Chapter Nineteen
Performing the Puṁsavana Ritualistic Ceremony
This chapter explains how Diti, Kaśyapa Muni’s wife, executed Kaśyapa Muni’s instructions on devotional service. During the first day of the bright fortnight of the moon in the month of Agrahāyaṇa (November–December), every woman, following in the footsteps of Diti and following the instructions of her own husband, should begin this puṁsavana-vrata. In the morning, after washing her teeth, bathing and thus becoming purified, she should hear about the birth mystery of the Maruts. Then, covering her body with a white dress and being properly ornamented, before breakfast she should worship Lord Viṣṇu and mother Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, Lord Viṣṇu’s wife, by glorifying Lord Viṣṇu for His mercy, patience, prowess, ability, greatness and other glories and for how He can bestow all mystic benedictions. While offering the Lord all paraphernalia for worship, such as ornaments, a sacred thread, scents, nice flowers, incense and water for bathing and washing His feet, hands and mouth, one should invite the Lord with this mantra: oṁ namo bhagavate mahā-puruṣāya mahānubhāvāya mahāvibhūtipataye saha mahā-vibhūtibhir balim upaharāmi. Then one should offer twelve oblations in the fire while chanting this mantra: oṁ namo bhagavate mahā-puruṣāya mahāvibhūti-pataye svāhā. One should offer obeisances while chanting this mantra ten times. Then one should chant the Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa mantra.
If either a pregnant woman or her husband regularly discharges this devotional service, both of them will receive the result. After continuing this process for one full year, the chaste wife should fast on the pūrṇimā, the full-moon day, of Kārttika. On the following day, the husband should worship the Lord as before and then observe a festival by cooking nice food and distributing prasāda to the brāhmaṇas. Then, with the permission of the brāhmaṇas, the husband and wife should take prasāda. This chapter ends by glorifying the results of the puṁsavana function.
vrataṁ puṁsavanaṁ brahman
bhavatā yad udīritam
tasya veditum icchāmi
yena viṣṇuḥ prasīdati
śrī-rājā uvācaMahārāja Parīkṣit said; vratam—the vow; puṁsavanam—called puṁsavana; brahman—O brāhmaṇa; bhavatā—by you; yat—which; udīritam—was spoken of; tasya—of that; veditum—to know; icchāmi—I want; yena—by which; viṣṇuḥ—Lord Viṣṇu; prasīdati—is pleased.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit said: My dear lord, you have already spoken about the puṁsavana vow. Now I want to hear about it in detail, for I understand that by observing this vow one can please the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu.
śrī-śuka uvāca
śukle mārgaśire pakṣe
yoṣid bhartur anujñayā
ārabheta vratam idaṁ
sārva-kāmikam āditaḥ
niśamya marutāṁ janma
brāhmaṇān anumantrya ca
snātvā śukla-datī śukle
pūjayet prātarāśāt prāg
bhagavantaṁ śriyā saha
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; śukle—bright; mārgaśire—during the month of November—December; pakṣe—during the fortnight; yoṣit—a woman; bhartuḥ—of the husband; anujñayā—with the permission; ārabheta—should begin; vratam—vow; idam—this; sārva-kāmikam—which fulfills all desires; āditaḥ—from the first day; niśamya—hearing; marutām—of the Maruts; janma—the birth; brāhmaṇān—the brāhmaṇas; anumantrya—taking instruction from; ca—and; snātvā—bathing; śukla-datī—having cleaned the teeth; śukle—white; vasīta—should put on; alaṅkṛtā—wearing ornaments; ambare—garments; pūjayet—should worship; prātaḥ-āśāt prāk—before breakfast; bhagavantam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; śriyā saha—with the goddess of fortune.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: On the first day of the bright fortnight of the month of Agrahāyaṇa [November–December], following the instructions of her husband, a woman should begin this regulative devotional service with a vow of penance, for it can fulfill all one’s desires. Before beginning the worship of Lord Viṣṇu, the woman should hear the story of how the Maruts were born. Under the instructions of qualified brāhmaṇas, in the morning she should wash her teeth, bathe, and dress herself with white cloth and ornaments, and before taking breakfast she should worship Lord Viṣṇu and Lakṣmī.
alaṁ te nirapekṣāya
pūrṇa-kāma namo ’stu te
namaḥ sakala-siddhaye
alam—enough; te—to You; nirapekṣāya—indifferent; pūrṇa-kāma—O Lord, whose desire is always fulfilled; namaḥ—obeisances; astu—may there be; te—unto You; mahā-vibhūti—of Lakṣmī; pataye—unto the husband; namaḥ—obeisances; sakala-siddhaye—unto the master of all mystic perfections.
[She should then pray to the Lord as follows.] My dear Lord, You are full in all opulences, but I do not beg You for opulence. I simply offer my respectful obeisances unto You. You are the husband and master of Lakṣmīdevī, the goddess of fortune, who has all opulences. Therefore You are the master of all mystic yoga. I simply offer my obeisances unto You.
A devotee knows how to appreciate the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
“The personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the complete whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the complete whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.” Therefore, to take shelter of the Supreme Lord is required. Whatever a devotee needs will be supplied by the complete Supreme Personality of Godhead (teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham [Bg. 9.22]). Therefore a pure devotee will not ask anything from the Lord. He simply offers the Lord his respectful obeisances, and the Lord is prepared to accept whatever the devotee can secure to worship Him, even patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam—a leaf, flower, fruit or water. There is no need to artificially exert oneself. It is better to be plain and simple and with respectful obeisances offer to the Lord whatever one can secure. The Lord is completely able to bless the devotee with all opulences.
yathā tvaṁ kṛpayā bhūtyā
tejasā mahimaujasā
juṣṭa īśa guṇaiḥ sarvais
tato ’si bhagavān prabhuḥ
yathā—as; tvam—You; kṛpayā—with mercy; bhūtyā—with opulences; tejasā—with prowess; mahima-ojasā—with glory and strength; juṣṭaḥ—endowed; īśa—O my Lord; guṇaiḥ—with transcendental qualities; sarvaiḥ—all; tataḥ—therefore; asi—You are; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; prabhuḥ—the master.
O my Lord, because You are endowed with causeless mercy, all opulences, all prowess and all glories, strength and transcendental qualities, You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of everyone.
In this verse the words tato ’si bhagavān prabhuḥ mean “Therefore You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of everyone.” The Supreme Personality of Godhead is endowed with all six opulences in full, and moreover He is extremely kind to His devotee. Although He is full in Himself, He nonetheless wants all the living entities to surrender unto Him so that they may engage in His service. Thus He becomes satisfied. Although He is full in Himself, He nonetheless becomes pleased when His devotee offers Him patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam—a leaf, flower, fruit or water—in devotion. Sometimes the Lord, as the child of mother Yaśodā, requests His devotee for some food, as if He were very hungry. Sometimes He tells His devotee in a dream that His temple and His garden are now very old and that He cannot enjoy them very nicely. Thus He requests the devotee to repair them. Sometimes He is buried in the earth, and as if unable to come out Himself, He requests His devotee to rescue Him. Sometimes He requests His devotee to preach His glories all over the world, although He alone is quite competent to perform this task. Even though the Supreme Personality of Godhead is endowed with all possessions and is self-sufficient, He depends on His devotees. Therefore the relationship of the Lord with His devotees is extremely confidential. Only the devotee can perceive how the Lord, although full in Himself, depends on His devotee for some particular work. This is explained in Bhagavad-gītā (11.33), where the Lord tells Arjuna, nimitta-mātraṁ bhava savyasācin: “O Arjuna, merely be an instrument in the fight.” Lord Kṛṣṇa had the competence to win the Battle of Kurukṣetra, but nonetheless He induced His devotee Arjuna to fight and become the cause of victory. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was quite competent enough to spread His name and mission all over the world, but still He depended upon His devotee to do this work. Considering all these points, the most important aspect of the Supreme Lord’s self-sufficiency is that He depends on His devotees. This is called His causeless mercy. The devotee who has perceived this causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by realization can understand the master and the servant.
viṣṇu-patni mahā-māye
prīyethā me mahā-bhāge
loka-mātar namo ’stu te
viṣṇu-patni—O wife of Lord Viṣṇu; mahā-māye—O energy of Lord Viṣṇu; mahā-puruṣa-lakṣaṇe—possessing the qualities and opulences of Lord Viṣṇu; prīyethāḥ—kindly be pleased; me—upon me; mahā-bhāge—O goddess of fortune; loka-mātaḥ—O mother of the world; namaḥ—obeisances; astu—may there be; te—unto you.
[After profusely offering obeisances unto Lord Viṣṇu, the devotee should offer respectful obeisances unto mother Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, and pray as follows.] O wife of Lord Viṣṇu, O internal energy of Lord Viṣṇu, you are as good as Lord Viṣṇu Himself, for you have all of His qualities and opulences. O goddess of fortune, please be kind to me. O mother of the entire world, I offer my respectful obeisances unto you.
The Lord has multifarious potencies (parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate). Since mother Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, is the Lord’s very precious potency, she is addressed here as mahā-māye. The word māyā means śakti. Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme, cannot exhibit His power everywhere without His principal energy. It is said, śakti śaktimān abheda: the power and the powerful are identical. Therefore mother Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, is the constant companion of Lord Viṣṇu; they remain together constantly. One cannot keep Lakṣmī in one’s home without Lord Viṣṇu. To think that one can do so is very dangerous. To keep Lakṣmī, or the riches of the Lord, without the service of the Lord is always dangerous, for then Lakṣmī becomes the illusory energy. With Lord Viṣṇu, however, Lakṣmī is the spiritual energy.
oṁ namo bhagavate mahā-puruṣāya mahānubhāvāya mahāvibhūti-pataye saha mahā-vibhūtibhir balim upaharāmīti; anenāhar-ahar mantreṇa viṣṇor āvāhanārghya-pādyopasparśana-snāna-vāsa-upavīta-vibhūṣaṇa-gandha-puṣpa-dhūpa-dīpopahārādy-upacārān susamā-hitopāharet.
oṁ—O my Lord; namaḥ—obeisances; bhagavate—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, full with six opulences; mahā-puruṣāya—the best of enjoyers; mahā-anubhāvāya—the most powerful; mahā-vibhūti—of the goddess of fortune; pataye—the husband; saha—with; mahā-vibhūtibhiḥ—associates; balim—presentation s; upaharāmi—I am offering; iti—thus; anena—by this; ahaḥ-ahaḥ—every day; mantreṇamantra; viṣṇoḥ—of Lord Viṣṇu; āvāhana—invocations; arghya-pādya-upasparśana—water for washing the hands, feet and mouth; snāna—water for bathing; vāsa—garments; upavīta—a sacred thread; vibhūṣaṇa—ornaments; gandha—scents; puṣpa—flowers; dhūpa—incense; dīpa—lamps; upahāra—gifts; ādi—and so on; upacārān—presentations; su-samāhitā—with great attention; upāharet—she must offer.
“My Lord Viṣṇu, full in six opulences, You are the best of all enjoyers and the most powerful. O husband of mother Lakṣmī, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who are accompanied by many associates, such as Viśvaksena. I offer all the paraphernalia for worshiping You.” One should chant this mantra every day with great attention while worshiping Lord Viṣṇu with all paraphernalia, such as water for washing His feet, hands and mouth and water for His bath. One must offer Him various presentations for His worship, such as garments, a sacred thread, ornaments, scents, flowers, incense and lamps.
This mantra is very important. Anyone engaged in Deity worship should chant this mantra, as quoted above, beginning with oṁ namo bhagavate mahā-puruṣāya.
haviḥ-śeṣaṁ ca juhuyād xxx
anale dvādaśāhutīḥ xxx
oṁ namo bhagavate mahā-puruṣāya mahāvibhūti-pataye svāheti
haviḥ-śeṣam—remnants of the offering; ca—and; juhuyāt—one should offer; anale—in the fire; dvādaśa—twelve; āhutīḥ—oblations; oṁ—O my Lord; namaḥ—obeisances; bhagavate—unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mahā-puruṣāya—the supreme enjoyer; mahā-vibhūti—of the goddess of fortune; pataye—the husband; svāhā—hail; iti—thus.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: After worshiping the Lord with all the paraphernalia mentioned above, one should chant the following mantra while offering twelve oblations of ghee on the sacred fire: oṁ namo bhagavate mahā-puruṣāya mahāvibhūti-pataye svāhā.
śriyaṁ viṣṇuṁ ca varadāv
āśiṣāṁ prabhavāv ubhau
bhaktyā sampūjayen nityaṁ
yadīcchet sarva-sampadaḥ
śriyam—the goddess of fortune; viṣṇum—Lord Viṣṇu; ca—and; vara-dau—the bestowers of benedictions; āśiṣām—of blessings; prabhavau—the sources; ubhau—both; bhaktyā—with devotion; sampūjayet—should worship; nityam—daily; yadi—if; icchet—desires; sarva—all; sampadaḥ—opulences.
If one desires all opulences, his duty is to daily worship Lord Viṣṇu with His wife, Lakṣmī. With great devotion one should worship Him according to the above-mentioned process. Lord Viṣṇu and the goddess of fortune are an immensely powerful combination. They are the bestowers of all benedictions and the sources of all good fortune. Therefore the duty of everyone is to worship Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa.
Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa—Lord Viṣṇu and mother Lakṣmī—are always situated in everyone’s heart (īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]). However, because nondevotees do not realize that Lord Viṣṇu stays with His eternal consort, Lakṣmī, within the hearts of all living entities, they are not endowed with the opulence of Lord Viṣṇu. Unscrupulous men sometimes address a poor man as daridra-nārāyaṇa, or “poor Nārāyaṇa.” This is most unscientific. Lord Viṣṇu and Lakṣmī are always situated in everyone’s heart, but this does not mean that everyone is Nārāyaṇa, especially not those in poverty. This is a most abominable term to use in connection with Nārāyaṇa. Nārāyaṇa never becomes poor, and therefore He can never be called daridra-nārāyaṇa. Nārāyaṇa is certainly situated in everyone’s heart, but He is neither poor nor rich. Only unscrupulous persons who do not know the opulence of Nārāyaṇa try to afflict Him with poverty.
praṇamed daṇḍavad bhūmau
bhakti-prahveṇa cetasā
daśa-vāraṁ japen mantraṁ
tataḥ stotram udīrayet
praṇamet—should offer obeisances; daṇḍa-vat—like a stick; bhūmau—on the ground; bhakti—through devotion; prahveṇa—humble; cetasā—with a mind; daśa-vāram—ten times; japet—should utter; mantram—the mantra; tataḥ—then; stotram—prayer; udīrayet—should chant.
One should offer obeisances unto the Lord with a mind humbled through devotion. While offering daṇḍavats by falling on the ground like a rod, one should chant the above mantra ten times. Then one should chant the following prayer.
yuvāṁ tu viśvasya vibhū
jagataḥ kāraṇaṁ param
iyaṁ hi prakṛtiḥ sūkṣmā
māyā-śaktir duratyayā
yuvām—both of you; tu—indeed; viśvasya—of the universe; vibhū—the proprietors; jagataḥ—of the universe; kāraṇam—the cause; param—supreme; iyam—this; hi—certainly; prakṛtiḥ—energy; sūkṣmā—difficult to understand; māyā-śaktiḥ—the internal energy; duratyayā—difficult to overcome.
My Lord Viṣṇu and mother Lakṣmī, goddess of fortune, you are the proprietors of the entire creation. Indeed, you are the cause of the creation. Mother Lakṣmī is extremely difficult to understand because she is so powerful that the jurisdiction of her power is difficult to overcome. Mother Lakṣmī is represented in the material world as the external energy, but actually she is always the internal energy of the Lord.
tasyā adhīśvaraḥ sākṣāt
tvam eva puruṣaḥ paraḥ
tvaṁ sarva-yajña ijyeyaṁ
kriyeyaṁ phala-bhug bhavān
tasyāḥ—of her; adhīśvaraḥ—the master; sākṣāt—directly; tvam—You; eva—certainly; puruṣaḥ—the person; paraḥ—supreme; tvam—You; sarva-yajñaḥ—personified sacrifice; ijyā—worship; iyam—this (Lakṣmī); kriyā—activities; iyam—this; phala-bhuk—the enjoyer of the fruits; bhavān—You.
My Lord, You are the master of energy, and therefore You are the Supreme Person. You are sacrifice [yajña] personified. Lakṣmī, the embodiment of spiritual activities, is the original form of worship offered unto You, whereas You are the enjoyer of all sacrifices.
guṇa-vyaktir iyaṁ devī
vyañjako guṇa-bhug bhavān
tvaṁ hi sarva-śarīry ātmā
śrīḥ śarīrendriyāśayāḥ
nāma-rūpe bhagavatī
pratyayas tvam apāśrayaḥ
guṇa-vyaktiḥ—the reservoir of qualities; iyam—this; devī—goddess; vyañjakaḥ—manifester; guṇa-bhuk—the enjoyer of the qualities; bhavān—You; tvam—You; hi—indeed; sarva-śarīrī ātmā—the Supersoul of all living entities; śrīḥ—the goddess of fortune; śarīra—the body; indriya—senses; āśayāḥ—and the mind; nāma—name; rūpe—and form; bhagavatīLakṣmī; pratyayaḥ—the cause of manifestation; tvam—You; apāśrayaḥ—the support.
Mother Lakṣmī, who is here, is the reservoir of all spiritual qualities, whereas You manifest and enjoy all these qualities. Indeed, You are actually the enjoyer of everything. You live as the Supersoul of all living entities, aid the goddess of fortune is the form of their bodies, senses and minds. She also has a holy name and form, whereas You are the support of all such names and forms and the cause for their manifestation.
Madhvācārya, the ācārya of the Tattvavādīs, has described this verse in the following way: “Viṣṇu is described as yajña personified, and mother Lakṣmī is described as spiritual activities and the original form of worship. In fact, they represent spiritual activities and the Supersoul of all yajña. Lord Viṣṇu is the Supersoul even of Lakṣmīdevī, but no one can be the Supersoul of Lord Viṣṇu, for Lord Viṣṇu Himself is the spiritual Supersoul of everyone.”
According to Madhvācārya, there are two tattvas, or factors. One is independent, and the other is dependent. The first tattva is the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu, and the second is the jīva-tattva. Lakṣmīdevī, being dependent on Lord Viṣṇu, is sometimes counted among the jīvas. The Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, however, describe Lakṣmīdevī in accordance with the following two verses from the Prameya-ratnāvalī of Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa. The first verse is a quotation from the Viṣṇu Purāṇa.
nityaiva jagan-mātā
viṣṇoḥ śrīr anapāyinī
yathā sarva-gato viṣṇus
tathaiveyaṁ dvijottama
viṣṇoḥ syuḥ śaktayas tisras
tāsu kīrtitā parā
saiva śrīs tad-abhinneti
prāha śiṣyān prabhur mahān
“O best of the brāhmaṇas, Lakṣmījī is the constant companion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, and therefore she is called anapāyinī. She is the mother of all creation. As Lord Viṣṇu is all-pervading, His spiritual potency, mother Lakṣmī, is also all-pervading.” Lord Viṣṇu has three principal potencies—internal, external and marginal. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has accepted parā-śakti, the spiritual energy of the Lord, as being identical with the Lord. Thus she is also included in the independent viṣṇu-tattva.
In the Kānti-mālā commentary on the Prameya-ratnāvalī there is this statement: nanu kvacit nitya-mukta jīvatvaṁ lakṣmyāḥ svīkṛtaṁ, tatrāha—prāheti. nityaiveti padye sarva-vyāpti-kathanena kalākāṣṭhety ādi-padya-dvaye, śuddho ’pīty uktā ca mahāprabhunā svaśiṣyān prati lakṣmyā bhagavad-advaitam upadiṣṭam. kvacid yat tasyās tu dvaitam uktaṁ, tat tu tad-āviṣṭa-nitya-mukta jīvam ādāya saṅgatamas tu. “Although some authoritative Vaiṣṇava disciplic successions count the goddess of fortune among the ever-liberated living entities (jīvas) in Vaikuṇṭha, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, in accordance with the statement in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, has described Lakṣmī as being identical with the viṣṇu-tattva. The correct conclusion is that the descriptions of Lakṣmī as being different from Viṣṇu are stated when an eternally liberated living entity is imbued with the quality of Lakṣmī; they do not pertain to mother Lakṣmī, the eternal consort of Lord Viṣṇu.”
yathā yuvāṁ tri-lokasya
varadau parameṣṭhinau
tathā ma uttamaśloka
santu satyā mahāśiṣaḥ
yathā—since; yuvām—both of you; tri-lokasya—of the three worlds; vara-dau—givers of benedictions; parame-ṣṭhinau—the supreme rulers; tathā—therefore; me—my; uttama-śloka—O Lord, who are praised with excellent verses; santu—may become; satyāḥ—fulfilled; mahā-āśiṣaḥ—great ambitions.
You are both the supreme rulers and benedictors of the three worlds. Therefore, my Lord, Uttamaśloka, may my ambitions be fulfilled by Your grace.
ity abhiṣṭūya varadaṁ
śrīnivāsaṁ śriyā saha
tan niḥsāryopaharaṇaṁ
dattvācamanam arcayet
iti—thus; abhiṣṭūya—offering prayers; vara-dam—who bestows benedictions; śrī-nivāsam—unto Lord Viṣṇu, the abode of the goddess of fortune; śriyā saha—with Lakṣmī; tat—then; niḥsārya—removing; upaharaṇam—the paraphernalia for worship; dattvā—after offering; ācamanam—water for washing the hands and mouth; arcayet—one should worship.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Thus one should worship Lord Viṣṇu, who is known as Śrīnivāsa, along with mother Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, by offering prayers according to the process mentioned above. After removing all the paraphernalia of worship, one should offer them water to wash their hands and mouths, and then one should worship them again.
tataḥ stuvīta stotreṇa
bhakti-prahveṇa cetasā
yajñocchiṣṭam avaghrāya
punar abhyarcayed dharim
tataḥ—then; stuvīta—one should praise; stotreṇa—with prayers; bhakti—with devotion; prahveṇa—humble; cetasā—with a mind; yajña-ucchiṣṭam—the remnants of sacrifice; avaghrāya—smelling; punaḥ—again; abhyarcayet—one should worship; harim—Lord Viṣṇu.
Thereafter, with devotion and humility, one should offer prayers to the Lord and mother Lakṣmī. Then one should smell the remnants of the food offered and then again worship the Lord and Lakṣmījī.
patiṁ ca parayā bhaktyā
priyais tais tair upanamet
prema-śīlaḥ svayaṁ patiḥ
bibhṛyāt sarva-karmāṇi
patnyā uccāvacāni ca
patim—the husband; ca—and; parayā—supreme; bhaktyā—with devotion; mahā-puruṣa-cetasā—accepting as the Supreme Person; priyaiḥ—dear; taiḥ taiḥ—by those (offerings); upanamet—should worship; prema-śīlaḥ—being affectionate; svayam—himself; patiḥ—the husband; bibhṛyāt—should execute; sarva-karmāṇi—all activities; patnyāḥ—of the wife; ucca-avacāni—high and low; ca—also.
Accepting her husband as the representative of the Supreme Person, a wife should worship him with unalloyed devotion by offering him prasāda. The husband, being very pleased with his wife, should engage himself in the affairs of his family.
The family relationship of husband and wife should be established spiritually according to the process mentioned above.
kṛtam ekatareṇāpi
dam-patyor ubhayor api
patnyāṁ kuryād anarhāyāṁ
patir etat samāhitaḥ
kṛtam—executed; ekatareṇa—by one; api—even; dam-patyoḥ—of the wife and husband; ubhayoḥ—of both; api—still; patnyām—when the wife; kuryāt—he should execute; anarhāyām—is unable; patiḥ—the husband; etat—this; samāhitaḥ—with attention.
Between the husband and wife, one person is sufficient to execute this devotional service. Because of their good relationship, both of them will enjoy the result. Therefore if the wife is unable to execute this process, the husband should carefully do so, and the faithful wife will share the result.
The relationship between husband and wife is firmly established when the wife is faithful and the husband sincere. Then even if the wife, being weaker, is unable to execute devotional service with her husband, if she is chaste and sincere she shares half of her husband’s activities.
TEXTS 19–20
viṣṇor vratam idaṁ bibhran
na vihanyāt kathañcana
viprān striyo vīravatīḥ
arced ahar-ahar bhaktyā
devaṁ niyamam āsthitā
udvāsya devaṁ sve dhāmni
tan-niveditam agrataḥ
adyād ātma-viśuddhy-arthaṁ
viṣṇoḥ—of Lord Viṣṇu; vratam—vow; idam—this; bibhrat—executing; na—not; vihanyāt—should break; kathañcana—for any reason; viprān—the brāhmaṇas; striyaḥ—women; vīra-vatīḥ—who have their husband and sons; srak—with garlands; gandha—sandalwood; bali—offerings of food; maṇḍanaiḥ—and with ornaments; arcet—one should worship; ahaḥ-ahaḥ—daily; bhaktyā—with devotion; devam—Lord Viṣṇu; niyamam—the regulative principles; āsthitā—following; udvāsya—placing; devam—the Lord; sve—in His own; dhāmni—resting place; tat—to Him; niveditam—what was offered; agrataḥ—after dividing first among the others; adyāt—one should eat; ātma-viśuddhi-artham—for self-purification; sarva-kāma—all desires; samṛddhaye—for fulfilling.
One should accept this viṣṇu-vrata, which is a vow in devotional service, and should not deviate from its execution to engage in anything else. By offering the remnants of prasāda, flower garlands, sandalwood pulp and ornaments, one should daily worship the brāhmaṇas and worship women who peacefully live with their husbands and children. Every day the wife must continue following the regulative principles to worship Lord Viṣṇu with great devotion. Thereafter, Lord Viṣṇu should be laid in His bed, and then one should take prasāda. In this way, husband and wife will be purified and will have all their desires fulfilled.
etena pūjā-vidhinā
māsān dvādaśa hāyanam
nītvāthoparamet sādhvī
kārtike carame ’hani
etena—with this; pūjā-vidhinā—regulated worship; māsān dvādaśa—twelve months; hāyanam—a year; nītvā—after passing; atha—then; uparamet—should fast; sādhvī—the chaste wife; kārtike—in Kārttika; carame ahani—on the final day.
The chaste wife must perform such devotional service continuously for one year. After one year passes, she should fast on the full-moon day in the month of Kārttika [October–November].
śvo-bhūte ’pa upaspṛśya
kṛṣṇam abhyarcya pūrvavat
payaḥ-śṛtena juhuyāc
caruṇā saha sarpiṣā
dvādaśaivāhutīḥ patiḥ
śvaḥ-bhūte—on the following morning; apaḥ—water; upaspṛśya—contacting; kṛṣṇam—Lord Kṛṣṇa; abhyarcya—worshiping; pūrva-vat—as previously; payaḥ-śṛtena—with boiled milk; juhuyāt—one should offer; caruṇā—with an offering of sweet rice; saha—with; sarpiṣā—ghee; pāka-yajña-vidhānena—according to the injunctions of the Gṛhya-sūtras; dvādaśa—twelve; eva—indeed; āhutīḥ—oblations; patiḥ—the husband.
On the morning of the next day, one should wash oneself, and after worshiping Lord Kṛṣṇa as before, one should cook as one cooks for festivals as stated in the Gṛhya-sūtras. Sweet rice should be cooked with ghee, and with this preparation the husband should offer oblations to the fire twelve times.
āśiṣaḥ śirasādāya
dvijaiḥ prītaiḥ samīritāḥ
praṇamya śirasā bhaktyā
bhuñjīta tad-anujñayā
āśiṣaḥ—blessings; śirasā—with the head; ādāya—accepting; dvijaiḥ—by the brāhmaṇas; prītaiḥ—who are pleased; samīritāḥ—spoken; praṇamya—after offering obeisances; śirasā—with the head; bhaktyā—with devotion; bhuñjīta—he should eat; tat-anujñayā—with their permission.
Thereafter, he should satisfy the brāhmaṇas. When the satisfied brāhmaṇas bestow their blessings, he should devotedly offer them respectful obeisances with his head, and with their permission he should take prasāda.
ācāryam agrataḥ kṛtvā
vāg-yataḥ saha bandhubhiḥ
dadyāt patnyai caroḥ śeṣaṁ
suprajāstvaṁ susaubhagam
ācāryam—the ācārya; agrataḥ—first of all; kṛtvā—receiving properly; vāk-yataḥ—controlling speech; saha—with; bandhubhiḥ—friends and relatives; dadyāt—he should give; patnyai—to the wife; caroḥ—of the oblation of sweet rice; śeṣam—the remnant; su-prajāstvam—which insures good progeny; su-saubhagam—which insures good fortune.
Before taking his meal, the husband must first seat the ācārya comfortably, and, along with his relatives and friends, should control his speech and offer prasāda to the guru. Then the wife should eat the remnants of the oblation of sweet rice cooked with ghee. Eating the remnants insures a learned, devoted son and all good fortune.
etac caritvā vidhivad vrataṁ vibhor
abhīpsitārthaṁ labhate pumān iha
strī caitad āsthāya labheta saubhagaṁ
śriyaṁ prajāṁ jīva-patiṁ yaśo gṛham
etat—this; caritvā—performing; vidhi-vat—according to the injunctions of śāstra; vratam—vow; vibhoḥ—from the Lord; abhīpsita—desired; artham—object; labhate—gets; pumān—a man; iha—in this life; strī—a woman; ca—and; etat—this; āsthāya—performing; labheta—can get; saubhagam—good fortune; śriyam—opulence; prajām—progeny; jīva-patim—a husband with a long duration of life; yaśaḥ—good reputation; gṛham—home.
If this vow or ritualistic ceremony is observed according to the description of śāstra, even in this life a man will be able to achieve all the benedictions he desires from the Lord. A wife who performs this ritualistic ceremony will surely receive good fortune, opulence, sons, a long-living husband, a good reputation and a good home.
In Bengal even today if a woman lives for a long time with her husband, she is considered very fortunate. A woman generally desires a good husband, good children, a good home, prosperity, opulence and so on. As recommended in this verse, a woman will receive all these desirable benedictions, and a man will also be able to receive all benedictions, from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus by performing this particular type of vrata, a man and a woman in Kṛṣṇa consciousness will be happy in this material world, and because of being Kṛṣṇa conscious they will be promoted to the spiritual world.
TEXTS 26–28
kanyā ca vindeta samagra-lakṣaṇaṁ
patiṁ tv avīrā hata-kilbiṣāṁ gatim
mṛta-prajā jīva-sutā dhaneśvarī
sudurbhagā subhagā rūpam agryam
vinded virūpā virujā vimucyate
ya āmayāvīndriya-kalya-deham
etat paṭhann abhyudaye ca karmaṇy
ananta-tṛptiḥ pitṛ-devatānām
tuṣṭāḥ prayacchanti samasta-kāmān
homāvasāne huta-bhuk śrī-hariś ca
rājan mahan marutāṁ janma puṇyaṁ
diter vrataṁ cābhihitaṁ mahat te
kanyā—an unmarried girl; ca—and; vindeta—can get; samagralakṣaṇam—possessing all good qualities; patim—a husband; tu—and; avīrā—a woman without a husband or son; hata-kilbiṣām—free from fault; gatim—the destination; mṛta-prajā—a woman whose children are dead; jīva-sutā—a woman whose child has a long duration of life; dhana-īśvarī—possessing wealth; su-durbhagā—unfortunate; su-bhagā—fortunate; rūpam—beauty; agryam—excellent; vindet—can get; virūpā—an ugly woman; virujā—from the disease; vimucyate—is freed; yaḥ—he who; āmayā-—a diseased man; indriya-kalya-deham—an able body; etat—this; paṭhan—reciting; abhyudaye ca karmaṇi—and in a sacrificial ceremony in which oblations are offered to the forefathers and demigods; ananta—unlimited; tṛptiḥ—satisfaction; pitṛ-devatānām—of the forefathers and demigods; tuṣṭāḥ—being pleased; prayacchanti—they bestow; samasta—all; kāmān—desires; homa-avasāne—on the completion of the ceremony; huta-bhuk—the enjoyer of the sacrifice; śrī-hariḥ—Lord Viṣṇu; ca—also; rājan—O King; mahat—great; marutām—of the Maruts; janma—birth; puṇyam—pious; diteḥ—of Diti; vratam—the vow; ca—also; abhihitam—explained; mahat—great; te—to you.
If an unmarried girl observes this vrata, she will be able to get a very good husband. If a woman who is avīrā—who has no husband or son—executes this ritualistic ceremony, she can be promoted to the spiritual world. A woman whose children have died after birth can get a child with a long duration of life and also become very fortunate in possessing wealth. If a woman is unfortunate she will become fortunate, and if ugly she will become beautiful. By observing this vrata, a diseased man can gain relief from his disease and have an able body with which to work. If one recites this narration while offering oblations to the pitās and demigods, especially during the śrāddha ceremony, the demigods and inhabitants of Pitṛloka will be extremely pleased with him and bestow upon him the fulfillment of all desires. After one performs this ritualistic ceremony, Lord Viṣṇu and His wife, mother Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, are very pleased with him. O King Parīkṣit, now I have completely described how Diti performed this ceremony and had good children—the Maruts—and a happy life. I have tried to explain this to you as elaborately as possible.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Sixth Canto, Nineteenth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “performing the Puṁsavana Ritualistic Ceremony.”

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