The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Importance of Somavara Vrata which is chapter 24 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-fourth chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 24 - Importance of Somavāra Vrata

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

The Devī said:

1. O Lord of the universe, at what time was the Liṅga installed? How did the contented Consort of Rohiṇī continue the propitiation?

Īśvara said:

2-5. In the course of the Manvantara of Vaivasvata Manu in the tenth Tretā Yuga, O my beloved, the Lord of Rohiṇī was born along with Durvāsas.

During the period he performed penance and when a thousand years elapsed (in penance) he made Lord Śaṅkara manifest himself to him.

He caused the Liṅga to be installed by Brahmā, the creator of the worlds. Then he adored Śaṅkara for a thousand years.

After adoring the Lord in accordance with the injunctions for the purpose of realizing his own objectives, the Lord of the night who could perceive Śaṅkara directly eulogized (thus):

Candra said:

6. There is no god on a par with Śaṅkara. There is no goal or destination like Śaṅkara. There is no Lord on a par with Śaṅkara. There is no goal like Śaṅkara[1].

7. Obeisance to that Jñeyātman (the soul worthy of being realized) whom the Sāṃkhyas cite always and Yogins ponder over always as the supreme Pradhāna and Puruṣa.

8. Obeisance to that Jñānātman (the soul in the form of spiritual knowledge) whom learned men know as the cause of the origin and destruction of Devas, Asuras and human beings.

9. Obeisance to that Yogātman whom the learned men know as the unchangeable, permanent and steady, eternal, supreme Brahman without beginning and end, and free from impurities.

10. Obeisance to that Tīrthātman (the soul of all holy places) who is the purest of all pure things; to the primordial Lord Maheśvara who sanctifies by his mere vision.

11. Obeisance to that Sarvātman (the soul of all) from whom everything issues forth, who maintains the entire universe and into whom everything gets dissolved.

12. Obeisance to that Yajñātman (the soul of sacrifices) whom the twice-born adore by means of Agniṣṭoma and other Yajñas with the full complement of monetary gifts.

Īśvara said:

13. Thus Niśākara (Moon-god) continued to eulogize day and night when Lord Śaṅkara became pleased and said smilingly:

Śaṅkara said:

14. O Sītāṃśu (Cool-rayed One), O dear one, I am well-pleased with you due to this prayer. Welfare unto you! Choose your boon whatever may be in your mind.

Candra said:

15. O Lord, if a boon is to be granted to me, if you are pleased with me, O Lord of Devas, be present in this Liṅga for ever.

16. O Lord of Suras, let those have the greatest Siddhi, who are endowed with the most ardent devotion and view you stationed here in the Liṅga. Let those have the Siddhi with your favour.

Śaṃbhu said:

17. O great Lord, even earlier I had been present in this Liṅga! It is all the more so, O Candra, now due to your incessant devotion.

18. From this day onwards, I have to stay in this holy spot along with Umā. The name of this holy spot shall forever be Prabhāsa because with my favour illumination was acquired by you in this Kṣetra.

19. Since, O Soma, the splendid Liṅga of mine has been installed by you, my name shall be well-known as Somanātha.

20-21. This name Somanātha of mine has already been well-known earlier and will be so till the end of Brahmā. Again will this become popular. O dear one, O Niśākara, listen to the benefit of those persons who view me installed here with great devotion. By my power, they will have no ailment, no poverty, no wretchedness, nor any separation from their beloved ones.

22. If they perform pilgrimage with a desire to view me stationed here with great devotion in their minds, their benefit is cited (as great) as that of a horse-sacrifice at every step.

23. O Niśākara, of what avail are the many Yajñas performed and fasts undertaken? Even those who view me only once, will attain the benefit thereof.

24-25. If one, imbued with devotion performs monthly fast (fast continuous for a period of one month during a year) for one thousand years and another (simply) views me, the benefit derived by both of them is the same. No hesitation need be entertained in this respect.

26. One may observe celibacy throughout his life, O Niśākara, and another may view me here, but once. Their benefit is remembered to be the same.

27. One makes all kinds of Dāna-offerings to the twice-born and another sees me here; their benefit is remembered as the same.

28. O Mṛgalāñchana (The Moon, marked with the figure of a deer), one may perform all the Vratas while another sees me here; the benefits accrued to them is remembered as the same.

29. One person undertakes pilgrimage to all the Tīrthas and performs plenty -of Japas; another views me here (in this Kṣetra); their benefit is remembered as the same.

30. One may certainly be keen to get salvation through Jñānayoga etc. Another sees me here. Their benefit is remembered as equal.

31. O Niśākara, one meets with death through the rite of Bhṛgupāta (falling from a precipice). Another views me here. The benefit of both is remembered as the same.

32. One excellent man takes holy bath always during the month of Māgha at Prayāga. Another views me here. The benefit of both is remembered as the same.

33. One may offer rice-balls (to the manes) in the Pitṛtīrtha (like Gayā). Another views me here. The benefit of both is remembered as the same.

34. One makes the gift of a thousand cows to a Brāhmaṇa who has mastered the Vedas; (while) another sees me here. The benefit of both is remembered as equal.

35. One may practise the penance amidst five fires during severe summer. Another views me here. The benefit of both is remembered as the same.

36. O Candra, if a person takes his holy bath devoutly at the time of lunar eclipse on a Monday and views me, he acquires the benefit of all these.

37. Five things beginning with the letter “sa” (S) are very rarely achieved viz Sarasvatī (the river), Samudra (the ocean), Soma (Moon, Soma juice), Soma-graha (lunar eclipse) and the opportunity to view Somanātha.

38. If one offers worship duly and continuously for six months and another only on the Viṣuva (Equinox) day, both acquire the same meritorious benefit.

39. The same should be understood in the case of eclipse, northern transit and the (group of) Saṃkrāntis (Solar transits) of Dhanus, Mithuna, Kanyā and Mīna called “Ṣaḍaśītimukhas”.

40. The benefit one gets by duly worshipping Śaṅkara for four months (of Cāturmāsa) is derived by Kārttikī (i.e. by viewing me present in the Someśvara Liṅga on the full-Moon day of Kārttika) alone and on the Caitrī it is remembered as twice. The benefit and merit on Phālgunī and Āṣāḍhī is also the same.

41. If one adores my Liṅga, his merit is more than that of one who makes the gift of a hundred thousand milch-cows to one who has mastered the Vedas.

42. O goddess of Suras, one may take food only once in a month and continue thus throughout one’s life. Another may adore my Liṅga but once. These two are equal (in merit). There is no doubt.

43. Through the offering of a flower, one gets the same benefit as is obtained by offering ten million pieces of gold to a deserving person who has mastered the Vedas and who is endowed with good qualities and is a regular practitioner of penance.

44. Even if a single Ārkapuṣpa is offered to Śiva, one gets the same benefit as one gets by offering ten pieces of gold.

45. Karavīra (flower) excels thousands of Ārkapuṣpas. Droṇapuṣpa excels thousands of Karavīra.

46. Apāmārga excels thousands of Droṇapuṣpas. Kuśapuṣpa excels thousands of Apāmarga [Apāmārga?]. Śamīpuṣpa excels thousands of Kuśapuṣpas.

47. A Śamīpuṣpa and a flower of Bṛhatī are mentioned as equal. The flower of Jāti, Vijaya and Pāṭalā should be known as equal to Karavīra.

48. A flower of white Mandāra and those of Nāga, Caṃpaka, Punnāga and Dhattūra are remembered on a par with white lotus.

49. One should avoid the following flowers: Ketakī, Atimukta, Kanda, Yūthī, Madantikā, Śirīṣa, Sarja, and Jaṃbūka flowers.

50. One should avoid Ākulī flower, leaf of Karañjendra, Vibhītaka flowers etc.

51. Kanaka and Kadambaka flowers are to be offered to Śaṅkara at night, all the remaining flowers of deities during the day and Mallikā during the night.

52-54. Malli stays (fresh) for a Prahara (three hours). Karavīra for a day and night.

The following flowers should be abandoned: Those eaten and defiled by insects and hairs; those that have been kept overnight and so are stale; flowers that have automatically dropped down and those that are broken (mutilated). Tulasī, Śatapatra, Gāndhārī, Damana and Marubaka are remembered as the most excellent ones among all leaves. Someśvara should always be adored by means of these flowers.

55. The person attains the benefit of pilgrimage (or religious procession). He is honoured in the heavenly world.

After saying this much, he (Śaṃbhu) vanished there itself.

56. Candramas was rid of Phthysis and he settled himself in his own place. He summoned Viśvakarman and made him build a palace of crystal-like splendour and sparklingly white like cow’s milk.

57. The palace was named after Meru. It has gold-ramparts and ornamental gates. All round it fourteen other palaces were also built. Their names I shall mention separately. Do listen.

[Names of palaces of the Moon]

58-60. (The names exceed fourteen—See, Verse 64) Kesarī, Sarvatobhadra, Nadana, Nandīśālaka, Nandīśa, Mandara, Śrīvṛkṣa, Amṛtodbhava, Himavān, Hemakūṭa, Kailāsa, Pṛthivijaya, Indranīla, Mahānīla, Bhūdhara, Ratnakūṭaka, Vaiḍūrya, Padmarāga, Vajraka, Mukuṭojvala, Airāvata, Rājahaṃsa, Garuḍa and Vṛṣabha.

61. Meru is the king of the palaces. Indeed it is the abode of the Devas. At the outset the palace by the name Kesarī should be known as having five Aṇḍakas (domes).

62. The height of the palaces goes on increasing to one fourth of the height of Meru.

63-64. After building these fourteen palaces separately, O lady of excellent countenance, he caused ten more palaces to be built for the Devas beginning with Brahmā, who were the residents of the neighbourhood. These ten are palaces beginning with Bhūdhara and ending with Vṛṣabha. They were constructed with Kapardin in view as the first.

65. Meru is the king of the palaces. It was constructed at Someśvara, in the tenth Tretāyuga in the Vaivasvata Manvantara.

66. After causing the Maṇḍapas to be made and having installed them duly, he caused a hundred Nadas (rivers, probably wide canals) and a thousand tanks and wells to be dug.

67. After causing thousands of houses, hospitals and orphanages duly, he offered them to the Brāhmaṇas severally.

68. Soma thus set up a city in the vicinity of Śrīsomeśvara and requested the Brāhmaṇas for an elaborate performance of their rites:

69. “With the favour of Parameṣṭhin, I am Soma your king. Yet I humbly and devoutly submit to you.

70-71. I have placed at your disposal all these things: Wealth, cash, gold, jewels etc., food-grains, cereals, barley etc., cows, buffaloes and other animals, different kinds of garments, plantains, coconuts, betal leaves, areca palms and parks, all round with charming border strips.

72. All the rulers of the Jaṃbūdvīpa will carry out your orders with heads bowed down. You who stay here can issue excellent orders which they will honour.

73. Your abodes are filled with camphor, agallocham, sandal and various other kinds of articles coming from other continents.

74. The merchants who are engaged in trading activities in hundreds of commodities will set apart Brahmottaras (a percentage of their profit) for the sake of you, Brāhmaṇas, because they desire for more gain.

75. Seeking their own welfare, they will be your well-wishers and behave like your servants. Thus they and the other citizens will never face failure and fatigue.

76. Thus equipped with full complements of the requisite materials, you should strive for my prosperity. Hence may the rites of Yajñas be performed duly with adequate monetary gifts.

77. May all the rites pertaining to Brahman (Vedas) such as studies and recitation of the Vedas be performed day and night. May the distress of the blind, disabled and wretched ones be alleviated.

78. Hospitality should be extended to the guests properly. Noble-souled ones who have assembled in the course of their pilgrimage should be honoured with due formalities.

79-84. May shelter be always, given to Brāhmaṇas, sages in the hermitages. O learned Brāhmaṇas of steadfastness in the holy vows, may excellent Brāhmaṇas always worship with holy rites, the Liṅga installed by me here.

Eight persons of authority should look after the affairs of the citizens. They must be experts in the conventions laid down in the Smṛtis. You excellent Brāhmaṇas, the noble-souled ones, extend your support to the arrangement made by me here even as the Elephants of the Quarters do to the earth. Thus, O Brāhmaṇas, take up the leadership here, in this holy spot of Śiva and carry out the rites and activities mentioned in the Śrutis and the Smṛtis.”

On hearing these polite words of Soma, the Brāhmaṇas, Kauśika, the first among the families there said: “Dvijarāja (Soma) has given us excellent advices in every respect.

85-86. We shall carry out all this. But listen to (consider) one matter. Even while we adore in accordance with the direction, if we make use of Śivanirmālya (remnants of the adoration of Śiva) it will result in our downfall as it is censured in the Śrutis and Smṛtis. And the Śrutis and Smṛtis constitute the two great commands of Rudra.

87. Which fool will transgress them even if the vital airs are at the throat (even if death is imminent)?

88. But we shall perform Makhas (sacrifices) in the sacred fire, one of the cosmic bodies of Aṣṭamūrti (Śiva) and the mouth of Devas. We shall perform Yajñas according to the Vedic path and propitiate the entire universe.

89. This universe is the manifest form of Lord Puradviṣ (Śiva). They are different from each other but all are non-different from Īśvara.

90. The Āhuti (oblation) consigned to the holy fire perfectly, goes over to Āditya (Sun-god). From Āditya shower of rain results and from shower food-grains and the subjects are nourished thereby.

91-93. We are interested in the regular study and practice of Śruti, Smṛti, Purāṇa etc. Our activities are entirely conducive to acquisition of merit in regard to different pursuits of aims. We may not get enough time to worship the Liṅga. We do worship Īśvara by means of great Yajñas and Rudrajāpyas. We attend every moment in due course to our main symbol Veda. O Soma, you wish that we adore Someśvara. O highly intelligent one, that we assure you we will carry out specially.

94-95. Listen to the means whereby your desire can be fulfilled. On hearing the dialogue between Gaurī and Śaṅkara straight from the mouth of the Lord, Nārada told us earlier. We shall mention that to you.

Formerly hundreds of Daityas and Dānavas inimical to Brāhmaṇas and Devas resorted to Śaṅkara by means of different kinds of severe penances.

96. Īśvara, the veritable ocean of nectar-like compassion, granted favour to them as they performed very severe penance with the minds not attached to anything else.

97. Maheśvara, the Lord of Devas, the master of the three worlds, expects only continuous, firm devotion for the purpose of granting boons.

98. Although they were the enemies of Devas and Brāhmaṇas, the Lord became pleased with their devotions alone and granted them the desired boons pertaining to the Lordship of the worlds.

99. The limits of the power of the Lord cannot be comprehended either by Brahmā or by Viṣṇu. The Lord’s prowess is thus incomprehensible. Who can then divine the intention of the Lord?

100. The pure-hearted Pārvatī asked Parameśvara who, due to their penance, granted boons unto Daityas although they were of wicked activities.

Pārvatī said:

101. O Lord, on receiving your favour (boons) the Daityas dare to assail the three worlds. They harass Indra and other Devas. They make them agitated.

102. Why do you grant boons to them, to the evil-souled ones like them? None of their activities brings even the slightest peace and welfare of the universe.

103. You have granted boons to these and they enjoy divine pleasures. How then does Viṣṇu disregard your lordship and. kill them?

104. O Lord, tell me what will their ultimate goal be on being killed?

Īśvara said:

105. People of the world are of three types: Sāttvika, Rājasa and Tāmasa. Among them these are dominated by Tamas. Hence they are difficult to encounter (are invincible).

106. They compete with Suras. They are intent on exterminating the universe. Hence, out of delusion, they resort to me by means of penance of the Tamas quality.

107. That I grant them boons is because of their devotion. I can be easily won over by means of devotion. There is no doubt about it.

108. Those Daityas of sinful deeds acquire boons befitting their penance. Let me explain why then they are killed by Viṣṇu.

109. Hari and I are apparently different. The reason thereof is the difference of the Guṇa. In fact we are non-different. This is the greatest secret.

110-113. The difference due to being the adored and the adorer is common to both of us. For, I bear on my head devoutly this Gaṅgā that has issued forth from the tip of Viṣṇu’s foot despite the fact that I have been viewed with suspicion by you.

Further, for the sake of protecting the three worlds, Viṣṇu adored me for a long time systematically and obtained the discus that kills the evil ones. You are the Mahāmāyā of Hari of incomprehensible nature. Out of devotion to him, I propitiate that Mahāmāyā, the cause of the origin of the three worlds. Similarly Hari also has another Śakti of mine placed on his head.

114-116. Though he is unborn, he resorts to births and carries out the protection of the world. In order to kill Hiraṇyakaśipu he adopted the form of the Man-lion. When he (Viṣṇu as Man-Lion) was about to destroy the universe, I adopted the form of the (fabulous lion-killer) Śarabha and subdued him. In my attempt to save Bāṇa I raised my trident aloft. But even in his human incarnation, he could sportively stun me then. Further, increasing my prowess and greatness he adores me daily, although the Lord is my immanent soul.

117. Moreover, I always meditate on him, the Supreme Soul, devoid of beginning and end, by means of Dhyānayoga.

118. Therefore, there is no real difference between us. Difference and comparison are resorted to by deluded persons alone.

119. Assuming the form of Viṣṇu, I kill those persons of evil deeds. Now, O great goddess, listen to their ultimate goal.

120. After the devotion to me has ended, they are assailed by (overwhelmed with) anger and arrogance on seeing Hari. So they do not attain salvation.

121. By our power, their sins become wiped off and they attain nativity in the families of Brāhmaṇa-sages, which in turn brings about their salvation.

122. Adopting the holy vow of celibacy, they resort to Pāśupata Yoga. In view of the latent impressions of previous actions, they begin to adore me once again.

123. Others adopt Pāśupata and other Vratas devoutly by means of Bhaktiyoga and reside in cremation ground. Some are nude and some wear a single doth.

124. Eating what they get by way of alms and smearing the body with ash, they worship my Liṅgas. They keep their intellect concentrated on me alone. They adhere firmly to the vow of meditating on me alone.

125. I grant salvation at the time of death to those who bow down to you, the goddess of the worlds and mine.

126. To those who have directed their minds to me, I grant the salvation of Sārupya (similarity in form) and Sālokya (staying in the God’s region) types. That is because this Pāśupatayoga is not conducive to the salvation of the Sāyujya type. So it has been censured by good sages, Smṛtis and good people.

The Brāhmaṇas said:

127. We shall receive with equal honour those Brāhmaṇas who come here during their pilgrimage and whose minds have become humble with devotion.

128. They will be duly received and offered pure alms, loin cloth, water-pot etc. After coming here those ascetics need not do any other work.

129. They will be carefree on account of the presents provided by you. They will be solely devoted to Śivadharma based on the twenty-four Tattvas.

130. By worshipping Śrīsomeśvara, they will enhance your Śreyas (ultimate welfare). In the end they will attain salvation which is very rarely achieved (by others).

131. Other ascetics will come after them. Many others after these. Many others thereafter. O Lord of the night, they will surely be tested by us.

The Brāhmaṇas said:

132-133. On being asked by the goddess, the Three-eyed Lord said thus. Nārada heard this dialogue and when we asked him during our discourse, he narrated it to us. Now everything has been mentioned to you by us.

134. On being told thus by them Soma became pleased and went home. At his behest, they also began to carry out whatever he had ordered.

The Devī said:

135. The Lord of Devas, Someśa, has such a prowess, He is the destroyer of sins. By what means can he be pleased? By what Vrata or restraint?

Īśvara said:

136. I shall clearly mention the holy rite for the sake of the welfare of human beings. O beautiful Deva lady, listen to that by means of which the Lord becomes pleased.

137. There are various kinds of Vratas and Upavāsas (fasts). Fasts observed every day, at day time or only during nights? In a Tīrtha many gifts are made over to deserving persons.

138-139. But if the divine Somavāra Vrata is observed in one’s own abode, it is as good as performance of all kinds of penance etc. It is like a holy bath in Puṣkara. It is as good as going to Kedāra and drinking the water thereof. It is as good as viewing the Jyotirliṅga of excessive refulgence, O beautiful lady.

140. Of what avail are many Dānas, though given to deserving persons, O beautiful lady?

141. If any one worships with devotion for eight Somavāras (Mondays) it is as good as performing everything and observing great Vratas.

142. O my beloved, O Mahādevī, in the context of Somavāra Vrata I shall narrate to you this Itihāsa (a true story) just as it has occurred.

Īśvara said:

143. O great goddess, to the north of Kailāsa on the mountain Niṣadha, there is a large city named Svayaṃprabha.

144. It has all the features of a city. It is splendid with various, kinds of jewels. It is full of Gandharvas of different is on a par with Indra’s capital city Amarāvatī.

145. A Gandharva named Ghanavāhana stays there and enjoys great pleasures not available even to Devas.

146. His wife was in the prime of her youth. She was charming with stout and protruding breasts. Mature in her speech, she had splendid conduct.

147. The leader of Gandharvas enjoyed all pleasures along with her. After eight sons, a daughter was born to him in due course.

148. O Parameśvarī, she was well-known by the name Gandharvasenā. She had all her limbs in perfect proportion. She knew all lores.

149-150. She was the most excellent one among thousands of girls there. She was endowed with beauty. With enthusiastic fancy, she was told by the father: “O sweet girl, go and play. This park is very fascinating. It is full of different kinds of trees and creepers. Many trees grow there. They are in full bloom and richly laden with fruits.”

151. Accordingly she used to play there always surrounded by other girls. Once looking at her daughter playing thus, the mother said to her husband:

152. “I feel my life, your life and the lives of other kinsmen is fruitless in view of the fāct that such a daughter stays at home without a husband, O my Lord.”

153. On being told thus, the Gandharva spoke these words to his wife: “I shall be on the lookout for a handsome husband for our daughter.”

154-155. After saying so, Ghanavāhana sent for his daughter to come to him. On being called by her parents the beautiful girl hastened to them and fell at the feet of everyone in due order (and said): “Command me, dear father, what can I do for you now?”

156. The delighted Ghanavāhana said: “O my daughter, is there any bridegroom who appeals to you now? I shall look for a jewel among Gandharvas befitting you.”

157. On being told thus, her eyes grew red in anger and she asked her father: “Is there anyone in all the three worlds having one-ten-millionth of my beauty?” On hearing her highly surprising statement, the father and the mother virtually fell into a swoon.

158. All the kinsmen and other people were sad. “What this girl uttered now is not good at all.” Saying thus all the kinsmen and mother went away.

159. That beautiful girl continued to sport about in the park rocking herself in the swing during that vernal month.

160. In the meantime Śikhaṇḍī, the group leader (of Śiva Gaṇas) was going through the sky in his divine aerial chariot. He saw the girl with exalted beauty and charm.

161-163. She was having fun with songs, instrumental music and dance. The group leader got down from the aerial chariot for offering midday prayer. He wanted midday sporting-about with the celestial damsels. He got down from the aerial chariot and stood there in the park. He then heard the statement of the Gandharva girl: “No one on a par with the in beauty is seen. No Deva or Dānava possesses one-ten-millionth of my beauty.”

164. On hearing this statement the group leader became angry. The Lord of Gaṇas cursed that girl of beautiful limbs but of arrogant nature.

The Gaṇa said:

165. Despite seeing me, O large-eyed girl, you disparage Gandharvas and Devas as well as others. You are so haughty on account of your excessive beauty and charm?

166. Hence, O haughty girl, leprosy shall affect all your limbs.

On hearing this curse the poor girl became terrified.

167. She fell at his feet stretching to the full length and requested for blessing. “O kind Sir, bless me and withdraw the curse. I am a wretched girl. I shall not behave like this in future.”

168. On being appealed thus, Śikhaṇḍī, the group leader, blessed the Gandharva girl out of compassion.

Śikhaṇḍī said:

169. A living being may be endowed with birth in high caste, beauty, learning and riches, but if he becomes haughty and proud thereby he perishes.

170. Hence one should not be puffed up and vainglorious. The result of haughtiness is this. O my girl, listen to my blessing (by way of redemption). After listening, ponder over it.

171. Gośṛṅga, a leading sage, is in the Himālayan forests. He will render help to you.

After saying this, O my beloved, he went away.

172. By that time it was evening in all the worlds.

173. Thereupon, the Gandharva girl lost all her enthusiasm. She left the beautiful park with head drooping down and came to her parents.

174. She told them everything that resulted in leprosy. On hearing it, the parents were grief-stricken with no lustre (pale in their faces).

175. They hastened to Mountain Himālaya along with their daughter. They found out the hermitage of Sage Gośṛṅga.

176-177. They saw the leading sage Gośṛṅga seated in the middle. They bowed to him and prostrated on the ground like a log of wood and eulogized him with many hymns. Sitting before him and saluting him again and again, he spoke words about what happened earlier.

178. When the story was heard, he asked the reason. When that was asked, the Gandharva said:

The Gandharva said:

179-180. The body of my daughter is afflicted with the fell disease of leprosy. It behoves you to do something that finishes it. O Brāhmaṇa-sage, be pleased. I am highly distressed now. The reason of our coming here is to see that the leprosy of my daughter is eradicated.

Gośṛṅga said:

181-183. In Bhāratavarṣa, there is the highly resplendent Lord Someśvara by name near the ocean. He is bowed down to by all the Devas. Resolve to worship him taking only a single meal for the sake of destroying all ailments and for the fulfilment of all objectives. Propitiate Śaṅkara by means of the Somavāra Vrata. If this is done the sickness of your daughter will be eradicated.

Īśvara said:

184. On hearing these words of the great sage of purified soul, he resolved to go there for the purpose of propitiating Someśvara.

Footnotes and references:


The first line is repeated for the sake of emphasis on devotion just as we say “Śiva, Śiva”.

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