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 79 - Narasiṃhatīrtha and other Holy Centres

(description of Narasimha-tirtha)

Brahmā said:

1. The holy centre well known as Narsiṃha is on the northern bank of Gaṅgā. I shall recount its magnificence that is capable of according all-round protection.

2. There was (a demon) formerly who was the most excellent of all strong men. His name was Hiraṇyakaśipu[1] . In the power of penance and in exploit he was indefatigable to the gods.

3-6. His mind was disturbed due to his hatred for his own son who was a devotee of Han.

The lord manifested himself from the Pillar in the hall, thereby demonstrating his immanence in the universe. After killing Hiraṇyakaśipu, the Man-Lion routed his army. In the battle the Man-Lion killed all great Daityas gradually. After conquering the enemies stationed in the nether world, he went to the heavenly world. After conquering it he went to the Earth and killed Daityas staying on the mountains. The lord in the form of an animal killed Daityas with various forms staying in rivers, villages and forests.

7-9. He killed Daityas staying in the firmament and air as well as those who had gone to the world of Luminaries. (The Man-lion) had claws more powerful than thunderbolt. His great mane grew up. His roar was capable of causing abortion to Daitya women. He had conquered all Rākṣasas. He smashed Asuras by means of blows with his paws along with loud roars and fierce glances resembling fire at the final dissolution. He scattered their intestines. After killing many Daityas Hari went to Gautamī.

10-12. (He went to Gautamī Gaṅgā) born of his own lotus-like feet and pleasing to the mind and eyes.

There was a demon there well known as Āmbarya. He was the enemy of king of Daṇḍaka. He was a warrior invincible to Devas. He had a vast army. A terrible fight ensued between Hari and the son of the Daitya. It was extremely terrific, causing hairs to stand on end. Weapons and miraculous missiles were showered on each other. The glorious lord Hari killed that enemy on the northern bank.

13. The holy centre Nārasiṃha on Gaṅgā is well known in the three worlds. Taking holy bath and offering charitable gifts there is the destroyer of all evil planets.

14-15. It accords all-round protection. It prevents old age and death. Just as no one is on a par with Hari among all Devas, so also that holy centre is the most excellent among all holy centres. A man shall take his holy bath in that holy centre and perform the worship of Man-Lion.

16-19. To him nothing is difficult of access, whether in heaven or in the mortal world or in the nether worlds. O sage Nārada, there are eight such great holy centres there. Learned men say that they are severally the bestowers of the benefit of crores of holy centres. Even when its name is remembered irreverently there is the destruction of all sins. By whom can the benefit be described—the benefit of resorting to that holy centre where the lord Man-Lion is always present? Just as there is no lord superior to the Man-Lion anywhere, so also there is no holy centre on a par with Nārasiṃhatīrtha anywhere.

Footnotes and references:


A great demon who propitiated Brahmā by his penance and secured rulership of all the three worlds and other boons. He became too arrogant and a hater of Viṣṇu. He tortured his own son Prahlāda for his devotion to Viṣṇu and was finally killed by Viṣṇu in his Man-Lion incarnation.

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