The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 1,763,776 words

This page describes Creation of Rama Hrada which is chapter 69 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.

Chapter 69 - Creation of Rāma Hrada

Sūta said:

1-3. Thereafter when the earth became devoid of Kṣatriyas, Kṣatriya women desirous of perpetuating their race had union with Brāhmaṇas and gave birth to excellent Kṣetraja sons (sons born from others in one’s wives).

These Kṣetraja sons grew up and prospered. They came to be equal to Kṣatriyas. With their valour, they expelled the excellent Brāhmaṇas and took possession of the earth.

Thereby the Brāhmaṇas became distressed much on being thus utterly humiliated. They approached Bhārgava and said:

4-5. “O Rāma, O Rāma of powerful arms, the earth that was granted to us by you at the time of the horse-sacrifice, has been forcefully taken possession of by Kṣatriyas. Hence, if you have enough manliness left, kill those base Kṣatriyas and grant us the land once again. Increase our prosperity."

6. Thereupon the anger of Rāma was greatly roused. He once again set out along with those Śabaras, Pulindas and Medakas for the extermination of the Kṣatriyas.

7. There too he killed the Kṣatriyas, collected much blood, filled the pit dug already and offered libations to the Pitṛs.

8. In the horse-sacrifice performed again, he granted the earth to Brāhmaṇas. On being denied residence (therein) by them, he went back to the seashore.

9. Thus the earth was rendered devoid of all Kṣatriyas, twenty-one times by him, O eminent Brāhmaṇas. It was then granted to the Brāhmaṇas too.

10. Libation was offered to the Pitṛs by that noble-souled one through blood. The vow made was kept up and therefore he became free from anger.

11. After the libation was offered on the twenty-first time, there was heard an unembodied aerial voice originating from the Pitṛs:

12-14. “O Rāma, O highly exalted Rāma, put a stop to this despicable act. We are pleased with you because you kept your word.

What has been done by you, no one other than you, will do; it has not been done by anyone before as a result of the enmity arising from father’s (murder).

So we are all pleased, O dear one. We shall grant you what has been cherished in the heart by you. Therefore, be quick in requesting for it even if it be inaccessible unto even the Devas.”

Rāma said:

15. If the Pitṛs are pleased, if they give what is desired, may this meritorious Tîrtha become well known all over the world after my name. Let it be devoid of the defect of blood pollution. Let it be resorted to be excellent sages.

The pitṛs said:

16. This Gartā (Pit) made by you, where the libation to the Pitṛs was offered will become famous all over the three worlds as Rāma Hrada.

17. Those people endowed with devotion who offer to the Pitṛs the requisite libation here, will obtain the benefit of Aśvamedha and attain the greatest goal.

18-19. A man who devoutly performs the Śrāddha unto one killed by weapons on the fourteenth lunar day in the dark half of the month of Bhādrapada will cause the redemption of that ancestor even if he had attained the state of a Preta or fallen into Naraka. It docs not matter if he was a sinner.

Sūta said:

20. After saying thus to Rāma, they ceased (to speak and disappeared). Thereafter Rāma eschewed his anger completely and performed penance there itself.

21. Hence by all means, one should perform Śrāddha with full faith, to the person killed by a weapon on the same day (occurring every year).

22. The Śrāddha on the concerned day is cited as that which yields salvation unto those dead due to violent injury, serpent bite, fire, eating poison or hanging.

23. One who performs libation rites to the Pitṛs even with water during the Pretapakṣa (dark half of Bhādrapada) becomes free from indebtedness to them and he is honoured in Pitṛloka.

24. Thus everything connected with Rāmaharda has been entirely recounted to you. The greatness thereof is detractive of all sins, O excellent Brāhmaṇas.

25. A man who devoutly reads this himself at the time of Śrāddha shall undoubtedly obtain the entire benefit arising from Gayā Śrāddha.

26. One should read this in the presence of Brāhmaṇas at the time of Parvans (festive occasions). Thereby one obtains the entire benefit of Pitṛmedha (Yajña pertaining to Pitṛs).

27. A man who devoutly listens to this on being recited obtains undoubtedly the entire benefit of Sautrāmaṇi Yajña.

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