The Shiva Purana (English translation)

by J. L. Shastri | 1970 | 616,585 words

This page relates “ganas argue and wrangle” 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 14 - The Gaṇas argue and wrangle

Brahmā said:—

1. The infuriated Gaṇas of Śiva at his bidding went there and questioned the son of Pārvatī who stood at the gate.

Śiva’s Gaṇas said:—

2. “Who are you? Whence do you come? What do you propose to do? If you have a desire to remain alive go away from here.”

Brahmā said:—

3. On hearing their words, the son of Pārvatī who was armed with the staff spoke to the Gaṇas as follows:—

Gaṇeśa said:—

4. O “handsome fellows, who are you? Whence have you come? Go away. Why have you come here and why do you stand in opposition to me?”

Brahmā said:—

5. On hearing his words, Śiva’s Gaṇas of great heroism and arrogance laughingly spoke to one another.

6. After conferring with one another, the infuriated Pārṣadas of Śiva replied to Gaṇeśa, the doorkeeper.

Śiva’s Gaṇas said:—

7. “Listen. We are the excellent Gaṇas of Śiva. We are his doorkeepers. We have come here to throw you out at the bidding of lord Śiva.

8. Considering you too, as one of the Gaṇas, we are not going to kill you. Otherwise you would have been killed. Better stay away yourself. Why do you court death?”

Brahmā said:—

9. Though warned thus, Gaṇeśa, the son of Pārvatī, stood fearless. He did not leave his post at the door. He rebuked Śiva’s Gaṇas.

10. After hearing his words, the Gaṇas of Śiva went back and informed Śiva about his stand.

11. O sage, on hearing their words, lord Śiva of wonderful divine sports, following the worldly conventions rebuked his Gaṇas.

Lord Śiva said:—

12. “Who is this fellow? What does he say? He is standing there haughtily as though he is our enemy. What will that wicked knave do? Certainly he wants to die.

13. Why? Are you dastardly eunuchs to stand here helplessly and complain to me about him. Let this new doorkeeper be thrown out.”

Brahmā said:—

14. Thus commanded by lord Śiva of wonderful sports the Gaṇas returned to the place and spoke to the doorkeeper.

Śiva’s Gaṇas said:—

15. O gatekeeper, who are you standing here? Why have you been stationed here? Why don’t you care for us. How can you thus remain alive?

16. We are here the duly appointed doorkeepers. What are you saying? A jackal sitting on a lion’s seat wishes for happiness.

17. O fool, you will roar only as long as you do not feel the brunt of our attack. Erelong you will fall by feeling the same.”

18. Thus taunted by them, Gaṇeśa became furious and took the staff with his hands and struck the Gaṇas even as they continued to speak harsh words.

19. Then the fearless Gaṇeśa, son of Pārvatī rebuked the heroic Gaṇas of Śiva and spoke as follows:—

The son of Pārvatī said:—

20. “Get away. Get away. Or I shall give you a foretaste of my fierce valour. You will be the laughing-stock of all.”

21. On hearing these words of Geṇeśa, the Gaṇas of Śiva spoke to one another.

Śiva’s Gaṇas said:—

22. What shall be done? Where shall we go? Why shall we not act? Bounds of decency are observed by us. He would not have acted thus, otherwise.

Brahmā said:—

23. Then the Gaṇas of Śiva went to Śiva who was standing at the distance of a Krośa from Kailāsa and spoke to him.

24. Śiva ridiculed them all. The trident-armed great lord of fierce temperament spoke to his Gaṇas who professed to be heroes.

Śiva said:—

25. “Hello, Gaṇas, impotent wretches, you profess to be heroic but are never so. You are unfit to stand before me and speak. If he is only taunted he will speak in similar tone again.

26. Go and beat him. Some one among you may be competent to do so. Why should I speak more? He must be driven away.”

Brahmā said:—

27. O great sage, when rebuked thus by lord Śiva, the excellent Gaṇas went back and spoke to him.

Śiva’s Gaṇas said:—

28. Hello you boy there, listen. Why do you speak so arrogantly? You go away from here. If not, your death is certain.

Brahmā said:—

29. On hearing the words of Śiva’s servants the son of Pārvatī became unhappy and thought “What shall I do?”

30. In the meantime, the goddess heard the noise of this wrangle between the Gaṇas and the doorkeeper, then looked at her friend and spoke. “Go and see.”

31. The friend came to the door and saw them for a moment. She understood the whole matter. She was delighted and returned to Pārvatī.

32. O sage, coming back she reported the matter to Pārvatī as it had occurred.

The friend said:—

33. O great Goddess, the heroic Gaṇas of Śiva arc taunting and rebuking our own Gaṇa who is standing at the door.

34. How do these Gaṇas and Śiva enter your apartment suddenly without looking to your convenience? This is not good for you.

35. Even after undergoing the misery of rebuke etc. he, our Gaṇa, has done well in not allowing anyone in.

36. What is more? They are arguing too. When the argument has started, they cannot come in happily.

37. Now that they have started the argument let them conquer him and enter victoriously. Not otherwise, my dear friend.

38. When this man belonging to us is taunted, it amounts to our being taunted. Hence, O gentle lady, you shall not abandon your prestige of high order.

39. Śiva always squeezes you like a crab, O Satī. What will he do now? His pride will take a favourable turn for us.

Brahmā said:—

40. Alas, being subservient to Śiva’s wish, Pārvatī stood there for a moment.

41. Then taking up a haughty mood she spoke to herself.

Pārvatī said:—

42. “Alas, he did not wait for a moment. Why should he force his way in? What shall be done now? Or shall I adopt a humble attitude.

43. What is to happen happens. What is done cannot be altered?” After saying this, Pārvatī sent her again lovingly.

44. The friend came to the door and told Gaṇeśa what Pārvatī had said with affection.

The friend said:—

45. O gentle sir, well done. Let them not enter forcibly. What are these Gaṇas before you? Can they win a person like you?

46. Whether good or bad let your duty be done. If you are conquered there will be no further enmity at all.

Brahmā said:—

47. On hearing the words of the friend and his mother Gaṇeśvara became highly delighted, strengthened and lifted up.

48. Girting up his loins, tying his turban firmly and clapping his calves and thighs, he spoke fearlessly to all the Gaṇas.

Gaṇeśa said:—

49. I am the son of Pārvatī. You are the Gaṇas of Śiva. Both of us are thus equal. Let your duty be done, now.

50. You are all doorkeepers. How is it that I am not? You are standing there and I am standing here. This is certain.

51. When it is certain that you are standing here, you must carry out the directions of Śiva.

52. O heroes, now I have to carry out the orders of Pārvatī faithfully. I have decided what is proper.

53. Hence, O Gaṇas of Śiva, you shall listen with attention. You shall not enter the apartment either forcibly or humbly.

Brahmā said:—

54. The Gaṇas when decisively told by Gaṇeśa became ashamed. They went to Śiva. After bowing to him they stood in front of him.

55. Then they acquainted him with that news of wonderful nature. They joined their palms, stooped their shoulders, eulogised Śiva and stood in front of him.

56. On hearing the detailed news mentioned by his Gaṇas, Śiva replied following the worldly conventions.

Śiva said:—

57. O Gaṇas, hear you all. A battle may not be a proper course. You are all my own. He is Pārvatī’s Gaṇa.

58. But if we are going to be humble, there is likely to be a rumour: “Śiva is subservient to his wife.” O Gaṇas, this is certainly derogatory to me.

59. The policy of meeting an action with another (Tit for tat) is a weighty one. That single-handed Gaṇa is a mere boy. What valour can be expected of him?

60. O Gaṇas, you are all experts in warfare and reputed to be so in the world. You are my own men. How can you forsake war and demean yourselves?

61. How can a woman be obdurate especially with her husband? Pārvatī will certainly derive the fruit of what she has done.

62. Hence, my heroic men, listen to my words with attention. This war has to be fought by all means. Let what is in store happen.”

Brahmā said:—

63. O excellent sage, O brahmin, after saying thus, Śiva an adept in various divine sports became silent observing the ways of the world.