The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Importance of Gaya Shraddha which is chapter 205 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 two hundred fifth chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 205 - Importance of Gayā Śrāddha

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Viṣṇu said:

1-3. After understanding everything in this manner, O Thousand-eyed One, act according to my statement, if those who are killed in the battle are dear to you. They had been fighting in front of you. Propitiate them by means of Gayāśrāddha so that they will get rid of Pretahood. So also in the case of those who were fleeing and so were hit on the back and killed.

Indra said:

4. Every year Pitāmaha goes to Gayā on that day and performs Śrāddha unto the Pitṛs of divine forms.

5. Therefore, O Lord, how can I go there for the performance of the Śrāddha rite? Hence tell me, O Janārdana, some salvation-yielding Tīrtha on the earth so that, at your instance, I can go there for their Śrāddha.

Viśvāmitra said:

6. Thereupon, Janārdana meditated for a long time and said to him, “There is a Tīrtha superior even to that in merit.

7. It is situated in the centre of the Kūpikā in the holy spot of Hāṭakeśvara. On the New-Moon day, O Lord of Devas, and on the fourteenth day too Gayā reaches there accompanied by all the other Tīrthas.

8. A man who performs Śrāddha there when the Sun is in Virgo and that too through Brāhmaṇas born of the eight eminent families, shall redeem his Pitṛs.

9-10. This shall be the result even when the Pitṛs are in the state of Preta. All the more so, if they are stationed in heaven? The Brāhmaṇas hailing from that holy spot and born of the eight eminent families are now on the Himalaya mountain performing a severe penance. They have gone there because they were afraid of the Dāna given by the Lord of Ānarta.

II- 12. Address them in all earnestness along with the expedients beginning with Sāma (conciliatory remarks). Take them with you and go to that holy spot. In front of them, perform the Śrāddha duly. Thereby, you will attain the desired result. After having come, they also will be happy.

13. For the sake of Śrāddha they are worthy of being honoured by us also as well as by you.

On hearing it Śakra was satisfied at once.

14. With Himavān as his destination, he set out in haste. O leading king, Vāsudeva went to the Ocean of Milk then.

15. After reaching Himālaya Śakra met the Brāhmaṇas born of the eight eminent families as indicated by Viṣṇu.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: