THE NINTH BOOK
On the anecdote of Sâvitrî, on gifts and on the effects of Karmas
1. Nârâyana said :-- Yama got thunderstruck at these queries of Sâvitrî. He then began to describe, with a smiling countenance, the fruition of the several works of the Jîvas.
2-8. He said :-- O Child! You are now a daughter only twelve years old. But you speak of wisdom like the Highest Jñânins and Yogis, Sanaka and others. O Child! By virtue of the boon granted by Sâvitrî, you have become incarnate of Her in part. The King Asvapati got you before by performing severe penances. As Laksmî is dear and fortunate with regard to Visnu, as Mahâdevi is to Mahâdeva, Aditi to Kasyapa, Ahalyâ to Gautama, so you are to Satyavâna in respect of affection and good-luck and other best qualities. As Sachî is to Mahendra, as Rohinî is to Moon, as Rati is to Kâma, as Svâhâ is to Fire, as Svadhâ is to the Pitris, as Sanjñâ is to the Sun, as Varunânî is to Varuna, as Daksinâ is to Yajñâ, as Earth is to Varâha, as Devasenâ is to Kârtika, so you are fortunate and blessed with respect to Satyavâna. O Sâvitrî! I myself grant you this boon of my own accord. Now ask other boons. O highly fortunate One! I will fulfil all your desires.
9-12. Sâvitrî said :-- O Noble One! Let there be one hundred sons of mine by Satyavâna. This is the boon that I want. Let there be one hundred sons of my Father as well; let my Father-in-law get back his (lost) eyesight and may he get back his lost kingdom. This is another boon that I want. Thou art the Lord of the world. So grant me this boon, too, that I may have this my very body for a lakh years when I may go to Vaikuntha with Satyavâna. Now I am eager to hear the various fruitions of Karmas of several Jîvas. Kindly narrate them and oblige.
13-70. Dharma said :-- You are very chaste. So what you have thought will verily come to pass. Now I describe the fruition of Karmas of the Jîvas. Listen. Excepting this holy land of Bhârata, nowhere do the people enjoy wholly the fruition of their two-fold Karmas, good and bad. It is only the Suras, Daityas, Dânavas, Gandharvas, Râksasas, and men that do Karmas. The beasts and the other Jîvas do not do Karmas. The special Jîvas, e.g., men, etc., experience the fruition of their Karmas in Heavens, hells and in all the other Yonis (wombs). Specially, as the Jîvas
roam in all the different Yonis, they enjoy their Karmas, good or bad, as the case may be, carved in their previous births. The good works get fructified in Heavens; and the bad works lead the Jîvas to hells. This Karma can be got rid of by Bhakti. This Bhakti is of two kinds :-- (1) Nirgunâ of the nature of Nirvâna; and (2) towards Prakriti, of the astute of Brahmâ, and with Mâyâ inherent. Diseases come as the result of bad and ignorant actions and healthiness comes from good and certain scientific Karmas. Similar are the remarks for short and long lives for happiness and pain. By bad works, one becomes blind or deformed in body. So by doing excellent Karmas, one acquires Siddhis, etc.. These are spoken generally. I will now speak in detail; listen. This is very secret even in Purânas and Smritis. In this Bhâratavarsa men are the best of all the various classes of beings. The Brâhmans are the best of men and are best in all Kinds of Karmas. They are responsible, too, for their actions. O Chaste One! Of the Brâhmins, again, those that are attached to the Brâhmanas are the best. The Brâhmanas are of two kinds as they are Sakâma (with desires) or Niskâma (without desires). The Niskâmî Brâhmanas are superior to the Sakâmî Brâhmanas. For the Sakâmîs are to enjoy the fruits of their Karmas, while the Niskâmî Brâhmanas are perfectly free from any such disturbances (they have not to come back to this field of Karma). The Niskâma Bhakta after they quit their bodies, go to a place free from sickness or disease, pure and perfect. From there they do not come back. The Niskâma Bhaktas assuming the divine forms go to the Goloka and worship the Highest God, the Highest Self, the two-armed Krisna. The Sakâmî Vaisnavas go to Vaikuntha; but they come back in Bhârata and get into the wombs of the twice-born. By degrees they also become Niskâma when they certainly acquire pure undefiled Bhakti. The Brâhmanas and Vaisnavas that are Sakâmîs in all the births, never get that pure undefiled intellect and never get the devotion to Visnu. The Brâhmanas, living in the Tîrthas (sacred places of pilgrimages) and attached to Tapas go to Brahmaloka (the region of Brahmâ); they again come down to Bhârata. Those that are devotedly attached to their own Dharma (religion) and reside in places other than Tîrthas, go to Satyaloka and again come to Bhârata. The Brâhmanas, following their own Dharma and devoted to the Sun go to the world of the Sun and again come to Bhârata. And those who are devoted to Mûla Prakriti and devoted to Niskâma Dharma go to Mani Dvîpa and have not to come back from thither. The Bhaktas of Siva, Sakti, and Ganesa, and attached to their own Dharmas respectively go to the Siva Loka and return from thence. Those Brâhmanas that worship the other Devas and attached to their
own Dharmas go to those regions of theirs respectively and again come to Bhârata. Attached to their own Dharmas, the Niskâmî Bhaktas of Hari go by their Bhakti step by step to the region of Srî Hari. Those that are not attached to their own Dharmas and do not worship the Devas and always bent on doing things as they like without any regard to their Âchâras go certainly to hells. No doubt in this. The Brâhmanas and the other three Varnas, attached to their own Dharmas all enjoy the fruits of their good works. But those who do not do their Svadharma, go verily down into hells. They do not came to Bhârata for their rebirth, they enjoy their fruits of Karmas in hells! Therefore the four Varnas ought to follow their own Dharmas of the Brâhmanas, they are to remain attached to their own Dharmas and give their daughters in marriage to the similarly qualified Brâhmanas. They then go to the Chandraloka (the region of the Moon). There they remain for the life periods of the fourteen Indras. And if the girl be given, with ornaments, the results obtained would be twice. If the girl be given with a desire in view, then that world is obtained; but if the girl be given without any desire but to fulfil the Gods will and Gods satisfaction only, then one would not have to go to that world. They go to Visnu Loka, bereft of the fruits of all Karmas. Those that give to the Brâhmanas pasture ground and cattle, silver, gold, garment, fruits and water, go to the Chandraloka and live there for one Manvantara. They live long in those regions by virtue of that merit. Again those that give gold, cows, copper, etc., to the holy Brâhmanas, go to the Sûrya Loka (the region of the Sun) and live there for one Ayuta years (10,000 years), free from diseases, etc., for a long time. Those that give lands and lots of wealth to the Brâhmins, go to the Visnu Loka and to the beautiful Sveta Dvîpa (one of the eighteen minor divisions of the known continents). And there they live as long as the Sun and Moon exist. O Muni! The meritorious persons live long in that wide region. Note :-- Sveta Dvîpa may mean Vaikuntha, where Visnu resides. Those who give with devotion dwelling places to the Brâhmanas, go to the happy Visnu Loka. And there, in that great Visnu Loka, they live for years equal to the number of molecules, in that house. He who offers a dwelling house in honour of any Deva, goes to the region of that Deva and remains there for a number of years equivalent to the number of particles in that house. The lotus-born Brahmâ said that if one offers a royal palace, one obtains a result four times and if one offers a country, one gets the result one hundred times that; again if one offers an excellent country, twice as much merit one acquires. One who dedicates a tank for the expiation of
all ones sins, one lives in Janar Loka (one of the pious regions) for a period equivalent to the number of particles therein). If any man offers a Vâpî (a well) in preference to other gifts, one gets ten fold fruits thereby. If one offers seven Vâpîs, one acquires the fruits of offering one tank. A Vâpî is one which is four thousand Dhanus long and which is as much wide or less (Note :-- Dhanu equals a measure of four hastas). If offered to a good bridegroom, then the giving of a daughter in marriage is equivalent to a dedication of ten Vâpîs. And if the girl be offered with ornaments, twice the merits accrue. The same merit accrues in clearing the bed of the mud of a pond as in digging it. So for the Vâpî (well). O Chaste One! He who plants an Asvattha tree and dedicates it to a godly purpose, lives for one Ayuta years in Tapar Loka. O Sâvitrî! He who dedicates a flower garden for the acquirement of all sorts of good, lives for one Ayuta years in Dhruva Loka.
O Chaste One! He who gives a Vîmâna (any sort of excellent carriage) in honour of Visnu, in this Hindoosthân, lives for one Manvantara in Visnuloka. And if one gives a Vîmâna of variegated colours and workmanship, four times the result accrues. And one who gives a palanquin, acquires half the fruits. Again if anybody gives, out of devotion, a swinging temple (the Dol Mandir) to Bhagavân Srî Hari, lives for one hundred Manvantras, in the region of Visnu. O Chaste One! He who makes a gift of a royal road, decorated with palatial buildings on either side, lives with great honour and love in that Indraloka for one Ayuta years. Equal results follow whether the above things are offered to the Gods or to the Brâhmanas. He enjoys that which he gives. No giving, no enjoying. After enjoying the heavenly pleasures, etc., the virtuous person takes birth in Bhârata as a Brâhmin or in other good families, in due order, and ultimately in the Brâhmana families. The virtuous Brâhmana, after he has enjoyed the heavenly pleasures, takes his birth again in Bhârata in Brâhmana, Ksattriya or in Vaisya families. A Ksattriya or a Vaisya can never obtain Brâhmanahood, even if he performs asceticism for one Koti Kalpas. This is stated in the Srutis. Without enjoying the fruits, no Karma can be exhausted even in one hundred Koti Kalpas. So the fruits of the Karmas must be enjoyed, whether they be auspicious or inauspicious. By the help of seeing the Devas and seeing the Tîrthas again and again, purity is acquired. O Sâvitrî! So now I have told you something. What more d o you want to hear? Say.
Here ends the Twenty-Ninth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the anecdote of Sâvitrî on the fruits of making gifts and on the effects of Karmas in Srî Mad Devî Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.