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Skanda Purana – Mahesvara Kandha – Arunacala Kandha Uttarvardha – 4

Chapter 20

Pārvatī’s Eulogy of the Lord of Aruṇācala

1-2Mārkaṇḍeya said: Fie upon the Daitya Mahiṣa for this sort of shameful conduct! Bravo! How wonderful was the exploit of Durgā, the destroyer of sins and sorrows. When Mahiṣa, the Asura, was thus killed by Bhadrakālī, what did the daughter of the Mountain, who was engaged in penance, do?
3Nandikeśvara replied: Afterwards holding the head of the Daitya in one hand she (i.e. Bhadrakālī) saluted Gaurī by the other hand holding a sword.
4Thereupon seeing her dancing with delight, the Goddess with her eyes wet with sympathy, spoke to her, illuminating the sky with the rays of her teeth:
5“O Vindhyavāsinī, an extremely difficult task has been accomplished by you. Thanks to your power, my penance has become free from obstacles.
6This head of a buffalo is unclean and awful, O Goddess of highly sanctifying conduct. It behoves you to cast it off from your hand.”
7On being told thus by Gaurī the mind of Durgā was overcome with disgust. Hence, in order to cast off that head she shook and tossed her hand many times.
8“O Goddess, let a fresh Tīrtha be created, that will be destructive of sins. By taking a plunge therein, O Durgā, you will have the requisite expiation.”
9On being told thus by Gautama Durgā who was afraid of sins split the rocky slab with her powerful sword.
10From the bottom of the rocky surface that had been split and severed as far as the nether world, a stream of water rose up as pure as the mind of a good man.
11Repeating the excellent Mantra “Obeisance to the Lord of Śoṇādri”, she took a plunge in the sacred water of great depth.
12By that time the Liṅga that had been in the neck of the buffalo dropped down on the ground. It became installed on the banks under the name Pāpanāśana.
13Therefrom rose up Durgā with all her sins washed off by the waters of the Tīrtha. Thereupon the head of Mahiṣa, the Asura, fell down from her hand.
14She circumambulated and bowed down to the Lord of Pāpanāśana. Thereupon she was congratulated by Gaurī and Gautama.
15On seeing her rid of sins thus within her sight Pārvatī, the daughter of the Mountain, said to the sage of long standing penance:
16-17“I had immediately granted permission iṇ the matter of killing Mahiṣa, the Asura. This Vindhyavāsinī caught hold of the body of the wicked buffalo and swallowed it. This is his Liṅga, an auspicious one. Therefore recount to her as well as to me the requisite expiation, O excellent sage.”
18Gautama said: O Goddess, the cause of creation, sustenance and annihilation of all the worlds, it is meditating on you alone that destroys all sins.
19Yet, it has been (enquired) by you keeping the way of the world in view. Bounds of decency fixed by themselves are not transgressed by the great ones.
20A certain holy rite that washes off the internal turbidity is being mentioned by me now, O mother; let it be heard with attention.
21This Aruṇādri is Analādri (‘a mountain of fire’) itself lying concealed. It blazes with its own refulgence on the full-moon day in the month of Kārttika.
22Service to it and penance should be performed by you, O Kātyāyanī. By witnessing that illuminated refulgence all your desired objects will be achieved.
23-24Aṃbā who had been terrible from that time, was told thus by Gautama. Now she turned into a devotee of Śiva engaged in the worship of Śiva. She performed penance resorting to the middle of Five Fires. In the middle of four (worldly) fires she stood, fixing her gaze on the Sun (the fifth fire).
25-27The daughter of the leading Mountain shone like a brilliant bar of gold. Then drawn as it were by the long cords of love of Pārvatī that full-moon day in the month of Kārttika—that holy and splendid lunar day—approached. Then at the close of the day a certain brilliance of unlimited power was seen on the peak of the Aruṇa mountain by Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Indra who had come there for the very same purpose.
28-29All round it was served by the Devas and the groups of divine sages. On seeing that magnificently effulgent light without any fuel, without oil and without wicks, Pārvatī was greatly wonderstruck. She circumambulated, bowing down at every step. Delighted much, the daughter of the Mountain eulogized the Lord Aruṇādrīśvara:
30“Obeisance to you, O Lord with Meru as your bow, to the Resident of the Kailāsa mountain, to the Son-in-law of the snow-clad Mountain, to the Lord who has assumed the form of Śoṇa mountain.
31Salute to the Lord worthy of being worshipped by the Suras beginning with Varuṇa, to the Lord having the brilliance of the midday sun, to the Lord of Aruṇācala, to the Lord who are the embodiment of mercifulness.
32Be victorious, O Lord, whose head is adorned with Gaṅgā and the crescent moon, O Lord, who have fascinated the minds of the wives of all sages by means of your handsome features.
33Be victorious, O Lord, who are possessed of the glory of the god of Love due to the close contact of the daughter of the Mountain. Be victorious, O Lord, who are an expect in the repetition of the (sexual) play over the body of Nārāyaṇa adopted by means of Māyā (?).
34Be victorious, O Lord, indulging in blissful Tāṇḍava dance at the advent of the time of dusk. Be victorious, O Lord, worshipped by Devas, Gandharvas, Siddhas and Vidyādharas.
35Be victorious, O father of Heraṃba; be victorious, O Lord, fond of the six-faced Lord (i.e. Skaṇḍa). Be victorious, O Lord, worthy of being prayed to by the daughter of Himavān. Be victorious, O Lord, rarely accessible to Pārthivas (i.e. kings, worldly-minded ones etc.).”
36After eulogizing thus the Goddess fixed her eyes repeatedly on the refulgence. On seeing her thus, the Bull-emblemed Lord melted on the pretext of mercy.
37-38The Lord made her merge into him and then assumed a form of excessive beauty. On seeing the splendid lady Śivā, he mounted the divine bull. Giriśa then began to pacify the daughter of the king of Mountains, the beautiful lady who had cast off everything on account of wounded pride and had engaged herself in penance.

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