by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Hara is Cursed which is chapter 258 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 fifty-eighth chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
1-6. When the Daughter of the Mountain became engrossed in a great and terrible penance, Hara who had been overwhelmed by Kandarpa (god of Love) roamed over the earth in the Tīrthas, cool shades of trees, rivers, streams everywhere. Maheśvara indulged in sprinkling his body with water. Still the Lord oppressed by Kāma, did not attain happiness anywhere.
Once, on seeing Yamunā full of ripples, he became inclined to dive therein as though he could thus alleviate the distress due to the heat (love-fever).
But the water of the river turned bluish dark in hue due to the fire in the physical form of Hara.
Heated as a result of his diving in the water she shone like ink. Though originally the river had divine form, she became dark due to Śiva. She (the presiding deity of the river) eulogized and bowed to Maheśāna and spoke thus: “O Lord of Devas, be pleased with me. I am always subservient to you.”
7-8a. If anyone on the earth takes his bath in this meritorious excellent Tīrtha, thousands of his sins will certainly get destroyed. It will be sacred and well-known in the world as “Haratīrtha”.
8b. Having said this, he bowed to her and vanished there itself.
9. Maheśa adopted a handsome form and (roamed about) on her banks. He appeared so beautiful that he was (as it were) the refuge of the god of Love. He had kept his hair matted and held some musical instruments in his hands. He had the Puṇḍra mark (a line or lines drawn with sandal or ash etc.) on the forehead.
11-12. Sometimes, he stood in the centre of the women laughing or (feigning) anger.
Even as he roamed about thus, the wives of the sages became infatuated and mentally fancied him in the form of their husbands. They left off the services of their husbands and other domestic chores for the nonce.
13-14. Those women too indulged in laughter (and going after him). On seeing their misbehaviour, the sages became furious. The handsome features of the Lord enraged them further. They shouted: “Let this fellow be held and beaten. Who is this wicked fellow that has come here?”
15. Uttering thus, they took up wooden sticks and rushed at him. Afraid of those noble sages, he fled away.
16-17. It was he who pervades the universe through a part of his life and presides over the embodied ones. He is not to be known. He cannot be seized. Nor can he be split or broken. When they all could not catch hold of Maheśvara, the angry Brāhmaṇas cursed Śiva thus:
18-20. “It was on account of your Liṅga (penis) that you came to the hermitages like a thief. Since you have abducted other men’s wives, let your Liṅga fall on the ground. O Tāpasa (ascetic), this terrible curse will affect you immediately.”
As soon as this (curse) was uttered, the tremendous fire of the curse adopted an adamantine form, cut off the Liṅga of Dhùrjaṭi and made it fall on the ground. The almighty Lord swooned with his body smeared with blood.
21 Despite his refulgent form, the Lord became distressed due to pain as he had been overwhelmed by the great curse. On seeing that he had fallen thus, the great sages came there.
22. All the living beings in the sky trembled. The entire universe quaked. Even the Devas became agitated. They experienced great fear.
23. After recognizing that it was Maheśa the Brāhmaṇas were much afflicted in the heart. In their grief-stricken state, they lamented that extreme powerfulness of fate:
24. “Oh, what has been done! This is the Lord. He is served by even the Devas. He is the witness (Immanent Soul) of the entire universe. (Unfortunately) he was not recognised.
25. We are sinners of deluded intellect rendered feeble due to our own ignorance. How is it that he, our own soul, was neither heard nor revealed!
26-28. (Lord) like this, this very soul, was not revealed to me, a Householder. He is devoid of change, sensuousness, desires, free from trouble, sense of possession, egotism. That very Śaṃbhu was not recognised by us. All these worlds always abide in his person. He is immanent. Such very master of the worlds was not noticed (recognised) by us!”
After saying this they came and sat there.
29. On seeing them Maheśvara became afraid once again. The Enemy of Tripuras vanished because of his fear of the curse of the Brāhmaṇas. He went to heaven.
Prayer to Kāmadhenu:
“Obeisance, obeisance to the mother, the cause of creation, sustenance and annihilation.
31. You are the one who nurtures the earth by means of juicy substances. You promote the welfare of the groups of Devas and Pitṛs.
32. You are known as the bestower of sweet taste by all who are well conversant with juices. It is due to you that this universe is endowed with strength and tenderness.
34. You are Dhṛti (fortitude) and Puṣṭi (nourishment). You are Svāhā as well as Svadhā. You are Ṛddhi (prosperity), Siddhi (spiritual achievement) as well as Lakṣmī (fortune), Dhṛti (forbearance), Kīrti (reputation) and Mati (intellect).
35. You are Kānti (refulgence), Lajjā (bashfulness), Mahāmāyā (the great Illusion) and Śraddhā (faith) that gets everything accomplished. In all the three worlds there is nothing that is bereft of you.
36. You are the bestower of satisfaction on Vahni (fire) as well as the Devas and others. This entire universe consisting of the mobile and immobile beings, is pervaded by you.
37. The four Vedas are your feet, and the four seas are your udders. The Moon and the Sun are your eyes. The Devas are at the tips of your hairs.
38. O goddess, all the mountains are on your horns and the winds between your ears. Nectar is in the navel and the nether-worlds constitute your hoofs.
41. All the groups of Pitṛs shine always stationed in front of you. All Yakṣas are in the region of the forehead and Kinnaras in the cheeks.
42. You are identical with all the Devas. Indeed you are the bestower of the prosperity on all living beings. You are the benefactress of all the worlds. Be the benefactress of my physical form forever.
43. O goddess of Devas, I bow down. O sinless one, I adore you always: I eulogize you, the destroyer of the grief of all the worlds. Be pleased. Be the bestower of boons.
44. O splendid one, my body is burned by the fire of the curse of Brahmaṇas. O goddess born of nectar, it behoves you to revive it by means of your refulgence.”
45. After saying thus he circumambulated her and merged into her body. Thereafter, Surabhi (divine cow) held him within her womb.
46. When the Lord of Devas overcome by the fear of the curses of Brāhmaṇas vanished therein, everyone became agitated due to the delay thereafter.
47. Devas became extremely distressed. The earth shook, the sun and the moon became dim and the wind violent.
48-49. O excellent Brāhmaṇa, the seas became agitated at that time.
It is in that Lord that mobile beings, immobile beings etc. get merged in due course and grow once again. When he vanished on being afflicted by the curse of the Brāhmaṇas, the universe became practically struck dead instantly.