The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Curse to Vishnu which is chapter 251 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 251 - Curse to Viṣṇu

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Gālava said:

1-3. After saying this, the ethereal voice (Vāṇī) that granted auspiciousness stopped. The Devas observed that great miracle and (decided to perform) the great Vratas.

At the advent of Cāturmāsya, O Śūdra-born one, Devas duly worshipped the four trees with the feeling of identity among them.

After the Cāturmāsya was concluded the delighted Lord appeared in the visible forms of Hari and Hara (fused into one), thanks to their devotion, and spoke thus:

4. “O Lords of Devas, O eager (sincere) observers of the great Vrata, do go now. Enjoy your respective positions as authorised. Those Dānavas have been killed by me.”

5. After saying thus, the two Lords of Devas in their united form prompted the intellect of the Gaṇas and Devas to repudiate the difference.

6. Thanks to this non-difference, the Lords became suppressors of the enemies and Devas became delighted in their minds on being rid of obstacles.

7-8. They went back to their respective places of authority by means of crores of aerial chariots.

Gālava said:

There too the Devas continued to have the delusion due to the curse of Pārvatī. They eulogized and adored the great goddess by means of Bilva leaves. They repeatedly bowed down to the goddess of smiling face on being eulogized.

9-12. Thereupon, the mother of the universe, who was eulogized, spoke to the Devas: “O excellent Suras, of course my curse cannot go in vain.

Yet I shall take pity on you despite your commission of sins. O excellent Suras, in the heaven you will not become converted into stone.

Descending to the mortal world, you will be converted into icons wholly. All of you Devas shall then be capable of being the bestowers of boons on people.

The progeny of those boys and girls united in wedlock shall be your progeny too without doubt.”

13. After saying this the goddess who bestowed boons on the Devas angrily Spoke to Viṣṇu and Maheśvara (see vv 15 and 16).

14. On being afraid of her, the Devas vanished and became idols in the mortal world. They remained well-established there causing the fulfilment of the mental desires of their devotees.

15-16. “Since, O Viṣṇu, Maheśāna was not forbidden by you, you will undoubtedly become a stone.

Hara too will attain the form of a stone despicable to the people, in the shape of Liṅga due to the curse of the Brāhmaṇas and will endure great misery.”

17. On hearing it, Lord Viṣṇu bowed down by way of appeasing Maheśvarī, the wife of Hara and said:

Śrī Viṣṇu said:

18. “O supreme goddess of great Vratas, you have always been the beloved of Mahādeva. You alone are (the great Śakti) abiding in Sattva and Rajas—the excellent Śakti of Tāmasic nature.

19. You are endowed with the three Mantras. You have evolved the three Guṇas. You have created Māyā and others. Your form pervades the universe.

20. You are eulogized by the three Vedas. You are endowed with attachment (Rāga) in the form of Sādhya (One who should be realized by means of spiritual endeavour). You are formless and omni-formed too. You bestow progeny upon people.

21. You are the Phalavelā (the time of fructification). You are Mahākālī, Mahālakṣmī and Sarasvatī. O goddess of Suras, you alone are Oṃkāra and Vaṣaṭkāra.

22. Obeisance to you, O mother of living beings. Obeisance to you, O Śivā, Rāgiṇī and Virāgiṇī (passionless). Obeisance, O splendid one, O one of frightful form.”

23. On being eulogized thus, the goddess with eyes beaming with pleasure, with a heart filled with delight, spoke these exalted words though uttered in pretended anger:

24. “O Janārdana, my curse will never be otherwise. In your case too, it is so. Stationed there too you will be the bestower of salvation on leading Yogins.

25-26. You will fulfill the cherished desires of the devotees, especially in Cāturmāsya.

There is a river named Gaṇḍakī. It is the beloved daughter of Brahmā.[1] The river bestows merit and has plenty of water. It has originated from Pāṣāṇasara (the mountain of hard strones[2]). Your residence shall be in its very pure waters.

27. Your stones have been observed in twenty-four types by those conversant with ancient lore. At the opening thereof, there is gold. It is glorified as Śālagrāma stone.

28. It is a circular (globular) mass of refulgence. You will be endowed with Śrī and you will possess ability for everything. You will accord salvation even to the Yogins.

29. You will bestow every Siddhi thought of by the devotees, the men who will worship you, Viṣṇu present in the stone.

30. If men with eagerness and devotion adore with Tulasī the Lord of the Devas present in the Śālagrāma stone, salvation is not far removed from them.

31. He who sees you, Viṣṇu present in the statue of Śālagrāma stone, Viṣṇu marked in every limb by the excellent discus, shall never go to Yama’s abode.”

Gālava said:

32. Thus everything connected with Śālagrāma has been narrated to you as to how that Lord Viṣṇu got the state of the stone.

33. After receiving the great (terrible) curse, Govinda went back to his abode. Pārvatī too who had been rendered furious made Maheśāna bow down (She went to her abode).

34. Thus that Lord, creator of everything past, present and future, and maintainer and destroyer of all-even he with Śrī and Bhava (Śiva) with the Daughter of the Lord of Mountains, stayed in the four trees.

Footnotes and references:


According to Varāha Purāṇa, the source of the river was the drops of sweat dropped from Viṣṇṇ’s cheek (Gaṇḍa) while performing penance. The river rises in the Dhavalagiri range of Himalayas (called Sapta-Gaṇḍaka)


These stones (pebbles) are found near a place called Śālagrāma near the source of Gaṇḍaka. Formerly there were the hermitages of Bharata and Pulaha (De, 60). It was believed that gold was found within these pebbles. The “discus” is a freak of nature caused by the rubbing action of water on the stones.

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