The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1950 | 616,585 words

This page relates “incarnation of shiva as krishnadarshana” 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.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 29 - The incarnation of Śiva as Kṛṣṇadarśana

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Nandīśvara said:—

1. O Sanatkumāra, listen to the description of the great incarnation of Śiva, the excellent Kṛṣṇadarśana who gave perfect wisdom to Nabhaga.

2. Ikṣvāku and others were the sons of Śrāddhadeva[1] of whom Nabhaga, was the ninth. His son was Nābhaga.

3. Ambarīṣa was his son who was a devotee of Viṣṇu with whom the sage Durvāsas was much pleased due to his devotion for Brahmins.

4. O sage, the grandfather of Ambarīṣa was Nabhaga to whom Śiva imparted perfect knowledge. Listen to his story.

5. Nabhaga the son of Manu, highly intelligent, and with perfect control of his sense-organs stayed in the abode of his preceptors for studies for a long time.

6. During this interval Ikṣvāku and other sons had their due shares in the property without leaving any share for Nabhaga.

7. At the behest of their father, the shrewd sons took their shares and enjoyed the kingdom with out any misery. They were fortunate.

8. After learning the Vedas with their sections and sub-sections, in due course, the Brahmacārin Nabhga (Nabhaga?) returned.

9. O sage, on seeing his brothers Ikṣvāku and others having taken their shares, Nabhaga desirous of his share told them affectionately.

Nabhaga said:—

10. O my brothers you have taken your shares duly without leaving anything for me. I have now come for my share. Please give me mine.

11. Then we had forgotten to allow your share. We shall certainly do it now. Our father is your share. Take him.

12. On bearing the words of his brothers Nabhaga was surprised. He approached his father and said.

Nabhaga said:—

13. O father, my brothers have taken their shares leaving me out. I had been to the preceptor’s abode for study as a student.

14. When I returned I asked them to allot my share; they replied that you are my share. I have now come for that purpose.

Nandīśvara said:—

15. O sage, on hearing his words, his father Śrāddhadeva was surprised. He consoled his son who was devoted to truth and virtue.

Manu said:—

16. O dear, do not pay heed to what they said. It was only to deceive you. I am not a share by any means, an instrument of enjoyment.

17. Still since I have been given as a share by the deceitful persons I shall tell you the means of livelihood. Hear attentively.

18. The intelligent Āṅgirasa. brahmins are performing a sacrifice. Every sixth day the rites are marred.

19. O wise Nabhaga, you go there and praise them. Recite two Vaiśvadeva sūkatas there. That sacrifice will then become perfect.

20. As soon as the sacrifice is concluded those Brahmins going heavenwards will give you delightedly the wealth left over in the sacrifice.

Nandīśvara said:—

21. On hearing the words of his father, Nabhaga who considered truth as virtue went eagerly where the excellent sacrifice was on.

22. O sage, in that sacrifice during the diurnal rites the intelligent son of Manu recited two Vaiśvadeva sūktas clearly.

23. When the sacrifice was concluded the Āṅgirasa brahmins gave him the wealth left after the sacrifice.

24. Realising that he was taking the wealth left after the sacrifice, Śiva of divine sports manifested himself all of a sudden.

25. He was beautiful in every limb, a glorious Puruṣa Kṛṣṇadarśana. It was to survey his emotional reaction and to bestow on him the perfect knowledge as his share that the lord manifested himself.

26. Lord Śiva desirous of testing Nabhaga the son of Manu approached from north and said.

Śiva said:—

27. O man, who are you that take away my assets and wealth? Who has sent you here? Tell me the whole truth.

Nandīśvara said:—

28. On heaving his words, O dear, the poet Nabhaga, son of Manu humbly replied to the Puruṣa Kṛṣṇadarśana.

Nabhaga said:—

29. This wealth of the sacrifice has been given to me by the sages. Why do you, O Kṛṣṇadarśana prevent me from taking it.

Nandīśvara said:—

30. On hearing these truthful words uttered by Nabhaga, the delighted puruṣa Kṛṣṇadarśana spoke.

Kṛṣṇadarśana said

31. O dear, in our dispute the ultimate authority is your father. Go to him and ask him. What he says will be true and final.

Nāndīśvata said:—

32. On hearing his words, the wise Nabhaga son of Manu, approached his father anxiously, O sage, and asked him about what he said.

33. On hearing what his son said, Manu Śrāddhadeva remembered the lotus-like feet of Śiva and after recollecting spoke to him.

Manu said:—

34. O dear, listen to my words: that Puruṣa is lord Śiva. Every object is his and particularly what is obtained from the sacrifice.

35. That what is left over after the sacrifice is Śiva’s share. This argument is current among some intelligent people due to his will.

36. Undoubtedly lord Śiva deserves everything. What then of the wealth left over in a sacrifice? More depends on the lord’s wish.

37. O Nabhaga, the lord has come in that form in order to bless you. Go there. Propitiate him properly.

38. Request him to forgive your fault. Bow to him well and eulogise him. That Śiva alone is the lord of all, the lord of sacrifice, the lord of everything.

39. Viṣṇu, Brahmā and other gods, Siddhas and the sages, O dear, are competent in their respective duties only due to his blessings.

40. O foremost of my sons, go there quickly. Do not delay. Propitiate the great god, the lord of all by every means.

Nandīśvara said:—

41-42. After saying this, Manu Śrāddhadeva, sent his son immediately to Śiva. After approaching him and bowing to him with palms joined in reverence and head bent down, the delighted Nabhaga of great intellect spoke to him humbly.

Nabhaga said:—

43. O lord, my father says that whatever there is in the three worlds is yours to be sure. What then about the wealth left over in a sacrifice?

44. O lord, what I said before was done in error and ignorance. Please forgive the same. I propitiate you with my head bent down.

45. After saying this, Nabhaga of dejected mind, eulogised lord Śiva Kṛṣṇadarśana with palms joined in reverence and with his head bent down.

46. The pure-souled Śrāddhadeva too with head bent

and palms joined eulogised the lord and requested him to forgive his fault.

47. In the meantime, Viṣṇu, Brahmā, Indra and the gods, Siddhas and the sages came there.

48. They were jubilant. They joined their palms in reverence. With great devotion they severally bowed down and eulogised.

49. Then the delighted Rudra, Kṛṣṇadarśana glanced at them with sympathetic eyes and smilingly spoke to Nabhaga.

Kṛṣṇadarśana said:—

50. What your father said is virtuous and true. You too spoke the truth. Hence you are good. There is no doubt in this.

51. Hence I am delighted with your holy rites. Sympathetically I am conferring on you the eternal Brahman, the perfect knowledge.

52. Be great and wise, O Nabhaga, along with the brahmins immediately. Take all this wealth granted by me out of compassion.

53. O intelligent one, enjoy all pleasures without any aberration. By my grace you will attain the good goal along with the brahmin sacrifices.

Nanāiśvara said:—

54. O dear, after saying this, lord Śiva, favourably disposed to truth, vanished them itself even as all were watching.

55. Viṣṇu, Brahmā, the gods and all others, O excellent sage, went to their respective abodes after joyously bowing to that direction.

56. Śrāddhadeva too, accompanied by his son, went joyously to his abode. After enjoying extensive pleasures he went to Śiva’s city in the end.

57. Thus, O Brahmin, the incarnation of Śiva, named Kṛṣṇadarśana, bestower of bliss on Nabhaga, has been narrated to you.

58. This narrative is holy and conducive to worldly enjoyment. It grants salvation to the good. It yields the fruits of desires to those who read and listen to it.

59. The intelligent man who remembers this narrative both in the morning and in the evening becomes wise and knower of mantras. He attains the greatest goal in the end.

Footnotes and references:


According to this Purāṇa, Śrāddhadeva had several sons, Ikṣvāku and others, of whom Nabhaga was the ninth. Nabhaga had a son named Nābhaga. The latter had a son named Ambarīṣa. Pargiter omits Śrāddhadeva and Nabhaga and mentions Nābhāga instead of Nābhaga as the father of Ambarīṣa.

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