1) MAHESHWAR KHAND DAKSHA’S ANIMOSITY TOWARDS LORD SHIVA

Skanda Purana begins with the eulogy of Lord Shiva– Yasyagya Jagat Srishta Viranchih Palko Harih; Sanharta Kalrudrakhyo Namastasmai Pinakine. (Meaning)— Salutations to Lord Shankar who has entrusted the job of creation to Lord Brahma– Who has instructed Lord Vishnu to nurture the world and who himself acts as the supreme…

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2) SATI JUMPS INTO THE SACRIFICIAL FIRE

When Sati reached her father’s place, she saw a grand yagya being performed. A large number of people had been invited–the deities, the sages and the hermits. Sati became sad because Daksha had invited everybody except her husband. She knew quite well that it was a deliberate decision on part…

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3) VIRTUES OF WORSHIPPING LORD SHIVA

Sage Lomesh told the assembled sages— One who brooms the courtyard of Shiva temple attains to Shiva loka. Those who make offerings of incense to Lord Shiva not only liberate himself from the bondage of this world but also both his ‘Kulas’. One who gets constructed a Shiva temple or…

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4) CHURNING OF THE OCEAN

Sage  Lomesh  narrated  the  tale,  which  described  how  Indra  lost  heaven  after  he  showed disrespect to Brihaspati– Once, Indra was enjoying the songs sung by Gandharvas when sage Vashishtha arrived. But, Indra was  so  engrossed  in  music, that  he forgot  to  welcome his  distinguished  guest.  Sage Vashishtha was enraged by…

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5) THE EMERGENCE OF AMBROSIA

When Dhanvantri appeared with a pot of ambrosia in his hands, a demon named Vrishparva snatched it from him. All the demons then fled to Patal loka with the pot of ambrosia. Lord Vishnu disguised himself as an enchanting beauty and went to Patal loka. There, he found all the…

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6) LORD BRAHMA’S BOON TO TARAKASUR

  After the death of Sati, Lord Shiva became aloof and engaged himself in an austere penance. His lack of interest in performing his duties resulted into the predominance of sin in the world. A demon named Tarakasur had received a boon of invincibility from Lord Brahma. Only a child…

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7) SHIVA TEST’S PARVATI’S DEVOTION

After reaching there, Lord Shiva found Parvati engrossed in her penance. Parvati was surrounded by her few trusted companions.Lord Shiva decided to test Parvati’s devotion towards him. So he disguised himself as a hermit and asked her companions about the reason why Parvati was doing such a severe Penance. Jaya,…

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8) THE ARRIVAL OF ‘SAPTARISHIS’

Later on Lord Shiva sent the Saptarishis with the proposal of marriage to Himalaya. Himalaya received his distinguished guests with respect and enquired about the purpose of their visit. The Saptarishis replied–‘We have come to request you to give your daughter’s hand in marriage to Shiva.’ After consulting his wife,…

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9) BIRTH OF KARTIKEYA

Lord Shiva and Parvati lived happily at Gandhamadan Mountain enjoying every bit of their conjugal life. Once it so happened that a small quantity of Shiva’s sperm fell on the ground while he was enjoying intimate moments with Parvati. As a result, tremendous amount of heat was generated and the…

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10) KARTIKEYA KILLS TARAKASUR

Lord  Shiva  assured  the  deities,  who  were  also  present  there  that  Tarakasur’s  days  were numbered. The deities’s army then proceeded towards the battlefield. On their way, the deities heard a heavenly voice–‘You can defeat the demons only if you fight under the leadership of Kartikeya.’ Now all  the deities  requested …

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11) VIRTUES OF OBSERVING FAST ON ‘SHIVARATRI’

Sage Lomesh eulogizes the virtues of Shivaratri in the following words–‘The fourteenth day of the dark half of a month is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and is famously known as ‘Shivaratri’. It destroys all the sins committed by a man. Sage Lomesh then narrated a tale, which…

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12) KARTIKEYA’S SORROW

While the deities hailed the glory of Kartikeya for having killed Tarakasur, Kartikeya himself was saddened by his act. He told the deities–‘I regret for having killed Tarakasur because he was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Is there any way to atone for my sin?’ Lord Vishnu consoled him—‘Killing…

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13) KILLING OF PRALAMB

A demon named Pralamb had escaped unharmed in the battle fought between the deities and demons. As the deities were busy installing Shivalingas at different places, Pralamb started to torment  their families  in  their absence.  The deities  got  this  information  from  Kumud  who appeared at the time when the deities…

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14) KALBHITI’S AUSTERE PENANCE

There is an amazing tale related with the birth of Kalbhiti. During ancient times there lived a sonless brahmin named Manti in Kashi. He did an austere penance to get a son. At last, lord Shiva became pleased by his devotion and appeared. Lord Shiva said–‘You will be blessed with…

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15) ARUNACHAL SHIVALINGA

Once, Sutji had gone to Naimisharanya. All the sages residing there asked him about the manifestation of Arunachal Shivalinga. Sutji recounted a tale when Sage Sanak had posed the same query to Lord Brahma — ‘Lord Brahma had told Sanak- Son, once Lord Vishnu and I witnessed an effulgent pillar….

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16) LORD SHIVA–THE SOVEREIGN CREATOR

The sages then asked Sutji how Lord Shiva had created the universe. Sutji replied—Lord Shiva commenced creation by his own will. Vishnu manifested from the left side of his body while Brahma from the right side. He then attributed the qualities of ‘Rajas’ and ‘Satva’ to Brahma and Vishnu respectively….

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17) EXECUTION OF SHUMBH NISHUMBH AND MAHISHASUR

The demons named Shumbh and Nishumbh had received boons from Brahma according to which no deity, demon or Man could kill him. Shumbh and Nishumbh became excessively arrogant and started tormenting the deities. All the deities including Lord Vishnu went to Lord Shiva and requested for his help. Lord Shiva…

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18) PARVATI RECEIVES ARUNCHALESHWAR’S GRACE

Goddess Durga then went to the place where goddess Parvati was still doing penance. She held Mahishasur’s  head  in  one  hand  and  a  sword  in  the  other.  Goddess  Parvati  said—‘O Vindhyavasini! You have accomplished an impossible act. If it were not for you I would not have been able to…

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LORD VARAHA SATISFIES PRITHVI’S CURIOSITY

Sutji then narrated the tale of Lord Varaha to the sages, which he had heard from Sage Vyasa— Once, while Narada was wandering about, he reached Meru mountain where he saw the abode of Lord  Brahma.  He  also  saw  a  giant  sized  entity,  just  next  to  Brahma’s  abode.  The  person…

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LORD VARAHA MANTRA

On their way, Prithvi requested Lord Varaha to reveal the sacred mantra, chanting of which makes him pleased. Lord Varaha said–‘The secret mantra that pleases me to no limits is —Om Naham Shrivarahay Dharanyu Uddharnay Swaha. This mantra is capable of liberating a man and also brings all sort of…

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MANIFESTATION OF PADMAVATI

Lord Varaha then narrated the tale of Padmavati’s manifestation to Prithvi. He also revealed to her that Padmavati was the reincarnation of Vedavati and had manifested so that she could become his (Vishnu) consort.Lord Varaha said—Once upon a time there lived an emperor named Akash. One day he ordered his…

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PADMAVATI BECOMES LORD HARI’S CONSORT

Continuing with the tale, Lord Varaha said– One day, while Padmavati and her companions were playing in the garden, they saw an equestrian approaching them. He held a bow and arrows in both his hands. The stranger asked all the girls whether they had seen a wolf. Apparently the stranger…

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KING PARIKSHIT

Once, Sutji narrated the tale of king Parikshit to all the assembled sages—Parikshit ruled over Hastinapur. One day he went into a forest on a hunting spree. He saw a deer and managed to injure it with his arrow. But the injured deer disappeared from his sight. Parikshit chased the…

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KRISHNA TEERTH

Sutji narrated a tale to all the assembled sages–During ancient times, a brahmin named Ramkrishna did an austere penance at Venketachal mountain. He remained immobile during the entire course of his penance resulting into the development of mole hills all over his body. Indra was scarred by Ramkrishna’s penance and…

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SOME OTHER PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE ON VENKETACHAL MOUNTAIN

All the sages then requested Sutji to tell about some other places of pilgrimage situated on Venketachal mountain. Sutji  replied—There are  about  one hundred  and  eight  holy places  situated on  Venketachal mountain. Among all these holy places, six are considered to be capable of bestowing salvation– -Swami pushkarini, Akash ganga,…

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ANJANA’S PENANCE AT AKASHGANGA TEERTH

Describing how Vayudeva had once assured Anjana that he would take birth as her son, Sutji told the sages—Anjana, being issue less even after a long married life, decided to do penance in order to beget a son. Sage Matang advised her to go to Akashganga teerth where her wishes…

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VISHNU ADVISES BRAHMA TO GO TO PURUSHOTTAM KSHETRA

The Sages asked—‘O revered sage! We would like to know more about Purushottam Kshetra, where there is a majestic wooden idol of Lord Vishnu.’ Sage Jaimini replied–The sacrosanct place of Purushottam Kshetra is graced by the presence of Lord Jagannath. During ancient times, Lord Varaha had rescued Prithvi from the…

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MARKANDEYA EULOGIZES VISHNU

Lord Brahma soon after reaching Purushottam kshetra sat down and started meditating. He was so engrossed in his meditation that he remained in that state for a very long time. This resulted into total chaos as Yamaraj found that his power of causing death had no effect on people living…

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HOLY PLACES IN THE VICINITY OF PURUSHOTTAM – KSHETRA

Dwelling  in  length  upon  the  majesty  of  Purushottam  kshetra,  goddess  Lakshmi  said– Purushottam kshetra resembles a conch in shape and is graced by the presence of lord Shiva. Towards its north is situated a temple of lord Neelkanth. A famous Shivalinga named Kapal mochan is also situated in the vicinity….

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VIDYAPATI EULOGIZES LORD NEELMADHAV

Vishvavasu told Vidyapati–‘ I have heard this prophesy of Indradyumna’s possible arrival at Purushottam kshetra in the near future. Not only that, I have also heard that Indradyumna would become so impressed with Purushottam kshetra that he would settle down there for good after renouncing everything.’ Vishvavasu then requested Vidyapati…

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INDRADYUMNA LEAVES FOR PURUSHOTTAM KSHETRA

Indradyumna had been waiting for this moment for a long time- the moment when he would get a chance to go on a pilgrimage to Purushottam kshetra. Revealing his great plan to Vidyapati, he said–‘ Now, the time has finally come for me to go on a pilgrimage to Purushottam…

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INDRADYUMNA REACHES ‘EKAMRACHHETRA’

Continuing with the tale of Indradyumna, sage Jaimini told all the sages–‘Next morning, Indradyumna and his entourage crossed Mahanadi on boats and reached Ekamrachhetra where they worshipped lord Purushottam. After that they worshipped on their onwards journey and reached  Kotishwar  Mahalaya  where  they  worshipped  lord  Tribhuneshwar  with  appropriate rituals. Lord…

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INDRADYUMNA EULOGIZES LORD NEELMADHAV

After reaching the temple of Neelkanth-Mahadev, all of them worshipped Mahadev and Durga. They then visited the temple of Lord Nrisimha, situated under a sandalwood tree at the foothills of Neelachal mountain.King Indradyumna was anxiously waiting for the moment he would have a  divine  glimpse  of  lord  Jagannath.  He  requested…

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NARADA INSTALLS THE IDOL OF NRISIMHA

Narada told Indradyumna–‘Now, we should install an idol of Lord Nrisimha near Neelkanth’s temple for this is the very place where you will be performing one thousand Ashwamedh Yagyas in the days to come. So, your first priority should be to get constructed a magnificent temple of Lord Nrisimha. I…

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INDRADYUMNA PERFORMS ASHWAMEDHA YAGYAS

Sages, who had been listening to the tale narrated by Jaimini with rapt attention till then asked– ‘What did Indradyumna next do after the idol of Lord Nrisimha had been installed?’ Sage Jaimini replied–‘After the idol of Lord Nrisimha had been installed, Indradyumna began making preparations  for  Ashwamedha  yagya.  He…

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JAGANNATH IDOL IS CARVED OUT

After the rituals of final yagya ended, Narada advised Indradyumna to perform the rituals of ‘Purnahuti’  to  mark  the  end  of  Yagya  ceremony.  Narada  then  went  on  to  say–‘  A  tree  is considered to be the partial incarnation (Ansha avatar) of Lord Vishnu for each of his hair that falls…

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CONSECRATION OF THE IDOLS

King Indradyumna was anxious to get performed the rituals of consecration as soon as possible, so he asked Narada–‘I am not aware of the proper rituals that are employed in the consecration of an idol. I need your help in this regard.’ Narada then made a list of articles required…

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RATH YATRA

Dwelling on length about the auspicious days on which Rath Yatra should be taken out, sage Jaimini told the assembled sages–‘The combination of ‘Teej’ falling in the month of Vaishakh (bright half) and Rohini nakshatra, is considered to be extremely auspicious. A king should get constructed three chariots on the…

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SOME PROMINENT PLACES OF PILGRIMAGE

Once,  Sage  Shaunak  asked  Sutji  about  the  means,  which  enabled  human  beings  to  attain salvation in Kali yuga. Sutji recounted a tale — ‘Once, Kartikeya had posed the same question to Lord Shiva. Emphasizing on the importance of pilgrimages, Lord Shiva had told him that in Kali yuga anybody could…

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THE MAJESTY OF BADRIKSHETRA

Kartikeya asked Lord Shiva–‘How did this sacrosanct place originate? Who is the presiding deity of this place?’ Lord Shiva replied–‘Badrikashram is an eternal city and Lord Narayan is its presiding deity. A mere sight of Badrikashram is enough to free a man from all the bondage of life. There are…

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THE IMPORTANCE OF HINDU MONTH ‘KARTIK’

Once, on being asked by some sages about the significance of the Hindu month- Kartik, Sutji narrated the following tale– ‘Once, Narada had asked Lord Brahma the same question. At that time Lord Brahma had revealed to Narada that ‘Kartik’ was supreme among all the months just as Lord Vishnu…

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THE IMPORTANCE OF ‘HOLY DIPS’ IN MARGASHIRSH

Continuing with the description of the significance of various months, Sutji said– ‘Once, while Lord Vishnu was engrossed in his ‘yoganidra’ at Shwetdweepa, Lord Brahma arrived there and requested him to describe the importance of Margashirsh. Lord Vishnu had told him that a devotee  aspiring  for  unification  with  him,  must…

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THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHARITY MADE IN ‘VAISHAKH’

Continuing with his tales, Sutji said–‘ Once, king Ambarish asked Narada about the reason why Lord Vishnu had special liking for the Hindu month-Vaishakh. Narada’s answer was that Vaishakh had been given special privilege by Lord Brahma himself and is believed to fulfill all the wishes of a man. No…

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AYODHYAPURI

Once, on being asked by sage Bhardwaj and few others about the grandeur of Ayodhya, Sutji replied–‘Ayodhya, a sacrosanct city is based on the bank of river Saryu. It is the very city where the famous king Ikshavaku ruled once upon a time. The term Ayodhya means unconquerable and consists…

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RAMESHWAR KSHETRA

Once, Shaunak and few other sages asked Sutji as to how could a man become free from the bondage of the world. They also inquired whether there was an existence of any such holy place capable of liberating a man from heinous of sin. Sutji replied–‘Ramteerth is supreme among all…

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SETU BANDH

All the sages were curious to know about the holy places in the vicinity of Rameshwar. Sutji replied–Sri Ram replied went into exile accompanied by Sita, his consort and his younger brother, Lakshman. Ravan, the demon king who ruled over Lanka deceitfully abducted Sita. Subsequently, Sri Ram befriended Sugreev and…

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RAMESHWAR LINGA

Describing how Sri Ram had installed Rameshwar Linga, Sutji said–‘ After killing Ravan, Sri Ram enthroned Vibhishan as the king of Lanka. While returning to Ayodhya he made a brief stop at Gandhamadan mountain. Since the thought of having killed a brahmin (Ravan) kept on tormenting him, he decided to…

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DHARMARANYA KSHETRA

Once, Sage Vyasa went to meet Yudhisthira, who requested him to describe the significance of Dharmaranya kshetra. Sage Vyasa replied– ‘O king! Once, Dharmaraj-Yudhisthira did an austere penance to please Lord Shiva. As usual, Indra became scarred because he thought that Dharmaraj was doing penance with the intention of acquiring…

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LOSS OF MORAL VALUES IN KALIYUGA

On being asked by Yudhisthira about the life-style of people in Kali yuga, sage Vyasa replied– ‘There will be a widespread prevalence of sinful deeds and lack of moral values in Kali yuga. People would become untruthful and would become critical of revered sages. Moral values would decline to such…

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THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHATURMASYA VRAT

Once, on being asked by Narada about the importance of Chaturmasya, Lord Brahma said–‘Chaturmasya is the period of four months during which Lord Vishnu is believed to take rest in Ksheer-Sagar. So quite naturally, all the oceans, rivers and ponds are believed to attain divinity due to the presence of…

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