The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Installation of Someshvara (Soma-ishvara) which is chapter 23 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-third chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 23 - Installation of Someśvara (Soma-īśvara)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Īśvara said:

1-3. Although surprised, Candramas retained his mental calmness. With devotion to Śaṃbhu filling his soul, he reached and stayed at Prabhāsa Kṣetra.

Vidhu (Moon-god) duly carried out what he had been told earlier by the Lord. He went to the interior of the ocean and picked up the excellent Liṅga. Summoning Viśvakarman along with his attendants, Soma ordered Tvaṣṭṛ, the divine architect.

Candra said:

4. O Viśvakarman, this Liṅga has been given to me by Śaṃbhu. Take this, O mighty one, and install it at a proper spot.

5. Guard this, O Lord, I am going to my abode. I shall bring in the meanwhile all the requisites for the Yajña.

Īśvara said:

6-9. After saying this, Candra went to Candraloka. It is highly refulgent and extends to a crore of Yojanas. It is splendid and full of nectar always. O great goddess, he summoned the porter Sumedhas and the minister Hemagarbhāṅga who was on a par with Bṛhāspati in intellect, and ordered him: “Gather together everything necessary for a Yajña and hasten to Prabhāsa Kṣetra at my bidding. You should be accompanied by Brāhmaṇas with the sacred fires when you go to the excellent holy spot.

10-12. Gather everything together quickly so that the Yajña can be initiated duly. Send separate aerial chariots to everyone of the Brāhmaṇas residing in Candraloka. Ample wealth should be distributed among them. One million cows should be given along with their calves. Their lustre should be that of Kāmadhenu. They shall be bedecked with a Bhāra (weight) of gold. They must yield plenty of milk. Send one and one fourth million horses with black ears.

13. There should be ten thousand elephants fully resplendent with ornaments and bells. There should be four thousand chariots having the speed of wind.

14. There should be a hundred thousand camels laden with jewels and rubies. Ten million armies each consisting of four divisions should be sent.

15. For the Brāhmaṇas, there should be garments as pure as the sacred fire. For the Ṛtviks, there should be splendid divine ornaments.

16. Different kinds of articles of food and edibles and various kinds of beverages should be kept ready. There should be a hundred thousand servants and the same number of maid servants.

17. Whatever money is set apart for wooden pieces etc. as per my order and other things the Brāhmaṇas may ask for, should be brought there.

18-19. Let there be a general proclamation inviting Devas, Dānavas, Yakṣas, Gandharvas, Rākṣasas staying in the seven Pātāla worlds, Kings of the seven continents, thousands of kings elsewhere. Let there be repeated announcements requesting the people to come to Prabhāsa.”

20. After saying thus to the minister, Candramas hurriedly went to Brahmaloka to the presence of Brahmā, for the purpose of Yajña.

21. Hemagarbha, the highly refulgent minister of Candramas, took the command of Soma earnestly with his head bowed down and gathered the requisites for the Yajña.

22. He duly arrived at Prabhāsa and engaged himself in making provisions and arrangement for the Yajña. He invited all the residents of Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ and Svaḥ (Lokas).

23-24. On hearing the invitation, all of them hastened to that place. Surveying the entire holy spot extending to twelve Yojanas, the minister of Soma addressed the Brāhmaṇas: “O Brāhmaṇas, all the ancillaries of the Yajñas have been brought here at the behest of Soma. What should be done next may be carried out by you venerable ones.”

25. On being told thus, all the Brāhmaṇas who had rid themselves of the sins through penance met Tvaṣṭṛ, the divine architect, there itself.

26. On seeing him and the Liṅga too nearby, those Brāhmaṇas said: “How is this, O Viśvakarman, tell us. Why are you present here with a crores of other artisans?”

Viśvakarman said:

27. I have been commanded by Soma and so am engaged in guarding this Liṅga. Due effort is being done by me to carry out his command, O Brāhmaṇas.

Īśvara said:

28. On hearing this, the Brāhmaṇas understood the real purpose. Then they were glad and began the necessary preliminary rites of the Yajña.

29. The splendid place of sacrifice unto the Devas (Devayajana) extended to a Yojana. After making the Devayajana they made the Patnīśālā (chamber of the honoured wives of Yajamānas) ready.

30. They made ready all the parts of the sacrificial chamber such as Havirdhāna, Sadas, Uttarā Vedī, the abode of Brahmā and Agnidhri.

31. Viśvakarman erected Yūpas (sacrificial posts) in various places over a distance of a Yojana. Maṇḍapas (pavilions) and various kinds of Kuṇḍas were made.

32-35. There were thousands of Kundas [Kuṇḍas?] to the end of the Maṇḍapas. All the Brāhmaṇas were experts in the rites of installation and Yajñas.

They were adorned with various kinds of ornaments. They referred to the scriptural texts frequently and performed the rites duly.

Trees, divine medicinal herbs, sacrificial twigs, flowers, Darbha grass, ingredients for Homa, plenty of ghee and fresh milk and all other requisite things for the purpose of Yajña were kept ready. Vardhanīkalaśa and other utensils were of gold and were auspicious.

36. Groups of Brāhmaṇas performed the holy Yajña of the installation duly. They were duly fed and honoured. They were delighted by the various kinds of foodstuffs.

37. The sounds of the chanting of the Vedic Mantras touched heaven and earth. The Maṇḍapa decorated with banners shone well.

38. There were divine thrones in the Maṇḍapa. Pearl strings, divine sandal garlands and festoons of the sprouts of Kalpa trees added to its beauty.

39. Scents of celestial fragrance transformed it into a heavenly place. Fourteen kinds of Bhūtagrāma (living beings) had arrived there.

40-42. Sthāvara (stationary beings), reptiles like those of serpent class, classes of birds, the fourth group of Mṛgas (deer etc.) the fifth one called Paśus (beasts), human beings constituting the sixth group, Paiśāca (ghosts) making up the seventh, the eighth one mentioned as Rākṣasas, the ninth group that of Yakṣas and the other groups in the fourteen referred to before, being Gandharvas, Gaṇas called Śākras, Saumyas, Prājāpatyas and the Brahma group (had arrived).

43. There were Viśvedevas, Sādhyas, Maruts, Vasus, the eight Guardians of the Quarters and the Constellations along with the Planets.

44. When the Yajña rite started at the Prabhāsaka Kṣetra all the Devas present in the whole Cosmic Egg had arrived there.

45. Rivers of ghee and milk flowed there. Curds and milk puddings constituted veritable quagmires there. Heaps of cooked food and fruits resembled mountains.

46. Various such heaps were seen in the place where the great festivity of the Yajña took place. The Gandharvas sang and the groups of celestial damsels danced.

47. The Devas, the sages and the fourteen types of Bhūtas (Beings) were fully satisfied with the different kinds of edibles and foodstuffs and beverages etc. as desired by them.

48. After having got together all the requisites for the Yajña, the minister (of Soma), appointing guards (for protecting) there itself, went to Brahmaloka to call Soma.

Īśvara said:

49-52. He saw the highly refulgent Soma standing by the side of Brahmā. He prostrated on the ground like a log of wood before Soma and Brahmā. With palms joined in reverence and bending down his neck (head) he spoke:

Hemagarbha said:

O holy Sir, at your behest the entire requisites for the Yajña have been collected together at the Prābhāsika Kṣetra by me. All the Brāhmaṇa-sages and the saintly kings are awaiting your arrival with great eagerness. It behoves you to carry out what should be done henceforth.

Īśvara said:

53. On being requested thus by the son of Samudra (i.e. Hemagarbha) Candra smiled and spoke to Brahmā, the witness unto all the worlds:

54. “O Lord, O Lord of all the Devas, be pleased to accept my hospitality with a desire to bless me. I am desirous of performing the Yajña of installation (of the Liṅga).

55. Today my birth has become fruitful, O Lord, and my penance has borne fruit. O Brahmā, with your favour, I will attain Deva-hood today.

56. With a very severe penance I have obtained this Liṅga of the Consort of Umā. It behoves you to perform the installation thereof.”

Brahmā said:

57. Certainly I will perform the installation ceremony of Śaṅkara in the Someśa Liṅga which you have to propitiate with special emphasis.

58. It is the primordial deity of all belonging to the family of Soma, of all Niśākaras (Moon-gods) whether they be bygones or are yet to be born.

59. This Lord Someśvara bore the name Bhairava at the beginning, in the other Manvantara that has elapsed. I (shall) install it again and again (in every Manvantara).

60-61. When I went to the Prābhāsika Kṣetra, I was eight years old. I had been invited by Indra earlier for the purpose of the installation of Bhairava. My name is being mentioned as “Bālarūpin” since then. In all other Tīrthas I remain in the form of an elderly person.

62-63. But, O Candra, I stay in Prabhāsa ever since my childhood. I am the first among all the Brāhmaṇas in the Tīrthas all over the Brahmāṇḍa. I am well established at Prabhāsa. In every Kalpa I get a new name.

64. The name in the first Kalpa was Svayaṃbhū. In the second I am remembered as Padmabhū. In the third I am remembered as Viśvakartṛ and in the fourth as Bālarūpī.

65. There has been a repetition of these names again and again for two Parārdhas I settled in Prabhāsa.

66. It was there that the primordial Soma, arising from the eye of Śaṃbhu, performed penance in Prabhāsa and saw Īśvara directly.

67-69. Thereupon the delighted Trident-bearing Lord granted boon to the Full Moon: “O Soma, since I have been propitiated for a long time by you devoutly, so this Liṅga will be named Someśa. All the Moons who are yet to be born until Brahmā named Śatānanda is dissolved (dies) will repeatedly adore and propitiate me here.”

70. After saying this Lord Śaṃbhu vanished there itself. O Soma, the first Liṅga was installed by me then.

71. Ever since then two lakh two thousand one hundred six Somas have gone by.

72. You are the seventh (202107th), O mighty one, O Soma now. As many Liṅgas too have been installed by me.

73. (I am enjoying) the benefit arising from his propitiation. Welfare unto you, O Soma. This is my duty. I shall install (the Liṅga).

Īśvara said:

74-78. After saying this, Lord Brahmā identical with all the Devas, equipped with all lores and accompanied by the Devas and Tīrthas summoned Bṛhaspati, the Purodhas. He was accompanied by the leading Yogins and sages, the chief of whom is Sanatkumāra, and also a crore of Brahmarṣis. He rode on his vehicle of Haṃsa (Swan). Thus Brahmā, the Lord of the Universe, came to the Prābhāsika Tīrtha along with Somarāja. In this Prābhāsika Tīrtha the region where there is Dāruvana grove as well as the river Ṛṣitoyā, the destroyer of great sins, is called Brahmabhāga. O my beloved, it has already been mentioned by me that this Kṣetra has three deities.

79. The Four-faced One came to Brahmabhāga, the purest portion, and invited the sages residing in higher regions.

80. On seeing Vedhas (Brahmā) coming in the company of celestial sages and the preceptor, all of them honoured and adored him through prayers on a par with the Vedic passages.

81-84. Then Brahmā, the grandfather of all the worlds, spoke to all those Brāhmaṇas: “Someśa, the destroyer of sins, was propitiated by Soma for a long time. When he was pleased the excellent Liṅga was obtained by Soma. O excellent Brāhmaṇas we have come here for the sake of the installation of the Lord. Just as the installation ceremony of Śaṅkara should be performed always by me, the ancillary service should be performed by you all who have resorted to my Bhāga (portion of the Kṣetra). Since the Liṅga (Penis) fell on to the ground due to your anger, the installation also should be performed by you. There is no doubt about this.”

Īśvara said:

85-86. Somarāja brought Brahmā, the Lord of the universe, to the great Prābhāsika Tīrtha along with Sāvitrī and all the sages. Lord Brahmā then erected a hundred Maṇḍapas and caused a hundred Kuṇḍas to be dug.

87. Directed by Guru (Bṛhaspati), the priest of Devas, Brahmā assigned seventeen Ṛtviks to each of the Maṇḍapas.

88. Standing by the side, Brahmā initiated Lord Soma accompanied by Rohiṇī, in accordance with the injunctions laid down in the Vedic passages.

89. Rohiṇī who had all the (auspicious) characteristic features was given the due place of Patnī (sacrificer’s wife). The fair lady wore deerskin and covered her face with a silken cloth.

90. She was brought to the Patnīśālā (chamber of the sacrificer’s wife) by the Ṛtviks who were the masters of the Vedas. Candramas who had been duly initiated, was eulogized by the sages and Gandharvas.

91. He was clad in deerskin and he held an Uduṃbara, staff. In the middle of the Assembly he shone with excessive refulgence.

92. Then, O great goddess, Brahmā, the grandfather of all the worlds, performed the rite of Ṛtvigvaraṇa (formally selecting the Ṛtviks for starting their work) in the manner it has been enjoined in the Vedas.

93. Guru (Bṛhaspati) was selected as the Hotṛ there, Vasiṣṭha as Adhvaryu, Marīci as Udgātṛ and Nārada was placed in the position of Brahmā.

94-95. Sanatkumāra and others connected with him were made the Sadasyas. They were bedecked in good garments and ornaments such as crowns, rings etc. The Ṛtviks were adorned with many ornaments in the course of that Yajña. In each of the four entrances there were four Ṛtviks. Thus there were sixteen Ṛtviks.

96. Kaśyapa was the Prastotṛ there and Gālava the Pratihartṛ. Garga was Subrahmaṇya and Pulaha was made Sadasya.

97. Śukra was named Hotṛ. Kratha was cited as Neṣṭṛ. Durvāsas, Maitrāvaruṇa, and Kauśika were Brāhmaṇācchaṃsī.

98. Śākalya was Acchāvāka, Kratu was Grāvastha, Śālaṅkāyana was Pratiprasthātṛ.

99-100. Manu was Agnīdhra; Aṅgiras was made the Unnetṛ. The Lord thus made these the Ṛtviks in the Maṇḍapas. In the other Maṇḍapas too there were Ṛtviks similarly. After arranging thus in all the hundred Maṇḍapas, he caused the Kuṇḍas (to be prepared).

101. Each one of the Maṇḍapas was twenty Hastas in dimension. The ground was sprinkled with Pañcagavya after duly cleansing it with Astra Mantra.

102. O Pārvatī, the ground was covered with the sacred Carman (leather), the rites of Ālekhana and Ullekhana (scratching and engraving) were performed with Astra Mantra. Then water was sprinkled and the digging was performed duly.

103. O my beloved, for each Maṇḍapa eight Kuṇḍas were assigned. The Maṇḍapa was duly plastered and Vajrākaraṇa (making the ground firm like thunderbolt) was performed.

104. The shapes of the Kuṇḍas beginning with that in the east, were square, bow-like, circular and lotus-like.

105-107. The square-shaped Kuṇḍa was in the east. That in the shape of Bhaga (vagina) was in the south-east, that in the shape of a bow was in the south, the triangular one in the south-west, the circular one was in the west, the hexagonal one in the north-west, the lotus-like one was in the north, the octagonal one was in the north-east. In the centre one was made in accordance with the injunction. Everyone of the Maṇḍapas was splendid with sixteen pillars.

108-110. Banners and festoons were put up by Brahmā in accordance with the injunctions. The pillar of Nyagrodha tree was placed in the east, that of Uduṃbara in the south, Aśvattha in the west and Palāśa in the north. He fixed the banners in accordance with the length of the staff. A yellow-coloured banner was fixed in the east. (In the other quarters banners were of other colours.) Then Brahmā began the Agnisthāpana (installing or placing-sacred fires) rite in the Kuṇḍa.

111-115. (Brāhmaṇas belonging to different Vedas were made to recite certain Sūktas of their respective Vedas as follows.) He made the Brāhmaṇas sit in their respective places and employed them in the utterance of Jāpya. In the east the Ṛgvedins recited Śrīsukta, Pāvamāna, Vājina, Vṛṣākapi and Aindra Sūktas. In the south the Yajuṣas (Yajurvedins) performed the Japa of Rudra Mantra, Puruṣasūkta, Krokādhyāya, Vaikriya, Brāhmaṇa, Paitrya and Aindra. The Chandogas (Sāmavedins) performed the Japa of the following in the west: Devavrata, Vāmadevya, Jyeṣṭha Sāman, Rathantara and Bheruṇḍa Sāmans. In the north the Atharvā (Brāhmaṇa of Atharva Śākhā) performed the Japa of Atharvaśiras, Skaṃbhastaṃbha, Nīlarudra etc. Then the Lord performed Garbhādhāna and other rites of Agni (Fire-god).

116-117. After the offering of the Pūrṇāhuti the rites for the holy ablution were begun. The waters from the Tīrthas were brought along with Pañcapallavas (sprouts of five specific trees), lumps of clay, Kaṣāyas, Pañcagavyas and the five Amṛtaphalas. With the utterance of the Mantras, the ablution started.

118-121. Eyes were fixed to the deity and the sacred Tilaka mark was put. He caused all the Tīrthas on the earth, Pātāla and Svargaloka to be brought. In the meantime, even as the Devas were watching Brahmā pierced the ground and entered the bowels (of the earth). There he saw the Liṅga called Sparśa (i.e. Tactile? Liṅga) which he covered with roots of Darbha grass and poured honey over. Above it he placed the Brahmaśilā. Over that he installed highly refulgent Liṅga and made it firmly stable. The self-possessed Lord made it fixed.

122. Stationing (i.e. concentrating himself in the Supreme principle) he performed the Nyāsa rite with the Mantras. After installing the Liṅga thus, Brahmā, the preceptor of the universe, performed the adoration rite by means of elaborate Vedic Mantras.

123. When the Nyāsa rite with Mantras was performed by Brahmā, the creator of the worlds, the groups of Brāhmaṇas became delighted. They hailed with words “Be Victorious” and other auspicious sounds, The fire became smokeless and it had the refulgence of crore of Suns.

124. In the great festivity of the sacrifice divine Dundubhi drums were beaten. The quarters and their Guardians became pleased. There was a shower of flowers.

125. After the installation ceremony of Śrīsomeśa the grandfather (Brahmā) caused plenty of Yajña Dakṣiṇā to be distributed among the Brāhmaṇas.

126. Surrounded by the ancient Brahmarṣis, the chief of whom was Sanatkumāra, Soma gave the three worlds to Brahmā as Dakṣiṇā.

127. Crores of gold pieces, jewels and plenty of cash presents were given to the Sadasyas (members of the sacrificial assembly) and principal Brahmarṣis.

128. After being crowned by all the Brahmarṣis, the most excellent one among the luminaries, illuminated the three worlds with his refulgence. He was endowed with excessive brilliance.

129. Nine goddesses viz Sinī, Kuhū, Dyuti, Puṣṭi, Prabhā, Vasu, Kīrti, Dhṛti and Lakṣmī served him.

130. The unperturbed Lord of the Night had his valedictory bath after the celebration of the Māheśvara Makha. He attained fullness and perfection and had his objects achieved.

131. Thereafter, O lady of excellent countenance, Brahmā, the grandfather, gave him the flourishing kingdom of seeds (of plants), medicinal herbs, Brāhmaṇas and cooked food.

132. To those kings who were present in that Yajña, he gave wealth, enjoyment of pleasures and everlasting Svarga,

133. The Lord of medicinal herbs himself fed the Brāhmaṇas and gave everything unto those who resided in Prabhāsa Kṣetra.

134. He made the great sixteen Dānas beginning with gold. Even an ordinary person, an uncultured rustic, got whatever he requested for according to his fate (past actions).

135. After the accomplishment of the Yajña, Devas along with Indra installed their own Liṅgas and went the way they came.

136-137. O goddess, Lord Candramas in the company of Brahmā, once again propitiated the Liṅga in Prabhāsa which quells all sins. Thrice a day he adored it with incense, garlands and unguents. O goddess of Devas, the Lord of the night bowed down to and eulogized the Lord.

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