The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the greatness of gandika which is chapter 75 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 seventy-fifth 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.

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 75 - The Greatness of Gaṇḍikā

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Mahādeva said:

1-11. O goddess, I shall properly tell you the greatness of Gaṇḍikā. O daughter of the (Himālaya) mountain, as Gaṅgā is, so she is. Similarly many Śālagrāma stones are found there. So also her greatness is told by the best sages. There are birds, plants, insects and viviparous beings that are meritorious just on account of seeing her, O Pārvatī. That great river Gaṇḍikā rises in the north. O daughter of the (Himālaya) mountain, she, being remembered again and again destroys sins. There god Nārāyaṇa, causing welfare, always exists. Those, holders of conches and discs, who live near him, have, after reaching Death, had four arms and divine forms. Sages stay there, and especially gods, Rudras, serpents, so also yakṣas. No doubt should be raised in this matter. Near it is a place of raised ground, having the form of Viṣṇu. At this place, there is an image of many forms, giving salvation. There are twenty-four species of beings there. One is of the form of a fish and another, a black figure, the giver of salvation, is said to be there at the place called Viṣṇu by the wise. There is (another figure) called Kalki and tawny (in colour), (as is) told by me. Many other figures of various shapes are also seen there. All these various figures, of different forms stand there. She is Gaṅgā. She is great. She is auspicious. She gives merit, desired objects and salvation.

12-26. In that land, Viṣṇu, accompanied by me, definitely stays even now. There is no doubt about this. A man is free merely by her touch from all sins like causing an abortion, killing a child, and especially killing a cow. Brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, śūdras, so also (men of) other castes—all of them are freed on seeing the water of Gaṇḍikā. This (river) is holy like (the river) Veṇī—especially so for the sinners. (Even) the killer of a brāhmaṇa is freed there, what, to say about others! O Pārvatī, always, at all times I go (there). Brahmā has indeed said that this is the king of holy places. Sages have bathed and given gifts there. O beautiful lady, in Āṣāḍha, on an auspicious occasion,Igo there. For a month I duly bathe there; I also continuously mutter (the hymn) which emancipates (a being). Therefore, since I had gone to the place holy to Viṣṇu, I became a devotee of Viṣṇu. This very great holy place was formerly fashioned by Viṣṇu. It gives a good position to Viṣṇu’s devotees. It is said to be very purifying. O goddess, it is always very difficult to be born as a human being in this mundane existence. The holy place on (the bank of) Gaṇḍikā is not easily accessible. To reach the place holy to Viṣṇu is (still) more difficult. Therefore, the best brāhmaṇas should go (there) in the month of Āṣāḍha. Having gone there, the best brāhmaṇas should especially put on the marks of conches, discs etc. That is said to be (a) very pure (act). The holy mark of a conch should be (put) on the left (arm), the mark of a disc should be (put) on the right arm. This is said to give salvation to brāhmaṇas. (The marks) should be carefully put on. Especially the brāhmaṇas should put on the marks of conches and discs. When the mark is put on, those men belong to Viṣṇu. O you beautiful lady, there is no other holy place like Gaṇḍakī. There is no other vow like Dvādaśī. There is no other god like Viṣṇu. (I am) repeatedly (telling this). Those best men who listen to the greatness of Gaṇḍikā, enjoy happiness in this world, and (after death) go to Viṣṇu’s world.

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