The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes destruction of daksha’s sacrifice which is chapter 5 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the fifth chapter of the Srishti-khanda (section on creation) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 5 - Destruction of Dakṣa’s Sacrifice

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Bhīṣma said:

1. How did Satī, Dakṣa’s auspicious daughter, cast off her body? For what reason was Dakṣa’s sacrifice destroyed by Rudra?

2. I have also a desire to know why lord Śiva, the destroyer of Tripura and greatly renowned, got angry.

Pulastya spoke:

3-8. O Bhīṣma, in olden time, Dakṣa commenced a sacrifice at Haridvāra. There hosts of gods, Pitṛs (manes), and great sages, all gods with Indra, Nāgas, Yakṣas, Suparṇas, creepers and herbs, and revered Kaśyapa, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Pracetas, Aṅgiras and Vasiṣṭha of great penance had assembled. Making the altar even, he appointed four priests. Vasiṣṭha was the Hotṛ (reciting the Ṛgvedic prayers at the sacrifice); Aṅgiras was the best Adhvaryu (officiating priest); Bṛhaspati was the Udgātṛ (chanting the hymns of Sāmaveda) and Nārada the Brahmā (-priest). When the sacrifice commenced and oblations were offered into fires, all the Vasus and the twelve Ādityas, the two Aśvins, Maruts and the fourteen Manus arrived there.

9-11. When thus the sacrifice proceeded and (oblations were) offered into fires, then seeing that great bright splendour of food and the ground around upto ten yojanas, and the great altar prepared by all that had gathered there, and seeing, at the sacrifice, all gods led by Śakra, the auspicious Satī, spoke the following words to Prajāpati.

Satī said:

12. King of gods, Indra, mounted on Airāvata, has come with his wife Śacī, and has stayed here.

13. He, who curbs sins and who is by nature the lord of the virtuous, has arrived here with his wife Dhūmorṇā.

14. God Varuṇa (also called) Pracetas, lord of the aquatic animals and the creators of the world, has come to this pavilion along with his wife Gaurī,

15. The lord of wealth (i.e. Kubera), the supreme ruler of all the Yakṣas, and the son of the sage Viśravas, has come here with his wife Sahadevī.

16-17. He, who is the mouth of all gods, who resides in the bellies of all creatures, and for whom the sacrifices have come up, he, Niṛtī [Nirṛtī?], the lord of the Rākṣasas, who has been appointed as the lord of the (south-western) direction, O dear father, has come to this sacrifice with his wife.

18-19. Lord Vāyu, the giver of life in this world, and created in olden time by Brahmā, and known as Prāṇa, Apāna, Vyāna, Udāna (and) Samāna, and surrounded by his forty-nine attendants, has come to this sacrifice.

20-21. Bhāskara (the Sun), having twelve souls, lord of the planets, the (two) eyes of the world, and the best resort of the gods, the lord of life, of the forests and the lord of days, the husband of Saṃjñā and the purifier of the worlds, has come here.

22-23. Your Moon, born in the family of Atri, and lord of the brāhmaṇas, of great fame, delighting the eyes, lord of the world, by all means the master of the herbs and creepers on the earth, the lord of the constellations, has arrived here with his wife.

24-28. The eight Vasus have come; the two Asvins have arrived; and Trees, Herbs, Gandharvas and the groups of the celestial nymphs, Vidyādharas, groups of ghosts, vampires, Yakṣas and demons, goblins of horrible deeds, and others who take away life, great rivers, and streams, oceans and islands, with mountains, and wild beasts, as well as the movable and the immovable, revered Kaśyapa, Atri, and Vasiṣṭha with other (sages), and great sages like Pulastya, Pulaha and Sanaka and others, righteous royal sages, and also the kings of the earth, all people of various castes and of the orders of life, and all labourers (have arrived here).

29-30. What is the use of prolixity in this case? The creation of Brahmā has come here. Sisters, their sons and their brothers-in-law with their wives and sons, (and) with their relatives, all these—who have been honoured by you with gifts, regards and with attendants (are assembled here).

31. You have honoured all who were invited by you; but my revered husband alone has not come.

32. All this appears to me to be void without him. I think you have not invited my husband.

33-37. In all probability you have forgotten him. Tell me everything.

Pulastya said:

Having heard the words uttered by her, Dakṣa Prajāpati, placing that virtuous, magnanimous young woman on his lap, solemnly said to her, who was devoted to her husband, and was full of love for him, the one more important to her than her own life, who desired what was dear to and good for her husband: “My dear child, hear precisely why your husband was not invited. He holds the pot of skull; puts on a hide; his body is covered over with ashes; holds a trident; has a garland ofheads round his neck; is naked; and always rejoices in the cemetery; he always rubs his body with ashes.

38-41. He puts on a tiger’s hide, and has a garment of elephant’s skin. On his head there is a string of skulls and he has in his hand, a club with a skull at its top and has a snake tied round his waist; has put a ring round his organ of generation; has made Vāsuki, the lord of serpents, his sacred thread. He always moves in this form on the earth. (He has with him) many naked attendants, goblins, and groups of creatures. He has three eyes, a trident, and is always engaged in music and dance. Your husband always does similar (other) contemptible things.

42. (He) in the presence of gods would cause shame to me. What kind of garment does he have? He does not honour (i.e. care for) a residence.

43. O child, due to these faults and fearing public censure I have not invited him, O my daughter.

44-45. After this sacrifice is over, bringing your husband and honouring him with you, I shall offer the three-eyed one, with respects, a worship uncommon in the three worlds. I have told you this great reason for (my) shame.

46-49. You should not be angry for this; everyone should have what he deserves. O daughter, those who have done any good or bad deed in a previous existence, get its fruit like (i.e. according to) that in this existence. Seeing other’s prosperity, charming with grace and good fortune, do not get excited enjoy the fruit of (what was) done formerly. O you virtuous lady, appearance, beauty and blessedness, delightful ornaments, and birth in a great family, and extremely handsome body—all these are obtained by men due to good fortune.

50-51. Do not censure yourself, O virtuous lady, nor blame your destiny. This is the destined fruit. Who can give it to whom? No one is strong, or foolish, or wise. Wisdom or power comes due to former deeds.

52. These gods have secured heaven, and the shining ones have remained there and in various fields, for a long time by means of religious merit and penance.

53-57. They enjoy the fruit of the religious merit that they have earned.”

Thus addressed, that chaste lady, full of terrible wrath, with her eyes red with anger, and condemning her father (said): father, it is as you told me. Every person partakes of his religious merit; gets wealth by means of his merit; gets birth as a result of his religious merit; and enjoyments have their basis in religious merit. Therefore he is the lord of the worlds, and. the best of the best. By him, the intelligent one, these positions are given to all these, That highest god has those virtues which even the tongue of the Creator is unable to narrate.

58. The ashes, bones, skulls, residence in a cemetery, the serpents like gonasa, evil spirits, his attendants, ghosts, fiends, Guhyakas are his ornaments.

59-64. He is the author and the creator; he guards the quarters. By the favour of Rudra, Indra attained heaven. If there is godhead in Rudra, if Śiva is omnipotent, then truly Śaṅkara should destroy your sacrifice. If I have some penance (to my credit), or if I have moral merit, then by the fruit of that merit your sacrifice will perish. If I am dear to the lord, if he will liberate me, then truly your pride will come to an end.”

Speaking thus, and contemplating the supreme spirit, she burnt herself with the lustre residing in her body, while the gods, demons, serpents, Gandharvas, attendants and Guhyakas said: “Oh! what is this, what is this?”

65. Then she, the angry one, cast her body on the bank of the Ganges. That sacred place called Saunaka is on the western bank of the Ganges.

66. Hearing that news, Rudra, extremely pained at the loss of his wife, thought of destroying the sacrifice even when the gods were watching it.

67. For the destruction of Dakṣa’s sacrifice, the crores of his attendants were ordered; and also the evil demons, the followers of Gajānana, the spirits, ghosts and fiends (were ordered).

68. Having gone (to the place of the sacrifice) they vanquished all gods; caused them to flee. When the sacrifice was destroyed, Dakṣa became devoid of energy and inactive.

69-70. Being alarmed, he approached Śaṅkara, the god of gods, and said to him: “I did not know your true character as the lord and master of the gods. You are the lord of this world, and gods are conquered by you. O great lord, favour me and withdraw all your attendants.

71-77. The sacrifice has gone to the heaven after being caused to fly away by your brave attendants of various kinds, of various mouths, teeth and lips, ready with various kinds of weapons, shining with matted hair, being bitten (i.e. touched) by many great serpents, full of intense and excessive pride, terrible, and hitting terribly, taking forms according to their desire, ugly-looking, having all desires, having invincible power, fearful, having armours, and moving trickishly, having unsteady matted hair, their laughing faces looking fierce due to the fangs, having great energy like the cheeks of elephants (?), having bodies like lions, and some of them stinking with madness and staggering like lamp (-flames) having quivering brilliance. (They are) crying like beasts, tigers, and lions, wearing hides like hyenas, using the wreaths of sepents [serpents?] as sacred threads, holding lances, swords and sharp-edged spears, carrying in their hands hatchets and barbed missiles, and destructive weapons, saws, bows and (other) fatal missiles.

78. Sacrifice, surrounded by very invincible powerful attendants like the sun with planets, O Śaṅkara, and taking the form of a deer, and being frightened, fled and went to heaven.

79-80. My saluation to the god resembling a conch, accompanied by his attendants, and by Nandi. My salutation to Soma, seated on a bull, and the destroyer of the sacrifice and time, and to him having the quarters as his garments, and to him of strong lustre.

81-87. My salutation to Brahmā, Brahmaṇya, having the body of Brahmā, to the unlimited one, to Girīśa, to the lord of gods, and to Īśāna, to Rudra, to him resembling the thunderbolt, to Śiva, to Krathana, to the lord of the gods, and of demons and sages; to Dhūmogra, Virūpa, Yajvan, to the one of a fearful form, to Virūpākṣa, Aśubhākṣa, and Sahasrākṣa; to Muṇḍa, Caṇḍamuṇḍa, the holder of an excellent club with a skull at the top, to Kavyarūpa, Havya, and the destroyer of all; my salutation to (the lord), compassionate to his devotees and to him praised by the muttered prayer (addressed) to Rudra; to Virūpa, Sarūpa, to him who takes hundreds of forms; my salutation to Pañcāsya, Śubhāsya and Candrāsya, to the giver of boons, to Varāha, to Kūrma and to Mṛga; to him having a sportive lock of hair, and to the holder of a water-pot, to Viśvanāman, to Viśva and to Viśveśa.

88. O three-eyed one, O destroyer of Tripura, give protection to us (and to me) who have taken refuge in you, through sincerity of speech, mind and body.”

89. The lord, thus praised by Dakṣa, with his body afflicted, and propitiated very much with this divine eulogy (said):

90. “O Prajapati, I have given you the entire fruit of the sacrifice. You will get its excellent fruit leading to the accomplishment of all (your) desires.”

91. Thus addressed by the lord, Dakṣa, having saluted the lord of gods, and being watched by śiva’s attendants, went to his residence.

92. (And) then the lord, due to the grief for his wife Satī, and thinking of her—‘Where has (my) beloved gone?’—remained at Gaṅgādvāra.

93. Nārada approached him who was overpowered by grief. (He said): “O lord of gods, that Satī, your wife, is dead.

94. She, the knower of the Vedas and their significance, has taken up another body as the daughter of Himavat, born from the womb of Mena.”

95. Having heard this, the lord saw her descending into his meditation. Regarding himself blessed, the lord then remained (there).

96. Attaining youth, the goddess married again. Thus, O Bhīṣma, I have told you how the Sacrifice perished in olden times.

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