The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “goddess consoles the gods” 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 4 - The Goddess consoles the Gods

Brahmā said:—

1. Thus eulogised by the Gods, the Goddess Durgā, the mother of the universe, the destroyer of impassable distress, appeared in front of them.

2. She was seated in a wonderful divine gem-set chariot over which a soft cushion had been spread and which was decorated with tinkling ornaments.

3. She was shining with the brilliance of her limbs that surpassed even the lustre of a crore of suns. She was surrounded by a halo created by her own lustre. She was of symmetrical splendour.

4. She was the unequalled supreme illusion, the beautiful wife of Sadāśiva. She had all the three qualities and was devoid of attributes[1] also, she had been staying in the region of Śiva.

5. She was the mother of the three deities[2], Caṇḍī, Śivā, the destroyer of the distress of all, the mother of all supreme slumber and the redeemer of all her own people.

6. Śivā was seen by the gods through the power of huge column of brilliance. Again the gods eulogised her in order to have a sight of her.

7. Then Viṣṇu and other gods who were desirous of seeing her saw the mother of the universe there itself after receiving her favour.

8. The dwellers of heaven were extremely pleased, they bowed to her again and again and particularly eulogised her.

The gods said:—

9. O Śivā, O great Goddess, O mother of the universe we gods bow to you, the destroyer of all distress.

10. O Goddess, neither the Vedas nor the sacred texts know you perfectly. Your greatness, O Śivā, is beyond the scope of speech and mind and cannot even be meditated upon.

11. Even the Vedas mention you, trembling with fright, by negating what you are not. What will be the matter in regard to others?

12. Many devotees know the same after getting your favour through devotion. There is no cause for fear to the devotees who seek refuge in you.

13. O great Goddess listen to our submission which we, your slaves for ever, are going to explain.

14. Formerly you were born as the daughter of Dakṣa and were married to Śiva. You destroyed the great misery of Brahmā and others.

15. Being disrespected by your father, you cast off your body in accordance with your vow. You then went to your own world and Śiva became miserable.

16. O great Goddess, the purpose of the gods has not been completely carried out. The sages are agitated. Hence we, Gods, have sought refuge in you.

17. O great Goddess, please fulfil the desire of the God, O Śivā, so that the words of Sanatkumāra may be fruitful.

18. O Goddess, incarnating again on the earth please be the wife of Rudra (Śiva) again. Carry on your sports in a fitting manner and let the Gods be happy.

19. O Goddess, may Rudra too, the resident of Kailāsa be happy. Let all become happy. Let misery perish entirely.

Brahmā said:—

20. Saying so, Viṣṇu and the other gods, full of loving devotion remained waiting silently and humbly.

21-22. Śivā too was delighted on hearing the eulogy of the gods and ascertaining the course of the same after remembering her lord Śiva, the compassionate Umā addressed smilingly the gods, chief of whom was Viṣṇu. The Goddess, favourably disposed to her devotees, said:—

Umā said:—

23. O Viṣṇu, O, Brahmā, O Gods and sages who are free from sorrow and pain ye listen to my words. I am delighted undoubtedly.

24. My activities are conducive to happiness everywhere in the three worlds. The delusion of Dakṣa and other things were carried out by me alone.

25. I shall take a full incarnation on the earth. There is no doubt in this. There are many reasons for the same. I shall mention them with respect.

26. Formerly, O gods, with great devotion Himācala and Menā rendered service to me in my life as Sati, like my parents.

27. Even now they continuously render me service and Menā particularly (does so). There is no doubt about my becoming their daughter.

28. Just as you, Rudra too, desires my incarnation in the abode of Himavat. Hence I shall incarnate. That shall be the end of misery in the world.

29. All of you return to your abodes. You shall be happy for a long time. After incarnating I shall give Menā full happiness.

30. I shall become Śiva’s wife. But this desire is a great secret with me. Śiva’s divine sport is wonderful. It deludes even the wise.

31-32. Ever since I cast off my body born of Dakṣa on seeing my lord’s disrespect at the hands of my father at the altar of sacrifice, my lord Rudra is tormented by thoughts about me.

33-34. He saw my anger at the altar of my father’s sacrifice. Thinking that the virtuous lady had cast-off her body out of love for him he became a Yogin and abandoned home-life. He assumed an unearthly form and features. But he could not bear my separation.

35. On account of me he was much distressed. He put on an abnormal dress. Ever since he forsook the excellent pleasure of love.

36. Hear further, O Viṣṇu, O Brahmā, O sages and O gods, the divine sports of the supreme lord Śiva, that protect the universe.

37. Oppressed by the pangs of bereavement He wreathed a garland of my bones. Although He is the sole enlightened god He did not get peace anywhere.

38. Like a non-god, like a helpless creature he roamed about here and there and cried aloud. The lord Himself could not distinguish between the proper and the improper.

39. The lord Śiva did this just to show the behaviour of a love-lorn lover. He blabbered like a lover in despair due to separation.

40. But really the supreme lord has no aberrations, is not distressed and remains unconquered. My master Śiva is perfect, lord of all and the controller of illusion.

41. He is not tarnished by illusion. Of what avail are illusion, love and other emotions for Him?

42. Rudra, the lord, is anxious to marry me and hence my incarnation on the Earth at the residence of Menā and Himācala, O gods.

43. In order to propitiate Rudra, I shall incarnate as the daughter of Menā, the wife of Himācala, in accordance with the way of the world.

44. After performing a severe penance as His devotee I shall become Rudra’s beloved and then perform the work of the gods. This is truth, real truth, there is no doubt about it.

45. All of you return to your abodes. Continuously worship Śiva. Undoubtedly your miseries will be quelled by His favour.

46. By the grace of merciful lord Śiva, you will achieve auspicious results. As the wife of that lord I shall be honoured and worshipped in the world.

Brahmā said:—

47. O dear, even as the gods were watching, Śiva, the mother of the universe, vanished after saying this and returned immediately to her world.

48. After making obeisance to the direction in which she went, the delighted Viṣṇu and others, sages and the gods, returned to their abodes.

49. O excellent sages, thus I have narrated to you the auspicious narrative of the goddess Durgā. It is always pleasing to men and it bestows worldly pleasures and salvation.

50. Whoever hears or recites this with concentration, reads or teaches this, will obtain the fruits of all desires.

Footnotes and references:

1.

As the personified energy of the gods Viṣṇu, Brahmā and Rudra, representing the three qualities Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, the Goddess is called ‘Triguṇā’ i.e. possessed of three qualities. But as the personified energy of Śiva, who is the Supreme Being, devoid of attributes she is called Nirguṇā.

2.

She is the mother-goddess of Viṣṇu, Brahmā. and Rudra, the synthetic form of three qualities responsible for the creation, maintenance and dissolution of the universe.