Sravana Mahatmya ||17||

1-2Garuda said: -O lord, I want to know about the parentage of Sravanas. How are they stationed in the city of Yama? How do they know about the activities of mortals? How do they hear what the people talk about among themselves? From what source is that knowledge derived by them?
3O lord, where do they eat? Favour me with your answers to my queries. On hearing the words of the king of birds, the lord spoke.
4Sri Krishna said: -Now hear, what I am going to speak about Sravanas is both truthful and pleasant. I shall tell you about the activities of Sravanas.
5When the entire world of moveables and immoveables became one uniform whole and I, the lord of beings, was reposing in sleep in the milky ocean.
6-7The self-born Brahma seated in my navel-lotus practised penance for many years. The universe consisting of fourfold creation was reduced to a single entity-the universe which is created by Brahma, preserved by Vishnu and annihilated by Rudra.
8Brahma created the all-pervading wind. He created the refulgent sun. He created Yama along with Citragupta.
9He created the universe afterwards, and practised penance for many years, sitting in the navel-lotus of Vishnu.
10-11He created the universe and assigned duties. The gods were anxious to know what time the creator created the universe, how Rudra, Vishnu and Dharma ruled over the earth.
12Thus lost in anxiety, the gods pondered. over the Problem. They discussed the matter with Brahma.
13-14Brahma who was urged by the gods created twelve sons by the chemical process out of flowers and leaves. They possess lustrous, wide eyes. At the behest of Brahma, they carry all tidings of Man’s activities whether good or bad to the ears of Brahma.
15They can hear from afar mind see far-off things. O bird, they are, therefore, cajoled Sravanas.
16They roam about in the firmament and watch the activities of the people which they reveal to Yama at the time of their death.
17They also declare on the fitness of he departed soul for a particular goal, due to his activities.
18There are four paths in man’s life, viz., paths of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. O son of Vinata, a man can go by any one of these paths, superior or inferior.
19One who bestows riches goes by a celestial car. One who fulfils wishes rides the horse. One who desires liberation travels by swan-vehicles.
20A sinful person walks bare-footed on rows of sword-edged leaves. He is struck with stones, pierced with thorns and bound by nooses.
21-22He who in the world of mortals propitiates Sravanas, offering them water from a jar and food cooked in a vessel, worships Sravanas and me. 0 lord of birds, I shall grant him that position which is inaccessible even to the immortals.
23With devotion he should feed eleven Brahmanas who are pious and virtuous and the twelfth together with his wife, just for my propitiation.
24Men should worship Sravanas together with the gods. By doing so, they who seek for pleasure can get to heaven. By worshipping Sravanas they propitiate me, Citragupta and Yama.
25-26With Sravanas pleased, the pious people go to Vishnuloka. 0 best of birds, whosoever hears about the glory pf Sravanas, their origin and pious activities is not covered up by sins. He enjoys pleasures of this world and attains glory hereafter.