The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “sandhya granted a boon by shiva” 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 6 - Sandhyā granted a boon by Śiva

Brahmā said:—

1. O best of my sons, O intelligent one, listen to the description of the great penance of Sandhyā on hearing which sins are quelled instantly.

2. When Vasiṣṭha went back to his abode after instructing her in the rites of penance, Sandhyā was greatly pleased on learning the procedure of penance.

3. On the bank of the lake Bṛhallohita she began to perform penance after she had put on the dress of a person of blissful mind.

4. She worshipped Śiva with the mantra taught by Vasiṣṭha as the adjunct of penance in the manner explained by him.

5. A period of four Yugas elapsed during which she continued her great penance with mind fixed and duly concentrated on Śiva.

6. Propitiated by her penance Śiva was greatly delighted. He revealed Himself to her within and without as well as in the heaven.

7. Śiva became visible to her in the form in which she was meditating upon him.

8. She rejoiced much on seeing in front of her, the lord Śiva with face beaming with delight, in the same form as she was meditating on.

9. “What shall I say? How shall I eulogise?” in this agitation she closed her eyes with fear.

10. As she remained with eyes shut, Śiva entered her heart and blessed her with divine wisdom, divine speech and divine eyes.

11. She thus acquired divine wisdom, divine eyes and divine speech. Directly pereciving the lord of Durgā she eulogised the lord of the worlds.

Sandhyā said:—

12. That which has no specific form, that which can be known through perfect knowledge; that which is neither gross, nor subtle, nor high; that which is to be meditated upon by Yogins within themselves—obeisance be to Thee who art of this sort and the creator of the worlds.

13. I bow to Thee, lord Śiva, whose form is like a road to heaven, beyond the path of darkness, and who art calm, pure, changeless incomprehensible through worldly knowledge, self-illuminated and unaltered.

14. Obeisance to Thee whose form is solitary, pure, luminous, free from illusion, knowledge-cum-bliss, naturally undecaying, eternal bliss, delighted at the outcome of truth and prosperity and productive of glory.

15. Obeisance to Thee whose form can be imagined in the nature of Vidyā (Perfect Knowledge), which is different from insentient things, Sāttvika in will, that which should be meditated on as the form of Ātman, which is the utmost essence and which is the holiest of all sanctifying objects.

16. Obeisance to Thee, the Yogin whose Saguṇa form is pure, lovely, bedecked in jewels, as white and clean as camphor and which holds in its hand the desired boon, fearlessness, the trident and the scalp.

17. Obeisance to Thee whose forms are the sky, the earth, the quarters, the waters, the fire and the Eternal time.

18. Obeisance, obeisance to Śiva of unmanifest form from whom unmanifest primordial nature and Puruṣa issued forth as its effect.

19. Obeisance, obeisance to Thee who createst this universe in the form of Brahmā, who sustainest it in the form of Viṣṇu and who destroyest it in the form of Rudra.

20. Obeisance, obeisance to the cause of causes, to the bestower of divine nectar, wisdom and prosperity; to the best-ower of the prosperity of all other worlds, and the luminous greatest of the great.

21. Obeisance to Thee, Śiva, beyond whose region no other world exists; from whose umbilical region arose the earth, the quarters, the sun, the moon, the cupid, the devas and the ether.

22. Thou art, the greatest supreme soul. Thou art Śiva, the various lores, the pure Brahman, the supreme Brahman and the utmost object of deliberation.

23. How can I adequately eulogise lord Śiva who is inexpressible by words, is incomprehensible to the mind, is the cause of the world and has no beginning, no middle, no end.

24. How can he be described by me, whose forms even Brahmā and other Gods or sages of great austerity cannot describe.

25. O lord, Thou art attributeless. How can Thy attributes be known to me, a mere woman? Even the Gods including Indra and Asuras do not know it.

26. Obeisance to Thee, O Lord Śiva, obeisance to Thee, O personification of penance; O Śiva, lord of the Gods, be pleased, obeisance be to Thee again and again.

Brahmā said:—

2 7. Being thus eulogised and having heard her words Śiva favourably disposed to the devotees became highly pleased.

28-29. Her body originally clad in barks of trees and deer-hide had by this time been completely covered by clusters of matted hair hanging down from the head and her face appeared like a lotus threatened by frost. On seeing her Śiva melted with pity and said to her.

Śiva said:—

30. O gentle lady, I am delighted by your great penance and this eulogy. O auspiciously intelligent woman, you can choose your boon.

31. Whatever boon seems to be useful to you and is desired by you I shall grant it to you. I am delighted by your rites.”

Brahmā said:—

32. On hearing these words of Śiva who was delighted, Sandhyā was highly pleased and she said after repeated obeisance.

Sandhyā said:—

33-34. O Lord Śiva, if I am to be favoured with the boon, if I am considered worthy of receiving a boon, if I am purified of that sin, if the lord is delighted with my penance, let the first boon chosen by me be granted.

35. Let no living being, O lord of the Gods, born in this atmosphere be full of lust at the time of its nativity.

36. This is another boon chosen by me that no other woman shall become so famous in the three worlds as I have become or shall become.

37. No creation of mine shall become lustful or fall anywhere degraded. He who becomes my husband shall be my intimate friend of pure mind.

38. Any person who looks at me with lustful eyes shall lose his manliness and become a eunuch.

39. On hearing the words of that woman who had become freed of sin Śiva who is favourably disposed to His devotees and who was delighted at what she had said, spoke as follows.

40. O lady Sandhyā, listen. Your sin has been reduced to ashes. I have abandoned my anger towards you. By this penance you have become pure.

41. O gentle lady Sandhyā, whatever you have asked I grant you entirely. I am delighted by this excellent penance of yours.

42. (In all living beings) the first stage shall be infancy, the second childhood, the third youth and the fourth stage shall be old age.

43. When the third stage in life is reached, the living beings shall become lustful. In some cases it shall be at the end of the second stage.

44. This new limitation is imposed by me as a result of your penance. No living being shall be lustful at the time of its nativity.

45. You will attain such a pure chastity as will not be attained by any other woman in the three worlds.

46. Excepting your husband whoever looks at you with lustful eyes shall immediately become impotent and weak.

47. Your husband shall be one endowed with great fortune, penance and comely features. He shall live for a period of seven Kalpas along with you.

48. Thus I have granted you all the boons requested by you. I shall tell you another incident that transpired in the previous birth.

49. That you would cast off your body in the fire has been foretold. I shall tell you the means thereof. You will certainly carry it out.

50. Let that be performed by you at the twelve-year-sacrifice of the sage Medhātithi in the blazing sacrificial fire ere long.

51. In the ridge of this mountain, on the banks of this river Candrabhāgā, Medhātithi is performing a great penance in his hermitage.

52. You go there unobserved by the sages. Thanks to my favour, you will become his fire-born daughter.

53. If you have chosen in your mind a desirable bridegroom as your husband, you shall think of him while you consign your body into the fire.

54-55. O Sandhyā, while you were performing severe penance—which had lasted for four yugas—in the earlier part of Tretā Yuga, after the Kṛta Yuga had elapsed, Dakṣa had begotten many chaste daughters who were also duly married.

56. He gave twenty seven of his daughters to the moon in marriage. But the moon had a special liking for only Rohiṇī and he neglected others.

57-59. Hence, the moon was cursed by Dakṣa, the redemption being, when he sees the Ether he would find her there. At that time the Gods had come near you but since you were having your mind fixed in me, the Gods in the company of Brahmā were not seen by you. The river Candrabhāgā arose being created by Brahmā for the redemption of the moon from the curse. It was then that Medhātithi arrived here.

60. There is none equal to him in penance. There has never been such a person, nor will there ever be one. He has now started the sacrifice of Jyotiṣṭoma of many great rites.

61. In that blazing sacrificial fire you shall cast off your body. You are pure now. May your other desires be also fulfilled.

62. O Hermitess, these things have been ordained by me for my own end. O fortunate woman, do as I instruct you. Go to the sacrifice of that sage.

Thus after instructing her for her welfare the lord vanished from the scene.