Nov 29, 2023
Nov 29, 2023
by P C K Prem
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 47
Sati’s arrival at Yajna and outrageous behaviour of Daksa stuns – she argues but father Daksa speaks many words of contempt, calls lord Shiva a repulsive looking god, and says many uncharitable and inelegant words
Goddess arrived at a divinely illuminated place where Daksa had organised the grand yajna. The gods, asuras and the lords of monks were performing sacred religious duties. One could see curiosity and divine fulfillment on the faces of holy souls. When Sati arrived at the palace of prajapati Daksa, she found father Daksa divinely ornamented with astonishing jewels and embellishments that enhanced the beauty and grandeur of the palace. A huge gathering of gods and sages emitted dazzling ambiance and thus, it presented an attractive divine scenario. She continued to look at the magnificent presence of celestial souls.
She got down from the vehicle Nandi, stood on the threshold of the palace for a moment, and then, hurriedly went to the place of yajna alone. When mother Askini saw Sati coming, she got up and greeted her along with sisters. However, father Daksa did not get up to receive daughter Sati. Fearing Daksa, great souls, gods, asuras and sages did not exhibit feelings of reverence toward goddess Sati, for they worked under the influence of delusory powers of Shiva. However, they gave impression that they feared Daksa and therefore, did not grant respect to the goddess, as it would have annoyed prajapati.
In truth, the delusory potency of Shiva irritated. When Sati did not get proper respect from the learned and wise gathering, she was terribly stunned. Even then, Sati bowed before father Daksa and mother with humility and respect. Daksa had kept share of sacrificial offering separately for Vishnu, Brahma and other gods she observed but she did not notice share of lord Sambhu. At that act, Sati expressed anger and displeasure.
She felt mortified and looked angrily at the holy gathering of gods, sages and celestial beings and said to prajapati Daksa, “O prajapati, why you did not invite the most propitious Shiva to yajna? How do you think yajna supremely completed when the very presence of lord Shiva purifies the entire universe of animate and inanimate created beings? Lord Shiva is the yajna. He is the greatest among those, who are pundits, the lords and the gods of yajna. He exists in each part of yanja. Lord Shiva is the dakshina of yajna, performs yajna and is also the yajmana.” She told father Daksa clearly, “Lord Shiva is present in each particle of yajna and he is, in truth, yajna-incarnate.”
Many words of praise annoyed Daksa and possibly, she wanted to provoke him.
After a pause, she added, “O father, if a man or a devotee merely remembers the lord’s name, it purifies. If a man performs yajna without lord’s presence, it will be impure and imperfect and thus, will be devoid of divine bliss. Dravya (sacred substance or material for yajna), mantra (sanctified words, a mystical echo carry psychological and spiritual powers, meditation with mantra leads to changed realisation), havya (sacred matter for pouring in the yajna fire) and kavya (sacred food for manes, pitres) – are the images of Shiva. When you know, how did you begin the yajna without lord Shiva? You disgraced lord Shiva. Do you think he is an ordinary god? It appears your sagacity is contaminated. You appear adharmic (unrighteous, untruthful and unfaithful) even though you are father prajapati Daksa. It is strange. How did lord Vishnu, Brahma, and the gods and monks arrive to participate in the yajna without lord Shiva?.”
Sati was immensely hurt, enraged and anguished at the tremendous brazenness Daksa flaunted and therefore, reprimanded Vishnu, Brahma, Indra and various gods and sages in strong words. She uttered harsh words because she was unable to tolerate humiliation and ignominy of Shiva. All gods, big or ordinary, heard peremptory fulminations of goddess Sati but were unable to speak out. They kept quiet. Daksa listened to daughter’s terse utterances. When she stopped, he looked furious.
After a moment, he said, “O woman, why do you say distasteful words? Why did you come? You have nothing to do. You may go or not, it depends upon you.” He was very agitated and lips trembled in wrath.
After a moment, he asked, “Why did you come? All wise men know… Shiva is not auspicious on sacred occasions. He is not clean. The Vedas reject him as he is the lord of bhutas and pisachas. Dressed up in dirty clothes, he goes around with ash-smeared body. That is the reason I did not invite Rudra on the festival of yajna.”
Daksa was clear, definite and categorical. He threw a glance around and then said again, “O dear daughter, I know Rudra intimately. Therefore, I did not invite him deliberately to the gathering of sages, gods and holy souls. Rudra does not have knowledge of scriptures. He is impudent and evil minded. A fool I was and so I married you to him on the advice of Brahma. O woman of pure heart, do not be angry. Calm down. You came to yajna, therefore, accept share in sacrificial offering.”
The three worlds and the created beings revered goddess Sati. When Daksa said and exhibited ignominy and disgrace towards Shiva, she looked at him and felt enormously incensed.
She tried to control anger within but it was difficult. She looked around and thought, “How I would go back to lord Sankara? If I go with a desire to have lord’s darshana, it would embarrass. If he asks about yajna, what do I say?”
She was disturbed and worried. The mother of the three worlds Sati was annoyed. She breathed heavily, looked at Daksa and said, “He, who speaks ill of lord Shiva or he, who listens to censorious expressions against Shiva, is driven to hell where he stays eternally to suffer. So long the sun and the moon exist in the universe such a person suffers and continues to live grievously anguished.” She was silent.
After a pause, she told, “Therefore, O father, I relinquish the body and enter the burning fire. What is the use of protecting body after I listened to words of dishonour against my swamy and the lord of the worlds? If someone is strong enough then, he should forcibly cut off the tongue of a person, who speaks ill of lord Sambhu. Only then, he is purified of the sin of hearing words of ridicule and disdain against lord Shiva, and I have no doubt about it. If one is incapable of doing anything, then one should close ears and leave the place. It will keep one pure and sinless, and is not a part of the crime, wise men say.”
After she said in a spirit of dharma and talked of the principles of ideal and ethical life, goddess Sati was remorseful. She remembered Sankara with a distressed heart.
Infuriated, she spoke fearlessly to Daksa in the presence of Vishnu, gods and monks, “O father, you speak against lord Sankara. You will regret later on. You will suffer immensely and in the end, you will face miseries. In this world, none is lord’s beloved or dearly adored. He blesses all and showers blessings equally on all devotees and noble souls. He is without jealousy and bitterness. Then, who can go against him? It is only you. It is not a matter of surprise if evil-minded people out of jealousy, begin to speak ill of great souls. However, speaking condemnatory language against the lord does not look elegant for those, whose darkness of minds and hearts has been dispelled with the dust of lord’s feet.” Sati was deeply distressed, and therefore, suffered immense disgrace Daksa heaped upon Shiva. She wanted to retaliate but controlled, for she did not wish to appear impudent, which would have been humiliating. Even then, she was angry, true, irritated, and made annoyance clear and strong.
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