Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 8 Chapter 16:31-47

Book 8: Chapter 16

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 8: Chapter 16: Verses 31-47
The procedure of (observing the vow of) Payovrata disclosed to Aditi

Hail to You as the deity presiding over sacrifices- endowed with a couple of heads (in the form of the rites known as the Prayaniya and Udayaniya, which are performed at the beginning and the end of a sacrifice respectively), three feet (in the form of Savana or the pressing out of the Soma juice, which is done thrice a day, viz., in the morning, at midday and in the evening), four horns (in the form of the four Vedas, Rk, Sama ,Yajus and Atharva) and seven arms (in the form of the seven Vedic metres, Gayatri, Tristubh, Anustubh, Brhati, Pankti, Jagati and Usnik)-the Bestower of rewards of sacrifices, whose essential nature has been described in the three Vedas (treating mainly of rituals). Salutation to You as (the all-blissful) Lord Siva and Rudra (the Destroyer of the universe), the Wielder of (all) power! Hail, hail to the Master of all sciences, the Ruler of ghosts !! Salutation to You as Hiranyagarbha (Brahma), the Sutratma (consciousness identifying itself with the cosmic subtle body), the Soul of the universe ! Hail to You, who are an embodiment of the mystic powers acquired through (the practice of) Yoga, nay, who are the very Source of (all) Yoga! Salutation to You, the first Deity! Hail to You standing as a witness!! Hail to Sri Hari appearing as the (divine) sage Narayana and (His younger brother) Nara I!! Salutation to You, who are endowed with a body dark green as the emerald, and have won (for Your Spouse) Sri (the goddess of prosperity and beauty)! Hail to You as Lord Kesava (the Ruler even of Brahma and Siva)!! Salutation to You who are clad in yellow!!! You are the Granter of all boons to the people, O Lord who are sought after by all, Chief of the bestowers of boons! It is therefore that the wise adore the dust of Your feet for (attaining) blessedness.

May that Lord be gracious to me, whom the gods as well as Sri have (all along) served as though seeking the fragrance of His lotus-feet." Imbued with reverence, he should wait upon Lord Visnu (the Controller of the senses) with water for washing the feet and rinsing the mouth with and other articles of worship, after His presence has been secured through invocation by (reciting) the aforesaid Mantras (sacred texts). Having decorated the Lord with sandal-paste, flowers and so on, he should bathe Him with milk. Then he should deck Him with raiment, a sacred thread and ornaments and wait upon Him (once more) with water for washing His feet and rinsing His mouth with, sandal-paste, burnt incense and so on, reciting the twelve-syllabled Mantra (while offering all these articles of worship). Offering (to the Deity), by way of repast, rice boiled in milk with clarified butter and jaggery, if there is wealth enough(to do so and if not, any simple diet), he should pour it into the sacred fire (as well), uttering the Mantra sacred to the Lord (the twelve-syllabled Mantra). He should give the food (thus) offered (entirely) to some devotee or take (a part of) it himself (at the end of the worship after distributing the rest among those present at the (function). And (then) giving water for rinsing the mouth with, he should offer betel-leaves after seasoning them (with areca-nut parings, catechu, lime, cardamom seeds, dried cloves and so on).

He should (now) mutter the Mantra one hundred and eight times, glorify the Lord by means of (the aforesaid and other) praises and, circumambulating Him clock-wise, should fall prostrate on the ground (before Him) with delight. Placing on his head (as a mark of reverence) the offerings (flowers etc.), kept before the Deity, he should then (respectfully) allow the Deity to retire. He should (afterwards) properly feed at least a couple of Brahmanas with rice boiled in milk with sugar etc. Permitted by those Brahmanas, (duly) honoured (by him by offering a wreath of flowers, betel-leaves, gift of money and so on), he should share the remnant (of food) with his beloved ones and observe (strict) continence on that night. Having taken his bath the following morning, (viz.) on the first day (of the bright half), and remaining undefiled and fully composed, he should bathe the Deity with milk and worship Him according to the procedure mentioned before[1](and should continue to do so from day to day) till the end of the vow. Full of reverence for the worship of Lord Visnu, he should observe this vow, subsisting on milk (alone). As before (on the previous day) he should pour oblations into the (sacred) fire and feed the Brahmanas as well. (46) (Strictly) observing the vow of a milk diet, he should in this way daily practise for full twelve days adoration of Lord Sri Hari (in the form of extolling Him, bowing to Him and muttering prayers to Him), offer oblations into the sacred fire, worship His image and feed the Brahmanas.



  1. Vide verses 38 and 39 above.

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