As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 25
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Narada wants to know about creation. Supreme Brahma tells that Vishnu takes birth out of the left part of body, out of right Brahma is born and from the centre, lord Rudra emerges. Lord assigns to each one a separate task to be accomplished meticulously namely - the sacred task of creation to Brahma, preservation to Vishnu, and destruction to Rudra and thus, Shiva takes three forms.
Afterward created beings – gods, celestial beings, sages, daityas, human beings and various living beings take birth. Later Sandhya, the divine beauty takes birth, who is engaged in intense penance. Creation begins to take shape and therefore, Purusa takes birth and Brahma tells him to create…Brahma tells sage how sages, and a man and woman take birth.
Questions born of delusion and illusion invade the mind of sage Narada. Even as Brahma continues to reveal the process of creation, divine girl, a manas daughter Sandhya undergoes severe penance and tapa for many ages. She takes birth after many ages as Arundhati, who later learns the art of tapa and meditation from sage Vasistha, whom the trinity asks to accomplish the task and later marries the holy woman of immense tapa and penance. She delights Shiva – the Supreme Lord and praises the lord, the origin and source of all creation including the holy Trinity, and secures earnestly earned boons and goes to heaven. Devotion in right spirit is the ultimate path to deliverance one learns.
Every created being including the three worlds, regions and directions function under a definite design as the lord specifies. Free from the thoughts of illusions and delusions, Supreme Brahma, explains the secret pattern of the great creation and lord’s blessings. After ages, one learns about the birth of Trinity and Sandhya, the divine girl.
Narada fails to understand the divine woman Srimati and is quite distressed – Brahma dispels doubts of Narada through various tales about Shiva and talks of the immeasurable dimensions of a unique lord, creation of prajapatis…
Sage Narada knew the supreme status of Shiva. Vishnu had revealed many truths about the supreme lord. He was already quite repentant about the misfortune when he fell for the beauty of a divine woman Srimati, the mayabi (delusory potency) creation of Vishnu. He was none other than the creation of maya of Shiva. He put many a question before Supreme Brahma and thus, wanted to know the mysteries of the great lord. Now, as Vishnu advised, he was fully enamoured of the virtuous and holy deeds of Shiva, who was generous and benevolent to devotees and could never afford to see true bhaktas (devotees) in sufferings.
Brahma narrated various tales relating to the life of Shiva, and lord’s supreme obligations toward the three worlds of which he was the creator, the preserver and the destroyer. He asked Brahma about the character of Sati (goddess Parvati) and wanted to know about the divine charm of Shiva. He also wished to know about the thought of marriage entering the mind of Shiva. He asked many questions about the life of Shiva and at the same time, wanted to know about marriage, the birth of daughter of Himalaya, Parvati’s intense tapa and later on, her marriage to Shiva. Brahma listened to sage Narada and desired to dispel many doubts of holy monk. For the celestial seer, the thought of marriage in the mind of Shiva was quite a puzzle and genuinely, it created an enigmatic mental struggle.
Brahma said to Narada, “O sage, to sing glory of Sati and lord Shiva is supremely sacred, divine and the most sacrosanct and none can compare its splendor and blissful aura it spreads around with any other charisma. In ancient times, the sages believed and conveyed to people as everyone understood that lord Shiva was nirguna, infinite, incomparable, beyond shape or body, power, and was entrenched in the image beyond the true and the untrue. Later on, the great lord situated ‘the self’ in saguna divine power and transformed ‘the self’ into a special image. Goddess Uma was present. A larger-than-life image and full of divine figure and energy, Shiva appeared mighty and supreme. No bikara (angularity) or distortion appeared in the great lord. He was established in paratpara (infinite image).”
Sage Narada listened devotionally to the tale of Shiva.
Brahma said, “O monk, out of the left part of body, Vishnu was born. Out of the right I, Brahma took birth and from the middle part of the body (the heart of Shiva) lord Rudra emerged out. I (Brahma) became the creator. Vishnu looked after and preserved the entire creation and lord Rudra took over the functions of a destroyer of created worlds and beings in case anyone indulged in unethical karmas. Therefore, Shiva was born in three different images.”
“O sage Narada, I meditated on him for a long time and thereafter, I, the pitamahah (great grandfather Brahma) of created gods and goddesses, asuras and daityas (demons), celestial beings, human beings and various living beings created great prajapatis (the caretakers, the creators, lords, guardians et cetera) and Daksa. I was very happy and so, I began to think that I was the Supreme Creator. O holy monk, I deliberated long, and thought for a long time and a mere thought gave birth to enormously extraordinary, inspiring and powerful sages namely – Marichi, Atri, Pulaha, Pulastya, Angira, Kratu, Vasistha, Narada, Daksa and Bhrigu.”
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