by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes Virtues of listening to the Skanda Mahapurana which is chapter 44 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 forty-fourth chapter of the Dvaraka-mahatmya of the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana.
1-21. This is how Skanda had deciphered this Purāṇa in olden time. Bhṛgu—the son of Brahmā learnt it from him, who in turn had passed it on to Aṅgirā [Aṅgiras?]. The sage Cyavana learnt it from Aṅgirā and through him other sages got acquainted with it. In this way, the code of the Purāṇa percolated down and got delivered amongst all in the general public of the world. Kumāra, i.e. Kārtikeya had laid bare the complete summary of Skanda Purāṇa. Listening to it in a religious assembly relieves a man of his sins. (Further) age gets added to one’s life by listening to it.
This Purāṇa accords happiness to everyone in the four-fold varṇa system for its contents have been discernably laid down by the good and great soul Ṣaṇmukha, i.e. Skanda. This glorified account as has been brought home by Skanda induces welfare of everyone. The virtuous fruits that result on the part of one by reading or listening to the seven parts that the Skanda Purāṇa is decorated with cannot be counted by a man.
One who makes a gift of this Purāṇa elucidating great accounts of righteousness and good conduct to a Brāhmaṇa, he/she gets entitled for residence in the heaven amounting to that many years of the letters that the Purāṇa contains. Like the raindrops not countable, innumerable dazzling stars in the sky beyond count and the unlimited particles of sand underneath the water-bed of Gaṅgā cannot be counted, so are the fruits of merit which accrue from listening to the Skanda Purāṇa. By listening to it with due devotion for sometime for days together as well as by reading it, a man becomes accomplished in all sides and entirely. Those desirous of having a son obtain a son. People desirous of wealth get the same. Desire for a husband gets materialized. So is also the desire of a man to have a beautiful girl as wife. By reading it people get their friends outside their land to make a come-back. By listening to Skanda Purāṇa, a man obtains all his desired objects.
Listening to and reading this Purāṇa grant all desires of human beings. People get long life by listening to this auspicious Purāṇa while a king gets victory over the world with full domination of his enemies. The Brāhmaṇas get learned in the Vedas while the Kṣatriyas get kingdom by reading it. The Vaiśyas get the fortune of wealth and remain gratified while its reading blesses the Śūdras with all happiness. By listening to one chapter or just a śloka (i.e. verse) or half of a śloka one goes to the abode of Viṣṇu. Listening to the various accounts integral to the Purāṇa and following it up with a worship of its narrator is equivalent to worship of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rūdra [Rudra?] (an epithet of Śiva).
If a Guru (i.e, a preceptor or teacher) imparts learning of a single letter of the Purāṇa to his disciple, there is hardly any such object available on the earth by gifting which can he be brought under the burden of debt. Hence, Vyāsa who has been reckoned as the adviser/ recommender of learning of the Skanda Purāṇa is worthy of worship by gifting of gold, cows, clothes and all other desirable goods and through offer of food to him.
Listening to the Skanda Purāṇa attended with faith, following its injunctions in the best possible manner and worship of its adviser entitles one to obtain the position of Śaiva. Listening to the Purāṇa absolves man of sins accumulated over series of births on his part and entitles him to obtain the fruits associated with all centres of pilgrimage. Despite having nectar in their stomachs, all gods do not abide that long, while despite himself being full to the throat with poison, the God Nīlakantha [Nīlakaṇṭha?] always keeps an eye upon us.
The Sages said:
23-27. You have told us everything count by count as had happened. You have described us the intergenerational accounts as per sequence in the Purāṇa. You gave us the proof with regard to the culmination of the time period of creation as per estimation of Manu. You also described us all about the cosmic expanse. You have also told us about the basic characteristic of astrology as has been spoken about and described. We feel ourselves to be fortunate. We have been gratified and consider ourselves to be successful after hearing the Skanda Mahāpurāṇa from your lotus-mouth. We are very happy and exalted. We—the Brāhmaṇas and great sages, give you our blessings. Let you—the disciple of Vyāsa attain the height of wisdom, get a long life and be always happy. Blessing him in this manner and gifting him with clothes as well as ornaments, the sages then permitted Sūta—the son of Lomaśa to take leave and got themselves engaged in their usual practice of performance of yajñas.