Discussion between Krishna and Garuda on Fruits of Karma ||28||
1Garuda said: -O lord, for the benefit of everyone, please tell me, how, whether by making gifts or performing holy rites, can the ghosts be pleased.
2The Lord said: -O bird, please listen. I shall tell you about the gift which dispels all inauspicious obstacles. Make a jar of molten gold. Fill it up with ghee or milk. Worship Brahma, Siva, Vishnu and the guardians of the quarters in the serial order. Then, offer the jar to a worthy Brahmin. Of what avail are the hundreds of other gifts made by you?
3Garuda said: -O lord, what is said by you may kindly be explained in detail. Please tell me, O lord, what are the rites they should perform for the dead since the moment he breathes his last.
4What are the rites to be performed in his favour which can debar him from turning into a ghost?
5-6O best of gods, do also tell me what activities, good or bad, lead one to become a dreadful or fierce-looking Preta or Pisaca. Tell me, O lord of gods, I wish to know all this.
7Why are the five gems put unto the mouth of the dead? Why are gingelly seeds strewn on the ground? Why are the Darbha blades scattered beneath?
8Why are the feet kept southward? Why is the ground besmeared with cow-dung? Why is Vishnu meditated upon and his hymn recited?
9Why do the sons and grandsons walk ahead? Why do they offer the gift of a lamp? Why do they adore Vishnu?
10Why do they, when ill, make a gift to a Brahmin? Why do kinsmen, friends and enemies forgive them faults?
11Why do they gift gingelly seeds, iron, gold, cotton, salt, seven types of grains, land or cow?
12How does a man die? What is his course after death. How does he take shelter in the body being carried (to the cremation ground)? I request you, O lord, to explain all this for the benefit of the world.
13Why does the son carry the corpse on his shoulders and the grandson light the fire? Why is the anointment done with the butter?
14Why is the Yama Sukta recited? Why is the water carried to the North? Why is the sun looked through a cloth?
15Why are barley, mustard-seed, Durva, stone and leaves of morgosa enjoined in the rite? Why do men and women wear a lower and an upper garment?
16Why should the meals be taken along with other persons on returning home? Why do the sons give nine Pindas?
17Why is the milk in the eastern pot placed on the crossroad? Why are the three wooden sticks tied and put on the crossroad in the night?
18Why is an earthen lamp put every night for one year? Why should the water be offered in the name of the dead by the relatives and other people?
19Why should the nine Pindas be offered? How is the gift to be given to the gods and manes. Why is the call made for the bearers of the corpse? O lord, why is the rite of Pinda repeated?
20What should be given next after the gift of Pinda is made? Why are the bones collected? Why is a bed given to a Brahmin in favour of the deceased?
21Why is a bath prescribed for the householder on the second day? Why on the fourth day? Why on the tenth day along with the mourners?
22Why should they anoint their bodies with oil. Why should the corpse-bearers be taken home on return from the cremation ground? Why should the corpse-bearers anoint their bodies with oil on the bank of a stream or a stagnant reservoir?
23The Pinda given on the tenth day is accompanied by meat, why? Why is the Pinda on the eleventh day given after releasing the bull?
24Why the sixteen Sraddhas? Why are the food, water etc., given every day for three hundred and sixty days of the year?
25Why is the food put in a vessel for satiating the dead? O lord, does the mortal man die at the appointed time?
26-27I do not see an outlet, then from where does the soul go away? From where the elements earth, water, fire, air and sky pass away? tell me O lord!
28From where do the five thieves of the body-greed, affection, desire, love and pride go away, O lord!
29Whatever little action has been done, whether good or bad, whatever gifts. have been tendered which procure merit, where do these go away after the body has decayed?
30Why is the rite of Sapindikarana done within the year of death? With whom is the union of the deceased sought for and how?
31What does in the end happen to the people who pass away burnt or unburnt or who have fallen off their caste or who have committed sins or behaved badly or changed faith or committed suicide or murdered a Brahmin or turned thieves or deceivers?
32What happens to that Sudra who drinks the milk of a brown cow, reads scriptures, wears the sacred thread or possesses a Brahmin wife? O lord of the world, I am terribly afraid of that sinner. Please answer my queries, for the welfare of the world.