The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Damarukeshvara (damaruka-ishvara-linga) which is chapter 4 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 fourth chapter of the Caturashiti-linga-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 4 - Ḍamarukeśvara (ḍamaruka-īśvara-liṅga)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: This Liṅga [i.e., Ḍamarukeśvara] emerged from the earth when Lord Śiva sounded his Ḍamaru (hand drum) and burnt down demon Vajra and his army, when the latter invaded Mahākālavana, the refuge of the defeated Devas.

1. This fourth deity Ḍamarukeśvara in Avantī is well-known. When this Lord of the universe is visited, sins get destroyed.

2-7. Formerly in the Vaivasvata Kalpa, there was a great Asura named Ruru. His son named Vajra was also extremely mighty and powerful. He was terrible with a huge body and sharp fang-like teeth. The Devas were ousted by him from their authorized positions and also from Heaven. All their wealth was taken away from there. They, therefore, went to Brahmā. He too was frightened, with all the sense-organs utterly incapacitated. Knowing him to be indestructible, Brahmā fled along with all the Suras. When they had vanished that mighty Asura, a very wicked soul, killed all the Brāhmaṇas engaged in sacrifices and penances. He killed all others who were righteous. The entire earth became bereft of the study of scriptures and utterance of Vaṣaṭ. O goddess, all the festivities of Yajñas became defunct. Everywhere there was the distressed cry of Hā! Hā! (Alas! Alas!) and loss of consciousness.

The Devas and all the great sages became sad and distressed. They held consultation together (or they invoked a Mantra) for the purpose of slaying that Asura of wicked intentions.

8-14. Even as they were pondering over these affairs, O goddess, a huge body enveloped in a mass of radiance appeared before them suddenly.

From it a Kṛtyā (Ogress) of divine nature with lotus-like eyes rose up brightening all the quarters around through her luminous rays. She said: “O Suras, why have I been created? What should be done by me, may be intimated quickly.”

On hearing her splendid words, all the Devas narrated to her all the misdeeds of Vajra.

On hearing it, that goddess laughed boisterously and frequently. Even as she laughed thus, lotus-eyed maidens issued forth from her. They were terrible in appearance with their faces covered with blazing flames. They held nooses and goads. They made the entire universe consisting of the mobile and immobile beings sway to and fro by means of their roaring shouts. O great goddess, all of them went to the place where the great Asura Vajra was present. A noisy, tumultuous and terrific battle ensued between him and them.

15-22. The intervening spaces of the quarters were pervaded by weapons and missiles hurled in diverse ways. They got the entire army mobilised and ready. They fought in the batttle very bitterly. Then the battle between that goddess and the Asuras began in earnest. Vajra saw the Mātṛgaṇa (group of Mothers) furious and suppressing the great Asuras and his own army turning back. He thereupon created his Māyā named Tāmasī who could not be tackled and whereby the young maidens began to faint.

When a great mass of darkness deepened thereby, that goddess became afraid. She came to the excellent Mahākālavana along with them. They came to the place where Hara holding the skull was stationed in the form of a Liṅga.

Thinking that the Māitṛgaṇa had vanished due to the prowess of his Māyā and that the Devas were residing there along with the Devī, Vajra too came there surrounded by his armies.

He entered the divine Mahākālavana surrounded by hundreds and crores of chariots. O fair lady, there was forest and forest all round. He then angrily spoke thus. “I will kill the Devas today along with that wicked woman and the maidens who fled and vanished due to the power of the Māyā.”

23-33. In the meanwhile the eager, excellent sage Nārada came to Mandara abounding in beautiful caves. He told me about the defeat of the Devas at the hands of Vajra. “O Maheśvara, the Devas have been hit and struck down in Mahākālavana by Vajra, the son of Ruru. Hence, do come.”

On hearing the words of Nārada, O great goddess, I returned quickly from Mandara adopting a terrible form. Serpents of hideous nature adorned me gracefully. I was surrounded by my Gaṇas. The great and terrifying army of the Dānavas was seen in front. All round Mahākālavana was blockaded by the son of Ruru, O lady of great fame, by Vajra, the unbearable Asura.

The awe-inspiring Ḍamaruka was beaten by me on arrival. Thereby the army of Vajra, the evil-minded one, was enchanted.

At the sound of the Ḍamaruka, the excellent Liṅga rose up penetrating through the earth. It was enveloped in clusters of blazing flames. O beautiful lady, from one of the sides of that Liṅga rose up a great flame pervading the entire Cosmic Egg. From the other side of the Liṅga a violent gust of wind began to blow. That army of the Asuras was burnt and reduced to ash by the cluster of flames kindled by the wind blowing in circles.

34-43. When the mighty son of Ruru was killed, all the sections of the Devas became delighted in their minds and they bowed down. The mighty Vajra was burnt due to the greatness of this deity. He was burnt along with the army. Hence this deity will become famous in this world as Ḍamarukeśvara, the bestower of the objects of all desires. Since the deity originated on the earth with the sound of the Ḍamaruka, he will certainly be worthy of worship. Those who visit Ḍamarukeśvara and worship him will become rid of miseries and free of feverish ailments. By adoring Ḍamarukeśvara one attains that merit which results from hundreds of Cāndrāyaṇas duly performed.

Even those men engaged in sinful deeds will certainly go to the eternal Rudraloka by visiting Ḍamarukeśvara Liṅga in this place.

By visiting the deity men will obtain the fruit of a thousand horse-sacrifices, a hundred Vājapeyas and a gift of a thousand cows. A hero who goes to battlefield after visiting Ḍamarukeśvara will defeat enemies and in the end he is honoured in Rudraloka. This power that destroys sins has been recounted to you, O goddess. Eulogized and extolled he bestows the desired benefit.

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