The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “march of virabhadra” 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.

Chapter 33 - The March of Vīrabhadra

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Brahmā said:—

1. On hearing these words of lord Śiva with great respect, Vīrabhadra was highly delighted. He bowed to Him.

2. Receiving his command, with his head bowed down in reverence, Vīrabhadra set off immediately to the place of sacrifice.

3. To add lustre to the campaign, Śiva sent crores of Gaṇas, very valorous and equal to the fire of dissolution.

4. Those powerful Gaṇas enthusiastic and gay both preceded and followed Vīrabhadra.

5. All the personal attendants of Kālakāla assuming the form of Rudra accompanied Vīrabhadra in their hundreds and thousands.

6. Accompanied by these Gaṇas, the noble-souled Vīrabhadra who had the same dress, features and embellishments as Śiva went ahead in a chariot. He had a thousand arms each like hoods of the serpent king. He was powerful and terrifying.

7. The chariots numbered as many as two thousand Nalvas[1] of land could contain. Ten thousand lions pulled the chariots strenuously.

8. Many strong lions, tigers, crocodiles, huge fishes and thousands of elephants constituted his body-guard.

9. When Vīrabhadra[2] set-off quickly for slaying Dakṣa, a shower of flowers fell there let loose by the divine Kalpa[3] tree.

10. During the festivities of their march, the Gaṇas eulogised the heroic Vīrabhadra who was carrying out the job of Śiva and they exhibited their enthusiasm.

11-12. Mahākālī went ahead for the destruction of Dakṣa accompanied by nine Durgās Viz:—Kālī, Kātyāyanī, Īśānī, Cāmuṇḍā, Muṇḍamardinī, Bhadrakālī, Bhadrā, Tvaritā and Vaiṣṇavī and the goblins.

13-14. Eager in executing the command of Śiva, they accompanied the marching heroes—Ḍākinī, Śākinī, Bhūtas, Pramathas, Guhyakas, Kūṣmāṇḍas, Parpaṭas, Caṭakas, Brahma-Rākṣasas, Bhairavas and Kṣetrapālas and set out quickly for the destruction of Dakṣa’s sacrifice.

15. The host of Yoginīs[4] with their sixty-four groups set out angrily and hurriedly to destroy Dakṣa’s sacrifice.

16. O Nārada, listen to the numerical strength of the most important and courageous of those groups.

17. The chief of Gaṇas-Śaṅkukarṇa went ahead with ten crores of his attendants; Kekarākṣa with ten crores and Vikṛta with eight crores.

18. Viśākha with sixty-four crores, Pāriyātraka with nine crores; Sarvāṅkaka and the heroic Vikṛtānana each with six crores.

19. The chief of Gaṇas, Jvālakeśa went with twelve crores; Dhīmān with seven crores and Dudrabha with eight crores.

20. Kapālīśa with five crores and the Sandāraka group. with six crores; Koṭikuṇḍa with crores of crores.

21. Viṣṭambha, the most excellent of the Gaṇas, went with sixty-four crores of heroes. O dear, Sannāda and Pippala went with a thousand crores.

22. Āveśana went with eight crores and Candratāpana too with eight crores. Mahāveśa, the chief of Gaṇas, was accompanied by a thousand crores.

23. O sage, Kuṇḍī the most excellent of the Gaṇas and Pavataka went each with twelve crores in order to destroy Dakṣa’s sacrifice.

24. Kāla, Kālaka and Mahākāla went to the sacrifice of Dakṣa with a hundred crores.

25. Agnikṛt with hundred crores; Agnimukha with a crore; Ādityamūrdhā and Ghanāvaha each with a crore.

26. Sannāha with hundred crores; Kumuda with a crore; Amogha and Kokila the chief of Gaṇas each with a crore of crores.

27. Kāṣṭhāgūḍha, Sukeśī, Vṛṣabha, and Sumantraka the chief of Gaṇas, O dear, each went with sixty-four crores.

28. Kākapādodara and Santānaka both excellent chiefs of Gaṇas went with sixty crores each.

29. Mahābala as well as Puṅgava went with nine crores each.

30. O dear, the chief of Gaṇas, Madhupiṅga was the leader of ninety crores. Pūrṇabhadra also started with as many attendants.

31. Caturvaktra, the chief of Gaṇas, started with hundred crores.

32. Virūpākṣa, the lord of Gaṇas, with sixty-four crores. So also the chiefs of Gaṇas Tālaketu, Ṣaḍāsya and Pañcāsya.

33-34. O sage, Saṃvartaka, Kulīśa, Svayamprabhu, Lokāntaka, Dīptātmā, Daityāntaka, Bhṛṅgīriṭi, Devadevapriya, Aśani and Bhālaka each went with sixty-four thousand Gaṇas.

35. Thus at the bidding of Śiva, the heroic Vīrabhadra went ahead followed by crores and crores, thousands and thousands, hundreds and hundreds of Gaṇas.

36. The hero was accompanied by thousands of crores of goblins, and three crores of canine species born of the hair of Śiva. He went ahead quickly.

37. Trumpets and drums sounded loudly. Conchs blew in diverse ways. Horns of all kinds were blown.

38. In that joyous festivity various musical instruments were played in a pleasing manner.

39. While the march of Vīrabhadra was in progress, O great sage, many pleasing fortutious omens occurred.

Footnotes and references:


Nalva is a measure of distance equal to four hundred (or according to some authorities one hundred four) cubits.


See Note No. g P. 3.


Nine Durgās are variously named in the Purāṇas. For instance, compare the names of nine Durgās in the Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa.

prathamaṃ śailaputrīti dvitīyaṃ brahmacāriṇī |
tṛtīyaṃ candraghaṇṭeti kūṣmāṇḍeti caturthakam ||
pañcamaṃ skandamāteti ṣaṣṭhaṃ kātyāyanīti ca |
saptamaṃ kālarātriśca mahāgaurīti cāṣṭamam ||
navamaṃ siddhidātrī ca navadurgāḥ prakīrtitāḥ |

None of these names occurs in the present counting of the nine Durgās.


Yoginīs are female sorceresses attendant on Durgā. They are represented as sixty-four in number.

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