The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Procedure of Worship (of the Sun-God) which is chapter 17 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 seventeenth chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 17 - Procedure of Worship (of the Sun-God)

Īśvara said:

1-5. O lady of great renown, now I shall tell you the injunctions regarding the worship of the Lord of Arkasthala as to how he should be adored by excellent men.

Āditya (Sun) is called the primordial one among all the Devas. Since he is the Ādikartā (first creator) he is called Āditya.

Without Āditya there is neither day nor night, no libation, no holy rite, no unrighteousness and no living beings whether mobile or immobile exist.

Āditya protects everything always. Āditya creates. Āditya annihilates everything. Hence he is identical with Trayī (Triad).

O great goddess, I shall tell you the procedure of the worship of the noble-souled Bhāskara by means of the extensive Vedic Mantras. O beautiful lady, listen to it. It is destructive of all sins.

6. I shall tell you fully, O great goddess, how Dvādaśātman (i.e. Sun) is to be adored duly as (incorporated in) an icon.

7. At the outset one should cleanse the mouth, Then one takes the bath. After wearing washed clothes and with purified body one should touch Sūrya (i.e. the idol of the Sun-god).

8. First I shall explain the procedure for cleansing the mouth through Dantakāṣṭha (a twig used as toothbrush)[1]. If Madhūka tree is used (i.e. a twig thereof), there shall be the acquisition of a son. O my beloved, if Arka twig is used, it is good for the eyes.

9. By using Badarī twig, one shall attain eloquence, by using Bṛhatī twig one defeats wicked people. If a Bilva twig is used, there shall be good fortune. Undoubtedly so with Khadira twig also.

10. By using a Kadamba twig ailment is reduced; by using Atimuktaka twig there is acqusition [acquisition?] of wealth. If Āṭarūsaka twig is used, one receives greater respect.

11. If a Jāti twig is used, one attains chiefship of one’s community; Aśvattha yields fame; by resorting to Śirīṣa one gets all glory.

12. Conjugal felicity shall be attained by one using a Priyaṅgu twig. By resorting to a Plakṣa twig always, one attains what one desires.

13. One should never use a twig if it is split, damaged, crooked, or dried in the upper part or if the bark is peeled off.

14. One should chew the twig a Vitasti (i.e. a span or 12 Aṅgulas) long, neither more nor less. One should sit comfortably facing the north or the east. One should remain silent while chewing.

15. One may have some specific desire cherished in the heart, in which case one should recite the following Mantra. An intelligent (householder) shall chew the twig always in this manner.

16. “O Dantakāṣṭha (toothbrush twig), obeisance to you. O Vanaspati (tree or plant), you have granted me the boon. Hence you know my desire. Grant me the full Siddhi (accomplishment of desire) always.”

17. After repeating the above Mantra three times, one should begin to Chew the twig. After cleansing the mouth, the twig is washed and kept in a clean place.

18. O goddess of Devas, the tongue should not be cleaned by means of this twig. If one desires good reputation, one should do these two acts separately..

19. Cleansing the teeth with finger, taking in salt by itself directly and eating mud—all these are on a par with eating cow’s meat.

20. If the mouth remains stale (i.e unwashed) a Brāhmaṇa always becomes impure. Hence one must use a dry or damp tooth-brush twig.

21. On days when Dantakāṣṭha is prohibited one must gargle sixteen times with sixteen mouthfuls of water. One should cleanse mouth with water rendered fragrant by means of lotus.

22. A Brāhmaṇa who touches (the idol of) Bhāskara without cleaning the mouth, becomes a leper for three thousand years.

23. After washing clothes etc. a person should take his bath. A lump of clay should be extracted from a clean pleasing spot with the Astra Mantra repeated.

24. The letter “H” along with the letter “U” and Anusvāra [Ṃ] and Phaṭ is called Astra Mantra (i.e. Huṃphaṭ). One should gather a lump of clay by repeating this Mantra and then take bath.

25-26. The lump of clay should be without grass blades or gravel. Three parts thereof are made. One part is to be rubbed well repeating the Astra Mantra; another part with the Bhāskara Mantra. The third part is to be charged with the ancillary Mantras once each. After uttering the Astra Mantra, the clay is to be thrown in different directions. Now the water has become free from impediments.

27. A man should cover (ritualistically) the Sūryatīrtha with the second and third parts once each. Then he shall take his bath in the Ravitīrtha.

28. The sounds of musical instruments and conch should be thought of when the devotee meditates on Lord Divākara. After the bath, the Ācamana rite is performed again with royal ostentatiousness.

29-30. The bath is performed along with the utterance of the Mantrarāja[2]. The mantrarāja is as follows: Letters “H” and “R” along with Bindu (dot) and Lakṣmī. Then the vowel is lengthened. The letter “S” with the Visarga. Ultimately OM HRĪṂ HREṂ SAḤ becomes the Mantrarāja.[3]

31. Then the devotee propitiates all the Mantras with the fīngers.The Devas are to be meditated on the point where all the finger dps converge. The sages are to be meditated on the left side (Savya) and the Pitṛs should be propitiated anticlockwise (Apasavya).

32. Akṣara (Imperishable) is that which is sung about by learned men as the most excellent of all letters. It has nineteen Mātrās.

33. After taking the holy bath thus in accordance with the injunctions, the person should offer the Sandhyā prayers duly. Then the learned devotee offers water with palms joined together (as a cup) to Bhāskara.

34. Then he should perform the Japa of the three-syllabled and six-faced Mantra casually (or as he pleases). O beloved, this has already been mentioned to you as Mantrarāja.

35. Afterwards the person concentrates the mantras and ritualistically touches the heart with the Tīrtha (holy water). Through the Mantras, he concentrates in the soul and offers the Arghya.

36. The devotee remains clean after the bath. He makes a circular diagram on the ground by means of sweet scents and red sandal-paste. He then sits there with mental concentration.

37. Karavīra flowers are placed in a copper vessel, scented water is poured into it and gingelly seeds, Kuśa grass and raw rice-grains are put into it.

38. The materials of worship are fumigated with incense and red sandal. The devotee places that pot on his head and kneels down on the ground.

39. He then offers the Arghya to Bhānu (the Sun-god) uttering the Mūla Mantra. He who makes this offering is rid of all sins.

40. By offering Arghya to the Sun, one obtains that benefit, O goddess, which one gets by offering Arghya in Jyeṣṭha Puṣkara in the course of a thousand Yugādis, a hundred Vyatīpātas and a thousand Ayanas (transits of the Sun).

41. There is no doubt about it, O goddess, that even if one be without the initiation and utterance of the Mantra, the devotee obtains the benefit through the Arghya, if offered with devotion for a year.

42. In the case of a devotee who is learned and has due initiation, if he offers Arghya to the Sun, he is not reborn on the earth, even when Bhāskara gets dissolved.

43. Along with his wife, O goddess, he attains ere long happiness in this very birth, conjugal felicity, long life, riches and freedom from illness.

44. Thus for the sake of the welfare of good men, the procedure regarding holy bath for the propitiation of the Sun god has been succinctly told to you. It is destructive of all sins.

45. Or, an excellent Brāhmaṇa who is unable to perform the Snāna-rite with elaborate utterance of Mantras without the requisite Dīkṣā (initiation) can perform Snāna following the Vedic procedure.

Īśvara said:

46. Now, O lady of good renown, I shall tell you the procedure regarding the Pūjā (worship) in accordance with the holy Vedic way. It is conducive to the welfare of Brāhmaṇas.

47. After the devotee has gathered together all the requisite things and has arranged in proper order the flowers etc. he should install the deity Bhānu on the Karṇikā and invoke him.

48. For the Upasthāna (waiting on the deity for the prayers to begin) the Mantra, beginning with udutyam jātavedasam (RV I.50.1) is to be used. This is the Mantra glorified, O lady of good holy rites.

49. The deity is to be invoked by. the Mantra beginning with agniṃ dūta etc. O lady of beauty, and adored by the Mantras beginning with ākṛṣṇena rajasā etc. (RV I.35.2)

50. The Pūjā should be performed with the Mantra beginning with haṃsaḥ śuciṣaṭ (RV IV.40.5.). Special Pūjā should be performed with the Mantra beginning with apatye tāyavo vathā (RV I.50.2) etc., O goddess.

51. The excellent Samārcana of Sūrya should be performed, O goddess, with the Mantra beginning with adṛśramasya (RV I.50.3.) etc. There must be constant Japa with the Mantra beginning with taraṇir viśva darśa etc. (RV I.50.4).

52. Bhadrā Devī should always be adored with the Mantras beginning with citraṃ devānām udagāt (RV 1.115.1). Vibhūti (glory) should always be adored with the Mantra beginning with yenā pāvaka cakṣasā etc. (RV I.50.6)

53. Vimalā should always be adored with the Mantra beginning with vidyām eṣi rajaspṛthu etc. (RV I.50.7), O lady of excellent holy rites. Amoghā should always be worshipped with the same Mantra.

54. Siddhidā (The bestower of Siddhis) in all the holy rites should be worshipped with the Mantra beginning with sapta tvā haritaḥ (RV I.50.8) etc. With the same sapta tvā haritaḥ, one should worship the Lord of Vidyuts (Lightning).

55. With the Mantra beginning with ud vayam tamasas pari (RV I.50.10) etc. one should worship the ninth goddess Sarvatomukhī always, O goddess.

56. The first Bījākṣara should be repeated after uttering the Mantra beginning with udyannadya mitramahaḥ (RV I.50.11). The second should be adored, O goddess, with the Mantra śukeṣu me harimānam (RV I.50.12).

57. With the Mantra beginning with udagādayam ādityaḥ etc. (RV I.50.13) one should worship the third Bījākṣara. It is glorified that the fourth Bījākṣara should be worshipped with the Mantra beginning with Tat Savitur Vareṇyam etc. (RV III.62.10).

58. It is proclaimed that the fifth should be adored with the Mantra beginning with mahāhivo mahāyā etc. With the Mantra beginning with hiraṇyagarbhaḥ samavartata (RV X.1.1) etc. the sixth one should be adored.

59. O lady of excellent complexion, the seventh Bīja should be adored with the Mantra beginning with savitā paścāttāt savitā (RV X.36.14) etc. After performing the rite of Nyāsa thus, O splendid lady, Āditya should be installed.

60. After installing Āditya, the devotee should perform the Nyāsa of the Aṅgas.

61. The Nyāsa of the heart is in the south-east, that of Śiras in the north-east, that of Śikhā (tuft of hair) in the south-west and that of Kavaca (coat of mail) in the north-west.

62. After the Nyāsa of the Astra in the quarters the Karṇikā (pericarp) should be adored with its Bīja. One should perform the Pūjā of the Hṛdaya with the Mantra beginning with amosi prāṇitena (Āśvalāyana Śrauta Sūtra)

63. One should worship the head, O goddess, with the Mantra beginning with āyuṣyam varcaseti vaī etc. (RV, Khila X. 128.2). Śikhā set up in the south-west should be worshipped with the Gāyatrī Mantra.

64. One should worship kavaca separately with the Mantra beginning with jīmūtasyeva bhavati etc. (RV VI.75.1.) The Astra should always be adored with the Mantra beginning with dhanvannāgā dhanvanā etc. (RV VI.75.2.).

65. Netra (eye) should be worshipped, O goddess, with the Mantra beginning with aśvinā tejasā etc. (Vājasaneyī Saṃhitā 20.80). Externally the Nyāsa of Soma (Moon) is in the east, that of Budha in the south.

66. Guru (Jupiter) should be placed (Nyāsa) in the west, the Nyāsa of Bhārgava is in the north. The Nyāsa of Maṅgala is in the south-east and that of Śānaiścara is in the south-west.

67. The Nyāsa of Rāhu is in the north-west and that of Ketu is in the north-east. One should always worship Soma with the Mantra beginning with āpyāyasva etc. (RV I.91.16.17). The Pratīka is common to both.

68. O great goddess, Budha should be always worshipped there with the Mantra beginning with udbudhyadhvam etc. (RV X.101.1). Guru should always be adored with the Mantra beginning with bṛhaspate etc.

69. O goddess, Bhārgava should be worshipped with the Mantra beginning with śukraḥ śuśukvān etc. One should always adore Maṅgala (Mars) with the Mantra beginning with apnirmūrdhā etc. (RV VIII.44.16).

70. One should adore the son of Bhāskara (i.e. Saturn) with the Mantra śam agni (RV VIII.18.9) etc. O goddess, one should always worship Rāhu with the Mantra kayā naścitrā (RV IV.31.1).

71. A sensible man should always worship Ketu with the Mantra beginning with ketum kṛṇvanti (RV I.6.3). etc. Externally the following deities are installed: Śakra in the east, Yama in the south.

72. Īśvara should be known in the north-east, Agni in the south-east, Virūpākṣa in the south-west and Pavana in the north-west.

73. One should adore Indra with the Mantra beginning with tamuṣṭavāma etc. and one should always worship Vaivasvata (i.e. Yama) with the Mantra beginning with udīratām avara etc.

74. O goddess, one should always worship Varuṇa with the Mantra beginning with tattvāyāmi (RV I.24.11) etc. and worship Dhanada with the Mantra beginning with indrāsomāvata.

75. O goddess, one should worship Pāvaka (Fire) with the Mantra beginning with agnim īḷe purohitam (RV I.1.1). etc. and worship Virūpākṣa with the Mantra beginning with rakṣohaṇam vājinā (RV X.87.1). etc.

76. O goddess, one should always worship Vāyu with the Mantra beginning with vāyavāyāhi etc. A sensible man should always worship these Devas in this order.

77-79. Externally the adoration of Indra etc. from the east etc. should be performed thus all round:

Āditya’s Rūpa (form) should be meditated upon on the ground where the mystic diagram (Maṇḍala) is drawn. It is red in colour and highly brilliant. It is stationed on a white lotus. It has all the characteristic features and is adorned with all ornaments. It has two arms and a single countenance. The hands hold Saumya Pañcaka. The radiant disc is circular and is stationed in the centre. The cloth is red in colour. This form of Āditya is adored in all the worlds.

The Devī said:

80. The procedure of the adoration of Bhāskara as stationed in the Maṇḍala (mystic diagram) has been mentioned by you. You have explained how he should be worshipped devoutly by men, O Suraśreṣṭha.

81. O Śaṅkara, tell me how one should duly worship Bhāskara, the omnipresent Lord stationed in (represented as) the idol and arising from the lotus[4].

Īśvara said:

82. Well! Well! O great goddess of good holy rites, I have been well asked. O goddess, listen attentively. I shall tell you how to worship the Lord stationed in an idol.

83. The Uttamāṅga (head) should always be worshipped with the Mantra beginning with ise tvā etc. The right hand should be worshipped with the Mantra beginning with agnim īḷe etc. (RV I.1.1).

84. The feet of the Lord should be worshipped with the Mantra beginning with agnā ā yāhi etc. One should adore the deity with flower garland with the Mantra beginning with ājighra etc.

85. Handfuls of loose flowers should be scattered with the Mantra beginning with yoge yoge (RV I.30.7) etc. The devotee bathes Ravi with the Mantra samudrāgaccha etc.

86. O beautiful lady, the deity can be bathed with the Mantra beginning with imaṃ me gaṅge etc. also. The bathing rite (with medicinal herbs) is to be duly performed with the mantra beginning with samudrajyā etc.

87. One should bathe with water from a conch with the Mantra beginning with sinivālī etc. Uttering yajñam yajñena etc. ointments and unguents are smeared over the idol.

88. O goddess, one should bathe the deity with milk uttering the Mantra beginning with āpyāyasva. One should duly bathe Ravi with curds uttering the mantra dadhikrāvṇa etc.

89. It can also be done, O beautiful lady, with the Mantra beginning with imaṃ me gaṅge etc. It is remembered that the bathing with herbal medicines is performed with the Mantra samudrajyā etc.

90. Then one should anoint the body of the (Sun) deity with perfumes etc. uttering Dvipadas (two-footed verses etc.) The simultaneous bath with several liquids shall be performed with the Mantra beginning with manastoke etc.

91. One should bathe with scented water with the Mantra viṣṇo rarāṭa etc. and offer Arghya and Pādya with the Sauvarṇa Mantra.

92. The Arghya is offered with the Mantra idam viṣṇur vicakrame etc. Upavīta (sacred thread) is offered with the Mantra vedosi etc.

93. One shall offer garments to Bhānu uttering the Mantra bṛhaspate etc. One shall adore with flower garland with the Mantra yena śriyam prakurvāṇaḥ.

94. Dhūpa (Incense) is offered with Guggala uttering the Mantra dhūrasi etc. One shall offer Añjana (collyrium) with the Mantra beginning with śamiddhoñjana etc. (Vāj. Saṃhitā 29.1).

95. One should rub Bhānu with Rocana (Yellow pigment) uttering the Mantra yuñjāna etc. For the sake of longevity Ārārtika (waving of lights) is offered.

96. The Sun is worshipped at the head uttering the Mantra sahasraśīrṣā puruṣaḥ (RV X.90.1) etc. The eyes of Ravi should be wiped (or touched) with the Mantra śambhavāya.

97. The whole body of Bhānu is rubbed with the Mantra viśvataścakṣuḥ etc. Ravi is worshipped in all the limbs with the Mantra srīśca lakṣmīśca etc.

Īśvara said:

98. Now, O great goddess of holy rites, I shall briefly tell you the Mantras relevant to the adoration of the eight-peaked Meru.

99. O great goddess, the Aṣṭaśṛṅga (eight-peaked mountain) is to be adored in this manner. One shall adore the first peak in the middle by the following Mantra, O lady of good holy rites.

100. Uttering the Mantra mahāhivomahāya etc. diverse kinds of flowers are offered. One should always adore the eastern peak with the Mantra trātāram indra etc. (Vāj. Saṃhitā 8.46).

101-102. O beautiful lady of the Suras, Pūjā should be performed unto him uttering the Mantra tamūṣṭavāma etc. One should adore the south-east peak with the Mantra agnim iḷe purohitam (RV I.1.1). It can be adored either with Āgneyī Gāyatrī or this Mantra. One should adore the southern peak with the Mantra yamāya tvā makhāya tvā etc. (Vāj. Saṃhitā 37.11).

103. The Pūjā can also be done with the Mantra udīratām avare etc. or with this Mantra. One should adore the southwestern peak with the Mantra beginning with āyaṃ gauḥ.

104. Asurāntika can also be worshipped with the Mantra rakṣohaṇam vājinam vā (RV X.87.1) etc. or with the Mantra indrāsomā ca vo etc.

105. One should worship the north-eastern peak with the Mantra beginning with abhi tvā sūra nonuma. etc. (RV VII.32.22) or the Mantra beginning with yenedam bhūtam etc. (Vāj. Saṃ 34.4.)

106. One shall always adore Merupīṭha uttering namostu sarpebhyaḥ etc. Again one should always adore in the centre with the Mantra hiraṇyagarbhaḥ samavartatāgre etc. (RV X.121.1.).

107. One should offer flower garland uttering the Mantra savitā paścāttāt etc. (RV X.36.14) The Arcanā should be performed thrice a day, O goddess, and the Arghya is offered with great respect.

108. In the forenoon, the Pūjā is performed uttering the Mantra mātā rudrāṇām duhitā vasūnām etc. (RV VIII.101.15). O goddess, at midday, the Pūjā is done with the Mantra beginning with tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṃ padam etc. (RV I.22.20).

109. In the afternoon the Pūjā is offered with the Mantra beginning with haṃsaḥ śuciṣat (RV IV.40.5.) etc. Thus, O lady of excellent complexion, one should adore Bhānu along with the planets.

The Devī said:

110. O Lord of Devas, do me this favour of telling me the names of the flowers always recommended in the adoration of Bhāskara. What are the flowers mentioned in this connection?

[Sub-Chapter: Puṣpādhyāya (Chapter on flowers)]

124. If one worships Ravi with all these, what is it that he will not get. The devotee should smear and plaster the shrine and draw the auspicious Maṇḍalaka.

125. If one such Maṇḍalaka is drawn, one shall attain wealth. With two such, one attains normalcy of health. With three, one acquires all lores, and with four, one shall enjoy all pleasures.

126. Through five, one attains plenty of food grains; through six, Longevity, strength and fame; and one who draws seven Maṇḍalas, shall become a Maṇḍalādhipati (a sovereign).

127. By offering a light with clarified butter, a man becomes one with good vision. A man offering light with mustard oil defeats his enemy.

128. By offering light with gingelly oil, one is honoured in the world of the Sun. One will attain great Saubhāgya (conjugal felicity) through the light with Madhūka oil.

129. Jāti is the most excellent one of all flowers. Vijaya (yellow myrobalan) is the greatest among the incenses. Kuṃkuma (saffron) is the most excellent of all sweet scents. Red sandal-paste is the most excellent one of all unguents.

130. Among light offerings that of clarified butter is the most excellent. Among food offerings, sweetmeat is the best. The Lord of Devas becomes pleased with all these and grants Sānnidhya (proximity).

131-135. After duly adoring thus, the devotee circumambulates the Pitṛs and bows down to the deity. Facing Ravi, he sits comfortably and surveys Arkasthala (the region). He then should put a grain of white mustard in water taken on the palm. Wishing for whatever he has in the heart in the presence of Arkasthala, he should drink that water once, O goddess, without letting the teeth touch it.

134-135. By doing thus, O goddess, the man attains the benefit of a crore pilgrimages. O lady of excellent holy rites, Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Mahādeva, Jvalana (Fire-god) and Dhanada (Kubera) resort to Bhānu (the Sun-god) and all of them rejoice in heaven. Hence Ido not see any deity on a par with Bhānu.

136. After the performance of all these, O great goddess of excellent countenance, the devotee circumambulates Bhānu seven times again uttering the Mantras.

137-140. The Mantras to be uttered during the circumambulation: For the first, the Ṛk beginning with taṃuṣṭavāma (RV VIII.96.6) etc. the second with the Ṛk beginning with etonvindram stavāma (RV VIII.95.7). The third is indramśuddho na āgahi (RV VIII.95.8) and the fourth is indraśuddho hi no rayim. O splendid lady, the fifth one is asya vāmasya (RV I.164) etc. The sixth one is tribhiṣṭvam deva. The devotee makes the seventh circumambulation chanting all the ten Sāmans sung about by the learned men following the Sāman Śākhā as the greatest.

141-144. O beautiful lady, I shall tell you those ten Sāmans, Huṃkāra, Praṇava, Udgītha, Prastāva are the first four. The fifth one is Prahara and the sixth one is Āraṇyaka. The seventh of the Sāmans is Nidhana remembered as Saptasiddhi. The eighth one is the Pañcavidhya uttered along with Hrīm and Praṇava. The ninth one is Sādhya and Jyeṣṭha Vāmadevaka is the tenth Sāman excellent and dear to Vedhas (Brahmā). The Japa of all these Sāmans should be performed in accordance with the injunctions.

145. Listen to my explanation of another Jyeṣṭha Sāman, the second. It should not be (loudly) chanted. The Japa should be performed by one who wishes for salvation.

146. That Jāpya is mentioned as the greatest by Lord Bhānu himself. The application and the definition of the Jāpya are being mentioned. Even as I expound it, listen and understand. Stobha (a division in the Sāman text) is its essence. Aukāra etc. get merged in the breath. It is remembered so by learned men.

147. (Obscure—Urbhānu, dharmam, Dharma, Satya, Ṛta, dharmaṃ ye, dharmavaddharme, dharme vai dhanaṃ gatāh). (These are the allusions to the different passages.)

148. With these words one should worship. It is so practised by the Brāhmaṇas following Sāman Śākhā. This Jāpya has been mentioned as the greatest by Lord Bhānu himself.

149. One who performs the Japa of this is never reborn in the world. Rid of all ailments he is liberated from the sin of Brāhmaṇa-slaughter.

150. Another characteristic of the Jyeṣṭha Sāman is ājyado hādyado ha etc.

151. After worshipping the Lord of Devas thus, another prayer is recited by means of five Ṛks. Listen to them attentively.

152. The first proclaimed is that which begins with ukṣāṇam pṛsnim [pṛśnim?] etc. (RV 1.164.43). The second one is the Mantra beginning with catvāri vāk parimita etc. (RV I.164.45).

153. The third Ṛk proclaimed is idam mitram etc. The fourth one proclaimed is kṛṣṇam nīyānam hi etc. (RV I.164.47).

154. The fifth one proclaimed is dvādaśa prathama etc. Uttering the Ṛk beginning with yo ratnavāhī etc. the devotee puts the crown on Ravi.

155. With the Ṛk beginning with gatehanām etc. the devotee performs the Nyāsa (concluding rite of the adoration) of the unmutilated (idol of) Ravi. Thus, O goddess, one should duly worship Ravi in accordance with this procedure.

156. Thus the entire procedure for the worship of the idol has been described to you by me.

157. He who always worships in accordance with this procedure, attains most of his desires in this world as well as in the world hereafter.

158. One who seeks a son gets a son. One who seeks wealth gets wealth. One who seeks a daughter gets a daughter. One who seeks learning becomes fully conversant with the Vedas.

159. By the greatness of this Kṣetra and by the power of Sun-god at Arkasthala, one who worships without any specific desire certainly gets liberation.

160. By feeding one Brāhmaṇa in Arkasthala, the benefit gained is the same as is obtained elsewhere by feeding a crore of Brāhmaṇas.

161. Snāna, Dāna, Japa, Homa—all these performed in Sūrya Parva have the benefit increased a crore times, by the power of Sūryakoṭi (Arkasthala).

162. A man who faithfully performs the rite of Jāgara (religious vigil) on the seventh lunar day on Sunday in the dark half of the month of Māgha, in the vicinity of Arkasthala, attains the greatest goal, O great goddess.

163. By visiting Arkasthala one attains that benefit which one obtains by making the gift of a hundred cows in Kurukṣetra.

164. Arkasthala should be worshipped through Arka flowers and Japā flowers by the permanent residents of that holy spot, especially the sick ones.

165. Divākara should not be worshipped with flowers like Patrorṇa, Unmatta and Āmrātaka.

166. A flower of Āmrātaka is looked upon as Nirmālya (used up for worship and kept aside). Since it is not fresh externally, it should be avoided.

167. If one desires prosperity, one should not offer a garland of flowers, if it is not from known (familiar) variety. If it is faded, defiled or stale, it should not be offered.

168-169. If a man makes the sweet-smelling flowers disappear from the idol of the Lord immediately due to greed for flowers, and in the case of the regular priest any flower, the priest enamoured and covetous incurs the sin of Brāhmaṇa-slaughter. He falls into Mahāraurava and is cooked there for many years.

170. Oh, I shall now explain to you, the procedure for offering incense. I shall tell you which incense yields which fruit on being offered to the Lord of Devas.

171. If Lord Ravi is offered incense always, he stays nearby and bestows all desires, whatever the man may wish for.

172. If Aguru incense is offered, the Lord bestows the desired treasure. One who seeks health and wealth should always burn Guggala.

173. Bhānumān is always pleased with the offering of Piṇḍāta incense. He himself grants freedom from ailments. Thus there will be greatest happiness.

174. Through the incense of Śrīvāsaka one gets the monopoly of trade. One who burns Sarjarasa incense shall get wealth.

175. One who burns Devadāru gets everlasting food-grains. Smearing with Kuṃkuma (saffron) as unguent yields all desires.

176. Remaining very happy in this world, he shall attain everlasting heavenly pleasures. By the unguent of sandal-paste one gets fortune and longevity.

177. The unguent with red sandal is very efficacious. Divākara grants everything. Even if one is affected by hundreds of ailments, one gets happiness and welfare and health.

178. By offering (powder or) unguent of musk, one gets unparalleled prosperity, good goal, scents and highest conjugal felicity.

179. Through scents together with camphor one becomes an emperor. If all the four types of scents are offered, one realizes all one’s desires.

180. Thus, O goddess, the excellent greatness of Sūrya has been described to you in detail by me. What else do you wish to ask?

The Devī said:

181. O my Lord, if, in this way, Lord Sūrya is the most excellent of all luminaries, why is he swallowed by Rāhu, the son of Siṃhikā?

Īśvara said:

182. Listen, O goddess, I shall explain the cause of an eclipse. It destroys all sins and resolves all illusions and mistakes.

183. O beautiful lady, Rāhu is (positioned) beneath the disc of the Sun. He seeks nectar and so is stationed in an aerial chariot till the liquid nectar drops down.

184. He is therefore hidden by the disc. It is the solar eclipse. No one can swallow him. Āditya certainly burns (all).

185. Those beginning with Brahmā worship him (the Sun-god). He is the primordial one among all heaven-dwellers. All other Devas and Dānavas are born of the body of Āditya.

186. He is called Āditya because he is the first and primordial agent. The Lord, the destroyer of all sins, is stationed in Prabhāsa.

187. The Lord is the bestower of worldly pleasures and salvation. He is the destroyer of ailments and evil deeds. There in the holy spot, O goddess, the guardians of the world and great sages became Siddhas.

188-192. Siddhas, Vidyādharas, Yakṣas, Gandharvas, sages, Dhanada (Kubera), Bhīṣma, Yayāti, Gālava and Sāṃba attained the great Siddhi from this place.

O goddess of Devas, this, the excellent greatness of Sūrya, is a great secret. It should not be divulged to people of wicked intellect and sinners in particular. This story should be told neither to an atheist nor to one who has no faith, nor to a ruthless man at any cost.

If one is not ardently devoted to Śiva, it is not to be passed on to him. This story should be told to a son, to a disciple, to a righteous one and to one who abides by justice.

The great Brahman should be mentioned to a devotee of Sūrya and to one of good holy rites. This greatness of the Lord of Arkasthala is excellent.

193. He who recites this to Brāhmaṇas at the time of Śrāddha, to persons of esteemed holy rites, shall attain infinite bliss as though through a Dana.

194. Where this is being glorified, there will be affluence always. Yātudhānas become terrified. They do not violate that Śrāddha.

195. If a person has been earlier declared a Paṅktidoṣaka

i.e. a defiler of a row at meals, he will become holy and esteemed. He will beget sons. He will become charming and possessor of all desired objects.

196. A man who has been away in alien lands will become reunited with kinsmen. He will regain the lost wealth and other things that caused him worry.

197. He is protected by Yoginīs. He is not separated from dear ones. A Brāhmaṇa should listen to the story after sipping water rìtualistically and becoming clean. He will get all desired things. No doubt should be entertained about this.

198. O lady of excellent countenance, by the glorification of the origin of Sūrya, a Vaiśya gets unlimited prosperity, a Kṣatriya becomes Lord of the earth. Merchants will flourish hundred times more in their trading activities.

199-200. O beautiful lady, Śūdras will attain all desired objects. All fear of premature death and terrible death due to accidents perishes. There is no doubt that what is done at the royal palace gets nullified (i.e. complaints against a devotee do not stand. He is acquitted). Richly endowed with all desired objectives, he is honoured in the world of the Sun.

201. Thus, O goddess, the greatness of the deity Sun has been narrated in the context of Arkasthala. What else do you wish to hear?

202. May the Solar Disc protect you all. It is the permanent abode of vigour. It is the goal unto waters, eternal light unto the quarters. It is the gateway to Siddhis. It destroys obstacles, dangers. It is the common eye for all the worlds. It is the golden lotus in the lake of the vast firmament. It is the brilliant earring unto heaven. It is the means of reckoning the time. It has no destruction nor has it any boundary.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

See HD II. i. pp. 653-656.. With minor differences, Smṛtis present a consensus on this procedure. Vide Smṛti Candrikā, p. 105-6.

[2]:

Comparison of the details of Bath in HD II. 1 pp. 656 -668 shows that the cryptic description of Snāna is different—special to this Tīrtha.

[3]:

As the editor of the Text notes, this Mantra of three syllables is a Sūrya Mantra in Meru Tantra.

[4]:

Two forms of Sun-worship: (i) drawn in a Maṇḍala, (ii) as represented in an idol.

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