The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Kapi and Other Tirthas which is chapter 84 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 eighty-fourth chapter of the Reva-khanda of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 84 - Kapi and Other Tīrthas

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

1-8. In this context they cite an ancient legend. On the Kailāsa Mountain this was recounted by Śiva to Ṣaṇmukha who had devoutly asked him.

Īśvara said:

Formerly, O Skanda, in Tretāyuga, Rāvaṇa was killed by Rāma. At that time fourteen crores of Brahmarākṣasas were killed. When they were killed for the sake of according protection to heaven-dwellers, dear son, there was a great deal of joy and merriment in all the three worlds.

After redeeming Sītā, Rāma came to Ayodhyā along with the leading monkeys. Bharata, the elder brother of Lakṣmaṇa, arranged for a great festival and handed over the kingdom to him. Thereafter Rāma began to rule the kingdom from which all thorns (enemies) had been eradicated. Hanumān who had completed his task, went to Kailāsa. Nandin, the door-keeper, did not allow the monkey, though he was a part of Rudra, to meet Rudra, the destroyer of a heap of sins.

Nandī was thereupon asked by him: “What sin has been committed by me? Wherefore am I denied the pleasure of seeing the meritorious body of Rudra accompanied by Aṃbikā?”

Nandin said:

O leader of monkeys, you had taken up (this) incarnation for the sake of the Devas. Yet the sin committed can be destroyed only through suffering the consequences thereof.

Hanumān said:

9-17. O Nandin, was it any sin that I committed, when I was carrying out the task of Devas? Of course the wicked Rākṣasas who desecrated the Yajñas of the Brāhmaṇas were killed.

Curious to hear their conversation, Hara peeped through another door and saw the monkey of terrible strength, who happened to be a part of himself. Afterwards, he saw the Lord of monkeys standing before him.

The Lord said:

Īśvara said:

O monkey, Gaṅgā, Gayā, Revā, Yamunā and Sarasvatī are the rivers that destroy all sins. Take the holy baths in them.

On the southern bank of Narmadā there is an extremely splendid Tīrtha situated very near Somanātha. O monkey, do go there. At my behest your great sin will perish by taking a holy plunge there.

Leaping up from there, Hanumān roared loudly and went to the southern bank of Revā. He performed a very severe penance there. After a short period, with the favour of Īśa, O son of Kuntī, the sin resulting from the slaying of the Rākṣasas became dissolved even as he performed the penance.

Thereafter, Lord Hara went to that Tīrtha along with the Devas. He embraced the monkey and granted him a boon: “Henceforth this shall undoubtedly be your Tīrtha.”

Thenceforth it became Kapitīrtha and Hara himself remains stationed there by the name Hanumanteśvara. He dispels all sins resulting from all sorts of killings.

18-27. All the sins of that person who takes his holy bath there devoutly and worships the Liṅga, perish as averred by Hara himself.

If the bones are dissolved there and if Piṇḍas are offered there, there is everlasting benefit. Whatever is gifted there has a crore times benefit.

Hanumān went to Ayodhyā to see Rāma. He recounted to him what transpired in regard to himself in the course of their pleasant dialogue.

Śrī Rāma said:

As you carried out the task of the Devas as well as that of mine (you incurred sin). So I too have become a sinner. Undoubtedly I have to and I shall perform penance.

Thereafter Rāghava performed penance for twenty-four years there on the southern bank of Revā that destroys sins.[1]

He stayed in the city of Jyotiṣmatī and took a holy plunge in Revā. At his bidding Lakṣmaṇa rendered him regular service.

Both of them, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa installed Liṅgas there. By the power of the genuine penance on the banks of Revā the two heroes of great intellect, Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa, attained relief from sins.

Then Hara, the leader of Devas, came to the Tīrtha along with the meritorious sages. After releasing his own Kalā (Part) into the Tīrtha he granted a boon.

Potfuls of water of all the Tīrthas were poured on the ground by the sages. Gathering together it became a Liṅga by the name Kalākuṃbha.

The Lord became well-known as Kuṃbheśvara; he was adored by the groups of Devas. Rāma too worshipped that Liṅga that was resorted to by the Devas.

28-36. In order to enhance the glory of Rāma, the Lord granted another boon. On the twenty-fourth year of his penance, Rāma attained relief from sins, when Saturn was in Kanyā (Virgo) Zodiac along with Jupiter (Guru). Hence the Devas proclaimed gladly that the Devayātrā (divine procession) shall be conducted at that time.

Just as one obtains the benefit of all the Tīrthas in the Godāvarī Tīrtha, so also men get the benefit through the holy ablution in Revā and also by visiting the Liṅgas.

[Śiva said:]

O Ṣaṇmukha, listen to the benefit of those who remain in the vicinity of Kuṃbheśvara on the banks of Narmadā and perform the Śrāddha of Pitṛs. The Pitṛs will have the never-failing goal for as many years as there are pores of hairs in the body of all human beings.

By seeing the three Liṅgas men obtain that benefit which is usually obtained by visiting all the deities on the earth and taking ablution in all the Tīrthas.

A man without a son obtains a son. An impoverished man obtains wealth; a sick person is freed from ailments. No hesitation or doubt need be entertained in this respect.

O Skanda, in the vicinity of Kuṃbheśvara the benefit obtained is twelve times that of the bath taken in Godāvarī when Jupiter is in Siṃha (Leo) Zodiac.

Those who know but do not visit Kuṃbhaśaṃbhu, the consort of Umā, on the southern bank of Narmadā, have their very birth fruitless.

37-44. This is spoken by the Lord, that the Devayātrā should be conducted in the twenty-fourth year as in the case of Godāvarī Yātrā as per bidding of the sages.

The Dāna made in the vicinity of Revā in Kuṃbheśvara is everlasting in its benefit as long as the Moon, the Sun and the Stars are present in the firmament

There all great Dānas should be made by wise and learned people. They praise the Dāna of cows, gold and silver here.

When a mass of sins perishes by a mere remembrance of the Tīrtha, what doubt is there, O Skanda, that it destroys the sin of Brāhmaṇa-slaughter through holy bath?

He who takes the holy bath there in the Tīrtha and performs the Śrādḍha, O Yudhiṣṭhira, shall redeem one hundred one generations of his family at the bidding of Śiva.

Whatever Tīrthas, lakes and oceans there are, they do not deserve even a sixteenth fraction of the adoration of the Śivaliṅga.

Thus the Devas with Hari and Īśvara as their leaders granted the boon, left their excellent names and went to their respective abodes.

After granting the boon to this Tīrtha, Rāma, the elder brother of Lakṣmaṇa, entered Ayodhyā freed from sins by the waters of Narmada.

45-50. Accompanied by sages, people, deities and the members of his family, and after making a gold idol of Sītā, he performed a sacrifice there at that Tīrtha. That Tīrtha was created formerly in Tretāyuga, and named after Skanda. Hence the Liṅga should be regularly visited by people.

Sins accrued due to great evil deeds affect the bodies only until a creature visits the Tīrtha resorted to by Devas.

Those who visit the great Lord Hara installed in the city of Jyotiṣmatī are noble-souled and blessed. Their birth and life are excellent.

Hence getting rid of ignorance, the Tīrtha named Kuṃbheśvara should be respectfully approached by people for the sake of obtaining all benefits.

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

After hearing these words of Śaṃbhu, Ṣaṇmukha respectfully bowed to the pair of lotus-like feet of his father, reached the southern bank of Śiva’s river and visited (Liṅgas of) the leading monkey, Rāma and Kuṃbhaśaṃbhu.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

There is no confirmation of this in the text of Rāmāyaṇa. This is for the glorification of that Tīrtha.

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