The Narada Purana (abridged)

2010 | 18,115 words

The Narada Purana (Nārada Purāṇa) is one of the major eighteen Mahapuranas, a genre of Hindu religious texts. It deals with the places of pilgrimages and features a dialogue between the sage Narada, and Sanatkumara. During the course of the dialogue between the two, Narada explains to Sanatkumara the major places of piligrimages, their location, ...

The most holy of tirthas is the confluence of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna. Someone who bathes there attains perpetual good health, prospers, lives to a ripe old age and is pardoned all his sins. Even the gods and the sages are fond of the waters at this sacred confluence. The river Ganga emerges from the feet of Lord Vishnu himself. (The story of this is related in the Brahmanvaivarta Purana.) And the river Yamuna is the daughter of the sun god Surya. (This is related in many Puranas, such as the Markandeya Purana. Yamuna was the daughter of Surya and Samjna.) Such being the origins of these two holy rivers, it is but natural that their confluence should be so sacred.

In fact, the Ganga is so sacred that even if one just thinks of her, all pain is relieved and all sins are pardoned. Along the banks of the Ganga is a remarkable tirtha known as Prayaga. Brahma himself peformed a yajna there. You can bathe in the waters of all the tirthas if you so desire. But the punya (store of merit) that you will acquire from this is only a sixteenth of the punya you will acquire from touching a few drops of water from the Ganga. A person who anoints his head with mud taken from the banks of the Ganga becomes like Shiva himself. There are three objects that are sacred to Vishnu – the Ganga, the tulasi (basil) bush and dust from the feet of a devotee of Vishnu.

There are some other rivers also in which the Ganga is always present. Their names are Godavari, Sarasvati, Kalindi, Kaveri, Krishna, Reva, Vahuda, Tungabhadra, Bhimarathi, Vetravati, Tamraparni and Shatadru.

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