The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “prayer of the gods” 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 Prayer of the gods

Vyāsa said:—

1. O son of Brahmā, of great intellect, and most eloquent, please narrate. What happened after that? How did the gods become happy?

Brahmā said:—

2. On hearing the words of Vyāsa of immeasurable intellect, Sanatkumāra spoke after remembering the lotus-like feet of Śiva.

Sanatkumāra said:—

3. Indra and other gods scorched by their brilliance and distressed consulted one another and sought refuge in Brahmā.

4. After bowing to and circumambulating Brahmā, they narrated their grievances to him after awaiting the proper opportunity.

The gods said:—

5. O Brahmā, the heaven-dwellers have been subjected to great distress by Maya the virtual ruler of the three cities, accompanied by the sons of Tāraka.

6. Hence, O Brahmā, we are distressed and we seek refuge in you. Please plan out the way of their annihilation whereby we can be happy.

Sanatkumāra said:—

7. Requested thus by the gods, Brahmā, the creator of the worlds laughed and replied to them all who were utterly frightened of Maya.

Brahmā said:—

8. O gods, I tell you, do not be afraid at all of those Asuras. Śiva will hit upon a good way of killing them.

9. The Asuras have flourished due to my favour. They do not deserve destruction at my hands. Their merit is bound to increase in the three cities [1] again.

10. All of you gods including Indra pray to Śiva. If the lord of all is pleased, he will carry out your task.

Sanatkumāra said:—

11. On hearing the words of Brahmā, the distressed gods including Indra went to the place where the bull-bannered god Śiva was staying.

12. Devoutly bowing to Śiva, the lord of the gods, with palms joined in reverence, all of them bent their shoulders and eulogised Śiva, the benefactor of the worlds.

The gods said:—

13. Obeisance to the gold-wombed lord, the creator of everything. Obeisance to Thee, the sustainer, the omnipresent and the omnipotent.

14. Obeisance to Thee of destroyer’s form, the annihilator of living beings. Obeisance to Thee devoid of attributes, and of immeasurable splendour.

15. Obeisance to Thee devoid of states, possessed of splendour and free from aberrations; obeisance to Thee of the soul of Great Elements; obeisance to the unsullied, the great Ātman.

16. Obeisance to Thee, the lord of all beings, the sustainer of great burden, the remover of thirst, to Thee whose form is devoid of enmity, to Thee of excessive splendour.

17. Obeisance to Thee, the destroyer of the great forest in the form of great Asuras, like conflagration. Obeisance to the Trident-bearing lord who acts as the axe for the trees of Asuras.

18. O great lord, obeisance to Thee, the destroyer of great Asuras; obeisance to Thee the lord of Pārvatī, O wielder of all weapons.

19. O lord of Pārvatī, Obeisance to Thee, O great soul, O great lord. Obeisance to Thee, the blue-necked Rudra and of the form of Rudra.

20. Obeisance to Thee, knowable through Vedānta; Obeisance to Thee who art beyond the paths. Obeisance to Thee of the form of attributes, possessing attributes and also devoid of them.

21. O great god, obeisance to Thee the delighter of the three worlds. Obeisance to Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Vāsudeva (these being your manifestations). Obeisance to Thee.

22. Obeisance to Thee, the lord Saṃkarṣaṇa. Obeisance to Thee the destroyer of Kaṃsa. Obeisance to Thee O Dāmodara, the pounder of Cāṇūra,180 the partaker of poison.

23. Obeisance to Thee, O lord, Hṛṣīkeśa, Acyuta, Mṛḍa, Śaṅkara, Adhokṣaja, enemy of the Asuras, Gaja and Kāma. Obeisance to you, O partaker of poison.

24. Obeisance to Thee, O lord Nārāyaṇa, devoted to Nārāyaṇa, of the form of Nārāyaṇa, oh! one born of Nārāyaṇa’s body.

25. Obeisance to Thee of all forms, the destroyer of great hells, destroyer of sins. Obeisance to you, O bull-vehicled god.

26. Obeisance to Thee of the form of time, moment etc. Obeisance to Thee who bestows strength on his devotees; obeisance to the multiformed; obeisance to the annihilator of the hosts of Asuras.

27. Obeisance to the lord, conducive to the welfare of brahmins and cows. Obeisance to the thousand-formed, obeisance to Thee of thousand organs.

28. O Śiva, obeisance to Thee of the form of virtue, to the Sattva, to the Ātman of Sattva. Obeisance to thee whose form is knowable through the Vedas. Obeisance to thee, the beloved of the Vedas.

29. Obeisance to Thee whose form is the Veda, obeisance to the reciter of the Vedas. Obeisance to Thee who traversest the path of good conduct and who art approachable through the path of good conduct.

30. Obeisance to Thee the glory-seated; to the Truth-

180. Cāṇūra was a wrestler in Kaṃsa’s service. He was slain by Kṛṣṇa.

ful, beloved of truth, to the truth. Obeisance to Thee know-able through the truth.

31. Obeisance to Thee possessed of magic-power, obeisance to the lord of magic; Obeisance to Thee (knowable through the Vedas), to Brahman, to the one born of Brahmā.

32. Obeisance to Thee, O lord, the penance, the bestower of the fruits of penance, obeisance to thee, worthy of eulogy, the eulogy, and to Thee whose mind is pleased with eulogy always.

33. Obeisance to Thee delighted with vedic conduct, to the one fond of praiseworthy conduct; to the one who has fourfold forms and the forms of aquatic and terrestrial beings.

34. O lord, the gods and all others, being excellent, are your excellences. Among the gods you are Indra; among the planets you are the sun.

35. Among the worlds you are Satyaloka. Among the rivers you are the celestial river Gaṅgā. Among the colours you are the white colour. Among the lakes you are the Mānasa lake.

36. Among the mountains you are the Himālaya mountain. Among the cows you are the Kāmadhenu1, Among the oceans you are the milk ocean. Among the metals you are gold.

37. Among the four castes you are the brahmin. O Śiva, among men you are the king. Among holy centres of salvation you are Kāśī. Among the sacred rivers you are the supreme sacred river.

38. Among all stones, you are the crystal, O great god, among the flowers you are the lotus; among mountains you are Himavat.

39. Among all activities you are the speech; among poets you are Bhārgava. Among birds you are the eight-legged Śarabha. Among beasts of prey you are the lion.

40. O bull-bannered deity, among rocks you are Śālagrāma; among the forms of worship you are Narmadā Liṅga.

41. Among animals, you are the bull Nandīśvara, O

lord Śiva. Among Vedic texts you are in the form of Upaniṣads; Among the sacrificers you are the cool-rayed moon.

42. Among the burning ones, you are the fire, among the devotees of Śiva, you are Viṣṇu, among Purāṇas you are Bharata; among the letters of the alphabet you are the letter Ma2.

43. Among the Bījamantras you are the Praṇava; among the terrible ones you are poison; among the pervading ones you are the firmament; among the Ātmans you are the supreme Ātman.

44. Among the sense-organs you are the mind; among the charitable gifts you are the gift of freedom from fear; among the sanctifying and life-giving agents you are considered the waters.

45. Among all acquisitions you are the acquisition of sons; among those with velocity you are the wind; among the routine sacred rites you are the Sandhyā worship.

46. Among sacrifices you are the horse-sacrifice. Among the Yugas you are the Kṛta yuga; among the asterisms you are Puṣya; among the Tithis you are Amāvāsyā.

47. Among the seasons you are the spring; among holy occasions you are the Saṃkrama; among grasses you are the Kuśa grass; among gross trees you are the Banyan tree.

48. Among the Yogas you are the Vyatīpāta; among creepers you are the Soma creeper; among intellectual activities you are the virtuous inclination, among intimate ones you are the wife.

49. Among the pure activities of the aspirant, O great lord, you are Prāṇāyāma; among all Jyotirliṅgas you are Viśveśvara.

50. Among all kindred beings you are Dharma. In all stages of life you are Sannyāsa. You are the supreme Liberation in all Vargas. Among Rudras you are Nīlalohita.

51. Among all Ādityas you are Vāsudeva; among the monkeys you are Hanumat; among the sacrifices you are Japayajña; among the weapon-bearers you are Rāma:

52. Among the Gandharvas you are Citraratha; among the Vasus you are certainly the fire; among the months you are the intercalary month; among the holy rites you are the Caturdaśī rite.

53. Among all lordly elephants you are Airāvata3; among all Siddhas you are Kapila; among all serpents you are Ananta, among all Pitṛs you are Aryaman.

54-55. You are Kāla (Time) among those who calculate; among Asuras you are Bali. O lord of gods, of what avail is a detailed narration? You preside over the entire universe and remain partially stationed within and partially without.

Sanatkumāra said:—

56-57. Eulogising thus the bull-bannered, the tridentbearing lord Śiva with various kinds of divine hymns, the gods replied thus relevant to the context. O sage, all of them including Indra and others were very much distressed. They were very shrewd in managing their selfish interests and so mentioned them to Śiva with stooping shoulders and palms joined in reverence.

The gods said:—

58. O lord Śiva, the gods including Indra have been defeated by the Asura accompanied by his brothers. O lord, all the gods have been defeated by the sons of Tāraka.

59. The three worlds have been brought under their sway. The excellent sages and the Siddhas have been destroyed. The entire universe has been exterminated by them.

60. The terrible Asuras take the entire share of the sacrificial benefits to themselves. They have initiated evil activities. They have prevented the sages from performing their virtuous rites.

61. Definitely the sons of Tāraka cannot be killed by any living being. Hence, O Śiva, they perform everything as they please.

62. Let some policy be laid down for the protection of the universe lest the terrible Asuras, the denizens of the three cities, should destroy the world.

Sanatkumāra said:—

63. On hearing these words of Indra and other heaven-dwellers who were expatiating on their distress, Śiva spoke in return.

Footnotes and references:


Tripura: See Note 173. P. 802