The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Manifestation of Parashareshvaradi Lingas which is chapter 65 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-fifth chapter of the Uttarardha of the Kashi-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 65 - Manifestation of Parāśareśvarādi Liṅgas

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Skanda said:

1. O Pot-born One, the Liṅgas around Jyeṣṭheśvara are five thousand in number. They are perfectly capable of according spiritual powers to the sages.

2. The Parāśareśvara Liṅga is a great Liṅga to the north of Jyeṣṭheśa. Merely by seeing it, pure knowledge is gained.

3. There itself is the Liṅga called Māṇḍavyeśvara which accords Siddhis. By visiting it, a man does not become evil-minded.

4. The Liṅga named Saṅkareśa is there itself. It bestows auspiciousness always. The Deity Bhṛgunārāyaṇa there bestows all spiritual powers on devotees.

5. The Liṅga named Jābālīśvara there also accords great Siddhis. If one visits it, one will never attain evil state or go to hell.

6. Śreṣṭha Āditya (Excellent Sun-god) has been installed there by Sage Sumantu. As a result of visiting it, the disease of leprosy is cured.

7. Goddess Bhairavī there is named Bhīsanā. She has a terrible form. On being worshipped eagerly and fervently, she destroys everything terrible.

8. The Liṅga of Upajaṅghani there liberates (the devotees) from the bondage of Karmas. Devoutly resorted to by men, this great Liṅga bestows spiritual powers within six months.

9. The Liṅga named Bhāradvājeśvara and Mādrīśvara are excellent. These two are situated in one place and they should be visited together by a person of meritorious soul.

10. O Pot-born One, the Liṅga installed by Aruṇi is also there. By doing its service, one shall attain all prosperities.

11. There is a very beautiful Liṅga called Vājasaneya there. By visiting it men shall attain the benefit of Vājapeya.

12-21. The Various Liṅgas in the Holy Region around Jyeṣṭha Sthāna:

Kaṇveśvara is the auspicious Liṅga, Kātyāyaneśvara Liṅga, Vāmadeveśvara Liṅga, Autathyeśvara, the Liṅga named Hārīteśvara, Gālaveśvara Liṅga, the Liṅga of Kuṃbhi of great merit, Kausumeśvara, Agnivarṇeśvara, Naidhruveśvara, Vatseśvara the great Liṅga, Parṇādeśvara, Saktuprastheśvara Liṅga, Kaṇādeśa, another great liṅga there installed by Māṇḍūkāyani, Bābhraveyeśvara Liṅga, Śilāvṛttīśvara, Cyavaneśvara Liṅga, Śālaṅkāyanakeśvara, Kalindameśvara Liṅga, Akrodhaneśvara Liṅga, Kapotavṛttīśa Liṅga, Kaṅkeśa, Kuntaleśvara, Kaṇṭheśvara, Kaholeśa, the Liṅga adored by Tuṃbaru, Mataṅgeśa, Marutteśa, Magadheyeśvara, Jātūkarṇeśvara Liṅga, Jaṃbukeśvara, Jārudhīśa, Jaleśa, Jalmeśa, Jālakeśvara—these and other Liṅgas number about five thousand. O Pot-born One, if a man remembers, visits, touches, adores, bows down to and eulogizes these auspicious Liṅgas in the excessively sacred Jyeṣṭhasthāna, there arises no sin in him.

Skanda said:

22. O great sage, listen; I shall tell you what happened here at the Jyeṣṭhasthāna. It is destructive of sins.

23. Even as Maheśa was enjoying himself as he pleased at Jyeṣṭhasthāna, Śivā too played eagerly games with her ball.

24. She demonstrated the sprightliness of her limbs that moved up and down. As the bees hovered round her, being attracted by the fragrance of her breath, her eyes became slightly disturbed.

25. As her tresses of hairs became loosened, the excellent garland fell down and covered the ground. Drops of perspiration flowing down her cheeks washed away the lines of cosmetic painting and made her shine all the more.

26. The brilliance of her body was completely revealed as the upper cloth over her breasts was tossed about. The lotus-like palms of the goddess became excessively red as she continuously beat the springing ball.

27-29. Her eyebrows seemed to dance as her eyes closely followed the ball. Mṛḍānī, the beautiful mother of the universe, was playing thus and she was seen by the Ditijas (demons) named Vidala and Utpala who happened to go through the firmament. They were extremely haughty, due to the boons they had received from Brahmā. They were so mighty that they considered all the men in all the three worlds as worthless as grass. In fact, they were caught within the range of vision of the god of Death present nearby.

30. Afflicted by the god of Love, they were eager to abduct the goddess and hence they quickly descended from the sky, resorting to sorcery.

31-32. In the guise of the attendants of the Lord, they came near the mother divine. Those extremely wicked and fickle-minded demons were recognized by Sarvajña, Śiva, the omniscient one through their tremulous eyes. Presently Durgā, the destroyer of terrible enemies, was glanced at significantly.

33. Understanding the significance of the glance the goddess sharing half the body of the omniscient Lord simultaneously killed both of them with that very ball.

34 Hit with the ball by the great goddess, the wicked demons of great prowess whirled round and round and collapsed.

35-36. Those great Daityas, the wicked ones, who had attempted a criminal misdeed, fell down like two ripe fruits shaken off from the stalk by wind or like peaks of a great mountain struck down by thunderbolt. Thereafter the ball transformed itself unto a Liṅga.

37. It became a Liṅga named Kandukeśvara very near Jyeṣṭheśvara. It wards off all evil-minded ones.

38. How can fear of misery assail that devotee who listens joyously to the manifestation of Kandukeśa and adores it?

39. Bhavānī who eradicates fear, brings about the Yogakṣema (‘acquisition and preservation of desired objects’) to men who are devotees of Kandukeśvara and are devoid of sins.

40. Mṛḍānī always worships that Liṅga. There itself is the perpetual presence of Goddess Pārvatī according spiritual powers to the devotees.

41. How can Bhavānī and Īśa be the bestowers of all desired things on those men by whom Kandukeśa, the great Liṅga, has not been worshipped?

42. That Liṅga named Kandukeśvara should be visited assiduously. It is destructive of all the masses of torments and calamities.

43. Even on hearing the very name of Kandukeśvara, a mass of sins becomes destroyed immediately like darkness meeting with the hot-rayed sun.

Skanda said:

44. Listen, O blessed one, O Brāhmaṇa, listen to what took place near Jyeṣṭheśvara. It is certainly extremely wonderful.

45-46. When Brāhmaṇas were performing great austerities without any desire or motive in Daṇḍakhāta, the great Tīrtha that accords satisfaction unto the Devas, sages and forefathers, the wicked Daitya (named) Dundubhinirhrāda, the maternal uncle of Prahlāda, thought about the means of easily conquering the Devas.

47-48. He thought over this many times: ‘What is the source of their (Devas’) strength? What is the food of the Devas? What is their support?’ He came to this decision which, he thought, was the real fact: ‘Certainly on consideration Brāhmaṇas seem to be the real causes.’ So, thereafter, he endeavoured to kill Brāhmaṇas frequently.

49. ‘Since the Devas live on Kratus (Yajñas), the Kratus are based on the Vedas and those Vedas are in the custody of Brāhmaṇas, Brāhmaṇas constitute the power of the Devas.

50. It is certain that all the Vedas along with Indra have the support of Brāhmaṇas. There need not be any hesitation in concluding that Brāhmaṇas are the power behind the Devas.

51. If Brāhmaṇas are annihilated, the Vedas are automatically destroyed. When the Vedas are destroyed, Yajñas get destroyed.

52. When Yajñas are ruined, Devas become deprived of their food and so weak that they can be easily conquered.

53-54. When Devas are conquered, I myself will become the honoured Lord of the three worlds. I shall then take away all the unlimited riches of Devas. When the troublesome fellows have been destroyed in the kingdom, I will solely enjoy pleasures.’

After deciding thus, O sage, he directed his thoughts in the following direction:

55. ‘Where do those Brāhmaṇas with abundant Brāhmaṇical brilliance, richly endowed with the study of the Vedas and possessing the power of penance, live mostly?

56. Vārāṇasī must be the spot where Brāhmaṇas preponderate. After destroying them at the outset, I shall go to the other Tīrthas.

57. Whatever may be those Tīrthas, whatever may be those hermitages where there are Brāhmaṇas, all those Brāhmaṇas are to be devoured by me all-round.’

58. After deciding thus as befitting his race, the wicked Māyāvī (one capable of sorcery) came to Kāśī and killed Brāhmaṇas.

59. Wherever excellent Brāhmaṇas went to collect sacrificial twigs and Darbha grass in the forest, the evil-minded Daitya (attacked and) devoured them.

60. He took the form of a hunter in the forest or an aquatic animal under the water and hid himself so that no one could recognise him.

61. That Daitya endowed with Māyā-power remained invisible even to Devas. Sometimes he used to sit in the guise of a sage engrossed in meditation like an ascetic during daytime.

62. He used to watch them entering the huts and going out. Then at night he assumed the form of a tiger and devoured many Brāhmaṇas.

63. He used to carry them off without making any noise. He did not leave behind even their bones. Thus many Brāhmaṇas were killed by that wicked demon.

64. Once on the Śivarātri day, a certain devotee performed the adoration of the Lord of Devas in his hut and remained in meditation.

65. Haughty on account of his strength, Dundubhinirhrāda, the king of Daityas, assumed the form of a tiger and desired to seize him.

66. He could not attack that devotee engaged in meditation with a firm resolve to realise Śiva, because he (the devotee) had uttered the Astra-Mantra with due Vinyāsas (protective arrangement by Mantra) thereof.

67. Thereupon, Śaṃbhu, the omnipresent one, Hara, understood the intention of the wicked Daitya and decided to kill him.

68. Even as the tiger was about to seize him, Hara, the esteemed protector-jewel of the universe against evil-spirits, efficient in the means of protecting the devotees, appeared before him.

69. On seeing Rudra coming out of the Liṅga worshipped by that devotee, the Daitya grew in size, comparable to a big mountain, retaining the same form (of a tiger).

70. The Dānava looked at Sarvajña with contempt (and went ahead). On seeing him come, the Lord squeezed him within his machine-like armpit and pressed.

71-74. The Pañcāsya (tiger) struck at Pañcāsya (Lord Śiva) with his fist on his head.

Being pressed and squeezed within the armpit the tiger retaining its form howled and roared in distress. His cries filled heaven and earth. With their minds trembling due to that sudden roar, the ascetics came there following the sound in the darkness of the night. There they saw the Lord with the king of beasts locked up in the armpit.

75. “O Īśa, bless us. O Preceptor of the universe, stay here itself in this selfsame form adopting the name Vyāghreśa.

76. O great Lord, afford protection to Jyeṣṭhasthāna always. Save us, the residents of the Tīrtha, from other torments and calamities.”

77-80. On bearing their words, the Moon-embellished Lord said: “So be it” and continued thus, “O eminent Brāhmaṇas, listen. Undoubtedly I shall destroy the mass of calamities of that man who will visit me here faithfully, in this form itself. If a man worships this Liṅga and goes ahead on his journey, he will not have any fear arising from thieves, tigers etc.

After listening to this story of mine and remembering the Liṅga the man may enter battlefield. He will win (the battle). Not otherwise.”

81. After saying thus, the Lord of the chiefs of Devas merged into that Liṅga. Surprised and dismayed thereby, the Brāhmaṇas went back in the morning to the places where they had come from.

Skanda said:

82. Ever since then, O Pot-born One, the Liṅga came to be kṇown by the name Vyāghreśvara. It is to the north of Jyeṣṭheśa. If visited and touched, it removes fear.

83. The servants of Yama are afraid of the devotees of Vyāghreśvara. Even if the Yāmas (servants of Yama) are very cruel, they will deign to say, “Be victorious. Be alive.”

84. On hearing the manifestation of Parāśareśvara and other Liṅgas here, a man can avoid being smeared with the mud of great sins.

85. On listening to the stories of the manifestation of Kandukeśa and Vyāghreśa, a man will never be distressed due to calamities.

86. Uṭajeśvara Liṅga is situated to the west of Vyāghreśa. It has sprung up for the sake of according protection to the devotee. One shall be free from fear after worshipping it.

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