Essence Of
Vamana Purana


8    Origin of Kurukshetra: Samvarna-Tapati Vivah, King Kuru and Kurukshetra Mahatmya
At the beginning of Satya Yuga, there was a King named Ruksha of Chandra Vamsha who begot King Samvarna. On assuming Kingship, Samvarna entrusted his royal duties to his Guru Vasishtha and moved about carefree. While he was in a Forest named Vibhraja, he met a Deva Kanya called Tapati and both of them got mesmerised with each other. On return, Vasishta Maharshi learnt of the King’s infatuation as the latter was neither eating nor behaving properly. Similar was the situation with the Deva Kanya Tapati. Vasishtha learnt from his Divadrishti that the Deva Kanya was the daughter of Suryta Deva, entered Surya mandala and requested Surya for the alliance and both of them were happily married to eventually beget a boy called Kuru who was eventually married to Devi Soudamini. After Kuru became the King, Kuru tried all possibilities of endearing his Praja and during his ‘Dharma Paalana’ or Virtuous Administration, there were no problems of poverty, thefts, misdirected judgments and health limitations and soon became a popular King. Then he travelled to become more and famous and victorious and entered Daitavana where he saw the Sacred River Sarasvati which was called Brahma Putri, Harijihva and Sudarshana Janani. He derived extreme happiness and satisfaction in the River and towards north of the River and decided to construct a ‘Samanta Panchaka Dharmasthaan’ spread over an Area of five yojanas width and length. It was learnt that there were five such ‘Vedikaas’ where Shambhu Deva performed Pancha Yagnas, of which the Uttara Vedi on the banks of River Sarasvati was known as the most renowned; the Madhya Vedi as popular at Prayaga Kshetra, Purva Vedi was at Gaya Tirtha, Dakshina Vedi was at Jagannatha puri and the Paschima Vedi was at Pushkara Kshetra. King Puru decided to add the Panchama Vedi to be constructed as Samantaka Panchaka Dharmasthana. He procured a golden plough and a pair of animals to commence tilling the land. Indra Deva approached the King Kuru as to what was he desirous of doing and the reply was that he haddecided to construct an ‘Ashtaanga Bhumi’ of Tapah Satyam Ksamaam Damaam Krushaami Shoucham Daanam cha Yiogamcha Brahmachaaritaam/ or Meditation - Truthfulness-Endurance-Mercy-Cleanliness-Charity-Yoga and Celibacy which should be called Ashtanga Farming! Indra further asked: Where would be a number of ploughs and how would you procure seeds from! The reply was that Indra should not make fun of an honest endeavour as Indra left quietly. The King himself commenced tilling some four to five yojanas of land daily. Then Lord Vishnu appeared and asked the same question of Indra as to where would he secure the seeds. The King said convincingly that the seeds would emerge from his body. Vishnu asked the King to extend his hand so that the former could plough and the King could spread the seeds. The King faithfully extended his right hand and at once Bhagavan cut off his hand with his chakra to several pieces! Kuru then extended his left hand and Vishnu sliced off that hand too to thousand pieces. The King offered his thighs one by one which too were cut. Finally King Kuru offered his head and then Vishnu was convinced that the King was very serious in his resolve and asked him to ask for a boon. Kuru replied: Yaavadetan –mayaa krushtam Dharmaksetram tadastucha, Snaataanaam cha mrutaaaamcha mahapunya phalam twiha/ Upavaasamcha Daanamcha cha snaanam japyam cha Madhava, Homayagna –dikam chaanyacchubham Vaapyashubham Vibho/ (May this Place which I had tilled be declared as Dharma Kshetra; may this Place become a Sacred one where bathing or even dying attain Maha Punya. May the virtuous deeds of Upavaasa-Snaaa-Daana- Japa-Havana-Yagna etc be paid for with multiplied fruits!) The King further prayed to Vishnu that he along with Parama Shiva should reside at this Kshetra always. Vishnu not only granted the boons asked by the King but also blessed the Hallowed Place to be called as Kuru Kshetra, that his fame and name would be eternal as long as the Universe would last, that this Kshetra called Kurujaangala would be protected by Chandra naamak Yaksha, Vaasuki naamak Sarpa, Shankukarna naamak Vidyaadhara, Sukeshi naamak Rakshseswara, Ajaavan naamak King, Mahadeva naamak Agni and so on. Some eight thousand arrows-men would ensure that sinners of extreme nature would be prevented to perform bathings in the Kshetra ; there is a ‘paapa vinaashaka’ and Sacred Tirtha known as Pruthuudaka or Pohovaa Tirtha here and Brahma collected the waters of various Maha Samudras, Punya Tirthas, Rivers and Sarovaraas into it! Brahmasara Tirtha: Maharshi Lomaharshana stated that Brahmasara Tirtha was originally spread from Sannihita Sarovar at Rantuk Sthaana to Ojas Sthaana and further upto Chaturmukha Sthaana; but over passage of time, the Tirtha occupied the space from Viswasvara Shaana to Asthipura and from Vriddha Kanya to Oghavati River. Half way of the Tirtha, it was believed that Rudra attained ‘Sthaanutva’or ‘Sthiratwa’ (Solidification).

Meanwhile, Maha Muni Markandeya prayed to Devi Saraswati flowing in the form of the illustrious River obliged the Muni to accompany him wherever he wished him to lead and the Muni requested her to link up Brahmasira to Ramahlada to Kurukshetra and thus the latter assumed further significance; In the Kurukshetra Tirtha thus one secures the ‘maha phala’of bathing and worshipping in Seven Vanaas viz. Kaamuaka Vana, Aditi Vana, Vyasa Vana, Phalaki Vana, Surya Vana, Madhu Vana, and Sheeta Vana; besides nine Sacred Rivers viz.Sarasvati, Vaitarani, Aapaga, Mandakini Ganga, Madhstra,Vaasu Nadi, Koushiki, Drushdyati or Kaggar, and Hiranyavati. Kurukshetra Thirtha Yatra needs to be intiated by obtaining the permission of the Yaksha called Rastuk, proceed to Aditi Vana where Devi Aditi was stated to have performed her Tapasya in favour of her sons viz. Devataas; proceed to Vishnu Sthaan called ‘Savana’, visit Vimala Tirtha to worship Vimaleswara to reap the fruit of attaining Rudra Loka; Kaushiki Sangama to wash off the blemishes stored thus far; Dharani Tirtha to seek relief for ‘Aparadhaas’ of devotees; Daksheswara Shiva in Dakshaashrama to attain the fruit of Ashvamedha Yagna; Shalukini Tirtha ; then move on to Saptirdadhi to thrash up fears of serpents; then worship Rastuk Dwarapal for an overnight stay there for Kshama Prarthana and Abheestha Siddhi; then visit Panchanada Tirtha, Koti Tirtha, and Jwaalamaheswara. Pilgrims to Kurukshetra are advised to definitely perform ‘Pitru Devaarchana’ at the famed Pushkara Tirtha which was constructed by Parashurama Deva and it was believed that worship there would bestow fulfillment of wishes sought by the devotees. Surya Grahana Snaana at the nearby Sarovara called ‘Saannihitya’ is stated to provide access to Swarga after one’s end of life.

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