The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Origin of Mamu Lake (hrada) which is chapter 35 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-fifth chapter of the Arbuda-khanda of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 35 - Origin of Māmu Lake (hrada)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Pulastya said:

1. Then O best of kings! go to that centre of pilgrimage renowned as Māmu Lake [hrada] situated on the outskirt of the mountain which kills all sins.

2. A bath there by a human accompanied with desirable faith relieves him of the deeper sins of previous lives.

3. O king! there, on the Western side of the mountain is a worshipable Liṅga. The same—a fulfiller of all human desires, is founded there by a Brāhmaṇa named Mudgal [Mudgala].

4. If a human being takes bath in the Māmu Lake on the fourteenth day of the bright period of Moon in the Month of Phālguna i.e. February and takes a look of the Liṅga there, he/she obtains superiority and best result difficult even in all centers of pilgrimage.

5. One who performs the ceremony, connected with remembrance of forefathers, i.e., Śrāddha near the statue situated on the Southern direction, happens to get his forefathers inundated with pleasures which seem to have not happened before.

6. Eulogy of great sages and mendicants for making offering of gifts there is already there. O king! conduct of Śrāddha with edible leaves and fruits is a source of great contentment.

Yayāti said:

7. How could the manifested Māmu Lake as such derive its name in the first instance? What is the Mudgal [Mudgala] hermitage? Please narrate all methodically.

Pulastya said:

8. O king! in olden times, a Divine Messenger had come in a winged vehicle to Mudgal—the great soul residing there.

He said:

9. O virtuous Sage! this winged vehicle has been sent to you as per the orders of Indra—the King of gods. This is meant for you to ascend onto it and proceed to the Heavenly Kingdom.

Mudgala said:

10-11. O Messenger! please tell me the qualities and lacunas of Heaven as proclaimed to be. After hearing the same, I will act fittingly. O messenger! after your detailed description of all those, I shall proceed on my own.

The Divine Messenger said:

12. As per Indra’s words there has been enough of your arrogance. O best of Brāhmaṇas! by virtue of your earning enough of goodness, follow there as a result.

Mudgala said:

13. Without listening to those, I shall not go. This is my mental resolve for all certainty. I shall continue with my severe penance and keep worshipping Maheśvara—the great God.

The Messenger said:

14-24. The qualities of Heaven cannot be counted even in a hundred years. However, if this is your firm decision, I shall narrate them in brief. There are very beautiful and excellent forests in the Heaven which cause happiness in the mind. O good Brāhmaṇa! there are so many incomparable and unique enjoyments to give contentment in the Heaven. Hunger, thirst, lethargy and idleness do not prevail there. Divine beauties like Rambhā and chief among divine singers like Tumbura [Tumbara?] are there. Songs and dances enchant human beings there. O Sage—the bearer of wealth of penance! human beings stay in this way in the Heaven. The moment, goodness declines with them there, starts their downfall. O Sage! if one fault manifests itself in the Heaven, that leads to the ferocious downfall of the inmates of Heaven. O Brāhmaṇa! there is never any opportunity to earn goodness there. O Brāhmaṇa! this land is the place for work while Heaven is to be remembered as the place for enjoyment. The fruits of good work done here can only be enjoyed there. Hence look at the breathing beings enjoined with abundance of righteousness there on the winged vehicle. O good Brāhmaṇa! those with lesser volume of goodness in their favour remain always in state of sadness repenting in comparison to those having relatively brighter goodness. He or she keeps deliberating for not doing plenty of good deeds in the mortal world. This way seeing his own downfall from the Heaven in comparison to thousand others, he gets into more sadness within a faster way. I have narrated to you all these about qualities and faults and as these evolve. Now O Brāhmaṇa, engaged in the endeavour for attaining Heaven, do as you wish.

Mudgala said:

25-21. There is fear of downfall as well as that of abatement of goodness there. Henee O messenger! I shall never try for Heaven. You go back as per my orders and tell (Indra) the King of gods very clearly that I may be pardoned for ray mistake that I do not have any desire for the Heaven. I shall keep on doing the fitting work in which there is no fear of downfall. I shall persevere for a different world free from downfall.

Pulastya said:

28. Saying so, O best of kings! Mudgala disinterested in Heaven, continued to put up there keeping himself incessantly and devotedly engaged in meditation on Śiva.

29-31. Then after hearing the words of the messenger in details, Indra told him with a relatively higher equanimity, “O Divine Messenger! you have disproved the heavenly winged vehicle which has hardly been done by anyone before nor can anyone ever do so in the future. Therefore hurrying up, you go and bring the Sage by force, otherwise, I shall curse you beyond any doubt.

Pulastya said:

32. So hearing Indra, the Divine Messenger was taken over with fear. He left swiftly for the place where Mudgala was putting up.

33. Seeing the arrival of the occupied winged vehicle, Mudgal entered into the water in Māmu Lake.

34. The Messenger as it is, stunned with the words of the Sage as if they were written, was unable to walk.

35. Learning that it is too long since the Messenger left, Indra—the ruler of three directions, i.e., Heaven got very angry and seated on his bearer elephant Airvata [Airāvaṇa?] came there.

36. Then seeing the Messenger to be made immobile by Mudgala, he took out his thunderbolt and began to move it around in circles to kill him.

37. Coinciding with the time, a severe chaotic scene came up. The deer, the animals and the birds began to move in reverse direction. Witnessing all these, Mudgala began to worry and became astounded.

38. Seeing Indra coming in the sky with his thunderbolt raised in hand, Mudgala made him still and stationary like a pole by merely looking at him.

39-41. Then O good king! with his enthusiasm broken, Indra began taking to the series of hymns in praise of the Brāhmaṇa pleading “O best of Brāhmaṇa! please release me so that I can get back to the heaven. O Brāhmaṇa! stay either in the Heaven or in the mortal world according to your sweet will. All these efforts of mine have been made keeping in view your, i.e., the Sage’s welfare. O virtuous! ask for the boon that is always there in your mind. I shall grant all those to you even if those may be difficult to attain.”

Mudgala said:

42-46. This itself is an adorable boon for me that O King of gods! you have become visible before me. O Thousand-eyed! a vision of yours even in dream is difficult. However, O Killer of the demon Vrutra [Vṛtra?]! if you have decided to grant me a boon, let me then get liberation fast by your grace. After coming to this Māmu Lake, the Messenger spoke to me as I also did to him. That is how this Māmu Lake got its fame on the earth’s surface. Let this centre of pilgrimage, O Thousand-eyed! be the destroyer of all sins and O King of gods! a bath here yields one the divine passage by your grace. Let the offering of cooked balls of rice by one here yield the pleasure of forefathers.

Indra said:

47-49. This centre of pilgrimage named Māmu Lake will acquire fame by this name and O good Brāhmaṇa! there will be no doubt that it will be the highest among all centers of pilgrimage with my grace. Those who take a bath here on the full moon day in the Month of Phālguna, i.e, February with all earnestness will attain that ultimate passage. Offering of balls of cooked rice to forefathers (connected with religious activity of remembrance of forefathers i.e. Śrāddha) here will yield good results comparable to the fruits obtainable by the same such act at Gayā. O good Brāhmaṇa! the results of making good gifts here are countless.

Pulastya said:

50. Having said so and getting hold of his Messenger, Indra—the bearer of thunderbolt left for Heaven. Mudgala in turn continued to remain engaged in deliberating upon the Supreme Brahmā.

51. Observing meditation with all purity, Mudgala obtained undecaying liberation.

52. The great Nārada had sung the poem in praise of this episode. A congregation of a good number of Brāhmaṇas O king! had listened to this here in this mountain.

53. After taking a bath in the Māmu Lake and by following it up with taking a look of the godly Mudgala, a human being gets liberation after enjoying all desires. O king! it is due to this reason that the Māmu Lake is remembered.

54. It is heard to be the best among the centres of pilgrimage in the world. Hence with all care and earnestness, one needs to fulfill the religious ritual of having a bath here.

55. Those having a desire particularly to attain the ultimate state of liberation can obtain the same and be contented by visiting the hermitage of Candī here.

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