The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Greatness of Vishvamitreshvara which is chapter 44 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-fourth chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 44 - Greatness of Viśvāmitreśvara

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Menakā said:

1-2. O highly lustrous one, you are not an expert in sexual acts indeed. That is why you restrain me, a loving woman, by means of words like these.

Sūta said:

On being told thus, Viśvāmitra who never desired to accept her as his wife, became very angry and he said thus:

Viśvāmitra said:

3. You may live or court death. I will not carry out your words. The sin originating from the violation of one’s holy vow, is worse than that from the murder of a woman.

4. Expiation has been prescribed by learned men in regard to men of holy vows when the murder of a woman is committed but not when they come into carnal contact with them. Hence you may go away.

5. It is not that only men who have adopted holy vows incur sin from physical intimacy of women. Even men outside the pale of holy vows face downfall if they are attached to women.

6. Even at the time of the first meeting under the pretext of circumambulating the sacred fire (in marriage ceremony) a woman indicates transmigration (coming and going) in Saṃsāra.

7. Hence a wise man who desires his own welfare should avoid conversations with women, let alone physical, intimate contact.

8. A woman is like a smouldering, charcoal. A man is like a pot of ghee. Avoiding the contact he remains strong (compact); by the contact he becomes ruined (melts).

9. Women are at the root of all disasters and adversities of all the living beings on the earth. Hence they should be kept off at a safe distance, because they are obstacles to the attainment of heaven.

10. Women of noble families commanding great affluence and having their own husbands begin to love someone else. They are very fickle.

11. By coming into contact with women, people wander about in the worldly existence. Hence no one other than women contributes anything to sin on the earth.

12. Women attend to a base man who serves them in isolated places even if he be ugly and base-born.

13. Women of uncontrolled nature abide by the conventional decorum with their husbands only because they are afraid of the servants and danger from other men.

Sūta said:

14. Thus rebuked by him Menakā became very angry. With her lips throbbing much through anger, she cursed that excellent sage.

15-16. “O highly evil-minded one, by avoiding the sexual dalliance (with me) you have abandoned me though I am sexually excited. So, take this curse from me. Be now itself one with wrinkles and grey hair, one with the limbs shattered by old age, one of dim vision and bereft of colour, O evil-minded one.”

Sūta said:

17. Immediately after these words had been uttered, the excellent sage came to be one as imprecated by her.

18. He too became highly furious and attempted to curse her. With eyes reddened due to distress, he took water from the waterpot.

19. “O basest courtezan, although I am blameless I have been cursed by you. So you too shall become one with the limbs shattered due to old age.”

20. At his words she too became one of that type of physical form as that of the excellent sage with the body covered with wrinkles and grey hairs.

21. Then, along with such a hideous form she took her bath in the Tīrtha whereat she got transformed into her original form.

22. On seeing that great miracle, he took in a very great haste, his bath there and became transformed as before.

23. Thus, by the power of the Tīrtha both of them became endowed with handsome features, beauty and exalted virtues. They joyously took leave of each other and went to the place they desired.

24. By coming to know the greatness of the Tīrtha in this manner, the holy sage installed the Liṅga of the Trident-bearing Lord of Devas.

25. The holy lord performed very great penance at that excellent Tīrtha. By means of the blades of Kuśa grass, he made the lake very wide.

26. A man who takes his holy bath there and worships the excellent Liṅga well-known as Viśvāmitreśvara shall go to Śiva’s palace.

27. Even today the water seen there is on a par with the water of Gaṅgā, meritorious, destructive of all sins and yielding all cherished desires.

28. One who takes his holy bath there with the mind sanctified by faith, shall attain the world of Devas and rejoice along with the Pitṛs.

29. Ever since then that Tīrtha earned a great reputation that it bestows exalted handsomeness on men all over the earth, the nether world and the heavenly region.

30. Thus, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, the greatness of Viśvāmitreśa, that is destructive of all sins and about which I had been asked, has been completely narrated to you all.

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