The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Glorification of Mangala Tirtha which is chapter 12 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 twelfth chapter of the Setu-mahatmya of the Brahma-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 12 - Glorification of Maṅgala Tīrtha

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Śrī Sūta said:

1-5. After taking holy bath in the highly meritoriou [meritorious?] Sītākuṇḍa, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, one should proceed to the auspicious Maṅgala Tīrtha with a composed mind. It is the place where Kamalā, the beloved of Viṣṇu, always abides. All the Suras with Indra as their leader, come here every day in order to avoid Alakṣmī (ill-luck, misfortune).

So, O sages, I shall narrate an ancient legend connected with this Tīrtha, which sanctifies the worlds. It is meritorious and destructive of sins.

Formerly, there was a king of the lunar race named Manojava.[1] He righteously protected the ocean-girt, earth. He performed Yajñas to propitiate Suras and offered heaps of foodstuffs to propitiate Brāhmaṇas.

6. Every year he propitiated the deities called Pitṛs by means of Kavyas. He always studied the Vedas. He studied the scriptures along with their meanings.

7. He conquered the enemies by means of his valour. He worshipped Śiva and Viṣṇu. He studied with interest treatises on Ethics and Politics and read great Smṛti works like that of Manu.

8. Thus that king protected the earth righteously. As the king protected it, the kingdom became free from thorns (i.e. enemies).

9-14. He became proud, the result of which was the destruction of sons and wealth. Where there is pride there are also the defects like covetousness, haughtiness, lust, anger, violence as well as jealousy that causes delusion. All these are the causes of the destruction of wealth. One who has these (defects) perishes in a moment along with his sons, grandsons and the entire assets.

He became defiled by malicious jealousy causing the people to hate him always. He was vain. He became covetous and contaminated by lust and (so) he thought thus: ‘I shall levy tax on the village of Brāhmaṇas.’ Having decided thus he did accordingly. On account of his greed, the king confiscated the wealth and the foodgrains of Brāhmaṇas.

15-17. Out of greed, he confiscated the assets of the deities like Śiva, Viṣṇu, etc. This (king) whose intellect was deluded on account of haughtiness, confiscated the shrines and sacred spots of Śiva, Viṣṇu and other deities and the noble-souled Brāhmaṇas.

Since the king thus became very unjust and hostile to Devas and Brāhmaṇas, therefore as a disastrous result of these evil actions, O prominent Brāhmaṇas, an enemy, a powerful lord of a foreign land, laid a siege to his capital.

18-23. That hostile foreign king was Golabha by name, O great Brāhmaṇas. He was accompanied by armies having four divisions (viz. chariots, cavalry, elephants and infantry). The war between Golabha and Manojava, the vicious king of great haughtiness, continued for six months. Then he was defeated by Golabha and was ousted from the kingdom.

Manojava went to the forest along with his son and wife. Golabha occupied the city of Manojava and ruled it for a long time after defeating him in the battle. He was powerful and he had an army of the four divisions:

O eminent Brāhmaṇas, Manojava entered the great forest in the company of his son and wife. He bewailed (his ill-luck). He became emaciated on account of hunger. His steps faltered frequently. He entered the forest which was dreadful on account of tigers and other beasts of prey. It was noisy on account of crickets (and other insects). The trumpeting sound of elephants pervaded the entire region. It was teeming with boars and buffaloes.

In that terrible forest, the infant son of Manojava, who was afflicted with hunger requested his father for food.

24-29. Then the boy turned towards his mother and requested: “O mother, give me food. Hunger oppresses me very much.”

On hearing the words of their son, the parents suddenly became grief-stricken. They became confounded. Then the king spoke to his wife named Sumitrā. He fainted repeatedly. His throat, lips and palate became parched: “O Sumitrā, what shall I do? Where shall I go? What is the wayout? Being afflicted with hunger this son of mine will die soon. O my beloved! Why did God Brahmā create me, an unfortunate wretch, in vain? Who is going to save me from this misery which is the result of my evil actions? Neither Śaṃbhu nor Hari were worshipped by me in my previous births.

30-31. O my beloved wife, the deities including the Sun and Fire also have not been worshipped by me. Hence, O splendid lady, it is on account of the evil actions that I have been overcome by egotism and conceit in this birth. I have confiscated the holy spots and the lands of Brāhmaṇas. The wealth belonging to Śiva, Viṣṇu and other deities has been taken away by me.

32. On account of this mass of evil actions, I have been defeated by Golabha and have come to this desolate forest along with you and our son.

33. I am poor and miserable. I have no food. I am hungry and thirsty. How can I provide food to my hungry son?

34-35. O lady of bright smiles, foodstuffs have never been given by me to Brāhmaṇas. Neither Śaṃbhu, nor Viṣṇu, nor any other deity has been worshipped by me. It is because of that sin that this misery has befallen me. I have never performed Homa in the sacred fire. No Tīrtha has been resorted to by me.

36-37. Śrāddha has not been performed by me for my mother or father on the anniversary of their death either individually or collectively. I have never done feeding of the masses, O gentle lady. It was on account of the sin thereof that this misery has befallen me today.

38-40. During the Citrā constellation in the month of Caitra, O my beloved one, sweet drinks, jackfruīt and tasty plantains were not given by me to Vedic scholars. Similarly an umbrella, a walking stick, a beautiful pair of sandals, betel leaves, flowers, sandal-paste and unguents were not given by me to them for the propitiation of Citragupta. It is on account of the sin thereof that this misery has befallen me.

41-42. Neither a fig tree, nor a mango, nor a banyan tree, nor a tamarind, nor a Picumanda (Azadirachta Indica), nor a wood-apple tree, nor an Embylic myrobalan, nor a coconut palm has been planted by me for the purpose of alleviating the fatigue of wayfarers. It is on account of that sin that this misery has befallen me.

43-48. I have never swept the precincts of the temples of Śiva and Viṣṇu. No lake, well or pool has been dug by me. Neither a flower-garden nor a Tulasī grove has been grown by me. I have not built a temple of Śiva or Viṣṇu, O my beloved! It is on account of the sin thereof that this misery has befallen me. O splendid lady, in the month of the manes (i.e. Bhādrapada) neither Mahālaya nor the Aṣṭakā Śrāddha has been performed by me. Neither Nitya Śrāddha, nor Naimittika Śrāddha, nor Kāmya Śrāddha has been performed by me. No Kratu (sacrifice) has been duly performed by me with plenty of monetary gifts, O my beloved one. Monthly fast has not been observed by me. I have never refrained from taking food on the eleventh lunar day. I have never worshipped Śaṃbhu, Viṣṇu and other deities early in the morning in the month of Dhanus and the food offering has not been done by me duly. It is on account of the sin thereof that this misery has befallen me.

49-54a. I have never glorified the names of Hari and Śaṅkara. I have never applied Bhasma all over my body, nor the three parallel lines of Tripuṇdra have been made by me (on the forehead). I have not applied Bhasma in the seven ways prescribed by Jābāla. O gentle lady, a Rudrākṣa bead has not been worn by me. The Japa of Rudrasūkta or that of the five-syllabled Mantra (i.e. śivāya namaḥ) has not been performed by me. The recitation of the Puruṣasūkta or the Japa of the eight-syllabled Mantra (i.e. om nārāyaṇāya namaḥ) has not been performed by me, O gentle lady. Nor have I added to my store of merits by performing other religious rites. It is on account of that sin that this misery has befallen me.” Addressing his wife thus, the king of dejected mind began to lament, O Brāhmaṇas. He then swooned and fell on the ground. On seeing him fallen the extremely dejected lady, his wife Sumitrā, embraced him and began to lament along with her son:

54b-60a. “O my lord, O great king, O leader of the Lunar race, where have you gone leaving me and your son alone in this desolate forest? I have no other lord. I have followed you. I am in the same plight as the hind frightened by a lion. If you are dead, O great king, I will immediately follow you. I will not remain a widow even for a moment. O my son Candrakānta, see, your father has fallen down on the ground.”

On being told thus, Candrakānta, the son of the king, embraced his father and began to cry without uttering any word, as he was extremely oppressed by hunger.

In the meantime, a sage named Parāśara happened to come there by chance. O Brāhmaṇas, he had matted hair and was clad in bark garments. He had applied Bhasma all over his body. Tripuṇḍra mark shone on his forehead. He was adorned with garlands of Rudrākṣa-beads and had a white sacred thread.

60b-62. The sage Parāśara who is honoured by noble and good-natured people, came there following the sound.

On seeing Parāśara arrived, Sumitrā, the chaste lady, bowed down to his feet along with her son. Thereupon Sumitrā was consoled by Parāśara. The sage pacified her saying, “O beautiful lady, do not feel grief-stricken.” Then the great sage, the son of Śakti, asked Sumitrā:

Parāśara said:

63-64. O beautiful lady, who are you? Who is this (person) fallen in front of us? How is this child related to you? O splendid lady, tell me all the facts.

On being asked thus by the sage, the chaste lady said to that great sage.

Sumitrā said:

65-71. O excellent sage, this is my husband. I am his wife. This is Candrakānta, the son born to us both.

This king of the Lunar race named Manojava is the son of Vikramāḍhya [Vikramādhya?]. He is strong and like Viṣṇu in heroism. I am his wife named Sumitrā and I have followed my husband. King Manojava was defeated by Golabha in battle. He has been exiled from the kingdom. He is without support. Followed by me and our son, O Brāhmaṇa-Sage, he entered the forest dreadful on account of the cruel beasts of prey. Our son who was afflicted with hunger requested us for food. On seeing his son afflicted with hunger the king who had no foodstuff with him became dejected and grief-stricken. O Brāhmaṇa, he has swooned and fallen on the ground.

On hearing these words of hers, the syllables of which (were not distinct), because she was highly miserable, the sage, the son of Śakti, spoke to that chaste lady Sumitrā, the wife of King Manojava. She was comparable to the flame of a fire:

Parāśara said:

72-73a. O wife of Manojava, do not at all be afraid. Everything inauspicious in your affairs will come to an end ere long. O gentle ṭady, your husband will get up in a trice free from his unconsciousness.

73b-75. Then the Brāhmaṇa Parāśara touched the king with his hand repeating a Mantra and meditating on the Three-eyed Lord. Thereupon, when touched by the great sage with his hand, King Manojava got up suddenly leaving off his unconsciousness born of Tamas. Then the king joined his palms in reverence. He bowed down to sage Parāśara. With great delight he spoke to the excellent Brāhmaṇa:

Manojava said:

76-78. O sage Parāśara, since I resorted to your lotus-like feet today, my unconsciousness has been dispelled quickly and my sin has perished. Those who are not meritorious will never get even your glimpse. Save me with your sympathetic glance. I have been exiled from my own city by my enemies.

On being told thus, the sage spoke to King Manojava.

Parāśara said:

79-85. I shall tell you the means, O king, for conquering your enemies. There is an auspicious Tīrtha named Maṅgalatīrtha on the highly meritorious Rāmasetu on the Gandhamādana mountain. It yields all kinds of prosperities. For the sake of helping all the people, O excellent king, Rāghava is always present there along with Lakṣmī (in the form of) Sītā. Do go there along with your son and wife and take the holy bath with great devotion. On its banks, O king, perform the rites of Kṣetra Śrāddha, etc. If everything is performed thus by you, O king, all ill-luck and misfortune that brings to you great distress shall undoubtedly perish on account of the glory of that Tīrtha. You will obtain all types of auspicious results, O king, ere long. After conquering the enemies in the battle, you will regain the kingdom. Hence, O Manojava, go to that Maṅgalatīrtha along with your wife and son. Go to that Tīrtha on the Gandhamādana mountain. I shall also come there with a desire to bless you.

86-91. After saying this, Parāśara started for Setu along with those three persons, the chief of whom was the king, in order to take the holy bath in Maṅgalatīrtha. Along with the king and others the sage crossed various forests, lands abounding in wood lands and many villages of the aboriginals called Dasyus. Then he reached Maṅgalatīrtha on the Gandhamādana mountain. After duly performing the rite of Saṅkalpa there, the eminent sage took his holy bath. He made the king and others too take their holy baths duly. For the propitiation of Pitṛs, the king performed Śrāddha too. There the king, his wife and son took the holy bath for three months. Sage Parāśara took his holy bath with due observance of rules, etc. Thus the eminent sage took his bath along with them for three months in the highly meritorious Tīrtha named Mangala that is destructive of all inauspiciousness.

92. Then at the end (of those three months), Sage Parāśara imparted to him the single-syllabled Mantra of Rāma, that is destructive of all misfortune.

93. For forty days the king repeated the single-syllabled Mantra in that Tīrtha as per procedure stated by the sage.

94. O Brāhmaṇa, as he performed the repetition of single-syllabled Mantra thus, a sturdy bow appeared in front of him due to the favour of the sage.

95-101a. Two inexhaustible quivers, two swords with golden handles, one shield, one iron mace, an excellent Musala (Threshing pestle), one conchshell of loud report, a chariot yoked with horses and manned by a charioteer and a flag rose up in front of them from the Tīrtha. A golden armour refulgent like fire appeared from the Tīrtha due to the favour of the sage. Many ornaments such as necklaces, armlets, coronets, bracelets etc. rose up in front of the king from that most excellent Tīrtha. A thousand divine garments came up from that Tīrtha then. A garland named Vaijayantī rendered splendid by golden lotuses (rose up from the Tīrtha). On seeing all these, the king dedicated all of them to the Sage. Then Sage Parāśara sanctified them by means of the Tīrtha water charged with Mantras and sprinkled the king with the same.

101b-103. Thus sprinkled by the sage, the king became refulgent. He got ready (for a campaign). He put on the armour, seized the sword (in his hand) and took up the bow and the arrows. Adorned with the necklaces, armlets, coronet, bracelets, etc. he shone like a youth. He wore the divine garments and occupied the chariot with horses. Thus the king appeared splendid and brilliant like the Sun at noon.

104-107. The great sage, the son of Śakti, taught the king the Use of the missiles of Brahmā, etc. along with their ancillaries, the secrets, mode of discharge and the method of withdrawal. He taught everything to the husband of Sumitrā. Then King Manojava was directed by the sage with due blessings. He occupied the chariot after bowing down to the sage and circumambulated him and was duly permitted by the great sage. Accompanied by his wife and son, he started for conquest. After going to his city, the king blew his conchshell.

108. On hearing the blast from the conchshell, Golabha came out immediately along with his army in order to fight with King Manojava.

109-111. The battle lasted for three days between Golabha and the king. Then on the fourth day, King Manojava destroyed Golabha along with his army by means of his Brāhma missile. Then along with his wife and son, the king entered his city. He ruled the entire earth and enjoyed it along with his wife. Ever since then the king never became proud.

112. The king refrained from malice and other defects. He practised non-violence. He had perfect control over his sense-organs. He was always engaged and absorbed in virtuous activity.

113-114. Thus the king protected the earth for a thousand years. Then the king became unattached to worldly life. He installed his son as the ruler of the kingdom. He went to Maṅgalatīrtha on the Gandhamādana mountain. Meditating on Sadāśiva in his heart, he performed penance there.

115-116. Ere long thereafter, King Manojava abandoned his body and went to the world of Śiva, due to the power of that Tīrtha. O Brāhmaṇas, his wife Sumitrā embraced his body then and ascended his funeral pyre. She too attained the same world.

Śrī Sūta said:

117-119. That Maṅgalatīrtha has such power. It is glorious. By taking his bath in that great Tīrtha King Manojava conquered his enemies. On death he went to Śivaloka along with his wife. Hence Maṅgalatīrtha should be resorted to with great effort.

O excellent Brāhmaṇas, for the sake of salvation resort to this highly splendid Tīrtha which is auspicious and which always bestows worldly pleasures and salvation to men. It is (like) fire unto the grass and cotton in the form of masses of sins.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

This is a new story told for the glorification of this Tīrtha, as persons mentioned herein, viz. King Manojava and his enemy Golabha are untraced in PE and PI.

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