The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Sthavareshvara (sthavara-ishvara-linga) which is chapter 50 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 fiftieth chapter of the Caturashiti-linga-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 50 - Sthāvareśvara (sthāvara-īśvara-liṅga)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: This Liṇga protects persons from the evil effects of the Planets Śani and others; inter alia, the story of Śani’s birth and the havoc caused by him are described. Sthāvara is a name of Saturn (v 24) from which the Liṅga got the designation Sthāvareśvara (v 33).

Śrī Mahādeva said:

1-7. Listen carefully, O goddess, to (the story of) the fiftieth deity. By merely seeing him, one can avert the evil effects of Planets.

The wife of Ravi (Sun-god) was named Saṃjñā. She was daughter of Viśvakarman. Saṃjñā could not endure the fiery brilliance of her husband. So once she created her own image by means of her power. Chāyā, the image, was told thus: “Stay respectfully in the vicinity of the Sun. My departure should not be revealed to Ravi even if you were asked about it.” After saying thus, Saṃjñā went to the abode of her father.

Thinking the second wife to be Saṃjñā herself, Divaspati (Sun) begot of her the son named Śanaiścara. At his birth all the Devas, Asuras and human beings became afraid. Immediately after the birth, he overpowered the three worlds consisting of mobile and immobile beings. Indra too was frightened and he sought refuge in Brahmā and recounted to him the doings of the son of the Sun-god in words choked (with emotion). “The Rohiṇī zone was split and stellar sphere was pervaded. The three worlds were overpowered by the son of Ravi immediately after the birth.”

8-14. On hearing the words of Vāsava, Brahmā, the grandfather of the worlds, quickly summoned Sūrya and spoke these words: “O Bhānu (Sun), let the decorum be maintained. Let (your) bosom-born son be curbed. He has overpowered the three worlds Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ etc.”

On hearing the words of Brahmā, Ravi said: “My son of this nature is intractable. Restrain him yourself. See, my feet have been burnt sportingly by him through the eyes alone.”

Brahmā too was frightened and he mentally approached Hari. Hari came to know of the words of the Sun and came on the scene in a trice. On hearing the words of Brahmā, Kṛṣṇa became afraid and said, “Let us go where Maheśvara, the Lord of Devas, is present.”At the instance of Kṛṣṇa all of them came near roe. O Pārvatī, the full details of Ravi’s son were recounted to me.

On being remembered by me, the son of the Sun-god came to me instantly.

15-22. His eyes were directed below, when I saw him. He was black in complexion and crooked in limbs. He steadied himself, bowed down and told me slowly: “O Lord, why have I been remembered? O Śaṅkara, command me. I shall abide by your command. What shall I do? Direct me duly.” I was thus told by the son of Ravi, O Pārvatī.

He was restrained by me: “Do not harass the three worlds too much.” He said: “Grant me food and drink as well as a place to rest in.” O lady of wide eyes, an excellent place was granted by me for his honour: “Be stationed in Meṣa (Aries) and other signs of zodiac and trouble human beings for thirty months in due order. O dear one, therein you will be contented and pleased. You will always be antagonistic when stationed in the first, second, fourth, eighth or twelfth house in the horoscope. You will be beneficial to people, when stationed in the third, sixth or eleventh house. Hence you will be adored. But when stationed in the fifth, seventh or ninth house you will be neutral. Thus while men are engaged in their Karmas, you shall be in the different Rāśis (in the zodiac).

23-33. You will be getting plenty of adoration, much more than what the other Planets get. Your movement will be steady and slow and your boon excellent. Hence your name on the earth will be Sthāvara. Stationed in the zodiac, you will be moving slowly because you are bigger than any of the other Planets. Hence your name on the earth will be Śanaiścara (‘Slow-mover’) always. Your shape will be like that of the cheek of an elephant. In colour you will be like my throat. Hence your name on the earth will be Asita (‘Black’). Among the Planets your visions will be directed downwards and the movement will be slow. When pleased, you will bestow a kingdom. When angry, you will take away everything instantly. Devas, Asuras, human beings, Siddhas, Vidyādharas and Serpents will be destroyed on being struck by your cruel glance; not otherwise. With your favour, they will attain their desired things even if difficult to be obtained. I shall give you another spot also, secret and charming. It will bring about what is desired. It is meritorious and inaccessible unto Devas and Dānavas. The great Mahākālavana is declared as indestructible even at the time of Pralaya. Go there, at my bidding. To the west of Pṛthukeśvara there is a Liṅga. It will be known after your name. Your fame will certainly spread all over the three worlds.”

On being told thus, O goddess, Sthāvara (Saturn), obeying my command, went quickly to the splendid and auspicious Mahākālavana. There itself he saw my Liṅga and attained the excellent position. That Liṅga is well-known in the universe by the name Sthāvareśvara.

34-43. Śani (Saturn) said: “Harassment from me will never affect those people who devoutly visit the Liṅga that has been adored by me and that has become well-known as Sthāvareśvara. On my day (Saturday), if a devotee visits the Liṅga invariably, I will undoubtedly suppress all his adversities. I will burn out (destroy) the torment of other malefic Planets too. Even in dream he need not be afraid of me. When I am favourably disposed, neither the Planets, nor Vampires, neither Yakṣas nor Rākṣasas create any obstacles for him. There is no doubt about this. On the days of transit of the Sun, on Saturdays, when there is Vyatīpāta (an astronomical combination), men should devoutly visit Sthāvareśvara Liṅga. Their stay in heaven will be steady and everlasting.

If men regularly visit the deity on Saturdays, they will have neither sins nor calamities arising from sins. They will never face poverty or separation from beloved people. To one who longs for a son, I grant the benefit of a son. I bestow wealth on a poor man, freedom from fear on one distressed with fear, heavenly pleasures on one who wishes for it.”

After saying thus, Śanaiścara worshipped the Liṅga once again. After adoring with splendid flowers, he stationed himself there alone devoutly.

Thus, O goddess, the sin-destroying power of Sthāvareśvara Deva has been recounted to you. Listen to (that of) Śūleśvara.

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