The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “attempt of himavat to dissuade parvati; gods go to meet shiva” 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 23 - Attempt of Himavat to dissuade Pārvatī; gods go to meet Śiva

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Brahmā said:—

1. O excellent sage, while Pārvatī was engaged in penance thus for attaining Śiva, a long time elapsed but Śiva did not appear.

2. Then Himavat came there along with his wife, sons and ministers and spoke to Pārvatī, who had resolved to continue her penance.

Himavat said:—

3. O Pārvatī, O fortunate one, do not torture yourself by this penance. Dear girl, Śiva is not to be seen. Certainly he is detached.

4. You are a young woman of tender limbs. You will be overpowered and exhausted by this penance. There is no doubt about it. I am speaking the truth.

5. Hence, O comely lady, get up. Come back to our house. Of what avail is Śiva by whom Kāma has been reduced to ashes?

6. O goddess, hence not being emotional, Śiva will not come to claim you as the excellent lady. Why do you yearn for him?

7. Just as the moon in the sky cannot be caught, O sinless girl, so also Śiva is inaccessible. Know this.

Brahmā said:—

8-9. The same thing was said by Menā, Sahya[1] mountain, Meru,[2] Mandara[3], Maināka[4] and Krauñca[5] and others, The unafflicted Pārvatī was thus sought to be dissuaded by various arguments.

10. When she was thus addressed by all of them, she with a broad smile, spoke to Himavat.

Pārvatī said:—

11. O father, O mother, O kinsmen, have all of you forgotten what I had said formerly. Even now listen to my vow.

12. This great God by whom Kāma has been burnt in fury is detached (you say). I shall propitiate him, by means of penance. He is favourably disposed to His devotees.

13. All of you please go to your respective abodes with delight. He will certainly be pleased. You need not be anxious over this.

14. With my penance alone here itself, I shall bring Him who burnt Kāma and the mountainous forest.

15. Sadāśiva can be easily served through penance. Ye fortunate Sirs, please know this truth. I am telling you the truth.

16. After addressing thus, her father Himalaya, her mother Menakā, her brothers Maināka and Mandara, the eloquent Pārvatī, the daughter of the king of mountains, kept quiet.

17. Thus addressed by Pārvatī, the lord of mountains and the other mountains went back the way they came, surprised within and praising her.

18. After all of them had departed, she with firm resolve in the great Truth, accompanied by her maids performed a severe penance.

19. O excellent sage, by that great penance the three worlds including the gods, Asuras and men, nay all the mobile and immobile beings, became heated.

20-21. The Prajāpatis, the Guhyakas and others experienced great distress but could not understand the reason thereof. The gods, Asuras, Yakṣas, Kinnaras, Cāraṇas, Siddhas, Sādhyas, the sages, the serpents and the Vidyādharas too had the same experience[6].

22. All of them, Indra and others, who were extremely agitated, took leave of their preceptor and sought refuge in me on the mountain Sumeru. All their limbs had been scorched.

23. Devoid of splendour, and agitated excessively they bowed to and eulogised me. They spoke simultaneously thus.

The gods said:—

24. “O lord, the whole of this universe consisting of the mobile and immobile has been created by you. Why is it scorched so much? We do not understand.

25. O Brahmā, please tell us the reason. O lord, you shall protect us, the gods whose bodies have been scorched. There is none else to protect us”.

Brahmā said:—

26-27. On hearing their words I remembered Śiva and pondered over everything. I realised that the universe was scorched as a result of Pārvatī’s penance. Accompanied by them I hastened respectfully to the milk ocean to inform Viṣṇu about it.

28. Reaching that place along with the gods, I saw Viṣṇu shining lustrously on a splendid seat. Bowing to and eulogising him with palms joined in reverence I spoke.

29. “Save, save, O Viṣṇu, save us who have sought refuge in you, being scorched by the great and severe penance of Pārvatī.

30. On hearing these words of mine on behalf of the heaven-dwellers, lord Viṣṇu seated on the Serpent couch[7] spoke to us:—

Viṣṇu said:—

31. The entire reason has been known to me. It is caused by Pārvatī’s penance. I shall now go to lord śiva accompanied by all of you.

32. O gods, we shall request lord Śiva to approach Pārvatī and marry her for the welfare of all the worlds.

33. We shall do everything necessary to make the Pināka-bearing lord of the gods go there to grant the boon to Śivā.

34. Therefore now we shall go to the place where the great lord Śiva of severe penance, the conferrer of all auspicious things, stays.

Brahmā said:—

35. On hearing those words of Viṣṇu, the gods and the rest became excessively afraid of Śiva, the furious, the annihilator and the one desirous of burning everything.

The gods said:—

36. We dare not go near the great lord Śiva who is very terrifying, furious and who has the burning brilliance of the deadly fire of dissolution.

37. Undoubtedly he will burn us all in His anger as Kāma, the indefatigable god, has been burnt by him.

Brahmā said:—

38. O sage, on hearing the words of Indra and others, Viṣṇu, the lord of Lakṣmī spoke these words, consoling all the gods.

Viṣṇu said:—

39. O gods, listen with pleasure and attention to my words. The lord, the destroyer of the fear of gods, will not consume you in fire.

40. Considering Śiva to be benevolent you shall shrewdly seek refuge in Him.

41. We shall all seek refuge in Śiva, the ancient Puruṣa, the lord, of excellent features, greater than the greatest, the supreme self, the great one resorting to penance.

Brahmā said:—

42. Thus urged by the great lord Viṣṇu they set out desirous of seeing the Pināka-bearing lord Śiva.

43. At first Viṣṇu and others who were anxious to see the penance of Pārvatī went to her hermitage which was on the way.

44. On seeing the excellent penance of Pārvatī and being enveloped by her refulgence they bowed to her who was engaged in penance and who had brilliant features.

45. After praising the penance of Pārvatī whose body was achievement personified, the gods went to the place where the bull-bannered lord was present.

46. After reaching there the gods sent you in, O sage, and stood at a distance from Śiva who had reduced Kāma to ashes. They were watching.

47. O Nārada, you the fearless devotee of Śiva approached Śiva and saw the lord extremely pleased.

48. O sage, you came back again and beckoning to the gods, with effort you took them, Viṣṇu and others, to Him.

49. Then Viṣṇu and other gods went there and saw lord Śiva, favourably disposed to His devotees, delighted and comfortably seated.

50-51. Then Viṣṇu, the gods, the Siddhas, the sages and I bowed to and eulogised Śiva seated in the Yogic posture, surrounded by the Gaṇas. He was seated in the form. of penance. We eulogised Him with hymns from the Vedas and Upaniṣads.

Footnotes and references:


It is one of the seven principal mountain ranges in India, a part of the Western Ghats at some distance from the sea. For details see P. 164.


It is a fabulous mountain, variously identified, supposed to be situated in the centre of the earth.


It is a great mountain which the Gods used for churning the ocean. It is supposed to be the mountain so named in Bhāgalpur. For details see P. 48.


See Note No. 12. P. 494


It is a mountain in the Himālaya? stretching from Kailāsa to the south. It is personified here.


Siddhas, Sādhyas, Yakṣas, Kinnaras, Vidyādharas, Nāgas and Guhyakas are a class of semi-divine beings, thousands in number, of great purity and holiness, who reside in the Himālayas attending on Śiva.

Prajāpatis are the ten lords of created beings first created by Brahmā.


Viṣṇu is represented in human form slumbering on the serpent Śeṣa and floating on the waters of the ocean.

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