Discussion between Krishna and Garuda on Vrishotsarga ||6||

1Garuda said: -Even if he has the means and is fond of pilgrimage and offering gifts, he cannot reach the splendid world if he does not perform a Vrishotsarga.
2-3Hence, Vrishotsarga shall be performed, O Krishna, this I have heard. Now tell me what type of bull shall be chosen. At what time shall the bull be released. What is the method? Please tell me everything.
4Sri Krishna said: -O lord of birds, I shall tell you the past history, which was told to king Viravahana by Narada, the son of Brahma.
5A king, Viravahana by name, reigned in the Viradha city. He was pious, truthful, generous as well as heroic. He used to satiate swimming in the ocean the Brahmanas with sumptuous meals.
6With a mind to satisfy bis curiosity he went to Vasishtha’s hermitage.
7He saw the sage surrounded by the Munis, bowed to him putting his problems before him.
8-9O sage, I have performed religious duties to the best of my capacity. I am terribly afraid in my heart, O ocean of mercy. Now tell me ~e way that I may not see Yama and his fierce-looking messengers.
10Vashistha said: -O king the sages who are well versed in scriptures have prescribe many religious rites. But due to their subtlety people attached to Karma-Yoga do not know them.
11Gifts, pilgrimage, penance, sacrifice, Samnyasa and Pitriyajna-all these come under religion, specially the Vrisosarga.
12A man should desire many sons, because even if one of them goes to Gaya, he may perform a horse sacrifice or release a bull.
13All heinous sins like the Brahmana slaughter, done knowingly, or unknowingly, are purified by releasing a bull or by.
14O king, if the bull is not released on the eleventh day, the ghost hood of the deceased person becomes eternal. Then what is the use of performing a Sraddha?
15Somehow or other, in the holy place or in the town, a Vrisha-Yajna should be done, O bird.
16-17A young Panca-kalyana bull, moving among the cows should be wedded to the four she-calves or two or even one, reciting the wedding mantras accompanied by the auspicious rites.
18An offering should be made to God fire reciting the six Rks Iha Ratihi, etc. It is specialy recommended on the full moon day of Karttika Magha, Vaishaka or on Sankranti days or on Sampata days, m the Pitri-Tirtha or on Akshaya day.
19-21A bull red in colour, white in the tail, yellow in hoofs and horns is called Nila, that of white colour is Vipra, that of red colour is Kshatrya, that of yellow is Vaisya, and that of black is Sudra, just as the colours of four castes have been prescribed by the wise ones.
22-26A bull of red colour is preferred. Father, grandfather, and great-grandfather hope that the son will perform a Vrishotsarga. “You are Dharma in the form of a bull, the delighter of the whole world. You are Ashta-Murti, hence, give me peace. Drink and eat grass in the Antarvedi of Ganga and Yamuna. 0 bull, you should speak about my good deeds, before Dharmaraja. Thus, praising and marking him with the sign of Trisula in the right shoulder and with the sign of Cakra in the left thighs and worshipping the bull with incense, flowers, uncooked rice, etc., he should release the same along with the she-calf.
27Hence, O king, perform Vrishotsarga as prescribed the Dharma-sastras. You possess all the virtues for under in taking the rite. There is no other way for you.
28-29Long, long ago, in the Treta-Yuga, there lived a Brahmana Dharma-Vatsa by name, in the city of Vaideha. He was learned, dutiful, lustrous and devoted to Vishnu. He remained satisfied with whatever he could get. When the Pitripaksha came he went to the forest for collecting the Kusa grass.
30When he was moving here and there, picking the sacred grass and leaves, four good-looking persons came all of a sudden.
31-33They caught hold of him while he was perplexed. They carried him forcibly into the sky. Crossing fierce mountains and forests, rivers and rivulets, they reached a city of huge dimension, with gopura doors, adorned with palaces, cross-roads, markets and shops crowded with men and women, resounding with the noise of trumpets, lutes and drums.
34-36There he saw persons-some poor, some rich, some hungry, some good, some bad some ill clad, some dressed in golden clothes like the deities. He thought within himself. Is this a dream or an illusion or a fancy.
37-38They took the surprised Brahmana to the king. There he saw in a golden palace a divine throne fanned with Camara and Chatra and the king sitting there with a shining golden crest.
39-40The king possessed great lustre and was praised by the singing bards. On seeing that Bramnana come, the king stood up with folded hands, honored him in the traditionally prescribed way with Madhuparka, seat, etc. Then with joy and delight he praised the Brahmana who was fully satisfied.
41Today, my birth has been successful, and my family purified, O lord, as I see today a religious devotee of Vishnu.
42Having bowed to the Brahma and praised him in many ways, the king said: “you will be taken back to the place whence you have come here.”
43-44Brahmana said: -On hearing the king’s words the Brahmana said: ‘‘What is this land? Who are the people? the noble, the middle, and the base ones? By what good deeds have you obtained the lordship of this region? What for was I brought here and why am I being carried away?”
45a“I see many things unseen before. To me everything seems to be a dream.”
45b-46“As you have been always devoted to religion and have been a devotee of Vishnu disinterested in any other thing, I respect you. You have always been on the pilgrimage and have performed Vrishotsarga to the deserving.
47As you always speak truth and give gifts; you are bowed to by the deities. O Parantapa, you have been brought for a glimpse of this land, as you are worthy of this honour.
48Be pleased with.me, O Lord, and excuse my rash act.” Having said thus he presented his ministers by name by hint of brows.
49“He will tell you everything. It is not proper for me to speak more.” Thus, he introduced Samanta who knew the Vedas, and understood their meaning, and asked him to speak.
50The Samanta spoke: “This man was a Vaisya, Visvambhara by name, in his previous birth, in the city named Viradha, adored by Brahmanas and deities.
51He lived by the profession of his caste and maintained his family. He served the cows and worshipped the Brahmanas.
52He offered gifts to the deserving, welcomed the guests and poured oblations into the fire. He performed the duties of his profession together with this truthful wife.
53-54By his righteous conduct he won his people; by his gifts of oblations he won the deities. Once, when after completing his pilgrimage together with his relatives, he was returning home, he saw Sage Lomasa in the way. He bowed to him immediately fell prostrate and then stood up with joined hands.
55aThe pious sage who was the ocean of pity said to him:
55b-57The Sage said: -Gentleman from where do you come together with your relatives and Brahmanas. On seeing you, a religious person that you are, my heart has melted. Visvambhara said: -After seeing the decaying body and the death standing before, I went to pilgrimage together with my wife.
58aI am returning home when I happen to see you Just now.
58b-59aLomasa said: -There are many holy places in this sacred region. Tell me those which you have visited now.
59b-63Vaisya said: -I have visited Ganga, the daughter of the sun, holy Sarasvati where Brahma performed ten horse-sacrifices; Kasi, the best of holy places where the kind, Mahadeva recites Taraka in the ears of dead creatures; the holy hermitage of Pulaha, Phalgutirtha, Gandaki, Cakratirtha, Naimisha; Sivatirtha; Goprataraka, Nagesa, Ayodhya where the lotus-eyed Rama lived to confer Mukti (salvation).
64-68Mathura where Hari always stayed, Pushkara, Satyatirtha, Jvala-tirtha, Dinesvara. Indra-Tirtha; Kurukshetra where flows the ancient Sarasvati, Tapi, Payoshni; Nirvindhya; Malaya; Krishna-Venika. Godavari, Dandaka, Tamrakuda, Sadodaka, Dyavabhumisvara, Srisaila the best of mountains where many Lingatirthas exist, Venkata, a mountain where god Hari Sriranga, lives. And also the goddess Venkati, the slayer of Mahisa lives, Candratirtha, Bhadravata, Kaveri, Kulilacala.
69-72Avatoda; Tamraparni, Trikuta, Kollaka mount, Vashistha Brahmatirtha and Jnanatirtha ocean, mountain, Bhima Kuta, Sveta-Giri, Rudratirtha, Umavana. Where Goddess Girija obtained Sankara by performing penance, Varuna, Syrya-Tirtha, Hamsa Tirtha; Mahodaya where ravens become royal geese after having a dip and where the demons became deities after bathing.
73-74Visvarupa, Bandi-tirtha, Ratnesa, Kuhakacala where one is released from crores of sins after seeing Nara-Narayana. Sarasvati, Drisadvati, Narmada that grants happiness to kings, Nilakantha, Mahakala, holy Amarakantaka.
75-76Candrabhaga; Vetravati; Virabhadra; Ganesvara; Gokarna; Vilvatirtha; Sataraka; Karmakunda where one is immediately released from the bondage of Karmas by taking a dip; and so many other holy places I have visited by your grace.
77Whenever the saints take pity their dawn upon the visitor so many good thoughts. Hence, all sacred places are on the one side and the compassionate saints on the other.
78These men of character are moved to pity all creatures. By knowledge and by age you are the instructor of all Varnas.
79Hence, I shall ask you the secret about the spiritual eternal. What shall I do and whom shall I approach? Tell me O sage, my mind is wavering.
80It has no desire for attaining Brahma. It is very much fond of worldly objects and it cannot stand their separation even for a moment, nor can it consider them to be illusory.
81Infatuated by various bhavas it thinks the field of Karmas to be the best. O Brahmana now tell me how it may obtain peace.
82aHow it may incline towards good thought and how it may become pure.
82bNow enlighten me on this point, please.
83The mind is always very powerful and naturally inclined to error.
84-85As the elephant keepers can bring under control even an uncontrollable elephant, similarly by association with the saints, by constant application of proper means, by adopting the path of devotion and virtue, the mind can be controlled. I shall now tell you an old history to make you believe it.
86-87Now, hear what Narada had told me about the history of his previous life. In my previous birth, I was the maid’s son of a Brahmana. In my childhood, I was taught continuously, and I remained in the company of pious people who stayed by good luck, in my house during the rainy season. Once, interested in their talk and wholesome precepts I was greatly delighted. I approached them with extreme politeness and due reverence and addressed them thus.
88I said: O noble sages, be pleased to purify my thoughts so that my intellect may get pure and seek the good only, seeing everything full of Vishnu.
89-92O child, hear. We shall tell you something for your benefit, by understanding which you will achieve happiness here and hereafter. Different types of creatures bf the world-deities, animals, men are tied with the noose of Karmas and experience different types of enjoyment. By sattva they attain deity hood; by rajas they attain manhood; by tamas they attain animalhood. A creature is led by desires and is ignorant. He is born again and again out of the womb of his mother and dies again and again in different births.
93-94They pass through several births as the result of their activities. Sometimes, they are born as men by virtue of their previous actions. It happens that they come in contact with the pious people and by their good will and blessing they come to realize the Supreme Self and achieve liberation.
95-96This vast ocean of Existence abounds in crocodiles, overspread with the network of illusions. Any person who wishes to cross this ocean has no means other than the recitation of the name Rama.
97-98As we get butter by churning the curd, fire by rubbing the two pieces of wood, so by constant and concentrated meditation we can realize the Self and obtain peace. The Self is eternal, indeclinable, truth, omnipresent, all-supporting, great, non-comprehensible, self-refulgent, non-apprehensible even to the mind. In the form of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss, the self is stationed in the heart of all creatures. While all other things are mortal, the Self alone is immortal. The Self is present in all beings as the ether in fire and water.
99The Supreme Self, like the fire, is not attached to anyone. It is compassionate to the devotees and for their protection it assumes human form but the ignorant regard it as man.
100If a person, possessed of differential knowledge meditates on him in the heart, the Unborn Self is pleased by his devotion and appears to him in his true form.
101It makes the seeker ever gratified when all sorts of desires forsake him forever.
102Hence, leaving your ego and attachment for this mortal frame you should move all alone in this dream land without imbibing any sense of desire.
103Where is stability in dream, truth in magic, eternity in the autumnal cloud and reality in the body.
104Knowing that the world is born of ignorance, you should restrain your senses and control your mind, thereby you will obtain peace.
105Having said thus the affectionate saints went away and I followed the path shown by them.
106Then very soon, I saw within myself a wonderful ever-joyful Atman pure like the autumnal moon.
107Sprinkling me with happiness and making me more inclined, the dazzling light hid itself inside like lightning in the sky.
108Realizing the same in my mind through devotion, I left my mortal coil in due course.
109Then by His desire, O Brahmana, I was born again through the grace of God. I had no attachment in the world.
110Playing on my lute and singing I moved from place to place. Thus, telling me his experience, the self-willed sage went away.
111-113aI was surprised and satisfied. Thus, indeed, in the company of virtuous men and by God’s grace, a person becomes pure and calm in mind and attains perfect peace. O Knower of Virtue, even the sin inherited from previous births disappears immediately in the company of good men like the water of the autumnal clouds.
113b-114Viprascitti said: -Drinking the nectar of your words, my soul has obtained peace. I have received the fruit of all pilgrimages at the very I sight of yours. Having heard the words of the king the sage said unto him.
115Lomasa said: -O mighty monarch, who desire the result of Trivarga, this is for your benefit. Whatever good you have done is, in my opinion, rendered fruitless because it is done without Vrishotsarga.
116Hence, it is like a dewdrop. There is no other means of accomplishment in this world and went to the eternal abode of Hari. except the performance of Vrishotsarga.
117Know that the two can easily obtain the status of pious persons. One who performs Vrishotsarga and the other who performs the horse-sacrifice.
118-119aI have seen the two-standing side by side near the Great God Indra. Hence, go to Pushkara and perform a Vrishotsarga.
119bVipascitti said: -Then go home, O gentleman, and do the needful. For what is to be done should be done immediately.
120Then in the month of Karttika come to the Pushkara lake where god in the form of boar himself performs a sacrifice. Thus, told he performed Vrishotsarga as prescribed by the best of the sages.
121-122He visited holy places in the company of Lomasa and his merit was increased by performing Vrishotsarga. After death he went to heaven, enjoyed heavenly pleasures, travelling in magnificent cars (and after the exhaustion of merit) was born in the royal family of Virasena.
123-128Vashistha said: -He was known as Virapancanana. When he performed Vrishotsarga that obtains for the performer the fruits of Trivarga he was assisted by a number of attendants. These were sprinkled over by the drops of water from the bull’s tail and as a result got divine forms. These were the persons who looked strong, stout and beautiful. Then there were the persons who out of jealousy did not cherish the performance of Vrishotsarga. They were born lean, remained naked and dirty. This, in brief, is the record of the past life of the king. This strange story I have heard from Parasara. Having heard this story, you may go home immediately. On hearing the words of Vipascit the Brahmana was very much surprised. He went home escorted by the King’s servants.
129-130Vasishtha said: -Therefore, O king, perform Vrishotsarga, the best of all pious acts, if you are afraid of Yama. There is no other means better than Vrishotsarga, O King, I have told you the secret of Dharma today.
131If a woman whose husband and son are alive dies in the presence of her husband, Vrishotsarga should not be performed and as an alternative a milk, cow should be given to a Brahmana.
132-133Sri Krishna said: -On hearing the words of Vashistha, the king went to Madhupuri and performed Vrishootsarga and was gratified at heart. When in due course of time he passed away he was carried by Yama’s messengers.
134-135He passed by the city of Yama in the way. He asked the escorting messengers about the city of Sraddhadeva where the sinners were let down by Yama’s servants for the purgation of their soul, and where the lord who knows dharma and adharma resides.
136Thereupon the messengers told him that they had passed by the city· of Sinners which was not to be seen by persons like him. They then escorted him to the city of Dharmaraja and standing before Dharmaraja informed Him about the history of the monarch.
137-140The lord who stood along with the deities and Gandharvas showed His divine form. The king bowed prostrate and then stood with hands joined in reverence. Delighted in mind, he praised the lord in many ways. Then Dharmaraja praised the king and asked the messengers to take him to Devaloka where many delights exist. Viravahana was surprised. He asked Dharmaraja to tell him what merit he had performed in life that he was brought to heaven by the messengers.
141Dharmaraja said: -You have done several pious deeds, given gifts and performed sacrifices and accomplished Vrishotsarga in Mathura. at the instance of Vashistha.
142O King, even a little dharma if done properly multiplies, due to the favour of brahmanas and deities.
143Having said thus, Yama disappeared at once. Virabahu went to heaven and enjoyed there in the company of deities.
144O bird, I have told you in detail all about Vrishotsarga. On hearing this, the people get released from sins which they incur as the result of their bad activities.