The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “removal of daksha’s misery” 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 42 - The removal of Dakṣa’s misery

Brahmā said:—

1. Lord Śiva was delighted on being conciliated and cajolled by Viṣṇu, Brahmā and the sages.

2. Consoling Viṣṇu and other devas and laughing, the merciful lord Śiva blessed them and spoke.

Lord Śiva said:—

3. O excellent devas, both of you listen with attention. O dear ones, I shall state the truth. I have always borne your wrath.

4. I do not take into account the sin committed by my children. I have inflicted punishment on those who are afflicted by my illusion.

5. The destruction of the sacrifice of Dakṣa was not done by me. If a person hates another, ultimately it recoils on him alone.

6. No action that involves the affliction of others will be indulged in by me at any time. If anyone hates another it will recoil on him alone.

7. Let the head (the sacrificial head) of Dakṣa be that of a goat. Let the god Bhaga receive his share in the sacrifice in conjunction with the sun.

8. O dear ones, the god Pūṣan who used to grip the cooked offerings in a sacrifice with his teeth has been rendered broken-toothed and will remain as such. I have spoken the truth.

9. Bhṛgu who opposed me shall become goat-bearded. The gods who tried to uproot me shall have their physical bodies.

10. Let the Adhvaryu priests be borne through the arms of Aśvins and the hands of Pūṣan. I have spoken thus out of love for you.

Brahmā said:—

11. Saying thus, the lord Śiva though merciful, yet of imperial nature, the lord of the mobile and immobile and the follower of Vedic injunctions, stopped.

12. On hearing his speech, Viṣṇu and other gods were delighted and sent out cries of approbation.

13-14. Then at the invitation of Viṣṇu and other gods, Śiva went to Kanakhala at the sacrificial altar of Dakṣa Prajāpati. The celestial sages and I too accompanied him there.

15. Then Rudra saw the extent of destruction carried out by Vīrabhadra, of the sacrifice and of the celestial sages.

16-17. Svāhā, Svadhā, Pūṣan, Tuṣṭi, Dhṛti, Sarasvatī, the sages, the manes, Agnis, many others like Yakṣas, Gandharvas, Rākṣasas who were mutilated, wounded or killed in the battle were seen by him laughingly.

18. On seeing this destruction of the sacrifice, He called the chieftain of Gaṇas, Vīrabhadra of great virility and spoke to him.

19. O Vīrabhadra of powerful arms, what is it that you have done? O dear, in your hurry you have inflicted very severe punishment on the celestial sages and others.

20. Bring Dakṣa here quickly. O dear, he performed a sacrifice contrary to rules, whence this result arose.

Brahmā said:—

21. Thus commanded by Śiva, Vīrabhadra, hastened to bring the headless body of Dakṣa which he threw in front of Śiva.

22-23. O excellent sage, on seeing the headless body, Śiva, the benefactor of the worlds, spoke laughingly to Vīrabhadra—“Where is the head of Dakṣa?”, Vīrabhadra replied—“O lord Śiva, at that time itself, the head was consigned to fire by me.”

24-26. On hearing the words of Vīrabhadra, Śiva commanded the gods in the manner as mentioned before. After doing in accordance with what lord Śiva had said, Viṣṇu, the gods and I acquainted Bhṛgu with the same quickly. At the bidding of Śiva, they immediately joined the head of the sacrificial animal, the goat, with the body of Dakṣa.

27. When the head was joined and Śiva looked at it, Dakṣa regained his life and awoke as if from sleep.

28. On waking up he saw Śiva, the merciful, in front of him. Dakṣa stood there happy and joyful.

29. Formerly his mind had been contaminated and affected by a great hatred towards Śiva. But now immediately after seeing him, his mind became pure like the autumnal moon.

30. He wanted to eulogise Śiva but could not do so because of his affection, emotional disturbance and anxiety for his deceased daughter.

31. Then after regaining composure and peace of mind, the ashamed Dakṣa bowed and eulogised Śiva, the benefactor of the worlds.

Dakṣa said:—

32. I bow to the great lord, the supreme being, the bestower of boons, the store of knowledge, the eternal. I bow to Śiva, the lord of the chief of Gods, always conferring happiness and the sole kinsman of the universe.

33. I bow to the lord of the universe, of cosmic form, the primordial Being and the form of Brahman itself. I bow to Śiva, the conceiver of world’s happiness and the greater than the greatest.

34. O lord, lord of Devas, be merciful. Obeisance to thee. O Śiva, the storehouse of mercy, forgive my faults.

35. O, Śiva, Thou hast blessed me under the pretext of punishing me. O lord, I have been wicked and foolish. Thy real nature I could not understand.

36. Today I have realised the truth. Thou art above all. Thou art served by Viṣṇu, Brahmā and others. Thou art the supreme Being known only through the Vedas.

37. Thou art the wish-yielding Kalpa tree to the good. Thou punishest the wicked always. Thou art the independent great soul. Thou art the bestower of desired boons on the devotees.

38. Thou hast created the brahmins first who uphold learning, penance and sacred rites, in order to realise the reality of the soul, O great lord, from thy mouth.

39. Just as the master of cowherds protects the cows from adversities, so also thou art the saviour of the good. Thou art the watch and ward of Social Conventions. Thou punishest the wicked.

40. The great lord has been wounded by me by the shafts of piercing harsh words. I have made the gods, who conferred blessings on me, very dejected.

41. O Śiva, the helper of the distressed, Thou art greater than the greatest. Thou art favourably disposed to thy devotees. Thou art satisfied by thine own action of great value.

Brahmā said:—

42. Having thus eulogised lord Śiva, the benefactor of the worlds and the great lord, the patriarch Dakṣa humbly stopped.

43. Then the delighted Viṣṇu, with palms joined in reverence, eulogised the bull-bannered Śiva in a speech choked with tears after bowing to him.

Viṣṇu said:—

44. O great God, O supreme God, the bestower of blessings on the world, O storehouse of mercy, the helper of the distressed, Thou art the great Brahman, the great soul.

45-46. O Lord, Thou art all-pervasive and independent. Thy glory can be known only through the Vedas. This Dakṣa is my devotee. He has been wicked to censure you before. He has committed an offence making us meritless. O great lord, Thou must forgive him since thou art free from aberrations.

47. O Śiva, out of delusion. I too have committed offence against you since I took sides with Dakṣa and fought with Vīrabhadra, Thy attendant.

48. O Sadāśiva, Thou art my master, the supreme Brahman. I am Thy slave. I shall be sustained by Thee always since thou art the father unto us all.

Brahmā said:—

49. O great lord, lord of devas, O lord, O ocean of mercy, Thou art the independent great soul, the great Śiva, unchanging and without a second.

50. O Śiva, blessing has been conferred on my son in granting him a body. Thou dost not mind the offence to Thee. Resuscitate the sacrifice of Dakṣa.

51. O Lord of gods, be pleased. Remove all curses. Thou art my conscious encourager. Thou alone art the restrainer.

52. O great sage, after thus eulogising lord Śiva, I joined my palms in reverence and bent my head in humility.

53. Then Indra and other gods, the guardians of the quarters, of good mentality lauded lord Śiva whose lotuslike face beamed with brilliance.

54. The other gods too of delighted minds, the Siddhas, the sages and the Prajāpatis lauded Śiva joyously.

55. Then the gods of lower rank, Nāgas, and the brahmins, the members of the assembly, bowed with devotion and eulogised Śiva severally.