The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “birth of sati and her childish sports” 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 14 - The birth of Satī and her childish sports

Brahmā said:—

1. In the mean time, O celestial sage I, the grandfather of the worlds, came there, on hearing the incident.

2. I consoled Dakṣa as before. Clever that I was I made him friendly with you.

3. O best of sages, I consoled you—my own son, beloved of the Devas, and taking you with love effected conciliation.

4. Then Dakṣa, consoled by me, begot of his wife sixty comely daughters.

5. Without any lassitude he performed their marriages with Dharma and others. O excellent sage, listen to that with pleasure.

6. Dakṣa gave ten of his daughters duly in marriage to Dharma, thirteen to Kaśyapa the sage, and twenty seven to the moon.

7-8. He gave two daughters each to Bhṛgu, Aṅgiras and Kṛśāśva. The other daughters were given to Tārkṣya. The sons and grandsons and descendants of these filled the three worlds. A detailed narration is not attempted here.

9. Some say that Śivā was the eldest of his daughters, some say that she was the middle and some say that she was the youngest. All the three opinions are correct in different Kalpas.

10. After the birth of his daughter, Dakṣa Prajāpati and his wife meditated on the mother of the universe with pleasure.

11. Then he lovingly eulogised her with words choked at thè throat and repeatedly paid respects to her humbly joining the palms in reverence.

12. The Goddess, who was highly delighted, thought within himself. “I shall incarnate in Vīriṇī in order to keep my word”.

13. O excellent sage, then the mother of the universe spoke to Dakṣa in mind. Then Dakṣa shone forth splendidly.

14. In an auspicious hour he deposited his semen in his wife. Thus full of compassion, Śivā began to reside in the womb of Dakṣa’s consort.

15. All the characteristic signs of pregnancy appeared in her.

16. Dear one, thanks to the power of the presence of Śivā, Vīriṇī had an auspicious appearance and shone all the more with mental pleasure.

17. As befitting the loftiness of his mind, customs and manners current in his family and the injunctions of the Vedas, Dakṣa performed the rites of Puṃsavana[1] etc. out of affection.

18. Great festivities accompanied those rites. Dakṣa presented liberal sums of money to the brahmins.

19. On coming to know that the Goddess had come to the womb of Vīriṇī, Viṣṇu and other Devas became very gay.

20. They all approached her and paid frequent respects to the benefactress of the worlds, eulogising the mother of the universe.

21. Delighted in their hearts they praised Dakṣa and Vīriṇī in various ways and went to their respective abodes.

22-23. O Nārada, nine months had passed with due observance of worldly conventions. In the tenth month, in an auspicious happy hour, when the moon, the stars and the planets were favourably disposed, Śivā suddenly appeared, O sage, in front of her mother.

24. As soon as she was born, Dakṣa was highly pleased. On seeing her extremely brilliant he was convinced that she was the Goddess Śivā herself.

25. O excellent sage, when she was born there was a gentle shower from the clouds accompanied by that of flowers. The quarters became tranquil immediately.

26. The devas gathered in the sky and played on musical instruments; sacrificial fires kindled calmly; everything indicated auspiciousness.

27. On seeing the mother of the universe born of Vīriṇī, Dakṣa joined his palms in reverence, paid respects to her and eulogised her.

Dakṣa said:—

28. O Goddess, the eternal mother of the universe, obeisance to Thee. O great Goddess, the Truthful and truth-featured, be pleased.

29. I bow to Thee, the bestower of benefits, Thee who art auspicious, calm, great illusion, mystic slumber and identical with the universe.

30. I bow to Thee, the great mother of the universe, the great Goddess, by whom formerly Brahmā had been directed to create the worlds which he carried out.

31. I bow to Thee, great support of the universe, the great Goddess, by whom formerly Viṣṇu had been directed to sustain the universe which he has been doing always.

32. I bow to Thee the great mother of the universe, the great Goddess, by whom formerly Rudra had been directed to annihilate the universe which he has been doing always.

33. I bow to Thee, śivā, of Rājasika Sāttvika, and Tāmasika forms, performing every thing always, and the Goddess mother of the three deities.

34. O Goddess, enjoyment of worldly pleasures and salvation are always within the reach of that person who meditates on thee in the form of Vidyā and Avidyā, every day.

35. O Goddess, he who directly perceives Thee, the sanctifying deity, will certainly attain salvation with the discrimination of Vidyā and Avidyā.

36. O mother of the universe, those who eulogise Thee with the names of Bhavānī[2], Ambikā, Jaganmāyā and Durgā will have everything.

Brahmā said:—

37. Śivā, the mother of the universe, eulogised by Dakṣa the intelligent, said to Dakṣa without making it heard by her mother.

38. Śivā, the great Goddess and the source of future creation, made everyone deluded and said in such a manner that Dakṣa heard the truth and not anyone else.

The Goddess said:—

39. O Prajāpati, I had been propitiated formerly for becoming your daughter. Your wish has been fulfilled now. You can carry on your activities of penance.

40. Having spoken thus to Dakṣa, the Goddess assumed infancy through her illusory power and began to cry near her mother.

41. On heaving the cry, the woman spoke in agitation. The servant-maids too became pleasantly agitated.

42. On seeing the comely form of Asiknī’s daughter, the women rejoiced. The citizens raised shouts of Victory then.

43. There were great festivities with songs and musical instruments. On seeing the unearthly face of their daughter the pleasure of Dakṣa and Asiknī knew no bounds.

44. Dakṣa duly performed all the conventional ceremonies and the rites of the Vedas. He gave various gifts to the brahmins and money to others.

45. Songs and dances were performed everywhere in a befitting manner. Musical instruments played auspicious songs repeatedly.

46. Hari and other Gods came with their attendants, along with the sages and joined the festivities.

47. On seeing the daughter of Dakṣa, the Goddess mother of the universe, they bowed and eulogised her with auspicious hymns.

48. In their great delight they shouted cries of victory. They praised Dakṣa and Vīriṇī in particular.

49. Then at their bidding, the delighted Dakṣa named her Umā[3] since she inherited good qualities and was greatly admired.

50. Her other names in the world were assigned afterwards. They are auspicious and quell miseries in particular.

51. With palms joined in reverence Dakṣa bowed to Hari, me, devas and sages. He eulogised and worshipped all.

52. Then Viṣṇu and others praised Dakṣa and in joyous mood returned to their respective abodes remembering Śiva accompanied by Śivā.

53. Consecrating the daughter in a befitting manner, the mother fed her with fresh milk in the usual manner of feeding infants.

54. Duly nurtured by Vīriṇī and the noble-souled Dakṣa, she flourished every day like the digit of the moon in the bright half of a month.

55. O excellent brahmin, even in her infancy, the good qualities entered her like all the beautiful digits entering the moon.

56. While she was engaged in various sports in the midst of her girl friends, she used to draw pictures of Śiva everyday.

57. Whenever she sang sweet songs as is usual in childhood, she remembered Sthāṇu, Rudra, the suppressor of Kāma.

58. The Couple (Dakṣa and his wife) found her unrivalled mercy increase, even as she had been a great devotee in childhood itself.

59. Endowed with qualities of childhood and making her own residence flourish she delighted her parents for ever.

Footnotes and references:

1.

Puṃsavana is a pre-natal rite through which a male child is produced. “pumān prasūyate yena karmaṇā tatpuṃsavanamīritam |” Śaunaka quoted in V.M.S. Vol. I. P. 166. As to the time of its performance, the authorities differ considerably. It is performed in the third, fourth, sixth or even in the eighth month of pregnancy. Cf. H.S. PP 6o-63.

2.

The Goddess has a great variety of names referable to her various forms, attributes and actions but these names are not always used accurately and distinctively. As the wife of God Śiva she is Bhavānī, as the mother of the world she is Ambikā or jaganmātā (the reading jaganmātā for Jaganmāyā is preferable). In her terrible form she is Durgā, the inaccessible.

3.

Umā; It is the name of the daughter of Dakṣa and Vīriṇī and later (Cp. Kumārasambhava) transferred to Pārvatī, the daughter of of Himavat. It is said to be derived from ‘U’ ‘mā’ ‘O (child) do not (practise austerities), the exclamation addressed to her by her mother.