The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Mithila
BY: SUN STAFF
'The Kidnapping of Subhadra, and Lord Krsna's Visiting Srutadeva and Bahulasvu'
Krsna Book, Chapter 86
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
May 22, 2014 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 94.
In the Tenth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, chapter 86, there is a story of the Lord's travels to Mithila with His entourage, to visit two of brahmanas. As described by Srila Prabhupada in the Summary to S.B. 10.86:
"There was a brahmana devotee of Sri Krsna's named Srutadeva, who lived in the city of Mithila. By the will of Providence, he could earn only barely enough to keep himself and his family alive. Still, he was always satisfied and spent all his time executing his religious duties. King Bahulasva was another great devotee of the Lord residing in Mithila. A member of the dynasty in which King Janaka had appeared, Bahulasva ruled over the whole province of Videha, yet he remained as detached from material wealth as Srutadeva. Pleased with the devotional attitude of both these great souls, Lord Krsna went on His chariot to Mithila to visit them, taking along Narada and several other learned sages. The people of Mithila greeted the Lord and His saintly entourage with great delight. Bearing various gifts for Krsna, they bowed down and offered obeisances to both Him and the sages.
Bahulasva and Srutadeva both stepped forward and respectfully requested Sri Krsna to visit their homes. To satisfy both of them, the Lord expanded Himself and went to each of their homes simultaneously. They each worshiped Him suitably, offered prayers, washed His feet and then sprinkled themselves and all their family members with the wash water. Lord Krsna then praised the sages who were with Him and glorified brahmanas in general. He also imparted instructions to His hosts concerning devotional service. Understanding these instructions, both Srutadeva and Bahulasva honored the sages and Lord Sri Krsna with single-minded devotion. Lord Krsna then returned to Dvaraka."
There are two more well known pastimes involving brahmanas in Mithila: the liberation in Janakpur of Brahmana Devdatt and Brahamana Kukarma:
Brahmana Devdatta was a great devotee of Lord Shiva's who resided in Kashi. Once while meditating and offering puja to Shiva, an old bull wandered near him and ate the flowers and fruits he had set aside for his puja. In anger, Devdatta slapped the bull who, being old, collapsed to the ground and quickly died. Lord Shiva became very angry with Devdatta, and cursed him with poverty and Leprosy.
Broke and diseased, Devdatta wandered from one holy place to another seeking atonement for the sin of killing a cow. Crying desperately for help, he intensified his spiritual practices, and drew the attention of Narada muni, who instructed him to take shelter of Mithilapuri. Just by hearing the name of Mithila, Narada muni told him, one gets purified of all sins. And just by uttering the name of Mithila again and again, Devdatta's leprosy would be cured.
Heading to Mithila is great joy, Devdatta became purified in the land of Mother Sita, and remainder there for the duration of his life, at the end of which he achieved the Lord's transcendental abode.
In a similar pastime, there was a sinful man named Kukarma, living in the city of Mahismati. By chance he visited the holy city of Mithila, where he stayed a unknowingly gained some pious credits. While there, a poisonous snake bit and killed him, and the Yamadutas came at once to mete out the required punishment, to be delivered in a hellish region called Khadiraghar.
Arriving at Khadiraghar with their charge, the Yamadutas were surprised to find that the heat of the place had cooled down, a pleasant wind was blowing, and the already suffering people were getting some soothing relief. At this point, the Vishnudutas came from Vaikuntha to fetch the sinful brahmana, explaining to the Yamadutas that Kukarma had become purified by leaving his body in holy Mithila, and whatever hell they might take him to, he would purify others there with his association. Therefore, they took Kukarma with them, back to Vaikuntha.
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