The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Devas Go to the Mandara Mountain which is chapter 245 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.

Chapter 245 - Devas Go to the Mandara Mountain

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Paijavana said:

1. How did the eternal Lord, the primordial cause of the universe, attain the stony state in the form of Śāligrāma in Gaṇḍakī?

2. Explain it to me. O Brāhmaṇa-Sage, with your favour my devotion to Hari shall become steadier. You are the Tīrthas themselves, destroying sins by the mere sight.

3. Just as men attain purity by bathing in a nectar-like Tīrtha, so also I have attained purity by listening to the nectarlike words of yours. There is no doubt about it.

Gālava said:

4. This meritorious legend is cited in the Purāṇas indicating how the Lord attained the stony state of Śāligrāma.

5. O sinless one, I shall tell you how Maheśvara assumed the form of Liṅga. Formerly, Prajāpati (Patriarch) Dakṣa originated from the thumb of Brahmā.

6. He had a daughter named Satī, a chaste girl of excellent features. She was married to Hara in accordance with the injunctions of the Vedas. You know. Hara is well conversant with the proper procedure.

7. Deluded in intellect, he (Dakṣa) performed a great Yajña wherein he exhibited his hatred for Hara. Satī became extremely furious on account of that hatred.

8. She approached the Yajñavedī (Altar). Holding the sacred fire (having fixed her mind on fire) she held her breath as in Prāṇāyāma, and discarded her physical body.

9. Abandoning the part inherited from her father (i.e. the physical body) and adopting her own part (the Liṅga Śarīra), Satī mentally meditated and proceeded towards the cool Himālaya.

10. Wherever the mind is directed at the time of death, actuated by one’s own Karma, the incarnation too takes place there itself. There is no doubt about it.

11. On being burnt the goddess became the daughter of Himālaya. After being born as Pārvatī, she performed a fierce penance.

12. The Daughter of Himavān directed her mind towards Maheśvara and performed the penance on a peak of Himavān. She was regularly devoted to the Vrata of Hara and devout activities pertaining to Śiva.

13. Then at the end of a thousand years, Lord Maheśvara, the sanctifier and creator of all living beings, came to that place in the guise of a Brāhmaṇa.

14. Through the activities and mental feelings well-tested, he knew that she had been purified by means of austerities. He assumed the divine form and held Pārvatī by her hand.

15. (He said:) “I have been won over by means of your penance. What can I do to please You?” Thereupon, she said to Maheśāna, “My father and guardian is the ultimate authority.”

16-19. On being told so, Śaṅkara deputed the Seven Sages to hold negotiation with Himavān regarding the marriage alliance. Those sages went there and on being sent back (with assent) by Himavān, informed Maheśāna and went away.

On the day of the marriage, Mahendra and other Devas with Brahmā and Viṣṇu as their leaders kept Agni in front and came there. With splendid Madhuparka and other things (for reception) Himavān honoured the bull-emblemed Lord in the guise of bridegroom who arrived there along with the Yogins and Siddhas.

He (Himavān) was very glad and he received the Lord with the customary services. He considered himself blessed and contented.

20. Surrounded by groups of Brāhmaṇas, he united his daughter (with Śiva) in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Vedas and the rite of holding the hand Pāṇigrahaṇa (marriage) was performed.

21. Giriśa circumambulated the holy fire. Thereafter, at the time of Dāna (offering of the bride) Hara was asked about his Gotra (lineage) etc. when he became ashamed.

22-23. At the instance of Brahmā, the remaining rites were concluded by him (Śiva). In the company of all the Devas, the Lord took some fancy and displayed his five faces at the time of taking in Caru when the bridegroom Maheśvara was urged on behalf of Girijā.

24. On seeing Pārvatī with ninety million faces the people laughed boisterously; (they said.) ‘This is the Vedic passage. O Śiva, be firm.’

25. Though ashamed, she did not leave (Śiva) in the course of five births. The lady with black side-glances attained Hara alone as her husband.

26. The entire family of Devas and Mountains (of Himavān and others) became delighted. When the marriage rites were concluded, Hara went to the pleasure house.

27-30. In the presence of the Gaṇas, Aṃbikā did not tolerate it. After giving the wedding present the Mountain (i.e. Himālaya) sent him off. On being honoured and received properly, he (Śiva) went to the Mandara Mountain. Then Viśvakarman built a bejewelled chamber in an instant for the sake of the Lord of Devas. It was a palace that could grow in accordance with one’s desire. It was equipped with all luxury. Its splendour was praiseworthy. It was adorned with jewels and corals. It had a thousand pillars. It was exquisiṭe with jewel-embedded altars. At the doorway of this palace, Nandin and other Gaṇas kept watch.

31. Each of them was three-eyed and armed with tridents and they had the form of Śaṅkara himself. All round that palace, there was a park where thousands of Pārijāta trees grew.

32-33. Kāmadhenu, the celestial cow, and the divine jewel were at the doorstep. In that enchanting abode that caused love to grow, Śiva was staying along with Pārvatī when Kama assumed gaseous form and looking at Śaṅkara spoke thus:

34-36. “Obeisance to you, omniformed one; obeisance to you, O bull-emblemed one. Obeisance to you, the Lord of Gaṇas. O Lord, protect me. I make obeisance to you,

The earth touches the people bereft of you, as though they are corpses. Nothing is seen excluded from you in the whole world consisting of mobile and immobile beings.

You are the protector. You are the creator and you are the cause of the annihilation of the worlds. O Mahādeva, take pity on me; make to me a gift of physical form.”

Īśvara said:

37. O sinless one, formerly you were burnt by me. Reassume your physical form in front of her facing whom you had been burnt by me on the mountain.

38. On being told thus, Kāma regained his own body. O Śūdra, bending down in humility he paid respects to his feet.

39-42. Then the delighted Kāma paid respects to Pārvatī’s feet.

Having obtained favour from both of them, he wandered over the three worlds. He had a great refulgence and was fully equipped with the power of fascinating and enchanting.

Then the flower-arrowed, flower-bowed Lord of love with curly hairs and tremulous eyes entered their body.

At the time of intercourse, the female companions went round and served them with divine wines, divine scents, garments, garlands and other things.

Sporting thus, he (Lord Śiva) spent a hundred years and more.

43. Even as the Lord was indulging in the intercourse, the long period of a hundred years passed off like a single night.

In the meantime the Devas, driven away by Tāraka, sought refuge in Brahmā out of fear. Seeking shelter under him, they eulogized him and said thus:

The Devas said:

44. This Tāraka, the highly hideous one, was granted boons by you formerly.

45. With his might, he conquered Śakra. He is now honoured by all the three worlds and he enjoys pleasures. Devise yourself some means, whereby his destruction can be thought about.

Brahmā said:

46. He was granted boons by me. Therefore, he is not to be exterminated by myself. It does not behove anyone to nurture an obnoxious plant and cut it himself.

47-49. Hence, I shall suggest the means of destroying him. A son to be born of Pārvatī from the noble-souled Maheśāna, will kill Tāraka when barely seven days old.

On hearing this speech, the Devas who had been afflicted by the Daityas and Dānavas, returned to Mandara, the most beautiful (mountain) in the world.

They all returned from Brahmaloka.

50-51. The Gaṇas beginning with Nanḍin returned to the doorway of the Trident-bearing Lord and stayed alert there with full mental control. The Devas lost all their splendour with their minds sickened with grief. They abandoned their abodes and all their resorts. When the Lord (Viṣṇu) went to sleep during the four months, they performed a penance that highly propitiated Hara.

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