The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Greatness of Trita Kupa which is chapter 257 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 fifty-seventh chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 257 - Greatness of Trita Kūpa

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Īśvara said:

1-5. Thereafter, O great goddess, a pilgrim should go to the holy well remembered as Trita Kūpa. It is situated to the east of Nandāditya at a distance of three Yojanas (3x12 = 36 Kms.).

In the land of Saurāṣṭra, there was a learned eminent king well-known as Ātreya. He was a master of the Vedas and Vedāṅgas.

He approached his wife only on the prescribed days after menstruation. He begot three sons named Ekata, Dvita and Trita, O fair lady.

4. Trita was the youngest of the lot. He was a master of the Vedas and Vedāṅgas. He was endowed with all the good qualities. The two elders were foolish.

5. After some time, Ātreya the excellent Dvija (twice-born) performed a very severe penance and passed away.

6. Among them (the sons) Trita who was better-endowed with good qualities became king. This son carried on the burden formerly borne by him (Ātreya).

7. He had the idea of performing a Yajña. He invited excellent Brāhmaṇas well-versed in the rites of Yajña.

8. After invoking all the Suras beginning with Indra duly, he went to Prabhāsa for distributing the Dakṣiṇā among Brāhmaṇas. The twice-born took his brothers with him and set off for getting cows.

9. To whichever house he went, i.e. Trita, the master of all the Vedas, was given excellent adoration and a number of good cows.

10. O fair lady, after getting wealth in the form of a good number of cows, he became extremely pleased. He set off homewards accompanied by his brothers.

11. Trita went ahead and the two brothers closely followed him. Tending their cattle asset, they reached Prabhāsa Kṣetra.

12. After seeing the plenty of cattle gathered together for offering Dāna (liberal gifts) an evil thought arose in the minds of the two (elder) brothers against the third (youngest) brother.

13-15. The two evil-minded brothers whispered to each other: “This Trita is an expert in the ritual of Yajña and very proficient in the Vedas. He is worthy of honour and adoration everywhere. We are foolish and worthless fellows. Trita will gift away all this large asset of cattle during the excellent Makha (Yajña). What has been inherited from our father by us should be shared equally. Hence killing this Trita, the performer of Yajñas, is but proper.”

16. After determining thus the two brothers set off. Trita went ahead as before, a straightforward unsuspecting scholar that he was.

17. A tiger appeared there, O fair lady. He had terrible appearance. Opening its jaws widely he gave off a terrible roar.

18. On account of that roaring noise, the cows ran away in different directions and got lost. In that region there was a deep, dark well covered with plants. It was extremely terrible.

19. On one side there was the terrible tiger. On the other side was the well even more terrible. On seeing this all the brothers were frightened and they fled from the place.

20. Then, O fair lady, they came to the rugged brink of the well and stopped there. Their idea was to stay there till the tiger went away so that they could go thereafter.

21. Then, O fair lady, the excellent king Trita was hurled into the terrible old well without water.

22. The two brothers joyously took the cows with them and Trita fell into the well without water.

23. The intelligent one reflected: ‘I do not grieve so much for continuation of my life. Excellent Brāhmaṇas were invited by me for the sake of the Yajña. They are all masters of the Vedas. The Suras beginning with Indra are also invited by me. But that Kratu (Yajña) is not to take place. Hence I bewail.’

24. The master of the Vedas and Vedāṅgas thought thus. O lady of excellent complexion, he began a mental performance of sacrifice there.

25. That excellent Brāhmaṇa recited the hymns himself and performed the Homa with sand particles. The Devas became satisfied.

26. Seeing his faith, the deities became all the more satisfied. They came to the Brāhmaṇa held up in the middle of the well.

The Devas said:

27. O Brāhmaṇa, all of us have been propitiated by you through this mental Yajña. So, do tell us what is being cherished in your mind.

The Brāhmaṇa said:

28. If the Devas are pleased with me, let me go to my mansion after getting out of this well. I shall perform the Devayajña.

Īśvara said:

29. On being instructed by the Devas Sarasvatī pierced the ground and came out and filled the dry well with water.

30. The Brāhmaṇa came out of the well and went away to his mansion. Ever since then, O goddess of Devas, it is called Trita Kūpa.

31. A pilgrim should have his holy bath there and be pure. Then he should propitiate the Pitṛs. He shall be rid of all sins and get the benefit of an Aśvamedha (horse-sacrifice).

32. O goddess, gift of gingelly seeds with gold is (recommended as) praise-worthy there. O fair lady, this Tīrtha is a favourite of the Pitṛs always.

33. O goddess of Devas, all the celestial Pitṛs remembered as Agniṣvāttas and Barhiṣads are to be invoked with the Mantra beginning with “āyantu naḥ”. O fair lady, all of them, the celestial Pitṛs, are indeed present here.

34. O most excellent one among Suras, by mere sight of the Tīrtha, all living beings are rid of sins committed ever since birth and till death.

35. If one desires one’s own welfare, one should by all means take one’s bath there after reaching Prabhāsa Kṣetra.

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