by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Greatness of Varaha Tirtha which is chapter 19 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 nineteenth chapter of the Arbuda-khanda of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
1. After that, O best king, one needs to go to that place of pilgrimage which Han, i.e., Viṣṇu in His incarnation of Varāha (i.e., boar) inhabited and which always gives happiness and destroys all sins.
2. In the Varāha incarnation, Viṣṇu had rescued the Earth there and Hari (i.e., an epithet of Viṣṇu) had stayed back there in that unchanged form. There is no need of fear for anyone at anytime.
3. In this part of Earth, Viṣṇu told Earth herself to ask for any boon—even the one difficult to attain—as He had to go back again to the auspicious Vaikuṇṭha. (i.e., the abode of Viṣṇu)
The Earth said:
4. O Bearer of Conch, Discus and Mace, if you have to give me a boon, then always remain in no other body than this in this place.
5-8. O Goddess! I shall stay with this body in the Arbuda mountain as per your statement and will remain incessantly engaged in the welfare of people. This lake in front of me is full of clear water. The human being undergoing the religious duty of taking a bath here with devotion on the eleventh day of the bright period of Moon in the month of Māgha (i.e., January-February) will free him from the sin of murdering a person having knowledge of Veda. Men performing Śrāddha with great faith will give satisfaction to their ancestors, which will continue till the time of final destruction of this world. Hence with all necessary efforts everyone must have a bath here with all sincerity.
9. Having said this, O king, Govinda, i.e., Viṣṇu disappeared from sight on the Garuḍa, i.e., the king of birds (which is the insignia with which God Viṣṇu has always been associated with). Hence O best king! take the ceremonial bath specifically on that day there.
10. Any inhabitant on earth who makes offerings with libation of water and rounded balls of cooked rice to his ancestors with all eagerness through devotion goes to a place nearer to Viṣṇu along with his ancestors.
11. Going there and making offerings as donations is always praised. O best king, also present cows here.
12. O king! all humans making gifts of cows here stay for as many years in Heaven as the number of hairs on the cow’s body.
13. Fulfilling the religious duty of having a bath and of making gifts according to one’s capability specially on the eleventh day of a Lunar month results in attainment of the highest spiritual status for one.