The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “march of shankhacuda” 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 34 - The March of Śaṅkhacūḍa

Vyāsa said:—

1. O dear son of Brahmā, O sage of great intellect, live long for many years. You have narrated the great story of the mooncrested lord.

2. When Śiva’s emissary had departed, what did the valorous Dānava, Śaṅkhacūḍa do? Please mention that in detail.

Sanatkumāra said:—

3. When the messenger returned, the valorous Śaṅkhacūḍa went in and told his wife Tulasī all the details.

Śaṅkhacūḍa said:—

4. O dear lady, infuriated by the words of Śiva’s messenger I have prepared for a war. Hence I am going to fight. You carry out my directions.

Sanatkumāra said:—

5. After saying this and slighting Śiva, that demon professing to be wise advised his wife in various ways and sported with her with delight.

6. Throughout that night, the couple indulged in sexual dalliance. Uttering coaxing and cajoling words, practising various erotic arts, they immersed themselves in the ocean of happiness.

7. He got up in the Brāhma Muhūrta,[1] and finished his daily routine in the morning. He then performed the offering of charitable gifts.

8-9. He crowned his son as the lord of Dānavas. He entrusted his wife, his kingdom and his riches to the care of his son. When his wife cried and dissuaded him from going to the war he consoled her by various words of appeasement.

10. He called his general and ordered him to be ready for the war.

Śaṅkhacūḍa said:—

11. O general, let the heroic warriors start for the war. Let them be ready for action; they have been trained well for the war.

12. Let the heroic Dānavas and Daityas, the armies of the powerful Kaṅkas of eighty-six divisions well-equipped in arms set out fearlessly.

13. Let the fifty families of Asuras, having the heroism and prowess of a crore set out to fight with Śiva, the partisan of the gods.

14. At my bidding, let the hundred armed families of Dhaumras speedily set out to fight with Śiva.

15. At my behest, let the Kālakeyas Mauryas, Dauhṛdas and the Kālakas set out ready for the fight with Śiva.

Sanatkumāra said:—

16. After ordering thus, the powerful lord of Asuras and the Emperor of the Dānavas set out surrounded by thousands of warriors and great armies.

1 7. His general was an expert in the science and technique of warfare. He was the best of charioteers a great hero and skilled in warfare.

18. He had three hundred thousand Akṣauhiṇī[2] armies. He performed the rites of auspicious beginning and came out of the camp. He was terrible to the watching heroes.

19. Mounting on an aerial chariot of exquisite build and inlaid with gems, and making obeisance to the elders and preceptors he set out for the battle.

20-21. In the holy land of Bhārata, to the east of the western ocean and to the west of Malaya[3] mountain, on the banks of river Puṣpabhadrā[4] there is a hermitage of Kapila[5] with an auspicious holy Banyan tree. It is called Siddhāśrama[6]. It is the place where holy men achieve the result of their action,

22. It is to the north of Śrīśaila[7] and to the south of Gaṇḍhamādana[8]. It is five Yojanas in width and a hundred times as much in length.

23. The river Puṣpabhadrā is very beautiful and full of transparent water. It confers merits on everyone in Bhārata, like the river Sarasvatī.

24. It starts from Himālaya, has its confluence with Sarasvatī. It is the beloved of the briny sea and blessess people with good fortune.

25. It enters the western ocean where Gomanta[9] is on its left. Śaṅkhacūḍa went there and saw the army of Śiva.

Footnotes and references:


See Note 191 P. 218.


A single Akṣauhiṇī consists of 21,870 elephants, 21870 chariots, 65610 horses and 109,350 foot.


Malaya (Dravidian: malai) is identical with the Travancore hills and the southern most part of the Western Ghats.


It has not been possible to identify this river. According to the present context, Puṣpabhadrā issues from the Himalayas, rises along with the Sarasvatī and falls into the Western ocean. (Cp. Verses 24-25 of this ch.)


Kapila was an ancient sage who destroyed a hundred thousand sons of King Sagara.


The wide tract of land, the Scene of Kapila’s hermitage, lies to the East of the Western ocean to the West of Travancore hills to the north of Śrīśaila hills and to the south of Gandhamādana mountain.


It is one of the most sacred and beautiful hills of the South overhanging the river kṛṣṇā.


The location of Gandhamādana is highly controversial See Note 309 P. 405 and Note 66 P. 623. Most probably this is the Himālayan Gandhamādana that is referred to here.


It is identical with Goa.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: