RECEIVES ARUNCHALESHWAR'S GRACE
Goddess Durga then went
to the place where goddess Parvati was still doing penance. She held
Mahishasur's head in one hand and a sword in the other.Goddess Parvati said---'O
Vindhyavasini! You have accomplished an impossible act. If it were not for you I
would not have been able to accomplish my own penance. Now, you should get rid
of this skull and create a holy spring bathing in which would destroy your sin
acquired by killing Mahishasur.'
Goddess Durga hit
ferociously at a huge rock breaking it into pieces. A large pit was created
which was soon filled up with underground water. She then took her bath in it by
chanting NAMAH SHONADRINATHAY.
In the meantime, an
amazing incident took place. While goddess Durga was taking her bath with
Mahishasur's skull in her hand, a Shivalinga, which was struck in Mahishasur's
throat fell down. This Shivalinga later on became famous as 'Papanashan
Shivalinga'. She then released the skull and came out from the
pond.Arunachaleshwar (Lord Shiva) became pleased by Parvati's devotion and
appeared before her. Lord Arunachaleshwar then made Parvati to sit by his left
side. The next moment Parvati's identity mingled with that of Lord
Arunachaleshwar. The place where this incident took place, there is situated a
grand temple of goddess Apitastani and Lord Arunachaleshwar.
VARAH SATISFIES PRITHVI'S CURIOSITY
Sutji then narrated the
tale of Lord Varah to the sages, which he had heard from Sage Vyas---
Once, while Narad was
wandering about, he reached Meru mountain where he saw the abode of Lord Brahma.
He also saw a giant sized entity, just next to Brahma's abode. The person
possessed four arms and his face resembled a boar. The person held a conch and a
chakra in his two hands--The remaining two hands were in the postures of giving
blessings. Narad was very surprised to see that divine person being surrounded
by Sages like Vashishth, Atri, Markandeya and Bhrigu. After paying his eulogy to
him, he stood in a corner.In the meantime, Prithvi (earth) arrived there with
her two companions--Ila and Pingla. She was curious to know about the identities
of various mountains, which Lord Varah had established on her.Lord Varah told
Prithvi about the prominent mountains---Mountains like Sumeru, Himavan,
Mandarachal, Vindhyachal, Pariyatrak, Mahendra, Malay, Sinhachal and Gandhamadan
are situated to the north of Himalaya.
The mountain ranges
situated to the south of Himalaya are Arunachal, Hasti, Gridhachal and
Ghatikachal. Sages believe that in Satyayuga Lord Vishnu had his abode at Anjan
Mountain, while in tretayuga, dwaparyuga and Kaliyuga he has his abode at
Narayangiri, Sinhachal and Shrivenketachal respectively.Lord Varah and Prithvi
flew away towards Venkatachalgiri mounted on Garuda.
LORD VARAH MANTRA
On their way, Prithvi
requested Lord Varah to reveal the sacred mantra, chanting of which makes him
Lord Varah said--'The
secret mantra that pleases me to no limits is ---OM
NAHAM SHRIVARAHAY DHARANYU UDDHARNAY SWAHA.
This mantra is capable of liberating a man and also brings all sort of worldly
accomplishments to him.In the first Krita yuga, a Manu named Dharma had realized
me by continuously chanting this mantra. Even Indra regained the control of
heaven by chanting it. Anant--the lord of all serpents, chanted Varaha mantra
and as a result became capable of holding the earth on it's hood.'
Lord Varah then narrated
the tale of Padmavati's manifestation to Prithvi. He also revealed to her that
Padmavati was the reincarnation of Vedavati and had manifested so that she could
become his (Vishnu) consort.Lord Varah said---Once upon a time there lived an
emperor named Akash. One day he ordered his men to get the land situated at the
bank of Arani ploughed so that a grand yagya could be organized there.As the
land was being cultivated, the plough suddenly struck against something. People
ploughing the field dug up that place and were surprised to find an infant girl,
crying loudly.The news of girls' manifestation spread like a wild fire. The
emperor became extremely happy since he had no progeny. He brought up that child
as his own daughter. This way the baby girl was brought up like a princess. She
was named Padmavati. Padmavati proved very lucky for the emperor, as the
emperor, who was still sonless till then was blessed with a son. This male child
was named Vasudan.
One day, Narad visited
the palace and met both the children. He was impressed by Vasudan's intelligence
but Padmavati appeared to be shy and absorbed in her own thoughts. Narad
lovingly called her and instructed her to spread her left palm. Narad was amazed
to find signs, which predicted Padmavati's marriage to Lord Vishnu. Everybody
living in the palace became happy after getting this news.Narad then went away.
LORD HARI'S CONSORT
Continuing with the
tale, Lord Varah said-- One day, while Padmavati and her companions were playing
in the garden, they saw an equestrian approaching them. He held a bow and arrows
in both his hands.The stranger asked all the girls whether they had seen a wolf.
Apparently the stranger was on his hunting spree. Padmavati angrily reminded the
stranger that hunting was strictly prohibited in that area and hence he should
go back home.The stranger was stunned by Padmavati's beauty and said--'I am
Ananta from Venketachal mountain. People also call me Veerpati. Can I have this
beautiful lady as my wife.'
angrily rebuffed Anant who then galloped back on his horse. These unfortunate
girls were unable to recognize Lord Vishnu who had come disguised as Anant.After
reaching his palace, Anant found it very difficult to concentrate on his work.
His mind was occupied by the thoughts of Padmavati. One day, while he was
sitting in a thoughtful mood, Vakulmalika (a maid servant) arrived there and
requested him to come down for lunch. But, Sri Hari (Anant) was lost in the
thoughts of Padmavati. On being asked by Vakulmalika, Sri Hari narrated the
following tale to her ---
In treta yuga, when I
had incarnated as Ram, Ravan had deceit- fully abducted my consort--Sita. But
fortunately she was not Sita but Agni's consort Swaha. Before this incident
could occur,Agni had already taken Sita to Patalloka and kept his own wife
'Swaha' in her place. Indra's act had special purpose behind it--to avenge
Swaha's death,who was Vedavati in her previous birth and who had committed
suicide after being touched by the same demon.Actually, Agni's consort 'Swaha'
was 'Vedavati' in her previous birth. So, in reality Ravan had abducted Vedavati
instead of Sita. Later on, I thanked Agni and promised him that I would make
Vedavati my consort in Kaliyuga. The same vedavati has taken birth as Padmavati.
You must go and convince Padmavati to become my consort.Vakulmalika went to
Narayanpur and informed the king about Sri Hari's desire. Emperor Akash was
extremely delighted at the prospect of having Sri Hari as his son-in-law. An
auspicious day was chosen for the marriage and thus, Lord Sri Hari got Padmavati
as his consort.
Once, Sutji narrated the
tale of king Pareekshit to all the assembled sages---
Pareekshit ruled over
Hastinapur. One day he went into a forest on a hunting spree. He saw a deer and
managed to injure it with his arrow. But the injured deer disappeared from his
sight. Pareekshit chased the injured deer in the direction it had disappeared.He
reached a place where sage Shamik was engrossed in his meditation. Pareekshit
enquired sage Shamik if he had seen that injured deer. Bur sage Shamik being in
deep meditation did not respond to Pareekshit query. This made Pareekshit
extremely angry and he wrapped a dead snake around Shamik's neck as a punishment
for not having answered his question. But, it made no difference to Sage Shamik
and he continued with his meditation. Pareekshit went back fuming in anger.
Shringi was the son of
Sage Shamik. When he saw a dead snake coiling around his father's neck, he
cursed--'Whoever has tried to insult my father will not live to see the seventh
day because a takshak nag would bite him to death.'
When sage Shamik learnt
about his son's curse, he reproached his son and sent a disciple named 'Daurmukh'
to inform Pareekshit so that he (Pareekshit) could take some preventive
measures. Daurmukh went and narrated the whole incident to king
Pareekshit.Pareekshit became very scarred and he started living on a canopy that
had been constructed in the middle of river Ganges on his instructions. Now he
felt secured and safe.Meanwhile a poor brahmin named Kashyap came to know about
the curse that poor Pareekshit had received. He knew how to cure a person bitten
by snake. So he thought that it was an excellent opportunity for him to receive
monetary awards from the king. So, he proceeded towards the place where
Pareekshit was staying.
On his way, Kashyap met
a brahmin who in reality was takshak in disguise. Takshak was on his way to kill
Pareekshit. He asked Kashyap about the reason he was going to meet Pareekshit.
Kashyap revealed to Takshak that he could neutralize the influence of poison in
any person bitten by a snake. Takshak wanted to examine the authenticity of
Kashyap's statement, so he inserted his poisonous fangs into the trunk of a huge
tree. A man was sitting on the branches of that tree. The tree as well as the
man was charred to death within no time.
Kashyap, really brought
the tree and that man back to life. Takshak was stunned by this unbelievable
act. He asked Kashyap how much he expected as reward from the king. Kashyap
revealed the amount, which he expected from Pareekshit in lieu of giving him a
fresh lease of life. Takshak gave lot of wealth to him as a bribe and Kashyap
went back home satisfied.Takshak then summoned all his companions and instructed
them to go to the place where Pareekshit lived, disguising themselves as
hermits. All the serpents went to meet Pareekshit impersonating as hermits and
offered fruits to him. According to his plan,Takshak had hidden himself within a
plum fruit. He bit Pareekshit as soon as he got a chance. Pareekshit died
instantly.Janmejaya was crowned as the next king. Meanwhile, people started
criticizing the treacherous conduct of Kashyap, which had resulted in the death
of king Pareekshit. He decided to make a pilgrimage to Venketachaleshwar so that
he became liberated from his sin.
Sutji narrated a tale to
all the assembled sages--During ancient times, a brahmin named Ramkrishna did an
austere penance at Venketachal mountain. He remained immobile during the entire
course of his penance resulting into the development of mole hills all over his
body.Indra was scarred by Ramkrishna's penance and caused a heavy downpour for a
week. All the mole hills were washed away from Ramkrishna's body.Lord Srinivas
became pleased and appeared before him. He blessed Ramkrishna by saying--'This
holy place, where you have performed a great penance will be named after you as
Krishna teerth. Anybody who makes a pilgrimage to this place will be liberated
from all the sins.'
Venketashwar, Sutji says---
'A man, who has the good
fortune of seeing the divine appearance of Lord Srinivas even for a moment,
SOME OTHER PLACES OF
PILGRIMAGE ON VENKETACHAL MOUNTAIN
All the sages then
requested Sutji to tell about some other places of pilgrimage situated on
are about one hundred and eight holy places situated on Venketachal mountain.
Among all these holy places, six are considered to be capable of bestowing
salvation---Swami pushkarini, Akash ganga, Papvinashan, Panduteerth, Kumar
dharika teerth and Tumbu teerth.
ANJANA'S PENANCE AT
Describing how Vayudeva
had once assured Anjana that he would take birth as her son, Sutji told the
sages---Anjana, being issue less even after a long married life, decided to do
penance in order to beget a son. Sage Matang advised her to go to Akashganga
teerth where her wishes would get fulfilled. Sage Matang also described the
geographical location-- 'At a distance of ten yojans towards south is situated
Dhanachal mountain, which is believed to be the abode of Lord Nrisimha. Brahma
teerth lies in its vicinity. At a distance of ten yojans south of Brahma teerth,
flows river 'Suvarnamukhari'. Venkentachal mountain is situated to the north of
this river and the holiest place called Swamipushkarni is situated among its
numerous peaks. You should visit that place and take a holy dip in its water.
After that you should seek the blessings of Lord Varahaswami and Lord
Venketeshwar. You should then go towards north of Swami teerth and you would
Acting as per Matang's
instructions, Anjana went to Akashganga teerth and did her penance. Finally Lord
Vayudeva appeared before her and promised to incarnate as Hanuman.
LORD VISHNU ADVISES
LORD BRAHMA TO GO TO PURUSHOTTAM KSHETRA
The Sages asked---'O
revered sage! We would like to know more about Purushottam Kshetra, where there
is a majestic wooden idol of Lord Vishnu.'
replied--The sacrosanct place of Purushottam Kshetra is graced by the presence
of Lord Jagannath. During ancient times, Lord Varah had rescued Prithvi from the
clutches of Hiranyaksha--the mighty demon who had abducted her to Rasatala.
After Prithvi had been established in its original position, Lord Brahma
commenced his creations. Lord Brahma wondered about the means by which human
beings could get liberated from three major types of sorrow---Adhyatmic
(spiritual), Adhidaivik (deities wrath), Adhibhantik (related with this world).
He sought the help of Lord Vishnu who eulogized the greatness of Purushottam
Kshetra and advised him to go there. Lord Vishnu said-- 'Purushottam Kshetra is
situated at the sea-shore, to the south of river Mahanadi. This sacroscant place
of mine does not get affected by deluge. I dwell at this holiest place as 'Lord
Purushottam'. There is a holy pond called Rohin in the vicinity. Anybody who
takes a holy dip in that pond gets absolved of all his sins. O Brahma! You must
pay a visit to Purushottam kshetra where spending a day bestows virtues greater
than all the austerities combined together.'
This way,Lord Brahma went to Purushottam kshetra as per the instructions of Lord Vishnu.
Lord Brahma soon after
reaching Purushottam kshetra sat down and started meditating. He was so
engrossed in his meditation that he remained in that state for a very long time.
This resulted into total chaos as Yamaraj found that his power of causing death
had no effect on people living in Purushottam kshetra. Worried as he was,
Yamaraj rushed towards Neelachal mountain and sought Lord Vishnu's intervention
in the matter.
Lord Vishnu smiled and
signaled goddess Laxmi to say something. Goddess Laxmi said--'O Suryanandan!
Anybody residing at this holy place is freed from the vicious cycles of birth
and death after becoming absolved of all his sins. This is the reason why you
are experiencing this unusual problem. The whole world except this holy place
will come into your jurisdiction.'
Yamaraj was amazed by
this revelation so he asked Laxmi--'I would like to know why such a privilege is
being given to this place?'
Ravinandan! At the time of deluge when the whole world was submerged in the
water sage Markandeya was struggling to find a secure place for his survival.
Although he was blessed with an unusually long life of seven kalpas but still he
needed a place to live in. He started swimming and finally managed to reach
Purushottam kshetra, which had remained unscathed by the turbulence of the
deluge. There he saw a divine tree called 'Akshay Vat'. Markandeya continued to
swim along the coast wondering how that place had managed to remain unaffected
by deluge when the whole world had been submerged. Suddenly he heard a voice,
which appeared to be coming from the direction of the Akshay Vat--'O Markandeya!
Don't worry! Take my refuge and you shall be protected.'
Markandeya was very
surprised and looked all around. He kept on swimming and saw Lord Vishnu, who
was engrossed in his yoga nidra in ksheer sagar. I (Laxmi) was also present
there. Markandeya eulogized Vishnu in the following way--'Salutations to the
supreme lord- the source of all creations! O Jagannath! Protect me from getting
Lord Vishnu opened his
eyes and found Markandeya gasping for breath. On realizing the gravity of the
situation he said--'Raise your head and look at the top of this Kalpa Vat. You
would find an infant sleeping on a leaf of the Kalpa Vat. The infant is none
other than Kaal himself. You should enter inside his (Kaal's) body through his
opened mouth and live peacefully as there is no other place for you to live in.'
Markandeya entered into
Kaal's body as per the instructions given by Lord Vishnu and was amazed by the
expanse of his belly, which appeared like a bottomless pit. He also saw all the
fourteen Bhuvans existing within Kaal's belly including all the
creatures-deities, sages, siddhas, gandharvas, etc. Markandeya wandered all over
the place and after getting tired came out through Kaal's opened mouth. He found
Lord Vishnu was still present there accompanied by his consort-Laxmi. Markandeya
made salutations to both of them and narrated his experiences he had inside
Kaal's belly.Lord Vishnu blessed him and made a revelation--' The place you had
visited few moments ago is beyond the limits of creation or deluge. The name of
this holiest place is Purushottam kshetra and it is my permanent abode for I do
not leave it even for a moment.'Markandeya was very impressed and requested Lord
Vishnu to allow him to live there. Lord Vishnu replied--' O Brahmarishi! I shall
remain at Purushottam-kshetra till the end of this kalpa. I shall also create a
sacrosanct place, which would enable you to become immortal.'
Sage Markandeya then dug
up a reservoir with the help of Vishnu's chakra. He did an austere penance to
please lord Maheshwar as the result of which he was indeed blessed with
immortality. In course of time, this reservoir became famous as 'Markandeya kund'.
HOLY PLACES IN THE
VICINITY OF PURUSHOTTAM - KSHETRA
Dwelling in length upon
the majesty of Purushottam kshetra, goddess Laxmi said--Purushottam kshetra
resembles a conch in shape and is graced by the presence of lord Shiva. Towards
its north is situated a temple of lord Neelkanth. A famous shiva linga named
Kapal mochan is also situated in the vicinity. One who makes a pilgrimage to
Kapalmochan becomes liberated from gravest of sins. A temple of goddess Vimla
devi is also situated nearby.
Purushottam kshetra is
considered to be supreme among all the places of pilgrimage and for this very
reason it is aptly named 'Teerth Raj'. A divine pond called Rohin kund is also
situated nearby. Anybody who takes a holy dip there is freed from the vicious
cycles of birth and death. It is believed that the increased level of water at
the time of deluge ultimately recedes and disappears into this pond.
Goddess Laxmi said--' O Dhanraj! This holy place is beyond your jurisdiction because people living there never experience death. It is well protected by eight goddesses from all the eight directions. The names of these eight goddesses are Mangla, Lamba, Kaalratri, Marichika, Vimla, Sarvamangla, Ardhashini and Chandrupa. How can lord Rudra be absent when Rudrani has manifested herself in eight forms, so, he has manifested himself in eight different forms as well- Kapalmochan, Kshetrapal, Yameshwar, Markandeyeshwar, Ishan, Bilveshwar, Neelkanth, and Vateshwar.While describing the majesty of Purushottam kshetra, goddess Laxmi revealed to lord Brahma--' In the coming satya yuga there would be a king named Indradyumna and would be famous for his unflinching devotion in lord Vishnu. Being pleased by the king's devotion, lord Vishnu would ultimately manifest himself from a wooden structure to bless him. Vishwakarma would then carve out four idols (Jagannath, Balbhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan chakra) from the wooden block all of which would be installed by none other than you (Brahma).'
Once, while sage Jaimini
was describing the greatness of Purushottam kshetra to the assembled sages, all
of them curiously asked him--
' Where is
Purushottam kshetra situated ?
Jaimini replied --' Utkal is situated at the eastern coast of Bharatvarsha. At the time of deluge, when everything gets submerged in water Utkal remains unaffected and it is the very place from where the knowledge of the Vedas spread in all directions. The residents of Utkal are not only learned but also very prosperous. There is not a single person in this land who is not a devotee of lord Vishnu. All the people belonging to the four prominent castes (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra) diligently follow their respective dharma. This holy place never experiences natural calamities of any kind.'
Sage Jaimini then went
on to narrate the tale of king Indradyumna to all the assembled sages --
'In satya yuga there
lived a noble and virtuous king named Indradyumna, who ruled over the province
of Malva. He was a great devotee of lord Vishnu. One day, while worshipping in a
temple, he asked the priest-I have a wish, which still remains unfulfilled. I
have a deep desire of seeing lord Jagannath with my mortal eyes. Is there any
means with the help of which I can get my wish fulfilled?
The royal priest had no
answer to the king's query so he kept quiet.Suddenly, he saw a group of pilgrims
coming towards the temple. He thought that perhaps one of them might be having
an answer to the king's query. When the pilgrims arrived at the temple, the
royal priest posed the same question to them. One of the pilgrims answered--'
There is a place called Odhra, where is situated a grand temple of lord
Jagannath. This sacrosanct place is also famously known as Purushottam kshetra
and is situated at the foothills of the Neelachal mountain. There is a holy pond
called Rohin situated nearby. At the eastern bank of this pond is situated a
majestic temple of lord Vasudev. The idol of lord Vasudev is made of 'Indraneel'
diamond. To the west of this temple lies 'Shabardeep' hermitage, from where
starts a path leading to Jagannath temple.'
Having said this, the
pilgrim disappeared from everybody's sight. Not only Indradyumna but all the
pilgrims were equally amazed by his sudden disappearance. Indradyumna was
convinced that lord Jagannath had himself come there in the guise of a pilgrim.
Now, his desire of visiting Purushottam kshetra became even more intense.
Indradyumna instructed his priest to find out the exact location of Purushottam
kshetra by sending somebody over there. Later on, the priest went home and
sought the help of Vidyapati-his younger brother in this regard. Vidyapati
readily agreed to help his brother and one fine day he proceeded on his journey
with a select group of his trusted friends.
After a long and arduous
journey all of them reached 'Ekamravan' forest, situated at the foothills of
Neelachal mountain. The thought of being so near their destination made
everybody extremely excited. But, despite their best of efforts they could not
find Shabardeep ashram. Being tired, all of them decided to take rest for a
while and then recommence their efforts to find out the location of Shabardeep
hermitage. Finding a huge tree, all of them took rest under the shade of that
tree. Suddenly, they heard a heavenly voice, which appeared to be coming from
the western direction. They followed the voice and reached Shabardeep ashram in
a short time. There they saw a large gathering of devotees. One of the devotees,
whose name was Vishvavasu, curiously asked Vidyapati--'It is not easy to reach
this place. From where are you coming and where do you intend to go? You must be
tired--wait, till I return with some refreshment for all of you.'
Vidyapati was not in a
mood to waste his time, as he was aware that Indradyumna was eagerly waiting for
him to return. He told Vishvavasu-- I have a difficult mission to accomplish so,
I am not in a position to waste my time. I am the younger brother of the royal
priest of king Indradyumna. The king has vowed not to have a single morsel of
food till he makes a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra. He has sent me with a
specific purpose of finding the exact location of Purushottam kshetra and the
easiest route leading to it. So, help me reach the temple of lord Jagannath as
soon as possible.'
Vidyapati--' I have heard this prophesy of Indradyumna's possible arrival at
Purushottam kshetra in the near future. Not only that, I have also heard that
Indradyumna would become so impressed with Purushottam kshetra that he would
settle down there for good after renouncing everything.'
requested Vidyapati to follow him and started negotiating the steep heights of
Neelachal mountain. Vidyapati followed him through the curvy and arduous paths
of the mountain. Having walked for sometime, Vishvavasu pointed towards a pond
and said--This pond is famously known as Rohin kund. The kalpa vat that you see
towards the east of this pond is considered to be so sacrosanct that a sinner
becomes liberated of all his sins once he comes under its shade. Lord
Jagannath's temple is situated between Rohin kund and the kalpa vat. Go ahead
and have a darshan of lord Jagannath for whom you have undertaken such an
Vidyapati's joys knew no
bounds as he had been waiting for this moment for a long time. First he purified
himself by taking a holy dip in Rohin kund and then went inside the temple to
worship lord Jagannath. He worshipped lord Jagannath by chanting the sacred
pranav mantra.After the worship was over, Vishvavasu requested Vidyapatito visit
his place which was nearby. Vidyapati agreed and accompanied Vishvavasu to his
place. Vidyapati was given a royal treat by his host, which made him wonder as
to how could Vishvavasu arrange all the luxurious things at such a remote place.
He could not control himself and asked Vishvavasu-- Even a king would have found
it difficult to treat his guest as lavishly like you! I am amazed how you could
make arrangements for all these things at a remote and secluded place like this!
How do you manage this?
Vishvavasu replied-- It
is not as difficult as you believe. Since Purushottam kshetra is a sacrosanct
place and it is frequently visited by the deities who make divine offerings to
lord Jagannath. I collect the residuals of whatever is offered to Jagannath from
the temple and bring it home. So, I really don't have to make any special
efforts to accumulate divine food stuffs. On account of eating these divine food
stuffs, not only we have been blessed by eternal youth but also we are never
troubled by old age.Vidyapati was very impressed and requested Vishvavasu to
become his friend. He also reminded Vishvavasu that he wanted to return as soon
as possible so that the king could go on a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra.
But, Vishvavasu made a shocking disclosure to Vidyapati and said-- King
Indradyumna will never be able to have a divine glimpse of lord Jagannath as the
lord is soon going to disappear. But, don't disclose this fact to the king
otherwise he would get disheartened and abandon his plan of making a pilgrimage
to Purushottam kshetra. Finally, when the king in his utter frustration would
try to end his life after not being able to have a divine glimpse of Neelmadhav,
the most gracious lord will appear in his dream and instruct him to get
constructed four wooden idols of Jagannath, Balbhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan
Having accomplished his
mission, Vidyapati proceeded on his return journey and once again he visited
Purushottam kshetra, which fell on the way. He picked up a garland, which had
been offered to Neelmadhav by some deity.Finally, when he reached Malwa he found
king Indradyumna eagerly waiting for him. After presenting the garland to the
king, he narrated his experiences he had at Purushottam kshetra--' O king! Lord
Jagannath's idol is made of Neelmani diamond and is very ancient. Even the
deities have deep regards and undiluted reverence for lord Jagannath and are
frequent visitors to Purushottam Kshetra. The garland, which I have given you,
was in fact had been offered to Lord Jagannath by the deities- these flowers do
not wither and have fragrance lasting for eternity. Purushottam kshetra remains
untouched by old age, sorrow or disease and gives salvation to anybody, who goes
on a pilgrimage over there.'
FOR PURUSHOTTAM KSHETRA
Indradyumna had been
waiting for this moment for a long time- the moment when he would get a chance
to go on a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra. Revealing his great plan to
Vidyapati, he said--' Now, the time has finally come for me to go on a
pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra. I also intend to develop that holy place as a
prominent place of pilgrimage. I would shift my subject to that holy place and
perform one hundred Ashwamedha yagyas once I reach there. I also intend to
devote rest of my life in the worship of Lord Jagannath.'
While the conversation
was going on, the ever wandering sage-Narad, arrived there and informed
Indradyumna how pleased were the deities after learning of his holy intention of
developing Purushottam kshetra into a major place of pilgrimage. Narad also
dwelt on length on the virtues of Jagannath's worship. Indradyumna, thinking
that Narad might prove to be of great help during the course of pilgrimage
because of his vast travelling experience, requested him to accompany him to
Purushottam kshetra. Narad readily agreed to accompany the king and said--' O
king! I shall reveal to you the importance of all the holy places that we come
across in the course of our pilgrimage.'
Indradyumna left for Purushottam kshetra followed by a large procession, that
consisted of his subject, all the ministers and army officers. The entourage
touched the bank of river Mahanadi by evening. Deciding to take rest and spend
the night there, king Indradyumna first took his bath and then worshipped Lord
Jagannath. After the king had taken his bath, all the rest of the people also
took their bath and then everybody sat down to have their dinner. After the meal
was over, while Indradyumna was busy discussing with his ministers on the future
course of action, somebody came with the news that the king of Utkal had
arrived. Indradyumna ordered the messenger to bring the esteemed guest with all
the honour and respect. The king of Utkal arrived and broke a disturbing news--
' Indradyumna, I am afraid your intention of having a divine glimpse of Lord
Jagannath is not going to fructify as lord Neelmadhav has presently concealed
himself beneath a huge heap of sand caused by a ferocious sandstorm. The fallout
of this inauspicious incident has been extremely adverse on my kingdom-- as my
people are experiencing acute famine.
Indradyumna was shocked,
especially the thought of not getting a chance to have a divine glimpse of lord
Neelmadhav made him dejected- he saw all his efforts going in vain. But, Narad
consoled him by saying --' Don't worry! Lord Neelmadhav is extremely merciful
and he will certainly give you an opportunity to have his divine glimpse.'
INDRADYUMNA REACHES 'EKAMRACHHETRA'
Continuing with the tale
of Indradyumna, sage Jaimini told all the sages--' Next morning, Indradyumna and
his entourage crossed Mahanadi on boats and reached Ekamrachhetra where they
worshipped lord Purushottam. After that they worshipped on their onwards journey
and reached Kotishwar Mahalaya where they worshipped lord Tribhuneshwar with
appropriate rituals. Lord Tribhuneshwar appeared after becoming pleased and
blessed Indradyumna that his wish of seeing lord Jagannath was soon going to be
fulfilled. Lord Tribhuneshwar then instructed Narad--' O great soul! After
reaching Purushottam kshetra, help Indradyumna perform one hundred yagyas as per
the instructions given by lord Brahma. I along with goddess Durga, dwell at the
entrance of conch shaped Purushottam kshetra. Although, presently lord Jagannath
has concealed himself beneath a heap of sand yet very soon he is going to
manifest himself. Indradyumna should get constructed a magnificent temple of
lord Jagannath at the same place, where once existed his idol and presently
which is hidden beneath the heap of sand. Later on, Vishwakarma would then carve
out four idols from a single piece of wood, which would subsequently be
installed by Lord Brahma himself. Finally, Indradyumna's wish of seeing lord
Jagannath would get fulfilled.
Narad assured lord
Tribhuneshwar that all his instructions would be followed in letter and spirit.
The procession then left for the place indicated by Lord Tribhuneshwar.
After reaching the temple of Neelkanth-Mahadev, all of them worshipped Mahadev and Durga. They then visited the temple of lord Nrisimha, situated under a sandalwood tree at the foothills of Neelachal mountain.King Indradyumna was anxiously waiting for the moment he would have a divine glimpse of lord Jagannath. He requested Narad to take him to the place where Jagannath had hidden himself beneath the heap of sand. Narad took him near a Banyan tree and said--' Look at this huge Banyan tree that is two yojans in height and whose trunk is spread in the area of one yojan. To the north of this Banyan tree and to the north of Nrisimha temple lies the place where lord Neelmadhav used to have his dwelling sometime ago but who has presently concealed himself. Now, the time is not very far when you would see lord Jagannath with your mortal eyes.'
Indradyumna bowed in
reverence to the place where lord Jagannath was supposed to re-manifest himself
in the near future. He eulogized the lord as if he were already present there
and this was true as Jagannath's idol was indeed present there albeit hidden
beneath heaps of sand. He prayed--' O lord! You are the one in whom every living
creature ultimately takes refuge. My only wish is to be able to see your idol,
which is presently hidden beneath heaps of sand.'Hardly had Indradyumna finished
his prayer when he heard a heavenly voice--'O king! Do not worry! The day is not
far when you would see me with your mortal eyes. You just need to follow Narad's
instructions and your wish will be fulfilled.
NARAD INSTALLS THE
IDOL OF NRISIMHA
Narad told Indradyumna--'
Now, we should install an idol of lord Nrisimha near Neelkanth's temple for this
is the very place where you will be performing one thousand Ashwamedh Yagyas in
the days to come. So, your first priority should be to get constructed a
magnificent temple of lord Nrisimha. I plan to stay here for five more days as
Vishwakarma will be needing my help in carving out the idol of lord Nrisihma.'
Leaving Narad alone near
the Neelkanth temple, Indradyumna went near the sandalwood tree, which was at a
little distance from the temple, and was surprised to find Sughat- Vishwakarma's
son waiting for him. He requested Sughat to construct a grand temple with its
main entrance facing west. Sughat constructed the temple within four days. On
the fifth day, Narad arrived there with an idol of lord Nrisimha, which had been
carved out by Vishwakarma. An auspicious day was chosen for installing the idol.
After the idol had been installed, every body including king Indradyumna, Narad
as well as the people accompanying the procession worshipped Lord Narsimha.
Sages, who had been
listening to the tale narrated by Jaimini with rapt attention till then asked--'
What did Indradyumna next do after the idol of Lord Nrisimha had been
Sage Jaimini replied--'
After the idol of Lord Nrisimha had been installed, Indradyumna began making
preparations for Ashwamedha yagya. He sent invitations to all the deities,
learned brahmins and sages. When everybody arrived, he made a special request to
Indra to remain present at the oblation site till the completion of one thousand
Ashwamedha yagyas.Indra assured Indradyumna of his full cooperation and advised
him to go ahead with his plan of accomplishing one thousand Ashwamedha yagyas.
Finally, Indradyumna performed the first yagya under the supervision of learned
priests. This way, he was able to successfully accomplish nine hundred and
ninety nine yagyas without any problem. Finally, when the last Ashwamedha yagya
was being performed, Indradyumna had a divine glimpse of Lord Vishnu while he
was engrossed in his meditation. Indradyumna narrated his experience to Narad to
which he got a reply that it was a good omen, which proved that the king was
going to see Lord Jagannath with his mortal eyes.