The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Indradyumna’s Grief Dispelled which is chapter 15 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 fifteenth chapter of the Purushottama-kshetra-mahatmya of the Vaishnava-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 15 - Indradyumna’s Grief Dispelled

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Summary: Indradyumna’s Grief Dispelled: Manifestation of Four-formed Visnu.

Jaimini said:

1-2. Then those Brāhmaṇas left the excellent chariot and walked on foot along with their followers. They approached Nīlakaṇṭha joyously. After worshipping Mahādeva and bowing down to Śrīdurgā they started climbing Nīla mountain[1] with the senses under perfect control.

3. It was overgrown with different kinds of trees and creepers and full of various types of birds. Rugged rocks prevented free passage therein. There was a halo round the mountain.

4. The huge rocks that were tossed about (on the mountain) were hovered around by humming bees causing a confusion of sounds. The waves and waters of the Southern Sea came as far as the ridge of this mountain.

5. It was beyond human imagination and always impenetrable due to the presence of huge serpents. The interior of the mountain was extremely terrible on account of the trumpeting sounds of elephants in their rut.

6. It was always infested with beasts of prey. They never knew an attack (by human beings) with weapons. Many herds of deer moved all around fearlessly.

7. They (i.e. the Brāhmaṇas) were desirous of entering it, but could not see the path leading into it. But due to Nārada’s presence they came to know the top of the mountain.

8. They reached the place where the Lord is present in the form of the divine lion beneath the black aloe-wood tree, dispelling the fear of all adversities.

9. On seeing that Lord crores of the sins of Brāhmaṇa-slaughter incurred by men perish. The Lord has a huge open mouth with terrible teeth and tawny-coloured dishevelled manes.

10. He looked fierce with three eyes. The body of the Daitya is kept on his thighs in a supine position. With his claws as frightful as thunderbolt the Lord is (depicted as) tearing the chest of the demon.

11. He has pink lustre with blazing (v.l. lolling) tongue. The Lord bursts into a thunderous laughter. In his arms the conch and the discus were shining. The coronet and the crown dazzled brilliantly.

12. Sparks of fire emit from his eyes, frightening all the quarters. His lotus-like feet have gone deep down into the earth as he has stamped on the ground with great force.

13. Viewing the primordial idol of Hari in the presence of Nārada they looked at the Lord without fear. Free from ailments they bowed down to him from a distance.

14. On seeing the Lord Indradyumna began to believe the words of Nārada. With steady confidence in the future task he said to the great sage:

15. “I am contented (as I have almost fulfilled my task), O great sage; you are the greatest storehouse of knowledge. This Nṛsiṃha is very difficult to be propitiated. He is frightful even to look at.

16. He should be worshipped well by people like you. He should be worshipped from a distance by people like me. I am contented and blessed merely by viewing him. All my sins have been destroyed.

17-19. Since you are nearby, O sage, we stand here fearlessly. The Lord has an excessively terrible form. How can he be propitiated by people deficient in vigour and power? He is excessively frightening in the act of tearing up the king of Daityas, the lord of the three worlds.

Where is that place in which the blue sapphire form of the ocean of mercy had stood originally, O excellent sage, and which bestows salvation by mere sight? Show me that (place) which I consider as the bestower of salvation, O eminent Brāhmaṇa.”

20. Thus requested Nārada pointed out to him the sacred place where the Lord stood covered with golden sands.

21. “See this Nyagrodha (Banyan) tree, O king. Its girth is one Yojana and its height is two Yojanas. It will stand till the end of the Kalpa. It bestows salvation on men.

22. One is liberated from the shackles of sins by coming under the shade of the tree. A man who gives up his life at the root of this tree, shall attain salvation.

23. Even by seeing the sinless Nārāyaṇa in the form of the Nyagrodha tree a man becomes sinless. Then what to say if he worships and eulogizes?

24. It was to the west of the root of this (tree) and to the north of Nṛsiṃha, O king, that Mādhava, the Lord, stood in four different forms.

25-26. He will manifest here once again to bless you. Viṣṇu has his own abode in the Śveta island which is the land of enjoyment of pleasures. Similarly this is known as his own abode in Jaṃbūdvīpa which is the land of holy rites. Since it is a very great secret, its revelation is not approved of.

27. Only one who is eligible to be liberated knows this place, O king. It cannot be believed by (ordinary) men and by vicious people in particular.

28. Another idol of Viṣṇu which was installed here by the citizens, O king, is also a bestower of salvation. What doubt can there be then in the case of an idol installed by the Self-born Lord (Brahmā)?

29. (Manifestation) and vanishing of the Lord of the universe has a purpose behind it. He incarnates in different forms in different Yugas for the sake of blessing the good and pious people.

30. The Lord takes the forms of fish, tortoise etc. When the purpose is served the great Lord vanishes.

31-32. The ocean of kindness is stationed here permanently without any reason. Just as Lord Viṣṇu incarnates elsewhere from the Śveta island, so also stationed here the Lord manifests himself mercifully in places like Dvārakā, Kāñcī, Puṣkara etc. like sprouts from the roots of (mother) tree.

33. Incarnations in the different lands, holy spots, Tīrthas and shrines are (his) partial incarnations. Let there be no doubt in you about it, O king.

34. Īśāna (Śiva) does not forsake this holy spot even for a moment as he does not leave off his own sphere (land). There will be another manifestation, O king, known by you.”

35. After saying this, Nārada, the noble soul, pointed out the exact spot. There Indradyumna prostrated himself with eight limbs (touching the ground).

36. Thinking that the Lord was present there personally, he began to eulogize:

Indradyumna prayed:

37. O Lord of Devas, O Lord of the worlds, O destroyer of the agony of those who bow down (to you), save me, O lotus-eyed Lord. I have fallen into the ocean of worldly existence.

38. You are the only great Lord capable of destroying the mass of miseries. Only worthless, insignificant persons serve worthless and insignificant (deities) with a desire to get a small measure of happiness and comfort.

39. (I pray to you to destroy) the heap of my great sins of three kinds (accumulated) since very early times without a beginning, which cannot be annihilated and which goes on increasing in the course of different births.

40-41a. You are the bestower of salvation on men who see you directly. What of those who are prompted with the feelings of devotion? (They will certainly be liberated.) Those are fools who aver that you who are a storehouse of mercy, are subject to Karma. They do not know that Karma itself has been directed by you.

41b-42. What sins were not committed by the Brāhmaṇa Ajāmila[2] who had neglected everything prescribed for the people of different castes and stages of life? O Lord, he too was liberated by uttering your name. Merely by remembering (you) he was released from those (servants of Yama) with nooses in their hands.

43-44a. All the means of viewing you, O Lord of Devas, have been glorified. Indeed, when you are seen, all the doubts lurking in the heart are dispelled.

When one is free from doubts, certainly all sins and merits disappear.

44b-45. Bless me, O Lord. I am wretched and I seek refuge in you alone.

Even as I was within the womb, all my future events were decided by you. Let my life pass on with them. I beg you only for this.

46. Formerly your idol was stationed here and it has bestowed liberation on even a being of low order. Let me see that form with this mortal eye. I have no other aim in view.

47. After eulogizing the Slayer of Madhu thus with palms joined in reverence, the king bowed down again and lay prostrated on the ground with tears in his eyes.

48. Thereafter an ethereal voice with gentle and clear tone uttered as follows, from the middle of the sky, even as Indradyumna stood listening:

49. “Do not be worried, O king. I shall come within the range of your vision. Carry out the direction of Brahmā as mentioned by Nārada.”

50. On hearing that divine utterance as well as what had been spoken by Nārada before, the king gained conviction that the horse-sacrifice must be performed. He decided to do what was pleasing to th Lord.

51-52. With words choked with tears of joy, he spoke to Nārada again: “O sage, what has been commanded by you at the instance of Brahmā, the four-faced Lord, has been approved by this unembodied voice. There is no difference between Brahmā and Viṣṇu, the Lord of the worlds.

53. Indeed you are the son of the Lotus-born Lord. Your words are the words of the Lord. Hence it should be performed because it is conducive to welfare.”

Footnotes and references:


Purāṇic descriptions are to be cautiously accepted. For example: Svarṇādri in Ekāmra Kṣetra is regarded as the site of Liṅgarāja temple but actually there is no hill there at all. So is the case here.


For the story of Ajāmila vide BhP VI.1.21-68.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: