by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 750,347 words
This page describes The Marriage of Shrinivasa and Padmavati which is chapter 8 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 eighth chapter of the Venkatacala-mahatmya of the Vaishnava-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Śrī Varāha said:
1-3. Thereafter the Overlord of Devas called the beautiful lady Lakṣmī and said: “O graceful lady of beautiful eyes, tell me what should be done for the marriage. O Ramā, command your attendants. Do everything pleasing.
On hearing the words of Kṛṣṇa Śrī called her attendants and friends and directed them. On being commanded by Śrī the attendant, Prīti (‘Pleasure’), took up the sweet-scented oil. Śruti (‘Vedas’) took up the silk cloth and stood waiting in the presence of the Lord.
7-9. On seeing them coming Śrī got up immediately. She took the scented oil and applied it onto the Lord from head to foot. After rubbing and shampooing the body of the Lord with scented perfumes and powders Ramā performed the ablution of Hari. A hundred golden pots filled with the waters of the celestial Gaṅgā and other holy rivers were brought by elephants. The waters were rendered fragrant by means of camphor etc. Ramā took the pots one by one and performed the rite of ablution of Hari.
10-11. She fumigated the tresses of hair by means of incense and when they became dry, she tied them. After anointing the body of the Lord with gold-coloured scents Indirā (Lakṣmī) tied the blue silken robe on his waist along with the waistband. She adorned him with coronets and other ornaments.
12. Bejewelled rings were put on all the fingers. Dhṛti showed the mirror in front of the Lord.
14-15. Then he proceeded towards Nārāyaṇapurī accompanied by Brahmā, Īśa, Varuṇa, Yama, Yakṣeśa, Vasiṣṭha and other eminent sages, Sanaka and other Yogins as well as devotees and loyal followers of the Lord. The chieftains of Gandharvas sang. The groups of celestial damsels danced.
17. Accompanied by the groups of Devas and Viṣvaksena and other attendants, followed by Bakulamālikā and other attendants and chaperons seated in chariots, the Lord reached the well-decorated city of King Ākāśā.
The Place of the Wedding of Padmāvatī
18-19. On seeing that the Lord had arrived, they made the bride sit oṇ the elephant Airāvata and took her round the city. When King Ākāśa saw her come back to the entrance of ornamental gateway, the bride and the bridegroom were brought together. The King stood facing Lord Keśava along with his kinsmen.
20-22.1 Viṣṇu took off the wreath of flowers from his neck with his hand and smilingly put it over the shoulders of Kamalā (Padmāvatī). She then took a garland of jasmine flowers and placed it round his neck. This (exchange of garlands) they repeated three times and then got down from the vehicles. They stood (or sat?) over the pedestal for a short while. Then Hari and the daughter of Earth entered the auspicious (marriage) chamber accompanied by the groups of Devas beginning with Brahmā.
23-26. The Lotus-born Lord (Brahmā) performed all the religious rites connected with the wedding beginning with the tying of Māṅgalyasūtra (ṣṭhe thread of conjugal felicity’) and ending with Lājā Homa (Homa with parched grains) along with the soaking of pulses for germination. After directing them to observe the Vratas the kinsmen took Kamalā and Had to the bedchamber. On the fourth day the Four-faced Lord concluded all the holy rites. They took leave of King Viyat and made Lord Hari sit on Garuḍa accompanied by both the goddesses. They then proceeded ahead along with Devas. The party reached Vṛṣabhācala to the accompaniment of the sounds of the divine Dundubhi drums. The groups of Devas headed by Brahmā eulogized the Lord of the Chiefs of Devas.
27-28. The groups of sages including Śuka and others eulogized Puruṣottama. Even as he was being eulogized, the Lord entered the hall studded with jewels. There he sat on a throne accompanied by Ramā and the daughter of Earth (Padmālayā).
[The Gifts and Presents made by King Viyat to the Bride and the Bridegroom]:—
30-35. Rice grains were kept in huge pots of gold. There were many vessels of green gram and hundreds of ghee pots. There were thousands of milk pots and many pots of curds. There were divine mangoes, plantains and coconut fruits. There were emblic myrobalan fruits, ash-gourds and royal plantains, jack fruits and citrons. There were jars filled with sugar.
Gold, jewels and pearls were in plenty. There were a crore of silk clothes. Thousands of men and women slaves were presented and crores of cows too.
He gave ten thousand horses white in colour like swans and the moon. There were more than a hundred elephants perpetually in their rut. He gave Viṣṇu, Śrīnivāsa, four thousand women experts in dance and music to serve in the inner apartment. After making all these gifts the king stood in front of the Lord (awaiting further instruction).
[By the Favour of Śrīnivāsa King Viyat Attains the Boon of Devotion (to the Lord)]:—
36-39. On seeing all these in the company of both the queens Hari, Veṅkaṭeśvara, became highly pleased and he said to the king, his father-in-law:
“Choose your boon, O king, my Sire, from me whatever you desire.” On hearing these words of the Lord of Śrī King Viyat said to the Lord: “O Lord, grant me (the boon of) an unswerving service and loyalty to you. Let my mind rest in your lotuslike feet. Let there be devotion to you.”
Śrī Bhagavān replied:
40-42. O eminent king, what you have said will take place fully.
[Return of Brahmā and Others who had come for Marriage Festival to their Respective Residences]:—
After granting him the boon and honouring him befittingly Hari duly honoured Brahmā, Īśa and all other Suras suitably and allowed them joyously to go back to the heavenly world. After all of them had gone the Lord sported about on the banks of Svāmipuṣkariṇī as before. He was accompanied by Śrī and the daughter of Earth. There in his divine abode he is seated, being honoured by Guha.
Footnotes and references:
It is an ointment or perfumed paste consisting of camphor, agallochum, musk, sandalwood and Kakkola. MW 838b.