The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Exploits of Amitrajit which is chapter 82 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 eighty-second chapter of the Uttarardha of the Kashi-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 82 - Exploits of Amitrajit

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Pārvatī said:

1. O Maheśāna, the greatness of Vīreśvara is being heard. Hundreds of persons have performed penances there and have attained great Siddhis.

2. How did that excellent Liṅga manifest there in Kāśī? It is a quick bestower of spiritual powers. O Lord of the universe, narrate this unto me.

Maheśvara said:

3. Listen, O great goddess, to the great manifestation of Vīreśa, O Śivā, on hearing which a man obtains a lot of merit.

4. There was a king named Amitrajit. He conquered the cities of his enemies. He was endowed with Sattva quality and was very righteous. He was always engaged in delighting his subjects.

5. Fame was his asset; he was liberal in making gifts; he was intelligent and considered Brāhmaṇas as Devas. His hairs always remained wet because he took valedictory baths after the performance of sacrifices.

6. He was polite, versed in statesmanship, expert in all activities. He had mastered all (ocean-like) lores; he possessed good qualities and was a favourite of people of good qualities.

7. He was grateful; sweet in speech; averse to all sinful activities; truthful in speech; abode of cleanliness; a man of few words; he subdued his sense-organs.

8. In battlefield he resembled the god of Death in refulgence. In the assembly of the learned he shone as a learned person; he was completely conversant with the amorous sports of lustful women; though young he was a favourite of the aged.

9. He got his treasury increased for use in pious acts. His armies and vehicles were plenty and well-equipped. He was wise and a refuge unto good subjects.

10. He was endowed with steadfastness and courage; clever in the awareness of the proper time and place; he honoured all those worthy of honour always; he was free from faults.

11. Dedicating his mind and thoughts to the pair of Vāsudeva’s feet, he ruled the kingdom without hostile elements and free from all calamities like too much of rain, absence of rain etc.

12. With no one to transgress his command, he enjoyed glory. He was devoted to Viṣṇu and enjoyed pleasures after dedicating them to Viṣṇu.

13. There were many lofty shrines of Viṣṇu in every mansion in the kingdom of that king, the storehouse of great fortune, O Śivā.

14-22. In every house the sweet names of the Enemy of Madhu were heard uttered by the tongues of women, children, old men and even cowherds, e.g. Govinda, Gopa, Gopāla, Gopī-jana-manohara (fascinating to the cowherdesses), Gadāpāṇi, Guṇātīta (beyond all attributes), Guṇāḍhya, Garuḍadhvaja (Garuḍa-emblemed), Keśihṛt (Killer of Keśi), Kaiṭabhārāti (enemy of Kaiṭabha), Kaṃsāri, Kamalāpati, Kṛṣṇa, Keśava, Kañjākṣa (Lotus-eyed), Kīnāśabhayanāśana (destroyer of the fear of the god of Death), Puruṣottama, Pāpāri, Puṇḍarīkavilocana, Pīta-kauśekavasana (clad in yellow silk), Padmanābha, Parātpara (greater than the greatest), Janārdana, Jagannātha, Jāhnavījalajanmabhūḥ (origin of the water of Gaṅgā), Janmināṃ janma-haraṇa (dispeller of the births of all living beings), Jañjapūkāghanāśana (destroyer of the sins of those who repeatedly utter the names), Śrīvatsavakṣas, Śrīkānta, Śrīkara, Śreyasāṃnidhi, Śrīraṅga, Śārṅgakodaṇḍa, Śauri, Śītāṃśulocana (Moon-eyed), Daityāri, Dānavārāti, Dāmodara, Durantaka (slayer of the wicked), Devakīhṛdayānanda, Dandaśūkeśvareśaya (lying on the couch of Serpent King), Viṣṇu, Vaikuṇṭhanilaya, Bāṇāri, Viṣṭaraśravas (heard in every seat) Viṣvaksena, Virādhāri, Vanamālin, Venapriya, Trivikrama, Trilokīśa, Cakrapāṇi, Caturbhuja etc.

23-24. In every house, groves and groves of Surasā (Tulasī) plants alone were seen. The sacred and wonderful activities of the Consort of the Ocean-born Goddess were seen painted in the pictures on the walls of the mansions. No other talk was heard except (that about) the story of Hari.

25. Due to the fear of that king, Hariṇas (deer) that happily roamed about in forests were not killed by hunters because they had the name of Hari as a component part of their names.

26. Neither fish, nor tortoises, nor boars were killed by even meat-eaters, because they were afraid of him.

27. On Harivāsara (i.e. eleventh lunar day) even sucking children did not drink breast-milk (of their mother) in the kingdom of Amitrajit.

28. On Hari’s day (eleventh lunar day) even animals avoided grazing grass. They were keen in observing fast. What then will be the case of men?

29. While he was ruling the earth, on Harivāsara great festivals were celebrated by all the citizens.

30. Only one devoid of devotion to Viṣṇu became worthy of being punished with death or fine in the country of that King Amitrajit.

31. In his kingdom even Śūdras were stamped with the marks of conch and discus after initiation into Vaiṣṇava cult. They shone like those initiated in Yajñas etc.

32. Everyday the auspicious rites performed by the people who never yearned for the benefits thereof, were dedicated to Vāsudeva.

33. Excepting Mukunda, Govinda, Acyuta, Paramānanda (the heightest bliss) no one (other deities) was chanted about, honoured or served by the people.

34. To that king Kṛṣṇa alone was the greatest Lord; Kṛṣṇa alone was the ultimate goal; Kṛṣṇa alone was the greatest kinsman.

35. While that king was ruling properly the kingdom, once the venerable Nārada came there to see him.

36. Adored by the king in accordance with the injunctions with (curds mixed honey and water) Madhuparka etc. Nārada extolled that King Amitrajit.

Nārada said:

37. Seeing only Govinda in all living beings, O king, you are blessed; you have fulfilled your task; you are worthy of being honoured by the heaven-dwellers.

38-39. O excellent one among kings, I have attained the greatest purity after seeing you, who see the entire universe pervaded by that Lord who is Vedapuruṣa Viṣṇu, who is Hari the Yajñapuruṣa, who is the immanent soul of this universe, who is the creator, protector and the destroyer of this world.

40. In the worldly existence that is transitory, there is only one thing of great essence, the devotional fervour to the lotuslike feet of the Consort of Kamalā (Goddess Lakṣmī). It is the bestower of everything.

41. All the objects of the world resort to that wise and intelligent one who forsakes everything else and always resorts to Viṣṇu alone.

42. In the whole Cosmic Egg that is excessively changeable, only he attains steadiness, he whose sense-organs have been firmly attached to Hṛṣīkeśa.

43. One should resort solely to Acyuta after realizing that youth, wealth and life are very fickle like a drop of water on a lotus leaf.

44. Only he is always worthy of being saluted whose speech, mind are pervaded by Lord Janārḍana. He is Janārḍana himself in the form of a man.

45. On this earth who is there who has not attained the state of Puruṣottama (Viṣṇu, the best among men) by meditating on the Consort of Goddess Lakṣmī with sincere Praṇidhāna (deep mental absorption).

46. I have become delighted in all the senses and the mind by this devotion to Viṣṇu that you evince. I have decided in mind to help you. O king, listen to what I say.

47-51. The daughter of a Vidyādhara, named Malayagandhinī was playing in the pleasure grove of her father. She was abducted by Kaṅkālaketu, a powerful Dānava and son of Kapālaketu. It is (proclaimed) that the marriage of the girl is to take place on the next Tṛtīyā. She is at present in Campakāvatī, a city in Pātāla. While I was returning from Hāṭakeśa 1 was seen by her with eyes filled with tears. After bowing down to me, she requested thus.” Listen to it, O celibate one, O most excellent one among sages. Kaṅkālaketu, the wicked one, has abducted me from the Gandhamādana Mountain after enchanting me (by his Māyā), as I was absorbed in childish play. He cannot be killed with any other weapon.

52. He is destined to die by the stroke (thrust) of his trident, not otherwise, in battle. (Now) he is fearlessly asleep here, after outraging the whole world.

55. If any man who is fully aware of what he does, kills this wicked Dānava by means of the trident given by me and takes me back, it will be conducive to welfare.

54. If in this matter you are desirous of helping me, save me from the wicked Dānava. O great sage, a boon too has been granted to me by the goddess:

55-56. ‘An intelligent young devotee of Viṣṇu, O dear daughter, will marry you by the (next) Tṛtīyā.’ Do something yourself so that this statement (of the goddess) becomes true. You be the main cause alone.” O king, at this instance of that girl, I have come to you, who are an intelligent young man engrossed in devotion to Viṣṇu.

57. Hence, O king of mighty arms, go for the accomplishment of the task. After killing that wicked Dānava, bring back the splendid (girl) Malayagandhinī quickly.

58. That Vidyādhara girl will manage to live on seeing you, O king. Without any (extra) effort she will cause the death of the wicked one through you, at the instance of Pārvatī.

59. On hearing these words of Nārada, King Amitrajit experienced a thrill raising the hairs on the body in regard to that Vidyādhara girl.

60. He asked him (the sage) the means to go to Caṃpakāvatī. O Daughter of the Lord of Mountains, that king was thus told by Nārada again.

61. “On the full-moon day, O king, go quickly to the ocean. Seated on the boat you will see the divine Kalpa tree stationed in a chariot.

62. There you will see a celestial lady seated on a divine couch singing in a sweet voice the following Gāthā (verse set to music) holding the Vīṇā.

63. ‘A Karma, whether good or evil, done by one will certainly get its consequence experienced by the same person guided by the (invisible) thread of fate.’

64. After singing this Gāthā, she will instantly dive into the deep ocean along with the chariot, tree and conch.

65. Your Highness should unhesitatingly follow her into the great ocean quickly from the boat, eulogizing Yajñavarāha.

66. Thereafter you will see the beautiful city of Caṃpakāvatī in Pātalā along with that girl, O king.”

67-68. After saying thus, O goddess, the son of the Fourfaced Lord (Brahmā) vanished. The king reached the ocean and saw everything as it was described. He entered the ocean and reached that city. The Vidyāddhara girl too became the guest of his eyes (was seen).

69-71. A girl was seen by that king, who appeared to be the sole glory of the beauty of all the three worlds. He thought for a short while: ‘Is this the deity of Pātāla created by Viṣṇu, the enemy of Madhu, for according festivity for my eyes? It is the very splendour of the Moon created completely different from the creation of Brahmā probably due to the fear of Rāhu and the New Moon. She stands here in the guise of a young woman having nothing to fear from anywhere.’ After reflecting thus the king went near her.

72-75. The girl, saw that excessively handsome king with broad chest on which a Tulasī garland was seen hanging down. The pair of his excellent arms was marked with the figures of conch and discus. The two rows of his teeth were bright and sparkling as though they had been washed clean by the nectar of the letters constituting the names of Viṣṇu. He himself was like a tree growing out of the seed of the devotion to Bhavānī having the guise of a man and laden with the fruits of cherished desires. On seeing him she experienced horripilation caused by delight. The girl stepped down from the swinging couch with the shoulders stooping down due to bashfulness. Controlling the tremor, she spoke thus to the king:

76-78. “O handsome-featured one, who may be you? It appears as though you have entered the very abode of the god of Death. You have upset my mental feelings, ill-fated that I am. The wicked Dānava, Kaṅkālaketu is of hard features. He has frequently outraged the three worlds and he cannot be killed by the weapons of his enemies. O handsome one, as long as he does not come back stand well-concealed in the deep and spacious armoury.

79-80. Due to the boon of Umā, he is not competent to violate my modesty as a virgin. The vicious one desires to marry me the day after tomorrow, the next Tṛtīyā. Due to my curse, his life has practically come to an end. O young man, do not be afraid of him. His work will be over ere long.”

81. On being advised thus by the Vidyādhara girl that warrior of mighty arms stayed concealed in the armoury awaiting the arrival of the Dānava.

82. In the evening that Dānava of terrible features returned wielding in his hand the trident that instilled fear into even the god of Death.

83. The ferocious Dānava roared on his arrival with his voice resembling the rambling sound of the clouds at the time of universal annihilation. He rolled his eyes in his inebriation and spoke to the Vidyādharī thus:

84. “O lady of excellent complaxion, accept these jewels. With your marriage day after tomorrow, your virginity is coming to an end.

85-87. O fair lady, I shall be giving ten thousand slave girls to you in the morning, all very charming. They are Asurīs, Surīs, Dānavīs (and of other classes). Besides them there will be hundred each of Gandharvīs, Nārīs (human being) and Kinnaris and six hundred each of Vidyādharīs, Nāgīs and Yakṣiṇīs. There will be eight hundred Rakṣasīs and a hundred excellent celestial women. O lady of pure thoughts, these will be your servants.

88. As my wedded wife here, you will be the owner of the entire assets and possessions of the Guardians of the Quarters in their abodes.

89-92. Being married to me, you will enjoy all divine pleasures in my company. Oh, when will the day after tomorrow dawn when the rite of marriage is to take place? It will be full of a series of happiness arising from the intimate contact and touch of your limbs. Day after tomorrow I shall be getting the greatest thrill. It would have been more if the day was nearer. Day after tomorrow I shall be fulfilling all my desires cherished in my heart for a long time. O Fawn-eyed One, I shall make you the sole mistress of all my opulence spread over all the three worlds acquired by me after defeating in battle all the Devas beginning with Indra.”

93. After prattling thus, that demon who was in great intoxication due to the tasting of human flesh and suet, went to sleep without fear, keeping the trident in his own lap.

94-97. Recollecting the boon of Gaurī and observing that the fearless demon was out of his senses and in deep sleep, the Vidyādhara girl called that excellent king exquisitely handsome in every limb and soundly protected by his devotion to Viṣṇu. She even muttered within herself, “Dear Lord.” Taking away the trident from the lap of the demon, she said: “Take this; kill him quickly.” On hearing this, King Amitrajit whose lustre was akin to that of the rising Sun, took the trident from the girl. The king of powerful arms joyously shouted, according freedom from fear to the timid girl.

98-99. Fearlessly, he kicked the demon with his left foot, remembering within his mind the discus-bearing Hari, the protective jewel of the universe. He said “O wicked flesh-eater, get up. Fight with me you who desire to outrage the modesty of a virgin. You are my enemy but I do not want to kill you while asleep.”

100-103. On hearing this, that Dānava got up in great excitement and said again and again, “My dear beloved, give me the trident.” He then continued: “Who is this fellow that has entered the abode of death? With whom is the ultimate killer (god of Death) angry? Who has fallen within my vision? This insignificant puny man will not be even competent to scratch my itching powerful arms. O fair lady, of what need then is my trident? Do not be afraid. See my fanciful sport. This fellow will now be my morsel. He has been sent as a present unto me by Kāla (god of Death) himself afraid of me.”

104. After saying this, the king was quickly hit in his chest as hard as rock, by the Dānava, with a blow of his fist with full force.

105. The hard-chested king well-protected by the Discusbearing Lord, did not experience even the least pain; on the other hand it pained his (Demon’s) hand.

106. Then hit by the infuriated king with a blow from his outstretched hand on his face, the demon’s head shook. He fell down on the ground but soon got up.

107. Summoning up courage the excessively powerful demon then said:

Danava said:

108. It is known that you are not a human being. You are the Four-armed Slayer of Dānavas, who has come here in the form of a man after getting a loophole, in order to kill me.

109. O Madhubhid (‘Slayer of Madhu’), you (really think you) are powerful. Kindly do this much. Keep aside this great trident and fight with me with your own weapons.

110. Powerful (demons) Kaiṭabha and others were never killed by you in battle through your power. They were deceitfully killed by you in fraudulent disguise.

111. You took the form of a human dwarf and sent Bali to Pātāla. Hiraṇyakaśipu was killed by you by assuming the form partly human and partly beastly.

112. The Ruler of Laṅkā was felled down by you in the form of one with matted hairs. Kaṃsa and others were killed by you who had taken the guise of a cowherd.

11S. In the form of a woman you cheated the Asuras and took away the Sudhā (divine ambrosia). Śaṅkha and many others were killed by you in the form of aquatic animals.

114. O you foremost among Māyāvins (deceivers), O knower of the vulnerable points of everyone, I am not at all afraid of you if only you will leave off this trident.

115. Or, of what avail are these piteous utterances worthy of only cowherds? you will not abandon the trident and I shall not defeat you in the battle.

116. Indeed this embodied one has to die this morning. Better that it is at your hands, be it through strength or through deceit.

117. This Vidyādharī girl has not been defiled by me. She is chaste. She should be considered to be Goddess Lakṣmī herself, guarded by me for your sake.”

118. After saying this, the Dānava hit him with a blow of his left hand that could even shake a big mountain.

119. In the course of the fight the king endured that blow on the chest, but balancing the trident in his hand he aimed at his chest.

120-122. The king of powerful arms hit him and he died instantly. After killing the demon Kaṅkālaketu thus, he spoke to the Vidyādhara girl who was watching with hairs rising up due to delight: “O lady of exquisites hips, at the instance of Sage Nārada I have carried out your desire. O lady who are aware of what has been done, tell me what (more) shall I do now.” On hearing these words of the king of magnanimous mind, she said:

Malayagandhinī said:

123. O liberal-minded hero. O my life-saving medicine, why do you ask me? I have already been bought by you with your own life at stake. I am the undefiled daughter of a noble family.

124. While the girl was saying so, Sage Nārada habitually roaming about as he pleased came there unexpectedly from the world of gods.

125. On seeing the excellent sage, they two were delighted. They bowed down their heads and were blessed by the sage.

126. They were sprinkled (with water) by Nārada after they had gone through the rite of clasping the hands (merrying). After the auspicious rite was over, they went along the path pointed out by Nārada.

127-128. Accompanied by Malayagandhinī, King Amitrajit reached the city of Vārāṇasī where auspicious ceremonies had been arranged by the citizens. The king entered that city, the mere sight of which enables wise man to avert the downfall into a hell.

129. The king entered that city where even Indra and others do not get free access and which causes the attainment of salvation.

130" That king entered the city Kāśī remembering which a man averts the contingency of being contaminated by sins and which is desired by all the three worlds.

131. That Lord of subjects entered that Kāśī, on entering which a man is never assailed by even great sins.

132. Seeing the glory and opulence of Kāśī from afar, that Vidyādhara girl censured the heavenly world and even the city in Pātāla.

133. That newly wedded girl was not delighted on getting Amitrajit as her husband as much as when she saw Kāśī, the wonderful abode of the highest bliss.

134. Considering herself blessed, that lady of great mental ability acquired the greatest delight through her husband and (staying in) Kāśī.

135. Attaining Malayagandhinī as his wife, King Amitrajit resorted to love with predominance of piety and so obtained the most excellent happiness.

136. That queen, loyal to her husband and desirous of a son, once sincerely submitted to her husband engrossed in devotion to Lord Viṣṇu.

The Queen said:

137. O king, if there is the consent of my husband. I shall take up the great Vrata of Abhīṣṭa Tṛtīyā that fulfils the cherished desire for a son.

The King said:

138. O queen, tell me. Of what nature is the Vrata of Abhīṣṭa Tṛtīyā? What is the deity to be worshipped therein? What is the benefit of the rite?

139. If a woman, without being permitted by her husband were to perform Vrata etc., she will become miserable if she lives, and will go to hell if she dies.

140. On being requested thus by the king, the queen began to narrate the mode of performing that Vrata along with its secret principle.

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