The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Dialogue between Vishvamitra and Menaka which is chapter 43 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-third chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 43 - Dialogue between Viśvāmitra and Menakā

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Menakā said:

1. O Brāhmaṇa, the women for whom the code of virtuous conduct you have spoken (prescribed) so far are different. We are, on the other hand, courtesans of Heaven-dwellers, who wander freely according to our sweet will.

2. Anyway, O highly esteemed one, tell me what is that land from which you have come? Even in this Tīrtha, the resort of Virtuous ones, you are the captivator of my heart.

3-4. O highly fortunate one, your personal form is on a par with that of Kāmadeva. On seeing you I have become tormented by the arrows of Kāma. I experience horripilation all over my limbs.

So accept me and enjoy me. I am attached to you. If you do not, I will be doomed. Already scorched by the arrows of Kāma, O ascetic, I will die in front of you. Thereby you will incur the sin of the murder of a woman. There is no doubt about it.

The Tāpasa (Ascetic) said:

5. O lady of excellent eyebrows, we are persons with holy vows, strictly adhering to the vow of celibacy. O fair lady, of course we are fools (totally ignorant) in the matters of love as we abide by the Śivaśāsana (Śaiva Śāstra).

6. Brahmacarya (celibacy) is cited as the root of all holy vows and restraints, especially in the case of devotees of Śiva. Hereafter you will do what is proper bearing this in mind (I am not a sex addict. Don’t court me—Editor’s footnote).

7. A man of vows may perform penance for more than a hundred years. But sexual dalliance even once brings about utter destruction of his Pāśupata vow.

8. O timid lady, why do you speak as though you are enamoured of me, a follower of Paśupati (Lord Śiva). Such a highly sinful activity as this is condemned in Śivaśāsana. (Śaiva Śāstra or Pāśupatism).

9. A man of the holy vow of Pāśupatism, who enjoys a woman, becomes a false Pāśupata. Along with ten earlier generations of his family, he will be cooked in Naraka.

10. O lady of excellent countenance, leave alone sexual union or even touch of a lady, even conversation with a woman leads to a great sin in the case of a Pāśupata.

11. Hence, O beautiful lady, go away from this place. It behoves you to go there where your desires can be fulfilled.

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