by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Greatness of the Hermitage of Gautama which is chapter 47 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 forty-seventh chapter of the Arbuda-khanda of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
2. In ancient time, there was a highly religious Sage named Gautama. With faith and devotion, he had worshipped the God of gods, Maheśvara.
3. O king! as a result of his devoted worship, a huge worshipable Liṅga of the supreme Maheśvara erupted piercing out of the surface of Earth.
4. In coincidence with the same, an incorporeal voice was heard from the above saying, “As a result of your devoted worship the big worshipable Liṅga has come into presence. You may ask for the conducive boon that is persisting in your mind.”
5~6. Gautama said, “Let it be one of your volitions Śaṃbhu, the Lord of the World, to remain always close to this hermitage, if you are pleased with my devotion, O Lord. May those who look at you here with all truthfulness of devotion, go to the world of Brahmā.”
7. The voice from above said, “One coming here to take a look of me on the fourteenth day in the waning period of Moon in the month of Māgha (i.e., January) will obtain the ultimate passage, the best of Brāhmaṇas.”
8. O king! having said like this, the voice went into abeyance
i.e. stopped and the pool there got filled with sacred water. By fulfiling the religious ritual of taking a bath there, a man always facilitates the members of his entire clan cross over the worldly river.
10. The Sages have sung the glory of making offer of sesame here. The king, it is said that a man is entitled to a stay of equivalent number of years in the heaven matching the number of the sesame made in the offering.
11. Jupiter remains on transit in the Zodiac sign of Leo on the New Moon day falling specially on Monday during the pilgrimage of the hermitage of Gautama. Availing the opportunity of a bath here especially on that Monday results in obtaining the same result as that of the twelfth bath in the river Godāvarī.
12. The outcome of the ritual performance of taking bath in the Bhagīrath [Bhagīratha?] river for sixty thousand years gets accomplished by a single bath here in Godāvarī river on the day when Jupiter transits in the Zodiac sign of Leo.