by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Eminence of a bath at Gomati’s confluence with the sea and of Cakratirtha which is chapter 8 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 eighth chapter of the Dvaraka-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
1. O the best Brāhmaṇas! there is no need of going to the godess-like river, i.e. Gaṅgā or the Kālindī (an epithet of river Yamunā). If you have to go, visit the spot where the river Gomatī meets the sea.
2. It is beyond doubt that all desires can be accomplished here without any difficulty for it is the sea that plays sport here in the waves of the river Gomatī.
3. As it is, men attain their welfare on the banks of the river Gomatī which echo the forces of destroyer of sins. By its meeting with the sea here, this place has been imbued with the power as a great destroyer of sins.
4. O the best Brāhmaṇas! Gomatī’s flowing into the sea (here in this spot) has been spoken as a gateway to liberation (in the Kaliyuga) and there is no doubt about this.
5. The bundle of merits obtainable at the place of confluence of Gaṅgā with the sea are equally obtained at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea.
6. Hence you all pay your salutations to the Lord Gomatī as well as the master of river, i.e. the sea. With the sacred grass kuśa, make your offerings enjoined with the worship and as per laid down procedure.
7. O the master Brāhmaṇas! make your offerings by mantra as part of the worship as per laid down procedure and while doing so, perform it after going there with Brāhmaṇas and along with other inhabitants of the same centre of pilgrimage.
8-9. (The mantra is like this) “My homage to you having the form of God. I am offering all this as a matter of worship to you - the God and the supreme soul with due faith just to liberate me from the awful sins. My salutations to you, the ruler of pilgrimage and the gem-like great reservoir of water. I offer my reverence so that the Lord Govinda accepts my offerings made through worship along with Gomatī.
10. After completing the offerings as part of worship, you then tie the hairs on the crown of your head into a lock and then remembering the God, i.e. Lord Viṣṇu, stated to be lying on the water-bed you take a bath there either facing East or West.
11. After bathing there with devout faith, you make libations of water to your forefathers. Then by worshipping all gods of the universe conduct the śrāddha ceremony in memory of your forefathers.
12. Make such presents which have been stated to evoke Lord Viṣṇu’s pleasure. O the virtuous Brāhmaṇas! donate gold in particular.
13. Along with Lakṣmī, the pleasure of the Lord of the world, i.e. Viṣṇu can be earned by making presents of clothes meant for a couple, i.e. a husband and wife including their warm apparel.
14. Big donations made at the place of confluence of Gomatī with the sea have been glorified for not only to yield one with the lordship of seven islands but also land one in the abode of Viṣṇu.
15. Presenting cotton at the spot of confluence of Gomatī with the sea has also been equally acclaimed to land one with lordship of seven islands as well as in the abode of Viṣṇu.
16-17. That man who donates gold or silver equal to his weight or makes donations of clothes, saffron, fruits and liquids at this spot of confluence of Gomatī with the sea, he not only gets blessed with immense enjoyments but also with all delights of life. He earns a place of salvation from the three directions and finally gets a passage to the abode of Viṣṇu.
18. The donations of gold, silver as well as of horses and cows at the place of confluence of Gomatī with the sea also makes all desires attainable.
19. No one is considered more fortunate than him who after making donation of land here in the confluence of Gomatī with the sea follows it up with the purificatory rite of having a bath here and then remembers Hari (an epithet of Viṣṇu).
21. One may make presents of gold, cows and of ghee made of cow’s milk with all earnestness. Besides these, if one donates the entire universe, one can earn limitless merit.
22. By donating a lovely or a well-nourished cow at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea one can obtain that ultimate position.
23. If one takes a bath here in the confluence of Gomatī with the sea and makes libations of water covering all festivals and auspicious occasions extending over all yugas in memory of his forefathers, one attains that indestructible region of the world.
24. A man desirous of that imperishable position, can have that by having a bath in the confluence of Gomatī with the sea in any of the months of Āṣādha [Āṣāḍha?] (i.e. July), Kārtika (i.e. November) and Māgha (i.e. February) and by offering libation of water in memory of his forefathers and by conduct of śrāddha attended with worshipping through havan, i.e. the sacrificial fire and making of charities.
26. O the foremost Brāhmaṇas! have your bath as well as offer libations of water in memory of forefathers here in this confluence of Gomatī either on the fifth or the seventh, eighth or ninth day following the full moon in any of the months stated earlier.
27-28. Particularly take bath here in the confluence of Gomatī and do charities as per procedure on that particular full moon day falling on Monday or that auspicious sixth day named after the sage Kapila or on the twelfth day of a month. By doing so one goes to that sacred place which is free from sorrows.
29. Offering of balls of cooked rice at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea on dark half of Bhādrapada (i.e. September) particularly appointed for observing obsequecial rites for paternal relations, yields the same higher merit of śrāddha at Gayā.
30. Hence, with all efforts, the best of Brāhmaṇas, observance of śrāddha on the dark half of Bhādrapada (i.e. the month of September) otherwise known as Pitṛpakṣa, is desirable at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea.
31. One may conduct śrāddha for ancestors on the paternal side for days together under the guidance of Brāhmaṇas well-versed in the Veda. But the merit accruing to this can be yielded by observance of śrāddha only for a day on Bhādrapada (i.e. September) at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea.
32-33. One may be devoid of faith. One may fail in mantras or in having association of worthy persons to conduct the śrāddha. Or for that matter one may not have the requisite material or may simply not have time or may be in an unhealthy state mentally. Despite all this, libations to gods by putting ghee into the consecrated fire here at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea, ensures and fulfills satisfaction of all of one’s ancestral forefathers.
35. Fruits equal to offering balls of cooked rice at Gayā or immersion of bones of the deceased at Prayāga, can be had by man by śrāddha at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea on the particular new moon day appointed for obsequial rites in honour of forefathers on the paternal side.
36. One might have sprinkled the water of most of the centres of pilgrimage onto oneself as a matter of pastime. But with all devotion, one must take bath at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea.
37. Those who observe śrāddha invariably on the particular day appointed for obsequial rites in memory of paternal forefaṃers, the same reaches its point of completion and fulfillment at the confluence of Gomatī with the seal
38-39. O Brāhmaṇas! by performing śrāddha in the Pitṛpakṣa on the new moon day, those who happen to be without sons or those who happen to be merely contemptible barren women, get blessed. Even the defects with those happening to get sons as still births, get done away with by their undergoing the ritual of bath here at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea. A bath, yields them a son with long life consequently resulting in their obtaining happiness.
40. Whatever charities have been stated to be possible in the world, must be offered at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea.
41. O the master Brāhmaṇas! always and especially during all festivals, one needs to take bath at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea without fail.
42. The venerable Brāhmaṇas! sins get destroyed by having a look of it. Salvation brings content in the mind and a bath effects liberation.
43. Śrāddha causes unending satisfaction of the forefathers while charities result in realization of desires of the mind without any doubt.
44-45.0 foremost sages! one can deem oneself to be fortunate enough to have offered libation of water in memory of one’s forefathers and to perform śrāddha in their honour at the confluence of the river (Gomatī) with the sea. And the same śrāddha includes those performed on days specifically appointed or chosen for obsequecial rites involving the paternal relationships or the maternal relationships or even the relationships extending over the level of in-laws, friends and relatives.
46-47. One might have become inert, i.e. immobile. One might have accessed the state of beauty or loveliness. Some might have attained the state of ghostly spirits. Some might have gone to the womb to have birth as animals or some still might have just become worms/insects. But by virtue of only a bath at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea, all of them attain liberation and there can be no doubt about this.
48. Human beings through performing śrāddha as well as by making charities at the place of confluence of Gomatī, attain liberation beyond any doubt.
49. After taking a bath at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea on that particular twelfth lunar day having the union of Śravaṇ star, one becomes free from all sorrows and attains liberation.
50. Keeping aside all centres of pilgrimage, if a man takes bath, performs śrāddha at the confluence of Gomatī with the sea and then worships the dwarf incarnation of Lord Vīṣṇu, he attains the next world by His grace.
51-52. A man who after taking bath here in this confluence as per laid down procedure, worships Garuḍadhvaja (an epithet of Viṣṇu) he gets clothed with yellow robes ānd adorned with beautiful ornaments. Then summoned by Garuḍa—the carrier of Lord Viṣṇu, he proceeds to the abode of Viṣṇu while the divine women watch him doing so and the Sages in the appearance of Caturbhuja (again an epithet of Viṣṇu) decorated with garlands made of wild flowers continue singing hymns in his glory.
53-54. Human being can consider himself fortunate after taking a bath at the confluence of Gomatī. The powerful Viṣṇu had given effect to killing of a demon here and before doing so Kṛṣṇa himself had washed his discus with the water here. O Brāhmaṇas! it is due to this that this place is famous in the three worlds by the name of Cakratīrtha.
55. There happens to be a stone here bearing the mark of the discus of Lord Viṣṇu which as it is, is a giver of liberation. Worship of it gives one the proximity of Kṛṣṇa—the universal Lord.
56. Here also, one can get glimpse of stone bearing marks of twelve discuses together.
57-58a. As a giver of liberation to all embodied beings, it is understood as the twelve-souled. With mark of one discus on the stone, it shines at Dvārāvat. Named as Sudarśana, it only grants the single fruit of liberation.
59. The stone bearing marks of three discuses is named Trivikrama and gives three kinds of fruits while the stone having marks of four discuses takes away enemies and induces wealth/prosperity.
60. Known as Vāsudeva, the stone bearing marks of five discuses takes away the fear regarding life and death. The stone bearing marks of six discuses gives fruits like prosperity and fame.
62. Difficult for even gods to obtain, the stone bearing marks of nine discuses grants everything while the stone bearing marks of ten discuses reflects the ten incarnations of Lord Viṣṇu and yields kingdom for one.
63. The stone having marks of eleven discuses bestows one with power and might, while the stone bearing marks of twelve discuses blesses one with salvation.
64. Higher than all these stones is placed the stone bearing the mark of the Kṛṣṇa’s own discus, i.e. the Sudarśana discus which gives the great fortune of happiness and liberation.
65. A touch of all these stones, takes one above the den of sins. Hence, after taking a bath at Cakratīrtha, human being must imprint a mark of the discus of Kṛṣṇa on his body.
66. Hence, one needs not only to worship Hari—the bearer of discus but also needs to continuously meditate on Him -the eternal. A human being doing so can neither remain childless nor can he become poor or afflicted with diseases.
67. All sins accruing to Brahmicide or acquired mentally and through words and deeds get buried by a sight of the good-causing stone bearing mark of the discus.
68. If the auspicious mark of the discus is found in a land inhabited by the outcastes, there can be no doubt that the same land like the exclusive region of Hari is also a giver of liberation.
69. If a human soul meditates upon Hari or makes a mark of His discus on any limb of his body as death approaches, he attains the ultimate position.
70. By bearing the mark of discus on one’s breast, one instantly gets sanctified. With the protective shield of Kṛṣṇa’s discus on the body, the messenger of Yama then becomes fearful to approach or come near him. One goes to the abode of Viṣṇu. Nothing other than this can be thought of.
71. A bath at the confluence of Gomatī and a visit to Cakratīrtha emancipates a human being from severe sins. There can be no doubt about this. This equally applies to those who usually remain engaged in sinful conduct. So what is the need to spell it out again specially in the context of the religious and the meritorious souls?
73. Both the people endowed with tamas, i.e. vicious qualities and the rajas, i.e. passion get humbled by the slightest degree of worship of Viṣṇu on their part and get union with virtue/goodness like a river finally meeting with the sea in its natural flow downward.
74. O Brāhmaṇas! it is indeed difficult (to be blessed with a fortune) to go to Dvārakā. So also it is difficult to have a touch of the (auspicious) water of Gomatī. More difficult, it is to sit up throughout the night to be a part of a religious ceremony invoking Kṛṣṇa. Finally, it is equally but very difficult to have a sight of Kṛṣṇa.