by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Eminence of Kulasantavana [Kulasamtarana?] Tirtha which is chapter 48 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-eighth chapter of the Arbuda-khanda of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
1. Then follow the pilgrimage by visiting that known for its enabling all members of one’s lineage to successfully cross over the worldly life. A bath here helps the same.
2. Observance of the action/ritual of making gifts here by a man with due faith leads to the release of his previous ten generations as well as of his ten forthcoming generations in the future, the best of kings.
3. In olden time there was a king by name Aprastuto [Aprastuta?] who was fond of sins. Neither did he make any charity nor did he engage himself in the pursuit of knowledge or meditation. He never used to do any good work.
4. People were hardly happy during his reign. His interest was always in others’ wives and in meeting out severe punishments to others.
5. He used to acquire wealth by both just and unjust means. He also used to kill both the sinners and the non-sinners.
6. In course of time old age dawned on him. However he did not sober down. Then his forefathers exhorted him saying he was only giving effect to the sorrows of Hell by remaining unawakened.
His Forefathers said:
7-9. Following good dealings, we have always remained intent followers of religious righteousness. Inclined to make offering through charities, performance of Yajña and penance, we uninterruptedly observe the principle of generosity. By our own deeds we have got the Heavenly Kingdom. But the same is getting shattered by you as a black sheep. As a bad son, you are giving effect to the advent of Hell for us. Hence, you must at least perform something good and adorable. Otherwise all our good deeds cannot be saved. Your evil deeds have already made Hell to be our abode. Side by side the same fate awaits the next ten coming generations of ours.
10. Saying like this, all the forefathers extremely depressed as they were left for Hell presuming the same to have been obtained by them. But the king got awakened.
11. Then remembering the words of his forefathers he became very distressed and began to cry aloud after getting up early in the morning. His wife began to say:
12. Indumati said, “What for are you crying aloud, the powerful king? Is everything fine with your body and your kingdom and your palace?”
13-16. The King said, “O queen! just now and at the end of my dream, I saw my father and grandfather to be unhappy. Alongwith them I also saw my forefathers in a similar state. My deeds have been visualized to have harmed them. My remaining active in unrighteous deeds has yielded the painful hell for them. This will also be the fate for another ten future in-coming generations. Hence by virtue of good deeds I have to draw them out of such downfall. I awoke by my forefathers saying so. I am sad by remembering such words of theirs within.”
17-19. The king, whatever the grandfathers et. al. have stated are true. I cannot remember you to have done anything good in the past. O king! like enabling forefathers to crossover (the worldly life) gets actuated by good sons, spoilt sons get them the passage to Hell and there is no doubt about this. Hence, you send for the prominent Brāhmaṇas and those adept in religious scriptures and after consulting them do the desirably best in which lies the welfare of forefathers.
20. Then the king invited several Brāhmaṇas adept in both the Veda or in parts of it and those enlightened in religious knowledge and began to entreat them with all humility along with his wife.
21. The king asked, “O best of Brāhmaṇas! please describe with all clarity as to how one’s forefathers already in the Hell can successfully cross it over to reach Heaven by fitting deeds as a good son.”
22. The Brāhmaṇas said, “O king! with the performance of Pitrumedha [Pitṛmedha?] Yajña (i.e., the Śrāddha ceremony connected with remembrance of one’s forefathers) as per due religious procedure (by a son) forefathers, even of those committing sins, obtain the passage to Heaven.”
23. The king said, “O Brāhmaṇas! (please) give me the necessary instructions by which I can fulfill the resolve taken up in mind for the same. Whatever duties that may be required on my part for that purpose and to be followed serially, please speak out.”
24. As the king said like this to the Brāhmaṇas—the adherents of truth, they explained to him the necessary details and about the rituals of yajñas in totality.
25-29. (They, i.e., the Brāhmaṇas said): The best of kings, first of all, you need to acquaint yourself with the lessons (of Veda) in this regard and have to adopt yourself to the same completely. By this your body will be purified and become desirably fit for the same. You, the king, have embraced evil deeds since childhood and have committed innumerable sins. Hence, you engage yourself in pilgrimages. With the sprinkling of water on yourself through a bath in all centres of pilgrimage and the attended repentance, you, the king can be virtuous and fit to perform yajña. There is no other way than this. You go to all centres of pilgrimage including the one by name Prabhāsa on the surface of Earth. After visiting all such places of pilgrimage, have a bath everywhere with good faith. With heart within visit the centres of pilgrimage accompanied with making offering of gifts/presents there. Whatever bad deeds, get destroyed by this with the arousal of the perception of Brahmā within. O king! without the observance of ritual of taking a bath through pilgrimage, no fruit accruing to bad deeds of men can be destroyed.
30. After listening to the Brāhmaṇas, the king began to get inclination towards faith. With a keenness for pilgrimage, he began to take a round of such places on Earth.
31. Having food as per need, he began to make charities in plenty. Giving due/rightful place to children of subjects in the kingdom, he began to pursue the all powerful truth.
32. In course of time and during the course of pursuit of pilgrimage, the king reached the pool with clean water on the Arbuda mountain.
33-34. With devotion within he underwent the ritual of bath there. And as soon as he took the bath there, he became free from the sin of bringing the tormenting Hell for his forefathers and became very happy. Embellished with beautiful garlands, his forefathers began to ascend onto the divine airplanes.
35-37. Then the forefathers said, “O son! you have enabled us to cross over the worldly life through your pilgrimages. Not only we, the same will be the case with the ten forthcoming generations due to the effect of your pilgrimages. O best of the earthly beings! by the very activity of taking bath as well as by making offering of water, you have also taken your own self successfully across (the worldly existence). By virtue of your pilgrimage, you have taken our entire clan across as well. Henceforth this centre of pilgrimage will be known as ‘Kulasantāvana [Kulasaṃtāraṇa?]’. Now you also leave for Heaven along with us. You can accompany ūs with your body due to the effect of the pilgrimages.”
38. After the completion of dialogues (between both the sides) in this manner, the king then got onto the airplane and went to Heaven along with them (i.e., his forefathers).
39. I have narrated to you, the royal Sage, the influence of ‘Kulasantāvana [Kulasaṃtāraṇa?]’. I have described you the normal influence that this (the place of pilgrimage) bears on itself. Now if you have anything to ask, please go ahead.
40. By virtue of which influence could the king attributed with sins go to Heaven along with his body at the end? I have a great curiosity in this regard.
41. On the Full Moon day of Somvati [rākāsomavyatīpāta?] coinciding the time when Moon remains in the most chaotic state, the king had undertaken the religious ritual of bathing here by virtue of which welfare and wellbeing accrued to him.