In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Naarada giving a detailed accord on an important “Punya-Kshetra” called “Prayaag-Raj”, which is the meeting point of three important rivers – Rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. This is a place wherein thousands of people even today, come and take a holy dip and it is believed that all our sins would be completely washed away if we do so. Hence, this place assumes enormous amount of significance in our “Sanaatana Dharma” list of “Punya-Kshetras”. On the banks of the “Sangamam”, there is also a famed Hanuman temple which is also significant. Readers should not miss to worship this temple as well, while visiting Prayagraj. At a distance from here, there are a few Shiva temples as well, which are also extremely significant. Thus, the entire city of Allahabad is full of temples and sacred places of worship! We should never miss this place in our list!
Moving on thus, Sage Naarada is going to narrate the significance of a few important sages who had resided in all these “Punya-Kshetras” that we’ve witnessed till now. One of the most important sages about whom Sage Naarada is going to talk about, is Sage Vishwamitra. Most of us might be knowing a brief history / background of Sage Vishwamitra, how he was born, and how he gained enormous “Tapo-Bhalam”, etc. I’m not going into this story now in detail, as we’ve already discussed this as part of our previous Ramayana project. Readers can refer to it at their own convenience. However, what is important here is that, Sage Vishwamitra was not a Brahmana Rishi by birth. He was a “Kshatrya prince”. However, as he progressed in his life, he happened to meet Sage Vasishtachaarya amidst the forest, and Vishwamitra wanted Sage Vasishtachaarya’s “Kaamadenu” cow. With this, a war of words broke out between the two, and Vishwamitra being a king, launched an assault on Sage Vasishtachaarya, who resisted it successfully with his “Tapo-Bhalam”. Ultimately, Vishwamitra returned to his kingdom empty-handed. Subsequently, Vishwamitra wanted to avenge Sage Vasishtachaarya for the insult that he had obtained, and hence, he decided that the only way to take on Sage Vasishtachaarya is through “Tapas” and not through warfare. It is with this intent, Vishwamitra took up intense penance and finally, he too obtained all the spiritual powers to take on Sage Vasishtachaarya. There was a fight once again and this time, Vishwamitra was able to succeed in killing all the kith and kin of Sage Vasishtaachaarya successfully as a token of revenge! However, later on, Sage Vasishtaachaarya became compassionate and for the enormous power of penance that Vishwamitra had accummulated over the years, he gave Vishwamitra the highest stature of “Brahmarishi”. Thus, with this, Vishwamitra became an accomplished sage with enormous “Tapo-Bhalam”.
Thus, Sage Naarada narrates this story to Yudishtra, and explains to him that while visiting all these places, he should go in search of Sage Vishwamitra to obtain his divine “Anugraha” as well. Moving on from this point, Sage Naarada talks about the significance of River Ganga and from where it originates. Again, we’ve witnessed this in detail during our previous Ramayana project, however, I shall give a brief accord on this in our next episode! Stay tuned for an interesting accord on River Ganga! 🙂