PADMA PURANA

Padma

Sage Chyavans encounter with Parrot Kunjal (Vishnu Shata naama included)

Sage Chyavan of Bhargava Vamsha undertook an extensive ‘Tirtha Yatra’ (religious tour) visiting Sacred Places of Worship nearby the Holy Rivers Narmada, Sarasvati and Godavari. He reached Omkareshwar Tirtha and having taken bath and worship, rested under a tree on the banks of the Tirtha; he overheard the conversation of a Parrot named Kunjal with its sons viz. Ujjwal, Samujjwal, Vijjval and Kapinjal.

The Sage learnt from the conversation of Kunjal and sons that they were ardent devotees and that Kunjal was a highly enlightened bird. By the evening there was a family union of the parrots for food and rest in their nest over the tree, under which the Sage sat.As Kunjal desired to recite Stories to them, the elder son Ujjwal asked the father to explain about Gyan (Enlightenment), followed by Dhyaan (meditation), Vratas (Conducted Worships), Punya (The fruits of Good Works) and hundred names of Bhagavan. About Gyan, Kunjal explained that there was a State of Bliss called Kaivalya or Moksha which was a Unique Form of Extreme Happiness devoid of ‘Duhkha’or Sorrow, unreachable by normal vision or feeling. The Bird said:

Yatha deepo nivaasastho nischalo Vaayuvarjitah,
Prajjvalan-naashayet sarvamandhakaaram mahaamatye/
taddosha viheenatma bhavatyeva niraashraah/

(Such Kaivalya State of Gyaanatma which is spotless, steady and holdless is like a lustrous mass of Lamp which wipes out darkness around).That luminosity is the stable origin of Universal Existence called ‘Atma’ or the Super Soul which has no friend or enemy, no pleasure nor grief and no attachment nor greed. The Soul is devoid of senses, feelings, impulses and reactions. The awareness of that Singular Super Soul is Gyana. Now Dhyana is the meditation of that Super Soul known by countless names and epithets and is in either ‘Niraakara’ Form or ‘Akaara’ Form. ‘Nirakara Dhyana’ is possible only to Yogis who could visualise the Abstract Form through the Vision of Gyana. The ‘Sakara Rupa’ assumes Human Form with recognisable limbs; for instance Bhagavan Vishnu is easily identified with four arms with Shankhu, Chakra, Gada and Saranga with golden head gear and silk dress etc.and facilitates Dhayana. Vratas are formatted worships as per the Deity targetted, the specific day as scheduled according to Maasa- Paksha- Tithi- Vaara- Nakshatra and as configured. For instance Vratas like Jaya, Vijaya, Papanashini, Jayanti, and Manoraksha Vratas are executed on Ekadashi / Dwadashi days; there are also regular Vratas like Krishnashtami which are of repetitive nature. There are innumerable Vratas observed all over Bharat as per specified formats and each one of these has far reaching impact in diminishing the burden of sins and improving the ‘Punya’Accounts.
 
The Holy Parrot Kunjal then narrated the Vishnu Shatanaama Stotra as follows:

Om asya Shri Vishnu Shata naama Stotrasyasya
Bhrahma Rishishihi
Anushthabhah Chhanadah
Pranavo Devataa
Sarva Kaamika Samsaddhayai Mokshardhayai cha Japey vinigogah/:
Namaamyaham Hrishikesham Keshavam Madhusudhanam,
Sudanam Sarvadaityanaam Narayanamayamayam/
Jayantam Vijayam Krishnamanantam Vaamanam tatha,
Vishnum Vishveswaram Punyam Vishvaatmaanam Suraarchitam/
Anagham Twaghahateeram Naarasimham Shirayah Priyam,
Shripatim Shridharam Shreedam Shrinivaasam Mahodayam/
Shri Ramam Madhavam Moksham Kshamaarupam Janaadnanam, 
Sarvignam Sarva Vetthaaram Sarvesham Sarvadayikam/
Harim Muraarim Govindam Padmanaabham Prajaaptim,
Anandam Gyaana sampannam Gyaanadam Gyaana -daayakam/
Achytam Sabalam Chandra Vaktram Vyaaptaparaavaram,
Yogeswaram  Jagadyonim  Brahma Rupam Maheswaram/
Mukundam chaapi Vaikunthamekarupam Kavim Dhruvam,
Vasudevam Maha Devam Brahmanyam Brahmana Priyam/
Go priyam Gohitam Yagnam  Yagyaangam Yagnavardhanam,
Yagjnasyaapi Subhktaaram Veda Vedanga paaragam/
Vedajnam Veda rupam tam Vidyaavaasam Sureswaram,
Pratyaksham  cha Maha Hamsam Sharangapaanim Puraatanam/
Pushkaram Pushkaraaksham cha Vaaraaham Dharaneedharam,
Pradyumnam Kaamapaalam cha Vyasadhyaatam Maheswaram/
Sarva Soukhyam Maha Soukhyam Samkhyam cha Purushotthamam,
Yoga Rupam Maha Jnaanam Yogeeshamajitam Priyam/
Asuraarim Lokanaatham Padmahastam Gadaadharam,
Guhaavaasam Sarvavaasam Punyavaasam Mahajanam/
Vrindaanaatham Brihatkaayam Paavanam Paapa naashanam,
Gopinaatham Gopasakham Gopaalam Goganaashrayam/
Paraatmaanam Paadheesham Kapilam Kaarya maanusham,
Namaami Nikhilam Nityam Maovaakkaya karmabhih/
Naamnaam shatenaapi tu Punyakartaa yah Stouti Krishnam Manasa sthirena,
sa  yaati lokam Madhusudanasya vihaaya doshaniha Punyabhutah/
Naamnaam shatam Maha Punyam Sarva paataka shodhanam,
Ananya manasaa Dhyaayejjapetbhyaana samanvitah/
Nityamevam narah Punyam Gangaasnaana phalam labhet,
tasmaat Susthiro Bhutvaa Samaahitamanaa japet/

(Hrishikeshaha or The Chief of Indriyas or the Physique;
Keshava;
Madhusudana or the Killer of Daitya Madhu;
Narayana;
Anamaya or devoid of diseases and sorrows;
Jayanta;
Vijaya;
Krishna,
Ananta;
Vaamana;
Vishnu;
Visweswara;
Punya;
Vishvaatma;
Suraarchita or worshipped by Devas;
Anagha or Sinless;
Aghaharta or the destroyer of sins;
Narasimha;
Sri Priya or the beloved of Lakshmi;
Sripati;
Sridhara;
Shreeda or the provider of Lakshmi;
Sreenivaasa;
Mahodaya or the Great Provider of Abhudaya or Progress;
Shri Rama;
Maadhava;
Moksha;
Kshamarupa or the Provider of forgiveness;
Janaadrana; Sarvajna;
Sara Vettaa;
Sarveswara;
Sarva dayaka;
Hari; Muraari;
Goinda Padmanaabha;
Prajapati;
Ananda;
Jnaanasampanna;
Jnaanada or the Provider of Jnaana;
Jnaan daayaa;
Achyuta or he who does not diminish;
Sabala;
Chandravakra or he who has a face like Chandra;
Vyaptaparaavar or all pervasive ;
Yogeswara;
Jagadyoni or the Place of Creation;
Brahmarupa;
Maheswara;
Mukunda;
Vaikuntha;
Ekarupa;
Kavi;
Dhruva;
Vasudeva,
Mahadeva;
Brahmanya
Brahmana Priya;
Gopa Priya;
Go hita;
Yagna;
Yagnaanga;
Yagna Vardhan;
Yaga Bhokta;
Veda Vedanga Parayana;
Vedagna;
Veda Rupa;
Vidyavaasa,
Sureswara;
Prakyasha or directly visible;
Maha Hamsa;
Shankhapaani;
Puraatana;
Pushkara;
Pushkaraaksha;
Vaaraahi;
Dharaneedhara;
Pradyumna;
Kaamapaala;
Vyasanandhyat;
Maheswara;
Sarva Soukhya;
Maha Soukhya;
Sankhya;
Prushotthama;
Yoga Rupa;
Maha Gyaana;
Yogeswara;
Ajita;
Priya,
Asurari;
Lokanatha;
Padmaasta;
Gadaadhara;
Guhaavasa,
Sarvavaasa;
Punyavasa;
Mahaajana;
Bridanatha;
Brihatkaavya;
Paavan;
Paapanaashana;
Gopinatha;
Gopasakhah;
Gopaala,
Go Granaaswara,
Paratmi;
Paradheesha;
Kapila; and
Karya Manusha or he who assumes a human form as per the exigency!
I adore the Sarva Swarupa Parameswara daily in my mind, Vaak or mouthful, and action; whosoever reads with clean heart and sincerity the aforementioned hundred and odd names of Paramatma Narayana would be rid of sins and finally reaches Vishnu loka. Daily japa of the Vishnu Shatanaamaavali attains Ganga snaana phala). The Namaavali is best recited after Snaanas in Kartika / Magha month mornings or at the time of Brahmana Bhojan on Shraddha Days for attaining Siddhis.

After describing the importance of Jnaana, Dhyana, Vrata, Punya and Vishnu Shata –naamavali to the elder son Ujjvala, the Parrot Kunjala gave ‘Upadesh’ (Preaching) to the second son Vijjwala that whatever ‘Karma’ or Action was performed in one’s current birth would determine the resultant fruit-be it ‘Punya’ or ‘Paapa’. Karma being performed today decided the ‘Dhukha’ or ‘Sukha’ on the next day. Whether a Devata, or a human being, an animal or bird, an insect or a grass root would have to follow the principle of sow now and reap later and there was no exception at all in the Lord’s Creation! The mix of actions done in the previous births, viz. the ‘Sanchaya’ or what was stored in many of the earlier births and the ‘Prarabdha’ or the cumulative Karmas already classified and sealed and the Karma of what was being performed instantly would decide on the course of actions ahead in future and there would indeed be no escape from it; but the timing of the reaped harvest-be it sweet or sour; the intensity of the result and manner in which the Punya or Paapa was mixed to yield retribution or reward would be a matter of detail. The pattern of adjustment or the shuffle of ‘Karmas’ and ‘Phalas’ would be subject to the framework of Good or Bad Actions being taken now.

Having prefaced the ‘Upadesh’ Kunjal narrated to the son Vijjwal about the account of King Subahu of Chola Desha and his Brahmana ‘Purohit’ (Priest) called Jaimini. The King enquired from Jaimini as to which path of virtue would be comparatively superior between the alternatives of Daana and Tapasya. Pat came the reply that there was no better medium of virtue in the World than ‘Daana’, since charity was an outcome of one’s materialistic gain and normally parting of one’s earnings would be difficult. (On the other hand Tapasya was secondary in importance compared to Charity and was a subjective matter and the gain of Tapsya was not transferable like in the case of charity.) There could be several kinds of charity but Anna Daan is considered to be ideal; Anna daan coupled with Jala daan given in charity every day, if possible with nice conversation to the receiver without ego or superiority feeling would be the best possible Daana. Anna Daan is like Prana Daan and hence the best option.
Impressed with the reply given by Jaimini, King Subahu asked him to describe the blatant sinners as distinct from those virtuous who were bound to Swarga. One who rejects Brahmanatva due to greed would go to hell. One who is a Nastik (Atheist), a breaker of Virtue, a Dambhik / self-conceited person, an ungrateful being, a persistent liar, a money usurper, a nagging complainant, a habitual liar, a spoiler of Public Utilities like Gardens, water-bodies, choultries, Temples and transport; a tormentor of parents, women, children, Gurus, helpless persons, patients and animals and such other examples of vicious persons would march straight to various Narakas. On the other hand those fine examples of human beings who observe Satya, Daan, Tapasya, Gyan, Dhyan and Swadhyaya; worship Devas, Gurus, Parents, Brahmanas, Sadhus, Atithis (Guests) and Elders; give respect for women and co-human beings; and consideration for the helpless, animals and children and perform positive actions with clean conscience are bound to Swarga. Parrot Kunjal thus narrated the story of Subahu and Jaimini.Inspired by the Upadesha, King Subahu decided to follow Dharmik Karyas, aviod the apparent pitfalls besides executing worship of Bhagavan Vasudeva by means of Yagnas, Daanas, Tirtha Yatras and so on and accomplished Vishnu Loka finally.

Another son of Kunjal, Kapinjal, informed that when the latter flew once in search of food on the banks of Ganga, he found an interesting scene of a woman shedding tears out of which were emerging lotuses of unparalalled beauty and fragrance. Kunjal explained that once King Nahush killed a demon named ‘Hund’ and as a follow up the demon’s son Vihund killed the Minister and Senapati. Also, he harassed Indra, Devas and Brahmanas. Lord Vishnu decided to kill Vihund by assuming the form of a charming woman performing Tapasya. As Vihund was tempted with the woman called Maya, she agreed to marry the demon provided he worshipped Lord Shiva with seven thousand lotuses which would be available from ‘Kamod’. As the demon was searching for Kamod ‘Tree’, Daitya Guru Shukracharya explained that the lotuses were not from a Tree but from a woman called Kamod at ‘Gangadwar’ (Haridwar). Shukracharya said that at the time of ‘Samudra Mathana’ four ‘Kanyas’ or unmarried girls emerged viz. Lakshmi, Vaaruni, Kamoda and Jyeshtha Devi. When ever Devi Kamoda became ecstatic shedding tears, excellent lotuses emerged with which to worship Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu. But, Bhagavan Vishnu asked Sage Narada to mislead the Daitya not to visit Kamod Nagar since Vishnu and Devas resided there but instead secure the lotuses from Ganga Pravah (flow). Thus misled successfully by Narada, the Daitya continued to perform puja to Maha Deva by the fake lotuses from the flow which were not genuine but from the sorrowful tears of Maya Devi sitting on the banks of Ganga, instead of the flowers born out of the ecstatic joy of the original Kamoda in the Kamoda Nagar! Devi Parvati became angry that the demon had been worshipping with the fake lotuses born out of sorrow but not by the genuine lotuses of Kamoda Devi. Parvati made a ‘humkar’ at the insult caused to Maha Deva by wrongful worship and instantly the demon died. 

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