The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “greatness of nandikeshvara” 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 7 - The greatness of Nandikeśvara

The sages said:—

1. O holy lord, Sūta, narrate in detail how Gaṅgā came to Narmada on the seventh day in Vaiśākha.

2. How did the lord come to be known by the name Nandikeśa? O intelligent one, narrate that too with pleasure.

Sūta said:—

3. O excellent sages, you have put a very good question concerning Nandikeśa. I shall narrate it as it enhances merit.

4. A brahmin lady Ṛṣīkā, the daughter of a certain brahmin, was duly married to a certain brahmin youth.

5. O leading brahmins, although she observed holy rites, the brahmin lady became a widow at an early age as a result of previous actions.

6. Then the brahmin widow, observing the rite of celibacy performed a severe penance by worshipping Śiva’s earthen phallic image.

7. In the meantime, a wicked and very powerful Asura named Mūḍha came there. He, the wielder of great Māyā, was struck by the arrows of the cupid.

8. On seeing that charming beautiful lady performing penance, he offered her many temptations and requested for sexual pleasure with her.

9. O great sages, the lady obeserving holy rites and engrossed in Śiva’s meditation did not cast a loving glance at him.

10. She did not honour him. Engaged in penance she remained meditating upon Śiva and strictly continued her penance.

11. That leading Daitya, Mūḍha, when slighted by that lady, became angry and showed his hideous form.

12. The wicked-minded demon spoke harsh words terrifying her. He threatened the brahmin lady in many ways,

13. Then the frightened brahmin lady, lovingly resorting to Śiva, repeated the name Śiva many times.

14. The agitated lady repeated the names of Śiva, sought refuge in him for the protection of her sacred virtue.

15. To protect one who sought refuge in him and to uphold good conduct, Śiva manifested himself, as well as to delight her.

16. Śiva, favourably disposed towards his devotees, immediately reduced to ashes that lusty leading demon named Mūḍha.

17. Looking at her with a compassionate look, lord Śiva efficient in and mindful of protecting the devotees told her, “Mention the boon you wish to have”.

18. On hearing the words of lord Śiva that chaste lady the wife of the brahmin, saw the auspicious and delightful form of Śiva.

19. Then bowing to Śiva the beautiful supreme lord, the chaste lady of pure mind eulogised him with palms joined together and shoulders drooping down.

Ṛṣīkā said:—

20. O great God, lord of the gods, favourably disposed towards those who seek refuge, you are the kinsman of the distressed. You are lord Śiva, protecting your devotees always.

21. My virtue has been saved by you from the Asura Mūḍha. By killing that wicked person the whole universe has been saved by you.

22. O lord, grant me the greatest devotion to your feet which will never decay. This alone is the boon I ask of you. Nothing more than this.

23. O great lord, please listen to another request of mine. Please stay here permanently for the benefit of the people.

Sūta said:—

24. After eulogising lord Śiva thus, Ṛṣīkā of auspicious rites remained silent. Then the merciful lord Śiva spoke.

Lord Śiva said:—

25. O Ṛṣīkā, you are well-behaved. You are a special devotee of mine. Whatever boons you have asked for have been granted to you.

26. In the meantime, coming to know of the manifestation of Śiva, Viṣṇu, Brahmā and other gods came there with great delight.

27. O brahmins, bowing down with great pleasure to śiva they all worshipped him. Joining their palms and bending down they eulogised him attentively.

28. In the meantime, Gaṅgā the celestial river, with delighted mind, praised her rites and spoke to that chaste lady Ṛṣīkā.

Gaṅgā said:—

29. For my sake you should make a verbal promise You should stay with me for a day in the month of Vaiśākha.

Sūta said:—

30. On hearing the words of Gaṅgā, the chaste lady of good rices consented with pleasure for the benefit of the world.

31. For her bliss, the delighted Śiva, vanished into that earthen phallic image along with her.

32. Praising Śiva and the brahmin lady, the delighted Brahmā, Viṣṇu and other gods and the celestial river Gaṅgā returned to their abodes.

33. From that day onwards this became a holy and excellent centre. Śiva became famous as Nandikeśa, the destroyer of all sins.

34. O brahmin, in order to wipe off her sins which she takes from others, Gaṅgā comes here on that day every year out of her own good will.

35. The man who takes bath there and worships Nandikeśa with devotion becomes freed from all sins such as the slaughter of a Brahmin etc.