The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes The Greatness of Shrimata 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 Dharmaranya-khanda of the Brahma-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 17 - The Greatness of Śrīmātā

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Vyāsa said:

1-5. O king, in the south was installed Goddess Śāntā of great strength. She wears garments of variegated colours and is bedecked in garlands of sylvan flowers.

O great king, she is of Tamas quality. She is the slayer of Madhu and Kaiṭabha. Śiva’s wife was placed there, O excellent king, by Viṣṇu.

She too is beautiful, charming and dark-complexioned like a cloud. She has eight arms. The goddess seated on a tiger as her vehicle, wears black garments.

The splendid goddess wears hide of a tiger and is bedecked in divine ornaments. She holds a bell, a trident, a rosary of beads and a Kamaṇḍalu (waterpot).

The goddess has her arms well-adorned. She is bowed down to by all the Devas. She grants to her devotees wealth, grains, sons and (objects of) enjoyments.

6-10. The devotee should worship her with divine lotuses, camphor, agallochum and sandal. With the goddess in view, he should worship excellent Brāhmaṇas there itself.

With great devotion he should feed virgins with different kinds of cooked rice (food). He should worship with incense, lights and fruits beautiful in appearance, as well as liquor etc. With great concentration and mental purity one should worship with different kinds of meat of divine exquisiteness or with baked cakes of grain. He should worship with other different kinds of grains, or milk-puddings or pies. He should also worship with cooked rice, cakes of Kṛśaras (made of rice, peas, gingelly seeds etc. or with sweet pies). He should recite charming eulogies. All his enemies perish and he shall become victorious everywhere. He acquires auspicious successes in battles, games of dice and royal palaces.

11. O great king, the gentle Śāntā is installed as Kulamātṛkā. That Śrīmātā is famous. O king, listen to her greatness.

12. The great Śakti Kulamātā is there, O excellent king. That virgin daughter of Brahmā has been created by Brahmā for the sake of protection.

13. That goddess has been named Sthānamātā and Śrīmātā. She is of three forms and has been created for the protection of Brāhmaṇas.

14. She is of splendid form holding a Kamaṇḍalu, bedecked in bells and ornaments and having a rosary of beads.

15-16. She is a virgin as well as the primordial Mother. She is the protectress of the abode. She is the destroyer of Daityas, granter of wishes and is destructive of great delusions. The virgin, the daughter of Brahmā, can be approached through devotion. She wears red garments. She is smeared well with red sandal-paste.

17. The Mother with the moon as her crest-decoration is bowed to by Suras and Asuras. She is the controlling goddess of Suras. She has five faces and ten arms. She wears red garlands.

18. She is of the form of Sarasvatī herself and has been created by Brahmā for the purpose of protection. She is of Oṃkāra form of excessive merit. She has been created by Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva.

19. She is worthy of being bowed down at the feet by sages, Siddhas, Yakṣas and others, Suras, Serpents, and human beings. She grants them all they mentally cherish.

20. Just as the mother protects with great, good qualities, all the children born of her, so also the goddess protects the abode of the Brāhmaṇas for their welfare.

21. This Goddess Pālayatī is the family deity Śrīmātā. Eulogized she exterminates for ever all types of harassments and troubles.

22-25. By mere remembrance, Śrīmātā suppresses all obstacles. Śrīmātā is always adored in all auspicious activities, on the occasion of marriage, investiture with sacred thread and Sīmanta and other rites. Just as every auspicious rite is begun after worshipping God Laṃbodara (Gaṇeśa), so also, O king, all such rites should be begun after worshipping Śrīmātā.

When Brāhmaṇas are to be fed or when people invite one another for feasts of pleasure, Śrīmātā should be offered the same at the outset. O king, if the rites are performed without this initial offering, the person shall face difficulties.

26. Hence after making the food offering to her first, a holy rite should be begun. With her blessing the entire rite shall become fulfilled without obstacle.

27. (The figure of Śrīmātā) should be carved on a gold or silver plate. O king, an excellent imprint of the foot of Śrīmātā should be offered.

28-33. The devotee takes bath and remains pure. He worships (the figure of the goddess) with flowers mixed with gingelly seeds and Emblic myrobalan. Excellent silk garments are used. He should smear it with white paste of sandal, Kuṃkuma (saffron), Sindura, Karpūra (camphor), Aguru (agallochum) and musk mixed. This is called Yakṣakardama.

With Yakṣakardama (the mixture of the above-mentioned ingredients) and with unbroken clusters of the leaves of Bilva tree (he should worship her). White and red Karavīra flowers, Karṇikāra, Kalhāra, Caṃpaka, Ketakī and Japā (China rose) flowers are to be used for offering worship. Palāśa (trumpet flowers) and Jāti (a kind of jasmine) flowers too are used. The food offerings may consist of pies, cooked rice, lentils, Vaṭakas (baked pies) made of black gram flour. The deity should be propitiated with vegetable dishes as well.

The devotee should worship the mother of the universe with incense and lights etc. He should feed virgins and Brāhmaṇas, mentally regarding (the virgins) as the goddess herself. O king, they are to be fed with milk puddings and ghee mixed with sugar-candy. With great devotion he should propitiate them with sweetmeats, cooked rice etc. Even if only one Brāhmaṇa is propitiated, the devotee attains the merit of (feeding a) thousand ones.

34-38. The devotee should recite again and again the eulogistic hymn destructive of Daityas (namely Durgā Saptaśatī). He who eulogizes Śrīmātā with single-pointed attention gets the favour of Śrīmātā. Bathed, adored and eulogized, Dharmaputrikā becomes pleased and grants him all boons. She destroys all undesirable things. One without a son gets sons; the poor gets riches; he who wishes for a kingdom gets a kingdom; he who seeks learning attains it. One who desires prosperity gets it and one who desires a wife acquires her. There is no doubt about this that with the favour of Sarasvatī he gets everything. Ultimately the man gets the highest region inaccessible even to Suras. By the grace of Sarasvatī he gets this forever.

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