by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291
This page describes description of shrishaila which is chapter 19 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 nineteenth chapter of the Uttara-Khanda (Concluding Section) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.
2-9. O king, listen; I shall describe the best mountain Śrīśaila, hearing about which people are free from such sins as killing a child. The grove on the mountain is charming and is resorted to by sages. It is full of many trees and creepers adorned with various kinds of flowers. It is resounding with the notes of swans and cuckoos. The mountain grove is made fragrant with śrī trees, kapittha trees, śirīṣa and raja trees. So also with pārijātaka flowers and with kadambas and udumbaras, with many fragrant flowers. It is very much resorted to by all the wives of the sages with their disciples. Some are engaged in studies and some in lectures. Some there have raised their hands; others are standing on their toes. Some are engrossed in meditation upon Śiva; others are devoted to Viṣṇu. Some are not eating anything; some are given to eating leaves. Some eat bulbs, roots and fruits; others have observed the vow of silence. Some are standing on one foot; some are sitting in the Padmāsana posture. Some, eating no food, have practised very difficult penance.
10-13. There are auspicious hermitages and various beautiful rivers. There are many natural ponds and many tanks. O great king, all around is indeed seen the mountain, on which, O king, Mallikārjuna always remains. On top of the mountain is the charming peak, on merely seeing which peak (one gets) salvation. There is no doubt about it. Resorting to (i.e. in) the south stands the best mountain. Here is very beautiful Pātālagaṅgā.
14-18. Merely by bathing there (i.e. in it) a man is free from great sins. On seeing the peak of Śrīśaila, on dying at Vārāṇasī and on drinking water at Kedāra certainly there is no rebirth. It is a great place of the ascetics and meditating saints. Therefore, with every effort one should see it. This is Vijñānadeva (god of wisdom). He destroys great sins. There is the charming city Siddhapura giving divine pleasures, in which celestial damsels sing and rejoice. Therefore, this best mountain gives joy on seeing it. Those men who desire salvation, should see it.
Footnotes and references:
Padmāsana: A particular posture in religious meditation. In it the left foot is placed on the right thigh. Then the right foot is placed on the left thigh.