by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes The Glory of Gomati Kunda which is chapter 62 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 sixty-second chapter of the Avantikshetra-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
2-8. O highly intelligent one, listen to the story of the origin of Gomatīkuṇḍa. It is highly destructive of sins. It is a meritorious story formerly narrated by Rudra.
Pañcakrośī (the tract of land extending to five Krośas, i.e. Vārāṇasī) being between Asī and Varaṇā is productive of great benefits. Even the immortal ones desire death (there). What need be said about other people!
9-10. On hearing this firm assertion, the sages beginning with Śaunaka, those sages of accepted vows wherever they were stationed, decided to perform early morning Sandhyā prayers there itself on the banks of Gomatī. Sāndīpana (Sāndīpani) also performed his morning Sandhyā prayers there itself.
11-13. Sāndīpana, a resident of the city of Avantī observed this vow for a long time, O Vyāsa. Balarāma and Janārdana of fine and tender limbs came to his place to become his students seeking the lores (but actually) for the sake of fulfilling his desires.
O scorcher of enemies(?), they stayed in the house of the teacher himself who taught all lores perfectly and all the Vedas too.
14-18. Everyday in the morning the preceptor was not seen there. They asked, “This is the time for teaching the lores; where has our excellent preceptor gone?”
The wife of the preceptor replied, “O dear one, he performs his Sandhyā prayers and worship in the morning there itself. Your preceptor goes there in the morning for the purpose of holy ablution. In Dvārakā Gomatī is the most excellent one of all rivers. It is holy.”
On hearing this Kṛṣṇa in the company of Rāma thought (said) thus, ‘What should be done by us in our best interest? I wish that the preceptor arrives soon. I wish to stay here itself.’ In the meantime Sāndīpani came home.
19. Thereupon the two heroic (boys) rose up and saluted the preceptor with great humility and said to the preceptor:
20-26. “Let this be heard, O great Yogin, the reason for our stay here. We have come here to your excellent house as seekers of learning. O venerable one, (it seems) you have no time for us in the morning.” On hearing these words of Kṛṣṇa and Bala, the venerable one, O Vyāsa, told the reason of his holy observance: “O dear one, this Vrata is considered by us as the perpetual (lifelong) Vrata. The ablution in Gomatī must be performed always by the wise ones in the morning. Performing worship there during twilight is definitely meritorious. After realizing this whatever course is proper can be adopted by you.”
Gomatī came there where Lord Śiveśvara was installed and where the excellent Yajña Kuṇḍa (sacrificial pit) was in the northern side of Kanthaḍeśvara. She came along with Sarasvatī after breaking through the upper surface of Pātāla.
27. Waking up in the morning, O Vyāsa, all of them saw the beautiful Gomatī, the most excellent one among rivers, flowing by their hermitage.
Srī Kṛṣṇa said:
28-32. O holy Sir, Gomatī, the most excellent one among rivers, has come here itself. Perform here itself all your rites of Snāna, Dāna etc. Gomatī has merged into the Yajña Kuṇḍa here. So did Sarasvatī.
Ever since then it is called Gomatī Kuṇḍa in the world. The path for all the worlds is here itself. Hence, O Vyāsa, this is highly meritorious and excellent Tīrtha on the earth. Thus Gomatī Kuṇḍa has been described. It is destructive of all sins.
On the eighth day in the dark half of the Bhādra month, Kṛṣṇa’s birth day (is celebrated). Devotees shall take holy dip there on that day and keep awake at night. After due observance of fast, O Vyāsa, they shall duly worship Vyāsa with his disciples(?)
33-39. They should propitiate the excellent devotees of Viṣṇu eager to celebrate Kṛṣṇa’s birthday with various sweet-smelling flowers, scents, garments and ornaments. Along with it, they should worship cows and Brāhmaṇas with mental purity and concentration. Nothing shall be of difficulty of achievement to them in all the worlds.
There is no doubt in this that they will achieve their desires due to the merit arising from the holy ablution in Gomatī and the contact with Vāsudeva.
Similarly in the bright half of the month of Caitra on the Ekādaśī (eleventh) day, a devotee should take his bath in Gomatī and keep awake during the night. After adoring Viṣṇu, he should offer Āmalakī (Indian gooseberry) and derive at every step during circumambulation (the benefit of donating a thousand cows). All of them will obtain it (the benefit of donating a thousand cows). There is no doubt about this.
Those who hear this sacred and sanctifying story that destroys sins, shall be rid of all their sins and go to the world of Viṣṇu.
Footnotes and references:
The author seems to follow Pūrṇimānta Māsa (month-end on a full-moon day).
These two Vyāsas appear to belong to two different Kalpas.