The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Vyasa Released from the Curse which is chapter 96 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 ninety-sixth chapter of the Uttarardha of the Kashi-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 96 - Vyāsa Released from the Curse

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Agastya enquired:

1-2. O Skanda, how will he curse the city of Vārāṇasī if Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana is an ardent devotee of Śaṃbhu, if he knows the secret of the holy place and has known (by personal experience) the efficacy of the holy spot (Vārāṇasī) and if he was the most excellent among the knowers (of spiritual wisdom)?

Skanda replied:

3. O sage, it is the truth that has been enquired about by you. I shall narrate it; listen. On your having enquired, I shall recount the future story of Vyāsa.

4. Ever since Nandin paralysed the arm of that sage, he began to eulogize Maheśāna with great reverence.

5-6. “There are many Tīrthas in Kāśī. There are many Liṅgas in Kāśī. Still Viśveśa is to be resorted to and Maṇikarṇikā should be used for the holy ablution. Among Liṅgas the only (important one) is Viśveśa and among Tīrthas it is Maṇikarṇikā.” Saying thus Vyāsa honoured both of them.

7. Discarding much of verbose talk, everyday he bathed in the morning and began to extol the greatness of Maheśitā in the Pavilion of Salvation.

8. Everyday, in front of his disciples, the greatness of the holy spot was joyously described by Vyāsa, the great sage.

9. Whatever is done here, in this holy spot, auspicious or otherwise, does not perish even in Saṃvarta (final annihilation). Hence one should regularly practise what is conducive to welfare.

10. Maṇikarṇikā should never be abandoned by the wise as long as they live, if they, highly intelligent persons who have completed their work (duties), desire to attain Siddhi of this holy place.

11. Ablution should be performed everyday in the Cakrapuṣkariṇī Tīrtha (Maṇikarṇikā). Viśveśvara should always be adored with flowers (and Bilva) leaves, fruits and water.

12. The duty pertaining to one’s own Varṇa and Āśrama should not be discarded even in the least. The greatness of the holy spot should be incessantly listened to everyday with faith.

13. Religious gifts are to be made here very secretly and in accordance with one’s capacity. Cooked food also should be given by one who wants to avoid obstacles.

14. Extending help to others should be carried out always by a sensible man. So also the rites of ablution, making gifts etc. especially on festive occasions.

15. Special worship should be conducted with elaborate celebrations. So also worshipful processions should be taken out. The deities of the holy spot should be worshipped.

16. No weak and vulnerable points of anyone should be mentioned anywhere here by the wise. One should (refrain from) other men’s wives, other people’s possessions and injury to others.

17. Scandalous words about others should not be uttered. Jealousy should not be evinced in regard to others. Untruth should not be uttered even when the vital airs are choked in the throat.

18-19. One can utter untruth in order to save a creature living here. All living beings of this place should be assiduously protected by any means whatsoever, auspicious or inauspicious. If one creature is assiduously saved here in Kāśī, there is no doubt about this that one will attain that merit which one is likely to get by protecting the three worlds.

20. Those who stay in Kāśī always, those who establish the installations within the precincts of the holy spot, should be considered Rudras. They are undoubtedly living liberated souls.

21. They should be adored. They should be bowed to. They should be made happy. If they are happy Viśveśvara himself will be happy.

22. For the joy of Viśveśa, everything possible for acquiring and preserving the good of the people who stay in Kāśī should be done by even those good men who are far off.

23. Free play of passions should be curbed by those who stay here. The fickleness of the mind too should be assiduously avoided here.

24. Death should not be directly desired here. Salvation too should not be wished for ardently. Means for drying up the body should not be undertaken by a sensible man.

25. Perfection in functioning of the body should be desired for the fulfilment of the Vratas, ablution etc. Ample longevity should be thought of here for the flourishing growth of the great benefit.

26. Self-protection should be done here for the increase of the good. One should not even mentally think of abandoning one’s body.

27. The good that is obtained in Kāśī in the course of a single day is not obtained in the course of even a hundred years anywhere else.

28. What is obtained elsewhere by means of Yogic practice throughout the life, is attained in Vārāṇasī by means of a singly Prāṇāyāma.

29. What is obtained by taking bath in all the Tīrthas throughout the life, can be obtained in Ānandavana by bathing in Maṇikarṇikā alone.

30. What is obtained as merit by worshipping all the Liṅgas throughout the life, is obtained by worshipping Viśveśa (only) once with faith.

31. Obtaining a sight of Viśveśa may be possible by exchanging that faultless merit which has been acquired in the course of a thousand births.

32. By having a sight of Viśveśvara that merit is perfectly obtained that is acquired by duly making the gift of a crore of cows.

33. The merit said by the great sages to be obtained by making sixteen great religious gifts, comes to men by offering flowers unto Viśveśa.

34. Whatever merit is obtained by everyone through horse-sacrifice and other Yajñas is acquired by bathing Viśveśa with Pañcāmṛta.

35. A hundred times of the merit acquired by a faultless performance of a thousand Vājapeyas, is obtained by offering valuable Naivedyas unto Viśveśa once (only).

36. He who dedicates unto Viśveśa a banner, an umbrella and chowries shall obtain the rulership of the entire earth under his single Royal Umbrella.

37. Affluent collection of all requisite things will never leave a person who offers to the Lord of the universe all the ingredients of the great worship.

38. Wish-yielding celestial trees will spread cool shade in the courtyard of the devotee who makes a flower-garden with all the flowers of all the seasons.

39. If a devotee offers unto Viśveśa a cow for the purpose of milk intended for bathing the Lord, his grandfathers will reside on the shores of the Milk Ocean.

40. If a devotee gets the coating with lime done in the palatial abodes of Viśveśa or gets paintings done (on the wall), his own abode will be painted in Kailāsa.

41-43. If a devotee feeds Brāhmaṇas, ascetics or Śivayogins here in Kāśī, there is no doubt about this that he will get the benefit of feeding a crore of persons with faith for each of such persons.

Penance should be performed here; gifts must be made here; Viśveśa should be propitiated here by means of baths, Homas, Japas etc. What is obtained elsewhere by men by making a crore of Japas is obtained here by a hundred and eight Japas only.

44. What is said to be the merit acquired through a crore of Homas elsewhere by learned sages, can be acquired here in Ānandakānana through a hundred and eight Āhutis.

45. If Rudrasūktas are recited in Kāśī in the vicinity of Viśveśa, the merit of the recitation of all the Vedas is obtained.

46. I do not know (adequately) the merit of one who meditates on the great immutable, Absolute. Residence should always be made in Kāśī. The north-flowing (river) should always be resorted to.

47. Even at the time of terrible disaster Kāśī should never be abandoned, because Lord Viśvapati is the protector (of devotees) and the remover of their adversities.

48. Through holy baths, gifts, Japas etc., the day should be made fruitful, because the rite performed in Kāśī is conducive to greatness.

49. Kṛcchracāndrāyaṇa and other (expiatory) rites should be assiduously performed so that the aberrations of the sense-organs do not at all harass one here.

50. If the sense-organs corrupt the embodied ones inordinately the desire of obtaining a residence here is not fulfilled on account of obstacles.

Agastya said:

51. O Skanda, narrate the characteristic features of those rites of Kṛcchracāndrāyaṇa etc., which Vyāsa will be expounding for purifying- the sense-organs.

Skanda said:

52. O highly intelligent one, I shall describe to you Kṛcchra[1] etc., through the performance of which a man obtains great purity of the body.

53. Pādakṛcchra has been explained thus: the devotee takes only a single meal at night of what is obtained without requesting for it or he fasts a single day.

54. Parṇakṛcchra is described as that expiation in which the water wherein leaves of banyan, Udumbara, lotus, Bilva (are boiled separately[2] on each day (in succession) is drunk (with Kuśa dipped therein) everyday.

55. Saumyakṛcchra has been explained thus: Each of the following is separately eaten each day: oil cake, ghee, buttermilk, wheat flour and water and fast is observed (cf. Yājñavalkya Smṛti III.321).

56-57. A Brāhmaṇa observing Atikṛcchra does as follows: He eats Havis in the morning for three days; Havis in the evening for three days obtained without request; Havis for three days and then observes fast for three days or as before takes in a morsel of food and observes fast for three days.

58. Kṛcchrātikṛcchra rite consists of taking in milk for twenty-one days. Parāka rite is explained as a rite in which a devotee observes fast for twelve days.

59. A Brāhmaṇa performing the Antyaprājāpatya rite does as follows: He takes food in the morning for three days, then in the evening for three days, and then takes in food not begged for three days, and then observes fast for three days.

60. This (following) rite is known as Sāntapanakṛcchra. Cow’s urine, cowdung, milk, curds, ghee and Kuśa water—all these are mixed together and consumed. Fast is observed for a night.

61. This rite is known as Mahāsāntapanakṛcchra: In it the articles prescribed for Sāntapana are taken severally for six days and fast is observed on the seventh.

62-64. A Brāhmaṇa performing Taptakṛcchra expiation takes bath once. With great concentration and purity he drinks for three days hot water, milk, ghee and wind. For three days he drinks hot water, then he drinks hot milk for three days and then he drinks hot ghee for three days and for three days he takes in only air (i.e. observes fast). If it is milk or water, he drinks one Pala thereof and in the case of ghee it is two Palas. I have explained Taptakṛcchra.

65. Ekāhnikakṛcchra is described as follows: The devotee takes in cooked barley mixed with cow’s urine. It purifies the body.

66. This is on a par with Prājāpatya rite. The hands are kept stretched out the whole day. Only air is inhaled. The devotee stands in water throughout the night till dawn.

67. The following rite is known as Cāndrāyaṇa: During the dark half of the month, the devotee reduces the number of morsels by one everyday and during the bright half increases it by one everyday and drinks water three times everyday (The maximum number of morsels is fifteen on full-moon day).

68. This is the injunction regarding Cāndrāyaṇa: In the bright half the number of morsels is increased by one everyday and is reduced by one in the dark half. Nothing is eaten on the new-moon day.

69. A Brāhmaṇa with mental concentration and purity shall eat four lumps of rice in the morning and four lumps after sunset. This is known as Śiśu Cāndrāyaṇa.

70. A devotee with controlled self eats eight riceballs of sacrificial food at midday regularly. This is known as Yaticāndrāyaṇa.

71. With concentration and mental purity the devotee on the whole eats three times eighty (i.e. 240) Haviṣya lumps in the course of a month (i.e. eight morsels per day), He goes to the world of Candra (Moon).

72. Limbs become pure with water, mind with truth, ego (Bhūtātmā) through learning and austerities and intellect becomes pure with knowledge.

73. That knowledge comes to men by serving or residing in Kāśī. The rise of compassion of Viśveśa also occurs by serving (resorting) to Kāśī.

74-80. Then (is) the attainment of Mahodaya (‘great rise’ i.e. salvation) capable of eradicating Karmas. Hence one shall duly observe and practise assiduously holy bath, make gifts, penance, Japa, Vrata, listen to the Purāṇas, resort to the path indicated by Smṛtis, think of the feet of Viśveśa every moment, everyday, do worship of the Liṅgas three times, install Liṅgas, converse with good men, repeat the name Śiva, Śiva, give hospitable reception to a guest, make friendship with the other residents of the holy spot, to have faith in God, practice humility, remain unmoved by honour and insult, be free from lust, give up arrogance, practice non-attachment, abstain from violence, maintain (oneself) without receiving monetary gifts, be inclined to favour others, be free from hypocrisy, jealousy and spirit of competitiveness, acquire wealth without craving for it, practice non-covetousness, absence of lassitude, want of harshness and wretchedness. All these activities of a good man should be pursued by a resident of the holy spot. Thus he will impart instruction in piety to his disciples everyday.

81. Vyāsa will be staying thus: taking bath thrice everyday, partaking of the alms received everyday and worshipping the Liṅgas everyday.

82-88. Once Hara was desirous of testing him. He spoke to the Goddess: “When Vyāsa, the extremely pious one, comes for alms today, O fair lady, do not give him alms anywhere.” Saying “So it shall be” to Bhava, the eradicator of worldly existence, Bhavānī went round every house. She bowed down to all and forbade giving alms to him (and his disciples). Unable to get the alms the sage and his disciples became dejected. Seeing that the time had elapsed, he wandered in the city again. Alms were duly received by all the other mendicants at every house but that sage and his disciples did not receive the alms anywhere. Accompanied by his disciples, he concluded the evening rites and remained without food thus for the whole day and night. The next day the sage performed the midday rites and went round the city begging for alms along with his disciples. He wandered everywhere visiting every house again and again.

89. He did not get alms anywhere like an unlucky fellow unable to get money. Then Vyāsa, utterly weary after his wandering thought:

90. ‘What may be the reason that alms cannot be obtained though assiduously sought after?’ He summoned his disciples. Vyāsa asked everyone:

91-95. “It seems that all of you too did not get alms. What has happened in this city? At my behest two or three of you go out. If alms cannot be got even on the second day despite best efforts, it is certain that some calamity has befallen arising out of great disaster. Instantly there has broken out a great famine for food in the entire city. Or a royal punishment has been meted out to all the citizens. Otherwise alms have been forbidden by someone out of malice towards us. Have the citizens become wretched by some mysterious portent foreboding evil. Go and find out all these things and return quickly.” Getting the permission from the holy preceptor two or three disciples noticed the opulence of the citizens and after returning said thus:

The Disciples said:

96-97. May the worthy Sir listen. There is no great disaster here. There is no dearth of cooked food anywhere in the entire city. How can there be the fear of any mysterious portent where sages like you are present and where Viśveśvara is directly stationed and the celestial river also flows?

98. Even in Vaikuṇṭha there is no such affluence as that of the householders here in the city of Viśveśa. (Cities like) Alakā etc. are extremely insignificant.

99. O great sage, there are not as many jewels in oceans as there are in the houses of these people, who partake of the remnants of the worship of Viśveśa.

100. There are heaps of grain in every house. Such heaps are not present anywhere in the city of Indra bequeathed by the celestial trees.

101. There is no poor man anywhere is that entire city where Viśālākṣī herself bestows extensive benefits.

102. This Ānandakānana is the abode of the glory of salvation where salvation is easily accessible. How can anything else be rare there?

103. All the women are chaste and have their husbands alive. All of them have the form of Bhavānī. They have dedicated their righteous activities to Viśveśa.

104. The entire menfolk in Kāśī are the leaders of Gaṇas. All of them are Kumāras (Lord Kārttikeya). All have Tārakadṛṣṭi (vision of redemption).

105-107. Those whose foreheads are marked with Tripuṇḍra (three parallel lines of holy ash) have become moon-crested ones. Even those afflicted with thousands of calamities, do not leave Kāśī. All of them are Sarvajñas (identical with omniscient Lord Siva). In every house there are students expounding and discussing the topic of Brahman. All their sins have been washed off by the heavenly river. They have become the four-faced lord Brahmā (They are very clever and eloquent.) They are the lords of the glory of liberation. They stay permanently at the holy spot.

108. Those who have resorted to this holy spot are Hṛṣīkeśas, Puruṣottamas, and should be known as Acyutas.

109. Whether women or men, all of them are entirely perfect, identical with the Three-eyed Lord and the Four-armed Lord.

110. All of them are Srīkaṇṭhas here. All have certainly conquered death. Since they are Ardhanārīśvaras, they have their persons resorted to by the glory of salvation.

111. The mass of piety here is great. There are many great heaps of wealth. All desires bear fruit here. Kaivalya (Salvation) is free from impurity here.

112. Those who die in Kāśī do not have any contact with a womb thereafter. Neither Kali nor Kāla torment this holy spot.

113-114. Sins do not torment those who seek refuge in Viśveśa in this place. Where Viśveśvara is directly present in the form of Nāda, Bindu and Kalā, Praṇava with Mantras for its physical form is present in the form of Dhvani (sound). Hence it is certain that the Vedas in their physical form are here (they are present in personified forms).

115-121. Sarasvatī is in the form of a river. Therefore, the whole of Ānandakānana is an abode of scriptures; the Dharmaśāstras have their abode here. It is not false that all the Devas in heaven are entirely present here. Serpents come here from Rasātala and perform the rite of Nīrājana (‘waving of lights’) to Viśveśa every night by means of the lights of the jewels in their hoods. All the oceans along with the herds of Kāmadhenus bathe Viśveśvara with the flow of Pañcāmṛta. The five celestial trees, Mandāra, Pārijāta, Santāna, Haricandana and Kalpadruma, are always present here along with the other trees. All the groups of Suras, all the great sages and all the Yogins attend upon the Lord of Kāśī. Kāśī is the abode of lores. Kāśī is the great home of Lakṣmī. Kāśī is the holy spot of salvation. The entire city of Kāśī is in the form of the three Vedas.

122. On hearing this, the son of Parāśara of great austere penance spoke thus to his disciples: “Repeat this Śloka.”

The Disciples said:

123. Kāśī is the support of all lores. Kāśī is the great home of Lakṣmī. Kāśī is the holy spot of salvation. Kāśī is the entire extent of the three Vedas.

Skanda said:

124. On hearing this, Vyāsa shall become blinded with anger. His whole body will be burning with the fire of hunger. O Pot-born One, he will curse Kāśī.

Vyāsa said (i.e. will say):

125. May not scholarship continue for three generations! May not wealth continue for three generations! May salvation not be continuous for three generations!

Thus Vyāsa curses Kāśī.

126. ‘Here arrogance of scholarship is excessive. The arrogance of wealth is also excessive here. The residents of this place do not give alms due to the arrogance of certainty of salvation.’

127. Thinking thus Vyāsa cursed Kāśī then. Even after cursing, the angry sage went for alms.

128. He entered every house hurriedly with his eyes directed to the sky. He wandered all over the city, but did not get alms anywhere.

129. Seeing the Sun slightly reddish in its disc (in the evening), he threw the begging bowl down and went towards his hermitage.

130. While he was going on, he was requested to be the guest receiving alms by Mahādevī (Pārvatī) who had assumed the form of a laywoman and was seated at the portals of her house.

The Housewife said:

131. O holy Sir, mendicants were not seen anywhere today. My lord will never take food without extending hospitality to a guest.

132. The lord of my house has concluded the rites of Vaiśvadeva etc. He is waiting for the arrival of a guest. Hence do you be the guest.

133-134. A householder who eats food alone without a guest, actually partakes of a great sin along with his grandfathers. Hence do come quickly. Fulfil the desire of my husband who wishes to make the life of a householder fruitful by honouring a guest.

135-137. On hearing this, Vyāsa was not angry any more. He was surprised. He said to her:

Vyāsa said:

O fair lady, who are you? Whence have you come? You have not been seen before anywhere. I think, you are piety personified uniquely. You are pure-minded. All my senses have become delighted on seeing you. O Lady who are beautiful in every limb, you are sure to be the heavenly nectar itself. Due to the fear of being struck by Mandara mountain, you avoided staying behind in the Milk Ocean.

138. Or (you are) the digit of the Moon who being of the New-Moon day and afraid of Rāhu is standing in the form of a lady fearlessly in Kāśī.

139. Or you are Kamalā (Goddess Lakṣmī) who have forsaken your residence in the lotus that closes at night and taken up permanent residence in Kāśī that (always) shines extensively.

140. Or are you the embodiment of compassion, removing all the masses of misery of the residents of Kāśī and bestowing the greatest bliss?

141. Or are you the presiding deity of Vārāṇasī? Or are you the glorious salvation well-sung about in Kāśī?

142. Has my good fortune transformed itself into this female form? (Are you the deity) that treats impartially a Cāṇḍāla and a person performing sacrifices?

143. Or you may be Bhavānī, the destroyer of worldly misery and the bestower of a raft (to cross the ocean of Saṃsāra) on the devotee, as a fruit of his devotion. She is certainly sung about in the holy spot.

144. In every respect you are neither a mortal woman, nor an Asura woman, neither a Kinnarī nor a Vidyādharī or a lady of Nāga, Gandharva and Yakṣa tribes.

145. You are certainly the desired deity, someone who eradicates my delusion. O fair lady, whatever you may be, why should I be anxious about it?

146. I have become a dependent (of yours) on seeing you. I shall certainly carry out your behest. Do command me.

147. With the only exception of wasting (the power of my penance), I shall do, whatever you command me to do. I am at your disposal, O lady of splendid eyes.

148. The words of noble ladies like you cannot belittle the greatness of good men. But anyhow tell me the truth, O auspicious lady. Who are you?

149. O lady of vision free from impurities, how can there be untruth in this body of yours?

On being asked thus by the sage, O Pot-born One, she, the very vital life of the universe, said:

150. “O sage, I am the lady of the house of a householder staying here itself. I see you everyday seeking alms surrounded by the group of your disciples.

151-152. You alone do not know me. I know you very well. Of what avail is too much of a talk? O sage, before the sun sets, make the hospitality of my dear lord fruitful.”

On hearing it the sage said bowing down with humility:

Vyāsa said:

153. O splendid lady, I abide by a certain rule. If that is duly observed, I shall receive the alms once. None on another occasion.

154-155a. On hearing the utterance of the sage she said thus: “O sage, speak out unhesitatingly. O learned one of excellent intellect, what is your rule? By the grace of my husband there is no shortage of anything here.”

155b. On hearing this that ascetic became pleased within himself and said:

156. “I have ten thousand disciples. I request for cooked food for all of them. Before the sun sets I must take my food. Otherwise not.”

157. On hearing this she too was delighted and said to the sage: “Why delay? Go and fetch all your disciples.”

158. Again he asked her: “O good lady, have you such a power as to make all my disciples satisfied?”

159-166a. Smilingly she said to him: “Due to my husband’s grace, O sage, everything is kept ready in my abode so that everyone of the suppliants is satisfied in every respect. We are not one of those women who begin to doubt (the power of) their husbands. As soon as a guest or seeker of food comes at the house, the rite (of hospitality) is fulfilled. All the quarters are full. All the desires are perfectly fulfilled. Due to the grace of the feet of the Lord, the entire household is full. Go quickly and return along with as many of the seekers of hospitality as are there. My husband is one of those of olden times. He does not brook delay. My loving husband is fond of guests. Hence for the sake of perfect hospitality go hurriedly and return before sunset.”

On (hearing this) he was delighted. Hurriedly be called together all the disciples from everywhere. After coming back he saw her with her eyes waiting for his return. He said, “Mother, all have come. Give us food quickly. The sun has come very near the mountain of sunset.”

166b. After saying this the ascetics entered the temple.

167-168. As the sages reached the middle of that palace they became resplendent like daylight due to the radiance of the jewels in the pavilion thereof. They were immediately received and the feet were washed by some and others were duly honoured. By a few they were seated and served with food.

169. On seeing the collection of foodstuffs cooked in divine manner their eyes attained the greatest satisfaction and their noses were delighted through the odour.

170. By taking in the cooked foodstuffs, they became extremely satisfied. After the washing of the mouths, they were adorned with garlands, garments and sandal-paste.

171-174. After concluding the evening rites the sage and others sat for a while in front of the householder. They showered him with blessings and got ready to leave.

Then the hint of a glance was directed at the lady by the old householder. She asked: “What is the main pious duty of those who reside in holy spots? We shall regulate our life in the holy spot in accordance with it,”

On hearing the words of the housewife Sage Vyāsa, the most excellent one among those who know all about pious duties and who were propitiated by the taste of dainty delicacies drenched with the nectar of her esteem, smilingly replied to the lady, the greatest among all-knowers.

Vyāsa said:

175-180. O mother of pure inner feelings, O bestower of honour along with dainty food, that alone is the main pious duty that is being practised by you and nothing else.

You alone who are engrossed in serving your husband are aware of the righteous duty. If you ask me still, I shall mention some truism to you.

On being asked, something should be said by one even if one knows but very little. O auspicious lady, that alone is Dharma whereby your aged husband becomes pleased. Nothing else.

The housewife said: “Well, may this be Dharma. Certainly it is being practised in accordance with my capacity. But I am asking you about the general acts of piety, something common to all.”

Vyāsa replied:

Words that do not cause disgust and distress, ability to bear with the ascendancy of others, doing the duty after careful consideration, concern for the prosperity of one’s own abode.

The householder asked: “O learned one, tell me, which one of these Dharmas do you have (performed)?”

181. Thereupon Vyāsa stood stunned as one cornered. He did not say anything. So the ascetic was further addressed by the householder:

182. “If these alone that you have enumerated are Dharmas, then asceticism was seen among them by you alone. Pronouncing curses was seen excellent by you.

183. Compassion is perfect in you alone. Fortitude is excellent in you. There is the possibility of curbing lust and wrath in you.

184. You alone know very well how to speak words that do not cause disgust and distress. Ability to bear with the ascendancy of others is seen perfectly in you alone.

185. You alone are the greatest abode of doing the duty after careful consideration. Certainly you show great concern for the prosperity of your own abode.

186. Tell me one thing, O learned one. If a person does not attain his selfish interest due to absence of fortune and if he curses angrily, on whom does that curse fall?”

Vyāsa said:

187. If a person does not attain his selfish interest due to absence of fortune and he curses angrily, that curse, on the contrary, falls on the person who has cursed because he has been thoughtless.

The Householder said:

188. O Brāhmaṇa if, Alas, alms are not received by you even after wandering, what is the crime committed by the poor residents of the holy spot?

189. O ascetic, listen to my words. If a person is unable to bear seeing the opulence in this capital city of mine, he alone is one cursed.

190. O wrathful sage, from now onwards do not stay in my holy spot unaffected (by your) curse. You are not worthy enough to stay here.

191-192. The state of being a Rudrapiśāca will be the result of the wickedness, even if it be very little, perpetrated towards the residents of this holy spot. Get out now itself. Be outside this holy spot. My holy spot is the sole cause of salvation. It is not suitable to persons like you.

193. On hearing this his (Vyāsa’s) lips and palate became dry. He began to tremble. Rolling in front of the feet of Gaurī he sought refuge in her.

194. Crying bitterly he spoke these words: “Mother, save me, save me. I am helpless. I shall be saved if you help me. I am puerile. I am your son.

195. Save me who have sought refuge in you. Protect me who seek refuge in you. Our defiled mind is the abode of many sins.

196-197. The imprecation of Śaṃbhu cannot be altered even by your holiness. I too have sought refuge in you. Hence, O Śivā, let this be done. Grant me the permission to enter this holy spot on the eighth and fourteenth lunar days. The Lord will not go against your words.”

198. On being requested thus by the sage, Bhavānī the source of compassion, looked at the face of Maheśitā and at his bidding said, “So it will be.”

199. Then both of them Śiva and Śivā who bring about the happiness to the holy spot vanished. Vyāsa too confessing his own fault went out of the holy spot.

200. Day and night he used to look at the holy spot not far from his vision. On the eighth and fourteenth lunar days he used to enter the holy spot.

201. Even today he looks at the row of palaces in Kāśī, being stationed on the eastern bank of the celestial river in the south-east of Lolārka.

Skanda said:

202. Thus, O Pot-born One, Vyāsa will pronounce his imprecation on the holy spot. After giving his curse he will go out instantly.

203. That is why everything will be auspicious to one praising the splendour and auspiciousness of the holy spot. Otherwise everything will be otherwise.

204. If one listens to this meritorious chapter entitled “Vyāsaśāpavimokṣaṇam"; (‘Release of Vyāsa from a curse’) one will never have the fear from great impassable difficulties and portents.

Footnotes and references:


Kṛcchra.—A generic term for several kinds of expiation. The procedures of different kinds of expiation given here in Skanda have variations in other Smṛti works. For the details see HD IV pp. 132-152.


Vide HD IV, p. 142 for varieties.

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