The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “devas witness bad omens at the place of sacrifice” 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 34 - The devas witness bad omens at the place of sacrifice

Brahmā said:—

1. When Vīrabhadra set off thus, bad omens were seen by Dakṣa and the devas.

2. O celestial sage, when Vīrabhadra accompanied by the Gaṇas proceeded thus, many portentous phenomena occurred at the sacrifice of Dakṣa including the three evil omens, boding the imminent destruction of Dakṣa’s sacrifice.

3. The left eye, arm and thigh of Dakṣa throbbed. In every respect, it indicated everything inauspicious It was harassing to him.

4. There was an earthquake at the site of sacrifice. Dakṣa observed the mysterious phenomena of stars at noon.

5. The quarters became dirty and gloomy. The sun appeared spotted and terrifying with thousands of circlets all round.

6. Stars, brilliant like lightning and blazing fire were seen falling. Some of them went zigzag and some fell with face downwards.

7. Thousands of vultures hovered above touching Dakṣa’s head. Shadows of these darkened the sacrificial platform.

8. Jackals howled in the surroundings of the sacrificial ground. The evil star Netraka and meteors seemed to fall like white scorpions.

9. Rough winds raising a lot of dust blew there. Locusts and moths were tossed about by whirlwinds.

10. The wonderfully new sacrificial platform erected by Dakṣa and the devas was thrown up by the winds.

11. Surprisingly enough, Dakṣa and others vomitted blood, pieces of flesh and bones very frequently.

12. They became unsteady and tremulous like lamps blown by wind. They felt miserable as if struck with the sharp edges of weapons.

13-14. The eyes of Dakṣa and others sometimes resembled the fading lotuses of the summer; sometimes they resembled the flowers in forests with dews trickling from them; sometimes they seemed like lotuses at night and sometimes like Kumuda flowers in the forenoon.

15. The deities seemed to shower blood; the quarters became enveloped in darkness; there was a peculiar blaze everywhere terrifying all.

16. O sage, devas and others saw such evil portents as these. Viṣṇu and others were struck with great fear.

17. “Ha, we are doomed” saying thus they fell unconscious on the ground like trees on the edges of rivers when felled by the force of the current.

18. Fallen on the ground they remained motionless like cruel serpents struck dead. Sometimes those fallen bounced up like balls.

19. Then due to extreme distress they cried like twittering sparrows. Their groans and their voices got confusingly mingled with each other.

20. Everyone including Viṣṇu had their power blunted and impeded. They rolled and dashed against one another like tortoises.

21. In the meantime a disembodied voice arose there within the hearing of the devas and that of Dakṣa particularly. The ethereal voice said.

22. Fie upon your life now, O Dakṣa. You are evil-minded and excessively foolish. Great misery caused by Śiva will inevitably befall you.

23. Certainly great misery will befall those foolish devas and others who are here crying out “Hā Hā”.

Brahmā said:—

24. On hearing that voice of the sky, and seeing those ill omens, Dakṣa was terribly afraid. The others—devas etc.—too followed suit.

25. Trembling miserably and utterly shaken, Dakṣa sought refuge in Viṣṇu, the consort of Lakṣmī and his own lord.

26. Making humble obeisance in his fright, and eulogising in his mental distress, he said thus to Viṣṇu endearing to his own men.