The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes The Importance of Angariki Caturthi which is chapter 37 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 thirty-seventh chapter of the Avantikshetra-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 37 - The Importance of Aṅgārikī Caturthī

Note: Aṅgāraka is Mars. The fourth day in the dark half of a month coinciding with Tuesday (Maṅgalavāra, the day of Aṅgāraka) is called Aṅgārakī Caturthī. Its observance etc. is given in verses 40-54.

Sanatkumāra said:

1. When Andhaka was pierced with the trident the voice of Rudra rose up; there the (holy) Oṃkāra originated; it is Maheśvara, the Lord of Devas.

2. A devotee should take his bath there and be clean. With the observance of restraints and meditations, he should see Lord Oṃkāra, Mahādeva and he shall be released from all sins.

3. After Andhaka was killed, the Trident went into the waters of Bhogavatī. On seeing the radiant Trident, Hāṭaka (Meru, gold, Lord in that form) became surprised. He asked, “What for have you come here?”

4-5. The Trident replied: “I have been hurled by Śaṅkara in order to slay the wicked Anḍhaka of sinful activity. I have come here after piercing him, to the splendid waters of Bhogavatī. I shall return again to that place where Śaṅkara is staying.”

6-10. On hearing the words uttered by the Trident, Hāṭaka quickly went out along with the Trident because he was desirous of seeing the great Lord. The Śūla became Śūleśa and Hāṭakeśvara radiant, charming and multifaced.

On seeing him radiant like a blooming lotus, all the Devas experienced (joyful) horripilation. The Devas with Brahmā and Viṣṇu at the head, eulogized him by means of different kinds of prayers. The Lord came to be known by the name Hāṭakeśvara. The deity was stationed in Pātāla. Since the Lord came out through the way of the Trident, he is known as Śūleśvara.

To the north of the Lord of Devas a Tīrtha came up where the powerful and sinful Lord of Daityas was taken by means of the Trident. Hence, O Vyāsa, this Tīrtha is called Dhūtapāpa.

11-15. A person should observe fast for a night on the full-moon day or on Saturday. With devotion to Śiva and the sense-organs well-controlled, he should visit Lord Dhūtapāpeśvara, Maheśvara, the Lord of Devas. He shall be rid of all the sins committed in the course of seven births. He will redeem a hundred members of his family and go to Śivaloka.

A man who sees in the month of Pauṣa the Lord after the ablution has been performed, is rid of the sin of Brāhmaṇa-slaughter by the power of Śūleśvara. On death he goes to the greatest region by means of a thousand aerial chariots.

By the time the trident of Andhaka went to Bhogavatī, terrible Asuras arising from the blood got up.

16. Hundreds of those extremely powerful Asuras with swords in their hands positioned themselves in all the four quarters. Maheśvara was struck by those terrible fellows. On being thus afflicted by those wicked-hearted wretches, the Lord roared like a lion.

17. Those sinners swooned and fell down on the ground due to that leonine roar. They got up again and went upto Maheśvara, the Lord of Devas. Thereupon, the Devas with Brahmā and Viṣṇu at the head became frightened.

18-24. Considering them to be unvanquishable the Devas, the well-wishers, had mutual consultation. They thought of creating a women. Brahmā himself created a woman who had assumed his own form with four faces and arms. The splendid lady was seated on a swan. She is Brahmāṇī.

Kumāra created the woman Kaumārī with peacock as her splendid vehicle. Her garlands and clothes were red in colour. She held a cock and a Śakti (trident).

After creating Kaumārī with the excellent lord of birds as her vehicle, Lord Kumāra created Cāmuṇḍā with the vehicle of Dharmarāja (god of Death) as his host vehicle. She was dark-complexioned with awful teeth. She was capable of pounding down the bodies of the Daityas. She held a staff and a Mudgara (mortar-like iron club). She had an eye on her forehead. A skull embellished her hands. She was bluish dark in colour. She was clad in the hide of a lion. She was adorned with all the ornaments. She held a Kartrī (scissors), a sword, a Kheṭa (a shield) and a Khaṭvāṅga (skull-topped iron club). Her body was covered with bones, skin and hairs. These Lokamātṛs were created in the vicinity of Vaṭa (holy fig tree). Hence they are visible to the people and became famous as Vaṭamātṛs.

25. A man who takes his holy bath there, remains clean and sees the mothers, becomes rid of all sins. He is honoured in the Mātṛloka.

26. O great sage, in the place where a leonine roar was let out by the Lord, the deity called Siṃheśvara manifested himself. He is destructive of all sins.

27-29. By seeing that Lord a man becomes strong like a lion. Where the body experienced horripilation when the leonine roar was given out, the deity named Kaṇṭeśvara manifested himself bestowing everything always. The man shall take his bath in the Tīrtha there and see Śiva named Kaṇṭeśvara. He will never experience fear of malignant Planets, evil spirits and ghosts. Thereafter all those Mātṛs were commanded thus by Hara.

30-38. “Quickly drink up the blood of this terrible Andhaka Asura.”

In the meantime, O Vyāsa, Śaṅkara who blazed like burning fire said, “O Śakra, do not be afraid.” At the place where he said so, an excellent Liṅga named Abhayeśvara manifested itself. This deity is saluted by Devas, Gandharvas, Siddhas, Vidyādharas and Serpents. A person should take his holy bath there, be clean, observe fast and control all his sense-organs. He should then adore the Lord of the chiefs of Devas. He shall obtain the merit of a horse-sacrifice. There is no fear to him from spirits, ghosts and vampires. He goes to Śivaloka by means of a vehicle drawn by lions.

The Māyā that originated from the body of Andhaka and was the cause of Raktāsuras (demons getting up from the blood-drops of Andhaka) became completely destroyed by the Mātṛs who were fighting. The divine Mātṛs were drinking the blood oozing out from the body of the Daitya. Six of them were fully satisfied but the Mātṛ born of the forehead did not become so. The Asura that remained after the destruction of the Māyā, got his trident and armour split. The powerful Andhaka pulled out the trident towards the north (upwards). That huge-bodied Asura was obstructed and checked by Gaṇapa (leader of Gaṇas). Hence he became famous as Mahāvināyaka in the world, O sage. If a man visits that Lord he is never harassed by obstacles.

39. If the devotee worships Gaṇeśa on the fourth day every month, he has never to face obstacles in this world or in the next.

40. From his forehead a drop of sweat fell on the ground. From it Aṅgāraka (Planet Mars) was born with red garlands and unguents.

41. (Thus) Aṅgāraka was born as the son of Mahādeva and Dharā (Earth) in the Āvantya country. He is Raktākṣa (redeyed) and Lohitāṅga (red-bodied).

42. He was eulogized by his names by Brahmā and was established in the middle of the Planets. An excellent Tīrtha called Aṅgāreśvara came into existence.

43-44. A Liṅga (named Aṅgāreśvara) was installed by Brahmā there. It is resorted to by the Gaṇas and Gandharvas. A pure man who takes his holy bath there on a Tuesday and visits Aṅgāreśvara is rid of all sins. He should offer Arghya by the night when the fourth lunar day coincides with a Tuesday.

45-48. This should be continued with effort till four Caturthī days are over. Five Karakas (bowls) should be made of copper. They should be filled with jaggery and Pīṭha (Piṣṭa-cake made of flour) (or[1] these Karakas should be placed over small pedestals made of jaggery). They should be covered with red cloths and smeared with red sandal-paste. They are worshipped with red flowers. There itself a vessel should be filled with gingelly seeds and raw rice grains. The second one should be filled with Laḍḍus (sweet balls of Bengal grain flour). The third one is filled with milk. The fourth one is filled with Uttarīs (a kind of grain?) and the fifth one with Mūlakas (esculent roots of radish). After doing like this in accordance with the injunctions, the devotee should offer Arghya repeating this Mantra:

49-52. “Obeisance, obeisance to Kuja (Mars: Ku-Ja-born of the Earth), of reddish body stationed in the middle of Planets. Obeisance to the deity similar to Kārttikeya (Skanda), having excellent features.

O deity born from the forehead of Śiva, O deity born of the womb of the Earth, I have resorted to you for the sake of comely form. Accept my Arghya. Obeisance to you.

O deity having splendour resembling the splendour of burning coal! O deity shining like the smooth coral! I have resorted to you seeking a son. Accept my Arghya, O son of Dharā (Earth).

You are born in the region of Avantī, of Earth through Śiva. Grant me a son. Grant me wealth; grant me fame. Obeisance to you.[2]

53-54. O excellent sage, Bhauma (Mars) is worshipped thus on the Caturthī day (4th lunar day). The devotee shall enjoy all pleasures on the earth and attain sons. On death he goes to heaven and stays there as long as fourteen Indras reign.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

This is probable in view of the following verses.

[2]:

This is a Purāṇic prayer meant for all castes. The Vedic Mantra used is: Agni-mūrdhā etc. (Ṛgveda VIII.44.16)

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