by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Holy Rites for Special Attainments which is chapter 7 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 seventh chapter of the Arunacala-khanda (Uttarardha) of the Maheshvara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
1. If anyone worships the Lord of Śoṇādri on a Sunday with red lotuses, he will surely acquire great imperial magnificence.
8. If anyone offers Apūpas (i.e. sweet pies) and propitiates Śoṇeśa on the third day, his health will never be impaired as long as his physical body lasts.
9. If anyone offers a pile of full pitchers etc. to the Lord of Aruṇa on Caturthī (i.e. fourth tithi), his desires will be fulfilled.
10. Cooked rice mixed with green gram should be offered as gift to Śoṇeśvara with devotion on the Pañcamī day (i.e. fifth tithi). The devotee thereby becomes one with inexhaustible affluence.
12. If anyone offers cooked rice with gingelly seeds to Śoṇeśa on Saptamī (i.e. seventh tithi), he shall get rid of his indebtedness without any effort even if he is very poor and wretched.
13. If anyone offers cooked rice from Rājaśāli variety of paddy to Śaṃbhu in the form of Śoṇaśaila on the Aṣṭamī day (i.e. eighth tithi), royal people will be won over by him without service as a courtier.
14. If anyone offers cooked wheat to the Lord of Śoṇādri on the Navamī day (i.e. ninth tithi), tuberculosis and other diseases will never affect him.
15. If anyone offers flour or meal mixed with curd to the Lord of Śoṇa on the Daśamī day (i.e. tenth tithi), he will always be a favourite of all the worlds.
16. If anyone offers beaten rice-flakes as gift to the Lord of Aruṇācala on the Ekādaśī day (i.e. eleventh tithi), he shall be free from fear from everywhere.
17. If anyone offers cooked rice with pulses to the Lord of Śoṇa on the Dvādaśī day (i.e. twelfth tithi), his desires (will be fulfilled) without any impediment.
18. If anyone offers fried flour of barley to Aruṇeśa on the Trayodaśī day (i.e. thirteenth tithi), he shall have no fatigue and his mind shall never be excited and agitated.
19. If anyone offers different kinds of fruits to Śoṇanātha on the Caturdaśī day (i.e. fourteenth tithi), he shall become eloquent and learned, even if he had originally been a dullard.
20. If anyone offers fruit of a jack-tree to the Lord of Śoṇādri on the Full-Moon day, he will never have diseases of the eye.
21. If anyone offers devoutly bulbous roots etc. to the Lord of Śoṇācala on the New-Moon day at a confluence, the Manes will be pleased with him.
25. Betel leaf should be offered on the Pūrvāphālgunī day and incense on the Uttarāphālgunī day. On the Hasta day one should offer black aloe-wood and on the Citrā day Yakṣakardama (i.e. an ointment in which sandalwood, musk and other things are mixed).
26. On the Svātī day collection of Suvāsinīs (i.e. good perfumes?) should be offered. On the Viśākhā day a chowrie; on the Anurādhā day an umbrella studded with pearls; on the Jyeṣṭhā day herds of cows should be offered.
28. On the Dhaniṣṭhā day a devotee should offer gold. Vāsaḥ (clothes or an abode) shall be offered on the Śatabhiṣak day. Various articles of enjoyment shall be offered on the Pūrvābhādrapadā and horses on the Uttarābhādrapadā day.
30-31. The Lord of Aruṇa should be particularly worshipped in the different Rāśis (‘signs of zodiac’) beginning with Meṣa (‘Aries’) with flowers in the following order: Sinuvāras (‘Vitex Negundo’), Kurabaka (‘Red Amaranth’), Kakubha (‘Terminalia Arjuna’), Pāṭala (‘Trumpet flower’), Kuṭaja (Wrightia dysenterica’), Nīpa flowers (‘Ixora Nauclea Cadamba’), Jīvantī (‘Cocculus cordifobis’), Mallikā (a variety of jasmine), Saroruhas (‘Lotuses’), Damanakas (‘Artemisia indica’), Nandyāvartas (‘Tabernaemontan coronaria’) and Saroruhas (i.e. Lotuses of another variety).
32-34. During the Solar and Lunar eclipses a devotee should piously bathe the Lord with Pañcāmṛta repeating the five-syllabled Mantra of Śoṇanātha. During the two Ayanas (i.e. transits of the Sun) the deity should be bathed with Pañcagavya. The rite of bathing with Gavya shall be performed along with the recitation of) the six-syllabled Mantra.
During the two equinoxes the bathing rite of the Lord of Aruṇācala should be devoutly performed with milk repeating Praṇava (‘Om’).
35. It is better to worship the Lord of Śoṇādri in the forenoon with Rudratulasī, in the midday with cassia fistula and in the afternoon with jasmine.
37. On the Śivarātri day a devotee shall keep awake and have perfect control over the sense-organs. He shall worship the Lord particularly with dusters of three leaves of Bilva or lotuses or Karṇikāras (i.e. flowers of cathartocarpus fistula).
42. One shall worship the Lord of Śoṇādri in accordance with the injunctions of the Āgamas during the following occasions: Pradoṣas falling on Saturdays, Ārdrā days, Vyatīpātas, during Parvans and on Sundays and Mondays.
43. With great devotion one should perform special worship of Śoṇanātha on the following occasions: days of initiation, sacred thread ceremonies, marriages, birth of a son and such other occasions.
44. On one’s own birthday, during joyous occasions as well as in adversities, when some danger is feared, at the time of exit and entries etc. Aruṇeśvara should be worshipped.
45. When a multitude of holy saints comes, when one’s feet are fettered (?), at the acquisition of new prosperity and glory, when enemy marches against one or when one marches against enemies—on all these occasions one should worship Aruṇeśa.
46. If one is far off, one shall remember Śiva; if one is in the neighbourhood, one shall visit Śiva; and if one stays in the holy spot of Aruṇa, one shall worship Śiva three times a day.
47. What else do you say, O dear one? It is being proclaimed by me with the arm raised up that there is no other place than the holy place Aruṇa capable of (bestowing) heavenly pleasures and salvation.
48. The holy spot of Śoṇa instantaneously and adequately sanctifies the mind on being remembered, the ears on being listened to, the eyes on being visited and the tongue on being glorified.
49. By the embodied souls who have taken birth in this great holy spot enjoyment of pleasures is obtained as long as they are alive and liberation when they cease to live.
50. Through the Śrāddha rite performed here even those persons who die elsewhere attain salvation despite their being sinners.
Footnotes and references:
VV 1-5 describe the good results of worshipping the Lord of Aruṇācala on different weekdays. One or two verses are probably missing as we do not have the mention of Monday and Tuesday in this list.
VV 6-21 describe the benefits derived by worshipping Aruṇācaleśvara on various Tithis (‘Lunar days’) by offering certain articles of food as Naivedya. The list gives us a variety of vegetarian food-articles in vogue at the time of the Purāṇa—the various articles of rice show a rice-growing area as the locale of the Purāṇa.
VV 30-46 list the flowers to be offered on different Signs of Zodiac beginning with Meṣa (‘Aries’) and also on various occasions, e.g. transits of the Sun, special days in certain months or various occasions (good or ominous) in one’s life.
These seven towns are regarded as Mokṣa-dāyakas (‘giving salvation to its residents or to one dying there’). And Aruṇācala is superior to them.