The Gautami Mahatmya

by G. P. Bhatt | 1955 | 127,137 words

This is the English translation of the Gautami-Mahatmya, which forms the fourth part of the Brahma-purana. The Gautamimahatmya narrates the legends and merits of the various holy places (tirthas) situated around the bank of the Godavari river in 105 chapters. It can be seen as distinct work by itself, and was declared as a “highly meritorious puran...

Chapter 14 - Paiśāca-tīrtha

(description of paishaca-tirtha)

Brahmā said:

1-4. Another holy centre is the Paiśāca Tīrtha. It is honoured by persons who expound the doctrine of Brahman. I shall recount to you its form and features. On the southern bank of Gautamī, at the side of Brahmagiri, O Nārada, there is a mountain Añjana. On that mountain, O excellent sage, there was an excellent celestial damsel Añjanā. She had a downfall due to a curse. Her face resembled that of a monkey. Her husband’s names was Kesarī. Adrikā was another wife of Kesarī. She too was a celestial damsel who had a downfall due to a curse. Her face and head resembled those of a cat. She too stayed on the Añjana mountain.

5. Once Kesarī who was well known in the world went to the southern sea. In the meantime sage Agastya came to that Añjana mountain.

6. Both of them, viz. Añjanā and Adrikā worshipped the excellent sage Agastya duly and pleasingly.

7. Then the delighted holy sage said to them, “Let a boon be chosen”. They said to Agastya, “O lord of sages, give us two sons.

8. They should be stronger than all others and more excellent too. They should be persons who render help to the whole world”.

Saying “So be it”, that sage went to the southern quarter.

9-12. Once Añjanā and Adrikā were singing, dancing and laughing on the top of the mountain.

The two Devas, Vāyu and Nirṛti saw them and smiled. They were overwhelmed by lust and they rushed to those ladies. They said, “We are Devas, the bestowers of boons. Be our wives”. They too replied, “Let it be so”. They then sported about on the top of the mountain. Hanūmān was born of Añjanā and Vāyu. The king of Piśācas (evil spirits) named Adri was born of Adrikā and Nirṛti.

13-14. Then the ladies said, “Due to the boon of the sage sons are born to us. Our form is ugly and distorted. It is defiled at the head and face due to the curse of Indra. It behoves you to know about this.” Then Lord Vāyu and Nirṛti spoke:

15. “By taking bath in Gautamī you will be released from the curse”. After saying this the two delighted Devas vanished there itself.

16. Then, for the sake of pleasing his brother Hanūmān, Adri who had the form and features of a Piśāca took Añjanā, his mother and made her take her bath.

17-20. In the same manner Hanūmān took Adri whose form was that of a cat, to Gaṅgā and rushed to the banks of Gautamī.

Thenceforward that holy centre was well known as Paiśāca and Añjana. (Being) near the mountain of Brahmā that is auspicious. It yields all desired things. The holy centre Mārjāra extended to fìfty-three Yojanas to the east. Away from the holy centre Mārjāra is the holy centre Hanūmanta and Vṛṣākapi. The confluence of Phenā is the bestower of all desired things. Its form, nature and situation is recounted there itself.

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