The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Greatness of Sambaditya which is chapter 306 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 three hundred sixth chapter of the Prabhasa-kshetra-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 306 - Greatness of Sāṃbāditya

Īśvara said:

1-4. Thereafter, O great goddess, a pilgrim should go to the excellent shrine of Sāmbāditya [Sāṃbāditya] which is destructive of all sins. It is situated to the north thereof (Nāradāditya).

It is the place where Sāṃba performed penance and propitiated Divākara (Sun-god). With the favour of the thousand-rayed Sun-god, he attained a beautiful form.

The son of Jāṃbavatī was angrily cursed by his father. Therefore, he propitiated the lotus-eyed Viṣṇu.

Sāṃba, the son of Jāṃbavatī, sought the amelioration of the curse. Thereupon, Viṣṇu’s face beamed with pleasure and spoke to him:

5-6a. “Go to the Prābhāsika Kṣetra, on the beautiful bank of Ṛṣitoyā where there is an excellent area called Brahmabhāga[1]. It is rendered charming by Brāhmaṇas dwelling there.

O dear son, there in the form of Sun-god I shall grant you boon”.

6b. It was thus that Sāṃba was advised by the powerful Viṣṇu.

7-8. On the advice of Viṣṇu, O Śivā, Sāṃba went to the charming Śivapura, in the Prabhāsa Kṣetra. There he propitiated the great Lord Bhāskara, the thief (evaporator) of waters, and delighted him through eulogies of diverse kinds.

9. Ravi spoke to Sāṃba: “I am delighted by your eulogy. O foremost one among men, do go to the auspicious banks of Ṛṣitoyā.”

10. On being told thus, he came to the splendid banks of Ṛṣitoyā where the Brāhmaṇa-sage Nārada was engaged in penance.

11. Hari’s son went there and spoke to those Brāhmaṇas who permanently resided on the elevated holy spot.

Sāṃba said:

12. This is the place called Brahman’s Bhāga (portion of Brāhmaṇas) in the excellent holy spot of Prabhāsa. Those Brāhmaṇas who are here are remembered as the most excellent ones all over the world.

13. O Brāhmaṇas, at your words (of permission) I shall propitiate Sūrya. Formerly this holy spot was indicated to me by Viṣṇu.

The Brāhmaṇas said:

14a. O Sāṃba, you will attain Siddhi. Do propitiate the Sun-god.

14b-15. On being told thus by the Brāhmaṇas, he entered (the holy spot) and propitiated Prabhākara everyday. The son of Jāṃbavatī became firmly established in penance. On seeing him firmly established in penance Viṣṇu became highly merciful and thought:

16-19. “As Rudra is the (only) bestower of Aiśvarya (lordship and prosperity), as Viṣṇu is the bestower of salvation, as the Lord of Devas is remembered as the bestower of heavenly pleasures when propitiated through Yajñas, as water in conjunction with clay and holy ash is a purifying agent, as Vahni (Fire-god) is one that burns and blazes, as Vighneśvara (Gaṇeśa) is the dispeller of obstacles, as the daughter of Brahmā (Sarasvatī) is competent to grant power of free expression, so also there is no Lord other than Divākara who grants relief from ailments.

If such a pure Lord Bhāskara (Sun-god) does not grant boons despite being propitiated in diverse ways, that must be due to my curse.”

20. The lotus-eyed Viṣṇu thought thus. Janārdana became pleased with him and adopted the form of the Sun-god.

21. Divākara in the form of the perceptible Sun and called Aparanārāyaṇa (another Nārāyaṇa) stood very near him. Thereupon, the highly delighted bestower of boons on those who perform meritorious deeds, manifested himself and said thus:

22. “O Sāṃba, O son of Hari, why do you perform the strenuous penance? Enough of your exertion and painful ordeal. I am pleased. O devotee of excellent holy vows, choose your boon.”

Sāṃba said:

23. O Lord of the chiefs of Devas, O perceptible ornament unto the firmament, may I be free from impurities and one whose body is rid of leprosy. Be always present in the holy spot. Be present in this charming place.

The Sun-god said:

24-25. Now, O Sāṃba, your body will be free from impurities. All devotees should come here on a day when the seventh lunar day coincides with a Sunday. A man who observes fast on that day and keeps awake during the night (will be highly blessed). Eighteen kinds of leprosy and other fell diseases will never occur in the family of that noble-souled man.

26. The man should devoutly have his holy ablution. He must conquer his sense-organs. On Sundays he should worship the highly lustrous Sāṃbāditya. That man becomes free from ailments. He will become rich and blessed with a son.

27-29. On the eastern side thereof, rather a little on the north-east, there is a sin-destroying Kuṇḍa (pit of water) highly meritorious and filled with clean water. A wise devotee must duly bathe therein and perform Śrāddha. He who worships Sāṃbāditya shall feed Brāhmaṇas too. He shall be richly endowed with everything desirable. He is honoured in the world of the Sun.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Brahmabhāga—The area occupied by Brāhmaṇas.

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