This Garuda Purana Sârodhhâra (Extracted essence
of the Garuda Purana) was
compiled or written by one Navanidhirâma,
son of Sri Hari Narayana, who lived in the city of Jhunjhunu, which
was ruled by a King Sri Sûkhalâlajî. It was done
for the helping of those who cannot understand the difficult earlier
works; but itself is not easy to understand, and required much labour,
the author informs us. It is entirely originally written, he says,
and comprises the results of very deep study of the sacred books,
and is the extracted essence of them on the subjects with which
It is used all over India at funeral ceremonies, but some are
afraid to read it on other occasions, thinking it inauspicious.
CHAPTERS I to VII deal with Hells.
CHAPTERS VII to XIII deal with Ceremonies for the dead.
CHAPTER XIV deals with Heaven.
CHAPTERS XV & XVI deal with Yoga and liberation.
The neo-theosophists, among the great good they have done to
the world, have revived the idea that Hell is a living reality,
and not a superstitious fiction, created by a designing priestcraft,
to keep Humanity on its good behavior. Among the educated, with
the vanishing of the belief in an after-life, has vanished also
the belief in Hell. But owing to the labors of the Psychical Research
Society and similar other bodies, there are few educated persons
now, who deny the existence of the afterlife, as they used to do
some thirty years back. But though the belief in after-life has
revived, yet the cognate belief in Heaven and Hell is still very
vague. Our Hindu Puranas, however, among the great mass of rubbish
that they contain, have always been very clear on this question
of Heaven and Hell. Serious writers of law books also like Yâjñavalkya
and Vishnu have described as-seriously the existences of various
Hells, as they have done the various joys of Heaven. No doubt, the
subject of Hell is not a very savoury one, and nervous persons have
always fought shy of studying this unpleasant department of existence.
But, pleasant or unpleasant, the science does not take into account
the human feelings. No one is forced to study the subject, unless
he feels strong enough to do so, as no one is bound to study Medicine,
unless he is prepared to face the scenes of the dissecting room.
The question then is, do these hells really exist? If so, where?
This is a question of fact, and must be decided like all questions
of fact, on the evidence of reliable witnesses who have, from personal
experience, described this region. To a Hindu there is needed no
greater testimony than that of Yogi Yâjñavalkya who,
in the Prâyaśchitta Adhyâya of his law book, mentions
21 hells. The author ofVishnu Smriti also has followed in his footsteps.
Hell, then, according to Hindu seers, is a particular locality walled
off from the surrounding regions of space by the messengers of Yama,
the ruler of Hell. Within this particular space so specially guarded,
no joy can enter. It is a region of pain--sharp. intense and severe.
Sinners clothed in their painful bodies (jâtana deha)--replica
of their physical bodies, though made of subtler matter, suffer
the punishments deserved by their sins. But there is one distinguishing
mark between the Hindu idea of Hell and that of votaries of Semitic
creeds. The punishment in Hell is not eternal. It is Reformatory
and Educative. The hell punishment is not remembered by the soul
when it is re-born, no more than it remembers the joys of heaven.
But the permanent educative effect remains in that part of the sold--called
the conscience. The natural fear, which certain souls feel at the
sight of temptation to sin, is the result of the finer development
of conscience, in the furnace of hell-fire. This is the permanent
gain which the soul has acquired, and which it will never lose through
ages to come, by passing through the bitterness of the valley of
Yama--the merciful ruler of Hell.
Where is then this Hell situated? According to Hindu belief,
its locality is in the astral region of the physical South Pole,
as the Heaven is situate in the astral region of the physical North
Pole. As a prison house is a prison only to the criminal, but not
to the visitor, who goes there on his mission of mercy and charity,
so Hell is a place of punishment and pain only to the sinners and
not to those who go there on similar missions. The readers of the
Hindu Sacred literature will no doubt remember the beautiful episode
of Nachiketas going to Hell, and learning from its Ruler the secret
of cosmic evolution, miscalled the secret of death.
The twenty-two hells are described in theVishnu Smriti.
(See Sacred Books of the East,Vishnu Smriti, pp. 140-141, verse
After being thus purified by Hell-fire, the soul is re-born with
keener conscience and under circumstances where it can, if it so
chooses, make better use of its faculties. Says Yâjñavalkya
in verse 218 of the Third
[paragraph continues] Adhyâya that the lords of mercy place
such souls in very favourable circumstances afterwards. *
But if the soul so favourably placed, omits to do good action
or commits evil deeds again, and leaves its senses unrestrained,
there is again a fall for that soul, as is mentioned in the next
Is there any physical Hell also, or is it in the astral plane
only? As Heaven is both physical and astral, and as the Svarga is
on the physical plane also, where the great rishis like Vyâsa,
Aśvathâman, Mârkandeya and others are said to be
still living in their physical bodies, so there are physical hells
also, though not known as Hells. What are these prison houses in
every well-governed community but physical hells? What is this outcasting
by the society, but making one feel the torture of hell, in fact
Gautama in his law book definitely calls this stage hell, and some
say that Gautama did not believe, in another form of hell.
Thus the fact of concrete existence of hell cannot be doubted.
Leaving the testimony of Hindu seers aside, in modern times we have
the evidence of a hard-headed man of science like Swedenborg, of
a refined artist and poet like Dante, and the great sage Râmkrishna
Is there any means by which a man may save himself from the pains
of hell? On this point, our ancient authors held different opinions.
One class of thinkers held the view that sin could not be expiated
by any act of man, however meritorious
it be in its nature, but one must suffer the full consequences of
his sins. The later view, which has gained ascendency now, is that
for the intentional mortal sins--kâma kritamahâpâtaka,--there
is no penance, except the death penance, which can save the man
from future troubles. Several kinds of death penances are described
in our law books, and in this age, a very salutary rule is laid
down by the pandits that no death penance should ever be described,
if a sinner asks the pandiit for the appropriate penance of his
sin. Thus in certain cases of incest, the only operative penance
is to embrace a red-hot iron image and die in that way. Similarly,
the penance for drinking spirituous liquors is death by drinking
boiling liquors or butter. But no Pandit is allowed, by the rule
of the present Iron age, to describe these death penances to any
sinner. The result therefore, is that according to the law, every
mortal sinner must pass through the period of purificatory process
of hell. For minor sins, the rule is different. The after-life consequences
can be warded off by appropriate penances. And here is a rich field
[paragraph continues] Brâhmin priestcraft of India, preying
on the gullibility of its votaries, has exploited to its extreme
extent. For every sin, there is a penance, and also a pilgrimage,
with its concomitant result in the shape of so much fee (dakshina)
to be paid to the Brâhmin.
Penances have become a farce in Modern India. Like the dispensations
of the Popes of Rome, penances can be compounded by the payment
of amounts ranging from a cowrie shell to thousands of rupees to
Brâhmins. It is not that the gifts to a deserving man washes
away sins, for modern Hinduism has done everything in its power
to throw in 'the background that rational idea, but a gift to a
Brâhmin, however bad he may be, as the saying goes that no
one feeds a docile donkey, but a kicking cow, for the sake of her
milk. This presupposes that a kicking Brâhmin has milk to
give, which is far from the truth.
The practice of Prâyaśchittas or penances is based
upon a more rational basis. Repentance for sin is the highest prâyaśchitta,
the infliction of bodily pains is of secondary importance. One who
has performed such penance has exhausted the evil effects of his
sins and for him there is no penance.
iii:* "Afterwards freed
from all sins, they are born in high families, where they enjoy
pleasures, and become accomplished in arts and sciences, and possessed
Hindu Law, p. 265, verse 219.
HOMAGE TO THE BLESSED GANEṢA.
An Account of the Miseries of the Sinful in this World and the
1. The tree Madhusûdana,--whose firm root is Law, whose
trunk is the Vedas, whose abundant branches are the Puranas, whose
flowers are sacrifices, and whose fruit is liberation,--excels.
2. In Naimisha, the field of the sleepless Ones, 1
the sages, Saunaka and others, performed sacrifices for thousands
of years to attain the Heaven-world.
3-5. Those sages once, in the morning,. having offered oblations
to the sacrificial fire respectfully asked this of the revered Sûta
The sages said: The happiness-giving path of the Shining Ones
has been described by you. We now wish to hear about the fear-inspiring
Way of Yama; 1
Also of the miseries of the World of Change, 2
and the means of destroying its pains. Please tell us correctly
about the afflictions of this world and the other.
6. Suta said: Listen then. I am willing to describe the way of
Yama, very difficult to tread, happiness-giving, to the virtuously
inclined, misery-giving to the sinful.
7. As it was declared to Vainateya 3
by the BlessedVishnu, when asked; just so will I relate it, to remove
8-9. Once, when the Blessed Hari, the Teacher, was sitting at
ease in Vaikun#7789;ḥa, the son of Vinatâ, 3
having bowed reverently, inquired:--
Garuda said: The Path of Devotion, of many forms, has been described
to me by you, and also, O Shining One, has been told the highest
goal of the devotees.
10. Now I wish to hear about the fearsome Way of Yama, along
which is the travelling, it is revealed, of those who turn away
from devotion to Thee.
11. The name of the Lord is easily pronounced, and the tongue
is under control. Fie, fie upon the wretched men who nevertheless
go to hell!
12. Tell me, then, O Lord, to what condition the sinful come,
and in what way they obtain the miseries of the Way of Yama.
13. The Blessed Lord said: Listen, O Lord of Birds, and I will
describe the Way of Yama, terrible even to hear about, by which
those who are sinful go in hell.
14-16. O Târksya, those who delight in sin, destitute of
compassion and righteousness, attached to the wicked, averse from
the true scriptures and the company of the good, Self-satisfied,
unbending, intoxicated with the pride of wealth, having the ungodly
qualities, lacking the divine attributes, Bewildered by many thoughts,
enveloped in the net of delusion, revelling in the enjoyments of
the desire-nature,--fall into a foul hell.
17. Those men who are intent upon wisdom go to the highest goal;
the sinfully-inclined go miserably to the torments of Yama.
18. Listen how the misery of this world accrues to the sinful,
then how they, having passed through death, meet with torments.
19. Having experienced the good or the bad actions, in accordance
with his former earning,--then, as the result of his 1
actions, some disease arises.
20. Powerful death, unexpectedly, like a serpent, approaches
him stricken with bodily and mental pain, yet anxiously hoping to
21-24. Not yet tired of life, being cared for by his dependents,
with his body deformed through old age, nearing death, in the house,
He remains, like a house-dog, eating what is ungraciously placed
before him, diseased, with failing digestion, eating little, moving
With eyes turned up through loss of vitality, with tubes obstructed
by phlegm, exhausted by coughing and difficult breathing, with the
death rattle in his throat, Lying encircled by his sorrowing relatives;
though being spoken to he does not answer, being caught in the noose
25. In this condition, with mind busy with the support of his
family, with senses unconquered, swooning with intense pain he dies
amidst his weeping relatives.
26. In this last moment, O Tarksya, a divine vision arises,--all
the worlds appear as one,--and he does not attempt to say anything.
27. Then, at the destruction of the decayed senses and the numbing
of the intelligence, the messengers of Yama come near and life departs.
28. When the breath is leaving its place, the moment of dying
seems an age, and pain like the stinging of hundred scorpions
29. Now he emits foam; his mouth becomes filled with saliva.
The vital breaths of the sinful depart by the lower gateway.
30-31. Then, two terrifying messengers of Yama are come, of fierce
aspect, bearing nooses and rods, naked, with grinding teeth,
As black as crows, with hair erect, with ugly faces, with nails
like weapons; seeing whom his heart palpitates and he releases excrements.
32. The man of the size of a thumb, crying out 'oh, oh,' is dragged
from the body by the servants of Yama, looking the while at his
33. Having put round him a body of torment, and bound the noose
about his neck, they forcibly lead him a long way, like the king's
officers a convict.
34-35. While thus leading him the messengers menace him, and
recount over and over again the awful terrors of the hells, 'Hurry
up, you wicked man. You shall go to the abode of Yama. We will lead
you now, without delay, to Kumbhîpâka and the other
36. Then hearing these words, and the weeping of his relatives;
crying loudly 'Oh, oh,' he is beaten by the servants of Yama.
37-38. With failing heart and shuddering at their threats, bitten
by clogs upon the way, afflicted, remembering his misdeeds, hungry
and thirsty, roasting in the sun, forest-fires and hot winds, struck
upon the back with whips, painfully he walks, almost powerless,
along a road of burning sand, shelterless and waterless.
30-40. Here and there falling exhausted and insensible, and rising
again,--in this way, very miserably led through the darkness to
the abode of Yama, the man is brought there in a short time and
the messengers show him the terrible torments of hell.
41. Having seen the fearful Yama, the man, after a time, by command
of Yama, swiftly comes back through the air, with the messengers.
42. Having returned, bound by his past tendencies, desiring the
body but held back with a noose by the followers of Yama, tortured
by hunger and thirst, he weeps.
43. He obtains the rice-balls given by his offspring, and the
gifts made during the time of his illness. Nevertheless, O Tarksya,
the sinful Denier does not obtain gratification.
44. The Śrâddha, 1
the gifts, and the handsful of water, for the sinful, do not uplift.
Although they eat the rice-ball offering, still they are tortured
45. Those who are in the departed condition, deprived of the
rice-ball offering, wander about in great misery, in an uninhabited
forest, until the end of the age.
46. Karma not experienced does not die away even in thousands
of millions of ages; the being who has not experienced the torment
certainly does not obtain the human form.
47. Hence, O Twice-born, 1
for ten days the son should offer rice-balls. Every day these are
divided into four portions, O Best of Birds.
48. Two portions give nourishment to the five elements of the
body; the third goes to the messengers of Yama; he lives upon the
40. For nine days and nights the departed obtains rice-balls,
and on the tenth day the being, with fully formed body, acquires
50. The old body being cremated, a new one is formed by these
offerings, O Bird; the man, the size of a hand (cubit), by this
experiences good and evil on the way.
51-53. By the rice-ball of the first day the head is-formed;
the neck and shoulders by the second; by the third the heart forms:
By the fourth the back forms; and by the fifth the navel; by
the sixth the hips and secret parts; by the seventh the thigh forms;
Likewise next the knees and feet by two; on the tenth day hunger
54. Dwelling in the body formed by the rice-balls, very hungry
and pained with thirst, on both the eleventh and twelfth days the
55. On the thirteenth day the departed, bound by the servants
of Yama, walks alone along the road like a captured monkey.
56. The extent of the way of Yama measures eighty-six thousand
Yojanas, 1 without
Vaitaranicirc;, O Bird.
57. Two hundred and forty-seven Yojanas each day the departed
travels, going by day and night.
58-59. Having passed successively. through these sixteen cities
on the way, the sinful man goes to the place of the King of Righteousness 2:--
Saumya, 3 Sauripura, 4
Krauncha, 8 Krûrapura, 9
Raudra, 15 Payovarshana, 16
the city of Yama, the abode of righteousness
60. Held by the nooses of Yama, the sinful, crying out "Oh, oh,"
having left his own house, goes on the way to the city of Yama.
1:1 I.e., The superphysical
beings, who do not sleep.
2:1 Yama is the Lord of
The three worlds in which men circle through births and deaths.
2:3 A name of Garuda,
Vinatâ was the mother of Garuda.
3:1 The ambiguity of the
pronouns in this work is unavoidable, They may be interpreted only
with the aid of common-sense.
6:1 Ceremony for the dead.
7:1 Members of the three
higher castes take a "second birth" when invested with the sacred
thread; all birds are twice-born, in and from the egg.
8:1 A Yojana is between
8 and 9 miles.
8:2 Another form of
8:3 Calm place.
8:4 Town of Saturn.
8:5 Residence of the
Lord of Serpents.
8:6 Place of Singers.
8:7 Inaccessible mountain.
8:8 Name of a mountain.
8:9 Town of cruelty.
8:10 A wonderful place.
8:11 Many calamities.
8:13 Town of varied
8:14 Very hot place.
8:17 Very cold.
8:18 Many horrors.
An Account of The Way of Yama.
1. Garuda said: What is the path of misery in the world of Yama
like? Tell me, O Keśava, in what, way the sinful go there.
2. The Blessed Lord said: I will tell you about the Way of Yama,
bestowing great misery. Although you are my devotee, when you have
heard it you will become agitated.
3. There is no shade of trees there, in which a man may take
rest, and on this road there is none of the foods by which he may
4. No water is to be seen anywhere that he, extremely thirsty,
may drink. Twelve suns blaze, O Bird, as though at the end of a
5. There the sinful soul goes along pierced by cold winds, in
one place torn by thorns, in another stung by very venomous serpents.
6. The sinful in one place is bitten by ferocious lions, tigers,
and dogs; in another stung by scorpions; in another burnt by fire.
7-8. In one place there is a very terrible forest of sword-like
leaves, which is recorded as two thousand yojanas in length and
Infested with crows, owls, hawks, vultures, bees, mosquitoes,
and having forest-fires,--by whose leaves he is pierced and torn.
9. In one place he falls into a hidden well; in another from
a lofty mountain; in another he treads on razor-edges and on spear-points.
10. In one place he stumbles in the awful black darkness and
falls into water; in another in mud abounding in leeches; in another
in hot slime.
11. In one place is a plain of hot sand, made of smelted. copper;
in another a mound of embers; in another a great cloud of smoke.
12-13. In some places are showers of charcoal, showers of stones
and thunderbolts, showers of blood, showers of weapons, showers
of boiling water,
And showers of caustic mud. In one place are deep chasms; in
others bills to climb and valleys to descend.
14. In one place there is pitch darkness; in another rocks difficult
to climb over; in others lakes filled with pus and blood, and with
15-17. In the midst of the way flows the terribly horrible Vaitaranicirc;
River, which when seen inspires misery, of which even an account
Extending a hundred yojanas, a flow of pus and blood, impassible,
with heaps of bones on the banks, with mud of flesh and blood,
Unfordable, impassible for the sinful, obstructed with hairy
moss, filled with huge crocodiles. and crowded with hundreds of
18-20. When it sees the sinful approaching, this river, overspread
with flames and smoke, seethes, O Târkshya, like butter in
Covered all over with dreadful throngs of insects with piercing
stings, infested with huge vultures and crows with adamantine beaks,
Filled with porpoises, with crocodiles, with leeches, fishes
and turtles, and with other flesh-eating water-animals.
21. Very sinful people, fallen into the flood, cry, O Brother,
O Son, O Father!'--again and again wailing.
22-23. Hungry and thirsty the sinful drink the blood, it is said.
That river, flowing with blood, carrying much foam,
Very dreadful, with powerful roaring, difficult to see into,
fear-inspiring,--at the very sight of it the sinful swoon away.
24. Covered with many scorpions, and with black snakes,--of those
who have fallen into the midst of this, there is no rescuer whatever.
25. By hundreds of thousands of whirlpools the sinful descend
to the lower region. They stay for a moment in the lower region,
after the moment rising again.
26. O Bird, this river was created only that the sinful should
fall into it. It is difficult to cross and gives great misery, and
its opposite cannot be seen.
27. Thus along the Way of Yama, of many kinds of pain, giving
extreme misery, go the sinful, crying and weeping and laden with
28. Bound by the noose, some of them being dragged by hooks,
and pierced from behind with points of weapons, the sinful are led
29. Others are drawn along by a noose through the end of the
nose, and also by nooses through the ears; others, by the nooses
of death being dragged along, are pecked by crows.
30-32. Some go on the way neck, arms, feet and back bound with
chains, bearing many loads of iron,
And being beaten with hammers by the awful messengers of Yama;
vomiting blood from the mouth, which then they eat again,
Bewailing their own karmas these beings, becoming exhausted,
full of very great misery, go on towards the mansion of Yama.
33-34. And the stupid, thus going on the way, calling on son
and grandson, incessantly crying out, 'Oh, oh,' repents:--
'By great meritorious effort birth as a human being is gained.
Haying obtained that, I did not do my duty,--also, whatever have
35. 'I made no gifts; no offerings to the fire; performed no
penances; did not worship the deities; did not perform service at
a place of pilgrimage as prescribed;--O Dweller in the Body, make
reparation for whatever you have done!
36. 'I did not duly honour the assemblies of Brahmins; did not
visit the holy river 1;
did not wait upon good men; never performed any benevolent acts;--O
Dweller in the Body, make reparation for whatever you have done!
37. ' Alas, I did not excavate tanks in waterless places, either
for the benefit of men or for the sake of animals and binds; did
not even a little for the support of cows and brahmins;--O Dweller
in the Body, make reparation for whatever you leave done!
38. 'I made no daily gifts and did not give food daily to the
cow; did not value the precepts of the Vedas and the Śâstras;
did not listen to the Puranas, nor worship the wise;--O Dweller
in the Body, make reparation for whatever you have done!'
39. 'I did not follow the good advice of my husband; never preserved
fidelity to my husband; did not pay due respect to my worthy elders;--O
Dweller in the Body, make reparation for whatever you have done!
40. 'Not knowing my duty I did not serve my husband, nor after
his death enter the fire. Having become widowed I performed no austerities;--O
Dweller in the Body, make reparation for whatever you have done!
41. 'I did not emaciate myself by monthly fasts by the course
of the moon, nor by detailed observances. Owing to my bad deeds
in former lives I got a woman's body, which is a source of great
42. Thus having lamented many times, remembering the past incarnation,
crying 'Whence did I attain this human state?' he goes on.
43. For seventeen days he goes on alone with the speed of the
wind. On the eighteenth day, O Tarksya, the departed reaches the
City of Saumya.
44. Large numbers of the departed are in that excellent and beautiful
city. The River Pushhpabhadrâ is there, and a fig-tree delightful
41. In that city he takes rest, along with the servants of Yama.
There he remembers the enjoyment of wife, son and others, and is
46-47. When he bewails his wealth, his family and dependents
all, then the departed belonging there and the servants say this:
Where is your wealth now? Where are your children and wife now?
Where are your friends and relatives now? You only suffer the result
of your own karma, you fool. Go on for a long time!
48. 'You know that provisions are the strength of a traveller.
You do not strive for provisions, O Traveller in the Higher World!
Yet you must inevitably go on that way, where there is neither buying
49. 'Have you not heard, O Mortal, of this way, which is familiar
even to children? Have you not heard of it from the twice-born,
as spoken of in the Puranas?'
50. Thus spoken to by the messengers and being beaten with the
hammers, he is forcibly dragged by the nooses, falling down and
getting up again and running.
51. Here he eats the monthly rice-balls given by his sons and
grandsons through either love or compassion, and thence goes on
52. There is there a king named Jangama, who has the appearance
of Death. Having seen him he is overcome with fear and decides to
give up efforts.
53. In that city he eats a mixture of water and food, given at
the end of three fortnights, and then passes on from that city.
54. Thence the departed speedily goes to Nagendrabhavana; and
having seen the fearful forests there he cries in misery.
55-56. Being dragged unmercifully he weeps again and again. At
the end of two months the afflicted leaves that city,
Having enjoyed there the rice-balls, water and cloths given by
his relatives; being again dragged with the nooses he is led onwards
by the servants.
57-58. Upon the coming of the third month, having arrived at
the city of the Gandharvas, and there having eaten the rice-balls
offered in the third month he moves on.
And in the fourth month reaches Śailâgama city, There
stones rain down copiously upon the departed.
59. Having eaten the rice-balls of the fourth month he becomes
somewhat happy. In the fifth month the departed goes thence to the
city of Krauncha.
60. Remaining in the city of Krauncha, the departed eats the
rice balls given by hand in the fifth month, and then, having eaten
it, goes to Krûrapura.
61. At the end of five and a half months the ceremony before
the six-monthly is performed. He remains, satisfied with the rice-balls
and jars then given.
62-63. Having stayed, trembling and very miserable, for a time
and having left that city, threatened by the servants of Yama,
He goes to Chitrabhavana, over which kingdom rules a king named
Vichitra, who is the younger brother of Yama.
64-65. When he sees his huge form he runs away in fear. Then
having come before him some fishermen say:
'We have arrived, bringing a boat for you--who desire to cross
the great Vaitaranicirc; River--if your merits are sufficient.'
66-67. 'It is said by the sages, who see the truth, that Vitarana
is a gift, and this is called Vaitaranicirc; because it is crossed
over by that.
'If you have made the gift of a cow, then the boat will come
to you, otherwise not.' Having heard their words, 'Oh heavens,'
68. Seeing him it seethes, seeing which he cries loudly. The
sinful soul who has made no gifts verily sinks in that.
69. Having fixed a skewer through his lips, the messengers, floating
in the air, carry him across like a fish upon a hook.
70. Having then eaten the rice-balls of the sixth month, he passes
on. He goes on the way lamenting, very greatly afflicted with the
desire to eat.
71. At the approach of the seventh month he goes to the city
of Bahwâpada. There he enjoys what is given by his sons in
the seventh month.
72. Having passed beyond that city, he arrives at the city of
Duhkhada. Travelling in the air he suffers great misery, O Ruler
73. Having eaten the rice-balls which are given in the eighth
month he moves on. At the end of the ninth month he goes to the
city of Nânâkranda.
74. Having seen many people crying in agony in various ways,
and being himself faint of heart, he cries in great misery.
75. Having left that city, the departed, threatened by the servants
of Yama, goes, with difficulty, in the tenth month, to Sutaptabhavana.
76. Though he there obtains the rice-ball gifts and water, he
is not happy At the completion of the eleventh month he goes to
the city of Raudra.
77. There he enjoys what is offered in the eleventh month by
his sons and others, and half after the eleventh month he reaches
78. There clouds team, giving misery to the departed, and them,
he, in misery, obtains the Śrâddha before the annual
70. At the end of the year he goes to the city of Śîtâ&dhya,
where cold a hundred times greater than that of the Himâlaya
80. Hungry and pierced with cold, he looks about in the ten directions.
'Does there remain any relative who will remove my misery?'
81. There the servants ask: 'What sort of merit have you?' Having
eaten the annual rice-balls he plucks up courage again.
82. At the end of the year, coming nearer to the abode of Yama,
having reached the city of Bahubhîti, he casts off the body
the measure of a hand.
83. The spirit the size of a thumb, to work out its karma, getting
a body of torment, sets out through the air with the servants of
84. Those who do not offer gifts for the dweller in the upper
body, O Kâśyapa, thus go, painfully bound in tight bonds.
85. Into the city of the King of Justice there are four gateways,
O Bird, of which the way of the southern gate has been declared
86. How they go on this most dreadful path, afflicted with hunger,
thirst and exhaustion, has been told. What else do you wish to hear?
14:1 The Ganges.
An Account of the Torments of Yama.
1. Garuda said: What are the torments like that the sinful suffers,
having passed along the way of Yama into the abode of Yama? Tell
me this, O Keśava.
2. The Blessed Lord said: Listen, O Descendant of Vinatâ.
I will tell it to you from the beginning to the end. Even at the
description of hell you will tremble.
3. Four and forty yojanas, O Kâśyapa, beyond the city
of Bahubhîti, lies the great city of the King of Justice.
4-5. The sinful man cries when he hears the mingled wails of
'Oh, Oh,' and having heard his cry, those who walk about in the
city of Yama.
All go to the door-keeper and report it to him. The doorkeeper
Dharmadhwaja, always stands there.
6. He, having gone to Chitragupta, 1
reports the good and evil deeds. Then Chitragupta tells it to the
King of Justice.
7. The men who are Deniers, O Târkshya, and always delight
in great sin; these are all, as is proper, well-known to the King
8. Nevertheless, he asks Chitragupta
about their sins. Chitragupta, although he is all-knowing, enquires
of the Śravanas 1.
9. The Śravanas are the sons of Brâhma who wander
in heaven, on earth, and in the nether regions, hear and understand
at a distance, and see a long way off.
10. Their wives have a similar nature, and are called, distinctively,
Sravanîs. They know accurately all that is done by women.
11. These report to Chitragupta everything that is said and done,
openly and secretly, by men.
12. These followers of the King of Justice know accurately all
the virtues and vices of mankind, and the karma born of mind, speech
13. Such is the power of these, who have authority over mortals
and immortals. Thus do these truth-speaking Śravanas relate
the actions of man.
14. To the man who pleases them by austerity, charity and truthful
speech, they become benevolent, granting heaven and liberation.
15. Knowing the wicked actions of the sinful, those truth-speakers,
relating them before the King of Justice, become dispensers of misery.
16. The sun and moon, fire, wind, sky, earth and water, the heart.
Yama, day and night, the two twilights, and Justice--know the actions
17 The King of Justice, Chitragupta, Śravanas, the sun
and others see fully the sins and merits
of the embodied being.
18. Then Yama, having assured himself concerning the sins of
the sinful, summons them and shows them his own very terrible form.
19-21. Very sinful people behold the terrifying form of Yama--huge
of body, rod in hand, seated on a buffalo, roaring like a cloud
at the time of pralaya, like a mountain of lampblack, terrible with
weapons gleaming like lightning, possessing thirty-two arms, extending
three yojanas, with eyes like wells, with mouth gaping with formidable
fangs, with red eyes and a long nose.
22. Even Chitragupta is fearful, attended by Death, Fever and
others. Near to him are all the messengers, resembling Yama, roaring.
23. Having seen him, the wretch, overcome with fear, cries 'Oh,
Oh.' The sinful soul who made no gifts trembles and cries again.
24. Then, by command of Yama, Chitragupta speaks to all those
sinners, who are crying, and bewailing their karmas.
25. 'O, you sinners, evil-doers, polluted with egoism, injudicious,
why ever did you commit sin?
26. 'O, you foolish people, why ever did you commit that misery-giving
sin which is born of lust, anger and association with the sinful.
27 'Hitherto you have committed sins with great delight, and
thereby are now destined for torment. It is no use turning your
28. 'The sinful actions done by you are very many, and those
sins are the cause of unavoidable misery.
29. 'It is known that Yama deals equally with the fool and the
learned, the beggar and the wealthy,
the strong and the weak.'
30. Hearing these words of Chitragupta, the sinful then grieve
over their karmas, and remain silent and motionless.
31. The King of Justice, seeing them standing motionless like
thieves, has fitting punishment ordered for the sinful.
32. Then the cruel messengers, having beaten them, say, 'Go along,
you sinner, to the very dreadful terrifying hells.'
33. The messengers, Prachanda, Chandaka 1
and others, executors of the sentences of Yama, having bound them
with one noose, lead them towards the hells.
34. There is one big tree there, glowing like a blazing fire.
It covers five yojanas and is one yojana in height.
35. Having bound them on the tree by chains, head downwards,
they beat them. They, for whom there is no rescuer, cry, burning
36. Many sinful ones are hung on that silk-cotton tree, exhausted
by hunger and thirst, and beaten by the messengers of Yama.
37. 'Oh, forgive my faults'--with suppliant hands, those most.
sinful people, helpless, implore the messengers.
31. Again and again they are forcibly struck, by the messengers,
with metal rods, with hammers, with iron clubs, with spears, with
maces and with big pestles.
39-40. Thus beaten they become still, swooning away. Then, seeing
them quiet, the servants address them thus:
'O, you sinners, you evildoers, why ever
did you commit such wicked deeds? You did not even make the easy
water and food offerings at all.
41. 'You did not give even halt a mouthful of food to the dog
or the crows, nor honour your guests, nor make the water-offering
to the forefathers.
42. You did not meditate well upon Yama and Chitragupta, nor
repeat their mantra, along with which torment cannot exist.
43. You never visited any places of pilgrimage, nor worshipped
the deities. Though living as a householder you did not even express
44. 'You did not do any acts of service. Suffer the fruits of
your own sin! Because you are devoid of righteousness you deserve
to be beaten.
45. 'Forgiveness of faults is done by the Lord Hari 1 Îśwara.
We only punish miscreants, as we are ordered.'
46. Thus having spoken the messengers heat them mercilessly;
and on account of the beating they fall down like glowing charcoal.
47. In falling their limbs are cut by the sharp leaves, and they
cry, fallen down and bitten by dogs.
48. Then the mouths of those who are crying are filled with dust
by the messengers; and, being bound with various nooses some are
beaten with hammers.
49. Some of the sinful are cut with saws, like firewood, and
others thrown flat on the ground, are chopped into pieces with axes.
50. Some, their bodies half-buried in a pit, are pierced in the
head with arrows. Others, fixed in the middle of a machine, are
squeezed like sugar-cane.
51. Some are surrounded closely with blazing charcoal, enwrapped
with torches, and smelted like a lump of ore.
52. Some are plunged into heated butter, and others into heated
oil, and like a cake thrown into the frying-pan they are turned
53. Some are thrown in the way, in front of huge maddened elephants,
and some with hands and feet bound are placed head downwards.
54. Some are thrown into wells; some are hurled from heights;
others plunged into pits full of worms, are eaten away by them.
55. By the hard beaks of huge flesh-eating crows and vultures
they are pecked in the head, eyes and faces.
56. Others clamour: 'Give up, give up my wealth, which you owe
me. In the world of Yama I see my wealth being enjoyed by you.'
57. Thus disputing, the sinful, in the hell-region, are given
pieces of flesh torn off with pincers by the messengers.
58. Thus quarrelling, they are taken hold of by the messengers,
by order of Yama, and thrown into the dreadful hells, Tâmisra
59. Hells full of great misery are there,--near to the tree,--in
which there is great misery indescribable in words.
60. There are eighty-four lakhs of hells, O Bird, the midst of
which are twenty-one most dreadful of the dreadful.
61-64. Tâmisra, 1
Raurava, 4 Kudmala, 5
Lohitoda, 9 Savisa, 10
Kâka, 13 Ûlu, 14
Avîchi, 17 Andhatâmisra, 18
and Tapana, 21--in
all twenty-one, all formed of various afflictions and diseases of
different classes, the various fruits of sin, and inhabited by multitudes
65. The sinful fools, devoid of righteousness, Who have fallen
into these, experience there, until the end of the age, the various
torments of hell.
66. Men and women suffer the torments of Tâmisra, Andhatâmisra,
Raurava and other hells, which are produced by secret association.
67. Thus he who was holding a family or gratifying his belly,
having given up both, and being departed, obtains appropriate fruit.
68. Having cast off his body, which was nourished at the expense
of other creatures, he goes alone to hell, provisioned with the
opposite of happiness.
69. The man experiences in a foul hell what is ordained by his
fate, like an invalid who has been robbed of his wealth, the support
of his family.
70: The individual, who was fond of supporting his family by
unrighteous means alone, goes to Andhatâmisra, which is the
place of uttermost darkness.
71. Having experienced in due order the torments below, he comes
here again, purified.
21:1 Name of the being
who records the doings of men.
22:1 Lit. Listeners.
24:1 Both names mean
fierce or violent.
26:1 Lit. He who takes
28:2 Iron spears.
28:3 Very terrible silk-cotton
28:6 The thread of death.
28:7 Stinking clay.
28:9 Iron weights.
28:12 The great exit.
28:15 Living together.
28:16 The great path.
28:18 Besetting darkness,
28:19 Based like a pot.
An Account of the Kinds of Sins which lead to Hell.
1. Garuda said: For what sins do they go on that great Way? Why
do they fall into the Vaitaranicirc;? Why do they go to hell? Tell
me this, O Keśava.
2. The Blessed Lord said: 'Those who always delight in wrong
deeds, who turn away from good deeds, go from hell to hell, from
misery to misery, from fear to fear.
3. The righteous go into the city of the King of Justice by three
gateways, but the sinful go into it only by the road of the southern
4. The Vaitaranicirc; River is only on this very miserable way.
I will tell you who the sinners are who go by it.
5-12. Slayers of Brâhmins, drinkers of intoxicants, slayers
of owe, infanticides, murderers of women, destroyers of the embryo,
and those who commit secret sins,
Those who steal the wealth of the teacher, the property of the
temple or of the twice-born; those who take away the possessions
of women, and those who steal the possessions of children;
Those who do not repay their debts; those who misappropriate
deposits; those who betray confidence; and those who kill with poisonous
Those who seize upon the fault and depreciate the merit, who
are jealous of those who have merit, who are attached to the wicked,
who are foolish, who turn away from the company of the good;
Those who despise places of pilgrimage, good men, good actions,
teachers and Shining Ones; those who disparage the Puranas, the
Vedas, the Mîmâṁsâ, the Nyâya and
Those who are elated at seeing the miserable, who try to make
the happy wretched, who speak evil words, and are always evil-minded;
Those who do not listen to good counsel nor even to the word
of the Śâstras, who are self-satisfied, who are unbending,
who are foolish, who thinks themselves learned;--
These, and many others, very sinful, devoid of righteousness,
certainly go on the Way of Yama, weeping day and night.
13. Beaten by the messengers of Yama, they go towards the Vaitaranicirc;.
I will tell you what sinners fall into it.
14. Those who dishonour their mothers, fathers, teachers and
preceptors and the reverend,--these men sink in it.
15. Those who wickedly abandon their wives, faithful, of good
qualities, of noble birth, and modest, fall into the Vaitaranicirc;.
16. Those who ascribe evil to the good, possessed of thousands
of merits, and treat them disrespectfully, fall into the Vaitaranicirc;.
17. Who does not fulfil promises made to Brahmins, and who, having
called them, says, 'There is nothing for you,'--of these two the
stay is continued.
18-24. Who takes away what he gave; who repents of his gifts:
who takes away another's livelihood; who hinders others making gifts;
Who obstructs sacrifices; who prevents the telling of stories;
who removes field-boundaries; who ploughs up pastures;
The Brahmin who sells liquors, and consorts with a lowcaste woman;
who kills animals for his own gratification, not for the prescribed
sacrifices of the Vedas;
Who has put aside his Brâhmanic duties; who eats flesh
and drinks liquor; who is of unbridled nature; who does not study
The Śûdra who studies the letter of the Vedas, who
drinks the milk of the tawny cow, who wears the sacred thread or
consorts with Brahmin women;
Who covets the King's wife; who abducts others' wives, who is
lustful towards virgins, and who slanders virtuous women;--
These, and many other fools, fond of treading forbidden paths,
anal abandoning prescribed ditties, fall into the Vaitaranicirc;.
23. Having come all along the path the sinful reach the abode
of Yama, and having come, by command of Yama, the messengers hurl
them into that river again.
26. O King of Birds, they then hurl those sinners into the Vaitaranicirc;,
which is the foremost among hells.
27. Who did not make gifts of black cows, nor perform the ceremonies
for those who are in the upper body; having suffered great misery
in it, go to the tree standing on its bank.
28-30. Who give false witness; who perform false duties; who
earn by cheating, and who gain a livelihood by thieving;
Who cut down and destroy big trees, gardens and forests; who
neglect vows and pilgrimages, who destroy the chastity of widows;
The woman who despises her husband and thinks about another,--such
and others at the silk-cotton tree experience much beating.
31. Those who fall down, through being beaten, the messengers
cast into hells. I will tell you about the sinful who fall into
32. Deniers, those who break the laws of morality, the avaricious,
those attached to sense-objects, hypocrites, the ungrateful,--these
certainly go to hell.
33. Those who destroy wells, tanks, ponds, shrines, or people's
houses,--these certainly go to hell.
34. Those who eat, having neglected their wives, children, servants
and teachers, and having neglected the offerings to the forefathers
and the Shining Ones,--these certainly go to hell.
35. Those who obstruct roads with posts, with mounds, with timber,
with stones or with thorns,--these certainly go to hell.
36. Those who, self-indulgent, do not worship Śiva, Śivâ,
Hari, Sûrya, Ganeśa, the wise, and the good teachers,--these
certainly go to hell.
37-38. The Brâhmani who places a harlot on his bed, goes
to a low condition; begetting offspring of a Śudra woman, he
is certainly degraded from the Brahmin rank:
That wretched twice-born is not worthy of salutation at any time;
those fools who worship him certainly go to hell.
39. Those who are fond of quarrels, do not give up causing dissension
among Brâhmans and cow-fights but delight in them,--they certainly
go to hell.
40. Those who, through malignity, commit transgression at the
time of conception, with women who have no other refuge,---these
certainly go to hell.
41. Those men who, blinded by passion, consort with women in
the monthly courses, on the four days of lunar change, in the day
time, in water, on Śrâddha occasions, these certainly
go to hell.
42. Those who throw their bodily refuse into fire, into water,
in a garden, in a road, or in a cowpen,--these certainly go to hell.
43. Those who are makers of swords, and of bows and arrows, and
those who are sellers of them,--these certainly go to hell.
44. Vaiśyas who are dealers in skins; women who sell their
hair; these who sell poisons;--all these certainly go to hell.
45. Those who do not compassionate the helpless, who hate the
good, who punish the guiltless;--these certainly go to hell.
46. Those who do not feed the Brâhman guests, who have
come full of hope to the house, even though food is cooked;--these
certainly go to hell.
47. Those who are suspicious of all creatures, and who are cruel
to them, those who deceive all creatures;--these certainly go to
48. Those who assume observances, and afterwards, with senses
uncontrolled, cast them away again,--these certainly go to hell.
49. Those who do not respect the teacher who imparts the knowledge
of the Supreme Self, and the tellers of the Puranas,--these certainly
go to hell.
50. Those who betray their friends; those who cut short friendship;
and those who destroy hopes;--these certainly go to hell.
51. He who interferes with marriage, processions of the Shining
Ones, 1 or bands of
pilgrims, dwells in a dreadful hell from which there is no return.
52. The very sinful man who sets fire to a house, a village or
a wood, is captured by the messengers of Yama and baked in pits
53. When his limbs are burnt with fire, he begs for a shady place,
and then is led by the messengers into the forest of sword-like
54. When his limbs are cut by its leaves, sharp as swords, then
they say, 'Ah, ha! Sleep comfortably in this cool shade!'
55. When, afflicted with thirst, he begs for water to drink,
then the messengers give him boiling oil to drink.
56. Then they say: 'Drink this liquid and eat this food.' As
soon as he drinks it he falls down, burning inside.
57. Getting up again somehow, he wails piteously. Powerless and
breathless he is unable even to speak.
58. Thus, it is declared, O Târksya, that there are many
torments for the sinful. Why should I explain them fully, when they
are spoken of in all the Śâstras?
59. Being tortured thus, men and women by thousands are baked
in dreadful hells until the coming of the deluge.
60-62. Having eaten there their undecaying fruits they are born
again. By order of Yama they return to the earth and become unmoving
and other creatures:
Trees, bushes, plants, creepers, rocks and grasses, these are
spoken of as unmoving; enveloped in great delusion,--
Insects, birds, animals and fish;--it is said that there are
eighty-four hundred thousands of fates of birth-fates.
63. All these evolve thence into the human condition; having
come back from hell they are born in the human kingdom amongst low
outcastes, and even there, by the stains of sin, become very miserable.
64. Thus they become men and women oozing with leprosy, born
blind, infested with grievous maladies, and bearing the marks of
36:1 The images are
carried round the streets on occasions.
An Account of the Signs of Sins.
1. Garuda said: Tell me, O Keśava, by what sins particular
signs are produced, and to what sorts of birth such sins lead?
2. The Blessed Lord said: The sins on account of which the sinful
returning from hell come to particular births, and the signs produced
by particular sins,--these hear from me.
3. The murderer of a Brâhman becomes consumptive, the killer
of a cow becomes hump-backed and imbecile, the murderer of a virgin
becomes leprous,--all three born as outcastes.
4. The slayer of a woman and the destroyer of embryos becomes
a savage full of diseases; who commits illicit intercourse, a eunuch;
who goes with his teacher's wife, diseased-skinned.
5. The eater of flesh becomes very red; the drinker of intoxicants,
one with discoloured teeth; the Brâhman who, on account of
greed, eats what should not be eaten, becomes big-bellied.
6. He who eats sweet foods, without giving to others, becomes
swollen-necked; who gives impure food at a Śrâddha ceremony
is born a spotted leper.
7. The man who, through pride, insults his teacher, becomes an
epileptic; who despises the Vedas and the Śâstras
certainly becomes jaundiced.
8. Who bears false witness becomes dumb; who breaks the meal-row 1
becomes one-eyed; who interferes with marriage becomes lipless;
who steals a book-is born blind.
9. Who strikes a cow or a Brâhman with his foot is born
lame and deformed; who speaks lies becomes a stammerer, and who
listens to them becomes deaf.
10. A poisoner becomes insane; an incendiary becomes bald; who
sells flesh becomes unlucky; who eats fled of other beings becomes
11. Who steals jewels is born in a low caste; who steals gold
gets diseased nails; who steals any metal becomes poverty-stricken.
12. Who steals food becomes a rat; who steals grain becomes a
locust; who steals water becomes a Châtaka-bird 2;
and who steals poison, a scorpion.
13. Who steals vegetables and leaves becomes a peacock; perfumes,
a musk-rat; honey, a gad-fly; flesh, a vulture; and salt, an ant.
14. Who steals betel, fruits and flowers becomes a forest-monkey;
who steal shoes, grass and cotton are born from sheeps' wombs.
15. Who lives by violence, who robs caravans on the road, and
who is fond of hunting, certainly becomes a goat in a butcher's
16. Who dies by drinking poison becomes a black serpent on a
mountain; whose feature is unrestrained becomes an elephant in a
17. Those twice-born who do not make offering to the World-deities,
and who eat all foods without consideration, become tigers in a
18. The Brâhmin who does not recite the Gâyatrî 1,
who does not meditate at twilight, who is inwardly wicked while
outwardly pious, becomes a crane.
19. The Brâhmin who officiates for one unfit to perform
sacrifice becomes a village hog, and by too many sacrifices he becomes
an ass; by eating without grace, a crow.
20. The twice-born who does not impart learning to the deserving
becomes a bull; the pupil who does not serve his teacher becomes
an animal,--an ass or a cow.
21. Who threatens and spits at his teacher, or browbeats a Brâhman,
is born as a Brahmin-fiend in a waterless wilderness.
22. Who does not give to a twice-born according to his promise
becomes a jackal; who is not hospitable to the goody becomes a howling
23. Who deceives a friend becomes a mountain-vulture; who cheats
in selling, an owl; who speaks ill of caste and order is born a
pigeon in a wood.
24. Who destroys hopes and who destroys affection, who through
dislike abandons his wife, becomes a ruddy goose for a long time.
25. Who hates mother, father and teacher, who quarrels with sister
and brother, is destroyed when an embryo in the womb, even for a
26. The woman who abuses her mother-in-law and father-in-law,
and causes constant quarrels; becomes a leech; and she who scolds
her husband becomes a louse.
27. Who, abandoning her own husband, runs after another man,
becomes a flying-fox, a house-lizard, or a kind of female serpent.
28. He who cuts off his lineage, by embracing a woman of his
own family, having become a hyena and a porcupine, is born from
the womb of a bear.
29. The lustful man who goes with a female ascetic becomes a
desert fiend; who consorts with an immature girl becomes a huge
snake in a wood.
30. Who covets his teacher's wife, becomes a chameleon; who goes
with the king's wife becomes corrupt; and with his friend's wife,
31. Who commits unnatural vice becomes a village pig; who consorts
with a Śûdra woman becomes bull; who is passionate becomes
a lustful horse.
32-33. Who feeds upon the eleventh-day offerings to the dead
is born a dog. The devalaka is born from the womb of a hen.
The wretch among twice-born who worships the deities for the
sake of wealth is called a devalaka and is unfit to offer oblations
to ale deities and forefathers.
34. Those who are very sinful, having passed through dreadful
hells produced by their great sins, are born here upon the exhaustion
of their karma.
35. The murderer of a Brâhman goes into the womb of an
ass, a camel and a she-buffalo; a drinker of intoxicants enters
the wombs of a wolf, a dog and a jackal.
36. The stealer of gold attains the condition of a worm, an insect
and a bird. Who goes with his teacher's wife, goes to the condition
of grass, bushes and plants.
37. Who steals another's wife, who misappropriates deposits,
who robs a Brahmin, is born as a Brâhmin-fiend.
38-40. The Brâhmin's possessions acquired by deception,
enjoyed even in friendship, afflict the family even for seven generations,--and
by forcible robbery even as long as the moon and stars exist:
A man may digest even iron filings, powdered stone, and poison;
but where is the person in the three worlds who can digest a Brâhmin's
Chariots and troops supported by the wealth of a Brâhmin
crumble away in battle like artificial river-banks of sand.
41-43. By appropriating temple property, by taking a Brâhmin's
possessions, and by neglecting Brahmins, families become broken
He is called a neglector who, instead of making a gift to one
who is well-read in the Vedas and Śâstras and has resorted
to him, gives it to some other,
But it is no neglect if the Brâhmin is without Veda-knowledge;
it would be like offering to ashes instead of to the blazing fire
44. Having neglected, O Târksya, and having experienced
the results in the successive hells, he is born blind and in poverty,
becoming not a giver but a beggar.
45. Who takes away a plot of land, which was given by himself
for another, is born for sixty thousand years as a worm in excrement.
46. The sinner who takes back by force what has been given by
himself, goes into hell until the coming of the deluge.
47. Having given the means of subsistence and a piece of land,
he should then protect it firmly. Who does not protect, but robs,
is born as a lame dog.
48. Who gives the means of support to Brahmins obtains fruit
equal to that of a lakh of cows; who robs Brahmins of their means
of sup port becomes an ape, a dog and a monkey.
49. These and other signs and births, O Lord of Birds, are seen
to be the karma of the embodied, made by themselves in this world.
50. Thus the makers of bad karma, having experienced the tortures
mf hell, are born with the residues of their sins, in these stated
51. Then, obtaining for thousands of lives the bodies of animals,
they suffer from carrying burdens and other miseries.
52. Having experienced as a bird the misery of cold, rain and
heat, he afterwards reaches the human state, when the good and evil
53. Man and woman having come together, he becomes an embryo
in due course. Having suffered the miseries from conception onwards
to death, he again dies.
54. Birth and death are the lot of all embodied beings; thus
turns the wheel in the four kingdoms of beings.
55. As the wheel of time turns, so mortals revolve by my magic.
They revolve at one time of earth, at another in hell, held fast
by the noose of karma.
56. He who does not mike gifts becomes poverty--stricken and
through poverty he commits sin; by the force of sin he goes to hell,
and is again born in poverty and again becomes sinful.
57. Karma which has been made, whether good or evil, must inevitably
be suffered. Karma not suffered does not fade away even in tens
of millions of ages.
39:1 This refers to
the custom among Brahmins of sitting in a row at meals, and rising
together. Whoever gives different food to one than to another is
said to break the row also.
39:2 A bird fabled to
live only on rain-drops.
40:1 A sacred mantra
repeated every day by the twice-born caste.
40:2 A class of evil
The Miseries of Birth of the Sinful.
1. Garuda said:--Tell me, O Keśava, how he who returns from
hells is formed in the womb of the mother, and what miseries he
suffers in the embryonic condition.
2.Vishnu said: I will tell you how the mortal is born when the
male and female elements are bound together by the union of man
3. In the middle of the menstruation period, in the three days
on which Indra incurs the sin of Brâmicide, the body of the
sinful begins to form.
4. The mother of one returning from hell is regarded on the first
day as an outcaste woman, on the second as the murderer of a Brahmin,
and on the third as a washerwoman.
5. The creature, in obtaining a body, according to karma, the
divine eye, enters the womb of a woman, which is the receptacle
of a man's seed.
6. In one night it becomes a lump; by the fifth night round;
by the tenth day like the fruit of the jujube tree, 1
and after that an egg of flesh.
7-8. By the first month the head, by the second the arms and
other parts of the body are formed; by the third occurs the formation
of nails, hair, bones, skin, linga and other cavities;
By the fourth the seven bodily fluids; by the fifth hunger and
thirst arise; by the sixth, enveloped by the chorion, it moves to
the left of the womb.
9. The bodily substances are formed of the foods and liquids
of the mother, and the creature at the time of birth lies in the
disgusting hollow of the loins, amid fœces and urine.
10. All its limbs bitten constantly by hungry worms, it swoons
away repeatedly through excessive pain, as they are very tender.
11. Thus enveloped by the womb and bound outside by the sinews,
it feels pain all over its body, caused by the mother's eating many
things--pungent, bitter, hot, salt, sour and acid.
12. With its head placed in its belly and its back and neck curved,
it is unable to move its limbs,--like a parrot in a cage.
13. There he remembers, by divine power, the Karma generated
in hundreds of previous births,--and remembering, sobs for a long
time, obtaining not the least happiness.
14. Having this insight he, with hands put together, bound in
seven bonds, imploring and trembling, adores in plaintive tones
Him who placed him in the womb.
15. From the beginning of the seventh month, though he gains
consciousness, he who is in the womb trembles and moves about because
of the parturition winds, like a uterine worm.
16-23. The creature says, "I seek refuge in Vishnu; the husband
of Sri, the supporter of the universe, the destroyer of evil, who
is compassionate to those who come for shelter.
"I am bewildered by Thy magic, as regards body and son and wife;
misled by my egoism I am transmigrating, O Lord.
"I did good and evil actions for the sake of my dependents, and
as s result I am tormented, while they who enjoy the fruits escape.
"If I am released from this womb I will lay myself at Thy feet,
and I will take the means by which I may obtain liberation.
"Fallen into a well of fœces and urine, I am burnt by the
fire of the belly, and anxious to escape from it. When shall I get
"In Him alone, who has given me this experience, and is compassionate
to the afflicted, will I seek refuge. Let not this transmigration
occur to me again.
"But no, I wish never to come out of the womb, where misery results
from my sinful actions.
"Because remaining even here in great misery, bearing the fatigue,
resorting to Thy feet I will keep myself aloof from the worlds of
24. The Blessed Lord said: He who has thus considered, and has
been ten months in the womb, endowed with insight, while praying,
suddenly is cast out head downwards into birth, by the winds of
25. Cast out forcibly, bending down his head, he comes out with
anxiety and painfully breathless and with memory destroyed.
26. Having fallen on the ground he moves like a worm in excrement.
He is become changed in condition, and cries loudly, deprived of
27. If the state of mind which arises in the womb, during illness,
on the cremation ground, or upon hearing the Puranas were permanent--who
would not be liberated from bondage!
28. When he comes out of the womb, after experiencing his karma,
then verily the man is bewildered by the magic ofVishnu.
29. Then, when he is touched by that magic, powerless, he is
unable to speak. He experiences the miseries of infancy and childhood
arising from dependence.
30. He is nourished by people who do not understand his wishes,
unable to ward off what is thrust upon him against his desire.
31. Lain upon a bed unclean and befouled by perspiration, he
is unable to scratch his limbs, to sit, rise or move.
32. Mosquitoes, gnats, bugs and other flies bite him, skinless
and weeping and deprived of understanding, just as insects bite
33. In this wise having experienced the miseries of infancy and
of childhood, he reaches youth and acquires evil tendencies.
34. Then he begins evil brooding, mingling in the company of
the wicked; he hates the scriptures and good men, and becomes lustful.
35. Seeing a seductive woman, his senses captivated by her blandishments,
infatuated he falls into great darkness, like a moth into a flame.
36. The deer, the elephant, the bird, the bee and the fish: these
five are led to destruction by one of the senses; how then shall
the infatuated one not be destroyed, when he enjoys the five kinds
of objects by five senses.
37. He longs for the unobtainable, and on account of ignorance
becomes angry and sorry, and his pride and anger increase with the
growth of his body.
38. The lover makes quarrels with rivals, to his own ruin and
is destroyed by those stronger than himself, as one elephant by
39. Who is more sinful than the fool who, attached to sense-objects,
spends in vain the human birth which was difficult to obtain.
40: After hundreds of lives one obtains human birth on earth;
and even more difficult to obtain is that as a twice-born: and who
then only provides for and pampers the senses, through foolishness
lets slip the nectar from his hand.
41. Then, having arrived at old age, he is troubled with great
diseases; and, death having come, he goes to a miserable hell, as
42. Thus held fast in the ever-circling noose of karma, the sinful,
bewildered by my magic, are never released.
43. Thus I have related to you, O Târksya, how the sinful,
deprived of the sacrifices for the dead, go in hell. What else do
you wish to hear?
46:1 That is, hard.
Babhruvâhana's Sacrament for the Departed One.
1. Sûta said: Having heard this, Garuda, trembling like
a leaf of the holy fig-tree, again questioned Keśava for the
benefit of men.
2. Garuda said: Tell me by what means men who have committed
sins unknowingly or knowingly escape from the torments of the servants
3-4. For those men who are immersed in the ocean of transmigration,
of weak intelligence, their reason clouded by sin, their self dimmed
by attachment to sense-objects--
For their uplifting tell me, O Lord, the exact meaning of the
Puranas; and the means by which people attain a happy condition,
5. The Blessed Lord said: O Tarksya, you have done well in asking
for the benefit of men, Listen attentively, and I will tell you
6. Hard indeed, as already said, is the fate of the sinful and
those without sons; but never so, O Lord of Birds, that of those
who have sons and who are righteous,
7. If by any past action of his the birth of a son has been prevented,
then some means should be taken for obtaining a son.
8. Having listened to the Harivanśa, or performed the Śatachandî,
or worshipped the Blessed Śiva with devotion, the intelligent
should beget a son.
9. The son saves his father from the hell called Put; therefore
he was named "putra" by the Self-existent himself.
10. Even a single son, if righteous, carries the whole family
over. 'By the son he conquers the worlds,' is the ancient saying.
11. The Vedas also proclaim the great importance of the son.
Accordingly, having seen the face of a son, one is released from
the debt to the forefathers.
12. By the touch of his grandson a mortal is released from the
three-fold debt. With the help of sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons
he goes from the worlds and obtains heaven.
13. The son of a Brâhma marriage uplifts, but the illegitimate
drags down. Knowing this, O Best of Birds, one should avoid a woman
of lower caste.
14. Sons having father and mother of the same caste are legitimate,
O Bird. They alone, by making Śrâddha-gifts are the means
of their fathers' attaining heaven.
15. Need I say one attains heaven by means of the Śrâddha
performed by a son, when a Departed One went to heaven even when
it was offered by another. Now listen.
16. Concerning this I will give you, from ancient history, an
example of the efficacy of gifts for the higher body.
17-19. Formerly, in the Treta age, Tarksya, there reigned over
the delightful city of Mahodaya a king named Babhruvâhana,
who was very powerful, and firm in righteousness,
A sacrificer, Lord of Gifts, prosperous, a lover of Brâhmans,
valuing the good, endowed with good character and of good conduct,
Righteously protecting his subjects as though they were his own
sons, always delighting in Kshattriya duties, and punishing the
20-21. Once, that powerful king, with his army, went hunting.
He entered a thick forest, full of various kinds of trees,
Crowded with various species of animals, and resounding with
the cries of various birds. In the midst of the forest the king
saw a deer in the distance.
22. The deer, severely wounded by his very hard arrow, ran out
of sight into the interior of the forest, carrying the arrow with
23. The king, following the blood-stains on the grass, pursued
the deer and came into another forest.
24. That leader of men, hungry and with parched throat, fainting
with the heat and with fatigue, coming to a lake bathed in it with
25-27. Then, having drunk of that cool water, rendered fragrant
by the-pollen of the lotus, Babhruvâhana came out of the water
And saw a delightful fig-tree, giving cool shade with its large
spreading boughs, sounding with many birds,
And standing like a big standard over the whole forest. The king
approached and sat at its root.
28. Now he beheld a Departed One, of terrible appearance, humpbacked
and fleshless, with hair erect, dirty, and with senses discomposed
by hunger and thirst.
29-31. Seeing him deformed and dreadful Babhruvâhana wondered.
The Departed One, also seeing the king who had come to that dreadful
And becoming filled with curiosity, came near to him. Then, O
Tarksya, this king of the Departed spoke thus to the king:
"I have escaped the condition of the Departed and reached the
highest condition, by being in touch with you, O Great-Armed one,--I
am highly blessed."
32-33. The king said: "O Black-complexioned and Gaping-mouthed,
by what bad deeds did you reach this state of the Departed, dreadful
to see, and highly unhappy?"
"Tell me in detail the cause of your condition, dear. Who are
you, and by what gifts will your condition as Departed pass away?"
34-38. The Departed one said: "I will tell you everything from
the beginning, O Best of Kings. You will surely have compassion
upon me when you have heard the cause of my condition as Departed,
"There is a town named Vaidaśa, possessed of all prosperity,
having many districts, and abounding in precious stones of various
"Beautiful with palaces and mansions, and in which many religious
acts are performed. There, O Reverend Sir, I dwelt, always engaged
in worship of the Shining Ones.
"By caste I am a Vaishya, by name Sudeva, please know. By fire-offering
I pleased the Shining Ones, and likewise the forefathers by food.
"I gladdened the twice-born by offering various gifts. I gave
food of various kinds to the poor, the blind and the wretched.
39-41. "All this, O King, through my evil fate has proved fruitless.
How my good deeds proved fruitless I will relate to you.
"I have no offspring, no companion, no relative and no friend
like you, who will perform for me the ceremonies for the-higher
"If the sixteen monthly Śrâddhas, O great king, are
not performed, the condition as Departed becomes firmly fixed, even
if hundreds of annual Śrâddhas are performed for him.
42-45. "Uplift me then, O Lord of Earth, by doing the ceremonies
for my higher body. It is said that in this world the king is the
kinsman of all castes.
"Therefore, O Lord of Kings, help me over, and I will give you
a most precious jewel, so that my departed condition may be destroyed,
and my higher state arise.
"In that manner please act, O warrior, if you desire my welfare.
Suffering from the misery of hunger and thirst, I cannot endure
this departed condition.
"In this forest there is sweet and cool water, and pleasant fruits,
but I am not able to grasp them at all, although afflicted with
hunger and thirst.
46-48. "If the great Narayana rite is performed for me, O King,
along with all the ceremonies for the higher body, with Vaidic mantras,
"Then surely my condition as departed will unfailingly pass away.
Vaidic mantras, austerities, gifts, and compassion to all beings,
"Listening to holy scriptures, worship of Vishnu, association
with the good,--these, I have heard, are the destroyers of the departed
49-50. "So I will tell you about the worship of Vishnu, the destroyer
of the departed condition. Bring two pieces of gold, honestly gained,
and make one image of Narayana from them, O King.
"Dress it with a pair of yellow cloths, put on it various ornaments,
bathe it in many waters,--and placing it, you should worship thus.
51-56. "Place Sridhara 1
to the east of it, Madhusûdana 2
to the south, to the west Vâmanadeva 3,
to the north Gadâdhara, 4
"In the middle Pitâmaha 5
and also Maheśwara. 5
Worship these in turn with sandal-paste and flowers, according to
"Then, having gone round them, make offerings in the fire to
these deities. Make offerings to the universal deities with clarified
butter, curds and milk.
"Next, having bathed, calm and controlled in mind, the sacrificer
should perform, according to the rite, in front of Narayana, the
ceremony for the upper body.
"He must commence, as prescribed in the scriptures, by giving
up anger and greed, and perform all the ceremonies and the release
of a bull.
"Then he must give thirteen sets of pots to Brahmins, and having
made the gift of a bed, consecrate a pot of water for the sake of
57. The king said, "How is the pot for the departed to be prepared,
and in accordance with what: rites must it be given? Tell me, on
account of my sympathy for all, about the pot which gives release
to the departed."
58-63. The departed said: "Oh Great King, you have done well
in asking this. Please take notice and l will describe that good
gift by which the departed condition cannot exist.
"The gift which is named 'the pot for the departed,' is a destroyer
of all evil. In all the worlds it is difficult to obtain this dissipator
of evil conditions.
"Having prepared a pot of refined gold, consecrated it to Brahmâ, Îśa 1
and Keśava 2,
and all the guardians of the quarters, filled it with clarified
butter and worshipped before it with devotion, give it to a twice-born.
What good are a hundred other gifts from you?
"Brahmâ in the middle, likewise Vishnu, and Śankara,
eternal giver of happiness; in the east and other directions, in
the neck of it, the guardians of the universe, in order--
"These having duly worshipped, O King, with incenses, flowers
and sandal-paste, one should give away the golden pot, full of milk
and clarified butter.
"This gift, O King, which is superior to all other gifts in removing
great sins, should be made with faith, for the release of the departed."
64-65. The Blessed Lord spoke on: His army, while he was thus
conversing with the departed, followed him up, with elephants, horses
and chariots, O Kâśyapa.
On the arrival of the army the departed one, having given the
great jewel to the king, bowed to him, again implored him, and became
66-68. Having come out of the forest, the king returned to his
city, and arrived there remembering all that was said by the departed
He duly performed; O Bird, the rites and ceremonies for the dweller
in the upper body, and the departed, released by these sacred gifts,
By the Śrâddha, performed even by a stranger, the
departed attain a happy state,--what wonder then that when the son
performs it the father should reach it!
60. He who hears, and he who causes others to hear this holy
history, never go to the departed condition, though they may. have
58:1Vishnu, a form of.
58:2 Another form ofVishnu,
slayer of the demon Madhu.
58:3 The divine dwarfVishnu.
58:4 The club-bearingVishnu.
58:5 A name for Śiva.
An Account of the Gifts for the Dying.
1. Garuda said: Tell me, O Lord, all the rites for those in the
other worlds who have done good, and also how these rites should
be performed by the sons.
2. The Blessed Lord said: O Tarksya, you have done well in questioning
me for the benefit of mankind. I will tell you all about the rites
proper for the righteous.
3-4. The good person, finding his body, in its old age, afflicted
with diseases, and the planetary conditions unfavourable, and not
hearing the sounds of life,
And knowing his death to be near, should he fearless and alert,
and should make reparation for any sins committed knowingly or in
5-8. When it is near the time to die he must perform his ablutions,
and worship Vishnu in the form of Śâlagrâma.
He must worship with fragrant substances, with flowers, with
red saffron, with leaves of the holy basil, with incense, with lamps,
with offerings of food and many sweetmeats, and other things.
He should give presents to Brahmins, should feed them with the
offerings, and should recite the eight and the twelve syllabled
He should call to mind, and listen to, the names of Vishnu and Śiva.
The name of Hari, coming with the range of hearing, takes away the
sins of men.
9. Relatives, coming near the diseased, should not mourn. My
holy name should be remembered and meditated upon repeatedly.
10-11. The Fish, the Tortoise, the Boar, the Man-lion, the Dwarf,
Paraśurâma, Râma, Krishna, Buddha, and also Kalkî 1:
These ten names should always be meditated upon by the wise.
Those who recite them near the diseased are called relatives.
12-16. Of him who gives voice to the auspicious name "Krishna"
tens of millions of great sins are quickly reduced to ashes.
Even the dying Ajâmila reached heaven by pronouncing the
name Hari, which had been given to his son. 2
How much more then is its effect when it is pronounced with faith!
Hari, meditated upon even by one who has evil thoughts, takes
away sins: fire burns, even though accidentally touched.
The sinful man is not able to sin while the power of the name
Hari is uprooting the sins, O Twice-born.
Yama said to his servants: "Bring the man who denies, but O messengers,
do not bring the man who meditates on the name Hari."
17-20. One should worship the Achyuta, Keśava, Narayana,
Krishna, Dâmodara, Vâsudeva, Hari, Sridhara, Mâdhavam,
Gopîkâvallabham, Râmachandra, the Lord of Jânakî. 1
"O servants, do not go near those sinless people who take refuge
in the lotus-eyed Vâsudeva and Vishnu, who is the supporter
of the earth, and carries in his hand the conch and discus.
"Bring those sinners who always turn away from time nectar of
the lotus-feet of Vishnu,--which are served by the race of Paramahaṅsas,
who know the true essence of things, and are without possessions,--and
those whose desires are bound up in the household, which is the
path to hell."
"Bring them whose tongues do not pronounce the qualities and
name of the Lord, whose minds do not meditate upon His lotus feet,
whose heads never bow to Krishna, who do not offer worship to Vishnu."
21-23. Know, then, O Lord of Birds, the hymning of Vishnu, which
bestows welfare on the universe, to be the best expiation for even
The performance of penances does not purify the wicked man, who
has turned his face away from Narayana; just as even rivers cannot
purify a liquor-pot.
By the name of Krishna one is riddened of sins, and never sees,
even in dream, Yama nor his servants.
24-25. The man, having a body of flesh, bones and blood,--who,
towards the end gives cows to the twice-born, uttering "Nandanandanam,"
never falls into the Vaitaranicirc;.
Hence one should remember the name of Mahâ Vishnu, which
effaces multitudes of sins, and should read or listen to the Gîtâ
and the Hymn of the Thousand Names.
26-27. The fast of the eleventh day, the Gîtâ, the
water of the Ganges, the leaves of the holy basil, the foot-water
and names of Vishnu--all these are givers of freedom at the time
Then he must dedicate food, with clarified butter and gold, to
a learned twice-born and. also give cows with calves.
28-31. Whatever a man gives in his last days, little or much,
if it is approved by his Son, is exempt from decay, O Tarksya.
In these last days a good son should make all the gifts. It is
for the sake of this that the wise pray for a righteous son in this
The sons, seeing their father lying upon the ground with eyes
half-closed, should not covet his earned wealth. 1
A good son will make such gifts as will prolong his father's
life, and free him from misery when he goes into the next world.
32-34. In disease and calamity two gifts rank above all others.
They are indispensable--the eight-fold gift of sesamum and other
Sesamum, iron, gold, cotton stuff, salt, the seven grains, a
plot of ground, a cow,--every one of these is said to purify.
The eight great gifts are the effacers of great sins, and should
be given in the last days. Hear now their good effects:
35-36. There are three kinds of holy sesamums generated from
my sweat. Asuras, Dânavas and Daityas 2
are gratified by the gift of these sesamums.
White, black and brown are the three kinds of sesamums. The gift
of these removes the sins gathered in speech, thought and action.
37-40. A gift of iron-ore should be made with the hands touching
the ground,--then he does not go within the domain of Yama, nor
tread his path.
Yama holds in his hands, for the punishing of the sinful, an
axe, a threshing-pestle, a rod, a sword and a dagger.
This gift is considered propitiatory to these weapons of Yama.
Therefore should be made the gift of iron, which is the bringer
of happiness in the world of Yama.
Because of this gift of iron, happiness is bestowed by these
great messengers of Yama:--Urana, Śyâmasûtra, Śundâmarka,
Udumbara, Śena and Bala.
41-44. Hear this great secret, O Târkshya, about this most
supreme gift, by which are pleased the dwellers in Bhû, Bhûvar
and Swar worlds. 1
Brahmâ and others, sages, shining ones, and those who are
in the assembly of the King of Justice are gratified by the gift
of gold, and become granters of boons.
Therefore a gift of gold should be made for the uplifting of
the departed. He does not go to the world of Yama, O child, but
He dwells for a long time in the world of truth and is then reborn
here as a king, handsome, righteous, eloquent, prosperous, and of
45. By the gift of cotton-stuff one is freed from fear of the
messengers. By the gift of salt one is freed from the fear of Yama.
46-48. By gifts of inn, salt, cotton-stuff, sesamum and gold,
Chitragupta and the others who dwell in the city of Yama are propitiated.
And by gifts of the seven grains the standard-bearer of the King
of Justice and others who stand at the gates are propitiated.
Rices, barley, wheat, kidney beans, mâsa, 1
panic seeds; dwarf-peas: these are called the seven grains.
49-52. It has been observed by the sages that the gift of a plot
of land of the size of a cow's hide, in accordance with the rites,
to a proper person, absolves one from Brahmicide.
Not by vows, not by holy pilgrimages, not by any gifts but by
the gift of land is a great sin committed in kingship expiated.
He who gives to the twice-born land filled with grains goes to
the abode of Indra and is worshipped by divinities and demons.
All other gifts, O Kâśyapa, are producers of little
fruit. The fruit produced by the gift of land increases daily.
53-55. He who, having become a king, does not give land to the
twice-born, is reborn for many times as a beggar, without even a
The king who, through pride, does not make gifts of land, shall
dwell in hell as long as Śesa 2
supports the earth.
Therefore shall a king especially make gifts of land; though
for others, I say, the gift, of a cow is equal to a gift of land.
56-57. Towards the end, a cow should be given. He should give
a cow to overcome death, another to absolve himself of debts, another
for the gaining of liberation.
With special rites, O Bird, should the gift of a cow for Vaitaranicirc;
be made. The cows verily carry the man beyond three kinds of hells.
58-61. The sins committed in boyhood, in youth, in manhood, in
old age and in previous births;
The sins committed in the night, in the morning, in the forenoon
and the afternoon, in the twilight;--of action, speech and thought,
Having given even once a tawny cow, milkgiving, with the calf
and other necessary things, to a well-conducted and austere Brahmin,
learned in the Vedas,--one is absolved of all these sins. The giver
is released by her at the end from the accumulated sins.
62-63. The gift of one cow while one is in full vigour of mind,
the gift of a hundred cows while suffering from diseases, the gift
of a thousand when dying and bereft of mental faculties,
And the gift of one hundred thousand cows after death 1,
are equal. A gift made to a deserving person, who has bathed at
the sacred waters, increases a hundred thousand fold.
64. A gift made to a deserving person multiplies a hundred-thousand-fold.
It brings unending fruit to the giver and does not harm the recipient.
65-68. One who has studied the scriptures and made fire-offerings
to the shining ones and who does not eat food cooked by others is
not polluted by receiving even the earth filled with precious stones.
Mantras and fire, the removers of cold and poison, do not themselves
partake of these evil qualities. The cow given to an undeserving
person leads the giver to hell,
And it troubles the recipient's people for a hundred generations.
A gift should not be made to an undeserving person by the wise who
desire their own welfare.
One cow should be given to one only, and never to many. If he
either sells it or shares it his family will he troubled to the
69. I will tell you about the gilt of a cow, which is a means
for crossing the Vaitaranicirc; River, of which I have spoken to
70-76. One should decorate a black or reddish cow, tip its horns
with gold, silver its feet, and milk it into a bronze vessel;
Cover it with a pair of black cloths, hang a bell round its neck,
and place the covered bronze vessel upon some cotton-stuff,
Put there a golden image of Yama, and an iron rod; place clarified
butter in the bronze vessel and put all upon the cow;
Make a raft of sugarcanes, fastening it with silk threads; make
a hole, fill it with water, and in it place the raft:
Having placed the things which are born from the body of the
sun in it, dedicate the cow there in accordance with the scriptures. 1
Present the cloths, with ornaments to a Brahmin; properly worship
with fragrances, flowers, and coloured rice 2,
Take hold of the tail of the cow, place a foot in the boat, and,
having honoured a Brahmin, recite this mantra:--
77-82. "O Lord of the Universe, compassionate to those who seek
refuge in Thee, Thou art verily the saviour of those who are immersed
in the ocean of existence, made miserable by the waves of sorrow
"O Best of the Twice-born, the very form of Vishnu, God upon
earth, uplift me. I have presented this gift to you. Salutations
"I have presented this to you, being desirous of crossing that
river, which is a hundred yojanas in extent, and lies on the very
dreadful way of Yama. Salutations to Vaitaranicirc;.
"O Cow, look upon me, for the sake of my passing through the
gateway of Yama on the great path. Salutations to thee, Vaitaranicirc;,
Queen of the shining ones!
"May cows be in front of me; may cows be behind me; may cows
be in my heart 1;
and may I dwell in the midst of cows.
"May she who is the Goddess of Prosperity for all creatures,
who is the mainstay of the shining ones, its the form of a cow remove
83-84. With hands together having invoiced, with these mantras,
Yama in the form of a cow, and having walked round all these things,
he should give them to the Brahmin.
He who, with these rites, gives the Vaitaranicirc; cow, goes
by a righteous path into the assembly of the King of Justice.
85-86. Whether the body is well or ill one should carry out the
Vaitaranicirc; observance. The wise man, desiring to cross that
river, should make a gift of a cow.
That river, O Bird, does not appear in the Great Way after the
gift of a cow. 2 Therefore
it is necessary to give a cow at all sacred times.
87-88. At all the sacred bathing-places, like the Ganges, and
in the dwelling-places of Brahmins; at the eclipses of the sun and
moon, at the crossing over 1,
on the day of the new moon.
At the equinoctial and solstitial points, at Vyatîpâta, 2
on Yuga days 3 and
at other sacred times,--the supreme gift of a cow should be made.
89. That verily is called the sacred time, in which faith is
produced, and when a proper person is present,--thence flows unending
90. Bodies are transitory; possessions are not eternal; death
is always near;--one should accumulate righteousness.
91-92. So one who desires his own welfare should make unending
gifts, according to his wealth, to a learned Brahmin.
The gift of even a little wealth, presented with one's own hand:--this
is unending, and the time is effectual.
93-94. He who has gifts as provision, goes happily on the Great
Way. Otherwise--without provision--the man suffers pain on the path.
All the gifts made by human beings in this world clear the way
for them on the path of the world of Yama
95-96. By the power of great merit, birth as a human being is
obtained. He who, having gained it, follows righteousness, reaches
the supreme goal.
The man who neglects righteousness, goes and comes in misery.
The fruitfulness of birth as a human being depends upon the pursuit
of righteousness alone.
97-99. Wealth, sons, wife and fancily, body, kinsmen,--all these
are transitory. Therefore righteousness should be sought.
So long as a man is alive he has a father and other relatives;
but when they have known him to be dead, their affection soon fades
He should constantly remember that the true kinsman of the self
is the Self. If not to the living, much less will anyone give to
100. Knowing all this, one should give with one's own hand, while
still alive. Life is transient; and who can give afterwards?
101-102. The relatives turn away with averted faces leaving the
dead body on the ground, like a lump of wood or earth, but righteousness
goes with him.
The wealth disappears from the house, and the relatives from
the cremation-ground. The good and evil karma he has made goes with
103-104. When his body has been destroyed by fire his karma remains
and wherever he is the man experiences it, be it good or bad.
Nobody has a relation in this changing ocean of sorrow. He is
born by the attraction of karma, and goes again upon its exhaustion.
105-106. Like creatures in a water-tank, and like the motion
or sticks in a river is one's contact with mother, father, son,
brother, kinsman, wife and the others.
Whose are the sons, and the grandsons? Whose is the wife, or
the wealth? In the world of change nobody belongs to anybody. Therefore
one should make gifts himself.
107-100. As long as one is in possession of wealth, so long should
one make gifts to a Brahmin; but when the wealth becomes another's
one can have nothing to say.
On account of gifts made in a former birth much wealth is obtained
in this. Hence should wealth be given, by one knowing this, for
the sake of righteousness.
Wealth is born of righteousness; by righteousness desire is conquered.
Righteousness verily is the cause of freedom. Therefore should righteousness
110-111. Righteousness is supported by faith, not by large piles
of wealth. The wise, though in poverty, leave faith, and go to heaven.
From him who offers to Me, with devotion, a leaf, a flower, a fruit
or water--from him, the self-subdued, I accept that, presented with
112. Therefore, by all means, a gift should be made, and as prescribed.
Whether it be small or great does not count with me.
113-114. A righteous son is honoured even by the shining ones.
He should cause his ailing father to make gifts on earth.
If the wealth made by the father is given to the deserving by
the sons--then, by that, himself, his sets, grandsons and great-grandsons
115. What is given through the father has a hundred-fold merit;
through the mother, a thousand-fold; through the sister, ten-thousand
fold; through the brother, incalculable.
116-118. For him who makes gifts there are no troubles and no
torments of hell, and no fear caused by the messengers of Yama at
the time of death.
All those sinful-misers, O Bird, who, because of greed, do not
make gifts at the time of illness come to grief when dead.
Sons, grandsons, brothers, kinsmen and friends who do not make
gifts on behalf of a dying man are without doubt slayers of Brâhman.
62:1 The ten avatâras,
descents or incarnations of Vishnu, which appeared in archaic and
ancient times, except Kalkî, who is still to come.
62:2 Ajâmila was
a man of very evil life, who named his son Narayana, and happened
to call him as he was dying.
63:1 Names of Vishnu.
65:1 They may expect
ancestral property, but not that earned by the father.
65:2 Classes of non-human
66:1 Physical, astral
and lower mental worlds.
67:1 A kind of spotted
67:2 The eternal serpent.
68:1 That is, given
by another for one.
70:1 Probably the afore-mentioned
cow, ghee, gold, silk, etc. are closely connected with sacrifice
and therefore with the sun.
70:2 Akshata, whole
rice coloured with turmeric and saffron, and used to honour persons
by sprinkling over them.
71:1 Note here, that
the cow is merely a symbol.
71:2 Note the subjective
character of the "river."
72:1 The passing of
the sun from one constellation to another.
72:2 When the sun and
moon are on opposite sides of either solstice, and the minutes declination
are the same.
72:3 Every month there
is a day called Yuga--the last or last but one.
An Account of the Rites for the Dying.
1. Garuda said: You have spoken fully about the gifts for the
diseased. Tell now, O Lord, of the rites for the dying.
2. The Blessed Lord said: Listen, O Tarksya, and I will explain
the rites for one leaving the body, and by what rites men after
death reach a good condition.
3-5. When, by the effects of karma, the embodied leaves his ordinary
body, then, near to a holy basil tree one should make a ring with
Next, having scattered sesamum seeds, he should strew darbha-grass,
and then have the Śâlagrâma stone placed on the
Liberation is certain for the being who dies near the Śâlagrâma
stone, which removes all ills and sins,
6-9 Where is the shade of the holy basil tree, which removes
the pain of being, there is always liberation for the dying, difficult
to obtain by gifts.
The house in which the holy basil tree is enshrined is like a
holy bathing place,--the servants of Yama do not come to it.
Yama is not able to see him who gives up his life while having
a holy basil shoot, though he have hundreds of sins.
The man who dies with a leaf of it in his mouth, upon a seat
of sesamum and darbha-grass, goes to the city of Vishnu, unfailingly,
though he have no son.
10-13. Sesamums, darbha-grasses and holy basil are three holy
things, and they prevent an ailing man from going to a miserable
Because the sesamum is produced from My sweat it is holy; hence
Asuras, Dânavas and Daityas run away from sesamum.
The darbha grasses, my riches, O Târkshya, are produced
from my hairs; hence by the mere touch of them men attain heaven.
Brahma is seated at the root of the kuśa-grass; in the middle
of the kuśa is Janârdana; 1
at the tip of the kuśa is Śankaradeva 2--three
shining ones are seated in the kuśa grass.
14-15. Hence kuśa, fire, mantras, holy basil; Brahmins and
cows do not lose their purity by being used again and again.
Darbha-grass becomes unclean with rice-balls; Brahmins, by eating
the offerings for the departed; mantras, cows and holy basil, when
basely used; and fire, on a cremation-ground.
16-20. One should lay the dying man on the ground cleaned with
cow-dung and spread over with darbha-grasses; not support him in
the air. 1
Brahmâ, Vishnu, Rudra 2
all the shining ones, and Sacrificial Fire stand upon the ring,---therefore
should one make a ring.
The ground must he pure everywhere, with no stain to be seen.
If there is a stain it should be cleaned away by further plastering.
Demons, goblins, elementals, spooks, and the followers of Yama
enter an impure place, and a cot above the ground.
Hence without this ring one should not perform oblations to the
fire, Śrâddha, the feeding of Brahmins, the worship of
the Holy Ones; nor place the dying man upon the ground.
21-22. Next, placing him on the cleaned ground, one should put
gold and jewels upon his lips, and give him the Water of the Feet
of Vishnu in the form of the Śâlagrâma.
He who drinks even a drop of the water of the water of the Śâlagrâma
stone 3 is absolved
from all sins, and goes to the residence Vaikuntha. 4
23-30. Then one should give him the water of the Ganges, which
is the effacer of great sins, and gives fruit of merit equal to
bathings and gifts at all the sacred waters.
He who performs a thousand times the Chândrâyana
fast which purifies his body, and he who drinks the water of the
Ganges, are both equal.
Just as, O Tarksya, a bundle of cotton is destroyed by falling
into the fire, so, by his drinking the water of the Ganges, is his
sin reduced to ashes.
He who drinks the water of the Ganges, heated by the rays of
the sun 1 is freed
from all births and goes to the abode of Hari.
By bathing in other rivers men are purified,--so also by merely
touching, drinking or calling upon the Ganges.
It sanctifies meritless men by hundreds and thousands. Therefore
should one drink of the Ganges, whose water helps one over the ocean
He who calls, "O Ganges, Ganges" while life is flickering in
the throat, goes when dead to the city of Vishnu, and is not born
again on earth.
And the man who, when his life is leaving, contemplates with
faith the Ganges, goes to the highest goal.
31-33. Therefore he should contemplate, salute, keep in mind
the Ganges, and drink its water. Then he should listen, however
little, to the Bhâgavata, 1
which is a giver of liberation.
He who in his last moments repeats a verse, or half or quarter
of a verse of the Bhâgavata never returns hither from the
world of Brahmâ.
The repeating of the Vedas and the Upanishads; the hymning of
Vishnu and Śiva--these bring liberation at death to Brahmins,
Kshattriyas and Vaishyas.
34-35. At the time when the breath is leaving the body, he should
make a fast, O Bird. Dissatisfied with worldly things the twice-born
should take up relinquishment. 2
He who says, 3
while life is still flickering in his throat, "I have relinquished,"
goes at death to the city of Vishnu, and is not born again on earth.
36-39. Then, of him who is righteous and has thus performed the
rites, O Bird, the life breaths easily pass out through the higher
opening. The mouth, eyes, nostrils and ears are the seven gateways
through which go those of good deeds. Yogins go through an opening
in the head.
When the rising and descending life-breaths, which are joined,
become separate, then, becoming subtle, the life-breath departs
from the inert body.
When the Lord of Breath departs, the body falls like a tree unsupported
and stricken by time.
40-41. The motionless body, left by the vital breath, becomes
detestable and unfit to touch; foul smells soon arise in it, and
it is disliked by everybody.
How can men, who perish in a moment, be proud of the body, with
its three conditions,--worm, dung and ashes?
42-43. Earth is dissipated to earth; likewise water to water;
fire is dissipated in fire; also air in air.
And, similarly, ether to ether: and the Self that is in the bodies
is happy, all-pervading, eternally free, witness of the world, birthless
44-45. The individual, possessing all the senses, surrounded
with sense-objects of sound and the rest, clinging to desire and
love, environed by the sheath of karma,
Endowed with good tendencies, enters a new body created by his
own karma, as does a householder whose house has been burnt.
46-47: Then the messengers of the Shining Ones, resplendent with
flashing plumes, arrive, bringing a chariot wreathed with countless
And they, knowing the true righteousness, wise, always beloved
by the righteous, carry him, who has performed the rites, away in
their own chariot.
48. That great man, in a resplendent body, with shining garments
and garlands, possessed of gold and diamond ornaments, by virtue
of gifts attains heaven, and is honoured by the Holy Ones.
76:1 Cowdung is extensively
used in India as a purifier and antiseptic.
78:1 When the people
of the house are aware that one is about, to die they remove him
from the couch to the ground.
78:3 Water is
poured over the stone, and thus consecrated
78:4 The heaven of Vishnu.
79:1 Here is a mystical
80:1 The Bhâgvata
giving up attachment to worldly life and its objects.
80:3 That is, truly
The Collecting of the Bones from the Fire.
1. Garuda said: Tell me, O Lord, the rites for burning the bodies
of the good, and describe also the greatness of the wife who is
2. The Blessed Lord said: Listen, O Tarksya. I will tell you
all about the ceremonies for the upper body, by doing which sons
and grandsons are released from the hereditary debt.
3. There is no need for numerous gifts, but one should perform
the funeral ceremonies for his parents; the son who does so obtains
fruit like that of the Agnishtoma. 1
4-6. Then the son, abandoning sorrow, should have the shave,
along with all his relatives, in order to remove all sins.
The son who does not have the shave when the mother or father
has died,--how can he be called a son, the helper through the ocean
Therefore he must have the shave by all means, except the nails
and the hair of the armpits. Then, having bathed with his relatives
he must put on clean cloths.
7-9. Then, bringing river water, he should bathe the corpse and
next adorn it with sandal-paste, garlands, or the clay of the Ganges;
Having covered it with new cloths he, with his sacred thread
on the right shoulder, should pronounce the family name, and dedicate
rice-balls and presents,
At the place of death, in the name of the so-called dead, he
should offer them. By this the earth and its presiding deity become
10. Ḥe should wake offering at the threshold in the name
of him who is become a traveller; by this the evil ones amongst
the tens of millions of elementals can do no harm.
11-13. Then the daughter-in-law 1
and others should go round it and worship it; then along with the
other relatives the son should bear it on his shoulder.
The son who bears his father on his shoulder to the burning-ground
obtains the fruit of the horse-sacrifice at every step.
He who carries his dead father on shoulder or back or hip pays
off the debt of constant parental kindnesses.
14. Then, half-way, after cleaning and sprinkling, he should
make a halt. Having bathed the corpse, he should make an offering
15. Oblations should be made in order that goblins, demons and
fiends, and others in the various directions, shall not cause disturbance
of that body which is to be sacrificed.
16-19. Then it should be taken to the burning-ground, and laid
down with its head to the north. Some place should be cleaned there,
for the burning of the body, as follows:
Having swept the ground and washed it with cow-dung, having taken
out some earth and erected an altar and sprinkled it with water,
and having placed the fire as prescribed,
And having worshipped with flowers and coloured rice the Shining
One known as the eater of flesh, 1
he should make an oblation as prescribed, beginning with 'loman,'--
"Oh, Thou, Supporter of Beings, Womb of the World, Nourisher
of Creatures. This one belonging to the changing world is dead;
lead Thou him to heaven!"
20-22. Having thus prayed to the fire, he should make there a
funeral pyre with sandal wood, the holy bath wood, and with the
wood of palâsha and aśwattha.
Having placed the departed on the funeral pyre, he should offer
in the name of the departed two rice ball; in the hand of the dead,
on the funeral pyre. From the time he is released on the funeral
pyre the condition as departed begins.
Those who know the ways of the departed call him a seeker. An
offering should be made on the funeral pyre, either in this name,
or in that of Departed.
23. Thus the dead gets the benefit of the offering of five rice-balls;
otherwise the above-mentioned come to disturb.
24. The son, having dedicated five rice-balls to the departed,
and having brought the oblation with the grasses, should give them
to the fire, if there is not Pañchaka. 1
25-27. Who dies in the Pañchaka does not attain a good
condition. Burning should not be done then; if it is done, another
Beginning from the middle of Dhanishthâ, in the five Pañchaka
mansions ending with Revatî 2
is not a suitable time for burning. If burning takes place, evil
Harm befalls the house in which death takes place in the Riksha
mansion, and some trouble arises for the sons and family.
28. I will explain to you the rites for the warding off of all
ills, in case burning takes place in the middle of Riksha.
20-33. Then one should place near the corpse images, O Tarksya,
make of darbha grass, and consecrated with the four Riksha mantras.
Purified gold should be used, and sacrifice performed with Riksha
mantras, with the mantra "Pretâjayata," and with
Then the burning along with the images should be done, and the
son, on the day of the offering of the rice-balls, should perform
the pacificatory rites for him.
For warding off ills he should give a vessel full of sesamum,
gold, silver, diamonds, and a bronze vessel filled with clarified
butter, in order.
Who, after having thus performed the pacificatory ceremonies,
does the burning,--no harm befalls him; and the departed goes to
the supreme condition.
56-50. Whether half or wholly burnt, his skull should be split
open, in the case of householders with a piece of wood, in that
of ascetics with a cocoanut.
His son, so that he may attain the world of the forefathers,
having split open the brahmarandra 1
should make an oblation of clarified butter with this mantra:
"Thou art born from him; 2
may he be born again from you. He is an offering to the heaven-world.
O Fire, blaze forth!"
Thus having made an oblation of clarified butter, with mantras
and sesamum offerings, he should weep loudly, that he may become
60-61. When the burning is finished the women should bathe, then
the sons, and offer water mixed with sesamum, in the name of the
He should eat the leaves of the nimba-tree and recount the virtues
of the dead. They should walk home, the women in front and the men
62. Having bathed again at home, he should give food to a cow
and eat-from a leaf-plate--but not any food already in the house.
63. Having cleaned the place of death with cow-dung, he should
keep a lamp burning there, turned to the south, up to the twelfth
34-66. For three days, at sunset, O Tarksya, he should offer, at
the cross-roads or on the burning-ground, milk and water in an earthen
Holding the unbaked earthen pot, filled with milk and water,
bound with-three sticks, he should repeat this mantra:
"Thou hast been burned with the fires of the burning-ground.
Thou hast been forsaken by relatives. Here is milk and here water;
bathe and drink!"
67. On the fourth day the collection 1
should be made, by those who maintain household fires, and by those
who do not. If there is nothing to prevent, on the second or the
third day he should do as follows:
68-78. Having gone to the burning-ground, having bathed and become
pure, having put on a woollen garment, and wearing the sacred ring, 1
The son should make the grain oblation to the denizens of the
burning-ground, and walk round three times, repeating the mantra
beginning with "Yamâyatva."
Then having sprinkled milk over the place of the funeral pyre,
O Lord of Birds, he should sprinkle water, and begin to pick up
the heap of bones.
Having placed them on palasha leaves, he should sprinkle them
with milk and water, and, having put them into an earthen pot, perform Śrâddha
Having prepared a triangular plot of ground, and cleansed it
with cow-dung, he, facing south, should offer three rice-balls,
in the three directions.
Having collected the ashes from the pyre, taking a three-legged
stool he should place on it a jar with mouth uncovered, containing
Then he should make, for the departed, an oblation of cooked
rice with curds and clarified butter, water and sweetmeats, as prescribed.
He should take fifteen steps in the northerly direction and,
digging a hole there, place in it, O Bird, the jar of bones.
Then he should offer over it a rice-ball, which destroys the
pain of burning, and, taking the vessel from the hole, carry it
to a tank of water.
Then he should several times sprinkle the bones with water and
milk, and worship them well, with sandal-paste and saffron.
Having put them into a leaf-box, touched with it his heart and
head and walked round it saluting it; he should drop it into the
middle of the Ganges.
79-84. He whose bones sink in the water of the Ganges within
ten days, never returns from the world of Brahma.
As long as a man's bones float on the water of the Ganges,--for
so many thousands of years he remains in the heaven-world.
When the wind which has touched the waves of the Ganges touches
the dead, his sin is at once destroyed.
Having worshipped, with great austerities, the divine Ganges,
for the uplifting of his forefathers, Bhagîratha 1
brought her down from the world of Brahmâ.
In the three worlds is celebrated the purifying fame of the Ganges,
who led to heaven the sons of Sagara 2
who had been reduced to ashes.
Those men who die after committing sins attain the heaven-world
by their bones falling into the Ganges.
85-86. There was a certain hunter, a destroyer of all sorts of
creatures who, killed by a lion in a great forest, went to the place
When his bones were dropped into the Ganges by a crow he ascended
the divine chariot and went to the abode of the Shining Ones.
87. Hence the good son should himself drop the bones in the Ganges.
After the bones are collected he should perform the ten-days' ceremonies.
88-90. Now, if anybody meets his death in an uninhabited place,
or in a wood, or from dangerous thieves, and if his body is not
found, then, on the day this is heard of--
Having made an effigy of darbha grass, one should burn it alone,
as explained above, and then collect its ashes and drop them into
the water of the Ganges,
And from the same day the ten-days' ceremonies
should be performed and that date should be noted, for the performance
of the annual Śrâddha.
91. If a woman dies in the fulness of pregnancy, her womb should
be cut open, and the child drawn out and placed on the ground, and
she alone be burned.
92-93. If a child dies on the bank of the Ganges, it should simply
be thrown into the Ganges; if in another place, it should be buried
in the ground, up to twenty-seven months old.
Older than that it should be burned and its bones strewn on the
Ganges. A gift of a water-pot should be made, and food should be
given to children.
94-98. If the embryo perishes, there are no rites. If an infant
dies, one should give milk. if a child dies, then one should offer
a jar, milk-porridge and eatables.
If a youth dies, one should have young children fed. If a youth
who has taken the vow dies, one should have Brahmins, along with
When one who has passed five years dies, whether vowed or not,
one should offer ten rice-balls, along with milk-food and lumps
On the eleventh and twelfth days one should perform the ceremonies
for a youth, but without the rites of releasing a bull and of the
If the father is living, there is not joint rite for the youth,
but on the twelfth day one should perform the ceremony for him alone.
99. Marriage, with women and Śûdras, is declared to
take the place of vows. Previous to the taking of vows, with all
the castes, rites are done according to age.
100. He who is little attached to action, who is little bound
by sense-objects, and he who is young in age of body, requires but
101. In boyhood and in youth the cot, the bull and other sacrifices
should be performed; and the gifts of land, the great gift and the
gift of a cow should be made.
102-107. With all ascetics there is no burning, no water rites;
and the ten-days' ceremonies should not be performed for them by
A man, by the mere holding of the staff, becomes Narayana 1;
because of carrying the three-fold staff they never go into the
condition of the departed.
Those who know are always free, by realisation of their own true
nature, hence they do not expect rice-balls to be given.
Therefore rice-balls and water should not be offered to them,
but one should perform the annual Śrâddha at the sacred
waters, and Śrâddha at Gayâ, with devotion to the
The Haṅsa, Paramahaṅsa, Kutîchaka, Bahûdaka;
these are Sannyâsins, 2
O Tarksya, and when dead, they must be buried in the ground.
If the Ganges, or other, is not available, it is declared that
they should be buried in the ground. Where great rivers exist, they
should be thrown into them.
83:1 A certain sacrifice.
84:1 His son's wife--the
wife of the son performing the rite.
85:1 The fire-deva.
86:1 A certain astrological
position; 5 days in each month.
86:2 The fifth Nakshatra.
90:1 An opening at
the top of the head.
90:2 The funeral pyre
is lighted from the sacred household fire.
91:1 Of the bones.
92:1 A finger-ring
of kusha grass, put on the third finger of right hand.
93:1 A great king
who is said to have brought down the Ganges from heaven to earth.
93:2 There is a legend
to the effect that the 80,000 sons of Sagara were reduced to ashes
by Vishnu, and that they, the ancestors of Bhrigu, were released
and purified by him in the Ganges.
96:2 These names are
given to advanced stages of human development.
An Account of the Ten-Days' Ceremonies.
1. Garuda said: Tell me, O Keśava, what good results follow
from the performance of the ten-days' rite, and who should perform
it if there is no son.
2 The Blessed Lord said: Listen, O Tarksya, and I will tell you
about the ten-days' ceremony; having done which, a good son is released
from the hereditary debt.
3-8. The son, taking calm courage, should offer rice-balls to
the father, refraining from tears,
Because the departed has inevitably to drink the bitter tears
let fall by his relatives, and they should not weep when sorrow
Although there be sorrowing day and night for thousands of years,
the man who is dead may never be seen.
Death is certain for those who are born, and birth is certain
for the dead. This is inevitable and therefore a wise man should
not grieve over it.
There is no way out, either human or divine; the being who has
come under the sway of death must be born again here.
If there were a way of averting the inevitable, then Nala, Râma
and Yudishhthira would not have experienced miseries.
9-11. Nobody should form an excessive attachment to anybody;
the body is only a dream, what then of other persons’?
As a traveller, resorting to some shady place, rests awhile and
then departs again; so is the coming together of beings.
The good things eaten in the morning are destroyed by evening;
how can there be permanence in a body which is sustained by these
12-17. Having considered this, which removes misery, and given
up sorrow arising from ignorance, the son should perform the rites.
If there is no son the wife, should perform them, and if no wife
the brother; or a Brahmin's pupil or a proper kinsman should perform
The ten-days' ceremonies, for the man who has no son, should
be performed by the sons or grandsons of his younger or his elder
brother, O Bird;
Manu declared that if, of brothers of the same father, only one
has a son, they are all considered, on account of that son, to have
If a man has several wives, but only one of them has a son, all
of them have a son, on account of that son.
For all who have no sons a friend may offer the rice-balls. The
rites must not be neglected. If there
is nobody else, the family priest may do them.
18. A man or a woman who performs the rites for a friend, by
this sacrament for the helpless departed, obtains the fruit of tens
of millions of sacrifices.
19-21. The ten-days' ceremony for the father should be performed
by the son, O Bird. Even if the eldest son dies, the father should
not, through excessive affection, perform it.
Although there be many sons, only one shall perform the ten-days'
ceremony, the rice-ball offerings, and the other sixteen Śrâddhas,--
Only by one these ceremonies, even if the wealth has been divided.
But the annual Śrâddha should be performed severally
if the wealth has been divided.
22-24. Therefore should the eldest son perform with devotion
the ten-days’ ceremony, 1
eating one meal, sleeping on the ground, devoted to Brâhman, 2
The son obtains such fruit from the performance of the rite for
the father and mother, as is obtained by going round the shrines
The son who performs the rites for one year, beginning with the
ten-days' ceremony, obtains such fruit as is acquired by performing
the Śrâddha at Gayâ.
25-30. Having gone to a well or a tank, in a garden, at a sacred
bathing-place, or in a temple, between nine and twelve noon, he
should bathe without reciting mantras.
Being purified, seated facing southward at the root of a tree,
he should make an altar 1
there, cleansed with cow-dung.
He should place on it, over leaves, a twice-born 2
made of darbha and kuśa grasses, and having worshipped it with
water for the feet and other things, should bow to it, saying the "Atasî."
Then having spread kuśa grass in front of it, as a seat
for the rice-ball, and having placed upon it a ball prepared in
the family-name of the departed,
Made of cooked rice or of barley meal,--the son should make the
offering. He should dedicate Usîra-root; sandal paste, the
flowers of the Bhriṅgarâja, incense, a lamp, eatables,
mouth-perfumes and presents.
Crow-food, milk and water, and handfuls of castor-oil in a pot:
"May all this, that has been given by me to the departed in his
earthly name, persist."
31-33. Food, cloths, water, wealth or other things, if given
in the name of the departed, confer eternity upon the dead.
Therefore, from the first day onwards, one should pronounce the
name of the departed woman or man, in accordance with the sapinda
33. In the same way that on the first day a rice-ball is given
as prescribed, so should the nine rice-balls be given.
34-36. On the ninth day all the authorised kinsmen at the proper
time should besmear themselves with oil, wishing the dead to reach
Having bathed in the open, taking with them panic grass and parched
grain, and having the women go in front, they should proceed to
the place of the dead,
And say: "May his family increase like the panic grass, and radiate
like the parched grain," and then leave in the house the mixed-panic
grass and grain.
37-38. On the tenth day a ball of flesh should be given, O Lord
of Birds, or a ball of mâsha, since flesh is forbidden in
the Kali Yuga at the ceremony for the forefathers.
On the tenth day he should shave, as also should the other relatives.
The son who performs the ceremony must again have a complete shave.
39. During the ten days he should feed a twice-born with seasoned
foods. Having meditated upon Hari, he should, with hands together,
pray for the release of the departed.
40. There is no reason for fear for those who bow to Govinda,
the Eternal, clad in yellow robes, as beautiful as the atasî
41-42. "O Beginningless and Endless Deva, O Bearer of the conch,
discus and mace, Indestructible, Lotus-eyed, be Thou the giver of
release to the departed."
Every day at the conclusion of the Śrâddha he should
prayerfully repeat this incantation. Having bathed, gone home, and
given food to the cow, he may eat.
99:1 One each day.
100:1 A square flat
mound a few inches high.
100:2 A rough image,
symbolical of the deceased twice-born person.
An Account of the Eleventh-day Rite.
1. Garuda said: O Lord of the Holy Ones, tell me about the eleventh-day
rite also, and, O Ruler of the universe, explain the ceremony of
the dedication of the bull.
2. The Blessed Lord said: In the early morning on the eleventh
day one should go to a water-reservoir, and perform diligently all
the funeral ceremonies.
3. He should invite Brahmins, well-read in Vedas and Śâstras,
and bowing their heads, with hands folded together, pray for the
release of the departed.
4. Even a preceptor should become purified by bathing, and performing
the Sandhyâ and other ceremonies 1;
one should do the eleventh-day ceremony, as prescribed.
5. One should perform the tenth-day Śrâddha in the
family name, without mantras; and on the eleventh day, offer a rice-ball
to the departed, with mantras.
6-10. One should make a golden image of Vishnu, a silver one
of Brahmâ, a copper one of Rudra, and an iron one of Yama,
To the west there should be a pot filled with Ganges water for
Vishnu; and upon it one should place Vishnu, clad in yellow robes.
To the east there should be a pot of milk and water for Brahma;
and there one should place Brahmâ, clad in white robes.
To the north there should be a pot of honey and clarified butter
for Rudra, and there one should place Rudra, clad in red robes.
To the south there should be a pot of rain-water for Yama; and
upon it one should place Yama, clad in black robes.
11-13. The son, having made a circle in the middle, and placed
therein kuśa-grass, facing southward, with the sacred thread
over the right shoulder 1,
should make the water-offering.
He should make water-offering, with Vaidic mantras, to Vishnu,
to the creator 2,
to Śiva and to Justice, 3
perform the offering to the fire and then the eleventh-day Śrâddha,
And he should next make a gift of a cow for the helping along
of his forefathers: "this cow is given by me. May it please Thee,
12-15. His clothes, his ornaments, his conveyances,--these, which
he has used,--a brass vessel filled with clarified butter, the seven
grains which he liked,
Sesamum and the rest, the eight great gifts: if one does not
offer these in his last days, they should be brought to his bedside
and he should have them given.
16. Having washed the feet of a Brahmin he should honour him
with cloths and other things, and give him cooked food, sweetmeats,
flour-cakes and milk.
17-.19. Then the son should place upon the bed a golden image,
and having worshiped it, give the bed as prescribed, for the sake
of the dead.
"This bed is given by me to you, O Brahmin, for the sake of the
departed, with the image of the departed, and the other things."
With these words it should be given to a Brahmin preceptor who
has a family; so going round him he should salute him and present
20. By this gift of the bed, and Śrâddhas of the ninth
and other days, and by the rite of the
dedication of a bull, the departed goes to the highest condition.
21-30. On the eleventh day the rite
of the dedication of a bull should be performed as prescribed. He
should not use a cow which is crippled, ill or too young, but one
having well-marked characteristics.
That which has red eyes, a reddish colour, red horns, neck and
hoofs, white belly and black back is suitable for a Brahmin;
A glossy and red complexion is suitable for a Kshattriya; yellow
colour for a Vaiśya; black is suitable for a Śûdra.
One with all limbs red-brown, with tail and feet white, is called
a reddish bull, and increases the satisfaction of the forefathers.
The bull whose face, legs and tail are white, and which is the
colour of lac dye is called dark.
That which has a red colour, with white face and tail, and brown
hoofs and horns is called dark-coloured.
That which has one colour over all its limbs and tail and hoofs
is called dark-brown, and is the uplifter of the ancestors.
That which is dove-coloured and has a tilaka-mark 1
on its forehead is called deep-brown, and is entirely beautiful
in all its limbs.
That which is dark over all its body, and red in its eyes, is
called very dark--of which five varieties are known.
This should by all means be dedicated, and should not be used
for domestic purposes. It exists in the world on this account,--so
runs an ancient saying.
31-35. One should desire for many sons, of whom one perchance
may go to Gayâ, or marry a virgin Gaurî or dedicate
a dark bull.
He alone should be considered a son who performs the dedication
of a bull and the Gayâ Śrâddha---who does not do
so verily is like unto excrement.
Any one whose ancestors are tormented in Raurava and other hells
helps them all out for twenty-one generations by the dedication
of a bull.
Even the forefathers who have gone to heaven desire the dedication
of a bull: "which son in our lineage will perform the dedication
of a bull,
"By whose dedication, all of us will go to the highest condition?
Among all sacrifices, the bull-sacrifice is the certain giver of
release to us."
36. Therefore, for the release of the forefathers, one should
perform the bull-sacrifice. He should do everything with diligence
according to the prescribed rite.
37. Having cast the positions of the planets and worshipped them
with their respective mantras, the ailing man should make the fire-offering,
according to the Śâstras, and worship a bull.
38-42. Having brought together a young bull and cow, he should
bind them together with a marriage string in accordance with marriage
rites, and then tether them to a post;
And should bathe the bull and young cow with the water from the
pot of Rudra, and, having worshipped them with fragrances and garlands,
walk round them.
He should [mark] the right side with the trident of Śiva
and the, left side with a discus. Having released the bull, the
son, with hands folded together, should recite this mantra:--
"Thou art Justice in the form of a bull. Thou wert formerly created
by Brahma. On account of your being released, help over this ocean
Having thus bowed to it, with this mantra, he should release
the bull and the young cow. "I shall always be the grantor of boons
to you, and will give release to the departed."
43. Therefore this should be done. Its fruit comes even during
life. The man who has no son, doing it himself, goes easily to the
44-45. In the month of Kârtika 1
and in other auspicious months, when the sun is going north, in
the bright fortnight, or the dark on the twelfth and following days,
In the two eclipses, at a sacred bathing place, at the equinoctial
and solstitial points, one should perform the dedication of a bull.
46-49. At the hour when the sun enters an auspicious constellation,
and in a pure place, a Brahmin who knows the rites and has the auspicious
signs should be invited.
By recitation, by fire-offerings, likewise by gifts, the purification
of the body should be done. As in the former case, all the rites
should be done; such as the fire-offering and the rest;
And having placed a Śâlagrâma one should do
the Vaishnava Śrâddha, and then perform the Śrâddha
for himself and give gifts to the twice-born.
He who does this, O Bird, whether having a son or not, by the
performance of the dedication of a bull obtains the fruit of all
50. That condition which is obtained by the performance of the
release of a bull, is not reached by oblations to the fire and other
sacrifices, nor by manifold gifts.
51-53. The sins which are committed in infancy, in childhood,
in youth, in manhood and in old age are destroyed, without doubt,
by the dedication of a bull.
The betrayer of friends, the ungrateful, the drinker of intoxicants,
he who goes with his teacher's wife, the slayer of a Brahmin, the
stealer of gold are all absolved by the dedication of a bull.
Therefore should one perform the bull sacrifice with all diligence,
O Tarksya; there is no merit in all the three worlds equal to that
from the dedication of a bull.
54. If a woman, having a husband and a son, predeceases both,
the dedication of a bull should not be performed,--one should present
a milk-giving cow.
55-56. He who burdens a bull on the shoulder or on the back,
falls into a dreadful hell, O bird! until the coming of the deluge.
The man who cruelly strikes a bull with his fists or with sticks,
suffers the torments of Yama until the end of the age.
57-59. Having thus carried out the dedication of a bull, one
should perform the sixteen Śrâddhas. I will tell you
what should be done prior to sapindîkarana ceremony.
That at the place of death; at the threshold; half-way on the
road; at the funeral pyre; in the hand of the corpse; and at the
collection of the bones;--these six, and the ten pindas given in
the ten days:--
These first sixteen are called impure. And next I will tell you
about the second, the middle, sixteen:--
30-64. One should offer the first rice-ball to Vishnu, the second
to the blessed Śiva; one should present the third to the retinue
The fourth to king Soma, the fifth to the bearer of oblations
to the Shining Ones, 1
and the sixth to the bearer of oblations to the forefather; the
seventh one should present to Death;
The eighth one should give to Rudra, 1
the ninth to Purusha, 2
the tenth to the departed, and the eleventh reverently to Vishnu;
The twelfth one should give to Brahmâ, the thirteenth to
Vishnu, the fourteenth to Śiva, the fifteenth to Yama;
The sixteenth rice-ball, O bird, one should give to Purusha:
These are called the middle sixteen by men who know the truth.
65-67, One should give rice-balls in each one of the twelve months,
on the fortnight, the third fortnight, before the six months, and
also before the year,--
This is the last sixteen, I have declared to you. Having had
food cooked, O Tarksya.
The forty-eight Śrâddhas destroy the condition of
the ghost-life. He for whom this series is performed becomes a member
of the assembly of the forefathers.
68-69. The three sixteens should be performed so that the departed
may join the assembly of the forefathers; if deprived of Śrâddhas
the ghost remains as preta always.
If the performance of the three sixteens of Śrâddhas
is not carried out, either by himself or another, then he certainly
does not join them.
70-72. Therefore the three sixteens should be performed by the
son, as prescribed, or if the wife does them for the husband there
is uninterrupted prosperity.
She who does the funeral ceremonies on the death of her husband,
and the annual and the fortnightly is called by me, "the Faithful."
This faithful wife lives for the good of her husband: the life
is fruitful of her who worships her dead lord.
73-78. Also, for any one who, owing to carelessness, is killed
by fire, or by water, one should perform the sacrament and other
rites as prescribed.
If he is killed through recklesness or wilfully, or by a serpent,
then me should worship a serpent on the fifth day of each fortnight.
One should form a picture of a hooded serpent upon the ground
with ricepowder, and worship with white sweet-smelling flowers and
One should offer a serpent incenses and lights, much strew rice
and sesamum, and should dedicate 1
uncooked rice-flour, 2
eatables and milk.
One should offer a serpent made of gold, according to his means,
and a cow, to a twice-born. Then one should, with hands together
"may the King of Serpents be pleased;"
And should further perform for them the rite Narayana-bali, by
which they are absolved of all sins and obtain residence in heaven,
79. Thus, having done all the rites, one should give every day
a jar with food and water until the end of the year, or rice-balls
with water regularly.
80. Having done this on the eleventh day he should then offer
the rice-balls for all the ancestors, 1
and when free from pollution he should have made a gift of a bed
and other gifts.
103:1 For an account
of these ceremonies, see the Daily Practice of the Hindus by Mr.
Sris Chandra Vasu, Panini Office, Allahabad.
104:1 It is usually
worn ever the left shoulder under the right arm, for this ceremony,
he mast change it.
104:3 Dharma or Yama.
106:1 Orthodox Hindus
place a mark on the forehead to show caste and other things.
108:1 Including the
latter part of October and the first part of November.
110:1 That is Fire.
111:2 The primeval
112:1 The food is
placed near the image, and passes of the hands are made as though
a influence it towards the image.
112:2 Made into a
ball, usually with sugar and cocoanut.
113:1 This ceremony
is performed on the twelfth day, as it were in anticipation of the
annual event. It is the ceremony for all the ancestors together.
An Account of the Ceremony for all the Ancestors.
1. Garuda said: Tell pre, O Lord, about the method of [performing]
the Sapinda rite. the removal of pollution, and the gift of accessories.
2. The Blessed Lord said: Listen, O Tarksya, and I will explain
to you the entire Sapinda rite, by which the condition of preta
is left behind and the soul enters the class of the pitris.
3-5. Those whose pindas have not been mixed together with the
ancestors called Śiva and the rest, 1
are not uplifted by the various gifts made by the sons.
If the son is always impure, they are never purified; without
the Sapinda rite the impurity does not depart.
Therefore the Sapinda, at the end of the pollution period, should
be performed by the son. I will tell you about the ending of pollution
to be observed by all.
6-9. A Brahmin becomes pure in ten days, a Kshattriya in twelve
days; a Vaiśya in fifteen days, a Śûdra in a month.
The Sapinda relatives 1
are purified from the death pollution in ten days; the Sâkulya
relatives 2 in three
nights, and the gotrajâs 3
are purified merely by bathing.
Those who are related within the fourth degree to the deceased
are purified in ten nights, those in the fifth degree, in six nights;
the sixth, four days; the seventh, three days;
The eighth, a single day; the ninth, a quarter of a day; the
tenth, merely till bathing;--so long lasts the pollution of death
and birth [according to the distance of degrees from the deceased].
10-11. If a person dies in a foreign land and one hears of his
death, then the impurity lasts for the remaining portion of ten
days on which he hears the news;
If after the lapse of ten days, he is polluted for three nights.
If after a year, he becomes pure even by bathing.
12. If a second pollution comes daring that from the first death,
then the purification from the first pollution includes that from
13. If a boy who has not yet cut his teeth dies, purification
is immediate; before tonsure, one night, it is said; before the
investiture with the thread, three nights; and afterwards, ten nights.
14-16. If a girl dies between birth and tonsure, purification
is immediate, in all the castes alike;
Up to betrothal a single day, and from that to old age three
nights are authoritative;
If after the betrothal ceremony three days for both families,
it should be understood; if after marriage, only the husband's family.
17-18. If the embryo dies before sixth month; in as many days
the embryo lived months, purity is regained.
After this the women are polluted, according to the caste. If
the embryo dies, purification of the Sapinda relatives is immediate.
19. During the Kali Age--it is authoritatively declared in the Śâstras--ten
days' purification for all the castes, after births and deaths.
20-22. Blessing the worship of the Shining Ones, reception of
guests, salutation, lying on a bed, and touching others should not
he done during the death pollution.
Sandhyâ prayers, giving, reciting, fire-offering, religious
study, offering to the forefathers, feeding of Brahmins and the
observance of vows should not be done during the death pollution.
He who during pollution performs the daily, the occasional and
the specially desired ceremonies--of him the regular and other ceremonies
already done are lost.
23. For one observing vows, engaged in mantras or in fire-offerings,
or a twice-born intent upon Brâhman, an ascetic or a king
there is verily no pollution.
24-26. Food prepared before marriage festivals and sacrifices,
and before the pollution by birth or death, can be eaten; so Manu
Whoever, during pollution, accepts through ignorance, suffers
no evil, but the giver even though it be to a mendicant that he
gives, suffers evil.
Whoever, hiding his pollution, gives food to a twice-born, and
the Brahmin who knowing it, accepts it,--are both subjected to suffering.
27. Therefore, for the purifying from pollution, one should perform
the Sapinda ceremony for the father, who then goes to the world
of the forefathers to join the multitudes of forefathers.
28-30. The truth-knowing sages hare declared that the Sapinda
ceremony should be on the twelfth day, the third fortnight, the
sixth month or at the end of the year.
But I say, O Tarksya, following the scriptural ordinances, that
for the four castes the Sapinda should be on the twelfth day.
The twelfth day is preferable because of the endless variety
of conditions in the Kali Age, and because of the shortened life
of men, and the impermanence of the body.
31-33. If a Brahmin house-holder dies, then investiture with
the sacred thread, the fulfilment of vows, marriage and other ceremonies
should not be done,
Until the Sapinda has been performed the mendicant should not
accept alms; and guest-offerings should not be accepted. The daily
and the occasional ceremonies should be discontinued.
By the omission of rites sinfulness arises; therefore one should
perform the Sapinda ceremony on the twelfth day, whether he be without
fire or with fire.
34. The fruit which accrues from visiting all the sacred bathing-places;
the fruit which accrues from performing all sacrifices: that fruit
is obtained by doing the Sapinda ceremony on the twelfth day.
35. Hence, having bathed, and having cleaned with cow-dung the
place of death, the son should perform the Sapinda ceremony, as
laid down in the scriptures.
36-30. Then he should worship the world-deities with foot-water,
oblations, 1 and âchamana. 2
Next, having given rice-balls to other departed ones, he should
He should offer three rice-balls in order to his grandfather
and others, in the forms of Vasu, Rudra and Arka, and the fourth
rice-ball to the dead.
He should worship with sandal-paste, leaves of the holy basil,
incenses, lamps, agreeable fools, mouth-scents, good cloths and
Having divided the rice-ball for the departed into three parts
with a thin bar of gold, he should mix them severally with the three
rice-balls given to the grand father and the others.
40. It is my decision, O Tarksya, that the Sapinda ought to be
done; the mother's with the grandmother's and the father's with
41-43. If the father dies while the grandfather still lives,
three rice balls should be offered to the great grandfather and
The father's rice-ball, divided into three parts should be mixed
with their rice-balls. If the mother dies before the grandmother--
Then he should perform the mother's Śrâddha in the
same way as the fathers; or should mix the rice-ball with both mine
and great Lakshmî's.
44. The husband should perform the Sapinda ceremony for his,
wife, if she has no son; he should do the Sapinda for her along
with the mother-in-law and others.
45. "The Sapinda rite for women should be done with that for
the husband, his father and grandfather"--that, O Tarksya, is not
my opinion; because the wife being already half the body of her
husband requires no Sapinda ceremony with regard to her husband.
46. If, O Kâśyapa! husband and wife ascend the same
funeral pyre, then, having put grasses between them, he should perform
it with that of the mother-in-law and father-in-law.
47. Only one son should perform the rites; first the offering
of a rice-ball and other things for the father, and after that,
having bathed again, the rite for the mother.
49-51. Having done the Sapinda, O Tarksya, he should make the
offering of water to the forefathers. He should utter "Let there
be Swadhâ," along with Vaidic mantras.
Afterwards he should always have a guest fed until he says "hanta." 1
By this the forefathers, the sages, the Shining Ones and the Dânavas
As much as a mouthful is called "alms," four mouthfuls is "abundance,"
and four abundances is called "hantakâra."
52-53. During the Sapinda he should worship the feet of a twice-born
with sandal-paste and coloured rice, and make to him a gift, for
his continued satisfaction.
He should have maintenance for a year, clarified butter, food,
gold, silver, a good cow, a horse, an elephant, a chariot and a
plot of ground given to a preceptor.
54. Then he should worship with mantras--after saying "Hail to
thee"--the planets, Devi, 2
and Vinîyakam 3,
with saffron, coloured rice and eatables.
55. The preceptor should then, with mantras, sprinkle water,
and having bound a thread upon the hand, should present the coloured
rice also consecrated with mantras.
50-57. Then he should have Brahmins fed with various pleasant
sweetened foods, and he should give them presents, and twelve pots
with water and food.
After the feeding of the twice-born, water, a weapon, scales,
and a rod should be touched severally by the castes, who are respectively
58. The Sapinda ceremony having been thus performed, the cloths
worn during the rite should be cast off; and white cloths having
been donned, the gift of a bed should he made.
59-64. All the Devâs, 1
headed by Indra, extol the gift of a bed. Therefore a bed should
be given, during life or else after death.
Made of the choicest wood, delightful, painted in beautiful colours,
strong, canopied with silken cloth, ornamented with gold leaves,
Having beautiful pillows stuffed with swans' down, together with
a coverlet made fragrant with the scent of flowers,
Well-bound with bright bands, broad and pleasant: such a bed
as this being made, it should be placed on the ground covered with
An umbrella, a row of silver lamps, an oxtail fan, a seat, a
vessel, a water-pot, a mirror, and a canopy of five colours,
And all the other accompaniments of the bed he should place round
it, in their proper places.
65-66. On it he should have placed a golden Hari, together with
Lakshmî, with all the ornaments, weapons and clothes.
And, in the case of women, having placed them on the bed, he
should have the red dye, saffron, clothes, ornaments, and all the
other necessary things.
67-68. Then a Brahmin, with his wife adorned with fragrances
and flowers, with ear and finger ornaments and golden necklaces,
Wearing a turban and an upper cloth and jacket, should be seated
by him on the comfortable bed, in front of Lakshmî and Narayana.
69-71. He should worship Hari and Lakshmî with saffron
and flower-garlands, and adore the Guardians of the World, the Planetary
Spirits and Vinâyaka.
Facing north, and holding flowers in his palms, he should pronounce
this mantra, standing in front of the Brahmin:
"Just as, O Krishna, your bed is the ocean full of milk, may
this likewise be not empty in my future births."
72-74. Thus he should place the handsful of flowers before the
Brahmin and the image of Hari, and then the bed-gift with its accompaniments,
according to the rite.
He should give it to him who observes vows, is a teacher, and
tells about Brahmin, and say, "O Brahmin, receive these. How seldom
does any one so give!"
He should rock the twice-born and Lakshmî and Hari, seated
on the bed, and then, having walked round and bowed, give them leave.
75. If he is rich he should give a very beautiful house, furnished
with all the necessaries, so that he may sleep happily on the bed,
76. If a living man makes with his own hand the gift of a bed,
there should be performed, while he is still living, on full moon
day the dedication of a bull.
77. This bed should be given to one only, and never to several.
Divided or sold it drags down the giver.
78. Having given a bed to a deserving person, he may obtain the
fruit of his desires. The father, and the son giving it, rejoices
here and hereafter.
79-80. At the celestial house of Indra, and at the abode of Yama,
he will arrive without doubt through the potency of the gift of
He will reside there free from trouble, seated in the best of
chariots, waited upon by numbers of celestial damsels, until the
coming of the deluge.
81. The merit from all the sacred bathing places, and on all
the days of the changes of the moon: even superior to these is the
merit arising from the gift of a bed.
82-86. Having this made the gift of a bed, the son should have
Padadâna given. Listen to my words, and I will tell you the
method of it.
An umbrella, shoes, clothes, a signet ring, a water-pot, a seat,
a set of five vessels--are called the seven kinds of padas.
This pada becomes complete with a staff, a copper vessel, uncooked
rice, foods, valuables, and sacred threads.
Having, according to his means, obtained these thirteen padas
he should give, them to thirteen Brahmins on the twelfth day.
By this padadâna the righteous go to a good condition,
and this padadâna gives happiness to those who have gone on
the way of Yama.
87-93. There is there intense heat, by which the man is scorched,
but the gift of an umbrella makes pleasant shade above his head;
And on the path in the world of Yama, full of great thorns, those
who gave shoes go riding horses.
The miseries of cold and heat and wind are dreadful there, O
Bird, but by the power of the gift of clothes he goes happily along
The messengers of Yama, very terrible, fierce and brown-black,
do not trouble on the road him who made the gift of a signet ring.
It is enveloped in great heat, is windless and without water;
through the gift of a water pot he, when thirsty, drinks water.
Who, for the dead, gives a water-vessel made of copper, certainly
enjoys the fruit which is obtained by thousands of gifts of wells.
Through properly giving to a twice-born a seat and a vessel,
leisurely going on the path he comfortably enjoys his provisions,
94-95. Having thus given, on the day of the Sapinda ceremony,
this gift, as prescribed, he should have many Brahmins fed, also
chandalâs and other outcasts.
Then, after the Sapinda and before the annual ceremony, a water-pot
with rice-balls should be given every month.
911. There is no re-doing of what is done excepting the rites
for the departed, 1
O Bird; but, for the sake of the departed it may be done again,
as a means of unfading satisfaction.
97-99. Now I shall tell you the rules concerning the monthly,
the annual and the fortnightly ceremonies, and of dying on lunar
If one dies at the full moon his rites fall on the fourth day.
If one dies on the fourth day his rites fall on the ninth.
If one dies on the ninth day, his day is the fourteenth. In these
cases one should perform the fortnightly Śrâddha on the
100-105. When in one month [Kshayamâsa] two saṅkrântis
occur, in the irregular month, the month being double, the Śrâddha
is not performed. 1
When there are two months in one month, of those two, the two
fortnights and the thirty days are the same [both must be performed.]
For the first half day take the former [the dark]; for the second
the latter. Thus are understood by the wise the two months which
are in the irregular month.
The Sapinda ceremony, O bird, should be done when there is no
sankrânta; similarly the monthly and the first annual Śrâddhas.
If there is an additional month in the middle of a year, then
in the thirteenth month the annual ceremony for the departed occurs.
When there is no sankrânta,
rice-balls are not used; when there is sankrânta, rice-balls
are proper. Thus the annual Śrâddha should be done in
106. Thus, at the end of the first year one should perform the
annual Śrâddha, and in that, in addition, the twice-born
should be fed.
107-110. After a year one should always offer three rice-balls
at the Śrâddha. The ceremony for one only should not
be done; by it one becomes the destroyer of his forefathers.
The Śrâddha at a sacred bathing-place, the Śrâddha
at Gaya, the Gajachchhâyam, for the fathers--these he should
not do during the year, nor at eclipses, nor on yuga days.
If the son performs the Śrâddha at Gayâ, O Lord
of Birds, it should be done after a year, with devotion to the forefathers.
The forefathers are freed from the ocean of existence by the Śrâddha
at Gayâ and, by favour of the Vishnu, they go to the supreme
111-113. He should worship the feet of Vishnu with the shoots
of the holy basil, and in proper order offer rice-balls round them.
He who offers, on the head of Gayâ, a rice-ball of the
size of even a śamî leaf helps over seven clans and one
hundred and one fatuities.
He who, delighting the family, having gone to Gayâ, performs
the Śrâddha and gives satisfaction to the forefathers,
his life is fruitful.
111-115. O Lord of birds, the forefathers hear a song sung by
the Holy Ones in Kalâpa, the garden of Ikshvâku, the
son of Manu:--
"Are there none in your family, treading the good path, who,
having gone to Gayâ, will offer us rice-balls, with devotion?"
116-119. The son who thus performs the rites for the other world,
O Târkshya, is happy and becomes liberated, like the son of
The seven sons of Bharadwâja, having experienced a series
of births, were liberated by the favour of the forefathers, O Târkshya,
although they killed a cow.
The seven hunters in the country of Daśârnas; the
deer on the mountain of Kâlinjira; the Chakravaka birds in Śaradvîpa:
and the swans in the Mânasa lake
Were born as Brahmins learned in the Vedas, on the field of the
Kurus, and all these sons of the twice-born attained liberation
through devotion to the forefathers.
120. Therefore a man should make every effort in devotion to
the forefathers, for by devotion to the forefathers he becomes happy
either in this or the other world.
121. Thus I have told you, O Tarksya, all the ceremonies, concerning
the deceased, giving merit to and satisfying the desires of the
son, and giving liberation to the forefathers.
122. Any man who is poor, but hears this account, even he, absolved
from sins, obtains the fruit of gifts.
123-126. He who performs, according to the rite, the Śrâddha
offerings described by me, and also hears the Garuda Purana,--listen
to the fruit for him:--
The father gives good sons; the grandfather, wealth of cows and
his great-grandfather becomes the giver
The great-great-grandfather gives foods in abundance: all these,
gratified by the Śrâddha, granting the son's desires,
Go on the way of righteousness to the mansion of the King of
Justice, and there they remain, highly respected, in the assembly
127. Sûta said: Having heard the result of the after-death
gifts and their mighty greatness, thus declared by the Blessed Vishnu,
Garuda went into raptures.
114:1 The grandfather,
his father and grandfather are considered as corresponding to Vasu,
Rudra and Âditya. Rudra is Śiva.
115:1 Cousins up to
the seventh, on the male line,--all males and unmarried females.
115:2 Cousins up to
the fourteenth, on the male line,--all males and unmarried females.
115:3 Cousins up to
the forty-second, on the male line,--all males and unmarried females.
118:1 Consisting of
rice, darbha grass, and flowers, with water.
118:2 See "Daily Practice
of the Hindus" for an account of âchamana.
120:1 A benediction
which the recipient makes when he has had enough.
120:2 The consort
121:1 A high class
of superhuman beings.
125:1 If other ceremonies
have been badly done they may not be re-performed; but this may.
126:1 "The ceremonies
are performed according to the lunar months, but there are to be
only twelve of the monthly ones in a year. Astrological calculations
are done with solar months. Hence there is an intercalary month
of 30 days every three years. The sankrânta is a solar month,
the passing of the sun through one zodiacal
constellation. The difference of solar and lunar months is about
11 days in the year; hence an additional irregular month occurs
once in 27 months. In this long month; the malamasa, or irregular
portion, is the first half, while the second half is regular. The
kshaya-mâsa is a name for a month which occurs every 149th
year, in which there is no sankrânti,--thus there are only
12 months in that year, not 13, although it is a year of intercalary
month. In this case the intercalary is added
and (?) treated as such, but the regular
mouth is dropped. It is November, December, January or February
which is thus dropped, but the intercalary is always associated
with one of the other eight. The month preceding month which is
dropped has its two fortnights taken as belonging to the regular
and the dropped month respectively. If a man dies in the second
fortnight in this case the annual ceremony belongs to the month
which was dropped. lf, on the other hand, a main has died and his
month is dropped the preceding month is taken for the annual Śrâddha.
If a man dies in the adigmâsa, then his annual Śrâddha
must be done in the dark half on the same day on which he died;
if his death occurred during the first half of the day, and on the
same day in the bright half if he died during the second half of
An Account of the City of the King of Justice.
1-2. Garuda said: what is the extent of the world of Yama? What
is it like? By whom was it made? What is the assembly like, and
with whom does Justice reside?
The righteous go by righteous ways to the mansion of Justice;
tell me about those righteous ones and the ways, O Treasure-house
3-5. The Blessed Lord said: Listen, O Tarksya, I will tell you
about that shining city of Justice, which is accessible to Nârada
and others find is reached by the very meritorious.
Between the south and south-west is the city of the son of Vivaswata,
all built of diamonds, resplendent, impregnable by Holy Ones or
It is declared to be four-angled, with four gateways, surrounded
by high ramparts and measuring a thousand yojanas.
6-9. In that city is the very lovely dwelling of Chitragupta,
which extends to the number of twenty-five yojanas,
Surrounded with shining ramparts of iron, up to ten [yojanas]
heights, with hundreds of streets decorated with flags and banners,
Abounding in chariots, resounding with songs and music, decorated
by skilful painters and constructed by divine architects,
Beautiful with gardens and parks, and sounding with the songs
of various birds; habited in every part by celestial damsels and
10-15. Chitragupta, seated on his most wonderful throne in that
assembly, considers the lives of men individually.
He is never mistaken in distinguishing between good and evil
deeds, or by whom good or evil deeds have been done
And by order of Chitragupta he experiences all of them there.
To the east of the abode of Chitragupta is the great house of Fever.
To the south are those of Rheumatism and skin diseases, and smallpox
likewise. To the west are those of the Snare of Death, Dyspepsia,
and Biliousness also.
To the north there is consumption and Jaundice likewise; to the
north-west, Headache; to the south-east, Syncope.
To the south-west, is Dysentery; to the north-west cold and heat--with
these and other diseases it is surrounded.
16-23. Chitragupta records the good and evil of men. Twenty yojanas
before the abode of Chitragupta,
In the middle of the city, is the
very resplendent mansion of the king of justice. It is shining with
jewels, and splendid like lightning, flame and the sun.
It is certainly two hundred yojanas in extent, and measures fifty
yojanas in height.
It is supported by thousands of pillars, decorated with emeralds,
ornamented with gold, and is full of palaces and mansions,
Pleasing to the mind with cupolas of the splendour of the autumnal
sky; with beautiful crystal stairways and walls beautified with
And with windows of strings of pearls, decorated with flags and
banners; rich with the sounds of bells and drums; and embellished
with golden fringes,
Filled with various wonders; with hundreds of golden doors;
beautiful with trees, plants and creepers
With these and other embellishments decorated always--it was
created by the architect of the Universe by the power of his own
24-28. In that there is a divine assembly place which is a thousand
yojanas in extent, splendid like the sun, full of light, and in
every way satisfying; 1
With no extreme heat and no extreme cold; most ravishing to the
mind with no sorrows and no old age there, and no trouble of hunger
All there are in a condition of happiness, whether they be human
or divine; the eatables are tasteful and plentiful, and enjoyable
in every way.
The water, both hot and cold, are sweet; the sounds and other
things there are pleasant; and trees always bear the fruit desired.
That assembly, O Tarksya, has no bondage, is enchanting, is a
fulfiller of desires, and was created by the Architect of the Universe
by doing tapas 2
for a long time.
29-30. Those who have done great tapas, are of good vows, truth-speaking,
tranquil, renouncing, accomplished, and purified by good actions
All there have bodies of light, and are adorned with shining
garments, and remain there ornamented with their own meritorious
31-33. There the Lord of Justice, on a throne pure and incomparable,
ten yojanas in extent, bedecked with all kinds of jewels--
Sits, the Best of the Good, his head dignified with the regal
umbrella, ornamented with ear-rings, prosperous, made splendid with
a large crown.
Adorned with all ornaments, splendid as a blue cloud, and fanned
by celestial damsels bearing in their hands fans of hair.
34-40. Multitudes of celestial choristers and numerous groups
of celestial damsels, round about, serve him with songs, music and
He is waited up by Mrityu 1
with a noose in his hand, by kâla 1
still more powerful, and by Chitragupta, the recorder of fate,
Surrounded by various servants equal to him in prowess, bearing
awful nooses and rods, ready to do his bidding,
Who are the Agnishvâttha, Pitris, 2
the Somapâs and the Ushmapâs, the powerful Barhishads
formed and formless, O Bird,
Aryamâs and others, hosts of progenitors, and others having
forms,--all these wait upon the King of Justice, with the sages:
Atri, Vaśishtha, Pulaha, Daksha, Kraturatha, Aṅgiras,
Jâmadagnya, and also Bhrigu, Pulastya, Agastya, Nârada,--
These, and many others in the assembly of the King of Progenitors,
impossible to enumerate, either by their names or their deeds.
41-45. Those who expound with accurate commentaries, the Dharmaśâstras, 1
serve the King of Justice by order of Parameshthin. 2
The kings of the Solar Race, also of the Lunar Race,--these knowers
of righteousness wait upon the King of Justice in the assembly.
Manu, Dilîpa, Mândhâtâ, Sagara, Bhagîratha,
Ambarîsha, Anaranya, Muchakunda, Nimi, and Prithu,
Yayâti, Nahusha, Puru; Dushmanta, Śibi, Nala, Bharata, Śântanu,
Pându, and also Sahasrârjuna,--
These royal sages, meritorious, famous, well-read in the Vedas,
having performed many horse sacrifices, are in the assembly of Righteousness.
46-47. Righteousness alone prevails in the assembly of the King
of Justice. There is there no favouritism, no untruthfulness, and
All those assembled are knowers of the scriptures; all are devoted
to righteousness; and in that assembly they continually wait upon
48-49. Such, O Tarksya, is the assembly of the great-souled King
of Justice. The sinners, who go by the southern path, do not behold
There are four ways leading into the city of the King of Justice:
The way for the sinful has already been described to you.
50. Those who go into the mansion of righteousness by the three
gateways, eastern and others, are those of good deeds. By their
merits they go into it. Hear about them:--
51-55. There is an eastern way, abounding in all enjoyments,
covered with the shade of Pârijâta trees, and paved
Busy with numerous chariots; splendidly lined with swans, bounded
by trees and pleasure-gardens, having the essence of nectar.
By that go the holy Brahmin-sages, the stainless royal sages,
and multitudes of celestial damsels, choristers, magicians and great
And worshippers of the deities, and the devotees of Śiva,
those who give rest-houses in the summer, and who give fuel in winter,
Those who shelter ascetics 1
in their houses during the rains, and make them gifts; those who
speak consolation to the mentally distressed, and certainly those
who give a hermitage,
And those who delight in truth and righteousness; those free
from anger and greed; those devoted to father and mother, those
taking pleasure in the service of their Teacher.
Those who make gifts of land, of houses, of cows; those who impart
learning; those who tell and listen to the Puranas;--are travellers
on the path--
These, and others of good deeds, enter by the eastern gate. Skilful
in goodness, and of purified intelligence, they go to the Assembly
59-61. The second, the northern way, is filled with hundreds
of great chariots and with palanquins, and is paved with yellow
It is full of swans and water-fowl, and beautiful with Brâhmany
ducks, and there is there a delightful tank full of the essence
On this way go those who are learned in the Vedas, also those
who honour guests, those who are worshippers of Dûrgâ 1
and Bhanu, 2 and
those who bathe at the sacred waters at the changes of the moon,
Those who die in the pursuit of righteousness, and those who
die of vow of starvation, those who die in Benares, those who die
in the protection of cattle, those who are accidentally drowned
in the sacred waters;
Those who die for the sake of Brahmins, in the service of the
master, at the sacred waters and on holy ground, by the will of
the Shining Ones; those who die in the practice of Yoga;
Those who always honour the deserving, and those who delight
in making great gifts,--these, entering by the northern gate, reach
the Assembly of Righteousness.
65-73. The third, the western way, is beautified with jewelled
mansions, and splendid with ponds, always filled with the essence
Is filled with maddened elephants sprung of the family of Airâvata 1
and with jewels of horses sprung from Uchchaiśravâ. 2
By this way go the self-reliant, those who contemplate the good
scriptures, those entirely devoted to Vishnu, those who repeat the
Those who turn away from injury to others, from the wealth of
others, and from calumny; those faithful to their wives; the good;
those who maintain household fires; those who repeat the Vedas;
Observers of the vow of celibacy; forest dwellers; the austere;
devotees of the feet of Sri; those intent upon renunciation; those
who look equally upon gold, stone and earth;
Those who have attained knowledge and dispassion; those intent
upon the welfare of all beings; those who keep vows to Śiva
and Vishnu; those who perform the rites of Brahmâ,
Those who are rid of the three-fold debt; those who always take
pleasure in the five sacrifices; those who perform Śrâddha
for the forefathers; those who perform the Sandhyâ at the
Those who abstain from the company of the wicked, devoted to
the society of the good;--these, accompanied by numbers of celestial
damsels, ascend the best of chariots.
They drink nectar, and go to the mansion of righteousness, and
entering by the western gate, go to the Assembly of Righteousness.
74-76. Yama, seeing them come, rising and coming forward, repeatedly
bids them welcome.
Then, assuming his four arms, holding his conch, discus, mace
and sword, he speaks and acts in a hind and friendly way to those
who delight in meritorious deeds.
He offers them the throne, and bows to them; washes their feet,
and then honours them with sandal-paste and other things.
77-81. "O’ You Assembled! Salute with deepest reverence
the knower. He, departing from my dominion, will go to the world
"O, Best of the Wise, who avoid the pains of hell; you have by
your merits attained divinity, the state of happiness.
"He who, attaining the human state, difficult to reach, never
acts wisely, he goes to a dreadful hell. Who is more foolish than
"He who, in the impermanent body, amid perishable wealth and
other things, stores up unchanging righteousness, he alone is a
wise man. "Therefore should righteousness be accumulated, with every
Go you to the holy place which abounds in all enjoyments."
82-85. They, having heard the words of Justice, and having saluted
him and the assembly, and being honoured by the immortals and extolled
by the leaders of the sages,
Go along the highest path, accompanied by multitudes of chariots;
then those in that assembly of righteousness rise up with great
Having spent there 1
some ages, and enjoyed superhuman pleasures, they obtain, as a result
of their merits, holy human birth,
Wealthy and wise, expert in all the scriptures. Then again they
go to the highest condition by their own good conduct.
86. All this about the abode of Yama has been told you upon your
asking. The man who hears this with devotion goes to the assembly
of the King of Justice.
133:1 Taking any form
133:2 Meditation with
an effort to produce physical effects.
134:1 Forms of Death.
134:2 A class of progenitors.
135:1 Scriptures teaching
the duties of life.
135:3 Yama, the son
136:1 Those who have
renounced the world.
137:1 The consort
137:2 The Sun.
138:1 The divine elephant.
138:2 The divine horse.
140:1 That is in Heaven
An Account of the Coming to Birth of People who have done Good.
1-2. Garuda said: The righteous man having enjoyed heaven, is
born in a stainless family. Now tell me how he is produced in the
womb of the mother.
I wish to hear what, in this body, the man of good deeds thinks.
Tell me, O Treasure-house of Compassion!
3-4. The Blessed. Lord said: You have asked well, O Tarksya.
I will tell you that supreme secret, even by knowing which one becomes
I will tell you the real nature of that body which possesses
the attributes of the universal Egg,--the object of concentration
5-6. Hear how the Yogins perform the meditation upon the six
chakras 1 within
it, and likewise meditation upon the nature of Chit and Ânanda
in the Brahmarandhra,
And how he of good deeds is born in the house of the pure and
prosperous. I will tell you also about the rites and observances
of the parents.
7-10. After menstruation the women should be avoided for four
days. Their face should not be seen during that time, lest sin should
arise in the body.
Having bathed, and washed her clothes, a woman becomes pure on
the fourth day. From the seventh day she becomes fit to perform
the rites of worship to the forefathers and the Shining Ones.
During the seven days the embryo continues impure. Here the sons
gradually enter during the eighth day.
Sons are born on even nights, daughters on odd. Keeping away
from, her during the first seven days, on even nights he enters.
11-12. Sixteen nights are declared to be common for women. 1
On the fourteenth night the seed remains there certainly.
Then is produced the righteous son, a store of auspicious qualities.
That night is never obtained by vulgar people.
13. On the firth. day women should eat sweet foods. Pungent,
acid, astringent and hot things should be entirely avoided.
14-18. The husband, like a husbandman, having sown the seed of
great potentiality in the field which is productive of grain, reaps
a good harvest.
The man, having chewed betel, 1
put on flowers and sandal-paste, and clean clothes, and with righteous
thoughts in his mind, should unite with his good wife.
According to the thoughts in his mind at the time of union will
be the nature of the one who enters the womb.
The intelligence joined with the seed remains always in the sperm,
When desire, thought and sperm become united,
Then the man obtains semen, and in the interior of the womb the
formation of ovum takes place, by the union of sperm and germ [cells]
19. The good son who enters the womb is the giver of the highest
bliss. For him there are numerous rites, such as the Punsavana. 2
20-23. The meritorious soul obtains birth in a high family. At
the time of his birth Brahmins receive much wealth.
He grows up in his parents' house, endowed with learning and
modesty, becoming skilful in all the sciences, by association with
In his youth he is divinely handsome, wealthy and benevolent,
arising as the result of great merit, austerities, and pilgrimages
to sacred waters, formerly done.
Then he constantly strives to discriminate between the self and
the not-self. By adhyâropa 1
and apavâda 2
he meditates upon Brâhman.
24. For the understanding of the dissociation of Brâhman
from that with which he is associated, I will tell you the attributes
of earth and the others, which are of the genus "Not-self."
25-30. Earth, water, fire, air and ether--these are called the
stable elements. This body is made up of the five elements.
Skin, bones, nerves, hair and flesh,--these are the five attributes
of earth, O Lord of birds, declared to you by me.
Saliva, urine, sperm, marrow, and blood, the fifth,--are said
to be the five attributes of water. Now hear those of fire:--
Hunger, thirst, sloth, sleep and sexual desire--are called the
five attributes of fire by Yogins everywhere, O Tarksya.
Bending, running, jumping, stretching and moving,--these are
declared the five attributes of air.
Speech, thought, vacuity, delusion and mental instability--the
five attributes of ether, may be understood by you with effort.
31. Mind, reason, individualisation, analysis--these four are
called the Internal Means, and have the flavour of past karma.
32. Ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose are the sense organs. The
organs of speech, hands, feet, the organs of generation and of excretion
are the organs of action.
33. Dik, Vâta, Arka, Prachetas, the two Aśvins, Vahni,
Indra, Upeudra, Mitra, are declared to be the duties of the organs
of sense and action,
34-35. I&dâ, 1
thirdly, and also Gândhârî, 4
Gajajihva, 5 Pûshâ, 6
and Kuhû, 9
and Saṅkhinî, 10
the tenth as well--are situated in the interior of the body, and
are the ten principal Na&dîs. 11
36-39. Prâna, Apâna, Samâna, Udâna, and
Vyâna also,--Nâga, Kûrma, Krikala, Devadatta and
In the heart, Prâna; in the anus, Apâna; in the navel,
Samâna; in the region of the throat, Udâna; and distributed
all over the body, Vyâna:
Vomiting is called Nâga; opening and shutting the eyes
is known as Kûrma; the cause of hunger is to be known as Krikala;
Dhanañjaya, all-pervading, does not leave even the corpse,
and carries all over the body the nourishment which is obtained
by eating mouthfuls of food.
40-43. The air called Vyâna carries the essential part
in all the Nâ&dîs. Food, as soon as eaten, is split
into two by that air.
Having entered near the anus it separates the solid and liquid
portions, placing the water over the fire, and the solid over the
The Prâna standing under the fire, inflames it slowly.
The fire, inflamed by the air, separates the substance from the
The Vyâna air makes the essence go all over, and the waste,
forced through the twelve gateways, is ejected from the body.
44. Ears, eyes, nostrils, tongue, teeth, navel, nails, anus,
generative organs, head, trunk, hair--are called unclean places.
45. Thus the airs, having derived
their power from the self, perform their own functions, affecting
people, just as does the rising of the sun.
46. Now hear, O Bird, the two-fold nature of the body of man.
One is Vyâvahârika, and the second Pâramârthika.
47-52. On the Vyâvahârika there are thirty-five millions
of hairs of the body, seven hundred thousands of hairs of the head,
it is said, and twenty nails;
There are said to be thirty-two teeth usually, O son of Vinatâ;
the flesh is said to be one thousand palâs 1
and blood one hundred palâs;
Fat is ten palâs; skin is seven palâs, marrow is
twelve palâs; the "great blood" is three palas;
Seed is known to be two ku&davas; ovum one ku&dava; and bones
in the body are said to be three hundred and sixty;
The nâ&dîs, both dense and subtle, number tens of
million; bile is fifty palâs; phlegm is half of that;
The waste materials are not measurable, as they are constantly
changing. The body which possesses these attributes is Vyâvahârika. 2
53. All the worlds, mountains, continents, oceans, suns and planets
are in the Pâramârthika 3
54. In the Pâramârthika body, there are six chakras
in which are said to be located the attributes of the egg of Brahmâ.
55. I will tell you about these, which are the objects of meditation
of Yogins. By pondering upon them one becomes the enjoyer of the
nature of Vairâja. 4
56-59. Below the feet is called Atala; above the feet, Vitala;
at the knees know it as Sutala; at the thighs Mahâtala;
At the hips, Talâtala; at the secret part Rasâtala;
at the loins Pâtâla; these are declared to be the seven
Bhûloka, at the middle of the navel; above it the Bhuvarloka;
in the heart, Svarloka; at the throat it should be known as Maharloka;
Janaloka, in the region of the mouth; Tapolaka, at the forehead;
Satyaloka in the Brahmarandhra--these are the fourteen worlds.
60-61. Meru is situated in the triangle 1;
Mandara is in the inverted triangle; Kailâśa is in the
right triangle; Himâchala, in the left triangle.
Nishada is in the upper lines Gandhamâdana in the lines
on the right; Ramana in the lines on the left;--the seven great
62-65. Jambu is in the place of the bones; Sâka is situated
in the marrow; the Kuśa continent is situated in the flesh;
the Krauncha continent in the nerves;
The Śâlmalî continent is in the skin; Gomeda,
in the mass of hair; Pushkara, in the place of the nails;--and next
In the urine the Kshâra ocean; the Kshîra ocean in
the milk; the Sura ocean is situated in the phlegm; in the
marrow, the Ghrita ocean;
The Rasa ocean in the juices; the Dadhi ocean is known to be
in the ova; the Swâdu ocean in the region of the soft palate;
you should know son of Vinatâ.
66-68. The sun is situated in the Nâda chakra; the moon
is in the Bindu chakra; Mars is situated, it should be known, in
the eyes; Mercury is in the heart, it is declared;
Jupiter is in the Vishnu-sthâna, it should be known; Venus
is situated in the seed; Saturn is in the navel; Râhu, in
the face, it is declared;
Ketu is situated in the lungs;--in the body is the circle of
the planets. In all these forms one should meditate on his own body.
69-71. Always at dawn, sitting steadily cross-legged, one should
meditate upon the six chakras, in the order of the Ajapâ. 1
The Gâyatrî called Ajapâ is the giver of liberation
to the sages; by merely thinking upon it one is released from all
Listen, O Tarksya, and I will explain the best method of Ajapâ,
by doing which the individual always gives up his separateness.
72-73. Mûlâdhâra, Swâdhishthâna,
Manipûraka, Anâhatam, Viśuddhi and also Âjñâ,--are
spoken of as the six chakras.
One should meditate in order upon the chakras, at the root of
the generative organ; in the region of the pelvis; in the navel;
in the heart; in the throat; between the eyebrows; at the top of
74-75. The mûlâdhâra is four-petalled and resplendent,
with letters from va to sa; the Svâdhishthâna resembles
the sun, is six-petalled, and has the letters from ba to la; the
Manipûraka is red in colour and has ten petals, from da to
pha; the Anâhata is twelve-petalled, from ka to tḥa,
and is golden-coloured;
The viśuddhi lotus is sixteen-petalled, with the vowels,
and has the light of the moon; the Mâtra 1
lotus is two-petalled, has the letters ha and ksha, and is red in
colour; the one at the top of the head is the most resplendent,
this lotus has a thousand petals, and is the seat of truth and bliss,
ever auspicious, light-possessing and eternal.
76. One should meditate, in order, in the chakras, on Ganesha,
on Vidhi, 2 on Vishhnu,
on Śiva, on Jîva, on Guru, and on Parambrahman, all-pervading.
17-80. It is said by the wise that the subtle movements of the
breath in one day and night number twenty-one thousand six hundred.
It goes out with the sound of "ha," and enters again with the
sound of "sa." The individual is, indeed, always repeating the mantra.
Six hundred for Ganeśa; six thousand for Vedhas 1;
six thousand for Hari 2;
six thousand for Hara. 3
A thousand for the Jîvâtman; a thousand for Guru;
a thousand or the Chidâtman;--thus one should understand the
respective numbers of the repetitions.
81-82. Aruna and other sages, who know the succession of Teachers,
meditate upon the deities presiding over the chakras, who are rays
The sages, Śuka and ethers, teach it to their pupils; therefore
a wise man, after meditating upon the path of the Great Ones, should
always meditate thus.
83. Having worshipped mentally in all the chakras, with unwavering
mind, he should repeat the Ajapâ-gâyatrî according
to the instructions of the Teacher.
84-88. He should meditate in the Randhra, with the thousand-petalled
lotus inverted, upon the Blessed Teacher within the Hamsa, whose
lotus-hand frees from fear.
He should regard his body as being washed in the flow of nectar
from His feet. Having worshipped in the five-fold way he should
prostrate, singing His praise.
Then he should meditate on the Kundalinî, as moving upwards
and downwards, as making a tour of the six chakras, placed in three-and-a-half
Then he should meditate on the place called Sushumnâ, which
goes out of the Randhra; thereby he goes to the highest state of
Then he should always meditate, between four o'clock and sunrise,
on my form, self-illumined, eternal and ever-blissful.
89. He should bring his mind to a state of steadiness, not by
efforts alone, but under the instruction of a teacher, without whom
90. Having done the inward-sacrifice he should perform the outward-sacrifice.
Having done the purificatory ablution, and the Sandhyâ, he
should worship Hari and Hara.
91-94. For those who are attached to the body facing-inward 1
does not come about. For then devotion is easier, and that gives
Tapas, and Yoga, and others, are also ways to liberation, but
for those who are attached to the world of change the path by devotion
to me is far superior.
This is the conclusion of the all-knowing Brahma and others,
after having conned the Vedas and the Śâstras for three
Sacrifices and other righteous duties purify the mind. The devotion
to me has a form of fruit from which the obtainer never falls away.
95. The good man who follows this, O Tarksya, by the union due
to devotion to me, goes to eternal liberation.
141:1 Certain centres
in the etheric and higher bodies, which revolves like wheels when
set in motion by meditation; hence the name chakra.
142:1 Sixteen are
favourable, but the fourteenth of them is best, if some other cause
doer not render it inauspicious.
143:1 To augment the
143:2 A rite performed
when living conception is observed.
144:1 False ascription,
two sorts of arguments.
145:1 The left hand
145:2 The right hand
145:3 The central
145:4 This goes to
the left eye.
145:5 This goes to
the right eye.
145:6 This goes to
the right ear.
145:7 This goes to
the left ear.
145:8 This goes to
145:9 This goes to
145:10 This gees to
145:11 An inner nerve,
channel for the vital breath.
145:12 Various forms
of the vital breath.
147:1 Pala is a little
more than an ounce (6/5 oz.)
147:2 Individual and
common physical body.
147:3 Universal and
147:4 Viraj means
148:1 The triangle
in the triangle. Meru is the sacred mountain or pakk.
149:1 The saying of "Haṁsa."
150:1 That is, the Âjñâ.
152:1 Their meditation
is unsuccessful, because they are thinking
of outer things.
An Account of the Law for Liberation.
1-4. Garuda said: I have heard from you, O Ocean of compassion,
about the transmigrating of the individual, through ignorance, in
the worlds of change. I now wish to hear about the means for eternal
O Lord, O Ruler of the Shining Ones, compassionate to those who
seek refuge,--in this terrible world of change, in the unsubstantial,
in all deep miseries,
The endless multitudes of individuals, placed in various kinds
of bodies, are born and die--of them no end is known.
Always miserable in this world, no one is ever known to be happy.
O Lord of Liberation, tell me by what means they may obtain release,
5-7. The Blessed Lord said: Listen, O Tarksya, and I will explain
to you what you have asked, even by the hearing of which a man is
released from the world of change.
There is a Shining One, Śiva, who has the nature of Supreme
Brâhman, who is partless, all-knowing, all-doing, Lord of
all, stainless and secondless,
Self-illumined, beginningless and endless, beyond the Beyond,
without attributes, Being and Knowing and Bliss. That which is considered
the individual is from a part of Him.
8-10 These, like sparks of a fire, with beginningless ignorance,
separated and encased in bodies by beginningless karma,
Are fettered by forms of good and evil, giving happiness and
misery,--with nationality of body, length of life, and fortune born
In every life obtained. They have also, O Bird, a higher and
more subtle body, the linga, lasting until liberation.
11-13. The unmoving things, worms, goats, birds, animals, men,
the righteous, the thirty-three deities, and also the liberated,
according to their order,
Having worn and cast aside the four sorts of bodies thousands
of times, one becomes a man by good deeds, and if he becomes a knower 1
he attains liberation.
The embodied, in the eighty-four hundred thousands of bodies
before attaining human birth, can obtain no knowledge of the truth.
14-16. Through millions of myriads of thousands of births some
time a being obtains human birth, through the accumulation of merit.
He who, having obtained a human body, difficult to get, and a
step to liberation, does not help himself over,--who in this world
is more sinful than he?
The man who, having obtained this highest birth and superior
senses, does not understand what benefits the soul is a slayer of
17-19. Without a body, nobody obtains the object of human life;
therefore should he guard his body as wealth and perform meritorious
He should always guard his body, which is the means to everything.
Living, he should make every effort to protect it, in view of welfare.
A village again, a field again, wealth again, a house again,
good and evil actions again--the body never again. 1
20-21. The wise always adopt means for the preservation of the
body; even those afflicted with diseases such as leprosy do not
wish to give it up.
It should be guarded for the sake of duty; duty for the sake
of knowledge; knowledge for the sake of Yoga-meditation,--then he
is soon released.
22-23. If he does not guard himself against harm who else will?
Therefore should he look after his own benefit.
He who does not take precautions against the diseases of hell
while here; afflicted with disease and having gone to a country
where there is no medicine, what will he do?
24-25. Old age comes on like a tigress; life goes like water
from a broken pot; diseases attack like foes. Therefore should he
strive for the best.
So long as misery does not come, so long as calamity does not
befall, so long as the senses are not decayed, so long should he
strive for the best.
26-32. So long as the body lasts, so long should truth be pursued,--the
stupid man digs his well when the corner of his house is already
The time of death is not known by those who are variously embodied
in the world of change. Alas! a man, between happiness and misery,
does not know his own benefit.
Though seeing those just born, the afflicted, the dead, those
whom calamity has befallen, and the miserable, people are never
afraid, having drunk the liquor of delusion.
Riches are like unto a dream; youth is like a flower, life is
fickle as lightning,--where is there a discerning one who is at
Even a hundred years of life is very little, and half of it is
sleep and idleness, and even that little is unfruitful owing to
the miseries of childhood, disease and old age.
He does not do what ought to be done; when he should be awake
he sleeps; where he should fear he confides. Alas! what man is not
How shall the individual who has taken a body, which is like
foam on water and is attached to passing objects, be free from fear?
33-35. He who does not know what is good for him thinks the harmful
beneficial, the impermanent permanent, and the evil good;
Though seeing, he falters; though hearing, he does not understand;
though reading, he does not know; bewildered by the divine magic.
This universe is immersed in the boundless ocean of death,--though
grasped by the crocodiles of death, disease and old age, he does
36-38. Time, though wearing away with every moment, is unnoticed,
just as an unbaked pot placed in water disappears imperceptibly.
Air may be enclosed, ether may be split; waves may be bound,--life
cannot be made permanent.
Earth is burnt away by time; even Meru is reduced to powder;
the water of the ocean is dried away--what shall be said of the
39-41. The wolf of death forcibly slays the lamb of a mortal,
who prates of "my offspring; my wife; my wealth; my relatives."
"This has been done; this is to be done; this other is done or
not done." Him who is thus prating death overpowers.
"It must be done to-morrow; it must be done to-day; in the morning
or in the afternoon,"--death does not consider whether it leas been
done or not done.
42. Thou shalt encounter the enemy, death, whose, coming is shown
by age, who has an army of dreadful diseases--wilt thou not see
43-44. Death preys upon the man afflicted
with the needles of thirst, bitten by the serpent of sense-objects,
and baked in the fire of desire and repulsion.
Death attacks children, young men, the old, those in the embryo
condition,--such is this world of creatures.
45-48. This individual, leaving his own body, goes to the abode
of Yama. What is the good of association with wife, mother, father,
son and others?
The world of change is verily the root of misery. He who is in
it is afflicted with misery. He who abandons it becomes happy,--otherwise
This world of change, which is the source of all misery, the
seat of all calamities, and the refuge of all sins, should be abandoned
A man bound in fetters of iron or wood may be released, but from
the fetters of son and wife can never be freed.
49-51. So long as the being makes attachments pleasant to the
mind, so long shall the dagger of sorrow pierce his heart.
People are destroyed every day by the desire for great wealth.
Alas! Fie upon the foods of the senses, which steal away the senses
of the body.
Just as the fish, covetous of flesh, does not see the iron hook,
so the embodied, covetous of pleasure, does not see the torments
52-55. Those men who do not understand what is good and what
is not good for them, who constantly pursue evil courses, and are
intent on the filling of the belly, are destined for hell, O Bird.
Sleep, sexual pleasure, and eating are common to all creatures.
Who possesses knowledge is called a man, who is devoid of it is
called a beast.
Foolish men are tormented at break of day by nature's calls;
when the sun is in the meridian by hunger and thirst; in the night
by passion and sleep.
All those beings who are attached to their bodies, wealth, wife
and other things, are born and die deluded by ignorance, alas!
56-57. Therefore should attachment be shunned always, It is not
possible to give up everything. therefore should friendship with
the great be cultivated, as a remedy for attachment.
Attachment to the good, discrimination, and purity of the eyes--the
man who has not these is blind. How shall he not tread evil ways?
58. All those deluded men who turn away from the duties of their
respective castes and orders, and do not understand the highest
righteousness, perish fruitlessly.
59-60. Some are intent upon ceremonies, attached to the practice
of vows; with self enveloped in ignorance the imposters go about.
The men who are attached to the ceremonial alone are satisfied
with mere names, deluded by the repetitions of mantras, oblations
and other things, and by elaborate rituals.
61-62. The fools, bewildered by My magic, desire to obtain the
invisible by single meals, fasts and other restraints, and by the
emaciation of the body.
Of those who have no discrimination, what liberation can there
be by bodily tortures alone? What great serpent is killed by beating
the anthill alone? 1
63. The hypocrites, putting on appearances, and wearing quantities
of matted hair, and using antelope skins, wander about like knowers,
and even delude people.
64. He who is attached to the pleasures of the worlds of change,
saying "I am a knower of Brâhman," and is devoid of both rites
and Brâhman should be shunned like a low outcaste.
65-69. Donkeys walk about among people, in forests and among
houses, quite naked and unashamed. Are these free from attachment?
If men are to be liberated by earth, ashes and dust, does the
dog which always live among earth and ashes become liberated?
The jackals, rats, deer and others, which feed upon grass, leaves
and water, and always live in forests,--do these become ascetics?
The crocodiles, fishes and others, which from birth to death,
dwell in the waters of Ganges,--do these become Yogins?
Pigeons at times eat stones, and Châtaka birds do not drink
water from the earth,--are these observers of vows?
70. Therefore this class of practices is a thing which makes
pleasure for people, O Lord of Birds,--direct knowledge of the Truth
is the cause of liberation.
71-73. Fallen into the great well of the six philosophies, 1
O Bird, the brutes do not understand the chief good; bound in the
snare of animalism.
They are tossed hither and thither in the dreadful ocean of Vedas
and Śâstras; caught in the six waves they remain sophists.
He who knows the Vedas, the Śâstras and the Puranas,
but does not know the chief good,--of that imitator all this is
as the speech of a crow.
71-76. "This is known; this must be known,"--thus bewildered
by anxiety they read the scriptures day and night, turning away
from the highest truth.
The fools, decorated with garlands of poetry constructed of forms
of speech, miserable with anxiety, remain with senses bewildered.
76-77. Men trouble themselves variously, but the highest truth
is otherwise; they explain in different ways but the best purport
of the Śâstras is otherwise.
They talk of the highest experiences, not realising them themselves.
Some have ceased preaching, being engrossed in egotism.
78-82. They repeat the Vedas and the Śâstras, and
argue with one another, but they do
not understand the highest truth,--like the spoon the flavour of
The head bears flowers, the nostril knows the smell. They read
the Vedas and the Śâstras, but find impossible the understanding
of the truth.
The fool, not knowing that the truth is seated in himself, is
bewildered by the Śâstras,--a foolish goatherd, with
the young goat under his arm, peers into the well.
Verbal knowledge cannot destroy the illusions of the world of
change,--darkness never disappears by talking of a lamp.
Reading, to a man devoid of wisdom, is like a mirror to the blind;
hence, for those who have understanding, Śâstras are
only a potter to the knowledge of the truth.
83-84. "'This is known; this must be known,"--he wishes to hear
everything. If one lives for a thousand celestial years he cannot
reach the end of the Śâstras.
The Śâstras are numerous; life is brief; and there
are tens of millions of obstacles; therefore the essence should
be understood,--like the swan taking the milk in the water.
85-86. Haring practised the Vedas and the Śâstras,
and having known the Truth, the wise man should abandon all the
scriptures; just as one rich in grains abandons the straw.
Just as there is no use for food to one who is satisfied with
nectar, so is there not use for the scriptures, O Tarksya, to the
knower of the Truth.
87-88. There is no liberation by the study of the Vedas, nor
by the reading of the Śâstras. Emancipation is by knowledge
alone, not otherwise, O son of Vinatâ.
The stages of life are not the cause of liberation, nor are the
philosophies, nor are actions,---knowledge only is the cause.
89-90. The word from the Teacher gives liberation; all learning
is masquerade. Among thousands of woods the Sañjîvana 1
The non-dual, verily declared auspicious, is beyond efforts of
action, and to be obtained by the word of the Teacher, not by the
study of tens of millions of texts.
91. Knowledge is said to be of two kinds: study and discrimination.
The study is of Śabda Brâhman; Para Brahman is reached
92. Some prefer the Non-dual 2;
other prefer the Dual 3
but they do not understand the One Reality, beyond the Dual and
93-94. Two phrases make for bondage and liberation: "Mine" and
"Not-mine." The being saying "Mine" is bound; saying "Not-mine"
That is the karma that does not bind, that the knowledge that
gives release; other karma is worrying, other knowledge is skilful
95-97. So long as actions are performed; so long as the impressions
of the world of change remain, so long as the senses are fickle;
so long how can there be realisation of Truth?
So long as there is pride of body; so long as there is the sense
of "mineness," so long as there is excited striving; so long as
there is imagination of plans;
So long as there is not stability of mind; so long as there is
no meditation upon the Śâstras, so long as there is no
love for the Teacher; so long how can there be realisation of Truth?
98-99. So long as one does not reach Truth, so long should he
do austerities, vows, pilgrimage to sacred waters, recitations,
oblations, worship and reading of the prescribed texts of the Vedas
Therefore, if one desires liberation for himself, O Tarksya,
he should every effort, always, and under all circumstances he attached
100. One who is tormented by the three miseries and the rest,
should resort to the shade of the tree of Liberation, whose flowers
are righteousness and knowledge, and fruits are heaven and liberation.
101. Therefore from the mouth of the Blessed Teacher the Truth
of the self should be known. By knowledge the being is easily released
from the awful bondage of the worlds of change.
102. Listen! I will tell you now about the final actions of the
knower of the Truth, by which he obtains liberation, which is called
the Nirvâna of Brâhman.
103-107. His last days approaching, the man, rid of fear, should
cut off, with the sword of unattachment, the desires connected with
Courageously wandering from home, performing ablutions in the
water of the holy bathing places, sitting alone on a pure seat prepared
He should practise mentally upon the supreme three-fold pure
Word of Brahmâ. He should, with breath controlled, restrain
his mind, not forgetting the Brahma Bîja. 1
With reason for charioteer he should withdraw the senses from
the sense-objects by the mind, and should fix his mind, drawn away
by karmas, with understanding, upon the pure.
"1 am Brâhman, the Supreme Abode; I am Brâhman, the
Highest Goal,"--having realised this and placed the self in the
self he should meditate.
108. He who, when leaving the body, utters the one-syllabled
Brâhman, "Oṁ," remembering me, goes to the Highest
109-110. The hypocrites, devoid of knowledge and unattachment,
do not go there. I will tell you about the wise, who go to that
Free from pride and delusion, with the evils of attachment conquered,
always dwelling in the Higher Self, with desires overcome, released
from the contracts known as pleasure and pain, they go, undeluded,
on that eternal path.
111-114. He who bathes in the water of the Mânasa, 1
which removes the impurities of attraction and repulsion, in the
lake of knowledge, in the waters of Truth,--he verily attains liberation.
He who, firm in non-attachment, worships me, thinking of no other,
full-visioned, with tranquil self,--he verily attains liberation.
He who, expecting to die, leaning his home, dwells at a sacred
bathing-place, or dies in a place of liberation, he verily attains
Gayâ, 4 Kaśî, 5
seven cities should be known as the givers of liberation.
115. This eternal way of liberal in al has been described to
you, O Tarksya,--hearing it with knowledge and dispassion one attains
116. Knowers of Truth attain liberation; righteous men go to
heaven; sinners go to an evil condition; birds and others transmigrate.
117. Thus in sixteen chapters I have related to you the extracted
essence of all the scriptures. What else do you wish to hear?
118-120. Sûta said: Having thus heard, O King, these words
from the mouth of the Lord, Garuda, repeatedly prostrating himself,
said this, with hands folded together:--
"O Lord, O God of Gods, having heard these words of nectar I
have been helped over the ocean of existence, O Lord, O. Protector!
"I stand freed from doubts. My desires have been completely fulfilled."
Having said this, Garuda became silent and lost in meditation.
121. May Hari, the remembrance of whom removes evil, who gives
the condition of happiness for the sacrifice of worship, and who
gives liberation for supreme devotion to Him,--protect us.
Suggested Further Reading
155:1 That is, One
who knows the Self.
156:1 Meaning that
one may re-obtain these things after losing them--but not the body.
161:1 There is supposed
to be a serpent living in the ground beneath the ant-hill.
Vaiśeshika, Sâṅkhya, Yoga, Mîmânsâ,
165:1 The plant brought
by Hanumat to restore Lakshman when killed by Indrajit.
165:2 Adwaita philosophy.
Eternal inseparateness and non-duality.
165:3 Dwaita. Separateness
of the individual and universal self.
167:1 Bîja is
a seed; a mantra governing a work such as an Upanishad Oṁ.
168:1 A holy lake
in the Himâlayas, also a mystical place.
168:2 Perhaps Oudh.
Source: The Garuda Purana Translated by Ernest Wood
and S.V. Subrahmanyam  The text has been reformatted
and rearranged for this online edition at Hinduwebsite.com
by Jayaram V. This text is in the public domain in the United
States because it was published prior to January 1st, 1923.
These files may be used for any non-commercial purpose,
provided this notice of attribution is left intact in all