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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Gopala Bhatta Goswami > Sat Kriya Sara Dipika

Sat Kriya Sara Dipika

 

By

Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami

 

 

 

Printed By

The Bhaktivedanta Academy, Mayapur

 

 

International Society for Krishna Consciousness

 

Founder Acarya:

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

 

 

Limited Edition - 200 copies

 

Copyright © 1995 Bhaktivedanta Academy, Mayapur

All rights reserved.

 

Quote from books and letters of Shrila Prabhupada reprinted with kind permission of

The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

 

Acknowledgements

 

          We would like to thank H.H. Bhanu Svami for translating from the original Sanskrit the main body of the Sat Kriya Sara Dipika and adding explanatory notes on the yajna contained in the appendix Yajna Vidhi. Krishna Svarupa Dasa for translating Gopala Bhatta Gosvami’s introduction to the work. Sucih Dasa for the cover design. We would also like to thank the members of the Shri Rupanuga Paramarthika Vidyapitha: Gopavrindapala Dasa for the coordination and research work,  Ananda Tirtha Dasa for the editing, Rupa Ragunatha Dasa for typing the manuscript, and Priti Vardhana Dasa for the layout.

 

 

Contents

 

Preface                  

Foreword               

Preface by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura......

Introduction by Gopala Bhatöa Gosvami   

Mangalacarana        

Adhivasa      

Sattvika vriddhi shraddha    

Vasudevarcana....................................................................

Vivaha (marriage)    

Garbhadhana (impregnation)         

Pumsavana (making a male child)  

Simantonnayanam (parting the hair)        

Shoshyanti homa (safe delivery)    

Jata karma (birth)    

Nishkramanam (first outing)

Nama karana (giving a name)       

Paushöika karma (nourishment)    

Anna prashana (feeding grains)     

Cuda karanam (hair cutting)

Upanayanam (sacred thread)        

     Samavartana (graduation).........................................................

 

Appendix                

Glossary                

 

 

 

 

Preface by H.H. Bhaktividya Purna Svami

 

          In his “Sat Kriya Sara Dipika” the Gaudiya Vaishnava Smritacarya, Shrila Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami gives detailed descriptions of the rituals for the performance of fire sacrifices and samskaras according to the Vaishnava smriti.The principles of Yajna Vidhi as presented in this book are standard for Deity installations, festivals and Samskaras. Further explanations of some of the rituals given by Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami are contained in Appendix I.

           Shrimad Bhagavatam 8.23.16 explains the importance of understanding the rituals of Deity worship as always being subservient to the chanting of the holy name of the Lord -                      

 

mantratas tantratash chidram

          desha-kalarha-vastutah

sarvam karoti nishchidram

          anusankirtanam tava

 

(The following translation and purport are from Shrila Prabhupada's Shrimad Bhagavatam):

“There may be discrepancies in pronouncing the mantras and observing the regulative principles, and, moreover, there may be discrepancies in regard to time, place, person and paraphernalia. But when Your Lordship’s holy name is chanted, everything becomes faultless.

 

          PURPORT: ... In Kali Yuga the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies cannot be performed as perfectly as before. Therefore Shrila Jiva Gosvami has recommended that although one should take care to follow all the principles in every kind of spiritual activity, especially in worship of the Deity, there is still a chance of discrepancies, and one should compensate for this by chanting the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In our Krishna consciousness movement we therefore give special stress to the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra in all activities.”

 

          We hope that the Vaishnava community will be pleased with our humble attempt at presenting Shrila Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami’s work Sat Kriya Sara Dipika, which includes the Gosvami’s introduction and description of the preliminary rituals of fire sacrifice,  as well as the purificatory rituals for those in the householder ashrama. Gopala Bhaööa Gosvamipada, following the Vedic tradition, does not include the rituals that deal with death (funerals and shraddha rites) within his samskara paddhati. Therefore we have compiled a seperate book entitled “Vaishnava Funeral and Shraddha Rites” that explains these procedures.

 

                                                                             Vaishnava dasanudasa

                                                                             Tridandi Bhikshu

 

                                                                             A.V. Bhaktividya Purna Svami

Purnima Tithi,

Snana Yatra Mahotsava

Vamana Masa,

Gaurabda 511

 

Shri Rupanuga Paramarthika Vidyapiöha

Shridham Mayapur

 

Foreword by H.H. Bhanu Svami

          Shrila Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami has compiled “Sat Kriya Sara Dipika” as a Vedic samskara manual for the Vaishnava community. Recognizing that most of the Vaishnavas are grihasthas, and that they should perform the samskaras, he has given a procedure that is not contradictory or offensive to the Vaishnava ideals.

          The first half of his manual is an argument for the worship of Vishnu to the exclusion of devatas, with ample scriptural evidence. The usual samskara manuals are compiled by those who are interested in karma khanda (accumulating material fruits), and prescribe worship of the devatas and pitris for material prosperity. Therefore, in his practical procedure for samskaras, Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami substitutes worship of Ganesha, the material shaktis, and the planetary deities for worship of Vishnu and His associates. Whereas worship of devatas (who are mixed devotees), brings only material auspiciousness, worship of Vishnu and His associates (who are pure devotees), brings spiritual deliverance.

          Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami cites the alternative for the Vaishnava according to the Padma Purana:

ananya sharano bhakto nama mantreshu dikshitah

          kada cin narcayed devan ganeshadims tu vaishnavah

yatra yatra surah pujya ganeshadyas tu karminam

          vishnvarcane tatra tatra vaishnavanam hi vaishnavah

vishvaksenam sa sanakam sanatana matah param

          sananda sanat kumara pancaitan pujayet tatah

“The devotee interested in pure devotion to the Lord, and initiated with Vaishnava mantra should never worship Ganesha and the other devatas. Wherever the karmis prescribe worship of Ganesha and the devatas, the Vaishnava should worship the pure devotees of Vishnu. Thus instead of worshipping Ganesha to remove material obstacles, the devotee should worship Vishvaksena ( the commander-in-chief of Vishnu’s army in Vaikunöha) and the four Kumaras, to remove obstacles on the spiritual path.”(Padma Purana, cited in Sat Kriya Sara Dipika)

 

          In the same way, instead of worshipping the nine planetary Deities one should worship the nine Yogendras, and instead of worshipping the Dik-Palas (protectors of the ten directions) one should worship the Maha Bhagavatas. Instead of worshipping the Matri Gana (sixteen female demigoddesses in charge of various material functions) one should worship the the Lord's consorts who are the shelter of all spiritual and material energies.

          Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has accepted Sat Kriya Sara Dipika as the authorized Vaishnava manual for yajna and samskaras, just as he has accepted Hari Bhakti Vilasa as the authorized scripture for arcana, and has recommended that all Vaishnava grihasthas should follow these procedures.

 

 

 

                                          Bhanu Svami

 

 

 

 

                                           PREFACE                                          

                                                               by

                 Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada

                                              (Translated from the original Bengali)

 

 

       According to the instructions of Shriman Mahaprabhu, Shrila Sanatana Goswami Prabhu compiled a Vaishnava smriti  called the 'Hari Bhakti Vilasa' which was published by Shri Gopala Bhaööa Goswami Prabhu. Shri Gopala Bhaööa Goswami also  wrote a book on the ten samskaras which is known as 'Sat Kriya Sara Dipika' and a manual called 'Samskara Dipika', which is a book on the rules for taking sannyasa.

Almost half a century after the Hari Bhakti Vilasa was published , the non-Vaishnava smriti compiler, Raghunandana Bhaööacarya Mahashaya, wrote a work called  'Ashöavimshati Tattva'. Before that, the paddhati of Bhavadeva and the Sat Kriya Sara Dipika were the most famous books on samskaras in Bengal. 

After this, due to the strong influence of the Smartas, Sat Kriya Sara Dipika  became obscure. The 'Nrisimha Paricarya' of Shri Krishnadevacarya and 'Smriti Nibandha' of Shri Keshava Bhaööa were also published before another non-Vaishnava paddhati , 'Nirnaya Paddhati' of Kamalakara Bhaööa was compiled.

We can observe from the writings of the Smarta Bhaööacaryas that there are certain differences of opinions between Vaishnava smriti and non-Vaishnava smriti , in other words, between the smarta -smriti paddhatis and the Shri Hari Bhakti Vilasa of the Vaishnavas. There were many obstacles in the preaching of the Vaishnava-smriti due to the popularity of the non-Vaishnava smritis. The Vaishnava and non-Vaishnava paddhatis differ in many places regarding demigod worship, shraddhas, ekadashi vratas etc. Also, due to a lack of genuine Vaishnava grihastas, for some time, the Smarta ceremonies were accepted as Vaishnava. Non-Vaishnava rituals are not accepted as bona-fide by the Vaishnava world, and since this has been logically proven with shastric evidence, those sense-enjoyers who are inimical to pure devotional service find this fact unpalatable. Therefore, they have endevoured to stop the publication of books containing Vaishnava rituals and etiquette. However, there is no doubt that the vain hopes and desires of the non-Vaishnavas will be uprooted by the re-publication of this book.Those whose hearts feel pain as if pierced by a lance, by the spreading of Vaishnava-smriti, will not be able to appreciate topics of devotional service. Nontheless, the customs of the society of pure Vaishnavas, being like the Pole Star will shine forth brightly even in the darkness of the new moon.

It is not that the erroneous smartavada misconceptions have only penetrated the Vaishnava community of Bengal, they have also spread to other Vaishnava societies all over India; in some places more, in others, less. Therefore, the Sat Kriya Sara Dipika is not very famous now. By the endevour of Shri Shrimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who re-established the flow of pure devotion, this book was published again some time ago. Now, this is the third printing and we view this as an opportunity to propagate the Vaishnava faith and the rules, regulations and etiquette of devotional service.

For some time now, many people, who understood the value of following Vaishnava sadacara, felt the neccesity of printing this book again after the second edition was depleted. By the desire of Shriyukta Avidyaharana dasadhikari and Sevabandhava  Mahashaya, Mahopadeshaka Pandita Shriyukta Yadavara Bhaktishastri (Sampradaya Vaibhavacarya, M.A.  B.L.) has helped to correct this new edition. Without his endevour, this book would not have been published in such a nice way. He takes full credit from the Gaudiya Vaishnava community for this work.

In this edition of Sat Kriya Sara Dipika we have also included the 'Veshashraya Paddhati' with the Bengali translation of Shrila Thakura Bhaktivinoda.

 

FOOTNOTE:

The “Veshashraya Paddhati” has been published seperatly by the Bhaktivedanta Academy under Gopala Bhaööa Gosvamis’ original title, “Samskara Dipika”.

END FOOTNOTE

 

                                                                                        Shri Siddhanta Sarasvati

 

Shri Jagannath Maöh

Maymansingh

1ST  Vaishakha 1342 Shakabda

( 14th April 1935 )

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

By Shrila Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami

 

                                     Shri Shri Krishna Chaitanya Candraya namah

                                        

 

 

                            pranamya sacchidanandam jagatam sevyamishvaram

                            shri krishnam paramanandam ananya bhishthadayakam

                            vakti grihidvijadinam anayanam visheshatah

                            paddhatim tam vivahadeh sat kriya sara dipikam

                           shrimad gopala bhaööo ‘yam sadhunam-ajnaya bhrisham

                           bhagavad dharma rakshartham bhaktanam vaidiki tu ya

                           krita yapy-aniruddhena bhima bhaööena ya krita

                           shrimad govindanandena karminam paddhatih krita

                           shri narayana bhaööena karmaöananta vaidiki

                           bhaööa shri bhavadevena chandogananta ya krita

                          varnashramantyaja dinam vedaih pauranikadibhih

                          manvadi dharma shastroktair vacanaih sapramanakaih

                          shrimad govinda bhaktanam seva-namaparadhatah

                           kriteyam paddhatih kintu pitri-devarcanam vina

 

“Offering obeisances to Lord Shri Krishna, who is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss, is worshipped by the whole world, the controller of the universe, situated in supreme bliss, and  the bestower of the desired goal to the unalloyed devotees, I, Gopala Bhaööa,  receiving the order from saintly, exalted devotees, present a manual on vedic samskaras called “Sat Kriya Sara Dipika”.  By this, the householders within the varnashrama system ( brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas and shudras) and those outside the varnashrama system (candalas, mlecchas, yavanas etc.) can maintain the principles of Vaishnava teachings. In presenting this, I have always kept in mind the supreme position of devotional service.

 

   Shri Aniruddha Bhaööa, Shri Bhima Bhaööa and Shri Govindananda Bhaööa have compiled manuals for the fruitive workers; Shri Narayana Bhaööa also compiled one; and Shri Bhavadeva Bhaööa compiled one for the followers of the Sama Veda.

         

   For the devotees of Lord Govinda, inside or outside of the varnashrama system,  I will explain the process of performing Vedic samskaras taking evidences from the Vedas, Puranas, Manu and other Smritis, avoiding injunctions which call for worship of the devatas and pitris, as this would cause seva and namaparadha for the devotees.”

 

 

 

It is not proper from me to write my own name as the compiler of this book as others would do, for I fear becoming bewildered by false ego, as the Bhagavad Gita states: “Those who are bewildered by the false ego think themselves the doer.”  (BG 3.27)  But by the order of the saintly devotees of the sampradaya, I am obliged to write my name as Gopala Bhaööa.  This spirit soul, having tasted the nectar of service to the lotus feet of Shri Krishna Chaitanya, always follows the instructions of the devotees.

 

(Here the author begins to explain the previous verses phrase by phrase.)

 

With these qualifications, I offer my obeisances unto Lord Shri Krishna.  The meaning of the word ‘krishna” has been explained above.  What is the form of Krishna?  That form which is full of eternity, knowledge and bliss, beyond the modes of material nature, beyond all speech.  Krishna is all attractive, full of sweetness and beauty, the very form of happiness.

 

He is thus to be worshipped by the whole universe.  “Jagatam sevya” means that he is worshipable by all because he is always full of all powers such as anima and laghima, and is full of all happiness.  As He is the Supreme Lord, He is worshipable not only by all the inhabitants of the universe such as Brahma, but also by the avataras such as the universial form.  As Krishna, complete with six opulences is beyond the modes of matter, He is worshipable by Matsya and other avataras.  What more can be said?  He is even worshipable by Narayana of Vaikunöha and by Karanashayi Mahavishnu, what to speak of the devatas.

 

Why is this?  Because He is the very form of bliss (paramanandam). Amongst all those living in this material world, for the hankering devotees fixed in worship of the Lord, He is bliss itself. He only gives that bliss to those devotees who, with great desire, are fully dedicated to Himself alone, and to no other Vaishnavas, what to speak of others.

 

(Here is the explanation of the next four lines.)

          This book is only for those who are householders dedicated solely to Lord Govinda. The word “grihi dvijadi” refers to household brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas, shudras, mixed varnas (sankara) and those not within the varnashrama system, who have been initiated with mantra and name of Lord Krishna by a bone fide guru.  I have written this manual for those persons so that they can protect the principles of bhagavata dharma perfectly (bhrisham). 

  

          The meaning is this:  Bhagavata dharma is devoid of pious activities  such as daily duties(nitya), periodic duties(naimittika), those arising from personal desire (kamya) and of worship of devatas and pitris.  This manual is meant for those persons who are initiated with the Lord’s name and mantra from a bona fide guru, so that they do not have to give up bhagavata dharma. As the philosophy of those fixed in bhagavata dharma is superior to that of those fixed in karma, this manual of Vedic samskaras following bhagavata dharma is superior to all those works.

 

          The necessity of protection of bhagavata dharma is now explained in detail.  Previously Shri Aniruddha Bhaööa compiled a paddhati for the followers of the Rig, Yajur and Atharva Veda; later on  Bhima Bhaööa, who craved for fruitive results like a madman, also compiled a book; then Shrimad Govindananda Bhaööa wrote another work for those who are expert in all types of karmas. Shri Narayana Bhaööa also compiled a work for those gross materialists who pretend to be followers of the Vedas. Then Bhavadeva Bhaööa prepared another manual for those who are expert in performing Sama Veda rites. After that, the Bhaööas of South India, knowledgeable of Rig, Yajur, Sama Veda, the Puranas and other scriptures, compiled more works for those engrossed in karma.

 

(Here is the explanation of the last four lines.)

          In this work, proofs are cited from the Vedas, from the Puranas, Upa-Puranas, Shrimad Bhagavatam, Pancaratra, Yamalas, Ramayana and other scriptures, and from the eighteen Dharma Shastras including Manu Smriti, to show the superiority of following bhagavata dharma as opposed to following the above mentioned manuals.  I have written this manual for those within the varnashrama system such as brahmanas, and for those outside, such as illegitimate offspring, who are also  unalloyed devotees of the Lord.  By following this manual they can avoid seva and namaparadhas by avoiding worship of devatas and pitris. 

 

Here are some scriptural statements forbidding worship of the devata and pitris

 

1. Narayana Upanishad

 

          Worship of Shiva, Shakti (Durga), Surya, Ganapati and other devatas and pitris is not prescribed anywhere, neither by local custom nor by scripture (Purana, Smriti, Agama, Dharma Shastra, or Veda), for devotees of Vishnu - who are either householders of varnashrama or outcastes - initiated with Vishnu mantra.  Rather, by doing such worship they commit offense.

 

Thus as first evidence, Narayana Upanishad ( of the Atharva Veda) says:

 

om     atha purusho ha vai narayano ‘kamayata prajah shrijeyeti

          narayanat prano jayate

          manah sarvendriyani ca kham vayur jyotir apah prithivi vishvasya dharini        narayanad brahma jayate

          narayanad rudro jayate

          narayanad indro jayate

          narayanad prajapatih prajayante

          narayanad dvadashaditya rudra vasavah sarvani chandagmsi

          narayanad eva samutpadyante

          narayanad pravartante

          narayane praliyante

          ya evam veda

          ity upanishat(e)

 

om atha nityo narayanah

          brahma narayanah

          shivash ca narayanah

          shakrash ca narayanah

          kalash ca narayanah

          dishash ca narayanah

          vidishash ca narayanah

          urdhvash ca narayanah

          adhash ca narayanah

          antar bahish ca narayanah

          narayana evedagm sarvam

          yad bhutam yac ca bhavyam

          nishkalanko niranjano nirvikalpo nirakhyatah

          shuddho deva eko narayanah

          na dvitiyo ‘sti kashcit(e)

          sa vishnur eva bhavati sa vishnur eva bhavati

          ya evam veda

          ity upanishat(e)

 

 “Then the Supreme Lord Narayana desired to create living entities. From Narayana came the life airs; from Narayana came the mind and all the senses; from Narayana came the elements - ether, air, light, water and earth, which supports the universe. From Narayana came Brahma, Rudra, Indra, Prajapati. From Narayana came the twelve Adityas, the twelve Rudras, the twelve Vasus, all the vedic metres and all the devas. Everything came from Narayana in the beginning and everything enters into Narayana at the end

 

Thus Narayana is the eternal being. Brahma, Shiva, Indra, time, the directions, the subdirections, up and down, inside and outside, are all pervaded by Narayana. Narayana is everything, past, present and future.Narayana is the eternal pure effulgent Lord, without a second to compare. He is Vishnu, the Supreme Lord, says the upanishad.”

 

 

bodhanca sarathim kritva manah pragrahavan puman

prayati paramam param vishnvakhyam padamavyayam

vishnavakhyam padamavyaym iti

 

   (The author comments thus: )

 

          Being the original cause of all causes, one without a second, being present before creation, in the present time and after the dissolution, Lord Narayana is eternal and therefore the only worshippable entity of the demigods like Brahma etc. Using this Upanishad as proof, I am explaining the meaning of the Narayanopanishad revealed by Shrimad Angira in the Atharva Veda.

 

 (The first verse begins with “om.”)

 

pranavash-chandasam aham -  "Among the Vedic verse, I am om."

 

According to this statement, it is concluded that in the past, present and future, om is none other than Narayana Himself. The word 'nri' refers  to a person, and "nara” refers to all those produced from him, such as sons and and grandsons.  The “ayana” or shelter of all men, is Narayana.  He is to be served, praised and worshipped; He is the object of all remembrance. He alone is the master of all.

 

After the period of  destruction (maha-pralaya), the Lord desired to create. What did He desire to create? Desiring in His mind to create offspring, He created Brahma, who then performed secondary creation. The plural word "prajah" indicates that all species were born from the body and mind of Lord Brahma. Thus Indra was born from Narayana, as were the twelve Adityas, their associates and families, the eleven Rudras, their associates and their consorts, the Rudranis, and the other thirty-three million demigods such as Ganesha etc. All the different sages such as the devarshis (sages amongst the demigods), maharshis (exalted sages), and rajarishis  (saintly kings) came into existence from Lord Narayana, as well as all other moving and non -moving entities. Then, at the time of annihilation, they once again all merge into the body of the Lord; in other words; after the creation they are maintained by Him until the time of the dissolution. After dissolution, all living entities beginning from Brahma reside within the Lord, until the time of the next creation. In this regard there is evidence from the Mahabharata:

                       

yathah sarvani bhutani

 bhavantyadi yugagame

yasminsh ca pralayam  yanti

 punar eva  yugakshaye 

"At the beginning of the primary creation from Lord Narayana, all living entities beginning from Brahma take birth and at the time of annihilation of the millenium, they enter into Narayana."

 

The word 'ca' in this verse (yasminsh ca) indicates that they are also maintained by Him.

 

(explanation of the second verse.)

 

          As such, Lord Narayana alone is the Supreme worshipable object in all the universe because He is eternal, imperishable and always remains so, even after the dissolution. 'Ato Brahma ca narayanah' -  Narayana is Brahma (the creator). The  thirty-three million demigods (indicated by the word ca)– Brahma’s sons, grandsons and great grandsons  who  are all born from his mind and body --are not independent Lords, they are not seperate from the Lord. They all worship Narayana.

          'Shivash ca narayanah': Narayana is also Shiva, the destroyer of the universe, along with his associates.  'shakrash ca narayanah': Indra, the king of heaven, as well as his family members is also Narayana.The eleven Rudras along with their ghostly associates and their consorts are Narayana. The eight Vasus and the Ashvini Kumaras along with their companions are Narayana. All the sages such as the devarshis, maharshis, rajarshis are Narayana, as well as the  munis, sadhyas, caranas, gandharvas, daityas, yatudhanas and kinnaras.

          'Kalas ca narayanah': Time, Yamaraja and his scribe Citragupta, are all forms of Narayana.'dishash ca narayanah': the ten directions -- east, west, south, north, south-west, north-west, south-east, north-east, up and down -- and the protective deities of them namely Indra, Anala (Agni), Yama, Nairita, Varuna, Vayu, and Kuvera along with their associates are all Narayana. 'Adhash ca narayanah' The lower planetary systems, their residents, the naga-purushas and their daughters the naga-kanyas, as well as the  presiding deities of that region -- Shri Ananta, Kurma and Varuna are all Narayana.

          'Urdhvash ca narayanah': the higher planets such as Bhurloka, Bhuvarloka, Svarloka, Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka and their respective masters such as Brahma, Indra etc. are all Narayana. The incarnations such as Shri Shalagrama which appear from the Gandaki River, and the eight different types of Deity forms of the Lord, and the unembodied entities who are the worshipable objects of those who perform shraddha to the forefathers, who worship Karyavala or who offer tarpana to Bali-Vaishvadeva, are also Narayana.  

'Antar bahish ca narayanah': inside the universe the entities like Brahma,Indra, the devas, sages, rishis, tapasvinis, siddhas, caranas, gandarvas, kinnaras, apsaras, danavas, pious men, yakshas, pretas, bhutas, pishacas, nagas, moving and non-moving creatures, humans, four-legged animals like cows, five-nailed animals (like elephants), two-hooved and one-hooved beasts, those born from sweat, insects, flies, those living on the seven islands and the highest mountains, on golden earth and in dark lands, --and those things outside  the universe--darkness, the five gross elements, false-ego, the twenty-four elements--are all Narayana.

 

          In this entire universe whatever has taken place in the past, whatever is happening at the present and whatever will happen in the future is only because of Narayana. There is nothing that is different from Narayana; everything comes from Him, therefore everything belongs to Him. Hence Brahma and others are all Narayana. He is 'nitya': eternal, ever existent through millions of annihilations. He is 'nishkalam': without parts, although all beings are part of Narayana, He Himself remains perfect and complete, as described in Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.3.27 :

 

kalah sarve harer eva saprajapatayah surah

“The prajapatis and demigods are all portions of the plenary portions of Shri Hari.”

 

          The word 'nirakhyatah' means 'He is invisible to the masses in general even though He is everywhere'. 'Nirvikalpah' refers to the one who is without any master and is one without a second. Being free from all falsehood, He is 'niranjanah', or Brahman. He is known as 'shuddha', transcendentally pure, or the one who has a pure existence. Therefore, only Lord Narayana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

          'ato deva eko narayanah':  the purport is that the supreme object of reverence for all the residents of the universe, including Brahma, Indra, the demigods, demons and men is Lord Narayana, and no one else.  Thus, among the demigods, demons and men, one who is a householder should control the intelligence and the mind, accept a bona fide spiritual master in order to understand the science of the Supreme Lord Narayana, and become determined to seek the association of devotees. Thus he will be able to understand the science of the Supreme. Then after giving up this life, he will attain Vishnu , who is called ' param', 'para', 'avyayam', 'padam'. 

 

          These four words are explained as follows;

  A person, according to his desire for one of the four types of liberation, performs the proper practices to achieve that end.  The yogi desiring sajujya (merging in the Lord), by practice of  appropriate yoga, attains Vishnu  as 'avyaya,' the imperishable. Eradicating his identity, he merges with Vishnu .  The yogi desiring a form like Vishnu's, by appropriate  practice, attains Vishnu as 'paramam,' supreme, taking a form like Vishnu 's complete with ornaments.  The yogi desiring the same planet as Vishnu, by appropriate practice attains the 'padam' of Vishnu , the abode of Vishnu. It is said, yad gatva na nivartate, tad eva parama padam- “That place from which a person does not return is the supreme abode”.  The yogi desiring closeness to the Lord, by appropriate practice, attains the 'para' of Vishnu , closeness to Vishnu  as His associate. 

 

          There is a second meaning of the phrase "vishnavakhya avyaya padam."   Those who,

after taking initiation from a bona fide guru become pure through associaton with devotees and their  instructions, and become completely surrendered to the Lord by their fixed nature, attain the abode of Vishnu  at death by acting as the servants of the servants of the Lord with no material motives, by following the practices of hearing and chanting about  the Lord.  How is that? The unalloyed devotees of Krishna who, while living  on this planet, become fixed in the devotional processes of hearing and chanting. Taking the Lord's remnants and acting as his menial servant, they attain an indestructible (avyaya) abode (padam) such as Vrindavana by dint of that practice. In the spiritual world they engage themselves ceaselessly in  the Lord's service.

 

          In conclusion, the worship of the thirty three million demigods is included in the worship of Narayana. If a person worships Narayana alone, Brahma, the rishis,the bhutas and pitris are all worshipped and become satisfied.

    

Here are four evidences stating this fact (from Yamala, Purana, Itihasa

and Upanishad).

 

          a.  It is said in Vishnu-Yamala-Samhita :

 

 yat-pujamena vibudhah

 pitaror-icchatash ca

 tushöa-bhavanti rishi-

 bhuta-saloka-palah

 sarve grahas-tarani

 soma-kujadi mukhya

 govindam adi purusham

 tam aham bhajami

 

“I worship the original person, Govinda, by whose worship all the devatas, pitris, rishis, bhutas and lokapalas, all the planetary deites (Surya, Candra, Mangala etc.) are worshiped and satisfied.”

By worship of the Lord, the demigods and forefathers also became worshipped and satisfied. As indicated by using the word 'ca', demons,  yakshas, ghostly beings, inferior gods, and all the sages, living entities, the protectors of the directions, Indra etc. and their associates, the nine planets the sun, moon, etc. others such as Vainayaka, Shakuni, Putana, Mukhamandika, Kshura, Revati, Vriddharevati, Vriddhakogra, Matrigraha, Valagraha, Vriddhagraha etc,  all become satisfied. Such is the primeval Lord whom I adore. Who is that Govinda? The primeval Supreme Person, beyond whom no one exists. No one is equal to Him or greater than Him.

 

          b. From Shrimad Bhagavatam  4.31.14:

 

yatha-taror-mula-nishecanena

tripyanti tat skanda bhujopashakhah

pranopaharac ca yathendriyanam

tatha ca sarvarhanam acyutejya

 

“As the trunk and branches are satisfied by watering the root of the tree and as the life airs are satisfied by offering food to the stomach, all the devatas are worshipped by worship of Acyuta.”

By watering the roots of a tree automatically the trunk, big branches and the secondary branches with leaves become satisfied and remain green, and by supplying the seven kinds of relishabe foods to the stomach, or to the ten kinds of life airs – prana, apana, vyana, udana, samana, naga, kurma, krikara, devadatta and dhananjaya, all the senses and the heart itself become satisfied. Similarly, ‘acyutejya’,  by worshipping the One who is infallible even after billions and billions of annihilations, who is primeval and eternal, all others become satisfied and worshipped. This means that simply by properly worshipping the Lord, the infallible Narayana, all the demigods and forefathers become excessively satisfied and worshipped. Of this there is no doubt.

 

          c. The Uttara Gita ( from Mahabharata, Bhishma Parva) states:

 

devadinanca pujyo' ham

 varnadinam dhananjaya

mat-pujanena sarvarca-

 syad dhruvam natra samshayah

 

“I am to be worshipped by the devatas, and the human beings of the varnashrama system.          Without doubt, by worship of Me all worship is accomplished. “

 

          ‘Arjuna! If I am worshipped, there is no doubt that all the demigods are worshipped.’ The word 'adi' (in the phrase 'devadi') is used here to indicate  the sages, forefathers, and demons, as well as the thirty-three million demigods.  ‘I am the only worshippable object of all the varnas -- brahmanas, kshatriya, vaishya, shudra.’ 'Adi' here indicates the ashramas – brahmacaris, grihasthas, vanaprasthas and sannyasis;  “ca”  indicates even the varna-sankaras and candalas.           

         

          d. In the Rig-Veda Krishnopanishad it is said:

 

om krishno vai sac-cid-ananda-ghanah

       krishna adi purushah

       krishnah purushottamah

       krishno ha u karmadi mulam

       krishnah saha sarvai-karyah

       krishna kasham krid-adisha mukha-prabhu-pujyah

       krishno nadis-tasmin-ajandantar bahye

       yam-mangalam tal-labhate kriti

 

          'Vai' means certainly.  The meaning of 'Krishna' was previously explained.  'Sat' means  pure existance. 'Cit' means absolute knowledge, and 'ananda'  means having beauty which is indescribably blissful. These are His qualities. He is made of (ghanah) these qualities.  He has a  beautiful form the color of a monsoon cloud. Because He is the original person (adi purusha), to whom there is no one superior,  He is called the supreme person (Purushottama.) 

 

          The Bhagavad Gita explains this “Purushottama” as follows:

 

yasmat ksharam atito’ham

aksharad api cottamah

ato’smi loke vede ca

prathitah purushottamah

 

“Because I am superior to the kshara  living entities and akshara living entities,  I am famous as  the supreme person in the Vedas and in the worlds.”

 

          ‘Because  the  universe, composed of all bodies from Brahma to the indragopa germ, is temporary, I, being eternal, indestructable,  am superior to all this, eternally situated in My abode. In the same way, I  am superior to the avataras such as Viraö, My indestructible portions, who exist  after the destruction of the universe. I am the source of all avataras, superior to all of them.’ The above is in reference to the Lord in His manifested pastimes.

 

          But the word 'ca'  indicates the Lord in unmanifested pastimes as well. ‘ I have another form superior to that which you (Arujna) see on the chariot. It is the reservoir of all happiness, full of constantly increasing taste.  Because I am pure sattva, I am eternally situated in that blissful  form.  That form is known only by those devotees fixed on that blissful form, and not by others. Therefore it is said that in fourteen worlds and in the Vedas, Mahabharata, Puranas, Upa-Puranas, Agamas, Ramayana, Dharma Shastras, Vedanta and other scriptures that other than Myself, no one is the deliverer from the bondage of this world. Therefore I am known by the surrendered souls as the Supreme Person.  My faithful  devotees are blissful internally and externally, just by hearing My names such as Govinda,  Narayana, Vasudeva, Mukunda, Ananta and Acyuta. I alone am the Supreme worshippable Person.’

          

Therefore Shri Krishna is the’karmadi mulam’ or the cause of all work. ‘ha u’  refers to such words that are sung in the Vedas. All works including nitya, naimittika and kamya have already been explained previously. ‘adi’  refers to the esscence of all activities such as  worship of Ganesha and other demigods and  secondary devas, worship or the forefathers and austerities, penances, sacrifices, homas, charity, vows etc. There is no doubt that by the worship of Krishna one recieves the full benefit of all these works.

 

          Krishna is 'kashamkrid-adisha mukha prabhu pujyah.' He is worshippable by all the chief devatas (prabhu), headed by ‘kashamkrida’  - Brahma, (ka), Vishnu  (a), and Shiva (samkrita).  'Adi' refers to the sons of Brahma such as the four Kumaras, Marici, Angira, Pulastya,  Pulaha,  Kratu, Bhrigu, Vashishöha, Daksha, Narada, and Svayambhuva Manu; as well as those entities produced from the wombs of devatas, rishis, prajapatis, men, munis, and the immobile entities as well. 'Isha' refers to the Vishnu  forms in this world and 'mukha' means the origin.  They include the three Vishnu  forms and the incarnations such as Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Rama, Parashurama, Balarama, Buddha and Kalki, and Narayana situated in the spiritual sky.  All of these Lords are worshipping Krishna of Goloka Dhama. Krishna is thus worshippable by all beings inside and outside of the material universe. By pleasing Krishna with suitable worship, a person attains the most auspicious results possible within or outside the universe. 

 

          It is understood that by this worship of Krishna (kriti), the devotee, though omitting service to devatas, does not suffer any loss.  The surrendered, discriminating devotee absorbed in the Lord attains all that could be desired. (yam-mangalam tal-labhate kriti.)

 

2. Skanda Purana 

 

(After citing the Narayanopanishad, Gopala Bhaööa gives a second proof forbidding worship of devatas and pitris for Vaishnavas.)

 

          As stated in Skanda-Purana , Reva-khanda:

 

sankalpanca tatha danam

 pitri-devarcanadikam

vishnu-mantropadishöhash cen-

na kuryat kusha-dharanam

“If one is initiated into the holy name of Lord Vishnu, then one should avoid sankalpa,dana, worship of forefathers and demigods, nor wear kusha”.

 

          Any human being initiated with Vishnu mantra should not worship the devatas or pitris.  The word 'pitri' refers to ancestor lineage of both father and mother.  Worship or arcana of the pitris means specifically shraddha rites and offering of tarpana.  Worship of devatas refers to worship of Ganesha and other demigods. 'Adi' refers to all other activities either daily (nitya), periodic (naimittika) or for specific material goals (kamya) which generate namaparadha. 'Sankalpa' refers to the process of strengthening the mind to achieve a particular material  goal.  'Dana' refers to charitable activities accompanied by utterances demanding material rewards. The word 'ca' means all other activities contrary to Vaishnava  principles. None of these actions should be performed.

 

                   Someone however may object that according to the evidences of Manu-Smriti and the other religious scriptures, the human being is responsible for the six kinds of debts as stated in Vishnu Samhita :

 

devata-pitri-bandhunam

rishi-bhuta-nrinam tatha

rini-syat adhinash ca

varnadir janma-matratah

“As soon as one takes birth in this material world one is immediately under the six kinds of ‘rina’ or debts, such as deva-rina, pitri-rina, mitra-rina, rishi-rina, bhuta-rina, nara-rina (or the debts to the demigods, to the fathers and mothers, to the friends, to the gurus, to the other living beings and to the society). One is held responsible to fulfill them.”

 

          In refutation, this statement does not apply to any person of any status inside or outside of varnashrama  who has been intitiated with Vaishnava name and mantra by a bona fide guru, for as stated in Shrimad Bhagavatam  (11.5.41):

 

devarshi-bhutapta-nrinam pitrinam

na kinkaro nayam-rini ca rajan

sarvatmana  yah sharanam sharanyam

            gato mukundam parihritya kartam

 

“Anyone who has given up all other activites in deference to surrender to

Mukunda, most worthy of surrender, has no debt to the rishis, devatas, bhutas,

pitris, relatives or other human beings. He is not obliged to serve them. “

 

          Any human being taking initiation with the name and mantra of the Supreme

Lord according to panca-samskara from an authorized guru, according to instructions on the highest principles of worship of the Lord, attains steady intelligence and becomes situated in regular worship of the Lord. By this, he becomes fearless. He therefore  rejects the daily, periodic and  specialized  actions for worldly people as taught in the Vedas,  Smritis and Puranas. As a person overcome by false ego thinks himself the doer, the devotee avoids that danger by avoiding these actions.  Mukunda is the only worshipable Person, the one and only object of hearing, chanting, service and prayer. All other worship, being temporary, is useless.  Worship of Mukunda alone purifies the heart. The devotee therefore rejects all other actions completely. 

 

      Neither within nor outside the universe, is anyone worthy of surrender to, except Mukunda.That person, who from the time of initiation, sells himself to the Lord and makes Him his life and soul, becomes freed from the bondage of the material world by the grace of Mukunda, the giver of liberation. He serves the Lord perfectly, and avoids service to any devata, devarshi, maharshi, rajarshi, any moving or non-moving entity. He does not serve wife, daughters, sons, or grandsons, brothers, relatives or any other person.  He is not the debtor to any pitri or any secondary devata.

 

          ‘O King Parikshit, please hear the meaning of the words 'kinkara' and 'rini'.  If a person worships a devata with tarpanas etc. he becomes a servant of the devata .  If the person neglects to perform tarpanas to the rishis, if he does not satisfiy all living beings with water and food, if he does not supply proper food to his wife and offspring, if he does not perform the samskaras for his family members, if he does not serve unexpected guests,  if he does not serve his father while alive and perform his father’s shraddha rites after he dies, he is considered a debtor or 'rini'.  But if he performs all these actions he becomes their servant, 'kinkara'.’

 

          Those who worship the devatas and pitris go to Svarga and other places, but as these are temporary destinations, they finally return to the earth planet.  This is stated in the Bhagavad Gita. 9.25:

         

yanti deva-vrata devam

pitriin yanti pitri-vratah

bhutami yanti bhutejya

yanti mad-yajino’pi mam

“The worshippers  of the devatas go to the planet of the devatas. The worshipper of pitris goes to the planet of pitris. the worshipper of bhutas goes to the bhutas.  Those who worship Me come to Me.”

‘Those who have devotion to the demigods like Brahma and Indra attain their particular plantets by worshipping them, chanting their mantras, doing sacrifices, offering oblations etc. After leaving that body, they return to the earth planet.  Such persons who turn their focus away from My devotional service even leave the service of their worshipable demigods. After some time they accept another demigod and ultimately perform hundreds and thousands of  condemnable activities. Being bewildered by My external energy, they take birth in 8,400, 000 species of life again and again, until the devastation of the world. Of this there is no doubt.

 

          My devotees serve their fathers with devotion while they are alive and after their death offer mahaprasada and caranamrita. They feed the brahmanas and especially the Vaishnavas. Others however serve their fathers faithfully while alive, and after death feed everyone situated in varna and ashrama. Being averse to My devotional service, they engage in shraddha and tarpana rituals. Such persons are called pitri-vrata, and as a result they attain the Pitriloka, or the planet where the ancestors live. And those who worship the forms of bhutas, pretas, pishacas, vinayakas, matris, dakinis, shakinis, yoginis, the protectors of the directions, karabandhas, bhairavas and the inferior devatas are called the worshippers of bhutas. They attain the  respective places of the bhutas.

 

          But My devotees who engage in My devotional service taking complete shelter of Me, after leaving their bodies, will attain My eternal abode, where I am always situated in My original form which is the ocean of bliss,  like a beautiful dark rain cloud, eternal, imperishable, full of eternity, knowledge and bliss.

 

          The purport is that I am only attainable by those devotees who are completely surrendered unto Me, not by those who have mixed their devotion by worshipping many other demigods. Therefore, My devotees, being My servitors, attain My supreme abode and continue their service unto Me. Of this there is no doubt.’

 

 

3.       Vashishöha-samhita

 

          Another evidence forbidding worship of pitris and devatas is found in the Vashishöha Samhita:

 

nityam naimittikam kamam

danam sankalpam eva ca

daivam karma tatha paitram

na kuryad vaishnavo grihi

“A householder Vaishnava  should not perform any fruitive activities prescribed on a daily or periodic basis, those arising from personal desire, charities or vows, that are in connection with either the worship of the demigods or the worship of the ancestors by shraddha  and tarpana. “

'Daiva karma' means worship of devatas. 'Paitra' means worship of pitris through shraddha  and tarpana. What to speak of brahmacaris and others, even the grihasthas, who are initiated by a bona fide spiritual master with Vaishnava-mantra - being under the complete shelter of the Lord -  must never do any rites apart from the worship of Lord Vishnu .

 

 

4. Rudra Yamala

(Another quotation forbidding deva and pitri worship.)   

 

          As stated in Rudra-Yamala :

 

itaresham ca devanam

manasa yadi pujanam

vishnu-bhaktas tu kurute

hy-aparadhat pataty-adhah

“If a devotee of Lord Vishnu  worships any other demigod even in his mind, he falls down because of this offence. “

The word 'itaresham' means other than Lord Vishnu, such as Ganesha; 'manasa' means simply by mind, without doing avahana, visarjana etc. and the word 'ca' indicates also nitya, naimittika, kamya actions and honouring the ancestors. What to speak of anything else, even if a devotee of Lord Vishnu  does the activities, out of  illusion, bewilderment or carelessness, he falls down because of commiting sevaparadha and namaparadha ( offences to the service and holy name of Lord Vishnu, the Personalilty of Godhead.)  What happens? One who is bound with the ropes of such material activities, sometimes goes to the heavenly planets and sometimes goes down to the lower planets.  That is his position.

5. Padma Purana

(A Puranic proof forbidding devata worship.)

         

          In Padma Purana it is stated:

 

 vaishnavasya na sankalpo

 no danam na ca kamana

 prayashcittam ca no yagah

 sad bhu-devad-pujanam

 

shuddha-putah sada-karshnah

kusha-dharana-varjitah

kama-samkalpa-raitash -

cantar-bahya harir yatah

 

vaishnavo nanya vibhudhan

arcayet tamsh ca no namet

na pashyetanna  gayec-ca

na nindenna smaret tatha

 

tesham no bhakshed ucchishöam

ananyo naishöhiko munih

na taj jananam devarshe

sangam kuryat prayatnatah

“A Vaishnava  is not supposed to do sankalpa, dana, keep material desires, perform atonement or sacrifice, but must perform worship of the Vaishnavas and holy brahmanas.”

The servant of Krishna is always pure, therefore he does not need to wear kusha grass(rings). He has no material desire because Lord Hari is situated within and without him.

A Vaishnava should neither worship demigods nor offer them obeisances, observe, blaspheme, remember or sing about them.

O godly sage, Narada, one who is fully dependent on the Lord should not eat the remnants of food offered to the demigods and should try to avoid the association of those who serve the demigods.’

Because the Lord is the only worshipable object and the only shelter for a Vaishnava, the devotee has no desire for material benefits gained by the performance of nitya, naimittika, kamya karmas, demigod and pitri worship, fasting, sacrifice, vows or charity. The meanings of sankalpa, dana and yaga (sacrifice) are already explained. Atonement (prayashcitta) which is undergone for the purpose of counteracting the reactions of the four kinds of sinful activities – maha-pataka, ati-pataka, upa-pataka, anu-pataka --  is not for the Vaishnavas.

 

          The word 'ca' indicates another kind of atonement for the Vaishnava. What is that atonement?  One should again accept name and mantra  from one’s own spiritual master. If the guru is not present (left his body), one should accept from the guru’s wife, son or godbrother or from any other pure devotee having similar qualities. Thus becoming exceedingly pure by having accepted the panca-samskaras again, he should offer obeisances to and worship Lord Vishnu, by fully engaging in hearing, chanting and remembering the name, form, qualities and pastimes of Lord  Vishnu.

 

(The following section is a footnote added by Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami)

 

          In Narada Pancaratra, Bharadvaja Samhita 3.22.25, the process of atonement for a Vaishnava is described:

 

prayashcittam tu paramam

prapattis tasya kevalam

kuryat karmatmakam vapi

vasudevam anusmaram

 

vishuddhod vishnu-bhaktasya

dristya-sparshena sevaya

smarananna panadyai

gira pada rajo’ mbubhih

 

vishnor niveditannadyainsh

tatha tat kirtanadibhih

abhagavata drishtyadeh

shuddhir esha visheshatah

 

krita yajnah samstash ca

danani ca tapamsi ca

prayashcittam asheshena

nityam arcayata harim

 “For a Vaishnava the highest kind of atonement is full surrender to the Lord. Otherwise one should perform activities while remembering Lord Vasudeva.

 By seeing the Lord's devotee, touching his feet, serving him, feeding him with cooked grains and water, speaking sweetly, taking the dust of his feet and drinking the water from his feet, eating mahaprasada of the Lord and chanting the names of the Lord, one can purify oneself specially from the contamination of seeing and touching non- devotees.

  One who constantly engages in worshipping Lord Hari is considered to have performed all activities like sacrifice, charity, penance, austerity, atonement etc”.

 

          Again there are other statements in 2.59 and 3.73:

 

vrittir bhagavatanam hi

 sarvah bhagavatah kriyah

prayashcittiriyam tasyah

 saiva yat kriyate punah

 

purvesham uttaresam ca

 nyaso nashara pap manam

sarvesham aparadhanam

 ayam hi kshamapanam param

 

“To perform activities which are related to the Supreme Lord is the occupation of the Vaishnava and the same activities repeated again and again is called prayashcitta, or atonement. Those who have fully surrendered to the lotus feet of the Absolute Personality of Godhead are freed from all kinds of sinful activities which they committed previously and may happen to commit in the future. Such types of surrender are the atonement for all offences.”

 

 

          In the Shrimad Bhagavatam  6.1.16 it is said:

 

prayashcittani cirnani

 narayana paran mukham

na nishpunanti rajendra

sura-kumbham ivambhasa

“Just as a pot of liquor cannot be purified by washing with water, similarly, those who  are not surrendered to the Supreme Lord Narayana, cannot be purified by undergoing so many atonements “

(This ends the footnote).

 

The phrase 'sad bhudevadi' refers to devotees of Krishna (sat) and the Vaishnava brahmanas  (bhudeva), who are purified by name, mantra and gayatri.  'Adi' refers to all other living entities. Therefore atonement consists of worship of and service to the devotees of Krishna.  That service consists of bathing, feeding, offering drinks, garlands, sandalwood and cloth.   Because of his complete surrender to Krishna, the devotee is always internally and externally similar to the Lord Himself.  He is therefore pure.  He has no need to perform fruitive vows or wear kusha grass rings for purification.

 

(Referring to the fourth verse quoted from the Padma Purana :)

 

           The devotee of Krishna means one who has none other than Krishna as his worshipable Deity. “Naishöhikah” means  one who is  conversant with  Bhagavata-dharma and is faithful to the Lord. “Muni” means a person who knows what must be done. A Vaishnava should not worship demigods such as Ganesha, neither should he offer obeisances to their deities or to pots that they have been installed in. He should not look at them, glorify them or remember them, nor should he blaspheme them. What to speak of blaspheming the demigods, it is not proper for the Vaishnavas to criticize any moving or non-moving living entity. The servant of the Lord should not eat the remnants of demigods.  ‘O Narada, the association of those who worship any demigod should be avoided strictly. Thus a soul fixed in his actions to please the Lord becomes fully surrendered.’

6.  Vishnu Purana (more evidence forbidding worship of devatas)

           In the Brihad-Vishnu Purana it is said:

 

na darbha-dharanam kuryan-

na ca sankalpam acaret

na kamyam sattvato margam

 shambhu-devadi-pujanam

“The followers of Lord Vishnu should neither wear kusha grass rings, perform sankalpa, follow the path of fruitive activities, or worship demigods like Lord Shiva etc.”

 

          'Sattvata' means the followers of shuddha-sattva, or the devotees of Lord Vishnu only. The words 'kamya' and 'ca' refer to the worship of devatas and pitris which are daily or periodic.  These should not be performed by the Vaishnava.

 

The difficulty in performing devata worship

 

Those who are entangled in karma, worship the devatas and pitris through daily and periodic rites. They must worship individually all the thirty-three million demigods such as Ganesha etc. If a person performs shraddha he must start with his father, mother, grandfather, great-grand father and worship all those forefathers up to those who are generated directly from Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe. Is there a problem if one does otherwise? Four scriptural evidences are given here:

 

          a. In the Brihad-Vishnu Purana  it is said:

 

pujyah sarve tu lokanam

 vibudhah pitarash ca vai

sarva karmasu rajendra

 sarvam cet vyartham anyatha

“O king of kings, in every ritual, everyone must worship all the demigods and forefathers. Otherwise everything is fruitless.”

 

           'Lokanam' means those materialistic persons who follow the path of the demigods, forefathers and Vedic activities, without considering their permanent and perishable results. 'Vai' means certainly. 'Sarva karmasu' means in all nitya, naimittika and kamya karmas related to forefathers and other demigods. 'Sarve' means the thirty-three million demigods beginning from Ganesha, and all the forefathers beginning from one's own mother and father upto that person who is the ultimate founder of his dynasty, who is born from Brahma. The word 'ca' refers to all the relatives and lineage of one's family. ‘ O King Yudhishöhira, they all should be worshipped, if someone is worshipped and another is not, then the whole performance will be useless. ‘

 

          b. Similarly in the Shruti, it is said:

 

om karma-phalaptah karmi yajet

havya-kavya-mayaih kama van

sarvamsh ca devan pitrin atithimsh ca

purnam viphalam no yajan tad vai iti

“The karmis who desire the result of their work should worship all the demigods, forefathers and guests with appropriate paraphernalia and ingredients, so that they may attain the fruit of their actions. If this is not done properly, then their endevour is useless. “

 

          'Vai' means they must do; 'kama-van'  --  one who has lusty desires; 'karmi' --  one who is engaged in mundane activities; 'havya-kavya-mayaih' -- the proper things to offer the demigods and ancestors; 'atithim' -- those guests who never came before; ’ca' -- the family, relatives and the lineage of the family.  The second 'ca' refers to guests in general and all living entities; 'karmi' -- the performer of all kinds of activities, like nitya, namittika, kamya, daiva, paitra, mangalya etc.

 

          The Sanskrit root of the verb 'yaj' has many meanings. It indicates here the worship of demigods, performance of shraddha  and tarpana for the ancestors, proper respect, behaviour and service with good food and water for the guests, service to unexpected guests, family members and other relatives with proper behaviour and speech, and satisfying all living entities with food and water.

 

          'Karma-phalaptah' means if one performs the activity properly, he is sure to gain the result. Otherwise, he will lose the fruit. If some of the demigods are worshipped and some are not, some of the forefathers are given food by performing shraddha  and tarpana and some are not, some guests are respected and others are not, and among the living entities -  including family members and relatives -  if some of them are satisfied and others are not, then whatever one has done is useless.

 

          c. According to Devi Purana :

 

sarvesham pitri-devanam

 mangalyadishu karmasu

tan no krite pratyavayi

  pujanam karmatho narah

“One who is expert in fruitive activities should worship all the demigods and forefathers in every auspicious performances, otherwise the doer gets the opposite result.”

 

          The word 'mangalyadishu' refers to the activities known as nitya, naimittika, kamya and paitra.  'karmathah' -- who is very expert in perfoming the fruitive acitivities; 'narah' -- human beings who are under one of the varnas; 'pujanam' -- worshipping the demigods and offering shraddha and tarpana to the forefathers.

 

          The meaning is that if the 33 million demigods like Ganesha, etc. and all the forefathers beginning with one's own mother and father up to those who are the source of one's dynasty, born from Brahma himself, are not worshipped or satisfied properly, then one gets an opposite result--as if he did no such activities at all.

 

          d. Similarly in the Rudra-Yamala it is said:

 

devatah pitarah sarve

 shive pujyah prayatnatah

nyunah syur nishphalam kecit

 grihibhir yadi karmasu

“O Durga, bestower of auspiciousness, householders should worship all the demigods and ancestors in all performances. If some of them are not worshipped, then all the performances become useless.”

 

          The plural word 'karmasu' refers again to activities like nitya and naimittika; 'grihibhih'-- by householders only; 'prayatnatah' means carefully. All the demigods and forefathers must be worshipped. This means that among the thirty-three million demigods beginning from Ganesha  and all the forefathers, if some of them are not worshipped and not offered the shraddha  and tarpana, then the doer does not get any result, because the performance is not complete.  It is useless. More evidences are not included as this would increase the size of the book.

 

          Thus, if those householders, who are not initiated by harinama-mantra, worship the thirty-three million demigods (like Ganesha etc) incompletely in their actions of nitya, naimittika etc. and if they offer shraddha and tarpana incompletely to their forefathers (beginning from their mother, father up to Brahma, the source of their dynasty) then according to the proofs of the Puranas, Vedas, Upa-Puranas, and Agamas, all these actions are considered useless -  fruitless, a cause of disappointment.

 

          And on the other hand, if those who are initiated by a bona-fide spiritual master into the holy name of the Lord, being of any of the four varnas, perform such nitya and naimittika acts for the devatas and pitris, then they are committing seva and namaparadha.

 

          Therefore, for both the devotees of Lord Krishna and those who born either outside the varnashrama system or within, the worshipable Deity is Lord Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and no one else, because He is the controller of all. This is the principle.

 

          (Some people think that worshipping devatas is the same as worshipping Vishnu. The following  section refutes that misunderstanding.)

 

          There are some other persons who think that since the whole universe is pervaded by the potency of Lord Shri Vishnu  therefore this world is also Vishnu . Thus by worshipping demigods, Vishnu  is automatically worshipped. But actually that kind of worship is not recommended; it is forbidden. This is proven here by the words of Lord Krishna Himself.

 

(Following are five evidences to prove that the worship of demigods is no substitute for Vishnu  worship.) 

 

          a. Bhagavad-Gita 9.23:

 

ye 'py anya devata bhakta

 yajante shraddhayanvitah

te'pi mam eva kaunteya

 yajanty avidhi-purvakam

 

          This verse may be interpreted in three ways. One meaning is this:  ‘My faithful devotees (from initiation to the point of death) who occasionally worship the devatas disregarding the forbiddance, actually worship Me alone with great determination, not the demigods.  This is indicated by the word 'eva' which means that they really worship only Me. By worshipping Me alone, realizing they are servants and I am to be served, they become free from the cycle of birth and death. ‘

         

          A second meaning is as follows:  ‘All those who are not my devotees, filled with material desires (shraddhayanvita) worship demigods with great determination to achieve material results quickly. They worship Me in this way, thinking the demigods independent and equal to Me!  They are not actually worshipping Me at all!

 

          O son of Kunti, Arjuna, the prescribed process is to hear about Me, chant My names, remember and worship Me. By this alone can one be freed from the bondage of birth and death in this material world. All other works such as worshipping demigods, sacrifice, charity etc. are prohibited, because, being temporary they are the cause of the repeated cycle of birth and death. Therefore worship of Me is the best activity. Apart from this, there is no path to deliver oneself from the bondage of the material world, even for Brahma and Indra who have attained  immortality by drinking nectar.  What, then, to speak of mortals?’

         

          The same verse may be interpreted in a third way. ‘Those worshippers of demigods, bewildered by My external potency,  from their birth become Shaiva, Shakta, Shaura, Ganapatya etc. Later by the instructions of a bona fide spiritual master and the association of Vaishnavas  they worship Me alone with extreme faith (shraddhayanvita), with no other shelter.  They certainly become My devotees by the effect of My bhakti. But they must not worship with a material motive (avidhi purvakam).  To worship Me and at the same time to worship demigods is called avidhi. Leaving aside such worship, a person must be dedicated to Me fully, without worshipping the devatas even in dreams.  In that pure condition, that person becomes My devotee.’ 

 

          b. Other than devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, everything is perishable or impermanent, and should therefore be abandoned. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam  6.9.22 it is said:

 

avismitam tam paripurna-kamam

svenaiva labhena samam prashantam

vinopasarpaty-aparam hi balishah

shva langulenati titarti sindhum

“Free from all material conceptions of existence and never wonder struck by anything, the Lord is always jubilant and fully satisfied by His own spiritual perfection. He has no material designation, and therefore He is steady and unattached. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the only shelter of everyone. Anyone desiring to be protected by others is certainly a great fool who desires to cross the sea by holding the tail of a dog.”

 

          Those who are situated in varna and ashrama and do not worship the Supreme Lord Govinda, but superficial demigods, are greatly foolish. What are the qualities of Govinda? He is always satisfied by the perfection of His eight kinds of opulence called anima, laghima etc. He alone awards the surrendered souls their desired goal. Therefore, other than Him, no one else is fully satisfied.

 

          Lord Govinda is 'avismita,' because being eternal, there is no question of wonder in Him. He is 'prashanta,' because He has a form desired by His devotees. Bewildered by the external potency of the Lord, a person leaves the devotional service of the Supreme Lord and worships demigods.  He is foolish; he is described as a foolish man trying  to cross the ocean by holding the tail of a dog. Thus, one who has turned his face from the  Lord  to serve demigods to fulfill his insignificant desires gets no result, as everything is dependent on the Supreme Lord. He has no way to escape from the bondage of repeated birth and death.

 

          c. In Padma Purana  it is said:

 

yatha dhritva shunah puccham

tartum icchet saritpatim

tatha tyaktva harim sevyam

anyopasanaya bhavam

“As a person desires to cross the ocean by holding a tail of a dog, similarly an unintelligent man desires to deliver himself from the material bondage by worshipping others, giving up Lord Hari.”

 

          Here the word 'anyopasanaya' means serving or worshipping the external and marginal      energies of the Lord, such as demigods and other living entities. Therefore, other than Lord Hari, there is no one else who is worshipable in this material world.

 

          d. As Lord Shiva has mentioned to Narada:

 

bhuvane sarva-lokanam

 naradhyo vai harim vina

bhavarnavacchinna ko 'pi

  sarva kamada kamadah

“ O Narada, in this world no one else but Lord Hari is to be worshipped by all. Apart from Him, no one else can deliver the souls from the ocean of birth and death and no one can fulfil the desires of the materialists.”

 

          'Bhuvane' means not only on this middle planet but on all the fourteen planets,the  Supreme  Lord Hari is to be worshipped by all, even Lord Brahma. It is concluded that other than Him no one in existence is to be worshipped. But even if one worships the Lord's external and marginal potencies to fulfill all his desires according to prescription of the Vedas, Puranas, Smritis, and Agamas, the bestower of fulfillment to the demigods is Lord Shri Hari. Therefore, being among the external and marginal potencies, the demigods have no power to cut off the bondage of the ocean of birth and death. Except for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, no one can mitigate the great fear of the dangerous circuit of  mundane existence.

         

          e. In Shrimad Bhagavatam  11.19.9  Uddhava says to the Lord:

 

tapa-trayenapi hatasya ghore

santapya manasya bhavadhvanisha

pashyami nanyac-caranam tavanghri

dvandva tapatradamritabhivarshad

“My dear Lord, for one tormented on the terrible path of birth and death and constantly overwhelmed by the threefold miseries, I do not see any possible shelter other than Your two lotus feet, which are just like a refreshing umbrella that pours down showers of delicious nectar.”

          ‘O Lord, on this terrible path of birth and death, the souls who are suffering by the miseries, such as adhidaivika, adhibhautika and adhyatmika, and entering repreatedly  the womb have no shelter. Except for the umbrella of Your lotus feet, I don't see any other shelter.  As a person protects himself from the fierce sunshine and rain by holding an umbrella, so the souls who are bound by the ropes of birth and death escape that bondage by going under the umbrella of Your lotus feet.

 

          'amritam' means the four kinds of salvations such as attaining the same abode as the Lord and serving His lotus feet and thereby attaining liberation from the transmigration of the body. The Lord’s feet produce showers of bliss in the form of different types of liberation, like the unlimited drops of water in a shower of rain.  For that reason, there is no other way to get out from the existence of the mundane world, except these two lotus feet of Yours,  O Absolute Truth, Personality of Godhead!  In this world You are the only shelter of the demigods, demons and human beings.  One who does not worship Your lotus feet never achieves liberation. And the one who serves Your lotus feet becomes free from the bondage of the material world and remains in happiness always –in this llife and the next.’

The consciousness of full surrender

          It has been shown that human beings should avoid the adoration of the demigods, and take complete shelter of the Lord. As stated in Sanat-Kumara Samhita:

 

ananya-sharano nityam

tathaivananya sadhanah

ananya sadhanarthash ca

syad ananya prayojanah

 

nanyam ca pujayed devam

 na nameta smaren na ca

na pashyen na ca gayec ca

 na ca nindet kadacana

 

nanyocchishöam ca bhunjita

 nanya shesham ca dharayet

avaishnavanam sambhasha

 vandanadi vivarjayet

“One should always be in a state of full shelter, have no other practice or goal and have no other need. One should not worship, pay obeisances, remember, see, praise, and should never criticize the demigods. One should not eat the remnants (ucchishöa) of others, should not accept the left overs (shesha) of others. And one should avoid talking with and praising nondevotees.”

 

FOOTNOTE: After serving out a meal, the left-over unserved portion is called ‘shesha’.

 

          Anyone who is initiated with name and mantra of the Lord by a bona-fide spiritual master should take full shelter (of the Lord). The word 'ananya-sharana'  means having no other shelter or  object of service except Lord Govinda within and without the material world. The word 'syat' is used for certainty. Similarly one should be 'ananya-sadhana', which means one who  avoids the process of material activities such as nitya and namittika and who is undeviated in the devotional service of Lord Govinda, following the ninefold process of hearing, chanting,  remembering etc.

 

          'Ananya sadhanartha' means one who uses his wealth only for the service of great pure devotees in an authorised line. (Not for those who pretend to be devotees without having initiation from a bona-fide spiritual master). That means one has to serve those who have taken complete shelter of the Lord. He should not serve others who are servants of external demigods i.e. Shaivas, Shaktas, Shauras and Ganapatyas who are averse to the Supreme Lord Govinda. They can be provided food and water as guests according to one’s ability, but not in the mood of servant and the served, because then there will be a possibility of committing  offence to the holy name of the Lord.

 

          'Ananya-prayojana' means thinking oneself a servant of Lord Hari. One should not have any other goal to achieve except the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such a devotee of Krishna, being 'ananya-sharana', should not worship other demigods and should not perform any nitya, naimittika, kamya rites or  shraddha  and tarpana for the ancestors.

 

          'Kadacana' means never. One should not offer obeisances to the demigods, should not remember them by chanting their names, should not circumbulate them, should not see their idols or deities, should not touch their bodies, should not criticize or glorify them, should not eat their remnants and should not accept their nirmalya (flower, garlands, cloth, or candana). One should not accept anything such as water, prasada, flowers, garlands, candana given by a Shaiva, Shakta, Shaura, or Ganapatya who have turned their faces away from the Lord, although situated in varnashrama . But one can accept those things if they are given by the devotees of Krishna.

 

          One who has accumulated enough wealth out of his business in his previous situation as a Shaiva, Shakta, Shaura, or Ganapatya under the Lord's external energy, and then later accepts the name of Govinda from a bona fide spiritual master and becomes purifed by rebirth with panca samskara, should use his wealth only for the service of Krishna and His devotees. One should diligently try to avoid talking with nondevotees who have forgotten the Lord; one should avoid meeting them, offering homage, praising, touching them, sitting with them and eating food with them. 

 

(The next section shows that not only Vaishnavas, but all people should avoid worship of devatas and pitris.)

 

          It has been shown that the surrendered devotees of Lord Vishnu or Krishna should not worship the devatas.  But the same rule applies to even those brahmanas who are not initiated into the vishnu -mantra.

 

          In Naradiya Purana  it is said:

 

brahmano' pi munir jnani

 devam anyam na pujayet

mohena kurute yas tu

 sadyash candalatam vrajet

 

sadanya devata-bhaktir

 brahmananam gariyasi

vidurayati vipratvam

candalatvam prayacchati

“Even a learned and thoughtful brahmana should not worship demigods. If one worships demigods because of illusion, one falls down immediately to the stage of a candala or dog eater.

By worship of the demigods, a brahmana falls from the brahmanical status to that of a candala.”

 

          'brahmana' means one who knows the Brahma-Gayatri, which is instructed by the saintly Narada. The greatly fortunate brahmana understands that Vishnu is supreme. Therefore it is said that in Kali yuga, the brahmana who knows Vishnu  is equal to Vishnu . The brahmana is the original Vaishnava; there is no distinction between the Supreme Lord and the Vaishnava. The word 'muni' means a thoughtful sage or one who knows truth and falsity. 'Jnani' means one who has the knowledge of reality, instead of false knowledge of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. Such a brahmana should not worship the demigods. If he does so, having lost his knowledge by the influence of material desire, he falls down to the level of a candala. This means that even in this life he becomes like a dog-eater, what to speak of his next life. Although it may seem praiseworthy, it actually destroys his good qualitites and places him on the stage of a dog eater. Therefore, except for serving Gayatri (in order to worship the Lord) who is a personified great devotee of the Lord, one should not worship any of the devas.

 

          Though a case of a brahmana was cited above, the same rule applies to all situated in varna and ashrama. It is a great fault for anyone to worship demigods instead of Lord Vishnu, the Personality of Godhead. Thus in Skanda Purana  it is mentioned in the discussion of Brahma and Narada:

 

vasudevam paritjaya

 yo 'nya-devam upasate

tyaktva mritam sa mudhatma

bhunkte halahalam visham

“Whoever worships other demigods giving up Vasudeva is a fool and eats the deadly poison called halahala, rejecting nectar.”

 

          Any person in varnashrama who rejects the worship of Vasudeva, residing in His Supreme abode, and worships demigods, is considered to have abandoned nectar and swallowed poison. He is a fool, completely ignorant, with unsteady mind. A foolish person who has forgotten Lord Vasudeva leaves the nectar of devotional service to the Lord which is liberation itself,  the destroyer of the fetters of material life, and accepts the bondage of mundane life.  He has to suffer good and bad activities and traverse the cycle of birth and death through 8,400,000 species of life which certainly destroys his original identity. He suffers greatly; therefore it is compared to poison.

         

          This is supported by the following scriptural text: avashyam eva bhoktavyam kritam karma shubhashubham -  “A person must always enjoy or suffer according to the good or bad activities he has performed in this life.”

 

          Similarly in Mahabharata and Harivamsa it is stated:

 

yas tu vishnum parityajya

mohad anyam upasate

sa hema-rashim utshrijya

pamshu-rashim jighrikshati

“One who worships anyone other than Krishna, being under illusion, is considered as having accepted a heap of ashes, while rejecting a pile of gold.”

 

          Being bewildered by the Lord's external potency (mohat) any human being who rejects the all-pervading Supreme Master of the world, Vishnu, who is served by following in the footsteps of those who are in His full shelter, and instead serves demigods and demigodesses as the worshippable bestowers of his desires, accepts a heap of dust instead of a quantity of gold.

 

          In contrast to this, one who has obtained the human form of life as a result of service to Lord Govinda in many previous lives, and has accepted name and mantra from a bona-fide spitiual master, avoids the adoration of the demigods by the body, speech and mind, and serves Lord Vishnu in devotion as his only master. He rejects completely the process of material bondage of birth and death in various species of life as a heap of sand and accepts service to Lord Govinda like a treasure of gold. The word 'jighrikshati' means to accept.Therefore the unalloyed devotees of Lord Govinda, in all activities  accept what is real or 'sat' and reject what is false, considering the principles of bhagavata-dharma.

 Meaning of “sat”

          In this regard Lord Krishna explains to Arjuna in  Bhagavad-Gita 17.26,27:

 

sad-bhave sadhu bhave ca

 sad ityetat prayujyate

 prashaste karmani tatha

sac chabdah partha yujyate

“The Absolute Truth is the objective of devotional sacrifice, and it is indicated by the word sat. The performer of such a sacrifice is also called sat.”

 

          'Sadbhava' means those who have taken birth in the mode of goodness, such as the devotees of Lord Govinda, the demigods, and the brahmanas who are purified by the chanting of Gayatri mantra. It also means a pure appearance (sat avirbhava), referring to the appearance of the Lord’s forms in this world, like Viraö and Narayana. 'Sat bhava' also refers to the person who exists in the eternal place (sat) called Vaikunöha-Dhama, the Supreme abode. That person is Narayana or Vasudeva.

 

          'Sat bhava' also means He who appears with His own pure energy. Krishna appears according to His own sweet will with His name, quality, activity and pastimes, and so many opulences and perfections like anima etc. in His abode, Shri Vrindavana.

 

          'Sat bhava' also refers to the appearance of great devotees (satam), who are born through  the guru who gives instructions and initiation, not by a birth from parents under the influence of pious activities accumulated in a previous life.

 

          'Sadhu bhave' means the excellent nature of saintly persons, or the pure nature of their minds, which is produced by hearing the quality, activity, pastimes and the names of the Lord; by studying the scriptures which describe devotional service, such as Shruti, Smriti, Vedas, Puranas, secondary Puranas, Agama, philosophy and Pancaratra etc. and by the association of devotees  and other  devotional processes.

 

          The word 'sad' is thus used to indicate those demigods and brahmanas who are completely surrendered to the Lord, and things which are beyond the modes of passion and ignorance, which are eternal and situated in pure goodness.

 

          Similarly, 'prashaste karmani' means the activities in pure goodness performed by a Krishna conscious person--all activities in the service of one's spiritual master, the Vaishnavas, brahmanas and the devotees of Lord Krishna, such as taking the Deity of Lord Govinda on procession, nama-kirtana and sankirtana. ‘O Arjuna, son of Pritha, the word 'sat' is used in all these and other activities which belong to Krishna and His devotee.’  In the next verse, 17.27 He says:

 

yajne tapasi dane ca

 sthitih sad iti cocyate

karma caiva tad arthiyam

sad ity evabhidhiyate

“All works of sacrifice, penance and charity which are true to the Absolute nature, and are performed to please the Supreme Person, O son of Pritha, are called sat.”

 

          'Yajna' refers to Shri Vishnu -yajna or all the devotional activities like shravanam, kirtanam  from early morning--to the last offering of flowers when the Lord is put to rest at night . 'Tapa' means having given up fruitive daily and periodic rituals and performing only actions devoted to the Lord. 'Dana' means serving the great devotees of Lord Krishna by the body, mind and speech, with devotion and faith, and, as indicated by the word 'ca', service to satisfy brahmanas and all living entities by feeding them.

 

          'Yajna' can also mean Vishnu and service to Him according to the scriptures. These things must be done, and nothing else. The word 'sat' is used always for these sacrifices and such situations, but other kinds of yajna and activities are described here as 'asat', or illicit.  Therefore, the word 'sat' cannot be used there.

 

           'Tad arthiyam' means bodily sufferings accepted to execute activities such as sacrifice, charity and penance; collecting donations of money from businessmen; making flower gardens, sitting or resting places; and planting many kinds of plants for the Lord and His devotees. Learned scholars categorize these kinds of activities as 'sat'.

 

          Therefore, the householder devotees of Krishna, being born in 'sadbhava' or in pure goodness, through instructions on the name and mantra of the Lord, should worship only the Lord in all performances, not demigods and forefathers.  Simply by worshipping Lord Krishna, Govinda, all the demigods and forefathers are worshipped.

Worship of Govinda is worship of all

          It is said in Skanda Purana :

 

arcite deva-devesha

 abja-shankha-gadadhare

arcitah pitaro deva

 yatah sarvamayo harih

“Upon worshipping Lord Hari the God of Gods who is holding a lotus, conchshell and club in His hands, all the forefathers and demigods are worshipped because Lord Hari includes everything.”

 

          Indra, the king of heaven, is the controller of all the thirty-three million demigods, and Brahma, the creator of the universe, is to be praised even by Indra. But Lord Shri Hari is the master of Brahma and all the ancestors. Therefore when Vasudeva, who holds a lotus, conchshell, disc and club, is worshipped, all those demigods and forefathers who are supposed to be worshipped in all the activities of nitya, naimittika etc. to remove obstacles, are automatically worshipped; as He is the cause of all the demigods and ancestors, and is the controller and master of all. Because the Lord removes the three kinds of miseries of His devotees, who are engaged in His service constantly,  He is called Hari.

 

          In the age of Kali, those who are situated in varna and ashrama and are always engaged in  worship of Lord Shri Hari and in the chanting of His names, are considered to have already performed all nitya and naimittika actions. As is mentioned in Brihan-Naradiya Purana :

                

hari-nama-para ye ca

 hari-kirtana tat parah

hari-puja-para ye ca

te kritarthah kalau-yuge

“Those who engage in chanting the holy name of Lord Hari (japa), are addicted to congregational chanting (kirtana) and engage in the worship of Lord Hari, have accomplished their desires in the age of Kali.”

 

          Those who have accepted the name of the Lord  from a bona fide spiritual master and by the association and  teachings of Bhagavata-dharma have purified their hearts by the chanting of Harinama, and with their body, mind and speech are addicted to the Lord and His holy name, are thus freed from the activities which are the cause of material bondage and false doership. They follow activities such as remembering, pleasing, meditating, attending sankirtana festivals and hearing and discussing the scriptures like Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-Gita, Krishnopanishad, Narayanopanishad and other scriptures like Vedas, Puranas, Upa-Puranas, Agamas, Smritis, Mahabharata and other Vaishnava shastras.

 

          'Hari-puja-para' means those who engage only in devotional service to the Lord, avoiding the worship of demigods, forefathers and other fruitive activities.  By doing this they satisfy all living entities. 

 

          In the previous ages of Satya, Treta and Dvapara, people attained their goals after a long time by the processes of austerity, sacrifice, charity and worship; but in Kali Yuga, whatever is performed everyday in the service of Lord Govinda is blissful and that bliss is unattainable even by Brahma. Devotees perform service to Govinda such as sacrifice, penance, charity, digging  wells or lakes, making flower garlands, resting places, bridges, construction of the best temples, whole year travelling festivals, offering juicy fruits, cakes, rice prepared with  milk, many kinds of ornaments, fragrant flowers, candana from Malaya, fragrant aguru, camphor, betelnut, incense, lamps, blowing a conchshell, ringing a bell and chanting congregationally before the Lord every morning and evening.

 

          Those who are fixed in such devotional service, being surrendered to the Lord, accomplish their desires simply by worshipping and chanting the names of the Lord. In other words, they fulfill their ultimate desire by constantly remembering and worshipping Lord Hari with discrimination, without committing any nama or sevaparadhas. They will certainly be freed from the fetters of worldly existence.

 

          In Padma Purana , Lord Shiva  says to Durga:

 

ghore kali-yuga prapte

sarva-dharma-vivarjitah

vasudeva para martyas

te kritartha na shamshayah

 

 “In the dangerous age of Kali only those who have abandoned all kinds of religious activities and engage in the service of Lord Vasudeva, are really successful (kritartha). Of this there is no doubt.”

 

          The word 'ghore' means very dangeorus, subject to the unavoidable network of dangers which bind one in worldly existence. Such a Kali-Yuga arrives after the age of Dvapara, and has a duration of 432,000 years. 'Sarva-dharma-vivarjita' means those who have avoided all kinds of religious activities of varna and ashrama, and only engage in the service of Lord Vasudeva, not even worshipping demigods and forefathers to achieve fruitive result. They are doubtlessly successful in their purpose. It has already been explained that both service to Vasudeva and the fulfillment of one's desire is achieved by chanting the name of Lord Hari and other devotional activities.

 

          As well it is stated in Skanda Purana :

 

sa karta sarva-dharmanam

 bhakto yas tava keshava

sa karta sarva-papanam

 yo na bhaktas tavacyuta

“O Keshava, one who is Your devotee has performed all auspicious activities, while one who is not Your devotee is the committer of all sinful activities.”

 

          Lord Brahma himself says, “Simply because he is Your devotee, O Keshava, whoever adores only You, is the performer of all religious activities. That means the pure and steady-minded devotee has certainly already performed all fruitive activities (which he is supposed to perform in his so-called religion according to varna and ashrama, such as worshipping demigods and honouring forefathers) because he worships You, the infallible Godhead. But, O Acyuta, one who is not Your devotee or one who has not accepted Your holy name from a bona fide guru and has neglected to follow the regulative principles, being under the control of the external energy of the Lord, desiring to get material results, he is certainly a committer of all sinful activities.” 

 

          How is this possible? Having avoided dedication to devotional service and rejecting the worship of the Lord who is always in pure goodness, one who acts like a prostitute by following activities prescribed in Shruti, Smriti, and Puranic texts (that are in the modes of passion and ignorance) performs many kinds of yoga, sacrifice, oblations, charity, penance and worship of demigods. According to the statement, 'svakarma-phala-bhuk pumam', one has to enjoy or suffer according to all of his deeds. One has to revolve in the cycle of birth and death through 8,400,000 species of life, as an enjoyer of his own deeds after leaving his body. After wandering through all these species, when one finally gets a human life, that person again acts sinfully by the influence of his previous activities -- because of not having lived according to the principles of devotional life.

 

          Again, in the same scripture it is stated:

 

papam bhavati dharmo' pi

  tava bhaktaih kritam hare

nih shesha-karma karta va-

’py abhakto narake patet

“O Lord Hari, even the sinful actions commited by Your devotees are considered a religious action, but a nondevotee who performs all kinds of religous activities, is still thrown into hell.”

 

          The meaning of 'bhakta' and 'abhakta' have been explained already. “O Lord, the apparent sin of not performing demigod and ancestor worship by Your devotees is certainly considered correct according to the principles of Bhagavata-dharma, because they have undeviated devotion to the Lord. On the other hand, a nondevotee may perform all kinds of religious actions, but as a result he has to fall down to hell. This refers to all the actions mentioned in the Vedas and Puranas which are in the modes of passion and ignorance, such as Soma-Yaga, Vajapeya-Yaga, Shad-Anga-Yaga, atonement, Pancagni Sadhana (the process in which one has to sit down  lighting five fires around himself), Vayu-Bhojana ( or eating only air), Ashvamedha Yajna, penance and sacrifice which involves killing animals, and worshipping demigods. After quitting his body such a person sometimes goes to the heavenly planets and enjoys the results of his actions; sometimes he stays on this planet; and sometimes falls down to hell. I, Lord Brahma, servant of Your servants, being afraid of Kali, pray to You, O Lord Hari, by the two vocative words “he hare!”

 

(This section proves that in any varna, the Vaishnava, exclusively worshipping Vishnu, is the best, and amongst all the Vaishnavas- the brahmana-sannyasi is the best. )

 

          In the same text it is mentioned:

 

brahmanah kshatriyo vaishyah

shudro va yadi vetarah

vishnu-bhakti-samayukto

 jneyah sarvottamottamah

“A brahmana, kshatriya, vaishya, shudra or whoever one may be, if he is dedicated to Vishnu, he is considered the best of people.”

 

          It was mentioned earlier that a person who has taken up the devotional service of Lord Vishnu  is superior to all others inside or outside the varnashrama system. He has completely rejected fruitive activities like worship of demigods and forefathers, and nitya, naimittika and kamya rites mentioned in the Vedas and Puranas which are in the modes of passion and ignorance. 'Va' means applicable to any of the varnas and 'yadi' means if. Even those born in low families, if they give up all kinds of activities causing further entanglement in material existence and take up serving the devotees, they are considered the best. The shudra who is servant of a devotee is superior to the shudra serving a brahmana, kshatriya or vaishya.  There are eleven kinds of shudras according to Harita Samhita:

 

palagandas tantravayo

malakarash ca tailikah

karmakaras tambuliko

 modako thaliko narah

tambulikrit tatha shudrah

 sat shudrau gopa-napitau

 

palaganda - a stone worker or claypot maker

tantravaya - a weaver

malakara - a gardener

tailika - an oilman

karmakara- a blacksmith

tambuliko - seller of betel nuts

modaka - a confectioner

thalika - plate maker

tambulikrit - preparer of betel leaves

gopa - a milker of cows (distinct from the vaishya, who owns the cows)

napita - a barber

 

All are counted in the shudra category, but the gopas and napitas are the true shudras.

 

          The vaishya, performing duties such as farming, commerce, and cow protection, and avoiding such fruitive actions which cause one to enjoy or suffer in  heaven or hell, and  serving only the brahmanas and kshatriyas, is superior to a shudra serving the higher classes.

 

          Superior to such a vaishya is a kshatriya, who in his occupation serves the brahmanas of great devotion and faith, and with determination protects all living entities by his heroic qualities. Superior to such a kshatriya is a brahmana who has destroyed  the karma causing material bondage and suffering in hellish conditions, who has the eight or twelve qualities as described in Shrimad Bhagavatam, and who chants only the Brahma-Gayatri and avoids all rituals aiming at material enjoyment. The twelve qualities are stated in Mahabharata by Sanat Sujata:

 

dharmash ca satyam ca damash tapas ca

hy amatsaryam hris titikshanasuya

yajnash ca danam ca dhritih shrutam ca

vratani vai dvadasha brahmanasya

“Religiosity, truthfulness, sense-control, austerity, nonenvy, modesty, tolerance, freedom from fault-finding, sacrifice, charity, steadiness and knowledge are the twelve qualities of a brahmana.”

 

          'Vai' means certainly. These are the twelve qualities of brahmanas who are purified by chanting Gayatri mantra.  'Dharma' means to be steady in proper behaviour, avoiding nonreligious action. 'Satyam' means always being truthful,  even till the end of life. 'Dama' means sense control. 'Tapa' means to be steady in daily austerity, not giving trouble to the body for fruitive results. 'Hri' means always being modest because of great civility, out of fear of social dishonour and falling to a low position.  'Amatsarya' means free from jealousy, free from showing one's household opulence to put down others.  A person should be enthusiastic to see other’s advancement. 'Titiksha' means to be tolerant of abusive speech, insult, defeat, disregard, disrespect and other bodily troubles. 'Anasuya' means not finding  any fault in others. 'Yajna' means non-fruitive sacrifices, but the yajna of chanting Gayatri mantra hundreds and thousands of times. 'Danam' refers to those charitable activities like distributing water, food, clothes to all whether invited or uninvited  guests, relatives and others who are within or outside of the  varnashrama system, with devotion and according to ones ability. There is no sankalpa (vow) or desire to enjoy the fruit of such distribution.  'Dhriti' means firmness and satisfaction of mind without disturbance from the turbulence of the material world. 'Shruta' means having natural attraction for studying, teaching and hearing the Vedas in the mode of goodness.

 

          The qualties of brahmanas are also described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam  5.5.28, 7.7.9, and 7.11.21. In Narada Pancaratra 1.2.42 it says that the svadharma of the brahmanas is to serve Krishna and to eat His naivedya (an offering of bhoga to the Deity) and to drink His padaka water daily.

 

          Superior to such a brahmana is a brahmacari who practises all the brahminical qualities faithfully throughout his life, and practises all the rules of brahmacarya or penance as mentioned in the Shruti, Smriti, and Puranas. Superior to such a brahmacari is a grihastha, a householder who has the same brahminical qualities and offers service to guests, who come by their own will without any invitation, with food and water, and satisfies them according to his ability. The vanaprastha, who has renounced his grihastha-ashrama and stays in the forest with his wife, following strictly all rules of brahminical qualities, is superior to such a householder. And the sannyasi or an ascetic who practices all the rules and regulations as prescribed in the Vedas, Puranas, Upa-Puranas,  and Mahabharata  is superior to such a vanaprastha.

 

(This last section shows that the sannyasi, the topmost person in the varnashrama  system, gives up all fruitive actions -worship of devatas and pitris completely. He is a model for all others to follow.) 

 

          In Bhagavad-Gita 18.2, Lord Krishna speaks about sannyasa to Arjuna:

 

kamyanam karmanam nyasam

 sannyasam kavayo viduh

sarva-karma-phala-tyagam

prahus tyagam vicakshanah

“Giving up of activities that are based on material desire is what great learned men call the renounced order of life (sannyasa). And giving up the result of all activities is what the wise call renunciation (tyaga).”

         

          Giving up of kamya karmas is known by the learned men as sannyasa, and giving up the result of activity is called tyaga or renunciation by the wise men. There is a deep  import  in the words of the Lord. One may ask whether one may perform all the nitya and naimittika activities if only kamya karmas are rejected. If that were so, then what is the question of sannyasa? The Shruti says “om tad van vai karmakrit, sannyaso naigamam karma ca, anyasat karmi, (nyasat) sannyasah he hiti.” One who does not give up Vedic performance is a karmi, and one who gives it up is a sannyasi. The word 'hi' means certainly, 'naigama' means activities prescribed in the Vedas. In this world the performer of such activities is certainly called a karmi. Being talented in all such activities he is called karmaöha or active. Therefore not performing such activities gives rise to sannyasa, and one who performs the duty of sannyasa is called sannyasi.

 

          The meaning of sannyasa is mentioned in Uttara Gita:

 

nityam naimittikam kamyam

 karma trividham ucyate

sannyasah karmanam nyaso

 nyasi tad dharmam acaran

“There are three kinds of activities, namely nitya, naimittika and kamya. Giving up all such activities is called nyasa, renunciation, and one who practices renunciation is called as sannyasi.”

 

          Experts in karma understand there are three kinds of activities. Not to perform them is sannyasa and one who does so is called sannyasi.  What then is the difference from 'tyaga', giving up the results of all such activities?

 

          One should understand that simply by performing the nitya-karma even without desire to get the result, one certainly gets a result.  According to the statement of Shruti, 'athaharah sandhyam upasita', one should perform sandhya rites everyday. That activity is done with the aim to remove accidental sins. Though one may not desire those results, the result will still come.

 

          As stated in Harita-samhita:

 

pratyam yas tri-kalajnah

 sandhyopasana-krid dvijah

brahma-lokam avapnoti

  gayatri-japa-tat-parah

“The twice born (dvija) who engages in japa or chanting the gayatri mantra daily at the three  sandhyas attains the planet of Brahma.”

 

          'Dvija' means brahmana, kshatriya, and vaishya. 'Tri-kala-jna' means the knower of the three junctures of the day -- morning, noon and evening. 'Gayatri-japa-tatparah' means he is seriously engaged in gayatri japa, at the time of sandhya. He naturally attains Brahmaloka after he quits his body, even though he has no desire to enjoy the result of his work.

 

          Also in the naimittika-karmas (such as offering pindas to the ancestors) one gets the result of his work even without having any desire for the results . As stated in Skanda Purana:

 

gayayam viraje caiva

 mahendre janavitaöe

atra pinda-prado yati

  brahma-lokam anamayam

“One who offers pinda, or food, to his forefathers in Gaya, in the region of Viraja, on the hill called Mahendra on the bank of Jahnavi (Ganga), attains the planet of Brahma which is free from diseases.”

 

          'Gaya' refers to the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu and for an area of  two miles (kosha) around or according to the Puranas, four, eight and sixteen miles around. 'Ca' means Kurukshetra, Badrinath, Kedaranath, Venkaöacala, Shri Ranganath kshetra, Shri Purushottama kshetra and other pilgrimage places. In the same way, the word 'Jahnavi-taöe' refers to any place within a distance of two miles from the Ganges. In these places, one who offers pinda, performing shraddha to his forefathers, certainly accomplishes his desires and attains Brahmaloka. Similarly, his sons and grandsons who offer pindas also attain anamaya, or the place which is free from all kinds of disturbances—the three kinds of miseries, disease and lamentation, for half the lifetime of Lord Brahma (dviparadha).

 

          Kamya karmas are specifically performed to fulfill some desire, but result is there even if one performs them without any desire.  As stated in Brihad Vishnu Purana:

 

yah kashcid purusho' piha

 kritva candrayanam vratam

mucyate sarva-papebhyas

tatha dvadasha varshikam

“Any one in this world can be free from all kinds of sinful reactions by performing atonement and the twelve year penance.”

 

          In this world, any person even outside the varnashrama system, who performs candrayana or atonement and twelve years austerity according to his wealth, without desiring the result, becomes free from all kinds of sinful reactions, namely pataka, maha pataka, atipataka, and anupataka. One becomes freed not only from suffering in the hellish planets as a result of sinful reactions, but becomes freed of material bondage.

         

          Therefore it is said that sannyasa is to give up completely nitya, naimittika, and kamya activities, whereas  'tyaga' is to perform all those activities but giving up the fruits. There should be no confusion about this.

 

 

 

 

Mangalacarana

At the beginning of the vivaha (wedding) ceremony (or any other samskara) one should perform mangalacarana. First one should make a platform (vedi) which should be four hands long (6ft)on both sides and four fists high (1ft) with a canopy over it. As stated in Kapila Pancaratra :

“One should build an auspicious platform on the best purified ground. It should be four hands square and four fists high, and should be made with pure mud and smeared with cow-dung mixed with pure water without any husk, bones, hairs, coal, or burned clay in it etc. The mandapa should be covered with a torana (canopy) or a rope that is decorated with many kinds of leaves like mango, bakula, jambu, etc. Then eight auspicious pots should be installed in the eight directions and many kinds of flags should be placed on top of them starting from the East. The pots should be decorated with five colors. Then the platform should be decorated with a candratapa (sign of a half moon) and garlands. Ladies should decorate the platform and doors with five kinds of colors. The auspicious mangalacarana should be recited in that place accompanied by the beating of drums, blowing of conchshells, ringing of bells etc. and mukhya vadya (uluing) of the women.”

 

Then one should recite the following mangalacarana prayers to remove all obstacles and invoke auspiciousness:

 

yam brahma vedanta-vido vadanti

pare pradhanam purusham tathanye

vishvad gateh karanam-ishvaram va

tasmai namo vighna-vinashanaya

“Obeisances unto Him who is the destroyer of all obstacles, who the knowers of Vedanta describe as the Supreme Brahman, and who others describe as the pradhana, or totality of mundane elements. Some describe Him as the Supreme Male Person, or Purusha, while others describe Him as the Supreme Lord and the cause of the creation of the universe.” (Brihad Vishnu Purana)

 

om tad vishnoh paramam padam

sada pashyanti surayah

diviva cakshur atatam

“Just as those with ordinary vision see the sun’s rays in the sky, so the wise and learned devotees always see the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu. Because those highly praiseworthy and spiritually awake brahmanas can see that abode, they can also reveal it to others.” (Sama Veda)

 

om krishno vai sac-cid-ananda-ghanah

       krishna adi purushah

       krishnah purushottamah

       krishno ha u karmadi mulam

       krishnah saha sarvai-karyah

       krishna kasham krid-adisha mukha-prabhu-pujyah

       krishno nadis-tasmin-ajandantar bahye

       yam-mangalam tal-labhate kriti

 

 “Lord Krishna is the color of a new rain-cloud, therefore He is compared to a transcendental cloud full of eternity, bliss and cognizance. He is the original and Supreme Person. He is the origin of all activities and the one and only Lord of all. He is the worshipful Lord of the best of demigods, the controller of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Krishna is without any beginning. Whatever auspiciousness is found within or beyond this universe the devotee obtains in Krishna alone.”(Krishnopanishad)

 

·         @Purusha Sukta (put new version)

 

om sahasra shirsha purushah sahasrakshah sahasrapat

sa bhumim vishvato vritva atyatishöhad dasangulam //1//

                  

om purusha evedagm sarvam yad bhutam yac-ca bhavyam

utamrita tva syeshanah yad annena tirohati //2//

                  

om etavan-asya mahima ato jyayagmsh-ca purushah

pado ’sya vishva bhutani tripad-asyamritam divi //3//

         

om tripad urdhva udait purushah pado ’syeha ’bhavat-punah

tato vishvan vyakramat sashana nashane abhi //4//

                  

om tasmad-virad-ajayata virajo adhi purushah

sa jato ’tyaricyata pashcad-bhumim-atho purah //5//

 

om yat purushena havisha deva yajnam-atanvata

vasanto asyasid ajyam grishma idhma-sharad-dhavih //6//

 

om saptasyasan-paridhayah trih sapta samidhah kritah

deva yad-yajnam tanvanah abadhnan-purusham pashum //7//

 

om tam yajnam barhishi praukshan purusham jatam-agratah

tena deva ayajanta sadhya rishayash-ca ye //8//

 

om tasmad-yajnat-sarva-hutah sambhritam prishad-ajyam

pashugms-tagmsh-cakre vayavyan aranyan-gramyash-ca ye //9//

 

om tasmad-yajnat-sarva-hutah ricah samani jajnire

chandagmsi jajnire tasmat yajus-tasmad-ajayata //10//

 

om tasmad-ashva ajayanta ye ke cobhaya-datah

gavo ha jajnire tasmat tasmaj-jata aja-vayah //11//

 

om yat purusham vyadadhuh katidha vyakalpayan

mukham kimasya kau bahu kavuru pada vucyete //12//

 

om brahmano ’sya mukham-asit bahu rajanyah kritah

uru tadasya yad-vaisyah padbhyagm shudro ajayata //13//

 

om candrama manaso jatah cakshoh suryo ajayata

mukhad-indrash-cagnish-ca pranad-vayur-ajayata //14//

 

om nabhya asid-antariksham shirshno dhyauh samavartata

padbhyagm bhumir-dishah shrotrat tatha lokagm akalpayan //15//

 

om vedaham-etam purusham mahantam aditya-varnam tamasastu-pare

sarvani rupani vicitya dhirah namani kritva ’bhivadan yadaste //16//

 

om dhata purastad-yamudajahara shakrah pravidvan-pradishash-catasrah

tamevam vidvan-amrita iha bhavati nanyah pantha ayanaya vidyate //17//

 

om yajnena yajnam-ayajanta devah tani dharmani prathamany-asan

te ha nakam mahimanah sacante yatra purve sadhyah santi devah //18//

 

1)       “The Supreme Lord in the form of the universe, has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes and a thousand feet, for He contains all the living entities. Having pervaded the universe completely to give it existence, being independent, He extended Himself beyond it by ten fingers.

2)       The universes, past, present and future, are but manifestations of the Supreme Lord who expands Himself as the Purusha. He is the Lord of immortality but has manifest Himself as the Purusha in the universe so that the jivas may enjoy material fruits.

3)       The past, present and future universes are manifestations of the Lord’s powers, but the Lord Himself is much greater. The material creation is but one quarter portion, and the eternal nature in the spiritual sky exists in three quarters portion.

4)       The three quarters portion of the Lord transcended the material portion. The Lord in the one quarter portion manifested the universe again, as He had done repeatedly before. The Lord of the one quarter portion began the work of creation, by going all around, taking the form of all animate and inanimate objects.

5)       From that Lord, the viraö or universe was born, and in that the Viraö Purusha, Paramatma of the universe, was born. Having appeared, the Viraö Purusha grew, and produced the earth and the bodies of the jivas.

6)       The devas, being the first beings manifested, performed a mental sacrifice to complete the creation, using the Viraö Purusha (the totality of ingredients of the material world), as the offering. Spring was the ghee, summer was the fuel wood and autumn was the offering.

7)       In this sacrifice, the kusha grass blades strewn around the fire (for protection from rakshasas), were seven (the seven vedic poetic metres), and the fuel sticks were twenty one (12 months, 6 seasons and the 3 worlds). The devas who were performing the mental sacrifice tied the Viraö Purusha to offer Him into the fire, just as one would tie the sacrificial animal.

8)       The devas, sadhyas and rishis, placed the Viraö Purusha, the first being of the universe, on kusha and sprinkled Him with water for purification. In this way they conducted the mental sacrifice using the Viraö Purusha.

9)       From that sacrifice where everything in the universe was sacrificed, yogurt and ghee (all nourishing foods), were produced. It created the animals of the air, forest, and village.

10)     From that ultimate sacrifice or “sarva hut”, the Rik (hymns), Sama (musical) and Yajus (prose) portions of the Vedas, and the seven Vedic metres, were born.

11)     From the sacrifice horses were born, and animals with two sets of teeth such as donkeys and mules. From the sacrifice, cows were born, and likewise goats and sheep.

12)     In the mental sacrifice, when they divided up the Viraö Purusha, how many parts did they divide? What is stated about His face, His arms, His thighs and feet?

13)     From the face came the brahmanas. From the two arms the kshatriyas came into being. From the thighs of the Viraö Purusha came the vaishyas and from His feet the shudras were born.

14)     The moon was born from His mind, the sun was born from His two eyes. From His mouth were born Indra and Agni, and from His breath Vayu was born.

15)     From His navel came the antariksha (space between earth and heaven). From His head the heavens arose. From His feet the earth arose and from His ears arose the directions. In this way the worlds were created.

16)     I know that great Viraö Purusha, effulgent as the sun, who stands beyond the darkness of the material creation. Having given all the living entities their forms and names, He directs their affairs.

17)     Brahma explained his realization to Indra. Indra, who knows all the living entities in all four directions, explained it to all others. One who knows the nature of the Viraö Purusha becomes immortal even in his life on earth. There is no other path to reach the goal of immortality.

18)     In this way the devas conducted the mental sacrifice using the Viraö Purusha to manifest variety in the world. By that sacrifice, both the physical laws of nature and the first spiritual codes of conduct arose. The great souls by similar mental worship attain the place of immortality where the sadhyas and devas, the first worshippers, now dwell”.

 

·         @Narayana Upanishad (put new version)

 

om     atha purusho ha vai narayano ‘kamayata prajah shrijeyeti

          narayanat prano jayate

          manah sarvendriyani ca kham vayur jyotir apah prithivi vishvasya dharini        narayanad brahma jayate

          narayanad rudro jayate

          narayanad indro jayate

          narayanad prajapatih prajayante

          narayanad dvadashaditya rudra vasavah sarvani chandagmsi

          narayanad eva samutpadyante

          narayanad pravartante

          narayane praliyante

          ya evam veda

          ity upanishat(e) // 1 //

 

om atha nityo narayanah

          brahma narayanah

          shivash ca narayanah

          shakrash ca narayanah

          kalash ca narayanah

          dishash ca narayanah

          vidishash ca narayanah

          urdhvash ca narayanah

          adhash ca narayanah

          antar bahish ca narayanah

          narayana evedag sarvam

          yad bhutam yac ca bhavyam

          nishkalanko niranjano nirvikalpo nirakhyatah

          shuddho deva eko narayanah

          na dvitiyo ‘sti kashcit(e)

          sa vishnur eva bhavati sa vishnur eva bhavati

          ya evam veda

          ity upanishat(e) // 2 //

 

om ity agre vyaharet(e)

          nama iti pashcat(e)

          narayanayety uparishtat(e)

om ity ekaksharam

          nama iti dve akshare

          narayanayeti pancaksharani

          etad vai narayanasayastaksharam padam

          yo ha vai narayanasyastaksharam padam adhyeti

          anapabruvah sarvam ayureti

          vindate prajapatyagm rayas posham gaupatyam

          tato ‘mritatvam ashnute tato ’mritatva ashnuta iti

          ya evam veda

          ity upanishat(e) // 3 //

 

om pratyag anandam brahma purusham pranava svarupam

          akara ukara makara iti

          tanekadha sametad om iti

          yam uktva mucyate yogi

          janma samsara bandhanat(e)

          om namo narayanayeti mantropasakah

          vaikunöha bhuvanam gamishyati

          tad idam pundarikam vijnana ghanam

          tasmad tadidabha matram

          brahmanyo devakiputro

          brahmanyo madhusudanah

          brahmanyo pundarikaksho

          brahmanyo vishnur acyuteti

          sarvabhutastham ekam narayanam

          karana rupam akaranam param brahma om // 4 //

 

om     pratar adhiyano ratrikritam papam nashayati

          shayam adiyano divasa-kritam papam nashayati

          madhyahna dinam adityabhimukho ‘dhiyanah

          panca maha patakopapatakat pramucyate

          sarva veda parayana punyam labhate

          narayana-sayujyam avapnoti

          narayana-sayujyam avapnoti

          ya evam veda

          ity upanishat(e) // 5 //

 

1)                “Then the Supreme Lord Narayana desired to create living entities. From Narayana came the life airs; from Narayana came the mind and all the senses; from Narayana came the elements - ether, air, light, water and earth, which supports the universe. From Narayana came Brahma, Rudra, Indra, Prajapati. From Narayana came the twelve Adityas, the twelve Rudras, the twelve Vasus, all the Vedic metres and all the devas. Everything came from Narayana in the beginning and everything enters into Narayana at the end.

2)                Thus Narayana is the eternal being. Brahma, Shiva, Indra, time, the directions, the subdirections, up and down, inside and outside, are all pervaded by Narayana. Narayana is everything, past, present and future. Narayana is the eternal pure effulgent Lord, without a second to compare. He is Vishnu, the Supreme Lord, says the Upanishad.

3)                One should place “om” first, “namah” second and “Narayanaya”  at the end. “Om” is one syllable, “namah”  is two syllables and “Narayanaya” is five syllables. Together they make the eight syllable Narayana-mantra. One who knows this eight syllable Narayana-mantra with purity in his heart attains all life, offspring, wealth, health and cows, and finally attains immortality. One who knows the Narayana-mantra and Narayana attains immortality, says the Upanishad.

4)                The syllable “om” is directly the Supreme Lord full of bliss. Composed of three sounds “a”, “u” and “m”, the pranava becomes “om”. The yogi who utters the pranava many times becomes free from the bondage of repeated material birth. One who worships the Lord with this mantra will certainly go to the transcendental realm of Vaikunöha, which is a lotus full of consciousness shining effulgently. The transcendental Lord is known as the son of Devaki, as Madhusudana, as Pundarikaksha, as Vishnu and Acyuta. The one Narayana is situated in all living entities. He is the cause of all causes, the supreme Brahman.

5)                One who recites the mantra in the morning destroys the sins of the night. One who recites the mantra in the evening destroys the sins of the day. One who recites the mantra at noontime facing the sun is freed from all types of sins. That person attains the fruits of studying all the Vedas. He attains the world of Narayana”.

 

om     svasti no govindah

          svasti no ‘cyutanantau

          svasti no vasudevo vishnur dadhatu

          svasti no narayano naro vai

          svasti nah padmanabhah purushottamo dadhatu

          svasti no vishvakseno vishveshvarah

          svasti no hrishikesho harir dadhatu

          svasti no vainateyo harih

          svasti no ‘njanasuto hanur bhagavato dadhatu

          svasti svasti sumangalaikesho mahan

          shri krishnah saccidananda ghanah

          sarveshvareshvaro dadhatu

“May Lord Govinda, Acyuta, Ananta Shesha, Vasudeva and Lord Vishnu bestow auspiciousness upon us. May Nara-Narayana, Padmanabha and Purushottama bestow auspiciousness upon us. May Vishvaksena, the Lord of the universe, Hrishikesha and Lord Hari bestow auspiciousness upon us. May Garuda and the son of Anjana, who is the great devotee of Lord Rama, Hanuman, bestow auspiciousness upon us. May the great and only Lord of auspiciousness, Shri Krishna, who is like a transcendental cloud full of eternity, knowledge, and bliss and who is the Lord of all the demigods, bestow upon us all prosperity and auspiciousness.” (Krishnopanishad)

 

karotu svasti me krishna

          sarva lokeshvareshvarah

karshnadayash-ca kurvantu

          svasti me loka-pavanah

“May Krishna, the Lord of all Lords of the universe, and his followers, the deliverers of the fallen, bestow auspiciousness on me.” (Sanmohana Tantra)

 

krishno mamaiva sarvatra

          svasti kuryat shriya samam

tathaiva ca sada karshnih

          sarva vighna vinashanah

“May Krishna, the destroyer of all obstacles and his followers bestow auspiciousness and prosperity to me at all times and places.” (Vishnu Yamala Samhita)

 

atasi-kusumopameya kantir-yamuna-kula kadamba mulavarti

navagopa vadhu vilasashali vitanotu no mangalani

“May Krishna, who has a complexion like the atasi flower, who is situated under the kadamba tree on the bank of the Yamuna River, who is skillful at pastimes with the wives of the cowherds of Vrindavana, bestow auspiciousness on us.” (Vishnu Rahasya)

 

krishnah karotu kalyanam

          kamsa-kunjara-keshari

kalindi jala kallola

          kolahala kutuhalah

“May Krishna, who sports with great noise in the waves of the Yamuna river, and who, like a lion, killed the elephant Kamsa, bestow auspiciousness on me.” (Naradiya Purana)

 

madhavo madhavo vaci

          madhavo madhavo hridi

smaranti madhavah sarve

          sarva karyeshu madhavam

“The devotees always remember the Lord. The name “Madhava” is constantly on their tongues and constantly in their minds, and permeates all of their activities.” (Narasimha Purana)

 

labhas tesham jayas tesham

          kutas tesham parabhavah

yesham-indivara-shyamo

          hridaya-stho janardanah

“For those who have Janardana, whose complexion is that of a blue lotus, within their hearts, there is all gain and victory and no defeat in any enterprise.” (Pandava Gita)

 

mangalam bhagavan vishnur

          mangalam madhusudanah

mangalam hrishikesho ‘yam

          mangalayatano harih

 

vishnuccarana-matrena

          krishnasya smaranad-dhareh

sarva vighnani nashyanti

          mangalam syan-na samsayah

“The Supreme Lord, Vishnu is all auspicious. Madhusudana is all auspicious. Hrishikesha is all auspicious. Hari is the abode of all auspiciousness. Simply by saying the name of Vishnu or by remembering Krishna all obstacles are destroyed and all auspiciousness comes. This is certain.” (Brihad Vishnu Purana)

 

satyam kaliyuga vipra

          shri harer nama mangalam

param svastyayanam nrinam

          nasty-eva gatir anyatha

“Oh brahmana, chanting of the holy name is the auspicious process in Kali Yuga. It is the highest auspiciousness for mankind. There is no other way.” (Padma Purana)

 

pundarikaksha govinda

          madhavadimsh ca yah smaret

tasya syan-mangalam sarva-

          karmadau vighna-nashanam

“He who remembers all the forms of the Lord such as Pundarikaksha, Govinda and Madhava, will attain all auspiciousness and destruction of all obstacles in all his activities.” (Vishnu Dharmottara)

 

mangalayatanam krishnam

          govindam garuda-dhvajam

madhavam pundarikaksham

          vishnum narayanam harim

 

vasudevam jagannatham

          acyutam madhusudanam

tatha mukundanantadin

          yah smaret prathamam sudhih

 

karta sarvatra sutaram

          mangalananta karmanah

“The intelligent man who first remembers the various forms of the Lord and his pastimes before performing his activities, will attain infinite auspiciousness in all that he does.” (Rudra Yamala)

Adhivasa

Adhivasa is usually performed on the night preceding the samskara proper along with the acamana, Vishnu Smaranam, Svasti Vacanam, Ghaöa Sthapana, etc. (see Appendix II). If this cannot be done at that time, it should be performed on the morning of the ceremony, before the Sattvika Vriddhi Shraddha. The auspicious articles used in the Adhivasa are earth, stone, paddy, durva, flowers, fruit, yoghurt, ghee, svastika, sindhura, conch, kajjal, gorocana, white mustard seeds, gold, silver, copper, lamp, mirror, fragrant oil, tumeric, cloth, thread, camara and candana. One should offer prayers while showing all the articles together, and then offer an arati. 

 

@FOOTNOTE: While saying the appropriate mantra, touch each item to the ghaöa (see Appendix II) which has been installed and worshipped (or if the Deity is present, first touch to His lotus feet and then to the pot), then to the earth, and finally to the heads of the beneficiaries of the rite (e.g. bride and groom if the samskara is a marriage).  After presenting all the items, gather them together on a tray and present them before the (the Deity), the pot and the beneficiaries.

 

·         Earth from the Ganga

 

om bhur-asi bhumirasy aditir asi

          vishvadhaya vishvasya bhuvanasya dhatri

          prithivim yaccha prithivim drgmha prithivim ma himsih

 

          om anaya ganga-mrittikya shubhadhivasah astu

 

“You are the earth, the supporter of the worlds, the supporter of the universe, sustaining everything. Control the earth, make the earth firm, do not harm the earth.”

 

 

·         Gandha (sandalwood paste)

 

          om gandha-dvaram duradharsham nitya pushöam karishinim

                             ishvarigm sarvabhutanam tvam ihopahvaye shriyam

 

om     anena gandhena shubadhivasah astu

 

“By gandha you become protected, continually nourished. Abounding in purity, wealth, beauty and prosperity, I call you here.”

 

Note: gandha may be mixed with other fragrances like musk, aguru, saffron, camphor, etc.

 

 

·         Stone

 

om pra-parvatasya vrishabhasya prishöhan navash-caranti svasi-ca iyanah

          ta avavritan na dhara gudakta ahim budhnyam anu riyamana

          vishnor-vikramanam asi vishnor vikrantam asi vishno krantam asi

 

om     anaya shilaya shubhadhivasah astu

 

“The streams of water pour spontaneously from the mountain-like hump of the bull. They stream downwards flowing onwards, after Ahibudhnya. You are the lifting of Vishnu’s foot, you are the movement of Vishnu’s foot, you are Vishnu’s step.

 

@Footnote on ahibudhnya

 

·         Rice paddy

 

          om dhanyam-asi dhinuhi devan

          @                dhinuhi yajnam dhinuhi yajnapatim   CHANGE!!!

                   dhinuhi mam yajnanyam

 

om     anena dhanyena shubhadhivasah astu

 

 “You are grain. Please the Lord, please the sacrifice and the performer of sacrifice. Bring happiness to me as I conduct this sacrifice.”

 

·         Durva grass

 

om kandat kandat prarohanti purushah purushaspari

          eva no durve pratanu sahasrena shatena ca

 

om     anaya durvaya shubadhivasah astu

 

“Piece by piece, joint by joint, durva grass, you manifest offspring. Give us offspring, a hundred, a thousand.”

 

·         Flowers

 

                om shrish-ca te lakshmish ca patnyav

                             aho ratre parshve

                  nakshatrani rupam ashvinau vyattam

                         ishnannishanamum ma ishana

                             sarvalokam ma ishana

 

om     anena pushpena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“Piety and prosperity are Your consorts. Day and night are Your sides. The stars are Your form. The heaven and earth are Your open mouth. Bestow what we desire. Bestow the goal in this world. Bestow the highest goal. “

 

·         Fruit

 

          om yah phalinir ya aphala apushpa yashca pushpinih

                   brihaspati-prasuta-sta no muncantvagm-hasah

 

om     anena phalena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“May that power that produces the fruit, that makes the flower bloom, which arises through the mantras and through the Lord of mantra, free us from all difficulties.”

 

·         Yoghurt

 

          om dadhikravno akarisham jishnor ashvasya vajinah

                             surabhi no mukha karat pra nayugmshi tarishat(e)

 

om     anena dadhna shubhadhivasah astu

 

“I offer myself unto the Lord who gave Himself to the gopis of Vraja in exchange for yoghurt; the killer of the horse-demon, who is swift, who gives fragrance to the face, let Him increase our life span.”

 

·         Ghee

 

          om ghritavati bhuvananam abhi shriyorvi prithvi

                             madhudughe supeshasa dyava prithivi varunasya

                   dharmana vishkabhite ajare bhuri retasa   

 

om     anena ghritena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“The broad earth flows with ghee, which is sweet smelling, beautiful and brings prosperity to the worlds. The heavens and earth, through the law of the just Lord are abounding in unlimited seed in all places.”

 

·         Svastikam

 

          om svasti no govindah

                   svasti no ’cyutanantau

                   svasti no vasudevo vishnur dadhatu

                   svasti no narayano naro vai

                   svasti nah padmanabhah purushottamo dadhatu

                   svasti no vishvakseno vishveshvarah

                   svasti no hrishikesho harir dadhatu

                   svasti no vainateyo harih

                   svasti no ’njanasuto hanur bhagavato dadhatu

                   svasti svasti sumangalai kesho mahan

                   shri krishnah saccidananda ghanah sarveshvareshvaro dadhatu

 

“May Govinda, Acyuta, Ananta, Vasudeva and  Vishnu, give us auspiciousness; may Nara-Narayana, Padmanabha and Purushottama give us auspiciousness; may Vishvaksena, the Lord of the world, Hrishikesha and Hari give us auspiciousness; may Garuda and the great devotee Hanuman, son of Anjana, give us auspiciousness; may the great auspicious Lord Krishna, who is like a transcendental rain cloud full of eternity, knowledge and bliss, give all prosperity and auspiciousness.”

 

          om svasti na indro vriddha shravah

                             svasti nah pusha vishvavedah

                   svasti nas tarkshyo arishöanemih

                             svasti no brihaspatir dadhatu

 

om     anena svastikena shubhadhivasah astu

 

 “May Indra, who hears much praise, give us auspiciousness; may the sun god, who knows all things, give us auspiciousness; may Garuda, with unblemished weapons, give us auspiciousness; may Brihaspati, give us auspiciousness.”

 

Note: A silver svastika or a svastika drawn in kum-kum on a silver plate is used.

 

·         Sindhura

 

          om sindhoriva pradhvane shughanaso

                             vatapramiyah patayanti yahvah ghritasya

                   dhara arusho na vaji kashöha

                             bhindan nurmibhih pinvamanah

 

om     anena sindhurena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“Flashing like the sun, like streams of rushing water, strong and full of life the streams of ghee fall upon the fire. Like fast steeds carrying the offering, breaking through all obstacles, the ghee swells in waves, dissolving the wood.”

 

·         Conch

 

          om     pratishrutkaya artanam ghoshaya bahuvadinam

                             anantaya mukam shabdaya adamvaraghatam

                   mahase vinavadam kroshaya tunavadham

                             aparasparaya shankhadhvam balaya vanam- pato

                   vanyaya davapam

 

om     anena shankhena shubhadhivasah astu

 

 

@TRANSLATION

 

          Kajjala (collyrium)

 

          om samiddhvo-anjan kridaram matinam

                             ghritam agne madhumat pinvamanah

                   vaji vahan vajinam jatavedo devanam

                             vakshi priyam asadhastham

 

om     anena anjanena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“This anjana, the offering of ghee, a storehouse of intelligence and guidance, flaming, sweet and fragrant, is swelling in the fire. As a horse carries a rider, the fire carries our offering to the place of eternal pleasure. “

 

·         Rocana

 

          om yujanti vradhnat arusham carantam

                   pari-tasthushah rocante rocana divi

 

om     anena rocanena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“Those who link themselves to the Supreme Lord, strong as a horse, bright like the sun travelling through the sky, shine in the same manner in the eternal sky.”

 

 

·         White mustard seed

 

om rakshohanam balagahanam vaishnavimidam aham tam balagamutkirami

          yam me nishöyo yamamatyo nicakhanedam aham tam balagamutkirami

          yam me samano yamasamano nicakhanedam aham tam balagamutkirami

          yam me sabandhur yamasabandhur nicakhanedam aham tam balagamutkirani

                   yam me sajato yamasajato nicakhanotkrityam kirami

 

om     anena siddharthena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“O killer of demons, O voice of Vishnu that destoys evil spells, I now destroy any evil magic that any stranger or near-one has buried to do me harm; I now destroy any evil magic buried for me by anyone equal to me or unequal to me; I now destroy any evil charm that has been buried for me by any relative or non-relative; I cast out that magic spell.”

 

·         Gold

 

          om hiranya-garbhah samavarta tagre

                             bhutasya jatah patir-eka asit

                   sa dadhara prithivim dyam utemam

                             kasmai devaya havisha vidhema

 

om     anena kancanena shubhadhivasah astu

 

 

 “To which Lord should we offer oblations in sacrifice? To He, that in the beginning created the golden womb, who from the beginning was the Supreme Lord of all creation and who held the earth and the heavenly planets firmly.

 

·         Silver

 

om rupena vo rupam-abhyagam tutho vo vishvaveda vibhajatu ritasya-patha pretacandra dakshina vi svah pashya vyantariksham yatasva sadasyaih

 

om     anena rupena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“Through your beauty I have become beautiful; may the tutha- priest, Vishvaveda, distribute you. Go forth, giving light, on the path of truth. Look favorably upon the heavenly planets and space. Unite with the priests who keep the yajnashala.”

 

@FOOTNOTE on tutha priest

·         Copper

 

          om asau yas tamro aruna uta babhruh sumangalah ye cainagm rudra abhito dikshu shritah sahasrasho ’vaishagm heda imahe

 

om     anena tamrena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“The Lord bright like the sun, copper red, all auspcious, also called Rudra, resides in all directions, and expands a thousand fold like the rays of the sun. We approach you to remove our impurities.”

 

@FOOTNOTE: The thousand headed Purusha manifests the three characteristics of Vishnu, the maintainer, Hiranya Garbha, the creator and Shiva, the destroyer. All these potencies are manifested from Him, though the demigods Brahma and Shiva are designated the position to work under the direction of the Lord. Here the Supreme Lord is being addressed in His aspect of Shiva (auspiciousness), as in this mood, He can remove our misconceptions due to false ego. The poetic language of the Vedas is written as such, so that those whose faith is firm in the modes of passion and ignorance will think these descriptions are referring to the demigods. While in actuality, the Vedas only speak of the Supreme Lord and His activities, manifested through His incarnations, devotees and unlimited potencies.

·         Ghee Lamp

 

          om mano jutih jushatam

                             ajyasya brihaspatih yajnam 

                   imam tanotu arishöam yajnagm imam dadhatu vishve devasa iha madayantam

          om pratishöha

 

om     anena dipena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“Let the alert mind enjoy the ghee. Let the Lord start the sacrifice. Let the Lord bestow a sacrifice free from fault. Let the lords of the universe and sacrificer, enjoy here. Please may you all be present here.”

 

·         Mirror

 

om krishno vai sac-cid-ananda-ghanah

       krishna adi purushah

       krishnah purushottamah

       krishno ha u karmadi mulam

       krishnah saha sarvai-karyah

       krishna kasham krid-adisha mukha-prabhu-pujyah

       krishno nadis-tasmin-ajandantar bahye

       yam-mangalam tal-labhate kriti

 

om     anena darpena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“Lord Krishna is the color of a new rain-cloud, therefore He is compared to a transcendental cloud full of eternity, bliss and cognizance. He is the original and supreme person. He is the origin of all activities and the one and only Lord of all. He is the worshipful Lord of the best of demigods, the controller of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Krishna is without any beginning. Whatever auspiciousness is found within or beyond this universe the devotee obtains in Krishna alone.”

 

 

·         Fragrant oil

 

          om tad vishnoh paramam padam

                             sada pashyanti surayah

                   diviva cakshur atatam

 

om anena sugandhi-tailena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“The devotees continually see the Supreme abode of Vishnu, who like the sun in the sky, spreads His influence and blessings everywhere.”

 

 

·         Tumeric

 

          om vishnoh vikramanam asi vishnoh vikrantam asi

                             vishnoh krantam-asi vishnoh krantam-asi

                   yujyantyasya kamya harih

                             vipakshasarathe shono ghrishnuh na vahasa

 

om     anena haridriyena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“You are the three steps of Vishnu. Golden hued, as fleet as birds, carriers of the man who endeavours, the horses yoked to the chariot of the sun.”

 

 

·         Cloth

 

          om yuva suvasah parivitah agat

                             sa u shreyan bhavati jayamanah

                   tam dirasah kavaya unnayanti

                             sadhya manasa devayantah

 

om     anena vastrena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“He comes well clothed and youthful with sacred thread. Being twice born he is the best and most attractive. The wise men, desiring the Lord, meditating on him within their minds, are raised up to knowledge.”

 

 

Thread

 

A thread dyed in tumeric and sindhura should be tied around the wrist of the groom nine times by a Vaishnava brahmana. A married women with children should tie a thread around the brides’ wrist seven times. While tying they should chant the following mantras :

 

 

    om sutranam prithivim dyam anehasam susharmanam aditi supranitam devo naram   

          surindram anagasam asmaratim aruhe masma syaye 

 

 

          om tad vishnoh paramam padam

                             sada pashyanti surayah

                   diviva cakshur atatam

 

 

om krishno vai sac-cid-ananda-ghanah

       krishna adi purushah

       krishnah purushottamah

       krishno ha u karmadi mulam

       krishnah saha sarvai-karyah

       krishna kasham krid-adisha mukha-prabhu-pujyah

       krishno nadis-tasmin-ajandantar bahye

       yam-mangalam tal-labhate kriti

 

 

     @FOOT NOTE:  For a man, the thread is tied on the right wrist, for a woman, on the left. As the right side of a man’s body is considered auspicious, while for the woman, the left.

This procedure of tying the threads to the wrists of the beneficieries is also applicable in other samskaras whenever the Adhivasa  is performed.

 

 

 

·         Camara

 

om vato va mano va gandharvah saptavimshatih

          te agre ’shvamayunjaste asminjavamadadhuh

 

om     anena camarena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“The wind, the mind, the all knowing gandharva, the twenty seven constellations, all gather before You and offer homage unto You.”

 

 

·         Sandal wood

 

          om kah asi katamah asi kasmai tva kaya tva

                   sushloka sumangala satya rajan

 

om     anena camarena shubhadhivasah astu

 

“You are the Supreme Lord. You are one without a second. You are the object of all offerings and the instrument of all activities. You are the Supreme ruler, the most famous, the most auspicious and pure.”

 

Note: A piece of sandal wood, not paste, is to be shown.

 

 

·         All Items

 

          All the items should be gathered together on a tray and offered:

 

          om pratipan asi pratipade tva

                             anupadasy anupade tva

                   sampadasi sampade tva

                             tejo’si tejase tva

 

“You are the beginning. I approach You to commence this rite. You are the activity in progress. For continuing the activity I approach You. You are the completion of the activity. For success I approach You.”

 

          The tray of articles should be given (to the yajamana )to touch. 

 

 

A four-wick, a five-wick, a seven-wick lamp or something similar, should now be offered

(in the same manner as the other items).

Sattvika Vriddhi Shraddha

      The performance of Nandi Mukha-Shraddha is not performed by Vaishnavas as it is an offense to the holy name to worship the forefathers. Therefore, this ceremony is replaced by worship of the guru-parampara and the offering of mahaprasadam (Sattvika Vriddhi Shraddha).According to ones’ capacity, one should first offer gifts such as cloth and rice to Vaishnavas and the brahmanas, without hesitation, while meditating on the Lord and doing so only for His pleasure. 

            Then, one should perform vasudhara and make marks on the wall with ghee. Then in            the same place one should worship Maha-Bhagavata Cediraja with mahaprasada, water etc. (For the all the preliminary procedures see Appendix II)

 

 

@FOOTNOTE :

Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura in his Madhurya Kadambini describes three devotees as most magnaminous, Shrila Nityananda Prabhu, Jada Bharata and Cediraja Uparicara Vasu. The story of Uparicara Vasu, the great Vaishnava king of Cedi, is described in the Shanti Parva of Mahabharata and in the Vishnu-Dharmottara Purana.

 

Uparicara was cursed by the rishis to go to Patalaloka but even there he continued to worship Lord Narayana.When the daityas saw him they attacked him with their weapons, but were unable to hurt him.Then they tried preaching atheistic philosophy to him, but to no avail. Finally, seeing the daityas determination, Cediraja Vasu bestowed his mercy upon them, converting them all into devotees. The demigods, seeing the condition of this exalted Vaishnava, blessed him that while residing in Patala the pangs of hunger, thirst, weakness and distress would not affect him. He would drink the streaks of ghee called “vasudhara” that brahmanas offered to him with concentrated minds in sacrifice.  Soon after, Lord Vishnu sent His carrier Garuda to bring Cediraja Uparicara Vasu to Vaikunöha.

 

END FOOTNOTE

 

 

 

Vasudevarcanam

 

On the day of the wedding, that devotee of Govinda who has accepted panca-samskara initiation from a bona-fide guru, no matter which varna he is from, should take his bath in the morning, perform his standard daily duties (such as sandhya-vandana etc), and in a decorated mandapa or temple of Vishnu, should sit on kusha and perform acamana and vishnu-smaranam (by chanting the mangalacarana prayers).

 

He should establish a pot in a beautiful mandala and put a copper plate on top. On the plate he should place a shalagrama and then procede to worship the shalagrama with the Purusha Sukta prayers. At a wedding or any other function, Lord Narayana or His shalagrama form should always be worshipped. It is an offence to devotional service and to the holy name to worship Ganesha and the other demigods such as the panca-devatas, Surya and the other planetary deities, Indra and the deities of the directions, Gauri and the matrikas etc. Instead, the Vaishnavas are worshipped. The evidence for this is in Padma Purana:

 

shuddha-sattvamayo vishnuh

kalyana-guna-sagarah

narayanah parambrahma

vipranam daivatam harih

 

brahmanyah shripatir-vishnur

vasudevo janardanah

brahmanyah pundarikaksho

govindo harir-acyutah

 

“Lord Vishnu is made of transcendental goodness, He is an ocean of auspicious qualities. He is Narayana, the Parambrahma, He is the worshippable Deity of the brahmanas. He is the Lord of Lakshmi, the Supreme Lord Vishnu, Janardana, Vasudeva, Pundarikaksha, Govinda, Hari and Acyuta.”

 

sa eva pujayo vipranam

netare purusha-shabhah

mohad yah pujayedanyam

sa pashandi bhaved dhruvam

 

“O best of men! He is worshipped by the brahmanas and no one else is to be worshipped. If someone worships other gods due to illusion, he becomes a pashandi.”

 

smaranadeva krishnasya

vimuktih papanam api

tasya padodakam sevyam

bhuktocchishöanca pavanam

 

“Those sinful people who meditate upon Lord Krishna attain liberation. They honour the water that has bathed His lotus feet and partake of His remnants.”

 

svarga-pavargadam nrinam

brahmananam visheshatah

vishnor-niveditam nityam

devebhyo juhuyadvabih

 

“They can attain the heavenly planets and become freed from the five kleshas that trouble the living entities. That is why the Lord’s prasadam is especially honoured and eaten by the brahmanas, who always offer the remnants of Lord Vishnu in the fire of sacrifice to the demigods.

 

pitribhyash-caiva tadadyat

sarvam-anantyamashnute

yo na dadyadvarer bhuktam

pitrinam shraddha-karmani

 

“That person that offers the remnants of the Lord to his forefathers in the shraddha ceremony, recieves infinite rewards and endless gain.”

 

ashnute pitaras-tasya

vinmutram satatam dvijah

tan-mad vishnoh prasaddo vai

sevitavyo dvijanmana

 

“O brahmanas! That person who performs shraddha but does not offer Vishnu-prasada to his forefathers, condemns them to continuously eat stool and urine.”

 

itaresham tu devanam

nirmalyam garhitam bhavet

sakrideva hi yohashnati

brahmano jnana-purvatah

 

“Therefore, a brahmana must always honour the Lords’ remnants, otherwise if he takes the remnants of the demigods he becomes utterly condemned.”

 

 

nirmalyam shankaradinam

sa candalo bhaved dhruvam

kalpa-koöi-sahasrani

pacyate narakagnina

 

“If a brahmana knowingly partakes of the prasada of Lord Shiva or any other deva even once, he certainly becomes a candala and burns in the fires of hell for one thousand koöi kalpas.”

 

nirmalyam tu dvija-shreshöa

rudradinam divoikasam

raksho-yaksho-pishacanam

madya-mamsa-surasamam

 

“O best of the twice-born! The remnants of the demigods such as Shiva etc, rakshasas, yakshas, and pishacas are no different from meat and wine.”

 

tad brahmanaina bhoktavyam

devanam bhunjitam havih

tasmad-anyam parityajya

vishnum-eva sanatanam

 

“Therefore, the brahmanas should not honour the remnants of the devas. Because Lord Vishnu is the only eternal Supreme Lord, all others should be rejected.”

 

pujayadvam dvija-shreshöa

yavajjivamatendratah

arccayen-mantra-ratnena

vidhina purushottamam

 

“O best of the twice-born! As long as there is life in the body one should enthusiastically worship Lord Purushottama  according to scriptural injunctions and with the best of mantras.”

 

prasadaya vai kuryani-

nityam bhaktimatendritah

tasyavarana pujayam

tridashannarcchayet sudhih

 

@“ One should always attentively do His service in order to get His mercy. TRANS.???

 

ananya sharano bhakto

 nama mantreshu dikshitah

          kada cin narcayed devan

 ganeshadims tu vaishnavah

 

“The devotee interested in pure devotion to the Lord, and initiated with Vaishnava mantra should never worship Ganesha and the other devatas.

 

 

yatra yatra surah pujya

 ganeshadyas tu karminam

          vishnvarcane tatra tatra

 vaishnavanam hi vaishnavah

 

“ Wherever the materialists prescribe worship of Ganesha and the devatas, the Vaishnava should instead worship the pure devotees of Lord Vishnu”

 

 

vishvaksenam sa sanakam

 sanatana matah param

          sananda sanat kumara

 pancaitan pujayet tatah

 

“Thus instead of worshipping Ganesha to remove material obstacles, the devotee should worship Vishvaksena and the four Kumaras to remove obstacles on the spiritual path.”

 

 

yasmin-navagraha arcchyas-

tatra kavyadayo nava

yatra yajanti vidhina

dik-paladimstu karminah

 

tatra prapujayedetan

vidhim bhagavatam shukam

sada-shivam vainateyam

naradam kapilam balim

 

tato bhagavatam bhishmam

prahlad-anjana-sutam

ambarishamsh ca janakam

 mahabhagavatam yamam

 

manum svayambhuvam vyas-

adikanca vaishnavottamam

yuge yuge ca vikhyatan-

aparan vaishnavanapi

 

 

“Whereas the materialist will worship the navagrahas (the nine demigods presiding over the nine planets), the devotee will worship Kavya Muni and the other navayogendras.

When the non devotees worship the deities of the directions (dikpalas), the devotees should worship Brahma, the great devotee Shukhadeva, Sada-Shiva, Garuda, Narada, Kapila, Bali, the great Bhishma, Prahlada, Hanuman, Ambarisha, the great Yama, Svayambhuva Manu, and the great Vaishnava Vyasa.This worship of Lord Vishnu and the Vaishnavas is well known and has been performed age after age,”

 

harayarcchanai yaje-nityam

na tu devan kadacana

yatra matriganah pujyas-

tatra hyetah prapujayet

 

sada bhagavati paurna-

masi padmastarangika

ganga kalindatanaya

gopi candravali tatha

 

gayatri tulasi vani

prithivi gaush-ca vaishnavi

shri yashoda devahutih

devaki rohinimutha

 

shri sita draupadi kunti

apara ya maharshayah

rukmininyadyas tatha cashöa

mahishya yash-ca ta api

 

 

“O great sages! Worship and sacrifice to Lord Hari is eternal, but the worship of the devas is not. Whenever others worship the matriganas, the Vaishnavas instead worship Bhagavati Paurnamasi, Padma, Antarangika, Ganga, Yamuna, Candravali, Gayatri, Tulasi, Sarasvati, Prithivi, Vaishnavi, Go, Yashoda, Devahuti, Devaki, Rohini, Sita, Draupadi, Kunti, Rukmini, and the other eight queens of the Lord.”

 

 

gopalopasakash-caiva

shridamadin visheshatah

tatrasyavaranatvena

gopalan paripujayet

 

“The devotee of Lord Gopala will also worship the cowherd friends of the Lord, in particular Shridama etc.”

 

shri krishnapasakastva tad-

arcchane sarva-karmani

lalitadyah sahacarih

sa sakhi-rangini yutah

 

“In every function, the devotee of Shri Krishna will worship Lord Krishna and His dearest sakhis, such as Lalita etc.”

 

pujayedvidhina karsno

yato vaishnava-daivatah

nanyan kadarcidvibudha-

nupadevamsh ca shuddhabuddhih

 

“The devotee of Shri Krishna, with great intelligence, should worship these Vaishnavas according to the proper scriptural rules and should never worship the primary or secondary demigods.”

 

vaishnavanansh karyanam

kriyaisha sattviki yathah

na rajasi na tamasi

pashanda-dharmabhititah

 

“These rituals that are performed by the devotees are very wonderful because they are in the mode of goodness. They are not in the modes of passion and ignorance unlike the so-called religious books of the atheists (demigod worshippers).”

 

 

 

 

Also in the Padma Purana, the sage Bhrigu says to the Lord-

 

aho rupam aho shilam-

aho shastir-aho daya

aho sunirmala kshantir-

aho sattvam guna hareh

 

“O Hari, Your form, nature, chastisement, mercy, purity, tolerance, munificent qualities are all wonderful.”

 

naisargikam shubham sattvam

tavaiva gunavaridhe

nanyesham vidyate kincit

sarvesham tridivoikasam

 

“O  ocean of good qualities, Your nature is auspicious and transcendental. When You are in the midst of all the demigods, they become insignificant.”

 

brahmanyash ca sharanyash ca

tvameva purushottama

brahmananam tvamevesho

nanyah pujah surah kvacit

 

“O Purushottama! You are the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Shelter, the Lord of the brahmanas. One should never worship any other god at any time.”

 

yeharcchayanti surananyan

tvam vina purushottamam

te pashanda-tvamapannah

sarva-loka-vigarhitah

 

“O Purushottama! If someone neglects Your worship and instead worships another deity, that person becomes a candala and is deemed as most abominable in all the worlds.”

 

vipranam vedavidysham

tvamevejyo janardana

nanyah kashcit suranantam

pujaniyohagrajanmanam

 

“O Janardana! Those brahmanas well versed in the scriptures worship You. Nobody should worship the multitudes of demigods.”

 

ashuddha brahma-rudradya

rajas-tamo-vimishritah

tvam shuddha-sattva-gunavan

pujaniyoha-grajanmanam

 

“Other demigods such as Brahma and Rudra are not completely pure and are tainted by the modes of passion and ignorance. However, You are made up of pure goodness and therefore the brahmanas worship You.”

 

tvat padasalilam sevyam

pitrinanca divoikasam

sarvesham bhusuranam ca

muktidam kalmashapaham

 

“By taking the water that has bathed Your lotus feet, all the sins of the pitris, demigods and brahmanas can be destroyed and they can achieve liberation.

 

tvad-bhuktocchishöa shesham vai

pitrinam ca divoikasam

bhusuranam ca sevyam syat

nanyeshatam tu kadacana

 

“Your remnants are accepted even by the pitris, demigods and brahmanas, but the remnants of other persons should not be taken.”

 

itaresham tu devanam

annam pushpam jaladikam

asprishyam tu bhavet sarvam

nirmalyam suraya samam

 

“Things such as  rice, flowers, water and other items that are offered to the demigods should not be  touched.”

 

tasmadaiva brahmano nityam

pujayitva sanatanam

ta tirtham bhuktamannanca

bhaje tairanisham budhah

 

“Therefore, a knowledgable brahmana always worships the Eternal Lord and respects His mahaprasada and the transcendental water that has bathed His feet.”

 

nanya-devam niriksheta

brahmano na ca pujayet

nanya prasadam bhunjita

nanya-dayatanam vishet

 

“A brahmana should not look at the deities of the demigods neither should he worship them. He should not partake of their remnants, nor should he enter their temples.”

 

taddadati hi yo vipra

pitrinam shraddha-karmani

tad bhuktam annam tirthanca

tat sarvam viphalam bhavet

 

“That brahmana that honours the forefathers by performing shraddha rites, and who eats the remnants of the devas and drinks the water that has washed their feet, accrues no merit whatsoever.”

 

kalpa-koöi sahasrani

kalpa-koöi shatani ca

patanti pitaras tasya

narake puyashonite

 

“That brahmanas’ forefathers remain in the hellish planets, submerged in lakes full of blood and pus for one hundred thousand koöi kalpas.”

 

niveditam bhava vibho

 yo juhoti dadati va

devatanans ca pitrinam-

anastyam dhruvamashnu te

 

“That person who offers Your remnants in sacrifice to the demigods and to the pitris, certainly recieves infinite benefit.”

 

tasmatvameva vipranam

pujyo nany’sti kashcana

mohad yah pujayedanyam

sa pashandi bhaved dhruvam

 

“Therefore, You alone are worshipped by the brahmanas - and no other deity! If anyone, due to illusion  offers worship to other gods, he is to be considered as a pashandi.”

 

@(FOOTNOTE) If one approaches a deva directly, the results are surely inauspicious. Rather one should worship them with the remnants of Lord Vishnu). 

 

 

tvam hi narayanah shriman

vasudeva sanatanah

vishnuh sarvagato nityah

paramatma maheshvarah

 

“You are Narayana, the Lord of Lakshmi, Vasudeva, the Eternal One. You are Vishnu, the All-Pervading One, the Super-Soul, the Supreme Controller.”

 

tvameva sevyo vipranam

brahmanyah shuddhasattvan

pujyatvad brahmananam

vai shuddha sattvagunapi

 

“You are the Lord of transcendental goodness, the worshippable Lord of the brahmanas. You are worshipped by all the brahmanas and the demigods, By cultivating the quality of pure transcendental goodness, one attains the Supreme and remains fixed in Him.”

 

sarvesham eva devanam

 brahmanatvam vapyate

tvameva hi sada vipro

bhajanti purushottamam

brahmanatve vadhu vuste

nanya tatra na samshayah

 

“O Purushottama! Since the brahmanas are always engaged in Your worship, they attain the Supreme abode and no other place. Of this there is no doubt.”

 

 

 

It is also stated in the Skanda Purana -

 

 

brahmajno brahmanah proktah

shuddha-sattvashayah sada

devadidevam govindam-

mrite nanyat prapujayet

 

nityo naimitike kamyo

sarva-mangala-karmani

yadi mohat tu vibudhan

sa candalo bhaved dhruvam

 

“That brahmana who knows the Absolute Truth, and who is eternally situated on the platform of pure goodness, only worships Govinda, the Lord of all the demigods in his nitya, naimitika and kamya pujas. He worships no one else. If he does so due to illusion, he becomes equal to  a candala.”

 

 

 

The Brahma Vaivarta Purana says -

 

mohad yo brahmano bhutva

hyajnanaj jnana-puvatah

arcchaye-dvibudhamsh-caitu

vina vishnum-adho-gatih

 

“That brahmana who, due to illusion, whether knowingly or unknowingly, worships other deities other than Vishnu, takes birth again in a miserable lower species of life.”

 

The Uttara Gita states -

 

vaishnavan bhaja kaunteya

ma bhajastanya devatah

upadevams tatha yaksha-

raksho bhutaganan api

 

“O Kaunteya, one should only worship Vaishnava Deities; one should never worship primary demigods, secondary demigods, yakshas, rakshasas or ghosts.”

 

Also in the Brihad Vishnu Purana -

 

mamriteha nyamsta vibudhan

vaishnavo brahmano tatha

yadyarcchayed vaishnavamsh -

candalatvam avapnuyat

 

“ If a Vaishnava or a brahmana worships any other deity other than Lord Vishnu, he becomes equal to a candala.”

 

All this evidence is easy to understand, therefore we have not explained it any further as to do so would increase the size of the book. Further proof is also found in Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.2.26-29) -

 

mumukshavo ghora-rupan

hitva bhuta-patin atha

narayana-kalah shanta

bhajanti hy anasuyavah

 

rajas-tamah-prakritayah

sama-shila bhajanti vai

pitri-bhuta-prajeshadin

shriyaishvarya-prajepsavah

 

vasudeva-para veda

vasudeva-para makhah

vasudeva-para yoga

vasudeva-parah kriyah

vasudeva-param jnanam

vasudeva-param tapah

vasudeva-paro dharmo

vasudeva-para gatih

 

“Those who are serious about liberation are certainly nonenvious, and they respect all. Yet they reject the horrible and ghastly forms of the demigods and worship only the all-blissful forms of Lord Vishnu and His plenary portions.

 

Those who are in the modes of passion and ignorance worship the forefathers, other living beings and the demigods who are in charge of cosmic activities, for they are urged by a desire to be materially benefited with women, wealth, power and progeny.

 

In the revealed scriptures, the ultimate object of knowledge is Shri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead. The purpose of performing sacrifice is to please Him. Yoga is for realizing Him. All fruitive activities are ultimately rewarded by Him only. He is supreme knowledge, and all severe austerities are performed to know Him. Religion (dharma) is rendering loving service unto Him. He is the supreme goal of life.”

 

 

 

Therefore, when worshipping Lord Vishnu, one should not begin by worshipping Ganesha and the other devas, rather one should perform “Panca-Mahabhagavata Puja” instead by installing and worshipping Shri Vishvaksena, Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanat Kumara.

 

Similarly, instead of worshipping the navagrahas, one should worship Shri Kavi, Havya, Antariksha  and the other navayogendras.

 

Instead of doing puja to Indra and the dikpalas, the Vaishnavas should worship the great devotees, namely Brahma, Shukhadeva, Sada-Shiva, Garuda, Narada, Kapila, Bali, Bhishma, Prahlada, Hanuman, Ambarisha, Janaka, Yamadeva, Svayambhuva Manu, Uddhava, and Vyasa.

In Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga and Kali Yuga, these Maha-bhagavatas are always worshipped.

 

The devotees of the Lord substitute the worship of Gauri and the matriganas with the worship of the Vaishnavis i.e. Paurnamasi, Lakshmi, Antaranga, Ganga, Yamuna, Gopi, Vrindavati, Gayatri, Tulasi, Sarasvati, Prithivi, Go, Yashoda, Devahuti, Devaki, Rohini, Sita, Draupadi, Kunti, Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Nagnajiti, Lakshmana, Kalindi, bhadra, and Mitravinda.

 

The devotees of Lord Gopala should also worship Shridama and the other cowherd boys. The devotee of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna should also worship the Divine Couples’ intimate associates such as Lalita and the other gopis. The devotees should worship Lord Shriman Narayanas’ expansions such as Matsya etc and His respective parshada devotees.

 

Like this, Lord Vasudeva and his devotees, should be worshipped with sixteen, twelve, ten, or five items, with the Purusha Sukta prayers or other choice mantras from the Vedas or Agamas. Then, one should perform the adhivasa according to the rules of the shastras.

 

In this way, the brahmanas and householder Vaishnavas only worship the Supreme Lord in their daily activities, occasional activities, fruitive activities and other auspicious rites. They only worship the Lords’ associates such as Vishvaksena etc. and never worship the demigods, not even in their dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

Vivaha Karma

(marriage)

Herein the procedures for weddings are explained.

 

Jnati Karma (rites performed by relatives):

 

On the morning of the wedding the bride and groom should be ceremoniously bathed by relatives and friends with scented water at their homes.

 

The body of the bride should be rubbed with powdered mung, urad, masur and barley for purification.

 

The name of the groom should be written on a leaf and thrown in a pot of water. A small portion of this water should be poured over the bride’s head with the mantra:

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

gayatri chandah

shri vishnuh devata

jnati karmani kanyayah sharira-plavane viniyogah

 

 

om     vishnu deva shri vishnu namasi

                   samanaya .......(name of groom)

 

          prahva te abhavat

                   param-atra janmagneh

          tapaso nirmito’sti svaha

“Oh Lord, you are known as Vishnu, the all-pervading. Bring (name of groom) together with the bride. She has been obedient to you and within her body is the supreme fire of creation, made powerful by her austerities.”

 

A small portion of water should be poured below her navel with the mantra:

 

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

madhyo-jyotir-jagati chandah

shri vishnuh devata

jnati karmani kanyayah nabheradhodesha-prakshalane viniyogah

 

 

om     imam adhodesham nabheh madhuna prakshalayami

                   prajapateh mukham-etat dvitiyam

          tena pumso ‘bhibhavasi sarvan

                   avashan vashini asi rajni svaha

“I wash her below the navel with honey. That is the second face of Prajapati. By that you conquer all uncontrollable men. Your are the ruler, the controller.”

 

One should then pour a little water on her head, and the rest over the other parts of her body with the mantra:

 

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

uparishöa-jyotir-trishöup chandah

shri vishnuh devata

jnati karmani kanyayah shira adi pada paryanta sarva-sharira plavane viniyogah

 

om     tad vishnoh paramam padam

                   sada pashyanti surayah

          diviva cakshur atatam

“The devotees continually see the supreme abode of Vishnu, which, like the sun in the sky, spreads its brilliance through the whole universe.”

 

 

 

 

Sampradanam (giving the bride away)

 

When the auspicious hour arrives, the ceremony should start with the reception of the groom. A cow should be tied in the North side of the room.

 

The father of the bride should sit facing North and perform Acamana.

@When the groom enters the room, the father should recite ??????Vishnu Smaranam and Svasti Vacanam (see appendix II)

Then the father says to the groom:

 

om     sadhu bhavan astam

“Welcome, be comfortable.”

 

The groom replies:

 

om sadhu aham ase

“I have been well received.”

 

The father says :

 

om arcayishyamo bhavantam

“I shall now worship you.”

 

The groom replies:

 

om arcaya

“Please perform the worship.”

 

The father should worship him by offering candana, garland, rings, upavita and upper and lower cloth, saying:

 

etani gandha-pushpa vasamsi om varaya namah

 

The groom should accept the items saying:

 

om svasti

 

The father should fold his hands and say:

 

om     vishnuh

om     tat sat

          adya

          ....mase (month)

          ....rashi sthe bhaskare (zodiac sign)

          ....pakshe (fortnight)

          ....tithau (tithi)

          kanyadan artham ebhih gandhadibhih abhyarcya,

          bhavantam aham varatvena vrine

“Today, at this time, ........having honored you with gandha etc. I select you as the suitable husband to whom I shall give my daughter.”

 

The groom replies:

 

om vrito ‘smi

“I accept.”

 

The bride, covered up, should be escorted around the standing groom seven times by her women friends. The bride should then be uncovered, and the bride and groom should see each other, and exchange garlands.

 

The father should say:

 

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

anushöup chandah

arhaniya goh vishnuh devata

gavopasthapane viniyogah

 

om     arhana putravasa sa dhenur-abhavad yame

          sa nah payasvati duha uttaram-uttaram samam

“The worshipable cow gives abundant milk. May he milk her year after year.”

 

The groom should sit on an asana facing East saying:

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

gayatri chandah

virad vishnuh devata

upavishad arhaniya jape viniyogah

 

om idam-aham-imam padyam virajam annadyayadhi tishöhami

“I preside over this far reaching step for sustenance.”

 

The father should take twenty five leaves of kusha wound two and a half times in counter clockwise direction in the palms of this hands with tips pointing North and say:

 

om vishöaro vishöaro vishöarah prati grihyatam

“Please receive this kusha grass.”

 

The groom should reply:

 

om vishöaram pratigrihnami

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

anushöup chandah

aushadhyo vishnuh devata

vishöarasya asanadane viniyogah

 

 

om ya oshadhih soma rajnih vahvi shata-vicakshanah

          ta mahyam-asmin asane acchidrah sharma yacchata

“I receive it. The great herb, the queen of Soma, being plentiful, faultless, and a hundred times wise, bestow blessings on me as I sit upon you for an asana.”

 

He should place the tips pointing North and sit on it.

 

The father should offer kusha again:

 

vishöaro vishöaro vishöarah pratighriyatam

 

The groom says:

 

om vishöaram prati grihnami

 

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

anushöup chandah

aushadhyo vishnuh devata

vishöarasya padayoradhasta dane viniyogah

 

om     ya oshadih soma rajnih vishöhitah prithivim anu

          ta mahyam-asmin padayoh acchidrah sharma yacchata

“Great herb, queen of Soma, growing wherever there is earth, faultless, please bestow blessings on me at my two feet.”

 

He should place the kusha beneath his feet with tips facing North.

 

The father should offer water for his feet:

 

om padyah padyah padyah pratigrihyantam

 

The groom should reply:

 

om padyah pratigrihnami

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

virad gayatri chandah

apo vishnuh devata

pada prakshalanarthodakavikshane viniyogah

 

 

om yato devih pratipashyamy- apas tato ma riddhir agacchatu

“May prosperity come to me, oh water, from looking at you.”

 

The groom should receive the water from the father, place it on the earth, gaze at it, then pour water on the left foot, then right foot, then both feet with the following mantras:

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

virad gayatri chandah

apo vishnuh devata

savya-pada prakshane viniyogah

 

om savyam padam avanenije asmin rashöre shriyam dadhe

“I wash the left foot and bestow wealth in this domain.”

 

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

virad gayatri chandah

apo vishnuh devata

dakshina-pada prakshane viniyogah

 

om dakshinam padam avanenije asmin rashöre shriyamaveshayami

“I wash the right foot and take possession of wealth in this domain.”

 

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

virad gayatri chandah

apo vishnuh devata

ubhaya-pada prakshane viniyogah

 

om purvam anyam param anyam

ubhaya padau avanenije

rashörasardhya abhayasyavaruddhyai

“I wash one foot then the other. By prosperity of this domain may I attain fearlessness.”

 

 

 

The father should take durva, white rice, etc in a conch and offer arghya, saying:

 

om arghyam arghyam arghyam pratigrihyatam

 

The groom should say:

 

om arghya pratigrihnami

 

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

arghya-rupo vishnuh devata

arghya-pratigrahne  viniyogah

 

om annasya rashörir-asi

          rashöris-te bhuyasam

“You are the ruler of food. May I become your master.”

 

The father should offer acamaniyam:

 

om acamaniyam acamaniyam acamaniyam pratigrihyatam

 

The groom should reply:

 

om acamaniyam pratigrihnami

 

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

acamaniyam vishnuh devata

acamaniyacamane viniyogah

 

om yasho ‘si yasho mayi dhehi

“You are fame. Give fame to me.”

 

He should sip the water facing North.

 

 

 

The father should take a pot of madhuparka and offer:

 

om madhuparko madhuparko madhuparkah pratigrihyatam

 

The groom should take the madhuparka, and place the container on the earth saying:

 

om madhuparkam pratigrihnami

 

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

madhuparko vishnuh devata

aharniya madhhuparkam grahane viniyogah

 

om yashaso yasho ‘si

“You are fame incarnate.”

 

He should drink three times saying:

 

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

madhuparko vishnuh devata

aharniya madhuparka prashane viniyogah

 

om yashaso bhaksho ‘si

mahaso bhaksho ‘si

shrir bhaksho ‘si

shriyam mayi dhehi

“You are the food of fame, the food of greatness. You are the food of virtues. Give me all virtues.”

 

He should drink once silently.

 

 

The groom should now face East; the father of the bride should face North or West.

 

The groom and bride should perform acamana and then smear kum-kum, gorocana and candana on their right hands.

 

The groom should take the bride’s right hand and place it on top of his right hand, and a married woman with a son should bind the two hands with kusha and garlands, while auspicious sounds are made by the women.

 

The father of the bride should take a pot of water mixed with gandha, flowers, tulasi and fruit @and recite vishnu smaranam (see Appendix ???????????).

 

The father should give the bride, saying:

 

om     vishnu

om     tat sat

          adya brahmano dvitiya-parardhe,

          sveta varaha kalpe, vaivasvatakhya manvantare,

          ashöavimshati kali-yugasya prathama sandhyayam

          brahma vimshatau vartamanayam

          .....samvatsare (year)

          .....ayane (course of the sun)

          .....ritau (season)

          .....masi (month)

          .....pakshe (fortnight)

          .....rashi sthite bhaskare (sun sign)

          .....tithau (lunar day)

          .....varanvitayam (day of the week)

          .....nakshatra samyutayam (constellation)

          jambudvipe bharata khande

          medhibhutasya sumeroh dakshine

          lavanarnavasyottare kone

          gangayah pashcime bhage

         

          shri shalagrama shila go brahmana vaishnava vahni sannidhau

 

          .....sharmanah prapautraya (to the great grandson of....)

          .....sharmanah pautraya (to the grandson of....)

          .....sharmanah putraya (to the son of....)

          shri .....sharmane visishöa varaya (to the groom named...)

         

          .....sharmanah prapautrim (the great grand daughter of ....)

          .....sharmanah pautrim (the great granddaughter of....)

          .... sharmanah putrim (the daughter of......)

          shrimatim....abhidhanam etam kanyam (the bride named....)

         

          sa vastram yatha shakty-alankritam

          aroginim apravasinim yatha kalopasthapinim

         

          om prajapati vishnu devatakam

          shri shri radha-krishna smarana purvakam

          .....sharma dvara [through the agency of .......(father)]

          svayam shri shri radha-krishnau dattam

“May Radha and Krishna personally give this bride named....(identified by father’s ancestors), equipped with cloth and ornaments, healthy, of age and fixed residence, to the groom named......(identified by his father’s ancestors) at the time........, at the place......with shalagrama, the cow, the brahmana, vaishnava and fire as witness.”

 

The father should pour the water over their bound hands.

 

The groom should say:

 

om     svasti

 

om     narayanaya vidmahe

                   vasudevaya dhimahi

          tanno vishnuh pracodayat(e)

 

om trailokya-mohanaya vidmahe

             kamadevaya dhimahi

       tanno vishnuh pracodayat(e)

 

Then he should meditate upon  Shri Shri Radha-Krishna chanting:             

 

          hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare

          hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

 

om     kanyeyam om prajapati vishnu devataka

“This bride belongs to Prajapati Vishnu.”

 

Touching the bride’s heart he should recite the Kama Stuti :

 

om ka idam kasma adat

          kamah kamayadat

          kamo data kamah pratigrahita

          kamah samudram avishat

          kamena tva pratigrihnami

          kamaitat te

 

“Who has given this heart and to whom? Love has given unto love. Love is the giver, love is the receiver. Love has entered the ocean of love. I receive you through love. Oh love, this heart is yours.”

 

The father should say:

 

om vishnuh

om tat sat

          adya shrimate.....sharmane varaya (name of groom)

          kritaitat kanya sampradana supratishöhartham

          dakshinam suvarna mulyopakalpitam

          shri shri radha krishna smarana purvakam

          shri.... dvara (name of father)

          shri shri radha krishnau dattam

“May Radha and Krishna, on this day of .... to firmly establish this act of bestowal, present a suitable dowry of valuable items in remembrance of Radha and Krishna, to .....(groom) through the agency of ....(father).”

 

The groom should say:

 

om svasti

 

Then he should recite the Kama Stuti:

 

om ka idam kasma adat

          kamah kamayadat

          kamo data kamah pratigrahita

          kamah samudram avishat

          kamena tva pratigrihnami

          kamaitat te

 

om narayanaya vidmahe

          vasudevaya dhimahi

          tanno vishnuh pracodayat

 

 

om trailokya-mohanaya vidmahe

             kamadevaya dhimahi

       tanno vishnuh pracodayat(e)

 

Then he should meditate upon  Shri Shri Radha-Krishna chanting:             

 

          hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare

          hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

 

 

He should then meditate upon his favourite Deitys’ name  such as Narayana,

Vishnu, Rama, Nrisimha, Hari, Vamana etc

 

At this time, the father can give a dowery and gifts to the Deity and the Vaishnavas.

 

The father or a married woman with sons will then tie the upper cloth of the groom and the veil of the bride with a cloth containing haritaki, betel, gandha, flowers, tulasi, kum-kum, and tumeric.

The following shloka should be recited:

 

shri lakshmi-pitambarayoh revati-balaramayoh

          tatha sita-ramayosh ca shri durga-shivayor yatha

devahuti-kardamayoh shaci-maghavator yatha

          shatarupa-svayambhuvayoh-renuka-jamadagnyoh

yatha ‘halya-gautamayor devaki-vasudevayoh

          mandodari-ravanayor yashoda-nandayor yatha

shri draupadi-pandavayoh shri taravali-bhubhujoh

          damayanti-nalakayoh shri-radha-krishnayor yatha

anayoh kanya varayos tatha syad granthi bandhanam

 

@TRANSLATION

 

The father may undo the kusha knot on their hands and seat the bride to the right hand side of the groom.

 

 

·         Go Moksha (releasing the cow):

 

A cow should be presented to the groom.

 

A barber should exclaim:

 

gauh gauh

“Here is a cow.”

 

The groom should reply:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

brihati chando

gorupo vishnuh devata

purva-bandha-gavi-mokshane viniyogah

 

om     munca gam varuna pashad dvishantam me abhidhehi

      tam  jahi.....(name of father) cobhayor utshrija

      gamattu trinani pivatudakam

 

“Free the cow from the ropes of Varuna. Call the name of he who opposes. Dismiss him on behalf of .....(father). Let the cow free, let her eat grass and drink water.”

 

While the cow is released the groom will say:

 

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

trishöup chando

gorupo vishnuh devata

gavanu mantrene viniyogah

 

om mata rudranam duhita vasunam svasadityanam amritasya nabhih

pra nu vocam cikitushe janaya ma gamana gam aditim vadhishöa

“The cow is the mother of the Rudras, the daughter of the Vasus. She is the sister of the Adityas, the source of nectar. To him who understands I say, “Do not kill the sinless cow, Aditi.”

 

The cow is then released.

 

·         Acchidra Vacana (words to absolve oneself of faults):

 

Acchidra vacana is then recited by the father:

 

om     asmin kanya sampradana karmani

          anga hinam kriya hinam vidhi hinam ca yad bhavet

          astu tat sarvam acchidram krishna karshna prasadatah

“Whatever breach of rules, lack of ingredients or ceremony there has been in this bestowal of the bride, let that be overlooked, by the mercy of Krishna and his associates.”

 

om tat sat

 

om adya krite ‘smin kanya sampradana karmani

yat kincit vaigunyam jatam

tad dosha prashamanaya

shri vishnu smaranam aham karomi

“To alleviate any fault which may have been committed in the ceremony of bestowing the bride, I now perform remembrance of Vishnu.”

 

The father should perform Vishnu Smaranam (see Appendix II) and recite the maha-mantra, followed by kirtana and offering obeisances to the spiritual master, the Vaishnavas, Lord Chaitanya and Gandarvika-Giridhari.

 

 

KUShANDIKA (Preliminary rites for the yajna)

The groom should now perform the Kushandika rites according to the scriptural rules, either in the same place where the Sampradana was performed or in the main house. He should install Shri Vishnu’s form as the fire named “Yojaka”

Before building the vedi(yajna kunda) of four hands by four hands (approx. 6ft, by 6ft), he should clean the place of all dirt, hair, husk, charcoal, bones, gravel etc. He should gradually make the North and Eastern sides (of the kunda) level and smear it and the floor of the covered Mandapa with cow dung. He should purify himself according to the scriptural rules, perform acamana and wear two pieces of cloth. Sitting on a kusha-asana facing East,

·         Abhyukshana Patra Sthapana (establishing the pot of water):

          A copper waterpot should be filled with water, gandha, flowers, tulasi, barley, betel, haritaki, durva, white rice, tumeric and mustard seeds and placed on the North side of the fire. This will be used for purifying items by sprinkling (abhyukshana).

 

 

·         Panca Rekha Sthapana (drawing five lines in the kunda):

          He should face east, on the west side of the fire pit (yajna kunda). Placing the right knee on the ground, and placing the left hand on the ground with palm up, while holding a kusha grass blade of one pradesha length (approx. 9in) in it. Taking another kusha grass blade with the right hand, he should draw in the kunda a line twelve fingers long (one pradesha, 9 inches) and pointing East (see Appendix I), while meditating on the personality of earth. He should say:

 

@FOOTNOTE: one pradesha = twelve fingers = nine inches

 

om rekhe tvam prithvi-rupa pitavarnasi

 

“Oh line, you are earth, yellow in color”.

 

·         From the base of the first line he should draw a second line twenty-one fingers long, pointing towards the North while meditating on the cow:

 

om rekhe tvam go-rupa lohita varnasi

“Oh line, you are the cow, reddish in color”.

 

·         Parallel to the first line but seven fingers to its left, starting from the second line, he should draw a third line the length of one pradesha in the Eastern direction, while meditating on Kalindi. He should say:

 

om rekhe tvam kalindi-rupa-krishna varnasi

“Oh line, you are Yamuna, black in color.”

 

·         Parallel to the third line at a distance of seven fingers he should draw a fourth line starting from the second line, in the Eastern direction, one pradesha in length, while meditating on Lakshmi:

 

om rekhe tvam shri-rupa-svarna varnasi

“Oh line, your are Shri, golden in color”.

 

·         At a distance of seven fingers from the last line and parallel to it he should draw a fifth line of one pradesha length in the Eastern direction, meditating on Sarasvati. He should say:

 

om rekhe tvam sarasvati-rupa shukla varnasi

“Oh line, you are Sarasvati, white in color”.

 

·         Utkara Nirasana (expelling the impurities):

 

          He should take a pinch of earth from each line with the thumb and ring finger of the right hand and throw out the earth from the kunda to a distance of one “aratni“ (distance from elbow to tip of little finger) in the North East direction, saying:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

gayatri chandah

shri vishnuh devata

utkara nirasane viniyogah

 

om nirastah paravasuh

“The depleter of fortune has been thrown out and destroyed”.

 

@FOOTNOTE : The viniyogas are not chanted during the yajna, as stated in the Narada Samhita:

 

homakalas na drishyate prajachandarshi devata

 

“ The chanting of  the application (viniyoga) , the metre, the rishi, or the devata is not observed at the time of yajna”.

END FOOTNOTE

 

·         Rekhabhyukshana (purifying the lines with water):

          Taking water from the abhyukshana patra he should sprinkle it on the lines.

 

·         Agni Samskara (purifying the fire):

          From the fire which is kindled but not yet placed in the pit he should take one burning stick and cast it in the South Western direction to expel the inauspicious elements of the fire:

 

@Footnote: Fire can either be started by mantra, churned from the arani with proper concentration, started from the sunlight by a magnifying glass focused on camphor placed on a bell-metal plate, brought from a lamp in the Deity room or from a brahmana's house (meaning from his daily household yajna). If none of the above methods are practical, then one can use matches etc.

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

trishöup chandah

shri vishnuh devata

agni-samskara viniyogah

 

 

om kravyadam agnim prainomi duram

          yamarajyo ‘gacchatu vipravaah

 

“I cast the inauspicious fire in charge of burning corpses far away. May those who oppose this rite go to the kingdom of death”.

 

·         Agni Sthapana (establishing the fire):

          He should take a burning stick from the purified fire and place it on the third line saying:

 

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

brihati chandah

shri vishnuh devata

agni-sthapane viniyogah

 

 

om bhur bhuvah svah om

 

·         Agni Avahana

          He should then install the fire for weddings who is named “Yojaka Agni”

 

om yojaka namagnaye ihagaccha

          agne tvam yojaka namasi

           shri vishnos-teja evayam

“Oh fire named Yojaka Agni, kindly be present here. O fire of Lord Vishnu please come.”

 

·         Agni Puja (worship of the fire):

          Meditating on the fire as Vishnu he should worship the fire with articles beginning with padyam, etc.

 

@ Footnote: The sweet Form of Krishna is not installed in the fire. Only forms of Lord Vishnu are installed.

 

·         Vishnu Stuti (praise of Vishnu):

          With folded hands he should say the names of Vishnu:

 

@ translations

 

om krishnananta mukunda madhava hare govinda vamsimukha

          shri gopijanavallabha vrajasuhrit bhakta priyedyacyuta

          bhakta premavasha kriya phala rasanandaika dinarti hrit

                   radha kanta duranta samshriti haretyakhyahi jihve sada

 

om tad vishnoh paramam padam

                   sada pashyanti surayah

          diviva cakshur atatam

 

“Just as those with ordinary vision see the sun’s rays in the sky, so the wise and learned devotees always see the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu.”

 

om krishno vai saccidananda ghanah

          krishnah adi purushah krishnah purusottamah

          krishno ha u karmadi mulam

                   krishnah sa ha sarvaikaryah

          krishnah kasham krit adisha mukha prabhu pujyah

                   krishno ’nadis tasmin ajandantar bahye

          yan mangalam tal labhate kriti

 

“Lord Krishna is the color of a new rain-cloud, therefore He is compared to a transcendental cloud full of eternity, bliss and cognizance. He is the original and Supreme Person. He is the origin of all activities and the one and only Lord of all. He is the worshipful Lord of the best of demigods, the controller of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Krishna is without any beginning. Whatever auspiciousness is found within or beyond this universe the devotee obtains in Krishna alone.”

 

om agnim duram purodadhe

                   havyavaham upabruve

          deva ashadayad iha

“The fire from afar I place in front of me. I call near the bearer (the fire) of the oblations. May the Lord show compassion here”.

 

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

trishöup chandah

shri vishnuh devata

agni-sthapane viniyogah

 

om ihaivayam itaro

                   jataveda devebhyo

          havyam vahatu prajanan

“May the remaining fire here, omniscient Jatavedas, carry the oblations to the gods”.

 

·         Brahma Sthapana (installing and worshipping the brahma ):

          He may receive a Vaishnava brahmana conversant with the rituals, alternatively he can make a doll of kusha (kushamaya brahmana) and establish it as the brahma.

 

@footnote: In the case of receiving the kushamaya brahmana, the hotri (in this case the groom) should recite all the mantras.

 

He addresses the brahma thus:

 

 “om sadhu bhavan astam”

“May you be comfortable.”

 

The brahma replies:

 “om sadhu aham ase”

“I am comfortable.”

 

The groom says:

 

 “om arcayishyamo bhavantam”

“I will worship you.”

 

The brahma replies:

 

 “om arcaya”

“You may honor me.”

 

          Touching the brahma’s knee with gandha, flowers, tulasi, cloth etc the groom should say:

 

om govinda govinda govinda

om tat sat

adya ...

_______mase (month)

_______pakshe (lunar fortnight)

_______tithau (lunar day)

asya______karmano (function)

 

homa karmani kritakritavekshana rupa brahma tvena bhavantam aham vrine

“On this day of ______, in the month of ______, in the lunar fortnight of ______, on the lunar day of ______, on the occasion of ______, I choose you as brahma for supervising the proper execution of the rituals.”

 

The brahma replies:

 

 “om vrito ’smi”

“I have been selected”

 

The groom says:

 

 “om yatha yatham brahma kama kuru”

“Please perform your activities in a befitting way”

 

The brahma should reply:

 

 “om yatha jnanam karavam”

“May I perform to the best of my abilities”

 

 

·         The groom, taking the water vessel, should proceed to the South side of the fire and at a distance of one aratni (distance from elbow to tip of little finger) from the fire, sprinkle water towards the East, and over that he should place kusha grass with tips facing East.

 

·         Then facing West with the strewn kusha in front of him, he should take one blade of that strewn kusha in the thumb and ring finger of the left hand and throw it in the Southwest direction, saying:

 

 

om prajapatih vishnu rishih

gayatri chandah

shri vishnuh devata

trinanirasane viniyogah

 

 

om nirasthah paravasuh

“The depleter of fortune has been thrown away.”

 

·         Facing North with the right foot pressing the left foot, the groom should sprinkle water on the strewn kusha and then seat the brahma on the kusha, facing him towards the North (in the case of a kushamaya brahma, he should face the East). Touching water, he should say to the brahma :

 

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

trishöup chandah

shri vishnuh devata

vaishnava-brahmo-pareshane viniyogah

 

om a vasoh sadane sida

“Sit on this seat of wealth.”

 

The brahma replies:

 

  sidami

“I sit.”

 

·         The groom should offer the Brahma some mahaprasada, candana, kum-kum, fruit, sweets, etc. to honor him. Retracing his steps to the East side of the fire he should sit.

 

·         To nullify any mistakes during the sacrifice, the brahma says:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

gayatri chandah

shri vishnuh devata

ayanjiya vag-vacanimita jape viniyogah

 

om idam vishnuh vicakrame

tredha nidadhe padam

samudham asya pagmshule

“Vishnu has stridden here. He has placed three pure steps on this earth.”

 

·         Caru Sthapana (Placing the caru or cooked grains):

          Caru, having been prepared before the function, should be placed on the North side of the fire at this time.

 

·         Bhumi Japa (prayers to the earth):

          Kneeling, and placing both his hands on the earth, palms down, the groom should say:

 

om parameshöi vishnu rishih

anushöup chandah

shri vishnuh devata

bhumi jape viniyogah

 

om idam bhumeh bhajamahe

                   idam bhadram sumangalam

          para sapatnan vadhasva

                   anyesham vindate dhanam

 

(NB: At night replace the word “dhanam” with “vasum”).

“We receive this auspicious offering from the earth. Repel the enemies, who take the wealth of others”.

 

·         Agni Sanmukhi Karana (respects to the fire):

          Facing the fire, he should say:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

gayatri chandah

shri vishnuh devata

agni-sanmukhi-karane viniyogah

 

om eko ha devah pradisho nu sarvah

                   purvo ha jatah sa u garbhe antah

          sa eva jatah sa janishyamanah

                   pratyanjanas tishöhati sarvato mukhah

“The Lord is one. By his order all others exist. He, who was the first existing, sometimes appears in the womb like a human being. He has appeared before and will appear again. All men are turned towards Him, who is present everywhere”.

 

·         Trinadi Shodhana (cleaning the area, strewing kusha):

          He should take kusha grass in his right hand, and starting from the North side of the mandapa, go around, while chanting:

 

@ Footnote: Placing the kusha  grass around the fire is for protection against Rakshasas.

 

om kautsa rishih

jagati chandah

shri vishnuh devata

prishöasya shadahasya shashöehani agni-marute shastre parisamuhane viniyogah

 

om kautsah

om imam stomam arhate jatavedase

                   rathamiva sanmahema manishaya

          bhadra hi nah pramatih asya samsadi

                   agne sakhye ma rishama vayam tava

 

·         Going around the second time, he should chant:

 

om kautsah

om bharam idhmam krinvama harimshi te

                   citayantah parvana parvana vayam

          jivatave prataram sadhaya dhiyah

                   agne sakhye ma rishama vayam tava

 

·         While going third time he should chant:

 

om kautsah

om shakema tva samidham sadhaya dhiyah

                   tve deva havih adantyahutam

          tvamadityan a vaha tan hrusmasi

                   agne sakhye ma rishama vayam tava

 

·         After he should put the kusha in ishanakona (North –East). Then taking them one by one, the straws should be placed on the floor in 3 lines without chanting mantras. He should start from N.E. corner, and make one line of kusha straws touching each other to the S.E. corner.In the same way he should put 2 more lines next to the first one. The lines are touching at the point where they start. In a similar way he should put kusha in 3 lines, starting from S.E. corner and going to S.W. corner. After that 3 lines from N.W. corner to N.E. corner, and from S.W. corner to N.W. corner.

 

·         Svastika Nivedana (worshipping the directions):

          He should offer flowers and candana (which has been offered to the Lord) to the ten directions. saying:

 

om etan mahaprasada naivedyadi

          purvasyam shri naradaya svaha   (East)

          agneyam shri kapila devaya svaha   (South-East)

          yamye shri yamabhagavataya svaha   (South)

          nairrityam shri bhishmadevaya svaha   (South-West)

          praticyam shri shukadevaya svaha   (West)

          vayavyam shri janakaya svaha   (North-West)

          udicyam shri sadashivaya svaha   (North)

          aishanyam shri praladaya svaha   (North-East)

          urdhvam shri brahmane svaha   (up)

          adhah shri balirajaya svaha   (down)

 

·         Vimshati Kashöhika Homa (offering twenty sticks into the fire):

          He should take twenty sticks of khadira, palasha, or udumbara wood, or kusha grass, which are of two pradeshas (18 inches) in length. He should pour a sruva of ghee over the middle portion and offer into the fire without mantra while meditating on Vishnu.

 

·         Ajya Samskara (purifying the ghee):

          Taking two blades of kusha grass with tips intact he should bind them with a third kusha and cut them to the length of one pradesha without using the finger nails, saying:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

gayatri chandah

pavitre vishnuh devata

pavitrecchadane viniyogah

 

om pavitre stho vaishnavyau        

“Oh pavitras, you are devotees of Vishnu.”

 

·         Sprinkling them with water he should say:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

gayatri chandah

pavitre vishnuh devata

pavitre marjjane viniyogah

 

om vishnoh manasa pute sthah

“You are pure through the desire of Vishnu.”

 

·         He should place them in a copper vessel and pour ghee into the vessel. Using the thumb and ring finger of the right hand he should grasp the tips of the kushas and with the thumb and ring finger of the left hand he should grasp the root end. The right hand should be palm up and the left hand palm down. By dipping the middle portion into the ghee he should then offer ghee into the fire one time, saying:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

gayatri chandah

ajyam vishnuh devata

ajyat-plavane viniyogah

 

om devas tva savitot punatu

          acchidrena pavitrena

          vasoh suryasya rashmibhih svaha

“May Savita purify you with this faultless kusha, with these rays from the sun.”

 

·         He should then offer two more oblations of ghee into the fire in the same way without mantra.

 

 

·         Holding the kushas in his left hand, he should sprinkle water on them and then using the right hand, throw them into the fire.

 

 

·         He should sprinkle the vessel of ghee with water and then lower it into the North part of the fire three times, and then lay it on strewn kusha grass.

 

·         Sruva Samskara (purifying the spoon):

          The sruva should be made from khadira, palasha or udumbara wood, and of a length of one “aratni“ (distance from elbow to tip of little finger). He should purify the sruva by sprinkling it with water, then by lowering it into the North part of the fire three times.

 

·         Udakanjaliseka (taking blessings for performing the sacrifice):

         Keeping his right knee on the earth and his left knee raised, he should pour water from his cupped hands from West to East on the South side of the fire, saying:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

gayatri chandah

shri ananto devata

udakanjaliseke viniyogah

 

om ananta anumanyasva

“Please allow this rite, Ananta.”

 

·         He should pour on the West side from South to North, saying:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

gayatri chandah

shri acyuto devata

udakanjaliseke viniyogah

 

om acyuta anumanyasva

“Please allow this rite, Acyuta.”

 

·         He should pour on the North side from West to East saying:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

gayatri chandah

shri vishnuh devata

udakanjaliseke viniyogah

 

          om sarasvaty anumanyasva

“Please allow this rite, Sarasvati.”

 

·         Agni paryukshana (sprinkling water around the fire):

          He should sprinkle water around the fire in clockwise direction:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

gayatri chandah

shri aniruddho devata

agni-paryukshane viniyogah

 

om prabho aniruddha prasuva yajnam

                   pra suva yajnapatim bhagaya

          pata sarva bhuta sthah

                   ketapuh ketam nah punatu

          vagishah vacam nah svadatu

“Oh Aniruddha, bring forth the sacrifice, bring forth the Lord of the sacrifice for good fortune. You are situated everywhere. Purifier of desires, purify our desires. May the Lord of words relish our prayers.”

 

·         Virupaksha Japa (prayer to the Lord as Virupaksha):

          Raising his right knee from the ground, he should hold fruit, flowers, rice and kusha between his fists, the right fist being above and the left fist being below. He should recite the following:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

gayatri chandah

rudra-rupo vishnuh devata

shri mahabhagavata virupaksha jape viniyogah

 

om bhur bhuvah svah

 

om mahantam virupaksham tvam atmana prapadye,

                   bhagavata virupaksho ’si dantanjih tasya te shayya parne,

          griham antarikshe vimitam hiranmayam /

                   tad devanam hridayani ayasmae kumbhe ’nthah sannihitani tani /

          balabric ca balasac ca raksato ‘pramani animishat(e) /

                   tat satyam yatte dvadasha putrah,

          te tva samvatsare samvatsare kama prena yajnena yajayitva

                   punah brahma acaryam upayanti /

          tam deveshu brahmano ’si, aham manushyeshu, brahmano vai

                   brahmanam upadhavati, upa tva dhavami,

          japantam ma ma pratijapih,

                   juhvantam ma ma prati haushih,

          kurvantam ma ma pratikarshih

                   tvam prapadye / tvaya prasuta

          idam karma karishyami,

                   tan me radhyatam

          tam me samridhyatam,

                   tan me upapadyatam /

 

          samudro ma vishvavyacah / brahma anujanatu,

                   tutho ma vishvavedah / brahma anah putro anujanatu,

          svatro ma pracetah / maitra varuno anujanatu,

                   tasmai virupakshaya dantanjaye, samudraya

          vishvavyacase, tuthaya vishvavedase, svatraya

                   pracetase saasrakshaya brahmanah putraya

          parama bhagavatottamaya namah /

          “I surrender with body, mind and soul to the great, beautiful Personality of Godhead, manifested as Agni,  possessed of unlimited eyes and flashing teeth, whose resting place is under a palasha tree, whose golden abode flashes in the sky like lightening, who is accompanied by all the devatas, who are situated in the metal kumbha. Being full of strength, attentive and unblinking, You watch for demons.

You are manifest in twelve forms, known as Your sons. Those aspirants who, throughout the years, worship You with sacrifices, achieve the spiritual status of Brahman.

You are the best amongst the devas. May I become the best amongst men by becoming Your devotee. He who is part of the Lord, follows after the Lord. May I thus seek after You. May I not offend by my faulty chanting, my faulty offerings, my faulty activities.

I surrender to You; inspired by You, I perform this activity. May it bring me satisfaction. May it bring me spiritual prosperity. May I reach the ultimate goal.

You are the all-pervading Personality, unlimited ocean. Be merciful upon me. You are Tutha, Vishvadeva, and the son of Brahma. Be merciful upon me. You are the deliverer from fear, the wisest one, the sun and the moon. Please be merciful upon me.

To the many-eyed, smiling Lord, the all pervading ocean of mercy, to the all powerful, all wealthy, all strong, all knowing, all perceiving Personality, the son of Brahma, the Supreme Lord, possessor of all opulences, I pay my respects.”

 

·         He should throw the rice to the North East, and give the flowers and fruit to the brahma priest.

 

 

·         Then he should say:

 

om tapash ca tejas ca shraddha ca

                   hrish ca satyam ca akrodhash ca

          tyagash ca dhritish ca dharmash ca sattvan ca

                   vak ca manash ca atma ca brahma ca

          tani prapadye, tani mam avantu

“I surrender to austerity, energy, faith, humility, truth, absence of anger, renunciation, patience, righteousness, goodness, words, mind, soul. May they be merciful upon me.”

 

·         Amantrika Homa (silent homa):

          He should throw ghee-soaked wood of pradesha length with flowers and gandha into the fire silently.

 

 

 

 

·         Vastra Paridhapana (putting on new cloth):

After the groom has completed the kushandika rites, one of the friends of the groom should take a pot of water brought from a permanent body of water -- which is covered with a cloth –and pass silently by the East side of the fire to the South side and stand facing North. Another friend should follow him and stand behind him holding a rod for stirring food while  cooking.

 

On the West side of the fire should be placed a winnowing basket filled with four handfuls of popped rice (for prosperity) mixed with sami leaves (representing Agni, for fertility).

 

Beside the basket should be placed a grinding stone with its pestle, and to the West of that a mat made of birana or kusha grass, covered with cloth.

 

The groom should present to the bride upper and lower clothes, which are new and washed, which she should accept (and may put on).

 

Presenting the lower cloth, the groom says:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

jagati chandah

shri vishnuh devata

adho-vastra paridhapane viniyogah

 

om     ya akrintan avayan ya atanvata yash ca devyo antan abhitah atatantha

          tas tva devyo jarasa samvyayanta ayushmatidam paridhatsva vasah

“May the devatas who cut, wove and stretched the cloth and sewed up the hems, clothe you with long life. O Woman, blessed with long life, put on the cloth.”

 

Presenting the upper cloth, he will say:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

trishöup chandah

shri vishnuh devata

utariya-vastra paridhapane viniyogah

 

om     pari dhatta dhatta vasasainam shatayushim krinuta dirgham ayuh

          shatam ca jiva sharadah suvarca vasuni carye vibhrajasi jivan

“Bestow to her cloth, give her long life, a hundred years. Noble woman, live a hundred autumns, and while you live, bring spiritual wealth to your husband.”

 

·         Sindhura Dana:

 

He should put sindhura on her forehead saying:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

anushöup chandah

shri vishnuh devata

sindhura-dane viniyogah

 

om     sindhor-iva pradhavane shughanaso

          vata pramiyah patayanti yahvah

          ghritasya dhara arusho nah vaji

          kashöha bhindan urmibhih pinvamanah

 

 

“Flashing like the sun, like streams of rushing water, strong and full of life the streams of ghee fall upon the fire. Like fast steeds carrying the offering, breaking through all obstacles, the ghee swells in waves, dissolving the wood.”

 

 

The groom should lead the bride to the fire and say:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

anushöup chandah

shri vishnuh devata

pratyuh kanya-nayana jape viniyogah

 

om     somo dadad gandharvaya gandharvo dadad agnaye

          rayim ca putramsh cadadagnirs mahyam atha imam

“Soma gave you to Gandharva, Gandharva gave you to Agni. For the highest wealth and sons, Agni has given you to me.”

 

The groom should lead the bride to the mat on the West side of the fire so that her right foot touches the border of the kusha mat. He should make her say:

 

om  prajapatih vishnu rishih

dvipajjagati chandah

shri vishnuh devata

kaöapada-pravartane viniyogah

 

om     pra me patiyanah panthah kalpatam shiva arishöa patilokam gameyam

“Let the path my husband treads be prepared for me. May I enter into his house in bliss and safety.”