The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Greatness of Candraprabhasa which is chapter 20 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 twentieth chapter of the Arbuda-khanda of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 20 - Greatness of Candraprabhāsa

Pulastya said:

1. Then, O virtuous king, one needs to go to the radiant Candreśa Tīrtha where the great soul Candra had attained brightness completely.

2. O king! Candra had married twenty-seven daughters of Dakṣa, Aśvinī being the first among the stars.

3. Amongst them, he always used to remain engaged in making love with Rohiṇī. (Hence) all other daughters of Dakṣa finding themselves rejected by Candra were very unhappy. Crying, they went and surrendered themselves to their father.

They said:

4-5. O lord of the citizens! despite being blameless, we have been rejected by our husband. Hence with sorrow, we have come seeking a respite under you relying on your greatness. You, the best of kings, always do welfare of all. Hence improve our current state. Chalk out a middle path by which our situation will improve as well as Candra can be dissuaded from his obsession with Rohiṇī.

Pulastya said:

6. After hearing them, he then went to Candra and told him to behave equally with all his daughters.

7. Then ashamed of himself Candra told Dakṣa that he would act as per his words and then after paying homage he asked Dakṣa to let him take leave.

8. As soon as Dakṣa left, Candra got back to his usual excessive involvement with Rohiṇī and continued with rejection of all those daughters born of Prajāpati.

9. Thus, being unhappy, they all went to Dakṣa again and told him that Candra had not fulfilled the words given to him.

10. They said: “We are unfortunate and tormented with sorrow. It is beyond doubt that death is the only way out for us than having such a life.”

Pulastya said:

11-12. Thus being angry, Dakṣa went to Candra and told him, “You have committed a sin by not honouring my words. Hence, undoubtedly you will have death by tuberculosis.” Giving such a curse, Dakṣa returned to his own place.

13-14. Subsequently by suffering from tuberculosis and the gradual spread of the same disease throughout his body, Candra became emaciated and bereft of his usual brightness. Then he began to deliberate telling himself, “What could then be my duty with such a difficult and cruel curse on me? Why should I not worship Śiva who fulfills all desires?”

15. Resolving like this and winning over anger, he then went to the peak of Arbuda and got sincerely engaged in performing austerities, offering oblations in sacrificial fire and muttering names of God.

16. Then after passage of years together, Mahādeva being pleased, appeared before him saying, “I have come to grant you a boon.”

God said:

17. Let there be your well being. You can ask for a boon cherished in your mind. I shall grant the same to you, O Candra, even if it may be very difficult to attain.

Candra said:

18. O best of Gods and the destroyer of the three worlds! Please kill my disease. O Lord of the world! Tuberculosis has spread throughout my body.

The God said:

19-21. O Candra, the tuberculosis in your body has been due to the curse of Dakṣa. Nothing can be done about the curse of this great soul. Hence, you adopt all those daughters as your own as per my words. By looking upon them with an equal mind your disease can be cured. During the waning period of moon your condition will deteriorate further while the waxing period will bring an increased aggravation of the same. You ask for a different boon desired in the mind even if that may be difficult to attain.

Candra said:

22-23. O Śaṃkara, a man who takes a bath on Monday with all devotion in the pool meant for Candra attains the ultimate status. O God of gods! let the ancestors of one offering balls of cooked rice here go to Heaven. Let this centre of pilgrimage, by your grace, bestow liberation on one.

The God said:

24. That will materialise completely for human beings in exchange for a bath here. As you have obtained radiance here, so there will arise purity through this centre of pilgrimage.

25. This place of pilgrimage accordingly will earn fame by the name Prabhāsa. The planet Soma will specially be available here on Monday.

26-27. Those humans who will have a bath here, will attain the highest status. Similarly, the observance of religious activity by human beings in memory of their ancestors (i.e., Śrāddha) and the offering of balls of cooked rice (i.e., Piṇḍa) will yield the same auspiciousness that comes by performing Śrāddha at Gayā. Hence it is the most desirable duty to make presents here keeping with fitness of the Soma planet.

Pulastya said:

28. Having said like this, the God having manifold forms disappeared from sight. Candra also keeping with the desire of Dakṣa began to treat all his daughters equally as wives as could be possible.

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