The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1950 | 616,585 words

This page relates “sati’s journey” 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.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Brahmā said:—

1-2. In the meantime when the celestial sages were on their way to Dakṣa’s sacrifice, with great eclat Satī the daughter of Dakṣa was engrossed in diverse sports, surrounded by her friends under the canopy of the fountain house on the mountain Gandhamādana[1].

3-4. While she was thus gaily sportive[2], Satī saw the moon in the company of Rohiṇī going to the sacrifice of Dakṣa. Satī asked Vijayā her maiden-in-chief, her beloved friend, wishing her all welfare.

Satī said:—

5. O beloved friend Vijayā, where does this moon go now in a hurry in the company of Rohiṇī after taking leave of us?

Brahmā said:—

6. When Satī thus asked her, Vijayā went near the moon and asked him “Where are you going?”

7. On hearing what Vijayā said, the moon mentioned everything about the sacrificial festival of Dakṣa, with great respect.

8. On hearing what the moon told her, Vijayā was greatly agitated and mentioned it immediately to goddess Satī.

9. On hearing it, Satī, the goddess Kālikā, was surprised. She thought over the possible reason, but not knowing it she mused like this.

10. “Dakṣa is my father. Vīriṇī is my mother. I am their beloved daughter Satī. Why did they not invite me? Have they forgotten their own beloved daughter?

11. I shall ask Śiva respectfully the reason for the same”. Thinking thus she decided to go to Him.

12. Making her maiden-in-chief Vijayā wait there, Satī immediately went near Śiva.

13. She saw Him in the middle of the council-chamber surrounded by hosts of his attendants—Nandin and others of great valour.

14. After seeing her husband, the lord Śiva, the daughter of Dakṣa came near Him quickly in order to ask Him the reason.

15. Lovingly Śiva took his beloved on his lap and delighted her with pleasing words.

16. Then Śiva, the lord of all, the bestower of happiness on the good, seated in the midst of his attendants told Satī indulging (as usual) in his great divine sports.

Śiva said:—

17. “O slender-waisted lady, why did you come here in the council-chamber and that too in a state of surprise? Please tell me the reason.”

Brahmā continues the story

18. O great sages, Satī on thus being addressed by Śiva, bowed to the lord with palms joined in reverence and said:—

Satī said:—

19. I have heard that my father is performing a great sacrifice. Great festivities are being conducted there. The celestial sages have assembled too.

20. O lord of devas, how is it that a visit to my father’s great sacrifice does not appeal to you? Please explain to me fully, O lord.

21. This is the duty of friends that they shall frequently associate with their friends. O great lord, friends always do what increases the pleasures of their friends.

22. O lord, please come to my father’s Sacrificial Hall along with me. O lord, let it be at my request.

Brahmā said:—

23. On hearing these words of Satī, lord Śiva, wounded in the heart by the words of Dakṣa piercing like a dart, spoke these courteous and pleasing words.

Lord Śiva said:—

24. Dakṣa is very well your father, dear. But he is my particular enemy.

25. But the celestial sages who usually honour me have become confused now. Being devoid of true knowledge they are attending the sacrifice of your father.

26. O gentle lady, those who go to another man’s house without being invited attain disrespect which is more serious than even death.

27. Even the prosperous Indra and people like him going to another man’s house in such a context become worthless. What then about others? A journey of such a nature is futile.

28. Hence you and I particularly shall not go to Dakṣa’s sacrifice. O beloved, I have told you the truth.

29. People wounded with arrows by enemies are not so pained as when their vulnerable points are hit by the taunting words of kinsmen.

30. O beloved, the wicked people do not observe that their own status is being hit when they attack good men endowed with the six qualities of learning.”

Brahmā said:—

31. Thus advised by the noble-souled Śiva, Satī was angry and spoke thus to Śiva, the foremost of fluent speakers.

Satī said:—

32. O Śiva, lord of all, you by whom sacrifice becomes fruitful have not been invited by my father, thus he has committed a foul deed.

33. Hence, O Śiva, I wish to know the trend of thought of that evil-minded person as well as that of the celestial sages and all other wicked persons assembled there.

34. Hence O lord, I wish to go to the sacrifice of my father. O lord Śiva, please grant me permission to go there.

Brahmā said:—

35. Lord Śiva, possessed of the perfect vision, realising everything and seeing all, and the cause of protection, being requested by the Goddess, spoke to her.

Śiva said:—

36. “O goddess, if this is what you wish, if you think it needful to go, O righteous one, you can immediately start for your father’s sacrifice with my willing permission.

37. You can go in royal splendour mounting this bull richly caparisoned.”

38. Satī thus commanded to mount the decorated bull, bedecked herself and started for her father’s abode.

39. The royal paraphernalia like the umbrella, chowries, silken clothes and ornaments were given to her by (Śiva) the great lord.

40. Sixty thousand of the attendants of Śiva lovingly and enthusiastically went with her with great festivities.

41. The festivities performed by the attendants of Śiva to Satī, Śiva’s beloved, were indeed very great.

42-43. The heroic attendants, favourites of Śiva sang songs of praise of Śiva and Śivā and jumped in their joy with hearts of childish innocence. In every respect the departure of the mother of the universe was very glorious. The three worlds became filled with pleasing sounds.

Footnotes and references:


The location of the Gandhamādana is highly controversial. According to the Paurāṇic account Gandhamādana is a mountain that forms tile division between Ilāvrta and Bhadrāśva to the east of Meru and is renowned for its fragrant forests.


Rohiṇī, according to Paurāṇic Mythology, was the daughter of Dakṣa and the favourite wife of the moon.

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