The Padma Purana

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

This page describes dharmatirtha, shakambhari, rathavartta, etc. which is chapter 28 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-eighth 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.

Chapter 28 - Dharmatīrtha, Śākambharī, Rathāvartta, etc.

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nārada said:

1-3a. O pious one, thence he should go to the ancient (holy place called) Dharmatīrtha where formerly the illustrious Dharma practised excellent penance. He fashioned that holy place known by his name. O king, a religious and tranquil man having bathed there purifies his family up to the seventh (generation). There is no doubt about it.

3b-4. Thence, O pious one, he should go to the excellent (holy place called) Kalāpavana. Having gone there with a great difficulty and being calm and having bathed there he obtains (the fruit of) an Agniṣṭoma (sacrifice) and goes to Viṣṇu’s heaven.

5-10. Thence, O king, a man should go to Saugandhika grove where gods like Brahmā and sages with penance as their treasure, siddhas, cāraṇas, gandharvas, kinnaras with great serpents (dwell). As soon as he enters the grove, he is free from all sins. From there the very auspicious, excellent river, greatest among the rivers, i.e., Sarasvatī is known as Plakṣādevī, O king. He should bathe there in the water flowing out from a hillock. Having worshipped the manes and deities there, he would obtain the fruit of a horse sacrifice. There is a holy place called Īśānādhyuṣita which is very difficult to reach. It is certain that the water that goes to it from the hillock is six times (more). O best of men, having bathed there, a man gets (the fruit of having donated) a thousand tawny cows and (of) a horse sacrifice. The ancient people have observed this.

11-13a. O best of men, having gone to Sugandhā, Śatakumbha, and Pañcayajña, a man is honoured in heaven, O descendent of Bharata. Then having reached the holy place Triśūla-patra, difficult to reach, he should bathe there and be engaged in worshipping manes and deities. There is no doubt that after casting his body he obtains the headship of the attendants of Śiva.

13b-18. Then he should go to Rājagṛha, the place of the goddess, which is very difficult to reach. She is known as Śākambharī, and is famous in the three worlds. O descendant of Bharata, for a thousand divine years she subsisted on vegetables. The sages, treasures of penance, and the devotees of that goddess, every month went there, O king. O descendant of Bharata, she welcomed them with (i.e., by offering them) vegetables. Therefore she is famous as Śākambharī. Having reached (the holy place of) Śākambharī, he being chaste and tranquil (should) stay there for three nights and being controlled and pure, should eat vegetables. O descendant of Bharata, by the desire of the goddess, the fruit of that is the same as that of duly eating vegetables for twelve years.

19-22. Thence he should go to (the holy place called) Suvarṇākhya, well-known in the three worlds, where formerly Kṛṣṇa propitiated Rudra for his favour and obtained (from him) many boons difficult to be obtained even by gods; and, O descendant of Bharata, was thus told by Tripura’s destroyer pleased with him: “O Kṛṣṇa, in the world you will be a dearer soul (i.e., people will love you more than their own soul) and undoubtedly the entire world will be your mouth.” O lord of kings, having gone there and having worshipped the bull-bannered god, he obtains (the fruit of) a horse sacrifice and the headship of Śiva’s attendants.

23-26. Having stayed there for three nights, a man should go to Umāvatī from there. There is no doubt that he gets the objects desired by his mind. To the southern half of (the holy place of) the goddess, there is (the holy place called) Rathāvartta, O king. Having reached there, O pious one, a man having faith and with his senses controlled goes to the highest position (i.e., salvation) by the grace of Mahādeva. O best of the Bharatas, he should proceed after turning to the right to (the holy place called) Dharā which destroys all sins, O you highly intelligent one. O king, having bathed there, a man is never unhappy.

27-3la. Then, O best of men, having saluted the great mountain, he should go to Gaṅgādvāra, which is undoubtedly equal to the gate to heaven. Being calm he should bathe there at the Koṭitīrtha. (Thereby) he obtains (i.e. reaches) Puṇḍarīka, and would liberate his own family. Having stayed there for a night he would obtain the fruit of (having given away) a thousand cows. At Saptagaṅga, Trigaṅga and Śakrāvartta he should duly offer oblations to deities and manes. (By doing this) he is honoured in the world of the meritorious. Then, a man having bathed at Kanakhala and having fasted for three nights obtains (the fruit of) a horse sacrifice and goes to heaven.

31b-33. Then a pilgrim should go to (the holy place called) Kapilāvaṭa, O king. A man by staying there for a night obtains the fruit of (having given) a thousand cows. O best among the Kurus, (then there is) the holy place of the magnanimous Kapila, the king of Nāgas. O lord of kings, it is well-known in all the worlds. O king, a man should bathe there at the Nāgatīrtha. (Thereby) he obtains the fruit of (having given) a thousand tawny cows.

34. Thence a man should go to Lalitaka, the excellent holy place of Śantanu. O king, having bathed there a man would not meet with disaster.

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