The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “description of swallowing shukra” 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 47 - Description of swallowing Śukra

Vyāsa said:—

1-2. This has been succinctly heard by me that in the great terrible battle that caused horripilation, Śukra the wise lord of the Daityas was swallowed by Śiva, the enemy of the Tripuras. Please narrate in detail what that great Yogin, stationed in the stomach of the trident-bearing lord Śiva did.

3-4. How was it that the gastric fire of Śiva, that terrible fire of dissolution at the end of Kalpa did not burn Śukra? How did the intelligent Śukra of bright refulgence, come out of the stomach of Śiva. How long and in what manner did Śukra propitiate him?

5. How did he obtain that great knowledge that suppresses death? O dear one, what is that knowledge which prevents death.

6. O sage, how did Andhaka get the position of the chieftain of Gaṇas after being released from the trident of Śiva, the lord of the gods, indulging in divine sports.

7. O highly intelligent one, please be merciful. Mention all these sweet sports entirely to me who listen with attention.

Brahmā said:—

8. On hearing these words of Vyāsa of immeasurable refulgence, Sanatkumāra remembered the lotus-like feet of Śiva and said.

Sanatkumāra said:—

9. O Vyāsa of great intellect, listen to the nectar-like sport of Śiva. You are the foremost of devotees of Śiva and you delight me.

10-11. When the battle began between Śiva and Andhaka, the leaders who had formed their armies in the unpiercing arrays of thunderbolt and the mountain, the powerful Daityas became victorious at first but O sage, by the power of Śiva, the Pramathas became victorious afterwards.

12. On hearing that the Asura Andhaka was dejected. He began to think “How can I be victorious?”

13. Going away from the battle ground the heroic and intelligent Andhaka went immediately to Śukra, unattended by anyone else.

14. Getting down from his chariot, he bowed to his preceptor. He was foremost among the politicians, pondered well and spoke with palms joined in reverence.

Andhaka said:—

15. O holy lord, after resorting to you we feel the respect due to a preceptor towards you. We are never vanquished. We are always victorious.

16. Due to our power we consider all the gods and their followers including Śiva and Viṣṇu as insignificant as the useless blades of grass.

17. Due to your blessings, the gods are afraid of us as the elephants of the lions and the serpents of Garuḍas.

18. By smashing the entire host of the Pramathas, by your grace, the Daityas and the Dānavas have entered the impenetrable thunderbolt Vyūha.

19. O Bhārgava, by seeking refuge in you we roam about unhesitatingly in the battle ground, like the cows grazing in the field fearlessly.

20. But now the Asuras are harassed by the heroic enemy. They are killed. Save, save us O, Brahmin, who have sought refuge in you.

21. See Huṇḍa and others, leading lieutenants of mine who have been slain or who have fallen. They have been attacked by Pramathas of terrible valour who can destroy even death.

22. Formerly you did a great penance drinking the smoke of husks or eating bits of grain[1] for a thousand years and secured a great lore. Now the opportunity has arrived to put it to a practical use.

23. O Bhārgava, let all the Pramathas see the fruit of your lore as you will kindly resuscitate the Asuras by that lore.

Sanatkumāra said:—

24. On hearing the words of Andhaka, the perplexed Bhārgava began to reflect sadly.

25. “What shall I do? What will benefit me? Any living being has various activities to be performed. It may seem improper to me.

26. This Vidyā has been derived from Śiva and I am going to use it on the heroes suppressed by the heroic Pramathas, the followers of Śiva.

27. It is my duty to protect those who seek refuge in me.” After thinking like this, the proposal of Andhaka was accepted by Śukra.

28. Smiling slightly and thinking upon the lotus like feet of Śiva with a peaceful mind, Bhārgava spoke to the ruler of Dānavas.

Śukra said:—

29. O dear, what has been mentioned by you is entirely true. I have acquired this lore just for the welfare of the Dānavas.

30. Drinking the unbearable smoke of husks or eating bits of grains for a thousand years, this lore has been acquired from Śiva. It is pleasing and beneficent to you my kinsmen.

31. With this lore, I shall revive the Daityas destroyed in the battle by the Pramathas just like the cloud that revives scorched plants.

32. Within a Muhūrta you will see these Daityas as if waking from sleep, healed from wounds, devoid of pain and very healthy.

Sanatkumāra said:—

33. After saying this to Andhaka, Śukra repeated the mantra once for each of the Daityas after thinking upon lord Śiva.

34. As soon as the mantra was repeated, the Daityas and Dānavas rose up simultaneously as if from sleep, with the weapons lifted in their hands.

35. They rose up like the merit of men who give water to the thirsty during the fight or like charity given to brahmins at the time of distress in the spirit of faith.

36. On seeing Huṇḍa and other Asuras revived to life, the Asuras shouted loudly like clouds laden with water.

37. Roaring with awful sounds the fearless valorous Asuras got ready to fight with Pramathas.

38. On seeing the Daityas and Dānavas resuscitated to life by Śukra, Nandin and other Pramathas, very haughty and invincible were surprised.

39. After pondering intelligently they consulted one another—“This activity shall be mentioned to Śiva the lord of gods”.

40. When the sacrifice of war was going on like that, kindling the surprise of the leading Pramathas, Nandin, the son of Śilāda who was infuriated on seeing the work of Bhārgava approached lord Śiva.

41-42. After saying “Be victorious” to Śiva, the cause of victory and golden-complexioned, Nandin said—“O lord, the warlike activities of leading Gaṇas, which are difficult even for the gods including Indra, to perform, have been rendered futile by Bhārgava. O lord, after repeating the lore that revives the dead to life, one for each, all the dead enemies have been playfully resuscitated.

43. The great Asuras, viz., Tuhuṇḍa, Huṇḍa, Kumbha, Jambha, Vipāka, Pāka and others have returned from Yama’s abode. They are routing the Pramathas and are roaming about.

44. O lord Śiva, how can we be victorious if he were to revive to life all the Daityas killed by us, again and again? How can there be peace to the leading Gaṇas?

Sanatkumāra said:—

45. On being thus addressed by the leading Pramatha, Nandin, the lord of leading Pramathas laughingly spoke to Nandin, the chief of all lords of Gaṇas.

Śiva said:—

46. O Nandin, go very quickly and seize that great brahmin from the midst of the Daityas and bring him here like a vulture bringing the bird quail.

Sanatkumāra said:—

47. Thus commanded by the bull-bannered deity Nandin bellowed like a bull and roared like a lion. Moving fast through the army he reached the place where the bright scion of the family of Bhārgavas was sitting.

48. Harassing and exciting the Daityas, Nandin snatched off Śukra well guarded by all the Daityas who had in their hands, nooses, swords trees, boulders and mountains, like the mythological animal Sarabha snatching off an elephant.

49. The demons followed him roaring like lions to get him released even as his cloth became loose, his ornaments fell off and his tuft of hair got untied as he was caught tightly by the strong Nandin.

50. The leading Dānavas showered on Nandiśvara, thunderbolts, spears, swords, axes, staffs, discus and other missiles like clouds making a fierce downpour.

51. When the combat between the Asuras and gods deepened, the chief of Gaṇas burnt hundreds of the weapons of the enemy by the fire originating from his mouth and reached Śiva taking Bhārgava with him.

52. “O lord, here is Bhārgava”, saying this he handed him over to Śiva immediately. The lord of gods caught hold of Bhārgava like a present offered by a devotee.

53. Without saying anything, the protector of the Bhūtas, thrust Bhārgava into his mouth like a fruit. The Asuras shouted loudly “Alas! Alas.”

Footnotes and references:


Kaṇadhūma is a kind of penance wherein the performer sustains himself on the grains of corn or balls of iron-ash (lohagulika).