The Ganesha Purana (abridged)

Gaṇeśa Purāṇa

by Gregory Baily | 11,149 words

The Ganesha Purana is a Hindu religious text dedicated to the Hindu deity Ganesha (Gaṇeśa). It is an upapurāṇa that includes many stories and ritualistic elements relating to Ganesha. Ganesha Purana – Translated by Prof. Gregory Baily and Edited by C. Devadas...

Chapter 6 - Arrival at Bhrigu’s Hermitage

Suta Gosvami said, “After Bhrgu’s son, Cyavana, heard the plea of Sudharma, he quickly picked up his water pot filled from the clear lake. Distressed, he silently returned home in great sorrow. Bhrgu then asked his son what had caused his delay”.

Bhrgu said, “Son, you look like you’re trembling. Have you seen something out of the ordinary? Why are you so late? Tell me everything from the beginning!”

Cyavana said, “Dear father, in the region of Surastra, in a city known as Devata, there was a lotus-eyed king called Somakanta. He ruled a vast kingdom, protecting his subjects by dharma. Yet because of fate, misfortune befell him. Having bestowed the kingdom upon his son, he has come here, tormented by extreme sorrow, with his wife Sudharma and two ministers, Subala and Jnanagamya. Oozing with leprosy and covered with worms, he wanders about, traveling with great difficulty. He has become like Indra, who was cursed by the sage Gautama to have one thousand vaginas. Some time passed while I was asking the King’s wife about what had happened to them. I asked her questions such as, ‘how did this delicate queen arrive at this place and how did her husband contract leprosy?’ Hearing their sorrowful story, my heart filled with pity. After I filled my pot with water, I quickly returned”.

Suta said, “Cyavana reported everything Sudharma told him, and after the sage heard it, he again spoke to his son”.

Bhrgu said, “Son, you have my permission to go. Quickly bring them to me. I want to meet these uncommon people and would like to introduce myself to them”.

Suta said, “Thus insisted by his father, Cyavana, full of compassion, went from pond to pond, anxious to find Sudharma. At that very moment, the two ministers Subala and Jnanagamya, laden with fruits and tubers, came before the King. Cyavana then spoke to the delicate-eyed Sudharma, ‘My father invites all of you to his hermitage. Distressed with grief, Sudharma became depressed, and her body looked as though lifeless. After the virtuous queen had heard his wonderful words, she left for the hermitage, accompanied by the two ministers. With her husband, Somakanta, she walked in front of Cyavana, like Shiva and Durga accompanied by Ganesha and Skanda. She looked splendid in the middle of the path as she walked in front the boy sage.

They reached the area of Bhrgu’s hermitage which was filled with the sounds of mantras and strewn with various kinds of flowers and creepers. This place resounded with the cries of many animals which played there. The wind blew gently and the air was not too warm. There was only light rain and the clouds poured down only at the sage’s wishes. Walking before the sage’s son, they happily entered the hermitage. Sudharma then saw the wondrous Bhrgu there. Clad in deer and tiger skin, he was the image of the sun. Accompanied by his wife and two ministers, the King offered obeisance, and with his hollowed hands joined together, he spoke”.

The King said, “My fortune in coming here has certainly come to fruition because of my accumulated good works and austerity. Since birth I have been completely pure. Life has been good to my mother and father. Just the sight of you instantaneously destroys all bad karma and creates good fortune in the future. Indra of sages, to be in your presence affords one a pure birth in the past, present and future.

Sage of perfect spiritual vision, in the region of Surastra, in a city know as Devata, I ruled a kingdom by utilizing prudent politics, honoring the demigods and Brahmins, and by adhering to goodness. What is this unforeseen bad karmic reaction that has presented itself as a most terrible and miserable state of being? I know of no possible remedy for it! Medications were tried but nothing helped. I now seek the remedy of your compassion as the real medicine. We have come for refuge to your hermitage where there is natural peace and accord”.

Suta said, “Having heard this speech, Bhrgu became filled with compassion, and after looking at Somakanta, he spoke thoughtfully”.

Bhrgu said, “King, there is a solution, so don’t worry! Those who stay in my hermitage experience no misery. Excellent King, I will explain to you about what happened in a previous life and about your misdeeds, due to which you have been forced into this condition. Firstly you must all have a meal, as you have been gathering your own food for too long. You have traveled through many forests exhausted and your faces have become extremely thin, but now you have come here”.

Suta said, “After Bhrgu had spoken, he bathed, having first massaged himself with fine oils. After being duly prepared, well bathed and rested, and at the direction of Bhrgu, whose splendor is immeasurable, the royal party dined. They ate large quantities of food seasoned with the six flavors; sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. Having forgotten their extreme anxiety, they slept on soft beds offered by the sage, as though back in their own kingdom”.

Thus ends the sixth chapter of Upasana Khanda of the glorious Ganesha Purana
called “Arrival at Bhrigu’s Hermitage”.

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