The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Attainment of Salvation by Divodasa which is chapter 58 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 fifty-eighth chapter of the Uttarardha of the Kashi-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 58 - Attainment of Salvation by Divodāsa

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Agastya said:

1. O Skanda, what did Hara do while in the Mandara mountain when even Gajānana was causing delay?

Skanda said:

2. O Agastya, listen to the meritorious story being narrated by me now. Its theme is Vārāṇasī alone and it is destructive of all sins.

3. When the Elephant-faced One was delaying in Avimuktaka, the excellent one among holy spots, Adhokṣaja (Viṣṇu) was quickly met by the Three-eyed Lord.

4. He was addressed thus many times with great respect: “Do not do (it) yourself what was done by others who had gone there before.”

Śrī Viṣṇu said:

5. O Śaṅkara, endeavour must be made by all living beings in accordance with their intellect, strength and weakness. But they bear fruits according to your (direction).

6. Actions (Karmas by themselves) are insentient. Even living beings are not free themselves. You are the witness unto their acts and also the prime mover of living beings compelling them to work.

7. But in regard to the devotees of your feet, the mental inclination is such that you yourself will say, “Excellent work has been done by him.”

8. Whatever work is performed here, whether it be very small or great in size, O Giriśa, that fructifies if it is performed with due recollection of your feet.

9. If a task is well-prepared (planned), perfectly carried out with keen intellect, it is bound to perish instantaneously, should it be performed without due remembrance of your feet.

10. Excellent effort will be made by me today as I have been sent by Śaṃbhu. In regard to us richly endowed with devotion unto you, the task is practically accomplished.

11. A task may be extremely unachievable by solely depending on one’s own intellect, strength and endeavour; O Śiva, the same task can be easily accomplished by meditation on you.

12. All the tasks of those persons, O Lord, who circumambulate you, O Bhava, and then proceed ahead, become already accomplished due to the fear of you.

13. Know, O Mahādeva, that this task has been accomplished certainly. The only thing is that the auspicious hour for the entry into Kāśī should be thought of.

14. Or, neither the auspicious nor the inauspicious time need be considered in regard to the time for arrival at Kāśī. That alone is the auspicious moment when Kāśī is within reach.

15. After circumambulating and bowing down to Śaṃbhu again and again, the Garuḍa-emblemed Lord set off from Mandara along with Lakṣmī.

16. After making Vārāṇasī the guest (object) of his eyes (vision), he joyously made his name Puṇḍarīkākṣa (Lotus-eyed One) meaningful.

17. Viṣṇu of pure mind washed his hands and feet in the confluence of Gaṅgā and Varaṇā and took his bath with the clothes on.

18. Then onwards, that Tīrtha came to be called Pādodaka because his feet, the bestower of auspiciousness, were washed at the outset by the Yellow-robed Lord.

19. If men take their bath in Pādodaka Tīrtha, their sins accumulated in the course of seven births, perish quickly.

20. By offering Śrāddha there and libations with water and gingelly seeds, one will be able to redeem the members of his family three times seven in number.

21. In the Tīrtha (called) Pādodaka at Kāśī the satisfaction obtained by the great-grandfathers is the same as obtained by them at Gayā, indeed.

22. Niraya (Hell) will never touch a man who takes his bath in Pādodaka, drinks the water thereof and offers the same water (as libation).

23. After drinking Pādodaka once in the Viṣṇu Pādodaka Tīrtha, it is certain that one will never drink the milk of the breasts of a mother (i.e. will get Mokṣa).

24. A devotee who bathes a Śālagrāma having a discus inscribed (i.e. within it) sprinkled with a conch (filled) with waters of Pādodaka and drinks the water thereof will become immortal.

25. If one drinks Viṣṇu Pādodaka in the Viṣṇu Pādodaka Tīrtha, of what avail is heavenly nectar that has been in existence for a long time?

26. If the holy rites with water are not performed at Kāśī with Pādodaka, their very life is futile. They are on a par with a bubble of water in regard to their splendour.

27-28. Accompanied by Lakṣmī and Garuḍa, Viṣṇu performed the daily rites. He withdrew his form pervading the three worlds and fashioned a stone image with his own hands. Ādikeśava himself adored that image, the bestower of all prosperities and Siddhis.[1]

29. By worshipping that brilliant image of the great Lord, named Ādikeśava, a man considers Vaikuṇṭha the very courtyard of his house.

30. That area within the limits of Kāśī is well-known as Śvetadvīpa. Men who serve that image do reside in Śvetadvīpa (Region of Viṣṇu).

31. There is another Tīrtha in front of Keśava named Kṣīrābdhi. One who performs holy rites with water there, will stay on the shores of the Ocean of Milk.

32. If a man performs Śrāddha there and gifts away a milch cow along with all ornaments as laid down, he will be able to make his forefathers stay in the Ocean of Milk.

33. One who devoutly gifts a single cow there becomes a meritorious-souled one on the shores of the Milk Ocean and can make hundred and one generations of his family move to the Milk Ocean with plenty of ‘mud’ i.e. cream produced by the milk.

34. A devotee should offer many excellent cows here with faith along with monetary gifts. He will be able to make everyone of his forefathers live there with comfortable quilts for sound sleep.

35. To the south of Kṣīroda is the excellent Śaṅkha Tīrtha. By offering water-libations there unto the Pitṛs, one is honoured in Viṣṇuloka.

36. To the south thereof is the Cakra Tīrtha which is something very inaccessible even to the forefathers. One who performs Śrāddha (there) becomes free from indebtedness to forefathers.

37. The Gadā Tīrtha is very near it. It is destructive of all mental anguish; it causes the redemption of the Pitṛs and the destruction of all sins.

S8. Beyond that is the Padma Tīrtha. After taking the holy bath there and offering libations to the Manes duly one is never deficient in fortune and wealth.

39. There itself is the Tīrtha of Mahālakṣmī renowned in all the three worlds. Mahālakṣmī herself, the delighter of the three worlds, took her holy ablution there.

40. One who takes his holy bath in that Tīrtha and gifts jewels and gold and silk clothes to Brāhmaṇas never becomes deficient in fortune and prosperity.

41. Due to the great efficacy of the Tīrtha, wherever he is born he becomes prosperous. His forefathers become brilliant and glorious.

42. An image of Mahālakṣmī is there and it is adored by all the three worlds. By bowing down to her devoutly a man never suffers from sickness anywhere.

43. The devotee should keep awake on the night of the eighth lunar day in the dark half of Bhādrapada and worship Mahālakṣmī. He will obtain the benefit of the holy vow.

44. There, in the vicinity of Tārkṣyakeśava, is the Tārkṣya Tīrtha. By taking the holy bath there a man never sees the serpent (in the form) of worldly existence.

45. Beyond that is the Nārada Tīrtha that destroys great sins. It is here that Nārada got the instruction in Brahmavidyā.

46. A man who takes his holy dip there, shall obtain Brahmavidyā perfectly from Keśava. Hence, in Kāśī, he is said to be Nāradakeśava.

47. After worshipping devoutly Lord Nāradakeśava the devotee never occupies a place in the womb of any mother.

48. Prahlāda Tīrtha is beyond it, where the Lord is Prahlādakeśava. By performing Śrāddha etc. there a devotee is honoured in the world of Viṣṇu.

49. Very near it is the great Aṃbarīṣa Tīrtha that destroys sins. Performing holy rites with water there a man gets liberated from sins.

50. Ādityakeśava to the east of Ādikeśava is worthy of being adored. Merely by visiting it, a devotee is liberated from great sins.

51. The Tīrtha (named) Dattātreyeśvara is there itself; so also Ādigadādhara. By propitiating the forefathers there itself, a devotee shall acquire Jñānayoga (‘Path of knowledge’).

52. The great Bhārgava Tīrtha is towards the east of Bhṛgukeśava. A man who takes his holy bath there shall become a wise man, a man of excellent intellect like Bhārgava.

53. There to the east of Vāmanakeśava is Vāmana Tīrtha. By worshipping that Viṣṇu, a devotee shall stay near Vāmana.

54. In front of Naranārāyaṇa is the Tīrtha named Naranārāyaṇa. A man who takes his holy bath in the Tīrtha there, shall become Nārāyaṇa.

55. Beyond that is Yajñavārāha Tīrtha that destroys sins. By taking baths therein, one gets the merit of a Rājasūya sacrifice.

56. There is a Tīrtha entirely free from impurities there, named Vidāraṇa-narasiṃha. One who takes his holy bath there shall tear off the sins acquired in the course of a hundred births.

57. To the east of Gopīgovinda is the Tīrtha named Gopīgovinda. After taking the holy bath there and worshipping Viṣṇu, a devotee shall become a favourite of Viṣṇu.

58. To the south of Gopīgovinda is the Tīrtha named Lakṣmīnṭsiṃha. By taking holy dips in the Tīrtha, one is never abandoned by the Goddess of Fortune.

59. Beyond it, near Śeṣamādhava is Śeṣa Tīrtha. The satisfaction of the forefathers to whom libation is offered there, is thorough.

60. To the south thereof is Śaṅkha Mādhava Tīrtha entirely free from impurities. A man who performs holy rites with water there, shall become free from impurities though he be a sinner.

61-62. Beyond it is the extremely sacred Tīrtha named Hayagrīva. After taking the holy ablution there and worshipping Hayagrīvakeśava, and also offering balls of rice in the presence of Hayagrīva, a devotee shall attain the splendour of Hayagrīva and get liberated along with his forefathers.

Skanda said:

63. All these Tīrthas have been enumerated to you incidentally because even on a ground extending as much as a gingelly seed there at Kāśī, there are many Tīrthas.

64. O Pot-born One, even by hearing the names of these Tīrthas specially enumerated by me, a man becomes free of sins.

65. Now, O Brāhmaṇa, I shall mention to you the relevant topic. Listen to what the Lord of Vaikuṇṭha, the wielder of conch, discus and club, did.

66. After entering into the image of Keśava, Lord Keśava came out of it by a bit of a bit of a part because he had decided in his mind to do something pertaining to the task of Śaṃbhu.

Agastya said:

67. Oh! Where did the Lord with the discus in his hand go out by a bit of a bit of his part? O Six-faced One, after reaching Kāśī, where did Hari go out?

Skanda said:

68. O sage, why did Viṣṇu not go out completely? I shall mention the reason thereof. Listen to me for a moment.

69. One attains the city of Vārāṇasī by a great deal of Puṇya. Thereafter, a wise man should not abandon it even if tempted by great benefits.

70. Hence, O Pot-born One, his image was installed by Murāri at Kāśī and he went out partially by a bit.

71. After going a little to the north of Kāśī the Discusbearing Lord created an area called Dharmakṣetra for his own stay.

72. Thereafter the Lord of Lakṣmī himself assumed the form of (a follower of) Buddha, that was very beautiful, fascinating unto the three worlds.

73. Śrī (Lakṣmī) became a Parivrājikā (female mendicant) exquisitely beautiful in form. On seeing her, the entire universe remained (motionless) as though painted in a picture.

74. On seeing the mother of the universes, the source of the universe, with a book placed on the palms of the hand, the entire universe stood motionless. Garuḍa assumed the best of forms and became their disciple.

75. He had a wonderfully brilliant intellect. He was devoid of desire for all the objects. He was engaged in attending to his preceptor. He had a book on the palms of his hands.

76. He asked his preceptor about the greatest of virtues that can facilitate release from worldly bondage. The excellent preceptor was gentle-faced and delighted in himself.

77. He was an adept in the treatises on Dharma and Artha. He was endowed with wisdom and perfect in general and specialized knowledge. He was of sweet, sonorous voice. He spoke softly and lovingly uttering the words distinctly.

78. He was proficient in the magical art of stunning, exorcising, attracting persons to him and keeping them under his control. So also in various other activities. At the time of his lecture, even birds were attracted and he could make them experience thrill.

79. He was served by excellent deer which imbibed the nectar-like songs he sang. He checked the swift motion of winds by giving them a great deal of joy.

80-81. He was adored even by the trees under the pretext of the falling of flowers. Then that meritorious-souled follower of Buddha (named) Puṇyakīrti said to his disciple Vinayakīrti, endowed with great humility:

Puṇyakīrti said:

82. O Vinayakīrti, the eternal virtue has been asked by you. I shall explain it entirely, O highly intelligent one. Listen.

83. The world has been in existence since beginningless time. It manifests itself (automatically) by itself and it gets dissolved by itself.

84. In all embodied beings beginning with Brahmā up to a blade of grass, the soul alone is the real master (Īśvara) therein. There is no other (external being like God as) controller thereof.

85. The names Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra etc. are mere names of the embodied ones, like out own names Puṇyakīrti etc.

86. Just as our body perishes in due course, so also the bodies of everything from Brahmā to a mosquito perish when their (respective) time arrives.

87. If it is pondered over (it is evident) that there is nothing special about the body (of anyone). Intake of food, sexual intercourse, sleep and fear are common to all.

88. Every embodied one attains the same (degree of) satisfaction after getting its own usual quantity of food; no more (degree of satisfaction) in any case.

89. Just as we become free from thirst after joyously drinking some beverage, so also others who are thirsty; there is no difference great or small (in the satisfaction derived after drinking).

90. Let there be thousands of women with exquisite beauty and seductive charms; but at the time of intercourse only one can be enjoyed.

91. Let there be hundreds of horses and let there be many elephants, but at the time of riding, only one is enough; no second (is required).

92. At the time of sleeping the same pleasure is experienced irrespective of sleeping on a couch or on bare ground.

93. Just as we embodied ones are afraid of death, so also all those beginning with Brahmā and ending with insects, are afraid of death.

94. If we intelligently ponder (it is evident that) all embodied beings are equal. After decisively thinking thus, no one should be violently injured by anyone, anywhere at any time.

95. There is no other virtue on a par with compassion for living beings anywhere on the surface of the earth. Hence mercy should be assiduously practised by men.

96. If one living being is protected, all the three worlds would get protected; if one is killed, all are killed. Hence one should protect (and) not kill (others).

97. Non-violence has been stated as the greatest virtue by the ancient wise men (or teachers). Hence violence should not be practised by men who are afraid of hell.

98. In all the three worlds consisting of mobile and immobile beings, there is no sin like violence or injury. One indulging in violence goes to hell and one who abstains from it goes to heaven.

99. There are many kinds of gifts. Of what avail are they, yielding but insignificant fruit? There is nothing like the gift of freedom from fear.

100. After poring over and reflecting upon different kinds of scriptural texts here, four types of gifts have been mentioned by the great sages for the sake of welfare here and hereafter.

101. Freedom from fear should be offered to those who are afraid; medicine should be given to those who are afflicted with ailments; learning should be imparted to those who seek lores; and cooked food should be given to one (who is) distressed with hunger.

102. The power of Maṇi (miraculous gems), Mantra (spell) and Auṣadha (medicine) is indeed incomprehensible. That should be assiduously practised for the purpose of earning different kinds of riches.

103. After acquiring wealth in various ways, the twelve Āyatanas around should be worshipped well. Of what avail is the worship of other things (deities)?

104. The auspicious twelve Āyatanas include the five organs of action, the five sense-organs, the mind and the intellect.

105. Heaven and hell exist here itself (in this world), nowhere else. Happiness is what is termed as heaven and misery what is called hell.

106. If the body is cast off when happiness is being enjoyed, it is the ultimate salvation; there is no other salvation.

107. When Kleśa[2] (distress) is destroyed along with the Vāsanā (Avidyā, nescience) there is Vijñānoparama (cessation of Vijñāna). This would be known as Mokṣa (salvation) by persons who ponder over reality.

108. This authoritative statement is quoted by the followers of the Vedas: “One should not injure or kill any living being.” There is no other Vedic statement directing one to kill or injure.

109. The Śruti exhorting one to perform Agniṣomīya (Agniṣṭoma) etc. is something that misleads others and is quoted by evil men. That Śruti which prescribed killing of sacrificial animals is not authoritative in the view of those who know.

110. It is surprising that heaven is sought after cutting trees, killing animals, making slush of blood and by burning gingelly seeds, ghee etc.

111. While Puṇyakīrti was expatiating on Dharma in this manner, the citizens heard about this from others successively and proceeded (towards him).

112. The women of the city were attracted by that Parivrājikā named Vijñānakaumudī who was very proficient in all lores.

113. Before them she elaborated on the tenets of Buddha, exhorting them to believe only those things that are directly seen and adopting only the means of acquiring happiness of the body.

Vijñānakaumudī said:

114. This is mentioned by Śruti that Ānanda (bliss) is the form of Brahman. That should be accepted as it is. The view of its diversity is baseless.

115. One should achieve happiness as long as this body is strong and healthy and the sense-organs are not feeble, even as old age is far off.

116. Where can there be happiness when there is deficiency in the sense-organs and health is not normal? Hence even the body should be given over to suppliants (before old age) by those who wish for happiness.

117. The earth is (really) burdened by those people who are not ready to satisfy the desire of those who beg, and not on account of oceans, mountains and trees.

118. The body is bound to pass off quickly and everything hoarded is attended with the certainty of loss. After realizing this a sensible man should endeavour for the happiness of the body.

119. Ultimately the body is bound to be a prey to dogs, crows and worms. The truth that the body is reduced to ashes in the end, has been accepted in the Vedas.

120. The classification (of people) into various castes is futile in this world. When the state of being human is common (to all), who is high and who is low?

121. It is said by elderly persons that this entire creation is that of Brahmā and others. Dakṣa and Marīci are reputed to be the sons of that creator.

122. (It is said that) thirteen charming-eyed daughters of Dakṣa were married in a way approved by scriptures to Kaśyapa, the son of Marīci.

123. “This man is worthy of (carnal) approach. This man is not (so).” Futile is such consideration by people of this age who are deficient in intellect and valour.

124. The four castes are said to have originated from the mouth, arms, thighs and feet (of the Cosmic Being). This belief evolved by the forefathers does not stand to reason.

125. If four sons are born to one (woman) from one (man), will they be different in castes?

126. This discrimination between caste and caste does not appear (to be correct) to the mind. Hence nobody should entertain discrimination between man and man at any time and at any place.

127. On hearing this speech of Vijñānakaumudī the women of the city gave up their excellent mind to serve their husbands.

128. By practising the black magic of attracting and winning over (others) men who were fascinated by the wives of others succeeded in their objective.

129. Royal ladies living in inner apartments, princes, citizens and city women were deluded by both of them.

130-131. That lady-mendicant removed the barrenness of barren women with various special devices. Vijñānakaumudī made women with husbands alive, blessed with conjugal bliss. To some she gave (medicated) collyrium, to some others medicine called Tilaka (Comm.).

132. Many (women) were initiated (into Buddhism) with Mantras effective in bringing (others) under control. Some were muttering Mantras while others were drawing Maṇḍalas (magical designs).

133. Some women sitting steady in front of fire-pit began to offer various material as oblations into the sacrificial fire.

134. Best results such as the growth of vegetation without cultivation (and others like provision of honey in cups of leaves from trees) became defunct because of the rise of sins. Slowly the power of the king also got blunted.

135. Though he was stationed far away, Vighneśa (named) Ḍhuṇḍhirāja made King Ripuñjaya (‘conqueror of enemies’) dejected in his mind and disinclined to administer the kingdom.

136. Divodāsa kept count of the eighteen-day period: “When will that Brāhmaṇa who will be instructing me, arrive?”

137. When the eighteenth day arrived and the sun reached the zenith of the sky, that excellent Brāhmaṇa came to the gate.

158. It was Adhokṣaja (Viṣṇu) himself under the name of Puṇyakīrti from Dharmakṣetra who came to the king in the guise of a Brāhmaṇa.

139. The Brāhmaṇa who came was as though fire itself having assumed a physical form. He was accompanied by two or three other holy persons repeating blessings: “Jaya (Be victorious); Jiva (Be alive).”

140. On seeing him coming from a distance, the anxious king considered him a preceptor capable of imparting to him instructions.

141. The king approached him and bowed down to him frequently. Having received him with welcoming words, he took the Brāhmaṇa into the inner apartment.

142-143. The king offered Madhuparka (mixture of honey, curds etc.) and adored him duly. When he dispelled the fatigue due to the journey and attained normal state, with his lotuslike face beaming with pleasure, he offered him foodstuffs to eat and did everything needed. The king then asked the Brāhmaṇa who was contented and comfortably sitting:

The king said:

144. Bearing the burden of the administration of the kingdom, I am afflicted, O excellent Brāhmaṇa. Actually, I have no distress but a slight loss of interest has appeared.

145. What shall I do? Where shall I go? How can I be happy? O Brāhmaṇa, two fortnights have elapsed since I am worried thus.

146. With all my enemies having been destroyed completely unlimited series of pleasures has been enjoyed by me like the Three-eyed Lord (Śiva) in a manifest form.

147. By my own ability, I became identical with Parjanya, Agni and Anila. The subjects have been protected well like my own bosom-born children.

148. Brāhmaṇas have been propitiated everyday with money. While ruling the kingdom I have committed only one offence.

149. All the Devas have been slighted by me due to the arrogance born of the power of my penance. But I swear by you that, that too I did only to render help to my subjects and not for my own sake.

150. Now do become my spiritual preceptor. It is due to the rise of my good luck that you have come here. I shall continue to rule the kingdom thus without caring for and fearing the god of Death.

151. Nowhere in my kingdom is the likelihood of an untimely attack by the god of Death nor is there the fear of old age, sickness and poverty.

152. While I rule no one shall resort to an unrighteous activity. All the people grow richer in piety. All of them have a rise in prosperity and happiness.

153-154. All the people engage themselves passionately in the pursuit of excellent learning; all are experts in traversing the path of good people. Or, what do we get even if the longevity extends up to the end of a Kalpa? All the objects of pleasure appear like chewing what is already chewed. O excellent Brāhmaṇa, of what avail is the kingdom which is like pressing of what is already pressed?

155. O wise one, advise something for the prevention of further stay in the womb. Or, of what avail are the thoughts like these for me who have sought refuge in you?

156-157. Undoubtedly I shall do whatever you say today. By your mere sight all the desires of others too become fulfilled. They have almost become so in my case. I know this. Who have not (i.e. all have) become doomed due to the animosity of Devas?

158-164. The Tripuras were heroic and much devoted to Siva. They were the followers of their own duty. They used to protect their own subjects. Still they were reduced to ashes playfully by letting fall a single arrow, by Hara who constructed his chariot out of the earth, made Himalaya the bow, who made Vedas the horses, Vāsuki the bow string, Viriñci, god Brahmā, the charioteer, Viṣṇu the arrow, the sun and the moon as the wheels of the chariot, Praṇava as the whip, the stars and the planets becoming the pegs, the sky as the wooden fender for protection in the chariot, Sumeru as the flagstaff, the lofty Kalpa tree as the banner, serpents as the ropes for binding the Vedas (horses) and the Aṅgas as the bodyguard, Kālāgnirudra being made the arrowhead and the wind the feathered part.

Bali who was the most excellent one among those who performed Yajñas was formerly driven to the nether regions by Harī who fraudulently disguised himself as a dwarf and took three steps.

Vṛtra who was of good behaviour was killed by Sutrāman (Indra).

165. Bearing in mind the previous enmity of Hari who was defeated by Dadhīci by means of Kuśa grass, although he fought for victory, that leading Brāhmaṇa Dadhīci was killed by the Devas for the sake of his bones.

166. The thousand arms of Bāṇa, a devotee of Śiva, were cut off by Hari formerly during a battle. What offence did that excellent one of good conduct commit?

167. Hence antagonizing the Devas cannot be conducive to welfare. But since I tread the path of the good, I do not have the slightest fear from the Devas.

168. Vāsava and other Devas have attained Devahood through Yajñas. But I have superiority over them due to Yajñas, Dānas and Tapas.

169. Let there be superiority or inferiority. Of what importance is this to me now? This meeting with you, has provided a pleasant pause in the activities of the sense-organs.

170. Now, O great one, who are conversant with the requisite means that is capable of uprooting Karmas, grant that unto me, whereby I shall get beatitude.

Skanda said:

171. On hearing the words uttered by the king thus due to the entry of Gaṇeśa, Hṛṣikeśa who was in the guise of a Brāhmaṇa said:

Śrī Viṣṇu said:

172. O highly intelligent one, O sinless one, O crest jewel among kings, well-said, (very) well-said! What should have been given as advice by me has been well-indicated by you.

173. At the very outset you have already washed off all the impurities of the sense-organs through the pure waters of excellent penance and hence have become the best bestower of honour on me.

174. What has been said by you, O king, is entirely true, O highly intelligent one. I know your power as well as disinterestedness (in worldly affairs).

175. A king like you has never been before nor will there ever be. You knew well how to enjoy the kingdom. It is but proper that you wish to abandon it now.

176. In spite of the opposition from the Devas no offence has been committed by you. Nor has occurrence of non-righteousness taken place in your kingdom.

177. What piety has been observed by your subjects under your guidance and persuasion has made the heaven-dwellers satisfied.

178. Only one defect in you occurs in my mind, and it is the fact that Viśveśvara has been made to stay far away from Kāśī by you.

179. This I know is the greatest offence on your part, O most excellent one among the rulers of the earth. I shall now tell you the best means of quelling that sin.

180. Even granting that one has committed as many sins as there are hairs on the body, all those sins vanish if one installs a Liṅga.

181. If a single Liṅga is installed here with due devotion to Īśa, it is as though the entire universe has been established by him.

182. The counting of the number of jewels in the ocean is possible by those who are experts in calculation. But the extent of the merit of the installation of Liṅgas cannot be written down.

185. Hence with all endeavour make a Liṅga installed. By that installation of the Liṅga, you will become blessed and contented.

184. After saying this, the Brāhmaṇa meditated for a short while with unwavering mind. Thereafter he touched the king with his hand with his countenance beaming with delight and said thus:

Śrī Viṣṇu said:

185. O king, I see another thing also through my vision of knowledge. O most excellent one among wise men, listen to that too with adequate attention.

186. You are blessed. You have fulfilled your task. You are worthy of being honoured even by great men. Your very name should be uttered in morning by one who wishes to attain auspicious benefit.

187. O Divodāsa, thanks to your presence and proximity. We are highly blessed. Among mortal beings those who utter your name are also blessed.

188. The Brāhmaṇa continued to say smilingly, shaking his head repeatedly, highly delighted in his heart with joyous horripilation.

189. “Oh! The purity of this one (is excellent)! Oh! The rise of the fortune of this one (is praiseworthy) since one should meditate on him always! Viśveśvara should be meditated upon by all.

190. Oh! The resulting fate of this (king) cannot be obtained by anyone (else)! What is far away from even us is not far away from him.”

191. After considering thus within his heart, the Brāhmaṇa extolled the king and disclosed everything that he saw during his meditation.

The Brāhmaṇa said:

192. O king, the tree of your cherished desire has borne fruit today. You will be attaining the greatest position with this very body.

193. Viśveśvara does not have any consideration in his heart for people like us nor for a Brāhmaṇa whose eyes are directed towards his feet in the same manner as he has for you in his heart.

194. Since you have installed a Liṅga, a divine aerial chariot of Śaṃbhu will be coming on the seventh day from today to take you away.

195. O king, you know what that merit is, whereof this is the result. I too know that it is due to your service to the city of Vārāṇasī.

196. O excellent one among kings, even if one takes care of a single resident of Vārāṇasī, one will have this same benefit at the time of the death of his body.

197. On hearing this, the valorous, saintly king Divodāsa who was delighted, granted to the Brāhmaṇa and his disciples what they desired.

198. After repeatedly bowing down to the propitiated Brāhmaṇa, the joyous king said, “I have been redeemed from the ocean of worldly existence.”

199. The Brāhmaṇa too was delighted in his heart with his desires fulfilled. He took leave of the king and went to the place of his choice.

200-202. Hari who was in the guise of a sham Brāhmaṇa pondered over this frequently. ‘What is that spot highly sacred, which I can occupy and take all my devotees to the highest abode with the great blessings of Viśveśa?’ After seeing the Hrada (whirlpool) Pañcanada he decided thus, took his holy dip there duly, and stationed himself there.

203. Expecting an early personal contact with the Threeeyed Lord, the Lord of Lakṣmī sent Tārkṣya to convey the news about the king.

204-208. The eminent king Divodāsa extolled the leader of Brāhmaṇas and summoned all the subjects, the vassal kings along with their ministers, the keeper of the treasury, cavalry, elephant army etc., the eldest son Samarañjaya and five hundred other sons, the priest, the Ṛtviks, the Brāhmaṇas, the watchmen, the princes of vassal kingdoms, the cooks, the physicians, many foreigners who had arrived on various missions, the crowned queen along with the other members of the Inner Apartment, the elders, the cowherds, and the children, with great delight. He joined his arms in deference and said to them what the Brāhmaṇa had told regarding the seven-day limit.

209-210. Even as they were listening to the miracle with sad faces, the king himself took Prince Smarañjaya to the royal palace (outside Kāśī). The king of keen intellect and meritorious soul crowned his son and granted favours to the citizens and dwellers of the surrounding districts. He then went back to Kāśī.

211. After returning to Kāśī that highly intelligent king who had conquered his enemies got a palace built on the western bank of the celestial river.

212. That king built a shrine of Siva spending the whole of the amount he had won by defeating the enemies in battle.

213. Since the wealth and fortune of the kings had been entirely utilized there, that auspicious part of the land became well-known as Bhūpālaśrī.

214. The king, the conqueror of enemies, installed the Liṅga Divodāseśvara and considered himself blessed for having fulfilled his tasks.

215-218. On a certain day the king worshipped that Liṅga duly, bowed down to it and eulogized the Liṅga that accorded him satisfaction. By that time a divine aerial chariot came down quickly from the sky with the attendants sprawled about in it all-round. They had tridents and Khaṭvāṅgas (skull-topped clubs) in their hands. Their splendour surpassed the dazzling radiance of the Sun and fire. They had eyes in their foreheads and had matted hairs. Their limbs shining like pure crystals illuminated the sky. Their physical forms had venerable appearance due to the jewels on the hoods of the serpents which constituted their ornaments. Their necks appeared to be resorted to (i.e. had blue tinge) by the darkness terrified by the perpetual brilliance.

219-222. The aerial chariot was surrounded by hundreds of Rudrakanyās with the fingers of their hands busily engaged in moving chowries.

Thereafter the king was embellished by the attendants in a joyous mood, with divine garlands, unguents and silk robes. His excellent forehead became three-eyed. His throat became blue. All his limbs were rendered white. His hairs became matted. His body had four arms and was adorned with serpents. A crescent-shaped moon adorned his head. The attendants then took the king to heaven.

223-224. Ever since then, that holy Tīrtha became renowned as Bhūpālaśrī. The devotees should perform Śrāddha etc. there. They shall make monetary gifts in accordance with their capacity. They should visit Divodāseśvara and worship him devoutly. They shall then listen to the narrative about the king. No such devotee shall ever be reborn in a womb.

225. A man who reads and teaches or causes to read this sacred narrative of King Divodāsa becomes liberated from sins.

226. If anyone enters a battlefield after listening to the auspicious account of Divodāsa, he need not have any fear from the enemies.

227. The meritorious story of Divodāsa destroys great calamities. It should be read assiduously for the suppression of all obstacles.

228. Where the story of Divodāsa that destroys all sins is read, there is neither drought nor fear from premature death.

229. By reading this narrative, all desires will become fulfilled like those of Viṣṇu who carried out what Śaṃbhu had thought of.

Footnotes and references:


Ādikeśava temple sits in a grove of trees on the high bank of the Rājghāṭ plateau, overlooking Gaṅgā and Varaṇā. But the Tīrthas mentioned after the emblems of Viṣṇu and his Avatāras in the following verses are located in the landscape of imagination alone (BCL 204). Some Tīrthas such as the Prahlāda Tīrtha are however geographically locatable today.


Kleśas are five: avidyā (nescience), asmitā (egotism), rāga (desire), dveṣa (aversion), abhiniveśa (tenacity of existence).—MW 324.

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