by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291
This page describes the greatness of prayaga which is chapter 41 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 forty-first 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. O revered sir, I desire to hear how in the former kalpa men went there to Prayāga. What is the course of (i.e. for) the dead there? What is the fruit which those who bathe there get? Tell me also the fruit which those who stay in Prayāga get. Tell me all this. I have great curiosity.
3-22. O lord, O dear, I shall tell you what is desirable, and what is (its) fruit, which I heard while being told to brāhmaṇas and sages in olden days. From Prayāga, Pratiṣṭhāna, up to Dharmakī Vāsukī pool, there are the two nāgas. This is the region of (i.e. sacred to) Prajāpati, which is known in the three worlds. Having bathed here men go to heaven. Those that die here are not reborn. There gods like Brahmā, having come together protect (everything). There are many other holy places which destroy all sins. O king, it is not possible to describe them even by (spending) many hundred years. I shall give you the description of Prayāga in brief. Sixty thousand bows protect the Jāhnavī (i.e. Gaṅgā). The Sun with the seven horses always protects Yamunā. Indra himself particularly protects Prayāga. Viṣṇu, along with the gods, protects the highly esteemed region. Maheśvara (i.e. Śiva), with the trident in his hand, always protects that (famous) Vaṭa. The god protects the auspicious place which removes all sins. Men given to impiety do not go to that place. O king, all that sin—small or smaller—of a man who remembers Prayāga vanishes. A man, merely by seeing that holy place, or even by uttering its name, or even by taking clay from there, is free from sin. O lord of kings, there are five pools in (i.e. through) which Gaṅgā (flows). The sin of a man goes away the moment he enters Prayāga. A man who remembers Gaṅgā within a distance of thousands of yojanas, gets the highest position (i.e. salvation), even if he is a man of wicked deeds. By reciting (the name of Gaṅgā) a man is free from sins. By seeing (her) he sees (i.e. gets) happiness. By bathing in and drinking (the water of Gaṅgā) he purifies his family up to the seventh (descendant). A man who is truthful, who has conquered his anger, who has greatly resorted to harmlessness, who follows the proper course of conduct, who knows the truth, who is engaged in the well-being of cows and brāhmaṇas, is freed from sin after bathing in between (i.e. at the confluence of) Gaṅgā and Yamunā. He properly obtains many objects that he has thought of in his mind. Thence having gone to Prayāga, he should live there with restraint for a month and should offer oblations to gods. (Thereby) he gets his desired objects and is everywhere born in a high family. God Maheśvara is always actually present where the illustrious goddess Yamunā, the daughter of the Sun, well-known in the three worlds, goes. O Yudhiṣṭhira, the auspicious Prayāga is difficult to be reached by human beings. O lord of kings, having bathed there, gods, demons, gandharvas, sages, siddhas and cāraṇas, are honoured in heaven.