by J. L. Shastri | 1970
This page relates “mena regains consciousness” 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.
1-2. On regaining consciousness, the chaste beloved of the mountain lamented with great agitation and began to rebuke everyone. In faltering words she frequently censured her sons at first and then scolded her daughter.
4. Its fruit is visible now, to be sure. But it is adverse and meaningless. O sage, O wicked minded one, I the innocent woman have been cheated by you by all means.
5. The fruit of penance which she performed and which is very difficult even for the sages to perform, has been this, painful to every onlooker.
6. What shall I do? Where shall I go? Who will dispel my sorrow? My family is wrecked. My life is doomed.
7. Where are those so called celestial sages? I shall pluck out their beards. Where is that mischievous woman who came here by herself in the guise of the wire of one of them?
8. By whose guilt have I been ruined now?” Saying this she turned to her daughter and began to say harsh words.
9. O wretched daughter, what is it that you have done? This is extremely painful to me. You have given gold and brought a glass piece, O wicked girl.
10. You have cast away sandal paste and smeared yourself with mud. You have driven away the swan and have held a crow in your hands.
11. Setting aside the sacred river water you have drunk the well-water. Losing the sun you have clung to the glowworm in all earnestness.
12. Throwing away cooked rice you have eaten the husk. Spilling away the clarified butter you have eagerly swallowed castor oil.
14. O daughter, casting off the holy sacrificial ashes at home you have taken the inauspicious ashes from the funeral pyre.
15. Abandoning the great lords, Viṣṇu and others you have performed penance for Śiva. Your intellect has really gone astray.
16. Fie on you. Fie on your intellect. Fie on your beauty and conduct. Fie on your adviser. Fie on your maids too.
17. Fie on us who brought you thus to the world, O daughter. O Nārada, fie on your intelligence and fie on those seven sages who gave us wrong advice.
18. Fie on the whole family. Fie on the efficiency in performing the rites. Fie on everything done by you. You have inflamed this household. Almost it has been a death blow to me.
19. Let not the king of the mountains come near me. Let not the seven sages show their faces to me.
20. Has anything been achieved? Our whole race is wrecked by all conspiring together. How is it that I have not remained a barren woman? How is it that a miscarriage did not take place when I conceived?
21. How is it that I did not die? How is it that this girl did not die? Why is she not devoured by the demons and others from the sky?
22. I shall cut off your head. What shall I do with the bodies? Abandoning you where shall I go? Alas, my whole life is doomed,
23. After saying this Menā fell unconscious on the ground. Agitated by grief and anger she did not go near her husband.
24. There was a great hue and cry at that time, O great sage. The gods came near her.
25. O celestial sage, I too came myself. On seeing me, O excellent sage, you spoke to her.
26. The real handsome form of Śiva is not known by you. This form is assumed by Śiva in a sportive mood. It is not the real form.
27. Hence, O chaste lady, cast off anger. Be calm. Leave off your obduracy. Do what is proper to be done. Give Pārvatī to Siva.
28. On hearing your words, Menā spoke to you—“O wicked one, get up and go away. You are base”.
29. When she said thus, Indra and all other gods and the guardians of the quarters came and spoke.
The gods said:—
30. O Menā, O daughter of the Pitṛs, listen to our words joyously. This Śiva is the Supreme lord Himself, the bestower of the greatest happiness.
31. He is favourably disposed to good devotees. On seeing your daughter’s severe penance He had appeared before her and granted her the boon.
32. Menā cried aloud frequently and spoke to the gods—“My daughter will not be given to Śiva of fierce features.
33. Why have you all conspired together to render her beauty futile?”
34. O excellent sages, when she uttered thus, the seven sages, Vasiṣṭha and others, came there and spoke:—
The seven sages said:—
35. “O daughter of the Pitṛs, O beloved of the mountain, we have come here to achieve a purpose. In this important affair how can we entertain opposite views?
36. The very vision of Śiva is the greatest gain. He has come to your palace as the suppliant for your gift”.
37. Though advised by them, Mena did not accept their proposal. Weak in knowledge she spoke to the sages in anger.
38. I would rather slay her with weapons than give her to Śiva. All of you go away. You shall never come near me.
39. O sage, on saying thus she stopped. She cried aloud in great excitement. A great hue and cry ensued due to her intercession.
40. Then Himācala himself came there extremely agitated. In order to convince her he spoke lovingly pointing to her the reality of the situation.
41. O beloved Menā, listen to my words. How is it that you have become dispirited? How many important persons have come to our abode! And you are insulting them!
42. You do not know Śiva. Śiva has many names and many forms. Seeing a peculiar distorted form you have become excited.
43. He has been realised by me. He is the protector of everyone. He is worthy of worship of the most adorable. He can bless and countermand.
44. Do not be obstinate. O faultless beloved, do not be grief-stricken. Get up. Hasten. O virtuous one, carry on your duties.
45. Let me remind you of a former incident when Śiva came to our place in a hideous form and exhibited his sports.
46. But on seeing his greatness we both consented to give our daughter in marriage to him. O beloved, keep that promise.
47. After saying thus, the lord of the mountains stopped, O sage. On hearing it Menā, the mother of Śivā, spoke to Himavat.
48-50. “O lord, let my words be heard. You can carry out what I say. Take your daughter Pārvatī, tie her up and cast her down into a deep abysmal chasm. Or drown her in the deep sea and be happy. I am not going to give her to Śiva. If you give your daughter to him who is of hideous features, O lord, I shall certainly leave off this mortal frame.
51. When these words were spoken by Menā in her obduracy, Pārvatī voluntarily spoke in a sweet voice.
52. “O mother, your noble intellect has become perverted. Why do you foresake virtue, you who ought to depend on virtue alone?
53. This Śiva has no one else greater than him. He is Śiva. the source of everything. He is beautiful, pleasing and eulogised in all the Vedas.
54. Śiva is the benefactor. He is the lord of gods. He is self-ruler. O mother, He is of many forms and names. He is served by Viṣṇu, Brahmā and others.
55. He is the support of everything. He is the creator and annihilator. He is free from aberrations. He is the lord of the three deities. He is indestructible and eternal.
56. It is for him that all the gods, as attendants, have come here. They stand in a festive mood at your threshold. What more pleasure do you need?
57. Hence get up. Endeavour to make your life fruitful. Give me to Śiva. Make my effort meaningful.
58. O mother, give me to lord Śiva. O mother, agree to my humble entreaty. I request you.
59. If you do not give me to Śiva, I am not going to woo anyone else. How can a jackal, the cunning cheat, seize the share of the lion?
60. O mother, Śiva has been wooed, yes, wooed by me mentally, verbally, and physically. You can do what you please.
61-62. On hearing these words of Pārvatī, Menā, the beloved of the lord of mountains lamented much. She became angry. She caught hold of Pārvatī and thrashed her with fists, elbows gnashing her teeth. She was greatly agitated and furious.
63. O dear one, O sage, you and other sages who were there, separated her from the mother and took her far off.
64. Menā then rebuked them again and again. She hurled harsh repulsive words at all of them.
65. See what I will do to Pārvatī of evil inclination. I will give her deadly poison or I will push her down in a deep well.
66. Or I will cut her into many pieces with weapons and arrows. Or I will drown my daughter Pārvatī in the deep sea.
67. Or I will certainly cast off my body. But I will never give my daughter to Śiva of hideous form.
68. What an awful bridegroom has been secured by this wicked girl? The mountain and I, nay the whole family, has been made a laughing stock.
69. He has neither a mother nor a father. He has no brother no kinsman. He has not even a fellow clansman. He has no beauty, no skill, not even a house of His own!
70. He has no good dress, no ornaments, no assistant? His vehicle is not good. He is neither rich nor even in the prime of youth.
71. He has no tidiness about him. He is not learned. What a repulsive body he has! What has he, on seeing which I may be tempted to give my good daughter to him?”
72. O sage she lamented thus and in many a similar manner she cried in the excess of her grief.
73. Then I came there quickly and narrated to her the principles of Śiva which ought to have dispelled her perverted knowledge.
74. “O Menā, you shall listen lovingly to my auspicious words whereby your evil inclination shall cease.
75. Śiva is the creator, sustainer and annihilator of the universe. You do not know His real form. Wherefore do you then seek sorrow?
76. The lord has several forms and names. He indulges in many kinds of divine sports. He is the lord of all and independent. He is the master of delusion and free from doubtful alternatives.
77. Realising this, O Menā, give your daughter to Śiva. Abandon your misplaced stubbornness. Your evil inclination is destructive of all affairs”.
78. Thus addressed by me Menā continued to cry again and again. Slowly, O sage, she eschewed all shame and spoke to me.
79. O Brahmā, why do you render her excellent beauty futile? Why don’t you kill her yourself?
80. You shall not tell me again that she should be given to Śiva. I will not give my daughter, dearer than my own life, to Śiva.
82. This Śiva is the supreme being, the bestower of
supreme happiness. Out of His sympathy He has granted His vision to your daughter.
83. Then Menā said to them after sobbing frequently—“My riches are not to be given to Śiva of hideous form.
84 Why are you Siddhas collectively attempting to make her exquisite beauty futile?”
85. When this was mentioned by her I became stunned. All the gods, Siddhas, sages and human beings were bewildered.
86. In the meantime, on hearing of her persistent obduracy, Viṣṇu a favourite of Śiva came there and spoke as follows.
87-88. You are the beloved mental daughter of the Pitṛs. You are endowed with all good qualities. You are wife of Himavat himself. Yours is the excellent race of Brahmā. Your well-wishers in the world are also like him (Brahmā). You are really blessed. What more can I say? You are reputed to be a patron of virtue. Why do you then eschew virtue?
89. May this be pondered over by you yourself. Can anything against you be mentioned by the gods, sages, or Brahmā or by myself?
90. You do not know Śiva. He is both possessed and devoid of attributes. He is hideous as well as comely. He is worthy of worship by all. He is the ultimate goal of the good.
91. The primordial nature is created by Him alone. Near her, the excellent primordial Being has also been created by Him.
92. Brahmā and I are created thereafter. Then, with the three attributes, Śiva Himself, incarnated in order to be beneficial to the worlds.
93. The Vedas originated from Him. The gods sprang up from Him. Whatever mobile and immobile there is in the universe, sprang up from him.
94. Who has described His form? By whom can it be
known? Even Brahmā and I were not able to gauge him.
95. Whatever is seen in the universe from Brahmā down to a blade of grass is identical with Śiva. Know it. There need not be any hesitation in this matter.
96. He alone, in the course of his divine sport, has incarnated himself in divine form. It was by the fascination of Pārvatī’s penance that He has come to your threshold.
97. Hence, O wife of Himavat, eschew your sorrow. Worship Śiva. You will have great pleasure. All pain will be quelled.
98. O sage, when instructed by Viṣṇu, Menakā’s mind was somewhat softened.
99. But she did not give up her obduracy. She did not consent to the proposal of giving her daughter to Śiva. Menā was deluded by Śiva’s magic.
100. On hearing the pleasing words of Viṣṇu, the beloved of the mountain, the mother of Pārvatī became slightly enlightened and spoke to Viṣṇu.
101. If He assumes a lovely form and body my daughter may be given to Him and not otherwise even if you attempt it a thousand times. This is my firm decision.
102. After saying thus Menā of steady resolve kept quiet. She was induced by Śiva’s will whose magical power deludes all.
Footnotes and references:
It refers to the spiritual knowledge as revealed in the Upaniṣads and other treatises, e.g. the identity of the individual soul with the universal soul, the reality of the spirit over the unreality of the matter and so on.