The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Greatness of Kumari which is chapter 242 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 forty-second chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 242 - Greatness of Kumārī

Īśvara said:

1-4. O great goddess, a devotee should go to the shrine situated to the east thereof. The goddess Kumārikā is stationed there for giving of protection.

Formerly in the Rathantara Kalpa, there was a great Asura named Ruru. He was huge-bodied from his very birth and he struck terror in all the worlds.

Devas including Gandharvas were frightened and were driven out of heaven. Becoming afraid of him, all of them went and occupied the world of Brahmā.

That evil-minded demon killed Brāhmaṇas performing Yajñas on the earth and penance as well as other righteous persons.

5. Afflicted by the great fright from Ruru, the entire surface of the earth became bereft of Svādhyāya and Vaṣaṭkāra. Yajñas and festivities became defunct.

6. All the distressed Devas and great sages gathered together and consulted one another in regard to the slaying of that evil-minded fellow.

7. Even as all of them were engaged in deep thought and consultations, drops of sweat arose from their bodies which they caught together and held.

8. A lotus-eyed divine girl issued forth enveloping all the quarters and stood in front of all of them.

She said to the Devas:

9-10. Why have I been created? I shall carry out your task.

On hearing her words, the Devas spoke out their distress due to the activity of Ruru. On hearing it, the goddess laughed boisterously for accomplishing the task of Devas.

11. While she laughed loudly, girls of excellent limbs with supple buttocks and breasts issued forth. All of them held nooses and goads.

12. They frightened the mobile and immobile beings with their shrieks and howls alone. The renowned (goddess) accompanied them to the place where Ruru was present.

13. A terribly tumultuous battle ensued between them with weapons and missiles of various kinds destructive of the enemies.

14. All his followers were shattered by them with blows. They were turned back in a trice. Some of them were struck down.

15. Noticing that his army had been killed, Ruru created his magical illusion (Māyā) named Tāmasī (creator of darkness). But, O goddess of Devas, she did not faint thereby.

16. When the entire region became enveloped in darkness, the goddess hit Ruru, the Daitya, in his heart with her Śakti (javelin). He swooned thereat.

17. In a short while, he regained consciousness and became fully aware of her prowess. He became then inclined to run away and proceeded towards the sea.

18. The goddess pursued the evil-minded one closely behind, eulogized by groups of Suras, Kinnaras and Mahoragas. (great serpents).

19-20. She entered the ocean and found out the Dānava. With the tip of her sword she cut off his head. Holding the shield and his head, she came out of the ocean and came to Prabhāsa Kṣetra accompanied by her resplendent army of diverse forms.

21. The excellent goddess was seen holding the shield and the head by the Devas who were wonder-struck. The Devas then stood with palms joined together in veneration and eulogized.

The Devas said:

22-25. [Prayer of Kumārī by Devas:]

Be victorious, O goddess, Camuṇḍā. Be victorious, O destroyer of the distress of the earth.

Be victorious, O omnipresent goddess. O Kālarātri, obeisance to you.

O Śivā of terrific form, O great Māyā and Vidyā of great prosperity! O highly esteemed Jayā and Jṛṃbhā of terrible eyes, of terrible appearance!

O Mahāmāyā of diverse limbs, O auspicious one, fond of music and dance! O terrible one, O Mahākālī, O Kālikā in the form of god of Death and of eternal Time!

O goddess with Trident in the hand, staff in the hands, O terrible one of terrible hands and face! O Cāmuṇḍā with blazing mouth, sharp fangs and great strength! O goddess seated on the corpse, O goddess served by the groups of Devas!

26. On being eulogized thus by all of them with Śakra as the leader, the goddess appeared pleased and spoke these words:

27. “Welfare unto you all. Choose your boon, whatever has been cherished in the mind for long. I shall grant you all, even if it be difficult of access.”

The Devas said:

28. O fair lady, we are blessed since the Dānava has been killed by you.

29. O goddess of excellent countenance, if anyone eulogizes you by means of this prayer, to him you, the omnipresent one, should grant boons.

30. May the person, O goddess, who devoutly listens to your origin be rid of all sins and may be attain the greatest goal.

31. O auspicious goddess, a permanent residence must be taken by you in this holy spot.

32. A devotee who has perfect concentration and purity of mind, should adore you here on the ninth lunar day in the bright half of the month of Āśvina. You must always grant him auspiciousness.

Īśvara said:

33. On being requested thus, the great goddess remained steady there itself. The Devas went to heaven. They were happy because the enemies had been killed.

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