by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,142,515 words
This page describes The Greatness of Bhrigukaccha Tirtha which is chapter 182 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 one hundred eighty-second chapter of the Reva-khanda of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:
“The entire earth as well as the mobile and immobile beings are supported by you. Further, O highly intelligent one, you remained there with meritorious feelings.
I shall establish an institute of the four lores with the help and collaboration of Śrī. O Lord, if you consent to this, then give me the necessary directions.”
Thus, O excellent Brāhmaṇa, there will be a city named after me. It will be well-established on me for a long time. It will be immovable and steady. O dear one; O fair-eyed one, you need not be afraid.
On hearing these splendid words coming out from the mouth of the Kacchapa, Bhṛgu, the son of the Lotus-born One, became delighted and contented. So also was Śrī. When it dawned he dressed himself auspiciously. O descendant of King Bharata, in the year called Nandana, on the fifth lunar day in the month of Māgha, in the splendid conjunction of Uttarā, when the lunar sphere was in Kuṃbha (Aquarius), on the majestic northern bank of Revā, the excellent Sage Bhṛgu made that holy spot filled with hundreds of palaces. It faced the west and the region extended to the north and east. It had a crore of Tīrthas and the holy spot altogether extended to a Krośa (3 Kms.). The sage who was endowed with the power of penance thought of Viśvakarmā (for assistance) and completed it without any delay in a short while.
Thus the holy spot chosen by Śrī was highly delightful and pleasant. O dear one, this holy spot that is destructive of sins was made by Bhṛgu.
Thus is the origin of Bhṛgukaccha.
Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:
(She said:) “Keep the place safely. O sage of good vows, keep this spot of mine.”
Her own house with all the apartments and the things therein and the keys thereof were demanded by her. O son of Kuntī, Bhṛgu falsely denied everything.
O King, thus a great dispute arose, each claiming “This is mine”, “This is mine.” After a long time, Bhṛgu gathered a great congregation of the Brāhmaṇas well-versed in the four Vedas (four lores) for the sake of authorisation.
He said, “O fawn-eyed beautiful lady, this entire city is mine. The Brāhmaṇas well-versed in the four Vedas know it.”
O eminent Brāhmaṇa, undoubtedly all the four castes are my authority. Let the excellent Brāhmaṇas say whether it is mine or yours.
Thereafter, all the scholars discussed with one another, after surveying the place under dispute. Among all those eighteen thousand Brāhmaṇas, all those eighteen thousand abstained from making any decisive answer.
As they were afraid of the anger of Bhṛgu, ultimately this was said, “He who has the key in his hand possesses this.”
On hearing this decision made by the Vedic scholars, the goddess was overwhelmed with great anger. She cursed those leading Brāhmaṇas:
Śrī Devī said:
23-33. Since with minds overcome by greed you have completely rejected the truth and my legitimate seat has been denied to me, listen to my words:
Learning will extend only to three generations. Wealth will not go over to the third generation. O Brāhmaṇas, a second Veda will not be yours even if read (your knowledge will be limited to one Veda). The houses will not have two storeys. O Brāhmaṇas, prosperity will not be steady; your pious rites are based on partiality and not on feelings for welfare.
One member of the family whose mind is overwhelmed with greed has been made the favourite. One cannot be true by setting aside the claim of the two.
“From now onwards, arrogance will be predominant in the case of all Brāhmaṇas. Neither father is pleased with the words of son nor son is pleased with the activities of father. Undoubtedly all will be swayed with arrogance.”
After cursing thus, Goddess Ramā immediately went to heaven. When Lakṣmī had gone, the Devas and pure (sinless) Brāhmaṇa-Sages said: “This place is vitiated by anger and avarice.”
On seeing that the goddess, the sages and the ascetics had gone, the highly powerful Bhṛgu was much distressed.
In due course of time, he spoke thus to the delight of the excellent Sage Bhṛgu: “O eminent Brāhmaṇa, why are you distressed? What is the cause of your grief? Even when I am pleased, O sinless one, why should you have this state? Tell me”.
Earlier Lakṣmī cursed all the Brāhmaṇas and went away. Thereupon, the Devas pronounced this spot unholy and went away too.
34-45. As has already been said by me, and it cannot be otherwise, this is the place of anger. Listen to another point too.
The Brāhmaṇas hailing from that holy place with my favour, will hereafter be devoid of great fear. They will be masters of all scriptural texts. They will conclude the valedictory baths after observing the vows connected with Veḍic learning. Even those hundreds and thousands who came here hurriedly (will do so). O excellent Bhṛgu, if a fool does not learn and gets involved in various miserable states to him even Śakra is not capable of granting anything.
This spot will be Koṭitīrtha (having a crore of Tīrthas), destructive of all sins from now onwards, O great Brāhmaṇa, undoubtedly.
A man who takes his holy bath in Vṛṣakhāta and adores Maheśvara, will undoubtedly get the benefit of a sacrifice called Sarvamedha (a Yajña without Soma). If a man takes his holy bath in Bhṛgutīrtha and offers libation to Pitṛs and Devatās, they become propitiated and enjoy peace for twelve years.
O excellent Brāhmaṇa, with my favour this Bhṛgukṣetra will be resorted to by all the Devas and will be on a par with Kurukṣetra etc.
If at the time of a solar eclipse a devotee makes a golden barley, places it on the head and takes his holy bath in Bhṛgukṣetra, O excellent Brāhmaṇa, know without worry that he is one who has taken his holy bath in Kurujāṅgala.
46-57. I will stay here. My beloved Aṃbikā, the goddess who destroys all miseries, will stay here under the name Saubhāgyasundarī (the beautiful goddess of conjugal felicity). I will stay with that goddess in Bhṛgukaccha.
After saying thus, the Lord as well as Aṃbika stayed there at Bhṛgukaccha.
One who takes his holy bath there in the Tīrtha and performs all rites in the month of Caitra, worships Saubhāgyasundarī and offers salt to a Brāhmaṇa or cows, plots of land and gold to many Brāhmaṇas uttering the Mantra, “May Lalitā and Śiva be pleased”, does not become miserable or wretched. A woman does not get separated from her husband, O great king, by taking the bath in Bhṛgutīrtha.
O excellent king, listen to the benefit that one obtains, O son of Pāṇḍu, who daily visits Lord Bhṛgu along with the deities established there upto Brahmasadana (abode of Brahmā). He gets certainly the benefit of offering to a Brāhmaṇa who has observed all vows, an excellent, young, tawny-coloured milch cow of good nature and gilded horns accompanied by her calf.
O Lord of men, a mortal being who casts off his body by heroic act or dies by drowning (in the Tīrtha) gets the hospitality of Śakra for seven thousand years. If he dies in fire (by self-immotalion) he gets it for twelve thousand years.
This narrative is always conducive to fame, heavenly pleasures, wealth, progeny and long life. One who listens to this always during festivals with devotion attains everything. He will become like Ajamīḍha (a king of Pūru dynasty). One who adopts Sannyāsa (life of a recluse) in Bhṛgutīrtha, in accordance with the injunctions, will, after death attain the highest place which is extremely difficult to get.”
58-65. On hearing this uttered by the Lord of Devas, the excellent Brāhmaṇa Bhṛgu became delighted with a beaming face and stayed there itself.
O great king, O son of Pāṇḍu, the story of (he origin of Bhṛgukaccha, the destroyer of all sins, has been succinctly recounted to you.
This holy spot has been proclaimed by the Lord as meritorious and destructive of sins. A day of Pitāmaha. is remembered as being constituted by a thousand sets of four Yugas. O Brāhmaṇa, when a day of Brahmā begins the Yugas start. Rudra himself has mentioned that he who listens to this with devotion, whether a man or a woman, attains to the greatest world.
The holy rites a man performs after taking the holy bath in Devakhāta, such as offering balls of rice etc., O excellent king, are everlasting.
There is no doubt about this that he who devoutly listens to the description of Bhṛgukaccha attains the benefit of a crore of Tīrthas.
Footnotes and references:
Monier Waliams [Williams?] (1186)