The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “arrangement in daksha’s 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.

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 43 - The Arrangement in Dakṣa’s Sacrifice

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Brahmā said:—

1. Thus eulogised by Viṣṇu, by me, by the gods, sages and others, the great lord became delighted.

2. After consoling Braḥmā, Viṣṇu, the sages and the gods by His benign glance, Śiva spoke to Dakṣa.

Lord Śiva said:—

3. O Dakṣa, listen. I shall explain. O patriarch, I am delighted. Although I am independent lord of all, I am subservient to my devotees always.

4. Four kinds of meritorious persons worship me always. O patriarch Dakṣa, the latter are greater than the former.

5. They are—the distressed, the inquisitive, the fortune-seeker and the wise. The first three are ordinary and the fourth one is extraordinary person.

6. The wise among these four is a great favourite of mine. He is of my own form. None is dearer to me than the wise. It is the truth. I tell you the truth.

7. I am the knower of Self. I can be known through knowledge by those who have mastered Vedanta and the Vedas.

8. Deluded men engrossed in rituals alone cannot attain me through the Vedas, sacrifices, gifts or austerities.

9. You wished to cross the ocean of worldly existence by observance of rituals alone. That was why I became angry and caused the destruction of the sacrifice.

10. Hereafter, O Dakṣa, thinking upon me as the great Lord and giving more importance to knowledge you carry on rituals with care and attention.

11. O patriarch, listen to another statement of mine with a clear conscience. Although it is based on the qualitative aspect it is esoteric. For the sake of virtue I shall tell you.

12. Brahmā, Viṣṇu and I constitute the chief cause of the universe. But I am the soul, the witness, self-seer and without attributes.

13. O sage, entering into my own illusion consisting of three attributes, I create, sustain and annihilate the universe and acquire designations consistent with the activities.

14. In that supreme, sole, universal God which is the pure Self, the ignorant sees different living beings, Brahman, Īśvara etc.

15. Even as an ordinary man does not consider his head, hands and other limbs as separate from his own self so also my follower does not feel separateness about the living beings.

16. He attains peace, who does not see any difference among the three deities who constitute the soul of all living beings and who have the same innate property, O Dakṣa.

17. The base man who differentiates the deities of the Trinity[1] certainly stays in hell as long as the moon and the stars shine.

18. My devotee may worship the gods. Being so absorbed he will attain knowledge leading to eternal salvation.

19. Without devotion to Brahmā one cannot have the devotion to Viṣṇu; without devotion to Viṣṇu none will have devotion towards me.

20. After saying this, Śiva, the great lord, the merciful god spoke these words within the hearing of everyone.

21. “If a devotee of Viṣṇu hates me or if a devotee of Śiva hates Viṣṇu, both will incur curses and never realise reality”.

Brahmā said:—

22. On hearing these pleasing words of lord Śiva, O sage, the devas, sages and others were greatly delighted.

23-24. With great joy, Dakṣa, his family and the gods realised Śiva as the lord of all and was engrossed in devotion to Śiva. Lord Śiva who was delighted in mind granted boons to all, as he received reverence to His great self.

25. Permitted by Śiva and with his blessings, O sage, Dakṣa the devotee of Śiva, with a delighted heart completed his sacrifice.

26. He allotted the full share to Śiva and gave the gods their respective shares. He gave charitable gifts to the brahmins and secured the good blessings of Siva.

27. Thus the patriarch, Dakṣa, in collaboration with the Ṛtviks, completed that great rite of the gods in accordance with the sacred injunction.

28. O excellent sage, thus the sacrifice of Dakṣa was completed, thanks to the grace of Śiva who is identical with the supreme Brahman.

29. Then the celestial sages, sang the glory of Śiva and left for their abodes with delighted minds. Others too were pleased and left for their homes.

30. Viṣṇu and I, went to our regions, joyfully singing the ever auspicious glory of Śiva.

31. Lovingly honoured by Dakṣa, the great lord Śiva, the goal of the good, returned to Kailāsa along with his Gaṇas. He was greatly delighted.

32. After returning to his mountain, Śiva remembered His beloved Satī and mentioned her story to the most important of his Gaṇas.

33. Narrating her story, lord Śiva passed many days. He then evinced the lover’s humour according to the conventions of the world.

34. O sage, the lord is never unjust. The supreme Brahman is the goal of the good. How can He be deluded? What sorrow has He? How can he have other aberrations?

35. Even Viṣṇu and I do not know His real secret. What then about others, the sages, gods, human beings and even Yogins.

36. The greatness of Śiva is endless and inscrutable even to the learned sages. It is known to the devotees without difficulty, thanks to good devotion and his favour.

37. There is no emotion or aberration at all in Śiva the supreme Being. He points out to the people of the world by his different actions, their respective goals.

38. O sage, by reading or listening to this, intelligent persons in the world secure good goal hereafter and excellent happiness in this world.

39. After forsaking her body thus, Satī, the daughter of Dakṣa, was born as the daughter of Menā, the wife of Himavat. This is well known.

40. After performing penance again she wooed Śiva as her husband. Attaining white complexion she performed many wonderful, divine sports and gained half the body of Śiva.[2]

41. Thus I have described the fascinating story of Satī to you which confers worldly pleasures and salvation, which is divine and bestows all wishes.

42. This narrative is flawless, pure, sanctifying, conferring heavenly pleasures, glory, longevity and the pleasure of sons and grandsons.

43. Whoever listens to this or recites this with devotion, O dear, will attain the greatest goal in every rite.

44. He who reads or teaches this auspicious narrative will attain salvation on death after enjoying all worldly pleasures.

Footnotes and references:


Trinity is the emanation from the transcendent reality called Brahman. The trinitarian pattern of the cosmos is a single whole at its base. The three—Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra—exist in one and one in three and they are comprehended within that one Being who is supreme, secret and the soul of all things.


Ardhanārīśvara is the half-male and half-female form of Śiva. This form, most popular in ancient sculpture, symbolises the union and concord of the spirit and its energy.

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