The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Establishment of the Deities which is chapter 70 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 seventieth chapter of the Uttarardha of the Kashi-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 70 - Establishment of the Deities

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Agastya said:

1. O son of Kātyāyanī, tell me how the deities were appointed in their duties at the behest of the Lord of Devas by Nandin, the delighter of the universe.

2. O Lord, please do me a favour. Narrate factually where which deities were posted for the protection of Avimukta.

3. On hearing this request of Agastya, the son of Mahādeva joyously narrated which places were assigned to which deities in Ānandavana.

Skanda said:

4. After creating Viśāla Tīrtha in Gaṅgā in Vārāṇasī, Viśālākṣī[1], the great bestower of cherished things, was established on the back of the holy spot.

5. (A devotee) who takes his holy bath in Viśāla Tīrtha and bows down to Viśālākṣī attains profuse riches and glory according great welfare both here and hereafter.

6. On the third day in the dark half of the month of Bhadrā (Aug.-Sept.) men should observe fast and keep awake at night in the vicinity of Viśālākṣī.

7. In the morning, after embellishing fourteen virgins with garlands, clothes and ornaments according to the capacity (of the devotee), they should be fed assiduously.

8. Thereafter, Pāraṇā rite (breaking the fast) should be performed in the company of sons and servants. Thereby, O Pot-born One, the benefit of a perfect residence in Vārāṇasī shall be obtained.

9. On the same day a great religious festival should be organized by the residents of the holy place for the purpose of quelling troubles and for the acquisition of glory of salvation.

10-17. In Vārāṇasī, Viśālākṣī should be assiduously adored by means of incense, lights, splendid garlands, fascinating presents, ornaments of gems, pearls etc., wonderful canopies, chowries, excellent silk garments not used before and fragrant scents, for the enrichment of the Glory of Salvation by the residents of any place. Even the least thing offered by excellent men to Viśālākṣī is conducive to bring in endless benefit in both the worlds.

The perfect fruit of whatever is offered at the seat of Viśālākṣī, of Japa, Homa, eulogy etc., is salvation. No hesitation need be entertained in this regard.

By the adoration cf Viśālākṣī a husband endowed with the wealth of handsome features and embellished with good qualities and habits is obtained by virgins, an excellent son by a pregnant woman and capability of conception by barren women. Great conjugal bliss is obtained by women hitherto denied that bliss; widows are assured that in the next life there will be no widowhood. Worshipped, heard or seen in Kāśī, Viśālākṣī fulfills the desires of women and men desirous of the greatest liberation.

18. There in the vicinity of Gaṅgā-Keśava, there is another Tīrtha called Lalitā Tīrtha. Goddess Lalitā[2], the great protectress of the holy place, is there.

19. She too should be assiduously adored for the augmentation of all affluence. Obstacles never come in the way of the worshippers of Lalitā.

20. By worshipping Lalitā in the month of Āśvina (Sept.-Oct.) on the second day in the dark half, a devotee, whether man or woman, attains the desired status.

21. By taking the holy bath in Lalitā Tīrtha and bowing down to Lalitā the devotee shall obtain blessedness everywhere even if he utters anything (by way of prayer).

22. O sage, Goddess Viśvabhujā, an aspect of Gaurī is stationed in front of Viśālākṣī, destroying always the great obstacles of those having devotion to the holy spot.

23. For the augmentation of all desired things the religious festival of Goddess Viśvabhujā should be assiduously celebrated during the nine days of the Śarat season (first to the ninth day in the bright half of Āśvina).

24. If any man does not bow down to Goddess Viśvabhujā in Vārāṇasī, how can that evil-souled one get mental peace from great calamities.

25. Those by whom Goddess Viśvabhujā is eulogized and adored in Vārāṇasī, are never harassed by masses of obstacles. They are meritorious souls.

26. There is another deity in Vārāṇasī namely Vārāhī in the vicinity of Kratuvarāha. By devoutly bowing to her, a man can avoid sinking down into the ocean of disaster.

27. Śivadūtī should be visited there itself. She destroys calamities. She keeps her trident lifted up for the protection of Ānandavana. She threatens enemies.

28. On the southern side of Indreśa is the deity Aindrī holding the thunderbolt in the hand and seated on a lordly elephant. She should be worshipped. She always confers affluence.

29. In the vicinity of Skandeśvara is the deity Kaumārī riding the peacock as her vehicle. She should be assiduously visited for the increase of great benefit.

30. To the south of Maheśvara, goddess Māheśvarī seated on the bull as her vehicle should be worshipped by men. She bestows cattle wealth.

31. In the vicinity of Nirvāṇa-Narasiṃha is the deity Nārasiṃhī with the discus raised up in her beautiful hand. She should be adored by those who are desirous of salvation.

32. The deity Brāhmī riding the swan as her vehicle is stationed to the west of Brahmeśa. She strikes down enemies with a handful of water out of her Kamaṇḍalu (water-pot).

33. For acquiring a perfect knowledge of Brahman, she should be worshipped everyday by Brāhmaṇas, ascetics and those desiring to know the truth about Brahman.

34. A devotee should always resort to the deity Nārāyaṇī in Kāśī. She eradicates obstacles by means of great arrows discharged from the Śārṅga bow here and there.

35. Great rise in prosperity in Kāśī comes to that person who bows down to Nārāyaṇī who is to the west of Gopī-Govinda. She rotates the discus in her raised index finger.

36. Thereafter, a man with devotion should worship Gaurī in the form of Virūpākṣī, in the northern direction of Devayānī. He obtains the desired glory.

37. The deity Śaileśvarī who is stationed near Śaileśvara and who, with her index finger threatens calamities and torments, should be duly worshipped.

38-39. A man with devotion should take his holy bath in Citrakùpa that bestows various kinds of benefit on men, visit Citragupteśvara and worship the deity Citraghaṇṭā, One who worships Citraghaṇṭā will not be adversely reported by Citragupta even if he has committed many sins and left the path of righteousness.

40. If a devotee in Kāśī, whether man or woman, fails to worship Citraghaṇṭā, thousands of obstacles will come to him or her at every step.

41. It is on the third day in the bright half of the month of Caitra that devotees should assiduously arrange the religious procession and pilgrimage. A very great celebration should be held and vigilance be kept during the night.

42. If a devotee worships Citraghaṇṭā with all the great requisites of a great adoration, he does not hear the knell of the bell of the god of Death tied round the neck of his buffalo.

43. The deity Citragrīva should be bowed to in the east of Citrāṅgadeśvara. The man never sees the tortures of various kinds (inflicted by Yama).

44. A man with devotion should perform all rites in the water in Bhadravāpī and visit Bhadrakālī in front of Bhadranāga. He never sees inauspiciousness and sorrow.

45. By assiduously worshipping Harasiḍḍhi to the east of Siddhivināyaka, the excellent man obtains all great powers.

46. After duly worshipping Vidhi by means of different kinds of offerings, in the vicinity of Vidhīśvara, the devotee attains various kinds of powers.

47. The devotee should take his holy bath in the Prayāga Tīrtha and worship the deity Nigaḍabhañjanī (‘breaker of fetters’). He is never tormented with fetters.

48. With the desire for liberating a prisoner, a devotee should always worship Nigaḍabhañjanī on a Tuesday, devoutly taking only one morsel of food. (The name of the deity may be Bandī—Comm.)

49. On being worshipped she accords even the severance from worldly bondage. Of what reckoning are fetters etc. through her adoration?

50. There is no doubt in this that due to the faith of men resorting to the feet of the deity Bandī, even a kinsman staying very far off will return soon.

51. If she is served perfectly after taking up some vow and observances, she will fulfil all desires soon removing all doubts regarding Kāśī.

52. This deity, the breaker of the bondage of the devotees, has a hammer and a chisel in her hands. She is in the vicinity of Tīrtharāja. What desires does she not fulfil? (i.e., fulfils all desires.)

53-55. Behind Paśupati and in the vicinity of Amṛteśvara is the goddess (Amṛteśvarī). She should be assiduously bowed to after taking a holy bath in the well Amṛtakūpa. A man should devoutly worship the deity Amrṭeśvarī. By resorting to her lotus-like feet the devotee shall gain immortality. Who will not gain immortality if he meditates on the deity Mahāmāyā holding a pitcher of nectar in the right hand and granting fearlessness with the gesture of left hand?

56. The deity Siddhalakṣmī, the mother of the universe, is to the west of Amṛteśvara. She is in front of the Prapitāmaha Liṅga. She bestows great powers.

57. Who will not attain glory and fortune by visiting the mansion of Siddhalakṣmī, that has the shape of a lotus and is called Lakṣmīvilāsa.

58. Thereafter the deity Kubjā, the mother of the universe, who is in front of Nalakūbara Liṅga and to the west of Prapitāmaha (Liṅga) should be worshipped.

59. On being worshipped, Kubjā removes calamities entirely. Hence Kubjā should be assiduously worshipped in Kāśī by those who seek auspiciousness and welfare.

60. Kubjāṃbareśvara Liṅga is to the west of Nalakūbara. There the deity Trilokasundarī Gaurī should be worshipped. She bestows everything desired.

61. The deity Trilokasundarī shall bestow spiritual powers (and make a female devotee) the most beautiful lady in all the three worlds. By worshipping that goddess widowhood does not befall.

62. The deity of great power named Dīptā is in the vicinity of Sāṃbāditya. By worshipping her, devotees become endowed with brilliant splendour.

63. Goddess Mahālakṣmī, the mother of the universe, is in the vicinity of Śrīkaṇṭha. The mother of the universe should be worshipped after taking holy bath in Śrīkuṇḍa Tīrtha.

64. The devotee should offer libations to the ancestors duly in the Tīrtha designated Śrīkuṇḍa and make due gifts. He will never be abandoned by the goddess of Wealth.

65. The holy spot of Lakṣmī is a great Pīṭha (sacred pedestal) that accords spiritual powers (to the aspirant). A man who practises Mantras there shall attain Siddhi.

66. There are many Pīṭhas in Kāśī conferring spiritual powers, but nothing else is the great cause of fortune and affluence like Mahālakṣmīpīṭha.

67. On the sacred day of Mahālakṣmyaṣṭamī, men should celebrate religious festivals there. On being worshipped here duly, Padmā (goddess Lakṣmī) never abandons their abodes.

68. To the north of Mahālakṣmī is the deity Hayakaṇṭhī holding an axe. Everyday she cuts off the great trees of obstacles in Kāśī.

69. The deity Kaurmī Śakti (the Śakti of Kūrma, Viṣṇu’s incarnation as Tortoise) is to the south of Mahālakṣmī. She holds noose in her hand. She binds the masses of obstacles of the holy spot every moment.

70. On being worshipped and eulogized by men, she accords Kṣetrasiddhi (Siddhi of the holy spot?).

Śikhī Caṇḍī is the great protectress of the holy spot in the north-west.

71. She consumes the mass of obstacles and produces the sound akin to that of a peacock. By visiting her, all the ailments of men perish.

72-73. Always alert, Bhīmacaṇḍī guards the northern gateway. A devotee should visit Bhīmacaṇḍī holding a noose and mallet in front of Bhīmeśvara, and perform all rites like water libations in Bhīmakuṇḍa. He will become contented and blessed. He will never see anywhere the messengers of Yama of excessively terrible appearance and size.

74. The goddess Chāgavaktreśvarī is to the south of Vṛṣabhadhvaja. Day and night, she eats off the shoots of the trees of masses of obstacles.

75. It is due to the grace of that goddess that the opportunity of living in Kāśī is obtained. Hence one should sincerely worship Goddess Chāgeśvarī on the Mahāṣṭamī day (eighth day in the bright half of Āśvina).

76. Goddess Tālajaṅgheśvarī keeps the palm tree as her weapon. She eradicates clusters of obstacles in Ānandavana (i.e. Kāśī).

77. A devotee should bow down to the hideous-faced Tālajaṅgheśvarī (who is) to the south of Saṅgameśvara Liṅga. He is never assailed by obstacles.

78. In the Tīrtha named Uddālaka, to the south of Uddālakeśvara Liṅga, the deity named Yamadaṃṣṭrā chews the mass of obstacles.

79. Those by whom Yamadaṃṣṭrā is bowed to in the Tīrtha named Uddālaka, are never afraid of Yama here even after committing a number of sins.

80-85. In Dārukeśvara Tīrtha in the vicinity of Dārukeśa is the deity well-known as Carmamuṇḍā. She has the nether worlds constituting her palate and mouth. The sky is her upper lip and the earth the lower lip. She holds a skull and a dagger in her hands. She is fond of swallowing the whole of cosmos. (She is so lean that) her belly is dried up. She appears as though she is bound with sinews. She protects the eastern part of the holy spot from masses of obstacles. She has thousands of huge brawny arms shining. She is squint-eyed. She holds a discus and sweetmeat in the hands extending like the ocean. She wears the hide of a leopard. She laughs harshly and boisterously. She chews the bones of sinners quickly as though they were merely lotus stalks. She keeps the bodies of betrayers of the holy spot with wicked habits stuck up at the tip of her trident. A garland of skulls adorns her. She is terrible in form. By bowing down to Carmamuṇḍā a man is never assailed by the obstacles of the holy spot.

86-87. This (other) deity Mahāruṇḍā is also like Carmamuṇḍā. There is only this difference that she has the garland of headless trunks as her ornament. Both the goddesses are excessively powerful and they guard the holy spot. They spread their hands before each other, clap them and laugh boisterously.

88. The deity Mahāruṇḍā of fierce countenance always stands in Hayagrīveśvara Tīrtha to the north of Lolārka. She removes the obstacles of her devotees.

89. In between these two deities named Carmamuṇḍā and Mahāruṇḍā is stationed Cāmuṇḍā with her form made up of skulls.

90-91. These three deities should be assiduously worshipped by the residents of the holy spot. They bestow wealth and food-grains. They accord sons and grandsons. They destroy all calamities. They grant the Glory of Salvation when remembered, visited, bowed to, touched and adored by men with great faith.

92. To the west of Mahāruṇḍā is the auspicious goddess Svapneśvarī. She foretells the future, whether good or bad, to the devotee directly in the course of a dream.

93-94. A devotee should take his holy bath in the holy confluence of Asi on any lunar day. Whether man or woman that wise one should observe fast and worship Svapneśvara Liṅga and the Goddess Svapneśvarī. He or she should lie down on bare ground. He (she) will be able to see the future in dream.

95. Even today this can be tested there and believed in by the persons who know. Svapneśvarī will tell the past, present and future.

96. She should be assiduously worshipped in Kāśī on the eighth, ninth or fourteenth lunar day by men who seek knowledge during day or night.

97. To the west of Svapneśvarī is stationed Goddess Durgā. She always protects the southern side of the holy spot.

Footnotes and references:


Viśālākṣī: Near Viśvanātha Temple towards Gaṅgā. The shrine is a Śaktipīṭha (where a part of Satī’s body fell). Viśālākṣī is regarded as connected with Kāmākṣī of Kāñcī and Kāmākhyā of Assam and also with Mīnākṣī of Madurai. (BCL 172-173)


She is at Lalitā Ghāṭ, formerly known as Gaṅgā Keśava Ghāṭ. Lalitā is an important deity at Vārāṇasī and Prayāga. (BCL 231-32)

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: