Descent of the Gahga ||47||
1Suta said: The mountain Kailasa is on the left of Himavat. Here lives the prosperous Kubera along with the Rakshasas. The ruler of Alaka rejoices in the company of Apsaras.
2-3Splendid, auspicious, cool water flows from the foot of Kailasa into a lake called Manda. It is full of lilies and is spaRikling like autumnal clouds. From that (lake) proceeds the auspicious, heavenly river Mandakini.2 On its bank stands a great celestial forest called Nandana.
4-5To the north-east of Kailasa, there is a mountain called Candraprabha near mount Suvarna which abounds in celestial animals, medicinal herbs and minerals for the use of Devas. The mountain Candraprabha3 is like a pure jewel. There is a divine lake Acchoda at its foot.
6From that lake rises the divine river Acchoda. On its banks there is a great, sacred forest Caitraratha.
7Manibhadra, a general of Yaksas, lives on that mountain along with his attendants. He is surrounded by his retinue of fierce Guhyakas.
8The holy river Mandakini and the river Acchoda flow into the great ocean through this zone of the earth.
9-11South-east of Kailasa, there is the great mountain Lohita. It is brilliant like the sun and has peaks of gold. It is adjacent to the heavenly mountain Pisanga that abounds in red arsenic. It is full of auspicious animals and medicinal herbs. At the foot of the mountain (Lohita), there is a great divine lake called Lohita, from which flows the great auspicious water (river) called Lauhitya.1 On its bank there is a great divine forest of gods, called Visoka.
12On that excellent mountain there lives the self-controlled Manivara Yaksa, along with his retinue of righteous Guhyakas.
13-14The great mountain Vaidyuta consisting of variegated minerals and metals lies near the Anjana mountain born of the body of the demon Vrtra. It has three peaks and it abounds in ferocious animals and medicinal herbs. It is on the southern side of Kailasa. At the foot of the mountain Vaidyuta, there is the holy lake Manasa where Siddhas live.
15From that lake rises the sacred Sarayu that sanctifies the worlds. The divine forest on its bank is very famous by the name Vaibhraja.
16The Raksasa Brahmapata, an attendant of Kuberaand son of Prahetr lives there. He has infinite valour (yet) he is self-controlled. He is surrounded by hundreds of Yatudhanas capable of traversing aerial regions.
17-19To the west of Kailasa, there is the excellent mountain Aruna. It is full of important animals, medicinal herbs, gold and other minerals. Nearby is the mountain Munjavat, a glorious mountain resembling clouds. This is a favourite haunt of the great Lord Sankara. It is surrounded by clusters of rocks, pure and golden. It appears (as if) to brush the heaven with its hundreds of golden peaks. This great divine mountain is snow-capped and inaccessible.
20-21On this mountain lives Lord Dhumra-Lohita, the king of mountains. At its foot there is the lake Sailoda from which flows the heavenly river Sailoda. Between the rivers Caksus and Sita (Sita), it enters the sea.
22-23The famous divine forest Surabhi lies on its banks. North of Kailasa there lies a mountain Gaura by name, which is the resort of auspicious beings and abounds in medicinal herbs and yellow orpiment. It is a splendid bejewelled mountain having golden peaks.
24At the foot of the mountain, there is a splendid lake called Bindusaras.1 Even its sands are of gold. It was to this lake that Bhagiratha came.
25For the sake of the river Ganga, that saintly king lived there for many years (thinking to himself:) “My ancestors will go to heaven, if they are bathed in the waters of the Ganga.”
26The goddess Ganga (lit. a river flowing through three paths, viz. the heaven, the earth and the nether world) was first initiated there. Rising from the foot of Soma mountain, she divides herself in seven streams.
27There the sacrificial posts are made of precious stones. The citis (oblong quadrilateral sacrificial pits) are golden. It was after performing a sacrifice there that Indra along with attending Devas attained to Siva.
28The innumerable stars of the milky way in the clear sky, which look very close to each other and glitter brightly at night are nothing but the goddess Ganga.
29Having flowed through the sky and the heaven, the Ganga came down upon the earth. When she fell down on the head of Siva, he held (up) her with his Yogic Maya power.
30As the river became furious, some drops (of her water) fell on the earth and created a lake of drops and hence came to be known as Bindusaras.
31-33It is reported that when (the flow of) the goddess Ganga was checked by Siva smilingly, she planned in her mind of sweeping away god Siva: “I will cut my way (to Patala) and carry off Sankara along with my current”. On coming to know the wicked design Lord Siva intended to keep her in obscurity in his body (head). Realizing the cruel intention of the river, he confined her on his head, as she fell down with force on the earth.
34-35At the same time Lord Siva saw before him King Bhagiratha who had grown emaciated, and a veritable network of (visible) veins and whose sense-organs were not functioning well due to hunger. The Lord thought to himself, “I have been propitiated by him (this king) earlier for this river.” Becoming aware of the boon granted to him earlier, he controlled his anger (against the river).
36On hearing the request of God Brahma to keep up his promise, the Lord released the river held up by him by his prowess, for the sake of Bhagiratha by whose severe penance he felt satisfied.
37-39As the river was being released, the flow of the river started in seven currents. Three of them flowed to the east and three to the west. The entire course of the river Ganga was divided into seven parts. Nalini, Hradini and Pavani flowed to the east. Sita, Caksu and Sindhu flowed to the west. The seventh current led by Bhagiratha flowed to the south.
40Hence it is known as the Bhagirathi. That river entered the salt ocean. All these (seven currents) offer devotion to the Varsa called Hima.
41-43These seven streams issuing from the Bindu lake sanctify several countries mainly occupied by Mlecchas and approach a place where Indra showers the rain. They are as follows: Sirindhras, Kuntalas, Cinas, Barbaras. Yavasas, Druhas, Rusanas, Kunindas and Angalokavaras. The river Sita divides the desert of Sindhu into two and flows into the western ocean.
44The river Caksu flows through these countries: Cinamarus (Chinese desert?), Nanganas, Sarvamulikas, Sadhras, Tusaras, Tampakas, Pahlavas, Daradas, and Sakas. It then falls into the ocean.
45-49The Ganga sanctifies the auspicious Aryan countries: Daradas, Kasmiras, Gandharas, Varapas, Hradas, Siva- pauras, Indrahasas, Vedatis, Visarjayas, Saindhavas, Randhra- karakas, Bhramaras, Abhiras, Rohakas, Sunamukhas, Ordhvamanus, the places frequented by Siddhas and Garanas, Gandharvas, Yaksas, Rakshasas, Vidyadharas and Uragas (Serpents), Kalapa-gramakas, Paradas, Siganas, Khasas, Kiratas, Pulindas, Kurus, Bharatas, Pancalas, Kasi, Matsyas, Magadhas, Angas, Brahmottaras, Vangas and Tam (r) aliptas.
50Obstructed by the Vindhya mountain, it falls into the southern sea. The holy river Ahladini (one of its eastern branches) flows to the east.
51-55It inundates the habitations of the Nishadas,Dhi varas, Rsikas, Nilamukhas, Keralas, Ustrakarnas, Kiratas, Kalodaras, Vivarnas. Then it vanishes into the expanse of the sea towards the east. The branch Pavani also flows to the east sanctifying Apathas, Indradyumna lake, Kharapathas, Indrasaiikupathas, the middle of the garden Maskara and Kuthapravarana. Near Indradvipa, it enters the salt ocean.
56-58The branch Nalini flows to the east sanctifying the Tomaras, Hamsamargas and Huhukas. Rising in the eastern lands and piercing through mountains in several places, it reaches Karnapravaranas and Asvamukhas. After passing through the desert mountains, it reaches Vidyadharas. It flows into the great ocean at the Nemimandala Kostha.
59The branches and tributaries of these rivers are hundreds and thousands. They fall into the ocean as the water is showered by Indra.
60On the banks of the river Vasvokasa, on the peak Harisrnga famous for its fragrant waters, lives the scholar Kauberaka of self-control.
61Yajnopeta, Sumahan, Amitaujas and Suvikrama are his attendants. They are on par with him. Kauberaka is surrounded by scholarly Brahma-Rakshasas of the family of Agastya.
62The prosperity of the inhabitants of mountains should be known thus. Through mutual cooperation their prosperity arising from Dharma (Virtue), Artha (Wealth) and Kama (Love) becomes doubled.
63Behind Hemakuta there is the lake Sayana. The rivers Manasvini and Jyotismati emerge from this lake.
64They flow into the eastern and western oceans respectively. On the excellent mountain Nisadha is the lake Vishnupada.
65The two rivers, Gandharvi and Nanvali rise from it. There is a great eddy called Gandraprabha rising to the west of Meru.
66The holy river of Jambu juice, the source of the splendid gold (called Jambunada) flows from here. The lake Payoda, as splendid as the white lotus, is on the mount Nila.
67It is from this lake that the rivers Pundarka and Payoda have their source. The holy lake Uttara-manasa rises from mount Sveta.
68-69The two rivers Jyotsna and Mrgakanta rise from this (lake). The holy lake known as Rudrakanta is full of honey and lotuses and is agitated by fishes and birds. It abounds in wish-yielding trees. It is pleasant and sweet like honey. It is reported that it is created by Siva.
70There are twelve famous lakes full of lotuses, fishes and birds. They are named as Rudrajayas and they are (big) like seas.
71From these lakes there emerge the rivers Santa and Madhvi. There is no rainfall in the Kimpurusa continent.
72-73Excellent rivers flow here with waters from the subterranean regions. These blessed rivers flow through the mountains Rsabha, Dundubhi, Dhumra and Mahagiri, to the east and fall into the briny sea. Others flow to the north over the mountains Candrakanka, Prana, Mahan and Agni and merge into the great ocean.
74The mountains Somaka, Varaha and Narada extend to the west up to the briny sea.
75-76The great mountains Cakra, Balahakaand Mainaka extend to the Southern Ocean. In between Candra and Mainaka, to the south, there is the great fire Samvartaka which consumes the waters of the ocean. It is known asAurvaand Vadavamukha.
77-78The twelve mountains entered the ocean because they feared Mahendra who would have cut off their wings. What is seen reflected in the form of a black hare on the white (orb of the) moon is the replica of Bharatavarsa divided into nine regions. It is seen in the moon that rises here and not elsewhere.
79-80These countries become more and more flourishing in respect of good qualities, health, longevity and magnitude based on virtue, love and wealth. Different kinds and castes of people and other living beings endowed with good qualities live in the different countries. Thus the Earth holds the entire universe.