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 47 - Ātmatīrtha

(description of atma-tirtha)

Brahmā said:

1. The holy centre known as Ātmatīrtha yields worldly pleasures and salvation to men. I shall describe the efficacy of that holy centre where Śiva is called Jñāneśvara.

2. There was a son of Atri known as Datta. He was a favourite of Hara. He was the beloved brother of Durvāsas. He was an expert in all sciences and learning. He went to his father, bowed to him humbly and said.

Datta said:

3-6. How can I realize the Brahman? Whom shall I ask? Where shall I go?

Brahmā said:

On having the words of his son, Atri meditated and said.

Atri said:

Dear son, go to Gautamī and eulogize Maheśvara there. When he becomes delighted you will acquire knowledge from him.

Brahmā said:

Saying “So be it” the son of Atri went to Gaṅgā. He had purity and self-control. With his palms joined in reverence he eulogized Śaṅkara with devotion.

Datta said:

7. O overlord of Devas! As ill luck would have it, I have fallen into the well of worldly existence. I am sunk in the mire of misery by delusion. I am enveloped by the darkness of ignorance. I am not able to realize the supreme soul.

8. I am pierced by the powerful trident of sins. I am torn asunder by the razor of worries and anxieties. I am scorched by the terrible heat of five sense-organs. I am wearied. Redeem me, O Somanātha.

9. I have been bound by the fetters of proverty. I have been damned by the scorching flames of fire of sickness. I have been attacked by the serpent of Death. I am frightened much. What shall I do, O Śambhu?

10. I have been extremely distressed by births and deaths, thirst and hunger, Rajas and Tamas. I have been overwhelmed by old age. O lord, see the condition in which I am placed today and be merciful.

11. I have been landed in difficulty severally by lust, anger, jealousy, arrogance, vanity and other faults. I have been pierced by them. O lord, like a true leader ward off these enemies of mine.

12. This is true that somebody will dispel the misery of some fallen fellow. Except from you, O Somanātha, I do not have even a sympathetic word anywhere.

13. It is only as long as I do not utter the words “Obeisance to Śiva” that I have to suffer from these, viz., anger, fear, delusion, misery, ignorance, poverty, sickness, lust and other similar vices and even death.

14. I am not virtuous. I am not devout. I am not discreet. I am not merciful. You are a donor. Hence, O lord, worthy of being sought refuge in, place the word ‘Soma’ in my mind.

15. I do not earnestly beg for the overlordship of Devas, O Somanātha. I request humbly for the presence of lotus-like feet of Śrīsomanātha in the middle of my lotus-like heart.

16. Even as I have been known to you as a sinner, listen to my submission. Let me be present always where the word “Śiva” is heard.

17. O consort of Gaurī, O Śaṅkara, O Somanātha, O lord of the universe, O storehouse of sympathy, O soul of all, where eulogies are offered thus, there some happy and successful person is sure to dwell.

Brahmā said:

18. On hearing the eulogy of Dattātreya, Lord Hara was pleased. Bhava, the creator of the universe, said to that Yogin, “I am the bestower of boons”.

Ātreya said:

19. This is the boon I seek, O lord, worshipped by Devas, viz. the knowledge of the soul, liberation, vast devotion1 to you and the greatness of this holy centre.

Brahmā said:

20. “Let it be so”, saying this Śiva vanished there itself. Thenceforth wise men know that holy centre as Ātmatīrtha. O Nārada, one shall attain salvation by taking holy dip there and by distributing monetary gifts.

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