The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1970

This page relates “birth of shiva’s son” 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 2 - The birth of Śiva’s son

Brahmā said:—

1. On hearing that, the great lord, an expert in Yogic theory, though free from lust, did not emit the semen, fearing to offend Pārvatī.

2. He came to the door, near the gods distressed by the demon. Śiva is the benefactor favourably disposed to His devotees.

3. On seeing lord Śiva, favourably disposed to His devotees, the gods including me and Viṣṇu became extremely happy.

4. O sage, bowing down with stooping shoulders the gods along with me and Viṣṇu eulogised Śiva with great pleasure.

The gods said:—

5. “O great God, O lord of gods, O ocean of mercy,

O Śiva, you are the immanent soul of all. You know everything.

6. O lord, carry out the task of the gods. O great lord, save the gods. Slay Tāraka and other demons and take pity on us.”

7. On hearing these words of the gods, lord Śiva agitated in soul and dispirited in the mind, replied.

Śiva said:—

8. “O Viṣṇu, O Brahmā, O gods, you are the goal of everybody’s mind. What should happen necessarily must happen. There is none to stop it.

9-11. What has happened has already happened. Now O gods, listen to what is relevant to the context. Let him who will, take up this discharged semen”. After saying this He let it fall on the ground. Urged by the gods Agni became a dove and swallowed it with his beak. O sage, in the meantime Pārvatī came there.

12. When Śiva took a long time to return, she hastened there and saw the gods. On coming to know of the incident she became very furious.

13. She told Viṣṇu and the gods as follows.

The goddess said:—

14. Hi Hi, O gods, you are wicked and particularly selfish and for that purpose you give pain to others.

15. O gods, for the sake of realising your self-interests you all propitiated the lord and spoilt my dalliance. I have become a barren woman therefore.

16. O gods, after offending me none can be happy. Hence O wicked heaven-dwellers, you will remain unhappy.

Brahmā said:—

17. After saying these words Pārvatī, the daughter of the king of mountains, blazing with fury cursed Viṣṇu and all other gods.

Pārvatī said:—

18. From now onwards let the wives of the gods be utterly barren and let the gods who offended me be unhappy.

Brahmā said:—

19. Cursing Viṣṇu and other gods, Pārvatī furiously told Agni who had swallowed Śiva’s semen.

Pārvatī said:—

20. O Agni, be the devourer of everything and let your soul be afflicted. You are a fool. You do not know Śiva’s fundamental principles. You have come forward to carry out the task of the gods.

21. It is neither proper nor beneficent to you to have eaten up Śiva’s semen. You are a rogue, a wretched vile, paying heed to the wicked counsel of the wicked.

Brahmā said:

22. After cursing the fire thus, O sage, Pārvatī, the daughter of the mountain, immediately returned to her apartment along with Śiva, dissatisfied that she was.

23. O great sage, after returning she persistently pleaded with Śiva and bore a son named Gaṇeśa.

24. O sage, the details of that story I shall narrate to you later on. Now listen to the story of the birth of Guha which I am going to narrate.

25. The gods are wont to partake of the offerings of food etc. consigned to the fire in accordance with the Vedic text. Hence the gods became pregnant.

26. Unable to endure the force of the semen they became afflicted. Viṣṇu and other gods had already lost their sense at the curse of Pārvatī.

27. Then Viṣṇu and other gods were overwhelmed and scorched. In this state they sought refuge in Śiva.

28. After reaching the threshold of Śivā’s apartment, the gods humbly eulogised Pārvatī and Śiva with pleasure and with palms joined in reverence.

The gods said:—

29. O lord of gods, O great lord, consort of Pārvatī, what has happened now? Your magical power is incapable of being transgressed.

30. We have become pregnant and also scorched by your semen. O Śiva, take pity on us. Remove our miserable plight.

Brahmā said:—

31. O sage, on hearing the eulogy of the gods, Śiva, the lord of Pārvatī came immediately to the threshold where the gods stood waiting.

32. The gods including Viṣṇu bowed humbly with great devotion and eulogised Śiva who is favourably disposed to His devotees, who came near the entrance.

The gods said:—

33. O Śiva, O great lord, we bow to you particularly, save us seeking refuge in you on being scorched by your semen.

34. O Śiva, please remove our misery. We will certainly die otherwise. Save you, none can remove the misery of the gods.

Brahmā said:—

35. On hearing these piteous words, the lord of the gods laughingly replied to the gods with his usual sympathy towards his devotees.

Śiva said:—

36. O Viṣṇu, O Brahmā, O gods, all of you listen to my words with attention. You will be happy. Be careful.

37. At my behest you shall vomit this semen virile of mine. You will be happy thereby.

Brahmā said:—

38. Accepting this command with bent head Viṣṇu and the other gods immediately vomitted it out after duly remembering Śiva the imperishable.

39. The semen of Śiva lustrous and golden in colour falling on the ground seemed to touch the heaven as it was as huge as a mountain.

40. Viṣṇu and other gods became relieved and they eulogised the great lord Śiva who is favourably disposed to His devotees.

41. O great sage, only Agni did not become happy. Śiva, the great lord, gave a separate hint to him.

42. Then the distressed fire, O sage, eulogised Śiva with palms joined in reverence and piteously spoke these words.

Agni said:—

43-44. O lord of gods, I am a stupid and deluded servant of yours. Forgive me my fault. Please remove my burning sensation. O lord, you are the benefactor and sympathetic to the distressed.

Brahmā said:—

45. On hearing the words of Agni, Śiva the great lord spoke delightedly to Agni. He is favourably disposed to His devotees.

Śiva said:—

46. An improper action has been committed by you in swallowing my semen. Hence your sin has become formidable at my bidding and the burning sensation has not been cured.

47. Now that you have sought refuge in me you are sure to be happy. I am pleased with you. All your misery will be dissolved.

48. Deposit carefully that semen in the womb of some good woman. You will become happy and particularly relieved of the burning sensation.

Brahmā said:—

49. On hearing these words of Śiva, Agni replied to Śiva, the benefactor of the devotees with pleasure and bowing down with palms joined in reverence.

50. “O lord Śiva, this splendour of yours is inaccessible and unbearable. There is no woman in the three worlds except Pārvatī to hold it in her womb.”

51. O excellent sage, when fire said like this, you, urged by Śiva, said thus in order to help Agni.

Nārada said:—

52. “O Agni, listen to my words that will dispel your burning sensation. It will yield great pleasure and ward off your pains.

53. O Agni, taking recourse to the following expedient you will be relieved of the burning sensation and be happy. O dear, this has been explained by me well at the will of Śiva.

54. O Agni, you shall deposit this semen of Śiva in the bodies of the ladies who take their morning baths in the month of Māgha.”

Brahmā said:—

55. O sage, meanwhile the wives of the seven celestial sages came there desirous of taking their early morning bath in the month of Māgha with other observances of rites.

56. After the bath, six of them were distressed by the chillness and were desirous of going near the flame of fire.

57. Arundhatī of good conduct and perfect knowledge saw them deluded and dissuaded them at the behest of Śiva.

58. O sage, the six ladies stubbornly insisted on going there to ward off their chillness because they were deluded by Śiva’s magical art.

59. Immediately the particles of the semen entered their bodies through the pores of hairs, O sage. The fire was relieved of their burning sensation.

60. Vanishing immediately from the scene, Agni in the form of a flame, went back happily to his region, mentally remembering you and Śiva.

61. O saintly one, the women became pregnant and were distressed by the burning sensation. They went home. O dear, Arundhatī was displeased with fire.

62. O dear, the husbands on seeing the plight of their wives became furious. They consulted one another and discarded them.

63. O dear, on seeing their own state the six ladies felt very miserable and distressed.

64. The wives of the sages cast off their semen in the form of a foetus at the top of Himavat. They felt then relieved of their burning sensation.

65. Unable to bear that semen of Śiva and trembling much, Himavat became scorched by it and hurled it in the Gaṅgā.

66. O great sage, the intolerable semen of lord Śiva was deposited by Gaṅgā in the forest of Śara grass by means of its waves.

67. The semen that fell was turned in a handsome good-featured boy, full of glory and splendour. He increased everyone’s pleasure.

68. O great sage, on the sixth day of the bright half of the lunar month of Mārgaśīrṣa, the son of Śiva was born in the world.

69. At that time, O Brahmin, on their mountain, Pārvatī the daughter of Himavat and Śiva became very happy.

70. Out of joy, milk exuded from the breasts of Pārvatī. On reaching the spot everyone felt very happy.

71. O dear, there was auspiciousness in the three worlds, pleasing to the good. There occurred obstacles to the wicked and particularly to the demons.

72. O Nārada, there was a mysterious sound of Dundubhi drum in the sky. Showers of flowers fell on the boy.

73. O excellent sage, there was great delight to Viṣṇu and the gods. There was great jubilation everywhere.