by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Greatness of Vriddhaprabhasa (Vriddha-prabhasa) which is chapter 195 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 ninety-fifth chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
1-2. Then, a pilgrim with a restrained soul should go to the shrine of Vṛddhaprabhāsa. It is situated not far from Ādiprabhāsa to the south. It is a great Liṅga with four faces. On being visited it destroys sins.
Śrī Devī said:
3. O Lord, how did it get the name Vṛddhaprabhāsa? What shall be the benefit when it is visited? When eulogized and when adored?
4. Do mention this, O Lord, to me neither briefly nor very elaborately.
5-9. At the outset in the Svāyaṃbhuva Manvantara in the fourth Tretāyuga (in the previous Manvantara in the fourth Tretāyuga) the sages proceeding towards the Uttarāpatha (Northern Track) gathered together. O great goddess, when they saw the deity covered and assailed by Vajra, they felt sorry and spoke these words: “We will not go home without seeing the Liṅga of Śaṅkara. We are seekers of heaven and have traversed a long way for that purpose. Hence we will stay here alone till we get to see the Liṅga.”
10-11. After resolving thus, they engaged themselves in a great penance. During rainy season they exposed themselves to the open sky and during early winter they resorted to water. They resorted to the five fires during summer. They observed celebacy always. Thus the Brāhmaṇas passed many many years and became pretty old.
12-15. O lady of excellent complexion, when they attained old age, the noble-souled Śaṅkara lured them with offering boons. Excepting the vision of the Liṅga, they did not accept any other boon.
14. Realizing their determination, the Bull-emblemed Lord became sympathetic and revealed his own Liṅga.
15. O lady of excellent complexion, at that very time, the Liṅga suddenly rose up, piercing through the ground.
16. All those sages viewed it and went to heaven. When they thus proceeded (to heaven) Śakra was distressed in mind.
17. He concealed that too by means of his Vajra of hundred knots.
18. Since the Liṅga appeared before them (the sages), in their old age, it is glorified as Vṛddhaprabhāsa on the earth.
19. O beautiful lady, when it is viewed the benefit is obtained even to-day. A man equipped with devout feelings, gets the benefit of Rājasūyas and Aśvamedhas.
20. It was thus that the sacred shrine Vṛddhaprabhāsa originated there. A bull is to be offered there to a Brāhmaṇa by those who wish to get the benefit of a perfect pilgrimage.
Footnotes and references:
There is repetition of this line in the text.