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 72 - Devasthāna and other Holy Centres

(description of Devasthana-tirtha)

Brahmā said:

1. The holy centre well known as Devasthāna is reputed in all the three worlds. I shall describe its efficacy. Listen attentively, O Nārada.

2-4. Formerly in the beginning of the Kṛta Age a battle between Devas and Dānavas ensued. There was a Daitya beauty well known as Siṃhikā. The extremely powerful Daitya named Rāhu was her son. At the time of churning the milk ocean and the production of Nectar Saiṃhikeya (i.e. Rāhu) was cut into two. His son was a great Daitya well known as Meghahāsa. On hearing about the murderous attack on his father he became extremely dejected and he performed a penance.

5. As the son of Rāhu was performing penance after resorting to the banks of Gautamī, Devas and sages spoke to him as though they were afraid.

Devas and sages said:

6. O mighty-armed one, cut short your penance. Let everything that is within your mind be realized by the grace of Śiva and Gaṅgā. What is it that cannot be obtained by the grace of Śiva and Gaṅgā?

Meghahāsa said:

7-8. My father who is worthy of worship, who is my deity, has been insulted and harassed by you. If he and I are adequately propitiated by you, I shall refrain from this penance and (my) enmity (towards you). Taking proper revenge on behalf of father is the duty of a son. If you all grant my request my desires are fulfilled.

Brahmā said:

9. Then all Devas made Rāhu a follower of planets. They made Meghahāsa honoured and worshipped by the Rākṣasas.

10-11. The son of Rāhu became the chief and lord of Rākṣasas.

Again the Daitya spoke to Devas:

“It is my opinion that the efficacy inherent in this holy place should be granted to me so that I can earn some reputation.”

Saying “So be it” Devas offered him everything that he had desired.

12-14. O divine sage, the holy centre is called by the name of that leading Daitya. Since, O highly intelligent one, Devas were present in that spot, that holy centre is called Devasthānam also. It is difficult of access even to Devas. The place where the Lord of the Devas stayed is remembered as Devatīrtha.

There are eighteen holy centres, O Nārada, that are worthy of being worshipped by the Daityas. Taking bath and distributing charitable gifts there destroys great sins.

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