Dhanushkoti , Darbha Shayana, Devi Pattana

       Skanda Purana in Setu Mahatnmya describes Dhanushkoti Mahatmya as follows: Dakshinaambunidhou punye Rama Setou vimuktade, Dhanushkotiriti khyatam Tirthamasti vimuktidam/ Brahma hatya suraapaana swarnasteya vinaashanam,Gurutalpaga samsarga doshanaapi naashanam/ Kailaasaadi pada praapti kaaranam paramaarthadam, Sarvakaama -midam pumsaam runa daaridra naashanam/ Dhanurkotirdhanishkotirdhanushkotiriteeranaat,  Swargaapavardam pumsaa mahaa punya phalapradam/(On the shores of the Southern Seas is the most sacred and boon-bestowing Dhanushkodi which is also the high point for destroying ‘Maha Patakas’or the severest sins like Brahma hatya, Suraapaana, Swarna harana, Guru-Sishyaadi gamana etc. This is also the provider of plentiful prosperity and Kailasa moksha prada.It uproots indebtedness and poverty for ever. Those who repeatedly take the auspicious name of Dhanushkoti repeatedly or atleast thrice shall attain all times of fulfillment.) Dhanushkoti partially got submerged into Sea owing to recent cyclonic devastation and partly ascribed to Shri Rama’s own action of removing parts of ‘Rama- Setu’ by His arrows. This  historic meeting point of three high Seas of Hindu Sagara, Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea is the hallowed Tirtha for bathing  and performing Shraddha-Pindapradana and Swearna daana; it is stated that there are as many as thirty six ways of Vedic Snaana Prakriyas but since so many snaanas are not possible to perform at the sametime, and hence one might perform at least thrice and taking the Pindas in the right hand with Pavitra or kusha grass around the ring finger along with black tilas uttering the word:‘kityaa’ or ‘Daana is thus being performed’ while simultaneously handing over to a Brahmana along with ‘dakshina’; this procedure is to be followed thrice to redeem the souls of three generations of the forefathers. Therafter the Karta needs to perform the purificatory snanas by way of three dives atleast. Before providing Bhojana to the Brahmana (s), worship to a near the Ram mandir with theIdols of Rama-Sita-Lakshmana-Anjaneya is worthy of devotion.The legend about the Dhanushkoti is recalled: When Rama after installing the Rameshwara Linga Pratishtha Celebrations  he and followers were about to take off by his Pushpaka Vimana to Ayodhya, when Vibhishana who was already installed as the King of Lanka, the latter prayed to Rama to destroy the Rama Setu, lest enemies from Bharat might attack Lanka at a later time and the Setu should be a facility to them to cross the Sea and bring Armies from Bharat to Lanka. On appreciating Vibhishana’s view point, Rama came out of the Vimana and destroyed Sama Setu partially at least!

   Darbha shayana: The next Railway Station from Raeshwaram is Ramanatha puram where Darbha Shayana Mandir is distincnt and popular in which before launching the program of Ravana Samhara Samudra Setu bandhana was the very first step and thus the worship to Samudra Deva ; the latter was requested by Rama by spreading a bed of Darbha grass and since there was no response from the former, Rama lied on the bed conveying his protest. Finally he had to threat the Samudradeva that he would destroy the Seas as Samudra appeared and aplogised to Rama and as a result, the high tides subsided and the Sea waters lost their pounding speed and roar. Thus the fame of the Darbha shayana Kshetra and the importance of the Mandir with the big Idol of Kodanda Rama with his Dhanush! This Place too is worthy of snaanam dana and puja. Tiruppulani is also situated where Rama inclined as a ‘Darbhasayi’ (lying on a Darbha mat) soliciting Varuna Deva to facilitate smooth cross-over of the Sea to reach Lanka; Shrines of  ‘Nava Grahas’ whom Rama prayed to remove obsctacles during the ensuing Rama-Ravana battle. Devipattana is where barren women are blessed with progeny as also Jagannadha Shrine where Ravana’s brother Vibhishana surrendered to Rama and was made the King of Lanka later on. Skanda Purana refers to this Place as that for hiding the remaining followeres of Mahishasura killed byDurga Devi, as they drank the waters of Dharma Pushkarini where Rama performed puja to Nava Grahas but Shri Rama pulled them out and destroyed them at Chakra Tirtha since Sudarshana pulled the Asuras out and terminated. Devi pattana is also called Nava Pashayana a Stone Pillar signifying Nava Grahas.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

Kamakoti.org 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 raovdn@yahoo.co.in