The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “description of creation (srishti) (3)” 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 12 - The description of creation (sṛṣṭi) (3)

Vāyu said:—

1. At the time of meditation while he was pondering intelligently, delusion in the form of darkness appeared before him.

2. Darkness, delusion, great delusion, blinding darkness and ignorance; the five appeared before the noble lord.

3. While he was meditating, the creation was ramified into five, enveloped all round by darkness as in a seed vessel(?)

4. Both within and without it was devoid of light benumed and unconscious. It had no intellect, faces and sense-organs.

5-6. Hence this creation became stationary consisting of trees and mountains. On seeing that this creation did not multiply Brahmā was dissatisfied. He began conceiving and meditating a second time. While he meditated, the lower animals came into being.

7. These animals had light within but not without.

They had the form of animals and went a wrong path.

8. When this creation too proved ineffective the creation of the gods of the Sāttvika type took place.

9. Men had plenty of pleasure, were not concealed but had light within and light without. They had innate consciousness too.

10. Again he meditated and from the unmanifest evolved the human creation which had a downward trend. Though effective it was full of misery.

11-13. The human beings had light within and light without. They had Tamas and Rajas in abundance. The fifth creation appeared in four forms in respect of Viparyaya, Śakti Tuṣṭi and Siddhi. These had no possessions, being of different species, prone to eating and drinking, were known as Bhūtas etc.

14. The first creation of Brahmā is that of Mahat; the second is that of subtle elements and is called Bhūtasarga; the third is known as organic.

15. The primary creation took place without the intervention of intellect. The fourth was the creation or immobile beings.

16-17. The fifth was the creation of animal kingdom; the sixth of gods; the seventh of human beings. The eighth is called Anugraha and the ninth Kumāra.

18. The first three creations are primary. They work without intelligence. The five secondary creations function intelligently.

19-20. Brahmā had in the beginning created four sons: Sanaka, Sananda, Sanātana and Sanatkumāra. These are known as yogins free from passion and jealousy.

21-22. They were not interested in the activity of creation because their minds were drawn towards the lord. When Sanaka and others disinterested in creation had left the world, Brahmā, desirous of creation, performed penance. Though he performed penance nothing happened.

23. When a long time elapsed he was distressed and his distress turned into anger. From the eyes of the infuriated Brahmā drops of tears fell.

24. From these goblins and ghosts emerged. On seeing these born of tears Brahmā censured himself.

25. As a result of anger and annoyance he fell into swoon. Then the enraged Brahmā cast off his breath.

26. Then Rudra, the lord of vital breaths, appeared through the mouth of Brahmā in order to confer unequalled favour.

27. Lord Rudra divided himself into eleven Ātmans. When these appeared they were addressed by him.

28-29. O dear, you have been created by me for blessing the worlds. Hence endeavour assiduously for the establishment and benefit of the world and for its progeny. Thus spoken to, they cried and ran all round.

30. In view of their crying and flight they are called Rudras. Rudras are vital breaths and vital breaths are Rudras.

31. Then Rudra, the merciful son of Brahmā, bestowed vital breaths on Brahmā.

32. Rudra was delighted at the return of Brahmā to life. He spoke to Brahmā.

33. O Brahmā, preceptor of the worlds, do not be afraid. Your vital breaths have been resuscitated by me. O one of good rites, get up comfortably.

34-35 On hearing these words as if heard in dreams Brahmā glanced at Rudra, his eyes shedding lustre of lotuses, when the vital breath returned to him. With palms joined in reverence he spoke in pleasing but majestic tone.

36. “Indeed by your very vision you delight my mind. Who are you, sir, standing in cosmic form dividing yourself into eleven forms?”

37. On hearing his words, Śiva lord of the gods touched Brahmā with his pleasing hands and spoke.

38. Know me as the great Ātman, born as your son. The eleven Rudras have come to protect you well.

39. Hence shake off this lethargy through my blessing. Be wakeful. It behoves you to create beings as before.

40. When the lord spoke thus, Brahtnā was pleased. He eulogised Rudra with the eight names.

Brahmā said:—

41-43. (i) Obeisance O lord Rudra, with the splendour of the sun; to lord Bhava the taste, of the form of water; to Śarva of the form of the earth, Nandin the bull; to Īśa, Vasu in the form of touch, to the lord of Paśus, to the fire-god of great brilliance, to Bhīma in the form of ether, the sound, the subtle element, to Ugra of terrible features in the form of the sacrificer, to Mahādeva with Umā and the moon. Obeisance to the lord of eight forms.

44. After eulogising Mahādeva, Brahmā, the grand-father of the worlds requested the lord after due homage.

45. O lord of the past and the future, O Rudra, my son, it was for the creation that you the destroyer of the cupid were born out of my limbs.

46. Hence, O lord of the universe, help me in this task. It behoves you to create beings everywhere.

47. Thus requested by him Rudra, the suppressor of the Tripuras, consented to his proposal.

48. Then Brahmā congratulated him. Permitted by him Brahmā created people.

49. He mentally created Marīci, Bhṛgu, Aṅgiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Dakṣa, Atri and Vasiṣṭha. He created Dharma and Saṃkalpa too.

50. These are the twelve sons of Brahmā including Rudra. They are the ancient householders.

51. Their families are twelve including the gods. Endowed with progeny and holy rites they are embellished by the sages.

52-53. Then he created the four—the gods, Asuras, Pitṛs and the human beings. Desirous of creating these, Brahmā set himself to the task of creation along with Rudra. He created the gods from his face and the pitṛs from the sides.

54. From his loins he created the Asuras; from the organ of generation the human beings. The Rākṣasas overwhelmed by hunger were born of his privities.

55. Strong night-prowlers with Tamas and Rajas prominent were born as his sons. The serpents, Yakṣas, Bhūtas and Gandharvas were born.

56. The crows were created from the sides, birds from his chest, goats from the face and serpents from the sides.

57. From his feet were born the horses, elephants, Śarabhas, wild oxen, deer, camels, mules, stags and other animals.

58-62. Medicinal herbs, fruits and roots were born of his hairs. From his eastern face he created Gāyatrī, Ṛks, Trivṛtsāma, Rathantara, Agniṣṭoma and other sacrifices. From his southern face he created Yajus Traiṣṭubha Chandas, the fifteen Stomas, Bṛhatsāma and Uktha. From his western face he created Sāman, Jagati Chandas, the seventeen Stomas, Vairūpya and Atirātra mantras. From his northern face he created the Atharva Veda, the twenty-one Āptorvāman, Anuṣṭubh Chandas and the Vairāja. High and low animals and living beings were born of his different limbs.

63. Yakṣas, Piśācas, Gandharvas, Apsaras, human beings, Kinnaras, Rākṣasas, birds, deer and other animals, serpents etc. were born.

64. The mobile and immobile beings which were perishable and imperishable attained their activities.

65. Created again and again the beings retain their previous nature, violent or non-violent, soft or ruthless, virtuous or evil, true or false.

66-70. They attain birth with the impressions of their previous traits. The creator himself has assigned the variety and diversity to the elements, the sensual objects etc. He himself has assigned them names and forms through the Vedic texts. He has bestowed thç names of the sages and the functions prescribed in the Vedas on those who were born at the close of the night. When a new season arrives its nature appears itself. So also when the new yuga arrives its nature appears along with it. Thus creation manifests itself through the limbs of Brahmā.

71-73. Beginning with intellect and ending with Viśeṣa this secondary creation is derived from Prakṛti itself. There in the Brahmavana which has the light of the moon and the sun, which is embellished by planets, stars, rivers, oceans, mountains and abounds in beautiful cities and countries the unmanifest Brahmā, having his source in the seed of Avyakta and blessed with the benign favour of the lord, the knower of alḥ moves about.

74-75. The eternal tree in the form of Brahmā shall be resorted to by all. The cosmic intellect is its main stem as well as its branch; the sense-organs its inner hollows; the great elements characterize its size; the Viśeṣa is its tender sprout; Dharma and Adharma its good flowers; happiness and misery its fruits.

76. Wise men say that the heaven is his head; the sky his navel; the sun and the moon his eyes; the quarters his cars and the earth his feet. That unponderable soul is the maker of all living beings.

77. Brahmins are born of his mouth: the Kṣatriyas of his chest, the Vaiśyas of his thighs; the Śūdras of his feet. All the castes are born of his