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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
32. River Mālavatī; so also Girikarṇikā; so also the Dhūtapāpatīrtha in the southern ocean.
35. Even their sight gives religious merit and they instantly remove sin. Tuṅgabhadrā is a holy river; so also is Cakrarathī.
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.
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
46. And the holy place Pāśupata, similarly river Paryaṭikā. Presents made at all these places become a crore times greater.
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.
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.
63. (The tīrtha) Sapta-godāvarī is the best among all the holy places; those desiring inexhaustible fruit should offer Śrāddha there.
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)?
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: