The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Desirability of sitting awake on the twelfth day to worship which is chapter 27 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 twenty-seventh chapter of the Dvaraka-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 27 - Desirability of sitting awake on the twelfth day to worship

Īśvara (Śiva) said:

1. Staying awake in the night in worship of Hari on the twelfth day of the month is the best yajña. It is a celebration that takes away all sorrows and bestows virtues on one. During the religious observance of this day men worship Hari and listen to the beautiful Bhāgvat. Such a good devotee reaps crore times the fruits of Vājapeya yajña. Cutting into pieces his chain of sins, he attains the temple of Kṛṣṇa.

2. One might have a collection of crimes onto oneself by committing murder. Similarly one might have indulged oneself in crores of petty/lowly enjoyments. One might have encircled himself by sins one lakh times by killing of teachers. However, if one listens to Bhāgvat [Bhāgavat] and undergoes the religious observance of staying awake for nights in worship of Hari, one tears apart all his sins/misdeeds. Becoming free from all sins, he gets blessed with a pure body. Becoming like Indra, that man enters the solar kingdom.

3. If the occurrence of the twelfth day meant for sitting awake throughout the night to worship Hari coincides with the eleventh day of the month and further the same day has conjuncture of the Śravaṇa star—a usual happening in the month of Bhādra, i.e. August-September as well as that of the son of Soma, i.e. moon (an epithet of the mercury planet) the great grandfathers of the religious observers of eleventh day get liberated from Hell.

4. Nothing is considered greater than the donations made for Lord Viṣṇu as well as for one’s forefathers on the auspicious twelfth day which is dear to Viṣṇu. Indeed such action on one’s part is comparable to the uplifted Meru mountain.

5. He who goes to the river Mahānadī as the twelfth day meant for Viṣṇu approaches and offers libations to forefathers after holding water in hands by joining them together in the shape of a cup and thereafter performs śrāddha, thousands of desires of their forefathers get accomplished and they remain contented.

6. O son (i.e. Skanda)! listen, the fruits that result for one by his seeking refuge of Brāhmaṇas as well as by his offering credits to them can be acquired by sitting awake for a night in the worship of Viṣṇu.

7. The fruits that result from making donation of cow studded with gold, a milched cow, a honeyed cow, skin of black buck, Meru-mountain-like heaps of silver and gold and by offer of gifts/presents to Brāhmaṇas can be obtained equally by sitting awake for a night in the worship of Viṣṇu.

8. O Ṣaṇmukha! fruits attending pursuit of truth, observance of purity, upholding abstemious mind, inculcation of qualities like generousity, charitableness and forgiveness and the ten Aśvamedha, yajñas involving high religious fees can be obtained by sitting awake for a night in the worship of Viṣṇu.

9. Fruits obtained by having a bath in the supremely worshipable river (i.e. Gaṅgā), by offering balls of cooked rice to one’s forefathers at Gayā in the religious observance of śrāddha and by donating gold at Kurukṣetra can be had by sitting awake for a night in the worship of Viṣṇu.

10. One might have committed ten thousand murders or one might have stolen innumerable gold. But by reading out the song accounting the glory of God while sitting awake for a night in worship of the gracious God, one can sound the death-knell for all such sins.

11.0 Ṣaṇmukha! those who have evicted sleep due to their being completely engrossed in the worship of God sitting awake throughout the night, dreams of road to the Yama world or his attendants or even of any other being never haunts them.

12. What is the use of repeated chanting of the wish-fulfilling Agnihotra mantra or any other such mantra wearing saffron robes and bearing a matted lock of hairs on the head by one when only sitting awake for a night in the worship of Kṛṣṇa on the twelfth day specifically laid down grants one with fulfillment of wealth, realisation of desires, a fully-awakened state of righteousness and the final liberation in the destructive Kaliyuga.

13. Nārada had stated all this earlier with all certainty to the son of Vinatā, i.e. Garuḍa as the most discernable object for one. He had said, “There is no other God greater than Kṛṣṇa and there is no day other than that meant for the worship of Kṛṣṇa to be fittingly pursued as a matter of religious vow.”

14. O gods! O Khagendra sage, O siddhas and other ascetics! Nārada has said so. Besides, with their hands raised up, the devotees have also stated that there is hardly any other day than the eleventh day so auspiciously meant for the worship of Kṛṣṇa to be followed as a matter of religious vow.

15. Addressing Garuḍa, Nārada has also said further that the sinners never pray to Hari and in the Kaliyuga, it is not possible to have people engaged in his devotion or in reading of the specific śāstra giving his accounts. The ignorants only observe the tenth day having the conjuncture of the eleventh day and foresake the auspicious day.

16. Those who follow such forbidden day to worship Murārī, always remain distressed, diseased, sinful and depressed. They act as the constant factor for ruination of their own clan. They invariably go to Hell.

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