The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “parvati-jatila 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 26 - Pārvatī-Jaṭila dialogue

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Brahmā said:—

1. When those sages returned to their abodes, lord Śiva, the cause of great enjoyment and protection wanted to test the penance of the goddess.

2. Under the pretext of testing, Śiva wanted to see her. With a delighted mind He assumed the form of a Jaṭila (an ascetic with matted hair) and went to the forest of penance of Pārvatī.

3. He took the form of a very old man with the body of a brahmin. His brilliance shone. He was delighted in mind. He had an umbrella and a staff (to support Him).

4. There He saw the goddess surrounded by her maids on the platform, as pure as the digit of the moon.

5. Śiva, who is favourably disposed towards His devotees, approached her with pleasure in the guise of a celibate.

6. On seeing that brahmin of wonderful refulgence come, goddess Pārvatī worshipped Him with all the articles of worship.

7. She worshipped him with great joy by means of well prepared and arranged articles of worship. Thereafter Pārvatī enquired after the health of the brahmin with respect.

Pārvatī said:—

8. Who are you and whence have you come in the guise of a Brahmacārin? You are making this forest refulgent by your splendour. Please speak, O foremost among Vedic scholars.

The brahmin said:—

9. I am an aged brahmin roaming about as I please. I am an intelligent ascetic bestowing happiness and helping others.

10. Who are you? What is your parentage? Why do you perform penance in this isolated forest? Your penance cannot be surpassed even by the sages of eminent status.

11. You are neither a small girl nor an old woman. You appear to be an auspicious young woman. How is it that you are performing this penance even when you are unmarried.

12. O gentle lady, are you the wife of an ascetic who does not provide you with food and shelter and so leaving you has gone to another place?

13. Tell me, in which family are you born? Who is your father? What are your undertakings? You are very fortunate. Futile is your interest in penance.

14. Are you the mother of the Vedas? Are you Lakṣmī or Sarasvatī? I dare not guess who you are?

Pārvatī said:—

15. O brahmin, I am not the mother of the Vedas, nor Lakṣmī nor Sarasvatī. I am the daughter of Himācala and my name is Pārvatī.

16. Previously I had been born as Satī, the daughter of Dakṣa. By Yogic means I cast off my body since my husband was insulted by my father.

17. Even in this life, Śiva came to me but due to ill luck, He reduced Kāma to ashes, left me and went away.

18. O brahmin, when Śiva went away, I came out of my father’s house, being greatly dejected, to perform this steady penance on the banks of the celestial river.[1]

19. Even after performing this severe penance for a long time, I could not attain Him. I was just to consign myself to fire but on seeing you, I have stopped for a while.

20. Now you can go. I shall enter fire since I have not been accepted by Śiva. Wherever I take birth I shall woo only Śiva.

Brahmā said:—

21. After saying so, Pārvatī jumped into the fire in the presence of the brahmin although she was forbidden by Him again and again.

22. Even as she jumped into the fire, it became as cool as sandal paste due to her ascetic power.

23. The brahmin stopped her standing on her way as she was trying to go away and asked her laughingly.

The Brahmin said:—

24. O gentle lady, I cannot understand anything. Your penance is wonderful. Your body is not charred by the fire. Still your desire remains unsatiated so far.

25. O gentle lady, let me know about your desire; I am a brahmin who can bestow pleasure upon everyone.

26. Please tell me everything truly and methodically. Since we have become friends nothing should be kept a secret from me.

27. I wish to ask you now. O gentle lady, whom do you wish to have as your husband? It is in you that the fruit of penance is seen.

28. If your penance is for others or for the supreme object, wherefore should you perform it at all? You had a jewel in your hand, you cast it off and have taken up a base metal instead.

29. Why have you rendered your beauty in vain by taking recourse to this penance that eschewing different sorts of fine clothes hide is worn by you.

30. Hence tell me the reason, truthfully, for this penance. Let me, a great brahmin, be pleased on hearing the same.

Brahmā said:—

31. Thus asked by him, Pārvatī urged her maid. She of good rites made everything narrated to him through her maid.

32. Induced by Pārvatī, her bosom friend Vijayā who knew all about her good rites spoke to the ascetic.

The maid said:—

33. O saintly sir, listen. I shall recount the story of Pārvatī as well as the reason for penance, if you wish to hear.

34. This my friend is the daughter of Himācala, lord of mountains. She is the daughter of Menakā named Kālī but famous as Pārvatī.

35. She is not married to anyone nor does she desire any other than Śiva for her husband. She has performed this penance for three thousand years.

36. It was for that purpose that my friend started penance like this. I shall tell you the reason. Listen, O excellent brahmin, O saintly one.

37. Leaving off Indra and other gods, Viṣṇu and Brahmā, Pārvatī wishes to attain the Pināka-bearing Śiva as her husband.

38. She my friend planted many trees before. O brahmin, all of them have put forth flowers and fruits.

39-40. My friend has been performing severe penance at the bidding of Nārada to make her beauty fruitful, to embellish her father’s race and to bless Kama. She has directed this penance to lord Śiva. O holy ascetic, how is it that her desire is not fulfilled.

41. O excellent brahmin, you enquired of her desire. I have just told you out of my love for her. What else do you wish to hear.

Brahmā said:—

42. On hearing these truthful words of Vijayā, O sage, Śiva who came disguised as an ascetic said laughingly.

The ascetic said:—

43. The maid has said something, but I deduce only a huge joke therefrom. If it be true, let the gentle lady herself speak out.

Brahmā said:—

44. When these words were uttered by that brahmin ascetic, goddess Pārvatī spoke to the brahmin thus.

Footnotes and references:


The celestial Gaṅgā is said to flow from the toe of Viṣṇu and to have been brought down from heaven, by the prayers of Bhagīratha to purify the ashes of the sixty thousand sons of king Sagara who had been burnt by the angry glance of the saga Kapila.

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