The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes list of sacred places (tirtha) which is chapter 11 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the eleventh chapter of the Srishti-khanda (section on creation) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 11 - A list of sacred places (tīrtha)

Bhīṣma said:

I. During which portion of the day should the performer of a Śrāddha perform it? O brāhmaṇa, what are the sacred places in which Śrāddha performed gives abundant fruit?

Pulastya spoke:

2-3. The sacred place named Puṣkara, is said to be the greatest. Presents or offerings made there, or muttering done there certainly becomes endless. It is always dear to the manes and is regarded as great by the sages.

4. So also, O king, Nandā, Lalitā, so also the sacred place, viz. the auspicious Māyāpurī, so also Mitrapada; Kedāra is still better.

5. Gaṅgāsāgara is also said to be an aupsicious sacred place composed of all sacred places; similarly Brahma-tīrtha is auspicious having the water of Śatadru.

6-7. There is a sacred place named Naimiṣa giving the fruit of all sacred places. On (the bank of) Gomatī there is a sacred place called Gaṅgodbheda, where Brahmā, Viṣṇu and (Śiva) the trident-holder came up; where golden gifts are offered, and Hara with eighteen arms (lives).

8. That is the Naimiṣa forest where formerly the rim of the wheel of Dharma wore out. It is waited upon by all (other) Tīrthas.

9. There also one can have the sight of (Viṣṇu in his) Varāha (incarnation). One who goes there, goes, with his soul purified, to the city of Nārāyaṇa.

10. Another sacred place is Kokāmukha; Indramārga is also noted (as a Tīrtha). Another Tirtha is Pitṛ-tīrtha (sacred to) Brahmā, manifesting his existence.

11. That lord Brahmā resides in Puṣkara forest. The sight of Brahmā is most prosperous and gives the fruit in the form of final release.

12. Kṛta is (one more) sacred place of great religious merit and it destroys all sins; where Janārdana, the first Narasiṃha (resides).

13. Īkṣumati is a sacred place auspicious to the manes; at the confluence of the Ganges and Jumna the manes are always pleased.

14. Kurukṣetra has great religious merit; where the path (to heaven) is also noticed. Even now (this) tīrtha, sacred to the manes, fulfils all desires.

15-16. O King, (there is another sacred place) called Nīlakaṇṭha, sacred to the manes. Similarly other tīrthas are: Bhadrasaras, Puṇyasaras, and Mānasa. So also Mandākinī, Acchodā, Vipāsā, and Sarasvatī, Sarvamitrapada, Vaidyanātha giving great fruit.

17. River Kṣiprā is similarly sacred; so also Kālañjara is auspicious; (other tīrthas are) Tīrthodbheda, Harodbheda, Garbhabheda, Mahālaya.

18. Bhadreśvara, Viṣṇupada and Narmadādvāra, Gayā; the great sages say that they resemble (one another) (are equally meritorious) because of the offering of piṇḍas i.e. as far as offering of piṇḍas goes.

19. These places sacred to the manes remove all sins, even of those people who remember them; then what about those who offer Śrāddha (at these places)?

20-21. Oṃkāra is (another) place sacred to the manes; so also Kāverī and Kapilodaka; Sambheda on (the bank of) the Caṇḍavegā (river); so also Amarakaṇṭaka; bath etc. in it gives merit which is double that of Kurukṣetra. (Another) well-known sacred place is Śuklatīrtha; Someśvara is a great Tīrtha.

22. It removes all ailments, is meritorious and gives a crore times greater fruit by (one’s) offering śrāddha, giving gifts, performing sacrifice or reciting sacred texts in its vicinity.

23. Another sacred place is by name Kāyāvārohaṇa where, in the auspicious dwelling place of Brāhmaṇas, there is a lovely form of the trident-holder, lord of gods.

24. It has become extremely meritorious; similarly the river Carmaṇvatī (is a tīrtha); Śūlatāpī, Payoṣṇī and the confluence of Payoṣṇī (with Śūlatāpī).

25. Mahauṣadhī, Cāraṇā and the meritorious Mahāveṇā flowing to Nāgatīrtha; so also Mahāśāla.

26. So also Gomatī. Varuṇā is a great sacred place of Agni. Bhairava, Bhṛgutuṅga and Gaurītīrtha are incomparably the best.

27. (Then there is) a sacred place by name Vaināyaka; so also the best tīrtha Vastreśvara. Similarly (there is the tīrtha) named Pāpahara and there is the holy river Vetravatī.

28. (The tīrthas) Mahārudra and Mahāliṅga (are other sacred places) and the great river Daśārṇā. So also Śatarudrā, Śatāhvā and the city called Pitṛpada.

29. (River) Aṅgāravāhikā and the two big rivers Śoṇa and Gharghara, the holy river Kālikā and the auspicious river Pitarā.

30. These are sacred places for manes which are recommended for bath and for making presents. śrāddha offered here is said to have an inexhaustible fruit.

31. The river Śatāvaṭā, so also Jvālā and Śaradvī. Dvārakā, Kṛṣṇatīrtha and the Northern Sarasvatī.

32. River Mālavatī; so also Girikarṇikā; so also the Dhūtapāpatīrtha in the southern ocean.

33. Gokarṇa and Gajakarṇa; similarly the auspicious river Cakra. Śrīśaila, Śākatīrtha and then Nārasiṃha.

34. So also Mahendra, Puṇya and the holy Mahānadī. A śrāddha offered at these places also is said to give unending fruit.

35. Even their sight gives religious merit and they instantly remove sin. Tuṅgabhadrā is a holy river; so also is Cakrarathī.

36. Bhīmeśvara, (and rivers) Kṛṣṇaveṇā, Kāverī and Añjanā. River Godāvarī is holy; Trisandhyāpūrṇa is the best.

37. The tīrtha named Tryambaka is a complete and excellent tīrtha and is respected by (i.e. superior to) all other sacred places. Here the terrible three-eyed lord (i.e. Śiva) himself resides.

38. Śrāddha offered at these places is a crore times meritgiving; O king, even by remembering these (places) sins go away in a hundred ways.

39. The river Śrīparṇā is holy, so also the Vyāsatīrtha is unparalleled. So, also Matsyanadī, Kārā and Śivadhārā.

40. There is the well-known Bhava-tīrtha and the eternal Puṇyatīrtha. Similarly there are the holy Rāmeśvara and Veṇāpura and Alaṃpura.

41. The famous Aṅgāraka, and Ātmadarśa and Alambuṣa; so also Vatsavrāteśvara and the great Gokāmukha.

42. Govardhana, Hariścandra, Puraścandra, Pṛthūdaka, Sahasrākṣa, Hiraṇyākṣa, so also the river Kadalī.

43. The (other) names are: Lakṣmaṇa-tīrtha, Indranīla, Mahānāda; so also Priyamelaka.

44. These also are very much recommended for the performance of śrāddha, since it is said that in these holy places all gods are present.

45. Presents made at all these become a crore times more

fruitful. Similarly there is the river Bāhudā, so also the auspicious Siddhavaṭa.

46. And the holy place Pāśupata, similarly river Paryaṭikā. Presents made at all these places become a crore times greater.

47. So also the Pañcatīrtha where the river Godāvarī, flowing towards left, comes in contact with Liṅga-sahasra.

48. The place sacred to Jāmadagnya is the best place for (getting) final release; where the river stands ready due to the fear of an adversary.

49. That is the holy place for making offerings to gods and manes and has a host of the celestial nymphs.

50. So also Sahasraliṅga and excellent Rāghaveśvara with the sacred river Indrakālā; there Śakra had formerly gone.

51. Having killed Namuci he reached heaven by (practising) penance. Śrāddha offered here by men gives inexhaustible fruit.

52. The sacred place Puṣkara, so also Śālagrāma; then the well-knwon Śoṇapāta where there is the abode of Supreme Being.

53. Then (there are) the Sārasvatatīrtha, and Svāmitīrtha also; then the holy river Malandarā, so also Kauśikī and Candrakā.

54. Then (the river) Vidarbhā, and Vegā and Payoṣṇī flowing towards the east. Kāverī flowing in the northern direction; similarly the mountain Jālandhara.

55. Śrāddha offered at these holy places meant for offering Śrāddha becomes endless. Similarly Lohadaṇḍa is a tīrtha, so also Citrakūṭa.

56. Similarly the bank of the river Ganges is everywhere divine and auspicious. Then (there are the tīrthas) Kubjā, Āmraka and Urvaśīpulina.

57. (Then there are) the Saṃsāramocana-tīrtha, so also Ṛṇamocana. Śrāddha offered at these places meant for offering Śrāddha is inexhaustible.

58. Similarly is the tīrtha Aṭṭahāsa; so also Gautameśvara; then is the Vasiṣṭha-tīrtha; next one is Bhārata (tīrtha).

59. Similarly Brahmāvarta, Kuśāvarta and Haṃsatīrtha (are other tīrthas), so also (are) the well-known Piṇḍāraka and Śaṃkhoddhāra.

60. So also Bhāṇḍeśvara, Bilvaka and Nīlaparvata; Similarly (is) Badaritīrtha, the greatest of all holy places.

61. And (there is) the holy place called Vasudhārā, so also Rāmeśvara; then Jayantī, Vijayā and Śukla.

62. Those who offer Śrāddha at these places go to the highest place; (then there is) a sacred place named Mātṛgṛha; also Karavīra.

63. (The tīrtha) Sapta-godāvarī is the best among all the holy places; those desiring inexhaustible fruit should offer Śrāddha there.

64. The holy Gayā is in the Kīkaṭa country; the Rājagṛha forest is holy; so also (is) Cyavanāśrama; the river Punaḥpunā is also holy.

65. The holy place Viṣayārādhana and the sacred river Punaḥpunā, where the (following) verse composed by Brahmā is (still) floating.

66. ‘If someone desires many sons he should go to Gayā; one should either perform a horse-sacrifice or should let loose a bull at the Nīla (mountain)’.

67. This is the verse floating at the sacred (and other) places; all men, O best king, came saying:

68. Will any son from our family go to Gayā, who, will propitiate the seven earlier and later (members of the family)?

69-70. Among the maternal grandfathers these words have become long-standing: (Will there be) a son, who, having gone (to the Ganges), will drop the collection (of the ashes) of the bones into the Ganges and offer water with even seven or eight sesamum seeds or offer piṇḍas in (one of) the three forests (viz. Puṣkara, Naimiṣa and Dharma)?

71. (Who) with devotion will offer a śrāddha, first in the Puṣkara-araṇya, then in the Naimiṣāraṇya and then in Dharmāraṇya?

72. Whatever is offered to the manes at Gayā or in Dharmāraṇya or at Brahmasaras and at Gayāśīrṣavaṭa becomes inexhaustible.

73. One who going to these places and having made a libation moves round, quickly takes to heaven the manes residing in hell.

74. O best king, in his family no one becomes an evil spirit, (because) the evil spirit attains liberation due to the offering of piṇḍas.

75. A holy man with water in his right hand gives water at the root of mango (trees). (Thereby) the mango-trees are watered and the manes are propitiated; thus one action is known to serve two purposes.

76. There is no other offering surpassing that made at Gayā; those (manes) moving towards liberation are pleased by one offering of piṇḍas.

77. The best sages say that giving grains is (an) excellent (gift), so also giving wealth. They say that whatever is given by men at holy places like Gayā is a great source of religious merit.

78-79. Those who go to the south and north of the Mānasa lake and with all their heart and with love see Mahācala and Mahānadī after having saluted chief brāhmaṇas, get the fruit of their life. Whatever a mortal desires, he undoubtedly obtains it.

80. I have briefly stated this compendium of the holy places. Even the lord of speech cannot describe it in detail; then what about a human being?

81. Truth is a holy place; compassion is a holy place; restraint of senses is a holy place; in the houses of those (who observe) the castes and the four stages of life, tranquility is said to be a sacred place.

82-83. Since whatever Śrāddha is recommended at the holy places is laid down to (have) a crore-fold (fruit), and since, the Śrāddha offered at Gayā is the giver of final release, therefore an effort should be made to offer a Śrāddha at a holy place. The morning time has three muhūrtas (a muhurta = 48 minutes), the saṅgava (period after morning time) has a similar duration; fore-noon has three muhūrtas; then afternoon follows.

84. The evening time has three muhūrtas; a śrāddha should not be performed during that period.

85. That time is rākṣasī (demonish) and is condemned for all rites; the muhūrtas of the day are always said to be fifteen.

86. Among them the eighth period is said to be Kutapa; since after noon the sun always becomes mild.

87-91. Therefore, the act during that period, is specified as the giver of eternal fruit. A sword, a vessel, the Kutapa (period), so also a blanket made in Nepal, gold, darbhas, sesamum seeds and cows (these are the seven necessary things for a Śrāddha); and a daughter’s son is said to be the eighth. Sin is said to be Kutsita (condemned); since these eight torment it, they are known as Kutapa. After the Kutapa-period there are four muhūrtas; so also is the fifth one (which) is laid down for the performance of a Śrāddha. Kuśas, so also black sesamum are said to have sprung up from Viṣṇu’s body. The wise say that black is the mark of a Śrāddha; the residents of a holy place should offer water with sesamum seed after water is offered (to the manes).

92. With darbha inone hand one should offer in one’s house a Śrāddha (which is) meritorious and holy, gives (long) life, and destroys all sins.

93. And this glory of śrāddha is narrated by Brahmā too; a man who listens to or recites it becomes rich.

94. Similarly the residents of a holy place should, at the time of a Śrāddha, say it for the cessation of all sins (the following verse) which is regarded as the remover of poverty:

95. ‘This is pure, the treasure of fame; this is the destroyer of great sins; the greatness of Śrāddha is honoured by Brahmā, Arka and Rudra—(thus) declare the wise’.

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