by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes The Greatness of Vimaleshvara (vimala-ishvara-tirtha) which is chapter 226 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 two hundred twenty-sixth chapter of the Reva-khanda of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:
1-10. Within a distance of a Krośa therefrom is that meritorious Tīrtha Vimaleśvara. By taking holy bath there, offering Dāna, performing Japa, Homa, Arcana etc., and by propitiating the deity Vimaleśvara, one will obtain whatever one desires, whether it be the acquisition of heavenly pleasures or petty worldly things.
It was there that a Brāhmaṇa, Vedanidhi, performed a very great penance formerly and became pure like the Sun, even as the diverse impurities of Karma became feeble. Due to the favour of Mahādeva, he became pleasing to the eyes like the Moon.
Formerly Bhānu (Sun) became tormented by the arrows of Smara (Cupid) and coveted Bhānumatī, his own daughter. Due to that sin he became afflicted with Kuṣṭharoga (leprosy). He too performed a penance here and attained purity. By the grace of Mahādeva who was pleased, he regained his position and rejoiced.
Similar, O son of Kuntī, is the case of the saintly son of Vibhāṇḍaka. He had been associating with Yogins in forest but came into contact with the king. He considered himself extremely defiled due to the defect of the contact with the king. Along with Śāntā, his wife, he approached the confluence of Revā and the ocean. He performed penance for twelve years. Through Kṛcchra and Cāndrāyaṇa, the sage propitiated the Tḥree-eyed Lord. By the grace of Mahādeva who was pleased he regained his purity.
11-18. Formerly, O king, Śarva was instigated by Śarvāṇī to infatuate the wives of sages in Dāruvana. Thereupon he saw himself Samala (defiled by impurity) and considered the confluence of Narmadā and the ocean as the greatest holy spot. O great king, he stayed there with Umā and performed penance. Since he became Vimala (free from impurity), the deity is called Vimaleśvara. He himself stayed there by that name with a desire for the welfare of all the worlds.
Then there is the story of Brahmā. The grandfather of the worlds created Tilottamā. After creating her and seeing the charming lady in front, he was overpowered by Bhāvi-yoga-bala, the force of inevitability of the future (course of events). Though Lord of all the subjects, he became her lover.
Thereby he felt himself guilty and sinful. He resorted to the banks of Revā. Observing the vow of silence he visited the Tīrthas. He took bath thrice a day remembering Śiva. He then took his holy bath at the confluence of Revā and the ocean and worshipped Śaṅkara. In a short time, O saintly king, Brahmā too became free from impurities.
Thus many other excellent Devas, sages and kings eschewed the impurities of sins and became pure.
Similarly, O leading king, by taking the holy bath and adoring Śiva there, you too shall attain excellent purity, although you are already pure.
He who observes fast and visits Vimaleśvara, O king, on the eighth and fourteenth lunar day and on all festive occasions, gets rid of the sins committed in the course of seven births and goes to Śivālaya. The person should perform Śrāddha in accordance with the injunctions and be free from the indebtedness to the Pitṛs.
He should feed Brāhmaṇas in accordance with his capacity and offer them monetary gifts.
Whatever one likes most in the world, whatever is beneficial to him in the house should be given to a person of good qualities, if the donor desires everlasting benefit. By offering gold, foodgrain, clothes, umbrellas, shoes, waterpot etc., and constructing temples according to his capacity, one shall become a king on the earth. He should propitiate Parameśvara through songs, dances and tales (about the deity).