As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 32
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Tapa of Prajapati Daksa …Goddess Jagadambika blesses Prajapati Daksa and disappears – Daksa begins the sacred act of creation when he marries Askini-Veerani a righteous daughter of Veeran, a prajapati, but he confronts various obstacles when the creation is static.
Self-interests if work toward the benefit of man and humanity, it is a divine will, a devotee ought to know, for if coldness grows out of jealousy and distrust for a noble soul for no reason during penance, it is predestined and so, it turns into a foundation of victory. During intense penance, observance of restraint on mind and senses is essential and it leads to the attainment of divine objective. Creation has the intrinsic quality to survive and die out and it holds the knowledge that annihilation is also an eternal truth. Even sons of Gods work toward the fulfillment of objective of the Divinity. If a man knows the natural functions of delusory powers of the lord, most of the miseries will vanish. A man must do duties and please gurus, elders, gods, and it is an essential ingredient if one wants to attain salvation….the principal objective of incarnation is to ensure law of truth and righteousness – Dharma in the three worlds.
Prajapati Daksa was a man of dharma. He appeared before Supreme Brahma and sought permission and blessing so that he is able to undergo severe tapa and meditation. Because the sagacious and astute Daksa cherished an earnest wish in the heart for a sacred objective, an eagerness to become father of goddess and therefore, he went to the ocean of milk, situated ‘the self’ on the seashore and concentrated on the lord with an ardent desire to get goddess Jagdambika as daughter. Austere tapasya of Daksa astonished every created being. He was enthusiastic, genuine and dedicated. He followed the principles of tapa determinedly, observed complete restraint on his mind and senses, and was engaged in intense tapa. While undergoing tapa, he regularly cleansed body, took bath, adhered to the laws of tapa and continued to undergo penance for three thousand divine years.
At times, he drank water only and some time, he breathed only and underwent tapa. He observed complete fast and took no food. Several times, he chewed up dry leaves, managed to carry on severe penance, and still survived. Austerity he observed was intense and so sufferings continued for many divine years. Goddess Jagdamba was pleased after years and observed Daksa engaged in tapa while he adhered to the strict laws of meditation. Therefore, goddess Shiva appeared before devotee Daksa.
Daksa witnessed a divine scene with awe and fulfillment, and felt immensely gratified. He saw goddess Kalikia shinning brilliantly and mounting a lion. Her face looked enchanting and divine. She had four arms with one arm and hand in a blessing mode (varada), one with a blue lotus, and with a sword in each hand and appeared captivating to the eyes. As Kalikia’s eyes were a little red, these radiated a magic charm. Untied hair appeared beautiful. Divine aura illumined the great goddess and as the celestial light overwhelmed Daksa, he began to sing glories of goddess in many words.
Daksa said, “O goddess of the world, I salute you. You generously allowed me to have divine darshana. O goddess, please be happy. O goddess, with an image of Shiva I salute you.”
Goddess Shiva (Jagdamba) understood the purpose of tapa of Daksa. She said, “O Daksa, I am very delighted at the supreme bhakti and devotion. I am satisfied. You can ask whatever you have in mind. I shall bestow on you what boon you wish.”
Prajapati Daksa was extremely happy when he heard benign Jagdamba. He repeatedly saluted the goddess and said, “O Jagdamba, if you are prepared to bless me with a boon, then, please listen and fulfill my wishes happily. My swamy is lord Shiva. He is born as lord Rudra, a son of Brahma. He is an incarnation of lord Shiva. However, O goddess, you never took birth as an incarnation on earth. Who would be Rudra’s wife? Therefore, O Shivei, consort of Shiva, you descend on earth and with the divine and mesmerising splendor, hypnotize Maheshwara. O goddess, no other woman can captivate and tempt Rudra. Therefore, you be my daughter and thereafter, become wife of Mahadeva. O goddess, enact a divine play and hypnotize Shiva. O goddess, bless and grant a boon. Nobody should think that I hide self-interest. It will benefit the entire universe. I came here with the inspiration of Supreme Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.”
Jagdamba smiled, remembered Shiva and said, “O father …and prajapati Daksa, listen to a pleasant truth. I am pleased at the intensity of devotion and bhakti and therefore, I am ready to fulfill all desires you nurse. O Daksa, though I am Maheshwari yet you O dear devotee overwhelmed me with the intensity of tapa and devotion, I shall take birth as your daughter through the womb of your wife and descend on earth. You should not have any doubt. O dear devotee, I shall undergo rigorous tapa so that I get a boon from Mahadeva and become lord’s consort.”
“I foresee no other way through which I can achieve a superior objective because Sadashiv (Shiva) is without any form (nirbikara). Brahma and Vishnu in the image of the great lords are worth worshipping. I am always lord’s beloved and attendant. In every birth, Shiva is my husband. He takes many births in various images, and so is my swamy in every birth. Shiva, because of individual boon, was born as Rudra from the eyebrows of Brahma. I shall also take birth as an incarnation. O father, now go home. In a noble endeavour, I will have an envoy, an attendant I know. I shall take birth as your daughter very soon and then, become consort of Mahadeva.”
She heard sublime and pious words of Daksa and was extremely happy and then thinking of the feet of Shiva with deep devotion and dedication, she said loudly, “O prajapati, I have a pledge to fulfill that you must keep in mind. I should tell you about the pledge, which is true. If a feeling of coldness arises and your love for me erodes, I shall leave this mortal frame immediately and shall dissolve the corporeal body in my image or shall take another body. I am firm. O prajapati, I conferred boon on you for each kalpa. I shall take birth as your daughter and then, become companion of lord Shiva.” After saying so, Durga disappeared and later on, Daksa returned to the ashrama happily.
Daksa was immensely delighted and he returned to the ashrama after goddess Durga had disappeared. In a very pleased mental state, he began to create many worlds inside. A psychological act of creation filled him with pleasure. When he found no increase in the act of creation, he appeared before Brahma and said, “O Supreme Brahma, my father and the lord of creation, I notice no increase in creation. O lord, the number of creation is static. I find no change. How can I increase population of the created beings? Please tell. I wish to create living beings. I harbour no misgiving.”
Finding Daksa quite anxious about the increase in population of created beings, Brahma said, “O prajapati Daksa, please listen and do as I wish and if you do so, Shiva will bless. O lord of the prajas, you know noble prajapati Veeran has a beautiful daughter Askini. You accept Askini as wife I suggest. You should unite with the girl, take shelter in the union of bodies, and again increase prajas – the much-desired offspring and you would have many children from the womb of a virtuous girl Askini.”
Daksa married daughter of prajapati Veeran on the advice of Brahma, and thereafter, queen Veerani gave birth to ten thousand sons, who he called Harayasvasas. Harayasvasas adhered to dharma of true sons and were always ready to obey Daksa and thus, in truth, loyal sons were Daksa’s devotees and adopted the right Vedic path. When they grew into mature young men, he asked them to create offspring and increase dynasty of prajapatis. With an objective to increase prajas, all sons of Daksa proceeded to south direction for undergoing tapa. They arrived at a water-lake Narayana, a place of pilgrimage.
It was a blessed place of confluence of divine river Sindhu (Indus) and the vast sea. Mere touch of sanctified water at the sanctified convergence of river Sindhu and the Sea purified sons (the inner selves – the souls) and illumined them with the light of knowledge. They felt entirely cleansed within and now thought it better to situate ‘the selves’ in supreme dharma, which was expected from sons. All sons of Daksa were obedient and could not go beyond the limits of directives. They, the holiest among the saintly people observed restraint on minds and senses and for the increase of prajas began undergoing tapa.
When sage Narada learnt about the tapa and penance of a Harayasvasas and the objective (increasing the number of prajapatis) he understood the intention of the heart of goddess Laksmi. Therefore, he went to Harayasvasas, who were undergoing tapa, and said, “O sons of Daksa Harayasvasas, how did you agree to increase the population without knowledge of annihilation of the universe?”
Harayasvasas had stayed away from lethargy and passivity. They were very wise from day one. When they heard sage Narada, they deliberated upon the suggestion deeply. Narada had stirred curiosity. To know truth of annihilation of creation was a momentous truth of life and a feature inseparable. Many questions arose in the minds of Harayasvasas. They had understood the instructions of Daksa properly. Wise sons of Daksa thought over with resolute and devoted minds, did parikarima (prayerful rounds) of sage Narada, and went on a path from where no one returns. Sage Narada thought to be the mind and an image of Shiva roams about in the worlds alone with no restriction or barrier. His mind is pure because he works after reading the mind of lord Maheshwara. Therefore, Narada knew what was to happen in future.
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