The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Creation of Pancapindika which is chapter 177 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 seventy-seventh chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 177 - Creation of Pañcapiṇḍikā

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:

1-2a. Further, there is the deity Gaurī called Pañcapiṇḍikā there itself. The image was installed by Lakṣmī who was in human form. Merely by visiting that deity, a woman attains conjugal felicity.

2b-3. A woman-devotee should place the Jalayantra (a pitcher with a hole at the bottom allowing water to trickle drop by drop on the deity below) above the deity in the bright half of the month of Jyeṣṭha when the Sun is in the zodiac Taurus. It shall trickle day and night. The woman shall attain greatest conjugal felicity.

4. By offering Jalayantra, a woman obtains the whole of that benefit which she is likely to obtain through the performance of all the Vratas pertaining to Gaurī and making gifts of their choice.

5. Hence in the month of Jyeṣṭha a Jalayantra should be offered assiduously to Gaurī by women for the sake of conjugal felicity.

6-7. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, of what avail is the performance of other Vratas, Niyamas, Japas and Homas in the case of women? They are but causes of great pain and strain. At a time when the Fierce-rayed One (Sun) is in Taurus if a Jalayantra is placed over Gaurī’s (image) with excellent devotion, it is meritorious, O tigers among Brāhmaṇas.

8. If that be done, no woman becomes barren or Kāka Vandhyā (having only one child) or one afflicted by misfortune (e.g. death of husband) all through seven births.

The sages said:

9. Gaurī, the great goddess, is said to be and is seen as four-armed. How did it happen that she is Pañcapiṇḍā too? Do clarify this doubt of ours.

Sūta said:

10. O Brāhmaṇas, when Pralaya occurs she makes herself Pañcapiṇḍīmaya (consisting of five lumps); she assumes this excellent form.

11. She is that great Śakti, the goddess of Suras; she pervades everything. The entire range of the three worlds including mobile and immobile beings is pervaded by her.

12. For the purpose of creation, she preserves the five elements viz. earth, water, fire, wind and ether. Hence, she is Pañcapiṇḍikā.

13. If the Pañcapiṇḍikā is worshipped, the merit is three thousand times more than when she is directly worshipped.

14. The worship is to be carried out in the month of Jyeṣṭha, especially with the use of a Jalayantra. In this connection, I shall narrate unto you an ancient legend.

15. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, this befell the wife of the king of Kāśā and this was earlier narrated by Lakṣmī to Viṣṇu on being asked.

Lakṣmī said:

16. Formerly, there was a king of Kāśī well-known by the name Jayasena. He had a thousand wives of excellent beauty.

17. Then he acquired another splendid beloved wife. She was a part of my Kalā, in the form of a human being. She was the daughter of Viṣvaksena, the intelligent king of Madra.

18. She used to get up early in the morning and go to the splendid banks of Gaṅgā. She then made the image of Gaurī with five lumps of clay out of the mud from the river.

19-21. She used to adore the idol with five Mantras and the application of excellent scents, garlands, incense, splendid garments, Naivedya offerings with sweet puddings, songs, dances, instrumental music etc. After the ritualistic dismissal of the image of the goddess, she offered various gifts to Brāhmaṇa Gauriṇīs (i.e. married women with husband alive and virgins). Thereafter she used to return to the abode to the accompaniment of various musical instruments being played.

22. As she continued the adoration of Gaurī, her conjugal felicity went on increasing.

23. She surpassed all her co-wives in regard to conjugal felicity.

24. On seeing the day-by-day increase in her fortune and conjugal felicity, all the co-wives became sad and distressed.

25. Some said: There is a special religious rite, she is engaged in forever. She collects mud and clay, makes them into five lumps and worships them.

26. O great sages, others said that she was perfect in the Siddhi of her Mantras. Still others said that she had performed meritorious deeds in her previous births.

27-28. Thus, they spent a long time in their great sorrow. Once, all of them discussed with one another and came to the water reservoir (pond or lake or river) where she performed the worship of Gaurī in the Pañcapiṇḍikā.

29. On seeing them all, she stopped her adoration of Gaurī and hastened to their presence. There she stood with palms joined in reverence.

30. “O highly esteemed ladies, welcome, hearty welcome unto you all. Do mention my duty which I shall quickly carry out.”

The Co-wives said:

31. It was due to eagerness and curiosity that we have come to you. We are being burned by the fire of absence of felicity fanned by your own conjugal felicity.

32. So, O highly fortunate and esteemed one, tell us why and how you always worship the Pañcapiṇḍikā made of clay.

33. What is the reason thereof? Is it the result of the power of Mantras? O highly esteemed one, if it is not a great secret, do explain to us.

Padmāvatī said:

34. O fair-faced ladies, what I am being asked about is really a great secret. It should not be expatiated upon. Yet I shall explain it to you.

35. Since all of you have come at the time when I am adoring Gaurī, you are all my sisters. I am never defiled by the vice of jealousy.

36. Formerly, I was in the city called Kusumapura. I was the daughter of Vīrasena, an intelligent Śūdra. I was, given, as per Dharma Śāstra, in marriage to an intelligent son of a merchant by the noble-souled one.

37. At the time of the marriage five excellent letters (Mantras) were given to me for my prosperity by a Yoṣit (a maiden) along with my initiation. Thereafter, I was told to perform the adoration of Gaurī.

38-39. (She said:) “O daughter, till you complete the worship of the Ātman by means of these Akṣaras (syllables, Mantras) do not even drink water. Thereby, you will obtain everything desired and desirable.”

O splendid-faced lady, I said to her, “So it shall be (done).”

40. Then after the marriage celebration was over, I went with my husband to the place where my father-in-law was present and also the terrible mother-in-law.

41-42. My mother-in-law was dead against my adoration of Gaurī. She always used to prevent me. Naturally, I who was always devoted to Gaurī became frightened. In the water-pond where I used to go to fetch water, I began worshipping Gaurī with devotion and recitation of the five Mantras. (For the sake of image). I took the clay (and made the lumps).

43. Then I used to throw them in the water and go back to the abode. Once my splendid husband set out for some foreign land for mercantile activity.

44. He took me with him affectionately and proceeding along the desert path we came to an arid region, a frightening desert area.

45. So also the time was equally terrible with the Sun in Taurus. The entire caravan took rest in the middle of the spot.

46. They resorted to a deep well comparable to a rain-bearing cloud. At the same time something resembling water was seen in the desert region by me when I thought thus:

47. ‘Here plenty of water is seen near at hand. Here I can take bath, become clean, devoutly worship Gaurī and drink the tasty water of the lake.’

48. (Thinking thus) I started and proceeded ahead step by step. I went on and on a long way. It was only a mirage. I became extremely distressed due to thirst in that desert land.

49. In the meantime the Sun came to the zenith of the sky, the Sun in Taurus (zodiac) scorched me from above, O fairfaced ones.

50. Down beneath me there were the hot sand particles all around. I became extremely distressed due to thirst in that desert land.

51. Thereat I fell on the ground and there were boils all over my body. A story mentioned in the Bhārata was then recollected by me.

52. Nṛga[1] performed Yajña by means of sand particles hurled into a well without water, grass or lump of clay.

53. The Devas who can be attracted through devotion became pleased with that noble-souled one. Therefore, I thought I too would be worshipping the beloved of Hara by means of the sand particles.

54. Indeed, the goddess had become pleased. In this birth she has granted me a great realm and plenty of what I have been desiring.

55. At that time, the five Mantras were remembered by me and the goddess was worshipped with five handfuls of sand particles.

56. At that time, O excellent ladies, I fell down dead and was reborn in the place of the king of Daśārṇa well known all over the world.

57. Thanks to the favour of that goddess, I am now equipped with the power to recollect previous births. Though I am junior to all of you, I am well nigh at the top in the matter of conjugal felicity.

58. It is for this reason that I make five lumps of clay everyday and offer them to Gaurī by way of adoration.

59. Undoubtedly this great secret has been divulged to you all. Thanks to this truthfulness, may Gaurī grant what is desired in the mind.

Lakṣmī said:

[Note: Padmāvatī is the incarnation of Lakṣmī]

60. Then all those co-wives stood with palms joined in reverence and told me humbly after repeatedly bowing:

61. “Kindly do this favour to us. Let the five Mantras be given to us—those Mantras whereby Parameśvarī, the goddess, was pleased.”

62. All of them were told by me: “Do pray as you please. I shall grant you everything. My words are truthful.”

63. Then, O Lord, they were made my disciples and the five Mantras were imparted to them. They were fully rendered true disciples mentally, verbally and physically.

Viṣṇu said:

64. O goddess of Devas, tell me too. Of what nature is that group of the five Mantras? Those Mantras were used by you for the performance of the worship and subsequently imparted to them.

Lakṣmī said:

65-67. (1) O goddess of forbearance, obeisance to the earth. (2) O splendid one in the form of waters, obeisance to you. (3) O radiant one, obeisance to you. (4) O deity in the form of wind, obeisance to you. (5) O five-formed one, O one richly equipped with the ethereal form, obeisance, obeisance.[2]

With these Mantras the great goddess was formerly adored by me. Thereby the kingdom, extremely rare in regard to all women, was acquired by me.

68-69. Then the goddess was made out of splendid Ratnas (gems) and installed by me there in the holy spot of Hāṭakeśvara, O Lord of Suras. A woman who adores it shall become instantly a favourite darling of the husband. She will be rid of all sins. There is no doubt in this regard.

Footnotes and references:


According to Mahābhārata, Anuśāsana, ch. 70, King Nṛga who was cursed to be a frog was freed from the curse by Kṛṣṇa and was sent to heaven. Here the legend is adapted to suit Pañcapiṇḍikā Vrata.


The five lumps represent the five Mahābhūtas constituting the body, (See the next chapter) Dr Kane is HD, V. i p.336 notes that Hemādri adopted this Vrata in Vrata Khaṇḍa from this Purāṇa.

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