The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “description of the dais (mandapa)” 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 38 - Description of the dais (maṇḍapa)

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Brahmā said:—

1. Then the lord of mountains, O excellent sage, attended to the decoration of the entire city befitting the great festivities ahead.

2. The roads were watered and swept clean. At every door, stumps of plantain trees and other auspicious symbols were fixed.

3. The courtyard was embellished with plantain trees tied with silken cords. There were festoons of mango leaves.

4. Festoons with garlands of jasmine flowers shone, everywhere. Other articles of auspicious portent were fixed in every quarter.

5. These and other things were carried out by Himavat for the sake of his daughter. Every activity was supervised by Garga of great ability. Everything auspicious worth mentioning found a place there.

6. He called Viśvakarman[1] and requested him to erect a large and spacious dais beautiful with side rostrums, altars etc.

7. The dais, O celestial sage, was ten thousand Yojanas wide. It was wonderfully constructed and had all the characteristic features.

8. All the mobile and immobile objects of the world were represented there with realistic appearance. Everything was wonderfully portrayed.

9. The mobile objects presented there surpassed the immobile ones and the immobile ones surpassed the mobile ones in excellence.

10. The watery places presented there excelled the solid grounds. Even experts could not distinguish what was water and what was solid ground.

11. There were artificial lions. There were rows of storks. There were artificial peacocks, but very beautiful in appearance.

12. Artificial women were represented as dancing with artificial men casting wistful glances at them and enchanting them.

13. Beautiful representations of gatekeepers with uplifted bows in their hands appeared like real originals.

14. The statue of Mahālakṣmī at the main entrance appeared like the goddess just emerged from the milk-ocean. It was because all the characteristics were complete.

15. Elephants with their mahouts and horses with their riders were so natural that none would say that they were artificial.

16. Chariots were driven by charioteers, other vehicles by other drivers. There were foot-soldiers too. All of them were artificial.

17. O sage, Viśvakarman was so delighted that he made all these things to fascinate the visiting dignitaries, the gods and the sages.

18. O sage, the statue of Nandin, at the portals, of crystalline purity and brilliance, was a prototype of the real Nandin.

19. Above that there was the celestial chariot Puṣpaka decorated with sprouts. It shone with gods represented therein.

20. On the left side there were two huge saffron coloured elephants with four tusks and appearing to be of sixty years in age. They shone lustrously.

21. There were two horses too, brilliant like the sun. They were bedecked in divine ornaments and other necessary embellishments.

22. The guardians of the quarters were shown as adorned with great gems. All the gods were portrayed by Viśvakarman realistically.

23. Bhṛgu and other sages, secondary gods, Siddhas and others were represented by Viśvakarman.

24. A wonderful image of Viṣṇu with his attendants, Garuḍa and others was created by him with wonderful features.

25. I too was portrayed as surrounded by my sons, Vedas and Siddhas. O Nārada, I was represented as reciting the hymns.

26. An artificial image of Indra seated on Airāvata and accompanied by his attendants was made by him looking as beautiful as the full moon.

27. O celestial sage, of what avail is a long-drawn description? The gods were drawn by Viśvakarman as desired by Himavat.

28. The Altar was erected by him with wonderful features, fascinating the gods and exquisite in form.

29. On being commanded by the lord of mountains, the intelligent Viśvakarman created different abodes for the residence of the gods and others.

30. Great couches of wonderful brilliance very cosy and exquisite were made by Viśvakarman for their sake.

31. For the residence of Brahmā, seven wonderful abodes were created in a trice. They had great brilliance.

32. A brilliant abode of Viṣṇu called Vaikuṇṭha, with wonderful features, was created in a trice.

33. Viśvakarman created a wonderfully divine palace for the lord of gods endowed with all riches.

34. Wonderful mansions for the guardians of the quarters were erected by Viśvakarman. They were beautiful and large.

35. Mansions of various kinds were built by him for other gods too.

36. The highly intelligent Viśvakarman built everything very quickly for the propitiation of Śiva from whom he had secured great favours.

37. Similarly he erected Śiva’s mansion of various shapes and of great brilliance. Having the symbol of Śiva it was designated as Śivaloka. It was admired by all the gods.

38. Thus for propitiating Śiva, wonderful and very brilliant structures were erected by Viśvakarman.

39. Making all arrangements in accordance with worldly conventions, Himavat awaited eagerly for the arrival of Śiva.

40. Thus, O divine sage, I have narrated the pleasing story of Himavat entirely. What else do you wish to hear?

Footnotes and references:


See Note 301 P. 401; Note 293 P. 389.

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