The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1970

This page relates “arrival of the bridegroom” 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 46 - The arrival of the bridegroom

Brahmā said:—

1. The delighted Śiva accompanied by His Bhūtas, Gaṇas, gods and others went to the abode of the mountain zealously.

2. Menā, the exquisite beloved of Himācala, got up from her seat and went into the harem along with the women-folk.

3. For the customary Nīrājana (waving of lights) rites of Śiva, the chaste lady came near the entrance with lights and vessels in her hands along with womenfolk of the sages.

4. Menā saw with pleasure lord Śiva, the bridegroom of Pārvatī, served by all the gods and who by that time had come there.

5-11. Śiva had the complexion of the colour of the Campaka flower. He had only one face but retained the three eyes. The face was beaming with a simple smile. He was bedecked in gems and gold and wore a garland of Mālatī flowers. The gemset crown was lustrous. He wore brilliant necklaces. He was bedecked in bangles and bracelets of fine workmanship. He was shining well with the two clothes of great value, fine texture and unrivalled beauty and purified in fire. Highly embellished in sandal paste, aguru, musk and fine saffron, he had a gemset mirror in his hand and his eyes were lustrous with the collyrium. He was shedding a halo around him enveloping everything. He was extremely beautiful. He appeared to be very young. His limbs had the full complement of their ornaments. He was very attractive to the ladies. He was not nervous or self-conscious. His lotuslike face had the brilliance of a thousand moons. His body shone with a refulgence more than that of a thousand cupids. He was beautiful in every limb. Seeing the lord thus as her son-in-law, Menā forgot all her grief. She was glad.

12. She praised her good luck. She congratulated Pārvatī, the mountain and his entire family. She congratulated herself. She rejoiced again and again.

13. Gazing at her son-in-law joyously with beaming face, the chaste lady performed the Nīrājana rite.

14. Remembering what Pārvatī had told her, Menā was agreeably surprised and with a beaming lotus-like face full of delight she muttered to herself.

15. “I see the beauty of the great lord far in excess of what Pārvatī had told me before.

16. Śiva’s loveliness cannot be expressed adequately now.” In the same state of pleasant surprise she went in.

17. The young ladies proclaimed that the daughter of the mountain was fortunate. Some girls said that she had become a goddess.

18. Some said—“Such a bridegroom has never been seen, not to our knowledge.” Some girls said to Menā—“Pārvatī is really blessed.”

19. The chief of Gandharvas sang songs. The celestial damsels danced. On seeing Śiva’s lovely form, the gods were delighted.

20. The instrument players played on musical instruments in sweet tones showing their diverse skill.

21. The delighted Himācala too carried out the customary rites of reception at the entrance. Menā also jubilantly took part in the same along with all the womenfolk.

22. She made formal inquiries about the health of the bridegroom and gladly went into the house. Śiva went to the apartments assigned to Him along with the Gaṇas and the gods.

23. In the meantime the servant-maids in the harem of the mountain took Pārvatī out in order to worship the tutelar family deity.

24-30. There the gods saw joyously with winkless eyes the bride of dark complexion like the collyrium, and fully bedecked in ornaments in every limb. With a side glance she was respectfully looking at the three-eyed lord avoiding the eyes of others. With a gentle smile playing in her face she appeared very beautiful. Her plaited hair was thickly grown and looked beautiful. Decorative lines over her body were exquisite. She had the Tilaka with musk and saffron. Gemset necklace shone over her chest. Bracelets and bangles of gems and jewels shone brilliantly. With diamond earrings her cheeks appeared brilliant. Her rows of teeth sparkled like diamonds. Red lac applied over her lips which were naturally red like Bimba fruits was exquisite. She had a gemset mirror in her hand. A toy lotus also embellished her. Sandal paste, aguru musk and saffron were smeared over the body by her. Her feet and soles were naturally red. Tinkling anklets added to their beauty.

31. On seeing the primordial deity, the mother of the universe along with Menakā, the gods and others bowed down their heads with great devotion.

32. The three-eyed deity saw her with the corner of an eye and was glad. On seeing the shapely body of Satī he forgot the pangs of separation.

33. With his eyes riveted to her, he forgot everything else. Hair stood on ends all over his body, as he continued seeing her with delight.

34. Then Pārvatī went out of the city, worshipped the family goddess and returned to her parental abode along with the brahmin women.

35. Śiva went to the apartments indicated by Himācala, joyously along with the gods, Viṣṇu and Brahmā.

36. All of them stayed there with joy, attending on Śiva. They were duly honoured by Himavat, the mountainous lord.