Srimad Bhagavatham 1.1.4
नैमिषेऽनिमिषक्षेत्रे ऋषय: शौनकादय: ।
सत्रं स्वर्गाय लोकाय सहस्रसममासत ॥
(Note: This is in Unicode format. If the fonts do not show up properly, you need to have Unicode fonts installed and enable Unicode support to your browser)
naimishe animishakshetre rshaya: saunakAdaya: |
satram svargAya lOkAya sahasrasamamAsata ||
|अनिमिष क्षेत्रे||the sacred land of Lord Mahavishnu|
|शौनकादय: ऋषय:||the revered sage Saunaka and other Rishis|
|सत्रं आसत||performed a Satra Yaga|
|सहस्रसमं||over a period of thousand years|
|स्वर्गाय लोकाय||to attain higher worlds|
In Naimisharanya, the sacred land of Lord Mahavishnu, the revered sage Saunaka and other Rishis performed a Satra Yaga over a period of thousand years to attain higher worlds.
Naimisharanya is a place in Uttar Pradesh. It is a forest as the name ‘Aranya’ also implies. It is said that Lord Vishnu himself took the form of a forest and it is this Naimisharanya. This place is held with great reverence because it was here that the Puranas and epics were first narrated. Needless to say, it is filled with the sanctity of Lord Vishnu.
Once, great Rishis like Saunaka and others gathered here to perform a ‘Satra Yaga’ which is performed for a period of thousand years in order to attain the higher worlds. Here the word ‘Swarga’ is interpreted to mean ‘Vaikunta’, the abode of Lord Vishnu and not heaven which it directly means.
These Rishis, being great devotees of Lord Vishnu and who had given up all worldly pleasures for the sake of the Lord, would not perform a Yaga to merely attain Heaven.