The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “dialogue between the god and the goddess” 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 2 - The dialogue between the god and the goddess

Vyāsa said:—

1-3. O blessed brahmins, the question has been well put by you. The knowledge of Śiva’s principle that illuminates the meaning of Praṇava’s incomprehensible. It can be obtained surely by those with whom the trident-bearing lord is pleased and not by others who are undoubtedly devoid of Śiva’s devotion. This is true.

4. Lord Śiva, consort of Ambā, has been adored by you by long sacrifices. This I see actually.

5. O devotees, I shall narrate to you an ancient story containing a wonderful dialogue between Umā and Śiva.

6-8. Formerly Satī, daughter of Dakṣa, the mother of the universe abandoned her body in the sacrifice of her father in view of the insult offered to Śiva. As a result of the penance the goddess became the daughter of the Himavat. On the advice of Nārada she performed a penance for Śiva on that mountain. When lord Śiva married her with Svayaṃvara rites Pārvatī attained happiness.

9. Once she was cosily seated with lord Śiva on that great mountain. She spoke to the lord.

10-11. O omniscient lord who hath ordained to himself the five-fold duties, O lord easily accessible through devotion, O lord of nectarine body, I was the daughter of Dakṣa in my former birth. I abandoned my body because of the insult offered to you. I have now become the daughter of the mountain Himavat.

12. O lord, please make me merged in the principle of pure Ātman by duly initiating me in the Mantras.

13. Thus requested by the goddess the moon-crested lord replied to the goddess with a delighted mind.

Lord Śiva said:—

14. If your mind is thus diverted, O goddess, you are blessed indeed. I shall initiate you so after going to the summit of Kailāsa.

15. Then after leaving Himavat and reaching Kailāsa, the lord of mountains, Śiva, recited mantras Praṇava and others in the proper order after duly initiating her.

16. Then making the goddess merged in the pure Ātman, lord Śiva went to his garden accompanied by the goddess.

17-18. Śiva bedecked the goddess with the fullblown kalpa tree[1] flowers brought by the dearest friends of the goddess the chief of whom was Sumālinī. He made her sit on his lap. Looking at her face he sat there with his face beaming with delight.

19. Then ensued the delightful discourse conformable to the Vedas between Pārvatī and lord Śiva. It was meant for the welfare of the world.

20. O ascetics, then the mother of the universe seated on the lap of her husband looked at the lord’s face and said.

The goddess said:—

21. O lord, you have discoursed on the Mantras including the Praṇava. There at the outset I wish to know the meaning of the Praṇava.

22. How did Praṇava originate? How is Praṇava mentioned? How many Mātrās have been mentioned? How is it that it is called the initial mantra of the Vedas?

23. How many deities are mentioned? What is the concept of the Vedas thereto? What types of rites are mentioned? What is their cause and what is their result?

24. How do the five Brahmans stay in this mantra in their proper order? How many Kalās are enumerated? How is it the Ātman of the universe?

25. O Śiva, what is the link between the syllables and their meaning? What are the places of their articulation? Who is authorised in this? What is the theme?

26. What is the link between the knower and the known and what is the purpose? What shall be the nature of the practising devotee? What shall be the place for the practice of meditation?

27. Of what form is the object of devotion? What is the benefit derived from this? What is the procedure? What is the place of worship?

28. What is the mystic diagram of the worship? O Śiva, what are the sages and the rules regarding Nyāsa, Japa etc. What is the order of procedure in this worship?

29. O lord Śiva, please mention these all particularly, if you have mercy on me. I wish to hear everything factually.

30. Thus implored, the moon-crested lord praised the goddess and began to explain.

Footnotes and references:


It is a mythical wish-filling tree of Indra’s Paradise.