Skanda Purana

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A page from the Ganga Mahatmya section of Skanda Purana in Sanskrit language and Devanagari script

The Skanda Purana (IAST: Skanda Purāṇa) is the largest Mahāpurāṇa, a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts. The text contains over 81,000 verses, and is of Kaumara literature, titled after Skanda, a son of Shiva and Parvati, who is also known as Kartikeya and Murugan. While the text is named after Skanda, he does not feature either more or less prominently in this text than in other Shiva-related Puranas. The text has been an important historical record and influence on the Hindu traditions related to the war-god Skanda.

Quotes[edit]

  • O King! Ayodhyā, Mathurā, and Dvārakā are three cities which provide Dharma, Artha, Kāma and Moksha and are dear to Hari.
  • One gets salvation by remembering Kr+ishna at Dvārakā, Rāma at Ayodhyā and Hari at Mathurā.
  • Ayodhyā fulfils all desires and is revered among glorified cities. It is protected by Rāma himself, the embodiment of wisdom.
  • Whatever merit one gets by dwelling at Prabhasa and Kurukshetra for hundreds of years is obtained by living at Ayodhyā for half nimish (1/3 second).
  • It is difficult to recite the names of Rāma, the Lord of Ayodhyā, Keśava of Mathurā and Krishna, the resident of Dvārakā.
  • One gets the most sacred post by reciting the name at Mathurā, hearing the names of Dvārakā and by a glimpse of Ayodhyā.
    • Skanda Purāna: Prabhāsa Khand+a: Dvārakā-māhātmya Adhyāya25) as quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 2
  • To the north-east of that spot is the place of the birth of Rāma. This holy spot of the birth is said to be the means of achieving salvation etc. It is said that the place of birth is situated to the east of Vighneśvara, to the north of VasisTha and to the west of Laumaśa.
  • Only by visiting it a man can get rid of staying (frequently) in a womb (i.e. rebirth). There is no need for making charitable gifts, performing penance or sacrifices or undertaking pilgrimages to holy spots. On the Navamī day the man should observe the holy vow. By the power of the holy bath and charitable gifts, he is liberated from the bondage of births.
  • By visiting the place of birth, one attains that benefit which is obtained by the person who gives thousands of tawny-coloured cows everyday. By seeing the place of birth, one attains the merit of ascetics performing penance in hermitage, of thousands of Rājasūya sacrifices and Agnihotra sacrifices performed every year.
  • By observing sacred rites, particularly at the place of birth, he obtains the merit of the holy men endowed with devotion to their mother and father as well as preceptors.
    • description of the Janma-sthāna in the Ayodhyā-māhātmya of the Skanda-Purāna published by M/S Khemraj Shrikrishnadas, prop. Shri Venkateshwar Steam Press, reprinted by Nag Publishers, New Delhi, 1986, Vol. 2, Vaishnava-khanda. Adhyaya 10, p. 293R.), as quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • After having worshipped formally, one should go to the Janma-bhūmi which is in the east from the Vighneśvara, in the north from VasishTha, in the West from Lomaśa. It is called Janmasthāna.
  • It is at a distance of 500 dhanush from Lomaśa, 1008 dhanush from Vighnesvara and 100 dhanush from Unmatta. At the centre a royal house was built by Brahmā.
  • It is called Janmasthāna and gives all fruits like liberation, by glancing at which, a man overcomes the stay in the womb, i.e. birth without any donation, penance, pilgrimage and sacrifice.
  • He, who fasts on the (Rāma) Navamī, takes bath and makes a donation, is liberated from all perils of birth by having a glance at the Janmasthāna.
  • By glancing at the Janma-bhūmi one gets the fruit of donating a thousand Kapilā (tawny colored) cows. By a glance at the Janma-bhūmi, all the sins gathered in thousands of births are liquidated.
  • By a glance at the Janma-bhūmi, one gets all the merits obtained by devotion to mother, father and elderly people. By a glance at the Janma-bhūmi, one gets all merits of those who serve teachers, render service in pilgrim places, tread the path of truthfulness and follow their dharma.
  • Those who perform penances in hermitages and perform a thousand Rajasūya sacrifices and Agnihotra, obtain equal merit by glancing at the Janmasthāna.
    • Skanda Purana, manuscript preserved at Bodleian Library, Oxford, which has been marked as ‘O’ by Hans Bakker, is the largest version and contains 30 chapters. The same text was translated by Ram Narayan into English and published in the Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1875 A.D. The same text was edited by Pt. Ramnarayanadas and printed at the Lakshminarayan Press, Moradabad in 1898. as quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 2
  • Then he (the pilgrim) should go to the birthplace (of Rāma) which is worshipped by sages and gods. It is situated in the east from Vighneśvara (temple), in the north from VasishTha and in the west from Lomaśa. It is 500 dhanush above Lomaśa site and 1008 dhanush from Vighneśvara and 100 dhanush from Unmatta (Mattagajendra).
  • At the centre is the royal palace built by Brahmā. It is called Janmasthāna and gives salvation, etc. and the mere sight of which releases a man from returning to the mother’s womb without donation, penance, pilgrimage and sacrifice.
  • He, who fasts on the (Rāma) Navamī, takes bath and makes a donation, is liberated from all perils of birth by having a glance at the Janmasthāna.
  • By glancing at the Janma-bhūmi, one gets the fruit of donating a thousand Kapilā cows. By a glance at the Janma-bhūmi, all the sins gathered in thousands of births are liquidated. By a glance at the Janma-bhūmi, one gets all the merits obtained by his devotion to mother, father and elderly people.
  • By a glance at the Janma-bhūmi, one gets all merits of those who serve their teachers, render service in pilgrim places, tread the path of truthfulness and follow their dharma.
  • Those, who perform penances in hermitages, a thousand Rājasūya sacrifices and Agnihotra, obtain equal merit by glancing at the Janmasthāna.
  • If a man specially glances at the Janmasthāna, following traditions and becomes wan and cleans dust, he is liberated from the peril of rebirth after glancing at the birthplace.
    • Skanda Purana, manuscript preserved at Vrindavana Research Institute in Bengali script which has been marked as ‘B’ by Hans Bakker.(Adhyaya 5, folio 13V.-14V.) as quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 2
  • If a pious person, having bathed at the Svargadvar ghāTa, visits the Ramālaya i.e. the house of Rāma (where he was born?) is blessed with everything.
    • Badarikā-Māhātmya of the Skanda-purāna ,as quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 4
  • People, who visit Ayodhyā, the city which grants salvation, are liberated from all sins and go to the abode of Hari (Hari-mandir). They, who render various services toVishnu and worship him, perform dance, or recite His charita and renounce home, overcome death by meditation on Hari. If a pious person, having bathed at the Svargadvār ghāt, visits the Ramālaya, i.e. the house of Rāma (where he was born?) is blessed with everything.
    • Badarikā-māhātmya of the Skanda-purāna as quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 11
  • “Then Pãrvati said, “I shall now be glad to hear the advantages of the Kitchen of Jãnaki.” Mahãdeva answered, “O Goddess, listen to its sin-destroying story. Her kitchen is always filled with articles of food; its mere sight accomplishes our wants. Its pilgrimage is performed at all times: no one can fully describe its benefits, but I will do so in a brief manner. The house of one who daily visits it, remains filled with victuals. On seeing it, Parasurãma was released from the crime of destroying the Kshatriyas. A mere visit to it removes sins committed knowingly or unknowingly. It freed Balarãma from the sin of killing Sùt. What more shall I say about it? It is the bestower of all sorts of joy. It is situated north-west of the Birthplace. Forty yards north of the Birthplace lies the house of Kaikeyi, where Bharata was born. Sixty yards south of it is the dwelling of Sumitrã, where Lakshman and Satrughna were born. Their sight releases man from worldly ties, and gives salvation. South-east of the Birthplace is Sìtã Kùpa, which is also called ‘ Jãnakì-kùp.’ Drinking its water renders a man intelligent. Brihaspati, Vasishtha, and Vamadeva drank its water, and attributed to it their dignity and prosperity.” (Chapter X)
    • Ayodhyā-māhātmya preserved in Bodleian Library, Oxford as quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 11


Quotes about the Skanda Purana[edit]

  • “Skandapurana pp. 8 and 141, No. 229, is in Gupta character. Professor and myself carefully examined the palaeography of the MS. at the Durbar Library, and we came to the conclusion that the work must have been copied at least two hundred years before the ‘Paramesvara tantra’ in transitional Gupta character, described by Prof. Bendall in his Cam. Cat. So the MS. must have been copied before 659 A.D. as the Paramesvaratantra was copied in Harsa era 252=859 A.D.” (p. 52)
    • “Catalogue of Palm Leaf and Selected Paper Mss. Belonging to the Durbar Library, Nepal”, Preface by Hara Prasad Sastri . as quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 2

External links[edit]

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