Essence Of
Varaha Purana


28    Genesis of Gautami River and benevolence of Lord Rudra to Sage Gautam
Sage Gautami was blessed by a boon from Brahma after a severe Tapasya in Dandaka forest that he should have abundant supply of ‘Dhanya’ (food grains) and provide good food to Guests daily. As there was ‘Akal’ (famine) once, several Brahmanas were fed with food. Some of the ‘Sapta Rishis’ (Seven Great Sages) like Marichi were not happy of Gautami’s popularity and created an illusory cow ( Maya Cow) and left it moving around the kitchen and Gautami threw some water on the cow and the latter pretended death. The Sapta Rishis wantonly left the place as they alleged the killing of a cow as a pretext. Repenting the ‘Gohatya’ which was actually never done, Gautami performed penance to Rudra Deva and requested Him to release a piece of His ‘Jatajut’ (twisted hair) so that Bhagirathi was created and revived the ‘dead’ cow. The Sapta Rishis were surprised at the tenacity of Gautam and addressed the Sage as: ‘Sadhu’ ‘Sadhu’as a gesture of admiration to the long penance to Rudra. Gautam was indeed not amused as the jealous and flippant action of Sapta Rishis’ creating a Maya Cow, made him feel that he did a crime and as a result he had to perform Tapasya for long time. Gautam cursed the Sapta Rishis that they would lose all the knowledge of Vedas and would be unfit for Vedic tasks.The off-shoot was that Sacred River Godavari was born. As regards the curse of Gautam to Sapta Rishis, the latter said that this time the curse might not materialise, but in Kaliyug the curse would indeed become true, since there would be many fake Sages, doers of Kshudra karma (evil acts) to destroy others, smokers, liquour consumers, womanisers and such other unscrupulous persons. But there would be a few virtuous devotees who bathe in Pavitra Godavari and perform Pitru Tarpan especially when Brihaspati Graha enters Simha Rasi and that they would certainly attain salvation to the Pitras as well as themselves after their end. Such was the assurance of Lord Rudra Himself!

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