The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “vanishing of vishnu’s delusion” 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 26 - The Vanishing of Viṣṇu’s delusion

Viṣṇu said:—

1. O son of Brahmā, obeisance be to you. O excellent devotee of Śiva, you are blessed, since you have narrated this highly divine and auspicious story of Siva.

2. O sage, now narrate lovingly the story of Viṣṇu. After enchanting Vṛndā what did he do? Where did he go?

Sanatkumāra said:—

3. O Vyāsa, listen. O intelligent excellent devotee of Śiva, listen to the good story of Viṣṇu mingled with the story of Śiva.

4. When Brahmā and other gods became silent, lord Śiva, favourably disposed to those who seek refuge in him, was delighted and said.

Śiva said:—

5. O Brahmā, O ye excellent gods, it is for you that Jalandhara has been killed by me although he was a part of myself. Truth. It is the truth that I say.

6. O dear gods, tell me the truth. Have or have not you attained happiness? It is for you that I indulge in sports though I am always free from all aberrations.

Sanatkumāra said:—

7. Then Brahmā and other gods, with eyes blooming with delight, bowed to Śiva with bent heads and mentioned to him the activities of Viṣṇu.

The gods said:—

8. “O great lord, all the gods have been saved by you from the danger of the enemy but another event has happened. What shall we do in that respect?

9. O lord, Vṛndā was fascinated by Viṣṇu. She burnt herself on the pyre and attained the great goal.

10. But Viṣṇu deluded by your illusion is excessively agitated by the beauty of Vṛndā. He has smeared himself with the ashes from her pyre.

11. Although advised and consoled by the Siddhas and sages, and pacified by us with respect, Viṣṇu deluded by your illusion does not come to his former self.

12. O lord Śiva, be pleased. Restore Viṣṇu to his former self. This entire creation born of Prakṛti and consisting of the mobile and immobile beings, is subservient to you”.

Sanatkumāra said:—

13. On hearing these words of the gods, lord Śiva of great sports and free to act as he pleases replied to them as they stood with palms joined in reverence.

Lord Śiva said:—

14. O Brahmā, O gods, you listen to my words attentively. My illusion deludes all the worlds. It cannot be transgressed.

15. The entire universe including gods and human beings is subservient to it. Viṣṇu too was deluded by that illusion and became a prey to the lustful love.

16. That illusion is given various names: Umā, Mahādevī, the mother of the three deities, the greatest, primordial Mūlaprakṛti and the lovely woman Pārvatī.

17. O gods, seek refuge in that fascinating goddess named illusion, for the removal of Viṣṇu’s delusion. She is the bestower of cherished desires and worthy of being sought refuge in.

18. Sing the eulogy that satisfies my Śakti. If she is delighted, she will carry out your tasks.

Sanatkumāra said:—

19. O Vyāsa, after saying this to the gods, the five-faced lord Śiva vanished suddenly along with his Gaṇas.

20. At the bidding of Śiva, Brahmā and other gods including Indra mentally eulogised to the primordial Prakṛti favourably disposed to her devotees.

The gods said:—

21. We bow to the primordial Prakṛti from which emanate the three attributes Sattva, Rajas and Tamas that cause creation, sustenance and annihilation, and by whose desire the universe is evolved and dissolved.

22. May the great illusion save us, the great Prakṛti that presides over the twentythree principles,[1] well enunciated in the universe. We bow to the primordial Prakṛti whose forms and activities are not known to the three worlds.

23. We bow to the primordial Prakṛti favourably disposed to the devotees. Persons endowed with devotion to her are not bedevilled by poverty, delusion and destruction.

24. O great goddess, please carry out our tasks. O Pārvatī, please remove the delusion of Viṣṇu. O goddess Durgā, obeisance be to you.

25-26. O Śivā, when the fight between Jalandhara and Śiva started, for killing Jalandhara, Vṛndā was deluded by Viṣṇu at the bidding of Gaurī. She was made to forsake her virtue and reduced to ashes in the fire. She attained salvation.

27. Jalandhara was slain in the battle by Śiva who took pity on us and who always blesses his devotees. We have been relieved from his fear.

28. It is at his bidding that we all have sought refuge in you. You and Śiva, O goddess, are always engaged in uplifting your devotees.

29. Infatuated by the beauty of Vṛndā, Viṣṇu is staying there itself. He has lost his balance. He is deluded. He has smeared himself with the ashes from her pyre.

30. O great goddess deluded by your illusion, Viṣṇu does not come to his own though advised and consoled by the gods and Siddhas.

31. O great goddess, be merciful. Enlighten Viṣṇu so that he shall return to his region and carry out the task of the gods with a settled mind.

32. Eulogising thus, the gods saw a sphere of refulgence in the sky pervading all the quarters with its flames.

33. O Vyāsa, Brahmā and other gods including Indra heard a celestial voice from the sky bestowing their desire.

The celestial voice said:—

34. O gods, it is I who stand in three forms by the variety of the three attributes, Rajas, Sattva and Tamas. The three forms are Gaurī, Lakṣmī, and Sarasvatī.

35. Hence you go to them respectfully at my bidding. If they are pleased they will fulfil your desire.

Sanatkumāra said:—

36. Even as the gods were listening to this speech with eyes gaping with wonder, the refulgence vanished.

37. On hearing the speech, the gods, urged by it bowed respectfully to Gaurī, Lakṣmī and Sarasvatī.

38. Brahmā and other gods eulogised the goddesses with various speeches and bowed their heads.

39. Then the goddesses appeared in front of them, suddenly, O Vyasa, illuminating the quarters with their wonderful brilliance.

40. On seeing them, the gods eulogised them with great devotion and delighted minds. They submitted what they wanted to be carried out.

41. Thus bowed and eulogised, the goddesses who are favourably disposed to the devotees, faced the gods and addressed them eagerly after giving them seeds.

The goddesses said:—

42. “Sow these seeds in the place where Viṣṇu is standing. Then your task will be fulfilled.”

Sanatkumāra said:—

43. O sage, after saying this, the goddesses, the Śaktis of Śiva, Viṣṇu and Brahmā, possessed of the three attributes, vanished.

44. Then Brahmā and other gods including Indra took the seeds and went to the place where Viṣṇu was standing.

45. The gods sowed those seeds in the ground where the pyre of Vṛndā had been lit. O sage, they stayed there thinking these as parts of Śiva’s Śakti.

46. Out of the seeds sown, O great sage, three plants shot up—the Myrobalan, the Jasmine and the holy basil.

47. The Myrobalan is born of the creator’s Śakti, the jasmine of Lakṣmī and holy basil of Gaurī, born of the attributes Tamas, Sattva and Rajas.

48. O sage, on seeing the plants in the forms of ladies Viṣṇu stood up with excitement of infatuation over them.

49. On seeing them he was deluded and his mind became overwhelmed by lust. The two plants—the holy basil and Myrobalan looked at him lovingly.

50. The womanlike plant born out of the seed by the Śakti of Lakṣmī became jealous of him.

51. Hence the plant came to be called Varvarī[2] (a kind of wild basil) and was despised by all. The Dhātrī and the Tulasī are always pleasing to him due to their love and affection.

52. Then Viṣṇu forgot his sorrow. Accompanied by them he went to Vaikuṇṭha fully satisfied. He was bowed to by all the gods.

53. O great brahmin, myrobolan and the holy basil shall be understood as the favourites of gods in the month of Kārttika, especially of Viṣṇu.

54. There too, O great sage, the holy basil is the most blessed and the most excellent. Except Gaṇeśa it delights every deity and bestows all desires.

55. On seeing Viṣṇu settled again in Vaikuṇṭha, Brahmā, Indra and other gods bowed to and eulogised him and then left for their respective abodes.

56. O excellent sage, Viṣṇu too, settled in his own world, freed from delusion and enlightened, became happy remembering Śiva as before.

57. This is the narrative that destroys sins, bestows desires to all men. It increases perfect knowledge and quells all aberrations of base lust.

58. He who reads or teaches this every day, he who hears or narrates this with devotion attains the greatest goal.

59. The intelligent man who reads this most excellent narrative and goes to war will certainly be victorious. There is no doubt about it.

60. This yields the knowledge of Vedas to the brahmins, victory to the Kṣatriyas, wealth to the Vaiśyas and happiness to the Śūdras.

61. O Vyāsa, it confers devotion to Śiva, it destroys the sins of all persons, it bestows the good goal here and hereafter.

Footnotes and references:


The printed text is corrupt. Read “trayo viṃśatigaṇān” for “trayoviṃśaguṇān” Cp. Bhāgavatā “trayoviṃśāditattvānāṃ” 3.6.2: The group of 23 Tattvas consists of 10 senes, 5 gross and 5 subtle elements, intellect, ego and mind.


Mālatī (Jasmine), born of the seed provided by Lakṣmī, is called Barbarī or Varvarī and forbidden in the worship of Viṣṇu.