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6-Nandikeshwar Teerth

A Teerth is a place of pilgrimage. At a Teerth named Nandikeshwar, there is a famous Shiv Ling. Its story goes like this --

In a city named Karnakee there used to live a Braahman. He left his two sons with his wife and went to visit the city of Vaaraanasee. It was then learnt that the Braahman had died in Vaaraanasee. His widow brought up her sons and eventually married them off. She became old and it was time for her to die. But death would not come. It seemed to the sons that their mother was hankering after something and would not die until her wish had been satisfied.

"Mother," they asked, "What is it that you want?" "I have always wanted to visit the Teerth of Vaaraanasee," the mother replied, "but now I am going to die without ever visiting the place. Promise me that when I am dead, you will take my ashes to Vaaraanasee and throw them into the river Gangaa there." "We will," said the sons, "You can die in peace." The mother died and the sons performed her funeral ceremony.

Then the eldest son, Suvaadi, set out for Vaaraanasee with his mother's ashes. The way was long and he stopped to rest and spend the night in a Braahman's house. A cow was tied in front of the house and it was time for milking. Suvaadi saw that when the Braahman tried to milk the cow, the calf would not permit the milking and kicked the Braahman. The Braahman then hit the calf with a stick. The Braahman went away after the milking. But Suvaadi was still there and and he heard the cow tell her calf, "I am distressed that the Braahman struck you. Tomorrow I am going to gore the Braahman's son to death."

Next day, the Braahman's son came to do the milking. The cow gored him with her horns so that he died. But this meant that the cow had committed the sin of killing a Braahman. Immediately, because of the sin, the white cow turned completely black. The cow left the house. Amazed at this strange sight, Suvaadi followed her. The cow went to the banks of the river Narmadaa, to the place named Nandikeshwar. She bathed in the river and became white once again. This meant that the sin of killing a Braahman had been completely washed away. Suvaadi marveled at this and realized what a powerful Teerth Nandikeshwara was.

He was about to leave for Vaaraansee after bathing in the river himself, when he was accosted by a beautiful woman. "Where are you going, Suvaadi?" asked the woman. Throw your mother's ashes in the river here. This is a far greater Teerth than Vaaraanasee." "Who are you?" asked Suvaadi. "I am the river Gangaa." came the reply. The woman vanished and Suvaadi did as he had been bidden. As soon as he had done this, his dead mother appeared in the sky and told him that she was immensely gratified. She would now go straight to Heaven.

Nandikeshwar is a wonderful Teerth because a Braahman woman named Rishikaa had earlier performed very difficult Tapasyaa there to please Shiv.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 04/23/13