by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Nupureshvara (nupura-ishvara-linga) which is chapter 47 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-seventh chapter of the Caturashiti-linga-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Śrī Devadeva said:
1-7. Know the Liṅga named Nūpureśvara as the forty-seventh deity. Merely by seeing this all Siddhis are attained.
Formerly in the Rāthantara Kalpa, there was a Gaṇa named Nūpura. He was always devoted to Rudra and was adorned with five Mudrās. Once he had come to Kubera’s assembly in order to witness a great festivity performed by celestial damsels. Urvaśī, the best among young damsels, with Raṃbhā, Tilottamā, Menā and others danced there with great delight. After witnessing the dance, the chief of Gaṇas, Nūpura, was afflicted by the arrows of Kama and he too danced in their midst. Tormented much by the arrows of Kama and dancing joyously, he hit Urvaśī on her breast with a bunch of flowers. On being hit with the bunch of flowers, Urvaśī became furious. She sought refuge in Lord Dhanada, the bestower of all desires.
8-17. Dhanada with the mind agitated with anger said: “Since the stage has been disrupted by you, afflicted by Kāma, so you fall down into the mortal world, O sinful person.” On account of the curse of Kubera he went to the earth and lamented due to excessive misery: “What has been done by me, a sinner!” After lamenting much, O goddess, he sought refuge in you, the great goddess, the bestower of boons. Delighted, you, the great goddess, manifested yourself to him. You said joyously to the leader of the Gaṇas, who was bowing down with devotion: “O son, go at my bidding to the splendid Mahākālavana. The Prācī (Eastern) Sarasvatī is present there in the form of a tank. To the south thereof, dear son, is the excellent Liṅga. After taking your bath in the tank, devoutly propitiate the Liṅga. That Prācī and that Lord of Devas will become well-known with your name associated with them.” On being told thus, O goddess, Nūpura went to Mahākālavana. He was directed by you, O goddess, “Go there for the sake of renown.”
On being told thus, the divine Gaṇa was pleased and he joined the palms in reverence. He saw Mahākālavana, the beautiful holy place which has been resorted to by Devas and Gandharvas. There he saw that Liṅga served by Suras and Gandharvas.
18-25. Prācī Sarasvatī was present there in the form of a tank. After taking his bath therein, Nūpura worshipped the Lord. The Deva became pleased and spoke to Nūpura: “Well done, Nūpura! Welfare unto you. Attain blessedness forever. You shall become a favourite of Goddess Pārvatī and Śaṅkara.” O my beloved, Nūpura was told thus by that Liṅga. In an instant he became like the rising sun with the lustre like that of fire. He became a mass of splendour, too dazzling to be viewed by the Devas.
On seeing such a power, O lady of excellent countenance, the Devas said: “Oh! What a greatness of the Liṅga! It is seen as a wonderful miracle on the earth.”
By seeing it, Nūpura attained the desired Siddhi. Hence the deity from then onwards became well-known on the earth by the name Nūpureśvara. He is the bestower of all desires. Those who take bath in the tank and visit the deity with concentration and mental purity, go to the great region of Nūpureśvara Rudra. Those who adore it with devotional fervour reside joyously there until the annihilation of all the living beings.
26-30. When Nūpureśvara is adored, different kinds of miseries of birth, death, old age and ailment become dissolved immediately. That tank is on a par with Gaṅgā herself, O lady of splendid eyes. It is on a par with the confluence of Yamunā with Vitastā, O lady of excellent Vratas. Know that this is on a par with Prayāga, O Daughter of the King of Mountains. So also, O goddess, it is on a par with Soma Tīrtha destructive of all sins. By taking his holy dip there, O goddess, a man obtains the benefit of Vājapeya. He who takes his holy bath here on the eighth lunar day in the dark half and worships Nūpureśvara redeems a hundred generations of the families of his mother and father.
Thus, O goddess, the sin-destroying power of Nūpureśvara Deva is recounted to you. Let Abhayeśvara be listened to.
Footnotes and references:
This confirms the traditional theory of the ancient Yamunā flowing westward before it turned its course to the east and joined Gaṅgā.