Mode of making a pilgrimage to Gaya ||115||

1-7Fire-god said: When he has decided to go to Gaya after having duly performed the ancestral rite, he should wear ochre robes and do circumambulation of the village. He should control his mind and should not seek alms as he proceeds on the journey every day. As soon as he has started from his house to go to Gaya, he secures for his ancestors the steps to ascend to heaven at each one of his steps. What is that to be done by acquiring knowledge about the brahman (the absolute)? What is the benefit of dying at a cowshed? What is the use of stay at Kuruksetra? If the son goes to Gaya, the ancestors celebrate it on seeing that the son has reached Gaya. (They would think), will they (the sons) offer us waters at least by touching with their feet? The knowledge about brahman, the ancestral rite at Gaya, the death at the cowshed and stay at Kuruksetra are the four ways of attaining liberation. The ancestors who are afraid of hell desire that their sons who go to Gaya would be their saviours. Tonsure and fasting is a general rule (to be adhered) at all the sacred places.
8There is no restriction about time at Gaya. The oblations may be offered always. One who stays there for three fortnights purifies seven generations.
9In the astaka ceremony and in the vriddhi rite at Gaya on the day of death, separate rite is performed for the mother at Gaya. But it is performed along with the husband at other places.
10So also with the rites for the nine relatives such as the father etc. and for the twelve relatives. One should bathe in the sacred water of Uttaramanasa on the first day.
11One should bathe in the sacred Uttaramanasa for the sake of increase of longevity and good health, for the destruction of all sins and for liberation.
12By satisfying gods and ancestors with offerings, the doer of ancestral rite is deemed to have offered them the balls (of rice) “I am satisfying gods remaining in heaven, sky and earth.”
13-16One should satisfy beings in heaven, sky and earth, and father and mother (with the words), “I make these offerings of balls (of rice) for (my) father, grandfather, great-grandfather, mother, (paternal) grandmother, (paternal) great-grandfather, (maternal) grandfather, (maternal) great-grandfather and (maternal) great great grandfather and others for their uplift. “Our salutations to the Sun-god who is of the forms of (the planets) Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu. Whoever bathes in the Uttaramanasa elevates his entire family.
17-18After having saluted Sun (god) one should go to the Daksinamanasa without speaking (any word). (One should contemplate as follows): “I bathe in the Daksinamanasa for the satisfaction of (my) ancestors. I have come to Gaya. May all my ancestors ascend heaven.” After having performed ancestral rite and offered balls (of rice), one should utter as follows after worshipping Sun (god):
19“Om, salutation to Sun (god), lord (of the universe. O Supreme god! get me the cherished end. Graciously grant enjoyment and emancipation to all my ancestors.
20-21May the most propitious Fire-god, the conveyor of oblations. Soma, Yama, Aryama, and groups of manes— Agnisvattah, Barhisadah, Ajyapah come here. My ancestors such as mother, (maternal) grandfather and others were protected here by all of you.
22-24I am the person to offer them balls (of rice). I have come to this Gaya (Ksetra). The sacred place named Kanakhala, renowned in three worlds and being worshipped by celestials, sages and ganas lies to the north of pristha (the place where tonsure is done). It is being guarded always by the licking great serpents that give pleasure to accomplished persons and frighten sinners. The mortals on earth go to heavens and sport there by bathing there (in the waters of Kanakhala).
25Then one should go to Phalgutirtha situated on the Mahanadi after having visited Uttaramanasa, Naga, Janar- dana, sacred well and banyan tree.
26This is spoken as the Gayasira. It is also called Phalgutirtha. The Mundaprstha, Naga hill and other places are the most excellent among outstanding.
27The water on the earth is veritable Kamadhenu which yields prosperity and heaven. The Phalgutirtha causes delight to the eyes. No other place is like the Phalgu (tirtha).
28The man who bathes in the Phalgutirtha and worships lord Gadadhara (Vishnu) is deemed to have achieved all things got by the doers of good deeds.
29The sacred places on earth, commencing with oceans and ending with tanks go to Phalgutirtha once every day.
30Whoever bathes reverentially at the Phalgutirtha, the foremost among tirthas, causes forefathers to reach the region of Braluna and the own self to get enjoyment and emancipation.
31-33One who performs the ancestral rite here should bathe, offer balls (of rice) and worship (lord) Brahma. In this Kaliyuga, all regions (of the universe) are presided over by (lord) Mahesvara (Siva). But (lord) Gadadhara (Visnu) is the presiding deity here. (Lord) Brahma (remains here) in the form of a linga. (One should say), “I make obeisance to (lords) (Mahesvara) Siva, Gadadhara (Vishnu), Bala, Kama (god of love), Aniruddha (a form of Vishnu) and Nara- yana. I also make obeisance to Brahma, Visnu, Nrsirhha and Varaha (forms of Visnu) and others.” Then one elevates hundreds of his family after worshipping (lord) Gadadhara.
34Then one should go to Dharmaranya on the second day, bathe in Matahgavapi at the excellent Matahgasrama, do the ancestral rite and offer balls (of rice).
35-36One should utter the following (words), after worshipping gods Matangesa and Siddhesa: “Let the gods and guardian deities be the witness (to the fact) that I had come here and performed rites at this Matahga for the liberation of my fore-fathers. Bathing, offering waters of liberation, performance of ancestral rite and other acts (should be performed) at Brahmatirtha and the sacred well.
37The performance of ancestral rite between the well and the sacrificial post lifts hundreds of fore-fathers. The righteous person who salutes the Mahabodhi tree gets the region of heaven.
38-39On the third day, having control over the senses, one should bathe in the Brahmasaras, with the words, “I bathe in the sacred Brahmasaras for the favour of lord Brahma and convey forefathers to the region of Brahma served by the brahmarsis and ganas. The doer of ancestral rite should offer waters of libation, offer balls (of rice) and sprinkle (water over his body). One who wants to have Vajapeya (rite) should circumambulate the brahma, upa (post).
40One sage offers water at the root of the mango tree holding a pitcher and kuia in his hand. The mango trees are watered and the forefathers are satisfied. One act is well known as yielding two fruits.
41-42By making obeisance to lord Brahma one elevates hundreds of generations. On the fourth day, after having bathed in the Phalgutirtha and offering tarpana to gods, one should do the ancestral rite together with (the offering of) balls (of rice) at the Gayasiras. The extent of sacred Gaya is five kroias (ten miles) and the extent of Gayaisira is one krosa (two miles).
43By offering balls (of rice) there, one elevates hundreds of generations. The great lord Mahadeva (Siva) has placed his foot at the Mundaprstha.
44The Gayasira is said to be the sanctuary at Mundaprstha. The Gayasira itself has been made the hermitage at Phalgutirtha.
45-48The nectar flows therein. Whatever is offered there to the forefathers never decreases. After having bathed at Dasasvamedha and worshipped lord Brahma, whoever touches the Rudrapada (the foot mark of lord Rudra) will not be born again. Having offered the ball of rice of the measure of a Sami leaf at Gayasira, those who are in the hell go to heaven and those who are in heaven attain liberation. The offer of ball (of rice) (is made) along with (sweet porridge) flour made into a paste, gruel, rice and wheat and mixed with sesamum. By offering the ball (of rice) at Rudrapada, one elevates hundreds of generations.
49Similarly, one who offers the ball (of rice) at the ancestral rite at Vishnupada gets released from debts (due to ancestors). One will elevate hundreds of forefathers as also his own self.
50-53So also, one who does the ancestral rite at the Brahma- pada (the place where the footmarks of Brahma are situated) conveys the forefathers to the region of Brahma. Similarly, (the performance of) ancestral rite at the daksinagnipada, garhapatyapada and the Shavantyapada confers the fruits of (performance of a) sacrificial rite. One who does the ancestral rite to dvasthya (fire), (gods) moon, sun, ganas (sage) Agastya and Karttikeya elevate the family. After having saluted the chariot of Sun, one should make obeisance to Karnaditya. After having worshipped the foot of (lord) Kanakeiia, one should make obeisance to Gayakedara. (By such acts) one gets freed from all sins and conveys his forefathers to the region of Brahma.
54-55Prince Visala at Visala became father of children by offering balls (of rice) at Gayasiras. He asked the brahmins, “How can I have children?” The brahmins told Visala, “All things will be got by offering balls (of rice) at Gaya.”
56-59Then Visala also offered balls (of rice) to the forefathers at Gayasiras. Having seen white and red (coloured) souls in the sky, he asked them, “Who are you?”. One among them, the white person, said to Viiala, “I, the white person, am your father now going to the region of Indra on account of (your) good deeds. O son! the red coloured (person) is my father and the black coloured is my grandfather. We had reached hell and we are liberated by you. Because you have offered balls (of rice) we are going to the region of Brahma”. After saying thus they went away. Visala got progeny, ruled the kingdom and (finally) reached lord Hari (Vishnu).
60-62The foremost among the pretas said to the merchant for his liberation, “Good fruits arc enjoyed by all pretas, who are tormented by sufferings. Once, a pitcher together with food and water was given on a Sravanadvadasi day at noon. That as been sustaining (us ever since). You go to Gaya with money and offer us balls (of rice)”. The merchant went to Gaya with money and offered balls (of rice).
63-64The foremost among the pretas was led to the region of (lord) Hari (Vishnu) along with the other pretas. (One liberates) his own self, his forefathers and those who have died on the paternal and maternal side, as also those related to the preceptor, the father-in-law and other relatives, by the offer of balls (of rice) at Gayasiras.
65-67(One should utter the following words): “Those who have been deprived of the offer of balls for their sake, those who do not have a wife or children, those for whom the rites could not be done, those who were blind, lame or of deformed limbs, those who were born prematurely and other known and unknown (relatives) in my family, for their sake, I have offered the ball (of rice). Let it remain undecaying. Those fore-fathers of mine who remain in the form of a preta, let all of them be pleas¬ ed for ever by the offer of the ball (of rice)”.
68All those who desire to elevate the family should offer balls (of rice) to all. So also one desirous of (elevating his own self) and getting imperishable place should offer (ball of rice).
69-70The wise man should bathe at Gadalola with the (repetition of) mantras. O lord Janardana! I bathe in this sacred Gadapraksalana at the extremely sacred Gadalola in order to appease sufferings due to mundane existence. Obeisance to the Aksayavata (banyan) tree, which yields undecaying heaven.
71One should do the ancestral rite at the spot of the banyan tree and feed brahmins for (securing) undecaying position of forefathers and for the destruction of all sins.
72If one brahmin has been fed, crores (of brahmins) would become fed. What more to say? If many are fed, the offerings done to the forefathers become undecaying.
73The fathers of those who offer food at Gaya become virtually the putra (i.e. having sons). After having saluted the banyan tree and the lord of the banyan tree, one should worship the great grandfather.
74One would attain imperishable position and elevate hundreds of his family members. The pilgrimage made to Gaya always (bears) fruit whether it is done in the proper way or not.