The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “planned arrangement of gautama” 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 25 - The planned arrangement of Gautama

Sūta said:—

1. O brahmins, once Gautama sent his disciples there for water. Carrying out his orders they reached the spot with the water-pots in their hands.

2. Many of the womenfolk who had assembled there for water saw the disciples of Gautama who had come for water. They prevented them from taking water.

3. “We are the wives of the sages. We shall take water first. You stand far off. You can take water afterwards.” Thus they rebuked them.

4-5. The disciples returned and informed the wife of the sage Gautama. The wife of the sage took them with her, pacified those women, herself took water and gave it to Gautama. The excellent sage performed the routine rites with that water.

6. The other women, the wives of the sages, became infuriated and rebuked her. They returned to their huts with evil intentions lurking in their minds.

7. The entire incident was distorted and intimated to their husbands by those evil-minded women.

8. On hearing their words, the great sages became furious with Gautama as it was destined to be.

9. The infuriated sages of crooked intellect worshipped Gaṇeśa with various articles of worship in order to put obstacle in the activity of Gautama.

10. The delighted Gaṇeśvara who is subservient to the devotees and who is the bestower of benefits appeared before them and said.

Gaṇeśa said:—

11. “I am pleased with you. Mention the boon you wish to choose. What shall I do?” On hearing his words the sages said then.

The sages said:—

12. If the boon is to be given by you, let Gautama be turned out of his hermitage after being rebuked by the sages. Please do so.

Sūta said:—

13. On being requested thus, the elephant-faced deity,[1] the goal of the good, laughed and said gently enlightening them.

Gaṇeśa said:—

14. May this be heard, O sages. This is not proper. Those who become furious without any offence are sure to incur loss.

15. According misery to the people who had rendered help before is not beneficial. If it is carried out, ruin will surely follow.

16. Excellent results are sought after performing, penance. No harm is sought after voluntarily eschewing auspicious results.

Sūta said:—

17. Even after hearing these words, the excellent sages, still deluded in their intellect, spoke these words.

The sages said:—

18. “O lord, this must be done by you. Not otherwise.” Gaṇeśa who was thus implored spoke.

Gaṇeśa said:—

19. This has been decisively said by Brahmā—“A wicked man never attains saintly nature nor docs a saintly man assume perversion at any time.”

20. Formerly when you were distressed by starvation, the sage Gautama afforded you happiness.

21. Now you intend to inflict misery on him. This is not proper. Please think over this in all aspects.

22. Deluded by your women-folk you never cared to act by my advice. There is no doubt that my advice will be beneficial to him at the end.

23. Certainly the excellent sage will render happiness unto you. Deception is not proper. Please choose another boon.

Sūta said:—

24. Although this advice was given by Gaṇeśa, the great Ātman, still the sage did not pay heed.

25. Then Gaṇeśa, who is subservient to hīs devotees, spoke indifferently to those sages of evil intent.

Gaṇeśa said:—

26. I shall do what is being requested by you all. What is destined to happen will surely happen. After saying this he vanished.

27. Gautama did not know the evil intention of the sages. He went on performing his routine along with his wife with delighted mind.

28. O great sages, hear what happened in the meantime as a result of the influence of those wicked sages by the granting of the boon.

29. There were food-grains and barleys in Gautama’s field. Gaṇeśa assumed the form of a feeble cow and went there.

30. O excellent sages, staggering and faltering, the cow, as a result of the boon began to eat the food-grains and barleys.

31. In the meantime Gautama happened to come there casually. Compassionate by nature, he warded off the cow with a bunch of grass blades.

32. No sooner was it touched by the blades of grass than the cow fell down dead even as the sage was watching it.

33. The sages and their wicked wives who were hiding there began to shout, “O see, what is done by Gautama.”

34. O brahmins, the bewildered Gautama called Ahalyā and spoke with a dejected, distressed mind.

Gautama said:—

35. O gentle lady, what has happened? How did it happen? Certainly lord Śiva is angry. What should be dene? Where shall we go? The sin of slaughter has befallen me.

Sūta said:—

36. In the meantime the brahmins reproached Gautama. The wives of the brahmins tormented Ahalyā with threats.

37. The evil-minded disciples and sons of the brahmins reviled at Gautama repeating the words, “Fie on you.”

The sages said:—

38. Your face is not fit to be seen. Go hence. If a person sees the face of a cow-killer, he shall take bath in full dress.

39. As long as you stay in the midst of the hermitage, the sacrificial fires and the manes will not accept our gifts.

40. Hence, O sinner, O slayer of a cow, go somewhere else along with your followers. Do not delay.

Sūta said:—

41. Saying this, they pelted hīm with stones. They inflicted pain on him and Ahalyā with insulting words.

42. Beaten and reproachad by the wicked persons Gautama spoke these words—“O sages, I am going away from here. I shall stay somewhere else.

43. After saying this, Gautama went out of that place. Going a krośa he made his hermitage there with their permission.

44. As long as there is this curse, no rite shall be performed. You are not authorised in any of the rites of god, manes or the Vedic rituals.[2]

45. The excellent sage Gautama excessively distressed by this regrettable incident spent half of month thus and then requested.

Gautama said:—

46. I am to be pitied by you. Please tell me how my sin can be wiped off. I shall do as you bid me.

Sūta said:—

47. Thus requested the brahmins did not say anything. When they were implored humbly they met separately and remained aloof.

48. Gautama stood far off. Bowing down to the sages he humbly asked them what he should do.

49. When this was said by Gautama of noble soul, the sages spoke these words.

The sages said:—

50. “Without expiation purity cannot be attained. Hence, for the sake of purification you shall perform the rites of atonement.

51. Go round the earth three times announcing your sin. After returning to this place perform the holy Vrata for a month.

52. If you go round this mountain Brahmagiri[3] hundred and one times you can attain purity.

53. Or you fetch water from Gaṅgā and perform the ceremonial ablution. Propitiate lord Śiva making a crore of his phallic images.

54. At the outset, you circumambulate this mountain eleven times. Taking bath in Gaṅgā you will become pure thereafter.

55. Performing the ablution of the earthen phallic image of Śiva with a hundred potful of water, the expiatory rite will be completed.” When he was thus urged by the sages he said in the affirmative.

56. O excellent sages, at the behest of your honours I shall worship the earthen phallic image of Śiva and also circumambulate the mountain.

57. After saying this and circumambulating the mountain, the excellent sage made earthen phallic images of Śiva and worshipped them.

58. The chaste lady Ahalyā too acted accordingly. Their disciples and the disciples of their disciples rendered service to them.

Footnotes and references:


On the elephant-faced Gaṇeśa, sec ŚP. Rudra. Kumāra. ch 17.


The verse is misplaced in the printed Skt. text. It shall follow v. 40 above.


See P. 1349 note.