The Shiva Purana

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

This page relates “description of creation” 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 - Description of Creation

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sūta said:—

1. When the subjects were created the patriarch Āpava as Puruṣa acquired as his wife Śatarūpā who was not born of womb.[1]

2. With his greatness Āpava enveloped the heaven and stood virtuously. He the noble soul became Śatarūpā thus.

3. She performed a penance for a hundred years and attained the Puruṣa of illumined penance as her husband.

4. The Puruṣa who was born is called Svāyambhuva Manu. His age is said to be seventy-one Yugas.

5. The intelligent Śatarūpā bore the Vairāja Puruṣa two sons Priyavrata and Uttānapāda of heroic prowess.

6. The blessed lady Kāmyā, wife of the patriarch Kardama, gave birth to three sons Samrāṭ, Sākṣi, and Aviṭprabhu.

7. Lord Uttānapāda begot sons equal to Indra. He begot another son Dhruva of divine nature who had the excellent lustre and the inner bliss.

8. Dharma’s daughter, the virtuously born beautiful woman named Sunīti was the mother of Dhruva.

9. Even as a child Dhruva performed penance for three thousand divine years wishing for an imperishable status.

10. Lord Brahmā, being delighted gave him a stable position as his own, facing the seven sages.

11-12 Two sons, Puṣṭi and Dhānya were born of Dhruva. Puṣṭi begot of Samutthā five pious sons viz Ripu, Ripuñjaya, Vipra, Vṛkala and Vṛṣatejas. The queen of Ripu gave birth to Cākṣuṣa Manu.

13-16. Cākṣuṣa Manu begot Varuṇa of Puṣkariṇī. O excellent sage, from Manu of great prowess, in Naḍalā the daughter of the patriarch Vaisyajanma (?) were born ten sons viz Puru, Māsa, Satadyumna, Tapasvin, Satyavit, Kavi, Agniṣṭoma, Atirātra, Atimanyu and Suyaśas. To Puru, Āgneyī bore six sons of great lustre viz Aṅga, Sumanas, Khyāti, Sṛti, Aṅgiras and Gaya. Sunīthā, wife of Aṅga, bore him a son Vena.

17. Due to the misbehaviour of Vena the pious sagos became very furious and killed him by very huṅkāra.[2]

18. Sārasvata Sages were requested by Sunīthā for the birth of a son. They then churned and pressed his right hand.

19. When the hand of Vena was churned Pṛthu was born. He had a bow and a coat of mail even as he was born and was equal to the sun in brilliance.

20. He was indeed an incarnation of Viṣṇu, for protecting the subjects, for the maintenance of virtue and for punishing the wicked.

21. Pṛthu, son of Vena, the ancestor of all Kṣatriyas protected the earth. He was the first lord of Earth, the first among those anointed in the Rājasūya sacrifice.

22. The two efficient persons Śūta and Māgadha were born of him. O great Sage, by him the earth in the form of cow was milked for the common welfare.

23. Performing a hundred sacrifices he as a king become the provider of livelihood to all the gods, sages and Rākṣasas and to men in particular.

24. Two virtuous princes, Vivitāsva and Haryakṣa were born to Pṛthu. They were great heroes who had become very famous.

25. Śikhaṇḍinī gave birth to a son Prācīnabarhis. While he roamed on the earth Kuśa grasses had their tips towards the East.

26. The daughter of the lord of the Ocean was duly married by him. The great lord, shone all the more when he had a wife.

27. Ten sons were born to Prācīnabarhis the great sacrificer, of his wife Samudratanayā.

28. They were Prācetas by name. They had mastered the science of archery. Together they practised virtue and performed penance.

29. They lay sunk in the waters of the ocean for ten thousand years, repeating the Japa of Rudragīta and meditating on Śiva.

30. While they were performing penance trees grew on the earth. When the Earth stood unprotected there was a great destruction of subjects.

31. O great king, after attaining boons when they returned they saw the trees. They were furious and wanted to burn them by the power of penance.

32. The Prācetasas created fire and wind from their mouths. The wind uprooted the trees and the fire burnt them.

33. On seeing the destruction of trees and observing that only a few trees were left, the valorous king Soma approached them and said.

Soma said:—

34. O Prācinabarhiṣas, O kings, subdue your anger. This daughter of the trees, Anubhūtā, is a woman of fair complexion.

35. O fortunate ones, she was conceived by me in my womb as I knew the future. Let her be your wife and make the race of the moon flourish.

36. The patriarch Dakṣa will be born of her. He, the ancient son of Brahmā, will become a creator of great brilliance.

37. With half your brilliance, and with half my brilliance this king full of Brahma’s brilliance will make the subjects flourish.

38. Then at the instance of Soma the Pracetasas lovingly took the fair-complexioned lady, daughter of trees, as their wife.

39. To her, through them was born the patriarch Dakṣa. O sage, that boy of great brilliance was born of the moon’s parts as well.

40. After creating mentally the mobile and immobile beings, the bipeds and the quadrupeds, Dakṣa began creation though copulatory process.

41. In accordance with the Śāstric injunctions, he virtuously married the daughter of Vīraṇa the partriarch, the chaste lady Vīraṇī.

42. He begot of her ten thousand sons Haryaśvas. At the instance of Nārada they became detached from the world.

43. On hearing of it Dakṣa again begot of her a thousand sons Subalāśvas.

44. Thanks to the instructions of the same sage they too followed the footsteps of their brothers. Unattached and following the path of mendicants they never returned to their parents.

45. On hearing of it he became very furious and cursed the sage thus—O wretch, fond of quarrels, you will never stay permanently anywhere.[3]

46. Consoled by Brahmā, O great sage, he afterwards created women endowed with qualities and in the form of great flames.[4]

47-48. He gave ten daughters to Dharma and thirteen to Kaśyapa, two to Brahmaputra and two to Aṅgiras and two to the learned sage Kṛśāśva. O excellent sage, the remaining twenty-seven daughters, named after the constellations lord Dakṣa gave to Soma.[5]

49. Asuras and others were born of the daughters of Dakṣa and had become famous. The universe was filled with them.

50. O great brahmin, the subjects thereafter were born of sexual union. The creation prior to this was through mental concepts, visualisation and touch.

Śaunaka said:—

51. Formerly it was said by you that Dakṣa was born of the thumb of Brahmā. How then did he of great penance become the son of Prācetasa again?

52. O Sūta, it behoves you to clear this doubt of mine. This is also surprising how he attained the status of of the father-in-law of Soma.

Sūta said:—

53. Birth and destruction happen everyday among the mortals. O sage, in every Kalpa these, Dakṣa and others are born again.

54. He who knows this mode of creation of Dakṣa of the mobile and immobile beings becomes endowed with progeny and longevity. After death he is honoured in the heavenly region.

Footnotes and references:


On the origin of Śatarūpā see HM. under Śatarūpā and Virāj PP. 286, 359. For the mystic interpretation of the same see Matsya-purāṇa (‘A Study’ by V. S. Agrawal)—A study P. 47.


Manu 7. 41.


Repeated. See Ch. 31. Verses 14-15.


The first half of this verse is repeated. See Chs. 31. 15.


The Verses 47,48 are repeated. See Ch. 31. Verses 17, 18.

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