by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Rishi Tirtha: The eminence of Siddheshvara which is chapter 15 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 fifteenth chapter of the Dvaraka-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
2. Seeing the young prince (i.e. Sanaka) falling down on his feet to offer obeisance, Brahmā then held him up in his arms and embraced him.
3. Then Brahmā enquired about his health and everything about his welfare. He in turn, replied saying that he as well as others were fortunate enough to worship him (i.e. Brahmā) and other gods.
4-6. (Brahmā said) “You people have already attained complete accomplishment by virtue of a look of God. But my son, due to being young, your understanding is yet to be fully grown and you all continue to be ignorant. Keśava cannot be pleased without worshipping Mahādeva. Hari does not accept prayers if Nīlakaṇṭha (an epithet of Śiva) remains unworshipped before hand. Hence with all efforts try to worship the dark-blue (Nīlalohita) God (i.e. Śiva). By this only, the worship of Kṛṣṇa obtains a completion.” The sons of Brahmā then left after hearing these words of him.
8. The virtuous sages! after placing the Śivaliṅga, all the sages then began to keep themselves unwaveringly engaged in a vow in their minds to create a well there for taking bath.
9. Then seeing the well full of clean and nectar-like water, the sages became very happy and said “well done, well done”.
10-28. O Brāhmaṇas! seeing the Śivaliṅga as founded by his sons, the grandfather of gods (i.e. Brahmā) became pleased and then told them, “As the foundation of the Śivaliṅga here has been possible by all of your persistent yoga, it will acquire fame in the world by the name of Siddheśvara. As you have built up a well near the God having a dark-coloured neck (i.e. Śiva), it will therefore have its fame in the world as Ṛṣi Tīrtha. O the foremost Brāhmaṇas! one can be free from debts to his forefathers by simply taking a bath here devotedly even without performance of śrāddha or making libations of water to them or giving charities. Even the liars and those having a constant habit of reproaching others will get purified beyond doubt by a mere bath at the Ṛṣi Tīrtha. O the virtuous Brāhmaṇas! it will be auspicious to have a bath here on the equinox day (i.e. when the sun enters the zodiac signs of Aries or Librā) on the day of Manwa and in the month of Māgha (i.e. Januaiy-February) on the specific day considered as belonging to Kṛtayuga. What to speak about him who remains here on the forefront of the Śivaliṅga on that particular fourteenth day of the dark period of the moon in the month of Māgha, considered dearer to Lord Śiva and takes a bath in the Ṛṣi Tīrtha. The Brāhmaṇas, he will attain that position of accomplishment which is given the name as Supreme. The greatly fortunate ones! therefore go there and after that carrying a fruit as well as the sacred grass (i.e. Kuśa) in hand, offer the same as per prescribed procedure while worshipping and saying “Please accept the offerings made as part of the worship.” After making the same offerings as part of worship at Siddheśvara that snatches away all sins and in the contiguity of which is situated the Ṛṣi Tīrtha, get your bodies annointed with mud and take a bath there with all earnestness. Then make libations of water to forefathers, gods and other human beings as per sequential order. Then perform śrāddha for forefathers attended with due regard and faith. Make donations especially of wealth there without the slightest sense of deceit. Offer juicy fruits in particular. Donate mattresses, rice grown on fields without specially being cultivated for that purpose and flour made of seven grains and added with jaggery. A man can be gratified by offering perfumes, garlands, betel leaves, clothes as well as drinks all-together. The mortal life becomes successful by worshipping the Siddheśvara Mahādeva arid the husband of Umā. Even life taking shape in the germinating stage of foetus remains in tact. The faṃer as well as the grandfather of one remain pleased by his taking a bath at Ṛṣi Tīrtha and thereafter, following it up with taking a look of Siddheśvara Śiva. By prayers made for Siddheśvara and the resultant grace of him, men without children get blessed with the same while those having children get grandchildren. Even the poor become wealthy and rich. Evil deeds meet with destruction while good deeds tend to grow. The love of the leader of accomplishment (i.e. Siddheśvara) results in fulfillment of all desires of the mind. All desires of a man fructify by taking a bath at Ṛṣi Tīrtha followed up with having a look of Siddheśvara Hara. Hence there is no need for deliberating on any other means towards realization of one’s aspirations and desires. One has to worship Siddheśa (i.e. Siddheśvara) on that fourteenth day coinciding the darker period of moon in the month of Māgha, i.e. January-February in particular which is dearer to Śiva. This grants without any doubt the fulfillment of those desires that the mind specifically desires for. By this a man becomes like a Lord of Cintāmaṇi (i.e. the possessor of that specific jewel which fulfills the desires asked from it) and gets bestowed with inexhaustible wealth. By listening to this account as eclipser of all sins or by keeping one’s mind unflinchingly occupied with this account within with earnest faith, a man can make a move towards the ultimate position.