The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes The Greatness of Ashvina Tirtha which is chapter 199 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-ninth chapter of the Reva-khanda of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 199 - The Greatness of Āśvina Tīrtha

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

1-7. Next to it is the excellent Āśvina Tīrtha, O king. It is the most desirable among all the Tīrthas. It is the bestower of Siddhis on all living beings.

It was at this Tīrtha that the Āśvina Devas, the most excellent ones among physicians, the very handsome ones performed an elaborate penance and became sharers in the offerings of Yajñas.

They became the most honoured ones to all the Devas. These two sons of Āditya, called Nāsatyas, were fully endowed with inherent power. They are the most excellent ones among the destroyers of all miseries.

Śrī Yudhiṣṭhira said:

For what reason did the sons of Āditya become Nāsatyas. O dear Brāhmaṇa, I wish to hear your best assessment.

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

In the Bhāskara-purāṇa (i.e. Āditya-purāṇa or Saura-purāṇa), the behaviour and action of the noble-souled Mārtaṇḍa, the Lord of Devas, has been heard in detail by me.

Though I have become emaciated on account of old age, O descendant of Bharata, I shall undoubtedly recount this to you in brief, since you are endowed with devoted feelings.

On observing the excessive refulgence of Ravi, O excellent one among men, (His) queen, the goddess, assumed the form of a mare and performed very severe austerities in the forest on Meru.

8-14. After many days, the venerable Lord Ravi saw her galloping about briskly here and there according to her physical capacity. He became a victim to the mind-born god of Love. He cast off his supremely refulgent form and high splendor. He became a nimble-footed horse.

Neighing loudly he began to indulge in copulation with the mare. The light-footed goddess (mare) turned towards him face to face. So the excellent semen penetrated her nostril. From the seed (semen) that entered the nostrils, an excellent foetus developed. O son of Kuntī, the sons born thereof became well known as Nāsatyas. Their limbs were symmetrical and well-formed like a duplicate drawn from an image.

They excelled all the Devas in their handsome features and masterliness. They came to the banks of Narmadā. They performed very difficult penance at Bhṛgukaccha and attained great Siddhis.

He who takes his holy bath there in that Tīrtha and offers libation to Pitṛs and Devas becomes fortunate and handsome, O son of Kuntī.

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