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PADMA PURANA

Padma

Dialogue of Yayati and Matali about Creation, Human Existence and Papa-Punyas

Sage Narada was impressed with the success of the Kingship of eighty five thousand years of Yayati who was the son of King Nahusha of Soma Vamsha; the latter was a glorious and incomparable King who organised hundred Yagnas as an exemplary proponent of Daana-Tirtha -Veda and Dharma way of life and became Indra, the Chief of Devas.

(In fact, Nahusha would have continued with the status of Indra but for an indiscretion of desiring Devi Sachi of the erstwhile Indra who abandoned ‘Indratva’ temporarily, owing to the fright of committing ‘Brahma hatya’ as he killed Vritrasura). Such was the magnificence of King Yayati who like his father was equally illustrious having performed one hundred Yagnas to his credit. After his visit to King Yayati, Sage Narada visited Lord Indra and liberally extolled the virtues of King Yayati. Indra became apprehensive of his own throne and commisioned Matali, the driver of Indra to bring Yayati to Swarga after assigning Kingship to one of his four sons and enjoy his stay in Swarga. King Yayati wondered as to why Indra specially sent Matali to him! He told Matali that even as his life continued, what could be the reason behind the liberal offer by Indra. Matali said that sooner than later the ‘deha’ (human body) would have to be abandoned since the body and the eternal soul were distinct and before the ‘Pancha Bhutas’ commence to fail the body into ‘Vriddhhapya’ (Old age), it would be wise that Yayati accepted the offer of Indra.Yayati argued that just as the existing body became of age, a new body would get created and that too would become decadent. Thus this cycle of life and death, rebirth and death again would be repetitive. Be it during the course of human existence or after attaining Swarga, any ‘Praani’could never be really happy!

In this connection, Matali explained how different types of birth are envisaged and what kinds of difficulties were encountered from birth through one’s life till the end and so on. Depending on the ‘Karma’ of a ‘Praani’, births are decided as ‘Udbhija’ (sprouted from Earth like grass, vegetables etc.), ‘Swedaja’ (Krumi, Keeta and Flies), ‘Andaja’ (Birds, Fish etc. born out of eggs) and ‘Jarayuja’ (Animals, human beings etc. born out of physical bodies). As a result of interaction of Pancha Bhutas viz. Earth, Fire, Water, Wind and Sky, ‘Anna’ or food gets materialised as six varieties viz. Bhakshya, Bhojya, Peya, lehya, Choshya and Khadya. Anna has twelve end results viz. Paaka( the cooked), Rasa (liquids), Mala or body reject, Rakta or blood, Roma (body hairs), ‘Maamsa’ or meat, kesha or head hairs, Snaayu or sinews, Mazza (marrow), haddi or bones, ‘Vasa’ and ‘Veerya’(sperm). The male Veerya and the female ‘Raza’ during the period of union would take an amorphous shape within five nights; within a month’s time are created neck, head, shoulders, back bone and stomach; within two months hands, feet, wrist, waist and the entire body; within three months body nerves; within four months fingers; within five months face, nose, ears; six months teeth gums and tongue; within seven months the terminal organs and within eight months the rest of the body’s other interior and exterior parts. The ‘Jeeva’feels locked in the mother’s womb and for the entire period of nine months going through such painful and hellish experiences by ‘Jatharagni’, blood, excreta etc.and craves for freedom to get out. The Jeeva possesses consciousness with the realisation of the Karmas of previous births and swears never ever to repeat the past sins.After delivery, the ‘Praani’ continues the journey of life through the phases of Baalya (Childhood), Kaumaara or the formative stage, the Youvana or the Youthful stage, Garhasthya, Vaanaprastha and finally Varthakya, but is engrossed in the pleasures and pains, the craving for education and wealth, livelihood,  fame, Samsara, and various ramifications of  the ‘Arishadvargas’. In the process a Praani is subjected to emotions, passions, sentiments, joys, sorrows, pains, fleeting experiences of happiness, contentment, mournings, distresses, and so on, some of which are of temporary nature and some of lasting impact. Among these phases of life, the Praani commits mistakes, indiscretions, and sins with or without awareness on the one hand and tasks of Dharmic nature, good deeds, charities etc.on the other.   

King Yayati enquired that in life human beings tended to commit several atrocities and as to what would be the end-results of such actions. Matali’s reply was that whenever a person criticised Vedas or Veda Sadachari (Exponent of Vedas) and ill treated the noble and the virtuous, he was stated to be a ‘Paataka’ or a Sinner. Those who abused parents, ill treated brothers and sisters and misbehaved with close relatives was also called a Paataka. When a Shraddha was performed by a person and if a brother in law or son in law staying nearby was not invited then that person was considered a Paataka. When several Brahmanas attended a function and favourtism were to be followed, then that person was called a Paataka. Those who resorted to Guru Ninda, ill treatment of the poor, the diseased, the elderly and the disabled were all called Paatakas. Fault-finding and talking lightheartedly in a hurting manner about women, friends, relatives and children is a pataka. Brahmana hatya, robbing gold, drinking wine, and keeping company with such sinners are stated to be ‘Maha Paatakas’. Accosting a poor Brahmana mendicant with a view to giving charity and turning him away on some pretext; taking in teasing or insulting manner to a poor but well read Vidwan; and seeking to converse with a Veda Pundit in a haughty manner to display one’s own knowledge and showing him down are all considered to be on par with Brahma-hatya Paatakas. If a person is thirsty and hungry and out of negligence or upmanship does not relieve that affected person that action is considered as a Maha Paataka. Seeking to usurp wealth / Bhumi / any other material or possessions rightfully belonging to others, especially women, disabled, children and ignorant / illiterate is considered as a blatant Brahma- Ghaati Paataka. Providing wrong evidences, hurting helpless animals, defacing or worse still destroying Temples, Religious Places, Tirthas, Public Utility places like water bodies, gardens, choultries etc. are all treated as Paatakas. Thieving other’s possessions like women, cows, land, jewellery, clothing, Dhanya, Karpura, Kasturi or other scented material is a Paataka too. Any ill-justified misbehaviour with women, children, helpless and the poor is also considered as Paataka; all Paatakas are richly deserving of retribution and payback.

Ten means of Punyas are stated to be Ahimsa (non-violence), Kshama (Forgiveness), Satya (Truthfulness), Lazza (Modesty), Shraddha (Patience), Indriya Samyam (Self-Control), Daan (Charity), Yagna (Sacred Rituals), Dhyaana (Meditation) and Gyan
(Knowledge). Eight types of main Charity are of Anna, Jala, Horse (Vahana), Cow, Vastra, Shayya (cot / bed), Sutha (Cotton / fibre), and Asana (Seat). Anna daana is stated to acount for half of all kinds of daana. Jala daan is of next best importance. Together, these two account for the best part of Daanaas. Among the Punyas, meditation and Gyan occupy pre-eminent position. The World of Devas is of ‘Vishwas’ or of faith, conviction and belief. Those who possess trust and devotion in Maha Deva Shiva by way of Dhyana, Kirtana, Bhajana, Prayer, Japa, Yoga, and such means of Approach to that Sat-Chit-Ananda, attain Shivaloka. Similarly, those who possess reliance and conviction in Chakradhari Narayana utilising the Vaishnava Approach by way of dedication, meditation, belief in Dualism of Bhagavan and a devotee and mutual equation between the two Entities have ‘Bhakti’ as the vehicle of drawing them together.

Shaivam cha Vaishnavam lokameka rupam Narotthama,
Dwayoschaapyantaram naasti Eka rupam Mahatmanoh/
Shivaaya Vishnu Rupaaya Vishnavey Shiva Rupiney,
Shivasya hridayey Vishnur Vishnosha hridaye Shivah/
Eka murthirstrayo Deva Brahma Vishnu Maheswarah,
Trayaanaamantaram naasti guna bhedah prakeertitah/

(O! Best of Men! Shri Shiva and Bhgavan Shri Vishnu are just the same and there is no difference in them; my greetings to Shri Vishnu rupa dhaari and Shri Shiva Rupa dhaari; Shri Vishnu’s heart is in the heart of Shri Shiva; The Three Entities of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are identical, excepting the emphasis of the Tri Gunas viz. Satva, Rajo and Tamo gunas.)

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