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5-Udyog Parv, 35-53  
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Balaraam's Pilgrimage-1

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Balaraam's Teerth Yaatraa-1
Ch 35-38
Branched from   G-5-Prewar/22   and   G-6-War-38-battle-18     Page-1   Page 2   Page 3   Page 4   Page 5

In Mahaabhaarat many pilgrimages have been done by many people at time to time. Teerth places have their own importance that is why they are called Teerth. At some places in Mahaabhaarat their importance is also given. When it had been decided that there was no other alternative other than the war between Kaurav and Paandav, Balaraam asked Krishn to be in favor of Kaurav, but Krishn didn't listen to it, so he got angry and proceeded for pilgrimage saying that he didn't want to be anyone's side. This is the description of his pilgrimage.

Prabhaas Kshetra - Why Moon Got Shaap

[Ch 35] First Balaraam Jee went to Prabhaas Kshetra. Prabhaas Kshetra is near Dwaarakaa. Once the king of constellations, Moon, was afflicted with phthisis because of a Shaap. He was released from his Shaap and regained his energy here. And because this place returned splendor to Moon, it is called Prabhaas Kshetra.

For what reason the Moon was afflicted with phthisis? And how did he regain his splendor? Prajaapati Daksh had 27 daughters. Daksh married all of them to Som. All were the constellations and helped people to calculate the time. When Daksh married them to Som, he asked him to love all of them alike. Som promised for that. But among all of them Rohinee was the most beautiful woman so Som loved her most and lived with her more time than with others.

At this Moon's other wives became displeased with him and told about this to their father Daksh. Daksh warned Som about this but he did not listen to him and continued to behave as before. Daksh's daughters came back to Daksh again and complained again. Daksh again warned Som to behave with all of them equally but still Som didn't listen to him. At this Daksh's daughters came back to their father's house not to go back to Som's house.

Now Daksh was very angry, he gave Shaap of phthisis to Som. Now Som was afflicted with this disease and began to waste away day by day. He performed many sacrifices to get rid away this disease but failed. Now the herbs also stopped growing in the absence of the rays of the Moon. Then all the celestials came to Som and asked him - "Why are you not as beautiful as before? Tell us the reason, maybe we can help you." Som told them the reason, the curse and the disease with which he was afflicted.

Then the Devtaa went to Daksh and prayed him to be kind to Som, because in this way they were also suffering along with Som. Daksh said - "My words cannot be a lie, but if he promises to behave with all of his wives equally, I can improve the Shaap's condition. Also let him take bath in the Teerth at Saraswatee River, he can get his splendor back. For half the month he shall wane everyday, and for another half month he will wax everyday. At the place where Saraswatee meets the Western sea, let Som worship Shiv there. So Som came to Saraswatee River, the Prabhaas Kshetra, took bath there on New Moon day (Amaavasyaa) and got his cool rays back.

Udaapaan Teerth

[Ch 36] Then Balaraam Jee proceeded towards Udaapaan Teerth. Maharshi Gautam had three sons - Ektaa, Dweetaa and Treetaa. All were very religious and like their father. When the time came Gautam Rishi went to his Lok. Then the Yajamaan of Gautam Rishi started worshipping  his sons in the absence of Gautam Rishi. But once Treetaa surpassed his two brothers and became like his father. Then the Yajamaan started worshipping Treetaa as they worshipped Rishi Gautam.

Once Ektaa and Dweetaa performed a sacrifice and became anxious for wealth. So they took Treetaa with them, collected the needful number of animals, drank Som juice and acquired the great Punya (good results) of sacrifices. Treetaa stayed in front and Ektaa and Dweetaa remained behind him. Once they were coming back from some Yajamaan. Treetaa was in front, his two brothers were behind him. darkness had fallen. There was a deep well in front of Treetaa. Treetaa saw a wolf coming from before him. He got frightened, he ran and fell in the well. he started crying. His brothers heard his cry but didn't come to his help, rather they left him there and ran away. Now Treetaa was inside the well which was covered with herbs, creepers and dust. He thought he would die there.

He started thinking as how to drink Som juice there itself. He was standing there. He saw a creeper hanging down from the well. He then imagined water and sacrificial fire. Then he imagining creeper as the Som plant read some Rig Mantra etc that were necessary for sacrifice and performed all rites for sacrifice in imagination. And he began to drink Som juice in imagination from that creeper. He made some sounds which shook the Heavens. Brihaspati said to other Devtaa - "Treetaa is performing a sacrifice, we must go there otherwise he is competent enough to create other Devtaa." So all Devtaa went there where he was performing the sacrifice and accepted their shares. After that they gave him Var as he desired. One of them was to relieve from this situation of falling in well. Another one was, the person who will take bath in this well should be given the status which is reserved for who drinks the Som juice. At these words Saraswatee River appeared in that well and Treetaa came up with its waves. He again worshipped those Devtaa.

When he met his brothers he gave them Shaap to be fierce wolves with sharp teeth for their sins. Thus that well has Saraswatee River in it and the qualities Treetaa asked for it from Devtaa.

Veenaasan Teerth

{Ch 37] Then Balaraam Jee proceeded towards Veenaasan Teerth where Saraswatee River became invisible in contempt of Shoodra and Abhiras. And since as a result Saraswatee is lost at that place, Rishi name it Veenaasan.

Naimish Aranya Teerth

[Ch 37] After Naag Dhanavaan Teerth Saraswatee changes its course towards East - to Naimish Aranya area. Once many Rishi did a grand sacrifice in Naimish for 12 years. After the sacrifice, they set out to visit large number of Teerth. Once they stayed at Samantpanchak Teerth. Baalkhilya, Asmkutta, Samprakshan and other Saadhu who were indulged in various kinds of vows also came there. The land there fell short and all Saadhu could not get place there. So in despair they resided at other places nearby. River Saraswatee saw this and she turned towards them also to oblige them. She gave them water and many other things which they needed.

Sapt Saraswatee and Its Importance

[Ch 38] Sapt-Saaraswat. Seven Saraswatee streams cover the universe. Wherever this Saraswatee River was summoned by the people of great energy, she made her appearance there. She appeared at seven places. These seven forms are: Suprabhaa, Kanchanaakshee, Vishaal, Manoramaa, Oghavatee, Surenu, and Vimalodakaa. Once Brahmaa performed a sacrifice on Prithvi, Many Rishi came there. The place filled with the sound of Vaidik hymns. As soon as they thought of any article, it appeared before them. The celestials were satisfied with all kinds of articles. In the continuation of the sacrifice at Pushkar, the Rishi said - "The sacrifice cannot be considered complete since the River Saraswatee is not here." So Brahmaa thought of her and she appeared there as Suprabhaa. Thus she appeared there also for the sake of Brahmaa and Muni. At another time she appeared at Muni's request at Naimish as Kanchanaakshee. In Gayaa, she is known as Vishaal.

Once Uddaalak Muni performed a sacrifice in Northern part of Kaushal, and there she appeared as Manoramaa - as Muni mentally called her. Once Kuru performed a sacrifice at Kurukshetra, so Vashishth summoned Saraswatee there too. She appeared there in Kurukshetra as Oghaavatee. At one time Daksh performed sacrifice near the source of Gangaa, Saraswatee appeared there in the name of Surenu. Once again when Brahmaa was performing sacrifice in the sacred forest of Himvaan Parvat, Saraswatee appeared there as Vimalodakaa. Thus these seven forms are called Sapt Saraswatee. All these seven Saraswatee joined together where Balaraam came, that is why that place is called Sapt Saraswatee.

Now you listen to the story of Mankankaa who led the life of a Brahmachaaree. He was the son of Vaayu (Pavan or Wind god) upon Sukanyaa. He was a great Rishi. One day while he was offering oblations in this river, he saw a beautiful woman and his semen fell in the river. He took it up and kept in an earthen pot. It divided in seven parts. From those seven Rishi, sprang 49 Marud Gan. Those seven Rishi were Vaayuveg, Vaayuhan, Vaayumandal, Vaayujat, Vaayuretaa and Vaayuchakra. Thus those 49 Marut were born from these seven Rishi. [Bhaagvat Puraan, 6/7 says that Marut Gan were the sons of Kashyap and Aditi]

Once Mankankaa's hand was pierced with a Kush grass blade. A vegetable juice, not blood, came out of his wound. Seeing the vegetable juice, the Rishi got filled with joy and danced at the spot. Rishi and Devtaa informed Mahaadev about this dancing and to stop his dance. Mahaadev asked him - "Why do you dance like this? What have you got that you are dancing like this? It doesn't suit to a Rishi like you." Rishi said - "Don't you see that a vegetable juice is flowing out of my wound? Seeing this I am dancing with joy." Mahaadev said - "I do not see any wonder in this. See." and he struck his thumb with one of his fingers tip, and ashes as white as snow started coming out of that wound. Mankankaa understood that he was no other than Mahaadev. He fell on his feet. He said - "I do not think that you are no other than Rudra. You are the greatest. All the creation comes out of you and enter you at the universal destruction. I pray you, please destroy all fruits of my Tap." Mahaadev got very pleased with his prayer and said - "Let the fruits of your Tap increase multifold. I will live with you in this asylum. Whoever worship me in this Sapt Saraswatee Teerth he will have everything whatever he will wish for."


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 12/15/10