The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “swallowing of 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 48 - Swallowing of Śukra

Vyāsa said:—

1. O Great sage, when Bhārgava was swallowed by Rudra what did the heroic Dānavas headed by Andhaka, do? Please narrate.

Sanatkumāra said:—

2. When Bhārgava was swallowed by the lord of Pārvatī the Daityas gave up hopes of victory, like lordly elephants bereft of trunks or cows and bulls devoid of horns.

3. They were as futile as headless trunks, as brahmins who have forsaken the study of the Vedas, as the living beings who have given up efforts and as the efforts of those who are not favoured by good fortune.

4. They were lustreless and ineffectual like women devoid of husbands, like the arrows devoid of feather, like longevity devoid of meritorious actions and like learning in the Vedas without the observance of sacred rites.

5. They were as powerless as innumerable activities rendered fruitless without the support of wealth, or as Kṣatriyas devoid of heroism or as the assemblage of virtue without truth.

6. When Bhārgava was taken away by Nandin and swallowed by Śiva as he had swallowed poison, the Daityas became grief-stricken and their pride and jubilation for battle became curbed.

7. On seeing Tuhuṇḍa, Huṇḍa and other Daityas, devoid of enthusiasm, the courageous and valorous Andhaka replied.

Andhaka said:—

8. By seizing Bhārgava forcibly from our midst we have been duped by Nandin. Our bodies have been rendered lifeless.

9. With the taking away of Bhārgava from us, our courage, valour, achievement, fame, strength, splendour and exploit have been simultaneously taken away.

10. Fie upon us by whom the sole and excellent preceptor of the family worthy of the respect of the whole race, the virtual protector of all of us and very efficient, has not been saved at the time of adversity.

11. Hence do not waste time. Fight with the enemy, the heroic Pramathas, after remembering the lotus-like feet of the preceptor.

12. After remembering the beneficent lotus-like feet of the preceptor, I shall slay all the Pramathas along with Nandin.

13. After killing these along with the gods including Indra I shall obtain the release of Bhārgava like the Yogin who releases the soul from the bondage of action.

14. Bhārgava too is a lordly Yogin. If he himself comes out of Śiva’s body, the rest of us are saved.

Sanatkumāra said:—

15. On hearing the words of Andhaka, the powerful Dānavas, fearlessly roaring like the rumbling clouds, spoke after resolving to do what was then to be thought of.

The Dānavas said:—

16. If we are destined to live, the Pramathas cannot overwhelm us. If it is otherwise what avails running from the battle ground leaving our master behind.

17. Those who leave their masters and run away professing to be honoured and desiring to be rich will surely fall into hell Andhatāmisra.

18. After sullying their fame with the darkness of ignominy they will forfeit their pleasure both here and hereafter. They will be slain in the battle.

19. Of what avail are charitable gifts, austerities and dips in holy waters if one takes bath in the holy tract of the battlefield that removes the dirt of re-birth?

Sanatkumāra said:—

20. After saying these words and deciding in accordance with them, those Daityas and Dānavas pounded the Pramathas in the battle. They sounded the war-drums.

21-22. By means of arrows, swords, thunderbolts, hard rocks, Bhuśuṇḍis, Bhindipālas and other missiles, spears, javelins, axes, skull-headed clubs, tridents, maces, staffs and other weapons they bit one another and wrought a great havoc.

23. There was a great noise everywhere, produced by the drawn bows, flying arrows, the missiles, Bhuśuṇḍis, Bhindipālas and leonine roars.

24. There was great tumult caused by the war drums, trumpets, the trumpeting sounds of elephants and the neighing sounds of the horses.

25. The vast space between heaven and earth was filled with loud reports causing horripilations to the courageous as well as the cowardly.

26-27. The thirsty armies on either side fainted with their ears bursting by the loud sounds of elephants and horses, with the flagstaff and banners broken and torn, with their weapons exhausted, vomitting diverse kinds of blood and bereft of horses, elephants and chariots.

28. O sage, the heroic Nandin and other Pramathas slew all Asuras and won the victory.

29. On seeing his army being shattered here and there Andhaka rushed at the Gaṇas driving in his chariot.

30. Like the mountains hit with the thunderbolt by Indra, the Pramathas perished. Like the clouds devoid of water they sank low.

31. Glancing at the in-coming or out-going Pramathas, far off or at close quarters, Andhaka hit them severally with as many arrows as the hair on their bodies.

32-33. On seeing the army shattered and smashed by the powerful Andhaka, Skanda, Vināyaka, Nandin, Somanandin and other heroic and powerful Pramathas, and Śiva’s personal Gaṇas became furious and fought in diverse ways and very valorously.

34-35. By Vināyaka, Skanda, Nandin, Somanandin, Vīraka, Naigameya, the powerful Vaiśākha and other terrible Gaṇas, Andhaka was rendered blind as they showered tridents, spears and arrows incessantly.

36-37. Then a great tumult arose in the midst of the armies of Pramathas and Asuras. At that great noise, Bhārgava who was within the belly of Śiva began to wander seeking an outlet like the unaboded wind. In Śiva’s body he observed seven worlds[1] including Pātāla.

38. He saw the diverse worlds of Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Indra, Āditya and celestial damsels as well as the battle between the Pramathas and Asuras.

39. Wandering round and round in the belly of Śiva for a hundred years he failed to see any outlet as a wicked person fails to see a vulnerable point in a good person.

40-41. Taking recourse to the Yoga of Śiva he repeated the following mantra and assumed the form of Śiva’s semen. He thus emerged out of the belly of Śiva through his penis. Thereafter he bowed to Śiva and was accepted as a son by Pārvatī. He was made a lord of the Gaṇas.

42. On seeing Bhārgava come out of the path of the semen, lord Śiva, the storehouse of mercy, laughed and said.

Lord Śiva said:—

43. O son of Bhṛgu, since you came out of my penis in the form of the semen you will be called Śukra henceforth. I accept you as my son. You may go if you please.

Sanatkumāra said:—

44. Thus advised by the lord, Śukra who had the refulgence of the sun, bowed to Śiva again and eulogised him with palms joined in reverence.

Śukra said:—

45. You are of infinite feet, of infinite forms and of infinite heads, the destroyer and the auspicious. You are of infinite arms. How can I euīogise you of such form adequately? You are worthy of eulogy and of the bowing of our heads.

46. You are the eight-formed,[2] the infinite-formed, the bestower of the desires of all gods and Asuras. You are the wicked and the undesirable. How can I adequately eulogise you of such a nature?

Sanatkumāra said:—

47. After eulogising Śiva thus and bowing to him again, Śukra took leave of Śiva and entered the army of the Dānavas as the moon does the cluster of clouds.

48. Thus I have narrated to you how Bhārgava was swallowed by Śiva. Now listen to the mantra which was repeated by Bhārgava from within the belly of Śiva.

Footnotes and references:


The seven regions below the earth are called “atala, vitala, sutala, rasātala, tala, talātala” and “pātāla”. Cp. Umā S. ch. 15 V. 22-23.


For the eight forms of Śiva, see Note No. 89 P. 132?.