The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Greatness of Krishna Tirtha which is chapter 34 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 thirty-fourth chapter of the Arbuda-khanda of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 34 - Greatness of Kṛṣṇa Tīrtha

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Pulastya said:

1. After that go to the Kṛṣṇa Tīrtha which is always dear to Kṛṣṇa. O king! Viṣṇu always remains close to it.

Yayāti said:

2. O virtuous Brāhmaṇa! how could this place of pilgrimage so-called after Kṛṣṇa come up and when did it come up? O Sage! please narrate this in detail to me.

Pulastya said:

3. When both the movable and the immobile met with great destruction due to lightning and storm then all the planetary bodies had also got ruined due to the’ same reason.

4. Then after passage of time-span of thousand years the enlightened and lotus-seated Brahmā began to deliberate all alone as to how could Creation materialize.

5. Then moving about here and there, the four-faced Brahmā saw the Supreme Soul of the Universe in the form of large-eyed and four-armed Viṣṇu, to be present in a far off distance.

6. Then the four-faced (Brahmā) told him, “From where have you come and how have you been made? For what purpose have you come here? Please tell me all in details.”

7-8. Then to tell him, Govinda keeping aside all deceit and mockery said, “I am the Supreme Soul since the beginning and you are also created by me. I am wishing to create four types of creatures.”

Pulastya said:

9-10. Then hearing these words of his, the great Father and God, i.e., Brahmā became very angry and mockingly repeated ‘the Supreme Soul statement’ once and again. He said, “O fool! I have only created you in the first place. There is no doubt about this and I can make thousands like you without any doubt.”

11. In this way, O king! the two with great brilliance remained mutually engaged in a verbal duel with each others eyes reddened with anger.

12. Pulling each other’s arms and clenching fists as well as bringing nails and teeth as under, the mutual fight between the two continued for thousands of years.

13. Then O good king! after a thousand years, appeared in the interval, a great worshipable Liṅga—celestial, bright and auspicious.

14-16. Coinciding with the time, a voice came from the incorporeal saying, “You, i.e., Brahmā as well as Viṣṇu, please disengage from war as per my command. This is the Liṅga of Great God. He who, from both of you can make it to its endpoint will without any doubt be the higher, powerful and the chief creator here. As per my orders let one of you proceed to the lower region while the other go to the higher/upward region.” Hearing this, Brahmā took recourse to the pathways of space swiftly.

17. Tearing apart the Earth, Kṛṣṇa went down and after penetrating down he reached the seventh lower region of the Earth, He—the great soul could see the ferocious fire supposed to come at the time of final destruction of Creation.

18. With desire to go there, as he speeded up in that direction, he got burnt up by the fire and his body became black.

19. After getting burnt up fast by fire and becoming unconscious with pain, when Viṣṇu came out, he attained that ultimate state when his body became devoid of any distinctive sign/quality.

20. Then O king! taking recourse to that worshipable Liṅga, Viṣṇu began to worship it with devotion reciting the series of the subtle hymns of praise as per the supreme utterances in the Veda.

21. Seated on his bearer Swan, Brahmā followed the path in the sky. But for thousand years, he could not reach his destination.

22-23. Then after a thousand years, he saw Ketakī coming before him in the path of sky, who happened to ask him, “O Brahmā! what for have you been roaming about in such a deserted place? Seeing a wise man like you moving about in a vacuum, I am having a great curiosity.”

Brahmā said:

24-26. O beautiful and fortunate lady! it has arisen from my contest with Viṣṇu as to who can reach the final limit of the worshipable Śiva Liṅga to finally get it. Between two of us one is relatively less while the other is better and more powerful. These are the words of Śiva after hearing which, I proceeded towards the higher regions while Viṣṇu has proceeded to the lower, i.e., nether world. After covering the entire circumference of the worshipable Liṅga, I shall return to the world.” After hearing these words of him, the flower (i.e., Ketakī) said:

27-30. O Brahmā, O Lord of the World! all efforts will be vain for I am yet to comprehend the final limit of the worshipable Liṅga, despite my passage for thousands of years constituting a major period of the Creation by remaining on top of it. After falling down from the top of the worshipable Liṅga, I kept reciting the hymns in praise of Lord Śaṃkara, O Lord of great radiance. But I could never get to the bottom of the world. I travel hundred times the distance that is 8 miles that you take to move on the back of your Swan. Hence basing yourself firmly on what have I said you go and citing me as a proof vindicate your point having greater power in comparison to Viṣṇu.”

31. Then with all happiness and carrying that (flower) the four-faced, i.e., Brahmā appeared again on the surface of the Earth after a thousand years to show it to Viṣṇu as proof of being there above the worshipable Liṅga.

Brahmā said:

32. I have got this white garland O Four-armed (i.e., Viṣṇu), after making it to the ultimate point. O best of the male force! do not tell me a lie as to whether you have got it or not.

Viṣṇu said:

33-35. O Brahmā! I could never succeed in crossing over the limitless limit of Śaṃkara. Brahmā! if at all you have succeeded in crossing over the boundary, Maheśvara—the God of Gods must certainly have been pleased by that. The boundary in no other way than this has ever been seen by anyone else. Therefore you—the elder have become the superior and better.

Pulastya said:

36. In the meantime, the God having bull as His insignia (in other words the God Śiva) got angry instantaneously, O great king! with Brahmā.

37-40. Then coming before his eyes (i.e., sight) to condemn such childishness he said, “How could you fare such a thing falsely and uncautiously. For this untrue statement of yours to have seen my complete stretch over Creation, you can never be worthy of worship of all classes. Those men who worship you, unaware of this, will get difficulties of highest order with themselves getting completely destroyed. As whatever you said has been impelled by the wickedness of Ketakī, hence anything you touch in the world will become severely inferior.

41. After giving such a curse, the great God then spoke to Keśava (the other name of Viṣṇu) being pleased with him and with a smiling face.

42. The God said, “O strong and powerful Vāsudeva! (another name of Viṣṇu) I am pleased with your great mind speaking the truth. You can ask for a boon for your following the resolution in a good manner.”

43-44. Śrī Vāsudeva said “Your, i.e., the great God’s appreciation of mine as well as being pleased with me, is itself a boon. O God! you can never be pleased with one having no credit of goodness for oneself nor can you be so pleased. However, O God of gods! if you still have to give me a boon then let this so-called and ever eternal Liṅga get little smaller in size and spread across the happening world to make the expansive Creation just indicative of your universal mind.”

Pulastya said:

45-48. After that having made that procreative Liṅga shorter and bearing it, the great God said, “O Hari (another name of Viṣṇu)! listen to these words of mine. O Hari! place this Liṅga of mine in sacred places. Worshipping it as per laid down procedure will result in highest welfare of yours. You had got burnt up and got blackened by the heat erupted out of me. Hence you will be renowned in the world by the name Kṛṣṇa. Any human being who after getting up in the morning, sings your name as O Kṛṣṇa! O Kṛṣṇa! with all faith, will attain the supreme passage”

Pulastya said:

49. Having said like this Iśan [Īśāna?] (the other name of Śiva) disappeared. Carrying that Liṅga, Vāsudeva arrived on the Arbuda mountain and placed it in a mountain’s brook having good and clean water.

50. That is how got born the centre of pilgrimage known as Kṛṣṇa pilgrimage on the surface of earth. Now O prominent man on earth! listen to the fruits of taking a bath there.

51. Taking a bath in the Kṛṣṇa lake and after that having a look of that worshipable Liṅga results fittingly in accrual of well-being for mortals equal to the results of all pilgrimages together.

52. Those who make charities without being attended with desire can derive results. Even those with desires, happen to derive results difficult to attain.

53. Therefore, one needs to undergo the religious ritual of taking a bath here with earnest efforts. One having a desire for incessant welfare must do it without giving heed to any other activity.

54-55. O the winner over senses! one who remaining awake throughout the night and observing fasting pays homage to the worshipable Liṅga with all faith and devotion and observes the Śrāddha in the following morning, enables emancipation of all those learned in righteous conduct as well as of one’s own forefathers.

56. Any mortal being who makes offering of black sesame to Brāhmaṇas here is certain to get free from the sin of Brahmanicide etc.

57. O King of kings! taking a look of the worshipable Liṅga here at the Kṛṣṇa Tīrtha absolves a man of all sins and there is no need for thinking about any other action in this regard.

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