Brahmahatya Dosha, the Great Sin
Brahmahatya is regarded as a grave affliction. It is said that the person who committed acquired this Dosha (Affliction) will have to face serious consequences, not only in that birth but also in the ones that follow. It is generally believed that this is incurred due to the killing of a Brahmin. However, some scriptures claim that Brahmahatya can be incurred due to manslaughter or even by the committing many other transgressions. The resulting consequences may be many and varied and may include diseases, mental illness, fear and lack of confidence, failures, restlessness and tension, financial strains and marital disharmony.
Legend of Brahmahatya
Many legends have talked about the deadly Brahmahatya Dosha. In a legend, Brahmahatya is portrayed as an individual and a female monster. This story is closely associated with Lord Shiva and is quite interesting.
Bhairava Severs Brahma’s Head
Bhairava is an aggressive form of Lord Shiva. He is also said to have been created by Shiva himself from the fire that emanated from his third eye, for defeating the arrogance of Lord Brahma. This ferocious God dutifully severed Brahma’s fifth head, to bring in a good sense in him. However, in the process, Bhairava incurred a severe sin by harming none other than Brahma, a great Brahmin himself and this resulted in the severed skull of Brahma getting stuck to Bhairava’s hands inseparably. He had to go from sacred place-to-place, seeking alms in the severed skull and trying to get rid of it from his hand. Bhairava thus came to be also known as Bhikshadana, the mendicant.
Bhairava Seeking Relief From Brahmahatya
When he ultimately approached Shiva for relief, he created Brahmahatya, a fierce demon and advised Bhairava to reach the holy town of Varanasi or Kasi, before the female demon did so, while assuring him that he will then get relieved of the sin. As the desperate Bhairava rushed towards Kasi, Brahmahatya too followed him and virtually chased him there, as she claimed that it was the instruction given to her by Shiva himself. At last, Bhairava managed to enter the sacred land of Kasi, but Brahmahatya who was hot in pursuit after him got stuck there and could not get into the blessed place. The divine power of Lord Shiva stopped her and the demon was pushed to Patala Loka, the netherworld.
The effect the sacred place, Kasi had on Bhairava was instant and miraculous. As soon as he set foot on the holy soil, the painful baggage of Brahma’s skull got detached and fell off his hands on its own. Thus, Bhairava was relieved of his Brahmahatya Dosha. The exact place where Lord Brahma’s severed head fell became a holy pilgrimage site known as Kapalamochan. A large number of people visits the site.
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