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 40 - Cakreśvara and other Holy Centres

Brahmā said:

1-4. The holy centre Pippala comes after Cakratīrtha because the lord here is called Cakreśvara and it was from here that lord Hari obtained his discus. The place where Viṣṇu himself stood and worshipped Lord Śaṅkara for getting the discus back is cited as Cakratīrtha. They know the place as Pippala where Śambhu became pleased with Viṣṇu. Even Śeṣa is not competent to narrate its glory. Listen, O Nārada, to the reason for the name Pippaleśa given to Cakreśvara. Listen to it with devotion because what is mentioned in the Vedas is being recounted by me.

5. There was a famous sage named Dadhici. He was endowed with good qualities. His wife was a chaste lady of noble birth and highly intelligent.

6. She was the sister of that lady well known as Lopāmudrā. She was famous by the name Gabhastinī and glorified as Vaḍavā.

7. She was the beloved wife of Dadhīci. He performed penance regularly along with her. Dadhīci was devoted to the duties of a householder and he always maintained the sacred fire.

8. He resorted to Gaṅgā and was devoted to the propitiation of gods and guests. He was fondly attached to his wife. He was as calm as Agastya.

9-10. Due to his spiritual power Daityas and Dānavas came to that region, O great sages. It was there that Agastya too had his hermitage. After defeating Daityas who came for attacking them Devas, Rudras, Ādityas, twin brothers Aśvins, Indra, Viṣṇu, Yama and the Fire-god came there.

11. They were excessively delighted by their victory. They were eulogized by the Maruts. On seeing Dadhīci, the great sage, the leading Devas bowed down to him.

12. With great delight, Dadhīci welcomed and honoured Devas severally. Accompanied by his wife he thereafter performed the duties of a householder to them.

13-14. Devas were asked about their welfare and general happiness by him. They chatted with him. Devas who were delighted in their minds bowed down to sage Dadhīci who was made happy by his wife and who was seated there.

Devas said:

15. What is it that is difficult to be obtained by us, O sage, in this world since a sage like you, the very Kalpa tree[1] in this world, is kind to us.

16. This alone is the benefit of all living men, O excellent sage, viz., the holy plunge in the holy centres, kindness to all living beings and meeting with people like you.

17. Listen, O sage, to what is being said by us out of affection.

We have come here after defeating Daityas and killing Rākṣasas.

18. We are happy, O brahmin, and especially so since we see you here. We have no use for our weapons. Indeed, we are not capable of carrying them.

19-20. We do not see, O leading sage, a place fit enough for keeping these weapons. If they are kept in heaven, Daityas will take them away. If they are kept in nether regions they will (surely) take them away. Hence, the weapons are being placed, O bestower of honour, in your sacred hermitage.

21. There is no fear at all here, O brahmin, from Dānavas and Rākṣasas. This is a sacred place well protected at your behest. There is no one equal to you in the power of penance.

22-24. O most excellent one among the knowers of Brahman, we have conquered our enemies. Daityas have already been killed. We don’t need our weapons any more. They have become burdensome since they have fulfilled their purpose. The place worthy of placing them is near you, O leader among sages. Along with our lovely maidens we shall enjoy divine pleasures in the heavenly park, Nandana. Therefore, we shall go (now) along with Indra. We have fulfilled our tasks and we shall go to our respective abodes. As for the protection of weapons, let them be guarded by you. Therefore, bid us farewell. You are capable of holding and guarding them.

Brahmā said:

25-30. On hearing their words, Dadhīci said to Devas: “Let it be so”, although he was prevented by his wife who said thus: “What (have we to do) with the affairs of Devas? In fact, it has an adverse effect. Of what avail is indulgence in the other people’s affairs to those who have understood scriptures, who abide by the supreme entity and who are free from attachment to the activities of the world. O sage, there is no happiness thereby either here or hereafter. Listen, O excellent brahmin, if the place (for keeping weapons) is given the enemies of Devas will hate us. If these weapons are lost or taken away, O great sage, Devas will become angry and turn into our enemies. Hence, O excellent one among the knowers of Vedas, this excessive affectionate attachment to other people’s objects is not proper. As long as the material kept in deposit exists there is friendship, but once it is lost or taken away they will become our enemies. If one has power to give away things în charity, he should give them to the needy without any thought. If not, good people should help others by speech, thoughts and acts. But keeping things belonging to other peoples is repudiated by good people. Therefore, my dear husband, get rid of (these weapons) immediately.”

Brahmā said:

31-34. On hearing these words of his beloved wife the brahmin said thus to his wife of splendid eyebrows.

Dadhīci said:

Having given consent at first to Devas, O gentle lady, saying “No” to them will not give me any pleasure.

Brahmā said:

On hearing these words of her husband the beloved wife (of Dadhīci) remained silent, thinking “Excepting the fate nothing else is capable of doing anything to men.” At that opportune moment the excellent Devas deposited those highly shining weapons, bowed down to the great sage and went to their abodes. After depositing their weapons in a safe place Devas became contented.

When Devas had gone, the excellent sage Jived in great delight while practising virtue in the company of his wife.

35. A long time elapsed. A thousand years according to the reckoning of Devas passed away. Devas neither spake about their weapons, O great sage, nor did they seem to think about them.

36. Dadhīci said to Gabhasti: “O gentle lady, Asuras are powerful, behaving inimically toward me. Devas do not appear to be desirous of taking away their weapons deposited with us. Tell me what is proper in the circumstances.”

37. She said to her husband humbly: “It has already been said, dear lord. You know what is proper in this situation. The powerful Daityas, who have increased their efficiency and who are endowed with the power of penance will take away these weapons”.

38. Therefore, Dadhīci did thus for protecting weapons. He washed those weapons with holy water inspired with Mantras. The water absorbed the essential splendour of all the weapons and Dadhīci drank this holy water.

39. Deprived of their intrinsic splendour those weapons gradually wasted away as time passed by.

Then at last Devas came and said to Dadhīci: “Great danger from our enemies has befallen us.

40-41. Give back those weapons, O excellent sage, which had been kept with you by Devas.”

Dadhīci said: “Due to the fear of asuras and also due to the fact that you did not come for a long time, the weapons have been liquefied and drunk by me. They can be said to be stationed in my body. What is proper in this situation, you may please say”.

On hearing what was mentioned by him, Devas spoke to him thus with great humility.

42. “O leading sage, give us the weapons. Can you say ‘Yes’ or do you refuse? Without them we will be lost for ever. Our enemies are powerful. Where shall we go?

43. Neither in the mortal world, nor in the nether world, nor in the heaven, O dear one, is it possible for us to stay today. You are an excellent brahmin. Moreover, you are endowed with (the power of) penance. It is not proper to say anything else in your presence.”

44. The brahmin said then: “You may take the weapons assimilated in my bones. There is no doubt about this.”

Devas said to him: “Of what avail is this to us? Without the weapons the great Devas have become ‘effeminate’

45. Again, the excellent sage said: “I shall abandon the spirits animating my body (as) I am endowed with the power of Yoga. You may make weapons out of my bones (as they have merged with them). Let them be excellent ones with excellent forms.”

46. “Do so”, said Devas in reply to Dadhīci who resembled Fire-god and who was never deficient in intrinsic power. At that time the wife of the sage was not there in the vicinity to say pleasing words to him, O great sage.

47-48. Not seeing her, but afraid of her, Devas said to the brahmin: “Do so quickly”. With pleasure the sage cast off his vital spirits (ordinarily) very difficult to abandon, saying to them: “Use this body as you please. Let all Devas be pleased with my bones. What have I to do with this body?”

Brahmā said:

49-50. Having said thus the noble-souled sage seated himself in the Padmāsana (“lotus pose”). He fixed his eyes at the tip of his nose. He was as pure as the light. By his yogic power he gradually led the vital air along with the gastric fire, to the inner portion of Daharākāśa (the ethereal portion in the cavity of the heart). He fixed his intellect in Brahman which is immeasurable, which is the highest in status and which should be meditated upon. He attained identity with Brahman.

51. On observing that his physical body had become lifeless Devas in their hurry, said to Tvaṣṭṛ, “Make a number of weapons immediately”.

52-53. He said to them: “O Devas, how should it be done? This terrible body is that of a brahmin. I am afraid and incompetent to make weapons. If the bones are torn off I shall make excellent weapons from them quickly.”

Thereupon, Devas said to bullocks in their great hurry:

Devas said:

54. O bullocks, to facilitate your work your faces are made adamantine in a trice by Devas for getting weapons. Tear off the body of Dadhīci and give the pure bones now.

Brahmā said:

55. At the instance of Devas they did so. They licked the bones clean and gave them to Devas. Devas of brave valour and strength hurriedly went to their abodes and so did the bullocks.

56-57. After making the weapons of gods the noble Tvaṣṭṛ went away hurriedly.

Then, after some time, the wife of the sage who was of good conduct, who had been the beloved wife of her husband, who was gentle and who had a boy in the womb came there. She held in her hand a pot full of water. She was on her way back after worshipping Umā. Carrying fruits and flowers she came quickly eager to see the sacred fire, her husband and the hermitage.

58. On her way, her necklace slipped from her neck and fell on the ground. The bangle also fell down from her wrist. Her right eye throbbed. Seeing all these omens she became distressed in her mind.

59-61. “What calamity is going to befall me immediately?” She pondered thus in her mind. While she was coming home, the fall of a meteor prevented her from proceeding. She came to the hermitage in great bewilderment but did not see her husband in front. Wondering where could he have gone she asked the Fire-god. The Fire-god mentioned everything to her in detail—the advent of Devas, request for the bones of, the sage, the collection of the bones and their departure. On hearing everything she became distressed. Due to agitation born of misery she fell on the ground. Slowly she was consoled by the Fire-god. She said to Fire-god:

62-63. “I am not capable of cursing the immortal beings. What shall I do? I shall enter fire.”

Brahmā said:

After checking her anger and grief for her husband the chaste lady then spoke these righteous words:

64-67. “Everything that is produced in this human world is destructible too. It should not be bewailed. Meritorious men abandon their live? in protection of cows, brahmins and Devas. Blessed are those living beings who, after obtaining an efficient body endowed with virtue in this world that whirls like a wheel, abandon it for Devas and Brahmins. All the vital airs of every embodied being are sure to go away. There is no doubt at all in this. After realizing this, those masterminds cast them off for brahmins, cows, Devas and the distressed beings. I had dedicated myself to him. Though prevented by me he agreed to keep the weapons. Who knows the mind of the creator whose activities are beyond the comprehension of men of mortal world?”

Brahmā said:

68-69. After saying this, she duly worshipped the sacrificial fires along with the skin and hairs of her husband. She slit open her stomach, took out her son from the womb and held him in her hand. After bowing to Gaṅgā, the Earth, plants and trees in the penance grove and medicinal herbs, she entered the hermitage (once again).

She said:

70. This boy is bereft of his father, mother and other relatives born of his family. May all the groups of living beings, the guardians of quarters and medicinal herbs protect him.

71. Those who view and protect a boy bereft of his mother and father without any distinction from their own children are certainly to be honoured and saluted even by Brahmā and others.

Brahmā said:

72-73. After saying this the lady with her mind devoutly directed towards her husband cast off her son. She placed the boy near the holy fig-trees with the sacrificial vessel (in her hand). She circumambulated the fire and entered it. She went to heaven along with her husband.

74. The trees in the hermitage and the residents of the forest who had been nurtured by the sage Dadhīci like his own children, began to cry.

75. The animals, the birds and the trees, all of them said to one another. “We cannot live without him. Nor can we live without that mother”.

The trees said:

76-78. Only those men are blessed and contented who give natural and continuous affection to the children of the parents who have gone to the next world. Formerly the sage and his wife had been treating us in a manner which (our own) father and mother were not habituated to. Fie on us. We are sinners. It is certain that hereafter, to all of us, this boy is Dadhīci, this boy is the mother. This is the eternal virtue.

Brahmā said:

79. After saying thus the medicinal herbs, plants and trees approached king Soma (i.e. the Moon) and requested for excellent nectar.

80. Soma gave them excellent nectar. They gave the boy the nectar that is dear to Devas.

81. Satisfied with this, the boy grew up like the moon in the bright half of the lunar month. Since he had been brought up by the Pippalas (fruits of the fig tree), the boy was (called) Pippalāda (the eater of Pippala fruits). After growing up he said to the Pippalas thus in great wonder.

Pippalāda said:

82. Men are born of men. Birds are born of birds. Plants and creepers are produced from seeds. No inconsistency is seen. How was I with hands, feet, vital breath etc. born of you?

Brahmā said:

83-84. On hearing his words the trees told him everything in the proper order viz., the death of Dadhīci, the entry of the chaste lady into the funeral pyre, the collection of bones by Devas etc. On hearing these details the boy was overwhelmed by sorrow and he fell on the ground.

85. He was consoled by trees by words endowed with meanings. On recovering he again said to those medicinal herbs, plants and trees:

Pippalāda said:

86-87. I will kill the murderers of my father. Otherwise it is unbearable to live. A real son maintains the friends and enemies of his father. He alone is the real son. Others are enemies in the form of sons. They say that friends of father redeem even the enemies.

Brahmā said:

88. The trees took that boy to the presence of the Moon. Those trees intimated the utterance of the boy to Soma (Moon). On hearing it, Soma spoke to Pippalāda:

Soma said:

89. Learn all the branches of knowledge in a formal way, my dear son. You will attain at my behest the power of penance, auspicious speech, heroism, handsome features, strength and intellect.

Brahmā said:

90-92. Pippalāda then said to the Moon humbly:

Pippalāda said:

I consider all these futile as long as I do not take revenge on the murderers of my father. Hence, tell me at the outset. In which land, on which occasion, by the help of which Deva or Mantra or holy centre can my ambition be realised, O excellent Deva?

Brahmā said:

93. After meditating for a long time the Moon said: “Whether it is enjoyment of worldly pleasures or attainment of salvation, everything is attained undoubtedly from lord Maheśvara”.

94. He said to the Moon again: “How will I see Maheśvara? I am a boy with childish intelligence. I have neither skill nor power of penance.”

The Moon said:

95-98. O gentle boy, go to Gautamī. Eulogize Cakreśvara Śiva. Dear boy, with a very little effort, the lord will be pleased with you, the merciful lord will be pleased. Sambhu has been realised personally by Viṣṇu the powerful lord. He granted boons to Viṣṇu and the discus honoured by the Devas. Go there, O highly intelligent one. Go to the river Gautamī in the Daṇḍaka forest. The medicinal herbs know that holy centre Cakreśvara. After going there, eulogize Śaṅkara, lord of Devas, with full devotion. Delighted in his mind he will grant you all cherished desires.

Brahmā said:

99-100. At the instance of the Moon, O brahmin, the sage Pippalāda came to the place where Rudra, the lord of the universe, the bestower of Discus (was present).

Overwhelmed by a great sympathy the Pippalas (holy fig trees) took him to their penance groves. After taking his holy dip in Godāvarī and after bowing down to the lord of the three worlds, the pure Pippalāda eulogized Śiva with full devotion.

Pippalāda said:

101-107. I bow down to Śambhu the primordial lord in whom bold and self-possessed persons seek refuge earnestly for their salvation. Those self-possessed persons have cast off all worldly desires. They have renounced all actions. They have controlled their minds as well as vital airs.

He is the witness unto all. He is the immanent soul in everyone. He is the lord of all. He is the repository of all arts. Let that enemy of Cupid have mercy on me after understanding everything that is within my mind.

The Ten-headed (Rāvaṇa) had conquered the lords of the quarters. He shook the Kailāsa mountain honoured by Devas. He went down beneath the nether worlds when pressed down with toe (by Śiva). His body was bruised. On hearing his piteous cries the lord laughed along with the goddess and granted him pardon. Though the lord had been furious, yet he was pleased with him. In this manner, O Maheśvara, you are (sometimes) a donor unto (even) undeserving persons. Bāṇa became praiseworthy after performing the noble worship, beautiful and fascinating, unto the Moon-crested lord. By performing the daily worship he surpassed Indra in prosperity.

After conquering enemies and worshipping Devas Viśākha i.e. Skanda went ahead to bow down to his father. He became angry on seeing the lord of Gaṇas (i.e. Vināyaka) held in the lap. Lord Śiva took him (also) in his lap and laughed. Though he was seated in the lap of Śiva, the boy was reluctant to leave off the lap of his mother due to his childish innate nature. Unable to pacify his furious son Śiva assumed his half-female form.

Brahmā said:

108-109. Then the extremely delighted self-born lord spoke to Pippalāda.

Śiva said:

O Pippalāda, welfare to you. Choose any boon as you wish.

Pippalāda said:

110. My father of great renown who was never arrogant and who was truthful has been killed by Devas, O Mahādeva. So also my chaste mother.

111. O lord, after hearing in detail the death of both of them on account of Devas, I am overwhelmed by misery and anger. I am not eager to live.

112. Hence, grant me sufficient capacity to destroy Devas. In all the three worlds, you alone, O Moon-crested one, are worthy of being served by those who should not be killed.

Īśvara said:

113. O sinless one, if you are capable of looking at my third eye you will be competent to assail your foes.

Brahmā said:

114. Then he desired to look at the third eye of the lord but could not. Then he said to Śaṅkara: “I am not able”.

Īśvara said:

115. O boy, do some penance so that you will be able to look at my third eye. Then you will undoubtedly attain your desire.

Brahmā said:

116-119. On hearing these words of Īśāna the son of Dadhīci of righteous soul decided to perform penance. Although he was a boy he engaged himself solely in meditation on Śiva like a powerful person, there itself for many years. Everyday he used to get up early in the morning, take his bath and bow down to the elders and preceptors in due order. He used to sit comfortably and fix his mind in the Suṣumnā (the tubular structure inside the spinal column) without thinking of anything else. By means of crossed arms he made the sign of Svastika over his navel. He forgot the world and its affairs. He thought of superior excellence of one position over another. He meditated on the splendour of Śiva. Pippalāda looked at the third eye of the lord. With palms joined in reverence in the form of a cup he humbly spoke thus.

Pippalāda said:

120-121. Formerly, this boon had been granted to me by Śiva, the lord of Devas. The lord of Devas had said that the moment I was able to see the brilliant splendour of the third eye, whatever I wanted would happen. Hence give me that which will bring about destruction of enemies.

122-123. At that very time, a voice said: “O highly brilliant one, your mother went to heaven after saying thus: ‘Men who have forgotten what is conducive to their welfare, who are engaged in harassing others and whose minds wander here and there fall into the abysmal depths of hell.’”

124. On hearing that aerial voice, Pippalāda became angry. When the fire of pride and prestige burns within, advice regarding proper conduct is meaningless.

125-127. Kṛtyā, the female deity of destruction, said to him, “Give; Give”. Since the brahmin was remembering Vaḍavā thus, Kṛtyā that came out of his eyes had the shape and features of Vaḍavā. She contained within herself plenty of fire for destroying all living beings. That Kṛtyā became one with fire within, in view of the fact that he was meditating on his mother with the child in the womb. Even as she came out she was extremely terrible. She was as terrible as the tongue of Mṛtyu (Goddess of death).

128. She said to Pippalāda, “What is my duty? Tell me that”. Pippalāda said to her, “Devour Devas, my enemies.”

129-130. Saying “So be it,” she caught hold of Pippalāda standing in front of her. He said, “O Kṛtya, what is this?” She said, “What has been said by you is carried out by me. The body is made by Devas.”

Thereupon, that frightened sage went to Śiva and eulogized that lord. Then Śiva said to Kṛtyā:

Śiva said:

131. O Kṛtyā, do not seize living beings remaining within a range of a Yojana (12 km) at my behest. Go far away from that place and do your duty.

Brahmā said:

132. That Kṛtyā which had the form of Vaḍavā stood at a distance of a Yojana to the East from the holy centre Pippala.

133-134. I big blaze of fire, capable of destroying the world, came out of her. On seeing it, Devas became afraid and approached Śiva. Eulogizing the lord, the frightened heaven-dwellers said to Śiva:

Devas said:

135. O Śambhu, protect us. The Kṛtyā and the fire born of it assail us. O lord of all, O bestower of protection from fear to the frightened persons, be our refuge.

136. O Śiva, you alone are the refuge to the creatures that are attacked from all sides, that are distressed and that are extremely wearied.

137. The Kṛtyā coming from the fire of your eye has been requested by the sage and she is desirous of destroying the three worlds. You are our protector and none else.

Brahmā said:

138-139. The lord of the universe said to them: “This Kṛtyā does not harass those who live within the range of a Yojana. Hence, you all, by day and night, remain here itself, O immortal ones. You will have nothing to fear from her.

Brahmā said:

140. Again, they said to the lord of Devas: “O lord honoured and worshipped by gods, how shall we live here after abandoning heaven granted by you?”

Brahmā said:

141-143. On hearing the words of Devas Śiva said:

Śiva said:

Here is the Deva with eyes all round, the Deva who has faces all round, who always blows up with his rays and who is considered the father of all living beings. Let that lord Sun alone remain here directly in his visible form for ever. All others will be considered remaining here in his physical form.

Brahmā said:

144-148. At the instance of Śambhu Devas created (the Sun) from Pārijāta tree. Tvaṣṭṛ said to the Sun:

Tvaṣṭṛ said:

O lord of the universe, stay here itself. Protect these Devas yourself. We too shall stay here in the presence of Śambhu by means of our parts.

Brahmā said:

All round Cakreśvara, within a range of a Yojana, resorting to the banks of Gaṅgā the excellent Devas stood by. Each had a fourth of an Aṅguli (about 2.5 cms.) of the bank of Gaṅgā. They were three crores and five hundred, O excellent sage. Who is competent to speak about or hear the prosperity of these holy centres.

Thereafter, Devas spoke to Śiva.

Devas said:

149-155. O lord of Devas identical with the Universe, quieten Pippalāda.

Brahmā said:

Saying “O yes”, the lord of the universe said to Pippalāda:

Śiva said:

Even if Devas are destroyed your father will not return. His life had been given by your father for the realization of the task of Devas. Who can be so kind to the wretched and the distressed in this world? Similarly, O dear one, your mother, a chaste lady, has gone to heaven. No one is equal to her, not even Lopāmudrā (wife of sage Agastya) and Arundhatī (wife of sage Vasiṣṭha). Much fame has been acquired by your father due to whose bones Devas are victorious and happy for ever. An act of everlasting fame has been performed by your mother. Excellent fame spreading everywhere has been acquired by you, the son.

It behoves you to protect those who have dropped off from heaven for fear of your exploits. It behoves you to save the immortal ones who have fled because they were afraid of you. There is no meritorious deed superior to the protection accorded to the distressed.

156. A person who has gone to heaven lives in the other world without any malady for as many years as there are days when the fascinating fame prevails in human world.

157. Only those who have no fame are considered dead here. Only those who are devoid of renown are (considered) blind. Those who are not habitually liberal in gifts are eunuchs. Only those who are not invariably virtuous are to be pitied.

Brahmā said:

158. On hearing the lord of Devas the sage became calm. After bowing down to the lord he spoke with palms joined in reverence.

Pippalāda said:

159-163. I shall bow down to Śiva worthy of being worshipped by Devas and others for the welfare of these people and others too, viz. those who help me by words, thoughts and deeds and those who are engaged in actions conducive to my welfare. May lord Śiva do what these people wish, the people by whom I have been guarded and nurtured (as though) I belonged to the same family as theirs and I had the same qualities as theirs. I am bowing down to the Moon-crested lord for ever. O lord, O lord of Devas, let this holy centre be known all over the three worlds by the name of those by whom I have been brought up like my father and mother. If they attain fame I shall become free from indebtedness to them. If Devas admit that this holy centre is superior to other holy residences of Devas and all other holy centres on Earth, I shall condone the guilt of Devas for ever.

Brahmā said:

164. In the presence of the thousand-eyed lord (Indra) and others he spoke these words of fine sentiment and good syllables. Devas too agreed to the words uttered by the son of Dadhīci.

165. After appreciating the intellect, humility, learning, heroism, strength, truthfulness, filial devotion, and purity of emotions, Śaṅkara said to Pippalāda.

Śaṅkara said:

166. Dear boy, whatever cherished desire you have and whatever is pleasing to Devas you will attain. Speak out what is conducive to your welfare. Do not hesitate to speak out your mind.

Pippalāda said:

167. Those who take holy plunge in Gaṅgā and those who are virtuous, O Maheśa, and sec thy lotus-like feet—Jet them attain their desires immediately. After their death let them attain the region of Śiva.

168. O lord, my father has attained your region. So also my mother, the Pippala and the immortal ones. After seeing the lord of lords they have attained happiness. Let them see you. Let them attain your region.

Brahmā said:

169. Saying “so be it” to Pippalāda, Maheśvara, lord of Devas spoke to him congratulating him along with Devas.

170. Devas were pleased after being freed from fear arising from him. All of them spoke this to the son of Dadhīci in the presence of Śiva.

Devas said:

171. Undoubtedly, what is liked by Devas has been performed by you. The behest of the lord of Devas, that embellishes the three worlds has been carried out by you.

172. O brahmin, what is requested for by you earlier is for others and not for yourself. Therefore, say something that you wish. We shall grant you something.

Brahmā said:

173. Devas repeated the same thing to the excellent brahmin again and again. After bowing down to Śambhu, the Pippalas and Umā, Pippalāda spoke with palms joined in reverence.

Pippalāda said:

174-179. I desire to see my parents who have always been the subjects of discussion by means of words. Blessed are those living beings in this world who are under the control of their parents, who are devoted to their service and who eagerly await their command.

After obtaining the sense-organs, the physical body, nobility of birth, capacity, intellect and the beauty of form, he, the son, shall be contented by utilising them in their service.

Seeing their own mother is easy even for animals and birds. Even that has become difficult for me. I ask you. Is it the result of my sins?

(?) If it had been difficult of access to all (there would not have been any complaint). If it is easy of access to someone and not to others it is not proper. There is no other sinner than I.

O excellent Devas, if only I can get a glimpse of my parents I shall deem it as the fruit of my acts of thought, speech and body,

Who will be competent to count the great sins of those persons born in the world who cannot see their parents?

Brahmā said:

180-183. On hearing those words of the sage, Devas consulted among themselves and said to him. “Surely you will see today your parents, the auspicious couple, seated in an excellent aerial chariot and eager to see you. Cast off your sorrow, covetousness and delusion, and pacify your mind”. After some time, the excellent Devas said to the son of Dadhīci: “See. See your parents, the auspicious couple, are eager to see you. They are seated in an excellent aerial chariot. They have heavenly characteristics with golden ornaments. They are being fanned by the celestial damsels. They are eulogized by the Kinnaras.”

184. On seeing his parents he bowed down to them in the presence of Śiva. Their eyes were filled with tears of pleasure. Somehow he spoke to them.

The Son said:

185. Other sons who perpetuate their families redeem their parents. But I am merely the cause of splitting the belly of my mother. Even though I am like this I shall look at them due to delusion. I am a wicked person with an evil mind.

Brahmā said:

186. On looking at them he could not speak anything further out of sorrow. Devas spoke to Pippalāda and his parents.

Devas said:

187. Blessed are you, dear son, whose fame has spread in the world and has gone up to heaven. The three-eyed lord has been directly perceived by you. Devas have been consoled by you. With you as son the excellent worlds will never dwindle down.

Brahmā said:

188. At that time a shower of flowers fell on his head from heaven. The shouts of “Victory” uttered by Devas arose, O great sage.

189. After bestowing blessings on his son and after bowing down to Śambhu, Gaṅgā and Devas along with his wife Dadhīci spoke to his son.

Dadhīci said:

190. Get yourself a wife. Have devotion to Śiva and serve Gaṅgā. After procreating sons and after performing sacrifices with due gifts, dear son, you can be contented. Thereafter, proceed to heaven for a long stay there.

Brahmā said:

191-192. “I shall do thus” said Pippalāda, the son of Dadhīci. Along with his wife, Dadhīci consoled his son again and again permitted by Devas he returned to heaven.

With great bewilderment Devas said to Pippalāda.

Devas said:

193-199. Welfare unto you. Quieten Kṛtyā and the great fire arising from her.

Brahmā said:

Pippalāda said to them: “I am incapable of warding her off. I shall never utter a lie. You can yourselves speak to Kṛtyā.

On seeing me that highly terrible Kṛtyā will do just the opposite thing”.

Devas went unto her and spoke to her and the fire, pleading for their being pleased for the sake of peace. Both of them said: “No. I have been created by the brahmin for devouring everything; so also the fire born of me. How can it be otherwise? The five great elements and everything that is mobile and immobile must be kept in our mouth. There is nothing that remains to be mentioned.”

After consulting me (Brahmā) Devas said again to both of them.

“Both of you devour everything in due order.”

Vaḍavā then spoke to Devas thus. O Nārada, listen to it.

Vaḍavā said:

200-202. O excellent Devas everything is worthy of being devoured by me in accordance with your wish.

Brahmā said:

That Vaḍavā became a river, O sage, and joined Gaṅgā. The immortal ones call fire arising from her the primordial fire. It was extremely terrible and they know that it is the first of elements.

Devas said:

Waters should be considered the eldest. So also you are the first. Still, devour the eldest (ocean) according to what we say. Go and devour as you please.

Brahmā said:

203-205. Fire-god said to Devas: “There is water there. How can I go? If you alone take me up to the vast sheet of water I shall go.”

They said: “O Fire-god, in what way should your movement be?

The Fire-god said to those Devas, “If a virtuous virgin places me in a golden put and takes me to a place were I can move about myself (it shall be proper)

On hearing those words of his, Devas said to the virgin Sarasvatī:

Devas said:

206-209. O Sarasvatī, bear this Fire-god on your head and take him to the ocean.

Brahmā said:

Sarasvatī said to Devas: “I alone an unable to hold him. If I am helped by four others I shall carry him to the ocean quickly.” On hearing the words of Sarasvatī Devas spoke to Gaṅgā, Yamunā, Narmadā and Tapatī severally.

Accompanied by them she was able to carry him. After placing the Fire-god in a golden pot and carrying it on their heads they went to the ocean.

210-212. The five rivers (including) Sarasvatī brought the fire and placed it in Prabhāsa where Somanātha, the lord of Devas, the lord of the universe, the moon-crested lord is stationed along with Devas. The great fire presides over the place drinking water slowly. Then Devas spoke to Śiva, the most excellent Deva.

Devas said:

213-217. Tell us the way of sanctifying the bones of the cows as well as the bones of us.

Brahmā said:

Śiva then said to everyone: “By plunging into Gaṅgā scrupulously Devas and cows are released from their sins. There is no doubt about this.”

Thereafter, the bones taken from the body of the sage were washed. Being washed there, they attained sanctity.

The place where Devas got rid of their sins is the holy centre Pāpanāśana (Destroyer of sins). A holy dip and distribution of charitable gifts there destroy even the sin of brahmin slaughter.

The holy centre where the cows were sanctified is cited as Gotīrtha. By taking a holy dip there the highly intelligent devotee shall obtain the benefit of a cow-sacrifice.

218. The place where the bones of that brahmin became sacred, O Nārada, should be known as Pitṛtīrtha. It is conducive to the increase of delight of the manes.

219-220. If the ashes, bones, nails or hairs of any living being, even if he has committed sin, were to fall into this holy centre he will stay in heaven as long as the moon, sun and stars exist. So, from the holy centre of Cakreśvara three holy centres are evolved, O Nārada. Then the sanctified cows and Devas spoke to Śambhu.

The cows and Devas said:

221-223. We shall go to our respective abodes. The sun is established here. As long as the sun stays Devas shall be established. O lord of worlds, it behoves you to permit it. The eternal sun is the immanent soul of mobile and immobile beings. The sun in the nature of a Deva has been established there by us where Gaṅgā, mother of universe, and the three-eyed Lord Śiva are established. The residence and the establishment of Devas shall be where the three-eyed lord is.

Brahmā said:

224. Taking leave of Pippalāda Devas went to their own abode. The Pippalas attained the everlasting (pleasures of) heaven after the lapse of some time.

225. The brahmin Pippalāda of great exploits established the position of trees in the overlordship of the field and worshipped Śaṅkara.

226. The courageous son of Dadhīci of fierce splendour married the daughter of Gautama and begot sons. He earned wealth and fame and attained heaven along with his friends.

227. Thenceforth that holy centre is called Pippaleśvara. It is sacred and it affords the benefit of all sacrifices. The very remembrance of it destroys sins.

228. What doubt is there then (that sins will be removed) through holy dip and charitable gifts and by the visit to the Sun. Cakreśvara and Pippaleśa are the two names of the lord of Devas.

229-230. After knowing this along with the esoteric truth one shall achieve all cherished desires. That holy centre is called Pratiṣṭhāna because the sun is installed there and the abodes of Devas are established there. It is dear even to Devas. This narrative is very sacred. He who reads this narrative or listens to this or remembers it lives for a long time. He will be righteous and become wealthy. Remembering Śambhu at the time of death he will attain him as well.

Footnotes and references:


The divine wish-fulfilling tree obtained by the churning of the ocean (Vide Agnipurāṇa, Ch. 3).

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