by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes The Greatness of Kundaleshvara (kundala-ishvara-tirtha) which is chapter 41 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 forty-first chapter of the Reva-khanda of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:
1-9. From there, a person should go to the excellent Kuṇḍaleśvara Tīrtha where the great Yakṣa Kuṇḍadhāra became a Siddha, O excellent king, after performing severe penance that caused fright to Suras and Asuras. He sported about in the palace of Paulastya, O excellent king.
In which Yuga was he born? Whose son was this highly intelligent one by whom Śaṅkara was propitiated by performing severe penance? O dear one, O sinless one, tell me this in detail. I don’t feel satiated by listening to the excellent nectarine story.
Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:
Viśravas, son of Pulastya, was born in Tretā Yuga as son of Bharadvāja’s daughter. He was on a par with Brahmā. He was much satisfied by his devout wife. He begot a son, Dhanada who (later on had lots of grandchildren) and was characterized by all good features.
As soon as he was born, Brahmā, the grandfather of the worlds, came to know of it and was delighted along with the sages and the Devas. He named the boy: “As you are born of Viśravas and became my grandson, O sinless one, the name Vaiśravaṇa has been given to you. You will become the protector of the wealth of all the Devas. As the fourth guardian of quarters, you will be free from old age and death.”
He attained excellent physical form. With the permission of his parents, he went to the banks of Narmadā and performed severe penance. During summer he performed the penance in the centre of five fires; during rainy season he slept on bare ground; during Hemanta he stood in the middle of water; for a hundred years he took in only air (as food). When a hundred years were completed, he stood on a single toe, O king. Thereafter, as a mere skeleton, he raised his arms and stood thus. Kuṇḍala controlled his breath and performed the penance, O leader among the descendants of Bharata. In the fourth century of the years (of penance), the Bull-vehicled Lord became pleased (and said): “O dear one, choose a boon whatever you may wish for in your mind. I shall undoubtedly grant you the same.”
16-21. I should be invincible to all the enemies. Let me move about in the city of the Lord of Yakṣas with his favour. Let me move about as his attendant.
When the Lord vanished, the Yakṣa installed the Lord of Devas, the excellent Kuṇḍaleśvara, joyously.
After propitiating the Brāhmaṇas well with food, drink, ornaments etc., and pleasing Mahādeva he went to his abode.
Ever since then, that Tīrtha became well known in all the three worlds by the name Kuṇḍaleśvara. It is excellent and exceedingly meritorious.
22-29. Anyone who is engaged in the observance of ritualistic fast at that Tīrtha and worships Īśāna, the Lord, becomes rid of all sins.
He who offers to Brāhmaṇas gold, silver, jewels or pearls and feeds them becomes happy. He rejoices in heaven.
One may belong to the Ṛk, Yajus or Sāma Śākhā of the Veda. If one takes the holy bath in the Tīrtha and recites a Ṛk Mantra, he enjoys the entire benefit (of reciting the Veda completely). Listen, O son of Pāṇḍu, to the benefit of one who offers a cow to Brāhmaṇas. He is honoured in Svarga Loka for as many thousands of years as there are hairs in it and in its progeny. He will attain residence in Svarga in the company of his sons and grandsons. The man of great esteem shall dwell in Svarga for so many years along with sons and grandsons.
A man who offers food there, goes to the world of Maheśa and dwells there for numerous years. There is no doubt about it. He becomes happy and rejoices in Svargaloka where Gandharvas, Siddhas and Apsarās sing.
Thus, O son of Dharma and Pṛthā, the whole of the power of the Tīrtha has been recounted to you. He who listens and eulogizes is rid of all sins and again comes back to these three worlds due to its prowess.