The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,142,515 words

This page describes Lumpeshvara (lumpa-ishvara-linga) which is chapter 41 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 forty-first chapter of the Caturashiti-linga-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 41 - Luṃpeśvara (luṃpa-īśvara-liṅga)

Note: The story is based to some extent on the Paraśurāma legend, and not on the Turkish invasion as presumed by some other scholars. Luṃpādhīśa killed an ascetic called Sāmaga for not giving his Homa Dhenu. The son of the sage cursed the Mleccha king to become a leper. Nārada advised him to propitiate this Liṅga in Mahākālavana. The king became “divine-bodied” at the sight of the Liṅga. Hence it came to be known as Luṃpeśvara.

Śrī Mahādeva said:

1-10. The Liṅga, well-known on the earth by the name Luṃpeśvara, is the forty-first deity, O Pārvatī.

In a country populated by clans of Mlecchas (Barbarians) there was a king well-known as Luṃpādhipa. In valour he was on a par with Mahendra. He had a beloved wife named Viśālā. She was unrivalled all over the earth in her beauty. She was endowed with all the elegances of youth. That king was fond of fighting. He enquired from the excellent Brāhmaṇas (about persons worthy of fighting). Someone told him: “There is a Brāhmaṇa Sāmaga in a certain penance grove. O mighty one, O excellent king, do fight with him.” Then the king set out with thousands of Mlecchas, Tuṣāras, Barbaras, Luṃpas, Pahlavas and Śvagaṇas (groups of hounds). He was surrounded by cruel dacoits. He himself was overwhelmed with anger. Thus he entered the holy penance grove of Sage Sāmaga. The king was duly honoured by the sage with the offer of seats, Madhuparka etc. In the meantime, the king saw the Homadhenu (the cow intended for the holy Homa rites) and requested for it. The sage refused to give. Thereupon, the king devastated the hermitage and took away the sacrificial cow. Even as the Brāhmaṇa was watching, the entire forest was destroyed by him. Seeing the calf extremely miserable and the cow tortured mercilessly, the Brāhmaṇa said, “O king, do not indulge in a rash act.”

11-20. The highly infuriated and wicked Luṃpa surrounded by wicked people, attacked and killed the eminent Brāhmaṇa with sharp arrows even as he was protesting thus and lamenting frequently uttering, “Oh my son! Oh my son!” The king went to his abode after killing the Brāhmaṇa Sāmaga.

In the meantime, the son with sacrificial twigs in his hands came there. On seeing his father, the innocent, noble-souled Brāhmaṇa, killed outright, he was stricken with intense grief and he lamented: “By whom was this despicable deed perpetrated? Even when my old father did not resist he has been slain by the sinful wretch with hundreds of sharp arrows.” After lamenting thus in various ways very piteously, he performed the obsequial rites of his father in accordance with the injunctions. He cremated his father in funeral fire. Presently he took some water in the hollow of his palm and gave an excessively terrible curse to the king Luṃpa:

“Let that sinful soul of wicked deeds by whom my learned father, scrupulously engaged in performing his duties, was killed, incur the fell disease of leprosy.”

In the meanwhile, the king was afflicted with leprosy. O lady of excellent countenance, the king became a cripple. The disease became more virulent even when medicines were administered, due to the power of the curse of the Brāhmaṇa. In utter disgust and detachment, he decided to die. Accordingly the grief-stricken king gathered fuel and began to make a pyre. Nārada came at that instant and was honoured by the miserable king.

21-32. Thereafter, the king Luṃpa asked Nārada, the excellent sage: “O divine sage, all of a sudden I contracted the fell disease of leprosy. I am extremely afflicted. The disease did not abate. Why does it aggravate despite the use of medicines? It behoves you to explain this. There is nothing unknown to you in this world or in the other world.”

On hearing the words of Luṃpādhīśa, Nārada said everything in detail regarding the insurmountable curse of the Brāhmaṇa. Thereupon, the king accompanied by his wife prayed to Nārada: “How can, O holy Sir, this insurmountable curse of mine be ended?” On being spoken thus by Luṃpa, Nārada, the holy sage, explained everything, O lady of renown, out of compassion for the king and his wife: “O king, there is a great Liṅga that dispels leprosy and brings about riches, in Mahākālavana. It is destructive of sins also. It is situated on the beautiful banks of Śiprā to the east of Keśavārka. Do go there, O great king. You will be endowed with splendour.”

On being told thus, Luṃpa hastened to this place, the beautiful Mahākālavana resorted to by multitudes of great sages. The king reached the place comparable to Svarga and rendered splendid by Śiprā. He entered the precincts and saw the excellent Liṅga. He took his bath in the holy water of Śiprā, destructive of great sins. By seeing the Liṅga, he assumed a divine form. Rid of the disease of leprosy and liberated from the sin of Brāhmaṇa-slaughter, the king became blessed, O Pārvatī, by seeing (the Liṅga) alone. The king spent that night there along with the wife and honoured the sages very much.

33-41. Then the holy rite of Svastyayana was performed by the noble-souled sages. O lady of lotus-like face, a name was assigned to that Liṅga by those sages endowed with divine knowledge and with the splendour of the Sun and Fire: “Since this deity, the destroyer of leprosy, was propitiated by Luṃpa, it will become well-known as Luṃpeśvara in the world.

Those who take their holy dip in the meritorious water of Śiprā and devoutly worship the great Luṃpeśvara Liṅga, will reach the highest position. By visiting Luṃpeśvara they will undoubtedly attain all the desires mentally cherished and prayed for. Even if he is defiled with great sins, the person who sees, with mental concentration and purity, the Luṃpeśvara Liṅga, will become equal to the Devas. A cow-slayer, an ungrateful one, one guilty of matricide, a defiler of the preceptor’s bed, one habitually indulging in wicked deeds, one guilty of the slaughter of his brother or father is rid of all sins by visiting Luṃpeśvara but once. One worshipping the deity shall burn the sins acquired in the course of seven births.”

After saying thus, all the sages performed a collective worship. The king, rid of the disease of leprosy, went to his realm.

Thus, O goddess, the sin-destroying power of Luṃpeśvara Deva has been recounted to you. Listen to the (story of) great Gaṅgeśvara Liṅga.

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