by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Greatness of Amarakeshvara Kshetra which is chapter 145 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 one hundred forty-fifth chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
The sages said:
1-2. O sūta, it has been said by you that the girl did not die though she was killed with terrible blows. Here we have become very curious: How did she survive as the Yoginī giving delight to Hara? Describe the whole thing and the wonderful reason.
4. O Brāhmaṇas, there is no death even when there remain no span of life. There is no question of premature death. Therefore, although she was struck terribly, she did not meet death.
The sages said:
5. You have mentioned a deity name Amareśvara, the bestower of immortality. By whom was the deity installed there? What is its power? Do narrate.
8. Some of the Suras were killed by the Daityas. Other were driven away with faces averted. Those who were frightened and those whose limbs were wounded fled to all the quarters.
9. So the mother of Devas settled here with great sorrow. Devoted to the meditation of Śiva, she performed penance day and night.
11. The delighted lady eulogized the Lord with various kinds of prayers and made obeisance to him with great concentration falling at the feet with Aṣṭāṅgas (eight limbs) touching the ground.
12. In the meantime a divine voice arose in the firmament without a body. It had the rumbling majestic sound of clouds.
13. “I am the Moon-crested Lord. I am pleased with you. Request for a boon cherished in the heart. I shall grant it to you.”
14. O most excellent one among Suras, my sons are being killed in battle by Dānavas. Render them free from sufferings. Let them not be killed in battle.
Śrī Bhagavān said:
15. O splendid lady, those who touch this Liṅga and go to the battle front cannot be killed in the course of a year.
16-18. Any other man with great concentration who keeps awake in the night of the fourteenth lunar day in the dark half of the month of Māgha, shall be free from ailments for the period of a year. If a man comes to this splendid shrine on the day he is destined to die, the god of Death will avoid him from afar.
After saying thus, the voice ceased.
19. Aditi too was pleased. She summoned the surviving sons and showed the Liṅga to them. She told them everything that the voice had said while granting the boon.
20. Then all the Devas bowed down to that Liṅga and taking all the weapons with them, joyously marched against them (Daityas).
22. The Dānavas saw many Heaven-dwellers arriving suddenly with various kinds of weapons for the sake of fighting.
23. They equipped themselves with weapons and coats of mail and got into the excellent chariots. Like roaring and rumbling clouds, they marched ahead for the battle.
24. A big battle ensued between the Devas and the Dānavas. Incited by anger in their minds, they were not afraid of death (They made god of Death to recede).
25. Then all those Devas who had obtained the boon from Hara killed innumerable Daityas with many sharp weapons.
26. Those who survived among them abandoned the abode of Devas. Fleeing with great effort they entered the sea.
27. Then Śakra regained his kingdom that had been taken by the Dānavas. He got the entire dominion intact. He ruled over it after destroying all the thorns (enemies).
28. The remaining Dānavas came to know of the greatness of that Liṅga and the origin of the holy shrine of the Bull-emblemed Lord.
29-31. Everything was told by Śukra: “If any devotee remains pure on the fourteenth lunar day in the dark half of Māgha and worships that Liṅga, he shall never become bereft of his life even though grasped by Kāla.
Hence, O highly esteemed ones, ye all resort to that Liṅga at night on that day and worship duly. Thereby you shall be devoid of death.
Just like those groups of Devas you too do worship till the end of the year. By the power thereof, you shall be free from death. There is no doubt about it. It is the truth that has been spoken by me.”
33. He had consultation with the Devas for devising the means of guarding the deity that day. Their endeavour (to protect) should be perfect for that purpose.
34. All the thirty-three crores of Devas with their weapons settled in that holy spot for protecting that deity on the fourteenth lunar day in the dark half of the month of Māgha. They prepared themselves for the purpose of striking.
35. On seeing the Devas already established there the Dānavas became extremely frightened. They fled in all directions.
36. When the day dawned fully and the solar disc rose up, the Suras took counsel with one another again:
37-39. “If we are to go to Svarga leaving the holy spot, the Dānavas will approach the Liṅga and worship it.
They will be free from being killed like us. Hence we all the thirty-three chiefs shall stay here. All the remaining ones of the crores of Devas may go back along with the Thousandeyed One and remain as the protectors of heaven from the enemies.”
40-41. Thereupon, eight Vasus, twelve Arkas, eleven Rudras and the two handsome Nāsatyas (Aśvins) remained in the holy spot for protecting that Liṅga. The others went to the abode of Devas along with Śakra.
42. The Liṅga of the trident-bearing Lord of Devas which had been installed formerly by Adith has such a power. It was about this that you have asked me.
44-45. It was on the fourteenth lunar day in the dark half of Māgha, that the girl was struck by the infuriated Brāhmaṇa Jābāli. The place was the same. Therefore the poor girl did not meet death though hit with force.
46. Thus, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, the origin and greatness of that Liṅga has been narrated to you. It is destructive of all sins.
47. If a person reads this with devotion in the presence of that Liṅga, he will never have the danger of premature death at any cost.
48. In front of it, there is the splendid Kuṇḍa filled with clear water. It was made by the fair lady Aditi for the purpose of her own bath.
49. Even today the same effect continues. A man who takes his holy bath therein, visits that Liṅga and keeps awake there itself everyday, shall not have premature death for the period of a year.