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...
1. The holy centre named Paruṣṇīsaṅgama is well-known in the three worlds. I shall recount its characteristic features. It destroys all sins.
On account of the power of Agni he always spoke harsh words to Ātreyī. Ātreyī went on serving him regularly.
Sons of great strength and valour were born of her to Aṅgiras. This sage Aṅgiras always spoke harsh words to Ātreyī. The Āṅgirasas, the sons, used to quieten their father always.
Once she was excessively dejected on account of the harsh words of her husband. The distressed lady joined her palms in reverence and spoke to her elderly father-in-law (the Fire-god).
9-10. O carrier of Havyas, I am daughter of Atri and the wife of your son. I am always engaged in serving my husband and sons. My husband always speaks harsh words to me. For no reason he looks at me angrily. Instruct me, O eldest one among Devas, and restrain my husband.
The Fire-god said:
11-12. Your husband, sage Aṅgiras, is born of sparks of flame. O gentle lady, let some means be employed so that he becomes quiet.
Being fiery your husband has approached fire (?) O lady with excellent face. Then, at my behest you flow in the form of water.
13. I would rather endure the harsh words. Let not my husband leap into the fire. Of what avail is life for women who are against their husbands?
14. I wish for peaceful words. So also I must have my husband too.
15-16. Agni is present in waters, in bodies, in mobile as well as immobile beings. I am the perpetual abode of your husband. I am considered his father. Realizing that I am what I am, do not worry too much. Moreover, “Waters are divine mothers and Agni is (your) father-in-law”—keeping this firmly in mind do not be too much disheartened, dear daughter-in-law.
17. You yourself say that waters are mothers. I am the wife of your son, O Agni. Being his wife how can I be his mother as well in the form of waters, O lord?
18. At first you were (wife as a religious partner). Then you were (wife as the sustainer). Then you are (wife from whom the son is born). You are (wife as one who seeks the welfare of her husband). O gentle lady, you have assumed all these roles. (Hence) do as I ask you to do.
19. He who is born of her is her son. She is his mother definitely. There is no doubt about it. Hence those who are conversant with the principles of the Vedas say that she is no longer his wife when a son is born.
20. On hearing the words of her father-in-law Ātreyī flooded with water her husband who had assumed the form of fire.
21-22. The couple got mingled with the water of Gaṅgā, O brahmin. Both of them attained quiet forms and features.
23. Sweeping her husband by means of flood she assumed aquatic body. She became the famous river Paruṣṇī and joined the river Gaṅgā.
24-27. One shall obtain the merit of bestowing a hundred cows by taking holy plunge in Paruṣṇī. The sons of Aṅgiras performed Yajñas with plenty of monetary gifts.
Those who are well versed in the Purāṇas mention that there are three thousand holy centres there on either side of the river, dear one. They know that they severally yield the benefit of performing yajñas. The holy plunge and offering charitable gifts there, especially at the confluence of Paruṣṇī and Gaṅgā yield more benefit than a hundred Vājapeyas. It is not possible to mention adequately the benefit that accrues from the holy plunge and offerings of charitable gifts there.