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Skanda Purana (Stories from the)
Skanda Purana comes in the category of Satvik Puranas as it describes the stories of Lord Vishnu and that of his incarnations. The Skanda Purana consists of 81100 verses, and deals mainly with the glorification of Lord Siva and holy places of pilgrimage associated with him. There are also very intersting sections, that describe the glories of Jagannatha Puri and Vyenkata Hill, and many interesting stories. Srila Prabhupada used to quote verses from the Skanda Purana frequently. A summary told by Purnaprajna Dasa.
Siva cast his spiritual energies into a fire. But Agni, the fire god, could not bear its radiance for long. He cast it into river Ganga, causing its cool waters to boil. The terrible heat thus generated, set fire to the reeds on the river banks. In great blaze, Siva’s energy transformed into a child, a boy with six beads and twelve arms.
When the fire died out, six wondering nymphs called the Kritikkas, found the baby. They nursed him and took him to Siva. The sight of this extraordinary child filled the god with awe. He was given many names: Skanda, the energetic emission; Gangeya, the son of Ganga: and Kartik, the son of the Krittika maidens. Siva gave him a powerful lance, vel, as a weapon: a rooster for his insignia: and a peacock for his vehicle, his vahana.
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