The Skanda Purana
by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Greatness of Cakrapani which is chapter 152 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-second chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Chapter 152 - Greatness of Cakrapāṇi
[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]
The sages said:
1-2. O Sūtaputra, you have enumerated innumerable Tīrthas and shrines installed by Devas, human beings, monkeys and Rākṣasas.
Tell us what of all of those Tīrthas and shrines, when visited and touched, will facilitate the full acquisition of desired benefit.
3. O highly esteemed ones, it is true that there is no limit to the number of Tīrthas, Liṅgas and Āśramas (hermitages).
4. One who takes his holy bath with great concentration in Śaṅkha Tīrtha especially on the eleventh lunar day, obtains the benefit of all.
5. If a man devoutly visits the eleven Rudras there including Siddheśvara, it is as good as all the Maheśvaras have been seen by him.
6. If anyone visits Vaṭāditya especially on the sixth lunar day in the month of Caitra, it is as though all the Bhāskaras stationed there have been seen by him.
7. If anyone endowed with perfect faith visits Goddess Māhitthā, it is undoubtedly as though all the Durgās have been seen.
8. If anyone visits Gaṇeśa, the bestower of the heavenly gate (Svargadvāra-prada) on men, it is undoubtedly as though all the Vināyakas have been seen by him.
9. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, if anyone visits Jyeṣṭhā Gaurī there, installed by Śarmiṣṭhā, it is as though all the Gaurīs have been seen by him.
10. If a man gets up early in the morning and visits Cakrapāṇi, it is as though all the Vāsudevas have been seen by him.
The sages said:
11. O Sūta, how is it that Cakrapāṇi who is stationed there has not been mentioned to us. Has he been forgotten? Do narrate to us. At what time is he to be seen particularly by learned men?
12-13. O leading Brāhmaṇas, the Lord was installed here, in this holy spot, by Arjuna. He is to be visited by devotees after getting up early in the morning on Śayana (eleventh day of the bright half of Āṣāḍha) and Bodhana (eleventh day of the bright half of Kārttika) days after devoutly taking the holy bath. If he visits Cakrapāṇi, the sins of Brāhmaṇa-slaughter and the like perish instantaneously.
14. O Brāhmaṇas, the two deities Nara and Nārāyaṇa were made to incarnate by Brahmā for the purpose of dispelling the burden of the earth and establishing virtue (Dharma).
15. At the close of Dvāpara, these Nara-Nārāyaṇa took incarnation as Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, O excellent Brāhmaṇas. They took birth on the earth and they were mutually affectionate.
16. Just as Rāma, the son of Daśaratha, took the incarnation on the earth for the destruction of Rākṣasas, so also Kṛṣṇa was another incarnation.
17-18. Arjuna installed the Lord during pilgrimage. When Arjuna happened to see his brother (Yudhiṣṭhira) in their (intimate) privacy with Draupadī, he undertook a pilgrimage from the excellent city of Śakraprastha (Indraprastha) at the instance of Yudhiṣṭhira. He bowed down and humbly submitted:
19. O excellent king, I have now come here for taking my weapons to get the cows of the Brāhmaṇa released. O king, grant me permission.
20. O Arjuna, go there quickly to the place where the cows of the excellent Brāhmaṇa are being taken by the thieves. O Dhananjaya, get them released.
21. Thereafter undertake a pilgrimage for twelve years. Then, rid of the sins, you will come back to me.
22. Even a sensible man will become highly sinful if he looks at a man in union with his wife in a secluded spot. It is still more so, if the man happens to be one’s own brother.
23. Hence one who wishes for his own welfare should not look at anyone in union with his wife in a secluded spot and particularly at a brother.
24. Thereafter, he promised “So it shall be”, hurriedly got into his chariot seizing the bow and the arrows and went away.
25. O Brāhmaṇas, he went on that path on which the cows were being taken forcibly by the thieves holding sharp weapons, after warding off all the Brāhmaṇas.
26. He quickly killed the thieves and brought back all the cows himself and returned them to the noble-souled Brāhmaṇas.
27. Then the son of Pāṇḍu visited many Tīrthas and shrines and came here to this holy spot for the purpose of a holy ablution.
28. That holy spot had already been visited by him earlier when he was there in the company of Duryodhana.
29. Then with flowers, incense and unguents he worshipped the Liṅga name Arjuneśvara which had been installed earlier (by him).
30. Similarly (he worshipped) Liṅgas which had been installed by other Pāṇḍavas and leading Kauravas also.
31-33. Then the son of Pāṇḍu began to think in his mind: ‘I am Nara himself. Hence I shall install here Cakrapāṇi, the Lord of Suras, and also build a palace a like of which no human being has as yet built on the earth.
Even at the close of the Kalpa, this holy spot will not perish at all. The palace too shall be so in this holy spot.’
34. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, this holy spot will not perish at all. The palace too shall be so in this holy spot.
35. Then he invited the Brāhmaṇas hailing from Camatkārapura and abiding by their views, he made them install the image.
36. He made various gifts to them and offered many grants of lands. He gave them later other things which gave them satisfaction.
37. Then with palms joined in reverence, he spoke: “I am Nara (in that birth) born of Brāhmaṇa (but now) begot of the wife of Pāṇḍu.
38. I left the auspicious Badarī and assumed a human form. This palace has been built by me here for the sake of reputation. I have built it with a mind sanctified by faith. The palace has been named after my name Nara.
39-40. Hence, O Brāhmaṇas, this deity should be glorified always as Cakrapāṇi so that my name could be echoed in the Viṣṇuloka as long as the Moon and the Sun shine.
41. Further a grand festival should be held on days of Viṣṇu’s going to sleep (Śayana, on the eleventh day in the bright half of Āṣāḍha) and on that of waking up (Bodhana, eleventh day in the bright half of Kārttika) and in Caitra on the day of Viṣṇu (the eleventh lunar day in the bright half of Caitra).
42. On these three days, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, I leave Badarī and perform the worship of Viṣṇu personally.
43. A maṇ who worships this deity on that day shall be rid of all sins and go to Viṣṇuloka.
44. Further all those who are settled in the holy spot of Vāsudeva should be seen by him and welfare will be acquired by him.”
45. They said: “So it shall be”. The son of Pāṇḍu belonging to the family of Dāśārha (Yādava—from his mother’s side?) entrusted all the responsibility to them. With a calm and peaceful mind, he went to the other Tīrthas. He felt contented.
46. Thus, Hṛṣīkeśa himself, the destroyer of the sins of all the creatures, stationed himself there in the form of Cakrapāṇi.
47. Even today, on the three Ekādaśī days the Lord’s digit (part) thus manifests himself. Hence, he should be worshipped always by persons endowed with faith in accordance with the injunctions laid down before. He should be specially honoured and adored.