by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Dilipa’s visit to Dvaraka and sins committed at Kashi as a prelude which is chapter 34 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-fourth chapter of the Dvaraka-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Śrī Prahlāda said:
1-8. O leading sages! this is the wonder of greatness of Dvārakā. It is a remover of great sins on the part of all regions and places of pilgrimage. Specially, it is a great abductor of sins of people irrespective of their varṇas and their committing sins while passing through any āśrama, i.e. the four stages of life. It is said to be an enhancer of great virtue. In all appropriateness, it is therefore remembered as a cemetery for all those seated on extreme sin.
O Brāhmaṇas! this just results from a visit to Dvārakā. So what to speak about dwelling at Dvārakā? O the leading Brāhmaṇas! Brahmā, etc. along with centres of pilgrimage remain specially visible here at the time of transit of Guru (an epithet for Jupiter) through the zodiac sign of Kanyā, i.e. Virgo. Sinners obtain a divine passage by simply touching the dust particles of the feet of those men who visit Dvārakā every year. Purify your bodies with the water of Gomatī and thereafter take a look of Kṛṣṇa. Sins of those earned through one hundred births go away by their having a look of Kṛṣṇa in this manner.
O the foremost sages! listen to the saying made in history in this regard. The message from the dialogues between king Dilīpa and the sage Vasiṣṭha which underlies this, adds one with wonder of the highest order. Kāśī is the only place where sins having a firm foundation like that of a cemented floor get destroyed all-together. Hearing that this can only happen by having a look of it Dilīpa had made such a statement.
9-10. Horrible sins having a cemented foundation get destroyed at Kāśī. In that case do all the great virtues earned on one’s part remain intact or not? O the best Brāhmaṇa (i.e. Vasiṣṭha)! please speak about any such place where sins can not sprout or for that matter speak about such holy place where sin virtually ceases to exist or has disappeared.
11-36. There used to be a master advocate of liberation at Kāśī known by the name Tridaṇḍī. With all sincerity he used to recite the Gāyatrī mantra repeatedly there placing himself at the backside of Daśāśvamedha. At some point of time a young girl walking in a slow and stately manner like that of an elephant came there. Taking off her clothes and leaving them on the banks of the river she entered into Gaṅgā to relieve her off tiredness. Bare-bodied, she entered into the water and engaged herself in water sports. Seeing her naked and playing, the ascetic (i.e. Tridaṇḍī) got completely struck. Fully enthralled, his mind by chance, got into an unstable state and he got instantly deviated from his paṃ. With her mind equally overcome with libido, she also began to desire the company of the young sannyāsī. In this way both of their union materialized with derogatory action as its basis. Infatuated with her, the sannyāsī followed her and kept himself engaged in earning wealth by unjust means. One cannot get rid of sins committed through making of wealth by unfair/black means, by donating the same at night even without taking a bath. At some juncture of time, he headed towards a forest in search of meat. But the sinner sannyāsī always indulged himself there in stealing money at night even without taking a bath. At some juncture of time, he headed towards a forest in search of meat. But there (again) he got into a state of madness to see a woman and especially her intoxicating eyes. Encountering her youthfulness at the very first sight, arrogance dawned on his sinful mind. Prompted by intoxication, he had sexual union with her in some desolate corner of the forest Infatuated with her he committed sins along with her in food and drinks. Like one driven to the edge under liquor, he, driven by licentious pleasure, also ate cooked beef. Then he—the voracious eater of everything died in his house. But due to the influence of Vārāṇasī, he did not get to hell then. However, the sins committed by him there were severe enough to acquire a strong foundation like that of a cemented floor. His relation with a woman in Śūdra, i.e. an untouchable caste was a ground enough for him to be born (again) in a womb that heralds harmful effects due to his misdeeds. He got rebirth in the form of a wolf, a tiger, a snake, a fox successively as his actions had made for so well in this direction and met with death in due course in each stage. He was severely afflicted and peace or pleasure to the slightest degree was not visible in him. In this way, all his sinful deeds spanning a thousand of his (re) births and the sins that resulted from his mad association with the outcaste woman did not drift away for ten thousand yugas. He got reborn as a rabbit in his seventh rebirth. Then he got birth again as a demon and in this birth as a sinful soul he indulged himself in all sorts of food. In his continuing spree of devouring living beings, he reached the Vindhya mountain. After this he got born as a strange chameleon. The sins having roots in his relationship with a Śudra [Śūdra?] (i.e. untouchable) woman made for his birth in the womb of insects. Companion of an untouchable woman has always been decried and disapproved. In a similar manner, its fruits have been spoken of. He underwent severe suffering for one thousand years and even in multiples of one thousand years. Then there occurred a highly surprising incident of unprecdented [unprecedented] nature.
Dilīp [Dilīpa]! listen to it. Incidentally, he happened to see someone who returned from Dvārāvat after having a look of the graceful face of Kṛṣṇa. The entire Vindhya region got so much brightened up with his presence that every one there got struck with wonder. After purifying himself with a bath in the waters of Gomatī, the traveller had reached Vindhya. With all happiness he was carrying a part of the gift on his shoulders, granted by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. While on his way towards own home, the demon happened to see him. Seeing him, the demon having a cruel nature hurried up to devour him. By a mere look of him, i.e. the traveller all the terrible sins having a strong cemented foundation on the part of the demon turned into ashes in a moment only, like at Vārāṇasī where all sins get thrown away. Crores and hundreds of birth could not succeed in taking away his sins. But he got himself free from his mountain-like heap of sins by a sight of a traveller who had a look of Kṛṣṇa. All his temperament towards cruelty got burnt up and he became free like the moon showing up with its brightness after the passing out of the curtain of cloud. All his ethical and moral bankruptcy went away by the benedictory light of having a sight of the traveller who had taken a look of Kṛṣṇa. Then with all pleasure, he came before the traveller who had already visited Dvārakā. Lying down on the ground he offered his salutation to him with due reverence and celebrated in a big manner for having a sight of him.
With his head kept down he then told him with an element of surprise, “Oh! my ferocious temperament has gone away by taking a look of yours. I have approximated a good state of accomplishment. O good soul! where have you come from? Moreover, how could you have such an impact as had been visible on me? My sins committed at Kāśī and having a firm foundation like that of a cemented floor has got burnt up by my having your look.”
37. After hearing the demon speaking like this, the traveller so-called as of Kṛṣṇa (for his already having a look of Kṛṣṇa) was taken aback completely and then with all pleasure of mind said:
The Traveller said:
38-39. O demon! I have come here after having a look of Dvārāvatī. All this power of mine to take away sins having a firm foundation like that of a cemented floor has been due to my having a look of Kṛṣṇa. The good action of taking a bath in Gomatī and thereafter having a look at the lotus-face of Kṛṣṇa rescues one from all sins having the potentials to burn up the three worlds.
39-43. After his saying so, the demon got.very pleased. His self was already purified. Attended with devotion, he bowed down to the traveller and after taking circumambulation of him (i.e. the traveller) he then left for Dvārakā. (In course of time) he left the body and obtained the position of a Vaiṣṇava. Gods like Brahmā, Śiva and the Gandharvas began to sing hymns in his honour and also showered flowers on him. This is how the great impact of Dvārakā has been extolled. Sins do not (even) grow by having a sight of its travellers. So what more to speak about the power of Dvārakā in arresting the growth of sins? O blameless king! this is all, I have to tell you about the best of the holy regions having the power to destroy sins having a firm foundation like that of a cemented floor.
Śrī Prahlāda said:
44-45. Dilīpa became pleased mentally after hearing the lofty words of Vasiṣṭha. He became surprised to learn that Dvārakā is a king among the holy regions. He went to Dvārāvatī to have a look of God of gods, i.e. Śrī Kṛṣṇa with all regards. Then after having a look of Kṛṣṇa in the God’s temple there, he obtained that ultimate state of purity and holiness.