Discussion between Krishna and Garuda on Pretayatra ||16||
1-2O lord of birds, when the departed soul laments thus, he cries being struck by Yama’s servants who drag-him for seventeen days in the firmament. On the eighteenth day he reaches the city of Yama.
3ln that beautiful city there abides a group of departed Souls. The river Puspabhadrid flows there and a big fig tree grows up there.
4-6There in that city, the servants of Yama bid him take rest. In utter distress he remembers pleasures he enjoyed in the company of his wife and sons. Thirsty and distressed he weeps bitterly and laments over the erstwhile comforts of his wealth, wife, house, sons, servants, friends and comforts of life. He is extremely. distressed with hunger. As he laments the servants of Yama speak to him.
7Where is your wealth? Where are your sons? Where is your wife? Where are you in this wretched state? Now suffer for your past evil actions and go by this ancient path.
8O traveler in this foreign world, do you not know-the power of Yama who is the lord of us all-his messengers. Assuredly, you have to travel over that path where there is no provision for barter in virtue or vice.
9O bird, hear attentively what the messengers of Yama speak to the departed soul. They strike him with the rod of iron.
10Here, on the earth, whatever is given by his sons every month, rice-ball, etc., due to affection or kindness, he eats the same and then he goes to Sauripura.
11King Jangama rules in that city who can assume any shape at will. He is frightened by his looks. He feels the urge of taking rest.
12-13Whatever is offered to him in the three fortnights together with the oblations of water he eats and drinks. He passes over that city and reaches the beautiful town Nagendra by name. He has to travel day and night for two months for reaching that city. He passes over dreadful forests in the way and cries aloud.
14-15He is beaten by the cruel and merciless messengers of Yama and weeps over and over again. Having eaten the rice-balls and drunk the libation of water offered by the relatives in the second month, he moves further. He is tied with the noose and dragged by the messengers of Yama.
16He reaches Gandharvanagara (or Gandhamadana) in the third month. Here, he. eats the quarterly rice-ball offered by the relations. Then he moves further.
17He reaches the city Sailagama in the ‘fourth month. The stones· rain upon him continuously, O lord.
18There he eats the fourth monthly oblation and feels satisfied.
19In the fifth month, he goes to Krurapura. There he eats the rice ball offered by his relatives. In the sixth month he reaches the Krauncapura.
20There he feeds upon the rice-ball offered by his relatives ‘in the sixth month. He takes rest for a whit but all the time he remains frightened arid distressed.
21He passes over that town being struck and dragged by the messengers of Yama. He reaches Citranagara where rules King Vicitra.
22-23He is the younger brother of Yama. There he eats the sixth monthly rice-ball but is not satiated fully. Then be moves further he suffers again and again for want of food.
24Do my sons, brothers, parents or relatives exist who may take me out of the ocean of distress wherein I have fallen.”
25-28He laments in the way and is warned by the messengers of Yama. He then, reaches the Vaitarani that flows over hundred Yojanas. It is full of pus and blood, abounds in fish and vultures. Here the fishermen approach him saying, O traveler, give us liberal fee; we shall row you across the river. If he has gifted the Vaitarani cow he is rowed across the river. The gift of a cow at the time of death is called Vaitarani which gives relief to the departed soul.
29The gift of Vaitarani cow destroys his sins and takes him to the region of Vishnu. O best of birds, if the Vaitarani cow is not gifted, the departed soul is drowned in that stream.
30When a person is in good health he should gift a cow to a learned person.
31-32While drowning he reproaches himself: ‘I gave no food to a Brahmin traveler nor poured oblations in the fire nor performed Japa nor undertook bath nor prayed to the gods. Now, let me suffer for the acts I did in my life.
33The messengers of Yama strike him again. He repeats those words but in silence this time.
34He eats the sixth monthly offering-made by the relatives and proceeds further. O Garuda, the gift of food to the pious Brahmins gives relief to the donor in distress.
35O bird, the departed soul covers two hundred and forty-seven Yojanas every day. Thereafter he is completely exhausted.
36In the seventh month he reaches the city of Bahvapada. He eats the rice-ball offered by his relatives.
37In the eighth month he reaches Nanakrandapura. There he sees people crying bitterly aloud.
38Himself in utter distress, he cries in pain. He eats the eighth-monthly rice-ball and feels comfortable.
39He, then, leaves for Taptapura. Having reached Taptapura in the ninth month he eats he rice-ball and the Sraddha which his son or relatives have gifted in his favour.
40In the tenth month he reaches Raudrapura. He eats whatever his son or relatives give in his favour.
41After eating the tenth monthly rice-ball in Raudrapura he goes to Payovarshana where the clouds rain heavily and cause distress to the departed.
42Then suffering from heat and thirst he partakes of the eleventh-monthly meal gifted by his relatives.
43A little before a year has passed or at the end of eleven and a half month he reaches a Itapura-city of extreme cold and distress.
44Tormented by cold and hunger he looks in all directions and specks: O “I wish I had a relative who would have removed my distress.”
45The attendants of Yama speak to him thus: “Where is thy holy merit that it may give relief to thee.” On hearing their words, he cries: ‘O my fate.
46Fate is nothing but a result of accumulated merit or sin. ‘I did no good acts, hence this trouble pondering over the matter thus, he takes up courage for the time being.
47At the distance of forty-four Yojanas from Sitapura, there is a beautiful city of Dharmaraja (Yama) where live the celestial musicians and the heavenly nymphs.
48There live eighty-four lacs of people in human and divine forms. The guards are put at the thirteen gates of the city.
49-52There abide honorable and respectable Ravanas, the sons of Brahma who know and report to Citragupta whatever good or bad actions are performed by the mortals. The Sravanas are eight in number. They move about in heaven, hell and on earth. They can see and hear from afar. Their women are known as Sravana; who are identifiable by their individual names. They are the presiding deities of mortals and have full knowledge of their activities.
53A mortal should worship them with vows, gifts and prayers. They become cordial to him and cause death in an easy manner.