The Brahma Purana

by G. P. Bhatt | 1955 | 243,464 words

This is the Brahma Purana in English (translation from Sanskrit), which is one of the eighteen Maha Puranas. The contents of this ancient Indian encyclopedic treatise include cosmology, genealogy (solar dynasty etc.), mythology, geology and Dharma (universal law of nature). The Brahma Purana is notable for its extenstive geological survey includin...

Chapter 23 - Holy Centres (tīrtha): Their Greatness

The sages said:

1. O Sūta conversent with piety, it behoves you to narrate the tale of holy shrines and centres over the earth. We are inclined to hear the same.

Lomaharṣaṇa said:

2. He whose hands and feet are clean, whose mind is fully restrained and who has learning, penance and fame, enjoys the benefit of visiting holy shrines.

3. The pure mind is the holy centre unto men. So also the control over speech and the restraint on the sense-organs. There are holy centres present in the physical body itself. They make the man understand the path of heaven.

4. The wicked mind situated within does not become purified by ablutions in the sacred water in the holy centres, like the unclean mudpot of stale liquor which cannot become pure even when washed with water a hundred times.

5. Neither holy centres, not charitable gifts nor holy rites, nor penance groves can purify the man whose mind is wicked, who takes delight in arrogance or who has not conquered his sense-organs.

6. Wherever a man stays after keeping his sense-organs fully under his control—the holy centres of Kurukṣetra, Prayāga and Puṣkara are present there.

7. Hence listen. I shall mention holy centres and sacred shrines—whatever there are on the earth, O excellent sages.

8-9. They cannot be explained in detail even in the course of hundreds of years.

O excellent brahmins I shall mention holy centres of Puṣkara, Naimiśa forest, Prayāga and Dharmāraṇya as the foremost among holy spots.

There are Dhenuka, Campaka and Saindhava forests.

10. The meritorious Sagarāraṇya forest, Daṇḍaka forest, Gaya, Prabhāsa, Śrītīrtha, and the divine Kanakhala.[1]

11. Bhṛgutuṅga, Hiraṇyākṣa, Bhīmakanyā, Kuśasthalī, Lokārgala, Kedāra and Mandāra forest.

12. Mahālaya, Koṭitīrtha, that dispels sins, Rūpatīrtha, Śūkara and Cakratīrtha of great benefit.

13. Vyāsatīrtha, Somatīrtha, Śākhoṭakatīrtha, Kokāmukha-tīrtha and the holy Badari mountain.

14. Somatīrtha, Tuṅgakūṭa, Skandāśramatīrtha, Sūryaprabha, Dhenusaras and the seventh āyuṣmika.?

15. Koṭitīrtha at Dharmodbhava, the Sārva-kāmika-tīrtha, Sūryaprabha, Mahākuṇḍa and Somābhiṣecanatīrtha.

16. Mahāśtotra, Koraka, Pañcadhāras Tridhāra, Saptadhāra, Ekadhāra and Amarakaṇṭakatīrtha.

17. Śālagrāma, Cakratīrtha, the excellent Kadalīhrada, Vidyutprabha, Devahradatīrtha, and Viṣṇuprabha.

18. Śaṅkhaprabha, Devakuṇḍa, Vajrāyudhatīrtha, Vastrāpada, Barhapada and Lokārohaṇa.

19. Svayaṃvaṭa, Bhadrabala, Kauśāmba, Divākara, Sārasvata Dvīpa, Vijayadvīpa, and Kāmaja Dvīpa.

20. (?) Sollayāṅgopacāra, Cavarambana, Pūrṇavat (?) Snānakuṇḍa, Prayāga and Guhā Viṣṇupada.

21. Kanyākuṇḍa, Vāyukuṇḍa, Jambūmārga the excellent holy centre, Gabhastitīrtha and the clean Yayāti Pattana.

22. Bhadravaṭa Koṭitīrtha, Mahākālavana, the great Narmadātīrtha, Tīrthabīja and Arbuda.

23. The Pañcatīrtha including Vasiṣṭhatīrtha, Priyasaṃjñaka, Vārṣika and the splendid Pañjiraka.

24. Sutīrtha, Brahmarudra, Kanyākumārika, Śakratīrtha,. Pañcanada and Reṇukātīrtha.

25. The pure Paitāmahatīrtha, the excellent Raudrapāda, Maṇimanta, Kāmākhya, Kṛṣṇatīrtha and Kuliṅgaka.

26. Śrīśakrayajana, Brahmavālukā, the holy Vyāsatīrtha, Puṇḍarīka and the excellent Maṇimantha.

27. Dīrghamantha, Haṃsapādatīrtha, Śayana, Daśāśvamedha, Kedāra and Tamasodbheda.

28. Rudrakūpa, Saṃyamanītīrtha. Saṃtrāvanāsika, Syamantapañcaka, and Brahmatīrtha very pleasing to look.

29. Pṛthivītīrtha, Pāriplava, Pṛthūdaka, Daśāśvamedhika, Sākṣida and Vijaya.

30. The Koṭitīrtha at Pañcanada, Varāha, Yakṣiṇīhrada, Puṇḍarīka, Somatīrtha, and the excellent Muñjāvaṭaratha.

31. The Babūravanatīrtha situated in the forest Badarīvana, Svarlokadvāraka and Kapilātīrtha.

32. Sūryatīrtha, Varusthāna, Bhavābhavana, Yakṣarākṣasatīrtha, and Brahmatīrtha the excellent holy centre.

33. Kāmeśvara, Mātṛtīrtha, Śātavana, the abode of the earthly Haṃsa (swan) and the Sārasatīrtha.

34. Daśāśvamedha, Kedāra, excellent Brahmajña Saptarṣikuṇḍa and the well-delimited tīrtha of the goddess.

35. Ihāspada (the support here, on earth) Koṭikṛta, Kiṃvāna, Kiṃjaya, Kāraṇḍava, Viśvatīrtha and another Triviṣṭapatīrtha.

36. Pāṇikhātatīrtha, Miśrakatīrtha, Madhukaṇṭatīrtha, Manomayatīrtha, the divine Kauśikītīrtha and the excellent Kanyātīrtha.

37. The Brahmatīrtha, Manastīrtha, the sacred holy centre, Saugandhika the holy forest, Maṇitīrtha and Sarasvatītīrtha.

38. The most excellent holy centre Īśānatīrtha, the holy Pañcayajñaka, Triśūladhara, Mahendra, and the divine abode Mahālaya,

39. The divine holy centre Śākambharītīrtha, Suvarṇākhya, Kapīmada, Kṣīreśvara, Virūpākṣa, Bhṛgutīrtha and Kuśodbhava.

40. Brahmāvarta, Brahmayoni, the mountain Nīlaparvata, the eddy Bhadrakarṇa and the eddy Śakrakarṇa.

41. Saptasārasvata, the holy centre of Auśanasatīrtha, Kapālamocana, Avakīrṇa and Pañcakatīrtha.

42. Catussāmudrika, Satkāñcanasahasrika, Reṇuka, Pañcakaṭaka and Ainasa-Vimocanatīrtha.

43. Sthāṇutīrtha, Tīrtha of Kuru, Svargadvāra, Kuśadhvaja, Viśveśvara, Vāmakara and the hermitage of Nārāyaṇa.

44. Gaṅgāhrada, the holy Vaṭa and Badarī, Indramārgaṇakṣetra and Jirikāvāsa.

45. O brahmins, Somatīrtha, the meritorious Koṭitīrtha, the holy spot of Koṭitīrthasthalī, an eddy by Bhadrakālī.

46. The holy forest of Arundhatīvana, the excellent Brahmāvarta, Aśvadevī, Kubjavana and Yamunāprabhava.

47. Vīra-Pramokṣa, Siddhārtha, Māyāvidyodbhava, Mahāhrada, Vetasikārūpa and Sundarikāśrama.

48. Brahmāṇītīrtha, which is very great, Gaṅgodbhavasarasvatī, Bāhukātīrtha and Vimalāśokatīrtha.

49. Gautamītīrtha, Airāvatītīrtha, Śatasahasrikātīrtha, Koṭitīrtha in the abode Bhartṛsthāna and the excellent Kāpilītīrtha.

50. The Pañcanadatīrtha of the intelligent Mārkaṇḍeya, Somatīrtha, Śivoda and Matsyodarītīrtha.

51. Sūryatīrtha having the lustre of the sun, the holy forest Somakavana, Aruṇāspada, Vāmanaka and the Sūryatīrtha abounding in sands.

52. The Tīrtha called Avimukta, the Nīlakaṇṭhahrada, Piśācamocana, and Subhadrāhrada.

53. Vimalakuṇḍa, Tīrtha of Caṇḍīśvara, Śreṣṭhasthānahrada and Samudrakūpa.

54. The forest of Jaigīṣavya, the forest of Hṛṣīkeśa, Ajāmukharasa, and the whirlpool of Ghaṇṭākarṇa.

55. Puṇḍarīkahrada, the tank of Kāṣṭhaka, Śmaśānastambha, Kumbhatīrtha and the Vināyakahrada.

56. The well born of the Siddhas, the holy lake Brahmasaras Bhadrāvāsa, Nāgatīrtha and Somatīrtha.

57. Bhaktahrada, the lake of milk, Pretādhāra, Kumārakatīrtha, Brahmāvarta Kuśāvarta and the holy centre Dadhikarṇodaya.

58. The great holy centre of Śṛṇgatīrtha, the excellent holy centre of Mahānadī, the divine lake Brahmasaras, and the holy Akṣayavaṭa at Gayāśīrṣa.

59. Gomayatīrtha in the South, Hayaśāntika in the north, Kapilāhrada, Gṛdhrakūṭa and Sāvitrīhrada.

60. The forest Gītavana that destroys sins, Yonidvāra, Dhainuka, Dhanvaka, Lohika and Mataṅgahrada.

61. Pitṛkūpa, Rudrakūpa, Matitīrtha, Sumālin, Brahmasthāna, Saptakuṇḍa, and Maṇiratnahrada.

62. The hermitage of Mudgala, the whirlpool of Mudgala, the holy centre Janakakūpa, and the holy Tīrtha Vinaśana.

63. The holy centre Śoka, Bhāratatīrtha, Jyeṣṭhālika, Viśveśvara of hundredfold merits, and Kanyāsaṃvedha.

64. Nidhitīrtha, Rāmabhavatīrtha, the hermitage of Vasiṣṭha, Devakūṭa, Devakūpa and the hermitage of Kauśika.

65. Kulakarṇahrada, Kauśikīdruma, Dharmatīrtha, Kāñcanatīrtha and the holy centre Uddālaka.

66. Daṇḍātmā, Mālinītīrtha, Vanacaṇḍikātīrtha, Sandhyātīrtha, Kālatīrtha, Kapilātīrtha and Lohitārṇava.

67. Śoṇodbhava, Vaṃśagulma, the centre of Rāma Bhaṅgīka, Puṇyāvartahrada, Śrīmattīrtha and the hermitage Badarikāśrama.

68. Rāmatīrtha, Vitastā, Merujātīya, the Rohiṇī and the lake of Indradyumna.

69. Avasarga, Mahendra, Śrītīrtha and the holy centre Iṣutīrtha, Vārṣika, and the abode of Kubera.

70. Kanyātīrtha, Gokarṇa, the abode, of Gopati Saṃvarta, Viśvāsa and the group of seven deep pools named Saptagodāvarīhrada.

71. Another Badarīhrada, Brahmasthānavivardhana, Jātihrada, Devahrada, and Kuśaprathana.

72. Sarvadevavrata, Kanyāśramahrada, Mahārājahrada, the holy Śakratīrtha and Kundaka.

73. Āṅgāratīrtha, the forest Rudrāraṇyaka, Medhāvin, Devahrada and the holy centre Amaravartana.

74. The holy Mandākinīhrada, Kṣama, Māheśvara, Gaṅgātīrtha, Tripuruṣa, and Bhīmatāṇḍavamukha.

75. Pṛthukūṭa, Śālvakūṭa, Śoṇa, Rohitaka, Kapilahrada, Mālya and Kapilāhrada belonging to Vasiṣṭha.

76-79. The eddies, the holy waterspots of Vālakhilyas, the seven sages, other great sages and the Akhaṇḍita-hrada.

The man who is endowed with faith who lakes his bath duly in these sacred water spots and holy centres should observe fast and control his sense-organs. He should perform Tarpaṇa rites for Devas, sages and Pitṛs. After worshipping the deities he should stay there for three nights.

O brahmins, benefits are derived severally from each of these holy centres. Undoubtedly, the man obtains the benefit of a horse-sacrifice by making journeys to these places.

He who listens to this narrative daily, or who narrates this greatness of holy centres is liberated from sins.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Kanakhala—A holy place of pilgrimage on the bank of Gaṅgā. Kālidāsa refers to this place in his Meghadūta. This is the place where Dakṣa Prājāpati performed the sacrifice.

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