The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Dvaraka as an abode to all regions and places of pilgrimage which is chapter 33 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-third chapter of the Dvaraka-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 33 - Dvārakā as an abode to all regions and places of pilgrimage

Śrī Prahlāda said:

1. After hearing all that said about Dvārakā by the attendants of Viṣṇu, Brahmā and Maheśa showed eagerness in the details about the greatness of Dvārakā and then attempted to describe its eminence as follows:

Śrī Brahmā and Īśān [Īśāna] (an epithet of Śiva) said:

2-3. O all holy regions, centres of pilgrimage, rivers, seas and places of pilgrimage like Prayāga and Kāśī, etc. which grant liberation! though you all happen to be the ruling centres of pilgrimage, the auspicious Dvārakā is relatively greater amidst you and that way it is like a great king. Hence, you all need to serve it voluntarily while placing yourselves outside its territory.

Śrī Prahlāda said:

4-27. Such words of Maheśa (as well as of Brahmā) unleashed an environment of celebration among the places of pilgrimage and other holy regions. They took rounds of Dvārakā and after offering their salutations they made their abodes there with all happiness. Bhāgīrathī, Prayāga, Yamūnā, Sarasvatī, Sarayu [Sarayū?], Gandakī [Gaṇḍakī?], the holy Gomatī flowing in the east, all other rivers like Sindhu, Soṇī and centres of pilgimage numbering fifty crore descended down and began to be present at Dvārakā. All of them—greedy as they were—got down to serve Kṛṣṇa and kept looking at Dvārakā again and again. Mandākinī, also the holy Bhāgīrathī, Mahānadī, Narmadā as well as Śiprā, Prācī and Sarasvatī, Cakṣyurbhadrā [Cakṣurbhadrā?] and Sītā and other rivers equally known as destroyer of sins, along with sixty crore centres of pilgrimage on their banks remained present on the eastern direction. Payoṣṇī. Tāptī, the holy Vidarbhā as well as Payasvinī, the Godāvarī and the very holy Bhīmā and Kṛṣṇā river, Kāverī and the other prominent rivers known as destroyer of sins with all their centres of pilgrimage numbering about ninety-nine crores remained present on the southern direction of Dvārakā with all eagerness and devotion. They began to play merrily either in the waters of Gomatī or on its banks in the vicinity of Kṛṣṇa. The leading rivers known to belong to the seven islands as well as elsewhere and the Seven seas remained present in the western side of Dvārakā. All these play merrily in Cakratīrtha as well as in hundreds and crores of other centres of pilgrimage. All of these always keep themselves facing Kṛṣṇa having His face towards the west. The number of centres of pilgrimage in the intermediate zones of all these (already) stated directions is not known.

O good Brāhmaṇas! centres of pilgrimage like Puṣkara, Viśālā, Virajā, Gayā as well as those hundreds and crores of centres of pilgrimage at the spot of confluence of Gomatī with the sea vibrate in the intermediate zones—always engaged in the service of Kṛṣṇa creating an environment of celebration. The Vārāṇasī and Avantī are situated respectively on the northeastern and eastern side while Kāntī and Mathurā are respectively in the south-eastern and southern direction. Māyāpuri [Māyāpurī?] is on the south-west direction and Ayoḍhyā is on the west. Kurukṣetra is on the north-west, while Harikṣetra is situated further north to it. Sivakṣetra as well as Puruṣottama are on the eastern frontier. Bhṛgukṣetra is also there on the south-eastern direction while Prabhāsa has its abode in the southern side. Śrīraṅga is on the south-western side and Lohadaṇḍa is on the west. Narasiṃha [Nārasiṃha?] is on the northwest and Kokāmukṣya [Kokāmukhya?] is on the northern side of the former. Kāmāknyā and Reṇukā representing the female personification of divine energy are present everywhere around Dvārakā while other ruling holy regions have found places for themselves as available in the vicinity of Dvārakā. The holy regions called Soura [Saura?] and Gaṇapati are also present completely in the northern side.

O Brāhmaṇas! other holy regions have descended in a similar manner and have found their abodes in the vicinity of Rukmiṇī. All of these, viz. Dhenuka, Naimiṣa as well as the Daṇḍaka forests, Saindhava the forest called Daśaraṇya [Daśāraṇya?], and the hermitage known as Nārāyana [Nārāyaṇa?] āśrama are spread out in all sides of Dvārakā. Mountains like Meru, etc. is also engaged gently and eagerly in the service of Dvārakā. Kailāsa is there on the north-east while Himavat is on the east. Śrī Śaila is on the south-east while Śimhadvādvā [?Siṃhādri—siṃhādryādyā?] is on the south. Tāntrikas and sages like Mahendra have placed themselves on the south-west front. Other holy mountains along with their respective deities are also present there with purpose. Placed around Dvārakā in all its sides, they regularly worship it. Gods like Brahmā, and sages like Sanaka along with other holy regions, centres of pilgrimage and all other virtuous souls usually come to have a look of Dvārakā attended with faith and devotion of higher order during the period of Guru, i.e. Jupiter’s transit through the zodiac sign of Virgo and they do so very much with happiness.

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