The Skanda Purana
by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Dharmadatta Attains Salvation which is chapter 28 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-eighth chapter of the Karttikamasa-mahatmya of the Vaishnava-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Chapter 28 - Dharmadatta Attains Salvation
[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]
1. I have heard that Jaya and Vijaya are the gatekeepers of Viṣṇu. What holy rites have been performed by them, whereby they have assumed his (Lord’s) form?
The Attendants said:
2. Two sons were born of Devahūtī, the daughter of Tṛṇabindu, O Brāhmaṇa, through Kardama’s vision alone.
3. The elder was Jaya and the younger Vijaya by name. Afterwards, Kapila, the knower of Yogic rites, was also born to her.
4. Jaya and Vijaya were always engaged in devotion to Viṣṇu. They were virtuous in conduct and all their sense-organs were concentrated in him (Viṣṇu).
5. They used to perform the Japa of the eight-syllabled Mantra regularly. Both of them observed the vow of Viṣṇu. During their daily worship, Viṣṇu always granted them his vision.
6. Once they were invited by (King) Marutta to his Yajña. Those two who were experts in the performance of Yajñas, went there. They were honoured by the celestial sages.
7. Jaya was the Brahmā (Presiding Priest) there and Vijaya was the Yājaka (one who actually performs the rites). Then they completely performed the Yajña.
8. After taking his A vabhṛtha bath (valedictory bath after a sacrifice) Marutta gave them plenty of wealth. Taking that wealth, they went to their hermitage.
9. They wanted to worship Viṣṇu separately. For the purpose of propitiating Viṣṇu, they wanted to perform sacrifice individually. While sharing that money those sages quarrelled with each other.
10. Jaya said: “Let the amount be shared equally”. Vijaya said: “It shall not be so. The sum belongs to him who obtained it.”
11. Thereupon Jaya cursed Vijaya who was covetous-minded: “You have taken the money but do not give. Hence be a crocodile.”
12. On hearing his curse Vijaya too cursed him: “You have gone astray due to arrogance and cursed me. Hence be an elephant.”
13. On seeing Lord Viṣṇu at the time of their daily worship, they told him what had happened. They requested the Lord of Ramā for the termination of the curses.
Jaya and Vijaya said:
14. O Lord, we are your devotees. How can we become a crocodile and an elephant, O ocean of mercy? Let that curse be terminated.
Śrī Bhagavān said:
15. The words of my devotees should never be false. I too can never alter them.
16. Formerly I manifested myself through a pillar too due to the words of Prahlāda. Similarly at the instance of Aṃbarīṣa I myself was born of a womb (i.e. had to take birth).
17. Hence suffer the consequences of these curses uttered by yourselves. Then regain my region.
After saying this Hari vanished.
The Attendants said:
18. Then they were born as a crocodile and an elephant on the banks of Gaṇḍakī. Even then they could remember what happened in their previous birth. They remained steady in observing the vow of Viṣṇu.
19. Once in the month of Kārttika that elephant went to Gaṇḍakī for bathing. Suddenly that crocodile remembering the cause of the curse caught hold of him.
20. The elephant held by the crocodile remembered Śrīpati. Then Viṣṇu appeared before them with the discus, conch and iron club in his hands.
21. Hurling his discus he redeemed the crocodile and the elephant. The Lord granted them his own form (Sārūpya) and took them to Vaikuṇṭha.
22. Ever since then that spot is known as Harikṣetra. Due to having been rubbed by the discus the pebbles too had been marked with circular lines.
23. Those two are well-known in the world as Jaya and Vijaya. Those perpetual favourites of Viṣṇu became his gatekeepers, about whom you asked, O Brāhmaṇa.
24. Hence, O Brāhmaṇa conversant with Dharma, be stable in holy rites forever. Avoid malicious rivalry and hypocrisy. Be impartial in viewing others.
25. During the months of Tūlā, Makara and Meṣa take early morning bath regularly. Perform the holy rite of Ekādaśī. Keep a grove of Tulasī plants.
26. Always adore Brāhmaṇas, cows and Vaiṣṇavas. Do not consume Masūra pulse, Āranāla (gruel from fermented boiled rice) and brinjals.
27. Due to your devotion to him, O Dharmadatta, you will attain the greatest region of Viṣṇu like us after death.
28. Your stay in the world will be only till then. Neither Yajñas nor charitable gifts nor Tīrthas are superior to the Vrata that causes satisfaction to Viṣṇu.
29. O eminent Brāhmaṇa, you are blessed because this Vrata which causes satisfaction and delight to the sire of the universe, has been performed by you. This woman has attained half of the benefit thereof and hence is being taken to the world of Murāri by us.
30. Advising Dharmadatta thus those two went to the abode of Vaikuṇṭha by means of the aerial chariot along with Kalahā.
31. Dharmadatta became convinced (of the efficacy of the Vrata) and observed it regularly. After death he went to the region of the Lord accompanied by his two wives.
32. One who listens to this ancient story or expounds this to others, acquires that mind which takes him to the presence of Hari by the mercy of the Sire of the worlds.
Footnotes and references:
This story narrates the previous birth of Jaya and Vijaya, the gatekeepers of Viṣṇu.
[????????] oṃ nārāyaṇāya namaḥ.
It is called Kāñjī in Marathi.