Chapter 71 to 137

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The Birds said: – Having said this and left the company of Kroushthuki the great ascetic Markandeya performed the mid-day rites. (1) We have also heard from you, O great ascetic, what you have said. This is the Siddhi without beginning described formerly by the Self-Sprung Deity. (2) And which you communicated unto the ascetic Markandeya, sacred, and auspicious as it is and which gives longevity and the accomplishment of all objects. (3) Hearing and reading the four questions which you put in the beginning people are freed from all sins. (4) O Muni, you have described unto us the conversation between the father and the son, the creation of the Sell-Sprung Brahma, the origin of Manus and the history of the kings. What more we wish to hear? Hearing all these or reciting them in an assembly a man, with all his sins washed, finds himself at one with Brahman. (5-6) Of the eighteen Puranas enumerated by Brahma, the seventh is known widely as Markandeya. (7) They are Brahma,

Padma, Vishnu, Siva, Bhagavat, and Naradiya and the seventh is Markandeya. (8) The eighth Purana is Agni and Bhavishya is the ninth; the tenth is Brahma Vaivarta and the eleventh is Nrisingha. (9) The twelfth is Varaha and Skanda is the thirteenth of them; Vamana is the fourteenth and Karma is the fifteenth. (10) Then follow Matsya, Garuda, and Brahmanda. He, who reads the names of the eighteen Puranas and recites them three times a day, reaps the fruit of a horse sacrifice. The Purana, that has the four qualities is called Markandeya. (11-12) On hearing this, the sin accumulated for a hundred Koti years is dissipated. The sins of Brahmanicidi and others, at well as other inauspicious things are dissipated like cotton driven by the wind. By hearing it one gets the piety equal to that acquired by bathing at the holy shrine of Pushkara. (13-14) A barren woman, or one whose child dies at birth, if she hears this truly, gets a son crowned with all marks, as well as corns, riches and the eternal heaven. (15) Hearing this, a man even if he has offended the gods, is freed from all sins and flourishes in heaven. (16) O foremost of the twice-born, he gets long life, freedom from diseases, wealth, corns, children and a continuous progeny. (17) Hear O Vipra, after listening to this what a man should do. A wise man, after consecrating fire, should perform Homa. (18) O foremost of Munis, meditating on this Purana in the lotus of the heart one should adore Gavinda with perfumeries, garlands and raiments &c.. (19) O foremost of Munis, he should then worship a reciter with his wife and then confer upon him a milch cow with its calf. (20) O Vipra, the kings should, as much as lies in their power, make gifts of corn-fields, gold, silver, villages and beasts of burden. (21) Having pleased the reciters he should pronounce ‘Swasti, Swasti!’ Without having pleased the reciter if one listens to even one verse he will never attain to piety. Such a man is designated by the wise as the purloiner of scriptures. The gods are not pleased with him and the ancestral manes do not accept the things offered by him in Sraddhas. The thief of scriptures does not reap the fruit of bathing at holy shrines and is censured by the reciters of the Vedas. (22-24) After the completion of Markandeya a wise man performs a festival and makes a gift of a milch-cow for being released from all sins. (25) He also gives away clothes and jewels unto the twice-born with their wives, as well as golden ear-rings, turbans, clean beds gold-coins, seven sorts of corns, brass vessels for taking food and vessels for clarified butter. (26-27) Doing this, O foremost of the twice-born, a man achieves all his objects. Hearing the reciting of all these Puranas duly a man reaps the fruits of a thousand horse sacrifices, and a hundred Rajashuya ceremonies. He does not stand in fear of death or hell. (28-29) Being freed from all sins he purifies the present and future generations; forsooth the continuity of his family is never disturbed. (30) He goes to the region of Indra and the eternal region of Brahma; there spoken of highly he will again be born as a man. (31) Thus by listening to the recitation of Puranas one attains to most excellent yoga. Gifts should not be made unto an atheist, adulterer, vilifier of the Vedas, unto him who speaks against his preceptor, him who breaks his vow, forsakes his parents and steals gold; unto him who shall disregard an honourable man and speaks against his kinsmen. No gifts should be made unto these even if vital breath comes up to the throat. (32-34) If out of avarice, ignorance or fear one reads it or makes others read, forsooth does he go to hell. (35)

Jaimini said: – “O ye birds, you, out of friendship, have removed that doubt of mine, the solution whereof I did not find in Bharata. Who else will do it? (36) Do ye live long freed from diseases and gifted with wealth. And may your understanding grow in Sankya Yoga. (37) You will be freed from the curse of your father.” Having said this he left for his own hermitage. (38)

Thinking of the noble words of the birds the great Jaimini adored the leading twice-born ones. (39)

The End.