The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,142,515 words

This page describes The Greatness of Hanumatkeshvara which is chapter 21 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 twenty-first chapter of the Avantikshetra-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 21 - The Greatness of Hanumatkeśvara

Note: Hanumān brought a Mauktika (pearl) Liṅga from Laṅkā and installed it near Rudrasaras in Avantī. Due to association with Hanumat the Liṅga became known as ‘Hanumatkeśvara’.

Sanatkumāra said:

1. Henceforth I shall describe another deity, the Lord named Hanumatkeśvara who is adored by Devas and who bestows worldly pleasures and salvation as the benefit.

2. He who takes the holy bath in Rudrasaras, the lake pertaining to Śiva, and sees Hanumatkeśvara, rejoices in Vāyuloka for thousands of crores of Kalpas.

Vyāsa said:

3. O sinless one, narrate the story of Hanumatkeśvara, previously referred to by you, the ancient legend as it had happened.

Sanatkumāra said:

4. Formerly, the Rākṣasa named Rāvaṇa who was a thorn unto the three worlds, was slain and brought down in Laṅkā by Viṣṇu in the form of Rāma.

5. After killing that wicked one and taking Sītā, the daughter of Janaka, he reached his own city along with the monkeys and bears.

6-7. After regaining the kingdom Rāma seated amidst sages, asked Agastya, the excellent sage, at the end of the discourse, about the powers of the two—of Śaṃbhu and the son of Vāyu. Then Agasti, the excellent sage, said:

8. “Just as Lord Maheśvara is incomparable in regard to heroism in battle, so also the son of Vāyu should be known. I am speaking the truth.”

9-10. On hearing this, Hanumān said (to himself), ‘Since my comparison has been made with Hara by the excellent sage in the presence of Rāghava, I shall go to Laṅkā (city) in order to request for a Liṅga from the blessed king of Rākṣasas, the sinless Vibhīṣaṇa.’

11. Then he went to Laṅkā and requested Vibhīṣaṇa, “O blessed one, give me a splendid Liṅga.”

12-15. The king of Rākṣasas said: “Take any Liṅga as you please. These six Liṅgas were installed by Rāvaṇa, my noble-souled brother, before the conquest of the three worlds. Tell me, O observer of holy Vratas, which Liṅga among these is desired by you? I shall give it to you. This is the truth, O monkey.”

14-18. Thereupon Hanumān took up a Liṅga shining like a pearl: “O sinless hero, give unto me this Liṅga that is seen (before you).” On hearing the words of Hanumān, Vibhīṣaṇa said: “O great warrior, the Liṅga that you are holding has already been given to you. It is reported that formerly Dhaneśvara (Kubera) endowed with devotion to Rudra, worshipped this Liṅga thrice a day. When he was taken a captive by Rāvaṇa, it was through the power of this Liṅga that Dhaneśvara became free. Due to the favour of that Liṅga Dhaneśvara could preserve his wealth.”

Taking away that great Liṅga, the monkey became happy and satisfied.

Sanatkumāra said:

19. Taking the Liṅga with him he (Hanumat) started his (flight) in the clear sky. On the seventh day he reached the city of Avantikā.

20. Placing the Liṅga on the bank of Rudrasaras (lake), he took his bath. He was thinking of going to Mahākāla for the purpose of adoration.

21. He was desirous of lifting up that Liṅga. He could not lift it up.

22-23. The Lord who had been installed thus told the son of Vāyu: “In this holy spot, O Hanumān, let this be installed in your own name. It shall be known all over the world as Hanumatkeśvara.” The Liṅga that is as high as a mountain has been installed by the son of Vāyu.

24-26. If a man visits Lord Śiva, Hanumatkeśvara, on Saturdays, he need not be afraid of enemies. He shall be victorious in war. He need not be afraid of thieves too. He has (i.e. suffers from) neither poverty nor ill-luck. If a devotee bathes Hanumatkeśvara Śiva with oil, all his ailments perish. He is not afflicted by malignant Planets. The man who visits with devotion this Liṅga becomes liberated.

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