The Skanda Purana
by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes The Glory of Shripati which is chapter 195 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 ninety-fifth chapter of the Reva-khanda of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Chapter 195 - The Glory of Śrīpati
[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]
1-7. O sage, what is said to be the greatness of Devatīrtha? What is the benefit acquired by those who perform holy ablution, Dāna etc. there?
Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:
O mighty-armed one, all the Tīrthas on the entire earth, resorted to by Devas and groups of sages, were thought about by Viṣṇu and they arrived there together, O Yudhiṣṭhira. That Tīrtha is the well-known Devatīrtha, a meritorious Vaiṣṇava holy place.
Kurukṣetra is the greatest Tīrtha on the earth, and Tripuṣkara in the firmament. Puruṣottama is the greatest Tīrtha in heaven. Devatīrtha is greater than the greatest.
O Yudhiṣṭhira, there is no Tīrtha on a par with Devatīrtha in this world as well as in the next one. On attaining it, a man ceases to become distressed.
All the Tīrthas were told by Devas: “If a man takes his holy bath here in Devatīrtha, it is as good as though he has taken his holy bath everywhere.”
“So be it”, the Tīrthas told the Devas and the groups of sages. They adored Śrīśa and went to their respective places fully contented.
8-19. O king, if one takes his holy bath here (in Deva Tīrtha), adores Śrīśa and observes holy fast in accordance with the injunctions, and gifts gold pieces duly at the time of a solar eclipse, he will obtain the benefit of the holy bath here.
Śatakratu has said: “Gifts of plots of land, cows and gold have endless benefit. So also gift of diamond gives infinite benefit. Soma attained endless benefit, due to gift of clothes, Bhārgava due to gift of pearls; the Sun and Dharmarāja made a gift of gold and attained endless benefit. Bṛhaspati of a generous mind says: “Whatever Dāna is offered in Devatīrtha by one with full faith has infinite benefit.”
Devatīrtha in Bhṛgukṣetra is superior to all the other Tīrthas.
A man who takes his holy bath in Devatīrtha and visits Śrīpati at the time of a lunar eclipse, redeems a hundred members of his family and enjoys heavenly pleasures.
Those men by whom gifts were made to eminent Brāhmaṇas in Devatīrtha, O Lord of men, will enjoy great pleasures after death.
With Hari in view, if a person feeds out Brāhmaṇas, O Yudhiṣṭhira, he enjoys all types of pleasures in Svarga Loka. A man or a woman should take a holy bath in Devatīrtha with mind in full control. He or she shall observe fast on the eleventh day with complete devotion and adore the Consort of Śrī devoutly. He should light a lamp with ghee and keep awake during the night. He should get up early in the morning on the twelfth day, take bath in the waters of Narmadā and duly propitiate a Brāhmaṇa couple (or couples) with clothes, ornaments, betel leaves, flowers, incense and unguents. He or she will rejoice in Viṣṇuloka as a result of the satisfactory completion of the Vrata.
20-30a. One who takes holy bath on the eleventh lunar day, observes fast, worships Hari and keeps awake at night in accordance with the injunctions in the Veda and scriptural texts, never faces the torturous and accursed harassment meted out by Dharmarāja.
One who adores Śrīpati in accordance with the injunctions in the Pāñcarātra system, after duly receiving the Vaiṣṇava initiation that annihilates sins, bestows heavenly pleasures and salvation, also accords worldly delight and wealth, kingdom, sons, good fortune, excellent wife, devotion to Viṣṇu, will cross the ocean of worldly existence, O highly esteemed scion of the family of Kuru.
One who worships the Consort of Śrī there in Devatīrtha, or Viśvarūpa, or Mūlaśrīpati, or Nārāyaṇagiri in the house with devotion and faith, on the eleventh lunar day gets great benefit. He should make use of the following material in the course of the worship: milk, water, unwashed cloth of fine texture, silk cloth of various colours, woven silk garments, incense, agallochum, sandal-paste, Guggulu mixed with ghee and various kinds of food offerings like milk pudding etc., O Yudhiṣṭhira, O Lord of men.
A man who adores the Lord with lamps made of Piṣṭa (flour-cakes with wicks fitted in) that charm the mind and glow increasingly, goes to Viṣṇuloka. On how he goes listen, O descendant of Bharata. He will be equipped with conch, discus, club and lotus and will have the form of the Garuḍa-emblemed Lord. He passes through Devalokas and reaches Viṣṇuloka.
30b-41. One who devoutly, sees the lotus-like feet of Śrīpati established in four forms as well as Śrī, the mother of the three worlds, while offering entertainment by dances and songs is certainly rid of sins.
One who is always engaged in waving lamp as Nīrājana lights to the Lord at dawn, mid-day and evening and adores and worships Hari, shall cross impassable dangers. He will never get distress and misery.
The rite called Nīrājana (showing of lights) of Hari is conducive to the lengthening of life expectation and enhancement of glory. It is highly pleasing to the eyes and destroys minor sins. He is blessed who recites the prayer to the Lord of Devas at the time of Hari’s Nīrājana.
One who waves his inverted palms over the remnant of Hari’s Nīrājana and wipes his eyes and face therewith, becomes free from Timira (blindness) and other eye diseases. His face becomes bright. Lighting of lamps in front of Śrīpati is efficacious in destroying all defects, O best of men. A devotee engaged in Vratas should take his holy bath in the meritorious Revā water and offer the same ritualistically (i.e. water is held in the joined palms cupped together, Mantra is recited and the water is thrown up). It is as good as the entire earth with seven continents, oceans and rivers circumambulated. So said Śaṅkara.
One who listens to this narrative or reads this shall at the time of death recollect Hari and become sinless to Hari.
It is conducive to renown, longevity, heavenly pleasure and delight of the groups of Pitṛs.
One who reads the greatness of Śrīpati before Brāhmaṇas at the time of a Śrāddha, has the same benefit as though he has propitiated the Pitāmahas (ancestors or grandfathers) with ghee and honey.