The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes The Confluence of Kalya with Suvarnamukhari which is chapter 35 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 thirty-fifth chapter of the Venkatacala-mahatmya of the Vaishnava-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 35 - The Confluence of Kalyā with Suvarṇamukharī

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Bharadvāja said:

1. Like Kālindī that joins Gaṅgā the auspicious and sacred river named Kalyā joins Suvarṇamukharī there.

2. Kalyā that rises in Vṛṣabhācala, that stands like the sovereign of ail the Tīrthas and that is the most excellent of all the rivers, is destructive of masses of sins.

3. Both of its banks are adorned by different kinds of trees and creepers. It is a pleasant abode of multitudes of sages. It is conspicuous on account of holy hermitages.

4-5. Its banks are marked with Darbha grass and raw rice-grains gracing the Arghyas (water libations etc.) offered by Brāhmaṇas. Its waters are muddy (only) because they wash the musk-unguents from the breasts of celestial damsels.

It is rendered fragrant by the liquid ichor oozing from the temples of huge elephants. It is full of hundreds of sacrificial posts fixed by Brāhmaṇas and kings.

6-11. By means of a perennial supply of water that is never turbid, it has satisfied (thoroughly) the entire mankind. Of these two rivers even one by itself is capable of dispelling sins. Who is competent to eulogize (adequately) the greatness of both of them joined together?

In the middle of the river there is a rock named Brahmaśilā. Afterwards due to the penance of Agastya it will attain the (near) equivalence to Gayā. Those who take their bath there in the holy waters of both the rivers, shall obtain the benefit of a hundred Pauṇḍarīka sacrifices. The sins of Brāhmaṇa-slaughter etc. are destroyed in the case of those who are sanctified by their holy bath in the confluence of the two rivers.

United with Kalyā then, which is destructive of Saṃsāra,[1] Suvarṇamukharī shines like the sanctifying Kṛṣṇaveṇī.

[Śrī Veṅkaṭācala Situated on the Banks of Suvarṇamukharī]:—

12. To the north of the great river (Suvarṇamukharī) about half a Yojana away stands the famous Veṅkaṭācala about a Yojana in height.

13-14a. This excellent mountain is the support of all Tīrthas. The following are the groves of this mountain: Añjana, Ananta, Vṛṣabha, Nīla, Kesari, Potrin, Nārāyaṇa and Veṅkaṭa.

14b-15a. This mountain is glorified as Varāhakṣetra by noble men, because it was formerly accepted (as a resort) by the Slayer of Madhu after he assumed the form (body) of Boar.

15b-16a. Accompanied by the daughter of the great Ocean Acyuta dwells here permanently on the well-known Veṅkaṭācala on the banks of Suvarṇamukharī.

16b-18a. Siddhas, Gandharvas, sages, Dānavas and human beings attend upon (and worship) the Lord of Veṅkaṭa residing on that mountain along with Śrī. The desires and ambitions of the devotees who have dedicated their minds to Puruṣottama are realized immediately, O Arjuna, and their miseries perish.

18b-19. Those who remember the Lord of the universe residing on Veṅkaṭādri get all their defects and blemishes dispelled. They go to the permanent and immutable region.

Arjuna said:

20-22. How did Lord Kamalāpati (Lord of Lakṣmī), the Lord who is bowed down to by Suras and Asuras, manifest himself on Veṅkaṭādri of great merit?

To which blessed (devotee) did he reveal on being pleased his own wonderful form that bestows the benefits of worldly pleasures and ultimate salvation? O great Sage, I wish to hear about the greatness of Viṣṇu, the primordial Lord of Devas. Please recount it to me accurately and in detail.

[The Greatness of the Lord Residing on Śrī Veṅkaṭācala]:—

Bharadvāja said:

23-24. Listen to the greatness of Veṅkaṭanātha with great concentration. It is not possible even for Brahmā to state it in great detail.

O dear one, O suppressor of enemies, you are blessed because you have the devout inclination to hear about the greatness of the Slayer of Madhu, of the Lord of Devas.

25. I too am meritorious, O son of Pṛthā, because the sacred activities of Hari, the Lord of all living beings, will be recounted by me now.

26-27. I shall recount to you, O son of Pṛthā, the story related by Vāmadeva formerly to the noble-souled Janaka on the banks of Gaṅgā, when that king who possessed pure and perfect knowledge, was engaged in sacrifice with due initiation. It is the story that destroys sins and is highly sanctifying because Viṣṇu is glorified therein.

28-30. Lord Nārāyaṇa is prior to all living beings. He is immanent in the universe. He is the creator of the universe. He is unsullied. He is of the form of consciousness and knowledge.

The lord is thousand (innumerable)-headed, thousand-eyed and thousand-footed. It is on account of his brilliance that this universe consisting of mobile and immobile beings shines.

There is no splendour greater than he. There is no penance greater than he. There is no knowledge greater than he. There is no other Yoga greater than he.

31. There is no Vidyā (Lore or Knowledge) greater than he, O son of Pṛthā, O leader of men. The Lord is always abiding in all the living beings.

32. All the living beings stay happily within him. He alone is Yajña, the performer of Yajña and the adjuncts of Yajña such as the ladle, the wooden spoon etc.

33. He is the fruit (of religious rites), the bestower of the benefit as well as the goal to be reached thereby. When the sacrificial fire is brought and one offers oblations with the animal sprinkled with sacred water, the animal sprinkled (with holy water) and those who resort to him, attain the goal (heaven/ salvation) granted by him.

34. Those who make the bondage resulting from Karmas the sacrificial animal and consign it to the holy fire of Jñāna (i.e. spiritual knowledge) with Him as the aim, attain Sāyujya with Him.

35. Hari, Sadāśiva, Brahmā and Mahendra, the great ruler of heaven, all these are declared as the synonyms of that selfsame Lord of all.

36. He who with concentrated mind ponders over the greatness of Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Soul, is not reborn.

37. The attributeless one, of the nature of knowledge and bliss, the witness, the Ātman without limitation or condition, and the eternal one, assumes different forms as per His will.

38. He is the most sacred one of all sacred things; he is the greatest goal of the helpless; he is the deity unto all deities; he is the most excellent good of all the good.

39. He is the only Bodhya (‘that which should be known’) among of all Bodhyas; he is the most excellent Dhyeya (‘that which should be meditated upon’) of all Dhyeyas; he is the superior Vinaya (humility, good bearing, polite conduct) among all Vinayas; he is endowed with Naya (justice).

40. He is the splendour that produces other splendours and luminaries; he is the most excellent and intensive penance of all penances; he is the supporter of all living beings. Janārdana is without beginning and end-

41-42. Even Brahmā and others are at a loss to know his intrinsic nature. He is unborn yet takes incarnations. He is the soul of everyone and yet kills the enemies. Though he is independent, he functions as subservient to his devotees. That omniscient, Garuḍa-emblemed Lord is the witness of all actions (of all beings).

43-46. Sages with great concentration and mental purity seek his form. Four of his Mūrtis (forms) are famous,[2] viz. Saṅkarṣaṇa, Vāsudeva, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. Praṇava is proclaimed thereafter. His heart is refulgent. Vāsudeva is the Lord and this Mantra reveals him. He who repeats this Mantrarāja regularly, shall be the recipient of Siddhis due to the mercifulness of Viṣṇu.

[The Creation of Living Beings Evolved by the Lord[3]]:—

47-51. Listen with concentration. I shall recount everything, how at the beginning of the Kalpa, Mādhava who wards off adversities and calamities, who provides (bestows) affluence and who bestows worldly pleasures and liberation, created living beings.

As he contemplated the process of creation the great and brilliant form of Hari resorted to Rajoguṇa and became well-known as Viriñca. From the mouth (face) of the Lord Śakra, the Deva, was born along with Pāvaka (the Fire-god). Śakra became the lord of the three worlds and Pāvaka became the lord of the process of cooking.

From his mind (which is) perpetually cool due to his mercifulness, came out the Moon. He is the permanent protector of waters, of all the medicinal herbs and of Brāhmaṇas.

From his eyes was born the Sun that illuminates the universe. He is the cause of cold, heat and rain, and causes the (various units of) Time and is the storehouse of refulgences.

52. From his vital airs was born Samīra (the Wind-god), the life essence of the universe, the exceedingly powerful supporter of planets, stars, celestial Gaṅgā and aerial chariots.

53. From the region of the navel of that noble-souled one was born the Intermediate Space (Antarikṣa). From his head issued forth Ākāśa (Sky/Ether) that is the cause of the origin of all elements.

54. From his lotus-like feet came out the earth, the support of the multitudes of living beings. All the directions issued forth from the ears of the Supreme Soul.

55-56. From his activity of recollection were born the Worlds Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ etc. as well as the (nether) worlds beginning with Rasātala and Yakṣas, groups of Rākṣasas etc.

O scion of the family of Kuru, he created Brāhmaṇas, Kṣatriyas, Vaiśyas, Śūdras and the others in due order from the mouth, the arms, the thighs and the feet.

57. The Vedas, Yajña, horses, cows, goats and sheep and others originated from him, which is beyond all imagination.

58. By (mere) thought or will of the Lord of Devas the entire world of living beings, both mobile and immobile, was born. So also did Time, past, present and future.

59. Assuming the form of Vaḍavānala (‘submarine fire’) he drinks the waters of the ocean. At the end of the Kalpa he casts off everything that he holds within himself.

60. Adopting the form of the Sun and the Moon, he makes the sustenance of the living beings go on smoothly. He dispels darkness thereby and causes Time to function properly.

61. At the close of the Kalpa he places all the worlds within his belly and adopting the form of a child sportingly he lies on the leaf of a Banyan tree in the great ocean.

62. With the Lotus-aboded (Lakṣmī) as his second (companion) he indulges in the Yogic Slumber in the extremely comfortable and exalted couch of the body of the great Serpent.

63. The Lord of all the worlds created the Four-faced Lord of creation from the lotus rising from the lake of his navel.

64. This is a mere sport of Mukunda who works as he pleases. That Lord cannot be comprehended truly by anyone.

65-68. When there is loss of virtue (Dharma), when evil prevails, when groups of Devas undergo the greatest affliction, when the enemies of Suras become uncontrollable due to their haughtiness and increase in number, when great danger and fright befall the earth and the people of the earth, when there is inevitable misfortune causing endless agony to his devotees of excellent nature, he assumes eagerly the forms befitting (the particular occasion).[4] He destroys the evil immediately and causes the welfare of the universe.

69-70. With his Rājasa form he takes up the name Vidhi and creates. Adopting the Sāttvika form and the name Hari he sustains the universe. After adopting Tāmasa activity and the name Hara he destroys (the universe). There is none who knows the greatness of the Slayer of Madhu.

With the parts of Yajña all the limbs and joints of the form of Boar are constituted.[5] The Lord of the worlds assumes that form and takes up his residence on this mountain. I shall describe how it happened in detail, O son of the overlord of the Devas.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

As there is no river called Bhavanāśinī joining Kṛṣṇaveṇī bhavanāśinyā is taken as an adjective to the word Kalyayā.

[2]:

This is the Pāñcarātra influence. These four manifestations are called Vyūhas in that system.

[3]:

This theory of evolution of the universe is to a great extent based on the Puruṣa Sūkta (RV X.90) with Purāṇic element, e.g. Viṣṇu’s yogic slumber at the end of the Kalpa and creation of god Brahmā etc.

[4]:

Cf. yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati....tadātmānaṃ sṛjāmyaham || (BG IV.7)

[5]:

For the concept of Yajña-varāha see p. 1, ftn 2.

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