The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “story of padma and pippalada” 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 35 - The story of Padmā and Pippalāda

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nārada said:—

1. O dear, what did the excellent mountain do after hearing the anecdote of Anaraṇya and the marriage of his daughter? Please tell me.

Brahmā said:—

2. After hearing the story of Anaraṇya including the anecdote of the offer of his daughter, the lord of mountains again asked Vasiṣṭha with palms joined in reverence.

The lord of mountains said:—

3. O leading sage Vasiṣṭha, O son of Brahmā, O merciful one, you have narrated the wonderful story of Anaraṇya.

4. What did Padmā, the daughter of Anaraṇya, do after marrying sage Pippalāda. Please mention her story fully.

Vasiṣṭha said:—

5-6 The very old and venerable sage Pippalāda returned to his hermitage along with his wife Padmā and passed time in pleasure. He was not too much sensuous. He continued to perform his penance and holy rites in the forest and on the mountain.

7. The daughter of Anaraṇya served the sage devoutly physically, mentally and verbally like Lakṣmī serving Viṣṇu.

8. Once Dharma (Virtue) assumed the guise of a king by his magical power and happened to see on the way that lady of gentle smiles going to the celestial river for her holy dip.[1]

9-10. The lord Dharma was seated in a beautiful chariot studded with gems. He was bedecked in many kinds of ornaments. He was in the prime of fresh youth, glorious and lustrous like the cupid. On seeing Padmā he spoke thus, in order to know the innermost feelings of the sage’s wife.

Dharma said:—

11. O beautiful woman, you are Lakṣmī herself; you are charming, you are worthy of a king; you are in the very prime of youth; you will be ever young; you are a lovely sweet lady.

12. I am telling you the truth, O slender-limbed lady. You lack lustre and colour in the presence of the sage Pippalāda who is old and weak.

13. Cast off that ruthless old brahmin always engaged in penances. Look up to me a great king, heroic in sexual dalliance and agitated by Kāma.

14. A beautiful woman acquires beauty as a result of the merit of a previous birth. The beauty becomes completely fruitful only after embracing a man of aesthetic taste.

15. I am the lover of a thousand beautiful women. I am an expert in the erotic science and literature. Abandon that husband and make me your slave.

16. You can indulge in sexual dalliance in the beautiful secluded forests, mountains and banks of rivers in my company. Make your life fruitful.

Vasiṣtha said:—

17. Saying this, he got down and was eager to catch her hands. The chaste lady then addressed him thus.

Padmā said:—

18. Away, away, go away you sinful king. If you cast your lustful ogles at me you will be doomed in a trice.

19. How can I resort to you, lecherous and mad after women, after forsaking the excellent sage Pippalāda whose body is sanctified by austerities?

20. By the very touch of a person under the influence of women all merits are destroyed. He is a great sinner. His very sight promotes sins.

21. Even if he performs holy rites, a person succumbing to the viles of women is always impure. The manes, the gods and all men despise him.

22. Of what avail is knowledge, penance, repetition of sacred mantras, sacrifice, adoration, learning and charitable gift to him who is henpecked?

23. Since you spoke to me viewing me with the feelings that I am your wife although I ought to have been viewed as your mother, you will have a gradual decline as a result of my curse.

Vasiṣtha Said:—

24. On hearing the curse of the chaste woman, O lord of mountains, Dharma cast off the guise of a king and assumed his real form. Tremblingly he spoke thus—

Dharma said:—

25. O mother, know me as Dharma elderly and venerable to men of wisdom and preceptors. O chaste lady, I always consider other’s wives as mothers.

26. It was to know your innermost feelings that I approached you. I knew your mind, still I was urged by fate.

27. Only proper suppression, not the contrary, is carried out by you. Chastisement of those who go astray from the right path is carried out by Śiva Himself.

28. Obeisance to Śiva who distributes happiness, misery, boons, prosperity or adversity on all.

29. Obeisance to Śiva who can make people enemies or friends, create affection or quarrel, to generate or destroy things.

30. Obeisance to Śiva who has made milk white, who has bestowed chillness on water and heat on fire.

31. Obeisance to Śiva, by whom the primordial nature, the principles Mahat etc, Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Śiva and others are created.

Brahmā said:—

32. After saying thus Dharma, the most venerable god in the universe stood in front of her, stunned but delighted at her chastity. But he did not say anything.

33. Princess Padmā, the chaste beloved of Pippalāda, O mountain, was surprised on realising that it was Dharma and said.

Padmā said:—

34. O Dharma, you are the ever present witness of all activities. O lord, why did you deign to deceive me to know my mind?

35. O Dharma, what has been done already does not amount to any guilt on my part. You have been cursed in vain by me but it was due to my ignorance and innate nature of woman.

36. I am now thinking as to what shall be done about it. May that idea strike me whereby I may get peace.

37. This sky, these quarters and the winds may get destroyed but the curse of a chaste lady will never be destroyed.

38. In the Satyayuga you shine with all the legs, O king of gods, on all occasions, day or night, like the moon on a full moon night.

39. If you are destroyed, the annihilation of all creations will occur. But a sense of helpless despair is unnecessary. So I shall explain.

40. In the Tretāyuga, one leg shall be defunct, O excellent god. Another leg too shall be defunct in Dvāpara and the third one in the Kali age, O lord.

41. In the latter half of Kali, all the legs will be chopped off. Again in the Satyayuga you will attain perfection.

42. In the Satyayuga you will be all-pervasive and in the other Yugas partially so. Thus in accordance with the Yugas[2], you will be maintaining your position.

43. Let these words of mine be true and pleasing to you. I am now going to serve my husband. O lord, you return to your abode.

Brahmā said:—

44. On hearing her words Dharma became delighted. Then Dharma, the son of Brahmā, spoke to the chaste lady who had been speaking to him.

Dharma said:—

45-46. O chaste lady, you are blessed, you are devotedly attached to your husband. Hail to you. Take this boon. Your husband is the cause of your great protection. Let him be a young man with sexual vigour and righteousness. He shall be comely in appearance, good in conduct, eloquent in speech and perpetually stable in youth.

47. Let him enjoy more longevity than Mārkaṇḍeya.[3] Let him be richer than Kubera. Let him enjoy more prosperity and power than Indra.

48. Let him be a devotee of Śiva on a par with Viṣṇu. Let him be a greater Siddha than Kapila[4]. Let him vie with Bṛhaspati in intelligence and with Brahmā in equanimity.

49. You will be blessed with all the fortunes of your master as long as you live. Also you will be perpetually young.

50. Undoubtedly you will become the mother of ten sons who will be greater than your husband, they will have all good qualities and live long.

51. O chaste lady, let your abode be endowed with all riches, brightly illuminated always and superior to even the abode of Kubera.

Vasiṣṭha said:—

52. O excellent mountain, after saying thus, Dharma stood quiet there. She circumambulated him, bowed to him and returned to her house.

53. Bestowing blessings upon her, Dharma returned to his abode. He praised Padmā lovingly in every assembly he visited.

54. She sported about in secret with her husband who became a young man. She gave birth to sons who surpassed her husband in their good qualities.

55. All kinds of riches were granted to the couple increasing their happiness. They were conducive to the prosperity here and hereafter.

56. O lord of mountains, this ancient story of the couple has been narrated to you. You have heard the story with pleasure and respect.

57. Knowing the real situation give your daughter Pārvatī to Śiva. Cast off sins, O lord of mountains, in the company of your wife Mena.

58-61. After a week there is a very auspicious hour very rare to meet with. The presiding planet of the lagna is in the lagna. The moon is in conjunction with his son, Mercury as well as the constellation Rohiṇī[5]. The moon and the stars occupy pure positions. The month is Mārgaśīrṣa and the day is Monday free from all defects. All the planets are in auspicious conjunction. They are not aspected by the evil planets. The Jupiter is in a position that is conducive to the birth of a good child and all good fortune to the bridegroom. O lord of mountains, give your daughter Pārvatī, the mother of the universe, the primordial Being to Śiva, the father of the universe. You will then get quiet and contentment.

Brahmā said:—

62. After saying this, the excellent sage Vasiṣṭha, most excellent of wise men, stopped after remembering lord Śiva, the creator of divine sports of diverse varieties.

Footnotes and references:


Cf. Note 39 P. 579.


On the historical time as divided into four ages, called Yugas, see Note 32 P. 43.


He was the son of Mṛkaṇḍa, remarkable for his austerities and great age. He is represented as one of the seven persons who are considered to be ‘deathless’. Cf.

aśvatthāmā balirvyāso hanumāṃśca bibhīṣaṇaḥ |
kṛpāḥ parśurāmaśca saptaite cirajīvanaḥ ||


He is represented as a celebrated sage and a founder of the Sāṅkhya philosophy. He is said to have destroyed the hundred thousand sons of King Sagara with a glance.


Rohiṇī: the fourth of the lunar asterisms, the daughter of Dakṣa and the wife of the moon.

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