The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “shiva-parvati dialogue” 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 13 - Śiva-Pārvatī dialogue

Pārvatī said:—

1. O Yogin, O lord, wise and clever, please listen to the reply to what you, as an ascetic, said to the lord of mountains.

2. O Śiva, you perform this great penance because you possess the energy of penance. Your intellect is inclined to perform penance because you are a noble soul.

3. That energy is the Prakṛti, the cause of all activities. Everything is created, sustained and destroyed by it.

4. O lord, please ponder over who you are and who this subtle Prakṛti is. Without Prakṛti how can the great lord of the phallic form exist?

5. You are worthy of the worship, respect and meditation of all living beings for ever, thanks to Prakṛti. Thinking of this in your heart, please reply.

Brahmā said:—

6. On hearing these words of Pārvatī, the great lord engaged in the causation of great enjoyment and protection became delighted. He laughed and said.

The great lord said:—

7. I am destroying the Prakṛti with my great penance. I remain in reality without Prakṛti.

8. Indeed Prakṛti should not be taken in by good people. They should remain unaffected eschewing all worldly conduct.

Brahmā said:—

9. O dear one, this was said by Śiva in accordance with worldly conventions and dealings. Pārvatī thereupon laughed to herself and spoke these sweet words.

Pārvatī said.—

10. O Yogin, O lord Śiva, based on what you said how can that Prakṛti cease to exist and how can you be considered beyond that Prakṛti?

11. You shall ponder over this and say with reference to the facts as they are. All these (the universe etc) are bound by Prakṛti continuously.

12. Hence you shall not say anything, not do anything. Know that speaking, doing etc. is a Prākṛta activity.

13. What you hear, what you eat, what you see and what you do—all these are (essentially) the activities of Prakṛti. To say that it is unreal is meaningless.

14. O lord, if you are greater than Prakṛti, wherefore do you perform penance, O Śiva, now, on this mountain Himavat,

15. O Śiva, you have been swallowed by Prakṛti, you do not know your own situation. O lord, if you do not know your own situation why do you perform penance?

16. O yogin, what have I to do with an argument with you? Scholars say that without perception inference has no authority at all.

17. As long as the embodied beings remain the objects of the sense-organs, everything is Prākṛta. Wise men consider it so.

18. O lord of ascetics, a long-winded talk is of no avail. Listen to my emphatic statement. I am Prakṛti and you are Puruṣa. This is the truth. There is no doubt about it.

19. With my blessings you become qualitative and embodied. Without me, you are attributeless and incompetent to perform any activity.

20. Being always subservient to Prakṛti you perform all activities. Self-controlled, free from aberrations and untainted by me how can you perform them?

21. If you are really superior to Prakṛti, if what you say is true, you need not be afraid to be near me, O Śiva.

Brahmā said:—

22. On hearing these words of Pārvatī based on the Sāṃkhya system, Śiva replied to her, upholding the Vedāntin’s point of view.

Lord Śiva said:—

23. O Pārvatī, O upholder of the Sāṃkhya system, if you say so, O sweet-voiced lady, you render me unforbidden service every day.

24. If I am the Brahman, the supreme lord, unsullied by illusion, comprehensible through spiritual knowledge and the master of illusion what will you do then?

Brahmā said:—

25. Having spoken to Pārvatī thus, the lord, the conciliator and the blesser of the devotees spoke to the mountain thus.

Śiva said:—

26. O lord of mountains, here itself on your beautiful excellent ridge, I shall perform my penance showing to the world my real blissful form and nature.

27. O lord of mountains, permission shall be given to me to perform penance. Without your permission it is not possible for me (or any one else) to perform any penance here.

Brahmā said:—

28. On hearing these words of Śiva, the lord of gods, Himavat bowed to Śiva and said.

Himavat said:—

29. The entire universe consisting of gods, Asuras and human beings, is yours. O great god, though insignificant, I blabber something to you.

Brahmā said:—

30. Thus addressed by Himavat, Śiva, the benefactor of the worlds, laughingly permitted him to go.

31. Permitted by Śiva, Himavat returned to his abode along with Pārvatī. He wanted to visit Him daily.

32. Even without her father but accompanied by her maids, Pārvatī approached Śiva everyday for serving Him with devotion.

33. O dear, at the bidding of lord Śiva, none of the Gaṇas, Nandīśvara and others, purely carrying out the orders of Śiva, prevented her.

34. The discourse of Śivā and Śiva who represented the principles of Sāṃkhya and Vedanta and who, if thoughtfully considered, are not different from each other, was very happy and pleasing for ever.

35. At the request of the lord of mountains, Śiva permitted Pārvatī to remain with Him being true to His words though with all gravity and seriousness.

36. He, the lord of individual souls, said to Pārvatī in the company of her maids—“You can serve me everyday You can go (as you please). You can stay here fearlessly.”

37. Saying this, He accepted the goddess in his service. Śiva is free from aberrations. He is a great Yogin, the lord who indulges in different kinds of divine sports.

38. This is the supreme courage of great ascetics possessed of fortitude that though surrounded by obstacles they are not overpowered by them.

39. Then, the lord of mountains, returned to his city and rejoiced in the company of his wife, the sages and attendants.

40. Śiva mentioned the Yoga of meditation on the great Ātman with His mind freed from obstacles.

41. Pārvatī, along with her maids, continued her daily service to the moon-crested lord, coming and going without any hindrance.

42. She washed Śiva’s feet and drank that holy water. With a cloth heated in fire she wiped his body.

43. After worshipping Him with sixteen types of offerings duly, and bowing to Him repeatedly she used to return to her father’s abode.

44. O excellent sage, a long time elapsed as she continued her service to Him who was engrossed in meditation.

45. Sometimes accompanied by her maids, she sang exquisite songs of good note that increased love in the hermitage of Siva.

46. Sometimes she brought Kuśa grass, flowers and sacrificial twigs. Sometimes, assisted by her maids, she scubbed (scrubbed?) and cleaned the place.

47. Sometimes she stayed in the house of the moon-crescent lord, pure and holy. Sometimes she used to gaze at the lord lovingly and with surprise.

48-49 In the course of his penance sometimes the lord of the goblins thought about her as free from attachment. But as she was in her physical form He did not take her as His wife though she was near Him, though she was endowed with every feature of beauty, though she was capable of deluding even the sages.

50. On seeing her with perfect control over her sense-organs and engrossed in serving Him always, the lord mercifully thought.

51. “I shall take her only when the last seed of ego goes away from her; when she herself performs a penance.”

52. Thinking thus, the lord of the Bhūtas reverted to meditation. The lord who could indulge in great sports became a great Yogin.

53. O sage, when Śiva, the great Ātman, sank into meditation, no other thought entered His mind.

54. As for Pārvatī, she served Him everyday with great devotion, always thinking on the form of that Great Soul.

55. Śiva who was engrossed in meditation saw her every day in full composure. Forgetting His previous thoughts about her, He did not see her although He saw her.

56. In the mean time Indra, other gods and the sages eagerly sent Kāma there at the bidding of Brahmā.

57. They had been harassed by the demon Tāraka. the demon of great strength. Hence they wanted to unite Pārvatī and Śiva in love.

58. After reaching there Kāma tried all his tricks but Śiva was not at all agitated. He reduced Kāma to ashes.

59. O sage, Pārvatī too was divested of her ego. At his bidding she performed a penance and obtained Him as her husband.

60. Pārvatī and Śiva were very happy. Engrossed in helping others they carried out the work of the gods.