Sooti, the Story Teller, told the story of Mahabharat, to Sounaka and other sages and saints.
One day, Bruhadasva, a saint, came down to Pandavas, who are living in the forest. Dharmaja welcomed him and offered arghyam and paadyam. Dharmaja expressed before Bruhadasva, about his grief and the woes they are suffering on account of Kouravas.
"O Saint! Are there any other kings who lost their kingdom and wealth and pleasures and suffered in the forest like us? If there are any, kindly tell me about them?" asked Dharmaja.
"Dharmaja! you are in a better position. Though you lost your kingdom, and living in forests, atleast you are having your own wife and brothers along with you. You are having your own chriots, servants etc. along with you, serving you all the time.
But in the ancient past, there was a king Nala, who lost all his kingdom in the dice game, and went to forest along with his wife. I will tell you the story of Nala. Please listen" Bruhadasva continued to say the story of kING Nala to Dharmaja.
"Nala, the son of Veerasena, was ruling the Nishadha Kingdom. He conquered so many countries. He was ruling his people to the satisfaction of one and all. But he likes dice game very much.
During that period, One Bheema, was ruling Vidarbha kingdom. He got one daughter, called Damayanti, and three sons called Dama, Dantha and Damana, with the blessings of a saint Dhamana.
Damayanti was a beautiful and virtuous lady. She heard about King Nala and his greatness and virtues. Nala also heard about Damayanti and her beauty. Both fell in love without seeing each other.
One day, while Nala was having a stroll in the garden, some swans flying in the sky, came down and moving there. Nala saw them. He caught one swan. The other swans flew away but were flying in the sky waiting for the swan caught by King Nala. The swan, in the hands of Nala, told him in human voice:
"King Nala, I know you fell in love with the Princess Damayanti. If you leave me, I will go to her and tell her about you and your virtues and make her to fell in love with you." said the swan.
On hearing this, Nala was very happy. He immediately left that swan. As per her word, the swan along with other swans, flew to Vidharbha and was moving in front of Damayanti. Damayanti saw this swan and caught it.
The swan told Damayanti in human voice "O Damayanti! I am coming from King Nala. He is a beautiful and handsome personality. He is fit to catch your hand in marriage."
Damayanti was very happy. "O Swan! Kindly go back to King Nala and also told him about me and my love towards him" requested Damayanti.
The swan accepted her request and flew back to King Nala and told him that Damayanti also fell in love with him.
Thus both Nala and Damayanti were suffering with love fever.
King Bheema came to know about this through the servant maids of Damayanti. Immediately, he proclaimed Svayamvara and sent invitation to King Nala and other kings.
Several kings from all countries were going to Damayanti Svayamvaram. King Nala also was proceeding to Vidarbha. Likewise, Indra, Varuna, Yama and other Divine bodies also were proceeding to Svayamvara. They met King Nala on the way. They wanted to play with him. Indra called Nala "O King Nala! you have to do some favour to us. You have to act as our mediator" asked Indra.
"OK. I will do it. But tell me who are you? What is the mediation?" asked King Nala.
"I am Indira. The others are Dikpaalakas. We are going to Damayanti Svayamvara. You have to go Damayanti in advance and convince her and make her to choose one of us as her betterhalf." said Indra.
"I am also going to the same Svayamvara. How can I do this favour to you? Is it according to Dharma?" said Nala.
"No No. You have given us a word in advance. You have to carry out this mission. Besides that , this is a divine duty. You have to obey it. You need not worry how to enter the palace of Damayanti. With our blessings and power, no body will object you. Please go and mediate" said Indra.
Unable to do anything, King Nala entered the palace of Damayanti. He saw Damayanti and her beauty. "I heard much less about her. She is more beautiful than what I heard" he thought in mind.
On seeing King Nala, Damayanti and her servants were astonished. "Mahatma! Who are you? How you have entered this palace? " asked Damayanti.
"Damayanti! I am king Nala, ruling Nishadha Kingdom. I have come here as an emissary of Indra. Their request is that you have to choose one of them as your better half." said King Nala.
Damayanti also admired the beauty of King Nala. "I am a human being. Indra and others are respectable divine bodies. I have to pray them but not to coose them. It is not proper. From the day when that swan told about you, I kept you in mind and admiring you. This svayamvara is purely meant only to invite you for our marriage and nothing else. Therefore, you are my husband. You have to receive me as your wife. Otherwise, I will leave this world. I never choose anyone else, however high he maybe, other than you."requested Damayanti with folded hands.
"O Damayanti! you know, Divine Bodies are Amaras (without death) with so much of wealth and eternal happiness. Why you choose a human being like me, who is destined to death?" said King Nala.
"King Nala! you have done your job. OK. I will pray Indra and other divine bodies, convince them and I will marry you in their presence. Then you will not be blamed for not carrying out their mission" said Damayanti.
King Nala returned back to Indra and told him what had happened.
"How Damayanti will not choose any one of us we will see?"challenged Indra.
All the four divine bodies entered the Svayamvara Hall in the human forms resembling King Nala.
Damayanti entered the Svayamvara Hall with a garland in her hand. She saw five human forms resembling King Nala. She could not identify who is the real King Nala.
She closed her eyes and prayed Indra and other Divine Bodies with utmost devotion "O Divine Bodies! Kindly transform into your own original forms. Please helpe me in identifying King Nala and choose him"
Indra was very much pleased for her devotion and commitment. They appeared in their original divine forms. Damayanti identified King Nala and garlanded him and chose him as her husband in the presence of all the kings and diving bodies.
The marriage of Nala and Damayanti was performed in a gorgeous manner. Indra and other divine bodies blessed the newly wedded couple.
While they were returning back to Indra Loka, they met Kali Purusha. Indra asked Kali "Where are you going?".
"In Bhooloka, Damayanti Svayamvaram is being peforemd. I am going to attend that" replied Kali.
Indra laughed at him "You are too late. The svayamvaram was over. Damayanti chose King Nala. Their marriage was performed. We attended the marriage." said Indra.
Kali grew angry. "No. No, it cannot be. I will see that Nala lose his kingdom. I will separate Nala and Damayanti. I will do it" determined Kali.
But Kali could not get a chance to trap Nala for a long time, because Nala never left his virtues and divine duties, even for a single minute.
But, one day, after passing urine, Nala did not properly wash his feet but performed Sandhyavandan. Through this act , Kali entered the body of Nala.
(Even today, doctors advise us to observe cleanliness strictly. Washing both hands and legs clean after passing urine and using toilet, otherwise we will be attacked with many diseases, which are the various forms of Kali. Here Nala landed in so many troubles because of not maintaining cleanliness.)
Then, Kali approached One Pushkara, a neighbouring King and told him "King Nala loves dice game. It is his weakness. You play dice game with him and grab his kingdom. I will help you." said Kali. He accompanied Pushkara in the attire of a Brahmin and went to King Nala. Pushkara invited King Nala for dice game.
Nala thought that if anybody invites for dice game, it is not proper to refuse. He accepted to play dice game to Pushkara.
The game was going on. Nala was losing one by one in the dice game. He lost his kingdom, wealth, army, chariots etc. with the influence of Kali.
Damayanti observed this. "It is quite natural for human being to crave for a win, even if they lose one by one. We cannot help it" thought Damayanti.
She thought that the defeat of Nala was imminent. She called the chariot driver of King Nala, called Vaarshneya, and sent his son and Daughter to his father's place at Vidharbha.
Nala lost each and every thing except wearing apparel. He left Nishadha along with his wife Damayanti. He lived outside the capital for three days. Nobody came to him to console him. Then he proceeded to the nearby forest.
Both Nala and Damayanti were hungry. Nala saw a group of birds wandering on the ground. He threw his upper cloth to catch them and eat them. But those wise birds flew away carrying the upper cloth. Nala left without upper cloth. He shared his wifer's pall as upper cloth.
While they were proceeding, they reached a cross road.
"Damayanti! here are four roads. This goes to your parents place, Vidarbha. This way goes to Southern States. This road goes to Kosala Kingdom. The last one goes to Ujjayini. Tell me which way we have to proceed. You cannot live with me in this forest and experience these agonies and difficulties. You better go to your parents house and live there happily" suggested Nala.
"Yes. Let both of us proceed to Vidarbha and live there happily" suggested Damayanti.
"No. In the past, I entered Vidarbha as an Emperor. How can I enter Vidarbha now, after losing my entire kingdom. Damayanti! The biggest diesease is sorrow. The best medicine for sorrow is the companionship of wife. If you are by my side, I will forget all sorrows and live happily." said Nala.
"Yes. You are right. I will always be by your side" said Damayanti. They proceeded further.
One day, Damayanti was sleeping keeping her head on the lap of her husband, Nala. While seeing her lovely face, Nala thought:
"Because of mine, she is suffering like this. If I leave her, she will go back to her parents house." So thinking, Nala tore off the portion of the sari he is wearing as upper cloth, and proceeded in the forest, leaving Damayanti alone in the forest.
Damayanti woke and did not find her husband. She wept for her husband. She was afraid of her loneliness. She was wandering in the forest.
One day, one python caught her and rounded her. She raised hue and cry. On hearing the cries of Damayanti, one hunter came there, killed that snake and saved Damayanti. That hunter thought that she was helpless. He tried to molest her. Damayanti grew angry and cursed him to reduce to ashes. That hunter caught in fire and died.
She proceeded further, thinking about her husband in mind. On the way she met some great saints like Vasishta, Vaama deva, vaalakhilya, Bhrugu and Narada.
They asked her "Who are you? Why you are wandering in this forest aone?"
"I am the wife of Emperor Nala. Due to our misfortune, I was separated from my husband. Have you seen him anywhere?" asked Damayanti. They said that she will meet her husband soon and went away.
One day, she saw some passers by. Damayanti asked them about the whereabouts of King Nala. One of them said "We are going to Chedi town. You can follow us". Along with them she went to Chedi Town.
While She was wandering in that town with soiled clothes, the mother of the King(Raja Mata) saw her from the top of the palace. She sent her servant maid to fetch her. Damayanti went into the palace and stood before the Raja Mata.
"Who are you? It appears you belong to a Princely Family. Please tell me about you?" asked Raja Mata.
"Mother! my husband lost his kingdom in dice game and also left me. I am in search of him. This is all about myself" said Damayanti.
"Then you live here along with us. You can be a Sairandhri (personal attendant) for my daughter. I will make arrangements to search for your husband" said Raja Maata.
"Ok. I will be here as Sairandhri but on one condition. I will never eat the residual food of anybody. I will never speak with males except those Brahmins who will go in search of my husband. I will never massage anybody's legs. If you agree for these conditions, I will be with you." said Damayanti.
Rajamatha agreed for these conditions. She sent Damayanti to her daugthter Sunanda and Damayanti was with Sunanda.
King Nala, after leaving Damayanti, was wandering in the forest. One day, there was a wild fire in the forest. From amidst the fires, he heard one hue and cry. Nala rushed to the spot. He found one serpant surrounded by flames. Nala saved the serpant from the flames. But that serpant immediately bit King Nala. By the influence of the poison of the snake, the handsome Nala became an ugly figure.
Then the snake appeared before Nala in human form.
"King Nala, I am karkotaka. Dont feel bad as I bit you. It is only for your good and safety. Now you will not be identified by any body. Even if any snake bites you in the forest, the poison will not cause any harm to you.
In a short period, the victory will be yours. You will get back your wife and kingdom. Whenever you want your original form, a divine cloth will come to you. If you cover your body with that divine cloth, you will get back your original form.
King Nala, please listen. In a short distance, you will find Ayodhya, the kingdom of Rutuparna who belongs to Ishkvaaku Dyanasty. You introduce yourself as Bahuka and join there as a chariot driver. You teach him Aksha Hrudaya (Expertise in horse rearing and chariot driving) and learn from him Aksha Hrudaya (An expertise in Mathematical Calculations)" so saying, Karkotaka went away.
King Nala proceeded to Ayodhya, the Kingdom of Rutuparna and joined there as Chariot Driver. He also joined in the kitchen and was preparing sumptuous dishes with the help of a cook by name Jeevala. During nights, Nala was spending sleepless nights, thinking about his wife, Damayanti.
In Vidarbha, Bheema, the father of Damayanti, came to know about the fate of King Nala and about his dethronement. He sent Brahmins to all the countries in searth of King Nala and Damayanti.
One such Brahmin, came down to the Kingdom of Chedi. There he saw Damayanti, serving in the palace as Sairandhri. With the help of a big mole on the forehead of Damayanti, he identified her as Damayanti, the daughter of Bheema.
"Maa, I am coming from your father, Bheema from Vidarbha. Your parents are safe. They are always remembering you and your welfare. I am also a friend of your brother. My name is Sudeva. I am a Brahmin." the Brahmin introduced himself to Damayanti.
On hearing this, Damayanti wept aloud. On hearing this Raja Mata came there and asked Sudeva "Do you know her? Who is she? Who are her parents? Why she is suffering like this?" asked Raja Mata.
"Raja Mata! She is daughter of Bheema, the King of Vidarbha. Her name is Damayanti. Her husband, Emperor Nala, lost his kingdom and wealth and went to forests. King Bheema, her father, sent us in search of Damayanti and King Nala. On that mission, I came down here. I identified Damayanti with the help of the big mole on her forehead." said Sudeva.
On hearing this, Raja Mata embraced Damayanti "O Damayanti! You are no other than my daughter. Your mom and me are the daughters of Dasaarna Raja. Your mother married King of Vidarbha and I married King Veera Baahu." so saying, Raja Mata took her inside. Later, Damayanti accompanied Brahmin Sudeva to Vidarbha, her parents' house.
After some days, one Day, Damayanti requested her father, to send Brahmins in search of King Nala.
Accordingly, her father, Bheema, sent Brahmins to enquire about Nala in all the countries. Before proceeding for search, Damayanti met all the Brahmins and told them
"My husband Nala, was once an Emperor. But he will be in disguise for the present. You cannot identify him. Therefore, You please go to all the Kingdoms and make an announcement like this "You are a virtuous man. But you cheated your wife and left your wife amidst the forest and even took away her half saree. Is it just and proper on your part? Please be merciful to your wife". If anybody responds to this message and gives a reply, Kindly bring him to me.
All the Brahmins were dispatched to the four corners and they soon returned with empty hands and negative news.
But one Brahim told Damayanti "I have gone to the Kingdom of Rutuparna. There I saw one ugly man working as a cook and chariot driver. On hearing these words, he met me secretely at a lonely place and told me "Even if the husband is in troubles, wife will share his troubles and console him. She is a true wife." I do not know whether he is Nala or not" said the Brahmin.
Damayanti thought for a while. If he is not Nala, there is no need for him to respond for her message. It is better to enquire further and get further details. So thinking, Damayanti, with the permission of her mother, called one Brahmin Pandit, Sudeva.
"Sudeva! you proceed to the Kingdom of Rutuparna as a Brahmin Pandit. You meet Rutuparna and tell him
"After searching for his son-in-law, King Nala, in vain, King Bheema announced Second Svayamvara to his daughter, Damayanti. You are invited for the Svayamvara. As Svayamvara is scheduled tomorrow, you have to start immediately and reach Vidarbha within 24 hours". That is all. You see what will happen." told Damayanti.
Accordingly, Sudeva went to the Kingdom of Rutuparna and told him the exact words told by Damayanti and hurried him to start immediately.
Rutuparna called Baahuka. "Baahuka! King of Vidarbha announced second Svayamvara to his daughter Damayanti, that too, tomorrow. There is no time. Show all your skills in chariot driving and try to reach Vidarbha tomorrow." said Rutuparna. Bahuka accepted the challenge. But he was annoyed.
"Because I left Damayanti alone in forest mercilessly, she is resorting to second marriage. She is too angry on me. Foolish males will always be under an illusion that their wives will always love them, even if they do any wrongs. But it is not correct. Still I cannot believe this. Damayanti is having two children. How can she remarry another king? Whatever it be, I should go to Vidarbha and find out the truth."
King Rutuparna, another chariot driver Vaarshneya (He was the previous chariot driver of King Nala, later joined Rutuparna, after leaving the children of Nala at Vidarbha.) started in a Chariot to Vidarbha. Baahuka was driving the chariot with great speed as if they are riding in air. It is resembling the chariot of Sun God, driven by Anoora.
Varshneya got a suspicion. "Only King Nala was capable of driving chariot with this high speed. If Bahuka is Nala, how he is so ugly and why this disfigurement?" he is discussing for himself in mind.
In the meanwhile, the upper cloth of Rutuparna fell down. "Bakuka! stop the chariot. My upper cloth fell down. Varshneya will go and bring it" said Rutuparna.
Bahuka smiled and said "Rutuparna! we have passed long distance. He cannot go by walk and bring it" said Bahuka.
Rutuparna was surprised. He wanted to show his skills in Mathematics to Bahuka. At that time, the chariot was crossing a big tree. "Bahuka! I can tell the number of branches, leaves and fruits of that big tree." said Rutuparna proudly.
"O King Rutuparna! Kindly tell." said Bahuka.
Rutuparna said one huge figure. Bahuka wanted to test the veracity of the calculation. He stopped the chariot, fell down the tree and counted the branches, leaves and fruits and found it correct. He was astonished.
"King Rutuparna! Kindly tell me this miracle to me also" asked Bahuka.
"Bahuka! This is calculus, a mathematical science. I will teach you." So saying Rutuparna taught Aksha Vidya to Bahuka. In return Bahuka offered to teach Asva Hrudaya but Rutuparna said that he will learn it later.
With the influence of Aksha Vidya, the influence of Kali was vanished. Kali came out of his body and prayed Nala for pardon. Nala tried to curse him wildly. Kali requested "I have been suffering with the poison of Karkotaka all the time. That is a great curse for me. Kindly pardon me" asked Kali.
Then Nala, along with Rutuparna and Varshneya, proceeded to Vidarbha and reached Vidarbha in time.
On hearing the sound of the chariot driven by Nala, Damayanti identified that that was the chariot driven by King Nala. But she found only Rutuparna and Varshneya and another ugly man. She was disappointed.
Bheema received Rutuparna with due honours and showed him a palace for taking rest.
Bahuka left the chariot and the horses and was taking rest.
Damayanti sent her servant maid to enquire the whereabouts of that ugly man, Bahuka, who accompanied Rutuparna, as Chariot Driver.
She approached Bahuka.
"My Princess, Damayanti, sent me to enquire your whereabouts. Kindly tell me about yourself" asked servant maid.
"Your Princess announced Second Svayamvara and we have to reach Vidarbha next day. Hence I drove the chariot" said Bahuka.
Then the servant maid said "You are the chariot driver and the another is Rutuparna. Who is the third person?" asked servant maid.
"He is Varshneya, a former chariot driver of Emperor Nala" said Bahuka.
"Then Varshneya might have known about the whereabouts of King Nala. Do you know it?" cleverly asked servant maid.
"No, How can he know about Nala? Prior to dethronement of King Naloa, Varshneya brought his children to Vidarbha. While going back, he came to know that Nala went to forests. Hence he joined with Rutuparna. Therefore, there is no possibility for Varshneya to know the whereabouts of Nala. Either King Nala or his wife Damayanti should know about their own whereabouts" replied Bahuka.
The servant maid didnot leave the matter there.
"King Nala left his beloved wife mercilessly in the forest and went away. Damayanti is still wearing the half sari left by Nala and always thinking about her husband. But How, King Nala, conveniently forgot his wife, Damayanti? said the servant maid.
The eyes of Bahuka filled with tears. He turned his face to other side. Servant maid observed this and ran back to Damayanti and told her about their conversation.
Damayanti thought for herself "He is King Nala. There is no doubt about it. But how he got that ugly form? He is also a cook. We have to taste the food prepared by him" .
She told the servant maid "He is also working as cook. You go to the kitchen. Observe how he prepares food." said Damayanti.
The servant maid went and keenly observed how he prepared food and reported the same to Damayanti. "Madam! It is so astonished that when he waves some hay with his hand, flames came out of hay. He was preparing food casually without taking any trouble. They are so tasty also" said the servant maid. Damayanti also sent for some food items from kitchen prepared by Nala and tasted them. "No doubt, they were prepared by King Nala", she thought.
To clear off the final doubt, she sent her children through a servant to Nala. On seeing the children, Bahuka looked at them affectionaltely. He embraced them and kissed them. Immediately, he realised.
He told the servant maid "These children resemble my children. Hence I did like that. Anyhow, you should not come here often. Others may mistake me. I have come here from other place only to attend the Svayamvara of your Princess. It is none of your job to meet me often." Bahuka went away.
Now Damayanti cleared off all his doubts. She went to her mother. "Maa. The ugly man who accompanied King Rutuparna, is no other than King Nala. There is no doubt. Please make arrangements to bring him here, or else, I will go to him. Please decide" said Damayanti.
Her mother, with the permission of King Bheema, invited Bahuka to the Palace of Damayanti. Damayanti spoke to Bahuka.
"My husband, King Nala, left me in the forest, mercilessly, and went away. Will anybody do like that? I am a mother of two children. Is it proper to leave me like that? Tell me what sin I have committed? My husband promised repeatedly that he will never leave my hand. Still he did like this. Why?" told Damayanti with choked voice.
Bahuka came out openly. "Damayanti! At that time I was under the influence of Kali. Hence I did like that. It is all due to the influence of Kali, I lost my kingdom and wealth in dice game. Now Kali left me. In fact I have come here only to know about you. You know pretty well I have got love and affection towards you. But why you are resorting for second svayamvara. Is it proper for a house wife and a mother of two children? Because all the kings are invited, Rutuparna also came here. Is it proper?" asked Nala.
"My father sent Brahmins to all the four corners in search of you. One Brahmin identified you in Ayodhya. As there is no other alternartive to bring you here, this fake svayamvara was announced. Except, Ruruparna, none else were invited. It is only a cause to bring you here and nothing else. That too, no ordinary chariot driver will drive his chariot for 100 yojanas within one day, except you. There is no sinful thought in my mind. Believe me. " said Damayanti.
At that time, a divine voice came from heaven "King Nala, Damayanti is a virtuous lady. I am Vayu. Me, Sun and Moon are the witnesses for her virtuous life. Take back her and live happily".
Immediately, Bahuka remembered Karkotaka. A divine cloth came before him. He covered his body with that cloth. He was standing before Damayanthi with his original beautiful form of Nala. Emperor Nala, Damayanti, with their children lived happily for some time in Vidarbha.
Later, Nala went back to his capital, Nishadha and met Pushkara.
"Pushkara! you love dice game. is it not? Come on. let us play dice game. This time I put my wife Damayanti as bet. Can you bet all your kingdom? Otherwise, let us have a war. Who ever wins in the war, he will succeed to the throne. Choose whatever you like!" challenged Nala.
Pushkara was an expert in Dice Game. Once he defeated Nala in dice game. He thought that he can also defeat Nala once again and get back the beautiful lady, Damayanti. Pushkara opted for dice game.
"King Nala! Let us play dice game. If you defeat, Damayanti will be mine. If I defeat my entire kingdom with be yours. That is the bet. OK" said Pushkara. Nala agreed. Both played dice game.
In the dice game, Pushkara was defeated. Nala told Pushkara "Pushkara! Previously when I played with you, you won the game only with the help of Kali but not by your own tact. Now Kali is not here. Hence you are defeated. You are my cousin. I will never do any harm to you. You better leave the country and go anywhere" told Nala.
Then Emperor Nala, with his wife Damayanti and his children, ruled Nishadha Kingdom to the satisfaction of one and all and lived for a long time.
Therefore, King Dharmaja, dont feel that you have lost your kingdom and wealth in dice game. With the help of God and by your own efforts, you will regain your kingdom" concluded Bruhadarsva. Then he went away.
Later, one day, Saint Narada came down to Dharmaja. Dharmaja asked Narada about his doubts. "What is the Punya that anybody will derive, by visiting Holy places and having a holy dip in Holy Theerthaas.
(Theerthaa means, a small pond, a tank, a stream, rivulet, a river
or sea or ocean where people will have holy dip on auspicious days).
Generally, Lord Brahma will often visiting Holy places and Holy shrines and Holy Teerthaas. Out of them, Pushkara Teertha (now in Rajasthan) is famous. If anybody have a holy dip in Pushkara Teertha and offer Tarpanas to his forefathers, they will attain the Punya of performing 10 Asvamedha Yagas. If they live in Pushkara Teertha for ten years, they will live in Brahma Loka.
(The following are the names of Teerthas and Holy places and shrines and the Punya they will derive from out of it.)
Names of Shrines and Teerthas. The Punya they derive by visiting and having holy dip in the Teerthas.
Agastya vata teertham at Performing Asvamedha
Kanvaasramam,Dharmaranyam, All sins will vanish.
Worshipping Siva at Maha Kaala, Acquire more Punya.
Living for one day in Vasishta Ashramam,
Worshipping Siva in Pindaraka Teertha, Attain the result of
Visiting Devika Kshetra, Kama Kshetra, Will get whatever he
Bathing in River Sarasvati, Naagodbedha, Attaining Naga Loka.
Bathing in Sasiyaana Teertha Attain Punya of giving
Worshipping Siva in RudraKoti. Attaining Kailasa.
Visiting Kurukshetra. All sins will vanish.
Worshipping Vishnu in Vishnu Sthaana, Acquie more Punya.
Worshipping Siva in Agnivata, Munjavata, bathing All desires will
Dharmaja, when Parasurama, son of Jamadagni, massacred all the kings on the earth with his axe, their blood flowed in five streams. They are called Samantaka Pancaka. In those streams, Parasurama offered Tarpanas to his father and fore fathers. When his forefathers asked him to choose whatever he wants, he requested them to shun all his sins caused due to the killing of all the kings and he should attain Punya Lokas. Samantaka Panchaka should become a famous teertha. Since then, Samantaka Panchaka is considered to be one of the famous Teerthas. A dip in Samantaka Panchaka will result in attaining Punya of performing Asvamedha Yaga.
Bathing in Yashodhanam, lokodhaaram, Attaining
Who dies in Ambaa janmam. Attain PunyaLoka
Bathing in Vaitarini at Pundareekam,Phalakee- All the sins will
Offering Tilaadaanam at Kindatta teertham. Pitru Runam will be discharged.
Bathing in Sudhinam, Attaining Sooryaloka
Bathing in Mrugadhoomam and Attain the result of per-
Bathing in Vishnu Teertha. Attain Vishnu loka.
Bathing in pavana teertha. His Vamsa will be purified.
Visiting Sreekunjam. Attaining result of performing Asvamedha
Bathing in Brahma teertha. Attaining Brahmaloka
Bathing in Ousanasam, kapaalamochanam, All sins will vanish
Death in Prudhoodaka teertham. All sins will vanish
Bathing in Ganga, Sarasvati confluence. Brahma Hatya sin will
Performing penance at Satam, Sahasram. Uncountable Punya.
Bathing in Rudrapatni. All sorrows will vanish
Visiting Svastipura Teertha. Attain Punya of charity
Living in Ekaratram. Attain satya loka.
Worshipping Soorya in Adityaashram. Attain Soorya Loka
Living for three nights at Dadeechi Teertha. Attain svarga loka.
Bathing in Sannihitha Teertha. Attain Punya of performing 100 Asvamedha yagas.
Bathing in Dharma teertham. Become virtuous.
Bathing in Jnaana paavana, Sougandhika All sins will vanish.
Bathing in the stream of Sarasvati Hradam. Attain the Phala of performing Asvamedha yaga.
Performing Saakaahara Tapassu at
Bathing in Suvarna teertham. Attain Kailasa.
Bathing in Dhoomavati and Radhaavartham Relief from all
Bathing in Sapta Gandha confluence, Tree Attain Punya Loka
Performing Rudra Pooja in Bhadrakarneswaram, Attaining Sarva Siddhi.
Bathing in Vedika, Rushikulya,Kruttika, All sins vanish.
Bathing in Brahma teertham. Attaining Satya Loka
Visiting Naimisha. All sins vanish.
Bathing in Gangodbedam, Indeevara teertham, Performing Vaajapeya
Bathing in Baahuda teertha. Performing Satra Yaga.
Bathing in River Sarayu, Gopradaanam, Performing
Bathing in Kapila Hradam.Ganga, and Performing Vajapeya
Living in Gaya. Forefathers attaining
Visiting Yakshini Teertha. Vanish Brahma Hatya sin
Bathing in Ahalya Hrada, Uda Paanam. Performing Asvamedham.
Bathing in Janaka koopa. Attaining Vaikuntha.
Bathing in Kampana, Mahanadi. Performing Poundareeka Yagam
Bathing in Deva PushkariNi, Maheswara Performing Asvamedha
Bathing in Salagrama teertham. Attaining Vaikuntha.
Worshipping Siva in Bharataashramam. Attaining Mitravaruna
Bathing in KanyaasavEdya teertham. Akshaya Punya.
Bathing in Devakoota Teertham. Attaining Satyaloka
Bathing in Kousika Hradam,living in Performing Asvamedham
Bathing in Gouri Sikhara Kundam, Performing Asvamedham
Bathing in Kaaika, Gokarnam teertham. Vanish all sins.
Bathing in Nanda, Oulakam, Karatoyam, Performing 100
Bathing in River Sona, Narmada and
Bathing in Mahendra, Rama teertham, Performing Asvamedha.
Bathing at Srisailam, Devahradam teertham. Performing Siva Pooja and Asvamedha.
Bathing in River Kaveri, Tungabhadra, Performing Asvamedha
Bathing at Payoshni, Dandakaaranyam, Attaining Punya Lokas
Visiting Sundara and Tunga forest. Vanish all sins.
Bathing in Devahradam in Kalamjari hills. All desires fulfilled.
Living in Prayaga. Performing Rajasooya, Asvamedha Yaga.
All cannot take have holy dip in all teerthas. Bad characters cannot perform pilgrimages to holy places. Therefore, you perform pilgrimage. One Saint called Romasa will come to you. As per his directions and according to the advise of your Purohit, Dhoumyta, perform the pilgrimage." so saying, Narada went away.
Ddharmaja told Dhoumya "Arjuna went to acquire Divya Astras. Still he has not come. Without Arjuna, life is waste. We are all waiting for the arrival of Arjuna" said Dharmaja.
"Dharmaja! Arjuna will return with victory. We will perform pilgrimates" said Dhoumya.
Meanwhile, Saint Romasa arrived there.
"Dharmaja! I visited Indra Loka. There I saw your brother, Arjuna. He acquired Divya Astras from Lord Siva, Indra and other heavenly bodies. Indra asked me to inform you about Arjuna. Devendra also suggested you to perform pilgrimage to holy shrines. I have come here for that purpose only" said Saint Romasa.
" O Saint Ramasa! I am very happy to hear good news about Arjuna.That too, Divine Personality like Devendra himself ordered me to perform pilgrimage. I am very happy. As per the advise of Narada and directions of Devendra, now itself I will start for Pilgrimage to Holy places." said Dharmaja.
Along with Dharmaja all the Brahmins accompanied him. All of them arrived at Gaya. They reached the Ashramam of Saint Agasthya. Saint Romasa told Dharmaja about that Ashramam.
"In the ancient past, there were two demons called Vaataapi and Ilvala. Ilvala was the elder and Vaataapi was younger.
One day they worshipped one Brahmin and requested that Brahmin to bless them with a Mantra which will accomplish all desires. But that Brahmin did not agree to give such Mantra to demons like Ilvala and Vatapi.
Then Vaataapi became a goat. Ilvala cut the goat and prepared sumptuous food and served it to that Brahmin. That Brahmin ate the food along with the goat meat.
Then Ilvala called "Vaataapi! come out". Vaataapi who was in the stomach of Brahmin in the shape of goat meat, broke the stomach of the Brahmin and came out. The Brahmin died.
Both Ilvala and Vaataapi continued to kill Brahmins who came to their house as guests, in the same manner.
Agasthya was a saint. He was unmarried. One day he saw his fathers and forefathers hanging to a tender leaf of a tree.
"Who are you? Why are you hanging to this leaf?" asked Agasthya.
"We are your forefathers. You have not married and begot children so far. Therefore, we could not attain Punya Lokas. You have to marry and beget children. Then only we will be relieved of this agony" said those celestial bodies.
Agasthya agreed for it. At that time, King of Vidarbha was craving for children. Agasthya blessed him with a daughter. King of Vidarbha begot a daughter. Her name was Lopamudra. She grew day by day and attained youthful age. Her father was searching for a suitable alliance.
Agasthya went to the King of Vidarbha and asked him to give his daughter, Lopamudra, in marriage to him. Her father did not agree to give his daughter in marriage to a poor brahmin like Agasthya.
But Lopamudra requested her father "Please give me in marriage to Agasthya. I will marry him" said Lopamudra. Unable to do anything, King of Vidarbha performed the marriage of Lopamudra with Agasthya. She accompanied Agasthya to forests.
One day Agasthya, wanted to have sexual intercourse with his wife, Lopamudra for the sake of children.
"My Dear Husband! For the sake of children, husband can have sexual intercourse with his wife. It is natural. But my request is, you should join me after adorning me with gold and diamond jewellary." said Lopamudra.
"It is correct. But I am not having either money or jewellery or diamonds. For that purpose, I cannot waste my Power of Tapassu. I will beg some king for jewellary" said Agasthya.
He went to one King called Sratarva. Sratarva told him that he was not having any Balance money with him after meeting all expenses for the State. They both went to Brudasva who also gave the same reply. All the three went to another King Trasa Dasya. He also gave the same reply but showed some way to get money.
"O Saint Agasthya, there is one person Ilvala. He is having much money, diamonds and jewellery. Let us ask him". All the four went to Ilvala. Saint Agasthya requested Ilvala for money.
As usual, Ilvala requested Saint Agasthya to accept his hospitality. His brother Vaataapai became a goat. Ilvala cut the goat and with the meat, he got prepared sumptuous food and served it to Saint Agasthya.
The other kings knew about Ilvala. They asked Agasthya not to eat that food. Saint Agasthya smiled and ate that food.
Then Ilvala called "Vaataapi! come on. Come out!."
Even before that, Saint Agasthya just patted his stomach "Vataapi! you are digested. You are digested" With the words of Saint Agasthya, Vaataapi was digested in the stomach of Agasthya.
On seeing this, Ilvala frightened. He prostrated before Saint Agasthya and gave him so much of money, diamonds and jewellery.
With that money and jewellery, Saint Agasthya decorated Lopamudra and had sexual intercourse with her.
Then Agasthya asked his wife Lopamudra "You desire to have hundred sons equal to ten, or ten sons equal to hundred or you desire to have one thousand sons or one son equal to one thousand. Whom do you want?" asked Agasthya.
Lopamudra requested Agasthya to bless her with a son equal to one thousand mighty personalities, most learned, full of virtues with great wisdom.
Accordingly, Lopamudra became pregnant and gave birth to one son called Dhudhasya. In this manner, the fore fathers of Saint Agastya attained Punya Lokas.
MAHA BHARAT – ARANYA PARVA – DVITEEYAASVASAA COMPLETED.