The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Greatness of Rajavapi which is chapter 98 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 98 - Greatness of Rājavāpī

Note: Chapters 98 (Rājavāpī), 99 (Sage Durvāsā’s Curse) sum up Rāma’s life upto the death of Lakṣmaṇa. Then instead of returning to Ayodhyā, Rāma asks his ministers to crown Kuśa. Rāma goes to Sugrīva and ihen to Vibhīṣaṇa. He install three Liṅgas on the Setu, but at Vibhīṣaṇa’s request he breaks Setu in the middle.—Chapters 100-101. He returns with Vānaras and Rākṣasas to Ayodhyā but on the ways his aerial chariot Puṣpaka stops at Hāṭakeśvara. He builds Śiva temples in the name of his brother and Sītā (Chapter 102). Monkeys and Rākṣasas install their Liṅgas.

Sūta said:

1-4. Then bidding farewell to his ministers, King Daśaratha joyously went to the holy spot of Hāṭakeśvara.

After his arrival, he worshipped the goddess installed earlier by his father. With great devotion he had already had his bath in the holy Kuṇḍa of splendid waters.

Thereafter, he had his holy ablutions in many Tīrthas. He visited all important shrines and made gifts of many kinds. He constructed a palace-like temple of the Discus-bearing Lord of Devas and installed the splendid icon of Viṣṇu there.

5. In front of it, he got a big tank full of clear water made with rows of flights of steps. All good men praised it duly.

6. The water thereof was respectfully made use of by him in the regular propitiation of the Lord. He performed severe penances of various kinds.

7. Seeing the severe penance performed by that king, Lord Janārdana was pleased with him after the lapse of a hundred years.

8. Seated on the King of Birds (Garuḍa) and surrounded by many groups of Devas, the Lord appeared before the king and spoke in a majestic voice like the rumbling of a cloud.

Śrī Viṣṇu said:

9. O dear one, I am pleased with you. O king of excellent holy vows, choose your boon. Even if your desire is very difficult to be fulfilled, I shall grant it entirely.

The king said:

10. The whole of this undertaking of the penance by me is for the sake of sons. Grant me sons who will perpetuate my family.

11. O Overlord of Suras, everything else if of course present in the house. Thanks to your favour, I have some power and glory.

Viṣṇu said:

12. Undoubtedly, O king, I shall assume four forms and take incarnation in your abode.

13. For the sake of Devas, I shall undertake this task. Hence, O king, do go home and rule over your great hereditary kingdom duly.

14. The tank got dug by you that is full of pure water shall become well-known in the world as Rājavāpī (Royal Tank).

15-16. A man of great devotion should take his holy bath in this tank and worship this goddess with great ardour and faith on the fifth lunar day.

Thereafter, O king, he should perform Śrāddha for a year. If he has no sons he will beget sons who will perpetuate the family.

17. After saying thus, the Lord vanished. With his face beaming with delight the king too went to his abode.

18. Within a short time thereafter, he begot of his three wives four sons who became well-known in the world.

19. His splendid eldest queen was well-known by the name Kauśalyā. His first son named Rāma was born of her.

20. The youngest of his wives was Kaikeyī by name. Her son was famous by the name Bharata.

21. Another wife of his, the middle one, was Sumitrā by name. Śatrughna and Lakṣmaṇa were her very powerful sons.

22. He had a daughter of excellent complexion. She was given as the adopted daughter of King Lomapāda who had no sons.

23. King Daśaratha thus attained freedom from the indebtedness to the Pitṛs, O Brāhmaṇas. With contentment, he went to Svarga.

24. Rāma became the king and an emperor later. Rāvaṇa, the unassailable thorn of Devas, was killed by him.

25. Rāmeśvara, Lakṣṃaṇeśvara and Sītā the goddess in a visible image—all these deities were installed by him.

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