The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes The breaking of ego of Rukmi and the servants of God which is chapter 17 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 seventeenth chapter of the Dvaraka-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 17 - The breaking of ego of Rukmi and the servants of God

Prahlāda said:

1. So get yourselves sprinkled with the water or have a bath at tīrthas and make donations/charities as stated. Worship the God Kṛṣṇa who is the ultimate/supreme manifestation of masculinity.

The Sages said:

2-4. “The virtuous demon! we desire to hear about the ways of worshipping Kṛṣṇa in the whole. Please tell us about the ways to adopt. Who are the door-keepers there to the abode of Kṛṣṇa? Who are there on the front as well as in the rear? O demon king! Who is it that protecting and defending the palace (of Kṛṣṇa) from all sides? Please tell us the details to be followed and as per prescribed procedure with regard to worship of Kṛṣṇa? In any case, you are so fond of the feet of Kṛṣṇa. Hence, you are aware of the ways of worshipping him. Therefore, please tell us.”

Śrī Prahlāda said:

5. O Brāhmaṇas! you all must have heard about ways of worshipping Kṛṣṇa as have been spoken about before. I shall describe you the procedure regarding the same in the Kaliyuga.

6. Listen carefully about the God situated at the door on the Eastern side of the Kṛṣṇa temple. He is Jayanta and is to be worshipped at the first instance. He is auspicious as far as doing away with the sins is concerned.

7. O the virtuous Brāhmaṇas! Indra at the first instance founded the idol of Jayanta for the purpose of worship of Keśava. I am going to describe about his followers.

8-9. Bajranābha [Vajranābha?], Sunābha, Bajrabāhu [Vajrabāhu?], Mahāhanu, Bajradrasta [Vajradaṃṣṭra?], Bajradhārī [Vajradhārin?], Bajraha [Vajrahan?], Bajralocana [Vajralocana?], Śveta murdhā [Śvetamūrdhā/Śvetamūrdhan?], Śvetamālī [Śvetamālin?] are all the followers of Jayanta. Bearing arms in their hands, they all defend him day and night.

10. They assist Jayanta in compliance of his directions at the door on the eastern side of his palace. Vināyaka is their master on the same side supervising Jayanta’s security needs.

11-12. The Sun with its ever-manifest bright rays, the seven-mother Goddess, Īśvara, Durvāsā, Takṣaka—the king of Nāgas are placed there. Senānī, Kārtikeya and the demons Mahāhanu as well as the Dīrgha Nakho [Dīrghanakha?] are also well-placed there.

13. Viśvavasu [Viśvāvasu?], Gandharva, divine beauties including Menakā and the sage of Gods Vasiṣṭha are also present there along with Sanaka.

14. On the East, one has to worship all of them. After this as one heads ahead, he will come across a big banyan tree. Now listen from me about the Āgneya direction, i.e. the South-east.

15. Here Kṛṣṇa is visible in a form with face emitting excessive brightness and eyes red and bloodshot. Eating meat and drinking blood, Kṛṣṇa here bears black matted hair and his abode is stated to be a cemetery.

16. Excessively fearsome tormentors are placed in the Āgneya (i.e. South-east) direction. Now listen about them bearing arms in hands and defending the Southern direction.

17-24. Dandapāṇi [Daṇḍapāṇi?], Mahānāda, Pāśahasta, Sulocana, Anibatyakrama [Anivartyakrama?—anivartyakramaścaiva] as well as Dundubhi and Niswana [Nisvana?] are there in the Southern direction. Kharswana [Kharasvana?], Ghangharvāk [Ghargharavāk], Mounapriya [Maunapriya?] and Mallikākṣa are the efficient door-keepers here. There are Dundubhi, Vināyaka, the radiant Mahiṣa, the sun, Bhuṣana [Bhūṣaṇa?] and Īśvara to efficiently defend the Southern front. The Goddess Candīkā [Caṇḍikā?], the demon Padmākṣa, the Kṣetrapāla and the Nāga Aśvastasa [Aśvatara?] are also there. The Gandharvas named Citrāṅgadā and Urvaśī—the best of the divine beauties [i.e., Apsaras?] are there. The great among the trees and their king, the tall and stately Śāla is also there. The eternal and best of the sages Agastya known for his austerity is also there and all of them together and with due care and caution, protect and defend the Southern front. There are singing and dancing belles there making movements with their eyes, eyelids with all pleasure. At the same time they appear as if making a mockery of themselves appearing like naked, i.e. skinned hens to be dearly offered to the fire to get burnt. O Brāhmaṇas! with abundance of maces and arms in their hands, the God’s security is strongly entrenched there. They also equally defend the South-west direction with all promptness. Next comes the Western front.

25-29. Svāstika [Svastika], Śaṅkhamurdhā [Śaṅkhamūrdhan?], Nīlavāsā [Nīlavāsas?], Śubhānana, Pāśahasta, Śūlahasta and Ekpādekalocana [=ekapādaikalocanaḥ] are visible here. Vināyaka having flowers on his denticle is also there on the Western direction. There are also Uddhava, the sun with its bright rays, Indra and the invincible God Śiva are also there. The Gandharva named Tumbaru, the prominent divine beauty named Ghṛtācī, the king of the Nāgas called Mahodara and the demon Ghaṭotkaca are also there. The demon named Pañcajana and the sage Kāśyapa [Kaśyapa?] are there. The Goddess named Kapālinī and the great holy Aswattha [Aśvattha?], i.e. the fig tree are also there. Kapila and Kṣetrapāla always eager to retaliate defend the same direction. After saluting one has to worship (all of them). Now listen about the Vāyavya, i.e. the North-West quarter.

30-36. One can see Bhanjana [Bhañjana?], Bhairava, Kālika, Ghaṭodara, Jhañjhakāmardana, Pingo [Piṅga?], Ruru, [+Sarvabhuj?] and Vraṇī here equipped with arms in hands to retaliate. In this way surrounded well from sides the God is guarded and protected. O the master Brāhmaṇas! Vināyaka Śyāmala is on the northern quarters. Besides, the Lord is guarded on the northern front by Manwantaka [Manvantaka?], Vīrupākṣa [Virūpākṣa?], Golaka, Sveta Sampluta and Unmatta. In the centre, the sun, Maheśvara—the Lord of Indra, the Goddess Kaṇṭheśvarī and the bird Khañjana are the defenders. Besides Vāsukī—the king of Nāgas [i.e., Nāgarāja], the foremost sage Sanaka and the demons, viz. Karmapṛstho [Kūrmapṛṣṭha?] and Golako [Golaka?] are there in this quarter. The Gandharva named Nārada, the divine beauty Rambhā and the great banyan tree are also there. One has to worship all of them with due care. The Lord of YakṣaSavitā is there. Worship Śyāmā there with due efforts. O the master Brāhmaṇas! now I am going to tell you about all those placed in the north-east direction.

37-45. Durdhara, Bhairavrāva, the very strong Kinkiṇīka [Kiṅkiṇīka?], [+Mahābala?], Karāla, Vikaṭa, Mula [Mūla?], Balibhukta [Balibhuj?] and Balapriya are there (in the north-eastern side). O Brāhmaṇas! along with all these guardians of the region accompanied by their wives, there is their leader, their lord and overall guardian Jayanta also present there. They help in checking/subduing the invaders and that way protect the inhabitants of the city. Following the commands of Jayanta they strike down the wicked and the vicious. Jayanta is always their master and protector with the place occupied by Nāgas. Surrounded by Nāga kings he is worthy of worship with all care and endeavour. As carnivorous, they are fond of meat. They defend the Northeast quarter. The thousand-headed celestial being Śeṣanāga is present here in the place occupied by Nāgas. The eternal Vāsukī, Takṣaka and Padma are also present here in this direction. Śaṅkha, Kambalaka, the Nāga Aśvatara as well as Muktaka and Kāliya are present here. Besides Janaka and Aparājita are there. There are also thousands of Nāgas here having faces similar to cucumber. They are all worshipable with perfume, flowers, sacrifices as well as with lighting of incense sticks and earthen lamps. Worship them by offering rice cooked with milk and sugar. Offer meat, varieties of grains and intoxicating beverages. After them worship Jayanta—the leader of them as defenders by perfume, flowers, by lighting incense sticks and by making presents of clothes as well as ornaments. O the foremost Brāhmaṇas! after this go near Kṛṣṇa whom Devakī happened to rear up as her son. Before this, worship the chief of his followers named Rukmi first of all.

46. The sages said, “How could that wicked and king of the demons Rukmi be possible? And for that matter how could he be positioned before the door of the God evoking worship of humans every time?”

Śrī Prahlāda said:

47-50. When the king Bhiṣmaka [Bhīṣmaka?] tied up Rukmiṇī in a marital bond with Kṛṣṇa, then Caiddya [Caidya?] (i.e. Śiśupāla) got angry and took Rukmiṇī away somewhere else. Then the God seized Rukmiṇī from the abode of Ambikā and retaliating through battle he made all including the sovereign Jarāsandha to flee. Then the powerful son of Bhīṣmaka, i.e. Rukmi resolved in his mind that he would not return till he killed the Yādava in a battle. Then O Brāhmaṇas! after making all the kings apprised of such a vow of him, he then stepped out, equipped with arms and weapons to fight. With a well-equipped army he then fought with Kṛṣṇa, but got defeated and killed by Kṛṣṇa. After killing him, the God made him to have an ugly appearance. But then Balarāma released him from the bondage. After that he made up his mind to die. Seeing her brother determined to die, Rukmiṇī—the daughter of the king of Vaidarbha (i.e. Vaidarbhī) asked Kṛṣṇa to get her brother back. Then after cajoling his dear Rukmiṇī, Janārdana made one of his best followers as Vighnanāśaka (i.e. destroyer of all impediments). O Brāhmaṇas! it is due to this reason that he is worshipped at the outset. His pleasure can be earned by worshipping him with offerings of perfume, unbroken grains, laddoos [Modaka?] and with lighting of incense sticks. There is no other way than this to please the Lord of world.

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