The Linga Purana

by J. L. Shastri | 1951 | 265,005 words | ISBN-10: 812080340X | ISBN-13: 9788120803404

This page describes The glory of Shakti (parvati-vivaha) which is chapter 103 of the English translation of the Linga Purana, traditionally authored by Vyasa in roughly 11,000 Sanskrit verses. It deals with Shaiva pilosophy, the Linga (symbol of Shiva), Cosmology, Yugas, Manvantaras, Creation theories, mythology, Astronomy, Yoga, Geography, Sacred pilgrimage guides (i.e., Tirthas) and Ethics. The Lingapurana is an important text in Shaivism but also contains stories on Vishnu and Brahma.

Chapter 103 - The glory of Śakti (pārvatī-vivāha)

Sūta said:

1. Thereafter Brahmā saluted Mahādeva with palms joined in reverence and said to Maheśvara “O lord, may the marriage be celebrated.”

2. On hearing these words of Brahmā Parameṣṭhin, the lord of the Bhūtas said to Brahmā “As you please.”

3. O sages of good holy rites, for the marriage of Maheśa, a divine splendid city full of jewels was created by Brahmā instantaneously.

4-11. The following persons went to the place of marriage:—Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kadru, Sukālikā, Pulomā, Suramā, Siṃhikā, Vinatā, Siddhi, Māyā, Kriyā, Durgā, Sudhā herself, Svadhā, Sāvitrī the mother of Devas, Rajanī, Dakṣiṇā, Dyuti, Svāhā, Svadhā, Mati, Buddhi, Ṛddhi, Vṛddhi, Sarasvatī, Rākā, Kuhū, Sinīvālī, Anumati, Dharani, Dhāraṇī, Īlā, Śacī, Nārāyaṇī, and other mothers and wives of Devas—all of them went there joyously saying “O this is Śaṅkara’s marriage.” Nāgas, Garuḍas, Yakṣas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Gaṇas, oceans, mountains, clouds, months, years, Vedas, Mantras, Yajñas, Kriyās, Hūṃkāra, Praṇava, thousands of Pratihāras (jugglers, porters), the crores of Apsarases, the divine damsels and their female attendants—all these went to the place of marriage. The rivers in the continents and the worlds of Devas assumed the forms of women and proceeded there with delighted minds.

12. The highly blessed leaders of the Gaṇas bowed to by all the worlds went there joyously saying, “O this is Śaṅkara’s marriage.”

13. Crores of Gaṇas and leaders of Gaṇas, having the colour of the conch came there. Kekarākṣa came with ten crores; Vidyutas came with eight crores.

14. Viśākha came with sixty-four crores; Pārayātrika with nine crores; Sarvāntaka with six crores; the glorious Vikṛtānana too came with six crores.

15- 16. The leading Gaṇa, Jvālākeśa came with twelve crores, the glorious Samada with seven crores; Dundubha with eight crores; Kapālīśa with five crores; Sandāraka with six crores; Kaṇḍaka and Kumbhaka with several crores of followers.

17. O brahmins, Viṣṭambha the leading Gaṇa and the most excellent of all came with eight crores; Pippala and Sannāda with a thousand each.

18. Āveṣṭana was accompanied by eight crores. Candratāpana came with seven crores; Mahākeśa the leader of the Gaṇas, with a thousand crores.

19. The heroic Kuṇḍī and the splendid Parvataka came with twelve crores; Kāla, Kālaka and Mahākāla with hundred crores each.

20. Āgnika came with a hundred crores; Agnimukha with a crore. Similarly Ādityamūrdhā and Dhanāvaha came with a crore each.

21. O sages of good Mantras, Sannāma and Kumuda came with a hundred crores; Amogha and Kokila with a crore each.

22. Another Gaṇa-leader Kākapāda came with six crores; lord Santānaka with six crores; Mahābala, Madhupiṅga and Piṅgala with nine crores each.

23. Nīla, Deveśa and Pūrṇabhadra came with ninety crores; Caturvaktra of great strength with seventy crores.

24. Devas came with hundreds and thousands of crores of followers.

25. The Bhūtas came with a thousand crores; the Pramathas with three crores; Vīrabhadra with sixty-four crores and the Romajas with crores.

26. Karaṇa came with twenty crores; the auspicious Kevala with ninety crores. So also Pañcākṣa, Śatamanyu and Meghamanyu too came thus.

27. Kāṣṭhakūṭa, Sukeśa and Vṛṣabha came with sixty-four crores. The eternal lord Virūpākṣa also came with the same number.

28-31. Tālaketu, Ṣaḍāsya, Pañcāsya, Sanātana, Saṃvartaka, Caitra, Lakulīśa, Svayaṃprabhu, Lokāntaka, Dīptāsya, lord Daityāntaka, Mṛtyuhṛt, Kālahā, Kāla, Mṛtyuñjayakara, Viṣāda, Viṣada, Vidyuta, lord Kāntaka, the glorious lord Bhṛṅgīriṭi who was a favourite of the lord of Devas, Aśani, Bhāsaka and Sahasrapād came with sixty-four crores. These and other leaders of the Gaṇas were innumerable and very powerful.

32. All of them had a thousand hands each; they wore matted hairs and crowns; they were embellished with the crescent moon; they were three-eyed and blue-necked.

33. They were adorned with necklaces, earrings, shoulder-lets, crowns and other ornaments. They were on a par with Brahmā, Indra and Viṣṇu. They were equipped with Aṇimā and other Siddhis.

34. The leading Gaṇas who usually roamed about in the nether regions, those who stayed in all the worlds and those who resembled crores of suns, came there.

35. Tumburu, Nārada, Hāhā, Hūhū and Sāmagas came to that city taking with them their musical instruments and jewels.

36. The sages and ascetics delighted in their minds and repeated holy mantras pertaining to the marriage and other divine songs.

37-38. Thus, when people from all places had assembled, Viṣṇu himself led the daughter of the lord of the mountains into that city. She was fully bedecked and had smiles on her face. Then Brahmā spoke to Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa the lord of Devas, in that assembly.

39. O lord, you were born at the outset from the left side of Rudra, along with Bhavānī and other deities. I was born from his right side.

40. Indeed, Himavān the lord of the mountains was created for the purpose of sacrifice. He is my own form. This daughter of Himavān was born by the grace of Brahma’s power.

41. The lord has come here for the proper functioning of the rites laid down in the Vedas and the Smṛti texts as well as for the sake of marriage rites. Hence, the goddess is the mother of the worlds. The lord is my creator as well as yours.

42. The universe is created by the cosmic forms of this lord Rudra since the lord has the eight forms of earth, fire, water, ether, wind, moon, sun and the hotṛ.

43-45. Still, at the instance of the lord of the mountains as well as at my instance this unborn Prakṛti of white, black and red colour should be given to Śiva. You too are the Prakṛti. The alliance with the king of the mountains is conducive to your welfare as well as mine. In the Padma Kalpa, I was born of your umbilical lotus. Hence, you are my father and an ancestor to this mountain who is a part of mine.

Sūta said:—

Thereupon, Viṣṇu, the lord of Devas said to Brahmā—“So be it.”

46-47. Then Devas, sages and Śaṅkara the lord of Devas as well as scholars stood up. The lord Viṣṇu, the learned Padmanābha bowed to them and washed the feet of the lord with his own hands. He sprinkled the water thereof on his own head as well as those of Brahmā and the lord of mountain Himavān.

48-51. “This daughter of Menā and my younger sister now belongs to you by matrimonial rite.” Saying thus, he dedicated the goddess to the lord of Devas along with water. Viṣṇu too offered himself to the lord along with water. Then the excellent sages who were masters of the Vedic texts said:—“On consideration, it is indeed this lord Siva who is the giver, the receiver of the material offered and the benefit thereof. Of course, through his Māyā has emanated the universe from him.” Saying this they bowed down, to him. The hair on their skins stood on end due to pleasure. The heaven-walkers—Siddhas and Cāraṇas—showered flowers on him.

52. The divine drums were sounded. The Apsarases danced. The Vedas assumed physical forms and bowed down to the great lord.

53-54. Along with Brahma and the sages they bowed down to the lord of Umā and of Devas. The lord glanced at the bashful daughter of the snow-clad mountain. He was never satiated. She too of splendid and unblemished body was not satiated on seeing the bull-bannered lord. He spoke to Viṣṇu—“I am the bestower of boons.” He too then spoke to Śaṅkara.

55-57. “Devotion to you. Be pleased.” He then gave him (Hari) the title Brahmā[1] as well as instructions in Brahman (Eternal truth). Thereupon, Brahma again spoke to the lord:—“I now offer Havis to the holy fire, officiating as a priest at the sacrifice. If you give me permission, I shall proceed with the rituals, as yet not performed, but which are still to be observed. Śaṅkara, the lord of Devas, the lord of the universe said to the lord “O excellent Deva, do as you please, whatever you like.

58-64. O Brahmā, O lord of Devas, I shall act according to your instructions.”

Thereupon, Brahmā the grandfather of the world, became delighted in his mind. He bowed to the lord, and joined the hand of the goddess to the hand of the lord. The fire-god himself was present there with palms joined in reverence. Brahmā performed the Homa duly chanting Mantras taken from the Vedic texts. The mantras had assumed physical forms and were present there. He offered the fried rice[2] in the due order. After worshipping the brahmins brought by Viṣṇu he blessed them with different boons. He then made the lord circumambulate the holy fire thrice.[3] In the presence of Devas and men the joined hands were separated joyously. Lord Brahmā then bowed to the husband of Umā, the lord of Devas. He offered Pādya, Ācamanīya, Madhuparka[4] and a cow to the couple. Again, Lord Brahmā bowed down to Śiva and stood aside along with Devas headed by Indra.

65. The sages beginning with Bhṛgu showered gingelly seeds and whole rice grains. The sun and the rest of luminaries worshipped and eulogised the bull-bannered lord.

66. Siva concluded the sacred Vedic rites, and imposed the fire on to the Atman. He was thus united with her for the welfare of the worlds.

67-69. He who reads or listens to this nuptial of Rudra, or he who smilingly narrates this to brahmins who have mastered the Vedas and the Vedāṅgas, attains the chieftancy of the Gaṇas and rejoices with Śiva. Wherever this narrative is repeated and glorified by the brahmins, the lord occupies that place as long as the story continues. Hence, O brahmins, O excellent brahmins, in the course of the celebration of the marriage of leading brahmins and Kṣatriyas, the lord should be duly glorified after the worship and not otherwise. Thus excellent detailed account of the marriage of Śiva-Umā should be glorified.

70-71. After the marital rites with the goddess the daughter of the lord of the Himavān, the bull-bannered lustrous lord went to the divine city Vārāṇasī, accompanied by Devas, Gaṇas and also Nandin.

72. Umā whose face beamed with delight bowed down to the bull-bannered lord who was comfortably seated in Avimukta. She asked him about the glory of that holy centre.

73-74. The lord who bore the crescent moon on his forehead recounted the greatness of the holy centre:—“O goddess of Devas, the greatness of Avimukta cannot be recounted by me in detail. This holy centre is honoured by the sages. O fair lady, how shall I tell you in detail, the merits of Avimukta?

75-81. Sinners who die here shall be liberated even in their very birth. A man dispels at Vārāṇasī the sins he has committed elsewhere. The sins committed at Vārāṇasī turn the sinner into a Piśāca and they lead him to hell.[5] It is better for men to court Piśāca-hood after committing thousands of sins at Vārāṇasī than to attain the position of Indra a thousand times in heaven without the pleasure of being in the city of Kāśī. No living animal is reborn if it dies in this place where the lord Viśveśvara, the lord of Oṃkāra, the lord clad in elephant’s hides, is ever present. After recounting the glory of the holy centre briefly the moon-crested lord dismissed the leaders of Gaṇas and pointed out a garden to the goddess. It was here that lord Vināyaka, the deity with the face of an elephant, was born, for creating obstacles in the way of Daityas and for dispelling the same in the way of heaven-dwellers. Thus, the entire essence of the story has been narrated to you. It is a splendid story and I have narrated just as it had been heard by me by the grace of Vyāsa.[6]

Footnotes and references:


Brahmākhya [Brahmākhyam]—the title of Brahmā was bestowed upon Viṣṇu. Thus, Viṣṇu is sometimes designated as Brahma Cf.—[ata eva brahmatvena viṣṇorviṣṇupurāṇādau varṇanaṃ saṅgatam]—st.


lājāhoma—the brother of the bride pours out of his joined hands into her joined hands fried rice-grains mixed with Śamī leaves. The bride sacrifices them with firmly joined hands, standing, while the bridegroom recites the verses. For detail, see P.G.S. 1.6. 1-2.


triḥ pṛadakṣiṇā—circumambulating the sacrificial fire thrice, from left to right so that the right side is turned towards the fire. But in the Hindu nuptial rites, as observed now-a-days, the bride and bridegroom circumambulate the fire, seven times.


madhuparka—It is a mixture of honey, butter, sugar, and curd offered to a guest when he first comes to the house.


paiśācya—according to Śivatoṣiṇī. this hell is in preference to the rebirth.—[vārāṇasyāṃ kṛtam pāpam paiśācanarakāvaham, na tu punarjanmaprāpakam]—Śivatoṣiṇī.


prasādāt—i.e. by the favour of the sage Veda Vyāsa.

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