The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 1,763,776 words

This page describes Glorification of Narmada which is chapter 18 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 eighteenth chapter of the Reva-khanda of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 18 - Glorification of Narmadā

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

1-7. When the world was completely burnt by the Suns originating from Īśvara, with the seven oceans rendered dry along with (the burning of) the seven continents, huge clouds issued forth from his mouth. When the world was dried up by the Suns and burnt down by Kālāgni, clouds issued forth from the mouth of Śaṅkara. Terrible clouds having features comparable to the weapon of Indra (i.e. Rainbow), urged by the most excellent Īśāna made the universe completely dark. Some of the clouds had the lustre of a blue lotus; somewhere they had the lustre of collyrium; some resembled cow’s milk, Kunda flower and the moon; others resembled the eyelets on the feathers of a peacock; and some had the lustre of smokeless fire. Some clouds had the forms resembling great mountains; some could be compared to shoals of great fishes; some had excellent forms of huge elephants; and some clouds resembled great peaks. Some were similar in form to the moving waves and billows; some were akin to the domes in a big city; some resembled great towers and ornamental gateways; others appeared to be adorned at the extremities by comets, firebrands and thunderbolts characterized by lightning streaks. A Gaṇa of Rudra named Saṃvartaka got his limbs concealed. The Lord showered limitlessly and made the universe one vast expanse of water.

Utterly terrified and flooded with the currents of the waters of Gaṅgā, I dared not look at Īśāna increasing in size along with the great clouds and having limbs covered with Indra’s thunderbolt.

8-13. Devouring the burning universe all round repeatedly, the elephants (clouds resembling them) covered the ground completely. They filled the universe (with waters), and vanished all of them.

The seven great oceans, the lakes, the continents, all the rivers, Bhūḥ and Bhuvaḥ were filled with waves and waves of waters. Everything became a vast expanse of waters.

In the entire range of mobile and immobile beings, devoid of fire, the Moon and the Sun, in the darkness caused by the disappearance of the stars, when all the winds subsided into a calm atmosphere, nothing was visible.

O king, then, in that vast expanse of water I eulogized him (the Lord) with the purity of mind retained. Thereafter, I thought thus: ‘In whom shall I seek a quiescent refuge?’

I then remembered the Lord within my heart. Remaining within the water, I thought of the Lord as worthy of seeking refuge in I bowed down to him, sought refuge in him and then I meditated upon him. After meditation, I forded the watery expanse, with his favour, never losing sense and fortitude. O son of a great man, due to the favour of the goddess, fatigue and anguish disappeared from me.

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