The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Vireshvara (vira-ishvara-linga) which is chapter 46 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-sixth chapter of the Caturashiti-linga-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 46 - Vīreśvara (vīra-īśvara-liṅga)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: The story tries to synthesize Vaiṣṇavism and Śaivism. Young king Amitrajit was an ardent devotee of Viṣṇu. Nārada reports to him the abduction of princess Malayagandhinī by demon Kaṅkālaketu. The demon was invincible by the divine gift of Triśūla. He decided to rnarry that Vidyādhara princess but as per advice and guidance of Nārada Amitrajit reaches in time and takes away the Triśūla while the demon was asleep. Amitrajit kills Kaṅkālaketu and marries the Vidyādhara princess. Queen Malayagandhinī observes the Vrata of Abhīṣṭa Tṛtīyā and gets a son called Vīra. Vīra propitiated Lord Śiva at Avantī and the Liṅga came to be known as Vīreśvara.

Śrī Hara said:

1-10. O goddess, listen to the (glory of) Vīreśvara Liṅga, the forty-sixth deity. Merely by seeing it, there will certainly be the prosperity and augmentation of the family. Listen, O great goddess, to the esteemed manifestation of Vīreśa. By listening to it, the Pitṛs acquire ample merit, O Śivā.

There was a king named Amitrajit. He conquered the cities of his enemies. He was righteous, richly endowed with Sattva quality. He was eager and prompt in pleasing his subjects. He was a liberal donor and considered fame as his asset. He was sensible and intelligent and he considered Brāhmaṇas as deities. His hairs were always wet because of his Avabhṛtha Snānas (valedictory holy bath at the conclusion of a Yajña). He was disciplined and well-equipped in the knowledge of politics. He was efficient in all activities. A master of all lores, he possessed good qualities and was fond of all persons of good qualities. Sweet in speech and grateful to others, he desisted from sinful activities. Truthful in speech, he was clean and pure. Unerring in words, he mastered all the sense-organs. He was the veritable god of death in battlefield and a scholar of great learning in deliberations of the Assembly. He was aware of the proper time to indulge in dalliance with loving women. Though he was a young man, yet he liked old people. His riches and treasury were for righteous and pious rites. He had armies and vehicles in plenty. He was handsome and graceful, very highly intelligent and fond of his good subjects. He was endowed with steadiness and bravery. He was clever in selecting proper place and time. He honoured those who were honourable. He was bereft of all defects. He fixed his mind at the pair of the feet of Vāsudeva and ruled the kingdom without any rival and without being censured by anyone. He did not have any Ītis (troubles like droughts, floods, rodents, etc.).

11-22. No one dared to transgress his behests. The glorious king was engaged in devotional service to Viṣṇu. He enjoyed excellent pleasures all round well-consecrated by Viṣṇu (or like those of Viṣṇu). Adorations of Viṣṇu were loudly held in every abode everywhere in the kingdom of that glorious king, O Śivā.

The various holy names of Viṣṇu uttered by women, old men, children and cowherds were heard everywhere such as Govṛnda Gopa (‘Protector of herds of cows’), Gopāla (‘cowherd’), Gopījanamanohara (‘Captivator of the minds of the cowherdesses’), Gadāpāṇi (‘Armed with a club’), Guṇātīta (‘Transcending all attributes’), Guṇāḍhya (‘Rich in good qualities’), Garuḍadhvaja (‘Garuḍa-emblemed’), Keśihan (‘Slayer of Keśin’), Kaiṭabhārāti (‘Enemy of Kaiṭabha’), Kaṃsāri (‘Enemy or killer of Kaṃsa’), Kamalāpati (‘Consort of Lakṣmī’), Kṛṣṇa, Keśava, Kañjākṣa (‘Lotus-eyed’), Kīnāśa-bhayanāśana (‘Destroyer of the fear of Death’), Puruṣottama, Pāpāri (‘Enemy i.e. destroyer of sins’), Puṇḍarīkavilocana (‘Lotus-eyed’), Pītakauśeyavasana (‘Clad in yellow silk’), Padmanābha, Parātpara (‘Greater than the great’), Janārdana, Jagannātha, Jāhnavījalajanmabhū (‘The source of the waters of Gaṅgā’), Janmināṃjanmahāraṇa (‘Destroyer of the rebirths of living being’), Jañjapūkaughanāśana (‘Destroyer of masses of sins’), Śrīvatsavakṣas (‘Having the mark of Śrīvatsa on the chest’), Śrīkaṇṭha, Śrīkara, Śreyasāṃnidhi (‘Ocean of bliss’), Daityāri (‘Enemy of Daityas’), Dānavārāti (‘Enemy of Dānavas’), Dāmodara, Durantaka (‘Slayer of the wicked’), Devaki-hṛdyānanda (‘Delighter of the heart of Devakī’), Dandaśūkeśvareśaya (‘Lying on the couch of lord of Serpents’), Viṣṇu, Vaikuṇṭhanilaya (‘Having abode in Vaikuṇṭha’), Bāṇāri (‘Enemy of Bāṇa’) Viṣṭaraśravas, Viṣvaksena, Vibhu (‘Lord’), Vīra (‘Hero’), Vanamālin, Balipriya (‘Found [Fond?] of oblations’), Trivikrama, Trilokeśa (‘Lord of the three worlds’), Cakrapāṇi (‘Having discus in the hand’), Caturbhuja (‘Four-armed’) etc. The beautiful names of Viṣṇu were heard (in every temple and place). In every house, very beautiful parks were seen.

23-32. In every house, the wonderful stories of the doings (of the Lord) were sung. Man-made paintings were seen on the walls of the palaces. No other news except that of the stories of Hari was heard. Due to the fear of that king, deer fat with plenty of flesh were not killed by hunters. They roamed about as they pleased in forests. Due to the fear of that king neither fish, nor cranes, nor boars were killed by anyone even if he was an eater of fish and meat. Men were not sonless anywhere in the kingdom of Amitrajit.

Even the animals do not suck breast milk on the Harivāsara (i.e. Ekādaśī). On Hari’s day (i.e. Ekādaśī) they eschew eating grass and observe fast. Much more so in the case of men.

While this king was ruling the earth, a great festival was conducted by all the citizens on the Harivāsara. In the realm of King Amitrajit it was only a person devoid of devotion to Viṣṇu who was considered fit for being punished with death or fine and so he was meted out such punishment.

Even the Antyajas (low-born ones) in that kingdom bore the markings of conch and discus after being given Vaiṣṇavī Dīkṣā (Initiation in Viṣṇu cult). They were established as Dikṣitas (Initiated ones).

People were not covetous of benefits of auspicious rites they performed everyday. These acts were dedicated to Vāsudeva. Excepting Mukunda, Govinda, Paramānanda, Acyuta no other personality (or god) was bowed to, honoured and had the Japa (repeated utterance of names). To that king, Kṛṣṇa was the sole kinsman.

33-45. While the king was thus ruling the kingdom perfectly, the glorious ascetic Nārada came there one day with a desire to see him. With the offering of Madhuparka, in accordance with the injunctions, the king duly honoured Nārada. He extolled King Amitrajit thus:

Śrī Nārada said:

O king, you see Govinda in all living beings. Hence you are blessed and contented. You are worthy of being respected even by Heaven-dwellers.

It is Viṣṇu who is Vedapuruṣa. It is Hari who is Yajñapuruṣa. He is the immanent soul of this universe, the Lord who creates, protects and annihilates. O most excellent one among kings, you see the entire universe permeated by that Lord. Having seen a person like you, a bestower of auspiciousness, I have attained very great purity. He alone is the real essence of this worldly existence which is ephemeral. Veneration to the lotus-like feet of the Lover of Goddess Lakṣmī bestows everything. All the objects resort to that highly intelligent person who after abandoning everything else always worships Viṣṇu alone. He alone whose sense-organs have become steadfastly attached to Hṛṣīkeśa maintains stability in the Cosmic Egg (Brahmāṇḍa) which is very fickle. After realizing that youth, wealth and age are extremely unsteady like water on a lotus-leaf, one should always resort to Acyuta alone.

He who has Lord Janārdana present in his speech, mind and ear is the person solely to be respected as Janārdana in the form of a man.

After repeatedly meditating sincerely on the Lord of Śn, who has not attained the state of being Puruṣottama (Lord Viṣṇu, best of men) on the earth?

My senses and mind are delighted at this devotion of yours to Viṣṇu. With an intention to help you I shall tell this, O king. Kindly listen to it. A young maiden named Malayagandhinī, daughter of a Vidyādhara, was playing in the park of her father when she was abducted by Kaṅkālaketu, a powerful Dānava, son of Kapālaketu. It is reported that the marriage is to be celebrated in the coming third lunar day.

46-56. She is now in Pātāla in the city of Caṃpakāvatī. While I was returning from Hāṭakeśa, I was seen by her. With eyes filled with tears, she told me thus, after doing due obeisance; listen to it: “O celibate one, O most excellent one among sages, from the Gandhamādana Mountain where I was enamoured of some childish sport and toys, Kaṅkālaketu of wicked activities abducted me even as I was mentally shocked to the utmost. No one can slay him in battle. He will die only when he is struck with his own Śūla (trident). After causing confusion in the whole of the universe, he goes to sleep here fearlessly. If any person of right conduct kills the wicked Dānava by means of the trident given by me and takes me away, it will be a nice deed. If you have any desire to help me in this matter, save me from the wicked Dānava. Indeed an earlier boon has been granted to me by Goddess Umā: ‘A young man, a devotee of Viṣṇu, will marry you before the third lunar day.’ You become the instrumental cause and see that her statement turns out to be true. Do try.”

At the instance of that girl, O king, I have come to you, an intelligent young man devoted to Viṣṇu. So, do go ahead for the fulfilment of the task. Slay that wicked Dānava, O mighty-armed one, and bring here that splendid girl Malayagandhinī quickly. On seeing you, O Lord of men, that Vidyādhara maiden will certainly give you that trident. Undoubtedly you will kill the wicked one in accordance with the words of Pārvatī.

On hearing these words of Nārada, King Amitrajit experienced horripilation in regard to the Vidyādhara girl. Further he asked him for the means of going to Caṃpakāvatī.

57-67. Nārada further spoke to the king, O Daughter of the King of Mountains: “O king, hasten to the ocean on the full-moon day. You will see a celestial damsel seated on a divine couch in a chariot on a wish-yielding Kalpa tree set up on raft. She will be singing this Gāthā (verse) in a sweet voice to the tune of her lute: ‘If a Karma (deed) has been done by a person, auspicious or inauspicious, truly he alone will have its fruit. Fate is restricted in its action there.’ After singing this Gāthā, she will enter the middle of the ocean along with the chariot, tree and couch in an instant. You will also fearlessly follow her into the great ocean in emulation of the Yajñavarāha (Lord Viṣṇu in the form of a boar). Thereafter, O king, you will see the city of Caṃpakāvatī in Pātāla. You will also see that the excessively charming city is occupied by that young maiden.” After saying this, O goddess, the Son of the Four-faced Lord vanished. The king went to the sea and saw everything as mentioned (by Nārada). He entered the sea and reached that city. The Vidyādhara maiden was also seen by that king like the sole paragon of the glorious beauty of the three worlds. On seeing her, the king thought: ‘Is this the deity of Pātāla or a special creation of the creator evolved solely for delighting my eyes? Or is this the lustre of the moon that has taken the form of a maiden to stay here fearlessly away from the frightening Rāhu and Kuhū (Amāvāsyā)!’ After thinking thus for a moment the king approached her.

68-77. She looked at the young man of extremely beautiful features. A Tulasī garland was hanging loose on his broad chest. He shone with a beautiful pair of arms marked with conch and discus. The row of his teeth appeared to be washed bright by the nectar of the syllables constituting the names of Hari. He seemed like a tree coming out of the seed of devotion to Bhavānī, in the form of a man. She frequently made her eyes sad by opening them wide to know as to which house has been adorned by that young man.

Then the Vidyādhara maiden told him thus: “Kaṅkālaketu of wicked deeds cannot be killed by other weapons (or by weapons of other people). Stay concealed in the hiding place of the armoury here. Due to my ability as well as the boon granted by Caṇḍikā, my vow of virginity has not been violated. That evil-minded Dānava wishes to celebrate the marriage day after tomorrow on the coming third lunar day. Due to my curse his days have become numbered. O young man, do not be afraid of him. Your task will be carried out ere long.” On being told thus by the Vidyādhara maiden that mighty-armed hero stayed concealed in the armoury waiting for the arrival of the Dānava.

Afterwards in the evening that Dānava of terrible features came there wielding the trident in his hand. The trident appeared to strike terror even unto the god of death.

After coming, the terrible Dānava, with his eyes rolling through inebriation, spoke to the Vidyādharī in a voice as loud as the thundering sound of clouds at the time of Pralaya:

78-89. “O lady of excellent complexion, take these divinely exquisite jewels. You are the bride. Your wedding takes place the day after tomorrow. O beautiful lady, in the morning I shall give you ten thousand slave girls of Asura, Sura and Dānava classes or the Gandharva and Kṛnnara clans as your constant attendants. The following shall be your personal servants, O lady of pure intentions: six hundred each of Vidyādhārīs, Nāgīs and Yakṣīs, eight hundred Rākṣasīs and a hundred excellent celestial damsels. As soon as you become my wife you shall become the mistress of as much of riches and assets as there are in the abodes of the Guardians of Quarters. By becoming my wife, you will enjoy divine pleasures along with me. When will this day-after-tomorrow arrive when the rites of matrimony will be performed? Its sweetness shall become highly enhanced by the pleasure of the touch of your limbs. I will get the maximum bliss if this day-after-tomorrow comes still closer. On the day-after-tomorrow, due to your close contact, I will be able to fulfil the cherished desires that have been increasingly accumulating in my heart. I will conquer all the Devas beginning with Indra, O fawn-eyed maiden, in battle and will make you the owner of the riches and glorious overlordship of all the three worlds.”

After prattling thus, that demon who had become satiated and maddened by the taste of human flesh, went to sleep without the least flurry after having carefully placed the trident on his lap.

Remembering the boon granted by Gaurī and noting that the intoxicated demon had gone to sleep, the Vidyādhara maiden called the fearless excellent man, handsome in all the limbs, who, she was convinced, had been protected by his devotion to Viṣṇu. Addressing him as “Lord of my vital breath,” the beautiful lady gave him the trident which she had taken away from the lap of the Dānava.

90-97. Then King Amitrajit took up the trident. Mentally remembering the discus-bearing Hari, the protective jewel of the universe, he shouted: “Get up, you wicked one desirous of violating the virginity of a maiden. Fight with me. I do not kill a sleeping enemy.” On hearing this, the demon approached shouting, “To whom has the god of Death become visible? Who has been forsaken by Āyus (the life span) and has come well within the range of my vision? O beautiful lady, this man will be as delicate as a garland of flowers, only fit to remove the itching sensation from my fierce, robust arms. Do not be afraid. What will the trident do? This fellow will constitute my food now sent as a present by the god of death himself, who is afraid of me.”

After saying thus, he struck the king in his chest as hard as rock, with his fist. The hard-chested king protected by the Discus-bearing Lord, did not feel even the slightest pain. It was the hand of the demon that felt the acute pain. The angry king slapped him in the face. The demon’s head reeled dizzily and he fell down on the ground. Getting up once again, the highly powerful demon mustered his courage and spoke these words:

The Dānava said:

98-108. I know the truth now. You are a man, the Four-armed Lord himself in the form of a man, O Dānavāntaka (‘slayer of the Dānavas’). You have made use of a Vulnerable point in order to kill me. If you are Lord Madhubhid (‘Slayer of Madhu’) of this sort, if you are powerful, then, set aside this great trident and fight with me using only your own weapons. Kaiṭabha and others were not killed in battle by you using your strength. Not by your strength, they were killed only deceitfully. Adopting the form of a human dwarf you made Bali go to Pātāla. In the form of a Man-lion you killed Hiraṇyakaśipu. In the form of a man with matted hairs, you struck down the Lord of Laṅkā. Kaṃsa and others were slain by you in the guise of a cowherd. You deceived the Asuras by becoming a woman and took away the nectar (from them). Śaṅkha and others were killed by you in the form of an aquatic being. O Mādhava conversant with the vulnerable points of everyone, innumerable persons have been killed by you, the employer of Māyā (deception). I do not fear you today. Embodied beings are likely to fall (dead) all of a sudden. Death by means of deceit or physical force is the boon I seek from you. If you do not set aside the trident, I will not fight with you. Certainly I have to die in the morning by virtue of being an embodied being. This Vidyādhara maiden has not been defiled by me. She is chaste. She should be considered as Goddess Lakṣmī in a visible form. She has been preserved by me for you.”

After saying this, the Dānava hit him hard with his brawny left arm that could smash even rocky boulders. In that fight, the king endured it and steadied himself. Then quickly he hit the cruel (demon) in his chest with the trident.

109-119. At that thrust, the mighty demon died instantly. Weighing (wielding) the trident in his hand he scrutinized the demon’s face. Even as the mighty-armed king was observing, he (the demon) cast off his life in a moment. After killing Kaṅkālaketu, the frightener of Suras, with his hair standing on end due to joy, he (the Prince) spoke to the Vidyādhara maiden who was watching: “O lady of excellent hips, your desire has been fulfilled by me at the instance of Sage Nāraḍa. O lady who are aware of what has been done, tell me what more I shall do now”

On hearing his words she said serious-mindedly:

Malayagandhinī said:

What is it that you ask me, a youthful virgin for whom you staked your life? I belong to a noble family and I have not been defiled.

Even as the maiden was saying thus, Sage Nāraḍa who habitually roamed about freely and whose arrival was unexpected, came there from the heavenly world. On seeing that excellent sage, they made obeisance and eulogized him. The sage blessed them and they were united in wedlock duly in accordance with his earlier promise. After the auspicious rites were over, they proceeded along the path pointed out by Nārada.

Accompanied by Malayagandhinī, King Amitrajit went to Ujjayinī where the citizens performed all the rites for their due reception. By merely seeing this city a man averts the possibility of falling into hell. That highly intelligent king entered that city to which Indra and others have no access. The king entered that victorious city which conquers salvation (i.e., enables one to attain salvation).

120-124. The Vidyādhara maiden also saw the prosperous city of Avantī from afar. She was so impressed that she condemned even Svargaloka and the city in Pātāla. Oh! In fact, that lady was not so much delighted after getting Amitrajit as her husband as she was delighted on seeing Avantī that bestows great bliss. That lofty-minded lady considered herself as one who had successfully realized all her desires. Along with her husband, she attained the greatest pleasure in Ujjayinī. After getting Malayagandhinī as his wife, Amitrajit engaged in love (making) with due deference to Dharma and hence attained excellent happiness. The beautiful lady said once to her husband devoted to the adoration of Viṣṇu:

The Queen said:

125-131. O king, I will observe a great Vrata on the Abhīṣṭa Tṛtīyā (third lunar day).

The King said:

O queen, of what nature is the Vrata on the Abhīṣṭa Tṛtīyā? Tell me.

On being asked thus by the king, the queen began to explain how the Vrata was to be performed and the rules of procedure regarding it.

The Queen said:

Formerly this Vrata was explained and imparted to Goddess Lakṣmī by the celestial sage (Nārada). All her desires regarding heavenly pleasures and salvation were realized by her. On the third lunar day in the month of Mārgaśīrṣa, on a Kalaśa (pitcher) a copper pot filled with raw rice-grains should be placed. It should be new and without cracks and holes. A new cloth without slit must cover the pot. It should be of very super-fine texture and yellow-coloured. A lotus blooming well in the rays of the sun should be placed thereon for the sake of auspiciousness. On its pericarp Vidhi [Idol of Brahmā(?)] made of four gold coins should be worshipped with red garlands, clothes etc., and adored with sweet-smelling flowers, camphor, musk etc. The devotee should keep awake during the night, with great festivities organized by Brāhmaṇas.

132-141. A thousand Homas should be performed with great devotion. A tawny-coloured cow that has calved recently and yields plenty of milk should be gifted away. Fully bedecked and accompanied by monetary gifts it should be given to the excellent Ācārya (Preceptor). On that day the couple should observe fast as well.

In the morning on the fourth lunar day, the couple should take their holy bath and wear fresh clothes. At the outset the Ācārya is honoured with clothes, ornaments, garlands and monetary gifts. The devotee should joyously give the idol together with the accompanying articles to the Ācārya.

The following Mantra is to be recited:

“O Vidyā (Learning) conversant with the structure of the universe, performing diverse activities, grant me a son who will cause welfare. O goddess delighted due to this excellent Vrata, grant a son.”

After devoutly feeding a thousand Brāhmaṇas the devotee should have the Pāraṇā (formal ritualistic breakfast) with the food left over after their meal.

O Lord, thus the Vrata is to be performed. I wish to perform it by your permission. Kindly do me this favour for getting the desired benefit.

The request was heard by the excellent king with a delighted mind. With his permission the Vrata was performed. She became pregnant.

Gaurī who was delighted with the devotion of the pregnant queen, was requested by her thus: “O Mahāmāyā, give me a son directly born of a part of Viṣṇu, who shall go to Svarga as soon as he is born and return too therefrom. He should be an ardent devotee of Sadāśiva and famous all over the earth. Even without sucking the breasts, he should grow up in an instant to the size of a sixteen-year-old. O Gaurī, do something so that I can have such a son.” Mṛḍānī (Gaurī) who was excessively pleased with the devotion of the queen, said, “So it shall be.”

142-152. In due course, she gave birth to a son when the constellation was Mūla. Even as she was in the lying-in-chamber the ministers who were well-wishers told her: “O queen, you wish well of the king. Abandon the son born on the evil constellation.” On hearing the words of the ministers, the queen who considered her husband as a deity and who was very prudent, abandoned the son got in such a condition. The queen summoned the nurse and told thus: “In the Mahāpīṭha (great shrine) called Pañcamudra there is the Mātṛkā (Mother-goddess) named Vikaṭā. Dear nurse, place the body in front of her and say thus: ‘This child granted by Gaurī has been presented to you by the queen who wishes for the good of her husband and who has been urged by the ministers (to abandon him).’”

On hearing what was said by the queen, she placed in front of Vikaṭā the child having the lustre of the crescent moon and returned home. That goddess Vikaṭā summoned the Yoginīs and said: “Take this child soon to the group of Mothers (Mātṛgaṇa) and convey to them the behest, ‘Assiduously protect the child.’” At the bidding of Vikaṭā, the Yoginīs, who usually traversed through the sky, quickly took the child along the aerial path to the place where Brāhmī and other Mothers were present. After making due obeisance the group of Yoginīs placed the child having the splendour of the Sun before the Mothers and told them the message as wished by Vikaṭā.

The Mothers, Brahmāṇī, Vaiṣṇavī, Raudrī, Vārāhī, Nārasiṃhikā, Kaumārī, Māhendrī, Cāmuṇḍā and Caṇḍikā saw the beautiful child sent by Vikaṭā. They at once put to him the question: “O son, who is your Pramukhyaka (Chief one)?”

153-162. When he did not say anything though asked thus by the Mothers, they said to the group of Yoginīs: “O Yoginīs, this child will become one befitting the kingdom. He is marked with great features (showing royalty). He must be taken over back there itself without delay where the great goddess Pañcamudrā, the bestower of desires, is present. By serving her, men’s Glory of Salvation cannot be far off. By resorting to that Pīṭha, this child of the size of a sixteen-year-old will attain great Siddhi by the great blessings of Rudra.”

At the instance of the Mātṛs, the Yoginīs quickly took the child from the Mothers to the vicinity of Pañcamudrā. Having returned here from Svargaloka the child reached that great Pīṭha and performed severe penance in the meritorious Mahākālavana. He performed a very austere penance with steady mind and sense-organs. The Lord of Umā became pleased with the excessively severe penance of that prince. Śaṅkara appeared before him in the form of a Liṅga and said: “I am pleased, O Prince. Ask for the boon (that you wish to have).” He saw in front of him the Liṅga entirely of luminous splendour, that rose up piercing the seven Pātālas, with the intention to bless. He prostrated on the ground like a log of wood and eulogized Lord Dhūrjaṭi by means of the hymns with Rudra as the deity (which he could recall) due to the repeated practice in the previous births. He was extremely pleased and had his hairs standing up on his body, indicating his delight. He requested for a boon.

163-170. “O Mahādeva, O Lord of the Devas, if a boon has to be given to me, then Your Lordship should stay here always removing the distress of worldly existence. O Sāṃbhu stationed in this Liṅga, grant what is desired by a devotee. O Lord, even without the Mudrās etc. and Mantras, the devotees of this Liṅga mast always be blessed by you. This is the boon I seek.”

On hearing his request for the boon, the Lord in the form of the Liṅga said: “O heroic one, let it be as requested by you, the son of a devotee of Viṣṇu. O Vīra, this Liṅga in Avantī shall be named Vīreśvara after your own name. I will grant the wishes of the devotees here in Avantī. There is no doubt about this that whatever is performed here, such as Dana, Homa, Japa, eulogy and adoration, shall be of everlasting benefit to the devotees. You will attain a great kingdom difficult of attainment unto all kings. After enjoying abundant pleasures, you will attain Siddhi in the end.”

Thus the sin-destroying power of Vīreśvara Deva has been recounted to you. Listen to (the story of) Nūpureśvara.

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