The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “shiva’s sports on the mandara mountain” 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 24 - Śiva’s sports on the Mandara mountain

The sages said:—

1. Where did Śiva who vanished along with the goddess and his attendants go? Where did he stay? What did he do and not do?

Vāyu said:—

2. The excellent mountain Mandara[1] with different caves became the pleasing spot of penance for lord Śiva.

3. He had performed a great penance for the previlege to support Śiva and Śivā on his head. After a long time he felt the pleasure of contact with their lotus like feet.

4. The beauty of the mountain cannot be mentioned in detail by persons with thousand faces even in hundreds of crores of years.

5. Even if it is possible to describe I do not attempt to describe its beauty lest it should stand comparison with the other beautiful mountains.

6. This is possible to mention that it has the beauty of being qualified to be the residence of the lord through some supernatural magnificence.

7. That was why the lord made this mountain as his harem with a desire to do what was pleasing to the goddess.

8. The slopes of the mountain abounding in rocks and trees humiliate the universe due to the perpetual presence of Śiva and Śivā.

9-10. The mountain renders help to the parents of the worlds with light and clean waters of the streams cool to the touch for bath as well as drinking. Due to these merits he is coronated as the king of mountains with the very waters spreading here and there.

11. During the nights when the moon remains at the outskirts of its peaks the mountain shines with the imperial umbrella in the form of the moon.

12. When the tresses of the womenfolk of the gods shake, he appears as being fanned by the chowries signifying his Emperorship.

13. In the morning when the sun rises, the mountain embellished with jewels and gems appears to be eager for observing the beauty of his body in a mirror.

14-15. This king of mountains appears to be honoured with benedictions of victory by the trees that seem to be sages with the twining growths of creepers for the matted hair; through the chirping of vociferous birds, by extending their arms in the form of creepers shaken by the breeze and shedding flowers and tender sprouts.

16-19. With the various peaks some facing down, some shooting up and some projecting sideways he appears to jump into the nether worlds, jump up from the ground, fly through the sky in all directions. Through the vast caves he appears to have kept his mouth gaping. He appears to see the universe and dance continuously. His beauty never fades nor wears out. He appears to stretch himself to devour the universe, to drink the ocean; to vomit the darkness within and to cover up the sky with clouds.

20. The different abodes have mirror-like surface. The tall shady trees in the hermitages set the blazing sunshine at nought.

21. The breezes made cool by their contact with the rivers, tanks and lakes are rendered fruitful by Śiva and Śivā who roam here and there and enjoy them.

22. It was to this excellent mountain that Śiva accompanied by Śivā while staying in the hermitage of Raibhya[2] was attracted and proceeded.

23. Reaching the garden there along with the goddess, lord Śiva sported about in the divine harem grounds.

24. As time elapsed and population increased, two demons were born. They were two brothers Śumbha and Niśumbha.

25. As a result of the power of their penance Brahmā granted them the boon that they would not be killed by any man in the universe.

26-27. Brahmā was requested by them thus—“Our death may take place in a battle with the lady with whom we fall passionately in love. She shall be a virgin born of Śiva’s part, not from any womb. She should not have experienced the sexual contact with any man. Her exploit shall be unthwartable.” Brahmā had consented to their request.

28. Ever since, the two demons wrought havoc in the universe. They defeated Indra and other gods in war. They abolished the study of the Vedas and offering to the gods.

29-30. Then Brahmā requested Śiva, the lord of the gods for killing them—“It behoves you to bestow on the gods the goddess who will kill Śumbha and Niśumbha. She shall be the Śakti born of the sheath of Śiva’s colour. She shall be in the form of a virgin devoid of passion. By rebuking her secretly or by infuriating her this shall be arranged.

31-32. Thus requested by Brahmā, the lord Nīlalohita called Kālī in secret outwardly rebuking her while smiling within. The goddess Kālī was angry by her allusion to the colour. Derisively and forcibly she spoke to her husband thus.

The goddess said:—

33. “If my lord has no pleasure in my complexion how is it that I have been held up here so long.

34. If you are displeased with me why do you spoil with me? There is nothing in this universe which is unachievable for my lord, the lord of the universe.

35. To my lord taking delight in the soul, happiness is not derivable from sexual indulgence; for the very reason Kāma was reduced to ashes.

36. The life of the lady most beautiful in limbs is in vain though she may possess all other qualities if her husband is not delighted with her.

37. The creation of women rests solely in the enjoyment of her husband. That being the case, where can a woman who is contrary to that be used?

38. Hence, eschewing this colour censured by you in secret I shall attain another colour or I shall cease to exist myself.”

39. After saying this she stood up from the bed. Bent upon penance she requested for the permission of her lord in words choked with emotion.

40. Then lord Śiva, afraid of a rupture in love, replied to her falling at her feet.

Lord Śiva said:—

41. “O beloved, why are you angry with me, not knowing that this was only a jocular remark of mine. If I am not delighted with you, where else can I seek delight?

42. If I am not delighted with you how can it be proper since you are mother of this universe and I am its father and lord?

43. Is our mutual love generated by Kāma? Even before the birth of Kāma the universe existed.

44. The deity Kāma was formulated by me for the sexual pleasure of men and women. Then why did you taunt me for having burnt Kāma?

45. The mind-born Kāma considered me on a par with the gods. While he attempted to tease me I reduced him to ashes.

46. Even our sport and pastime is meant for the universe. For that very purpose I have made this jocular remark.

47. That purpose ere long will be revealed to you.” On hearing this the goddess, remembered the remark that caused her annoyance and said.

The goddess said:—

48. O lord, your jocular remarks I have heard before whereby I have been deceived though I am very bold.

49. Even an auspicious lady of a noble family who does not abandon her life incurs the displeasure of her husband and is held despicable by good men.

50. Your displeasure is very great because I am not fair. How is the remark “Kālī” relevant otherwise though it be a jocular remark?

51. Dark complexion is hated by good men. You too disapprove of it. Without wiping it off by dint of penance I am not inclined to stay here.

Śiva said:—

52. If your distress is such, of what avail is penance? You can assume any other colour at my will or at your choice.

The goddess said:—

53. I do not wish to have any other colour either at your will or at my choice. I shall propitiate Brahmā by penance and become Gaurī.

Śiva said:—

54. O goddess, Brahmā attained his status formerly by my grace. What will you do by invoking him through your penance?

The goddess said:—

55-56. True that Brahmā and other gods acquired their status only from you. Still at your bidding I propitiated Brahmā formerly and in the name of Satī I became Dakṣa’s daughter and attained you, the lord of the worlds, as my husband.

57. So now also by propitiating him by penance I wish to become Gaurī. What is the harm therein?

58. Thus replied to by the goddess, Śiva did not insist on his point as he desired to carry out the task of the gods.

Footnotes and references:


See P. 1839 note 215.


See P. 18?8 note?.