The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “marriage of himacala” 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 1 - The marriage of Himācala

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: Himavat or Himācala is represented in two forms (1) the mobile and (2) immobile. The former is the subtle human form while the latter is the gross, stationary form identical with the mountain Himālayas. The present section recounts the marriage of Himavat with Menā in his mobile form. See RS III. 1. 15.

Nārada said:—

1. O Brahmā, how did the goddess Satī, the daughter of Dakṣa who forsook her body in her father’s sacrifice, become the daughter of Himācala, and the mother of the universe?

2. How could she secure Śiva as her husband after performing a severe penance? Please explain this clearly to me who ask you about it.

Brahmā said:—

3. O foremost of sages, listen to the story of Śivā which is excellent, sanctifying, highly divine, auspicious and destructive of all sins.

4-5. When the great goddess Satī, the daughter of Dakṣa, was sporting about on the Himālayas with Śiva, Menā,[1] the beloved of Himācala thought that she was her own daughter and loved her like a mother with all kinds of nourishments.

6-7. When the great Goddess Satī, the daughter of Dakṣa who had been to her father’s sacrifice and who did not receive his due attention became angry and cast off her body, at the very same time, O sage, Himācala’s beloved Menā wanted to propitiate her in Śivaloka.

8. Satī thought to herself:—“I shall be her daughter” and cast off her body in order to become the daughter of Himācala.

9. At the proper time Satī who had cast off her body and who was worshipped and eulogised by the gods became the daughter of Menā out of sheer joy.

10. On being advised by Nārada, the goddess who was named Pārvatī, performed a severe penance and thereby secured Śiva as her husband.

Nārada said:—

11. O Brahmā, of great intellect and foremost of eloquent gods, please tell me the origin and details of the marriage of Menā.

12. Blessed indeed is the gentle lady Menakā of whom Satī was born as a daughter. Hence that chaste lady is worthy of the honour and blessings of everyone.

Brahmā said:—

13. O sage Nārada, you listen to the story of the origin of Pārvatī’s mother and her marriage and other details both sanctifying and conducive to the growth of devotion.

14. O excellent sage, there in the northern region is a mountain called Himavat who is the lord of mountains and has great splendour and prosperity.

15. His twofold aspects—that of a mobile nature and that of the immobile one—are well known. I succinctly describe his subtle form.

16. He is beautiful and is the storehouse of multifarious gems. Extending from the eastern to the western ocean he appears like a measuring rod of the Earth.[2]

17. He abounds in various trees. Being of variegated shape and features he is adorned by many peaks on him. Lions, tigers and other animals frequent it. Many happy persons live there for ever.

18. He is the storehouse of snow (and yet) very fierce. He is the resort of wonderful things. He is resorted to by the gods, sages and seers. He is a great favourite of Śiva.

19. He is of pure soul, an abode of austerities. He sanctifies even the great souls. He is the bestower of the benefit of austerities. He is the auspicious storehouse of multifarious minerals.

20. He is of a divine form. He is beautiful in every part. He is the unaffected part of Viṣṇu. He is the king of leading mountains and a great favourite of the good.

21. Due to the desire for the benefit of the manes and the gods and for the stabilisation of his race as well as for the increase of virtue, Himācala wanted to marry.

22. At that time, considering their own interest entirely, O excellent sage, the gods approached the celestial forefathers and said lovingly to them.

The gods said:—

23. “O ye forefathers, listen to our words with pleasure. If you desire that the affairs of the gods be fulfilled you must act accordingly soon.

24-25. Uniting your eldest daughter Menā of auspicious features with Himācala, a great benefit will accrue to everyone. At every step, the miseries of the gods and those of yours as well can be reduced”.

Brahmā said:—

26. On hearing these words of the gods, pondering over them and remembering the curse incurred by their daughters, the forefathers said “Amen” to their proposals.

27. They gave their daughter Menā to Himavat. In that auspicious marriage there were great festivities.

28. Viṣṇu, the other gods and the sages reached there with their hearts set on Śiva.

29. Giving many charitable gifts they made the celebration a great success. They praised the celestial forefathers and the Himavat.

30. All the gods and the sages rejoiced and returned to their own abodes with their hearts set on Śiva.

31. After receiving many articles as gifts and marrying the beloved lady Menā, the lord of mountains returned to his abode and rejoiced.

Brahmā said:—

32. O excellent sage, the pleasing details of the splendid marriage of Himavat with Menā have been recounted to you thus. What more do you wish to hear?

Footnotes and references:


Menā or Menakā, the wife of Himavat and the mother of Pārvatī, was one of the three daughters of Svadhā, the wife of Kavi, a class of Pitṛs. Svadhā was one of the sixty daughters of Dakṣa and Prasūti who gave birth to Menā, Dhanyā and Kalāvatī.


For the similarity of ideas and verbal expression, compare Kālidāsa’s Kumārasambhava I.1.

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