Gomati

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

  • Gomatī is one of the sacred rivers mentioned in the Naḍisukta of the Ṛgveda.[1] It is referred as a tributary of the river Sindhu (Indus).
  • The modern Gomatī[2] is a tributary of the river Gaṅgā flowing near Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh.
  • According to some mythological accounts, Kauśiki, sister of Viśvāmitra, was cursed by her husband Rcīka. Hence she became the river Gomatī.
  • Śrī Rāma is said to have conducted the Aśvamedha sacrifice on the banks of this river.
  • The Mahābhārata[3] says that one can get rid of one’s sins by drinking the water of this river.
  • The Sabhāparva[4] declares that the goddess Gomati, the presiding deity of the river, lives in the court of Varuṇa (the deity of the water principle or oceans), serving him.
  • Sometimes Gomatī and Gaṅgā are considered identical, the former being given as one of the names of the latter.[5]
  • According to Śātātapa, a writer on the dharmaśāstras referred to by others, Gomatī is a type of Vedic mantra used in prāyaścittas or expiations, especially for killing a cow.

References

  1. Ṛgveda 10.75.6)
  2. Gomatī is spelt as Gomtī.
  3. Mahābhārata Ādiparva 169.20
  4. Mahābhārata 9.23
  5. Skandapurāna, Kāśikhanda 29-51
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore