The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “cause of estrangement between daksha and shiva” 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 26 - The cause of estrangement between Dakṣa and Śiva

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Brahmā said:

1. Formerly, a great sacrifice was performed by the sages and noble souls who assembled at Prayāga[1].

2. Siddhas, Sanaka and others, the celestial sages, devas with Prajāpatis and men of perfect knowledge who had realised the Brahman attended the function.

3. I too attended the same along with my followers. All the Āgamas and Nigamas in brilliant embodied forms were present with me.

4. The assembly was variegated and of diverse character. They conducted discussions on epistemology from different sacred texts with great festivities.

5. O sage, in the meantime, lord Śiva, accompanied by His attendants and Satī came there, the lord conferring benefit on the three worlds and affording them protection.

6. On seeing the lord, devas, Siddhas and sages bowed to and eulogised Him with great devotion. I too joined them.

7. At the bidding of Śiva they sat in their respective places. They were excessively delighted on seeing the lord. They explained to Him the various activities they were engaged in.

8. In the meantime, the lord Dakṣa, the lord of Prajāpatis, came there delighted by shedding lustre everywhere in the course of a casual visit.

9. After saluting me, Dakṣa sat there with my consent. Dakṣa, the lord of the universe, was a bit arrogant though worthy of honour, as he had no deep insight into Reality.

10. Dakṣa, of great splendour was honoured by the humble celestial sages with laudatory songs, obeisance, and the joining of palms in great reverence.

11. But lord Śiva who indulges in diverse sports, sat firmly and did not bow to Him. Naturally the lord who is the cause of protection is independent.

12. Seeing Śiva not bowing to him, my son became displeased. Dakṣa, the patriarch, was furious with Śiva.

13. Haughty and devoid of perfect knowledge, Dakṣa looked cruelly at Śiva and spoke aloud within the hearing of all present.

Dakṣa said:—

14. “All these Suras and Asuras, brahmins and sages bow to me. How is it that this gentleman who is always surrounded by goblins and ghosts behaves like a wicked man?

15. “How is it that this shameless frequenter of cremation grounds does not bow to me now? He is devoid of rites. He has cast off religious practices. He is surrounded by spirits and ghosts. He is elated and he spoils good policies and conventions.

16. Heretics, wicked persons, who behave arrogantly on seeing a brahmin and despise him are on a par with one another. Besides, this person is always engrossed in the love of his wife. Hence I am going to curse him”.

Brahmā said:—

17. After saying thus the furious rogue spoke to Śiva thus.

Dakṣa said:—

May all these brahmins and devas listen. May all of you deem him worthy of being killed by me.

18. Let not this Śiva, a resident of cremation grounds, lacking in nobility of birth and pedigree, expelled by me from sacrifices, an outcaste and ugly-shaped, obtain his share along with the devas”.

Brahmā said:—

19-20. On hearing these words of Dakṣa, Bhṛgu[2] and others reproached Śiva. After duly saluting Śiva along with the devas, Nandin, the attendant of Śiva who had heard the words of Dakṣa, was very furious and rolled his eyes. With an intention to curse him, he immediately spoke to Dakṣa.

Nandīśvara said:—

21. “O foolish Dakṣa, of roguish and wicked intention, how is it that you have expelled my lord Śiva from sacrifice?

22. How is it that you cursed him whose thought makes all sacrifices fruitful and all sacred places holy?

23. O Dakṣa, of wicked intentions, in vain did you curse him by your inconsiderate rashness as a brahmin. The great lord Śiva who is free from defects, has in vain been ridiculed by you.

24. O vile brahmin, how is it that you cursed Śiva the great lord, by whom this universe is created, sustained and destroyed in the end?”

25. Censured and rebuked thus by Nandin, Dakṣa the patriarch who was still furious cursed Nandin too.

Dakṣa said:—

26. “You all, the attendants of Śiva, are expelled from Vedic rites. You will be abandoned by the followers of the Vedic path as well as by great sages.

27. “You all will be confirmed heretics, out of the conventions of society. You will indulge in drinking wine. Matted hair, ashes and bones will be your embellishments”.

Brahmā said:—

28. Thus Śiva’s attendants were cursed by Dakṣa. On hearing that, Nandin the favourite of Śiva became furious.

29. Nandin, the brilliant son of Śilāda and favourite of Śiva, spoke immediately to Dakṣa who was excessively roguish and haughty.

Nandīśvara said:—

30. O roguish wicked Dakṣa, in vain did you curse Śiva’s attendants, you who do not know Śiva’s principles. You have exercised your indiscreet rashness on being a brahmin.

31. The great lord Śiva is ridiculed by the evil-minded fools Bhṛgu and others apparently due to their egotism in being brahmins.

32. With the power of Śiva (backing me) I now heap curses on these brahmins here who are against Śiva and hence wicked like you.

33. You are engaged in discussing Vedas but you will be ignorant of Vedic principles. May these brahmins prattle that there is nothing else.

34. May these brahmins indulging in lust, heavenly pleasures, anger, covetousness and pride be shameless beggars.

35. These brahmins will be officiating in the sacrifices of Śūdras, following the Vedic path. They will be perpetually poor and eager to receive monetary gifts.

36. Due to their acceptance of monetary gifts from undeserving persons they will fall into hell. O Dakṣa, some of them will become brahminical Rākṣasas.

37. Brahmā who rivals with Lord Śiva, considering him on a par with ordinary devas and who has evil intentions too, will become averse to the true principles of Śaiva cult.

38-39. Dakṣa will become goat-faced ere long. He will be indulging in vulgar worldly lustful pleasures, and evil strategies. He will be laying down rules for rituals and perpetually discussing Vedic passages. His bright pleasing face will disappear. He will become individual soul strayed from his ultimate goal. He will fall from his holy rites and indulge in wicked deeds.

40. When the brahmins were cursed by the furious Nandin and Śiva was cursed by Dakṣa there was a great hue and cry.

41. On hearing that, I, the creator of the Vedas and the knower of the principles of Śiva rebuked him frequently and also the brahmins Bhṛgu and others.

42. On hearing the words of Nandin, the lord Sadāsiva laughed and spoke sweetly to him enlightening him further.

Sadāśiva said:—

43. “O Nandin of great intellect, listen. Do not get angry. You have cursed the brahmins in vain, erroneously thinking that I have been cursed.

44. Vedas are in the form of syllables of verses and hymns. The Self is established in the Sūkta, whomsoever it may belong to.

45. Hence do not angrily curse the knowers of the Self. The Vedas shall not be cursed by anyone, not even by the evil-minded.

46. I have not been cursed now. You please understand the factual position. O intelligent one, be calm, enlighten Sanaka and others.

47. I am the sacrifice, the sacrificial rite, the ancillary adjuncts of the sacrifice, the Self of sacrifice and one engrossed in sacrifice. I am out of sacrifice too.

48. Who is this? Who are you? Who are these? In reality I am all. Consider everything in this light. In vain did you curse the brahmins.

49. Extracting the fundamental basis of the construction of the universe through the knowledge of reality, be enlightened and self-assured, O intelligent one. Be free from anger and other emotions”.

Brahmā said:—

50. Thus exhorted by Śiva, Nandikeśvara became calm and free from anger and took up discrimination as the ultimate aim.

51. After enlightening him and also his favourite Gaṇas, Śiva returned to His abode accompanied by his Gaṇas with great delight.

52. Seething with fury and malice against Śiva, Dakṣa went to his abode along with the brahmins.

53. Remembering the situation in which Śiva had been cursed and still furious against him, Dakṣa of confounded intellect forsook his faith and entertained enmity and disgust against the worshippers of Śiva.

54. Thus I have narrated the crooked intellect of Dakṣa in regard to Śiva the great Self. O dear one, hear about his evil intention and thought. I shall tell you further.

Footnotes and references:


Prayāga: See note No. 27 P. 35.


Bhṛgu is one of the Prajāpatis and great sages and is regarded as the founder of the race of the Bhṛgus or Bhārgavas, in which Jamadagni and Paraśurāma were born.

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