The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “kama is cursed but blessed later” 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 3 - Kāma is cursed but blessed later

Brahmā said:—

1. Then those sages, my sons—Marīci and others who understood my view, gave him suitable names.

2. Dakṣa and others who understood other facts on seeing my face gave him a suitable place and a wife.

3. The brahmins Marīci and others, my sons, decided on suitable names for the Being and said thus.

The sages said:—

4. Since at your nativity itself you have begun to torment and bedevil our minds and that of Brahmā too, you will be famous in the world as Manmatha.

5. You will be able to assume any form you wish. Hence, O mind-born God, you will be known as Kāma too. There is no one equal to you.

6. Causing elation in others you will be known as Madana. Since you were haughty even as you were born you will be Darpaka and your name Kandarpa will also become popular in the world.

7. The collective power of all the Devas will not be equal to yours. Therefore you will have any station as yours and you will be omnipresent too.

8. Dakṣa here, the first Prajāpati, will give you a suitable wife, O best of men, as you please.

9. This girl of handsome features, born of Brahmā’s mind, shall become famous in the world as Sandhyā.

10. Since she was born when Brahmā was deeply contemplating, the woman of lovely features will be famous as Sandhyā. She will be as lustrous as the jasmine flower.

Brahmā said:—

11. Taking his five flower-arrows, Kāma decided on his future course remaining invisible in form.

12. His five arrows are respectively Harṣaṇa (delighting), Rocana (appealing), Mohana (deluding), Śoṣaṇa (withering) and Māraṇa (killing). Even sages could be deluded and tormented by them.

13-15. (Kāma thought like this:—) I shall make a beginning of my career as assigned by Brahmā himself as my eternal task, here itself in the presence of the sages and Brahmā. All the sages and Brahmā are present here. They shall witness my resolution and performance. Sandhyā who was referred to by Brahmā is also present here. She shall be my mouth-piece. I shall test my power here and then only carry on my work elsewhere.

16. After thinking like this and deciding on his further activity, Kāma fitted his flower-arrows.

17. Kāma, the foremost of archers, stood steady in the posture of Ālīḍha (the posture for shooting, the right knee advanced and the left leg retracted), bent his bow almost into a circle and was ready to shoot.

18. O excellent sage, when the bow was kept ready by him, fragrant winds delighting everyone blew there.

19. The enchanter then charmed Brahmā and others, the mental sons with several sharp flower-arrows.

20. O sage, the sages and I were thus enamoured and we felt very great change in our mental feelings.

21. We began to stare at Sandhya frequently, passion depraving our minds. Our lust was heightened. Truly a woman is one who increases passionate feelings.

22. Making all of us thoroughly enchanted thus, he did not stop till all of us lost control over our sense-organs.

23. When on seeing her, my vital elements became displaced, forty-nine animal instincts Bhavas came, out of my body.

24. She too began to manifest the instinctive gestures of side-glances, pretences of concealing feelings etc. as a result of being hit by Kāma’s arrows when she was being stared at by them.

25. Profusely exhibiting these emotions, the naturally beautiful Sandhya shone brilliantly like the celestial river producing gentle ripples.

26. O sage, on seeing her emotionally excited I loved her all the more despite the fact that I was the creator and my body was. filled with Dharmic features.

27. All the sages, Marīci, Atri, Dakṣa and others, O foremost among brahmins, attained the state of sensuous excitement.

28. Seeing me as well as Dakṣa, Marici and others in such a situation and seeing Sandhyā engaged in her affairs, Madana continued to concentrate his attention on his activity.

29. “The work entrusted to me by Brahmā can easily be performed by me” so thought Kāma justifiably.

30. On seeing the sinful proclivities of his brothers and father, Dharma remembered Lord Śiva, the lord protector of virtue.

31. Mentally meditating on Śiva, the protector of virtue, Dharma, the son of Brahmā eulogised Śiva with different prayers in his state of sorrow.

Dharma said:—

32. O Mahādeva, lord of Devas, protector of virtues, obeisance be to Thee. O Śiva, Thou alone art the author of creation, sustenance and dissolution.

33. By virtue of three Guṇas, Rajas, Sattva and Tamas, Thou assumest the form of Brahmā at the time of creation, that of Viṣṇu at the time of sustenance and that of Rudra at the time of dissolution. Yet, O lord, Thou art devoid of attributes.

34. Thou art Śiva free from the influence of the three Guṇas, the fourth Being. Thou art beyond Prakṛti. Thou art expert in various divine sports, yet without attributes and free from deformities and decays.

35. Great Lord! save me from this impassable ocean of sin. My father and my brothers are now sinfully inclined towards me.

Brahmā said:—

36. Thus eulogised by Dharma, the great lord, selfborn Śiva came there immediately in order to protect Dharma.

37. Stationed in the ether, Śiva saw me, Brahman, Dakṣa and others in such a mental state and so laughed mockingly.

38. O best of sages, in the midst of his intermittent laughter making all blush with shame, the full-emblemed deity spoke these consoling words.

Śiva said:—

39. Alas! O Brahmā, how is it that you were overwhelmed with lustful feelings on seeing your own daughter? This is highly improper for those who walk on the line of the Vedas.

40. Sister, brother’s wife and daughter are like one’s mother. A sensible man shall never look at them with a reprehensible vision.

41. The conclusion of the path of the Vedas is present in your mouth. O Brahmā, how is it that you forgot that under the influence of momentary passion?

42. O, four-faced deity Brahmā, your mind shall always remain alert in fortitude. How did you undo it for the sake of dalliance in love?

43. How is it that your mental sons, Dakṣa, Marīci and others who practise yoga in isolation and see the inner light for ever have become enamoured of woman?

44. This Kāma is a fool, deficient in sense and ignorant of proper occasion. How is it that he has begun to torment them with excessive power?

45. Fie upon the learning of that person whose wife draws his mind inordinately from steadiness and courage and immerses it in fickle revelries.

Brahmā said:—

46. On hearing these words of Śiva, I, the lord of the world, perspired profusely in an instant, on account of shame.

47. Although the desire to seize Sandhyā of wishful features still lingered, O sage, I curbed the upset senses, fearing him (Śiva).

48-49. O excellent brahmin, from the drops of sweat that fell from my body rose the manes who did not perform the sacrifices while they were living on earth, who shone like split collyrium, had eyes resembling the full-bown lotus, were meritorious ascetics and were averse to worldly activities.

50. These were sixty-four thousand in number, O sage, and the manes called Barhiṣads, lit. seated on grass, were eighty-six thousand.

51. From the drops of sweat that fell from Dakṣa’s body, a splendid woman endowed with good qualities was born.

52-53. She was of slender body with symmetrical hips. Her waist was well-shaped; small curly hairs embellished it. She was soft in body with fine teeth. She had a shining golden complexion. In her body, she was perfect. Her face shone like the full moon and full-blown lotus. Her name was Rati. She was capable of captivating even the sages.

54. Excepting Kratu, Vasiṣṭha, Pulastya and Aṅgiras, the six viz. Marīci and others successfully curbed their senses and their activities.

55. O excellent sage, the semen virile of the four—Kratu and others—fell on the ground from which other types of manes were born.

56. They were Somapās, Ājyapās, Kālins and Haviṣmantas. They are all termed Kavyavāhas also. They are their sons.

57. The Somapās are the sons of Kratu, Kālins of Vasiṣṭha, Ājyapās of Pulastya and Haviṣmantas of Aṅgiras.

58. O excellent brahmin, when the manes Agniṣvāttas and others were born, they were assigned the task of Kavyavāhas (taking the oblations and offering) among the manes.

59. Sandhyā who thus became the mother of the Pītṛs served the same purpose as theirs. Since she has been glanced at kindly by Śiva she became free from defects and devoted herself to virtuous rites.

60. In the meantime after blessing all the brahmins and protecting virtue duly Śiva vanished suddenly.

61. I, the grandfather of the world, snubbed and put to shame by Śiva’s words, turned my anger against Kāma with a frowning face and knit eyebrows.

62. O sage, seeing my face and realising my hint, Kāma withdrew his arrows. He was so terribly afraid of Siva.

63. O sage, then I, the lotus-born, became very furious like the strong blazing fire seeking to consume everything.

64-65. I, Brahmā, then said:—“After playing this same trick on Śiva, Kāma will be consumed in the fire of Śiva’s eye and freed of his arrogance.” O excellent brahmin, it was in the presence of the manes and the sages of perfect control that I spoke to Kāma in this way.

66. On hearing this curse of terrible nature, Rati’s husband was frightened. He abandoned his arrows and became visible.

67. O sage, he spoke to me (i.e. Brahmā) and my sons Dakṣa and others even as the Pitṛs and Sandhyā stood there listening. By this time his arrogance had disappeared.

68. Kāma said:—“O Brahmā, why have I been so terribly cursed by you? O lord of worlds, I have not committed any sin against you who are reputed to follow justiciable path.

69. O Brahmā, you have assigned me my task. I have only carried it out. Hence this curse is not proper. I have not done anything else.

70. You had said:—“All of us, I, Viṣṇu and Śiva are targets of your arrows.” I only tested your statement.

71. I am not guilty in this respect. O Brahmā I being innocent, this conditional curse, O lord of universe, is very terrible.

72. On hearing his words, I, Brahmā, the lord of the universe, replied to Madana who had controlled himself, trying to suppress him further.

Brahmā said:—

73. I cursed you because you have aimed at us—this Sandhyā who is my daughter and me her father.

74. But now I am free from anger. In this state I tell you O Kāma, do not be under any suspicion. Listen. Cast off your fear. Be happy.

75. O Kāma, he will reduce you to ashes in the fire of his eye. But he will give you another similar body afterwards.

76. When Śiva takes to a wife He Himself will get you another body.

77. After speaking thus to Kāma, I the grandfather of the world, vanished from there even as the sages, my mental sons, were watching.

78. On hearing these words of mine, Kāma and the mental sons of mine became happy and returned quickly to their abodes.

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