The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Vijaya’s Accomplishment of Siddhi which is chapter 63 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 sixty-third chapter of the Kaumarika-khanda of the Maheshvara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 63 - Vijaya’s Accomplishment of Siddhi

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:

1-3. Repeating the important Mantras named Balā and Atibalā, he performed Homa with mustard mixed with saffron in the fire of Aśvattha (‘holy fig tree’) and Lākṣā (‘lac’).

When the first Yāma (3 hours) passed by, a certain woman came there. She had a single cloth drenched in blood. Her hair was standing up over her head, Her eyes were very frightful. Her teeth were white. She instilled fear even in other frightful persons. She came near the spot where the Homa was being performed and roared loudly.

4. On seeing her Vijaya was immediately bewildered like a man much afraid. But Barbarīka was fearless. He came in front of her.

5. The most excellent one among the intelligent persons, the heroic (Barbarīka) caught hold of her throat and roared twice loudly like a thundering cloud.

6. On seeing him, she was much surprised. She was about to discharge her dagger, when her throat was pressed with force. She could not hurl it at him.

7. When the throat was pressed again and again by that powerful (son of Ghaṭotkaca), she emitted all sorts of sounds like a mountain struck by thunderbolt.

8. After letting out groans, she cried out “Save me, save me.” Then she was let off by that sympathetic one. She fell at his feet and said:

9. “I have sought refuge in you. I am your servant and slave. Know me as Mahājihvā, the demoness who can assume any form she pleases.

10-13. My abode is the cremation ground of Kāśī. I used to dispel the pride of Devas and Dānavas.

O hero, if you grant me the rare gift of my vital airs (i.e. if you spare my life) I shall begin to perform penance granting immunity from fear to all living beings. In this matter, I shall take the solemn oath on my own lord and myself. If I were to act contrary to this, let me be reduced to ash instantaneously.”

When she said thus the hero made her take a vow solemnly and then released her. Released from the painful situation, she became delighted and then went to the forest. The hero remained there itself with the sword in his hand.

14-18a. Then at midnight, a loud roaring sound was heard. Darkness spread everywhere having the appearance of the hell Tamondha.

Thereafter, a mountain with a hundred peaks was seen there. It was very extensive. It discharged different kinds of rocks and various types of tall trees. It showered much blood having the rumbling sound of different kinds of torrents.

On seeing that mountain, the son of Ghaṭotkaca was undaunted. He became himself another mountain twice the size of the other and suddenly pounced on it. With his feet, he hit the other mountain. Then that mountain became shattered and scattered over the ground.

18b-25. Thereupon (a demon named) Ṛepalendra rushed out from that spot. His body was a Yojana long. He had a hundred heads and a hundred bellies. He emitted great flames through his mouths.

On seeing him fleeing, Barbarīka of great strength assumed a form like his and chased him as he continued to roar. Then, at mid-night, both of them fought perfectly and vigorously in diverse ways, with volleys of arrows like two clouds in the rainy season. When their bows were cut, they fought with swords. When their swords were cut, they fought with their fists.

Like two mountains with wings intact, they steadily fought for a long time.

Then (Barbarīka) whirled him for a while after severing him at the armpit. He then dashed him on the ground. He released him as he lay sprawled on the ground. Then he hurled him in the south-east corner on the shores of Mahī-Sāgara. A little away from it, even today there is the village named Repalendra.

Thus (the demon) named Repala whose exploits were similar to those of Vṛtra, who was the lord of the cremation ground in Avantī and who caused obstacles, was killed. After killing him the hero Barbarīka once again stood (at the place of his duty).

26-30a. Then, in the third Yāma, a she-mule named Duhadruhā came from the western direction. She resembled a mountain. She emitted a loud roaring sound. She appeared to shake the earth with her feet (i.e. hoofs). She appeared like a lightning-streak falling down from clouds. She had the lustre of the sun and fire. On seeing her coming, the son of Ghaṭotkaca went near her and rode on her quickly and laughingly. When she ran speedily, he hit her on her snout with his fists. He stopped her there itself. On being afflicted she stood there.

Thereafter Duhadruhā became furious and roared loudly. Leaping and jumping, she hurled Barbarīka on the ground. That was what Barbarīka wished for.

30b-35a. She then roared loudly and kicked him. The hero caught hold of the legs and hurled her sportingly on the ground.

Again she got up and began to run. He restrained her. With a blow of his fist, he made her fall on the ground and pressed her throat and teeth. He then squeezed her as though she were a wet cloth and killed her immediately.

Thus the queen of Śākinīs, whose place of origin was the cremation ground in Sīkarottarasthāna was slain by Barbarīka.

After slaying her, he hurled her sportingly to the western quarter. Even today there is a village there named Duhadruhā. Thereafter Barbarika remained guarding as before.

35b-40. Then in the fourth Yāma, a mysterious Digaṃbara Jaina mendicant came there. He had a shaven head. He was naked and he held a fan of peacock feathers. He appeared to be a man of great holy rites. He spoke these words: “Alas, it is painful indeed! Non-violence is the greatest virtue. Why then does the fire burn brightly? When Homa is performed there is a great slaughter of small living beings.”

On hearing these words of his Barbarīka spoke smilingly:

“Fire is the mouth of all Devas. When we perform Homa therein, O sinner, why do you utter lies? O wicked one, you are worthy of being punished and taught a lesson.” After saying this he suddenly jumped up and held him fast by the armpit. He then hit his teeth with his fist blows and made him fall onto the ground. As he fell down with his face covered with blood, Barbarīka left him there.

41-44. Within a moment, he regained consciousness and assumed the terrible form of a Daitya. Afraid of the grandson of Bhīma, he fled and entered the hollow of a cave.

There was a city named Bahuprabhā, sixty Yojanas long. He entered that city and following him closely Barbarīka too entered it. On seeing Barbarīka, the demons Pālāśins there began to shout, “Run. Let him be killed. Let him be cut. Let him be split.” On hearing it, nine crores of terrible Daitya heroes armed with different kinds of weapons rushed at the hero Barbarīka.

45. On seeing the crores of those Daityas, the infuriated grandson of Bhīma, closed his eyes and suddenly rushed into their midst.

46-51. He killed some of them by kicking; others with the blows of the fists; he quickly despatched a few to the abode of Yama by hitting them with his chest. Just as an infuriated elephant makes a forest of reeds razed to the ground, so also the nine crores of Rākṣasas along with that demon were killed by Barbarīka.

Then the serpents, the chief of whom is Vāsuki eulogized Suhṛdaya by means of various utterances and spoke to him:

“The greatest task of the serpents has been accomplished by you, O son of Ghaṭotkaca. This is a Daitya named Pālāśī who has been slain along with his followers. O hero, we had been harassed by this wicked demon along with the company of his followers. By different means, we were sent even beneath the nether worlds. Hence choose your desired boon from the serpents- We are all bestowers of boons to you because we have been extremely delighted.”

Suhṛdaya said:

52. If the boon is to be granted to me, I shall choose this. Let Vijaya be absolutely free from ail obstacles. Let him obtain Siddhi.

53. Thereupon, the serpents became delighted. They said, “So be it.” He was honoured by the serpents. After giving them the city, he returned.

54-56. On his way back through the hole he saw a Liṅga of great lustre and made of all kinds of jewels. It was stationed beneath the Kalpa tree and was being worshipped by many serpent maidens.

He was surprised and so asked the serpent maidens, “By whom was this Liṅga of the lustre of the sun and the moon installed? There are pathways from the Liṅga going to the four direction. What are they?”

57. On hearing these words of the hero (a serpent maiden) of large buttocks and breasts said thus bashfully, smilingly and glancing through the extremities of the eyes:

58. “This great Liṅga has been installed here by the noble-souled Śeṣa, the king of all serpents, after performing a penance.

59-61a. It yields all Siddhis when it is seen, touched, meditated upon and worshipped.[1] This pathway to the east of the Liṅga goes to Śrīparvata on the earth. This has been made by Elāpatra for the serpents to go there.

This pathway to the south goes to Śūrpāraka on the earth. This has been made by the serpent Karkoṭa for going there.

61b-63. This path to the west goes to Prabhāsa of great lustre. It has been made by Airāvata for the serpents to go.

This path to the north through which you are waiting to go, goes to Siddhaliṅga in Guptakṣetra. It has been bored by the Śakti of Guha. The path is made by Takṣaka of noble-soul for going there.

64. Thus, O hero, this has been described. Let my request be heard. Who are you? It was only just now that you went along this way, pursuing a Daitya. Now itself you have come back alone. What is this? Tell us.

65. All of us are your servants. We choose you as our husband. Sport with us on the various grounds here.”

Barbarīka said:

66-70. I am born of the race of Kurus. I am the grandson of the son of Pāṇḍu, well-known as Barbarīka. I had come to kill that Daitya. That sinner of a demon has been killed. I shall go back to the earth. I have nothing to do at all with you (maidens), because I have adopted a vow of perpetual celibacy.

Having said thus he worshipped that Liṅga and prostrated before it like a staff. The hero then went up wistfully glanced at by those maidens. Then he came out and saw the face of Vijaya that was bright due to delight like the face of the eastern quarter.

By that time Vijaya had concluded all his rites.

71. Within a moment he came up with a refulgence like that of the sun. Thereupon a number of flowers were showered by Devas from the sky.

72. Leading Gandharvas sang. Groups of celestial damsels danced. Thereupon, Vijaya spoke these words to Barbarīka:

73-77. “It was by your favour, O lord of heroes, that the incomparable Siddhi was attained by me. Live long, rejoice long, stay long. Be victorious for a long time. That is why good persons wish for the association of good people, since association with good people is a panacea for all evils. Take the sacred ash from the Homa. It has the lustre of saffron. It removes all acute pains. It heals all wounds. It has inexhaustible benefits in the course of a battle. If you discharge it at the outset, it will cause the death of your enemies. It will destroy their bodies. Thus you will have easy victory over your enemies.”

Barbarīka said:

78-79. He who renders help to others without any return benefit in view is called a good man. If anyone helps with some selfish motive, what merit is there in his goodness?

Therefore, give this ash to someone else. I have not even the least concern with anything like this. I do not expect anything from you except a pleasant and gentle glance.

Devas said:

80-81. A great battle will take place between the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas. If the Kauravas were to obtain this ash kept on the ground, it will be exceedingly risky and dangerous to the Pāṇḍavas obviously. Hence accept the ash.

He too carried out their suggestion.

82-83. Devas accompanied by goddesses honoured Vijaya also who had acquired all fortune, glory and riches. They gave him the name Siddhasena also.

Thus Vijaya, the Brāhmaṇa, achieved the rare Siddhi. Barbarīka remained devoted to the goddess after doing this.

Footnotes and references:


VV 59-63 give the location of the Liṅga installed by Śeṣa.

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