The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes The Greatness of Jayaditya which is chapter 51 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 fifty-first chapter of the Kaumarika-khanda of the Maheshvara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 51 - The Greatness of Jayāditya

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

The guest said:

1-3. The form of the other world that has been recounted by you on the basis of the scriptures, is undoubtedly like that. But in this connection, atheists, sinners of very little intelligence express their doubts. In order to dispel the doubts, recount the fruit of Karmas that is experienced here itself. If it is there, O Kamaṭha, describe how one will be born as a result of his sinful deeds. What will be the evil action as a consequence of which he is born so?

Kamaṭha said:

4. I shall tell everything. Be steady and listen to it. I shall tell as my preceptor has recounted it and as it has been retained in my mind.[1]

5-6a. A murderer of a Brāhmaṇa will become a consumptive patient. A person habitually drinking liquor shall become one with dark-brown teeth. A stealer of gold becomes one with decaying nails. A defiler of the preceptor’s bed will be badskinned (i.e. will have skin-disease). One who associates with the sinners mentioned above shall have all ailments. These five are great sinners.

6b. One who listens to the slander of good men becomes deaf.

7. A boastful sinner censuring the good one, becomes dumb. A person who disobeys elders and preceptors shall be an epileptic patient.

8. One who insults them becomes a worm. If a man is indifferent towards a noble man worthy of adoration, he will become evil-minded.

9. A base man who steals the property of good men shall become lame for as many years as the number of steps he takes for that crime.

10. A person who takes back a thing after gifting it away, becomes a chameleon. If a person does not pacify those persons worthy of respect who have become angry, he will suffer from ailments of the head.

11. A person who carnally approaches a woman in her menses is reborn as a Cāṇḍāla. A person who steals clothes shall be affected with white leprosy. A person committing arson shall suffer from black leprosy.

12. A thief of silver becomes a frog. A man guilty of perjury will suffer from ulcer in the mouth. A man who looks at another man’s wife with lust, shall suffer from the diseases of eyes.

13. A person who promises something but does not give the same, becomes short-lived. A base man who deprives a Brāhmaṇa of his means of livelihood, shall always suffer from indigestion.

14. A person who takes a life-long vow of not taking rice etc. and retracts the same, shall always be a chronic patient. A person who, in spite of having (married) many wives (neglects them) and emits semen only in (i.e. enjoys) one wife shall become a consumptive patient.

15. If a person who is engaged by his master to perform holy rites acts unjustly, or if he himself were to consume the materials got ready, that foolish fellow shall suffer from dropsy.

16. If a strong man neglects (to protect) a weak man who is being harassed, he shall become devoid of limbs. A person who steals food shall be starved.

17a. A man who acts partially in administration of justice shall suffer from diseases of the tongue.

17b-19. A person who compels another to perform a holy rite thereby causing separation from wife and others, and a person who partakes first what he has cooked(?) shall suffer from ailments of the throat.

One who takes food without performing (daily) five Yajñas (Pañca-mahā-yajñas) shall become a hog in a village.

One who indulges in sexual intercourse during Parvan days shall suffer from urinary disease. A foolish man who abandons his wife and becomes attached to prostitutes etc., is born as a bald-headed person.

20. A person who insultingly disregards friends, relatives, (his) master, and close followers and keeps himself aloof from them, shall always be in troubles about his means of livelihood.

21. If a person serves his parents, master or elders fraudulently, he will find it very difficult to acquire wealth or he will lose the wealth acquired.

22. If a person robs one who has put faith and confidence in him, he shall become a victim of miseries. A man who commits base and vile acts towards a virtuous man, shall become dwarfish.

23-24. A person who keeps a very feeble bullock as a vehicle, shall become crippled in limbs. One who kills cows shall be born blind. One who causes suffering to cows shall be devoid of cattle. One who is cruel to cows and torments them with blows etc., shall always find travel along the paths troublesome.

25. He who is dull in assembly is born with goitre. One who is always angry becomes a Cāṇḍāla. A slanderer has offensive breath.

26. One who sells goats shall become a hunter. A pimp shall become a hired servant. An atheist becomes one with gingelly seeds for food. A man without faith will become a singer by profession.[2]

27. One who eats forbidden food will have inflammation of the glands of the neck. A person who distils liquor shall become a widower (lit. ‘one who eats his wife’). A man who acquires knowledge through injustice shall become a fool.

28. One who steals scriptures shall become squint-eyed. He who hates holy legends will become evil-minded. Falling from the hell, he drops down into the mouth of a worm.

29. One who deprives deities, Brāhmaṇas and cows of their (means of) sustenance will have vomiting sensation and nausea whenever he takes food. He who breaks tanks and parks will have maimed hands.

30. A man who adopts fraudulent means in the course of a trial shall be exploited or harassed by his servants. A man who is devoted to other men’s wives shall always suffer from male diseases.

31. A quack or a bad physician shall become a rheumatic patient. One who defiles the bed of the preceptor shall become evil-skinned (i.e. having skin disease).

He who indulges in sexual intercourse with a she-ass shall become a diabetic patient. One who has sexual intercourse with a woman of his own Gotra will be issueless.

32. He who carnally approaches his sister, mother or daughter-in-law shall become seedless (i.e. impotent). One who is ungrateful shall be unsuccessful in all enterprises.

33. Thus a general idea of the characteristics of sinners has been given. Even Citragupta will be bewildered in describing (them) completely.

34. These sinners, after falling off from hell undergo births and deaths in thousands of species. Those are born with these characteristics (as mentioned above).

35. Those who disregard Dharma as well as those who are overpowered by vices or calamities should inferentially be known as persons whose sins have not been exhausted.

36. Those whose sins have come to an end, those who have come back from heaven shall be rid of all vices. They will resort solely to virtue.

37-39. The following verses are noteworthy in this regard:

‘Excellent happiness results from virtue; sorrow and misery originate from vice. Hence one should perform virtuous deeds for the sake of happiness and should avoid sin and vice.

Since it is declared that happiness in both the worlds is attained only through virtue, one should solely perform virtuous deeds for the achievement of everything.

A man should live even for a Muhūrta with (performing) auspicious deeds but not live even for a Kalpa performing acts which are adverse to both the worlds.’

40. Thus, O Brāhmaṇa, what has been asked by you has been said by me. Whether it is ill-said or well-said it should be forgiven. What else shall I say?

Nārada said:

41. On hearing this statement of Kamaṭha who was only eight years old, Lord Bhāskara (the Sun-god) became delighted and extremely surprised.

42-45. He praised those Brāhmaṇas, the chief of whom was Hārīta: “Oh, the earth itself is blessed on account of the excellent Brāhmaṇas of this sort! God Brahmā is blessed since the bounds of decency laid down by him are being maintained by these great Brāhmaṇas. The Vedas too are blessed now. What (How great) must be the intellect of Hārīta and others among whom even this boy’s intellect is so clear as this? Undoubtedly there is nothing in the three worlds not known to these. These are far superior to what Nārada had said.”

46-51. After praising those Brāhmaṇas thus, the delighted Sun-god spoke: “I am the Sun-god, O leading Brāhmaṇas. It is for the purpose of seeing you all that I have come from the solar world. The fruit of having eyes has been obtained by me.

Even the low-borns are sanctified by conversing or sitting (i.e. associating) with leading Brāhmaṇas like you, O Brāhmaṇas. Then what of persons like me!

In every respect, Nārada who is conversant with the reality of the three worlds, is blessed. You who have shaken off all your sins, increase his welfare. I bow down to all of you mentally and intellectually and with great concentration since you are great due to penance, learning and conduct. Choose any boon that you wish even if you think that it is rare and difficult to be acquired. Indeed you yourselves are bestowers of boons. But let not my contact (with you) be fruitless. Indeed the association with deities never becomes fruitless. Hence choose some boon from me. 1 shall grant it to you.”

Śrī Nārada said:

52-53. On hearing these words of the Sun, those excellent Brāhmaṇas became delighted. They adored him with great devotion by means of Pādyas, Arghyas, eulogies and salutations. Repeating great mantras such as Maṇḍala etc.(?) they spoke to the Sun:

54-57. “JBe victorious, O Āditya; be victorious, O Lord; be victorious, O Bhānu; be victorious, O Lord free from impurities. Be victorious, O Lord of the Vedas. O Lord of the day, save us for ever. You are the greatest Lord unto the Brāhmaṇas. The entire creation of Brāhmaṇas is identical with you. This abode of ours, O Lord, glanced at by you is very much sanctified by you. Today our Vedas (i.e. Vedic learning) have become fruitful. Today our holy rites have become fruitful. O Lord of rays, today our abode has become fruitful by coming into contact with you. If you wish to grant us any boon we will choose this. This spot of ours should never be forsaken (by you).”

The Sun-god replied:

58-61- Since at the outset the word Jayāditya has been uttered by you, I will be well-known as Jayāditya.[3] So I shall always abide here. As long as the earth, the oceans, the mountains and the cities exist, O Brāhmaṇas, I will not abandon this. Stationed here, I shall destroy poverty, ailments, ringworm, leprosy etc. of those whose worship (me). If a man worships me (who am) installed here, I will accept his worship as though it had been performed by him after coming to the solar world.

Śrī Nārada said:

62-63. When this was said by the Lord, the excellent Brāhmaṇas beginning with Hārīta, installed the idol in accordance with the injunctions laid down in the Vedas. Then the Brāhmaṇas said thus: “O Kamaṭha, it is for your sake that Lord Ravi is stationed here. Hence you eulogize in the beginning.”

64. On being told thus by all the Brāhmaṇas, Kamaṭha, the most excellent one among eloquent persons, bowed down to Jayāditya and sang this great eulogy Jayādityāṣṭaka (‘Eight stanzas in praise of Jayāditya’):

65-73. “O Ādi-deva[4] (First god), you are not accomplished (i.e. visualized). You are only heard of in the Yajurveda. (The knower) speaks of it to be such. The four-fold speech (viz. Parā, Paśyantī, Madhyamā and Vaikharī) stays very far away from you (i.e. you are far beyond the ken of speech). Being audacious, I (dare to) praise you with a selfish desire. Please forgive this.

You are of twelve forms—Mārtaṇḍa, Sūrya, Aṃśu, Ravi, Indra, Bhānu, Bhaga, Aryamā, Svarṇaretas, Divākara, Mitra and Viṣṇu. You are well-known. Obeisance to you.

Salutation to you, the firmamental Liṅga with the three worlds and entire sky as your Sanctum Sanctorum. You are spoken of as being the support of waters and having the clusters of stars as a garland of flowers.

You are the Lord of Lords. You are the refuge of the helpless. You are the protector of those who seek asylum in you. You are merciful towards the miserable ones. You are the eye of eyes. You are the intellect of intellect of people. You are the illuminator of the sky. Be victorious, you are the vital principle of lives.

You are the one bringing poverty to poverty (i.e. the remover of poverty), O abode of treasures. You are the one who brings inauspiciousness to inauspiciousness. You are the one bringing welfare unto welfare. You are famous as causing powerful sickness to sickness (itself) in the world. O Jayāditya, the incomprehensible one, be victorious for a long time.

Even mother, father and kinsmen forsake one who is ailing, overpowered by leprosy, whose nose is broken, body is shattered, who is senseless. You protect a person who is abandoned by all. Who else is like that except you?

You are my father. You alone are my mother. You are my preceptor. You alone are my kith and kin. You are my Dharma. You are the path of my salvation. I am your slave, O Lord (it is up to you to) abandon or save me.

I am a sinner. I am deluded. I am of exceedingly evil activities. I am not a receptacle of good conduct. I am hideous, still I fall at your feet (and request thus). O Śrījayārka, bring victory to your devotees.”

Nārada said:

74. On being eulogized thus by the noble-souled Kamaṭha Jayāditya smilingly said to him in words of tenderness and gravity:

75. “Nothing is inaccessible on the earth to him who eulogizes me with this Jayādityāṣṭaka (‘eight-versed prayer to Jayāditya’) whicḥ has been recited by you.

76. If, particularly on a Sunday, a person recites this after worshipping me, neither diseases nor poverty affect him. There is no doubt about it.

77. I have been propitiated by you, O dear one, I grant this boon unto you. You will become omniscient on the earth. Thereafter you will attain salvation.

78. Your father-will become an author of a Smṛti text (viz. Hārita-Smṛti). He will be adored by Brāhmaṇas. This spot will never perish.

79-80. O dear one, I will not at all forsake this spot.”

After saying this, after being eulogized and adored, that Lord took permission of the leading Brāhmaṇas and vanished there itself. Thus, O son of Pṛthā, Jayāditya arose (i.e. came to be installed) on the earth.

81-85. O (hero) of holy rites, (the deity was installed) on a Sunday after the advent of the month of (Āśvina).

He who worships Jayāditya, on (any) Sunday in the month of Āśvina after taking his holy bath in Koṭitīrtha, dispels the sin of Brahmin-slaughter.

By worshipping with red garlands, red sandal paste and saffron, by smearing unguents, by offering scents, incense etc. by offering foodstuffs made of ghee and puddings, a murderer of a Brāhmaṇa, a drink-addict, a thief and a defiler of the preceptor’s bed are liberated from all the sins. They go to the world of the Sun.

They obtain all worldly pleasures, sons, wives and wealth. They will be endowed with all desired objects. They will stay in the world of the Sun-god for a long time.

86. Visiting Jayāditya on any Sunday, glorifying and remembering him, causes cessation of all ailments.

87. Those who are devotees of the unmanifest Lord, having no beginning or end, who is the receptacle of refulgence, get merged in the Solar region, free from ailments.

88-89. During the Solar Eclipse, O son of Pṛthā, a devotee should take his holy bath in the Ravikūpa (‘Well of the Sun’) with great concentration and mental purity. He should perform Homa with great care. He should offer charitable gift in accordance with his ability, stationed in front of Jayāditya. O Jaya, listen to the greatness of his merit with single-minded attention.

90. By the favour of Jayāditya, that man will obtain the same merit as in the case of (pilgrimage to) the following holy spots: Kurukṣetra, Prabhāsa, Puṣkara, Vārāṇasī, Prayāga and Naimiṣa.

Footnotes and references:


VV 5-33 give the Purāṇic ideas of sins leading to particular types of birth.


It appears that the profession of singers was looked upon contemptuously during that period.


Hence the title of the chapter.


This designation is used for gods Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Śiva, Gaṇeśa and Sūrya (the Sun)—MW 136A.

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