by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 750,347 words
This page describes Markandeya’s Further Query which is chapter 3 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 third chapter of the Arunacala-khanda (Uttarardha) of the Maheshvara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
1. O holy Lord, kindly do not deceive me who am solely-devoted to you. Is there any other disciple of yours like me? Your grace alone shall bear witness to this.
2. In the holy spots previously mentioned by you the benefits are separate and different. Mention to me that holy place where all the benefits can be had, O eminent Lord.
3. O preceptor, tell me that (holy spot) merely by remembering which with or without knowledge, mobile and immobile beings can attain salvation.
4. See, Your Holiness are not being requested and propitiated by me alone. It is indeed for this that you have been surrounded by all these sages.
5-20. The following sages eagerly wait for your answer: Pulaha, Pulastya, Vasiṣṭha, Marīci, Agastya, Dadhīca, Nakru, Bhṛgu, Atri, Jābāli, Jaimini, Dhaumya, Jamadagni, Upayāja, Yāja, Bharata, Arvarī, Vān, Pippalāda, Kaṇva, Kumuḍa, Upamanyu, Kumudākṣa, Kutsa, Vatsa, Varatantu, Vibhāṇḍaka, Vyāsa, Kaṇvarīṣa, Kaṇḍu, Māṇḍavya, Mataṅga, Kukṣi, Māṇḍakarṇi, Caṇḍakauśika, Śāṇḍilya, Śākaṭāyana, Kauśika, Śātātapa, Madhucchandas, Garga, Saubhari, Romaśa, Āpastamba, Pṛthustaṃba, Bhārgava, Udaṅka, Parvata, Bhāradvāja, Dālbhya, Dānta, Śvetaketu, Kauṇḍinya, Puṇḍarīka, Raibhya, Tṛṇabindu, Vālmīki, Nārada, Vahni, Dṛḍhamanyu, Bodhāyana, Subodha, Hārīta, Mṛkaṇḍu, the highly irate Durvāsas, Jālapāda, Śakti, Kāṅkvārya, Nadanta, Devadatta, Nyaṅku, Suśruta, Agniveśya, Gālava, Marutvān, Lokākṣi, Viśravas, Saindhava, Sumantu, Śiśupāyana, Maudgalya, Pathyacāvana, Mātura, Ṛṣyaśṛṅga, Ekapāt, Krauñca, Dṛḍha, Gomukha, Devala, Aṅgiras, Vāmadeva, Aurva, Patañjali, Kapiñjala, Sanatkumāra, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanātana, Hiraṇyanābha, Satyākhya, Vātāśana, Suhotṛ, Maitreya, Puṣpajit, Satya, Tapaśśāli, Iṣya, Śaiśira, Nidāgha, Utathya, Saṃvarta, Śaulkāyani, Parāśara, Vaiśaṃpāyana, Kauśalya, Śāradvata, Kapidhvaja, Kuśa, Svārcika, Kaivalya, Yājñavalkya, Āśvalāyana, Kṛṣṇātapa, Uttama, Anantakaruṇa, Āmalakapriya, Caraka, Pavitra, Kapila, Kaṇāśin (or Kaṇada) as well as Nara and Nārāyaṇa. There are other celestial sages too. They are eager to hear your answer to my question. You are being looked up to (for the answer).
21. You are worthy of being considered as the head of the devotees of Maheśvara. You have gone over all the worlds. Therefore you instruct and guide us.
22. It is directly by you that we have been instructed well prior to this, O Lord. What else can be relevant here?
24. If we have devotion unto you, if you have mercy towards us, it behoves you to open up this secret and bless us with your favour.
25. Thus Nandikeśvara was entreated by the son of Mṛkaṇḍu with humility and profuse smile on the face. He told Mārkaṇḍeya who was the greatest among the devotees of Śiva and who acquired perfection of the body from Śiva pleased formerly by his devotion:
Footnotes and references:
The list of sages given here in vv 5-20 is to appeal to Nandikeśvara to describe Aruṇācala, as a galaxy of great sages is eager to listen. Not that all these were contemporaries, but the Purāṇa presumes it.