by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 1,763,776 words
This page describes Eulogy of Shulabheda which is chapter 44 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-fourth chapter of the Reva-khanda of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:
1-8. Listen, O king, to that Tīrtha which is the most excellent one of all the Tīrthas. It has been created by the Trident-bearing Lord on the southern bank of Revā. It has been created, O excellent king, for the salvation of all great men.
O excellent Brāhmaṇa, various pious rites have been heard by me with your favour. All the Dānadharmas and different kinds of Tīrthas also have been heard. I wish to hear about another thing whereby Saṃsāra (worldly existence) is cut off and salvation is attained and there is no rebirth. Do recount all these things. Please do me this favour, O excellent Brāhmaṇa.
Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:
Listen with single-minded attention to the Tīrtha greater than the other Tīrthas. On hearing its power, one is rid of the sins committed during a year, whether the sins be verbal or mental or particularly physical. By glorifying that Tīrtha one is liberated from all sins.
The Tīrtha extends to five Krośas, O king.. It bestows worldly pleasures and salvation. It is divine and beneficent to the living beings that commit sinful deeds.
The creatures and birds on the earth that die there in that Tīrtha go to the greatest world. There is no doubt about it.
The Gaṅgā that issues from Pātāla is called Bhogavatī. She has come out through Śūlabheda. She is destructive of all sins. There is another great meritorious river named Gīrvāṇa flowing there into the middle of the Kuṇḍa which has been dug up by the Trident-bearing Lord by piercing with it (i.e. his trident).
Then the ancient river Sarasvatī issued forth, O king, which redeems one from all sins.
In the place where these three including Bhāsvatī flow and where there is the rock called Gīrvāṇa there is a Tīrtha the like of which was never before nor will there ever be (hereafter).
Kedāra, Prayāga, Kurukṣetra, Gayā and other excellent Tīrthas do not merit even a sixteenth fraction of that Tīrtha. Five holy places are separate Tīrthas. I shall recount them in aggregate succinctly and then each one separately.
Just as Gayā is meritorious in Nābhī, Cakratīrtha is on a par with it. Just as Kūpa (Well) in Dharmāraṇya is meritorious, Śūlabheda is on a par with it. Just as Brahmayūpa is meritorious, the case of Devanadī is of that sort. Just as Gayāśiras is meritorious, so also is the Śilā (Rock) of the Suras; just as the Puṣkara shrine, so also is Mārkaṇḍahrada. Offering balls of rice and libation of water to Pitṛs there is everlasting to the Pitṛs. He who performs Śrāddha there and drinks the water everyday is liberated from all sins like a serpent which is liberated from its slough. The devotee should honour unblamable Brāhmaṇas bereft of arrogance and anger.
21-28. A Dāna rite extending to thirteen days shall be thirteen times more meritorious.
By visiting the venerated God Gaṇanātha with a countenance resembling that of an elephant, all obstacles perish after seeing the Lord of Kaṃbala Kṣetra. One should worship with great devotion, Maheśvara with the trident in his hand. Umā has to be carefully adored to the east of the Lord. Thereafter the person shall devoutly worship Mārkaṇḍeśa residing in the cave. He is liberated from all sins committed knowingly and unknowingly.
One who has entered the centre of the cave should recite the three-syllabled Sūkta (or Sūkta beginning with tri-aṃbakam yajāmahe). He will obtain a sixth fraction of the merit accruing from Nīlaparvata. Trinaras (? three men) stand there with the Ādityas and Maruts.
Excellent is the Koṭiliṅga Sthāna full of all the Devas. Just as all the rivers ultimately get merged in ocean, so also the sins perisḥ by visiting Śūlabheda, the proof of which is directly perceived even today, O king.
29-34. Sparks appear in the centre of the Liṅga when bathed. The second proof there is that a drop of oil does not spread. This is the proof originating from the power of Śūlabheda.
He who remembers Śūlabheda everyday three times shall become purified internally and externally, O king.
Though I had been asked even by Suras, it was not mentioned to anyone by me. The Tīrtha has to be treated as the greatest secret of all secrets.
It should always be considered secret. It is destructive of all sins, of all defects. It is meritorious and excellent, O Lord of people. Śūlabheda is the Tīrtha full of all Tīrthas. When its power is heard one is rid of all sins.
O dear one, Śūlabheda has been succinctly narrated to you. A man who devoutly listens to it is rid of all sins.