The Glories of the Seventeenth Chapter of
the Bhagavad Gita from the Padma Purana
Lord Shiva said, “My dear Parvati, you have heard the unlimited glories of the Sixteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. Now, kindly hear the nectarine glories of the Seventeenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.
King Khadgabahu’s son had a servant by the name of Dushasan who was very crafty and exceptionally foolish. Dushasan made a bet with the prince that he could ride the elephant, at which time he jumped upon the elephant and after going a few steps, the people there started requesting him, not to ride that dangerous elephant. But foolish Dushasan started to prod that elephant and used strong words to urge him on. Suddenly, that elephant became very angry and started to run wildly here and there. Unable to hold on, Dushasan fell to the ground. The elephant stomped on him and Dushasan died. After that he attained the body of an elephant in Simhaldwip, where he stayed in the king’s palace.
The king of Simhaldwip was a close friend of King Khadgabahu. One day the king of Simhaldwip decided to send that elephant as a present to his friend, King Khadgabahu, who in turn presented that elephant to one poet, who pleased him with his beautiful poetry.
Thereafter, that poet sold that elephant for one hundred gold coins to the king of Malva. After some time, that elephant contracted a terminal disease. When the elephant-keepers saw that the elephant had stopped eating and drinking, they reported the matter to the king. When the king found out, he went to the place of the elephant, along with the best of doctors. At that time, to the surprise of that king, the elephant started to speak, “My dear king you are very pious, and a strict follower of the Vedas. You always worship the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu. So you should know, that at this time, these medicines and doctors will be of no use. Neither any kind of charity of sacrifice will help at the time of death. If you care for me and want to help me, then bring someone, who daily recites the Seventeenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.”
As requested by that elephant, the king brought one great devotee, who regularly recited the Seventeenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. That devotee, while chanting the Seventeenth Chapter, sprinkled water on the elephant at which time he gave up his elephant body and attained a four-armed form, similar to that of Lord Vishnu. He immediately sat down in a flower airplane, which had been sent to take him to Vaikuntha. While sitting in that airplane, the king inquired from him about his previous birth, and Dushasan, after telling him everything, left for Vaikuntha. After which, that best of men, the king of Malva, started regularly reciting the Seventeenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. After a short time he attained the lotus feet of Lord Krishna.
The Glories of the Eighteenth Chapter of
the Bhagavad Gita from the Padma Purana
Parvati said “My dear husband, you have told me the glories of the Seventeenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, now kindly relate the glories of the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.
Lord Shiva said; “Oh daughter of the Himalayas (Parvati), please listen to the glories of the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, which is higher than the Vedas and the giver of unlimited bliss. When it enters into one’s ears it destroys all material desires. For the pure devotee, it is divine nectar, it is Lord Vishnu’s very life and it is a solace to the hearts of Lord Indra and the demigods as well as the great yogis headed by Sanaka and Sananda.
One who recites it sends the messengers of Yamaraja far away. There is no other recitation, which can so quickly destroy all sin and free one from the threefold miseries of this world. Now listen with great devotion.
On the topmost peak of Mount Meru is Amaravati, which was built by Visvakarma. In [hat heavenly kingdom, Lord Indra along with his wife Saci is served by the demigods. One day while Lord Indra was sitting peacefully, he saw that one very beautiful person had arrived there, whom the servants of Lord Vishnu were serving. When. Lord Indra saw that beautiful young person; he immediately fell from his throne unto the ground. At that time those demigod who had been worshipping Indra picked up the crown that he was wearing and placed it on the head of that new beautiful person. After that, all the demigods and other denizens of the heavenly planets started to perform arati and sing wonderful songs to that new King Indra. The great rishis came there and offered their blessings and chanted Vedic mantras and the Gandharvas and Apsaras started to sing and dance joyfully. In this way, the new Indra, who had not performed the usual one hundred horse sacrifices, started to enjoy hundreds of different types of services rendered by the demigods and other denizens of the heavenly planets. When the old Indra saw this he became very surprised.
He started to think to himself, “This person here has never built wells or dug kunds or planted trees for the welfare of others, and when there were droughts, he did not provide grains in charity. He never performed any fire-sacrifices or great charities in the holy places. So how has he managed to attain my seat?” The old Indra, feeling greatly disturbed in his mind, left to the ocean of milk to pray to Lord Vishnu. When he managed to obtain darshan of Lord Vishnu, he asked Him “My dear Lord Vishnu, in the past I performed many sacrifices and other pious activities, for which I was installed as the Lord of heaven. But at this time another person has come there and taken my place as the king of heaven. This person in his life never performed any great, wonderful pious activities, nor had he performed any great Vedic sacrifices. So, how is it possible that he has managed to obtain my throne?”
At that time Lord Vishnu said, “My dear Indra, That great soul has performed the recitation daily of the Eighteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. Everyday during his life, he recited five Shlokas from this Chapter, and because of that activity he has attained the results of all sorts of pious activities and yajnas and after enjoying for many years as the king of heaven, he will attain My personal abode. If you perform the same activity of reciting the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, you can also attain My divine abode.”
After hearing Lord Vishnu’s words, Lord Indra took the form of a brahmana and went to the bank of the Godavari River, where he saw the town of Kalegrani, which is very sacred. At that place, the Supreme Lord in His form known as Kalesva, resides. Close to this town, on the bank of the Godavari river, one very pure brahmana was sitting, who was very merciful and had understood the topmost goal and secret of the Vedic literatures. Daily he would sit at that spot and recite Shlokas of the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. When Lord Indra saw him he became very happy. He immediately fell at his lotus-feet and requested him to teach him the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. After Lord Indra had practiced the recitation, of the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita for sometime he managed to attain the topmost place of Vishnuloka. When he attained that place, he realized that the pleasure he had enjoyed as King Indra, along with the demigods, was nothing in comparison.
My dear Parvati, for this reason, the great sages, especially chant this Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita and by so doing very quickly attain the lotus-feet of Lord Vishnu.
Anyone who hears or studies this Gita Mahatmya very quickly destroys all sins, which he has accumulated. And that person, who remembers this discourse with great faith attains the results of all kinds of pious activities and great sacrifices, and after enjoying all worldly opulence, attains the abode of Lord Vishnu