The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “detailed description of the chariot etc.” 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 8 - The detailed description of the chariot etc.

Vyāsa said:—

1. O Sanatkumāra, of good intellect, O omniscient one, O foremost among the devotees of Śiva, this wonderful story of lord Śiva has been narrated to us.

2. Now please mention the structure of the chariot[1] which consisted of all the gods and which had been made by the intelligent Viśvakarman.

Sūta said:—

3. On hearing these words of Vyāsa, Sanatkumāra the great sage remembered the lotus-like feet of Śiva and spoke thus.

Sanatkumāra said:—

4. O sage Vyāsa, of great intellect, listen to the description of the structure of the chariot etc which I shall give to the extent of my intellect after remembering the lotus-like feet of Śiva.

5. The divine chariot of lord Śiva consisting of all the worlds was built by Viśvakarman with devoted effort.

6. It was appreciated by all. It was golden in colour and all the elements had gone into its making. The right wheel was the sun and the left wheel was the moon.

7-8. The right wheel had twelve spokes. O great brahmin, the twelve Ādityas presided over them. The left wheel had sixteen spokes. O you of excellent rites, the sixteen spokes of the left side wheel consisted of the sixteen digits of the moon. All the asterism? embellished the left side.

9. The six seasons constituted the rims of the wheels of the chariot, O great Brahmin. The Puṣkara of the chariot was the sky. The inner side of the chariot was Mandara.

10. The rising and the setting mountains constituted the poleshafts. Mahāmeru was the support and the Keśara mountains the sharp sides.

11. The year constituted its velocity. The two Ayanas northern and southern constituted the junctions of the wheels and axles. The Muhūrtas constituted the joints and the Kalās the pins of the yoke.

12. The division of time Kāṣṭhā constituted the nose of the chariot and the Kṣaṇas the axle-shaft. The Nimeṣas constituted the bottom of the carriage and the minutest divisions of time constituted the poles.

13. The firmament constituted the fender of the chariot; Heaven and salvation the flag staffs; Abhṛamu (Abhramu?) and Kāmadhenu constituted its harrows at the end of the shafts.

14. The unmanifest principle formed their shaft and cosmic intellect the chariot’s reeds. The cosmic Ego cosmic corners and elements its strength.

15. O excellent sage, the cosmic sense-organs constituted the embellishments of this chariot on all sides. Faith was its movements.

16. The six Vedāṅgas were its ornaments. O great ones of good rites, the Purāṇas, Nyāya, Mīmāṃsā and Dharma Śāstras constituted the side trinkets.

17. The forceful and excellent mantras with their syllables and feet, of all characteristic features and the stages in life constituted the tinkling bells.

18. Ananta embellished with thousand hoods constituted its fittings. and the main and subsidiary quarters, the pedestals of the chariot.

19. The clouds Puṣkara and others constituted the gem-studded banners of glowing colours. The four oceans are remembered as the bullocks of the chariot.

20. Gaṅgā and other rivers shining in excellent female forms and decorated in all ornaments held the Cāmaras in their hands.

21. Taking up their places in the different parts of the chariot, they brightened it up. The seven courses of the wind Āvaha[2] etc. constituted the excellent steps of gold leading the chariot.

22. The Lokāloka mountain[3] formed its side steps. The lake mānasa etc. constituted its brilliant outer and oblique steps.

23. The Varṣa mountains constituted the cords and chains all round the chariot. All the residents of the region Tala constituted the bottem surface of the chariot.

24. Lord Brahmā was the charioteer, the gods were holders of the bridle. Praṇava the Vedic divinity constituted the long whip of Brahma.

25. The syllable A constituted the great umbrella, Mandara the side staff. The lord of mountains became his bow and the lord of serpents the bowstring.

26. Goddess Sarasvatī in the form of the Vedas constituted the bells of the bow. The brilliant Viṣṇu became the arrow and Agni the spear-head.

27. O sage, the four Vedas are said to be his horses. The remaining planets became their embellishments.

28. His army came up from water. The winds were his feathers, wings etc. Vyāsa and other sages were the drivers of the vehicle.

29. O great sage, why should I dilate. I shall succinctly say. Everything in the world found a place in the chariot.

30. At the bidding of Brahmā and Viṣṇu the chariot and its adjuncts were created bythe intelligent Viśvakarman.[4]

Footnotes and references:

1.

The present account of the cosmic chariot made for Śiva tallies with that in the Matsya Purāṇa (chapter 133).

2.

“āvaha, pravaha, saṃvaha, udvaha, vivaha, parivaha, parāvaha” are the seven bands of air assigned to the atmospheric region between bhūrloka and svarloka |

3.

It is a fabulous belt of mountains bounding the outermost of the seven seas and dividing the visible world from the regions of darkness H.M.

4.

On the construction of the Cosmic Chariot compare Matsya P. Ch. 133.