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Shiva Purana: Rudra Samhita: Sati - 27
|by P C K Prem|
As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 51
Virbhadra stood firm with folded hands, praised the lord eloquently and said, “O lord, what do you want? O lord, do you wish that I should dry up the whole sea in a moment? Do you want all mountains grinded to powder? Do you wish me to reduce to ashes the entire cosmos? Do you want that I should burn and kill all gods and monks, and reduce everyone to ashes? What do you want, O lord?”
Again, he asked, “Do you want to destroy created beings? Everything is possible because I enjoy your blessings.”
Virbhadra was the leader of counselors of Shiva and wielded the strength of lord’s blessings. He was powerful and possessed delusory powers. He told Shiva that whatever powers he exercised, the lord had bestowed upon him. He would be unable to do anything if the lord did not bless him he affirmed. He was invincible, for Shiva had blessed. In truth, one finds no created being, god or any divine force, which exercised its authority without the blessings of Shiva. Shiva knew everything and the whole thing happened because lord had desired it. Nothing moved without the knowledge of Supreme Lord.
Virbhadra praised Shiva for a long time. He told that the great lord was the origin of everything. Nothing was possible, and nothing existed if the lord was not kind and generous. Such was the glory, splendeur, radiance and maya of Supreme Lord.
Shiva was pleased to hear Virbhadra. He was impressed at the praise and devotion of the leader of counselors. Nothing gives satisfaction to the lord more than the thought that devotees accept the truth that nothing exists without the nod of Supreme Lord. One learns that only true devotion and bhakti can lead a man to peace and harmony in the contemporary context.
Truth and devotion are still relevant. A man must question repeatedly – ‘how he exists’, and then, should try to understand life and its mystery. Who is the force that works in the background and makes a man live? He does not know and still he professes he knows. It is a great enigma. Can a man invent air, water, earth, moon, sky, and stars…? He cannot, for he does not know. If he claims to know, it is a shallow knowledge, an erroneous rather deadly belief. Can one avoid a birth, death or rebirth? No, one cannot. If one does, it is transitory. Ultimately, the will of the Invisible governs. Virbhadra the great gana of lord Shiva knew it. Whatever energy or life he held was the blessing of the lord. One truth, a man must know. If he looks within, great revelations enlighten and he learns the true meaning of life and existence. A man embodies a soul, the image of Supreme lord and if he cares to nurse it properly, perhaps new life of peace, harmony and bliss beckons.
Shiva was immensely happy and so, he told, “O Virbhadra, I wish you victory.” He blessed and then said to the mighty counselor, “You are the greatest parshada (a counselor). A son of Brahma, Daksa is extremely wicked and the fool is full of pride and conceit. He is perverse, irrational and injudicious, and continues to speak against me. At this moment, he is anxious to perform the great yajna. You go and destroy everything and then, return. If gods, gandharavas, yakasas or any other created beings try to confront, you immediately wipe them out. You finish and kill gods, sages and holy souls staying in the palace of Daksa, and are attending yajna. They appear to have ignored the instructions of sage Dadhichi and therefore, continued to stay. Drive them out or eliminate. Allow none to stay and let only destruction visit Daksa, the most aberrant prajapati.”
Shiva asked Virbhadra to destroy even those gods and sages, who praised prajapati Daksa for fear of life. Show no mercy to anyone, Shiva decreed further.
Full of joy and destined victory, Virbhadra and the forces of Virbhadra and Mahakali moved to the ground of yajna as the Supreme lord directed. Soon after, a fierce struggle for survival began. Omens and premonitions made known the eternal truth of death and devastation.
The chief counselor was very happy after he received instructions from Shiva, for he thought that Supreme Lord specially chose him to perform historically a huge and sacred act of annihilation. He saluted Shiva, the lord of gods and decided to embark upon the most formidable mission. After pertinent and quick preparations, he began a long, fear-instilling and awesome journey to the ground of yajna. Just to add glory to Virbhadra, Shiva sent crores of brave ganas to strengthen him. They were like the fire of death and devastation. Attired like Maheshwara at that time, Virbhadra mounted a huge chariot and appeared impressive, full of glow and dazzling brilliance. Many nagas (divine snakes) acted as a very strong wall around the gigantic warrior of one thousand arms to forestall any unwanted intrusion or lethal assault.
He was almighty and awe-inspiring. Ten thousand lions with vigour and ferocity drove a vast chariot. Many lions, beasts like shardules, magar, fish and elephants went after Virbhadra’s chariot to protect it from any probable danger.
On the other hand, Mahakaali and nine great, awesome and redoubtable goddesses of devastation (namely Kali, Katyani, Ishani, Chamunda, Mundmardini, Bhadrakali, Bhadra, Tvarita and Vaisanavi) and all bhutas and ganas followed the mighty goddesses in the long and terrific journey to the battlefield. Formidable goddesses were the images of Mahakali. Thus, Shiva ensured that Virbhadra and Mahakali get proper support from ganas and various mighty warriors so that they attain the objective. Shiva blessed Virbhadra and Mahakali, and guaranteed these warriors sure defeat and also inevitable death of Daksa. The mighty leaders of ganas began a frightful march to destroy Daksa, for he had violated principles of morality and out of ego and pride had lost prudence of a king.
When the forces advanced toward the capital of Daksa, many forecasts presaging not a very happy happening in the near future scared and terrified everyone. Gods could foretell anarchic signs of imminent devastation. Different organs and limbs of Daksa shuddered revealing occurrence of an untoward phenomenon. The earth around and the grounds of deep wells and pits (havan kundas) of yajna began to shake. During daytime, Daksa saw stars in the sky signaling bad omens and premonitions, and revealed the eternal truth of death and destruction. At this time, the participants, viz. ordinary people, sages, gods and various holy souls heard a voice from the sky.
“O Daksa, you are destined to live a life of calumny and disgrace. You are imprudent and depraved. Sri Hari will punish and you cannot anticipate repulsive castigation. None will hear noise and shouts you create. No doubt, foolish gods present in yajna will also suffer.” The divine voice stirred fears.
Gods, sages, devotees and many celestial souls quivered with fear. Daksa trembled and felt disturbed as he tried to keep a courageous countenance. He thought seriously of the inevitable calamity. He deliberated for a long period and then, decided to go to the divine consort of goddess Laksmi Vishnu, and seek protection. It was the last resort Daksa thought over. One thing is obvious that death does not spare anyone. Pride and self-esteem if wrongly interpreted prove disastrous. Daksa committed a grave error of not comprehending the divine plan though he was also not a very simple soul. He was also a man of tapa and might but then, overconfidence and ill-conceived perception about status and location in the universe, led him to commit reprehensible errors.
In contemporary times, if men of power especially political people in authority understand futility of false glory and honour, and begin to serve humanity truthfully, they earn praise akin to eternal glory. Alas, it does not happen. Many modern politicians possess sadistic nature, surfeit of lies and mindset of Daksa, and exhibit impertinence, and audaciously confront the authority of the creator but alas, they do not even carry power of tapa and devotion Daksa had.
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