The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “description of shiva’s magic” 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 31 - Description of Śiva’s magic

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Brahmā said:—

1. On knowing their undistracted great devotion to Śiva, O Nārada, Indra and other gods, thought like this.

The gods said:—

2. If the mountain were to give his daughter to Śiva with single-minded devotion he will attain salvation immediately and will disappear from Bhārata.[1]

3. The mountain is the storehouse of endless gems. If he were to leave off the Earth and go, the name of the Earth—Ratnagarbhā (having gems in the womb)—shall be a misnomer.

4. He will cast off his immobile aspect and assume a divine form. He will give his daughter to the Trident bearing deity and will go to Śiva’s region.

5. He will undoubtedly attain mergence into lord Śiva. having enjoyed pleasures there, he will attain salvation.

Brahmā said:—

6. Thinking like this and consulting one another they, in their bewilderment, decided to send god Bṛhaspati there.

7. O Nārada, then Indra and other gods, went to Bṛhaspati’s abode lovingly with humility, in their eagerness to achieve their self-interest.

8. Reaching there, all the gods including Indra bowed to Bṛhaspati and submitted every detail to him.

The gods said:—

9. O revered preceptor, please go to the abode of Himavat for the fulfilment of our task. After going there, you shall make disparaging remarks about the trident-bearing deity.

10-11. Pārvatī will not marry any other person except Śiva. The mountain will derive the benefit only after sometime if he gives the daughter in marriage without his full concurrence. Let the mountain stay on earth for the present. O preceptor, you shall make him stay on the earth as he is the support of many gems.

Brahmā said:—

12. On hearing these words of the gods, the preceptor of the gods, plugged his ears with his hands. He did not accept the proposal of the gods. He remembered the name “Śiva”.

13. Then remembering lord Śiva, Bṛhaspati[2] of liberal mind rebuked the gods again and again and said.

Bṛhaspati said:—

14. All of you gods seem to be selfish in nature. You want to destroy other’s interests. Indeed I will go to hell by disparaging Śiva.

15. O gods, one of you shall go to the mountain. Let him urge the lord of the mountains and achieve the desired object.

16. Let him stay in Bhārata after giving his daughter without willingness. It is certain he will attain salvation if he gives his daughter with devotion.

17. Afterwards the seven celestial sages will properly persuade the mountain. Except Pināka-bearing deity, Pārvatī will not marry any other person.

18. Or, O gods, all of you go to Brahmā’s region taking Indra with you. Tell Brahmā all your details. He will get your work done immediately.

Brahmā said:—

19. On hearing it and consulting among themselves the gods came to my Assembly. After duly bowing to me they informed me about the details.

20. On hearing the words of the gods about censuring Śiva, O sage, I the reciter of the Vedas spoke to them in an aggrieved tone.

21. “Dear children, I am incompetent to decry Śiva. It is unbearable. It destroys all riches. It is the seed of all adversities.

22. O gods, all of you go to Kailāsa and propitiate Śiva. Make Him go to Himavat’s abode quickly.

23. Let him approach the lord of mountains and make disparaging remarks about Himself. Rebuking others is conducive to destruction. Rebuking oneself is conducive to fame”.

24. On hearing my words, all the gods, joyously bowed to me and went to Kailāsa, the chief of mountains.

25. Going there and seeing Śiva they bowed to Him with bent heads and palms joined in reverence. The gods eulogised Śiva.

The gods said:—

26. O great lord, lord of gods, O Śiva, the merciful, we seek refuge in you. Be sympathetic. Obeisance be to you.

27. O lord, you are favourably disposed to your devotees, always carrying out their tasks. You are the uplifter of the distressed, and an ocean of mercy. You save us from all our miseries and distresses.

Brahmā said:—

28. Eulogising lord Śiva thus, Indra and other gods respectfully submitted all the details.

29. On hearing the words of the gods, lord Śiva agreed to the proposal. He made the gods return after assuring them smilingly.

30. Hastening to their abodes, the gods rejoiced much considering their work fully fulfilled and praising Sadāśiva.

31. Then the lord Śiva who is favourably disposed to his devotees, the lord of magic and free from aberrations went to the lord of mountains.

32-33. When the lord of the mountains was seated in his royal assembly along with Pārvatī and kinsmen, Sadāśiva came there, in the meantime bearing a staff and an umbrella. He was dressed in divine clothes and had a shining mark on the forehead.

34. He was in the guise of a saintly brahmin. He was repeating the name of Viṣṇu with devotion. He had the garland of crystal beads in his hand and the Śālagrama stone round his neck.

35. On seeing that extraordinary guest, Himavat with his attendants stood up in reverence and prostrated before him with devotion.

36. Pārvatī bowed with devotion to her dear lover in the guise of a brahmin. On realising him mentally the goddess eulogised him with great joy.

37. With great pleasure Śiva bestowed his blessings on all. O dear, He bestowed on Pārvatī her cherished desire in addition.

38. The brahmin received with pleasure the articles of homage[3] etc. offered by Himavat, the lord of mountains.

39. O sage, after duly worshipping the excellent brahmin with pleasure, the mountain Himavat enquired of his welfare.

40. Again, the lord of mountains asked him “Who are you, please?” Immediately the chief of brahmins, spoke to the lord of mountains thus.

The chief of brahmins said:—

41. O foremost among mountains, I am a brahmin devotee of Viṣṇu, and a great scholar. My occupation is that of a match-maker. I roam about on the earth.

42. I go where I wish. I go everywhere. By the power of my preceptor I am omniscient. I am simple-minded and by nature I help others and I am sympathetic and quell aberrations.

43. I have come to know that you desire to give your daughter to Śiva, this daughter so tender like a lotus flower, of divinely excellent form and endowed with all accomplishments.

44-47. To Śiva—who has no support, who is devoid of associations, who is deformed, who is without attributes, who resides in the cremation-ground, who has the form of a snake-catcher, who is a Yogin, who is naked, who has deficient limbs, who wears snakes as his ornaments, whose name and pedigree are unknown, whose conduct is bad, who has no sport, whose body is smeared with ashes, who is furious, who lacks in discrimination, whose age is not known, whose matted hair is ill worn, who supports all who roam about, who has garland of snakes who is a mendicant, who is engaged in following wrong-paths and who tenaciously discards the Vedic path.

48. O mountain, this inclination of yours is not at all conducive to auspiciousness. O foremost among the wise, born of Nārāyaṇa’s family, learn sense.

49. For the marriage of Pārvatī, He is not at all a deserving person. On hearing of this, the general public will smile in derision.

50. O lord of mountains, see for yourself. He has not a single kinsman. You are the storehouse of great gems and jewels. He has no assets at all.

51. O lord of mountains, you shall consult your kinsmen, sons, wife and wise counsellors, except Pārvatī.

52. O lord of mountains, the medicine does not appeal at all to the patient. Wrong diet that brings about great defects always appeals to him.

Brahmā said:—

53. Saying this, the brahmin stopped. He took food and left the place with pleasure for his abode. Śiva is one who quietly indulges in His divine sports.

Footnotes and references:


Bhārata, the land of Bharatas, derives its name from the Bharatas, an ancient powerful Aryan tribe mentioned in the Ṛgveda.


Bṛhaspati is designated as the family priest of divine community. He is the preceptor of the gods and intercedes on their behalf with the triad—Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva, seeking their support.


Madhuparka is a mixture of honey, butter, sugar, curd and water offered to a guest when he first comes to the house.

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