The Narad Purana, Part 3
BY: SUN STAFF
The Ganges at Sunset
Mar 28, CANADA (SUN) A serial exploration of Sri Narad Purana.
The Greatness of the Ganges
Sutaji says: "The glorious description of devotion for Lord Vishnu caused extreme joy for Narad."
Narad says: "O great sage Sanat! Now kindly tell me about such a place of pilgrimage which is even holier than the holiest places of pilgrimage."
Sanatkumar says: O Narad! The confluence of Ganga and Yamuna is holier than any other place of pilgrimage. The extremely sacred and pious Ganga rises from the feet of none other than Lord Vishnu. Yamuna, on the other hand, is the daughter of Surya. Even the remembrance of Ganga is enough to do away with all the sins and make one peaceful.
This place where Ganga and Yamuna merge is famous as Prayaag in the world. It is the same place where Brahma had once invoked Lord Vishnu in a Yagya. Since then, innumerable sages have followed Brahma and performed different kinds of Yagyas there. Even a person who recites the name of Ganga a hundred miles from Prayaag attains salvation.
Smearing the sand of Ganga's bank on the forehead is like, in a way, bearing the crescent shaped Moon on the head. Those who remember Ganga receive the benefit of performing pilgrimage to all the holy places. Among other places of pilgrimage, Varanasi has almost equal significance to that of Prayaag. O Brahmin! Ganga is the mother of the entire world. Mere touch of her sacred waters saved the sixty thousand sons of Sagar. No one can describe the greatness of Ganga
Fate of King Baahu
Narad says: "O great sage who in the dynasty of Sagar received salvation from Preta Bhava. Who was Sagar? Kindly narrate his whole story to me."
Sanatkumar says: "Long ago, there occurred a king named Baahu in the dynasty of Surya. He was very religious in nature and looked after his subjects like his own offspring. Everyone was happy in his kingdom, which he ruled with polity and justice".
But destiny was playing another game for the king. With time, evils like envy and ego began to rise in the mind of Baahu. He began to think that nobody else was as religious as he was. These evils in turn caused the king to incline towards sensual pleasures. O Narad! An unconscious mind is the greatest cause of destruction. Everyone, even the better half begin to nurture hostility against such a person. So, the same thing happened with King Baahu. Many neighbouring kings together launched a massive attack on the kingdom of Baahu and defeated him after a month-long fierce battle.
After his defeat, King Baahu left his kingdom and began to wander along with his queens. At last, he came to stay beside a big lake. Even the local inhabitants and lower creatures hid seeing the king approach. His subjects too had lost their sympathies for him.
Now the life of the king was not more than the death. So repenting his condition, King Baahu met his death in the presence of the sage Aurv. At that time, his youngest queen was expecting an issue. After her husband's death, she decided to commit Sati. But, the sage Aurv prevented her, convincing that her would be son would enjoy more popularity than his father had. Besides, nothing is more wretched than killing an unborn baby. Thus, convincing the queen with all means, sage Aurv guided the queens to perform cremation of her husband and other rituals. Since then, both the queens began to live in the hermitage of sage Aurv.
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