The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes The Story of Dhruva: Dhruva’s Eulogy of Vishnu which is chapter 21 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-first chapter of the Purvardha of the Kashi-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 21 - The Story of Dhruva: Dhruva’s Eulogy of Viṣṇu

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Dhruva said:

1. Hail to you, O Hiraṇyagarbha (‘the support of the Golden Egg’—Comm.), the performer of the function of all (sorts, e.g. ādhyātmika, ādhibhautika) creation, one who has gold as his semen virile, the bestower of gold!

2. Obeisance to you, the Lord in the form of Hara, the cause of the annihilation of all living beings. Obeisance to the controller of all living beings, the soul of all great living beings.

3. Obeisance to you, the cause of sustenance, Viṣṇu (the all-pervader), the powerful one. Obeisance to Kṛṣṇa, the destroyer of thirst (for worldly affairs), the endurer of the great burden (of the earth as the Divine Boar),

4. Obeisance to you in the form of the forest conflagration for the great forest of Daityas, the axe that fells down the trees in the form of Daityas. Obeisance to you holding the Śārṅga bow in your hand.

5. O holder of the mace, obeisance to you whose fingers are firmly engrossed in holding the Kaumodakī mace; obeisance to the holder of (the sword) Nanḍaka, for the destruction of the great Danujas.

6. Obeisance to you, the Consort of Śrī (Goddess of Fortune); obeisance to the wielder of the discus. Obeisance to the great soul in the form of the Divine Boar supporting the Earth.

7. Obeisance to you, to the holder of the lotus in the hand, the lover of Goddess Lakṣmī; obeisance to the Lord in the form of Fish etc. Hail to you wearing the gem Kaustubha on the chest!

8. Obeisance to the Lord who can be comprehended only through the Vedānta; obeisance to the Lord having Śrīvatsa; obeisance to the Lord in the form of the G-uṇas; to one who is with and without attributes.

9. Obeisance to you having the lotus in the navel; obeisance to the holder of Pāñcajanya conch. O Vāsudeva, obeisance to you, the delighter of Devakī.

10. Obeisance to Pradyumna, to you Aniruddha; obeisance to the killer of Cāṇūra.

11. O Dāmodara, O Hṛṣīkeśa, O Govinda, Acyuta, Mādhava, Upendra, O enemy of Kaiṭabha, O slayer of Maḍhu, O Adhokṣaja!

12. Obeisance to you, Nārāyaṇa, the destroyer of (the demon) Naraka, the destroyer of sins; obeisance to you, Vāmana; bow to Hari, Śauri.

13. Obeisance to you, the infinite one; obeisance to the Lord with Ananta (Serpent Śeṣa) for your couch; obeisance to you the Consort of Rukmiṇī, to the suppressor of Rukmi.

14. Obeisance to you, the slayer of Caidya (Śiśupāla); obeisance to the enemy of Asuras, the enemy of the enemies of Suras, O Mukunda of great bliss; obeisance to the favourite darling of the cowherd Nanda.

15. Obeisance to you the lotus-eyed one, the destroyer of leading Danujas. Bow to the Lord in the form of the cowherd, to the player on the flute.

16. Repeated obeisance to the lover of the cowherdesses. Obeisance to Rāma Rāghava, the leading member of the family of Raghu, to the slayer of Keśin.

17. Bow to you, the enemy of Rāvaṇa, to the bestower of refuge to Bibhīṣaṇa, to the unborn one, to the victory incarnate, the expert in fighting.

18. Obeisance to the form of Kāla (Time) such as Kṣaṇa (moment) etc., the assumer of various forms, the wielder of the Śārṅga bow, the mace and the discus, the suppressor of multitudes of Daityas.

19. Obeisance to the powerful one, to Balabhadra, to the Lord dear to the enemy of the demon Bala. O destroyer of the sacrifice of Bali, obeisance to you, the bestower of boons on your devotees.

20. O Lord who tore the chest of Hiraṇyakaśipu; O Lord fond of battles; O Lord benevolent to Brāhmaṇas; O Lord causing the welfare of cows and Brāhmaṇas!

21. Obeisance to you, righteousness personified. Bow to one possessing the Sattva quality. Obeisance to the thousandheaded one, to the Supreme Puruṣa.

22. O thousand (i.e., innumerable)-eyed one; O thousandfooted one, obeisance to the thousand rayed one. O thousand-formed one, O Consort of Śrī, O deity of sacrifice, obeisance to you.

23. O Lord whose form can be comprehended only through the Vedas, O lord to whom Vedas are dear, O lord of the form of knowledge (and consciousness), obeisance to you, the propounder of the Vedas, to the Lord treading the path of those of good conduct.

24. Obeisance to you, the son of Vikuṇṭhā; obeisance to the Lord residing in Vaikuṇṭha; obeisance to the Lord moving about on Garuḍa; obeisance to the Lord heard (and sung about) in the Vedas.

25. Obeisance to you, O Viṣvaksena, O Janārdana, identified with the universe; obeisance to Trivikrama, to the truthful one, to the Lord fond of truth.

26. Obeisance to Keśava; obeisance to you, to the controller of Māyā, to the singer of the Vedas. Obeisance to you, austerity personified, to the bestower of the benefit of austerity.

27. Obeisance to the Lord worthy of eulogy, eulogy personified; to the Lord interested in the eulogy of devotees. Obeisance to you in the form of the Vedas, to the Lord pleased with the conduct of life in accordance with the Vedas.

28. Obeisance to you, identified with the egg-born beings (birds); obeisance to you born of the sweat (lice etc.); obeisance to you in the form of the uterus-born; obeisance to you in the form of the Udbhijja (germinating plants).

29. Among the Devas you are in the form of Indra[1]; among the Planets you are the Sun; among the worlds you are Satyaloka; among the oceans you are the Milky Ocean.

30. Among rivers you are the heavenly Gaṅgā; among lakes you are the Mānasa lake; among mountains you are Himavān; among cows you are the wish-yielding divine cow.

31. Among metals you are gold; among precious stones you are crystal; among flowers you are blue lotus; among trees and plants you are Tulasī (Basil) Plant.

32. Among the stones worthy of the worship of everyone, you are the Sālagrāma stone; among the holy salvation-giving places you are Kāśī and among the sacred regions you are Prayāga.

33. Among colours you are the white; among bipeds you are the Brāhmaṇa; O Lord, you are Garuḍa among birds; of all activities you are speech.

34. Among the Vedas you are of the form of the Upaniṣaḍs; among Mantras you are Praṇava (Om); among the letters you are the letter A and among sacrificial beings you are one of the form of Soma.

35. Among the blazing ones you are fire; you are forgiveness (of Earth) among those who have forbearance; among donors you are the presiding deity of Parjanya (rain-bearing cloud); among the sacred ones you are the greatest.

36. Among all weapons you are the bow; you are wind among those moving with velocity; among sense-organs you are the mind; among the fearless ones you are hand (since at the time of physical danger, all raise their hands in resistance).

37. Among those who pervade you are the firmament; among the souls, you are the Supreme Soul. O Lord, among all daily rites you are the Sandhyā Prayer (performed at dawn and dusk).

38. Among holy sacrifices you are the horse sacrifice; among gifts you are the gift of freedom from fear; among acquisitions you are the birth of a son; O Lord, among seasons you are the spring.

39. Amog the Ages you are the first one (Kṛta); among the lunar days you are the New Moon (Kuhū); among constellations you are Puṣya and among all holy days you are the transit of the Planets (from one zodiac to another).

40. Among Yogas (combinations of Planets, stars etc.) you are Vyatīpāta; among the grasses you are the Kuśa grass; among all the efforts or human interests (Puruṣārthas) you are salvation, O Lord.

41. O unborn Lord, among all purposeful activities you are the intention to be righteous; among all trees you are Aśvattha and among the creepers you are the Soma creeper.

42. Among all purifying expedients you are Prāṇāyāma; among all Liṅgas you are the glorious Viśveśvara Liṅga, the bestower of everything.

43. Among all friendly ones you are the spouse; among all kinsmen you are Dharma (pious activity). O Nārāyaṇa, there is nothing other than you in the whole world including the mobile and immobile beings.

44. You alone are the mother; you are the father; you are the son; you are a great asset; you alone are the achievement of all happiness; you are the life span; you are the lord of life.

45. That is the holy discourse where your name (is sung); that is the genuine mind which is dedicated to you; that is the real activity which is offered unto you; that is the penance wherein you are remembered.

46. That wealth of the rich which is spent for your sake is the pure one; that alone is the time fruitfully spent when you are adored, O Jiṣṇu.

47. Life is beneficial as long as you are present in the heart; illnesses perish by taking in the holy water (of the worship) of your feet.

48. O Govinda, all great sins (such as Brāhmaṇa killing) incurred in the course of many births become annihilated immediately by uttering (your name) Vāsudeva.

49. Alas, the great delusion of men! Ah! Pity! The blunder of men whereby they slight Vāsudeva and put in effort elsewhere!

50. This alone is conducive to happiness and auspiciousness; this alone is acquisition of wealth; this is the fruit of life viz. the glorification of Dāmodara.

51. There is no greater pious activity apart from Adhokṣaja; there is no wealth greater than Nārāyaṇa; there is no (true) desire apart from Keśava; there is no salvation without Hari.

52. This is the greatest loss, this alone is the greatest harassment, this is the height of bad luck, whereby one does not remember Vāsudeva.

53. What is it that the propitiation of Hari does not achieve? It accords sons, friends, spouses, riches, kingdom, heavenly pleasures and ultimate salvation.

54. It dispels sin, destroys ailments, and controls mental anguishes. It quickly increases piety and accords what is desired.

55. The unwavering meditation on the pair of feet of the Lord is the most excellent thing. Even if it is performed by a sinner and that too casually, it accords the greatest benefit to oneself.

56. The utterance of the name of Hari during very deep meditation will remove even the sins designated as the greatest ones of sinners.

57. Just as a particle of fire when touched even by mistake, causes a burn, so also the name of Hari that slightly touches the lips, dispels sin.

58. If anyone makes his mind quiescent and directs it steadily towards the Consort of Kamalā and practises (meditation) even for a moment, indeed the Goddess of Wealth is steady and firm there (with him).

59. This is the greatest pious practice; this is the greatest austerity; this is the most excellent of all holy spots whereby one imbibes the water that washes Viṣṇu’s feet.

60. O Yajñapuruṣa, he who devoutly takes in the Naivedya offered to you, has become a man of great intellect. It is as good as Puroḍāśa has been regularly taken in by him.

61. If a man takes the water with which the feet of Viṣṇu have been washed in a conch-shell and performs the holy ablution with that (it is as good as) he has actually performed the Avabhṛthasnāna (valedictory bath after a holy sacrifice) and he has taken the holy bath in the waters of Gaṅgā.

62. He, by whom a Śālagrāma stone has been worshipped with Tulasī leaves, will be worshipped in the heavenly world with the garlands of divine Pārijāta flowers.

63. Whether he is a Brāhmaṇa, a Kṣatriya, a Vaiśya, a Śūdra or anyone else, one endowed with devotion to Viṣṇu, should be known as the most excellent one among all.

64. If a man sees a devotee with sandal-paste marks[2] of conchshell and discus, wearing a bunch of Tulasī flowers on the head and having marks of Gopīcanḍana paste over the body, he will be free from all sins. No other sin shall defile him.

65. He who worships everyday twelve stones of Śālagrāma and Dvārāvatīcakra[3] stones(?) is honoured in Vaikuṇṭha.

66. The servants of Yama never approach that house where Tulasī is worshipped everyday.

67. The followers of Yama will never touch one in whose mouth the letters constituting the name of Hari (dwell for ever), whose forehead is marked with Gopīcandana and whose chest is garlanded with Tulasī leaves.

68. If these five things: Gopīcanḍana clay, Tulasī leaf (plant), conchshell, Śālagrāma and Cakra (discus) are present in any one’s house, whence need he be afraid of sins?

69. A person is plundered by Yama in all those Muhūrtas, Kṣaṇas, Kāṣṭhās and Nimeṣas that have been spent without remembering Viṣṇu.

70. What a great disparity there is between the name of Hari consisting of two syllables and blazing like sparks of fire and the great mass of sins comparable to a heap of cotton!

71. I neither know, nor resort to, nor even remember anyone else leaving Govinda, the highest bliss, Mukunda, the slayer of Madhu.

72. I never bow down to, neither eulogize nor even see with my eyes, neither touch nor approach nor sing about anyone except Hari.

73-74. I see everywhere the dark-complexioned Lord with Śrīvatsa mark on the chest, in waters, on the earth, in nether regions, in wind, in fire and on mountains, among Vidyādharas, Asuras, Suras, Kinnaras, monkeys, human beings, in grass, groups of women, stones, trees, and creepers.

75. You have your residence in the heart of everyone. You alone are the direct witness. Whether without or within, I do not know any other omnipresent being except you.

76. After saying this, O Śivaśarman. Dhruva stopped. With delight evident in his eyes, Lord Viṣṇu spoke to him:

The Lord said:

77. O child Dhruva of wide large eyes, free from sins and having fixed resolve, the desire cherished in your heart has been clearly understood by me.

78. The living beings originate from food; food grows through rain; the Sun is the cause of that rain. O Dhruva, you be the support of the Sun.

79. You will become the pivot of the entire group of Planets, Stars etc., of the system of luminaries that moves about in the firmament for ever.

80. Like a pivotal pillar unto them, controlling them by holding them together with aerial strings, you stay there till the end of the Kalpa and make the luminaries revolve.

81. By propitiating Lord Mahādeva formerly this position was acquired by me. Due to your penance it (the position of Dhruva) has now been given over to you.

82. Some of them remain for a period of four Yugas, O Dhruva, and some for a period of a Manvantara. You will be holding this position for a Kalpa.

83. O Dhruva, can what was not obtained by even Manu, be obtained by other men? That position which is inaccessible to Śakra and others, has been entrusted to you.

84. I have been rendered delighted by this prayer. I shall grant you other boons too; your mother Sunīti too will be near you.

85. If a man recites this excellent prayer with concentration and mental purity during the three Sandhyās, his sin will perish.

86. Undoubtedly Lakṣmī will never leave his house. He will never be separated from his mother, nor will he have any quarrel with any of his kinsmen.

87. This prayer of Dhruva is meritorious and destructive of great sins. Even a Brāhmaṇa-slayer will be freed therefrom. What to speak of other sinners?

88. It will produce great merit. It will accord great riches. It suppresses all harassments and tortures. It destroys great ailments.

89. He who is pure in mind and has great devotion to me, should perform the Japa of this Dhruva prayer which delights me much.

90. He who joyously repeats this prayer attains that benefit which a man usually gets by taking the holy dip in all holy rivers.

91. There are many other eulogies and they do delight me. But they do not merit even a fraction of a sixteenth part of Dhruva’s prayer.

92. By listening to this prayer with great faith and joy, a man gets liberated from sins immediately and he shall attain great merit.

93. By reciting Dhruva’s prayer a sonless man acquires (begets) a son, a poor man gets wealth and a man without devotion shall become devout.

94. Through this prayer, a man get those benefits which one gets by making many religious gifts and by observing different holy vows.

95. Abandoning all activites, setting aside many of the other Japas, this Dhruva-prayer which accords all desires should be repeated regularly.

Śrībhagavān said:

96. O Dhruva, be attentive. O highly intelligent one, I shall mention what is beneficial to you and whereby this position of yours will become unchangeable.

97. Formerly, I was desirous of going to the splendid Vārāṇasī where Viśveśvara himself, the cause of salvation, is ever present.

98. It is there that Viśveśvara whispers into the ears of dying beings that Mantra which is capable of uprooting all (binding) Karmas.

99. There is only one means of remedy for the misery of the mundane world that accords all sorts of troubles and that is Kāśikā, the Ānandabhūmikā (‘the blissful holy spot’).

100. The (discriminatory) feeling “this is beautiful, this is not”, is the seed of the great tree of misery. When that is burnt down by means of the fire of Kāśī, where is the occasion for misery?

101. That Ānandakānana (Kāśī) is the spot of the greatest bliss; it is through it that everything worth attaining is attained and there remains no cause of regret thereafter.

102. If a man resides elseswhere after forsaking the Ānandakānana of Śaṃbhu, the site of divine nectar, whence can he hope to have the rise (outcome) of happiness?

103. It is better to go a-begging in Kāśī in the streets abounding in Cāṇḍāla houses with a bowl in the hands, rather than reign over a kingdom elsewhere without any enemy.

104. From the city of Vaikuṇṭha, I regularly go to Kāśī worshipped by the entire universe, in order to adore Viśveśa worthy of being worshipped by the universe.

105. That supreme Maheśāna who gave (me) Discus Sudarśana is the cause of the great power in me, capable of protecting the three worlds.

106. Formerly, Hara created a Cakra arising out of the lines at the tip of the big toe and slew the Daitya Jālandhara who made even me tremble.

107. That Cakra has been obtained by me by adoring the Lord with the lotus-like eye. This Cakra named Sudarśana suppresses hosts of Daityas.

108. In order to protect you by driving away the evil spirits, that Cakra was sent by me ahead and then only have I come here.

109. Just now, I will go to Kāśī for visiting Viśveśvara. Today there is a great pilgrimage held in the month of Kārttika. It accords great merit.

110. If a man takes his holy bath in the north-flowing (Gaṅgā) and visits Viśveśa on the fourteenth day in the month of Kārttika, he never comes back (to the human world of misery).

111. After saying this and making the extremely delighted Dhruva ride on Garuḍa, Hari reached immediately Vārāṇasī where Smarahara (Lord Śiva) is present.

112-113. After reaching the outskirts of Pañcakrośī (limit of ten miles perimeter), Lord Janārdana got down from Garuḍa. Holding Dhruva by the hand, he had the ablution at Maṇikarṇī and worshipped Viśveśa. Then desirous of doing something beneficial to Dhruva, the Lord said to him:

114. “Scrupulously install a Liṅga here itself in the holy-spot of Avimukta, so that you will have the never-ending merit establishing you in the three worlds.

115. The benefit that is acquired by installing a million Liṅgas elsewhere, is obtained by installing a single Liṅga here.

116. If anyone repairs the ruins here due to lapse of time, that benefit does not come to an end even at the time of Pralaya.

117. He who does not grudge in spending money here and building a palace (to Śiva), has actually made a gift of the entire Meru extending to a million Yojanas.

118. If anyone digs wells, tanks or lakes in accordance with his capacity in this holy spot, his merit becomes a hundred million times more than what is obtained by doing it elsewhere.

119. If a man grows a beautiful flower-garden here for the purpose of worship, the benefit acquired by him for each flower is more than that of a golden flower.

120. If anyone makes a Brahmapurī (a colony of Brāhmaṇas) here and hands it over to Brāhmaṇas along with the arrangement for fooding for a year, listen to the benefit he will get.

121. The waters of the ocean may be dried up. The Trasareṇus (dust particles) of the earth may perish, but there is no destruction of the merit of that devotee staying in Śivaloka.

122. If anyone builds monasteries and hands them over to saints along with sustenance of life, he too will have the benefit said before.

123. After performing great and meritorious rites, a man must dedicate the fruit thereof to Viśveśvara. He never returns to the terrible ocean of worldly existence.

124. It is sung about here in this world that I am Ananta, but the end of the good qualities of Kāśī is not obtained even by me.

125. Hence, O Dhruva, one should scrupulously resort to permanent weal at Kāśī. The benefit of weal acquired by man from Kāśī is everlasting.

The Gaṇas said:

126-127. After advising Dhruva thus, the Garuḍa-emblemed Lord went away. Dhruva then installed a Liṅga near Vaidyanātha. He built a great palace and made a holy pit in front of it. After worshipping Viśveśvara, he became contented and went home.

128. By worshipping Dhruveśvara and offering water libations in Dhruvakuṇḍa, a man attains Dhruva’s world endowed with all pleasures and enjoyments.

129. He who reads, narrates and makes others read the great narrative of Dhruva, reaches Viṣṇu’s world and becomes a favourite of Viṣṇu.

130. Remembering even casually the story of Dhruva, a man shall attain great merit. He will never be assailed by sins.

Footnotes and references:


Cf. Bhagavad Gītā, Ch. X, for the Vibhūtis described here in vv 29-43.


The commentator, on the authority of Bṛhannāradīya Purāṇa, strongly condemns the branding with red-hot metal pieces the mark of Viṣṇu’s arms (conch, discus etc.) on one’s body (as is the practice among the followers of Madhva). He emphatically states that marks with sandal or Gopīcandana are prescribed in this Purāṇa.


Special types of pebbles from Dvārakā (Comm.)

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