THE DHRUVA DYNASTY

Lord Vishnu, continuing with the tales of Garuda Purana told Shiva–‘Uttanpad had two wives- Suruchi and Suniti. From his former wife he begot a son named Uttam, while Suniti gave birth to Dhruva, who became immortal because of his unflinching devotion in me. Dhruva had a mighty son named ‘Shlishta’….

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SHIVA MANTRA

There are various mantras used in the rituals of Shiva worship. A devotee should begin by worshipping the ‘Asan’ (the pedestal) on which the deity is seated. There is a specific mantra for this particular ritual- Om Hram Shivay Namah. Subsequently, a salutation to lord Shiva is made by chanting…

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VISHNU MANTRA

While worshipping Lord Vishnu, first of all a devotee should worship the ‘Asan’ of the deity by chanting– Om Vasudeva Asanay Namah. He should then make salutations to Lord Vishnu by chanting the following mantras– Om Vasudevay Murtaye Namah, Om Aim Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevay Namah, Om Am Om Namo…

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LAKSHMI MANTRA

A devotee desirous of acquiring wealth and prosperity must worship Goddess Lakshmi with appropriate rituals. He should begin by making salutations to the goddess by chanting the following mantra — Om Srim Hrim Mahalakshmyai Namah. Then follows the rituals of ‘Shadangnyas’ that is performed by chanting the specific mantras meant…

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VARIOUS NAMES OF ‘SHALIGRAM’

Describing how a Shaligram is named on the basis of number of Chakra present on it, Lord Vishnu said–‘If there is only one Chakra on the Shaligram idol then it is called ‘Sudarshan’. In the same way, Shaligram with two Chakras is known as ‘Lakshmi Narayan’ while that having three…

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THE RITUALS OF PINDADAN

Before setting out for Gaya to offer Pinda dan, a man should appropriately perform ‘Shraddh rituals’ in the village or town he lives. Each step taken towards Gaya acts as a stepping stone to the heaven for the ancestors. Getting one’s head tonsured or observing fast is prohibited in some…

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KULAMRIT STOTRA

Sage Narada once asked Lord Shiva about the means by which a man could become free from the delusions of the world. Lord Shiva revealed to him the contents of ‘Kulamrit stotra’, eulogizing the majesty of Lord Vishnu. By chanting this stotra, Narada successfully attained to that supreme status, which…

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MRITYU ASHTAK STOTRA

Describing the origin of this stotra, Sutji said– ‘Lord Vishnu himself had taught this powerful stotra to Sage Markandeya. The daily chanting of this powerful mantra had enabled Markandeya to conquer death. One who daily chants this stotra thrice a day enjoys a long life and never dies a premature…

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BRAHMA-GITA

Anybody who studies the sacred texts of ‘Brahma-Gita’ is certain to attain salvation for it brilliantly propounds the theory of divinity of man by proclaiming that in each individual dwells Brahman-the supreme Almighty. Eulogizing the glory of ‘Brahma Gita’ Lord Vishnu said– ‘Brahma-Gita declares that in each individual dwells Brahman…

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LORD VISHNU’S INCARNATIONS

Sutji once reached Naimisharanya in course of his pilgrimage. There he found numerous sages engaged in austerities and penance. All of them were delighted to find Sutji in their midst and considered it as a God sent opportunity to get their doubts related with religious topics cleared. Sage Shaunak was…

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HOW GARUDA PURANA WAS PROPAGATED

On being asked by the sages as to how did he come to know about the contents of Garuda Purana, Sutji told them–‘Once, I had gone to Badrikashram, where I met Sage Vyasa. I requested him to enlighten me on various spiritual matters to which he agreed saying that he…

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LORD VISHNU REVEALS HIS OMNIPOTENT NATURE

Dwelling on length about his power, Lord Vishnu told Shiva– ‘O Rudra! I am the lord of all the deities. I am the one who controls each and every event that occurs in the Universe. I am the one whom mortals worship with the desire of attaining salvation. The universe…

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LORD VISHNU BLESSES GARUDA

Describing how Garuda pleased him with his deep devotion, Lord Vishnu said– ‘During ancient times Garuda once did an austere penance to please me. I appeared before him and expressed my willingness to fulfil anything that he wished for. Garuda wanted to liberate his mother, Vinta from the slavery of…

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THE BEGINNING OF CREATION

Lord Shiva requested Vishnu to shed light on different topics like Sarga (world), Pratisarga, Vansh (dynasties), Manvantar (fourteenth part of Brahma’s day) and Vanshanucharit (genealogy). Lord Vishnu replied–‘O Rudra! Lord Vasudeva in his incarnation of Nara-Narayan performs his responsibilities of the creator, protector as well as the annihilator. Each particle…

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THE BEGINNING OF COPULATIVE CREATION

‘Having created Daksha Prajapati and his wife Prasuti from his right and left thumb respectively, Lord Brahma instructed both of them to make their contribution in increasing the population with the help of copulative creation. In course of time, Daksha Prajapati begot numerous daughters all of whom were given in…

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THE CHARIOTS OF NAVGRAHAS

While describing the chariots of all the nine planets, Lord Vishnu told Rudra–‘ The chariot of Surya deva (Sun) has an unbelievable expanse stretching up to nine thousand yojans. The axle of the chariot is one crore and fifty seven lakh yojans long and wheels are fixed at both its…

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DESCRIPTION OF YOGAS AND MUHURTAS

Giving elaborate description of inauspicious days on which one should not undertake travels or journeys, Lord Vishnu told Shiva–‘Various Yoginis (goddesses) dwell in different directions on specific days and one should never set out on journeys on those days. A yogini named Brahmani dwells in the East on Pratipada(first) and…

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GRAHA DASHA

Describing the period for which a particular planet is supposed to have its influence on the native, Lord Vishnu told Shiva– ‘Surya’s dasha continues for six years and brings turbulence, turmoil and agony to the concerned person. Moon’s dasha continues for fifteen years and is considered very auspicious as it…

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PREDICTIONS BASED ON PHYSICAL TRAITS

Dwelling on length about the importance of physical traits and symptoms apparent in an individual, Lord Vishnu told Shiva-‘ If one sees the following physical traits in a man, he should immediately understand that he is seeing a prospective King : Hands and feet as soft as a lotus flower,…

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PREDICTION BASED ON PHYSICAL TRAITS OF WOMEN

Lord Vishnu said–‘A woman having a round face, curly hair and lower portion of her navel slightly slanted towards right, is extremely fortunate not only for herself but also for her whole clan. Similarly, a woman with golden complexion and hands as beautiful and soft as red lotus flower is…

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PROMINENT PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE

Sutji, while giving the names of some prominent places of pilgrimage told the assembled sages– ‘The banks of Ganga are considered to be the holiest among all the places of pilgrimage. The holy Ganga, which originates from the Himalayas in the north, ultimately gets merged with the ocean in the…

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THE SIGNIFICANCE OF GAYA TEERTH

Once, while narrating how Gaya, a prominent place of pilgrimage in eastern part of India got its name, Lord Brahma told sage Vyasa–‘During ancient times there lived a mighty demon named Gaya. He used to torment the deities, who ultimately went to seek the help of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu…

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TALE OF KING VISHAL-

Lord Brahma then narrated a tale glorifying the significance of performing ‘Shraddh rituals’ at Gaya– ‘O Vyasa! Once upon a time there lived a trader who was sonless. One day, while he was on his pilgrimage, he met a restless ghost, who requested him to perform the rituals of Pinda…

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PRAJAPATI RUCHI’S DISENCHANTMENT

Once, Sutji recounted the following tale to the assembled sages, which had been originally told by sage Markandeya to Kraunchki long ago– ‘Once, Sage Ruchi became so disenchanted with the world that he decided to remain a bachelor, a decision which made his ‘Pitras'(ancestors) extremely worried. They tried to change…

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PRAJAPATI RUCHI MARRIES MANINI

The blessings given by ‘Pitras’ fructified instantaneously as a beautiful ‘Apsara’ manifested herself from the river flowing nearby and said–‘O great sage! I am Pramlocha. I would consider it as my good fortune if you give your consent to marry my daughter- Manini. Pushkar- son of Varun is her father….

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DESCRIPTION OF VARIOUS CONSECRATIONS

While describing the significance of various consecrations, Lord Vishnu told Shiva that the union of man’s sperm and woman’s ovum results into the birth of a child. This union along with the whole process of foetus getting transformed into a baby is a lengthy affair during which it imbibes numerous…

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KESHANT SANSKAR

After finishing his education the celibate should shave his beards and moustaches for the first time. Strict guidelines have been laid down for each caste with respect to this particular consecration. A Brahmin should get consecrated with this ritual in his sixteenth year while a Kshatriya should get it performed…

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GRIHASTA ASHRAM

His education being complete now it is the time for him to enter the life of a householder. But, before leaving the hermitage he should pay ‘Dakshina’ as a mark of gratitude to his Guru for all the knowledge he has imparted to him. With the permission of his Guru,…

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COPULATION PROHIBITED ON CERTAIN DAYS

An ideal wife is one who obeys the commands of her husband without any inhibition. According to the scriptures the best time for a married couple to copulate is after the woman has had her menstruation, especially till sixteen days after her periods have commenced are considered best for this…

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PURIFICATION OF DIFFERENT ARTICLES

Describing the methods of purifying different articles, Lord Vishnu reflected on the instructions which sage Yagyavalkya had once given to other sages in this regard-‘Substances like gold, silver, conch, vegetables, rope, leather articles, etc. become pure once they are washed with water. In the same way, utensils made of wood…

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‘KARMA’ AND ITS CONSEQUENCE- KARMA VIPAK

Continuing with his discourses, sage Yagvalkya told the assembled sages that an enlightened soul is aware of the fact that the mortal world being impermanent in nature has its beginning as well as its end. He is also aware that a man reaps the fruits of his evil deeds in…

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VIRTUES OF OBSERVING FAST ON SHIVA RATRI NIGHT

During ancient times there lived a hunter named Sundarsen in the province of Arbuda. One day, he went deep into the forest in search of his prey but unfortunately he found none. He wandered all over the place but in vain. When evening came, he climbed up a wood apple…

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THE POWER OF CHASTITY

Once, sage Vyasa went to Brahmaloka to get his doubts cleared on certain spiritual matters from Lord Brahma. While dwelling on a wide range of religious topics such as importance of austerities and various incarnations Lord Vishnu took to protect righteousness, Lord Brahma narrated a tale of a Brahmin woman…

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THE TALE OF RAMAYANA

Lord Brahma then went on to describe the famous tale of Ramayana the mere listening to which absolves a man from all his sins. He began by giving the details of Sri Ram’s lineage and said–‘I (Lord Brahma) manifested from the Lotus originating from the navel of Lord Vishnu. Sage…

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SHRI KRISHNA

Making a revelation to Vyasa that the Almighty God manifests himself whenever the civilization is endangered by the dominance of sinners, Lord Brahma said– ‘In Dwapar yuga, Lord Vishnu incarnated as Sri Krishna to protect Dharma from being subjugated by ‘Adharma’, which had become all pervasive at that time. He…

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THE TALE OF MAHABHARATA

Giving the reasons that lead to the great battle of Mahabharata, Lord Brahma told sage Vyasa that Sri Krishna had planned this great battle and executed it to perfection to relieve the earth from the burden of tyrants. While giving the names of lineal ascendants of Kauravas and Pandavas, he…

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THE ETERNAL TRUTH

Lord Brahma, while shedding light on various aspects of religion told sage Vyasa that a man should look at his sorrows (shoka) with a sense of aloofness and detachment, considering it as a passing phase. He also revealed to Vyasa that the ‘fire of sorrow’ consumed everything that came into…

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THE SUPREME YOGA

Once, Sage Shaunak asked Sutji about the reasons behind man’s sorrow. Sutji told him that man’s ego and his attachments to this mortal world were the two most important causes for his sorrow and until he gets rid of them he will continue to suffer. Sutji said-‘ The ‘tree of…

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DEVOTION-THE PATH LEADING TO ALMIGHTY

Glorifying devotion as the simplest means to reach God, Sutji told Shaunak that there was nothing else that pleased God more than the unflinching devotion of his devotee in him. Sutji said– ‘A devotee who chants the holy name of God acquires imperishable virtues and attains salvation even if he…

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NRISINHA STOTRA

Telling about the origin of this stotra, Sutji said–‘Lord Shiva had created this stotra praising the glory of Lord Nrisinha and invoking him to protect the world from the wrath of Matrikas. The stotra goes as follows — Namastestu Jagannath Narsinha Vapurdhar; Daiteshwar Endra Sanharinakha Bhukti Virajit. Nakh Mandal Sambhinna…

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SALVATION THROUGH YOGA

Sutji told Sage Shaunak that the ultimate aim of a man’s life was to attain salvation. A man can not attain salvation until and unless he has seen through the trappings of the worldly illusions. Sutji said–‘Practice of Yoga helps a man to live in this world with a sense…

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GARUDA QUERIES

Sutji once reached the forest of ‘Naimisharanya’ in course of his journey. Naimisharanya was a holy place where sages and hermits went to do penance. After reaching there Sutji met many prominent sages who were pleased at his arrival. They took it as a God sent opportunity to get their…

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DEATH AND AFTER

Continuing with his narration, Lord Krishna said–“O Garuda! Death comes at the predetermined time, which remains fixed and unaltered under all circumstances. A man’s sense organs become weak and his body feeble, which gets inflicted with numerous diseases in his old age. At the time of his death, man experiences…

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PREDICTING AGE WITH THE HELP OF FOREHEAD LINE

Lord Vishnu said–‘Anybody having three parallel lines on his forehead lives happily for sixty years whereas two parallel lines indicates that he would live till the age of forty years. Only one line on the forehead indicates that he would have a short life but if the line stretches up…

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ATONING FOR SINS

While describing various means by which a sinner can atone for his sins, sage Yagyavalkya said- ‘ A man is certain to meet downfall and degradation in the following three conditions- if he goes against the instructions given in the scriptures, indulges in prohibited activities and runs after sensual pleasures….

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SARASWATI MANTRA

A devotee should begin his worship by making salutations to goddess Sarswati by chanting– Om Hrim Sarswatyai Namah. He should then perform the rituals of ‘Shadangnyas’ by chanting the following mantras– Om Hram Hridayay Namah, Om Hrim Shirse Swaha, Om Hoom Shikhayai Vashat, Om Hraim Kavachay Hoom, Om Hraum Netra…

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SALVATION THROUGH RITUALS

Lord Krishna replied–“I am so delighted that you have asked such important questions for the benefit of mankind. I am revealing to you the secrets, which were hitherto unknown even to the deities and yogis. O Garuda! A man should try to beget a son with the help of means…

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BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SHRADDH RITUALS

Describing the proper way of performing Shraddh rituals, sage Yagyavalkya told the assembled sages–‘A performer of Shraddh rituals should invite able Brahmins and offer them seats of Kusha grass. First of all an invocation is made to ‘Vishvedeva’ by chanting a mantra in his praise, an action which is followed…

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HOW JEWELS ORIGINATED

Sutji, once narrated the following tale to the assembled sages which sheds light on the origin of jewels and other precious stones–‘During ancient times there lived a mighty demon named Bala. Although he had defeated the deities and driven them out from the heaven, yet he had assured them that…

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NAVGRAH MANTRA

Describing the significance of worshipping Navgraha (nine planets), Lord Vishnu told Rudra — ‘One who worships the Navgraha with appropriate rituals attains all the four ‘purusharth’ (objectives of man’s life)- dharma (religion), artha (money), kama (sex), and moksha (salvation).’ He then went on to give various mantras related with the…

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