by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Greatness of Vasishtha’s Hermitage which is chapter 6 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 sixth chapter of the Arbuda-khanda of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Sage Pulastya said:
1-3. O best king! thus humans need to go near Vasiṣṭha—the storehouse of austerities—a sight of whom enables humans to attain their objects. There is a pond full of water there which takes away sins of humans. The great soul Vasiṣṭha had brought the river Gautamī in this pond through perseverance. Humans become completely free from their sins with a bath in this pond.
5-6. The great soul Nārada had sung fully the glory of this place. A bath in the auspicious water followed by a sight of the best Sage Vasiṣṭha is much more meritorious than the Śrāddha, performed by offerings made and yajña conducted with extensive details at Gayā. O King! the human being who conducts Śrāddha on coming to this hermitage of Vasiṣṭha suitably ensures the cross-over of his ancestors along with his ownself.
7-13. Objects of all desires are obtained through the special worship of virtuous Arundhatī after coming near Vasiṣṭha here. All wrongdoings of individuals committed during childhood, youth and old age get wiped out instantly by the sight of sage Vasiṣṭha. One who, becoming aware, lights an earthen lamp before Vasiṣṭha attains happiness and good fortune and becomes a bright man. One observing fasting and having a sojourn for a night here, reaches the ultimate place of the Seven Sages. One who observes fasting carefully for three nights before Vasiṣṭha attains Mahaloka getting exempted from old age and death. Emancipation is obtained by one who observes the ritual of fasting for a month before Vasiṣṭha. He does not return to the river of worldly existence. One who propitiates Sage Vasiṣṭha on the full-moon day of Śrāvaṇa (July-August) goes to Brahmā’s world.
14-15. All the sins of a human being get destroyed instantaneously when he recites the Gāyatrī mantra eight hundred times before Vasiṣṭha. O king! one who performs the ritual offering to fire with regard for Vāmadeva obtains the fruits of the ‘Agniṣṭoma Yajña’.
16-17. Hence, the ultimate position is obtainable by all those who have a sight of this great sage with all sorts of efforts and with purity and faith. Hence, O King! with a wholehearted devotion, worship Vāmadeva here.