by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,142,515 words
This page describes Great Efficacy of Cakratirtha which is chapter 23 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-third chapter of the Venkatacala-mahatmya of the Vaishnava-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Śrī Sūta said:
1-3. Now I shall narrate, O eminent Brāhmaṇas of truthful speech, the greatness of Cakratīrtha that destroys all sins.
Those who are averse to the charitable gift of food as well as that of water, those who are averse to the charitable gift of cows, become pure by taking their holy bath here.
4. Hence Cakratīrtha, the excellent Tīrtha, is excessively meritorious.
Śrī Sūta said:
6. He was endowed with mercifulness. He abstained from food. He was truthful in speech and had conquered his sense-organs. He looked at all living beings as his own self. He was free from desire for sensual pleasures.
7-9a. He wished (and strove) for the welfare of all living beings. He controlled his mind. He was free from the (effects of) mutually opposed pairs (such as pleasure and pain etc.). For a few years he maintained himself by eating old (fallen) leaves. For some time his sole diet was water; for a few years he subsisted on air only. Thus for twelve years the great sage Padmanābha performed a severe penance very difficult to be performed even by Devas.
[Delighted by the Penance Performed by the Brāhmaṇa Named Padmanābha at Cakratīrtha the Lord Appears Before Him]:—
9b-11. On being satisfied and pleased by his penance the Lord of Kamalā, holding the conch, the discus and the iron club became visible to him. His eyes resembled the petals of a fullblown lotus. He had the lustre similar to that of a crore of suns.
On seeing the noble-souled Lord he began to eulogize.
[Hymn to Śrīnivāsa Composed by Brāhmaṇa Padmanābha]:—
15. Obeisance to the Lord with lotus-like eyes. Obeisance to you lying on the Milk Ocean. Hail to you, Śrīnivāsa, the slayer of wicked Rākṣasas.
16-18. Obeisance to the Lord fond of the devotees, to the Lord of Devas. Obeisance to you, to Śrīnivāsa, the destroyer of the agony of those who bow down (to you).
19. Thus was eulogized Śrīnivāsa, the auspicious one who is immanent in the universe, by the sage named Padmanābha who was a resident of Cakratīrtha.
[The Lord Directs Padmanābha to Stay at Cakratīrtha Permanently]:—
20-21. After having attained the greatest delight Puruṣottama, the Lord of Veṅkaṭa, the storehouse of mercy, spoke these nectar-like words to Padmanābha, the excellent Brāhmaṇa, who was calm and devoted to holy rites:
22. O excellent Brāhmaṇa, O blessed one, O worshipper of my lotus-like feet, you stay on the banks of Cakratīrtha to the end of the Kalpa worshipping me.
23-24a. After saying this Lord Viṣṇu vanished there itself. When Lord Śrīnivāsa, the sire of the universe, vanished, (the Brāhmaṇa) of great intellect stayed on the banks of Cakratīrtha.
24b-25. Then after some time a certain Rākṣasa of a terrible appearance who was very cruel and was afflicted with hunger, came there to devour that sage named Padmanābha who was devoted to Nārāyaṇa.
26-30. The Rākṣasa caught hold of the Brāhmaṇa with great force. On being seized by him with great force, the Brāhmaṇa, a master of the Vedāṅgas, yelled loudly to Nārāyaṇa, the discus-bearing deity, the greatest resort of persons in distress, an ocean of mercy. He repeatedly cried: “Save me, save me. O Lord of Veṅkaṭa, O ocean of mercy, O protector of those who seek refuge in you, O tiger among men, save me. I have been overcome by a Rākṣasa. O Hari, O Viṣṇu, O Lord of Lakṣmī, O Garuḍa-emblemed Lord, O Vaikuṇṭha, protect me. I have been seized by a Rākṣasa. Save me in the manner you saved the elephant attacked by the crocodile. O Dāmodara, O Lord of the universe, O suppressor of Hiraṇyāsura, save me as you saved Prahlāda (as I am) exceedingly afflicted by the Rākṣasa.”
[The Lord Despatches His Discus for Slaying the Demon about to Kill Padmanābha]:—
31-34. As Padmanābha eulogized thus, O Brāhmaṇas, Cakrapāṇi, the storehouse of mercifulness, realized the danger of his devotee. He despatched his own Discus for protecting the devotee.
On being hurled by Viṣṇu, the powerful one, that Discus of Viṣṇu, came to the banks of Cakrapuṣkariṇī speedily. It shone like infinite number of suns. It had the lustre equal to that of infinite number of fires.
[The Discus Despatched by the Lord Slays the Asura]:—
35-36. Even as the Rākṣasa fled, Sudarśana which was unapproachable on account of clusters of sparks and flames, suddenly cut off his head. On seeing the Rākṣasa fallen on the ground, the excellent Brāhmaṇa rejoiced excessively and eulogized Sudarśana.
37-41. O Viṣṇu’s Discus, obeisance to you. You are prepared for protecting the universe. Salute to you, to the ornament of the lotus-like hand of Nārāyaṇa. O Sudarśana, of great sound, O destroyer of the agony of devotees, obeisance to you, efficient in the destruction of Asuras in the course of battles. Save me. I am extremely frightened. Save me from all sins, O Lord and Master Sudarśana! Be ever present at the Cakratīrtha for the welfare of the universe desirous of salvation.
On being prayed thus by that Brāhmaṇa that Discus of Viṣṇu, O great sages, spoke to that (Brāhmaṇa) named Padmanābha, delighting him with great friendliness:
[Granting of Boons by the Discus at the Request of the Brāhmaṇa]:—
42-47. “O Padmanābha, I shall stay here permanently with a desire for the welfare of all the worlds at this most excellent and highly meritorious Cakratīrtha.
On pondering over your distress caused by the wicked Rākṣasa, O Brāhmaṇa, I have been despatched by Viṣṇu and I hastened to this place. This wretched Rākṣasa, your tormentor, has been killed by me. You have been liberated from fear as you are a permanent devotee of Hari.
In the Cakratīrtha of great merits, destructive of all sins, O Brāhmaṇa, I shall be present near you forever for the sake of protecting the worlds.
Due to my presence here, hereafter no harassment caused by evil spirits and demons shall disturb you or other Brāhmaṇas. Since I am present here it will become famous by the name Cakratīrtha.
48-50. The sons and grandsons, indeed all the persons born in the family of those who take their holy bath in Cakratīrtha that bestows salvation, shall become rid of their sins. They will go to the greatest region of Viṣṇu.”
After saying this, O Brāhmaṇas, even as Padmanābha and all other Brāhmaṇas stood watching, that Discus of Viṣṇu suddenly entered Cakrapuṣkariṇī that is destructive of sins.
Śrī Sūta said:
51-53. O Śaunaka and other great Brāhmaṇas of great prowess, the greatness of Cakratīrtha that is destructive of sins has been completely narrated to you all.
A Tīrtha on a par with Cakratīrtha has never been (before) nor will there be any (in future). O Brāhmaṇas, by taking their bath here men shall undoubtedly be liberated.
He who narrates this chapter or listens to this with great concentration and purity of mind attains the excellent benefit of taking the holy bath in Cakratīrtha.
Footnotes and references:
This refers to the episode of Viṣṇu’s saving an elephant from a crocodile given in BhP VIII, Chs. 2 and 3.