Kamakshi and Kamakoti Pitham – 2

English Translation of Samskrta article of Panditaraja Pattabhirama Shastri, Vidyavachaspati Varanasi – Part-2

In the tenth adhyaya of Kamakshi Vilasa the location of Kanchipuram in the earth is described. “पुरा यत्र स्रोतःपुलिनमधुना” as Bhavabhuti said how many ever changes can be shown, those are merely to be taken as incidental.

In the works of poets such as kavyas and natakas that are born from the inspired poetry of poets, even though they are based on Puranas there is some alteration. Poets for the pleasure of connoisseur write poetry, but Maharshis do not expound the puranas in that manner. Neither did they use the faculties of imagination nor hyperbole, they had the minds to engrave things as they were. The Maharshis were endowed with divine vision to see scenes that are not of this world. Their efforts and writing the puranas were not to please others minds, seek fame, or to seek enormous wealth but being endowed with a mind focussed on examining the tattvas espoused in the Veda, they operated according to the injunction “The meanings of the Veda has to be seen along with the statements in itihaasa and purana.

Bhattapada when describing the nature of pramanya of the entirety of Samskrta literature, in the Smrtyadhikarana says,

“Thus the instructions are also from the words in the itihasa and purana. The stories however are to be taken as arthavaada (ie words of praise with the intent to make someone undertake an act). Even foretelling the future is also based on the Veda on account of the extraordinary knowledge of the dharma and adharma anushthanas owing to the changes of yugas and the nature of yugas since time memorial.” (Shabara Bhashyam Page. 166 Pune edition), saying thus he explains the knowledge of the Maharshis, the writers of the Puranas.

In this manner, when looking at the Kamakshi Vilasa in the Markandeya Purana, Kanchipuram, the descriptions of all the temples there that precede it, it is understood that this place Kamakoshta is the abode of Paramba Kamakshi. The word koshtha means antargrha or innermost sanctum. It also is understood that this is a place that fulfils all desires. Thus the end of desire, the highest refuge. The place where the desires of all beings are attained. Hence this Kamakoti Pitham is sacred.

Kama is the third purushartha; the fourth purushartha is moksha; That is expressed by the word koti. The word Kamakoshtha/ Kamakoti indicates that for the people of this world who have ordinary worldly aspirations, and for the Maharshis who seek this extraordinary thing, moksha, are obtained in this place of penance. Alternately it was because Jagadamba who revived Kama who was burnt by the eye of Rudra and gave him life in crores. This is the place where the krcchra penance obtained fruition. Due to the depth of the navel, this Kamakoshtakam is also in the form of bilam. This Kamakoshta is the essence of all great kshetras. (2/3)