Garuda Purana, Chapter 15


Translated by Ernest Wood and S.V. Subrahmanyam

| Ch.1 | | Ch.2 | | Ch.3 | | Ch.4 | | Ch.5 | | Ch.6 | | Ch.7 | | Ch.8 | | Ch.9 | | Ch.10 | | Ch.11 | | Ch.12 | | Ch.13 | | Ch.14 | | Ch.15 | | Ch.16 | | Index | | complete |

An Account of the Coming to Birth of People who have done Good.

1-2. Garuḍa 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 Târkṣya. I will tell you that supreme secret, even by knowing which one becomes all-knowing.

I will tell you the real nature of that body which possesses the attributes of the universal Egg,--the object of concentration of Yogins.

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.

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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.

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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 Brâhmiṇs receive much wealth.

He grows up in his parents' house, endowed with learning and modesty, becoming skilful in all the sciences, by association with the wise.

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.

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Then he constantly strives to discriminate between the self and the not-self. By adhyâropa 1 and apavâda 2 he meditates upon Brâhmaṇ.

24. For the understanding of the dissociation of Brâhmaṇ 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 Târkṣya.

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.

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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. Iḍâ, 1 Pingalâ, 2 Suṣumnâ, 3 thirdly, and also Gândhârî, 4 Gajajihva, 5 Pûṣâ, 6 Yaśasvinî, 7

Alambuṣa, 8 and Kuhû, 9 and Saṅkhinî, 10 the tenth as well--are situated in the interior of the body, and are the ten principal Naḍîs. 11

36-39. Prâṇa, Apâna, Samâna, Udâna, and Vyâna also,--Nâga, Kûrma, Kṛikala, Devadatta and Dhanañjaya 12:--

In the heart, Prâṇa; in the anus, Apâna; in the navel, Samâna; in the region of the throat, Udâna; and distributed all over the body, Vyâna:

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Vomiting is called Nâga; opening and shutting the eyes is known as Kûrma; the cause of hunger is to be known as Kṛikala; Yawning, Devadatta;

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 Nâḍîs. 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 water,

The Prâna standing under the fire, inflames it slowly. The fire, inflamed by the air, separates the substance from the waste.

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.

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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 kuḍavas; ovum one kuḍava; and bones in the body are said to be three hundred and sixty;

The nâḍîs, 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 body.

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

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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 worlds:

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.

Niṣada is in the upper lines Gandhamâdana in the lines on the right; Ramaṇa in the lines on the left;--the seven great mountains.

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; Puṣkara, in the place of the nails;--and next the oceans:

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In the urine the Kṣâra ocean; the Kṣîra ocean in the milk; the Sura ocean is situated in the phlegm; in the marrow, the Ghṛita 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 Viṣṇu-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 sin.

Listen, O Târkṣya, and I will explain the best method of Ajapâ, by doing which the individual always gives up his separateness.

72-73. Mûlâdhâra, Swâdhishthâna, Maṇipûraka, Anâhatam, Viśuddhi and also Âjñâ,--are spoken of as the six chakras.

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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 the head.

74-75. The mûlâdhâra is four-petalled and resplendent, with letters from va to sa; the Svâdhiṣṭhâna resembles the sun, is six-petalled, and has the letters from ba to la; the Maṇipûraka 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 kṣa, 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 Gaṇeṣa, on Vidhi, 2 on Viṣhṇu, on Śiva, on Jîva, on Guru, and on Parambrahmaṇ, 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.

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It goes out with the sound of "ha," and enters again with the sound of "sa." The individual is, indeed, always repeating the mantra. "Haṁsa, haṁsa,"--

Six hundred for Gaṇeśa; 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. Aruṇa and other sages, who know the succession of Teachers, meditate upon the deities presiding over the chakras, who are rays of Brahmaṇ.

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 Ranḍhra, with the thousand-petalled lotus inverted, upon the Blessed Teacher within the Haṁsa, whose lotus-hand frees from fear.

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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 Kuṇḍalinî, as moving upwards and downwards, as making a tour of the six chakras, placed in three-and-a-half coils.

Then he should meditate on the place called Suṣumnâ, which goes out of the Randhra; thereby he goes to the highest state of Viṣṇu.

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 he falls.

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 liberation.

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 periods.

Sacrifices and other righteous duties purify the mind. The devotion to me has a form of fruit from which the obtainer never falls away.

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95. The good man who follows this, O Târkṣya, by the union due to devotion to me, goes to eternal liberation.

Next: Chapter XVI. An Account of the Law for Liberation

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Suggestions for Further Reading


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 virile power.

143:2 A rite performed when living conception is observed.

144:1 False ascription, and ...

144:2 refutation, two sorts of arguments.

145:1 The left hand nâḍî.

145:2 The right hand one.

145:3 The central one.

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 the mouth.

145:9 This goes to the liṅgam.

145:10 This gees to the mûla.

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 spiritual body.

147:4 Viraj means "to shine."

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.

150:2 Brahmâ.

151:1 Brahmâ.

151:2 Viṣṇu.

151:3 Śiva.

152:1 Their meditation is unsuccessful, because they are thinking of outer things.

Source: Originally Scanned at, June 2006. Proofed and formatted by John Bruno Hare. The text has been reformatted and rearranged for this online edition at 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 copies.