by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Origin of Centre of Pilgrimage with Brahma’s foot which is chapter 53 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 fifty-third chapter of the Arbuda-khanda of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
1. Then one has to visit the centre of pilgrimage where Brahmā was stated to have put his foot, i.e., the Brahmapada Tīrtha. This is heard of in the three worlds. Brahmā, the Creator of the world had placed his foot here initially.
2. Once in the past, Brahmā came along with other gods to the beautiful Arbuda mountain to meet the Sages, who were spotless in their disposition/dealings.
3-6. The king! after their, i.e., the Gods’ pilgrimage to the stationary worshipable Liṅga there with due devotion, the Sages got influenced and in turn began to ask the grandfather god, i.e., Brahmā, “With full compliance of the rules and procedures, we have been daily performing the sacrificial fire, observing the ritual connected with fulfilment of our mental resolve, the religious ritual of bathing and fasting. But when shall we be liberated from all these, O Brahmā? O Lord of gods! provide us with the suitably higher instruction in this regard if any, by which we can successfully be able to swim across this fortress of worldly ocean. Suggest us the way to the attainment of Heaven other than the very difficult means of recounting the name of any God repeatedly in the mind or the performance of sacrificial fire or invocation or the ritual connected with fulfilment of a resolve of the mind or making offering of gifts etc.”
7. After hearing those words of them, the God then got an inclination towards becoming gracious. He began to deliberate on it for a little longer while retaining a bit of smile on his person at the same time.
8. Then leaving his own appointed place Brahmā came to the pleasing interior of the mountain. Then as Brahmā began to speak to all the Sages, the characteristic definition with all associate attributes followed.
9-14. The Sages! this beautiful Arbuda mountain has a high position as the destroyer of all sins. All of you will attain the divine passage by coming in touch of this. There is no need for observance of the ritual of taking a bath (in religious places) or of making offerings of gifts or for that matter of observance of ritual connected with execution of a mental resolve or of sacrificial fire or of recounting the name of any particular God repeatedly in the mind of one’s self. I have placed my auspicious foot here for the welfare of the entire world. The insignia of my foot here is itself an indication for thousands of people to attain that ultimate passage. You, the Sages as well as all the gods even can attain the same by a touch of this (i.e., the foot). There is the need of only one duty here, i.e., of ardent faith without any deviation. One attended with reverence here will attain the ultimate position, the distinguished Sages. Those who worship here with water, fruits, varieties of garlands with scented flowers, and apply the perfumed smear followed up with feeding sweets to the Brāhmaṇas as per affordability, on the specific Full Moon day in the month of Kārtika (i.e., November) will obtain the world of mine which, as it is, is difficult to attain without any doubt.
15. After that, all the Sages by worshipping the Foot there attended with complete faith, proceeded to the world of Brahmā.
16. Hence the king, the Foot is worshipable with all efforts. The worship of the Foot of the grandfather God, i.e., Brahmā with full faith is a giver of Heaven.
17. O king! there is another highly unusual thing about the Foot here after listening to which people get very surprised.
18. O king! despite the opportunity for expansion in the epoch of Kṛta, the numerical growth of the white-complexioned among the human race could not be ascertained (who might have paid their homage to Brahmā’s Foot here).
19. As the epoch of Treta [Tretā?] approached then humans with brown complexion could be visible. About them it is well-stated that most of them and in good number used to pay their homage to the Brahmā’s Foot here.
20. In the epoch of Dvāpara it (i.e., the worshipable Foot) became light bearing a reddish tinge while in the epoch of Kali this became very small with a black colour in this pleasing interior of the mountain.