The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “birth of taraka and vajranga and their penance” 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 14 - The Birth of Tāraka and Vajrāṅga and their Penance

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nārada said:—

1. O Brahmā, great devotee of Śiva and disciple of Viṣṇu, this great story of Śivā and Śiva has been narrated very well by you.

2. Who was this Tāraka demon, O Brahmā, by whom the gods were harassed. Whose son was he? Narrate his story with reference to Śiva.

3. How did Śiva of full control reduce Kāma to ashes? Please narrate that too with pleasure. The story of the lord is indeed wonderful.

4. How did Śivā perform the severe penance for the sake of happiness? How did the primordial energy who is greater than the universe secure Śiva as her husband?

5. O great scholar, narrate all these complete in every detail to me, your son, who has dedicated his soul to Śiva and who has developed full faith in Him.

Brahmā said:—

6. O celestial sage, of great intellect, O foremost of my sons, whose sacred rites are laudable, I explain the entire story after thinking on Śiva. Listen.

7. O Nārada, first of all, you hear the birth of Tāraka himself, to secure whose death great effort was made by the gods depending on Śiva.

8. My son Marīci begot Kaśyapa who married thirteen daughters of Dakṣa.

9. The eldest of them Diti bore two sons: Hiraṇyakaśipu the elder and Hiraṇyākṣa the younger.

10. When these two began to harass the gods, Viṣṇu assumed the forms of Man-lion and Boar and killed them. Then the gods became fearless and happy.

11. The distressed Diti sought refuge in Kaśyapa and and serving him with devotion and observing the sacred rites she conceived.

12. On coming to know of it, Indra entered her womb forcibly and cut it off many a time with his thunderbolt.

13. By the power of her sacred rites, the child in the womb did not die as she was sleeping at that time, by a stroke of good luck. They were cut into seven pieces and so she had seven sons.

14. These sons became gods by the name of Maruts. They all went to heaven along with Indra and were taken as his own attendants by the king of gods.

15. Diti resorted again to her husband repenting for her action. She made the sage pleased by means of great service.

Kaśyapa said:—

16. Be pure and perform penance for ten thousand years of Brahmā. When it is completed you will have a son.

(? Brahmā said:—)

17. O sage, the penance was completed by Diti who performed it with faith. Thereafter from him she conceived and delivered of a son.

18. That son of Diti named Vajrāṅga (of adamantine limbs) was on a par with the gods. Befitting his name, his body was strong and powerful even from his very birth.

19. At the bidding of his mother, he immediately abducted Indra, the lord of gods, the other gods and punished them in various ways.

20. Seeing the distress of Indra and others, Diti became very happy. Indra and other gods became miserable due to their own actions.

21. Always engaged in the welfare of the gods, I went there accompanied by Kaśyapa. Employing gentle and peaceful words I got the gods released.

22. Releasing the gods with respect, Vajrāṅga, a great devotee of Śiva, was delighted in his heart, and he of pure soul, without any aberration, spoke.

Vajrāṅga said:—

23. In order to achieve his interest, Indra killed the foetus of my mother. He has now tasted the fruit thereof. Well may he rule over his kingdom.

24. O Brahmā, I did this only at the bidding of my mother. I have no desire for the enjoyments of any one of the worlds.

25. O Brahmā, foremost of those who know the Vedas, tell me the essence of real philosophy whereby I can ever remain happy, pleased in heart and free from aberrations.

26. On hearing that, O sage, I said—“Sāttvika feelings constitute the essence of real philosophy. I shall lovingly create an exquisite lady.”

27. After offering her who was named Varāṅgī, to that son of Diti, I went to my abode in great delight. So also Kaśyapa, his father.

28. Thereafter the demon eschewed his diabolical feelings and resorted to sublime thoughts. Since he was free from fiendish feelings he became happy.

29. But no sublime feeling entered in the heart of Varāṅgī. With chastity and faith she served her husband lovingly in diverse ways.

30. Her husband Vajrāṅga of great lordly status was glad very soon on account of her service. He then spoke thus:—

Vajrāṅga said:—

31. O beloved, what do you wish? What is it that you cherish in your mind? On hearing that, she bowed to her husband and revealed her desire.

Varāṅgī said:—

32. “O my good husband, if you are so pleased grant me a powerful son who will conquer three worlds and cause misery to Viṣṇu.”

Brahmā said:—

33. On hearing the words of his beloved, he was disagreeably surprised and vexed. He was free from inimical thoughts. With perfect wisdom and Sāttvika feelings in his heart he said:—

34. My beloved wishes enmity with the gods. It does not appeal to me. What shall I do? Where shall I go? How can my vow be preserved from destruction?

35. If my wife’s wishes are fulfilled, the three worlds will be much distressed, so too the gods and the sages.

36. If my beloved’s desires are not fulfilled, I am sure to be cast into hell. In either case righteousness will be lost. This is what we have heard.

37. O sage, thus Vajrāṅga whirled a lot in a dilemma. Intelligently he considered the corresponding strength and weakness of both the alternatives.

38. O sage, as willed by Śiva, though intelligent the king of demons agreed to the proposal. He told his wife “So be it.”

39. For that purpose he performed another very difficult penance with great zeal with me as the object of worship, for number of years.

40. On seeing the great penance I went to him for granting the boon. With a delighted mind I told him “speak out the boon you wish to have.”

41. On seeing me in the firmament in the pleasant mood he worshipped and eulogised me as well as craved for the boon as desired by his wife.

Vajrāṅga said:—

42. O lord, give me a son who will be carrying out what is beneficent to his mother, who will be strong, valorous and efficient, who will be a storehouse of penance.

Brahmā said:—

43. On hearing his words, O sage, I said “So be it.” After granting the boon I returned to my abode thinking on Śiva, though a bit distressed.

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