The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Eminence of Dvaraka—as per attendants of Vishnu which is chapter 32 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 thirty-second chapter of the Dvaraka-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 32 - Eminence of Dvārakā—as per attendants of Viṣṇu

Prāhlāda said:

1. To offer his homage to the favourite city of Han, Nārada then went ahead and with all happiness and politeness made the following utterances in honour of the Dvārakā city.

Śrī Nārada said:

2-20. Look, the great fortunate soul! your brightness has further got added up with all centres of pilgrimage, gods as well as sages having come close to you. Look at Prayāga there before you with other centres of pilgimage [pilgrimage].

O Dvārakā! it has fallen flat at your feet on the ground showing faith of a wonderful kind. There is the Puṣkara centre of pilgrimage offering its homage which in itself is an auspicious sign. There is also the holy Gautamī to which all centres of pilgrimage have taken resort to. Coinciding with the transit of Guru, i.e. the planet Jupiter through the zodiac sign of Leo in the month of Bhādra, i.e. August-September, a great fortune has dawned on her, i.e. Gautamī. But due to her getting polluted through bad people having taken bath in her waters, she has been excessively burnt up with the fire of sins. Apprised of her way-out of this by the sages and as per their worthy words, she has come here with the noble wish to get relieved of her predicament.

O Dvārakā! the divine and holy Gautamī is paying her reverence to you. You can also behold the highly holy and auspicious Bhāgīrathī before you. Showing their happiness once and again, they are offering reverences at your feet. You can also look at the beautiful Narmadā making salutation at your feet. Look at Yamunā, Candrabhāgā, Prācī, Sarasvatī, Sarayu [Sarayū?] and Gandakī [Gaṇḍakī?]. Also have a look at the rivers those flow on the eastern side of Gomatī which are present there at the same time. Rivers like Soṇa [Śoṇa?], Sindhu as well as other prominent rivers have remained present there equally. Kṛṣṇā, Bhimrathī and the holy Kāverī are among the other prominent rivers present there. Rivers like Sītā, Cakṣyu [Cakṣus/Cakṣurnadī?], Bhadrā are offering their salutations at your lotus-feet.

O Dvārakā! even all those highly holier rivers stated to have originated in the seven islands are also keenly offering their salutations to you. The highly holy Mandākinī has come there before you along with Bhagavatī. You can also see Vārāṇasī—the giver of liberation to be present before you with all sobriety. With all devotion they have bowed down with their heads at your feet. The greatly holy Kurukṣetra has also been offering its salutation day and night to you.

O Dvārakā! look at Mathurā offering reverence atyour feet. Ayodhyā, Avantikā as well as Māyāpuri [Māyāpurī?] are offering their salutations at your lotus-feet. Kāñcī, Gayā, Viśālā as well as Virajā have fallen flat on the ground to offer their reverences to you. The great holy region like Śāligrāma is also there at your feet offering its obeisance. The sacred centres like Prabhāsa and Puruṣottama are present there before you.

O beautiful Dvārakā! Bhārgavādi [?bhārgavādīni] as well as all other holy regions awakened with devotion are offering their salutations to you repeatedly. See also the seven seas bowing down before you. Look also at all the forests, where the sages put up for a short while, making their salutations to the. city, i.e. Dvārakā. Have a look that forests named Dhanuṣka, Daśāraṇya, Daṇḍakāraṇya and Arbuda, and the hermitage named Nārāyaṇāśrama are equally offering their reverences to Dvārakā. There are also thousands of mountains like Meru, Kailāsa, Mandāra, Himādri, Vindhya, Śrī Śaila, etc. present here with great happiness. All of these in the pursuit of their happiness are making salutations to you again and again. Gaṅgā, etc., the seas and the mountains are dancing in front of you. All the sages as well as gods are also taking your name aloud.

Śrī Prahlāda said:

21-28. After his (i.e. Nārada’s) saying like this, Dvārakā got pleased in mind. Seeing all dancing in pleasure, Dvārakā embraced them quite lovingly. Then touching Gautamī by her hands she spoke to her quite endearingly. She also spoke to Bhāgīrathī, Prayāga and all other centres of pilgrimage. All got happy as a result of Dvārakā’s sweet dialogue..In the meantime something quite unusually astonishing happened there which enhanced happiness of everyone.

Reverberating sounds combining songs, music and resonances of “hail you” “hail you” from above the sky happened. Echoes with distinct utterances of the holy word “Hari” were made.

Everyone then happened to have a glimpse of all gods including their leader Brahmā. The Lord Maheśa could be visible with his other half, i.e. Pārvatī as well as with his other manifestations. Indra—the ruler of three directions was also visible along with his other halves in the form of Yakṣas, Gandharvas and Kinnaras. The God of wind, i.e. Marūta as well as the guardians of the different quarters of the world could be seen dancing with profound happiness. Siddhas, the Vidyādharas, Vasu, Āditya, i.e. the Sun along with planets, Bhṛgu, Sanaka, i.e. son of Brahmā, etc. could be seen to be dancing equally with heightened happiness. The gods from seven heavens were also making their salutation to Brahmā with all pleasure. Bewildered with happiness in themselves, Brahmā, Īśān [Īśāna?], i.e. Śiva and Viṣṇu looked at one another with astonishment and then told Dvārakā.

The gods said:

29-31. It is the same Goddess called Dvārakā where flows the Gomatī. It is the same auspicious place where God Kṛṣṇa abides. It is the best among all regions. It is the best of all centres of pilgrimage. On land, Dvārakā shines in a greater manner than the heaven. It is the same Cakratīrtha for the stones here (i.e. at Dvārakā) bear the impressions of the discus of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. It is a giver of liberation to the sinners in the world. It is also equally worshipped by people from foreign lands.

Prahlāda said:

32-38. Seeing Brahmā, etc. arriving there Nārada, etc. got struck with wonder. Various regions, the main centres of pilgrimage, prominent holy rivers also got surprised. All of them as descended on the earth over and through ages took their turn to offer salutations. O the foremost Brāhmaṇas! seeing the mind captivating procession of Brahmā, etc., as well as of centres of pilgrimage towards Dvārakā, all its (i.e.’ Dvārakā’s) inhabitants got wonderstruck. All gods were too happy to notice that each temple at Dvārakā was resonating with sounds of song accompanied by musical instruments. Noticing Dvārakā in such a state, Brahmā and Maheśa became mentally satisfied and began to utter words in its praise postulating that the city is very dear to Kṛṣṇa. Getting down from their carriers, both the foremost gods then offered their reverences falling flat on the ground.

With all happiness both the gods then said in honour of Dvārakā, “O Dvārakā! you are the best/paramount amongst all of us as the immortal Viṣṇu never gave you up. Hence, you please help us to have a look of God Kṛṣṇa and the annihilator of Kaṃsa. Great accomplishment on all our part will materialize by such a sight only.”

Prahlāda said:

39-54. After the God’s saying so the Goddess-like Dvārakā then took leave of the gods along with all other centres of pilgrimage. Rewarded as it is, both Brahmā and Siva remained happy witnessing such a great celebration. On her part, Dvārakā was in a state of bewildered happiness with gifts in her hands in the form of songs accompanied by musical instruments, fluttering of flags on its top and holiness.

She then told the gods, “O gods! just take note of. The fruits of liberation that are obtained by having a pious look of the Lord of Dvārakā cannot at all be possible even in thousands of universes.”

After that gods accompanied by all centres of pilgrimage took a look of the idol of Kṛṣṇa—the destroyer of all hardships and which had its face towards the west. All of them, as descended upon the earth through ages, offered their reverences and happiness of the highest order appeared on them. Singing with musical instruments and making proclamations hailing the God, i.e. Kṛṣṇa, all of them kept on dancing. Along with voices of hailing the God, they were equally uttering the word Namaḥ (i.e. obeisance) and repeatatively taking the name of Hari aloud. Brahmā, Śiva, Bhavānī, Indra as well as all other gods had a look of Kṛṣṇa and paid their reverences again and again arousing a sense of devotion within them. Centres of pilgrimage like Prayāga, etc. rivers full of clean water like Gaṅgā, etc. the sages like Śukra and Sanaka, the gods and Gandharvas took a look of the face of great Viṣṇu and offered their reverences repeatedly. Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! O hail you Kṛṣṇa! making such utterances, they took bath in the waters of Gomatī especially on the shore where Gomatī flows into the sea. With all happiness, the lotus-seated Brahmā worshipped Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Brahmā bathed the idol of Kṛṣṇa with the milk of his own cow as well as with the holy mixture containing equal proportions of milk, curd, ghee, honey and sugar. Both Śiva and Bhavānī also worshipped with due devotion. Indra as well as other gods, all yogis including Sanaka, etc. prominent rivers like Gaṅgā, etc. worshipped Śrī Kṛṣṇa devotedly with invaluable ornaments, precious jewels, beautiful garlands made of varieties of flowers including those blooming in the garden of Indra known as Nandana and with the favourite basil leaves of Kṛṣṇa. They also worshipped by lighting incense sticks as well as by moving the container bearing lighted camphor of distinct types. They made offerings of varieties of food as a part of worship. They put flowers flavoured with camphor to the deity. They also offered betel leaves after adding peppermint They also made gifts which Kṛṣṇa is fond of. Reciting highly benedictory prayers they made the auspicious āratī (i.e. waving of lamps before an idol) of God and worshipped the great Viṣṇu and Kṛṣṇa—the destroyer of all hardships/calamities. They danced happily. They sang and played musical instruments with great pleasure. Before the God Kṛṣṇa, along with the divine beauties, there were Brahma with his sons, Indra and the God of wind. Seeing Brahmā, etc. dancing before him, the lotus-eyed (i.e. an epithet of Viṣṇu) interrupted and told them with all pleasure.

The gracious God said:

55. O Brahmā, Maheśa, Maheśvari [Maheśvarī?], holy regions, all centres of pilgrimage, Nārada and Sanaka, etc.! I have been pleased by your devotion. All your desires will materialize.

Prahlāda said:

56. Then all of them wishing for realization of the desires of their minds paid their salutations to Śrī Kṛṣṇa and put forth their wishes to the God with superlative devotion saying:

The Gods said:

57. We have realized our desires spread across all directions by your kindness to grant us the all-pervading boon in this regard. Let our loving devotion for you endure always at your feet.

Prahlāda said:

58-62. Then all of them worshipped Rukmiṇī—the beloved of Kṛṣṇa. Coinciding the same, they all happened to overhear the following words of both Brahmā and Maheśa. Attended with faith of the highest order both happened to address Dvārakā as follows: “You as the Goddess is the best among all centres of pilgrimage and is the best of those considered to be foremost among the holy regions. As the Meru is to the mountains, as the sea holds its place among rivers, as breath is to the body and the senses are to the mind, as heat/glow is integral to fire, as a raised platform is the distinguishing criterion to mark the performance of the religious rite of yajñas, as the shining of planets, stars and the moon is a fact but as the sun shines inhering together all their brightness as a collective whole of light, as the great Viṣṇu holds a position of great eminence among all gods, so is the auspicious Dvārakā worshipable among all centres of pilgrimage.”

Prahlāda said:

63-84. Saying like this to all other gods, the holy regions as well as to other virtuous sages about the reigning supremacy of Dvārakā, both Brahmā and Śiva then happened to have celebratingly annointed Dvārakā. This is how the reason of ascendance of Dvārakā among the ruling centres of pilgrimage a well as other holy regions has been affirmed by Brahmā and Śiva and other gods, sovereign rulers of people and the blameless sages as well. Then with profound happiness they all performed the great anointing ceremony of Dvārakā. Each of them played a distinct and unique musical instrument in such a large celebration. With the mixture of equal proportions of milk, curd, ghee, honey and sugar collected from all centres of pilgrimage and with the water of the Gaṅgā brought by the leading elephants stated to exist above in the space, they all anointed Dvārakā. They made presents of beautiful clothes for Dvārakā to wear. They also made it to have water in her hands and sip it as a matter of religious ritual. They smeared her face with the paste of sandalwood and decorated her with beautiful ornaments. They then worshipped with flowers circular in shape and with sandalwood. Then the celestial attendants of Hari arrived there.

The God’s attendants like Viṣvakṣena [Viṣvaksena?] and Sunanda, etc. were illuminating the ten directions and uttering words like, “hail you God” and “obeisance to you”. They were showering flowers. Making proclamations with, songs and playing musical instruments, they were dancing in a state of exaltation. They had decorated themselves with a crown on head, with earrings and with necklace made of a special kind of pearls. Having a complexion in between fairness and darkness, each one appeared like the four-armed God and with themselves adorned in yellow dresses and garlands, those attendants of Viṣṇu were shining like the God himself. Brahmā and Maheśvara had happened to see them shining with their own brightness as such. Nārada and Sanaka, etc. saw these sages who were great admirers and devotees of Bhāgavat. They (the sages) were also happy to see them. But equally with their happiness, they remained confused. Seeing the other adorers of Viṣṇu already there, the attendants did welcome them by such gestures like embracing, etc. The sages and other gods also made their salutations to the attendants of Viṣṇu. After their reaching Dvārakā, the attendants of Viṣṇu bowed their head before the Lord of Dvārakā as well as to Dvārakā also. With all faith and devotion they worshipped him with the exquisite flowers that specially grow in forests as well as with varieties of beautiful flowers and the sacred basil leaves which also germinate in forests. With the fruits that grow in forests and by lighting scented incense sticks as well as camphor they worshipped the Lord. By offering rice as food and betel leaves as per laid down procedure, they appeased Kṛṣṇa.

Saying that “You are the Lord” “You are the master of the ruling holy regions and the centres of pilgrimage” they made prayers offering salutations to Dvārakā.

O Brāhmaṇas! in the meantime, great sounds emanating from the throbbing of big drums of gods could be heard with showering of flowers in an unprecedented manner. The virtuous sages! now listen to the highly wonderful incident that occurred simultaneously with this. Kurukṣetra and Prayāga lifted themselves up respectively on the left and right side of Dvārakā. While stationed in the same position both carried beautiful and white umbrellas with them. They did also fen Dvārakā giving a dean and auspicious touch to the atmosphere. Ayodhyā, Mathurā, Māyāpurī and Vārāṇasī were making calls hailing Dvārakā. All others including all holy regions present there were reciting hymns addressed to Dvārakā. Looking at the lotuslike face of Dvārakā, all places of pilgrimage and rivers were in a state of ecstasy along with gods and the human beings. Then the attendants of Viṣṇu addressed all saying that they were fortunate enough. Before making such a statement they had already seen and taken note of the point that Dvārakā was so holy a place and like a jewel in the entire world. This is how everyone has nurtured a wish in his/her mind to worship Hari by performance of yajñas, through meditation and by repeatedly taking the name of God in mind as per Vedic injunctions and earn the happiness onto the self by visiting Dvārakā.

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