The Shiva Purana (English translation)

by J. L. Shastri | 1970 | 616,585 words

This page relates “narada goes to vaikuntha and curses vishnu there” as found in the Shiva-purana, which, in Hinduism, represents one of the eighteen Mahapuranas. This work eulogizes Lord Shiva as the supreme deity, besides topics such as cosmology and philosophy. It is written in Sanskrit and claims to be a redaction of an original text consisting of 100,000 metrical verses.

Chapter 4 - Nārada goes to Vaikuṇṭha and curses Viṣṇu there

The sages said:—

l-2. Sūta, O Sūta of great intellect, a wonderful tale has been narrated by you. Blessed indeed is the Māyā of Śiva. All mobile and immobile things depend upon it. When the two attendants of lord Rudra had left at their own will what did the infuriated Nārada, the sage disquieted by Kāmadeva, do?

Sūta said:—

3-5. After cursing the two attendants of Śiva suitably, the sage still under the earlier delusion looked into the water and saw that his face was quite normal. It was also due to Śiva’s will. He did not wake from the delusion still again due to Śiva’s will. Thereupon recollecting that it might have been a deception of Hari, he became unbearably infuriated and went to Viṣṇuloka. There he angrily poured abusive words blazing like kindled fire since his wisdom had vanished due to Śiva’s will.

Nārada said:—

6. O Viṣṇu, you are extremely wicked, deceptive enchanter of the world. You are unable to brook others’ enthusiastic success. You dabble in illusory tactics and your intentions are always dirty.

7. Formerly you assumed the form of an enchantress[1] and showed your deceptive power. You made the demons drink liquor and not the nectar.

8. If out of pity Śiva had not drunk poison[2], O Viṣṇu, all your illusory tactics would have been quelled since you take pleasure only in deception.

9. O Viṣṇu, a deceptive path is extremely attractive to you. You had never been of saintly nature, but the lord made you free from control.

10-11. What is done by Śiva the supreme Ātman does not seem proper. Thinking of your influence and strength when you act independently and seeing the way you go He has now repented. He has announced that a brahmin is superior to all, thereby making the Vedas pronounced by Him authoritative.

12. O Viṣṇu, knowing that, I shall now teach you through that power so that hereafter you will never do such things.

13. You are fearless because till now you have not come into clash with an equally powerful person. Now you will derive, O Viṣṇu, the fruit of your own “deeds”.

14. After saying this, the sage still under the influence of Māyā furiouly cursed Viṣṇu, thereby exhibiting the superiority of his brahminical power.

15-16. O Viṣṇu, the enchanter that you are, you made me distressed for the sake of woman. O Hari, you shall experience misery in that human form which you imitated while proceeding with your deceptive tactics. Your allies will be those whose face you assigned to me.

17. O inflictor of miseries upon others, you shall get the misery of separation from a woman. You shall have the travails of a human being deluded by ignorance.”

18. Thus Nārada, deluded himself by ignorance, cursed Hari. Viṣṇu quietly accepted the cause praising the Maya of Sambhu.

19. Thereafter Śiva, of great divine sport withdrew his enchanting Māyā whereby Nārada became wise (as before) and free from delusion.

20-21. When the Māyā vanished he became as intelligent as before regaining perfect knowledge and becoming free from distress. He was surprised (at his own action in the meantime). He cursed himself after repenting again and again. He praised the Māyā of Śiva which could enchant even wise people.

22. On realising his mistakes due to illusion, Nārada, the most excellent of the devotees of Viṣṇu, fell at his feet.

23. Consoled by Hari and freed from wicked ideas he said—“Being deluded and evil-minded I have spoken many wicked words to you.

24. O lord, I heaped curses on you. O master, please make them ineffective. I have committed a great sin. Certainly I will be falling into a hell.

25. O Hari, I am your slave. Please direct me what to do whereby I may destroy my sins and prevent my downfall into hell.”

26. Saying thus, the excellent sage once again fell at Viṣṇu’s feet and with the mind purified repented sincerely.

27. Thereupon Viṣṇu lifted him up and spoke affably and courteously.

Viṣṇu said:—

“Do not be sorry too much. Undoubtedly you are my true devotee.

28. Dear sage, now listen. I shall tell you what is certainly beneficial to you. You will not fall into hell. Śiva will make you happy.

29. Deluded by your haughtiness you disobeyed the instructions of Śiva. The true bestower of fruits according to the actions, He has given you this result.

30. Be sure in your mind that everything has happened in accordance with Śiva’s wish. That lord Śiva, the supreme lord, removes haughtiness.

31. He is the supreme Brahman; the supreme Ātman, Existence, Knowledge and Bliss. He is free from the three Guṇas, changes and deviations. He is beyond Rajas, Sattva and Tamas.

32. He is both Saguṇa and Nirguṇa (with and without attributes). He Himself availing of his own Maya manifests into three forms—Brahma, Viṣṇu, and Maheśa.

33. In his attributeless pure form He is glorified as Śiva, the supreme Ātman, Maheśvara, the supreme Brahman, the undecaying, the endless, and Mahādeva.

34. Serving him, Brahmā becomes the creator and I the sustainer of the worlds. He himself in the manifestation as Rudra is the annihilator always.

35. Different from Māyā, the pure Being in the form of Śiva is the Sākṣin (cosmic witness) and moving about according to His Will and indulging in divine sport He blesses his devotees.

36. O sage Nārada, please listen to a good remedy that bestows happiness, removes all sins and yields worldly pleasures and salvation.

37. Cast off all your doubts. Sing the songs of noble glory of Śiva. With your mind not turning to anything else, always repeat the hundred names of Śiva and his hymns.

38. By his Japa all of your sins will perish instantaneously. After saying this to Nārada, Viṣṇu continued mercifully.

39. “O sage, do not be grief-striken. Nothing has been perpetrated by you. It was Śiva who did everything. There is no doubt in this.

40. It was lord Maheśvara who deluded your splendid intellect and made you suffer on account of love. It was he who made you His mouthpiece and cursed me.

41. In this manner the great Conqueror of Death, Kāla of Kāla, always devoted to the uplift of his devotees, made His own conduct of life manifest in the world.

42. There is no other lord and master so loving and pleasure-inspiring unto me as Śiva. The same Parameśvara bestows all power on me.

43. O sage, perform His adoration. Worship him always. Hear and sing his glory. Perpetually pay Him homage.

44. He who approaches Śiva by means of his body, mind and speech is a great scholar. He is called a living liberated soul.

45. The name Śiva blazing like the forest conflagration reduces mountainous heaps of great sins to ashes without any difficulty. True, it is undoubtedly true.

46. The different kinds of miseries arising from sins shall be destroyed only through the worship of Śiva, and not through other means.

47. He who always seeks refuge in Śiva, O sage, is the real follower of the Vedas, a meritorious soul and a blessed scholar. He must resort to Him by means of his body, speech and mind for ever.

48. The different sacred rites of those who have full faith in the worship of Śiva, the destroyer of Tripura[3] become fruitful instantaneously.

49. O great sage, there are not so many sins in the world as the worship of Śiva is capable of destroying.

50. Innumerable heaps of sins like that of the slaughter of a brahmin perish by remembering Śiva. Truth, I am telling you the truth.

51. The sins (that usually cause worldly existence) relating to persons who cross the ocean of worldly existence in the raft of Śiva’s names, perish undoubtedly.

52. The sins which are at the root of worldly existence are destroyed certainly by the axe of Śiva’s name.

53. Persons scorched and distressed by the conflagration of sins must drink the nectar of Śiva’s names. Without that there is no peace and tranquillity to those who are scorched and distressed by the sins’ wild fire.

54. Those who are drenched by the downpour of the nectarine names of Śiva are not distressed in the midst of the conflagration of worldly existence. There is no doubt in this.

55-56. Immediate salvation can be achieved only by the people who have performed penance in various lives. They alone will have devotion for Śiva the cherished consort of Pārvatī. Men who frequently indulge in passions of love and hatred will never have devotion for Śiva.

57. The devotion for Śiva that extends to other deities is futile. It is necessary to be exclusively devoted to Śiva.

58. It is my conviction that salvation is easy of access only to the person who has exclusive and unflinching devotion for Śiva and not for any other.

59. Even if he commits endless sins, he will be freed from them all, if he has true devotion for Śiva. There is no doubt about it.

60. Just as trees in the forest are reduced to ashes in the wild fire so also the sins of the devotees of Śiva are burnt away in the fire of Śiva’s name.

61. He who is ever devoted to the worship of Śiva with his body purified by the ash, definitely crosses the terrible and endless expanse of the ocean of worldly existence.

62. A man serving the three-eyed[4] Śiva is never sullied by sins even if he misappropriates a brahmin’s wealth or kills many brahmins.

63. After going through all the Vedas this has been definitely concluded by ancestors that the sole means of destroying worldly existence is the worship of Siva.

64. From now onwards you shall always worship lord Śiva who is Sāmba and Sadāśiva, with care, effort and due observance of the rules of procedure.

65. Dusting profusely and carefully your body from head to foot with the particles of ashes, you shall perform the Japa of the six-syllabled mantra[5] of Śiva, well-known in all the Vedas.

66. You shall wear on the different parts of your body Rudrākṣa beads pleasing to Śiva, repeating the respective mantras with devotion and observing the rules of procedure.

67. Listen to Śiva’s anecdotes for ever. Narrate the stories of Śiva always. Strenuously worship the devotees of Śiva again and again.

68. Without blundering ever seek refuge in Śiva, be cause a perpetual worship of Śiva bestows bliss.

69. Bearing the lotus-like feet of Śiva within your pure heart, carry on at first the pilgrimage to various holy centres of Śiva, O excellent sage.

70. Observing the unrivalled greatness of Śiva, the supreme Ātman, O sage, you must next go to Ānandavana which is a great favourite of Siva.

71. Seeing Śiva, the lord of the universe there, worship Him with devotion. After bowing to him and eulogising Him you will become free from all doubts.

72. Thereafter you must go to Brahmaloka, O sage, to achieve your wishes. That is my command to you out of love.

73. O sage, after bowing to and specifically eulogising your father Brahma, you shall ask him many points regarding Śiva’s greatness with an endearing mind.

74. Brahma, the foremost among the devotees of Śiva, will narrate to you the greatness of Śiva as well as the hymn of hundred names, out of love.

75. O sage, from now onwards become a devotee of Śiva, solely devoted to Śiva. You will be liberated. Śiva will grant you his special blessings”.

76. After advising the sage thus, Viṣṇu was pleased. Remembering, saluting and eulogising Śiva he vanished from that place.

Footnotes and references:


It refers to the form assumed by Viṣṇu at the time of cheating the demons of nectar.


It refers to Śiva’s swallowing the poison produced at the churning of the ocean.


Śiva is called Tripurāri (the enemy of Tripura) because he killed the demon, Tripura who presided over the three cities built for the dānavas by Maya etc. after having burnt down the cities along with the demons inhabiting them.


Śiva is called Virūpākṣa ‘odd-eyed’, because he is represented as having three eyes: two on either side of the nose and one on the forehead.


The six-syllabled mantra: “oṃ namaśśivāya”