Markandeya Puranam

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YAMA’S servant said: – Taking gifts from a fallen person a Brahmana becomes an ass; the priest, of a fallen person, being liberated from hell, is born as an earth-worm. (1) A twice-born one who plays his preceptor false, or desires for his wife or covets his property, forsooth becomes a dog. (2) If a person disregards, his parents, he becomes an ass; if he is angry with his father and mother he is born as a female parrot. (3) If a person insults his brother’s wife he comes by the state of a pigeon; oppressing her he is born as a tortoise. (4) He, who, taking the food of his master, does not seek his welfare, is possessed by stupefaction and is born as a monkey when dead. (5) He who appropriates money held in trust, is born as an earth¬worm when liberated hell; and he, who is given to calumny when freed from hell, becomes a Rakshasa. (6) A treacherous man is born as a fish. He that steals paddy, barley, sesame seeds, masha Kulathatha, mustard, oats, Kalaya, Kalama, Mudga, wheat, atasi or any other kind of grain, being bereft of his sense, is born as a long-faced rat resembling a mungoose. He, who ravishes another’s wife, is by and by born as a dreadful wolf, a dog, a jackal, a vulture, a serpent and a heron. That one of perverted sense, who lives with his brother’s wife, becomes a male coil on his being freed from hell. (7-10) That lustful person, who violates the wife of a friend, or of a preceptor or of a king, is born as swine. (11) He, who obstructs sacrifices, gifts or a wedding, becomes an earth worm. He that gives away his daughter for the second time is born as an earth worm. (12) He who takes his food without (first) giving it to the deities, the ancestral manes and the Brahmanas on being freed from hell, is born at a crow. (13) He, who disregards his elder brother who is like a father to him, on being freed from hell, in born as a Krauncha. (14) A Sudra, who lives with a Brahmana woman, is born as an earth-worm, and begetting children on her he becomes a worm living inside a wood, a hog, an earth-worm, a shag and a Chandala. An ungrateful and degraded man, on being liberated from hell, is by turns born as an earth-worm, a worm, an insect, a centipede, a fish, a cow, a tortoise and a Pukkasa. (15-17) Slaying an unarmed man one is born as an ass; the destroyer of a woman or that of a child is born as an earth worm. (18) By stealing food a man is born as a fly. There is something particular about food; hear it: (19) By stealing rice, one, on being freed from hell, in born as a cat. He, who steals rice mixed with sesame and Pinyaka, is born as a rat. (20) By stealing clarified butter a man becomes mongoose, by stealing goat’s flesh he becomes a Madgu or a crow. A person that steals flesh or meat becomes a crow; one that steals the meat of a deer becomes a hawk. (21) He who steals salt becomes a water-crow and he that steals curds becomes an earth worm; by stealing milk one becomes a crane. (21) He who steals oil becomes a cock-roach; by stealing honey a man becomes a gad-fly and by stealing flowers an ant. (23) By stealing nishpava one becomes a house lizard. By stealing wine one is born as a tittiri. (24) The sinful man, stealing iron, is born as a crow; by stealing bell-metal one becomes a wood pigeon and by stealing silver vessel, a pigeon. (25) By stealing a golden vessel one is born as an earth-worm; by stealing a silken cloth one becomes a partridge. (26) By stealing a satin cloth one is born as a chrysalis. The sinful man, who steals gold-embroidered satin, a fine cloth made of goat’s hair or linen, is born as a male-parrot. By stealing cotton cloth, one is born as a Krauncha and by stealing bark a heron. (27-28) By stealing a paint or Sakapatra one is born as a peacock; a person stealing a red cloth becomes a peasant. (29) By stealing scents one is born as a mole; and by stealing a dress a hare. By stealing fruits one becomes a bull and by stealing wood a wood-worm. (30) One stealing flowers becomes poor and one stealing a conveyance lame. One stealing potherbs becomes a wood pigeon and one stealing water becomes a Chataka. (31) Going to dreadful hells Raurava and others the stealer of land becomes successively grass, shrubs, creepers, plants and trees with only barks on, and his sins growing less and weakened he becomes a man. (32) Then he is born as an earth-worm, an insect, a grass hopper, an aquatic

fowl, a deer, a cow and a cursed Chandala or a Pukkasa. (33) He is then born as a cripple, as a blind man, a deaf man, as a leper and as one suffering from phthisis; he is assailed by diseases of mouth, eyes and stomach. (34) He becomes epileptic and is born as a Sudra. (35) These are the successive states, to which are reduced the stealers of cow and gold or those that steal learning or lands held rent free by their preceptors. (36) The fool, who gives away one’s wife to another, being freed from the various pains is born as a bull. (37) The man, who offers oblations to fire not perfectly lighted up, is assailed by the disease of indigestion and becomes dyspeptic. (38) Calumny, ingratitude, giving pain to another’s mind, cruelty, impudence, adultery, robbing one of his own, impurity, vilifying the gods, deceiving people, miserliness, man slaughter these and other forbidden acts and a constant tendency towards them all speak that (the authors) have just come out of the hell; (whereas) kindness for creatures, the bringing of good news, service to the people of the other region, truthfulness, words for the behoof of creatures, the evidence of the Vedas, the worship of the preceptors, celestial saints and Siddhas, companionship with the pious, the practice of good works, friendliness these and various other recognised good and moral work are considered by a learned man as the marks of pious men just coming out from heaven. (39-44) Thus I have describe to you, O king, everything about men reaping the fruits of their acts – pious or sinful.

(45) We shall now go to another place; you have seen everything. You have seen hell; let us go elsewhere. (46)

THE SON said: – Then placing him ahead the king addressed himself for going. Then all men, suffering from agonies, cried, aloud. (47) “Favour us, O king, wait for a moment. The wind touching your limbs delights our hearts. (48) O foremost of men, (it) drives completely the heat of our bodies as well as diseases and ailments; favour us, therefore O king.” (49) Hearing these their words, the king asked the envoy of Yama: – “Why do these people delight in my stay? (50) Tell me, what greatly pious action did I perform in the region of mortals which showers delight on them?” (51)

The emissary of Yama said: – “Your body attained to nourishment by the remnant of the food offered to the ancestral manes, guests and servants and because your mind was always devoted to them, therefore the wind, touching your limbs, gives them delight and these sinners do not feel the pain, O king. (52-53) Because you duly performed horse sacrifices and others, therefore seeing you and thwarted by your energy, these instruments of Yama, engines and weapons, and fires and crows – the causes of affliction, wounds, burning and other great sufferings, have become milder (in their action).” (54-55)

The king said: – “The happiness, that one enjoys by affording relief to creatures in distress, is not obtained by men either in heaven or in the region of Brahma – this is my conviction. (56) If for my coming near them they do not suffer torments, I shall, O fair mouthed one, live here motionless like an inanimate object.” (57)

The envoy of Yama said: – “Come, O king, we shall go; leaving the sinners with their sufferings do you enjoy happiness reaped by your pious acts.” (58)

THE King said: – “As long these will remain greatly stricken with grief I shall not go; the dwellers of hell become happy by my living near them. (59) Cursed is the life of that man who does not know mercy towards the distressed seeking refuge with him, even if they for certain belong to the side of the enemies. (60) Sacrifices, gifts, asceticism do not bear him fruit either in this world or in the next who has not his mind bent upon relieving distress. (61) I do not consider him a man, whose hard heart is not drawn to children, the distressed and the old – rather he is a Rakshasa. (62) If by living near them do I suffer miseries of hell – the heat of fire, piercing effluvia, hunger, thirst and any other great affliction, depriving one of his consciousness, I shall consider my act of affording them relief greater than the felicity of heaven. (63-64) If many, in distress, secure happiness by my being in it, what have I not obtained? So you go without any delay.” (65)

The envoy of Yama said: – “Here are Dharma and Sakra come to take you away; so you must go and therefore come, O king.” (66)

Dharma said: – “I shall take you to heaven for I have been duly adored by you. Get upon this chariot; come, do not delay.” (67)

THE KING said: – Thousands of men are suffering in the hell, O Dharma. They are crying to me in distress “save us”. I shall not go. (68)

Indra said: – By their acts these sinners have come to hell; and you, O king, by your pious acts, should go to heaven. (69)

The king said: – If I am to know you as Dharma and if I am to know you as Sachi’s lord you should tell me the extent of my religious merit. (70)

Dharma said: – Like drops of water in the ocean, like stars in the firmament, like showers pouring like sands on the Ganga and like countless particles in water, O great king, your religious merit cannot be enumerated. (71-72) And this compassion, which you have extended to-day to the dwellers of hell, has multiplied your religious merit a hundred and thousand fold.

(73) Therefore, go, O you the foremost of kings, to the region of immortals for enjoying it; and let them expiate in hell the sin begotten by their own actions. (74)

The king said: – Why do those men long for my companionship if they are not elevated by my living near them? (75) If I have done any pious act, O king of heaven, then let these sinners, suffering from torments, be released from hell. (76)

INDRA said: – “From this you have obtained a higher region, O king and behold these sinners released from hell.” (77)

THE SON said: – Then flowers were showered upon the king; and placing him upon his car Hari took him to his own region. (78) Myself and others there bring freed from sufferings came by other births appointed by our own actions. (79) I have thus described to you, O foremost of the twice-born, all the hells; and I have described to you, all as seen before by me, all the births taken in pursuance of (their) respective sins; (I have given you) a truthful account based on my previous experience; what more shall I tell you, O great one? (80-81)