by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Greatness of Shankhodakakundeshvari Gauri (Shankhodaka-kundeshvari) which is chapter 116 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 one hundred sixteenth chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
1-3. Thereafter, a pilgrim should go to the shrine of the goddess well-known as Kuṇḍeśvari, O great goddess. She confers conjugal felicity. The shrine is situated within a distance of thirty Dhanus to the north-west of Puṣkara and south-west of Bhūtanātha. The goddess that supresses sins and destroys a series of impoverished states is stationed there. There is a Kuṇḍa (holy pit) named Śaṅkhodaka situated within a distance of fifteen Dhanus to the south-west of the shrine of the goddess. This holy pit destroys all sins.
4. Whether a man or a woman, the pilgrim should take the holy bath in the auspicious water, O great goddess and worship that goddess well-known as Śaṅkhāvartā.
5-6. The name of that goddess during Kali is Kuṇḍeśvarī. She bestows all happiness. O my beloved goddess, a (demon) named Śaṅkha was formerly killed by Viṣṇu. He took his huge body in the form of a conch shell, filled it with the waters of the Tīrtha and came to Prabhāsa Kṣetra.
7-8. After washing the conch he created the highly lustrous Tīrtha. Then he blew the conch shell producing a sound majestically rumbling like a cloud. Due to the loud sound, the goddess came there enquiring about the cause. She stayed near the Kuṇḍa. So she became famous as Kuṇḍeśvarī. The Kuṇḍa is remembered as Śaṅkhodaka.
9-10. Whether one is a man or a woman, one who worships her on the third lunar day of Māgha with great devotion shall attain the region of Gaurī. Couples should be fed there by those who wish for the fruit of the pilgrimage. Gifts of bodice, fruits and meal are to be made to virgins.