The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Brahma’s Redemption from Shiva’s Curse which is chapter 14 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 fourteenth chapter of the Setu-mahatmya of the Brahma-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 14 - Brahmā’s Redemption from Śiva’s Curse

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Śrī Sūta said:

1. After taking the holy bath in Amṛtavāpī and having visited Ekāntarāghava, one who has conquered his passions and senses should proceed towards Brahmakuṇḍa in order to take the holy plunge.

2. The great Tīrtha well-known as Brahmakuṇḍa in the middle of Setu on the Gandhamādana mountain is an antidote against poverty for everyone.

3. It is destructive of a hundred million sins of Brāhmaṇa-slaughter. A mere sight of Brahmakuṇḍa is destructive of mass of all sins.

4. What has he to do with many Tīrthas, penances, sacrifices and great charitable gifts (i.e. these are unnecessary to a person) who visits Brahmakuṇḍa?

5-10a. The holy bath (even) once in Brahmakuṇḍa is the cause of attainment of Vaikuṇṭha. O Brāhmaṇas, if the Bhasma from Brahmakuṇḍa is held (i.e. smeared) by anyone, the three gods Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara become his followers.

If anyone makes Tripuṇdra mark (on his forehead) with the Bhasma (holy ash) originating from Brahmakuṇḍa, salvation is (as if) within his hand (grasp). There is no doubt about it.

If a man applies that Bhasma all over his body, it is doubtful whether Śaṅkara himself is able to recount his merits.

One who never applies the Bhasma from Brahmakuṇḍa will fall into Raurava hell and remain there till the moon and the stars exist.

10b-16a. If a base man does not apply the Bhasma from Brahmakuṇḍa all over his body or at least mark Tripuṇḍra with it on his forehead, he will never have happiness.

If a person is engaged in censuring the Bhasma originating from Brahmakuṇḍa, he should be deemed as a product of a mixture of castes by a learned man.

This Bhasma originating from Brahmakuṇḍa is sanctifying to all the worlds.

If a man says that it is equal to or inferior to other (kinds of holy ash) he should he deemed as a product of a mixture of castes by a learned man. Even while this Bhasma originating from Brahmakuṇḍa is available, if a man marks Tripuṇdra with any other Bhasma, he should be deemed as a product of a mixture of castes by a learned man.

If a man never applies this Bhasma, he should be deemed as a product of a mixture of castes by a learned man.

16b-22. If anyone gives to a Brāhmaṇa the Bhasma originating from Brahmakuṇḍa, it is as beneficial as though the entire earth girdled by the four oceans has been gifted by him. No doubt should be entertained in this regard. I shall say this on oath three times. This is true. It is declared (to be true) with the hand lifted up.

O excellent Brāhmaṇas, apply the Bhasma originating from Brahmakuṇḍa. Indeed this is the Bhasma that came into existence from Brahmā’s sacrifice.

Formerly for the redemption from the curse of Śiva, Lord Brahmā, the grandfather of all the worlds, performed all the Kratus (sacrifices) on the Gandhamādana mountain in the presence of all the Devas. After duly performing all the Yajñas with plenty of monetary gifts, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, Brahmā was immediately redeemed from the curse of Śaṃbhu.

So, those men who come to this Tīrtha and take their holy bath, undoubtedly attain Sāyujya with Mahādeva.

The sages said:

23-24. O disciple of Vyāsa, O highly intelligent one, expert in the topics of the Purāṇas, what was the offence for which Śaṃbhu cursed the Four-faced Lord of Sarasvatī, the creator of the fourteen worlds? Of what nature was the curse that Hara gave him formerly? O sage, narrate all this to us truthfully and earnestly.

Śrī Sūta said:

25-27. Formerly there was a quarrel between Brahmā and Viṣṇu. For some reason they had mutual rivalry and they boasted about themselves: “I am the maker (of the world). There is no other maker on the surface of the earth.” So said Brahmā to Had and Hari said the same to Brahmā. Thus a great dispute arose between them formerly.

28-33. In the meantime, O Brāhmaṇas, for destroying their pride and for enlightening those two lords, a self-luminous Liṅga in a sound condition appeared in their middle.[1]

On seeing the Liṅga Brahmā and Viṣṇu became surprised. They arrived at a mutual agreement in the presence of the Devas, O Brāhmaṇas: “A great Liṅga with no beginning or end is seen before us. It resembles infinite number of suns in brilliance. It has the refulgence of infinite number of fires. Between us, the person who sees the beginning or the end of this Liṅga, shall be superior to the other in the world. He is the lord and maker of the worlds. I shall go up searching for the top of the Liṅga. O Hari, you go down in search of its root.”

On hearing his words, the Lord of Ramā said, “So it will be”.

34. Thus they entered into an agreement and set out in search. Viṣṇu went in search below, assuming the form of a boar.

35. The Husband of Sarasvatī adopted the form of a swan and flew up. Viṣṇu searched the nether worlds for many many years. He returned to the original place and spoke in the presence of the Devas:

Viṣṇu said:

36-37. I did not see the beginning of this Liṅga.

He was truthful in his speech.

After searching the regions above, Brahmā too came there. On arrival, the Four-faced Lord uttered these false words:

Brahmā said:

38-43. I have seen the top of this Liṅga.

He repeated the false statement. After hearing the words of Brahmā and Viṣṇu, Maheśvara laughingly spoke these words to the Four-faced Lord who had uttered a lie:

Īśvara said:

Since you spoke an untruth before me, O Four-faced One, you shall not be worshipped at all in the world anywhere at any time.

Then Lord Parameśvara spoke again to Viṣṇu: “O Hari, O Lord of Kamalā, since you spoke the truth, your worship shall be on a par with that of mine. There shall be no doubt about it.”

Thereupon the dejected Brahmā spoke to Śaṅkara: “O lord, O storehouse of mercy, forgive my offence. One offence should be forgiven by masters and the lords of the universe.”

Then pacifying Brahmā, Maheśvara spoke:

Īśvara said:

44-47. O Brahmā, my words shall not be false. I shall tell you something. Listen. O dear one, immediately go to the Gandhamādana mountain. In order to suppress the sin of false speech, perform Kratus there. Thereby you will undoubtedly be rid of your sin. Therefore, O Brahmā, your worship shall always be in the holy rites laid down in Śrutis and Smṛtis. You will not be worshipped in idols.

After saying thus Lord Īśvara vanished there itself. Then, O Brāhmaṇas, Brahmā went to the Gandhamādana mountain.

48-49. He worshipped the Lord of Pārvath the maker of Kratus, by means of Kratus. O eminent sages, he performed the sacrifices such as Pauṇḍarīka, etc. for eighty-eight thousand years. All the sacrifices were performed with plenty of monetary gifts. He performed the sacrifices unto Śiva in the presence of all the Devas including Indra. Thereby Śaṃbhu was delighted and satisfied. He granted him boons.

Īśvara said:

50-55. As these Yajñas have been performed, your sin of false utterence has perished, O Four-faced One. Your worship shall be free from impurities and be confined to the holy rites laid down in Śrutis and Smṛtis.

O Brahmā, there shall be no worship of yours in the idols. The place of your sacrifices shall become renowned as Brahmakuṇḍa in all the three worlds. It shall be meritorious and destructive of sins.

O Brahmā, if anyone takes his holy bath at least once in the Tīrtha named Brahmakuṇḍa, the bolt in the doorway to salvation shall instantaneously be broken in his case.

One who applies the Bhasma originating from Brahmakuṇḍa, to his forehead, shall break open the door in the form of Māyā and enter the doorway to salvation.

The person who does not apply to his forehead the Bhasma originating from Brahmakuṇḍa is not born of the semen virile of his father in his mother (i.e. he is a bastard).

56-61. O Brahmā, by applying the Bhasma originating from Brahmakuṇḍa, ten thousand sins of Brāhmaṇa-slaughter shall perish. So also ten thousand sins of drinking liquor, ten thousand sins of defiling the preceptor’s bed shall perish. So also ten thousand sins of stealing gold and ten thousand sins of associating with these will be nullified. O Brahmā, the truth has been spoken by me.

Due to the power of applying the Bhasma coming out from Brahmakuṇḍa, evil spirits, ghosts and vampires are destroyed instantaneously.

After saying this, Lord Īśvara vanished there itself.

When the Yajñas were concluded, the sages who had controlled their passions and sense-organs, Indra and other Devas, Siddhas, Cāraṇas and Kinnaras and other groups of divine beings continued to stay permanently on the Gandhamādana mountain. They resorted to the sacrificial site visited by Rudra himself, because they had realized its efficacy.

62. After duly concluding the Yajñas with plenty of monetary gifts, Brahmā who acquired what he desired from Śiva, went to Satyaloka.

63-65. Ever since then, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, the Devas and the Sages resorted to Brahmakuṇḍa and performed Yāgas in accordance with the injunctions.

Hence men who are desirous of performing Yajñas shall do so here itself.

O Brāhmaṇas, this Brahmakuṇḍa[2] is honoured by men, Devas and great sages. It causes destruction of the chain of births and deaths. It is auspicious and destructive of all sins. It bestows all riches.

Probably the same as Brahma Tīrtha near Bhadrakālī Amman Temple.

Footnotes and references:


The story of appearance of Śiva in a Liṅga form to show that neither Brahmā nor Viṣṇu was superior but he himself is superior to them, etc. is repealed in many Purāṇas, e.g. Liṅga Ch. 17, Kūrma 1.26.66-99.


Probably the same as Brahma Tīrtha near Bhadrakālī Amman Temple.

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