In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on the significance of taking a holy dip in the famous “Nadhi-Theerams” of our Bhaarata Desha. We had witnessed how these sacred rivers are revered and respected all over the country, in the form of “Kumbh-Melas” once in every twelve years. Different rivers in India have their own ways of being revered and celebrated. If we visit these places during the festive times, we would be able to see lakhs and lakhs of devotees thronging the river beds as part of the celebration. The entire course of the river that runs for hundreds of kilometers would be in a great festive mood! This is the significance of the “Kumbh-Mela” festivals that take place regularly in India. Thus, because of all these significances, every inch of land in our Bhaarata Desha is a “Punya-Bhoomi” or a “Punya-Kshetra”. The countless number of massive temples that we have, the countless number of spiritual masters that this country has witnessed till date, the immeasurable significance of our holy and sacred rivers, truly make us understand that we’re extremely fortunate in this birth to be closely associated with our “Bhaarata Desha” in some way or the other. Many of our readers might be living within this “Punya-Bhoomi”, and many others might be residing outside as well. That doesn’t matter much. But if we have reverence and close association with our “Bhaarata Desha” in some way or the other, this is more than enough for all of us! For those of us who reside abroad, we should make it a point to visit our Bhaarata Desha atleast once in a year or once every six months and experience the spiritual offerings that this great country has!
Moving on thus, after listening to all of these from Sage Naarada, Yudishtra is now going to embark on the “Teertha-Yatra” along with Bheemasena and the others, except Arjuna. We’ve already witnessed the this “Teertha-Yatra” is happening at a time when Arjuna is still in the “Svarga Lokha” and is yet to return back. As we chug along with whatever Sage Vyaasa has talked about here with regards to various “Kshetras”, I shall just highlight certain descriptions of important “Kshetras” and move on. This is because, the “Teertha-Yatra Parva” is extremely huge and has extremely detailed descriptions of a countless number of “Punya-Kshetras”, which might be difficult for us to comprehend at one stretch. We shall take up a much detailed exploration on this context at a later time, but for now, let us just have a glimpse of what Sage Vyaasa has to say with regards to the “Teertha-Yatra” of Yudishtra. Now we shall witness the first “Punya-Kshetra” that Sage Vyaasa describes – “Pushkaram”. This “Pushkara-Kshetra” is situated near the city called Ajmeer in Central India – Amidst the states of Madhya-Pradesh and Rajasthan. Here, Bhagawan Vishnu is in the form of “Teertha-Rupa”, which means, Bhagawan is in the form of water in a huge lake. Amidst this huge lake, there is a cliff dedicated to Bhagawan Brahma, another cliff dedicated to Gayathri Devi, and another small cliff to Bhagawan Vishnu as well. It is believed that if we chant the Gayathri Mantra at that particular place, we get enormous spiritual benefits and upliftment.
Moreover, in the “Pushkara-Kshetra” it is believed that Bhagawan Brahma is performing His “penance” towards Bhagawan Vishnu, who is in the “Teertha-Rupa”. The entire lake that is present here is Bhagawan Vishnu in its entire entity. Every drop of water is Bhagawan Vishnu Himself! Thus, Sage Vyaasa is explaining here that if one takes a holy dip in this lake that is Bhagawan Vishnu Himself, it is equivalent of performing a massive “Ashwamedha Yaaga”. If we feed someone sitting at the “Pushkara-Kshetra”, it gives spiritual benefits of over a thousand times! It is very difficult for one to travel to the “Pushkara-Kshetra” . It is very difficult to stay there and perform “Tapas” as well. It is extremely significant if we’re performing the “Dhaanam” (Donation) in the “Pushkara-Kshetra”. Thus, performing any spiritual practice in the “Pushkara-Kshetra” is extremely significant and if we get this opportunity, we’re fortunate enough in this birth!
So for today, let us understand the significance of the “Pushkara-Kshetra” and let us make an attempt to consciously pay a visit to this “Kshetra” as early as possible in our lifetime. We shall continue this discussion forward in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂