Royal Ablution ||48||

1The king is the root of the subject-tree. Since the happiness and misery of the people arise in order from nourishing and injuring that root, it is necessary to devise means to enhance the king’s welfare.
2Now listen, Ye, to the expiation, which had been expounded by the Self-born to the Preceptor of Gods for the sake of Indra, and which, later, the Senior Garga got and imparted to sage Bhaguri.
3The royal astrologer and preceptor should give the King an ablution on a day with the asterism of Pushya^ There is nothing holier than this (bath) which puts an end to all the portents.
4-5The royal ablution should be done in a forest region, which is devoid of cordia, beleric myrobalan, thorny, pungent, bitter, and bad-smelling trees; which is free from owls, vultures and such other inauspicious birds; which is full of young trees, shrubs, creepers and bowers, and which consists mostly of beautiful and attractive trees with unimpaired leaves and sprouts.
6-7Or, the ablution may be performed in a pure building in a sacred place in the vicinity of forests that resound with the notes of the cocks, Jeevas, Jeevakas, parrots, peacocks, wood-peckers, blue jays, green pigeons, Krakaras, Chakoras, Kapinjalas, Vanjulas doves, Srikantas and other birds such as the virile cuckoos and bees intoxicated with the drink of honey.
8Or, it should be performed on the attractive thighs, viz. the sandy banks that delight the eyes and the heart, that have the scratches of nails, in the form of aquatic birds, of the sportive damsels, viz. the rivers .
9Or, it may be done in a lake, which possesses the beauty of Indra, on account of its royal umbrella in the form of the flying swans, the fine songs in the form of the cries of ducks, ospreys and cranes, arid its eyes in the form of lily blossoms.
10Or, in a place where there are the sportive damsels, viz. lotus-ponds with their beaming faces of full-blown lotuses, melodious voices of the sweet notes of royal swans and breasts of the uplifted buds.
11Or, it may be done in a cow-pen which is full of drops of foam caused by the cows chewing the cud, of cow-dung and Scratches made by their hoofs; and which is gay with the lowing and frisking of young calves.
12Or, it may be performed on the seashore which is overcrowded with ships that have arrived safely being laden with costly things, and whose fringes are variegated with white birds and fishes and the like lurking in the thick bushes of the Nichula trees.
13Or, it may be done in hermitages, where a lion is subdued by a female deer, as anger by forgiveness and where the young ones of birds and the deer roam about without any fear.
14Or, it may be done in a prosperous house where the deer-eyed ladies speak as sweetly as cuckoos, and have their gait impeded by the weight of heavy hips, girdles and anklets.
15Or, it may be done in holy temples, rivers (Tirthas), attractive regions of gardens, in a place where the earth slopes down towards the east or the north, or where the water flows from left to tight.
16-17It is auspicious when the ablution is performed in a place where the ground is free from ashes, diarcoal, bones, sandy mud, husk, hair, pits, burrows of crabs as well as from burrow-dwelling animals, rat-holes and anthills. The patch of earth which is hard (not hollow), sweet smelling. glossy (not arid), sweet and even (without ups and downs), augurs victory. The same holds good in the case of encampment of armies as well, according to circumstances.
18-19The astrologer, minister and sacrificial piles should set out of the city at night and offer libations (oblations) in- the east, north or north-east. Then, the pure priest devoutly performs the Avahana (infusion ceremony) with fried grains, coloured rice, curds and flowers; and the hymn prescribed for that by the sages is the following:
20-21“May all Gods who wish to be honoured with worship come here as well as the others vis., quarters, serpents, sages and others that partake of the sacrificial offerings” The priest after calling upon and infusing the deities (into their images) should address all of them thus : “You will go back tomorrow after receiving worship and conferring prosperity on the King.”
22After worshipping the infused deities, they should spend the night there in order to ascertain the good or bad nature of the future revealed by dreams, the rules pertaining to which have been dealt with in ray work ‘Yatra’.
23On teh morrow, at dawn, the materials possessing the prescribed qualities are to be offered on the earth, and the following are the verses enunciated by the ancient sage on this subject.
24-28In that place, a circle should be drawn by the priest and filled with varieties of genos, and places kept apart for worshipping the different deities, viz., Serpents, Yakshas, Gods, Manes, Gandharwasi Nymphs, Sages and Siddhas. The learned priest should draw with various coloured powders the figures of the planets with all the stars, Rudras, the Mothers (7 in number), Skanda, Vishnu, Visakha, the protectors of the quarters and divine ladies, and duly worship them with perfumes, garlands, scented paste, eatables and food of varjous kinds and varieties of roots, fruits and meat and attractive drinks such as toddy, milk and wine.
29-33Now I shall explain the mode of worshiping the deities drawn in the circle. As for the planets, the same method as given in the in connection with planetary sacrifices should be followed. The Danavas, Daityas and Pisachas are to be worshipped with flesh, rice, liquor, etc.; the Manes with oil bath, collyrium, sesamum, meat and rice; the sages with hymns from Sama, Yajus and Rig Vedas, perfumes, incense and garlands; the serpents with unmixed colours and the triple sweet—honey, ghee and sugar; the Gods with incense) ghee, oblations, garlands, gems, invocations and salutations; the Gandharvas and the nymphs with fine perfumes and sweet-smelling garlands; the remaining deities with multi-coloured offerings. All the deities should be worshipped and also strings dipped in saffron paste, cloths, flags, ornaments and sacred threads should be placed in their respective compartments.
34-36To the west or the south of the circle, fire should be kindled on the sacrificial, altas and all the necessary materials collected as well as. long blades of Darbha grass that have passed their sprouting stage; and fried grains, ghee, coloured rice, curd, honey, white mustard seeds, perfumes, flowers, incense, yellow orpiment, collyrium, sesamum and sweet fruits of the season. On the circle should be placed earthen plates filled with
ghee and Payasa and with these materials, worship should be done on the western altar, as this is the one recommended for the royal ablution.
37-38And in the four corners of the altar should be placed strong pots with white strings tied round their necks, and sprouts of milky trees and fruits on their mouths. They should be filled with water containing the herbs prescribed for the ablution, and gems and then the materials for the ablution enumerated by Sage Garga as hereunder (wide next two Slokas), should be collected.
39-42The Jyotishmatee (a kind of herb), Trayaraana (a herb), Haritaki, Samee, Jeevantee, Visweswaree, Patha, red madder, Vacha, Saha, Sahadevee, Poornakosa, Satavaree, Arishtika, Siva, Bhadra, Bramhee, Kshema, Aja, all kinds of seeds, Kanchanee, all auspicious things (such as curds, coloured rice and flowers) as far as available, all herbs, juices of different tastes, gems, all perfumes, Bilva and Vikankata fruits, herbs bearing auspicious names, gold and auspicious materials — all these are to be put into the several pots.
43-45At first, the skin of a ball bearing auspicious marks, which had died after full age should be spread on the altar with the neck turned to the east. Over this, should be placed a red and unimpaired skin of a fighting bull. Over this is to be spread a lion’s skin, and over that, a tiger. This is to be done in an auspicious Muhurta when the Moon is on the star Pushya.
46-47The throne made of gold, silver or copper or of any milky tree is to be placed on the aforesaid skins. If its height is one cubit, one and a quarter and one and a half cubits, it will prove beneficial to rulers of states, conquerors of neighboring kingdoms and those who wish to bring the whole earth under their sway respectively.
48-49Having placed gold on the throne (having put some gold inside the throne), the King should sit on it with a happy mind, in the company of his ministers, trustworthy friends, preceptors, astrologers, citizens, and those having auspicious names; and with bards, townsmen and Brahmins shouting and chanting in a chorus the Punyaha hymn and the Vedas; and all evils warded off through the auspicious sounds of tabors, conchs and other musical instruments.
50Then the preceptor should anoint the King who is clad in fresh (unwashed) silken garment and who has offered oblations and worship to the deities, with ghee contained in pots after covering him with a blanket.
51The number of holy pots to be used is eight or twenty-eight or a hundred and eight. The greater the number of pots consecrated, the greater with be the efficacy. The following is the hymn compound by the Senior Garga for the anointing ceremony.
52-53Consecrated ghee has been- mentioned as power (splendour); it is the best dispeller of sins; it is the food of the Gods; on it are established all the worlds. Whatever sin – terrestrial, atmospheric or celestial—has befallen you, may all that melt away by your contact with this sanctified ghee.
54Then, the royal priest should remove the blanket and bathe the king with the “Waters of the Royal Ablution” containing fruits and flowers, reciting the following hymns.
55-70May the Gods bathe you, and the ancient Siddhas, Brahman, Vishnu, Rudra, Sadhyas, groups of Maruts, the Suns, Vasus, Rudras, the great celestial physicians, Aditi, the mother of the Gods, Svaha, Siddhi, Saraswati, Kirti, Lakshmi, Dhriti, Sree, Sineevali, Kuhu, Danu, Surasa, Vinata, Kadru, the consoris of Gods that have not been mentioned so far, and also mothers of Gods, may all these bathe you ! The groups of divine nymphs, the stars, Muhurtas, Fortnights, Days, Nights, the three junctions. Years, the lords of Day (the Sun and other planets). Minutes, Seconds Moments, Lavas (the sixth part of a twinkling), all these, and other auspicious divisions of Time, may they bathe you! Sages engaged in the propagation of the Vedas, and hermits with their wives and disciples bathe you! The Vaimanikas (owners of aerial chariots), groups of Gods, Manus, Oceans Rivers, the great Serpents, Kimpurushas, Vaikhanasas, the great Brahmins, Vaihayasas, the seven seers with their wives,, the, Fixed Places, Marichi, Atri, Pulaha, Palasthya, Krata, Angiras, Bhrigu, Sanatkamara; Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, Daksha, Jaigeeshavya, Bhagandara, Ekata, Dwita, Trita, Jabali, Kasyapa, Durvasas, Durvineeta, Kanwa, Katyayana, Markandeya, Deerghatapas, Sunassepha, Viduratha, Urva, Samvarthaka, Chyavanaj Atri, Parasara, Dwaipayana, Yavakreeta, Devaraja and his younger brother, Mountains, Trees, Creepers, Holy places, Prajapati, Diti, Cows, the Mothers of the Universe, Divine Vehicles, all the Worlds, the Moving and Stationary Beings, Fires, Manes, Stars, Clouds, Sky, Quarters, Water, these and many others of auspicious names bathe you with holy waters that destroy all the portents, just as Indra was anointed by all these with a happy mind!
71With these hymns and others prescribed in the books on rituals belonging to the Atharva Veda Rudragana (11 Anuvakas), Kausmanda (six anuvakas), Maharauhina, Kubera Hridaya and the Samriddhi Rik, the above anointing ceremony should be done.
72After a bath, the King should wear a pair of cotton cloths, sanctified by the three verses of the hymn commencing with आपोहिष्टा and by the four beginning with हिरण्यवर्णा.
73Then the King sipping water, while the sounds of conchs and chanting of Punyaha hymns flourish, should worship Gods, Preceptors, Brahmins, his royal umbrella, banner and weapons and lastly his own guardian deity (or his usual worship to be done).
74Then the King should wear new ornaments conducive to victory, sanctified by the verses… etc.
75-76Going to the second sacrificial altar, the King should sit on the skins which are to be placed one over another in this manner—first, the skin of a bull is placed, over this, that of a cat, over this, that of an antelope, over this, that of a spotted deer, over these, the lion’s, and lastly, the tiger’s over them.
77In the chief place (right side), the priest should make offerings of sacrificial twigs, sesamum, ghee, etc. into the fire with hymns addressed to Siva, Indra, Brihaspati, Narayana and Vayu.
78The astrologer should tell the auguries, of Fire, explained in the chapter on ‘Indra’s Banner’ (Adh. XLIII- P. 324, Supra). The priest having finished all the rites, should recite the following with folded palms.
79“May all the groups of Gods depart and come back on another occasion, having now received worship at the hands of the King, and bestowed great success on him”.
80The King then should honour the astrologer, priest and others worthy of Dakshina such as Vedic scholars with large gifts of money according to their merits.
81The King should please his subjects (by a proclamation to the effect of protecting them against all odds) release the animals from the hands of butchers and order a general amnesty to prisoners except those that threaten the internal peace of the country.
82Should the King perform this ceremony every time the Moon is in Pushya, he would get increased happiness, fame and wealth. If it be performed at any other time, it would yield only half the benefits mentioned. For, the expiatory ceremony done during the Full Moon in the month of Pushya is declared to be the foremost.
83The royal ablution should be performed when a kingdom is afflicted with portents and disasters (like epidemics), when there is an eclipse, when Ketu is sighted and when there is a planetary war.
84There is no portent in the world that is not remedied by this; and there is no auspicious rite that surpasses this ceremony.
85This ceremony is highly commendable at a king’s coronation, when he aspires for the sovereignty over an empire and longs for the birth of a son.
86For the sake of Indra, Brihaspati of great renown taught this Ablution, which confers unique longevity, increase of offspring and happiness.
87The King who afterwards bathes his horses and elephants in the same manner, will see them free from illness and attain great success.