by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,142,515 words
This page describes The Greatness of Holy Spots which is chapter 28 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 twenty-eighth chapter of the Dharmaranya-khanda of the Brahma-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
By making water libations here, men obtain the same merit as is obtained at Gayā by offering balls of rice twenty-one times devoutly.
(They yearn) ‘Won’t someone be born in our family who is ready to offer libations with gingelly seeds, or balls of rice or mere water in the Pretapakṣa (the dark fortnight in Bhādrapada) at the time of moonrise!’
Sages state that if the Manes are dear to them, people should perform Śrāddha at Lohayaṣṭi on the new-moon day.
6. If a person takes bath in the waters of Sarasvatī and propitiates the Pitṛs by means of milk and white gingelly seeds, the Pitṛs certainly become satiated.
7. Those who wish for the salvation of the Pitṛs, should perform Śrāddha with Saktu (flour of fried barley) and milk on the new-moon day.
9. Janārdana himself is present at Gayā in the form of the Pitṛs. Meditating on the Lotus-eyed Lord, one is rid of the three debts.
10-12. After going there, the person should pray to Janārdana, the Lord of Devas: “O lord, I have come to Gayā with a desire to offer balls of rice to the Pitṛs. O Janārdana, this ball of rice is placed in your hand. You alone shall be the giver unto those who have gone to the other worlds.” With this Mantra alone, the same should be placed in the hand of Hari. When the moon is waning, on the fourteenth day in the month of Nabhasya, the ball of rice shall be offered. There is no doubt about this that the Pitṛs will have never-ending satisfaction.
13-15. By performing Pitṛ Tarpaṇa at Lohayaṣṭi with devotion, one obtains that merit which one gets by offering balls of rice at Gayā twenty-one times. A person who offers water, obtains satisfaction and never-ending happiness here itself. One who offers fruits gets devoted sons and one who offers freedom from fear gets good health.
Money legitimately earned when offered, even if it be very little, shall yield great merit. By taking the holy bath alone in that holy pool, one shall become a follower of Rudra.