by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Eminence of Pancanada Tirtha which is chapter 14 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 fourteenth chapter of the Dvaraka-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Śrī Prahlāda said:
1. There were many centres of pilgrimage in the world which was a matter of great wonder. But with the arrival of the severe Kaliyuga most of them got flooded with water.
2. The Brāhmaṇas, I am going to describe as to what purpose they all fulfilled. Try to understand. The prominent Brāhmaṇas, I shall tell in brief about their merits and the necessary formalities one has to fulfill to derive fruits out of them.
5. After giving shape to his mission in cooperation with Kṛṣṇa, Brahmā then founded a centre of pilgrimage there by his name.
6. That centre of pilgrimage was an auspicious one, a destroyer of all sins and was popularly known as Brahmakuṇḍa (i.e. a basin associated with the name of Brahmā). A foundation for the thousand-rayed Lord Sun was made on the shore of the same basin.
7. As the root cause of all gods, Brahmā is known as the grandfather of the world. As basically founded by him (i.e. Brahmā) this centre of pilgrimage is recounted with his name (as Brahma Tīrtha).
9-13. Seeing that the pool had an union of brightness with it, the virtuous God became happy and told the Creator (i.e. Brahmā), “Please listen to us. Those who after taking a bath here, offer libations of water in honour of their forefathers and worship this original place of the God of gods must get free from all sins. They must get equipped with wealth and riches.” O Brāhmaṇas! they further said, “A man who takes a bath here with utmost devotion on the seventh day of the brighter period of moon in the month of Māgha (i.e. January), thereafter taking the sandal from the original place of Brahmā gets himself annointed with it and worships the God with flowers, incense and makes offering of edible food, clothes and ornaments as per his ability, he should obtain the passage to the abode of Brahmā becoming relieved of all sins.”
14. Then seeing Sāvitrī there Brahmā put up his idol there after giving it a brilliant form. He also gave a name to the same holy place.
15. One who takes a look of the Lord of the world Kṛṣṇa here with devotion and thereafter equally takes a look of Sāvitrī, he happens to enjoy life and becomes happy with fulfillment of all his desires.
16. By following it up with taking a look of the Creator, the same man gets blessed with long life free from diseases and with prosperity. He begets sons and children onto himself. Neither misfortune nor poverty and ignorance happens to him. He also does not have to fear ailment of any kind.
17-18. After going there, one needs to worship the Goddess with saffron, varieties of flowers and by making an offering of cloth as a covering for the Goddess. The visit there becomes successful by worship of the Goddess with intent devotion attended with making offerings of food, fruits, betel leaf and a necklace.
19. By her taking a look of the Creator neither widowhood nor sterility can happen to a woman. Misfortune never occurs to her nor her sons meet with untimely death. Her descendants keep growing and flourishing.
20. Hence with all efforts one needs to have a look of the Creator (i.e. Brahmā) with sincere intention. Kṛṣṇa gets pleased by this and a visit here becomes successful as a result.
22. The ruler of gods (i.e. Indra) placed a Śivaliṅga of profound brightness on the shore of the same lake. By taking a bath here man can obtain the position similar to Indra.
23. As Indra had founded the worshipable Śivaliṅga here attended with genuine feelings, the holy place therefore, became very famous on the earth’s surface as Indrapada. It is usually remembered as “Indreśvara”.
24. The Brāhmaṇas, the fame of this place is due to the point that the Liṅga it holds is quite large and equally lifted up. A mere look of this relieves one of all sins.
27. Prepare a worshipable Liṅga here on that specific day of the month coinciding with the placement of the sun on the northern side of the equator and when the sun shifts its position with regard to its transit through the various zodiac signs. Then worship Śiva with Umā on the specific day earmarked for Śiva (i.e. on the fourteenth day of the darker half of Māgha, i.e. February). Stay up the entire night in conformity with the religious ceremony. By doing so, one can obtain the ultimate world.
28. By seeing the Brahma Tīrtha as well as the Indra lake one can attain that form which is a unification of forms of Brahmā, Śiva and Indra with Viṣṇu.
29. Śiva—the husband of Pārvatī had also made a pond here full of clean water and decorated with varieties of lotuses.
30. Every part of the lake was covered with blue lotuses and it was decorated with Indian cranes. After seeing, that the lake has plenty of water, the bearer of trident who has the iconic bull on the flag-staff of his chariot (i.e. Lord Śiva) began to take bath there along with Brahmā and Viṣṇu.
31-43. Then becoming very pleased, all gods including Brahmā, Viṣṇu and other demons looking at the husband of Pārvatī (i.e. Śiva) said, “O God among gods! the great lake created by you here would be very famous by the name of Mahādeva lake. Anyone having a bath here and thereafter making libations of water to his forefathers and performing śrāddha with due devotion would obtain that ultimate passage. All gods would be very happy and that too beyond any doubt, by just having a look of this lake. Just a look of this Mahādeva lake would liberate one of all sins. After seeing this highly beautiful lake of Maheśa (an epithet of Śiva) Pārvatī did also make anoṃer lake here equally matchless in beauty. A destroyer of all sins, the same lake acquired its renown as Gaurī lake. A man has never to encounter bad circumstances by a bath in it with devotion. A woman taking bath here will never have to face misfortune and widowhood on her part. All desires get accomplished by a bath in this foremost Gaurī lake. After seeing the auspicious place, Varuṇa also made a holy lake there attended with devotion towards Viṣṇu. Named as Varuṇapada—the same lake on earth is also a decayer of sins. One has to make libations of water in honour of one’s forefathers already attained to divine-hood here on the full-moon day in the month of Bhādra, i.e. September. By doing śrāddha here for one’s forefathers attended with faith, one goes to the virtuous world without any rethinking with regard to the same. One has to offer a jar filled with rice added with water and curd here. By donating cows, clothes and ornaments, one can ensure pleasure of Viṣṇu. Seeing the pool made by the God of water, the God of wealth made a pool on his own which became renowned on the surface of earth as Yakṣadhipa [Yakṣādhipa?]. Human beings can get all of their desires fulfilled by worshipping their forefathers obtained to divine-hood with all devotion and by making charities of clothes to Brāhmaṇas here.”
44. After hearing that the sons of Brahmā who were (naturally) brothers amongst themselves to one another, had granted a favour to Viṣṇu, (the sage) Vasiṣṭha then brought down Mandākinī (an epithet of Gaṅgā) to the surface of earth.
46. Gods created a number of holy centres of pilgrimage and that is how the Pañcanada Tīrtha came on earth.
49. The great sons of Brahmā made them glorious by taking a bath in them. They attained their popularity through association with these ascetics.
50. Pañcanada Tīrtha is a reliever of all sins due to this. Human beings desirous of Heaven and liberation need to have a bath here.
51. O Brāhmaṇas! after going there observe self-restraint and then bearing a fruit in hand, recite the mantra (i.e. the sacred prayer) and make offering as part of the worship, as per laid down rule in this regard.
52. The mantra is: “The sons of Brahmā have brought these best five rivers here. O female deities! accept our offerings as part of worship to curtail and subdue our sins.”
53. A man must take a bath here and thereafter may offer libations of water to his forefathers as per rule. Attended with earnest faith, he must perform śrāddha here as per rule.
54. He needs to give five jewels as well as seven types of grains to Brāhmaṇas. He also needs to give charities to the pitiable, the blind and the miserly as per his own capability.
55. (By doing so) with fulfillment of all desires, he goes to the abode of Viṣṇu. Besides, blessed with children and grandchildren, he gets entitled to happiness of the highest order.
56. Those who might have gone to the state of ghostly spirits or those who might have gone to insect-hood in a particular clan and even the forthcoming descendants spanning three generations in a family—all attain liberation (by doing so).
57. Even by listening to this holy account and by continuously concentrating the mind on this account, one gets entitled to the blissful abode of Śiva. He attains that ultimate position becoming free from all sins.