The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “vishnu’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.

Chapter 35 - Viṣṇu’s statement

Dakṣa said:—

1. O Hari, Viṣṇu, lord of devas, friend of the poor, storehouse of mercy, you must protect me and my sacrifice.

2. You are the guardian of sacrifice. You are identical with the activity of sacrifice, the performer of sacrifice; O lord, be merciful, let not the sacrifice be destroyed.

Brahmā said:—

3. Thus submitting entreaties of diverse sorts with great respect, in his mental agitation due to fear, he fell at his feet.

4. Viṣṇu raised Dakṣa of agitated mind and on hearing the words of that evil-minded one, Viṣṇu remembered Śiva.

5. After remembering Śiva his own lord, Viṣṇu, the knower of Śiva’s principles, said thus, addressing Dakṣa:—

Viṣṇu said:—

6. Listen, O Dakṣa, I shall explain everything true to fact; listen to my words which are as efficacious as mantras, beneficent and pleasing.

7. Not knowing the principle of Śiva, the great Self and lord of everything, you have insulted Him.

8. By insulting Him, not only does every activity become futile in every respect but also it engenders adversities at every step.

9. Poverty, death and fear, these three take place when people worthy of worship are not worshipped and when undeserving people are honoured.

10. Hence with all efforts, the bull-bannered deity shall be respected and revered. A great terror has befallen us because lord Śiva has been dishonoured here.

11. Although we are all lords, we are unable to accomplish anything due to your misdeeds. It is a fact I am mentioning.

Brahmā said:—

12. On hearing these words of Viṣṇu, Dakṣa began to ponder. He sat quietly on the ground with his face turned pale.

13. Meanwhile Vīrabhadra, the leader of the Gaṇas, sent by Rudra, came to the place of sacrifice accompanied by his army.

14-15. Some of his attendants followed him closely; some came through the sky and others came from the different quarters and sub-quarters. At the bidding of Śiva, these innumerable heroic, fearless Gaṇas came there roaring like lions.

16. By that great sound, the three worlds echoed and the quarters were plunged in darkness.

17. The whole earth containing the seven continents shook with fear. All the oceans, forests and mountains were excessively agitated.

18. On seeing that vast army of destructive potentiality, devas and others were quite surprised.

19. On seeing the enterprising activity of the army, Dakṣa’s face turned red with agitation. He fell at the feet of Viṣṇu straight like a staff, prostrated at his feet, along with his wife and said thus.

Dakṣa said:—

20. Depending upon you, this great sacrifice was started by me. O Viṣṇu, great lord, you are the final authority in the matter of realising good rites.

21. O Viṣṇu you are the cosmic witness of sacred rites and the protector of sacrifices. You are the saviour of Vedic virtue, O great lord.

22. Hence, O lord, you shall offer protection to my sacrifice here. Who else, other than you, is competent for it? You are tḥe lord of all.

Brahmā said:—

23. On hearing these piteous words of Dakṣa, Viṣṇu spoke enlightening Dakṣa who was averse to Śiva’s principles.

Viṣṇu said:—

24. O Dakṣa, protection shall be offered to your sacrifice. My promise of protecting Dharma is truly well known.

25. You have stated the truth, but you have transgressed the same. O Dakṣa listen, I shall tell you. Cast off your cruelty.

26. What transpired at Naimiṣa[1], the holy place in a surprisingly mysterious manner is evidently not remembered by you, O Dakṣa. Did you forget it in your evil way?

27. Who can save you from Rudra’s anger? O Dakṣa, a person who protects you, the wicked one, finds no approval anywhere.

28. An evil-minded man does not see what is good and what is not. A sacred action or rite cannot be efficacious always.

29. You must know that to be your duty which is naturally efficacious. Except Śiva none can be the bestower of action.

30. Śiva bestows the fruit of the actions upon the person who is tranquil on account of devotion to the lord and whose mind is fixed in him alone.

31. Depending upon Knowledge alone if they eschew devotion to God they will fall into hell and remain there for hundreds of crores of Kalpas.

32. Those who solely depend on actions are bound by its nooses, are born in lives after lives and are finally scorched and tortured in hells.

33. Here, Vīrabhadra, the chief of Rudra’s attendants, who suppresses all his enemies and who is born of the fire of Rudra’s anger has now come to the sacrificial yard.

34. There is no doubt in this that he has come for destroying us. There is nothing impossible for him to do, whatever it may be really.

35. It is certain that this great lord will become tranquil only after burning us all.

36. Since by my mistake I have transgressed the affirmation of lord Śiva, I too shall bear the miseries along with you.

37. O Dakṣa, I have no power to prevent this since I have become an enemy of Śiva by transgressing his affirmation.

38. There can be no happiness to the enemies of Śiva in the three periods of time; misery has of necessity been invited by me along with you.

39. My discus Sudarśana will not hit him. My discus is Śaiva (belonging to Śiva) and it can cause the death of only non-Śaivas.

40. Even if Vīrabhadra had not been here, this discus would have killed us and returned to Siva.

41. This discus has remained without killing me, although I had transgressed the avowal of Śiva. It indicates that it is compassionate.

42. Hereafter this discus will not stay with me. With its fiery effusions it will depart quickly.

43. Even if he is worshipped and honoured by us with respect, Vīrabhadra will not protect us since he is extremely angry.

44. A sudden dissolution of every one of us is imminent. Alas, it has already set upon us.

45. There is none to offer us refuge in the three worlds. Who can be the refuge of an enemy of Śiva in this world?

46. Even if the body undergoes destruction, the torture at the hands of Yama[2] is in store for us. It is impossible to bear as it generates much misery.

47. On seeing an enemy of Śiva, Yama gnashes his teeth. He puts him in cauldrons of oil and not otherwise.

48. Actually I was preparing to leave after an open declaration. Still I did not leave immediately by the contagious sin of this wicked person.

49. Even if we flee from this place, Vīrabhadra the devotee of Śiva, will drag and pull us by means of his weapons.

50. Whether it is heaven or earth, Pātāla or any where else, it is not difficult for the weapons of Vīrabhadra to gain access there.

51. Such is the power of everyone of the attendants of the trident-bearing Rudra.

52. Formerly at Kāśī, Kālabhairava had plucked off the fifth head of Brahmā playfully with the tip of his nail.

53. After saying this, Viṣṇu resumed his seat, his lotus-face showing signs of great fear. At the same time Vīrabhadra too reached the sacrificial platform.

54. While Viṣṇu was saying this, the gods and others saw the vast ocean of the army led by Vīrabhadra already come there.

Footnotes and references:


Naimiṣa, modern Nimsar, is a sacred region of Uttara Pradeśa in the district of Sitāpur on the bank of Gomatī.


Yama: In Paurāṇic Mythology, Yama is the God who presides over the manes and rules the spirits of the dead. He is always represented as a terrible deity inflicting tortures, called yātanā, on departed sinful spirits.

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