The Padma Purana

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

This page describes naraka, kapilatirtha, rishitirtha, ganeshvara, bhrigutirtha, somatirtha etc. which is chapter 20 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 twentieth chapter of the Svarga-khanda (section on the heavens) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 20 - Naraka, Kapilātīrtha, Ṛṣitīrtha, Gaṇeśvara, Bhṛgutīrtha, Somatīrtha etc.

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nārada said:

1-12. Then he should go to (the holy place called) Naraka. He should bathe there. Merely by bathing there a man does not see (i.e. go to) hell. O you son of Pāṇḍu, listen to the greatness of this holy place. O lord of kings, all the bones which he would drop there, are dissolved, and the man becomes handsome. O lord of kings, thence a man should go to the excellent (holy place called) Kapilātīrtha. O king, having bathed there, he would obtain the fruit of (having given away) a thousand cows. The man, who, when the month of Jyeṣṭha has come and especially on the fourteenth day, observes a fast devoutly, gives a tawny cow, and burning a lamp with ghee, bathes Śiva with ghee, and offers a coconut along with ghee, and in the end goes round, and gives a tawny cow with a bell and (other) ornaments (to a brāhmaṇa), becomes like Śiva, and is not born again. When Tuesday has come, especially on the fourth day (falling on Tuesday), a man should devoutly bathe (the image of) Śiva and give food to brāhmaṇas. When the ninth or the new moon day falls on a Tuesday, he should carefully bathe (the image of) Śiva. (Thereby) he would be handsome and fortunate. He should bathe the Phallus with ghee and devoutly honour brāhmaṇas. Surrounded by thousands, he (going in) Puṣpaka aeroplane, obtains the position of Śiva. He would not come here (i.e. to this world) again. He rejoices for an eternal time, and he becomes like Rudra. When the most righteous one comes to the mortal world due to his contact with (the fruits of) his deeds, he becomes a king, and becomes handsome and strong.

13-14a. Then, O lord of kings, he should go to the excellent Ṛṣitīrtha. There the sage Tṛṇabindu, burnt my curse, resided. By the efficacy of that holy place a brāhmaṇa becomes free from sins.

14b-16a. O lord of kings, thence a man should go to the excellent Gaṇeśvara. Merely by bathing there on the fourteenth day when the month of Śrāvaṇa has come (i.e. on the fourteenth day of Śrāvaṇa) a man is honoured in Rudra’s heaven. By offering oblations to the manes he becomes free from the three debts (to sages, gods and the manes).

16b-25. Near Gaṇeśvara there is the excellent (holy place called) Gaṅgāvadana. A man who would bathe there with some desire or without any desire would undoubtedly be free from sins committed from birth. He should always bathe there on a parvan day. Having offered oblations to the manes he becomes free from the three debts. That entire merit is had at Gaṅgārāhvarka confluence, which was seen at Prayāga by the magnanimous Śiva. To a place in its west, near it, not far away there is (the holy place) called Daśāśvamedhika, well-known in the three worlds. A man having fasted for a night on the new moon day in the month of Bhādrapada, and having bathed, would go to the place where Śiva (dwells). He should always bathe there on a parvan day. Having offered oblations to the manes he would obtain the fruit of a horse sacrifice. To the west of Daśāśvamedha, Bhṛgu, the best brāhmaṇa, worshipped the lord for a thousand divine years. He remained under an anthill; and to the right was the abode (of the lord). Umā and Śiva were amazed. Gaurī (i.e. Pārvatī) asked the lord: “O great lord, who is dwelling here? Tell me whether he is a god or a demon.”

The lord said:

26. O dear one, the best brāhmaṇa named Bhṛgu, and best among the sages, remains in deep meditation and reflects upon me; he desires a boon.

27. On hearing this the goddess laughed and said to the lord: “The tuft of his hair has become like whirling smoke. Still you are not pleased. Therefore you are difficult to be propitiated. There is no doubt it.”

God said:

28. O great goddess, you do not know; he behaves wrathfully. I shall show you the fact, and shall do what is dear to you.

29. Then the lord of gods brought to his mind his bull (i.e. Nandi). Immediately on being remembered, the god’s bull came there.

30. He spoke in a human voice: “O lord, order me.” (The lord said:) “The brāhmaṇa is covered with anthill; knock him down on the ground.”

31-32. He who was engrossed in abstract meditation, and who was reflecting (upon the lord) was knocked down by him. Then getting hot with anger in a moment, he raised his hand and said to the bull, “O bull, where will you talking like this go (now)? I shall today actually kill you—a wicked one.”

33-45. Then the brāhmaṇa challenged the bull gone into the air. He saw him in the sky; O king, this was a very great wonder. Then, when Rudra laughed, the sage stood before him. Seeing his third eye, he fell on the ground through shame. Saluting the highest lord (by prostrating himself before him) like a staff, he extolled him. Having saluted the lord of beings and the origin of the mundane existence (he praised him:) “Afraid of the worldly life, O lord of the world, I beg of you of a divine form, a little welfare. O lord, which man is able to describe the multitudes of your qualities? Perhaps Vāsuki, who has a thousand mouths may be able (to do so). O Śaṅkara, O lord of the earth, O revered one, forgive me; be gracious to me who am devoutly garrulous in your praise, and who have fallen at your feet. You are sattva, rajas and tamas. You (are the cause of) the maintenance, creation and destruction (of the world). O lord of the world, O master of the world, excepting you, there is no (other) deity. All this—self-control, vows, sacrifices, gifts, Vedic studies, efforts like determination—does not deserve (is not equal to) even the sixteen thousandth part of your devotion. The signs like the sword of the excellent elixir of life or going on foot by people, are clearly seen in the case of people who have bowed down to you in this existence. Even if a man salutes you fraudulently, you give Dharma to him, O you god of those who long for you. O lord, devotion has been produced to cut off the worldly existence and for liberation. O great lord, protect me who am taking delight in another’s wife or wealth, who am tormented by insult and great grief, and who am scorched by false pride, who sported with the grandeur lasting for a moment, who am prone to cruel ways and who am fallen. Though the direction is full of the groups of the helpless sense organs, like relatives, yet it is worthless. O Śaṅkara, why do you mock at me—a fool? O Mahādeva, remove my thirst (i.e. desire) quickly, give me wealth that would always remain in my heart; cut off the nooses of pride and delusion; liberate me.”

46. This hymn named ‘Karuṇābhyudaya’ is divine and gives perfection. Śiva is pleased with him, as with Bhṛgu, who recites it devoutly.

The lord said:

47. O brāhmaṇa, I am pleased with you; ask for the boon desired by you.

The god along with Umā would give him a boon.

Bhṛgu said:

48. O lord of gods, if you are pleased with me, if a boon is to be given to me, then let there be Rudravedi (here). (Please) bring this about for me.

The lord said:

49-52a. O best of brāhmaṇas, there will be Krodhasthāna (i.e. place of anger). There will be no agreement between father and son.

Since then all gods like Brahmā, along with kinnaras, worship Bhṛgutīrtha, where Śiva was pleased. By seeing (i.e. visiting) that holy place a man is instantly free from sin. The creatures, helpless or independent, who die there, would undoubtedly go along the course of the very secret one (i.e. Brahman).

52b-57. This holy place is very extensive, and destroys all sins. Having bathed there men go to heaven; and those who die there, are not reborn. He should give sandals, an umbrella, food and gold and meal according to his capacity. It would be eternal. One should give according to his desire gifts on the day of the solar eclipse, and, also bathe at the holy place—all this gives inexhaustible merit. Giving a bull on a lunar eclipse day or solar eclipse day is excellent. O king, foolish men, deluded by Viṣṇu’s illusion do not know the divine Vṛṣatīrtha situated on (the bank of) Narmadā. A man, who (even) once listens to the greatness of Bhṛgutīrtha, is free from all sins, and he goes to Rudra’s world.

58-59a. Thence, O lord of kings, he should go to the excellent (holy place) Gautameśvara. Having bathed there, O king, and absorbed in observing a fast, he is honoured in Brahmā’s world (after going there) in a golden aeroplane.

59b-62. He would then go to Dhautapāpa, where the bull washed (his sins). O king, it is situated on (the bank of) Narmadā, and destroys all sins. A man, having bathed at that holy place, is absolved of (the sin of) killing a brāhmaṇa. O great king, he who casts his life at that holy place, gets four hands and three eyes and becomes as powerful as Rudra. Valourous like Rudra, he would stay for a complete myriad of years (in Rudra’s heaven). Having come to the earth after a long time, he would be a sovereign emperor.

63-67a. From there he should go to the excellent (holy place called) Eraṇḍitīrtha. O king, the man who just bathes there gets the same fruit as Mārkaṇḍeya told about Prayāga. In the month of Bhādrapada, and on the eighth of the bright half, a man should observe a fast for a night and should bathe there. He would not be troubled by the messengers of Yama, and he goes to Indra’s heaven. Thence, O lord of kings, he should go to that holy place where Viṣṇu dwells. It is known as Hiraṇyadvīpa and destroys all sins. O king, having bathed there, a man becomes rich and handsome.

67b-69. Thence, O lord of kings, he should go to the great (holy place called) Kanakhala. O king, at that holy place Garuḍa practised penance. It is well known in all the worlds. Yoginī (i.e. Durgā) dwells there. She plays with the meditating saints and dances with Śiva. O king, one who bathes there, is honoured in Rudra’s world.

70. Then, O lord of kings, he should go to the excellent (holy place called) Īśatīrtha. There is no doubt that Īśa became free there and went up.

71-72. Thence, O lord of kings, he should go to that holy place where Viṣṇu, the inconceivable lord, having resorted to the form of a boar, dwells. A man having bathed at Varāhatīrtha, especially on the twelfth, obtains Viṣṇu’s heaven, and does not go to hell.

73-76. Then O lord of kings, he should go to the excellent (holy place called) Somatīrtha. He should bathe there especially on the full moon day. Bali having saluted the lord, is pleased with him. In the atmosphere is seen the celestial city of Hariścandra. When Cakradhvaja (wheel-bannered one) returned, and Garuḍa-bannered one was asleep, the force of Narmadā’s water resorted to Rurukaccha. Viṣṇu told Śaṅkara to stay there. Having bathed at Dvīpeśvara, a man would get great happiness.

77-82. Then, O lord of kings, he should go to (the holy place called) Rudrakanyā on the confluence. Merely by bathing there, a man would obtain the position of the goddess. Then he should go to Devatīrtha saluted by all gods. O lord of kings, having bathed there, he rejoices with deities. Thence, O lord of kings, he should go to (the excellent holy place called) Śikhitīrtha. A gift given there becomes a crore times meritorious. On the new moon day in the dark half of the month he should bathe there. He should feed a brāhmaṇa. Thereby a crore (of brāhmaṇas) is fed. O lord of kings, at Bhṛgutīrtha a crore of holy places are settled. A man having no desire, or having a desire, should bathe there. He obtains (the fruit of) a horse sacrifice and rejoices with deities. The best sage Bhṛgu obtained perfection there. The magnanimous Śaṅkara descended there.

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