The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “parvati sees shiva’s real form” 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 28 - Pārvatī sees Śiva’s real form

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Pārvatī said:—

1. So long I have been thinking that some one else has come. Now everything has become clear. You are a person who cannot be killed.

2. O lord, what has been said by you is known. It is not otherwise. If what has been said by you is real, it cannot be called unreal.

3. Sometimes lord Śiva is seen in that guise. But He is the supreme Brahman who, out of his own accord, takes up bodies in his own sports.

4. You have now come in the form of a student ascetic for the sake of deceiving me. Using false arguments, you have spoken fraudulent words.

5. I know the real form of Śiva very particularly. I shall therefore explain Śiva’s reality in the proper perspective after careful consideration.

6. He is in fact devoid of attributes- But for some re-sons He takes up attributes. How can He have a birth, he who is really attributeless but takes up attributes?

7. Sadāśiva is the support and receptacle of all lores. Of what avail is learning to Him who is perfect and the supreme soul?

8. At the beginning of the Kalpa, all the Vedas were given by Śiva to Viṣṇu in the form of breath. Who can be a good lord equal to Him?

9. How can He be measured in age, He who is primordial to everything and everyone. Even primordial nature (Prakṛti) is born of Him. Of what avail is then Energy to Him?

10. With the threefold Energies,[1] Śiva blesses those who worship Him always as the lord of Energies.

11. Every individual soul becomes fearless and conquers death by worshipping Him. Hence His designation ‘the conqueror of death’ is famous in all the three worlds.

12. Viṣṇu attains and retains his Viṣṇuhood by His favour. Similarly Brahmā his Brahmahood and the gods their godhood.

13-14 Whenever the lord of the gods wants to see Śiva he has to propitiate His gate-keepers, the ghosts etc., otherwise his crown becomes shattered by batons. Really Śiva is a great lord. He has no need for many attendants.

15. What is it that cannot befall one who serves the auspicious-featured Śiva. What is deficient in that lord? Does Sadāśiva like me?

16. Even if a person is perpetually poor for seven lives, after serving Śiva, his prosperity becomes unhampered.

17. How can he find benefit inaccessible—he in whose presence the eight Siddhis[2] (achievements) dance always for the sake of propitiation with speechless mouths or with lowered faces.

18. Although Śiva resorts to inauspicious things yet by thinking on Him everything becomes auspicious.

19. His worship fulfils all desires. How can there be aberration in Him who always remains in an unmodified state.

20. People are sanctified by merely seeing the person in whose mouth the auspicious name “Śiva” is ever present.

21. If, as you say, the ash from the funeral pyre is unholy, how is it that the same transferred to Śiva’s body is taken thence and worn on the head by the gods?

22. How can He be easily realised, He who is the deity that creates, sustains and annihilates the worlds, all the same who is devoid of attributes and is termed Śiva?

23. The form of Śiva, the supreme soul, is that of Brahman, devoid of attributes. How can people like you know it, people with extrovert faces?

24. Persons of evil conduct, sinners and those who have gone astray from the path of the gods do not at all know the reality of Śiva of attributeless form.

25. If, out of ignorance of His reality, any one were to discredit Śiva, his merit hoarded ever since birth becomes reduced to ashes.

26. You have censured Śiva of immeasurable splendour and I have worshiped you, hence I have become sinful.

27. On seeing a person who hates Śiva one should take bath along with one’s clothes. On seeing a person who hates Śiva one should perform expiatory rites.

28. O wicked one, you profess knowledge of Śiva. But you should know that the eternal Śiva is not known at all.

29. Whatever may be the form or feature of Śiva, He is multiformed. Still He is my favourite. He is without aberration and beloved of the good.

30. Neither Viṣṇu nor Brahmā can equal that noble soul. How can then the gods and others be? They are always dependent on Time and are not eternal.

31. After realising this with my sharp intellect factually, I have come to this forest and am performing the elaborate penance for attaining Śiva.

32. My ambition is to attain the supreme lord who is favourably disposed to His devotees and who blesses the distressed.

Brahmā said:—

33. After saying this, O sage, Pārvatī, the daughter of the mountain, stopped and meditated on Śiva with unaffected mind.

34-35. On hearing the words of the goddess when the brahmin ascetic began to say something, Pārvatī whose mind was fixed on Śiva and who was averse to hear any disparaging remarks about Śiva spoke immediately to Vijayā, her maid.

Pārvatī said:—

36. This base brahmin must be prevented strenuously. He is inclined to say something again. He will surely censure Śiva.

37. Not only does he who disparages Śiva incur sin but also he who hears the same.[3]

38. A person who disparages Śiva is definitely worthy of being killed by Śiva’s attendants. If it is a brahmin he must be dismissed or the hearer shall go away from that place immediately.

39. This wicked man will again disparage Śiva. Since he is a brahmin, he is not to be killed. He shall be abandoned. He shall not be seen at all.

40. Let us leave this place at once and go elsewhere. Do not tarry. Let there be no more talk with this ignorant man.

Brahmā said:—

41. Saying this, O sage, even as Pārvatī was about to step ahead, the brahmin manifesting as Śiva clasped his beloved.

42. After assuming the handsome form in the manner Pārvatī had meditated upon and manifesting it to Pārvatī, Śiva addressed her while she stood with her lowered head.

Śiva said:—

43. “Where will you go, leaving me? You are not to be discarded again by me. I am delighted. Tell me what boon shall I grant you. There is nothing that cannot be given to you.

44. From today I am your slave bought by you by performing penance.[4] I have been bought by your beauty. Even a moment appears like a Yuga.

45. O Pārvatī, O great Goddess, you are my eternal wife. Let this shyness be eschewed. You please ponder with your keen intellect.

46. O steady-minded one, you have been tested by me in various ways. Let my guilt be excused in following this worldly game.

47. Even in the three worlds I do not see a beloved like you. O Pārvatī, in every respect I am subservient to you. You can fulfil all your desires.

48. O beloved, come on near me. You are my wife. I am your bridegroom. I shall immediately go to my abode—the excellent mountain, along with you.

Brahmā said:—

49. When the lord of the gods spoke in this way, Pārvatī rejoiced. Whatever distress she had felt during penance she cast off as something old.

50. O excellent sage, her weariness subsided. In fact, when the fruit is realised, the exertion felt during the process of undertaking perishes.

Footnotes and references:


The three elements of Energy consist of (1) pre-eminent position, (2) good counsel and (3) adventurous undertaking.


On the eightfold superhuman faculties, see Note 203. P. 235.


For the similarity of ideas and verbal expression, compare Kālidāsa’s Kumāra V. 83.


For the similarity of ideas and verbal expression, cp. Ibid V. 86.

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