The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,142,515 words

This page describes Brahmanas Invited for Purashcarana which is chapter 160 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 sixtieth chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 160 - Brāhmaṇas Invited for Puraścaraṇa

Sūta said:

1-5. On another day at night when he lay by her side, the wife massaged his feet and said to him in full confidence: “Undoubtedly you are my husband as long as I live. So, my Lord, do tell me. The other one has been forsaken by me for your sake. Is there any jugglery on your part? Or have you practised any sacred Mantra? Or is this the favour of the deities? How is it that you have come to be like this? Even on the very first day I had become aware of you when I was adorned and presented with clothes and ornaments. Oh! Were I to disclose your fraud entirely to the other one? No, no it shall not be. I touch your feet.”

Sūta said:

6. On being told thus, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, he (Puṣpa) embraced her and spoke to her in sweet words:

7-8. “Oh my beloved! You have correctly understood all my activities. Oh fair lady! I am that Brāhmaṇa who was made to suffer by Maṇibhadra for looking at your moon-like face. I went to Camatkārapura and propitiated Ravi (Sun-god). This form and knowledge (of the details of Maṇibhadra) was granted to me by the delighted Sun-god.”

Māhikā (the wife) said:

9-11. Merely at your sight, I was overwhelmed by Lord Kāma. Hence I shall also go and propitiate the Sun-god so that he will grant you joyously once again that original form of yours. O my Lord, of what use are my beauty and youth! I am worshipping your original form day and night.

Sūta said:

12. On hearing it, Puṣpa took out the other pill and placed it within his mouth. He regained that form in which she had seen him earlier.

13. Then the delighted Māhī (Māhikā) experienced horripilation. She embraced him closely and spoke these words:

14-16. “Today my birth, youth and beauty have become fruitful since you, fully comparable to Madana and desired heartily, have been obtained by me.

All these days I have been serving you in the form of the old fellow and hence only the least pleasure of love was attained by me. Now enjoy me fully, O Brāhmaṇa, to your heart’s content. I am at your service, your very slave.”

Puṣpa said:

17. Oh my beloved! I have obtained you after a long time. I do not know what to do. Shall 1 squeeze myself into you? Shall I merge my limbs into yours?

18. After this conversation, they indulged in close physical intimacy, O excellent Brāhmaṇas, as they got the opportunity and were fully under the control of Lord Kāma.

19. Then, as the night came to a close and the Sun’s disc rose up, Puṣpa put the pill into the mouth and assumed the form similar to that of Maṇibhadra.

20. In this way, they spent a long time. Sons, daughters and grandsons were born.

21-23. When he became old and rather feeble due to senility, he thought: ‘A great sin has been committed by me. The poor Maṇibhadra was treacherously made to meet his death. His wife was snatched away by me and forced to bear children. Hence I shall go to the holy spot of Hāṭakeśvara and perform the expiatory rite of Puraścaraṇa so that I can regain purity.’

24. After coming to this decision in his mind, Puṣpa took plenty of cash with him and went to Camtkārapura.

25. He gave to his sons severally the due share of their inheritance. Then he got a splendid palace of the Sun-god built.

26-27. The deity had been installed by Yājñavalkya and there he attained Siddhi.

Then he called his middle son. When he bowed down and made obeisance he said: “Bring a Brāhmaṇa well-versed in all the four Vedas. I shall perform the rite of expiation named Puraścaraṇa for the sake of purity and I shall duly pray.”

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