The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Manifestation of Jalashayin which is chapter 41 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 forty-first chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 41 - Manifestation of Jalaśāyin

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:

1-4. There is the holy spot of Lord Jalaśāyin (one who lies down in the waters i.e. Lord Viṣṇu) on the northern side (of Ānandeśvara Liṅga).

It is well-known and is destructive of all sins. One who observes fast and worships there at the time of Śayana (going to asleep by the Lord on the eleventh day in the bright half of Āṣāḍha) and Bodhana (waking up on the eleventh day in the bright half of Kārttika) of Hari, with great devotion, shall go to the place of Viṣṇu.

The Dvitīyā (second lunar day) of the dark half (of Āṣāḍha) when the Lord of Devas is asleep, is liked well by the Lord. It is called Aśūnyaśayanā (not being levoid of lying down).

On that day, if a devotee worships Lord Jalaśāyin in accordance with the injunctions laid down in the scriptural texts, he goes to Hari’s place.

The sages said:

5. O Sūtanandana, how did Jalaśāyin come to that place? What is the procedure whereby he is worshipped? Mention everything in detail.

Sūta said:

6. Formerly there was a very powerful king of Dānavas named Bāṣkali. He could not be defeated by all the Devas, Gandharvas, Uragas and Rākṣasas.

7. This powerful Dānava brought the entire earth under his control and then proceeded to the abode of Devas along with groups of Daityas.

8. A fight took place between the furious Devas and the Dānavas. The great war caused the destruction of both the Devas and the Asuras.

9. Everyday there occurred terrible fight and it lasted for ten thousand years. It produced muddy slush mixed with blood and a huge mountain of bones.

10. When ten thousand years were completed the Thousandeyed One (Indra) was defeated by him along with his armies and followers.

11. He left heaven along with all the groups of Devas and sought refuge in Viṣṇu seeking shelter in Śvetadvīpa.

12. It is there that the Lord lies down in his Yogic slumber on the couch of Serpent Śeṣa with his feet massaged by Lakṣmī.

13. Then, all the Devas including Vāsava, who are good devotees of that Lord, eulogized him all round by means of Vedic Sūktas.

14. Then the Lord of the universe got up and spoke to the Slayer of Bala: “O Thousand-eyed One, I hope everything is quite all right now in all the three worlds. Wherefore have you yourself come here along with the groups of Devas?”

Śakra said:

15. There is a king of Daityas named Bāṣkali. He has become very mighty through the boons acquired from Hara. He is invincible to all the Devas in battle. I have been defeated by him in the battle.

16. Now, O Slayer of Madhu, he has established himself in heaven. Therefore, O most excellent one among Suras, I have sought refuge in you along with the Devas.

17. We, the Devas, were formerly saved by you from the danger from Hiraṇyākṣa and Hiraṇyakaśipu and also from other wicked-minded ones.

18. Hence, O Lord of Devas, save us from this mightier Dānava, Bāṣkali also. Excepting you, we have no other greater resort.

Śrī Bhagavān said:

19-20. O Śakra, I shall myself overpower him when the proper time comes. Till that time, perform a great penance, O Vāsava, whereby through the power of penance, you will get the needed strength for slaying that Daitya, Bāṣkali, who is very mighty.

Śakra said:

21. O Lord of the universe, in which holy place should I perform the great penance for the destruction of that Daitya? Do tell it unto us.

Sūta said:

22. On hearing it, Lord Viṣṇu, after thinking in his mind for a long time about holy spots and shrines, spoke to Purandara:

23. “O Śakra, the holy spot Camatkārapura is one that accords Siddhi. Hence hasten to that place and perform penance for slaying him.”

Śakra said:

24-25. O Keśava, we are mortally afraid of Bāṣkali, the king of Dānavas. So, without you, we will never go elsewhere. Hence, O Lord of Suras, you too do come there yourself, so that I can perform the great penance under your protection.

Sūta said:

26. Then Lord Viṣṇu said: “It shall be so.” Accompanied by Śrī and the Suras, he came over to the holy spot Camatkārapura.

27. All the delighted groups of the Devas went there. Having resolved to perform penance, they built separate hermitages.

28. Vāsudeva remembered his big Ocean of Milk and brought it quickly to that ancient tank.

29. As in the Śvetadvīpa before, he lay down there even as all the Suras humbly eulogized him all round.

30. At the advent of the auspicious second lunar day in the dark half of Āṣāḍha Bṛhaspati himself spoke these gentle words to the Thousand-eyed One whose eyes became turbid due to tears.

Bṛhaspati said:

31. O Purandara, today it is the Dvītīyā (second lunar day) named Aśūnyaśayanā. It is very dear to Viṣṇu who is asleep in the watery expanse.

32-33. On being worshipped on this day for four months and meditated upon in the mind always, Viṣṇu fulfills all desires.

The Thousand-eyed One observed perfect Vrata in accordance with the injunctions of the scriptures. For four months, he adored Hari, the Jalaśāyin, on the Dvitīyā day and became endowed with brilliance.

34. On seeing (Indra) endowed with brilliance, Janārdana became pleased. He said: “O Śakra, go this day along with all the groups of Devas for killing that Daitya Bāṣkali. You will be victorious.”

Śakra said:

35. O Lord, I am afraid of that evil-minded king of Dānavas. Without you, I dare not go even in the company of all Suras.

Śrī Bhagavān said:

36. O Thousand-eyed One, this discus of mine, Sudarśana, will go with you for the destruction of the enemies of Suras.

37. After saying thus, Hari released the discus Sudarśana along with Śakra for killing the leaders of Dānavas.

38. After going in the company of the discus Śakra exterminated all the Dānavas in the course of the battle.

39. Bāṣkali too was cut up entirely. He fell on the ground like a mountain struck down by thunderbolt.

40. There were many other heroic Dānavas arrogant due to their might After killing them too, the discus Sudarśana once again returned to the hand of Hari.

41. Śakra and other Devas were delighted. All their suspicions and fears vanished. They approached Viṣṇu again, bowed down to him and said:

42.43. “O Lord of Devas, by your might all the enemies of Amaras (Devas) have been killed. The kingdom of the three worlds has been regained with all the thorns removed. So tell me my duty that shall be conducive to welfare, O Lotus-eyed One, and also still fear into the enemies.”

Śrī Bhagavān said:

44. O Vāsava, for the sake of the welfare of all the worlds I have to remain in this form for ever in this pool, the store-house of meritorious waters.

45. O Consort of Sacī, you should also come here and observe Aśūnyaśayana Vrata for the duration of the four months.

46. Thereby no one will dare to be antagonistic to you, O Thousand-eyed One. With my favour you will undoubtedly obtain the benefits desired.

47. Any other man who adores me with devotion here will gain all those regions inaccessible even to Devas.

48. Hence, do go back, O Thousand-eyed One, Rule over heaven. O Lord of Devas, here again I should be seen if there be an occasion for my action. I should be visited undoubtedly as at Śvetadvīpa.

Sūta said:

49. Śatakratu (Indra) bowed down to him and went away. Vāsudeva stationed himself there for the sake of the welfare of the worlds.

50. Thus, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, Janārdana, the great Lord, stationed himself there as Jalaśāyin for the sake of the welfare, of all the worlds.

51. One who is endowed with great ardour and faith and who devoutly worships him particularly in the course of the four months attains the greatest goal.

52. It was converted into Dvārakā by all the groups of Devas. Men who worship there during the four months go to the heaven.

53. On other occasions too a man shall attain the desires cherished in the heart. Hence that Dvārakā should be assiduously worshipped by men at all times and during the Cāturmāsya particularly.

54. Thus the narrative of Jalaśāyin, the Lord of Devas, has been recounted to you in full. It is meritorious and destructive of all sins.

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