The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Glorification of Meghanada Tirtha which is chapter 35 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 thirty-fifth chapter of the Reva-khanda of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 35 - Glorification of Meghanāda Tīrtha

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

1-7. What is the reason for which Mahādeva stands in the middle of water, O excellent Brāhmaṇa, after avoiding the northern and southern banks?

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

This narrative, O dear one, is unparalleled, meritorious and pleasing to the ears. I shall recount to you entirely what has been heard in the Purāṇas.

O highly esteemed one, in Tretā Yuga Rāvaṇa who was an enemy of Devas, conqueror of the three worlds, terrible, frightening to both Suras and Asuras, impossible of being killed by Devas, Dānavas, Gandharvas, sages and ascetics, was going around the earth by means of his aerial chariot.

At that time, a haughty Dānava named Maya staying within a cave was performing penance in the middle of the Vindhya range of mountains. The Rākṣasa (i.e. Rāvaṇa) approached him humbly on the ground. He was adored and honoured with reverence, Dānas etc. (Rāvaṇa) asked: “To whom does this girl with eyes resembling lotus petals and countenance like the full moon belong? What is her name? O Sir, why does she perform the severe penance?”

Maya said:

8-11. I am the excellent Lord of Dānavas and am called Maya. The name of my wife is Tejovatī. Her splendid daughter is well known as Manḍoḍarī. She is engaged in penance for the sake of a husband and hence she is adoring the splendid Husband of Umā.

On hearing those words Rāvaṇa who had been deluded due to arrogance, became humble and spoke to Maya:

“I am born of the family of Pulastya. I have humiliated the pride of Devas and Dānavas, O highly esteemed one. I request you. It behoves you to offer your daughter.”

12-16. After realizing his connexion with Pitāmaha (Brahmā) the noble-souled Maya honoured Rāvaṇa duly and offered his daughter. The Rākṣasa was duly honoured by the night-stalkers (i.e. demons). He took her in an aerial chariot and began to sport about in the celestial garden with her.

After some time, O descendant of Bharata, Rāvaṇa who could make people cry, begot a son and became the most excellent one among those who had sons.

Even as he was born, the child of huge body gave out a loud cry (sound) like that of the Saṃvartaka cloud, whereby the worlds became benumbed. After hearing that terrible roar, Brahmā, the grandfather of the worlds, named him Meghanāda.

17-25. Having been named thus he took up a great Vrata and propitiated Śaṅkara, the Lord of Devas, along with Umā. He made his body lean through Vrata, Niyama, Dāna, observances, Homa, Japa in accordance with the injunctions and by performing Kṛcchra and Cāndrāyaṇa. On a certain day he went to Mountain Kailāsa, took up two Liṅgas and proceeded towards the South. After coming to the banks of Narmadā, the mighty Danava became desirous of taking a holy bath. He placed the Liṅgas down and performed Japa and adored the Lord, O king. The night-stalker became contented by the stay in the shrine, holy ablution and Homa in the fire. When he wished to go back to Laṅkā, O excellent king, he took up one of the Liṅgas with his left hand and the other one with the other hand with due devotion. By the time the son of Rāvaṇa could take up the Mahāliṅga it fell down in, the waters of Narmadā. He uttered “Go, Go” and installed it in the middle of the water. After bowing down to Lord Parameṣṭhin, the son of Rāvaṇa went away by the aerial path duly honoured by the demons. Ever since then the Tīrtha became well known as Meghanāda.

26-31. The roar had been heard before and it was the cause of the destruction of all sins, O great king. One who takes his holy bath in that Tīrtha well-known as Garjana and stays there for a day and a night shall obtain the merit of performing a horse-sacrifice.

If a person performs the rite of offering balls of rice in that Tīrtha, O king, there is no doubt about this that the merit that accrues from a Sattrayajña [Satrayajña?] will accrue to him. He has propitiated the Piṭrs for twelve years. If a person feeds a Brāhmaṇa with the food of all six tastes, O descendant of Bharata, at that Tīrtha, O excellent one among men, the devotee obtains everlasting merit.

He who brings his life to an end with a purified soul shall stay in Śaṅkara’s world until the destruction of all living beings.

Thus, O tiger among men, the excellent origin of Garjana Tīrtha has been recounted to you due to ties of affection. It causes the destruction of all sins.

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