by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 1,763,776 words
This page describes The Glory of Shankaraditya which is chapter 15 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 fifteenth chapter of the Avantikshetra-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Note: The name of the Tīrtha [i.e., Śaṅkaravāpikā] suggests the joint presence of the Sun-god and Śiva in the Śaṅkaravāpī. A strange incident shows that it is Śiva who asks for a boon from the Sun-god (vv 9-12). It appears to be originally a Solar Tīrtha.
1. Listen, O Vyāsa. This great Tīrtha named Śaṅkaravāpikā is the excellent Tīrtha created by the Lord while sporting about.
3-4. On the eighth day coinciding with a Sunday, a person should perform bath in four quarters (corners) and internal sub-quarters and in the middle of the tank. He should give nine bowls filled with Haviṣya food. He should give greens, roots etc. to Brāhmaṇas. Listen to the meritorious benefit thereof.
5. Whatever worlds there are full of all living beings, here and hereafter, he goes over there and enjoys excellent prosperity.
6. Those men who proclaim the greatness (of this Tīrtha) are worthy of being worshipped in Rudraloka too. They transcend the future. Obeisance to them always.
8. The delighted Lord of day (the Sun) came and said to Śaṅkara:
9-12. Choose your boon, O Lord of goblins, I am the bestower of boons. I shall grant you a boon.
He said to him: “If you are the bestower of a boon, do what is being requested for. For the sake of the benefit of all living beings, be present here partially.” On hearing the words of Maheśvara, Ravi, the Sun-god descended there. At the instance of the powerful Śaṅkara, the Lord of all the Devas, the Sun-god became present there and became well-known under the name Śaṅkarāditya. He caused blessings unto all the worlds.
15-16. All those Devas assumed forms and descended there. Installing the splendid (idol of the deities) they said these words: “Men who take their holy bath here will never become miserable due to old age, death or griefs. By visiting Śaṅkarāditya here, one gets more benefit than the merit accruing from all the Yajñas and more than all the benefits of all Dānas.
17-19. They will never have mental anguish nor physical illness. They will never face poverty. Unequalled prosperity will be always enjoyed by them. O tiger among sages, by visiting Śaṅkarāditya, ailments are removed, poverty is dispelled and separation from kinsmen is averted. Thus the excellent and great region was established formerly by the Trident-armed Lord of Devas, by the name Śaṅkarāditya.