The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “description of the form and features of vasanta” 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 8 - The description of the form and features of Vasanta

Sūta Said:—

1. After hearing the words of Brahmā, Prajāpati, Nārada became delighted in his mind and spoke these words.

Nārada said:—

2. O Brahmā, the great disciple of Viṣṇu, endowed with great intellect, you are a blessed devotee of Śiva and a guide to the understanding of the great principle.

3. You have narrated the divine story of Arundhatī and her previous form. It increases our devotion to Śiva.

4. Now, O knower of virtue, please tell me the excellent story of Śiva, that quells all sins and is very excellent bestower of all auspicious benefits.

5. When Kāma was delighted after taking a wife to himself, when Sandhyā had gone to perform penance and when others had also left, what happened?

Sūta said:—

6. On hearing the words of that sage of magnanimous soul, Brahmā became more pleased and spoke as follows:

Brahmā said:—

7. O great brahmin, Nārada, listen with devotion to the auspicious story of Śiva’s divine sports. You are a blessed devotee of Śiva.

8. O dear one, since I vanished from that place highly distressed by the poisonous words of Śiva, I had been thinking about that alone, since I had been in delusion still.

9. After thinking about it for a long time I began to nurse malicious grudge against Śiva, here again being deluded by Śiva’s Māyā. I shall explain it to you. Listen.

10. Then I went to the place where Dakṣa and others were present. On seeing Kāma in the company of Rati I was a little elated.

11. O Nārada, addressing Dakṣa and the other sons[1] I spoke these words, deluded by Śiva’s illusion.

12. “O Dakṣa, O Marīci and others, my sons, listen to my words. After hearing you shall all find out a remedy for dispelling my distress.

13. Taking into consideration the only fact of harbouring a desire for woman Śiva despised me and you. It is because He is a great Yogin that He reproached us much.

14. Hence I am greatly distressed and I do not get mental peace at all. Such an effort must definitely be made as would make Him take a wife unto Himself.

15. I shall become happy and be free from misery when He takes a wife unto Himself. But on reflection I feel that it is impossible to realise the accomplishment of this desire.

16. Taking into consideration the only fact that I harboured a desire for woman, Śiva rebuked me in the presence of sages. How will He then take a wife unto Himself?

17. Who can be that woman in the three worlds who will ever haunt his mind, make him neglect the path of Yoga and delude him?

18. Even Kāma will not be competent to delude Him. He is a Yogin of great perfection and He does not brook even the name of women.

19. Unless the primordial Being Śiva indulges in sexual sport, the creation would continue to be mediocre, its course being unchecked as the Lord himself has stated.[2]

20. On the earth there may be great Asuras bound by illusion. Some are bound by the illusion of Viṣṇu and others by the illusion of Śiva.

21. In regard to Śiva who has turned away from the world and who is extremely detached, nothing else except the endeavour of Kāma will be effective. There is no doubt about it.

22. After saying this and casting meaningful glances at Dakṣa and other sons, I addressed Kāma and Rati with great pleasure.

23. O Kāma, foremost among my sons, you are the bestower of happiness in every respect. Listen to my words with great attention in the company of your wife, O son of great filial affection.

24. O Kāma, you shine well with this life-companion of yours. She too shines well with you as her husband.

25-26. Just as Viṣṇu with Lakṣmī and Lakṣmī with Viṣṇu, just as the night with the moon and the moon with the night, so you two mutually illuminate each other and tend your matrimonial life. Hence you will be the banner of the universe, nay the banner of the whole cosmos.

27. O dear one, you shall enchant Śiva for the benefit of the universe so that Śiva may be included to take a wife unto Himself.

28-29. In a secluded or in a crowded place, on mountains or in lakes, wherever Śiva goes, you shall follow Him along with your mistress and charm him who has controlled Himself and who is averse to women. Excepting you there is no one to delude Him.243

30. O Kāma, it is only when Śiva falls in love that you will get redemption from the course. Hence do what is good for you.

31-32. Lord Śiva as a noble Being shall save you only when he falls in love and aspires for a wife. Hence with your wife to help you, strive to captivate Śiva. Earn the laurels of the universe after charming Him.

33. On hearing these words of mine, who am his father and the lord of the universe, Kāma spoke these words to me, the lord of all the worlds.

Kāma said:—

34. O lord, I shall cause the delusion of Śiva at your bidding; but my prime weapon is a woman. Hence O lord, you shall create a comely maiden.

35. O creator, arrange for the way how Śiva has to be further enchanted after He has been deluded by me.

Brahmā said:—

36. When Kāma put forward this suggestion I, the creator, and the Prajāpati (Dakṣa) considered the matter: “By whom is he to be enamoured?”

37. While I was agitated with this thought, I heaved a deep sigh from which Spring cropped fully bedecked with clusters of flowers.

38. He was like a red lotus. His eyes resembled the full blown lotus. His face shone like the full moon rising at dusk. His nose was well-shapped.

39. His feet were arched like a bow. His hair was dark and curly. He was decorated with two ear-rings. He looked bright as the morning sun.

40. His gait was majestic like that of an elephant in its rut. His arms were long and stout. His shoulders were raised. His neck resembled the conch-shell. His chest was very broad. His face was plump and finely shaped.

41. He was comely in appearance, dark-complexioned and endowed with all characteristic marks. He was very handsome to look at, capable of enchanting everyone and of heightening feelings of love.

42. When spring, the storehouse of flowers, endowed with these features was born, there blew a very fragrant wind. All the trees put forth blossoms.

43. Hundreds of sweet-throated cuckoos cooed the note of Pañcama[3] sweetly. The clean and clear lakes abounded in full-blown lotuses.

44. On seeing such an excellent Being born thus, I, Brahmā (Hiraṇyagarbha)[4] spoke these sweet words to Kāma.

45. O God, thus a constant companion for you has come to exist. He too resembles you. He will render favourable service unto you.

46. Just as the wind, the friend of fire, helps it everywhere, so also this spring will always help you.

47. Since he is the final cause for a permanent abode (after marriage) let him be known as Vasanta. His duty is to follow you and to delight all people.

48. Let the Malaya breeze, the elegance of your person, be your constant companion as he remains under your control.

49. The feminine coquettish gestures like the affected indifference in amorous dalliance and the sixty-four fine arts[5] shall be the friends of your wife Rati in the some manner as there are your friends.

50. O Kāma, in the company of Rati and these companions, Vasanta and others, you shall exert yourself in charming Lord Śiva.

51. O dear one, I shall conceive and create that lovely woman who will finally captivate.

52. When Kāma was thus addressed by me (Brahmā), he was delighted and he fell at my feet along with his wife and offered obeisance.

53. He bowed to Dakṣa and paid respects to my mental sons. He then went to the place where Śiva, the supreme Soul had gone.

Footnotes and references:

1.

The reference is to the ten mind-born sons of the creator known by their names “Marīci, Atri, Aṅgiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Pracetas, Vasiṣṭha, Bhṛgu” and “Nārada” and also ten physical sons: “dakṣa, Dharma, Kāma, Krodha, Lobha, Mada, Pramoda, Mṛtyu” and “Bharata”. In place of the last-named, some substitute Sandhyā, a daughter variously known Vāc, Sarasvatī, Śatarūpā, Sāvitrī, Gāyatrī, Brahmāṇī etc.

2.

The text of this verse is corrupt in all printed editions. The present translation is conjectural.

3.

The fifth (or in later times the seventh) note of the Indian gamut is supposed to be produced by the cuckoo. It is so called because it is evolved from the five parts of the body. Cf.

vāyuḥ samudgato nābheruro hṛtkaṇṭhamūrdhasu |
vicaran pañcamasthānaprāptyā pañcama ucyate || (?)

4.

Hiraṇyagarbha “Golden Egg or Golden Womb”. It is the designation of Brahmā, since he is the first male formed by the undiscernible eternal First cause in the Golden Egg. Having continued a year in the Egg, Brahmā divided it into two parts by his mere thought and with these two shells he formed the heavens and the earth, and in the middle he placed the sky, the eight regions and the eternal abode of the waters. Dowson H.M. P. 121.

According to Manu (1.9) the seeds deposited in the waters at the first creation of the self-existent became a golden egg in which the self-existent Brahmā was born as Brahmā, the creator who is regarded as the manifestation of the self-existent.

5.

Sixty-four arts: Gīta, Vādya, Nṛtya, Nāṭya etc. See Vātsyāyana: Kāmasūtra 1.3.17.