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12-Aashram Dharm

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12-Aashram Dharm
2Padm Puraan, 1-Srishti Khand, p 43-49

Aashram Dharm

Pulastya Jee said to Bheeshm Jee - "There is a city named Shreenidhaan on Meru Parvat. It is very beautiful and is adorned with many gems and various metals. And there is Vairaaj named palace of Brahmaa in which there is his court named Kaantimatee. One day when he was sitting in his court, he thought that where on Prithvi he should do Yagya - Kaashee, Prayaag, Kaanchee, Bhadraa, Devikaa, Prabhaas - which one? From whatever lotus I am born, Ved knower call it Pushkar Teerth." Thinking thus he came to his birth place and established a place. The land covered from north of Chandra River to Praachee Saraswatee and Kalp named place, which is before Nandan, is called Pushkar Teerth. He built there a Vedee for Yagya and established three Pushkar - Jyeshth Pushkar where Brahmaa lives himself, Madhyam Pushkar where Vishnu lives and Kanishth Pushkar where Shiv lives. As Brahmaa prepared the land, other Devtaa also came there to live. Anybody, irrespective of sex, Varn or Aashram, can live in Teerth, but one should follow his Dharm and be good and kind to everybody."

Bheeshm Jee asked - "Who are called Brahmaa's Bhakt?" Pulastya Jee said to him - "Bhakti is of three types - Maanas, Vaachik and Kaayik (by mind, by speech and by body). Besides this, there are three types of Bhakti more - Laukik, Vaidic and Adhyaatmic. When Ved meanings are thought by Dhyaan, that is called Maanas Bhakti. When one does Mantra Jap, Ved reading, and doing Jap in forests, it is called Vaachik Bhakti. When one worships Bhagavaan by keeping fasts, doing Vrat, discipline, Chaandraayan Vrat etc, that is called Kaayik Bhakti. These types of Bhakti is told for Dwijaati people.

Who worship Brahmaa Jee with cow's Ghee, milk, Yogurt, Dhoop, ornaments, fruits, Naivedya etc, that is called Laukik Bhakti. Who worships him by Ved Mantra Jap and teaching Sanhitaa etc, it is called Vaidic Bhakti. When Havan is done by offering Aahuti of Havishya pronouncing Ved Mantra, that is also called Vaidik Bhakti. Whatever Agnihotra is done on Poornimaa and Amaavasyaa, whatever Dakshinaa is given in Yagya, whatever Kheer is offered to Devtaa etc, that also come under Vaidik Bhakti. Whatever worship is done for Agni, Prithvi, Vaayu, Aakaash, Chandramaa etc, it all goes to Brahmaa. Brahmaa's Adhyaatmic Bhakti is of two types - Saankhyaj, and Yogaj. Pradhaan, etc Praakrit elements are 24 in number. They all are Jad (unconscious) and consumable. Their enjoyer Purush (here it is referred to man) is the 25th element. He is conscious. To know all these elements properly is known as Saankhyaj Bhakti. Learned people consider it Adhyaatmic Bhakti under Saankhya Shaastra. Who meditates upon Brahmaa Jee's figure by Praanaayaam and controls his Indriyaan, it is called Yaugik Bhakti, or Paraa Bhakti. Whoever does this kind of Bhakti, he is called Brahmaa Jee's Bhakt. One should follow a good discipline while living in Pushkar region. Who die there, they attain Brahm's Saayujya."

Bheeshm Jee asked - "If Mlechchh, Shoodra, animals, birds, dumb, blind, or that are far from Tapasyaa, die there, what happens to them?" Pulastya Jee said - "All four kinds of living beings - Swedaj, Andaj, Udbhij and Jaraayuj, living in Pushkar attain Brahm Lok after their death. As there is no water body like sea, in the same way there is no Teerth like Pushkar Jee. All Devtaa live here in Pushkar to do good to the whole world. People used to get whatever Punya by living in this Teerth in 12 years in Sat Yug, the same is got in one year in Tretaa Yug, the same is got in living here for one month only in Dwaapar Yug. and the same is got by living here for one day and one night only in Kali Yug. Brahmaa Jee himself told me this in earlier times. All Varn's people attain Param Gati by following his own Dharm.

One who knows the meaning of Dharm and Arth, should live in Guru's place for 1/4th part of his age serving his Guru sincerely. There he should live with great discipline and serving his Guru always. After he has finished his education, taking the permission of his Guru, he should observe Grihasth Dharm.

Grihasth Aashram - A Grihasth Braahman should follow his six Karm - To do Yagya for himself and others, to give donations and take donations, and reading and teaching Ved; while a Vaanprasthee should do only three Karm - to do Yagya, to study and to take donations; and Sanyaasee should do only two Karm - Jap and study. There is no Teerth greater than Grihasth Aashram. A Grihasth should never cook for himself only. He should cook for Devtaa and Atithi too. Devtaa and Pitar are pleased by feeding Atithi, therefore a Grihasth should always show his hospitality to Atithi. Nobody should go hungry or unattended from a Grihasth's house. He should not eat at dusk and dawn (both Sandhyaa times). All kinds of living beings live upon a Grihasth's wealth. A Grihasth should give food to them who do not cook. He should eat "Amrit" or "Vighas" food - the remaining food after offering to Devtaa and Pitar is called Amrit; and the remaining food after all have eaten is called Vighas.

A Grihasthee should love only his wife, control his Indriyaan, never seek any fault in others and should never argue with anybody. Who do not argue with anybody, they become free from all sins. Who controls all by his polite behavior, he wins all Lok.

Aachaarya is the Lord of Brahm Lok, father is the Lord of Prajaapati Lok, Atithi is the Lord of all Lok, and Ritwik (who knows Ved very well) is the Lord of Ved and Prabhu. Son-in-law is the Lord of Apsaraa Lok, Kinsmen are the Lord of Vishwedev Lok, relatives and friends are the Lords of directions, and mother and her brother (Maamaa) are the Lords of Bhoo Lok (Prithvi). Old people, children and sick people are the Lords of space, Purohit are the Lords of Rishi Lok, and seekers of shelter are the Lords of Saadhya Lok. Doctor is the Lord of Ashwinee Kumaar's Lok, brother is the Lord of Vasu Lok, wife is the Lord of Vaayu Lok, and daughter is the wife of the Lord of Apsaraa Lok. Elder brother is Like father, while wife and son are one's own bodies. All slaves and servants are one's shadows, and a maiden girl is considered worthy to pity upon. That is why, if any one of the above mentioned people, says anything, one should tolerate it calmly. 

A Grihasth has three kinds of means of living - (1) Kumbh Dhaanya Vritti - in this one Grihasth does not collect more than a pitcher full grains; (2) the second one is Unchhshil Vritti - in this one, one collects the grains from a farm after the harvest is over; and (3) the third one is Kaapotee Vritti - in this one, one brings the grains scattered on the ground in markets and warehouses.

Vaanprasth Aashram - When a Grihasth sees that he has got a grandson, he should go to forest. Every Dwij should pass the third part of his age in Vaanprasth Aashram. He should worship Devtaa, live with discipline, eat regulated food, do Bhakti of Vishnu, and do Agnihotra daily. He should eat only the same rice and barley which has grown in an uncultivated land or eat "Vighas" food. He should sit in an open space in rainy season, in water in Hemant (winter) season and sit amidst Panchaagni in summer. Some sit in one Aasan only, some lie down on ground, and some stand on the front part of their feet. Some do not eat anything broken by anything else (they eat only whole food), some eat by grinding only by stone, some drink barley flour boiled in water only once in a fortnight, some take only whatever they get without asking (A-Yaachit food), some eat only roots, or fruits or flowers. Thus they pass their time living with strict discipline.

Sanyaas Aashram - This Dharm is prescribed by Upanishad. Grihasth Aashram and Vaanprasth Aashram are very similar, but Sanyaas is quite different from them. Most Rishi who know Dharm go for Sanyaas. One should leave everything of the world and go to forest. He should not collect anything. This Aashram has been told the best and highest among the four Aashram. One should put on yellow or orange colored clothes. If one desires for Moksh, then he should not take anybody along, he should go alone. Who lives alone he never has to suffer any harm. He should not keep fire, he should not build any house for living, and he should enter the city only to beg for alms (food). He should not keep anything for tomorrow, try to keep his mouth shut as much as possible, and eat as little as he can. Eating only once a day, keeping a wooden pot to drink water, living under a tree, living alone and indifferent towards others are some of the characteristics of a Sanyaasee. Who digests everybody's words (means he doesn't talk about others), who can tolerate everybody, who always speaks soft even when somebody speaks harsh with him, only he is worthy to live as Sanyaasee.

Who covers his body with whatever he gets, eats whatever he gets, sleeps wherever he gets a place, Devtaa take him as Braahman. Who has no desire to get anything in this Lok as well in the other one, who has detached himself completely from the world, who considers no difference between gold and soil, and who is indifferent from everything, he is called Sanyaasee.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 05/09/13