As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 40
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Visvakarma constructs a cowshed, a splendid throne and chhatra (umbrella) and Shiva bestows sovereign powers, perfection, delusory powers and autonomy as well on Sri Hari. Thereafter, Vishnu adorns the powers of the creator, preserver and destroyer and looks after the created beings on the directions of Shiva
Visvakarma also constructed a grand throne and then, Shiva requested Visvakarma to make a wonderful chhatra (umbrella) for the throne that appears divine, incredibly amazing and superb. Afterward, the lord invited Indra, various categories of gods, siddhas, ganadharavas and nagas. He also sent invitations to the Vedas, Aagmas (related to the Vedas ) and Supreme Brahma and lord’s sons, monks and all the goddesses with apasaras, the celestial women, who were equipped with precious ornaments and various valuable things. He also requested sixteen daughters of gods, sages, siddhas and nagas, who held and carried auspicious assets and treasures in hands.
It was a splendid festival where dances, songs and music added charm and mystic aura to the environment. The devotees of patron also collected necessary material to sanctify various herbs. Counselors of Shiva brought various divine effects and thus, the artisan of gods ensured that the festival contains everything on a grand scale. Bhakti of Vishnu pleased Maheshwara tremendously. He requested Sri Vishnu of the holy abode Vaikuntha and offered the most marvelous throne Visvakarma had built and then, decorated Vishnu in a wonderful and fascinating way. Shiva adorned Vishnu with an appealing crest, and then after garlanding, requested him to perform holy and sacred karmas.
After he performed various divine rituals, Shiva coroneted Vishnu on the Supreme podium, and thereafter, blessed Sri Hari with grandeur and magnificence, affluence and possessions of the worlds not available with anyone else before. Later on, Sambhu became a devotee of Sri Hari and spread the message everywhere.
When he lavished privileges, powers and grandeur on Vishnu, Shiva said to Supreme Brahma, “O lord, from today, after I get a nod, I will worship Vishnu Sri Hari. Everyone listens to the words at this moment. O father, you and all the gods of heavens should salute Sri Hari. The Vedas should also reverentially describe Sri Hari in a superb manner, for Sri Hari sits at a higher pedestal. He is the lord of Vaikuntha.”
After a pause, Sri Rama said, “O goddess, the intensity of devotion of Sri Hari to the merciful and generous Rudra (lord Shiva) impressed Shiva, who after uttering praiseworthy words, stood up and saluted the great flag bearing the symbol of Garuda. Afterward as Shiva desired all the gods and goddesses, monks, sages and siddhas and various celestial souls and created beings including Supreme Brahma worshipped Sri Hari. Next, Maheshwara bestowed many blessings and boons on Sri Hari to establish supremacy.
Sri Rama continued, “O goddess, later on, Shiva bestowed generously on Vishnu the powers and functions of the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer of the creation and various worlds. He could now bestow dharma, artha and kama on created beings. He is also the arbiter where he can punish people, who pursue bad and harmful policies toward living beings while he is engaged in the work of destroying and eliminating men of wickedness. He would be now fully equipped with the strength and fearlessness and would thus, be the god of the universe. He would remain invincible. None, howsoever powerful would be able to defeat Sri Hari, not even lord Shiva.”
Sri Rama continued, “Lord Shiva, bestowed on Vishnu three kinds of divine powers. One was the siddhi (perfection in the art of wish or desire he can grant). Maya (delusory potency) was the next boon. That he enjoyed autonomy in the created worlds was the third most important blessing. Thus, lord Shiva made Vishnu the Supreme authority accomplished in the art of life, creation and preservation but kept a balance among different forces. Shiva further conferred on Vishnu the power to stay away from jealous living beings because Maheshwara would punish them. Shiva assured Vishnu that he would grant moksa to devotees. Thereafter, he asked him to accept maya, which is difficult to absorb as nobody can do it.”
Sri Rama thus, told goddess Sati, the maya of Shiva and the mystery behind his salutation while he kept roaming about in the forest.
“O goddess,” Shiva further told Vishnu, ‘O Sri Hari, you are my left arm and the lord of destiny is the right arm. You are the creator of destiny, the almighty and the Supreme. You will be the preserver. Nurse no doubt that the heart is the image of Rudra and I exist here. Do not doubt it. You will live in the most flourishing and luxurious Go-loka (the holy place where cows live and bless created beings). Wonderful land of Go-loka is known for its brilliance and luminosity”
He further bestowed on Vishnu that incarnations on earth would be guardians of created beings. He would definitely visit earth and enjoy glimpses of different embodiments. After he said magnificent, noble and virtuous words of truth, Rama was quiet.
“O goddess,” Sri Rama said again, “Shiva offered three worlds and pleasures, joys, wealth, magnificence, grandeur and glory to Vishnu and later on, proceeded to Kailasa Mountain. He lives here, continues meandering in the worlds with ganas and counselors, and plays various games through the exercise of delusory and illusory powers. After that, Sri Hari, consort of Laksmi, in the guise of gopa (cowherd) arrived and lived happily with gopas, gopis and cows and performed different acts of wonder and miracles while he appeared a simple cowherd. He was none other than Vishnu, who began to protect the entire universe from evil forces, demons, daityas and ghosts.”
Thus, Rama patiently narrated divine incidents of past and tried to satisfy holy consort of Shiva.
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