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 44 - Avighnatīrtha

(description of Avighna-tirtha)

Brahmā said:

1. The holy centre Avighna has been declared to be destructive of all obstacles. In this connection I shall narrate an incident. Listen devoutly, O Nārada.

2. On the northern bank of Gautamī a divine sacrifice was held but it could not be concluded due to some obstacles.

3. Then Devas spoke to Hari and me. Thereupon, I entered in meditation, saw the cause and spoke to them:

4. “This sacrifice is not concluded on account of certain obstacles created by Vināyaka. Hence, let Devas eulogize the primordial lord Vināyaka.”

5. After saying “So be it” Devas took their holy plunge in Gautamī. On the banks of the river Devas eulogized Gaṇeśvara, the primordial lord.

Devas said:

6. We seek refuge in that Vighnarāja who is worthy of worship and bowed to by Devas and even by Śiva, Viṣṇu and Brahmā in all undertakings. He is worthy of being meditated upon.

7. There is no other deity equal to Vighnarāja in fulfilling wishes cherished in the heart. After coming to this conclusion, even the destroyer of Tripuras, Lord Śiva worshipped him at the time of slaying the Tripuras.[1]

8. May that Vighneśvara, son of Ambikā, bestow upon us freedom from obstacles immediately, in this great sacrifice. If he is meditated upon, the heart wishes of all embodied beings become fulfilled.

9. It was an occasion for merriment to the goddess when a son was born the moment he was conceived. Hence, while bowing down to Vighnarāja, the contented Devas spoke of him as “Sadyojāta” (“Born in a trice”).

10. Gaṇādhinātha was given to amusement. At one time he had been lying on the lap of his mother. Although he was prevented by his mother he forcibly concealed the moon among the matted locks of his father.

11. He sucked the milk from the breasts of his mother. Still he was not satisfied. His heart had been rendered sour due to the jealousy of his brother. “Be Lambodara (pot-bellied).” Śambhu, thus, named Vighnarāja Lambodara.

12. Surrounded by Devas Maheśa said: “Start your dance.” He was delighted by Gaṇeśa by the sound of his anklets. He then crowned his son as the lord of Gaṇas.

13. This deity holds the noose of obstacles in one of his hands. With the other he holds the axe placed on the shoulder. If he is not worshipped he causes obstacles, even to his mother. Who else is equal to Vighnapati?

14. In all undertakings for acquiring virtue, wealth, love etc., he is to be worshipped at the outset. He is worshipped by Devas and Asuras everyday. I bow down at first to that lord who is worshipped at the beginning of every rite and whose worship prevents destruction.

15. Achievement of benefits is befittingly effected by extending worship and entreaties unto him. In view of this the Mouse-vehicled lord takes excessive pride due to his independent power. He is fond of his brother. ī worship that deity.

16. I seek refuge in Śrīgaṇeśa who is extremely delightful and who delighted his mother by means of exquisite dances and songs as well as all kinds of desires and sportful amusements.

17. I seek refuge in Śrīgaṇeśa who is made ever more powerful by his father’s grace brought about for helping Devas in their fight against Asuras, and by eulogies and Mantras and the acts of obeisance (offered by devotees).

18. At the victorious campaign against Tripuras his father did an unusual thing (i.e. instead of being worshipped by his son he had to worship his son). I bow down to Gaṇeśa who has been worshipped by his father with pleasure and who brought about freedom to his father.

Brahmā said:

19-25. Thus eulogized by Devas Vighneśa spoke to them:

Gaṇeśa said:

Hereafter, all sacrifices, performed by Devas shall be free from obstacle by my favour.

Brahmā said:

When the divine sacrifice was completed Gaṇeśa spoke to Devas:

Gaṇeśa said:

Those who observe holy rites and eulogize me devoutly through this hymn will never experience the misery caused by poverty.

Let all be assured that all the undertakings of those persons who take their holy plunge here and who distribute monetary gifts in devout spirit, will be successful.

Brahmā said:

Simultaneously with this utterance Devas too said: “So be it”. When the sacrifice was concluded Devas went to their abode.

Thereafter that holy centre is called Avighna. It bestows cherished desires and destroys obstacles.

Footnotes and references:


Literally, ‘three cities’, built by Maya for the Asuras out of gold, silver and iron and in Heaven, Sky and Earth respectively; they had the power to travel anywhere; said to have started tormenting Devas and so were burnt ultimately by Lord Śiva.

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