The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Angareshvara (angara-ishvara-linga) which is chapter 43 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-third chapter of the Caturashiti-linga-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 43 - Aṅgāreśvara (aṅgāra-īśvara-liṅga)

Note: Mars is called Aṅgāraka as he was born from the Limbs (body) of Śiva (v 2). The shrine of Aṅgārakeśvara is at the confluence of Khagartā and Śiprā (v 37).

Śrī Śiva said:

1-7. O daughter of the Mountain, know the forty-third deity, Aṅgāreśvara Merely by seeing it one acquires all the riches.

Formerly, in the Ādi Kalpa, a Vakrāṅga (‘one with crooked limbs’) of red complexion, terrible in appearance and resembling a burning coal, was born from my body. He was kept on the ground by me. He became well-known as Bhūmiputra (‘Son of Earth’).

As soon as that terrible son of huge body was born, the earth trembled and the Devas including Vāsava became afraid. The seas became agitated. The mountains shook. Everyone including Devas, Asuras and human beings was afflicted by him. The sages Vālakhilyas and the Devas with Indra as their leader went to Brahmaloka keeping Bṛhaspati in front, O my beloved. Gasping for their breath they bowed down to Pitāmaha and told him the news in detail regarding the destruction of the three worlds: “The three worlds have been assailed, afflicted and swallowed by the being originating from the body of Hara. He has done it immediately after the birth.”

8-15. On hearing their words, Brahmā, the grandfather of the worlds, deliberated on everything with them and then came near me along with them. All of them were asked by me: “Why are all of you so very frightened with hearts palpitating? Why do you pant for breath? Why are you distressed? Whence has fear overtaken you?” O goddess, everything was reported by those frightened ones to me: “O Lord of the Cosmos, the whole world including Devas, Asuras and mortal ones has been afflicted and swallowed by the being born of your limbs.” On hearing their words (the son) was summoned by me with consideration for their welfare. He told me thus: “O Lord, O most excellent one among eloquent ones, may the command be given. What shall I do?” I said: “I have repeatedly told you not to down (overpower) the universe. You are born of my limbs through the Rajas quality. Hence you are called Aṅgāraka. For the perpetual happiness and welfare of the worlds, you have been created as Maṅgala (‘Auspicious’) by me. Now you have become crooked. So you are sung about as Vakra by the scholars.” When my speech was heard by him, he spoke thus: “O Lord, how can there be satisfaction without the intake of food? Hence give me an excellent spot; give me lordship. Give me power quickly. Give me food, O Lord.”

16-27. On hearing his words I thought thus: ‘This is my pet son. Hence I shall grant him excellent and everlasting spot in the excellent Mahākālavana.’ After thinking thus, I remembered that excellent spot. I placed the son on my lap and said lovingly and repeatedly: “Dear son, the spot in the excellent Mahākālavana, to the east of Gaṅgeśvara, has been granted to you as a praiseworthy excellent spot. The confluence of Khagartā and Śiprā is there. When Gaṅgā was held by me, she had slipped down by mistake from the lunar zone and had fallen on the earth in the excellent Mahākālavana. After slipping down from the firmament, she fell on the earth. She became well-known as Khagartā. Hence promptly I had my incarnation there. Dear son, I stand there in the form of a Liṅga and am adored by the Suras. The place is inaccessible even to the Devas. Hence go there quickly. On being adored by you there in the confluence worshipped by the worlds, I shall become well-known in all three worlds after your name. In the midst of all the Planets the overlordship has been granted to you by me. It is your third spot There you will be satisfied. Well-established in the middle of the Planets, you will get the adoration. A lunar day, the fourth one, is also granted to you. Undoubtedly you will have full satisfaction through the holy rites (adoration rites) for averting evil etc. along with the requisite monetary gifts and the like, which people ardent to perform the Vrata may carry out on your behalf. One day of the week (Tuesday) is also granted by me for the purpose of auspiciousness. If people wear new clothes, begin their study or take oil bath on your day (Tuesday), they will never attain power.”

28-35. On being told thus by me, my son well-known as Vakrāṅga, Maṅgala and Aṅgāraka accepted everything, saying, “So be it.” Satisfied with that statement of mine, O lady of excellent countenance, he came joyously to the excellent Mahākālavana, on the beautiful banks of Śiprā near the confluence of Khagartā. I was seen by him in the form of the Liṅga and he attained great satisfaction. He was lovingly embraced and kissed on the head, O my beloved. O lady of wide eyes, a boon was granted: “You will obtain what is desired. I was seen, dear son, and devoutly propitiated by you. Hence, O Maṅgala, I am pleased because you have carried out my suggestion. From today, dear son, I will undoubtedly become well-known by the name Aṅgāreśvara in all the three worlds. There will be no return unto the earth in the case of those persons who visit me established always in the confluence here. Those men who perfectly worship me on the day of Aṅgāraka (i.e. Tuesday) in Kali Yuga will undoubtedly be blessed.

36. The men of excellent Vratas who visit me when the fourth lunar day coincides with Tuesday will never suffer from worldly existence which is terrible and full of hundreds of miseries.”

37-38. O goddess, listen to the meritorious benefit accrued to those persons who, when the new-moon day coincides with Tuesday, take their holy bath in the confluence of Khagartā and Śiprā, a confluence adorable to Devas, and visit me installed here (Mahākālavana) itself.

39. They will get more benefit—the benefit said to accrue from Vārāṇasī, Gayā, Prayāga, Kurukṣetra and Puṣkara.

40. Thus the sin-destroying power of Aṅgāreśvara Deva has been recounted to you, O goddess. Listen to (the story of) Uttareśvara.

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