The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Greatness of Bhuteshvara which is chapter 87 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 eighty-seventh chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 87 - Greatness of Bhūteśvara

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: From this chapter to the end of Chapter 97, the eleven Liṅgas enumerated in verses 8-9 are described.

Īśvara said:

1-4. Thus after performing the Yātrā (of Pāṇḍaveśvara), a pilgrim, endowed with perfect faith, should, O great goddess, go to the eleven Rudras in due course.

They are stationed in the centre of Prabhāsa Kṣetra and are the destroyers of great sins. Sins are acquired severally by men in eleven ways (through the ten Indriyas and Manas). Those sins are eradicated through the worship of the eleven Rudras.

Becoming sanctified by good emotional feelings, a pilgrim should worship the eleven Rudras in due order during Saṃkrānti (transit of the Sun), Ayana (on days when the Sun moves northwards and southwards), during solar and lunar eclipses or during other holy festival days.

5. I shall tell their previous names as they were in Kṛtayuga. O goddess, listen to them correctly.

6. (They are) Ajaikapāt, Ahirbudhnya, Virūpākṣa, Raivata, Hara, Bahurūpa, Tryaṃbaka, Sureśvara, Vṛṣākapi, Śaṃbhu and Kapardin the undefeated.

7. O goddess, these were the names first in Kṛtayuga. They continued in Tretā and Dvāpara also. (But) After the advent of the Kali Age, other names came into vogue.

8-9. The names of Rudras were eleven. I shall, tell them to you now. They are: Bhūteśa, Nīlarudra, Kapālin, Vṛṣavāhana, Tryaṃbaka, Aghoranāman (named as Aghora) [=tryaṃbako ghoranāmā ca?], Mahākāla, Bhairava, Mṛtyuñjaya, Kāmeśa and Yogeśa. O my beloved, the eleven Rudras have been enumerated to you.

10. O goddess, they have neither beginning nor end. They are differentiated into eleven forms conforming to the names:

The Devī said:

11. O Lord, tell me in detail, the due order of the eleven Liṅgas, as based on the extension of their places, their greatness and origin.

12. O Lord, how are they to be worshipped? What are the Mantras? What is the mode of procedure of worship? On which festival day? Occasion? Do mention everything in detail.

Īśvara said:

13. Listen, O goddess. I shall tell you the secret that is destructive of sins. Somanātha is at the beginning and Siddhinātha is the cause.

14-15. On listening to this, a creature is rid of the sins accumulated previously. O my beloved, the eleven Rudras mentioned to you by me are said to be the ten Vāyus (vital airs) and the Ātman is remembered as the eleventh one. I shall tell the names of those ten Vāyus in due order. Listen.

16-17. The Lords, the Rudras, should be known in order thus: Prāṇa, Apāna, Samāna, Udāna, Vyāna, Nāga, Kūrma, Kṛkala, Devadatta, Dhanañjaya and Ātman. For the sake of the welfare of all living beings, I shall explain the Yātrā (pilgrimage, religious procession) pertaining to them, in due order.

18. O my beloved, formerly the first Lord of the Rudras was Someśvara. He should be worshipped in accordance with the injunctions under the name Bhūteśvara.

19. The services rendered should be those pertaining to and befitting kings. The mind should be sanctified by means of faith. The deity should be bathed in Pañcāmṛta and worshipped uttering the Mantra Sadyojāta etc. (Taitt. Āraṇyaka.XVII.1)

20. The pilgrim should meditate on Lord Sadāśiva and worship with charming flowers with great devotion. He should then circumambulate thrice and prostrate before the deity with the eight limbs touching the ground (Sāṣṭāṅga).

21. One desirous of performing the Yātrā of the eleven Rudras should proceed therefrom for the sake of averting obstacles. I shall explain the name Bhūteśvara mentioned to you.

22-23. The twenty-five Principles beginning with Mahat and ending with Viśeṣa are called Bhūtas. Since the Lord is remembered as their Lord, he was called Bhūteśvara formerly. After knowing the twenty-five Tattvas one shall attain salvation.

24. After worshipping Bhūteśa Rudra, one shall attain the imperishable salvation.

Thus the glorification of Ādirudra is briefly told. It is worthy of glorification by the twice-born. When glorified, it enhances merit.

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