The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes The Glory of Avantikshetra which is chapter 71 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 seventy-first chapter of the Avantikshetra-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 71 - The Glory of Avantīkṣetra

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Vyāsa said:

1-2. O holy Sir, everything has been mentioned by Your Holiness having divine form, regarding the greatness of Avantī Tīrtha which is sacred and approved by the Vedas. I wish to hear further from you, O most excellent one among the knowers of Brahman. O Excellent one of good Vratas, how many Tīrthas are there in the beautiful Mahākālavana in the country of Avantī?

Sanatkumāra said:

3-4. O excellent Brāhmaṇa, may the great story that dispels sins be heard. During a dialogue between Umā and Maheśvara in the presence of Nārada, the intelligent one, this question was put by Nārada.

Nārada said:

5-6. O Lord, I wish to hear. Kindly describe to me in detail all the Tīrthas that are in the splendid Mahākālavana.

O sinless Brāhmaṇa, on being asked thus formerly by Nārada, Hara in the company of Umā, spoke thus in sweet words: Śrī Mahādeva said:

7. Listen, O excellent sage; in the splendid Mahākālavana there are many Tīrthas. O sage of holy rites, I shall mention them to you.

8-13. Whatever Tīrthas are on the earth such as Puṣkara etc., all those are present in the excellent Mahākālavana.

Innumerable thousands and crores and crores of them, O excellent one, reside in Rudrasaras. Hence it is to be Koṭi Tīrtha.

Kinnaras shower drops of snow on the mountain. They are seen in Hemanta in the Tīrtha Piśācamocana. I do not know the number of the Tīrthas on the earth, O excellent one. I do not know how many Tīrthas and Liṅgas are there. Still I shall name the important ones.

O excellent Brāhmaṇa, as many days in a year there are so may famous Liṅgas should be obtained (adorned duly). When the year is over, the pilgrimage of Avantī is completed.

14-19. He who makes this pilgrimage duly shall become Śaṃbhu himself.

In Avantī, within five days in Vaiśākha, one can get all the benefit that is obtained by residing in Kāśī for thousands of Manvantaras.

Pilgrimage to Avantī must be performed assiduously by one desirous of salvation.

In the month of Mādhava too, one should perform Avantī Snāna particularly. In the month of Vaiśākha, O Vyāsa, a man should observe the Saṃvatsaravrata (Vrata which lasts one year) and take holy dips in every Tīrtha duly. After making all gifts he enjoys the entire benefit. After enjoying vast (ample) pleasures, he is honoured in Śivaloka.

This Māhātmya is conducive to increase devotion to Śiva. It causes fame and increases merit. He who devoutly listens or narrates (this) shall uplift the family and will go to the region of Hari.

:: End of Avantīkṣetra-Māhātmya ::

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