Sep 22, 2023
Sep 22, 2023
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 45
Grandeur of Daksa’s Yajna amazes …divine souls, sages, seers and other celestial beings arrive – when sage Dadhichi does not find Shiva, it not only disturbs but surprises and so, advises Daksa to invite Shiva, a primeval Purusa and the Ancient Man
Daksa had organised yajna on a very large scale, not held earlier and everyone noticed its enormity of dimensions. He invited almost everybody but did not invite lord Sambhu. He thought Shiva was not the right person to attend yajna because adorned with skulls and bones and body smeared with ashes from the burial ground, Shambhu instilled fears he believed. Ganas of Shiva were not different, and appeared ugly and disfigured, whose conduct was inappropriate. Even, Daksa did not invite daughter Sati. It was clear that Daksa had not forgotten old enmity and jealousy toward the great lord, who was generous even when Daksa deprecated and dishonored him in insensitive and curt language in another yajna held at Prayaga.
All brahmins and ritvijas were now seriously engaged in various karmas and rituals necessary for the completion of yajna. In the presence of gathering of great souls and gods of heavens, the great yajna began. Sage Dadhichi, a great devotee of Shiva, did not find Shiva in the yajna and it deeply disturbed him.
After careful deliberation, Dadhichi said to the gathering of holy men, “O great gods and sages, kindly listen with a keen ear. Lord Sankara has not come to yajna. What are the reasons? Though the gods, the lord of gods, famous monks, sages, lokapalas, and the guardians of regions and heavens, have come, yet yajna lacks charm and luster because of the absence of Shiva, who bears holy snakes around neck, and is so auspicious.
Men of wisdom and erudition say that holy celebrations and festivals assume significance, and conclude in the most befitting and propitious way when merciful and generous eyes of Shiva behold and bless. Shiva is a primeval Purusa, the lord of gods, the Ancient Man, the great god, who drank Halahala (a deadly poison) for the well-being of created beings, and therefore, he is Neelkantha (a blue-throated lord). Why the great god is not here? I cannot find cogent reasons.”
After he talked to the august gathering, he turned to Daksa and said, “O Daksa, merely the presence of the Shiva proves auspicious for anyone. A mere glance of the lord turns an unfortunate scenario into the most providential happening. Entry and presence of the great lord is essential in yajna. Therefore, you go and invite him without wasting time. If you cannot, then you seek assistance of Supreme Brahma, Vishnu, Indra, the guardians of heavens, brahmins and siddhas, and request Shiva to come to yajna. I therefore, request all of you to go to the place where Shiva lives.”
You cordially invite Sambhu and goddess Sati – daughter of Daksa, and bring the divine lord to yajna. If Shiva and goddess Jagdamba arrive, a mere presence will purify all. A mere thought of Shiva sanctifies karmas I tell you, O holy men. Please make efforts to bring Shiva and holy consort to yajna. Participation of Shiva and goddess Sati is necessary in yajna. As Sankara enters, yajna will stand consecrated. If he does not come, yajna will be incomplete I am sure.”
He was quiet and expected a positive response from the wise men. None spoke and nobody had courage to defy prajapati Daksa it appeared. When Daksa heard yielding piece of counsel praising virtues of Shiva, he was furious.
Restraining anger a little, Daksa said contemptuously, “Vishnu is the root of all gods because the eternal religion (sanatana dharma) is situated in him. When I invited him to the yajna, what shortcoming is left? I think I find none. Vishnu arrived in whom the Vedas, yajnas and various kinds of karmas are steadily established. What else do you require? Not only Vishnu, the great Pitamahah of all the lokas but also Supreme Brahma reached here along with the Vedas, Upanishads and various Agamas. Arrival of Indra and the gods provides sanctity to the great and auspicious yajna.”
Daksa tried to justify the presence of all the gods, sages and wise men. He spoke about the presence of Brahma and Vishnu. He argued that he does not need presence of anyone else. All learned and holy men, who were authority on the Vedas, followed principles of dharma and adhered to the canons of scriptures faithfully, were invitees of Daksa to witness the glory of grand yajna he continued to inform.
At last, when he realised that the gathering of holy men was still unconvinced, he said frankly, “When everybody came, then what purpose the presence of Rudra would serve?”
An extraordinary silence gripped a sacred assembly. After a pause, he said again, “O brahmins, when Supreme Brahma asked me, I married off daughter Sati to Rudra. Otherwise, I know he is not very clean and pious. He has neither mother nor father. He is the lord of bhutas (ghosts, eerie spirits and pisachas), who eat human flesh. He lives alone. It is difficult to encroach upon Rudra’s privacy. He is fond of self-praise. He is foolish, rootless, observes silence, but is a storehouse of jealousy. He is not a fit and right choice and therefore, I did not invite Shiva to the pious karma, a festival of sacrifice. Therefore, O sage Dadhichi, you do not speak again. I request you to put in concerted efforts and complete the grand yajna.”
Dadhichi heard Daksa and then, said loudly and lucidly so that holy men hear, “O Daksa, in the absence of lord Shiva it is not a yajna. One cannot call it yajna. I say emphatically that yajna will lead you to destruction.”
A great truth it was, the holy men thought. After some time, when he found no definite reaction, he was sad and a bit angry.
Sage Dadhichi expressed worries and misgivings clearly and then, left the raised platform of yajna and went back to the ashrama. Afterward, the followers of Shaivism (people adhering to the teaching of Shaivism), the prominent devotees of lord Shiva, issued curse to Daksa, and thereafter, left the ground of yajna immediately to respective hermitages. When holy men left after Dadhichi, Daksa, an enemy of Shiva laughed at monks and said, “Dadhichi is just a brahmin and he says he is a devotee of Shiva. Now, he is gone with followers. It is a fortunate happening. I always wanted that no devotee of Shiva should be present in the yajna. O lord of gods, gods and monks, I speak the truth. Those, who have lost the capacity to deliberate are imprudent, and therefore, are engaged in spreading canards. Such people work against the dictums of the Vedas and so one ought to discard them. Lord Vishnu, noble brahmins and gods are men of the Vedas. Therefore, I request you to make yajna a success.”
Interestingly, no one present in the great yajna knew of the potent delusory powers of Shiva. In truth, the power of maya overshadowed and overcame everyone and so each one lost the capacity to know truth and the eternal design of Supreme Lord. Daksa’s yajna was destined to end up in destruction and tragedy, the wise men thought.
Journey of celestial beings to Daksa’s palace was a spectacle of magnificence. On the other hand, Sati’s curiosity increased each moment as she learnt from the celestial beings that they were going to attend the great yajna, lord Daksa was organising. She thought over, appeared before lord Shiva, and sought permission.
Before the beginning of yajna, many gods and sages had begun journey to the land of Daksa on getting an invite. At that time, holy Sati, the daughter of Daksa and consort of Shiva wandered leisurely in joy and pleasure in the company of friends in the valley of mount Gandhmadana. They were engaged in different teasing pleasure games free from worries or anxieties. When she was a little casual, she witnessed a unique scenario and found that many royal sages and gods were going to attend the grand yajna of Daksa, the lord of prajapatis and the swamy of the universe. Sati observed Rohini and Chandrama proceeding to the grounds of yajna. A quaint curiosity beleaguered Sati. So many holy people were going on a journey and it raised questions in the mind of Sati, who was unaware of the truth that father Daksa had planned to organise a legendary yajna.
Unique panorama attracted and impressed. She was delighted and happy and therefore, asked a confidant friend Vijaya, “O Vijaya, please go and let me know to which place Chandrama and spouse Rohini are going? What is the objective of the journey, please try to find out?”
Vijaya rushed to Chandrama and Rohini, observed appropriate courtesies, and asked, “O lord Chandra, where do you go?”
On the question of Vijaya, Chandrama revealed the purpose in reverential words and told of a great festival and yajna, prajapati Daksa was organising. She learnt details of yajna and hurriedly returned to goddess Sati. She revealed everything whatever lord Chandra had told. Sati was extremely surprised to hear about the yajna. She deliberated over the background. What could be the reason for not getting an invite from father Daksa? She thought over for long but failed to understand. To know the background, she went to lord Sankara.
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More by : P C K Prem