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 21 - Govardhana-tīrtha

(description of govardhana-tirtha)

Brahmā said:

1. Then there is the Govardhana Tīrtha which destroys all sins. It generates merits unto all ancestors. Even on being remembered it dispels sins.

2. Its power has been tested by me, O Nārada.

There was a certain brahmin farmer known as Jābāli.

3. Even at midday he never rested his bullocks. He hit them with his whip on their backs and sides.

4. On seeing those bullocks full of tears in their eyes, the cow Kāmadhenu, the mother of the worlds, said to Nandin.

5. Nandin too was distressed and intimated everything to Śiva. Śiva said to the Bull, “May whatever you say be fulfilled.”

6-7. Backed by Śiva’s permission Nandin withdrew all the bovine species. When all cattle had vanished in heaven and in the mortal world, Devas came to me in hurry and said: “It is impossible to live without cows”. I then told them, “Go to lord Śiva and request him”.

8. In the same manner they eulogized Śiva and intimated to him the matter under reference. Śiva said to Devas, “My Bull knows everything”.

9-10. Those Devas spoke to the Bull, “Give us the cows and bullocks that are helpful to us”.

The Bull said to Devas, “Let the sacrifice Gosava be performed. Thereby you will obtain all cows both divine and human.”

Then the sacrifice Gosava was performed by Devas.

11-13. The sacrifice was performed on the auspicious banks of Gautamī. Then the cattle flourished. That holy centre was named Govardhana and it increased the pleasure of Devas. The holy ablution performed there, O excellent sage, yields the benefit of gifts of thousands of cows. We do not know what the benefit will be if any charitable gift is made.

By seeing Śiva, the lord of Devas, the presiding deity Gautameśvara, one attains heavenly world as long as the mountain Meru lasts on Earth.

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