“Yudhishthira said, ‘I have heard the discourse regarding the ordinanceabout the gift of food. Do thou discourse to me now about the conjunctionof the planets and the stars in relation to the subject of makinggifts.
“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection is recited this ancient narrative ofthe discourse between Devaki and Narada, that foremost of Rishis. Once ona time when Narada of godlike feature and conversant with every dutyarrived at Dwaraka, Devaki asked him this question. Unto her that hadasked him, the celestial Rishi Narada duly answered in the followingwords. Do thou hear as I recite them.’
“Narada said, ‘By gratifying, O blessed lady, deserving Brahmanas withPayasa mixed with ghee, under the constellation Krittika one attains toregions of great happiness. Under the constellation Rohini, oneshould for freeing oneself from the debt one owes to the Brahmanas makegift unto them of many handfuls of venison along with rice and ghee andmilk, and other kinds of edibles and drinks. One giving away a cow with acalf under the constellation called Somadaivata (or Mrigasiras), proceedsfrom this region of human beings to a region in heaven of great felicity.One undergoing a fast and giving away Krisara mixed with sesame,transcends all difficulties in the next world, including those mountainswith rocks sharp as razors. By making gifts, O beautiful lady, of cakesand other food under the constellation Punarvasu one becomes possessed ofpersonal beauty and great fame and takes birth in one’s next life in afamily in which there is abundance of food. Making a gift of wrought orunwrought gold, under the constellation Pushya, one shines in effulgencelike Soma himself in regions of surrounding gloom. He who makes a gift,under the constellation Aslesha, of silver of a bull, becomes freed fromevery fear and attains to great affluence and prosperity. By making agift, under the constellation Magha, of earthen dishes filled withsesame, one becomes possessed of children and animals in this world andattains to felicity in the next. For making gifts unto Brahmanas,under the constellation called Purva-Phalguni of food mixed with Phanitathe giver observing a fast the while, reward is great prosperity bothhere and hereafter. By making a gift, under the constellation calledUttara-Phalguni, of ghee and milk with rice called Shashthika, oneattains to great honours in heaven. Whatever gifts are made by men underthe constellation of Uttara-Phalguni produce great merit, which, again,becomes inexhaustible. This is very certain. Observing a fast the while,the person that makes, under the constellation Hasta, a gift of a carwith four elephants, attains to regions of great felicity that arecapable of granting the fruition of every wish. By making a gift, underthe constellation Chitra, of a bull and of good perfumes, one sports inbliss in regions of Apsaras like the deities sporting in the woods ofNandana. By making gifts of wealth under the constellation Swati, oneattains to such excellent regions as one desires and wins besides greatfame. By making gifts, under constellation Visakha, of a bull, and a cowthat yields a copious measure of milk, a cart full of paddy, with aPrasanga for covering the same, and also cloths for wear, a persongratifies the Pitris and the deities attains to inexhaustible merit inthe other world. Such a person never meets with any calamity andgratifies the Pitris and the deities and attains to inexhaustible meritin the other world. Such a person never meets with any calamity andcertainly reaches heaven. By making gifts unto the Brahmanas of whateverarticles they solicit, one attains to such means of subsistence as onedesires, and becomes rescued from hell and every calamity that visits asinner after death. This is the certain conclusion of the scriptures. Bymaking gifts, under the constellation Anuradha of embroidered cloth andother vestments and of food, observing a fast the while, one becomeshonoured in heaven for a hundred Yugas. By making a gift under theconstellation Jyeshtha, of the potherb called Kalasaka with the roots,one attains to great prosperity as also to such an end as is desirable.By making unto Brahmanas a gift under the constellation Mula, of fruitsand roots, with a restrained soul, one gratifies the Pitris and attainsto a desirable end. By making under the constellation Purvashadha, agift, unto a Brahmana conversant with the Vedas and of good family andconduct, of cups filled with curds, while one is in the observance of afast, one takes birth in one’s next life in a family possessed ofabundant kine. One obtains the fruition of every wish, by making gifts,under the constellation Uttarashadha, of jugs full of barley-water, withghee and inspissated juice of sugarcane in abundance. By making a giftunder the conjunction called Abhijit, of milk with honey and ghee untomen of wisdom, a righteous person attains to heaven and becomes an objectof attention and honour there. By making under the conjunction Sravana, agift of blankets or other cloth of thick texture, one roves freelythrough every region of felicity, riding on a white car of pureresplendence. By making with a restrained soul, under the constellationDhanishtha, a gift of a vehicle with bulls yoked thereto, or heaps ofcloths and wealth, one at once attains to heaven in one’s next life. Bymaking gifts, under the constellation Satabhisha, of perfumes withAquilaria Agallocha and sandalwood, one attains in the next world to thecompanionship of Apsaras as also eternal perfumes of diverse kinds. Bymaking gifts, under the constellation Purva-Bhadrapada, or Rajamasha, oneattains to great happiness in the next life and becomes possessed of anabundant stock of every kind of edibles and fruits. One who makes,under the constellation Uttara, a gift of mutton, gratifies the Paris bysuch an act attains to inexhaustible merit in the next world. Unto onewho makes a gift, under the constellation Revati, of a cow with a vesselof white copper for milking her, the cow so given away approaches in thenext world, ready to grant the fruition of every wish. By making a gift,under the constellation Aswini, of a car with steeds yoked thereto, oneis born in one’s next life in a family possessed of numerous elephantsand steeds and cars, and becomes endued with great energy. By making,under the constellation Bharani, a gift unto the Brahmanas of kine andsesame, one acquires in one’s next life great fame and an abundance ofkine.’
“Bhishma continued, ‘Even thus did Narada discourse unto Devaki upon thesubject of what gifts should be made under what constellations. Devakiherself, having listened to this discourse, recited it in her turn untoher daughters-in-law (viz., the spouses of Krishna).'”