The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “childhood sports of parvati” 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 7 - The childhood sports of Pārvatī

Brahmā said:—

1. The goddess of great brilliance assumed the form of her baby child in front of Menā and began to cry in accordance with the ways of the world.

2. On account of her splendour that diffused all round the lying-in-couch, the midnight lamps that burnt in the lying-in-chamber were rendered dim in a trice, O sage.

3. The women in the house were extremely glad on hearing the gentle cry of the child. In their excited flutter and great pleasure they rushed in.

4. The superintendent of the harem immediately informed the king about the birth of Pārvatī which was pleasant and conducive to the work of the gods.

5. To the superintendent of the harem who brought the news, there was nothing which the king could not give even including his royal white umbrella.

6. Accompanied by the chief priest and learned brahmins, the lord of mountains came there and saw the child who shone in her lovely clothes.

7. The lord of mountains rejoiced on seeing the child shining in dark splendour like that of the blue lotus.

8. All the citizens there, both men and women, rejoiced much. There were great festivities. Different sorts of musical instruments were played.

9 Auspicious songs were sung. The dancing girls exhibited their saltatorial skill. The lord of mountains performed post-natal sacred rites and made charitable gifts to the brahmins.

10. Himavat came to the outer gate of the palace and joined the festivities. With a delighted mind he distributed monetary gifts to the beggars.

11. In an auspicious hour, in the company of the sages, Himavat named his daughter Kālī and assigned other pleasing names to her.

12. He gave charitable gifts to the brahmins out of love and respect. Varieties of festivities were gone through with suitable music.

13. Though he had many sons, the lord of mountain and his wife rejoiced more on seeing Kālī frequently, after these celebrations.

14. There in the palace of the lord of mountains the goddess Śivā grew up like Gaṅgā in the rainy season and like the moon-light in the autumn.

15. The goddess Kālī of exquisite body and comely appearance acquired more and more splendour like the disk of the moon acquiring more and more digits day by day.

16. The child was fondly attached to every member of the family, Hence the kinsmen called her Pārvatī, a name befitting her family. The girl had all the qualities of good conduct and behaviour.

17. Afterwards when Kālī wanted to perform a penance she was forbidden by her mother who said—“O, no (Umā). Hence O sage, the sweetfaced lady came to be called Umā in the world.

18-19. Although he had many sons, the eyes of the mountain were never satiated on seeing the child Pārvatī endowed with good fortune. In the spring season there may be many flowers in full bloom but the swarms of bees, O excellent sage, are specially drawn to the mango blossom.

20. The mountain Himālaya was both embellished and sanctified by his daughter like a learned man by his speech of grammatical purity.

21. Just as a lamp in the house is praised by leaping flames of brilliance, just as the path of the good by the Gaṅgā, so also the lord of mountains was respected on account of Pārvatī.

22. During her childhood, the goddess played frequently on the sandy banks of the Gaṅgā in the middle of her playmates with balls and dolls.

23. O sage, the goddess Śivā when the suitable time for her education arrived learnt all the lores from a good preceptor, with concentrated mind and great pleasure.

24. Just as the flock of swans returns to the Gaṅgā in the autumnal season and just as the brilliant lustre manifests itself in the medicinal herbs during the night, so also all the learning of the previous birth returned to Kālī.

25. O sage, thus I have described one of the divine sports of Śivā. I shall narrate another one of her divine sports. You listen to it lovingly.