The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “krishna meets upamanyu” 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 1 - Kṛṣṇa meets Upamanyu

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

1. We meditate upon Śiva, the perfect deity, who supports the seven[1] worlds with the Sattva Guṇa as his attribute, who creates them resorting to Rajas and who annihilates them when endowed with Tamas; who is beyond Māyā consisting of the Guṇas and who stands firm; who is truth, bliss, and the infinite pure consciousness; who assumes the names of Brahmā etc. and who is attained always by the application of Sattva Guṇa.

The sages said:—

2. O Sūta of great intelligence, O Sūta, disciple of Vyāsa, obeisance be to you. The fourth compendium Koṭirudra-saṃhitā has been narrated by you.

3. Now please narrate the story of Śiva, the supreme soul, accompanied by Umā-Pārvatī—the story that is full of incidental anecdotes.

Sūta said:—

4. O Śaunaka[2] and other sages, please listen with devotion to the divinely auspicious story of Śiva, that yields worldly pleasures and salvation.

5. This same holy question was put by the excellent sage Vyāsa to Sanatkumāra who narrated the story of Siva.

Sanatkumāra said:—

6. O Vyāsa, the story of lord Śiva which was mentioned to Kṛṣṇa by the sage Upamanyu,[3] I narrate to you.

7. Formerly Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva went to Kailāsa[4] the abode of Śiva in order to perform the penance to propitiate Śiva for obtaining a son.

8. On seeing the sage Upamanyu performing the penance on the excellent summit he bowed to him with devotion and asked him with palms joined in reverence.

Lord Kṛṣṇa said:—

9. O Upamanyu of great intellect, O foremost of the devotees of Śiva with good intellect. I have come here to perform the panance of Śiva for obtaining a son.

10. O sage, please narrate the greatness of Śiva, delightful to the good, on hearing which I shall perform the penance of Śiva with devotion.

Sanatkumāra said:—

11. On hearing these words of the intelligent Kṛṣṇa, Upamanyu was delighted in his mind. Remembering Śiva, he replied.

Upamanyu said:—

12. O Kṛṣṇa, great devotee of Śiva, listen to the glory of Śiva which I have witnessed myself. It is excellent story that enhances devotion to Śiva.

13. While performing penance, I saw Śiva, his weapons, his followers and Viṣṇu and other gods.

14. He was shining with his three parts. He was of permanent happiness. He was imperishable. He had one foot and huge teeth with feces having mouthfuls of blazing flame.

15. He was shining with the brilliance of two thousand rays. He was whirling excellent missiles. He had many eyes and a thousand legs.[5]

16-17. He who decisively annihilates the universe at the end of a kalpa and for whom there was none to be spared from death in the three worlds consisting of the mobile and immobile beings which being cast away from his hands burnt instantaneously and entirely, certainly within half a moment.

18. While performing penance, I saw at the side of Rudra the imperishable highly secret weapon which had no other missile superior or equal to it.

19. It was the weapon Vijaya, the trident of the fierce weapon that destroyed all other weapons and missiles.

20. There is no doubt that it could pierce through the entire earth, dry up the big ocean and cause all the luminary bodies to fall.

21. It was the weapon with which Yauvanāśva[6] the emperor of great refulgence and Māndhātṛ the powerful king who conquered the three worlds were killed formerly.

22. The arrogant Haihaya[7] king was killed with it. When the demon Lavaṇa[8] challenged king Śatrughna this missile was hurled at him.

23. When that demon was killed this trident had returned to Rudra. It had a sharp point and was highly terrifying.

24. It stood as if threatening all with the three spikes for its knit eyebrows. It was like a blazing smokeless fire and the rising sun.

25-26. I saw his sharp-edged axe decorated with serpents etc. It was as terrible as the god of death holdingthe noose in his hand. It was like an indescribable ray of the sun and the features of the fire at the end of Kalpas. It had the size of a full-grown man. Bhārgava Rāma had used it in the battle for the extermination of Kṣatriyas.

27. It was given to Rāma by Śiva formerly.[9] Strengthened by it the delighted sage burnt the Kṣatriyas twenty-one times.[10]

28. I saw the discus Sudarśana in the shape of a human being with a thousand faces and two thousand hands. It was divine and lordly.

29. It had two thousand eyes of fiery brilliance, and one thousand legs. It shone like a crore suns. It was capable of burning the three worlds.

30. I saw the sharp and refulgent thunderbolt of hundred spikes of extreme excellence. I saw the great bow Pināka of excessive brilliance and its quiver of arrows.

31. I saw the Śakti, the sword, the noose of great brilliance and a goad, the great divine iron club, and many other weapons.

32. On either side of Lord Rudra, I saw the weapons of the guardians of the quarters.

33. To the right of the lord was Brahmā, the grandfather of the worlds seated in his aerial chariot fitted with a swan. It was divine and as speedy as mind.

34. Nārāyaṇa, holding conch, discus and mace, stood on bis left, seated on the Garuḍa.

35. Brahmā and other Manus, Bhṛgu and other sages, Indra and other gods, all were there.

36. Holding his Śakti and a bell and seated on his peacock, Skanda stood near the goddess like another fìregod.

37. Nandin stood in front of Śiva holding the trident. All the goblins, Gaṇas and the mothers were present there.

38. Bowing to lord Śiva and surrounding him on all sides, the gods eulogised the lord with different kinds of hymns.

39. I saw on cither side of the lord whatever is seen or heard in this world. I was surprised at it.

40-41. O Kṛṣṇa, it appeared as though some sacrifice was going on there. In that sacrifice I became immersed in great delight. I was bold to a great extent on seeing Śiva in front. With palms joined in reverence and words choked with tears of joy I worshipped him duly with various kinds of hymns.

42. Then the delighted lord Śiva spoke to me laughingly in sweet words with great pleasure.

43. “O brahmin, you cannot be shaken by me though I try again and again. You have been tested by me. Welfare be to you You are steadily endowed with devotion.

44. O one of good rites, I am delighted. Choose the boon. There is nothing which cannot be given to you even if it happens to be something rare and inaccessible to all the gods.”

45. On hearing the loving words of Śiva I spoke to the lord sympathetic with the devotees with palms joined in reverence.

Upamanyu said:—

46. “O lord, if you are satisfied and if my devotion is firm and steady, may, in virtue of that truth, my knowledge comprehend the past, present and future.

47. Grant me infinite devotion never swerving or straying from you. Let me and my family have milk pudding every day.

48. O lord, may you be present in my hermitage every day. Let my mutual friendship with your other devotees flourish for ever.”

49. O leading scion of the family of Yadus, thus requested by me, lord Śiva laughed and glanced at me with his merciful eyes. He said to me.

Śiva said:—

50. O Upamanyu, O dear, O sage, you will be free from the defects of old age and death. Achieve all desires.

51. You will deserve the worship of the sages. You will have fame as your wealth. Thanks to my grace, step by step, you will possess good conduct, beauty, good qualities and riches.

52. O sage, wherever you wish it to be, the milk ocean[11] will flow to and be present there.

53. By the time that nectarine milk is fully controlled you will see Vaivasvata Kalpa along with your kinsmen

54. O great sage, may your family be never-ending due to my grace. I shall be always present in your hermitage.

55. Let your devotion to me be permanent. O dear one, whenever remembered by you I shall appear before you. You are by all means my beloved.

55. Be happy realising all your desires. Do not get anxious or worried. There is no doubt that everything you think of will be fulfilled.

Upamanyu said:—

57. After granting me the boons and saying this, lord Śiva of the brilliance of a crore suns vanished there itself.

58. O Kṛṣṇa, Śiva, the supreme lord the bestower of worldly pleasures and salvation, was thus seen by me accompanied by his followers.

59. Whatever was mentioned by the intelligent lord Śiva has been wholly acquired by me by meditating on the lord of the gods.

60. See for yourself the Gandharvas, Apsaras, sages, Vidyādharas and the well arranged Siddhas.

61. See the beautiful trees endowed with glossy leaves, fragrant with seasonal flowers and bearing fruits and flowers.

62. O mighty hero, all these are the results of the grace of Śiva the great soul, the lord of gods. The universe is emotionally agreeable.

63. I have the perfect knowledge of everything, thanks to the grace of the Trident-bearing lord. I know factually the past, present and the future, everything.

64. I have seen the lord whom even the great gods do not see without propitiating. Who can be more blessed than I?

65. The eternal principles are known as twenty-six.[12] Learned men meditate on the great and imperishable thus.

66. That great lord alone is the knower of well-ordained principles, the direct perceiver of all true objects and the lord of Prakṛti and Puruṣa.

67. It was he who created, for the protection of the worlds, Brahmā, the cause of the worlds, from his right hand and Viṣṇu from the left hand side.

68. When the Kalpa came to an end, the lord created Rudra from his heart. Then he annihilated the universe including the mobile and immobile beings.

69. At the end of Yugas, lord Śiva becomes Kāla and stands devouring all the living beings, like the fire of dissolution Saṃvartaka.

70. The lord is omniscient, the soul and the material and effective cause of all living beings. He is all-pervasive and visible to all deities.

71. Hence, propitiate him for the acquisition of a son. Śiva, favourably disposed to his devotees will become delighted with you, soon.

Footnotes and references:


Lokas are commonly enumerated as thrice, viz heaven, earth and the atmosphere or lower regions but a further classification gives seven worlds, viz (1) bhūḥ: earth, (ii) bhuvaḥ: the space between the earth and the sun inhabited by Munis, Siddhas etc. (iii) svaḥ: Indra’s heaven above the sun or between it and the polar star (iv) mahaḥ: a region above the polar star, inhabited by Bhṛgu and other saints who survive the destruction of the 3 lower worlds (v) janaḥ: inhabited by Bramhā’s son Sanat-Kumāra etc., (vi) tapaḥ: inhabited by deified Vairāgins (vii) satya or brahma: abode of Brahmā.


See P 1 note.


Upamanyu, pupil of Āyoda Dhaumya propagated Śiva cult and received the Ocean of milk from lord Śiva.


See P. 941 note.


The epithet identifies Śiva with the thousand-footed Puruṣa mentioned in the Puruṣasūkta of the Ṛgveda.


Yauvanāśva was the patronymic of Māndhātṛ. It should not be confused with Yauvanāśva, the grandson of Māndhātṛ.


Most probably it refers to the Haihaya king Arjuna Kārttavīrya, of a thousand arms who was defeated and had his arms cut off by Paraśurāma.


Lavaṇa, king of Mathurā, was the son of Madhu by Kumbhīnasī, the sister of Rāvaṇa. He had inherited from his father an invincible trident which had been presented to him by Śiva. He was surprised without his weapons and killed by Śatrughna.


With the axe received from lord Śiva, Paraśurāma cleared the earth of the Kṣatriyas thrice seven times and gave the earth to the Brahmins.


The Skt text of this verse is defective


See P. 224 note.


See P. 1104 note.

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