The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “description of creation (srishti) (2)” 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 11 - The description of creation (sṛṣṭi) (2)

The sages said:—

1. Please narrate the Manvantaras, the Kalpas, the subsidiary creations and the re-creation after dissolution.

Vāyu said:—

2. The tenure of Brahmā who comes and goes according to the calculation of time is first a Parārdha and another Parārdha thereafter. At the end of the latter the re-creation takes place.

3. In each day in the life of Brahmā, the fourteen Manus come and go.

4. The Manvantaras and Kalpas have no beginning or

end. Being unknowable they cannot be narrated separately.

5. Even if they be knowable, of what avail is it to

you to know them. Hence I do not attempt to narrate them separately.

6. Among these Kalpas, I describe the creation and re-creation of this Kalpa.

7. The current Kalpa is named Vārāha. O excellent brahmins, in this Kalpa the Manus are fourteen in number.

8. Among the Manus, Svāyambhuva and others constitute the first seven Manus, Sāvarṇika and others constitute the next seven. Among them Vaivasvata Manu is the seventh.

9. It shall be known that in all the Manvantaras, the creation, sustenance and annihilation are more or less of the same nature.

10-13. When the previous Kalpa had ceased, the storm had hurst, the forest and trees had been uprooted, the fire-god had consumed the worlds like dry grass, the earth had been drenched, oceans had overflowed their shores, the quarters had been sunk in deep sheet of water and the waters of dissolution had started their fierce devil dances with the waves for their arms showing movements of gestures by means of the water, Brahmā assumed the form of Viṣṇu, slept soundly in that vast expanse of water.

14. One shall cite this mantra, a Śloka, regarding Nārāyaṇa. O excellent sages, listen to the mantra as well as the actual meaning of the words.

15. Waters are called ‘Nārāḥ’. Waters are sons of Nara. He is called Nārāyaṇa because waters constitute his abode.[1]

16-17. With their palms joined in reverence the Siddha residents of Janaloka and the gods awakened the lord of gods who was in Yogic slumber, with hymns, in the morning as the Śrutis had done formerly at the beginning of creation.

18. The lord woke up, got up from his bed and came to the water. He looked all round at the quarters with the Yogic slumber still lingering in the eyes idly.

19. He did not see anything except himself He sat up like a wonderstruck person and began to ponder deeply.

20. “Where is that charming goddess the great Earth, with her lofty mountains, rivers, cities and forests.”

21. Thinking thus Brahmā could not locate the earth. Then he thought of his father, the three-eyed lord.

22. By meditating on the lord of gods, of immeasurable splendour, Brahmā understood that the earth had sunk under water.

23. Then Brahmā desirous of lifting up the Earth, thought of the divine Boar supporting about and diving into the waters.

24-29. He then assumed the form of a Boar and entered the nether worlds in order to lift up the Earth. His body was like a huge mountain. His snorting sound was like thunder. He had the lustre of a blue cloud. He was terrible with his snorting sound. His shoulders were thick, heavy and rounded. His buttocks were plump and raised. The tips of his calves were short and rounded. The hoots were sharp. His eyes were round and terrible having the brilliance of rubies. The huge body was oval-shaped. The stiff cars shone brilliantly. Inhaling and exhaling his breath he stirred up the waters of dissolution. The shining manes covered his beautiful checks and shoulders. He was embellished in gemset jewels of various sorts. He shone like clustering clouds with lightning.

30. Then the boar that resembled a mountain shone well as if he had reached the foot of the lord.

31. Then he lifted the Earth sunk under water and held it on his curved fangs. He rose up from the nether worlds.

32. On seeing him, the Siddhas, sages and other human beings rejoiced and danced. They scattered flowers on his head.

33. The body of the Boar covered up with flowers shone like the mountain of collyrium with glow-worms falling on it.

34. The Boar brought the earth to its own place. It then assumed his natural form and fixed it there.

35. He levelled the earth, fixed the mountains and set up the four worlds on the earth as before.

36. Thus after lifting the earth along with the mountains from the midst of the vast sea of dissolution the lord created the universe—the mobile and immobile beings.

Footnotes and references:


Manu. 1.19.