The Padma Purana

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

This page describes dialogue between shiva and rama which is chapter 114 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 one hundred fourteenth chapter of the Patala-Khanda (Section On The Nether World) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 114 - Dialogue between Śiva and Rāma

Rāma said:

1-5. Who is this seen in the sky, who is adorned with all ornaments, seated in an aeroplane, who is, as it were, another sun very brightly shining at mid-day and difficult to be looked at by all mortals? On his lap is a sweet-smiling lady like another Lakṣmī. So also there are five good (i.e. beautiful) women. They are singing a sweet song, accompanied by their glances with knitted eye-brows, gentle smiles and sounds made by clappings. At times they are singing songs in their throats (i.e. singing in subdued tones), by striking on one another’s hands, and by looking at one another’s faces with cupidity preceded by songs. Tell me, due to what religious merit the great meditating sage resembling filaments of lotuses, is sporting like this.

Śambhu said:

6-16. O Rāma, this brāhmaṇa was formerly endowed with all (kinds of) riches. He had many pleasures. He was engaged in maintaining his wife. He was sonless. He was without (i.e. he did not give in) charity. He was without the worship of (i.e. did not worship) deities. He was bereft of the five (great) sacrifices and without self-study. He was bent upon eating (only) in the morning, mid-day and evening. He was impure. Once he went to the house of noble Gautama on the holy mountain of Tryambaka resorted to by many hosts of sages. There also was a beautiful house fashioned with pillars of crystal. Its walls were smeared with liquid agaru (sandal), musk and camphor. Its ground was beautiful with the fragrance of the santāna-flowers and was sprinkled with musk and juice of flowers. It was beautified with many fine, white canopies. The courtyard was adorned with large plantain and nut trees. In the lake nearby there was the sweet humming of the bees. The quarters were filled with the fragrance produced by the sandal-trees. The quarters were filled with instruction in songs and joyful songs. It was fashioned with a machine removing the heat produced in summer. In it a cover is made with the citraka tree covering the shoots of the plantain trees. The very glossy and thick panels of the doors are made of the pāṭīra tree. The inner walls are fashioned in such a way as to be fragrant and giving great joy. As a portion of the lord a beautiful, pleasant raised seat is prepared. The seat is fashioned with gold and is having a beautiful altar. It has very pleasing and thick shade.

17-20. It is fashioned at the root of a bunyan tree. It is decorated at its skirts with lakes having flowers and groups of plantain trees. It has the clouds showing sprays as they are touching the great bunyan tree. It is decorated with beautiful groves having breezes from heavenly gardens. It is decorated with wells, lakes etc. and with many groves. In that abode wind giving comfort, blew very gently. Excellent women beautiful in all limbs and the wealth of Cupid, played on different musical instruments such as a lute, a flute and a pipe.

21-25a. Women had triple symphony (of song, dance, instrumental music) in (all) the four directions and above also. In golden vessels etc. were put auspicious tablets of sacred ash. They were made fragrant with all fragrant substances and were fumigated with good incenses. Heaps of kuśa were arranged; there were crores of rosaries. In the outskirts there were hundreds of deer-hides. In such a house the best sage, fit to be saluted by gods, put camphor etc. in the four directions, and arranged a throne of camphor on the seat of sandal, which was fine, white, very glossy and was covered with camphor.

25b-32a. He bathed (the Phallus of) Śaṅkara with water made fragrant and with milk. Having got Sadāśiva bathed with the accompaniment of other Vedic hymns, he put a piece of cloth as a seat on the wooden seat with camphor. He put a vessel with parts in front of it. He put these (articles) in the (various) parts (of the vessel). In one pot he put the sacred rice grains. In another he put sacred rice grains with sesamum. In one he put pañcagandha; in another he put aṣṭagandhaka. He also (put) the musk from Kāsmīra, camphor and sandal in other pots and arranged them at the place of worship. Then the worship was done in the way selected. God Sadāśiva with five faces remains in the Phallus. The Phallus is his cover. Śakti (power, his counterpart) is placed there. Viṣṇu is the cover of Śakti, and Brahma is the cover ofViṣṇu. The Moon is the cover of Brahmā; the Sun is the cover of the Moon. The sacred texts are his (i.e. the Sun’s) cover. They are protected among the goddesses of the quarters; and they are covered by the quarters. Śambhu is the cover of the quarters, and the qualities are his cover.

32b-42a. The worship of the Phallus of Śiva with ten covers is auspicious. This would be (i.e. is) the opinion of some. The cover of knowledge is said (to come) after (these) covers. It is said to have the cover of Umā. Viṣṇu is its cover. Brahmā is Viṣṇu’s cover. The Moon is the cover of Brahmā. The Sun is the cover of the Moon. The lord is the cover of the Sun. Thus the cover is said to be of sixteen kinds. The fivefold cover without Brahmā is said to be the best. These three are the covers of the Moon, Viṣṇu and Śakti. The unique cover—the cover of Ambikā—is said to be the best. Or in the worship of Śiva, the guardians of the quarters would be (i.e. are) the cover. In case of Śiva uncovering or worship is recommended. One should worship Śiva with the articles placed in the eight parts of the vessel. I shall describe the characteristics of the vessel useful for all rites. It shines with gold or is made of copper. A man should fashion the eight auspicious parts of the vessel resembling pearl-oysters. He should fashion it with eight angles resembling the petals of a lotus. It is recommended to have the parts of the measure of a pala. It should be uncovered and of large parts. In the centre it should not be large. At the top it should have eight parts of the size of a lotus. Or through the Śakti he should have it with five parts. Or should make it with three in the Śakti, and as he thinks.

42b-47. The wise one should keep the vessel in such a way as it looks beautiful. The rosary fashioned with eight hundred rudrākṣas hidden in the Śakti is auspicious. He should have the sacred thread with thirty or eight. One should be put on each of the cheeks and two should be tied on the forearms. He held one on the head and the great sage had one around his neck. The rosary was made with rudrākṣas and crystals and gems. The sage has fashioned a seat of tiger-skin and was seated in the Padmāsana posture.[1] Having finished invoking (the deity), having offered him a seat, materials of worship, water for washing the feet and rinsing the mouth, he bathed Śaṅkara with the water of Gaṅgā and with flowers of bakula and pāṭala along with aṣṭagandha kept in golden vessels, and (wiped the Phallus) well with a washed piece of cloth.

48-53. At the door was kept a copper pan. It was auspicious with an oval wooden vessel; so also with a cow-horn and the horn of a gavaya, or with a conch curved to the right or with pots decked with jewels, or with golden or silver or copper or bell-metal pots; he bathed (the Phallus) according to his desire with (water from) the fine golden pitchers. A man may even bathe (the Phallus) with water from earthen vessels or with lotus petals, or with (water from) vessels made of (the leaves of) palāśa, mango, jambu and other trees. He should bathe the lord. He should, after having solicited the lord with the hymn ‘salutation to you’ etc. called Śatarudriya or with the repetition of Śaṃ ca, of the nature of tranquillity, then apply sandal etc. according to his capacity. Then he should worship him with nice flowers and bilva-leaves.

54-70. That Gautama worshipped the lord with (the leaves of) tulasī and maruvā, white and big blue lotuses, so also with blue lotus and water-lilies, so also with karavīra-flowers, with karṇikāra-flowers, white lotuses, (the leaves of) the aparājitā (creeper), with sesamum and sacred rice grains, with sarala-leaves mixed with sesamum. Thus (he worshipped) the great lord. He fumigated him with camphor, agaru (sandal), musk, sarja, and agaruka-sandal and with other (incenses). He lighted sixteen lamps having camphor-wicks and put on props. He made an excellent offering of eatables to Maheśa. It contained food of well-cooked rice and flour; (it contained varieties of food) like those that could be eaten, that could be licked, that could be sucked; it was accompanied with sweet articles, and with food of five types; it was rich with many cooked vegetables, and mixed with many cooked articles. The drink was accompanied by twenty (ingredients), and with grapes and plantains; it was accompanied by eight kinds of soup, and with roots and fruits. It was also arranged with other articles as were available. The sage offered the food with excellent flowers. Having offered a thousand lights (to be waved in front of the deity) kept in golden vessels to the deity and having saluted him, he (offered) crushed pieces of nut, washed leaves, with the tops of their backside (not visible), and covered with a very white cover. He also offered auspicious camphor-powder put on three leaves. He also offered the tāmbūla kept in a golden vessel to the lord. Then after he had gone round the deity by keeping him to the right, and saluted him, eight women who had held lutes and flutes and who were playing on beautiful musical instruments reached the vicinity of the sage. He himself, taking a small instrument of bell-metal, started singing. When Gautama started singing, the women protracted the tone. Others gently played upon the musical instruments. When the sage was singing sweetly, those having the manifestation of notes, danced in front of Maheśa. It was (a) wonderful (sight). In the meanwhile the revered sage Nārada arrived (there). Gautama also honoured and saluted him who had come (there), and said to him: “I am fortunate. None else is like me. What is the object of your arrival and wherefrom have you come?"

Śrī Nārada said:

71-74a. Having eaten in Bāṇa’s abode, I have come (here) from the nether world. The noble ones, Bāṇa, Śukra and others will come to (your) house.

Then in a moment the demon Bāṇa, conqueror of the enemies’ cities, mounted upon an elephant and accompanied by (an army of) twenty akṣauhiṇīs[2], came there. Śukra (had mounted) upon another elephant. Prahlāda (was seated) in an excellent chariot. Vṛṣaparvan (was seated) in an excellent chariot, and Bali on an excellent horse.

74b-83. Knowing them all to have arrived, Gautama along with his disciples went out and hurriedly offered them a respectful offering. They also, seeing Gautama, got down from the elephant etc. The demons also saluted him. The best sage saluted Bhārgava (i.e. Śukra), embraced all the demons, duly honoured them and made arrangements for the camping of the army. The sage washed the feet of Śukra and put (i.e. sprinkled) water on his head, and offered him a worship with beautiful fruits. All the demons, along with their priests having offered the rites, after bathing in the wells, lakes and ponds, entered that auspicious abode—the hermitage of Gautama, situated on the confluence, and worshipped the deities in the brāhmaṇa’s house. Śukra worshipped Śiva on the altar which was immediately fashioned. On his left side only, Prahlāda worshipped Viṣṇu; and Bali worshipped Śiva. So also other excellent demons (worshipped other deities). Bāṇa worshipped god Śiva alone. Śukra too worshipped the revered lord of Umā. In the mid-day Gautama also worshipped Śaṃkara. All had put on white garments; the bodies of all were dusted with sacred ash. All had made marks of three lines on the proper places (of their bodies) with white sacred ash.

84-88. Having saluted Śukra, all of them commenced purification of the elements. In the lotus of the heart there is a cavity. In it are the five elements. Among them is ether; in ether there is pure air. In it is the great lord. A man should meditate upon him, the bright and auspicious one. The element is united with ignorance, is impure, and connected with everything. He should burn that body in the lamp of ether with the fire of knowledge. Having burnt egotism covering ether, he should then burn ether. Having burnt the ether, he should burn air and then the element of fire. Then having burnt the element of water and the element of earth, he should burn the qualities resorting to them and then should get burnt his body.

89-92. The man, having thus burnt the elements with the fire of knowledge, (should worship) Viṣṇu who remains in the lock of hair on the crown of the head, who is full of the flavour of joy, who is having rays like those coming from the moon, and who is auspicious, with the rays produced from Śiva’s body and united with the nectar-liquid. Then the flame (becomes) very cold like the rays of the moon. The inundation has also become dense due to the spreading lustres of the nectar. Gradually the group of elements is inundated.

93-97a. Having thus purified the elements, the pure mortal, fit to perform the rites becomes pure only for offering the worship and doing the muttering (of hymns). Then on meditation upon the god, the destruction of the sin due to the murder of a brāhmaṇa follows. Having in this way meditated upon him, lustrous like the moon’s light, and quickly placed (the deity) in the Phallus of Śiva, having thought on Sadāśiva in the lamp, he should worship the immutable with (the hymn of) five letters. He should also go through the formalities like invocation, should bathe (the Phallus of) Śaṅkara as before. The seat should be made of udumbara, silver, gold, and should be covered with cloth etc. In the end he should shower bubbles on the seat. He should fashion one (representation of) snake in the seat above, a pair of them near the deity, on the right side and the left. In between the serpents he should put a japā-flower and a piece of cloth of (the measure of) twelve prātis[3].

97b-99. He should put the lord of the form of the Phallus and fit to be worshipped with very white (materials) and along with the seat on the piece of cloth. The demons led by Bāṇa and others, having done this, and having repeatedly offered pañca-gandha and aṣṭagandha, having worshipped (the deity) with flowers, leaves, sesamum-seeds, sacred rice grains mixed with sesamum-seeds or with only sacred grains, having duly offered incense, having presented a lamp, and an offering as told (before), having finished the remaining (part of the) worship, all of them sang and also danced there.

100-113a. In the meanwhile there came Gautama’s disciple named Śaṅkarātman. His dress was like that of a mad person—he was naked, and had many coverings. At times he appeared like an excellent brāhmaṇa, at times like a cāṇḍāla. At times (he looked) like a śūdra. At times (he looked) like a meditating saint or an ascetic. He roared, jumped and danced, praised and sang. He wept, heard clearly; at times, he fell (and again) rose. He was endowed with Śiva’s knowledge only; he was full of great joy. He arrived at the time of the meals, and went near Gautama. He ate with his preceptor eating at times what was left over by the preceptor. At times he licked up the plate of the preceptor; at times he went (away) silently. Holding the preceptor’s hand, he, at times, himself ate (food). At times he urinated in the house (itself); at times he applied mud (to his body). He always held his preceptor with his hand and taking him into his abode seated him on his own seat and fed him. The sage Gautama himself ate from his plate. To know his mind, a beautiful, auspicious lady Ahalyā called the disciple and said to him, “Eat”. She put food in a golden pot and a drink (like water) etc. in a goblet. She put fire in a plate, and a heap of charcoals and of thorns in another, and (said to him), “Eat, eat (these)”. The sage also ate (them). The brāhmaṇa ate up the fire, as (easily as) he would drink water. He also ate the thorns and remained as before. Formerly he was invited for food by the daughters of the sages. Every day they gave him clods, water and cow-dung. Eating mud, wooden staff, he was pleased and delighted.

113b-120. Such was the sage having the figure like that of a cāṇḍāla. Taking his old shoes in his hands (one in the right and one in the left), and (using) words fit for a śūdra he came to Vṛṣaparvan. The naked (disciple) stood between Vṛṣaparvan and the lord. Vṛṣaparvan, not knowing him, harassed him and cut off his head. When the best brāhmaṇa was killed, this mobile and immobile world became extremely excited; so also the sages in it. The very noble Gautama was very much afflicted. Tears, indicating his grief, went (i.e. flowed) out of his eyes. In presence of all the demons, Gautama uttered (these) words: “What (great) sin he has committed since he has cut off this head of this constant devotee of Śiva and greater (i.e. dearer) than my life (to me). It is virtually my death as the preceptor is of the form of his disciple. Certainly we must die where (i.e. when) the death of Śiva's devotees, full of piety and always living in Śiva, is seen”.

Śukra said:

121-125. I shall bring him back to life. Śiva is dear to my family. How can this brāhmaṇa die? See the power of my penance.

When the best brāhmaṇa was speaking like this, Gautama also died. When he died, Śukra also cast his life through deep meditation. Learning from Prahlāda that he was dead, all the lordly demons died just in a moment. That was a wonder. The army of that intelligent Bāṇa also died. Ahalyā tormented with grief, repeatedly and loudly wept. The lord was worshipped with (the materials of) worship of Śiva by Gautama. The great meditating sage Vīrabhadra on seeing all (that) got angry.

126-135. He said: “Oh how painful! Many lords are dead. I shall inform Śiva of this; I shall do as he tells.” Having determined like this he went to the immutable one to the Mandara mountain. Having saluted Śiva, he told him all this. Seeing Brahma and Viṣṇu standing there, Śiva spoke (these) words: “O Viṣṇu, seeing the daring act done by my devotees, I the granter of boons, will go (there). You two also will come (with me).” Then the lord mounted upon the bull (i.e. Nandin). Chowries were moved by Vāyu. Extremely lovely umbrellas were held (over the lord’s head) by Nandika who was very well dressed. The very white, golden staff of the lord was held by some ascetic. Obtaining the consent of the lord, Viṣṇu got on the enemy of the serpents (i.e. Garuḍa). He whose Kaustubha (gem) was noticeable, shone with two reddish and dark blue umbrellas. With Śiva’s consent Brahmā also mounted upon his swan. Brahmā shone with two umbrellas having the brilliance and form of the indragopa insect. All gods led by Indra got into their own vehicles. Gladdened by (the sound of) various musical instruments all of them set out. Crowded with crores of (Śiva’s) attend ants, Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva went to Gautama’s hermitage. Seeing that great wonder (Śiva) brought his devotee back to life by looking at him from the corner of his left (eye). Śaṃkara said to Gautama: “I am pleased with you. Ask for a boon.”

Gautama said:

136-140. If, O lord of gods, you are pleased with me, and if a boon is to be granted to me, then let me always have the power of worshipping your Phallus, O great lord. This is what I have chosen. O you three-eyed (god), listen to this: My noble disciple is without (i.e. does not care for) what should and what should not be given up. With his eyes he does not see what should be seen with a feeling of mineness. With his nose he does not smell what is fit for being smelt; nor (does he give) what is fit to be given, or (does not do) any other similar act. Knowing this he did like that. The very illustrious meditating saint, of a figure resembling that of a mad man, and known as Śaṅkarātman did like that. Nobody would prohibit him; nobody would harm him. O god, grant me this, and also the deathlessness of these.

The lord said:

141-142a. May they live till the end of the kalpa; then let them enjoy salvation. For a moment we shall stay in this extensive, specially made and auspicious abode of you. Then we shall go home.

Gautama said:

142b-147a. O lord, I am asking for an improper thing. A suppliant does not notice a blemish. O lord of gods, if you like, give me what cannot be obtained by Brahmā and others.

Then the lord looked at Viṣṇu and seized Viṣṇu’s hand. Sadāśiva, having laughed, said to him whose eyes were like lotuses: “O Govinda, you are thin-bellied. What food should be offered to you? Or get in and as in your own house eat (whatever food you choose). Or go to the house of Pārvatī who will fill your belly.” Speaking thus, the lord held his hand and went to a secluded corner. And as told before, he said to Nandin, the door-keeper. He told Gautama the subsequent words of Viṣṇu.

Sadāśiva said:

147b-161. O sage, procure food for all of us. We desire to eat (food). Saying so Śaṅkara went to a secluded place with Viṣṇu. Having got on a soft bed, the excellent deities lay there. Having talked to each other, both of them got up. The two excellent gods went to the bank of Gaṅgā, and bathed (in) deep (water). They drank water from each other’s hands. Then Viṣṇu and Śiva quickly splashed water (on each other). Then Śaṃkara, scattered lotus-filaments held in the hollow of his hands over Viṣṇu’s face having eyes like fully blown lotuses. Keśava closed his eyes when the filaments fell (on his face). In the meanwhile, Śiva mounted upon the shoulder of Viṣṇu and holding with his hands Viṣṇu’s hand, plunged him (into water). Viṣṇu who was (thus) repeatedly troubled by being plunged, delicately put down Śiva. He dragged him by seizing his feet and whirled him round. (Śiva) struck on the chest of Viṣṇu and dropped him down. Then Viṣṇu who had got up, took water in the hollow of his hands, and scattered it over Śambhu. Then Hara (i.e. Śiva) scattered it over Viṣṇu. Thus they sported in water. The group of sages also had their matted hair dishevelled in the flurry of water-sport. Then due to the confusion, they tied the matted hair with others' matted hair; and the excellent sages, strong or weak, drew (the matted hair). They caused others to fall, andcried and wept also. When. such confusion started and took place in the water, Nārada danced and cried in the sky. Playing upon the musical instrument—his charming lute—he loudly sang a song. With a charming song, he sang in ten modes.

162-17la. Śaṃkara, Lokabhāvana (literally, the creator of the world), heard that sweet song; and he himself gradually began to sing sweetly. When the lord of gods himself sang the mingled auspicious Kaiśikī (veriety of the dramatic style), Nārada danced and sang indistinctly. Taking up a firm note having all (good) characteristics and endowed with the nectar of the flow of the excellence (of his voice) he connected it with that song; and Viṣṇu beat the drum with his hands. The four-faced (Brahma) had a depression, and Tumbura became garrulous. Gautama and others quietly sang in protracted tones. When the lord of monkeys—Hanūmat—sang a sweet song, the wearied became glad; the weak became strong. All of them, having just despised their own songs, got confused. All the gods, the hosts of sages and the demons became silent. Only that Hanūmat sang, and all others were listeners. In the mid-day when the time for meal came, Śiva, listening to the song, took a couple of silken garments. Viṣṇu, (took) a couple of yellow garments, and Brahma a red one. Then performing rites befitting themselves, and (prescribed to be performed at) that time, all the deities, mounting on their own vehicles, went out.

171b-184a. But the great lord (i.e. Śiva) who loved music, said to the lord of monkeys: “O monkey, you are ordered by me. Be fearless and mount upon the bull (i.e. Nandin), and facing me, sing all songs.” Then the best of the monkeys said to the revered great god: “The power to mount upon the bull is only yours. None else has it. O lord by mounting upon your vehicle, I shall be a sinner. O lord of gods, just mount upon me. I (shall be) a bird—Śiva’s vehicle. I shall sing facing you. See”. Then the lord got upon Hanūmat as on his own bull. When the god Śaṃkara got upon the head and neck of Hanūmat, he cut his skin, and having turned his face, sang as before. Śambhu, listening to the nectar-like (sweet) song, went to Gautama’s house. All the hosts of gods and sages and the demons came there. At the time of the meal, Gautama honoured them. When Hanūmat sang, everything like the household utensils made from dry wood increased (i.e. put forth shoots). At the time of his singing the eyes of all stood (rivetted) as in a picture. With his two hands (Hanūmat) held the feet of the lord. He (i.e. the lord) was having (on his person) all ornaments. He had a pleased form. He was young. He was praised by the gods with their hands well-folded on the slender waist. Having held Hanūmat’s head with his hands, Śiva turned it to the east. He put one of his feet on the hollow of the hands of Hanūmat, seated in the Padmāsana posture, and the other into his mouth, and the lord affectionately and gently seized Hanūmat’s nose with two of his toes. Then he put one foot against his belly, then into his circular navel and the other one into the hollow of his hands. Then Śaṃkara, seized his head, bent it, touched his back with his chin, with (i.e. producing) a sound. Śaṃkara put round Hanūmat’s neck a necklace made of pearls.

184b-19la. Then Viṣṇu spoke these words to Śiva: “There is none (else) in the entire universe, since your foot inaccessible to scriptures and gods, remained on the monkey’s body. Your foot is not made manifest (even) by all Upaniṣads. The monkey is fully united with it. Your foot is (i.e. your feet are) not (reached) through the means like restraints etc. and deep meditation. The power is spotless in Hanūmat, the lotus of the heart of a great meditating sage. (Even) best sages, after having practised difficult penance for thousands of crores of years, do not know your form, then how (can they reach) your foot (i.e. feet)? Oh! wonderful is the luck (of the monkey), that the unsteady beast, the monkey, holds the couple of your feet not capable (of being conceived) in their hearts by meditating sages. For a thousand years every day, I devoutly worshipped the foot (i.e. the feet) of the lord. But you did not manifest it (i.e. them) to me; (and) there is a talk among people that Viṣṇu is dear to Śambhu. The monkey (alone) is dear to Śambhu like that; I do not have luck like that.”

Sadāśiva said:

191 b-197a. O revered Viṣṇu, none else is so dear to me as you, or Pārvatī is (dear to me) like you. None else is (dear) to me.

Then saluting the great god, Gautama respectfully said: “O you immeasurable one, O god, O you treasure of pity, come along. The midday has passed. It is time for meal for all.” Then the mighty great god (i.e. Śiva) sipped water, and along with Viṣṇu, entered Gautama’s house, and started eating food. Śiva who was adorned with jewelled rings, anklets, silken garment, a girdle (bright) like lightning, many necklaces, (many) golden ornaments put around the neck, a sacred thread, upper garments, with jewelled rings that were hanging and with excellent, ornamented hair, with the besmearing of pañcāṅga and sandal, with armlets, with bracelets and rings, sat on an excellent seat; and the god seated Viṣṇu, so as to face himself, on an excellent seat.

197b-199. The two excellent gods, Viṣṇu and Śiva were seated facing each other. Gautama too gave them golden vessels. The sage prepared food of thirty varieties, excellent sweetened milk of four kinds, two hundred (varieties of) well cooked food, three hundred (varieties) of the mixture of uncooked and cooked (food); so also the sage prepared food from good bulbs and vegetables. Vegetables etc. were accompanied by ghee. He offered them (food containing) sugar etc. of twenty-five kinds; so also pomegranates etc., plantains, bunches of grapes, dates, oranges, rose-apples, piyāla-fruits, nuts.

200-206a. Having duly offered these and other articles and having given apośana[4] (i.e. making the seat for the food), the brāhmaṇa said to them: “(Please) eat.” When all of them were eating, Gautama himself took a fan made of very fine cloth and fanned Śiva and Viṣṇu. Then the great god desired to indulge into jest. (He said:) “O Viṣṇu, look at Hanūmat. (See) how the monkey is eating (food).” When Viṣṇu was looking at the monkey, the great god (i.e. Śiva), even when the hosts of sages were observing, threw a cake into Viṣṇu’s dish. He also gave Hanūmat sweetened milk etc. left over by him. (Hanūmat said to him:) “O lord, what is left over is not to be eaten according to your statement.” (Śiva said:) “Offering of cooked food to me is not proper. The cooked food, so also leaves, flowers, fruits offered to me should be thrown into a well only. Due to your words an article is not enjoyed; and an article is eaten only due to your favour.”

Sadāśiva said:

206b-208a. When the bāṇa-liṅga, self-born and bright like the moon remains, the eating of the cooked articles of food of (i.e. offered to) Śambhu should be known to be like the Cāndrāyaṇa (vow). This is now the time for eating. It would be tasteless due to (our resorting to) other tales. I shall tell you after we have eaten. Eat the food without any doubt.

208b-212. Then the sage performed the rite of (sprinkling) water (indicating commencement of the meal). He filled the pitchers reddish, very glossy and fine, with all their parts washed in many ways and dried; with water from lakes, rubbed with seeds and cleaned. He covered the new altar on the sandy bank of the river with spotless, whiter, fine pieces of cloth, and put on them pitchers full of water. In them he should put yellow orpiment, nut-meg, kaṅkola, musk-powder, sandal, and under the layer he should put a garland white like the moon-rays. After having cleaned the pitcher with water and cloth, he should have a knot like a peacock’s tail; then should put a garland of bakula and pāṭala flowers.

213-220a. He should keep the pitchers in a place where there is no sun and which has gentle breezes and should be fanned with subtle fans. O king, then he should also sprinkle the goad. Having consecrated well-controlled men or women or their daughters who have bathed and put on washed garments, he should put the sweet, tawny exuberance, thick, profuse sandal. Having applied it to the armpit, neck, he should apply jāpyaka to his head, and apply pañcagandha. Their good hair should have flowers tied to it. Their faces should be good and should be very clean. Such women only whose bodies have saffron applied to them, are proper. So also young women adorned with ornaments. He should offer food through these women or men. They also should, at the time of offering, keep the pitcher covered with fine and small (piece of) cloth in their left hand, and looking into it, unbinding it which is put on a thread, should cause water to be given.

220b-226. Thus the sage Gautama honoured them. When all the noble ones of them like Śiva and others had eaten, had washed their feet and hands, and had rubbed perfumes to their hands, the god of gods, Śiva, was seated on his seat. The gods along with the sages were seated on the lower seats. In the jewelled pots were kept pieces of nuts after covering them after having fumigated them. They were angle-less, round, big, small and even thin. Then Gautama, having cleaned white leaves and put powder of camphor-pieces on them, offered it to Śaṅkara (saying) “O god, accept the tāmbūla.” When the sage said these words, (he said to Hanūmat:) “O monkey, take the tāmbūla, give me the pieces.” The monkey said: “O great lord, I have no purity. How can purity come to a monkey after his having eaten fruits?”

Sadāśiva said:

227-230. Everything would be purified by my words. Due to my words poison becomes nectar. All Vedas are due to my words. Deities are due to my words. Knowledge of religion is due to my words. Salvation is said to be due to my words. Purāṇas, sacred texts and the codes of law are due to my words. Therefore, take the tāmbūla and give me the good pieces.

The monkey took the tāmbūla with the nut-pieces with his left hand. (Then) from that he took the leaves and gave the nut-pieces (to Śiva). Śiva ate the camphor after taking it when it was given.

231-235a. When the god had the tāmbūla, Pārvatī holding the hands of Jayā and Vijayā, came to the sage’s house from the Mandara mountain. Then, having saluted the feet of the god, she hung down her face in modesty. Lifting her face, the threeeyed god (Śiva) said these (words): “O you most respectable lady among gods, I have offended you. I have eaten without you. So also listen to (other things), O beautiful lady. Having kept you in my abode, without god of gods, and free from all bonds, I have committed a great sin. O you great goddess, (please) forgive (me), and giving up your anger, look (at me).”

235b-237a. She, who was thus addressed, did not speak, and went out with Arundhatī. Coming to know that she was going out, the sage (Gautama) saluted her (prostrating before her) like a staff. Beginning with that a man should salute the great god (prostrating before him) like a staff and praise him. Pārvatī said (to Gautama): “O Gautama, what do you desire?”

Gautama said:

23 7b-238a. O goddess, I am fortunate. If a boon is to be given to me (by you then), O illustrious one, now take food in my abode.

The goddess said:

238b-243. O sage, I shall eat in your house if I am permitted by Śaṅkara.

The brāhmaṇa Gautama went to the god and securing his permission, again went (to Pārvatī). He fed goddess Pārvatī and Arundhatī also. Then Pārvatī, after having eaten and with all perfumes and ornaments went along with hundreds of maiden-followers to Śiva. Then Śaṃkara said to the goddess: “Go to Gautama’s abode. After having offered my sandhyā prayer I shall again come to (Gautama’s) abode.” When told like this, the goddess went to Gautama’s abode. All (gods and sages) desiring to offer their sandhyā prayers went out. All of them, Maheśa and others offered their sandhyā prayers on the bank (of the river). Then Śiva facing the north and going through the nyāsa muttered the prayers.

244-247a. Then Viṣṇu, of a great lustre, said these (words) to Śiva: “Which (prayer) will you, who are saluted by all, are worshipped by all, invoked in all sacrifices, mutter? All, having folded their palms so as to form a hollow, wait upon you only. To whom have you, O lord of gods, folded your palms (in obeisance)? O great god, you are the giver of the fruit of such religious acts as salutation. Tell (me) who gives you fruit, who is saluted by you, who is superior to you.”

Śaṅkara said:

247b-254. O Viṣṇu, I am not meditating upon anyone. I am not saluting anything. O Viṣṇu, I am not waiting upon anyone. I shall not mutter any prayer here; but O Viṣṇu, I have to exhibit (like) this for leading the unbelievers to activity. Otherwise they will be sinners. Therefore, for obliging the world, I have done all this.

Saying. “Yes”, Viṣṇu then saluted him and remained (there). Then all the hosts of gods and sages reached Gautama’s house and worshipped Pinākin (i.e. the Pināka-holder), the god of gods, O best of the Raghus, the god (i.e. Śiva) remained singing with Hanūmat. At that time they all muttered the five-syllabled great lore. Śiva, seizing the hand of Hanūmat, went near the goddess (Pārvatī). The divine couple sat on the same couch. That Hanūmat remained singing. So also Tumbura and Nārada. The great lord indulged into many kinds of sports. Calling Pārvatī, the lord said these words to her:

Śrī Sadāśiva said:

255-259a. I shall arrange your braid. O auspicious one, come before me.

The goddess said: “It is not proper for the husband to serve his wife. When my hair is dressed by you, another calamity may befall. O god, all the desired facts (may) not accrue on dressing (my) hair(?). When the (hair) is tied, the cleaning of theshoulders will have to be done; so also the cleaning of (i.e. removing of) the hair, flowers adhering to my back (will have to be done). When this takes place (i.e. when you do this), if the noble ones would come, what reply would you saluted by gods and others, have? O supreme lord, if they do not come, my fear will come to an end.”

259b-264. Śaṅkara drew her who was talking like this, (near him) and putting her on his lap, untied her braid of hair, separated the hair with his hands, and spread them with his nails. He put on her hair the garland of pārijāta flowers given by Viṣṇu, tied her braid, and also put on the garland (that he had) in his hand. Taking the garland of jasmine flowers he tied her hair. The great god also put the garland of flowers given by Brahma. He also made Pārvatī put on a pair of garments having unidentifiable fragrance. Then the great lord cleaned (i.e. removed the hair etc. from) her shoulders and back. The wearing garment of the goddess, with the tie loosened, had gone down. The god, saying, “What is this?” tied the knot of the wearing garment. “I am ardently looking for your nose-ornament.”

265-266. Saying so, he took a bright pearl. The pearl was bright due to its contact with turmeric. (He said to her:) “Put on this pearl dear to me and you.”

Pārvatī said:

267-270. O Śambhu, your abode is rich with all articles. I have already known all the articles. Oh, due to superior and other ornaments the wealth is known. Your head is decorated with string of the heads ofbrāhmaṇas; you also have the Naraka-string as the ornament of your chest. The poisonous Śeṣa and Vāsukī are your bracelets. The quarters are your two garments. Your matted hair is your (beautiful) hair. The sacred ash is the unguent to your body. The great bull is your vehicle; and your pedigree and your family are already known! Your parents are not known. Your body has a deformed eye.

271-277a. To Pārvatī who was speaking like this, Viṣṇu who was very angry, said: “O goddess, why are you censuring the god of gods, the lord of the world? O good lady, I shall abandon my dear life. Indeed this is your lack of restraint. Our vow is to die where the censure of the god is (undertaken), O auspicious lady.” Saying so, Viṣṇu proceeded to cut off his head with his nails. Śiva seized his hand, and said: “Do not do this rash act. All the words of (i.e. uttered by) Pārvatī are dear to me, (though) they are not dear to (i.e. liked by) you. O Viṣṇu, what is desired to be done (by you) is not liked by me.” Saying ‘Yes’ the revered Viṣṇu remained silent. Then Hanūmat respectfully said these words to the god: “I desire to carry out my vow of worship without a desire. I would (therefore) go to worship (my desired deity). Please permit me.”

Śaṅkara said:

277b-279a. Whose worship (i.e. to worship whom are you going)? Where will the worship (be done)? What flowers (will you use)? What leaves (will you use?) Tell (all that to me). Who is your preceptor? Which is the hymn (you will employ)? How will the worship (be done)?

When the god was speaking like this, Hanūmat trembled very much. With his entire body shaking, he started praising (Śiva):

Hanūmat said:

279b-286a. Salutation to the great god Śiva of an immeasurable form. Salutation to the meditating sage, the prop of abstract meditation and to the preceptor of the meditating sages. Salutation to him who is known (only) by the meditating sages, to the god, and to the lord of the wise. Salutation to you, the lord of the Vedas; salutation to you, the lord of gods. Salutation (to you who are) meditation, who are understood by meditation, to the preceptor of creators. Salutation to the wise, to one who is understood by the wise, to the lord of the earth etc. I am your servant—with these and other words salutation to the treasure of the Vedic words. Salutation to you who is to be thought of with (the utterance of such) words as ‘stretch out’. O you eight-formed[5] one, salutation to you. Salutation to the lord of beings. To Tryambaka (i.e. having three eyes), to Trinetra (i.e. the three-eyed one), salutation to you having the Sun and the Moon as your eyes. Salutation to you, to whom the excellent bhṛṅgaraja, and dhattūra and flowers of droṇa are dear, to whom big nuts, punnāga, campaka etc. are dear. Salutation to you; my repeated salutations to you.

Then Śiva said to Viṣṇu: “Do not be afraid. Tell me the whole (thing).”

Hanūmat said:

286b-294. With one’s body dusted with the sacred ash one should worship Śiva’s Phallus with flowers procured by day, and even now remaining (fresh) like that. O god, I shall respectfully narrate to you the auspicious rite of Śiva’s worship. When evening has come, a man should bathe without (making) his head (wet). Then the most wise man should put on a washed gannent and sip water twice. Then having taken sacred ash he should bathe in honour of Agni. Then muttering (a hymn) with Om eight times, or with the five-syllabled hymn or with any other name, he, with darbhas in his hand, should collect the sacred ash consecrated seven times. Saying ‘Īśānaḥ sarva-vidyānām’ he should drop the ash on his head. He should sprinkle (i.e. apply) the ash over his face by saying ‘Tat puruṣāya vidmahe’. He should put on (i.e. apply to) his chest the sacred ash (after saying:) ‘Aghorebhyaḥ atha ghorebhyaḥ.’ He should apply it to the private parts (of his body) saying ‘Vāmadevāya namaḥ.’ He should throw on (i.e. apply to) his feet the sacred ash after saying ‘Sadyojātam prapadyāmi.’ The wise one should dust his entire body with the sacred ash, with the utterance of Om. The excellent rite of bathing etc. is prescribed for the (first) three castes. I shall tell (you) about the rite for the śūdras and others as told by (my) preceptor.

295-304. Uttering the word Śiva the wise one should consecrate the sacred ash. Taking it seven times, he should put it on (i.e. apply it to) his head, (uttering:) ‘To Śiva’. It is said that (he should put the sacred ash) into his mouth (after uttering the word Śaṅkarāya (i.e. to Śankara). He should put it on his chest after saying ‘To the omniscient one’. Uttering the words Salutation to Sthāṇu (he should apply the sacred ash) to the private parts (of his body). Saying ‘to Svayambhū’ he should apply it to his feet. Then the sacred ash is purer. It is said that the entire body should be dusted with the sacred ash after uttering Namaḥ Śivāya. (Then) he should, having washed his hands and having sipped water, be composed. In the absence of darbhas gold should be (used). In its absence cow’s hair (should be used). In its absence dūrvā-grass should be (used). In its absence silver should be used. Having offered the sandhyā prayer and having muttered (the names) of the goddess, he should go to the temple of the deity. The altar for the deity or a raised platform for the deity should be pure and made of clay. It should have the arrangements of lotuses etc. on it. It should be painted with four colours or with white colour only. (Then he should arrange) beautiful lotuses, Svastika-figures, blue lotuses etc., a mace, a conch, a trident and so also a drum; the five shrines as told by Śiva, so also the Phallus of Śiva, the tree yielding all fruits, kulaka, kolaka; it should have six angles, three angles or even nine angles. The swing should have twelve angles, so also wooden sandals and fans (should be kept).

305-309. The intelligent man should also fashion with powders (the images of) Viṣṇu, Brahmā etc. on the altar; or the wise one should arrange these where the worship of the deity would take place. The best (materials of worship are those) that are fashioned by his own hands. The mediocre are those that are purchased. Lowest are those that are begged; and the meanest are those that are (secured) forcibly. Whatever is secured with force, whether proper or improper, is fruitless. He should do everything properly, with red rice, japā flowers, kalamā rice, white or red rice, or ears just coming out from the paddy plants, according to the proper order, and with placing lotuses etc. which are said to be the best, the mediocre and the lowest. He should face the north or the east.

310-316. I shall tell (you) about the seat as I have seen it or heard about it. It should be made of silk, hide, which are like cloth, wooden or of palm-leaves; or of wool, gold, silver, and copper or made of dry (cakes of) cow-dung. He should make the seat (also) of the hide of tiger, ruru deer, antelope or deer. (Thus the seat) made of hide should be known to be of four kinds; so also it should be of bandhujīva (a kind of tree) as (anyone of of these) is available. He should sit in the padmāsana posture, or in the svastika posture. He should be seated with darbhas and with the sacred ash (applied to his body); he should control his breath and his speech. He till then is of the form of the deity. In the end he should practise meditation. He should meditate upon Śiva of a subtle body remaining at the end of the tuft of hair on the crown of the head (and of the measure of) twelve fingers, (Śiva) moving within (the bodies of) beings, in the cave (of the heart) and in all forms. (He should meditate upon Śiva) who is having all ornaments, who is endowed with qualities like (being) small. He should keep him in his heart; he should fill his (own) body by means of his parvasion [pervasion?].

317-322. Due to that brilliance the sin in the body perishes as gold becomes crimson or white due to its contact with mercury. Having fashioned the pure seat covered with twelve leaves (or eight or three leaves), he should place the Phallus there. Then he should think of Śiva remaining in the cave (of the heart as placed) in the Phallus. Into the pitcher that is cleaned, he should put water which is cleaned, perfumed with fragrances and containing fragrant flowers, and which is consecrated with (the sacred syllable) Om. Restraining the breath and (the utterance of) Om are not prescribed in the case of śūdras. In place of the restraint of the breath (they should have) meditation and (in place of) consecration with Om, (they should utter the word) Śiva. He should place near him the materials of worship like sandal, sacred rice-grains etc.; and then he will make a solemn vow: ‘To please Śiva only, I shall worship Śiva.’

323-328. Having made a solemn vow like this, he should then invoke (the deity) etc., till (the deity is given) a bath. Then he should give bath (to the deity) with the hymn Namaste etc. and according to the rite of the Śatarudriya. A stream (of water) that is unbroken is called muktidhārā. He who bathes the deity with that (i.e. muktidhārā) for a month, while muttering (the names of) Rudra in a low voice, once, thrice, five times, seven or nine times or eleven times (is meritorious). This (bath) should be known as muktisnāna; (when continued) for a month, it gives salvation. The bath (should be given) with (the accompaniment) of the Śaiva lore (i.e. hymn) or merely with (the utterance of) Om; or with clay pot and pieces of coconuts, with bell-metal, pearls, or string of flowers. Thus he should bathe the lord with materials as told and as are available.

329-343a. I shall tell (you about) the rite of the horn, and about how it would be fit for the bath (to be given with). Having cleansed it before and after, he should make a very glossy and small peg, and should cut it somehow. With (water from) the bucket placed at a low region near the door and with darbhas he should bathe the deity. Thus is said to be the water-form of the gavaya-hom. At the door having joints, he should fashion a staff, bent and of the shape of a peg; at the place of the plank he should fashion a goblet having even number of holes with a staff. There only he should cause to fall (the water) remaining in the pitcher (placed in) a machine above. He should make it fall with the other (i.e. the right) or with just the left hand. He is said to have put the muktidhārā. It is pure and destroys sins. Having thus installed the (representation of) the lord of gods, he should bathe it with the five products of a cow or with five sweet things, or with three sweet things.[6] Having adorned the deity with decorations and having again bathed the great lord, he should offer cold (water etc.). (Then) he should bring a piece of cloth, a sacred thread, pañcagandha, camphor, agaru (sandal), or (ordinary) sandal. Or both should be mixed. (Then) he should worship Śiva’s Phallus. The entire seat may be full (i.e. fully made) of sandal, or according to his real wealth. The worship (should be offered) silently; he should offer seasonal flowers, like śrīpatra, sarala, according to his capacity, and unbroken. The incense of many materials, or similarly guggula (a fragrant resin) only along with ghee (made from the milk) of a cow are recommended for a full incense. He should offer incense according to his capacity, so also lamps burning with the ghee (made from the milk) of a cow, or he should offer lamps burning merely with ghee, and other offerings. He should offer flowers procured according to his capacity. Then he should respectfully offer (water for) washing the mouth and tāmbūla. He should go round and salute (the deity). Thus the worship is accomplished. Then the five constituents of singing (should be gone through).

343b-347. They are: Songs, instrumental music, (recital of) a Purāṇa, dancing and mirthful talk. He should also wave the light (before the deity), offer a cavity-ful of flowers and everything. He should apologise to the deity, then dismiss the deity; this is said to be an upacāra[7] Similarly, ornaments, umbrellas, chowries, fans, Śiva’s sacred thread and service to him are said to be six upacāras. He who would worship Śiva with thirty-two upacāras in a day, will certainly have all his sins destroyed. The worship with thirty-two upacāras is the best.

Sadāśiva said:

348-349a. O best among the monkeys, it is like this. I shall tell you about the worship. The couple of my feet are fit to be worshipped. Be the worshipper of all. Having thus propitiated the Phallus, you propitiate me.

Hanūmat said:

349b-354. My preceptor has certainly enjoined on me the Phallus-worship only. O god, I shall do it first; then I shall worship your feet.

Having just spoken like this, he saluted the lord, and became (engaged) in the worship of Śiva’s Phallus. He should go to (i.e. he went to) the bank of a lake and having made a sandy altar, should arrange a seat made of palm-leaves. Having washed his hands and feet, and having sipped water, he became composed. He bathed with (i.e. applied) sacred ash; and again having sipped water, he controlled his speech. On the altar for the deity he put lotuses; then the monkey who had taken the posture called padmāsana, made a very beautiful (seat) of the palm-leaves. Having, along with the nyāsas, restrained his breath, he,. endowed with pure meditation, saluted the great god and muttered (his names) thereafter.

355-362a. Then he also made an effort to worship the god. He brought pure water in a couple of the hollows of palāśa-leaves. Placing the fire, to the accompaniment of three hymns, which was in the pitcher on the head, he made invocation etc. up to the bath only. Then he took (the representation of) the god in the hollow made by the palms of his hands to bathe him. Having observed, the monkey did not see the god and the seat. Seeing only the Phallus in his hand, he was full of fear. The great meditating sage said (thought) this: ‘What sin have I committed so that (only) this Śiva-Phallus without the seat remains in my hand? I shall certainly die today if the seat does not come (back). I shall mutter the Rudra(-hymn); then the great god will come.’ Thus having resolved in his mind, he muttered the Śatarudriya (hymn). Even then the great god did not come (there). Then the lord of the monkeys dropped Rudra on the ground. Vīrabhadra came (there). “O devotee, why do you weep? Tell me the cause of your weeping.”

Hanūmat said:

362b. This Phallus is without the seat. See the heap of my sins.

Vīrabhadra said:

363-367. If the seat does not come to the Phallus, do not do a rash act. I shall bum the world if the seat does not come (back). See and show me the Phallus. (Let me see,) if Vīrabhadra saw the Phallus and (noted that) the seat had not come back, he desired to bum all the worlds.

He threw fire on the ground; in a moment the earth burnt at that time. Then he burnt the seven nether worlds, and again set out to lift them. He burnt the five upper worlds, the abodes of the people. Taking (out) with his nail the citron-like fire produced in his eye on his forehead, the lord put it on the palm of his hand.

368-375. If the seat would not come, then certainly the worlds are burnt. The brave Vīrabhadra knew (that the seat) did not come (back). The noble ones like Sanaka, having come to know (about this incident) through deep meditation, came (there). The brāhmaṇas came to the excellent hermitage of Gautama, but did not see the origin of gods (i.e. Śiva) though he was there. They praised (him) with eulogies from all the Vedas: ‘Salutation to that god of gods; salutation to that (god of) pure lustre and inconceivable form. Salutation to the lord of gods; salutation to the pure one concealed by the Vedas. Salutation to Śiva, the first god; salutation to (Śiva) having a snake as his sacred thread. Salutation to him who supports everything with the drops of the three (Vedas)—the heap of the joy of the gods. Our repeated salutation to that Śaṅkara whose eight forms are: earth, air, ether, water, moon, fire, sun and soul also, and who is known (only) through knowledge.’ Having heard this praise, Śiva, who had given (back) to Bhaga his eyes, said to Viṣṇu: “Go and bring here those brāhmaṇas.” They were brought there by Viṣṇu. They bowed before the god. Śaṅkara spoke (these) words to them: “Why have you come (here)?”

The sages said:

376. O god, heaps of the ashes of the twelve worlds (burnt by Vīrabhadra) are seen. This forest alone remains. (Please) note the destruction of the worlds.

Sadāśiva said:

377. We have a doubt about the burning of the five worlds that are above (the earth). How is there the shower of (burning) charcoals? Or how (i.e. due to what) is the great sound?

The sages said;

378-388. Now we have fear from Vīrabhadra. He alone, like one desirous to drink, has dropped the shower of charcoals.

Then the god called Vīrabhadra and said to him: “O Vīra, what is (this)?” Vīra (said:) “This was done due to the loss of the seat of the Śiva-Phallus of Hanūmat. To know the heart of the monkey, I did this great (deed).” Then the god, treasure of kindness, made (everything) as before. The supreme lord made all the worlds burnt (by Vīrabhadra) as beautiful as before. Then the universal soul (i.e. Śiva) said to Vīrabhadra; Śiva embraced him, smelt him on the head and gave him a tāmbūla. Then Hanūmat performed the worship of the lord. He then said to a gandharva having a lute and wandering in the forest, these (words:) “Give the lute to me.” (The gandharva said:) “I shall not part with my lute. It is (dear to me) like my (own) life.” The lord of the monkeys said: “The lute is (dear to me) like my own life.” Then when by the stroke of his fist the gandharva fell down, he took the great lute endowed with notes and strings, and made it joined with a bottle-gourd resembling the form of a royal tree. Putting it on his chest, he came singing in the vicinity of Śiva. He worshipped the feet of the god with pure flowers of bṛhatī. Then the lord gave him a boon and (a span of) life till (the end of) the kalpa. He also gave him another (boon)—capacity to cross the ocean.

389-395a. He with his body well adorned with all decorations, having lessened the brightness of the gods with his own brilliance, of a pleasing form and an auspicious body, honoured all gods. The great god (i.e. Śiva) took a yellow pair of washed garments (and said to Viṣṇu): “O god Viṣṇu, you take this auspicious (pair).” The giver of wealth gave a red garment to Brahmā, and gave a good pair to (each of) all the gods, sages, demons etc. Rāma too, hearing this, offered a pair to Śambhu, so also a very subtle, very costly golden ornament. Then Rāghava, seated comfortably with his ministers and family-priest, also with hosts of many sages, kings and monkeys, after having eaten (food), on the bank of Gautami, said to Śambhu who knew the essential nature of the Purāṇas: “You alone know the hundred secrets of all the ways of life. O brāhmaṇa, tell me what is the peculiarity of which yuga.”

Śambhu said:

395b-401. In Kṛta (yuga) meditation alone is the best. In Tretā (yuga) sacrifice alone (is the best). In Dvāpara (yuga) worship (is the best). In Kali (yuga) charity, a recital of Viṣṇu’s name (are the best). Everything is recommended everywhere, but not meditation in Kaliyuga. Due to the minds of men being in difficulty, being deluded, O lord, they do not have a firm mind in religious rites, in the Vedas and in the codes of law (smṛti). So also in sacrifice, in the exclamation of Svadhā (made at the time of offering oblation to a deity), and in listening to the Purāṇas. So also (they do not have a firm mind) in sacrifices, sacred places and serving the gods; in offering sacrifices to deities, in the duties of their own castes, in remembering god: nowhere (have they a firm mind) in Kaliyuga. Therefore, men are incapable of having religious merit lasting for a long time. Due to the time being short a man is capable of giving (gifts). Therefore, for those who are polluted by Kali, there is no expiation. The destruction of the sins of some takes place due to expiations, not in any other way.

402-411a. All these—one who knows Brahman, one who performs the śrāddha ceremony at Gayā, one who goes to Kāśī—are inferior to him who knows the Purāṇas; so also the listener of a Purāṇa (is inferior to him), O Rāma. The brāhmaṇa who expounds a Purāṇa is superior, due to his explaining the meaning according to yugas, due to his convincing himself and others, and due to his illumining Brahman (or the Vedas). Even the sin committed by him would not stick. Then what about (sin) from another (source)? The Purāṇa would destroy certain other sins. There is no doubt that all the sins of him who believes in the Purāṇas, looks upon the speaker (of the Purāṇas) as his teacher, and upon the giver of the lore of Brahman (or Vedas) as superior to his kinsmen and relatives, perish. The worshipper of the great lord should go to Śrīśaila; the Purāṇa destroys the sin of men in Kaliyuga. O Rāma, I shall tell you an account (that) formerly (took place) in Kaliyuga. Listen to it. There was a brāhmaṇa named Gautama who was destitute of the Vedas. He had two brothers Puṣṭi and Paśu who (also) were destitute of the Vedas. With them (i.e. with their help) he did husbandry, and obtained prosperity. He also gave some wealth and grains to the king. Once he said a few words to the king: “Give me (some) authority. I shall not lose wealth. The two brothers of mine are capable.”

The king said:

411b-412a. A brāhmaṇa is qualified for the religious rites as told by the Vedas. The brāhmaṇahood of a brāhmaṇa employed at any other (job) than that perishes.

Gautama said:

412b-415. This is a way of life (followed) in other yugas. The way of life in Kaliyuga is not like that. O king, behaving like a king is said to be the duty of kings. A brāhmaṇa who is extremely emaciated, is not at a fault if he practises it. Agriculture is the duty of śūdras. A brāhmaṇa is not to pursue it (even) in a calamity. Therefore, I shall live as a kṣatriya; grant me (a few) villages. I like to live as a kṣatriya at other place than this. (I do) not like anything else.

(The king) said, “All right”, and gave (a few) villages to the brāhmaṇa.

416-421a. He, the wicked official of the villages, behaved differently. He ate flesh, he drank liquor, he uttered bad words; similarly he approached others’ wives; he snatched away the wealth of others; he indulged in gambling; and he, the eater of bad things, ate the flesh of an animal struck with a poisoned weapon. He did not worship the lord of the worlds—Śiva or Viṣṇu. The king, after some time, spoke (to the brāhmaṇa) who behaved badly like this: “O brāhmaṇa, having given up brāhmaṇahood, you have secured śūdrahood (i.e. have become a śūdra). Therefore, I shall dismiss you by my order.” “I do not want brāhmaṇahood. The condition of a śūdra is better for me. Without that, even if they are brāhmaṇas, they do not enjoy. Therefore, śūdrahood is better for me. O lord of the earth, I am not able to give up all this.”

Śambhu said:

421b-423. When the bad brāhmaṇa spoke like this, the king remained silent. He, equal to a śūdra, ate food with flesh. Once that man of bad behaviour remained in a pavilion on the street. He heard this verse being recited by a brāhmaṇa; and the verse recited by the brāhmaṇa remained in his heart:

424-426. “Those who are greatly devoted to Viṣṇu go to a place higher than the highest. Those who hate the great lord (i.e. Śiva) will not go there.” Also on hearing the explanation he said to the public reader of the Purāṇas: “Of what kind is said to be Nārāyaṇa? And how is Maheśvara? What is said to be the great path? How is hatred explained? What is that known to be the highest? What is higher than that?”

The public reader of the Purāṇas said:

427-429. That highest is Brahma’s place, whose only characteristic is the manifestation of happiness. Higher than that is Viṣṇu’s abode. It is superior to that of Brahma. That highest place is described as having (the quality of) indestructibility. In it the (supreme) man is Viṣṇu. The lord, O lord, dear one, is the highest. Water, due to the (supreme) man being born in it is called Nara. Nara (i.e. water) is his abode; therefore, he is declared as Nārāyaṇa.

430-431. Those who have a devotion to him are said to be tatparāyaṇa (i.e. devoted to him). He who is the controller of the principles like mahat etc., and whose eyes are the sun, fire, and the moon, and who is the lord of Umā would be (i.e. is) the great god (Śiva). Hatred should be known to be the enmity towards the lord, the highest soul.

Śambhu said:

432-41. In this way the brāhmaṇa who read the Purāṇa, uttered these words. Thinking (about it) he again said: “What would be the fate of (a person) like me?” Then the public reader of the Purāṇas said to him: “Listen, I shall tell (you) about your fate. With all efforts duly take an expiation. Practise religious merit according to your capacity at the proper time and according to the proper rules. Being free from sins, you will then reach an excellent condition. Or being attentive, listen to a Purāṇa every day. Or free from hopes, worship the great god, the trident-holder (Śiva), or Keśava (i.e. Viṣṇu), the god whose eyes are like lotuses and who destroys suffering. Or take to renunciation for good. Be devoted to the knowledge of Brahman. Or go to the lord of Kāśī, and obtain death for securing salvation. Or go to Gayā, and try to offer a śrāddha there. Or mutter every day with respect the Rudra(-hymn); pleasing Rudra, the essence of all the Vedas, and the destroyer of sins. Or go to Śrīśaila, or to Kedāra, if you please. Or practise bath in Māgha every year. What is the use of talking too much in this matter. Always be devoted to piety. (If you do) like this, you will not live in hell, O you mean brāhmaṇa.”

Gautama said:

On hearing the Purāṇa from your mouth, I shall do all (this). Also tell me the sacred precepts, the cause of faith and the taboos.

The public reader of the Purāṇas said:

442-448a. (These are) prohibited: flesh, liquor, enjoying another’s wife, gambling, boasting, harshness, falsehood, deceit, censure of god of gods, reviling preceptors, seniors, gods and expounders of Purāṇas and codes of laws, white egg-plant, living on bottle-gourd, citron, safflower, the rice called lohita, lotus, awl, coconut, pumpkin gourd, kovidāra fruit, cooked oil, human milk, so also milk of a rhinoceros, of a female donkey, the milk of a woman recently delivered, so also of a female goat, of a camel, of a one-hoofed animal, of a deer, sheep and of human beings, so also the milk of a calf-less cow and of one that is in heat, salt that is touched, the juice of coconut in a bell-metal vessel or in a copper vessel, honey in a lead vessel; he should never have butter-milk in a glass-vessel or have flour mixed with curds, smeared with ghee. A burnt offering or a cake offered as an oblation shines in a clay-vessel.

448b-453a. A wise man, desiring auspiciousness, should not serve a stranger in (this) world. The smearing of the inside of a vessel with a powder, or eating therefrom (is prohibited). Similarly eating betel-nut, and crushed (betel-)leaves (is prohibited). The eating of ripe betal-nut brings about a union with worms. So also salt added to milk merely with the hand (is prohibited). In (countries like) Sindhu, Saurāṣṭra, Kamboja, Magadha and Siṃhala milk accompanied by salt does not lead to a sin. In other countries all (kinds of) milk and salts lead to sin. There is a doubt here in case of drinking. What is the use of talking much in this matter? Good men should avoid what is censurable.

Śambhu said:

453b-464. Having heard these words of the magnanimous brāhmaṇa, he went to his own house, and being affiicted thought: ‘Even a great man does not know whether death would come at night or by day. In the other world there may be happiness or unhappiness. In this world there are pleasures and entertainments. The pleasures and pains of the worms and insects and of human beings etc. are separate for each being. The difference in purpose also is well-determined. Even for one being the condition is not of one kind (only). At the time of birth there is great ignorance. In infanthood there is very little knowledge; when the steps stumble (i.e. in early childhood there is little understanding; it is also very little in childhood. In adolescence there is interest in sport; in youth there is a longing for carnal pleasures. When youth has passed there is the desire to secure wealth. In old age there is a desire for enjoyment, but (the old man) is not capable of enjoyment. He suffers from rheum of the eyes, phlegm, saliva, folds, greyness and trembling; the senses are overpowered by asthma, wind, and are defective. He is not able to hold anything, nor does he know anything. He would show (i.e. he shows) his private parts when wives of others are there. He is engaged in scratching his testicles, and is cruel due to the nature of living. He raises his garment, moves his buttocks, and scratches them. Eating (i.e. trying to eat) the mouthful he is not able (to do so) due to phlegm. When there is cough there is wind passing from the anus with a sound. So also the feces come out, and phlegm also comes out. He is rebuked by his daughters-in-law etc. and children laugh with clapping.

465-471. Having given a thought to the going out of the elders he was repeatedly invited for food etc. Having censured the eatables, food etc. and having for a long time condemned the hot (food) he again thought: ‘I am a man who has done very bad deeds. How shall I eat? How shall I sleep? How shall I stand? How shall I go? How can I reach the other world (i.e. heaven)?’ He was thus always worried. He, not having a thought for the highest one, did not bow down. O Rāma, he went to the house of a brāhmaṇa, well-versed in the Purāṇas. With his face bent down through shame, he said: “What (should) I do (now)?” At that time the brāhmaṇa, the public reader of the Purāṇas, said nothing; knowing that he was a sinner he drove him away through his disciples. Gautama too, going out, remained outside the house, at the door. To him who was (first) seated on the ground and who somehow reached the brāhmaṇa pondering over the meaning of the Purāṇas, a seat was offered (by the Paurāṇika). He did not occupy it. O Rāma, seated on the ground, he said to (the brāhmaṇa) who knew the Purāṇas: “I shall go through an expiation. Let it be done here only.”

The brāhmaṇa said:

472-474a. Narrate fully the sins committed by you. He too, saying, “I have done no sin”, wept, and being extremely afflicted fell on the ground, saying, “how, O dear one, (can I save myself)?” The brāhmaṇa then said to him: “There is no expiation if a major sin is committed three times.”

Gautama said:

474b-475a. O noble reader of the Purāṇas, how am I sinful even when I have come to you? If I am sinful even now, then the company of an excellent brāhmaṇa (like you) would be fruitless.

The public reader of the Purāṇas said:

475b-478. In the decision about the expiations of all sacred precepts are the (only) authority. If one would say anything about it then that would not be an expiation. (The expiation) is said to be gone through once, if (the sin) is committed once. For the second (sin) it would be double. For the third (sin) it is said to be triple, and for the fourth (sin) there is no atonement. You have committed many sins. Even the fourth one you have committed deliberately. How am I able to tell an expiation to (a person) like you?

Gautama too said again: “Where should I go now?”

479-487. O Rāma, the brāhmaṇa, the public reader of the Purāṇas, remained quiet. Gautama too went to the great Śrīśaila. Then, having bathed in the river, and having seen the lord Mallikārjuna, and having observed three fasts (i.e. having fasted for three days), he had Śivarātri (i.e. it was the day of Śivarātri). He who was very much grieved, observed the fourth fast; he also broke his fast by (eating) fruits and barks of trees on the new-moon day. Then the brāhmaṇa went round Śrīśaila, keeping it to his right. He, extremely emaciated due to worry and heaving, then went to the temple. ‘How will I, remaining silent, accomplish freedom from sins? Which is my very great, infinite sin that is inconceivable? (Even) having heard (about my sins) nobody would say to me—Go through an expiation. But on hearing some Purāṇa, it will be known.’ Thinking like this, he said to (the brāhmaṇa) who knew the Purāṇas: “O dear one, may the revered one expound one Purāṇa to me. Quickly make me go through the sacraments like the one performed at the time of birth; I shall listen to the Purāṇa after becoming a twice-born; thereafter, I (shall) go through an expiation. If a Purāṇa is narrated to me, it will be helpful to me. So I determining the meaning of the Purāṇa shall do (whatever) is possible.”

The public reader of Purāṇas said:

488-489a. I shall duly narrate the Purāṇa destroying sins to you, according to my knowledge (of it), according to my capacity, as uprightly as possible and according to the proper rules. Which Purāṇa do you desire (to hear)? I shall narrate that only.

Gautama said:

489b-490a. Tell me which Purāṇa should be said to be liked by all, and hearing which there would be no difference felt between Viṣṇu and Śiva.

The public reader of Purāṇas said:

490b-494. That Purāṇa which is called Kaurma is said to be telling about the non-difference between the two gods. The sin of him who listens to it first, perishes. There would be no danger for him who would be its reader. If a sinner desires to hear it, his wife perishes; moreover, one difficult thing I shall tell (you) and that is the absence of the censure of the listener and the speaker. If the listener has love for the expounder, it becomes manifest through the merit only. When meritorious behaviour which shows (the path to) salvation, is noticed, then the great god (i.e. Śiva) is pleased, and Viṣṇu gives the desired fruits. He has emancipated his dead ancestors. They obtain the highest state.

Footnotes and references:


Padmāsana—A posture in which the left foot is put at the root of the right thigh and the right foot is put on the left thigh.


Akṣauhiṇī—A large army consisting of 21870 chariots, as many elephants, 65610 horses and 109350 foot soldiers.


Prāti—The span of the thumb and the forefinger.


Apośana—The act of making an upastaraṇa (seat) and apidhāna (covering) for the food eaten.


Aṣṭamūrti—For the eight forms of Śiva, see verse 373 of this chapter.


Pañcāmṛta—The collection of five sweet things used in worshipping deities. They are: milk, sugar, ghee, curd and honey.


Upacāra=service; worship; act of worship; article of worship.

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