the morning and evening, the Brâhmana is to offer the Sûryârghya, repeating the Gâyatrî and Pranava; and in the midday to offer flowers and water with the mantra “Âkrisnena, rajasâ etc.,” else it will go against the S’ruti. In the absence of flowers, the Durba grass, etc., can be offered carefully as the Arghya; and the full fruits of the Sandhyâ will be secured. O Best of Devarsis! Now hear the important points in the Tarpanam (peace offerings). Thus :–
“Om Bhuvah purusam tarpayâmi namo namah.”
“Om Yajurvedam tarpayâmi namo namah.”
“Om Mandalam tarpayâmi namo namah.”
“Om Hiranyagarbham tarpayâmi namo namah.”
“Om antarâtmânam tarpayâmi namo namah.”
“Om Sâvitrîm tarpayâmi namo namah.”
“Om Devamâtaram tarpayâmi namo namah.”
“Om Sâmkritim tarpayâmi namo namah.”
“Om Yuvatîm sandhyâm tarpayâmi namo namah.”
“Om Rudrânîm tarpayâmi namo namah.”
“Om Nîmrijâm tarpayâmi namo namah.”
“Om Bhurbhuvah Svah purusam tarpayâmi namo namah.”
Thus finish the midday Sandhyâ mga Tarpanam. Now, with your hands raised high up towards the Sun, worship Him by the two mantras, praising thus :– “Om Udutyam Jâtavedasam, etc.,” “Om Chitram Devânâm, etc.” Next repeat the Gâyatrî. Hear its method. In the morning, repeat the Gâyatri at the proper moment with hands raised; in the evening time with hands lowered and in the midday with hands over the breast. Begin with the middle phalanx (joint) of the nameless finger, then the phalanx at its root, then the phalanx at the root of the little finger, its middle phalanx and its top, then the tops of the nameless, fore and ring fingers, then the middle and finally the root of the ring finger (in the direction of the hands of the watch; avoiding the middle and root phalanx of the middle finger). Thus ten times it is repeated. In this way if the Gâyatrî be repeated one thousand times, the sins arising from killing a cow, father, mother, from causing abortions, going to the wife of one’s Guru, stealing a Brâhmana’s property, a Brâhman’s field, drinking wine, etc., all are destroyed. Also the sins acquired in three births by mind, word, or by the enjoyments of sensual objects are thereby then and there instantly destroyed. All the labours of him, who works hard in the study of the Vedas without knowing the Gâyatrî, are useless. Therefore if you compare on the one hand the study of the four Vedas with the reciting of the Gâyatrî, then the Gâyatrî Japam stands higher. Thus I have spoken to you of the rules of the midday Sandhyâ. Now I am speaking of Brahmâ Yajñâ. Hear.
Here ends the Nineteenth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the midday Sandhyâ in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the description of Brahmâ Yajñâ, Sandhyâs, etc.
1-25. The twice born (Brâhmana) is firstly to sip three times (make Âchamana); then to make the mârjana (sprinkle water) twice; he is to touch the water by the right hand and sprinkle water on his two feet. Next, he is to sprinkle with water his head, eyes, nose, ears, heart, and head thoroughly. Then speaking out the Des’a and Kâla (place and time) he should commence the Brahmâ Yajñâ. Next for the destruction of all the sins and for getting liberation, he should have the Darbha (sacrificial grass, and the Kus’a grasses), two on his right hand, three on his left hand, one grass each on his seat, sacrificial thread, his tuft, and his heels. No sin can now remain in his body.
“I am performing this Brahmâ Yajñâ for the satisfaction of the Devatâ according to the Sûtra,” thus thinking he is to repeat the Gâyatrî thrice. Then he is to recite the following mantras :– “Agnimîle purohitam, etc.,” “Yadamgeti” “Agnirvai,” “Mahâvratanchaiva panthâ,” “Athâtah S’amhitâyâs’cha vidâmaghavat,” “Mahâvratasya,” “Îsetvorjetvâ,” “Agna âyâhi” “S’anno Devî rabbîstaye,” “Tasya Samâmnâyo” “Briddairâdaich” “S’iksâm pravaksyâmi,” “Pancha Samvatsareti,” “Mayarasatajabhetyeva,” “Gaurgmâ,” also he is to recite the two following Sûtras :– “Athâto Dharma Jijñâsâ,” “Athâto Brahmâ Jijñâsa.” Next he is to recite the mantra “Tachhamyoh” and also the mantra “Namo Brâhmane namo stvagnaye namah prithivyai nama Osadhîbhyoh namah”. (These mantras are the famous mantras of the Rig Veda). Next perform the Deva-tarpanam, thus :– “Om Prajâpati stripyatu”, “Om Brahmâ stripyatu”, “Om Vedâs tripyantu,” “Om Risayastri pyantu”, “ Om Devâstripantu,” “Om Sarvani chhandâmsi tripyantu”, “Om Om Kâra stripyatu”, “Om Vasat Kâra stripyatu”, “Om Vyârhitayas tripyantu”, Om Sâvitrî tripyatu”, “Om Gâyatrî tripyatu”, “Om Yajñâ stripyantu,” Om Dyâvâ prithivyau tripyatâm. Om antarîksam tripyatu, Om Ahorâtrâni tripyantu, Om Sâmkkyâ stripyantu, Om Siddhâ stripyantu, Om Samudrâ stripyantu, Om Nadyâs tripyantu, Om girayas tripyantu, Om Ksettraus adhivana spati gandharvâ Psarasas tripyantu, Om nâgâ vayâmsi gâvascha sâdhyâ viprâsta thaiva cha, yaksâ raksânsi bhutanî tyeva mantâni tripyantu. Next, suspending the sacrificial thread from the neck, perform the Risi tarpanam, thus :– Om S’atarchinas tripyantu, Om mâdhyamâs tripyantu,
Om Gritsamada stripyatu, Om Vis’vâmitra stripyantu, Om Vâmadeva stripyantu, Om Atri stripyatu, Om Bharadvâjastripyatu, Om Vas’isthastripyatu, Om Pragâthastripyatu, Pâvamânyastripyantu. Next, holding the sacrificial thread over the right shoulder and under the left arm, perform the Tarpanam, thus :–
Om Ksudrasûktâ stripyantu.
Om Sanaka stripyatu.
Om Sananda stripyatu.
Om Sanâtana stripyatu.
Om Sanat Kumâra stripyatu.
Om Kapila stripyatu.
Om Pañchas’ikha stripyatu.
Om Sumantu Jaimini Vais’ampâyana Paila Sûtra Bhâsya bhârata Mahâ Bhârata Dharmâchâryah stripyantu.
Om Jânantîvâha vigârgya Gautama S’âkalya vâbhravya Mândavya Mândûkeyâ stripyantu.
Om Gârgî Vâchaknavî tripyatu.
Om Vadavâ prâtitheyî tripyatu.
Om Sulabhâ maitreyî tripyatu.
Om Kahola stripyatu.
Om Kausîtaka stripyatu.
Om Mahâ Kausitaka stripyatu.
Om Bhâradvâja stripyatu,
Om Paimga stripyatu.
Om Mahâpaimga stripyatu.
Om Sujajñâ stripyatu.
Om Sâmkhyâyana stripyatu.
Om Aitareya stripyatu.
Om Mahaitareya stripyatu.
Om Vâskala stripyatu.
Om Sâkala stripyatu.
Om Sujâta vaktra stripyatu.
Om Audavâhi stripyatu.
Om Saujâmi stripyatu,
Om S’aunaka stripyatu,
Om Âs’valâyana stripyatu.
26-54. Let all the other Âchâryas be satisfied. “Om Ye Ke châsmat kule Jâtâ aputrâ gotrino mritâh. te grihnantu mayâ dattam vastranispîdi to dakam.” Saying thus offer water squeezed out of a cloth. O Nârada! Thus I have spoken to you of the rules of Brahmâ Yajñâ. Whoever performs thus the Brahmâ Yajñâ gets the fruits of studying all the Vedas. Then performing, in due order, the Vais’va deva, Homa, S’râddha, serving the guests, and feeding the cows, the devotee is to take his meals during the fifth part of the day along with the other Brâhmanas. Then the sixth and the seventh parts of the day he is to spend in reading histories and the Purânas. Then the eighth part of the day he is to devote in seeing the relatives, talking with them and receiving visits from other persons; then he will be prepared to perform the evening Sandhyâ. O Nârada! I am now talking of the evening Sandhyâ. Listen. S’rî Bhagavatî is pleased very quickly with him who performs the evening Sandhyâ. First make the Âchaman and make the Vâyu (air) in the body steady. With heart tranquilled and with the seat Baddha Padmâsana, be calm and quiet while engaged in performing the Sandhyâ. At the commencement of all actions prescribed in the S’rutis and Smritis, first perform the Sagarbha Prânâyama. In other words recite the mantra mentally for the due number of moments and make the Prânâyama. Simply meditating is called Agarbha Prânâyama. Here no mantra is necessary to be recited. Then have the Bhutas’uddhi (have the purifications of the elements) and make the Sankalpa. First of all, the purification of elements, etc., are to be done first; one becomes, then, entitled to do other actions. While doing Pûraka (inhaling), Kumbhaka (retaining) and Rechaka (exhaling) in Pranâyâma, meditate on the Deity stated duly. In the evening time meditate on the Bhagavatî Sandhyâ Devî thus :– The name of the then Gâyatrî Devî is Sarasvatî. She is old, of black colour, wearing ordinary clothes; in her hands are seen conch shell, disc, club and lotus. On Her feet the anklets are making sweet tinkling sounds; on Her loins there is the golden thread; decked with various ornaments. She is sitting on Garuda. On Her head the invaluable jewel crown is seen; on Her neck, the necklaces of stars; Her forehead is shining with a brilliant lustre emitting from the pearl and jewel Tâtamka ornaments. She has put on yellow clothes; Her nature is eternal knowledge and ever-bliss. She is uttering Sâma Veda. She resides in the Heavens and daily She goes in the path of the Sun. I invoke the Devî from the Solar Orb. O Nârada! Meditate on the Devî thus and perform the Sandhyâ. Then perform the Mârjanam by the mantra “Âpohisthâ” and next by the mantra
“Agnis’cha mâ manyus’cha.” The remaining actions are the same as before. Next, repeat the Gâyatrî and offer, with a pure heart, the offering of Arghya to the Sun for the satisfaction of Nârâyana. While offering this Arghya, keep the two legs level and similar and take water in folded palms and meditating on the Devatâ within the Solar Orb, throw it towards Him. The fool that offers Sûryârghya in the water, out of ignorance, disregarding the injunctions of the S’rutis, will have to perform Prâyas’chitta for that sin. Next, worship the Sun by the Sûrya mantra. Then taking one’s seat, meditate on the Devî and repeat the Gâyatrî. One thousand times or five hundred times the Gâyatrî is to be repeated. The worship, etc., in the evening is the same as in the morning. Now I am speaking of the Tarpanam in the Evening Sandhyâ. Hear. Vas’istha is the Risi of the aforesaid Sarasvatî. Visnu in the form of Sarasvatî is the Devatâ; Gâyatrî is the Chhanda; its application is in the Evening Sandhyâ Tarpanam. Now the Tarpanam of the Sandhyânga (the adjunct of Sandhyâ) runs as follows :–
“Om Svah Purusam Tarpayâmi.”
“Om Sâmavedam Tarpayâmi.”
“Om Sûryamandalam tarpayâmi.”
“Om Hiranyagarbham tarpayâmi.”
“Om Paramâtmânam tarpayâmi.”
“Om Sarasvatîm tarpayâmi.”
“Om Devamâtaram tarpayâmi.”
“Om Samkritim tarpayâmi.”
“Om Vriddhâm Sandhyâm tarpayâmi
“Om Visnu rûpinîm Usasîm tarpayâmi.”
“Om Nirmrijîm tarpayâmi.”
“Om Sarvasiddhi kârinîm tarpayâmi.”
“Om Sarvamantrâ dhipatikâm tarpayami.”
“Om Bhurbhuvah Svah Purusam tarpayâmi.”
Thus perform the Vaidik Tarpanam. O Nârada! Thus have been described the rules of the sin destroying evening Sandhyâ. By this evening Sandhyâ, all sorts of pains and afflictions and diseases are removed. And ultimately the Moksa is obtained. What more than this that you should know this Sandhyâ Bandanam as the principal thing amongst the good conduct and right ways of living. Therefore S’rî Bhagavatî fructifies all the desires of the Bhaktas who perform this Sandhyâ Vandanam.
Here ends the Twentieth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the description of Brahmâ Yajñâ, Sandhyâs, etc., in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On Gâyatrî Puras’charanam
1-55. Nârâyana said :– Now I shall speak of the Gâyatrî-puras’charanam. Hear. By its performance all the desires are obtained and all the sins are destroyed. On the tops of mountains, on the banks of the rivers, on the roots of Bel trees, on the edges of tanks, within the enclosures of the cows (cow-stalls), in temples, on the root of As’vattha trees, in gardens, in the Tulasî groves, in the Punya Ksetrams (holy places), before one’s Guru, or wherever the mind feels exalted and cheerful, and gets strength, the Puras’charanam if performed, lead to a speedy success. Before commencing the Puras’charanam of a mantra (the Puras’charanam means repetition of the name of a deity or of a mantra attended with burnt offerings, oblations, etc.,) first Prâyas’chitta (penance) is done in the shape of repeating one million times the Gâyatrî with the Vyârhitis. In any Vaidic Karma or in making Puras’charanam of the mantra of the Devatâs Nrisinha, Sûrya, Varâha, etc., the first thing done is to repeat the Gâyatrî. Without the japam of Gâyatrî, no action is attended with success. The reason is this :– Every Brâhman is a S’âkta (a follower of S’akti); he cannot be a Vaisnava or S’aiva; for he is the worshipper of the Prime Force Vedamâtâ Gâyatrî. Therefore obtain first the Grace of one’s own Îsta Devatâ Gâyatrî by Her Japam. Then worship the other Deities.
Thus one should purify one’s jâpya mantra (the mantra that is to be repeated) by first repeating one million times the Gâyatrî; then one is to commence Puras’charanam. Again before purifying the mantra, one is to purify one’s Âtman (Self). In this purification of one’s Âtman three lakh times, in case of inability, one lakh times Gâyatrî is to be repeated without one’s Âtman’s purification, the Japam, Homa and other actions all become useless. This is specially noted in the Vedas. By Tapas e.g., Japam, Chândrâyana and Vrata, (asceticism) mortify your body. By offering Tarpanam (peace-offerings) to the Fathers and the Devas, one can get self purification. If you want to get the Heavens and if you want to become great, practise Tapasyâ. There is no other way. Tapasyâ is the intent calling of the Mother, That Call which penetrates through and through the Brahmânda. The Ksattriyas should cross difficulties and dangers by force of arms; the Vais’yas, by wealth; the S’ûdras, by serving the twice born; and the Brâhmanas should cross difficulties and dangers, by Tapasyâ, Homa, Japam, etc. So the Brâhmanas should always be cheerful and in prompt readiness to do Tapasyâ. Of all sorts of tapasyâs, mortifying the body by observing vows and fastings is the best. So say the Risis. (This mortification of the body gives self-reliance and self intuition more surely and speedily than all the other studies and other practices.) The Brâhmanas should purify themselves by following duly Krichhra Chândrâyana vratas, etc., O Nârada! Now I am speaking of the purification of food. Hear. The following four occupations of the Brâhmanas are the best :– Ayâchita, (without begging or asking for anything), Unchha, (the gathering in of handfuls of the corn left by the reapers), S’ukla (the maintenance derived by a Brâhmana from other Brâhmanas; a pure mode of life). And Bhiksû (begging). Whether according to the Tantras or according to the Vedas, the food obtained by the above four means is pure. What is earned by Bhiksâ (begging) is divided into four parts :– one part is given to the Brâhmanas; the second part is given to the cows; the third part is given to the guests, the fourth part is to be taken by him and his wife. Whatever is fixed for taking (swallowing) mouthfuls of food, that is to be taken on a tray or a platter. First throw a little cow-urine over that and count duly the number of mouthfuls. The mouthfuls are to be of the size of an egg; the house-holders are to take eight such mouthfuls and the Vânaprasthîs are to take four such mouthfuls. The Brahmachârins can sprinkle their food with cow-urine nine times, six times, or three times as they like; while sprinkling, the fingers are to remain intact. The Gâyatrî is to be repeated also. The food offered by a thief, Chândâla, Ksattriya or Vais’ya is very inferior. The food of a S’ûdra, or the companion with a S’ûdra or taking food in the same line with a S’ûdra leads one to suffer in the terrible hells as long as there are the Sun and Moon. The Puras’charanam of Gâyatrî is repeating this twenty four lakh times (i.e., as many lakh times as there are syllables in the Gâyatrî). But, according to Vis’vâmitra, repeating thirty two lakh times is the Puras’charanam of Gâyatrî. As the body becomes useless when the soul leaves the body, so the mantra without Puras’charanam is useless. The Puras’charanam is prohibited in the months of Jyaistha, Âsâdha, Pausa and Mala (dirty) months. Also on Tuesday, Saturday; in the Vyatîpâta and Vaidhriti Yogas; also in Astamî (eighth), Navamî (ninth), Sasthî (sixth), Chaturthî (fourth) Trayodas’î (thirteenth), Chaturdasî (fourteenth) and Amâvâsyâ (New Moon), Tithis (lunar days); in the evening twilight and in the night; while the star Bharanî, Krittikâ, Ârdrâ, As’lesâ, Jyesthâ, Dhanisthâ, S’ravanâ, or the Janma naksatra (Birth time star) is with the Moon; while the signs Mesa, Karkata, Tulâ, Kumbha, and Makara are the Lagnas (signs in the ascendant). When the moon and the start are auspicious, especially in the bright fortnight, the Puras’charanam performed, gives the Mantra Siddhi. First of all repeat Svasti vâchan and perform duly the Nândi mukha S’raddha and give food and clothing to the Brâhmanas. Take the permission of the Brâhmanas and begin the Puras’charanam. Where the S’iva Lingam exists, facing west, or in any S’iva temple, commence repeating the mantra. The other S’iva Ksettrams are :– Kâs’î, Kedâra, Mahâ Kâla, S’rî Ksettra, and Tryamvakam. These five are the Great Ksettrams, known widely on this earth, for the fructification and the siddhis of the Mantras. At all other places than these, the Karma Chakra is to be drawn according to the principles of the Tantra. And then they will be fit for Puras’charanam. The number of times that the Puras’charanam (the repeating of the mantra) is done on the first day, the same number is to be continued every day until completion; not greater nor less than that and also no intermission or stoppage should occur in the interval.
The repeating of the Mantra is to be commenced in the morning and should be done up to midday. While doing this, the mind is to be kept free from other subjects, and it is to be kept pure; one is to meditate on one’s own Deity and on the meaning of the mantra and one should be particularly careful that no inaccuracies nor omissions should occur in the Gâyatrî, Chhandas and in the repetition of the Mantra. One tenth of the total number of Puras’charanams that are repeated is to be used for the Homa purpose. The Charu is to be prepared with ghee, til, the Bel leaves, flowers, jaya grain, honey and sugar; all mixed, are to be offered as oblations to the fire in the Homa. Then the success in the Mantra comes (i.e., mantra siddhi is obtained or the Mantra becomes manifested). After the Puras’charanam one should do properly the daily and occasional duties and worship the Gâyatrî that brings in dharma, wealth, objects of desire and liberation. There is nothing superior an object of worship to this Gâyatrî, whether in this world or in the next. The devotee, engaged in the Puras’charanam, should eat moderately, observe silence, bathe thrice in the three Sandhyâ times, should be engaged in worshipping one’s Deity, should not he unmindful and should not do any other work. He is to remain, while in water, to repeat the Gâyatrî three lakhs of times. In case the devotee repeats the mantra for achieving success in any other desired work (kâmya karma), then he should willingly stick to it until the desired success is attained. Now is being told how to get success in ordinary Kâmya karmas. When the sun is rising, repeat the Purascharanam mantra daily thousand times. Then one’s life will be lengthened, no disease will occur, and wealth and prosperity will be obtained. If it be done this way, success is surely attained within three months, six months or at the end of one year. If the Homa (offering oblations to the fire) be offered one lakh times with lotuses besmeared with ghee (clarified butter), Moksa (liberation) is attained. If, before the Mantra-Siddhi, or the success in realising the Mantra, is attained, one performs Japam or Homam for Kâmya Siddhi (to get certain desires) or moksa, then all his actions become useless. If anybody performs twenty-five lakh Homas by curd and milk, be gets success (Siddhi) in this very birth. So all the Maharsis say. By this the same result is attained that is got by the aforesaid means, i.e., by the eight-limbed Yoga, whereby the Yogis become perfect.
He will attain Siddhi if he be devoted to his Guru and keep himself under restraint for six months only (i.e., practise Samyama) as regards taking food, etc., whether he be incapable or his mind be attached to other sensual objects. One should drink Pañcha gavya (cow-urine, cow-dung, milk, curd, ghee) one day, fast one day, take Brâhmana’s food one day and be mindful in repeating the Gâyatrî. First bathe in the Ganges or in other sacred places and while in water repeat one hundred Gâyatrîs. If one drinks water on which one hundred Gâyatrîs are repeated, one is freed from all one’s sins. He gets the fruit of performing the Krichhra vrata, the Chândrâyana vrata and others. Be he a Ksattriya King, or a Brâhmana, if he is to remain in his own house, hold Âs’rama and be engaged in performing Tapasyâ then he will be certainly freed of all his sins. Be he a house holder or a Brahmachârî or Vânaprasthî, he should perform sacrifices, etc., according to his Adhikâra (or his rights) and he will get fruits according to his desires. The Sâgnik man (who keeps the Holy Fire) and other persons of good conduct and of learning and of good education should perform actions as prescribed in the Vedas and Smritis with a desire to attain Moksa. Thus one should eat fruits and vegetables and and water or take eight mouthfuls of Bhiksânna (the food got by begging). If the Puras’charanam be performed this way, then the Mantra Siddhi is obtained. O Nârada ! If the Puras’charanam be done with the mantra thus, his poverty is removed entirely. What more shall I say than this that if anybody hears this simply, his merits get increased and he attains great success.
Here ends the Twenty First Chapter of the Eleventh Book on Gâyatrî Puras’charanam in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devi Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the rules of Vais’vadeva
1-45. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! In connection with this Puras’charanam it comes now to my memory about the rules concerning the Vais’va Deva worship (An offering made to the Vis’vadevâs; an offering to all deities made by presenting oblations to fire before meals). Hear. The five yajñâs are the following :– (1) The Devayajñâ, (2) Brahmâ yajñâ, (3) Bhûta yajñâ, (4) Pitri yajñâ, and (5) Manusya yajñâ. Fireplace, the pair of stone pestles, brooms (for sweeping, etc.), sieves and other house-hold things of the sort, wooden mortars (used for cleansing grains from husk) and water-jars, these five are the sources of evils inasmuch as they are the means of killing. So to free one’s self from the above sins, one is to sacrifice before the Vais’vadeva. Never offer oblations of Vais’vadeva on hearths, on any iron vessel, on the ground or on broken tiles. They are to be offered in any sacrificial pit (Kunda) or on any sacrificial altar. Do not fire the hearth by fanning with hands, with winnowing baskets, or with holy deer skin, etc., but you can do so by blowing by your mouth. For the mouth is the origin of fire. If the fire be ignited by clothes, one is liable to get disease; if by winnowing baskets, then less of wealth comes; if by hands, one’s death ensues. But if it be done by blowing, then one’s success comes. (There is the danger of catching fire.)
One should sacrifice with curd, ghee, fruits, roots and vegetables, and water and in their absence with fuel, grass, etc., or with any other substances soaked with ghee, curd, Pâyasa or lastly with water. But never with oil or with salty substances. If one performs the Homa with dry or stale substances, one is attacked with leprosy; if anybody performs Homa with leavings of other food he becomes subdued by his enemy; if one does so with rude and harsh substances, he becomes poor and if one does with salty substances, he meets with a downward course, gets degraded in position and honour. You can offer oblations to Vais’vadeva with burning coals and ashes from the north side of the fire of the hearth after the preparation of the meals. But you should never offer sacrifices with salty things. The illiterate Brâhmana who eats before offering oblations to Vais’vadeva goes headlong downwards into the Kâla Sûtra hell. Whatever food that you are intending to prepare, whether they be vegetables, leaves, roots or fruits, offer oblations to Vais’vadeva with that if, before the Homa be performed of Vais’vadeva, any Brahmachârî comes, then take off, for the Homa, first something; and then give to the beggar and satisfy him and tell him to be off. For the Brahmâchârî mendicant can remove any defects that may occur to Vais’vadeva but Vais’vadeva is unable to remove any defects that may occur regarding the mendicant Brahmachârî. Both the Paramahansa or Brahmachârî mendicant are the masters of the prepared food (Pakkânna); so when anybody takes one’s food without giving to any of these two, if they happen to come there, he will have to make the Chândrâyana (religious or expiatory penance regulated by the moon’s age, that is, waxing or waning). O Nârada! After the offering given to Vais’vanara, one is to offer Gogrâsa, that is, mouthfuls of food to the cows. Hear now how that is done. The mother Surabhi, the beloved of Visnu, is always stationed in the region of Visnu (Visnupada); so O Surabhi! I am offering you mouthfuls of food. Accept it. “Salutation to the cows,” saying this, one is to worship the cows and offer food to them. Hereby Surabhi, the Mother of the cows, becomes pleased. After this, one is to wait outside for a period that is taken to milch a cow, whether any guests are coming. For if any guest goes back disappointed from any house without any food; he takes away all the punyams (merits) of the house-holder and gives him back his own sin. The house-holder is to support mother, father, Guru, brother, son, servants, dependants, guests, those that have come, and Agni (Fire). Knowing all these, he who does not perform the functions of the house-hold is reckoned as fallen from his Dharma both in this world and in the next. The poor house-holder gets the same fruit by performing these five Mahâ jajñâs that a rich Brâhmana gets by performing the Soma Yajñâ. O Best of the Munis! Now I am talking of the Prânâgni Hotra or about taking food, knowing the rules of which makes a man free from birth, old age and death and from all sorts of sins. He who takes his food according to proper rules, is freed of the threefold debts, delivers his twenty one generations from the hells, obtains the fruits of all the Yajñâs and goes unhampered to all the regions of the righteous. Think of the belly as Arani or the piece of wood for kindling the fire (by attrition), think of the mind as the churning rod, and think of the wind as the rope, and then kindle the fire, residing in the belly; the eyes are to be considered as the sacrificer, (the Addharyu), and consider fire in the belly as the result of churning. In this fire of the belly, one is to offer oblations for the satisfaction of Prâna, etc., the five deities. First of all offer oblations to the Prâna Vâyu with food taken by the forefinger, middlefinger and thumb; next offer oblations to the Apâna Vâyu with the thumb, middle finger and the nameless (anâmâ) finger; next offer oblations to the Vyâna Vâyu (breath) with the thumb, nameless finger and the little finger; next offer oblations to the Udâna Vâyu with the thumb, forefinger and the little finger and lastly offer oblations to the Samâna Vâyu with food taken by all the fingers. At the same time repeat respectively the mantras :–
“Om Prânâya Svâhâ,”
“Om Apânâya Svâhâ,”
“Om Samânâya Svâhâ,”
“Om Udânâya Svâhâ,”
“Om Vyânâya Svâhâ.”
Within the mouth, there is the Âhavanîya fire; within the heart, there is the Gârhapatya fire; in the navel, there is the Dhaksinâgni fire; below the navel, there is the Sabhyâgni fire and below that there is the Âvasathyâgni fire. Think thus. Next consider the Speech as the Hotâ, the Prâna as the Udgâthâ, the eyes as the Addharyu, the mind as the Brahmâ, the ears as the Hotâ and the keeper of the Agni, the Ahamkâra (egoism) as beast (Pas’u), Om Kâra as water, the Buddhi (intellect) of the house-holder as the legal wife, the heart as the sacrificial altar, the hairs and pores as the Kus’a grass, and the two hands as the sacrificial ladles and spoons (Sruk and Sruva.) Then think of the colour of the Prâna mantra as golden the fire of hunger as the Risi (seer), Sûrya (the sun) as Devatâ, the chhandas as Gâyatrî and Prânâya Svâhâ as the Mantra uttered; also repeat “Idamâdityadevâya namah” and offer oblations to the Prâna. The colour of the Apâna mantra is milk white. S’raddhâgni is the Risi, the Moon is the Devatâ, Usnik is the chhandas, and “Apânâya Svâhâ,” “Idam Somâya na namah” are the mantras. The colour of the Vyâna mantra is red like red lotuses; the fire Deity Hutâsana is the Risi, the fire is the Devatâ; Anustup is the chhandas, “Vyânâya Svâhâ” and “Idamagnaye na namah” are the mantras. The colour of the Udâna mantra is like that of the worm Indra Gopa; fire is the Risi; Vâyu is the Devatâ, Brihatî is the chhandas; “Udânâya Svâhâ’’ and “Idam Vâyave na namah” are the mantras. The colour of the Samâna mantra is like lightning; Agni is the Risi; Parjanya (the rains, water) is the Devatâ; Pankti is the chhanda; “Samânâya Svâhâ” and “Idam Parjanyâya na namah” are the mantras. O Nârada! Thus offering the five oblations to the five breaths, next offer oblations to the Âtman; the Bhîsana Vahni is the Risi; the Gâyatrî is the chhanda; the Self is the Devatâ; “Âtmane Svâhâ,” and “Idamâtmane na namah” are the mantras. O Nârada! He who knows this Homa of Prânâgnihotra attains the state of Brahmâ. Thus I have spoken to you in brief the rules of the Prânâgni hotra Homa.
Here ends the Twenty-Second Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the rules of Vais’vadeva in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
On the Tapta Krichchhra vrata and others
1-20. Nârâyana said :– The best Sâdhaka, then uttering after his meals, the mantra “Amritâpidhânamasi.” (O Water-nectar! Let Thou be the covering to the food that I have taken), should make Âchaman (sip one Gandusa water) and distribute the remnant food (the leavings) to those who take the leavings. “Let the servants and maid-servants of our family that expect the leavings of food be satisfied with what leavings I give to them.” “Let those inhabitants of the Raurava hell or other unholy places who have remained there for a Padma or Arbuda years and want to drink water, be satisfied with this water that I offer to them and let this water bring unending happiness to them.” Repeating the above two mantras let the house-holder distribute the leavings of food to the servants and the water to those who want water respectively. Then opening the knot of the Pavitra (a ring of Kus’a grass worn on the fourth finger on certain religious occasions), let him throw this on the square mandalam or the ground. The Brâhmana that throws this Kus’a grass on the vessel (Pâtra) is said to defile the vow of Brâhmanas, taking their food. The Brâhmana that has not yet washed his face after taking the food, or touching another such Brâhmana or a dog, or a S’ûdra, should fast one day and then drink Pañchagabya and thus purify himself. And in case the Uchchista Brâhmin (who has not washed his mouth and hands after meals) be touched by another Brâhmin, who is not Uchchista, then simply bathing will purify him. By offering this Ekâhuti (oblation once) according to rules mentioned above, one obtains the fruit of performing ten million sacrifices; and by offering this oblation five times one gets the endless fruit, of performing fifty million sacrifices, and if one feeds such a man who knows well how to do this Prânâgnihoma, then he as well as he whom he feeds both derive full benefits and they ultimately go to heaven. The Brâhmana acquires while taking each of his mouthful of food the fruit of eating Pañchagavya, who takes his food duly with the holy Pavitra Kus’a grass tied on his finger. During the three times of worship, the devotee is to do his daily Japam, Tarpanam and Homa and he should feed the Brâhmins. Thus the five limbed Puras’charana is completely done. The religious man should sleep on a low bedding (lie on the ground); he is to control his senses and anger; he is to eat moderately, the things that are light, sweet and good; he is to be humble, peaceful and calm. He is to bathe thrice daily and not to hold any unholy conversation with any woman, a S’ûdra, one who is fallen, without any initiation, and who is an atheist; as well he should not speak in a language spoken by the chândâlas. One is to bow down before him who is in the act of performing the Japam, Homa and worship, etc; one is not to talk with him. Never by deed, mind or word, on all occasions never speak about sexual intercourses; nor hold any contact with such people. For the relinquishment of this subject is called Brahmacharyam (continence) of the kings as well as of the house-holders. But one should go to one’s legal wife during the night time after her menstruation duly according to the rules of the S’âstras; the Brahmacharyam is not thereby destroyed. Man cannot repay the three-fold debts and he cannot aspire for moksa without procreating sons or without doing the duties of the house-holders, as prescribed by the S’âstras. An attempt to do so becomes entirely fruitless like the breast on the neck of a goat. Rather it drags one downward. So the S’rutis say. So let yourself be free first from the debts due to the Devas, the debts due to the Risis and the debts due to the Pitris. Make sacrifices first and then be free from the Devas’ debt. Hold Brahmacharyam and be free from the Risis’ debt. Offer til and water; that is, do S’râddhas and tarpanams and be free from the debt due to the Pitris. Then do readily practise your own Varnas’rama Dharma.
21-33. One is to practise Krichchra chândrâ yana Vrata and to take for his food, milk, fruits, roots and vegetables, Habisyannam and food obtained by begging so that one may become sinless. One is to make japam for Puras’charanam. One is to avoid salt, salty or alkaline substances, acid, garlic, turnips, eating in Kâmsa vessels, chewing betels, eating twice, putting on impure clothings, the intoxicating things and the unsâstric nocturnal japam; also one is not to waste one’s time over blaming and trying to find faults with the relatives, playing at dice, or talking at random with one’s wife (so that evil effects may arise). One is to spend one’s time in worshipping the Devas, reciting the hymns of praise, and studying the S’âstras. One is to sleep on the ground, practise Brahmacharyam, and the vow of silence, bathe thrice, not practise anything which befits the S’ûdras only. One is to worship everyday, make charities duly and be always happy, recite stotras daily, do occasional Deva worships, have faith in one’s Guru and Deva. These twelve rules are to ensure success to the devotee who does Puras’charanam. One is to daily praise the Sun, with one’s face turned towards Him, do japam before Him; or one is to worship one’s own Deity in front of fire or the image of any god, and do japam simultaneously. The devotee who practises Puras’charanam is to bathe, worship, do japam, meditate, practise Homa, Tarpanam, is to have no desires and to surrender all fruits to one’s own desired Deity, etc. These are necessarily to be observed by him. Therefore while doing japam, Homa, etc., the devotee’s mind is to remain always pleasant and satisfied. One should be ready to practise tapasyâ, to see the S’âstras and be merciful to all the beings. As asceticism leads one to to heaven and to the attainment of one’s desires, therefore know this that all the powers come to an ascetic. An ascetic can cause another’s death (mâran); he can injure others, cure diseases and kill all. Whatever the several Risis wanted from the Devî Gâyatrî and to that end made Puras’charanam and worshipped Her, they obtained from Her all those things. O Nârada! I will speak of S’ânti Karmas etc., in a future chapter. Here I will speak of those rules, etc., that are to be observed in Puras’charanam in as much as they play the principal part to success.
First of all shave yourself and have your hairs and nails, etc., cut off and bathe and be pure. Then perform the Prâjâpatya prâyas’chitta for one’s peace and purification and next do the puras’charanam of the Gâyatrî. Do not speak the whole day and night. Keep your thoughts pure. If words are to be spoken, speak only what you take as true. First recite Mahâvyârhiti and then the Sâvitrî mantra with Pranava prefixed. Then recite the sin-destroying mantra “Âpohisthâ, etc.,” and Svasti matî Sûkta and “Pâvamânî Sûkta.” In every action, in its beginning and at its end one is to understand the necessity of doing the Japam, why and what for one is doing that.
One is to repeat the Pranava, the three Vyârhitis and Sâvitrî ayuta times or one thousand times or one hundred times or ten times. Then offer with water, the peace offerings (tarpanam) to the Âchârya, Risi, Chhandas, and the Devas. Being engaged in action, do not speak any impure language of the Mlechchhas or talk with any S’ûdra or any bad person. Do not talk with wife in the period of menstruation, with one who has fallen, with the low-class person, with any hater of the Devas and the Brâhmanas, Âchâryas and Gurus, with those who blame the fathers and mothers; nor show any disrespect to anybody. Thus I have spoken in due order about all the rules of Krichchhra vrata. Now I will speak of the rules of the Prâjâpatya Krichchhra, S’ântapana, Parâka Krichchhra and Chândrâyana.
34-54. One becomes freed of all the sins, if one performs the above five Chândrâyanas. By the performance of the Tapta Krichchhra, all sins are burnt off in an instant. By the performance of the three Chândrâyanas the people get purified and go to the Brahma Loka. By doing eight Chândrâyanas, one sees face to face one’s Devatâ, ready to grant boons. With ten Chândrâyanas, one gets the knowledge of the Vedas and one acquires all what one wants.
In the observance of the Krichchhra Prâjâpatya Vrata, one has to take food once in midday for three days, once in the evening for three days, and for the next three days whatever one gets without asking anything from anybody. For the next three days one is not to take any thing at all and go on with one’s work. These twelve days’ work constitutes the Prâjâpatya Vrata.
Now about the rules of the S’ântapana Vrata. On the preceding day one has got to eat food consisting of the mixture of cow urine, cow-dung milk, curd, ghee and the water of the Kus’a grass; the day following he is to fast. These two days’ work constitutes the S’ântapana Vrata.
Now about the Ati Krichchhra vrata. For the first three days, one is to eat one mouthful of food a day and for the next three days one is to fast. This is the Ati Krichchhra vrata. This vrata repeated three times is called Mahâ S’ântapana vrata. Note :– According to the opinion of Yama, the fifteen days’ work constitutes Mahâ S’ântapana. For the three days one has to eat cow-urine; for the next three days, cow-dung, for the next three days, curd; for the next three days milk; and for the next three days one has to take ghee. Then one becomes pure. This is called the all sin-destroying Mahâ S’ântapan Vrata. Now I am speaking of the nature of the Tapta Krichchhra Vrata.
The Tapta Krichchhra vrata is carried out for the twelve days. For the first three days, one has to drink hot water; for the next three days, hot milk; for the next three days, the hot ghee and for the next three days, air only. Everyday one has to bathe once only under the above rules, and remain self-controlled. If one drinks water simply everyday under the above conditions, that is called the Prâjâpatya vrata.
To remain without any food for twelve days according to rules is called the Parâka Krichchhra vrata. By this vrata, all sins are destroyed.
Now about the rules of taking food in the Chândrâyana vrata. In the dark fortnight one will have to decrease one mouthful of food every day and in the bright fortnight one will have to increase one mouthful every day and one has to fast completely on the Amâvasyâ (new moon) day. One has to bathe thrice daily during every Sandhyâ time. This is known as the Chândrâyana Vrata.
In the S’is’u Chândrâyana Vrata one will have to take four mouthfuls of food in the midday and four mouthfuls in the evening. In the Yati Chândrâyana one has to take eight mouthfuls in the midday and to control his passions.
55. These abovementioned vratas are observed by the Rudras, Âdityas, Vâsus, and Maruts; and they are enjoying thereby their full safety.
Each of the above vratas purifies the seven Dhâtus of the body in seven nights simply! First skin, then blood, then flesh, bones, sinews, marrows and semen are purified. There is no doubt in this. Thus purifying the Âtman by the above vratas, one is to do religious actions. The work done by such a purified man is sure to be met with success. First control the senses, be pure and do good actions. Then all your desires will be undoubtedly fructified. Fast for three nights, without doing any actions and see the result. (You will not do anything and you want self control! Is this a child’s play?) Perform for three days the nocturnal vratas. Then proceed with your desired duties. If one works according to these methods, one gets the fruits of Puras’charanam. O Nârada! By the Puras’charanam of S’rî Gâyatrî Devî all desires are fulfilled and all sins are destroyed. Before doing Puras’charanam purify your body by performing the above vratas. Then you will get all your desires completely fulfilled. O Nârada! Thus I have spoken to you of the secret rules of Puras’charanam. Never disclose this to any other body. For it is recognised equivalent to the Vedas.
Here ends the Twenty-third Chapter of the Eleventh Book on the Tapta Krichchhra vrata and others in the Mahâ Purânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
1. Nârada said :– O Bhagavân! Thou art the ocean of mercy; kindly speak out to me in brief all the things and the duties to be observed and applied in the S’ânti Karmas (the peace bringing acts) of Gâyatrî.
2-20. Nârâyana said :– O Nârada! The question asked by you is esoteric. Never divulge this to a wicked person or any hypocrite. It is to be kept secret. While doing this S’ânti Karma, the Brâhmanas are to perform the Homas with fuel soaked in milk (Payah). If the fuel of the S’amî tree be offered in Homa ceremony, then diseases caused by planets are cured. If the Homa be performed with wet As’vaththa or Udumbara or other ksîra trees, the diseases caused by demons and hob-goblins are cured. If one offers Tarpanam with one palmful of water, repeating the mantra “Sûryam Tarpayâmi namah”, the pending evils are also averted and troubles are ceased. The repetition of the Gâyatrî mantra with knees immersed in water averts all evils. The repetition of Gâyatrî with body immersed in water upto the throat, averts the danger of life; and the same with whole body immersed grants all success. This is the best of all the S’ânti karmas, the acts that bring health, wealth, happiness and peace. While performing Homa, light with the fuel of Ksîravriksa (the trees that emit milky juice); place Pañchagavya in a vessel made of gold, silver, copper or wood of ksîra trees, or in the vessels made of earth, without any knot or crack; utter the Gâyatrî mantra and offer one thousand homas. Sprinkle with water at every offering, touching the Pañchagavya with Kus’a grass, thousand times. Then offer the sacrifices there where calamities or nuisances are seen and meditate on the Highest Devatâ. Thus all the magic spells used by other persons for a malevolent purpose will be rendered nugatory. Bring under your control any Deva yoni, Bhûte Yoni, or Pis’âcha Yoni that causes you troubles; then they will quit the house, village, city, way, even that kingdom. Now hear how they are brought under control. Prepare a sacrificial altar with sand, draw a square on it, place a Sûla (spear) in its centre and plaster with Astagandha. For the sake of converting all the evils, repeat Gâyatrî mantra thousand times and impregnate it with the mantra, dig the ground and place or bury the Sûla under it. Place on the level ground or sthandila a jar or Navaphala, a fruit made of gold, silver, or copper or a newly made earthen jar and enclose it with thread. Then have the sacred waters brought from the several Tîrthas by the Brâhmins and fill the jar, repeating the Gâyatrî Mantra. Put within this jar the twigs, then of Cardamom tree, sandal tree, karpûra tree, jâti, aparâjitâ. Saha Devî, Pâtala, Mallikâ flower, Bel leaves, rice, barley, Til, mustard, as’vattha, and udumbara trees and throw them within the jar. (The Ksîra trees are As’vaththa, Udumbara, Plaksa, and Nyagrodha.) Doing all these, prepare one Kus’a Kurcha made of twenty seven Kus’a grass in the form of a braid of hair, round one end of a straight rod and tied in a knot and place it there. Then take your bath and repeat the Gâyatrî mantra over it one thousand times with your whole mind fully concentrated. Then the Veda knowing Brâhmanas would recite the Saura mantra and sprinkle the man attacked by the demon with water and make him drink also the water saturated with the mantra and bathe him also with that. Then that person will be dispossessed of the devil and be happy. Even when the man (possessed by a devil), is going to die, he gets his life again if he be made to drink this water saturated with this mantra and have his bath with that. So a wise King must do this, with a desire to have a long life; and after he is sprinkled with this mantra-charged water he is to give one hundred cows to the Brâhmanas as the Daksinâ.
21-44. The Daksinâ is to be given according to one’s might; and specially what gives satisfaction to the Brâhmanas. If one be terrified by a Devil or so or by the mischievous magic spells of others, one is to sit on Saturday under an As’vattha tree and repeat one hundred Gâyatrîs. For the cure of all diseases, if one has to perform the Mrityunjaya Homa, one will have to do Homa with the Gulancha creeper, soaked in milk and deducting the knots thereof. For the pacification of fever, mango leaves soaked with milk ought to be used in the Homa ceremony. The wasting diseases are cured if Homa be performed with the leaves of the Vacha soaked in milk; phthisis or consumption is cured if Homa be performed with curd, milk and ghee. Again, if offerings be given to the Solar Deity and if Pâyasânnam be given to him and if this be given to the consumptive patient, his disease will be cured. Again, on the Amâvasyâ tithi (new moon day) if Homa be performed with Soma creeper (excluding the knot joints) soaked in milk, then consumption will be cured. If Homa be made with the flowers of the S’amkhya tree, then leprosy is cured; if the Homa be done with the seed of Apâmârga, the Mrigis or the hysteric and epileptic fits are cured. So if Homa be performed with the fuel of Ksîra trees, lunacy is cured; if, with the fuel of udumbara, meha (spermatorrhea) is cured; if with sugarcane juice, gonorrhea is cured; if with curd, milk and ghee or with the ghee of Kapilâ cow, the homa be performed, the Masûrikâ disease or smallpox will be cured, and if Homa be performed with the fuels of Udumbara, Vata, and As’vatha be performed, then the diseases of cows, elephants and horses are cured. If the trouble be caused by many ants and ant-hills (Madhu Valmîka) then perform the Homa ceremony with the fuel of Samî tree one hundred times and with the food prepared of ghee one hundred times and offer sacrifices with the rest of the food; then the above troubles will cease. If there be a earth quake or if there be seen flashes of lightnings, then homa is to be performed with the fuel of Vana Vetasa and the whole kingdom will be happy. If you surcharge any piece of iron with Gâyatrî mantra repeated hundred times and if you throw it in any direction then no fear will arise from that quarter out of fire, air, or any other enemy. If one be imprisoned, and if he repeats the Gâyatrî mentally, he will be liberated from the prison. If you touch the man possessed by a devil, disease or mortification and sorrow with the Kus’a grass and repeat the Gâyatrî mantra, and thus charge him with Divine electricity, that man will be liberated from the fear caused thereby. If you make the man possessed by devils, etc., drink the water charged with the Gâyatrî mantra or if you cast on his body the ashes charged with hundred Gâyatrîs or tie those ashes on his head repeating the Gâyatrî mantra, he will be instantly freed of all diseases and will live for one hundred years in happiness. In case a man is unable to do fully all these himself, he can get all these done by other Brâhmanas and pay Daksinâ (fees) to them duly for the same.
O Nârada! Now I will tell you how nourishment and wealth are attained. Wealth is attained if the Homa be performed with red lotus or fresh Jâtî flower or with the S’âli rice or with the fuel of Bel tress, leaves, flowers, fruits or roots or with any portions thereof. If for one week the oblations be offered with fuel of Bel tree mixed with Pâyasa or with ghee one hundred times, then Laksmî Devî will surely be attained. If the Homa be performed with Lâja (fried rice) mixed with curd, milk, and ghee, the daughter will be obtained. If for one week, the Homa be performed with red lotus, then gold is obtained. If the Tarpanam (peace offering) be offered to the Sun, then the treasures, gold hidden under the water, are obtained. If the Homa be performed with food (Anna) then Anna is obtained; if Homa be performed with rice, then rice is obtained.
45-51. If Homa be performed with calfdung, dried and powdered, then animals are obtained. If Homa be performed with Priyangu, Pâyasa or ghee then the progeny is obtained. If the oblations of Pâyasânna be offered to the Solar Deity and if the Prasâdam (remnant) be given to one’s wife under menstruation to eat, then excellent sons will be obtained. If the Homa be performed with the fuel of wet pointed Ksîra trees, then longevity is attained. If Homa be performed with the fuel of the Palâs’a tree, pointed and wet and mixed with curd, milk, and ghee for one hundred times consecutively, then longevity and gold are attained. If the Homa be performed with Durbâ grass, milk, honey or ghee, one hundred times, then longevity and golden lotus are obtained. If for one week the Homa ceremony be performed with the fuel of S’amî tree mixed with food, milk or ghee one hundred times of each or if for one week the Homa he performed with the fuel of Nyagrodha tree and afterwards one hundred Homas be made with Pâyasânna, the fear of unnatural death is removed.
52-60. That man can conquer death who can remain for one week living on milk only and who performs during that time hundreds, and hundreds of Homas and repeats the Gâyatrî, controlling his speech. If anybody can fast three nights and control his speech and repeat Gâyatrî he gets himself freed from the hands of Death; or totally immersed in water if he repeats Gâyatrî, he will be saved from the impending danger of death. If anybody repeats the Gâyatrî mantra for one month, taking his seat under a Bel tree or performs Homa with Bel fruit, root or leaves, he gets kingdoms. (Know all the Mantrams are electric in their effects). Similarly if anybody performs Homa with one hundred lotuses, he gets a foeless kingdom. So one becomes the lord of a village if one performs Homa with Yavâgu (barley gruel) and Sâlidhânya. If the Homa be performed with the fuel of Asvaththa tree, victory in battle is ensured and if the Homa be performed with the fuel of Âkanda tree, then victory everywhere is ensured. If one hundred Homas be performed extending a week with Vetasa tree’s leaves or fruits, dipped in milk and mixed with Pâyasa, the rainfall is ensured. Similarly if anybody repeats Gâyatrî for one week with his body upto navel immersed in water, the rainfall is ensured; on the contrary if the Homa be performed with ashes in water, then the cessation of heavy rainfall is ensured. The Homa with the fuel of Palâsa gives Brahmateja; Homa with the flowers of Palâsa gives everything desired. Homa with milk or drinking Brâhmarasa, charged with mantra, increases the intellect; and the Homa with ghee gives Buddhi (medhâ) (intelligence).
61-69. Homa with flowers gives good smell; Homa with thread gives cloth; Homa with salt and honey mixed or Bel flowers gives one power to control anything and everything that is desired. If anybody bathes everyday immersed completely within water and sprinkles water on his body, he becomes cured of diseases and he becomes very healthy. If any Brâhmana does these things for others, he becomes also no doubt healthy. If anybody wants to increase his life period he should practise good deeds and repeat Gâyatrî thousand times daily for one month. Thus his longevity will be increased. Two months’ such practice gives long life and perpetual health; three month’s such practice will give life, health, and wealth, four months such practice gives longevity, wealth, fame, women, sons, etc., five months such practice gives longevity, health, wealth, wife, sons and learning. So one should repeat this as many months in proportion to the number of his desires and he would get them. Again any Brâhmana who stands on one leg without holding any other thing and raises both his hands and daily repeats three hundred Gâyatrîs for one month, gets all his desires fulfilled. And if he repeats one thousand one hundred Gâyatrîs, there is nothing in this world that is not met and attained with success. Controlling the Prâna (inhaling) and Apâna (exhaling) Vâyu (breath), he who repeats daily three hundred Gâyatrîs to the Devî, his highest desires are satisfied.
70-77. Vis’vâmitra Risi says :– Standing on one leg, with both hands raised and controlling Vâyu he who repeats daily one hundred Gâyatrîs for one month, gets all his desires fulfilled. Similarly with three hundred or thousand repeatings, all things are attained. Submerged under water, if one repeats Gâyatrîs as many times as mentioned above, he gets everything. If, for one year, with hands uplifted and without holding anything, anyone stands on one leg, controls one’s breath and repeats Gâyatrî mantra three hundred times or thousand times, eating Havisyânnam only in the night time, he becomes a Risi (Seer). This thing repeated two years gives infallible speech; three years gives knowledge of the present, past and future; four years will enable one to see face to face the Solar God; five years will give the eight Siddhis, lightness, etc., six years will enable one to assume forms as he desires; seven years gives immortality; nine years gives Manuhood; ten years gives Indrahood; eleven years gives Brahmâ-hood; and twelve years gives the state of Parama Brahma.
78-90. O Nârada! By these practices of Tapasyâs you and other Risis have been able to conquer the three Lokas (regions). Some ate only vegetables; some fruits; some, roots; some simply water; some, ghee; some, Somarasa; whereas some others ate only charu and did tapasyâ. Some Risis practised this great Tapasyâ by eating very little for a fortnight only. Some ate food, only what they got by begging during the day; and some ate only Havisyânna. O Nârada! Now hear the rules for the purification and expiation of sins. For the expiation of the sin incurred in stealing gold, one is to repeat three thousand Gâyatrîs (daily) for one month; then the sin will be destroyed. By this act also the sins incurred by drinking or by going to one’s Guru’s wife are destroyed. Vis’vâmitra Risi says :– The sin incurred by killing a Brâhmana (Brahmahatyâ) is destroyed if one erects a shed in a forest and, living there, repeats three thousand Gâyatrîs daily for one month. Those Brâhmanas that have committed the Great Sins (i.e., Mahâpâtakas), become free, if they repeat one thousand Gâyatrîs daily, submerged under water, for twelve successive days. By controlling speech and by practising Prânâyâma, if one repeats three thousand Gâyatrîs daily for one month, one will be free from the Mahâpâtakas. If one practises one thousand Prânâyâmas repeating the Gâyatrî, one becomes freed also of Brahmahatyâ. If one draws upwards the Prâna and Apâna Vâyus six times, repeating the Gâyatrî with collected mind, this destroys all the sins and it is called all-sin destroying Prânâyâma. If one practises this Prânâyâma one thousand times for one month, the lord of the earth becomes freed of all sins. If any Brâhmana incurs the sin of killing a cow, for twelve days he is to repeat three thousand Gâyatrîs daily for expiation. Similarly the repetition of ten thousand Gâyatrîs removes the sin of going to those not fit to be gone into, eating the uneatables, stealing and killing and this act brings in peace. All sins are destroyed by performing one hundred Prânâyâmas with Gâyatrî. Again if there be a mixture of various sins, one will have to live in the forest for one month and repeat one thousand Gâyatrîs or practise fasting and repeat three thousand Gâyatrîs; thus all sins will be destroyed.
91-100. To repeat Gâyatrî twenty-four thousand times is equal to performing the Krichchhra vrata and to repeat sixty four thousand Gâyatrîs duly is equal to performing the Chândrâyana. If anybody repeats, in the morning and evening Sandhyâ times, the merit giving Gâyatrî one hundred times, with Prânâyâma, all his sins are destroyed. So, submerged under water, if one repeats the Gâyatrî Devî, meditating Her in the Sun, one hundred times daily, one’s all the sins are fully destroyed. O Nârada! Thus I have described to you all about averting or destroying the evils and the purification of various sins. All this is secret. Keep it carefully concealed. Never divulge this. Whoever divulges this will bring his own ruin. I have spoken to you, in brief, all about Sadâchâra (right way of living). If anybody practises this duly, according to rules, S’rî Mahâmâyâ Durgâ Devî becomes pleased with him. If anybody wants to have both enjoyment and liberation, he is to practise all these daily, as well as the occasional, and Kâmya (desired) duties duly according to rules. It is stated in all the S’âstras, that this Âchâra (right way of living) is the foremost and the chief Dharma, the Deity of which is the Supreme Mother Herself. O Nârada! That man who practises duly this Âchâra is, in this world, holy, happy and blessed. This I speak to you truly. If anybody desires to get the Devî Bhagavatî’s Grace, he should first of all set himself at once to practise this Sadâchâra. He who hears this gets wealth and great happiness. There is no doubt in this. Now speak what more you want to hear.
Here ends the Twenty fourth Chapter of the Eleventh Book on Sadâchâra in the Mahâpurânam S’rî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa. The Eleventh Book Completed.
(My humble salutations to the lotus feet of Swamyjis, Philosophic Scholars, Knowledge seekers for the collection)