The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “journey to kailasa and the vision of shiva” 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 40 - Journey to Kailāsa and the vision of Śiva

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nārada said:—

1. O Brahmā of great intellect, who are the guide for Śiva cult, you have narrated to me the wonderfully beautiful story of Śiva’s sport.

2. After destroying the sacrifice of Dakṣa when the heroic Vīrabhadra went to Kailāsa what happened there? O dear, please tell me now.

Brahmā said:—

3. Defeated and mutilated by Śiva’s armies the gods and the sages came to my region.

4. After making obeisance to me who am self-born, and eulogising me in various ways, they explained their distress entirely.

5. On hearing that, I was extremely pained for my son Dakṣa. In that mental anguish I thought.

6. “What step shall I take to please the devas, whereby Dakṣa can be restored to life and whereby the sacrifice also be completed?”

7. O sage, even after thinking a lot I did not attain any peace of mind. Remembering lord Viṣṇu with devotion I knew what I shall do.

8. Then I went to the world of Viṣṇu along with the gods and the sages. After bowing to and eulogising him with various hymns I informed him of my misery.

9. Please make arrangements so that the sacrifice shall be completed, the gods and the sages be happy. As you know he was performing a sacrifice.

10. O lord of Lakṣmī, lord of gods, bestower of happiness to the gods, we, including the devas and the sages, have sought refuge in you.

Brahmā said:—

11. On hearing my words, the lord of Lakṣmī with his soul set on Śiva and mind free from distress, replied after duly remembering Śiva.

Viṣṇu said:—

12. An aggression against a powerful person neither befits a weak aggressor nor leads to his welfare.[1]

13. Thus, O Brahman, the gods have committed sin and offended Śiva, since they had partaken of His share in the sacrifice.

14. You shall propitiate Śiva by falling at his feet, with pure mind.

15. At the bidding of the protector of the world whose fury annihilates everything, the resuscitation is certain and immediate.

16. That lord has been wounded in the heart by the wicked Dakṣa by harsh words. Crave the forgiveness of that lord who has lost his beloved now.

17. O Brahman, this is the only remedy for tranquilising him, I think and also for pleasing him. I have mentioned that truth.

18. Neither I nor you, nor the gods, nor the sages, nor any embodied being knows the reality and the extent of his strength and power.

19. Who else can lay down a remedy for Śiva who is independent and the greatest self—a remedy that quells delusion?

20. I too have offended Śiva. I shall also come, O Brahmā, to Śiva’s abode along with you all and crave the forgiveness of Śiva.

Brahmā said:—

21. After commanding thus, me, Brahmā and the gods, Viṣṇu desired to go to his mountain along with the devas.

22. Accompanied by the gods, sages, Brahmā and others Viṣṇu went to Kailāsa, the auspicious excellent mountainous abode of Śiva.

23. It was a favourite abode of the lord where Kinnaras, Apsaras, Siddhas and other divine beings stayed. It was very high.

24. It was brilliant with many peaks full of precious gems all round. It was of variegated colour due to diverse minerals. It contained different trees and creepers.

25-26. Many kinds of deer roamed and many kinds of birds hovered there. The celestial and Siddha damsels sported about in different springs and pools along with their husbands and lovers. It contained many caves and ridges. It shone with various kinds of trees and had a silver lustre.

27. It was infested with big animals, tigers and others who were free from cruelty. It was of divine nature endowed with shining brilliance. It inspired great surprise and wonder.

28. The river Gaṅgā originating from the holy abode of Satī, sanctifying everything flowed there and so the place was very clean.

29. On seeing this mountain named Kailāsa, a great favourite of Śiva, Viṣṇu and other devas were surprised along with the excellent sages.

30. Near it, the gods saw Alakā[2], the beautiful and divine city of Kubera—a friend of Rudra.

31. Near that they saw the sylvan park Saugandhika which contained all kinds of trees. The sound originating from it was surprisingly divine.

32. Outskirting it are the two holy rivers Nandā[3] and Alakanandā that quelled sins by their mere sight.

33. The celestial damsels descending to them from their world drank their waters. Emaciated for their sexual dalliance with their menfolk they entered them for their sports.

34. After going beyond Alakā, the capital of the king of Yakṣas and the Saugandhika park, they saw the fig-tree of Śiva.

35. The fig tree had steady shade all round. It had a number of suspended branches without hanging roots. Its height was a hundred Yojanas. It had no nests on it. It afforded protection from heat.

36. It was the place where Śiva practised Yoga. It was divine. It was resorted to by other Yogins. It was great and excellent. It could be seen only by the excessively meritorious persons. It was beautiful and sacred.

37. Beneath that Vaṭa of yogic potentialities, Viṣṇu and other devas saw Śiva seated. The Vaṭa was the refuge of those seeking salvation.

38. Śiva was being served and venerated by Brahmā’s sons, the great Siddhas engrossed in devotion to Śiva joyously. They were calm. Their very physical body inspired calmness.

39. He was being attended upon by his friend Kubera, the lord of Guhyakas and Rakṣas and particularly by his attendants and kinsmen.

40. Lord Śiva had the divine form liked by the sages. His fond love befriended everyone. He shone with the ashes smeared over his body.

41. O sage (Nārada), (you were present there and while) you were asking him questions, he was explaining wise and excellent things to you, whereas the other saintly men were listening. He was seated on a seat made of Kuśa grass.

42. He had put his left leg over his right thigh and knee. The Rudrākṣa garland was suspended from his wrist. He was showing the Tarkamudrā (with his hand).

43. On seeing Śiva like this, Viṣṇu and other devas humbly bowed to him immediately after joining their palms.

44. Lord Śiva, the refuge of saintly men, stood up and approaching Viṣṇu who had gone there along with me he performed obeisance with his head.

45. Viṣṇu and the devas made obeisance at His feet as Viṣṇu, the goal of the world, would bow to Kaśyapa.

46. Viṣṇu and the devas performed obeisance and spoke to Śiva who was revered by the lords of devas, siddhas, Gaṇas and the sages.

Footnotes and references:


The text of this verse is corrupt in all printed editions. We have translated it after emending the text in the following way:

tejoyase na sā bhāti kṛtāgasi bubhūṣatā |
tanna kṣemāya bahudhā bubhūṣā hi kṛtāgasām ||


See Note No.226 P. 265.


Nandā, Alakanandā and Bhāgīrathī are three famous branches of Gaṅgā in the upper course in the Pauri-Garhwal region.

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