The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Greatness of Tryambakeshvara (Tryambaka-ishvara) which is chapter 91 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 ninety-first chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 91 - Greatness of Tryaṃbakeśvara (Tryaṃbaka-īśvara)

Īśvara said:

1-2. Thereafter, O goddess, a pilgrim should go to the immutable Tryaṃbakeśvara. It has been proclaimed as the fifth of the Rudras, the primordial deity.

O my beloved, it was named in the earlier Tretā yuga as Śikhaṇḍīśvara. I shall describe it now in the manner known to people.

3-4. O goddess Parameśvarī, there is the city of Sāṃbapura situated there. The holy spot remembered as Kāpālika is established to the north thereof. The Lord named Kapāleśvara is stationed there in the form of a Liṅga for the sake of dispelling sins of men by seeing and touching it.

5. Within a distance of sixteen Dhanus from that deity (i.e. Kapāleśvara) in the north-eastern direction, the deity Rudra called Tryaṃbakeśvara is stationed.

6. The deity blesses all and bestows all cherished desires.

It was at this holy spot that the excellent sage named Guru performed a very severe and difficult penance unbearable even to Devas and Dānavas.

7. He worshipped Śaṅkara thrice a day in an excellent manner. He performed the Japa of the great Tryaṃbaka Mantra[1] three crore times.

8. Thereby he propitiated the Lord of Devas and obtained divine powers and prosperity. He himself designated the immutable deity as Tryaṃbakeśvara.

9. It was by repeating the Tryaṃbakā Mantra that he obtained supernatural power and eightfold divine Aiśvarya (Mastery). Therefore, the deity is called Tryaṃbakeśvara.

10. Even by viewing or touching the deity it destroys sins. A Brāhmaṇa who performs Japa in the vicinity of Tryaṃbakeśvara attains the great Siddhi. He becomes the veritable Rudra himself.

11. By merely viewing it, sin is broken into a thousand bits. He who devoutly worships it with sanctity and in the prescribed manner uttering Vāmadeva Mantra[2] will be rid of sins.

12. He who keeps awake at night on the fourteenth lunar day in the bright half of the month of Caitra doing adoration, singing eulogy and hearing/telling devotional stories gets the desired fruit.

13. A cow should be gifted there itself by those who desire to get the fruit of the perfect pilgrimage.

14. Thus, O goddess, the sin-destroying greatness of Tryaṃbakeśvara Rudra has been spoken to you. It bestows meritorious fruits on men.

Footnotes and references:


The Mantra is—tryaṃbakaṃ yajāmahe etc. RV VII.59.12.


Probably vāmadevāya namaḥ in Taitt. Āraṇyaka XVII. 2.

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