Chapter 16: Aditi Initiated into the Payo-vrata Ceremony, the Best of All Sacrifices
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2018-11-16, 7:15 PM
    Chapter 16: Aditi Initiated into the Payo-vrata Ceremony, the Best of All Sacrifices

    (1) S'rî S'uka said: 'As soon as her sons thus had yielded to the Daityas, their mother Aditi began to lament helplessly over the loss of the heavenly kingdom. (2) When one day the mighty sage Kas'yapa [her husband] after a long time came out of his samâdhi [yogic trance], he went to her quarters that he found sad and joyless. (3) After he respectfully was welcomed by Aditi and had accepted a sitting place, he addressed her thoughtful of her depression as follows oh best of the Kurus. (4) 'Has something unfortunate happened in relation to the brahmins oh gentle one or do you have difficulty with the dharma in the world of today or with the people around you who are subjected to the whims of death? (5) Or, my dearest princess, has something gone awry with the religion, the finances or the fulfillment of your desires in this household life which even joins those who fail to do yoga? (6) Or were there perhaps unexpected guests in your home, overly attached family members whom you could not offer a proper welcome and then walked out on you? (7) A home that not even welcomes uninvited guests by offering them a glass of water is, abandoned by them, nothing more than a jackal's den.  (8) Or have you during the time of my absence oh finest one, out of a sad mind forgotten about your oblations of ghee in the fire, my sweet wife? (9) When an attached householder is of worship, when he performs pûjâ, he will achieve the fulfillment of all his desires and attain heaven, for it are the brahmins and the fire that are the mouth of Vishnu, of Him who is the heart and soul of all God-conscious people [compare B.G. 9: 26]. (10) Are your sons all faring well oh broadminded lady? I can tell that you are worrying about something.'

    (11) S'rî Aditi said: 'Oh brahmin, all is well with the twice-born ones, the cows, the dharma and the people around me. Your household is the best place for caring about the three goals of life [kâma, artha, dharma] my dear husband. (12) The fire, the guests, the servants and the beggars were all treated as should. By constantly thinking of you oh brahmin master, nothing was missed. (13) Oh my lord, what desire of mine would not be fulfilled with in my heart your good self as the founding father and the reminder of dharma? (14) Even though the Supreme Controller takes care of the devotees [especially] oh my lord, you in your goodness, from the Asura on, are equal-minded towards each who originating from either your body or your mind, is gifted with one of the three qualities of goodness, passion or slowness oh son of Marîci  [compare B.G. 4: 11 and 9: 29]. (15) Therefore oh controller, consider the welfare of me, your servitor. We are now oh gentle one, because of our enemies bereft of our opulence and residence. Please protect us oh master! (16) Exiled by the very same powerful enemies that took away all of our opulence, beauty, reputation and homes, I have drowned in an ocean of trouble. (17) Oh saintly man, best of our well-wishers, be so kind to consider our good fortune so that my offspring may regain all that we have lost.'

    (18) S'rî S'uka said: 'This way being beseeched by Aditi he said with a smile to her: 'Oh how powerful is this mâyâ of Vishnu because of which the entire world is caught in emotional bondage. (19) What is this material body made of the elements? It is not the soul. And what is this soul transcendental to the material world? Who are they, the husband and the children [to whom one is tied] because of one's bewilderment [see B.G. 2: 13, 5.5: 1, 7.5: 31]? (20) Exercise respect for Vâsudeva, the spiritual master of the entire world, the Original Person Janârdana, He who, residing in the core of everyone's heart, defeats all enemies. (21) He, the Lord merciful to the poor will fulfill your desires. I think that nothing compares to the devotional service unto the Supreme Lord, it never fails [see also 2.3: 10].'

    (22) S'rî Aditi said: 'Oh brahmin what are the rules I have to follow to please the Lord of the Universe so that what I would like by His grace actually will be fulfilled [see also B.G. 7: 16]? (23) Oh husband, oh best of the twice-born ones, teach me the vidhi, the regulative principles [or method] for making sacrifices for the Lord [see 1.17: 24 and 3.11: 21], so that the Godhead will soon be pleased with me, now lamenting with all my sons.'

    (24) S'rî Kas'yapa said: 'I will explain to you the code of conduct that satisfies Kes'ava and about which the almighty one born on the lotus [Brahmâ] spoke when I, desiring to beget offspring, asked him this question [see B.G. 4: 2]. (25) During the bright half of the month Phâlguna [February/March] one should for twelve days [till Dvâdas'î] respect the vow to drink only milk  [payo-vrata] and filled with supreme devotion, be of worship unto the Lotus eyed One [see also 7.5: 23-24]. (26) When the moon is dark one should smear oneself with the dirt dug up by a boar  - if available - and enter a stream of water chanting this mantra: (27) 'Oh divine mother [earth], you were lifted from the bottom of the ocean on the tusk of Lord Varâha who was looking for a footing [see 3.13: 30]. Can you please wash away all my sins [and their reactions]? I offer you my obeisances.' (28) After having finished the daily observances, the Divinity should be worshiped in one's shrine with full attention for the deities [see also 7.14: 39-40], the altar, the sun, the water, the fire and the guru [see also 7.14: 39-40]: (29) 'I offer my respectful obeisances unto You oh Supreme Lord, oh Original Personality and Best One of All residing in the heart of all living beings, oh Vâsudeva, omnipresent witness. (30) My reverence unto You, the Unseen One, the Transcendental Person of the Primal Reality, the knower of the twenty-four elements [see glossary] and the original cause of the analytic order of yoga. (31) My respects unto You, the Enjoyer of the three types of rituals [of karma, jñâna and upâsanâ or bhakti, or fruitive work, spiritual knowledge and devotional service] with Your two heads [of prâyanîya and udâyanîya, the beginning and the end of the sacrifices], three legs [savana-traya, the three daily soma libations to solar time], four protruding horns [the Vedas to the bull of dharma] and seven hands [the chandas, ways of pleasing, mantras like the Gâyatrî, see also 5.21: 15], my obeisances unto the embodiment of all knowledge. (32) I honor You appearing as S'iva or Rudra, You as the reservoir of all potencies and all insight. My obeisances unto the Supreme Master of all living beings. (33) My reverence for You as Hiranyagarbha [Brahmâ], the source of all life and the Supersoul of the Universe, I bow for You, the cause of the unification of consciousness in Yoga. (34) My esteem for You, the Original Godhead and Overseer of all. I offer You my respects who as Nara-Nârâyana Rishi assumed the form of a human being, that Lord I offer my obeisances. (35) You, as blackish as a marakata gem [a kind of emerald], You the Controller of Lakshmî and the Killer of Kes'î, You clad in yellow, I again and again offer my respects. (36) You are to all entities the Bestower of all Benedictions, the Most Worshipable One and the Best of all Blessings and for that reason wise people worship the dust of Your feet as the source of all happiness. (37) He for whose sake all the gods and the Goddess of Fortune desirous of the fragrance of His lotus feet are engaged in devotional service, may He, the Supreme Lord, be pleased with me.'

    (38) By chanting these mantras, one should with faith and devotion be engaged in calling for the Master of the Senses Hrishîkes'a and honor Him in every respect with the help of the necessities of worship. (39) This way honoring Him with incense, flowers, etc., one should bathe the Almighty One with milk and dress Him and give Him a sacred thread and ornaments. After touching [or offering] the water for washing the lotus feet one should [again], with fragrance and smoke and such, be of worship with the twelve-syllable mantra [ 'om namo bhagavate vâsudevâya' see also 6.8: 3 and 4.8: 53]. (40) After offering rice cooked in milk with ghee and molasses to the deity - if available - , one should offer oblations in the fire chanting the same mantra. (41) Thus having worshiped the deity with also offering  betel nuts with spices, the food of the sacrifice [prasâda] should by the offerer himself be offered to the devotee of the Lord to eat, with water for washing his hands and mouth. (42) After repeating the mantra one-hundred-and-eight times [doing japa], one should offer various prayers unto the Greatest One, next circumambulate Him and then pay one's respect by prostrating oneself joyously. (43) When one in acceptance has taken the remnants of the sacrifice to one's [fore-]head and then has deposited them in a sacred place, minimally two men of learning and merit [brahmins] should be fed with sweet rice. (44-45) Properly having honored them one next with their permission with friends and relatives may eat the remnants of the prasâda. From the first day on one of course at night should observe celibacy for the duration of the payo-vrata in which one early in the morning, as is described after having bathed, closely following the vidhi bathes [the mûrti] with milk. (46) With drinking [milk] only following this vow one should with faith and devotion continue with the worship of Vishnu, as stated offering oblations in the fire, as also be faithful to the obligation of feeding the brahmins. (47) One should proceed this way with the 'vow of drinking only' day after day, for the full twelve days worshiping the Lord with fire sacrifices before the deity and pleasing the twice-born ones [and one's kin] with food. (48) Beginning with the day of pratipat ['running to meet'] until the thirteenth day of the bright half of the month, one should observe celibacy, sleep on the floor and bathe three times a day. (49) Depending on Vâsudeva as the supreme resort, one should refrain from great and small sensual pleasures, from discussing trivial subjects and from violence towards all living beings.

    (50) Next on the thirteenth day proceeding in accordance with the regulations as laid down in the scriptures, the Almighty One [Vishnu] should be bathed with five substances [milk, yogurt, ghee, sugar and honey]. (51-52) By being of good recitation with the many hymns [or sûkta] for Lord Vishnu who resides in the hearts of all, the miserly mentality [of not spending] must be given up with the milk and the grains that were offered in grand worship. With great attention and with the offerings of the food that was carefully prepared to please His person, one thus should worship the Original Personality. (53) Try to understand that when one worships the Lord [vishnu-ârâdhana], the spiritual master [the âcârya] who is so well versed in the spiritual knowledge and also the priests, should be satisfied with clothes, ornaments and many cows. (54) Oh pious lady, the brahmins and all people assembled there should as much as possible receive the prasâda of the food of goodness [B.G. 17: 8] that so meticulously was prepared with milk and ghee. (55) The guru and the priests should be financially compensated and the food should by all means even be distributed to the simpleminded ones and the poor, for also they should be rewarded for gathering for the ceremony. (56) After also having fed all the poor, the blind, the averse and so on, one should with that kind of understanding having pleased Lord Vishnu, together with one's friends and relatives eat from the prasâda oneself. (57) With dancing, beating drums and songs, reciting mantras, offering prayers and reading the stories [aloud], one should from the first day till the last worship the Supreme Lord.

    (58) This instruction that I have now described to you in great detail concerning the supreme process called payo-vrata for honoring the Original Person, was related by my grandfather [Brahmâ]. (59) Oh greatly fortunate one, now worship with self-discipline in a pure state of mind the Inexhaustible Lord Kes'ava by properly following this process. (60) Of all religious ceremonies this one is called sarva-yajña ['the one covering all sacrifices']. When one oh good lady, also being of charity pleases the Lord this way, this sacrifice is understood to be the very essence of all austerities [*]. (61) Of all possible regulations the one as mentioned is indeed the most direct and best way to control the senses effectively, for Adhokshaja, the One beyond the Senses, is pleased with the austerity, the vows and the sacrifice [see also: 1.2: 8]. (62) The Supreme Lord being satisfied by you faithfully observing this vow according to the rules, will therefore soon bestow upon you all benedictions.'