Discussion between Krishna and Garuda on Tulasi and Charity ||29||

1Sri Krishna said: -O noble being, you have put pertinent questions to me. Listen to my explanation of all obsequial rites for the benefit of the people.
2I shall explain the same on the authorities of the Vedas and Smrti texts. This has not been revealed even to gods and Yogins who are devoted to meditation on the self.
3Dear, it is a guarded secret, not disclosed to anyone hitherto. Since you are my devotee, I shall keep nothing hidden from you.
4There is no salvation for a man without a son. He can never attain heaven without a son. He must obtain a son, somehow.
5Even if ultimate salvation is not possible, a son will necessarily save him from hell. The cremation rites should be performed by the son. A grandson can light the funeral pyre.
6By strewing gingelly seeds and Darbha grass on the ground the attention of the mind is diverted to Vaikunta. If the five gems area put into the mouth, life nourishes (in the next birth).
7The ground should be smeared with. cow-dung. Gingelly seeds and Darbha grass should be strewn. The sick man put thereon will be able to bum off his sins.
8The Darbha bed helps the sick man ascend the heaven. In the midst of the pack of Darbha grass gingelly seeds should be strewn.
9If the ground is not smeared with cow dung, there is no purity. If smeared already, it should be re-smeared. Then alone it becomes pure and holy.
10Evil spirits, demons, ghosts and terrible giants of low strata attack the sick man lying on the ground which is not smeared with cow dung by the people.
11If the daily Homa, Sraddha or washing the feet of the holy Brahmin guests are performed on the bare ground without the mystic diagram drawn they are no better than left undone.
12Without the mystic diagram it is not possible to secure the recovery of the sick. The gods Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, the goddess Sri and the sacrificial fire preside over the mystic diagram. Hence, the mystic diagram should be drawn invariably.
13-14Otherwise, the dead man whether child, youth, or old cannot transmigrate. He will be playing about with the wind. In the aerial form, the dead has no sraddha rite nor water libation.
15Gingelly seeds originate from my sweat, O Garuda and hence are holy. Asuras, Danavas and Daityas flee from the place where gingelly seeds are kept.
16Gingelly seeds, white, black or brown destroy sins committed by the body.
17One gingelly seed offered in the holy rite is on a par with the gift of a Drona measure of golden gingelly seeds. Gingelly seeds offered in Tarpana and Homa have an everlasting benefit.
18-19Darbha grass is born of my hair and the gingelly seeds originate from my sweat. Not otherwise. The holy sacred thread is an essential tier Yin all religious rites. The whole universe rests on it. Brahma and other deities are propitiated when the sacred thread is worn in the normal way. When it is worn over the right shoulder and under the left, arm, the manes are propitiated.
20Brahma is stationed at the root of Darbha grass. Kesava is stationed in the middle. Know that Sankara is stationed at the tip of the Darbha grass. Thus, the three deities are stationed in the Darbha grass.
21Brahmins, mantras, kusa grass, fire and Tulasi plant, O lord of birds, never become impure, though utilized frequently.
22Kusas become impure, when used with Pindas. Brahmins become impure when they partake of Preta food. Mantras become futile when practised by Sudras. fire in the funeral pyre is not so holy.
23O bird, there are five types of boats to succour saintly men who may otherwise get drowned in the ocean of worldly existence-Tulasi, Brahmins, Cows, Vishnu and the Ekadasi day.
24In the worthless but impassable ocean of worldly existence there are six holy things yielding salvation Vishnu Ekadasi, Ganga, Tulasi, Brahmins and Cows.
25Gingelly seeds are holy and unparalleled. Similarly, Darbhas and Tulasi too. The three wards off mishaps.
26Holding the Darbha grass in the hand, the performer of the rites shall sprinkle water over the ground. At the time of death, the Darbha grass should be strewn near the bed of the dying person.
27The dead body should be enveloped with Darbha grass and placed over the bed made of the same grass. Then it is sure that the dead man will attain Vishnu’s region, even without the recital of mantras.
28The man lying on the deathbed of Kusha grass on the ground is as pure as a man who has performed expiatory rites in the world.
29If the ground is smeared with the Cow dung and the death bed is made of Kusa grass, whatever charity is given therefrom dispels all sins.
30Salt is on a par with everything divine. It yields everything the person wishes for himself. No dish tastes sweet without salt.
31Hence, salt is favourite with the manes. The gift of salt leads them to heaven. It is said that salt is originated from Vishnu’s body.
32-33Hence, Yogins praise a gift of salt. Whenever a Brahmin, a Kshatriya, a Vaisya or a Sudra is on deathbed, salt should be given as a gift. It opens the doorway to heaven.