by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Vajrangada Attains Salvation which is chapter 24 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 twenty-fourth chapter of the Arunacala-khanda (Uttarardha) of the Maheshvara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
3. The King set aside all wish of returning to his own city. He desired to make his residence in the neighbourhood of its valley.
4. Then his great army consisting of hundreds of divisions of elephants, horses and foot soldiers reached that place following the footsteps of the horse.
5. The King, a veritable ocean of fortitude and courage of that type, was met by the priests, ministers, vassals, kings, generals and excellent friends.
6. When that army arrived the King reverentially stationed it beyond the border of Aruṇādri.
7. The devout King assigned all the wealth in his treasury and all the territories of great productive capacity for the worship of the Lord of Śoṇādri.
9. He placed his son named Ratnāṅgada in his position (i.e. throne). He propitiated Śoṇeśa by means of the enormous wealth sent by him.
10. As Agrahāra (‘grant for sustenance of Brāhmaṇas’) he donated villages around Aruṇācala—villages which were abounding in reservoirs (like wells etc.) full of water and orchards bearing an abundance of fruits.
11. Thanks to the splendour of Lord Aruṇa in the form of a Column of Effulgence, he built hundreds of tanks and lakes in this place which was mostly a desert and a wasteland.
12. Being of a long-ranged vision, he granted very beautiful and excellent ladies from among his attendants for the sake of service unto Śoṇanātha.
14. Everyday he took the holy bath in the lake called Navatīrtha and with very great purity he worshipped Pāpanāśa and Pravāleśa.
17. He used to get up very early in the morning. After taking his bath the King performed three circumambulations on foot repeating the five-syllabled Mantra.
19. He performed the ablution of the Three-eyed Lord by means of thousands of gold pots filled with water rendered fragrant with various scents, Kahlāra flowers and camphor.
20. He celebrated the great festival of riding in the chariot most honoured in the three worlds. He celebrated Tīrthotsava and other festivals every month beginning with flag-hoisting.
22. He frequently eulogized (the Lord) repeating the names, O Lord of Aruṇācala, O Ocean of the nectar of sympathy, O Lord accompanied by Aruṇāmbā.
23. Everyday he applied various articles such as Pañcāmṛta etc. and anointed (the Liṅga) with sandal pastes white with camphor.
24. Beginning it in the morning he worshipped the Lord of Śoṇādri having the form of the Gaṇas by means of Kahlāra flowers dripping with liquefied musk.
25. Pleased with the services and worship of that (King) of great self-control for three years, the Lord of Aruṇādri appeared to him in person.
26. He was seated on the great bull resembling a snow-clad mountain. He was in close embrace with the Goddess seated nearby.
28. He warded off the sins of all the worlds by means of benign glances that resembled the waves of the ocean of mercy and that constituted the abodes of Goddess of fortune.
29. On seeing the Lord of the Devas King Vajrāṅgada became extremely glad. (Touching the ground) with the eight limbs of the body he made the obeisance.
30. With palms joined in reverence and kept over the head the King made obeisance hundreds of times. With the clusters of the rays of lustre emanating from his sparkling teeth he seemed to wash his lotus-like feet as he submitted as follows:
31-32. O Lord of Devas, I may have committed many sins out of delusion. But out of them let this transgression of mine be forgiven.
As he said this in exceedingly piteous tone, the Lord, the storehouse of mercy, the Lord of the universe, the Lord of Śoṇācala said to him:
Śrī Maheśvara (Śiva) said:
33. Do not be afraid, O dear one. Welfare unto thee. I have eight Mūrtis (i.e. forms). All of them have been freely assigned to all the creatures.
35. When paralysed thus, you got ashamed. In a moment your pride vanished. You requested me for Śivajñāna which is the cause of all prosperity and magnificence.
36. You were then commanded by me: “O Indra, descend to the earth and take incarnation as King Vajrāṅgada. Then you will obtain my grace.”
37. Thereafter, this holy spot was evolved through (my) power. This is my resort. You had been foolish and hence you were punished. But (now) you are my great devotee.
38. Now I am much delighted on account of your supreme services performed by you day and night, O King. So I am enlightening you.
44. Accompanied by this Śakti I carry on the illusory show of creation, sustenance and annihilation. Thereby I watch and witness as I please this wonderfully variegated and picturesque universe.
45. Your delusion has been dispelled by my greatness. You consider yourself not different from me, like a wave which is not different from the ocean.
46. Thereafter attain the overlordship of the earth which is only one of my forms. By my favour, O great King, enjoy worldly pleasures to your satisfaction.
47. Again in the capacity of Purandara enjoy heavenly pleasures for a long time, O King; certainly you will attain the identity of form with me.
48. After saying thus the Lord vanished. King Vajrāṅgada was contented. Worshipping the Lord of Śoṇa he attained all types of pleasures.
49. Thus, it has been mentioned to you, O good soul, how a devotee of Śiva develops and prospers. The eternal benefit of the circumambulation of Śoṇaśaila has also been recounted.
50. What need is there of more (superfluous) talk? The circumambulation of Śoṇaśaila excels even a hundred great horse-sacrifices.
51. One shall attain innumerable benefits by circumambulating Śoṇagiri on equinoctical days, days on which the Sun takes another transit, the transit from one Zodiac to another, on Vyatīpāta days and other Parvan days.
52. There is no greater holy spot than Aruṇa; there is no greater Lord than Aruṇeśvara; there is no greater penance than circumambulation (of Aruṇācala).
53. As Nandikeśvara narrated thus the son of Mṛkaṇḍu had a thrill of joy making his hair stand on end all over his body. He frequently shed tears of delight. It was as though he was immersed in the ocean of nectar.
:: End of Aruṇācalamāhātmya ::
:: End of Māheśvarakhaṇḍa ::
Footnotes and references:
The following verses (39-44) give the tenets of Pāśupatism in a nutshell.