The Skanda Purana

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

This page describes Eulogy of Shiva by Brahma which is chapter 16 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 sixteenth chapter of the Reva-khanda of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 16 - Eulogy of Śiva by Brahmā

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

1-7. The Trident-bearing Lord was surrounded by the terrible groups of goblins along with the Mothers.

He continued his dance. Wearing two pieces of elephant hide he evinced his desire to annihilate the entire universe.

Śaṃbhu danced amidst the conflagration that consumed the three worlds. The entrails of all the leaders of Suras constituted his garland. Their fat, suet and blood smeared his limbs.

Accompanied by Kālarātri that noble-souled Lord annihilated the entire region of the three worlds at the proper time. Named Saṃvartaka and having the state of the fierce Sun, the noble-souled Śaṃbhu, the most excellent one in the universe, opened his mouth that resembled Baḍavāmukha (the entrance to the submarine fire) and laughed boisterously. It appeared like profuse outcome of sparks mixed with smoke or like the blow of a violent gust of wind wafting great firebrands and thunderbolts.

All the ten quarters were filled with that loud outburst of laughter arising from Hara. It had the forceful impact of a thousand thunderbolts. All the great oceans became agitated.

The loud sound reached the world of Brahmā. The entire Cosmic Egg shook and quaked violently. The sages became frightened and they worried wondering, ‘What could this be?’ All those frightened sages along with Suras and Asuras and the great Serpents bowed down to Brahmā, the Lord of the great chiefs:

8-11. “Who is this being that sports about stationed on the surface of the earth? His limbs are terrible and they blaze like the refulgence of a lightning streak. His body resembles the Kālānala fire and due to his boisterous laughter the whole universe is bewildered.

In a moment it has become utterly confused. Is it possible that he may wish to annihilate all the three worlds, along with you and all the seven oceans? Desirous of annihilating he proceeds towards Jana, Tapas and Satya worlds.

Who is this Lord? O incomprehensible being, recount all this. Never before has this difficult situation been faced. You do know the truth. You are considered by us as the greatest being.”

On hearing their words, Brahmā consoled the groups of Suras and others and said:

Śrī Brahmā said:

12-15. He is Kāla (Death), the eternal Atman desirous of annihilating the entire heaven and the whole universe. When the whole work is complete, he will be lying down. The Lord Īśāna will be lying down in the future Parivatsaras (years). It is not surprising.

This Lord himself is Saṃvatsara, Parivatsara, Udvatsara and Vatsara (different ways of reckoning years). Though seen, he is invisible. He is the one who illuminates everything. He is adored by means of Homa. He is gross. He is subtle. He is the ultimate atom.

There is nothing in this world here greater than this. He is the greatest and greater than the greatest. The Lord is proclaimed as Ātman. Of features similar to those Kāla will become pleased with me.

After saying this, the holy Lord, the chief of Suras, propitiated (Śiva) in the company of Sanatkumāra and others. He was of complete self-control.

Brahmā said:

16-20. Obeisance is done to Śarva of quiescent forms and features. Obeisance, obeisance to you in the. form of Aghora. O Śarva, O immanent soul of all, obeisance, obeisance to you.

O Lord of goblins, obeisance to you, O great Ātman.

Obeisance, obeisance to you, O Svadhā and Vaṣaṭkāra, developed further into Oṃkāra and Huṃkāra. Obeisance to the Lord of the three Guṇas, to Maheśvara, identical with the Trayī (three Vedas), the immanent soul of the three Guṇas.

You are Śaṅkara. You alone are Maheśvara. You have penetrated into the foremost Pradhāna. You are Viṣṇu, Īśa and Prapitāmaha. You are the Fire-god with seven tongues of flames, with an infinite number of tongues of flames.

O Lord, you alone are the creator and the creation; you are the entity worthy of being known by the universe; you are the greatest support of the universe. The Brāhmaṇas who have mastered and understood the Vedas call you the most excellent and the greatest. You are greater than the greatest. They speak of you as subtler than the subtlest. The words along with the mind recede therefrom.

Śrī Mahādeva said:

21-24. I have been eulogized by you through diverse kinds of Mantras. O Lotus-born One, I shall increase the peace and calm in you. Look at me burning down this world, annihilating forcibly by means of many faces.

After saying thus and consoling Pitāmaha, the Lord of the universe vanished there itself along with the goddess.

By listening to this great and meritorious hymn, people attain the blissful goal. Even those who are infested by many sins proceed towards Rudra by means of aerial chariots free from impurities. They will never experience any fear—the excellent Brāhmaṇas who recite this, O dear one. There is no doubt about this that Śiva will be their saviour in the course of war, theft, fire, forest and ocean.

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