The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “letter of betrothal is despatched” 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 37 - The letter of betrothal is despatched

Summary: The letter of betrothal is despatched, the requisites for the celebration are gathered and the mountain-invitees arrive.

Nārada said:—

1. Dear wise father, when the seven sages returned what did Himācala do? Please tell me, O lord.

Brahmā said:—

2. O great sage, I shall tell you what Himācala did, when the seven sages and Arundhatī left.

3. Bidding farewell to his brothers, Meru and others Himācala, the lord of mountains, rejoiced in the company of his sons, daughter and wife.

4. Urged by them lovingly, Himācala caused the letter of betrothal to be written by Garga, his priest.

5. He despatched the letter of betrothal to Śiva along with articles of homage through his kinsmen.

6. Those people arrived at Kailāsa and handed over the letter to Śiva after applying the holy mark on his forehead.

7. After being duly honoured by the lord, they returned highly delighted to the penance of the mountain.

8. On seeing those people who had been highly honoured by lord Śiva and who had returned excessively delighted, the mountain rejoiced much.

9. Then he extended his invitation highly pleasing to his kinsmen stationed in different places with great delight.

10. Then he began collecting foodstuffs and other requisite articles intended for the performance of the marriage.

11. Mountainous masses of rice, beaten rice, jaggery, sugar candies and salt were heaped up.

12. He caused huge tanks and receptacles built for milk, ghee and curds as well as for fried flour cakes of barley and other grains and ball-like sweets.

13. Big tanks and receptacles were made for the nectar, sugarcane juice, baked cakes, and the sugar candies.

14. Tanks were built for butter, spirituous beverages, sweet juices of various kinds and rice preparations of various sorts.

15. Different kinds of pickles and side dishes were prepared that might appeal to Śiva’s Gaṇas and the gods. Different kinds of valuable garments purified in fire were kept ready.

16. Gems and jewels of different kinds, gold, silver and other articles were gathered duly.

17. Auspicious rites were started by the mountain on an auspicious day. The womenfolk of the mountain performed the purificatory ceremony for Pārvatī.

18. Women bedecked in ornaments performed auspicious rites. The delighted brahmin women of the city did everything in accordance with the tradition and custom.

19. Great festivities and holy auspicious rites were performed by the delighted Himavat too.

20-21. Delighted in every respect and eagerly awaiting the arrival of his kinsmen he was excited with various emotions. The invitees came there along with their wives, children and attendants. O celestial sage, listen to a detailed narration of the arrival of those mountains.

22-24. In order to increase the devotion to Śiva I shall explain in brief. Mandara, the chief mountain in heaven came to Himavat in a divine form. He was highly refulgent. He was accompanied by his wife and children. His company shone brilliantly. He had brought with him many gems and jewels.

25. Bringing with him many articles of presentation, the liberal Western mountain[1] reached there in a divine form.

26. The Eastern mountain came there with brilliant gems and jewels. He looked delighted and extremely brilliant,

27. The highly venerable lord of mountains, Malaya,[2] came there with his followers. He was happy with his excellent followers.

28. The mountain Dardura[3] came along with his wife. He was exquisitely dressed. He was delighted[4]. He had many attendants with him.

29. O dear, the delighted mountain Niṣadha came along with his attendants. He was very brilliant.

30. The fortunate mountain Gandhamādana came with great pleasure along with his children and womenfolk.

31. Mountains Karavīra[5] and Mahendra[6] of great wealth and prosperity also came there.

32. Pāriyātra[7] came with attendants, children and womenfolk. He was brilliant and delighted. He had brought many gems and jewels with him.

33. Krauñca[8] the chief of mountains, came with a large army of attendants. He had articles of presentation with him. He was accompanied by his kinsmen and relatives.

34. Puruṣottama[9] mountain came with many presentation articles. He was highly honoured along with his followers.

35. The mountain Nīla[10] with plenty of wealth came along with his sons and womenfolk.

36. The mountains Trikūṭa,[11] Citrakūṭa,[12] Veṅkaṭa,[13] Śrīgiri,[14] Gokāmukha[15] and Nārada[16] came also.

37. The excellent mountain Vindhya[17] possessing many riches, came there delightedly along with his wife and sons.

38. The mountain Kālañjara,[18] highly resplendent and extremely delighted came along with his attendants.

39. The mountain Kailāsa favouring every one because of brilliant lord Śiva came there delighted.

40. All other mountains from several continents, O brahmin, assembled together in the abode of Himavat.

41. O sage, all these mountains, invited by Himavat came there to attend the marriage of Śiva and Śivā.

42. The brilliant rivers, Śoṇabhadra[19] and others came delightfully to be present at the marriage of Śiva and Śivā.

43. All the rivers bedecked in ornaments came lovingly in divine forms at the marriage of Śiva and Śivā.

44. The rivers Godāvarī[20] Yamunā[21] Brahmastrī[22] and Veṇikā[23] came to attend the marriage of Śiva and Śivā.

45. With great pleasure Gaṅgā too, assuming a divine form and fully bedecked in ornaments came to attend the marriage of Śiva and Śivā.

46. The best of rivers Narmadā,[24] daughter of Rudra, came joyfully and quickly to attend the marriage of Śiva and Śivā.

47. The entire city of Himavat was full of excitement and ardent fervour when the invitees gathered there together.

48. Great festivities went on in the city. Banners, flags and festoons shone everywhere. The canopies hid the sunlight.

49. Himavat welcomed them with great delight and reverence. The mountains and the rivers, the gents and the ladies were duly received.

50. He housed them suitably in separate places. They were gratified with the amenities provided by Himavat.

Footnotes and references:

1.

‘Asta’ is a mythical sunset mountain in the West while ‘udaya’ is a mythical sunrise mountain in the East.

2.

Malaya (derived from the Dravidian word malai meaning ‘hill’) was the name applied to the Travancore hills and the southernmost part of the Western ghats.

3.

Dardura, variously spelt as Darddara or Darddura is identified with the Deogarh peak in the eastern part of the Vindhyas. G. E. Part I P. 104.

4.

A mythic range of mountains lying south of Meru, but sometimes described as on the east. H. M P. 24.

5.

It has not been possible to identify this mountain.

6.

Mahendra, the same as Mahendragiri, was the name applied to the Eastern Ghats.

7.

Pāriyātra or Pāripātra was the name applied to the Western Vindhyas together with the Aravelly range.

8.

Krauñch is the name of a mythical mountain said to be the grandson of Himālaya who was pierced by Kārtikeya and Paraśurāma.

9.

It is a sacred hill of Orissa associated with lord Viṣṇu styled as Puruṣottama.

10.

Nīlagiri, “the Blue Mountain” seems to be the Nīlādri or Nilakūṭa, the name of the “Kāmākhyā hill” according to the Kālikāpurāṇa 79.74 Cf. Śaktisaṅgama-tantra III. 7.?0.

11.

A mountain in Ceylon on the top of which was situated Laṅkā, the capital of Rāvaṇa.

12.

Chitrakūṭa is a mountain near Prayāga.

13.

Veṅkata—a famous hill in the south, which is the seat of Viṣṇu.

14.

Śrīgiri or Śrīśaila is situated in Telangana. Cf. Śaktisaṅgama-tantra III. 7.14.

15.

Gokāmukha is probably the same as Kokāmukha. It is a range of the Himālayas located in Nepal. Cf. Varāhapurāṇa 140; GAMI Ch. XVII.

16.

Coming in the list of mountains it signifies a mountain which has not been identified so far.

17.

See Note 69. P. 623.

18.

It is a sacred hill in Banda District in U.P.

19.

Śoṇabhadra most probably is the same as Aruṇācala in the South Arcot District. See Avasthi: Studies in Sk. P. P. 142.

20.

Godāvarī. See Note 56 P. 75.

21.

Yamunā. Sec Note 67 P. 76.

22.

The river Brahmastrī can be identified with the river Sarasvatī See Note 35 P. 47.

23.

See Note 57 P. 75.

24.

See Note 55 P. 75.