The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “virabhadra is born and shiva advises him” 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 32 - Vīrabhadra is born and Śiva advises him

Nārada said:—

1-2. On hearing the ethereal voice what did the unwise Dakṣa do? What did the others do? What happened thereafter? Please narrate. O intelligent one, please tell me what those attendants of Śiva who were defeated by the power of Bhṛgu’s mantras did and where they went.

Brahmā said:—

3. On hearing the voice of the Sky, the devas and others were stunned with surprise. They did not say anything. They stood perplexed and dazed.

4. The remaining attendants of Śiva who were defeated and routed by the power of Bhṛgu’s mantras fled and sought refuge in Śiva.

5. Bowing with great respect to Śiva of immeasurable splendour they narrated everything that transpired there.

Gaṇas said:—

6. O lord of Devas, save us who have sought refuge in you. Please listen with condescension to the detailed description of the events connected with Satī.

7. O Lord, great disrespect was shown to Satī by the haughty and wicked Dakṣa. The devas too did not show due respect to her.

8. He did not allot your share but gave it to all the devas. The extremely haughty Dakṣa wickedly and loudly spoke harsh words.

9. O lord, not seeing your share in the sacrifice Satī became angry. After censuring her father many times she burnt her body (in the yogic fire).

10. Gaṇas exceeding ten-thousand put an end to their lives out of shame by cutting off their limbs with weapons. We, the rest, became infuriated.

11. Assuming a terrifying attitude we suddenly got ready to destroy the sacrifice. But we were repelled by Bhṛgu by means of his (spiritual) power. He opposed us.

12. O lord, the sustainer of the world, we have now sought refuge in you. We are now grieved and fear-stricken. Please make us free from fear.

13. O great lord, Dakṣa and the other wicked persons have shown great disrespect because they are very haughty.

14. O bestower of honour we have told you all that happened to us and to Satī. Please deal with those deluded fools in the manner you deem fit.

Brahmā said:—

15. On hearing the words of his attendants, the lord remembered you, Nārada, in order to know their activities.

16. O celestial sage, endowed with divine vision you reached the place and after bowing to Śiva with devotion you waited there with palms joined in reverence.

17. After praising you, the lord asked you about Sati’s news at the sacrifice of Dakṣa and the incidents there.

18. O dear, when you were thus asked by Śiva, you identified with Śiva and narrated to him in detail about what had happened in Dakṣa’s sacrifice.

19. O sage, on hearing the words spoken by you, Śiva became furious in a trice, Śiva of great fury and valour.

20. Then Rudra, the destroyer of the world, plucked out a cluster of his matted hair and struck the top of the mountain with it.

21. O sage, the cluster of the matted hair of the lord split into two, on being struck on the mountain. A loud explosive sound was heard which was as terrific as the sound at the time of dissolution.

22. O celestial sage, from the first half of that cluster of matted hair, rose up the powerful Vīrabhadra[1], the terrific leader of the Gaṇas.

23. He. stood lofty with two thousand hands blazing like the consuming fire. He enveloped the world all round and towered over it ten inches more.

24. From the furious breath of Śiva, the great Rudra, hundred fevers and thirteen humours came out.

25. From the other half of the cluster of matted hair Mahākālī[2] was born. O dear one, she was very terrible and was surrounded by crores of goblins.

26. The ruthless fevers had embodied forms. They were capable of terrifying the world. They were blazing with their fiery splendour.

27. Then the heroic Vīrabhadra, eloquent in speech, joined his palms in reverence and bowed to lord Śiva. Vīrabhadra said thus:—

Vīrabhadra said:—

28. O Rudra of terrific appearance, with the moon, the sun and the fire for your eyes what am I to do? O lord, command me quickly.

29. O Śiva, are the oceans to be dried up in half a moment? O Śiva, are the mountains to be ground into powder in half a moment.

30. O Śiva, shall I reduce the whole universe to ashes in a moment? Shall I reduce the gods or the sages to ashes in a moment?

31. O Śiva, shall the destruction of the universe be carried out? Or, O Śiva, shall the harassment of all living beings be carried out?

32. O lord Śiva, thanks to your favour there is nothing impossible for me. A person equal to me in valour has not been born, nor will he be born.

33. O lord, wherever you send me and on whatever errand, I shall execute that job quickly and earn your favour.

34. At your bidding, O Śiva, even worthless persons swim across the ocean of the world. O Śiva, am I not therefore competent to cross the ocean of great adversity?

35. O Śiva, there is no doubt in this that even the blade of grass despatched by you will achieve great tasks without difficulty in a moment.

36. O Śiva, verily any task can be fulfilled by your mere sport. But it is your blessing and favour, that I shall be sent to do the job.

37. It is by your blessing that I am qualified in this task. O Śiva, without your blessing and favour none will have that power and efficiency.

38. This is true. There is no doubt in this that without your command and permission no one shall move even a blade of grass.

39. O Śiva, devas and others are subject to your control. I too am subject to the control exercised by you. I am the controller of all living beings.

40. O Śiva, I have knelt before you. Again and again I kneel before you. O Śiva send me immediately for the fulfilment of your desire.

41. O Śiva, my right limbs throb frequently. I am sure to be victorious today. O lord, so please send me.

42. I feel a peculiar exhilaration and zeal. O Śiva, my mind sticks to your lotus-like feet.

43. At every step a series of auspicious things and events have occurred.

44. Surely he alone is victorious for ever, his alone is the welfare every day who, O Śiva, is firmly devoted to you who are the resort of everything auspicious.

Brahmā said:—

45. On hearing these words of Vīrabhadra, the consort of Satī became glad. He blessed him saying “O Vīrabhadra be victorious” and said these words thereafter:—

Lord Śiva said:—

46. O dear Vīrabhadra, listen to my words attentively. You must carry them out quickly. It will then delight me.

47. Dakṣa, the wicked son of Brahmā, has made arrangement to perform a sacrifice. He is particularly inimical to me. He is unwise and conceited now.

48. O best of Gaṇas, destroy the sacrifice with all the ancillary adjuncts and then return to my abode quickly.

49. Even if there be devas, Gandharvas, Yakṣas or others, reduce them also to ashes quickly.

50. Let there be Viṣṇu, Brahmā, Indra or Yama. Fell them to the ground now itself with strenuous efforts.

51-52.[3] Transgressing the imprecations of Dadhīci whoever stays in the sacrifice shall be burnt by you of course.

53. If Viṣṇu and others, out of erroneous notions were to withstand, other gaṇas will come for your help. They shall be burnt by you after dragging them with mantras.

54. Transgressing my injunctions many haughty persons are lingering there. They are also my enemies. So burn them with a series of blazing fires.

55. After reducing them to ashes, along with their wives, and all the paraphernalia at the sacrifice of Dakṣa, you shall return quickly.

56. It is possible that when you go there, devas and others may praise you. Still you shall burn them in the flames.

57. Burn the devas too who have committed offence, in the blazing fire, after meditating on me, your protector.

58. After burning Dakṣa and all others along with their wives and kinsmen, without any effort, in a playful manner you shall drink waters.

Brahmā said:—

59. After saying thus to Vīrabhadra the great hero, Śiva the lord of all, the slayer of Kāla, the protector of Vedic conventions, stopped, with his eyes still resembling copper (due to anger).

Footnotes and references:


See Note No. 235 P. 276.


Mahākālī is represented with a black skin, a hideous or terrible countenance, dripping with snakes, hung round with skulls and human heads, and in all respects resembling a fury rather than a Goddess. H.M. P. 86.


The Verse 51 is the same as Verse 49. The translation is not repeated therefore.