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Sri Harsesvaramahatmyam - The Glory of Lord Haresvara: A Famous Sivadhama of Kashmir

Sri Harsesvaramahatmyam - The Glory of Lord Haresvara: A Famous Sivadhama of Kashmir
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Item Code: IHK029
Author: Prof. N.K. Gurtoo
Publisher: Penman Publishers
Language: (Sanskrit Text with English Translation)
Edition: 2000
ISBN: 818550430X
Pages: 96
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.5 Inch X 5.5 Inch
weight of the book: 245 gms
From the Jacket

About the Book

The present book of Sri Harsesvaramahatmyam or The Glory of Lord Harsesvara, a Famous Siva-Dhama of Kashmir, is based on careful collation of three old Sarada manuscripts of the Adi-Purana origin. Almost all the renowned “Tirthas” (Holy places of pilgrimage) of the valley of Kashmir have Mahatmyas, lucid narration in poetries regarding presiding deities of the “Tirtha”, attached with them. The present Mahatmya” as has its text based on Adi-Purana gives us the most authentic account of an eminent Siva-Dhama of ancient Kashmir called Harsesvara, also the place of pilgrimage. Apart from depicting the divinity of a particular “Tirtha”, this Mahatmya throws ample light on the topographical and scenic surrounding of the “Tirtha” as also on the socio-cultural activities of the inhabitants of the region. Sri Harsesvaramahatmyam is one of the principal Mahatmyas of Kashmir. The Presiding deity of this Mahatmya is none else but Lord Siva’ Himself, also called Harsesvara- the destroyer of the demon Taraka.

The present book of Harsesvara-Mahatmya which comprises 155 beautiful Sanskrit verses has been duly rendered into simple English with descriptive notes. The introduction of the book presents a comprehensive account of the ancient Kashmir. The book will be useful both for the devotees of Siva and the readers in general.

About the Author Prof. N.K. Gurtoo

Birth: Srinagar, Kashmir
Credited with an outstanding academic record of two post-graduate degrees in Sanskrit & Hindi in addition to two degrees of Shastri & Prabhakar of the undivided Punjab University, Lahore, Prof. N.K. Gurtoo occupies a place of distinction in the front row Kashmir speaking Sanskrit scholars. His chequered service record of over three decades in various educational Institutions & Research Department of the Jammu & Kashmir State has won him many a laurel. Though well-versed in various schools of Indian philosophy especially Samkhya & Vedanta, his command on & penetrating insight in Kashmir Saivism has given him a status of honour in the literary & philosophical fields. He actively participated in the Sunday discourses held at Saiva Mathika, Srinagar under the tutelage of his revered preceptor Saivacharya Sri Ishwar Swaroop (Swami Lakshman Joo) during sixties, seventies & eighties of the current century.

Prof Gurtoo has edited and translated into Hindi with exhaustive notes four well- known texts of Kashmir Saivism- (1) Paratrimsika, and (2) Spandakarika (MLBD, Delhi) and his new works published recentlyare- (3) Sambapancasika of Samba (Penman, Delhi) and (4) Amaranaths Mahatmya. He is also the subeditor of “Kashmir Shaiva-Darsana Vrihatkosah” edited by his teacher Dr. B.N. Pandit.

Preface

The present edition of the Harsesvara- Mahatmyam or The Glory of Lord Harsesvara, an eminent Siva-Dhama of Kashmir, is based on careful collation of three old Sarada manuscripts of the Adi-Purana origin. Almost all the renowned “Tirthas” (holy places of pilgrimage) of the valley of Kashmir have Mahatmyas, lucid narration in poetries regarding presiding deities of the Tirtha, attached with them. Such Mahatmyas as have their texts based on Adi-Purana give us the most authentic account of the places of pilgrimage. Apart from depicting the divinity of a particular ‘Tirtha’, the Mahatmyas throw ample light on other aspects as well.

The present book of Harsesvara- Mahatmyam is one of the principal Mahatmyas of Kashmir. The presiding deity of this Mahatmya is none else but Lord Siva Himself, also called Harsesvara, the cheerful God Siva, the destroyer of demon Tarak. It is composed of 155 beautiful verses which depict an eminent Siva-Dhama of Kashmir, known as Harsesvara. It has great attraction for the devout Hindus of Kashmir.

The worship of Siva-Lingam has all along been a religious obligation of every member of that ancient Kashmirian society from the time immemorial. The annual pilgrimages to various Siva-Dhamas, situated in far too distant Himalayan interiors in order to perform the worship of the ‘Svayambhuh’ lingams- the self-created lingam formations, were regularly organized with religious zest. As for the Harsesvara- Lingam (inside the cave), it is a magnificent Lingam of whitish-blue hue, with a visible mark of being attired with Gajajina- the hide of an elephant, is gracefully seated on a small elevated daislike stone structure in the northern corner of sanctum-sanctorum of the cava.

At a short distance above the Harsesvara-cave there is another cave known as Cakresvara cave. A lining proof of the Harsesvara’s antiquity is further confirmed by its close association with the Taksaka-Naga, an ancient Kashmirian Tirtha of the days of the Mahabharata. It occurs in the poetic works of Kalhana and Bilhana.

In order to get oneself sufficiently acquainted with the socio-cultural set up of the ancient Kashmiran society, as also, the ancient topographical scenario of the region, the study of this vast Mahatmyas, depite their Prima-facie religious and legendary character, provide us with ample information concomitant to the social behaviour and cultural ethos of that ancient Kashmirian society, often recorded by the authors of these Mahatmyas quite unwittingly.

In the present book an attempt has been made to succinctly give an account of the history of the Harsesvara-Mahatmyam in the Introduction. I think it is a comprehensive one and it will amply acquaint the readers with the importance of this Mahatmya. The textual portion which is in Sanskrit has been duly rendered into simple English with descriptive notes explaining the difficult terms. The Sanskrit text has also been transliterated into English and has been separately appended at the end of the translation making the book useful even for those who don’t know Devanagari script. I hope that the book will be useful both for the devotees of Siva and thee general readers alike.

Contents

Photograph of SriLaksmanajooMaharaj(Dedication)v
Preface vii
Key to Transliteration & Pronunciation x
Introduction 1-17
The Source-Material 1
Importance of the Ancient Mahatmyas 2
The Bhrngisa-Samhita 3
The Kasmira 5
The Socio-Cultural Set-up of the Ancient Kasmirian Society 6
The Linga-Worship in Ancient Kashmir 7
The Harsesvara-Lingam (Inside the Cave) 10
The Cakresvara Cave 11
The Taksaka Naga 12
The Identity of Taraka 13
The Harseswara-Seva-Dal 15
Sri Harsesvaramahatmyam 19-68
(Original Sanskrit Text with English Translation)
Transliteration (Roman Version) of the Sanskrit text into English 69-82
Index of Verses (Slokanukramanika) 83-88

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