The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “head of ganesha is chopped off during the battle” 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 16 - The head of Gaṇeśa is chopped off during the battle

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Brahmā said:—

1. O Nārada, on hearing your words, the great lord who grants benediction to his devotees became desirous of fighting with the boy.

2. He called Viṣṇu and consulted him. Then with a great army and the gods, He, the three-eyed lord, stood face to face with him.

3. After remembering the lotuslike feet of Śiva, the gods possessing great strength, kindly glanced at by Śiva and highly jubilant, fought with him.

4. Viṣṇu of great strength, valour and skill and possessing great divine weapons and Śiva’s form fought with him.

5. Gaṇeśa hit all the chief gods with his staff. He hit Viṣṇu too, all of a sudden. The hero had been conferred great strength by the Śaktis.

6. O sage, all the gods including Viṣṇu were hit by him with the stick. They were turned back with their strength sapped.

7. O sage, after fighting for a long time along with the army and seeing him terrific, even Śiva was greatly surprised.

8. Thinking within himself “He has to be killed only by deception and not otherwise” he stayed in the midst of the army.

9-10. When lord Śiva who though devoid of attributes had assumed the attributive form was seen in the battle, when Viṣṇu too had come thither, the gods and Gaṇas of Śiva were highly delighted. They joined together and became jubilant.

11. Then Gaṇeśa the heroic son of Śakti following the course of heroes, at first worshipped (i.e struck) Viṣṇu with his staff, Viṣṇu who confers happiness to all.

12-13. “I shall cause him delusion. Then let him be killed by you, O lord. Without deception he cannot be killed. He is of Tāmasika nature and inaccessible.” Thinking thus and consulting Śiva, Viṣṇu secured Śiva’s permission and was engaged in the activities of delusion.

14. O sage, on seeing Viṣṇu in that manner, the two Śaktis handed over their power to Gaṇeśa and became submerged.

15. When the two Śaktis became submerged, Gaṇeśa with more strength infused in him hurled the iron club in the place where Viṣṇu stood.

16. Viṣṇu strenuously dodged the same after remembering Śiva, the great lord, favourably disposed towards His devotees.

17. Seeing his face on a side, the infuriated Śiva took up his trident with a desire to fight and came there.

18. Pārvatī’s son of great strength and heroism, saw Śiva arrived there with desire to fight him to a finish, the great lord with the trident in his hand.

19. Gaṇeśa, the great hero, who had been rendered more powerful by Pārvatī and the Śaktis remembered the lotuslike feet of his mother and struck him in his hand with his Śakti.

20. Thereupon the trident fell from the hand of Śiva of supreme soul. Seeing this, Śiva the source of great enjoyment and protection took up his bow Pināka.

21. Gaṇeśa felled that to the ground by means of his iron club. Five of his hands too were struck. He took up the trident with the other five hands.

22. “Alas, this has been more distressing even to me. What may not happen to the Gaṇas? Śiva who followed the worldly conventions cried out like this.

23. In the meantime the heroic Gaṇeśa endowed with the surplus power bestowed by the Śaktis struck the gods and the Gaṇas with his iron club.

24. The gods and the Gaṇas smothered by that wonderful striker with the iron club went away to the ten directions. None of them remained in the battlefield.

25-27. On seeing Gaṇeśa, Viṣṇu said—“He is blessed. He is a great hero of great strength. He is valorous and fond of battle. Many gods, Danavas, Daityas, Yakṣas, Gandharvas, and Rakṣasas I have seen. In the entire extent of the three worlds, none of them can equal Gaṇeśa in regard to brilliance, form, features, valour and other qualities.”

28. Gaṇeśa, son of the Śaktis whirled the iron club and hurled it at Viṣṇu even as he was saying so.

29. After remembering the lotus-like feet of Śiva, Viṣṇu took up his discus and split the iron club by means of discus.

30. Gaṇeśa hurled the piece of iron club at Viṣṇu which was caught by the bird Garuḍa and rendered futile.

31. Thus for a long time the two heroes Viṣṇu and Gaṇeśa fought with each other.

32. Again the foremost among heroes, the son of Pārvatī took up his staff of unrivalled power remembering Śiva and struck Viṣṇu with it.

33. Struck with that unbearable blow he fell on the ground. But he got up, quickly and fought with Pārvatī’s son.

34. Securing this opportunity, the Trident-bearing deity came there and cut off his head with his trident.

35. O Nārada, when the head of Gaṇeśa was cut off, the armies of the gods and the Gaṇas stood still.

36. You, Nārada, then came and acquainted Pārvatī with the matter—“O proud woman, listen. You shall not cast off your pride and prestige.”

37. O Nārada, saying this, you, fond of quarrels, vanished from there. You are the unchanging sage and a follower of the inclinations of Śiva.

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