The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “gods pray” 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.

Samtkumāra said:—

1. On hearing the words of the gods and others, Śiva accepted the proposal. The lord is worthy of being sought refuge and is also favourably disposed to his devotees.

2. O sage, in the meantime the goddess Pārvatī arrived there with the two sons where Śiva was in conversation with the gods.

3. On seeing Pārvatī come there, Viṣṇu and others were surprised but without agitation they bowed to her in great humility.

4. O sage, they shouted cries of “Victory”. But unable to know the cause of her arrival, they remained silent.

5. On being eulogised by the gods, the goddess Pārvatī full of wonderful enthusiasm spoke lovingly to her lord, an expert in different kinds of sports.

The goddess said:—

6. “O lord, see the sportive six-faced[1] Kārttikeya, refulgent like the sun our excellent son embellished by excellent ornaments.”

Sanatkumāra said:—

7. Thus addressed by the mother of the worlds with pleasing words, Lord Śiva was never satiated in drinking nectar of the beauty of Skanda’s face.

8. He recollected the Asuras who had come (to fight and) pounded by his splendrous valour. Embracing and kissing Skanda on the head lord Śiva rejoiced much.

9. Then the mother of the universe stayed there for a while and held conversation with the lord. Afterwards the goddess, an expert in different kinds of sports stood up.

10. Then Śiva of good sports entered his apartment accompanied by Nandin and Pārvatī. He was then saluted by all the gods.

11. O sage, all the gods dispirited and worried stood on either side of the doorway of mansion of Śiva, the intelligent lord of the gods.

12. They began to mutter “What shall we do? Where shall we go? Who will make us happy? Everything has happened with a “but.” We are doomed.”

13. Indra and others looked at one another’s face. They were much agitated. They spoke in faltering words. They cursed their fate.

14. Some gods said “We are sinners.” Others said “We are unfortunate.” Still others said “The great Asuras are very fortunate.”

15. In the meantime on hearing their multifarious voices, Kumbhodara[2] of excessive refulgence beat the gods with a baton.

16. The terrified gods shouting “Hā Hā” fled from there. The sages faltered and fell on the ground. There was excitement and great confusion.

17. Unnerved and languid, Indra crawled on his knees. The celestial sages dropped to the ground.

18. The excessively agitated sages and gods gathered together and approached Brahmā and Viṣṇu of friendly tamperament.

19. The sages Kaśyapa and others said to Viṣṇu who removes the fear of all the worlds “O this is due to our ill luck.”

20. The other brahmins said—“Our task is not completed due to our ill luck.” Still others who were greatly surprised said—“How did this obstacle happen?”

21. O sage, on hearing these words of Kaśyapa and others, Viṣṇu consoled the sages and the gods and spoke thus.

Viṣṇu said:—

22. O gods, O sages, you listen to my words with attention. Why are you distressed? Eschew your sorrows.

23. O gods ponder over this. This propitiation of the great is not an easy task. It is heard that there is great difficulty at first in propitiating the great. The lord will certainly be pleased after coming to know of your resolute nature.

24. Let this be pondered over well by all of you, how can lord Śiva, the presiding deity of the Gaṇas be made favourable immediately.

25-26. O scholars, the following mantra shall be repeated—Utter the syllable Oṃkāra first, then repeat the word Namaḥ (obeisance). Then say Śivāya (to Śiva). Then repeat “Śubham” twice and “Kuru” twice. Afterwards say “Śivāya Namaḥ Om.”[3]

27. If you repeat this mantra a crore times thinking of Śiva, Śiva will carry out the task.

28. O sage, when this was mentioned by Viṣṇu the powerful, the gods began to propitiate Śiva.

29. For the fulfilment of the task of the gods and the sages, Viṣṇu and Brahmā, with minds fixed in Śiva performed the Japa.

30. O excellent sage, they stood there steady and repeated the mantra a crore times uttering the name “Śiva” several times.

31. In the meantime Śiva came into direct view assuming his real form and spoke.

Lord Śiva said:—

32. O Viṣṇu, O Brahmā, O gods and O sages of auspicious rites, I am delighted by your Japa. Speak out the desired boon.

The gods said:—

33. O Śiva, lord of the gods, lord of the universe, if you are pleased, realising that the gods are unnerved, let the Tripuras be destroyed.

34. O lord Śiva, O merciful one, O kinsman of the distressed, save us. We, gods, have always been saved from adversities by you alone.

Sanatkumāra said:—

35. O brahmin, on hearing these words uttered by them including Viṣṇu and Brahmā, lord Śiva laughed to himself and spoke again.

Lord Śiva said:—

36. Viṣṇu, O Brahmā, O gods, O sages all of you listen to my words with attention considering that the three cities have been already destroyed.

37. Hence make arrangements for the chariot, charioteer, divine bow and excellent arrows as agreed to by you all. Do not delay.

38. O Brahmā, O Viṣṇu, you are the lord of the three worlds, to be sure. Hence provide me with the paraphernalia of an emperor.

39. You too had been entrusted with the tasks of creation and sustenance. You shall make all efforts, considering the destruction of the three cities an act of help to the gods.

40. This mantra is highly meritorious and auspicious. It generates the pleasure of the gods. It yields both worlds by enjoyment and salvation, confers cherished desires and brings about the happiness of the devotees of Śiva.

41. It is conducive to blessedness, fame, longevity to those who seek heaven. Those who are free from desires derive the benefit of salvation.

42. The man who repeats this mantra in purity, hears or narrates this to anyone, shall attain all desires.

Sanatkumāra said:—

43. On hearing these words of Śiva, the great Ātman, the gods derived more pleasure than Viṣṇu and Brahmā.

44. At his bidding, Viśvakarman made a splendid chariot of good features, consisting of all the gods, for the welfare of the people.

Footnotes and references:


Kārttikeya is called a six-faced deity (ṣaṇmukha) for according to the legend Kārttikeya when born was fostered by the six Kṛttikās who offered their six breasts to him, so he became six-headed.


Kālidāsa mentions Kumbhodara as an attendant of Śiva. Cf. Raghu. ii. 35.


The formula runs as follows: “oṃ namaḥ śivāya śubhaṃ śubhaṃ kuru kuru śivāya namaḥ oṃ | ”