The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Greatness of Citreshvara Pitha which is chapter 154 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-fourth chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 154 - Greatness of Citreśvara Pīṭha

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:

1-2. A woman who takes her bath in that excellent Kuṇḍa, sees Pārvatī, takes bath again in the splendid Rūpamaya Tīrtha and finally visits Pārvatī with great faith shall be immediately rid of all sins committed from birth till death.

3. There itself, O Brāhmaṇas, near Gaurī Kuṇḍa is the Kuṇḍa made by the servant maid of Pārvatī named Jayā.

4. A woman who takes her holy ablution there on the third lunar day shall become a great favourite of her husband and be richly endowed with conjugal felicity, and happiness due to birth of sons.

5. Further, there is another excellent Kuṇḍa named Vijayākuṇḍa there itself. A barren woman who takes her holy bath therein becomes blessed with sons.

6. She does not see even in dreams any calamity befalling her sons, nor separation from them nor any other type of grief.

7. A Kākavandhyā (i.e. a woman with only one child) who takes her holy bath there shall beget many sons and become honoured in the heavenly world.

The sages said:

8. O Sūta, among these Tīrthas, is there any Tīrtha that bestows excellent bodily Siddhi if the bath is taken there?

Sūta said:

9-10a. There are twenty-seven Liṅgas. Complete Siddhi will be obtained out of anyone of them by a devotee who is endowed with the Sattva quality and has adopted Vīravrata.

10b-11. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, he who, at mid-night on the fourteenth day of the dark half of Āśvina, adores them (those Liṅgas) as per prescribed procedure and in due course devoutly mutters the previously mentioned Mantra is the best of the aspirants.

12-13. After performing Aṅganyāsa (ritualistic touching of the limbs) a devotee should loudly recite the Kṣurikā Sūkta. Then in front of them he should perfectly worship Śaṅkara and devoutly worship the Guardians of the quarters severally.

14-17. (The text is obscure) It is possible that Vighneśa may put obstacles. He may assume hideous and terrific form with protruding belly. He may be nude and he may have black teeth. With the sword in his hand he may say. “Fight with me if you are a hero of Sāttvika type, leave off this (Kapaṭa)[1] (Karpaṭa?) fraudulent practice on the ground.” The devotee may be dragged and beaten, but he is ultimately taken to the highest region along with his own body—the highest region where there is never death or grief. So this Siddhi of one is glorified in the Citreśvarī Pīṭha.

18-23. (The worship of the goddess in the way of the vulgar Tāmasa people).[2] The Devotee should worship the Pīṭha on the fourteenth lunar day in the dark half of the month of Māgha in accordance with the injunctions in Āgamas. He shall have perfect faith.

Then he takes up a Kapāla (potsherd, skull?) filled with Mahāmāṃsa (human flesh) and declares: “I am selling this Mahāmāṃsa now with Siddhi as the price thereof. If there is any Sāttvika let him take it.”

O excellent Brāhmaṇas, he who begs, takes it and goes out to the Hāṭakeśvara Kṣetra where Lord Maheśvara is present in the form of a Liṅga installed by Citraśarman.

The devotee should seat himself in the centre of that place and worship it on Śivarātri day at midnight with devotion by means of flowers. He shall attain Siddhi with the body at the same instant.

O excellent Brāhmaṇas, all the Siddhisthānas are present in that holy spot. They are for men who have adopted Vīravrata (the vow of the heroes).

The sages said:

24. O highly intelligent one, this path of perfection is Tāmasa (that of barbarous and outlandish ones) that has been mentioned by you. This is not worthy of acceptance for great Brāhmaṇas and specially for those who are well-versed in the Vedas.

25-26. O Sūta, O highly esteemed one, tell us the path of salvation for Brāhmaṇas, the way whereby salvation is attained by Brāhmaṇas of pure mental predilection, who eschew injury to all living beings even if it may be a delayed process.

Sūta said:

27-28a. There is Ānandeśvaraka associated with ten Rudras. A devotee then should take his holy bath in the Kuṇḍa in front of him in accordance with the rules found in the scriptural texts.

28b-29. The man should take his holy bath in the Viśvāmitra Hrada in the month of Māgha. He should take the bath early in the morning and make the gift of a pot of gingelly seeds to a Brāhmaṇa. He shall be rid of all sins and be honoured in the world of Brahmā.

30-31. That shall be the result even if he be one with evil conduct, an indiscriminate eater and seller of anything and everything. A man endowed with faith should undertake fast and perform Prāyopaveśa (fast unto death) in front of the Lord named Suparṇa. One who forsakes his life thus is never reborn.

32. Thus three different methods of attaining Siddhi have been mentioned. They are beneficial to Brāhmaṇas. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, They are Sāttvika means praised even by Devas.

33. There are other Tīrthas and holy shrines. Sages of well praised holy vows say that they bestow heavenly pleasures.

34. Thus the greatness of the holy place of Hāṭakeśvara has been fully narrated to you all. It is destructive of all sins.

35. Even a sinner who takes his holy bath in all the Tīrthas and devoutly visits all the shrines, becomes liberated.

36. This Khaṇḍa is declared as the first one of this Purāṇa composed by Kārttikeya. It is (both) auspicious and destructive of all sins.[3]

37. He who devoutly reads this or listens to this with concentration shall enjoy all pleasures here and go to heaven.

38. One who listens with great faith (this Khaṇḍa) attains all the benefits obtained (by pilgrimage to) all Tīrthas and by giving all Dānas.

39. By listening to this Purāṇa one is rid of all the sins arising from millions of births. One redeems a hundred members of his family.

40. Then Vyāsa (the expounder of the Purāṇas) should be honoured by means of the gifts of garments, etc., cows, plots of lands, food offerings etc. of various kinds.

41. If the expounder of the Purāṇas is duly honoured then the original Vyāsa Kṛṣṇadvaipāyana, the son of Satyavatī, becomes honoured by him.

42. The preceptor may impart to the disciple only a single syllable. Even then there is nothing on the earth by giving of which the disciple can be free from the indebtedness.

43. This is sacred. This is conducive to longevity and wealth. This results in and leads to welfare. On nearing this great text one is liberated from all miseries. There is no doubt about it.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Probably karpaṭa, ‘old garment’, rag indicating old human body.

[2]:

This Tāmasa type of worship is of the left-handed cult of Śakti (Vāma Mārga).

[3]:

These verses show that this is the end of the first khaṇḍa of this Purāṇa.

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