The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes Parvati as Shabari Brings Back Shiva: Shiva’s Coronation which is chapter 35 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the thirty-fifth chapter of the Kedara-khanda of the Maheshvara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 35 - Pārvatī as Śabarī Brings Back Śiva: Śiva’s Coronation

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: This concluding chapter of the Kedāra-khaṇḍa, tells us how Pārvatī in the guise of a Śabara girl enticed Śiva back and the apologizing Śiva amicably lived together with her afterwards.

Lomaśa said:

1. When Mahādeva went to the forest, Girijā became dejected on account of separation. The lady of slender limbs did not get any pleasure in the mansions or apartments.

2. The splendid lady of slender body brooded over Śiva with all feelings. Understanding that Śivā was worried and anxious (about Śiva), her friend Vijayā said:

Vijayā said:

3. O splendid lady, it was by means of a great penance that you attained Śiva. In vain was a false game of dice played with Śaṅkara, the ascetic.

4. There are many defects in playing at dice, O sinless lady, have they not been heard by you? Seek the forgiveness of Śiva, O slender lady of great cleverness, immediately.

5-6. O gentle lady of excellent face, go, go along with us (to the forest). Before Saṃbhu [Śaṃbhu?] has not gone far off, go to Śaṅkara and seek his pardon. If you do not seek the forgiveness of Śiva, later on you will certainly have to regret it. You will become miserable.

7. On hearing the words uttered by Vijayā, (the goddess) of great equanimity and courageousness, laughingly spoke these words to her friend Vijayā—wondrous words of truthful nature:

8-11. “Formerly he had been surrounded by great prosperity but he was defeated by me. He is shameless[1] (or above the sense of shame). I have nothing to do immediately. Without me, he will continue to be ugly and hideous (or formless). Lord Maheśa had been rendered as one with forms and say not otherwise. Neither communion nor separation can exist between us, with him and with me. Maheśa who is without form and shape has been made one with form and shape by me. This entire universe consisting of the mobile and immobile beings along with the excellent Devas, has been created by me for the sake of his sport. O Vijayā, see my sport along with the causes of origin and existence.”

12. After saying thus, the goddess Girijā, the (cause) of all auspiciousness, became desirous of going to Māheśvara after assuming the form of a female Sahara huntress.

13. (She assumed the form of a) dark-complexioned slender lady. Her teeth were like the buds of Śikhara (a variety of jasmine). Her lips resembled the round Biṃba (a variety of red plum) fruit. She possessed a fine neck. She had to bend down slightly on account of the weight of the heavy breasts. Her smooth glossy tresses had grown abundantly. She was very slender and thin in her waist. The buttocks were large. Gaurī’s thighs were like the golden plantain stem. She was Pallīyuktā (? accompanied by her friends who looked like the members of the hut or family). She had very fine bangles. She adorned herself with the plumes and feathers of a peacock.

14. She held in her hand a bow that resembled a lotus-stalk. There was a quiver on her back. It had been made of Ketaka leaves. (From a distance) she saw Giriśa. The lady of beautiful face thus went along, served and accompanied by many friends and attendants.

15. Through the loud humming sound of the bees, she made the three worlds reverberate. Girijā (appeared) to revive Manmatha again and again.

16. The royal swans became at that instant filled with love and desire. Bees and peacocks—all of them were lovelorn and so had heart-burn.

17. She went to the pīace where Maheśvara was seated engaged in trance and meditation. He was seen by the goddess extremely fascinated by the sound of bees.

18-19. Mahādeva woke up from his trance. On seeing the Śabarī, Maheśa immediately became afflicted with love. He went near Girijā and was about to seize her by the hand, when the chaste lady suddenly vanished from his presence.

20. Immediately after seeing it, the lord had his wrong notion dispelled. Śaṃbhu wandered around but did not see the dark-eyed lady.

21-22. He experienced pangs of separation. He became lovelorn. Śaṃbhu who was the enemy of Madana, whose form was perpetual knowledge and who was devoid of delusion, became deluded. He saw Girijā once again. He spoke to the huntress the following weighty words, very relevant to the occasion:

Śiva said:

23. Listen to my words, O lady of slender limbs. After hearing them, it behoves you to do accordingly. Who are you? To whom do you belong, O slenḍer-limbed lady? 'Let this be told exactly, O lady of beautiful waist and of great fortune.

Śivā said:

24. I am searching for my husband who is omniscient, who bestows all objects, who is independent and devoid of aberrations and who is the most excellent lord of all the worlds.

25-28. On being told thus, the bull-emblemed lord replied to Girijā thus: “O gentle lady, I am the most suitable husband for you and none else. O beautiful lady, O beautiful lady of excellent face, let this be truthfully pondered oven”

On hearing the words of Rudra, she spoke smilingly: “O noble one of great fortune, you may say that the husband sought after by me is you yourself and not otherwise. But welfare unto you, I shall tell you something. You are devoid of Gaṇas. You are the scorcher of enemies. The beautiful lady by whom you had been wooed before by means of great penance, has been abandoned by you in the forest in a trice.

29. It is very difficult for all living beings ever to propitiate you. Hence what has been said before me by you, should not be said again.”

30-31. On hearing the words of Śabarī, the Bull-emblemed Lord replied: “Do not say so, O lady of large eyes. That poor ascetic woman has not been abandoned. If she is abandoned by me, O lady of slender body, can anything be spoken? After knowing me wretched and pitiable, O lady of large eyes, O lady of good waistline, you must carry out my suggestion.”

32. On being earnestly requested thus in various ways by the Trident-bearing Lord, Girijā laughingly spoke these words of ridicule and reproof:

33-34. “O lord of Yogins, you are an ascetic. You are free from attachment. You are unsullied. You are one revelling in the Ātman. You are beyond Dvandvas (i.e. mutually opposed pairs such as pleasure-pain) and you are the lord by whom Madana was slain. You are Virūpākṣa himself and you have been seen by me. It is impossible for me to attain you. You cannot be conquered by anyone. Hence what has been suggested to me before, should not be said by you again.”

35. On hearing her words, the slayer of Madana said: “Be my wife. It does not behove you to do anything otherwise.”

36-37. After saying this, the lord who was afflicted with love seized the huntress by the hand. She said smilingly to him in a respectful manner:

“Let me go, let me go. This is not proper, O lord, to do, especially by an ascetic. Do not use force. Request my father. Do not attack me otherwise.”

Mahādeva said:

38. O lady of splendid face, where is your father living? Tell your father quickly. I shall see him after presenting my prostrations.

39. On hearing these words uttered by him, the Bull-bannered Lord was brought to her father by that slender lady of dark eyes.

40-41. He was the excellent Mountain Himavān stationed on the peak of Kailāsa. He had great lustre. He was surrounded by many serpents. He was standing at the entrance and was pointed out to Śaṅkara by the goddess: “O lord, this is my father. Without shyness request him (for my hand). He will give me (to you). O ascetic, do not delay.”

42. Thinking that it should be so, he suddenly bowed down to Himālaya and spoke these words: “O most excellent one among the lords of Mountains, O highly intelligent one, give your magnificent daughter (to me), the extremely distressed one.”

43. On hearing these pitiable words, Himālaya got up. Holding Maheśa (by the hand), the Lord of Mountains himself spoke:

44-46. “What do you say, O lord? This is improper for you now. You are the donor (reputed) in all the three worlds. Universe consisting of mobile and immobile beings has been created by you.” Thus the great Mountain Himālaya engaged himself in eulogy. Then there came Nārada, the excellent sage.

He laughingly spoke these words: “O Trident-bearing Lord, obeisance to you. O Śaṃbhu, listen to my words, the great words full of the essence of reality.

47. Association with young women only adds to affliction and distress. You are the master, the lord of the worlds, the great lord, greater than the greatest. Ponder over everything, O lord of Devas. It behoves you to speak truthfully.”

48. On being enlightened thus by the noble-souled Nārada, Śaṃbhu, the great lord, became enlightened and laughed.

Śiva said:

49-53. O Nārada, truth has been spoken by you in this matter. It is not otherwise in any respect. Downfall for men is surely caused by association with young women. There is no doubt about it. Your words cannot be otherwise. I have been fascinated by this lady and brought to Gandhamādana.

This is a mysteriously wonderful activity caused by a ghostlike creature. Hence I am not staying near this Mountain. I am going now itself once again to another forest.

After saying thus, he went along the path that is hard to be attained even by Yogins, that is unfathomable and that has no support. On understanding this, Nārada spoke these words to Girijā, the Lord of Mountains and to the Pārṣadas immediately:

54. “This is Maheśa, the lord of the universe, the destroyer of Tripura, the lord of great reputation. He should be saluted, eulogized and entreated for pardon truthfully [or paramārthataḥ: for the sake of the greatest aim in life].”

55-56. On hearing these words uttered by Nārada, all the Mountains of great lustre (went to the Lord) keeping Girijā at their head. All of them fell (at the feet of) Śaṅkara, the benefactor of all the worlds, like a long rod. All Pramathas, Guhyakas and others bowed down and eulogized him (i.e. Śiva).

57. On being eulogized, the Lord came to Gandhamādana. The lord of all was ceremoniously crowned by Aṅgiras along with noble-souled ones.

58. At that time Dundubhi-drums were sounded and many musical instruments were played. All the Suras beginning with Indra threw showers of flowers.

59. The Lord of Yogins worthy of being saluted by the entire universe, was entreated and surrounded by many groups of Suras beginning with Brahmā. He was accompanied by Girijā. On being entreated by them, he condescended to sit on a divine seat where he shone with great magnificence and all kinds of auspicious things.

60. The acts of the noble-souled Maheśa, O Brāhmaṇas, of this sort are destructive of the sins of those who listen to them. They (i.e. the acts) are innumerable.

61. All those stories of Rudra heard (by us) are great. What more shall I tell you?

The sages said:

62. Thus the act of Śaṅkara has been described by you- By this story itself we are undoubtedly satisfied.

Sūta said:

63-64. Everything has been heard by me by the grace of Vyāsa. The wonderful form of Śaṅkara is vast and contains within it the wonderful features of the Vedas. It is of the nature of perfect knowledge and it has been described (to you). Those who are endowed with great faith and listen to as well as narrate with love and devotion the wonderful story of the greatness of Śiva, this story which is dear to Śiva and which is called Śivaśāstra, attain the great goal.


Footnotes and references:


VV 8-11. A clever use of pun. Every epithet of Śiva which is apparently derogatory is really complimentary, e.g. virūpa: (i) of ugly form; (ii) formless or transcending form.

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