The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes Importance of bath at the confluence of Gomati with the sea which is chapter 6 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 sixth chapter of the Dvaraka-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 6 - Importance of bath at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea

The sages said:

1-4. “Let there be your well-being, the highly fortunate and the virtuous king of the demons, Prahlāda. Without you, we perhaps could not have had a vision of the God Hari in this Kaliyuga. The words from your mouth are like the water of river Sindhu and are like nectar. While our ears have completely taken in the same they have failed to deliver in evoking our (i.e. the sages’) satisfaction. Hence, the powerful, please tell us in details about the pilgrimage here. We also need to go there where flows the river Gomatī for the God himself, looking after the centre of pilgrimage called Cakratīrtha, puts up there. O father! we are fallen in this ocean of worldly existence. Kindly rescue us from this ocean. O the great mind! please tell us the ways and procedures of undergoing pilgrimage.

Prahlāda said:

5. After going near the banks of Gomatī, all of you bow down falling flat on the ground. Then after washing your hands and feet, take the kuśa (i.e. religiously considered as holy grass) in hands.

6. Then carrying an auspicious fruit along with some unbroken and whole grains in hand, make offering to worship and according to the laid procedure, facing the East.

7-8. While making the offerings say, “O auspicious daughter of Vasiṣṭha! you have descended down from the world of Brahmā. For the purppse [purpose?] of cleansing all my sins, I am making such offerings to you—the Gomatī. O daughter of Vasiṣṭha and the glorious Goddess! the gods salute you. The three worlds sing your glory. O Gomatī! take away my sins.”

9. After uttering like this, O the best of Brāhmaṇas! then carrying a bit of earth in hand, remember Viṣṇu in mind and utter this mantra.

10-11. (The mantra is as follows) O earth! the horses run over you. So also the chariots and the God Viṣṇu. The Lord Kṛṣṇa in his incarnation as boar with one hundred hands rescued you. O earth! take away my sins accumulated earlier. By your taking away the sins, I shall be purified and another hundred years will be added to my life.

12. In this way after anointing the body with the mud of earth there, take a bath as per laid down procedure. Then listen to the fruits that result after taking a bath in such manner.

13. Similar merits result by virtue of a mere bath in Gomatī in the vicinity of Kṛṣṇa like by having a bath at Kurukṣetra during eclipse of the sun by Rāhu.

14. After complying with the ritual of taking a bath here with devotion, get engaged in activities as stated. Accompanied by feelings make libation of water in honour of gods, forefathers as well as other human beings.

15. Those who have obtained a place for themselves in one of the hells of have got the dreadful condition of insects get freedom beyond any doubt by making offerings of the water of Gomatī.

16. Even without making offering of whole and unbroken grains or without the sacred kuśa grass or even without being attended by due feelings, the offering of water of Gomatī in memory of one’s forefathers simply enables one to derive the same results like that of śrāddha conducted at Gayā

17. Then after inviting the Brāhmaṇas knowledgeable in the Veda and who happen to make the river bank (i.e. Gomatī’s) their habitat, worship the universal God and observe the śrāddha ceremony of forefathers.

18. Then after completing śrāddha there as per procedure, make sacrificial gifts (to the Brāhmaṇas) in the form of gold and silver with yourselves full of highest faith.

19. Then donate a little female calf with its horns adorned with gold, its hoofs embellished with silver, with its tail decked up with jewels and with itself covered fully with clothes and its back decked up with copper.

20. Then by earnestly saluting the Brāhmaṇas and by offering them cloth, wealth, ornaments as well as seven-fold corns, one can earn endearment of Viṣṇu.

21. After that becoming free from sensory attachments, make the Brāhmaṇas reach the final boundary of their territory. After this make donations to the poor, the blind and the miserly as per your ability and affordability.

22. Gomatī, anointing the body with cow-dung, making donations of cows, having the sandal on the idol of Kṛṣṇa applied on one’s self and taking a look of the Gopīnātha [Gopinātha?] (the Lord of protectors of cows—an epithet of Kṛṣṇa) are the five tasks most difficult to obtain.

23. Hence making present of cows on the banks of Gomatī is the best duty. O the best of Brāhmaṇas! by doing this, a man gets gratified.

24-25. Those who might have gone to the most dreadful hell or those who might have attained the passage to the ghostly world or those who might have gone to the inanimate state due to evils committed in previous lives or even those born in a lineage on that particular day requiring sacrificial rites either for the father or the mother—all of them obtain the road to liberation by a sight of Gomatī in the Kaliyuga.

26. O the best of Brāhmaṇas! men who conduct the religious ritual of śrāddha after taking a bath in Gomatī, obtain the fruits equivalent to that of the rites of the sacrificial fire involving horses beyond doubt.

27. The merit which has been proclaimed to be earned by virtue of taking a bath at the confluence of Gaṅgā at Prayāga, can be equally yielded if human beings conduct śrāddha at Gomatī.

28. Their forefathers as well as their incoming future generations go to the world of Viṣṇu. The sins of thousands of rebirths disappear without any doubt.

29. All sins committed through words or intentionally by deeds go into liquifaction by a sight of Gomatī.

30. O Brāhmaṇas! the God Viṣṇu along with Lakṣmī—ṃe Goddess of wealth, undoubtedly get pleased with the man who conforms to the ritual of having a bath in Gomatī during the month of Kārtika, i.e. during October-November.

31. One needs to make oblations to fire everyday with all earnest application. One must make offering of the six auspicious things produced from the cow’s milk everyday as food to the Brāhmaṇas.

32. With all eagerness in devotion one has to worship God Kṛṣṇa everyday. By whatever religious observance it may be, but the chiefs of Brāhmaṇas, one has to remain here by observing certain religious rule.

33. By following completely a religious vow as per the approval of Brāhmaṇas, a man can obtain the sight of Lord Viṣṇu on that particular eleventh day in the month of Kārtika (i.e. October-November) when the Lord is believed to come out of his sleep.

34. One needs to prepare the bathing water for God by mixing the five sweet things (viz. milk, sugar, curd, ghee and honey) with the water of the centre of pilgrimage here. After this one, with all devotion has to anoint the Dāmodara (an epithet of Kṛṣṇa) with a mixture of sandalwood, saffron and the musk.

35. Then worship Garuḍadhvaja (an epithet of Viṣṇu) with aquatic flowers (i.e. lotuses), with tulasī, (i.e. basil) with the kaner [i.e., Karavīraka?] as well as with all other flowers found in the region

36. Then please Viṣṇu by offering the eatables that he is fond of. Then read out the books in his name and sing, dance and play instruments in his honour.

37. Remaining awake throughout the night utter the varieties of hymns in the God’s name. Invite the Brāhmaṇas and feed them as per your ability and affordability.

38. Then O chief Brāhmaṇas! even after the completion of the month of Kārtika, worship the God seated on the chariot with eagle on its flag staff, in this spot of confluence of Gomatī with the sea.

39. After taking a bath, worship Janārdana (an epithet of Viṣṇu) while making libations of water in memory of forefathers. Offer salutations to Rāma (i.e. Lord Viṣṇu) by adorning him with gold. Then consider that your religious vow has reached the point of completion with the consent of Brāhmaṇas.

40. In this way, O the chief Brāhmaṇas! whoever takes a bath here in the vicinity of Kṛṣṇa in the month of Kārtika, entitles for himself a passage to the world of Viṣṇu becoming free from all sins.

41. By virtue of undergoing the ritual of bath with due faith along with one’s wife here in the Gomatī during the rising hours of sun in the month of Māgha (i.e. February), a man remains ever contented.

42. Sesame with turmeric is fit to be given to the virtuous Brāhmaṇas. Every time one must be intent upon presenting sweetmeats mixed with jaggery to them.

43. Sesame seeds are always for use in the sacrificial fire. Hence it is always the duty of men to sprinkle them onto fire to break open. Similarly fire is always for the sake of sacrifice. It must never be used to dispell the cold.

44. One needs to take bath with all devotion in the month of Māgha (i.e. February) which is, as it is, dear to Kṛṣṇa. After that one may donate red-coloured clothes as well as warm robes.

45. Donate shoes and with devotion, offer saffroṇ specially. Viṣṇu can be endeared by offering of blanket as well as food prepared in oil.

46-47. A bath in Gomatī in the month of Māgha (i.e. February) has been stated to result in the same passage beyond any doubt as has been recounted for those who meet death while engaged in action for their masters or in the melee of weapons in the battlefield or for losing their lives for the sake of protecting cows and the Brāhmaṇas. A bath in Gomatī has been stated to sum up the fruits of all charities as well as of all pilgrimages.

48. A man goes to the eternal world of Viṣṇu by having a bath (in Gomatī) in the month of Māgha. Earnest worship of Janārdana also results in realization of all desires.

49. A man who directs himself so and spends the entire month of Māgha (i.e. February) in the place of confluence of Gomatī with the sea and follows the same as per the instructions of Brāhmaṇas, attains fulfillment with all coiṅpletion.

50. O the best of Brāhmaṇas! even the evil-doers by virtue of a bath in the waters of Gomatī attain the state of those who perform sacrifices as per Vedic precepts by grace of the bearer of discus in hand, i.e. Lord Viṣṇu.

51. Even that particular position of the discus-bearer in hand (i.e. Lord Viṣṇu) which is higher ṃan Brahmā and Śiva has been stated to be obtainable by virtue of a mere bath only in the Gomatī in the vicinity of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

52. The sins that attend upon treachery towards friends or by murder of a teacher apply in equal intensity upon one who tries to create hurdles on the path of journey of one here (i.e. this centre of pilgrimage).

53. The sins that result from robbery of the wealth of Brāhmaṇas or that of the sacred places like temples get purified beyond doubt by dint of a mere bath here in the Gomatī.

54. Similar merit like the one earned by providing security to the frightened, is equally earned by a man by only a bath in Gomatī.

55. By providing security to the frightened, one gets blessed with a son undoubtedly and that too without specifically nurturing a desire in that regard. Backed up with a desire for wealth, one gets blessed with the capability to earn enormously in that regard.

56. If one comes in close contact with the water of Gomatī in its place of confluence with the sea as per a wish nourished in this direction since birth, one becomes grateful O chief Brāhmaṇas! for his will gets fulfilled and he becomes free from debts towards his forefathers.

57. All sins made either in mind or through words and deeds go away by coming in contact with the water of Gomatī in its place of confluence with the sea.

58. Dressed in yellow clothes and seated on the carrier drawn by Garuḍa—the chief of birds, adorned with garland made up of wild flowers and with his body covered with the beautiful and scented sandalwood, he goes, O Brāhmaṇas! to the abode of Viṣṇu becoming independent of all signs of rebirth.

59. By dint of a bath only in Gomatī, a man, without any doubt becomes free from all sins and proceeds towards the eternal abode of Lord Viṣṇu.

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