The Shiva Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1950 | 616,585 words

This page relates “manifestation of uma” 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 49 - The manifestation of Umā

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

The sages said:—

1. O Sūta, the most excellent among the omniscients please mention the incarnation of Umā, the goddess of all the worlds and the mother of Sarasvatī.

2. She is sung as the primordial Prakṛti of the supreme Brahman. She is both possessed and devoid of forms. She is of the form of eternal bliss. She is Satī.

Sūta said:—

3. O sages, listen lovingly to the great story, the perfect knowledge of which alone helps man to attain the great goal.

4. Once there was a clash between the gods and the Asuras. Thanks to the power of the goddess the gods became victorious.

5. Then the gods were proud and haughty. They boasted—“We are blessed. What can the Asuras do to us

6. Of our unbearable prowess, the Asuras are afraid. They have gone to Pātāla saying, “Run, run”.

7. Then all of them proclaimed thus: “Wonderful is the strength, splendour and good luck of the gods that has reduced the race of the Daityas.

8. Then a mass of splendour appeared, at the unprecedented sight of which the gods were surprised.

9. Ignorant of the real glory and the intention of the goddess to quell their arrogance, the Asuras said with choking throats “What is this? What is this?”

10. Then the lord Indra ordered the gods—“Go ye all and examine it and ascertain what it is.”

11. Urged by Indra, the wind-god approached splendour and addressed it, “Who are you?” The splendour too put the same question to him.

12. Thus asked by the big mass of splendour the wind-god replied arrogantly.—“I am Vāyu the vital breath of the universe.”

13. Everything in the universe, mobile or immobile, is woven like warp and woof into me. I am the support of everything. I move the entire universe.”

14. Then the great splendour said:—“If you are competent to move, O wind-god, please move this blade of grass I have set before you. Move it as you please.”

15. Then wind-god put forth all his efforts. But the blade of grass did not stir from its position. Then he was put to shame.

16. The wind-god went silently to the assembly of Indra. There he narrated the details of his discomfiture.

17. “False is our pride that we are the lords. In fact we are helpless, insignificant creatures.”

18. Then Indra sent all the gods. When they could not realise anything Indra himself went there.

19. On seeing Indra come, the unbearable splendour vanished immediately. Indra was surprised.

20. Then Indra thought to himself again and again—“I seek refuge in him alone whose conduct is such as this.”

21-22. In the meantime, in order to bless them and remove their arrogance, Śivā, the embodied form of undr ceitful merry, existence, knowledge and bliss, manifested herself on the ninth day of the bright half of the month Caitra when the sun was in the middle of the day.

23. Shining among the mass of splendour she brightened the quarters with her brilliance. She enlightened the gods, saying “I alone am Brahman.”

24. In her four hands she held boons, noose, goad and the mystic gesture of protection. She was served by the Vedas and looked beautiful and proud of her blooming youth.

25. She wore red garments and red garlands. Red sandal paste was smeared over her body. She was as dazzling as a crore of cupids. Her lustre wṅs that of a crorc moons.

26. The great Māyā, in the form of the immanent soul of all, the cosmic witness of all living beings, and the great Brahman, spoke.

Umā said:—

27. Neither Brahma nor Viṣṇu nor Śiva the slayer of the Tripura demon can bluff before me. What about the other gods?

28. The great Brahman, the great light in the form of the two Praṇavas, I alone am. I am all. There is none other beside me.

29. Though devoid of form I possess forms. I constitute all principles. I am eternal and my attributes cannot be disputed. I am both the cause and the effect.

30. Sometimes I have the form of a woman, sometimes of a man. Sometimes both. I am goddess assuming all forms.

31. I am the creator, the protector and the destroyer of the world. I am the enchantress of the universe.

32. All the ŚaktisKālī, Lakṣmī and Sarasvatī as well as others are born of my parts. So also the arts originate from me.

38. Due to my power alone the demons are conquered by you. Without knowing me of this nature you bluff as the lords of all.

34. Just as a magician makes the wooden doll of a woman dance so also I the goddess make all living beings dance.

35. Being afraid of me the wind blows, the fire-god burns and the guardians of the quarters carry on their duties.

36. Independent that I am, I sportively bestow victory on the gods sometimes and on the Daityas sometimes.

37. It is my form that is described in the Vedas as indestructible, the great abode, the one beyond Māyā and that which is greater than the greatest.

38. My form is two-fold—Saguṇa and Nirguṇa. One is mixed with Māyā and the other is free from it.

39. O gods, endowed with devotion, realise this and eschew your arrogance, worship me, the eternal Prakṛti.

40. On hearing the merciful words of the goddess, the gods eulogised her, with their shoulders drooping with devotion.

41. O goddess of the universe, forgive us. O goddess, he pleased. O mother, let us not be arrogant again. Please be merciful.

42. Since then the gods began to propitiate her as before. They eschewed their arrogance and became pure in mind.

43. O Brahmins, thus I have narrated to you the manifestation of Umā. By only hearing this men attain the great region.

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