The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes The Greatness of Naradeshvara (narada-ishvara-tirtha) which is chapter 78 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 seventy-eighth chapter of the Reva-khanda of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 78 - The Greatness of Nāradeśvara (nārada-īśvara-tīrtha)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

1-9. Thereafter, a person should go to the excellent Nāradeśvara Tīrtha, O great king. It is the greatest of all Tīrthas, established by Nārada.

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

O excellent one among sages, why was this Tīrtha established by Nārada? O excellent one, narrate all this to me if you are pleased.

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

Nārada, the son of Parameṣṭhin, the excellent sage, O son of Kuntī, performed penance on the northern bank of Revā formerly. The control of the nine Nāḍīs[1] (blood vessels?) reached its extreme limit and Paśubhartṛ (i.e. Śiva) was thus propitiated by Nārada.

Īśvara said:

O eminent Brāhmaṇa, O Lord of Yogins not born of a womb, I am pleased with you. O dear one, request for a boon, whatever desire you may have been cherishing in your mind.

Nārada said:

With your favour, O Śaṃbhu, may my practice of Yoga be successful. Let my devotion to you be firm in me for all time. O Lord, I should be the master of the Vedas and Vedāṅgas and should have power of moving about as I wish. O Lord of the worlds, I should be one conversant with the events of the three divisions of time (past, present, future) and expert in music. Whenever a battle takes place among Devas, Dānavas and human beings, O Maheśvara, whether it be in Pātāla, mortal world or heaven, I should be competent to see the same everyday with your favour. I may also (be able to) see you and Pārvatī. Let this Tīrtha be well known as the destroyer of all sins.

Īśvara said:

10-14. O Nārada, undoubtedly everything shall occur thus. What has been thought of by you will be achieved. There is no doubt about it.

You shall be one roaming about wherever you wish, whether it be in Svarga, Pātāla or in human habitation. You wander everywhere and you will not be stopped by anyone.

With my favour, you shall certainly have (mastery over) the seven Svaras (notes), the three Grāmas (gamuts in music), the twenty-one Mūrcchanās (melodious keys) and forty-nine Tānas (protracted notes) (i.e. all the details of the Science of Music)

Your dance and divine music will be pleasing to me. Everyday you shall watch the quarrel among Devas, Dānavas and Kinnaras.

With my favour, your Tīrtha on the earth shall become meritorious. With my favour, you will be a singular master of the principles of the Vedas and Vedāṅgas, an adept in all branches of knowledge and yet, O Nārada, you shall be free from undue attachment.

15-23. After saying thus, the Lord vanished. Nārada installed the Trident-bearing Lord there, O great king. The Tīrtha renders help to all living beings. Installed by Nārada, it has become the most excellent Tīrtha in the world. O excellent king, one who visits that Tīrtha, should have control over all sense-organs. O son of Kuntī, with great devotion he should observe fast on the fourteenth day in the dark half of the month of Bhādrapaḍa and keep awake at night.

An umbrella should be given to a Brāhmaṇa of auspicious characteristics. Śrāddha should be offered to those who were killed with weapons. By the power of the balls of rice offered, they will go to the greatest world.

With the Pitṛs in view, O descendant of Bharata, a tawny-coloured cow should be offered to a Brāhmaṇa after saying this Mantra: “Due to the purity of this Śrāddha and with the favour of the Brāhmaṇa, let them attain the greatest goal.”

Monetary gift should be given to the Brāhmaṇa in accordance with one’s capacity, uttering this Mantra: “Due to the purity of the waters of Narmadā, the power of the wealth legitimately acquired and their own intrinsic worth, let the departed ones go to the highest goal.”

O wide-eyed one, Haviṣya rice should be given to Brāhmaṇas. the light should be given devoutly and there shall be dance and music. He who carries out these activities in the holy temple shall acquire everything. He attains the vicinity of Rudra-so said Rudra himself.

By the gift of learning alone, one shall attain everlasting goal.

24-32. Yoked bulls and arable land should be gifted, O king. There the devotee should propitiate Fire-god devoutly with auspicious Mantras, using plenty of ghee and other articles of Homa.

They should worship devoutly and perform dance in all the three parts (of the day).

In the Tīrtha named after Nārada on the northern bank of Revā, Fire-god is worthy of being propitiated. Devas have Fire for their mouth. The sage is identical with all the Devas. All are delighted by the sage. When Havyavāha (Fire-god) is worshipped poverty is averted.

With wealth there is happiness in every birth. Men of noble birth and excellent clothes will always be endowed with wealth.

The following revive and resuscitate youth that goes on receding: raft that of rivers, husband that of women, king engaged in good conduct that of the subjects, wealth that of men and seasons that of trees.

It was at that Tīrtha that Dhanadatva (status of being a giver of wealth) was obtained by Dhaneśa (Kubera), the power of restraining (Yamatva) was obtained by Yama, Indratva by the Thunderbolt-wielding Lord, and the status of being a king was obtained by other kings. By the efficacy of Nāradeśvara Dhruva attained stability (fixed position).

A Tīrtha that is the most excellent one among all the Tīrthas was created by Nārada on the northern bank of Revā on the ocean-girt earth. That is the most excellent one of all Tīrthas.

Footnotes and references:


In human bodies, there are ten Nāḍīs. Out of them Iḍā, Piṅgalā and Suṣumṇā are the main ones. Suṣumṇā is the most important as it leads to God-realization. There is no appropriate equivalent term in English as some of the Nāḍīs carry life breath and not blood.

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