The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1970

This page relates “description of shiva’s return journey” 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 53 - Description of Śiva’s return journey

Brahmā said:—

1. Then Viṣṇu and other gods, the sages and ascetics sent message to the mountain about their intention to leave after finishing their immediate duties.

2. Then the lord of mountains finished his ceremonial ablution and the worship of his favourite deity. Calling his kinsmen in the city, he came to the audience hall joyously.

3. There he worshipped the lord with pleasure and requested him to stay in his house for a few days more along with all the people.

4. “O Śiva” he said “I am contented by your sight. I am blessed since you came here with the gods”.

5. Saying these words and many more, the lord of mountains pleaded with palms joined in reverence to the lord along with Viṣṇu and other gods.

6. Then the gods and sages remembered Śiva and spoke with delight.

The gods said:—

7. O lord of the mountains, you are blessed. Your glory is great. Even in the three worlds, there is none equal to you in merit.

8. At your very door, lord Śiva, the supreme Brahman, the goal of the good and favourably disposed to His devotees, has deigned to come along with us, His slaves.

9. O lord of mountains, this audience hall is very excellent. You have honoured us in diverse ways. The foodstuffs served to us were extraordinary. It is impossible to describe them suitably.

10. It is no wonder that everything is perfect where the goddess Pārvatī is present. We too are blessed since we came.

Brahmā said:—

11. Thus there was mutual admiration and glorification of an enlightened nature. There was great jubilation. The sound of Vedic chant and shouts of victory were heard every where.

12. There were auspicious songs. The celestial damsels danced. The bards sang songs of praise. There was a liberal exchange of monetary gifts.

13. Then the mountain took leave of the lord of gods and went home. He made arrangements for a joyous feast with all paraphernalia in accordance with the rules.

14. He brought the lord with all his attendants and followers for the feast. He was very enthusiastic.

15-16. He washed the feet of Śiva, Viṣṇu and mine with reverence. He seated all of us, including the gods, the sages and others in the altar. The lord of mountains was assisted by his kinsmen.

17. The mountain satiated them with various kinds of juicy foodstuffs. All of them took food including Śiva, Viṣṇu and me.

18. Then the ladies of the city indulged in the customary utterance of foul abusive words laughing, jingling and peeping at all of them.

19. O Nārada, they took their food and rinsed their mouths. Taking leave of the mountain they returned to their apartments fully satisfied and pleased.

20. O sage, on the third day similarly they were thus duly honoured by the lord of mountains with customary gifts.

21. On the fourth day, the rite of Caturthīkarman[1] was performed with due observance. Without this the marriage rites would have been incomplete.

22. There was diverse jubilant festivity. Shouts of “well-done”, “Victory” etc were heard. There were exchanges of gifts, sweet music and different kinds of dances.

23. On the fifth day the delighted gods lovingly intimated to the mountain about their desire to go back.

24. On hearing that, the lord of mountains spoke to the gods with palms joined in reverence “O gods, please stay a few days more”.

25. Saying thus with great love he made all of us, the lord, Viṣṇu and others stay there for many days, honouring us duly every day.

26. Thus many days elapsed as the gods continued to stay there. Then the gods sent the seven sages to the lord of the mountains.

27. They enlightened the mountain and Menā with what was relevant to the occasion. They told them about Śiva’s principles with due praise.

28. O sage, the proposal was agreed to by the great lord. Then Śiva went to the mountain to tell him about the intended journey, along with the gods and others.

29. When the lord of gods started on his journey towards his mountain along with the gods, Menā cried aloud and told the merciful lord.

Menā said:—

30. O merciful lord, do mercifully protect Pārvatī. You are quickly pleased. Hence you will please forgive even a thousand faults in her.

31. My dear daughter is devoted to your lotus-like feet in every birth. Even sleeping or awake she does not think about anything else.

32. O conqueror of death, even on hearing about your devotion she is filled with tears of pleasure and horripilation. On hearing your censure she becomes silent as though dead.

Brahmā said:—

33. Saying this, Menakā dedicated her daughter to Him and crying aloud became unconscious in front of them.

34. When she regained consciousness, Śiva took leave of her and the mountain and set on journey with the gods jubilantly.

35. The gods with the lord and His Gaṇas started on their journey silently. They wished the mountain well.

36-37. The lord and the gods waited in a part outside the city of Himavat for the arrival of Pārvatī there. O great sage, thus I have narrated the journey of Śiva. Now listen to the journey of Pārvatī and of her departure with festivities.

Footnotes and references:


This rite is so named because it is performed on the fourth day after the wedding. It is performed at the house of the bride’s father before the marriage party leaves it. The purpose of this rite is to remove evil influence from the person of the bride which may cause harm to the family. For details see P.G.S. 1.11.13.