The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “dundubhinirhrada is slain” 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 58 - Dundubhinirhrāda is slain

Sanatkumāra said:—

1. O Vyāsa, listen. I shall narrate the story of the moon-crested lord Śiva how he slew the Daitya Dundubhinirhrāda.

2. When the Daitya Hiraṇyākṣa, son ofDiti,[1] of great strength was killed by Viṣṇu, Diti remained griefstricken for a long time.

3. The wicked Daitya named Dundubhinirhrāda, the uncle of Prahlāda, the oppressor of the gods, consoled the dejected mother with the words.

4. After consoling Diti, the king of Daityas, an expert in using Māyā began to think of the ways and means of conquering the gods easily.

5. “The great Asura Hiraṇyākṣa along with his brother has been killed through Viṣṇu by the gods, the enemies of Daityas, employing deceitful means.

6. What is the strength of the gods? What is their diet? What is their support? How can the gods be easily vanquished by me?” Thinking like this he tried to find out the ways and means.

7. Thinking deeply in diverse ways the Daitya came to the conclusion that the brāhmaṇas were the cause of the trouble.[2]

8. The Daitya Dundubhinirhrāda, the most wicked enemy of the gods, ran after the brahmins to kill them.

9. Since the gods maintain themselves on sacrifices, sacrifices are born of the Vedas and the Vedas are the custody of the brāhmaṇas, so the brāhmaṇas constitute the strength of the gods.

10. Certainly the gods including Indra are supported by the brāhmaṇas. The gods gain their strength from the brāhmaṇas. There is no doubt about this.

11. If the brāhmaṇas are destroyed the Vedas will perish. If they are destroyed the gods will also perish.

12-13. If the sacrifices are destroyed, the gods will lose their food. They will grow weaker and be easily conquered. When the gods are conquered I shall become the sole honourable lord of the three worlds. I shall then confiscate the everlasting riches of the gods.

14. I shall enjoy happiness in my kingdom freed of thorns.” After thinking like this the wicked Daitya thought again.

15. “Where are these brāhmaṇas in plenty—the brāhmaṇas strengthened by the splendour of the Brahman, well versed in the study of the Vedas and possessing the strength of penance?

16. It is Vārāṇasī indeed that is the place of many brāhmaṇas. I shall finish that first and then go to other holy centres.

17. In holy centres or hermitages wherever these brāhmaṇas live they shall be devoured by me.”

18. After thinking thus in accordance with the nature of his race, Dundubhinirhrāda went to Kāśī and he, the wicked wielder of Māyas, killed the brāhmaṇas.

19. When the excellent brāhmaṇas went to the forest to fetch sacrificial twigs and the Darbha grass, the wicked Dānava used to eat them there.

20. After that he used to lie hidden so that nobody could detect him. In the forest he used to roam about like a forest-dweller and in the waters he used to take the form of an aquatic animal.

21-22. He was invisible in form. He wielded the art of deception. He could not be seen even by the gods. During the day he stood in the midst of sages engaged in meditation but observing the ingress and egress of persons in the hut. But at night he took the form of a tiger and ate many of them.

23. He used to eat unhesitatingly never leaving even a bone behind. Thus many brāhmaṇas were annihilated by him in this way.

24. Once on the Śivarātri[3] day a certain devotee performed the worship of Śiva, the lord of the gods and was engaged in meditation in his own hut.

25. The lord of Daityas Dundubhinirhrāda, proud of his strength, assumed the form of a tiger and wanted to seize him.

26. As the devotee was in meditation with a mind concentrated on Śiva and as he had fixed the Astramantra, the Daitya could not attack him.

27. Śiva, the omnipresent lord, knew his evil intention and decided to slay the Daitya.

28. While the Daitya in the form of the tiger was about to snatch the devotee, Śiva appeared before him. The three-eyed lord Śiva is very keen in intellect in saving the devotees, nay in protecting the universe.

29. On seeing Śiva coming out of the phallic image worshipped by the devotee, the Daitya in the form of a tiger increased in size like a big mountain.

30. The Dānava glanced with a contemptuous look at Śiva but the lord caught him and pressed him under his armpit.

31. The five-faced lord favourably disposd to his devotees hit the tiger on its head with his fist harder than thunderbolt.

32. By the blow of the fist and the pressure at the armpit the tiger groaned aloud in great distress filling heaven and earth with the sound and died.

33. Agitated in their minds by the loud sound, the ascetics came there in the night itself following the track of the sound.

34. On seeing the lord there with the lord of the beasts in his armpit they bowed to him. They eulogised him with the words of “Victory, Victory.”

The brahmins said:—

35. We are saved, O, we are saved from this terrible obstacle. O lord, please bless us. O preceptor of the universe stay here alone.

36. O great lord, in this self-same form in the name of the lord of the tiger offer protection. Let this place remain sacred always.

37. Save us the dwellers in this holy centre from other mishaps too. O lord of Pārvatī, leaving the wicked ones offer fearlessness to your devotees.

Sanatkumāra said:—

38. On hearing the words of the devotees, the moon-crested lord who is favourably disposed to the devotees said affirmatively and told the devotees again.

Lord Śiva said:—

39. “If any one sees me here in this form with faith, I will undoubtedly remove his torments and mishaps.

40. After hearing this story of mine and after remembering my phallic image in the heart if a man enters the battlefield he will certainly win.

41. In the meantime the gods came there along with Indra shouting slogans of victory jubilantly.”

42. After bowing to Śiva with love, the gods joined their palms in reverence, drooped their shoulders and eulogised lord Śiva who is favourably disposed to his devotees.

The gods said:—

43. O lord Śiva, lord of the gods, remover of the distress of your devotees, be victorious. We the gods have been saved by killing this demon.

44. O fond of devotees, you shall protect them always. O lord of the gods, wicked men shall be slain by you, O lord of all.

45. On hearing these words of the gods, lord Śiva became delighted. After saying ‘yes’ he merged into the phallic image.

46. The gods, thus surprised returned to their respective abodes and rejoiced. The brahmins too in great delight returned the way they came.

47-48. He who reads this sacred narrative about the origin of the lord of the tiger, hears, narrates or teaches this shall obtain all desires. After death he will attain salvation becoming free of all miseries.

49. This narrative is incomparable as it contains the nectar-like words of the divine sports of Śiva. It is conducive to the attainment of heaven, fame and longevity. It increases sons and grandsons.

50. It yields great devotion and bliss. It is auspicious and increases the pleasure of Śiva. It yields supreme know ledge. It is beautiful and removes all aberrations.

Footnotes and references:


Diti was the daughter of Dakṣa and wife of Kaśyapa. Her son obtained the designation ‘Daitya’ after her name.


The anti-Brāhmaṇa activities of the Daityas mentioned here and elsewhere in the Purāṇas were due to the fact that the Brāhmaṇas performed sacrifices wherein offerings were made to the gods. But this tradition of Brāhmaṇa—Daitya animosity is of late origin. Originally Daityas were devoted to Brāhmaṇas. The Bhārgavas were purohitas to Hiraṇyakaśipu. Vasiṣṭha was his hotṛ. Vṛtra and Namuci, the two famous Dānavas were Brāhmaṇas themselves. For details see AIHT. Ch. XXVI.


Śivarātri or Śiva-caturdaśī is the fourteenth of the dark half of Māgha (January-February) on which a rigorous fast is observed during the day and night.