In the olden days people used to go to puṇya Kṣhetras by walk (it is the most recommended way). People used to travel in groups and help each other on their way to the Kṣhetram. They used to take the help of the āṭavikas to cross the thick forests and steep mountains. Depending on the convinience the children, old people and women used to take small rides on bullock-carts etc. and reduce their strain. Almost, at a time, half of the village used to go and do Tīrtha yātra.
Similarly, once the people of Vimalāpuram started for the great Śrī Śaila Kṣhetram. It seems there are many more divya Kṣhetras, dhāmas, puṇya ṇadīs (antarvāhinī), Tīrthas, siddha pradeśas on the Śrī Śaila Kṣhetram alone, than in all the worlds put to together! (ofcourse as told in the end of this story, only for a Dharmātma, sādhaka will these be visible). The villagers saw the Divya Śrī Śaila Śikharam. There is a Purāṇa vacanam “Śrī Śaila Śikharam Dṛṣhṭva punarjanma na vidyate”. Everybody was doing darśanam of the Śikharam and were going into the Divya-ālayam.
It was Sandhyāsamayam, that too Śrī Śailam — time for Naṭarāja Svāmi, along with Pārvatī Devī, to do Ānanda Śivatāṇḍavam on the Ākāśavīdhi. Jaganmāta, Bhramarāmbā Devī, saw these huge number of Bhaktas and asked “Svāmi! Does it mean that all these people who saw the Divya Śikharam get Mokṣham?”. Immediately Pārvatī-Parameśvara came to the Kṣhetram as Vṛddha dampatis and were travelling on a bullock cart. “The cart got stuck in mud, please help us” cried Pārvatī Devī. Many, some strong, people came to help them, but “only ones who are not pāpātmas can do it” told Pārvatī Devī. Listening to this no one came forward thinking that some or the other time they would have done some mistake.
However a Veśya came forward and said that she will try. Pārvatī Devī asked “Ammā! Did’nt you ever do a pāpakāryam?” The Veśya replied,with nirmala hṛdayam, “why would not have I not done, I would have definitely done many. But as you all know, since I had the Śikhara darśanam I will not have any pāpas remaning”. Pārvatī Parameśvara gave the Veśya Mokṣham, satisfied with her Bhakti and Dṛḍha viśvāsam.
Morals in the story:
- The importance of Viśvāsam, believing manasā-vāca-karmṇā in God is well shown in the story. The phalam depends on how strong is the belief.
- For mokṣham, more than śarīrārhata, Ātmārhata is important.
- The story also tells us how much amount of time and effort people used to spend on God and Daiva-kāryas in the olden days.
Search Terms: Shrisailam, Shrishailam, Srisailam, Shiva, Parvathi