OM MANI PADME HUM
Trekking in the legendary kingdom of Mustang/ Nepal
The greatness of Damodar-kund [4890m] - the holy lakes in the Himalayas
The potency of this pond is a great secret & amazing. Just by bathing, performing auspicious activities & staying
at Damodar-kund one will be liberated because of this reason Damodar-kund is reputed in all the three spheres.
The greatness of Damodar-kund
The following conversation between Lord Varaha (the boar incarnation of the Lord) and Boodevi (the Earth-goddess) highlights the greatness of Damodar-kund.
Boodevi: O Lord I have heard that Damodar-kund & other all-sanctifying ponds are present, in that Shalagrama-Kshetra. Where are those ponds? Please describe their greatness & the reason for which they came into existence. O Rajiva-lochana, I would like to listen about these ponds, please tell me.
Lord Varaha: O Devi I will answer your question for the benefit of the world at large, listen. There are many ponds in that vast Muktinath-kshetra of mine. To the northwest of Gandaki in midst of enchanting Himalayas there is a very beautiful pond by name Damodar-kund. Close to it there are two more ponds by name Sweath-kund & Raktha-kund. O devi by the time one reaches Damodar-kund one may be exhausted & depressed. But as soon as one takes bath in that pond he will be freed from depression & tiredness. Just by taking bath in that pond one develops good qualities. I will narrate to you a pastime in this regard. In the past, the sons of Kuvera i.e. Nalakuvera & Manigriva were sporting with damsels in a pond. All of them were nude & intoxicated. Divine sage Narada came to that spot by chance. As soon as Narada came there all the damsels ran towards the bank of the pond to cover their bodies. However both Nalakuvera & Manigriva, who were intoxicated with pride & arrogance, did not snow any respect to Narada. Divine sage Narada cursed them to become Arjuna-trees. Being terrified by the curse they pleaded Narada to forgive them. Merciful Narda told them they will be freed of his curse in Dwapara-yuga when Lord Krishna in the form of Damodara uproots them in the form of trees.
As told by Narada they became Arjuna-trees and were standing to the east of Nanda Maharaj's house. They were withstanding heat & cold. Lord Krishna was a very naughty child. Mother Yashoda being frustrated by the pranks of Lord Krishna tied him to a mortar. (The lord of the entire creation was tied with a Dham i.e. rope to a udhara i.e. a mortar). Lord Krishna was very attractive in that form. In that form lord Krishna is known as Damodara. Lord Damodara uprooted both the Arjuna trees when he dragged the mortar to which he was tied in between them. Thus both Nalakuvera & Manigriva were liberated form the curse of Narada. Both of them attained their celestial bodies and began to glorify the Lord in that form, as soon as they were liberated.
After that the Lord said "O Devas, both of you go to Salagrama-kshetra in the Himalayas. In that favorite place of mine there are many ponds & rivers. Among them there is a very favorite & auspicious pond of mine called Damodar-kund. Both of you take bath in that kund as prescribed in scriptures both of you will be freed form all the sins & will attain effulgent bodies."
Thus ordered by the Lord both of them left to Damodarkund after repeated by saluting the Lord. Nalakuvera & Manigriva took bath in Damodar-kund as orderd by the Lord & attained effulgent bodies. The Lord ordered both Nalakuvera & Manigriva in the form of Damodara because of that this pond is popular as Damodara-kund.
Lord Varaha: 'O Devi I have revealed to you the greatness of Damodar-kund & other ponds, but don't disclose this to the disinterested. In the days of yore I myself made this pond along with Gandaki & other sacred Thirthas in this Kshetra. O Vasude the potency of this pond is a great secret & amazing. In spite of that I will tell you its greatness. Listen to it care fully. Rope indicates the material world, in which the souls who are attached only for pleasures are bound, just as a horse is bound to a saddle. The only easy way for liberation for such souls is Damodar-kund. Just by bathing, performing auspicious activities & staying at Damodar-kund one will be liberated because of this reason Damodar-kund is reputed in all the three spheres. Just by touching the sanctifying waters of Damodar-kund one will be liberated from all the sins committed in all the lifetimes. By taking bath in this pond one need not be afraid of diseases, bad death, king, semi-divine influences, robbers, wild animals, water, ghosts, demons, fire, weapons, poverty, enemies etc.
Lord Varaha: O Devi one can not describe the greatness of this pond. To what extent can I describe its greatness? If one fasts for seven nights & bathes in that kund one will attain the benefit of performing Pancha yagnas (i.e. atiratra, astaka dasapurnamasya, ekadista, pravana & sradha), all the kuta, uppa, havi yagnas (i.e. agnistoma, soma, vajapeya shoutramuni, Rajasuya, ashwamedha & agnihotra) & all other yagnas. If one lives here for a kalpa (i.e. one month) & dies there, he will enjoy the fruits of all the yagnas & attain my world in the end. In this pond if one performs the rites like Trapana & Pinda-dhana, his forefathers will be satisfied forever.
Lord Varaha: O Prithivi! I have told you about Damodhar-kund, about which even you wanted to know. This place is the source of all auspiciousness. Just by visiting & bathing in Damodar-kund one attains the ability to achieve all his desired objectives. A person who listens to or narrates the greatness of Damodar-kund will become a detached person even if he is a householder. He will not be troubled by either pleasure or pain.
Suta: O sages! The divine mother Boodevi (Goddess Earth) felt gratified & great, after listening to the above-mentioned narration from the Lord. Being gratified by the killer of demons the divine mother is bearing all the Thirthas & sanctifying places on her back.
The Story of Nalakuvara and Manigriva
"Although the child Krsna was bound up to the wooden mortar, He began to proceed towards the growing trees in order to fulfill the prophecy of His great devotee Narada. Lord Krsna knew that Narada was His great devotee and that the trees standing before Him as twin arjuna trees were actually the sons of Kuvera. "I must now fulfill the words of My great devotee Narada," He thought. Then He began to proceed through the passage between the two trees. Although He was able to pass through the passage, the large wooden mortar stuck horizontally between the trees. Taking advantage of this, Lord Krsna began to pull the rope which was tied to the mortar. As soon as He pulled, with great strength, the two trees, with all branches and limbs, fell down immediately with a great sound. Out of the broken, fallen trees came two great personalities, shining like blazing fire. All sides became illuminated and beautiful by their presence. The two purified bodies immediately came before child Krsna and bowed down to offer their respects and prayers."
"While they were thus enjoying themselves in the water, all of a sudden Narada, the great sage, happened to pass that way. He could understand that the demigods Nalakuvara and Manigriva were too intoxicated and could not even see that he was passing. The young girls, however, were not so intoxicated as the demigods, and they at once became ashamed at being naked before the great sage Narada. They began to cover themselves with all haste. The two demigod-sons of Kuvera were so intoxicated that they could not appreciate the presence of the sage Narada and therefore did not cover their bodies. On seeing the two demigods so degraded by intoxication, Narada desired their welfare, and therefore he exhibited his causeless mercy upon them by cursing them."
In their previous lives, the trees were born as the human sons of Kuvera, and their names were Nalakuvara and Manigriva. Fortunately, they came within the vision of the Lord. In their previous lives they were cursed by the great sage Narada in order to receive the highest benediction of seeing Lord Krsna. This benediction-curse was bestowed upon them because of their forgetfulness due to intoxication." [http://krsnabook.com/ch9.html]
Taking bath in Damodar-kund
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