In the Bh\u0101rat\u012bya tradition, Bh\u016bloka is referred to as a karma-bh\u016bmi or the region in which one can engage in (pu\u1e47ya) karm\u0101; and as a yoga-bh\u016bmi or the region in which one can find union with the Supreme. As an attestation to this claim, Pur\u0101\u1e47as describe three distinct phenomena \u2014 how celestials descend to earth when they desire to engage in penance, how cursed beings fall upon earth to absolve themselves of sins (that led to the curse in the first place), and how beings descend to earth to be irrevocably liberated from sa\u1e41s\u0101ra. To establish bh\u016bloka as the sphere of redemption, Pur\u0101\u1e47as also describe how the avat\u0101ras of the Supreme descend upon earth, sanctifying the places they physically touch with their divine vibrations. In the tradition, these places become centres of spiritual power, which can potentially liberate mankind, even long after the avat\u0101ras have withdrawn themselves. The sacred cities of Mathur\u0101 and Ayodhy\u0101 fall under this category. There are, however, other centres of spiritual potency that are considered equally efficacious in bestowing liberation upon man. A traditional \u015bloka enumerates seven such centres, including Ayodhy\u0101 and Mathur\u0101, which are charged with the power to cut the shackles of sa\u1e41s\u0101ra asunder \u2013 \u0905\u092f\u094b\u0927\u094d\u092f\u093e \u092e\u0925\u0941\u0930\u093e \u092e\u093e\u092f\u093e \u0915\u093e\u0936\u0940 \u0915\u093e\u091e\u094d\u091a\u0940 \u0905\u0935\u0928\u094d\u0924\u093f\u0915\u093e\u0964 \u092a\u0941\u0930\u0940 \u0926\u094d\u0935\u093e\u0930\u0935\u0924\u0940 \u091a\u0948\u0935 \u0938\u092a\u094d\u0924\u0948\u0924\u093e \u092e\u094b\u0915\u094d\u0937\u0926\u093e\u092f\u093f\u0915\u093e\u0903\u0965 ayodhy\u0101 mathur\u0101 m\u0101y\u0101 k\u0101\u015b\u012b k\u0101\u00f1c\u012b avantik\u0101 | pur\u012b dv\u0101ravat\u012b caiva saptait\u0101 mok\u1e63ad\u0101yik\u0101\u1e25 || Ayodhy\u0101, Mathur\u0101, M\u0101y\u0101, K\u0101\u015b\u012b, K\u0101\u00f1c\u012b, Avantik\u0101, and Dv\u0101ravat\u012b \u2013 These seven cities are the bestowers of liberation1. 1 Here M\u0101y\u0101 stands for Haridv\u0101r, K\u0101\u015b\u012b for V\u0101r\u0101\u1e47as\u012b, K\u0101\u00f1c\u012b for the southern city of K\u0101\u00f1cipuram, Avantik\u0101 for Ujjain, and Dv\u0101ravat\u012b for Dv\u0101rak\u0101. Some also state that M\u0101y\u0101 stands for M\u0101y\u0101pur, the village where \u015ar\u012bk\u1e5b\u1e63\u1e47a Caitanya Mahaprabhu was born. The cities other than those physically touched by a vibhav\u0101vat\u0101ra, are also sacred in the tradition, owing to the different representations of the Supreme. In most cases, these representations are the idols of the Supreme or an arc\u0101vat\u0101ra, as they are called in the \u015ar\u012bvai\u1e63\u1e47ava philosophy. These arc\u0101vat\u0101ras are said to be surcharged with spiritual potency, either by virtue of being self-born or by virtue of being worshipped by a being of great spiritual power, namely an extraordinary devotee. The \u015aivali\u1e45ga at the sacred city of K\u0101\u00f1c\u012b, for instance, is described in the Sk\u0101nda-pur\u0101\u1e47a to have been fashioned by goddess P\u0101rvat\u012b herself and to have been adored by her with ardent fervour. The city is thus described to be replete with the power of P\u0101rvat\u012b\u2019s penance, as much as it is replete with the power of the \u015aivali\u1e45ga. The beauty of the Bh\u0101rat\u012bya tradition is that it does not restrict the mok\u1e63apur\u012bs or centres with the potential to liberate to these seven aforementioned places. While acknowledging these as the primary seven, the tradition also admits to the redeeming nature of other places and water bodies that are imbued with the potency of the Supreme and with the power of the penance of extraordinary devotees. One such centre is the Pur\u012b-Jagann\u0101tha, or Puru\u1e63ottama-k\u1e63etra, as it is referred to in the Pur\u0101\u1e47as. The presiding deity of the temple is \u015ar\u012bk\u1e5b\u1e63na. The unique feature of the temple is that the lord presents himself as a d\u0101ru-m\u016brti (a personification of wood), in the company of Balabhadra (Balar\u0101ma) and Subhadr\u0101. The temple is best known for the Rathay\u0101tra (chariot festival) held in the Sanskrit month of \u0100\u1e63\u0101\u1e0dha (corresponding to the Gregorian months June\u2013July). The Sk\u0101nda-pur\u0101\u1e47a describes the Puru\u1e63ottama-k\u1e63etra and elaborates a scintillating tale that bears testimony to its redeeming nature. The account is as follows \u2013 After the great deluge, the Supreme Being raised the earth from the bowels of the ocean on his pearly tusk as Var\u0101ha. He then levelled the surface of the earth and balanced it by besetting earth with various mountains. Lord Brahm\u0101 then created everything, just like in the previous epoch. Having completed his task, he wondered, \u2018What can I do to ensure that I do not have to create ever again?\u2019 Thinking for a while, he decided to extoll lord N\u0101r\u0101ya\u1e47a to be blessed with a solution. By firmly fixing his heart on the substrate of all creation, lord Brahm\u0101 began glorifying the lord earnestly. Pleased with the eulogy, the lord appeared before the creator mounting upon his avian chariot, Garu\u1e0da; his arms replete with his divine weapons and his eyes charming as petals of a lotus. The lord stood before Brahm\u0101, his lips athrob as if desirous of speaking. With a smile that lit up his eyes, he said to lord Brahm\u0101, \u201cO\u2019 self-born one, the intent of your eulogies cannot be achieved. Creation is firmly rooted in the beginningless Avidya (ignorance). When that is the case, how can the cycle of birth and death cease to be? O\u2019 Sinless one! I shall, however, tell you of the means to redemption. There is a place on the southern banks of river Mah\u0101nad\u012b, which holds the potency of all the sacred centres of pilgrimage. Men born there enjoy the fruits of merits of past lives, and those who have no merits from the deeds of the past are not born there. I dwell in Puru\u1e63ottama-k\u1e63etra. My shrine and the very centre of Puru\u1e63ottama are not affected by cataclysm. Mount N\u012bla is in this sacred place and upon it lies a sacred water body, Rauhi\u1e47a. I stand upon its banks.\u201d Lord N\u0101r\u0101ya\u1e47a added further, \u0924\u0924\u094d\u0924\u0940\u0930\u0947 \u0928\u093f\u0935\u0938\u0928\u094d\u0924\u0902 \u092e\u093e\u0902 \u092a\u0936\u094d\u092f\u0928\u094d\u0924\u0936\u094d\u091a\u0930\u094d\u092e\u091a\u0915\u094d\u0937\u0941\u0937\u093e\u0965 \u0924\u0926\u092e\u094d\u092d\u0938\u093e \u0915\u094d\u0937\u0940\u0923\u092a\u093e\u092a\u093e \u092e\u092e \u0938\u093e\u092f\u0941\u091c\u094d\u092f\u092e\u093e\u092a\u094d\u0928\u0941\u092f\u0941\u0903\u0965 tatt\u012bre nivasanta\u1e41 m\u0101\u1e41 pa\u015byanta\u015bcarmacak\u1e63u\u1e63\u0101 || tadambhas\u0101 k\u1e63\u012b\u1e47ap\u0101p\u0101 mama s\u0101yujyam\u0101pnuyu\u1e25 || \u201cThose who behold me by standing upon those banks, attain absolute identification with me, with their sins obliterated by those waters.\u201d - Vai\u1e63\u1e47ava-kha\u1e47\u1e0da, Sk\u0101nda-pur\u0101\u1e47a Having stated thus, lord N\u0101r\u0101ya\u1e47a urged Brahm\u0101 to resort to Puru\u1e63ottama-k\u1e63etra. He assured the creator that he would be blessed with His vision, which he had just enjoyed. Thrilled with what he had heard, lord Brahm\u0101 summarily hastened to the Puru\u1e63ottama-k\u1e63etra, his heart aflutter with the desire to feast his eyes upon the divine person of lord N\u0101r\u0101ya\u1e47a. Upon reaching the Puru\u1e63ottama-k\u1e63etra, lord Brahm\u0101 beheld the lord in the form that he perceived earlier (at the end of his eulogy). Immense knowledge swelled within him, and he sang paeans of the lord yet again; when, all of a sudden, a crow arrived there. Just as Brahm\u0101 looked on, it plunged into the sacred water. The crow looked upon the form of the lord and shed its body. Lord Brahm\u0101 was astounded by what he had just beheld. A lowly crow had, upon taking a dip in the sacred Rauhi\u1e47a tank, set its eyes on the lord and had shed its physical body at will! It slowly dawned upon lord Brahm\u0101 that the cycle of birth and death would indeed cease to slow, as stated earlier by lord N\u0101r\u0101ya\u1e47a. He exclaimed, \u0905\u0939\u094b \u0915\u094d\u0937\u0947\u0924\u094d\u0930\u0938\u094d\u092f \u092e\u093e\u0939\u093e\u0924\u094d\u092e\u094d\u092f\u0902 \u0915\u093e\u0915\u0938\u094d\u092f\u093e\u092a\u093f \u0935\u093f\u092e\u0941\u0915\u094d\u0924\u093f\u0926\u092e\u094d\u0964 \u0915\u093f\u0902 \u092a\u0941\u0928\u0903 \u0938\u0924\u0924\u0902 \u0936\u093e\u0928\u094d\u0924\u093f\u0935\u0948\u0930\u093e\u0917\u094d\u092f\u091c\u094d\u091e\u093e\u0928\u0938\u0902\u092f\u0941\u091c\u093e\u092e\u094d\u0965 aho k\u1e63etrasya m\u0101h\u0101tmya\u1e41 k\u0101kasy\u0101pi vimuktidam| ki\u1e41 puna\u1e25 satata\u1e41 \u015b\u0101ntivair\u0101gyaj\u00f1\u0101nasa\u1e41yuj\u0101m|| Oh! How great the k\u1e63etra is, to grant salvation even to a crow! What then could be said in the case of those endowed with tranquillity, detachment, and wisdom?! - Vai\u1e63\u1e47ava-kha\u1e47\u1e0da, Sk\u0101nda-pur\u0101\u1e47a As lord Brahm\u0101 stood there transfixed by the magnitude of the realisation, lord Yama, the lord of manes, arrived there distressed. His authority challenged, and his face lacklustre with gloom, Yama prostrated before the lord and extolled him earnestly, with his hands clasped in reverential salute. As Yama completed his eulogy, lord N\u0101r\u0101ya\u1e47a signalled to the graceful \u015ar\u012b, who stood by his side with a lute in her hands, to address Yama. Impelled by the enchanting play in the eyes of lord N\u0101r\u0101ya\u1e47a, which commanded her to speak, goddess \u015ar\u012b said to Yama, \u201cO\u2019 son of Sun, the object of your glorification can never be achieved. We will never abandon this place. Lord Brahm\u0101, who is an adept in the endless cycle of karm\u0101 and consequences, watched in mute admiration as a crow attained absolute identification with the Supreme in this place. This k\u1e63etra does not fall under karma-bh\u016bmi for which you are the lord. Those who are subject to karm\u0101 and its consequences are never born here. Those who are liberated even while alive and those who desire liberation upon death alone are born in this sacred k\u1e63etra.\u201d Hearing the universal mother speak thus, Yama said in response, \u201cO\u2019 compassionate one! I am ignorant of what you had just related. The same lord who engenders bondage in creation, grants liberation elsewhere (here). The will of the Supreme is absolute and can be circumvented under no circumstance. Please enlighten me on the greatness of this k\u1e63etra.\u201d Requested thus, goddess \u015ar\u012b related how this k\u1e63etra was protected by the will of the Supreme and how it was not subject to ruination even during the cataclysm. She added further that the m\u0101y\u0101 of creation is rendered futile there by the shield of the lord\u2019s discus. She then revealed that in the Satya-yuga, a king by name Indradyumna would be born. He would arrive at the Puru\u1e63ottama-k\u1e63etra and perform several austerities. She stated further, \u201cO\u2019 Brahm\u0101, a tree will be split into four. From those pieces, the celestial architect, Vi\u015bvakarm\u0101, will design the idols of the Supreme. You, O\u2019 Brahm\u0101, would be assigned with the responsibility of installing these idols at Puru\u1e63ottama-k\u1e63etra\u201d. Hearing the account of this tale from the lips of the goddess, both Brahm\u0101 and Yama were filled with delight. They returned to their respective abodes, their hearts consumed by the greatness of the Puru\u1e63ottma-k\u1e63etra.