The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Origin of Acaleshvara (Acala-ishvara) which is chapter 4 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 fourth chapter of the Arbuda-khanda of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 4 - Origin of Acaleśvara (Acala-īśvara)

Sūta said:

1. Sage Vasiṣṭha made his own hermitage on that Arbuda mountain and began the pursuit of intense religious austerities for making the dwelling of God Saṃkara [Śaṃkara?] on it.

2. The sage continued to have fruits for food as per rule. He remained dependent on having leaves for food for two hundred years.

3. He spent five hundred years drinking water only and another ten hundred years by breathing air only.

4. He practised Pañcāgṇi (remaining in the middle of five fires) during summer and stayed under water during winter. He stayed in the open for a thousand years during rains.

5. Then being pleased with the austerities of that great sage, the Liṅga of Śiva worshipped in the form of a stone came up instantaneously piercing the mountain. Then witnessing the presence of that Liṅga of Śiva, Sage Vasiṣṭha began recitation of hymns in wonder.

6. He recited: “Homage to you, O holy one! O Lord Śiva! whose sacredness everyone praises, O bearer of braided and knotted hair and the bearer of the image of three gods.

7. Homage to you, having the gross form yet omnipresent through the fine form and the bearer of bow and arrow and the three-eyed one.

8. Homage to you, O Śaṃkara holding the crescent moon and pervading all directions! Homage to you, O bearer of the Pināka bow and one having the body of eight forms!

9. O Śaṃkara! You are of the form of knowledge, you are comprehensible through the path of knowledge. You are the embodiment of knowledge. Homage to you- the image of all wisdom.

10. Obeisance to you, O ruler of Kāśī and the God of mountains! Homage to you, O great Lord! O creator of this world!

11. Homage to you, O husband of Gauiī, O one of the image of well-being! I bow to you, O bearer of the image of Viṣṇu and Brahmā and the Three-eyed one.

12. Homage to you, O Great Soul! O bearer of the image of universe and holiness! I bow down to you, O bearer of all images including images of gods.

Sūta said:

13. In the meantime a statement issued from the Incorporeal, saying that it was pleased by the gentle behaviour (of the worshipper) and that he could ask for any boon for well-being.

14. Having said so, the Liṅga of Śiva worshipped in the form of a stone pierced out from within the body of the mountain.

Vasiṣṭha said:

15. O God Śaṃkara! You please dwell for ever in this Liṅga. I have prayed for the same at this great soul earlier. If you are pleased then, O Śaṃkara! let my words be true.

The gracious God Śiva said:

16. I will have my appearance in this Liṅga from today onwards. O best Brāhmaṇa! everything true happens as per your words.

17. Everything true will happen whenever any human sings this hymn with faith on the fourteenth day of the waning period of the moon in the month of Āśvina (i.e. September-October).

18. O best of Sages! to please me, Indra, the King of gods has sent the famous river Mandākinī here, which makes the three worlds holier.

19. As a reservoir holding water it will always remain on the northern side of the Liṅga. That human who after taking a bath in it has a look at the Liṅga everyday will obtain the ultimate place becoming free from old age and death.

20. Having pierced this immobile mountain, my Liṅga has come up. Hence it will be renowned in the world by the name Acaleśvara.

21. The greatness of this (Acaleśvara) Liṅga will never dwindle. Even its greatness will not loosen up till the time of final destruction of this world.

Sūta said:

22. Having said this much, the great God stopped. The great soul Vasiṣṭha became pleased in heart followed up by Sages like Gautama etc.

23. Gods like Indra etc. were also happy. The Brāhmaṇa sage had brought other places of pilgrimage, temples and mansions on this mountain through his own austerities.

24. Now becoming happy, the great God got settled down here.

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