The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1950 | 616,585 words

This page relates “sandhya gets the name arundhati and marries vasishtha” 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 7 - Sandhyā gets the name Arundhatī and marries Vasiṣṭha

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Brahmā said:—

1. O sage, when Śiva vanished after granting her the boons, Sandhyā too went to the place where Medhātithi was performing sacrifice.

2. She entered the sacrificial hall without being observed by anyone, thanks to Śiva’s favour. She recalled to her memory the brahmin boy who had instructed her in the procedure of penance.

3. O great sage, at the bidding of Brahmā, Vasiṣṭha had assumed the guise of a brahmin boy and instructed her in the rites of penance.

4-5. Meditating on that Brahmacārin, her tutor in the mode of austerities, Sandhyā thought of him as her future husband, and entered the blazing sacrificial fire unobserved by the sages. She was delighted that it was by Śiva’s favour that she could enter the sacrificial fire.

6. Her body itself had become sacrificial offering in that sacrifice. When it was burnt it could not be distinguished from the ordinary Puroḍāśā since it too had the same fragrance.

7. At the bidding of Śiva, the god of fire sent forth her body to the pure zone of the sun.

8. The sun severed her body into two halves and placed the same on his own chariot for the propitiation of the Pitṛs and the Devas.

9-10. O great sage, the upper half of her body became the Prātaḥ Sandhyā (dawn) which is at the beginning or in the middle of a day and night. The lower half of her body became the Sāyaṃsandhyā (dusk) which is in the middle of a day and night. The period is always pleasing to the manes.

11. Before the sunrise, when the day breaks, the period is called Prātaḥsandhyā. It delights the Gods.

12. When the sun has set and assumed the hue of a red lotus, the period of Sāyaṃsandhyā sets in. It is delightful to the manes.

13. Śiva the merciful, created embodied beings with her vital airs, mind and the divine body.

14. At the end of the sacrifice, the sage found his daughter in the sacrificial pit shining lustrously like heated gold.

15. With very great delight the sage took up the daughter, O sage, as though she were a sacrificial article. He bathed her and kept her on his lap.

16. The great sage gave her the name Arundhatī[1]. Surrounded by his disciples he celebrated the event joyously.

17. The word Arundhatī means “one who does not hinder sacred rites in any manner whatsoever”. She acquired this name which later on became well-known in the three worlds.

18. O celestial sage, that sage concluded the sacrifice with great contentment and was delighted at the acquisition of a daughter. He spent his days in the same hermitage along with his disciples, tending the daughter, mercifully.

19. The divine lady grew up in the hermitage, Tāpasāraṇya, on the banks of the river—Candrabhāgā.

20. When she reached her fifth year, the chaste lady sanctified the environs of the Tāpasāraṇya and the river Candrabhāgā, by virtue of her good qualities.

21. Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva got her marriage celebrated with Vasiṣṭha, the son of Brahmā.

22. O sage, great festivities in the marriage ceremony increased happiness. The sages and the Gods were very happy on that account.

23. From the water oozing from the hands of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva, the seven holy rivers Śiprā[2] and others rose and flowed.

24. O sage, Arundhatī, the daughter of Medhātithi, the greatest of all chaste ladies shone all the more on attaining Vasiṣṭha.

25. O excellent sage, she secured Vasiṣṭha and bore the auspicious sons Śakti[3] etc.

26-27. O excellent sage, I have narrated to you the story of Sandhyā. It is holy, sanctifying, divine and bestower of all benefits. He or she who hears this story accompanied by auspicious rites attains all cherished desires. There is no doubt about it.

Footnotes and references:


According to another version (cf. Vāyu-purāṇa 70, 79-80, Bd. iii, 8, iii, 8, 86-7, Liṅga 1.13, 78-80, Kūrma 1.19.20) Arundhatī was the daughter of Kaśyapa, the son of Marīci who also begot on her Nārada and Parvata—two sons. We also know from this source that Nārada gave his sister Arundhatī as wife to Vasiṣṭha. In the present context she is said to be the daughter of the sage Medhātithi


Śiprā or Kṣiprā, on which Ujjain, the Capital of the Mālava country is situated rises from the Pāripātra or Pāriyātra hills. Fed by its tributaries it flows in the Mālava Deśa.


The sage Vasiṣṭha begot 100 sons—Śakti and others, on his wife Arundhatī, here identified with Sandhyā. See Kū. P 1.19.23: “Arundhatyāṃ Vasiṣṭhastu Sutān utpādayac chatam”. There [is] a slightly different Version in Matsya-purāṇa 200 and 201 Arundhatyāṃ Vasiṣṭhas tu Śaktim Utpādayat Sutam. See ‘Ancient Indian Historical Tradition’ (Pargiter) P. 204.

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