by J. L. Shastri | 1970
The English translation of the Shiva Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas. Contents include cosmology, mythology, yoga, description of sacred places (tirtha), geography, etc. The text is an important source for Shaivism and some of the oldest surviving content deals with Advaita-Vedanta philosophy and theistic Bhakti (devotion). This edition ...
1-2. O Sūta, the fortunate Sūta, thou art blessed with thy mind engrossed in Śiva. The story that thou hast narrated to us is wonderful and conducive to the increase of devotion. What did the woman Cañculā do after obtaining her salvation? O intelligent one, please tell me in detail the story of her husband too.
5. Thou art worthy of being served by Viṣṇu, Brahmā and others. Thou art both endowed with and devoid of attributes. Thou art the subtle primordial Prakṛti, with Existence, Knowledge and Bliss for thy forms.
7. Offering thus her prayers to the Goddess, Cañculā who had attained salvation ceased to talk with shoulders stooping and eyes brimming with tears of love.
8. Pārvatī, the beloved of Śiva, ever favouring her devotees, was greatly moved by pity and said to Cañculā lovingly.
9. O Cañculā, my friend, I am pleased to hear your prayer. O beautiful woman, what is the boon you crave from me? Tell me. There is nothing that I cannot give you.
10. Thus urged by Girijā, Cañculā bowed to her. She asked her, bending her head and joining her palms together with great devotion.
11. O Celestial Girijā, I do not know where my husband is at present, nor where he is to go. O benignant favourite of the distressed, please make such arrangements as would enable me to join him.
12. O great goddess Maheśānī, my husband had a Śūdra woman as his concubine. He died before me. I do not know what befell that sinner.
13. On hearing these words of Cañculā Pārvatī, the daughter of Himālaya, who is fond of justice, replied lovingly.
14. O daughter, your wicked sinful husband Binduga, the foolish wretch enamoured of prostitutes has been to hell after his death.
16. Even now that wicked fellow is undergoing various painful tortures. He, in the form of a Piśāca, has only wind for his diet and is suffering from all sorts of miseries.
17. On hearing these words of Gaurī, Cañculā of auspicious rites was overwhelmed by the pain at the news of her husband’s distress.
18. She somehow steadied her mind, bowed to Maheśvari and with a worried heart asked the goddess.
19. O Maheśvarī, O great goddess, be kind to me. Please redeem my husband, a wicked perpetrator of evil actions though he be.
20. What is the means by which my husband, the sinful wretch of crooked intellect, can attain salvation. O goddess, obeisance to Thee. Please explain to me.
21. On hearing these words of the woman, Pārvatī, favourably disposed to her devotees, replied to her chaperon Cañculā, delighted in her heart.
22. If your husband were to hear the holy story of Śiva, he shall surmount the misery entirely and attain salvation.
23. On hearing these words of Gaurī, little short of nectar, she bent her shoulders, joined her palms and bowed repeatedly with great devotion.
24. She requested the goddess to provide an opportunity for her husband to hear the story for quelling his sins and gaining redemption.
25. Gaurī, the beloved of Śiva, on being frequently requested by the woman, took pity on her, (making it clear thereby that) she was favourably disposed to her devotees.
27. O Tumburu, the favourite of Śiva, ever ready to do as I wish, blessedness be thine. Accompany this lady immediately to Vindhya mountain.
28. There is an awfully terrible Piśāca there. I shall tell you all his antecedents. You will be interested to know the same.
29. This Piśāca had been a brahmin in his previous birth. Then he was the husband of this woman who is my chaperon now. He was very wicked and had a Sudra concubine.
30. He was impure, never caring for the daily performance of ablutions and Sandhyā prayers. His mind was ever vitiated by anger. He ate all sorts of foul things. He quarrelled with good men and whatever he undertook had been bad.
31. He was violent in his ways, bearing weapons and oppressing poor people cruelly. He used to take food with his left hand. He used to commit arson in other people’s house.
32. He was friendly with Cāṇḍālas. Every day he took delight in the company of prostitutes forsaking his own wife. The roguish sinner took delight in associating with the wicked.
33. In evil association with harlots he destroyed all his merits. Besides, coveting more and more wealth, he made his own wife a fearless sharer of her paramours’ beds.
34. His evil ways continued till the last moments of his life and when he died he went to Yama’s city, the terrible place where sinners reap the fruits of their misdeeds.
35. After undergoing the tortures of many hells, the wicked wretch is now roaming in the Vindhya mountain as a roguish sinful Piśāca.
36. Narrate the holy sanctifying tale of sacred Śivapurāṇa, that quells all sins, in front of him.
37. Immediately after hearing the great story of Śivapurāṇa his soul will be cleared of sins and he will cast off his ghosthood.
38. I order you to set that Binduga free from the miserable plight of Piśāca and bring him in the aerial chariot in the presence of lord Śiva.
39. Commanded thus by Pārvatī, Tumburu, the lord of Gandharvas, was much delighted and thought within himself how fortunate he was.
40-41. Tumburu, the comrade of Nārada, went to the Vindhya mountain seated in the aerial chariot in the company of Cañculā, the sinless woman and saw the Piśāca laughing, crying and loudly shouting by turns. His body was very huge, his jaws were immensely large and his form was very crooked.
42. The powerful Tumburu, the singer of the excellent songs of praise of Śiva, forcefully caught hold of the terrible Piśāca by means of nooses.
43. Thereafter, for the sake of the discourse on Śivapurāṇa, Tumburu made elaborate festive arrangements.
44-45. There was much talk and discussion among the people of all the worlds “Oh, Tumburu has gone to the Vindhya mountain at the suggestion of Goddess, to narrate the story of Śivapurāṇa to redeem the Piśāca.” The divine sages too hastened to the place for listening to the same.
46. The wonderful congregation of those who assembled there, reverently eager to listen to Śivapurāṇa, was very auspicious.
47. They bound the Piśāca with nooses and compelled him to sit there. With the lute in his hands, Tumburu began to sing the story of Gaurī’s consort.
49. On hearing the Śivapurāṇa consisting of seven compendiums with great reverence all the listeners deemed themselves highly blessed.
50. The Piśāca too, on hearing the holy Śivapurāṇa, cast-off all his sins and discarded his ghostly body.
51. He assumed the divine form of the three-eyed moon-crested God (Śiva), white in complexion, clad in white cloth, with the body illuminated and embellished by all ornaments.
52. Taking up the divine body, the glorious Binduga accompanied by his wife sang the story of Pārvatī’s consort.
53. On seeing his wife thus, all the divine sages had a welcome surprise and were highly delighted in their minds.
54. Gratified on hearing the wonderful story of Śiva they returned to their respective abodes delightedly glorifying Śiva.
55. Binduga in his divine form ascended the aerial chariot with great pleasure. High up in the sky, with his wife at his side he shone brilliantly.
56. Singing the pleasing attributes of Śiva he hastened to Śiva’s region accompanied by Tumburu and his own wife.
57. Binduga was welcomed by Śiva and Pārvatī and was lovingly made their attendant. His wife became the chaperon of Girijā.
58. In that permanent abode of excellent bliss and sublime lustre he acquired an unassailable residence and unobstructed pleasure.
59. Thus I have narrated this holy anecdote that removes sins, is highly delightful to Śiva and Pārvatī in pure and heightening devotion.
60. He who listens to this account with devotion and recites this piously shall enjoy immense pleasures and obtain liberation.
Footnotes and references:
In the Pauranic Mythology, Pārvatī is the daughter of Himālaya and the wife of Śi va. In the cult of Śakti and Tantras, she has been identified with Prakṛti itself. Almost all the Purāṇas speak of her as Prakṛti and her three Guṇas Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are the three Gods: Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva
Vindhya: It is a range of mountains which stretches across India and divides Madhyadeśa or Middle Land from the south. It is one of the seven Kulaparvatas and is personified in the Purāṇas.