The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “sati granted the boon” 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 17 - Satī granted the boon

Brahmā said:—

1. O sage, thus I have told you about the prayer to Śiva offered by all the devas. How Satī obtained a boon from Śiva, you shall now listen with respect.

2. Then, in the month of Āśvina (September-October), Satī observed a fast on the eighth day of the bright half and worshipped Śiva with great devotion.

3. When her Nandā rites were concluded on the ninth day (Navamī), while she was engrossed in meditation, Śiva became visible to her.261

The demons Madhu and Kaiṭabha sprang from the ear of Viṣṇu while he was asleep at the end of a Kalpa. As soon as born they tried to kill Brahmā who was lying on the lotus sprung from Viṣṇu’s navel. Viṣṇu killed them and obtained the names Kaitabhajit and Madhusūdana.

4-6. He was fair-complexioned, handsome in appearance, had five faces[1] and three eyes[2]. The crescent moon adorned His forehead. He was in a joyous mood. He had four arms and His neck was blue[3] in colour. He was holding trident and an amulet (Brahmakavaca) for protection. He was brilliant with dust. His head was comely with the celestial river Gaṅgā. He was gay in all parts of his body. He was the abode of great beauty. His face shone with the brilliance of ten million moons. His lustre matched that of ten million cupids. In every respect His features were such as appeal to all women.

7. On seeing Śiva directly in such a form she bent her head from shyness and she knelt at his feet.

8. Although He desired her to be his wife He wished to bestow on her the fruit of her penance. Thus He spoke to her in the state of her penance.

Śiva said:—

9. O daughter of Dakṣa, of good rites, I am delighted by these rites you have observed. Choose a boon. I shall grant it whatever it may be.

Brahmā said:—

10. Although Śiva, the lord of the universe, knew her desire, he said—“Choose a boon.” It was because He desired to hear her speak.

11. She too, who was highly bashful, could not speak out her mind as it was covered up by bashfulness.

12. On realising that she was fully immersed in love on hearing Śiva’s pleasing words, Śaṅkara who was favourably disposed to His devotees was highly pleased.

13. He repeatedly urged her “Speak out the boon you wish to choose, speak out the boon.” Śiva, the immanent lord, the goal of the good was drawn to Satī by her devotion.

14-15. Somehow suppressing her bashfulness when Satī spoke “As you please give unto me, O bestower of boons, the desired boon or the bridegroom of my desire, without any hindrance,” the full-emblemed deity Śiva who is favourably disposed to his devotees, did not wait for the completion of her request and said—“you be my wife.”

16. On hearing his words embracing the fruits of her cherished desire she kept silent. She was highly delighted on obtaining the boon (or bridegroom) stationed in her mind.

17. She stood smiling sweetly before Śiva who was full of love. She opened her inmost feelings through various subtle gestures that increased notions of love.

18. Taking up these notions, gestures and feelings, the flavour of love called Śṛṅgāra entered their hearts.

19. O celestial sage, by the advent of the flavour of love, a peculiar glow, in the usual manner of worldly sports, was manifest in them as in the star Citrā and the moon.[4]

20. In the presence of Śiva whose body shone with the brilliance of crystal, Satī who had the glossy brilliance of split collyrium, shone like a line of cloud near the moon.

21. The delighted daughter of Dakṣa with her palms joined frequently in reverence, joyfully spoke to Śiva who is favourably disposed to His devotees.

Satī said:—

22. O great lord of Devas, lord of the universe, please take me with due marital rites in the presence of my father.

Brahmā said:—

23. On hearing these words of Satī, Śiva, favourably disposed to His devotees, glanced lovingly at her and said—“So be it.”

24. The daughter of Dakṣa bowed to Śiva with devotion, sought and received His consent and returned to her mother with a fascinating gaiety.

25. Śiva returned to His hermitage on the ridges of the Himālayas and began meditations though with difficulty, as He still felt the pangs of love in separation from Satī, the daughter of Dakṣa.

26. Calming his mind somehow, O celestial sage, Śiva, the bull-emblemed deity, thought of me in the usual conventions of the world.

27. Being thus thought of by the trident-bearing Śiva, I approached Him immediately prodded by Śiva’s power of meditation.

28. Accompanied by Sarasvatī[5] I reached that place on the Himālayan ridge where Śiva stayed pining in the anguish of love for Satī.

29. O celestial sage, seeing me in the company of Sarasvatī, lord Śiva who was entangled in the clutches of Satī’s love said thus:—

Śiva said:—

30. O Brahmā, since, in the matter of accepting a wife I showed a little selfishness, I have a feeling of possession in everything connected with self-interest.

31. I have been propitiated by Satī, the daughter of Dakṣa with devotion. Thanks to the sacred Nandā rites, I have given her a boon.

32. O Brahmā, the boon “O be my husband” was sought of me by her. Glad at heart in every respect I had told her “Be my wife.”

33. Then Satī, the daughter of Dakṣa told me like this—“O lord of the universe, please accept me in the presence of my father.”

34. O Brahmā, that too I granted her as I was satisfied with her devotion, She returned to her mother’s house, O Brahmā and I returned here.

35. At my bidding you must approach Dakṣa. Speak to him so that he shall give his daughter in marriage to me at once.

36. Exploit all means to cut short her days of separation. O adept in every lore, console Dakṣa.

Brahmā said:—

37. Saying thus in my presence Lord Śiva looked at Sarasvatī and evinced pangs of separation.

38. Being thus commanded by him I became contented and delighted. I said this to the lord of worlds who is favourably disposed to his devotees.

39. O lord Śiva, on considering what you say, this is certain, O bull-emblemed deity, that the chief self-interest of the devas is my interest too.

40. Dakṣa himself will offer you his daughter. I too shall mention your desire in his presence.

41. After saying this to the great lord I went to Dakṣa’s residence by a speedy flight.

Nārada said:—

42. O Brahmā, of great fortune and intellect, O eloquent one, please tell me. When Satī returned to the house what did Dakṣa do thereafter?

Brahmā said:—

43. Having concluded the austerities, and secured what she desired as a boon, Satī went home and made obeisance to her father and mother.

44. Her girl friends informed her mother and father about the acquisition of boon by their friend Satī from lord Śiva who was glad at her devotion.

45. The parents who obtained the news through her friends were very glad and celebrated a great festival.

46. The noble Dakṣa gave as much wealth to brahmins as they desired. The noble Vīriṇī gave similar gifts to the blind, the poor and the needy.

47. Vīriṇī embraced her daughter on the head and delightfully praised her frequently.

48. After some time had elapsed, Dakṣa, the foremost of those who knew Dharma, thought of the procedure of handing over his daughter to Siva.

49. The great Lord Śiva had come here himself out of his sheer delight. But he has gone back. How will he come again to woo my daughter?

50. Can a person be sent to Śiva immediately? No, this is not proper. If he spurns the offer it will be a fruitless torment.

51-52. Or shall I worship the same bull-emblemed deity? He has already granted the boon to her that He, the lord Himself, shall be her husband. Even if He is delighted at my worship, as at my daughter’s devotion, he may like everything to be done through some noble mediator.

53. Even as Dakṣa was constantly thinking like this, I suddenly appeared before him along with Sarasvatī.

54. On seeing me Dakṣa, my son, paid due respects and stood waiting. He gave me a fitting seat to sit on.

55. Dakṣa was worried with thoughts. But he became greatly delighted at my sight. He asked me the purpose of my visit.

Dakṣa said:—

56. O creator, preceptor of the universe, be kind and tell me the purpose of your visit to me?

57. O creator of worlds, is your visit prompted by your love for your son or for any special task that you have come to my hermitage? I am delighted on seeing you.

58. O excellent sage, being asked thus by my son Dakṣa, I spoke with a smile thereby delighting Dakṣa, the lord of the subjects.

59. O Dakṣa, listen. I shall tell you why I have come here. The wholesome benefit of your progeny is what I desire and what you must also desire.

60. Your daughter has propitiated Śiva, the lord of the universe and has secured a boon. The opportune moment for the same has arrived now.

61. It is certainly for your daughter that I have been sent to you by Śiva. Listen attentively to your duty conducive to your benefit.

62. After granting the boon, Śiva returned. But, ever since, he has not had any mental peace due to separation from your daughter.

63-64. Kāma could not conquer Śiva as he did not hit at any vulnerable point although he tried it by means of his flower-arrows. But He, without being hit by Kāma’s arrows, has now abandoned meditation on Ātman and begun to think of Satī. He is as excited as any other ordinary man.

65. He asks His attendants “where is Satī?”, as He suffers from the pang of separation. When they say “No”, He hears the words but soon forgets them and repeats the question.

66. O son, what has been desired by me before, by you, by Kāma and the sages—Marīci and others, has been achieved now.

67. Śiva was propitiated by your daughter. He now stays in the Himālayan mountains thinking about her and desirous of getting her in order to console her.

68. Just as Śiva has been worshipped by her by performing different rites with Sāttvic feelings, so also Satī is being worshipped by Him.

69. Hence, O Dakṣa, offer immediately your daughter to Śiva for whom she has been intended. Thereby you will get contentment and relief.

70. Through Nārada I shall bring Him here. Give her to Him for whom she has been intended.

71. On hearing these words of mine, my son Dakṣa was highly delighted. He said delightfully. “It is so. It is so.”

72. O sage, I too delightfully went to the place where Śiva was eagerly waiting.

73. At my departure Dakṣa, along his wife and daughter, felt contented as if he had been filled with nectar.

Footnotes and references:

1.

On the five-faced God Śiva See Note No. 25 P. 34.

2.

On the three-eyed Śiva See Note No. 147 P. 141.

3.

Śiva is called the blue-necked (Nīlakaṇṭha or Śitikaṇṭha from swallowing the poison produced at the churning of the ocean.

4.

For the similarity of ideas and verbal expression, compare Kālidāsa’s Raghuvaṃśa 1.46.

kāpyabhikhyā tayorāsīd vrajatoḥ śuddhaveṣayoḥ |
himanirmuktayoryoge citrācandramasoriva ||

5.

Sarasvatī, the Goddess of speech and learning is the wife of Brahmā. She is represented as of a graceful figure, white in colour, wearing a slender crescent on her brow and sitting on a lotus.

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