The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “glory of time (kala)” 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 7 - The glory of Time (kāla)

The sages said:—

1. Every thing originates from Kāla and is annihilated through Kāla. There is nothing independent of Kāla anywhere.

2. The whole universe caught in its mouth whirls like a wheel through the activities of creation and annihilation.

3. By his control, Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra, gods and Asuras cannot transgress the laws of propriety.

4. It classifies itself in the factors of past, present and future and makes people grow old. Thus freely lording over all it is extremely terrible.

5. O skilful one, please tell us. Who is this lord Kāla? Under whose control is he? Who does not come under his control?

Vāyu said:—

6. It is the great splendour of lord Śiva named Kālātman. Kalā, Kāṣṭḥā, Nimeṣa are the forms it embodies.

7. It is the power of the lord that controls the universe in the form of directives which are untransgressable to the universe consisting of the mobile and immobile beings.

8. The Energy in the form of Kāla consists of its various parts. It comes out of it and permeates it like the piece of steel that sheds sparks of fire.

9. The universe is under the control of Kāla. Kāla is not under the control of the universe. Kāla is under the control of Śiva. Śiva is not subject to its control.

10. Since the unobstructed splendour of Śiva is firmly fixed in Kāla the limit of Kāla is extensive and is untransgeressable.

11. Who can go beyond Kāla with the help of intellect? None can go beyond Karman perpetrated by Kāla.

12. Even those who attack the earth and rule it under a single umbrella cannot step beyond Kāla like the oceans that do not overflow the shore.

13. Even those who restrain their sense-organs and conquer the universe cannot conquer Kāla. Kāla overwhelms them.

14. Physicians well-versed in medicines regularly taking in elixirs and aphrodisiacs do not thwart death. Indeed Kāla is untransgressable.

15. The individual soul proposes something on the basis of its glory, beauty, conduct, strength and pedigree but Kāla disposes it.

16. By means of pleasing, displeasing and unexpected contacts, Kāla unites and separates the living beings.

17. At the same time when some one is miserable another is very happy. Wonderful indeed is the unscrutable nature of Kāla.

18. A young man changes into a feeble aged man. A powerful man becomes weak. A rich man becomes deprived of prosperity. O brahmins, the ways of Kāla are wonderful.

19. Neither nobility of birth, nor good conduct nor strength nor skill is of any avail. Kāla is unthwartable.

20. Kāla is impartial in its activity over those who are well guarded donors attended upon by songs and musical instruments as well as those who are helpless, living on doles.

21. Even elixirs, panaceas and well administered medicines do not have any effect if the time is not opportune. Those very things brought into use at the proper time are efficacious and yield happiness.

22. No one dies or is born before time. No one flourishes well before the proper time. No one is happy or miserable before the time for it arrives. There is no object which is untimely.

23. At the proper time the cool wind blows, the rain falls; the heat subsides and every thing grows.

24. Kāla is the cause of all births. Plants grow and perish at the proper time. The living world too comes into life.

25. He who thus correctly understands the principle of Kāla goes beyond it and sees that which is beyond Kāla.

26. Obeisance to the great. Obeisance to Śiva of wonderful form who has no Kāla to influence him, no bondage and liberation and is identical neither with Puruṣa nor Prakṛti nor the universe.