The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 1,763,776 words

This page describes Ayodhya-mahatmya which is section 8 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.

Section 8 - Ayodhyā-māhātmya

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The Ayodhyāmāhātmya (Ayodhyā-māhātmya) has 10 chapters and is related to the Ayodhya Tirtha region.

Ayodhyā is the captial city of kings of Ikṣvāku dynasty to which Dāśarathi Rāma, the most righteous king, belonged. It is known as Sāketa in the Buddhist Literature and in Patañjali (cf Sageda of Ptolemy). Due to the international popularity of Rāma the ancient rulers of Thailand named their capital as Ayuthia (Ayodhyā). It was ‘unassailable’ hence it was called “A-yodhyā” (a popular etymology). Maybe due to the greatness of Rāma it heads the list of seven Indian cities “giving Mokṣa to their residents”, the other such cities being Mathurā, Māyā (Haridwar), Kāśī, Kāñcī (Conjeveram), Avantī (Ujjain), (Jagannātha) Purī, Dvārakā.

Due to the association of various incidents of Rāma’s life therewith and its religious efficacy, a Māhātmya (glorious description) came to be written about it (Ayodhyā).

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