The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “description of creation (2)” 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 31 - Description of Creation (2)

Śaunaka said:—

1. O son of Sūta, tell me quickly about the details of the creation of the gods, Dānavas, Gandharvas, serpents and Rākṣasas.

Sūta said:—

2. When the creation did not multiply, the patriarch asked the daughter of Vīraṇa, endowed with penance, for the purpose of creation

3. He created different people by the process of copulation. O intelligent one, listen to them. I shall explain in brief.

4. Uniting with her, the powerful patriarch begot of Vīriṇī five thousand sons.

5-6. Nārada, son of Brahmā, had heard at the Satra that the creation can take place only through Kaśyapa in the daughters of Dakṣa. So, on seeing the created sons, the sage Nārada addressed them thus.

7. “You do not know any direction in the world. Without knowing that what can you create? You are very childish. Proceed only after knowing the world,”

8. Thus addressed by him they all proceeded to know the direction by means of their power. Without being able to reach their end they never returned to their father’s house.

9. On knowing that he created five hundred sons, Nārada, the visualiser of all, spoke to them also.

Nārada said:—

10. How can you create without knowing the extent of the world? All of you are childish. What creation do you propose to make?

Sūta said:—

11. On hearing his words, Subalāśvas, sons of Dakṣa, as did the Haryaśvas formerly, started in quest of all directions.

12. After reaching Puṣkara and attaining despair due to the endlessness of the world they do not return even now at the rivers from the ocean.

13. Ever since, O sage, if a brother goes in quest of a brother he perishes. That should not be done by any learned man.

14. Realising that his son? had perished, the patriarch Dakṣa cursed the noble soul Nārada in anger.

15. “O wretch, fond of quarrels, you will never stay anywhere permanently. Quarrel will always occur among the people where you happen to be present.”

16. We have heard that Dakṣa the patriarch was consoled by Brahmā afterwards and that he begot of Vīriṇī sixty daughters.[1]

17. He gave ten of them to Dharma; thirteen to Kaśyapa; twentyseven to the moon and four to Ariṣṭanemi.

18. Two to the son of Brahmā, two to Aṅgiras and two to the learned Kṛśāśva. Now listen to their names.

19-20. O sage, the wives of Dharma are Arundhatī, Vasu, Yāmi, Lambā, Bhānu, Marutvatī, Saṅkalpā, Muhūrtā, Sādhyā and Viśvā. Now listen to their children. Viśvedevas are the sons of Viśvā, and Sādhyā gave birth to Sādhyas.

21. Marutvats were born of Marutvatī, Vasus were born of Vasu; the suns were born of Bhānu and the Muhūrtajas were born of Muhūrtā.

22. Ghoṣa was born of Lambā; Nāgavīthī was born of Yāmi and Pṛthivīviṣama was born of Arundhatī.

23. Saṅkalpa of the nature of Truth was born of Saṅkalpā. Aya and others were born of Vasu. They are eight. O Śaunaka, listen to them.

24. Aya, Dhruva, Soma, Dhara, Anila, Anala, Pratyūṣa and Prabhāsa are the eight Vasus by name.

25. Aya’s sons are Vaitaṇḍa, Śrama, Śānta and Muni. Dhruva’s son was lord Kāla influencing the worlds.

26. Soma’s son was lord Varcas imparting lustre to others. Dhara’s sons were Draviṇa and Hutahavyavaha.

27-28. Manoharā’s sons were Śaśira, Prāṇa and Ramaṇa. Anila’s wife was Śivā whose sons were Purojava and Avijñātagati. Anila had only two sons. Kumāra was the son of Agni in the grove of Śara grass surrounded by glory.

29. His sons were Śākha, Viśākha and Naigameya. The son of Kṛttikās was called Kārttikeya.[2]

30. Pratyūṣa’s son was Devala a sage. Devala had two sons who too had children and who were intelligent.

31-32. Bṛhaspati’s sister was a woman of excellence, well-versed in Yoga and she traversed the entire world maintaining celibacy. She became the wife oí Prabhāsa the eighth of Vasus. O fortunate one, Viśvakarman the patriarch was born of him.[3]

33. He was the creator of thousands of skilled arts. He is the architect of the gods. He was maker of all sorts of ornaments. He was the foremost among artisans and craftsmen.

34. He built the aerial chariots of all gods. He is a great Ātman whose craft is emulated and made use of by men too.

35-36. According to another version his wife Sarūpā gave birth to crores of Rudras such as Raivata, Aja, Bhava, Bhīma, Vāma, Ugra, Vṛṣākapi, Ajaikapād, Ahirbudhnya, Bahurūpa, Mahat etc. Eleven of them are important. O sage, listen to their names.

37-38. These eleven are the Rudras, lords of the three worlds viz:—Ajaikapād, Ahirbudhnya, Tvaṣtṛ, the powerful Rudrahara of many forms, Tryambaka, Aparājita, Vṛṣākapi, Śambhu, Kapardin and Raivata.[4]

39. Thus a hundred Rudras of immense prowess have been mentioned to you. Now listen to the names of Kaśyapa’s wives, O excellent sage.

Footnotes and references:


According to the present text Dakṣa had sixty daughters. Of these he gave 10 to Dharma, is to Kaśyapa, 27 to Soma, 4 to Ariṣṭanemin 2 to Brahmaputra, 2 to Aṅgiras and 2 Kṛśāśva. But the assignment is not uniform in all the Purāṇas. For instance MP (5.13-14) assigns 15 to Kaśyapa instead of 13 and omits 2 of Brahmaputra to complete the given number.

The account is found also in RS. Sṛṣṭi. Ch. 16.


Kumāra Kārttikeya is one of the four brothers, the other three being Śākha, Viśākha and Naigameya. He is the son of six Kṛttikā mothers and therefore named Kārttikeya and Sāṇmātura (MP. 527). The legend is found in all the Śaiva Purāṇas. Prof. Agrawal gives a mystical interpretation of the episode. MP—A study PP. 68-71.


The patriarch Viśvakarmā, son of Vasu Prabhāsa, was the craftsman of the gods and entrusted with the work of building chariots, ornaments, palaces etc. MP 5. 27-28, See P. 389 note 295.


Śivapurāṇa proposes to recount the names of eleven Rudras but actually mentions twelve names. As a matter of fact Tvaṣṭā and Bahurupa are identical names. Compare MP (5.29-30) where Tvaṣṭā is replaced by its corresponding name Bahurūpa.

In regard to the names of the eleven Rudras the Purāṇas are not unanimous.