THE ELEVENTH BOOK
On Gâyatrî Purascharanam
1-55. Nârâyana said :-- Now I shall speak of the Gâyatrî-purascharanam. Hear. By its performance all the desires are obtained and all the sins are destroyed. On the tops of mountains, on the banks of the rivers, on the roots of Bel trees, on the edges of tanks, within the enclosures of the cows (cow-stalls), in temples, on the root of Asvattha trees, in gardens, in the Tulasî groves, in the Punya Ksetrams (holy places), before ones Guru, or wherever the mind feels exalted and cheerful, and gets strength, the Purascharanam if performed, lead to a speedy success. Before commencing the Purascharanam of a mantra (the Purascharanam means repetition of the name of a deity or of a mantra attended with burnt offerings, oblations, etc.,) first Prâyaschitta (penance) is done in the shape of repeating one million times the Gâyatrî with the Vyârhitis. In any Vaidic Karma or in making Purascharanam of the mantra of the Devatâs Nrisinha, Sûrya, Varâha, etc., the first thing done is to repeat the Gâyatrî. Without the japam of Gâyatrî, no action is attended with success. The reason is this :-- Every Brâhman is a Sâkta (a follower of Sakti); he cannot be a Vaisnava or Saiva; for he is the worshipper of the Prime Force Vedamâtâ Gâyatrî. Therefore obtain first the Grace of ones own Îsta Devatâ Gâyatrî by Her Japam. Then worship the other Deities.
Thus one should purify ones jâpya mantra (the mantra that is to be repeated) by first repeating one million times the Gâyatrî; then one is to commence Purascharanam. Again before purifying the mantra, one is to purify ones Âtman (Self). In this purification of ones Âtman three lakh times, in case of inability, one lakh times Gâyatrî is to be repeated without ones Âtmans purification, the Japam, Homa and other actions all become useless. This is specially noted in the Vedas. By Tapas e.g., Japam, Chândrâyana and Vrata, (asceticism) mortify your body. By offering Tarpanam (peace-offerings) to the Fathers and the Devas, one can get self purification. If you want to get the Heavens and if you want to become great, practise Tapasyâ. There is no other way. Tapasyâ is the intent calling of the Mother, That Call which penetrates through and through the
Brahmânda. The Ksattriyas should cross difficulties and dangers by force of arms; the Vaisyas, by wealth; the Sûdras, by serving the twice born; and the Brâhmanas should cross difficulties and dangers, by Tapasyâ, Homa, Japam, etc. So the Brâhmanas should always be cheerful and in prompt readiness to do Tapasyâ. Of all sorts of tapasyâs, mortifying the body by observing vows and fastings is the best. So say the Risis. (This mortification of the body gives self-reliance and self intuition more surely and speedily than all the other studies and other practices.) The Brâhmanas should purify themselves by following duly Krichhra Chândrâyana vratas, etc., O Nârada! Now I am speaking of the purification of food. Hear. The following four occupations of the Brâhmanas are the best :-- Ayâchita, (without begging or asking for anything), Unchha, (the gathering in of handfuls of the corn left by the reapers), Sukla (the maintenance derived by a Brâhmana from other Brâhmanas; a pure mode of life). And Bhiksû (begging). Whether according to the Tantras or according to the Vedas, the food obtained by the above four means is pure. What is earned by Bhiksâ (begging) is divided into four parts :-- one part is given to the Brâhmanas; the second part is given to the cows; the third part is given to the guests, the fourth part is to be taken by him and his wife. Whatever is fixed for taking (swallowing) mouthfuls of food, that is to be taken on a tray or a platter. First throw a little cow-urine over that and count duly the number of mouthfuls. The mouthfuls are to be of the size of an egg; the house-holders are to take eight such mouthfuls and the Vânaprasthîs are to take four such mouthfuls. The Brahmachârins can sprinkle their food with cow-urine nine times, six times, or three times as they like; while sprinkling, the fingers are to remain intact. The Gâyatrî is to be repeated also. The food offered by a thief, Chândâla, Ksattriya or Vaisya is very inferior. The food of a Sûdra, or the companion with a Sûdra or taking food in the same line with a Sûdra leads one to suffer in the terrible hells as long as there are the Sun and Moon. The Purascharanam of Gâyatrî is repeating this twenty four lakh times (i.e., as many lakh times as there are syllables in the Gâyatrî). But, according to Visvâmitra, repeating thirty two lakh times is the Purascharanam of Gâyatrî. As the body becomes useless when the soul leaves the body, so the mantra without Purascharanam is useless. The Purascharanam is prohibited in the months of Jyaistha, Âsâdha, Pausa and Mala (dirty) months. Also on Tuesday, Saturday; in the Vyatîpâta and Vaidhriti Yogas; also in Astamî (eighth), Navamî (ninth), Sasthî (sixth), Chaturthî (fourth) Trayodasî (thirteenth), Chaturdasî (fourteenth) and Amâvâsyâ (New Moon), Tithis (lunar days); in the evening twilight and in the night; while
the star Bharanî, Krittikâ, Ârdrâ, Aslesâ, Jyesthâ, Dhanisthâ, Sravanâ, or the Janma naksatra (Birth time star) is with the Moon; while the signs Mesa, Karkata, Tulâ, Kumbha, and Makara are the Lagnas (signs in the ascendant). When the moon and the start are auspicious, especially in the bright fortnight, the Purascharanam performed, gives the Mantra Siddhi. First of all repeat Svasti vâchan and perform duly the Nândi mukha Sraddha and give food and clothing to the Brâhmanas. Take the permission of the Brâhmanas and begin the Purascharanam. Where the Siva Lingam exists, facing west, or in any Siva temple, commence repeating the mantra. The other Siva Ksettrams are :-- Kâsî, Kedâra, Mahâ Kâla, Srî Ksettra, and Tryamvakam. These five are the Great Ksettrams, known widely on this earth, for the fructification and the siddhis of the Mantras. At all other places than these, the Karma Chakra is to be drawn according to the principles of the Tantra. And then they will be fit for Purascharanam. The number of times that the Purascharanam (the repeating of the mantra) is done on the first day, the same number is to be continued every day until completion; not greater nor less than that and also no intermission or stoppage should occur in the interval.
The repeating of the Mantra is to be commenced in the morning and should be done up to midday. While doing this, the mind is to be kept free from other subjects, and it is to be kept pure; one is to meditate on ones own Deity and on the meaning of the mantra and one should be particularly careful that no inaccuracies nor omissions should occur in the Gâyatrî, Chhandas and in the repetition of the Mantra. One tenth of the total number of Purascharanams that are repeated is to be used for the Homa purpose. The Charu is to be prepared with ghee, til, the Bel leaves, flowers, jaya grain, honey and sugar; all mixed, are to be offered as oblations to the fire in the Homa. Then the success in the Mantra comes (i.e., mantra siddhi is obtained or the Mantra becomes manifested). After the Purascharanam one should do properly the daily and occasional duties and worship the Gâyatrî that brings in dharma, wealth, objects of desire and liberation. There is nothing superior an object of worship to this Gâyatrî, whether in this world or in the next. The devotee, engaged in the Purascharanam, should eat moderately, observe silence, bathe thrice in the three Sandhyâ times, should be engaged in worshipping ones Deity, should not he unmindful and should not do any other work. He is to remain, while in water, to repeat the Gâyatrî three lakhs of times. In case the devotee repeats the
mantra for achieving success in any other desired work (kâmya karma), then he should willingly stick to it until the desired success is attained. Now is being told how to get success in ordinary Kâmya karmas. When the sun is rising, repeat the Purascharanam mantra daily thousand times. Then ones life will be lengthened, no disease will occur, and wealth and prosperity will be obtained. If it be done this way, success is surely attained within three months, six months or at the end of one year. If the Homa (offering oblations to the fire) be offered one lakh times with lotuses besmeared with ghee (clarified butter), Moksa (liberation) is attained. If, before the Mantra-Siddhi, or the success in realising the Mantra, is attained, one performs Japam or Homam for Kâmya Siddhi (to get certain desires) or moksa, then all his actions become useless. If anybody performs twenty-five lakh Homas by curd and milk, be gets success (Siddhi) in this very birth. So all the Maharsis say. By this the same result is attained that is got by the aforesaid means, i.e., by the eight-limbed Yoga, whereby the Yogis become perfect.
He will attain Siddhi if he be devoted to his Guru and keep himself under restraint for six months only (i.e., practise Samyama) as regards taking food, etc., whether he be incapable or his mind be attached to other sensual objects. One should drink Pañcha gavya (cow-urine, cow-dung, milk, curd, ghee) one day, fast one day, take Brâhmanas food one day and be mindful in repeating the Gâyatrî. First bathe in the Ganges or in other sacred places and while in water repeat one hundred Gâyatrîs. If one drinks water on which one hundred Gâyatrîs are repeated, one is freed from all ones sins. He gets the fruit of performing the Krichhra vrata, the Chândrâyana vrata and others. Be he a Ksattriya King, or a Brâhmana, if he is to remain in his own house, hold Âsrama and be engaged in performing Tapasyâ then he will be certainly freed of all his sins. Be he a house holder or a Brahmachârî or Vânaprasthî, he should perform sacrifices, etc., according to his Adhikâra (or his rights) and he will get fruits according to his desires. The Sâgnik man (who keeps the Holy Fire) and other persons of good conduct and of learning and of good education should perform actions as prescribed in the Vedas and Smritis with a desire to attain Moksa. Thus one should eat fruits and vegetables and and water or take eight mouthfuls of Bhiksânna (the food got by begging). If the Purascharanam be performed this way, then the Mantra Siddhi is obtained. O Nârada ! If the Purascharanam be done with the mantra thus, his poverty is removed entirely. What more shall I say than this that if anybody hears this simply, his merits get increased and he attains great success.
Here ends the Twenty First Chapter of the Eleventh Book on Gâyatrî Purascharanam in the Mahâpurânam Srî Mad Devi Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.