The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 1,763,776 words

This page describes Establishment of Bhattaditya which is chapter 43 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 forty-third chapter of the Kaumarika-khanda of the Maheshvara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 43 - Establishment of Bhaṭṭāditya

Śrī Nārada said:

1. Then, O son of Pṛthā, once again I desired to bless the people and so wished to bring here the (directly) visible Lord Mārtaṇḍa[1] (the Sun-god).

2. Since the Sun-god is a raft unto all living beings (for crossing the Saṃsāra), he is considered, O son of Kuntī, the redeemer of all both here and hereafter.

3. Those who remember the Sun-god devoutly, those men who glorify him and those who perpetually worship him, are undoubtedly blessed and have their objectives achieved.

4. Those who are engrossed in the devotion to the Sun-god, those whose minds always dwell on him, those who always remember the Sun, do not become miserable at all.

5. The benefit of the due worship of the Sun is the acquisition of beautiful houses, women decorated with different kinds of ornaments, and wealth never seen hitherto (by the devotee).

6. Rare is the devotion to the Sun-god; rare is his worship; charitable gifts for him (?) are few; therefore Homa unto him is also rare.

7. If the two syllables Ra-vi together with obeisance etc. remain at the tip of the tongue (of a person) his life is fruitful.

8. After thinking thus in my heart about the greatness of the Sun-god, O son of Pṛthā, I devoutly propitiated the Sun-god for full hundred years.

9-12. I prayed to him by means of extremely pure Japas of Chandas (Vedic Texts); subsisted on air only (during that period).

Thereupon the Lord Sun assumed a second form through his Yogic power. He (came down) from the sky. It was very difficult to look' at him on account of his refulgence. Thus he appeared directly (before me).

With palms joined in reverence I bowed down to Lord Ravi. I propitiated the Lord through different kinds of Sāman Mantras. The delighted Lord, the bestower of boons, said to me, “O Celestial Sage, I have been propitiated by you for a long time by means of your penance.”

13-16. On being told thus, I spoke these words to the Lord of the world: “If your Lordship are pleased with me, if a boon has to be granted to me, it behoves you to stay here permanently,

O Bhānu, along with the Kalā (digit) of yours that functions in Kāmarūpa (modern Assam) and which had been formerly propitiated by king Rājavardhana[2] and the people (his subjects).”

Thereupon it was said by the delighted Lord, O descendant of Bharata, “So be it.”

I then installed the Sun-god named Bhaṭṭāditya. Ravi himself directed this, because it (the idol of Sun-god) had been installed by me, a Bhaṭṭa (a learned Brāhmaṇa).

17. After that, when Ravi made an entry (into that idol) I worshipped him with flowers. With feelings of devotion (as if) flooding all my limbs, I repeated this prayer consisting of one hundred and eight names (containing) the secret (essence) of all the Vedas:

108 names of the Sun-god:

18-30. (Prayer—108 names of the Sun-god)

(1) Saptasapti (Having seven horses),
(2) Acintyātma (One whose soul cannot be comprehended properly),
(3) Mahākāruṇikottama (Most excellent among the excessively merciful ones),
(4) Sañjīvana (Enlivener to all),
(5) Jaya (Victorious),
(6) Jīva (Life-principle),
(7) Jīvanātha (Lord of the living beings),
(8) Jagatpati (Lord of the universe),
(9) Kālāśraya (Support of Time),
(10) Kālakartṛ (Maker of Time),
(11) Mahāyogin (Great Yogin),
(12) Mahāmati (Extremely intelligent),
(13) Bhūtāntakaraṇa (One who causes the destruction of spirits),
(14) Deva (Shining one),
(15) Kamalānanda-nandana (The delighter of lotuses),
(16) Sahasrapāt (Thousand-footed (rayed) one),
(17) Varada (Bestower of boons),
(18) Dīvyakuṇḍalamaṇḍita (Adorned with divine ear-rings),
(19) Dharmapriya (One fond of virtue),
(20) Arcitātmā (One whose soul is worshipped),
(21) Savitā (Progenitor of the world),
(22) Vāyu-vāhana (Having Pravaha wind as the vehicle for movement),
(23) Āditya (Son of Aditi),
(24) Akrodhana (Non-furious),
(25) Sūrya (One who moves in the sky),
(26) Raśmimāli (Having a garland of rays),
(27) Vibhāvasu (Having light as wealth),
(28) Dinakṛt (Cause of the day by rising),
(29) Dinahṛt (One who takes away the day by setting),
(30) Maunī (The silent one),
(31) Suratha (Having a good chariot),
(32) Rathināṃvara (The most excellent among chariot-warriors),
(33) Rājñīpati[3] (Lord of kings?),
(34) Svarṇaretas (Gold-semened),
(35) Pūṣan (Sanctifier),
(36) Tvaṣṭṛ (Architect of gods),
(37) Divākara (The maker of day),
(38) Ākāśatilaka (Sacred mark on the forehead of the firmament),
(39) Dhātā (Creator),
(40) Saṃvibhāgi (Divider of day and night),
(41) Manohara (Enchanting the mind),
(42) Prājña (Intelligent),
(43) Prajāpati (Lord of the subjects),
(44) Dhanya (Blessed),
(45) Viṣṇu (The pervader),
(46) Śrīśa (Lord of glory),
(47) Bhiṣagvara (Most excellent among physicians),
(48) Ālokakṛt (Cause of brilliance),
(49) Lokanātha (Lord of worlds),
(50) Lokapālanamaskṛta (One who is bowed to by the Guardians of the Quarters),
(51) Viditāśaya (One who has understood the ideas of others),
(52) Sunaya (One whose policy is good),
(53) Mahātmā (Noble-souled),
(54) Bhakta-vatsala (One fond of his devotees),
(55) Kīrti (Fame),
(56) Kīrtikara (Cause of fame),
(57) Nitya (Permanent),
(58) Rociṣṇu (Splendidly brilliant)
(59) Kalmāṣāpahā (Remover of sins),
(60) Jitānanda (One who has kept pleasure), under control
(61) Mahāvīrya (One who has great vigour and potentiality),
(62) Haṃsa (Swan in the sky),
(63) Saṃhārakāraka (Cause of annihilation),
(64) Kṛtakṛtya (One who has fulfilled obligations),
(65) Susaṅga (Having good association),
(66) Bahujña (One who is conversant with many things),
(67) Vacasāṃpati (Lord of words),
(68) Viśvapūjya (One worthy of being worshipped by all),
(69) Mṛtyuhārī (Remover of death),
(70) Ghṛṇī (Kind),
(71) Dharmasya Kāraṇam (Cause of virtue),
(72) Praṇatārtihara (Remover of the agony of those who bow down to him),
(73) Aroga (Immune from disease),
(74) Āyuṣmān (Long-lived),
(75) Sukhada (Bestower of happiness),
(76) Sukhī (Happy),
(77) Maṅgala (Auspicious),
(78) Puṇḍarīkākṣa (Lotus-eyed),
(79) Vratī (Observer of holy rites),
(80) Vrataphalaprada (Bestower of the fruit of holy rites),
(81) Śuci (Pure),
(82) Pūrṇa (Complete),
(83) Mokṣamārgadātā (Bestower i.e. guide of the path of salvation),
(84) Bhoktā (Enjoyer),
(85) Maheśvara (Great Lord),
(86) Dhanvantari,
(87) Priyābhāṣī (Eloquent in pleasing words),
(88) Dhanurvedavit (One who is conversant with the science of archery),
(89) Ekarāṭ (Sole Lord),
(90) Jagatpitā (Father of the universe),
(91) Dhūmaketu (Having smoke as banner, i.e. Fire),
(92) Vidhūta (One who is liberated),
(93) Dhvāntahā (Remover of darkness),
(94) Guru (Preceptor),
(95) Gopati (Lord of rays),
(96) Kṛtātithya (One who extends hospitality),
(97) Śubhācāra (One whose conduct is splendid),
(98) Śucipriya (One fond of cleanliness),
(99) Sāmapriya (One fond of Sāman Verses),
(100) Lokabandhu (Kinsman of the world),
(101) Naikarūpa (Having many forms),
(102) Yugādikṛt (Cause of the beginning of the Yugas),
(103) Dharma-Setu (Protector of the limits of Dharma),
(104) Lokasākṣī (Witness unto the world),
(105) Kheṭaka (One who wanders in the sky),
(106) Arka (Deserving worship),
(107) Sarvada (Bestower of everything),
(108) Prabhu (Lord).

31. Let lord Bhānu, thus eulogized by me with one hundred and eight names and a favourite of all the worlds, be pleased with all the worlds.

32. Delighted by this eulogy Bhāskara said to me: “O Celestial Sage, desirous of doing what is pleasing to you, I shall always stay here with the Kalā (Digit).

33. He who worships Bhaṭṭāditya here will obtain the benefit of worshipping a thousand times that in Kāmarūpa,

34. If a Brāhmaṇa gives anything in charity here, whether little or great in quantity, aiming at me, I will make it inexhaustible and accept it as produced by (my own) hands.

35-36. On Sunday, seventh lunar day or the sixth lunar day, if a devotee will worship me with three hundred big lotus flowers of different varieties such as red, Kalhāra, Śatapatra or Mahāpadma or the flowers of Kesara and Karavīraka, he will certainly obtain whatever he wishes.

37. By visiting me with devotion, one shall have the destruction of ailments and poverty. By bowing down, one attains heaven and by listening continuously (to my prayer) one shall attain salvation.

38-41. He who does not show devotion unto me shall meet with destruction certainly.

Listen to the benefit if one repeats thrice or once a day the hundred and eight names uttered by you in front of me. He shall become famous, elegant, learned, excessively happy, pleasing to look at and a centenarian devoid of all kinds of ailments. If anyone listens to this or reads it with mental and physical purity, the food acquired by him shall become inexhaustible even if it was very little. He shall be victorious always. He shall be able to remember (his previous) birth.

42. Hence, this Mantra should be repeated by you. It is the greatest means of securing prosperity. Similarly make an excellent pit (pond) in front of me for the sake of holy bath.

43. The pit shall be in the park in the place where the Kalā of Kāmarūpa is installed.”

After granting the boons thus, Bhānu vanished there itself.

44. Thereafter, at the instance of Bhāskara, a pit was made by me by means of a piece of Darbha grass in the middle of the park, to the left of Siddheśa.

45. The pit is (the same as) that produced in Kāmarūpa, O descendant of Bharata. The trees too are the very same ones. This created a great surprise in my mind.

46-50. On the seventh day in the bright half of the month of Māgha, a man or a woman should take holy bath in the Kuṇḍa and visit Bhaṭṭāditya. His merit shall be limitless.

He who worships the Ratha (chariot of the Sun-god) shall also have limitless merit. All those people who visit and witness Rathayātrā (holy procession of the idol in the chariot), whatever may be the path in which he celebrates it, are blessed. There is no doubt about it.

Those people who celebrate or make all arrangements for the celebration of Rathayātrā (Rathotsava) will be endowed with sons, food grains and wealth. They will be devoid of ailments. They will possess great refulgence.

The benefit of taking the holy bath in the Kuṇḍa of Bhaṭṭāditya on the seventh day is the same as is glorified by learned men, as the benefit of taking it in all the Tīrthas beginning with Gaṅgā.

He who takes his holy bath in the Kuṇḍa and offers Arghya to the Sun-god, attains the benefit of the charitable gift of a hundred Kapilā (tawny) cows.

Arjuna said:

51-52. O great sage, Vāsudeva and all others say that without the Arghya offered to Bhāskara (the Sun-God) everything done in the forenoon is fruitless. O most excellent one among those conversant with the sacred injunctions. I wish to hear the procedure regarding it.

Nārada said:

53. Listen to the procedure, destructive of all sins, that Brahmā and other Devas follow in offering Arghya to the noble-souled Bhāskara.

54. At the outset, early in the morning, when the Sun rises, a devotee should be pure in body and mind. He should make a circle with red sandal-paste over the circle made of cow-dung. Then he should take a copper vessel and fill it with red (paste) and other materials. Within it he should place gold, raw rice grains, Dūrvā grass, curds and ghee. He shall then place (the vessel) (in the mystic circle).

55. He should touch his body with this Mantra:

‘Oṃ obeisance to Khakholka’ (The sky-meteor: The Sun)

This Mantra should be repeated seven times and the devotee will remain steady. Thereby purity is obtained and the body becomes worthy of performing the worship. Thereafter he meditates on Lord Savitṛ as follow:

“He is seated on his seat in the middle of the Maṇḍala (Mystic Circle). He has twelve forms. He is being worshipped by Suras etc.” After meditation, he places the aforesaid Arghya vessel on his head and kneels on the ground facing the Sun. With mind concentrated on him (the Sun-god), he should repeat the Arghya Mantra. It is reported as having come out of the mouth of the Sun.

56. On hearing the sound of the utterance of that (Mantra), Bhāskara stops his chariot, accepts the Arghya and grants the boon desired.

57-62. “Oṃ, I am invoking that maker of the worlds, the dispeller of darkness, in whose chariot, they say, the seven Chandases (Metres) are yoked as horses and whose charioteer is Aruṇa who is seated in front, driving the chariot. He is surrounded by all these: Jayā, Vijayā, Jayantī, Pāpanāśinō, Iḍā, Piṅgalā, the horses and others who carry, Diṇḍi, Śeṣa serpent, Gaṇeśa, Skanda, Revanta, Tārkṣya, so also Kalmāṣa and Pakṣin (bird), Rājñī (Empress) Nikṣubhā, goddess Lalitā, Saṃjñikā, Devas who partake of the Yajñas and others who have been glorified. He is surrounded by those who stay above and below.

Lord Bhānu is of the nature of water and makes this Yajña function. Accept this Arghya and Pādya. Obeisance, Obeisance.”

Invocation

63. O thousand-rayed one, O bestower of boons in the form of life, obeisance to you—thus the Sānnidhyakaraṇam (causing the nearness or presence). He utters “Oṃ Vaṣaṭ” and looks at the pair of the feet of the Sun and pours out (the contents ofd the vessel on the ground at his feet. This is called Pādya.

After offering the Pādya thus, he should keep the palms joined together in reverence and utter Susvāgata (grand welcome) thus:

“Welcome, O Lord, Come. Grant me your favour and be seated. Here accept the adoration and mentally grant me your favour. Be (please seated) here as long as I perform the worship.”

64. Thus he shall offer Vijñāpana (submission) and the lotus seat by means of this Mantra.

“That is the lotus-seat, O delighter of lotuses, be seated.”

After he has been seated, the devotee should perform the remaining worship according to the following procedure:

“Oṃ, obeisance to Soma-mūrti, the lord of the milky sea”—thus the bathing with milk etc.

“Oṃ, obeisance to Bhāskara residing in water”—thus bathing with water.

Thereafter he should offer a pair of white cloths with this Mantra:

“O Sun, accept this pair of cloths. Have mercy on me. One of them shall be an ornament unto your waist and the other shall be a covering for your limbs (upper part).”

65. Then he shall offer Yajñopavīta (sacred thread) with this Mantra:

“Accept this pure, excellent and holy Yajñopavīta of spun thread, O Lord of Devas. Obeisance to you.”

66. Thereafter, he should, in accordance with his ability, offer ornaments such as white crown, ring etc. with this Mantra:

“This crown is studded with jewels. Accept this ornament offered by me with devotion. Accept this ring and ornaments.”

67. After offering ornaments thus, he should offer unguent with red dye, saffron, camphor and red sandal paste in mixture:

68. “O Lord of hot rays, this is the juice of the trees loved much by you. That is proper and meet unto you, O Lord, accept it with mercifulness towards me.”

69. Thereafter, he should perform the worship with (the flowers) Caṃpaka, Japā (China rose), Kararīra (oleander), Karṇaka, Kesara (Mesua ferrea), Kokanada (red water Lily) etc.

70. “Oṃ, this juice of Vanaspati (vegetation) is divine and endowed with fragrance. It is excellent scent. It is the food (āhāra)[4] of all the Devas. Let this incense be accepted.”

71. This is the Mantra for Śallakī incense:

Thereafter he should offer Naivedya (food offering) made of milk-pudding etc. by means of this Mantra:

“Accept this Naivedya offered by me in a full vessel. It is nectar. It increases the vital force of all living beings. Be pleased with me.”

72. Thereafter, he should offer water for cleaning, betel leaves, lights, Āratrika (waving of lights ceremoniously), Śītalikā (cooling devices) and worship once again. Then he should eulogize according to his ability. He should then utter, “Forgive our act, ill-done or well-done.” He should then bid the ceremonious farewell.

Then, he should bow down again and offer gold, garments, sacred thread and ornaments to a Brāhmaṇa, gather the remnants of the worship and cast them into water. This is the procedure of offering Arghya.

73. He who offers Arghya to Bhāskara thus, to his idol or in the mystic circle everyday in the morning shall become a self-like favourite of Ravi.

74. O son of Pṛthā, Karṇa gives Arghya to Bhāskara in accordance with this procedure. Therefore, he is considered to be a sincere lover (devotee) of Sūrya.

75-76. If he is unable he should give only one Arghya everyday to the Sun. Then on the Rathasaptamī day, it should be scrupulously performed in the Kuṇḍa. He shall obtain the benefit of a horse-sacrifice and attain the world of the Sun.

Therefore, O descendant of Bharata, Arghya should be offered with all effort.

77-78. Thus the Lord Bhaṭṭāditya of such power dwells here. Hence he is great and dispeller of many sins. He increases piety. Here there is that Divya (divine ordeal) of eight types offering proofs immediately.[5] It is just like the swallowing of Halāhala poison by the sinners, O son of Pṛthā.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

The great Ācārya Śaṅkara is credited to have given impetus to amalgamate the five main sects of the worshippers of Śiva, Viṣṇu, Devī, Gaṇeśa, and Sūrya (the Sun-god). They are brought together and their joint worship Pañcāyatana-pūjā is still prevalent. In response to that move, the author wants to bring in the Sun-god to enhance the sanctity and popularity of the Gupta Kṣetra. Moreover, it may be due to the influence of Maga Brahmins that the Sun worship became very popular in Saurashtra and that part of Gujarat, as is, testified by the remains of Sun-temples. Some of them are converted. In Rajasthan, the Kālī Temple in the fort of Chitor is famous, where Rajputs used to pay their last obeisance to the deity Kālī before their final assault (Johar). The present appearance shows that the temple is of that deity, but while circumambulating it one finds it to be a Sun-temple.

[2]:

King of Vaiśāli, a great devotee of the Sun-god. His subjects wanted him to rule over them for 10,000 years and?o secured a boon from the Sun-god.

[3]:

33 needs emendation as ‘Rājñām Patiḥ’.

[4]:

āghreya (‘scent’) is the usual reading.—Note 3 p. 171b of Venk. Edr.

[5]:

See the next chapter.

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