The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Origin of Rajabhattaraka which is chapter 11 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 eleventh chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 11 - Origin of Rājabhaṭṭāraka

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:

1. O Brāhmaṇas, on being told thus, the goddess, having charming eyebrows was struck with wonder. Her eyes became blossomed and she felt horripilation covering her body. She asked again:

The Devī said:

2-5. I am blessed. I am highly meritorious. Great penance has been performed by me since this greatness of the holy place was heard by me from Mahādeva.

O Lord Hara, O Lord of the chiefs of Devas, O redeemer from the ocean of worldly existence, everything that was asked by me earlier has been explained.

Further, O Lord of the chiefs of Devas, I have been delighted by the nectarine words of yours. O Maheśvara, O Lord of Devas, I am not adequately satisfied.

I am inclined to ask something regarding the details of the Prabhāsa Kṣetra. Hence, O Kāmeśa, O Lord of the worlds, take pity on me and do describe it.

Īśvara said:

6. What is remembered as Jaṃbūdvīpa is exactly at the centre of the earth. It is divided into nine regions, O beautiful woman, known as the different Varṣas (regions).

7. Therein, the first Varṣa is Bhārata. It is also remembered as being divided into nine parts. From south to north it measures nine thousand Yojanas.

8. The distance from east to west is eighty thousand. Himavān is in the north. The Kṣīroda (ocean) is in the south.

9-10a. O goddess, Bhārata, the excellent Kṣetra, is in between.

There are four Yugas, viz. Kṛta, Tretā, Dvāpara and Tiṣya (i.e. Kali). The division of Yugas exists only here. So also the classification of the people into four Varṇas.

10b-12. O goddess, the men here live upto four hundred, three hundred, two hundred and one hundred years, in the Yugas Kṛta, Tretā etc. respectively. I told you about the earth likened to a lotus with four petals. The Varṣas Bhārata etc. are the petals in the four quarters, viz. Bhārata, Ketumāla, Kuru and Bhadrāśva.[1]

13. The southern-most Varṣa that has been mentioned by me by the name Bhārata has oceans to its south, west and east. Himavān is to the north like string unto bow.

14. This Bhārata Varṣa is the seed of everything, O lady of excellent countenance. It is Karmabhūmi. The consequences of incurring merit and sins are not obtained elsewhere.

15. O goddess of Devas, even Devas wish. ‘We would rather attain human birth in Bhārata or in the earth.’

16. Viṣṇu is stationed in Bhadrāśva Varṣa as Aśvaśiras (horse-headed). In Bhārata he is stationed as Kūrma (Tortoise); as Varāha (Boar) in Ketumāla. He is in the form of a fish in the northern (Kuru).

17. In all those four Varṣas, the Viṣayas (regions) are set up on the basis of constellations. O great goddess, the Vigraha (the physical form) is Navapādaka (nine-limbed).

18. O great goddess, I shall tell you the distribution of the constellations in regard to Bhārata which is constituted in the form of Kūrma (Tortoise).

19. The holy Lord in the form of a Kūrma is stationed facing the east. O my beloved, he thus occupies Bhārata Varṣa of nine sectors.

20. Learn from me the constellation basis of this (Varṣa) set up in nine sectors. Kṛttikā, Rohiṇī and Saumya (i.e. Mṛgaśīras) the third—these have their positions on the back of the Kūrma.

21-23. Ārdrā, Punarvasu and Puṣya—these three constellations are on the mouth (face). Āśleṣā, Maghā, and Pūrvā Phalgunī—these three constellations, O my beloved, have their bases on the south-east Pāda(sectors), Uttarā Phalgunī, Hasta and Citrā—these three constellations are remembered as having bases assigned to the right belly (side) of the Kūrma. Svātī, Viśākhā and Maitra (Anurādhā)—these three are in the south- west sector.

24-26. Aindra (i.e. Jyeṣṭhā), Mūla and Pūrvāṣāḍhā are remembered as based on the back part. O lady of renown, the three constellations Uttarāṣāḍhā, Śravaṇa and Dhaniṣṭhā are mentioned in the north-west sector. Śatabhiṣak, Pūrvāproṣṭhapadā and Uttarāproṣṭhapadā—these constellations are stationed in the left part of the belly of the Kūrma, O my beloved. Revatī, Aśvinī and Yāmyā (i.e. Bharaṇī) are assigned to the north-east sector. Listen to the auspicious and the inauspicious benefit.

27. If a planet, the Lord of the constellation of a region happens to occupy a low position, it indicates a danger to that region, O great goddess. If it is ascendant, it indicates the advent of good future.

28. As has been mentioned by me, this Kūrma is the Lord in Bhārata. It is Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Soul, who cannot be adequately thought of. Everything is firmly established therein.

29. The zodiacs Meṣa and Vṛṣa (i.e. Aries and Taurus) are in the centre of the heart; Vṛṣa and Mithuna (Taurus and Gemini) in the face. The signs of Cancer and Leo are in the south-east Pāda (sector).

30. Three zodiacs are remembered as stationed in the belly, Leo, Virgo and Libra. Two zodiacs, Libra and Scorpio are in the south-west sector.

31. Scorpio and Sagittarius are stationed in the tail. The three beginning with Sagittarius (i.e. Sagittarius, Capricorn and Aquarius) are in the north-west left sector.

32. Aquarius and Pisces occupy its northern belly, O great goddess. Pisces and Aries are stationed in the north-east sector.

33. In these regions, O my beloved, the constellations occupy Kūrma parts. The zodiacs influence the constellations and the planets are influenced by the zodiacs.

34. One can point out the affliction of the regions based on the high and low positions of the planets and the constellations. At that time devotees take holy ablution, make religious offerings and perform Homa etc.

35. O goddess, it is the Vaiṣṇava Pāda where the Graha (planet) is in the centre. It is the Lord of the worlds named Nārāyaṇa, the supreme soul who cannot be adequately thought of.

36. The Lords of the zodiacs Meṣa (Aries) etc. are respectively Mars, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Saturn and Jupiter.

37. O great goddess, Janārdana in the form of Kūrma is of such a nature. The region well-known as Saurāṣṭra is in the south-west sector.

38-39. O beautiful lady, based on the difference in the city it is of nine types. Its ninth part is near the ocean and well-known as Prabhāsa. O goddess, it is dear to me always. Its overall extent is twelve Yojanas.

40. The Pīṭhikā is said to be five Yojanas in area. It is in the centre. My abode is in the middle of it. It is near the ocean.

41. O great goddess, I reside at its centre in the form of a Liṅga.

42. Three hundred Dhanus (i.e. 300 x 4 Hastas) to the west of Kṛtasmara, I stay along with you (there). O goddess of Devas, of excellent countenance.

43. O great goddess, that spot of mine is dearer to me than even Kailāsa. There too even an area extending to a Gocarma (150 Hastas by 150 Hastas) is to be guarded as secret, O Lady of excellent countenance.

44. Ordinarily it should not be mentioned. But it has been revealed (to you) out of love for you. This Prābhāsika Kṣetra[2] is illumined by my refulgence.

45-47. Therefore, O lady of excellent countenance, it is called Prābhāsika in the first Kalpa. In the second (Kalpa) my Prabhā (Bhā, refulgence) was obtained (seen) by all the Devas including Vāsava, O goddess of Devas. Therefore it is remembered as Prābhāsika, It is the place where the great Suras are Prabhāvavantaḥ [=Prabhāvavat?] (influential, powerful). Therefore it is glorified as Prabhāsa in the worlds. O goddess, the first among all the refulgences i.e. the first Tīrtha among all the Tīrthas shines. Hence it is glorified as Prabhāsa.

48. Or since Bhānu (the Sun) prakṛṣṭam bhāsitaḥ i.e. is made to shine all the more by Viśvakarman and the fierceness of brilliance was lessened there, therefore it is Prābhāsika.

49-50. Or, O goddess, Prabhā (lustre) was regained there by the Moon who had been cursed by Dakṣa and therefore had become lustreless. Therefore, it is remembered as Prābhāsika.

Goddess Bhāratī lifted up the Vaḍavāgni (submarine fire). Therefore, O goddess of Devas, it is glorified as Prabhāsa.

Since the ‘Prakṛṣṭa Bhāratī’ (i.e. the most excellent Vedic text) is always heard on the pathways, O great goddess, therefore it is glorified as Prabhāsa.

51. O my beloved, the ocean always shines there with brilliant waves. Therefore, the name Prabhāsa became well-known in all the three worlds.

52. O lady of great lustre, there the sun always stands perceptible. Therefore, it gained renown in the earth as Prabhāsa.

53. To those who meditate perfectly I grant all desires there. Therefore, the Tīrtha became well-known in all the three worlds by the name Prabhāsa.

54-55. O my beloved, O beautiful lady of the Suras, the names differ due to the difference in the Kalpas as well as due to the etymological explanations. There are many reasons thereof.

But whatever name has to be given is remembered as the name Prabhāsa.

O goddess, it is well-established in the aqueous principle, the first body of Viṣṇu. Thus, O goddess, the cause of origin of the name of the Kṣetra has been explained to you succinctly.

56. O lady of excellent countenance, I shall explain further whatever you ask. Hence, O woman of excellent countenance, tell me quickly whatever is in your mind.

The Devī said:

57. O Hara, tell me in detail how the Prābhāsika Kṣetra originated in this Kalpa and the cause of it’s origin.

Īśvara said:

58. Listen, O goddess, I shall duly explain the origin of the holy spot which, if a man listens to with devotion, will rid him of all sins.

59. O beautiful lady, O fair one, I shall narrate the greatness of the primordial Kṣetra which is to be kept a secret and is destructive of sins. Out of love for you I shall narrate.

60-62. In this Kalpa in the first Manvantara of the Svāyaṃbhuva Manu, when Brahmā was engaged in creation earlier, the sun was born of his right eye, O my beloved. In due course he had two wives. One of them should be known as Dyau (Heaven) the Queen. The other is remembered as Nikṣubhā, Earth. On the seventh day in the month of Mārgaśīrṣa, Dyau gets herself united with Sun.

63. On the seventh day in the month of Māgha Ravi shall be in the company of Earth. Then Bhūḥ and Āditya have their union.

64. Fresh after her bath in the Ṛtu (menstrual cycle) Earth conceived from Sun. During the rains Dyau gives birth to water flowing over Earth.

65. Then for the sustenance of all the three worlds, Earth gives birth to vegetation and food-grains. Brāhmaṇas become delighted by making use of the vegetation. They begin to offer libation to fire.

66-67a. They begin to worship Pitṛs and Devas by uttering the words Svāhā and Svadhā (at the time of offering libations).

67b-68a. I shall narrate to you completely how she became a queen, whose daughter she was, and who were her children. Since Bhūḥ renders human beings, Pitṛs and Devas free from hunger through the medicinal herbs from her womb, and nectar, it is remembered as Nikṣubhā.

I shall explain fully how Rājñī (Queen) became so, how the sons were born etc.

68b. Marīci is the son of Brahmā and Kaśyapa is remembered as Mārīca (son of Marīci).

69. From him was born Hiraṇyakaśipu. Prahlāda was his son. The son of Prahlāda is remembered by the name Virocana.

70. Virocana’s sister is the mother of Saṃjñā. She is remembered as the granddaughter of Hiraṇyakaśipu, son of Diti.

71. That daughter of Prahlāda is mentioned as the wife of Viśvakarman by learned ones.

72. There was a splendid daughter of Marīci, Atirūpā by name. She was the wife of Aṅgiras and the mother of Bṛhaspati.

73. Bṛhaspati’s sister Viśrūtā was an expounder of Brahman. She was the wife of Prabhāsa, the eighth one among Vasus.

74. She gave birth to Viśvakarman, the most excellent one among artists and craftsman. By the name of Tvaṣṭṛ, he became the Architect of Devas.

75. The daughter of the preceptor of Devas is well-known in all the three worlds as Sureṇu. She became the wife of Viśvakarman.

76. The daughter of Prahlāda who has been mentioned earlier is remembered as the wife of Tvaṣṭṛ. He begot of her the daughters (called) Lokamātaraḥ [=Lokamātṛ?] (Mother of the worlds).

77. She is known as Dyau, Saṃjñā, Rājñī, Tvaṣṭrī and Prabhā. Valayā is her shadow. She is noble-minded Nikṣubhā.

78. She was a chaste divine lady and wife of the noble-souled Mārtaṇḍa. She was endowed with beauty and youth.

79-80. He did not approach her in the form of a man. Āditya blazed with his fiery refulgence. That refulgence scorched her unrivalled limbs. On being looked at by Ravi, Saṃjñā used to close her eyes. Hence Sun got angry and spoke these words to Saṃjñā:

Ravi said:

81. Whenever I am seen, you close your eyes. Hence, O foolish woman, you will give birth to Yama, the restrainer of the subjects.

Īśvara said:

82. Thereupon, the terrified lady made her eyes tremulous. On seeing her with tremulous eyes, Ravi said to her again:

Ravi said:

83. Since, on seeing me you made your eyes tremulous, you will give birth to a daughter, an unsteady river.

Īśvara said:

84. Then, due to the husband’s curse, Yama and the well-known great river Yamunā were born of her. She gave birth to a third son, the auspicious Manu Śrāddhadeva.

85. Unable to endure red-hot iron-ball like refulgence of Ravi, Saṃjñā began to think within her mind:

86. ‘What shall I do? Where shall I go? Where will I get relief? How can it be that my husband Arka does not get angry?’

87. After thinking thus in various ways, the daughter of the Patriarch, the highly esteemed lady, approved of the plan of resorting to her father.

88-89. After deciding to go to her father’s house, the lady of great renown looked at her own reflection (Chāyā), which appeared to be made similar to her in every limb. Seeing that divine being in front of her, her own Chāyā, she spoke these words:

Saṃjñā said:

90. Welfare unto you. I am going to the abode of my father. O splendid one, at my bidding you should stay here without any change (in behaviour).

91. These two sons of mine and this girl of excellent complexion should be well looked after. This should not be mentioned by you to my Lord.

92. Even when asked, this departure of mine should not be divulged by you. If you are to be addressed by my name Saṃjña behave accordingly (as if you are Saṃjña) to carry out my part.

Chāyā said:

93. Unless and until I am caught hold of by my tresses, until I am cursed, I will not mention your secret. You may go wherever you desire.

Īśvara said:

94. On being told thus, the great lady went to her father’s abode. There she saw Tvaṣṭṛ who had washed away all sins by means of penance.

95. For a thousand years she stayed in the abode of her father. Due respect was paid by Viśvakarman. The uncensured lady still continued her stay in the abode of her father.

96. Not long after that stay, the father said to the lady of beautiful limbs. He praised his daughter with affection and consideration.

Viśvakarman said:

97. My dear, on seeing you even many many days appear as though half a Muhūrta. But thereby there is violation of Dharma.

98. Continued stay with kinsmen is not conducive to the reputation of a woman. Her stay in her own husband’s house is what is desired by all the relatives of a woman.

99. You are united in wedlock with your husband Sūrya, the Lord of the three worlds, O my dear daughter, it does not behove you to stay in the abode of your father for a long time.

100. Hence do go to your husband’s place. You have seen me and have been duly honoured by me. You should come again, O lady of pure smiles, to see me.

Īśvara said:

101-105. On being told thus by her father, “Do go! Do go! repeatedly, she. duly took leave of her father with due veneration.

She assumed the form of a mare. There is a Varṣa (continent) to the north of Meru. It has the shape of a bow. O lady of renown, it is well-known in the world as Uttara Kuru.

The chaste lady in the form of a mare, abstained from food and performed penance there.

In the meantime, her Chāyā, the divine lady, wished to abide by her own promise to Saṃjñā and stayed near Vivasvān (Sun).

Lord Sūrya, the Lord of the heaven, became enamoured of her exalted beauty. He begot of this second wife two sons and a daughter.

106. Of the two sons, O beautiful lady of Suras, he who was born first from Sun became similar to Manu. Therefore, he became (known as) Sāvarṇi.

107. The second son who was born became the planet Śanaiścara (Saturn). The girl was Tapatī whom King Saṃvaraṇa wooed.

108. This river named Tāpī rose from the foot of Vindhya. Her waters are always auspicious for a bath. She flowed into the western ocean.

109-111. This daughter of great refulgence was extraordinarily blessed and prosperous.

The Pārthivī (Earthy) Chāyā did not show the same affection as Saṃjñā had shown towards her children by means of fondling and feeding well. The lady did not behave towards the others as she did towards her own children. O Pārvatī, the future Manu continued to forbear this behaviour of hers.

112. O lady of excellent countenance, he (Manu) continues to stay on Meru even today performing penance. He was patient with his mother forbearingly but this was not the case with Yama.

113-114. He used to beg for his requirements (of food or eatables) many times. Due to his childishness and anger as well as due to the inevitability of the destiny, the foot was raised by him to kick her but, due to forbearance, he did not place his foot on her person.

115. Yama, the son of Saṃjñā, threatened Chāyā with his foot.

116. The earthy Chāyā became excessively angry. With lips throbbing slightly and the sprout-like hands moving, she cursed:

Chāyā said:

117. O Amaryāda (one who transgresses the bounds of propriety), you threaten me, your father’s wife, with your foot. Hence this foot of yours will drop down today itself.

Īśvara said:

118. Tormented much in his mind due to that curse, Yama, the righteous Soul, intimated everything to his father along with Manu.

Yama said:

119. Dear father, this is indeed highly surprising. It has never been seen by anyone that a mother gives up her maternal affection and heaps a curse on her son.

120. Mother does not behave impartially with us. Ignoring the seniors, she tends to become more affectionate towards the juniors.

121. Due to childishness, it may be, or due to delusion, I lifted up my foot against her, Of course. But it was restrained from touching her. You may be pleased to forgive me.

122. This is clear that I, a son, have been cursed by her in anger. Hence, O foremost one among the eloquent ones, she is obviously not mother.

123. A son may be unmannerly but the mother ought not to be bereft of consideration for him. How did she manage to utter, “Son, your foot shall drop down.”

124. O Lord of rays, O holy Sir, with your favour, let not the foot fall down as a result of this curse of my mother. Think out means to this effect.

Ravi said:

125. Dear son, undoubtedly there must be a strong reason in this matter, since you, a noble-souled one conversant with Dharma, got enraged.

126. There is a remedy too in the case of all curses, but there is no redemption to those cursed by mother.

127. It is not proper to make your mother’s words false and so ineffective. But out of my filial affection for you, I will try to bring about some blessings.

128. Worms will scrape up some flesh from your leg and go down to the earth. Thereby her words will be true and you will also be not affected.

Īśvara said:

129-131. Āditya said to Chāyā, “When all the children are equal, why should partiality be shown towards one?

Certainly you are not the mother of these children. That Saṃjñā has gone away somewhere. Even in the case of her defective children, a mother does not utter a curse.

A son may commit thousands of blunders and misdeeds. He may even threaten her life. But the mother should not react sinfully. Hence tell me the truth. Do not get cursed (by me).”

Īśvara said:

132-134. On seeing the Lord of the Day ready to curse the Reflection (Shadow) of Saṃjñā, she trembled with fear. She narrated what had happened.

The great chaste fair lady said: “I am the daughter of Tvaṣṭṛ, O Vibhāvasu (Sun), O Divākara (Sun), I have my husband in you.”

Though Vivasvān (Sun) asked many times, she said only thus and not otherwise. He became angry and got ready to curse her.

135. On seeing Sun ready to curse, Chāyā told everything regarding Saṃjñā’s well designed act to Vivasvān.

136. On hearing it Lord Sun went to the abode of Tvaṣṭṛ. He honoured (Sun) who is adored by all the three worlds.

137. O Pārvatī, when the Sun-god came to his house and intending to burn down him (Viśvakarmā) with his dazzling refulgence demanded, “Where is Saṃjñā”? He (Viśvakarmā) pacified him and told:

138-140. “Let my words by heard by you. Indeed she came to my abode. Unable to endure this fiery, well-known refulgence of yours, Saṃjñā performs penance roaming about in the forest.

You will see your wife of auspicious activities today itself, performing a great penance for the sake of (your) excellent form.

This I became aware through the words of Brahmā, O Lord, if it is approved of by you, O Lord of heaven, I shall make your refulgence attractive.”

Īśvara said:

141. Since Bhāsvān’s earlier form was of the nature of an orb, Lord Hari (the Sun-god) said to Tvaṣṭṛ, “So be it”.

142. On being permitted by Vivasvān, Viśvakarman placed him on a lathe and prepared to whet his refulgence in Śākadvīpa.

143. While Bhāsvān, the Lord of all living beings, began to whirl, the oceans along with all the materials within became agitated all round.

144. O highly esteemed goddess of Devas, everything including Moon, the planets and the stars was pulled (by Sun) who was whirling. They began to fall down and become upset.

145. The waters in all the rivers were thrown up. The mountains split with all their peaks and ridges broken up.

146. O lady of excellent complexion, all the heavenly abodes having the support of Dhruva went down in their thousands when the rays that bound them together snapped in the course of their whirling.

147. When the sky and the surface of the earth became shaky as Bhāsvān whirled the massive clouds became shattered producing terribly loud thunders.

148. Then, O lady of excellent complexion, the whole universe became extremely confounded and chaotic. O goddess, as the entire range of the three worlds whirled the great sages and Devas eulogized Bhāsvān along with Brahmā.

Devas said:

149 -150. You are the primordial Lord of Devas. This entire universe was born of you. You stand in three different forms at the times of creation, sustenance and annihilation. Hail unto you, O Lord of the universe, who are the source of heat, rain, shower and cold (i.e. three seasons, Summer, Rains and Winter).

Indra came and eulogized that Lord as he was being whetted: “Be victorious, O Lord, O Lord of the universe, be victorious, O master of the universe.”

151. Then the seven sages with Vasiṣṭha, and Atri as leaders, eulogized with different kinds of prayers. They began to say loudly, “Hail! Hail!” Then the Vālakhilyas eulogized with the excellent words of the Vedas:

Vālakhilyas said:

152. Obeisance to you in the form of Ṛks. Obeisance to you of the form of Sāmans. Obeisance to you having the form comprising Yajus Mantras. O Dhāmaga (one who has occupied the abode) of Sāmans, obeisance to you.

153. Obeisance to one whose sole form and body is perfect knowledge. Obeisance to one who has quelled darkness (or ignorance). Obeisance to one whose form is the pure refulgence. Obeisance to one who is personified Trinity. Obeisance to the Ātman free from impurities.

154. Obeisance to the most excellent one, Obeisance to one who is to be considered the most excellent one. Obeisance to the Supreme Ātman identical with all. Obeisance to one whose form pervades the entire universe. Obeisance to one of endless forms.

155. Obeisance to one who has become the cause of all. Obeisance to one stationed as knowledge in the minds. Obeisance to one in the form of the Sun. Obeisance to one whose form is very difficult to look at due to the dazzling brilliance.

156. Obeisance to you, Bhāskara (Creator of brilliance). Obeisance to Dinakṛt (the cause of day). Obeisance to the entire cause of all. Obeisance to the creator of twilight and moonlight.

157. O Lord, you are all this universe. When you whirl everything in the universe, the entire Cosmic Egg including mobile and immobile beings moves. On being touched by your rays all this becomes purified.

158. Through the contact with your rays purification of waters etc. is brought about.

159. O father, as long as this universe does not come into contact with your rays, the holy rites of Homa, Dāna etc. do not come to help (i.e. prove efficacious).

160. All these Ṛks, all the Yajus Mantras, and all the Sāmans fall from your person.

161. O Lord of the universe, you are Ṛṅmaya (full of Ṛks, identical with Ṛks). You alone are Yajurmaya (full of Yajus, identical with Yajus). You are Sāmamaya and therefore, O Lord, you are Trayīmaya (identical with the three Vedas).

162. You alone are the forms of Brahman viz. Para (the greatest) and Apara (the least); Mūrta (embodied), Amūrta (disembodied), Sthūla (gross) and Sūkṣma (subtle). You abide in all these forms.

163. You are identical with the units of time such as Nimeṣa, Kāṣṭhā etc. You are the forms of Kāla such as Kṛṣṇa etc. Be pleased and change your form. Subdue your refulgence willingly. O Lord, for the sake of the worlds, you endure unbearable pain.

164. O Lord, you are salvation unto those yearning for salvation. You are the most excellent Dhyeya (object of meditation) of those who regularly meditate. You are the goal of all living beings who desist from Karmakāṇḍa (rituals).

165. O Lord of Devas, let there by happiness and prosperity unto the subjects. O Lord of the worlds, let us have happiness and welfare.

166. You are the creator. You alone create the universe. You are the protector ardently engaged in its sustenance. All this universe will get dissolved in you at the end. O Tapana (Burning One), there is no one other than you who bestows everything.

167. You are Brahmā. You are termed Hari and Hara. You are Indra. You are the Lord of Wealth (Kubera). You are Pitṛpati, Aṃbupa (Varuṇa), Wind-god, Soma (Moon), fire, one having the forms of sky, great mountain etc. Are not you the bestower of all desires?

168. Brāhmaṇas assiduously engaged in their respective duties eulogize you with diverse kinds of Padas (words, songs, prayers) and perform Yajñas everyday. Men engaged in Yogic practice meditate on you with humility in their minds and attain the greatest goal (Mokṣa).

169. You scorch and cook the universe, protect it, reduce it to ashes and make it manifest. You delight the universe with your rays filled with water. You create as the Lotus-born (Brahmā). You protect with the name Acyuta. At the end of the Yuga, you annihilate everything in the sole form of Rudra.

Īśvara said:

170. Even as he scraped and whetted Bhānu (Sun) Viśvakarman, the patriarch, experienced horripilation. He eulogized Vivasvān thus:

[Viśvakarman’s Prayer:]

171. Obeisance to Vivasvān who shows mercy on the people who bow down. Obeisance to the noble-souled one who has seven horses of equal speed. Obeisance to the brilliant one, the kinsman of the clusters of lotuses and bees. Obeisance to the destroyer of the curtain of darkness.

172. Obeisance to the Lord who surpasses all in sanctity, who has an eye on everyone (is all-seeing); who bestows many objects of desire, who has a number of shining rays devoid of impurities, and who does everything conducive to the welfare of all living beings.

173. Obeisance to the excellent Lord of rays who is unborn, who is the conceiver and creator of the three worlds, who is the soul of the living beings, who is the most excellent of all compassionate ones. Obeisance to Sūrya, the source of origin and dissolution of all objects.

174. Obeisance to Vivasvān who possesses perfect knowledge, who is the immanent soul, who is the support of the universe, who desires the welfare of the universe, who is self-born, who is the eye of the world and free from impurities, who is the most excellent of all Suras and whose refulgence is unlimited.

175. In a moment you shine on the top of Udayācala (Mountain where the Sun rises) even as the groups of Suras sing about you in excellent songs. You are like the Lotus-navelled Lord in the world covered with thousands of rays.

176. O Mihira (Sun), your physical form assumes red hue due to the inebriation resulting from the drinking of the liquor of darkness. By your refulgence you are intent on sanctifying the three worlds.

177. You ride on a chariot of symmetrical parts having divine shining horses, not at all defective. O Lord, you always move among the hordes of enemies because of your interest in the welfare of the universe.

178. You propitiate the Pitṛs of Devas too with the nectareous juice. O destroyer of enemies, therefore, I bow down to you and whet and scrape your body.

179. O Ravi fond of the people who bow down, O sanctifier of the three worlds, I bow down to you. I am dejected[3]. Make me one with splendid complexion and one rendered very holy through the dust from your feet. Oh, protect me.

180. Thus, I bow down to Ravi, the most excellent one among Devas. You are Lord of Devas. You are a light unto the whole of the world. You are the progenitor of the entire universe. You are the sole cause of the refulgence that creates the three worlds.

Īśvara said:

181. Those who were expert in the art of music such as Gandharvas, Hāhā and Hūhū as well as Nārada and Tuṃburu, began to sing in praise of Ravi.

182-188. While Vibhāvasu (Sun), the Lord of the worlds, was being scraped, the songsters sang elaborately[4]. They were experts in the three Grāmas such as Ṣaḍja, Maḍhyama and Gāndhāra. Their songs caused pleasure through Mūrchanās and Tānas well produced. The seven notes of the gamut evolved them and embellished them with the three Yatis (pauses). The seven Dhātus, six Jātis and the three Guṇas were at the basis. The four types of Gīta rose out of the four Varṇas. The four Varṇas (Vargas) were duly repulsed. The seven Alaṅkāras embellished the songs. There was the purity of the three Sthānas. The three Kālas were perfectly set up. In every mind and dance item the Rasas and the Layas were in harmony.

The most excellent Apsarās such as Viśvācī, Ghṛtācī, Urvaśī, Tilottamā, Menakā, Sahajanyā and Raṃbhā duly danced the four types of Padas with three kinds of Tālas and Layas as well as Yatis. There were Ātodyas (musical instruments) and the Nāṭya was of four types.

189. These Apsarās were experts in depicting many Bhāvas. There were sounded hundreds of Devadundubhīs (drums) and thousand of conchs.

190. They sounded without being played and their sounds resembled the rumblings of clouds while Gandharvas sang and groups of Apsarās danced.

191. Veṇus (flutes), Viṇās (lutes), Jharjharas (drums and cymbals) and various kinds of drums like Paṇava, Puṣkara, Mṛdaṅga, Paṭaha and Ānaka were sounded.

192. There was a lot of confused sounds from the different musical instruments of Tūrya and Vāditra.

All the people joined their palms in veneration and bowed down humbly due to devotion.

193. All the Devas had assembled and there was clangorous hubbub. Viśvakarman kept Ravi on the lathe for a year.

194. Even as he was being eulogized by Devas, he continued the whetting and scraping. Sūtrakṛt (i.e. Tvaṣṭṛ) made the Lord get on to the wheel and whirled him.

195. This was like the work of a potter with a lump of clay. Viśvakarman continued to scrape with the sharp edge of his chisel even as he eulogized Pataṅga (Sun), the Lord of heaven.

196. A sixteenth part of the fieriness of the solar disc was scraped off even upto the feet, O lady of excellent countenance.

197. The part of the fieriness comprising Ṛks fell over Prabhāsa Kṣetra, O my beloved.O goddess of Devas, heaven was sanctified by the refulgence comprising Yajus Mantras of the great Lord.

198. Svarga was sanctified by the part comprising Sāman songs. Thus Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ and Svaḥ were set up. Then the refulgence was split into sixteen parts. Out of the first fifteen parts, the following were made.

199-201. The discus of Viṣṇu, the highly refulgent huge trident of Hara, the Śibikā (palanquin) of Kubera, the staff of Pretapati (Yama), Śakti of Devasenāpati (Kārttikeya) and the various weapons of the other Devas as well as Yakṣas and Vidyādharas—all these were made by Viśvakarman. Thus Lord Ravi now had only a sixteenth of his early brilliance. It is this brilliant light that is seen in the sky as of Ravi, O my beloved.

202. On being whetted thus by his father-in-law with the excess of refulgence scraped off, Mārtaṇḍa (Sun) had a very splendid body, as charming as that of the Flower-arrowed One (i.e. Kāmadeva).

203. Bhānu (Sun) with a lovely body went to Uttarakuru region. There he saw Saṃjñā in the form of a mare.

204. She was free of sins of all living beings due to her penance and restraint. On seeing him coming in the form of a horse, she had the suspicion of his being another male and so went forward facing him.

205. Their union thereupon was through the nose (of Saṃjñā) Two sons, Nāsatya and Dasra, with horse-faces were born.

206. At the culmination of the coitus Revanta[5] the son appeared with a sword, umbrella and coat of mail. As soon as he was born he seized the excellent horse of his father and fled.

207. Once he mounted the horse he never left it. Thereupon Daṇḍanāyaka and Piṅgala were commanded by Arka (Sun):

208-209. “Both of you, do bring back the horse to me not using force but through a loophole (i.e. by cunning device).” Though they stood at his side waiting for the loophole in regard to the horse, till today they did not find a loophole in regard to the noble-souled one. While Revanta went ahead Daṇḍa and Piṅgala closely followed.

210. They had speedily come out of Uttarakuru region and had come to the south of India where there was the holy spot Prabhāsa.

211. They as well as Revantaka were weary and distressed due to the rapidity. Gasping for breath with profuse perspiration all over the body, Revanta stationed himself there.

212. O goddess, from north to south a distance of a hundred thousand Yojanas was traversed in a Muhūrta by the noble-souled Revanta.

213. With profuse perspiration all over the body, O goddess, he stationed himself in Prabhāsa, riding the horse and accompanied by Daṇḍa and Piṅgala.

214. He is stationed to the south-west of Sāvitrī not very far. Since he was the son of Rājñī (Queen), O goddess, he was called Rājabhaṭṭāraka.

215. He has earned fame in the world as Rājabhaṭṭāraka. Revanta was employed in the post of Guhyabhaṭṭāraka (a venerable person as a confidant).

216-218. Then Lord Sun, the scorcher of the worlds, approached him and said thus: “O dear one, you will also become a person worthy of the adoration to all the worlds.

Whether in a forest or in a great forest-fire or during danger arising from the enemies and robbers, if men remember you they will become liberated from the great disaster.

On being adored by men you will become greatly pleased and bestow on them prosperity, welfare, happiness, kingdom, health, fame and advancement.”

219. Aśvins were made the physicians of Devas by their noble-souled father. Yama had pious and righteous outlook. He was impartial towards friends and enemies.

220. Then the destroyer of darkness employed him likewise. He made Yamunā, the river flowing through the Kālinda mountainous region (near the source of Yamunā).

221. Sāvarṇi, the highly esteemed son of Chāyā Saṃjñā, shall (in the future) become the eighth Manu, Sāvarṇika.

222-225. The Lord is performing a terrible penance on the top of Meru even today. His brother Śanaiścara became a planet, O my beloved.

After giving them boons thus and also to Revanta, Lord Bhāskara further explained his name. The son of Saṃjñā, a bestower of peace on her, goes like this. He was employed as the commander of horses by Bhānu. He who adores him on the path, traverses the way safely. O lady of excellent complexion, he can be easily propitiated always by men.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

This is the earlier Purāṇic theory. It preceded the later theory of seven continents of the earth.

[2]:

Various popular etymologies (explanations) of the term ‘Prābhāsika’ are given in the following verses.

[3]:

The reading vyathitam preferred to racitam in the text.

[4]:

These terms which follow have been explained in previous Khaṇḍa. For details see Śārṅgadhara’s Saṅgīta-ratnākara.

[5]:

The name of their third son Revantaka is recorded in the Viṣṇu P. III.2. Mbh. is silent about him.

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