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Dankapuramahatmya – Importance – Chapters – Text Dedicated To Dakor Temple

Each region in India has a place of pilgrimage and text narrating, the greatness of that particular place and the God or Goddess of that particular region called Mahatmya. The Dankapuramahatmya is one such mahatmya text, which extols the Bhagavan Dakornath or Hindu God Vishnu worshipped at Dakor temple, located at the place, Dakor, in Gujarat, India.

The date and author of Dankapuramahatmya is not known. It is said that Avadhuta Maharaja of Nareshvara in Gujarat is believed to have composed on Dakoramahatmya. Some scholars ascribe the text to in and around 1773 CE.

The Puranas are the texts of great social, religious, mythological, cultural, historical and geographical importance. Besides the eighteen great Puranas, there are numerous minor Puranas, known as Upapuranas. There are also some Jnatipuranas, Sthala Puranas and Mahatyma texts. The Mahatmyas can be of two types – Relating of a particular deity (example – Malhari Mahatmya, Devi Mahatmya, Vasudev Mahatmya) and relating to eulogy of place of pilgrimage. It may be relating to a river such as Ganga Mahatmya, Godavari Mahatmya, Narmada Mahatmya, Tapi Mahatmya or a place such as Jerurimahatmya (Jejuri Mahatmya).

The present Dakor temple is said to have been constructed in 1770 CE by Peshwa Madhavrao Ballal and Mahadaji Shinde. The story is referred to in the Dankapuramahatmya. The temple was also known as khakharia. The ancient story of the devotee, Vijayasimha alias Bodana and his fetching the Bhagavan of Dwarka to Dakor is narrated in simple Pauranic style in sixteen adhyayas and about 800 verses in Dankapuramahatmya.

The text is also important from the point of view of the social, religious, cultural activities in those days; some sites of geographical importance are also described in it. Though the God, Dakornath, is worshipped by thousands of devotees in Gujarat, the Dankapuramahatmya text in Sanskrit has not received due attention.

Dankapuramahatmya manuscript is found in the Oriental Institute of Baroda. This manuscript has 16 adhyayas and the numbers of Shlokas in different adhyaya are 45, 44, 52, 42, 52, 54, 62, 46, 25, 66, 34, 49, 49, 43, 47 and 44.

Adhyaya 1 consists of Dankesvaropakhyana, Suta Muni Samvada, Dankamunivrittanta – Dankesvara.

Adhyaya 2 consists of Vijayasimhopakhyana.

Adhyaya 3 consists of Svacchandasrimaharajavijayasimhe, Gopa giving bullock cart.

Adhyaya 4 consists of Dankapuragamanam

Adhyaya 5 consists of Vijayasimha Vaikunth Arohanam

Adhyaya 6 consists of Ganga Govinda Samvada

Adhyaya 7 – Ganga Govinda Samvada – brahmanaparikshanam

Adhyaya 8 – Tulayantre hemapartolnam.

Adhyaya 9 – Brahmanadinam Dvaraka gamanam

Adhyaya 10 – Vijayasimhapurvavrittakathanam

Adhyaya 11 – Vijayanandanugrahah

Adhyaya 12 – Lakshminarayana Samvada

Adhyaya13 – Mandire Bhagavatpratishthapanam

Adhyaya 14 – Bhagavatparaianopayakathanam

Adhyaya 15 – Tirthayatrakathanam. In this chapter, the place of pilgrimage in and around Dakor have been described.

Adhyaya 16 – This is the last chapter which is entitled Anukramanikakathanam.

Dankapuramahatmya is of great regional value, because it tries to explain through some religious grounds, anecdotes etc. how the importance of the temple at Dakor gained prominence. The text emphasis that the murti worshipped in Dankapura and Dwaraka are the same.

The main story is about the devotee Vijayasimha or Bodana or Ramadasa of Dakor, who used to visit Dwarka twice a year to have darshan at the Dwarkadhish temple. Due to old age, the ardent devotee Vijayasimha was unable to visit Dwarka. He prayed to Bhagavan Sri Krishna to come to Dakor. Bhagavan blessed his ardent devotee with the same murti worshipped in Dwaraka in Dakor. Dankapuramahatmya states that the incident took place in 1166 CE.

The text also refers to festivals like Holikapujana and Rangakhelanam. It also mentions about auspicious days and months like Kartika, Ashwina, Janmashtami, Dolotsavam, Purnimas, Ekadasi when there is special importance of the darshan of Dakornatha. Listening to Bhagavata in Chaturmasya, reciting the Bhagavad Gita, the Vishnu Sahasranama and offering of 1000 leaves of Tulsi are eulogized in the text.

From the text we can garner that even thousands of years ago devotees used to visit the place in thousands and due to pulls and pushes there was great difficulty in getting Darshana. The text also mentions about holy persons like Srigauda, Khetaka and Tapodhana.