Once, Sri Suta Goswami approached his guru Veda Vyasa and enquired about the glories of the Magha month.
Shi Vyasa said- “Long ago, King Dilpa of Ayodhya, went on a hunting expedition in the outskirts of his town.
His attendants got scattered in the forest to search for exotic species.
There, they saw numerous animals moving in herds, playing and frolicking.
Description of the forest
Fox made horrific sounds.
Rhinoceroses moved freely like intoxicated elephants.
Moreover, they saw owls hooting in the trees.
At many places, they found paw marks of lions coated in deer blood.
Healthy buffaloes roamed with heavy udders.
Thereby, the entire forest bloomed with fragrant flowers.
Gigantic trees stood while horrendous serpents entwined themselves on branches leaving back their snakeskin.
Suddenly, a deer heard their noisy footsteps and leaped in self-defence.
The king followed it but the deer was too fast.
However, the deer got entwined in a thorny bush. Somehow it escaped the king’s arrow and disappeared in the forest.
Tormented by the pangs of thirst, the king spotted a beautiful pond surrounded by dense thickets.
The scene stole his heart at first glance since its clear waters resembled the minds of noble souls.
Also, numerous aquatic species freely swam in the waters
There were crocodiles too that resembled the minds of wicked men.
Like a generous household the river freely donated its soothing waters and quenched the thirst of passers-by.
Like a rain cloud bringing joy to a cuckoo, the breathtaking sight rejuvenated the king.
That night, the king rested in the forest, and his servant guarded him from all sides.
However, during the late night phase, a flock of parrots arrived at the pond and made their residence on a cluster of lotuses.
Soon, a group of shrewd hunters arrived and felled the birds with their arrows.
Thereafter, they celebrated their success and finally accompanied the king to his capital.
King Dilipa meets an ascetic
On the way the king encountered an ascetic.
His body had gone dry due to severe austerities.
He barely wore deerskin bearing matted locks and long nails.
The king at once paid his obedience to such an austere being and sought his blessings.
The Tapasvi said-
“Oh noble king!
Why do you wish to forsake this pond on this auspicious eve of Magha?”
Then the king replied-
“Oh Sage, I know nothing about the significance of the Magha month.
Kindly elaborate on the same.”
On hearing the king speak thus, the tapasvi continued-
“Oh King, the sun is about to rise. Hence this is the time for bath, not story.
Hence you return to your palace and ask your preceptor Vashista about this.”
Thereafter, the king returned to his palace and informed his queen about the happenings..
Then Sage Suta continued-
“Oh sage, please elaborate on the question answer session between the king and his preceptor.
King Dilapa’s question to Sage Vashishta
Vyasa ji said “The Next morning, King Dilipa touched Sage Vashishta’s feet and enquired about the episode.
“Oh gurudev you have nicely educated me on etiquettes, Dharma , ethics, royal duties, Varnashrama system, charity, yajnas, fasts and the supreme worship of Lord Vishnu.
Yet, today I wish to hear about the significance of bathing in the magha month.
So oh greatest of renunciants, kindly explain the methodology of such a ritual.
Guru Vaishita said- “Oh king, You have truly asked a very wonderful question.
This verily redeems the sins of householders, and renunciants.
Bathing in the magh month at the advent of the capricorn sun sign is more auspicious than donating cows, land, oilseed, garments, gold, grains, horse and observing the fasts of Chandrayana and Brahma Kurch.
It is anyways beneficial to chant, meditate and donate during the Vaishkha and Kartik month.
However these activities in the magha month have their own significance.
Extraordinary seers have claimed-
“Those who selflessly or desirously bathe in the month of Magha reap untold benefits.”
One attains the four virtues, purity of body, grace opulence, and similar benedictions.
Benefits of Bathing in Magha month
Aditi, the mother of Devas, observed a fast for 12 years on Makara Sankranti and bathed in the month of Magha.
As a result, she bore 12 sons who illuminated the three worlds.
It is only due to bathing in the magha month that Rohini, Subhaga and Arundhati became world-renowned for their generosity and beauty.
Those who austerely bathe in the magha month and serve the gods sincerely attain a high pedestal and expensive goods in charity.
Their houses remain ever-filled with guests
Moreover, Their houses keep vibrating with vedic chants.
That human is truly blessed who bathes, donates and fasts in the magha month.
Actually those who ascend to heaven fall back once their pious deeds are exhausted..
But those who reverently bathe in the magha month never return.
None can compete with it in its efficacy.
Sage Bhringi visits the Himalayas
Sage Bhringi spoke the same to celestials residing on the Mani Mountain.
Then the king asked the sage to elaborate on the same.
So Sage Vashista said “Oh king!
Once due to the scarcity of rain a massive drought had struck the land.
The entire province between the Himachal and Vindhyachal mountains suffered,
As a result, none performed Sharada, tarpan and similar rituals.
Thus, the entire world became subjectless.
The entire earthly plane was bereft of flora and fauna.
Then sage Bhringi exited his bountiful hermitage and entered the himalyan mountains with his disciples.
Description of Himalayan mountains
The entire mountain seemed like lord Krishna personified since its peak was blue while its base appeared golden.
It resembled the galaxies since its mid-part was blue bearing tiny specks of snow.
At night, the medicinal mountain seems like a palace lit up by tiny lamps
The mountain seems extremely enchanting due to its banana flags and the meandering kinaras and denizens of the celestial planes.
The emerging rays of blue sapphire, emerald and yellow sapphire from its peak give it a rainbow glow.
It resembles the fiery of glowing flame due to its gold reservoirs.
Description of Hemakunda
In its groves, celestial couples sport and even sheer renunciants practice meditation in its serene caves.
Many adore Lord Shiva holding rudraksha beads in their hands.
Under the mountains, wild elephants play with their kids while herds of fragrant deer run.
The mountains remains laden with exotic swans and peacocks.
Hence, it is called Hemakunda.
Since always, Devas, Yaksha and apsaras reside here.
Thanks for reading!