Once, Shaunak and few
other sages asked Sutji as to how could a man become free from the bondage of
the world. They also inquired whether there was an existence of any such holy
place capable of liberating a man from heinous of sin.
Ramteerth is supreme among all the places of pilgrimage. A mere sight of this
holy place is enough to free a man from the bondage of this mortal world. Going
on a pilgrimage to Rameshwar gives virtues similar to what is attained by
performing all the yagyas. One, who takes a holy dip at Setu Rameshwar, attains
to Vishnuloka. Merely by sleeping at the sea shore of Rameshwar a man gets
absolved of heinous of sins like brahmhatya, etc. A man is blessed if his
remains are consigned to the holy waters at Rameshwar after his death.
Scriptures say that five types of sins are as grave as the sin of brahmahatya--
All the sages were
curious to know about the holy places in the vicinity of Rameshwar. Sutji
replied--Sri Ram replied went into exile accompanied by Sita, his consort and
his younger brother, Laxman. Ravan, the demon king who ruled over Lanka
deceitfully abducted Sita. Subsequently, Sri Ram befriended Sugreev and killed
Bali, who harboured enemity against him. Sugreev sent monkeys in all directions
to find out where Sita had been kept by Ravan. Later on Sri Ram reached Mahendra
Parvat accompanied by Laxman, Hanuman, Sugreeva, Jambavan, Nal and may more
brave warriors. They stayed for a brief period at Chakrateerth, where Vibhishan
came to see Sri Ram. Eventually Vibhishan was nominated the king of all the
demons by Sri Ram to the great displeasure of his brother Ravan.
Sri Ram and his army
faced an uphill task of reaching Lanka for they had to cross the ocean, which
lay as a great barrier between them and their destination. Samudra (ocean)
revealed to Sri Ram that Nala had divine powers and whatever he would throw in
the Ocean would not sink down but keep on floating. Nala tried to check the
authenticity of Samudra's statement by throwing a huge rock into the ocean, as
he himself was not aware of his powers. To the sheer amazement of everybody
present there the rock started floating on the surface of the ocean instead of
sinking down. All the rest of the monkeys tried to emulate Nala's feat by
throwing huge rocks into the ocean and to their own surprise found that the
rocks did not sink. This was how a bridge was built and across the ocean which
made it possible for Sri Ram and his army to cross the ocean. Then length of
Setu Rameshwar Bandh is hundred yojan and it is ten yojan broad. There are many
holy places situated on the bridge prominent among which are Chakra-teerth,
Paap-vinashan teerth, Sita -sarovar, Mangal- teerth, Amrit-watika, Brahma-kund,
Hanumat- kund, Agastya-teerth, Ram-teerth, Laxman-teerth, Jaya-teerth, Laxmi-teerth,
Agni-teerth, Shiv-teerth, Shankh-teerth, Yamuna-teerth, Ganga-teerth,
Koti-teerth, Manas-teerth and Dhanushkoti teerth.
Describing how Sri Ram
had installed Rameshwar linga, Sutji said--' After killing Ravan, Sri Ram
enthroned Vibhishan as the king of Lanka. While returning to Ayodhya he made a
brief stop at Gandhamadan mountain. Since the thought of having killed a brahmin
(Ravan) kept on tormenting him, he decided to atone for his sins. So, he
installed the idol of Rameshwar linga at Rameshwar setu. Rameshwar linga is so
sacrosanct that all the holy places, sages and ancestors are believed to exist
within the temple premise of Maheshwar linga. Being installed by Sri Ram
himself, this particular linga has special significance attached to it. One who
goes on a pilgrimage to this holy place is certain to attain salvation even if
he were a 'Mlechha' (born in a low caste).
Once, sage Vyas went to
meet Yudhisthira, who requested him to describe the significance of Dharmaranya
Sage Vyas replied-- ' O king! Once, Dharmaraj-Yudhisthira did an austere penance to please lord Shiva. As usual, Indra became scarred because he thought that Dharmaraj was doing penance with the intention of acquiring Indraloka. He and other deities went to seek the help of lord Brahma, who did not have any clue. So, all of them went to Kailash mountain to seek Lord Shiva's help. Since Shiva was aware of Dharma's motive, he explained to the deities that there was nothing to worry about. But, Indra was not satisfied and the thought of loosing his kingdom continued to torment him.
Indra then instructed a
beautiful Apsara named Vardhini to go to the place where Dharma was doing
penance and disturb him by corrupting his thoughts. Vardhini went to the place
where Dharma was engrossed in his penance and was successful in disturbing him.
When Dharma opened his eyes he found a beautiful Apsara in front of him.
Vardhini asked Dharma--' O Lord! What is the objective with which you are doing
such an austere penance? Being an embodiment of virtuosity yourself, you prevail
in the whole world. So, in a sense you already the lord of the world - what else
do you need?'
Dharma told Vardhini
that he was doing penance with the objective of having a divine glimpse of lord
Shiva. Vardhini informed him that Indra was scarred of losing his kingdom and
hence had sent her to disturb his penance. Dharma was pleased by her
truthfulness and wanted to reward her for that. Vardhini expressed her desire of
having her abode in Indraloka for eternity and also of having a place of
pilgrimage named on her. Dharma blessed her after which she returned to
Dharma once again
engrossed himself in penance. Ultimately, Lord Shiva became pleased and appeared
before him. ' Ask for any boon and it shall be bestowed to you', said Lord
Shiva. Dharmaraj replied -' O lord! I want this place to be named after me. I
also request you to grace this place by your presence.' Lord Shiva blessed him
and fulfilled both his wishes. This was how Dharmakshetra got its name.
Subsequently, lord Shiva appeared in the form of Dharmeshwar linga in accordance
with the second wish of Dharmaraj. After his penance was over, Dharma also had
created a holy reservoir over there which is believed to absolve a man of all
LOSS OF MORAL VALUES
On being asked by
Yudhisthira about the life-style of people in Kaliyuga, sage Vyas replied--
'There will be a widespread prevalence of sinful deeds and lack of moral values
in Kaliyuga. People would become untruthful and would become critical of revered
sages. Moral values would decline to such an extent their minds would be
preoccupied by nothing else but the thought of sex. In Kaliyuga women will feel
most insecure and even her near and dear ones would become untrustworthy - men
belonging to their own gotras would try to exploit her. Brahmins would be
criticized because of their inappropriate conduct- They would become arrogant,
would start trading their knowledge and would not follow the teachings of the
Similarly, Kshatriyas would become cowards and a mere reference of battle would be enough to scare them. Majority of people would indulge in immoral deeds like gambling and consume variety of intoxication. They would always look out for an opportunity to grab other's wealth by deceitful means. Married women would not fulfill their obligation towards their husbands. Cows would give lesser milk and trees would bear fewer fruits. Young girls would become pregnant at the raw age of eleven years. Brahmins, by their conduct would undermine the importance of holy places and would indulge in excessive eating and drinking. In Kaliyuga, people would not give any importance to caste system. Kings would loose their kingdoms and Mlechhas would become the rulers. Treachery, enemity and disrespect towards elders would become the norms of the day.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF
Once, on being asked by
Narad about the importance of Chaturmasya, lord Brahma said--' Chaturmasya is
the period of four months during which lord Vishnu is believed to take rest in
ksheer-sagar. So quite naturally, all the oceans, rivers and ponds are believed
to attain divinity due to the presence of Lord Vishnu in ksheer-sagar during
this period. This is the reason why great importance has been attached to taking
holy bath during this period. A devotee, who observes austerities related with
Lord Vishnu during these four months, becomes absolved of all his sins. All the
deities are believed to dwell within Lord Vishnu during this period. Going on
pilgrimage to holy places and taking holy dips in rivers bestow indescribable
A devotee must not forget to perform the rituals of 'Tarpan' after taking his daily bath. He should also observe abstinence and avoid indulging in sensual pleasures during this period of four months. There is special significance of making donations during this period, especially donating food-grains.
ABSTINENCE DURING CHATURMAS
Continuing with the
importance of austerities observed during Chaturmas, Lord Brahma said--'
Human-beings are bundle of desires and long for worldly things. So, there is a
great importance of abstinence and forsaking things, which one is very fond of.
One who relinquishes his most favourite thing during this period gets the same
thing in abundance in the next world. A householder, who renounces his family
life for the sake of his devotion during this period, becomes free from the
tortures of recurring births and deaths. Similarly, relinquishing the use of
chilly in one's food during this period helps him to acquire great fortune.
Renouncing silk cloths during this period gives imperishable joy. One should
avoid wearing black cloths during this period. Combing and shaving are
prohibited during this period.
A devotee should worship
Lord Vishnu on the auspicious day of Kark sankranti. Normally black plums are
offered to Lord Vishnu while worshipping. Celibacy is believed to be the best
austerity and anybody who observes it during the period of chaturmas, never
experiences sorrow in his life.
RITUALS PERTAINING TO
Once, on being asked by
Narad about the proper methods of performing Shodash upachar rituals, lord
Brahma said --'In normal circumstances, when lord Vishnu is worshipped by
employing the rituals of Shodashopachar it is considered as 'Tapa'. But, when
the same rituals of shodashopachar are employed to worship lord Vishnu during
chaturmas, it is considered as 'Mahatapa'. In the same manner, all the
austerities that are observed during Chaturmas attain greater importance.
Lord Brahma then went on
to elucidate the proper method of performing the rituals of 'Shodashopachar'--'
"A particular 'mahasukta' of Yajurveda consisting of sixteen ' richas are
chanted while worshipping Lord Vishnu. Similarly richas like 'sahastra-sheersha
purushah' and fifteen others are considered to be most appropriate for the
worship of almighty Vishnu. First of all, a devotee should perform the ritual of
'nyas' by mentally associating all the sixteen richas with different organs of
the body as per the instructions given in the smritis. The same rituals of 'nyas'
are then performed on the idol of lord Vishnu or Shaligram. After that an
invocation is made to Lord Vishnu by chanting the first richa of Purush
sukta--'Sahashtra sheersha Purushah' with a slight modification i.e. by adding 'om'
in the beginning of the mantra. Similarly, Lord Vishnu and other 'Parshads'
should be installed at the place of worship by chanting the second richa-
'Purush evedam'. With the chanting of third richa, Lord Vishnu's lotus feet are
washed after which 'ardhya' is offered with the holy water collected from all
the seven seas and other holy rivers. Subsequently, the ritual of 'achaman' is
performed amidst the chanting of fifth richa. The ritual of ablution is then
performed in which the idol of Lord Vishnu is bathed amidst the chanting of the
sixth richa. The idol is adorned with beautiful apparels amidst the chanting of
Similarly, a sacred thread is offered to Lord Vishnu amidst the chanting of eighth richa while sandalwood paste is smeared on the idol amidst the chanting of ninth richa. Subsequently, amidst the chanting of tenth, eleventh, twelfth and thirteen richas, flowers, incense, lighted lamp and naivedya are offered to the deity respectively. Naivedya should consist of cereals. While performing 'aarti' the fourteenth richa should be chanted. A devotee should then circumambulate around the idol amidst the chanting of fifteenth richa. Imagining himself as an inseparable part of lord Vishnu, he should meditate amidst the chanting of the sixteenth richa."
THE PATH OF SURYA
Once, sage Vyas narrated
the following tale to all the assembled sages-- ' Once, while wandering about,
sage Narad arrived at Vindhyachal mountain. He was received with great honour
and respect by Vindhyachal mountain. But, when the time arrived for Narad to
take his leave, he took a deep sigh, which made Vindhyachal extremely perplexed
and he asked Narad if anything was wrong. Narad replied--' Your rival-Meru
mountain is superior to you in every respect and this is the fact I am lamenting
about. My deep sigh is just the indication of my worried state of mind.'
Vindhyachal mountain was
filled with inferiority complex and started waiting for an opportunity when he
could prove his superiority to Meru mountain. He thought--' Perhaps Narad was
right for even Lord Surya has great respect for Meru's might and this is the
reason why he circumambulates my adversary. If I am able to beat Meru in height
then may be Lord Surya would start circumambulating me and this way I shall
prove my superiority to Meru.'
Now, Vindhyachal started
increasing his height and in a short time its peaks became invisible. The
fallout of this amazing incident proved to be quite catastrophic for the world
because even Lord Surya was left stranded at a particular point in the horizon.
As a result, one part of the earth became too hot for any life to exist.
Similarly, the other half of the earth became unbearably cold. The time became
still and everything went haywire in the world.
All the deities became
extremely worried and went to Lord Brahma to seek his help. Lord Brahma advised
them to go to Kashi and seek help from sage Agastya. Deities were pleased at
their good fortune of getting a chance to visit Kashi. Deities, after reaching
Kashi paid a visit to 'Manikarnika teerth' and took their bath. Subsequently,
they went to Vishwanath temple and worshipped Lord Vishwanath. At last, they
reached the hermitage of Agastya where he was busy worshipping a self made
Shivalinga. The entire hermitage was crowded with young pupils of Agastya. After
the pleasantries having been exchanged, sage Agastaya asked the deities about
the purpose of their visit.
VINDHYA TO DIMINISH ITS SIZE
When Agastya learnt of
the problem created by Vindhyachal, he agreed to help the deities despite fully
aware of the fact that once he left Kashi it would not be possible for him to
see his dearest Kashi once again at least in his present birth. Before leaving
for Vindhyachal, he sought permission from Lord Bhairav. He then reached the
place where Vindhyachal had obstructed the path of Surya. Lopamudra, his wife
When Vindhyachal found
Agastya starring angrily at him he became scarred and immediately minimized his
size. Sage Agastya was pleased that his objective had been achieved without
making any effort but he knew quite well that once he left the place Vindhyachal
would regain his mammoth size. So he decided to do something so that Vindhyachal
could not obstruct the path of Surya. He worked out a plan according to which he
instructed Vindhyachal to wait for him until he returned after accomplishing his
pilgrimage. Vindhyachal agreed assuming that Agastya would return in a short
Vindhyachal thanked his good fortune of escaping Agastya's wrath, which could otherwise have threatened his very existence. Sage Agastya then went away never to return and Vindhyachal kept on waiting for his arrival. This way, the path being cleared, Surya was once again able to move freely on its orbit without any problem and as a result normalcy returned to the world.
On the other hand,
Agastya who was not at all happy leaving his dearest Kashi was desperate to get
there back as soon as possible. But, he knew that his wish was going to remain
unfulfilled. While wandering about, he reached Kolapur where he worshipped
goddess Mahalaxmi. When goddess Mahalaxmi appeared, he asked her whether he
would ever be able to reach Kashi in his present life. Goddess Mahalaxmi
replied--' Your wishes will be fulfilled in the coming nineteenth dwapar, when
you would incarnate as Vyas and would contribute a great deal in the propagation
of the Vedas and Puranas. There is a sacrosanct place of Kartikeya not very far
from here. Go there and pay your obeisance to Lord Kartikeya and he would
unravel the mysterious aspects of Kashi to you.'
Sage Agastya and his
wife Lopamudra then went to the mountain called Sri Shail, where Kartikeya lived
at that time.
KASHI -THE SACROSANCT
PLACE OF PILGRIMAGE
After travelling for
sometime, both of them arrived near Sri Shail mountain. Pointing his finger
towards the mountain, Agastya told his wife--'One, who has a good fortune of
seeing the peaks of this mountain, never takes a second birth.'
Lopamudra replied in
amazement--' If the sight of this mountain was capable of giving salvation then
why do you long for Kashi?'
Sage Agastya then went on to clarify that there were many other holy places capable of giving salvation. Prayag is one such place. It is capable of bestowing all the four 'Purusharth' to man-Dharma, Arth, Kaam and Moksha. Apart from Prayag, there are many more holy places like Naimisharanya, Kurukshetra, Gangadwar, Avanti, Ayodhya, Mathura, Dwarka, Badrikashram, Purushottam kshetra which are capable of giving salvation to a man. But none of these places can match Kashi because Kashi is incomparable.
DESCRIBES THE MAJESTY OF KASHI
Sage Agastya and his
wife Lopamudra circumambulated Sri Shail Mountain and climbed up Lohit mountain
where they found Lord Kartikeya. Both of them eulogized kartikeya by singing
vedic hymns in his praise. Lord kartikeya was extremely pleased by their
devotion and said- O revered sage! You can understand Kashi's importance by the
fact that, though I am capable of reaching any place according to my wish but
still, here I am doing this austere penance for the attainment of Kashi. I must
confess that I have not been successful in my efforts till date. If any body
thinks that he can attain to kashi just by performing austerities than he is
totally wrong. Kashi can never be attained to until and unless one has the
blessing of Lord mahadeva. And one who is fortunate enough to have reached Kashi
must under no circumstances leave it till he is alive. O Agastya! You are
blessed because you had the good fortune of residing at Kashi. Please allow me
to touch your body, which has acquired holiness due to its proximity to Kashi.'
Having said this, Kartikeya touched different parts of agastya's body as if he
were touching the sacred soil of Kashi.
THE ORIGIN OF KASHI
Sage Agastya asked Lord
Kartikeya how the sacrosanct place, Kashi came into being. He also asked how
Kashi became famous as a place capable of giving salvation to a man.
Lord Kartikeya revealed
to Agastya that once Parvati had asked Lord Shiva the same question. Lord Shiva
had told her--' At the time of deluge when every thing had submerged in the
ocean and darkness prevailed everywhere, only BRAHM-the embodiment of truth
existed at that time and nothing else. BRAHM, the absolute truth is
indescribable and inexpressible. No name can be attributed to HIM. HE is the
absolute truth, the ultimate knowledge, the infinite, the omnipresent and the
eternal bliss. Though basically formless HE attained a form on account of HIS
own wish. That form is none other than me. Later on I created Prakriti from my
body. All three of us (Shiva, Parvati and Kashi) manifested simultaneously by
the grace of 'Aadi purush' (The Almighty God).'
Continuing with the tale
of Kashi's greatness, Kartikeya told Agastya-' There is no holy place as dear to
Lord Shiva as Kashi, which is not abandoned by him as well as his
consort-Parvati even at the time of deluge. Lord Shiva named this holy place-
Ananda van, because it gave immense joy to him. Subsequently, Lord Shiva and
goddess Jagdamba put a glance on the left portion of their respective bodies as
the result of which a divine entity manifested himself who was none other than
Lord Vishnu and who was named Purushottam by Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva after
blessing Purushottam went away. Later on, Lord Vishnu created a divine reservoir
with his sudarshan chakra and filled it up with his sweat. He then engaged
himself in an austere penance. Lord Shiva once again appeared along with Parvati
and blessed Vishnu by saying-' This holy place will become famously known as
Manikarnika because this is the very place where I had once lost my diamond
Lord Vishnu made a
request to Shiva --' May this place fulfill the wishes of those who seek
salvation. Since it is blessed with your eternal presence hence its another name
would be Kashi.'
Lord Shiva assured
Vishnu by saying- ' This sacrosanct place is very dear to me and no event takes
place here against my wish. Even if a person living here happens to be a sinner
he has nothing to fear because I protect him. One who lives far from Kashi but
remembers it with reverence becomes absolved of all his sins.'
There is a magnificent
Shiva-linga at Kashi famously known as Kashi Vishwanath. Here is situated one of
the twelve Jyotirlingas. Just as the Sun is visible in the whole world despite
its presence at a particular point in the horizon, in the same manner Kashi has
its influence throughout the length and breadth of the world.
SANAT KUMAR GLORIFIES
Once, goddess Parvati
requested Shiva to describe the significance of Mahakaal teerth. Lord Shiva
replied-" Once, Sanatkumar- one of the manasputras of Lord Brahma had gone
to his father's abode, situated at a place near Meru mountain. Sage Vyas arrived
there and asked him the same question. Sanatkumar had revealed to him that all
kinds of sins loosed their evil influence at Mahakaal teerth. He had also told
him that it was called 'Peetha' because Matrikas had their abode over there.
Anybody, who is fortunate of leaving his mortal body at this holy-place, is
freed from the vicious cycles of birth and death. This place is very dear to
Lord Shiva and is also called by various other names like Ekamrak-van,
Mahakaal-van and Vimukti-kshetra.
Once, lord Shiva arrived
at Mahakal forest with a skull in his hand. All the trees and vegetation were
delighted to find him in their midst. They requested lord Shiva to remain their
forever. Lord Shiva told them that it was not possible for him to stay there
forever but on being requested once again agreed to stay there for at least a
year. After one year, when the time for departure came he released the skull
from his hand as a memorial.
When lord Brahma came to
know of this incident, he instructed all the deities to reach Mahakal forest
without wasting any time so that a grand yagya could be performed at the place
where Shiva had left the skull. All the deities went to the said place and
worshipped Lord Shiva by employing the rituals of Pashupat vrata, which Lord
Brahma had taught them. Lord Shiva became pleased by their devotion and said--'
Perhaps you all are not aware that there was a specific objective behind my act
of releasing the skull from my hand. This act of mine was done to protect your
lives but it seems you are unaware of its significance. In a way, all of you
have already received my blessings in advance for your deep devotion. What else
do you wish for ?'
Deities were amazed by
Shiva's statements and were wondering what Shiva was trying to convey. So, they
requested Shiva to unravel the mystery so that they could understand what he
meant to say. Lord Shiva told them-' The followers of Maya were planning to kill
you while you were busy doing penance but no one of you was aware of their evil
motive. I came to know about this in my deep state of meditation and dropped the
skull from my hand. As soon as the skull touched the ground a thunderous sound
was made as the result of which all the demons were killed instantaneously.'
All the deities thanked
Lord Shiva for protecting their lives. In course of time this particular place
became famous as Kapal mochan temple and is presently situated in Ujjain.
VARIOUS NAMES OF
Once, sage Vyas
requested Sanatkumar to reveal why Ujjainipuri was known by various names like
Kanakshringa, Kushasthali Avanti and Padmavati.
Once, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva arrived at Ujjainipuri in search of Lord
Vishnu, who had disappeared from his abode. To their pleasant surprise they
found Lord Vishnu staying there. Both of them requested Vishnu to allow them to
stay at Ujjainipuri and said-' O Lord! When did you create such a magnificent
place with golden mountain peaks? Allow us to live in this beautiful city for we
can not live in your separation.'
Lord Vishnu requested
Brahma to make his abode in the northern part of the city while Shiva was told
to make southern part as his abode. Lord Vishnu then told them-' Since you have
referred to this place as a city of golden mountain peaks therefore from now
onwards it would become famous as 'Kanchan Shringa' (golden peaks)'.
Sanat kumar then went on
to explain why Ujjainipuri was also called Kusha sthali-' Having created the
world, Lord Brahma requested Lord Vishnu to nurture it. Lord Vishnu agreed on
the condition that Lord Brahma provided him a pious place on the earth from
where he could perform his duty. Brahma then picked up a handful of kusha grass
and threw down on the earth. This way Lord Vishnu performed his duty as the
nurturer of the world sitting on the seat of Kusha grass. This is the reason why
this place came to be known as Kusha sthali.'
Sanat kumar then
described how Ujjainipuri also came to be known as Avanti puri-' Once, after
being defeated by the demons, deities fled to Meru mountain. Later on they went
to Lord Brahma and sought his help. Lord Brahma took all the deities to Lord
Vishnu. Hardly had they reached the abode of Vishnu and offered their obeisance,
then they heard a heavenly voice- 'There is a sacrosanct place called
Kushasthali in the forest of Mahakal van. This holy place is graced by the
presence of Lord Mahadeva. Go there and engage yourself in austerities and you
will certainly become the master of the heaven once again.'
Subsequently, all the
deities went to a place called Paishachmochan situated in Kushasthali and
engaged themselves in various austerities. As prophesized by Vishnu, the deities
indeed defeated the demons and became the ruler of heaven. The term 'Avan' means
'the protector' and since it had protected the deities hence it became famous as
Sanat kumar also
described how Kushasthali also came to be known as Ujjaini-' Once, a demon named
Tripur did an austere penance to please Lord Brahma. When Brahma appeared he
expressed his wish of becoming immortal. Lord Brahma fulfilled his wish as the
result of which Tripur became arrogant and started tormenting the deities. The
deities sought the help of Lord Shiva, who assured them that he would kill the
demon. Subsequently, Lord Shiva did kill Tripur with his most lethal weapon 'pashupat
ashtra' after a fierce battle. The place where this incident took place became
famous as Ujjaini because of the fierce battle fought between Shiva and Tripur.
Continuing with the tale
which described the reason why Ujjainipuri also came to be known as Padmavati,
Sanatkumar told Vyas-' During the time of ocean churning ambrosia had also
emerged from the ocean bed along with many other valuable things. The demons
wanted to drink ambrosia so that they could become immortal but the deities were
against this idea. Very soon, the arguments turned into a major dispute and both
the sides started quarrelling. Narad requested Lord Vishnu to do something in
this regard. Lord Vishnu disguised himself as a beautiful lady and was
successful in infatuating the demons. Finally, he started giving ambrosia to the
deities who after drinking it became immortal. A demon named Rahu was sitting in
the rows of the deities after changing his guise. Lord Vishnu was unable to
recognize Rahu and gave some ambrosia to him mistaking him to be a deity. But,
hardly had Rahu gulped down Ambrosia and before it could reach down his throat,
Vishnu severed his head. Rahu's head became immortal as the result of ambrosia's
influence. This incident had taken place at Mahakal forest. Later on all the
deities distributed the whole wealth, which had emerged from the ocean among
themselves. This is the reason why Ujjainipuri came to be known as Padmavati
because Padma is another name of Goddess Laxmi.
THE GRANDEUR OF
says-' Once, Parvati requested Lord Shiva to explain why Avantipuri was
considered so holy by the devotees. Lord Shiva told her that it was so because
there were numerous holy places situated over there. Lord Shiva had told her-'
There are four holy rivers flowing through the different regions of Avantipuri-
Kshipra, Divya-nav, Neelganga and Gandhavati. There are temples belonging to
eighty four shiva lingas, eight Bhairavas, eleven Rudras, Twelve Aadityas, six
Ganeshas and twenty four goddesses. Not only this there are also temples of Lord
Vishnu and Brahma. Avantipuri is spread in the radius of one yojan. There are
temples belonging to ten different incarnations of Lord Vishnu- Vasudev, Anant,
Balaram, Janardan, Narayan, Hrishikesh, Varah, Dharnidhar, Vaman and Lord Vishnu
himself taking rest on Sheshnag. Apart from these there are many other holy
places situated at Avantipuri, which enhances its sanctity and holiness.