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The Essence of Puranas – Brahma Purana -4

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The Essence of Puranas – Brahma  Purana

5        Shraaddha Kalpa Varnana

At the Naimisha forest at the congregation of Munis, they requested Veda Vyasa to explain in brief the procedure of Shraaddha Karma: and the latter explained as follows: those who belonged to the Varnaas of Brahmana, Kshatriya and Vaishyas were required to perform Shraaddhaas as per their own Kula Dharma according to the prescribed ‘Veda Mantrocchaarana’. When done by only Women and others, the relevant Mantras were not to be recited nor Agni Homas while doing Shraaddhas on their behalf. The hallowed places where Shraddhas could be performed included Tirthas like Pushkara, Holy Temples, Mountian tops, Sacred Places, Holy Rivers, Sarovaras, Sangamas, Sea shores, own residences, Holy Tree root bottoms, and Yagna Kundas. There are three kinds of Shraddhhaas viz. Nitya, Nimittika and Kaamya Shraaddhas. At Jaata Karma and such other occasions, Abhudaayika or Vriddhi daayika Shraaddha too is required to be performed. When Surya is in kanya Rasi, Saaddhaas are best performed for fifteen days: Padyami Shraddhaas bestow Dhanalaabha, Vidiya Pashu sampada or the benefit of cattle, Tadiya Putras, Chaturthi Shatru Naashana, Panchami Aaishwaryaprada, Shashthi Loka Pujya, Sapatami Ganaadhipatya, Ashtami Jnaana prada, Navami Stree Labha, Dashami Sarvaabhistha, Ekadashi Veda Sampannata, Dwadashi Vijaya Labha, Trayodashi Santaana Vriddhi and Deerghaayu, Chaturdashi Shraaddha blesses those who perform to appease the Souls of those who died in battles and Amavaasya Shaaddhyaas provide all-round well-being. Gaya Shraaddhas would yield long term benefits, especially when performed with jaggery, honey and black ‘tilas’, since Pitru Devas would look forward to such opportunities to their ‘Vamseeyas’; they crave for tarpanas in the rainy season of Magha-Phalguna months and Gudaanna / Rice-Jaggery Payasas mixed with honey; they hope that atleast one son might turn up at Gaya to offer Pinda Pradaana and that was their desire when alive to procure many sons; they wished that at least one kanyaa daana or one Nila Vrishabha Utsarga might be executed! Pitru Shraaddha during Krittika Star provides paasage to Swarga; Rohini Nakshathra gives good progeny; Mriga Shira Nakshatra Shraaddha gives Tejas, Ardra secures Shourya; Purvasu Kshetra darshana prapti, Pushyami Akshayadhana, Aslesha purnaaryrdaaya, Magha Santaanapushti, Purvaphaluni sowbhaayga, Uttara phalguni uttama santaana, Hasta Shraaddha yields Shasrtra vidya phala, Chitra secures tejas and santaana, Swaati Vyaapaara laabha, Vishakha putraprada, Auradha Nakshatra Shraaddha provides Chakravartitwa, Jeshtha gives Aadhipatya, Moola excellent health, Purvaashadha gives fame and name, Uttaraahaashaadha demolishes grief and troubles, Shravana provided Shubha lokas, Dhanisdhtha dhana samruddhi, Abhijit gives knowledge Vedas, Shatabhisha Vaidya Siddhi, Purvabhadra gives goat-sheep sampada, Uttaraabhadra provides Go Sampada, Revati Rajata samruddhi, Ahwavi Ashwa Sampatti, and Bharani nakshatra shraaddha provides ‘’Deerghaayuraarogya’; thus Gaya Shraadha at any time during any Nakshatra bestows all kinds of auspicious tidings! When Surya is in Kanya rashi, those who offer Shraaddhha Pindaas would fulfill all their desires as Pitras look forward to them; in fact the entire fornight during this Mahalaya Period, Tarpana Pinda Pradaanaas are stated to be of high value resulting in Raajasua -ashwamedha Phalaas. Shraaddhas are to be offered at this time with water, leafy vegetables and ‘kanda mulaas’ or ground sprouted ones only. Devotees would do well in performing such Shraaddhaas as Surya enters Uttara-Hasta Nakshatra timings; such offerings when Ravi would enter Hasta in Vrishchik Raasi, but beyond Vrischika raashi, Pinda pranaanaas are not only counter-productive but might have adverse effects as Pitru Devas might even curse them for belated offerings!

Also, Shraaddhaas need to be performed during Ashtakaas, Manvantaraas, and Anvashtakaas; Ashtakaas are known as Krishna Paksha Ashtamis of the months of Pousha, Maagha, Phalguna and Chaitra. Manvantaraas denote Ashadha Shukla Dashami, Shraavana Krishna Ashtami and Bhadra Shukla Triteeya, since Utsavaas / celebrations were organized at these Manvantaraas. Anvashtakaas signify the Navamis followed by the Ahtakaas. Abhuyudayas denote the above three categories of Ashtakas-Manvantaraas-Anvashtakaas as these are first and foremost addressed invoke Maata- Pitaamahi- Pramitaamahi and then by Pita-Pitaamaha-Prapitaamaha. In other words, Maatru Varga would be addressed first, followed by Pitru varga and finally to Mataamaha- Pramitgaamah- Vriddha Mataamaha.Shraaddhaas are also required to be performed at Grahanas or Solar-Lunar Eclipses, Vyatipatas, Surya-Chandrama Sangamaas, Janma Nakshatraas, and Graha Peedaavasaras; these Shraaddhaas are to be Paarvana Shraaddhaas. At the timings of Aayana -kramana or change of Dakshinatana-Uttaraayana as also the two Vishus (or when Surya reaches the line when the day-night calculations are equivalent) as also on Samkraanti day, vidhi purvaka Shraddhas need to be performed in a full-fledged form, but minus Pindapradaada. Shraaddhhas are required to be performed on Vaishakha Shukla Triteeya and Kartika Shukla Navami as per the Samkraanti Vidhi; again on Bhadra Shukla Trayodashi and Magha Amavasya days, Paayasa Shraadha or Cooked rice in boiled sweet milk should be offered to Pitru Devaas. When ever a VedaVetta or Nityaagnihotriya Brahmana arrives at a Brahmana’s house, then too a Shraaddha would better be given. On the days of death of one’s own parents Shraaddhhas are required to be performed in a fulfledged manner every year including to Pitru devatas and Vishva Devatas separately.

Prati Samvararam Kaaryam Maataa Pitrormrotey hani,
Pitruvyasyaapya putrasya Bhraatur Jyeshthasya chaivahi/
Paarvanam Devapuryam syaadekoddhishtam Surairvinaa,
Dyuodevey Pitrukaaryea Treenakaikamubhayatravaa/

( On the day of the passing away of one’s own father or mother, one has to perform Ekoddishta Shraaddha; if father’s brother had no male issue then too the Ekoddishta Shraaddha be performed. In the Parvana Shraaddha, Vishva Devas are to be invoked first and their puja is to be performed.But without Vishvadevas in Ekoddishta Shraaddha, Brahmanas are arranged in Deva Pitru Shtaanaas and worshipped. In the Deva Kaarya, two Brahmanas are to be arranged and for Pitru Karyaa three Brahmanas; Or at least one each of the Karyas are required as minimum. Pretajeeva deeds to be kept in the form of a Pinda ón Bhumi beneath Kushaa grass with black Tilas and water. Brahnanaas would get shuddhi on the eleventh day of the demise, while Kshatriyas get purified on the thirteenth day, Vaishyas on the sixteenth day and Shudras on the thirty first day. On the termination of Sutaka or Asuddhi, Brahmanas should perform Ekoddishta Shraddha on the twelfth day, after a month, after Traipaksha or three weeks and every month thereafter for a year. Then the action of ‘Sapindeekarana Paarana Vidhhana’ must be followed, when the departed Soul would abandon the ‘Pretha Swarupa’ and attain the status of ‘Pitru Devatva’.The Pitaras are of two types viz. Amurtaas (Formless) and Murtimaan ( with Form). Naandimukhaas are stated to be Formless and Paarvanaas are Murtimaans.

Now, the procedure of Sapindeekarana is as follows: In the context of Sapindeekarana, Vishwa Devaas are not invoked, only one ‘Arghya’/ water is given, no Agnikarana or invocation of Agni is done, four Patras or small vessels are used with Tilodakaas or water with black Tilas and chandana; three of the Paatras are to invite to three generations of forefathers and one for the Preta: Paatratraye pretapaatraadarghyam chaiva prasechayet, Yesamaanaah iti japanpurva -vacchhesha maacharet/ ( while reciting the Mantra ‘Yenamaanaah’, the Kartaa should perform ‘Jala Prokshana’ (sprinkle of water); even in respect of the deceased women the same procedure of Ekoddhishta should be adopted, but no need for Sapindeekarana is required in respect of women without children and the concerned relatives of husband or her own brothers could take up the task of Shraaddha. In case, there is none, the King becomes responsible as he would be the relative to all the prajaa who are helpless and execute all the related actions including the annual Shraaddhaas. Even related women could assume the charges, provided no Mantras are recited.
Nitya Naimitthika Shraaddhas are as follows: Nitya Sh raaddha would follow Sapindeekarana, when the departed father would join the ranks of the earlier three generations viz. the Karta’s departed father, grand father and the great grandfather who would all be the ‘Pinda bhuks’`; actually, seven previous generations of the Karta would be eligible for the fruits of the shraddha: Pindasambandhino hyetey vigjneyaah Purushaatrayah, Lepa sambandhinaschaaney pitaamah pitaamahaah/ Prabhrutyuktaa -strayasteshaam yajamaanascha saptamah, Ityesha Munibhih proktah sambandhaha Saapta Pourushah/ But those who were beyond the three earlier generations viz. those of Sapta Pourushaas of four further earlier generations would be satisfied with the particles of ‘Anna’ or rice grains spread along and around the leaf above the kushagrass on which three pindas are placed in a line; the water drops from the clothes after taking bath by the Karta would provide relief to those who might have turned as Piscachas; those who might have been born as trees would be satisfied too by the water drops from the body of snaana of the Kartha; and those who might have been born as Pashu-Pakshis would be satisfied from the water drops while performing prokshana around the pindas in the process of worship. As the bhojana of the Brahmana bhoktas would be complete, the water drops to wash the hands and feet of the Bhoktas would relieve those who might have been born otherwise. Thus each Shraaddha would liberate the Souls of Seven Generations and none indeed would be dis-satisfied in the ‘Kula’for seven generations! Those who perform Shraaddhaa even by the low caste human beings with Shraddha or Faith would relieve the misery of the departed Souls, while those Brahmanaas who are virtuous observing daily tasks would indeed be responsible for the certain salvation of the ancestors. Now, the Bhahmanas who are selected as bhoktas must also have proper qualfications; they should preferably be Veda vettaas, maatru-pitru bhaktas, Acharyas, Panditaas, fathers-in-law, brothers-in-law, Purana TatvaVetta, and such others. Those who are selected as the representatives of Vishwadeva Pitraas too should be equally learned. The Kartha should feed such ideal Brahmanas as would indeed alleviate the miseries of the departed ones and hence the care for the selection. The services provided to the bhoktas are as good as those given to the departed parents or others concerned. In this context, Vastra daanana was emphasized:

Vastraabhaavey kriyaanaasti yajgnaa Vedaastapaamsicha,
Tasmaadwaasaamsi deyaani Shraaddha kaaley viseshitah/
Kauseyam kshaama kaarpaasam dukulamahatam tathaa,
Shraaddheytwetaani yo dadyaat kaamaanaapnotichottamaan/

(Without the charity of Vastraas, no task of Shraaddhha would be complete; in fact, no sacred task like Yagnaas, Vedaas and Tapaas would be complete without Vastra daanaa. More particularly so, in respect of Shraaddhhaas as Pitru Devas would not be appeased otherwise. Silk Vastraas or at least new cotton Vastraas constitute a definite input in Shraaddhas.

Yathaa goshu prabhutaasu vatso vindati maataram,
Tathaannam tatra Vipraanaam janturyatraavasishthatey/
Naama gotrancha mantraascha datthamannamnayantitey,
Aapiye nidhanam praaptaas trupistaanupatishthatey/

(Just as a calf reaches its mother’s udder on a group of cows, Anna daana to Brahmanaas too is an inclusive input in Shraaddhaas to enable the relief of the departed Souls; recitation of Naama-Gotraas in the formal medium of Mantras would reach the fruits of Shraaddhaas to the concerned Vamsha-Gotra-Naamaas so that the respective categories are satiated.) The relevant Mantra further states:

Deataabhyah Pitrubhyascha Mahaa Yogibhy yevacha,
Namah Swadhhaayai Swaahaayai Nithyameva bhanantiti,
Adhaavasaaney Shraaddhasya traavruttvaa japettadaa,
Pinda nirvahaney vaapi japedevam samaahitah/
Kshipramaayaanti pitaro Raahshasaah pradravanti cha,
Preeyantey trishu lokeshu Mantroyam taarayatyuta/

(My obeisances to Pitraas and Devataas; to my homage to Swadhaa Devi and Swaahaadevi; May these be always with me; This Mantraa must be recited thrice at the time of Pinda-Nirvahana of while performing the Task of Pindaas as also at the time end of the Shraadda. The recitation of this Mantra would instantly respond to the Pitra Devas and the Rakshasaas would run away; the Tri Lokas would be satisfied and the Performer would fully bless with salvation. Offering away the Pindaas to Agni in the Homakunda would bless the Karta would secure Bhoga Vriddhi or enhance pleasures; offering the Pindas to the Karta’s wife would result in Putra Prapti; offering them to Cows would ensure ‘Tejovriddhi’; immerse the pindaas would increase Keerti /fame; feeding them to crows would provide long life; and some Pandits stated that ‘Pindaagraas’ or tops of the Pindaas should be lifted.

Tasmaatsam Pujayet bhaktya swapitruunvidhivannarah,
Kaamaanabhhepsinsakalaan –paadaatma vimochanam,
Vasuun Rudraamstathaadityaan Nakshatra graha taarakaah/
Preenayanti Manushyaanaam Pitarah Shraaddha tarpitaah,
Aayuh Prajaam Dhanam Vidyaam Swargam Moksham sukhaanicha/
Prayacchanti tathaa Raajyam Pitarah Shraaddha tarpitaah,
Tathaapahaarnah Purvaahnaat pitruunaamatirichyatey/
Sampujya Swaagateynaitaan sadanebhyaagataandvijaan,
Pavitra paaniraachaantaa nasaneyshupa –vesayet/
Shaadhham krutwaa vidhaanena sambhojya cha Dwijottamaan,
Visarjaeyt priyaanyukaa pranipatya cha bhaktitah/
Aadwara manugacchhecchaa gacchhedan moditah,
Tato nitya kriyaamkuryaad bhojayeccha tathaa tithheen/
Nithya kriyaam pitruunaamcha kechidicchanti Sattamaah/

(As the Shraddha Karta is anxiously awaited by the concerned Pitru Devaas, he should worship them with faith and devotion as prescribed so that the desires of Karta are fulfilled; the Ashtaa Vasus, Ekaadasha Rudraas, Dwadasha Adityas , Nava Grahas and Nakshatraas would all be satisfied with the Shraaddhhas and bestow long and healyhy life, good progeney, prosperity, Vidya, over-all fulfillment and Swarga. As ‘Aparaahna’or mid-day is the appropriate time, the Kartha should welcome the Brahmanaas with devotion, make them feel comfortable and conduct the proceedings with perseverance and fortitude, perform the duties till the end and then take the Nitya Karmas after duly sending them off with reverence).

In conclusion, Veda Vyasa Maharshi assured:

Aajaaramaacharedyastu Pitru medhha shritam Narah,
Ayushaa dhana putraischa vardhastyasu na samshayah/
Pitrumedhaadhyaaya mimam Shraaddha kaaleshu yah pathet,
Tadannamasya pitaroshnanti cha tri-yugam dwijaah/
Yevam mayoktah Pitrumedha kalpah paaaapahah punyavivaddhanascha/
Shrotavya yesha prayatainaraihscha shraaddeghachainaapyanu keertayet/

( Those who observe the traditions of Pitrumedha Kalpa, are blessed with Dhana-Dhanya-Ayuraarogya- Putra Poutra-Vardhana. Those who read ‘Pitrumedha-adhyaa’ of this Purana, would be blessed with the contentment of Pitru Devatas of the past three yugas! The recitation or patient hearing of the contents of the Adhyaaya itself would bestow the boon of demolishing sins and of and ushering propitiousness).

6       Sadaachaara Varnana / Principles of Righteous Way of Living

As Vyasa Maharshi explained the general manner in which Brahmanas are expected to perform their duties towards Devas and Pitru ganaas with Havya-Kavyas or oblations to Agni and other tasks of virtue, the Munis requested the Maharshi to outline the rudiments of ‘Sadaachaara’ or the fundamentals of Ideal Values of Virtuous Life viz. or the Worthy Principles of Moral  Conduct / Good Behavior.

Grihastena Sadaakaarya maachaara pari-rakshanam,

Nahyaachaara viheenasya bhadramatra paratravaa,

Yagna daana tapaaseeha Purushasya na bhuyatey,

Bhavanti yah sadaachaaram samullanghya pravartatey/

( Grihastaas or family-persons ought to observe and protect Sadaachaara Pravartana as those without it would neither have ‘Iham’ / the contentment of current life or ‘Param’of post-life; to those who neglect the principles of Sadaachaara are not eligible to  the fruits of Yagna- Daana-Tapas). Grihastaas are expected to follow the basic principles of Dharma-Artha and Kaama during the first three quarters of one’s life and in the last quarter of life to activities pertaining to Moksha. Also, half of one’s expected span of life is to be spent with the deeds oriented to Nitya-Naimittika Karmas or daily and occasional tasks of virtue; the persons concerned might perform such deeds as  to involve Bharana-Poshana or sustenance and ful-fillment of family needs. But the last quarter of life should be exclusively spent on activitees aiming at the collection of ‘Mula Dhana’ of fruits meant for the aftermath of life . In oher words, ‘Dharmaacharana’or practice of Virtue has to be an under-current in the Samsaara Sagara in all the phases of life, especially in the last quarter of life. Care must be taken that each of the ‘Purusharthas’should not be contradictory to each other. In other words, Dharma should propel such Artha that should not inhibit Dharma; Kaama should not defeat the aspect of Dharma and Artha and likewise Moksha has to be a logical conclusion of the preceding Purusharthas:

Paraspara anubandhaamscha sarvaanetaanvichintayet,

Vipareetaanubandhaamscha budhyadhvam taandwiojottama/

Dharmo Dharma anubandhaartho Dharmaana atmaartha peedakah,

Ubhaabhyaam cha dwidhaa kaamam teyna thou dwidhaa punah/

A dutiful person has to wake up at the Brahma muhurtha time and think of Dharma and Artha, leave the bed,  perform the morning ablutions and commence Sandhya Vandana even when Stars are visible on the Sky. Asatpralaapamanrutam Vaakpaarushyam cha varjayet, Asacchaastra -masadwaada masatpeyvaam cha vai Dwijaah/  (Blabbering lies, talking offensibly, taking resort to arguments of Nastik nature, reading wrong books and writings, giving service to vicious persons must be avoided at any cost. Keeping mental control, daily Havan in the morning and evening should be done dutifully; never try to look at Surya at the Sunrise and Sunset; combing the hair, looking at the mirror, cleaning the teeth, and executing Deva Tarpana must be done well before the Sunrise; avoiding ablutions at Public places, Tirthas and Kshetras; looking at, talking to and touching girls during menses periods; indulging in ablutions in water bodies must be avoided let alone bathing with women; leaving hairs, rotten food, ash, coal, threads, ropes, metallic material and any other offensive materials oaught not to be thrown in running water and worse in still waters. Men and women of virtue should never take food before worshipping Devas, Parents, Guests and elders or those with illnesses; eat food observing silence and not moving about; never unduly criticise food preparations; never consume nor accept food from the plates of others; never ever spread rumours; never touch-let alone use the seat, bed, vessels, and personal belongings of persons with questionable credentials; never wear single vastra in the worship of  Deities, or reverences to  Gurus and elders; never urinate in water, fire and in Public places; never bathe or sleep in nudity even in closed places; never apply oil while taking baths; never face Brahmanas, Cows, Agni, Surya, Chandra and Nakshatras; avoid to perform ablutions facing north in day time and south in the nights; give way politely to Brahmanas, Officials, elders, women in confinement, persons with illnesses, handicaps, drunkenness, loose character women, those who help, children, the arrogant, and generally the avoidable; perform parikrama of temples, elders, Gurus, trees and road junctions from the right side; never wear other’s clothes, jewellery, shoes and paadarakshaas; never take head bath with oil on Chaturdashi, Ashtami, and Pournami; never shake feet nor lift hands up; never press one foot with another foot; never brag nor belittle others either on one to one basis or worse still in public; never insult the poor, the ugly, the mentally unstable, the intoxicated, and such other abnormal persons; never give punishment to anybody except sons or Sishyas only with a view to reforming or correcting but never with pre-conceived views, arrogance or vengeance; never drag chairs or cots or any furniture items with feet; never sleep facing north and west but keep the head to south or east; never apply chandan etc. without taking bath; never wear torn clothes; never eat food with dropped hairs, ant or flies-eaten, or seen by dogs ; do not eat  with salt kept separately on a plate; never sleep after sun-rise or at sun-set timings; never eat food without taking bath, without properly seated, while in the food or half-asleep; without being attentive or half-heartedly; take food in the morning or evening without taking bath; never sleep in bed with unknown women:

Paradaaraa na gantavyaah purushena vipaschitaa,

Ishtaapurttaayushaam hantree paradaaraa gatirmrunaam/

Na heedrusha manaayushyam lokey kinchana vidyatey,

Yaadrusham Purushasyeha paradaaraabhimarshanam/

(Noble men would never resort to Para Stree Sangama and those who did so would  not only lose their image, conscience, mental peace and longevity); one must perform ‘Achamana’ before Sandhya-Devaagni-Pitru Karya-Guru Vandana-Puja-Bhojana timings with clean, foamless, and bad-smelling water facing Dakshina or Uttara / South or North; while performing Achamana, one should avoid five kinds of ‘mruda’ or earth viz. just outside water bodies, from the backyard of one’s own home, near a mouse’s hole, or near around a bath room place and near a water-well; the Achamana should be done after washing hands and feet, and three or four times, twice after wiping eyes, ears, face, nose, lips and head; while doing Achamana, there should not be sounds of slurpings, coughs, sneezes, spittings, gas and if the latter happen then touch right ears and look upward to see Surya Deva and repeat Achamana thrice; do not rattle teeth, pound body parts, and avoid all kinds of mannerisms; never practise Swadhyaya of Vedas, or Sacred Mantras while eating, travelling, walking and lying down;  avoid marriages of girls of seven generations before on the paternal side and five generations before on the maternal side; Kshura Karma (hair cut) should not be done facing north and the avoidable dates for the task are Chaturthi, Navami and Chaturdashi; do worship Devas in the early morning hours, pre-noon to Gurus and human beings and mid-day to Pitru-Devas; never sleep during day time, much less unite with wife; rajaswala women should observe four nights of menses and observance of five nights would assure Purushatwa in next birth; in any case, observing aloofness from husband for five nights would be rercommended; man-woman unity on even nights after menses would bless male progeny, and on un-even nights, female progeny. Such unity on festival days the progeny would end up in the birth of Adharma Santaana, while in the Sandhya timings would result in napumsakas; never cut jokes in respect of Devatas, Vedas, Dwijaas, Sadhus, Gurus, Pativratas, Yagnaas, Tapaswis and Parivratas; never make friends with mentally retarded, arrogant, stupid, corrupt, characterless, immoral, extra-polite, extravagant, reckless, antagonistic, Asamartha / incapable, impolite, ungrateful, argumentative, cantankerous and irritable; but give respects to Sahrudayas or Good-natured, Yagna dikshitas, Rajas, Snatakas or those who have completed studies in Gurukula, and father-in-law and provide them all considerations.

Samvatsara Abdika Vidhi:  One should sincerely perform house- hold duties especially in the context of Samvatsara Abdikaas. After ushering in the Brahmanas with reverences, perform Archana at the Vaiswadeva Sthaana or the Place for Pitras; then at Deva sthaanaas or Four Places for worship to Agni, Prajapati, Griha Devataas and Kashyapa, followed by the fifth Ahuti or oblation of Ghee to the above Devas respecvtively. These oblations would be followed by Bali Puja; in this Puja there would be three vessels – one pertaining to Parjanya or Varuna  first; second  to Abdevata or Jala /Water and third to Bhu Devi; in these three Places, Bali or offerings of cooked rice as small portions should be offered in three manika paatras or earthen patras; then the offerings of the  Bali portions should be addressed to Vaayu in ten directions of East, West, South and North and the repesctive Sub –Directions. Thereafter, Bali is addressed to Brahma, Antariksha, and Surya. In the Northern Direction balis are addressed to Vishwa Devas and Vishjwa Bhutaas; and to further north bali is offered to Usha and Bhupati. Thus far the Deva Puja; this would be followed by Pitru Puja in Apasavya position of Yagnopaveta: Swadhaa cha sama ityuktwa Pitrubhyaschaiva dakshiney, Krtuwaapasavyam Vaayavyaam yakshmaitattheti sampadan/ Annavasesha misram vai thoyam dadyaadyathavidhi, Devaanaancha tatah kuryaad Braahmanaanaam Namaskriyaa/ (While changing the direction of Yagnopaveeta to Praacheena direction from the normal position of left to right, the Karta has to recite the Mantra viz. SWADHAAYAINAMAH facing the Pitaraas in the Dakshina disha; then the Mantra viz. YAKSHMAI TATTEY should be recited and leave water in the Vayavya direction. After changing the position of the Yagnopaveeta  in the normal position of Savyam, the Karta has then to perform Namaskara with folded hands to Devas and the Brahmanas representing Devas.

 Now the descripton of Tirthas: On the right hand thumb’s upper portion of any person there  is a line stated to be the ‘Brahma Tirtha’ situated and from there only the Achamaneeya or sipping of water  is to be done; the  place where the tarjani or the pointing finger touches the middle portion of the right thumb is known as the ‘Pitru Tirtha’ where the tarpanas or water oblations and Pinda-pradaanas are to be executed from that place. The finger tops are known as ‘Deva Tirtha’ and all tarpana and other duties addressed to Devas are to be performed from that place; the little finger is the representation of ‘Prajapati Tirtha’ and Prajapati-oriented Tarpanaas and other tasks are to be done from this little finger.

Other do’s and dont’s by way of ‘Sadaachaara Pravartana’ were described by Veda Vyasa as follows: Agni and Jala are not to be handled simultaneously; feet should not be drawn before Devas, Gurus, Parents and Brahmanas; looking at a cow milching a calf should not be gazed at; drinking water by palmful hands should be shunned; long duration delays of urination and defecation must be avoided; Agni should not be blown with mouth. A place of living where the following provisions are non-existent are better be left for good : Yatra Vipraa na vastavyam Yatra nnaasti chatushtayam, Runa pradaataa Vaidyascha srotriyah sajanaa Nadee, Jita bhrutyo Nrupo yatra Balavaan Dharma tatparah, Tatra nityam vaseytpraagnah kutah kunrupato sukham/ (One should desert a Place where there is no lender of money, a Physician, a virtuous Brahmana, a running water body and a King who is unable to control his subordinates).

As regards the kind of Bhojan that one should consume, any fried items kept for long or even any type of food ought to be avoided. Any items so stored for more than two days, especially  made of wheat and fried in oil or ghee should be refrained from consumption. Each time an item used for cooking or eating made of stone, gold, silver, cloth, utensil etc. must be washed.Utensils  in which fried items are prepared wouldget cleaned by hot water. If and when rotten food is consumed, fasting on three following nights should purify the person conerned. Coming into contact by touch with a woman in menses, of a new born baby, a chandala or a dead body must necessarily take head bath. A Brahmana touching a wet bone must also get purified by a bath, but coming into touch a dry bone should perform Achamana or sipping spoonful of clean water and look up Surya Deva or a cow-face. Never cross human cough remains, urine and excreta, and such impurities and if one did itby mistake, the feet as also the padarakshas must be washed. Never see or converse with women in menses, fallen women, women in conception, napumsakas, nude persons, chandala, and those who carry dead persons and if done so by mistake, one must look at Sun and sky. Personal concact with inedible food, mendicant, cat, donkey, chicken, an abandoned person, chandala, pig, or any such questionable matter or person would be absolved only with  bathing. Performance of Nityakarma should not be disturbed at any cost and any  infringements would call for Prayaschitthaas or atonements by ‘Maranashoucha’ or ‘Jananashoucha’!

Ashuchi-Shuchi Vidhhana: Ashoucha is observed by Brahmanas for ten days, Kshatriyas for twelve days, Vaishyas for fifteen days and others for one month. Then Ashoucha is terminated as per ‘Shastrokta Karmas’as prescribed.Even before the Ashuchi Suddhi, there would be a ‘Mritaka daaha samkaara’ ( assuaging the thirst of the departed soul  or ‘pretatma’) to be observed by Sagotris or those whon have the same Gotra, by visiting / bathing twelve water bodies on the first, fourth,seventh, and ninth days after the demise. On the fourth day of the demise, the burnt bone remains of the ashes of the body are to be collected from the burial ground and this procedure is called ‘Asthi Sanchayana’ and there after the remains are immersed in a Sacred River for ‘Asthi Nimajjana’. ‘Samaanodaka Purushas’are freed from Ashuchi after the prescribed tenth day.

On the arrival of a child, the father has to take vastrasahita snaana. After the Janana Ashuchi, Brahmana-Kshatriya-Vaishya and others are freed from the Ashuchi on the tenth, twelfth, fifteenth and thirtieth days and after observing the ‘Shastrokta Dharma’, Shanti Homa- Puja- Namakarana-Bhojana-Daana and other formalities are observed. Such indeed is the Sadaachaara-Pravartana:

Dharmaartha Kaamam sampraapya paratreyaha cha shobhaanam,

Idam rahasya maayushyam dhanyambuddhi vivardhanam/

Sarva Paapaharam Punyam Shripustyaarogyam Shivam,

Yashah keertipradamnruunaam Tejobala vivarthanam/

Anushtheyam sadaa pumbhihi Swargasaadhanamuttamam,

Brahmanyaih Kshatriyairvaishyaih Shudraaischa Munisattamaah!

Sadaachaara Pravartana on the above lines by Varnas would indeed bestow the benefits of Dharma-Artha- Kaama-Moksaha as this indeed is the secret message of Ideal- Living which demolishes all types of Sins, besides providing recognition,  longevity, prosperity, good health, all-round fulfillment!

Mentioning the major Principles of Righteous Living,Veda Vyasa descibed Varnaashram Dharmas as follows: About Brahmanas: Dayaadaana tapo Deva Yagna Swaadhaaya tatparaihi, Nityodaki bhaveydwipraha kuryaacchaagni parigraham/  Brahmanas are required to practise Daana, Daya, Tapas, Deva-Pitru Yagnas, Swaadhyaya; they should be ‘Nityodakis’ or undaunted by Snaanas irrespective of seasons and ‘Agnopaasakas’or engaged in the pracice of Agni Karyaas. They might perform Yagnas on behalf of others also to eke their livelihood. They should teach Vedas to sishyas / students and could accept ‘Daana Pratigraha’ as a part of their ‘Shat Karmas’ as prescribed. Sarvalokahitam-kuryaanaahitam-kasyachid-Dwijaah,MaitriSamasta-tatveshuBrahmannyosttamamam dhanam/ (Brahmanaas are required to work for the general welfare and well being of the Society as a totality and indeed this should be the basdic Dharma of any Brahmana.) Kshatriyas: This class is to defend and administer the Society, promote its interests, facilitatate Yagnas and the Virtuous Tasks; punish the Evil interests and ensure peace and prosperity. Vaishyas: This class has to perform Pashu paalana, Vaanijya, Krishi / Vyavasaaya or farming; equally importantly Vaishyas have to perform certain duties of Yadhyana, Yagna, Daana, Dharma, Nitya Naimittika Karmas, Anushthaana, Brahmana Poshana and Kraya Vikraya. Rest are expected to serve the earlier Varnaas in the execution of their respective duties and at the same time observe Sarva Bhuta Daya, politeness, diligence, truthfulness, patience, capacity to withstand the vagaries of seasons, friendliness and equamimity. Veda Vyasa also mentioned ‘Aapaddharmaas’ of Brahmanas rendering Kshatriya Dharmas, Kshatriyas assuming the duties of Vaishyas and so on. [Maha Bhagavata Purana provided escape clauses in the context of Varnaashrama Dharma: Yasya yallakshanam drusyata tat teniva vinirdisat/ In other words: the aspects of aptitude and practice may be endorsed; as such the Principles are of general regulative nature while in practice, the updated considerations of ‘Desha-Kaala-Maana Paristhithis’ would indeed prevail].

Referring to Varna Sankarana or slippages of VarnaDharma,Veda Vyasa quoted  Shivaa:

BrahmanyamDevi dushpraaptam Visargaadbrahmanam Shubhey,

Kshatriyo Vaishya Shudroavaa Nisargaaditimaymatih

Karmanaadushkryuteyneh Sthanaadrushyatisadwijah,

Shreshtham Varnamanupraapyata smaadaakshipytey punah/

Sthito Brahmandharmerna Brahmanyamupajeevati,

Kshatriyo vaadha Vaishyovaa Brahma bhuyam sa gacchati/

Yasya Vipratwamutsrujya Kshatra dharmaa-nnishavatey,

Brahmanyatsa pari bhrashtah Kshatra yonau Prajaayatey/

(Devi! Brahmanatwa is not easy to attain and is was my arrangement to let human beings be created as per their ‘Swabhavaas’ or characteristics. But some Brahmanas leave their natural instincts and slip down in their actions; they tend to adopt Kshatriya Dharma and thus get born as Kshatriyas); in the same manner, Vaishyas also slip down.

Yastu Shudraha swadharmena Jnaanaa Vijnaana vaancchuchih,

Dharmajno Dharma niratah sadharma phalamasnute/

Brahma’s decision as per Brahma-Vaakya or Veda pramana is that Brahmanas ought not to consume Ugraanna, Ganaanna, Shraaddhaanna and Shudraanna and if a Brahmana while dying had that kind  of Anna in his Jathara / belly would be destined to be reborn in another varna; conversely, others who attaine Brahmanatwa in his ongoing life had the type of Brahmana Bhojana as his jatharaagni would be reborn as a Brahmana and that would be Mahadeva’s dispensation:

Yasyaannenaavaseshena jathareymriyatey Dwijah,

Taam Taam yonim vrajedvipro yasyaannamupajeevati!

(Whatever may be the Varna in which a person dies with that kind of Jatharaagni has in his /her belly, that person would be reborn with the typical characteristics of that Varna!). The reported view that Parama Shiva expressed-as conveyed by Veda Vyasa was:

Na yonirnaapi samskaaro na Shrutirnacha santatih,

Kaaranaani Dwijasttvasya vrutthamevatu vidheeyatey/

(It is not by birth, upbringing, knowledge of Vedas and by the Offspring that a person possesses, but Brahmanatwa is a decisive factor merely on one’s own behavior, conduct and actions)!

Dharmaadharma Nirupana: Parama Shiva further delineated to Devi Parvati about those who had Trikarana Shuddhi, Indriya Nigraha, and Ahimsaacharana (Clealiness of Body-Mind-Heart; Control of Senses and Non-Violence). They are eligible to Swarga if they had no desire for other’s money except for one’s own well earned; if they did not react to other women except one’s own lawful wife while treating truly and heartily the others as his mothers, sisters and daughters; if they serve all the Beings with fellow- feelings of warmth and consideration; if they would hurt none directly or indirectly by way of speech, thought or action; if they were always engaged in charity, humility with noble actions, Tapasya, ‘Bahyaantara Shuchi’ or cleanliness physically and  internally; if they were truthful to themselves or their conscience as also transparent in their deeds; if their way of conversation was clear without hidden meanings, convincing, sweet, soft, and endearing without harshness, and arrogance or uppishness; if they were Jnaanavaan, dayaavaan and Kshamaavaan or with maturity, merciful, and forgiving; if they avoided sinners, known rogues and confirmed offenders; if they were full of dedication and devotion to Devas, respectful to Gurus, Vidwans and Elders; and in short their natural instincts were ideal and deserving emulation.                                                                                                                                                                             

Asked by Devi Parvati as to how the Aayurdaaya or life-span of a Human Being was determined, Parama Shiva explained that every person would have to necessarily reap the fruits of one’s own actions; some would be extremely crude, arrogant and cruel resorting to violence in the past births as also in the on-going life and the compounded effect would result in the longevity of the current Janma.

Paapena karmanaa Devi ukto himsaadhibhuryutah,

Ahitam Sarva Bhutaanaam heenaayurupajaayatey/

Shubhena karmanaa Devi prouni ghaata vivarjitah,

Nikshistra shastro nirdando na himsati kadaachana/

Na ghaata yati no hantighnantam naivaamunodatey,

Sarva Bhteshu Sasneho yathaatmani tathaaparey/

Edrushah Purusho nityam Devi Devatwamasnutey,

Upapannaan Sukhaanbhogaan sadaashnaati mudaayutah/

Athaachenmaanushey lokey kadaachidupapadyatey,

Esha Deerghaayushaam maargah suvruttaanaam  su karmanaam/

Praani himsaa vimokshena samudeetatah/

( Those who were in the habit of committing sins and resorting to ‘Himsa’, they would not only be detested generally but would be subject to ‘Ayuksheena’or decreasing life-span; conversely those who led a life of merciful and cordial nature would gain nlong life but derseve Devatwa . Shunning violence is the key to longevity!)

Devi Parvati asked Maha Deva further as to what type of Karmaas  / deeds and Daanaas / charities  would have to be performed to upgrade a person to Swarga Loka and the latter replied as follows: A person with such desire should respect Brahmanas; feed the needy with Bhakshya-Bhojya-Anna-Paaneeyas and Vastraas; consruct or be an instrument to cause construction of Yagna Mandapas, Dharmashaalaas, water bodies, wells and ‘Sabha Mandapaas’ for public utility;  execute Nitya-Naimittika Karmaas with fortitude and faith; and give away in charity of Aasanaas, Shayanas, Dhana-Dhanya-Vastu-Vaahana-Griha-Vastras. Those who could afford to give away particularly the needy, the helpless, the beggars, the blind, the depressed and tha have-nots turn away their faces or wantonly avoid them and those greedy, miserly, arrogant and non-believers of God would be by the turn of Kaala Chakra would definitely be paid back in their own births or in the subesequent ones but they should surely be in the opposite placements.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Maha Deva explained to Devi Parvati further about Vaachika Dharma Swarupas:

Atmahetoh paraarthey vaa Adharmaashrita meyvacha,

Ye mrushaa na vadanteeha tey Naraah Swarga gaaminah/

Vrutyartham Dharma hetorvaa kaama kaaraatthadhaivacha,

Anrutam ye na bhaashantey tey Naraah Swarhagaaminah/

Shlakshnaam Vaaneem Swacchha varnaam mathuraam paapa varjitaam,

Swagateynaabhi bhaashantey naraah Swarga gaaminah/

Parusham ye na bhaashantey katukam nishthuram tathaa,

Na paishunyarataah Samtastey Naraah Swarga gaaminah/

ishunam na prabhaashantey Mitrabhedakaram tathaa,

para peedaakaram chaivatey Naraah Swarga gaaminah/

Ye varjayanti parusham paradroham cha Maanavaah,

Sarva Bhuta samaadaantaastey Naraah Swarga gaaminah/

Shathapralaapaa dwirataa viruddha pari varjakaah,

Sowmya pralaapino nithyam tey Naraah Swarga gaaminah/

Na Kopaadvyaharantey ye Vaachaam hridaya daarineem,

Shantim vindati ye kruddhaastey Naraah Swarga gaaminah/

Yesha Vaanee kruto Devi Dharmah Sevyah sadaa Naraih,

Shubha Satya Gunaarnityam Varjaneeyaa mrushaa budhaih/

(Never ever tell Asatya or Untruth either for one’s own sake, for the sake of others, for the sake of life’s betterment, for the sake of Dharma or even for the sake of one’s own life. Never converse with harshness and  insolence, nor create misunderstandings and carry tales; the language to be used has to be sincere, soft, heartfelt, and without causing offence: such persons would indeed find their way to Swarga; this indeed the Vaachika Dharma Swarupa! Only such persons whose language is not mixed with Parushata, Nishthurata, Paishunyata, Mitrabheda karana, Paradroha karana, Shatha pralaapana, Hridaya daaruneeta and parapeedaakara!)                                                                                                                                

Yet another clarification sought by Devi Parvati from Maha Deva was in respect of Maanasika Karmaas:

Maanaseyneha Dharmena Samyukaah Purushaahsadaah,

Swargam gacchaanti Kalyaani! Tanmey keertayatah shrunu/

Dushpraneetena Manasaa Dushpranee- taantaraakrutih,

Naro badhyeta yeneha shrunu vaa tam Shubhaananey/

Aranye vijaneynyastam paraswam drusyatey yadaa,

Manasaapi na gruhnanti tey Naraah Swrgagaaminah/

Tathaiva paradaaraanye kaamavrutthaa rahogataah,

Manasaapi na himsanti tey Naraah Swarga gaaminah/

Sharum Mitramcha ye nithyam tulyena manasaa naraah,

Bhajanti Maitryam Samgamya tey Naraah Swarga gaaminah/

Shrutavanto dayaavantah shuchayah Satyasangaraah,

Swairarthaih parisamthushtaastey Naraah Swarga gaaminah/

Avairaaey twanaa yaasaa Maitra chittarataah sadaa,

Sarva bhuta dayaavantastey Naraah Swarga gaaminah/

Jnaatavanrtah kriyaavantah Kshamaavantah Suhrutpriyaah,

Dharmaadharma vido nityam tey Naraah Swargagaamionah/

Shubhaanaashumaabhaan aam cha Karmanaam phalasanchaye,

Niraakaamkshaascha ye Devi tey Naraah Swarga gaaminah/

Paapopetaan varjayanti Deva Dwija paraah sadaa,

Samuthhaanamanu praaptaastey Naraah Swarga gaaminah/

Shubhaih Karm,a phalaairdevi mayaitaa parikeertitaah,

Swarga maarga paraa bhuyah/

( Devi! Following are the Maanasika Dharmaas that are the factors of accomplishing Swarga: A person who should control his mind so as to get rid temptations of even discovering ready availability of huge sums of somebody else’s money in a lonely jungle! Even in loneliness, the person should not get disturbed with the  thoughts of other women; he should observe absolute equanimity with all human beings and concentrate on Veda Shastraadhyana with intense feelings of mental strength, cleanliness and truthfulness with reflective thoughts of  segregating Dharma and Adharma and Shubha and Ashubha, without aspiring for returns or fruits of  such thoughts and deeds. The person concerned has to purge the heart of mind-driven sinful aberrations but should sustain the thoughts of the Supreme Truth and Energy.)     

 Finally, Parama Shiva affirmed:

Karma paasha nibaddhaanaam naraanaam duhkha bhaaginaam,

Naanyopaayam prapashyaami Vaasudevaatparam dwijaah/

Ye pujayanti tam Devam Shankha chakra gadaadharam,

Vaangmanaha Karmabhih samyaktey yaanti paramaam gatim/

Kim teshaam jeeviteyneha pashuvaccheshti teynacha,

Yeshaam na pravanam chittham Vaasudevey Jaganmaye/

(All the human beings who were tied tight with Karma paashaas and the resultant distress have one and only one unique source viz. Vaasudeva, the Shankha Chakra Gadaa dhara; he should be worshipped with ‘Manovaakkaaya karmas’ or with mind, tongue and deeds to take steps forward to Moksha; of which avail is there like animals engaged always in eating and sleeping if a maanava fails to worship Bhagavan Krishna!)

 Pitaamahaadapi parah Shaswatah Purusho Harih,

Krishno jaambunadaabhaso vyabhrey Surya yi voditah/

dasabaahurmahaa tejaa Devataarinishudanah,

Shri Vatsaanko Hrishikeshaha Sarva Davaivata Pujakah/

(Far superior than Brahma and everlasting is Shri Hari, Vaasudeva or Shri Krishna who shines like the dazzling and magnificent Surya as he is emerging on a cloud-less clear Sky with ten hands and a gloriousSrivatsa as the Supreme Lord of Devas). Whosoever takes refuge in Vaasudeva would be the beloved of the entire Deva Samuha including Brahma and Parama Shiva; it  is that Bhakta of Vaasudeva who has nothing beyond to crave!

MahaTatwa Nirnaya: In an endeavour to outline even a misty profile of the Supreme Power, Maharshi Veda Vyasa expressed as follows:

Yattadavyakta majara machintya maja mavyayam,

Anidresya rupam chaa paani paadaatya samyutam,

Vittam Sarvagatam nityam bhuta yoni makaaranam/

Vyaaptam Vyaaptam yatah sarvam pasyanti suurayah,

Tadbrahma paramam dhaama taddhyayam Moksha kaamskshibhih/

Shruti Vaakyoditam Sukshmam tadvishnoh paramam padam,

Utpattim Pralayam chaiva Bhutaa-naamaagatim gatim/

Vetti Vidyaamavidyaam cha sa vaachyo Bhagavaaniti,

Jnaana Shakti balai –shwarya veerya tejaamsya seshatah/

Bhagavadcchabda vaachyaani vinaa heyairgunaadibhih,

Sarvaani tatra bhutaani vasanti Paramaatmani/

Bhuteshucha sa Sarvaatmaa Vaasudevastatah smrutah,

Bhuteshu vasatey yomtarva samtyatra cha taaniyat/

Dhaataa Vidhaataa jagataam Vaasudevastatah Prabhuh,

Sa sarvabhuta prakrutirgunaamscha doshaamscha sarvaa na gunohyateetah/

Ateeta Sarvaavaranokhilaatmaa tenaavrutam yadbhuvanaantaraalam,

Samasta Kalyaana Gunaatmakohi Swashakti leshaadruta bhuta sargah/

Icchhaagruheetaabhi matoru dehah Samsaadhitaasesha jagaddhito sow,

Tejo balaishwarya Mahaavaridhah Swaveerya shaktyaadi gunaaika raashih/

Parah Paraanaam Sakalaana yatra kleshaadayah santi Paraa Pareshey/

Sa Eashwaro Vyashti samashti rupo-avyakta swarupah Prakatah swarupah,

Sarveshwarah Sarvadruksarva vettaa samasta shaktih Parameshwaraakhyah/

Sanjnaayatey yena tadastadosham Shuddham Param Nirmalamekarupam,

Samdrushyatey Vyaapyatha gamyatey vaa tatvajnaana magjnaanamatonyaduktam! 

 (That Para Brahma Tatwa is Avyakta / Inconceivable, Ajara or Ageless, Achitya or Unimaginable, Avyaya or Indestructible, Anirdeshya or Undefinable, Arupa or Formless, Apaani paada or devoid of hands and feet, Sarvagata Satya or Eternal Truth, Bhutayoni vyaapyavyaapya or omnipresent among all Beings which is presumably comprehensible only by a handful Tatwa Vettas; It is that Superlative Tatwa who is Vishnu; It is that Unknown Prime Energy which Creates, Sustains and Teminates as also possessive of the awareness of the Process of Evolution and the unique capability to distinguish Vidya or Avidya / knowledge or ignorance. It is that Paramatma who has no features, characteristics, impurities or blemishes but is replete with the Magnificent Shat-Shaktis viz. Jnaana-Bala-Ishwarya-Veerya-Tejo-Yasho Shaktis. It is that Sarvaatma and Parama Tatwa- who is acclaimed by Brahma himself in reply to Maharshis as Vaasudeva; He is the Architect and Builder of Sarva Jagat; He is the root cause of the  Mula Tatwa or the Prakriti, far beyond the concept of Existence, yet an integral component of Existence. A miniscule atom of his unimaginable Shakti is responsible for the Vyavastha-Sthiti-Laya of the unending series of ‘Bhuvanaantaraalaas’ or the Universes. He is the ‘Tejo Balaiswarya Mahaavarodha Swaveerya Shaktaadi Gunaika Raashi’; He has the Identity of the Vyashti / Uniqueness and Samashti / Totality; He is the Avyata Swarupa as also the Prakata Swarupa / the Unintelligible and yet Perceptible Form; Sarveswara-Sarvadradhta-Sarva Shaktiyuta and Parameswara; He is also Parah-Paraanaam-Paraapareshaa or Farther-Beyond-and Farther Beyond! It is that distinct, pure, transparent, spotless, unpolluted, Wholesome, Outstanding and Singular Entity which is conceived as Maha Tatwa.

 It is only that which is recognised as ‘Jnaana’ or the Knowledge and Perception leading any one to that Maha Tatwa or providing clues about that Utmost Ultimate and the rest indeed is ‘Agjnaana’!)

7       Phalashruti of Brahma Purana

Maharshi Lomaharshana concluded the Sacred Brahma Purana:

Idam Gruhasthaih shrotavyam Yatihirbrahmachaaribhih,

Dhana soukhya pradam nrunaam pavitram paapa naashanam/

Tathaa Brahma parairviprairbrahmanaadaih susamyataih,

Shrotavyam suprayatnena samyak-shreyobhikaankshibhi/

Praapnoti Braahmano Vidyaam Kshatriyo Vijayam raney,

Vaishyastu dhanamahshayyam Shudrah sukhamavaapnuyaat/

Yam yam kaamabhidhyaayan shrunoti purushah shuchih,

Tam tam Kaamamavaapnoti Naro naastyatra samshayah/

(This Brahma Purana is worthy of hearing by Brahmachaaris, Grihastaas, and Yatis as it is Sacred and bestower of Prosperity, Happiness and demolisher of all kinds of indiscretions and sins. Brahmanas who seek Brahma Tatwa must hear this Purana particularly as provides them the wherewith all and Vidya; Kshatriyas listening the Purana would be equipped by intrepidity to achieve victory; Vaishyas would reap profits and wealth and Shudras would secure living comfort and pleasure. Whatever desires are sought by the readers or listeners of the Purana, those very wishes would  be readily fulfilled).

The Pathana-Shravana-Manana (reading, hearing and reflecting) about the Brahma Purana would serve as a gate-way to accomplishing the ‘Chatur Vidha Purushaarthaas’aspired by all human beings viz.Dharma-Artha-Kaama and Mokshas.The Purana would indeed inspire to create and add to the fund of virtues and lessen the heaps of sins already collected by way of Prarabdha and Sanchita or the Cumulative and Accounts. This Purana should fetch the Punya / Fruits of performing fasts, snaanaas and pujas at several Kshetras like Prayaga and Pushkara; executing Agnihotra Homas dutifully for a year; securing Darshana-Pujas of Bhagavan Shri Krishna at the Temple of Mathura after taking bath in the Sacred River of Yamuna on Jyeshtha Shukla Ekaadashi; obtaining the result of Hari Kirtaana with dedication and attachment for years together; and getting access to the road leading to Vaikuntha. On days like Eakadashi and Dwadashi if the recital of the contents of Brahma Purana were arranged by a learned Brahmana, the persons organising, participating or arranging the Shravana would be blessed by Bhagavan Shri Krishna:  

Idam Yasashyamaaushyam Sukhadam Kirti vardhanam,

Bala pushti pradamnruunaam Dhanyam Dussapna naashanam/

Trisnadhyam yah patheydvidwaan shraddhayaa susamaahitah,

Idam Varishtha maakhyaanam sa Sarva meepsitam labhet/

Rogaarto muchyatey Rogaadbaddhhomuchyatey Bandhanaat,

Bhayaadvimuchyatey bheeta Aapadaapanna Aapadah/

Jaatismaratvam Vidyaam cha putraan medhaam Pashuundhritim,

Darmam chaartham cha kaaam cha Moksham tu labhatey Narah/

Yaanyaayaankaamaa nabhipretya patheyyatprayata maanasah,

Taamstwaan parwaa Purusho naatrasamshayah/  

(This Purana would confer reputation, longevity, happiness, fame, strength, energy, and well-being; it averts bad dreams and makes one’s life and existence worthwhile and contented. Those who recite or read or study the contents of Brahma Purana with patience and diligence would certainly have their dreams get translated to realities; a person who is suffering from diseases would soon get healthy; get freed from imprisonments if custodial; if facing serious threats of physical or mental nature the person gets doubly reassured of relief and liberation; in case a person is associated with the Brahma Purana any way, especially with fond memories of the past including those of purva janma or with cherished aspirations related to the self, wife,  progeny, and relations in the context of achievements and reputations would be fulfilled sooner than later!)


Om Tat Sat


(My humble salutations to  the lotus feet of Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahaswamy ji and also my humble greatulness to  Brahmasree Sreeman V D N Rao ji  for the collection)


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