The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “sati’s statement” 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.

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Brahmā said:—

1. Satī reached the place where the colourful sacrifice accompanied by the enthusiasm of devas, asuras, great sages etc. was in progress.

2. She saw her father’s mansion abounding in wondrous things lustrous and beautiful as well as the groups of devas and sages.

3. The Goddess stopped at the gate and descended from Nandin, the bull. She went all alone inside the place of sacrifice.

4. On seeing Satī, her glorious mother Asiknī and her sisters received her respectfully.

5. Even after seeing her, Dakṣa did not show any sign or gesture of love or respect. The others too deluded by Śiva’s Māyā did not receive her out of fear of Dakṣa.

6. Satī then bowed to her parents, O sage. In her surprise (at the cool reception) she gazed at every one.

7. In that sacrifice, Satī saw the shares allotted to the deities, Viṣṇu, and others but not to Śiva. She then fell into a great fury.

8. Slighted thus and hence very furious at everyone she directed her burning fiery look at Dakṣa and every one present there.

Satī said:—

9. How is it that Śiva who is highly auspicious and by whom the entire universe of the mobile and the immobile is sanctified, has not been invited by you?

10. What is that sacrifice without Śiva who is sacrifice Himself, the performer of sacrifice, the fee of sacrifice, the adjunct of sacrifice and the foremost of those who know sacrifice itself.

11. Every rite performed without Him will be impure but with Him or by the mere remembrance of Him becomes pure.

12. The articles of offerings, the mantra, the Havya and Kavya[1], everything is identical with Śiva. How is it that the sacrifice is being performed without Him?

13. Did you disrespect Him, considering Him on a par with ordinary devas? You have become senseless and mean though you are my father.

14. Ha, you do not know Śiva the great lord by serving whom Viṣṇu Brahmā and other devas have attained their position and status.

15. How did Viṣṇu, Brahmā, other devas and the sages happen to be present at your sacrifice without their lord Śiva?”

Brahmā said:—

16. After saying this, Satī addressed Viṣṇu and others severally, taunting them.

Satī said:—

17. “O Viṣṇu, don’t you know the real nature of Śiva whom the Vedas speak of as both full or devoid of attributes?

18-19. Although as the chieftain of king Śālva,[2] Śiva had caught hold of your hand and set you aright many a time, that admonition has not entered your brain, now that you have evinced a desire to partake of your share in Dakṣa’s sacrifice without inviting lord Śiva.

20. O Brahmā, you had five faces formerly. When you exhibited your haughtiness against Śiva, He made you four-faced.[3] It is surprising that you have forgotten it.

21. O Indra, don’t you know the valour of the great lord? Śiva had once ruthlessly reduced your thunderbolt to ashes.

22. O devas, don’t you know the valour of Mahādeva, O Atri, O Vasiṣṭha, O, sages what have you all done here?

23-24. Once the lord wandered (begging for alms) in Dāruvana[4]. You, sages, cursed him in the guise of a mendicant. How is it that you have now forgotten what Śiva did on being cursed by you? The entire universe of the mobile and immobile was burnt by His Liṅga.

25. All of you, Viṣṇu, Brahmā, gods, sages and others have turned foolish since you have assembled here without Śiva.

26. Śiva of controlled speech, knowable only through self-realisation cannot be understood by anyone with the help of only Vedas with their ancillary adjuncts and other sacred texts.

Brahmā said:—

27. Thus the infuriated Satī, the mother of the universe spoke many words with her heart in distress.

28. Viṣṇu, gods, and sages kept silent on hearing her words, though their minds were distressed on account of Śiva.

29. But Dakṣa on hearing those words of his daughter looked at Satī cruelly and said thus to her.

Dakṣa said:—

30. Gentle lady, nothing shall be gained by your speaking so much here. You can go or stay. Why at all did you come?

31. Your husband Śiva is known to the wise as inauspicious. He is not of a noble lineage. He is the king of goblins, ghosts and spirits. He is excluded from Vedic rites.

32. Knowing Śiva to be of indecent dress and features, my dear daughter I did not invite him to the sacrifice in the presence of gods and sages.

33. Induced by Brahmā I gave you in marriage to the wicked haughty Śiva who does not know customs. I have been a sinner and slow-witted.

34. Hence leave off your anger. Calm yourself. (Let us see) you smile sweetly. Having come (all the way) to this sacrifice you can take your own share.

Brahmā said:—

35. The daughter Satī honoured in the three worlds, on being addressed thus, became very angry to see her father full of contempt.

36. She mused to herself—“How can I return to Śiva?” Of course I am desirous of seeing Śiva but what reply shall I give when He were to ask me?

37. Satī, the mother of the three worlds, heaving sighs of wrath told her father Dakṣa, the evil-minded.

Satī said:—

38. “He who reproaches Śiva and he who hears such reproaches, both of them go hell and stay there as long as the moon and the sun exist.

39. Hence I shall cast off my body and enter the fire. O father, of what avail is this life unto me who am unfortunate enough to hear contemptuous remarks about my lord?

40. If a powerful person cuts off the tongue of the man who makes such disrespectful remarks about Śiva both of them will be absolved of sins.

41. If he is not powerful enough let the sensible man close his ears and quit the place—He shall then be pure—so say the learned persons.”

Brahmā said:—

42. After stating the dictum of virtue thus, she remembered the advice of Śiva and repented (her hasty arrival) with a grief-stricken heart.

43. Then inciting the fury of Dakṣa further, she said to Viṣṇu and all other devas and sages unhesitatingly.

Satī said:—

44. Dear father, hating Śiva now you are sure to repent later. After experiencing a lot of agony here, you are sure to experience further torture.

45. Excepting you, can there be a person who is adversely inclined and disposed towards Śiva who is free from inimical feelings, who is the great Self and who does not hate or love anyone in the world?

46. Contempt of the great is infused with rivalry in the bad people but in regard to those whose Tāmasika quality is quelled by the dust of the feet of the great, it is auspicious.

47. The syllables Śi and Va even uttered once casually can quell all sins.

48. It is surprising that you are so wicked as to harbour ill feelings against Śiva who is the lord of all, whose dictum is untransgressable and who is the holiest of the holy. You are certainly enemy of Śiva.

49-50. It is a pity that out of foolishness you hold malice towards Śiva, the benefactor of everyone, whose lotuslike feet are always resorted to by the bees in the form of the minds of lofty-natured persons, who confers all blessings even that of realising the Self.

51. Have the scholarly persons, Brahmā and others, Śanaka and sages, except you, considered Śiva unholy?

52-53. Śiva who holds the skull in his hands resides in the cremation ground in the company of goblins. He wears matted hair. But sages and devas keep on their heads the dust from His feet. Such is the nature of lord Śiva, the great God.

54-55. In the Vedas two sorts of actions are ordained—direct and renunciatory. Scholars differentiate between these two and hold that they cannot be simultaneous and they cannot occur in a single entity. But in Śiva the great Brahman, these actions do not have any effect.

56-57. Let us not take to your path of egoism[5] as displayed in your sacrificial chambers enjoyed and cast-off by the fire. Ours is the manifest path followed by Avadhūtas. O father, with a crooked mind you need not be haughty and conceited.

58. Why say more? You are wicked in every respect. You are evil-minded. I have nothing further to do with this body born of you.

59. Fie upon Him who is always wicked and who perpetrates actions of unspeakable demerit. Sensible man should shun even the contact with such a man.

60. I am the offspring of your race as the bull-bannered lord Śiva has often said. Hence naturally my name has come to be Dākṣāyaṇī. This is distressing to me.

61. This body born of your limbs I shall cast off as a corpse. It is worthy of contempt. I shall abandon it and gain happiness.

62. O sages and devas, you listen to my words. Your action is improper in every respect. You have become evil-minded

63. You are deluded. You revel in reproaching Śiva and quarrelling with Him. Everyone of you will get due punishment from Śiva.

Brahmā said:—

64. Having said thus to Dakṣa and others present in the sacrifice, Satī stopped. After thinking upon her dear lord she desisted from her speech.

Footnotes and references:


Havya-Kavya: Oblations both to the Gods and the spirits of the deceased ancestors.


Śālva, the king of the country of Śālvas (modern Rājasthan) was inimical to Viṣṇu.


See Note No. 43. P. 58.


Dāruvana or Dārukāvana which contains the temple of Nāgeśa, one of the twelve Jyotirliṅgas of Śiva has been identified with Aundh in the Nizām’s territory (Arch. Sur. Lists of Nizām’s Territory XXXI. 21, 29). Another vana of the same name also stands at the following places : (1) In the Himālayas near Badrinath (Mbh. XIII. 25. 27) (2) Near Vijayeśvara in Kāśmīr (H.C. 10.3). Due to these variations it is not possible to ascertain the exact locality of Dāruvana in the present context.


The text of this verse is corrupt in all printed editions. The present translation is based on the reading “asmitāsthitāḥ” for “asmadāsthitāḥ” which we have adopted here.

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