The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “dalliance of shiva” 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.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 1 - The dalliance of Śiva

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

1. I salute Śiva who is satisfied with salutation, who loves great devotion, who bestows affection, who makes others too perfect and complete and who is the abode of all fortune and achievements. I salute Śiva who is eulogised by Viṣṇu and Brahmā, who urged by His sympathy assumes visible forms, who bestows truth, who loves truth, whose assets are the threefold truths and who is identical with truth.

Nārada said:—

2. O Brahmā, after marrying Pārvatī and returning to His mountain what did Śiva the benefactor of the worlds do? Please narrate it to me.

3. Who was the son born to Śiva, the great soul, for which purpose the lord, though He rests and revels in Himself, married Pārvatī?

4. O Brahmā, the benefactor of the gods, how was Tāraka[1] slain? Please have pity on me and narrate all this in full.

Sūta said:—

5. On hearing these words of Nārada, Prajāpati was highly delighted and he replied after thinking on Śiva.

Brahmā said:—

6. O Nārada, listen to the tale of Śiva, the moon-crested lord. I shall narrate the story of Guha’s[2] birth and the slaying of the demon Tāraka.

7. Let it be heard. I shall tell you the story that destroys all sins, on hearing which a man is freed from all sins.

8. This narrative is sinless. It is a wonderful secret. It dispels the distress caused by sin and wards off all obstacles.

9. It bestows everything auspicious. It is the essence of the Vedas and is pleasing to the ears. It is conducive to happiness. It is the cause of liberation and cuts off the roots of all actions.

10. Returning to Kailāsa after marrying Pārvatī, Śiva attained added lustre. He thought over the task of the gods and the pain of the people involved in the fulfilment of that task.

11. When Śiva returned to Kailāsa, the joyful Gaṇas made all arrangements for His happiness.

12. When Śiva returned to Kailāsa, there was great jubilation there. The gods returned to their realms with their minds full of joy.

13. Then taking Pārvatī, the daughter of the mountain, with Him, Śiva, the great Lord, went to a delightful brilliant isolated place.

14-15. Making a wonderful bed conducive to good sexual pleasure, rendered smooth and fragrant with flowers and sandal paste and auspiciously supplemented with objects of enjoyment, lord ‘Śiva’ the bestower of honour, indulged in dalliance with Pārvatī for a thousand years of god.[3]

16. In that divine sport at the mere contact with Pārvatī, Śiva lapsed in unconsciousness. She too lapsed into unconsciousness due to the contact with Śiva. She neither knew the day nor the night.

17. When Śiva following the worldly way began his enjoyment of pleasures, O sinless one, a great length of time passed by as though it was a mere moment in their awareness.

18. Then, O dear, Indra and the gods gathered together on the mountain Meru and began their mutual discussion.

The gods said:—

19. It is for the fulfilment of our task that Lord Śiva, the leader of Yogins, free from aberrations, the unsullied, revelling and resting in his own Self, has married.

20. No son is born to Him. We do not know the reason. How is it that the lord of gods is delaying the action?

Brahmā said:—

21. In the meantime, from Nārada who has the divine vision the gods came to know of the extent of the enjoyment of the couple engaged in dalliance.

22. Realising that their enjoyment had extended over a long time, the gods became worried. Making me Brahmā as their leader they approached Viṣṇu Nārāyaṇa[4].

23. After bowing to him I narrated to him all the details we desired to convey. The gods stood steady and silent like dolls painted in a picture.

24. For a thousand years according to the calculation of the gods, Śiva the Yogin has been engaged in sexual dalliance. He does not desist from it.

Lord Viṣṇu said:—

25. O creator of the universe, there is nothing to worry about. Everything will be well. O lord of gods, seek refuge in the great lord Śiva.

26. O lord of subjects, the people who dedicate their minds to and seek refuge in Him joyously and devoutly have nothing to fear from any quarter.

27. The interruption to amorous dalliance will take place at the proper time, not now, O Brahmā. Any task carried out at the proper time shall be crowned with success, not otherwise.

28. If the enjoyment is desired by Śiva who can check it? When another thousand years are completed He will desist from it, out of his own will.

29. If any one separates the copulated pair by a tricky expedient, he will have the pangs of separation from his wife and sons in every birth.

30. He will fall from perfect wisdom. His glory will be destroyed. He will lose his fortune. That sinner after his death will suffer the tortures of the hell Kālasūtra[5] for a hundred thousand years.

31. The sage Durvāsas[6] separated Indra in copulation with Rambhā[7] and the sage got separation from his wife as a result thereof.

32. He took another woman as his wife and thus put an end to the pangs of separation lasting for a thousand years of the gods.

33. Bṛhaspati hindered Kāma in copulation with Ghṛtācī[8] but within six months the moon abducted his wife.

34. He then propitiated Śiva, fought a battle over Tārā, enjoyed her even as she was pregnant and tried to dispel his pangs of separation.

35. The sage Gautama forced the moon in the company of Rohiṇī to desist from sexual dalliance and he suffered the pangs of separation from his wife.

36-37. Hariścandra expelled a ploughman in copulation with a Śūdra woman, to wander in a lonely forest. Listen to the effect thereof. He lost his wife, son and kingdom. He was tarmented by Viśvāmitra. It was only after propitiating Śiva that he could get released from that sin.

38. Though Ajāmila,[9] a noble brahmin, was in copulation with a Śūdra woman, gods did not interfere due to this fear.

39. Everything can be achieved through the discharge of the semen. O Brahmā, the process of discharge is very effective. The discharge that is fruitful none can withhold.

40-41. O gods, Śiva’s act of enjoyment will extend to a thousand years of celestial calculation. After that period is over, you can go there and do such things as will necessitate the fall of the semen on the ground. The son of the lord named Skanda will be born of that.

42. O Brahmā, return to your abode along with the gods. Let Śiva carry on enjoyment in the isolated place m the company of Pārvatī.

Brahmā said:—

43. After saying this, the lord of Lakṣmī immediately returned to his harem. O great sage, the gods too returned to their abodes along with me.

44. On account of the dalliance of Śiva and Pārvatī, the earth quaked with the weight along with Śeṣa (the serpent) and Kacchapa[10] (the tortoise).

45. By the weight of Kacchapa, the cosmic air, the support of everything, was stunned and the three worlds became terrified and agitated.

46. Then the gods along with me sought refuge in Viṣṇu and in our depression intimated to him the news.

The gods said:—

47. O Viṣṇu, the lord of the gods, O lord and protector of all, save us who have sought refuge in you and whose minds are acutely terrified.

48. The vital air of the three worlds is stunned. We do not know wherefore. The three worlds including the mobile and immobile as well as the gods and the sages are excited.

Brahmā said:—

49. After saying this, O great sage, all the depressed gods, stood silent along with me in front of Viṣṇu with great misery.

50. On hearing those words, Viṣṇu took us all immediately to the mountain Kailāsa, the favourite haunt of Śiva.

51. After going there in the company of the gods and me, the favourite deity of the gods went to the excellent resort of Śiva with a desire to see Śiva.

52. Unable to see Him there, Viṣṇu and the gods became surprised. With humility he asked the Gaṇas of Śiva who were there.

Viṣṇu said:—

53. O Gaṇas of Śiva, where has Śiva, the lord of all gone? Sympathetically intimate this to us who are depressed.

Brahmā said:—

54. On hearing these words of Viṣṇu in the company of the gods, the Gaṇas of Śiva lovingly replied to Viṣṇu.

The Gaṇas of Śiva said:—

55. O Viṣṇu, please listen along with Brahmā and the gods, we shall tell you the truth and the details out of love for Śiva.

56. Śiva, the lord of all, had gone into the apartment: of Pārvatī after stationing us here with love. He is an expert in indulging in divine sports.

57. O lord of Lakṣmī, many years have gone by. We do not know what Śiva, the great lord, is doing within her apartment.

Brahmā said:—

58. On hearing their words, O excellent sage, Viṣṇu, the gods and I were perplexed and went to the doorway of Śiva’s apartment.

59. After going there along with me and the gods, Viṣṇu, the favourite deity of the gods, spoke in dejection but with joy in the heart.

60. O excellent sage, standing there, along with me and the gods, he eulogised Śiva, the lord of all the worlds with great pleasure.

Viṣṇu said:—

61. O great lord, what are you doing there inside? Save us who are harassed by Tāraka and who have sought refuge in you.

62. O great sage, praising and pleading like this to Śiva, Viṣṇu wept bitterly along with the gods harassed by Tāraka.

63. O great sage, the tumultuous cry of the heaven-dwellers distressed by the demon got mingled with the sound of eulogy to Śiva.

Footnotes and references:


Tāraka, the son of Vajrāṅga, was a Daitya whose austerities made him formidable to the gods. The present section narrates the birth of Kumāra, known as Skanda, Guha, Kārttikeya etc. who slew the demon Tāraka.


Guha, better known as Kārttikeya was the son of Śiva. Born in a thicket in a forest, out of the semen of Śiva, without the intervention of Pārvatī he was fostered by the Pleiades (Kṛttikās) whence he received the title Kārttikeya. When grown into youth, he became the Commander-in-Chief (senāpati) of the army of Śiva, fought and slew the Daitya Tāraka. As he killed (māra) the evil (ku) Asura, he became known as Kumāra.


For different calculations of the time-durations see Sk. P. Ch. 142-145.


The epithet ‘Nārāyaṇa’ is applied to Viṣṇu because the waters (nāra) were his first place of motion (ayana). In Hindu Mythology Viṣṇu is represented as lying on the serpent couch in the midst of ocean.


Kālasūtra is one of several hells wherein the wicked are tortured. For details see Viṣṇu Purāṇa II.214.


Durvāsas, the son of Atri and Anasūyā was a sage of irascible temper.


Rambhā, a celestial damsel is represented as the type of female beauty. She was one of the rarities produced at the churning of the ocean.


Ghṛtācī, a celestial damsel, was known for her rare beauty and charms.


Ajāmila was a Brāhmaṇa of Kanauj who married a Śūdra woman and had children of whom he was very fond.


Śeṣa (the serpent chief) and Kacchapa (the tortoise) are said to support the earth in turns on the hoods and the back respectively.

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