by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Svargadvareshvara (svargadvara-ishvara-linga) which is chapter 9 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 ninth chapter of the Caturashiti-linga-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Śrī Rudra said:
1-8. O Pārvatī, know that Svargadvāreśvara Liṅga is the ninth deity. He eradicates all sins and bestows heavenly pleasures and salvation.
O goddess, when your sisters, Aśvinī and others, came to the excellent mountain Kailāsa, they became surprised on seeing you. “O fair lady, we have been invited to be present at the Yajña along with our husbands and other relatives. Father has invited us with due respect and deep affection. O lady of wide eyes, we wonder why father has forgotten (you). Or has he remembered? What may be the reason for which you have not been invited?”
On hearing their words, O Pārvatī, it was due to the dishonour perpetrated in your case that you had cast off your very vital breaths in front of them by means of your Yogic power.
In the height of their grief, they went to the place where the Patriarch was and reported everything to Dakṣa as it had happened. Even after hearing that terrible news, Dakṣa did not say anything. When, O fair lady, you were seen by me fallen dead on the ground, I directed the Gaṇas to destroy the Yajña.
9-18. Hundreds and thousands of those terrible Gaṇas proceeded there. Awful and hideous, those mighty followers of Rudra, wielding many weapons raised terrifying cries as they discharged volleys of arrows.
Then all the groups of Devas, Vasus, Ādityas, Viśvedevas and Sādhyas came out for the purpose of fighting. Those mighty ones had bows in their hands and they discharged sharp arrows. Those Pramathas gathered together and fought with the Devas. They discharged volleys of arrows like clouds pouring down torrential gushes of water.
There was a mighty Gaṇa named Vīrabhadra among them. He hit Indra on his chest with his spear. He lost consciousness due to that blow and so sat down; his elephant Airāvata was struck on his forehead with the fist. Struck down suddenly by him, the lordly elephant gave out awfully terrible cries. Excessively frightened, he rushed towards the sacrificial hall.
In the meantime, the Devas were driven back (by the Gaṇas). They sought refuge in Viṣṇu, the sole leader of the universe. On seeing the heaven-dwellers routed by the Gaṇas, Viṣṇu became furious. He discharged his Sudarśana. That Sudarśana, the discus of Viṣṇu, came on with great speed but (Vīrabhadra) opened his mouh [mouth] quickly and confined it into his belly. When that discus which had never failed in slaying the Daityas, was thus swallowed, O goddess, Nārāyaṇa became furious and rushed at Vīrabhadra.
19-30. He seized Vīrabhadra by his feet and dashed him on the ground far off and pounded him with his club when Sudaraśana came out of his mouth along with blood vomited. Since this excellent Gaṇa, Vīrabhadra, O goddess, had obtained a boon from me, he did not die, though hit by the club.
Thereupon, all the Pramathas, afflicted by Viṣṇu’s mighty power, came quickly but with great difficulty to the place where I was present.
When the Yajña was thus destroyed and the group of the Devas vanished, the Gaṇa was deployed at the entrance to heaven and commanded: “O Lord of Gaṇas, no Devas should be allowed to enter. The doorway should be blocked assiduously at my behest. If any Deva is seen, he should be killed without hesitation.” Thereby Svarga was rendered vacant and the Devas were defeated. When the entrance to Svarga was thus blocked, Indra and others became frightened. After a series of mutual consultations the Devas went to Brahmaloka and the details of the blockade of entry to Svarga were recounted to Brahmā. “O Grandfather, the portals of Svarga are covered by the Gaṇas of Maheśvara. The entrance has become too difficult as the gateway has been blocked. By what means can we go to the heavenly world under the situation? O Grandfather, without heaven, we are not at all happy.”
31-36. On hearing their words, Brahmā said thus: “Lord Mahādeva, Śaṅkara, the Lord of the universe, should be propitiated. He is the cause of creation, sustenance and annihilation. He should be eulogized, bowed down to and adored. O Suras, without his favour, Svarga is very difficult to achieve. He is the powerful protector and creator. He is our ultimate refuge. He alone should be propitiated. He is considered as the worthiest of adoration. Hence, by all means, may Śiva be sought as refuge. I shall mention the ways and means. May it be heard with attention. At my behest, O Śakra, hasten to the beautiful Mahākālavana, accompanied by Devas. It is stationed to the east of Kapāleśvara. O Vāsava (Indra), there is the great Svargadvāra Liṅga. It has been created by Mahādeva for blessing the worlds compassionately. All of you propitiate him quickly. He will grant you your desire.”
37-47. On hearing the words of Brahmā, the Devas, became overjoyed. O great goddess, then they came to Mahākālavana. They saw the excellent, meritorious Liṅga that gives them the (entrance through) gateway to Svarga. Merely by seeing it, they got the doorway to heaven opened. O lady of great renown, as before all of them went to the heavenly world.
On seeing the Devas free from fear and suspicion, I was duly informed by the Gaṇas. All of them were directed by me: “O excellent Gaṇas, return. How can what has been promised by myself be false? Undoubtedly, the Svarga-bestowing Lord has been certainly seen by the Devas in the beautiful Mahākālavana as said by Brahmā. Śakra and other Devas went to the gateway of heaven. From that time onwards Śiva became famous as Svargadvāreśvara. He will be known as such on the earth because he is the bestower of Svarga. Those men who see Svargadvāreśvara Śiva go to the heavenly world by worshipping Svargadvāreśvara. Those who see Lord Svargadvāreśvara even incidentally need not be afraid of anything even after hundreds of crores of Kalpas. O goddess, by worshipping Svargadvāreśvara one obtains more merit than what has been cited as resulting from a thousand horse-sacrifices. By glorifying this Liṅga all those sins accumulated in the course of thousands of births get annihilated.
48-51. Those men who devoutly visit Śiva named Svargadvāreśvara on the eighth or fourteenth lunar day or on a Monday, O goddess, are indeed persons who have entered my body. They are not reborn. When that Liṅga is adored, it is as though ten thousand crores of Liṅgas are worshipped. By touching that Liṅga, by glorifying it and by adoring it, people easily go to heaven and get all desires fulfilled. Whether they desire it or not, those meritorious and fortunate ones who visit it everyday go to Svarga.