The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes The Glory of Ekanamsha which is chapter 18 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 eighteenth chapter of the Avantikshetra-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 18 - The Glory of Ekānaṃśā

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: The story [of Ekānaṃśā] is a contribution of this Purāṇa to explain the greatness of the shrine. Ekānaṁśā is the former dark body of Brahmā. He invoked her to help gods by her influence at the time of the birth of Kārttikeya, in order to kill Tāraka.

Sanatkumāra said:

1. By bowing down to Goddess Ekānaṃśā well-known all over the three worlds and by adoring her in the prescribed manner one shall attain all Siddhis as the fruit.

2. When pleased, she will bestow all the Guṇas (supernatural powers) like Aṇimā (power of assuming minuteness), Guṭikāsiddhi (power of making use of magical pills), magical collyrium, sword and sandals, Bilavāsa (residence in cave, like a polecat), Rasāyana (elixir) etc. No doubt need be entertained in this regard.

3. Adored with the offerings of liquor and meat and other edible stuffs, the Goddess becomes pleased and always bestows all desired things on men.

4. He who adores the Goddess on the Mahānavamī day (9th day of the bright half of Āśvina) by (offering) a buffalo or a sheep as and when available, shall obtain all desired things.

Vyāsa said:

5. How was the Goddess born, the Goddess who is well-known as Ekānaṃśā and destroys all sins. I wish to hear everything.

Sanatkumāra said:

6. Formerly, at the beginning of Kṛtayuga Lord Brahmā, the grandfather of the worlds, remembered Niśā (Night), his own body born previously.

7. Thereupon, Goddess Rātri (Night) approached Pitāmaha. On seeking Vibhāvarī (Night) in a secluded spot, Brahmā spoke to her:

Brahmā said:

8. O Vibhāvarī, O Mahāmāyā, listen to what should be done exactly on behalf of the Devas by you in near future.

9. The leading Daitya named Tāraka is an unconquered enemy of Suras. All the Devas, the heaven-dwellers, have been terrified by him.

10. Hence, O gentle lady, if Maheśa procreates an excellent son, he will certainly become the slayer of that Tāraka.

11. Satī, the daughter of Dakṣa, who was Śaṅkara’s wife, became angry with her father for some reason.

12-14. She will be born as the world-sanctifying daughter of Himalaya. Separated from her, Hara thought all the three worlds void. So he performed a penance in a cave of Himālaya resorted to by Siddhas. He will stay there for some time awaiting her birth. Hence the great Lord who will be born of both of them who have performed austerities, will become the slayer of Daitya Tāraka.

15. That Goddess of great shining brilliance will be agitated due to her separation (from Śiva) even as she is born, with only a slight awareness. She will be eager to be in contact with Hara.

16-17. There will be the union of both Pārvatī and Hara who has practised excellent penance and were united so well. Their intercourse, the cause of power, shall take place. For the sake of Suras you have to cause an obstacle. Listen how you are to cause the obstacle.

18-20. O mother, mark her (complexion) with your colour on the region of the womb. Blissfully delighted and holding her in secret, Śarva will in a delightful joke call her Kālī (‘black one’). Thereupon she will become furious and will go away for the purpose of penance. Equipped with the power of penance she will give birth to a son who will be luminous like the moon. Undoubtedly he will be the slayer of the enemies of Suras.

21-25. O fair lady, as long as you have not transmitted your qualities to the body of Satī, the Dānavas, invincible to the worlds, should be killed by you. In view of your contact with her, you will be able to kill the Daityas. When this is carried out by you, O fair lady, Kālī will perform the penance. After concluding her observances, she will become Gaurī (‘fair-complexioned one’). Then the Daughter of the Mountain shall grant you also Sārūpya (similarity in form to her). Thereupon that Ekānaṃśā will be your sister. Equipped with her form and part, you will have the name Umā. O granter of boons, the world will adore you, the accomplisher of desires, as Ekānaṃśā. You will be able to reach everything due to different forms.

26-32. You alone are Gāyatrī with Oṃkāra as your face. You will be the expounder of Brahman. Having adopted beautiful form, you will be the natural desire for fight of kings. To Vaiśyas you (are) Goddess Kamalā (Lakṣmī). You yourself are the mother of Śūdras. Unto spiritual knowers you will be in the form of the object of knowledge. You will be the ultimate goal of all embodied ones.

You are the fame of the famous. You are the prosperity of all embodied beings. You are the bestower of love’s pleasure to those of captivated minds. You are the affection of those who are affectionate. You are the lustre of those who have adorned themselves. You are the peace of those of delighted activities. You are the delusion of the ignorant. You are the fame of those who worship (or sacrifice) methodically. You are the great shore of the oceans. You are the grace of the graceful. You are the coming into existence of all objects. You are the sustenance of those endowed with the worlds.

Thus, O fair lady, you will be talked about in the worlds in various forms. O granter of boons, those who see you and those who adore you, will attain all desires invariably. There is no doubt about this.

It was thus that she was born and eulogized by Brahmā. The great Goddess Ekānaṃśā should be meditated upon with devotion.

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