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RAMESHWARA KSHETRA

RAMESHWARA KSHETRA

Once, Shaunaka maharshi and few other sages asked sutaji as to how could a man become free from the bondage of the world. They also inquired whether there was an existence of any such holy place capable of liberating a man from heinous of sin.
sutaji replied--' Ramateertha is supreme among all the places of pilgrimage. A mere sight of this holy place is enough to free a man from the bondage of this mortal world. Going on a pilgrimage to Rameshwara gives virtues similar to what is attained by performing all the yagyas. One, who takes a holy dip at Setu Rameshwara, attains to Vishnuloka. Merely by sleeping at the sea shore of Rameshwara a man gets absolved of heinous of sins like brahmahatya, etc. A man is blessed if his remains are consigned to the holy waters at Rameshwara after his death. Scriptures say that five types of sins are as grave as the sin of brahmahatya--
One, who criticizes sages
A selfish person who cooks food only for himself,
One who destroys well laid path making it difficult for people to tread upon,
One who accepts food from a 'chandala' and
One who sells food grains to a chandala.

But, all these just disappears once the sinner reaches Rameshwar.


SETU BANDHANA

All the sages were curious to know about the holy places in the vicinity of Rameshwara. sutaji replied--Sri Rama went into exile accompanied by Sita, his consort and his younger brother, Laxmana. Ravana, the demon king who ruled over Lanka deceitfully abducted Sita. Subsequently, Sri Rama befriended Sugreeva and killed Bali, who harboured enemity against him. Sugreeva sent monkeys in all directions to find out where Sita had been kept by Ravana. Later on Sri Rama reached Mahendra Parvata accompanied by Laxmana, Hanuman, Sugreeva, Jambavana, Nala and may more brave warriors. They stayed for a brief period at Chakrateertha, where Vibhishana came to see Sri Rama. Eventually Vibhishana was nominated the king of all the demons by Sri Rama to the great displeasure of his brother Ravana.
Sri Rama and his army faced an uphill task of reaching Lanka for they had to cross the ocean, which lay as a great barrier between them and their destination. Samudra (ocean) revealed to Sri Rama that Nala had divine powers and whatever he would throw in the Ocean would not sink down but keep on floating. Nala tried to check the authenticity of Samudra's statement by throwing a huge rock into the ocean, as he himself was not aware of his powers. To the sheer amazement of everybody present there the rock started floating on the surface of the ocean instead of sinking down. All the rest of the monkeys tried to emulate Nala's feat by throwing huge rocks into the ocean and to their own surprise found that the rocks did not sink. This was how a bridge was built and across the ocean which made it possible for Sri Rama and his army to cross the ocean. The length of Setu Rameshwara Bandhna is hundred yojana and it is ten yojana broad. There are many holy places situated on the bridge prominent among which are Chakra-teertha, Paap-vinashana teertha, Sita -sarovara, Mangala- teertha, Amrita-watika, Brahma-kunda, Hanumata- kunda, Agastya-teertha, Rama-teertha, Laxmana-teertha, Jaya-teertha, Laxmi-teertha, Agni-teertha, Shiva-teertha, Shankha-teertha, Yamuna-teertha, Ganga-teertha, Koti-teertha, Manasa-teertha and Dhanushakoti teertha.

RAMESHWAR LINGA


Describing how Sri Rama had installed Rameshwara linga, Sutaji said--' After killing Ravana, Sri Rama enthroned Vibhishana as the king of Lanka. While returning to Ayodhya he made a brief stop at Gandhamadana mountain. Since the thought of having killed a brahmin (Ravana) kept on tormenting him, he decided to atone for his sins. So, he installed the idol of Rameshwara linga at Rameshwara setu. Rameshwara linga is so sacrosanct that all the holy places, sages and ancestors are believed to exist within the temple premise of Maheshwara linga. Being installed by Sri Rama himself, this particular linga has special significance attached to it. One who goes on a pilgrimage to this holy place is certain to attain salvation even if he were a 'Mlechha' (born in a very very low caste and one who doesn't follow Dharma).

OM NAMO NARAYANAYA

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