Dvisahasri of Tembesvami (Summary and Study)

by Upadhyay Mihirkumar Sudhirbhai | 2012 | 54,976 words

This page relates ‘Description of holy place called Gokarna’ of the study of the Dvisahasri by Tembesvami:—a Sanskrit epic poem (mahakavya) narrating the legend and activities of Lord Dattatreya, including details on his divine sports and incarnations. Also known as Datta, he is considered one of the Holy Masters in the Natha cult imparting spiritual knowledge and adequate practice to the aspirant.

Chapter 6 - Description of holy place called Gokarṇa

[Note: This page represents a summary English translation of the Dvisāhasrī by Ṭembesvāmī, chapter 6.—In the 6th chapter while describing the holy place called Gokarṇa Ganeśa is told to have cheated Rāvaṇa as well as to have installed the Śivaliṅga and the liberation of the Chāṇḍāli [Cāṇḍālī?] is also narrated.]

06/01-02: Nāmadhāraka spoke: How Ganeśa has installed the Śivaliṅga there and the place is resorted to by the pious people? (02)

06/03-08: Siddha spoke: Ganeśa has installed the Śivaliṅga acquired by Rāvaṇa by the command of Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Brahma and others (04). Rāvaṇa’s mother (Puṣkasi) worships Śiva’s earthen phallus. Rāvaṇa goes to Mt. Kailāsa to bring Lord Śiva along with the mountain (05). Mother Pārvatī requests Lord Śiva who presses powerful Rāvaṇa below the mountain, because he tries to lift up the mountain (06). Being crushed by Lord Śiva Rāvaṇa meditates on Him and sings (a hymn)[1] in different tunes (07-08). Lord Śiva is pleased and offers him a boon.

06/10-12: Rāvaṇa spoke: He has everything, but His mother has ordered to bring Kailāsa along with Him (11-12).

06/13-18: Śiva spoke: He offers His own Vital Phallus. Wherever the Vital Phallus would be installed, it would be firmly fixed. He should not perform any rite till its installation (14-15). Lord Śiva places the Vital Phallus in his hand and Rāvaṇa starts for La ṅkā (16). Sage Nārada knows about this, informs to Lord Brahmā who further tells the same to Lord Viṣṇu, go to Lord Śiva and ask that He has done improper, the demon has tied the gods and he is the eater of mankind (prāṇimātrāśī) (17-18).

06/19-36: Śiva spoke: His heart being captivated by his melodious singing. They may stop him, as the demon must not have gone very far (20). Lord[2] Viṣṇu thinks to defeat Rāvaṇa by trickery and He instructs Sage Nārada and Ganeśa to bring the Vital Phallus back (21). Sage Nārada goes to him and keeps him in talking (22). Rāvaṇa tells everything (23). Sage makes him late tells him a story of a dreadful buffalo (mṛga) killed by Lord Brahma, Lord Viṣṇu and Lord Śiva (24). They get the Vital Phalluses from its horns as their own souls. Rāvaṇa has luckily obtained Lord Śiva’s Phallus (25). He shows his unwillingness to hear him. The sage reminds him the time of the (evening) twilight rite (26). Ganeśa comes there in the guise of a celibate. Rāvaṇa asks about him (27) Ganeśa introduces Himself as the son of Umā and Śaṅkara. (28) Rāvaṇa requests Him to hold the Phallus (29). He denies, but Rāvaṇa convinces Him and places the Phallus in His hand (30). When Rāvaṇa goes to perform the twilight rite, the child would call him thrice and if he would not come, he would place the Phallus on ground (31). He waits for some time, calls him thrice and installs the Phallus with the chanting of lord Viṣṇu’s name (32). Rāvaṇa comes there and starts beating the child. He tries to take the Phallus out with his (twenty) hands. The earth shakes but not the unshakable Phallus[3] (33). The Phallus have come to be known by name Mahābaleśvara and the region by the name Gokarṇa (34). Here Lord Śiva resides with his family (35). All have obtained their desired objects. It is the meritorious place (36).

06/37-43: King Mitrasaha listened to the glory of Gokarṇa sung by sage Gautama.

Vaśiṣṭha once had cursed king Mitrasaha for committing a sin unknowingly. He would be a demon for twelve years (37). During that period he kills a twice-born whose wife curses him as and when he would go for contacting his wife, he would die (38). After twelve years he goes to his wife and talks about the curse of a Brahmin wife (39). They go on pilgrimage and see sage Gautama. They narrate all that had happened (40). Sage Gautama talks about the Gokarṇa destroying the multitude of sins. Why to worry for the Brahminicide Here all the stones are Śiva’s Phalluses. (41-42) An outcast woman Cāṇḍāli was taken to Kailāsa (43).

Śiva’s servant says to Gautama. She is a Brahmin girl, but becomes a widow in the childhood. Being a lustful she selects a Vaiśya (boy) with whom she enjoys in solitude (44-45). The relatives abandon her. She becomes fearless and drinks liquor. She marries to the Vaiśya (boy) (46-47). She once being intoxicated takes up a calf thinking it to be a goat. She kills it keeping the head for the next day and eats the rest. The next day she realises it, buries it under the ground and shouts “O Śiva! O Śiva! our calf has been dragged away by a tiger” (48-49). She commits many sins, dies and after enjoying the fruits of her evil deeds, she is born as an out-caste lady (50). Afflicted by leprosy she is protected by her parents and after their death, she becomes an orphan (51).

She once happens[4] to come there (Gokarṇa) with some pilgrims on the Mahāśivarātrī. She is hungry and miserable and asks for food. People give a Bilva-leaf in her hand, but she throws it away thinking it to be inedible. Bilva-leaf falls on the Phallus and the worship is done. Her practice of fasting is also done. She could not sleep at night. In this way the vow of Mahāśivarātri is practised in its entirety and hence she becomes free from impurities of sins. She is dead that day and Lord Śiva had ordered them to take her (52-55).

Lord Śiva’s servants takes her to Kailāsa (56). Sage Gautam asks king Mitrasah to go there. He goes there and gets free from the sin (57). The holy place Gokarṇa is the best shelter of the righteous and hence Śrīpāda spends his life there where He uplifts many. He then comes to Kuravapura on the bank of river Kṛṣṇā and disappears (58- 59).

Footnotes and references:


This hymn is famous by the name Śivatāṇḍavastotram.


From here V 21-59 are the speech of Siddha.


kṣmā tena cakampe'pyacalaṃ tu tat|


H.H. Ṭembe svāmī remarks that due to repent about the killing of a calf and due to the utterance of the name of Śiva, she gets an opportunity to visit the holy place of Gokarṇa.

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