Skanda Purana

The Skanda Purana is a Hindu religious text that contains various stories and legends related to the god Skanda, also known as Kartikeya or Murugan. Here are 10 bullet points that summarize the content of the Skanda Purana:

  • The Skanda Purana is divided into seven sections or khaṇḍas, each focusing on a different region or aspect of Hinduism. They are: Māheśvara-khaṇḍa, Vaiṣṇava-khaṇḍa, Brāhma-khaṇḍa, Kāśī-khaṇḍa, Āvantya-khaṇḍa, Nāgara-khaṇḍa, and Prabhāsa-khaṇḍa. ¹
  • The Skanda Purana narrates the birth and adventures of Skanda, the son of Shiva and Parvati, who is the commander of the gods’ army and the slayer of the demon Tāraka. It also describes his marriage to Devasenā and Vallī, his two consorts. ²
  • The Skanda Purana contains detailed descriptions of various pilgrimage sites (tīrthas) and temples (sthānas) dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and other deities. It also explains the merits (puṇya) and rituals (vidhi) associated with visiting these places. ³
  • The Skanda Purana includes many legends and myths about the origin and history of various sacred rivers, mountains, cities, and regions of India. It also mentions the dynasties and kings who ruled over them and their deeds. ⁴
  • The Skanda Purana glorifies the worship and devotion (bhakti) of Shiva and his various forms and manifestations, such as Liṅga, Natarāja, Ardhanārīśvara, etc. It also praises the greatness and grace (prasāda) of Shiva and his consort Pārvatī.
  • The Skanda Purana also extols the virtues and qualities of Vishnu and his incarnations (avatāras), such as Rāma, Kṛṣṇa, Nṛsiṁha, etc. It also narrates the stories and teachings of his devotees (bhaktas), such as Prahlāda, Dhruva, Ambarīṣa, etc.
  • The Skanda Purana teaches the principles and practices of dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), kāma (pleasure), and mokṣa (liberation). It also prescribes the duties (karma) and ethics (nīti) for different stages (āśramas) and classes (varṇas) of life.
  • The Skanda Purana explains the concepts and doctrines of Hindu cosmology (sarga), metaphysics (tattva), theology (brahma), philosophy (darśana), yoga (sādhana), and esotericism (tantra). It also discusses the topics of astrology (jyotiṣa), gemology (ratnaśāstra), medicine (āyurveda), etc.
  • The Skanda Purana illustrates the importance and significance of various festivals (utsavas) and fasts (vratas) that are celebrated throughout the year in honor of different gods and goddesses. It also gives the rules and regulations (vidhāna) for observing them properly.
  • The Skanda Purana is a source of inspiration and guidance for millions of Hindus who follow the traditions and customs of Shaivism and Vaishnavism. It is also a valuable resource for scholars and researchers who study the history and culture of India.

Source: Conversation with Bing, 22/10/2023
(1) Skanda Purana – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skanda_Purana.
(2) The Skanda Purana – Wisdom Library. https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/the-skanda-purana.
(3) Skanda Puran English – Mahakavya – Read Ved Puran Online. https://www.mahakavya.com/skanda-puran-english/.
(4) Skanda Purana [sanskrit] – Wisdom Library. https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/skanda-purana-sanskrit.

Some of the famous stories in Skanda Purana are:

  • The birth and adventures of Skanda, the son of Shiva and Parvati, who is the commander of the gods’ army and the slayer of the demon Tāraka. The Skanda Purana narrates how Skanda was born from the sparks of Shiva’s third eye, how he was raised by six mothers (the Krittikas), how he acquired his weapons and peacock mount, how he defeated Tāraka and his army, and how he married Devasenā and Vallī, his two consorts. ¹
  • The legend of Daksha’s sacrifice, Sati’s death, Shiva’s sorrow, and Parvati’s birth. The Skanda Purana recounts how Daksha, the father of Sati, insulted Shiva and did not invite him to his yajna (ritual sacrifice). How Sati, who was Shiva’s wife, immolated herself in the fire out of grief and anger. How Shiva carried her corpse and performed a dance of destruction (Tāṇḍava) that threatened to annihilate the universe. How Vishnu cut Sati’s body into pieces and scattered them all over the earth, creating the 51 or 52 Shakti Pīṭhas (sacred sites of the goddess). And how Sati was reborn as Parvati, the daughter of the mountain king Himavān, and performed penance to win Shiva’s love again. ²
  • The churning of the ocean (Samudra Manthan) and the emergence of Amrita (the nectar of immortality). The Skanda Purana narrates how the gods and demons cooperated to churn the cosmic ocean using Mount Mandara as the churning rod and Vasuki as the churning rope. How various divine beings and objects emerged from the ocean, such as Lakshmi, Dhanvantari, Airavata, Ucchaisrava, Kaustubha, Parijata, etc. How Vishnu took the form of Mohini to deceive the demons and distribute the Amrita among the gods. And how a few drops of Amrita fell on earth and created sacred places such as Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik. ⁵

Source: Conversation with Bing, 22/10/2023
(1) Skanda Purana – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skanda_Purana.
(2) Skanda Purana History and Benefits of Reading Skanda Purana – HindUtsav. https://www.hindutsav.com/skanda-purana/.
(3) Exploring the Enchanting Tales of Skanda Purana: A Journey into Hindu …. https://cultureandheritage.org/2023/05/exploring-the-enchanting-tales-of-skanda-purana-a-journey-into-hindu-mythology.html.
(4) Skanda Puran English – Mahakavya – Read Ved Puran Online. https://www.mahakavya.com/skanda-puran-english/.
(5) Skanda Purana – Kandha Puranam – GaneshaSpeaks. https://www.ganeshaspeaks.com/hindi/hinduism/purana/skanda-puran/.

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