by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes The Glory of Lakshmitirtha: Dharmaputra Obtains Unlimited Wealth which is chapter 21 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 twenty-first chapter of the Setu-mahatmya of the Brahma-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Śrī Sūta said:
1. After taking the holy bath in the Tīrtha named Jaṭātīrtha that is destructive of all sins and the means of getting the soul purified, a pilgrim should go to Lakṣmītīrtha.
2. With whatever desire in view a man takes his bath in Lakṣmītīrtha he attains the desired object, O excellent Brāhmaṇas.
3. It destroys great poverty. It bestows plenty of food-grains. It subdues great miseries and it increases vast wealth and fortune.
The sages asked:
5. O great sage, tell us how, by taking his holy plunge in Lakṣmītīrtha at the instance of Kṛṣṇa, Dharmaputra obtained prosperity.
Śrī Sūta replied:
7-8. Once Kṛṣṇa went to Indraprastha on a visit to them. On seeing him arrived, those Pāṇḍavas eagerly received him with great joy and took him to their abode. Kṛṣṇa stayed in that excellent city for some time.
10. O Kṛṣṇa, O Kṛṣṇa of great intellect, tell me, O highly intelligent one, by whaṭ holy rite do men obtain great prosperity.
On being enquired thus by Dharmaputra, Kṛṣṇa told Yudhiṣṭhira: Śrīkṛṣṇa said:
11-15a. O illustrious Dharmaputra, there is a Tīrtha on the Gandhamādana mountain, well-known by the name Lakṣmītīrtha. It is the sole cause of prosperity. Do take your holy bath there. You will become prosperous. By taking the holy bath there, riches increase and food-grains flourish in plenty. All enemies perish. The valour of the (devotees) increases.
Formerly Devas took their holy bath in the meritorious Tīrtha named Lakṣmītīrtha. By the merit thereof, O Dharmaputra, they obtained all prosperity.
15b-18. Men who regularly take their holy bath in that Tīrtha, will get before long, earth, wealth and virtue. Do not have any doubt in this regard. O son of Pāṇḍu, by taking the holy plunge in Lakṣmītīrtha wealth is obtained in the same manner as (it is got) through austerities, sacrifices, charitable gifts and blessings. All sins perish and all obstacles disappear always. By resorting to Lakṣmītīrtha, all ailments are cured completely and abundant welfare is obtained in the world. There is no doubt about this.
21-22. Hence, O prominent king, you too, in the company of your younger brothers, the chief of whom is Bhīma, take your holy bath in Lakṣmītīrtha that bestows auspiciousness and welfare. You will (thereby) acquire great fortune and conquer enemies. No doubt need be entertained in this matter, O my father’s sister’s son, O Dharmaputra.
23. On being told thus by Kṛṣṇa, Dharmaputra of a wonderful appearance, immediately went to the Gandhamādana mountain along with his younger brothers.
24. Then he went to Lakṣmītīrtha, the cause of great prosperity. There, along with his younger brothers Yudhiṣṭhira observed all the requisite rites and took his holy bath.
25. Along with his younger brothers and strictly adhering to all holy observances, he took his baths for the period of a month in the waters of Lakṣmītīrtha destructive of all sins.
26. He gave plenty of cows, plots of lands, gingelly seeds, gold and other things to Brāhmaṇas. Thereafter Dharmaputra returned to Indraprastha along with his younger brothers.
27-33. Then Yudhiṣṭhira wished to perform Rājasūya sacrifice. Dharmaputra who was desirous of performing the sacrifice invited Kṛṣṇa.
On being invited through a messenger of Dharmaputra, Kṛṣṇa hurriedly came to Indraprastha accompanied by Satyabhāmā riding in a swift chariot yoked with four horses.
On seeing him arrived, Dharmaputra joyously mentioned to Kṛṣṇa about his preparations for Rājasūya. Kṛṣṇa permitted him by saying, “Let it be done so”.
He then spoke to Dharmaputra these words with cogent arguments: “O virtuous nephew of my father, listen to my beneficial words. This Rājasūya sacrifice cannot be easily performed by all kings. Only a king who has many hundreds of foot-soldiers, chariots, elephants and horses deserves to perform this Yajña. No one else. At the outset all the ten quarters should be conquered by you with your own might.
34. Excellent tribute must be levied (and collected) from the defeated enemies. This excellent sacrifice should be performed by means of that collection of gold.
35. I am encouraging you. I am not frightening or warning you because I know cogent reasons. Hence before beginning the sacrifice, begin the conquest of the quarters.”
36. On hearing the wholesome advice of Kṛṣṇa, Dharmaputra praised the son of Devakī and called his younger brothers.
37-40. After, calling all his four brothers, Dharmaputra spoke to them making them glad: “O Bhīma, O mighty one, O Dhanañjaya of great heroism, O twin brothers of tender limbs always ready to destroy the enemies, I wish to perform the great Yajña called Rājasūya. That (sacrifice) should be performed after conquering all the kings in battle. Hence all the four of you along with your vast armies do go to the four quarters to conquer the kings. All of you are valourous and heroic. I shall perform the great sacrifice with the riches brought by you all.”
41-48. On being told thus with great enthusiasm the younger brothers of Dharmaputra, the chief among whom was Bhīma, became delighted. In order to conquer the kings, Pāṇḍavas started from the city and went in all directions.
All of them conquered those kings present in all the four directions. The sons of Pāṇḍu brought those kings under their control. They took with them vast wealth of various sorts given by them (i.e. kings) and hurriedly reached their city where they had Kṛṣṇa to support them.
Bhīma of great strength and valour came there to the excellent city with gold weighing a hundred Bhāras. Then Arjuna of great strength and power came to Indraprastha taking with him a thousand Bhāras of gold. Similarly Nakula of great refulgence came to the excellent city of Indraprastha taking with him a hundred Bhāras of gold.
49. Kṭṣṇa, (the leader) of the Yādavas, gave Dharmaputra hundreds and thousands and hundred thousands of gold pieces.
50-51. With the unlimited wealth brought by his younger brothers and the innumerable riches (gold pieces) given by Kṛṣṇa, Yudhiṣṭhira who had the support of Kṛṣṇa, O Brāhmaṇas, performed the Rājasūya sacrifice. The son of Pāṇḍu gave monetary gifts to Brāhmaṇas as much as they wished.
52. Yudhiṣṭhira gave foodstuffs to the Brāhmaṇas. Similarly he gave them clothes, cows, plots of land as well as ornaments.
53. Dharmaputra gave the suppliants the quantity of gold, etc. twice as much again as they would be ordinarily contented with.
54. Even crores of Brahmās could not keep an account of the unlimited wealth thus distributed and could not say that this much of gold and wealth of diverse kinds has been given to the seekers of wealth.
55. On seeing the riches being given to the seekers, the people said that everything he possessed was given away by the king.
56-60. On seeing the inexhaustible treasures with infinite number of jewels and gold pieces, the people said that only a little fraction had been given to the suppliants.
After performing the Rājasūya sacrifice thus, Dharmaputra and his younger brothers rejoiced in that excellent city with flourishing wealth.
It was due to the power of Lakṣmītīrtha that Yudhiṣṭhira, the son of Dharma, got everything, O Brāhmaṇas.
Oh, what a glory of the Tīrtha! This Tīrtha is of great merit. It suppresses great poverty. It yields wealth and food-grains to men. It destroys great sins. It dispels (the fear of) the great Narakas. It causes great miseries to recede.
61-64. It yields salvation and heavenly pleasures perpetually. It grants excellent wives and good sons to men. It relieves men of their indebtedness. A Tīrtha on a par with this has never existed before, nor will there ever exist.
Thus, O Brāhmaṇas, the glory of Lakṣmītīrtha has been described to you. It destroys bad dreams. It is meritorious. It achieves all that the devotees desire.
He who reads this chapter or listens to this with devotion shall be prosperous with wealth and plenty of fooḍgrains. There is no doubt at all. After enjoying all pleasures here, he shall attain salvation after death.
Footnotes and references:
Untraced in Mbh, VR, PE & PI.