Essence Of
Vamana Purana


16    Bhakta Prahlada’s Tirtha Yatras and legends related to some Tirthas

In the course of several Tirtha yatras undertaken by Bhakta Prahlada, he visited Manasa Tirtha to worship Matsyaavatari, performed Pitru- Deva Tarpanaas; worshipped Kurma avatari Vishnu at Kaushiki River; and did puja at Devahlada River to Hayagriva. After taking Sacred Bath in River Yamuna, he prostrated before Trivikrama who measured three feet for his Tapasya and thus Vamana Deva secured the epithet of Trivikrama. Maharshi Pulastya narrated the bakground as follows:

Dundhu and Trivikrama:

Devi Danu’s son Dundhu was a close associate of Hiranya Kashipu -the son of Diti- who conquered Swarga Loka; both the friends were in the habit of moving about Swarga happily.After Hiranya Kashipu, Dundhu conquered Deva Loka. But since Devas took refuge in Brahmaloka, Dundhu desired to reach there but came to know that Brahmaloka was very very far away. By about thousand Yojanas was Maharloka the residence of Rishis whose mere sight would destroy the Rakshasaas; then there was Janaloka far away by crores of yojanas where cows stayed predominantly and from where even sand particles could badly hurt the Rakshasas; the Tapoloka was away again by six crores of Yojanas farther, the residence of Sadhyaganaas whose mere ‘Nishvaasa’ or exhalation could wipe out the Daitya-Danava Kulas; and finally the Satya loka of Brahma was thirty crore yojanas away which was impossible to reach by Daitya-Danavas! But the resolute Dundhu asked Danava Guru Shukracharya and the latter cited the example of Vritrasura who sincerely performed hundred Ashwamedha Yagnas and so did Indra Deva to have free movement to Brahmaloka. Dundhu resolved to perform the Yagnas likewise while appointing Danava Guru as the Dikshit, Bhargava Vamsha Vidwans as Ritwiks and Sadasyas and Daitya-Danavas as Rakshkas; the Yagna Bhoktas were Danavas instead of Devas; Asiloma Danava was sent as the Security-in-Chief along with the Yagna horse. Devas approached Bhagavan Vishnu who assured that he would frustrate the efforts of Dundhu Danava and his mighty followers even in the first Yagna. Vishnu took the form of a wooden board with a Brahmana tied up in the river nearby the place of the Yagna; the Brahmana was drowning and floating on the water surface struggling to balance himself tied to the wooden plank. This attracted the attention  of the Sadasya, Ritviks and the Yagna Karta Dundhu; they all ran to save the Brahmana, untied him and pulled him out of the water surface. They asked as to who threw him into the River and why. The Brahmana told his story that as his father died, he and his elder brother performed the rites and after some time he asked for the share of property but the elder brother bundled him and having tied him to a wooden plank threw him into the river and along with the plank he had been balancing it eversince! Dundhu took pity on the Brahmana and offered lot of money, property and riches. But the Brahmana replied politely that he would be satisfied with a small piece of land of merely three feet since not only he was covetous and greedy but was also incapable of protecting big property! As the King Dundhu granted those three feet of land, Vishnu Deva started measuring the three feet: 

Kramatrayam taavadavekshya dattam Maha Surendrena Vibhur Yashaswi, Chakrey tato langhayitum Trilookeem Trivikramam Rupamananta Shaktih/ Krutwaa cha Rupam Ditijaamscha hatwaa pranamya charsheena Prathamakramena, Mahim Maheeghnaih sahitaam sahaarnavaam jahaara ratnaakara pattanairyutaam/ Bhuvam sanaakam Tridashaadhivaasam Somaarkarukshairabhi manditam nabhah/ Devo dwiteeyena jahaara vegaat kramena Devapriyameepuureeshwarah/ Kramam triteeyam na yadaasya puritam Tataadikopaada Danurpungavasya, Papaata prushthey Bhagavaamstrivikramo Meru pramaanena tu vigrahena/ Patataa Vaasudevena Daanavopari Narada!Trimshadyojana saahastri Bhumeyr gartaa dridheekrutaa/ Tato Daityam samutpaatya tasyaam prakshipya vegatah, Avarshat sikataavrushthya taam gartaapa puritam/ ( As Dundhu bestowed three feet to the Brahmana, the latter assumed Virat Swarupa with a view to measuring the Three Lokas, greeted the Rishis, as the first foot measure counted the totality of the Prithvi; as the second measure counted Swarga and Bhuvarlokas, Planets, Nakshatra Mandali, the Sky and so on and since could not measure the third step, got extremely angry and shook up his body  far beyond Meru Parvata as huge chunks fell on the back of the Danava who was pushed down under creating resounding tremors beneath thousand and odd more yojanas deep). Subsequently, Indra and Devatas were restored of their respective positions of status as before.

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