Essence Of
Varaha Purana


42    Sins and Remedies- Observance of Vamana Vratha as cures and preventives
A Brahmana of high virtues was travelling to Mathura on foot through dense, lonely and frightening forest and saw five ‘Prethas’ or skeleton-like goblin figures making fearful sounds standing on way, saying that they were hungry and thirsty and would like to satisfy themselves with the Brahmana’s flesh and blood. Unnerved by the scene, the Brave Brahmana enquired of the Five of them to tell about them! The Prethas said that they were formed likewise as a result of curses and that their names respectively were: Paryushith (who ate fresh food but gave rotten food to others), Suucheemukh (who pointed and tempted many Brahmanas with attractive food but gave none), Sheeghra (who asked Brahmanas to come quickly but denied food) Rodhak (who prevented Brahmanas and ate all by himself) and Lekhak (who kept an account of those who were needy but did nothing to help them). These Prethas eat and reside in such households where there is no clealiness, no worship or Mantras of Devas, no respect for Gurus, womanisers, unkept houses devoid of order or regulation, where there is Apathra Daan or charity to undeserving, where good Brahmanas are insulted, evil deeds are done, etc. The virtuous Brahmana told the Prethas that no person could ever become a Pretha if persons observed Vrathas like Ekarathra, Trirathra, and Chandrayanas; or those who respectfully offer good food to the Respectable persons or Sanyasins; those who perform ‘Agni homams’ in the house; those who show consideration to widows, helpless and needy; those who perform regular pujas, care and respect for parents and elders and such acts of goodness. The Brahmana also affirmed that those who executed Shraddhas on Shukla Chathurthis especially Tuesdays; who did not get irritated often, be not jealous, be forgiving, be venerable to Brahmanas, learned, visited Tirthas, Holy Rivers, Pilgrim Centers, Temples and over all led a normally good life could never become Prethas. On the hand, when a Brahmana dies with food provided by low class person; when a Grihasti (house holder) indulges in extramarital relations; when a person robs donations to Devas, Gurus, and Brahmanas; when a person acquires bridal money in weddings; when a person leaves or cheats parents, brothers, sisters or children; when a person disables those to perform Yajnas or enable those who should not; if a person kills or abets killing of another person or a cow; a thankless person; a smuggler or dealer of land, women, money and material; an atheist, an anti religion and worst of all a person who has committed Five Mahapathakas have all qualified to turn into Prethas!

To safeguard any eventuality of becoming a Pretha, Maharshi Vasishtha prescribed a Vamana Deva Vratha to the illustrious King Mandhata. The best day for ‘Snan’ (bath), ‘Daan’ (Charity) and ‘Havan’ is Bhadrapada Sukla Paksha Dwadasi (preferably coinciding with Shravana Nakshatra). After ‘Sangama’ snan, a devotee needs to give away a ‘Kalasha’ and charity of a Kapila cow. The Vratha aims at prevention of taking birth into a domonaic family and to ensure ‘Swarga Nivas’after demise. At the same time the person performing the Vrath would be aiming at prevention of ‘Punarjanma’ or further birthlessness and achievement of Moksha. Thereafter a Ghata (Pot) with an Idol of Vamana Deva with cooked rice and accompaniments is to be presented along with an umbrella, footwear, a hand fan and a ‘Kamandalu’ or a vessel full of Ganga water be donated to a highly deserving Brahmana in the form of Vamana Deva Himself as per Mantras and prescribed manner; The relevant Mantras are:

‘Aagaccha Varadaantha Shripathey madanugrahaath,
Swarnopi nijaamshena Snaanametha dalam kuru (Aaavaahanam)-
Yatatvam Nakshatra rupena Dwadasyam Nabhasi Sthithaha,
Tannakshatramaham Vandey Mano vaanchita siddhaye
(Nakshatram)-Namah Kamalanaabhaaya Kamalaalaya Keshava,
Kamurthem Sarvatho Vyaapi Naraayana Namosthutey ( Snaanam)-
Sarvavyapi Jagadyoney Namha Sarvamaacyuta,
Shravana dwadashiyogey Pujaam kruheetva Keshava (Puja)-
Dhyupeyam Deva Devesha Shankachakra Gadadhara,
Acyutaanantha Govinda Vaasu Deva Namosthutey (Dhupam)-
Tejasa tava Lokaascha vidhutah santhi thevyaya,
Twam hi Sarvagatham thejo Janaardana Namosthutey ( Deepam)-
Adither garbhamaadhaya Vairochani shamaaya cha,
Tribhih kramaijitaLoka Vaamanaaya Namosthuthey (Naivedyam)-
Devathanaam Sambhavastvam hi Yoginaam Paraagathih,
Jalashayi Jaadyoney Argham me Prathigruhnataam (Arghyam)-
Havyabhuk Havya kartha tvam hota Havyaschameva cha,
Sarva murtha Jagadyoney Namasthey Keshavaaya cheti Swaha(Homam)-
Hiranyam annam thvam Deva Jalavastramayo Bhanaan,
Chhatra daneyna preetho bhava Janaardana (Dakshina)-
ParjanyoVarunah Suryah Salilam Keshavah Shivah,
Agnimayo Vaishravanah paapah harathu mevyayah ( Vamana Stuti)-
Annam thvashta Yamognischa Paapam harathu mevyayah ( Karaka or Ghata Daanam)-Vamano Buddhi daathacha Dravyastho Vamanah Swayam,
Vamanastharako dvaabhyam Vamanaya Namosthutey ( Yajamano)-
Vamanah pratigruhyati Vamano me prayacchati,
Vamanastharako Dwaabhyaam Vamanaya Namo Namahc ( Dwija prathigrahe)-Kapilaangeshu thishthanthi Bhuvanaani Chaturdasha,
Datva Kamadugdham Loka bhavanti saphalanrunaam ( Godaanam)-
Namah Paapaachhidey tubhyam Devagarbha supujitha,
maya visarjito Deva Snanam anyamalankuru ( Visarjanam)-
Evam Vidvaamsthu Dwadashayam yo Narah Shraddavaanvithah,
Yathra Tathra nabhasye thu krutva phalamaapnuyat /

(Briefly stated the Puja Vidhaan or Procedure of Vamana Deva Vrata is as follows:
Hey Vamana Deva, kindly bless me by being seated: Avaahan or Welcom- I salute the Shravana Star on this Bhadrapada Sukla Dwadasi: Greeting to Nakshatra- Jalaswarup Narayana, my Greetings: Bath- Sarva Swarupa Achyuta, at this auspicious time, kindly accept my worship( Puja)-Govinda Vasudeva, please accept the Dhupa or scented incense
(Dhup)-Janardana, do accept my illumination (Deepa)-Hey Vamadeva, having begotten of Adithi and conquered three lokas in one go, please agree to my food offering
(Naivedya)- Narayana, you are Jalashayi, consider my offer of water to quench the thirst
(Arghya)-Keshava, you are the Havya Kartha, Havya Bhoktha and Havya Swarupa, do accept my offering of Ghee in Agni (Homa)-You are food, gold, water and clothing; may I offer an umbrella and footwear as a token of my great devotion! (Dakshina)-You are the cloud, Varun, Sun, Water, Shiva Swarupa, Fire, Yama, Kubera and Anantha Deva; I am too insignificant to praise you (Stuti) - Keshava!Please destroy my sins (Ghata Daan);
Vamana Deva! You are the performer, the action and the act (Yajananey)-Hey Vishnu; you are the Giver, the Taker and the Taken, Vamana Deva, my repeated greetings
(Dwijapratigrahey)-Kapila Cow is considered as one of the Fourteen Worlds, may this Kamadhenu bless both the giver and taker (Go-daan)-Vamana Deva, I have completed this Vratha to the best of my capacity with full of inadequecies, do pardon me and help others in their tasks (Visarjan).As the Brahmana demonstrated the detailed procedure of the Vratha, the Prethas secured Mukti instantly. Whosoever reads or hears or atleast retains the text of the Puja Vidhan would never ever be afraid of the Prethas or Pisachas. If the Vrath is accomplished as instructed, the person concerned is sure to receive the blessings of Vamana Deva who had indeed conquered the Tri Lokas!

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