The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Manifestation of the Bull-emblemed, Lord which is chapter 62 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 sixty-second chapter of the Uttarardha of the Kashi-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 62 - Manifestation of the Bull-emblemed, Lord

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Agastya said:

1-6. O Skanda, I am not satiated by hearing the story narrated by you. The wonderful description of Bindumādhava has been heard. I desire to hear now the contact between the Lords of Devas. After hearing from Tārkṣya about the activities of Divodāsa and the display of Viṣṇu’s Māyā what did the Threeeyed Lord tell the Garuḍa-emblemed Lord? Who were all those who came from the Mandara mountain along with Śaṃbhu? How was Īśa faced by Brahmā whose eyes were overcome with shame? What did the Lord say to Brahmā? What was said by the Sun-god? What was narrated by the Yoginīs? What did the ashamed Gaṇas say? Describe all this to me, O Skanda. I am very eager to hear.

On hearing these questions of the Pot-born Sage, the son of īśa replied after bowing down to Śiva and Śivā, the bestowers of supernatural powers on those who bow down to them.

Skanda said:

7. O sage, listen to this story that dispels all sins, that subdues obstacles without leaving anything behind and increases great welfare.

8-9. Thereafter (Viṣṇu) the Lord inimical to Asuras joyously gave a reward to the king of birds, on hearing the arrival of Śaṃbhu, when he announced the happy arrival of Śaṃbhu near Vārāṇasī. Then Hari kept Brahmā at the head and proceeded forward.

10. He was accompanied by the Sun-god; he was surrounded by the Gaṇas and followed by the Yoginīs. He was in close touch with Gaṇeśa. (He went hand-in-hand with Gaṇeśa—Comm.).

11. Immediately after seeing the Bull-emblemed Lord of Devas, the Consort of Śrī quickly got down from Tārkṣya and bowed to him.

12. The aged Pitāmaha bent down his head immediately. He was prevented from bowing down further by Mṛḍa (Śiva) himself to whom he had already bowed down.

13. Showing raw rice grains which were wet along with fruits, the Unborn Lord (Brahmā) chanted Rudra Sūktas with a hand raised up by way of hailing (Svasti).

14. Gaṇeśa hurriedly prostrated keeping his head on the two lotus-like feet (of Śiva). With great pleasure Hara kissed the head of Gajānana (smelt the crown of the head).

15. He embraced him and made him sit in his own seat. Somanandī and other Gaṇas prostrated themselves like a log of wood.

16. After bowing down to Īśa, the Yoginīs sang auspicious songs. Then the Sun-god bowed down to Hara, the Lord of Pramathas.

17. Thereafter the Crescent-moon-crested Lord (Śiva) made Hari sit near his throne on the left side with due honour.

18. He offered a seat to Brahmā and made him sit on the right side. All the Gaṇas who had bowed down to him were glanced (kindly) at and honoured thereby by Śarva.

19. The Yoginīs were favoured by a nodding gesture of the head. Ravi (Sun-god) was rendered satisfied with a gesture of the hand indicating “Sit”.

20. Thereafter, Brahmā joined his hands together in reverence and submitted to Śaṃbhu whose lotus-like face was beaming with pleasure:

Brahmā said:

21. O Lord, O Lord of Devas, O consort of the Daughter of the Mountain, let me be forgiven for not returning after coming to Vārāṇasī.

22. O Moon-adorned Lord, who will abandon Kāśī even after casually visiting it? Even when he is old, who will abandon it, if he is capable of doing something?

23. Being a Brāhmaṇa, it is not possible to do anything harmful, or even if one is capable of harming, who will desire to do it to a meritorious person?

24. This is the command of the esteemed Lord too that no sensible man should deliberately commit harassment in regard to a person following the righteous path.

25. Who will have any adverse intention towards Divodāsa, the king of Kaśī, even slightly? He is a king of such meritorious activities, always alert in following the path of righteousness.

26-30. On hearing these words, Śrīkaṇṭha of pure intellect became pleased. Laughingly he said to Brahmā:

The Lord of Devas said:

O Brahmā, I know everything. First you are a Brāhmaṇa; your defects are to be condoned. Further you have performed ten horse-sacrifices. Further still, much welfare has been carried out by you, O Brahmā. Against thousands of offences, my Liṅga has been installed. Even if one Liṅga of mine was installed by one anywhere, no trace of offence on him remains, even if he may have committed all the offences. If anyone commits any offence against a Brāhmaṇa, though he (the Brāhmaṇa) may have committed a thousands offences, his wealth will perish in a few days.

31. While the Lord of Devas said this, the Gaṇas and the Mothers heaved sighs of relief looking around at one another’s face.

32. On realizing the opportune moment, Arka (the Sun-god) who looks after mobile and immobile beings, noticed Ṣaṃbhu, the consort of Umā (pleased in his mind) with a beaming face, and submitted thus:

Arka said:

33-36. O Lord, after proceeding to Kāśī from youṛ presence, and adopting some strategic steps, I found that I was utterly inefficient though I have a thousand rays, in respect to King Divodāsa who performed his duty righteously, I stayed behind here knowing fully well that Your Lordship will certainly come here. O Lord of Devas, I have been awaiting your esteemed arrival. I divided myself into many forms and was eagerly engaged in propitiating you. My cherished desire has become fruitful now, thanks to the glorious sight of Your Lordship. The tree of my desire was sprinkled with the waters of a modicum of devotion and it has blossomed due to meditation.

37-38. On hearing this utterance of Ravi, the Sun-eyed Lord of Devas said: “O Bhāskara (Sun), you are not at fault. You have actually carried out my task since you preferred to stay here where the Suras had no access while that king was ruling.”

39. After consoling the Sun-god thus, the Lord of Devas, the storehouse of mercy, consoled the Gaṇas who remained bowing down due to shame.

40. The Yoginīs too were keenly observed by Śaṃbhu and appeased. They stood close together with their necks pressed down as it were due to the weight of shame.

41. Then the Three-eyed Lord passed his eyes towards the Discus-bearing Lord. Before Sarvajña (Omniscient Śiva), the magnanimous Hari did not say anything.

42. Īśa who had already heard from Garuḍa the activities of Gaṇeśa and Śārṅgin became mentally pleased, and did not say anything.

43-44. In the meantime five divine cows came there from Goloka, namely Sunandā, Sumanāḥ, Suśīlā, Surabhi and Kapilā the fifth one, the destroyer of all masses of sins. Due to the fondling glance of Bharga (Śiva) their udders flowed.

45. (Like) clouds, their udders showered continuous and unbroken streams of milk till a whirlpool formed itself there.

46. It was perceived by the attendants like a second Ocean of Milk. With the presence of the Lord of Devas that became a great Tīrtha.

47. Maheśvara named it Kapilā Hrada (‘Pool of Kapilā’). Thereafter at the behest of the Lord all the heaven-dwellers took their holy ablution there.

48. Thereupon, the divine grandfathers emerged from the Tīrtha. On seeing them all the Suras joyously offered libations.

49. The divine grandfathers such as Agnīṣvāttas, Barhiṣads, Ājyapas and Somapas as well as others became propitiated. They prayed to Śaṃbhu:

50-51a. “O Lord of Devas, O Lord of the universe, O bestower of freedom from fear unto the devotees! We had everlasting contentment in this Tīrtha due to your vicinity. Hence, O Śaṃbhu, grant us a boon with a delighted mind.”

51b-52. On hearing the words of the divine ancestors, Śarva, the Bull-emblemed Lord, said these words with great satisfaction to all the Pitṛs, even as all the Devas were listening:

The Lord of Devas said:

53-54. Listen, O Viṣṇu of mighty arms; listen you, O Pitāmaha.

If in this Kapilā Tīrtha filled with the milk of Kapilā (and other cows) devotees offer riceballs with great faith as Śrāddha offerings, their ancestors will be pleased at my behest.

55. I shall speak another extremely satisfying thing. The Śrāddha offered here when Monday and new-moon day coincide, is everlasting in its benefit.

56. During Saṃvarta period (i.e. ‘annihilation of all created beings’) all waters and water reservoirs dry up and perish; but the Śrāddha performed here during the new-moon-Mon-day conjunction is never wasted.

57. If a Śrāddha can be performed here in the Kāpiladhāra Tīrtha during new-moon-Monday conjunction, of what avail is Gayā and Puṣkara?

58. Where you are, O Gadādhara, O Pitāmaha, where you too are and where I the bull-emblemed one am, there certainly is the river Phalgu (the river in Gayā).

59. All those Tīrthas, stationed in heaven, firmament and earth will reside here on a day when new-moon coincides with Monday.

60. What is obtained through performing Śrāddha at the time of eclipses in Kurukṣetra, Naimiṣa and the confluence of Gaṅgā and the ocean can be obtained in the Tīrtha of Vṛṣabhadhvaja.

61-64. O divine grandfathers, I shall tell you all the names of the Tlrtha. They are the bestowers of satisfaction on you all.

At first this Puṣkariṇī is remembered as (1) Madhusravā. Thereafter it should be known as (2) Kṛtakṛtyā, then (3) Kṛīranīradhi, (4) Vṛṣabhadhvaja Tīrtha, (5) Pitāmaha Tīrtha, (6) Gadādhara Tīrtha, (7) Pitṛ Tīrtha, (8) Kāpiladhāra, (9) Sudhākhani, and (10) Śivagayā. Thus this auspicious Tīrtha is known by ten names.

65. O grandfathers, these are the ten names of this Tīrtha. Even without Śrāddhas and libations they bring in satisfaction unto you all.

66. Those who are desirous of the satisfaction of the Pitṛs, should feed Brāhmaṇas at the time of the conjunction of the sun and the moon (new-moon day). Their Śrāddha is infinite (in fruit).

67. If a devotee makes gifts of auspicious Kapilā (tawny) cows at the time of Śrāddha for the satisfaction of the Pitṭs, the ancestors shall stay on the shores of the Milk Ocean.

68. If Vṛṣotsarga (setting free a young bull to roam at will) is performed in this Tīrtha of Vṛṣabhadhvaja, the Pitṛs will be propitiated as though through the Puroḍāśa (oblations) in horse-sacrifices.

69. O grandfathers, through Śrāddhas in the Kāpiladhārika Tīrtha on a new-moon day coinciding with a Monday, the merit is eight times that performed at Gayā.

70. Those who become dead through abortion and those who die before teeth are cut, become redeemed through the Kāpiladhārika Tīrtha.

71. Balls of rice offered here for the redemption of (those who die) before the investiture with the sacred thread and before marriage, become everlasting.

72. In the Kāpiladhārika Tīrtha, all these become satisfied: those who die on being burnt by fire (accidental) and those who are not cremated in fire.

73. Those who were denied religious funeral rites and (the requisite) sixteen Śrāddhas get satisfaction by offering oblation at Ghṛtakulyā (i.e. Kṛtakṛtyā).

74. If libations are offered in Madhusravā all these derive satisfaction: those who die without male issues or heir for offering libations.

75. To those who meet with unnatural death or are killed by thieves, through lightning strokes or by drowning in water Śrāddha can be offered here and that yields good goal.

76. Those who commit misdeeds and commit suicide also derive satisfaction (of redemption) through balls of rice offered at Śivagayā.

77. The balls of rice offered here to the dead ancestors of father’s Gotra and mother’s side, shall become the yielders of everlasting satisfaction.

78. If libations are offered at Vṛṣabhadhvaja Tīrtha, those who die among the relatives on wife’s side or on friend’s side also derive satisfaction.

79. Whether the dead ones belong to the families of Brāhmaṇas, Kṣatriyas, Vaiśyas, Śūdras or Antyajas, if their names are uttered and offerings are made, they become redeemed.

80. Through offering libations in the Kāpiladhārika Tīrtha all these are lifted to higher status: those who die during transmigration among brutes or those who become ghosts and vampires.

81. If libations are offered in Madhusravas, the Pitṛs who are reborn among men in the mortal world become celestial beings.

82. If libations are offered in the Vṛṣabhadhvaja Tīrtha, those Pitṛs who, through Puṇyas, have gone to the celestial world and assumed the form of Devas, go to Brahmaloka.

83. This Tīrtha is full of milk in Kṛtayuga; full of honey in Tretā, full of ghee in Dvāpara and full of water in Kali age.

84-86. This Tīrtha should be known as auspicious though it is beyond the frontiers. Within Vārāṇasī this is very excellent due to my close presence. Since my banner with the emblem of a bull was observed by the men staying in Kāśī, O grandfathers, I shall stay here under the name of Vṛṣabhadhvaja in the company of Pitāmaha (Brahmā), Gadādhara, Ravi and the attendants for your satisfaction, O grandfathers.

87. Even as, with these words, the Bull-bannered Lord was granting boons to the grandfathers, Nandin came there, bowed down to the Lord and submitted:

Nandikeśvara said:

88-94. The chariot has been kept ready. May the victory procession start. There are eight lions there (i.e. Mūlaprakṛti and the seven Tattvas beginning with Mahat). There are eight splendid bulls (eight Dhātus—constituents of the body). Eight elephants (those of the quarters) shine there. There are eight fast horses (Citta, Ahaṃkāra, Buddhi and five sense-organs). The controlling mind with whip in hand is seated there. The chariot poles are Gaṅgā and Yamuna. Mornings and evenings are the two wheels presided over by Pavana (Wind-god). The clean umbrella is the region of heaven. Clusters of stars constitute the nails. Serpents are the binding cords. Śrutis are the path finders. Smṛtis are the protecting chariot-fenders. Dakṣiṇā is the firm yoke. Makhas (Sacrifices) are the guards. Praṇava is the seat. Gāyatrī is the footstool. The Vyāhṛtis with the ancillaries are the series of steps. The Sun and the Moon are the perpetual gatekeepers. Agni is the snout-like projection, shaped like an alligator. Moonlight constitutes the chariot-ground. Mahāmeru is the flagstaff. The lustre of the Sun is the banner. The Goddess of Speech herself is the holder of chariot.

Skanda said:

95-98. The Lord of Devas, the Consort of Umā, was informed thus by Śailādi (Nandikeśvara). The eight divine Mothers performed the Nīrājana rite. Thereupon the Pināka-wielding Lord stood up supported by the hands of Śārṅgin (Viṣṇu). The sound of the divine musical instruments filled the space between heaven and earth. It was heightened by the Cāraṇas who sang auspicious songs. The quarters became deafened by that divine sound. As though summoned by it, the residents of all the worlds around came there.

99. The Devas were thirty-three crores in number; the Gaṇas were one crore and two hundred thousand; there were nine crores of Cāmuṇḍās and one crore Bhairavīs.

100. Eight crores of highly powerful followers of mine came there; they were six-faced, Kumāras and peacock-vehicled.

101. Seven crores of elephant-faced gods with huge bellies came there in great speed. Wielding shining axes in their hands, they are reputed to be obstacles unto obstacles.

102. Eighty-six thousand sages expounding the Vedas came there. There were as many householders too.

103. There were three crores of serpents residing in the nether regions; two crores of each of these—the Dānavas and the Daityas of auspicious souls.

104. There were eight million Gandharvas; Yakṣas and Rākṣasas were half a crore (five million). Vidyādharas were two million and one hundred thousand.

105. There were sixty thousand celestial damsels of great splendour, eight hundred thousand Gomātṛs (Cow-mothers) and six hundred thousand Suparṇas.

106. The seven Oceans came there proffering different kinds of jewels. There were fifty-three thousand Rivers.

107. Eight thousand Mountains, three hundred Vanaspatis (varieties of trees and herbs) and eight Diggajas (elephants supporting the quarters) came to the place where the Pināka-yielding Lord was present.

108. Accompanied by these and eulogized everywhere there the contented Lord Śrīkaṇṭha rode in the chariot and entered the auspicious Kāśī.

109. Accompanied by the Daughter of Lord of Mountains, the Three-eyed Lord, the abode of joys, the mine of bliss saw Kāśī which is far better than even heaven.

Skanda said:

110. By listening to this meritorious narrative that destroys the sins of ten million births, by reading it and by making it read (by others) one shall attain identity with Śiva.

111. Particularly during the Śrāddha period this should be assiduously read. That Śrāddha shall be everlasting and extremely pleasing to the Pitṛs.

112. By reading the greatness of Vṛṣabhadhvaja (Tīrtha) in the presence of Śiva everyday for a year, a man without a son will beget a son.

113. The story of the grand entry into Kāśī of Viśveśvara that has been narrated is certainly the seed of the bulbous root of great bliss.

114. After joyously reading this narrative one should enter a new house. There is no doubt in this that he will be the enjoyer of every kind of happiness.

115. This excellent narrative causes delight unto the three worlds. Merely by listening to this Viśveśvara becomes pleased.

116. Since the Lord had the great acquisition of what was unobtainable, the narrative named Kāśīpraveśa is an excellent Japya (holy text to be recited).

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