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9-Shalya Parv, 35-53  
Stories-MBH - 6-War - page 38

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Balaraam's Pilgrimage-5

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Balaraam's Teerth Yaatraa-5
Ch  51-53
Branched from   G-5-Prewar/22  and   G- 6-war-50-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 was 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.

Som Teerth

[Ch 51] After that Balaraam proceeded towards Som Teerth. In this Teerth Chandramaa did Raajsooya Yagya a great battle between Devta and Raakshas whose center was Taarak. So after taking bath in this Teerth, Balaraam proceeded towards Saaraswat named Teerth. Saaraswat Muni taught Ved to many Muni during the period of drought of 12 years.

Janamejaya asked - "Why did Muni taught Ved to other Muni?" Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Once there was a great Rishi named Dadheechi. He was a great Rishi and was Brahmchaaree. Indra got afraid of his Tap so he sent a beautiful Apsaraa, Alambooshaa, to tempt him. The sage was engaged in his act on the bank of Saraswatee River. Seeing that damsel his semen fell into the River. Saraswatee held it with care. In fact she kept it in her womb with the intention to produce a child. When the time came the River took the child to Rishi and said - "This is your son. When you saw the Apsaraa, and your semen fell in my water, I did not think proper to waste it so I kept it in my womb. Thus this faultless child is your own, please accept it."

Rishi gratified with her action gave her a Var - "All celestials will derive great pleasure when the oblations will be given by your water." Then he said - "This child is named Saaraswat after your name, and he will be capable of creating new worlds." Saraswatee River took her child and went away.

Once when Devtaa and Raakshas were engaged in war, Indra looked for a weapon with which he can kill his enemy, Vritraasur, but he couldn't find any. Then Indra said to Devtaa - "We are incapable to kill our enemy, we can kill him only by the bones of Dadheechi, so you go and ask him his bones." Dadheechi happily gave his life for the sake of Devtaa. After he died, Indra collected his bones and made a weapon called Vajra (thunderbolt) through he was able to kill that Raakshas. Dadheechi was the son of Bhrigu who produced him with the help of great Tap.

After this war, a great drought occurred and all Rishi started running away for the sake of food. Saaraswat also thought to run away, but his mother Saraswatee stopped him from running away saying that "I will always give you food so you need not to run away. I have a very large fish for you." So he stayed back. He regularly offered food to Braahman and Devtaa. After the 12 year drought was over some Rishi thought to have lectures on Ved, but they didn't have any among them who could do this. By chance one of them happened to be in the forest where Saaraswat lived. He came and told that Saaraswat could do that for them. They came to Saaraswat and requested him to give lectures on Ved. Saaraswat asked them to be his proper disciples. Rishi said - "But you are too young for us." Saaraswat said - "But whoever teaches improperly or whoever learns improperly, both are lost in no time and hate each other soon. It is not the matter that who is younger or who is older, at present it matters that who is capable of reading and understanding Ved and who is not." Sixty thousand Muni became his disciples. To show his obedience each Muni used to bring a handful of grass for his Aasan.

Balaraam in Kurukshetra

[Ch 52-53] Then Balaraam came to a place where a woman lived ascetically as Brahmchaarinee (feminine of Brahmchaaree). Why was she living like that? There was a Rishi named Kuni-Garg. He created a girl from his will and seeing her filled with joy. She used to worship Pitar with fasts. Her father wanted to marry her but she did not want that. As the time passed by, she became old and she decided to leave this world. Seeing this Naarad Jee said to her - "You don't have any place where you will go after dying because you have not cleansed yourself by the rite of marriage." Hearing this that lady went to Rishi and said - "I will give half of my Tap's fruit to one who will marry me." Now Gaalav Muni's son Shringaavat got ready for this and that lady married him for one night. On that night she became a beautiful young lady, dressed in celestial robes and jewelry etc and both passed that night happily. Shringaavat was very happy to see her beauty.

In the morning, according to their pact, the lady said - "Our pact is over so please permit me to leave." After obtaining his permission she said - "Whoever will pass one night in this Teerth and will offer oblation of water to Devtaa will obtain the fruits of being Brahmchaaree for 58 years." And she went away to Heaven. Now the Rishi became very sad after she left. With great difficulty he accepted the fruit of half of her Tap, but then he also left his body and went to Heaven after her. It was here that Balaraam Jee heard about the killing of Shalya. Stricken with grief he came out from that Samant-panchak area and asked about the Kurukshetra war. He knew all about Kurukshetra.

[Ch 53] Rishi said - "O Balaraam, Samant-panchak area is the eternal Northern altar of Brahmaa. He did a great sacrifice in golden days. Kuru tilled this area for many years that is why it got its as Kuru Kshetra." Then he asked Rishi - "Why did Kuru create this field?" Rishi said - "Once in good days, Kuru was tilling this field. Indra came down from Heaven and asked him - "What is your purpose of tilling this field?" Kuru said - "Whoever will die here will proceed to Heaven after being cleansed of his sins." Indra smiled and went back to his Lok. Kuru continued to till that land. Indra continued to come there and ask the same question. Upon receiving the same reply again and again, and smiling in the same way he went to his Lok.

Indra called the celestials and informed them about the king's activity, the celestials said - "Stop him by granting him a Var. If people will come here only by dying there without doing any sacrifice then our very existence will be in danger." Hearing this Indra again came to Kuru and said - "Do not till this land any more. Do the same as I say. The men who will die here with abstinence of food, with all their senses awake, and those who will die here in battle will come to Heaven. And you also enjoy the blessings of Heaven." Kuru said - "So be it." Indra came back to his Lok. All, saints, Rishi, Braahman approved this place the most sacred place on the earth. Whoever will do severe Tap will go to Brahm Lok, whoever will give away his wealth here will get his wealth doubled, and whoever will live here without any desire they will never go to Yam Lok. Indra himself composed a verse on this place. So whoever will die there will go to Heaven. Brahmaa, Vishnu, and Mahesh also approved it later. The space between Tarantuk and Arantuk; and lakes of Raam and Shaamchakra is the area called Kurukshetra.

After Kurukshetra

[Ch 54] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Having visited Kurukshetra and giving wealth there, Balaraam Jee proceeded towards a large Aashram with many kinds of trees especially of Madhook and mango trees. On asking about that place, Rishi said - "In good days once Vishnu did a severe Tap here. There was a Braahman girl also here who was living as a Brahmchaarinee. She did a severe penance and ultimately she proceeded to Heaven. Shaandilya had got a blessed daughter.

Next Balaraam Jee arrived in Karavpan Teerth via Plaksh-prashravan. Next day he came to Karavapan Teerth, then to Mitra-Varun Terth. After taking bath there he sat down for Rishi's discourse. In the meantime Naarad Jee came there. He had a staff and a water pot made of gold in his hands; and of course he had his Veenaa also made with tortoise shell, with him. Balaraam Jee asked him also about Kuru war. He said - " Bheeshm, Dronaachaarya, Karn with his sons, Jayadrath, Bhoorishravaa, Shalya have already fallen. In Kuru's army, there are only three warriors remain alive - Kripaachaarya, Kritvarmaa and Ashwatthaamaa. And these also have fled away. Seeing all this Duryodhan had hidden in the depths of Dwaipaayan lake. But Paandav said some piercing words because of them he came out of he lake and now is ready to fight with Bheem and that is today. If you are interested in witnessing your to disciples' fight you should hurry there." Hearing this Balaraam arrived where both, Duryodhan and Bheem, were ready to fight.


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 12/05/12