The Skanda Purana
by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes The Greatness of Various Tirthas at Badari which is chapter 8 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the eighth chapter of the Badarikashrama-mahatmya of the Vaishnava-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Chapter 8 - The Greatness of Various Tīrthas at Badarī
[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]
1. To the south of Brahmakuṇḍa is the great mountain Narāvāsa (‘Abode of Nara’). It is there that Meru which is the most beautiful in the world was fixed by the Lord.
2. How was Meru fixed by the Lord near Nara? O father, my curiosity is great. Let it be narrated if you like it.
3-6. When the Lord himself transferred his residence to Viśālā, Devas, great sages, Siddhas, Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas left the peaks of Meru because they were eager to see the Lord.
On account of the delight caused to them by the sight of the Lord they abandoned heaven. Then, O Six-faced One, for their happiness (and convenience) the Lord uprooted the peaks of Meru with his single hand playfully and placed them (at Viśālā). Thereby the Lord increased the pleasure of all. Then all of them saw the mountain made of gold. They all were delighted; they eulogized Nārāyaṇa who is devoid of ailments.
7. We pay our obeisance to that Lord of fierce splendour and power of penance, who assumes sportingly many bodies for our happiness as well as for the rest of the world, who brought the golden mountain here, who conquers hundreds of demons, and who solely belongs to the side of Suras.
8. The Lord destroys out of compassion the distress of the miserable like fire reducing to ash even a mountain of cotton. He is the supporter of those who seek refuge in him; he is the most excellent one among those who know the one (and our Lord). Let him be pleased with us by whatever he does out of kindness. Whatever he does has never been imitated by any person.
9. Like a father he gives us perfect training and makes us lofty-minded. He is kind and full of his own acquisition. His glances are efficient in the protection of the three worlds. He is the ocean full of nectar. Let him protect (us) from adversities.
The sages said:
10. The entire universe is superimposed on him. It is only an implement for his sports. It appears to be true. There is a mass of splendour on the face of the unborn Lord of great plenty. He is the Lord whose form is resorted to (by all). We bow down to you, O eternal Being.
11. Great men have attained Siddhi due to an iota of his kindness. Other men of the world too have crossed the terrible ocean of worldly existence without delay. This is our considered opinion.
12. O Lord endowed with a host of good qualities, O Lord with welfare as your form (i.e. whose form is conducive to welfare), O great Lord, O cause.of continuous series of honour, is there any wonder that those who are inebriated with the sweet flavour of the liquor (extracted) from your lotus-feet stay completely satisfied?
13. Thereupon the delighted Lord (appeared) before those heaven-dwellers. On being told “Choose your boons”, they said to (the Lord) who is the most eminent among the bestowers of boons:
14-16. “If (you) the Lord of Devas, the Lord of Ramā, are really pleased, Badarī should never be abandoned by you, nor should Meru too. Those who see the peak of Meru are meritorious persons. With your favour let their residence be on Meru itself. After enjoying the pleasures there for a long time, let them become merged in you.”
Saying “so be it” Hari vanished there itself.
17. Ever since then all of them began to sport about on the peak of Meru. They were being protected repeatedly near Nara and Nārāyaṇa.
18. They used to stay in heaven for some time and some time in the middle of Meru. The sages and ascetics were devoid of distress and fear. They were not excited or agitated.
19. The Lord too stays there in the form of (the sage) Nara holding the bow and arrows. The glorious Lord is comparable to fire on account of (the brilliance of) his penance. He resorts to penance and causes bliss to the multitudes of sages.
20. Beyond that is the excellent Tīrtha saluted by the Guardians of the Quarters. Hari himself established the Guardians of the Quarters there.
21. How were the Guardians of the Quarters established there by the Lord? O dear father, I have great curiosity and eagerness in regard to it. O highly intelligent one, recount it (to me).
22. Once, while bringing those who had resorted to the middle of Meru here, Hari was eager to see the activities of Devas and the chief sages.
23-27. On seeing him the heaven-dwellers got up suddenly and bowed down to him. All of them humbly said, “O Lord, be pleased”.
The Lord halted there for a moment and duly surveyed the scanty place there. He thought that the proximity of the sages and the Devas was not proper. Then Lord Madhusūdana called the Guardians of the Quarters and laughingly said to them: “Persons like you should not stay here. Indeed the sages, ascetics and Siddhas stay here along with their womenfolk. The abode of persons like you has already been well-arranged by me.”
Then Hari hurriedly went to the beautiful and excellent mountain. O Guha, he called the Guardians of the Quarters and established them there.
28. Desirous of water, he hit the mountain with a piece of rock. Thereby he created a charming pond for their sport.
29-30. There Devas roam about as they please along with their wives. Gandharvas sing and rejoice. The forests and parks of heaven-dwellers were fascinating with the fragrance of flowers. All the embodied beings spend the days happily as though they were so many moments.
31. Delighting them, the Lord himself comes there to take his holy bath on the twelfth day as well as full-moon day.
32. After that, all the sages and ascetics take their bath, O Guha, according to the injunctions, at midday. They see with their own eyes the great fiery splendour in the waters moving without any obstruction.
33. By seeing Daṇḍapuṣkariṇī they obtain instantaneously the merit which is said to be equal to that of taking the holy bath in all the Tīrthas.
34. All the rites performed for some desired results by the wise become fruitful there. The offering of riceballs there has eight times the benefit than that at Gayā.
35-36 Yajña, charity, penance and holy rite when performed there on the twelfth day in the bright half of the month of Jyeṣṭha, O Six-faced One, are said to be everlasting, since one becomes blessed and contented by taking the holy bath in accordance with the injunctions (there on that day). This secret is well guarded by the excellent Suras in regard to Badarītīrtha. This should not be disclosed to anyone and everyone. It was out of love for you that it has been mentioned to you.
37. Why should much be spoken about it here? Only those with plenty of merit see this famous holy place well-guarded by Suras. Not others. They will not even think about this. O Guha; Devas think about this everyday.
38. If people have performed all holy rites for the Lord in accordance with the religious injunctions and if they have regularly studied the Vedas, they see the rare Tīrtha named Daṇḍoda (i.e. Daṇḍa Puṣkariṇī). Otherswise it is not seen well.
39. There has never been and there will never be a Tīrtha greater than Daṇḍodaka, a god like Viṣṇu and a holy spot on a par with Viśālā.
40. Viśālā should be resorted to by clever devotees with great determination if they wish to be always near the Lord.
41. What are those Tīrthas which are connected with Gaṅgā and are conducive to welfare in the region of good people? Recount them briefly to me.
42. The Tīrtha in the vicinity of Mānasodbheda where Gaṅgā comes in contact, is devoid of impurities. It is meritorious. It is, superior to Prayāga.
43. Merely by talcing there bath at the confluence of Gaṅgā, men obtain as much merit as is obtained by performing penance while taking in only air for thirty thousand years.
44. The Tīrtha to the south of the confluence is glorified as Dharmakṣetra. It is reported that the sages Nara and Nārāyaṇa were born of Mūrti there.
45. That holy spot is very sacred in the human world. It is the most excellent of all excellent holy spots. There alone does the Holy Lord Dharma stand on all his four feet.
46. If Yajña, penance or charity are performed by men there—whatever that may be, the merit thereof is not destroyed even in the course of hundreds and crores of Kalpas.
47. To the south of it is the Tīrtha named Urvaśīsaṅgama. Merely by taking holy bath there all the sins of men and embodied beings are destroyed.
48. Beyond that is Kūrmoddhāra. It is the sole means for devotion to Hari. By taking bath therein all living beings will gain purity of nature.
49. Next to it is the holy spot named Brahmāvarta. It is the sole and direct cause (of attaining) the world of Brahmā. Only by visiting the Tīrtha all the sins will be destroyed.
50. There are many Tīrthas here. But they are not easily approachable to embodied beings. O dear one, it has been briefly recounted because of my considerateness for you.
51. He who always listens to this, or he who recites this or reads this with mental purity and concentration shall get rid of all sins. He attains the region of Viṣṇu.
52. A king gains victory; he who seeks a son gets a son; he who prays for a daughter gets a daughter; a virgin obtains a good husband.
53. He who seeks wealth gets wealth that is the sole means for the fulfilment of all desires.
54. If a man devoutly listens to this for a full month with concentration and purity, there is no doubt that what is wished for by him will be acquired even if it is rare.
55. Where this (text of) the greatness (of Badarī) is present, there is no danger from mental worry or physical ailment or trouble, poverty or strife. All these are not present at all in the houses where this (text of) greatness (of Badarī) is present.
56. There is no premature death, nor danger from serpents etc. There is no ill-luck or mishap. There is no bad dream or affliction caused by evil spirits. There is no danger (of invasion) from other nations.
57-58. In the event of a battle, at the time of a journey, during marriage, when there is a case pending in court and during auspicious holy rites this (Purāṇa) should be carefully read by clever devotees—either the whole book or a chapter or half of that. All tasks shall be fruitful. There is no doubt about this.
:: End of Badarikāśrama-Māhātmya ::
Footnotes and references:
VV 51-58 give the Phalaśruti (the benefit accruing from listening, reciting etc.) of Badarikāśrama-Māhātmya.