The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Greatness of Cyavaneshvara (Cyavana-ishvara) which is chapter 280 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 eightieth chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 280 - Greatness of Cyavaneśvara (Cyavana-īśvara)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: The story is based on Mbh, Vana, chs 122-125.

Īśvara said:

1-4. Thereafter, O great goddess, a devotee should go to the excellent shrine of Cyavaneśvara. This Liṅga is situated there itself and is destructive of all sins.

It was here that Sukanyā was given by Śaryāti to the great sage (i.e. Cyavana). The sage made the army benumbed and distressed due to Ānāha (stopping their urination and excretion).

O fair lady, the place where the Yajña of Śaryāti took place shines here in the middle of Prabhāsa Kṣetra directly. It is destructive of sins.

There Kauśika imbibed Soma-juice directly along with Aśvins. Bhārgava of great austerities became angry with Mahendra.

5. Holy Lord Cyavana rendered Indra immobile. He obtained Sukanyā, the princess, as his wife.

The Devī said:

6. How was Lord Pākaśāsana (Indra) paralysed and rendered motionless by him. Wherefore did Bhārgava of great austerities become angry?

7. How did the holy sage make the Nāsatyas imbibe Soma juice? May you kindly mention all this as they happened.

Īśvara said:

8. The great sage named Cyavana was son of the great sage Bhṛgu. He came to Prabhāsa Kṣetra and performed penance.

9. O fair lady of excellent countenance, he remained steady like a post. The sage of great splendour remained in one place for a long time in the posture called Vīrāsana.

10. He was covered by anthills and creepers. O fair lady, after a great deal of time he was completely covered by ants.

11. The intelligent sage became motionless like a lump of clay. Covered as he was by the anthill he performed a severe penance.

12. As time passed on thus, a king named Śaryāti came to the great Prabhāsa Kṣetra that destroys all sins. It was in the context of his pilgrimage and desire to see Śrīsomeśa that he happened to come there.

13. He had four thousand ladies as wives but had only one excellent daughter named Sukanyā.

14. She was fully bedecked in all kinds of ornaments. She was accompanied by her female companions. She wandered here and there and came to the anthill covering Bhārgava.

15. The princess of excellent teeth sported about in the company of her friends and engaged herself in surveying and collecting charming plants.

16. With (the pride of) beauty and youth augmented by the inebriation due to imbibing liquor, she cut and broke the branches of the forest fully covered with blossoms.

17. The girl clad in a single cloth but fully adorned with ornaments was wandering nearby without any female companions. The intelligent Bhārgava (sage Cyavana) saw her like a walking lightning streak.

18. In that secluded spot the sage caught sight of her. The sage of great splendour was delighted within himself. The Brāhmaṇa-sage endowed with the power of penance felt his throat unusually parched.

19. He spoke something to the beautiful girl but she could not hear anything. But the girl Sukanyā saw the pair of (gleaming) eyes of Bhārgava through the anthill.

20. In her childish curiosity, she lost her sense and was deluded. “Oh, what is this?” She said and pierced his eyes with a thorn.

21. When his eyes were pierced, the already furious sage became much enraged. Then he caused obstruction to the passage of urine and faeces of the men in the army of Śaryāti.

22. When there was obstruction of the faeces and urine, the entire army became miserable. On seeing the army in such a plight, the king became vexed.

23. (He asked the men:) “By whom was the noble-souled Bhārgava offended? He is an old man prone to be angry; but he is richly endowed with the power of penance always. Did anyone offend him knowingly or unknowingly? Tell me quickly.”

24. All the soldiers averred: “We do not know anything about an offence (caused to the sage). Your Highness must probe into this matter as you choose and find out (the truth).”

25. Thereupon, the king began his enquiry among his friends (and followers) in appeasing and conciliatory tone at the outset, but later on sternly. But none of them could say anything definitely.

26. Thereupon, Sukanyā perceived the entire army distressed due to suppression of urine and faeces as told (by everyone in front) and also her father extremely grief-stricken. So she said:

27. “Dear father, something shining was seen in the anthill by me here. It was lustrous and was pierced by me out of ignorance (of the consequences).”

28. On hearing this Śaryāti quickly went to the anthill. There he saw Bhārgava, very old in age and senior to everyone due to his power of penance.

29. Then, on behalf of the army and for their sake, the king joined his palms in veneration and said: “It behoves you to forgive what has been done to you by the girl out of ignorance.”

30-31. Then Cyavana, the son of Bhṛgu, spoke to the king: “O king, I will forgive only after accepting in marriage your same daughter who is endowed with beauty and exalted qualities although afflicted by greed and delusion. O king, I am speaking the truth.”

Īśvara said:

32. After considering carefully the words of the sage, Śaryāti did not think upon it further. He gave his daughter to the noble-souled Cyavana.

33. After obtaining that girl, the holy Lord became pleased. When pleasant calmness was regained completely, the king went to the city along with the army.

34. After getting an ascetic of uncensured features as her husband, Sukanyā served him with pleasure observing restraints and practising penance.

35. She served the guests and preserved the sacred fires willingly (without malice). The girl of auspicious countenance was able to propitiate Sage Cyavana very soon.

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