The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Return of Modha Brahmanas which is chapter 37 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 thirty-seventh chapter of the Dharmaranya-khanda of the Brahma-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 37 - Return of Moḍha Brāhmaṇas

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Vyāsa said:

1-2. Then those Brāhmaṇas said to the son of the Wind-god: “Now our birth is fruitful and life is well spent. Now the houses, virtues (Dharma) of us, the Moḍha people, are blessed. The entire earth is blessed and so the many varied sacrificial rites.

3. Obeisance to the devotee of Śrīrāma, the slayer of Akṣa. Salute to the holder of thunderbolt who set fire to the city of the demons.

4. Hail to the saviour of Jānakī’s heart, to the compassionate one, to the beloved one of Śrīrāma who got distressed due to the separation from Sītā!

5. Obeisance to you, the extremely heroic one. Protect us who are sunk in worldly affairs. Obeisance to you, the son of the Wind-god, who consider Brāhmaṇas as gods.

6. Salute to the devotee of Rāma, the one who works for the welfare of cows and Brāhmaṇas. Obeisance to you, the blackfaced one, one in the form of Rudra.

7-8. Obeisance to you, the son of Añjanā, the remover of all ailments forever. Bow to you, the highly powerful one wearing serpents for the sacred thread. Obeisance to you, the one who crossed the ocean, the builder of the bridge.”

Vyāsa said:

9. Delighted with this eulogy, the son of the Wind-god said: “O Brāhmaṇas, choose whatever boon appeals to your heart.”

The Brāhmaṇas said:

10. If you are pleased, O chief of the Devas, O lord, the one who carries out Rāma’s orders, show to us now your form assumed by you, O Hari, at (the time of the war in) Laṅkā.

11. So also slay now the king, the perpetrator of sins, the wicked Kumārapāla and, of course, Āma as well.

12. Let him obtain the fruit of depriving (us) of livelihood. As a proof, O mighty one, do so. Why delay, tell us.

23. That king may become meritorious with the mind directed towards you. When the evidence is produced, O heroic one, he will keep the honour of the charter (granted by Rāma).

14. He will propagate Vedic cult all over the earth. O extremely heroic one, steedfast [steadfast?] in piety, show us your form.

Hanumān said:

15. My form with its gigantic body cannot be the object of (ordinary) eyes in Kali Age. May the Brāhmaṇas understand that it is a mass of brilliance and divine.

16. Still, I am delighted with your great devotion, eulogy etc. I shall show my form covered with a cloth. See.

17-19a. On being told thus, the Brāhmaṇas who were eager to accomplish their task completely, then visualized Hanumān of divine form and features, having a huge body and a big tail.

Seeing Hanumān’s divine form, they were astonished. But taking courage with difficulty, the Brāhmaṇas spoke slowly: “Everything is seen exactly as described in the Purāṇas.”

19b-21. He spoke to them all, as they stood covering their eyes: “O prominent sages, take these fruits for eating. Eating these, O Brāhmaṇas, there shall be over-satiation. Even without Dharmāraṇya, your hunger shall certainly be satisfied.”

Vyāsa said:

22. The fruits were eaten by the hungry Brāhmaṇas and they had the satisfaction of having imbibed divine nectar.

23. They had neither thirst nor hunger. The Brāhmaṇas who had been distressed in mind, became overwhelmed with surprise, O king.

24-25. Then the Son of Añjanā said: “O Brāhmaṇas, Kali Age having arrived, I will not come there leaving Śiva, Rāmeśvara. The token given by me may be taken there, when you go. The truth hereof will dawn on that king undoubtedly.”

26-27. After saying thus, he lifted his arms and collected the hairs from both the arms separately. He then made two packets by covering them with Bhūrja leaves. These he placed under the armpits of a Brāhmaṇa, the packet containing the hairs from the left armpit under his left armpit and that containing the hairs from the right armpit under his right armpit.

28-35a. “This is the bestower of all desires to a devotee of Rāma and it brings destruction to others.” He also said: “When the king says ‘Present the credential token’ the packet of the left armpit may be quickly handed over. Or throw down the packet at the doorway of the king’s (palace). It will burn his army, palace, treasury etc. The queens, the princes and everything will be aflame. When the king is prepared to restore the means of livelihood, villages, the taxes of the Vaṇiks, nay, if he gives whatever was given before, O Brāhmaṇas, make him write up a final agreement. If he gives everything as before and bows down with joined palms, take everything completely as given by Rāma. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, let the packet under the right armpit be thrown. Then the army will be as before. Instantly the houses, the treasury, sons, grandsons etc. will be seen released by the fire.”

35b-36. On hearing the nectar-like words uttered by Hanumān, the Brāhmaṇas felt elated with joy. They danced and sang. Some of them pronounced “Hail! and Victory!” laughing loudly with one another.

37-39. With the hairs on their bodies standing on ends, they eulogized again and again. Some enthusiastic ones caught hold of his tail and kissed it. One (of the Brāhmaṇas) said, “The task was accomplished by my effort.” Another said, “O blessed one, this was achieved by me.” Then Hanumān said, “O Brāhmaṇas, stay on for three nights so that you will get the merit of (visiting) Rāmatīrtha.”

40a. Saying “So be it”, the Brāhmaṇas performed the rite of Brahmayajña.

40b. By recitation of the Vedas at a high pitch, they (as it were) deafened the forest.

41. After staying for three nights, those Brāhmaṇas intending to depart told Hanumān thus at night with excellent devotion:

42-44. “We shall go to the holy Dharmāraṇya the (next) morning. O dear one, we should not be forgotten. (Let everything) be forgiven.”

Then, O king, the Son of the Wind-god (broke) a big rock from the mountain and made it quadrangular in shape and ten Yojanas in extent. After spreading it, he said to the Brāhmaṇas, “O excellent Brāhmaṇas, well-guarded by me, you all lie down on the rock free of worries.”

45. On hearing this, all of them had very happy sleep. Having fulfilled their task thus, they all slept in the beginning of the night.

46. That compassionate protector of the charter of Rāma, Hanumān, identical with Rudra, stayed on the earth for the sake of protecting the Brāhmaṇas.

Vyāsa said:

47-49. At midnight when all of them were fast asleep, (Hanumān) prayed to his father: “You have rendered great favour, O Samīraṇa, take these Brāhmaṇas to their abode.”

Urged by his son Hanumān, the father lifted up the rock (along with the Brāhmaṇas), O descendant of Bharata. The excellent one took these good Brāhmaṇas to their abode.

50. Within three Muhūrtas he reached Dharmāraṇya covering the path (distance) traversed by the Brāhmaṇas in six months.

51-53. Knowing that the rock was moving, one of the Brāhmaṇas born of Vātsya Gotra sang sweetly (some) Ślokas to the other Brāhmaṇas. On hearing the song, they were surprised. When the day dawned well, they woke up and wakened one another. Extremely astonished, all said, “Is this a dream or a delusion?” With thrill and excitement, they got up and saw Satyamandira.

54. By means of their inner sense, they saw this as the power of the Son of the Wind-god. On hearing the sound of the Vedic chant, the Brāhmaṇas experienced excessive delight.

55. On seeing the great rock, the villagers considered it a great miracle. They wondered what it was.

56-57. Those people announced that miracle to every household: “That splendid rock is full of Brāhmaṇas. We do not know whether it is auspicious or inauspicious.” They thus discussed among themselves.

Vyāsa said:

58-60. Then those sons as well as grandsons of the Brāhmaṇas came there and said, “Fortunately, those wayfaring Brāhmaṇas have returned.” With delighted mind, they saw (each other) face to face. They did everything concerning the reception like standing up, saluting, embracing, kissing, sniffing gladly etc. They duly honoured them. The details were narrated fully and the quick return explained.

61. After adoring them all (by presenting them) sweet scents, betel-leaves and saffron, they went to their houses joyously, reciting the Śānti verses.

62. In the morning, the travellers got up in the great Pīṭha of Ānandā. They saw the great holy spot and were filled with eagerness and delight.

63-64. They felt highly surprised. “What is this excellent shrine? In the southern entrance the Śānti Mantras are being chanted. The houses look beautiful like the abode of Indra. The shrines of Kulamātṛ (the Family Mother) are seen as splendid as fire.”

65. While the Brāhmaṇas were speaking thus, a Brāhmaṇa who had arrived for the worship of Mahāśakti, saw that group of Brāhmaṇas.

66. Delighted and elated, he went there where the Brāhmaṇas had assembled together. He said: ‘Thank Heaven! The wayfaring Brāhmaṇas have arrived.”

67. Then the Brāhmaṇas stood up in reverence. Those who had come with materials of worship venerated them. Both the groups saluted each other.

68. As befitting and in accordance with the injunctions, they honoured each other readily. Whatever happened in the presence of the Lord of Monkeys was made known in the presence of Brāhmaṇas.

69. On hearing the words of the travellers, the excellent Brāhmaṇas became filled with delight. Chanting the Śānti Mantras, they went to their homes with delight.

70. They met together and discussed. Everything was fixed by those who were astrologers. Getting up in the morning the Brāhmaṇas set out to Kānyakubja.

71. Some of them were borne in hammocks, some rode horses and chariots, and some were seated in palanquins. They were going in various sorts of vehicles.

72. Having reached the city and going to the splendid banks of Gaṅgā, those intelligent ones camped there and performed the rites of holy bath and distributed monetary gifts etc.

73-75. They were seen by a certain spy and he carried the news to the king’s presence: “Here many horses, swinging hammocks and chariots of the Brāhmaṇas residing in Dharmāraṇya are seen. Certainly they have come.”

The king said, “They had been sent by me earlier to the presence of the Monkey. Bring them to me.”

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