Friday, 3 April 2020

THE ORIGIN OF PITRIS AND FRUITS OF SRADDHAS | HARIVAMSA PARVA SECTION 16

CHAPTER XVI

(THE ORIGIN OF PITRIS AND FRUITS OF SRADDHAS)


Janamejaya said:—How did the illustrious Aditya become the (presiding) deity of Srāddhas? What is the most excellent mode of performing them? I wish to hear all this, O Vipra. (1). What is the origin of the Pitris and who are they? We have heard from the conversation of the Brāhmanas that the Pitris (ancestral manes), stationed in heaven, are even the gods of the gods. This is said by those well read in the Vedas. I therefore wish to know this (2-3). I wish to hear of the most excellent creation of Pitris, their various orders, their great strength, how are they propitiated by the Srāddhas performed by us, and how they, delighted, shower benedictions on us (4-5).

Vaishampāyana said:—I will now describe to you the most excellent creation of the Pitris; how they are propitiated by Srāddhas performed by us and how they, being pleased, pour blessings on us. Mārkandeya described this when he was accosted by Bhishma. The question, that you have asked me, was put to Bhishma by the pious king (Yudhisthira) when the former was lying on the bed of arrows (5-9).

Yudhisthira said:—O you conversant with virtue, how people, seeking nourishment, get it? By doing what do they not grieve I wish to hear this (9).

Bhishma said:—O Yudhishthira, he, who propitiates the departed manes by the performance of Srāddhas that secure all desired for objects, who always performs them with a concentrated mind, attains to delight both in this world and in the next. The Pitris confer virtue on him who seeks it, children on him who wants them and nourishment on him who desires for it (10–11).

Yudhisthira said:—The departed manes of some persons live in heaven, and those of others live in hell. The fruits of Karma, it is said, eternally exist with people. Persons, in expectation of fruits, perform Srāddhas for their father, grand-father, and great-grand-father. How those offerings reach the ancestral manes (12–14)? How can they, while living in hell, grant them the fruits (thereof)? Who are those ancestral manes Who else are others? To whom do we offer our offerings (15)? We have heard that even the gods, in the celestial region, dedicate offerings to the ancestral manes. I wish to hear all this at length O you of great effulgence (16). You are endued with immeasurable intelligence, do you describe to me, how by making gifts to the ancestral manes we are released (from worldly trammels) (17).

Bhishma said:—O slayer of foes, I shall describe to you what I have heard on this subject from my deceased father—who are those ancestral manes and who are others to whom we dedicate our offerings (18). When on the occasion of my father's Srāddha I was about to offer him Pinda[1] my father, rending assunder the earth, begged it of me with his hand (19). His arm was adorned with bracelet and other ornaments—his fingers and palm were as red as I had seen them before (20). Thinking that no such practice is seen in Kalpa[2] I offered the Pinda at the Kusa grass, without any consideration (21). O sinless one, then my father delightedly said to me in sweet accents:—"O foremost of Bharatas, I have been blessed with a son like you, both in this world and the next-a good son, pious and learned as you are (22-23). You are also of firm vows, O sinless one; with a view to lay down the religious practices of people, I issued this command (24). As a man, observing the religious practices, is entitled to a fourth part of the virtue thereof, so a stupid person, transgressing them, is visited by one fourth of the sin (consequent thereon) (25). The subjects follow the example set by the king in religious practices (26). O foremost of Bharatas, you have observed the practices laid down in the eternal Vedas and incomparable is my satisfaction therefore (27). Greatly pleased with you I will confer upon you a most excellent boon—do you pray for it which it is hard to get in the three worlds (28). As long as you will wish to live Death will not be able to extend his influence on you. When you will permit him he will overpower you then only (29). O foremost of Bharatas, if there is any other boon which you wish to pray for, tell me and I shall grant it (30)."

[1] An oblation to deceased ancestors as a ball or lump of meat or rice mixed up with milk curds, flowers etc and offered to the manes at the several Sraddhas by the nearest surviving relations.

[2] One of the six Vedangas and comprehending the description of religious rites. It is called Kalpa Sutra.

On (my father) saying this, I, saluting him with folded hands, said "O most exalted person, with your being propitiated I have achieved all my objects (31). O you of great effulgence, if I am again entitled to a favour, I wish to put a question which I desire you to answer yourself (32)." My virtuous-souled father then said to me "O Bhishma, tell me whatever you like. O Bhārata, I will remove your doubt about what you will ask me" (35). Filled with curiosity I asked my father who had repaired to the region of the performers of good deeds and who then disappeared from that place (34).

Bhishma said:—"I have heard that the ancestral manes are the gods of the gods. Are they the gods or they are others to whom we offer our adoration (35)? How the Pindas offered at Srāddhas propitiate the Pitris who have gone to the other world? What are the fruits of a Srāddha (36)? To whom the people, accompanied by the gods, Dānavas, Yākshas, Rākshasas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras and huge serpents, dedicate their offerings (37)? O you conversant with virtue, I consider you as omniscient—I have grave doubts in this and great is my curiosity—do you explain it to me." Hearing these words of Bhishma his father said (38).

Shantanu said:—Hear, O sinless descendant of Bharata, I will describe in brief the origin of the Pitris and the fruits of Srāddhas. Do you hear with a concentrated mind the object of performing Srāddhas for the Pitris. The sons of the Prime Deity are known in heaven as Pitris (39–40). The gods, Asuras, men, Yakshas, Rakshasas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras and huge serpents, dedicate offerings to them (41). Propitiated by Srāddhas they please the world with the gods and the Gandharvas—such is the command of Brahmā (42). Therefore, "O great one, worship them with excellent Srāddhas. They grant all desired-for objects and they will encompass your well-being (43). When you will worship them by reciting their names and families, we also, O Bharata, will be welcomed by them in heaven (44). Markandeya will explain to you the remaining portion. O descendant of Bharata, this ascetic, devoted to his father and having a knowledge of atman, is present to-day at the Srāddha for extending his favour unto me. Ask him, O great one, about this." Saying this he disappeared (45–46).

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அக்ரூரன் அக்னி அசமஞ்சன் அதிரதன் அந்தகன் அரிஷ்டன் அர்ஜுனன் அனு அஜமீடன் அஸ்தி ஆபவர் ஆயு ஆஹுகன் இந்திரன் இளை உக்ரசேனன் உக்ராயுதன் உசீநரன் உதங்கர் உபரிசரவசு உல்பணன் ஊர்வசி ஊர்வர் ஏகலவ்யன் ஔர்வர் கக்ஷேயு கங்கை கசியபர் கண்டரீகர் கண்டூகன் கபிலர் கமலாதேவி கம்ஸன் கருடன் கர்க்கர் கர்ணன் காதி காந்திதேவி கார்த்தவீர்யார்ஜுனன் காலநேமி காலயவனன் காலவர் காளியன் கிருஷ்ணன் குசிகன் குணகன் குரோஷ்டு குவலயாபீடம் குவலாஷ்வன் கூனி கைசிகன் சகடாசுரன் சக்ரதேவன் சங்கன் சததன்வன் சத்யகர்மன் சத்ருக்னன் சத்வதன் சந்தனு சந்திரன் சனத்குமாரர் சன்னதி சாணூரன் சாந்தீபனி சால்வன் சிசுபாலன் சித்திராங்கதன் சிருகாலன் சிவன் சுனீதன் சூரன் சூரியன் சைசிராயணர் தக்ஷன் தசரதன் தந்தவக்ரன் தமகோஷன் தரதன் தன்வந்தரி தாரை திதிக்ஷு திரிசங்கு திரிவிக்ரை திருமிலன் திரையாருணன் திலீபன் திவோதாஸன் துந்து துந்துமாரன் துருவன் துஷ்யந்தன் தூம்ரவர்ணன் தேவகன் தேவகி தேவாவ்ருதன் தேனுகன் நந்தன் நரகாசுரன் நஹுஷன் நாரதர் நாராயணன் நாராயணி நிகும்பன் நிசுந்தன் நித்ராதேவி நீபன் பஞ்சஜனன் பத்மாவதி பப்ரு பயோதன் பரசுராமர் பரதன் பரத்வாஜர் பலராமன் பார்வதி பிரதீபன் பிரம்மதத்தன் பிரம்மன் பிரலம்பன் பிரஸேனன் பிராசேதஸ் பிராப்தி பிருது பிருதை பிருஹதாஷ்வன் பிருஹஸ்பதி பீஷ்மகன் பீஷ்மர் புதன் புரூரவன் பூதனை பூமாதேவி பூரு பூஜனி மதிராதேவி மது மதுமதி மயன் மஹாமாத்ரன் மாயாதேவி மார்க்கண்டேயர் முசுகுந்தன் முஷ்டிகன் யசோதை யது யயாதி யுதிஷ்டிரன் ரஜி ராமன் ருக்மவதி ருக்மி ருக்மிணி ரேவதி ரைவதன் ரோஹிணி லவணன் வசிஷ்டர் வருணன் வஸு வஸுதேவன் வாயு விகத்ரு விதர்ப்பன் விப்ராஜன் விரஜை விருஷ்ணி விஷ்ணு விஷ்வாசி விஷ்வாமித்ரர் விஷ்வாவஸு விஸ்வகர்மன் வேனன் வைவஸ்வத மனு ஜராசந்தன் ஜஹ்னு ஜாம்பவான் ஜியாமோகன் ஸகரன் ஸத்யபாமா ஸத்யவிரதன் ஸத்ராஜித் ஸத்வான் ஸஹஸ்ரதன் ஸ்ரீதாமன் ஹயக்ரீவன் ஹரி ஹரியஷ்வன் ஹரிஷ்சந்திரன் ஹிரண்யகசிபு