by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes The Fruit of Conch Worship which is chapter 5 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 fifth chapter of the Margashirsha-mahatmya of the Vaishnava-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Śrī Bhagavān said:
2. If men bathe me by pouring milk over the head, it is declared that for every drop the merit is that of a hundred horse-sacrifices.
3. If the bathing is done with curds, the fruit is ten times that of the milk-bath; that with ghee has ten times this; that with honey has ten times this still. If the bathing is done with sugar the fruit is still better. Water mixed with sweet-smelling flowers accompanied by Mantra recitation is praised as superior to all.
4. Bathing me with cow’s milk on the twelfth and fifteenth (lunar) days is destructive of great sins, O tiger among Devas.
5. Just as the products, curds etc., develop from milk, so also all the remaining desires (are realized) through bathing me with milk.
6. Good fortune and felicity are obtained by bathing me with milk; sweet food by means of curds. One who bathes me with ghee shall go to my region (Vaikuṇṭha).
7. He who bathes me with honey and sugar in the month of Mārgaśīrṣaka (goes to heaven and) coming back from heaven, he is born as a king in this world.
8. He who baṃes me in milk in the month of Mārgaśīrṣaka obtains on the earth a kingdom full of elephants, horses and chariots.
10. The efficacy of bathing with milk gives splendour. It causes increase in nourishment. All ill-luck perishes by bathing me in milk, O my son.
11. He who bathes me in Pañcāmṛta in Mārgaśīrṣa never falls into a pitiable condition to be bewailed by kinsmen on the earth, O bestower of honour.
12. The man who takes the milk of a tawny-coloured cow and bathes me, obtains the fruit of the gift of a hundred tawny-coloured cows.
14. The men who takes the milk of a tawny-coloured cow in a conch and baṃes me devoutly, obtains the fruit of (visiting) all the Tīrthas.
15. The man who takes water along with raw rice grains and Kuśa grass in a conch and baṃes me (with it) in the month of Mārgaśīrṣa, shall obtain the fruit of (visiting) all the Tīrthas.
16. He who devoutly bathes the Lord with eight conchfuls of water in Mārgaśīrṣa becomes an excellent man. He is honoured in my world.
17. He who bathes me with sixteen conchfuls of water, O my son, shall be liberated from sins. He is honoured in the heavenly world for a very long time.
He who bathes me with twenty-four conchfuls of water dwells in the world of Indra for a long time and is born on the earth as a king.
19. He who bathes me with one hundred and eight conchfuls of water in the month of Māṛgaśīrṣa attains the fruit in the form of (a) gold (coin?) for every conchful (of water).
20. If a devout man blows a conch and bathes me in Mārgaśīrṣa, his Pitṛs pass on towards heaven.
21. He who bathes me with a thousand and eight conchfuls of
water, shall become a Gaṇa (attendant) and attain salvation until all the living beings are annihilated.
23. O son, he who takes water in a conch, utters “Obeisance to Nārāyaṇa” and bathes me, is absolved of all sins.
26. The Vaiṣṇava who takes my Pādāṃbu (water with which Viṣṇu’s feet are washed) in a conch and carries it on his head always, is a sage and the most excellent one among those who blaze (i.e. perform penance).
28. The Vaiṣṇava who holds a conch filled with water in his hand and bathes me repeating these Mantras in the month of Mārgaśīrṣa causes delight to me:
30. Their names should be uttered and I must be bathed. Suras are not competent to reckon his merits.
31. In front of me, O Lord of Devas, let the conch be worshipped along with flowers, water and raw rice-grains. Its splendour is unlimited and on all sides.
32. One should worship me after filling a conch fully with unguents. Thereby my pleasure becomes very great extending to a hundred years.
33. If one takes drinking water in a conch with flowers, water and raw rice-grains and offers me Arghya, his merit is infinite.
34. If a man circumambulates taking Arghya a conch himself, it is as good as though the earth consisting of the seven continents is circumambulated.
35. If a man whirls the conch (with water) above my head and sprinkles the temple with the water from the conch, there shall be nothing inauspicious in his house.
36. If the Pādodaka (the water with which the feet are washed) is taken in a conch and applied to the head, neither anxieties nor exhaustion nor the fear of hell shall torment him.
He who devoutly bathes me to the accompaniment of the sounds of musical instruments and the loud sounds of auspicious songs, shall become a man liberated while living.
Footnotes and references:
VV 2-3 describe Pañcāmṛta-snāna. When separate ingredients are used, ‘Sugar-bath’ is the application of sugar to the idol. When the mixture of these ingredients is used, the liquefied sugar in that mixture can be used for ‘bathing’.
VV 13-25 describe efficacy of the use of conch in Pañcāmṛta-snāna.
VV 3Iff describe the importance of conch-worship and its efficacy in dispelling evil.