The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes The Greatness of Barkareshvara which is chapter 39 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the thirty-ninth chapter of the Kaumarika-khanda of the Maheshvara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 39 - The Greatness of Barkareśvara

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Notes: Barkara is a hyper-Sanskritization of bakrā (‘a he-goat’). It was introduced probably after the Muslim invasions of Saurāṣṭra (C.E. 739 and after) and assimilated in Sanskrit duae to commercial and other contacts with Muslims in ancient ports like Nagarā.—The Liṅga called Barkareśvara is a natural boulder of rock.

Nārada said:

1-5. All the Pātāla worlds together come to a height of seventy thousand (Yojanas).[1] They are Atala, Vitala, Nitala, Rasātala, Talātala, Sutala and the seventh one Pātāla.

The soils there, O descendant of Kuru, are (respectively) black, white, red, yellow, (brown like) sugar, (grey like) rock and golden. These are rendered splendid by excellent mansions.

There are thousands of Dānavas, Daityas and Serpents there. Many things, more beautiful than those in the heavenly world, have been seen by me. The Serpents there have many jewels of various kinds which cause delight (to persons).

It is full of young maidens of Daityas and Dānavas. They are endowed with great beauty. Who will not find Pātāla highly pleasant even if he be a liberated soul?

6. There is neither heat nor cold there. There is neither rain nor the experience of any misery. There every kind of edible and foodstuff is found. Every time is the time of enjoyment of pleasures there.

7. In the seventh nether world, i.e. Pātāla, there is the Liṅga Śrī Hāṭakeśvara. It had been installed by Brahmā, O son of Pṛthā. It is a thousand Yojanas in height.

8. The mansion (or the shrine) of Hāṭaka Liṅga is ten thousand Yojanas in height. It is divinely studded with all gems and jewels. It is embellished with many wonderful features.

9. There the different groups of excellent and leading Serpents worship that Liṅga. Beneath it there is much water and beneath that there are the hells.[2]

10. All sinners are cast into them. Listen to them, O highly intelligent one. They are fifty-five crores in number. There are twenty-one crores of kings (to look after them),

11-14a. They (i.e. the hells) are as follows: Raurava, Śūkara, Rodha, Tāla, Viśasana, Mahājvāla, Taptakuṃbha, Lavaṇa, Vimohaka, Rudhirāndha, Vaitaraṇī, Kṛmiśa, Kṛmibhojana, Asipatravana, Kṛṣṇa, Lālābhakṣya the terrible, Pūyavaha, Pāpa, Vahnijvāla, Adhaḥśiras, Sandaṃśa, Kṛṣṇasūtra, Tamas, Avīci, Śvabhojana, Visūci and another Avīci.

14b-17. A false witness falls into Raurava; a person who restrains cows and Brāhmaṇas falls into Rodha. A liquor-addict is cast into Śūkara; a person who kills human beings on false pretexts falls into Tāla; a defiler of preceptor’s bed falls into Taptakuṃbha; a slayer of a devotee falls into Taptaloha.

One who insults preceptors and elders is thrown into Mahājvāla. A slayer (i.e. one who censures, opposes, corrupts etc.) of scriptural texts goes to Lavaṇa; a person who transgresses the limits of decency falls into Vimohaka.

One who hates Devas falls into Kṛmibhakṣya; he who practises vicious worship falls into Kṛmiśa. He who takes food without first offering it to Pitṛs and Devas goes to Lālābhakṣya.

18-20. One who harasses animals on false pretexts falls into Viśasana; one who illegally makes weapons falls into Adhomukha. One who sides with and supports evil men and things and one who takes food in isolation, falls into Pūyavāhaka.

One who keeps cats, cocks and hens, dogs and birds, one who sets fire to the houses of the deaf and the blind people as well as grasses and grains and other things in the fields and one who sustains himself by means of stagecraft and stellar calculations (astrology)—all these men go to Vaitaraṇī.

He who is intoxicated and arrogant on account of wealth and youth, he who destroys wealth, falls into the hell Kṛṣṇa.

21. One who cuts off trees without any purpose falls into Asipatravana. All those who maintain themselves by means of jugglery and cheating fall into Vahnijvāla.

22-24. Those who go after other men’s wives, those who swallow other men’s food fall into Sandaṃśa. Those who sleep by day, those who are guilty of omissions and commissions in observance of holy rites, and those who are proud of their (handsome) bodies—all these fall into Śvabhojana. Those who do not accept or honour Śiva and Hari go to the hell Avīcin [Avīci?].

On account of these and other sins as well as by resorting to many things not justified in the scriptural texts, thousands of people fall into extremely terrible hells.

25. Hence, if any intelligent man wishes liberation from these, both the Lords Hari and Hara should be worshipped by him according to the Vedic path.

26. Beneath the hells is stationed the fire named Kālāgni. Beneath that is Ananta (Śeṣa).

27. The entire universe is only like a Sarṣapa (a mustard seed) on the top of Ananta’s head. Thus, in view of the fact that his power is unfathomable he is glorified as Ananta.

28. The elephants of (i.e. supporting) the quarters are: Padma, Kumuda, Añjana and Vāmana. Beneath that is Aṇḍakaṭāha (‘shell of the Cosmic Egg’). There is Ekavīra(?) there too.

29-30. It is said that there is water there extending to four hundred and ninety thousand (Yojanas). Beneath it there are crores of Narakas (hells). Then there is the great fire extending to two crores (of Yojanas). Beneath that, it is said there is darkness extending to forty thousand (Yojanas).

31. (All these together extend to) forty-four crore eight million nine hundred and eighty thousand (Yojanas).

32. Beneath that is the Aṇḍakaṭāha (‘shell of the Cosmic Egg’). It is another one extending to a crore (of Yojanas).

The goddess Kapālīśā keeps a staff (of chastisement) in her hand.

33-34. She is the protectress there. She is surrounded by crores and crores of goddesses. At the end of the Kalpa, the burning fire produced by the breath of Saṅkarṣaṇa (i.e. Serpent Śeṣa) urges the Kālāgni and the universe is burned. It is in this manner that the nether worlds have been built, O descendant of Bharata.

35-39. Listen to the protectors in the semi-spheroidal lid in the middle layer. Vasudhāmā is stationed in the East and Śaṅkhapāla in the South. Takṣakeśa is stationed in the West and Ketumān in the North.

(The goddesses are) Harasiddhi, Suparṇākṣī, Bhāskarā and Yoganandinī. The (supreme) goddess accompanied by crores and crores of goddesses protects this.

Forever do I bow down to Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara by whom this extremely mysterious Cosmic Egg has been established.

Viṣṇu’s world and Rudra’s world are glorified as exterior to this. Only Brahmā is competent to describe it and not people like us. It is here that the liberated people performing holy rites of Hari and Hara always go.

40. This Cosmic Egg is surrounded on all sides by the Kaṭāha (shell) in the same manner as the fruit of the wood-apple tree is surrounded by rind.

41. It is surrounded by (a layer of) water having ten times its volume.[3] That (layer of water) is surrounded by (the layer of) fire. The (layer of) fire is surrounded by Vāyu. (The layer of) Vāyu is surrounded by Ether and Ether by the Cosmic Ego.

42-44. Ahaṃkāra (Cosmic Ego)is enveloped by (the principle called) Mahat and Mahat is surrounded by Prakṛti (Primordial Matter). Each of these six layers is ten times (bigger than) the previous one. The seventh layer of Prakṛti is said to be infinite-fold (than the previous one), O Son of Pṛthā.

There are thousands and thousands, ten thousands, nay, hundreds of crores and crores of Cosmic Eggs like this. All of them are of this type as recounted herein.

45-46a. I bow down to that Sadāśiva whose great magnificence is such, O son of Pṛthā. He who does not resort to and worship Śiva, the redeemer from great delusion, is really dull-witted, of sinful soul. Who is more insensible and irrational than he?

46b. Henceforth I shall narrate the measurements of Time. Understand it. [See Appendix on Measurements of Time]

47-50. Fifteen Nimeṣas makes one Kāṣṭhā. Thirty Kāṣṭhās make one Kalā. Thirty Kalās make one Muhūrta. Thirty Muhūrtas make one night and day.

In one day (12 hours) there are five periods each of three Muhūrtas. Listen to them. They are: Prātaḥ (morning), Saṅgava (forenoon), Madhyāhna (midday), Aparāhṇa (afternoon), Sāyāhna (evening) the fifth. Thus all together there are fifteen Muhūrtas. Fifteen Ahorātras (days of 24 hours) make what is called a Pakṣa (fortnight).

Two Pakṣas make one month. Two solar months make one Ṛtu (seasons). Three Ṛtus make one Ayana (transit of the Sun). Two Ayanas make what is called Varṣa (year).

51-53. They say that Māsas (months) are of four different types[4] and Vatsaras (years) of five different types. The first one is Saṃvatsara. The second one is Parivatsara; the third one is Idvatsara and the fourth one Anuvatsara. The fifth one is Yuga by name. This is the decision in reckoning.

One human month is one day and one night for Pitṛs. The dark half is said to be the day and the bright half the night (of Pitṛs).

54. The human year is said to be one day of Devas. The Northern transit is the day and the Southern transit is the night (of Devas)..

55-59. The year of the Devas is considered to be a day of the Seven Sages (Ursa Major). A year of the Seven Sages is said to be one day of Dhruva.

One million seven hundred and twenty-eight thousand human years make the Kṛta Yuga. One million two hundred and ninety-six thousand years make the Tretā Yuga. Eight hundred and sixty-four thousand years make the Dvāpara Yuga. Kali Yuga is spoken of as consisting of four hundred and thirty-two thousand years. These four Yugas together constitute one Yuga of Devas.

Seventy-one such Yugas and a little more constitute the life span of one Manu. The life spans of fourteen Manus constitute one day of Brahmā.

60-63. The same period is equivalent to a thousand Yugas. Listen, it is called Kalpa.

The thirty days in a month of Brahmā are named as follows: Bhavodbhava, Tapobhavya, Ṛtu, Vahni, Varāhaka, Sāvitra, Āsika, Gāndhāra, Kuśika, Ṛṣabha, Khaḍga, Gāndhārīya, Madhyama, Vairāja, Niṣāda, Meghavāhana, Pañcama, Citraka, Jñāna, Ākūti, Mīna, Daṃśa, Bṛṃhaka, Śveta, Lohita, Rakta, Pītavāsas, Śiva, Prabhu and Sarvarūpa. The span of his life is a hundred years.

64. It is divided into two halves, the earlier half and the later half. This is spoken of as Brahmamāna (‘Reckoning according to Brahmā’). I am not competent to describe the reckoning according to Viṣṇu and Śaṅkara.

65-66. Where am I who am endowed with deficient intellect, O son of Pṛthā? Where are the two others Hari and Tryaṃbaka? (i.e. there is a lot of difference between I and the two great gods.)

Recknoning (of Time) in Pātāla is done by the units of measurement of Devas. This has been indicated to you. Listen intelligently to the Prākṛta (‘that of Prakṛti’) again.

Thus is the arrangement of Brahmā.

Śrīnārada said:

67. There was one named Ṛṣabha[5] whose name, O son of Pṛthā, will be associated with many heretic concepts and views in Kali Yuga. They will be contributory to the delusion of all the worlds.

68. Bharata was his son. Śataśṛṅga was his (i.e. Bharata’s) son. Eight sons and a daughter were born to him.

69-70. They were Indradvīpa, Kaseru, Tāmradvīpa, Gabhastimān, Nāga, Saumya, Gandharva and Varuṇa. The girl’s name was Kumārikā. The face of the daughter, O son of Pṛthā, was of the shape of a goat.[6] Listen to the cause thereof which is full of great mystery.

71-72. Very near the river Mahī and the Ocean, in the vicinity of Stambhatīrtha, in a place that shone with rows of trees and was scattered over with abundance (growth) of hedges and creepers, in a place very difficult to traverse, once a she-goat happened to come. It had strayed there from (its) flock.

73. Wandering here and there amongst the network of hedges, it got entangled and could not come out. The splendid goat became excessively afflicted with hunger and thirst.

74-75. Having got stuck up amongst the hedges and bushes it died therein. After some time that portion of its body beneath the head broke loose and fell into Mahīsāgara Saṅgama on a Saturday which happened to be a New-Moon day as well. It fell into that sacred spot which possessed the powers of all other holy spots and which was conducive to liberation from all sins.

76. The entire head remained as before. Since it had got entangled in the network of bushes and hedges, it did not fall into the waters.

77-78. As the remaining part of the body (the headless trunk) of the goat had fallen in the Mahī-Sāgara Saṅgama, O noble scion of the family of Kuru, that goat was reborn as the daughter of Śataśṛṅga, the king of Siṃhala, thanks to the power of that holy spot. Her face become exactly like that of a goat.

79-81. In the remaining part of her body, the splendid girl shone like a celestial damsel with auspicious features. That king had no issue before this. The daughter was born as one comparable to a hundred sons. She increased the joy and delight of her kinsmen. But on seeing her face of the shape of a goat, all the officers of the king became surprised very much. The king and the members of the inner apartments became excessively sad and dejected.

82. On seeing such a form, all the ministers and administrative officers too were sorry and miserable. All the amazed citizens expressed their surprise saying, “Oh! what is this?”

83. Then she attained the age of youth and could be compared to the daughters of Devas themselves. On seeing her own face in the mirror, the previous birth was recollected by her.

84-88. The recollection was due to the power of the Tīrtha. She accordingly informed her parents, “You need not be dejected and sad on my account, O dear father. O mother, certainly you must not be grief-stricken. This is the fruit of the deeds of the previous birth.” Then that princess recounted to them the details of her previous life. She submitted to her parents her desire to go to that place where the body of her previous life had fallen.

“I shall, O dear father, go to Mahīsāgara-Saṅgama. O king, see to this that I reach that place.” Then it was promised by Śataśṛṅga, her father. By means of boats full of jewels, the king made arrangements for her transport.

89. She reached Staṃbha Tīrtha along with the boats and riches. She gave as religious gifts much of the wealth. She gifted away everything.

90. She searched among the network of hedges and creepers. Her head was seen there with the bare skin and bones alone remaining. She brought it with great efforts.

91-92. She burned it near the Saṅgama (the meeting place of the river and the ocean). The bones were cast into the confluence (Saṅgama). Thereupon, by the power of the holy spot, her face became as lustrous as the moon. Neither the girls of Devas, nor the maidens of Nāgas (Serpents), nor human beings had such a splendid face as she had.

93. All the Suras, Asuras and human beings were fascinated by her beauty. They wooed and entreated her in various ways, but she did not desire any bridegroom.

94-95. A strenuous penance very difficult to perform was joyously begun by her. When a year was complete, Maheśvara, the Lord of Devas, appeared before her and said, “I am the bestower of boons.” Thereupon the virgin adored him and spoke these words:

96. “If you are gratified, O Lord of Devas, if a boon is to be granted to me, O Śaṅkara, may your presence be permanent here.”

97-100. “Let it be so.” When this (boon) was uttered by Śarva, the virgin was delighted. Śiva named Barkareśa was installed by her then, O most excellent one among the Kurus, at the place where the head of the goat had been burned.

On hearing this extremely wonderful story from me a leading serpent named Svastika came from Talātala to see that virgin.

Earth was dug up by his head as he was proceeding ahead. At a place there sprang up to the north-east of Barkareśa, the well named Svastika. It was filled up by the (waters of) Gaṅgā, O son of Pṛthā. It yields the benefit of all the holy spots.

101-105. On seeing the Liṅga installed, Śiva was delighted and granted the boons. “Those persons whose dead bodies are cast into the ocean, will have everlasting benefit. After staying in heaven for a long time, when they come back (to the earth), they will become valorous kings fully endowed with everything.

If a man devoutly worships Barkareśa, after taking his bath in the waters of the ocean and Mahī, he will attain whatever he desires.

If an extremely faithful man takes his bath at the well (called Svastika) on the fourteenth day in the dark half of the month of Kārttika, offers water libations to his ancestors and worships Barkareśa, he is liberated from all sins.”

106. After obtaining all these boons she went back to Siṃhala and reported what happened to her, to Śataśṛṅga, her father.

107. On hearing it, the king and all the people were surprised, O Phālguna. They praised the holy river Mahī and came there with great reverence.

108. They took their bath, offered charitable gifts of various kinds and were extremely delighted by the greatness of the holy spot. Then they went back to Siṃhala.

109. As his daughter Kumārī did not wish a bridegroom, wealth or anything else, the king gave her something with pleasure. Listen to what he gave.

110. He divided this Bhārata sub-continent into nine regions. Eight of them he gave to his (eight) sons and the ninth one to Kumārī.[7]

111. I shall describe the different regions rendered splendid by the mountains. Listen from me to the mountains and the subcontinents named after the sons.

112. Mahendra, Malaya, Sahya, Śuktimān, Ṛkṣaparvata, Vindhya and Pāriyātra—these seven are the chief mountains.[8]

113. Indradvīpa[9] is said to be beyond Mahendra. The sub-continent of Kumārikā is said to be located on the lower slopes of Pāriyātra.

114. Each of these regions extends to a thousand (Yojanas). Listen to the succinct description of the origin of the rivers, O Phālguna.

115. The rivers beginning with Vedasmṛti[10] are considered to have originated from Pāriyātra. The rivers beginning with Narmadā and Sarasā have come out of Vindhya.

116. Śatadru, Candrabhāgā and others have originated from Ṛkṣaparavata.[11] Rivers beginning with Ṛṣikulyā and Kumārī[12] are born of Śuktimān.

117. The rivers Tāpī, Payoṣṇī, Nirvindhyā, Kāverī, river Mahī, Kṛṣṇā, Veṇī and Bhīmarathī are said to have originated from Sahya[13] mountain.

118. Kṛtamālā,[14] Tāmraparṇī and other rivers originated from Malaya mountain. The rivers beginning with Trisāmā and Ṛṣyakulyā[15] are said as originated from Mahendra.

119. After dividing the kingdom thus among his sons and the daughter Kumārī, the king Śataśṛṅga went to the mountain in the north (i.e. Gandhamādana or Badarikāśrama) and performed penance.

120-123. After performing a severe penance there on the excellent mountain Śataśṛṅga, that excellent king Śataśṛṅga went to the world of Brahmā. It was here, O son of Kuntī, that you were born of Pāṇḍu along with your brothers.

The magnificent virgin Kumārī of exalted fortune stayed at Stambhatīrtha. With the wealth coming from her sub-continent, she performed the rites of giving in charity and austere penance.

After some time, nine sons of great vigour, strength and zeal were born to each of those eight brothers. They gathered together, approached Kumārī and spoke (thus):

124. “O splendid lady, you are our family goddess. Be pleased with us. Divide these eight sub-continents into seventy-two regions yourself and give them to. us so that there will be no difference (discord) amongst us.”

125. On being asked thus, she who was conversant with all righteous acts and pious duties and who was on a par with Brahmā in wisdom and knowledge, divided the nine continents into seventy-two regions.

126. I shall truthfully tell you, O Phālguna, their names, the villages, towns, shores and banks and their number.[16]

127. There were four crores of villages in the realm of Nīvṛda Maṇḍala.[17] Bālāka[18] is said to be a country with two and half crores of villages.

128. They know that there are twelve million five hundred thousand villages in Purasāhaṇaka.[19] It is said that there are four hundred thousand villages in Andhala.[20]

129. It is said that there are one hundred thousand villages in Nepāla. Three million six hundred thousand villages have been declared as included in Kānyakubja.[21]

130. It is said that there are seven million two hundred thousand villages in Gājaṇaka[22] (Gazni). There are one million eight hundred thousand villages in Gauḍa[23] Deśa.

131. Nine hundred thousand villages are well-known in Kāmarūpa.[24] There are nine hundred thousand villages in Ḍāhala[25] named after the Vedas (Cedīs?).

132. Nine hundred thousand villages are well-known in Kāntipūra.[26] Similarly nine hundred thousand villages are well-known in Mācipūra.[27]

133. In the Oḍḍiyāṇa country[28] nine hundred thousand (villages) have been declared. Similarly nine hundred thousand (villages) have been declared in Jālandhara[29] land.

134. Nine hundred thousand (villages) have been mentioned in Lohapūra[30] land. Seven hundred thousand villages have been declared in Pāṃbīpura.[31]

135. Seven hundred thousand villages are said to exist in Raṭarāja.[33] There are five hundred thousand villages in Hariāla(?)[33]

136. Three hundred and fifty thousand (villages) have been mentioned in the realm of Draḍa.[34] Similarly three hundred and fifty thousand have been mentioned in Vambhaṇavāhaka.[35]

137. There are twenty-one thousand villages in Nīlapūraka.[36] Similarly, O son of Pṛthā, in the land of Amala[37] there are a hundred thousand villages.

138. In the land named Narendu,[38] there are one hundred and twenty-five thousand (villages). One hundred and twenty-five thousand (villages) have been mentioned in the Atilāṅgala[39] land also.

139. In Mālava there are one hundred eighteen thousand one hundred and eighty (118,180) (villages). Similarly in the land of Sayaṃbhara,[40] one hundred twenty-five thousand (villages) have been mentioned.

140. In Mevāḍa[41] one hundred twenty-five thousand (villages) have been mentioned. Vāguri[42] is said as having eighty thousand (villages).

141. Gurjarātra[43] is said to have seventy thousand villages. Pāṇḍu’s[44] realm too has seventy thousand (villages).

142. In the land called Jahāhuti[45] (Jejahuti or Jejābhukti) there are forty-two thousand (villages). Kāśmīra Maṇḍala is said to have sixty-eight thousand (villages).

143. They know that there are thirty-six thousand villages in Koṅkana. Laghukoṅkana (Northern Koṅkana?) has one thousand four hundred forty villages.

144-145. Twenty thousand villages have been declared in Sindhu. Kacchamaṇḍala[46] has two thousand eight hundred twenty (villages) (2800+20). It is said that in Saurāṣṭra, there are fifty-five thousand villages.

146. Lāḍa[47] land is said to have twenty-one thousand (villages). Atisindhu, it is said, has ten thousand villages. Similarly, O son of Pṛthā, Aśvamukha[48] has ten thousand (villages).

147-148. Ekapāda[49] is known as having ten thousand (villages). Similarly the land Sūryamukha[50] is said as having ten thousand (villages). Similarly the land Ekabāhu[51] is said to have ten thousand (villages).

149-150. The land Sañjāyu[52] has ten thousand (villages). Similarly the land named Śiva[53] is known as having tea thousand (villages). Kālahayañjaya[54] is well-known as having ten thousand (villages). Liṅgodbhava[55] Deśa has ten thousand (villages). Bhadra[56] and Devabhadra are known to have twenty thousand (villages) each.

151. Ciṭa and Virāṭaka[57] are known to have thirty-six thousand (villages) (each). Yamakoṭi[58] is declared as having thirty-six thousand (villages).

152-153. Rāmaka[59] land is said to have eighteen crores (of villages). The three lands of Tomara,[60] Karṇāṭa and Yugala (Piṅgala)[61] have one hundred twenty-five thousand villages each. The land Strīrājya[62] is known as having five hundred thousand villages.

154. The realm of Pulastya[63] is said to have one million (villages). The lands of Kāṃboja[64] and Kosala have each a million (villages).

155. Bālhika[65] is known as having four hundred thousand villages. Laṅkā[66] Deśa is known as having thirty-six thousand villages.

156-Kuru Deśa[67] is known as having sixty-four thousand (villages). Jaya, the land of Kirātas,[68] is said to have one hundred fifty thousand (villages).

157. They say that there are five hundred thousand villages in Vidarbha. It is proclaimed that Vardhamāna has[69] fourteen thousand (villages).

158. It is said that the island of Siṃhala[70] has ten thousand (villages). The land Pāṇḍudeśaka[71] has thirty-six thousand villages.

159. Bhayānaka[72] is said to have a hundred thousand villages. The land Magadha[73] is said to have sixty-six thousand (villages).

160. The land Pāṅgudeśaka[74] has sixty thousand villages. It is said that Varenduka[75] has thirty thousand villages.

161. Mūlasthāna[76] is declared as having twenty-five thousand villages. Yavana[77] is known as having forty thousand villages.

162. Pakṣabāhu[78] is mentioned as having four thousand villages. These are the seventy-two[79] lands (regions or territories). The numbers of villages have already been recounted.

163. Thus in Bharatakhaṇḍa, ninety-six crore seven million two hundred thousand Pattanas (towns) have been proclaimed.

164. O descendant of Bharata, there are thirty-six thousand seashores. Thus she divided the nine sub-continents and gave them to her nephews.

165-166. (Partially defective text) The sister thought thus, ‘Usually brothers become furious against sisters (if they take away anything from the family assets).’

After thinking thus, the splendid lady gave her own share also even when they were not willing to take that. After doing it and having got their consent, she came to Staṃbhatīrtha.

167-170a. At that time, in all those lands, the most excellent of all the means for the accomplishment of the fourfold aim of life was said to be Kumārīśvara shrine.[80] There, this Kumārikā knew the secret shrine (Guptakṣetra). She stayed in the Guptakṣetra worshipping Kumāreśa and performed great holy rites. She regularly bathed in the six deep pools at the Saṅgama.

After lapse of some time, when the mansion erected by Skanda got ruined and dilapidated, she made a new golden mansion there.

170b-173. Then the Great Lord was delighted. He was much gratified by her devotion. He rose up from Kumāraliṅga, appeared before her and said to her: “O gentle lady, I have been gratified by your devotion and wisdom. This mansion which had fallen in ruins, has been renovated. Hence I have become delighted. O Kumārikā, I will become well-known after your name. The maker as well as the re-builder (of a shrine) are said as having equal benefits. Therefore, people will call me Kumāreśa and Kumārīśa.

174. The boons granted at Barkareśa to you have been granted permanently. O lady of excellent complexion, your time has come near.

175- A woman without a husband can have neither heaven nor liberation as in the case of Vṛddhakanyā on the splendid banks of Sarasvatī.

176. Hence, O gentle lady of excellent complexion, choose as your husband a person who has achieved Siddhi in this holy spot and who is known as Mahākāla.”

177. Then at the instance of Rudra, she chose him as her husband. Accompanied by Mahākāla, she went to Rudraloka.

178-179. There the delighted Pārvatī, embraced her and said: “Since, O splendid lady, the entire earth was drawn by you as if in a picture, you will be known by the name Citralekhā. Hence be my friend.” Thereupon, she became her splendid friend Citralekhā.[81]

180. It was by her that Aniruddha was suggested as the excellent husband to Uṣā. She was the most excellent among Yoginīs. She was the beloved wife of Mahākāla.

181. She had formerly performed a penance when, on completion of every hundred years, she just drank a drop of rain water. Hence in the firmament she is called Apsarā.

182. That Kumārī of this type, O Phālguna, installed this Liṅga named Barkareśvara.[82] It gives happiness and welfare.

183. Hence, O descendant of Bharata, the cremation (of dead bodies) here as well as the casting of the bones (into the ocean) are said to be superior to those at Prayāga, as the words of Maheśa have indicated.

Kāmarūpa: “A country extended from Kāleśvara to Śvetagiri and from Tripurā to Nīlaparvata” (Śakti-Saṅgama Tantra III.7.10). Modern Guvahati region in Assam.

Footnotes and references:


VV 1-9 describe the nether world as a happy place like Svarga.


VV 10-25 describe the hells for specific categories of sinners—a sort of deterrent to raise public morals.


Cf. VāP 4.87, KP 1.4.46. Purāṇas believe that the ‘Egg of the Universe’ is externally enveloped by sheaths of Bhūtas (elements) and the principles up to Prakṛti.


The four different types of Māsas (months) are: (1) Saura (Solar); (2) Saumya (Lunar); (3) Nākṣatra (Stellar); (4) Sāvana (Sacrificial).—VāP 1.50.188


Ṛṣabha is the first Tīrthaṅkara of Jainas. But as contrasted with BhP (V.4, 5, 6), the author of this Khaṇḍa regards him a heretic.


Neither Jaina tradition nor other Brāhmaṇical Purāṇas are aware of a goat-headed descendant of Bharata. It is however true that shepherds from Kaccha, Saurashtra, and Gujarat migrate to this area annually and such fraying and death of a goat as describe here is not unusual.


VV 110-119 give an idea of the ancient map of India.


Out of these Śuktimān is close to Mahendra, the source of Ṛṣikulyā or Ṛṣikā of KP. But De regards it as a portion of Vindhya joining Pāriyātra and Ṛkṣa mountains (p. 196). Ṛkṣaparvata represents the modern Vindhyas from the source of Sonar up to the catchment area of the river Son (AGP 112). The Vindhya of the Purāṇas includes Satpura range (south of Narmadā) and Mahadeo Hills and Hazaribagh Range (AGP 112). Pāriyātra or Pāripātra corresponds to Aravallis and Western Vindhya. The rest are known by the same names today.


To the south of Mahendra according to this Purāṇa and Abul Fazī (Ain-i-Akbari III.31). Majumdar, Sircar identify it with Burma but that is not applicable here.


Banas ‘by others’ means probably Vedavatī, Vṛtaghni (Vrataghni) and others as given in this (identical) verse in VāP, BdP KP. and MkP.


This shows that the author of Kaumārikākhaṇḍa is not aware that Candrabhāgā (Chenab) and Śatadru (Sutlej) rise in the Himalayas and not in Ṛkṣa-parvata.


Recorded as Sukumārī in VāP, MtP and BdP. It is now called Suktel. It joins Mahānadī at Sonpur (Orissa).


Out of these only Kāverī, Kṛṣṇā, Veṇī and Bhīmarathī rise in the Sahya Mountain. Payoṣṇī and Nirvindhyā (Newuj) rise in Vindhya as noted by VāP, MtP etc. The author of KK appears to be ill-informed.


Now called Vaigai. Kṛtamālā’s other name Katamālā shows the Kottai Malai peak as its source.


The closeness of Mahendra and Śuktimān mountains misleads the Purāṇa-writers to assign Ṛṣikulyā to both the mountains.


VV127-164 give the seventy-two sub-divisions of India at the time of KK though the credit of division among all the brothers is given to Princess Kumārī. Probably a later interpolation.


Nīvṛda or Nirvṛta—Noth-West of Vaṅga (E. Bengal) [De 142; Sircar, Studies in the Geography of Ancient and Medieaval India (SGMI 259)]. Nīvṛta as the name of a District is found in Junagarh Rock-Inscription of Rudradaman I. Awasthi’s suggestion to locate this District in the valley of the river Nīvṛti (mentioned in SkPI Aruṇācala Māhātmya 18.21) is worth considering. Maṇḍala means a district.


Bālāka—According to Jāyasī’s Padamāvata 26.4 the country was famous for horses like Tukhāra (Upper Oxus Valley). Awasthi’s identification of Bālāka and Baluchistan is a bit far-fetched. Its identification with Balkha is out of the question as it is separately mentioned in this chapter.


Purasāhaṇaka—Probably Sāhaṇapura near Najibābād in Bijnor District, U.P. If the V. l. Khurasāhaṇaka is accepted, it is evidently Khurāsāna (Awasthi pp. 30-31).




Kānyakubja=Kanauj (U.P.)


Gājaṇaka is identified with Gazni. Jāyasī in Padamāvata 35.3, 42.10 mentions it as Gājanā. V.S. Agrawal holds that Gājaṇā is the correct form for Gazni.


Gauḍa is generally taken as West Bengal. But here its association with Gājaṇaka (Gazni) shows that it is probably Gauḍa mentioned in Rāhan inscription, as being ruled by Rāṇā Hammīra (IA XVIII, p. 14).

Mediaeval Hindi poets mention a principality called Gauḍa in N.W. India along with Kāṃboja (Rājavilāsa 1.122).

We may accept Awasthi’s suggestion of identifying the Gauḍa in our text with the Gauḍa (Ghor) in Afghanistan near Gazni.


Kāmarūpa: “A country extended from Kāleśvara to Śvetagiri and from Tripurā to Nīlaparvata” Śakti-Saṅgama Tantra III.7 10). Modern Guvahati region in Assam.


Ḍāhala—Ḍabhāla of inscriptions, modern Baghelkhanḍa.


Kāntipūra—Probably the same as Kānti in Mbh, Bhīṣma 9.40, the region round Kantit in Mirzapur District, U.P.


Mācipūra (Mā-Ti-Pu-Lo of Yuan chwang)—Madawar of Mundore, eight miles north of Bijnor (De 128).


Oḍḍiyāṇa—The Swat Valley (Aw. 35).


Jālandhara—Modern Jullunder, a District town in Panjab. The name is derived from its demon-founder. In ancient times it was also known as Trigarta and is a Mahāpīṭha.


Lohapūra—Lahore (now in Pakistan) (SGAMI 260).




Raṭarāja—Raṭṭarājya (Maharashtra).


Hariāla—Hariyana (SGAMI 260).


Draḍa—The land of Daradas near Kashmir (Awasthi, p. 37).


Vaṃbhaṇa Vāhaka—Vaṃbhaṇa is a Pkt form of Brāhmaṇa. The place is the same as Brāhmaṇavāha in Kāvyamīmāṃsā. It is the country of Brāhmaṇas—Brāhmaṇakanāmā janapadaḥ in Patañjali’s Mahābhāṣya and Brachmanoi of the Greeks, in the middle Sindh. Identified with Brāhmaṇābād in Sindh.


Nīlapūraka—Identification doubtful.—(1) Land where the Nīlā joins the Sindhu—probably the valley of Kishenganga.—(2) Nellore in Tamilnad.


Amala—Awasthi places it on the Western Ghats (p. 38).


Narendu—Unidentified. Sircar’s identification with Varendu (SGAMI 260) is unacceptable as we have a separate deśa called Varenḍuka in v 160.


Atilāṅgala—Awasthi identifies it with Northen Circars (p. 39). Sircar prefers to read ‘Jāṅgala’ for ‘Lāṅgala’ but ‘Jāṅgala’ is separately mentioned in v 138.


Sayaṃbhara is a Pkt formation of Śākaṃbhara and it corresponds to the country around Sāṃbhār in Rajasthan.


Mevāḍa is a Pkt formation of Skt Medapāṭa.


Vāguri—known in historical times as Bāgari, a small State near Mewar. It roughly corresponds to Dungarpur region of Rajasthan.


As Lāṭa is separately mentioned, Gurjarātra here corresponds to Northern Gujarat and Southern Marwar.


Pāṇḍudeśa according to Śakti Saṅgama Tantra 26, is to the west of Delhi, to the south of Kamboja, adjoining areas of Western Punjab. Ptolemy places the country Pandouoi (Pāṇḍava) about Bidaspes (Vitastā)—Jhelum—and includes Sāṅgala (Sialkot). Yoga Vāsiṣṭha (III. 104.2) equates this Uttara Pāṇḍava with Mathura.


Jahāhuti is Jejākabhukti, and represents the Khajuraho area of Bundelkhand.


At the time of Yuan Chwang, Sindhu Deśa was divided into four parts, of which Kaccha (modern Cutch) was one. The upper Sindha was called Atisindhu (as in v 146 below).


Lāḍa is a PJct formation of Skt Lāṭa and consisted of the Nausari-Bharoch region of Gujarat (SGAMI 260).


Aśvamukha corresponds to Pratapgarh and Rae Bareli districts of U.P. (Smith and Mirashi—Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum IV.385).


Ekapāda, the Ocypodes of Megasthenes. Bṛhatsaṃhitā places these swift-footed people in the East. But Mbh, Sabhā 30.69 associates these people with Banavāsī (Northern Canara, Kamatak) and Kerala. Hence, the region must be to the south of Vindhya.


According to Sircar, Sūryamukha or Śūrpanakha is a scribal error for Sūrpāraka or Sopara in Thane District of Maharashtra.




Sañjāyu—Sañjayantī in Mbh, Sabhā 70 is modern Sanjān in Thane District of Maharashtra.


Śiva deśa—Śivas are a tribal people in RV. Their country Siboi corresponds to modem District of Jhang in Pakistan.


Kālahayañjaya—Kālahaya (ja) is probably modern Kahala or Kahal, some 28 miles from Gorakhpur on the Gorakhpur-Azamgarh road (Awasthi 46).


SkP, Nāgarakhaṇḍa states that Śiva appeared in the Liṅga form at Ānarta. Hence, probably Ānarta (Awasthi 46).


Bhadra and Devabhadra can be identified if Bha is regarded as a scribal error for Ma as both are quite similar in Devanagari script. Their identity is dubious.


Out of the pair, Ciṭa is difficult to locate. Virāṭaka or Virāṭa, the capital of Matsyadeśa, modern Jaipur-Alwar-Bharatpur region of Rajasthan.


Yamakoṭi is identified by Dr. Motichandra with Aimāks of Central Afghanistan. Awasthi doubts this (p. 47).


Rāmaka—Mbh locates it in South India (Sabhā 31.68) but our text gives no clue to its location.


Tomaradeśa is the land governed by. Tomaras, i.e. the Delhi region. This indicates the time of this list (presumably a later interpolation).


Yugala (Puṅgala) is Pūgala—part of Jaisalmer ruled by Bhaṭṭis. ‘Puṅgala’ is mentioned in folklore of Hariyana.


Strīrājya—mentioned in different Purāṇas. It appears to be dominated by women—Probably the valley of Nepal. Nepalese (Newars) believe that their country belongs to Kumārī—a living form of Durgā—a girl of the priest community with certain auspicious sign, who has not reached the age of menstruation. The King receives the mandate to rule from her. The Kumārī is replaced by another before she approaches her first menstruation (G.S. Singh’s The Newars).


Pulastya Deśa—Unidentified.


Kāṃboja is variously identified with a region near Kandhar (Awasthi), Pamir region, North of Dardistan (V.S. Agrawal), Rajaurì in the Poonch and Jammu region (H.C. Ray Chaudhary), Kafiristan (AGP 143)


Bālhika—Modern Balkha region.


Laṅkādeśa—different from Ceylon or Siṃhala dvīpa. R.B. Hiralal, H.D. Sankalia locate it in Central India or Western India or upper part of the Deccan. It is still a moot point.


Kuru is a well-known country in Mbh and Purāṇas with its capital at Hastināpura. Its three constituents were Kuru-Jāṅgala, Kuru and Kurukṣetra.


Kirāta deśa, Tippārā, included Sylhet and some part of Assam (De 100).


Vardhamāna—Modern Burdwan but variously located as between Allahabad and Vārāṇasī, north of Vindhya, near Dacca, Malwa, Kathiawad (De25).


Siṃhala—As per our text, Siṃhala is different from Laṅkā which is mentioned as a different region in v 155. This Purāṇa regards Siṃhala (Ceylon) as an integral part of Kumārīkhaṇḍa (India) and geographically it is correct. That Śataśṛṅga, father of Kumārī, the King of Ceylon sends Kumārī to Staṃbha-Tīrtha (Cambay) to stay permanently shows amicable Indo-Ceylonese relations in those days.


Pāṇḍudeśaka or Pāṇḍya corresponds to Madurai and Tinnevelly districts of Tamil Nadu. Madura is called Southern Mathura.


Bhayānaka—Prakrit formation of Skt Bhadānaka. It was probably a part of Matsyadeśa (IHQ 26.3 p. 226).


The ancient Magadha comprised modern Patna, Gaya, and Shahabad districts of Bihar.




Varendu is Varendra—The Malda-Rajashahi-Bogra region. Narendu and Varendu are repetitions (in v 138).


Mūlasthāna—Multan. Formerly famous for the Sun-temple.


Yavana Deśa—Probably the Arab Kingdom in Sindha as Rājaśekhara mentions it in the western part along with the country of Brāhmaṇavāha (Brahmanabad in Sindha). See v 136 above.




Actually the list countains 75 countries, not 72 as stated in the text. The traditional number of villages assigned to some of these countries have epigraphic support (Sircar: SGAMI ch. V)


This is an important temple in the temple complex around Chowk at Cambay. The deity said to be installed by Kumāra Skanda is a marble Liṅga with its Brahmasūtra clearly visible. The modem temple is five feet below the present land surface. When Kumārikā went to stay there, it was in dilapidated condition and she reconstructed it (vv 163-173). This shows the antiquity of the shrine. The figure of a Darpaṇakanyā thereon and a portion of door lamb outside testify to its antiquity. The present temple seems to be a second reconstruction in the 17th century as noted by R.N. Mehta (ENP 172).


VV 176-181—This new information is grafted on Citrarekhā of BhP X. 62.14-23. But in BhP Citralekhā was Kumbhāṇḍa’s daughter.


This Liṅga is a natural boulder. Barkara is obviously a hyper-Sanskritization of ‘Bakrā’ (a he-goat).

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