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 73 - Siddhatīrtha and other Holy Centres

(description of Siddha-tirtha)

Brahmā said:

1. The holy centre well known as Siddhatīrtha is conducive to the achievement of all spiritual powers by men. The lord there is Hara (called) Siddheśvara. I shall describe its efficacy.

2. Rāvaṇa who was born in the family of Pulastya and who made the world cry aloud conquered all the quarters and then went to the world of Soma.

3. As the ten-headed demon was about to fight with Soma I spoke to him. “O ten-headed one, desist from the fight with Soma. I shall grant you a Mantra.”

4. After saying this, O Nārada, I granted to the great Rākṣasa the Mantra comprising one hundred and eight names of Śiva. I granted that Mantra for the purpose of peace.

5. In this world Śiva alone is the refuge of men who are devoid of splendour, who are subjected to adversity and who experience different kinds of stress and strain. No one else can be so.

6. Thereafter, he desisted (from the fight). The demon attained victory in the world of Soma. Accompanied by his ministers, the proud ten-headed demon hurriedly went through all the worlds seated in his (aerial chariot) Puṣpaka.

7. Visiting heaven, firmament, earth, serpents, elephants and brahmins he espied the great mountain Kailāsa that was the abode of lord Śiva.

8-9. On seeing these, the courageous Rāvaṇa whose mind had become pride-puffed approached them and said.

Rāvaṇa said:

Who is that noble soul who dwells on this mountain? I shall uproot this from the ground and take this mountain (to Laṅkā). After reaching Laṅkā this mountain will become really splendid. Laṅkā too shall attain glory.

Brahmā said:

10-11. On hearing these words and having understood the feelings of the lord of Rākṣasas the ministers of the demon said, “This is not proper”. The great demon did not agree to the suggestion. Stopping the aerial chariot Puṣpaka, the demon leapt on to the root of the mountain Kailāsa. The ten-headed one shook the mountain.

12-17. Since he had defeated the lords of the quarters the ten-headed demon Rāvaṇa had become proud. He began to shake the Kailāsa to and fro. Therefore the lord pressed it with his thumb (big toe). As a result of that the ten-headed one was pressed down into the nether worlds. His body was bruised. He lamented loudly. On hearing it the lord laughed along with the goddess. What Rāvaṇa desired for was granted. Although he was infuriated, Śambhu became pleased with him. There is no doubt about this that Śambhu bestows boons even on the undeserving people.

After obtaining excellent boons the heroic (Rāvaṇa) went away happily by the grace of Bhava. On his way to Laṅkā he went to Gaṅgā born of Śambhu’s matted hair, for the purpose of worshipping the lord.

After worshipping Śambhu by the waters of Gaṅgā and repeating various kinds of Mantras, Rāvaṇa whose inherent strength was not of an inferior quality obtained a sword from Śiva whose crest jewel is the crescent moon. He obtained Siddhis (miraculous powers) and all types of desired prosperity.

I had granted him a Mantra for the pupose of saving the Moon. He worshipped Bhava and practised that Mantra. When the (efficacy of the) Mantra was achieved, the lord of the demons went to Lanka again, contented.

Thenceforth this holy centre is extremely efficacious. It bestows great Siddhis and cherished desires. It destroys all sins. It is frequented by all Siddhas.

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