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ŚŪRPĀRAKA(शूर्पारक)

  • Another name for Kerala. In [Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, Chapter 99], we read that Paraśurāma threw a “Śūrpa” winnowing basket from Gokarṇa southwards and the ocean up to the spot where the Śūrpa fell, became dry land. Since the land was formed by throwing the Śūrpa, it came to be called “Śūrpāraka”. References to Śūrpāraka in the Mahābhārata, are given below:-
    (i) In the course of his triumph of the southern lands, Sahadeva conquered “Śūrpāraka”. [M.B. Sabhā Parva, Chapter 31, Verse 65].
    (ii) There is a sacred bath here, known as “Śūrpāraka tīrtha”. By bathing here, one would obtain golden rāśis. [M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 85, Verse 43].
    (iii) In Śūrpāraka Kṣetra, there is a sacrificial platform originally used by Jamadagni. Close by, there are two holy places called “Pāṣāṇa tīrtha” and “Candra tīrtha”. [M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 88, Verse 12].
    (iv) Yudhiṣṭhira once happened to visit this sacred place. [M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 118, Verse 8].
    (v) Śūrpāraka is the land formed by the withdrawal of the ocean. It is also called “Aparāntabhūmi”. [Śānti Parva, Chapter 49, Verse 66].
    (vi) Mahābhārata, Anuśāsana Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 50 states that by bathing in the water of Śūrpāraka Kṣetra and observing a fast for a fortnight, one would be born as a prince in the next birth.
     
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