Gita Mahatmya of Padma Purana – Part One
Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
To glorify the Bhagavad-gita, Sri Vishnu said, “O Lakshmi Devi! I Myself have personally manifested in the Form of Bhagavad-gita. It is My murti form! An intelligent person who daily recites one chapter, one sloka, a half or quarter sloka will attain Vaikuntha!” After saying this, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu spoke the glories of Bhagavad-gita’s first six chapters to His dearly beloved Sri Lakshmi Devi.
Then Sri Shivaji narrated the glories of reading, hearing, or chanting chapters six through eighteen to His most beautiful Parvati Devi. In closing his narration, Sri Shivaji gave this shruti phala, verse of blessings:
Sri Shivaji said, “Hearing or studying the Gita Mahatmya quickly destroys all one’s sins. One who faithfully remembers this discourse will attain the benefits of all kinds of yajnas and punya karma. In addition, one will enjoy all worldly pleasures, and then go to Vaikuntha.”
Sri Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa recorded this great Gita Mahatmya in the Padma Purana. My teacher recommended reciting the Gita Mahatmya after reciting the Bhagavad-gita on Gita Jayanti. Thus we present it here for the benefit of all.
Srimad Bhagavad Gita ki jai!
The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter One
Parvati said “My dear husband, You know all the transcendental truths, and by your mercy I have heard the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. Oh Sri, now I long to hear from You the glories of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, which was spoken by Sri Krishna, and by hearing which, one’s devotion to Sri Krishna increases”
Sri Siva replied “That person, Whose body is the color of a dark rain cloud, whose carrier is the king of birds, Garuda, and Who is lying on Ananta-Sesa, the thousand headed serpent, that Sri Vishnu, Whose glories have no limit, I am always worshipping.
My dear Parvati once after Sri Vishnu had killed the demon Mura, He was resting peacefully on Ananta-Sesa, when the bestower of all good fortune of the universe, Sri Lakshmi, respectfully inquired from Him.
“Bhagavan, You are the controller and maintainer of the whole universe, but yet You are sleeping unhappily on this ocean of milk. What is the reason?”
Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, I am not sleeping, but I am watching how wonderfully My energy is working. It is by this wonderful energy of Mine, by which I am controlling all things, and yet remain separate. And it is by remembering these divine activities of Mine, that the great devotees and yogis manage to free themselves from the wheel of birth and death, and attain that transcendental nature of Mine, which is eternal and free from all qualities”
Lakshmi said, “O, controller of all things. You are the goal of the meditation of great yogis. Nothing can go on without You. And yet You are separate. You are the cause of creation, maintenance and destruction of all the material universes. Kindly inform me about the workings of Your wonderful energies, which are so attractive, that even You are lying here, meditating upon them”
Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, the workings of My multi-fold energies, and how to become free from the bonds of birth and death, and attain My eternal Nature, can only be understood by one of pure intelligence, who has an inclination to render service unto Me. This transcendental knowledge is fully explained in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita”
Lakshmi inquired, “My dear Sri, if you yourself are amazed, by the workings of Your energies, and are ever trying to fathom their limit, then how is it possible that the Bhagavad-gita can describe those unlimited energies of Yours, and how to cross over them, and attain the transcendental nature?”
Sri Vishnu said, “I Myself have manifested in the Form of Bhagavad-gita. Please understand that the first five chapters are My five heads, the next ten chapters are My ten Arms, and the Sixteenth Chapter is My stomach. The last two chapters are My lotus-feet. In this way you should understand the transcendental Deity of the Bhagavad-gita. This Bhagavad-gita is the destroyer of all sins. And that intelligent man who daily recites one chapter or even one sloka, one half sloka, or at least one quarter sloka, will attain the same position as Susharma had attained.”
Lakshmi inquired, “Who was Susharma? What class did he belong to? And what destination did he attain?”
Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, Susharma was a very wicked and a most sinful man. Although he was born in a brahmana family, his family had no Vedic knowledge. And he only took pleasure from hurting others. He never engaged in the chanting of, My names, in giving charity, or receiving guests. In fact, he never performed any pious activities. For his livelihood he collected leaves, and sold them in the bazaar. He especially enjoyed drinking wine, and eating flesh. In this way he passed his life.
“One day that foolish Susharma had gone to the garden of one sage for collecting leaves, when a snake came and bit him, and he died. After his death he was cast into many hells, where he suffered for a long time. After which he attained the body of a bull. That bull was purchased by a crippled man, who engaged him in his service. For about seven or eight years he was carrying extremely heavy loads. One day that crippled man had piled a very heavy load onto the back of his bull. Very quickly he was forcing that bull along when suddenly the bull fell over and became unconscious. Many persons gathered there, to see what was happening, feeling sorry for that bull. One pious man bestowed upon that bull the results of some of his pious activities. Seeing that, other persons standing there started remembering their pious activities, and offered the results of some of those activities to that bull. In that crowd there was also one prostitute who did not know if she had ever performed any pious activities, but seeing everyone else offering their pious credits to that bull, she also offered the results of any pious activities she might have performed After that, the bull died, and was taken to the abode of Yamaraja, the God of Death.
There, Yamaraja informed him, “You are now free from the reactions of all your previous sinful deeds, due to the pious credits given to you by that prostitute.” Then he took birth in a very high brahmana family. In that birth, he was able to remember his past lives. After many days, he decided to search out that prostitute, who had been the cause of freeing him from his hellish situation.
After he had found and introduced himself to that lady he inquired from her “ What were the pious activities performed by you, the fruits of which freed me from my hellish situation?” The prostitute replied to him, “My dear sir, in that cage is one parrot, which recites something everyday. Hearing that recitation, my heart has become completely pure. The results of hearing that recitation I had given to you.” Thereafter they both inquired from that parrot about that recitation. That parrot. remembering his previous life, started to narrate his history. “Previously, I had been a very learned brahmana. But due to my pride, I used to insult other learned persons. I was also extremely jealous. After I died, I was cast into many hells, and after a long time of suffering, I achieved this body of a parrot. Due to my past sinful activities, my mother and father died while I was a baby. One day, while I was lying on the hot sands, with no protection, some rishis saw me, and took me to their ashram, and put me in a cage. At that same place, the children of those rishis were learning the recitation of the First Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Hearing them repeat those slokas, I also started repeating those slokas along with them.
“Shortly after, one thief stole me from that place and sold me to this pious lady.” Sri Vishnu continued, “By reciting the First Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, that parrot had become completely pure. And by hearing that recitation, that prostitute also became completely pure. And by receiving some of the pious results of hearing that recitation, Susharma also become completely pure.
After discussing for some time the glories of the first chapter of Bhagavad-gita, Susharma returned to his home, and the three of them individually engaged in reciting the First Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, and very quickly attained the supreme destination, Vaikuntha.” Anyone who recites, who hears, or studies the First Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, will very easily cross over the ocean of material miseries, and attain the service of the lotus-feet of Sri Krishna.
The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Two
Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, you have heard from Me the glories of the First Chapter of Bhagavad-gita Now please listen carefully, as I tell you the glories of the Second Chapter.
Once in the South in the town of Pandharpur, a very learned brahmana by the name of Devashyama lived. He was able to perform all kinds of fire sacrifices. He also knew the importance of receiving guest. And by his activities he managed to satisfy all the demigods. But he was not happy and peaceful in his heart and mind. He had the desire to attain knowledge of the soul’s relationship with the Supersoul, Paramatma, and towards this end he would invite many yogis and tapasvis, and render all kinds of service to them and inquire from them about the Absolute Truth. In this way he passed many years of his life.
One day, while he was walking, he saw one yogi in front of him, sitting cross-legged with his eyes fixed on the tip of his nose, totally absorbed in meditation. Devashyama could perceive that this yogi was completely peaceful, and without any material desires. Devashyama, with the greatest respect and reverence, fell at the feet of that yogi, and inquired from him, how he could attain complete peace of mind. At that time, that yogi, who had complete knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, advised Devashyama to go to the village of Sowpur and meet one Mitravan; who was a goat-herder by profession, and take instructions in the science of God-realization from him. After hearing this, Devashyama again and again offered his respectful obeisances at the feet of that yogi and immediately left for Sowpur. When he arrived there he found on the northern side, one beautiful forest where he was informed that Mitravan lived. When he entered that forest, he saw on the bank of a small river, Mitravan seated on top of some rocks.
Mitravan looked very beautiful and totally peaceful. In that forest the wind was blowing very gently and a beautiful aroma was emanating from every direction. The goats were peacefully moving here and there, totally unafraid. Some were seen to be sitting next to tigers and other ferocious animals very peacefully.
When Devashyama saw this scene, his mind became very peaceful, and he respectfully approached Mitravan and sat close to him. Mitravan appeared to be fully absorbed in his meditation. After some time Devashyama inquired from him, how he would be able to attain devotion to Sri Krishna. When Mitravan heard this question, for a moment he was lost in deep thought. Then he replied, “My dear learned Devashyama, once long ago, I was in the forest looking after the goats, when a very ferocious tiger attacked. At that time all the goats ran here and there to save themselves. I also ran off, due to fear of that tiger. From some distance I looked back and saw that that tiger on the bank of this river encountered one of my goats. At that time a strange and wonderful thing happened. That tiger lost all his anger and desire to eat my goat. Thereupon, my goat inquired from that tiger, “You have attained your food, so why are you not eating the meat of my body? You should immediately kill me, and with great relish eat up my flesh. Why are you hesitating?”
That tiger said, “My dear goat, since I have come to this place, all anger has left me, and I have no hunger or thirst”. The goat said, “I also do not know why I am feeling so fearless and peaceful. What can be the reason for this? If you know, then kindly inform me”.
The tiger replied, “I also do not know. Let us inquire from that person” When I saw this change take place in the activities of that tiger and goat, I become very much astonished. At that time they both approached me, and inquired as to the reason. I noticed that a monkey was sitting on the branch of a nearby tree. I went along with the two of them and inquired from that monkey-king. That monkey replied to our question with great respect.
“Listen, I will tell you, it is a very old story. In that forest, just in front of you, there is a very large temple in which Sri Brahma installed a Shivalinga. Long ago, a learned sage of the name Sukama, who had performed many austerities, lived there. Daily he would bring flowers from the forest and water from the river, and worship Sri Shiva.
In this way he was living here for many years, when one day one sage arrived. At that time, Sukama brought fruits and water and fed that sage. After the sage had eaten and rested, Sukama spoke to him. “Oh learned one, only for the reason of obtaining knowledge of Sri Krishna, am I living here, performing austerities and worship. But the results of my austerities have been attained today by coming in contact with you.”
When the sage heard the words of Sukama, which were full of submission, he became greatly pleased. And he wrote on one piece of stone the Second Chapter Srimad Bhagavad-gita. He then instructed Sukama to daily read those verses. “By so doing, you will quickly attain your goal.” After having spoken thus, that sage disappeared from that place while Sukama was looking on. After that, following the instructions of that sage, Sukama recited those verses daily for the rest of his life. Very quickly he attained complete knowledge of Sri Krishna. And from the day he started reciting those verses, he felt no more thirst or hunger.
And due to this austerities and devotion, at this place, any one who visits here does not, feel the pangs of hunger and thirst, and immediately attains complete peace.”
Mitravan said, “My dear Devashyama, after the monkey had finished telling us that wonderful story, I along with the tiger and goat went to that temple. We found there written on a piece of stone the Second Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. And I started to recite those verses daily. In this way, we were able to attain very quickly devotion to Sri Krishna. My dear brahmana, if you also start reciting the verses of the Second Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, you will very quickly attain the mercy of Sri Krishna.”
Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, in this way Devashyama attained knowledge from Mitravan and after worshipping that great soul, he returned to Pandharpur and daily recited that Second Chapter. And whoever visited Pandharpur, Devashyama would first recite before him the Second Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. In this way Devashsyama attained the lotus feet of Sri Krishna.
My dear Lakshmi these are the glories of the Second Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.
The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Three
Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, in the town of Janasthan was a brahmana of the name Jada, who was born in the dynasty of Kaushik. That brahmana gave up the religious activities enjoined in the shastras to be followed by the brahmana class, and took to many irreligious activities. He was very fond of gambling and drinking, hunting, and visiting the prostitutes. In this way, he wasted his wealth. He went to the northern countries on a business trip. While there, he gained much wealth and decided to return to Janasthan. After having traveled a long distance he found himself in a very deserted place. One day, as the sun set, and everywhere became engulfed by darkness, he decided to take rest for the night under a tree. While resting, some robbers came and beat him to death, and stole his wealth. Because Jada had given up all religious activities and led a sinful life, after his death he attained the form of a ghost.
The son of Jada was very religious and learned in the Vedic shastras. When he saw that his father had not returned to Janasthan after a long time, he decided to go and search for him. For many days he traveled here and there, in search of his father, and whatever travelers he would meet, he would inquire from them, about his father. One day, he met one person who knew his father, and informed him of the events that had taken place. When the son of Jada heard the news of his father’s death, he decided to go to Kasi (Banaras) to offer pinda (worship) for the release of his father from his hellish condition. On the ninth day of his journey, he happened to take rest under the same tree under which his father had been killed. At that place, in the evening, he performed his daily worship to Sri Krishna, and he also recited the Third Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. As he completed his recitation, a loud sound came from the sky. When he looked up, he saw his father there, and in front of his eyes, his father’s form changed into one of the most beautiful beings, who had four hands, and was wearing a yellow dhoti. His body was the color of a dark rain cloud and his bodily effulgence was lightening up all the directions. At that time, his father offered his blessing to him. The son inquired from the father, as to the meaning of these wonderful happenings. The father said, “My dear son, you recited the Third chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, and thus freed me from the ghost form which I had received, due to my sinful activities. Now you should return to your home, because the purpose for which you were travelling to Kasi (Banaras) has been achieved by your reciting the Third Chapter of Bhagavad-gita”.
When the son inquired from the father, if there were any further instructions from him, the father said, “My brother also had led a very sinful life and he is suffering some where in the darkest regions of hell. So if you wish to free him, and our other ancestors, who are suffering here and there, in different species in the material universe, then kindly, recite the Third Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. And by that recitation they will all attain a form similar to Sri Vishnu’s, and go to Vaikuntha”.
When the son heard the father’s instructions he replied, “If that is the case, then I will recite the Third Chapter until all the souls, who are trapped in the hellish life, are freed” At that time his father blessed him with the words, “Let it be.” Then an airplane arrived from the spiritual world of Vaikuntha and took the father to his destination.
Thereafter, the son returned to Janasthan and sat in front of the Deity of Sri Krishna, and with a desire to free all of the conditioned souls in the hellish condition, started reciting the Third Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. While his recitation was continuing, day after day, Sri Vishnu sent His messengers, the Vishnudutas, to the kingdom of Yamaraja, who is in charge of administering punishment to the sinful living entities. When the Vishnudutas arrived in front of Yamaraja, they informed him, that they had a message from Sri Vishnu, who is lying on the bed of Ananta-Sesa in the ocean of milk. They told him that Sri Vishnu was inquiring as to his welfare, and also was ordering him to free all of the conditioned souls, who were suffering in hell.
When Yamaraja heard this instruction from Sri Vishnu, he immediately had all of the conditioned souls released from hell and then personally went with those Vishnudutas to the ocean of milk, known as Svetadwipa, to have the darshan of Sri Vishnu. When he arrived there, he saw Sri Vishnu, lying on the bed of Ananta-Sesa. His body had the effulgence of suns, and Lakshmi-Devi, the Goddess of Fortune, was massaging His feet. He was surrounded on all sides by rishis, sages, and demigods, headed by Sri Indra, who were all singing the Praises of Sri Vishnu. Sri Brahma was also present, reciting the Vedas. Yamaraja fell down and offered his respects before Sri Vishnu, and offered the following praise, “My dear Vishnu, You are the well-wisher of all the conditioned souls. There is no Limit of Your glories. From You the Vedas have come, You are time. And in The course of time You will destroy all things. You are the cause and maintainer of the three worlds and You are the Supersoul in every one’s heart, who is directing their activities. You are the Guru of the whole universe, and the goal of all devotees. Oh, lotus-eyed one, please accept my obeisances again and again. Your glories are unlimited.”
In this way Yamaraja with folded hands offered his respects to Sri Vishnu. Yamaraja continued, “As per Your instructions, I have released all the conditioned souls from hell. So kindly instruct me, what work You wish me to perform now” Sri Vishnu replied in a voice as deep as thunder, and as sweet as nectar, “My dear Dharmaraja (Yamaraja), you are equal to every one, and I do not need to instruct you on your duties. Kindly return to your abode with my full blessings, and continue your duty”
At that time, Sri Vishnu disappeared from the vision of Yamaraja, and Yamaraja returned to his own abode. After that brahmana had successfully freed all of his ancestors and the rest of the conditioned souls from hell, the Vishnudutas came, and took him to the abode of Sri Vishnu, where he was able to engage in the service of the lotus-feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead eternally.
The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Four
Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, now I will describe the glories of the Fourth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita.
On the bank of the river Ganges there is a town of the name Kasi, (Banaras), where at the temple of Vishvanath, a great saint of the name Bharata lived. Daily with the greatest devotion, he would recite the fourth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. Previously, when Bharat had been travelling on pilgrimage he had gone to the town of Tapodan to take darshan of the Deity of Sri Krishna there. While leaving that town, he saw two Bael fruit trees. Deciding to take rest under the shade of those trees, he lay down, using the root of one of the tree as a pillow. and a root of the other to rest his feet upon.
After some time, when Bharat left from that place, those two trees started to dry up. Within five or six days both trees completely dried up and died. The two souls, who had been living in those trees, took their next birth as the daughters of a very pious Brahmana. Once, when those girls had reached the age of seven years, they had gone on pilgrimage to Kasi (Banaras). While wandering in Kasi, they happened to see the great sage Bharata. When they saw Bharata Maharaja they immediately went and fell at his feet and in sweet words said, “Oh. Maharaja Bharat, due to your mercy we both became freed from the tree form of life.” When Bharata Maharaja heard their statement, he became surprised. He inquired from them, “My dear daughters, where and when did I come in contact with you, and free you from the form of trees? Also kindly inform me, how you attained the form of trees? Because I do not know anything of this matter.” Thereafter, those two girls first informed Bharata Maharaja the reason for their attaining the form of trees.
The two girls said, “Maharaja, on the bank of the river Godavari there is a sacred place of the name Chinnapaap. At that place, there was a rishi of the name, Sachatapa. He was performing very great and difficult austerities. In the hot season he would sit in between many fires, and in the cold season, he would stand in the cold river. In the course of time, he became completely pure, and had complete control of his senses, and slowly he attained the Lotus-Feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. Sri Brahma started visiting daily to take the darshan of Sachatapa and put questions before him about the devotional service of Sri Krishna. Sri Indra meanwhile, was becoming very worried seeing the elevated position of Sachatapa, thinking that he might one day usurp his own position as king of heaven. At that time, Sri Indra called the two of us, who in that birth were apsaras in the heavenly kingdom, an instructed us, ‘Go and cause the fall down of Sachatapa, before he tries to usurp me from my position.”
After receiving Sri Indra’s instructions, we left from his presence and went to the bank of the Godavari River, where Sachatapa was performing austerities. At that place, we both started to sing and dance very provocatively close to Sachatapa, with the intention of causing that sage to engage in a sexual relationship with us. While dancing, our covering cloth slipped down and our breasts became visible. At that time, taking water in his hand, that sage cursed us in the following words.
“You both go and become Bael trees on the bank of the river Ganga.” upon hearing his curse, we both fell at his feet and begged his forgiveness. “My dear sage, please forgive us, for we are simply the servants of Sri Indra.” Seeing our submissive attitude that sage became pleased and informed us that we would remain as trees until Maharaja Bharata came in contact with us. And he also blessed us, that we would be able to, remember our previous births.
“My dear Maharaja Bharata at the time when you visited Tapodan, you rested beneath us. When we were in the form of Bael trees, you were reciting the Fourth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, and by hearing that recitation, we not only became free from that tree form of life and attained birth in a devotee family, also we lost all desire for enjoying in this material world.”
Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, when those two girls recited their history before Bharata Maharaja, he became very happy, and left for his ashram. Those two girls throughout their life carefully recited the Fourth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita daily and attained devotion to My lotus-feet.”
The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Five
Sri Vishnu said, “Now I will describe to you the unlimited glories of the Fifth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita. Listen very carefully.
In the state of Madra, there is a town of the name Puru Kutsapur. There lived a brahmana by the name of Pingala. During his childhood he was trained in various brahminical activities and was taught the Vedas. But he had no interest in his studies. When he reached his youth he gave up his brahminical pursuits and started to learn how to play instruments as well as singing and dancing. Slowly he became so famous in this field that the king himself invited him to live in the palace. While he was living there he slowly degraded more and more into sinful life. He started to enjoy with other men’s wives and engage in all kinds of sinful activities and intoxication.
He became so proud of his position as he gained more and more intimacy with the king. He especially enjoyed criticizing others to the king in private. Pingala had a wife whose name was Aruna, who was born in a low-class family. She was very lusty and enjoyed relationships with many other men. When her husband found out about her activities, she decided to kill him. Late one night she chopped off his head and buried his body in the garden. After his death Pingala fell into the deepest regions of hell and after having suffered there for a long time he took birth as a vulture. Aruna, after freely enjoying with many men contacted venereal disease and her youthful body very soon became ugly and unattractive. When she died she went on to hell and after having suffered for a long time, she, attained the body of a female parrot. One day that parrot was searching here and there for food. In the meantime the vulture, who in his previous life had been Pingala, saw the female parrot and remembering his last life and understanding that this parrot had been his wife, he attacked her with his sharp beaks. The parrot fell down into the water contained in a human skull and drowned. Just then a hunter came and shot the vulture with an arrow. The vulture fell and his head dropped into the water of that skull and he drowned.
Then the messengers of Yamaraja came and took them to the abode of death. At that time they became very afraid remembering their past sinful lives.
When they came in front of Yamaraja he told them, “You are now free of all sins and you may go to Vaikuntha”. When Pingala and Aruna heard this they inquired from Yamaraja how two sinful persons such as they had attained the right to go to Vaikuntha.
Yamaraja replied, “On the banks of the river Ganga lived a great devotee; of Sri Vishnu by the name of Vat, he was free from lust and greed. Daily he recited the Fifth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita and when Vat gave up his body he went straight to Vaikuntha. Due to his reciting the Fifth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita daily, his body became completely pure, and because of your coming in contact with the skull of the body of that devotee you both have attained Vaikuntha. This is the glory of the Fifth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita “
Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, when they both heard the glories of Bhagavad-gita from Yamaraja they became very happy and sat down in the flower airplane which had come to take them to Vaikuntha.”
Anyone who hears the Fifth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, even the most sinful, will attain Vaikuntha.
The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Six
Sri Vishnu said, “Now I will tell you the glories of the Sixth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. Whoever hears this description, will be liberated from the material world.
On the bank of the Godavari river, there is a beautiful town of the name Pratishthanpur (Paithan), where I am famous by the name of Pippalesh. In that town there was a king of the name Janshruti, Whom the people loved very much and whose qualities were unlimited. He performed daily fire sacrifices, which were so opulent and large that the smoke from them reached the Heavenly pleasure garden known as Nandanvan, and made the leaves of the Kalpavrksa trees black. Those trees appeared as if they were offering their respects to king Janashruti. Due to the pious activities of that great king, demigods always resided in Pratishthanpur.
When Janshruti would give charity, he would distribute just as the clouds distribute the rain. Due to Janshruti’s pure religious activities, rain always comes at the right time. And the fields were always full of crops, which were not disturbed by the six types of rodents. He was always digging wells and lakes for the welfare of the citizens. The demigods, being very pleased with Janashruti, went to his palace in the form of swans to bless him. They were flying through the sky, one behind the other, talking together. Bhadrashva, along with two or three other swans, flew ahead of the rest. At that time, the other swans addressed Bhadrashva, “Oh, brother, why are you flying ahead? Do you not see in front of you the great king Janashruti, who is so powerful that he can burn up his enemies by his desire.” When Bhadrashva heard the words of the other swans, he started to laugh and said, “Oh brothers, is this king Janashruti as powerful as the great sage Raikva?”
When the king heard the words of the swans, he immediately came down from the roof of his high palace and happily sat on his throne. At that time he called his chariot driver and instructed him to go and find the great sage Raikva. When the chariot driver of the name Maha heard the king’s instructions, he became very happy, and left immediately to search out Raikva. First he traveled to Kashipuri, where Sri Vishvanath resides, for the welfare of all beings. Next, he went to Gaya, where the lotus-eyed Sri Gadadhara who is capable of freeing all beings from the bondage of birth and death, stays. After having traveled to many holy places, he came to Mathura, which is capable of destroying all sins. In this place the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, resides. All of the great sages, demigods, also the Vedas, and other shastras, in their personal forms, perform austerities, and render service to Sri Krishna. Mathura which is in the shape of a half-moon, and is situated on the bank of the beautiful devotion-giving river Jamuna. In that area is the beautiful Govardhana hill, which adds to the splendor and glory of Mathura-Mandala like a large jewel in a crown. It is surrounded by pure trees and creepers. There are twelve wonderful forests surrounding Mathura in which Sri Krishna enjoys His wonderful pastimes.
After leaving Mathura, Maha traveled to the West, and then to the North. One day, he came to a town known as Kashmir in which he saw a very large and shining white place. At that place all of the people, even the foolish men, looked as beautiful demigods due to the fact that many sacrificial fires were burning continuously. It looked as if a row of clouds always hung over the town. The Deity of Sri Siva, known as Manikeshvara, resided in that town. The king of Kashmir had just returned from defeating many kings, and was engaged in worshipping Sri Siva. Due to his great devotion to Sri Siva, that king was known as Manikeshvar. Just close to the door of the temple, sitting on a small cart, underneath a tree, Maha saw the great sage Raikva. When he recognized Raikva from the description of Janashruti, he immediately fell at his feet and inquired from him. “Oh, great sage, where do you live? And what is your full name? You are such a highly elevated person. Why are you sitting in this place?” When Raikva heard the words of Maha, he thought for some time, and then replied, “I am fully satisfied, I do not require anything.”
When Maha heard this reply, in his heart he could understand everything. He immediately left on the long journey, back to Pratishthanpur. When he reached his destination, he immediately went and offered his respects to the king, and with folded hands informed the king of all the events, which had taken place. After the king had heard everything from Maha he decided to leave at once, to take the darshan of the great sage Raikva. Sitting in a beautiful chariot, and taking with him many valuable gifts, he left for Kashmir. When he reached the place, where the sage Raikva was staying, he fell at his feet and placed the entire valuable silks and jewels, which he had brought with him before Raikva. At that time, the great sage Raikva became very angry. He said, “Oh foolish king, you take all these useless things and put them in your chariot, and leave from this place”. The king immediately with great devotion, fell at the feet of Raikva, and begged his forgiveness, asking him to be merciful upon him. He inquired from Raikva, “Oh, sage, how have you attained such a high state of renunciation and devotion to the Sri?”
Becoming pleased with the king’s submissive attitude, Raikva replied “Daily I recite the Sixth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita “. After that, king Janashruti heard from Raikva the Sixth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. And thereafter, he engaged in daily reciting that Sixth Chapter. And in course of time a flower airplane arrived and took him to Vaikuntha. Meanwhile, that great sage, who was reciting the Sixth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita daily, went to Vaikuntha, where he engaged in the service of the lotus-feet of the Supreme Sri Vishnu.
Anyone, who recites this Sixth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, will very soon attain service to the lotus-feet of Sri Vishnu, of this there is no doubt.
The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Seven
Sri Siva said, “My dear Parvati, now I will tell you the glories of the Seventh Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, hearing which, one feels his ears have been filled with divine nectar.
Pataliputra is the name of one large town, which has many large gates. In that town lived a brahmana of the name Shankukama He had taken to the occupation of a businessman, and had amassed a very large wealth. But he had never performed any type of devotional activities, nor had he performed the necessary ritualistic performances for the sake of his forefathers. He became very rich, so much that even great kings would dine at his house. Shankukarna was also the most miserly of persons, and he kept his wealth buried under the ground.
Once, when that brahmana was going along with his children and other relatives for the purpose of his fourth marriage, they stopped at one place to rest for the night. While he was sleeping, a snake came and bit him. When his sons and relatives realized that a snake had bitten him, they called for the doctors and mantra-chanters. But no one was able to help Shankukarna, and shortly he died. After that he attained the body of a Preta-Sarp, a snake-ghost. The only thing he was able to think about was his wealth, which was buried close to the house where he had lived. He had not even informed his own family of the whereabouts of his wealth. Even in the form of a Preta-Sarp he resided at the place where his wealth was buried, so that no one else could take that wealth. After some time he became tired of being trapped in the form of a Preta-Sarp and he appeared in dreams to his sons and requested them to help him. In the morning, when his lazy sons woke up, they told each other about the dream they had seen. One of his sons took a large digging instrument in his hands and went to the place the father had indicated that he was living. When he reached that place he realized that he was not aware of the exact spot where the wealth was buried. That son was exceptionally greedy, and he searched for a long time, until he came across a snake-hole, which he promptly started to dig out.
Shortly a very large and fearful looking snake came out of that hole and spoke the following, “Oh, fool, who are you? Why have you come here? Who has sent you? And why are you digging at this place? Reply to my questions at once.”
The son replied, “I am your son. My name is Shiva. In a dream last night. I saw that there were hidden treasures buried at this place and I came to take them. When he heard Shiva speaking that way the Preta-Sarp started to laugh and said, “If you are my son, then why are you not performing the necessary rituals to free me from this hellish situation. Due to greed in my last life, I attained this body and now you are heading the same way.”
The son inquired, “My dear father, kindly tell me how you can be freed from this hellish situation?” The Preta-Sarp said, “Not by any kind of charity, tapasya or yajna, only by reciting of the Seventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita will I be able to become free from the wheel of birth and death. My dear son kindly perform the shraddha ceremony and on that day, invite a Brahmana, who is in the habit of chanting the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita and feed him very sumptuously.”
Thereafter, Shiva, along with his other brother fulfilled the instructions of their father and while the Brahmana was chanting the Seventh Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Sankukarna gave up that frightful body of a Preta-Sarp and attained a divine four-armed body. At that time he blessed his sons and informed them where his wealth was and then left for Vaikuntha.
Those sons, whose minds had become fixed in devotion to Sri Krishna, used that wealth for building temples, digging wells and kinds, and distributing foodstuffs. They all engaged daily in the recitation of the Seventh Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. And very quickly they attained the lotus feet of Sri Krishna.
Sri Siva said, “My dear Parvati, I have told you the wonderful glories of the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita. Anyone, who hears this description, will be freed from all sinful reactions.”
The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Eight
Sri Siva said, “My dear Parvati, now please listen to the glories of the Eighth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. After listening to this, you will feel great joy.
In the South is an important town of the name Amardhkapur in which one brahmana of the name Bhavasharma lived, who had taken a prostitute as his wife. Bhavasharma enjoyed eating meat, drinking wine, stealing, going with other’s wives; and hunting. One day, that sinful Bhavasharma was invited to a party, where he drank so much alcohol that it started to come out of his mouth. After the party, he became very sick and suffered from chronic dysentery, and after many days of suffering he died and attained the body of a date-palm-tree.
Gita Mahatmya of Padma Purana – Part Two is awailable here.
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