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...
3. The river Apsarā joins Gaṅgā and that confluence is a holy centre. Merely by remembering that holy centre a man can be assured and become contented.
5. Beget a splendid son through whom Indra’s arrogance can be quelled. We shall give you a moiety of our penance.
The sage said to them, “So be it”.
7-8. Prajāpati who was desirous of going abroad told those two pregnant ladies, “You must not commit any offence. You must not go anywhere. For certain, you will be cursed if you to elsewhere.”
9-13. After saying thus to his wives he went away. When their husband had gone, both of them went to the sacrifice of sages with purified mind. The sacrificial chamber was crowded with groups of brahmins. It was situated on the banks of Gaṅgā. Both of them were arrogant because of their youth and wealth. They were mad too. Though forbidden many times by the sages, the seers of truth, they spoiled the Havi offerings in the sacrifice. Who can prevent the misconduct and evil actions of women? On seeing both of them fallen in the evil path the brahmins became enraged and excited. (They cursed them thus) “Since you are clinging to the evil path you will become rivers. Thereupon Suparṇā and Kadrū became rivers.
14-17. Prajāpati Kaśyapa returned home after some time. He heard the details of the incidents in the sessional sacrifice and the curse of those two ladies. On hearing it he was perplexed and thought, “What shall I do?” He told the sages known as Vālakhilyas. They said to the brahmin Kaśyapa: “Go to Gaṅgā Gautamī and eulogize Maheśāna. They will then become your wives again. You go to that place in the middle of Gaṅgā where lord Maheśvara resides perpetually due to the fear of sin of brahmin slaughter, by the name of Madhyameśvara.”
18. Saying, “So be it” Kaśyapa of holy rites took bath in Gaṅgā and eulogized Maheśvara, the lord of Devas, by means of sacred hymns.
20. You alone are competent to dispel the misery of all embodied beings, whether mobile or immobile, who have been scorched by the sun of threefold misery and who run about here and there.
21. The three types of Yoga (contact) of Sattva etc. (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) of Lord Śiva cannot be recounted even by Śakra and others. Considering Soma (i.e. Śiva) to be of diverse wonderful activities, an excellent person who is always devoted to charitable gifts is happy always.
23-24. To him who was seeking his wives the lord said: “The two wives of yours will have the forms of rivers. They will reach Gaṅgā, the most excellent river. Due to this mere contact they will regain their own bodies.”
Due to the grace of Gaṅgā they became pregnant once again.
25. Then the noble-souled Prajāpati, became delighted on regaining his wives. He invited those brahmins who had resorted to the banks of Gautamī.
26, The delighted Prajāpati performed their Sīmantonnayana rite (parting of hairs on the head ritualistically). He fed the brahmins in accordance with injunctions.
27-29. The brahmins had their food in the abode of Kaśyapa. Kadrū was seated near her husband. Looking at the brahmins she squinted and winked her eye and laughed at them. They became excited (and cursed): “O sinful woman, let that sinning eye of thine with which you winked and laughed be split.” Then Kadrū became blind of one eye. She is called the mother of serpents. Then the holy sage Kaśyapa pacified the sages.
30-33. They were pleased and said: “The Gautamī, the most excellent of rivers will protect one from thousands of crimes on being resorted to. Kaśyapa, the excellent sage, did so along with his wives. Thenceforth, they know that their confluence is a holy centre. The river Kadrū is all round and the river Sauparṇikā is in the East. The holy centre Jaṭādhara extends all round from the Kadrū to the east as far as the Sauparṇikā river. This holy centre is a bit holier than Vārāṇasī. It suppresses all sins. It bestows the benefit of all sacrifices.”
Footnotes and references:
The three well known miseries are ādhyātmika (caused by self), ādhidaivika (caused by supernatural beings), and ādhibhautika (caused by the great elements); the terms are interpreted with slight differences by different commentators.