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 78 - Koṭitīrtha and other Holy Centres

(description of Koti-tirtha)

1. The holy centre well known as Koṭitīrtha is on the southern bank of Gaṅgā. Merely by remembering it one is rid of all sins.

2. Everything will have a crore of (merits) where the lord is Koṭīśvara. There are in all two crores of holy centres that bestow auspiciousness.

3. I shall describe its magnificence. Listen, O Nārada, with concentration. The eldest son of Kaṇva is well known as Bāhlīka.

4-7. He is honoured and praised by the people with (the name of) Kāṇva. He was a master of Vedas and Vedāṅgas. Residing on the banks of Gautamī and worshipped by all the worlds he, a master of the Vedic texts, used to perform such sacrifices as Pārvāyaṇānī, in the company of his wife. Always in the morning (everyday) he used to perform Homas in the holy fire, with great concentration and mental purity. Once he made preparations for the (Homa). He poured one ladleful of ghee in the well kindled sacred fire. In order to offer another Āhuti he took up the Havis material in his hand. In the meantime the fire had become calm.

8. Thereupon, Kāṇva became worried as to what he should do then. Becoming extremely sad he thought within himself (over the matter).

9. “In the middle of two Āhutis, the sacred fire has become calm. The other fire that should be taken up—shall it be a Vedic one or a secular one?

10. Where should the other Āhuti, the second one be offered?”

While he was meditating over this a divine voice spoke:

11-12. “O great brahmin, no extra fire need be fetched by you in this matter. There may be little bits of (of sparks) here and there nearby. You can very well perform Homa in the half-burnt wooden twigs”.

Kāṇva said “No” then. The same voice spoke again:

13-16. “Bold is the son of Agni. The father and son are the same. What is given to the son for his pleasure shall be for the pleasure of the father. One shall give the son what should be given to the father. It will have a crore times more merit and pleasure.” The divine speech spoke so. Thereupon the great sages came to a decision about the be-all and end-all of Virtue and did as was said. On realizing that what is given to the son shall be for the father in this world (the following can be justified). With none else can there be such a satisfaction as a father derives when his children are benefited.

17-19. This is well known in this world. This is well honoured in all worlds. When it is given there shall be merit. O son, everything shall increase a crore times. There shall be the cessation of mental anguish; great happiness will result.

Again that voice spoke:

“In this excellent holy spot named after Kāṇva a great holy centre cropped up by the power of the merit of Kāṇva. It yields greater benefit than any other holy centre in the three worlds.

20. If one performs holy plunge, offering of charitable gifts etc., devoutly, even if they be very little, he shall obtain all benefits increased by a crore times, O sage. He must perform these rites with concentration and mental purity.”

21. Whatever is performed here by men such as holy plunge, offering of charitable gifts etc., everything should be known as (yielding) crore times the (usual benefit). Therefore they know this as the Koṭitīrtha holy centre.

22. Where this happened—the holy centre is called Āgneya, Kāṇva, Pautra, Hiraṇyaka and Vāṇīsaṃjña. It is Koṭitīrtha because it yields benefits increased by a crore times.

23-27. The greatness of Koṭitīrtha cannot be recounted even by Vācaspati and other Devas. Whatever rite is performed here, howsoever be it performed, everything shall have a crore times more benefit due to the grace of Godāvarī If anyone gives a single cow to an excellent brahmin in the holy centre Koṭitīrtha he shall reap the benefit of gifting a crore cows, by the greatness of that holy centre. Being pure, one shall offer land gifts with a faithful mind. That shall have a benefit increased a crore times. Everywhere on the banks of Gautamī the offerings to the Pitṛs are excellent. Especially in the Koṭitīrtha it has endless benefit. Sages know that there are forty-nine holy centres here.

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