The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “celebration of parvati’s return” 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 30 - The Celebration of Pārvatī’s Return

Nārada said:—

1. O Brahmā, O dear, of great fortune, you have the real vision and are blessed. This wonderful story was heard by me, thanks to your blessings.

2. When Śiva returned to His mountain, O intelligent one, what did Pārvatī allauspicious do and where did she go? Please tell me.

Brahmā said:—

3. O dear, listen with pleasure to what happened thereafter when Śiva returned to His place. I shall mention it, remembering Śiva,

4. Accompanied by her maids and assuming meaningful dress and features she returned to her father’s house repeating the name of lord Śiva.

5. On hearing that Pārvatī was returning, Menā and Himavat excessively delighted went ahead seated in a divine vehicle.

6-7 The chief priest, the citizens, the maids, the kinsmen and also others accompanied them. All the brothers with Maināka, the eldest, accompanied them highly delighted and crying shouts of victory.

8-12. The auspicious waterpot was placed in the main highway decorated with sandal paste, aguru, musk and branches of trees with fruits. The priests, brahmins and sages reciting the Vedas, dancing girls, all went ahead seated on lofty elephants to receive her. All round stumps of plantain trees were fixed. Women along with their sons and husbands held lamps in their hands. Brahmins were shouting mantras etc. in an auspicious voice. Various instruments were played. Conch shells were sounded. In the meantime Pārvatī reached the outskirts of the city. Entering the city she saw her parents again.

13. On seeing the parents rushing at her in their great delight, she gladly bowed to them along with her maids.

14. They gave her their blessings and embraced her. Saying “O darling,” they shed tears in their excitement of love.

15. Women near and dear as also the wives of her brothers embraced her closely with great pleasure.

16. “A great task has been well accomplished by you. It has saved the whole family. All of us are sanctified by your noble conduct”.

17. Praising her with these and similar words they bowed to her with great delight. They worshipped her with sandal paste and sweet scented flowers in great joy.

18. At that time the gods, seated in their aerial chariots in the sky, showered auspicious flowers, bowed to and eulogised her with hymns.

19. Then the Brahmins and others joyfully took you within the city in a resplendent chariot.

20. Then the brahmins, the maids and other women took her within the house with due honour.

21. O great sage, ladies performed her ceremonial ablution; the brahmins offered benedictions. Himvat and Menakā rejoiced much.

22. Himavat considered his household life fruitful. A daughter is far better than an ignoble son. He praised you too, Nārada, saying “Well done, Well done”.

23. The lord of the mountains gave monetary gifts to brahmins and lords. He made the brahmins recite auspicious hymns, as part of the festivities.

24. The parents delighted with their daughter; the brothers and the sisters gathered joyfully in the courtyard, O sage.

25. The happy and delighted Himavat, honoured everyone. Then he went to the Gaṅgā for his bath.

26. In the meantime, Śiva, favourably disposed to His disciples and prone to divine sports, assumed the guise of a dancer and approached Menakā.

27-28. He held the blowing horn in his left and the drum in his right hand. He wore a red cloth and had the wallet suspended behind his back. In the guise of a dancer with the skill of dancing and singing, he danced well and sang many songs in sweet voice.

29. He blew the horn and played on the drum in very sweet tunes. Everything was very pleasant.

30 All the citizens men, women, children and old folks assembled there to witness the performance.

31. O sage, on hearing the sweet songs, and seeing the delightful dance, the people entered into raptures of ecstacy.

32-35 Pārvatī became unconscious. She saw Śiva’s handsome form, bearing trident and other symbols before her vision. He had smeared the ashes all over His body. He was wearing a garland of bones. His face was beaming with his shining three eyes. He had the sacred thread of a serpent. Exquisitely white in complexion, the handsome lord Śiva, the friend of the distressed, the ocean of mercy was repeating the words “Choose the boon (or the bridegroom).” On seeing Him thus in her mind she bowed to Him. Mentally she had chosen the boon when she had said, “Be my husband”.

36. And He had granted her the auspicious boon with pleasure and vanished. The mendicant now continued the dance.

37. Menā who was greatly delighted took gems and jewels in gold vessels in order to give them to Him.

38. But the dancer did not accept the gifts. He requested for the hand of Pārvatī and began to dance and sing again.

39. Menā was surprised on hearing his words and she was furious. She rebuked the mendicant and wished to drive him out.

40. In the meantime the lord of mountains returned from the Gaṅgā. He saw the mendicant in the human form in his court-yard.

41. On hearing the details from Menā he became very angry. He ordered his attendants to drive out the dancer.

42. But, O excellent sage, none of them could push him out as he was hot to the touch like a blazing fire and very brilliant.

43. O dear, then the mendicant who was clever at diverse sports showed his endless great power to the mountain.

44. The mountain saw him immediately transmuted in to the form of Viṣṇu the four-armed, with crown earrings and yellow garment.

45. Flowers etc. which had been offered to the macebearing lord, Viṣṇu, at the time of worship, he saw on the body and over the head of the mendicant.

46. Then the lord of mountains saw the four-faced deity, the creator of worlds, red in colour and reciting the Vedic hymns.

47. Then the lord of mountains saw the form of the sun, the eye of the universe, much to his enthusiastic amazement.

48. Then, O dear one, he saw him in the wonderful form of Śiva accompanied by Pārvatī. He was smiling and shining beautifully.

49. Then he saw him in the form of a mass of splendour of no specific shape. It was unsullied, free from peculiar attributes and desires. It was wonderfully formless.

50. Thus he saw many forms and features there. He was surprised and delighted much.

51. Then the chief of mendicants begged of Himavat and Menā the hand of Pārvatī as alms. He, the source of great enjoyment did not accept anything else.

52-54. The lord of mountains deluded by Śiva’s magic did not accede to this request. The mendicant too did not take anything. He vanished from the scene. Then Himavat and Menā realised that Śiva had deceived them and gone to His abode. After some pondering, they developed a feeling of devotion to Śiva who is the cause of salvation, the bestower of divine bliss.