The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Madhavi Born as Subhadra which is chapter 84 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 84 - Mādhavī Born as Subhadrā

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

The sages said:

1-2. O Sūta, you said that Viṣṇu, the Lord of Devas, had told that when Mādhavī became his sister in her next birth as a horse-faced one he would perform penance and turn her into one of splendid countenance. How was she rendered thus? How was the penance performed? Describe everything in detail. Our curiosity is indeed great.

Sūta said:

3. On hearing the message of Suras from Nārada, Viṣṇu went to heaven and held consultation along with Suras.

4. It was for the purpose of reducing the burden of the earth and killing Dānavas that the glorious Lord Hari took birth in the house of Vasudeva towards the end of Dvāpara.

5. The Lord, the destroyer of the arrogance of Daityas, was born of the womb of Devakī. He (Vasudeva) had another wife named Rohiṇī.

6. Of her was born the valorous son named Balabhadra otherwise known as Plough-wielder (Halin). A third wife, the beloved of Vasudeva was known as Suprabhā.

7. Mādhavī was born of her assuming the form of a horse-faced one. One seeing the daughter born with such a hideous form, Suprabhā and Vasudeva became grief-stricken.

8-9. Then all the Yādavas performed the Śāntika (pacificatory) and Pauṣṭika (nourishing) rites. In their excessive terror, they said, “Svasti, Svasti, may it be veil!”. “In our family growing up as a young woman, she is sure to be unhappy. On seeing a girl with horse-face, no one will marry her.”

10-11. Lord Viṣṇu, on coming to know that his sister was like that and the parents were highly distressed, took her with him. Accompanied by Baladeva he quickly went to the holy spot of Hāṭakeśvara for performing a great penance.

12. Properly engaged in Yajña, he propitiated Brahmā through different: kinds of Vrata and Dāna and propitiations of Brāhmaṇas.

13. At the end of a year, Brahmā was pleased with the Śārṅga-armed One. He said “I shall grant boons. Request for the desired thing.”

Viṣṇu said:

14. O Lord, this sister of mine is born as a horse-faced one. Let her be one of excellent countenance. This is my desire.

Śrī Brahmā said:

15. With my favour this good lady shall be one with excellent countenance. She will become well-known by the name Subhadrā. A beloved of her husband, she will give birth to a heroic son.

16-17. A man who devoutly worships her in this form here, O Viṣṇu, along with you and also this Sīrin (Balabhadra) on the twelfth lunar day in the month of Māgha with sweet scents, flowers and unguents shall attain undoubtedly what is cherished in his mind.

18-19. A barren woman or one abandoned by her husband, who devoutly worships her, O Keśava, on the third lunar day, shall become fortunate, happy and blessed with good sons. She will be always rich and prosperous and endowed with all good qualities.

20. After saying thus, the Four-faced One ceased to speak. Delighted in himself, Vāsudeva went to the city of Dvārāvatī.

21. He took leave of Pitāmaha. Accompanied by Baladeva, he took the large-eyed lady with the countenance resembling the lunar disc.

Sūta said:

22. It was thus that Mādhavī who was afflicted by the curse of Lakṣmī was born on the earth (and later) attained the beautiful form of a Subhagā (a fortunate lady).

23. Pārtha, the son of Pāṇḍu, married that lady with charming smiles. A heroic son well-known as Abhimanyu was born to her.

24. Thus, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, everything connected with the birth of Mādhavī has been narrated to you as incidental to the narrative of Lord Suparṇākhya.

25. A man who devoutly reads or listens to this becomes rid of sins incurred only on that day.

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