The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Durddharsheshvara (durddharsha-ishvara-linga) which is chapter 70 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 seventieth chapter of the Caturashiti-linga-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 70 - Durddharṣeśvara (durddharṣa-īśvara-liṅga)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Īśvara said:

1. Listen to (the greatness of) the Durddharṣeśvara Liṅga, the seventieth deity. Merely by seeing it, O goddess, a man is rid of sins.

2-9. Formerly in the realm of Nepāla, there was a king named Durddharṣa. Meritorious deeds constituted his emblem. He was renowned, truthful and steadfast in his vows. He had three wives, all extremely befitting him and extremely charming.

Once during spring season the king was sporting in a park at the outskirts of a forest. He was so enamoured of the deer he wanted to pursue that he was carried off by the horse as speedy as wind and arrived at a forest abounding in beautiful trees. It consisted of many animals such as lordly elephants, deer, tigers, lions, Sāṃbaras, bears, monkeys, boars, rhinoceros etc.

In the forest he saw a large lake full of water as clear as mirror. Aquatic birds such as swans, Kāraṇḍavas and Cakravākas (ruddy geese) and lotuses made it appear splendid. Groves of plantain trees adorned it. The water thereof had turned reddish yellow with the saffron (washed) off the breasts of the bevy of Siddha women taking their bath there.

There itself he saw a girl who appeared like the sylvan deity (of that forest). On seeing the girl of exquisite limbs, he was afflicted by Manmatha (god of Love). Being struck with wonder instantly he stood motionless as though painted in a picture. Like a female serpent attracted with Mantra, she went to the vicinity of the king.

10-20. She spoke to the king who was on a par with a crore of Kandarpas and was taking rest: “O great king, know me to be the daughter of Kalpa, favourite to him like his very life. Kalpa is a quiescent sage of perpetual (life-long) celibacy. May the Brāhmaṇa be requested for my sake. He will give me to you.”

On hearing these words of the girl, the king became excited due to love. Shamelessly he made importunate appeals to her in the secluded spot: “O lady of excellent eyebrows, my death is imminent in case I am to be without you. When the life is at stake who will wait to ponder over what is proper to be done and what should not be done. It indicates deficiency of intellect, if the nectar that one comes across is discarded. Who knows what will befall one in the other world? Resort to me, O lady of blemishless limbs. If you do not allow me to sip the nectar from your lips, understand, O my beloved, that I am no better than dead. If I myself forcibly sip it, understand that I will be transported unto the other world.”

On hearing this, the dismayed maiden spoke politely: “If I slip down and my virginity is lost, my father’s family will fall, nay, all that belongs to us will fall. Hence this must be considered carefully. If, O king, your love unto me is intense, let the Brāhmaṇa be requested for my hand. He will certainly give me to you.”

On hearing her words the king thought that there was no other alternative. He understood that she was the daughter of the Brāhmaṇa Kalpa, the celibate. He went unto his penance-grove and the eminent sage joyously gave the moon-faced girl to him.

21-31. The king under the control of the god of Love united with her there itself. He sported with her in loving contact with her. He did not care to remember anything concerning his city. The king enjoyed the new bride among the groves of banana trees, among the beautiful rows of sylvan trees, and the thickly grown mango-parks. The clever king had charming intercourse with the excessively pretty young girl.

O lady of excellent countenance, even as Durddharṣa continued thus, a highly terrible and unassailable Rākṣasa came there. He was blazing in his hideous form with terrible curved fangs in his mouth. Overwhelmed with infatuation, he swiftly enchanted the king and abducted the tremulous-eyed maiden endowed with beauty and youth. Seeing the maiden of exquisitely beautiful limbs thus carried off, the king well-nigh swooned due to the poison of separation. Repeatedly recollecting the splendid (very beautiful) girl he lamented with all the sense-organs utterly agitated. “Alas, my beloved one! Oh nectar of love! Lovely lake of the elixir of affection! Oh lady of wide, large eyes! Oh beautiful lady, where have you gone, leaving me alone? When shall I see again your delightful moon-like countenance?” Thus he lamented remembering the maiden of charming smiles. Disturbed by the god of Love, he roamed here and there like an insane person.

Even as King Durddharṣa wailed in grief, Kalpa, the excellent Brāhmaṇa, came to that spot and saw the king wandering there like a black bee. Realizing that it was his son-in-law, he consoled him thoroughly and spoke these words: “Come on, O eminent king, Durddharṣa. The way of Karma is inscrutable. O king, where has your realm Nepāla gone? Where have your lovely three queens of exalted nobility gone? Where has your kingdom gone? Where has my daughter gone? Everything in the world is perishable. It is comparable to the Gandharva city (city-like formation in the sky); the life is transient, O king; the kingdom too is evanescent like a water bubble.”

32-43. Thus consoled repeatedly by Kalpa, the king continued to be afflicted by the god of Love and went on recollecting that maiden of exquisitely beautiful limbs. “O holy Sir, tell me specifically, if you have compassion for me. How can I regain my kingdom? How can our friends return to us? O Brāhmaṇa, how will I meet again on this earth my three wives endowed with the nectar of beauty and charm? O excellent Brāhmaṇa, how will the reunion of your daughter with me take place?”

On hearing his words, O lady of excellent countenance, the Brāhmaṇa said: “O king, go to Nepāla and then to Mahākāla. In that excellent Tīrtha, there is a Liṅga that accomplishes all tasks. It is there that Sūrya performed a very difficult penance on the meritorious beautiful banks of Śiprā to the west of Brahmeśvara. Merely by visiting it, you can realize your desire.”

On hearing the words of Kalpa, the excellent king hurriedly went to Nepāla and consoled his friends. Thereafter, accompanied by the member of the Antaḥpura and attendants he went to Mahākālavana which is the permanent resort for all Siddhis and a place of glory and prosperity. He took his bath in the meritorious waters of Śiprā that yielded Siddhi immediately and visited the Liṅga propitiated by Sūrya. He worshipped it with jewels, divine garments and excellent ornaments. The worship of the Liṅga was performed with sweetsmelling camphor, pearls of excellent lustre and. continuous flow of water also. Eulogizing it with different kinds of prayers, he devoutly danced in front of it. In the shrine he heard a song that was like nectar unto his ears. On hearing the music, he was actuated by curiosity and looking up he saw his charming beloved endowed with the maximum degree of womanly beauty.

44-51. On seeing her, he became wonder-struck as evidenced by his beaming eyes. The mere sight of that lady made him agitated through love. He thought: ‘This is my wife whom I am able to see with the favour of the deity. The lady too, the very lotus-pond of physical beauty, experienced horripilation on her breast on seeing the king, the royal swan as it were. In the meantime, O goddess, a voice issued forth from the Liṅga: “This is the dear and darling daughter of Viśvāvasu, the Lord of the Siddhas. She was brought up carefully by Kalpa for your sake, O excellent king. I brought this wife of yours after killing that Rākṣasa leader. Accept her now given unto you. Enjoy the kingdom devoid of thorns.”

On being told thus and having regained his beloved wife by the power of the Liṅga, the king went away along with the members of his Antaḥpura and the royal attendants. Ever since then, this deity is named Durddharṣeśvara because it was propitiated by the great king, the noble-souled Durddharṣa

He is well-known in all the three worlds as the bestower of desired benefit. O lady of wide large eyes, those who view the deity named Durddharṣeśvara become invincible to enemies in battle.

52-59. O goddess, those who go to that deity and worship Durddharṣeśvara Liṅga on the solar transit days, Sundays and during solar or lunar eclipse go to my excellent region by means of an aerial chariot.

By visiting Durddharṣeśvara, even a sinful person, one engaged in evil actions, becomes immediately rid of the sins.

By seeing, touching and uttering the name, even a thousand sins of Brāhmaṇa-slaughter perish at the very moment.

An ungrateful wretch, a censurer, the wicked, a sinner and a man with evil intention, a thief, a man enamoured of other men’s wives, a Brāhmaṇa-slayer, a defiler of the preceptor’s bed—all these are rid of all sins by visiting Durddharṣeśvara.

If in the course of the solar transit, during the equinox, on auspicious days and on Mondays, people visit Durḍdharṣa after bathing in the auspicious waters of Śiprā, undoubtedly the merit is three times that accruing from (the bath in) Gaṅgā.

Whatever gift is made over there becomes infinite, the Pitṛs are pleased with him and the Ātmā is delighted. For a thousand crores of Kalpas he shall stay in my city duly honoured. When he goes back to the earth, he shall become a king.

He will never be assailed by the hosts of his enemies. He will attain everlasting benefit, the region that is worthy of being revered by Devas and from which there is no return.

60. Thus, O goddess, the sin-destroying power of Durddharṣeśvara Deva has been recounted to you. Henceforth listen to that of Prayāgeśa.

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