by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Kusumeshvara (kusuma-ishvara-linga) which is chapter 38 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 thirty-eighth chapter of the Caturashiti-linga-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
1-7. O goddess, know that the Liṅga named Kusumeśvara is the thirty-eighth deity that yields heavenly pleasures and destroys great sins.
Formerly in the Vaivasvata Manvantara, at the advent of Vārāha Kalpa, O lady of large eyes, I came to the beautiful Mahākālavana from Kailāsa. O Pārvatī, while I was playing with the dice with you in that beautiful Mahākālavana, a loud report was heard. On hearing the unbearable noise, I was asked by you about it. The origin of the sound was narrated to you, O goddess: “These Gaṇeśas (Chiefs of Gaṇas) are playing. Gaṇa Vīraka is in the middle. He is profusely adorned with flowers. He is my greatest favourite. He is being struck with flowers. He is being honoured ardently with showers of flowers. He is Vīraka, O goddess, who always gives me delight. He is the owner of many wondrous qualities. He is adored by a hundred Gaṇeśvaras.” On hearing these words, O lady of excellent countenance, you too said:
8-14. “The lotus-like face of a son is not seen without merits. O Maheśvara, I have great eagerness and ardour for such a son. When shall I see such a son who bestows delight?” On hearing your words I repeatedly laughed, O Pārvatī, and said: “This Vīraka is given now to you as the son. Let him alone be your son, the bestower of delight to your eyes. Vīraka adored with flowers shall become contented and blessed with you as mother.” On hearing my words Vijayā was sent by you, “O Vijayā, a son has been given to me by Hara. Bring him quickly.” Vijayā said to the leader of the Gaṇas stationed in the middle of the Gaṇas: “Come on, Vīraka, the Lord has been made angry by you through your fickle pranks. Why were you enchanted by the over-attachment to dances (behaving) like a mad man?” On being told thus, the Gaṇapa bedecked in flowers became terrified. Following Vijayā, he slowly came to you. On seeing Vīraka bedecked in flowers but excessively afraid, he was invited by you, O goddess, with sweet-syllabled words:
15-25a. “Come, come, Son Vīraka. You have been given to me by the Lord as my son.” After saying thus you placed him on your lap; kissed him on the cheeks. Even as he spoke sweetly, you sniffed at his head and stroked his limbs. You then adorned him with ornaments yourself, such as anklets and girdles with tinkling bells, armlets and necklaces with excellent jewels and gold coins stringed together exquisitely. Becoming pleased with him, you decorated him with tender sprouts of various colours. Uttering divine Mantras you applied white ash over his body. With the mixture of white mustard, you carried out the ritualistic protection to his limbs. Then you tied a garland on his head making it sparkle with Gorocanā and ornamental painted figures. You said: “Dear boy, go and play along with the Gaṇas as the other boys are doing. Do not be careless. Engage slowly in your boyish pranks.” Then Gaṇeśādhipa playing about here and there caused a great delight to the Devas. A moment he played on small hills where Siddhas abounded and where jewels were scattered about. Another moment he played in places where huge Śāla trees and palm trees graw in plenty. A moment he played in places where there were Tamāla trees in full bloom with bees hovering around. The next moment he played at the foot of a tree where swarms of bees flew about. A moment he played in water with some mud therein. Another moment he played in marshy places. The next moment he played among groves of trees spotlessly splendid.
Even as Vīraka was playing thus along with the Gaṇas, twilight came spreading darkness. O beloved, you then told me, “O Śaṅkara, may lordship and wealth be given to my son, a moiety of the body with Gaṇeśatva (status of being the Lord of Gaṇas) and Lokapālatva (status of being a Guardian of Quarters) later on. He can have the status of a Liṅga, everlasting, of a place divine and rare. He should be honoured and adored by Siddhas, Gandharvas and Kinnaras, Brahmā, Indra, Varuṇa, Ādityas, Lokapālas and Lord of Lords. Along with these Gaṇas, he should be eulogized by the noble-souled ones. Let him be well-known by the name Kusumeśvara because he was bedecked by me with different kinds of splendid flowers.”
25b-35. O lady of large eyes, I too said: “Vīraka is my beloved one. He has divine powers on a par with mine. He is always attended upon by the Lords of Gaṇas. Listen to the nectarine sweetness of the songs of the Gandharvas. See the fascinating beauty of the Kinnara women who are singing. Witness this continuous dance of the Apsaras groups. O lady of excellent countenance, Kusumeśa is surrounded by Vidyādharas. O goddess, he is the first Pramatheśvara who has been particularly made Kusumeśvara when he was bedecked in flowers (by you). A spot has been assigned to him, O lady of wide eyes, to the north of Śiveśvara Liṅga. It is an esteemed boon which is inaccessible even to the Devas, that he has been granted. O Gaṇapa, if people see you, O Kusumeśvara, sins will not contaminate them like water not sticking to a lotus leaf. Those men who worship Kusumeśvara with flowers will attain my place (region) and rejoice free from pain. A man who sees you at least one day with concentration, shall be liberated from all sins and go to my world. He who adores Kusumeśvara Liṅga with flowers with great emotional fervour will attain the greatest place from which there is no return.”
With these and similar boons Kusumeśvara was rendered well-nourished. The Gaṇa became contented and blessed, O goddess, and he attained divinity through the Liṅga. The power of Kusumeśvara Deva has been thus recounted. Let that of Akrūreśa Deva be listened to hereafter.