Guide The Garuda Purana

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Who lives by violence, who robs caravans on the road, and who is fond of hunting, certainly becomes a goat in a butcher's house. Who dies by drinking poison becomes a black serpent on a mountain; whose feature is unrestrained becomes an elephant in a desolate forest. Those twice-born who do not make offering to the World-deities, and who eat all foods without consideration, become tigers in a desolate forest.

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. 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 Fire-face. 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. Who destroys hopes and who destroys affection, who through dislike abandons his wife, becomes a ruddy goose for a long time. Who hates mother, father and teacher, who quarrels with sister and brother, is destroyed when an embryo in the womb, even for a thousand births.

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. Who, abandoning her own husband, runs after another man, becomes a flying-fox, a house-lizard, or a kind of female serpent. 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. 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.

Who covets his teacher's wife, becomes a chameleon; who goes with the king's wife becomes corrupt; and with his friend's wife, a donkey. 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.

Those who are very sinful, having passed through dreadful hells produced by their great sins, are born here upon the exhaustion of their karma. 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. 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.

The sinner who takes back by force what has been given by himself, goes into hell until the coming of the deluge. 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. 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.

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. Thus the makers of bad karma, having experienced the tortures mf hell, are born with the residues of their sins, in these stated forms. Then, obtaining for thousands of lives the bodies of animals, they suffer from carrying burdens and other miseries.

Having experienced as a bird the misery of cold, rain and heat, he afterwards reaches the human state, when the good and evil are balanced. Man and woman having come together, he becomes an embryo in due course.


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Having suffered the miseries from conception onwards to death, he again dies. Birth and death are the lot of all embodied beings; thus turns the wheel in the four kingdoms of beings. 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. 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.

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. I will tell you how the mortal is born when the male and female elements are bound together by the union of man and woman. 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. 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.

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. 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.

All its limbs bitten constantly by hungry worms, it swoons away repeatedly through excessive pain, as they are very tender. 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. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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.

When shall I get out? Let not this transmigration occur to me again. 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 delivery. Cast out forcibly, bending down his head, he comes out with anxiety and painfully breathless and with memory destroyed. Having fallen on the ground he moves like a worm in excrement.

He is become changed in condition, and cries loudly, deprived of knowledge. 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! When he comes out of the womb, after experiencing his karma, then verily the man is bewildered by the magic ofVishnu.

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. He is nourished by people who do not understand his wishes, unable to ward off what is thrust upon him against his desire. Lain upon a bed unclean and befouled by perspiration, he is unable to scratch his limbs, to sit, rise or move. Mosquitoes, gnats, bugs and other flies bite him, skinless and weeping and deprived of understanding, just as insects bite little worms. In this wise having experienced the miseries of infancy and of childhood, he reaches youth and acquires evil tendencies.

Then he begins evil brooding, mingling in the company of the wicked; he hates the scriptures and good men, and becomes lustful. Seeing a seductive woman, his senses captivated by her blandishments, infatuated he falls into great darkness, like a moth into a flame. The deer, the elephant, the bird, the bee and the fish: 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.

The lover makes quarrels with rivals, to his own ruin and is destroyed by those stronger than himself, as one elephant by another. Who is more sinful than the fool who, attached to sense-objects, spends in vain the human birth which was difficult to obtain. After hundreds of lives one obtains human birth on earth; and even more difficult to obtain is that as a twice-born: Then, having arrived at old age, he is troubled with great diseases; and, death having come, he goes to a miserable hell, as before.

Thus held fast in the ever-circling noose of karma, the sinful, bewildered by my magic, are never released. Tell me by what means men who have committed sins unknowingly or knowingly escape from the torments of the servants of Yama. 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 O Tarksya, you have done well in asking for the benefit of men, Listen attentively, and I will tell you all.

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,. 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. The son saves his father from the hell called Put; therefore he was named "putra" by the Self-existent himself. Even a single son, if righteous, carries the whole family over. 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.

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. Knowing this, O Best of Birds, one should avoid a woman of lower caste. Sons having father and mother of the same caste are legitimate, O Bird. Concerning this I will give you, from ancient history, an example of the efficacy of gifts for the higher body. Righteously protecting his subjects as though they were his own sons, always delighting in Kshattriya duties, and punishing the guilty.

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.

The deer, severely wounded by his very hard arrow, ran out of sight into the interior of the forest, carrying the arrow with him. The king, following the blood-stains on the grass, pursued the deer and came into another forest. That leader of men, hungry and with parched throat, fainting with the heat and with fatigue, coming to a lake bathed in it with his horse. 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. Now he beheld a Departed One, of terrible appearance, humpbacked and fleshless, with hair erect, dirty, and with senses discomposed by hunger and thirst. The Departed One, also seeing the king who had come to that dreadful forest,. And becoming filled with curiosity, came near to him. Then, O Tarksya, this king of the Departed spoke thus to the king:.

Who are you, and by what gifts will your condition as Departed pass away? The Departed one said: You will surely have compassion upon me when you have heard the cause of my condition as Departed,. By fire-offering I pleased the Shining Ones, and likewise the forefathers by food. I gave food of various kinds to the poor, the blind and the wretched. How my good deeds proved fruitless I will relate to you. It is said that in this world the king is the kinsman of all castes. Suffering from the misery of hunger and thirst, I cannot endure this departed condition.

Vaidic mantras, austerities, gifts, and compassion to all beings,. Bring two pieces of gold, honestly gained, and make one image of Narayana from them, O King. Make offerings to the universal deities with clarified butter, curds and milk. The king said, "How is the pot for the departed to be prepared, and in accordance with what: Tell me, on account of my sympathy for all, about the pot which gives release to the departed. Please take notice and l will describe that good gift by which the departed condition cannot exist.

In all the worlds it is difficult to obtain this dissipator of evil conditions. What good are a hundred other gifts from you? The Blessed Lord spoke on: 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 invisible. Having come out of the forest, the king returned to his city, and arrived there remembering all that was said by the departed one.

He duly performed; O Bird, the rites and ceremonies for the dweller in the upper body, and the departed, released by these sacred gifts, attained heaven. He who hears, and he who causes others to hear this holy history, never go to the departed condition, though they may. 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.

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. 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 ignorance.

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 mantras. The name of Hari, coming with the range of hearing, takes away the sins of men. Relatives, coming near the diseased, should not mourn.

My holy name should be remembered and meditated upon repeatedly. These ten names should always be meditated upon by the wise. Those who recite them near the diseased are called relatives. Of him who gives voice to the auspicious name "Krishna" tens of millions of great sins are quickly reduced to ashes. Hari, meditated upon even by one who has evil thoughts, takes away sins: 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: Know, then, O Lord of Birds, the hymning of Vishnu, which bestows welfare on the universe, to be the best expiation for even great sins.

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. 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;. Then he must dedicate food, with clarified butter and gold, to a learned twice-born and. 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 world,. The sons, seeing their father lying upon the ground with eyes half-closed, should not covet his earned wealth. 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.

In disease and calamity two gifts rank above all others. They are indispensable--the eight-fold gift of sesamum and other things. 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:.

There are three kinds of holy sesamums generated from my sweat. White, black and brown are the three kinds of sesamums. The gift of these removes the sins gathered in speech, thought and action. 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: 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 reaches heaven. 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 unexcelled strength. 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. 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. 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. The fruit produced by the gift of land increases daily. 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 village hut. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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. 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 seventh generation. 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 you already. 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. 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: I have presented this gift to you. Salutations to thee, Vaitaranicirc;, Queen of the shining ones! 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. 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. 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.

The Garuda Purana - Complete Text

That verily is called the sacred time, in which faith is produced, and when a proper person is present,--thence flows unending benefit. Bodies are transitory; possessions are not eternal; death is always near;--one should accumulate righteousness. 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: 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. 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.

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 away. 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 the dead.

Knowing all this, one should give with one's own hand, while still alive. Life is transient; and who can give afterwards? 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 him. 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.

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. 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 be pursued. 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 devotion. Therefore, by all means, a gift should be made, and as prescribed. Whether it be small or great does not count with me. 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 are ennobled.

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. 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.

You have spoken fully about the gifts for the diseased. Tell now, O Lord, of the rites for the dying. 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. 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 cowdung. 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.

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Sesamums, darbha-grasses and holy basil are three holy things, and they prevent an ailing man from going to a miserable condition. 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. 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.

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. 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.

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 of transmigration. 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. Therefore he should contemplate, salute, keep in mind the Ganges, and drink its water. 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.

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. 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.

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? Earth is dissipated to earth; likewise water to water; fire is dissipated in fire; also air in air. And, similarly, ether to ether: 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.

Then the messengers of the Shining Ones, resplendent with flashing plumes, arrive, bringing a chariot wreathed with countless bells,. And they, knowing the true righteousness, wise, always beloved by the righteous, carry him, who has performed the rites, away in their own chariot. 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.

Tell me, O Lord, the rites for burning the bodies of the good, and describe also the greatness of the wife who is faithful. I will tell you all about the ceremonies for the upper body, by doing which sons and grandsons are released from the hereditary debt. 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. 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 of changefulness.

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. 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 pleased.

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. Then, half-way, after cleaning and sprinkling, he should make a halt.

Having bathed the corpse, he should make an offering for him. 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. 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,' This one belonging to the changing world is dead; lead Thou him to heaven! 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,.

Translated by Ernest Wood and S.V. Subrahmanyam

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. Thus the dead gets the benefit of the offering of five rice-balls; otherwise the above-mentioned come to disturb. Burning should not be done then; if it is done, another death occurs.

If burning takes place, evil occurs. Harm befalls the house in which death takes place in the Riksha mansion, and some trouble arises for the sons and family. I will explain to you the rites for the warding off of all ills, in case burning takes place in the middle of Riksha. Then one should place near the corpse images, O Tarksya, make of darbha grass, and consecrated with the four Riksha mantras. 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. 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:.

He is an offering to the heaven-world.

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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 happy. When the burning is finished the women should bathe, then the sons, and offer water mixed with sesamum, in the name of the family. 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 behind.

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. Having cleaned the place of death with cow-dung, he should keep a lamp burning there, turned to the south, up to the twelfth day. 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 pot.

Holding the unbaked earthen pot, filled with milk and water, bound with-three sticks, he should repeat this mantra:. Thou hast been forsaken by relatives. Here is milk and here water; bathe and drink! 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:.

Having gone to the burning-ground, having bathed and become pure, having put on a woollen garment, and wearing the sacred ring, 1. 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 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 water.

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.

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. 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.

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 called hell. 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. Hence the good son should himself drop the bones in the Ganges.

After the bones are collected he should perform the ten-days' ceremonies. 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,. 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.

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.

If the embryo perishes, there are no rites. If an infant dies, one should give milk. 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 children, fed. When one who has passed five years dies, whether vowed or not, one should offer ten rice-balls, along with milk-food and lumps of sugar. 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 great gift. 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.

Previous to the taking of vows, with all the castes, rites are done according to age. 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 scanty rites. 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. With all ascetics there is no burning, no water rites; and the ten-days' ceremonies should not be performed for them by their sons. 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. 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.


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  6. 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. 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 is useless.

    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. 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 foods? 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 them.

    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 a son. 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. 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.

    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. Only by one these ceremonies, even if the wealth has been divided. The son obtains such fruit from the performance of the rite for the father and mother, as is obtained by going round the shrines seven times. 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.

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    Made of cooked rice or of barley meal,--the son should make the offering. Crow-food, milk and water, and handfuls of castor-oil in a pot: 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 rite.

    In the same way that on the first day a rice-ball is given as prescribed, so should the nine rice-balls be given. On the ninth day all the authorised kinsmen at the proper time should besmear themselves with oil, wishing the dead to reach heaven. 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,. 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.

    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. Having bathed, gone home, and given food to the cow, he may eat. 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. In the early morning on the eleventh day one should go to a water-reservoir, and perform diligently all the funeral ceremonies. 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 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. And he should next make a gift of a cow for the helping along of his forefathers: 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: 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.

    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. 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 it. 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;.

    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. 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: Among all sacrifices, the bull-sacrifice is the certain giver of release to us. Therefore, for the release of the forefathers, one should perform the bull-sacrifice. He should do everything with diligence according to the prescribed rite. 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. Having released the bull, the son, with hands folded together, should recite this mantra: Thou wert formerly created by Brahma. On account of your being released, help over this ocean of existence!

    Having thus bowed to it, with this mantra, he should release the bull and the young cow. Therefore this should be done. Its fruit comes even during life. The man who has no son, doing it himself, goes easily to the highest condition. In the two eclipses, at a sacred bathing place, at the equinoctial and solstitial points, one should perform the dedication of a bull. 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;. 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 his desires. 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.

    This deals with astronomy,medicine, grammar, and with the structure and qualities of diamonds. This Puranais dear to Vaishnavites. The latter half of this Purana deals withlife after de. Read more Read less. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Samkshipt Garud Puran Code Sponsored products related to this item What's this? Customers who bought this item also bought.

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    There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. No slokas obstructing your intrigue. Very detailed, simple, and horrifying way of description of hell. One person found this helpful. Good to know all that is in the book.