The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Creation of Seven Lingas which is chapter 271 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 seventy-first chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 271 - Creation of Seven Liṅgas

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:

1-6. There is another very meritorious set of seven Liṅgas there. By visiting, honouring and worshipping them particularly, a man becomes long-lived and free from ailments.

One of them is Lord Maheśvara called Mārkaṇḍeśvara. Another Lord Indradyumneśvara, Hara, who dispels all sins. Similarly, Pāleśvara is the destroyer of all diseases. Then there is the famous of Ghaṇṭaśiva installed by Ghaṇṭa. The Lord named Kalaśeśvara is conjoined with Vānareśvara. The deity called Īśānaśiva is Kṣetreśvara (Lord of the chiefs of the holy spot). On being worshipped devoutly, the Lord fulfils superhuman wishes. Even after the advent of Kali Age, he bestows everything desired mentally.

The sages said:

7. Who is this person named Mārkaṇḍa by whom the Liṅga was installed? O Sūtaja, tell us who this king Indradyumna was.

8. So also who is this person named Pālaka by whom Hara was installed? In which royal family was born the person named Ghaṇṭa?

9. Who was this well-known person named Kalaśa accompanied by Vānara? Who was this Īśāna? Describe everything. Our eagerness is great.

10. Also describe that which will do good to men. Then tell the story of those excellent men by whom these deities were installed.

11. So also, O Sūtaja, describe their activities, power etc. Recount the procedure of Dāna with their proper occasion and let the Mantras pertaining to them be known in detail.

Sūta said:

12. I shall tell you the ancient legend narrated to king Ānarta by Bhartṛyajña himself.

13. If this is listened to, a man shall become long-lived. By its power, one does not meet premature death.

14. The sin-destroying (legend about the) origin of the deity mentioned at the outset, well-known as Mārkaṇḍa has already been narrated to you.

The Legend of Indradyumma:

[Note: This legend is practically a repetition of the same legend in Mahābhārata, Vana, Ch. 199. Camatkārapura is not known to Mahābhārata. It is the pro-Nāgara turn given by this Purāṇa.]

15. Now, O excellent Sages, I shall narrate the story of Indradyumna, what his family was, what his power was and how he was honoured by all the kings.

16. O excellent Brāhmaṇas! Formerly there was a king named Indradyumna. He was a patron of Brāhmaṇas. He offered succour to all. He was a protector of good people. He used to perform Yajñas. He was a great donor. He was efficient and engaged in everything beneficial to all living beings.

17. There was no famine, no epidemic, no ailment and no fear caused by thieves to any of the people, when that righteous king was ruling.

18-19. Just as the streams of downpour during rains are numerous, just as the stars in the sky are innumerable, just as sand-particles on Gaṅgā are numberless so (innumerable) were the Yajñas performed by him. All of them were completed with full monetary gifts. He performed Agniṣṭomas, Atirātras, Ukthas and Ṣoḍaśikas.

20-21. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, with his mind sanctified by faith, he performed many Paśuyajñas, Sautrāmaṇis, Cāturmāsyas, Vājapeyas, Aśvamedhas, Rājasūyas, Pauṇḍarikas and others.

22. Many gifts were made by hiṃ, particularly in holy spots. Delicious foodstuffs were served to leading Brāhmaṇas along with monetary gifts.

23. On the whole of the earth, there is not a single town or city or holy spot where a temple (erected by him) did not find a place.

24. Many thousands, trillions and crores of virgins were given in marriage to Brāhmaṇas in need of wealth by him.

25-26. On the Daśamī day (the tenth lunar day) at night would be beaten his big wardrum installed on the back of an elephant and taken around the entire city, which proclaimed: “At daybreak it shall be the sin-destroying day of Viṣṇu. All, excepting the aged and children, should observe fast. If anyone takes food I will punish him.”

27. That saintly king Indradyumna went to Brahmaloka with the same physical body due to the favour of Viṣṇu.

28. At the end of a thousand Kalpas, he was told by Brahmā himself: “O Indradyumna, go to the earth. Now you cannot stay here.”

Indradyumna said:

29. Why do you drop me down hurriedly from your world, O Brahmā, though I am devoid of any sin. O Lord of Devas, tell me the reason.

Śrī Brahmā said:

30-32. Your glory has come to an end today on the surface of the earth. A man can stay in heaven only so long as his renown remains on the earth. It is for this reason that people inscribe their names on holy temples, tanks, wells and lakes they construct or dig. Hence, go back to the earth. Renew your glory and renown if you desire a long stay in this world.

3S. Even as the great king surveyed himself, he found that he had instantly reached the city of Kāmpilya on the earth.

34. Then he asked the people: “What is this city? What is this land? Who is the king? What are the towns and cities?”

35-36. But they simply replied: “This is the city well-known as Kāmpilya. The land is called Ānarta[1] and the king here is Pṛthivījaya.

But who are you please? Why have you come here? Have you any specific purpose? Tell us.”

Indradyumna said:

37. Formerly, there was a king named Indradyumna in the city of Rocaka in the land Vaijaruka. Where is that land? Where is that city?

The people said:

38. We do not know that city, nor the land nor that king named Indradyumna about whom you are asking, O gentle Sir.

Indradyumna said:

39. Is there any aged person here, of long life, who might have known that king, land or city? Tell me quickly.

The people said:

40. It is heard that there is a great sage named Mārkaṇḍeya in the Naimiṣa forest, who remembers (events of) seven Kalpas. Go and ask him. You may come to know then.

41. Thereafter, he immediately travelled by the aerial path, bowed down to that sage residing in Naimiṣāraṇya and asked him:

42. “O excellent sage, we hear that you are an ancient one of long life. Hence this question. Was a king named Indradyumna seen or heard by you?”

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

43. In the course of these seven Kalpas, a king named Indradyumna has neither been seen nor heard about by me. So what can I say to you?

44. On hearing those words of his, the king lost all hopes. He became extremely disgusted and so he resolved to die.

45. Then he gathered some wood and kindled a fire. As he was about to step into the fire, king Indradyumna was thus addressed by sage Mārkaṇḍa:

46-47. “This you must not do. I have now become your friend. I shall dispel the (cause of your) death even if it be greatly difficult. You are not sick. You are hale and hearty. Why do you wish to die? Tell me the reason for taking away your life. I shall take a counter-measure.”

Indradyumna said:

48. I was told by the residents of the city of Kāmpilya that you are a long-lived one. Hence, O great sage, I have come to you.

49. O excellent sage, (I expected) that you will tell me the tidings of Indradyumna. (I came to know) that my reputation was unknown to you. So I am causing my own death.

Sūta said:

50. On coming to know of his decision, the great sage was moved with pity. He fully knew that his endeavour was fruitless. Hence out of courteous consideration for him he spoke thus:

51-53. “If that be so, do not enter the fire. I will learn more about that king. There is a great friend of mine, a crane named Nāḍījaṅgha. He is an aged ancient one. He would certainly know about our king. Hence, do come; we shall go to him to Himālaya. Meeting with good persons can never go in vain anywhere.”

54. After saying thus, the sage and the king joyously set off to Himālaya by the aerial path to meet the crane.

55. On seeing Mārkaṇḍeya approaching, the crane became highly pleased. He came facing them and honoured them with due welcome greetings:

56. “Blessed am I. I am indeed meritorious, since I have come in contact with you, O most excellent one among the knowers of Brahman. How best can I extend my hospitality to you?”

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

57. You are longer-lived than I and you have become my friend. Has king Indradyumna been seen or heard about by you?

58. This friend of mine has something to do with someone seen by him. Otherwise it will end in his death. So I have come to you.

The Crane said:

59-60. I certainly remember fourteen Kalpas, but I do not remember any legend connected with Indradyumna; let alone seeing him personally. It is the truth that has been uttered by me.

Indradyumna said:

61. Is this the power of penance, or of the observance of restraints or of making gifts that your life span has become so long despite the fact that you are only a crane? Do tell us.

Crane said:

62. My life has become so long due to the efficacy of Ghṛtakaṃbala (covering the Liṅga with ghee) of the Trident-bearing Lord of Devas. My being crane is the result of the curse of a sage.

63. Formerly, I was a boy in the household of a wise Brāhmaṇa named Pārāśarya (i.e. of Parāśara Gotra) in the beautiful city of Camatkārapura.

64. My name was Viśvarūpa and I was often remembered by the nick name “Baka” because I was very fickle-minded and a darling of my father.

65. Once, at the time of the transit of the Sun into Capricorn, I became excessively frivolous. I took the Liṅga which my father regularly adored, the Jāgeśvara Liṅga, and put it into the jar of ghee.

66. As the night passed away, I was questioned by my father. “Certainly, the Jāgeśvara Liṅga has been dropped down somewhere by you, dear boy. Do tell me. I shall give you something excellent to munch and crunch.”

67. Urged by a desire to eat the (promised) luscious stuff, I immediately retrieved the Liṅga from the jar of ghee and placed it on the hand of my father even as it dripped with ghee.

68-69. After some time I died, but thanks to the power of dipping the Liṅga into ghee, I was reborn into the palace of the king of Ānarta equipped with the power of remembering the previous birth. I became well-known by the name Baka. Lord Hara was installed by me in the city of Camatkārapura.

70. Thanks to its power, O leading Brāhmaṇa, I reached the world of Pitāmaha later.

71-72. During the days of my rule, when the Sun remained in Capricorn, I used to cover with ghee all the excellent Liṅgas all over the earth. After establishing my son in the kingdom and employing servants everywhere with ample supply of cash and garments, I propitiated the excellent Liṅga installed by me in Camatkārapura, day and night.

73. After a long period of time, Lord Śiva was pleased with me. Approaching me he said these words:

74-75. “O excellent king, welfare unto you, I am pleased with you and your innumerable Ghṛtakaṃbaladāna (covering the Liṅga with ghee). Hence, welfare unto you. Choose any boon whatever you have thought in your mind. I shall grant it to you, even if it is very rare and should not ordinarily be given.”

76. Thereupon, Hara was told by me: “O Lord, if you are pleased with me, make me a Gaṇa of yours. I do not ask for anything else.”

Śrī Bhagavān said:

77. O Baka, O highly esteemed one, come to the excellent mountain Kailāsa along with me in this very physical form. Be my Gaṇa.

78. Any other man in this mortal world who performs this rite at the time of the transit of the Sun, when the Sun is in Capricorn at the beginning of the night, will also be my Gaṇa, even if he only does the rite of Ghṛtakaṃbala only once.

79. As for you, you have been worshipping my Liṅga for long. You will become well-known as Dharmasena devoid of defect.

80. After saying thus the Lord took me to the Kailāsa mountain and granted me the leadership of a corps of Gaṇas.

81. Once in the course of my wandering, I went to the most excellent mountain Himavān by chance.

82. It was there that the sage named Gālava resided permanently engaged in penance. His wife was a lady of wide eyes and endowed with all (excellent) characteristics.

83. She was red in seven parts of the body and profoundly deep and majestic in three. Her ankles remained hidden (under flesh) and she was lean-bellied. On seeing her, O great sage, I became overwhelmed by Manmatha (god of Love).

84-85. I reflected in my mind: ‘How shall I kidnap her? Yes, I shall be his disciple and become devoted to him. Engaged in serving him, I shall get at the beautiful lady.’

86-88. I approached Sage Gālava in the form of a religious student thereafter (and said): “I am dejected and disgusted with the worldly existence. I will undertake great penance. Grant me initiation, O holy Lord, so that I can become your disciple. I shall bring Darbha grass, flowers, sacrificial twigs, fruits and water regularly.”

89. Considering me to be a true Brāhmaṇa endowed with humility, he granted me the due initiation in accordance with the procedure laid down in the scriptural texts.

90. After obtaining the initiation, I began to propitiate him day by day. I served his wife too in accordance with her behests. But it was with an impure mind, because I was eagerly bent upon finding out a vulnerable point.

91. On another day, when she was in her monthly course, she went far from the hut at night. The noble-minded lady slept (in the open).

92. ī assumed a very big form and abducted the poor lady who was sleeping soundly in a carefree manner and proceeded toward the south.

93. She woke up from her sleep at my touch. Realizing that I was the same disciple in the garb of a thief, she cried loudly.

94-95. She spoke to her husband, the excellent sage Gālava: “O holy lord, this ill-behaved disciple of yours is carrying me off. Save me from him, O highly esteemed one, lest he should go too far.”

96. On hearing that Gālava said frequently “Stop! Stop! O wretch of wicked conduct! O defiled one! Your movement has been restrained by me.”

97. At this utterance of his, there was a great obstacle to my movement. I stood motionless on the spot as though it was but a painted picture.

98. Then I was cursed by the noble-souled Gālava: “O evil-minded one, since I have been deceived by you, be a Baka (crane).”

99. Thereupon, I saw myself in the form of a Baka all of a sudden. But even in the state of a Baka I found that my memory of previous life was not lost.

100. His wife who had been very miserable all over her body due to the contact with me had her ablution along with her clothes, now stood ready to curse me.

101. “I was asleep during my monthly period. You assumed another form and touched me in your attempt to kidnap. You deceived my husband by resorting to hypocrisy like a crane (Baka). Hence you shall indeed become a Baka.”

102. Thus, cursed by both of them, I became grief-stricken. I fell at the feet of the noble-souled Gālava (and said):

103. “I am a Gaṇa of the noble-souled Three-eyed Lord of Devas well-known by the name Pālaka. I am employed as the Lord of a crore of Gaṇas.

104-108. I was here in connection with a job assigned by the Lord. Seeing your wife I became a victim of Kama. In view of this, O, great sage, forgive my outrageous conduct. On attaining good fortune, learning and prosperity, an ill-mannered fellow like me does not stay long in a single spot. I have become haughty and arrogant. I pretended to be a student of yours and approached you, O great sage, only with an intention to kidnap this noble, chaste lady. But be pleased with me even as I bow down to you in my wretchedness. Have favour on me by granting me your forgiveness. Forgiveness is a characteristic feature of saints. Melodious note is an attractive feature of cuckoos. Chastity is the (real) beauty of a woman. Learning is a relieving characteristic feature of the ugly ones and forgiveness is a characteristic feature of ascetics.”

Sūta said:

109. On listening to those wretchedly desperate words of his (Baka), the sage, a devotee of Maheśvara, considered him as a kinsman, took pity on him and spoke these words:

110-111. “There is a Brāhmaṇa well-known by the name Bhartṛyajña in the splendid Camatkārapura. He is truthful in speech. By his instruction your Bakatva (state of being a crane) will vanish certainly at my instance. There is no doubt about it.”

112-113. Then I found myself turned into a Baka. It was thus that I obtained a long life due to the devotion to Śiva and the greatness of Ghṛtakaṃbala. The state of a Baka was due to the curse of the sage.

Indradyumna said:

114-117. It is for this purpose that I have been brought to your presence, O bird, for the purpose of getting the news of Indradyumna. But due to my bad luck, O bird, you never had that news. I have already resolved to die. I shall therefore resort to a well-kindled fire. This has already been vowed by me earlier after making up my mind that if Indradyumna remains untraced, fire should be resorted to by me. Hence, along with Mārkaṇḍeya grant me permission so that, O Baka, I lost (i.e. forgotten by people) can enter fire with all reputation.

Mārkaṇḍeya said:

118. Do you know any other man senior to you in age? In that case I shall go to him and ask him on behalf of this noble-souled one.

119. He has come here along with me because he has great faith in me. How can he abandon his life as long as I am alive as his assistant.

120. There is another relevant statement I have to make, O bird. Miserable that he is, he will enter fire. Without redeeming him, how can I go to my hermitage?

Sūta said:

121. On coming to know of their decision, the Baka became highly vexed. He pondered for a long time: on how the happiness of those two could be brought about.

122. The king and the sage gathered together some wood and were about to jump into the fire. On seeing them thus, the Baka spoke these words:

123-126. “O wise one, do as I say if you wish to live. He who will clearly, know King Indradyumna has been now found out by me. He is my senior (in age). He is an adept in all the scriptural texts. Hence take this gentleman who, it seems, has decided to die, and who heaves sighs like a serpent. His eyes are agitated and filled with tears. Come along with me to the mountain Kailāsa. It is there that my friend, the long-lived owl, lives. He will certainly know him. Do not end your life in vain.”

127. Thereupon he, accompanied by the noble-souled Baka and Mārkaṇḍeya reached the excellent mountain Kailāsa.

128. He too (the owl) became delighted on seeing Baka, his intimate friend at hand. He delighted him with the words of welcome.

129. After he had taken rest (the owl) named Prākāravarṇa embraced him repeatedly and spoke these words:

130-131. “Welcome, O king, O excellent Brāhmaṇa! Tell me, my friend, your business, the reason for your visit.

Who are these two persons who have come to me along with you? They have divine forms. They are esteemed ones enveloped with splendour.”

The Baka said:

132. This is the well-known one named Mārkaṇḍa. He is famous in all the three worlds. He has attained great Siddhis as a favour of Maheśvara. The other one is one of his friends. I do not know him well. He came to me along with Mārkaṇḍa, my friend.

133. He expressed his desire to enquire about Indradyumna. But, friend, I do not know anything about him.

134. Thereupon, he became disgusted and desired fire for self-immolation. O bird, he has been brought here by me for the purpose of acquiring knowledge about him.

135. O highly intelligent one, if you know king Indradyumna, declare it so that he can turn away from (the thought of) death.

136. I know that you are one of very long life. Hence I have come to you.

The Owl said:

137. Twenty-eight Kalpas have gone by since my birth but no king named Indradyumna was seen or heard by me.

Indradyumna said:

138. Wherefore have you the state of owl? Tell me quickly. This is my curiosity. Why you have such a long life along with the terrible state of owl despised by the world?

The Owl said:

159. Listen. I shall tell you how I acquired a long life. It is by the grace of Maheśvara, a result of his adoration with Bilva leaves. I incurred the state of owl due to the curse of the noble-souled Bhṛgu.

140. Formerly, I was a Brāhmaṇa who had mastered all lores in the excellent city of Camatkārapura. I was well-known by the name Ghaṇṭaka. I was celibate having control over the sense-organs. I was engaged in the worship of Hara.

141. Śaṃbhu was worshipped by me thrice a day with unbroken three-leaved Bilva-Patras growing on the top of the tree and numbering a hundred thousand.

142. At the end of a thousand years, Lord Hara was pleased with me. Appearing before me he spoke in deepsounding voice as majestic as the roar of a cloud:

143-145a. “I am pleased with you, O dear one. Do choose your boon, O devotee of excellent Vratas. I am pleased because I have been worshipped by you thrice a day with unbroken Bilva leaves.

The pleasure that I derive through even a single sprout of Bilva cannot be obtained through even crores of other leaves, certainly, O friend, not even through sweet-smelling flowers.”

145b. Welfare unto you, dear friend, the Moon-crested Lord was bowed to by me and addressed thus:

146. “O Lord, if you are pleased with me, if a boon has to be granted to me, then, O Lord of the universe, make me immune from death and old age.”

147. The great Lord Maheśvara promised saying, “So it shall be” and vanished in a moment. The Lord of Devas went back to Kailāsa.

148. On having received the boon from Maheśvara, I was delighted and I considered myself blessed as one who has accomplished his object.

149. In the meantime (I met) the excellent sage Bhārgava who was an expert in all scriptures and who had mastered the Vedas and Vedāṅgas.

150. His wife was a chaste lady well-known by the name Sudarśanā. She was the daughter of Sage Gālava and dearer to him than his own life.

151. His daughter was unrivalled all over the earth in beauty. She was once seen by me unexpectedly playing about as she pleased.

152. She was slender in the middle. Her tresses of hairs were excellent. Her eyes were long and her lips resembled a Biṃba fruit. On seeing her I fell victim to Lord Kāma.

153. Then I asked: “Whose daughter is this girl of beautiful eyes? She shines like a celestial damsel with limbs symmetrical and well-proportioned.”

154. Her friend informed me that she was the daughter of Sage Bhārgava. “Even now this girl of sweet smiles is a virgin.”

155. Then I went to Bhārgava and stood near him humbly with palms joined in reverence. I requested him for the hand of the girl.

156. O highly-esteemed one, though I was not handsome (though I was deformed) the scion of the family of Bhṛgu, gave her to me after coming to know that ī was of the same caste.

157. The girl came to know that she was lawfully given away to me, an ugly one. She went to her mother and spoke these words:

158-159a. She was very shy but was excessively distressed. She said: “See mother, ī am given away to an ugly fellow. I do not wish to live thus. I will either swallow poison or jump into fire.”

159b. On hearing her words, the Brāhmaṇa was prohibited by her (from giving the daughter):

160. “O Lord, why was this girl given away to an ugly fellow by you? She is endowed with a beautiful form and all excellent features!”

161-162. On hearing these words, the excellent Sage Bhārgava rebuked her and said: “Fie upon this woman who behaves like a man! The girl was requested for by this (Baṭu) and she is given away by me to him. Why do you stop me from giving her away, this daughter of mine?”

163. After saying this, he went to sleep along with his wife and daughter.

164. At midnight I went there and carried off the daughter of Bhārgava even as she was asleep and brought her to my abode at night, while all the people were lying asleep.

165. She was engaged by me in amorous activities forcefully though she did not relish it. The Brāhmaṇa, her father, got up in the morning (and saw thus).

166. “Where is my daughter? By whom has she been abducted? My daughter has been ruined!” Saying thus he came out and roamed about in the forest nearby.

167. Surrounded by many sages (he came to my abode) tracing the path through the footprints. His daughter was seen by him in bridal form.

168. Bashfully looking down, she was loudly crying. Then Bhārgava spoke to me in great anger:

169. “Since you married my daughter in the manner of night-stalkers (demons), you shall certainly be a Niśācara (night-stalker, demon) as a result of this conduct.”

Ghaṇṭaka said:

170. O excellent Brāhmaṇa, why do you curse me rashly, though I am not at fault? This girl has been given away to me by you yourself. Therefore, she was carried off by me in the night.

171. An evil-minded one who, after once giving away his daughter does not later hand her over, falls into hell and remains there till the ultimate annihilation of all living beings.

172. Then he thought thus: ‘This fellow has uttered the truth.’ Regretting everything, he spoke these words:

173-174. “The truth has been expressed by you, But unfortunately my words cannot be altered. You will become one, in the form of an owl. There is no doubt about it. When the great sage Bhartṛyajña is born here you will hear his instruction and get back your own body.”

175. Thereafter, I saw myself in the form of an owl. Yet, the power of memory was not marred. It remained the same as before.

176. His daughter whom I had married by force on that mountain saw me in the altered form. She became distressed. As she did not like the state of widowhood she jumped into fire.

177. It was in this manner, O highly refulgent one that, the state of owl was forced on me by the curse of Bhārgava on account of his daughter. It has been narrated to you.

178. Since Maheśvara was adored by means of unbroken Bilva-leaves, I acquired longevity. It is the truth that has been now told to you by me.

179. Tell me then the fact. You have come to my abode as a guest what purpose of yours can I carry out? O highly esteemed one, even if it be too difficult to accomplish (tell me).

Indradyumna said:

180. I have come to you for information regarding Indradyumna. When I had resolved to die, I was brought here by Nāḍījaṅgha.

181. If you also do not know him by his lineage and reputation, I shall certainly enter a well-kindled fire.

182. If not, tell me (the address of) some other long-lived personage, so that I shall go to him and ask him whether he knows or not.

Baka said:

183. What is proper has been said by this gentleman. Do so and tell him if you know anyone more long-lived than yourself.

184. Otherwise, I too will soon jump into fire along with Mārkaṇḍa now, even as you remain watching.

185. In view of all these, O highly esteemed one, think about some long-lived personage present elsewhere in the world. You are sure to know, because you have been living pretty long.

186. I have come to your abode with the greatest of hopes. So also this gentleman Mārkaṇḍeya who is a dear friend of mine.

187. Here there are hundreds and thousands of excellent mountains. There may live highly esteemed sages of very long life. Otherwise the life of this gentleman cannot be sustained by any means.

188. It will do immense good to the saintly King Indradyumna. So also to us both. Hence think about it soon.

189. Knowing that the king had resolved to die, the owl took pity on them and spoke these words:

190-191. “O highly esteemed one, if you are bent upon committing suicide now, come with me to Mountain Gandhamādana.

There is a Gṛdhra (vulture) there. He is a great friend of mine. He is pretty ancient. He will know your king. At my instance he will undoubtedly say everything clearly.”

192-193. On hearing his words, he (the king) was addressed by the three beginning with Mārkaṇḍeya: “O highly esteemed one, do not jump into fire. All of us shall go along with you there. Perhaps he knows King Indradyumna.”

194. On hearing their words the king regained great hopes. He went to Gandhamādana along with all of them.

195. On seeing them all, the king of vultures came joyously before the owl with palms joined in reverence.

196. Then he said with great pleasure: “Welcome to you, O most excellent one among birds. You are now seen after a long time. Who are these others?”

The Owl said:

196. This is my great friend Nāḍījaṅgha, the oft-remembered Baka. This here is Mārkaṇḍa, his great friend.

198. He is well-known all over the three worlds as a person remembering the events of seven Kalpas. This here is one of his friends. I do not know fully about him.

199. He was brought to you by me when he was about to die. He will continue to live if more is known about King Indradyumna. If not, he will immediately jump into a well-kinḍled fire.

200. If you know about king Indradyumna, say so (as) you are longer-lived than I. Hence you are being approached for further information.

The Gṛdhra said:

201. I do not remember any king well-known as Indradyumna. This king Indradyumna has neither been seen nor heard about.

202. On hearing those words of his that king became disheartened and mentally brooded over his decision to die.

203-204. (In the meantime) urged by curiosity, he asked the excellent bird: “Tell me, how this longevity has been acquired. What was the holy rite whereby it has been obtained? After hearing this from you, I may have to seek refuge in holy fire.”

The Gṛdhra said:

205. I was a monkey in the city of Camatkārapura at the foot of Mountain Raktaśṛṅga.

206. There itself there is a great temple of Śaṃbhu. It can be compared to Mountain Mandara. The deity is called Citreśvara and is the destroyer of all sins.

207. At the advent of spring season, citizens of rural districts all round came there and celebrated a grand festival.

208. Near the Liṅga there was a beautiful forest with trees bearing fruits in all the seasons. The women-folk liked it all the more and it charmed the general public. In a swing suspended from a tree the beautiful Liṅga was installed.

209. They concluded the adoration with Damanaka flowers and placed the Liṅga in the swing tied firmly, after which they went home.

210. At the beginning of night, I began to sway to and fro the charming swing as I was prompted by a great zeal.

211. Even as I was engaged in swaying it thus, men came there. A few of them hit me with sticks and terrorised me from all sides.

212. I met with death immediately in the very shrine. Then I was reborn in the palace of a king retaining the faculty of remembering the incidents of previous births.

213. The king was a Koṭīśvara (Lord of Crores). I became well-known by the name Kuśadhvaja. Then in due course, the ancestral kingdom was inherited by me.

214. Koṭīśvara passed on to the other world as a result of his Karma. I began to sway the swing the highly esteemed Jāgeśvara deity, as I pleased.

215-216. I uttered the Mantras contained in the scriptural texts of Śivasiddhānta as taught by my preceptor. After a long time, Lord Hara was pleased with me. He spoke these words; “I am willing to grant you a boon. O Kuśadhvaja, I am pleased with your great devotion. Welfare unto you. Choose your boon whatever had been cherished in the mind.”

217. Thereupon, I bowed down to Lord Hara and spoke this loudly:

218. “O Lord, if you are pleased with me then you make me your Gaṇa. Now nothing else, not even the kingdom of the three worlds, appeals to me.”

219. On being told thus by me, the Lord placed me in an aerial chariot and soon brought me to the highly meritorious Śivaloka.

220. Ever since then, with the favour of Bhavānī and Hara, I was established amongst the Gaṇas and I continued to sport about there.

221. Once, I was seated in an excellent aerial chariot and roamed about as I pleased. Thus I came to this great mountain.

222. It was at the advent of Spring time. The southern wind had begun to blow. Once the daughter of Agniveśya was seen (bathing) naked in the middle of a pond.

223. She was so slender in the middle (waist) that she could be held with one’s fist. With lips like a Biṃba fruit and eyes resembling a lotus she was sporting about as she pleased in the company of many female companions.

224. Her breasts were round like a Bilva fruit and her countenance had the lustre of the moon. She had all the characteristic features (of a beautiful lady). (No wonder) I became overwhelmed by Manmatha in an instant.

225. I got down from the excellent aerial chariot and caught hold of her hand. She began to cry piteously like a female osprey.

226. The daughters of the leading sages who were there in the water rushed to the side of Agniveśya weeping and crying bitterly.

227. “O holy Sir, your daughter is being carried away in an excellent aerial chariot by a certain aviator. She is lamenting incessantly.”

228. On hearing those words, he became furious. Looking upwards at the path of the sky, he came out of his hermitage and began to rebuke repeatedly.

229. Saying ‘Stop! Stop! he paralyzed everything around. By the fierce power of the penance of the Brāhmaṇa, my aircraft came to a standstill and stood motionless.

230-231. In his great anger he spoke to me thus: “My daughter who was playing has been abducted by you, O sinner, despite her not liking it at all. Like a vulture carrying off a lump of meat, O wretch of crooked mind, you are carrying her away. So be a vulture yourself at my instance undoubtedly.”

232. On being spoken thus by him I was overcome by shame. I returned the girl to him and bowed to him repeatedly.

233-234. Then the Brāhmaṇa Agniveśya of intense austerity was addressed by me: “It was not known to me that she was your daughter. It does not behove you to get furious. O great sage, do see to it that the state of being vulture is revoked.”

235-237. Then he told me: “My utterance cannot be futile and false. Somehow, it will take place. So the vulture-hood shall prevail.

O base one, at the instance of Ānarta you will approach the highly esteemed Bhartṛyajña for the purpose of receiving instructions. You will then get acquittance from him and regain your original form, when the vulturehood passes off.” Since then I have been in search of him. He was not seen or heard of. I am fed up with this vulturehood. I don’t see the end of the curse.

Gṛdhra said:

238. Now here I have told you everything regarding my vulture-hood with the cause thereof along with that of longevity without limitation.

Indradyumna said:

239. Grant me the permission soon. Let me jump into the fire for I do not wish to live further. I have become so disgusted.

240. On being told thus by him, he began to think within himself: ‘He has approached me along with a friend. So I shall render help in accordance with my ability, even if the task becomes very difficult.’

241-243. Thus, urged by love and excess of courteous consideration, he spoke thus: “Oh, just listen to my words. Do not seek refuge in fire. I shall speak to you of a person more aged than I. He will undoubtedly know this king Indradyumna. So come along with me to the presence of that noble-souled one accompanied by all of your associates and of course along with

Indradyumna said:

244. O excellent bird, who is that senior in age to you? This is my curiosity. O highly intelligent one, do tell me.

The Gṛdhra said:

245. This is a tortoise of very long life in the Mānasa lake well-known by the name Mantharaka. He will know (i.e. must be knowing) Indradyumna.

246. On hearing his words the three beginning with Mārkaṇḍa said to that excellent king who had decided to die:

247-248. “What is proper has been said by the intelligent king of vultures, O highly esteemed one. Let all of us go to that place where this tortoise is living.

Scholars well conversant with the science of ethics and politics praise absence of despondency as the cause of glory. So let us go; come on.”

Sūta said:

249. On hearing their words the king who had developed supreme detachment desisted resorting to death.

250. Then all those five started from the Gandhamādana mountain and proceeded towards the excellent Mānasa lake. They reached there in due course travelling through the sky.

251. The Mānasa lake appeared very beautiful. The tortoise had come out of the water and was basking in the sun casually.

252. He looked at four of them closely for a long time and recognised them. Then he suddenly disappeared into the water.

253-254. Thereupon, the owl told him as he turned away his face: “O friend, even after seeing me you have averted your face. In fact, even the basest one who comes to one’s abode should be honoured much by good people.”

255. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, then the tortoise came partially out of the water showing the head alone and humbly replied to the vulture:

256-258. “1 am not turning away my face on seeing you or these two others. This great man who has arrived here as the fifth among you (has terrified me).

I disappeared on becoming afraid of him, the king Indradyumna. Formerly my back was burnt by him through the sacrificial fire in which he had been regularly performing sacrifice in the excellent city Rocaka.

On remembering the events pertaining to him, I became very much afraid. Indeed the reputation of the saintly king Indradyumna is great.”

259. As soon as these words were uttered by the tortoise, a divine messenger came there from heaven at bidding of Parameṣṭhin.

The divine messenger said:

260-261. O saintly king, come, do come now to the presence of Brahmā. O king, I have been told by Brahma: “When even a bit of it (Indradyumna’s renown) becomes manifest on the surface of the world, the king should be brought immediately to my world that is very difficult to attain.”

262. Hence, do come, we shall go. Get into this aerial chariot so that I can take you to the presence of Brahmā of unknown birth.

Indradyumna said:

263-264. If these friends of mine, the Baka, the owl and the tortoise along with Mārkaṇḍeya also come along with me and also the vulture. I shall come with you to the presence of Brahmā. Otherwise I will not come. The truth has been uttered by me.

The. Devadūta said:

265. All these are Gaṇas of Hara. They have come down to earth due to curses. At the end of the curse, they will once again go to the presence of Hara undoubtedly.

266. Hence do come, we shall go quickly, O king leaving them here. Heaven does not appeal to them. Nothing appeals to them except Lord Maheśvara.

Indradyumna said:

267-268a. If it is so, do go. Welfare unto you. I will not go to heaven. I shall also try to become a Gaṇa. One dwelling there (in heaven) is under a perpetual threat of downfall.

268-269a. On being told thus by him, the divine messenger became embarrassed very much. He took the aircraft back to Brahmaloka.

269b-270. With great humility Indradyumna asked the tortoise:

“O tortoise, tell me how you have become long-lived like this. By what Karma was tortoise-hood attained by you. Tell me quickly.”

The tortoise said:

271. Formerly, in the beautiful city of Camatkārapura I was a Brāhmaṇa known by the name Śāṇḍilya. I was a boy then.

272. During my childish sports, even as a part of play a shrine was built of baked bricks and a Jāgeśvara Liṅga was brought from somewhere and placed inside.

273. With great devotion, I began to worship it everyday. I was surrounded by many children and I played and worshipped it uttering Mantras.

274. After some time, I met with my death. I was reborn as a Brāhmaṇa in the city of Vaidiśa (Vidiśā) endowed with the faculty of remembering earlier births.

275-276. Then my devotion to Lord Hara became more intense. Everyday I went on begging and requesting for food and cash. Then I built a palace (shrine) and installed Liṅga.

Then I began to adore devoutly Lord Paśupati Hara.

277. My diet consisted of only the food I received as alms. I practised celibacy and studied the Vedas. I performed the Japa of Śiva thrice a day.

278. As a result of the power thereof, I was reborn as a great king, an Emperor endowed with the power of remembering earlier births.

279. Then, O great king, innumerable palaces of the Three-eyed Lord were built by me. They could be compared to peaks of Kailāsa.

280. Adoration, with many flowers was also performed by me. Nothing else like charity etc. was practised by me.

281. After a long time the Moon-crested Lord became pleased with me. Then, O saintly king, he laughed and said to me in gentlest of words:

282. “O Jayadatta, O excellent one among kings, I am very much pleased with this devotion of yours. Tell me quickly what desire of yours shall I grant.”

283. I bowed down, I prostrated with the eight limbs touching the ground and I eulogized in different ways. Then, O king, Hara was requested thus: “Make me immune from death and old age.” He promised saying, “So it shall be” and vanished.

284. The Lord whose movements could not be comprehended, the Lord of the fourteen worlds (thus blessed me). Free from death and old age I was fully contented. With no enemies all over the earth, I roamed about as I pleased.

285. Then after lapse of a long period, I becaṃe tormented with the intense fire of love and became devoid of devotion to Śiva.

286. Whenever I saw any charmingly beautiful woman even if she was another man’s wife, I watched her for a long time and ultimately ravished (her).

287. I had abandoned all fear of Dharmarāja (god of Death), I depended on my being a king.

288. In the meantime, O king, a great hue and cry arose all over the earth on account of my sinful acts.

289. Meanwhile, Dharmarāja rushed to Śiva’s presence, bowed down in great grief and loudly appealed:

290-293. “O Deva, being extremely pleased, a king on the earth named Jayadatta was rendered free from death and old age by you.

That man of crooked intellect outrages the modesty of chaste women. All the people have excluded holy rites (from their daily routine) because they are afraid of the king.

O most excellent one among Devas, this is not because they (people) are naturally so. He is not afraid of me at all. It is the truth that I utter.

Hence restrain him quickly lest piety (Dharma) should come to an end in the mortal world completely due to the rape of chaste women.”

294. On being told thus, the Lord became extremely furious. He got me brought before him even as I trembled and kept my palms joined together in reverence and cursed me:

295. “O foolish one of evil conduct, you have done something despicable. Hence be completely damned (lit. burnt) by my curse. You will become a tortoise.”

296. Thereupon, I prayed to Parameśvara in utter wretchedness: “O Lord, take pity on me. Give an end to this curse.”

297. Thereupon, this was uttered by him again: “At the end of sixty Kalpas, you will regain your original body and then become my Gaṇa.”

298. Meanwhile, O king, I became turned into a tortoise. Falling into the waters of the ocean I became permanently miserable.

299. Once upon a time, O king, you were reigning on the earth and water from the ocean was fetched by you for the performance of Yajña.

300. (I was also brought along with the water.) I was fixed on the ground and kept steady with the utterance of Mantras. Hundreds and thousands of Yajñas were performed on me (my back).

301. As the Yajñas were being performed, my back was burnt all round, O great king, but though I was scorched it did not cause my death, thanks to the favour of Maheśa.

302. Scorching alone continued, due to the sin incurred before. I experienced it all undoubtedly due to Hara’s anger.

303. After you had gone to heaven, O excellent king, the whole of the earth was flooded with water and was turned into one vast expanse of the ocean. Then I reached the Mānasa lake floating over it.

304. Already fifty-six Kalpas have gone before me. With another four more I will get relieved from this tortoise-hood.

305. Thus everything has been narrated to you including the cause of my longevity viz. that Hara was propitiated through plentiful floral adorations.

306-308, It was through the anger of Kāmadeva that I had to undergo the state of tortoisehood.

Now, O esteemed one, tell me what service can I render to you, my guest, one who has come to my abode though you were a sort of enemy before? What is it that is cherished in your heart?

For a long time my back was burnt by you through the sacrificial fire. Even now I see it blazing as it were. That was why, O king, I disappeared on seeing you.

Pray (tell me), why did you not go to heaven although the aerial chariot had been brought. Indeed kings perform holy rites only for the sake of this (attainment of heaven).

Indradyumna said:

309. Even in the case of getting a place in heaven there is this perpetual fear of downfall in the minds of all the people. Hence I will not go there. I will endeavour for liberation (from Saṃsāra).

310. If you wish to do your duty, O friend, towards me who have come to your abode, tell me if there is anyone more aged than you and if you are in friendly terms with him.

Tortoise said:

311. There is a Brāhmaṇa-sage named Lomaśa. He is senior to me in age. It is heard and also he has been seen by me resorting to a river bank.

Indradyumna said:

312. So come all of you. We shall go quickly and ask him the cause of his long life.

313. Then all those five took to the aerial path. They then saw Lomaśa who had no shade over his head.

314. He was a sage of self-control engaged in studying the Vedas and devoted to the performance of Japa and Homa. In his left hand he was holding a bundle of straw to serve as a cover (over the head).

315. There was a rosary of beads held in his right hand. On seeing the noble soul, they circumambulated him. They were greeted with a word of welcome and all of them sat down.

316. They were then asked by him: “Who may you be? Why have you come here? Let everything be mentioned to me in full confidence so that I can do everything you want.”

Tortoise said:

317-318. This is the Brāhmaṇa-sage named Mārkaṇḍa. He is capable of remembering the events of seven Kalpas. O excellent sage, he was brought by this king Indradyumna to the presence of this Baka, the wire one named Nāḍījaṅgha. It was for the purpose of getfṃg information about Indradyumna (of bygone years) after coming to know that the Baka enjoyed twice the longevity (of Mārkaṇḍa).

319. When-the king was not recognized by him both of them came to the presence of this Ulūka (owl).

320. Twice the number of Kalpas had elapsed in the case of this noble-souled one but, O excellent sage, the king was not recognized by him.

321. Then all the three were brought to the proximity of the king of vultures.

322. Fifty-six Kalpas had elapsed in the case of this noble soul, but, O excellent sage, the king was not recognized by him.

323. All the four were then brought to me by this (king) after knowing me to be long-lived and encouraged by my friendship.

324-327a. Even as he came, from a long way off he was recognized by me. ‘Certainly, this is Indradyumna by whom my back was singed through the sacrificial fire after making my steady stay beneath the ground through Mantras.’ Then I vanished because of fear of him but was prevented by the vulture and others who indulged in taunting.

He was told by me out of love when he entered the water: “I am not averting my face from you, but from Indradyumna by whom my back was singed through the sacrificial fire.”

327b. In the meantime, a divine messenger of lofty mind came there seated in an excellent aerial chariot from heaven for the sake of this noble soul.

328. This king was dropped from heaven due to loss of renown. But as soon as (the words of recognition) were uttered by me, the aerial chariot also arrived from heaven.

329. Then this (king) did not go to heaven, O excellent Brāhmaṇa, because he did not want to go without the three of us belonging to lower species excluding Mārkaṇḍeya.

330. When he asked it was told by me that my age extended to ninety-six Kalpas. So many Kalpas passed off even as I lived.

331. On being asked by him earlier, I had told him that you were the more aged one, stationed here and also that I too had been here.

332. It is on account of this that all of us have come to your presence. Hence kindly explain whatever this king asks:

Bhartṛyajña said:

333. Lomaśa said to him: “O king, ask without reserve. I shall certainly recount clarifying what you ask.”

Indradyumna said:

334. Even in the summer season, when the sun is in the middle of the sky (you do not have a shelter). How is it that you have not built a good abode for your stay?

Lomaśa said:

335. For whose sake is a house to be built? Life is not eternal. If the body was permanent, perhaps it would have been built.

Indradyumna said:

336. It is heard that you are the most long-lived one in all the world. Therefore, I too have come to you with a desire to meet you.

Lomaśa said:

337. As one Kalpa succeeds another Kalpa one hair of mine gets lost. When all the hairs disappear I too will die.

338. You do see. It is very clear. My body is devoid of hair. O highly intelligent one, for that reason I am not building a house.

Indradyumna said:

339. What Karma was done by you, whereby such a (long) life has been acquired? Is it due to the power of Dāna, of penance or of observance of restraints?

Lomaśa said:

340. Formerly, I was a Śūdra overwhelmed by poverty. For the sake of the belly I always used to roam about all over the earth.

341. On account of great Karmayoga I came to the holy spot Hāṭakeśvara. I was distressed due to hunger and thirst. I came to the spot where I found this excellent Liṅga. The Liṅga was shaken by me (but it did not move). I saw that it was a self-born Liṅga.

342. I took cool and pure water and bathed the Liṅga. Then adoration was performed by me with these lotuses.

343. I concluded the worship and by the time I resumed the journey, I fell down dead. (No wonder) my throat had already been parched with thirst and hunger.

344. Then I was reborn in the house of a Brāhmaṇa possessing the ability of remembering earlier births. O king, I remembered everything as a result of the adoration of the Lord of Devas.

345-346. My delighted father gave me the name Īśāna because I had been a gift of the earlier adoration of Īśāna. I was dumb ever since the birth. I did not utter any word. Further, being aware of the true nature of the worldly existence, I was utterly disgusted and detached.

347. On account of his excess of fondness for me, my father tried all sorts of medicines for the recovery of the faculty of speech. He resorted to the Japa of Mantras. He prayed to deities for the fulfilment of his desire. Day and night he untiringly consulted Brāhmaṇas.

348. O king, I used to laugh to myself on seeing the overattachment to worldly comforts on the part of my father and mother.

349. Gradually, I attained the prime of youth. On a certain night, I left off both of them and came to this place.

350. Ever since then I have been worshipping Īśāna with great concentration and ardent devotion with a delighted heart and bath the Liṅga with cool water.

551. With the waters of the holy river Brāhmaṇī[2], O excellent king, I performed the ablution thrice a day. I adopted the practice of gleaning of ears of corn and sustained my life with Nīvāra rice, Badara seeds, green vegetables, cucumber pieces, fruits and leaves.

352. Thereafter, Lord Rudra, Hara, the Lord of all Devas, appeared before me and spoke in words as majestic as rumbling of a cloud:

353. “O dear one, I am pleased with you. O Brāhmaṇa of excellent holy rites, choose a boon I shall grant you even those things that cannot be ordinarily granted, even if they are very rare.”

354. Then I bowed down to him and eulogized him with various kinds of eulogies. Then I said to him: “O Lord, make me free from old age and death.”

Śrī Bhagavān said:

355. Since there is nothing like immortality here in the mortar world, set a limit to your span of life.

356-357. Then the Lord was told by me: “O Lord of Devas, let one hair of mine drop away at the end of a Kalpa. When all the hairs of mine drop away let me attain the state of your Gaṇa, O Lord.”

358-362. (The Lord said:) “It shall be so but my Liṅga should be bathed always with the water of this Brāhmaṇī river.

O excellent Brāhmaṇa, this Liṅga is worthy of being adored by Brahmā and others thrice a day. You will have the span of life equal to a single day of mine.

Any other man who adores me devoutly and bathes the Liṅga shall become free from sins.

He will never meet with accidental or unnatural death, O excellent Brāhmaṇa, even if my person adored by Brahmā and others is adored only once.

He who drinks even once the water of Brahma Tīrtha, shall instantly become a purified soul bereft of all sins.”

363. After saying thus the Lord of Devas vanished.

364. O king, ever since then I have been staying here worshipping this Liṅga always with excellent devotion.

365. On account of this, by the grace of Śaṅkara, the span of my life has become very long. There is no other cause.

Indradyumna said:

366. I too shall worship this Liṅga along with you. I will not go elsewhere. This is the resolve in my heart.

Lomaśa said:

367. O highly esteemed one, do this. You will achieve your desire. What is desired (by a devotee) is not difficult to get for the people devoted to Hara.

368. Let Nāḍījaṅgha go home. So also Mārkaṇḍa, the vulture and the owl. Only you, accompanied by the tortoise stay in my hermitage.

369. Then all of them said: “O king, we will not go back without you to our abodes again. We will worship and propitiate this Liṅga that is being adored by you.”

370. After saying thus all of them stayed in the excellent hermitage of Lomaśa and worshipped that Liṅga thrice a day.

371. They bathed the Liṅga with the waters of Brāhmaṇī river and worshipped with lotuses and other flowers.

372. Once upon a time, in the course of his pilgrimage, Nārada, the excellent sage, came to the place where they were (staying).

373. On seeing Nārada, they performed duly all the rites of honouring him. Coming to know that he had had his rest, they asked him with all humility:

374-376. (Corrupt text) “We four beginning with the Baka and ending with the Kūrma (tortoise) (can be free from our curses), O great sage, only on the sight of Saṃvarta.

It is not known at what place he resides, what his form is, what his status is, what he does and where his permanent resort is.

O highly esteemed one, if you know where he stays permanently, kindly let us know. Nothing is beyond the ken of your perception.

Śrī Nārada said:

377. I know that Saṃvarta[3] perfectly. The excellent sage remains in seclusion. His conduct is well-concealed. No one else knows him at all.

378. That Avadhūta (nude ascetic or ascetic without worldly attachment), the great sage, resides in Vārāṇasī permanently. He is naked. He smears himself with filth and rubbish. He always resorts to forest.

379. At the Kutapa hour (eighth Muhūrta) he comes to that city. He receives alms from only a few houses. He receives everything on the palm of the hand (that works as a pot) once and eats it.

380-381. In the evening he goes back to some forest region.

In that city there are hundreds and thousands of ascetics with the same (routine) features. Many of them are excellent ascetics. They stay in the city. But I shall describe to you the characteristics of (that Saṃvarta) so that you can recognize him without doubts.

382. A corpse should be secretly and cautiously placed in the main street of Vārāṇasī so that no one shall know it.

383. All the ascetics shall mostly cross over it, but Saṃvarta endowed with divine vision will not transgress this obstacle.

384. He who retreats from the ground where the corpse is concealed, should be known as Saṃvarta. Thereafter, he should be asked.

385. If he asks, “By whom have I been described to you,” you must say “By Nārada who has always known you.”

386-387. If he asks again, “Where is Nārada staying,” then he should be told, “After describing you, he has entered fire.”

388. On hearing the words of Nārada, all those beginning with Lomaśa came to the city of Vārāṇasī with a desire to see him.

389. They hid a corpse in the main street without being seen by the people. They themselves stood far away watching carefully.

390. Then at the Kutapa hour (eighth Muhūrta of the day) Saṃvarta came with the same form and features as described by the noble-souled Nārada.

391. With his divine vision, the great sage saw the corpse. He retreated though he was distressed with hunger and thirst. He did not cross over the Śalya (obstacle, corpse).

392. They closely followed him saying, “Stop! Stop! Be pleased to do us a favour.”

393. He rebuked these saying, “Go back. Do not come near me.” Then he fled.

394. After going far away he said because he was hungry:

395. “By whom have I been revealed to you? Let him be exposed so that I shall reduce him to ash in the fire of curse.”

They said:

396. That you are stationed here has been divulged to us by Nārada. After doing this, he instantly entered fire.

Saṃvarta said:

397. I will do the same to that wicked one now, by whom I have been revealed to you though I was remaining hidden in my activity.

They said:

398. O holy Sir, O great sage, you have been revealed to us by Nārada. We have been searching for you for a long time, and no one else knows you.

399. After revealing to us, he has entered the sacred fire instantly. O leading Brāhmaṇa, we do not know the reason thereof.

Saṃvarta said:

400-401. I am excessively angry. By means of curse I was about to do the same thing as he has himself done. So tell me quickly why you all have come.

402. I will not stay here long. I will be roaming about in the direction of the city because I have to beg for alms for sustaining my life.

403. Let the road be rid of this obstacle. Let this corpse be taken away. If you do not do so I will curse you.

404. Further, I should not be revealed to anyone as staying here. King Marutta has always been in search of me.

405. It is for the sake of a Yajña. I will not at all perform the Yajña on his behalf.[4] That king has been abandoned by Dhiṣaṇa (Jupiter), the preceptor.

406. Knowing that I am the son of Guru he is in search of me.

They said:

407. We four beginning with the Baka have fallen down due to curses. O excellent sage, we attained the state of birds due to the curse of Brahmā (or Brāhmaṇas).

408. We were Maheśvara Gaṇas held in respect in all the three worlds. We have been brought down to the level of lowly creatures. We are hence disgusted and dejected very much.

409. End to the curses originating from women had been indicated by those Brāhmaṇas namely through your instructions. So the Baka and others have sought refuge in you.

410. O highly esteemed holy Sir, save us now from the state of birds.

411. We have become despondent and disgusted after, enduring this state of being birds for a long time. This is the reason for coming into contact with you.

Saṃvarta said:

412. If it is so, do go to the city of Camatkārapura. Bhartṛyajña too is there. He is one who removes all doubts.

413. He will give everyone excellent instruction. Thereby all of you will get clarification of your earlier doubts.

414. Formerly, he was Yājñavalkya, the master of all the scriptural topics. In another birth, he was remembered as Kātyāyana.[5]

415. In the next rebirth he became well-known as Brāhmaṇa Vararuci. Again in the next rebirth he became the son of a harlot.

416. The goddess, the daughter of Brahmā, was propitiated always in the form of Speech. But the goddess did not become satisfied because she had some reason therefor.

417. Born of a Brāhmaṇa he met with his death. Then Sarasvatī occupied the mouth (tongue) herself.

418. If she is propitiated earlier, she never abandons him at any cost. In the course of the Yajña of the son of the harlot, there happened a miracle.

419. The Brahmasūtra comes to the shoulder, coming out and goes away.

420. He dispelled the doubts regarding the Yajña rites, of even the earlier people. None else could do so.

Sūta said:

421. On hearing his words, they bowed down to him repeatedly. On being directed by Saṃvarta, they went to the place where the corpse had been kept.

422-426. They removed the corpse and all went to Camatkārapura. In the Tīrtha called Vāstusthānapada they saw him (Bhartṛyajña) stationed. They bowed down to him and said with humility: “We four have been completely scorched by the curse of Brāhmaṇas. Three of us attained the state of birds and the last one that of tortoise. Those who are standing nearby are even greater ones. This is Mārkaṇḍa and the other is known as Indradyumna. The third one is a sage of well-known great austerity named Lomaśa. Now all these are disgusted with their lives. It behoves you to bless them by giving them proper instruction.”

Sūta said:

427. On hearing their words, Bhartṛyajña, the great sage, meditated for a long time. Having understood everything through the divine vision he said:

428-430. “O ye who have come here, install seven Liṅgas in the Hāṭakeśvara shrine very near to the deity, after your own names. Then, in front of them, make seven Dānas named after the Kula Parvatas. They shall be destructive of all the sins.

Then you will have the divine and charming body of Gaṇas of the noble-souled Three-eyed Lord of Devas.”

They said:

431. O Lord, O great sage, describe to us the relevant Dāna, so that we can start giving it away. Let us know the magnitude and procedure in detail.

Bhartṛyajña said:

432-433. (The Dāna named after) Meru should be made in gold, Kailāsa in silver, Himādri in cotton, Gandhmādana [Gandhamādana?] in jaggery. Suvela should be given in the form of gingelly seeds, Vindhya in that of sugar and Śṛṅgī in that of salt. All these gifts should be made in accordance with the injunctions.

Sūta said:

434. On hearing his words, the seven Liṅgas were duly installed by them. (The. Dānas named after) Kulaparvatas were given thereafter.

435. Before the deity Indradyumneśvara, the valorous Indradyumna who abided by the instruction of Bhartṛyajña, prepared (a replica of) Meru in gold (and gifted it).

436. O excellent Brāhmaṇas, a silver replica of Kailāsa was given devoutly by the wise Mārkaṇḍa in front of Mārkaṇḍeśvara.

437-441. Himavān made of cotton was gifted away to a Brāhmaṇa by Pālaka. Gandhamādana mountain made of jaggery was gifted by Ghaṇṭaka, O excellent Brāhmaṇas in front of Lord Ghaṇṭakeśvara. The excellent mountain Suvela made of gingelly seeds was given by the tortoise in front of Lord Kacchapeśvara. Mountain Vindhya was devoutly given by the person named Īśāna before his deity. It was made of sugar. The great mountain named Śṛṅgī made of salt was gifted by the Gṛdhra in front of the deity Vānareśvara Deva. All of them made the gifts with their minds purified by faith.

442. There a miracle happened, O Brāhmaṇas, as soon as the excellent mountains were gifted away. The state of their being birds in the case of three vanished along with the state of being a tortoise in the case of the other.

443. In the meantime, by the power thereof, all of them became persons wearing divine garlands and garments and smeared with divine scents and unguents. All those who stood in front of them also were so.

444. In an instant, aerial chariots also came for the sake of all of them. They approached Bhartṛyajña and bowed to all the Brāhmaṇas. Then they rode on the excellent aerial chariots and reached the Kailāsa mountain.

445. Thus, everything has been narrated to you, as to how that set of seven Liṅgas originated in the holy spot of Hāṭakeśvara. It is destructive of all sins.

446. Any other man endowed with devotion who makes the gift of the Kulaparvatas in front of those Liṅgas shall attain Śiva.

447. If a man gets up early in the morning and looks at those Liṅgas, he shall be rid of the sin committed unwittingly.

448. He who makes the gift of these seven mountains in due order in front of their respective Liṅgas to Brāhmaṇas shall go to heaven.

449. For the period of a Kalpa, he enjoys the excellent Apsarās there and also divine pleasures. Then when he is born on the earth he becomes an emperor and monarch of all.

450. If a single mountain is gifted, sins are dispelled. If two mountains are gifted, one gets sons, grandsons and desired benefits.

451. Through three gifts one becomes a king and through four a Maṇḍaleśvara (Monarch of a Zone). Through five gifts, one becomes the master of Bharatakhaṇḍa.

452. Through six gifts one becomes the Lord of Jaṃbūdvīpa and through seven gifts an emperor. This is the outcome of gifting the mountains in accordance with injunctions. Pitāmaha said so.

453. A man shall always, in every birth, become an excellent Brāhmaṇa. Never is he miserable, poor or sick.

454. He will become endowed with conjugal felicity and happiness. His body shall be splendid. He will possess gems. He will be free from all enemies. He will subdue all the senses and become valorous.

455. Hence all, especially kings, shall assiduously make gifts of these mountains. They should keep their own deities in view.

Footnotes and references:


Kāmpilya, (modem Kampil) is in Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh and not in Ānarta. The author wishes everything to bring to Ānarta unless there existed another city of the same name in Ānarta.


Probably the river Bahamani in Orissa—De, p. 40.


One of the sons of Aṅgiras, he was Bṛhaspati’s brother—Mbh, Ādi. 66.5.


But ultimately he did perform Marutta’s sacrifice—Mbh, Droṇa 55-38 Śānti 29.20-21


Historically Yājñvalkya, Kātyāyana, Vararuci are different persons. The first is a philosopher famous in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad and the author of a Smṛti. The latter two are grammarians. The Purāṇa author mixes them together as the incarnations of Yājñvalkya.

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