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MARKANDEYA PURANA

Bhagwan Shiv

Pitras Upadesha (Instruction) on Garhasthya (Family Life) to Ruchi Muni (Pitru Stuthi included)

Rouchya Manu would be the thirteenth in the series, the son of Prajapati Ruchi and Malini; Pushkara the son of Kubera and Apsara Plamocha gave birth to Malini. Ruchi Muni was not only unmarried, but had virtually renounced the World, was homeless, ate single meal and was not eligible to perform Agni Karyas as he was a bachelor. The Pitru Devatas appeared before the Muni and said that they were not able to receive any contribution from him as he was not married, could not perform any ‘Punya Karyas’ (Propitious Tasks normally executed by house-holders), nor provide ‘Atithya’ (treat guests at home).

'Grihasties’ (family men) could pronounce the Mantra ‘Swaha’ and give away oblations to Agni to satisfy Devatas and also say ‘Swadha’ and satisfy Pitras. The three ‘Runas’ (debts) to Devatas, Pitras and Aththis thus remain unfulfilled! When ‘Tarpanas’ are not performed to ancestors, what kind of noble purpose would there be to a person in his life! But Ruchi Muni counter argued that the institution of marriage was the worst possible enemy to ‘Atma Samyam’(Self Control) which was the rudimental step towards ‘Mukti’(salvation), that a married person would perforce get dragged into the deep sludge of temporary worldly attractions of a woman, children, grand chidren, their responsibilites and a thick net of ‘Maya’ like earning money, family health, routine life etc. which hardly leave time for Godly activities, adding there by fresh sins by way of hypocrisy, insincerity and double standards, let alone try to clear the backlog sins of previous births. Pitru Devatas then gave the Upadesha as follows: Is the method that you have adopted is a ladder to ‘Moksha’! It would be a fallacy that you would reduce the ‘Karma phala’ of previous births by abstaining from sins in the current birth since human births in the everlasting cycle of lives follow like day and night and there is no question of striking equations between pluses and minuses! Equally fallacious is the argument that family life tends to be a deep-drag into slush, since Vedas prescribed ‘Samyam’ (Self- control), ‘Niyama’ (Self-discipline) and ‘Karma’ (Duty). What is controversial is not the Institution of marriage, but transgressing the limits of desire, decency and virtue.In fact, Garhastya is a test of life.

Vihitaa karanaatpumbhirasadbhih kriyatey thu yah,
 samyamo Muktaye naasou prathyutadhogati pradah

(Those bogus persons who seek to practise the so-called self-control without executing duties prescribed by the Sacred Texts shall be doomed at the end). My Son! What you are imagining as cleaning up your own Soul is indeed burning your consciousness into ash without performing your duties as a human being! Thus, our final advice and instruction is to become a ‘Grihasta’ (House holder), do your duties, be a drop on lotus leaf, and ascend to the mountain top step by step.

Fully convinced of the Upadesha on ‘Garshastya’ by the Pitru Devas, Ruchi Muni performed Tapasya to Lord Brahma who blessed him to follow the ‘Grihastashram’ and bestowed the Title of Prajapati. Ruchi then commended Pitru Devas by his Pitru Stuti that the ‘Pitras’ were the Adhishtana Devatas at the ‘Shraddhas’ responding to the oblations to Agni with the Mantras of ‘Swaha’ by Devas; that Maharshis satisfy the Pitras at Shradhas as they desire to attain Bhukti (fulfillment at Earth) and Mukti (salvation); that Siddhaganas at Swarga do satisfy Pitras with celestial Gifts at the Shraddhas; that ‘Martyalok vasis’ or human beings worship Pitras with ‘Shraddha Sahita Archana’or Pujas; that ‘Naishtika Brahmacharis’ or Brahmana Vydarthis / bachelors try to please Pitras by their Yoga Samadhis; that Kshatriya Kings seek to offer and satisfy Pitruganas with ‘Shraaddhaanna’ to keep up their Kshatriya Dharma; that Vaishyas satisfy Pitras with Pushpa Dhup with pure water; that Shudras seek to satisfy ‘Shukaalena Pitra’ and his followers through periodical Shraddhas; that Mahasuragana of Patalaloka at Shraddhas seek to satisfy the Pitras by Swadhakaar Mantra; that Nagas of Rasatala too implore Pirtuganas to fulfil their desires; that those residing at Devaloka and ‘Antariksha’(Celestial Region) offer their their reverences directly to the Pitruganas; that Brahmanas satisfy Pitras by making offerings of Ghee and cooked rice through Agni as also through Pindadaan; and that dutiful human beings satisfy Pitruganas on Annual Ceremony Days, Amavasya days, Eclipse days, Days of change of Ayanas, and Days of Festivals, Kartika and other significant months and so on. Pitras are satisfied by destroying Rakshasas, Evil Spirits, Poisonous Creatures and enemies. Devas are satisfied through Pitruganas. Specifically, the Pitras viz. Agnishvakta, Baahirshad, Ajyapa, and Somapa safeguard against Evil Forces in the Four Directions of East, South, West and North respectively. The Nine Pitruganas viz. Vishva, Vishwabhuk, Aradhya, Dharma, Dhanya, Shubhaana, Bhutida, Bhutikrit, and Bhuti safeguard all the directions.Kalyan, Kalyanakarta, Kalya, Kalyatarashraya, Kalyatahatu, Anagha, Vara, Varenya, Varada, Pushtida, Trushtida, Vishwapata, Dhata, Mahan, Mahatma, Mahita, Mahimaavan and Mahabal-all sin demolisher Pitraganas.  A total of hundred thirty other Pitruganas do also bestow happiness, fame, posperity, contentment, good health and so on. (The above Stuti of Pitraganas is considered worthy of remembrance at the time of performing Shraadhas).

Being highly pleased by Ruchi Muni’s tributes, Pitruganas were happy that the Muni agreed finally to marry, located a suitable damsel for the wedlock and repeated Lord Brahma’s boon to beget the next Manu Rouchya. During this Manu’s time, the Sapta Rishis would be Dhritiman, Avyaya, Tatvadarshi, Nirmoha, Sutap and Nishprakapya who ensured that in the thirteenth regime of Rouchya there would be least disturbance of Peace and Dharma.

Dharma vriddhisthadaarogyam Dhana Dhaanya Sutodbhahah,
Nrunaam Bhavatyasandigdhamasmin Manvavantarey Shrutey/
Pitrustavam tathaa Shrutvaa Pitruumaamcha tathaaganaan,
Sarvaankaamaanavapnoti tatprasaadaan Maha Muney/

(Listening about the account of this Manvantara, human beings would benefit by the enhancement of Virtue, Health, Prosperity, Foodgrains and Good Offspring. Hearing the extollment of Pitras and Pitruganas would confer fulfillment of all wishes.)

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