In the previous episode, we had witnessed the significance of the first “Punya-Kshetra” that Sage Vyaasa is explaining about as part of the “Teertha-Yatra” Parva – The Puskhakra Kshetra, or commonly referred to as “Pushkar”. In this place, Bhagawan Vishnu is in the form of a massive lake full of water. The main significance of this “Pushkara-Kshetra” is that, if one chants the “Gayatri Mantra” sitting on the banks of this lake, he / she attains “Moksha”! Thus, the “Gayatri Mantra” has enormous significance in this place. Moreover, if we’re doing any sort of “Dhaanam” or “Dharma” towards other living beings, it is equivalent of performing an “Ashwamedha Yaaga”. Also, any form of spiritual practice performed in this particular “Kshetra”, gives us benefits of over a thousand times more than the usual. This is why, it is believed that it is only with Bhagawan’s divine “Anugraha” will we be able to visit this “Pushkara-Kshetra” and stay here for a day or two to perform our spiritual practices. Thus, such is the importance of the “Pushkara-Kshetra” that Sage Vyaasa beautifully brings out. As mentioned yesterday, Sage Vyaasa has packed into this “Teertha-Yatra-Parva”, an enormous amount of description about various “Punya-Kshetras” across our Bhaarata Desha and we shall talk about only a few important ones here for the moment. We shall take up the discussion on the others at a later context.
Moving on thus, Sage Vyaasa talks about a few important rivers that adorn our Bhaarata Desha. We’ve of course, spoken about a few of these rivers, but let us witness what Sage Vyaasa has to say in this context – He commences with the rivers that surround the “Pushkara-Kshetra” – The Rivers Narmada and Tapti flow around the Pushkara Kshetra, which have enormous significance. Moreover, if we look at other places in India, apart from the sacred River Ganges and River Yamuna, we have the set of five rivers that flow through the North-Indian state of Punjab. Apart from this, there is River Saraswati which is believed to be flowing underground due to a curse. The River Saraswati is believed to join the River Ganga and Yamuna at “Prayagraj” in the North-Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Moreover, if we come down to the south-eastern part of the country, we have River Mahanadi that flows majorly through the Indian state of “Odisha”. Further south, we have the Rivers Godavari and Krishna that flow for a vast majority segment in the South-Indian State of Andhra-Pradesh. Further south, we have our River Cauvery that originates in Karnataka, but majorly flows through the South-Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Furthermore in the south, we have the other sacred rivers like River Paalaar, Cheyyar, Vaigai, Tamraparni, etc. in Tamil Nadu and River Pamba is considered to be extremely sacred in the South-Indian state of Kerala. Thus, if we look at every single state in India, there would be atleast one sacred river that flows through it, which is a unique significance that our country has!
Moving on thus, Sage Vyaasa explains about the next important “Punya-Kshetra” that is again located in the North-Indian state of Rajasthan, quite similar to the “Pushkara-Kshetra” that we’ve just witnessed. This “Kshetra” is referred to as “Arbudha-Kshetra” in those days, and is referred to as “Mount Abu” today. This Mount Abu is an extremely picturesque place situated amidst the Rajasthan desert, and is referred by Sage Vyaasa as the “Brother of the Himalayan mountains”. Bhagawan Vishnu resides on top of Mount Abu and has enormous significance. Even today, Mount Abu is one of India’s most visited pilgrimage centres and whenever we get time, we should make sure to visit this beautiful paradise on earth.
So for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall continue this absorbing discussion on India’s famed “Punya-Kshetras”! Stay tuned! 🙂