By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Bahuda, BAhudA, Baahudaa
Bāhudā literally means ‘that which gives arm’.
Tale of Sage Saṅkha and Likhita
The ancient sages strove to maintain the highest standards of ethical purity in their personal as well as social life. Saṅkha and Likhita, the brothers whose Smriti has earned a place for itself in the dharmaśāstra literature, were men of such sterling character.
Once Likhita, the younger brother, went to the hermitage of Saṅkha and ate some fruits from the garden without his prior permission. He realized the mistake which amounted to stealing and confessed the same to Saṅkha. Saṅkha sent him to the king Sudyumna. The king cut off his arms as a punishment. Likhita returned to Saṅkha who approved of the punishment. Then he directed him to take a bath in the nearby river. When Likhita did so, he regained his arms. Since then, the river got the name ‘Bāhudā,’ ‘that which gave arms’. It is identified with a river near Ayodhyā.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore