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Vayu Purana – Uttara Kandha 10-18

– 18 –

Benefit Derived from Charitable Gifts

1Brihaspati said: Henceforth I shall recount the various types of religious gifts and the benefits thereof. A religious gift enables all living beings to cross (the ocean of worldly existence). It is the pleasing pathway unto heaven.
2That which is the most excellent in the world, that which is conducive to the attainment of heaven, nay, everything that is pleasing to oneself, must be offered to Pitfs by one who seeks one’s own eternal salvation.
3A person who offers cooked rice, derives the benefit of attaining a divine golden chariot dazzling like the sun and filled with divine Apsaras.
4He who gifts a cloth fresh from the loom at the time of the Sraddha rite attains longevity, ample wealth, beauty and a son.
5The knower of Dharmas who gives a sacred thread at the time of Sraddha and offers water to all Brahmanas attains the fruit of Brahmadana (the gift of Vedic learning).
6If anyone offers a good water pot at the time of Sraddhas to the Brahmanas, a cow exuding honey and milk approaches the donor.
7He who gives a circular water pot at the time of Sraddha obtains a milk-yielding divine cow that can be milked for whatever he wishes.
8If anyone gives a complete bed-equipment decorated with garlands of flowers, it becomes a palace and follows him as he goes (to heaven).
9By giving a house full of gems, furnished with bed, seats and food, at the time of Sraddha to ascetics, one rejoices in heaven.
10-14He obtains pearls, lapis lazuli, garments, varieties of precious stones, divine vehicles, hundred thousands and trillions in number and a divine aerial chariot that dazzles like a great blazing fire, that has the lustre of the moon and the sun and that is furnished with jewels according to one’s desire. The aerial chariot has the speed of the mind and can go anywhere as per his pleasure. It is surrounded by Apsaras-s. He remains at the head of the aerial chariot eulogised by everyone all round. The Gandharvas and Apsaras sprinkle him with divine scents and showers of flowers. They sing and play on the instruments. Youthful and prominent maidens accompanied by groups of Apsaras-s, wake him up in sweet pleasing voices.
15By the gifts of a thousand horses, a hundred chariots and a thousand elephants, a man lives with a Yogini.
16He who offers water (and) lamp to Pitps and attains the fruit of the gift of thousands of gold coins.
17No other gift is more excellent than the gift Hence, by all means protection to life should be given.
18Non-violence is holier than all the Devas. It everything. Learned men say that the gift of life is the unto all living beings.
19At the time of Sraddha, one should give golden vessels having good characteristics. Sweet (divine) juicesand beverages, good foodstuffs and good fortune approach him.
20One shall give beautiful metallic vessel while feeding in Sraddha. He will become a recipient of the objects of cherished desires and of beauty and wealth.
21In the Sraddha rite, one should give a silver or gold vessel. By giving it, the donor gets ample virtue (as reward).
22He who makes a gift of a cow that has calved but once, along with a milking pot, at the time of a Sraddha, obtains several cows and the nourishment of the cows.
23-26aAt the time of winter, one shall offer fire plenty of wood. He who gives fuel to Brahmanas at onset of winter, becomes always victorious in battle, shines with glory. One should honour Brahmanas and offer fragrant garlands and sweet scents as well as vessels. Great rivers flowing with fragrant scents and all sorts of happiness approach the donor. So also youthful maidens of pleasing manners (approach him).
26bBeautiful beds and seats, grounds and vehicles (are to be given).
27-28He who gives the above-mentioned articles at a Sraddha, attains the benefit of a horse-sacrifice. In ordinary Sraddhas or at the time of Darsa Sraddha, one should give to the Brahmanas of good qualities, vessels full of ghee with very great respect. He shall attain good memory and fine intellect.
29He obtains the benefit of many cows yielding pot full of milk. In this world, he rejoices with chariots and good horses.
30By giving the thing wished for, at the time of Sraddha, one gets the benefit of the sacrifice called Pundarika. By giving a beautiful residential place, one attains the fruit of Rajasuya sacrifice.
31-33By giving a forest full of flowers and fruits, one obtains sweet smelling substances. By giving wells, parks, tanks, fields, cowsheds and houses, one rejoices in heaven as long as the moon and the stars stay. By giving beds and bedsheets embellished with jewels, one attains endless heavenly pleasure. Pitris arc pleased with him. He is worshipped (honoured) by kings. He flourishes with wealth and grain.
34-35Woollen and silk garments, excellent blankets, deerskin, gold brocade, coloured cloth and wool—these should be given to Brahmanas after duly feeding them. A person who has faith then gets the benefit of a hundred Vajapeya Yajnas.
36Many beautiful women, sons, servants and attendants, nay all living beings, become submissive to him in this world. He becomes free from all ailments.
37He who gives silk, woven silk, cotton and velvet cloth, in Sraddhas obtains the fulfilment of all his cherished desires.
38He dispels all inglorious things and misfortunes immediately like the darkness at the time of sunrise. He shines on an aerial chariot like the moon among stars.
39A garment is praised by all Devas; garment belongs to all the deities. In the absence of cloth, no holy rite—neither Yajnas nor (study of) Vedas nor penances, can be performed.
40Hence clothes should be given at the time of Sraddha particularly. He obtains all those things—Yajnas, the Vedas and the penances.
41He who always gives them during Sraddhas with faith and purity, obtains all his desires and all realms.
42-43He obtains the fruit of a sacrifice richly equipped with all desirable things. He who gives different kinds of edibles, grains, flour mixed with curds, flour cakes, ghee and sugar, milk, milk puddings, Krsaras1 and Madhuparka and pies fried in ghee, obtains the fruit of Agnistoma.
44Pitris are eager for curds and other milk products and different kinds of edibles and cooked rice during the rainy season and at the time when the constellation Magha is ascendant.
45One shall feed Brahmanas with ghee. A little of ghee must be poured on the ground. By gifting elephants in Gaya, one can be free from all worries about Sraddha.
46By giving cooked rice, milk pudding, ghee, honey, fruits and roots as well as different types of food, one rejoices here and after death.
47Beaten rice mixed with sugar and milk is always of everlasting benefit. If Masura dal and Krsara (rice cooked with spices and pulses) are offered, Pitris will be pleased for a year.
48Fried grain-powder, fried rice, pies, cooked horse-gram dishes—all mixed with curds—He who gives all these in Sraddha obtains the treasure of Kubera.
49He who assiduously gives fresh vegetables in Sraddhas after duly honouring the guests, attains all enjoyments. He is revered when he goes to heaven.
50The man who offers the most excellent foods and edibles, beverages, lambatives and juicy things, becomes the most excellent of all.
51The flesh of the rhinoceros is the best Havis in the rites for Visvedevas and Soma. But the best horn of the rhinoceros should be avoided to mitigate the malice (of deities)?
52The devotee, with palms joined in reverence, should offer the best seat to the guests while feeding. He shall then attain the excellent fruit of all the rites and Yajnas.
53Well-cooked food should be served hot and quick to the hungry. It should not be over-cooked. After honouring him assiduously vegetable dishes soaked in ghee should be offered devotedly.
54The person who offers food resembling the mid-day sun and fitted with swans for three crores of Kalpas (crores of maidens in Bd. P.).
55There is nothing here greater than the gift of food and they are sustained by it without any doubt. attains an aerial chariot
56There is no gift nobler than the gift of life. The set of the three worlds lives by means of food. That is the fruit of offering cooked rice.
57All the worlds are founded (dependent) on food. It is the fruit of the gift of the worlds. Food is Prajapati himself. All these worlds are pervaded by it. Hence a gift on par with that of food has never been before nor will there be any ever in future.
58A man devoted to Pitris immediately attains all the jewels, vehicles and women on the earth.
59One should with palms joined in reverence, always offer shelter to the guests. They are the Devas awaiting in thousands, for the divine hospitality.
60He who makes all gifts (mentioned before) shall be the sole emperor on the earth. He shall become happy even if he makes three, two or even one of those gifts.
61Making gifts is the greatest virtue (Dharma). It is honourd and revered by good men. The Lordship of the three worlds is to be attained only through Dana.
62A king regains his kingdom; a poor man gets excellent wealth; a man about to die, attains longevity. Whatever a man devoted to Pitris desires in his mind, will be granted by his Pitris.

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