The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “shiva’s advice to vishnu and brahma” 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 31 - Śiva’s advice to Viṣṇu and Brahmā

Sanatkumāra said:—

1. On hearing these words of the distressed Viṣṇu and Brahmā, Śiva laughingly spoke in the rumbling tone of the cloud.

Śiva said:—

2. “O dear Viṣṇu, O Brahmā, cast off your fear from all sides. Certainly something good will result from the activities of Śaṅkhacūḍa.

3. I know all the details of his activities factually as well as those of Sudāmā the cowherd devotee of Kṛṣṇa.

4. At my bidding Viṣṇu has assumed the form of Kṛṣṇa and is stationed in the cowshed in the beautiful Goloka presided over by me.

5. Considering himself independent under a delusion he indulged in many kinds of sportive dalliance like a deluded licentious person.

6. On seeing his excessive delusion as a result of my deceptive art I suppressed their virtuous intellect and made them suffer curse.

7. Having thus performed my sport, I suppressed the illusion. Regaining knowledge they got rid of delusion and became well-intentioned.

8. They came near me in a piteous plight. After bowing to me they eulogised me devoutly and humbly with palms joined in reverence.

9. Overwhelmed by shame they told me all the details. Dejected, they lamented before me saying the words “Save us, O save us.”

10. Then I, becoming delighted, told them these words, Kṛṣṇa, you forget your fear at my behest.

11. I am the protector, always infused with love. Good will befall you. All this has happened at my will. There is no doubt in it.

12. Go to your abode along with Rādhā and your comrade. He will become a Dānava here in Bhārata, certainly.

13-14. At the proper time I shall redeem you from the curse”. What I told thus Śrīkṛṣṇa and Rādhā accepted readily. Śrīkṛṣṇa the intelligent rejoiced and returned to his abode. There they engaged themselves in propitiating me and bidding their time.

15. Realising that everything is subject to my control and his will is not independent, Sudāmā became the lord of Dānavas as a result of the curse of Rādhā.

16. The virtuous demon Śaṅkhacūḍa distresses and harasses the gods always with his might. He is evil-minded to this extent.

17. He has been deluded by my deception and hence he seeks the help of evil ministers. But myself being the chastiser of the wicked you can get rid of his fear quickly”.

Sanatkumāra said:—

18. O sage, by the time Śiva completed this expatiation in front of Viṣṇu and Brahmā, another event happened there. Listen to it.

19. In the meantime Kṛṣṇa came there along with Rādhā and his attendant cowherds in order to propitiate Lord Śiva.

20. Devoutly bowing to the lord, meeting Viṣṇu with respect and honoured by Brahmā with love he stood there awaiting Śiva’s behest.

21. Then he bowed again to Śiva with palms joined in reverence. Realising the principle of śiva and getting rid of his delusion Kṛṣṇa eulogised Śiva.

Lord Kṛṣṇa said:—

22. O supreme God, lord of gods, Supreme Brahman and the goal of the good, forgive me my guilt. O supreme god, be pleased.

23. O Śiva, everything originates from you. O supreme lord, everything merges in you. O lord of all, you are everything. O supreme lord, be pleased.

24. You are the greatest splendour. You are the eternal being directly pervading everything. O lord of Gaurī, with you as leader, we are well-guided.

25-26. Considering myself above all, I sported about, under the delusion. I reaped the fruit thereof. He who went astray was cursed. O lord, my leading comrade Sudāmā the cowherd is born as a Dānava.

27. O lord of Pārvatī, uplift us. O supreme lord, be pleased. Please redeem us from the curse. Save us who have sought refuge in you.

28. After saying this, Lord Kṛṣṇa, accompanied by Rādhā, stopped. Śiva was delighted thereat, Śiva who is favourably disposed to those who seek refuge in him.

Lord Śiva said:—

29. “O Kṛṣṇa, O lord of cowherdesses leave off your fear. Be happy. O dear, all this has been brought about by me with blessing in disguise.

30. Good will befall you. Go back to your excellent abode. You shall be cautious and guarded in your position of authority.

31. Sport about as you please after realising me the greater than the greatest. Accompanied by Rādhā and your comrades carry out your task unexasperated and unfluttered.

32. In the excellent Vārāha Kalpa,[1] you shall undergo the effect of the curse along with the young damsel Rādhā and then attain your region.

33. O Kṛṣṇa, your comrade, the most beloved Sudāmā is born of a Dānava now and he harasses the universe.

34. He has become a Dānava, an enemy of the gods, named Śaṅkhacūḍa as a result of the power of Rādhā’s curse. He hates and belongs to the party of Daityas.

35. Divested of their powers, ousted and harassed by him for ever, the demoralized gods including Indra have fled to the ten directions.

36. It is for their sake that Brahmā and Viṣṇu have come here and sought refuge in me. There is no doubt in this that I will relieve them of their distress.”

Sanatkumāra said:—

37. After saying this, he addressed Kṛṣṇa again eagerly after consoling Viṣṇu and Brahmā with words that quelled their agony.

Śiva said:—

38. “O Viṣṇu, O Brahmā, lovingly listen to my words. O dear ones, go quickly for the pleasure of the gods. Be fearless.

39. Go to Rudra, resident of Kailāsa,[2] who has my excellent and perfect form. He has manifested himself for the task of the gods with a separate form and features.

40. O Viṣṇu, it is for this purpose that the lord assuming my form fully and perfectly stays on the mountain Kailāsa favouring the devotees by being subservient to them.

41. There is no difference in him from us both. He shall be served by you two and all living beings—mobile and immobile as well as the gods and others always.

42. He who differentiates between us falls into hell. In this life too he will attain stress and be devoid of sons and grandsons.

Sanatkumāra said:—

43. After bowing again and again to the lord of Pārvatī who had spoken thus, Kṛṣṇa returned to his abode accompanied by Rādhā.

44. O Vyāsa, Viṣṇu and Brahmā became delighted and relieved of fear. After bowing again and again to Śiva they hastened to Vaikuṇṭha.

45. Having come there and mentioning everything to the gods, Brahmā and Viṣṇu went to Kailāsa taking the gods with them.

46-47. On seeing lord Śiva there, the lord and husband of Pārvatī, who had taken a body for protecting the distressed, the lord of the gods possessed of attributes, they eulogised him as before with devotion and choking words. They joined their palms in reverence humbly and with drooping shoulders.

The gods said:—

48. O great god, lord of the gods, O Śiva, the lord of Pārvatī, we seek refuge in you. Please save the terrified gods.

49. Please slay Saṅkhacūḍa the king of Asura and the destroyer of the gods. The gods have been defeated and harassed by him.

50. Like men they are roaming on the earth divested of their powers. Their region the Devaloka has become very dreary to look at due to fear.

51. O uplifter of the distressed, O ocean of mercy, redeem the gods, from this exigency. O great lord, save Indra from fright by killing that ruler of Dānavas.

Sanatkumāra said:—

52. “On hearing the words of the gods, Śiva favourably disposed to his devotees spoke to them laughingly in the rumbling tone of the cloud.

Lord Śiva said:—

53. O Viṣṇu, O Brahmā, O Gods, return to your own abodes by all means. I shall kill Śaṅkhacūḍa along with his followers and attendants. There is no doubt about it.

Sanatkumāra said:—

54. On hearing the words of lord Śiva sweet as nectar they were excessively delighted considering the Dānava already killed.

55. After bowing to lord Śiva, Viṣṇu went to Vaikuṇṭha and Brahmā to Satyaloka. The god and others went to their own abodes.

Footnotes and references:


Vārāhakalpa, identical with Śveta-Vārāha or Śveta Kalpa, is one of the thirty Kalpas known to the Purāṇas. Each Kalpa lasts for a specified period and is repeated in order of succession.


Mount Kailāsa is a part of the Himalayan range lying to the north of Mānasa-sarovara, not far off from the origin of Ghogrā (Sarayu) river. The detailed description of the mount is found in the Matsya-purāṇa. Ch. 121.