The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Supreme Excellence of Prabhasa which is chapter 10 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 tenth chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 10 - Supreme Excellence of Prabhāsa

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Īśvara said:

1-4. O beautiful lady, I shall tell you another secret. O lady of excellent countenance, I am telling you what has never been mentioned to anyone else.

Brahmā is stationed in the Pṛthvībhāga (part of the Earth). Janārdana stays in the aqueous part. Rudra abides in the Tejobhāga (fiery part). Īśvara is stationed in the Vayu Bhāga (gaseous part). Sadāśiva is directly present in the Ākāśabhāga (etherial part). The Tīrthas in the respective parts belong to the respective deities. There is no doubt about it. He is remembered as the Īśvara thereof.

5-7. The following eight are located in the Pṛthvī Tattva: Chāgalaṇḍa, Dugaṇḍa, Mākoṭa, Maṇḍaleśvara, Kāliñjaravana, Śaṅkukarṇa, Sthaleśvara and Śūleśvara which is well-known.

O lady of excellent countenance, these holy eight are stationed in the aqueous part: Hariścandra, Śrīśaila, Jalpeśa, Annāntikeśvara, Mahākāla, Madhyama, Kedāra and Bhairava.

8-10. The following group of eight are the Ādiguhyāṣṭaka which is well settled in the Tejas Tattva: Amareśa, Prabhāsa, Naimiṣa, Puṣkara, Āṣāḍhī, Daṇḍi, Bhārabhūti and Lāṅgala.

Gayā, Kurukṣetra, Tīrtha (?), Kanakhala, Vimala, Aṭṭahāsa, Māhendra and a Tīrtha called Bhīma—these are mentioned as Vāyvaṣṭaka. They are great secret, yet they have been enumerated to you.

11-12. Vastrāpatha, Rudrakoṭi, Jyeṣṭheśvara, Mahālaya, Gokarṇa, Rudrakarṇa, Varṇākhya, Sthāpasaṃjñaka—these constitute the sacred eight stationed in Ākāśa, O lady of excellent countenance. All these Tattva Tīrthas (Tīrthas based in five elements) have been enumerated.

13. The deity of a Tattva Tīrtha shall indicate the greatness thereof. The great Tattva of aqueous features is a great favourite of Viṣṇu, O my beloved.

14-15. It is mentioned in the Śruti that Nārāyaṇa is remembered as lying down in water. O goddess of the Devas, the Tīrthas pertaining to the Āpyatattva (water principle) have already been enumerated to you. Certainly they are dear to Nārāyaṇa. Prābhāsika is remembered among the Audaka (Āpya i.e., aqueous) Tattvas.

16. There, Lord Hari gets dissolved in every birth. Vāsudeva is subtle-souled and is stationed in what is greater than the greatest (i.e. Brahman).

17. Śiva is the Lord without beginning and end. He is the greatest Vyoman (sky). There is none greater than he, as mentioned in all the scriptural texts and Āgamas.

18-19. So also (is said) especially in (Śaiva) Siddhānta, Āgamas, Upaniṣads and the Darśanas (systems of philosophy). In all these, Hari is not different from me, O lady of good renown. Hari is stationed in that holy spot along with me in directly perceptible form. He is connected with four Liṅgas but is not known by anyone.

20. By visiting Bhallukā Tīrtha one obtains that merit which is attained by Naiṣṭhikas (persons of permanent and steady religious practice) of all castes through Vratas performed for the sake of salvation.

21. That spot measures a Gocarma (i.e., 150 Hastas by 150 Hastas) all round. O beautiful lady, without the help of scriptural texts no one can know this.

22. O Pārvatī, there are five Liṅgas there. Some of them have five faces. Viṣuva exists there even today among men (The equinox is fixed for the purpose of performing rites).

23. Some of the (faces) are very big, as large as the eggs of hen. They are entwined by serpents and marked by tridents.

24. Merely by visiting them, one gets the merit of the worship of a crore of Liṅgas. Hence this great holy spot is always resorted to by Brahmā and others.

25. Leading Brāhmaṇas of great renown (well-versed in the Vedas) and sages endowed with great Siddhi resort to it on the eighth and fourteenth lunar days of every month.

26. O lady of excellent countenance, the Liṅgas in Prabhāsa are adorned then and more so at the times of lunar and solar eclipses and on the Kārttikī day.

27-28. Puṣkara, Naimiṣa, Prayāga, Sampṛthūdaka and other Tīrthas numbering sixty hundred crores and thousands meet together at the place of the confluence of Sarasvatī and the ocean as well as in Sannihatī at Kurukṣetra on every Māghī day (Full-Moon day in the month of Māgha).

29. O lady of excellent holy rites, people cast off their sins by remembering that Tīrtha or by repeating the names thereof at the time of death.

30-32. O dear one! The name of this Kṣetra is different in the different Kalpas such as Ānartasāra, Saumya, Bhuvana, Bhūṣaṇa, Divya, Pāñcanada, the meritorious Ādiguhya, Mahodaya, Siddharatnākara, Samudrāvaraṇa, Dharmākāra, Kalādhāra, Śivagarbhagṛha and Sarvadevaniveśa that is destructive of all sins.

33-38. O beautiful lady among Suras, know that the lengths (and other dimensions) are to be guarded as secret:

In the first Kalpa, O goddess, this Kṣetra was remembered as Pramodana. All round it there was Nandana park. Beyond that was Śiva. Beyond Śiva was Ugra. Further beyond it is Bhadrika. Beyond that is Samindhana and beyond that is Kāmada.

Then there are Siddhida, Dharmajña Vaiśvarūpa which is Muktida (bestower of salvation). Then Śrīpadmanābha and the highly refulgent Śrīvatsa. Then Pāpasaṃhāra and Sarvakāmaprada. Then, O lady of beautiful features, Mokṣamārga and Sudarśana. This Prabhāsa is the centre of all piety (Dharma) and it is destructive of sins. Hereafter there shall be Utpalāvartikas. In the centre of the Kṣetra is stationed my Garbhagṛha (Sanctum Sanctorum). O goddess, its names have been mentioned to you in due order.

39. By listening to all the names and to the greatness of the Kṣetra people shall undoubtedly attain the desired Siddhi.

40. To one who glorifies this thrice a day it accords great rise in fortune. If it is glorified during dusk, the sin of the whole day (i.e., one day and one night) perishes.

41. Hypocrites, men of poor intellect who reside here, deluded Brāhmaṇas solely concerned about their sustenance—all these go to heaven when they die.

42. In the centre of this holy spot within the range of twelve Yojanas, O goddess of Devas’, there are thousands of Upakṣetras (subsidiary shrines).

43. Some of them are in the form of lotuses. Some are shaped like barley. Some are hexagonal; some triangular. Some are in the shape of sticks.

44. These have Brahmā etc. as the presiding deities. They are stationed in the middle of the Īśakṣetra, some in the shape of crescent and some in the shape of squares.

45. Some of them extend to half a Yojana. Some are one-fourth of a Yojana in extent. Some have the dimensions of a Nivartana (i.e. twenty rods) and some the measure of a Daṇḍa (four Hastas).

46. Some have the measure of a Gocarma (i.e. 150 Hastas by 150 hastas). Some have the space of a Dhanus in the middle (4 Hastas). There are crores of holy sites of the size of a sacred thread.

47. O lotus-eyed one, there is not even a space of an eighth of an Aṅguli (Finger) in the sky where the divine Tīrthas are not present.

48-53. Even after Pralaya (ultimate annihilation) all these following holy spots resort to Prabhāsakṣetra and survive: The Liṅga that is at Kedāra, O goddess and that which is at Mahālaya, that which is at Madhyameśvara, the Pāśupateśvara Liṅga, Śaṅkukarṇeśvara, Bhadreśvara, Someśvara, Ekāgra, Kāleśvara, Ajeśvara, Bhairaveśvara, Īśāna, Kāyāvarohaṇa, the meritorious Cāpaṭeśvaraka, Badarikāśrama, Rudrakoṭi, Mahākoṭi, the auspicious Śrīparvata, Kapālin the Lord of Devas, then Karavīra, Oṃkāra the highly meritorious, Vasiṣṭhāśrama where, O goddess, there are a crore of Rudras who can assume any form they desire. All these and other holy spots and shrines of mine all over the earth stay in Prabhāsa keeping Prayāga at their head.

54. Raviputrī is in the north. The ocean is remembered in the south. This is the south-north extent of this holy spot.

55. To the east of Rukmiṇī and to the west of Taptatoyā—this is the east-west extent of Prabhāsa that is glorified.

56. Keeping within this limit, O beautiful Sura lady, those Tīrthas reside in beginning with Pātāla and ending with Kaṭāha.

57. O great goddess, after realizing this, Hari who comprises within him all the Devas came to Prabhāsakṣetra and cast off his body.

58. Those who listen to this divine Carita of Rudra always or on Parvan days (festival days) go over, by my grace, to heaven, the abode of meritorious persons.

59. Thus the wonderful Carita full of merit has been completely described to you, O goddess. If anything else is there dear (interesting) to you or conducive to the prosperity of the sages, tell me. I shall expound it.

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