The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes The Genesis of the Name Amaravati which is chapter 46 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 forty-sixth chapter of the Avantikshetra-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 46 - The Genesis of the Name Amarāvatī

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: Verses 22-24 explain: This city in Mahākālavana has all the amenities and treasures of heaven and Devas have made this city their permanent residence. Hence it became known as Amarāvatī

Sanatkumāra said:

1-3. How this city of Kuśasthalī became Amarāvatī, O illustrious Vyāsa, I shall describe in detail as Brahmā spoke to the Devas.

Once, for the sake of progeny (subjects) the excellent sage Kaśyapa, the son of Marīci, as instructed by Brahmā, performed a very severe penance, very difficult to be performed, in the beautiful Mahākālavana of divine features.

4-9. That great sage controlled all his sense-organs. His diet consisted of withered leaves and mere air. When the period of a thousand years was completed, an unembodied voice (of Goddess) spoke thus: “O excellent Brāhmaṇa, may my excellent statement be listened to. Since you have performed a very severe penance with a benefit in view, O highly virtuous sage, your progeny i.e. sons and grandsons etc. will continue as long as the moon and the sun (shine) on the earth with great renown. Your chaste wife too performed penance along with you as though she was your shadow. She is thus renowned and hence Devas including Viṣṇu and Indra as their leaders will become her sons. They are always famous as immortal ones, devoid of old age, shining forever in heaven. O excellent Brāhmaṇa, at my instance you too, O most excellent one among sages, will become a Prajāpati (Patriarch) free from sins. There is no doubt about it.”

10-11. After saying this, the Goddess vanished there itself. Ever since then, O Vyāsa, Kaśyapa resorted to the excellent city Kuśasthalī along with the daughter of Dakṣa, maintaining the holy fires. His progeny including the Devas, Asuras and human beings also flourished.

12. Kaśyapa was born of Marīci and all are established henceforth (from him). The Devas imbibed Suḍhā incessantly and so were made immortal.

13-17. The heavenly garden Nandana was present there in the excellent Mahākālavana. Kāmadhenu was known and reputed to be the bestower of desired boons. She always served Mahākāla Maheśvara there. The excellent tree Pārijāta (served him). Bindusaras with never-fading lotuses, is said to be the excellent Mānasa lake. It is full of swans and Sārasa birds. It is resorted to by Suras and Siddhas. Pearls and jewels are scattered everywhere and splendid Ratnas made it shine. This Nidhi (treasure of Mahāpadma) shone with Kalhāra and Kumuda. Whatever divine things are present in the cosmos are present in the splendid Mahākālavana.

18. The human beings stationed here had all those powers of the soul. Their diet and activities, their features and exploits were the same as those of the Devas.

19. They roam about like the immortal beings in this city. The people of the earth were on a par with the Amaras mingling with one another.

20. The women were always on a par with the celestial ladies in permanent youth. O Vyāsa, such an eternal city was seen on the earth.

21. Inhabited by Devas, Dānavas and Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Uragas and Rākṣasas, this city is eternal, the bestower of worldly pleasures and salvation and perpetual benefit lasting for a long time.

22-24. There is the permanent camp of Amaras here.

Hence it became Amarāvatī. Those blessed ones who casually visit this city and perform holy rites such as ablution, charity and visiting Maheśvara, will never be bereft of anything such as sons and riches. They will obtain all pleasures and will go to Śivapura on death. By reciting or listening to this one will obtain the merit of reciting Śatarudriya hymns.

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