The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “story of the submarine fire” 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 20 - The story of the submarine fire

Nārada said:—

1. O Brahmā, please tell me “Where did the flame of fire emerging from the eye of Śiva go?” Please tell me also the further story of the moon-crested lord.

Brahmā said:—

2. When the fire from the third eye of Śiva reduced Kāma to ashes it began to blaze all round without burning anything.

3. A huge hue and cry was raised in the three worlds consisting of the mobile and immobile creatures. Immediately the gods and sages sought refuge in me.

4. All of them in their agitation bowed to and eulogised me with their palms joined in reverence and the heads bent down. They intimated to me their grief.

5. On hearing that I pondered over the reason for the same, and remembering Śiva humbly I went there in order to protect the three worlds.

6. That fire, out to burn everything, very brilliant with its shooting flames, was thwarted by me as I had the capacity by Śiva’s grace.

7. O sage, then I made that fire of fury, out to burn the three worlds, tender in its blaze and mare-like in shape.

8. Taking that fire mare-like in form, at the will of Śiva, I, the lord of the worlds, went to the sea shore, for the benefit of the worlds.

9. O sage, on seeing me arrived there, the sea took a human form and approached me with palms joined in reverence.

10. Bowing to and duly eulogising me, the grandfather of all the worlds, the ocean said lovingly.

The ocean said:—

11-12. “O Brahmā, the lord of all, why have you come here? Please command me with pleasure knowing me to be your servant”. On hearing the words of the ocean I remembered Śiva. I spoke with love in order to benefit the world.

Brahmā said:—

13. O dear, intelligent one, causing the welfare of all the worlds, O ocean, induced by Śiva’s will, I shall explain to you.

14. This is the fire of fury of lord Śiva, the great lord. It is in the form of a mare now. After burning Kāma it was about to burn everything.

15. At the will of Śiva I was requested by the gods who were harassed by it, and so I went there and suppressed the fire.

16. I gave it the form of a mare. I have brought it here. O ocean, I ask you to be merciful.

17. This fury of lord Śiva, now in the form of a mare, you will bear till the final dissolution of all living beings.

18. O lord of rivers, when I shall come and stay here, you shall release it. This is Śiva’s wonderful fire of fury.

19. His perpetual diet shall consist of your waters. This shall be preserved by you with effort lest it should go down.

20. Thus requested by me, the ocean agreed. None else could have grasped Śiva’s fire of fury thus.

21. That fire in the form of a mare entered the ocean and began to consume the currents of water. It blazed with all its shooting flames.

22. O sage, then, delighted in mind I returned to my abode. The ocean of divine form bowed to me and vanished.

23. O great sage, the entire universe, freed from the fear of that fire became normal. The gods and the sages became happy.