Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Dhaneshvara included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Dhaneśvara

A Brahmin born in the city of Avanti. Abandoning the duties enjoined by scriptures to a Brahmin he strayed away from the Brahmin fold doing all sorts of sins. He became a store-house of sins. He was engaged in commerce and once while travelling he reached the city of Māhiṣmatī. There he met many people from several adjoining villages who had come there to observe the Kārttika Vrata. Later Dhaneśvara was bitten by a cobra there and fell down fainting. Very soon he died.

When he died the messengers of Yama came and took him bound to Kālapurī. There, Citragupta read out to Yama all the sins Dhaneśvara had committed from boyhood till his death. Citragupta added "Even from boyhood there is no record of any good deed done by him. On the other hand the sins he has committed could not be told in a year. He is an incarnation of evil. He must be roasted in hell till the end of the world." On hearing this the body of Yama blazed like flame with anger and calling aside an attendant he ordered, "Hi, Pretapālaka, take this sinner away, beat him with spiked clubs and throw him into Kumbhīpāka". Pretapālaka instantly took him away and breaking his head with a thorn-spiked club threw him into a copper vessel containing burning oil. But to his great amazement the burning oil became cold as soon as the body of Dhaneśvara came into contact with it just as it happened once before in the case of Prahlāda. The perplexed attendant ran to Yama and told him of this strange incident. Yama was also surprised at this novelty in hell and called back Dhaneśvara and started enquiring about his life once again. Nārada came there at that time. Both of them then talked about Dhaneśvara. Nārada told Yama how the unanticipated thing so happened because Dhaneśvara on the eve of his death spent some time with people who were observing the Kārttika Vrata washing away thus all the sins accumulated so far in his life. Hearing that Yama took Dhaneśvara round hell and giving Dhaneśvara, the position of a Yakṣa sent him to Kuberapurī. (Chapter 115, Padma Purāṇa).

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