The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Greatness of Bhairava Kshetra which is chapter 151 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 fifty-first chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 151 - Greatness of Bhairava Kṣetra

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: The Purāṇa author used the Andhaka legend to glorify this Tīrtha. As against the version given here in Mahbāhārata, Anuśāsana 14.214-215 and Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa 6. 43.6 Śaṅkara killed Andhaka.

Sūta said:

1-2. On coming to know that the great Vidyā has been acquired by Śukra, that Kelīśvarī has been pleased with devotion, that the Vidyā bestowed increased strength, and recollecting that he had been rendered difficult to be killed as a result of the boon of Pitāmaha, Andhaka became furious with Maheśvara.

3-5. He sent a messenger to Kailāsa mountain instructing him: “O messenger, go and tell Hara these words of mine now:

‘Leave the side of Śakra and stay comfortably here on this mountain. Otherwise, I will come there quickly and kill you in battle along with your wife and Gaṇas. Then I will stay happily in the Nandana garden. I will destroy you. This is the solemn oath I take.’”

6. On being told thus by the Daitya, the messenger hurried there and told Śaṅkara those harsh words.

7. Thereupon, the Bull-emblemed Lord became very furious and he despatched the Gaṇas to kill that wicked fellow.

8-9. The leaders were Vīrabhadra, Mahākāla, Nandin, Hastimukha, Aghora, Ghoranāda and the mighty Ghoraghaṇṭa. Each of these had ten million followers under him. The Lord sent them all to kill that wicked one.

10. On being despatched thus by him, the Gaṇas of hideous faces became extremely delighted. They roared like rumbling clouds.

11. Holding up the weapons for the battle, all of them went to that city of Śakra which the powerful Dānava had occupied.

12. On seeing that the Gaṇas had come, the Dānavas too seized their weapons arrogantly and rushed out at once with the intention of giving a tough fight.

13. Then a battle ensued between the Gaṇas and the Dānavas. The mutual fight was extremely violent. They kept back death reversed (regarded retreat as death). They were not afraid of death.

14. Then in the battle, all the Gaṇas of Hara were defeated by the Dānavas. They fled to the various quarters in their fright. They became eager to see Hara.

15. On seeing his Gaṇas shattered, Hara came out angrily. On seeing Hara, the Daityas fled in all the ten directions.

16. On seeing Hara, Andhaka came face to face with him for the sake of fighting. Thereupon, the fight between Andhaka and Hara started even as the great battle between Vṛtra and Vāsava had occurred earlier.

17. (Hara fought with) various weapons like discus, shafts, arrows, Tomaras, swords and hammers. But that Dānava could not be killed by these various weapons.

18. Then they ceased to fight with weapons. They resorted to (wrestling) a hand-to-hand fight. Each grasped the other by the hand and began to hit with fist.

19. The Lord of Devas was kept bound by the Dānava and great pain was inflicted on him. He remained motionless and fell in a swoon.

20. Coming to know that he had fallen in a swoon Andhaka went out of the abode (?) In an instant Sthāṇu (Śiva) regained consciousness and took up his bow.

21. The Lord then lifted an iron rod weighing a thousand Bhāras, approached the leader of the Dānavas and struck him on his head.

22. He struck the Lord of the Devas quickly and forcibly with a sword. Then the Lord remembered the missile of Kubera in the great battle.

23. With the missile he struck the Dānava in his chest. Being struck therewith he vomited blood.

24. With the face turned downwards he fell down. Then he was pierced with the trident. Perched on the top of the trident, the sinful (Andhaka) began to whirl like a wheel.

25. Finding himself in that plight, Andhaka eulogized Lord Maheśvara with richly worded prayer:

Andhaka said:

26. Obeisance to you, to Śarva, O creator of the worlds, having the three Guṇas within. O Lord with the moon (worn) as an ornament, obeisance to the Lord stationed on (riding) the bull.

27. Obeisance to the Lord holding the Khaṭvāṅga in the hand, to the holder of the trident. Obeisance to the Lord holding Ḍamaru drum, Kodaṇḍa (bow), skull and fire.

28. Obeisance to the destroyer of the body of Smara, to the supreme soul with eight cosmic bodies. Obeisance to the Lord with his handsome body, to the Lord devoid of form, to the multi-formed one.

29. Obeisance to the destroyer of the head of Viriñci (Brahmā), to the cause of creation, to the permanent resident of cremation ground. Obeisance to the Lord of Bhairava (terrible) form.

30. You are present everywhere; you are the creator of all. You alone are the destroyer and none else. You are the earth; you are the Rajas; you are the light as well as the darkness.

31. O Maheśvara, you constitute the body of all living beings; you are the soul of every individual.

Thus the leading Dānava eulogized even as he was held perched on the tip of the trident.

Sūta said:

32. On hearing his eulogy thus, Maheśvara was delighted. He joyously told the excellent Danuja held on the tip of the trident:

Śrī Bhagavān said:

33. O Daitya, this is not the established practice of heroes, especially of one born as a Daitya, to utter conciliatory words at the time of being afflicted at the hands of an enemy.

Andhaka said:

34. O most excellent one among Suras, I have become disgusted and dejected on remaining held up on the tip of the trident. Hence do slay the quickly so that my pain can be reduced.

Śrī Bhagavān said:

35. Your death has never been intended by me. Hence, you have been pierced in the chest by the trident and held thus.

36. Giving up your demoniac nature and behaviour you will be freed from sin. Attain the state of a Gaṇa and be equipped with great faith.

Andhaka said:

37. My Dānava state has disappeared. Now I shall be your servant undoubtedly. I solemnly take this oath.

Śaṅkara said:

38. O dear one, I am pleased with you. Tell me what is desired by you. Request. I shall grant it even if it is difficult to obtain.

Andhaka said:

39-40. If a man makes an image of yours with my body as it is now fixed at the tip of the trident, and places it on the ground, O most excellent one among Suras, salvation should be granted to him by you at my instance.

Saying “So it shall be” Maheśa freed him from the tip of the trident. O Brāhmaṇas, he was a skeleton of bones, very lean and resembling Cāmuṇḍā.

41. Then he attained the status of a Gaṇa. He sang a melodious song before the Lord of Devas and Pārvatī too.

42. His Raṭana (voice) was pleasing to. the ears like the humming sound of a black bee. So he was called Bhṛṅgīrīṭa by the Slayer of the Tripuras.

43. It was thus that he attained the status of a Gaṇa of the Trident-bearing Lord of Devas. Later on, he became highly trustworthy and prompt in all his duties.

44. Ever since then, Maheśvara, the Lord of Devas, is installed by people on the earth in such a form.

45-46. Great Siddhi of super-worldly nature is obtained here with his favour.

Once upon a time, a famous king named Suratha hailing from the solar race, had been ousted from his kingdom. He approached Vasiṣṭha, his own preceptor and he bowed down to him and spoke with eyes dimmed by tears:

47-48. “O holy Sir, in spite of the fact that you were staying as my guide and master, the enemies have taken away my realm now. I am really unfortunate.

Hence do me this favour so that I may regain my dominion. I have none else to turn to.”

Vasiṣṭha said:

49. O great king, if it is so, hurry up and go at my bidding to the holy place of Hāṭakeśvara that accorḍs all Siddhis.

50. There you shall install Maheśvara in the form of Bhairava with the boby of Andhaka that is pieced with the tip of trident and raised up in his arms.

51. Then, O king, worship it uttering the Narasiṃha Mantra and offering red flowers, incense and red unguents.

52. Then after attaining excellent virility and becoming equipped with refulgence and heroism undoubtedly, thanks to his favour, you will kill all the enemies.

53. The Lord should be worshipped by you with great purity; otherwise you will meet with obstacles. It is the truth that has been uttered by me.

54. On hearing his words, the king hurried quickly to the holy place and installed Lord Bhairava.

55. Then reciting the Narasiṃha Mantra with devotion, he maintained purity and celibacy and worshipped the Lord.

56. When the Mantra had been repeated ten thousand times, Bhairava became pleased and spoke to him:

Śrī Bhairava said:

57. O king, by being worshipped with this Mantra I am pleased with you. Hence do request for what is desired, so that I can grant you everything.

Suratha said:

58. My kingdom has been captured by enemies. May it be mine again, thanks to your grace. It should be free from enemies.

59-60. If another man comes here and worships you with this Mantra, O Lord, you should grant him Siddhi at the end of a thousand recitations as in my case, O Sureśvara.

After promising him, “So it shall be,” Hara vanished thereafter.

61. After killing the enemies in battle, Suratha regained his realm.

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