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Chapter 19 - Greatness of Audumbar: Ganganuj's Poverty wiped off

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Namdharak : 'Leaving other holy trees why Shri Guru lived under the Audumber tree? Greatness of Ashwattha is described even in the Vedas, Why then he preferred Audumbar?'

Siddha : 'Shri Vishnu took Narasimhawatar to kill the demon Hranyakashyapu. He tore the belly of the demon by his nails, took out the intestines and put them around his neck as a wreath. Narasimha's nails were filled with strong poison and so caused great heat in his body. Shri Lakshmi took Audumbar fruits and thrush Narasimha's nails in them. The poison and the heat of the body subsided and Lakshmi and Narasimha were pleased. So they blessed the Audumbar tree, `You shall always bear fruits and people will worship you as the Kalpataru. Strong poisons will be subsided even by your sight and sterile women will get issues if they worship you with devotion.'

Audumbar is a Kalpa-Taru in KaliYuga, hence Shri Guru lived under it Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh live here in the form of shri Dattatraya. When Shri Guru lived here, 64 yoginis used to come to him at midday and take Shri Guru to their place under the waters of the river, worshipped and offered him delicious food and Shri Guru would return to his place under the Audumbar.

Brahmins wondered how this sanyasi lived along under the Audumbar, as he did not go in the town to anybody for alms. Some Brahmins kept a watch but at midday they got frightened and so they gave up the idea.

Ganganuj was a farmer who had his field at the river side. At midday he saw that 64 yoginis came out of the river, bowed to Shri Guru and took him to the river. A passage was created for him by the bifurcation of the river water. After some time Shri Guru returned by the same passage. Next day Ganganuj also followed Shri Guru when he was being taken by the yoginis. He saw that there was a nice place with buildings of precious stones, and there was a high and well decorated throne. Shri Guru was seated on the throne. He was duly worshipped, had Arati and was Shri Guru saw Ganganuj. Shri Guru asked him. `How did you come here?' He replied, `I came here to see Thy holy self.' Saying so, he bowed to Shri Guru, who said to him, `Your miseries are wiped off. Your desires will be fulfilled. Do not disclose to anyone whatever you have seen here. Else you will lose all instantly.'

Then Shri Guru came to the Audumbar with him. Ganganuj came to his fields and found a treasure. He got knowledge also. He served Shri Guru with his wife and children with more devotion thereafter.

Om Magh Poornima Ganganuj said to Shri Guru `It is said that bath at Kashi and Prayag is very virtuous. How can this be possible for me?

Shri Guru said, `Panch Ganga Sangam is like Prayag, Jugul is Kashi and Kolhapur is like Gaya. If you wish to see Kashi-Prayag I shall show it to you.'

Shri Guru was sitting on a tiger skin. He asked Ganganuj to shut his eyes and to hold the hind part of the skin firmly and they instantly reached Prayag in the morning. After having bath they went to Kashi at midday. They had darshan of Kashivishweshwar and went to Gaya in the afternoon. They returned to Audumbar by the same evening.

Shri Guru now thought of leaving the place. 64 Yoginis requested him, Why are you leaving us? All our miseries are wiped off when we see you.'

Shri Guru smiled and said, `I am always at this Audumbar. You live here happily. Amarpur is also my dwelling place. Those who worship you, this Audumbar and the Padukas here, all their desires will be fulfilled, and they will get four purusharthas. One who takes bath at Papvinashi, Kanya and Siddha Tirthas, worships the Audumbar and these Padukas for seven days, even if his wife is 60 years old and sterile. If one recites a mantra, under this Audumbar with a pure mind, it will be a great virtue. One lakh rounds of this tree will wipe off leprosy and one's body would be bright as gold. Such is the significance of this place.'

Saying this, Shri Guru came to Gangapur on the bank of Bhima.
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