The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes The Palace Called Dushshila which is chapter 37 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 thirty-seventh chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 37 - The Palace Called Duśśīla

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:

1-3. Then, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, he saw a group of Brāhmaṇas comparable to Devas. They were seated on the playground. Some were well-versed in the Vedas and they were ready for expounding the same. They were eager to defeat others and were angrily disputing with one another.

Others were well-versed in the science of Yajñas. They were busily discussing (the details of) Yajñas. There hundreds of Brāhmaṇas were seen expounding Brahman.

4. Others were tiger-like Brāhmaṇas expert in Vedāṅgas. Standing in front of the groups of people, they were clearing the doubts.

5. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, still others were busy in reciting Vedic passages loudly. They were making the quarters reverberate.

6. Others were full of curiosity. They asked one another questions about difficult passages. Still others laughed at the person engaged in the (exposition of) passages.

7. Others were engaged in discussing the Smṛtis. Still others were reciters of the Veda. Others asked and clarified the doubts pertaining to the Smṛti texts.

8. Other excellent Brāhmaṇas were expounding the Purāṇa to elders. They were seated in the midst of the assembly.

9. On seeing those Brāhmaṇas of esteemed vows, the sage humbly bowed down to them and said respectfully:

10-11. “O tigers among Brāhmaṇas, I am feeling inclined to erect a temple of Śaṃbhu. Hence let a suitable place be pointed out. I shall build an excellent mansion of Śaṃbhu, the Lord of Devas. I shall propitiate the same Bull-emblemed Lord there.”

12. Although he repeatedly said so energetically, he did not get from them any reply good or otherwise.

13. The sage became excessively furious. He cursed those excellent Brāhmaṇas in a loud voice so that all could hear.

Durvāsas said:

14. The pride of learning, that of affluence and the third one arising from nobility of birth: In the case of arrogant persons these are inebriating factors; but in that of good people, they are means of self-control.

15. Everyone of you appears to be inebriated. Hence only such inebriate ones will be born in your families.

16. In this city all fathers will be devoid of friendliness or affection for sons, still more so in the case of other kinsmen?

17. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, feeling insulted by the Brāhmaṇas, the eminent Brāhmaṇa Durvāsas said this and turned away.

18. Among them there was a wise elderly Brāhmaṇa well-known as Suśīla. He was a master of the Vedas and Vedāṅgas.

19. He saw the sage going away furiously after being insulted. He quickly followed him saying “Stop! Stop!”

20-22. By this time the sage had gone very far. But the Brāhmaṇa overtook him. He bowed down to him and said: “O Brāhmaṇa, on my request, please forgive the Brāhmaṇas. These were busy in the recitation of their respective Vedic passages and so did not hear your words. Therefore they did not reply. This is the truth I am telling you. So, for the sake of a mansion dedicated to Śaṃbhu a plot of land is offered by me to you. In this spot, O excellent Brāhmaṇa, it behoves you to build a temple.”

23. On hearing his words, Durvāsas became delighted. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, he hailed him for the gift of the plot. Afterwards in accordance with his word, he built a palace (shrine) there.

24-32. Those Brāhmaṇas came to know that a plot of land was given to the sage by Suśīla for erecting a temple. All those Brāhmaṇas became very angry with Suśīla.

Coining upto him they said: “A piece of land has been given by you for the sake of a palace to be dedicated to that wicked-minded one by whom we have been cursed. Hence you will be excommunicated by us. Though your name is Suśīla, you will be proclaimed Duśśīla by learned ones.

This wicked ascetic intends to build a Śiva temple. Even in hundreds of years, he will not realize his wish.

Those who earn reputation in the world are glorified by men. So also those who see things correctly, but not this evil-minded one.

This palace shall be named Duśśīla after your name. It shall be a mansion only in name. But it will never be completed.

Since we Brāhmaṇas have been made bereft of friendliness (for our sons) and associated with three kinds of arrogance along with our entire line of descendants, therefore this sinful person too shall be erascible (prone to be angry), thereby while he goes on performing penance, his penance will become futile.”

33. After saying thus with eyes reddened with anger, those Brāhmaṇas left Duśśīla there and entered their city.

34. Excommunicated by the residents of the city like Devaśarman before, Duśśīla built his house outside the city.

35. Those who were born in his family were proclaimed “Outsiders”. They were excluded from all the holy rites of all the citizens.

Sūta said:

36. After the departure of those leading Brāhmaṇas after cursing thus, Durvāsas said to Duśśīla angrily with eyes turned red:

37-38. “Mantras from the Atharvaveda and other three Vedas capable of annihilating enemies have been mastered by me. I shall destroy the entire city along with animals and birds therein like a ruthless (king) razing down the city of the enemy.”

Duśśīla said:

39. O excellent one among men, this is not at all proper to do against the Brāhmaṇas particularly by a Brāhmaṇa.

40. Whether they kill, curse or speak harsh words, Brāhmaṇas should always be worshipped by those who wish for divine worlds.

41. One who considers himself victorious when Brāhmaṇas are vanquished (by him) is cooked in the terrible Narakas beginning with Tâmisra.

42-43. O excellent Brāhmaṇa, one who desires a permanent residence in heaven shall endure his own discomfiture at the hands of a Brāhmaṇa. Your Mantras have attained Siddhi in the holy spot of these leading Brāhmaṇas. How can you then cause their destruction?

44. Atonement has been enjoined by good people in the cases of a Brāhmaṇa-slayer, one who drinks liquor, a thief and one whose Vrata has been broken. There is no atonement for an ungrateful person.

45. Hence those who stay in this holy spot should nfot be angry. O excellent sage, be compassionate towards me and forgive me.

Sūta said:

46-48. He promised “It shall be so”, performed penance and stayed there. Thereby he attained the greatest Siddhi inaccessible even to Devas.

That place (mansion of Śiva) became well known after the name Duśśīla all over the earth. Merely by visiting it, a man is rid of his sins. A man who always visits the Liṅga within it on the eighth day in the bright half of a month and meditates for a moment, never sees Naraka.

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