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 40 - The holy centre Utkala

Brahmā said:

1. Mother Virajā, my mistress, is firmly established in Virajā. By visiting her a man protects his family upto the seventh generation.

2. By visiting that goddess even for once and by worshipping and bowing to her with devotion a man redeems his family and goes to my world.

3. The other mothers of the world who stand in Virajā are goddesses who dispel sins and bestow boons. They are favourably disposed to the devotees.

4. There is the river Vaitaraṇī there. It dispels all sins. By taking holy dip there, the excellent man is liberated from all sins.

5. The self-born lord Viṣṇu stays there in the form of a Boar. By visiting him and bowing to him with devotion, man goes to Viṣṇu’s abode.

6-8. There are eight holy sites in the holy centre of Virajā viz.—Kapila, Gograha, Somatīrtha, Alābutīrtha, Mṛtyuñjaya, Kroḍatīrtha, Vāsuka and Siddhakeśvara. The intelligent pilgrim shall visit all these holy sites and take a holy dip therein in the Virajā with all his sense-organs controlled. By bowing down to the lords be shall be liberated from all sins. Seated in an excellent aerial chariot he goes to my world. The Gandharvas sing in his praise and honour him.

9. He who offers balls of rice in Virajā, my holy centre, shall undoubtedly accord ever-lasting satisfaction to the manes.

10. O excellent sages, men who cast off their body in Virajā my holy centre, do attain salvation.

11. He who takes a holy dip in the ocean and visits Kapila, Viṣṇu and Varahī, goes straight to heaven.

12. O excellent sages, there are many holy sites and shrines. They should be known as equal to that (Virajā).

13. O excellent brahmins, there is a secret and great holy centre which bestows salvation and destroys sins, in the land on the northern shore of the sea.

14. It is covered with sands. It is sacred. It bestows all desires. It extends to ten Yojanas. This is one of the rarest of holy centres.

15-21. That holy centre contains many trees such as Aśoka, Arjuna, Punnāga, Bakula, Sarala, jack tree, coconut tree, Śālas, palmyra, the wood apple, Campaka, Karṇikāra, mango, Bilva, Pāṭala, Kadamba, Kovidāra, Lakuca, Nāgakesara, Śami, Āmalaka (Embylic myrobalan), Lodhra, Citron, Dhava, Khadira, Sarja, Bhūrja, Aśvakarṇa, Tamāla, Devadāru, Mandāra, Pārijāta, Nyagrodha, Aguru, Sandal, Kharjūra, Āmrātaka, Siddha, Mucukunda, Kiṃśuka, Aśvattha, Saptaparṇa, Madhudhara, Śubhāñjana, Śiṃśapa, Nīpa, Nimba (Margose), Tindu, and Vibhītakas. These trees were laden with fruits and fragrant flowers of all seasons. They were delightful to the mind. They were splendid. Many types of birds made the atmosphere resound. The sounds produced by the birds were pleasing to the ears. They were very sweet and excited love pangs powerfully. They afforded great pleasure to the mind.

22-23. The place was full of various birds such as Cakoras, Śatapatras (woodpeckers), Bhṛṅgarājas, (bees), parrots, cuckoos, partridges, Hāritas, Jīvajīvakas, Cātakas, and other birds of sweet voice. They were chirping and their sounds were pleasing to the ears. They delighted everyone and they were beautifully perched (on the branches).

24-31. There were clusters of Ketaki plants, Atimuktas, Kubjakas, Mālatīs, Kundas, Banas, Karavīras of black varieties, Jambīras, Aruṇas, Kaṅkolas, Dāḍimas, Bījapūrakas, Mātuluṅgas, Areca palms, Hintālas, groves of plantain trees and many types of flowering trees pleasing to the mind. There were creepers, and bushes spreading like canopies. There were different kinds of water reservoirs such as oblong ponds, lakes lotus ponds, and tanks. The different water reservoirs were holy and decorated with lotus-clusters. The lakes were beautiful with clear water lilies, white lotuses, splendid blue lotuses, Kalhāra flowers, and similar flowers abounded in those lakes all round. There were Kadambaka birds; Cakravākas and water fowls. There were floating Kāraṇḍava birds, swans, tortoises, fish, Madgus, Dātyūhas, Sārasas, Koyaṣṭis and cranes and these enhanced the beauty of the place. There were other birds living in water, flying in the air or walking over the land. There were aquatic flowers; thus the whole holy centre looked very beautiful with different sorts of trees and flowers both on land and in water. There were aquatic and other types of elephants beautifying the place.

32-35. The place was adorned by religious students, householders, forest dwellers and recluses. They were engaged in their virtuous duties. There were other people as well adorning it. The place was filled with delighted and well nourished people. It was thronged by men and women. The place was the abode of all lores. It was a mine of all holy rites and virtues. Thus, the holy centre, endowed with all good qualities, was the rarest of all holy centres.

O excellent sages, the famous lord Viṣṇu abides there. As far as the boundary of the land of Utkala extends, the place is very holy due to lord Kṛṣṇa’s favour.

36-43. Everything is well established in the place where the supreme lord who pervades the universe is present. He is the lord of the universe and the soul of all. O excellent sages, we always stay in that land. Rudra, Indra, Devas led by Agni and I too stay there. So also the following too stay there: Gandharvas, Apsaras, Pitṛs, Devas, human beings Yakṣas Vidyādharas, Siddhas, sages of praiseworthy holy rites, Vālakhilyas and other sages, the Patriarchs—Kaśyapa and others, Suparṇas, Kinnaras, Serpents and other celestial beings; the four Vedas with their ancillaries, the different sorts, sacred treatises, the Itihāsas and Purāṇas, the sacrifices with excellent monetary gifts and the different sorts of holy rivers. Tīrthas and shrines, oceans and mountains too were established in that land. Who will not like to stay in such a place which is the holiest of the holy, which is frequented by Devas sages and Pitṛs and which is blessed with all means of pleasures.

Which land can surpass it in excellence?

44-49. It is the place where lord Puruṣottama stays as the bestower of salvation.

Blessed indeed are those men who live in Utkala like Devas. They take their bath in the waters of the most excellent of holy centres and see Puruṣottama. They are actually the dwellers of heaven. They never go to the abode of Yama.

Fruitful indeed is the life of the people who stay in Utkala which is the holy centre of Puruṣottama. The residents of Utkala are highly intellectual because they see the lord in all these attributes. He is the most excellent of Devas, his eyes are large and pleasant; his brows, tresses and the crest are beautiful; he has a beautiful piece of ornament embellishing his ears, his smile is beautiful, his teeth are exquisitely fine, his ear rings adorn him beautifully; his nose and cheeks and forehead are very beautiful and possess good traits. The lotus-like face of lord Kṛṣṇa is the cause of delight to all.

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