by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes The Greatness of the Confluence of Kshata which is chapter 56 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 fifty-sixth chapter of the Avantikshetra-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
of the Kṣātā river, where one is rid of great sins merely by a holy dip.
2-3. When the new moon coincides with a Saturday, a person should with concentration and mental purity perform Śrāddha and offer libation with gingelly seeds with the Pitṛs in view. Thereafter, he should visit Śanaiścara Deva, the immovable excellent Liṅga. He will never be afflicted by Planet Saturn.
4. A great Tīrtha has been talked about (by you) in the splendid Mahākālavana. O great ascetic, I wish to hear further in detail.
5. O excellent Brāhmaṇa, let the auspicious traditional legend be heard. By hearing this story alone great sins become destroyed.
7. All these rivers are meritorious. Their waters are sanctifying. They are beautiful and holy. They remove sins. By ablution and by imbibing (the water) these rivers purify all the worlds.
8-12. Once these happy (rivers) amused themselves with sports in the beautiful park, in the excellent Māndhātṛkṣetra with a desire to defeat each other.
On account of the incidence of some defect, they had a split. (Kṣātā river) left the contact with Revā and pierced through the excellent Vindhya mountain.
13. As mentioned by you, how did the Sun-god become free from Rajas formerly? O foremost one among those who know Brahman, I wish to know this from you.
14-20. (Slightly defective passage) Formerly Tvaṣṭṛ gave Anusūryā Sāvitrī, his daughter, to Sūrya. Devoutly attached to her husband, she always served the Sun, the eye of the world. Twins were born to the Sun-god, the witness of the world. Yama and Yamuna, the sanctifier of the world were born as a son and a daughter of Vivasvān.
Thereupon the daughter of Tvaṣṭṛ said to her Chāyā (Shadow) the following true and pleasant words: “O Chāyā, the twins are placed in your lap. Protect and bring them up till I go on a sojourn to my father’s house. Be devotedly attached to Ravi and move about in my house constantly. Ravi should not be told by you, O Chāyā, as to when I went to my father’s house.” Perturbed due to the fear of the Sun, Sāvitrī had an understanding with Chāyā and went to her father’s house. Immediately she was prevented by her father. So she assumed the form of a mare and moved about in the beautiful forest with plenty of water and green grass.
21-25. Once (Chāyā) was requested by (Yama), the hungry son of Vivasvān, for cooked food. But it was not given immediately to him, though he had requested for it. Then Chāyā was kicked by him. She then cursed him, “Since out of childishness you kicked me with the foot, you shall certainly become lame of foot.” On being cursed thus, he became distressed with pain and lamented grievously. In the meantime, O Vyāsa, Vibhāvasu (Sun) who moved among the Planets favouring the worlds and encircling the Earth, saw his son lame. Vibhāvasu said thus: “O dear one, what is this painful suffering unto you? O sinless one, whence has this distress been contacted by you?”
27-30. “O Lord, going near mother, something for breakfast was requested by me. The food was not immediately given. Hence out of childishness, she was hit (by me). As a result of the curse by my mother, my feet dropped down immediately.” On hearing this Ravi was confounded. He began to ponder. ‘This story is strange; the cause leading to the curse by a mother (is not convincing).’ After pondering for a long time the many-rayed Sun came to know: ‘Surely this is not that daughter of Tvaṣṭṛ, the lady of charming side-glances, the sanctifier of the world. Who is she? Whence has she come?’ After thinking thus he asked her, “O lady of pure smiles, who are you?”
31-32. O great king, I am not Anusūryā; I am Chāyā born of her. She has gone to her father’s place. O sinless one, I have been restrained by her saying, “O Chāyā, nothing should be mentioned to Savitṛ at any cost.” This is the agreement binding on me, O Lord. Therefore I kept quiet.
33. On hearing it Lord Bhānu became furious. In that excessively angry mood, he hastened to the vicinity of Tvaṣṭṛ.
35. He bowed down to his feet, respectfully circumambulated and said in sweet voice: “What can I do to propitiate you?”
36-41. Where is that Sāvitrī, Anusūryā who does everything pleasing to me, who takes pleasure in following my path? Has she come to your house, dear father?
O dear one, I do not know where my dear daughter has gone.
On this statement of Tvaṣṭṛ, Ravi became worried in his mind. He said, “What shall I do? Where shall I go? Where is my dearest one?” When he spoke thus, Tvaṣṭṛ made this statement: “The frail creature has been overwhelmed by your excessive refulgence and has got lost somewhere. If your wife is dear to you get your refulgence subdued (modified).”
O my ancient grandfather, if my refulgence is so unbearable, then whatever is needed to make it bearable may be done in the manner that appeals to you.
On hearing these words of Sūrya, he was whetted by making Sudarśana the whetstone. He was trimmed by means of the edge of the discus as sharp as that of an arrow. He became pure and lighter.
42. (Defective passage) With the splinters after whetting this Vivasvān, Tvaṣṭṛ made Sudarśana, the discus, and the (sand) particles into various kinds of gems.
43-47. Then Tvaṣṭṛ made this sweet statement in the presence of Sūrya: “She is in the beautiful forest of Mahākālavana in the form of a mare. O most excellent one among the Suras, let her be taken. Be pleased to go to that grassy place quickly where there is the excellent river Śiprā, where Kṣātā has joined it. Where there is the confluence of both, there is undoubtedly the salvation (for a devotee). There undoubtedly you will obtain your charming wife.”
On hearing his words, Savitṛ, the scorcher of all, went to that place where the holy Mahākālavana was situated. It was there that Śiprā, the river with plenty of waters, joined Kṣātā. There one shall obtain wealth and food-grain, worldly pleasure as well as liberation.
48-54. The Sun-god in the guise of a horse approached his dear wife who had the form of a mare. He saw the dark-complexioned lady once again. Merely by his sniffing at the tip of the snout, the two sons, Aśvins, of pleasing limbs and appearance, were born. They are the physicians of the heaven-dwellers.
O excellent Brāhmaṇa, Chāyā too gave birth to twins, (river) Tāpī and Śanaiścara, the scorcher of all the worlds.
When the new-moon coincides with Saturday, all desires are fulfilled. One should perform bath, Dāna and Śrāddha then. One shall then acquire wealth thereby and it will be in his possession forever on the earth.
At the confluence of Kṛātā, a man should take his holy ablution, offer Dāna in accordance with his capacity and adore Sthāvareśa (Śani). His sins will be destroyed.
55. He will never be afflicted by Śani. Yamadharma too performed a very severe penance here itself.
57-60. It is the place where the son of Pavana (i.e. Hanumān) attained the greatest Siddhi by means of penance. A man (devotee) should take his holy bath in that Tīrtha and make the gift of a bronze pot, an excellent one embellished with gold, cloth, gems and pearls to Brāhmaṇas conversant with the Vedas. This should be offered after duly adoring them and with great veneration. That devotee shall go beyond the Mātṛloka (the world of the Mothers). He will be honoured in Brahmaloka.
61-64. It is in the Cyavanāśrama (hermitage of Cyavana) that the meritorious Aśvins, the most excellent ones among physicians, attained Siddhi. There the man (devotee) should take his holy bath and visit Cyavaneśvara. With the favour of Cyavana who regained the ability to see as a result of the divine remedy (of Aśvins), the Aśvins attained the status of Devas (Deva-hood). A man who bathes in that Tīrtha, O excellent Brāhmaṇa, shall become endowed with divine vision.
65-67. Hence, O Vyāsa, the Tīrtha named Kṣātāsaṅgama became the greatest Tīrtha. It is meritorious. It fulfils all desires. It destroys all sins.
Listen to the merit of one who gets up early in the morning and reads this meritorious story or listens to it. He shall obtain that merit which one obtains by (the gift of) a thousand tawny-coloured cows at the time of Parvans (holy festival occasions). There is no doubt in this.
Footnotes and references:
The Purāṇa author has utilised the legend of the birth of Śani and Aśvins to glorify a Tīrtha in Mahākālavana. Mbh, Ādiparva 66 and other Purāṇas state that Sūrya’s wife was called Sañjñā. She stayed in Uttarakuru in the form of a mare. But here for the glorification of Mahākālavana she is stated to be staying in Mahākālavana.