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Besides Skandapuran , the other source for knowing the history of Shrimal is the Shrimal Puran . Some people also call it as Shrimal Mahatmya ( importance ) . It is not known as to who wrote it and when it was written . But it is believed by scholars that during the 4th to 12th centuries the Brahmans were powerful and this puran seems to be written around the 13th century .
This book was in the form of a handwritten copy . The famous Gujarati poet Dalpatram Dahyabhai , father of his equally famous poet – son Nanalal obtained this copy . At that time he had come from Wadhwan town to Ahmedabad to teach the English Collector Mr. Forbes Gujarati and Hindi languages . He did research on this book and got it published in instalments in 1899 A.D. in the magazine ” Shrimali Masik ” which he was publishing . After that Shri Jatashankar Liladhar and Shri Keshavji Vishwanath with the help of poet Dalpatram , got the whole book printed . THis book is not available at present .
This printed Shrimalpuran has 75 chapters . They mention that the book is based on the Brahma section of the Skandapuran .
Now let us have a look at how the history of Shrimal is given in Shrimalpuran .
First they bow to the Lord or God Almighty . This is in Sanskrit language in the Devnagari script as follows :
Namastribhuvanambhoj bodh mitita hata ve ,
Vishwarupaya shuddhaya namaha shree vasta dhaari ho .
One who is universal , pure and bears shree vasta and whose aim is the illumination as well as shrinking of the 3 worlds ( sky , earth and paatal , that is the world under or the nether world ) .
Poet Dalpatram first writes in Gujarati an adoration of his Kuldevi Shri Mahalakshmi which is freely translated in English as follows :
Seen the four – handed Mother from Bhinmal
Goddess you are kind and beautiful
You have worn a sari with gorgeous design
and have worn a nose – ring with gems ,
with sharp cornered eyes , having found
you lucky , God Himself married you ,
You are religious and always benevolent
You are graceful and you have
removed the unhappiness of the Shrimalis
who have worshipped you .
After that the description of the importance of Shrimal starts :
Skanda ( Kartikeya ) asks his father Mahadev Shiv , ” Which is that place where the Deities reside ? ” In reply Shiv also known as Shankar , tells his son , ” This question was asked by King Mandhata to sage Vashistha ” . The details of the above are given briefly in chapter wise order as follows :
Such places exist in Arboodaranya on the earth .
Chapter 1 mentions about Vashistha’s entry into Gautam Rushi’s ( Sage’s ) ashram ( hermitage ) . Vashistha and Gautam go to God Shiv .
Chapter 2 – 3 Shiv tells them about the importance of lake Tryambak , tells Gautam to perform penance there . Sage Narad tells Gautam to perform penance also in Varunakanan .
Chapter 4 – 5 Mentions the tale of Bhrugurushi ( Sage ) . Bhrugurushi had a divinely beautiful daughter . When the girl became young , the Rushi became worried and told Sage Narad , ” I am very much worried about her , because in this world to be the father of a girl is painful , therefore fatherhood be cursed . ”
Consoloing Bhrugurushi , Narad told him , ” This girl is the mother of the world , therefore donot worry about her . She has been born in your home for the creation of the universe . Lord Vishnu will Himself be Her Husband . ”
Chapter 7 Mentions the arrival of Vishnu and his marriage with the girl .
Chapter 8 After the marriage God Vishnu comes to Tryambak lake and because of the importance of bathing in the lake takes bath in the lake . The Devtas ( Deities ) who had come to attend the marriage look upon the bride as Goddess Lakshmi Herself and sing Her praises . Goddess Lakshmi made the place as a city and calls it Shrimal Nagar ( City ) and she promises that She will stay there Herself .
Chapter 9 – 12 For the purpose of developing the city She accomodated thousands of Sages there and appointed Gautam Rushi as their chief . But the people of Sindhu region did not agree , therefore the other Sages cursed them . They were the Aangiras Brahmans and returned to Sindh .
With prayerful request from all the Sages , God Vishnu promised to stay there with His consort Lakshmi .
Chapter 13 After a long time Vishnu and Lakshmi visits Shrimal to look at its beauty . At that time She had worn a garland of one thousand golden lotuses , which reflect the faces of Brahmans who are present there . From the reflections came out men . On seeing them Goddess Lakshmi said , ” You are born from the golden lotuses , therefore you must be artful , and you will be goldsmiths giving service in Shrimal city . ” Accordingly the eight thousand and sixty – four men became goldsmith . Goddess Lakshmi was worried about protecting them . Learning about her wish Vishnu produced Vaniks ( traders , agriculturist ) from His thighs and ordered them to maintain herds of cattle , to do farming and do trading and money – lending and gave them the responsibility of looking after the Brahmans . The Vaniks started living in different places of the city . Those who went into the eastern part of the city became known as Porwal ( from Sanskrit word Purva which means east ) , those who went in the southern part were known as Ghanotkar and those who went into the western and northern part became known as Shrimali Vaniks .
Chapter 14 -64 mentions the glory of the male and female Deities along with their tales :
Chapter 14 – Tryambak Mahatmya Chapter 15 – Yogeshwari Mahatmya
Chapter 16 – Kaakvaarah Chapter 17 – Brahmasarovar
Chapter 18 – Varunani Chapter 19 – Kerat
Chapter 20 – Vachyakshini Chapter 21 – Yakshasthal
Chapter 22 – Yaksharupee Chapter 23 – Kashyapeshwar
Chapter 24 – Chamunda Chapter 25 – Vaakpapisar
Chapter 26 – Bhoorbhuvaaveshwar Chapter 27 – Badhudevi
Chapter 28 – Naagini Chapter 29 – Mukulini
Chapter 30 – Jayeshwar Chapter 31 – Ksemamkari Vagheshwari
Chapter 32 – Durvarsthal Chapter 33 – Kharanana
Chapter 34 – Siddhi Vinayak Chapter 35 – Chandmundaya
Chapter 36 – Chandis Chapter 37 – Shri Punjraja Aakhyaan
Chapter 38 – Sarika Upakhyan Chapter 39 – Kankolna Upakhyan
Chapter 40 – Prayuteshwar MahatmyaChapter 41 – Kashyapeshwar
Chapter 42 – Dwadashaditya Chapter 43 – Jagatswami
Chapter 44 – Kiratovyakhyan Chapter 45 – E . Devi
Chapter 46 – Ahalyahud Aakhyaan Chapter 47 – Vaaraaha Aakhyaan
Chapter 48 – Valmikeshwar Chapter 49 – Vivashwan
Chapter 50 – Atmachhand Chapter 51 – Indavaar
Chapter 52 – Arishtadevi Chapter 53 – Mangala
Chapter 54 – Sougandhik Parvat BhoobhavaChapter 55 – Nandini
Chapter 56 – Aryaachandi Chapter 57 – Baalagouri
Chapter 58 – Gouvatsava Chapter 59 – Chamunda
Chapter 60 – Ikshasaro Chapter 61 – Paraasharas
Chapter 62 – Kamala Chapter 63 – Kuladeepak
Chapter 64 – Varun Chapter 65 – Mahalakshmi Vrat
Chapter 66 – Bhavishyaduvakhyan Chapter 67 – Kula Mahatmya
Chapter 68 – kuldevi Kathan Chapter 69 – Gotradi Lakshan 84 Gotras
Chapter 70 – Vanik Gotra Chapter 71 – 72 – Kshetra Prashanan
Chapter 73 – 74 – How Gautam became a Jain , etc .
The details of how Gautam became a Jain have been narrated in an interesting manner . The power of Gautam Ashram ( Hermitage ) was such that rice was harvested there round the year and in a year of famine , people could take shelter in the Gautam Ashram . Therefore other Brahmans were jealous and they sent a cow , which was on the verge of death to a field of Gautam Rushi . when the keeper of the field tried to drive out the cow with a stick’s prod , she died there . The Brahmans put the responsibility of the cow’s death on Gautam Rushi and termed it as ” Gau – Hatya ” ( deliberate killing of the cow ) and harrased him in every possible way . Fed up with this harrasment he went to Mahavir Swami and took initiation from him and received the new name Ahalya Aarjaa . This story does not fit with the facts . Mahavir Swami was there before 2500 years . He had one chief disciple called Gautam . But he was a different Gautam . The contents in Shrimal Puran have been written in the 13th century and an incident of above 2500 years has been shifted and transported in the 13th century . Therefore many tales of Shrimal puran may be considered baseless . Also in the Dharmaranya chapter in Skanda Puran does not contain Shrimal Puran . Similarly Modh Puran and Vayad Puran included in Dharmaranya cannot be relied upon because they are written from 13th to 15th century . Also in the details of Skanda Puran and in this Puran written afterwards many details differ . Therefore the reader himself should decide about the truth .