The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “description of vaivasvata” 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 35 - The description of Vaivasvata

Sūta said:—

1. Vivasvata was born of Dakṣa’s daughter and Kaśyapa the great sage. His wife was Saṃjñā, daughter of Tvaṣṭṛ and also known as Sureṇukā.

2. Due to the unbearable heat of her husband she in her prime of youth was dissatisfied.

3. Being scorched and not being able to hear the brilliance of the lustrous sun, the fair-complexioned lady was excited and sorrowful.

4-5. O sage, the sun begot three offsprings of her: the patriarch Manu Śrāddhadeva, Yama and Yamunā born as twins.

6. On seeing the brilliance of the sun as unbearable as the fire at the final dissolution she created Chāyā of herself.

7. She of illusory form told Saṃjñā: “O sweet-smiled auspicious lady, what shall I do for you, please tell me”.

Saṃjñā said:—

8. “Welfare unto you. I go to my father’s house alone. Indeed you have to stay in this house without aberration.

9. These two well-behaved sons and this pretty girl should be happily protected if you wish to please me.”

Chāyā said:—

10. “O lady, I shall brook their misdeeds even as much as pulling out my hair. I shall make no complaint to you. O goddess, you can go away happily.”

Sūta said:—

11. Ashamed on being addressed thus, the lady went to her father’s house but was rebuked by him. He urged her again and again to return to her husband.

12. She assumed the form of a mare. Going to Northern Kurus she wandered among the people.

13. The sun took her for Saṃjñā and begot of her a son the Manu Sāvarṇi.

14. Though requested by Saṃjñā, Chāyā did not love the elder children. She loved her own son more and fondled him always.

15. The younger brother Yama could not hear that. He did not forgive. Ever since childhood he was furious and and ill-tempered due to the gravity of what was destined to happen later.

16. When Yama, son of Vivasvat threatened Chāyā she became infuriated and cursed him angrily.

17. Due to excessive anger she cursed—“Let your leg fall off”. Yama approached his father with palms joined in reverence and said.

18-20. “I was agitated due to Chāyā’s words. I am sorry and frightened of the curse. I had only said that a mother shall have impartial and equal love for all her children. She has lost affection for us. She nurtures only the youngest one. Hence I raised my foot. It behoves you to forgive me. O lord of gods, O foremost among the refulgent ones, I have been cursed by my mother. O lord of rays, let not my leg fall off by your grace.”

The sun said:—

21. O son, there shall be a great cause for this. That was why you too who know virtue and speak the truth had been infuriated.

22. It is not possible to make your mother’s words false. Worms will take away the flesh from your leg and go to the earth.

23. Her words will come up true and you will also be saved. Have no doubt, O deer, cheer up your mind, O lord.

Sūta said:—

24. O great sage, after saying thus to his son Yama, the sun angrily spoke to Chāyā.

The sun said:—

25. O beloved wife, O evil-minded angry lady, what it is that you have done? Why do you love one son more? You shall tell me.

Sūta said:—

26. On hearing the words of the sun she told him the truth. Scorched by him she consoled him thus.

Chāyā said:—

27. This fierce form of yours was not pleasant to Saṃjñā. She was scorched by your excessive brilliance. She could not bear it. She now resides on the grassy plain in a forest.

28. O lord of rays, she is endowed with the power of Yoga. She has resorted to yogic practice. She is praiseworthy. O lord of gods, be favourable to her by sending the message of your opinion.

29. I shall change your form. I shall make it pleasingly brilliant.

Sūta said:—

On hearing this, the sun was appeased.

30. The sage Tvaṣṭṛ put him on the turner’s lathe and sharpened him further. His blazing form was slightly reduced in brilliance.

31. When the form was made more pleasingly brilliant by Tvaṣṭṛ it shone splendidly. Then resorting to Yogic practice he saw his wife Saṃjñā.

32. He assumed the form of a horse and approached her for sexual indulgence with her who could not be overwhelmed by any living being due to her lustre and observance of restraint.

33. O sage, in the course of the sexual activity she suspected him to be another man. Hence she received the semen through the mouth into the nostril.

34. Thence were born the twin gods Aśvins, the foremost among physicians. They are known as Nāsatyas and Dasras.

35. The sun showed his pleasingly splendid form to them. On seeing her husband she was extremely delighted.

36. The chaste lady returned to the house with her husband with the face beaming with pleasure. The pair rejoiced more than before.

37. This incident distressed the mind of Yama. As pious king he gladdened the subjects virtuously.

38. Yama of great lustre attained the lordship of the names and the guardianship of the quarters.

39. Sāvarṇi Manu became the patriarch. In the Sāvarṇika Manvantara he will become the future Manu by virtue of his action.

40-42. The lord is performing penance even today on the top of Meru[1]. Their younger sister, the famous Yamī, became the most excellent river Yamunā, the sanctifier of all the worlds. He is called Sāvarṇi Manu in the world. He who listens to or retains in memory this origin of the gods attains great fame. Should he suffer from any adversity he will be rid of it.

Footnotes and references:

1.

See P. 310 not and P. 623 note.