by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,142,515 words
This page describes Greatness of Soma’s Shrine which is chapter 87 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.
Even a man of sinful deeds who visits the deity on a Monday or at the time of lunar eclipse will never see Naraka.
The sages said:
4. O Sūta-Putra, this is a very surprising thing that lurks in our mind. Hence, O highly esteemed one, do explain this. You know everything entirely.
5. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, the entire universe is proclaimed as Somamaya (identical with and influenced by Soma). When Soma is well established, all the three worlds too will be (automatically) well established.
6. All these medicinal herbs, all these beginning with Sasya (vegetables and food-grains) on the earth are also Somamaya (permeated by Soma). All creatures are alive due to them.
7. Since, O Brāhmaṇas, Devas beginning with Brahmā attain the greatest satisfaction after duly getting Soma and become joyous, therefore he is considered excellent here.
9. For this reason Soma is proclaimed as superior to all the Devas and Dānavas. Indeed he is the most worthy of being worshipped by them.
10. Men erect palaces on the earth for the Lord of the night in the same manner as they are erected for other leading Suras.
11. All those men by whom palaces (shrines) were made for the Lord of the night on the earth have accumulated a lot of merit and attained liberation.
12. By means of a single mansion of the Moon, men obtain that merit which is attained by a thousand mansions (temples) of Maheśvara.
13. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, on coming to know the greatness of a mansion (shrine) raised for Candra, Brahmā and other Devas became frightened in their minds. They resorted to the top of Meru and said thus in order to put obstacles in its erection:
14-18. “All the following (astrological) events beginning with Sa should coincide on a single day: (1) Saumya-Ṛkṣa i.e. Mṛgaśīras, (2)Somavāra (Monday), (3) Saumyatithi (?full-moon day) and (5) Somagraha (lunar eclipse). One who erects a palace on that (juncture) in a single day and installs Candra shall obtain the excellent benefit of erecting palaces (temples) for all the deities.
If the mind is sanctified by perfect faith, the benefit shall be thousand-fold. If one erects the palace of Candra otherwise he meets with the ruin of his family and falls into Naraka.
It is for this reason, that, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, men are afraid and so do not construct a shrine of the Lord of the night, though it is highly meritorious.
19. A mansion of the Lord of the night that has been erected here in this holy place was raised by Aṃbarīṣa, the king who somehow found such a time as has been enjoined by those who ponder over scriptural topics.
21. Therefore, O Brāhmaṇas, both the kings attained the greatest Siddhi, by his power unaffected by birth and death.
23. Excepting these three palaces there is no other palace on the earth pertaining to Candra. What I have uttered is the truth. There is however one on the banks of Narmadā on the meritorious confluence of Revā and Ūri.
24. Thus everything connected with the excellent greatness of Candra has been narrated to you completely. It is destructive of all sins of those who read and those who listen.
Footnotes and references:
Soma is identified here with the Soma plant.