The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Sundara Kunda which is chapter 53a 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 zeroth chapter 53a of the Avantikshetra-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 53a - Sundara Kuṇḍa

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sanatkumāra said;

1. O observer of holy vows, all the Tīrthas on the earth are always stationed in Sundara Tīrtha in Avantī.

Vyāsa said:

2. What is this Sundra Kuṇḍa? At what time did it originate on the earth? By whom was it created? Who is the deity? What benefit thereof has been proclaimed?

Sanatkumāra said:

3. Listen to the time when the Kuṇḍa named Sundara originated in the holiest of holy spots. It is destructive of all sins. It accords the objects desired.

4. Merely by hearing about it, even the sin of Brāhmaṇa’s slaughter becomes dispelled. It is more meritorious than horse-sacrifice. It is superior to a hundred Vājapeya sacrifices.

5. Formerly, O Vyāsa, at the close of the Kalpa, the whole earth was almost destroyed. The mountain Meru shook on account of fierce winds and heavy downpour.

6. Then, O Vyāsa, its peak as excellent as the top of Vaikuṇṭha fell into the terrible Mahākālavana here, which is eternal, imperishable and something mysterious and secret.

7-10. When the peak fell, all of a sudden, a well-demarcated pool originated. It had clear water. The steps were made of jewels. There were pearls filling it up like sand. The elevated place was made of gold. It appears splendid with golden lotuses. A number of Kalpa trees created a good shade therein. Cintāmaṇi gems covered the altitude. The Kuṇḍa was full of Haṃsas (swans) and Kāraṇḍavas and brightly adorned with Cakravāka birds. Seeds of medicinal herbs were scattered around. It was enriched by all Tattvas (Principles). These Tattvas did not perish even at the close of the Kalpa all-round. All those great Tattvas remain there in personified form.

11-15. The Vedas, scriptures, Purāṇas, Gāthās, Gītis (songs), Kṣarākṣaras (perishable and imperishable), Oṃkāra, Vaṣaṭkāra, the great three-footed Gāyatrī, units of time, Kalās, Kāṣṭhās, Muhūrtas, Lavas, Truṭis, Palas, Ghaṭis, day, night, Yāmas, Pakṣas (fortnights), months, Ṛtus, years, and Yugas: all these are stationed in the Kuṇḍa in personalised forms. Devas, Yakṣas, Nāgas, Guhyakas, Kinnaras, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Yakṣas, Siddhas and Kiṃpuruṣas became bewildered due to the adverse effects of the Kalpa and so performed adorations (Upāsanās). Brahmā, Kāla, Rudra, the powerful guardians of the quarters also did the same. Some Siddhas and sages of excellent vow became engaged in meditation.

16-20. They stay there for many Yugas, O Vyāsa, till the close of the Kalpa. The Kuṇḍa had the shape of the discus Sudarśana. It is filled with nectarine waters. It was endowed with divine trees. It had all the attributes of Pārijāta (divine tree). It had the fragrance arising from the scented water utilized by the celestial damsels for bathing. Peacocks dance in certain places; cuckoos coo in some places. The Kekā sounds of peacocks were heard somewhere. In some places it was reverberating with the rumbling sounds of clouds. It is beautiful with a beautiful shape and size. Hence it is called Sundara. O Vyāsa, it causes much merit. It is the greatest destroyer of all sins. It is the place where Viṣṇu is present. So also does Śiva, the self-controlled one, accompanied by Śakti. Ail these stay near each other at all times.

21-24. A man should stay in Sundara Kuṇḍa for a fortnight or even half of that. (As a result) his residence shall invariably be in Vaikuṇṭha for a hundred Kalpas.

Birds, worms, locusts etc. that die there go to the abode of Śiva. What to speak of men who are purified by their holy ablution there! O Vyāsa, I do not know fully well the extent of the merit accruing from holy gifts to those who make gifts (such as) of gingelly seeds, cows, elephants, horses, chariots, plots of lands, slave girls, male servants, gold, different kinds of gems, beds and aerial cars etc.

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