In the Introduction, it is mentioned that resorting to Tirtha visits is in quest of Almighty and incidentally as means of diversion and fulfillment of family joy. Once taken in the perspective of Dharma, indeed it would be one of the principal means of Self Realisation and seeking Truth vis-a-vis the glorification of materialism manifested in kaleidoscopic manner.Thus this effective means of Dharma would somewhat mitigate the adverse impact of the pulls and pressures of human existence.

As one mentions of Tirthas, the Yatris are invariably engaged in spot worships of Deities, Shiva Lingaabhishekas, Salagrama Pujas; participation of Melas and Temple Festivities; Punya Snanas in Samudras, Sacred Rivers, Sarovaras and even Kupas as at Rameshwara or Jala Prapatas or water falls; Daana Dharmas; Shraddha Karmas; Yagjna-homa karyas; Pavitra Guha darshanas; mountain climbs and shikhara darshanas; journeys by foot-road-rail-waterways and by Air; temporary stays with families and companies and the attendant inconveniences and above all physical- mental and psychological stresses and strains on own’s purses! There are also risks involved to the self , family and friends especially at crowded Melas like Kumbh Melas as at Haridwar, Prayaga, Ujjain, Nashika and down South at Ayyappa Temple, Maha Maagha at Kumbhalonam and at Samudra Snanas!  But of course, the compensations of Tirtha Yatras are multi-sided, especially from the view point of ‘ Iham’ and ‘Param’, not quite withstanding the risks involved.

But indeed the final goal is Enlightenment and hence the Stanza that asserts: Sarva Tirtheshu yat punyam sarva kaaryeshu yat phalam tatphalam Purushaapnoti Stutwa Devam Janardanam, Stutwa Devam Janardanamiti! ( What all one might achieve by undertaking Tirtha Yatras and peforming Dharmik Karyas is attainable by Janardana Stuti or deep concentration on seeking what Janardana is all about!). In the final analysis, while human life automatially gets atrracted to ephemeral material contentment, the other more significant purpose has to yield to the everlasting Fulfillment!

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at