The Shiva Purana (English translation)

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

This page relates “story of upamanyu” 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 35 - The story of Upamanyu

Vāyu said:—

1. Then the excellent gods with their bodies illuminated hastened to Vaikuṇṭha. After bowing they mentioned everything to Viṣṇu.

2-3. On hearing them, lord Viṣṇu thought “What is this?” After understanding the reason he immediately went to the Mandara mountain with a desire to see lord Śiva. On seeing the lord and bowing to him with palms joined in reverence he said:—

Viṣṇu said

4. O lord, a certain brahmin well known as Upamanyu has burnt everything by his penance for obtaining the milk.

Vāyu said:—

5. On hearing the words of Viṣṇu, lord Śiva said:—“I shall prevent the boy. You may please go back to your abodes”.

6. On hearing the words of lord Śiva, Visṇu the favourite of the gods went to his abode after consoling the gods and others.

7. In the meantime, the trident-bearing lord Śiva resolved to go there assuming the form of Indra.

8. Taking up the physical form as the king of gods, accompanied by gods, Asuras, Siddhas and serpents, and seated on a white elephant Sadāśiva went to the hermitage of the sage.

9. The elephant fanned the lord with the chowrie and held the white umbrella with the left hand while bearing the lord of gods accompanied by Śacī.

10. Lord Sadāśiva accompanied by Umā and assuming the form of Indra, shone with that umbrella like the Mandara mountain with the disc of the moon.

11. Assuming the form of Indra, lord Śiva went to the hermitage of Upamanyu in order to bless him.

12. On seeing lord Śiva, in the form of Indra, the sage bowed his head and spoke.

Upamanyu said:—

13. O lord of gods, O lord of the universe, O excellent god, my hermitage is sanctified since you have come here.

Vāyu said:—

14. Glancing at the brahmin who stood steady after saying thus, with palms joined in reverence, Śiva in the guise of Indra spoke majestically.

Indra said:—

15. O sage of good rites, O elder brother of Dhaumya, I am delighted with your penance. Mention the boon you wish to have. I shall grant you whatever you desire.

Vāyu said:—

16. The leading sage when urged thus by Indra spoke with palms joined in reverence—‘I request you to grant me the boon of devotion to Śiva’.

17-19. On hearing that Indra said:—“you do not know me the lord of gods the overlord of the three worlds, Indra, saluted by the gods. O brahminical sage, be my devotee. Always worship only me. Welfare be to you. I shall give you everything. Abandon Rudra who is devoid of attributes. What purpose of yours can be served by Rudra who without attributes has become a ghost ostracised from the midst of the gods.”

Vāyu said:—

20. On hearing that, the sage began to repeat the five-syllabled Mantra. He thought that Indra had come there to put obstacles in his holy rites and so said.

Upamanyu said:—

21. You have said all these things in your eagerness to disparage Śiva. In that context you have mentioned the Nirguṇatva of the great lord.

22. You do not know Rudra the lord of the chiefs of the gods, the progenitor of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva and who is greater than Prakṛti.

23. I desire to get my boon granted by the lord who is separate from Sat and Asar, who is the unmanifest, as mentioned by the propounders of Brahman and who is eternal, single and multifarious

24. I desire to secure the boon from that lord whom the knowers of truth meditate upon, who bestows the goal of Sāṃkhya and Yoga, viz. release.

25. There is no higher truth than Śiva who is the cause of all causes, the creator of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and other gods and who is the lord beyond attributes.

26. Of what avail is such talk? I infer that in the previous birth I committed a great sin because a disparaging remark about Śiva was heard by me.

27. On hearing the censure of Śiva, one shall immediately abandon one’s life and slay that person too. He then attains Śiva’s region.[1]

28. O base god, let my desire for milk wait. After killing you with Śiva’s missile I shall abandon this body of mine.

Vāyu said:—

29. After saying this, Upamanyu ready to die himself eschewed his desire for milk and got ready to kill Indra.

30-31. He took the ash and reinvigorated it with the Aghorāstra mantra. Aiming it at Indra he cast it off and shouted loudly. Remembering the feet of Śiva he attempted to burn off his body. Upamanyu held the fiery missile ready for discharge.

32. When the brahmin attempted this, lord Śiva disguised as Śiva who destroyed the eyes of Bhaga prevented the missile of the Yogin gently.

33. At the behest of the lord, Nandin the favourite of Śiva caught in the middle the Aghorāstra hurled by him.

34. Assuming his own form with the crescent moon for his crest, Lord Śiva revealed himself to the brahmin.

35-36. The Lord showed to him a thousand oceans of milk, nectar curds, ghee, fruits, foodstuffs and a mountain of sweet pies.

37. The lord appeared thus seated on the bull along with the goddess and surrounded by the lords of Gaṇas and holding the divine missiles, trident etc.

38. The Dundubhi drums were sounded in the heaven. There was a shower of flowers; the ten quarters were filled with the gods, chiefs of whom were Viṣṇu, Brahmā and Indra.

39. Then Upamanyu enveloped by the waves of bliss fell at his feet, his mind made humble with devotion.

40. Then the smiling lord Śiva called him nearer, kissed him on the head and granted him boons.

Śiva said:—

41. Partake of various foodstuffs as you please along with your kinsmen, for ever. Be happy always, free from misery. Be my devotee.

42. O fortunate Upamanyu, this goddess Pārvatī is your mother. You have been adopted as my son. The milk ocean is given to you.

43. So also the ocean of honey, of rice with curds and ghee and of fruits etc.

44. O sage, mountains of sweet pies, the ocean of food stuffs, these are given to you. Please take them.

45. Your father is lord Śiva. Your mother is Pārvatī, the mother of the universe. I give you the status of a god; the eternal chieftainship of the Gaṇas.

46. Choose boons as you please. I am delighted. I shall grant you boons. You need not hesitate at all.

Vāyu said:—

47. Saying thus lord Śiva caught him with his hands, kissed him on the head and handed him over to the goddess saying, “This is your son.”

48. The goddess received him with pleasure like Guha, placed her hand on his head, granted him the unchangings status of a Bachelor.

49. The milk ocean came in an embodied form holding sweet milk in his hands. Approaching the saintly boy he gave him imperishable condensed milk.

50. The goddess, out of delight, gave him the Yogic prosperity, perpetual contentment, imperishable Brahma-Vidyā and the greatest affluence.

51. The delighted Śiva saw the splendour of his penance, granted boons again to the sage Upamanyu.

52. He gave him the Pāśupata rite, the Pāśupata knowledge and the perpetual ability to propound and discourse.

53. Obtaining the divine boons and the perpetual bachelorhood from Śivā and Śiva he became joyous.

54. Delighted in his mind he bowed with palms joined in reverence. The brahmin then requested lord Śiva for a boon and said.

55. “O lord of the chiefs of the gods, be pleased. Please grant me devotion to you, great, divine and unflinching.

56. O great lord, grant me an abiding faith in persons devoted to you. Grant me the great slavery and the perpetual proximity to you.

57. After saying this, Upamanyu the excellent brahmin eulogised the lord in the words choked with delight.

58.O great lord, O lord of gods, favourably disposed to those who seek refuge in you. O ocean of mercy, be pleased always, O Śiva, accompanied by Pārvatī.

Vāyu said:—

59. Thus requested lord Śiva, the granter of boons replied with delighted ṃind to Upamanyu the excellent sage.

Śiva said:—

60. O dear Upamanyu, I am delighted. Indeed everything has been granted by me to you. O brahminical sage, you are of steady devotion. I wanted to test you.

61. Be free from old age, death and misery. Be glorious and endowed with splendour and divine knowledge.

62. Your kinsmen, your family and spiritual lineage shall be everlasting. O excellent brahmin, your devotion to me shall be permanent.

63. O excellent brahmin, I shall always be present in your hermitage. Near me you shall always blissfully sport about.

64. Thus granting him the boons lord Śiva who had the lustre of a crore suns, vanished there itself.

65. Securing the boons from the lord, Upamanyu, delighted in his mind, went to his mother's abode and attained the supreme bliss.

Footnotes and references:


Liṅga-urāṇa. adds after this Verse:

yo vā cotpāṭayejjihvāṃ śivanindāratasya tu |
triḥ saptakulamuddhṛtya śivalokaṃ sa gacchati ||