The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Granting of Boons to Parvati which is chapter 13 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 thirteenth chapter of the Arunacala-khanda (Purvardha) of the Maheshvara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 13 - Granting of Boons to Pārvatī

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Brahmā said:

1. Then Gaurī of that sort (i.e. as described above), the mother of the universe, bowed down to Śiva Śaṃbhu and prayed for non-separation from him.

2. Gaurī, the beautiful lady, who was clever in conversation and full of compassion submitted thus to him for the sake of conferring blessing on the worlds:

3. “This form of yours which is very charming, should not be abandoned. I should never be abandoned even if I am guilty of offence. This fascinating form of yours is conducive to the auspiciousness of all the worlds.

4-5. Let this form endowed with divine fragrance be always seen by everyone. O Īśāna, be victorious. (But) Enough of your assuming terrible forms and guises through serpents, poison, the skull of Brahmā and the sacred ash. Be gentle and tender with, divine garlands, scents, garments etc.

6-7. Bedecked in gemset, bejewelled ornaments, sport about, O Maheśvara, O Īśāna. Let the maidens of Devas and Gandharvas come here everyday and serve the Lord of Devas with dances, songs and instrumental music.

Let the Gaṇas too become human beings and serve you day and night.

8. Through your favour let our union be highly fragrant and promoter of welfare and be seen (as) the bestower of all wealth and prosperity.

9. O Lord of Devas, it is here that the bodily form consisting of all the Mantras was assumed. Let service be rendered unto you. Ṛet there be devotion (unto you) forever.

10. O Lord who are the sole refuge of all, let thousands of offences committed everyday knowingly or unknowingly by your devotees be excused by you by glancing at them (kindly).”

11. On hearing these words of the Goddess, Śaṃbhu, the Lord of Śoṇācala, the bestower of boons, granted everything desired by her as a boon.

12. He was desirous of having sexual intercourse with her. Out of eagerness Śiva asked her to apply the fascinating musk (to herself).

Mahādeva said:

13. There was a great Daitya named Pulaka.[1] He assumed the form of a deer and performed a great deal of penance. He obtained exceedingly wonderful fragrance as a boon from me.

14. After obtaining the boon, he fascinated celestial young women through his fragrance. In the same way he took up an evil course and harassed the entire universe.

15. On being requested by Devas I called the leader of Asuras and commanded him, “Give up your demoniac form for the sake of the protection of the worlds.”

Pulaka said:

16. I shall abandon this body at your bidding, O Lord of the Chiefs of Devas.

Then with great devotion in his mind, he bowed to me. Requesting me, he said thus:

17. “This scent originating from my limb is divine and fascinating to the universe. O Lord of the Chief of Devas, let this be taken up by you with eagerness in your mind.

18. Let this become famous always as one born of the sweat of Pulaka. This musk shall be conducive to the increase of the romantic sentiment in the world.

19. Let it be your favourite, the bestower of splendour, good felicity, beauty and graceful charm.

I am leaving off my body. O Lord of Devas, O Lord of the universe.

20-27. Let it be always honoured by the Goddess who is covetous of divine fragrance. Those who are born of a part of mine and who acquire fragrance through my penance, may please be merged in your form, O Lord of Devas, in the form of unguent smeared (over your body).” When I said, “So be it”, that Daitya named Pulaka renounced his life in me and cast off his body.

Thereafter, with great affection, I used to apply the musk of excessive fragrance originating from his body. It increases feelings of love hundreds of times. O Goddess of the Chiefs of Devas, your body has become lean on account of the penances you have performed. My limbs too have become scorched due to separation from you. Give it the necessary satiation now.

After praising the wonderful devotion of Pulaka thus in diverse ways, Mahādeva anointed Pārvatī, the shrine of love. The Lord laughingly asked Pārvatī of graceful features, “What is this raised ṃ your hand?” The Mother of the universe looked at him and spoke after bowing to the Lord of Aruṇādri about the arrival of that flower which was always in her hand.

The Goddess said:

28. At your bidding, O Lord of Devas, I came to Kāñcī of golden gates and archway from the peak of Kailāsa in order to perform penance.

29-33. I got this excellent Kalhāra (‘golden lotus’) originating from Mānasa lake. It never fades. It has great fragrance. (With this) I propitiated Mahādeva. This flower which had been employed by me in worshipping incessantly is never fading.

The great refulgence that never diminished is sprinkled with ghee (obtained from the milk) of Kāmadhenu. This (Lord) is to be visited by kings and protected by them always. The characteristic features of Dharma should be laid down(?) for the sake of the eager protection of the worlds, for the achievement of all desired things and to cause pleasure to me. The thirty-two Dharmas established by me for the protection of the worlds should be preserved scrupulously by those who come to his presence.

Let this shining form of mine be visited when the Sun enters Virgo (i.e. a sign of the Zodiac). This form is endowed with all ornaments. It has festivals with all kinds of enjoyment of pleasure.

Brahmā said:

34-39a. On hearing these words of the Goddess, Śaṃbhu, the Lord of Śoṇācala, the bestower of boons, said, “So be it” and granted her as boon all that she desired. This is Śoṇācala seen as a glorious (deity) worshipped by the worlds. He is always accompanied by Gaurī, the bestower of boons. He is always surrounded by all kinds of enjoyment of pleasures.

All those who visit and bow down to this form of Śaṃbhu stationed in the form of Aruṇādri are blessed.

The persons on the earth who listen to the greatness of Aruṇācala will have the full complement of riches perpetually.

By retaining (in memory) this greatness one attains glory, fluency of speech, handsome features, unobstructed power and destruction of sins.

39b-40. Visiting Śoṇādri yields the benefit of taking holy bath in all Tīrthas and the benefit of all Yajñas and holy rites. It yields the favour of Sadāśiva too.

41. Thus the Goddess who came from the peak of Kailāsa at the bidding of Śiva, attained redemption from the curse by visiting Śoṇācala.[2]

42. Even when there are other highly meritorious holy spots on the earth as well as in heaven, Śaṃbhu took delight in being persent here.

43. This Sadāśiva himself is seen in the form of Aruṇācala. It is the supreme refulgence that is the cause of creation, sustenance and annihilation (of the universe).

44. This refulgent Liṅga is bowed down to by all the Devas and is seen. This (Bharata) is the land of Karmans; therefore it is superior in Virtue (Dharma).

45. Men with devotion whose sins have been dispelled by the brilliance of the Lord of Aruṇācala will get happiness everywhere in this world.

46. Śaṃbhu is under the control of those people who worship the Lord of Aruṇādri by means of circumambulations, prostrations, austerities and holy observances.

47. Neither with penance nor by Yogic exercise nor by charitable gifts is Śaṅkara pleased so much as by the sight of Aruṇācala even if it is obtained only once.

48. The self-born Vedas along with the Itihāsas are stationed always in the firmament all round in the forms of mountains and eulogize the Aruṇa mountain.

49. Neither by me nor by Viṣṇu can the greatness of this mountain be recounted in words even in the course of hundreds of crores of years.

50. Devas, the Chief of whom is Indra (or Viṣṇu), the celestial trees beginning with Kalpaka, remained concealed in form and serve Aruṇācala always.

51. Neither the defects of Kali nor the eruptions of ailments and worries will be present there where the Liṅga named Aruṇācala is worshipped.

52. Thus everything has been narrated to you regarding the region of Śaṃbhu, the story of Aruṇācala which is difficult of access even through the merits accumulated for a period of a Kalpa.

Sūta said:

53. Drinking through the pair of ears this charming nectarine river of the story of the Lord of Aruṇa mountain—the river of great liberal-mindedness arising from the month of Brahmā—sage Saṇaka acquired the benefit of all his austerities.

Footnotes and references:


This story explains how musk-deer came into being and why musk is an important article in Śiva-worship.


This is the crux of the greatness of Aruṇācala.

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