The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “seven celestial sages arrive” 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 32 - The seven celestial sages arrive

Brahmā said:—

1. On hearing the words of the brahmin, Menā spoke to Himavat with tears welling up in her eyes, due to grief and with. the heart extremely dejected.

Menā said:—

2. O lord of mountains, please listen to my words conducive to happiness. Please consult important devotees of Śiva regarding what has been mentioned by the brahmin.

3. Many disparaging remarks about Śiva have been made by this brahminical devotee of Viṣṇu. O lord of mountains, on hearing these words, my mind is very much dejected.

4. O lord of mountains, I shall not give my daughter endowed with all good accomplishments to Śiva with ugly features, ignoble conduct and defiled name.

5. If you do not accede to my request, I shall undoubtedly die. I will immediately leave this house or swallow poison.

6. With a rope I shall tie Pārvatī round my neck and go to a thick forest. I would rather drown myself in the great ocean. I shall never give my daughter to him.

7. Saying thus with great grief, Menā entered the chamber of anger. Casting off her necklaces she lay downon the ground sighing and sobbing.

8. O dear, in the meantime all those seven celestial sages were remembered by Śiva whose mind was agitated by the pangs of separation from Pārvatī.

9. All those seven sages,[1] as soon as they were remembered by Śiva, came there in person as though they were another set of wish-yielding Kalpa trees.

10. Arundhatī too came there as though she was an achievement personified. On seeing them resplendent like the sun, Śiva stopped his recitation of mantras.

11. O sage, standing in front of Śiva and bowing to and eulogising Him, the seven sages of great austerity considered themselves blessed.

12. Then, as they were struck with surprise, they joined their palms in reverence, bowed to and addressed Śiva adored by all the worlds:—

13. The sages said:—“O most excellent of all, O great ruler, O Emperor of the heaven-dwellers, how can our fortune which is very excellent be described by us?

14-15. Formerly we had performed three kinds of penance; we had studied the excellent Vedas; we had made offerings in the fire, we had visited many holy centres; thus whatever merit we have acquired verbally, mentally and physically that entire merit has now accrued to us by your blessing in remembering us.

16. A man who worships you always shall be blessed. How can that merit be properly described, the merit of those whom you yourself remember?

17. O Sadāśiva, we have become the most excellent of all people by your remembering us. Usually you never even come across the path of ambitions and aspirations of ordinary people.

18-19. O lord, your vision, very difficult to be acquired, is like the fruit stooping down within the reach of the dwarf, like sight to a man born blind, like eloquency acquired by a dumb man, like the indigent meeting with a treasure-trove, like the lame man reaching the top of a high mountain and like the barren woman bearing a child.

20. By seeing you today we have become the most respectable sages worthy of the worship of all the worlds. We have reached the highest position.

21. O lord of gods, by seeing you who are the lord of all gods we have become worthy of great respect. There is no necessity of talking more.

22. If any duty is assigned to us it will be a favour to us. An auspicious task befitting us, your utter slaves, shall be given to us.

Brahmā said:—

23. On hearing their words, Śiva the great lord, in conformity with the conventions of the world, spoke these pleasant words:—

Śiva said:—

24. Sages are always to be adored and particularly you all. O brahmins, it was for a specific reason that you have been summoned here.

25. My attitude of being helpful is known to you. That must be achieved, especially in the interest of the fulfilment of the desires of the world.

26. Cause for great misery has arisen for the gods at the hands of Tāraka the wicked. Boon has already been granted. He is invincible. What shall I do?

27. O great sages, all the eight cosmic bodies[2] that I possess are not for furthering my self-interest, they are for helping the wide world.

28-29. A great penance has been performed by Pārvatī. That cannot be performed even by great sages. I have to give her the great fruit thereof. Indeed my vow is to render delight to my devotees. The fruit I bestow on her shall be conducive to her welfare. Hence I wish to marry her.

30. At the request of Pārvatī I went to the abode of the mountain in the guise of a mendicant. Clever in divine sports I thereby sanctified her.

31. On hearing to know that I am the supreme Brahman, the couple were desirous of giving me their daughter with great devotion in accordance with the Vedic manner.

32. On the inducement of the gods, in order to reduce the quality of devotion (of Himavat and Menā) I took the guise of a devotee of Viṣṇu and rebuked myself.

33. O sages, on hearing it they were dejected and have now lost interest in me and do not wish to give their daughter to me.

34. Hence you all go to the abode of Himavat and urge the excellent mountain and his wife.

35. Speak out the words as venerable as the Vedas. Do everything necessary to get the matter straightened out and settled.

36. O excellent ones, I wish to marry their daughter. I have agreed to marry her and have already granted her that boon.

37. What is the use of talking too much? Himavat must be convinced. Menā too must be convinced similarly, so that the purpose of the gods shall be served well.

38. Whatever mode is selected by you shall be more than necessary. The task is yours. You alone are the sharers of the credit.

Brahmā said:—

39. On hearing these words, the seven sages of pure mind became delighted and thought themselves blessed by the lord.

40. “We have become blessed and contented in every respect. We have become venerable to every one, especially adorable.

41. He who is worthy of being respected by Brahmā and Viṣṇu, he who secures everything accomplished is sending us, his emissaries on an errand that is conducive to the happiness of all the worlds.

42. He is the master of the worlds and their father. She is considered the mother. Let this proper alliance increase for ever like the moon”.

43. Saying thus the celestial sages bowed to Śiva and went by aerial path in the direction of the city of Himavat.

44. On seeing that city of heavenly splendour, the sages were surprised. Expatiating on their good fortune they spoke to one another.

The sages said:—

45. We are really blessed and meritorious in being able to see this city[3] because we have been engaged in a task like this.

46. This city seems to be better than Alakā,[4] heaven,[5] Bhogavatī[6] and even Amarāvatī[7].

47. The houses are beautiful and well-built. The courtyards are well laid out and paved with different kinds of crystals and jewels of variegated colours.

48. Slabs of solar and lunar stones are found in every house. Different kinds of celestial trees are also growing here.

49. The splendour of festoons is also seen in every house. They are of different colours and sorts with shapes of parrots and swans carved on the walls of the palaces.

50. The canopies with hanging festoons are of diverse character. There are many Jakes and ponds.

51. The gardens and parks are of various kinds frequented by delighted people. Here men are like gods and the women are like the celestial damsels.

52. In the land of activities (i.e. Bhārata), the sacrificial priests and the followers of Purāṇas perform holy rites with a desire to attain heaven. That is in vain because they have left off the city of Himavat.

53. Men are eager to go to heaven only as long as this city is not seen. O brahmins, when this city is seen what is the use of heaven?

Brahmā said:—

54. Describing the city thus all those excellent sages went to the rich and well-furnished abode of Himavat.

55. On seeing those seven sages, resplendent like the sun, coming along the aerial path from a distance, Himavat was surprised and said:—

Himavat said:—

56. The seven venerable persons, resplendant like the sun, are approaching me. These sages shall be worshipped by me now.

57. We householders are really blessed, to whom great men like these, bestowing happiness on all, pay their visit.

Brahmā said:—

58. In the meantime they descended on the ground from the sky. On seeing them Himavat advanced to welcome them.

59. With palms joined in reverence he bowed to them with stooping shoulders and worshipped them with due respect and honour.

60. Desiring welfare of others, the seven sages embraced Himavat, the lord of mountains and spoke words of auspicious blessings with pleasant faces.

61. Keeping them ahead he said—“My household life is blessed”. With great devotion he got and offered them seats.

62. When they were duly seated, he too sat with their permission. Then Himavat spoke to the refulgent sages:—

Himavat said:—

63-64. I am blessed. I am contented. My life is fruitful. I am the best person worthy of being seen in the three worlds. I am as pure as any of the holy centres. All this is because you, verily in lord Viṣṇu’s forms, have come to my abode. Perfect ones such as you, what special purpose can there be in visiting poor persons like me?

65. Still I am your servant. Some task there may be to be entrusted to me. Mercifully may it be spoken out. May my life be fruitful.

Footnotes and references:

1.

On the seven sages, see Note 164 P. 163.

2.

On the eightfold image of Śiva, see Note 8g P. 132.

3.

Himavatpura is probably identical with Auṣadhiprastha, the capital of Himavat. See Note jo. P. 490.

4.

See Note 226 P. 265.

5.

It signifies the heaven of Indra which is supposed to be situated on Mount Meru.

6.

It is the subterranean capital of the Nāgas in the Nāgaloka portion of Pātāla.

7.

It refers to the famous city of Indra, supposed to be situated on Mount Meru.