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21. 09. 2018
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Skand puran - Introduction

After that, the execution of Tarkasur by Kartikeya and Meru, Udaygiri, Mahendra, Shail, Vindhya, Shwetkut, Trikut etc. mountains transforming into the Ling form have been described. Narrating the glory of Shivling, lord Skand Kumar says that the Ling of Lord Shiv who is the ruler of all gods should be considered as the temple of Shiv (Shivalaya). Ling can be made of any metal or material. For example - sapphire, ruby, pearl, padmrag, gomed, silver, gold, markat, chandra and such metals may be used to make Ling. All the stones at the middle of the river Reva (Narmada) have attained the form of Ling by the blessings of Lord Mahadev. It should be worshipped by the method prescribed in scriptures. The kind sight of Lord Shiv always stays with the man who meditates and worships Shivling. The entire trouble of the devotee is removed who meditates this 'Om Namah Shivaya!' mantra.

Describing the signs and Nakshatra it is said that when Brahmaji created the entire moveable and immoveable world along with cosmos, then the cycle of sign was born. The 12 signs and 27 Nakshatras are present in this cycle of sign. The play of this world is governed by the time cycle of these signs and nakshatras. This cycle of sign and Nakshatra governs creation, fostering, and destruction.

Thereafter, glorifying the donations made on the Poornima (the day of full moon) and Amavasya (the day of moonless night) and describing the special dates and its ruling gods, it is said that the midnight of the fourteenth day of Krishna paksha (phase) is famous as the date designated for Lord Shiv. This is called Shivratri (the month of Shivratri). To exemplify the glory of Shivratri-vrat there is a story of a Chandal who, due to observing Shivratri-vrat, became King Vichitraveerya in his second birth and was called Veerbhadra in his third birth emerging from the locks of Lord Shiv.

After that there is description of the Panchapsar pilgrim spot. Five pilgrims namely Mahakaleshwar, Kumaresh, Stambhesh, Varkareshwar, and Siddhesh spots are merging in the Panchapsar pilgrim spot. In the related stories, there is the episode of the devotees being asked to leave these pilgrim spots out of the dread of five alligators and subsequently their salvation by Arjun, the son of Pandu. In fact, these five alligators were five nymphs (apsaras) of paradise whose names were Varcha, Saurmeyi, Saameyi, Budbuda, and Lata and who were rendered free of their curse by Arjun.

The glory of donation has been established by the dialogue between Devarshi Narad and King Dharmavarma. Naradji says that donations should be made with full respect and capacity. He who donates despite shortage in family never gets happiness. The donation should always be made as per dharma. Someone's deposit, the money kept for emergency and borrowed money should never be donated. Dharma, arth, kaam, kreeda, harsha, and bhaya - these are said to be the six types of donations. That is someone by greed, someone by desire of reward, someone by being glad to see some loved one, and some by the fear go for making donation.

The dharma donation is the greatest and the most beneficial among all the donations which are offered without any expectation to someone who deserves. The good influence of the donation made to the noble men remains stable even in the parlok, whereas the reward of the donation made to evil men extenuates in this world only. One should not repent after making a donation otherwise its importance is weakened. The donation which is not made with due respect or the donation; which arouses anger never yield reward.

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