by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291
This page describes the sage lomasha comes to the help of the goblins which is chapter 23 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 twenty-third 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.
1-6. After a long time the magnanimous, best sage Lomaśa who wandered as he liked, came there. Seeing the brāhmaṇa all the goblins living in a group and being overpowered by hunger and desiring to eat him, ran to him. Being burnt by the sharp lustre of Lomaśa, unable to stand before him, they remained away from him. Then, that brāhmaṇa, who had become a goblin as a result of his former deeds, seeing Lomaśa, saluted him by prostrating himself before him, and putting his folded palms on his head spoke true and pleasant words, O king:
7-12. “O brāhmaṇa, at the time of the rise of great fortune there would be (obtained) the company of the good. Between a man who at all times bathes at the sacred places like the Gaṅges etc. and the one who keeps company with the good the latter is superior. O brāhmaṇa, company of the great gives seen and unseen fruits, gives (i.e. takes one to) heaven, removes diseases and is said to remove (mental) darkness.” Saying so, be told him his former wonderful account. “These are those gandharva-daughters, and I am that son of a brāhmaṇa, O sage. All of us were foolish cursing one another (and turning) into goblins. O best sage, before you we are standing with melancholy faces. By seeing you, we the fools, shall be liberated. Would the mass of darkness cling to the atmosphere when the sun rises?” Hearing these words, Lomaśa, of a great lustre, with his heart tender with compassion, said to the sage’s son who was afflicted: “Let the memory of all of you rise suddenly by my favour. Let all of you remain in righteousness, so that your mutual curse would come to an end.”
The goblin said:
13. O great sage, tell us (what) righteousness (is), so that we shall be free from sins. This is not the time for delay, since the fire of curse is fierce.
14-27. Let (all the goblins) duly bathe in Revā with me. Revā will free you from the curse. There would be no other expiation. O brāhmaṇa, listen attentively. It is my firm opinion that the sin of men would certainly perish by bathing in Revā. Bath in Revā would burn, as fire burns a heap of cotton, all the sins committed in the (previous) seven existences and the present one also. O goblin, all that sin for which (the wise) do not see an atonement, perishes merely by bathing in Narmadā. Bath in Narmadā causes knowledge. Therefore she gives salvation. All the holy places of the Himālaya remove sins. This one giving (i.e. taking one to) Indra’s heaven is fashioned by the teachers of the Vedas. Revā is said to give the fruits of (i.e. to satisfy) all desires and is the giver of liberation. She destroys sins, she removes sins, she gives the fruits of(i.e. satisfies) all desires. A bath in Narmadā gives (i.e. takes one to) Viṣṇu’s heaven and destroys sins. A bath in Yamunā would be excellent for (going to) the Sun’s world. A bath in Sarasvatī destroys sin, and gives (i.e. leads one to) Brahmā’s heaven. O goblin, (a bath in) Viśālā is said to give a great fruit, and is the wild fire to the fuel of sins and the remover of the act of being conceived in a womb. A bath in Narmadā is said to lead to Viṣṇu’s heaven and to liberation. Out of the rivers Sarayū, Gaṇḍakī, Sindhu, Candrabhāgā, Kauśikī, Tāpī, Godāvarī, Bhīmā, Payoṣṇī, Kṛṣnaveṇī, Tuṅgabhadrā and others, Revā is reached (by a man) due to the meritorious deeds done in former existences. O sage’s son, a bath there (i.e. in Revā) gives absence of rebirth. Gods, residing in heaven, always sing (i.e. say): “When shall we see Revā, bathing in which (river) men do not experience pangs of (living in) the womb, and remain near Viṣṇu?” Those men who, having many coatings of sins (i.e. who have committed many sins), everyday bathe here in the pure water of Revā, do not sink in hells due to their religious merit, (but) they well (i.e. comfortably) move in heaven like gods.
28. O goblin, formerly the creator weighed Revā against severe vows, acts of charity, penances, and sacrifices, and Revā, that accomplishes salvation quickly, was (i.e. proved) superior to them.
29. Hearing those words of that Lomaśa, all the goblins quickly went with him to bathe in Revā.
30-34. Then fortunately breezes, giving (i.e. throwing) drops of water on the bodies of them who had come in contact with the stream (of Revā), arose on the bank of Revā. Due to the touch of the drops of the water of Revā, they were freed from their goblin-hood. Being instantly endowed with divine bodies, they extolled Narmadā. Then, as told by Lomaśa, the brāhmaṇa happily married those daughters of gandharvas on the bank of Narmadā. Bathing there, drinking (the water of Narmadā) and plunging into (Narmadā) they stayed there for a long time. Having worshipped Narmadā at this spot, they went to Viṣṇu’s heaven. O king, I have thus told you the very auspicious account of Narmadā, which is highly meritorious and which removes sins merely by hearing it.