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 104 - The Confluence of Gaṅgā with Sea

(description of the Ganga)

Brahmā said:

1-5. That Gaṅgā who is worthy of being respected and honoured even by the gods joined the eastern sea, followed by all the Devas and eulogized by the sages and Maruts and Vasiṣṭha, Jābāli, Yājñavalkya, Kratu, Aṅgiras, Dakṣa, Marīci, Vaiṣṇavas (devotees of Viṣṇu).

Śātātapa, Śaunaka, Devarāta, Bhṛgu, Agniveśya, Atri, Marīci, Dakṣa, Manu, Gautama and others along with Kauśika, Tumbaru, Parvata and so on had their sins destroyed completely.

Agastya, Mārkaṇḍa etc. devoted to yogic practices, along with Gālava, Pippala and others, including Vāmadeva, descendants of Aṅgīras and Bhṛgu who were proficient in Smṛtis and agreeable due to their knowledge of the Vedas went to the divine river Gautamī. All of them were fully conversant with the subjects treated of in the Purāṇas. Indeed they knew many things. They began to pray by reciting Mantras and many Vedic passages of lovely nature. They were contented and pleased in their minds.

On seeing the river in confluence Śiva and Hari revealed themselves to the sages.

6. The immortal ones began the eulogy of the two lords, the dispellers of the distress of everyone, while they were being (respectfully) watched by the Manes.

7. The Ādityas, Vasus, Rudras, Maruts, the Guardians of the Quarters—all these joined their palms in reverence and prayed to Hari and Śaṅkara.

8. O Nārada, these two lords are ever established in the seven well known confluences as well as the meeting place of the ocean and the Gaṅgā.

9. It is the place where lord Maheśvara is called Gautameśvara. There Mādhava is ever present along with Ramā (Lakṣmī).

10. Śiva well known by the name Brahmeśvara has been installed by me for helping all people and for my own reasons.

11. The lord well known as Cakrapāṇi was eulogized by me in the company of the Devas. Viṣṇu is present there along with the Devas and the groups of Maruts.

12-13. A certain Tīrtha is well known as Aindratīrtha. The Tīrtha is otherwise called Hayamūrdhaka. Viṣṇu is (installed) there as Hayamūrdhan (Horse-headed). The Devas too are on the top thereof. There is (another) Tīrtha well known as Somatīrtha, where Śiva is called Someśvara. For the sake of Indra whose renown was on a par with that of Soma, Soma (Soma juice, Moon) was formerly prayed to by the Devas and the sages with the Ṛk-Mantras ending with Indrāyendo Parisrava (O Indu—Soma juice, moon—flow out everywhere for the sake of Indra).

14. (Ṛgveda, 3rd Mantra, 114th Sūkta of the IX Maṇḍala) (Tr. According to Sāyaṇa) “O Soma, protect us with all these, viz. the seven Diks (quarters) (excluding that of which Soma is the lord, i.e. north) presided over by different suns, the seven Hotṛs (Vaṣaṭkartṛs), the seven Ṛtviks, the seven dazzling sons of Aditi (excepting Mārtāṇḍa who was thrown up, according to Ṛgveda X.72-8). O Indu, flow out everywhere for the sake of Indra.”

15. (Ṛgveda, 4th Mantra, 114th Sūkta, IX Maṇḍala) “O Rājan (Lord as the person making them work) Soma, protect us by means of the Havis cooked for your sake. Let not the inimical assailant kill us nor destroy anything (wealth etc.) belonging to us. O Indu, flow out everywhere for the sake of Indra.”

16. (Ṛgveda, 2nd Mantra, IX.114) “O Sage (self-address by the seer of the Mantra) Kaśyapa, adore the king Soma making your eulogies come up flourishing, thanks to the Sūktas of the seers of the Mantras. That Soma has become the lord, protector of the creepers. O Soma, Indu, flow out everywhere for the sake of Indra.”

17. (Ṛgveda, 3rd Mantra, IX.112) “I am the composer of the Sūktas. Hence I am the father and son. I am the physician, Brahmā of the Yajña. This lady who makes the groats, gruel etc. is the mother or daughter. All of us of diverse mental predilections and activities are desirous of wealth and like cows we serve the world. O Indu, flow out everywhere for the sake of Indra.”

18. By saying thus (i.e. by eulogizing Soma thus) the Soma was obtained for the Vajra-wielding Indra. By giving (the same Soma) to them Indra got his hundred sacrifices complete.

19-21. Hence that Tīrtha is called Somatīrtha. Āgneyatīrtha is in front. Agni performed great Yajñas and having pleased me thereby obtained what he desired by my favour. I am stationed there for ever for the sake of helping the world. Similarly Viṣṇu and Śiva too are stationed there. Hence the Tīrtha is called Āgneya. Beyond that is the Āditya Tīrtha where the Sun full of the Vedic Mantras, comes everyday for adoration.

22. He comes in some other guise at midday in order to see me, Śaṅkara and Hari. There, at midday, all people should be bowed to always.

23. That is because it is not certain in what guise Savitṛ (Sun) comes there. Hence it is called Āditya Tīrtha. Thereafter comes the Bārhaspatya Tīrtha.

24. It is said that Bṛhaspati was worshipped by the gods in that Tīrtha. He also performed different Yajñas there. Hence they know this Tīrtha as Bārhaspatya.

25. Merely by remembering that Tīrtha, propitiation of (malignant) planets can be achieved. Another Tīrtha is on the excellent mountain Indragopa.

26. For some reason the great Liṅga was installed there by Himālaya. Hence it is called Adritīrtha.

27-28. Ablution therein and offering gifts yield auspicious results fulfilling cherished desires.

Thus that Gautamī Gaṅgā originated from Brahmādri and proceeds towards the ocean. A few of the Tīrthas there have been mentioned by me. These are auspicious and holy secrets.

29. O Nārada, who has the power to narrate in full that highly powerful Gautamī that is famous in the Vedas and Purāṇas and revered by the sages and all the people.

30. There can be no offence if the description by one prompted by devotion is inadequate. There is no doubt about it. For the sake of the benefit of the world certain features of that river have been indicated with very great difficulty.

31-33. Who is competent to describe Gautamī’s power in every Tīrtha? Perhaps Viṣṇu, lord of Lakṣmī, and Śiva Someśvara may be. Only in due course of time, do some Tīrthas somewhere become meritorious, O highly intelligent one. But Gautamī is always so unto men. It is meritorious everywhere and always. Who can fully narrate her good qualities? Hence it is but proper to offer obeisance to her.

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