The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Advice to Propitiate Shiva which is chapter 21 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 twenty-first chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 21 - Advice to Propitiate Śiva

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

The Devī said:

1-5. The origin of Candra has been listened to entirely. Now do narrate how he acquired the stigma.

Īśvara said:

O goddess, formerly Brahmā had a son named Dakṣa. Earlier Dakṣa was instructed by the Self-born Lord (Brahmā): “Create the subjects”.

Dakṣa, the patriarch, begot of Vairiṇī sixty daughters. He gave ten of them to Dharma, thirteen to Kāśyapa, twenty-seven to Soma, four to Ariṣṭanemi, two to the son of Bhṛgu, two to the intelligent Kṛśāśva and two to Aṅgiras. O goddess, listen to their names. Listen to the expansion of progeny of the mothers from the beginning.

6-8. O beautiful lady, the following are mentioned as the wives of Dharma: Marutvatī, Vasu, Jāmī, Lambā, Bhānu, Arundhatī, Saṃkalpā, Muhūrtā, Sādhyā and Viśvā. Dakṣa, the son of Pracetas, gave them to him.

The wives of Kaśyapa are: Aditi, Diti, Danu, Ariṣṭā, Surasā, Surabhi, Vinatā, Krodhavaśā, Ilā, Kadrū, Tviṣā and Vasu. I shall enumerate their sons.

9. Viśvedevas are the sons of Viśvā. Sādhyā gave birth to Sādhyas. Marutvantas were born of Marutvatī, Vasus were the sons of Vasu.

10. Bhānus are the sons of Bhānu; Muhūrtakas are the sons of Muhūrtā; those named Ghoṣas were born of Laṃbā; Nāgavīthi was born of Jāmī.

11-12. Saṃkalpa was the son of Saṃkalpā.

These ten are remembered as the ten sons of Dharma. The eight Vasus are: Āpa, Dhruva, Soma, Dhara, Anala, Anila, Pratyūṣa and Prabhāsa.

Vaidaṇḍya, Śrama, Śānta and Dhvani are the sons of Āpa.

13. Lord Kāla, the reckoner of time, is the son of Dhruva. Soma’s sons are Bhagavān, Śarva, Dhruva and Gṛhabodhana.

14. Hutahavyavāha is also the son of Soma. Draviṇa is remembered as the son of Dhara. Manojava and Avijñātagati were born of Anila.

15. Devala, Bhagavān and Yogi were the sons of Pratyūṣa. Bhuvanā, the sister of Bṛhaspati, was an expounder of Brahman.

16. She became the wife of Prabhāsa, the eighth of the Vasus. Viśvakarmā was his son. He is the patriarch and the architect of Devas.

17-18. I shall mention the names of the Sādhyas called the Tuṣitas (the delighted ones). They are Mana, Anumantā, Prāṇa, Nara, the powerful Apāna, Bhakti, Bhaya, Anagha, Haṃsa, Nārāyaṇa, Vibhu and Prabhu. The twelve Sādhyas have been mentioned.

19-20. O lady of excellent complexion, I shall enumerate the progeny of Kaśyapa. The following are remembered as the twelve Ādityas (sons of Aditi): Aṃśa, Dhātṛ, Bhaga, Tvaṣṭṛ, Mitra, Varuṇa, Aryaman, Vivasvān, Savitṛ, Pūṣan, Aṃśumān and Viṣṇu. They are thousand-rayed ones.

21-22. The following are called Rudras, the eleven leaders of Gaṇas: Ajaikapāt, Ahirbudhnya, Virūpākṣa, Raivata, Hara, Bahurūpa, Tryaṃbaka, Sureśvara, Sāvitra, Jayanta, Pinākī, Aparājita (unconquered).

23. From Kaśyapa, Diti obtained two sons very arrogant of their power viz. Hiraṇyakaśipu, the elder and Hiraṇyākṣa, the younger one.

24-25. A verse has been sung about Hiraṇyakaśipu by the ancient Daityas: “The Suras together with the great sages paid respect to that direction which was looked at by Hiraṇyakaśipu.” Hiraṇyakaśipu had four very powerful sons.

26. Prahrāda was the eldest among them. The next one was Anuhrāda. Then Hrāda and Hrada. Thus the sons have been enumerated.

27. Sunda and Upasunda were the two sons of Hrada. Hrāda had only one son well-known as Mūka.

28. Mārīca, the son of Sunda, was born of Tāḍakā. He was killed in the Daṇḍaka forest by the powerful scion of the family of Raghu.

29-31. Mūka was killed by Savyasācin (i.e. Arjuna) in the course of his encounter with the divine Kirāta (hunter) (i.e. Lord Śiva). There were three crores of Nivātakavacas of the family of Daitya Saṃhrāda. They were killed by Savyasācin (Arjuna). The following are remembered as the sons of Prahrāda: Gaveṣṭhī, Kālanemi, Jambha, Valkala, Jṛṃbha and a younger brother (the sixth) of them. Śuṃbha and Niśuṃbha are remembered as the two sons of Gaveṣṭhin.

32. Dhanuka and Asiloman are glorified as the two sons of Śuṃbha. Virocana had only one powerful son named Bali.

33-34. (The following) five sons of Hiraṇyākṣa were very powerful and valorous: Andhaka, Śakuni, Kālanābha, Mahānābha the valorous and Bhūtasantāpana. Hundreds of hundred thousands of these Daityas were killed in the course of the hostilities pertaining to Tāraka[1].

35. Thus the lineage of Kaśyapa has been succinctly narrated. The entire universe consisting of Devas, Asuras and human beings is pervaded by these children.

56. O great goddess, among the twenty-seven daughters given to Indu (Moon-god) Rohiṇī was his greatest favourite.

37. Among them, the fair lady Rohiṇī was the dearest darling of the Lord of Constellations, greater than his own vital airs.

38. He forsook all the others and sported about secretly with her in forests and gardens. He was so passionately infatuated that he took her to beautiful lands, caves and crevices and sported about.

39. Thereupon, O renowned lady, the remaining miserable wives sought refuge in Dakṣa and spoke these words:

40-43. “Soma has eschewed all of us and is rejoicing with Rohiṇī alone. Ever since our marriage, for these thousand years he has been sporting about with her as he pleases. Ever since our marriage, all the twenty-six of us are devoid of glory and we have been rendered devoid of lustre and dirty, though we are faultless. He seems to consider this entire period of a thousand years a mere night. O dear father, though we are blameless, we have been abandoned. He diverts himself with that Rohiṇī alone. Hence our unhappiness. So, in view of this that we have already been burnt by misery, death itself would have been more welcome.”

44. On hearing these words of these distressed ones, the patriarch endowed with Brāhmaṇical splendour, urged by his affection for his daughters, went to the place where the Lord of Constellations was present and spoke these words:

45. “O Niśākara (Moon), be have impartially in respect to all my daughters. If not, you will undoubtedly be incurring the fault.”

46. On hearing these words, the Lord of Constellations stood with his head bowing down due to shame and spoke thus to Dakṣa:

47. “Of course, O Brāhmaṇical sage, from this day onwards I shall behave impartially with your daughters. It is the truth. I solemnly take this pledge.”

48. O Aṃbikā, when the Lord of Night took this oath, all the daughters endowed with beauty were duly informed.

49. Dakṣa went back to his abode, experiencing great relief and happiness. But, O goddess, Candra remained indulgent towards Rohiṇī as before.

50. With his mind deluded by infatuation he discarded all of them. So, once again, all of them complained to Dakṣa:

51. Even before it, on seeing them all emaciated and distressed, dusty and gloomy, Dakṣa fell into a swoon.

52-53. On regaining consciousness he spoke to all those daughters of his with the hair bristling due to anger: “Why are you in dirty garments? Why are you so pale in your faces? O my sinless dear ones, do tell me. O my daughters, whether they be the Asuras with their followers, or the other excellent Suras, I shall strike them all down by means of my curses.”

54. On being told thus by Dakṣa all of them uttered thus:

55-56. “O Lord, the Lord of Night does not approach us

even after menstruation. Hence we have come to you. He has ignored your advice. Again he is addicted to Rohiṇī secretly. Causing us increased grief he diverts himself with her in his lasciviousness.”

57. On hearing their words, Dakṣa became furious. He went to Candra, O great goddess, and cursed him even as he stood face to face:

58. “Since you ignored my advice and are going on in your exclusive indulgence with Rohiṇī by excluding the other faultless daughters of mine, the consumptive disease will assail you. There is no doubt about it.”

59. In the meantime, O Daughter of the Mountain, the consumptive disease, at the behest of Dakṣa, penetrated the body of Candra.

60. With his body assailed by consumptive disease Candra waned day by day.

61. O goddess, on being cursed thus by Dakṣa Soma became lustreless and motionless. He fell down on the ground along with Rohiṇī.

62. Regaining consciousness after a short while, he spoke to Rohiṇī:

63. “O fair lady, what is to be done now? I have been cursed by your father. O my beloved, afflicted by consumption and leprosy what can I do now?”

64. On being told thus, Rohiṇī’s eyes became dimmed with tears. Glancing at Soma struck down by the curse of Dakṣa, she spoke these words:

65-66. “Seek refuge in him alone, by whom you have been cursed. Indeed, now that you have been afflicted by his curse, he will bring about your welfare by all means. With his favour, you will regain your lost splendour, the splendour with which you were formerly so pleasurable.”

67. On hearing the words of Rohiṇī, Candra went near Dakṣa and stood there humbly with tears rendering his eyes turbid.

68-70. “O great sage, Dakṣa, do bless me with a delighted heart. Cast off your anger and take pity on me. You had been extremely furious with or without reason. It behoves you to take pity on me and redeem me from the curse. O highly esteemed one, I am fully aware of the reason why I have been cursed. But I am distressed and I implore you, do bless me.”

71. When the noble-souled Soma lamented thus, Dakṣa felt inclined to bless him and spoke these words:

Dakṣa said:

72. O Soma, no one who has been struck down by my curse can be saved by Devas. O Soma, whatever I say remains as it is (i.e. unchangeable). There is no doubt about it.

73. Span of life, Karma, wealth, learning and death—all these have been pre-destined and they remain so.

74. Asuras, Suras, Yakṣas and Rākṣasas—none of these can save you, except Maheśvara.

75. Śaṅkara will bless even those whom I curse. No one except Bhava, Paśupati, is competent to grant succour. Hence, go quickly and propitiate Śaṅkara.

76. Excepting Mahādeva, the blue-throated consort of Umā, O Candra, none can free you from impurities.

77. On hearing the words of Dakṣa, Soma stood there with palms joined in reverence. With an over-delighled mind he replied thus:

78-79. “O holy sage of excellent pious rites, if you are pleased with me, your devotee, and if you have decided to bless me, then tell me where is Śiva. O Dakṣa, where can I find Maheśvara? I shall go to those places. Tell me what those places are.”

Dakṣa said:

80-81. O Soma, listen carefully. After hearing, understand it well. In the west, in the vicinity of the ocean and the marshy land nearby beyond Kṛtasmara, within a distance of three hundred Dhanus, there is a Liṅga of great power. It has come up by itself and has stationed itself there.

82. It’s lustre is like that of the solar disc. It is adorned by a girdle of serpents. Its magnitude is that of a hen’s egg. It is stationed within the ground.

83. Understand that it is a Sparśa Liṅga (a Liṅga to be known by touch). You will know it through devotion. Śaṅkara, Parameśvara is present therein.

84. Do go and propitiate the Lord of Suras by means of severe penance.

85. Make yourself free from impurities after eulogizing the Lord of the chiefs of Devas. He will grant you a boon and thus, you will regain your excellent form.

Footnotes and references:


This war was caused by the abduction of Bṛhaspati’s wife Tārā by Candra (Moon-god).

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