Sei sulla pagina 1di 50


Summary by P.R.Kannan, Navi Mumbai

Page 1 of 50


(Sri Tula Puranam)

Sanatana Dharma provides guidelines for darshan, bath, Pooja, Sraadham, residence etc. at several kshetras in Bharatadesa. One such case is that of river Kaveri and Tula Kaveri Snanam (bath). Sri Tula Kaveri Mahatmyam forms part of Agneya Puranam; as the name indicates, it dwells on the greatness of Kaveri, specially of bath in the river in the Solar month of Tula (Aippasi Tamil month, when Sun is in Tula Rasi, mid-October to mid-November). A summary of this Mahatmyam is presented here. The mythological origin of the river and many stories relating to the efficacy of Tula Snanam in the river comprise the major subject of this work. The anecdotes pertain to well-known mythological personalities like king Harischandra, sages Agastya, Narada, Dhoumya and Dalbhya, Dharmaputra, the seniormost Pandava, Droupadi and many others, apart from Kaveri, Lopamudra and celestial beings. They therefore establish an easy connect with even the lay reader. Some Stotras from the Mahatmyam have been put up in the original Samskrit in the Slokas section of the website They are: Rangaraja Namaratna Stotram, Vishnu Kavacham, Lakshmi Hridayam and Yama Stuti. It is a miracle that the author, Veda Vyasa has compressed within this small book practically all salient aspects of Sanatana Dharma in the guise of telling about Kaveri. Karma Marga, Dhyana Marga, Bhakti Marga and Gnana Marga- the paths for attaining Mukti, the sole goal of human life, have all been covered, though not with these specific terms. All dharmas to be practised in daily life have been brought out very succinctly and effectively. Dharmas of the four Varnas, the four Asramas (Brahmachari, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasi), of women, kings, subjects, Gurus, disciples etc. are all there. Some Vedic rituals have been elaborated in order to illustrate the importance of adherence to niyamas (rules and regulations) in performance of prescribed activities. I have no doubt that a study of this little book will, apart from inducing bhakti in Kaveri and Tula Snanam, inculcate in the reader deep reverence for our eternal values and a firm will to attempt to be a true Sanatanist. M: 9860750020 P.R.Kannan Navi Mumbai
Page 2 of 50


(Sri Tula Puranam)

CONTENTS Title Page No.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Harischandra prays to Agastya Tula Snana Mahatmyam Introduced Story of Vedarasi, Chandrakantha and Vidyavali Brahma Sarmas Downfall and Final Liberation Crocodile got Liberated Story of Frog and Snake Somavara Vratam and story of Vinata Daily Activities and Agni Upasana Pativrata and Brahmana Dharmas

4 6 11 15 21 24 27 30 36 39 44

10. Arjuna weds Subhadra 11. Story of Kaveri

Page 3 of 50


(Sri Tula Puranam) 1. Harischandra prays to Agastya
Once Dharma Verma, king of Nichulapuram, enquired of sage Dalbhya as to how one can get rid of his sins in Kaliyuga, which is preponderant with evil conduct and how one can develop devotion to God, earn his grace and attain good and long life with good sons here and Liberation hereafter. Dalbhya, pleased at this question, said to Rajarishi Dharma Verma: You are indeed lucky to question thus. This same question was raised by the famous king Harischandra in Kurukshetra in the presence of many sages. I shall now tell you the reply given at that time by sage Agastya. When Harischandra arrived at Kurukshetra, Sounaka and other sages, assembled there, welcomed the king thus: O King! Welcome. Are you protecting citizens without violation of dharma? Are your kingdom, treasury, army etc. in the pink? Did you conquer all your enemies? Are you collecting one-sixth of income as tax from citizens? If you do not protect citizens properly, you will have to suffer in Narakas till the end of Brahmas kalpa (day). If you conquer sense-organs and attain fame, long life will result. Harischandra replied suitably and put in his main request quickly; that the sages should officiate and enable him to perform Asvamedha yaga, which would earn Bhagavans pleasure and get him relief from sins like Brahma hatya (killing a brahmana) and all enjoyments here and Liberation hereafter. At that very time a number of sages arrived there: Vasishta, Vamadeva, Jabali, Kasyapa, Bhrigu, Durvasa, Atri, Visvamitra, Markandeya, Bharadvaja, Goutama, Parasara, Vyasa, Moudgala, Valmiki, Agastya, Narada, Dhoumya, Yagnavalkya, Pulastya, Aasvalayana, Aapastamba et al. All these self-conquered Rishis lived either on mere air, water or leaves, roots and fruits. Harischandra said to them in all humility: Owing to merit in previous lives, I, though being a fool, immersed in kingdom, wealth and pleasures and not pursuing dharma properly, have been blessed with darshan of all of you. Sage Sounaka then informed all the Rishis of the intent of Harischandra to perform Asvamedha yaga. Narada and Agastya said: Harischandra is wise and humble and has
Page 4 of 50

conquered his sense-organs and is fit for performing this yaga. But there is a hitch. During the period of his indebtedness to Visvamitra, when he went to the forest, he saw sage Kindama, who was performing penance. He moved about like a mad man and passed by the sage without paying him respects. The compassionate sage, aware of the innate goodness of the king and respect for brahmanas and his then mental state, did not curse him. However the king, who has disgraced the brahmana, should atone for his sin. He is otherwise unfit to perform the yaga. Even one, who has disgraced a brahmana unknowingly, will lose his wealth and life-span immediately and fall into naraka along with his Pitrus. One, who has committed this sin knowingly, will be born as Brahma-rakshasa. If Harischandra takes bath in river Kaveri in the month of Tula, Chitra or Vaisakha, he will be rid of the sin. In the Tula month (Aippasi Tamil month, when Sun is in Tula Rasi, mid-October to mid-November), all sacred waters come to Kaveri. These are 66 crores of tirthas from the fourteen lokas, which come to Kaveri for ridding themselves of accumulated sins. Kaveri will relieve one of all sins and grant all attainments. Even the thousand-tongued Adisesha cannot narrate the greatness of Kaveri even in ten thousand years. Bath in the river in Tula month will rid even great sinners of all their sins. The sand particles in the riverbed are all Devatas. On both sides of the river from its origin in Sahyadri to the ocean, there are temples for Siva and Vishnu and hermitages of sages, which grant the fruits of austerity immediately. Harischandra enquired of the sages as to the details of the ritual bath in the river, the gifts to be given and other related particulars. Thus is set the stage for the detailed exposition of Tula Kaveri Mahatmyam.

Page 5 of 50

2. Tula Snana Mahatmyam Introduced

Agastya replied to king Harischandra: It is only Mahavishnu who is capable of narrating the merit of listening to a chapter or even a verse of Tula Mahatmyam or of taking bath in river Kaveri. You got sacred company owing to your merit accumulated earlier. Sacred company (Satsangam) is attained only with merit accumulated over many births by way of Ishta dharmas (performance of Yaga etc. for public good), Poortha dharmas (construction of temples, lakes, roads etc. again for public good) and deeds like Veda chanting, observance of Vratas etc. It is only through Satsangam that one will get to listen to sacred stories (Satkatha sravanam). By Satkatha sravanam, the sins committed through the three instruments, viz. thought, word and deed, will go away. When sins depart, the mind becomes pure. It is only through pure mind that one can meditate on Bhagavan. If one meditates thus once on Vishnu, he grants him Sarupya Mukti (liberation by granting the same form as Vishnu). That is not attainable through mere karmas. I shall now recount to you the greatness of Kaveri. There are crores of Siva Lingas, equal in merit to Visveswara, on both sides of river Kaveri and also in its path. If Kaveri grants Liberation, is it necessary to say that she grants Dharma, Artha and Kama? As all tirthas come to Tula Kaveri, she removes even the five great sins (Five great sins are: killing of brahmana, stealing others belongings, drinking of liquor, lusting after Gurus wife and associating with a sinner, who commits any of these four sins) and grants the fruit of Asvamedha yaga. Devas, sages and Pitrus eulogise Kaveri thus. If one takes bath in Kaveri in Tula and Magha months, he will attain to Brahmaloka together with three crores of members of families of his own and of his in-laws. Ceremonial gift of food (Anna danam) and water (Tirtha danam) done in Tula Kaveri will result in merit, which is a crore of times more than normal. Pinda danam, Sraadham and Tarpanam done in Tula Kaveri will grant satisfaction to Pitrus for a Kalpa (Brahmas day). Even animals, birds and trees on the banks of Kaveri attain Liberation due to contact with the air from the sacred river. Is it necessary to talk of humans bathing with devotion? To even think of Kaveri, utter the name of Kaveri, have darshan of Kaveri and take bath in Kaveri, one needs the merit gathered in many births. Kaveri is the most sacred among rivers just as Ganga among rivers, Tulasi among flowers, Ekadashi among Vratas, Pancha mahayagnam among karmas of householder (The five great yagnas to be performed daily by householder are: Deva yagnam, Brahma
Page 6 of 50

yagnam, Pitru yagnam, Manushya yagnam and Bhuta yagnam), purity of mind among all purities, Madhava among Devas, Pranava (Omkara) among letters, Gayatri among mantras, Samaveda among Vedas, Sankara among Rudras, Arundhati (Vasishtas wife) among chaste women, Lakshmi among women, Anna danam among danams, Chandra among the nine Grahas, Surya among luminous objects, Japayagna among yagnas, dharma among friends, silence (mouna) among penances, Vishnu Pooja among Poojas, Grihasthasrama among asramas, brahmana among varnas, earth among objects of forbearance, Brahmastra among astras, Srirangam among holy places, Ramasethu among purifying agents, Purushasuktham among Sukthas, Kamadhenu among cows and Kritayuga among yugas. Mukti (Liberation) is attained by uttering the name of Ganga, having darshan of Ramasethu in Dhanushkoti and listening to Ramayana. But in the case of Kaveri, Mukti is attained merely by thinking of the river. The piece of earth from Himalayas to Sethu is sacred Karmabhumi, 9000 yojanas wide and 100,000 yojanas long (1 yojana = 13 kilometres); the rest is all Bhogabhumi (meant only for mundane pleasures). One can earn religious merit only here in this Karmabhumi. For being born as a human being, one needs merit in a thousand births. For being born as a brahmana, one should have performed highly meritorious deeds in many crores of births. Having got human birth, if one fails to take bath in the holy Kaveri, he is equivalent to a donkey. The devotee should get up in Brahma muhurtham (4 a.m.), meditate on Bhagavan, wash teeth, attend to ablutions and then bathe in Kaveri. He should offer flowers to Kaveri with both hands, prostrate to the river and Sri Ranganatha and offer Arghyam of water. He should do Sandhyavandanam and listen to Tula Puranam from a Pouranika after worshipping him. The Pouranika should be a brahmana in complete control of sense-organs, free from desire, anger etc., master of Vedas, Vedangas, Vedanta, Dharma Sastra and Puranas and of virtuous conduct. Without taking him as an ordinary human being, one should request the Pouranika to narrate the Tula Puranam with devotion one would have for Veda Vyasa. Santanu weds Yojanagandhi Once Narada related the story of Santanu and Yojanagandhi to Dharmaputra to explain the importance of Tula Snanam. Santanu met the beautiful and sweet-scented girl from the fisherman clan, Yojanagandhi during a hunting expedition and asked her hand in marriage. As suggested by her, he met her father, the fisherman chief, who stipulated that the son, who
Page 7 of 50

would be born of their union, should succeed Santanu as king. As this would be gross injustice to Devavrata, the elder son of Santanu, the king could not agree; but he was drowned in sorrow. When sage Dhoumya arrived at his palace on an occasion, he did not receive and greet him properly owing to his state of sorrow. Dhoumya sprinkled holy water on his head and said: I know what is agitating your mind. To fulfil your desire of marrying Yojanagandhi, you should perform Kaveri Snanam in Tula month and worship Sri Ranganatha at Srirangam, chanting Sri Rangaraja Namaratna Stotram. (This Stotram is available in the Slokas section). Listen to Tula Mahatmyam. Give danam of cow, food, cloth, foodgrains, other articles, land etc. Perform Kanyadanam. Give Payasaannam to a thousand brahmanas on Dvadasi day. Santhanu did as instructed. On his way back from Srirangam, he repulsed easily an attack by a foreign army because of merit of Tula Snanam and returned victorious to Hastinapuram. Knowing the mental affliction of the king, his elder son Devavrata met the fisherman chief and asked that his daughter be married to the king. The fisherman chief said that even if the kingdom was passed on to the future son of Yojanagandhi, Devavratas future son could claim the kingdom. This made Devavrata proclaim that he would never marry; he added that he would still attain good state through service to his father even in the absence of his own son. Devas acclaimed Devavrata as Bhishma (of terrible vow). Santanu married Yojanagandhi and begot two sons, Chitrangada and Vichitravirya. He blessed Bhishma with death at the time he desired and also attainment of meritorious realms. Those who drink Kaveri water in the Sannidhi of Ranganatha, bathe in the river or tank in Vaisakha month and worship Vishnu, partake of Tulasi leaves and Salagrama water and hold it on the head at the time of death, construct temple, Matham, garden and Agraharam, follow dharma as laid down in Smriti, bathe in Kaveri river till death or at least in Tula month, or at least listen to Tula Mahatmyam, if that is also not possible, those who at least contemplate on Kaveri in the morning, do Tula Snanam and perform Archana to Siva Linga with jasmine flowers, or read Ramayana and Mahabharata during Tula month or at least listen to them, will cross Suryamandala and proceed ahead.

Page 8 of 50

Restrictions during Tula Snanam: It is advisable for the devotee to observe certain restrictions during Tula Snanam for reaping full benefits. The following should be completely shunned: oil bath, sleep during day time, shaving, consuming betelnut, eating in company of person of evil conduct, sexual union, company of evil persons, futile talk, sleeping on mat, eating prohibited food items, accepting ceremonial gift (danam) and eating food prepared by others. One should not partake of old food, buffalo milk, Pitrusesham, food in night and remnant of food after consumption by women and children. Apart from this, one should also determine not to eat a vegetable most liked. Even if one takes bath without observing all regulations, he will get rid of sins; but if he observes restraints, he will attain Moksha; there is no doubt. This body is as impermanent as a bubble of water. It is full of detestable excreta and urine. Yama is always on the lookout for the right time to snatch away this body. Every daybreak and nightfall keep reducing our life-span. Hence not a day should be lost. When the body and sense-organs are in good shape, merit should be gathered. Sacred rivers are easily available. Autumn season (Sharad ritu) is very comfortable. One should drive away the ghost of sleep and get up early in the morning and take bath in Kaveri. This is what should be done by those who wish to avoid naraka. I say this with my right hand raised. The most sacred river Kaveri is flowing; it is determined to rid one of all sins. The meritorious realm (loka) attained by tough vratas and restraints is easily attained by Kaveri snanam. This is true, true! Those, who are unable to take bath in Kaveri, can at least listen to Kaveri Mahatmyam. Those, who are unable to do even that, can show respects to Pouranika by giving him wealth. One, who keeps the Kaveri Mahatmyam book at home and worships it, attains to status of Brahma. If one gives the book in danam to a brahmana, versed in Veda, he will be relieved of all sins and worshipped in Vishnuloka. Danam: One should take bath in Tula Kaveri, offer Tarpanam to Pitrus and give danam of good materials produced during that period. One, who does this, will enjoy all happiness here and be worshipped in Brahmaloka later. One, who lights lamp with ghee or oil in the Sanndhi of Harihara every day in Tula month after Tula Snanam, attains to Suryaloka and later becomes
Page 9 of 50

Gnani. One, who gives danam of cloth (vastra) to a poor and Veda-knowing brahmana, will attain to Chandraloka. One, who gifts land or house to a poor and Veda-knowing brahmana, will go to Brahmaloka and enjoy and return to earth as an emperor. One, who gifts wealth or foodgrains to a poor brahmana, will remain wealthy for long on earth and enjoy as Kuberas friend after death. One, who gifts honey to a brahmana, will be rid of barrenness and beget good progeny and be born as knower of Veda in many births. One, who gifts bullock to poor farmer, will enjoy in Goloka and be born as an emperor on earth. One, who gifts seeds to a brahmana in Tula month after Kaveri Snanam, will have all enjoyments, live long, have many children, enjoy in Swarga for fourteen Indras period (Brahmas one day) after death and be reborn on earth as a village head. One, who gifts Tambulam, coconut, camphor, musk, sandal paste, incense etc. to the worshipper of Devata, will enjoy in Swarga and be born on earth as emperor. By gifting cows milk, one will get cows, sons, long life etc. Gift of Aamalaka will bestow True Knowledge and devotion. Gift of sesame will please Pitrus as if with Gaya Sraadham. One, who gifts Samit or firewood to a performer of Oupasanam and Agnihotram, will retain Agni along with his wife. (He will perform himself Oupasanam etc.). One, who gifts food with elaborate tasty items in Tula month on the banks of Kaveri, will become Deva. It is only Mahavishnu, who can narrate the greatness of one, who does Tula Kaveri Snanam in Sri Ranganathas Sannidhi. Agastya added that a brahmana woman, who turned to prostitution, reached Swarga after bath in Kaveri; her husband also attained Vaikuntha. On hearing this, Harischandra requested him to narrate all details of this incredible incident.

Page 10 of 50

3. Story of Vedarasi, Chandrakantha and Vidyavali

There was a cultured and prosperous town called Madhurapuri on the banks of river Kritamala near the hill of Rishabhadri. A brahmana named Vedarasi, well-versed in Vedas and noted for exemplary qualities like humility, freedom from jealousy, Vishnu bhakti, keen interest in performance of Vedic rites etc. lived there. His beautiful wife, Chandrakantha was a chaste woman, ever devoted to service of her husband. There lived a brahmana girl named Vidyavali near their home; she was the abode of all evil qualities. She had killed her own husband. She advised Chandrakantha, like she had advised many other women before, that as youth was transient, one should make maximum use of it and enjoy sexual union. Chandrakantha explained the provisions of Sastras in this regard. The period from the fifth day after menstruation upto the sixteenth day is the best for union and getting pregnant. If one avoids union on prohibited days and resorts to recommended days, the son born of them will be wise, wealthy and long-lived. The prohibited days/ times are: Shashti, Ashtami, Ekadashi, Dvadashi, Chaturdasi, Pournima, Amavasya, Masa Sankranti, Day before, day after and day of Sraadham, birth stars of the two, Vrata day, day time and Sandhya time. If the couple unite or take oil bath or if the male shaves on these prohibited days, he becomes a great sinner even if he were learned in the four Vedas or has performed Soma yaga. Vidyavali said in response: I know that your husband has illicit relation with a prostitute. You alone are wasting away your youth. Chandrakantha said: Husband is God for a woman, even if he were impure, diseased, foolish or wrathful. For women, there is no separate Vedic rite, ritual, Pooja or Vishnu bhakti. One, who carries on activities on her own against the wishes of her husband, is reborn as dog. Vidyavali remonstrated: Swarga and naraka are all in imagination. Death is an undisputed fact. After killing my overarching husband, I am now independent. I enjoy all pleasures. Chandrakantha, under the influence of the evil advice of Vidyavali on these lines, fell into evil habits herself. She developed illicit relation with a man and kept it up for a month without her husbands knowledge. She then openly practised prostitution. For ten days the great brahmana Vedarasi observed his wifes evil ways and then drove her out of home. In order to atone for the sin of having lived with a woman of easy virtue for some time, he sacrificed all his wealth and shifted to the bank of Kaveri so that he could get rid of his sin by bathing in the sacred river.
Page 11 of 50

Chandrakantha openly spoiled many men with her overtures and accumulated wealth. The Pandya king Indradyumna, who came to know of this, was afraid that the remaining men also would be spoiled, sins would multiply and the country would be destroyed. He therefore confiscated all her property and expelled her out of his country. Chandrakantha shifted to the bank of Kaveri and continued relentlessly on her evil ways. In due course old age and disease took their toll. She died. She suffered in various narakas for twentyone manvantaras. Then she was born as the daughter of a prostitute in Nichulapuram. She underwent untold suffering from various diseases; all her body was torn by wounds. She begged and moved from place to place. Owing to a small meritorious action of hers in previous birth, she came to Kaveri, saw many devout persons bathing in the river and happened to hear a bit of Kaveri Mahatmyam being narrated by someone in Sri Ranganathas sannidhi. She also had a dip in the river in order to cool her own body. She lost her life even as she was hearing perchance the Pouranika say that one who takes bath once in Tula Kaveri would attain to Vishnuloka and be worshipped there, even if he were a great sinner. Yamakinkaras arrived in a beautiful vimana, bestowed on her a divine form, put her in the vimana and took her to Swarga. On the way she was served delicious dishes to eat. When the time came for Vidyavali to depart from this world, Yamas dog took her by the neck. For one whole day of Brahma (Kalpa), she suffered in many narakas including Rourava. She was then born twenty times as dog and three times as pig. She was then born as Amba, the daughter of Kashi Raja and was instrumental in a big war being waged between Bhishma and Parasurama and was later reborn as Sikhandi, the cause of death of Bhishma in the Mahabharata war. When the life-span of Vedarasi on earth came to an end, a divine vimana, brilliant like a crore of Suns, came and took him to Swarga, owing to his Kaveri Snanam. As a fruit of his having spent some time with Chandrakanta, the fallen woman, his vimana was routed through naraka en route to Swarga. Swarga and Naraka: On the way he was offered many objects of enjoyment like various tasty food items, which the Yamabhatas related to various danams he had given on earth to brahmanas. In one place he saw women, who had served their husbands on earth with chastity, though the husbands were evil-minded. These women were adored as being equal to Arundhati and offered hospitality.
Page 12 of 50

Vedarasi then saw many terrible sights of punishments of sinners in naraka. Torture included being pulled on path full of hot sand, red-hot iron needles or fire. Some were being bitten and pulled by wild dogs. They were all very hungry and thirsty. Some were thrown up in sky and beaten when they dropped down. Some were cut with swords and salty and spicy water was poured in their wounds or sharp needles were pushed in. Those who fell unconscious were woken up by sprinkling water and again punished. The sins committed by those in the narakas suffering such harsh punishment included: troubling or abusing others, stealing others belongings, doing prohibited acts, not doing prescribed acts, abandoning virtuous conduct including early morning bath, Oupasanam, Veda, Sastra, Deva Pooja and Pitru Sraadham, selling prohibited materials, criticising Siva and Vishnu, troubling Vaidikas and poor people, teaching Veda for salary, receiving improper danams, depriving calf of milk, always depending on outside food, ill treating parents, maligning Guru, cutting green tree, spoiling sacred discourses, criticising sacred place, indulgence in easy virtue by women etc. While punishing the sinners, Yamabhatas taunted them by recounting the sins they had committed, which had invited the commensurate punishment. When Vedarasi saw all this, his heart was moved with compassion. He thought that only through helping others, all meritorious actions will bear fruit and Bhagavan will be pleased. What better way can be there to help the sinners in naraka than Harinama Sankirtanam? Vedarasi immediately started chanting Haris names, dancing with wave of hands, with tears flowing down from his eyes and his voice stammering.

- - -

Swami, Anantha, Purushottama, Lotus-eyed, Remover of devotees misery, Bhagavan, Murari, Consort of Lakshmi, Narasimha, One who sported many forms in the world of men, One who has Surya and Chandra as eyes. On listening to Haris qualities described by Vedarasi, all those who were in naraka were relieved of their sins and got on to the vimana which came there and carried them to Vaikuntha. Thus Vedarasi accomplished two difficult tasks: By Tula Kaveri Snanam, he got rid of the sin of association with his wife, who was a fallen woman and secondly, by

Page 13 of 50

his merit and by chanting Haris names, he enabled residents of naraka to go to Vaikuntha. In the end he also went to Vaikuntha. Harischandra asked Agastya at this stage as to how Vedarasi conquered Yama, unconquerable even for Devas and went to Vaikuntha. Agastya said that Yama became terribly furious when residents of naraka went to Vaikuntha. With a terrible army in toe, Yama started off on his buffalo mount with Kaladanda in hand. He shone like Vadavagni. All were very much afraid. Vedarasi, who saw Yama, was also overcome by fear. He chanted Vishnu Kavacham, which had been taught by Vishnu himself to Brahma, who, in turn, transmitted it to Agastya. (Vishnu Kavacham may be seen under Slokas in this website.) On seeing the radiance of Vedarasi, Yama, Chitragupta and all Yamakinkaras took to their heels. Yama changed into a handsome form, went to Vedarasi, praised his devotion and honoured him. Yama said to him: Those, who chant Bhagavans names like Krishna, Vishnu and Murari are alone virtuous. They will never see me and my kinkaras. I show my peaceful form to virtuous persons like you and my dreadful form to the sinners. Permitted then by Yama, Vedarasi left for Vaikuntha in a divine vimana, praised by Devas. Yama apprised his kinkaras of the greatness of Namasankirtanam and Tula Kaveri Snanam. Agastya concluded by telling Phalasruti: Those, who read or listen to this story setting out Vedarasis greatness, will have all their sins removed and be blessed with long life, good health, wealth and good sons.

Page 14 of 50

4. Brahma Sarmas Downfall and Final Liberation

In response to Harischandras enquiry on details of Kaveri Snanam and Pooja of Bhagavan, Agastya narrated stories of certain great devotees. After the five Pandavas married Droupadi, Narada once met them. He told them the story of two Asuras, Sunda and Upasunda. Once when both happened to see Tilottama, they both lusted after her and fought and killed each other. Thus the purpose of Devas sending Tilottama was fulfilled. Narada advised Droupadi and Pandavas to be ever careful and humble in Grihasthasrama and be devoted to Krishna. He also told them about the greatness of Kaveri Snanam in the months of Magha, Vaisakha, Tula and Kartika. In the month of Tula, one should bathe in Kaveri and worship Sri Ranganatha with flowers of jasmine or lotus and offer Payasannam. By doing Anna danam in Tula Kaveri on Dvadashi day, one reaps the fruit of brahmana bhojana in Kurukshetra for twelve years. When women consume the Payasam left after Anna danam, they will bear good progeny. Sraadham: A brahmana, who does not perform Sraadham (or at least Tarpanam) on important days like Amavasya, Sankramanam, Kanya masam and Surya grahanam, will be born a chandala. In case materials or brahmanas are not available for performing regular Anna Sraadham, or if he is out of station or is faced with an emergency, a brahmana can perform Aama Sraadham in lieu. (Aama Sraadham is offering of rice and vegetables to brahmana in whom Pitrus are invoked). If this is also not possible, one should feed twelve brahmanas on a dvadashi day in Tula month on the bank of Kaveri. If one is too poor even for this, he should feed at least six brahmanas. Danam of Panakam in Chitra month, danam of curd rice in Vaisakha month, Vastra danam in Magha month, danam of umbrella in Karthika, Deeparadhanam for Bhagavan, offering of Pongal in Margasirsha month in early morning all these will relieve us of our debt to Pitrus. If one does not do even these out of miserliness, he will become a Nastika and be afflicted with leprosy right from birth in ten lives.

Page 15 of 50

Story of Liberation of Pig: Narada narrated the story of a brahmana called Brahma Sarma, who lived in Bahudhanya Agraharam in Balhika country. He was well versed in Vedas and Sastras. But he accumulated wealth even by selling curd, buttermilk, cloth etc., sale of which is prohibited in Sastras. He was the Purohita for all families in that town. He would always make it a point to eat in somebody elses house. He would sometimes go uninvited to someones house and ask for food, though knowing well that such an act would make him be born as a pig. In such a persons house, Pitrus will not eat properly. He never performed Oupasanam or Agnihotram himself. He would never stay home and always be on the move, looking for Sraadham, homam, danam etc. Dharma: His wife Susila was a woman of extraordinary chastity, devotion and adherence to dharma. Though she was aware of her husbands way of life, she could not do anything. One day, when Brahma Sarma was in a good mood, she spoke thus to him: Is not this body like the bubble on the surface of water? Is it not certain that Yama will sooner or later take away our lives? If we do not do dharma when our body is healthy, we will have to go to naraka. Wealth will only result in misery. The king, thief et al are shareholders in our wealth. Eating food in other peoples homes (Paraanna bhojanam) will only result in our sharing of their sins, leading to naraka. Woman not liked by her husband, brahmachari who does not eat out of alms begged by him, king who does not take brahmanas support, brahmana who does not worship Agni- all these are bound to perish. Hence you please perform Oupasanam and eat food in our home only. Our children are also like orphans as you are always away. I am also like a dead body living often without husband. Is not Grihasthasrama the greatest of the four Asramas? It is dharma alone which accompanies the soul after death. Just as pre-packed food taken while going out of station helps en route, dharma alone will be food, cloth etc. for one who departs for the next world. The food which we give to brahmanas here will be our food in Yamaloka. Please perform Tula Kaveri Snanam, which is the best dharma, bestowing all fruits, in this Karmabhumi of Bharatadesa. If a suitable person (Patra) begs, one can even offer his body to help him. One gets a good wife, who does not prevent him from performing danam and dharma, only through merit gathered in previous birth. If you say No, no (Naasti) to a hungry beggar who
Page 16 of 50

begs for food, Devas will say you will have (Asti) trouble. Who is a good friend at the time of death? It is only dharma. Brahma Sarma, on hearing his wifes sincere and well-meant advice, was moved. He said: I have wasted away my birth by not performing bath in sacred river, Oupasanam, Siva archana with bilvam, Tula Kaveri Snanam, brahmana bhojanam, Harikatha sravanam etc. Susila now asked him to do at least Prata Snanam, Sandhyavandanam, Panchamahayagnam and Ishta Poortha dharmas. Asvatha Upasana: Susila pleaded with Brahma Sarma to grow Asvatha (fig) tree. She said: Going round Asvatha tree seven times is equivalent to going round the entire earth with seven seas. Worshipping Asvatha tree, the form of the three Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, is equivalent to worshipping the three Gods and all Devas. Worship of Asvatha tree with dhupa, deepa, Sugandha, Tambulam, Pushpa etc. will bestow wealth. One should not worship Asvatha tree during day time, afternoon and evening times and on Sukravara and Angarakavara. Saturday is the best. Brahmana should go round, worship and prostrate to the tree and pour water chanting Purusha Suktam, Pitru Suktam, Tadvishno: mantra etc. If one thinks of Pitrus at that time, he will reap the fruit of Gaya Sraadham. If one embraces Asvatha tree on Saturday morning, he will be rid of disease and death (untimely). If one does Abhisheka to the tree on Sunday, he will be rid of eye disease. Abhisheka on Monday will bestow freedom from misery due to Grahas. Abhisheka on Thursday will grant an auspicious daughter. All wishes will be fulfilled if one does Upasthanam with the Aasatyena mantra. Asvatha upasana should be accompanied by Siva Pooja. Constant chant of Siva nama will result in all wishes getting fulfilled. Susilas encounter with Chitragupta: On hearing Susilas advice Brahma Sarma changed his ways, planted Asvatha tree and started worshipping it devotedly. Susila served her husband with great devotion. She performed all prescribed dharmas of a Grihini with complete dedication. She was doing Kaveri Snanam in Tula and Karthika months. She entertained guests with good food and extended financial help to poor people with the permission of her husband. One day she was serving
Page 17 of 50

food to her husband after serving food to bhikshus and guests. As Brahma Sarmas life-span came to an end at that time, Yamas servants came there. But, unable to resist the fire of Susilas chastity, they could not approach even her house and ran away and represented to Yama. Yama said to Chitragupta: Brahma Sarmas life has ended owing to many sins he committed like eating without restriction. So go quickly and get him. Chitragupta went to Brahma Sarmas house and hid himself in a corner. Brahma Sarma was saying at that time to Susila that the food was very tasty and asked her to keep the balance food for the night. Chitragupta laughed at this. Susila heard the sound of laughter, but could not see anyone. Susila then swore: If I have worshipped Bhagavan and if I have maintained chastity, may the person, who laughed, appear before me. If the Smriti vakya that it is Narayana, who pervades everywhere, in all that is seen and heard, inside and outside, is true, may the person, who laughed, appear before me. If the statement of elders that husband is God for women is true; if my service of elders has been fruitful; if my Tula Kaveri Snanam has been fruitful; if I have worshipped the virtuous and if the Veda vakya that it is Narayana, who is the highest principle, the highest Light, is Atma indeed, is true; may the person, who laughed, appear before me. Chitragupta now appeared before her in person. Susila initially thought that the resplendent visitor could be Agni, Indra or Siva; then she identified him as Chitragupta and fell at his feet. Chitragupta blessed her with long, auspicious life with her husband. Susila was happy and said to him that he should now protect her Soumangalyam. Chitragupta said that when younger people bow down, if the elders do not bless them, the life-span of the elder would reduce. He added that in order that his blessing be true, Susila should donate to her husband the fruit of her one years Tula Kaveri Snanam; Chitragupta would then take Brahma Sarma to Yama, show him and return to earth; Susila should take care of Brahma Sarmas body for one yama (3 hours) till his life returns. Brahma Sarmas trip to Yamaloka and back and final emancipation: When Chitragupta travelled to Yamaloka along with the soul of Brahma Sarma, two cobblers turned chandalas stopped them. They wanted Brahma Sarma to pay for the footwear which he had taken from them without paying them the price. When Chitragupta offered to pay them now in lieu, they refused and said: This man harassed us much. Let him now peel off his own skin, equivalent to the footwear and give it to us. Even those, who kill cow, brahmana or
Page 18 of 50

woman, may redeem themselves by doing Prayaschitta; but there is no Prayaschitta for one who does not return the loan. For such a one, the only Prayaschitta is to return the material taken on loan; if not, he will face suffering in naraka till the time of Pralaya. We will be born as his sons and eat food in his house till the loan is repaid and then die. So saying the two chandalas started to beat up Brahma Sarma. At that time two brahmacharis suddenly appeared and offered to repay the loan of Brahma Sarma. When the chandalas wanted their skin to be peeled off in repayment of the loan, they readily peeled off skin from their thighs and gave it to the chandalas. The brahmacharis now identified themselves as the two Asvatha trees grown by Brahma Sarma on earth and said: You grew us and prayed to get rid of your sins and went round us seven times on Saturday. Hence we repaid your loan. When you return to earth, you will notice that the two trees are peeled of skin. After they left, Chitragupta taught him Yama Stuti. Brahma Sarma reached Yamas assembly and seeing Yama from a distance, shining like Sun and seated in a jewel-encrusted throne, he was slightly overcome by fear. He fell at his feet, chanting Yama Stuti. (Yama Stuti may be seen under Slokas in this website.) Yama blessed him saying Ayushman bhava Soumya. Yama added that one, who chants Yama Stuti on his birth star day and on Bharani star (Yamas star) day, will have a long, healthy life with no untimely death. On Brahma Sarmas enquiry as to how he got long life, Yama said: In your previous birth, you accommodated in your house a poor diseased person from a different country and saved him by giving him medicine. Again your wife donated one years Tula Snana fruit. Hence you got long life now. Your life was shortened earlier by your sins like eating food at others homes, not performing Oupasanam etc., eating prohibited food etc. Practise dharma hereafter; there is no fear for one who practises dharma. King Nala worshipped me with this Yama Stuti earlier; he conquered all three worlds and lived a long life. People commit sins with a smile; they suffer their fruits, weeping. Brahma Sarma prostrated to Yama and was led to earth by Yamakinkaras. He then woke up from his body as if from sleep. Susila embraced and prostrated to him. He recounted to her details of his trip to Yamaloka. From then on both of them performed Kaveri Snanam and Asvatha Pooja with even more intense devotion. In due course Susila departed from this earth as a Sumangali; she got into divine vimana through the stairs of husband-worship and reached Brahmaloka.
Page 19 of 50

Narada added by way of Phalasruti that those, who read or listen to this sacred and wondrous account of Susila, will live for a hundred years. After Susilas demise, Brahma Sarma grieved in loneliness. Once thieves stole all his belongings. Struck with poverty, hunger and thirst, he took forbidden food. He was abandoned by all relatives and friends. Once he happened to be invited for lunch at a householders home. After food, Sarma chanted Veda in order to impress his host. The host asked him to stay with him. One day the host, during a period of impurity, asked him to perform the daily Siva Pooja. Sarma had food in somebody elses home furtively and then came back and performed the Pooja. He died owing to that sin and suffered in many narakas for three Manvantaras. He was then born as a nastika and follower of non-Vedic religion in five births. His next birth was as a camel, followed by that of wild pig. As a pig, once he happened to chase a group of brahmanas, versed in Vedas, in midnight in a forest, when they were on their way to Kaveri for early morning Snanam. All were afraid and ran hither and thither. The pig then was in hot chase of the leader of that group, Padmagarbha. As Padmagarbha neared the Kaveri bank, the pig was about to attack and kill him. Just then a prostitute, who was bathing in Kaveri, shook her hair and a drop of water fell on the pig. Instantly the pig turned into the form of a Deva and a divine vimana came, ready to take him to Swarga. This happened owing to the present contact with Kaveri water and the earlier Asvatha upasana and Siva Pooja of Brahma Sarma. He thanked Padmagarbha and the prostitute for the help he received from them unwittingly and proceeded to Swarga.

Page 20 of 50

5. Crocodile got Liberated

Purana Sravanam Padmagarbha then expounded Tula Mahatmyam to all those gathered there. He spoke about merits and rules of Purana Sravanam (listening to Purana). In order to get rid of misery of repeated births and deaths, there are only two means: one is, Satkatha Sravanam and the other is, Bhagavannama Sankirtanam. The seat from where the Pouranika narrates the Purana is called Vyasasana. The Pouranika who expounds dharma is none other than Adisesha or Mahavishnu. Till the end of the discourse he should not prostrate to anyone. Purana should not be narrated in assembly of evil persons, places infested by immoral persons and wild animals and gambling dens. It is said that one is relieved of sin, even if he listens to one sloka of Ramayana and even though he is not pure or is without Achara or has committed mental sin. The audience should listen with devotion and faith; only then will they reap merit. They should not leave while the discourse is in progress; if not, they will lose wealth, relatives and happiness. If one listens with headgear on, he will be born as stork. One, who consumes tambulam while listening, will be born as animal consuming the faeces of dog. One, who is seated on a seat higher than that of Pouranika, will be born as crow. One, who listens with one leg on top of the other, will become Arjuna tree. One, who listens without prostrating, will become a poisonous tree. One, who listens in lying down posture, will be born as a python. One, who listens seated on a seat at the same level as the Pouranika, commits the sin of enjoying Gurus wife. One, who despises the Pouranika or the Purana, will be born as dog for a hundred births. One, who asks irreverent questions during the discourse, will be born as donkey, followed by other such animal. Those, who decide not to listen to discourse (because of such restrictions), will be born as pigs. Where the Pouranika is not honoured or is criticised, there will be fear of fire and thief and unnatural death. Even if one is unable to listen to discourse, but encourages it, he will attain good state. One, who organises the discourse and enables all people to listen, will attain the state of Brahman. Those, who offer cloth, plank etc. for the seat of the Purana or the Pouranika, will attain desired realms and then go to Brahmaloka. Those who offer cloth etc. for honouring the Purana, will enjoy wealth and pleasures in many births. Even the worst sinner will be rid of his sins even if he listens to one sloka (verse) of Tula Purana or Harikatha. One should listen to Siva Purana or Vishnu Purana with equal
Page 21 of 50

reverence. Siva is Vishnu and Vishnu is Siva. One who perceives difference between them goes to naraka along with Pitrus. Narada narrated to Dharmaputra the story of Sivamurthy, a Vedic scholar, who expounded Ramayana in a place called Agrabhumi. Though the audience honoured him with gold, eatables etc., he was not satisfied. He cursed the villagers and left the place in a huff. As the villagers had listened to Ramayana, they did not have to go to naraka. They were born as brahmanas; but they were devoured by Bhagasura in view of the sin of having infuriated the Pouranika. This Bhagasura was none other than Sivamurthy; as he had cursed the village brahmanas out of greed, he was born as Bhagasura. After being killed by Bhima in Ekachakrapuri, he enjoyed in Swarga for long and then was reborn as Parikshit. The brahmanas, killed by Bhagasura, got the bodies of Preta and subsequently they were reborn as the sons of Sagara. They were reduced to ashes by sage Kapila and were later redeemed by contact with river Ganga brought down to earth by Bhagiratha and finally attained to Swarga. Story of Liberation of Crocodile: When Padmagarbha was recounting Tula Puranam to the assembled audience, a crocodile caught hold of the foot of a brahmana, bathing in Kaveri. At that time the crocodile happened by chance to listen to a sloka from the Tula Purana. The sloka states that one, who bathes in Tula month in Kaveri early in the morning, will be rid of all sins and attain to Vishnuloka. On listening to this sloka, the crocodile left its body and got the form of a divine being and ascended on to the divine vimana, which arrived there to take him. A stunned Padmagarbha asked him about his identity, to which he replied: I am not a Deva; I am a brahmana named Suryabandhu of Panchaladesa. I was very well-versed in Vedas and Sastras, but I had no compassion, was getting angry all the time and always refused to give anybody anything. I indulged in women and food and abandoned all dharma. When a poor brahmana named Kanva asked people for financial assistance for performing yagna, I prevented everyone from offering him any help. My life-span got reduced; I suffered in narakas and was born as a crocodile. I happened to listen to the sloka uttered by you, the compassionate one and I got rid of that sinful birth. Virtuous people show compassion without any reason and enable people to get out of samsara by mere darshan. Please save me. Please deign to tell me as to how I, an evil sinner, got your darshan and also Sravanam of Tula Mahatmyam.
Page 22 of 50

Padmagarbha meditated and then replied: In your earlier birth, the king of Vangadesa once took bath in Kaveri, listened to Purana and gave ceremonial gifts. In order to get more wealth from the king, you put on the garb of a virtuous mendicant, bathed in Kaveri and prostrated to brahmanas. Owing to that merit, you got Satsangam; as you heard the Purana at that time, you happened to listen to that sloka today and attained good state.

Page 23 of 50

6. Story of Frog and Snake

There was an Agraharam called Vastuhomam in the city of Virata. There were a lot of brahmanas there, well versed in Vedas and Sastras; they used to perform Karthika Kaveri Snanam early in the morning, sit at the foot of Avla tree and listen to Karthika Puranam. One day a frog was picked up by a crow; somehow the frog escaped, came to the feet of a brahmana and then fell into the Kaveri water. There it was caught by a water-snake, which started to devour it. Suddenly the frog started to speak to the snake: You are unaware of your previous births and trouble innocent beings like me with arrogance and selfishness. I am the least troublesome of all animals. I was also without discrimination of merit and sin in my previous birth and that is how I got this birth. One, who considers this body-mind complex, full of misery, perishable and filled with excreta and urine, as permanent, is a dead body, which breaths. If one is keen only on filling his stomach without realising this, he will suffer in many ways and go to naraka. I know your previous birth too. The snake asked the frog to recount details of the previous births of both of them. The frog said in reply as follows. Frogs previous birth The frog was a very learned brahmana in Kanchipuram in its previous birth. Though a scholar, he never followed rules of good conduct in his own life. He used to eat Sraadha food every day; he was so miserly that he would collect the dakshina of other brahmanas and give them a paltry sum. He collected a lot of gold and gifts by giving discourses, but would not part with any of it in danam. When he became old and suffered from many diseases, his son advised him: Abandon your attachment to wife and children. Are we, the relatives not enemies out to grab your accumulated possessions? Give danam, which is dear to the Lord and also serves as food en route to the next world. Read the auspicious Bhagavad Gita; if not the whole of it, read at least one sloka. Owing to infatuation with this world, you did not give danam to any proper person, nor did you perform any deed of merit for your Atmas wellbeing. Who are you? Who am I? This relation is owing to Karma. Who can overcome Vishnumaya? Perform deeds of dharma- danam of cow, land, house, Salagramam etc. One, who is attached to Samsara, is like the one, who, desirous of the fruit at the edge of a tiny branch, climbs up the tree and the branch and falls down. Like the deer, attracted to music, getting entrapped; the cow, attracted to grass, falling down in a well
Page 24 of 50

and the diseased man, attracted to food, getting ruined; one, who is attracted to samsara, will perish. Relatives return to their homes from the cremation ground. It is only merit and sin, which accompany the dead person to the next world. Hence perform dharma. At the time the son was advising his father in this manner, the Yamabhatas came and tortured the brahmana brutally and pushed him into the Maharourava naraka. After suffering endlessly in many narakas for a Manvantara, he was born on earth as a worm in excreta, followed by a hundred births as crow, ten births as pig, five births as eagle, ten births as donkey, seven births as fox and four births as frog. In an earlier human birth, the brahmana had given discourse on Kartika Mahatmya at the foot of Avla tree and, out of fear of disrepute, had given danam of food, dakshina, Salagramam etc. to brahmanas. Owing to that merit earned in a distant human birth, the frog now had the good fortune of contact with the feet of virtuous brahmanas and bath in Karthika Kaveri. The frog recalled all that happened in previous births. Because of the earlier danam of Salagramam, all his sins were burnt off. Hence the frog now said that he would go to Swarga, enjoy there for many years, be born as brahmana later, undertake Tula Kaveri Snanam with devotion to Vishnu and then ascend to Vaikuntham. Snakes previous birth: The frog now continued with narration of the story of the snakes previous birth. The snake was a vaisya in Kanchipuram in an earlier birth. He bathed in Payoshni river and listened to discourse of Purana by the brahmana (now frog); but he did not give any dakshina. After listening to exposition of knowledge capable of bestowing happiness here and Liberation hereafter, if one does not give dakshina according to his capacity, he will go to naraka and then be born as snake. The frog told the snake that he would be born as hunter in the next five births. In the last birth, an elephant would chase him and he would die on a Karthika Somavara in Krishna river in front of Siva under an Avla tree. As he would listen to the cries of Siva, Siva of many people there at the time of death, he would be rid of sins and ascend to Sivaloka. After completing the above narration, the frog died. He instantly got a divine form and ascended on to a divine vimana and went to Swarga.

Page 25 of 50

7. Somavara Vratam and story of Vinata

Somavara Vratam: Narada continued with his exposition to the Pandavas and started to recount the greatness of Somavara Vratam. Just as Tula and Karthika months are the most auspicious of months, Somavara Vratam is the most auspicious of Vratas. This Vrata pleases the Pitrus also. If one lights a lamp with ghee on Somavara (Monday) in Siva shrine, he will raise a crore of families to a higher state. By performing Siva Pooja on Karthika Somavara, sins like brahmahatya will run away. In Kritayuga, Chandra appeared on Sukla Paksha Navami day in Karthika month. If one worships Siva with devotion on that day, all his wishes will be fulfilled. When Trayodashi or Navami falls on Somavara in Karthika, Siva worship on that day will bestow inexhaustible fruit. One, who performs pooja to Siva with devotion and with no expectation of fruit by chanting Rudram and doing Abhishekam in all the eight Yamas (24 hours) of Somavara and fasts that day, is no different from Siva himself. Even if a great sinner fasts during the day and partakes of food in the night and worships Siva with some desire in mind, he will be rid of his sins and ascend to Swarga. One, who chants Panchakshara mantra and performs Sahasranama Archana to siva with bilva leaves, attains Siva Sarupya (form like Sivas). One, who performs Sahasranama Archana to Siva with white or red Karaveer (Arali) flower during Pradosha time, will be wealthy in the next seven births. One, who performs Sahasranama Archana to Siva during Pradosha time with Durva or Akshata on a Sukravara (Friday) in Karthika month when Trayodashi is also present- even if he is poor from birth-, will become as wealthy as Kubera immediately. If one performs Sahasranama Archana to Siva three times with bilva leaves on Somavara in Karthikai month, he will enjoy good health, cows, glory, beauty and good sons during a hundred births and become an emperor. He will enjoy Swarga for seven Manvantaras and then attain to Siva Sayujya. If one worships Siva or Vishnu with Muni flowers under an Avla tree and feeds eight brahmanas, he will become wealthy. If one worships Siva with a thousand wick lamps on Krittika star day in Karthika month. He will become Brahmagnani. Narada adds that he is incapable of describing the merit of giving danam of Sivalingam on Somavara to brahmana. After performing Somavara Pooja, one should offer Arghyam with water or milk to Siva, Ambika and Subrahmania.
Page 26 of 50

Story of Vinata: There lived a brahmana called Vinata, well versed in Vedas and Sastras, on the banks of river Godavari. Though he was learned, he never performed the prescribed rituals; but he pretended to be a great Karmakaandi. He would never give danam to anyone; he would always find fault with all virtuous people. One day, when he sat for midday lunch, a guest arrived. Though it was Amavasya day, Vinata had not performed even Tarpanam. But he chided the guest for not performing Darsa (Amavasya) Sraadham and for begging for food in anothers home. The guest said he knew Sastras, but he was very indigent, his wife had died and his relatives had abandoned him. He then talked about Sraadha rules. Sraadha Rules: Performing Sraadham in anothers home and cooking of food by person other than wife are equivalent of Karta eating up Pitrus themselves. Pitrus would come to the home of the son and curse him when they find that Sraadham is not being performed there. When Pitrus get angry, the Kartas lineage will perish immediately like a bale of cotton subject to fire. Sraadham, where the following deficiencies occur, stands destroyed: Not performed as per Paarvana rules; food cooked by others; performed in someone elses home; food being eaten by brahmanas not versed in Vedas; dakshina not given properly; performed with resources of an immoral person; impure; done speedily; done in fourth yama of day (3 to 6 p.m.); forbidden vegetables used; devoid of honey and Urid dal; not offered to Vishnu; Karta and brahmanas not observing silence when brahmanas eat. Such Sraadham does not satisfy Pitrus. Sraadham not performed as per Vedic injunctions is Asuric Sraadham. Sons born in that lineage will become Asuras. In emergency one should perform Aama Sraadham (with offering of foodgrain) or at least Hiranya Sraadham (with offering of money only). The guest added that he had performed Hiranya Sraadham as per his capacity and worshipped Vishnu on that day and that he would go to Kashi, bathe in Ganga and eventually die in Kashi and thus get rid of all sins. Despite his repeated pleas, Vinata refused him food and ate himself along with his sons and relatives. The guest had his lunch in someone elses home. Pitrus of Vinata came to his home; finding that he had failed to perform Sraadham and also disgraced an honoured guest by refusing him food, they cursed that Vinata should perish immediately. That night thieves stole
Page 27 of 50

all his belongings, set fire to his house and killed his son. His wife and all relatives died in the fire. Vinata escaped and ran and ran with no specific end in view. He felt terribly ashamed and grieved. There was none to offer him a word of consolation. He reached Brahmeswaram, a place at a distance of five yojanas (65 km) where there was Siva temple. As it was Karthika Somavara, special Pooja was in progress in the night there. Vinata wore Vibhuti and Rudraksha and, chanting Sivanamas, he did Pradakshina and namaskarams. With the pretence of a devotee, he performed Japa and chanted stotra. The people there kept awake and watched the Pooja, discourse etc. held in every yama in the night. When Vinata shed tears for his dead wife and children, people thought he was weeping out of bhakti. Vinata now thought of stealing the jewels decorating the image of Devi there. When people dispersed for early morning bath, he went in as if to prostrate and stole the ear-studs of Devi and ran away. The Archaka came in at that very time, noticed that the ear-stud was missing and started to look for the thief. He saw Vinata running and chased him; they ran round the temple thrice. The Archaka finally caught him and dealt him a strong blow with a stone. Vinata also struck the Archaka with a stick. The Archaka dropped dead, chanting Siva, Siva. Vinata walked a few steps and he also fell unconscious and was dead. Yamabhatas tied up both of them and started to pull them away. At that very time the messengers of Siva came in a divine vimana and put both of them in the vimana. Yamabhatas said to them: Our lord, Yama has been detailed by Brahma to punish sinners by pushing them into naraka in order to purify them. If virtuous persons like you break this order, how will dharma be sustained? Sivadutas told them to go and ask Yama about this. Then there ensued a fierce fight between Sivadutas and Yamabhatas. Yamabhatas, who were defeated, went and reported the matter to Yama. Yama now addressed them on dharmas to be practised by human beings. Yamas discourse on Dharma: If one meditates on Vishnu at the time life departs from the body, all his sins will disappear. If one gives danam of Salagramam with dakshina to a deserving brahmana, helps others, adores virtuous people without greed or listens to lilas of Vishnu, they are all acts of religious merit. Sins include being Nastika (atheist), cruel and devoid of compassion to all beings and being attached to wife and children for enjoyment. The following acts will result in the person never having to go to Yamapuram: good actions as per ones capacity, being compassionate to all beings, bhakti to Vishnu, danam of Salagramam or Sivalingam, Siva Pooja, uttering the name of Bhagavan at the time of death, helping those versed in Vedas, never missing Nitya and
Page 28 of 50

Naimittika karmas even by omitting Kamya karmas. If one gives danam of lamp in Karthika month, even if he were a great sinner, he will go to Kailasa. If one takes bath anywhere in Kaveri during Arunodaya and fasts on Somavara, he will attain to Sivaloka. Yama continued: The Archaka chanted Siva, Siva at the time of death and hence he was rid of all his sins. He went to Sivaloka. Even the great sinner Vinata had fasted on Karthika Somavara as he had not got food. Because of grief he kept awake in the night in Siva shrine. Pretentiously he performed Siva Archana early in the morning and uttered Siva nama. Once pompously he had given danam of Sivalinga called Sivanabham to a Pouranika with dakshina. Hence his sin of killing the Siva Archaka left him. As he fasted and kept awake on Karthika Somavara, he went to Sivaloka. Yama instructed Yamabhatas not to bring to Yamaloka those who perform Somavara Pooja. He asked them to bring those who do not observe Somavara Vrata and do not offer food to brahmanas the next day as per capacity; those who pompously do dharmas with no true faith and fail to perform Agni karyas like Oupasanam etc. and abuse virtuous persons; those who call themselves Vishnu bhaktas and criticise Siva and similarly those who style themselves as Siva bhaktas and criticise Vishnu.

Page 29 of 50

8. Daily Activities and Agni Upasana

Daily Routine Agastya laid down rules to be observed in daily routine including Tula Snanam. On getting up from bed in the morning, one should perform Achamanam and meditate on Vishnu. He should contemplate on Ganga, Kaveri, Magha month, Vaisakha month and Tulasi and chant Harinama 108 times. He should go out of the village in Nirruti (south-west) direction and choose a suitable place for morning ablutions. One should cover the head with cloth and mouth with hand. The soil should be covered with grass before excretion. The place should not be pathway, salty soil, river, close to temple or flag-post, fertile field, dam, clean spot and foot of tree. Cleaning of private parts with soil and water should be carried out as specified. Rinsing of mouth should be done six times after urination and twelve times after defecating. This should be followed by Achamanam facing east. Achamanam should be performed with meditation on the three Vedas, taking water in the palm of quantity such that one urid dal grain could be immersed in it; water should be sipped with the hand and fingers shaped in the form of cows ear and through the bottom part of the palm, facing the Sun. For brushing the teeth, the twig should be collected from a tree having pith and free from thorn. Brushing of teeth should be done starting from the lower row of teeth going to the upper row clockwise, facing the direction of east or north-east. Rinsing of mouth should be done twelve times thereafter. Tula Snana Procedure: After Achamanam, one should perform Sankalpam mentioning tithi, varam (day) and nakshatra (star), meditate on Madhava, pay obeisance to Kaveri chanting the sloka: - - - - - - - Arghyam should then be offered chanting:
Page 30 of 50

- - Worshipping Kaveri thus and offering Archana with flowers, one should bathe chanting Varuna Suktam. If one takes bath even once in Kaveri, meditating on Bhagavan and chanting Vishnu Gayatri or Ashtakshari, sins including killing of brahmana will go away. By bringing the tuft (Sikha) forward and making water drip, it will give unending satisfaction to Pitrus. One should not wipe with hands the water dripping from the body. One should perform Tarpanam to Pitrus, Devas and Rishis, reach the shore and prostrate to Sri Ranganatha. Snanam in the months of Tula, Karthikai, Magha and Vaisakha and Agni Pooja bestow merit and remove the five great sins. Snanam at least in Tula month should be done. Sandhyavandanam Sandhyavandanam should then be performed. Taking water in the hand and chanting Pranavam, Vyahriti, Gayatri, Gayatri Siras etc., one should sprinkle water upwards. This will drive away sins committed in ten births. One should then sprinkle water in a clean place, spread darbhas and perform Gayatri Japam, standing, with complete sense-control. Japa: Ja divests one of Janma (birth); Pa removes Papa (sin). Gayatri is so called as it protects the one who chants it with the prescribed Swaram (Gayantam Trayate). Gayatri should be meditated upon in Suryamandala or Hridayakamala (heart-lotus). Sixteen upacharas should be performed mentally. Brahmachari and Grihastha should say Om at the beginning of Gayatri mantra; Vanaprastha and Sanyasi should pronounce Om six times. In the morning Japam should be performed with the hand raised at face level; in the noon time, at chest level and in the evening at navel level. There should be no gap among the fingers in the hand and edges of fingers should be slightly bent. If there be gap, it will be Rakshasa practice. Japam will be fruitless if Japam is performed in impure condition and without count. The count should be carried out on the finger marks only and not with Japamala (rosary). Count should start from the middle line of the ring finger and end at the lowest line of the second finger clockwise. The two lines of the middle finger are called Meru and should not be crossed while counting. If Japam is performed with proper pause in the three padas (parts) of the mantra, it will please Vishnu. If the three padas are chanted together without pause, he will become Brahma-rakshasa. Gayatri Japam should be performed, meditating on
Page 31 of 50

Mahavishnu in ones heart or Suryamandala, having four arms and with Sridevi and Bhudevi on sides, possessing the radiance of a crore of Suns and seated in a throne in the stem of a golden lotus of eight petals, in the middle of orb of vimana shining like crore of Suns and decorated with various gems, corals and crystals and with Kalpa vriksha and flowers like jasmine. After bath early in the morning, one should perform Japa till dawn and prostrate to Surya, who grants all desires and removes the misery of samsara. He should mention his Gothra, name and Sarma, concluding with Asmi Bho:. He should worship the four directions, saying Om Prachyai namah etc.; also, he should worship the upward and downward directions, saying Oordhvaya namah, Adharaya namah, Antarikshaya namah, Bhumyai namah and meditate on Mahavishnu. One who has not performed Japam for one day, Sandhyavandanam for three days and Agni upasana for twelve days becomes an outcaste. One should learn Gayatri from father and Veda from Guru. One, who maintains soucha (purity) and aachara (conduct), attains Brahma Swarupa. The body is the first instrument for dharma; equally marriage is also the first instrument for dharma; Gayatri, the essence of Vedas, is the instrument for those with Vrata (ritual of resoluteness). Hence these three should be practised properly with care. Good Practices Bhagavan resides in that home where rows of lamps are lit in both the Sandhyas (dawn and dusk). Food that is cooked with old water, is overburnt, is not properly cooked and is contaminated with hair, is not fit for consumption. Sins rush to a home where food is not offered to bhikshus and is not hot, where the smoke from Homa and sound of Vedic chant are absent and where the husband or wife is impure. The fruit of having ears is to listen to good things (about God) and not wear kundalas (ear-rings). The fruit of having hands is to give charity and not wear kankanas (bracelets). The fruit of having body is to help others and not apply sandal-paste. Agni Upasana When the husband is out of station, the wife should perform Oupasana Homam in the morning and evening. Ritwik (Vedic scholar) or disciple of the householder may perform in the presence of the wife. Homam performed by others in the absence of husband and wife is fruitless; Agni
Page 32 of 50

also loses its power. The samit (firewood stick) should be of length of one hand (about 9 inches). Paridhi (sticks around the Homakundam) should be of length of two hands (about 18 inches). Samits for Homam should be of the thickness of ones thumb, having skin and narrow tip and free from worms. There are eight types of wood for Samit: Palasa, Asvatha, Khadira, Bilva, Udumbara , Kusa, Apamarga and Durva. But Samits of Sami and Khadira should only be used in Homam. For blowing air in Agni, pipe should be used; if pipe is not available, Samit should be held in hand while blowing air with the mouth; other blow-fans should not be used. Homam should be done in the flame of Agni. The flame is the tongue of Agni. In all karmas, Homam should be done in the east side; in Pitru karmas, in the south side. Agnis Pada (foot) is the firewood, which is not in flame. Agnis head is that part, which is enveloped in smoke and has small flame. Hence Homam should not be performed in these locations of firewood. If done, it will result in disease, abortion, censure and poverty. At the beginning and end of Homa, Ahuti should be performed with Samit. Deva Tarpanam, Homam, offering of Bali, eating food, wiping, Devata Archana- these should be done with the tip of fingers. This is called Deva Tirtham. One, who does not perform Homa in good flame, burning wood or burning wood covered with ash, will lose digestion power and become diseased and poor. While doing Oupasanam, rice should be offered through the twelve lines in all fingers with hand raised; only then Homam will bear fruit. Even if Samit Samaropanam (depositing the power of Agni on Samit) or Atma Samaropanam (depositing the power of Agni on self) has been done, the external Agni will lose its power if Homam is not done twice a day. The best period for Homam in the morning is Pratah kalam (before Sunrise). Sangava kalam (from Sunrise upto 8.24 a.m.) is the next recommended period. In the evening the period from Sunset upto close of Pradosha kalam (7.56 p.m.) is the best period. Some say that the time till the next Homa kalam is acceptable. One, who consumes food without performing Homa, is an animal. One, who is afraid of sin, should not discard Agni till death. If Oupasanam is not performed for one year, 60 Prastams (a measure) of foodgrains and 3 Prasthams of ghee should be given in danam. One, who does Pratha Snanam and Gayatri Japa and Homa at dawn, is indeed the highest attainer of Veda. One who has resources should perform Agnihotram. The poor should perform at least Oupasanam. If Oupasana Agni is kindled, one will get the fruit of Pooja with Sroutha Agni. The wise say that worshipper of Agni attains to Brahmaloka. One, who performs Vaisvadevam and Sthalipakam in Oupasana Agni, attains to Brahma svarupam. Vaisvadevam and Bhoota bali
Page 33 of 50

should be performed every day as per prescribed procedure. Visvamitra gave Vasishtha, who came to his home, the merit of Tapas of five crores of years. Vasishtha gave Visvamitra, who visited his Ashram, the merit of the Ahuti of one evening. This was greater than what Visvamitra had given to Vasishtha. In this context the story of Dharmala and Dharmavriddhi is cited. They were two obedient sons of a great brahmana named Santhapana, who was keen on performing Agni Pooja and leading others on the path of dharma. Both the sons followed the path of dharma and achara of their father after his demise. Once, when Dharmala was on pilgrimage, the day of performing Sraadham arrived. Without calling back his wife, who had gone to her paternal home, he performed Oupasanam and Sraadham. The Agni was weak as his wife was absent. The Pitrus therefore did not accept the offerings and cursed Dharmala. Later, when the life-span came to a close at the same moment for both Dharmala and Dharmavriddhi, the former was pushed into Rourava hell and the latter attained to meritorious realms. Tulasi If Tulasi wood is used in Homam, it removes the sins of flaws in mantra and tantra, time of performance, quantity of offering etc. If Sraadham is performed with Tulasi wood in Agni, the fruit will equal that of 1000 years of Gaya Sraadham. In Vishnu Pooja, if one performs dhoopa and deepa produced from Tulasi wood at least once, he will attain to Vaikuntha. In the Agni of Chita (funeral pyre), if even one Tulasi wood piece is used, the deceased, even if he be a great sinner, will attain to Vaikuntha. It is not possible to measure the merit accrued to one, who prepares Pongal with Tulasi wood fireand offers to Bhagavan in early dawn in the month of Margasirsha. If one makes offering to Bhagavan of Annam prepared with Tulasi wood fire on Dvadasi day in Tula month, the fruit will equal that of feeding a thousand brahmanas. If it is done on Ratha Sapthami or Ekadashi day in Magha month, one will get the fruit of pooja of a thousand years. Water not in sand will be treated as impure water next day; flower in fresh bloom will also become impure the next day; but not Tulasi leaves. Green and soft Tulasi leaves are the best. One should do Abhisheka to Vishnu on Ashadha Sukla Dvadasi day and perform Archana to the Lord with Tulasi leaves. If this is done on Sravana Sukla Dvadasi day, even a poor man will become equal to Kubera.
Page 34 of 50

Eating Food One should not eat food in a plate from where women and children have eaten; in an impure place; along with wife and children; nor he should eat food served by hand, or food left over after eating by someone, or left over after being eaten by woman, or after Sraadham, or not hot. One should not eat food in a house where Seemantham is observed or Achara is not maintained or food cooked by woman who has not taken bath. While doing Parishechanam, one should maintain silence. During Pranagnihotram with Pranaya Swaha etc., one should take food of the size of Amalakam without touching the teeth. After the first Homam Ahuti reaches down to chest level, the next Ahuti should be made. Ahutis should not be consumed together. Water from iron vessel, Amalakam and Til on Sapthami and Sunday, coconut on Ashtami, curd in night and buttermilk in day and buttermilk prepared by churning by hand are all prohibited food items. It is healthy to take buttermilk having lemon, salt and Karuveppilai from a leaf cup (donnai). If Tulasi from Vishnus feet is taken after food, the flaws in the food taken will go away. Ekadashi: One should observe complete upavasa (fast) on Ekadasi day, particularly on three such days: Ashadha (sayana) Ekadasi, the day Vishnu goes to bed, Bhadrapadan (Parivartana) Ekadasi, the day He changes sides in bed and Karthik (Uthana) Ekadasi, the day He gets up.

Page 35 of 50

9. Pativrata and Brahmana Dharmas

Pativrata Dharma Narada taught Draupadi in response to her query on dharma: Only when one performs Svadharma well, Bhagavan grants bhakti. Only through bhakti one can cross the ocean of samsara. For women serving husband is svadharma. They should not resort to fast etc. unnecessarily when husband is alive. For brahmachari, serving Guru is svadharma; for son, serving parents is svadharma; for women, serving husband and taking care of children is svadharma. Bhagavan is highly pleased with this. Child! Eat after your husband has eaten. Sleep after he has slept. When he calls you, attend with humility. When asked, reply pleasingly. If you desire to attain Vishnus feet, do not fret even if your husband gets angry. Do not speak in a manner not liked by your husband even in sport. Be careful in Agni Pooja, Deva pooja, Guru Vandanam, household work etc. Resort to good conduct, inner and outer purity, chant of Ashtaksharam (Om Namo Narayanaya) and the three namesAchyuta, Anantha and Govinda. Always honour Sanyasi, guest and virtuous persons. A woman who does not wish union with her husband in recommended period will attract the sin of child murder. If you fan your husband when he is tired, Apsara women will fan you in Swarga. If you give him water when he is tired, you will get Amrita in swarga. If you press your husbands feet, you will attain to Swarga in vimana and be honoured there. Story of chaste ant On seeing a beautiful golden coloured female ant, a male ant named Jrumbha was attracted to her. He proposed to her. She said that if he would protect her at all times she would marry him. Then they married and bore children. Once when Jrumbha was away, another male ant approached his wife and pressured her to submit to his advances. The female ant advised: How do you lust after another mans wife? There is no expiation for this sin like in the case of cheating without returning debt and telling untruth. One who has union with anothers wife destroys his lineage and goes to Tushagni naraka. If woman censures her husband even once and has union with another man even once, she will go to naraka along with her Pitrus. The male ant did not heed her advice and started to advance. The female now made a sound of Hum and burnt the male with the fire of her chastity. Jrumbha, who heard her outcry, came there; on coming to know of what had happened, he praised the will and conduct of his wife.
Page 36 of 50

Kekaya king, who was around at that time, laughed on hearing the conversation of the ants. When his wife enquired the reason for his sudden laughter, he refused to divulge the matter and said that if he were to reveal it, he would die. (Perhaps he had acquired a special ability to decipher the language of ants on condition that if he were to reveal their conversation to anyone he would meet his death). His wife would not listen; she persisted fiercely. The king said: The tapas for women is to serve their husbands with devotion. If a woman does even once something disliked by her husband, she will be fried in boiling oil in naraka and become a widow on rebirth. Saying this, he drove her out. Narada advised Draupadi and her five husbands, the Pandavas to adhere to the rules of chastity. They promised that each of the five Pandavas would remain Draupadis husband by turns every year. Narada blessed them and departed. Brahmana and cows One day a brahmana came running to Arjuna and complained that his cows had all been stolen by thieves and wanted that they should be restored to him by the king. When Arjuna spoke to him with due honour and expressed doubt about his possible negligence, the brahmana expounded on brahmana dharma and how he had adhered to it steadfastly. He said: I learnt the four Vedas with six Vedangas in Gurukula, duly honouring the Guru and Agni and practising bhikshatana. I gave the Guru dakshina, returned to my parents and married an eight-year-old girl as per my parents wish. The girl is of good parentage, equal in lineage to mine and of good qualities. I have been following Grihastha dharma well- performing Oupasanam, two Sthalipakams every month and Shannavati (96) Sraadhams in a year. I have been observing all rules in regard to food, sleep, danam, good conduct etc. I listen to Harikatha with devotion; I perform Magha Snanam and listen to Magha Mahatmyam. I fast on Ekadashi day and take parana on dvadashi day. I have never given danam to undeserving person and have always given danam to deserving person at good kshetras. I performed Tula Kaveri Snanam in Sri Ranganathas sannidhi and performed Sraadha there. I duly honoured the Pouranika. My sons are also learned in Vedas and Vedanta. They observe all rules of good conduct. I have twenty thousand gold coins and cows and buffaloes. When Arjuna asked him as to how he accumulated much wealth and to what purpose he uses it, the brahmana replied: If money is spent on Devas, brahmanas and Guru, wealth
Page 37 of 50

grows. Dharma is the greatest friend. I have five daughters, whom I have married off to good boys. I do not sell cows milk, buffalo milk, til, rice and salt. These lead to great sin. I and my children never say no to those who seek charity. The way greed leads to reduction in lifespan, even serpent, poison, fire, weapon or goblin does not. Grihasthasrama is meant for helping others. Bhagavan is pleased with firm Gnana, chaste wife, observing Svadharma without seeking fruit of action and helping everyone. Arjuna responded saying that he wished to hear about dharma and that is why he prodded him with such questions. He immediately rushed in to get his weapons. He happened to see Dharmaputra and Droupadi at that time. He informed Dharmaputra about the brahmana, took his weapons, rushed out, searched and killed the thieves and restored the cows to the waiting brahmana. The brahmana became very happy and blessed him. Arjuna was welcomed warmly by the city dwellers. He said to Dharmaputra in all humility that because of the latters Tejas, the cows of the brahmana could be restored to him.

Page 38 of 50

10. Arjuna weds Subhadra

Arjunas Pilgrimage Arjuna said to Dharmaputra that he wished to proceed on a years pilgrimage in fulfilment of the requirement to do so in view of his having seen Dharmaputra and Droupadi together when they were husband and wife. The reference was to Arjuna having rushed in to get hold of weapons in order to secure the lost cows of the brahmana. Dharmaputra reluctantly gave him permission and accordingly Arjuna set out with many brahmanas, first to Prabhasa tirtham. He then reached Badarikasramam and had darshan of Bhagavan Vyasa. He expressed to him his deep desire to marry Subhadra, the sister of Krishna in Dwaraka and added that he had heard of Balaramas plan to marry off Subhadra to Duryodhana. Vyasa referred to the difficulty in Arjuna getting to marry Subhadra. He then thought deeply and taught him the Stotram called Sri Lakshmi Hridayam. He said that this Stotram is capable of fulfilling all desires and removing all diseases and granting long life and good health. (Sri Lakshmi Hridayam Stotram is available in Slokas section). He asked him to chant the Stotram thrice three times in a day, particularly on Friday. He directed him to do Tula Snanam in Sri Ranganathas sannidhi and chant the Stotram. He added: If one chants this Stotram on Friday in Pushya (Thai) month, he will become wealthy. Tula Kaveri Snanam bestows on one the merit of all yagas and bath in all Tirthas. If you perform Kaveri Snanam in Karthika month, liked by Pitrus, Pitrus become happy and go to Swarga from naraka. One who desires knowledge, wealth or marriage should do Tula Snanam and chant Sri Lakshmi Hridayam. Woman desiring son should do so and also clean the temple of Sri Ranganatha and light lamps. To get Subhadra, you do Snanam in Karthika month also and light Laksha deepam (a lakh of lamps). Similarly if you do Tula Snanam in the Siva kshetra, Mayavaram, you will get Subhadra immediately. In order to grant moksha, Bhagavan has created the two kshetras, Srirangam and Mayavaram. Arjuna thanked Vyasa and proceeded to Prayaga and did Snanam, danam etc. There he married the beautiful Naga girl, Ulupi and begot a son called Iravan. He then visited many kshetras with devotion.

Page 39 of 50

Kshetras on Kaveri bank Arjuna reached the Southern part of the country and had Snanam in Sangamukham, where river Kaveri joins the sea and gave danam of ten lakh coins. He visited Svetharanyam (Tiruvenkadu), the place where Siva sojourned during Kaveris marriage. He had Tula Snanam in Mayavaram and gave plenty of danam. He went to Srirangam, stayed there and took bath till end of Karthika month, listened to Puranas, lighted Laksha Deepam and worshipped Sri Ranganatha. He gave away plenty in danam and honoured the Pouranika. He also took bath in Chandra Pushkarini, chanted Devis sixteen names and listened to the greatness of Devi, which removes all sins. He renovated many Gopurams, Praakaras etc. in temples. In Dhanur month (Margasirsha) he offered Pongal to the Lord in the morning after Kaveri Snanam. Arjuna then visited Sathyagiri, had Snanam in Sathya Pushkarini, which removes sins like Brahmahatya and worshipped Sathyagirisa. He proceeded to Goshtipuram, had Snanam in Amrita pushkarini, which bestows Vaikuntha and worshipped Goshtipuriswara, who likes curd rice. Goshtipuram is so called because Devas, troubled by Hiranyakasipu, stayed there as a goshti (group). There Arjuna worshipped Narasimha, who saved Prahlada. Arjuna went next to Vrishabhadri, stayed there for twelve days, bathed in Nupura river and gave plenty of danam. Bhagavan had sent down Ganga from his Nupura (anklet) here for the sake of the devoted Pandya king. After worshipping Vrishabhadriswara, Arjuna went to Mohanapuram, had bath in Brahma Tirtham and worshipped Bhagavan, who had diverted the attention of Asuras by adopting Mohini form and distributed Amrita among Devas. This is the place where Bhagavan taught Vedas to Brahma after killing Madhu, the Asura who stole the Vedas. Arjuna then visited Madurai, where Bhagavan took Matsyavatara in Vaigai waters. He married Chitrangada, the daughter of the Pandya king and spent some time with her. He proceeded to Sethu and Dhanushkoti, bathed there and gave thirty lakhs of coins in danam. He worshipped Ramalinga Siva in Rameswaram and did Magha Snanam there. He listened to Magha Mahatmyam and completed Magha vrata. He returned to Madurai and enjoyed with Chitrangada for some time. He then went to Srirangam and had darshan of Chaitrotsavam. Chitrangada now gave birth to a son, who was named Babhruvahana. Arjuna then proceeded west to Sahyadri and had darshan of Mahavishnu, who appeared as Amalaka tree and also Dattatreya. This is the place where river Kaveri originates. Arjuna bathed in the river in the sannidhi of Sahyamalaka (Vishnu). He then visited Gokarna and had
Page 40 of 50

darshan of Siva. He then came back to Prabhasa, took leave of the accompanying brahmanas and proceeded alone to Dwaraka. Arjunas false Sanyasa Beset with thoughts of Subhadra, Arjuna did not know how to secure her. He then mentally took refuge in Krishna, the Lord of three worlds and prayed for grace. Krishna appeared in person before him and, in order for him to get Subhadra, he suggested that Arjuna should come to Dwaraka in the guise of a Sanyasi on Chaturmasya Vrata. When Arjuna asked him how a Sanyasi can return to Grihasthasrama, Krishna replied: One does not become a Sanyasi by mere dress or talk of Vedanta. Sanyasam is ordained only for one who has no temptation or vacillation in mind. Till one gets the Gnana that Iswara alone is everywhere, one should keep doing karmas without desire for fruit. Brahmagnana means seeing everything in the Lord and seeing Lord in everything. If one simply puts on the appearance of a Sanyasi and abandons prescribed Karma, he is a fallen man. One who merely dresses like a Sanyasi is not spoiled in Dvapara yuga. Hence you do not fear. In Kaliyuga such a person meets destruction. Arjuna then put on the appearance of a Tridandi Sanyasi (who wears Sikha and Yagnopavita) and sat in a cave near Dwaraka. Balarama, Ugrasena and other Yadavas once saw the Sanyasi and, impressed by his saintliness, entertained a desire to invite him to stay in their palace. Krishna pretended to oppose it saying that they should not invite the Sanyasi to their home themselves, but if the Sanyasi comes on his own, it would be good. Ugrasena and Balaram did not agree and invited the Sanyasi to the city. On his agreeing to this, he was accommodated in a Matham in the city. Then as Chaturmasya time arrived in a few days, Ugrasena and Balarama considered the Sanyasis difficulty of staying in Matham and going to the city for bhiksha and wished to invite the Sanyasi to stay in the palace. Again Krishna put up stiff resistance and said it was dangerous to have a Sanyasi in the palace where young girls are around. But Ugrasena and Balarama did not listen to him; they made the Sanyasi stay in the palace garden and eventually they appointed Subhadra to serve him. Subhadras marriage to Arjuna Subhadra detected the signs of a king in the Sanyasi and asked him whether he had met Arjuna, who was out on pilgrimage, anywhere. When the Sanyasi came to know of Subhadras
Page 41 of 50

deep love for Arjuna, he disclosed his true identity as Arjuna. Both of them expressed their mutual love and resolve to marry. Subhadra informed her mother of the developments and her mother in turn sought the help of Krishna. Krishna organised a family trip to the seashore one day; all had bath and observed fast and spent the night there itself. Krishna stealthily came to Dwaraka and got Subhadra married to Arjuna, observing all Vedic rites in the presence of Indra, Saptarishis and Vasudeva. Krishna returned to the seashore in the night and slept with others. Sage Agastya, who narrated this story, adds by way of Phalasruti: This Subhadra marriage episode rids, one who reads and one who listens, of sins and grants long life and sons and grandsons and Vaikuntha at end. Siva, after losing Dakshayani attained Parvathi after reading this. Rati attained Manmatha after listening to this as instructed by Siva. One who listens to this by remaining awake during Ekadashi night becomes a true Vaishnava like Suka. Arjuna made Suhadra the charioteer and, as he was leaving with the sound of his Gandiva bowstring reverberating in all ten directions, a battle ensued between him and the Dwaraka army. As the army met defeat, Subhadra embraced Arjuna and was very happy. When the sound of the batledrum reached the ears of Balarama and others, they became very angry and apprehensive. At that time a messenger brought the news that the Sanyasi guest was driving away with Subhadra in the chariot; the messenger also handed to them arrows bearing the name of Arjuna. There ensued a long and painful war of words between Balarama and Krishna. When Balarama started with the mission of killing Arjuna, Krishna stopped him by pointing out that Subhadra would then become a widow. Finally, after much persuasion, all were agreed to go to Hastinapuram and celebrate the marriage in a public manner. The marriage celebration was very grand; Balarama and Krishna gave Subhadra by way of gift much gold, silver, clothes, horses, chariots, elephants and soldiers and maid servants. Krishna gave her a necklace which had been gifted to him by Jambavan, who himself had received it from Sri Rama. Krishnas advice to Pandavas When the time came after a few months for Krishna and his entourage to leave for Dwaraka, Krishna advised Kunthi and Droupadi to guide Subhadra in her new home. He advised Subhadra to take care of chastity at all times: A chaste woman is an ornament to the lineage of her parents. Be always complementary and obedient to your husband. Do not always be thinking of your father and brothers while you are here. For a woman
Page 42 of 50

husband alone is relative, wealth, God and Dharma. Disciple who criticises Guru, son who criticises father and woman who criticises husband will fall into terrible naraka. Dharmaputra, while bidding farewell to Krishna, expressed the anguish of Pandavas at the continuous troubles being created by Duryodhana and Kauravas. Krishna pacified him by drawing attention to many troubles he himself had undergone and asked him to stick to the path of dharma and assured that all would be very well and that he would gain the kingdom soon. Krishna advised that Dharmaputra should perform Usha Kala Pooja in Dhanur (Margasirsha) month, offering Pongal and curd rice to Vishnu. Also Tula Kaveri Snanam, chanting Sri Lakshmi Hridayam stotram at the foot of Bilva tree and giving danam must be carried out. At the request of Dharmaputra, Krishna then recounted to him Tula Mahatmyam. He said: Those who do Tula Kaveri Snanam in any one of the kshetras, listen to Tula Puranam and honour the Pouranika, even if they are Nastikas, deceitful, faithless and of evil character, will become pure along with their Pitrus, enjoy all happiness along with sons and grandsons here and attain to Moksha by my grace.

Page 43 of 50

11. Story of Kaveri

Harischandra, who was listening to Tula Puranam from sage Agastya, hailed Bhagvans grace for having bestowed on him Satsanga, attainable through yagna and austerities and capable of granting Mukti. He then prayed to the sage to enlighten him on the origin and story of river Kaveri. The same prayer was also made by Dharmaputra to sage Dhoumya after Krishna left Hastinapuram for Dwaraka. There was a rajarishi named Kavera, the best among yogis, who had developed total Vairagya (dispassion) after performing Karmas as laid down in Sastras for some time. He performed severe tapas in Himalayas in order to attain Moksha. Brahma appeared before him and Kavera prayed for Moksha. Brahma conveyed Vishnus instruction that Vishnumaya, the daughter of Brahma, would be born as Kaveras daughter and grant him Mukti. He added that she would also turn into Kaveri river, the repository of all merit and instrument of Mukti and, by another part, she would also become wife of sage Agastya with the name of Lopamudra. Kaveras daughter, river Kaveri Vishnumaya was accordingly born as the daughter of king Kavera. Kavera attained the highest Bliss. He told her that one should not abandon nitya karmas till purity of mind is got and that he, having attained purity of mind by her darshan, was going to abandon karmas and move about as Sanyasi. His daughter, Bhagavati Vishnumaya agreed saying: Now Mukti is in your hands. I shall be famous as your daughter and become Kaveri river. Kavera left his home and moved about as a true Gnani, dispassionate, with equality of vision, looking equally at gold, stone and soil, viewing happiness and misery with equanimity, thinking always of Bhagavan and seeing him everywhere and in everything and finally merged with Him. Vishnumaya performed severe tapas in Himalayas. Vishnu appeared before her. She asked him for the boon that she should become a river, which would remove the sins of even Nastikas and ungrateful and evil persons when they bathe in the river such that they attain the feet of Vishnu. Vishnu said: This boon, though very tough, is given to you. You will become river Kaveri, known specially as DAKSHINA GANGA. Ganga became great because of her origin in my feet. You will be greater than Ganga, as I am also going to reside in your lap (in Srirangam). The merit attained by bathing in Ganga and other sacred tirthas for four yugas will not equal one-sixteenth of the merit attained by bathing in Sahyadri in your waters at the foot
Page 44 of 50

of Amalaka tree. One can get the merit of severe tapas in Naimisaranya for four yugas by bathing in Sahyadri in your waters at the foot of Amalaka tree. Your waters will be known as Sahyamalaka tirtham and Sankhatirtham. Agastyas consort Lopamudra Sage Agastya was performing severe tapas in Himalayas for attaining Mukti, when Brahma appeared before him and asked him to marry Vishnumaya, his daughter, who was also performing tapas elsewhere. When Agastya protested against getting into bondage of samsara by entering into marriage, Brahma added: Karma can lead to Mukti. If you do not do Kamya karma, it is like Sanyasa only. Sanyasasrama is very tough; even if a Sanyasi thinks of enjoyments with his mind, he falls. On the other hand when Karma is done, offering it wholly to Brahman, it will give Mukti, even if it is a little faulty. After Brahma left, Agastya found himself bright and healthy. He then met Vishnumaya, who was performing tapas in the Himalayas. Vishnumaya desired that all Punya tirthas in all the fourteen worlds should accompany her and that all those who bathe in her waters should be rid of sins and become purified. If these desires are fulfilled, she would flow as Kaveri river in one part and marry him as Lopamudra in another part. Agastya said to Vishnumaya that Ganga and all tirthas were in his sthali (earthen cooking pot). (Sthalipakam hence refers to yagna, where food cooked in Sthali is the offering to Devas. Sthalipakam shall be performed by Grihastha on the day following every Amavasya and Purnima.) He asked Vishnumaya to enter into the Sthali waters through one part and remain there till they would reach Brahmagiri, which is also known as Sahyagiri. Vishnumaya now entered Agastyas Sthali waters as Kaveri through one part and stood as a beautiful maiden named Lopamudra in front of him through another part. Agastya thought of Brahma for conducting his marriage as per rules. Brahma arrived with Saraswati on his mount of Swan; Vishnu with Lakshmi on Garuda and Siva with Parvathi on Vrishabha. Brahma performed the marriage of Agastya with Lopamudra as per Grihyasutra and did Kanyakadanam. Agastya and Lopamudra worshipped all Devatas and Rishis assembled there. Agastya filled his Sthali with the water washed off the feet of Vishnu. Saraswati advised Lopamudra at length on Pativrata dharma. Agastya said to Brahma that as per his instructions he had become Grihastha; Now what is the way to cross the ocean of samsara? Brahma replied: You are dispassionate right from
Page 45 of 50

childhood; all dharmas are in your hand. He then taught him Sri Rama yantra, rules of chanting Shadakshara Rama mantra and mantras of Bala and Atibala. Siva told Lopamudra on that occasion that he would reside in all kshetras on the banks of river Kaveri right from her place of origin upto her merger with sea. All Devatas and other guests then left. The Rishis, present there could not control their grief at separation from Lopamudra. Lopamudra consoled them and asked them to come down to South and take bath in Kaveri and attain Mukti. Agastya then proceeded southwards along with Lopamudra. Remembering that Brahma had asked him to subjugate the pride of Vindhya mountain, who had grown so tall as to obstruct Suns movement around Meru, he met Vindhya on his way to South of the country and told him to maintain his height low, wait and not grow higher till he would return from South. Thus he averted the danger wrought by Vindhya to the cosmic order. Agastya reached Brahmagiri in South. He established his Sthali in Brahmagiri and instructed his disciples to guard it carefully, when he is away. He then left for bath in Swarnamukhi tirtham. River Kaveri Kaveri in the Sthali thought that Agastya would be reluctant to let her go and flow as a river. She thought for a muhurtha (48 minutes) and decided to flow out. At that time Brahma arrived there and became happy to see the fertile Brahmagiri. He got down and took bath in the sacred Kanakajapi tirtham and chanted Shadakshara mantra. He then saw a radiant Amalaka (Nelli) tree. On meditation he saw in his heart that the Amalaka tree was indeed Vishnu with divine insignia like Sankha, Chakra, Gada, Kirita etc. He got up and worshipped the Amalaka tree. Akasavani informed him that the tree was indeed Vishnu and asked him to worship the tree. Brahma filled his Sankha with Viraja waters from his Sthali and performed Pooja to the tree. There was again Akasavani, now addressed to Kaveri and said: Sharad rutu (autumn season) and Tula Vishu (first day of Tula month) have arrived. Dharma done in Sharad rutu, even if small, grows like seed of banyan tree. In this mountain, Bhagavan has appeared as amalaka tree and Brahma performed Abhishekam to its foot with the waters of Viraja tirtham (of Vaikuntham). The Sankha (conch) represents Gayatri and is indeed of the form of all tirthas. This Shankha water used in Abhishekam bestows long life, health and Mukti. You make yourself sacred with that water and proceed quickly southwards. Bhagavan will reside at the place of your origin as Amalaka tree and spread your fame and bestow Mukti on those who bathe in your waters. Kaveri asked all other companion waters in the Sthali to
Page 46 of 50

leave. By Brahmas order fragrant, cool wind spread there. A sudden blow of heavy winds upturned the Sthali and the waters departed, mixed with the Amalaka tree tirtham and started to flow. (In certain other Puranas including Skanda Purana, Ganapathi is said to have come in the form of a crow and upset Agastyas Sthali, resulting in Agastya getting angry first and subsequently worshipping Ganapathi). When Agastya returned and found that the Sthali waters have gone, he asked his disciples as to how it happened. They explained: Kaveri could not be stopped. She said that it would be wrong on her part to leave in Agastyas presence and that the sage on consideration of all facts would give up his anger. Agastya then sought Kaveri out at a long distance and asked her as to why she left suddenly. Kaveri took the form of a beautiful damsel and explained that as it was the sacred day of Tula Vishu, she left as previously agreed by the sage and as instructed by Vishnu. Agastya praised her and said: This tirtham will be known as Sahyamalaka tirtham, Sankha tirtham and also as Runamochana tirtham as it will relieve one of all three debts (to Devas, Rishis and Pitrus). I shall reside on your bank along with Siva and sages including Vaikhanasas, Valakhilyas and Sanaka et al. Earlier Ganga and other sacred rivers took refuge in Brahma asking for remedy for relieving themselves of the loads of sins left by those who bathe in them. Mahavishnu then said that these rivers should bathe in Kaveri in Tula month for getting rid of the accumulation of sins. Bhagavan Dattatreya will also render your head pure with the dust of his feet. Kaveri worshipped Agastya and merged in the waters. The river flowed with full vigour, narrow at some places and wide in others, deep in some places and shallow in others, making loud noise in some places and pulling trees and plants in its course in others. Everybody worshipped her. Agastya was struck with wonder and shed tears of joy. Devas, rishis and other divine beings assembled to see the radiant flow of kaveri. Devas rained flowers; Apsaras danced. Brahma, Vishnu and Siva also came. Agamas and the eighteen Puranas took divine forms and came. Devas, Rishis and Pitrus were extremely happy that people would offer Poojas, yagnas, Sraadhas, Tarpanas etc. with the sacred waters of Kaveri on her banks. The Rishis said; All Vedas form the head of Kaveri; milk is her water; all merits are the foam; principle of eternal truth is the whirlpool; yagas are the sand; merit is bubble; steps to Vaikuntham are waves; sound saying, I shall remove sin is the noise of flow. Kaveri is the best ornament of earth; mother of the world; only means for getting supreme merit;
Page 47 of 50

best gem guarding the world; divine water; of the form of Trimurthis; beyond the three Gunas (Satva, Rajas, Tamas). On this occasion Siva gave Kaveri the boon that the merit of bathing in the seven seas during Ardhodaya Punyakala will be got by bathing in the Sangamam of Kaveri with the ocean and added that He would reside in Swetharanyam on Kaveris bank. Kaveri sought a boon from Mahavishnu that even those brahmanas, who have abandoned Vedic study, taken to evil ways including hating Gurus and brahmanas, shall get rid of all sins and attain the highest state by bathing on Ekadashi morning in Kaveri. Vishnu acceded and gave more boons. Two rivers Sujyotika and Kanaka worshipped Kaveri, who invited them to join her. This Triveni Sangamam was hailed by sage Dalbhya as very sacred, attainable for men for bath through accumulated merit and capable of removing the misery of samsara by Vishnus grace. Those who even utter the names of Sujyotika, Kanaka, Kaveri, Hemavathi and Kapila will reap the merit of bath in Rama Sethu in Makara month. It is highly meritorious to bathe in the Sangamam of these rivers with Kaveri. Agastya said: Kaveri is verily Viraja river (of Vaikuntham) on earth; Srirangam is Vaikuntham; Hemavathi is the Ocean of Nectar; Kapila is the sea of pure water. Which other tirtham can equal these Punya tirthams in merit? If one does not get the opportunity of bath in Kaveri-Samudra sangamam, he should chant the names of Samvartheswara for one year. Kaveri weds Samudram The wedding of Kaveri with Samudram (Ocean) was celebrated in Svetharanyam by Brahma in the presence of Siva and Vishnu. Brahma offered his daughter Kaveri to Samudram as danam as per Vedic rituals. There was the happy atmosphere of celebration in every household. Earth, true to the name of Visvambhara (Nourisher of world), was very fertile on all sides. Siva gave Kaveri the boon that one who bathes in Kaveri at that spot will get the merit of bath in seven seas. Brahma gave the boon that one who bathes in Kaveri in Tula month and listens to Kaveri Mahatmyam would get happiness here and Moksha hereafter. Mahavishnu gave the boon that the merit of listening to the story of Kaveri would be equal to that of listening to Vishnus story for ten years. Dalbhya added that when a widow does not observe the prescribed rules of conduct and is bent upon filling her stomach without acquiring Gnanam and dispassion (vairagya), she will
Page 48 of 50

suffer for many kalpas in various narakas. Even if she is reborn on earth she will get the birth of worms and insects and her suffering never comes to an end. Chandrakantha, of evil conduct after her husbands death, suffered for one kalpa in terrible naraka; but due to her merit of having served her husband well, she got human birth. Towards the close of her human life she got the opportunity of Tula Kaveri Snanam in Srirangam. As soon as she touched the waters of Kaveri, she happened to listen to a sloka of Kaveri Mahatmyam. She attained to Swarga. Sins committed in other places will go away in Kaveri. There is no expiation for sin committed on the banks of Kaveri. Hence one should be careful to do acts of merit alone and never sin on Kaveri bank. Harischandras Tula Kaveri Snanam Sage Agastya concluded his narration of Tula Kaveri Mahatmyam to king Harischandra by exhorting him to undertake Tula Kaveri Snanam in Sri Ranganathas sannidhi and thus to get rid of the sin he had committed by humiliating a brahmana. Earlier Devendra had also committed the same sin and by performing Tula Kaveri Snanam he got back his lordship of the three worlds. He said: After Snanam in Kaveri in Sri Ranganathas sannidhi, you also take bath in Chandra Padmini and listen to the glory of Sri Ranganatha. Give all danams as prescribed. Read Kaveris glory for three days. Then you return to Kurukshetra and perform Asvamedha yaga. Harischandra expressed his humble gratitude to Agastya and the assembled sages and extolled the greatness of Satsangam. He said: By the merit gathered in my previous lives and this life, I got this Satsangam and Satkatha Sravanam. With Satsangam one can cross the ocean of samsara easily. There is no remedy for the ocean of sins other than Satsangam. Virtuous saints render one pure by mere darshan, unlike Devamurthis and tirthas, which take long. Harischandra then proceeded to Srirangam, performed Tula Kaveri Snanam, worshipped Sri Ranganatha, gave danams etc., all as advised by sage Agastya. Harischandra returned to Kurukshetra and performed Asvamedha yaga in the presence of many sages and gave danams generously. He worshipped Agastya and other sages and then returned to Ayodhya.

Page 49 of 50

Dalbhyas Phalasruti Sage Dalbhya concluded his sermon to Dharma Verma with Phalasruti. He said: By listening to the story of marriage of Kaveri, one gets rid of all sins; pregnant woman will beget son of fame and good conduct. In Tula month by having darshan of sacred Kaveri, by touching her waters, by drinking, by bathing and even by thinking of Kaveri, chanting and listening to her name, all sins go away. King Dharma Verma expressed his deep gratitude to sage Dalbhya and wished to continue to listen to more and more of the glory of Kaveri. Dalbhya commended Dharam Vermas devotion and said: Mans intellect will run away from Bhagavan owing to the apparent reason of ones condition of poverty or wealth; such people get immersed in the sea of samsara. One, whom Bhagavan graces to bestow Mukti, gets interested in Satsangam, whether he is poor or rich. Now do not grieve. In Ardhodaya and Mahodaya days, if one takes bath in sacred waters, he gets rid of all sins. Ardhodaya period occurs when early part of Amavasya in Pushya or Magha month falls at the time of dawn on a day of Sravana nakshatra at a time when the nakshatra is in its midcourse, when the last part Vyatipaata yoga operates, and that day happens to be a Sunday - all these conditions to be satisfied simultaneously, which happens only very rarely in one's life-time. If this combination occurs on a Monday, it is called Mahodaya period. Along with other Maharishis, I am now proceeding to Sri Rama Sethu for holy bath in Ardhodaya period. By bathing in Dhanushkoti on Amavasya day and in Kaveri on Ekadashi day, one redeems crores of generations and attains to Vishnu Sayujyam. Saying so, Dalbhya left. Suta Pouranika concluded Sri Tula Kaveri Mahatmyam on a note of humility saying that he had only been able to expound a small part of a thousandth of the glory of Kaveri. Sounaka and the other assembled Maharishis worshipped Suta Pouranika and expressed their deep felt gratitude. Om Tat sat

Page 50 of 50