The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Greatness of Markandeyeshvara (Markandeya-ishvara) which is chapter 219 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 two hundred nineteenth chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 219 - Greatness of Mārkaṇḍeyeśvara (Mārkaṇḍeya-īśvara)

Īśvara said:

1-3. O great goddess, there is a Guhāliṅga (a Liṅga in the cave) well-known as Nīlakaṇṭha. It is near the shrine of Mārkaṇḍeya in the south-east corner.

Earlier, it was worshipped by Viṣṇu. It is destructive of all sins.

He who devoutly worships that Liṅga, rejoices on the surface of the earth fully endowed with sons and cattle wealth. He becomes intelligent. The Liṅga is thus destructive of sins.

4. Thus, O great goddess, O beautiful lady, even to-day, hermitages of sages are seen in the vicinity of Mārkaṇḍeyeśa.

5. O goddess of Devas, eighty-eight thousand sages of sublimated sexuality dwell there in the vicinity of Mārkaṇḍeyeśa.

6. All the caves of the sages are seen there fully endowed with installed Liṅgas. The sages live in hermitages there and perform meritorious penance.

7. He who installs a Liṅga in the vicinity of Mārkaṇḍeśa there, redeems a hundred generations of his family and rejoices in heaven like a Deva.

8. All the worlds are permeated by Śiva. Everything is well-established in Śiva. Hence a wise man should worship Śiva, if he wishes for his own welfare.

9. A king who is not a devotee of Śiva but is devoted to other gods, is like a young woman who abandons her husband and gets herself diverted by others.

10. All the Suras beginning with Brahmā, kings of great prosperity, all men and sages worship the Liṅga.

11. Liṅgas marked after their own names have been duly installed by Indra and others in different places. They have been installed by human beings too in plenty.

12. By installing these, sins of Brāhmaṇa murder, foeticide and other great sins too have been surmounted by them, thanks to the glory of Śiva.

13. Formerly Śakra had killed Vṛtra but he installed a Liṅga of Śaṅkara named Mahendra. Thereby he was relieved of all sins and he went back to heaven.

14. Sūrya (Sun-god) installed Śiva (Liṅga) at the confluence of Gaṅgā and ocean and became free from ailments. So also the Moon-god after installing a Liṅga in Prabhāsa on the shore of the western ocean.

15. Āditya installed the Lord of the universe at Kāśī and Garuḍa and Kaśyapa on the Sahya mountain and attained great glory and stability.

16. Ahalyā whose fault became well-known was cursed by her husband (and converted into a rock) but she regained her womanhood by installing Iśāna. She then begot excellent sons.

17. Even to-day, women and men who take their holy bath and view Ahalyeśvara, are undoubtedly relieved of their defects and faults.

18. After installing Īśvara on the Śvetaśaila mountain both Bali and Virocana became the foremost among powerful ones and became immortal.

19. After killing Rāvaṇa along with his army, the Lord of Devas (Śiva) was installed by Rāma duly and devoutly on the shore of the ocean.

20. Nowhere is the earth seen bereft of the Liṅgas either self-born or installed by the sages or Devas etc. Abandon all other activities and worship Śiva always. All are seen to be close to the city of the god of Death.

21. O goddess, of what avail is much description and vain talk again and again. The essence of Prabhāsakṣetra is due to the hermitage of Mārkaṇḍeya.

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