The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “narada is cursed by daksha” 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 13 - Nārada is cursed by Dakṣa

Nārada said:—

1. O Brahmā of great intelligence, O eloquent one, please tell us what happened after Dakṣa went home with great delight?

Brahmā said:—

2. Dakṣa Prajāpati returned with pleasure to his hermitage and began mental creations at my bidding.

3. On seeing the creation, not increasing in size, Dakṣa Prajāpati informed me his father, Brahmā.

Dakṣa said:—

4. O Brahmā, lord of subjects, these subjects are not flourishing. They are conceived by me but they remain stationary.

5. O lord of subjects what shall I do? How can they flourish themselves? Please instruct me in the means thereof. I shall certainly create subjects.

Brahmā said:—

6. O Dakṣa Prajāpati, listen to my weighty words and carry out the direction. Śiva will bless you with welfare.

7. O lord of subjects, let Asiknī, the beautiful daughter of Pañcajana, the lord of five tribes, be taken by you as your consort.

8. Indulging in sexual intercourse you can create subjects many in number in a beautiful woman like her.

9. Then, in order to procreate subjects by way of coitus he married the daughter of Vīraṇa at my bidding.

10. Then in his wife Vīriṇī, Dakṣa Prajāpati begot sons named Haryaśvas.[1]

11. O sage, all those sons were devoted to their father and followed the Vedic path. They did not have separate virtues and practices.

12. Advised by their father, O dear one, the sons of Dakṣa went in the western direction for penance in order to create subjects (progeny).

13. There they came to the holy lake Nārāyaṇa where the celestial Sindhu has its confluence with the ocean.

14. On touching the holy water, their intellect was sharpened. The Dharma of holy ascetics eradicated all their impurities.

15. For making progenies flourish, the excellent sons of Dakṣa, fettered by the command of their father began to perform Tapas with steady resolve.

16. O Nārada, you came to know that they were performing penance for the sake of creation. You realised the intention of Viṣṇu and went there.

17. “O Haryaśvas, sons of Dakṣa, how is it that you have begun your attempts at creation without seeing the end of the earth?” So you asked them with respect.

18. They heard what you said eagerly. With their minds fixed on creation they deliberated on the proposal.

19. How can a person begin the work of creation putting faith in the Guṇas alone if he does not know the command of the father of Sacred Texts (which implies) turning back?

20. Having made up their minds unanimously, the intelligent sons bowed to you and circumambulated. They then proceeded ahead on a path never to turn back.

21. O sage Nārada, with your mind fixed on Śiva, and desirous of carrying out His orders you went to various worlds without any mental aberration.

22. When much time elapsed, my son Prajāpati heard that the extinction of his sons was due to Nārada and became distressed.

23. He frequently mused like this—“A multitude of sons brings only disaster”. Dakṣa who was deluded by Śiva’s illusion bewailed thus in many ways.

24. I went over to him and consoled my son Dakṣa out of love and reminded him that fate is all powerful. I pointed out the way to calmness.

25. On being consoled by me, Dakṣa begot a thousand sons named Sabalāśvas in the daughter of Pañcajana.

26. At the bidding of their father, they too reached the place where their elder brothers, the Siddhas, had gone with the same steady resolve in the creation of subjects.

27. At the very touch of waters of the Nārāyaṇa lake they too had their sins quelled and became purified. They performed penance, strenuously repeating many mantras and performing sacred rites.

28. O Nārada, you came to know that they too were attempting the creation of subjects and you told them as before, mindful of the way of Śiva.

29. O sage, of beneficient sight, you showed, them the path followed by their brothers. You went upto heaven and the sons of Dakṣa went the way of their brothers.

30. At the very same time, my son Dakṣa Prajāpati saw many an ill omen. He was disagreeably surprised and felt distressed.

31. As before, Dakṣa heard that the disappearance of his sons was brought about by you. He bewailed a lot. He was stunned, grief-stricken at the loss of his sons.

32. Dakṣa was furious. He called you a wicked fellow. Fate caused you to go there at the psychological moment in the guise of one who wanted to bless him.

33. The grief-stricken Dakṣa approached you with his lips throbbing with fury, taunted you and reproached you saying “Fie, Fie” and spoke to you.

Dakṣa said:—

34. O foremost among the base, disguised in the garb of a saint, what is it that you have done to those good people—my sons? To those engaged in good actions the accursed path of a mendicant has been pointed out by you.

35. Ruthless rogue that you are, even when they were not free from the three debts[2] you put obstacles in the path of their progress both here as well as hereafter.

36. He who renounces the world desiring salvation, without repaying the three debts and departs from the house forsaking his parents surely courts downfall.

37. You are unkind, shameless, distorter of the tender intellect of children, and a destroyer of fame. Why do you, a foolish fellow, move about among the attendants of Viṣṇu in vain?

38. Frequently you have committed offences against me, O basest of the base. Hence roaming ever in the worlds your feet will never be steady anywhere.

39-40. Grief-stricken Dakṣa cursed you thus, you who are honoured by saints. It was Śiva’s power of delusion that prevented him from understanding the will of Īśvara. Without your mind being affected the least, you accepted the curse. All saintly Brahminical saints forbear thus.

Footnotes and references:


Haryaśvas were the sons of the patriarch Dakṣa, five thousand in number, begotten by him for the purpose of peopling the earth. The sage Nārada dissuaded them from producing offspring and they dispersed themselves through the regions and never returned. H.M. P. 120.


Reference is made to the three debts which every person belonging to first three varṇas owes to the ancient seers, the ancestors, and the Gods. He owes Brahmacarya or study of the Vedas to the Ṛṣis, sacrifice and worship to the Gods, procreation of a son to the Manes. See Manu VI. 35, In later times two more debts—benevolence to mankind and hospitality to guests are added.