Discussion between Krishna and Garuda ||1||

1One should begin the recital of Jaya (this holy Purana) after bowing to Narayana, Nara the most excellent among men, Goddess Sarasvati and Vyasa. The renowned Vishnu shines victoriously like the wish giving Kalpa tree with Dharma (virtue) for its firmly fixed roots, the Vedas for its main stem, the Puranas for its branches, the sacrifice for its flames and salvation for its fruits.
2In Naimisha forest, the solitary region, the sages Saunaka and others asked Suta who was sitting comfortably on his seat after going through his daily rites.
3O Suta, you possess perfect knowledge (of the Puranic lore) through sage Vyasa’s favour. Hence, you can clear off our doubts we have in our mind.
4-5Following the maxim of caterpillar, some sages say that the soul attains another body after leaving the previous one. Others hold that the soul enters another body after going through Yama’s torture. What is true?
6Suta said: -Gentlemen, you. have put the right question. Now hear. To allay your doubts.
7I shall take recourse to a dialogue between Krishna and Garuda. I shall try to remove your doubts thereby.
8Obeisance to sage Krishna. They who take recourse to him can easily cross the ocean of the world as it were a small river.
9Once upon a time, Garuda desired to go around the world. He started on journey, wandered all over, muttering the name.
10He wandered over the earth, in hell and heaven but could not get peace. He returned Vaikuntha, more distressed by the sight of people’s sorrows.
11There in Vaikuntha; neither Rajas exists, nor Tamas, nor Sattva mixed, with either of these two. Sattva alone exists there.
12Neither Maya nor destruction nor the evils like anger, attachment etc. exist there.
13There dwell glorious-Vishnu’s Ganas dark and fair, bright, lotus-eyed, worshipped by deities and demons, clad in tawny robes and adorned with ornaments, bedecked with garlands of gold coins setup with jewels.
14Possessed of four arms and tufts of hair, wearing earrings and garland, they shone by the rows of resplendent aerial cars.
15There Lakshmi gladly adorns· Lord Vishnu’s feet by offering many precious gems. Herself surrounded by the rows of beautiful damsels and friendly associates she sits in a moving swing and praises Hari.
16-21There he saw Hari All-powerful, Lord of Lakshmi, Lord of the good. Lord of the world, lord of the sacrifices, surrounded by the courtiers: Sunanda, Nanda, Prabalarhana, chief among them possessing a face delightful to the servants, possessing big reddish eyes, bearing, crest and earrings, being looked at the chest by Lakshmi. Wearing yellow garment; possessing four arms, and a delightful smiling face, sitting on a costly seat surrounded by the powers. Pradhana, Purusa, Mahat, Ahama, the eleven organs, the five elements and delighting in Self. Garuda was pleased to see the Lord. His hair thrilled with joy and with tears coming out of his eyes he bowed to him with the feeling of love.
22Vishnu spoke to Garuda who had come to see him and who had bowed to him; “O Garuda, tell us how much of this earth you have wandered over and within such a short time.”
23Garuda said: -My Lord, by your grace, I have visited the three worlds and seen all beings-the movable and the immovable.
24From Bhuloka to Satyaloka, I have visited all regions, except the region of Yama, O my lord.
25Among all the worlds, the Bhuloka is thickly populated by various kinds of creatures. This region is the most auspicious of all inasmuch as it affords a place of enjoyment to all and is celebrated as the place where they can strive for salvation.
26A region better than this for those who perform good actions has neither been before nor will there ever be.
27It seems that the gods sing songs to this purport. Those who live in this part of the world called Bharata are in fact blessed. In order to enjoy the fruits of heaven and salvation they are born as human beings, casting off their deity hood.
28Why is the corpse tied to the bamboo sticks? Why are the five jewels kept in the mouth? Why is the grass placed beneath? Why are the feet kept southward?
29Why do the sons and grandsons walk ahead? Why are the gifts given, including the gift of a cow, O Kesava?
30-31Why do the relatives; the friends, and even the foes forgive him. Why are the gingelly seeds, iron, gold, cotton, salt, seven types of grains, land (or house) and now are given? How does a creature die? Having died, where does he go?
32How does he take shelter in the body being carried? Why does the son carry the corpse on his shoulders and the grandson lights the fire?
33Why is the anointment done with the butter? Wherefrom is the Ekahuti-Kriya? Why is Vasundhara performed and wherefrom the lamentations from women?
34Why is the Yama-Sukta recited? Why is water carried to the north? Why is the sun looked through a cloth?
35Why barley, mustard-seed, Durva, the two stones, the leaves of Margosa? Why do men and women wear one lower and one upper garment.
36Why should the meals, etc. be not taken along with other persons after returning home? Why do the sons give nine Pindas.
37Why is the milk in an earthen pot placed on Catvara? Why are the three wooden sticks tied together and placed on the cross-roads in the night?
38Why is a lamp placed every night for one year? Why should the water be offered in the name of the deceased by the relatives and other people?
39Why should the nine Pindas be offered? How is the gift to be given to the manes? Why is the call for the bearers of the corpse?
40When this is done, O lord! then why is the rite of Pinda repeated? What should be given next after the gift of Pinda is made?
41Why are the bones collected? Why is the earthen pot broken? Why is a bath taken on the second day? Why on the fourth day?
42Why is it taken on the tenth day along with the other mourners? Why the anointment with oil?
43-44The Pinda given on the tenth day is done so with meat, why? Why is, the Pinda on the eleventh day given after releasing the bull?
45-46Why are vessels, shoes; umbrella, clothes and ring given on the thirteenth day. Why the sixteen sraddhas? Why are food, water, etc. given every day for three-hundred and sixty days of the year? Why is the food put in a vessel for satiating the deceased?
47-48O lord, the mortal man, dies at the appointed time. I do not see an outlet, then from where does the soul go away? From where do the elements-earth, water, mind, fire, air and sky pass away; tell me, O lord?
49From where do the five organs of action, the five organs of perception and the five vital airs away and how?
50From where do the five thieves of the body-greed affection, desire, love and pride go away and how?
51Whatever little action has been done, whether good or bad or whatever gifts have been tendered which procure merit where do these go away after the body had decayed?
52Why is the rite of Sapindana done within the year of death? With whom is the union of the deceased sought and how?
53-54What does in the end happen to the people who pass away, in conscious or unconscious state, burnt or unburnt or who have been sinners or bad-charactered.
55-56O lord, what is the end of those who commit suicide, murder a Brahmana, or happen to. be thieves or deceivers by nature? What happens to that Sudra who drinks the milk of Kapila cow, who reads-the scriptures who wears the sacred thread or with possesses a brahmin wife?
57O lord, you tell me all this, for I am terribly afraid of the sinner. Hear something more, O “soul of the universe. While wandering with curiosity, I saw the entire world.
58-59After seeing people merged in sorrows, a great pain arose in my heart. The affliction on the earth caused by death and disease is greater than affliction from the sight of asuras in paradise.
60I had the fear of losing my desired object in hell. There is no other place safer than your feet, O Lord.
61Time has consumed the unreality as it his consumed the dream-world. Still, I saw a number of people suffering-from sorrows in the land of Bharata.
62-63They were merged deep in attachment, envy, affection, etc. Some were blind, some squint-eyed, some dumb, some lame, some one-eyed, some deaf, some suffering from leprosy and other diseases and some from pride as false as the sky-flower.
64After seeing the strangeness of their faults in the face of death. I have come to you with a mind to ask what is death? Why is this strangeness?
65How does death occur? How is it that even after death, if rites are performed for one year one does not fall in the bad state? Formerly, I had heard from the sages in general; now I ask you specifically on these points, O lord.
66Formely, I had heard from the sages in general; now I ask you specifically on these points, O Lord.
67O Vishnu, what shall a dying roan do? What shall he give in charity? After death, what is the method of cremation?
68Does he languish or obtain another body? When he lives in Yama’s city, what are the rites to. be performed by his descendants in the year of his death?
69-70What are the rites of propitiation for the common ignorant deceased? For one dead in Pancaka? Be pleased, dispel my ignorance. I have asked all that I wanted to ask only for the welfare of the world. Please answer my queries.