by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291
This page describes savidya sandhya, lauhitya, karatoya, etc. which is chapter 39 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 thirty-ninth 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.
1-2. Then having reached Savidyā Sandhyā, the excellent holy place and having bathed there a man becomes learned. There is no doubt about this. Having reached the holy place Lauhitya, made the chief holy place by Rāma in olden days, he would obtain much gold.
5. O descendant of Bharata, he who, after having reached the yonder island in Gaṅgā, bathes there and fasts for three nights would obtain all desired objects.
6-7. Then having gone to the river Vaitaraṇī which frees (a person) from sins and reaching Virāja tīrtha, he shines like the moon. (By bathing) at Prabhava he purifies his family and destroys all sin. Obtaining the fruit of (the gift of) a thousand cows he purifies his family.
8-9. A pure man living at the confluence of Śoṇa and Jyotirathī after offering oblations to manes and deities, would get the fruit of an Agniṣṭoma sacrifice. Having bathed at Vaṃśagulma at the source of Śoṇa and Narmadā he would obtain the fruit of a horse sacrifice, O best among the Kurus.
10-11. A man having reached Ṛṣabhatīrtha in Kośala and having fasted there for three nights obtains (the fruit of) a horse sacrifice. Reaching Kālatīrtha in Kośala a man should bathe (there). There is no doubt that he obtains the fruit eleven times greater than that of (giving away) a bull.
12-15. Having bathed at Puṣpavatī, a man who has fasted for three nights, would obtain the fruit (of giving away) a thousand cows and would liberate his family. Then, having with a restrained mind bathed at the Badarikātīrtha a man obtains long life and goes to heaven. Then reaching Mahendra resorted to by (Paraśurāma) the son of Jamadagni a man who bathes at Rāmatīrtha, obtains the fruit of a horse sacrifice. The field (i.e. place) of Mātaṅga is just there, O best of Bharatas. O king, having bathed there a man would obtain the fruit of (giving away) a thousand cows.
16-18. Having reached Śrīparvata he should bathe at the bank of the river. Thereby he obtains (the fruit of) a horse sacrifice and goes to the great welfare. On Śrīparvata Mahādeva of great lustre and highly delighted lived. So also Brahmā surrounded by gods (lived there). A pure man with his mind controlled obtains after bathing at the Devahrada (the fruit of) a horse sacrifice and obtains great welfare.
19-20. Having gone to the Ṛṣabha mountain in the Bhāṇḍa (region) which is adored by gods he obtains (the fruit of) a Vāja-peya and rejoices in heaven. Thence a man should go to Kāverī thronged by hosts of celestial nymphs. O king, having bathed there a man would obtain the fruit of (giving away) a thousand cows.
21-30a. He should, at that holy place of the ocean, bathe at Kanyātīrtha. O lord of kings, having bathed there, he is freed from all sins. Then, O lord of kings, having reached Gokarṇa in the sea, revered by people, where gods like Brahmā and others, all sages with penance as their wealth, goblins, yakṣas, ghosts, kinnaras with great serpents, siddhas, cāraṇas, gandharvas, human beings, snakes, rivers, oceans and mountains wait upon the lord of Umā, a man having fasted for three nights and having worshipped the lord (Śiva) obtains (the fruit of) ten horse sacrifices and the status of the chief of Śiva’s attendants. Having fasted for twelve nights, a man is blessed. There only is the place of Gāyatrī well-known in three worlds. Having stayed there for three nights a man would obtain the fruit of (having given away) a thousand cows. This is confirmed by direct evidence of brāhmaṇas, O king. A twice-born, born of the mixture of castes by unlawful inter-marriage, who recites the Gāyatrī (-hymn) there, is furnished with a religious verse or a song(?), O king. Sāvitrī, however, goes away from a non-brāhmaṇa reciting (Gāyatrī-hymn). O brāhmaṇa-sage, having reached the tank at Saṃvarta, difficult to be reached, a man partakes of handsomeness (i.e. becomes handsome) and becomes fortunate.
30b-31a. Thence having reached Veṇā he should offer oblations to the manes and deities. A man (thereby) obtains an aeroplane to which peacocks and swans are yoked.
31b-33a. Thence having reached Godāvarī always resorted to by siddhas, he obtains (the fruit of) a Gavāmaya and goes to the world of Vāyu. Having bathed at the confluence of Veṇā he would obtain the fruit of a Vājapeya. Having bathed at Varadāsaṅgama, he would obtain the fruit of (having given away) a thousand cows.
33b-39. A man having reached Brahmasthūṇā, and having fasted (there) for three nights, would obtain the fruit of (having given away) a thousand cows, and he goes to heaven. Being restrained and calm, he, having reached Kubjavana, and having fasted for three nights and bathed there, would obtain the fruit of (having donated) a thousand cows. Then having bathed (i.e. he should bathe) in Devahrada formed in the water of Kṛṣṇaveṇā, and also in Jyotirmātra tank, and in Kanyāśrama, where, having performed a hundred sacrifices, (Indra) the lord of gods, went to heaven. By merely going there, a man would obtain (the fruit of) a hundred Agniṣṭoma sacrifices. Having bathed in the Sarvadevahrada, he would obtain the fruit of (having donated) a thousand cows. A man having bathed in the Jātimātrahrada has (the faculty of) recollecting his former births. Then he should go to the tank (in) the very auspicious Payoṣṇī, the best of rivers. A man engaged in worshipping his manes and deities (there), would obtain the fruit of (having donated) a thousand cows. O great king, having reached Daṇḍaka-forest he should bathe there.
40-42. (He should also bathe) after going to the hermitage of Śarabhaṅga, and also of the magnanimous Śuka. He does not meet with a disaster, and purifies his own family. Thence he should go to Sūryāraka, resorted to by Jamadagni. A man having bathed at Rāmatīrtha would obtain much gold. Being controlled and having restrained his diet, he, after having bathed at Saptagodāvarī, obtains great religious merit, and goes to heaven.
43-52. Thence, being restrained and having controlled his diet, a man should go to (the holy place called) Devapatha. He obtains that merit which is obtained by performing (the sacrifice named) Devasatra. Being a religious student and with his senses controlled, he should reach Tuṅgakāraṇya where formerly the eloquent one taught the sages the Vedas that were lost. The son of the sage Aṅgiras formerly sat on the upper garments of the great sages, O descendant of Bharata. Due to Oṃkāra that was properly and correctly pronounced, that which was repeated (-ly thought) by a sage stood before him. There, the sages, the gods, Varuṇa, Agni, Prajāpati, god Hari Nārāyaṇa (i.e. Viṣṇu), Śiva, also the revered and very lustrous Brahmā, along with the gods appointed the very lustrous Bhṛgu to officiate as a priest at the sacrifice. Then the revered one settled all the sages according to the rite as observed by the gods and in the proper manner (in their proper positions). Gods and sages properly pleased by (their) portion of ghee went happily to the three worlds. O best king, the sin of a person—a woman or a man—who enters that forest, suddenly perishes. A wise man being controlled and with his diet restrained, should stay there for a month. (Thereby) he would go to Brahmā’s world and again purifies his family (also).
53-57a. Having reached Medhāvana, a man should offer oblations to manes and deities. (By doing so) he gets (the fruit of) an Agniṣṭoma (sacrifice), and also memory and intelligence. Having gone to Kālañjara there, he would obtain the fruit of (having donated) a thousand cows. O king, he should practice self-control on the Kālañjara mountain. The man is honoured in heaven. There is no doubt about it. Thence, O lord of people, having reached the river Mandākinī, that frees (people) from sins, on Citrakūṭa, the best of the mountains (he should bathe there). A man who bathes here and is engaged in worshipping manes and deities obtains the fruit of a horse sacrifice, and goes to the best position (i.e. salvation).
57b-62a. O lord of kings, thence he should go to the excellent Guhasthāna, where god Mahāsena (i.e. Kārtikeya) is always present, O king. O best of men, a man attains perfection merely by going there. A man having bathed at Koṭitīrtha obtains the fruit of (presenting) a thousand cows. Turning right, a man should go to Yaśaḥsthāna. Having gone to Mahādeva, he shines like the moon. O best of the Bharatas, there is a well-known tank where, O Yudhiṣṭhira, the four oceans dwell. O lord of kings, a man having bathed and circumambulated there, and being restrained and purified would go to the best state (i.e. salvation).
62b-64a. O best of Kurus, thence he should go to the great Śṛṅgaverapura where formerly the very wise Rāma, the son of Daśaratha, crossed (the river). A man observing chastity and with his senses controlled, has his sins shaken off and obtains (the fruit of) a Vājapeya after bathing in Gaṅgā.
64b-100. Thence he should go to the place of the intelligent god. Having approached Mahādeva, and having worshipped him, and having circumambulated, O king, a man would become the chief of the attendants of Śiva. O lord of kings, a man should thence go to Prayāga which is extolled by the sages, where gods like Brahmā and others, the quarters with the lords of quarters, the regents of the quarters, siddhas, the devoted manes, sages led by Sanatkumāra, also nāgas, suparṇas, siddhas, celibates, rivers, oceans, gandharvas, celestial nymphs (stay), and also the revered Viṣṇu led by Brahmā stays. There are three tanks. Among them (flows) Gaṅgā, honoured by the Holy Places and going beyond Prayāga. At that place, Yamunā, Sun’s daughter, purifying the world, and well-known in the three worlds, has joined Gaṅgā. The buttocks of earth are said to be between Gaṅgā and Yamunā. The sages know Prayāga to be the end of the buttocks, i.e. the lap. Prayāga has Pratiṣṭhāna (so also) both Kambala and Aśvatara. Similarly the holy place Bhogavatī is the altar of Prajāpati. O Yudhiṣṭhira, there Vedas and sacrifices, being embodied, wait upon Prajāpati; and the highly innocent sages and sovereigns offer sacrifices to gods, O king. O descendant of Bharata, there is nothing holier than that in the three worlds. O lord, Prayāga is superior to all holy places due to its glory. By hearing about that holy place, by mentioning its name, or by bowing (his) head (before it), a man is freed from all sins. He, of a severe vow, who bathes there at the confluence, obtains great religious merit of the Rājasūya and horse sacrifice. This is the place of sacrifices of the gods. The story about it (is): O descendant of Bharata, whatever little is given there, becomes great. Even by the words of gods or of people, you should not disregard your thought of dying at Prayāga. There are ten thousand holy places, and others sixty crores in number, the presence of (all of) which is said to be here only, O descendant of Kuru. A man, who bathes at the confluence of Gaṅgā and Yamunā, gets the same religious merit as accrues to one who has studied the four Vedas, or to those who speak the truth. Then there is the excellent holy place Bhogavatī of (i.e. sacred to) Vāsuki. He, who bathes there, would obtain (the fruit of) a horse sacrifice. There is the holy place (called) Haṃsaprapatana, well-known in the three worlds. There is also (the holy place called) Daśāśvamedhika on (the bank of) Gaṅgā, O descendant of Kuru. Here Gaṅgā has come down as at Kurukṣetra. A speciality is—at Kanakhala Prayāga becomes (a) great (holy place). If after doing a hundred bad deeds a man resorts to Gaṅgā, the water of Gaṅgā burns (i.e. removes) all those (sins) as fire burns fuel. The water of Gaṅgā burns (i.e. removes) all that as fire burns a heap of cotton. Every (holy place) is auspicious in Kṛtayuga; Puṣkara is said to be so in Tretāyuga. Kurukṣetra is said to be so in Dvāparayuga, and Gaṅgā in Kaliyuga. One should practice penance at Puṣkara and he should give a gift at Mahālaya. One should get onto (i.e. enter) fire at Malaya and anāśana(?) at Bhṛgutuṅga, and the water of Gaṅgā at Puṣkara, Kurukṣetra and the places in between (madhyageṣu?). A creature (thus) instantly liberates seven preceding and seven succeeding (members of his family). Gaṅgā, by her (mere) mention purifies sins; by being seen gives merit; by bathing (in the stream) and drinking her water she purifies the family up to the seventh member. O king, as long as the bone of a man touches the water of Gaṅgā, the man is honoured in heaven. As (already) mentioned, having resorted to the auspicious places and holy places, a man, obtaining religious merit, becomes a resident of the other world. “There is no holy place like Gaṅgā, there is no god greater than Viṣṇu, there is none superior to brāhmaṇas.” Thus spoke the Grandsire. That region, up to the limit of a yojana, where (i.e. through which) Gaṅgā flows, should be known as the region of siddhas (as) it has resorted to the bank of Gaṅgā. This is the truth in the minds of the twice-born and the good. A man should mutter (about) liberation into the ear of a viruous [virtous?] man or a follower. This is meritorious, this is pure, this leads to heaven, this gives happiness. This is the most holy, purifying, excellent way of life. This is the secret of the sages, which frees (a person) from all sins. Having studied in the midst of brāhmaṇas, he should secure purity. It is glorious, it leads to heaven, it is very meritorious, it puts an end to (one’s) enemies, it is auspicious. The description of the multitude of holy places is the best producer of intelligence. A man having no son gets a son. A poor man would obtain wealth. A king conquers the earth. A vaiśya would obtain wealth. A śūdra obtains his desired objects, and a brāhmaṇa who recites (the Vedas) masters them. He who would daily listen to this meritorious (account of) the holy places, which is always pure, obtains the (faculty of) recollecting his former births and rejoices in heaven.
101-106. I have described the holy places that are accessible and that are inaccessible. With a desire to visit all the holy places a man should even go to them mentally. (Visits to) these were undertaken by Vasus, Sādhyas, Ādityas, Maruts, Aśvins, sages like gods, desiring merit. O you descendant of Kuru, O you of a good vow, you too visit the holy places in this manner. Merit enhances by merit. The holy places are reached through piety and through the knowledge of the scriptures by the good people, whose senses are purified, and who follow the wise. A man who is not one who has not done (good) deeds, who is not foolish, who is not impure, who is not a thief, whose mind is not crooked (alone) bathes at the holy places, O descendant of Kuru. O dear one, you of a proper conduct, and always observing piety, have always gratified your manes and all paternal great-grandfathers, and all gods led by Brahmā and along with groups of sages.
107. You, O pious one, have always pleased (these) by means of your righteousness. On the earth you will obtain great, eternal fame like Dilīpa.
108. Speaking thus and advising (Yudhiṣṭhira), the revered sage Vasiṣṭha, being pleased, disappeared there only with a pleased mind.
109-123. O best of the Kurus, by perceiving the truth of the sacred treatises and by the words ofVasiṣṭha, Dilīpa crossed the earth. O glorious one, the very meritorious pilgrimage, freeing one from all sins, is effective in (i.e. by visiting) Pratiṣṭhāna. He who wanders over the earth in this manner, enjoys after death the entire fruit of a hundred horse sacrifices. O king, you will obtain eight times the excellent merit which formerly king Dilīpa had secured, O son of Kuntī. Since you will lead the sages, you will have eightfold fruit. O descendant of Bharata, these sacred places are crowded with the hosts of demons. O descendant of Kuru, nobody except you can have an access (to these places). He who, getting up at daybreak, would recite this account of the divine sages, depending on all the holy places, is freed from all sins. The principal sages like Vālmīki and Kaśyapa, Ātreya and Kauṇḍinya, Viśvāmitra and Gautama, Asita and Devala, Mārkaṇḍeya and Gālava, also Bharadvāja’s disciple, sage Uddālaka, Śaunaka with his son, Vyāsa the best among the ascetics, the best sage Durvāsas, Jābāli of great penance—all these best sages, with penance as their wealth, deserve to be respected by you. O glorious one, with them go to these sacred places. You will obtain great fame like king Mahābhiṣa. O best among the Kurus, with your righteousness you shine like the pious Yayāti or like king Purūravas, like king Bhagīratha or like Rāma, who was well-known. As formerly (Indra), the killer of Vṛtra, and the king of gods, burnt (i.e. destroyed) all his enemies, and being free from distress, protected the three worlds, so you will protect your subjects after destroying your enemies. O lotus-eyed one, having obtained the earth secured by your good works, you will obtain fame like Kārtavīrya Arjuna.
124-127. Having spoken like this, and having advised holy great king, the revered sage Nārada disappeared there only. The lord of the earth, Yudhiṣṭhira, of a good vow, respectfully visited along with the sages all the sacred places. O all sages, he who would recite or listen to the account about the pilgrimage told by me, becomes free from all sins. I have told you the entire fact. What more do you want to hear? There is nothing that cannot be told by me about the sages of pious fame.