The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes The Greatness of Soma Tirtha which is chapter 121 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 one hundred twenty-first chapter of the Reva-khanda of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 121 - The Greatness of Soma Tīrtha

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

1-5. Thereafter, O king, a person should go to the Candrahāsa Tīrtha where Somarāja (Moon-god), the excellent one among Suras, attained the greatest Siddhi.

Yudhiṣṭhira said:

How did Somanātha, the Lord of the universe, attain the greatest Siddhi? O sinless one, I wish to hear about it entirely. Do tell me.

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

O descendant of Bharata, formerly he (Moon-god) was cursed by Dakṣa, the leading sage: “You will become a patient of consumptive disease because you did not attend to your (other) wives.”

O king, listen to what happens to those men who do not attend to the wives duly wedded.

A son is born by attending to a woman during the monthly period (i.e. after the menstruation on the fifth day). It is mentioned in the Śruti that heavenly pleasures and salvation are attained through the son.

6-16. One not performing what is befitting to those occasions will fall into the Raurava hell. The sinner drinks the blood of that woman for the duration of that period of (unfulfilled) desires.

After coming down (to earth) on completion of the period of stay in the hell, the wicked sinner is born unlucky in every birth he may take.

Ordinarily sexual appetite is very strong in women. Especially during menses, they are afflicted all the more by the arrows of Kama. Shunned or neglected by their husbands, women naturally think about paramours. A son born of such a woman, makes the excellent family roam about.

The moment such a son is born, Pitṛs, Pitāmahas and other ancestors residing in heaven fall down. Hence the son is called Kulaṭa.

As a result of his own Karma, Moon-god became a patient of consumptive disease. He had to abandon the world of leading Suras and come down to the world of mortals. He wandered over many Tīrthas and holy shrines and ultimately reached Narmadā that is destructive of all sins.

He observed fasts and holy Vratas and restraints. He performed Dāna rites. Thus his pious activities continued for twelve years. Thereby he became rid of sins.

After bathing Mahādeva, the destroyer of all sins, he regained his full refulgence and went back to the excellent world.

He who installs the Lord and worships him for many years, is himself honoured in Rudraloka for as many thousand years as the number of years he has worshipped.

Hence men install gods as per proper procedure on the earth. Thereby men enjoy for a period which is inexhaustible and unending.

17-26. A man who bathes in Somatīrtha and adores Lord Īśvara, shines in this world and becomes pleasing in looks like Soma.

He who goes to Candrahāsa Tīrtha during solar and lunar eclipses and devoutly takes his holy bath is rid of all sins.

O excellent king, holy ablution taken, Dāna performed, verily all auspicious or inauspicious acts done in Candrahāsa Tīrtha, become everlasting in their effect.

Men who take their holy bath in Candrahāsa Tīrtha and see the eclipse are really blessed. They are noble-souled. Their birth and life are excellent.

Verbal, mental and physical sins committed earlier perish, O great king, merely because a holy bath is performed in that Tīrtha.

Many are entirely deluded ones who do not know it, like the Lord in the form of greatest bliss (Atman) abiding in the body itself.

Undoubtedly one attains in Candrahāsa that entire benefit which people get after going to Somatīrtha in the western sea (in Saurāṣṭra). By taking the holy bath in Candrahāsa during Saṅkrānti, Vyatīpāta, Ayana and Viṣuva period, one is rid of all sins.

Those who do not know Candrahāsa situated on Revā, are deluded and wicked in action. Their life is purposeless.

A Brāhmaṇa who takes up the life of a recluse at Candrahāsa Tīrtha undoubtedly attains Somaloka from which he never returns.

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