The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “gods go back to their abodes” 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 12 - The Gods go back to their abodes

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sanatkumāra said:—

1. In the meantime the Asura Maya who was not burnt due to the strength of grace, came there on seeing Śiva delighted.

2. With great delight he bowed to Śiva and other gods. With palms joined in reverence and with stooping shoulders he bowed to Śiva again.

3. Then he got up. Maya the foremost among the Asuras, with his mind full of devotion and voice choked with emotions of love he eulogised facing Śiva.

Maya said:—

4. O great lord, lord of the Gods and favourably disposed to your devotees, O Śiva, you are in the form of the wish-yielding Kalpa tree and devoid of special leaning to any side.

5. Obeisance to you O splendour-formed, obeisance to you omniformed; obeisance to you, O sanctified soul; obeisance to you, O holy one.

6. Obeisance to you of variegated forms; to you, the eternal one; obeisance to you who extend beyond all forms. Obeisance to you of divine forms, shapes, and features.

7. Obeisance to the destroyer of the distress of those who bow to you; obeisance to the welfare-hearted; to the creator, sustainer and annihilator of the three worlds.

8. O Śiva, O consort of Pārvatī, obeisance to you who are accessible through devotion of the devotees; obeisance to the compassionate and the bestower of the good fruits of penance.

9. O great lord, fond of eulogy, I know not how to eulogise you. O lord of all, be pleased. Save me who have sought refuge in you.”

Sanatkumāra said:—

10. On hearing this eulogy of Maya, O excellent brahmin, lord Śiva, was delighted and he spoke to Maya eagerly.

Śiva said:—

11. O Maya, I am delighted. O excellent Asura speak out the boon you wish to have. There is no doubt. I shall grant you what you desire.

Sanatkumāra said:—

12. On hearing the auspicious words of Śiva, Maya the foremost among the Asuras spoke after bowing to the lord with stooping shoulders and palms joined in reverence.

Maya said:—

13. “O great lord, lord of the Gods, if you are delighted and if I deserve the grant of a boon please grant me parmanent devotion to you.

14. O supreme lord, grant me comradeship with your devotees for ever, compassion towards the distressed and indifference towards the wicked living beings.

15. O lord Śiva, let there be no demonaic instinct in me at any time. O lord, let me be fearless for ever engrossed in your auspicious worship.”

Sanatkumāra said:—

16. On being thus requested, Śiva the great lord, who is favourably disposed to his devotees and was in a delightful mood replied to Maya.

Lord Śiva said:—

17. O excellent Asuras you are my devotees and are blessed. You are free from aberrations. All the boons desired by you are granted now.

18. At my bidding, you go to the region Vitala,[1] more beautiful than heaven. Go in the company of your family and kinsmen.

19. You stay there without fear. Be devout always. At my bidding you will never have demonaic instinct.

Sanatkumāra said:—

20. Receiving this behest of Śiva, the great soul with bowing head and paying homage to him and to the gods he went to Vitala.

21. In the meantime those heretics of tonsured heads came there, knelt before Viṣṇu, Brahmā and others and spoke.

22. O gods, where shall we go? What shall we do now? We are ready to carry out your behests. Please command us quickly.

23. O Viṣṇu, O Brahmā, O gods, wicked deeds have been performed by us. We have destroyed the devotion to Śiva of all the Asuras who were great devotees of Śiva.

24. We will have to stay in hell for a countless Kalpas. Certainly there is no redemption for us that have offended devotees of Śiva.

25. But it was in accordance with your desire that this wicked deed was perpetrated. Please tell us the mode of atoning for the same. We have sought refuge in you.

Sanatkumāra said:—

26. On hearing their words Viṣṇu, Brahmā and other gods spoke to the tonsured-heads who stood in front with joined palms.

Viṣṇu and others said:—

27. “O tonsured ones, you need not be afraid at all. These excellent activities have taken place at the bidding of Śiva.

28. Since you are the servants of Śiva and have carried out the activities conducive to the welfare of the gods and the sages, no mishap shall ever befall you bringing you to distress.

29. Śiva performs deeds conducive to the welfare of the gods and the sages. He is pleased with those who work for the welfare of the gods and sages. No mishap befalls those who work for the welfare of the gods and sages.

30. From now onwards in the Kali age those who follow this cult will be faced with disastrous results. We tell you the truth. There is no doubt about it.

31. O brave tonsured heads, till the advent of the Kali age, you shall stay incognito in the desert region.[2] That is my behest.

32. When the Kali age begins, you can propagate your cult. In the Kali age deluded fools will follow your cult.

33. Thus bidden by the great gods, O great sage, the tonsured heads bowed to them and went to their allotted abode.

34-35. Then lord Śiva, the great Yogin after burning the residents of the three cities felt contented. He was duly worshipped by Brahmā and others. Then the lord, after completing the task of the gods, vanished from the scene accompanied by his Gaṇas, goddess Pārvatī and the sons.

36. When lord Śiva had vanished with his followers, the fortress too vanished along with the bow, arrows, chariot and other things.

37-38. Then Brahmā, Viṣṇu, the gods, sages, Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Nāgas, serpents, celestial damsels and the delighted men went to their abodes praising the glory of Śiva. After reaching their abodes they were highly delighted.

39. Thus the exalted narrative of the moon-crested lord indicative of the annihilation of Tripuras coupled with the great divine sports has been narrated to you.

40. It is conducive to wealth, fame, and longevity. It increases prosperity and possession of food-grains. It yields heavenly pleasure and salvation. What else do you wish to hear?

41. He who reads and hears the exalted narrative will enjoy all pleasures here and attain salvation hereafter.

Footnotes and references:


This is the second of the seven regions descending from the earth. Cf. Note 210 P. 247.


The desert (Maru) lying to the north-west of Gujarat and to the north of Dvārakā is also called the Thar or Rājaputānā desert. It includes a portion of Mārwar and Jodhpur area also. It is said to be famous for its camels. See Sircar ‘Studies in the Geography of Ancient and Medieval India’ (D. C. Sarkar) Cf.

gurjarapūrvabhārāttu dvārakā yasya dakṣiṇe |
mahadeśo maheśāni! uṣṭrotpattiparāyaṇaḥ ||
śaktisaṅgamatantra 7.19.

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