Discussion between Krishna and Garuda on Babhruvahana Story ||27||

1-2Tarkya said: -How do the ghosts originate? What are their features? O lord, of what misdeeds are the great ghosts and Madhu demon, for the benefit of everyone, please shed light on these vital points. What are the meritorious rites and charities whereby the ghost is redeemed? O lord, if you wish me well, please tell me everything.
3Krishna said: -O Garuda, you have put a pertinent question. For the benefit of human beings please listen to the narrative of a ghost that I am going to tell.
4This is the secret of secrets which is not to be divulged to anyone and everyone. O mighty one, you are my devotee. I tell you, therefore.
5O bird, formerly in Tretayuga there was a king Babhruvahana byname, in the prosperous city Mahodaya. He was beautiful and righteous too.
6He used to make gifts and perform sacrifices. He was rich, revered by saintly men, devoted to Brahmins, endowed with good manners as well as sympathetic and chivalrous qualifies.
7Powerful that he was he protected his subjects like his own sons. One day, he started on a hunting expedition.
8He entered a thick wild forest overgrown with variegated trees, infested by hundreds of tigers and resonant with the chirping sound of different kinds of birds.
9In the middle of the forest, he saw a deer at a great distance and hit it with an arrow.
10-11With the arrow sticking to its body the deer vanished behind the trees. The king followed the blood-stained track. In another forest.
12-13His throat became parched with hunger and thirst. He was utterly exhausted. He saw a pond and plunged into the water together with the horse. He drank the cool water rendered fragrant with the contact of lotuses.
14-15He came out of the lake and sat under the cool shade of a beautiful fig tree resonant with the chirping sound of hovering birds. The tree appeared to be the foremost leader of all the trees there.
16-17While he rested at the root of that tree, he saw a ghost who was excessively hungry and thirsty. The ghost was of awfully terrific appearance, dirty, rough and skinny, with disheveled hair and running here and there. His feet were mere bones and sinews. There were many other ghosts surrounding him.
18-19On seeing this hideous ghost, Babhruvahana was struck with wonder. The ghost too seemed to be delighted on seeing the king who had come to that dreadful, dense forest. He approached the king. 0 Garu4a, the king of ghosts then addressed the king thus.
20Verily, my ghost hood has come to an end. I have attained the great goal. O mighty king, thanks to your contact, none else is happier than I.
21The King said: -O black and hideous being, you appear to be a ghost. Please tell me the exact state of facts of your life willingly.
22Thus being asked by the king, the ghost revealed everything.
23Preta said: -O foremost of kings, I shall tell you everything of my life from the very beginning. On hearing the cause of my ghost hood, it behooves you to take pity on me.
24Vaidisa is a city endowed with many riches. It abounds in genesis of all variety. It is surrounded by villages and countries of all sorts. People are busy in performing holy deeds. The city abounds in fruit-bearing trees.
25It was here that I stayed, engaged in the worship of gods. Please know that I am born of Vaisya parents and my name is Sudeva.
26I propitiated gods by sacrificial offerings and the manes by oblations. The Brahmins were propitiated by me with various kinds of gifts.
27They were provided with foodstuffs and means of recreation by me. Both to the virtuous and the indigent, helpless people, I had made many gifts.
28But, unfortunately, all those gifts became utterly useless in my case.
29I have no son, no friend, no kinsman and no acquaintance to perform my obsequial rites.
30O excellent king, my ghost hood appears to be permanent. The sraddhas, like the eleventh day sraddha the three fortnightly sraddhas, the half-yearly, the anniversary, the monthly ones are Sixteen.
31Preta-Sraddhas not being given, they say, ghost hood becomes permanent even though hundreds of other sraddha are performed.
32O king, realizing this, save me from ghost hood.
33A king is supposed to be one who befriends people of all castes. Hence, O king, save me, I shall give you a precious gem.
34O foremost among excellent kings, of powerful valour, if you have pity for me, please carry out the rites of obsequies for me so that I may attain an auspicious state. It is also advisable that you perform such rites as would ward off your future disaster.
35The King said: -How do ghosts originate even after the rites of obsequies are performed for them. By what evil deeds do Pisacas originate, please tell me.
36Preta said: -O excellent king, those who steal or misappropriate a Brahmin’s wealth, temple property, woman’s wealth or childrens money are turned into ghosts.
37Those who indulge in sexual intercourse with saintly women, or women of their own gotra or forbidden women or those who steal conch shells become major ghosts.
38-40Those who steal corals and diamonds, those who steal garments, those who steal gold, those who do not face enemies but tum away from battlefield and are killed, those who are ·ungrateful, those who are atheists, harsh, roguish ‘and foolhardy, those who are devoid of five major sacrifices- become ghosts, O great king.
41The King said: How are ghosts freed from that state. Please tell me. How am I to perform rites to prevent my own future disaster? What are the rules regarding the performance of those rites. Please tell me all.
42-45Preta said: -O lord of kings, please listen to a brief description of the Narayana rite. Hearing of sacred sastras, worship of Vishnu, society of the good destroy ghost hood. I, therefore, tell you about the worship of Vishnu. Take two gold pieces and with the same · make an idol of god Narayana. The idol should be decorated with ornaments. Two yellow pieces of cloth shall be used to clothe it. Smear the same with sandal paste and sprinkle Aguru over it is should be bathed in holy water collected from various centres and fumigated with fragrant incense.
46-47Lord Sriddhara should be worshipped in the east; Madhusudana in the south, Vamadeva in the west and Gadadhara in the North. Brahma and Siva should be worshipped in the centre.
48Then, O king; the deities should be propitiated after circumambulation and offerings of ghi, curd and milk into the fire.
49-50Then the devotee should take bath and humbly perform Japas with concentration. He must then start the Aurdhvadehika rites, humbly, without anger and covetousness. He should perform all sraddhas and Vrishotsarga.
51-52To thirteen Brahmins he should gift umbrellas, sandals, rings, gems, vessels, seats and foodstuffs. Water-jars filled with water should be given for the benefit of ghosts. Then giving a bed as gift the utensils should be offered to the ghost.
53Then the Samputa rite should be performed with one’s own name, repeating Narayana. If anyone does this duly, he shall secure welfare.
54The King said: -O Ghost, how should the utensil be made and how should the same be donated. Kindly state.
55Preta said: -You have asked well. I shall tell you about the gift by offering which one shall not get ghost hood.
56This gift is called Pretaghata which removes all evils. It is rare in the world and it destroys the evil state.
57Get a jar of heated gold manufactured by the smith. Fill it with milk or butter. With full devotion to Brahma, Vishnu, Siva and the guardians of quarters, give the same to a Brahmana, what avails hundreds of other gifts as compared to them.
58-59Brahma, Vishnu in the middle, pacifying Sankara in the east and the guardians of the quarters in their serial order should be worshipped, O king, with incense, flowers and sandal. The golden vessel should be gifted together with milk and ghi.
60This gift is the best of all. It removes even the major sins. It should be made in good faith, O king, to ward off ghost hood.
61The Lord said: -Even as the ghost was saying this, O son of Vinata, the royal army consisting of elephants, horses and chariots arrived there.
62-64When the army arrived; the ghost dis-appeared but not before it had given a ruby to the monarch. Thereupon, the king left the for, est for his capital. After reaching the city he performed the Aurdhvadehika rites duly in accordance with the statement of the ghost.
65With due sraddha performed by the king, the ghost attained a nice state. Then, narrative will not obtain ghost hood, even though he may have committed many sins.
66Whosoever hears or tells this holy narrative will not obtain ghost hood, even though he may have committed may sins. That wonder is there if the father achieves.