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 31 - Sarasvatī-saṅgama Tīrtha

(description of Sarasvati-sangama Tirtha)

Brahmā said:

1. The holy centre named Purūravas destroys all sins even on being remembered. Why not on being visited? Those who are conversant with the Vedas know it.

2. King Purūravas went to the abode of Brahmā. There, by chance he saw the divine river Sarasvatī laughing by the side of Brahmā. On seeing her richly endowed with beauty the king asked Urvaśī:

The King said:

3. Who is this beautiful saintly lady near Brahmā? She is the most excellent lady among all ladies (assembled here). She (seems to) illuminate this assembly.

Brahmā said:

4. Urvaśī said to the king: “This is the splendid divine river Sarasvatī, the daughter of Brahmā. She comes here daily and goes back.”

On hearing it the king was surprised (and he said), “Bring her near me”

Brahmā said:

5-9. Urvaśī said again to the king who used to distribute plenty of monetary gifts.

Urvaśī said:

I shall mention everything to her and fetch her.

Brahmā said:

Then out of pleasure the king sent Urvaśī there. Urvaśī then went and repeated the words of the king. Sarasvatī agreed to what was mentioned by Urvaśī. She promised saying “So be it” and went to the place where Purūravas was staying. He indulged in sexual dalliance on the banks of Sarasvatī for many years. Sarasvān was born as (her) son and his (Sarasvān’s) son was Bṛhadratha.

10-12. I observed Sarasvatī going everyday to the abode of the king. I saw Sarasvān (her son). I saw evidences of similar activities with regard to other persons also. So I cursed her, “Be Mahānadī.” Afraid of my curse Vāgīśā (Sarasvatī) went to the divine river Gautamī, who is the holy mother sanctifying the whole world, who was born of Kamaṇḍalu (water-pot), who is the suppressor of the three distresses and who is the bestower of pleasures here and hereafter.

13-16. After going to Gautamī, the divine river, she recounted (the story of) my curse from the beginning. Gaṅgā said to me: “It behoves you to make her free from the effects of the curse. It is not proper on your part to have cursed Sarasvatī. This is the nature of women because youthful women desire men. O Brahmā, all young women are naturally unsteady. O lotus-seated lord, you are the creator of the Universe. How is it, that you do not know this? Whom does not cupid deceive naturally?”

Then I withdrew the curse and said “Sarasvatī shall be visible too.”

17-20. Due to that curse the river Sarasvatī is both visible and invisible in the mortal world.

Purūravas, the most excellent and virtuous king, went to the place where the divine river (Sarasvatī), agitated due to the curse, joined Gaṅgā. He performed penance and propitiated lord Siddheśvara. He acquired all cherished desires by the favour of Gaṅgā. Thenceforth that holy centre is called Purū-ravas. It is also called Sarasvatīsaṅgama and Brahmatīrtha. The lord there is Siddheśvara and the holy center bestows all cherished things.

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