The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “incarnation of shatakshi etc.” 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 50 - The incarnation of Śatākṣī etc.

The sages said:—

1. O intelligent one, all of us are anxious to hear the episode of Durgā every day. Please tell us another wonderful tale of the goddess.

2. O Sūta, the most excellent of the story-tellers, we are not satiated even as we hear different nectarine stories narrated by you.

Sūta said:—

3. The most powerful son of Ruru, famous as Durgama secured the four Vedas as a result of the boon granted by Brahmā.

4. Securing this strength that cannot be thwarted even by the gods he wrought havoc on the earth, making the gods tremble in heaven.

5. When the Vedas were destroyed the sacred rites were ruined. Brahmins and the gods fell off from their right conduct.

6. None offered charitable gifts; none performed penances; there was neither worship nor sacrifice. Then a great drought befell the earth extending to a period of a hundred years.

7. There was a great hue and cry in all the three worlds. The people felt miserable being afflicted by hunger and thirst.

8. Rivers, oceans, tanks, wells and lakes dried. Trees and plants withered.

9. On seeing the misery of the distressed subjects the gods sought refuge in the Yogic Māyā, Maheśvarī.

The gods said

10. O Mahāmāyā, save all your people. Check your fury or the worlds will be ruined.

11-12. O ocean of mercy, O supportress of the distressed, kill this demon too just as you have killed Śumbha, Niśumbha. Dhūmrākṣa, Caṇḍa, Muṇḍa, Raktabīja, Madhu, Kaiṭabha and Mahiṣa.

13. Boys are guilty of offence at every step but who on earth brooks it except the mother?

14. When miseries afflict the gods and the brahmins you incarnate for the welfare of the people.

15. On hearing the distress of the gods the merciful goddess revealed to them her form possessed of many eyes.

16. The goddess with her lotus-face beaming with delight held in her four hands the bow, the arrows, the lotus and different fruits and roots.

17. On seeing her people scorched and distressed, the goddess was dejected. With her eyes full of mercy she cried for nine days and nights.

18. The tears took the forms of thousands of water-currents released from her eyes. The worlds, the plants and medicinal herbs were delighted by them.

19. They turned into the rivers and oceans of deep waters. Vegetables, roots and fruits grew on the earth.

20. To the learned and the gods she distributed the fruits in her hands. To the cows she gave the tender blades of grass and to others the things they deserved.

21. All including the gods, brahmins and men were satisfied. Then the goddess said—“What else shall I do for you?”

22. The gods then gathered together and said, “The people have been rendered happy and satisfied. O goddess, be pleased and redeem the Vedas taken by Durgama.”

23. After saying “So be it” she said. “Go ye all to your abodes. Ere long I shall give you the Vedas.”

24. Then the joyous gods returned to their abodes after bowing to the goddess the cause of the universe with her eyes that resembled full-blown blue lotus.

25. Then a great bustle arose in the three regions heaven, earth and sky. On hearing it the son of Ruru besieged the city immediately.

26. Then after creating a big circle of splendour all round for the protection of the gods, Śivā herself came out of it.

27. A great battle ensued between the goddess and the Daitya. Both showered arrows in the battle, piercing the armour of each other.

28-29. In the meantime ten beautiful forms came out of Kālī Viz Tārā, Chinnamastā, Śrīvidyā, Bhuvaneśvarī, Bhairavī, Bagalā, Dhūmrā, Śrīmattripurasundarī, Mātaṅgī and Mahāvidyā with weapons in their hands.

30. Then appeared innumerable mothers of divine forms, wearing the digit of the moon and with a lustre resembling the splendour of lightning.

31. Then a terrible combat ensued between the Asuras and the mothers. The army of the son of Ruru, consisting of a hundred Akṣauhiṇīs was killed in the battle.

32. Then the goddess struck Durgama with the edge of her trident. He fell on the earth like an uprooted tree.

33. Thus after killing him the goddess redeemed the four Vedas and gave them to the gods.

The gods said:—

34. O Ambikā, for our welfare that form of infinite eyes was assumed by you. Hence sages will glorify you as Śatākṣī.

35. Since the worlds were sustained by you with vegetables sprouting from your body, you will be famous as Śākambharī.

36. O Śivā, since you killed the Daitya Durgama you will be known as Durgā.

37. O Yogic slumber, O Mahābalā, O bestower of knowledge, O the mother of the universe, Obeisance be to you.

38. Obeisance to the heroine of infinite universes known as the supreme goddess in the Mahāvākyas as Tattvamasi.

39. O Mother, we who are unaware oi your power and greatness, cannot adequately eulogise you who are inaccessible through words, mind or body and whose eyes are the sun and the moon.

40. Who else will bestow mercy on seeing us the gods except the great goddess Śatākṣī the mother?

41. Effort shall be made by you so that the three worlds will not be pestered continuously with obstacles and our enemies shall be destroyed.

The gods said:—

42. Just as the cows run about in excitement quickly on seeing their calves in distress, so also I, Satī, am excited on seeing you in distress and run about.

43. Even a moment appears to be a Yuga if I do not see you since I look at you as my own children for whom I am ready even to lay down my life.

44. No worry or anxious thought need be entertained by you endowed with devotion as long as I stand by you destroying your distress.

45. In the manner I have killed the Daityas I shall kill the Asuras. You need not entertain any doubt in this regard. Truth, I am speaking the truth.

46-47. I shall be born of the womb in the family of cowherds as the daughter of Yaśodā wife of Nandā, when Śumbha and Niśumbha will be born as Daityas. I shall kill the demons and become famous. Men will therefore call me Nandajā.

48. Since I shall be taking the form of a bee and killing the demon Aruṇa, men will glorify me as Bhrāmarī.

49. Again I shall take a terrible form and devour the Rākṣasas. I shall then be famous as Bhīmā Devī.

50. Whenever there is harassment caused by the Asuras I shall surely incarnate and work for your welfare.

51. The goddess Śatākṣī, Śākambharī and Durgā are identical. In all the three the individual is the same.

52. There is no deity so compassionate as Śatākṣī the great goddess who cried for nine days on seeing her people scorched and distressed.