The Padma Purana

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

This page describes kurukshetra, pariplava, shalvikini, kotitirtha etc. which is chapter 26 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-sixth 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 26 - Kurukṣetra, Pāriplava, Śalvikinī, Koṭitīrtha etc.

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nārada said:

1-6. Thence, O lord of kings, he should go to Kurukṣetra praised (by all). All creatures who have gone there have been freed from their sins. He, who always says “I shall go to Kurukṣetra, I shall stay at Kurukṣetra”. is absolved of all sins. O king, a wise man should live there for a month, to which very meritorious (Brahmakṣetra) gods like Brahmā, brāhmaṇic sages, cāraṇas, gandharvas, celestial nymphs, yakṣas and pannagas go, O descendant of Bharata. O Yudhiṣṭhira, the sins of him who even mentally longs for Kurukṣetra, perish, and he goes to Brahmā’s heaven. O you, who are perpetuating the Kuru family, a man going to Kurukṣetra with faith, obtains the fruit of Vājapeya and Aśvamedha sacrifices.

7. Then he (should go) to the very powerful doorkeeper Mattakarṇa, O king. Having just saluted him, he would get the fruit of (having donated) a thousand cows (to a brāhmaṇa).

8-9. Thence, O pious one, he should go the excellent place of Viṣṇu, where, O lord of kings, Viṣṇu is always present. Having bathed there and having seen Viṣṇu, the origin of the three worlds, he obtains (the fruit of) a horse sacrifice and goes to Viṣṇu’s heaven.

10-13a. Thence a man should go to the holy place (called) Pāriplava which is well-known in the three worlds. (By going there) he obtains (the fruit of) Āgniṣṭoma and Atirātra sacrifices. A man would obtain the fruit (of the gift) of a thousand cows by reaching (this) holy place on the earth. Thence O king, a man visiting holy places, should go to (the holy place) called Śālvikinī. Having bathed at Daśāśvamedhika he obtains the same fruit. Having reached Sarpanīvi, the best holy place of nāgas, he obtains (the fruit of) an Agniṣṭoma sacrifice, and goes to the world of nāgas.

13b-15. Then O pious one, he should go to the doorkeeper Atarṇaka. Having stayed there for a night, he would obtain the fruit (of donation) of a thousand cows. Then, being controlled and having his diet restrained, he, having gone to Pañcanada and having bathed at Koṭitīrtha, would obtain the fruit of a horse sacrifice. Having visited the Aśvinī-tīrtha, he is born handsome.

16-19. Thence, O pious one, he should go to the best sacred place Varāha where formerly Viṣṇu dwelt in the form of a boar. O best of men, having stayed there he would obtain the fruit of Agniṣṭoma. Then O lord of kings, he should go to the Somatīrtha at Ujjayinī. Having bathed (there), a man obtains the fruit of a Rājasūya (sacrifice). A man, having bathed at Ekahaṃsa, would obtain the fruit of (having given away) a thousand cows. Having reached Kṛtaśauca, the pilgrim would obtain (the fruit of) Puṇḍarīka, and would become one who has purified himself.

20-24a. Then he (should go) to the holy place called Muñjāvaṭa of the wise Mahādeva. Having lived there for a night he would obtain the position of the head of Śiva’s attendants. Then, O great king, having bathed and gone to Jayā well-known in the world, he would obtain all desired objects. O best among Bharatas, that is a well-known gate to Kurukṣetra. The pilgrim turning to the right, and having returned, having bathed at Saṃsmṛta of the Puṣkaras, should worship the deities in the form of manes. (Paraśu-) Rāma, the noble son of Jamadagni, invoked them (here) only. O king, the man would have accomplished his object, and would obtain (the fruit of) a horse sacrifice.

24b-38a. O king, thence the pilgrim should go to Rāmahrada where, O lord of kings, Rāma (i.e. Paraśurāma), of a blazing lustre having powerfully and speedily expelled the kṣatriyas, resorted to the five deep lakes after filling them with blood. This is what we have heard, O best among men. He offered oblations to his forefathers, and also his great grandsires. Then, O king, the forefathers, being pleased, said to Rāma (i.e. Paraśurāma): “O Rāma, Bhārgava, we are highly pleased with you by your devotion to your forefathers and your valour. Wellbeing to you. Ask for a boon. O you highly intelligent one, what do you desire?” O lord of kings, that Rāma, best among speakers, who was thus addressed (by his forefathers), said, with the palms of his hands joined, (these) words to the forefathers who remained in the sky: “If you are pleased with me, if you favour me, then I desire the increase in my penance; and by your lustre I may be freed from the sin that I, overcome by anger, (committed by having) destroyed the kṣatriyas, and the lakes which have become sacred to me should be well-known on the earth.” Hearing these good words of Rāma (i.e. Paraśurāma), his forefathers, extremely pleased and full of great joy said to him: “Due especially to your devotion to your forefathers, may your penance increase again. You are freed from the sin that you, overcome by anger, killed the kṣatriyas. They were killed due to their own (mis-) deeds. The lakes will undoubtedly be the holy places (named) after you. The manes of him who, after bathing in these lakes, will offer oblations to his manes, will be pleased with him, and will grant him his desired object and eternal (residence) in heaven.” O king, the manes of Paraśurāma, being pleased and having granted him such a boon and taking leave of Bhārgava, vanished there only. Thus the lakes are sacred to the noble Bhārgava i.e. Paraśurāma. A man of self-control and good vows, after bathing in the lakes of (i.e. sacred to) Paraśurāma, and worshipping him, would obtain much gold.

38b-40. Then, O you who perpetuate the Kuru family, a pilgrim, having reached Vaṃśamūla, would liberate his family by bathing at Vaṃśamūlaka. O best among Bharatas, having reached Kāyaśodhana, a man who has bathed there, obtains the purity of his body; there is no doubt about it. And with his body purified he goes to pious, excellent worlds.

41-44. O lord of kings, thence a man should go to the holy place rare in the three worlds, where formerly the mighty Viṣṇu liberated people. O king, having reached (that) holy place (called) Lokoddhāra, well-known in the three worlds, and having bathed there, he liberates his own people. Having reached Śrītīrtha, he obtains excellent wealth. A man being restrained and calm, having reached Kapilātīrtha, and having bathed there and worshipped deities and manes, obtains the fruit of (having donated) a thousand tawny cows (to a brāhmaṇa).

45-46a. Going to Sūryatīrtha and with his mind controlled he should bathe there, and devoutly observing a fast he should worship (his) manes and deities. (By doing so) he obtains the fruit of an Agniṣṭoma sacrifice and goes to the Sun’s world.

46b-47a. A pilgrim who, after reaching Gavāṃtīrtha according to the (proper) order, bathes there, would obtain the fruit of (having presented) a thousand cows.

47b-49. O king, a pilgrim (then), after reaching Gaṅgātīrtha and bathing at the Kanyātīrtha, obtains excellent power. Thence, O lord of kings, he should go to the doorkeeper (called) Lavarṇaka. O king, having bathed there at the holy place (in the stream of) Sarasvatī as in that of the noble Indra, a man would obtain the fruit of an Agniṣṭoma sacrifice.

50-55a. Then, O pious king, he should go to (the holy place called) Brahmāvarta. He having bathed at Brahmāvarta would obtain (i.e. go to) Brahmā’s heaven. Thence, O pious one, he should go to the excellent (holy place called) Sutīrthaka where gods are always present with the manes. Engaged in worshipping manes and deities he should bathe there. (By doing so) he obtains (the fruit of) a horse sacrifice and goes to the world of manes. Then, O best of Bharatas, going to another holy place in order and having bathed in the sacred places of Kāśīśvara, he, being free from all diseases, is honoured in Brahmā’s world. O king, Mātṛtīrtha is just there, having bathed where his progeny increases (in number), and, O king, he would obtain a position in heaven.

55b-61a. Then being controlled and with his diet restrained, he should go to Śītavana. O great king, there is a great holy place which is difficult to be found elsewhere. By merely seeing it and by restraint, O king, he is purified. O descendant of Bharata, having offered his hair at that (holy place), he is purified. Then there is another holy place known as Snātalokārtiha. O you best among men, O you best of the Bharatas, learned brāhmaṇas, highly devoted to it, having bathed there, obtain the best position (i.e. salvation). O best of Bharatas, at the holy place (called) Svarṇalomāpanayana, best brāhmaṇas cast off their hair after controlling their breath. Then, with their souls purified, O lord of kings, they go to the highest position (i.e. get salvation). O king, having bathed at Daśāśvamedhika (situated) at that holy place only, O tiger (i.e. best) among men, men with their souls purified go to the highest position (i.e. obtain salvation).

61b-67a. O lord of kings, he should go to (the holy place called) Mānuṣa, well known in the world. O king, there a black deer tormented by a hunter with arrows, plunged into that lake and obtained manhood. A man, being restrained and calm, having bathed at the holy place, has his soul purified from all sins, and is honoured in heaven. O king, to the east of (the holy place called) Mānuṣa, at a distance of a krośa (i.e. two miles) there is a well-known river called Āpagā, which is resorted to by siddhas. One who gives there the meal of Śyāmāka rice dedicating it to the deities and manes, obtains a great fruit of his piety. If (only) one brāhmaṇa is fed, a crore brāhmaṇas are fed. Having bathed there and worshipped the deities and also the manes, and having stayed there for a night, one would obtain the fruit of an Agniṣṭoma sacrifice.

67b-71a. Thence, O pious one, he should go to the best place of Brahmā, known in the world as Brahmānusvara, O descendant of Bharata. O you best among the Bharatas, he who being pure and with his mind controlled, bathes there at the holy pools of the seven sages, and O lord of kings, at Kedāra and at the holy place of the noble Kapila, goes to Brahmā, and with his soul purified of all sins, goes to Brahmā’s heaven. Having reached Kapiṣṭhala’s (place called) Kedāra, difficult to reach, he, with his sins burnt by penance, acquires (the art of) becoming invisible.

71b-79a. Thence, O lord of kings, a man should go to (the holy place called) Sarvaka, well-known in the world. Having gone to the bull-bannered one (i.e. Śiva) on the fourteenth day of the dark half, he gets all his desired objects and goes to heaven. O descendant of Kuru, there are three crores of holy places. At the pond there is Rudrakoṭi; in the lakes there is Samantaka. O best of Bharatas, there only is the holy place Ilāspada. Having bathed and worshipped deities and manes there, one does not meet with calamities and obtains the (fruit of) Vājapeya sacrifice. O king, having bathed at Kiṃdāna and also at Kiṃjapa, a man obtains immeasurable (fruit of) gifts and sacrifice. One having faith and his senses under control having bathed at Kalaśī, obtains the fruit of an Agniṣṭoma sacrifice. To the east of Saraka there is an auspicious place known as Rāmajanma, O greatest among Kurus, which is sacred to Nārada. O descendant of Bharata, one who having bathed there casts his life, being permitted by Nārada, obtains worlds difficult to obtain. One should enter (i.e. go to) Puṇḍarīka on the tenth of the bright half (of a month). Having bathed there, O king, he would obtain the fruit of Puṇḍarīka.

79b-85. Thence he should go to Triviṣṭapa, well-known in the three worlds. There is the auspicious river Vaitaraṇī which frees (a man) from sins. Having bathed there and worshipped (Śiva) holding the trident in his hand and having the bull as his banner, and (thus) with his soul purified from all sins, he would go to the highest position (i.e. salvation). Thence, O lord of kings, he should go to the excellent Phalakivana. Gods have always resorted to that Phalikivana, and practised penance for many thousand years. One having bathed at Dṛṣatpāna and having offered oblations to the deities, obtains the fruit of Agniṣṭoma and Atirātra sacrifices. O lord of kings, having bathed at the place sacred to all gods, one obtains the fruit of (giving away) a thousand cows. A man having bathed at (the holy place called) Pāṇikhyāta, and having offered oblations to the deities, obtains (the fruit of) Rājasūya, and also goes to the world of sages.

86-87. Thence, O pious one, one should go to (the holy place called) Miśraka which is well-known in the world. O lord of kings, we have heard that the noble Vyāsa has brought together the holy places at that place for brāhmaṇas. One who bathes at Miśraka has well bathed at all holy places.

88-95. Thence being controlled and having his food controlled he should go to Vyāsavana (the grove sacred to Vyāsa). Having bathed at Manojava one would obtain the fruit of (having donated) a thousand cows. Having gone to Madhuvanī, the place of the goddess, one with purity (of mind) and self-control should worship the deities and the manes. Being allowed by the goddess he would obtain the fruit of (having given) a thousand cows. O descendant of Bharata, he who has bathed at the confluence of Kauśikī and Dṛṣadvatī and has his diet restrained, is absolved of all sins. Then there is the holy place called Vyāsasthalī where Vyāsa tormented by the grief due to (the death of) his son, had decided to end his life, and was again roused to action by gods, O lord of kings. Having gone (i.e. if a man goes) to that place, he would obtain the fruit of (having given) a thousand cows. O lord of men, having reached (the holy) lake of Ṛṇānta and having offered there sesamum of the measure of a prastha (to the manes) he would, after being freed from debts, get a great success. Having bathed at the Veditīrtha, a man would obtain the fruit of (having given) a thousand cows. O king, the two holy places Aha and Sudina are difficult to reach. A man having bathed at them would obtain (i.e., go to) the Sun’s heaven.

96-106. Thence he should go to (the holy place called) Mṛgadhūma, well-known in the three worlds. Having bathed there at Rudrapada and having worshipped the noble trident-holder (i.e., Śiva), a man would obtain the fruit of a horse sacrifice. A man having bathed at Koṭitīrtha would obtain the fruit of (having given) a thousand cows. Then having gone to (the holy place called) Vāmanaka which is well-known in the three worlds, and there bathing and having properly worshipped Vāmana, one with his soul purified of all sins, would obtain Viṣṇu’s heaven. A man having bathed at Kulampuna purifies his own family. Having gone to the pool of Pavana, the excellent holy place of the Maruts and having bathed there, a man is honoured in the world of Vāyu, O best of men. A man, having bathed at the pool of the immortal ones (i.e., gods), and having worshipped the lord of gods, is honoured in heaven due to the prowess of the gods. O lord of kings, having duly bathed at Śālisūrya of Śālihotra, he would obtain the fruit of (having given away) a thousand cows, O best among men. O best among the Bharatas, there is a holy place on (the bank of) the Sarasvatī (called) Śrīkuñja. O king, a man having bathed there, would obtain the fruit of Agniṣṭoma. Then having reached (i.e., he should go to) Naimiṣakuñja, very difficult to reach. O lord of kings, it is said that sages of the Naimiṣa (forest) with penance as their wealth formerly set upon a pilgrimage and went to Kurukṣetra. Then an arbour was made on (the bank of) the Sarasvatī. It is a great place of the sages, which gives great joy. Having bathed in the arbour, a man would obtain the fruit of (having given) a thousand cows.

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