The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,142,515 words

This page describes The Greatness of Mangaleshvara (mangala-ishvara-tirtha) which is chapter 148 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 forty-eighth chapter of the Reva-khanda of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 148 - The Greatness of Maṅgaleśvara (maṅgala-īśvara-tīrtha)

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

1-8. Thereafter, O king, a person should go to the auspicious Aṅgāraka (Maṅgaleśvara) Tīrtha on the northern bank of Narmadā. It is destructive of all sins.

On the fourth lunar day coinciding with a Tuesday the devotee should perform the Saṅkalpa-rite (ritualistic announcement of the decision) resolutely and take his bath after sunset. He then proceeds to perform the Sandhyā rites of dusk.

He should adore Lohita (Mars) devoutly with sweet scents, garlands and ornaments. The idol should be installed on the ground and smeared with red sandal-paste.

Uttering “Obeisance to Aṅgāraka” he should adore on the pericarp of the lotus figure (drawn). Then on the petals beginning with the one in the east, he should perform the worship uttering respectively. “Obeisance to Kuja”, “Obeisance to Bhūmi-Putra”, “Obeisance to Raktāṅga”, “Obeisance to Suvāsas”, “Obeisance to Harakopodbhava” (‘born of the anger of Hara’), “Obeisance to Svedaja” (‘born of sweat’), “Obeisance to Atibāhu”, (‘of extremely powerful arms’) and “Obeisance to Sarvakāmaprada” (‘bestower of all desires’).

After duly worshipping thus, he (the devotee) should offer the Arghya in accordance with the injunction. Then he utters the Mantra: “Obeisance to you, O son of Earth, O highly powerful one, O deity born of the sweat of the Pināka-bearing Lord, O Lohitāṅga (red-bodied one). O Aṅgāraka, I make, obeisance to you.”

He then makes the gift of a water-pot filled with paddy rice to a Brāhmaṇa along with gold and clothes and placed on sweetmeat. At that time he repeats the Mantra, “May Kuja be pleased with me.”

9-19. He should then offer Arghya with water mixed with red sandal-paste. On an auspicious circular Maṇḍala (mystic design drawn on the ground) a copper vessel is placed, filled with gingelly seeds mixed with rice and strewn with red flowers. He then places the vessel on his head and kneels on the ground. The clever devotee then offers the Arghya sanctified through Mantras. Thereafter the devotee who wishes for his welfare takes in silently his food, soft, smooth and sweet. He should avoid saline, bitter and sour foodstuff.

The devotee celebrates this festival on three Caturthī-Aṅgāraka combinations and when the fourth occasion arrives he should make an idol of Aṅgāraka in gold within his capacity. It should be beautiful. It is to be placed on an altar made of jaggery.

The devotee should worship the deity placed on jaggery with sweet-smelling flowers. The idol is to be placed in the northeast along with jaggery and water. A vessel made of white copper (?Kāsāreṇa) shall be placed in the south-east and a pot filled with red rice in the south-west. The wise man should place a fourth Karaka (pot) filled with sweetmeat in the north-west. This Karaka should be tied with a thread round its neck and it shall be adorned with scented garlands.

A conch should also be blown and musical instruments played. There shall be auspicious shouts of victory etc. A Brāhmaṇa well-versed in the Vedic texts should be made to sit on a high seat or in the middle of the platform. He should wear red clothes, red garlands and unguents. He should be quiescent, handsome and lucky-featured. He should be one engaged in what is conducive to the welfare of all living beings. He should be a master of all scriptural texts. After duly adoring him, O son of Pāṇḍu, he should be asked to recite Vedic passages.

20-26. A red cow along with a red bull should be gifted to him while uttering the Mantra, “May the deity, the son of Earth, who is venerated by all Devas, be pleased.”

The devotee then circumambulates the Brāhmaṇa along with his wife and sons, father, mother and friends too. After asking for his forgiveness he should be sent off.

I shall tell you fully the meritorious benefit that accrues to one when this rite is performed, especially at that Tīrtha.

Due to the power of this Tīrtha, O great king, he shall be a handsome man with lucky features for seven births. No hesitation or doubt need be entertained in this respect.

If the man dies in the Tīrtha willingly or otherwise, he shall go to the City of Aṅgāraka and will be adored by Devas and Gandharvas.

After duly and befittingly enjoying the divine pleasures of excellent nature, he is reborn here in the human world as a pious king.

He will be handsome and lucky. He will be free from all ailments. He will live for more than a hundred years and all the world will pay respects to him.

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