by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Greatness of Ajadevi which is chapter 59 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 fifty-ninth chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
The goddess is named Ajā. She is stationed to the south of Rāhvīśa. She has issued forth from my sixth mouth/face adored by Viṣṇu.
The Devī said:
3. O my Lord, O Lord of Devas! Five faces of yours are well-known. What may be the name of the sixth face, O Lord? How did the deity well-known as Ajādevī issue forth therefrom?
4. O goddess, what has been asked by you is pertinent. I shall describe unto you what should be kept as a secret even from one’s own sons. It was (originally) narrated in an Āgama (scriptural text) which is not (so) well-known.
7. Hence, O great goddess, I now become five-faced. Aja became Brahmā and Picu became Viṣṇu.
8. From the face Aja, O great goddess, (the Deity) Ajā of great lustre was born. O beautiful lady, it was at the time of the terrible fight with Andhāsura and that too due to my anger.
9. The goddess held a sword and a shield. Riding on a lion, she had a splendid form. She was accompanied by crores of other goddesses. She crushed the great Daityas.
10. A few Daityas fled to the southern sea out of fear of her. The lion-riding goddess chased them closely behind.
12-13. Some of the Daityas were slain there. Some went to Pātāla (nether worlds). On seeing that they were all killed, the goddess riding a lion realized the sanctity of the place. The splendid deity haltred at that place, stationing herself to the north-east of Someśa and to the north of Saurīśa.
14. Whoever, whether a man or a woman, views her stationed there, shall become endowed with Sattva quality and conjugal felicity for the duration of seven births.
15. If a man arranges for vocal music, instrumental music and dance there, there shall be no wretchedness in his family, due to her favour.
16. O great goddess, if any woman offers a lamp with ghee (clarified butter) with a red wick there, she will attain conjugal felicity in the course of as many births as there are threads there in the wick.
17. He who reads this daily, especially on the third lunar day, or listens to this devoutly, shall obtain all cherished desires.
After adoring these Śaktis the devotee should worship Someśa, if he is desirous of the full benefit of the pilgrimage. Or he may worship one Śakti who is the bestower of boons.
Footnotes and references:
This is the Pratīka (first word) of the first of the five Mantras from Taittirīya Āraṇyaka XVII. 1-5. There five Mantras constitute the five heads of Śīva.