The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “incarnation of shiva as avadhuteshvara” 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 30 - The incarnation of Śiva as Avadhūteśvara

Nandīśvara said:—

1. O son of Brahmā, listen to the first incarnation of the great lord, named Avadhūteśvara, who dispelled the arrogance of Indra.

2. O sage, formerly Indra accompanied by Bṛhaspati and the other gods went to Kailāsa in order to see Śiva.

3-4. On knowing that Bṛhaspati and Indra were coming and in order to test their mind in their eagerness to see him, the lord indulging in different kinds of sports assumed the form of an Avadhūta. He was naked. He looked fierce and had the lustre of blazing fire.

5. The Avadhūta, the goal of the good, blocked their way. He stood there with matted hair hanging loosely. and the whole feature shining brilliantly.

6. Passing that way towards Śiva, Bṛhaspati and Indra saw the gigantic figure of wonderful features on the way.

7. Without Knowing mat the Puruṣa was Śiva himself, O sage, Indra who was arrogant due to his authority asked him as he stood in his way.

Indra said:—

8. Who are you? Whence have you come in this form of a naked Avadhūta? What is your true name? Tell me quīckly and factually.

9. Is Śiva in his abode? Or has he gone out? I am now going to see him along with my preceptor and the gods.

Nandīśvara said:—

10. When asked by Indra that Puruṣa who was lord Śiva himself who had taken that body sportively in order to quell his arrogance did not say anything.

11. Indra asked him again; but Śiva whose ways are unknown, who was in the naked form and who was the creator of fanciful things did not say anything.

12. Again Indra, the lord of heaven and the master of the three worlds, asked him. The great Yogin of great sports remained silent.

13. Though asked by Indra again and again thus, lord Śiva remained silent desirous of quelling the arrogance of Indra.

14. Then the lord of the gods proud of his suzerainty over the three worlds became furious and said rebuking the lord having matted hair.

Indra said:—

15. O you fool, even though I am asking, you are not giving me any answer. Hence I am going so kill you with my thunderbolt. O wicked fellow, who is there to protect you?

16. After saying this and staring at him in fury Indra raised his thunderbolt in order to kill the naked person.

17. On seeing Indra lifting up the thunderbolt, Śiva made his hand stunned.

18. Then that Puruṣa, furious and terrific, with terrible eyes, blazed with his brilliance as though he would burn everything.

19. The lord of Śacī burnt within himself due to the anger resulting from the benumbed state of his hand like a serpent whose fury had been curbed by a magical formula.

20. On seeing the Puruṣa blazing thus in his own brilliance Bṛhaspati knew him to be Śiva and bowed to him soon.

21. Bṛhaspati of liberal mind kept his palms joined together and prostrated on the ground like a staff and eulogised him with devotion.

Bṛhaspati said: -

22. O great god, lord of the gods, favourably disposed towards those who seek refuge in you, O lord of Gaurī, be pleased. O lord of all, obeisance be to you.

23. Even Brahmā, Viṣṇu and others are all deluded by your Māyā. They do not know you really. If at all they know, it is only by your blessings.

Nandīśvara said:—

24. After eulogising lord Śiva, Bṛhaspati made Indra fell at his feet.

25. O dear, then the liberal-minded preceptor of the gods, Bṛhaspati, the intelligent one, bowed humbly and spoke thus.

Bṛhaspati said:—

26. O great god, lord of the distressed, please raise me up, who have fallen at your feet. Do not be furious. Be kind and loving.

27. O great god, be satisfied. Save Indra who has sought refuge in you. Fire originating from your eye in the forehead is coming out.

Nandīśvara said:—

28. On hearing the words of Bṛhaspati, the lord in the form of Avadhūta, the ocean of mercy, indulging in good sports, laughingly said.

Avadhūta said:—

29. How can I withhold the fire that has come out of my eye due to anger? How can a serpent take up a slough that has been cast off.

Nandīśvara said:—

30. On hearing these words of Śiva, Bṛhaspati with his mind agitated due to fright spoke again with palms joined in revercncc.

Bṛhaspati said:—

31. O lord, devotees are always to be pitied. O Śiva, thus make your name Bhaktavatsala true.

32. O lord of the gods, it behoves you to cast off this fire elsewhere. Please lift up Indra since you are the up-lifter of all devotees.

Nandīśvara said:—

33. Thus requested by Bṛhaspati, Śiva who bore the name of Bhaktavatsala, the delighted soul and the dispeller of the distress of those who bow down, replied.

Śiva said:—

34. O preceptor of the gods, I am pleased with you. I shall grant you excellent boon. You will be famous as ‘Jīva’ because you have gifted life to Indra.

35. I shall cast off this fire which has come out of the eye in my forehead, and which is unbearable to the gods, so that it will not afflict Indra.

Nandīśvara said:—

36. After saying this he took the wonderful fire, originating from his eye in the forehead in his hand and cast it off into the briny sea.[1]

37. Then that fire originating from the eye in the forehead of Śiva and cast off into the briny sea became a boy immediately.

38. He became the lord of Asuras known as Jalandhara and Sindhuputra (Son of the Sea). At the request of the gods, lord Śiva slew him.

39. After carrying out this task Śiva, the benefactor of the worlds in the form of Avadhūta, vanished from there.

40. The gods became happy and fearless. Bṛhaspati and Indra became free from terror and attained supreme happiness.

41. After seeing the lord for which they had come there, Bṛhaspati and Indra returned to their respective abodes joyous and contented.

42. Thus the incarnation Avadhūteśvara of lord Śiva has been narrated by me. It yields the highest bliss and punishes the wicked.

43. This narrative is faultless and conducive to heaven and fame. It yields worldly pleasures and salvation. It is divine and it gives the fruits of all desires.

44. He who listens to this or narrates this with attentive mind enjoys all pleasures and attains the goal of Śiva in the end.

Footnotes and references:


It refers to the briny ocean lying to the west of Bhārata.