In the previous episode, we had continued the discussion on Sage Agasthya and we’ve witnessed how Sage Agasthya made his way to the southern part of our Bhaarata Desha. We’ve witnessed how there was a jealousy fight between the Meru and the Vindhya mountains. Vindhya mountains were angry because Bhagawan Surya and Chandra were only interested in revolving around the Meru Mountains and not around them. With this, the Vindhya mountain decided to show its might, and started growing taller and taller! At one point, the entire southern part of India was completely cut off from the northern part. Understanding the grave danger thus, the Devas ran for help to Sage Agasthya, who decided to put an end to the jealousy of the Vindhya mountain. He undertook a “Teertha-Yatra” towards the south and while passing through the Vindhya mountains, Sage Agasthya requested it to bow down until he returned back to the north. However, he never returned! He stayed amidst the “Podhigai” Mountains (The Western Ghats) in the southern part of India. Thus, until today, it is believed that the Vindhya mountains are still bowing down to allow the passage for Sage Agasthya to cross over, fearing that Sage Agasthya might curse them if they lifted their heads again! Thus, this is a very interesting accord given by Sage Naarada as he requests Yudishtra to pay a visit to Sage Agasthya’s ashram and obtain his divine “Anugraha” as well!
Thus, we’ve witnessed a brief background of Sage Agasthya, wherein he had helped the Devas to destroy the “Kaala-Keya” Raakshasas by drinking all the waters of the ocean, and now he has brought down the jealousy of the Vindhya Mountains with his smartness and shrewdness. Now Sage Naarada is going to talk about the important marriage between Sage Agasthya and Lopamudra. Once upon a time, as Sage Agasthya was walking his way through to some place, he suddenly saw his ancestors (Pitru Devatas of Sage Agasthya) hanging upside down from a tree and doing penance! Upon seeing this peculiar position in which they were in deep penance, Sage Agasthya was shocked! He couldn’t understand the reason why this is happening. Hence, he asked them thus, “Oh my dear ancestors! Why are all of you hanging upside down like this from the tree? What had gone wrong? I would like to understand the reason for this act of yours!” As Sage Agasthya said thus, the Pitrus replied him back with an iota of sadness on their face. They said thus, “Oh Agasthya! All of us know how great a Sage you are! Indeed, we are proud to be your ancestors! However, the only regret that we have is that, you’ve not got married, and our generation has not grown beyond you! This generation or family lineage should not stop with you. It should grow further. Atleast for this reason, you should get married and have children!” As the Pitru Devatas express their concern thus, Sage Agasthya replies back thus, “Oh Pitrus! I understand your concern! I shall get married, as per your wish. However, who will marry me in the form of mine? I’m very short and stout, and I do not look very appealing and handsome. Given my “not-so-good” physical appearance, who on earth will come forward to marry me?”
As Sage Agasthya asks thus, the Pitru Devatas remind him of his powers that he had gained with his years of penance. With this power, Sage Agasthya himself creates a woman, by name “Lopamudra”. This name has a unique meaning – “The woman who is an absolute perfectionist when it comes to “Dharma” and its execution! She would not tolerate even the smallest of the small deviance from the path of “Dharma”! This is the same “Lopamudra” who had originated along with the River Cauvery and both of them were born out of Sage Agasthya’s auspicious “Kamandalams” (Water vessel with which Sage Agasthya performs his spiritual practices). All these incidents are happening amidst the “Kodagu” Mountains, as part of the Western Ghats, in the Indian state of Karnataka. Even today we shall worship this place – This town called “Kodagu” is also referred to as “Coorg” and at a distance of around 50 kilometers from here, is the place called “Tala-Cauvery”, from where the River Cauvery originates. Thus, we can understand a very important point here – The Origin of River Cauvery! As Cauvery Devi originates from Sage Agasthya’s “Kamandalam”, Bhagawan Brahma and Bhagawan Vishnu also provide their divine “Anugraha” to her, and we witness the river in its magnificent form, going on its full flow, all the way from the Southern Indian state of Karnataka to the eastern coast of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
As the River Cauvery flows down from the Kodagu Mountains, it comes across the place called “Aadhi Rangam”, which is also referred to as “Srirangapatna” – A town in the state of Karnataka. Subsequently, as all of us know, the Cauvery river passes through the famous Sriranga-Kshetra, in the city called Trichy in Tamil Nadu. Here, the river splits into two – The Cauvery and Kollidam, and the Sriranga-Kshetra is situated in between both these rivers! Thus, we can see that the Srirangam island is formed in between the two Cauverys and is an extremely auspicious place with enormous spiritual significance. Apart from Srirangam, the Cauvery river passes through numerous other “Punya-Kshetras” as well in the Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The temple town of Kumbakonam is also situated on the banks of River Cauvery. Similarly, places like Thiruvindalur, Thalaichenga-naanmadhiyam, which is very close to Poompuhar, are all Divya-Desam temples of Bhagawan Vishnu. Poompuhar is the place where the River Cauvery empties itself into the Bay of Bengal.
Thus, from its origin to its end, we can witness innumerable “Punya-Kshetras” all along the River Cauvery, and with this, Sage Naarada advises Yudishtra to go and visit all these places as well! So for today, we’ve witnessed the origin of River Cauvery and the woman by name “Lopamudra”, whom Sage Agasthya is going to marry. In the next episode, we shall witness how the marriage took place between both of them! Stay tuned! 🙂