tatra bhagavatah saksad yajna-lingasya visnor vikramato vama-padangustha-nakha-nirbhinnordhvanda-kataha-vivarenantah-pravista ya bahya-jala-dhara tac-carana-pankajavanejanaruna-kinjalkoparanjitakhila-jagad-agha-malapahopasparsanamala saksad bhagavat-padity anupalaksita-vaco ’bhidhiyamanati-mahata kalena yuga-sahasropalaksanena divo murdhany avatatara yat tad visnu-padam ahuh.
sri-sukah uvaca—Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; tatra—at that time; bhagavatah—of the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; saksat—directly; yajna-lingasya—the enjoyer of the results of all sacrifices; visnoh—of Lord Visnu; vikramatah—while taking His second step; vama-pada—of His left leg; angustha—of the big toe; nakha—by the nail; nirbhinna—pierced; urdhva—upper; anda-kataha—the covering of the universe (consisting of seven layers—earth, water, fire, etc.); vivarena—through the bole; antah-pravista—having entered the universe; ya—which; bahya-jala-dhara—the flow of water from the Causal Ocean outside the universe; tat—of Him; carana-pankaja—of the lotus feet; avanejana—by the washing; aruna-kinjalka—by reddish powder; uparanjita—being colored; akhila-jagat—of the whole world; agha-mala—the sinful activities; apaha—destroys; upasparsana—the touching of which; amala—completely pure; saksat—directly; bhagavat-padi—emanating from the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; iti—thus; anupalaksita—described; vacah—by the name; abhidhiyamana—being called; ati-mahata kalena—after a long time; yuga-sahasra-upalaksanena—consisting of one thousand millenniums; divah—of the sky; murdhani—on the head (Dhruvaloka); avatatara—descended; yat—which; tat—that; visnu-padam—the lotus feet of Lord Visnu; ahuh—they call.
Sukadeva Gosvami said: My dear King, Lord Visnu, the enjoyer of all sacrifices, appeared as Vamanadeva in the sacrificial arena of Bali Maharaja. Then He extended His left foot to the end of the universe and pierced a hole in its covering with the nail of His big toe. Through the hole, the pure water of the Causal Ocean entered this universe as the Ganges River. Having washed the lotus feet of the Lord, which are covered with reddish powder, the water of the Ganges acquired a very beautiful pink color. Every living being can immediately purify his mind of material contamination by touching the transcendental water of the Ganges, yet its waters remain ever pure. Because the Ganges directly touches the lotus feet of the Lord before descending within this universe, she is known as Visnupadi. Later she received other names like Jahnavi and Bhagirathi. After one thousand millenniums, the water of the Ganges descended on Dhruvaloka, the topmost planet in this universe. Therefore all learned sages and scholars proclaim Dhruvaloka to be Visnupada [“situated on Lord Visnu’s lotus feet”].
In this verse, Sukadeva Gosvami describes the glories of the Ganges River. The water of the Ganges is called patita-pavani, the deliverer of all sinful living beings. It is a proven fact that a person who regularly bathes in the Ganges is purified both externally and internally. Externally his body becomes immune to all kinds of disease, and internally he gradually develops a devotional attitude toward the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Throughout India, many thousands of people live on the banks of the Ganges, and by regularly bathing in her waters, they are undoubtedly being purified both spiritually and materially. Many sages, including Sankaracarya, have composed prayers in praise of the Ganges, and the land of India itself has become glorious because such rivers as the Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Kaveri, Krsna and Narmada flow there. Anyone living on the land adjacent to these rivers is naturally advanced in spiritual consciousness. Srila Madhvacarya says:
Standing on His right foot and extending His left to the edge of the universe, Lord Vamana became known as Trivikrama, the incarnation who performed three heroic deeds.
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