The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “havoc of the rakshasas of darukavana” 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 29 - The havoc of the Rākṣasas of Dārukāvana

Sūta said:—

1. Hereafter I shall explain how the extremely excellent Jyotirliṅga Nāgeśa of the supreme soul came into being.

2. There was a certain ogress Dārukā who became arrogant by the boon granted by Pārvatī. Her husband Dāruka was also very powerful.

3. Along with many Rākṣasas he tormented the good. He destroyed their sacrifices and spoiled their rites.

4. His fertile and flourishing forest was on the shores of the Western ocean.[1] It extended to sixteen Yojanas in every direction.

5. Wherever Dārukā went in that forest[2] for her sportive pleasure, the land in that spot acquired all requisites and became full of trees.

6. The goddess had entrusted Dārukā with the supervision of that forest. She casually visited that forest along with her consort.

7. Staying there, the Rākṣasa Dāruka and his wife Dārukā terrorised the people.

8. The harassed people sought refuge in Aurva.[3] They paid homage to him with reverence and with their head bent down with pleasure they requested him thus.

The people said:—

9. O great sage, grant us shelter, if not, we will be killed by the wicked Dāruka. You are competent to do everything. You are brilliant with your splendour.

10. There is none in the world except you īn whom we can seek refuge and staying near whom we can be happy.

11. On seeing you, the Rākṣasas run off. The splendour of Śiva always shines in you like fire.

Sūla said:—

12. Thus requested by the people the excellent sage Aurva, worthy of being resorted to, bewailed their lot and spoke these words for their protection.

Aurva said:—

13. If the Rākṣasas torture living beings on the earth they will die themselves although they are very powerful.

14. Whenever the people are killed, let the Rākṣasas too die. This is the truth I say.

Sūta said:—

15. After promising to the subjects and consoling them, Aurva continued different types of penance, conferring happiness on the people.

16. Realising the cause for the curse, the gods made attempts to fight with the demons.

17. With multifarious efforts and holding all types of weapons Indra and the other gods arrived there for the battle.

18. On seeing them the Rākṣasas began to ponder. They consulted with one another.

Rākṣasas said:—

19. “What shall be done? Where shall we go? A difficult situation has come up. We are fighting and dying. They are fighting but they are not killed.

20. If this situation continues what shall happen[4] to us? A great misery has befallen us. Who can ward this off?”

Sūta said:—

21. Thinking thus and unable to find out a remedy Dāruka and his companions felt miserable indeed.

22. On knowing that a great calamity had arrived, the the demoness Dārukā spoke of the boon granted by Pārvatī.

Dārukā said:—

23. Propitiated by me formerly, the wife of Śiva had granted me a boon. You can go to the forest along with your people if you desire to go.

24. That boon has been secured by me. How is this misery to be borne? Taking your people to the island you can stay with the Rākṣasas happily.

Sūta said:—

25. On hearing the words of the Rākṣasī, the Rākṣasas were delighted. Getting rid of their fear they spoke to one another.

26. “She is blessed. She is fortunate. We have been saved by her.” After bowing to her they said respectfully.

27. “If we can go let us go. Why ponder over it? O gentle lady, we shall go and stay there permanently in in the waters.”

28. In the meantime the people who had been tortured by the Rākṣasas formerly came there for fighting, accompanied by the gods.

29-31. In their dilemma the Rākṣasas resorted to the boon granted by Pārvatī. They took their belongings to the city in the ocean. The demoness shouted cries of victory to the goddess and flew like the winged king of mountains.[5] She then stayed fearlessly in the middle; of the ocean. The follower of Śiva accompanied by her attendants rejoiced much.

32. Staying in the city inside the ocean, the sportive Rākṣasas became happy and fearless.

33. For fear of the sage’s curse, Rākṣasas did not come on the earth. They moved about in the waters.

34. They abducted travellers in the boats and imprisoned them in the city. They killed some of them.

35. Staying there fearlessly, thanks to the boon granted by Pārvatī, the Rākṣasas worked havoc as before.

36. O great sages, the people had the terror in the waters now incessantly in the manner they had fear on land before.

37. Sometimes the Rākṣasī came out of the city in the water and blocked the path to the land in order to harass the people.

38. In the meantime several beautiful boats arrived there all full of people.

39. On seeing those boats the wicked Rākṣasas were delighted much. Rushing at the people on board they bound them forcefully.

40. The naughty Rākṣasas came to the city taking those people with them. They fettered them and put them in prisons.

41. The people thus bound in fetters and imprisoned became very unhappy. They were rebuked again and again.

42. Their leader was a certain Vaiśya named Supriya. His conduct was auspicious and pleasing to Śiva. He was? permanent devotee of Siva.

43. He never remained without the worship of Śiva. In every respect he followed the sacred rites of Śiva. Bhasma and Rudrākṣa were his ornaments.

44. If on any day he could not worship Śiva he did not take his food. The Vaiśya performed the worship of Śiva there in the prison also.

45. O excellent sages, he taught the mantra of Śiva and the mode of worshipping the earthen phallic image to several of his fellow-prisoners.

46. They performed there the worship of Śiva duly in the manner they saw and heard. It yielded them their desires.

47. Some of them stayed in meditation taking up excellent postures. Some of them joyously performed the mental worship of Śiva.

48. O great sages, the direct worship of Śiva was performed by the leader then in accordance with the rites of worshipping the earthen phallic image.

49. Those who did not know the great rite remained meditating on Śiva with the five-syllabled mantra “Namaḥ Śivāya”.

50. The leading Vaiśya Supriya, a favourite of Śiva, performed the worship of Śiva by mental meditation

51. Śiva in the form mentioned before took up everything directly. The Vaiśya was aware that his offerings were taken by Śiva.[6]

52. O great sages, even as the Vaiśya continued to perform the worship of Śiva, six months passed by without hindrance.

53. The event that happened thereafter, the story of the moon-crested lord, O great sages, please listen to with attention.

Footnotes and references:


The Western ocean referred to in the Purāṇas is identical with the Arabian sea.


Dārukāvana which contains the temple of Nāgeśa, one of the twelve great jyotirliṅgas of Mahādeva is placed close to the western ocean. This context mentions the background for its nomenclature. Contrary to this statement, the Arch. Sur. lists of Nizam’s territory (XXXI. 21. 29) identify it with Aundh in the Nizam’s territory. There are two more forests of this name: one in the Himalayas, near Badrinath, the other Vijayeśvara in Kāśmīr. Dārukāvana, with reference to the demoness Dārukā, should not be confused with other Dārukā forests.


The sage Aurva was tḥr son of Urva and grandson of the famous sage Bhṛgu.


We have adopted the reading “bhokṣyate” for “bhakṣyate”.


According to the Puranic tradition mountains had wings, flew at will and destroyed those towns and villages which refused them gifts. Thus they proved refractory and troublesome to the people. Thereupon Indra clipped off their wings and made them stationary.


The reading of the fourth pāda of this verse is defective We have adopted the reading “gṛhyate tada śivena vai” for “gṛhyate na śivena vai”.