The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “tripuras are fascinated” 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 5 - The Tripuras are fascinated

Vyāsa said:—

1. When the ruler of the Asuras was initiated after being deluded by the deceptive sage expert in the magic art what did the sage say? What did the ruler of the Asuras do?

Sanatkumāra said:—

2. After offering him initiation, the ascetic Arihan served by his disciples, Nārada and others, spoke to the ruler of the Asuras.

Arihan said:—

3. O ruler of the Asuras, listen to my statement, pregnant with wisdom. It is the essence of the Vedānta and bears high esoteric importance.

4. The entire universe is eternal. It has no creator nor it is an object of creation. It evolves itself and gets annihilated by itself.

5. There are many bodies from Brahmā down to a blade of grass. They themselves are the gods for them. There is no other God.

6. What we mean by Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra are only the names of embodied beings just like my name Arihan etc.

7. Just as our bodies perish when their time arrives, so also the bodies of all beings from Brahmā to a mosquito perish when their time arrives.

8. When we consider, none of these bodies is superior to any other since in respect of taking food, copulation, sleep and fear these are invariably the same everywhere.

9. Taking in water and foodstuffs to the required quantity, all living beings derive a kindred satisfaction, neither more nor less.

10. After drinking water we are gladly relieved of thirst. Others too are equally relieved. There is no deviation this way or that.

11. There may be a thousand damsels of exquisite beauty and comely features. But only one of them can be used at a time for the sexual intercourse.

12. Let there be hundreds of horses, of different varieties. But for the purpose of riding only one can be used on one occasion.

13. The pleasure that one derives in that sleep on a cushioned couch is the same that one derives by sleeping on the bare ground.

14. Just as we, the embodied beings, are afraid of death so also the bodies from Brahmā to the worm are afraid of death.

15. If we analyse with a keen intellect, all the embodied being are equal. After coming to this conclusion it does not behove anyone to injure anyone else.

16. There is no other virtue equal to the mercy shown to living beings. Hence all men shall strenuously practise acts of mercy to living beings.

17. If a single living being is protected it amounts to the protection of the three worlds. If that is killed it amounts to the killing of all others. Hence it is our duty to protect and abstain from killing others.

18. Non-violence is the greatest virtue. Affliction of others is a great sin. Salvation is defined as non-dependence on others. Eating the food of our choice is heavenly bliss.

19. This has been mentioned by the earlier sages with good justification to be sure. Hence no violence should be indulged in by men who are afraid of hell.

20. There is no sin equal to violence in the three worlds, consisting of the mobile and immobile. A person who afflicts others violently goes to hell. A non-violent man goes to heaven.

21. There are many kinds of charitable gifts. Of what avail are these which give very insignificant results. There is no other gift equal to that of protection.

22. Four types of gifts have been mentioned by the great sages for the welfare of the people here and hereafter as a result of discussions and deliberations of various sacred texts.

23. Protection shall be granted to the frightened, medicine to the sick, learning to the student and food to the hungry.

24. All sorts of charitable gifts recommended by the sages do not merit even a sixteenth part of the gift of protection to a living being.

25. The strength that one derives by the use of gems mantras, and herbs is of inconceivable influence. But it is practised strenuously only for earning money.

26. The hoarding and amassing of vast wealth is useful only for the propitiation of twelve organs of senses. Of what avail is the propitiation of other things?

2 7. The twelve organs of senses are the five organs of activity and the five organs of knowledge together with the mind and intellect.

28. Living beings have heaven and bell here itself and not anywhere else. Happiness is heaven and misery is hell.

29. If the body is cast off in the midst of enjoyment thati s the greatest liberation conceived by the philosophers.

30. When pain comes to an end along with its impressions, If ignorance too dies away, it is conceived as the greatest salvation by the philosophers.

31. Supporters and exponents of the Vedas accept this as an authoritative Vedic text that no living being shall be injured. Violence is not justifiable.

32. The Vedic text encouraging slaughter of animals cannot be held authoritative by the learned. To say that violence is allowed in Agniṣṭoma is an erroneous view of the wicked.

33. It is surprising that heaven is sought by cutting off trees, slaughtering animals, making a muddy mess with blood and by burning gingelly seeds and ghee.

34. Narrating his opinions to the leader of the Tripuras, the ascetic addressed the citizens with great zeal.

35. He referred to things which gave credence, being visible, which brought happiness to the body, which are indicated in Buddhistic theology and which are consistent with the Vedic passages.

36. It is said in the Vedas that Bliss is an aspect of the Brahman. That shall be taken as it is. It is false to bring in various alternatives.

37. One shall seek and enjoy happiness as long as the body is hale and hearty, as long as the sense-organs are not impaired and as long as the old age is far off.

38. When there is sickness, impairment of the sense-organs and old age how can one derive happiness? Hence those who seek happiness shall be prepared to give away even the body.

39. The Earth is burdened by those who are not ready to please and satisfy the suppliant. It is not burdened by oceans, mountains and trees.

40. The body is ready to go in a trice, and hoarded things are attended with the risk of dwindling down. Realising this a sensible man shall see to the pleasure of his body.

41. It is mentioned in the Vedas that this body is going to constitute the breakfast for dogs, crows and worms. The body has its ultimate end in being reduced to ashes.

42. It is unnecessary to divide the people into different castes. When all are men who is superior and who is inferior?

43. Old men say that creation began with Brahmā. He begot two sons the famous Dakṣa and Marīci.

44. Kaśyapa, the son of Marīci married thirteen of the sweet-eyed daughters of Dakṣa, they say, in accordance with righteous path.

45. But people of modern times whose intelligence and valour are but a modicum unnecessarily wrangle over the fact whether this is proper or improper.

46. Some of the ancestors thought that the four castes are born of mouth, arms, thighs etc. of Brahmā.[1] But when we consider, this does not fit in properly.

47. How can sons born of the same body or from the same body be of four different castes?

48. Hence the divisions of castes and outcastes do not appear to be sound. Hence no difference between man and man should be entertained.

Sanatkumāra said:—

49. O sage, addressing the lord of the Asuras and the citizens thus, the sage with his disciples spoiled the Vedic rites in a determined manner.

50. He then criticised the womanly virtues of chastity and manly virtues of continence etc.

51. Similarly he attacked and repudiated the divine rites, Śrāddhika rites, sacrificial rites and holy observances and festivals, pilgrimages and anniversaries.

52. Worship of Śiva, propitiation of his phallic form, adoration of Viṣṇu, Sun, Gaṇeśa and other deities in accordance with the sacred texts were repudiated by him.

53. The heretic sage, an expert in wielding magic art, foremost among the deceptive, criticised the ceremonial ablutions and charitable gifts that are made on auspicious occasions.

54. O foremost among brahmins, why shall I dilate upon this topic? Suffice it to say that in the three cities every type of Vedic rites was completely stopped by that deceptive heretic sage.

55. The women of the three cities who were hitherto devotedly attached to their husbands were deluded and misguided and they abandoned their noble inclinations to serve their husbands.

56. The fascinated men practised rites of seduction and winning over and made their artifices fruitful in gaining other men’s wives.

57. The attendant maids in the haremss, the princes, the citizens and the ladies were perfectly enchanted by him.

58. Thus when the citizens became averse to virtuous rites and actions, evil reigned supreme.

59. At the bidding of lord Viṣṇu, his magic art and evil fortune visited the three cities.

60. The glory that they had acquired by the boon of Brahmā, the lord of the gods, went out forsaking them, at the behest of Brahmā.

61. Blessing them with the utter delusion of their intellect, perpetrated by the illusion of Viṣṇu, Nārada became contented.

62. Though Nārada and the heretic sage had been in that guise for long, they were not defiled, thanks to the benediction of lord Śiva.

63. As Śiva willed, O sage, the capacity of the ruler of the Asuras became stunted and thwarted as also of his brothers and Maya.

Footnotes and references:


It refers to the Vedic and Puranic classification of society into lour Varṇas, viz. Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya, Vaiśya and Śūdra, said to have emanated from the mouth, arms, thighs and feet of the creator.