The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “fight between the gods and jalandhara” 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 15 - The fight between the gods and Jalandhara

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sanatkumāra said:—

1. Once the son of the ocean, the noble-hearted husband of Vṛndā, was seated along with his wife and the Asuras.

2. The brilliant Bhārgava came there joyously illuminating the ten quarters as the embodied brilliance.

3. On seeing the preceptor coming, the Asuras were delighted in their minds and bowed to him. The son of the ocean too respectfully bowed to him.

4. After bestowing his benediction on them, Bhārgava, the storehouse of splendour, sat on a beautiful seat. They too resumed their seats as before.

5. Then the heroic son of the ocean, Jalandhara, saw his Assembly and was delighted to observe that his sway was unmitigated.

6. Seeing the headless Rāhu[1] seated there, the son of the ocean, the emperor of the Asuras, immediately asked Bhārgava.

Jalandhara said:—

7. O lord, by whom was this done to Rāhu? By whom was his head cut? Please tell me, O preceptor, everything in detail as it had happened.

Sanatkumāra said:—

8. On hearing the words of the ocean’s son, Bhārgava remembered the lotus-like feet of Śiva and replied exactly as it had happened.

Bhārgava said:—

9. O Jalandhara, O great hero, O benefactor of the Asuras, listen to the account. I shall relate everything exactly as it had happened.

10. Once there was a strong hero Bali, the son of Virocana and great-grandson of Hiraṇyakaśipu. He was foremost among the virtuous.

11. The gods including Indra being defeated by him sought refuge in Viṣṇu. Eager to gain their ends they told him all details.

12. O dear, at his bidding, the gods, very clever in deception, made an alliance with the Asuras, to further their own interest.

13. All those gods, the assistants of Viṣṇu churned the ocean eagerly for the gain of nectar, along with the Asuras.

14. The enemies of the Asuras extracted jewels from the ocean. The gods seized the nectar and drank it deceitfully.

15. Then the gods including Indra increased in strength and prowess by the drinking of the nectar and harassed the Asuras with the assistance of Viṣṇu.

16. This Viṣṇu who is always a partisan of Indra, cut off the head of Rahu as he was drinking the nectar along with the gods.

Sanatkumāra said:—

17-18. Thus Bhargava narrated in detail the story of the headless Rahu, of the churning of the ocean pursued by the gods for the gain of nectar, of the removal of the jewels, of the drinking of the Amṛta by the gods and of the harassment to the Asuras.

19. Then on hearing about the churning of his father, the heroic son of the ocean, the valorous Jalandhara became furious and his eyes turned red with anger.

20. Then he called his excellent emissary Ghasmara and told him everything what the wise preceptor had said to him.

21. He then lovingly honoured the clever emissary in various ways, assured him of protection and sent him to Indra as his messenger.

22. Ghasmara, the intelligent emissary of Jalandhara, hastened to heaven[2] where all the gods were present.

23. After going there, the emissary entered the assembly of the gods.[3] With his head kept straight as a token of haughtiness he spoke to lord Indra.

Ghasmara said:—

24. Jalandhara, the son of the ocean, is the lord and emperor of all the Asuras. He is excessively heroic and valorous. He has the support and assistance of Bhargava.

25. I am his emissary. I have been sent by him. I have come to you here. My name is Ghasmara but I am not a devourer.

26. He is of exalted intellect. His behest has never been defied. He has defeated all the enemies of Asuras. Please listen to what he says.

Jalandhara said:—

27. “O base god, why was my father, the ocean, churned by you with the mountain? Why were all the jewels of my father taken away?

28. What you have done is not proper. Return all of them to me immediately. Pondering over this, come along with the gods and seek refuge in me.

29. Otherwise, O base god, you will have a great cause to fear. You will run the risk of the annihilation of your kingdom.”

Sanatkumāra said:—

30. On hearing the words of the messenger, Indra, the the lord of the gods, was bewildered. Remembering the previous incidents he was frightened as well as angry. He spoke to him thus.

Indra said:—

31. He gave shelter to the mountains who were terribly afraid of me. Others too, some of my enemies, the Asuras, were formerly saved by him.

32 It was due to this that I took away his jewels. Those who oppose me can never remain happy. I am telling you the truth.

33. Formerly the Asura Śaṅkha[4] the son of the ocean was stupid enough to be inimical to me. He was spared by me because he was associated with saintly men.

34. But when his predilection became sinful and he became violent towards saintly men, he was killed in the interior of the ocean by Viṣṇu, my younger brother.

35. Hence O messenger, go immediately and explain to the Asura, son of the ocean, our purpose for churning the ocean.”

Sanatkumāra said:—

36. Dismissed thus by Indra, the intelligent emissary Ghasmara hastened to the place where the heroic Jalandhara was present.

37. All the words thus spoken by Indra were narrated to the king of Asuras by the intelligent emissary.

38. On hearing it, the lips of the Asura throbbed with anger. Desirous of conquering the gods he exerted himself immediately.

39. In that enterprise of the lord of the Asuras, countless Asuras from all the quarters and the nether region took part and helped him.

40. Then the extremely heroic and valorous son of the ocean set forth with countless generals, Śumbha, Niśumbha and others.

41. Very soon, he reached the heaven along with his force. He blew his conch. All the heroic soldiers roared.

42. After going to heaven he stationed himself in Nandana. In the midst of all his forces he roared like a lion.

43. On seeing a vast army surrounding the city, the gods came out of Amarāvatī fully equipped with armour for the battle.

44-45. Then a battle between the armies of the gods and Asuras ensued. They rushed against one another with iron clubs, arrows, maces, axes and spears. They hit one another. Within a short time both the armies began to wade through streams of blood.

46. In that battle, the ground shone like the dusk with clouds scattered all round, for it was strewn with elephants, horses, chariots and foot-soldiers. Some were killed and others were being killed.

47. Bhārgava resuscitated the Asuras killed in the battle with the Vidyā of Amṛtajīvinī and drops of water infused with mantras.

48. The sage Aṅgiras[5] too resuscitated the gods in the battle with the divine herbs frequently brought from the mountain Droṇa.[6]

49. Jalandhara saw the gods restored to life again in the battle. He then spoke angrily to Bhārgava.

Jalandhara said:—

50. “The gods have been killed by me. How do they rise up again? The Vidyā of Sañjīvinī[7] has not been heard by me to exist elsewhere.”

Sanatkumāra said:—

51. On hearing these words of the son of the ocean, the delighted Bhārgava, the preceptor, replied to Jalandhara.

Bhārgava said:—

52. “Aṅgiras is bringing divine herbs from the mountain Droṇa and enlivening the gods. O dear, know my words to be true.

53. O dear, if you wish for victory listen to my auspicious suggestion. Immediately you shall uproot the mountain Droṇa with your arms and hurl it into the ocean.”

Sanatkumāra said:—

54. Thus addressed by his preceptor Bhārgava, the lord of the Asuras, hastened to the lofty mountain.

55. With his powerful arms, the Asura brought the mountain Droṇa and hurled it immediately into the ocean. There is nothing wonderful and mysterious in regard to the splendour of Śiva.

56. The great hero, the son of the ocean, took a vast army with him, came to the battle ground and began to kill the gods with various weapons.

57. On seeing the gods being killed Bṛhaspati went to the mountain Droṇa. Then he, the object of praise and worship by the gods, did not see the mountain there.

58. On realising that the mountain Droṇa had been removed by the Asuras, Bṛhaspati was terrified. He returned and said dejectedly.

Bṛhaspati said:—

59. “O gods, run away, all of you. There is no trace of the great mountain Droṇa. Certainly it has been destroyed by the Asura, the son of the ocean.

60. Jalandhara is a great Asura. He cannot be conquered since he is born of a part of Śiva. He will pound all the gods.

61. His power has been understood by me as he is self-born. O gods, all of you remember the act of offence to Śiva perpetrated by Indra.

Sanatkumāra said:—

62. On hearing these words uttered by the preceptor of the gods, they abandoned all hopes of victory. They became excessively terrified.

63. All the gods including Indra, struck by the king of the Asuras all round, lost courage and fled in all directions.

64. On seeing the gods routed, the Asura, Jalandhara, the son of the ocean, entered Amarāvatī[8] with sounds of victory from the conches and drums.

65. When the Asura entered the city, Indra and other gods entered the cavern of the golden mountain Meru and remained there. They had been extremely harrassed by the Asuras.

66. O sage, at the same time the Asura appointed Śumbha and other Asuras severally in the places of authority of Indra and others. He then went into the cavern of the golden mountain.

Footnotes and references:


The Asura Rāhu, son of Vipracitti and Siṃhikā, is known as the guardian of the south-west quarter. It is said that when the gods produced the Amṛta by churning the ocean, he disguised himself as a god and drank some of it. But he was detected by the gods and produced before Viṣṇu who cut off his head.


Triviṣṭapa or Tripiṣṭapa is the city of Indra supposed to be situated on Mount Meru.


Sudharmā is the hall of Indra. It is the unrivalled gem of princely courts. See H. M.


The Asura Śaṅkha was killed by Viṣṇu for his defiant and oppressive attitude.


Bṛhaspati is called Aṅgiras. In fact, Aṅgiras, born of the coals from the semen of Prajāpati was the father of Bṛhaspati.


It is a mythical mountain abounding in herbs efficacious for restoring the dead to life. It was thrown in the ocean by Jalandhara to prevent the gods using its herbs for the resuscitation of their dead. However there is a mountain of this name in Kumaon, 16 miles from Ranikhet in the district of Almora. See Bajpai. G. E.


Amṛtajīvinī was a secret lore that restored the dead to life. This was the exclusive possession of Bhārgava (Śukra), the preceptor of the Asuras.


It is the mythical capital of Indra’s heaven, situated on the golden mount Meru.

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