The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “summary of sati’s life” 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 1 - Summary of Satī’s life

Nārada said:—

1. O Brahmā, thanks to Śiva’s favour, you know everything. You have narrated to me the wonderful stories of Śiva and Pārvatī.

2. O lord, I am never fully satiated by hearing the great story of Śiva from your lotus-like face. I wish to hear further the same.

3-7. As explained by you, Rudra is the complete manifestation of Śiva. He is the great Lord whose abode is Kailāsa. He is a yogin of perfect control. He is worthy of being propitiated by all devas, Viṣṇu and others. He is the final goal of all good men. He is free from Dvandvas (mutually clashing opposites). The great lord never undergoes any change yet indulges in His divine sports. He became a householder again after marrying the noble lady Maṅgalā at the request of Viṣṇu when she performed penance. At first she was born of Dakṣa and later of Himālaya. How could she be the daughter of both with the same body? How did Satī[1] become Pārvatī and attain Śiva again? O Brahmā, please explain all these and other points relating to His episode.

8. On hearing these words of the celestial sage devoted to Śiva, Brahmā became delighted and said again.

Brahmā said:—

9. O best of sages, dear one, listen. I shall narrate the auspicious story on hearing which undoubtedly the life will become fruitful.

10. Formerly, on seeing my daughter Sandhyā[2] in the company of my sons I was afflicted by the arrows of the cupid and much upset.

11. When remembered by Dharma, Rudra, the highest lord and the greatest yogin came there. He reproached me as well as my sons and went back to His abode.

12. A serious offence was committed by me against Śiva the great lord, by whose Māyā I was subjected to great delusion despite my being the reciter of the Vedas.

13. Under great delusion and goaded by the envious feelings towards the lord I conspired with my sons to find out ways and means to delude the lord Himself. Here again I was deluded by Śiva’s Māyā..

14. O great sage, in Śiva the great lord, all those ways and means pursued by me and my sons became ineffective.

15. When my strategy failed I remembered the lord of Lakṣmī (Viṣṇu) in the company of my sons. The intelligent lord (Viṣṇu) devoted to Śiva came there and advised me.

16. Instructed by Viṣṇu who demonstrated Śiva’s principles, I cast off my envy no doubt, but since I still was under delusion I did not eschew my stubbornness.

17. I humbly served Śakti and when she was pleased I created her as the daughter of Dakṣa and Asiknī (Dakṣa’s wife). Dakṣa, you remember, was my son. This was my endeavour to make Hara enamoured of her.

18. The goddess Umā became Dakṣa’s daughter, performed a severe penance and thanks to her great devotion became Rudra’s wife. The goddess indeed is a benefactress of her devotees.

19. In the company of Umā, Rudra became a householder and the great lord performed divine sports. He of undecaying intellect deluded me even at the time of his marriage.

20. The independent lord assuming his own body married her and returned to his mountain. In her company he sported much, deluding many.

21. O sage, much time was happily spent by Śiva free from all depraved feelings and indulging in noble dalliance with her.

22-23. Then a feeling of rivalry arose between Dakṣa and Rudra; Dakṣa was excessively deluded by Śiva’s illusion and so becoming extremely haughty he censured the quiet Śiva who was free from all depraved feelings.

24. Then Dakṣa the haughty, performed a sacrifice without Śiva, although he had invited Viṣṇu, me and all other devas.

25. Since he was in delusion he was very furious. So he did not invite Rudra and his own daughter Satī. He was greatly deluded by his own fate.

26. When she was not invited by her father whose mind was deluded by illusion, Śivā (Satī) of perfect knowledge and purest chastity played a divine sport.

27. Though not invited by her haughty father she did go to her father’s house securing the reluctant permission of Śiva.

28. Seeing no share of Rudra set apart and being slighted by her father, she reproached all those who were present there and cast off her body.

29. On hearing that, lord Śiva became unbearably furious and pulling at his matted hair he created Vīrabhadra.[3]

30. When he was created along with attendants he began asking “What shall I do?”. The entire annihilation of Dakṣa’s sacrifice and the disgrace of every one present there was the order issued by Śiva.

31. The lord of the Gaṇas (Vīrabhadra) accompanied by his soldiers reached the place immediately after receiving the orders.

32. They worked a great havoc there. Vīrabhadra chastised everyone and spared none.

33. After defeating Viṣṇu and the Devas with strenuous effort, the chief of Gaṇas cut off the head of Dakṣa and consigned it to the sacrificial fire.

34. Working great havoc he destroyed the sacrifice. Then he came back to the mountain and bowed to Lord Śiva.

35. Even as the whole of the world of Devas was witnessing, the process of destruction of the sacrifice was carried out by Vīrabhadra and others, the followers of Rudra.

36. The policy in agreement with what is laid down in the Vedas and Smṛtis is this, O Sage, which you must note. When lord Rudra is angry, how can there be happiness in the world?

37. On hearing his song of praise Rudra relented. Favourably disposed to the miserable that he was, he granted their request.

38. Śiva, the great lord, indulging in different sorts of divine sports, became sympathetic and merciful as before.

39. Dakṣa was resuscitated. The whole sacrifice was renewed under the instruction of the merciful Lord Śiva. All those present were honoured in due manner.

40. O sage, in that sacrifice Rudra was honoured by all the Gods with due devotion. They were highly delighted.

41. The flame of fire arising from the body of Satī and delighting the whole world fell on that mountain and it was duly worshipped.

42. The deity became famous as Jvālāmukhī yielding fruits of cherished desires. Even her very vision quells all sins.

43. Even now she is worshipped with due festivities for the acquisition of all desires, observing all stipulated modes of procedure.

44. The Goddess Satī became the daughter of Himālaya. As such she became famous as Pārvatī.

45. She propitiated lord Śiva with a rigorous penance and attained him as her husband.

46. O great sage, I have narrated to you all that you asked me. Whoever hears this narrative will no doubt be freed from all sins.

Footnotes and references:


Satī, the daughter of Dakṣa, the son of Brahmā, was married to Śiva. She abandoned her body in consequence of the quarrel between her husband and father. It is said in the Purāṇas that Dakṣa instituted a sacrifice but apportioned no share to Śiva. Thereupon Satī felt insulted and entered the sacrificial fire whereupon Śiva sent hundreds and thousands of powerful Gaṇas who destroyed the sacrifice and beheaded Dakṣa. The present section narrates the story of the birth of Satī, her marriage with Śiva, their lovely sports and her tragic end at the sacrifice of her father, Dakṣa.


Sandhyā ‘lit. twilight’ is personified as the daughter of Brahmā. It is said that Brahmā attempted to do violence to her but was reproached by Śiva. According to another version Sandhyā changed herself to a deer for escape from the evil intention of Brahmā whereupon Brahmā assumed the form of a stag and pursued her through the sky. Śiva saw this and shot an arrow which cut off the head of the stag. Brahmā then reassumed his own form and paid homage to Śiva.


Vīrabhadra is described as Śiva’s son, produced from Śiva’s matted locks or mouth or a drop of Śiva’s sweat, in order to spoil the sacrifice of Dakṣa. He is represented as having a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet and a thousand clubs. Clothed in a tiger’s skin dripping with blood, bearing a blazing bow and a battle-axe he is described as very fierce and terrific.

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