The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes The Greatness of Karanjeshvara (karanja-ishvara-tirtha) which is chapter 40 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 fortieth chapter of the Reva-khanda of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 40 - The Greatness of Karañjeśvara (karañja-īśvara-tīrtha)

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said;

1-9. Therefrom a person should go to the excellent Tīrtha Karañjeśvara, O great king, where a Daitya became a Siddha and well-known in all the worlds.

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

O highly esteemed one, a person of great penance became a Siddha in that Tīrtha. Whose son was he? How and at what time did he become a Siddha? Tell me, O Brāhmaṇa.

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

Formerly in Kṛtayuga, O king, a mental son of Brahmā named Marīci was born. He was conversant with the principles of the Vedas and Vedāṅgas.

He was a storehouse of penance. He too had a mental son after a great deal of time. His mental son was like another Brahmā.

Marīci had these qualities: forbearance, self-control, compassion, munificence, truthfulness, cleanliness and straightforwardness. O descendant of Bharata, the son too had all these qualities.

On seeing Kaśyapa, the excellent Brāhmaṇa endowed with all these good qualities, Dakṣa, the Prajāpati, gave him his daughters as wives. They were Aditi, Diti, Danu and ten others. They had sons and grandsons, O eminent descendant of Bharata. Aditi gave birth to sons, the leader of whom was Indra. They were born of Kaśyapa, the Prajāpati, O mighty-armed one.

All the three great worlds including the mobile and immobile beings were pervaded by them. A highly esteemed son was born to Danu. He was named Karañja.

10-18. He was richly endowed with all good features. Even as a boy, he performed great penance after resorting to the banks of Narmadā. His penance was excellent and very severe. It continued for a thousand divine years. It consisted of Kṛcchra, Cāndrāyaṇa etc., O king.

His diet consisted of greens, roots and fruits. He regularly had holy bath and performed Homa. Mahādeva was pleased thereat and (came there) along with Umā.

The Lord, the Slayer of the Tripuras, offered him boons as he pleased: “O Karañja of great strength, I am pleased with you. O sinless one, choose a boon. I shall grant it except that of immortality.”

Karañja said:

O Mahādeva, if you are pleased, if I am to be given a boon, then let my sons and grandsons be inclined towards righteousness.

Saying “So be it” and accompanied by Umā, the bull-vehicled Mahādeva vanished there itself along with his Gaṇas.

When the Lord had vanished, the Daitya installed Mahādeva after his name and joyously went home.

Ever since then that Tīrtha became the most excellent one of all the Tīrthas. Merely by taking his holy bath there a man is rid of all sins.

19-26. He who takes his bath in that Tīrtha and propitiates Pitṛs and deities shall undoubtedly attain the merit of Agniṣṭoma Yajña.

He who abstains from food-intake there in that Tīrtha, O king, goes to Rudraloka and never returns from there. O son of Dharma, he who abandons his life in its waters or in fire, dwells in the place of Śiva for twenty thousand years. When the merit is exhausted, he is born in a pure family. He becomes conversant with the Vedas and Vedāṅgas and efficient in all Śāstras. As a king or one of royal nobility he will live for a hundred years accompanied by sons and grandsons and devoid of all ailments.

Thus whatever was asked by you, O sinless one, has been recounted regarding the benefit of the Tīrtha as well as of the Snāna and Dāna there, O descendant of Bharata.

This story is meritorious, destructive of sins and evil dreams of those who read or listen to the excellent greatness of the Tīrtha. Śaṅkara has said that the merit is everlasting if a devotee reads this at the time of Śrāddha with devotion to the Pitṛs.

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