The Story of Kotitirtha ||52||
1Arjuna said: How did Kotitirtha originate, O sage? By whom was it made? How is it that the merit of a crore of Tirthas is obtained here, O sage?
2Narada said: When this spot was established by me, Lord Brahma, the grandfather (of the worlds), was propitiated and brought from his world (Brahmaloka).
3-4Then, at midday, Lord Vidhi (Brahma) remembered a crore of Tirthas for the sake of his bath. On being remembered, they all came here—one million from Svarga, seven million from the earth and two million from Patala. All of these came on being remembered.
5When Pitamaha began his worship, O leading scion of the family of Kuru, Lingas too came in the same number.
6-11After performing the ablution and worshipping the Lingas and after concluding the midday rites, the Lotus-born Lord lovingly granted me boons. Thereafter, a lake was mentally created by the Lord. Lord Prajapati was adored by those Tirthas and was asked: “O Lord Dhata, what shall we do? Command us.” On hearing those words of the Tirthas, Brahma, the Prajapati spoke: “All the Tirthas should stay here in this lake. Since I worshipped all the Lingas, all the Lingas should stay in a single Linga. The devotees shall get the benefit of the holy bath in all the crores of Tirthas as well as that of the worship of a crore of Lingas. They shall get the benefit of charitable gifts too in the same manner, if my words are true. If anyone performs Sraddha here and offers rice balls in accordance with the injunctions, the Pitris will be propitiated everlastingly. There is no doubt about it.
12If anyone takes his holy bath and worships Lord Kotisvara without thinking about anything else, he will obviously obtain the benefit of worshipping a crore of Lingas.
13By taking his bath in Kotitirtha, one gets the benefit of (baths in) all the Tirthas in the three worlds and in all the rivers beginning with Ganga.”
14After granting the boon thus, Lord Brahma went to his region (Brahmaloka). Ever since then, Kotitirtha became well renowned.
15Formerly the excellent Devas beginning with Brahma performed many Yajnas on its banks. Thereafter, they attained great Siddhi.
16Formerly, O sinless one, penance was performed by the excellent sages beginning with Vasishtha. Other ascetics too obtained everything they desired in their minds.
17-18Formerly, penance was performed, O son of Pritha, here in this Tirtha by Atri. An excellent Linga was installed to the south of Kotitirtha (by him). It is called Atrisvana Linga. It is destructive of great sins. After installing that Linga, he made an excellent lake in front of it.
19After taking his holy dip there and worshipping Atrisvara, if any man performs Sraddha carefully, he shall dwell in the world of Rudra for a long time.
20It is reported, O mighty-armed one, that penance was performed and Yajnas were performed by sage Bharadvaja in the excellent lake Kotitirtha.
21The exceedingly charming Linga Bharadvajesvara was installed. After making a very beautiful lake there, be obtained a great pleasure.
22After taking his bath there, a man should perform Sraddha with great devotion and in accordance with the injunctions. After worshipping Bharadvajesvara, he is honoured in the world of Siva.
23Further, the holy Lord, sage Gautama performed a very severe penance at this Kotitirtha with the hope of a reunion with Ahalya .
24The intelligent (sage) realized union with Ahalya, thanks to the power of this Tirtha. He derived a great pleasure (thereby).
25The holy Lord installed a great Linga at this holy spot. It is named Gautamesvara. It is on the banks of the lake Ahalya saras .
26Arjuna said: O Brahmana, when was this great lake dug by Ahalya? Tell me the cause of this Ahalyasaras in its entirety.
27Narada told: It is reported that in ancient’ times, Ahalya, due to her union with Indra, was cursed by Gautama. She then felt extremely sorry for it, O Phalguna.
28Thereafter, the sage who was very much depressed and miserable, performed a penance at Kotitirtha. As a result of that penance, O son of Pritha, he was re-united with Ahalya.
29Then the chaste lady became extremely delighted. She created an exceedingly meritorious lake in this excellent spot, filled with the water of (all) Tirthas.
30A devotee should perform holy ablution in the Ahalyasaras and then offer rice-balls (to Pitris). By properly worshipping Gautamesa he goes to the world of Brahma.
31Many sages who were free from impurities have performed severe penances, O excellent one among men, at Kotitirtha and have attained the greatest Siddhi (i.e. liberation).
32Formerly, austerities, charitable gifts and sacrifices were performed by many kings at this holy spot. They have attained the greatest Siddhi (thereby).
33If anyone propitiates a single Brahmana with sumptuous food on the banks of this holy Tirtha, due to that faith, it is as good as a crore (Brahmanas) propitiated.
34-36If any man, O son of Pritha, gives different kinds of jewels, cows, plots of lands, gingelly seeds, cereals and different kinds of clothes to Brahmanas with great sincerity and faith, it has merits a hundred crores of times, thanks to the power of Kotitirtha. If anyone promises anything to Brahmanas at Kotitirtha but does not give it, he causes a hundred and one generations of his family to fall into the exceedingly terrible hell Raurava. Afterwards he himself falls into it.
37At the advent of the month of Magha (January-February) early in the fine morning, when the Sun is in the zodiac Capricorn, a devotee should take his holy bath here. Listen from me to his merit.
38-41aThe merit that is acquired in all the Tirthas, the benefit derived from all Yajnas, all charitable gifts and holy rites—all this can be obtained by a man in Kotitirtha everyday. There is no doubt about it. If a man performs Sraddha here, when the Sun is in the zodiac Kanya. (‘Virgo’), the Pitris get that satisfaction which they do not derive even from Gaya Sraddha. At the advent of the month of Karttika (October-November) if anyone performs holy ablution etc. it will have everlasting benefit in accordance with the words of Brahma.
41b-43By performing a single Yajila here, one attains the benefit of a crore of Yajnas. By giving a virgin in marriage according to Brahma rite, the benefit derived is a crore of times, since all charitable gifts in Kotitirtha have a crore of times more benefit. One shall gives up one’s life at Kotitirtha, thinking of Madhava in the heart. O son of Prita, he will have heavenly pleasures for a long time. He will attain everlasting goal (of Moksha).
44Groups of Devas beginning with Brahma worship the person who casts of his mortal body in the excellent sacred place Kotitirtha.
45-47If the body of anyone is cremated on the banks of this Tirtha, if the bones are cast into the Mahi-Sagara-Sangama, O son of Pritha, even the Lord of Speech is not capable of expressing his benefit. It is after knowing thus, O son of Pritha, that one resorts to the great holy spot Kotitirtha everyday. Its benefit is on a par with that of the gift of a thousand tawny cows everyday. Hence this is the rarest (holy spot) in heaven, earth and the nether worlds.