by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes The Glory of Agastyakunda: The Marriage of Kakshivan which is chapter 17 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 seventeenth chapter of the Setu-mahatmya of the Brahma-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Śrī Sūta said:
1-5. Again, O eminent sages, Kakṣīvān spoke to his father thus: “I have been sent here by my preceptor Udaṅka. I have come to this Tīrtha, O excellent sage, because I have been directed by my preceptor to accomplish marriage with the daughter of Svanaya.
I stayed here continuously practising the means suggested by him. At the end of three years, when I got fully equipped with the requisite means, Svanaya met me here casually staying here itself. He approached me and said, “I shall give my daughter in marriage to you.” Thereupon, at my request, the king has called you here.”
After saying this to his father Kakṣīvān stopped speaking.
7. After approaching King Svanaya, Sudarśana intimated that Sage Dīrghatamas had arrived.
8. Thereupon, having heard from his preceptor that the sage had arrived, Svanaya immediately started from his tent.
10-13. The king saluted the feet of Dīrghatamas that were conducive to the felicity of all the worlds. Then, O Brāhmanas, sage Dīrghatamas made the king rise up. He blessed King Svanaya. In the meantime, the great Sage Udaṅka too came there accompanied by the groups of his disciples, in order to take the holy bath in Rāmasetu in Dhanuṣkoṭi.
O eminent sages, the multitude of sages along with him numbered a hundred thousand. Sage Udaṅka came to this Agastyatīrtha in order to take the holy bath. On seeing Udaṅka arrived Kakṣīvān bowed down to him.
14-21. The Brāhmaṇa, the preceptor, blessed the disciple. Then Dīrghatamas, the Brāhmaṇa, enquired about the health of the great Sage Udaṅka. He too enquired after the health of the great sage. Both the sages were well-known in all the world. There they recounted stories destructive of sins.
The king too bowed down to the eminent sage. Udaṅka granted Svanaya his blessings. There, the delighted King Svanaya spoke to Sage Dīrghatamas, “Let the marriage be celebrated.”
Sage Dīrghatamas said “So be it, O king of great intelligence; let it be performed tomorrow itself at an auspicious hour. Let the wedding be celebrated here itself on Gandhamādana. Hence bring here immediately the girl and the inmates of your female apartment.”
On being told thus, King Svanaya went to his camp. He called a hundred of old eunuchs and despatched them to bring the princess and the inmates of the Antaḥpura,
22. On being directed by Svanaya, those chief eunuchs mounted very swift horses and went to Madhurā.
23. They went to the Antaḥpura immediately and explained everything to them. Along with the princess and the members of the Antaḥpura, they returned (to Gandhamādana).
24. On the next day, at an auspicious hour, Sage Dīrghatamas duly performed the Godāna (Tonsure) and other holy rites on behalf of his son.
25-28. Godāna and others were completed. Afterwards in order to marry the princess he, accompanied by his father and preceptor, joyously mounted the huge-bodied elephant with four tusks and white complexion all over the body, like another king of Devas. He thereby fulfilled the desire of Princess Manoramā. He was accompanied by thousands of Brāhmaṇas who were uttering benedictory Mantras and verses.
Kakṣīvān, in regard to whom all auspicious rites had been completed delightfully, went to the pavilion of the saintly king, the entrance to which was decorated with an ornamental arched gateway.
29-30. On seeing Kakṣīvān seated on the huge-bodied white elephant with four tusks, arrived with an eagerness to marry her, the daughter of Svanaya who had worn all auspicious ornaments became glad that the solemn declaration she had made, had been fulfilled.
31. Accompanied by Dīrghatamas as well as Udaṅka, Kakṣīvān slowly proceeded towards the outer door of the tent of the king.
32. On seeing Kakṣīvān arrived, Svanaya received him along with his preceptor Sudarśana.
33. The female attendants of the princess performed the Nīrājana rite to the bridegroom Kakṣīvān by means of golden and silver vessels.
34. Invited by Svanaya, Kakṣīvān, the fortunate one, entered the apartment of the king, surrounded by Brāhmaṇas.
35. Thereupon, with great modesty the king took Sage Dīrghatamas to his abode along with the bridegroom and (the preceptor) Udaṅka.
36-37. Near the decorated well, the king offered Arghyā to Udaṅka and Dīrghatamas along with garments, chowries and festoons. The bridegroom as well as Dīrghatamas and other sages along with Udaṅka sat there. King Svanaya too sat there along with his ministers and the priest.
38-39. Then they took the bride Manoramā, his daughter, whose tresses had been well arranged, who had been adorned with ornaments and divine clothes on her body. Her lips resembled the Biṃba fruit (Momordica monadelpha—a plant with bright red gourd). She was charming in all her limbs with plump protruding breasts. They brought the bride to the spot near the well at which eminent people had assembled.
40. Then, that splendid Princess Manoramā put the garland wreathed with Campaka flowers round the neck of the bridegroom in the midst of the people.
41-44. Then Udaṅka came there and installed the sacred fire on the holy ground. He performed all the rites beginning with Lājāhoma (offering fried grain to the fire) and ending with Agnimukha sacrifice. He made the bridegroom hold the bride by hand. Udaṅka thus performed all the holy rites there. O Brāhmaṇas, he gave blessings to the bride and the bridegroom. Then King Svanaya fed with cooked foodstuffs of six tastes, three hundred thousand Brāhmaṇas along with the bridegroom, Sage Dīrghatamas, Udaṅka, persons belonging to the bridegroom’s party and persons from his own side, O Brāhmaṇas.
45-49. Then he honoured them in various ways with betel leaves and other things.
Then Udaṅka took leave of the excellent sage (Dīrghatamas) and went to his own hermitage. All the other Brāhmaṇas went to their respective places.
Thus, when the marriage celebration of Kakṣīvān and the princess was concluded, that excellent elephant entered Agastyatīrtha and vanished.
Then, O Brāhmaṇas, Dīrghatamas along with his son and daughter-in-law took his holy bath in Agastyatīrtha that had bestowed what they wished. He praised that Tīrtha which was well-known in all the worlds. Then he decided to go to his meritorious hermitage at Vedāraṇya. The excellent sage then took leave of the king and requested him to go over to his place.
50-52. With great joy, King Svanaya gave his daughter a hundred thousand gold pieces as dowry. He gave a thousand cows, thousands of maidens-in-waiting and five hundred villages too. Fond of his daughter, the king gave ten thousand divine garments and a hundred jewel boxes. With great affection for his daughter, he gave her a thousand garlands and necklaces.
53. Taking all these things the sage took leave of the king. Accompanied by his son and daughter-in-law, he went to Vedāraṇya.
54-60. After reaching Vedāraṇya, O Brāhmaṇas, Sage Dīrghatamas lived happily with his son and daughter-in-law. With his wife Kakṣīvān stayed there for a long time serving the Lord of Vedāraṇya who bestows worldly pleasures and salvation.
The saintly King Svanaya too took his holy bath in the highly meritorious Tīrtha created by the Pot-born Sage and then accompanied by all his soldiers, he joyously went back to his city taking the Antaḥpura with him. Thus, O Brāhmaṇas, it was due to the efficacious glory of Agastyatīrtha that the marriage of Sage Kakṣīvān took place—a marriage not easy for others.
Śrī Sūta said:
This legend is meritorious and is found in the Vedas, O leading sages. It is conducive to wealth, fame and longevity. It increases renown and good fortune. O Brāhmaṇas, this should always be listened to and be read by all means by men. Those men who read or listen to this ancient legendary story, do not suffer here or hereafter. They will never have poverty.