by J. L. Shastri | 1970 | 616,585 words
This page relates “description of creation (4)” 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.
1-5. Such is the creation as mentioned in the Manvantara, Svārociṣa, O dear. Now I shall describe the creation as evolved by Brahman while offering oblations in the elaborate Vāruṇa sacrifice in the great Vaivasvata Manvantara. All the Brahmarṣis born in the beginning, Pitāmaha made his mental sons. When a great fight ensued between the gods and the Dānavas, Diti lost all her sons. She approached Kaśyapa and propitiated him. The delighted Kaśyapa asked her to choose a boon as she pleased. She chose the boon that she be favoured with a son of immeasurable power capable of slaying Indra.
6. He granted her the boon of her choice. The sage of great penance advised her celibacy and other restraints for a hundred years.
7. The pious fair-complexioned lady conceived. She began to observe celibacy and other restraints.
8. After impregnating Diti, Kaśyapa of noble sacred rites went away satisfied for the performance of penance.
9. Indra waited for finding out a weak point in her. He found one such when the period of hundred years was short by a year.
10. Due to the gravity of the event destined to happen, once Diti did not wash her feet. She went to sleep with head hanging down.
11. In the meantime Indra entered her belly with the thunderbolt. He cut off the foetus into seven pieces.
12. While being split into seven the foetus began to cry in seven different tones. Indra told the foetus “Do not cry, Do not cry” repeatedly. He cut them again but they did not die.
13. O sage, being felled down they told him with palms joined in reverence. “O Indra, why do you wish to kill us? We are your brothers, the Maruts.”
15. In the name of Maruts they became gods of great prowess. Thus traversing the sky the forty-nine Maruts became assistants of Indra.
18. O great sage, I have explained the creation of living beings to you. Listen to the division of kingdoms. I shall explain that duly now.
20. He crowned Soma in the kingdom of birds, creepers, stars, planets, sacrifices and austerities.
25. He crowned Himavat as the lord of mountains, the ocean of rivers, the tiger of deer and Bull as the lord of cows.
26. He crowned the banyan tree in the kingdom of plants and trees. Thus the kingdom was assigned everywhere by the lord of subjects.
27. The lord of the universe, the soul of all, established the son of patriarch Vairāja in the kingdom in the east.
30. He crowned the indefatigable son of Parjanya the patriarch, Hiraṇyaroman, in the kingdom in the north.
31 O Śaunaka, the details of Pṛthu the son of Vena have been narrated to you. This base is glorified as the most ancient spot of great prosperity.
Footnotes and references:
For full details of the legend see Matsya-purāṇa (‘A Study’ by V. S. Agrawal) Ch. 7.
Maruts are so called that when Indra split the foetus of Diti they cried and did not stop. Then Indra ordered them not to weep, hence they became known as Maruts.